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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 460

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their only satisfaction remained in the knowledge that they had " done us " in the bargain. We have quickly discovered the painful fact, and one party to the alliance already feels aggrieved, and seeks for an alteration in the terms of the Convention. cannot conceive any more dangerous risk to friendships than an interference in the private affairs of individuals, or in the public administration of governments. We have assumed the enormous responsibility of the Protectorate of Asia Minor under conditions which we must know will never be fulfilled ; Turkey promises to reform the abuses of her internal administration, &c. &c. ! Anybody who knows Turkey must be aware that such a reform is impossible : the honest administrative material does not exist in the Ottoman Empire, and the promises of the Porte have been tolerably exemplified since the Crimean war. Under these circumstances the Anglo-Turkish alliance is in a questionable position. We have assumed the Protectorate of Asia Minor conditionally ; we occupy Cyprus conditionally ; and should Turkey fail to perform her promises in the government of her Asiatic provinces, we have a back-door for an escape from our onerous engagement. Unfortunately English diplomacy is celebrated for back-doors. In the Berlin Treaty we entered Cyprus through a back-door, and we may possibly retire by the same exit ; but there is little doubt that the Turk does not believe in our professed determination to defend him by force of arms in the event of a future conflict between Russia and the Sultan in Asia Minor. Notwithstanding our professed sincerity, the Turk has become an unbeliever in the faith of treaties and political engagements ; he believes most thoroughly that

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