Current History, A Monthly Magazine - The European War, March 1915
by New York Times
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The New York Times




MARCH, 1915

Caldron of the Balkans

But little has hitherto been published in English describing from original sources how the Balkan States, out of which the world conflict arose, resolved, in Kipling's phrase, to "stand up and meet the war." The following documents, taken from authoritative Balkan sources, show for the first time the purely Balkan aspect of the great struggle.

How Turkey Went to War

By Ottoman Authorities

Immediately on receiving official notification of the rupture of diplomatic relations between Austria and Servia, the Turkish Grand Vizier hastened to inform the Diplomatic Corps in Constantinople that Turkey would remain neutral in the conflict. Explaining this official Turkish declaration, the following editorial article appeared early in August in the Ministerial paper, Tasfiri-Efkiar, published in Constantinople:

The declarations made by the Grand Vizier to the Ambassadors of the powers, in order to reassure them as to the dispositions of Turkey, do not constitute from a legal point of view a declaration of neutrality, according to the stipulations of The Hague Conventions; likewise the Austrian ultimatum to Servia, viewed in the same light, is not tantamount to a declaration of war. In fact, The Hague Conventions demand a formal declaration in both cases. But if the formal declaration of Turkish neutrality cannot be made before she has received an official notification of the existing war, it is nevertheless true that the head of the Government, in his conversations with the Ambassadors, has given them to understand what the opinion of the people is here. And even without this, the efforts of the Turkish Government, the desire, and the policy of Turkey, are so explicit that there is no ground for doubt as to the significance of the declarations of the Grand Vizier.

Turkey has never asked for war, as she always has worked toward avoiding it. But we must not misunderstand the meaning of certain terms. Neutrality does not mean indifference. The present Austro-Servian conflict is to a supreme degree interesting to us. In the first place, one of our erstwhile opponents is fighting against a much stronger enemy. In the natural course of things Servia, which till lately was expressing, in a rather open way, her solidarity as a nation, still provoking us, and Greece will be materially weakened. In the second place, the results of this war may surpass the limits of a conflict between two countries, and in that case our interests will be just as materially affected.

We must therefore keep our eyes open, as the circumstances are momentarily changing, and do not permit us to let escape certain advantages which we can secure by an active and rightly acting diplomacy.

The policy of neutrality will impose on us the obligation of avoiding to side with either of the belligerents, but the same policy will force us to take all the necessary measures for safeguarding our interests and our frontiers. If it be true, as reported, that the pacificist tendencies of Turkey constitute one of the safest guarantees of peace in the Balkans, then we must hope that on the day when a general settlement of accounts will be made Europe will be willing to recognize the important part played by Turkey in the preservation of peace in the Near East, and will be eager to rectify, if not all, at least one part of the wrongs she has caused to our country.


Turkish mobilization was still at its first stages when the European war began on Aug. 1, 1914. The Turkish Government in particular and the Turkish population in general were overwhelmed by the unexpected turn of European events, and it was at the height of the crisis that Turkey received the news of her two battleships building in British yards being taken over by England. A correspondent of The Daily Atlantis of New York, writing in Constantinople on Aug. 10, said:

The European war makes the Turks think that this is their golden opportunity for turkifying the empire from the one end to the other. All non-Moslems, mere boys and young men of 25 to 30 years of age and grown men up to 45, are being arrested by the police and secret service force, and dragged to the barracks, like convicts, and if they fail to pay the fifty or eighty pounds Turkish ($230 or $350) for exemption from military service, they are forced to work as "assistant-soldiers."

The soldiers thus designated are not given rifles, nor are they trained for service, but are simply employed as servants to the regular soldiers. It is easy to understand that no one can endure such conditions of military life, the result being that each and every one of these non-Moslems sells whatever property he has in order to pay the ransom and get away from the army, and from Turkey as well. In ten days, since this peculiar recruiting began, fully ten thousand Greeks found a way of escaping from Constantinople, many of them finding a refuge in the free and hospitable United States. This getting away is not so easy, writes the same correspondent, because officials of the various ports are exacting heavy sums from the fugitives before letting them go. Graft and extortion in this case reign supreme, and it costs anywhere from three to fifteen pounds ($13 to $70) to "buy" a police or port official. This process, originating in Constantinople, is widespread in the provinces, and the sums paid in this way by the non-Moslems to escape military service amount to millions. "Let the infidels pay!" say the Turkish officials. "They have taken our ships, and they have to pay for it."

The popular feeling against England in these first days of the European war is fierce. Numerous manifestations, in which the younger element was largely represented, proceeded to attack the British stores and British subjects, and there have been serious attempts against the British Embassy in Constantinople and the British Consulate at Smyrna.


Another letter from the same source, dated Constantinople, Aug. 6, gives the following picture of the Turkish capital in the early days of the European war:

It is impossible to describe the way in which the Porte is trying to put the country on a war footing, notwithstanding the terrible odds she has to fight against. God only knows what the Turks are expecting if the Austro-Servian conflict turns out according to their desires, or if the European conflict takes the form of a decisive Austro-German victory. We now have ample proof to show that the Turkish mobilization is in such a way conducted as to be ready to act in common with Bulgaria, in a simultaneous attack against Greek and Servian Macedonia, as soon as the Austrians have a first decisive victory over the Servians. This scheme, however, seems to be doomed since the entry of Great Britain into the general war, and there are indications that Turkey, warned by England and Russia, will disband her already mobilized army. On the other hand, the news reaches Constantinople that the Russian forces have crossed the frontier into Turkish Armenia, and occupied Erzeroum, while Enver Pasha was seen yesterday, (Aug. 5,) paying hasty visits to the Russian and British Embassies. While such is the political situation, matters are still worse in the business world of the Turkish capital. It is almost impossible to give an idea of the general upheaval brought about by greedy speculators, who are taking advantage of this anomalous situation, and by the Government itself, requisitioning everything they can lay their hands on, regardless of reason or necessity.

Policemen and Sheriffs, followed by military officers, are taking by force everything in the way of foodstuffs, entering the bakeries and other shops selling victuals, boarding ships with cargoes of flour, potatoes, wheat, rice, &c., and taking over virtually everything, giving in lieu of payment a receipt which is not worth even the paper on which it is written.

In this way many shops are forced to close, bread has entirely disappeared from the bakeries, and Constantinople, the capital of a neutral country, is already feeling all the troubles and privations of a besieged city. Prices for foodstuffs have soared to inaccessible heights as provisions are becoming scarce. Actual hand-to-hand combats are taking place in the streets outside the bakeries for the possession of a loaf of bread, and hungry women with children in their arms are seen crying and weeping in despair.

Many merchants, afraid lest the Government requisition their goods, hastened to have their orders canceled, the result being that no merchandise of any kind is coming to Constantinople either from Europe or from Anatolia.

Both on account of the recruiting of their employes and of shortage of coal the companies operating the electric tramways of the city have reduced their service to the minimum, as no power is available for the running of the cars.

Heartrending scenes are witnessed in front of the closed doors of the various banking establishments, where large posters are to be seen, bearing the inscription: Closed temporarily, by order of the Government. The most popular of these institutions is the Wiener Bankverein. This bank, by making special inducements to small depositors and by paying a higher interest than the others, succeeded in concentrating the savings of many people of the working classes, and as this institution is in imminent danger the rush to its doors is exceptionally great and riotous.

The municipality has issued a number of ordinances fixing the prices of all necessary commodities, and the Government, after the first panic, declared that no further requisitions are to be made. At the same time the authorities took special pains in order to induce the various merchants to import goods from abroad, thus relieving the extremely strained situation of the market; but it is doubtful whether such measures will have any calming effect on the scared population.

Immediately after war was declared between Germany and Russia the Porte ordered the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles closed to every kind of shipping, at the same time barring the entrances of these channels with rows of mines. The first boat to suffer from this measure was a British merchantman, which was sunk outside the Bosphorus, while another had a narrow escape in the Dardanelles. A large number of steamers of every nationality are waiting outside the straits for the special pilot boats of the Turkish Government, in order to pass in safety through the dangerous mine field. This measure of closing the straits was suggested to Turkey by Austria and Germany, and was primarily intended against Russia, as it was feared that her Black Sea fleet might force its way into the Sea of Marmora and the Aegean.


On Sunday, Aug. 2, the Medjlissi-Meboussan, or Parliament of Turkey, was urgently called together, and the Speaker of the House addressed the members as follows:

Dear Colleagues: The imperial proclamation ordering the last elections has produced some uneasiness both within and without the empire. It was said at that time that the Chamber was to be convened only to give vent to partisan feeling and to disturb the quiet of the country. The elections, however, proceeded in as orderly a way as possible, and the Chamber performed its duty with great order and solicitude, having voted the budget and many other laws. The country accordingly is convinced that the Chamber has fulfilled its duty with relative calm, in view of the circumstances. We part today in order to meet again in November. The war between Austria-Hungary and Servia has a tremendous importance in the general European situation. While until yesterday Europe was kept in a state of watchful waiting, now we are informed that war has been declared between Germany and Russia. In face of such an international situation, it behooves all us Ottomans to rally in a spirit of harmony around the imperial throne, and to act with the moderation characteristic of our race for the preservation of our country.

Hoping that the great example given by Parliament to the nation as regards the working in a spirit of harmony and order will have its due influence on the country at large, I salute you and bid you farewell.


