Turkey Is Uneasy Over German Army -nyt19151123
TURKEY IS UNEASY OVER GERMAN ARMY
Halil Bey Intimates That Presence of Kaiser's Troops Is Not Needed
NOVEMBER 23, 1915
According to German reports, the advent of the first detachment of the Kaiser's troops in Constantinople was hailed with extravagant enthusiasm. ON the other hand, significant warnings to Germany not to expect special privileges from Turkey and apparent reluctance to have German armies enter Turkish territory for operations against Egypt or elsewhere were expressed by Halil Bey, forms the triumvirate reputed to be in supreme control of Ottoman Affairs, in an outspoken interview granted by him to Emil Ludwig, special correspondent of the Berliner Tabeblatt. It appears on the first page in that newspaper's issue of Oct. 23, just received here. Halil Bey's statements, says Ludwig, corroborate what Enver Pasha and Talaat Bey had already told him some months ago.
"I believe in the friendship between Turkey and Germany," Halil Bey is quoted as saying, "but the Germans must understand that they must not come here as conquerors, but as collaborators. Germany's policy, we know, has always been friendly to us, and we hope it will be even more so after the war. Distrust of the great European powers is deeply implanted in Turkey, and can be rooted out only gradually.
" Is it to be wondered at? For centuries our land has been badly treated and could not afford to trust Europe, whose great powers sought to cheat it. You will have to excuse Turkey for its attitude. In order to create complete trust, Germany, which has never maltreated us, must raise our credit without demanding special privileges, such as all the others have demanded.
"This is possible on account of geographical and economic conditions, and it is possible only in the case of Germany. We are primarily an agricultural country, while Germany is primarily industrial. Even in the case of Austria-Hungary, the situation is otherwise. we fill our needs by barter. We seem poor, and we need money, but we are rich. Over there in Asia are our treasures. German capitalists, who will come here after the war, must profile by investment. But--no special privileges any more. That is all over. Remember what an extraordinary situation there has been here. In other countries a foreigner comes after a native in the matter as Armenians, in Turkey, it was the reverse."
"How about an attack on Egypt?" inquired the correspondent.
"We have enough men for it," replied Halil Bey.
To the inquiry whether Egypt was a war goal of Turkish military policy Halil Bey replied:
"We hope to secure something for ourselves of there as to be acquisition of territory. But the goal of the war assuredly is the strengthening of Turkey at home. And the Germans ought to help us in that."
The correspondent also touched upon the Armenian question, which he calls the "thin ice of Turkey, which one avoids as dangerous." Halil Bey said on this subject that the Armenians had been guilty of treason and conspiracies with the Russian and other anti-Turkish activities. He declared that the Mohammedan population of Armenia had become so enraged at the Russophile elements that they had finally resorted to violent acts. The Turkish Government, he added, despite its own wishes, had been powerless to check these outbursts because the land was without policemen, who had been turned into soldiers and transported to the front.
A hard copy of this article or hundreds of others from the time of the Armenian Genocide can be found in The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From The American Press: 1915-1922