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ity, and finally to assume effectively under the League of Nations maintenance of the freedom of the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmora and the Bosphorus, as well as protection of religious and racial minorities.” Support was promised for Turkey's admission into the League of Nations, while the withdrawal of Allied troops from Constantinople on the entry into force of the treaty of peace was promised. Under such circumstances, the Allied governments were willing to meet with Mustafa Kemal for an armistice conference at Mudania. With the provisions regarding the freedom of the Straits and the protection of racial and religious minorities, the United States at once agreed, contrary to its usual practice, since the war, of abstaining from European affairs. Under the circumstances, and under French pressure, Mustafa Kemal yielded to the Allied note, backed by a forty-eight hour ultimatum from General Harrington, and agreed to observe provisionally the neutrality of the Straits. In compliance with the Allied request, an armistice conference at Mudania was agreed to. Plainly, Kemal had won at a stroke all that he had hoped to obtain by fighting. Britain's naval demonstration had, however, deterred him, as much as had French influences, from an assault on the Straits, and the decision of the status of the Straits had been placed in other hands than those of exclusively Black Sea States. With the Greeks definitely out of Asia Minor and half of Thrace, Kemal might well pause in his operations, assured that the Great Powers of Europe would do him homage. Italy and France were virtually his allies, while Great Britain, which had spurned in August the proposals of Fethi Bey for the neutralization of the Straits, eagerly grasped at the provisional recognition of the neutral zones at the price of letting the Turk return to Europe.
Plainly this was a diplomatic humiliation for Great Britain, the more humiliating because it had been foreseen by experts, and because it had been brought about, not by the British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, but by the Prime Minister himself. On August 4, in a speech during the closing hours of Parliament's session, Lloyd George had re
called the occasion of Great Britain's entry into the war eight years ago by a glowing eulogy of the Greeks, in whose prowess he was still confident. Within two months, his plea for the retention of Greek sovereignty over Smyrna in the interests of humanity, his insistence on keeping the Anatolian war from spreading into Europe, had practically been vitiated and the British nation had virtually repudiated his leadership. Mustafa Kemal, by his victory over the Greeks, by his successful massacres on a large scale, had earned the respect of Europe and Turkey had been proposed for membership in the League of Nations. But more was involved in his victory than the mere reconquest of Eastern Thrace. Kemal well knew, as did both France and Italy, that his victory had redressed not only Turkey's wrongs, but the whole European system. The attempt of Lloyd George to secure a concert of Europe against the return of the Turk had failed dismally, and it was clearly revealed that the game of the Balance of Power had returned to the European chessboard. Therein lay the dramatic significance of the Kemalist triumph, in that Italy and France, acting in concert, had rehabilitated Turkey in the eyes of Europe, humiliated Britain, and restored to the Continental side of the English Channel the determining voice in the affairs of Europe.
British resentment was bitter, not only on account of the humiliation itself, but also on account of the lack of statesmanship which had provoked it. Britain had failed, in her support of the Greeks, to provide an honorable exit either for them or for herself, in the event of a Kemalist victory, and only the formidable show of force by the way of a naval demonstration had saved Great Britain's face at the risk of an unfortunate war. The British public, as a whole, strongly approved the naval demonstration as the only possible course under the circumstances, although the folly of having brought things to such a pass was heartily regretted. Lord Curzon's mission to Paris, productive of the settlement with Kemal, was viewed both at home and abroad as a trip to Canossa, whereby Great Britain, for the purpose of maintaining the Entente Cordiale, sacrificed practically every
vestige of her Near Eastern policy. Outwardly the Allies retained a complete show of harmony, but, as the French press satirically remarked, "militarist France had to keep pacifist England from starting another world war"!
For France, it was a real diplomatic triumph. By a policy of cleverness, she had secured for herself the most advantageous concessions in Asia Minor, had discredited and evicted Greece, had humbled British naval pretensions, created a new force in the European world, and restored the Continental Balance of Power. What more could Poincare ask, after nine months of office, than to say he had adjusted the balance and redressed Great Britain's overwhelming influence in the European world?