One of the first schemes of the German General, Liman von Sanders, for the reorganization of the Turkish Army was to provide a system whereby a speedier mobilization of the forces could be made possible. According to this scheme, as far back as the first days of May, 1914, every Mayor and village President of the empire was provided with a sealed envelope, under orders to open it only on telegraphic notice from the Central Administration. These envelopes were opened on Aug. 3, and were found to contain the papers constituting the order of general mobilization, including a large poster in colors, bearing, under the imperial monogram, or "Tougrah," two crossed green Turkish flags, with crossed sword and rifle, and underneath a gun and its carriage, and lastly the imperial edict in large letters, reading as follows:

A general mobilization was ordered to start on ........................ (To be dated on notice.)

Those liable for duty must report at their respective headquarters. First day of mobilization is on ........................ (To be dated on notice.)


While Turkey in this way was preparing for war, Talaat Bey, the Turkish Minister of the Interior, and Halil Bey, President of the Chamber, were leaving Constantinople for Bucharest, where they intended meeting the representatives of the Greek Government, in order to find a way of settling the outstanding Greco-Turkish differences regarding the Aegean Islands and the question of refugees. The object of this political move was twofold. First, Turkey was bent on giving to Europe a proof of her pacific intentions, and, second, she was trying to convince the Hellenic Government of her willingness to reach an understanding regarding their mutual differences, and begin anew the friendly relations of yore. The following extract is from an editorial article published in the Ikdam of Constantinople on Aug. 17:

From today the regeneration of our fleet begins. From today Ottoman hearts must again rejoice. We must work hard now for the strengthening of our navy. We must know that our fleet, which till yesterday was lifeless, is no longer in incompetent hands and under the leadership of lazy minds. New Turkey has intrusted her navy to iron hands. At the head of our fleet is Djemal Pasha, whose naval successes it is unnecessary to mention. The commander of the fleet is the Chief of the Naval Staff, Arif Bey, and in command of the light flotilla is Capt. Muzzafer Bey. Likewise the commanders and the other officers of the two new battleships are chosen among the fittest. This is the beginning of a new era for our navy. In addition to this we must say that we are expecting good results from our political activity. Talaat Bey and Halil Bey have left for Bucharest, where they will try to find a solution of outstanding serious questions. At the same time they will have an opportunity to exchange views with Rumanian statesmen. It is unnecessary, in our belief, to exalt the significance of this mission. We think, however, that a wise and moderate policy, strengthened by a good army and navy, will go far in bringing good results.

On Sept. 10 an official announcement from the Sublime Porte was handed to the representatives of the powers in Constantinople, and communicated to the press. This declaration ran as follows:

As an expression of the sentiments of hospitality and friendship on the part of the Ottoman Government toward the European populations of the empire, there were instituted long ago certain regulations to which Europeans coming to the Levant for commerce would be subjected, these same regulations having been duly communicated to the respective Governments of those Europeans.

These regulations, adopted by the Porte on its own initiative, and considered entirely as privileges, and having been strengthened and made more general through certain acts, have continued to be in force up to this time under the name "Old Treaties," (in Turkish "Ouhout-i Atikah.") These privileges, however, are wholly incompatible with the legal status of recent years, and especially with the principle of national sovereignty. In the first place, they became a hindrance to the progress and development of the Imperial Government, while in the second, by creating misunderstandings in its relations with the foreign Governments, they formed a barrier preventing these relations from becoming more harmonious and more sincere.

The Ottoman Empire continues to advance in the path of regeneration and of reforms, overleaping many obstacles, and in order to acquire the position due to it in the civilized family of Europe, it adopted modern principles of government, and has not deviated from its programme of having the State conducted on these principles.

The founding of the constitutional form of government is in itself a proof that the efforts of the Ottoman Empire for its regeneration have been fully crowned with success. Certain exceptions, however, based on the capitulations, such as the participation of foreigners in the administration of justice, which is an all-important prerogative of national sovereignty, the limitations imposed on the legislative rights of the State, based on the argument that certain laws cannot be applied to foreigners, the injustice inflicted on common right from the impossibility of convicting a delinquent who disturbs the safety of the country merely because he happens to be a foreigner, or because the prosecution against him must be subjected to certain limitations and particular conditions; and likewise the difference in the competency of the various courts dealing with cases where the capitulations are involved; all these constitute impregnable barriers against every effort of the country toward progress in the administration of justice.

From another point of view, the fact that foreigners living in the Ottoman Empire are exempt from taxation, in accordance with the capitulations, makes it impossible for the Sublime Porte to procure the indispensable means for the carrying out, not only of the reforms but of its everyday needs.

The impossibility of increasing the indirect taxation is bringing about the increase of direct taxes, and therefore makes the burden on the Ottoman tax-payers all the heavier. The fact that foreigners who enjoy in the Ottoman Empire every protection and every privilege as well as freedom in their business transactions are exempt from taxation constitutes in itself an intolerable injustice and creates at the same time a situation detrimental to the independence and prestige of the Government.

While the Imperial Government was firm in its resolution to continue its efforts regarding the reforms, the general war broke and increased the financial difficulties of the country in such a degree that all the innovations and all the reforms which have been decided upon and actually begun are threatened to remain without effect.

The Sublime Porte feels convinced that the only way toward salvation for the Ottoman Government lies in the realization of the necessary reforms in the least possible time. In the same way the Porte feels that every encouragement will be shown her in the decisive steps to be undertaken for this end.

Convinced of this, the Imperial Government has decided to abolish, on Oct. 1, 1914, the capitulations, and all conventions, concessions, and privileges emanating therefrom, which have become an iron ring around the State, making it impossible for it to progress.

At the same time the Ottoman Government engages to treat with foreign countries in accordance with the rules of international law. While I have the honor of communicating to your Excellency this decision, which opens a new and happy era in the life of the Ottoman Empire, an event which undoubtedly will please your Excellency, I consider it my duty to add that the Porte in abolishing the capitulations does not harbor any hostile feeling against any of the foreign States, but is acting solely in the highest interests of the empire. At the same time, the Porte is ready to begin pourparlers for the conclusion of commercial treaties in accordance with the principles of international law.

The Turkish press made little mention of the manner in which Europe took notice of the important step taken by the Porte, and the Ministerial Tasfiri Efkiar was the only one to express the feelings of the Government on this occasion, saying:

It is not proper for us to expect a unanimous and speedy satisfaction from all the European powers; but, on the other hand, we must welcome every objection and every discussion from whatever source it comes, as in this way we shall know who are our friends and who our enemies.


The events covering the period from Sept. 10, when the abolition of the capitulations was decided upon, till Oct. 29, when the Turkish fleet attacked Russian ports and shipping in the Black Sea, were confined mostly to hasty and all-absorbing warlike preparations on the part of the Turkish Government, assisted by the German military mission. The Constantinople correspondent of The Daily Atlantis of New York wrote on Sept. 17:

We are daily approaching a crisis. The Government has not swerved from its warlike attitude, and is threatening not only Greece, but Russia and the Triple Entente as well, while, on the other hand, it has failed to secure Rumanian or Bulgarian co-operation in its militant policy. At the same time, the Porte has learned that efforts are being made in the Balkans for common action against Turkey. It also became known that the Governments of London and Petrograd agreed to indemnify Bulgaria by giving her Adrianople and Thrace, while Greece was to have Smyrna, with a considerable hinterland.

During this period the Turkish press maintained an active campaign against England and the Allies. The following extract from an editorial article published in the Terdjumani-Hakkikat thus characterizes the situation:

Everybody knows that the Balkan States are traversing a period of doubts, and that the belligerent parties are doing their best in order to secure the sympathies and the assistance of the Balkan States.

To begin with, the idea of reconstructing the Balkan League came under consideration. In this way the Balkan States think they will become strong enough to impose their will at the final settlement that will follow the war. This idea, however, based as it is on the nullification of the Treaty of Bucharest, and on certain sacrifices on the part of Rumania and Greece, proved to be a failure. In the course of the discussion between the two States it was shown that neither Greece nor Rumania was willing to make any sacrifice in favor of Bulgaria. The Balkan Alliance, being thus unpracticable, the belligerent powers of Europe attempted to attract Rumania and Bulgaria only, and to this end they made every sort of promise to the two Governments of Sofia and Bucharest. The President of the London Balkan Committee, Mr. Noel Buxton, went to Bulgaria and made certain promises to Mr. Radoslavoff, the Bulgarian Premier, in the name of Sir Edward Grey. He promised the restitution to Bulgaria of the Enos-Midia line, including Adrianople. The Bulgarians, however, are not to be fooled in this way by promises at the expense of third parties, and especially when the eventual cost of these gifts might be a heavy one. We must not forget that Bulgaria wants not Thrace, but Macedonia. If Great Britain had promised Bulgaria Macedonia, including Saloniki, and the Bulgarian Government was convinced beforehand of the fulfillment of the promise, then it is certain that the proposal would be accepted. But this is not in line with England's interests, because in that case she would lose her two other customers—Greece and Servia. And so there goes Mr. Buxton making offers out of our own pocket.

But we Turks have been used to injustices; and it has become an axiom in history that whenever there is trouble in any part of the world we must be the ultimate sufferers. It seems that this time, too, "our friends" felt like repeating the same story; but now we are not to be caught napping, and the Government, having in time mobilized the army, is ready for every emergency.

On Sept. 27 a Turkish destroyer having been stopped by a British destroyer outside the Dardanelles, the Turkish Government ordered the straits closed to all shipping.

