Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/35

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13
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

old tyranny, had eloquently declared that, "To-day arbitrary government has disappeared. We are all brothers. There are no longer in Turkey Bulgarians, Greeks, Servians, Rumanians, Mussulmans, Jews. Under the same blue sky we are all proud to be Ottomans." That statement represented the Young Turk ideal for the new Turkish state, but it was an ideal which it was evidently beyond their ability to translate into a reality. The races which had been maltreated and massacred for centuries by the Turks could not transform themselves overnight into brothers, and the hatreds, jealousies, and religious prejudices of the past still divided Turkey into a medley of warring clans. Above all, the destructive wars and the loss of great sections of the Turkish Empire had destroyed the prestige of the new democracy. There were plenty of other reasons for the failure, but it is hardly necessary to discuss them at this time.

Thus the Young Turks had disappeared as a positive regenerating force, but they still existed as a political machine. Their leaders, Talaat, Enver, and Djemal, had long since abandoned any expectation of reforming their state, but they had developed an insatiable lust for personal power. Instead of a nation of nearly 20,000,000, developing happily along democratic lines, enjoying suffrage, building up their industry and agriculture, laying the foundations for universal education, sanitation, and general progress, I saw that Turkey consisted of merely so many inarticulate, ignorant, and poverty-ridden slaves, with a small, wicked oligarchy at the top, which was prepared to use them in the way that would best promote its private interests. And these men were practically the same who, a few years