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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 461

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should " British interests " require the sacrifice of honour, England will somehow or other manage to slip through the Ottoman fingers, and escape from her alliance when called upon to meet Russia in the field. Of course the ignorant Turk is wrong, and his suspicions are unfounded. With a mutual want of confidence in the integrity of an alliance, it would hardly be surprising should the Sultan attach more importance to the practical force of Russia than to the moral rectitude and high political principles of England. The power of Russia has been felt, and the position of European Turkey is that of a dislocated and dismembered Empire, which upon the next explosion will reduce the Sultan to the small extremity on the Bosphorus between Constantinople and the lines of Tchataldja. Turkey will cease to be a European Power, and upon the outbreak of the next Russian war she will be discovered as represented by Asia Minor, in which the claws of the Eagle are already fixed in the vital points—Batoum, Kars, and Ardahan. A Russian advance from those positions will, according to the terms of the alliance, compel Great Britain to exhibit herself as the champion of Turkish rights in armed defence of Asia Minor. When we reflect upon the prodigious responsibility of such an alliance with a crippled Power that has been completely subdued, the victorious army of the Czar retired from the gates of the capital, the nation bankrupt beyond all hopes of liquidation, the various states in chronic discontent both in Europe and in Asia, and the claims of Greece threatening to explode the combustible materials, we may well appreciate the back-door that has so frequently afforded a retreat from an untenable position.

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