The Turkish Government tried to justify in the official press of Constantinople the measure of closing the straits by declaring that this important step was undertaken only after a Franco-British fleet had established an actual blockade of the straits to the detriment of Turkish commerce and neutral navigation. The Government organ, The Tasfiri-Efkiar, said:

The powers are trying to justify the mobilization of Switzerland, and are making a great case of Belgian neutrality, but meantime they consider our mobilization as having no other purpose than an aggression against our neighbors.

Now, if the neutrality of Switzerland, which is guaranteed by all the powers, is likely to be endangered, how is it possible for us to remain calm and undisturbed in this universal upheaval, so long as we know that to annoy and continually harass Turkey according to the fancies of Europe has well-nigh become a sort of fashion?

Those powers that are dissatisfied at our mobilization are eager to find our anxiety as without foundation for the mere reason that our territorial integrity remains under the guarantee of all the powers. But where was that guarantee when Tripoli and Cyrenaica were attacked in a way little differing from open brigandage? And was it not the same powers who forgot their guaranties in the Balkan Peninsula when they abolished the famous status quo? With such facts before us is it not ridiculous to speak of European guaranties? While we have now before us what happened to Belgium, why should our mobilization excite such widespread indignation? All we are trying to do is to safeguard and protect our interests and protect ourselves from aggression on the part of the Balkan States.


On Oct. 29, 1914, the attack of the Turkish forces upon Russia and England was delivered. Following is the official Turkish version of the events leading to the rupture of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Triple Entente, contained in the first Turkish communique of the war, appearing in the Turkish press on Oct. 31, 1914:

While on the 27th of October a small part of the Turkish fleet was manoeuvring in the Black Sea, the Russian fleet, which at first confined its activities to following and hindering every one of our movements, finally, on the 29th, unexpectedly began hostilities by attacking the Ottoman fleet.

During the naval battle which ensued the Turkish fleet, with the help of the Almighty, sank the mine-layer Pruth, displacing 5,000 tons and having a cargo of 700 mines; inflicted severe damage on one of the Russian torpedo boats, and captured a collier.

A torpedo from the Turkish torpedo boat Gairet-i-Millet sank the Russian destroyer Koubanietz, and another from the Turkish torpedo boat Mouavenet-i-Millet inflicted serious damage on a Russian coastguard ship.

Three officers and seventy-two sailors, rescued by our men and belonging to the crews of the damaged and sunken vessels of the Russian fleet, have been made prisoners. The Ottoman imperial fleet, glory be given to the Almighty, escaped injury, and the battle is progressing favorably for us.

The Imperial Government will no doubt protest most energetically against this hostile action of the Russian fleet against a small part of our fleet.

Information received from our fleet now in the Black Sea is as follows: From accounts of Russian sailors taken prisoners and from the presence of a mine-layer among the Russian fleet, evidence is gathered that the Russian fleet intended closing the entrance to the Bosphorus with mines and destroying entirely the imperial Ottoman fleet after having split it in two. Our fleet, believing that it had to face an unexpected attack, and supposing that the Russians had begun hostilities without a formal declaration of war, pursued the scattered Russian fleet, bombarded the port of Sebastopol, destroyed in the city of Novorosiysk fifty petroleum depots, fourteen military transports, some granaries, and the wireless telegraph station.

In addition to the above, our fleet has sunk in Odessa a Russian cruiser and damaged severely another. It is believed that this second boat was likewise sunk. Five other steamers full of cargoes lying in the same port were seriously damaged. A steamship belonging to the Russian volunteer fleet was also sunk, and five petroleum depots were destroyed.

In Odessa and Sebastopol, the Russians from the shore opened fire against our fleet.

The officers and crews of the mine-layer Pruth were subjected to a rigid examination.

Eight or ten days ago the Pruth, lying in the roadstead of Sebastopol, received a cargo of mines and was put under the command of officers who for a number of years past had been training on board the Russian depot ship in Constantinople and therefore had become familiar with the ins and outs of the Bosphorus.

As soon as it became known that a small part of the Turkish fleet went out to the Black Sea, the Russian fleet sailed from Sebastopol, leaving only an adequate squadron for the protection of the city, and on Oct. 27 put to sea, taking a southerly direction with the rest of its forces. On the next day the mine-layer Pruth left Sebastopol and steamed southward.

The Russian fleet, acting in different ways, intended to fill with mines the entrance of the Bosphorus, attack the weak squadron of the Ottoman fleet, at that time on the high seas, and cause the destruction of the rest of the Turkish fleet, which, being left in the Bosphorus, would rush to the assistance of the light flotilla, and, encountering the mines, would be destroyed.

Our warships manoeuvring on the high seas met the mine-layer Pruth as well as the torpedo boats accompanying her, and thus took place the events already known from previous communications.

The rescued Russian officers are five in number, one of them a Lieutenant Commander. The prisoners have been sent to Ismid.

This successful action on the part of our squadron, which only by chance came to be on the high seas at the time of the naval battle, is itself one of the utmost importance for us, as it assures the future of our fleet.


As soon as war was declared against Russia, England, and consequently France, the Sultan issued the following proclamation to his troops:

To my army! To my navy!

Immediately after the war between the Great powers began, I called you to arms in order to be able in case of trouble to protect the existence of empire and country from any assault on the part of our enemies, who are only awaiting the chance to attack us suddenly and unexpectedly as they have always done.

While we were thus in a state of armed neutrality, a part of the Russian fleet, which was going to lay mines at the entrance of the straits of the Black Sea, suddenly opened fire against a squadron of our own fleet at the time engaged in manoeuvres.

While we were expecting reparation from Russia for this unjustified attack, contrary to international law, the empire just named, as well as its allies, recalled their Ambassadors and severed diplomatic relations with our country.

The fleets of England and France have bombarded the straits of the Dardanelles, and the British fleet has shelled the harbor of Akbah on the Red Sea. In the face of such successive proofs of wanton hostility we have been forced to abandon the peaceful attitude for which we always strove, and now in common with our allies, Germany and Austria, we turn to arms in order to safeguard our lawful interests.

The Russian Empire during the last three hundred years has caused our country to suffer many losses in territory, and when we finally arose to that sentiment of awakening and regeneration which would increase our national welfare and our power, the Russian Empire made every effort to destroy our attempts, either with war or with numerous machinations and intrigues. Russia, England, and France never for a moment ceased harboring ill-will against our Caliphate, to which millions of Mussulmans, suffering under the tyranny of foreign domination, are religiously and whole-heartedly devoted, and it was always these powers that started every misfortune that came upon us.

Therefore, in this mighty struggle which now we are undertaking, we once for all will put an end to the attacks made from one side against the Caliphate, and from the other against the existence of our country.

The wounds inflicted, with the help of the Almighty, by my fleet in the Black Sea, and by my army in the Dardanelles, in Akbah, and on the Caucasian frontiers against our enemies, have strengthened in us the conviction that our sacred struggle for a right cause will triumph. The fact, moreover, that today the countries and armies of our enemies are being crushed under the heels of our allies is a good sign, making our conviction as regards final success still stronger.

My heroes! My soldiers! In this sacred war and struggle, which we began against the enemies who have undermined our religion and our holy fatherland, never for a single moment cease from strenuous effort and from self-abnegation.

Throw yourselves against the enemy as lions, bearing in mind that the very existence of our empire, and of 300,000,000 Moslems whom I have summoned by sacred Fetwa to a supreme struggle, depend on your victory.

The hearty wishes and prayers of 300,000,000 innocent and tortured faithful, whose faces are turned in ecstasy and devotion to the Lord of the universe in the mosques and the shrine of the Kaabah, are with you.

My children! My soldiers! No army in the history of the world was ever honored with a duty as sacred and as great as is yours. By fulfilling it, show that you are the worthy descendants of the Ottoman Armies that in the past made the world tremble, and make it impossible for any foe of our faith and country to tread on our ground, and disturb the peace of the sacred soil of Yemen, where the inspiring tomb of our prophet lies. Prove beyond doubt to the enemies of the country that there exist an Ottoman Army and Navy which know how to defend their faith, their country and their military honor, and how to defy death for their sovereign!

Right and loyalty are on our side, and hatred and tyranny on the side of our enemies, and therefore there is no doubt that the Divine help and assistance of the just God and the moral support of our glorious Prophet will be on our side to encourage us. I feel convinced that from this struggle we shall emerge as an empire that has made good the losses of the past and is once more glorious and powerful.

Do not forget that you are brothers in arms of the strongest and bravest armies of the world, with whom we now are fighting shoulder to shoulder. Let those of you who are to die a martyr's death be messengers of victory to those who have gone before us, and let the victory be sacred and the sword be sharp of those of you who are to remain in life.


On the 22 Djilhidje, 1332. Or October 29, 1914.


(Sultan's Proclamation of a Holy War.)

The issuance by the Sultan of the Fetwa, or proclamation, announcing a holy war, called upon all Mussulmans capable of carrying arms—and even upon Mussulman women—to fight against the powers with whom the Sultan was at war. In this manner, according to Constantinople newspapers, the holy war became a duty not only for all Ottoman subjects, but for the 300,000,000 Moslems of the earth. The Turkish newspaper Ikdam called upon the people as follows:

Mussulmans, open your eyes! Grasp your weapons; trust to God. Hurl yourselves with full might against the foe! As the Caliph has said, the Divine help will be with us. Forward! Sons of Islam! There is no longer a difference of nationality; there is no longer a difference of culture. All Mussulmans are united and have but a single wish—to destroy our foes!

