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Full text of "Turkey and its people"

TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 



TURKEY AND ITS 
PEOPLE 

BY 

SIR EDWIN PEARS 

KNIGHT BACHELOR, COMMANDER OF THE BULGARIAN ORDER OF MERIT 
KNIGHT OF THE GREEK ORDER OF THE SAVIOUR 



LONDON : METHUEN & CO. LTD. 

NEW YORK 
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 






PRINTJSD BY 

TURNBULL AND SPEARS. 
EWNBURGH 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I 

PAGE 

SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE ... I 

CHAPTER II 

THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED . 23 

CHAPTER III 

TURKISH DOMESTIC LIFE AND HABITS ... 44 

CHAPTER IV 

FAMILY LIFE AND THE POSITION OF TURKISH WOMEN . 57 

CHAPTER V 

IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION . . . -75 

CHAPTER VI 

THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE . 94 

CHAPTER VII 

THE GREEK CHURCH .... . .114 

CHAPTER VIII 

THE VLACHS, THE POMAKS, THE JEWS, AND DUNMAYS . 144 

CHAPTER IX 

THE ALBANIANS . . . . . . .164 



241208 



vi TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

CHAPTER X 

PAGE 

MACEDONIA ....... 196 

CHAPTER XI 

ASIA MINOR ... ... 246 

CHAPTER XII 
THE ARMENIANS ...... 270 

CHAPTER XIII 

MAHOMETAN SECTS ...... 296 

CHAPTER XIV 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM . . . . .318 

CHAPTER XV 

THE CAPITULATIONS AND FOREIGN COMMUNITIES . . 334 

CHAPTER XVI 

SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY .... 344 

INDEX ....... 397 



TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 



TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

CHAPTER I 

SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 

Introductory Constantinople Nation of soldiers requiring 
absolute sovereign Rule of succession to Turkish throne Slaughter 
of younger sons Result of law of succession Engenders suspicion 
Illustrations Is the Sultan Caliph? Pan-Islamism, false and true 

MY purpose is to give an account of the present 
position of the various races which form the popu- 
lation of Turkey ; to show how they have arrived at that 
position ; and to indicate, as far as I can, what are the 
circumstances and influences which are likely to modify 
their development. 

The most important part of the Turkish Empire, 
Asia-Minor and Syria, including the valleys of the 
Tigris and Euphrates, has been for three thousand 
years the battlefield between the East and West. It 
was overrun by the great armies of Darius and Xerxes ; 
by Arabs in their great days of triumph after they had 
been compacted together by the religion of Mahomet ; 
by the barbarous but disciplined hordes from Central 
Asia under Yenghis Khan and subsequently by Timour ; 
by the Seljukian and by the Ottoman Turks, and by a 
number of less-known invaders. Its earliest races of 
whom we have any record indigenous we cannot call 
them Sumerians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Babylonians, 
and Hittites, never altogether disappeared. They have 



2 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

not only left abundant traces in the sacred and other 
literature of the West, but have still their living repre- 
sentatives. Arabia and Syria have given to the world 
the three great monotheistic religions ; but, while the 
great majority of the population belong to one or other 
of these faiths, there remain communities who practise 
pre-Christian, perhaps even pre-Jewish, rites. 

Two notable divisions may be made in reference to 
the population of Turkey ; the first according to race, 
the second according to religion. The races of com- 
paratively unmixed blood are the Arabs, the Armenians, 
the Albanians, and the Kurds. The most mixed race 
in the empire is probably the Turkish, using the word 
in its strict sense so as to exclude other Moslem subjects 
of Turkey like the Arabs, Albanians, and Pomaks. 

Regarded in reference to religion it may be noted 
that the great majority of the inhabitants of Asia-Minor 
are Moslems, while those inhabiting European Turkey 
are mostly Christians. Diversity in race and religion 
and the long-enduring traditions of ancient peoples 
make up a population which is a singular medley. The 
Sultan rules over a number of peoples with varying aims 
and usually with opposing interests. Even before the 
conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, the 
influx of foreign peoples was greater than the empire 
could absorb so as to make them its loyal subjects. After 
the conquest, the difficulties of welding the various 
elements of the population into a nation with common 
aspirations were enormously increased by the Islamism 
of the conquering race. Indeed, with the exception 
of certain spasmodic efforts to unify the races into one 
people, no serious attempt was ever made to do so. 

It is of these various peoples that I propose to write. 
Most of them have ideals to which they consciously or un- 
consciously endeavour to attain. Knowing their efforts, 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 3 

often unselfish and patriotic, it is impossible for one who 
has lived among them to do otherwise than sympathize 
with the respective races and with their aspirations. The 
revolution of July 1908 was an honest attempt by the 
representatives of the most important races to overthrow 
an ancient tyranny and to establish a constitutional 
government, where all persons should be equal before 
the law, irrespective of race or religion. It called forth 
the sympathies of every one who wishes well to the pro- 
gress of the country and its intelligent and interesting 
peoples. It is impossible that Englishmen in particular 
should not look with interest upon the first experiment 
yet made of establishing a Western form of government 
among a people the majority of whom are Moslem. 

Before speaking of the peoples, something must be 
said of the capital of the Turkish Empire and of the 
Sultanate under which it has been ruled for four and a 
half centuries. 

CONSTANTINOPLE 

I have no intention of describing the city of Con- 
stantinople. What I should like to do is beyond my 
present purpose, namely, to make a short but vivid 
sketch of its marvellous history. If I should do so my 
readers would be, like most of the Byzantine writers, 
in love with New Rome. It always had individuality. 
When it was the capital of the Roman Empire, it was 
never Latin. When Greek influence was uppermost, it 
was never Greek. When Leo the Isaurian and other 
Anatolian rulers held sway, it was never Asiatic. So long 
as it was Christian, its inhabitants had at once a strong 
municipal feeling which recalls that possessed by the 
citizens of Florence and of Venice, and a powerful 
imperial sentiment like that possessed by Parisians. Its 
story was largely that of the empire. All that was best 



4 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

in the wide territories over which it ruled flocked to it. 
The ablest jurists, theologians, painters, and scholars 
sought refuge withii its walls. The allusions to the 
city by Byzantine authors show that both writers and 
citizens were proud of it. For them it was emphatically 
" the City/' or the " Queen City." Much that has been 
written about its story is misleading. Until within the 
last half-century authors relied almost solely upon the 
Western authorities, who had inherited hostility to its 
inhabitants, due to the opposition of the latter to the 
Church of Rome. The accidents of the city's history, 
and not the great achievements which kept it intact 
and made it for ever famous, are what Western popular 
opinion seized upon. A certain gorgeousness of palace 
ceremonial struck the attention of the Crusaders and 
has never been altogether lost sight of. The luxury of 
the inhabitants impressed them deeply because they 
compared it with the poverty of their own countries ; 
but they were mistaken in inferring that the dandies 
they scorned were effeminate. Palace intrigues did not 
surprise foreigners, for they existed at home. The love 
of games even appealed to them. The keenness of 
popular interest in religious and political discussions 
were incomprehensible to them. 

But there were other aspects which the Crusaders 
and thoughtless travellers did not see. Constantinople 
had been the strongest bulwark of Europe against the 
encroachments of Asia. Hordes of barbarians had 
descended upon it from the north and east and had 
failed to capture it. The largest waves of Moslem 
fanaticism broke harmlessly against its walls. The 
Arab invasions in 672-7 under Eyoub, the aged standard- 
bearer of Mahomet, and of 717, failed in their attempts 
against the Queen City. The Byzantine historians 
proudly claim that it successfully resisted twenty sieges. 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 5 

Yet amid constant wars the prosperity of the densely 
crowded capital had increased. Its people had grown 
wealthy by industry, intelligence, and commerce. Its 
luxury was the natural sign of wealth. Law and good 
government had made it the treasure-house of the 
empire, the most civilized and the wealthiest city in 
Europe. Its inhabitants lived and traded in peace, and 
had leisure to discuss the many political and theological 
questions in which, more than the people of any other 
city they were interested. Its scholars had kept alive 
the love for classical learning. Its jurists gave to 
modern Europe a body of legal principles known as 
Roman law, from the New Rome where they were 
formulated, which every nation has adopted, and which 
has largely helped to shape modern civilization. Its 
theologians gave to the Christian Church nearly all the 
great formulas of the faith. Its architects set Europe 
upon the path to great Christian architecture. 

In the eight centuries between the fourth and the 
thirteenth, while our own ancestors were working their 
way upwards from something not far removed from 
barbarism, the inhabitants of New Rome were thinking 
for themselves and for the Western world, and were 
struggling for the realization of ideals. There were 
always men among them ready to strive, fight, and die 
for righteousness. 

Upon the fall of the Christian empire, the capital con- 
tinued to be the seat of government, and, with certain 
unimportant exceptions, has been the capital unin- 
terruptedly ever since. 

THE SULTANATE 

To speak of each of the Sultans of Turkey since 1453 
would be to write the history of Turkey since that date, 



6 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

which I have no intention of doing. As a rule, they have 
not been able men, though the earlier were more com- 
petent than the later. The three most conspicuous for 
their ability since 1453 are Mahomet the Second, who 
captured the city, and who is known as " the Conqueror," 
and also as " the Lawgiver " ; Suliman, known as " the 
Magnificent," a great ruler under whom, between the 
years 1520 and 1566, the empire obtained its largest 
extension ; and Mahmud the Second, known as " the Re- 
former," who, during a long reign, 1803 to 1839, did much 
to compact the ruined elements of the nation, which 
appeared on the point of breaking up. The earlier 
sultans who carried the Turkish armies successfully, first 
to Constantinople, and then to the gates of Vienna, were 
in many cases the sons of Christian mothers who had 
been captured in the West, and whose descendants were 
therefore after a few generations largely of European 
blood. The decline in ability among the Ottoman sultans 
dates from the destruction of the corsairs who ravaged 
the coasts of Italy, France, Spain, and, in the seventeenth 
century, even of England, for the capture of slaves. The 
mothers of sultans during the last two centuries have 
usually been quite uneducated women, and often slaves 
chosen for their physical beauty. Their subjection to 
the limitations of harem-life has not tended to develop 
such natural intelligence as they possessed. 

The Turks, since they established themselves in Asia- 
Minor, have been a nation of soldiers. Their civil govern- 
ment has usually been extremely casual. The records 
of travellers to Turkey from the fifteenth to the twentieth 
century and they are numerous agree in telling the 
same tale of misgovernment, of injustice, and of cor- 
ruption in general, but especially in the courts of law. 
Governors buy their posts. Judges sell their judgments. 
The records leave the impression that public opinion took 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 7 

such abuses as in the natural order of things, and that the 
Sultan and his ministers let such matters drift. But 
though bribery and corruption were present in the 
administration of the army and navy, they were less 
prevalent than in the civil administration, and every now 
and then spasmodic energy was displayed to effect 
reforms. All the attention which the sultans could 
bestow was given to the fighting forces. Arms were the 
chief matters which deserved attention. All the dis- 
tinction that the Turks have ever gained has been in 
war. They have produced no art and no architecture, 
though they have destroyed much. They have given to 
the world no literature, science, or philosophy. In all 
such matters they were inferior to the races which they 
conquered. But their traditions and their environment 
and necessity itself made them a nation of fighters. It 
is almost literally true to say that until a century ago 
every Turk was a soldier. 

A nation of soldiers requires an absolute ruler. It is 
true that under the Ottoman rulers there were a large 
number of subjects who were not soldiers. But they 
were rayahs or cattle, Christians and Jews, to be held 
in subjection, whose lives were to be spared so long as 
they submitted, but who took no part in the government, 
except as servants of the Turkish nation. They formed 
separate communities or millets which had in many 
matters to govern themselves and were really outside 
the Turkish nation. The governing race, the dominant 
millet, was the Turkish, and all power was in its hands. 
The head of such a race was of necessity absolute. 

Since the adoption of the title of Sultan by Othman, 
or Osman, the founder of the present reigning dynasty, 
until July 1908, if we except a few months in 1877, the 
government of Turkey has been an absolute monarchy. 
Under such form of government, the character of the 



8 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

ruler is manifestly of supreme importance. The method 
of appointing him, or in other words the law of succession, 
may have a powerful influence on the character of the 
ruler. It certainly has had such influence in Turkey. 



THE TURKISH LAW OF SUCCESSION 

The Turkish law of succession to the throne now 
differs from that prevailing in all European countries. 
The heir to the throne is the oldest male member be- 
longing to the imperial stock. The usual European 
method is to make the oldest son of the reigning sovereign 
heir. 

In the early centuries of Turkish history the European 
mode of succession was followed. Son succeeded father. 
Brothers of the Sultan only came in when the male heirs 
of the body had failed. As under a system of polygamy 
there were often many sons by different mothers, serious 
struggles between them and between the mothers 
occurred for the succession of the father. It was for 
this reason that, before 1453, the practice in the Sultan's 
family of killing off younger brothers had become general. 
Mahomet, the conqueror of Constantinople, legalized the 
practice, but did not so far as I can find attempt to change 
the rule of succession. The hideous practice of killing 
younger sons continued. Turkish history is full of 
struggles between brothers ; of younger brothers being 
hidden away ; of cold-blooded murders when they were 
caught, and of infanticide. The Turk seems to have 
considered fratricide, and especially infanticide in the 
reigning family, a necessity. Turkish law legitimates 
all children of free Moslem fathers, no matter what was 
or is the condition of the mother. When a man had a 
large harem, the share coming to each of his heirs upon 
his death would be usually small, because by Moslem 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 9 

law all sons take equally. Every mother whose child 
was living would resent the birth of new heirs by other 
mothers. The result has been and still is a large amount 
of infanticide wherever there are more wives than one. 
Medical men in Constantinople are agreed that even now 
the amount of illegal practices to prevent the increase 
of heirs is something appalling. Hence the law of 
Mahomet II., legalizing fratricide in the imperial family, 
coincided with the popular will, and the inhabitants of 
the capital heard of child murder with indifference. 
Contemporary books about Turkey written in the six- 
teenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century abound in 
imperial murders, many of which were perpetrated in 
order to prevent wars of succession. 

