MORE than eight months after the opening of the conference, and more than nine months after the signature of the armistice of Mudania, a peace treaty has at last been signed at Lausanne. The armistice was the more important of the two events as regards the avoidance of war; and, once this step had been achieved, there was never any real danger that a break-down in the diplomatic negotiations would lead to a renewal of hostilities, though for this very reason it was impossible to predict when the negotiations would be brought to an end.

Now that the diplomatists have concluded their labors, have they presented us with a good peace or a bad one? That depends on the meaning of the word "good" in this connection. To the casual reader, no doubt, a peace treaty, like a novel or a play, is satisfactory in so far as it is coherent, consistent and clear; but these qualities generally depend on unity of authorship, while a good peace treaty, unlike most good works of literature, must necessarily be a product of collaboration. Conspicuous clarity in a peace treaty is apt, indeed, to be a danger-signal that one of the two parties has had things too much his own way. The Treaty of Sèvres, for example, which can lay far more claim than its successor to literary virtue, has been a disastrous diplomatic failure because it altogether ignored the point of view of one of the prospective signatories; and when the full text of the Treaty of Lausanne is published it will therefore be short-sighted to depreciate it because it is full of patches and tatters. These aesthetic blemishes testify to long and ultimately successful endeavors to work two designs into one, and the goodness of the workmanship is to be tested not by its sightliness but by its durability. In regard to the latter, it would be rash to prophesy; but at least the Lausanne conference has been the first genuine attempt to find a settlement between vanquished and victors in the European War which shall be intolerable to neither of the two sides.

It is noteworthy that the political and territorial issues between the two latest local belligerents, Greece and Turkey, were settled with less difficulty and delay than the economic and financial issues between Turkey and the western powers, and the final controversy over the currency in which debt-coupons should be paid, and over the validity of concessions, seemed to indicate where the fundamental cause of Near Eastern disturbance lay. But the principal Allied powers, after giving away the interests of Greece and Armenia, followed the path of wisdom to the end by abandoning their own. It was the path of wisdom, because it was evident that none of these interests could be promoted but that all of them would be further damaged by the resumption of war. The right aim, as the negotiators on the Allied side realized thus late in the day, was not to impose this or that condition upon an ex-enemy, but to bring him into a frame of mind in which he would forget the passions of the immediate past and concentrate his energies upon productive (and by implication, cooperative) work for the future. The Treaty of Lausanne will be judged in history by its effect upon the internal development and the mutual relations of the nations between whom it has been made.

As between Greece and Turkey a reconciliation can only be a matter of time, for the advantages of it are becoming clearer and the obstacles to it are falling away. The century-old conflict of territorial ambitions will not be a living issue in the immediate future. Greece's prospect of acquiring anything east of the Maritza or on the mainland of Anatolia has dwindled into the remote distance, if it has not altogether disappeared; while Turkey has ceased to aim at anything in Europe beyond a zone sufficiently deep to cover the straits of Constantinople. The interchange of populations, in regard to which Greece and Turkey succeeded in negotiating a separate convention during the first session at Lausanne, will very much ease the relationship between the two countries, both as a pledge of good faith and as an elimination of occasions for friction; and if the two governments have reached agreement on this particularly sore point, at a time when the bitterness between the peoples has been at its maximum, direct arrangements concerning other matters of common concern are likely to follow as time passes and feelings die down. However long it may take for Greeks and Turks to feel mutual good-will, expediency should teach them quickly to present a solid front to outsiders, when once they have grasped that their dissensions are so many opportunities for the exploitation of both by foreign powers; and though the powers may tend, as in the present case, to keep Turkey and Greece at variance, there are new factors in the post-war world which may enable small countries to dispense with the dangerous patronage of their larger neighbors.