The wording of the Fetwa itself, however, is less fiery in tone than the impassioned newspaper appeal. The Fetwa reads as follows:

First Question—If lands of Islam are subjected to attack by enemies, if danger threatens Islam, must in that case young and old, infantry and mounted men, in all parts of the earth inhabited by Mohammedans, take part in the holy war, with their fortune and their blood, in case the Padisha declares the war to all Mohammedans? Answer—Yes.

Second Question—Since Russia, England, France, and other States supporting these three powers against the Islamitic Caliphate have opened hostilities against the Ottoman Empire by means of their warships and their land troops, is it necessary that all Mohammedans also who live in the countries named shall rise against their Government and take part in the holy war? Answer—Yes.

Third Question—Under all circumstances, since the attainment of the goal depends upon the participation of all Mohammedans in the holy war, will those who refuse to join in the general uprising be punished for conduct so abhorrent? Answer—Yes.

Fourth Question—Mohammedans who live in lands of the enemy may, under threats against their own lives and the lives of their families, be forced to fight against the soldiers of the States of Islam. Can such conduct be punished as forbidden under the Sheriat, and those guilty thereof be regarded as murderers and punished with the fires of hell? Answer—Yes.

Fifth Question—Inasmuch as it will be detrimental to the Mohammedan Caliphate of the Mohammedans who live in Russia, France, England, Servia, and Montenegro fight against Germany and Austria-Hungary, which are the saviors of the great Mohammedan Empire, will therefore those who do so be punished with heavy penalties? Answer—Yes.


[From The London Times, Nov. 6, 1914.]

A supplement to The London Gazette published yesterday morning contains the following:


Owing to hostile acts committed by Turkish forces under German officers, a state of war exists between Great Britain and Turkey as from today.

Foreign Office, Nov. 5, 1914.

Following this notice is a proclamation extending to the war with Turkey the Proclamations and Orders in Council now in force relating to the war, other than the Order in Council of Aug. 4, 1914, with reference to the departure from British ports of enemy vessels which, at the outbreak of hostilities, were in such ports or subsequently entered the same.

The Gazette also contains an Order in Council, dated Nov. 5, annexing the Island of Cyprus.

The order, after reciting the Convention of June 4, 1878, the Annex thereto, and the Agreement of Aug. 14, 1878, by which the Sultan of Turkey assigned the Island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England, and affirming that by reason of the outbreak of hostilities with Turkey the Convention, Annex, and Agreement have become annulled, asserts that it has seemed expedient to annex the island. His Majesty, with the advice of his Privy Council, has therefore ordered:

From and after the date hereof the said island shall be annexed to and form part of his Majesty's dominions, and the said island is annexed accordingly.


The New Sultan of Egypt, Hussein I., made his State entry on Dec. 20, 1914, into the Abdin Palace, in Cairo. The streets were lined with troops and the progress of their new ruler was watched by thousands of enthusiastic spectators. The King of England sent a telegram to the Sultan, to which his Highness replied thanking his Majesty for the promised British support. A new Cabinet had already been formed. Rushdi Pasha retained the position of Prime Minister and the portfolio of the Interior. Following is King George's telegram to the Sultan:

On the occasion when your Highness enters upon your high office I desire to convey to your Highness the expression of my most sincere friendship and the assurance of my unfailing support in safeguarding the integrity of Egypt and in securing her future well-being and prosperity.

Your Highness has been called upon to undertake the responsibilities of your high office at a grave crisis in the national life of Egypt, and I feel convinced that you will be able, with the co-operation of your Ministers and the Protectorate of Great Britain, successfully to overcome all the influences which are seeking to destroy the independence of Egypt and the wealth, liberty, and happiness of its people.


The Sultan telegraphed the following reply:

To his Majesty the King, London.

I present to your Majesty the expression of my deepest gratitude for the feelings of friendship with which you see fit to honor me and for the assurance of your valuable support in safeguarding the integrity and independence of Egypt.

Conscious of the responsibilities I have just assumed, and resolved to devote myself, in entire co-operation with the Protectorate, to the progress and welfare of my people, I am happy to be able to count in this task on your Majesty's protection and on the assistance of your Government.


Servia and Her Neighbors

The utterances of Servia's statesmen and people since the war began have not appeared in English. Only accounts of fighting by the nation from which the great conflagration started have been printed. How Servia has judged the issues while conducting her struggle against annihilation, and how the neighboring Balkan States regard her, are authoritatively presented below.

Premier Pashitch spoke in the Skuptschina, or Servian Parliament, on Aug. 4, 1914, and made the following declaration given to the press by the Official Servian Bureau:

Mr. Pashitch laid stress on the fact that the Serajevo affair was used as pretext for the war, desired long ago by the Austrian Monarchy, which did not look on Pan-Serbism with a favorable eye, while the aspirations of other countries of Rumania, Germany, and Italy were tolerated. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy wished to crush Servian aspirations by curbing the Servian prestige.

In answering the Austrian note, Mr. Pashitch said, we reached the extreme limits of submission to her demands. We did everything in order to avoid the conflict and prove that we were peaceful. Now, all united, we will defend our rights.

We rely on the sympathy and support of great and sisterly Russia, who knows that our foes have been conspiring against our independence and our progress, and who will not permit our prestige to be crushed. At the side of Russia we have other friends.

(Long live Russia! Long live England! Long live France! Long live the Triple Entente!)

I thank the Opposition—continued Mr. Pashitch—because she has united with us in these critical moments, forgetting in the face of danger party lines and the dissension of opinions.

From Nish the following official communication was telegraphed to the foreign press by the Government Bureau on Aug. 9, 1914:

The Servian mobilization was effected with marvelous order, and once more it proved the good military organization of Servia, and how much the country can rely on the patriotic devotion of her soldiers.

Notwithstanding the erroneous statements of a part of the foreign press, notwithstanding the speedy development of events, notwithstanding the season of work in the fields, fully 80 per cent. of the reserves presented themselves on the first day of mobilization, which was completed amid general enthusiasm.

For a long time the Servians knew that the main struggle would be turned against Austria. The Montenegrin and Servian peoples enter the war against the common foe with an equal confidence in their armies. The enthusiasm of these two countries is all the stronger from the fact that they are fighting simultaneously with the aid of the Russians, French, and English. Numerous manifestations have taken place in Servian and Montenegrin cities in favor of Russia, France, and England.


Following is the account of the declaration of the Servian Minister of Commerce, Mr. Paul Maringovich, published in the Bulgarian newspaper Mir of Sofia in November, 1914:

Mr. Maringovich's declarations are characteristic of the Serbo-Bulgarian relations. This Servian statesman at first spoke of the trials of the Servian Nation on account of the war, and then expressed the belief that these trials will pass and Servia will see better days with the realization of her ideals. Mr. Maringovich predicts that the differences between Servia and Bulgaria will be settled in the future and that the two peoples will live in perfect harmony.

Regarding the Serbo-Bulgarian relations Mr. Maringovich said in the Mir:

"I am sorry to hear that Bulgaria demands concessions from us. In exchange for her friendship she demands concessions in Macedonia. But in this case that cannot be called friendship.

"Bulgaria demands this today because we are at war with Austria, and we cannot accordingly oppose her. But in doing this she simply betrays her weakness because it is a certain proof of weakness to strike one from behind while he is struggling with another. If Bulgaria is proud and strong she can measure herself with us as soon as the war with Austria is over. A strong Bulgaria must measure herself with the strong and not with the weak.

"Why do people in Bulgaria today insist on concessions? Do you know how many difficulties there are today in the granting of such territorial concessions? You felt the pain of similar action. Silistria was taken from you while your army was victoriously marching on Constantinople. Do not insist on implanting deep in the Servian heart a mortal hatred against yourselves.

"Do not ask the reason of our dissensions of today, in a difference of interests, because such difference does not exist, but try to find it in the arrogance and the conceit of the two nations. We do not recognize you as a nation. But this recognition must be made with the understanding that you drop your conceit.

"In Bulgaria people think that at this moment we have the support of Russia. But there is a mistake even in this, as we are further than you from Russia. If today Russia offers to us her support she is doing that because we are struggling against Austria and preventing her from invading the Balkans.

"To this argument you oppose the treaty of Bucharest. But that treaty is not our work. By not accepting the Czar's wish in his telegram of May 5, (18,) 1913, you lost his support. This example from the past can show you how far you can go when you oppose Russia. But in no case are you entitled to blame those who are not guilty of your misfortune.

"When Russia undertakes to do something for the Slavs, she always does it in a way beneficial to the party to which she promised her support.

"When this war is over, when the whole of Slavdom shall be freed, when in a special congress all the interests of the Slavs shall be discussed and the services rendered by each and every one of them shall be weighed, Bulgaria must fear that decisions will be taken which will be contrary to her and that her interests will be sacrificed.

"A country must not act always according to her interests. Does not the Bulgarian people have any obligations toward Russia? Duty always stands above mere interest.

"When the war is over an entirely different atmosphere will rule in the souls of the peoples, and it will then be possible to weigh the actual interests with more equanimity and more calm. At least we Servians have this opinion."