Alongside the great Mosque of Saint Sophia there is a 
striking illustration of this hideous form of crime. On 
its south are three large mausoleums. Murad the Third, 
who died in 1594, lies in the middle one. He left 
eighteen sons who in various ways had escaped death. 
The eldest son succeeded to the throne as Mahomet III. 
On his accession he ordered all his seventeen brothers 
to be bow-strung. Their bodies are within or rather 
beneath biers around that of their father. 

When Sultan Ahmed died in 1617, all his children 
were young. The Council of State took the opportunity 
of changing the succession. The brother of Ahmed 
was proclaimed Sultan under the name of Mustafa, and 
the new rule of succession was adopted by which the 
oldest male of the imperial stock became heir to the 
throne. There are only two sultans from that time 
to the present who have succeeded their fathers, one 
being Mahomet IV. and the other Abdul Medjid. During 
all this period, until the middle of last century, the 
law for destroying superfluous male issue was acted 
upon. Colonel White notes in his "Three Years in 



10 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Constantinople/' that the barbarous practice of immuring 
younger sons or brothers who had been allowed to live, 
and of destroying their offspring, was in 1844, the date 
of his residence here, still in force. It was indeed just 
about that time, by the efforts of Abdul Medjid, that 
the recognition of the murderous seraglio law came to 
an end. His immediate predecessor, Mahmud II., the 
Reformer, had been deeply attached to one of his 
daughters named Mihr, who, knowing the existence of 
the inexorable rule, submitted herself to an improper 
operation, from which both mother and child died. 
Mahmud swore in his agony that no more lives should 
be thus sacrificed. Nevertheless, the law remained 
unchanged. Shortly afterwards, in 1839, Mahmud 
himself died. His successor, Abdul Medjid, had not been 
long on the throne before an incident occurred which 
attracted the attention, not only of the Sultan, but of 
the ambassadors of foreign Powers and of Western 
Europe. Ateya Sultana, his sister, had already seen 
one of her sons killed in conformity with the brutal 
palace law. When she was again pregnant her husband 
expended large sums to buy off the hostility of the 
mothers of other princes ; but when a boy was born, 
the jealousy of the mothers against the prince who might 
be a rival to their own sons' claims was too strong to 
be resisted. The Sultan's permission was obtained, and 
the child was made away with. The poor mother went 
mad, and in less than three months was buried near her 
infant. The incident was strongly commented on in 
England and France, and with such effect that if similar 
murders have since taken place, they have been care- 
fully concealed. 

The change in the law of succession already mentioned 
probably increased child-murder. It has, however, yet 
more evil results to answer for. It is probably the worst 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 11 

plan which could be devised for securing a competent 
Sultan. The ruler, like any other father, would naturally 
prefer that his son, rather than his brother or other 
older relative, should succeed. On the other hand, the 
brother or other relative is waiting anxiously for the 
vacant throne. Hence the story runs through the last 
three centuries of the heir to the throne being kept 
strictly guarded as a prisoner, or, as opportunity offered, 
of being made away with. The heir, being kept in 
confinement, sees nothing of the world, is not visited 
by or allowed to visit any Turkish minister or other 
subject of intelligence, sees no foreign ambassador, and 
takes no part in any public function. The longer he 
lives, the less incapable he becomes of governing wisely. 

Compare such a condition with the training of the 
heir to the throne in England or Germany. These heirs 
see the ablest statesmen of their respective countries, 
meet with the experts in science, art, and politics, are 
visited by, and visit ambassadors from other countries, 
have been at one or more universities, are trained as 
soldiers or sailors, and take the place of their fathers in 
many public functions. Under such circumstances, 
unless a man is mentally deficient, he is sure to be 
highly educated. The older such a man is when he 
succeeds to his father's throne, the more competent is 
he likely to be. The older a man is under the Turkish 
system, the less competent will he be. 

Let me take an illustration which is under my eyes 
while writing. Reschad Effendi, now the reigning 
Sultan Mahomet V., was the next in succession to 
Abdul Hamid. He was only two years younger, and 
was treated in the usual manner as a next heir. He was 
allowed an income sufficient to maintain him and his 
establishment in affluence, but was confined to his 
palace, and to a region of about half a mile around it. 



12 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Spies inside and outside his house took note of all 
visitors, and neither ambassador nor minister could even 
make a visit of courtesy. He is said to have declared 
in August, after the revolution, that he had not read 
any newspaper for twenty years. So also with the 
other princes of the imperial family. When Nazim, 
Vali of Bagdad (1910-1911) ^arrived in Constantinople, 
having escaped from prison in Erzinghian a few weeks 
before the revolution, where he had been for seven years, 
Prince Buraneddin said to him, " We have hardly been 
better off than you, for we were never allowed to see 
any one." 

The treatment Reschad Effendi endured is the result 
of the suspicion created by the Turkish law of succession. 
Abdul Hamid has quite enough to answer for, and 
although he has been suspicious of everybody and every- 
thing, I am not prepared to say that in his treatment of 
his brothers he was worse than his predecessors in similar 
circumstances. It is the rule of succession that is wrong. 
It will be remembered that in April 1909, when Abdul 
Hamid was deposed, he claimed that his life ought to be 
spared because he had not killed his brother, the present 
Sultan. He had a modicum of reason and precedent 
in his plea. 

Further illustrations of how the law works may be 
given : Abdul Hamid is the second son of Abdul Medjid, 
who died in 1861. Abdul Medjid was succeeded by his 
brother Abdul Aziz, who was deposed and committed 
suicide in 1876. On the deposition of the latter, Murad, 
the elder brother of Abdul Hamid and the eldest male 
of the imperial family, became Sultan, but was deposed 
for mental incapacity after two months, and was suc- 
ceeded by Abdul Hamid. In the natural order of things 
it is doubtful whether any son of Abdul Hamid will be 
girt with the sword of Othman, the ceremony which 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 13 

corresponds to coronation. It is well known that about 
1905-6, the Sheik-ul-Islam was sounded as to whether 
the Sultan might lawfully change the law of succession, 
his desire being to nominate his third and favourite son 
Buraneddin. The Sultan's request was met by a very 
distinct negative. By law there were fourteen who 
took precedence over the son in question, the first being 
Abdul Hamid's brother Reschad, the now reigning 
Sultan, the next being Prince Yusuf Izzedin, the son of 
Abdul Aziz. One of the strongest arguments in favour 
of retaining the Sultan on the throne after the revolution 
of July 1908, was that in case of his dethronement or 
death, there would almost certainly have been a war of 
succession. The ulema and a portion of the army 
would have declared for the lawful heir, while it was 
generally believed that there was an organized body of 
men who were working to place Yusuf Izzedin, the 
present heir-apparent, on the throne. When, on the 
very day in December 1908 on which the Sultan opened 
the Chamber of Deputies, an attempt was made to 
break into the house of Reschad, and, as was believed, 
to kill him, placards were posted in- prominent places 
denouncing a Turk who was believed to be the organizer 
,of the Izzedin faction, and adding, " If you wish to find 
the real author of the crime, ask yourselves who would 
profit by Reschad's death." The answer of course was 
Izzedin. 

Suspicion, inherited by the tradition of murder in 
order to give security for the occupation and for the 
succession to the throne, and intensified by the know- 
ledge that intrigues are constantly going on to change 
such succession, becomes the keynote to palace policy 
in Turkey. The reigning sultans have constantly 
become suspicious of everybody and everything. Abdul 
Hamid, though the latest and in some respects an un- 



14 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

usually striking example of a sovereign steeped in 
suspicion, shared this characteristic with nearly all his 
predecessors. Cart-loads of " journals," the technical 
word for the reports of his spies, were collected in Yildiz. 
These were the documents which occupied most of his 
time. He knew that his spies were often untrustworthy. 
Accordingly, other spies were set to report upon them 
or to control their reports. Men of every European 
nation as well as Turkish subjects went to form a great 
multitude of spies. Well-dressed women as well as 
men had their expenses paid at the best hotels in Pera 
in order to report the doings and sayings of even visitors 
who might be working for some candidate for the throne. 
As Abdul Hamid attached great importance to what was 
said of him by foreign newspapers, he had "journals " 
sent with extracts from the newspapers of every capital 
regarding him. In the capital itself censorship of every 
newspaper which entered the country was complete. 
But the Sultan here also distrusted his own workmen. 
He had therefore at the palace a double set of censors 
who found out what was said. Then the two reports 
were compared. A friendly censor told me that he had 
been compelled to call attention to a letter I had written 
to the Daily News, because, said he, " If I had passed it, 
it would have been found by the censors at the palace, 
and I should have been dismissed for having omitted 
to report it." 

The suspicion ever present became a species of mania 
and developed a harshness of character and a reckless- 
ness of the rights of his subjects of which some illustra- 
tions may be given. Sir Henry Elliot, who was British 
ambassador to the Sultan when Abdul Hamid came to 
the throne, and who had exceptional opportunities of 
knowing the truth, declared in the Nineteenth Century 
that the foulest blot on the career of Abdul Hamid was 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 15 

the trial and condemnation of Midhat Pasha. Think 
what this statement means : Sultan Abdul Aziz was 
dethroned, and committed suicide by opening the veins 
on his left arm, and to a less extent on his right, with a 
pair of long scissors. His mother declared she had lent 
her son the scissors a short time before in order that he 
might trim his beard. Nineteen medical men, including 
one from every foreign embassy, examined the body, 
and unanimously reported that the death was from 
suicide. Dr Dickson, the medical adviser of the British 
Embassy, told me, and, I believe, published the state- 
ment, that he went to the palace to examine the body 
with the full conviction that the Sultan had been 
murdered ; but having made a thorough examination, 
he entertained no more doubt than did his foreign 
colleagues that the case was one of suicide. Then, 
when many months had passed, Abdul Hamid put 
Midhat Pasha and others on their trial for the wilful 
murder of Abdul Aziz, and, having placed his own 
creatures on the judgment seat, false witnesses were 
produced and a sentence of death was pronounced 
which it required all the diplomatic efforts of Europe 
to have changed into one of banishment. As the world 
knows, for Midhat 's son has produced ample evidence, 
the author of the Constitution was subsequently killed 
in Arabia. 

Sir Henry Elliot's charge is that Abdul Hamid, in 
order to render his own succession to the throne secure, 
trumped up a foul, detailed, and ingenious story in order 
to get rid of a man who had shorn the office of the Sultan 
of its absolute power by insisting upon the proclamation 
of a constitution. 

It would be easy to record many other foul deeds done 
by Abdul Hamid to make away with men upon whom 
his suspicion had fallen. Hardly a year passed without 



16 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

the disappearance of some man of note who had fallen 
under the suspicion of the Sultan. The victims were 
usually reported in the local press to have " died 
suddenly." In all such cases it was dangerous to speak 
openly of their death or disappearance. 

One case, however, may now be mentioned, where 
Abdul Hamid's suspicion and reckless injustice failed 
of its object. It is a tradition among Moslems that 
no cession of territory can be made, except it be 
taken by force. The Cyprus Convention was con- 
cluded between Great Britain and Turkey, the latter 
being represented by Safvet Pasha. I remark in pass- 
ing that the arrangement was made in great haste, 
kept secret from other embassies, and that many of the 
details were curiously defective, England consenting 
for example to pay so outrageous an amount of tribute 
that the resources of the island have been crippled ever 
since. When the cession became known there was much 
ill-feeling among Moslems. Here was a reckless cession 
of territory by the Sultan, a clear violation of Moslem 
law. Abdul Hamid at once took measures to save him- 
self. He sent for Kutchuk (or Little) Said Pasha, and 
ordered him to bring a public charge of high treason 
against Safvet. The order was monstrous, because the 
Sultan had himself taken the most active part hi the 
negotiations, and had himself issued the imperial irade 
confirming the conditions, each of which he had dis- 
cussed with Sir Henry Layard. The order to Kutchuk 
Said was to find a method of proving Safvet guilty before 
a Turkish court of law. Said took some time, and then 
explained that several highly placed men knew the 
interest his imperial master had taken in the matter, 
and the really unimportant part which the accused had 
played. He reported that it would be impossible to 
prove Safvet guilty with any form of law, and that the 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 17 

attempt would do more harm to his Majesty's reputation 
than good. The Sultan was furiously angry, withdrew 
the imperial favour, and brave Little Said, an honest, 
industrious, eminently useful servant of the State, re- 
mained under suspicion until the deposition of Abdul 
Hamid. It may be remembered that during the time 
when Sir Philip Currie was ambassador in Constantinople, 
Kutchuk Said took refuge in the British embassy with 
his young son. It was generally believed at the time, and 
notably by Eutchuk Said himself, that the Sultan was 
endeavouring to arrest him and have him made away 
with, and it was while he was being followed in the 
principal street of Pera, that he with his son passed into 
the Bon Marche, and while the spies waited for him at 
the door, passed through into another street from which 
he readily escaped into the embassy. He did not leave 
until Sir Philip Currie had received assurances that his 
life and property would be saved. In fact, however, 
the publicity given to his escape was his best safeguard. 
In some matters Abdul Hamid stood greatly in fear of 
foreign public opinion, and all that the Sultan could do 
was to protest that he had no hostile design against so 
loyal a subject as Kutchuk Said, a protest which nobody 
believed. 