An event of importance in this connection is the decision of the Council of the League of Nations to promote the raising of an international loan in order to replant within the new Greek frontiers the three-quarters of a million of Greek refugees from Eastern Thrace and Anatolia. The chief credit for this is due to Dr. Nansen, but the final impulsion appears to have been given by the American relief organizations who have hitherto shouldered the main burden of keeping the refugees alive, and who are reported to have threatened to withdraw unless some constructive scheme were initiated. As far as material securities are concerned, this loan ought to be a better investment than that which has been floated with such remarkable success for Austria; for while Austria is a country whose former sources of wealth have been shorn away, the Greek refugees are to be settled on territories with great undeveloped potentialities, which their numbers, skill, and industry may be expected to turn to good account if only the capital to set them up is forthcoming. The success of the loan ought to make the fortune of Greek Macedonia; and, by filling the province with a homogeneous population in place of the mixture of Turks, Greeks and Bulgars which has inhabited it hitherto, it ought also to increase the stability of present political frontiers in this quarter. But peace is of course the essential security, without which the material potentialities are nothing, for if these territories again become a war-zone the refugees will perish and philanthropic investors will lose their money. Thus the fundamental and identical interest of all the Near Eastern peoples lies in peace, in aloofness from the intrigues and ambitions of the great powers, and in the moral and economic support of some international organization like the League of Nations, within the framework of which the many small powers, if they can coöperate, will soon learn how to hold their own against the few great powers. Will the small powers of the east seek this ultimate interest in the near future and ensue it? We may possibly approach nearer towards an answer after we have glanced briefly at the present position of Greece and Turkey.

The end of an epoch is nowhere more conspicuous than in Greece. For the past century, or in other words ever since she became an independent state, Greece has been living more outside than inside her frontiers--partly in expectation of the "unredeemed" territories which she hoped eventually to include in her national domain (the supreme goal being Constantinople), and partly on the earnings of her emigrants throughout the world, from the Egyptian Sudan to Russia and from Bengal to Chicago. During the last few years before the European War the remittances from the Greek colony in the United States had reached such a figure that they had notably raised the cost and standard of material living in the mother country, but the moral and intellectual sustenance that Greece used to derive from abroad was no less important than that which could be valued in currency. Her emigrants brought her a knowledge of the world, and inspired the world with sympathy for her by creating personal links of marriage and naturalization which hardly existed between the west and the non-commercial oriental peoples. Her aspiration to the beauties and memories of Constantinople and to the riches of Western Asia Minor filled her with something of the same hope in the future that the opening of the west has inspired in Americans and Canadians. But the world-wide catastrophes of recent years have now deprived Greece, partly directly and partly indirectly, of almost all these external sources of life and strength. Limits to her territorial expansion northward or eastward respectively have been set by two powers stronger than herself--Jugoslavia and Turkey--and she holds already at least as much as she is likely to retain in the directions of Albania and Bulgaria. Constantinople, Smyrna, Adrianople, Monastir, and Koritsa have definitely passed out of her political horizon; hundreds of thousands of her minorities in these neighboring regions have been driven in upon her and will henceforth have to be provided for within her comparatively confined frontiers, and her more distant "Dispersion among the Gentiles" has also been falling into various kinds of adversity. Bolshevism has ruined the Greeks of Odessa and other commercial centres of Russia; local nationalism may ruin those in India and Egypt, if politics take the same course there as in Asia Minor; but possibly the heaviest blow has been the limitation of immigration into the United States, and if this bar is maintained its ultimate effect on Greece (perfectly legitimate though such a policy is from the American point of view) may be more serious, though less melodramatic, than the eviction of the Greeks from Anatolia. If Greece is to survive under these new and sterner conditions she will have to turn her energies inwards and to develop resources in her products, position and population which she has hitherto partially neglected for enterprises further afield.

