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has always been against Montenegro, Austria, and Servia even more impregnable ; whereas by his present policy Abdul Hamid pulls down with his own hands the fortifications which nature and history have combined to raise for his defence. The same end could be attained by the establishment of a régime which would guarantee security to life and property, order and justice ; but these are utopian dreams, not admitting of serious hope of realisation in any part of the Sultan's dominions, and least of all in North Albania. * To the same short-sighted policy is to be attributed the license enjoyed by the Mohammedan Tosks in South Albania. Not only do malefactors remain unchecked, and that in spite of the representations of so redoubtable a Power as Russia, who has recently assumed the role of champion of the Albanian Christians of north and south, but even individuals actually arrested and imprisoned for murder at Jannina have been known to be released in obedience to orders direct from Yildiz Kiosk, very much to the annoyance of the Vali and to the prejudice of the interests of justice, which do not always coincide with the interests of the empire, as understood by the reigning sovereign. It is no exaggeration to say that the Turkish rule is virtually dead in Albania. The Turkish garrisons either remain discreetly within their barracks or simply display their threadbare uniforms in the streets of the towns, while the open country is given up to lawless gangs, which roam at random, seeking whom they may despoil. Even the tax-collectors, elsewhere omnipotent autocrats, in Albania are compelled to confine their iniquitous activity within the sphere immediately under the protection of the military. If an open rebellion has not broken out as yet, it is due to the timorous attitude of the Sultan, who cannot afford to provoke such a contingency
Nothing illustrates the peculiar nature of the relations between the Sultan and his Albanian subjects better than two recent incidents, one at Ipek and the other at Novi Bazar. The cause of the first was the arrest of some Albanians in consequence of a tribal feud. Their kinsmen, under the leadership of the chief of the clan, marched to the town, seized the Government House, and captured all the officials who had not had time to escape. The riot ended in a regular exchange of prisoners, and the Sultan purchased a spell of precarious peace at the price of his prestige. At Novi Bazar the recall of a popular mayor by the Porte induced a large body of armed Albanians to repair to the principal city of the sandjak and to demand redress from the Mutessarif. On being refused, they proceeded to lay siege to the town. Quiet was not restored until the Sultan yielded to their demands, reinstated the popular mayor, and cashiered his own governor. A third incident had an even more ludicrous dénouement. Two chiefs, Riza Bey and Bairam Surah by name, fell out and withdrew into their respective castles, whence their followers carried on hostilities for over a month. The feud spread to the neighbouring town of Diakova, and the usual panic and closing of shops ensued. The war has just been terminated in an eminently characteristic manner by the promotion of the two chiefs 'to the rank of brigadier-general.
In all these cases no other way was apparently open to his Imperial Majesty than abject submission. An attempt to meet force with force would have led to serious complications and made bad worse. The Sultan can no longer rely implicitly on the Albanian garrisons. According to a recent report he is gradually removing them from the province and drafting them to districts in Asia Minor, while their duties in Albania are entrusted to Kurd regiments. Nor would it be easy to keep his own Prætorians quiet in the event of a rising. Many of them are Albanians, and blood is proverbially thicker than water. Furthermore, it has heen observed that even Turkish troops, elsewhere notorious for their loyalty, when despatched to Albania for the purpose of repressing or preventing disturbances, are apt to be infected by the local epidemic of discontent. Cases of insubordination have lately occurred to an extent which justifies the Sultan's fears lest his forces should join the insurgents whom they are sent to suppress. Hence his habitual apathy.
The only energetic action which the Sultan permits himself is a truceless persecution of the Greeks in Epirus, accentuated after the last war, though begun soon after the Treaty of Berlin, by the provisions of which great part of that province was allotted to Greece. Ever since that time every effort is made to stamp out the Greek sympathies of the Tchams. The most prominent among them are forced to leave their fatherland. Thousands of them seek refuge in Greece, others emigrate to Egypt, Russia, and other foreign countries in search of a livelihood. But wherever may be their temporary abode, they always look back with longing to their native mountains, and many of them spend the wealth, which their wonderful aptitude for commerce has enabled them to accumulate abroad, in alleviating the needs of their friends at home. The ways and means employed by the Porte in this process of extermination are painted in very black, though not exaggerated, colours by some of the victims themselves in the memoir addressed by the Epirotic Society at Athens to the Joint Commission sent by the British, Austrian, and German Embassies at Constantinople less than two years ago to study the situation on the spot :
• Voici comment s'opère le travail de destruction. Des bandes de brigands, racolées dans la lie de la population des deux contrées voisines, soutenues par les différents chefs des colonnes volantes, forcent les habitants à s'expatrier. Ceux qui restent parmi les chrétiens sont littéralement dépouillés. Il y a pis encore. L'administration turque en Epire, exploitant la situation, applique sinon dans la forme, mais assurément dans l'essence, la loi martiale; elle saisit toute occasion pour poursuivre par ses colonnes volantes comme recéleurs les chrétiens, qu'elle jette dans ses prisons pour anéantir à jamais. Les uns sont exilés comme ennemis de la sûreté publique, les autres meurent dans les tourments pour la découverte de la vérité. Ceux qui parviennent à sortir de prison sont complètement ruinés par les cadeaux qu'ils ont dû prodiguer pour racheter leur liberté.