The treatment of Sultan Murad, who was deposed to 
make room for Abdul Hamid, was miserable enough, 
but his deposition was necessary, inasmuch as for a 
while he was out of his mind. He was confined in the 
Cheragan palace, the beautiful building which, after 
having served as the meeting place of the Deputies, was 
accidentally burnt in the spring of 1910, and there he died 
in 1904. But he with his wives and slaves were prisoners. 
They were never permitted to leave Cheragan and the 
grounds around it. 

The story told to some friends by the harem ladies, 



18 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

after the revolution of July 1908, which set them at 
liberty, was a pathetic one. Children had been born, 
had died and had been buried in the garden of the palace. 
But no occupant had been permitted to leave it. None 
of them knew what went on outside. No newspapers 
were allowed to be passed in. The ladies were in old- 
fashioned dresses and Turkish ladies are as fickle in 
regard to fashion of dress as Europeans and wore the 
ferijis and yashmacs which had been fashionable in the 
seventies. No visitors were permitted. Their supply 
of food, with the exception of the simplest articles, was 
extremely limited. The poor prisoner himself regretted 
most of all that he could not make small presents to his 
children and grandchildren who were his fellow-prisoners. 

Before leaving the subject of the imperial family, I 
may note that the mother of the first-born prince takes 
precedence of all other ladies in the harem, and that, 
when her son comes to the throne, she takes the title of 
Sultana Valida. In the European sense, the Sultan is 
never married. His harem consists of as many ladies as 
he chooses to own. Abdul Hamid's harem was much 
smaller than was that of Abdul Aziz. Until about 
fifteen years ago, the custom prevailed of making the 
Sultan an annual present of a lady, usually a Circassian. 
Abdul Hamid deserves the credit of putting an end to it. 

Upon the accession of a sultan the ceremony, which 
corresponds to that of Coronation in England, is, as 
already mentioned, the girding on of the Sword of Osman. 
It takes place in the Mosque of Eyoub, which is situated 
on the Golden Horn, about half a mile from the Walls of 
Constantinople. A certain sanctity attaches, and always 
has attached, to this Mosque. No foreigner and no non- 
Moslem is allowed to enter it. Indeed I have often seen 
considerable fanaticism displayed by the poor Moslems 
living around the Mosque when Europeans have ventured 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 19 

to enter the courtyard ; angry faces and shouts of 
Yasak (forbidden) greeting the intruders. 

The duty of girding on the Sword of Osman on a new 
Sultan devolves upon the Chief, or Chelebi, of the Mehlevi 
Dervishes, who resides at Konia. The office of the 
Chelebi is hereditary, and the occupant rarely comes to 
Constantinople except for the purpose of performing this 
hereditary duty. 

At all times it has been extremely difficult to obtain 
accurate information of the private lives of the sultans 
and of the crowd of men and women who inhabit the 
palace. Under the harem system the number of women 
largely exceeds that of men, and information from the 
palace is rarely to be obtained at first hand. The Turks 
themselves fully admit their own ignorance on this 
subject. It would be easy to fill many pages with 
stories of the ugly deeds done there during the thirty 
years of Abdul Hamid's reign ; of persons who have 
entered and never come out alive ; and still more of 
persons who, after examination, have been shipped off 
and never heard of again, or sent into exile to distant 
portions of the empire. It would be unreasonable to 
suppose that all these stories are untrue. The evidence 
is not sufficient, however, to make any sweeping state- 
ment about palace practices. The life is one of mystery 
and intrigue. According to the reports that come from 
it, it is essentially unhealthy and morally unwholesome. 

THE SULTAN'S CLAIM TO BE CALIPH 

Abdul Hamid, like several of his predecessors, claimed 
to be not only Sultan, but Caliph. The word signifies 
" vice-regent of the prophet." As such the Caliph was to 
be protector of Mahometans everywhere and entitled 
to their allegiance. He was to rule with authority over 
Moslems, and practically to be Pope and King combined. 



20 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

The prophet had claimed such authority in Arabia, and 
made provision for his successors to inherit the like 
powers. The successor was to be supreme in all matters 
spiritual as well as temporal. There was to be only one 
Caliph, for the prophet said, " When two Caliphs have 
been set up, put the last to death, and preserve the 
second, for the last is a rebel." l The Turks belong to 
the division of Mahometans called Sunnis, and all the 
Sunni books are hi accord as to the necessary qualifica- 
tions for the dignity of Caliph. These qualifications 
were judged so important that until about ten years ago 
they were posted up in all the great mosques of Con- 
stantinople. The first of them was that the Caliph 
should belong to the tribe of the Koreish ; the second 
(though I cannot learn whether this was contained in the 
extracts from the sacred traditions so posted in the 
mosques), that he was to be elected. Mr Hughes, the 
author of a Dictionary of Islam regarded as of high 
authority, asserts that all parties among Mahometans 
agree that the Caliphate is elective and not hereditary. 
By Abdul Hamid's orders, and much to the disgust of 
many Mollahs, these notices as to the qualifications for 
the dignity were ordered to be taken down. " Does 
Abdul Hamid believe," said a Mollah of rank at the time, 
" that we do not all know them by heart, and that we 
shall omit to teach them to all Moslems ? " Clearly, as 
Abdul Hamid is not of the Arabic tribe of Koreish, he 
cannot be the Caliph whom Mahomet contemplated. 
Mr Hughes says, " We have not seen a single work of 
authority, nor met with a single man of learning, who 
has ever attempted to prove that the Sultans of Turkey 
are rightful Caliphs," and in support of his statement he 
gives a number of quotations from Mahometan writers. 2 

1 Mishkat XVI., chap, i., quoted by Rev. T. P. Hughes, p. 150. 

2 Hughes' "Notes on Muhammadanism." Second edition, p. 152-4. A 



SULTANS AND SUCCESSION TO THRONE 21 

The same author, writing four years ago, says, " After 
a careful study of the whole subject for thirty years, 
twenty having been spent among the mosques of the 
Moslems, I will defy anyone to produce any reasonable 
proof that any Moslem scholar in India acknowledges 
Abdul Hamid as the rightful Caliph." 

In certain Islamic lands the indispensable qualification 
of being of the Koreish is put forward in support of the 
claim to be Caliph. The Sultan of Morocco makes such 
a claim. Nor is there any pretext that Abdul Hamid 
or his predecessors were elected by the followers of 
Mahomet. 

The claim of the Turkish Sultan to be Caliph is stated 
in the following manner. He inherits the right of 
Caliphate from the time of his predecessor, Selim I., 
to whom the Sherif of Mecca, who was ruler and guardian 
of the sacred cities, submitted in 1516. Thereupon the 
Sultan took the title of guardian of the sacred cities. 
Subsequent sultans have always preserved the title 
taken by Selim and called themselves caliphs. They 
have, however, never been recognized as such in Morocco, 
Tunis, Algiers or India. I have said nothing of the 
Shiah sect, because there such a pretention is unknown. 
According to the leaders of that division of Mahometan- 
ism the Imam, or Caliph, is almost if not entirely an in- 
carnation of divinity. The Caliph of the Sunnis is only a 
divinely appointed ruler. 

PAN-ISLAMISM 

The above facts are important, because much was 
said in England during Abdul Hamid's reign, and con- 
tinues to be said, about Pan-Islamism. 

similar opinion is expressed in "The Faith of Islam," by the Rev. 
Edward Sell, p. 85. His book is specially useful for those interested 
in the development of the Shiah doctrines. 



22 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

I have made careful inquiries of many trustworthy 
Moslems in order to learn the truth about the existence 
of the movement under this name. I believe the facts 
are the following : first, that the Pan-Islamic move- 
ment, which writers in favour of Abdul Hamid's govern- 
ment endeavoured to persuade Europe was a living 
force dangerous to England and other Christian Powers, 
hardly existed. I doubt whether Abdul Hamid himself 
attached much importance to it. It is true that in 
Yildiz itself he had denunciations printed against 
England, which were prepared for distribution amongst 
Afghans and Arabs during the time when Lord Dufferin 
was Ambassador in Constantinople. But that Am- 
bassador saw the Sultan on the subject, and in his 
peculiarly tactful way made light of the matter and let 
Abdul Hamid know that he was playing a dangerous 
game. Abdul Hamid from that time, though he never 
ceased to be hostile to England, lost apparently any 
interest in the Pan-Islamic movement. 

But, secondly, there was, and is, a genuine movement 
which deserves that name. It is a purely religious one. 
Islam, like Christianity, being essentially a missionary 
religion, has never wanted believers who were prepared 
to become missionaries. In a subsequent chapter, I 
indicate that some of the Dervish sects are the present 
living force of Islam. But the great missionary efforts 
of Mahometanism are not due even to the religious sects 
of Turkey. At the present time the Senoussi are spread- 
ing Islam in Africa and are converting idolators and 
fetish worshippers to the belief that there is only one God. 
I am not aware that this Pan-Islamic movement is a 
serious danger either to Islam or civilization, though in 
Africa it may give considerable trouble. 



CHAPTER II 

THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 

Population of Turkey Turk as distinguished from Osmanli 
Turkish population stationary or diminishing Influences of heredity, 
environment and religion on Turkish character. 

THE population of the Ottoman Empire, including 
about four million Arabs, is about twenty-four 
millions. As no accurate statistics exist it is impossible 
to say with any precision what proportion the non- 
Moslem population bears to the Moslem. There are 
between three millions eight hundred thousand and four 
millions of Greeks, one and a half million Armenians, 
and probably a million Bulgarians. In what remains 
to the empire in Europe, there are Albanians, descendants 
of perhaps the earliest race which settled in the Balkan 
peninsula, some of whom are Moslems while others are 
Christians. There are Greeks in the south of Macedonia 
and around all the coast of the peninsula, Bulgarians in 
its centre, and Serbians in the north. Scattered across 
Macedonia, a little to the north of Salonica, are a few 
colonies known as Wallachs. All these races profess 
Christianity. In Thrace and in the Rhodope mountains, 
immediately to the south of Bulgaria, are the Pomaks, 
a hardy people, probably Bulgarians in race or possibly 
the survivors of the ancient Thracians who were pushed 
into the mountains by the Bulgarians. The Pomaks 
are Moslems. Between the rivers Vardar, which empties 
itself into the bay of Salonica, and the Struma, are 
settlements of Turks. They are found also in isolated 



24 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

communities on the frontier of Greece, to the south-west 
of Salonica, and in various other parts of Macedonia. 

It is convenient to speak of the Moslem inhabitants 
of the Ottoman Empire as Turks. The name Osmanli 
is now officially applied to all subjects of the Sultan, 
whether Moslem or Christian. But the term Turk 
requires explanation. Among the Moslem subjects of 
the Sultan, there are Turks strictly so-called, that is, 
descendants of the Turkish race which entered the 
country during the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries, but also Arabs, Circassians, Albanians, Lazes, 
Pomaks, Euruks, Kizilbashis and others. 

It is beyond doubt that the Turkish race is not of pure 
blood. To say nothing of the intermixture of Turcomans 
and Tartars, Mongols, Patchinaks and others with the 
inhabitants of the empire before the time of the prophet 
Mahomet, those who emigrated into Asia Minor in the 
succeeding centuries married the women of the provinces 
in which they settled. Much of the settlement was by 
way of peaceful emigration. Many of the women 
willingly so married. Others were forced to do so. It 
is an interesting fact that among the early Ottoman 
conquerors there seems to have been no objection to 
taking wives who remained Christians. Many of their 
leaders did so. Even at the present day it is by no 
means uncommon for a Turk of the wealthier class to 
have a Christian wife. She may attend her own church 
and profess her own faith, but the children must be 
brought up Moslems. In earlier days even this re- 
striction was not imposed upon her. Moreover, all the 
invaders did not profess Islam, and upon others their 
religion sat lightly. 1 Even as recently as sixty years 
ago the custom among the Albanians was to bring up 
the boys as Moslems, the girls as Christians. Sir Henry 

1 Se on this subject my " Destruction of the Greek Empire," chap. iii. 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 25 

A. Layard, who as a young man travelled through 
Albania, notices this from his own observation among 
many other interesting facts in his autobiography. The 
result of the freedom of intercourse between com- 
paratively small armies of occupation, as were both the 
Seljuk Turks, as the first invaders of the Turkish race 
were called, and the Ottoman Turks who subsequently 
branched off from them, and the mass of the population 
in Asia Minor and European Turkey, was greatly to 
modify the early type. Among other causes tending 
to such modification may be added the existence for 
upwards of three centuries of an army of Christian 
origin, all the members of which were compelled to 
become Moslems and were merged in the Turkish race 
with their descendants. The physical features of the 
Turk were even changed. In the interesting lectures 
on Turkey, delivered at the time of the Crimean war 
by Cardinal Newman, are given descriptions of the 
hideous physiognomy of ancestors of the Turks, descrip- 
tions which explain the not uncommon belief that they 
had come from Tartarus, but which are certainly untrue 
of the twentieth-century Turk. 

