Courtesy Reuters

Turkey and Her Allies

I HAVE no doubt that simple people all over the world think of the present crisis in much the same terms, though of course variations are introduced by factors of geographical position and national outlook. Here is a typical conversation which took place between a Turkish boatman and a Turkish intellectual on the Bosporus. It was the day the papers had announced the signing of the Anglo-Turkish Alliance.

The boatman said: "The papers say that the English are our allies now, and I hear the French are too. It sounds like the Crimean War."

"What do you know about the Crimean War?"

"Grandfather fought in it."

"Do you approve of the present alliance?"

"I do."


"Because there may be war, and a great war at that. Naturally we will be in danger. We need allies. Our government was wise."

"Do you forget what those countries did to us after the last Great War?"

"I don't." He was evidently loath to consider two things at a time. He rowed silently for a moment, then stopped. Putting his hands on the oars he spoke with the graveness which characterizes the Anatolian: "You see we have strong enemies. In every great war someone wants to take our country. Those who want our country now are not the English or the French. Those who want Turkey are the enemies of the English and the French now. So they will have to stick to us."

He resumed his rowing, and added in a matter-of-fact tone: "We are always here to defend our Hearth and Home."

The last sentence illustrates the general outlook of the common people if ever and whenever they are faced with a dangerous complication. And it is an important point to remember in judging the psychology of the Turkish man in the street in regard to his country's foreign policy. Turks, like the English, face facts realistically. They let bygones be bygones, especially if bygones hamper their adjustment to life. And bygones

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.