Regilding the Crescent

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Read Books, 2006 - History - 380 pages
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REGILDING THE CRESCENT BY F. G. AFLALO WITH TWENTYFOUB ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGEAPHS AND A MAP LONDON MARTIN SECKER NUMBER FIYE JOHN STREET ADELPHI MCMXI To innovate is not to reform Edmund Burke PREFACE THE title of this book, for which the author is indebted to a friend, is not intended as any cynical allusion to the superficial nature of Turkeys effort at rehabilitation, but expresses merely an open mind on the probability of her. success, with a sincere wish that it may be accomplished. Thebookmakes no attempt to tell the thricetold tale of theTurkish Revolution. Mr. E. K Knight, the brilliant correspondent of the Morning Post, has done this in The Awakening of Turkey and more recently Mr. Francis McCullagh, whom the author last remembers seeing in that memor able street fight in April, has thrown new light on those interesting events in his Downfall of AbdulHamid. Both books should be read by the student of the most amazing revolution in history, that of Portugal not excepted. The present volume, which compresses those events into a single chapter, most of which is devoted to such episodes of the Affair of April as the author saw for himself, has been v PREFACE planned rather as a first attempt at a Whos Who? and Whats What? for newspaper readers at home, giving some idea of the races, religions and politics, of the resources and the difficulties, which are of supreme interest in the working out of Turkeys salvation. Among the essential reforms discussed in its pages are the divorce of the Koran from the Statute Book, the crying need of more liberal education, the exclusion of army officers and priests or their equivalent in Islam from the arena of politics, the emancipation of women, the financing of public works, the development of Anatolia, the maintenance of friendly relations with the Powers and with lesser neighbours, and the pacification of outlying provinces. These are a few only of the problems which lie between revolted Turkey and the accomplishment of her legitimate ambitions. Her task is no light one. With fanatical Arabs and Syrians on the one hand, wedded to the Sacred Law, and regarding every reform as a concession to the Giaour, and, on the other, Hellenes and Albanians dreaming of independence, she has, even within her frontiers, difficulties that might daunt more ex perienced statesmen than those entrusted with th helm. The dishonesty of AbdulHamid divided Kurd against Armenian and made both vi PREFACE easy to rule. The honesty of the Young Turk has united them against himself and made them impossible of control. Its financial liabilities, though not insignificant, need not trouble a nation which has such an asset as the province of Anatolia. So far as the plans of the Com mittee for reform are likely to meet with oppo sition, there is a want of cohesion, not only among the reactionary elements within the empire, but also among selfseeking neighbours over the border, which should afford a sufficient respite to a strong Government honestly determined to push on with inexorable purpose to its goal.

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