If the resettlement loan promoted by the League of Nations turns out a success the concentration of the Anatolian and Thracian minorities in Macedonia may prove, from the national point of view, to be a blessing in disguise. But it will not be enough for Greece to colonize Macedonia and develop its agriculture and local trade; for unless she makes the most of its geographical position as the narrow Greek littoral of a vast non-Greek hinterland she will not even be able permanently to retain the province under her sovereignty, let alone develop its wider commercial and industrial possibilities. This geographical factor will be either the greatest danger or the greatest strength to Greece, according as it is handled by her. If she misuses it so as to hamper the access of Jugoslavia and Bulgaria to the open sea, then these two states will ultimately combine to take the coastal strip from her. If, on the other hand, she takes pains to offer facilities to her inland neighbors, their trade will not only make the fortunes of Saloniki, Kavalla, Dedeagach and other ports (in compensation for Smyrna), but it will unlock the door for the entry of Greece into the political combination of the Little Entente--a rapprochement which will rescue her from her present isolation and consequent disadvantageous dependence upon the great powers. In this direction Greece has made a good start, since her military disaster in Asia Minor, by signing a convention with Jugoslavia for the establishment of a Jugoslav Free Zone in the port of Saloniki. It is in the interest of Greece to make this agreement a practical reality and not a mere concession on paper, and also to arrive at a similar understanding with Bulgaria in regard to the outlet on the Aegean which has been promised to the latter country, under the Treaty of Neuilly, by the principal Allies. Unhappily, the attempts made by the Allies at Lausanne to secure a Graeco-Bulgarian understanding on this point have not been successful; and the change of government in Bulgaria may give Greece a fresh reason, or excuse, for showing herself intransigent. Yet Greece cannot afford to leave Bulgaria permanently alienated from her; for though Bulgaria, without an army and with amputated territories, may not be a formidable enemy at the moment, she is capable in the future, as in the past, of turning the balance in southeastern Europe, and there are circumstances in which it might be ruinous to Greece if Bulgaria threw her weight on the Turkish or the Jugoslav side.

There is also the problem of internal politics, in which the judicial murder of the late ministry by the present Revolutionary Government has been the culminating act of violence in a crescendo of party faction. This relapse to the political traditions of a century ago has not been altogether the fault of the Greek nation. They were beginning to steer their ship of state out of the vicious current of spoils and reprisals when Greece was caught in the tempest of the European War, and her parochial feuds were embittered by the vendettas of pro-Ententists and pro-Germans, interventionists and neutralists. Yet wherever the responsibility for the recent condition of Greek politics may lie, it is a matter of life and death for the Greek nation to extricate themselves from it and to make a fresh start. For this the personal factors are not unfavorable. King Constantine is happy in not having long survived his second exile; Mr. Venizelos wisely decided to retire again from politics as soon as he had piloted his country's interests through the conference at Lausanne; and a new party is being formed under the leadership of Colonel Metaxâs (an able soldier who was all along opposed to the Anatolian Expedition), with the abolition of all the old parties as the central plank in its platform. The composition and outlook of this group appear to be not unlike those of the new government which has just seized the reins of power in Bulgaria. But Colonel Metaxâs is an exroyalist, and if he is successful at the impending elections there is perhaps a danger that the blood of the executed ministers may cry out too loudly for vengeance. The nervousness of the present Revolutionary Government at Athens is shown by their postponement of the elections; but all Greeks with any sound political instinct, whatever their party, are under the strongest obligation to their common country to show mutual forbearance, for internal peace is as necessary as external peace for national recovery, and if the feud is not checked at this point it can only end, like its predecessors a century ago, in civil war.

"Peace within present frontiers" is thus the proper motto for Greece during the reconstruction period, but there are still three possible and legitimate avenues for her expansion--namely, the Dodecanese Islands, Cyprus, and the Oecumenical Patriarchate.

Rhodes and the group of neighboring islands were occupied by the Italians during the Turco-Italian War of 1911-12 as a means of inducing Turkey to cede to Italy her dominions in Libya. Under the Turco-Italian Treaty of Lausanne in 1912, by which the cession of Libya was provided for, Italy agreed to hand the islands back to Turkey as soon as the evacuation of Libya by the Turkish forces was completed. But the evacuation never was completed to the satisfaction of the Italian military authorities; the Italian occupation of the islands continued; and after the outbreak of the Balkan War, which was practically simultaneous with the Turco-Italian signature of peace, it turned paradoxically to Turkey's advantage. In that war Greece, owing to her command of the sea, was able to occupy all the other Greek islands (Samos, Chios, Mytilene, Lemnos, and so on) that still remained in Turkish hands, while Rhodes and the Dodecanese were excluded by the fact of the Italian occupation from the sphere of Greek operations.