The following statement was made by the Servian Minister at Petrograd, Mr. Spalaikowich, in the Russkoye Slovo:

What is Bulgaria going to do in the present circumstances? To which side will she cling? Is not her people going to take the arms against their secular enemy, the Turks?

This solution would be the most satisfactory for Bulgaria. Now a chance is given her to fulfill her obligations to Russia, who made her free. Let the Bulgarian sword be thrust against the secular enemy of Slavdom and the petty differences be forgotten.

Bulgaria, under the Russian wing, will enter the Slav family united, strong, and beloved. If she remains inactive she will drag herself poor and forgotten by all and full of regrets.


As illustrating the popular feeling in Bulgaria the following letter from a peasant to Mr. Maringovich appeared in the official organ of the Bulgarian Government, Echo de Bulgarie, published in French:

Your Excellency: I am a plain peasant from the Danube country. While born on the shores of the beautiful blue Lake of Ochrida, and really, I cannot understand what is the meaning of your factum, (sic.) What have you come to do among us? Nobody knows you any more in Sofia. You are Servian and consequently a foreigner to us Bulgarians. There are certain pains that nothing can alleviate, nor heal, and there are wounds that nothing can cicatrize.

Since your entry in Ochrida, in my father's house, you, the Servian Army, behaved like enemies. You profaned the church, that Bulgarian church where I took my first communion. You have despoiled the archives and burned our libraries; you ordered closed our national school where I learned to mumble the alphabet of my mother tongue.

I have seen the epic struggle of my compatriots against Greeks and Turks, and I took part with them in order to obtain these national institutions. And did you come there in Ochrida, and everywhere in Macedonia protected by our valiant army of Lule Bourgas and Chataldja, to perform the duty of allies—of Slav brethren?

You established yourselves as conquerors of the country, as vandals, with the manifest purpose of extinguishing every vestige of our national culture. You associated yourselves with the non-Slavs (Rumanians and Greeks) against us, your allies, in order to reach your end. Why, then, do you call us Slavs? We were called Tartars until just before you arrived in Sofia.

You treated as villains our Bishops, whom the Turks and the Greeks were forced to restore us after a struggle of seventy-five years. You burned our Bulgarian books, and you forbade, under penalty of death, our people from calling themselves Bulgars. You tortured my parents with all the refinements of torture that you have invented.

Why, I beg of you? Because you were Servians? I will not go so far as to injure you with the belief that the Servians are capable of crimes against nature. Then, because we were Bulgarians; because those poor people, taking you for their brethren, for Christians, for Slavs, at least had the courage to say they were Bulgarians and to think themselves such.

And this continues today with increased intensity. Ah, Mr. Maringovich! You have committed there and you persist in committing a crime against humanity that nothing will ever efface. You stabbed us to the heart, with premeditation, and the wound is still bleeding; you killed our faith in the Slav brotherhood. You morally assassinated us.

In the face of these crimes, Bregainitza and Slivnitza are pale figures. These odious crimes will not be left unpunished. The day of chastisement will come whether you look for it or not.

Your Excellency, I permit myself to repeat the question: What have you come to do among us?

Really you must have a good cheek—permit me this undiplomatic expression—and a Servian cheek, in order to have the audacity to come here and tell us tales. It is not only this; but you make sport of our sacredest and deepest sentiments, you reopen our wounds, and you purely and simply abuse us. You ought to have thought of all this before you set out for Sofia. Today there is an abyss dividing Serbs and Bulgars. It is an open precipice which will serve for you as a grave. You wish to fill it? To succeed you must employ other means than words.

Sir: You are a foreigner to us; there is not an honest man in all Bulgaria who can consider you a welcome guest. Nobody knows you. For every Bulgar there is only one word and one gesture for you. We stake our liberty in giving you the answer and in making the gesture.

Sir: You may take the train which brought you here from Nish. There is the depot. Farewell! Kindly accept the assurance of my consideration for your person, whom I had not the advantage to know.


The statement by the new Servian Cabinet in the Skuptschina on Dec. 8, 1914, follows:

The new Ministry has made in the Skuptschina the following declarations: The Government that has the honor to appear before you has been constituted with the purpose of manifesting to the end of this great crisis the union of the wills, the forces, and the intentions of all political parties of our country.

This Government is convinced of the confidence of the Skuptschina, as it puts all of its forces to the service of the great cause of the Servian Nation, and of the Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian family.

The Government considers its first duty to bow low before the heroic sacrifices voluntarily made on the altar of the fatherland.

The Government sends to the entire army and to all the military, from commanders down to simple privates, the expression of its confidence, its admiration and its gratitude for their efforts and their sacrifices to the common fatherland.

Our little and young army, conserving the good reputation it had acquired in the past years, has put itself worthily on the side of the glorious and veteran armies of our great allies, who are struggling together with us for the cause of justice and liberty.

There is no doubt that in the end of these painful days of war our historic nation will be recognized and appreciated.

The Government is convinced that all the Servian people are united until the end of this hallowed war, to defend their hearths and their liberty; that their sole duty is to assure an army proportionate to this great war, which from the very beginning has been a struggle for the emancipation and the union of all our brother Serbo-Croato-Slovaks, who now suffer under foreign rule.

The brilliant success which will crown this war will compensate largely the great sacrifices of the present Servian generation. In this struggle the Servian people have not to choose, because in a question of life and death there is no choice.

This people is forced to struggle and will do its duty with the same unflinching energy of a century ago for the redemption of the tomb of Kossovo.

The Government will try faithfully to represent this national decision; and, faithful to its powerful and heroic allies, it will with confidence await the hour of victory.

The Government, conscious of the pains and hardships suffered by the army and in large part by the nation, will do all that human strength can do for the amelioration of the present situation and will energetically try all measures for refitting the army and bettering the sanitary service, as in this cause no sacrifices shall be spared.

In concert with you, gentlemen, the Government will take all the necessary measures for helping the population to recuperate after the war.

Now, while the enemy is yet at the gates of our country, the Government cries: Forward, with God's help, against the enemy! Forward in the struggle against the enemy!

[All the Deputies, without party distinction, repeated the last words of Premier Nicola Pashitch, and immense applause greeted the manifesto.]


The Servian Minister at Athens, Mr. Baluhtchich, caused this announcement to be made on Nov. 29, 1914:

On Nov. 29 the Servian Minister at Athens declared that all talk of Servian concessions of any kind in favor of Bulgaria was premature.

The Servian Government, the Minister said, finds it impossible to proceed to any concession territorial or moral, so long as Servia is in a state of war.

The Bulgarian Government has not made, and it is impossible to formulate, her demands directly to Servia, because it is impossible to foresee the outcome of a struggle so violent and apparently destined to be long. For Servia it is impossible to enter negotiations of indemnity or concessions for the neutrality of Bulgaria before an end is put to the present situation. The only certain thing is that the Governments of the Triple Entente are endeavoring to reconstitute the Balkan League, which is to be made of three Balkan States, namely, Servia, Greece, and Bulgaria.

But, as I had the occasion of stating some time ago, the Bulgarian territorial demands, with regard to the reconstitution of the league, have been so preposterous that neither Greece nor Servia could begin discussions on such a basis.

I deny, in the most emphatic manner, Mr. Baluhtchich said, the news that Servia was to cede, or that Bulgaria directly and formally demanded from my Government, any strip whatever of Macedonian territory, at least for the time being.

Likewise it is untrue that the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Mr. Radoslavoff, demanded from the Ambassadors of the Triple Entente that the compensation for her neutrality be guaranteed to her from now for the future. It is true that a disturbing political ferment is going on now in the Balkan Peninsula, the Servian Minister said in conclusion, but it is a difficult thing to express opinions at this time.

However, before the war is over, neither concessions nor discussion can be made, at least as far as Servia is concerned, and it seems that the Triple Entente concurs in this view.


In the semi-official Servian daily, Samouprava, published in Belgrade and now at Nish, the following editorial article appeared early in the first week of October, 1914:

The Bulgarians are a queer people. Those of the foreigners who sympathize with them are apt to call them realists, positivists, and calculants, but we Servians, knowing them, understand that such definitions applied to them are flattering euphemisms and nothing more. The Bulgarian people are really laborious and thrifty. Unfortunately the cultured members of Bulgarian society, who studied abroad, bear in their social and political life the fundamental characteristics of the German intellect.

The cultured Bulgarians have absorbed the German Kultur, although they do not owe Germany even the hundredth part of what they owe to Russia.

All these are facts that need not proofs. Bulgaria, therefore, could not more wantonly accuse Servia than by saying that we allied ourselves with the enemies of Slavdom. The cynicism of these accusations is proved by the following officially registered Bulgarian actions:

The Stoilof Ministry has concluded an alliance with Servia and also an understanding which the Bulgarians sold to Turkey for eight Bishoprics in Macedonia.

During the crisis which followed the annexation of Servian Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria, and when Russia was mortally insulted, Bulgaria, in common understanding with Austria, proclaimed her independence and definitely annexed Oriental Rumelia. These profits Bulgaria secured to the detriment of Servian interests.

During the Balkan war, and notwithstanding all that Servia had done for Bulgaria, the Bulgarian attitude was once more treacherous, culminating in the wanton attack upon her allies at the instigation of Austria.

Today, when Russia fights a life-and-death struggle, Bulgaria is keeping neutral, and every one knows what kind of neutrality is this when such a multitude of Germans is passing through Bulgarian territory in order to arm and lead the Turks against Russia. And, last but not least, immediately after the present war between Austria and Servia, the Bulgarians proposed an alliance to Rumania.

