It is a pleasure to write a foreword to this valuable study by Dr. Yılmaz Altug on the development of International legal relations in Turkey. The community, or «family of nations», was for centuries limited to the countries of Europe and States in the circle of European civ lization. The Ottoman Empire was the first non-Christian state to be admitted to the family of nations when in 1856 by the Treaty of» Paris it was allowed» to participate in the public law and concert of Europe.» However long before this, and long before there was a European concert, the Turks had developed remarkably advanced ideas, principles, and practices of International relations.
On the periphery of the European family of nations, the Ottoman Empire had many and pecûliar relations with the Western States. Dr. Altug has analyzed from the point of view of International law the arrangements which were developed to regulate the problems which arose from these relations, dealing successively with capitula-t:ons, jurisdiction över the Straits, the semi-sovereign dependencies of the Ottoman Empire, and the protection of minorities. Some of these problems with which Dr. Altug deals in this study now have only a historical interest but others are as contemporary as today’s newspaper headlines.
In the century since the Treaty of Paris, which marks the admittance of the first non-Western state in the family of nations, the International legal community, as is evidenced by the recent enlargement of the membership of the United Nations, has been very nearly universalized A case study of this process should be of unusual interest and value at this moment in history.