THE TABLET A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

ESTABLISHED 1840 REG IS TERED AS A N EW S PA P E R

VOL. 174 No. 5187

LONDON, OCTOBER 7th, 1939

SIXPENCE

IN THIS ISSUE

BRITISH PROPAGANDA AND GERMAN CATHOLICS

Some Counsel from a German Catholic

THE TWO VOICES

By R. H. J. Steuart, S.J.

THE DIPLOMACY OF POLAND Some Elucidations in an Interview with a Pole closely concerned

Full List o f Contents on page 424.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Key Position o f Turkey

The Turkish Military Mission now in London arrived at a moment when Turkey holds a position on the chessboard o f world politics such as could not have been envisaged for it twenty years ago. The Turks had then just lost the last remains of the once great Ottoman Empire. The nineteenth century, down to those Balkan Wars o f 1912 and 13, which followed the successful Italian campaign against Turkey in Tripoli, had seen a steady diminution o f Turkey’s position in the Balkans and North Africa. Arab nationalism was beginning to stir. Continual losses had provoked reaction inside Turkey against the old, inefficient and dishonest rule of the last phase o f the Sultans. The young Turks looked to Germany, but, choosing the wrong horse, they lost Arabia as the result, in spite of military successes in Mesopotamia and the Dardanelles. At the end o f the War even the future o f Constantinople was in jeopardy. From this defeat Turkey, under the inspiration o f Mustapha Kemal, made the swiftest and most remarkable recovery, profiting by dissensions between Britain and France, and the Allies’ preoccupation with Europe. Twenty years of consolidation have followed, and today Turkey stands as a strong Power, across the path of German ambitions of the old BerlinBagdad order.

Italy struck the first blow of the culminating disasters which Turkey underwent in the second decade o f the century, and the islands o f the Dodecanese, near the shores o f Turkey, are a t once a reminder o f the past, and an intim ation of future Italian ambition. Turkey is much more definitely in the opposite camp to the Axis than to Germany alone. But Turkey is still a Balkan State, with the same interests as the other Balkan States in checking a German drive to the south-east.

To the Turks, what has happened in Poland and the great strengthening o f the Soviet in the Baltic, increases the danger th a t if Nazi Germany escapes defeat, German ambitions will run south-east. The Turks can rely upon Britain, whose Near and Middle Eastern interests march with those o f Turkey in this matter. That side of Turkish policy is clear and firm ; the agreements with Britain and France are an insurance against either Germany or Italy. What of the other side of Turkish policy, the agreement with the Soviet ? The Turks no longer have the conviction that the Soviet wants to keep Germany off the route to Bagdad. I t wants to keep German expansion canalised, to keep it south of Rumania and the Black Sea, to see it as a threat to the Asiatic interests of the capitalist West. Turkey today is a strong State, longsighted enough to decline invitations to seek to extend its own boundaries southwards with the help of Powers engaged in doing exactly the same thing themselves. In the face of the Nazi menace, old foes like Greece and Turkey have the same interest today, just as Jews and Arabs have in Palestine. The Soviet in the Baltic

The military line between the Nazi and Soviet Armies in Poland has been modified as a result o f the Ribbentrop mission to Moscow, and the Soviet is contenting itself with very much less territory, most o f it Ukrainian, or White Russian. We are extremely glad o f this, holding that the Poles under the Nazis will have not only less to endure a t the moment, but a much brighter prospect for the future. The Russian withdrawal makes it possible for the Germans to offer to restore a mainly Polish State. I t is hard to see what they can propose after over-running the country, but they get the advantage that there is more buffer territory between the Soviet and the German frontier. Russian compliance was perhaps not very difficult to win, for the Russians have prudently detached themselves from being fully involved in the Nazi destinies in Poland.

Part o f the prize has been German acquiescence in the Soviet’s Baltic policy. Esthonia has already had to accept demands for strategic concessions. The Baltic States, which had been the territories of the Czars since the fall of Napoleon, came into existence in their present form to suit the policy of a Germany victorious in the