AT THE Peace Conference the claim of Greece to the possession of Constantinople was forcibly advocated by M. Venizelos. It is true that the Greeks do not form a majority of the city’s population, but both historically and as a matter of existing fact it is none the less a Greek city, and, religiously, the metropolis of Hellenic Christianity. After hearing M. Venizelos, the Conference referred the further consideration of the future of Constantinople to a sectional committee, composed of British, American, French, and Italian delegates. Several proposals are before them — to hand it over to Greece; to place it in the charge of the United States as a mandatory of the League of Nations, or in some other way to internationalize it. M. Venizelos was willing to leave the final decision in the hands of the Conference, knowing well that the interests of his people would be safeguarded. Among these Bishop Bury, writing to the Times on Tuesday, placed the liberty to found Hellenic educational institutions. If, he wrote, the city were united to Greece, the very first act of the Government would be to establish there a University. It is to be hoped that, in any case, this aspiration may be realized. For our own part, we regard the expulsion of the Turkish Government from Constantinople as an essential condition of its future administration. The Turk is there at present by force of conquest. He is now defeated, and his continued presence there as a Sovereign Power is incompatible with the unconditional surrender which he made to the victorious Allies.
The Church Times digital archive is available free to subscribers.