The Balkan War ended; the European War began; the islands were still in Italy's possession; and when, in 1915, Italy negotiated the Treaty of London with the three principal Allied powers of the time, as the basis for her intervention on their side, the permanent annexation of the islands was one of the conditions upon which she insisted. The other principal Allied powers had therefore no choice but to provide for the annexation of the islands to Italy in the Treaty of Sèvres; but since Greece would not sign the Treaty under these conditions, and since Great Britain and France were then looking to the Greek army to impose their peace terms upon the Turks, a separate convention between Italy and Greece was negotiated under their auspices and signed on the same day as the general treaty of peace and the Tripartite Treaty assigning zones of influence to France and Italy in Anatolia. Under this convention the smaller islands were to be ceded by Italy to Greece forthwith, and Rhodes fifteen years after the cession (if it ever took place) of Cyprus to Greece by Great Britain. But the fall of Mr. Venizelos, which occurred before the convention was carried out, gave Italy an excuse for delay; and the present Italian Government is reported to repudiate the convention on the ground that it was a private arrangement between Italy and Greece; that it was never ratified; and that meanwhile the circumstances in which it was negotiated have been altered to Italy's disadvantage by the disappearance of her prospects of securing any kind of zone on the adjoining Anatolian mainland.

The fact remains, however, that the overwhelming majority of the population in these islands are Greeks who wish for political union with the Greek Kingdom; that there is no Italian population (the minority being Turkish); and that Italy originally occupied them as a temporary measure of war against Turkey. Whatever, therefore, the juridical position may be, the moral right is on the Greek side; but it will be difficult for other powers, and especially for Great Britain, to induce Italy to act in this matter as she should, until the proper moral atmosphere has been created by the cession to Greece of Cyprus--a larger Greek island, at present in British possession, on the fate of which the destiny of Rhodes was expressly made to depend in the suspended convention between Greece and Italy.

In Cyprus four-fifths of the population are Greeks, who have declared in unmistakable fashion that they desire to be united with Greece, while the other fifth are Turks, who naturally prefer the present situation, short of the return of the island to Turkey --an alternative which is neither practical politics nor in accordance with the principle of nationality. This principle, which has rightly militated against the Greek claims on the Asiatic mainland, ought in justice to tell in favor of Greece in the islands, where the proportion of Greeks and Turks in the population is reversed and where the sea provides the best of all physical frontiers. The interests to be conciliated are the security of the non-Greek minority, the political and strategic desiderata of the powers now in possession, and, in the case of Cyprus, the financial complications arising from the tribute formerly paid to Turkey; but none of the obstacles thus created are insuperable.

As regards minorities, it is notorious that in the Near East (if not all the world over) they invariably need protection against the dominant nationality in the state to which they belong, and that charters of rights on paper are of little value unless machinery is provided to ensure their execution. The practical difficulties attending this second essential necessity have undoubtedly to a large extent frustrated the operation of the minority treaties imposed on defeated or aggrandized states since the European War; but in nearly all these cases the sovereignty has passed direct from one local nationality to another (the roles of "top-dog" and "under-dog" being thus exchanged rather than abolished), while impartial outsiders have had little status for intervention. On the other hand, Cyprus, Rhodes and the Dodecanese are perhaps the one case in which the protection of minorities can be made a reality, for the two western powers now in possession can impose whatever conditions they choose (including if necessary the retention of inspectors of their own nationality at the local government's expense, as well as the right of re-entry) as a condition of ceding the islands to the national state to which the majority of their inhabitants desire to belong. Thus the necessary protection of a Turkish population (for which the powers showed little regard four years ago when they assigned the Smyrna zone to Greece) cannot in this case honestly be made a pretext for the maintenance of the status quo to the imperial advantage of Great Britain and Italy.

As far as such imperial interests are concerned, a general self-denying ordinance on the part of outside powers to forego naval bases could be applied to all Greek islands with as much advantage as to the coasts of China; and the islands at present held by outsiders could be neutralized before being made over to Greece, as was done with the strategically important Ionian Islands sixty years ago. There is no insuperable difficulty here; and when one comes to the political question one finds that the British title to Cyprus is hardly sounder (except on the basis of prescription) than that of Italy to the Dodecanese and Rhodes. Cyprus was originally occupied by Great Britain under a convention negotiated secretly with Turkey shortly before the Berlin Conference in 1878. It was stipulated that the occupation was to last as long as Russia held the ex-Turkish districts of Kars, Ardahan and Batum in Trans-Caucasia, and on condition that Great Britain should henceforth defend the integrity of the rest of Turkey-in-Asia, if necessary by force of arms. Every condition under which Great Britain occupied the island in 1878 has ceased to exist since 1918; and though the British administration during the intervening forty years can show an honorable record, it is time for the British nation to follow in Cyprus their own example in the Ionian Islands and the American example in Cuba, and to withdraw after arranging that the rights of the Turkish minority shall be secured.

