Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/38

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16
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

The mob, led by Talaat and Enver, then forced their way into the council chamber. They forced Kiamil, the Grand Vizier, to resign his post by threatening him with the fate that had overtaken Nazim.

As assassination had been the means by which these chieftains had obtained the supreme power, so assassination continued to be the instrument upon which they depended for maintaining their control. Djemal, in addition to his other duties, became Military Governor of Constantinople, and in this capacity he had control of the police; in this office he developed all the talents of a Fouché, and did his work so successfully that any man who wished to conspire against the Young Turks usually retired for that purpose to Paris or Athens. The few months that preceded my arrival had been a reign of terror. The Young Turks had destroyed Abdul Hamid's régime only to adopt that Sultan's favourite methods of quieting opposition. Instead of having one Abdul Hamid, Turkey now discovered that she had several. Men were arrested and deported by the score, and hangings of political offenders — opponents, that is, of the ruling gang — were common occurrences.

The weakness of the Sultan particularly facilitated the ascendancy of this committee. We must remember that Mohammed V was not only Sultan but Caliph — not only the temporal ruler, but also head of the Mohammedan Church. As religious leader he was an object of veneration to millions of devout Moslems, a fact which would have given a strong man in his position great influence in freeing Turkey from its oppressors. I presume that even those who had the most kindly feelings toward the Sultan would not