22 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 2

The Position of Turkey

All the pieces in the international chess-board have been thrown out of position by the action of Russia, and for Turkey it is particularly difficult to readjust them in the light of her commitments. She is committed to Great Britain and France to resist aggression in the Balkans and the Mediterranean ; she is committed to Rumaria, Greece and Yugoslavia by the Balkan Entente ; and a_i of these commitments were entered into on the supposition that they did not interfere with her friendly relations with Russia, her neighbour in the Black Sea. So far as the Balkans are con- cerned, the position was somewhat eased by the Soviet Government's declaration that it would respect Rumanian integrity, though Hungary and Bulgaria are both danger- ously exposed to German intrigues. The attitude of Russia to Britain and France is still obscure. M. Sarajoglu, the Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, has accepted an invi- tation to visit Moscow to discuss the position. The subject of discussion is believed to be a pact of mutual assistance in the Black Sea and the Northern Balkans, and it is stated that Turkey would only accept this on the understanding that it did not conflict with her commitments to Britain and France. Turkey's influence will undoubtedly be thrown on the side of the integrity of the Balkan States. Her desires are the same as ours.