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Quelle: DE/PA-AA/R 14078
Zentraljournal: 1913-A-09783
Erste Internetveröffentlichung: 2017 November
Edition: Armenische Reformen
Telegramm-Abgang: 05/08/1913
Praesentatsdatum: 05/12/1913 a.m.
Zustand: A
Letzte Änderung: 11/19/2017

Der Botschafter in London (Lichnowsky) an den Reichskanzler (Bethmann Hollweg)


London, den 8. Mai 1913

Nr. 294

1 Anlage

Der liberale "Manchester Guardian" fordert in seinem heutigen Leitartikel, daß die bevorstehenden Umwälzungen in der Türkei auch auf Armenien erstreckt würden. Würde der Artikel 23 des Berliner Vertrages, so meint das Blatt, ausgeführt worden sein, so würde es keinen Krieg in der europäischen Türkei gegeben haben; würde Artikel 61 in derselben Weise vernachlässigt, so bedeuteten die Wirren in der europäischen Türkei nur den Anfang schlimmerer Ereignisse in Asien. Es sei eine Pflicht der Mächte, den Armeniern zu helfen, solle ihr Eingreifen nicht nur ein Pfuschwerk von kurzer Lebensdauer schaffen.

England habe bekanntlich einen Vertrag mit der Türkei, der es verpflichte, dieselbe gegen russische Angriffe zu verteidigen, ihm Cypern abtrete und ihm die Ehrenpflicht auferlege, für die Sicherheit des Lebens und des Eigentums in Armenien Sorge zu tragen. England müsse deshalb entschlossen handeln, um der peinlichen Lage vorzubeugen, in die es beim nächsten Auftauchen der armenischen Frage durch das dann unzweifelhaft bevorstehende Eingreifen Rußlands versetzt werden würde. Die Umstände seien gerade jetzt besonders günstig. Englands Stellung im Konzert der Mächte sei stärker als je zuvor. Deutschland würde angesichts seiner wirtschaftlichen Interessen in Kleinasien voraussichtlich jedes Bestreben Englands, den Artikel 61 des Berliner Vertrages zur Durchführung zu bringen, unterstützen. Englands Eifersucht gegenüber Rußland endlich sei beseitigt.

Das große zu erstrebende Ziel sei, an die Stelle des englisch-türkischen Vertrages die Garantie des ganzen europäischen Konzerts zu setzen.

Der Artikel ist in Abchrift gehorsamst beigefügt.


"Manchester Guardian" (10. 5. 1913)

Armenia and the Settlement.

The exact procedure that will be followed in the settlement of Turkey is not very clear, but the Powers will give and be asked for their advice at every turn. Both the Allies and Turkey will appear to them from time to time, and both parties will stand to gain by their approval; Turkey, perhaps, more than the others. It is a prime error to suppose that the revision of the Berlin Act which will follow the Peace Conferences will be confined to the clauses relating to European Turkey. The whole Act should come under review, including the famous Article 61 on Armenia. The article is short enough to quote. "The Sublime Porte," it runs, "undertakes to carry out without further delay the improvements and reforms demanded by local requirements in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians and to guarantee their security against the Circassians and Kurds. It will periodically make known the steps taken to this effect by the Powers, who will superintend their application." One is reminded, in reading this article, of the somewhat similar Article 23, of which we heard so much before the war began, promising reforms in European Turkey. Had Article 23 been carried out, there would have been no war in European Turkey. If Article 61 suffers the same neglect, the troubles in European Turkey are only the beginning of worse in Asia. For the Powers to settle the trouble in Europe and leave Asiatic Turkey alone would be to botch a work of reconstruction for which everyone desires some reasonable prospect of stability. There are reasons of humanity, too, why Armenia cannot be left out of the settlement. Mr. Marmaduke Pickthall, in a letter that we print to-day, tells us that there were 100000 Turkish fugitives from Macedonia encamped at Broussa, Smyrma, and elsewhere. The stories of massacre and outrage by the Allies, whether true or false, are implicitly believed by the Turks. How is it possible for Europe to leave the Armenians unprotected against the Turk's desire for revenge and his new motives for dispossessing them of their lands? So far as the Armenians are concerned the war so far has brought them more danger than advantage, for its principal result has been to diminish the number of Christians under the rule of the Sultan. The Armenians will have fewer sympathisers and fewer natural allies than ever. It is for the Powers to come to their rescue.

This is not the time for discussing the nature of the reforms that are necessary in Armenia. That will come later, when it is known that Europe is determined to deal with the question. For the present it is more useful to deal with one important objection that has been raised to including Armenia in the settlement. This Article 61 of the Berlin Act has from the first been a dead letter. But there is in existence an English Treaty with Turkey by which Turkey promises England to introduce necessary reforms, to be agreed upon later, for the protection of the Christians in Armenia. In a dispatch of May, 1878, Lord Salisbury discussed the danger to Turkey of the Russian annexations of Batoum and Kars and the need of our helping Turkey to recover her strength. The only provision, he wrote, which could furnish a substantial security for the stability of Ottoman rule in Turkey was an undertaking to protect her by force of arms against further Russian encroachments. But we were not prepared to give this guarantee except on two conditions. We were not prepared to sanction misgovernment and oppression, and therefore we must have a real prospect of reform in Asiatic Turkey. Secondly, in order to enable us to carry out our promise to protect Turkey, we must be given a position near the coast of Asia Minor, and (continued Lord Salisbury) the island of Cyprus appears to be the best adapted. One and the same treaty placed us under an obligation to defend Turkey by force of arms against Russian aggression, gave us Cyprus, and imposed upon us an honourable obligation to secure decent security for life and property in Armenia. There are those who think that this Anglo-Turkish Convention is a hornet's nest into which we must not put our hands. We cannot follow the argument. When next the Armenian question becomes serious - as it will do very soon if nothing is done - Russia will almost certainly intervene. What, then, will be our position under the Convention when we are called upon by Turkey to fulfil our promise to protect her? We should be forced to choose between two dishonourable courses - repudiation of our promise to Turkey and repudiation of our duty to humanity. There is no escape from this danger except by prompt action now, and interest and duty alike should drive England to take the first step on behalf of the Armenians.

The circumstances are exceptionally favourable to success, if a really determined effort is made. England's position in the Concert is probably stronger than it has ever been. Germany has economic interests in Asia Minor which make its orderly government a question of very direct concern to her, and there is some reason to think that she would support us in any attempt to bring Article 61 of the Berlin Treaty to life. The German Chancellor will no longer object, as Bismarck did in 1881, that there would be "serious inconvenience" in raising the Armenian question. The inconvenience to Germany now would be in leaving it alone. Again, the English jealousy of Russia, which was so strong in 1878, has now almost disappeared, and our policy now requires that we should, by doing our duty in Armenia, put ourselves beyond the danger of its revival. The great object to be aimed at is to substitute for the Anglo-Turkish Convention the guarantee of the whole Concert. Provided the necessary reforms are carried out, all the Powers might properly undertake to guarantee Asiatic Turkey against further aggression. To secure such a guarantee, Turkey would be wise to accept almost any conditions that the Powers chose to make. Autonomy is probably not the best solution of Armenia's troubles, nor does she want an elaborate scheme of political reforms. She would be satisfied for the present to secure reasonable protection for life and property. Now that the Albanian difficulty has been settled and the Concert is still firmly united, this duty to Armenia is, we think, the one with most claims on the attention of the Powers. To settle Armenia is to strengthen Turkey, to round off the work done in the war and to insure against the risk of another war, and to remove the blackest stain made in our time on the diplomacy of Europe.

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