After all this it is a wonder how the Bulgarians dare to invoke Slav sympathies, which they always sold to Austria, and which the Bulgarian press is now trying to sell at auction. Lucky he who buys them.


On Dec. 17, (30, New Style,) 1914, Crown Prince Alexander of Servia, in his quality of Commander in Chief of the Army, issued the following order of the day to his troops:

Soldiers! It is now five months since the day when the enemy attacked our beloved country. Notwithstanding the fact that we had suffered the trials of two heroic but hard wars, nevertheless firm and undaunted we have stood the attack. Having routed the enemy in Tchar and Zadar we gave him, after heroic and sanguinary battles, the biggest blow of all.

Thousands of prisoners, hundreds of guns, a quantity of war booty, which came to our hands, are witnesses of his defeat and our glory.

Soldiers! I feel proud in announcing to you that not a single enemy remains on the soil of the Servian Kingdom. We cast him out with great losses.

At this sacred moment, when on the heroic City of Belgrade anew waves the victorious Servian flag, I desire to fulfill a great duty of gratitude. In our ranks, in this third war, are fighting our brothers which we have liberated from the Turkish yoke. The soldiers of Kossovo, of Vardar, of Hekligovatz, of Bregalnitsa, of Bitolie, and of Porets, have shown themselves worthy of their brothers of Shumadia and the Danube, of Poutrin and Morava, of Timok and Usjitsa.

They have shown themselves worthy of the heroes Milaten and Dughan, who for long have carried the glory and the good name of the Servian arms.

I want to give to these new soldiers of ours conspicuous proofs of the gratitude of the fatherland. In the face of the undeniable proof of their fulfillment of their duty, in the face of their enthusiasm I declare that these soldiers shall have the political and constitutional rights of Servia, their liberatrix! The Skuptschina, in its first sitting after peace is signed, will take all the necessary measures in order that full liberties be given to our brethren.

Soldiers! The iron ring of our powerful allies is fastening tighter every day around our common enemy. And he, (the enemy,) feeling that his defeat is well nigh at hand and dreading its dire consequences, fights desperately and strenuously. But in vain. The number of their soldiers is diminishing daily, and our allies are strengthened with new troops on the fields of battle.

The end of this gigantic struggle is from now known, although not yet accomplished. We must, therefore, for some time to come, fulfill our difficult duty and stay by the side of our big and powerful allies, who are fighting for us, till our enemy is annihilated on the battlefield.

And then peace will come to crown worthily those who have been sacrificed for our great fatherland, and then our country will be much enlarged, much stronger, and much happier than she ever has been. And for this, oh, my heroic Servia will be grateful to you.


On Dec. 18, 1914, the new Russian Minister to Servia, Prince Troubetzkoi, presented his credentials to the Servian Crown Prince Alexander, whom he addressed as follows:

Illustrious Sir: I have the honor to hand to your Royal Highness the letter by which his Majesty the Emperor of Russia has deigned to accredit me by his Majesty the King of Servia.

My august master has charged me to express to you the vivid sympathy and the sincere admiration which his Majesty feels for the valiant people of Servia, her heroic army, and her venerable chief.

Allow me to express to your Highness the joy that I feel in fulfilling the imperial commission today when your army has covered itself with immortal glory and has written in Servian history the most beautiful page that a people may desire.

Separated by a long distance, but, attracted by the heart of her elder sister, Servia may say that in this terrible struggle against an enemy, numerically stronger but morally weaker, she is not alone and will not be forsaken.

I pray that this conviction may double the unflinching courage of the Servians and lead them always to new victories.

In assuming today the duties incumbent upon me after the death of my lamented predecessor, Hartwig, I take the courage, illustrious Sir, to express the hope that your Highness will not deprive me of his assistance, which will be absolutely necessary to me in order that I may work to the best of my abilities for the common good of the two countries, and also for the consummation of peace in the Balkan Peninsula, this peace that Russia considers as the essential aim of her efforts and her sacrifices.

Crown Prince Alexander answered as follows:

The expression of the vivid sympathy and admiration which his Majesty the Emperor has addressed through you to the people and army of Servia are so much the more welcome as I personally witnessed the hard conditions under which my valiant army is struggling and the heavy burdens oppressing my brave people.

The fact that, although separated by a long distance from Russia, her elder sister, Servia can find in her bosom a heart having the same sentiments as hers, has encouraged our army and our people to persist in the heroic struggle that they are waging against a more numerous enemy. This certainty will give us new strength to carry the struggle to the end.

In the fulfillment of your mission, after the death of your predecessor, a mission which the late Hartwig performed with such love and such devotion to the true Slav interests, you can rest on my absolute confidence and the continued support of my Government, being sure that the greatness and the power of Servia are in full accord with the greatness and the power of holy Russia.

The lamented Hartwig made many trips for the mutual benefit of both countries, Russia and Servia, and his efforts had resulted in creating stable conditions and securing the peace of the Balkans.

In accepting the letters, by which his Majesty the Emperor has accredited you by his Majesty the King of Servia, my beloved father, I bid you, Mr. Minister, welcome, and I wish you success in your mission.


The following Bulgarian view of the Servian victory that resulted in the recapture of Belgrade is presented from an editorial article of the Dnevnik of Sofia:

The Austro-Hungarian action against Servia seems to have failed. It goes without saying that the return of the Servians to Belgrade does not mean yet that the handful of the starving and half-naked Servian Army has been victorious against its strong opponent.

The Servian success, according to latest information, is due to means that are very little laudable in themselves.

The commander of the advance posts of the Austro-Hungarian Army, being a native of Dalmatia, became intimate with the Servians and committed an odious treason. He disclosed to them the dispositions of the Austro-Hungarian forces, and he himself, with the sections forming the guard, surrendered to the Servians.

From the Austrian rearguard one part scattered to various villages, another was sleeping. They were not ready and, caught unexpectedly, were dispersed.

Austro-Hungarian prestige is severely wounded. The shameful treason shows how dangerous is the Pan-Servian propaganda to the integrity of the Austrian Empire, when corruption has reached even the officers standing in high command.

The Austro-Hungarian General Staff, as we are informed, has already taken those measures imposed by the situation. The Generals, Frank and Potiorek, have been recalled and will be probably court-martialed. And it seems that the "brilliant" Servian victories are the beginning of the end of the "Slav Belgium."


The following editorial article, headed "A New Marathon" on the Servian victory, appeared in the Greek newspaper Patris of Athens on Dec. 3, (16, New Style,) 1914, expressing the views of the Hellenic Government:

The reoccupation of Belgrade by the Servians is one of those military feats which amount to historical phenomena. The Servians not only contributed the greatest feat of the European war, as far as results are concerned, but won for themselves an immortal page in the world's history.

Greece alone has to show an analogous achievement, although greater, when she expelled the Persian invasion.

Only the achievements of Arhangelovatz, Ouzhitse, and Lazarevats can compare in a certain degree to the brilliancy of Marathon and Plateae. And the Servian achievement appears all the more Hellenic if analogies are to be considered.

The Servians, until yesterday a little people, with an army almost insignificant in face of the masses of the Austrian columns, submissive in times of peace, in the face of the most oppressive demands of Austrian diplomacy—considered like all the small peoples to be living at the mercy of the great—when the hour of supreme defense for altars and hearths struck, and in the face of an enemy threatening to swallow their country, they arose, terrible in their vengeance, and repeated the feat of the routing of Goliath by their small but invincible power.

This was possible because their regiments were not moved by the hope of effectively beating the enemy, which hope springs from the consciousness of numerical superiority, but they were enlivened and strengthened before death by the undying fire of freedom, national pride, and the conviction that they were thrust into the most honored struggle, after which there would not be left for them anything but to live or die.

And the Austrians, who considered their campaign against Servia as mere child's play; the Austrians with their German military organization; the Austrians, who constitute one-sixth of the entire European military power, started against Servia with the same logic, the same haughtiness, the same bombastic prediction of the result of the unequal war with which the Persian masses moved against Greece....

Little Montenegro Speaks

The following Montenegrin message to Italy appeared in La Gazetta del Popolo of July 21, (Aug. 3,) 1914:

This terrible European war, if one takes away from it the diplomatic ornaments with which the Chancelleries are wont to decorate it, dates from a century back. It is, let us hope, the final revolt of the nations oppressed by the unjust work of the Congress of Vienna.

The nationalities of which the powers of the Triple Entente, and especially Russia, have made themselves the champions have not provoked this bloody struggle. It was imposed on them by the reactionary spirit of the Germanic world, which desired to consolidate its hegemony, based on the sufferings of the weak, impossible to describe, and on the contempt of right, which was proclaimed as a system of government.

The neutrality observed up to now by your august Italian country has been a powerful assistance to the cause of right against the cause of oppression.

We Serbs of Montenegro and Servia are now on the point of conquering that national unity, which our poets, our thinkers, and our sovereigns have sung, implored, and prepared, and, following the trail opened by Mazzini, Cavour, and Garibaldi, we put our confidence in Italy, this mother of civilization, who by her smile embellishes the sun-kissed Slav shores of the Adriatic.

Help us in conquering the place which is awaiting us at the altar of justice! We firmly believe that Italy, when at the price of new sacrifices she shall have all of her exiled sons united under her glorious standard, will inaugurate a new era of friendly and intimate connections with the young Slav world, who from her hands received so many benefits and who in exchange offers her the collaboration of young and enthusiastic people in the great task undertaken by our protectors in the name of civilization and liberty.