Speaking of the Turk in the strict sense and omitting 
other Moslem peoples in the empire, his race has de- 
veloped a type of face which residents in the country have 
usually little difficulty in recognizing. I do not forget 
that owing to the isolation of races, as to which I shall 
have to speak later, there are, in many places, groups 
of people where the original type of earlier races than 
the Turks remains distinct. There are Hittites and 
Assyrians, Lazes and others who have preserved the 
appearance of their ancestors as completely as many of 
the islanders in the gean have preserved that which 
Praxiteles and Lysippus and many another sculptor 
have left for us. In some districts, as on both coasts of 



26 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

the ^Egean, there has evidently been much inter- 
marriage with the Greeks. In others, as in the plain 
to the south of the Taurus range from Adalia to 
Alexandretta, the type is largely Arab. A little to the 
east of that district and in Armenia proper, the Turk 
has intermarried with the Armenian and taken his type. 
As the types have been varied in this manner, so also 
have the general characteristics of the race. 

STRICTLY TURKISH POPULATION DIMINISHING 

The strictly Turkish population shows a tendency to 
decrease. A report was presented to Sultan Abdul 
Hamid about ten years ago by Dr Von During, an 
eminent German specialist who had been for some years 
in the Turkish service, which expressed his deliberate 
opinion that unless radical measures were taken to check 
the widespread diseases with which he had to deal, the 
Turkish population would be extinct in two generations. 
It was a report which stated facts fearlessly, and was so 
terrible that it was with great difficulty that the author, 
who had given notice of his intention to quit Turkish 
service and resume his practice in Germany where he 
had already acquired a valuable reputation, was able to 
get it into the hands of the Sultan. He only succeeded 
by the intervention of his ambassador. 

Abdul Hamid was -alarmed at its contents and sent 
for the writer. After a long interview he begged Dr 
Von During to remain in Turkey, and offered him double 
the considerable salary he had been receiving. He, how- 
ever, refused all offers, justly claiming that what he had 
done was no more than his duty as a medical man, and 
in the interest of a people whom he liked. I believe, 
however, that he promised, at the request of the Sultan, 
to select two medical men to take up the work in which 
he had been occupied. 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 27 

The army system has been largely, though not solely, 
responsible for the spread of the forms of disease with 
which he had had to deal. But the whole Turkish people 
have been, since their entry into the country, a nation of 
soldiers, and probably the like evils have always existed. 
As a result, the Turks are not a prolific race. A 
singularly observant British Consul, the late Mr Gavin 
Gatheral, whose station was at Angora, told me that in 
his frequent journeys from Ismidt to that city, before 
the railway was opened, he had passed the deserted sites 
of at least a dozen Moslem villages which he had 
formerly seen under occupation, and that in several 
others, where there had been two or three mosques, 
there was now only one. 

My late friend, Sir William Whittall, who died in 
1910, was fond of telling of towns and villages in the 
country, between Smyrna and Konia, which he had 
known in his youth as purely Moslem, but which were 
now largely Christian. A Greek bakal would establish 
his huckster's shop in the town. It would be found of 
general use, and gradually other Greeks would follow 
until the Moslems would be in a minority. The popula- 
tion had neither increased nor decreased, but its elements 
had changed. Other residents in various parts of 
Turkey tell a similar tale. 

My own somewhat extensive reading of Turkish 
history convinces me not only that this kind of peaceful 
penetration of the Christian populations has nearly 
always been going on, but that the native Moslem 
population has been constantly decreasing. Its 
numbers have only been maintained by a steady stream 
of immigration from central Asia and Russia. Though 
the Euruks and other destructive Nomads commenced 
to enter Asia Minor long before 1453, others have con- 
stantly followed in their footsteps. Settlers have also 



28 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

come from the same countries in order to exchange a 
Christian or semi-pagan rule for a Moslem one. There 
has been no century since the capture of Constantinople 
in 1453 in which great numbers of Turcomans, so-called 
Kurds, and others have not been silently entering the 
country. 

The most notable of these immigrants during the last 
century are the Circassians. Mr Wilson, an American 
missionary who has been in Persia for many years, 
writing in 1899 states that 600,000 Circassians have 
entered Turkey during the fifteen previous years. 1 
I have no means of controlling this statement, but think 
it probably correct. They are not a people who readily 
assimilate with their neighbours, and are not popular 
even with their co-religionists. 

There are other Moslem immigrants who have entered 
the empire within the last thirty years, whose names 
will recur to the reader. Moslems from Bulgaria, others 
from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a not inconsiderable 
number from Crete, probably numbering altogether in 
one generation not less than half a million emigrants. 

The Turks have always been ready to receive foreign 
immigrants. The asylum offered to the Jewish victims 
of Christian persecution in Spain, under Ferdinand and 
Isabella, was not granted merely on humanitarian 
grounds, but because the sultans wanted population in 
Macedonia. Yet in spite of these immigrants, Moslem 
and Jewish, nobody who knows the country will assert 
that the Moslem population is increasing. 

On the one hand, the denudation of certain districts 
by famine, want of communication, by the drain of 
population for the army, and by other causes has 
especially told on the Turkish population ; on the other, 
the Christian populations, in spite of frequent massacres, 
1 "Persian Life," by the Rev. S. G. Wilson. 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 29 

have been fairly prolific. Various sultans have sought 
at many periods in Turkish history to transplant the 
prolific Christians into the districts left void by the 
Moslems. We have many instances of such transplant- 
ing even near the capital. Bardizag, about twenty miles 
from Ismidt, is a town of purely Armenian population. 
It probably contains ten thousand souls. Riding over 
the Bithynian hills a quarter of a century ago with two 
Turkish friends, we found in a remote mountain valley 
a fairly thriving Armenian village called New Town, 
or Yenikeuy, of probably three thousand persons. Not a 
Turk or Greek was among them. Neither at Bardizag 
nor at Yenikeuy were we able to obtain definite informa- 
tion as to how colonies of Armenians were found in such 
isolated places. The only answer obtainable was that 
their ancestors had been brought there many generations 
ago by the Turks. These isolated communities are 
found throughout the empire, and are among the 
curiosities of travel. I mention them as an illustration 
of the fact that the Turkish population has had, and has, 
a tendency to diminish, while no such tendency exists 
among the Christian races. In spite of polygamy and 
of constant immigration, the Turkish population of Asia 
Minor, which is so sparsely peopled that in large areas 
it does not amount to more than seven to the square 
mile, does not increase. 

INFLUENCES OF HEREDITY AND RELIGION 

The twentieth-century Turk is of mixed race, being 
the product of central Asiatic stock and of the earlier 
races whom his ancestors found in the country which he 
invaded. The two influences which have done most 
towards forming his character have been derived from 
heredity and religion, and deserve notice. The original 
Turk, as judged from history, was a dweller on the Asiatic 



30 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

plains who cared little about religion. That which he 
inherited or was ordered to profess, he clung to. But 
he did not care to examine it. The people with whom 
he mingled when he came into Asia Minor took their 
religious beliefs seriously. They understood the mean- 
ing of the phrase Oportet hereticos esse. The great 
Paulician heresy of the third century, which extended 
from Armenia to Ireland, had its stronghold in Eastern 
Asia Minor. The Mithras cult had its greatest develop- 
ment in the same country. Other heresies will at once 
recur to the mind of the reader, especially perhaps the 
Nestorian, a fact which shows that the inhabitants were 
not disposed in the time of the empire to take their 
religious teaching from Constantinople or elsewhere 
without discussion. These heresies were usually of an 
intellectual and reasonable character. Such wanton 
beliefs as prevailed among the Arabs, like, for example, 
the existence of a Trinity composed of Father, Son and 
the Virgin Mary, must be excluded when thinking of 
Asia Minor. Sir William Ramsay, who knows the history 
and archaeology of the religions of Anatolia certainly as 
well as any man living, has described the serious type 
of religion which the early peoples of the country de- 
veloped, and the remarkable continuity of religious 
thought which has existed from long before our era 
down to the present day. The central idea was of the 
Motherhood of God, the mother evidently being nature. 1 
They never fell under the spell of Pantheism with its 
inevitable tendency to degenerate into Polytheism. 
Though the monotheistic idea is usually credited to the 
Hebrews, yet it would not be wrong to say that the 
religions of Arabia, Syria and Asia Minor always tended 
towards Monotheism. The sense of the incomprehen- 

1 See Sir William Ramsay's "Luke the Physician," and especially 
his Rede lecture at Cambridge, published in the "Contemporary 
Review " of July 1906. 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 31 

sible, of visible power, of almighty dominancy and im- 
manency over both nature and men, is what impressed 
the early races of these countries, and still impresses 
them. Mr Charles M. Doughty, in his invaluable 
" Wanderings in Arabia/' expresses his surprise at the 
" religiosity of the rude young men of the people " (of the 
desert at Aneyza), and remarks that while the Semitic 
religion is a cold and strange plant in the idolatrous 
soil of Europe, it " is like a blood passion in the people of 
Moses and Mahommed." 1 

The influence of the religions of Asia Minor and Arabia 
was always opposed to that of Greece. The emperors, 
who opposed the worship of images and pictures, were 
from Asia Minor. Those who protected such worship 
were from the European provinces. It was among the 
serious minded haters of image worship that the Turks 
settled or conquered, and, before the advent of the 
destined conquerors, the Anatolian subjects of the 
emperors had shown their opposition to their fellow- 
Christians in Europe by their attitude in reference to 
image worship. In the case of the Anatolian Turk, 
the influence of Mahometanism has rather deepened the 
impress on him which he received by descent than 
changed his characteristics. 

The influences, beneficial or otherwise, which the 
religion of Islam has exerted on the Anatolian Turk may 
be noted. In passing, I may remark that it would be 
an interesting question to ask how far the European 
conception of Mahometanism has been largely com- 
pounded of the hereditary characteristics of the Anatolian 
and of the teaching of the Koran. 

It may justly be claimed that the religion of Islam 
has made or kept the Anatolians a sober race. I mention 
this first, not because of its importance, but because 

8 "Wanderings in Arabia," vol. ii. p. 161. 



32 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

sobriety is one of the characteristics which at once 
attracts the attention of European travellers. The 
great mass of Moslems in Turkey are total abstainers 
from every kind of alcoholic drink. If they were ever 
likely to fall into excess, the total prohibition decreed 
by their religion would help to keep them sober. But as 
a simple fact, none of the races of the empire are inclined 
to insobriety. Christians and Jews take the wines of the 
country, but use them as food. The habit of presenting 
alcoholic drink in any form as an act of courtesy or 
friendship, except at regular meals, is far from general, 
and in many districts is unknown. It is therefore not a 
very conspicuous service which Islam has rendered to 
the Anatolian Turks by prohibition. 

Islam has made them a physically clean people. A 
prayer has to be said at least five times a day. Before 
each of these services of adoration for that term would 
be more correct than prayer the face, feet, hands, and 
arms up to the elbows must be washed. So completely 
is the rule followed that if, as in the desert, water is not 
to be had, the form of washing is gone through with sand. 
The prayer-place, whether at home or in a mosque, must 
be scrupulously clean. The teaching in regard to 
physical defilement, which requires the washing of the 
whole body on certain occasions, of the hands before 
meals ; the constant cleans), ig of their houses, and puri- 
fication of the person, have created the habit of cleanli- 
ness. Travelling in the interior, where European in- 
fluences have hardly penetrated, one is struck by the 
remarkable cleanliness of the interior of the poorest 
Turkish houses. The example has not been without its 
influence on their Christian neighbours, but the traveller 
very often has disagreeable evidence brought to his 
senses that the Christians are content to have certain 
receptacles of filth about their houses which the Turk 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 33 

will not tolerate about his own. Even in reference to 
personal cleanliness the difference is the same. " Am 
I a Turk that I should be always washing myself/' said 
a Christian peasant, when asked in a village cafe if he 
would not like to wash before starting on his journey. 
A prominent member of the Committee of Union and 
Progress claimed that the special value of his religion 
was that it is essentially hygienic, and the claim is well 
founded. The health of the ordinary Turkish peasant 
is improved, because he is clean, avoids alcohol, lives 
frugally, and largely in the open air. 

His religion has helped to make and keep him a self- 
respecting man, an obedient citizen, a man contented 
with his lot. These results come from his belief that 
every action in his life is preordained. It is difficult for 
those who have not seen the Turk at home to recognize 
how completely fatalism obsesses him. If he suffers a 
loss, " it was written," meaning, of course, that it was 
preordained by Allah before he was born. No Scotch 
Calvinist ever held more tenaciously to the belief that 
every bullet has its billet. If a man becomes poor, " it 
was written." Does he rise ? as hundreds of men have 
done, to high office through ability or favouritism, " it 
was written." Strong in his belief, he takes the changes 
in life as a man travelling, for the first time on a railway 
through fields, passing villages and towns of the existence 
of which he had known nothing. They are there. He 
has had nothing to do with tjiem, but chance does not 
exist. Whatever is, is right. The ups and downs in 
life hardly worry him, and are seen with wonderful 
indifference by his fellow-men. 

I recall a typical instance which came under my notice. 

