The New Frontiers of Freedom from the Alps to the Ægean eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 151 pages of information about The New Frontiers of Freedom from the Alps to the gean.

The successful defense of the Dardanelles, one of the most brilliantly conducted defensive operations of the entire war, was primarily due to the courage and stubborn endurance of Turkey’s Anatolian soldiery, ignorant, stolid, hardy, fearless peasants, who were taken straight from their farms in Asia Minor, put into wretchedly made, ill-fitting uniforms, hastily trained by German drillmasters, set down in the trenches on the Gallipoli ridge and told to hold them.  No one who is familiar with the conditions under which these Turkish soldiers fought, who knows how wretched were the conditions under which they lived, who has seen those waterless, sun-seared ridges which they held against the might of Britain’s navy and the best troops which the Allies could bring against them, can withhold from them his admiration.  Their valor was deserving of a better cause.

CHAPTER V

WILL THE SICK MAN OF EUROPE RECOVER?

Each time that I have approached Constantinople from the Marmora Sea and have watched that glorious and fascinating panorama—­Seraglio Point, St. Sophia, Stamboul, the Golden Horn, the Galata Bridge, the heights of Pera, Dolmabagtche, Yildiz—­slowly unfold, revealing new beauties, new mysteries, with each revolution of the steamer’s screw, I have declared that in all the world there is no city so lovely as this capital of the Caliphs.  Yet, beautiful though Constantinople is, it combines the moral squalor of Southern Europe with the physical squalor of the Orient to a greater degree than any city in the Levant.  Though it has assumed the outward appearance of a well-organized and fairly well administered municipality since its occupation by the Allies, one has but to scratch this thin veneer to discover that the filth and vice and corruption and misgovernment which characterized it under Ottoman rule still remain.  Barring a few municipal improvements which were made in the European quarter of Pera and in the fashionable residential districts between Dolmabagtche and Yildiz, the Turkish capital has scarcely a bowing acquaintance with modern sanitation, the windows of some of the finest residences in Stamboul looking out on open sewers down which refuse of every description floats slowly to the sea or takes lodgment on the banks, these masses of decaying matter attracting great swarms of pestilence-breeding flies.  The streets are thronged with women whose virtue is as easy as an old shoe, attracted by the presence of the armies as vultures are attracted by the smell of carrion.  Saloons, brothels, dives and gambling hells run wide open and virtually unrestricted, and as a consequence venereal diseases abound, though the British military authorities, in order to protect their own men, have put the more notorious resorts “out of bounds” and, in order to provide more wholesome recreations for the troops, have opened amusement parks called “military gardens.”  In spite

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The New Frontiers of Freedom from the Alps to the Ægean from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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