Such a gesture would not only be in the best British tradition, but sooner or later its moral effect would inevitably bring about a parallel withdrawal from the other islands on the part of Italy. Since 1914, the British Government's hands are freer in one direction than they were before, since they formally annexed Cyprus to the British Empire at the moment when Turkey intervened in the war, and advantage was taken of this freedom in 1915 in order to offer Cyprus to Greece in return for her intervention (an offer which lapsed, because Greece not unwisely maintained her neutrality till a later date). In the meantime, however, Great Britain has pledged herself to France--first in the secret agreement of 1916 and again at the Conference of San Remo--that she will not cede the island to a third party without France's consent. This is the one serious diplomatic difficulty in the situation; but now that Greece, owing to the loss of Smyrna and Eastern Thrace, has ceased to be a potentially formidable Mediterranean power, France could surrender her lien over Cyprus with little misgiving, especially if neutralization were one of the conditions of the transfer to Greece. There remains the financial question, for the surplus revenue of the island which Great Britain originally promised to pay to the Turkish treasury was subsequently earmarked for certain foreign bond holders of the Ottoman Empire; and when this "tribute" lapsed with the British annexation, Great Britain guaranteed these bond holders' dividends. It would be a financial advantage to Great Britain to divest herself of this burden, which has forced her hitherto to make a grant towards the expenses of Cyprus out of the pocket of the British tax-payer. The financial responsibility would have to be taken over by Greece with the island, though the annual contribution might well be scaled down.

Besides these outstanding territorial questions there is the future of the Oecumenical Patriarchate to be decided--a decision by which both Greece and Turkey stand to gain or lose considerably, according to the wisdom or the reverse which they display in their diplomacy. The Patriarchate has reached a crisis in its long history as great as that which it surmounted successfully when the last Byzantine Emperor was superseded at Constantinople by Mohammed the Conqueror. In 1453 the office actually gained by the misfortunes of the Greek nation, for the Conqueror made the Patriarch not merely the ecclesiastical but in many respects the civil head of all his Orthodox subjects, so that the prelate acquired some of the prerogatives of his former Christian sovereign and extended his jurisdiction with the progress of the Ottoman conquests over Orthodox populations that had never been ruled by the successors of Constantine. He became, in fact, an Ottoman official whose material fortunes were bound up with the prosperity of the Ottoman state; and from the moment that the Ottoman frontiers began to shrink the Patriarch's flock began to dwindle. He then suffered doubly on account of his dual capacity. In 1821 the Patriarch of the day was hanged by the Turkish Government as the official responsible for the Greek insurgents, while in 1850-52 the Orthodox Church in the new Kingdom of Greece separated itself administratively from the Patriarchate, because a sovereign state could not afford to have the official of a foreign power as the head of its church. The Orthodox Churches of Rumania and Serbia seceded from the Patriarchate for the same reason. The creation of the independent Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870 was a shrewd stroke of Turkish policy. The loss of almost all the remaining Ottoman dominions in Europe since 1912 has swelled the membership of the autonomous Orthodox Churches of the Balkan States and correspondingly diminished that of the Patriarchate; the huge exodus of Orthodox Christians from Anatolia during the past year has cut it short on the other side; the remnant of Turkish-speaking Christians that remains in the interior has been encouraged by the Turkish Nationalist Government to establish a separate Orthodox Church; and the realm of the Oecumenical Patriarch has in effect become confined to the Greek community in the city of Constantinople.

It is still open to the Patriarch to remain in Stamboul as a parochial bishop, shorn of his ancient civil powers, which are incompatible with the institutions of the new Turkish National State. During the first session at Lausanne the Turks unwillingly agreed to this at the instance of the Allies, and the local Greek community clings to the Patriarchate as its national bulwark. It may be doubted, however, whether the continued presence of their former champion would not in the circumstances expose them to danger rather than shield them from it; for since the Allied fleets sailed up the Dardanelles in 1918 the Patriarchate has acted openly as a Greek national institution hostile to the Turkish cause, and the status quo, which had already been strained to the breaking point, is hardly capable of restoration.

