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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 16

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addition to our Colonial Empire of a valuable island, that would not only have been of strategical value, but such that in a few years, money and British settlers would have entirely changed its present aspect, and have created for it a new era of prosperity. If England had purchased Cyprus, I could have understood the plain, straightforward, business-like transaction, which would have at once established confidence, both among the inhabitants, who would have become British subjects ; and through the outer world, that would have acknowledged the commencement of a great future. But, if we were actually bound in defensive alliance with Turkey in case of a war with Russia, why should we occupy Cyprus upon such one-sided and anomalous conditions, that would frustrate all hopes of commercial development, for the sake of obtaining a strategical position that would have been opened to our occupation as an ally at any moment ? On the other hand, if we distrusted Turkey, and feared that she might coquet with Russia at some future period, I could see a paramount necessity for the occupation of Cyprus, and even Egypt ; but we were supposed to be, and I believe were, acting in absolute and mutual good faith as the protector of Asiatic Turkey, in defensive alliance with the Sultan. In that position, should we have entered into a war with Russia, there was no necessity for the occupation and responsibility of any new position, as every port of the Ottoman

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