Treaty of Berlin, 1878

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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The Treaty of Berlin is a powerful articulation of the issues facing the Ottoman Empire as a territorial superpower, and also as a region in the cross-fires of Russia, Europe, and Persia.

Treat of Berlin, full text

Article 1.
Bulgaria is constituted an automatic and tributary principality, under the suzerainty of his Majesty the Sultan. It shall have a Christian Government and a national militia.

Article 2.
Bulgaria shall be bounded on the south by the chain of the Balkans.

Article 3.
The Prince of Bulgaria shall be freely selected by the population, and confirmed by the Sublime Porte, with the assent of the Powers.

Article 4.
An assembly of the notables of Bulgaria, convoked at Tirnova, shall prepare before the election of the Prince the plan of government of the principality.

Article 5.
The following arrangements shall form the basis of the public law of Bulgaria: Distinction of religious belief or confession shall not operate against any one as a reason of exclusion or incapacity in what concerns the enjoyment of civil and political rights, admission to public employment, functions, or honors, or the exercise of different professions or industries, in whatever locality it may be. The liberty of the public profession of all creeds shall be assured to all the returned population of Bulgaria as well as to strangers, and no trammels will be imposed on the hierarchic organization of the different communions or their relations with their spiritual chiefs.

Article 6.
The provisional organization of Bulgaria shall be directed, till the completion of the plan of government, by an Imperial Russian Commissioner. An Imperial Turkish Commissioner, as well as the consuls delegated ad hoc by the signatory Powers of the present treaty, shall be appointed to assist him, in order to control the action of this provisional administration.

Article 7.
The provisory government can not be prolonged for more than nine months from the date of the signature of the present treaty. When the organic government has been fully settled, the election of the Prince of Bulgaria will immediately follow. As soon as the Prince is installed the new organization will be put in force in the principality, and he will enter into full possession of his autonomy.

Article 8.
The treaties of commerce and navigation, as well as the conventions and arrangements concluded between foreign Powers and the Porte, and which are now in force, are maintained in the principality of Bulgaria, and no change can be made in them with any foreign Power until she has given her consent to it. No duty for transit shall be levied in Bulgaria for the merchandise passing through the principality. The people and the commerce of all the Powers shall be placed there upon a footing of perfect equality.

Article 9.
The amount of the annual tribute to be paid by the principality of Bulgaria to the suzerain court will be based upon the average revenue of the territory of the principality. Bulgaria will have to bear a part of the public debt of the empire.

Article 10.
Bulgaria is substituted for the Imperial Ottoman Government in its duties and obligations toward the Rustchuk-Varna Railway Company from the day of signature of the present treaty. The principality of Bulgaria is in the same way substituted on her part for the engagements which the Sublime Porte has contracted toward Austro-Hungary as well as toward the company for the working of the railways of Turkey in Europe, on account of the completion and union and the working of the lines placed upon her territory.

Article 11.
The Ottoman army shall no longer remain in Bulgaria. All the former fortresses will be destroyed, at the expense of the principality, within the space of one year, or sooner if it can be done. The local Government shall take immediate steps for their destruction, and shall not erect new ones.

Article 12.
The Mussulman proprietors who have removed from the principality can retain their real property in it by farming it or allowing it to be administered by third parties. A Turkish-Bulgarian Commission will be engaged for two years with the regulation of all the matters relative to the manner of the transfer, working, and use, on account of the Sublime Porte, of the state properties and of the religious foundations, and the questions concerning private individuals who may be interested. The emigrants of the principality who are traveling or are living in other parts of the Ottoman Empire shall be under the authority and laws of the Turks.

Article 13.
There is formed to the south of the Balkans a province which will take the name of Eastern Roumelia, and which shall remain under the direct military and political authority of his Imperial Majesty the Sultan, subject to conditions of administrative autonomy. It shall have a Christian Governor-General.

Article 14.
Eastern Roumelia is bounded o the north and northwest by Bulgaria, and on the east by the Black Sea.

