The Spectator

The Spectator at war: Russia and Constantinople

From The Spectator, 14 November 1914:

The Spectator for the last twenty years has urged that the Russians are the appropriate successors of the Turks at Constantinople. Russia is by far the greatest of the Black Sea Powers, and she ought to be given the key to her own back door— the possession of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles being conditioned, of course, by the guarantee of free access to the Black Sea for the shipping of other Powers, on the lines that govern the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal. We do not doubt for a moment that Russia will be perfectly willing to make such an agreement. That Russia must be given a stretch of territory which will enable her to reach Constantinople by land is obvious. It has always been an essential of the Russian Empire that no parts of it should be sea-sundered, but that it should be a single territorial unit. Owing, however, to the presence of the Roumanians and the Bulgarians, Russia cannot have a land link on the European side of the Black Sea. There- fore she must have it on the Asian side.

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