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Crescent and Iron Cross   By: (1867-1940)

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CRESCENT AND IRON CROSS

BY E.F. BENSON

Crescent and Iron Cross, Preface

In compiling the following pages I have had access to certain sources of official information, the nature of which I am not at liberty to specify further. I have used these freely in such chapters of this book as deal with recent and contemporary events in Turkey or in Germany in connection with Turkey: the chapter, for instance, entitled 'Deutschland über Allah,' is based very largely on such documents. I have tried to be discriminating in their use, and have not, as far as I am aware, stated anything derived from them as a fact, for which I had not found corroborative evidence. With regard to the Armenian massacres I have drawn largely on the testimony collected by Lord Bryce, on that brought forward by Mr. Arnold J. Toynbee in his pamphlet The Murder of a Nation , and The Murderous Tyranny of the Turks, and on the pamphlet by Dr. Martin Niepage, called The Horrors of Aleppo . In the first chapter I have based the short historical survey on the contribution of Mr. D.G. Hogarth to The Balkans (Clarendon Press, 1915). The chapter called 'Thy Kingdom is Divided' is in no respect at all an official utterance, and merely represents the individual opinions and surmises of the author. It has, however, the official basis that the Allies have pledged themselves to remove the power of the Turk from Constantinople, and to remove out of the power of the Turk the alien peoples who have too long already been subject to his murderous rule. I have, in fact, but attempted to conjecture in what kind of manner that promise will be fulfilled.

Fresh items of news respecting internal conditions in Turkey are continually coming in, and if one waited for them all, one would have to wait to the end of the war before beginning to write at all on this subject. But since such usefulness as this book may possibly have is involved with the necessity of its appearance before the end of the war, I set a term to the gathering of material, and, with the exception of two or three notes inserted later, ceased to collect it after June 1917. But up to then anything that should have been inserted in surveys and arguments, and is not, constitutes a culpable omission on my part.

E.F. BENSON

Crescent and Iron Cross, Contents

CHAPTER I

THE THEORY OF THE OLD TURKS

CHAPTER II

THE THEORY OF THE NEW TURKS

CHAPTER III

THE END OF THE ARMENIAN QUESTION

CHAPTER IV

THE QUESTION OF SYRIA AND PALESTINE

CHAPTER V

DEUTSCHLAND ÜBER ALLAH

CHAPTER VI

'THY KINGDOM IS DIVIDED'

CHAPTER VII

THE GRIP OF THE OCTOPUS

Crescent and Iron Cross, Chapter I

THE THEORY OF THE OLD TURKS

The maker of phrases plies a dangerous trade. Very often his phrase is applicable for the moment and for the situation in view of which he coined it, but his coin has only a temporary validity: it is good for a month or for a year, or for whatever period during which the crisis lasts, and after that it lapses again into a mere token, a thing without value and without meaning. But the phrase cannot, as in the case of a monetary coinage, at once be recalled, for it has gone broadcast over the land, or, at any rate, it is not recalled, and it goes on being passed from hand to hand, its image and superscription defaced by wear, long after it has ceased to represent anything. In itself it is obsolete, but people still trade with it, and think it represents what it represented when it came hot from the Mint. And, unfortunately, it sometimes happens that it is worse than valueless; it becomes a forgery (which it may not have been when it came into circulation), and deceives those who traffic with it, flattering them with an unfounded possession.

Such a phrase, which still holds currency, was once coined by Lord Aberdeen in the period of the Crimean War. 'Turkey is a sick man,' he said, and added something which gave great offence then about the advisability of putting Turkey out of his misery. I do not pretend to quote correctly, but that was the gist of it... Continue reading book >>




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