Poincare's victory was secured partly by his own actions, particularly in persuading the Balkan nations to remain disinterested spectators while Britain prepared to defend her position in the Straits, and partly through the delicate mission he intrusted to M. Henri Franklin-Bouillon, as his personal envoy to Mustafa Kemal. Between Lord Curzon's dramatic capitulation at Paris, and Franklin-Bouillon's arrival at Smyrna, however, the world waited with bated breath to see whether war between Britain and Turkey would ensue from Turkish encroachments on, and incursions into, the neutral zones on the southern side of the Straits. Irregular bands marched up to the very entanglements set up by the British at Chanak, yet so great was the restraint of the British, and so firm France's pressure on Mustafa Kemal, that neither side provoked an attack. Once that Franklin-Bouillon was with Kemal, to acquaint him with the views of France as the moderating influence, the world breathed more easily. All Greek forces on the southern side of the Straits had disappeared, and for the moment Kemal had nothing to fear from them.
In Greece, however, disaster had spelled revolution. The populace, which had incurred the wrath of the Allies by overthrowing Venizelos and welcoming back Constantine, quickly reacted under the lash of defeat and acquiesced in the movement of military leaders to force the king's abdication and reverse the government's policy. While Kemal paused behind the British fortifications at Chanak, Constantine ingloriously abdicated and retired to Sicily. This drastic change in Greek policy was viewed in London with considerable favor, it being hoped by Mr. Lloyd George that the return of Venizelos to power might admit of a modification of the terms proposed to Kemal. If such a hope was ever possible of realization, Kemal's commanding position had killed it. With France's full support for his aims and extremely favorable concessions from the Allies, Kemal could stand his ground firmly and refuse the slightest modifications of his hard-won bargain with Britain and the Allies. In fact, his acceptance of the Allied terms was conditioned on a series of guarantees concerning the evacuation of Thrace-guarantees which received full French backing and support. These demanded the occupation of Thrace by a Nationalist gendarmerie, the transfer of civil administration to Kemalist functionaries, the prompt evacuation of Thrace by the Greeks and the garrisoning of the larger towns, and the district beyond the Maritza River, by the Allies. It was under these conditions, and these only, that Kemal would consent to treat with the Allies. They were harsh terms, but terms which were dictated by Kemal's superior military position, and as such, they were accepted by the Allied governments previous to the assembling of the armistice conference at Mudania. “Turkey,” as M. Franklin-Bouillon pithily put it, “in consequence of her victories, now has no enemy to face.” Plainly, British pretensions had crumbled, and the Turk was to be readmitted to Europe on his own conditions.
At Mudania, in negotiating the armistice and making provision for the Turkish occupation of Thrace, the Nationalist delegates raised the question as to the future of Constantinople and demanded the immediate evacuation of the Turkish capital by the Allied governments, in which demand Franklin-Bouillon supported the Turks. Under the terms of the Allied armistice note, however, evacuation of Constantinople was to take place after the signing of a definite treaty of peace, hence Britain and Italy refused to accede, and the conference was temporarily suspended. When it resumed its sessions, the Allied governments had reached an agreement to return Thrace as soon as possible, under conditions in the final protocol, but reserved their decision as to Constantinople. Finally, on October 10, a full armistice agreement was signed at Mudania, putting an end to the existing hostilities. Under its terms military evacuation of Thrace by the Greeks and occupation by the Turks under Allied supervision was provided for, within a fortnight, civil administration to pass into Turkish hands within a month following. Allied commissions supervising the transfer of authority were to withdraw within a month thereafter. Until peace was ratified, the Nationalist Government was not to transport any troops into Thrace, while mixed commissions were to delimit carefully new neutral zones of allied occupation and respect them. This convention entered into force on October 13.
The immediate objective, namely, the suspension of hostilities, having been reached by the Allied governments and Turkey, the much larger question of the whole Near Eastern settlement looms up, and the questions are as yet unsettled. These involve the general settlement between the Allies and Turkey as to boundaries, financial matters, military affairs, reparations, and the vital question of the capitulations. In this respect, the Lausanne conference is likely to encounter serious difficulties. Under existing conditions, no civilized country, short of Soviet Russia, has agreed to the suspension of the capitulations—an arrangement which places every foreigner in Turkey at the mercy of Turkish courts and law, which afford, at best, a very questionable protection. The United States, in this respect, is definitely on record as opposed to the abrogation of the capitulations, in view of its extensive humanitarian and philanthropic interests in Turkey. It is the general view of the Allies, that only the three Great Powers and Greece, Jugoslavia and Roumania, have direct interests in the settlement, as the United States is not inclined to question the political settlement reached. Great Britain, however, has requested the Japanese Government to participate, thereby seeking to restore an aspect of concerted Allied action in reaching a Near Eastern settlement.