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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 468

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from Russia. It should have been distinctly agreed that Turkey should raise a territorial army of an estimated strength for the protection of Asia Minor, and that a certain number of British officers should hold important commands, to ensure the regular payment of the troops and to maintain the necessary discipline. Had such conditions been defined, and the civil courts been placed under the supervision of British officials, the Protectorate of Asia Minor would have become a practical combination that would have been an effectual check to Russian encroachments ; but as the affair now stands, the alliance is fraught with extreme danger to ourselves. I cannot conceive the possibility of a credulity that would induce experienced statesmen to believe in the assurances given either by Turkey or by Russia. Thje history of the past is sufficient to prove the utter fallacy of assertions, promises, and treaties ; Turkey will persist in maladministration ; Russia, who is now marching upon Merv in spite of former assurances, as she advanced on Khiva, under similar pretexts, will at the moment of her own selection assuredly break through her boundaries in Asia Minor. The position of England will be contemptible. We have thrown down the gauntlet to Russia by an ostentatious alliance with Turkey, but we hesitate to insist upon the overwhelming necessity of British official and military officers to oreranise the civil administration and an army of defence ; thus, when the sudden emergency shall arise, Turkey will be totally unprepared ; the various races that comprise her Asiatic dominions will already have been poisoned by intrigue, and the only defence that can be offered to a Russian advance G G 2

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