Prev | Next | Contents


THE BALKAN LEAGUE

This brings us to the so-called Balkan Alliance about which much has been written and many errors ignorantly propagated. For months after the outbreak of the war against Turkey the development of this Alliance into a Confederation of the Balkan states, on the model of the American or the German constitution, was a theme of constant discussion in Europe and America. As a matter of fact there existed no juridical ground for this expectation, and the sentiments of the peoples of the four Christian nations, even while they fought together against the Moslem, were saturated with such an infusion of suspicion and hostility as to render nugatory any programme of Balkan confederation. An alliance had indeed been concluded between Greece and Bulgaria in May, 1912, but it was a defensive, not an offensive alliance. It provided that in case Turkey attacked either of these states, the other should come to its assistance with all its forces, and that whether the object of the attack were the territorial integrity of the nation or the rights guaranteed it by international law or special conventions. Without the knowledge of the Greek government, an offensive alliance against Turkey had in March, 1912, been concluded between Servia and Bulgaria which determined their respective military obligations in case of war and the partition between them, in the event of victory, of the conquered Turkish provinces in Europe. A similar offensive and defensive alliance between Greece and Turkey was under consideration, but before the plan was matured Bulgaria and Servia had decided to declare war against Turkey. This decision had been hastened by the Turkish massacres at Kochana and Berane, which aroused the deepest indignation, especially in Bulgaria. Servia and Bulgaria informed Greece that in three days they would mobilize their forces for the purpose of imposing reforms on Turkey, and, if within a specified time they did not receive a satisfactory reply, they would invade the Ottoman territory and declare war. They invited Greece on this short notice to co-operate with them by a simultaneous mobilization. It was a critical moment not only for the little kingdom of King George, but for that great cause of Hellenism which for thousands of years had animated, and which still animated, the souls of the Greek population in all Aegean lands.



Prev | Next | Contents