Article 15.
His Majesty the Sultan will have the right to provide for the defense of the inland and maritime frontiers of the province by raising fortifications on these frontiers, and by keeping troops there. Internal order shall be maintained in Eastern Roumelia by a native gendarmerie, assisted by a local militia.

Article 16.
The Governor-General shall have the right to call for Turkish troops if the internal or external security of the province is menaced. In that even the Sublime Porte shall be bound to intimate its decision and state the necessities which justify it to the representatives of the Powers at Constantinople.

Article 17.
The Governor-General of Eastern Roumelia shall be appointed by the Sublime Porte with the assent of the Powers, for a term of five years.

Article 18.
Immediately after the signature of the present treaty a European Commission shall be formed for the purpose of settling with the Ottoman Porte the organization of Eastern Roumelia.

Article 19.
The European Commission shall be charged, together with the Sublime Porte, with the administration of the finances of the province till the completion of the new organization.

Article 20.
The treaties, conventions, and international arrangements, of whatever nature they may be, concluded or to be concluded between the Porte and other Powers shall be applicable to Eastern Roumelia as to all the Ottoman Empire. The Sublime Porte engages to cause to be observed there the general laws of the empire as to religious liberty in favor of all creeds.

Article 21.
The rights and obligations of the Sublime Porte as regards railways in Eastern Roumelia shall be integrally maintained.

Article 22.
The Russian army of occupation in Bulgaria and in Eastern Roumelia shall be composed of six divisions of infantry and two of cavalry, and shall not exceed 50,000 men. It shall be maintained at the expense of the occupied country. The duration of the occupation of Eastern Roumalia and Bulgaria by the Imperial Russian troops is fixed at nine months from the date of signature of the present treaty. The Russian Government engages to carry out within a further period of three months the passage of its troops through Roumania and the complete evacuation of that principality.

Article 23.
The Sublime Porte engages to scrupulously ally in the island of Crete the plan of government of 1868, by introducing there the modifications which shall be adjudged equitable. Analogous regulations, adapted to the local requirements, shall be fairly introduced into other parts of Turkey in Europe for which a special organization has not been provided by the present treaty. The Sublime Porte shall engage special commissioners, in which the naive element shall be largely represented, to elaborate he details of these new plans in each province. The plans of government resulting from their labors shall be submitted to the examination of the Sublime Porte, who, before promulgating the acts destined to be put in force, shall take the advice of the European Commission appointed for Eastern Roumelia.

Article 24.
In the case that the agreement relative to a rectification of the frontier provided by Protocol XIII, between the Sublime Porte and the kingdom of Greece, should not be realized, the Powers declare themselves ready to offer their good services to the two Powers, Ottoman and Greek.

Article 25.
The provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be occupied and administered by Austro-Hungary. The Government of Austro-Hungary not desiring to charge itself with the administration of the Sanjak of Novi-Bazar, which extends between Servia and Montenegro in a southeasterly direction to beyond Mitrovitza, the Turkish administration shall continue in force in that district.

Article 26.
The independence of Montenegro is recognized by the Sublime Porte and by all of the high contracting parties who had not yet admitted it.

Article 27.
The high contracting parties agree to the conditions as in Article 5.

Article 28.
The new territory of Montenegro does not include as much as that given by the treaty of San Stefano.

Article 29.
Antivari and its seaboard are annexed to Montenegro.

Article 30.
Mussulmans or others possessing property in the territory annexed to Montenegro, and who would rather take up their residence beyond the principality, may retain their lands, either by letting them or allowing them to be managed by third parties.

Article 31.
The principality of Montenegro shall come to a direct understanding with the Ottoman Porte with regard to the establishment of Montenegrin agents in Constantinople and at certain places in the Ottoman Empire where they shall be decided to be necessary. Montenegrins traveling or residing in Turkey shall be subject to its laws and authorities.

Article 32.
The Montenegrin troops, within a period of twenty days, or earlier if possible, from the date of signature of the present instrument, will have to evacuate the territory now held by them beyond the new limits of the principality.

