File No. 871/44–48.

Minister Moses to the Secretary of State.

No. 16—Greek series.]

Sir: The Turkish Government, on Friday, August 6, sent its formulated demands (copy inclosed) to its minister here, who at once laid them before the Greek minister for foreign affairs.

I inclose herewith copy of the Greek reply.

I have, etc.,

George H. Moses.
[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

Turkish demands upon Greece.

You will see the president of the council and read to him the following communication:

For some time past, and especially since the coming into power of Mr. Rhallys, the Royal Government has been assuring us of its keen desire to keep up the best relations with us. We ascertain, however, that these sentiments are not translated into action.

In observing this deceptive state of affairs we can not help regretting that the Hellenic cabinet does not take into sufficient consideration this fact, to wit, that it depends on them to repair the harm done by the Theotoky ministry, [Page 341] which has left nothing undone to create the most lamentable animosity between the two neighboring countries. Must we recall the intrigues of Hellenic agents in the three villayets with the object of fomenting disturbances there, the clandestine dispatch of officers disguised as civil officials, to the number of 200, according to the admission of Mr. Rhallys; the interference of the royal consuls in the internal affairs of the country, their role of disturbers, their mischievous action upon the Greek element in Turkey, against whom the said agents have done their best to make her own subjects rise? Recently, besides, the Hellenic officers who happen to be in Crete have taken an active part in the affair of the raising of the Greek flag at Canea.

All this has resulted in producing in Turkey a trend of opinion that our wishes and our efforts have been unable to divert. It follows that action alone can repair a mischief caused by acts. Consequently, in taking note of the previous friendly declarations of Mr. Rhallys, we reckon that the opportunity has come for the Hellenic Government to give us the tangible proof of its sentiments toward Turkey. This opportunity is precisely the Cretan matter, which, after the affair of the flag, assumes a character particularly serious and offensive to Turkey.

If Greece, as she protests, cherishes no territorial ambitions in Crete, she must make this known to us in order that to the equivocal situation of the moment there may succeed an era of frank and loyal relations between the Empire and the Kingdom for the greatest good of the two States. Such is. I maintain, our sincere desire. We have up to this time manifested every effort toward its realization. It is now the part of Greece to second us in this common talk.

Confident alike in the sagacity and the sense of Mr. Rhallys, we ask the Hellenic Government; to address to us a written communication by which it shall declare its disapproval of the agitation of the Cretan Christians in favor of the annexation of the island to the Kingdom, and shall add that it cherishes no ambition in this direction.

After having communicated what precedes to the president of the council you will add that in case the Hellenic Government, does not consider itself bound to respond to your request within a reasonable time you will take a long leave of absence.

[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

Reply of Greece to Turkish Demands.

The communication that your excellency has been good enough to make to me on behalf of the Imperial Ottoman Government has occasioned to the Hellenic Government the very greatest surprise. The great powers and the Imperial Government itself have so often declared the frankness and correctness of the Hellenic Government’s attitude that we consider ourselves to have gained the full confidence and sincere friendship of Turkey. Nor can we in truth understand how, against the evidence even, designs hostile or mischievous to the Empire can be attributed to Greece. According to the statement of the Imperial Ottoman Government, Hellenic agents have been fomenting disturbances in the three villayets; Greek officers to the number of 200, according to my own admission, as it is claimed, have been plotting in Macedonia; the royal consuls have been stirring up the Greek element against the imperial authorities.

We must protest in the most formal manner against these assertions. Greece has always been guided by the fixed purpose to maintain the frankest and most friendly relations with Turkey and to draw closer the bonds which can and should unite the two countries. The Imperial Government has assuredly been led into error; the facts themselves bear witness to this. Must we recall the enthusiasm with which the Greek element in Turkey, whose loyalty our agents are now accussed of corrupting, contributed to the success of the Ottoman Constitution? Must we recall the delight with which the whole of Greece hailed the advent of the new regime? No one can overlook the fact that the great result which has been brought about in Turkey tends to strengthen and regenerate the Empire. If Greece cherishes the designs which are attributed to her, would she have acclaimed and assisted to the limit of her power such an outcome? Would she not, on the contrary, rather have sought to take advantage of the trials and the difficulties with which the new regime had to contend? What facts are more convincing, what evidence more tangible could Greece give of her sentiments toward the Empire? Moreover, it is with the liveliest regret that [Page 342] we to-day behold our sentiments and our friendship under suspicion. In fidelity to our policy of harmony, we have done and shall do everything demanded of us in the interest of pacification and of peace. Likewise in the Cretan affair, of which the communication speaks, the Imperial Government for more than a year past has many times had occasion to declare that the conduct of Greece has been frank and loyal, and that Turkey has no reproach for the Hellenic Government. Moreover, Crete being confided to the hands of the protecting powers, the Royal Government can but leave to them the solution and submit to their decision. We repeat, therefore, the assurance that, since we are in no sense concerned in any movement for annexation, Greece will observe in the future the same correct and loyal attitude that has been hers in the past.

We venture to hope that these frank explanations will dissipate every misunderstanding and will assist in bringing about an era of cordial and loyal relations between the Kingdom and the Empire for the greatest good of the two States.