Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/34

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AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

all the other essentials of a free, liberty-loving commonwealth. That a party of Turks had for years been struggling for such reforms I well knew, and that their ambitions had become realities seemed to indicate that, after all, there was such a thing as human progress. The long welter of massacre and disorder in the Turkish Empire had apparently ended; "the great assassin", Abdul Hamid, had been removed to solitary confinement at Saloniki, and his brother, the gentle Mohammed V, had ascended the throne with a progressive democratic programme. Such had been the promise; but, by the time I reached Constantinople, in 1913, many changes had taken place. Austria had annexed two Turkish provinces, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Italy had wrenched away Tripoli; Turkey had fought a disastrous war with the Balkan states, and had lost all her territories in Europe except Constantinople and a small hinterland. The aims for the regeneration of Turkey that had inspired the revolution had evidently miscarried, and I soon discovered that four years of so-called democratic rule had ended with the nation more degraded, more impoverished, and more dismembered than ever before. Indeed, long before I had arrived, this attempt to establish a Turkish democracy had failed. The failure was probably the most complete and the most disheartening in the whole history of democratic institutions. I need hardly explain in detail the causes of this collapse. Let us not criticize too harshly the Young Turks, for there is no question that, at the beginning, they were sincere. In a speech in Liberty Square, Saloniki, in July, 1908, Enver Pasha, who was popularly regarded as the chivalrous young leader of this insurrection against a century-