Article 33.
Montenegro will have to bear her share of the Turkish public debt proportionate to the new territory accorded her by the treaty of peace, and the representatives of the Powers at Constantinople will determine the amount thereof, in concert with the Sublime Porte, on an equitable basis.

Article 34.
The high contracting parties recognize the independence of the principality of Servia, attaching to it the conditions set forth in the following article.

Article 35.
In Servia the distinction of religious beliefs and confessions to be as in Article 5.

Article 36.
The new boundary of Servia includes Vranya.

Article 37.
Till the conclusion of the new arrangements nothing shall be changed in Servia in the present state of the commercial relations of the principality with foreign countries. No transit duty shall be levied on merchandise passing through Servia.

Article 38.
The principality of Servia is substituted for its share in the engagements which the Sublime Porte has contracted, both toward Austro-Hungary and toward the Railway Company of European Turkey, as regards the completion and connection as well as the working of the railways to be constructed on the territory newly acquired by the principality.

Article 39.
The Mussulmans who possess property in the territories annexed to Servia, and who may wish to fix their residence outside the principality, shall be at liberty to retain their immovable property by leasing it or intrusting it to the administration of third parties.

Article 40.
Till the conclusion of a treaty between Turkey and Servia, the Servian subjects traveling or residing in the Turkish Empire shall be treated in accordance with the general principles of international law.

Article 41.
The Servian troops shall be allowed fifteen days from the signature of the present treaty to evacuate the territory not comprised in the new limits of the principality.

Article 42.
The tribute of Servia shall be capitalized, and the representatives of the Powers at Constantinople shall fix the rate of this capitalization with the agreement of the Sublime Porte. Servia shall pay a part of the Ottoman public debt as a return for the new territories which have been given her by the present treaty.

Article 43.
The high contracting parties recognize the independence of Roumania in binding her to the conditions explained in the following article.

Article 44.
In Roumania, the distinction of religious beliefs to be as in Article 5.

Article 45.
The principality of Roumania gives back to his Majesty the Emperor of Russia that portion of the territory of Bessarabia taken from Russia under the treaty of Paris of 1856.

Article 46.
The islands forming the delta of the Danube, as well as the island of Serpents, and the Sanjak of Tultoha, comprising the Cazas districts of Kilia Sulina, Mahmoudie, Isatcha, Tultcha, Machin, Badadah, Hirsovo, Kustendje, Medjidie, are united with Roumania. The principality receives, in addition, the territory situate[d] to the south of the Dobrudja, as far as a line having its starting-point to the coast of Silistria, and joining the Black Sea to the south of Mangolia.

Article 47.
The question of the division of the waters and fisheries shall be submitted to the arbitration of the European Commission of the Danube.

Article 48.
No transit duty shall be levied in Roumania for goods passing through the principality.

Article 49.
Conventions may be made by Roumania for the regulation of the privileges and powers of consuls in matters of protection in the principality. The acquired rights shall remain in force so far as they shall not have been modified by a common agreement between the principality and the interested parties.

Article 50.
Until the conclusion of a treaty regulating the privileges and powers of consuls between Turkey and Roumania, the Roumanian subjects traveling or residing in the Ottoman Empire, and the Ottoman subjects traveling or residing in Roumania, shall enjoy the rights granted to the subjects of the other European Powers.

Article 51.
In all that relates to the working of the public works and matters of a like nature, Roumania will be substitutes with respect to the rights and obligations of the Sublime Porte in regard to the ceded territory.

Article 52.
In order to strengthen he guarantees necessary to insure the liberty of navigation of the Danube, which is recognized to be of European interest, the high contracting Powers decide that all the fortresses and fortifications which are to be found in the course of the river from the Iron Gates to its mouths shall be razed, and that they shall not be reconstructed. No ship of war shall be permitted to navigate the Danube downward from the Iron Gates, except light vessels in the service of the river police and of the custom-house officers. The guardships of the Powers at the mouths of the Danube shall, however, be permitted to ascend the river as far as Galatz.

Article 53.
The European Commission of the Danube, at which Roumania and Servia are represented, is maintained in its functions, and will exercise them henceforth as far as Galatz with complete independence of the territorial authority. All the treaties, arrangements, acts, and decisions relative to its rights, privileges, prerogatives, and obligations are confirmed.