Bulgaria's Attitude

Speech From the Throne

By Tsar Ferdinand I.

The following speech by Tsar Ferdinand I. of Bulgaria was read at the opening of the Bulgarian Parliament, called the Sobranje, on Oct. 15, (28,) 1914, by the Prime Minister, Mr. Radoslavoff.

With the ending last year of a long and exhausting struggle which we conducted with incomparable self-denial, the Bulgarian people and my Government directed again their efforts toward the healing of the wounds of the recent past and the remodeling of the national forces, and likewise toward creating new resources and prosperity for the country.

Our common peaceful activity was interrupted by the breaking out of the greatest and most terrible of all wars that history has up to this day recorded. In face of this mighty struggle of the European nations my Government has deemed it its duty before the nation, and the course imposed on it, to declare the neutrality of Bulgaria and to maintain this attitude sternly and honestly according to international obligations and the interests of the fatherland.

Thanks to this process, my Government maintains good and friendly relations with all the great powers; has succeeded in giving to our relations with our neighbors a color of greater confidence, so necessary after the crisis of the last year, and in the midst of the events that lie heavy today on the whole of Europe.

A supplemental statement of the royal position was made by the Bulgarian Premier, Mr. Radoslavoff, in the Sobranje at the sitting of Nov. 12, (25,) 1914, which follows:

With the proclamation of the state of siege, taken in accordance with the decision of Parliament, as a measure of further security, everything is moving along according to the laws and the Constitution of the country. And the Government is endeavoring that the internal administration may proceed in as orderly a way as possible.

You remember very well that on the 16th (29th) of July, when war was declared by Austria-Hungary, I came here and told you that the decision of the Government was to maintain strict neutrality.

One day before the closing of the extra session of Parliament I repeated the declarations of the Government, that no matter what kind of political combinations were formed around us the Government is resolved to maintain absolute neutrality to the end.

It was with pleasure that I heard at that time the assurances of all the party leaders that if I were to keep this attitude they would help me maintain the absolute neutrality of Bulgaria.

I do not know why after a few days there have been published various statements signed by the different party leaders.

Nothing in particular had been done on our side up to that time. There was nothing irregular, but, notwithstanding all this, complaints have been lodged against the Bulgarian Government that its neutrality was one-sided, that the Government was favoring one group of the powers while hostile to the other, that through Bulgaria arms and ammunition were sent from a belligerent country [Germany] to a non-belligerent, [Turkey,] and this moved the leaders of the parties to turn to the nation and denounce the sincerity of your Government.

The silence of the nation and the attitude of the powers gave us full justification for the fairness and loyalty with which we keep our neutrality.

Two months ago the nation had witnessed a manifesto, signed by all the party leaders with the exception of the narrow Socialists, which means that the opposition has not been united on this question, as it is said in the manifesto that all the opposition was united in a fear lest the Government abandon its neutrality. In the manifesto addressed to the Bulgarian nation the desire was expressed for the formation of a Ministry in which all the political parties were to be represented.

But the silence of the nation has given ample proof of its confidence in the present Ministry. The declaration of the Government on July 13 (26) holds today, as it held then. We are keeping the strict neutrality of Bulgaria. Those that were supposed to have grievances against us have no proofs to show our breach of neutrality. Every side was satisfied with our assurances.

Notwithstanding the difficulties with which the path of the Government is strewn today, I, supported by the majority of the Parliament, will follow the same policy. Bulgaria has remained neutral, and up to now she is in excellent relations with all neighboring countries.

Bulgaria is in most friendly relations with Rumania, Greece, and Servia, which is at war. Bulgaria keeps the most sincere relations with Turkey. Bulgaria remains neutral and loyal in her position. I make the declaration so that the entire nation may be informed that the present Government has assured the territorial integrity of Bulgaria.

Our policy meets with the approval of all the great powers without exception. If we ever are led by the force of circumstances to enter some arrangement whereby Bulgaria will obtain something more in the way of territory, this will come from the will of the entire Bulgarian concert, with which we desire to remain up to the end in good relations.

This is what I can and what I must say today in the National Parliament. [Cheers and applause.]


[As voted on Nov. 12, (25,) 1914.]

Your Majesty: The national representation considers it an agreeable duty to express its satisfaction for the statements addressed to it and to offer its collaboration to the Tsar and the Government for the safeguard of the dear interests of the fatherland.

Your Majesty!

The breaking out of the terrible war which today oppresses and exhausts the nations has stopped the peaceful activity in which the Bulgarian Nation and your Government were engaged for the regeneration of the national forces and the creation of new resources for the prosperity of the country and the healing of the wounds of the long and heroic war which the nation, with unflinching self-sacrifice, has waged in the past year.

Your Majesty!

In the face of the momentous and far-reaching events now taking place in Europe and around Bulgaria, the national representation has noted with delight that the Government, having at heart the future of the country when it declared the neutrality of Bulgaria, is maintaining this attitude strictly and loyally, as the international necessities and the most vital interests of the country demand.

Your Majesty!

The national representation has learned with joy that, thanks to this attitude, the Government of your Majesty has preserved good and friendly relations with all the great powers and has improved our relations with our neighbors, which good relations are so necessary for Bulgaria after the crisis of the last year, and during the events of which we are the witnesses.

Your Majesty!

The great events that are shaking Europe are apt to call for our attention, but, in spite of this, they will not stop us in the way of the peaceful development of our culture, to which Bulgaria after the war devoted her energies.

We will carefully examine and heartily approve of all the measures which the Government may take for the progress of the country and will give them our support.

Long live his Majesty the Tsar!

Long live her Majesty the Tsarina!

Long live his Royal Highness the Crown Prince!

Following is the allocution of Tsar Ferdinand I., on Dec. 2, (15,) 1914, to the Delegation of the Sobranje, which brought to him the Bulgarian Parliament's answer to the speech from the throne.

Gentlemen: It has always been agreeable to me to meet the representatives of the National Parliament and exchange with them ideas on the situation and the administration of the country. In the present year, however, during the development of the events around us this contact with the representatives of the people is not without some importance for the Chief of the State.

I desire to hear from you, gentlemen, what are the concerns of the nation and to partake of them with you. The thought that I am nourishing, and my hope is, that, thanks to the stability and the wisdom of the Bulgarians, the country will emerge from the new trials untouched and without being threatened in the future.

I am really proud in duly acknowledging the virtues of the Bulgarian people. When, in 1912, this people, moved by a single impulse, arose and crushed a strong opponent by a force and ardor unsurpassed till now, the whole world recognized its military virtues. But the Bulgarian Nation has also displayed unique virtues in its reverses by valiantly enduring the blows of misfortune.

This nation will warmly undertake its mission in order to achieve its destiny, when it will win more respect on the part of foreigners than it won by its victory; and the hearts of its sons, so devoted to the fatherland, will be warmed anew.

Today, when the whole of Europe is burning and the conflagration is approaching us, when all the nations around us are moving and making ready for action, the Bulgarian Nation, duly appreciating the situation, has established its attitude with an equanimity and a reserve which constitute the undeniable proofs of its wisdom and its political maturity.

The eyes of the Czar and of the people are turned toward you. In the advices that you are giving, in the opinions that you express, I observe your care for the national prosperity and your resolution to sacrifice everything on the altar of the fatherland and for the interests of the nation. This sets me at rest and inspires me with the hope that in the future also complete harmony will prevail between the nation and the Crown, and that from this harmony we shall draw the necessary strength for the assurance of the future of Bulgaria.

May God watch over the fortunes of our fatherland and may He crown with success our common efforts.


In the last sitting of the Bulgarian Sobranje, just before the Christmas holidays, the Premier, Mr. Radoslavoff, made the following statements as they appear in the semi-official organ, Narodni Prava, of Sofia:

Since last July Bulgaria has maintained strict neutrality. Whatever accusations have been addressed to her from abroad as to her alleged breaches of neutrality, on the part of one or other of the belligerent groups, are without any foundation whatever. It is recognized that such insinuations come from our enemies, who have every interest in our breaking neutrality.

The Government maintains and will maintain its neutral policy to the end, and in this case we declare that we will adhere to it, and, supported by the country, we will try to take as much advantage of it as is possible.

Whether we are going to have or not to have a Ministry in which all the political parties will be represented, this does not at all interest those from abroad, where the dignified attitude of our Government is recognized. Do not ask us to negotiate what the Triple Entente is willing to give us, or to say to the central powers—Austria and Germany—"You, what are you going to give us?"

Because in that case they would answer: "Why should we give you anything? For your inactivity? Because you keep tranquil, watching us shedding our blood? Is it for this that we must give you something?"

I, for myself, have repeated on another occasion that during these critical moments, when new States are being founded while others are falling to the ground, to safeguard and preserve the present frontiers of Bulgaria is the greatest service that can be rendered her. We know what we have asked and what was offered to us. But who guarantees that we shall have what was orally promised to us? We ourselves cannot guarantee it. I declare that we are on good terms with our neighbors so long as they respect the interests of Bulgaria. If I knew that we would receive Macedonia and Cavalla and Dobrudja, be sure that I, first among all, would advise the formation of a coalition Ministry.

Representative Tchandref (interrupting)—Go ahead and take them alone.

