Friday, January 5, 2018

The Austrian Fleet off Mersina -- January 5, 2018

San Francisco Call, 18-November-1897
The drawing is from the 18-November-1897 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.  Most of his drawings that I have found have shown San Francisco Bay Area subjects, but this one shows ships involved in blockading the southern Turkish port of Mersin after the Greco-Turkish War of 1897.   Austria-Hungary felt that one of their nationals had been mistreated, so they threatened to bombard the port.  

Turkey Now Willing to Accord Complete Satisfaction.
Indignities to Brazzafelli for Which Amends Will Be Made.
Complaints Made by Officials of the Oriental Railroads Will Also Be Attended to.

Special Dispatch to The Call.

LONDON, Nov. 17.— A special dispatch from Vienna says a telegram has been received there from Baron de Calice. the Austrian Embassador (sic - JT) at Constantinople, saying that the Sultan has declared his willingness to give Austria full satisfaction for the Mersina incidents and in regard to the disputes in connection with the Oriental Railroad growing out of the transportation of Turkish troops during the recent war between Turkey and Greece.

A dispatch to the Times from Constantinople confirms the special dispatch from Vienna, which says that the Sultan has declared his willingness to give Austria-Hungary full satisfaction for the Mersina incident and the claim of the Oriental Railway Company.

VIENNA, Nov. 17.— Austria demands that the Turkish Government order a salute to the Austrian flag; that the Vali of Adana, in which district Mersina is situated, be dismissed from his post, and that the Mutossarotof, as Lieutenant-Governor of Mersina, be removed.

Brazzafelli, who was the agent at Mersina, the port of Adana, of the Austria-Lloyd Steamship Company, was expelled from Mersina last month because he was suspected by the Turkish authorities of having intrigued against the Government of tbe Sultan. He appealed to the Austrian Government. The latter made representations on the subject to the Porte, and eventually Brazzafelli was allowed to return to Mersina. But when, the Austrian merchant attempted to land the local minor officials, with the knowledge of the Vali of Atlana and the Mutossarotof of Mersina, it is claimed, allowed Brazzafelli to be so grossly maltreated that he was compelled to appeal to the Austrian Consul for protection. The latter promptly interfered in behalf of his compatriot and was himself repeatedly insulted.

In reply to the strong note of the Austrian Government demanding an explanation of the outrages it developed that Brazzafelli had incurred the suspicions of the Turkish authorities by befriending fugitive Armenians and by giving the most deserving cheap passages from Mersina on board the vessels of the Austrian-Lloyd Steamship Company.

Austria, in addition to the demands mentioned, will insist upon the Porte furnishing her with definite assurances respecting other matters, notably the complaints made by the officials of the Austrian company operating the Oriental Railroad, which have frequently been brought to the attention of the Turkish Government.

Importance of the Place That the Austrians Threatened to Bombard.

Mersina is the chief seaport of the former province of Cilicia, and is now included in the Vilayet of Adana. It is admirably situated near the western edge of the Sihun and Jihun rivers, and the greater part of the trade of those fertile valleys passes through it.

It is connected by a railroad thirty-six miles long with the ancient city of Loesus and with Adana. the capital of the Vilayet and the principal city of the whole section.

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