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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 462

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If it is necessary for England to form a defensive alliance with Turkey as a crippled Power, with Russia actually established in Asia Minor, why should we have waited until Turkey was mortally stricken, when by an earlier alliance we could have at least saved Asia Minor in its integrity ? We have let the lion into the house with a boast that we will turn him out in the event of further roaring, instead of having prevented his entry in the first instance. Under all the circumstances of the risk and responsibility assumed by England in a defensive alliance with Turkey under the title of a Protectorate of Asia Minor, the Cyprus Convention is highly unfavourable in its conditions. The island should have been simply conveyed from Turkey and transferred as a free gift to England, as a position necessary for her occupation under the probable contingencies of the Anglo-Turkish alliance, and it should have at once become a portion of the British Empire. Had this course been pursued a mutual confidence would have been established ; on the other hand, all back-doors would have been sealed, as we should have been bound by all the laws of honour to defend Turkey to the last extremity in Asia Minor. Russia, in Kars, occupies a position which affords an unbounded horizon for political intrigue. The various Turkish Pachas and other district authorities throughout Asia Minor have witnessed the irresistible advance of Russia, while England stood afar off, and only assisted Turkey with her good counsel. The same authorities now see Russia in possession, while England, who has not assisted during the bloody struggle, appears upon the scene as a political Paul Pry, and intrudes upon the mysteries that surround

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