A man had risen from a low position to become a pasha 

and governor of an important vilayet. He had a large 

salary, which he probably doubled by the usual exactions. 

3 



34, TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

The time came when another favourite replaced him. 
Meantime he had bought a large palace on the Bosporus, 
had augmented his harem, and largely increased the 
number of his retainers. Here he lived in glorious style 
and at great expense. He had not invested money, and 
could not or would not lessen his expenditure so as to 
save enough to buy a position from the palace favourites 
or live quietly. His fortune was soon spent. He 
mortgaged his palace and other property, probably at 
very high interest, and gradually the mortgagees fore- 
closed. The pasha became penniless and houseless. It 
was naturally a sad day for him and the members of his 
family when they had to leave their palace. The women 
howled, by which I mean that they set up those loud 
cries of wailing, which have been common to Eastern 
peoples, and even Greeks, for thousands of years, even 
when professional mourners have not been hired. Then 
they betook themselves to a small tumble-down wooden 
shanty a few miles distant, and seemed to live, it would 
hardly be incorrect to say to starve, as contentedly as 
they had lived in their palace. They were resigned to 
their fate. Islam means resignation to the divine will, 
and of all the moral lessons taught by his religion that 
of being resigned has been most thoroughly learned. 

Of course there are other results from fatalism, but 
with them I am not at present concerned, but when 
men believe that everything is divinely ordered, down to 
the smallest incident of life, the belief strikes at the root 
of ambition, and even of striving to better one's condition. 
The man feels himself to be the puppet of the Higher 
Powers, like his fellow-men just as good as they, and 
just as helpless. Such a man is likely to respect himself 
and to respect others. Thrift, however, has no place 
in his practical philosophy. To provide for the morrow 
would be to distrust Allah. 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 35 

There is another beneficial result conferred on the 
Turk by his religion, a result also which has its dark side. 
I am told that during the Crimean war some statesmen 
asserted that the Turk was the only gentleman left in 
Europe. Ambassadors and visitors, who have been 
brought into contact with Turkish officials, have been 
loud in praise of the urbanity, courtesy, and ease of 
manners which characterizes them. It is indeed rare 
to find a Turk with any pretension to education whose 
manners are not pleasant. No matter with whom he is 
talking, his bearing will be courteous. He may be a 
scoundrel who is robbing his government, oppressing the 
peasants, taking bakshish whenever he can get it, but 
everything that he does will be done in gentlemanly 
fashion. If you know him to be a good man, you are 
naturally charmed. Burke says, that vice itself in 
losing its grossness loses half its evil. So, on the same 
principle, you are tempted to forget the thief in the 
plenitude of his good manners. One of our ambassadors 
spoke to me of a Turkish official as beyond doubt the 
biggest liar he had ever met with. But his manners were 
perfect. Nor is this gentlemanliness, which is largely 
an absence of gaucherie, confined to the wealthier Turk. 
The poorest will offer you a light for your cigarette, or will 
ask one from yours ; give you a welcome, hosh geldinez, 
on entering his village with an absence of awkwardness, 
and a self-respecting ease which in its way is charming. 
This trait in the Turkish character is, in part at least, 
the result of the conviction in every Mahometan's mind 
that believers are on a higher plane than infidels, and 
that they have the right to be dominant. They are the 
lords of creation, by divine right. Between themselves 
they are equals. The slave-holders of the Confederate 
States are represented by Americans as well as by 
Europeans to have had exquisite manners. Both the 



36 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

two dominant races were aristocrats. Indeed, all 
Moslems in reference to unbelievers are born aristocrats. 
They have, of course, realized that foreigners, not 
being under their subjection, are in an exceptional 
position. 

It is much that religion should tend to produce clean, 
contented, well-mannered, and self-respecting men. 
But Islam has done even more. The deeply religious 
sentiment of the Anatolian, noted by both travellers and 
historians, has been emphasized. The daily prayer, oft 
repeated, said by the pious peasant, wherever he finds 
himself, fills the mind of the religious Moslem with a 
sense of the overpowering presence of God. His day 
begins with a call from the minaret by the muezzin. 
" God is Great (thrice repeated), I testify that there is no 
God but God. Come to prayer ; come to prayer ; come 
to salvation. God is great. Prayer is better than sleep." 
Whether he goes to prayer five times or not, the constant 
repetition of the words of his devotional service exercises 
an influence upon his character. The strictly observed 
fast, during the month of Ramazan, and other observ- 
ances help to strengthen such influences. 

So much for the beneficial results upon Turkish 
character from his religion. But there are other and 
less satisfactory influences from it. First and worst is the 
position which Mahometanism assigns to woman. What 
that position is may be judged from the fact, elsewhere 
mentioned and discussed, that for centuries the common 
belief among Turks is that women have no souls, or that 
they have souls of an inferior kind. It is immaterial for 
the present purpose to ask whether such belief is in 
accord with the teaching of the Koran. The wife of 
a distinguished Frenchman, who came to Constantinople 
about 1902, met the wife of a Turkish minister of high 
rank and other Turkish ladies, and spoke to them on 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 37 

religion from the point of view of one who saw the value 
of the common religious ideas of Christianity, Judaism 
and Islam. When she had finished, the ladies expressed 
their gratitude with remarks of this kind : " We have 
never heard anything about religion." " The subject is 
profoundly interesting. We thought it only concerned 
men." Sir William Ramsay suggests * that " the fatal 
error of Islam, viz., the low estimation of women, was 
probably due in great part to the reaction from the idea 
of the cult of ' the Mother of God.' " Personally I 
should prefer to say that Islam did nothing to improve 
the general Asiatic estimate of woman. I agree, however, 
with him, and with every Western writer who has known 
Turkey, that the low estimation of women is an error 
fatal to the progress of the race. Elsewhere I shall 
attempt to show that the greatest hindrance to Turkish 
civilization is the absence of family life, and that this is 
the result of the way in which woman is regarded. 

The sense of superiority fills the ignorant Turk with a 
spiritual pride, an intellectual conceit which is a real 
hindrance to his progress in civilization. No Moslem 
has need to offer the Scotch minister's prayer, " Gie us a 
good conceit of ourselves." He has it already. Having 
it, and being saturated with the idea of fatalism, he 
is neither thrifty nor ambitious. Of course there are 
ambitious men among the Turks. So also there are 
thrifty men. But they are exceptions, and, in so far 
as they struggle to attain their ends, are acting against 
the generally accepted teaching of their religion. In 
considering such cases it is necessary to generalize, and 
a few exceptions do not vitiate the rule. The same 
results of Mahometanism hold good in India. British 
administrators have usually a strong feeling in favour 
of the Moslem population, which produces trustworthy, 

1 Contemporary Review, July 1906. 



38 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

self-respecting and brave soldiers. But their feeling 
of superiority and their fatalism prevents them from 
succeeding in competition with the other races under 
our rule. Much to the distress of some of the best 
administrators in India, who would willingly see more 
Moslems occupying positions of trust, the latter cannot 
hold their own against the Hindoo in the competitive 
examinations which have been instituted so as to give 
every race an equal chance. To me it is abundantly 
clear that the ideas of dominancy and fatalism hinder 
the progress of a Mahometan people. 

Heredity and religion will account for most of the 
characteristics of the Turkish character. The typical 
Turk is, under ordinary circumstances, an honest, truthful, 
self-respecting man. But I am not sure whether these 
causes will account for his want of energy or his occasional 
outbursts of fanaticism. In the normal condition of an 
average Turkish peasant a long period of laziness is 
alternated by short, spasmodic periods of industry. 
He is neither industrious nor persistent about anything. 
In ordinary times he is lazily tolerant of the religion 
of others, but occasionally he breaks out into very 
dangerous fanaticism. As is the individual, so is the 
nation. Mr Palgrave, who was a keen observer and knew 
Syria, at least, well, and knew also his Turkish history, 
says that " Convulsive fanaticism alternating with 
lethargic torpor, transient vigour followed by long and 
irremediable decay ; such is the general history of 
Mahometan Government and races/' The indictment 
can be justified. 

Where religious fanaticism does not come in, the 
inhabitants of mixed villages, and the various races of 
the empire, get on fairly well together. Often in spite of 
their religion they have a sense of human justice and 
natural kindness which is noteworthy. Let me illustrate 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 39 

this by a story which I had at the timo from my friend 
the late Dr Long, whom I knew for a quarter of a century 
as the vice-president of Robert College. In 1877 the 
villages around Constantinople were crowded with 
refugees from Bulgaria. The worst form of typhus 
prevailed, and was largely increased by the poverty of 
the sufferers. Dr Long visited, always gratuitously, the 
cases near the college. He heard that in one hut two 
sons and a daughter had died, and that the father, a 
Moslem, was down with the fever. He told the wife 
that he was a Hekim or doctor, and would like to see 
her husband. " You may see him, Hekim, if you like, 
but you can do no good. This is Allah's business, not 
ours." Then the poor woman told her story and ex- 
plained her meaning. " We were living in a Bulgarian 
village ; our next-door neighbour was a Christian. He 
was always kind to us. Our children played with his, 
and when I wanted lettuce or an onion, I was welcome 
to take it from the giaour's garden. Then one night my 
husband came home and told me that the padisha had 
sent word that we were to kill all the Christians in our 
village, and that he would have to kill our neighbours. 
I was very angry, and told him that I did not care who 
gave such orders, they were wrong. These neighbours 
had always been kind to us, and if he dared to kill them 
Allah would pay us out. I tried all I could to stop him, 
but he killed them killed them with his own hand, 
Hekim. Then, when the war began, we came here. 
Allah has taken our children, and he will take my husband. 
Thank you, Hekim, all the same, but you can't be of any 
use against Allah's sentence. I shall not die, but my 
husband will " and he did. 

It is when religious fanaticism has been aroused that 
the Turk is seen at his worst. Let it be noted that 
spontaneous outbursts of fanaticism are unknown, or, 



40 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

at least, rare. The elements necessary to produce a 
massacre exist almost everywhere throughout Turkey. 
But the great massacres of the last century, Chios, 
Bulgaria, and Armenia, were all made to order. In that 
of Armenia many of the worst scenes were conducted 
with military regularity. In many instances the Moslem 
inhabitants were invited to attend at the principal 
mosque, at which, of course, no Christian was allowed to 
be present. Then a messenger from Constantinople in- 
formed the congregation that it was Abdul Hamid's 
wish and his command that the Armenians should be 
spoiled on the following day. To pillage your wealthy 
neighbours in the name of religion and the padisha is a 
form of service which appealed to the worst portion of the 
Turkish population. 

Here again it must not be supposed that the brutal 
massacres and robberies had the sanction of pious 
Moslems. I heard at the time of many such men who 
expressed their loathing at- the orders sent. In one case, 
and I believe there were others of a similar kind happened, 
the Imam, corresponding as near as possible to the 
parson of the town, did his best, at great risk to himself, 
to stop a massacre. The usual address had been given 
by the emissary from the palace in Constantinople, who 
stated that the padisha's orders were that the Armenians 
were to be plundered and massacred next day. When 
he had finished the Imam rose, and, in an indignant 
voice, declared that he did not care by whose orders these 
attacks on their fellow-townsmen were to be made, they 
were against Islam. " You know me," he went on, " as a 
good Moslem. I have grown old amongst you, and I tell 
you that these Armenians are ' people of the Books/ who 
ought be be treated as brethren. You are only allowed 
to attack them if they rebel against the padisha. No- 
body here dare say they are rebels. If you kill them or 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 41 

rob them, you will have to answer for it to Allah, and I 
will be your accuser." 

Nevertheless, next day one of the worst massacres in 
the bloody series took place. 

I have said that where Christians and Moslems are 
living together the first are usually better oft than the 
Moslems. I am not thinking of the towns, though if the 
official class be omitted the remark would hold good 
there also, but of the villages from one end of the empire 
to the other. All the peasants are poor, but the Christian 
is less poverty-stricken than the Moslem. About the 
fact no one who knows Turkey would be doubtful. The 
explanation is to be found partly in race and partly in 
religion. The Turkish peasant, with his pleasant qualities, 
is liked by travellers, and especially by sportsmen who 
get into remote villages, and speak in admiration of his 
hospitality, and contrast it, very often unfavourably, 
with the sordid greed of the Armenian or Greek. But in 
intelligence the Turk is inferior to either. He is dis- 
inclined to work, and is content if he can get bread. 
There are villages within fifty miles of Constantinople, 
situated in the midst of rich forest or grazing land which 
belongs to the Moslem villagers, where milk is not to be 
had, and where nothing in the shape of fruit or vegetables 
is procurable for love or money. A quarter of a century 
ago I paid my first visit, with another Englishman and 
two Turkish friends, one being the late Hamdi Bey, 
whom Oxford honoured in 1909, to Nicaea, the city of the 
creed. We had taken a supply of provisions with us, 
but had omitted to take vegetables of any kind, believing 
that we should find them there on sale in the poverty- 
stricken village, which now replaces the once rich and 
populous capital of Bithynia. Nothing of the kind was 
to be had. 

The Turk becomes a fanatic from a variety of causes. 



