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while to study the psychology of the Turks, because dimly then, but with ever
increasing distinctness, Germany foresaw that Turkey might be a counter of
immense importance in the great conflict which was assuredly drawing nearer,
though as yet its existence was but foreshadowed by the most distant reflections of
summer lightning on a serene horizon. But if Turkey was to be of any profit to her,
she wanted a strong Turkey who could fight with her (or rather for her), and she
had no use for the Sick Man whom the other Powers were bent on keeping alive but
no more. Her own eventual domination of Turkey was always the end in view, but
she wanted to dominate not a weak but a strong servant. And her diplomacy was not
less than brilliant simply from the facts that on the one hand it soothed Turkey
instead of irritating, and on the other it went absolutely unnoticed for a long time.
Nobody knew that it was going on. She sent officers to train the Turkish army, well
knowing what magnificent material Anatolia afforded, and she had thoroughly
grasped the salient fact that to make any way with Oriental peoples your purse must
be open and your backshish unlimited. “There is no God but backshish, and the
Deutsche Bank is his prophet.”
For years this went on very quietly, and all over the great field of the Ottoman
Empire the first tiny blades of the crop that Germany was sowing began to appear.
To-day that crop waves high and covers the whole field with its ripe and fruitful
ears. For to-day Turkey is neither more nor less than a German colony, and more
than makes up to her for the colonies she has lost and hopes to regain. She knows
that perfectly well, and so do any who have at all studied the history and the results
of her diplomacy there. Even Turkey itself must, as in an uneasy dream, be faintly
conscious of it. For who to-day is the Sultan of Turkey? No other than William II. of
Germany. It is in Berlin that his Cabinet meets, and sometimes he asks Talaat Bey to
attend in a strictly honorary capacity. And Talaat Bey goes back to Constantinople
with a strictly honorary sword of honour. Or else he gives one to William II. from his
soi-disant master, the Sultan, or takes one back to his soi-disant master from his real
master. For no one knows better than William II. the use that swords of honour play
in deeds of dishonour.
The object of this pamphlet is to trace the hewn and solid staircase of steps by which
Germany’s present supremacy over Turkey was achieved. Apart from the quiet
spade-work that had been going on for some years, Germany made no important
move till the moment when in 1909 the Young Turk party, after the forced
abdication of Abdul Hamid, proclaimed the aims and ideal of the new régime. At
once Germany saw her opportunity, for here, with her help, might arise the strong
Turkey which she desired to see, instead of the weak Turkey which all the other
European Powers had been keeping on a lowering diet for so long (desirous only
that it should not quite expire), and from that moment she began to lend, or rather
let, to Turkey in ever increasing quantities the resources of her scientific and her
military knowledge. It was in her interests, if Turkey was to be of use to her, that she
should educate, and irrigate, and develop the unexploited treasures of human
material, of fertility and mineral wealth; and Germany’s gold, her schools, her
laboratories were at Turkey’s disposal. But in every case she, as in duty bound to
her people, saw that she got very good value for her outlay.