1914-06-19-DK-001
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Source: DK/RA-UM/Gruppeordnede sager 1909-1945. 5. L. 15,
”Grækenland-Tyrkiet: Politiske Forhold”. Pakke 1, Juni 1914-31/12 1945

Edition: Danish diplomatic sources
Departure of telegram: 06/19/1914
Arrival of telegram: 06/24/1914
Embassy/consular serial number: No. 26
Translated by: Matthias Bjørnlund
Last updated: 03/23/2012


The minister in Constantinople (Carl Ellis Wandel) to the Foreign Minister (Erik Scavenius)

Report



No. 26

Constantinople, June 19, 1914.

Confidential.

The Relationship Between Turkey and Greece.

[Refers to] Leg. No. 10 of June 8 1914.

The events mentioned in the abovementioned report which led the Ecumenical Patriarchate in this city to have all Orthodox churches and schools in Turkey closed, have created such a tension between the governments in Athens and Constantinople that it is feared that a severing of diplomatic ties between Greece and Turkey is imminent.

The Greek envoy [in Constantinople] supposedly handed a note to the Porte on the 12th [of June] in which the Greek government demands that the Greek refugees who are located on the coasts of Asia Minor must be escorted back to their villages, be given back their properties, and have their losses replaced, and adds that it will not answer for the consequences of continued violations which the Greek population of the Turkish Empire may be exposed to.

The answer of the Turkish government to this note has been handed over today, and even though the contents are being held a secret, and the press has been forbidden from mentioning it, it is being reported that the tone is rather dismissive.

It is reported that the Turkish government in its answer claims that the welfare of the Greek population living in Turkey is very much on its mind, and that it is determined to energetically protect it against violations with all available means, but that it at the same time must declare emphatically that it cannot tolerate that the Greek government interferes with the internal affairs of Turkey in this manner.

If this answer does not make too unfavorable an impression in Athens there may still be a chance that peace can be upheld, but it has to be said that the general opinion here is that the situation is very serious.

The Austrian ambassador of this city with whom I spoke to today, explicitly declared that he thought that a war was almost inevitable, as it was important for Greece to have the island question settled while it still had superiority at sea, and that this game would be over the day that Turkey took the newly acquired Dreadnoughts into possession.

The Greek government's eager care for the welfare of the Greek population in Asia Minor is apparently only a pretext, since it is obvious that this population would be worse off than ever before the day that war breaks out.

In what way the hostilities will progress if the war breaks out is not easy to see, since, as Turkey and Greece have no common border, the armies will only be able to clash if Bulgaria does not remain neutral, and this possibility is not one that is being calculated with at the moment.

The Austrian ambassador thought that one had to assume that Bulgaria, having Romania behind its back, will keep neutral, but he added that one could of course never know what would happen when passions and ambition were let loose.

Concerning the possibilities of a Greek landing, several high-ranking German staff officers of this city with whom I have regular conversations do not believe that it is possible, so the hostilities, then, will probably in the beginning be restricted to some Greek naval demonstrations.

The Turkish fleet is supposedly not effective, according to what [Danish reporter] Mr. Franz von Jessen, who has been staying here as correspondent for 'Le Temps,' tells me.

Mr. Von Jessen assures me that he has proof that the two armored vessels which Turkey bought from Germany before the last war are partly disarmed, and that he knows from a reliable source that the cruiser 'Hamidje' lies at Smyrna to have its kettles repaired.

C. E. Wandel



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