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THE COLLAPSE OF TURKEY

The Great Powers of Europe had other views. Even if the Bulgarian delay at Chataldja--a delay probably due to exhaustion--had not given the Turks time to strengthen their defences and reorganize their forces, it is practically certain that the Bulgarian army would not have been permitted to enter Constantinople. But with the exception of the capital and its fortified fringe, all Turkey in Europe now lay at the mercy of the Allies. The entire territory was either already occupied by their troops or could be occupied at leisure. Only at three isolated points was the Ottoman power unsubdued. The city of Adrianople, though closely besieged by the Bulgarians, still held out, and the great fortresses of Scutari in Northern Albania and Janina in Epirus remained in the hands of their Turkish garrisons.

The power of Turkey had collapsed in a few weeks. Whether the ruin was due to inefficiency and corruption in government or the injection by the Young Turk party of politics into the army or exhaustion resulting from the recent war with Italy or to other causes more obscure, we need not pause to inquire. The disaster itself, however, had spread far enough in the opinion of Europe, and a Peace Conference was summoned in December. Delegates from the belligerent states and ambassadors from the Great Powers came together in London. But their labors in the cause of peace proved unavailing. Turkey was unwilling to surrender Adrianople and Bulgaria insisted on it as a sine qua non. The Peace Conference broke up and hostilities were resumed. The siege of Adrianople was pressed by the Bulgarians with the aid of 60,000 Servian troops. It was taken by storm on March 26. Already, on March 6, Janina had yielded to the well directed attacks of King Constantine. And the fighting ended with the spectacular surrender on April 23 of Scutari to King Nicholas, who for a day at least defied the united will of Europe.

Turkey was finally compelled to accept terms of peace. In January, while the London Peace Conference was still in session, Kiamil Pasha, who had endeavored to prepare the nation for the territorial sacrifice he had all along recognized as inevitable, was driven from power and his war minister, Nazim Pasha, murdered through an uprising of the Young Turk party executed by Enver Bey, who himself demanded the resignation of Kiamil and carried it to the Sultan and secured its acceptance. The insurgents set up Mahmud Shevket Pasha as Grand Vizier and made the retention of Adrianople their cardinal policy. But the same inexorable fate overtook the new government in April as faced Kiamil in January. The Powers were insistent on peace, and the successes of the Allies left no alternative and no excuse for delay. The Young Turk party who had come to power on the Adrianople issue were accordingly compelled to ratify the cession to the allies of the city with all its mosques and tombs and historic souvenirs. The Treaty of London, which proved to be short-lived, was signed on May 30.



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