Article 54.
One year before the expiration of the term assigned for the duration of the European Commission, the Powers shall agree on the prolongation of their authority, or as to the modifications which they shall consider necessary to be introduced.

Article 55.
The regulations of the navigation of the river police, and of the surveillance between the Iron Gates and Galatz, shall be framed by the European Commission, assisted by delegates from the riparian states, and made in harmony with those which have been, or shall be, decreed for the course of the river below Galatz.

Article 56.
The European Commission of the Danube shall come to an arrangement with the proper part as for maintaining the lighthouse on the Isle of Serpents.

Article 57.
The execution of the works for the removal of the obstacles which the Iron Gates and the Cataracts cause to the navigation is interested to Austro-Hungary. The states on the banks of this side of the river shall afford every facility which may be necessary.

Article 58.
The Porte cedes to the Russian Empire in Asia the territories of Ardahan, Kars, and Batoum, and with the last-named port also the territories comprised between the former Russo-Turkish frontier and the following boundary, namely: a line from Makrialos on the Black Sea to Gadapia, thence following the stream to Artvin; from Artvin, through Khorda, whence, making a slight curve, it runs on the west side of Olti, passing thence to Nariman, Bardus, Ardost, and south of Kagisman, to the former Russian frontier.

Article 59.
His Majesty the Emperor of Russia declares it to be his intention to make Batoum a free and essentially commercial port.

Article 60.
The valley of Alashgerd and the town of Bayazid, ceded to Russia by Article 19 of the treaty of San Stefano, are given back to Turkey. The Sublime Porte cedes to Persia the town and district of Kootoor; and it is provided that the boundaries shall be fixed by an Anglo-Russian Commission.

Article 61.
The Sublime Porte engages to realize without delay those ameliorations and reforms which local needs require in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians, and guarantees their security against the Circassians and the Kurds. It undertakes to make known, from time to time, the measures taken with this object to the Powers, who will watch over their application.

Article 62.
The Sublime Porte having expressed its willingness to maintain the principle of religious liberty, and to give it the widest sphere, the contracting parties take cognizance of this spontaneous declaration. In every part of the Ottoman Empire difference of religion should not be held as a motive of exclusion or unfitness in anything that relates to the use of civil and political rights, admission to public offices, duties, and honors, and the exercise of all professions and industries in whatever locality it may be. All should be admitted, without distinction of religion, to give evidence before the tribunals, the exercise and external practice of all religions should be entirely free, and no impediment should be offered either to the hierarchical organization of the different communions or to their spiritual chiefs; ecclesiastics, pilgrims, and monks of all nationalities traveling in European and Asiatic Turkey shall enjoy the same rights, advantages, and privileges. The right of official protection is accorded to the diplomatic and consular agents of the Powers in Turkey, no less with regard to the persons above mentioned, with their religious and charitable establishments, than to others in the Holy Places and elsewhere. The rights conceded to France are expressly reserved, it being well understood that the status quo with respect to the Holy Places shall not be seriously affected in any way. The monks of Mount Athos, whatever their nationality, shall be maintained in possession of their possessions and previous advantages, and shall enjoy without exception full equality of rights and prerogatives.

Article 63.
The treaty of Paris of March 30, 1856, as well as the treaty of London of March 13, 1871, are maintained in all those dispositions which are not abrogated or modified by the preceding stipulations.

Article 64.
The present treaty shall be ratified, and the ratifications exchanged, within a period of three weeks, or sooner if possible. In witness thereof the plenipotentiaries affix their signatures.

Done at Berlin on the 13th day of the month of July, 1878.

(Signed)

Von Bismarck
VonBulow
Hohenlohk
Andra'sy
Karolyi
Haymerle
Waddington
St. Vallins
Despres
Beaconsfield
Salisbury
Odo-Russell
Launay
Gortchakoff
Shouvaloff
D'Ouriel
Caratheodori
Mehemit Ali
Sadoullah
Corti

Certified as conformable to the original.