On the other hand, if the Oecumenical Patriarchate were to evacuate Constantinople and to retire, as the reigning Patriarch Meletios has done personally, to some monastery on Mount Athos, Greece would stand to gain without any detriment to Turkey. Mount Athos is within the Greek frontiers, but it is also a common sanctuary of the Orthodox world. There are Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Georgian monastic communities there as well as Greek; so that from this point in Greek territory the Patriarchate might exercise an informal influence over all the Orthodox churches which would be wider than its official jurisdiction even at the zenith of the Ottoman Empire. There is a genuine need for some liaison between these different churches of identical rite but independent administration; but jealousy prevents the grant of primacy to the Patriarch of any particular country, state or nation. By sacrificing his local diocese, however, the Oecumenical Patriarch might attain to this higher position. He might become Oecumenical in fact as well as in pretension for the first time in history. The problem with which the Patriarchate is thus confronted is curiously reminiscent of that which faced the Papacy in 1870 when the Italian Government occupied Rome; and in this case, as in that, the solution of an ecclesiastical question is bound to affect, for good or evil, the relationships between temporal powers.

This article would be incomplete without some survey of the position of Turkey herself. Her brilliant military victory over Greece, and indirectly over Greece's backers, has been followed by equally striking successes at Lausanne, where Ismet Pasha has harvested by diplomacy as much as he had previously reaped by his sword, until he has realized the Turkish National Pact almost in its entirety. Turkey has gained almost all her points at the conference because she has been strong enough to insist on them and would have yielded only to military pressure so hazardous, costly and extensive that none of the Allied powers would for one moment attempt to exert it. This situation has been equally patent to the Turkish and to the Allied plenipotentiaries, and the results of the conference have been predestined by it.

The real struggle of wills is now going to begin when peace has been signed and Turkey has started to put her own house in order. She cannot reconstruct her economic life without borrowing fresh capital and technique from the west; and although she is able to dictate the terms on which western enterprise shall work within her frontiers, she is impotent to compel its entry in the future. In other words, if western enterprise is alarmed and outraged by Turkey's new policy towards foreigners (whether theoretically legitimate or not) beyond a certain degree, it will boycott Turkey and prefer to invest its energies in China, Mexico or any other field where the risks and difficulties are even slightly less great than in the dominions of Angora. And if such a boycott (inspired not by malice but by commonplace self-interest) occurs, Turkey's economic prospects are black. The unfortunate country has been ruined as completely as Greece by the miserable Anatolian war. The provincial towns and villages were systematically destroyed by the Greek army all along the line of its final retreat from Afium Kara Hissar to Smyrna; Smyrna has been devastated by the great fire which broke out during the fighting between Turkish troops and Armenian irregulars in the Armenian quarter; railway bridges have been blown up, rolling stock and locomotives wrecked or deteriorated; and though "self-help" has done wonders in the villages (as the writer saw for himself last April) Turkey cannot rebuilt her towns, still less her railways, without assistance from abroad.

Will Nationalist Turkey pay the price at which alone such assistance will be forthcoming? She has suffered so much during the last century and a half from the abuse of special privileges by foreign interests and residents that she has become a devotee to the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty over every individual domiciled within the national frontiers--a doctrine which has been worked out to extremes in western Europe since the French Revolution and which has been learnt at Paris by Turkish students and exiles there. It is conceivable that she might sacrifice her economic recovery to her political principles and might sink to the economic level of Afghanistan--or rather, to the level at which Afghanistan was content to remain until she began to emerge from her isolation a few years ago. This possibility, however, will seem on the whole improbable to anyone who has recently visited Angora and seen something of what the governing class and the peasantry are thinking; for such observers will have noticed that the desire for comfort and efficiency, which is beginning to make itself felt even in Afghanistan, is stronger and more widely spread in Anatolia. It is not surprising to find this in the leaders, who have been accustomed to live not only in Constantinople but in the great cities of western civilization, and whose appreciation of these delights has been stimulated by four years in the wilderness of an Anatolian country town; but it is significant that the leaven is beginning to penetrate the Turkish peasantry. The conscious longing for peace and prosperity which is noticeable among them today is partly the natural reaction from a dozen years of continuous war and nearly a century of conscription; but it is also due to the influence of western ideas, which is affecting them as it has affected one peasant population after another in southeastern Europe during the last century.

