IN the course of an article on the Turkish situation in the New York Sunday Sun, Dr. Harry Stuermer tells of the conspiracy by which Turkey was brought into the war and of the central figures concerned in it. He contends, and there seems some basis for the statement, that Turkey’s entry into the war was all that prevented the supplying of munitions to Russia and therefore saved the Central Powers from defeat in 1915. Dr. Stuermer writes:
There has been no lack of cross currents against the war policy of the Young Turkish Government. Ever since the entry of Turkey into the war, there has been a deeply rooted and unshakeable conviction among all kinds and conditions of men, even in the circles of the Pashas and the Court—the people of Turkey take too little interest in politics and are composed of far too heterogeneous elements for there to be anything in the nature of what we call “public opinion”—that Turkey’s alliance with the Central Powers was a complete mistake and that it can lev.d to no good.
The benefit for the Entente of Turkey’s sympathetic neutrality would have been enormous. Neither in Germany nor in Turkey is
there any doubt whatever in military circles that it was Turkey’s entry into the war on the German side and her blocking of the Straits, and so preventing Russia from obtaining supplies of ammunition and other war material that has so far saved the Central Powers. Had Turkey remained neutral constant streams of ammunition would have poured into Russia, Mackensen’s offensive would have had no prospect at all of success and Germany would have been beaten to all intents and purposes in 1915.
These are opinions expressed hundreds of times by thoroughly patriotic and intelligent Turks who saw how the ever more intensive propaganda work of the German Ambassadors, first Marschall von Beberstein, then Freiherr von Wangenheim, gradually wormed its way through opposition and prejudice, how the German military mission in Constan-
tinople tried to turn the Russian hatred of Germany against Turkey instead, how, finally, those optimists and jingoists on the “Committee,” who knew as little about the true position of affairs throughout the world as they did of the intentions of the Entente or the means at their disposal, proceeded to guide the ship of state more and more into German waters, without any reference to their own people in return for promises won from Germany of personal power and material advantage.
These were those days of excitement and smouldering unrest when Admiral von Souchon of the Goeben and the Breslau, with complete lack of discipline toward his superior, Djemal Pasha, arranged with the Ger.man Government to pull off a coup without Djemal’s knowledge—chiefly because he was itching to possess the “Pour le Merite” order
—and sailed off with the Turkish fleet to the Black Sea.
Djemal Pasha learned the news that Admiral von Souchon had bombarded Russian ports, and so made war inevitable, one evening at the club. Pale with rage, he sprang up and said: “So be it; but if things go wrong, Souchon will be the first to be hanged.”
These were the days when Enver and Talaat threw all their cards on the table in that fateful game of To Be or Not to Be, and brought on their country, scarcely yet recovered from the bloodshed of the Balkan 'War. a new and more terrible sacrifice of her manhood in a war extending over four, and later five, fronts.
The consciousness that Turkey has committed an unbounded folly has long age been borne in upon wide circles of Turks in spite
of falsified reports and a stringent censor-
The late successor to the throne, Prince Yussuf Izzedin Effendi, was the hizn'St of 'hose in high authority who openly represented the pessimistic anti-war tendency. It was for this that he was murdered or perhaps made to commit suicide by Enver Pasha.
The whole truth about this tragic occurrence can only be sifted to the bottom when the dictators of the “Committee” are no longer in their place and light finally breaks on ,Turkey. Whether it was murder or suicide, the death of the successor to the throne is one of the most dramatic scandals of Turkish history, and Enver Pasha has his blood, ns well as the blood of so many others, on his
In connection with this sensational event, the world has already heard how Yussuf Izzedin was kept for years under the despotic Abdul Hamid shut off from 'he world S3 a semi-prisoner in 'nis beautiful Konak of Sindjirlikuyu, just outside the gates of Constantinople, where he became a sufferer from acute neurasthenia.
Early one morning he was found lying dead in a pool of nU own blood with a seve red artery. He had received his death wound in exactly the same place and exactly the same way as his father, Sultan Abdul Aziz, who fell a victim to Abdul Hamid’s hatred.
So much at least seems to be clear, that Prince Izzedin, who was naturally interested in retaining his accession to the throne undisturbed and who in spite of his neurasthenia was man enough to stand up for his own rights, foresaw ruin for his kingdom by Turkey’s entry into the war on the side of Germany. He was more far seeing than the careless adventurers and narrow-minded fanatics of the “Committee” and recognized that the letting go of the treasured PanIslamic traditions of old Sultan Hamid was a grave mistake which would lead to the alienation of the Arabs, and which endangered both the Ottoman Caliphate and Ottoman rule in the southern parts of the Empire.
Perhaps the “Committee” had something to fear for the future, when the time came for the reverses now regarded as inevitable. Yussuf would then make use of his powerful influence in many circles—notably among the discontented retired military men—to demand redress from the “Committee.” Enver, true to his unscrupulous character, quite hardened to the sight of Turkish blood, and determined to stick to his post at all costs— for it was not only lucrative, but flattering to his vanity—was not the man to stick at trifles with a poor neurasthenic, who under the present military dictatorship was absolutely at his mercy. He therefore decided on cold blooded murder.
The Prince, well aware of the danger that threatened him, tried at the last moment to leave the country and flee to safety. He had even taken his ticket, and intended to start by the midday Balkan trîtin next day to travel to Switzerland via Germany. He was forbidden to travel.
Whether, feeling himself thus driven into a corner and nothing but death at the hand of Enver’s creatures staring him in the face, he killed himself in desperation, or whether, as thousands of people in Constantinople firmly believe, and as would seem to be corroborated by the generally accepted, although of course not actually verified, tale of a bloody encounter between the murderers and the Prince’s body guard, with victims on both sides, he was actually assassinated, is not yet settled, and it is really not a matter of vast importance.
One thing is clear, and that is that Izzedin Effendi did not pay with his life for any disloyal act, but merely for his personal and 'political opposition to Enver. He is but one on this murderer’s long list of victims.
The numerous doctors, all well known creatures of the “Committee” or easily won over by intimidation, who set their names as witnesses to this “suicide as a result of severe neurasthenia"—a most striking and suspicious similarity to the case of Abdul Aziz—have not prevented one single thinking man in Constantinople from forming a correct opinion on the matter. The wily Turkish Government evidently chose this kind of death, just like his father’s, so that they could diagnose the symptoms as those of incurable neurasthenia.
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