Radoslavoff—But now we may not, neither in Chataldja nor in Cavalla nor in Dobrudja. The Bulgarian Government is pursuing the absolute preservation of peace and is watching developments. The friends that we have, notwithstanding all evil machinations, have not deserted us. Bulgaria still has friends, but friends and enemies tell us, Keep quiet, Bulgarians! In this lies your safety!


The subjoined statement by the Bulgarian General, Savoff, appeared in the Vienna Reichspost of Dec. 20, 1914:

Taking into account the military operations up to this date, it is easy to conclude that the two central monarchies are holding the advantage of the Allies. Germany has demonstrated to the world her enormous strength, while Austria-Hungary has shown herself to be really a great power. Austria-Hungary must be proud of her army and of the brilliant successes it has won against the colossal Russian military organization.

So far as the neutral States are concerned, Gen. Savoff said:

Bulgaria will keep neutral as long as she can. The responsible factors of the country will face every influence, and will act according to the best interests of the fatherland. We must insist on the correction of the mistakes made by the Treaty of Bucharest. We are resolved, in case this should prove necessary, to take back by force of arms the territories that belong to us and that have been snatched from us. The Bulgarian Army is ready and will do its duty up to the end when the interests of the country demand it.


Following is an editorial article published Oct. 15, (28,) 1914, in the Mir, the organ of the Nationalists, and signed by A. Bouroff, ex-Minister and ex-Vice President of the Bulgarian Parliament, or Sobranje.

The Government knows that the Bulgarian people will never forgive it, should the Ministry let pass the present historical opportunity without securing important advantages for Bulgaria.

These advantages the Government is endeavoring to obtain by keeping a pro-Austro-German neutrality. In order not to disclose this policy, the Government avoids a discussion with Austria and Germany. In order to render service to Austria the Government is courting Turkey, provoking Russia through its action and its press, avoids the constitution of a council of State demanded by the opposition, and objects to the formation of a Ministry in which all the political parties were to be represented. Perhaps the Government would go even further, but it is prevented from doing so, on one hand by Rumania, who maintained a puzzling position, and the probable surprises that her "friendly" Turkey has in store, and on the other by the explicit and general unwillingness of the Bulgarian people to jeopardize its existence through adventurous actions that are so contrary to its national character and sentiments. The result of these contradictory inclinations and influences is shown in our present political weakness, which I am afraid will be fruitless in the end.

What is to be expected from this policy? In case of victory of the Triple Entente, Bulgaria can hope for nothing good. If the Dual Alliance is victorious we shall have certain compensations that to my deep conviction will be far from satisfying our national aspirations. The Austro-German alliance, first of all, will think of itself; that is to say, to realize the greatest ideals of pan-Germanism, the debouching of Austria in the Aegean Sea through Saloniki, which necessarily comprises the occupation by Austria of all Macedonia west of the Vardar. In the second place, Turkey will have to be compensated and strengthened, as in the future her army will be a more obedient organ in the hands of German diplomacy and more amenable than Slav Bulgaria, whose troops, in the opinion of the most prominent German papers, cannot fight the Russians, while Turkey at any time is ready to serve Germany. But Turkey can be compensated in Europe only at the expense of Bulgarian Thrace. To Bulgaria will be given, at most, Istip, Kotchana, Radovich, Serres Drama, and Cavalla to make good the losses in Thrace.

To obtain such a meagre result, the Government of Bulgaria maintains a policy contrary to popular sentiment and to the racial bonds of the people, and a policy contrary to the further interests of Bulgaria, which are incompatible with the building up of a strong Turkey in the Balkans, a Turkey that would be the bulwark of Germany. The most essential part of it is that this policy is based on a most improbable hypothesis, that is to say, the final triumph of the Austro-German arms. If the Bulgarian Government had left prejudices to one side and looked clearly at the events, they would not have been slow to understand that from the moment England stepped into the war and Italy abandoned her allies, the Austro-German alliance politically lost the game. Each passing day diminishes more and more the hopes of success of the Dual Alliance, and permits England and Russia to expand their inexhaustible forces. It is not difficult to foresee from now the terms of peace that England and Russia will impose. Any policy which expects to profit from the defeat of these two powers is doomed to failure, and because such is the policy of the Bulgarian Government, we think that it is against the interests of the country.

This policy, among its other disadvantages, opens forever a gap between little Bulgaria and great Russia, which power, even if defeated, will never cease to play an active part in the Balkans. Against this policy, which is risking much to obtain little, we propose the policy of coming to an agreement with the Triple Entente, on the basis of a Bulgarian neutrality favorable to it, which surely and without sacrifices is expected to bring to us greatest results. The only thing that the powers of the Triple Entente are demanding from us is to open negotiations with them. This does not abolish our neutrality, because other States, too, such as Italy, Rumania, Greece, and Turkey, are negotiating at the present time.


An editorial article which appeared in the Bulgarian paper Volja of the Stamboulovist Party, on Dec. 20, 1914, appears below.

The question has been raised whether in reality negotiations are being conducted between the Balkan States, that is to say, Bulgaria and Servia, Greece and Bulgaria, Bulgaria and Rumania. How much of this is true?

Such negotiations are not being conducted, neither do we believe that it is possible for them to exist, because we do not know what our neighbors demand from us. The only true part of this story is that the powers of the Triple Entente are endeavoring to drag into the war Greece, Bulgaria, and Rumania, a thing that would be not only profitable to them, but even necessary for these same powers of the Triple Entente.

And as long as Bulgaria is not any longer inhabited by imbeciles, who will undertake once more a war for the promotion of the glory and the interests of those who by every means endeavored to ruin us, these powers are thinking today, being moved by some sentiment of humanity, that certain concessions must be made to Bulgaria, but on condition of military support.

And so far as concerns Servia, who only a few days ago was on the brink of the precipice, and who, in a little while from now, will find herself in a worse position, it is apparent that, without the assistance of Bulgaria, her ruin will be certain. This, however, does not prevent Servia as well as the Triple Entente from insisting on giving us as little as possible, and then only after the Serbs have taken Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Rumania and Greece desire an understanding for the sake of their tranquillity. And it was said that Rumania is giving Dobrudja, but Greece does not want even to hear of the cession of Cavalla Drama and Serres, but, on the contrary, demands, in case Bulgaria gets Servian Macedonia, to obtain for her (Greece's) account Doirani, Ghevgeli, and Monastir. Greece and Rumania agree on one point—themselves to stay out of the war, while inducing Bulgaria to fight.

But Bulgaria insists on getting compensation, not by war but by her neutrality. The aspirations therefore of the interested States are totally different, and, under such circumstances, no understanding is possible. The object of the Triple Entente is clear. But this is no concern of ours, nor of any of the other Balkan States, with the exception of Servia.

Therefore, to speak plainly, the understanding will be possible only when interests are taken into account. And on this basis some means to an understanding with our neighbors will be found, whether they want it or not.


[Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.]

Cairo, Jan. 31, (Dispatch to The London Daily News.)—In order to understand the bearing of the latest news upon Moslem opinion, particularly in Cairo and Alexandria, it must be borne in mind that Turkey still enjoys considerable military prestige here. Tens of thousands of Egyptians continue to regard her one of the great powers. They never believed the news of her defeat in the Balkans and the reoccupation of Adrianople confirmed them in their skepticism. At the same time, a secret German propaganda for some years before the war did much to spread abroad the doctrine of German invincibility. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that a section of the population holds entirely erroneous views as to the present balance of power and requires unmistakable evidence of Turkish defeat to open their eyes.

Greece's Watchful Waiting

Grecian Neutrality Defined

[From the Athenae, Athens, July 23, (Aug. 3,) 1914.]

Yesterday at 10 A.M. the Council of Ministers met at the Premier's house and took cognizance of a number of dispatches from the Hellenic representatives of the Governments of the great powers relating to the European war which has just begun. At 11 A.M. the Ministers went in a body to the palace, where, under the Presidency of the King, a council was held which discussed the position of Greece in the European conflict. His Majesty, having listened to the Premier, who communicated all the latest news regarding the situation, agreed on all points as to the attitude of Greece in the Austro-Servian conflict, which attitude would be one of absolute neutrality as long as Bulgaria and Turkey remained neutral.

During this council the Chief of Staff of the army, Gen. v. Dousmanis, was sent for, and he gave the Ministers some information of a military character regarding the position of Greece. Gen. Dousmanis assured them that the army was in excellent condition and that all preliminary preparations for a mobilization were already taken.


[Editorial comment of the Athenae of Aug. 9 (Sept. 21)]:

... In Greece there does not exist a discrimination between those who love France and those who do not, because as a rule the entire nation worships France. The Hellenic world, from the most uneducated citizen to the one who represents all the development of intellect, worships France.

It was always with admiration that the discerning Hellenic intellect looked upon the French Nation, which is the leader in every progress. French letters, French art, and French industry have found in Greece sincere admirers and enthusiastic heralds. The French heroism, the devotion that every Frenchman feels for the ideals of the fatherland, the superiority of the French woman, whom certain malevolent writers have so misrepresented to the world; the virtue of the French housewife, the French mother, and the French patriot, have always been splendid examples to those who are apt to think on the world's progress. The birthplace of the forerunners of the modern social and civic spirit and the mother of the most genuine philhellenism, the France of Rabelais, Moliere and Voltaire and Beranger and Hugo has always been an object of respectful sympathy for those in Greece who are admirers of the beautiful, the liberal, and the ideal.

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