Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/33

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11
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

successes and failures of their countries. As the Germans boasted of victory after victory Wangenheim's already huge and erect figure seemed to become larger and more upstanding, while Pallavicini, as the Austrians lost battle after battle to the Russians, seemed to become smaller and more shrinking.

The situation in Turkey, in these critical months, seemed almost to have been purposely created to give the fullest opportunities to a man of Wangenheim's genius. For ten years the Turkish Empire had been undergoing a process of dissolution, and had now reached a state of decrepitude that had left it an easy prey to German diplomacy. In order to understand the situation, we must keep in mind that there was really no orderly, established government in Turkey at that time. For the Young Turks were not a government; they were really an irresponsible party, a kind of secret society, which, by intrigue, intimidation, and assassination, had obtained most of the offices of state. When I describe the Young Turks in these words, perhaps I may be dispelling certain illusions. Before I came to Turkey I had entertained very different ideas of this organization. As far back as 1908 I remember reading news of Turkey that appealed strongly to my democratic sympathies. These reports informed me that a body of young revolutionists had swept from the mountains of Macedonia, had marched upon Constantinople, had deposed the bloody Sultan, Abdul Hamid, and had established a constitutional system. Turkey, these glowing newspaper stories told us, had become a democracy, with a parliament, a responsible ministry, universal suffrage, equality of all citizens before the law, freedom of speech and of the press, and