13 DECEMBER 1940, Page 2

Bulgaria and Turkey

The inner meaning of recent Bulgarian overtures to Turkey is obscure, and Turkey has not been greatly impressed. What would Bulgaria be in a position to offer if Turkey should seriously consider the one-sided suggestion of demobilising her forces in Thrace? The existence of those powerful forces is the one thing that makes it certain that Bulgaria will not willingly attack Greece and less likely that Germany will march through Bulgaria. Nor is this attempt at a rapproche- ment made more promising by events which have been taking place within Bulgaria, where a pamphlet issued by Communists and distributed by Germans has had curious effects. It has led many Bulgarians to believe that Soviet Russia is proposing a pact under which Bulgarian aspirations in Greek Macedonia and Turkish Thrace would be satisfied. Though that is not what Russia offers, it seemed good enough for German anti- Turkish propaganda—but it turns out that the feeling which has resulted is merely pro-Russian and anti-German, without ceasing to be anti-Turk and anti-Greek. The atmosphere is not peculiarly favourable to the discussion of terms which should include Turkish demobilisation. It is one of the ironies of this war that when all is in the melting-pot, including the bare existence of small nations, a country like Bulgaria should, regardless of the fate of Rumania, still be thinking in terms of old scores against its neighbours.