42 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

The idea that he has a divine right to be lord over other 
races is one. But a more powerful stimulus than even 
religion helped to promote all the fanatical outbursts 
which I have seen. Both the Moslem atrocities in 
Bulgaria and the much greater ones in Armenia and 
those in Constantinople itself were mainly due to the 
sordid motive of obtaining possession of other people's 
property. When the central government gave permission 
and even instructions that the Christians should be 
plundered, all that is vile in a semi-civilized race was 
appealed to. The Turkish Government has never been 
for a long period either just or humane. Fifteen years 
ago most of the Yezijis were quietly exterminated. 
I doubt whether, at any time since Mahomet captured 
Constantinople, there has ever passed a quarter of a 
century without a big massacre. It has been the 
Turkish way of maintaining his supremacy. As the 
Christians are the more intelligent, industrious, and 
thrifty part of the population, there is always present 
a feeling of envy and jealousy. Why should the un- 
believing Christian be better off than a believer ? This 
feeling helped to make the Turkish blackguardism of 
Constantinople and Smyrna rush to Chios to share in its 
plunder and take part in the massacre. A like motive 
actuated the ruthless atrocities in Bulgaria, and made 
the worthless rabble of the capital eager to kill the 
Armenians in the capital in 1896, and to plunder their 
persons and houses. 

We are all hoping, and happily have some justification 
for the hope, that since July 1908 the Turk has abandoned 
his ancient method of government. Our justification of 
such hope is grounded on various considerations. The 
Turkish people, especially in the capital, have not re- 
mained uninfluenced by the progress of civilization in 
Europe during the last forty years. Absolutism has 



THE TURKS STRICTLY SO-CALLED 43 

happily been succeeded by constitutional government ; 
for absolutism, in Turkey at least, meant the government 
of one man who was almost certain from his want of 
culture and experience to be especially ill-fitted to rule, 
and was responsible for opening the sluices which let 
loose the flood of fanaticism. Massacre would now, I 
firmly believe, be condemned by the heads of the ulema 
as well as by the constitutional ministers. The Sheik- 
ul-islam, in 1908 Jelalladin, with whom I had the oppor- 
tunity on several occasions of discussing many questions, 
and his two successors, are men of deservedly great 
influence, and far too enlightened to give their sanction to 
outrages on Christians or to believe that the cause of 
Islam can be served thereby. The leaders of the Turkish 
people have become more tolerant. Adbul Hamid 
contrived to gather round him men who represented the 
unprogressive part of the race and its vilest features. At 
the same time, it is not well to overlook facts. Three 
foul massacres are yet within the memory of middle-aged 
men. They were due to an abominable government 
to its appeal to the worst passions of ignorant and 
fanatical mobs, to the licence given to plunder Christians, 
to jealousy of their superior progress, and to the tradi- 
tional belief that in enriching themselves these plunderers 
and murderers were serving God. 



CHAPTER III 

TURKISH DOMESTIC LIFE AND HABITS 

House furniture Poverty Cleanliness of Turks Defilement 
Reminiscence of sermon Cemeteries Slight value of human labour 
Illustrations Hamals Manufacturers Their primitive character 
Cotton yarn Carpet industry 

THE interior of a Turkish peasant's house is sin- 
gularly bare of furniture. Of the two rooms which 
it contains, one will be reserved for the male and the 
other for the female members of the family. Bedsteads 
are unknown. So also are mattresses. But along one 
side of each room there often exists a portion of the 
floor raised about nine inches, and fixed upon it is a 
covering stuffed with cotton wool. This is the divan. 
It serves as a sofa by day and a bed by night. Each 
house contains a number of yorghans, or coverings made 
of two lengths of cotton with cotton- wool between. 
These are rolled up during the day and serve as covering 
at night. After sleep the sleeper or some one else takes 
up his bed and walks off with it to place it on a shelf 
where the other occupants of the house place theirs. 

Chairs are rarely seen in the house of a peasant, but 
a small stool about a foot high and universally known 
as a scamni, the Latin scamnum, is usually to be found. 
Every peasant has two or three trays, and food is usually 
served upon them. There is no table in the English 
sense, though often a simple arrangement exists by 
which the tray is sometimes raised a few inches from the 
ground on an ingenious tressel. Forks are used only 

44 



TURKISH DOMESTIC LIFE AND HABITS 45 

among those who have come under European influence. 
But, though fingers were made before forks, and are in 
more general use, the Turks always wash their hands 
before eating. The practice still holds good in the 
villages of the host offering a tit-bit with his fingers 
to a guest. It is not a pleasant habit though well meant. 
The right hand is invariably used. In a household where 
there are servants, the latter will come forward after 
a meal with a bowl, a pitcher of water with a long spout 
and a towel, and will pour over the fingers water which 
is caught in the bowl by another servant. Washstands 
and their furniture are, of course, unknown in peasants' 
dwellings. The Turks, and indeed the other races 
in Turkey, prefer to wash in running water rather than 
in European fashion. The habit has been attributed 
to their extreme delicacy of cleanliness. I believe 
it arises rather from the general scarcity of water. If 
a man wants to get the best wash possible out of half 
a pint of water, his best course is to have it in a vessel 
with a hole which will allow it to trickle out. Neverthe- 
less, the comfort of finishing one's wash with running 
water, as from a tappver a bath, is so generally recognized 
that at the principal club in Constantinople the usual 
basins are fitted with taps over them, so that running 
water may be had as well as the usual bowl full. 

The general appearance of a Turkish and to a less 
degree of other villages in Turkey gives an impression 
of disorder and slovenliness. Even where good building 
stone is to be had the majority of the houses are of wood. 
The framework may be covered with weather-boards 
or filled in with sun-dried bricks. The house, once 
built, is rarely repaired or painted. The Christian 
villages are generally in better repair than the Moslem, 
but shutters hanging loose, weather-boards that have 
gone, and a general tumble-down appearance are common 



46 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

features. In warm weather many men have the sense 
to sleep in the open air. The peasants make no dis- 
tinction usually between bedroom and living room, 
the same room serving for both purposes. No one 
undresses at night. There is therefore no question 
of clean sheets. Though the floors are usually 
scrupulously clean, the less said about certain sanitary 
arrangements, or the want of them, the pleasanter for 
the reader. The accumulations of refuse and other 
filth outside the houses show that there is no attempt 
at village government. 

Soap is almost unknown. Natives of all races seem 
to take no account of fleas or B. flats. In many places 
the fleas exist in such numbers that if they were 
unanimous they could carry off the unwary European 
while asleep. It is on account of their prevalence that 
the writer of a guide book to one country of the Balkan 
peninsula, some years ago, made a careful distinction 
in recommending the traveller to stop. " Here travellers 
may spend the night," he said of some of the native 
hotels. " Here travellers may sleep," he said of 
others. 

Poverty is apparent on the exterior of the peasant's 
house and in the interior. When a man is able to buy 
/ more than what is necessary for food and cooking 
I it he generally spends his money on rugs or carpets. 
These, however, are not put upon the floor. The demand 
for Turkish rugs and carpets in Europe and America 
has greatly increased the value of those articles, and 
the best, with non-aniline colours, have been exported. 
But there are few houses where they do not possess 
one or more, often enough ragged and worn, which are 
brought out to show visitors. Nevertheless, poverty 
is the distinguishing characteristic of the Turkish 
peasant's house. There are scores of villages where a 



TURKISH DOMESTIC LIFE AND HABITS 47 

Turkish Hra has hardly ever been seen, and where a 
beshlik, worth elevenpence, is a rarity. 

People rise early and go to bed at dark. Candles 
and lamps are hardly known in the peasant's house. 
Petroleum, or, as it is generally known in Turkey, " gas," 
has been a great boon to the poor. When artificial 
light is employed it will usually be from petroleum. 
Then, too, the gas tins in which it is carried into the 
interior become very useful. They serve with a little 
adaptation as buckets. The tin plates in other cases 
are carefully separated and serve as tiles. There are 
few villages where roofs will not be thus formed. My 
first view of the Bedouins of Syria showed them eager 
to possess empty petroleum tins and knowing how to 
utilize them. 

I have already alluded to the cleanliness of the Moslem 
population. The statement that the religion of the 
Moslem is a hygienic religion is true. It is not merely, 
as John Welsey was fond of saying, that " cleanliness is 
next to godliness " ; in the Islamic view it is part of 
godliness. The teaching in reference to defilement 
and the practices of purification are closely followed. 
Various precautions are taken in regard to food lest 
the body should be defiled. The constant practice of 
washing creates a habit of cleanliness which is useful. 
If water is abundant the floors will be often swilled. 
The result is that the Turkish peasant, no matter how 
poor, is usually, in his person and home, a clean man. 
Most Europeans would prefer to eat food prepared by 
the Turkish peasants rather than by an Armenian or 
Greek. 

Every visitor or occupant of the house takes off his 
shoes before entering. The official or man of wealthier 
class wears thin kid boots, and over these, when out of 
doors, well-made and light overshoes, usually of patent 



48 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

leather, with a spring in the heel by which he can take 
them off on entering a house. The little knob connected 
with the spring by which the wearer can release the 
spring with the other foot without stooping is usually 
taken by visitors to be intended for a spur. The over- 
shoes once removed, the wearer steps with light, dainty 
boots into the house, and can sit upon a divan with his 
feet under him without defiling the place by the dirt 
of the streets. Somewhat cheaper than this kind of 
overshoe, which is yet very largely worn, are goloshes 
of india-rubber. These are made with a solid knob 
in the heels, and can also be taken off without stooping. 
Some years ago English firms sent out goloshes without 
this convenience, but the people would have nothing to 
do with them. They are a necessity in winter, and 
Europeans take to them or the Turkish overshoe as 
readily as the Turks and other natives. 

In front of all mosques is a cistern of water for the 
purpose of ceremonial purification. In front of the 
large mosques in Constantinople one may see every 
day a number of men preparing themselves by their 
ablutions to enter the mosque for prayer. Theie are 
a number of taps where water can always be had. The 
dread of defilement leads to some curious results, some 
of which need not be mentioned. A fanatical Moslem 
of the old school will never give his right hand to a 
Christian. I remember an Arab merchant, who settled 
a few years ago in Constantinople, who kept strictly 
to this rule. But good Moslems in the cities have learnt 
that for them to give the left hand to a foreigner is an 
insult and will probably be resented. The merchant 
gradually had this fact brought home to him and now 
gives his right hand. Many years ago, a British Consul 
of great experience had to visit a sheik. The visit was 
one of some ceremony, and the sheik was known to be 



TURKISH DOMESTIC LIFE AND HABITS 49 

a fanatical hater of Christians of all sorts, and those 
about him felt sure he would offer some kind of insult 
to the consul on his first visit. It was therefore with 
interest that the spectators watched the first interview. 
The consul advanced into the room, the sheik met him 
in the middle, and held out his left hand. The consul, 
quite calmly, spat into it as if it were a spittoon, and 
went on as if nothing extraordinary had happened. 
Both the Christians and Moslems recognized that an 
insult had been offered and resented, and nothing more 
came of the matter. 

Connected with the subject of defilement, I may 
mention a sermon preached some three or four years 
ago in a Constantinople mosque. Sermon is not quite 
the word, for the Moslem hodja squats cross-legged on 
a slightly raised platform, and his hearers sit before 
him on the ground, prepared to listen to him. There 
is nothing formal about the function. The hearers 
constantly interpose remarks. Neither the hodja nor 
his hearers object to a joke, and very often the address 
is studded with observations, amusing remarks, objec- 
tions, and questions from his audience. The hodja 
in question announced that he was about to speak on 
a special form of defilement. He told them that they 
all knew that in every bakal or huxter's shop there was 
Siberian butter for sale, which was contained in skins, 
just as it was imported from Russia. Now if they ate 
butter so packed they were defiled. " Then," called 
out one of the audience, " we are all defiled, because we 
all eat it/' The interruption was supported by many 
voices, and the question was argued with the hodja, 
until he had to whittle away his declaration by telling 
them that they should only eat the butter in the middle 
which had not touched the skin. 

Visitors from Europe are surprised to see the disorderly 

4 



i 



50 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

condition of the Turkish cemeteries. Owing to the 
practice of only burying one body in a grave the 
cemeteries cover enormous spaces all over the country. 
But they are rarely fenced, and no care whatever is 
bestowed on them. The Christian cemeteries, on the 
other hand, are on the whole well kept. 

It is remarkable that a people whose houses are clean 
and who are clean in their personal habits should be 
absolutely careless of tidiness and cleanliness outside 
their houses. The Turk has a happy-go-lucky way with 
him which leads to curious results. He is fond of 
flowers, admires fine prospects, delights in sitting under 
trees where he can take his kef amid his friends, but he 
is indifferent to the accumulations of filth in his streets 
and to bad smells which would be avoided by the 
lowest class of our population. Even in the capital 
itself there are no drains which are satisfactorily made. 
Such as exist consist of unhewn stones forming the 
sides, with others laid across. The ground forms the 
bottom. They leak, the stones fall in, and the so-called 
drain becomes a series of leaking cesspools. In the 
villages the traveller has to be careful in picking his 
path. As may be expected, the towns differ a good 
deal among themselves as to sanitary arrangements. 
Until ten years ago I should have said that Jerusalem 
was the worst I had seen for filthiness, though 
I am informed that under recent governors considerable 
improvement has been made. 

