When war broke out the "Dashnaktzagan" - the Armenian parliamentary party in the Ottoman Empire - were in congress at Erzerum. A deputation of Young Turk propagandists presented themselves, and urged the Armenians to join them in raising a general insurrection in Caucasia. They sketched their proposed partition of Russian territory; the Tatars  were to have this, the Georgians that, the Armenians this other; autonomy for the new provinces under Ottoman suzerainty was to be the reward for co-operation. The Dasknaktzagan had always worked with the Young Turks in internal politics, but they refused to join them in this aggressive venture. The Ottoman Armenians, they said, would do their duty as Ottoman subjects during the war, but they advised the Government to preserve peace if that were still possible. But the Turks were past reason, and their Army was already on the move. The main body crossed the Russian frontier; a second force invaded Northern Persia, and penetrated as far as Tabriz. Tabriz is the capital of Azerbaijan, a province where the majority of the population is Turkish by language; and beyond, across the River Aras, lies the Russian province of Baku, also containing a large Turkish-speaking population and the vital oilfields. The Turkish plan of campaign was frustrated by the brilliant Russian victory of Sarikamysh. By the end of January, 1915, the Turkish Army was back within its own frontiers, and in this quarter it has not again advanced beyond them. But the Young Turks' irredentist ambitions have remained in being. During their brief occupation of Northern Persia they did their best to wipe out the Syriac element in the population - the Nestorian Christians of Urmia. Their plan was to get rid of all the non-Turkish peoples which separate the Turks of Anatolia from the Turks of Baku and Azerbaijan, and this was the second motive of the Armenian deportations, which they put in hand a month or two after their military projects had failed.
The Turkish Irredentists propose, in fact, to gain their ends by bloodshed and terrorism. Tekin Alp (like most Turkish publicists and politicians since 1908) is a Macedonian, and is profoundly impressed by the methods which the other nationalities there employed to the discomfiture of the Turks themselves.
"Observers," he writes, "who, like myself, are Macedonians, and, like myself, had ample opportunity of gaining an intimate knowledge of the irredentist propaganda of the Bulgars, Greeks, Serbs, and Vlachs, are able to judge the significance of this striving after a national ideal, and how sweet and inspiring it is to go through the greatest dangers for such a cause. This is best illustrated by a few living examples" (which he proceeds to give)....
Macedonia is soaked in blood. Atrocities were committed here the mere thought of which makes one's hair stand on end. Nevertheless, the leaders of robber bands and members of the terrible irredentist organisations were not regarded by the public as wild robbers, but as heroes fighting for the unity of the nation.
"Will the Young Turks emulate the self-sacrifice of these men?"
Russia and Persia are the fields marked out for such activity:
"In some places ordinary propaganda is sufficient, but in hotly-contested territory recourse is to be had to the more violent measures used in Macedonia. The neighbouring land of Persia is without doubt the best of all countries with Turkish population for spreading the new ideas, and it has been found that simple propaganda is amply sufficient to produce a satisfactory effect on this fruitful soil."
In Persia, Tekin Alp reckons, one-third of the population is of Turkish blood. He passes these Turkish elements in review, and concludes that "the spirit of the administration is Turkish, and also the leading spirit of Persian civilisation, even though these be clothed in Persian guise" - for at present the tables are turned. "All those Turkish warriors and heroes, Shahs and Grand Viziers, thinkers and scholars, have lost their Turkish consciousness and have become assimilated to the Persians in writing, speech, and literature." Even the compact two millions and a half of Turkish-speaking Azerbaijanis will write letters only in Persian, and will not read a Turkish newspaper. He omits the most important fact - that these Turks of Persia are Shias like their Persian fellow-countrymen, while the "Mohammedan institutions and traditions" for which the Ottoman Turks are pledged by the Young Turk Party to "secure respect" are those of the Sunni persuasion. But then Turkish Nationalism depends upon ignoring religion. Tekin Alp sets out confidently to give the Turks in Persia "a Turkish soul." His model is the Rumanian propaganda among the Vlachs in Macedonia, and his expectations are great:
"There is no power in Persia to put down such a movement, because it could do no harm to anyone. The nationalisation of the Persian Turks would even be a great and unexpected help to the Persian Government.... Persia would be situated with regard to the Turkish Government as Bavaria towards Prussia."
And this is only a stage towards a higher goal:
"The united Turks should form the centre of gravity of the world of Islam. The Arabs of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, the Persians, Afghans, etc., must enjoy complete independence in their own affairs, but outwardly the world of Islam must present a perfectly united front."
The Arabs of North Africa and the Shias of Iran can appraise the "independence" held out to them by the "unity" which Turkish Nationalism has been presenting already to Syria and Irak, the Yemen and the Hedjaz.
But Tekin Alp deals even less tenderly with Russia. In explaining the bond of interest between Turkish Nationalism and Germany he remarks that