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Vizier, Mehemet Ruschdi Pacha, and the Ministry. He said that they had placed Murad Effendi in the Seraskierat, defended by troops, and had then proceeded in the night to the Palace of the Sultan. They represented to His Majesty his incapacity for continuing the Government of the country, and the necessity of his retirement, and they requested him to follow them. His Majesty did so, without any resistance, and he was taken in a boat to the Seraglio, and placed under confinement there with his family. He showed great calmness and dignity, but no sympathy was displayed for him.

Shortly after his dethronement, and while under strict confinement, the ex-Sultan, Abdul Aziz, committed suicide. It was at first generally supposed that he had been secretly murdered; for suicide is a rare occurrence among Mussulmans, and is strictly forbidden by the laws of the Koran.

It was reported that an inquest was held on the late Sultan by nineteen medical men, among whom

were Dr. Dickson, Physician to Her Majesty's Embassy; the doctors of the Austrian and French Embassy, and others of high standing, Turkish, Greek, and Armenian. They certified unanimously that the death was the result of suicide, and that the deceased Sultan had opened the veins of his arms with a pair of pointed scissors. Dr. Dickson said that neither he nor any of his colleagues entertained a doubt that the act was voluntary.

After the Sultan's deposition all arms and cutting instruments had been kept out of his reach; but on the 4th of June he asked for a pair of scissors to cut off his beard. A small pair was given him, and he then turned his attendants out of the room and locked the door. His Majesty was buried in the

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mausoleum of his father, Sultan Mahmoud, with every mark of respect.*

The Sultan Murad V. was weak in mind and body, and was wholly incapacitated for governing in such an important crisis, when the very existence of the Empire was at stake. The throne was consequently declared vacant on the 31st of August, 1876, in conformity with the Fetvah given by His Highness the Sheikh-ul-Islam, and by virtue of the laws which govern the rights of sovereignty of the Empire.

His brother, Sultan Abdul Hamid II., heir-apparent to the Imperial throne, was proclaimed Sultan of Turkey on the 31st August.

A further tragedy, reported by Sir H. Elliot, occurred on the 15th June. While a Council of Ministers † was being held at the house of Midhat Pacha, Hussein Avni Pacha, the Minister of War, and Reschid Pacha, were shot dead, and the Minister of Marine was wounded by a Circassian, said to have been a former Aide-de-Camp of the late Sultan's son.

The murderer was seized, and though no details were given, it was supposed that the motive for the crime was an act of private revenge upon the Minister of War, and that Reschid Pacha was killed in endeavouring to defend his colleague.

The following was the account sent by the Grand Vizier to Musurus Pacha :

A certain Hassan-a Circassian by birth, and who five years ago left the military school with the rank of lieutenant- was

* See Parliamentary Papers, No. 4, p. 227. + See Parliamentary Papers, No. 4, p 273.

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appointed a captain, to be sent to the army of Bagdad. For certain reasons he was retained at Constantinople, and employed in various posts. When, latterly, he was appointed to the rank of Adjutant Major and to a post in the said army, Hassan ad

a vanced various reasons for deferring his departure, and was therefore imprisoned. Being released on the 15th June, with a view to his departure, he proceeded in the evening to the house of the Seraskier. On being informed that the latter was at a meeting of his colleagues at the residence of Midhat Pasha, the assassin proceeded thither. The sentries, believing him still to be an Aide-de-Camp, did not prevent his entrance into the Council Chamber. Hassan fired point blank at Hussein Avni Pacha with the revolver which he had in his pocket. While the rest endeavoured to seize him, Reschid Pacha, Ahmed Aga, a servant of Midhat Pacha, and a soldier shared the same fate. The Minister of Marine and another soldier were wounded. The murderer has been arrested.

It appears that the assassin killed seven persons and wounded eight others.

When the soldiers arrived from a neighbouring guard-house they broke open the door of the room in which he had locked himself, and to which he had set fire ; but before they could bayonet him he had killed and wounded several of them. He was degraded, and hanged on the following morning near the Seraskierat.

But the preceding tragic events were only the prelude to other misfortunes of a still greater gravity, and which caused throughout Europe a cry of horror and indignation against the Turkish rule.

For some time previously, symptoms of discontent and disaffection had manifested themselves in Bulgaria and the adjacent Balkans, and a serious outbreak was feared.

Whatever course of action should be decided on, it was agreed that it should bear the stamp of a decision. of the six Powers, and not of three only, with a view to the maintenance of the European concert, and that the Andrassy Note should form the basis of their deliberations.

The Emperor of Russia, who was on his way to Ems, and who was attended to Berlin by Prince Gortschakoff, arrived at Berlin on the 11th May, and their stay in that capital was limited to three or four days.

It was just before the meeting of this Conference that intelligence was received of the murder of the French and Prussian Consuls by a fanatic mob at Salonica.

It was a tragic and untoward event, and a lamentable proof of the lawless and ungovernable fanaticism of the Mussulman population. It proved, also, the insecurity to which the Christian populations were exposed, and how helpless were the Turkish authorities to protect them.

The Conference met, and the Ministers of the three Empires recorded their conclusions in the form of a Memorandum to be submitted for approval to the Cabinets of England, France, and Italy, whose representatives at Berlin were invited by Prince Bismarck to meet the Austrian and Russian Chancellors at his house after the signature of the Memorandum. This they did. Baron Jomini was then invited to read to them the Memorandum embodying the views of the three Imperial Ministers, and the proposals to which they solicited the co-operation of the other Great Powers.

The British Ambassador (Lord Odo Russell) on receiving a copy of this document, said that in the absence of special instructions he received it ad referendum.

Prince Gortschakoff observed that he and Count Andrassy were leaving in two days, and that they hoped that the Governments of England, France, and Italy would be able to express an opinion on the telegraphic summary of their proposal before they left. Answers in the affirmative were received from the French and Italian Governments within the forty-eight hours. It was five days before an answer came from London, which was of a negative character, stating that Her Majesty's Government could not accede to the proposals of the "Memorandum," of which the following is an analysis:

The Memorandum stated

That the alarming tidings from Turkey impel the three Cabinets (Russia, Austria, and Germany) to draw closer their intimacy. They have agreed to concert among themselves measures for averting the dangers of the situation, with the concurrence of the other Christian Powers.

It was of importance that Europe should consider the general means necessary to guard against the recurrence of events similar to those which have taken place at Salonica, and the repetition of which was threatened at Smyrna and Constantinople. It was necessary to remove the primary cause of these disturbances by the prompt pacification of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Great Powers had demanded and received from the Porte a programme of reforms. The Porte, deferring to this demand, declared itself firmly resolved to execute these reforms, and communicated its intention officially to the Cabinets, by which they acquired a moral right to watch over their accomplishment.

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