The Englishman on first going through the streets of 
Constantinople will see many signs of the slight value of 
human labour. Bootblacks are in every street. The 
hamals or messengers and porters are everywhere. 
Hawkers whose stock-in-trade cannot be worth half a 
crown, sellers of sweets or ices, called dondermajis, will 
travel a mile on the chance of selling a piastre's worth 



TURKISH DOMESTIC LIFE AND HABITS 51 

of stuff. All bear witness not only to the want of 
employment but to the small amount on which a man 
can live. They suggest poverty largely due to ignorance 
of any kind of skilled labour. Two men do the work of 
one. A hurdy-gurdy is carried by one man while 
another does the grinding. The very beggars often 
go in couples. If a man has a withered arm, or a 
specially ugly sore, another will go with him to attract 
the attention of passers-by. The beggars are of all 
races, and, as the Greek phrase runs, each one is more 
disgusting than the other. Their sores and deformities 
are their capital. A man will push his naked withered 
arm close to a lady's face or show his hands with double 
thumbs ; or some wretch will crawl half-naked on the 
side-path so that the traveller has to get out of his way. 
It is generally believed that many of the sores and 
wounds are self-inflicted. The Turkish beggar will 
shout out Allah as you pass and demand bakshish as 
of right. The Greek will whine out his troubles, and 
especially if it is Saturday, for that day is the beggars' 
day ; will tell you what the day is, implore you " to 
make your soul," and call down the blessing of the Virgin 
and saints if you give him ten paras, value a halfpenny. 
Most of the beggars leave the impression that they 
have adopted begging as a profession and are unworthy 
of sympathy. 

When the municipality sends a man to mend the 
street there is invariably another sent to look after 
him. In old-fashioned Turkish houses every stranger is 
astonished at the number of servants and hangers-on. 
Many of them receive no wages, but get food, lodging, 
and cast-off clothes. The rag, tag and bobtail of a 
wealthy Turk must be a fruitful source of expense. 
The hamals or porters form a corporation or esnaf, and 
as such are a hindrance to business. Until recently 



52 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

they would not allow tradesmen to employ carts for 
delivery. Everything must be carried by hand. The 
esnaf divides the city into districts, and if a man is hired 
to take furniture who does not belong to the quarter 
where it is to be taken from there is pretty certain to 
be a quarrel. The donkeymen and owners of horses 
for transport form another esnaf, and every day the 
passenger sees their animals laden with bricks or 
dragging planks trailing on the ground which might 
be conveyed more cheaply and conveniently in carts. 
Everything bears witness to backwardness in civilization 
and to the absence of skilled labour. 

Turks who are not agriculturalists or officials 
usually become hamals or porters. Until the Armenian 
massacres of 1895-8 many of the hamals in Constanti- 
nople were Armenians. Many hundreds of them were 
then killed. The remainder were sent to their country, 
and Turks and Kurds replaced them. In some places 
there are a few Greek hamals. It is, of course, an 
occupation which requires little intelligence but much 
strength. It is one which can hardly be said to exist 
in the West or wherever good roads allow wheel trans- 
port ; though the porters of London, as described by 
Defoe and other writers of that period, seem to have 
resembled our hamals. The weights which a hamal will 
carry are astounding. I had a piano which was marked 
" specially manufactured for hot climates," the only 
speciality about it that I could recognize being that 
it was unusually heavy. Four men lifted it on the back 
of a hamal, who carried it upwards of half a mile and 
to a height of at least two hundred feet. Any day in 
Constantinople a man may be seen carrying ninety 
petroleum tins (empty, of course) of the usual size, the 
whole making a large and unwieldy package, some nine 
feet by three and two feet deep. 



TURKISH DOMESTIC LIFE AND HABITS 53 

A few years back most of the streets of Constantinople, 
even in the best quarters, were so steep and narrow that 
no carriage could ascend or descend. Visitors had to 
ride in ;edan chairs. Hobart Pasha for a while lived in 
such a street, and I have seen at an evening's reception 
as many as fifty such chairs waiting outside his door. 
They were not uncomfortable. The hamals who carried 
them kept step together, and usually all went well. 
The person using them had the chairs brought inside 
his house and taken into the house where he was going. 
I remember, however, an awkward incident that 
occurred. Snow had fallen to the depth of nearly a 
foot, and in the course of the journey the bottom of the 
chair fell out. The occupant, who was a stout lady, 
with short legs, had to run along through the snow, 
and unfortunately she could not make her cries heard 
until near the journey's end. Happily no ill results 
ensued. 

The hamals have, like the dogs had till 1910, their 
own quarter. As they form a guild or esnaf, the Govern- 
ment, by being able to get into communication with the 
head of the esnaf, is able to exercise a certain control 
over them. They are fairly orderly and good-natured, 
and though destitute of education and intelligence, or 
they would not be content to be hamals, are necessary 
in a country where carts and carriages cannot get along 
in the principal streets. 

While everything bears witness to the absence of 
skilled labour, it is true nevertheless that even in the 
capital there is a large amount of honest workmanship. 
It is mostly, though not exclusively, in the hands of 
the Christians. There are Turkish saddlers and shoe 
and slipper makers, makers of pipe-bowls in red clay, 
of cigarette holders, and of simple articles in brass-work. 
There are Turkish white- washers, makers of yorghans, 



54 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

the simple duvet which is found in every house, and 
already mentioned. In simple matters of this kind the 
Turk manages very well. He is by no means so skilled 
as the Christian, but he does honest work. But the 
great mass of the work done in the country is very 
primitive. A native window or door rarely fits properly. 
The flooring of a native house will show planks that 
have warped, joints that are ill-made, and a general 
want of skilled workmanship. 

Naturally and inevitably there is a large importation 
of foreign goods. Such native cloth as is made is coarse, 
unequal in quality, and even when made of selected wool 
is not to be compared with that which comes from 
England. In Bulgaria the native cloth, or as it is called 
shtak, is much superior. Cotton goods from Lancashire 
have almost everywhere taken the place of the native 
articles. Peasant industry in making cotton cloth still 
continues all through the empire. The peasant women, 
Christian and Turk alike, use for this purpose cotton yarn. 
Some of this comes from Italy. But two factories for 
preparing the yarn exist in Turkey, the most important 
being in Constantinople. It was established with 
British capital some twenty years ago, finds employ- 
ment for about two hundred women and girls, and is 
fairly successful. 

A century ago very respectable pottery was made in 
Turkey, but though at Eyoub on the Golden Horn the 
revival of the industry was attempted, the experiment 
was not a success. Germany now supplies the largest 
amount of ceramic ware. 

One general remark may be made regarding all the 
native industries of the country. It is easy to say that 
they have been killed by foreign competition, but that 
is only half the truth. Turkey now levies eleven per 
cent, on all foreign goods and wishes to levy fifteen. 



TURKISH DOMESTIC LIFE AND HABITS 55 

Until 1907 she had never levied less than eight. This 
margin of profit, plus the cost of carriage into the country, 
ought to have been protection enough to allow the de- 
velopment of native industries. But they were killed 
by the ignorance and stupidity of the Turkish Govern- 
ment. Obstacles were always placed in the way of 
natives or foreigners who attempted to establish them. 
They had to bribe to obtain permission to establish a 
factory of any kind and to keep it going. The fact that 
a native had sufficient money to embark on an industrial 
undertaking indicated him as a man to be squeezed. 
Imposts of a ridiculous character were levied. Let me 
give a case from my own experience. I went, probably 
in the year 1879, to see Sir Henry Layard, who was still 
in high favour both at the palace and the Porte, on 
behalf of a British firm which had a flour mill on the 
Golden Horn. I pointed out to him that while Russian 
flour was imported into the country on payment of 
eight per cent., Turkish flour, before it could be brought 
from another part of the empire and be sent back, had 
to pay sixteen per cent. Sir Henry was naturally 
incredulous. But after examination had shown the 
statement to be correct, he burst out with a strong 
exclamation on the incorrigible folly of the Government. 
" I can understand/' said he, " the theory of protecting 
your own industry against that of foreign countries, but 
to reverse the process is more than I thought any race 
was capable of." He took the matter up with great 
vigour and managed to reduce the amount to be paid 
to eight per cent. During the conversation he spoke of 
the Turks as like children in all matters relating to 
political economy, and told me of another matter he was 
then treating with the Porte. There had grown up in 
England a considerable demand, especially, said he, in 
the mining districts, for crushed dates. The result had 



56 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

been that thousands of acres in Arabia which had been 
desert for centuries had been planted with the date-palm, 
and the Arabs of the neighbourhood were settling down 
to cultivate the country. " A fool of a Vali had had 
the trees cut down, alleging that the Arabs would become 
too numerous and wealthy/' He had been at the Porte 
and had done what he could. 

The industry in Turkey which is in the most flourishing 
condition is that of carpet-making, which, however, is 
under the direction of Europeans. Turkey carpets have 
long been famed for their beauty of design, of colouring, 
and durability. The demand for them in Western 
Europe and in America has greatly increased during 
the last twenty years. They are made in the west of 
Asia Minor, Smyrna being the place from which the 
manufacture is directed. The industry is largely a 
village one, and Turkish men, women and children, as 
well as Christian families, engage in it at their own 
houses. Within the last six or seven years the industry 
has been so well organized that nearly everything 
necessary for the finished product is produced in the 
country. It is said to give employment to forty 
thousand persons. 



CHAPTER IV 

FAMILY LIFE AND THE POSITION OF TURKISH WOMEN 

Absence of family life in European sense Turkish marriages, how 
arranged Celebration Seclusion fatal to family life Various aspira- 
tions Best Turkish women Polygamy Uncertain position before 
law Repudiation instead of divorce Wife's rights over property 
Turks' kindness to children Hopeful movement among Turkish 
women 

THE absence of family life among the Turks is the 
most serious hindrance to their advancement in 
civilization. Riding over the Bithynian hills some years 
ago with an educated Turk, who had lived some years 
in Western Europe, we discussed the eternal question of 
the reforms necessary to bring the country to the level 
of Western civilization. After an hour's conversation, 
my companion turned to me with an impatient remark : 
" What are we talking about ? no reform whatever is 
possible." " Why ? " I asked. " Because we can have no 
family life. I have seen how man and wife live together 
with you, how the children are the companions of both 
parents, the woman the companion and friend of her 
husband. 'You may believe in the possibility of Turkish 
reforms when you see Turkish husbands and wives arm- 
in-arm on Galata Bridge, when we Turks respect and 
trust our women sufficiently to allow them to hear men 
discuss all questions together as freely as women do in 
Paris or London." 

Turks are at a disadvantage in not having a family 
name. Hassan Effendi may have a son named Nedjib, 

57 



58 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

but the son has no surname to distinguish him from 
dozens of other Nedjibs. You hear a man named, say 
Midhat, but the name gives no information of the family 
to which he belongs. I am aware that the general use 
of a family name even in Western countries is com- 
paratively recent, but such use helped to strengthen 
family ties, and was thus a step forward. That the want 
of it constitutes a difficulty to strangers of all kinds is a 
secondary matter. 

The foundation of family life is marriage. A Turkish 
marriage is arranged, and is usually the result of negotia- 
tions between the relations or representatives of the bride 
and bridegroom. It is supposed to be among the demo- 
cratic privileges possessed by Turks that any mother 
with a son whom she wishes to see married has a right 
to enter into negotiations with the family of the girl 
whom she wishes him to marry and to interview the girl 
herself. Even if she is unknown and poor, she may 
present herself at the house of the girl and claim the right 
to see her. It is in this way that negotiations for 
marriage often begin. . The mistress or hanum of the 
house notifies the girl, who then comes into the room 
where the mother or other female representative of the 
young man is present. The mistress retires and the girl 
then offers coffee and other civilities. After what may 
be called an interview of inspection, the representative 
retires to report the impression the girl has made. If the 
overtures are looked on with favour, a photograph of 
the girl may be carried away. Then negotiations begin 
between the two families. Etiquette and Turkish pro- 
prieties require that these negotiations should not be 
mentioned in presence of the girl, but should be left to her 
relations. Very often the intermediary between the two 
sets of relations is an old slave woman, or perhaps two 
such women, one for each side. When they are agreed, 



FAMILY LIFE 59 

a civil ceremony of engagement takes place before the 
Kadi and witnesses, the most important part of which 
consists in asking outside the closed door of the girl's 
room whether she will marry Hamid or whatever the 
intended bridegroom's name is. A like question has 
already been asked of the intending husband. If all 
goes right, the marriage takes place when the trousseau 
and house are ready. The ceremony begins by conduct- 
ing the bride with considerable pomp to the house of the 
bridegroom. 

As men are not permitted to be present, I have re- 
quested a lady who has not only lived long in Turkey, 
speaking Turkish well, but has an intimate knowledge 
of Turkish manners and customs, to take up my narrative 
and tell the story of an ordinary Turkish marriage among 
well-to-do Turks. 

A Turkish wedding is celebrated in two places the 
bridegroom entertains his friends in his own house. The 
bride's celebration is much more elaborate, and lasts for 
three days. During one portion of the ceremony the 
groom appears for a few moments. One of the most 
typical Turkish weddings I ever attended was in the 
house of an old-fashioned Pasha, whose daughter was the 
bride, and whose acquaintance with all the old Turkish 
families of the neighbourhood made the circle of guests 
a very large one. When we arrived at the house we 
were shown through the great paved court and up the 
wide uncarpeted stairs, through bare unpainted halls 
with many windows, into the specially furnished rooms 
of the harem. The furniture, as usual in a large Turkish 
house, was principally divans, chairs and chandeliers. 
The divans and chairs were nearly rilled with ladies, 
listening to the weird monotonous strains of Turkish 
music. The musicians, with their bagpipes and lutes, 



60 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

were concealed by a curtain as they were mere men. 
Graceful salaams were exchanged as each new guest 
came in. Occasionally groups of two or three ladies 
made a tour of the rooms, stopping a little to say a word 
to and gaze at the bride as she sat in the end of one long 
room in solemn state. She was dressed in white satin, 
with showers of tinsel all entwined in her long black 
hair, and falling over her dress, and wore quantities of 
diamonds and jewellery of all kinds. These jewels are 
often borrowed for the occasion, as it is considered very 
necessary to have a great display at the wedding. The 
bride must sit still all day at the real old-fashioned 
wedding, rarely speaks, and does not come to the dinner. 
Something is given her to eat, probably. 