The persecution carried on is as systematic as it is assiduous. The Greek tongue, which, from the time of Ali Pasha until the other day, was recognised as the official language of Epirus, and which is the language of all educated Epirots, whether Christian, Mohammedan, or Hebrew, is suppressed. The memoir already quoted sets forth the method by which this end is pursued :
Mais l'administration turque en Epire ne s'est pas borné à interdire l'usage du grec comme langue officielle. Elle s'efforce, par des mesures coercitives d'en restreindre l'emploi. On ferme les écoles grecques, on attise les haines religieuses, on soulève des passions de race entre les chrétiens et les musulmans qui vivaient, hier encore, dans une paix fraternelle. D'après le programme officiel, le grec doit être considéré comme une langue inutile; alors point n'est besoin d'y recevoir aucune instruction ! Avec la langue le prestige grec s'en ira également. Et puis la propagande roumaine, en échange de certaines concessions. met à la disposition de la Porte ses enseignements et ses services. C'est à ne pas y croire, et pourtant cela est vrai.?
The extract given above mentions the Roumanian propaganda in Albania, and describes the way in which it lends its assistance to the drastic measures adopted by the Turkish Government. This is a mission to the stationary Wallachian population of Berat, Metzovo, and the adjacent districts, about ten villages in all, as well as to some three hundred nomad families who spend the winter in the plains of Preveza, Parga, Delvino, and other South Albanian dis
tricts, while in summer they cross over to Thessaly and Macedonia. This shepherd tribe is equally familiar with Wallachian, Albanian, and Greek, but, in common with the rest of the inhabitants of Epirus, uses nothing but Greek in writing. Another proof of their attachment to Hellenism is their invariable custom of having their children christened by a pure Greek priost and a Greek sponsor, an old tradition religiously observed, and tending to tighten even more closely the bonds which unite all the Wallachs with the Greeks. Excepting a few Wallachian villages in the neighbourhood of Grevena, which embraced Islam and speak exclusively Wallachian, all the rest of the race have remained faithful to Christianity and to the Greek Church. These converts, like the Greek-speaking Mohammedans of the same district, are known by the nickname of Vallahs, or By-Gods, that being the only Turkish expression which they succeeded in adopting along with the new creed.
The Wallachs of Epirus, like their brethren of Macedonia, have for centuries past formed an integral part of the Hellenic nation. They have shared all its vicissitudes, and their great ambition is to share in its final restoration to the rank which it once held among the nations of the Near East. Some of the greatest patriots of the Greek war of independence, such as Coletti and Zalokostas, were Wallachs from Epirus; some of the greatest poets of modern Greece, such as George Zalocostas and Crystallis, were likewise Wallachian Epirots; two of the greatest among recent benefactors of Greece, Tositza and Averoff, were natives of Metzovo and of Wallachian birth. Yet the Roumanians are unremitting in their efforts to convince the Wallachs that they are not Greeks, and to persuade them to adopt a Roumanian instead of their Greek education. Availing themselves of the suppression of the Greek schools, they founded a Roumanian school at Jannina, and invited the Wallachs of Epirus to send their children; but the latter declined the invitation with thanks, and the school remained the happy home of masters in enjoyment of a perennial holiday. The policy of the Roumanians in Albania is as mysterious as that which they pursue in Macedonia. Austria and Italy are possibly actuated by the ambition of conquest. Their proximity to Albania and their interests explain, if they do not excuse, their designs ; but Roumania is too far away to entertain any dreams of annexation. Here, no doubt, as in Macedonia, the probable object of the Roumanian Government is to prepare the ground for profitable barter
on the ever-expected and ever-postponed day of the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire.
The year 1878, which inaugurated the persecution of the Greeks in Epirus, also witnessed the birth of the Albanian League, an association both of northern and of southern chiefs, formed under the auspices of the Sultan's Government as a means of resisting the encroachments of the neighbouring States on Albanian territory. Opposition to the cession of Epirus to Greece in the south and of Dulcigno to Montenegro in the north was the immediate object of the League, and in so far as it confined itself to the pursuit of this object the Sultan had every reason to be pleased with his handiwork. Unfortunately for his Majesty's peace of mind, however, the League, whatever its real aims may have been at first, soon developed into a national association, with a national programme directed as much against Turkish rule as against any foreign encroachment. This evolution was the natural outcome of the events which preceded and followed the Russo-Turkish war. It was a stirring epoch, fruitful of much that was not calculated to please the Porte. The emancipation of Bulgaria, the aggrandisement of Greece, Servia, and Montenegro by the addition of territory adjacent to Albania, and by the Albanians regarded as their own property, and the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria, all tended to arouse the ambition of the Albanians, while the consequent enfeeblement of Turkey helped to encourage it. Ali Pasha of Gusinie, who killed the Turkish commander, Mehmet Ali Pasha, sent to carry out the cession of Dulcigno to Montenegro, and Abdul Bey Fraseri, who openly raised the standard of revolt, were among the founders of the League and two of the principal exponents of the new-born Albanian idea-an idea which immediately found enthusiastic, though interested, supporters in the two great neighbours to the north and west of Albania. That year gave a fresh impetus to Austrian and Italian activity. Secret agents of both Governments began to overrun the country districts, while official representatives were established in many of the most important centres.
• Albania for the Albanians' was a weapon which cut both ways, as the Sultan soon found to his cost. Abdul Hamid had called into being a spirit far easier to raise than to lay. Alarmed at this turn of affairs, he, like Cronus of old, endeavoured to devour his own offspring. The League was hastily broken up. Some of its members were bought over; for, it must be confessed, the Albanian patriarchs are as