Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/37

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15
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

the Turkish Committee of Union and Progress. Talaat, Enver, and Djemal had added to their system a detail that has not figured extensively in American politics — that of assassination and judicial murder. They had wrested power from the other factions by a deed of violence. This coup d'etat had taken place on January 26, 1913, not quite a year before my arrival. At that time a political group, headed by the venerable Kiamil Pasha, as Grand Vizier, and Nazim Pasha, as Minister of War, controlled the Government; they represented a faction known as the "Liberal Party," which was chiefly distinguished for its enmity to the Young Turks. These men had fought the disastrous Balkan War, and, in January, they had felt themselves compelled to accept the advice of the European powers and surrender Adrianople to Bulgaria. The Young Turks had been outside the breastworks for about six months looking for an opportunity to return to power. The proposed surrender of Adrianople apparently furnished them this opportunity. Adrianople was an important Turkish city, and naturally the Turkish people regarded the contemplated surrender as marking still another milestone toward their national doom. Talaat and Enver hastily collected about two hundred followers and marched to the Sublime Porte, where the ministry was then sitting. Nazim, hearing the uproar, stepped out into the hall. He courageously faced the crowd, a cigarette in his mouth and his hands thrust into his pockets.

"Come, boys," he said, good humouredly, "what's all this noise about? Don't you know that it is interfering with our deliberations?"

The words had hardly left his mouth when he fell dead. A bullet had pierced a vital spot.