(Signed)

Radowitz
Mouy

Studies

Appletons' Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Event, 1886

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 1878 Sep 05

Book written by the UK Government in 1917 on the treaty: wdl.org


Student Reader  |  VHRYCYZRZW
1880 July 14th

The below article summarizes issues at stake some years later and the lawless (or intentional?) attitude of aggression towards Armenians from Kurdish groups and Ottoman government,

(By Telegraph.)

TURKEY AND GREECE.

VIENNA, JULY 13.

The following is the text of the Collective Note presented by the Powers who were represented at the Conference of Berlin to Turkey and Greece: –

The undersigned Ambassadors or Ministers accredited to the Courts of His Majesty the Sultan of Turkey and of his Majesty the King of the Hellenes have the honour, in accordance with the wishes of their respective Governments, to submit to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Sublime Porte and of Greece the following Note. – The Congress of Berlin having indicated in its 13th Protocol the principal points of the frontier line which it deemed necessary to establish between Turkey and Greece, the Powers have, in the first place, called attention to the direct negotiations on the subject between the two States. At the two sittings of the Conferences at Preves and Constantinople, the Turkish and Greek Commissioners, after several long pourparlers had taken place, only succeeded in making more apparent the differences between them. In view of these unfruitful attempts at a solution of the question, the Powers named by the Treaty of Berlin have considered it necessary to interpose their mediation. This mediation, in order to be effectual, it was necessary to exercise in all its fulness, and the Cabinets, in view of the reciprocal dispositions of the two interested States, have authorized their representatives assembled in conference in Berlin to fix, according to the general indications of the 13th Protocol, a line which would form a good and solid boundary between Turkey and Greece. The Plenipotentiaries, after a most searching discussion, in which they were aided by the advice of the Technical Commissioners appointed by the various Governments, have unanimously voted, according to the terms their mandate, the following tracing of the frontier line, which resumes and closes their deliberations: As the pourparlers between Turkey and Greece did not lead to any result, the understood Plenipotentiaries of the Powers appointed by the provisions of the Act of July 13, 1879, to exercise a mediation between the two countries, have assembled in Berlin, in conformity with the instructions of their Governments, and after a long and earnest deliberation, inspired by the spirit of the 13th Protocol of the Treaty of Berlin, have adopted unanimously the following line of demarcation: – The frontier line will follow the valley of the Kalamas from the mouth of that river, in the Ionian Sea, to its source in the neighbourhood of Kalbaki. It will proceed to the north of the Vonitza, the Haliaemon, and the Mavroneri and their tributaries, and to the south of the Kalamas, the Larta, the Asproportamos, and the Salamyrias and their tributaries, over the Olympus, the crest of which it will follow as far as its eastern extremity on the Ægean Sea. This line leaves to the south the Lake of Janina and all its affluents, and also Metzovo, which thus remains in the possession of Greece. The Governments of Germany, Austria, Hungary, France, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia therefore invite the Governments of the Sultan and of the King of the Hellenes to accept the frontier line as indicated in the above document. The mediating Powers thus assembled in conference have acted in strict conformity to the terms of the Treaty of Berlin and of the 13th Protocol of the Conference.

Here follow the signatures.

