It provided a powerful backing to the Servian agitation, it was a step towards the dissolution of Austria, and it decisively closed the door on Germany's ambition to reach Salonika and to obtain a direct connection with the Baghdad Railway.
The same with a harbour like Salonika.
Germany or Austria may covet dreadfully its possession; and for strategic or political reasons they may be right, but for pure trade purposes Salonika in the hands of the Greeks would probably (except for certain initial expenses in the enlargement of dock accommodation) serve them as well as in their own hands.
POSTING DATES FOR EGYPT AND SALONIKA.
A Scene in Salonika XXII.
The city of Salonika, a prosperous seaport of 140,000 people, which used to belong to Turkey but now is part of Greece, has over 50,000 of these Jews.
On November 9 the Greeks entered Salonika.
Serbia, frustrated by Austria in its attempts, generally recognized as legitimate, to obtain even a commercial outlet on the Adriatic, naturally again diverted its aims southwards to Salonika.
But at the time that the agreement had been concluded it had been calculated in Greece and Serbia that Albania, far from being made independent, would be divided between them, and that Serbia, assured of a strip of coast on the Adriatic, would have no interest in the control of the river Vardar and of the railway which follows its course connecting the interior of Serbia with the port of Salonika.
A few fortified cities held out, Adrianople on the Maritsa continued to cover Constantinople; Salonika at the mouth of the Vardar survived a two hundred years siege; while further south Athens, Korinth, and Patras escaped extinction.
In the Balkan peninsula the Slav had been expelled or assimilated to the south of a line stretching from Avlona to Salonika.
The most important neighbour of the Empire in this quarter was the Bulgarian kingdom, which covered all the Balkan hinterland from the Danube and the Black Sea to the barrier-fortresses of Adrianople and Salonika.
Raids across the straits of Otranto carried the Normans up to the walls of Salonika, their fleets equipped in Sicily scoured the Aegean, and, before the eleventh century was out, they had followed up these reconnoitring expeditions by conducting Latin Christendom on its first crusade.
What was the use of overcoming great engineering difficulties to build a line of European gauge from Athens right up to the northern frontier, if Turkey refused to sanction the construction of the tiny section that must pass through her territory between the Greek railhead and the actual terminus of the European system at Salonika?
But what use to improve the ports, when the recovery of Salonika, the fairest object of the national dreams, would ultimately change the country's economic centre of gravity, and make her maritime as well as her overland commerce flow along quite other channels than the present?
This comparative stagnation was broken at last by the Young Turk pronunciamiento at Salonika in 1908, which produced such momentous repercussions all through the Nearer East.
The Bulgarians crumpled up the Ottoman field armies in Thrace at the terrific battle of Lule Burgas; the Serbians disposed of the forces in the Macedonian interior, while the Greeks effected a junction with the Serbians from the south, and cut their way through to Salonika.
(2) The western section, consisting of the lower basins of the Vardar and Struma, lay in the immediate neighbourhood of the former frontier of Greece; but the Greek population of Salonika, and the coast-districts east of it, could not be brought within the Greek frontier without including as well a certain hinterland inhabited mainly by Bulgarians.
[Footnote 1: The predominant element within the walls of Salonika itself is neither Greek nor Bulgarian, but consists of about 80,000 of those Spanish-speaking Jews who settled in Turkey as refugees during the sixteenth century.]
It swallowed Venezelos' gift of Thrace, and then proceeded to exploit the Bulgar hinterland of Salonika as a pretext for demanding the latter city as well.
Serbia maintained that the veto imposed by Austria upon her expansion to the Adriatic, in coincidence with Bulgaria's unexpected gains on the Maritsa to which Serbian arms had contributed, invalidated the secret treaty of the previous summer, and she announced her intention of retaining the Monastir district and the line of the Salonika railway as far as the future frontier of Greece.
The hardship was aggravated by the fact that all the routes connecting Epirus with the outer world run through Yannina and Salonika, from which the new frontier sundered her; while great natural barriers separate her from Avlona and Durazzo, with which the same frontier so ironically signalled her union.
Greece, for example, has secured at last her direct link with the railway system of the European continent, but for free transit beyond her own frontier she still depends on Serbia's good-will, just, as Serbia depends on hers for an outlet to the Aegean at Salonika.
The two states have provided for their respective interests by a joint proprietorship of the section of railway between Salonika and Belgrade; and similar railway problems will doubtless bring Rumania to terms with Serbia for access to the Adriatic, and both with Bulgaria for rights of way to Constantinople and the Anatolian hinterland beyond.
Tom said he would take French, having spent three months in Northern France before they sent him to Salonika.