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File 3579/1916 'Turkey: the future of Constantinople' [‎49r] (106/530)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (259 folios). It was created in 5 Sep 1916-27 Mar 1919. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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- 10 -
strength, sooner or lat-r A]r*rica ^ould acquire a navg, and that
having acquired a navy she would require a naval hase, and naval .
stations, and so on, and that we should h~ admitting to European
politics a new balance of naval power in Europe, a disturbing and,
possibly, in the long run, a maleficent influence* I can giv* no
opinion dh that» My opinion is worthless. I confess that I do not
fully understand it. I do not fully und^rrtand why, if America were
to assume such a responsibility as we are now discussing in Constanti
nople or even Palestine or elsewhere, she must necessarily have a big
fleet for the purpose, must n ■ cessarily have a naval base, and must
necessarily embark upon a policy of competition with ourselves.
The naval authorities no doubt will develop that point of view. I
only, in passing, venture to say on my own account that I do not
fully understand or appreciate the scale of the danger which they
seem to put so high themselves.
These are the various candidates that have been named. Before
we go further it s-'-em? to mo-' 1 we have to consider, whoever is to be
at Const antinople, the exact relations in which, ba it America or be
it a condominium, they are to be placed to the people themselves. ^
Do you contemplate placing this power in Constantinople and leaving
the Turks ther*? Do you contemplate leaving Turkish population
and eliminating the Turkish Government ? Or do you contemplate
leaving eome form of Turkish Government in Constantinoplc or, if
it is essential, side by side with the mandatory power exercising
police functions in Constantinople and the Straits? That really
raises very big issues in international Ipolicy.
Those who feel very strongly that the opportunity ought not
to be lost of getting rid of the Turk base their arguments upon
what 3 '«m to me to b* very powerful grounds indeed. T^ey say that
it is th* prosene- of the Turks in Constantinople that during all
these centuries has giv-m the world the impression that Turkey is
one of the great Powers of th- ; world. Certainly their presence
■ y
there has enabled Turkey to pose as a great European Pow^r, and
these pretensions would absolutely disappear if she wer^- turned out
of Turkey and'removed to the 1 other side of the Straits. Secondly
I 1

About this item


The volume contains papers regarding the future of Constantinople [Instanbul]. It includes: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. minute papers; copies of correspondence between the Foreign Office and Sir George Buchanan, HM Ambassador at Petrograd [St Petersburg], and other British diplomats; draft telegrams from the Secretary of State for India addressed to the Viceroy of India; correspondence between the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. and the Foreign Office; and other papers. Some of the correspondence is in French.

Issues discussed in the papers include: whether the Constantinople Agreement, concluded between the British, French and Russian governments in March 1915 (under the terms of which Constantinople and the Straits of the Dardanelles would be annexed to the Russian Empire), should be made public; the possible effect upon Muslims in India of the announcement of the agreement; and the question of the re-conversion of the St Sophia [Hagia Sophia] mosque in Constantinople into a Christian church.

The volume includes a divider which gives the subject number, the year the subject file was opened, the subject heading, and a list of correspondence references by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (259 folios)

The subject 3579 (Turkey: the future of Constantinople) consists of one volume, IOR/L/PS/10/623.

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the first folio with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 259; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. The front and back covers, along with the two leading and two ending flyleaves have not been foliated.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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File 3579/1916 'Turkey: the future of Constantinople' [‎49r] (106/530), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/623, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 November 2019]

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