CONSTANTINOPLE, JULY 9

The Porte has evidently no intention of accepting the decisions of the Berlin Conference, and is taking steps to resist them, if necessary, by force. Within a week six large transports, containing troops, ammunition, and six batteries of artillery, have been despatched to Salonies, Volo, and Prevesa, and in Thessaly 8,000 men, whose term of service had expired and who were about to return home, have been ordered to remain for the present where they are. At the same time, measures are being taken to improve the defences of the Dardanelles. The Prussian, Blum Pasha, one of the most able artillery officers in the Turkish service, has been sent to Gallipoli to repair the redoubts, and preparations are being made to close, if necessary, the passage of the Straits by means of torpedoes. As it is expected that if the Greek and Montenegrin questions lead to serious complications the Bulgarians will probably not remain quiet, a considerable number of troops are being sent up to Adrianople. It is, of course, quiet possible that all these military preparations are intended merely to produce a moral effect, and that the Porte, finding the Powers united, will submit to their decisions under protest; but even if we accept this view we have still grave reason to fear that the Greek and Montenegrin frontier difficulties will not be solved without bloodshed, for the Albanians are certainly being encouraged to resist. Whether the proclamation which has been published urging them to combine and await the orders of the Sultan was really written by Abeddin Pasha or not is a question of secondary importance, for it is certain that the document represents the policy of certain influential personages in the Palace and at the Porte, and we may safely assume that these personages have for the moment the ear of the Sultan, for the men who have just been appointed governors of Volo, Larissa, and Tricala, three out of the five principal towns in the territory claimed by Greece, are all Albanians. If the Government intended to suppress the popular movement, it certainly would not choose Albanians to fill posts of the kind. In all probability the policy of the Government is not yet determined, and the final decision will be postponed as long as possible. It will depend to some extent on the form in which the results of the Berlin Conference are communicated to the Imperial Government. The belief here is that they will be presented merely as a recommendation, without menace or anything in the form of an ultimatum, and it is expected that this method of procedure will enable the Porte to open negotiations which may be prolonged till late in the autumn. In this way, it is hoped, a few months at least will be mined, during which the passage in the chapter of accidents may perhaps help the Government out of its difficulties. Meanwhile, the Albanians of Constantinople continue to be much excited, and many of them, are preparing to leave for their homes. Some of the Constantinople Greeks are also desirous of taking part in the expected struggle. The chief difficulty be in the want of funds, and the means employed to remove this obstacle have occasionally a certain ting of originality. A few days ago, for example, a rich Greek merchant, protected by the Persian Embassy, received [a] letter to the following effect:–

"We are 40 Palikars, and we start next Friday for the Greek frontier, where we will shed our blood for the prosperity of the country, in defence of our fellow-countrymen and our co-religionists. It is for that purpose that we come to ask you for our travelling expenses, and we do not fix theism, for you know very well howmuchig required to transport 40 persons to the frontier. Next Friday we shall be at the door of the Church of St. Nicholas, in Galata, and you may send your money by your gardener, Costi. If it is not sent, we shall be obliged to massacre you and your family. We fear neither the police nor the Persian Embassy which protects you. We are Palikars. Do not imagine that we deceive you. We wish you happiness, and if we live you will be rewarded. Even if we die, your name will not be forgotten."

As the merchant has not much sympathy with the patriotism of these brave Palikars, he has declined to assist them, and at the request of the Persian Embassy a small armed force has been sent to protect his house. This incident would seem to show that the Greeks have not yet organized any means for bringing home those of their countrymen who are residing abroad and who wish to enroll themselves in the army which is at present being raised.

ASIA MINOR

CONSTANTINOPLE, JULY 11.

