The Balkans eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 396 pages of information about The Balkans.

However suspicious Rumania may be of Russia, however bitter the quarrels between Bulgars, Greeks, and Serbs, it is not, nor can it ever be natural, that peoples who have groaned under Turkish despotism for centuries should, after only one year of complete liberation, join hands with an old and dreaded enemy not only against their fellow sufferers, but even against those who came ‘to die that they may live’.  These are the Dead Sea fruits of dynastic policy.  Called to the thrones of the small states of the Near East for the purpose of creating order and peace, the German dynasties have overstepped their function and abused the power entrusted to them.  As long as, in normal times, political activities were confined to the diplomatic arena there was no peril of rousing the masses out of their ignorant indolence; but, when times are abnormal, it is a different and a dangerous thing to march these peoples against their most intimate feelings.  When, as the outcome of the present false situation, sooner or later the dynastic power breaks, it will then be for the powers who are now fighting for better principles not to impose their own views upon the peoples, or to place their own princes upon the vacant thrones.  Rather must they see that the small nations of the Near East are given a chance to develop in peace and according to their proper ideals; that they be not again subjected to the disintegrating influence of European diplomacy; and that, above all, to the nations in common, irrespective of their present attitude, there should be a just application of the ’principle of nationality’.


Turkey is no better name for the Osmanli dominion or any part of it than Normandy would be for Great Britain.  It is a mediaeval error of nomenclature sanctioned by long usage in foreign mouths, but without any equivalent in the vernacular of the Osmanlis themselves.  The real ‘Turkey’ is Turkestan, and the real Turks are the Turcomans.  The Osmanlis are the least typical Turks surviving.  Only a very small proportion of them have any strain of Turkish blood, and this is diluted till it is rarely perceptible in their physiognomy:  and if environment rather than blood is to be held responsible for racial features, it can only be said that the territory occupied by the Osmanlis is as unlike the homeland of the true Turks as it can well be, and is quite unsuited to typically Turkish life and manners.

While of course it would be absurd to propose at this time of day any change in the terms by which the civilized world unanimously designates the Osmanlis and their dominion, it is well to insist on their incorrectness, because, like most erroneous names, they have bred erroneous beliefs.  Thanks in the main to them, the Ottoman power is supposed to have originated in an overwhelming invasion of Asia Minor by immense numbers of Central Asiatic migrants, who, intent, like the early Arab armies, on offering to Asia first and

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The Balkans from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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