The west has, in fact, inspired the oriental peoples with the two ideals of economic progress and political sovereignty, which (whatever their relationship in their place of origin) are incompatible if pushed to extremes in undeveloped non-western countries which have taken them at second hand. Turkey's present programmes of sovereignty and progress can hardly both be realized to the full, but it is unlikely that either will be pushed to the wall by the other. It is more probable that a compromise will be reached, not on theory but through the hard facts of experience; and that, after a period of economic depression, during which the foreign interests will find the struggle for existence hard (while still greater affliction will be suffered by the majority of the Turkish population) some kind of equilibrium will be restored. Theoretical sovereignty, after all, is a somewhat negative blessing; and though life may seem intolerable until it is attained it is an unsatisfying substitute for material well-being. Thus western enterprise may have to face a bad time in Turkey in the immediate future, but need not despair if it can afford to take long views.

The Turkish desire for economic development is also stimulated by considerations of foreign policy. A remarkable feature in the present state of mind of the Turks is that they are not dazzled by their recent military successes and realize in general (however little they may have begun to apply it in detail) that a momentary victory in war, made possible by a peculiar and transitory phase in the international situation, will not permanently safeguard their national existence unless it is followed up by a sustained effort in every sphere of social life. For the moment, Russia and Germany are prostrate, the western powers too much exhausted for active measures in the east, while Greece, having been at war for almost as many years as Turkey and having had to fight her single-handed on unfavorable ground, has suffered a signal defeat. But Turkey knows that she cannot afford to rest on her laurels while her neighbors recuperate, and the shadow of Russia is beginning to fall heavily upon her once more. The present Turco-Russian alliance could never have come into existence if Russia had not ceased for the moment to be a great military power, and if the amazing diplomacy of the Entente powers had not forced two inveterate enemies into an unnatural union. Even such slight relaxation of the diplomatic tension as has been achieved since the armistice of Mudania has distinctly loosened the Turco-Russian entente; and now that Turkey has virtually recovered her full sovereignty over the straits and Constantinople the geographical conflict of interests between the two countries has been reintroduced in its old form. The alliance has been one of expediency and will fall to pieces as the concrete common interests that produced it disappear, since it has no moral foundations, like those which attract Turkish intellectuals towards French or English culture, however hostile they may be politically towards England and France. It is safe to prophesy that, before long, Turkey will feel the pressure of Russia again, and that this menace will stimulate her to develop her own strength by setting her house in order. During the past century and a half, Turkey has sought to defend herself against Russia less by her own efforts than by throwing herself on the support of one or the other of the western powers. But the fruits of this dangerous policy have proved almost as bitter for her as they have for Greece. She has generally given more than she has got; has been welcomed as a protegee and exploited as a catspaw (her treatment by Germany being her last disillusionment); and, like Greece again, she has come to realize the necessity of cutting herself free from the great powers' policies. But she must borrow economically and socially from the west if she is to become strong enough to assert her political independence of the west, and if she is to take practical steps in this direction by a political rapprochement towards her Middle Eastern neighbors. At present her military prestige stands high among the eastern nations from Egypt to Afghanistan, and if she can also gain the lead in material and intellectual development she may have a great future as prima inter pares of a Western Asiatic Entente, corresponding to the Little Entente in southeastern Europe.

The upshot of this brief survey seems to be that on the morrow of the settlement Greece and Turkey are moving in parallel directions, and that there is some chance that, to their mutual advantage, they may establish better relations than they have had in the past. The fundamental problem on the solution of which their fortunes depend is the elimination of foreign powers and their rivalries from the Near and Middle Eastern arena; but this problem involves a wider circle of countries than was directly concerned in the conference at Lausanne or than can be included in the scope of this article.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now
  • ARNOLD J. TOYNBEE, Professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek in London University, author of "The Western Question in Greece and Turkey" and other works
  • More By Arnold J. Toynbee