In the Note communicated to the Powers concerning the reforms in Asia Minor, it is said that the Imperial Government, notwithstanding the difficulties resulting from the war, has always kept in view the 61st article of the Treaty of Berlin, and has taken measures to execute it. With this object, it has, firstly, sent competent officials into Kurdistan and the other vilayets to devie means of protection the Armenians and other loyal subjects; secondly, it has separated the civil tribunals from the executive power, in accordance with the custom prevailing throughout Europe, and has sought to reorganize them on a proper basis; thirdly, it has made the necessary experiments for introducing a new method of collecting tithes and other taxes; and, fourthly, it has begun to create an efficient gendarmerie and police in some localities, and has invited certain native and foreign specialists to present projects of law for these two institutions. Having thus stated briefly what has been already done, the Note goes on to describe the future reforms which the Government intends to undertake. The first is a reorganization of the territorial administration. The cazas or districts will be divided into nahiés or communes, each containing several villages. The communal council, composed of from four to six members, will be elected by the inhabitants, and one of the members will be appointed administrator of the commune and invested with certain executive functions by the Governor-General. The administrator will belong to the religion professed by the majority of the electors, and his assistants will be persons professing the religion of the minority. Each administrator will have under his orders a number of gendarmes, which may be increased according to the wants of the locality, and he may, when necessary, demand assistance from the neighbouring communes. Besides this, there will be a provincial gendarmerie corps, drawn from all classes of the inhabitants, and placed under the direct orders of the Governor-General. Great results are expected from this new organization. It will, the Government thinks, not only insure public tranquility, but also tend to increase the number of public schools, contribute to the progress of agriculture and the improvement of the means of communication, and, in short, place public and individual security on a solid basis. An experiment of the kind has already been made, it is said, in the district of Salonica, and in a short time most satisfactory results have been obtained. As a second means of securing public tranquility, it is proposed to establish courts of assize for criminal cases. The difficulty at present experienced in inducing witnesses to come from a distance to the permanent courts in the Sandjak towns will thereby be removed. A third means for improving the condition of the people is the encouragement of 'public instruction and works of public utility, which constitute the chief sources of national well-being. To these objects one-tenth of the surplus fo the provincial revenue will be devoted, after deducting the customs due, the salt and tobacco tax, the revenue from ecclesiastical property, and the expenses of the local administration. Besides all this, a complete vilayet law, based on experience and carful investigation, is being prepared, and will soon be applied to all the Asiatic provinces. By this law, the authority of the Governor-General will be extended and guaranteed. After thus relating what has been effected and what has still to be done towards improving the condition of Asia Minor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs considers it necessary to point out and remove two current misconceptions. The first of these is that there is a great amount of disorder and crime in the provinces in question. This erroneous idea proceeds, it would seem, from some esprits passionnés, who have taken upon themselves the mission of inventing imaginary crimes and representing them as real to the eyes of Europe in general and the foreign consuls in particular. The second misconception, which, according to Abeddin Pasha, requires to be corrected, s the numbers of the Armenians. From official statistics, it appears that the provinces which are commonly regarded as Armenian – Van, Diarbekir, Bitlis, Erzeroum, and Sivas – the Mussulmans constitute 79 per cent. of the population, and the Armenians only 17 per cent. The remaining 4 per cent. belong to other religious communities. In conclusion, the Note gives the assurance that the Porte will, in accordance with the 61st article of the Treaty of Berlin, communicate in due course to the signatory Powers the measures taken for the introduction of reforms in Kurdistan and the other provinces of Anatolia in which there is an Armenian population. The practical results of this scheme of reforms will depend, of course, on the way in which it is executed, and there is grave reason to fear that the execution will leave much to be desired. None of the measures quoted at the commencement of the Note as having been carried out have had any practical results, except, perhaps, the separation of the judicial and administrative authorities, which has had the effect of diminishing the influence of the foreign consuls by providing governors with a non possumus in all cases where complaints are made about the injustice of the tribunals. It was for this purpose that the so-called reform was made by the late Prime Minister, Said Pasha, and the object, it must be confessed, has been attained. The various missions, including that of Baker Pasha, received neither executive authority nor the moral support of the central Government, and consequently their activity was confined to making reports and recommendations which were regularly pigeon-holed. The new Cabinet is supposed to be animated with peter intentions, but in dealing with Asia Minor it makes a false start by seeking to conceal the existing abuses and trying to deceive Europe with regard to the numerical force of the various sections of the population. Instead of boldly recognizing the existing evils and endeavouring conscientiously and energetically to remove them, it gets the Governors-General to send official dispatches, in which the alleged disorders are denied and the state of the country declared to be satisfactory; and it asserts, in a Note to the representatives of the Powers, that the crimes reported by the foreign consuls are the malevolent inventions of espirits passionnés. At the same time the Minister of Foreign Affairs does not hesitate to declare that throughout the provinces commonly known as Armenia the Mussulmans represent 79 per cent. of the population. it is perhaps excusable that an Ottoman functionary should, like certain Armenian patriots, indulge in a little statistical exaggeration with regard to the relative numbers of Mussulmans and Christians in Asia Minor; but Abeddin Pasha, who has received a classical education, shall recall the old Latin adage which he must often have heard, "est modus in rebus."

The Times (London), 1880 Jul 14