The logical consequence of the views I have described was that in such a society Christians could only be oppressed. ‘A barbarous and uncivilisable race of Tartars’ was holding Christians ‘in the most degrad­ ing form of slavery’, wrote an angiy critic at the time of the Bulgarian agitation.1 Ottoman attempts at reform were brushed aside. The con­ stitution of 1876 was no more than ‘a crafty contrivance for concentrat­ ing the government of the Turkish Empire in the hands of the Pashas which means, taking them all in all, about two hundred of the most unmitigated scoundrels on the face of the earth’.2