Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 64.djvu/177

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173
THE STORM CENTER IN THE BALKANS.
THE STORM CENTER IN THE BALKANS.
By Dr. ALLAN McLAUGULIN,
U. S. PUBLIC HEALTH AND MARINE HOSPITAL SERVICE.

MANY students of European political conditions believe that the end of Turkey as a European power is in sight and that in the near future important events will occur in the Balkan Peninsula which will change the map of that part of Europe.

The solution of the Balkan question has been confidently expected at various times during the past fifty years, but never have the signs of the times so consistently pointed toward this result as they do at the present time. The condition of anarchy and guerilla warfare in the so-called province of Macedonia and the accounts of wholesale murder of old men, women and children, even after due allowance for possible exaggeration, must excite a feeling of horror in the most indifferent observer. The position of the christian inhabitants in the unhappy country is such as to cause an outburst of popular feeling even in England against the Turk. The significance of the tone of hostility evinced by the English press lies in the fact that hitherto England has been the chief supporter of the Turk's political position in Europe.

The polyglot population of these Turkish provinces, differing from the Turk no less than from one another in race and speech, makes a favorable soil for the sowing of seeds of political discord, the value of which outside influences are not slow to recognize.

The Turk has availed himself of the racial differences of his subjects and encouraged the hostility of Greek for Slav, and the hatred of the Albanian for both. To understand the complicated conditions of the present insurrection it is necessary to consider the racial factors which go to form the population of the disaffected provinces and to review briefly the outside influences which tend to keep the Balkan question alive, and the reasons why the question has not sooner been settled.

There is no official division of the Turkish empire known as Macedonia; but the name has a wide popular usage in designating the territory occupied by these warring racial elements of European Turkey. The name is popularly applied to the Turkish vilayets of Salonika and Monastir, The resident factors in the racial problem of Macedonia consist of Slavs (Bulgars and Serbs), Albanians, Greeks, Roumans and Turks.

The Slavs came into Macedonia in the seventh century. They came in irresistible numbers, forced the Albanians to the mountains