Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/77

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51
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

make the worst possible impression abroad and that it affected American interests. Talaat explained his national policy: these different blocs in the Turkish Empire, he said, had always conspired against Turkey; because of the hostility of these native populations, Turkey had lost province after province — Greece, Serbia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Egypt, and Tripoli. In this way the Turkish Empire had dwindled almost to the vanishing point. If what was left of Turkey was to survive, added Talaat, he must get rid of these alien peoples. "Turkey for the Turks" was now Talaat's controlling idea. Therefore he proposed to Turkify Smyrna and the adjoining islands. Already 40,000 Greeks had left, and he asked me again to urge American business houses to employ only Turks. He said that the accounts of violence and murder had been greatly exaggerated and suggested that a commission be sent to investigate. "They want a commission to whitewash Turkey," Sir Louis Mallet, the British Ambassador, told me. True enough, when this commission did bring in its report, it exculpated Turkey.

The Greeks in Turkey had one great advantage over the Armenians, for there was such a thing as a Greek government, which naturally has a protecting interest in them. The Turks knew that these deportations would precipitate a war with Greece; in fact, they welcomed such a war and were preparing for it. So enthusiastic were the Turkish people that they had raised money by popular subscription and had purchased a Brazilian dreadnaught which was then under construction in England. The government had ordered also a second dreadnaught in England, and several submarines and destroyers in France. The purpose