At some hour during this first day of the festivities, 
usually about noon, comes a short ceremony. The guests 
veil their faces but crowd around to see, as the bride- 
groom comes into the house and is led up to meet his 
bride, whom he is supposed not to have seen before. He 
goes into a room with her alone for a few minutes, then 
comes out and scatters pieces of money small silver 
coins among the guests, who scramble eagerly for them, 
as they are regarded as lucky coins. At the wedding 
of which I am speaking, the father of the bride also threw 
handfuls of money down into the court, and the servants 
and town hangers-on rushed about gathering up the 
shining pieces. 

Then we were invited to dinner. Tables had been 
arranged in one large room, which would accommodate 
about forty-five ladies, and we all gathered and sat down, 
as we came in no special order. The costumes, as is 
always true of a Turkish gathering, were various and 
incongruous. Directly opposite me at the table sat a 
royal beauty, the daughter of a pasha in Stamboul. On 
her golden hair was a diamond coronet ; her white satin 



FAMILY LIFE 61 

gown was beautifully made, and cut very low, showing 
the most dazzling white neck and arms. Her looks and 
her manners would have graced any court in Europe. 
Next her sat a veritable old hag, dressed in a cotton- 
wadded jacket and skirt, shapeless and not even very 
clean, with no pretence of a collar. The old lady speared 
pieces of bread and fruit with her fork and drew them 
toward herself, or handed them to the haughty beauty 
next to her, and chattered volubly about the food and the 
other guests. I saw many others in the same sort of easy 
negligee-cotton gowns while scattered among them 
were dresses that might have been Worth creations from 
Paris, and jewels worth a king's ransom. My companion 
and I were the only persons present who were not Turkish. 
The waitresses were as casual as the guests in their 
costumes. Some of them were dressed in blue satin 
gowns and coquettish blue satin caps on the sides of 
their heads, with elaborate coiffures. Others had trailing 
cotton wrappers, and unkempt hair, and heel-less shoes 
that flapped and flopped on the bare floor as they walked 
about. The courses of food were many and most 
delicious, Turkish cooking being especially excellent 
and savoury. Sweets and meat courses came in a hap- 
hazard sequence. But as always at a Turkish wedding, 
the last dish was rice, covered with a thick saffron sauce. 
After that the people left the tables and walked through 
the rooms again, listened to more weird minor music, 
talked or sat still, and then were free to go home. But 
the bride must still sit in solemn state for hours, for 
people came and went all the afternoon. Anyone, 
whether invited or not, can go to a Turkish wedding after 
the dinner is over any complete stranger or passer-by 
and so, curious crowds come in, and stare, and sit) and 
drink coffee, and go out, while the weary bride sits still 
on her throne to be looked at and talked about for the 



62 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

whole of the three days, if the old custom is followed. 
It is now, however, becoming more usual to have only 
one day of this open hospitality, and after this the bride 
either goes to her husband's house or the newly-married 
couple settle down in the bride's home. 

The Turkish wife resides in a separate part of her 
husband's house specially set aside for women and called 
the haremlik. The other part for the men is the salemlik. 
The haremlik intended for the seclusion of women is 
religiously reserved for their use. As a rule no male 
visitors are admitted. The practice varies to some 
extent. An old doctor of medicine tells me that in his 
younger days when called in to attend a woman patient 
he was never allowed to see her. A hand would be 
pushed between the curtains and he could feel the pulse, 
but this was the extent of his diagnosis. It is, however, 
now becoming recognized that the doctor may be 
admitted into the harem. 

The seclusion of women is fatal to family life. A 
woman must not unveil except before her husband, her 
father, or her brothers. The education which comes to 
European women from being present in the company of 
her husband and his friends, from mixing in society, 
attendance at receptions, lectures, and church services 
is all denied to Turkish women. The typical large 
Turkish harem is one where a number of usually good- 
looking women live together without any intellectual 
pleasure or pursuits whatever. European ladies who 
have lived in such harems even among those belonging 
to the great favourites of the Sultan are impressed with 
the inanity, the full-grown childishness, and most of all 
with the disorder, which exists. The rooms may be 
furnished with the latest fashions of Paris furniture ; 
everything may be costly, rich and gorgeous ; the taste 



FAMILY LIFE 63 

usually much too loud for Englishmen or Frenchmen. 
Gilding, white marble, rich velvets, tapestry, abundance 
of mirrors, all proclaim wealth and an exuberance of 
display. But amid it all are specimens of barbaric 
taste and a survival of Circassian and other Asiatic 
instincts. Those who have lived in such houses speak 
of dinners served to various ladies separately, and at 
any time between five o'clock and midnight, of the 
dinner things left in corners of the beautiful drawing- 
rooms till they are wanted again for service, of the 
quarrelling going on between the wives and among the 
servants, and of other incidents which show that the 
women of these large harems are on a lower level of 
civilization than their lord. He mixes with Europeans 
and with other Turks who know what are the habits of 
civilized life. His wives see few other women, and unless 
they are able to read French or English novels, or happen 
to know foreign ladies, are ignorant of European manners. 

An English lady of title who, after a life of varied and 
quite unique experience, ended as the wife of an Arab 
sheik, and had had an exceptional experience in Turkish 
and Arab harems, described to me many years ago harem 
women in general as children with the vices of women. 
They had at times, said she, all the charm of children, 
were gay and careless, but were liable to lose their 
tempers, and then quarrelled with the violence of children 
who had been allowed to run wild. As for their con- 
versation she added, " the less I tell you about it the 
better." It requires, however, little knowledge of 
Turkish to learn from the expressions of vexation 
uttered in the streets even by well-dressed Turkish 
women that there is amongst many of them an absence 
of refinement and delicacy of speech. 

It will be readily understood that while I speak 
generally of harems, there are some Turkish women 



64 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

of quite another character. The ladies who are described 
by Pierre Loti in " Les Desenchantees " represent 
a very different class : a type which exists, it is true, 
but of whom the numbers are very few. There are 
Turkish women belonging to the wealthier class who are 
readers of French novels of the most romantic kind, and 
who might behave as Loti's heroines did. It is an 
unhappy type, because the women have broken away 
from all the traditional sentiment and restraint of their 
own race or religion, have not adopted Christianity, 
and have not come under the influence of the moral rules 
which govern society in Western Europe, even where the 
ethical teaching of Christianity does not prevail. A 
Turk who knew Loti well, and recognizes the women who 
to some extent served as his models, insists very strongly 
that the picture of even the limited class of Turkish 
women there drawn is untrue, and my own experience 
would certainly lead me to agree with him. 

But there is another type of women which it is much 
pleasanter to think of. There are Turkish ladies who 
have been educated by English, French, or German 
governesses, or, better still, at the invaluable American 
College at Scutari, whose manners and conduct are 
irreproachable. The habit of seclusion gives them a 
winning modesty of manner when they venture into 
the houses of European ladies. There is an absence of 
shyness or obtrusiveness. Their readiness to converse 
on literature or other subjects which they have studied, 
their evident desire to learn whether their course of 
reading is approved, and their general intelligence, make 
them pleasant companions. These ladies have formed 
an ideal up to which they wish to live. They endeavour 
to take all the good they can from their own religion, 
and are trying in their own way to adopt that which they 
find good in Western habits and thought. Quietly and 



FAMILY LIFE 65 

unobtrusively they are working for the establishment of 
family life on the best European lines. They are entitled 
to the respect of all who know them. Two of such women, 
the daughters of a Turkish official, ladylike, carefully 
brought up by an English governess, of perfect manners, 
often visited my wife and daughters and would have been 
an ornament to any drawing-room. One or another 
of them would take part in a duet and played classical 
music at sight ; or, the two would discuss Tennyson or 
Browning, or other British authors. The number of 
ladies of the latter class is beyond doubt increasing. 

It is well known that some of this class of cultured 
women contributed to the success of the revolution. 
Even Abdul Hamid's spies dared not, except under very 
exceptional circumstances, invade the privacy of the 
harem or search Turkish ladies. Not only did Turkish 
women carry messages from one member of the secret 
committee to another, but spoke and wrote in favour of 
reforms, and, in some instances, were stronger partisans 
of the revolutionary party than their husbands. 

The explanation of the influence exerted by this class 
of Turkish women is curious. The schools established 
during the reign of absolutism w r ere for both boys and 
girls. Abdul Hamid on occasions showed his anxiety 
that not too much should be taught. But what was 
taught to the girls did not seem to trouble him. From 
all I can learn it was not much, but they learned to 
read, and probably the ex-Sultan now recognizes that it 
was reading which did the mischief. A large number of 
women seem to have read with avidity. Harem life 
at least gave them plenty of time. When they heard 
the stories of their brothers and other relations being 
imprisoned, or exiled, or secretly disappearing, they 
became partisans of the revolutionary movement. 

During the revolution of 1908, and the months which 

5 



66 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

followed it, some Turkish women came before the public 
in a very favourable light. Their aspirations showed an 
amount of culture and acquaintance with advanced ideas 
which were remarkable. They knew what they wanted, 
and appeared determined to have it. But their utter- 
ances were generally full of a reasonableness which 
appealed to fair-minded men. They fully recognized 
that in matters such as walking out unveiled, and in 
the changes which are necessary to introduce what is 
best in European family life, they must act with dis- 
cretion. The advocacy of violent changes would pro- 
duce reaction. Turkish women, and men too, must be 
educated by discussion in the newspapers, by general 
reading and otherwise, in order that they might welcome 
what is good from the West while keeping all that is 
valuable in Eastern habits. Their moderation and 
common-sense were as well marked as their determina- 
tion. One of the best known declared that woman's 
enfranchisement must be worked for steadily but 
quietly, and in reply to some of her sex who wished to 
go too fast, added that " if the intelligence was en- 
lightened and unveiled, the unveiling of the face would 
follow of itself." She claimed that nothing should be 
done to give the impression that the emancipation of 
women was likely to lead to unfeminine conduct. Since 
the revolution, the class of women in question have 
become fervent advocates of women's education. The 
visit of Miss Isabel Fry in December 1908 was welcomed 
by a group of these ladies, and has already resulted in 
useful developments. 

But Turkish ladies have many difficulties before 
them in their efforts to assimilate what is valuable in 
Western civilization. Marriages, as I have already said, 
are largely matters of arrangement. The notion of a 
Turkish girl having a word in the selection of her husband 



FAMILY LIFE 67 

is still foreign to ordinary Turkish ideas. Something is 
to be said in favour of the selection of wives or husbands 
as managed in France. It has been asserted that 
marriages there are as frequently successful in after life 
as those made in the Anglo-Saxon mode by a different 
fashion of selection. I do not believe it. But French 
marriages are arranged with a care greater than exists 
with Turkish marriages. I put aside the marriages of 
the daughters of the Sultan. There, the recipient who 
receives what is practically an imperial command to 
marry one of the palace ladies, usually feels honoured 
by the command, though it not uncommonly happens 
that the recipient soon wishes that it were an honour 
to which he had not been born. But the ordinary 
business of finding a husband by the marriage broker 
is of the most commonplace and sordid character. 
There is neither poetry nor love nor the semblance of 
affection about it. The hardship of such an enforced 
union tells most upon the girl who has been carefully 
educated and who is ordered to take an uncultured 
brute as her husband. In more than one notable case 
the girl has upbraided her father for giving her a 
European education instead of leaving her in the 
normal ignorance, where women are content to take 
any man. 

What I have said on the subject of marriage and 
family life applies especially to the classes who are better 
off than the peasants. The latter are usually too poor 
to keep more than one wife. As women work in the 
fields, fetch water, and necessarily mix to some extent 
with men, their simple life comes nearer to that of a 
European peasant than does that of the wealthier Turk 
to a man of his class in the West. Even in the villages, 
however, it is remarkable how little intercourse takes 
place between men and women. But in Turkey as else- 



68 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

where the wealthier class gives the example which the 
majority follow. 

Among the wealthy Turks, polygamy still prevails. It 
is lawful to all Moslems, and it is occasionally practized 
among the poor. The habit of having more wives than 
one is, however, decreasing. The influence of the West 
has had its effect. I do not mean that Turks consider 
that polygamy is wrong, but that as Western men of 
wealth are saved the expense of keeping more than one 
wife, wealthy Turks do not see the use of incurring the 
cost which the practice of polygamy involves. Perhaps 
the greatest drawback to a plurality of wives is the 
increased expenditure occasioned by it. But other dis- 
advantages result from the practice. As each wife 
knows that she may be sent away at any time, she has 
little interest in saving her husband's property. The 
jealousy and selfishness which is developed on the 
introduction of a second or third wife is another. The 
wife or wives in possession resent the intrusion of another. 
The ordinary Christian wife considers her interest bound 
up with her husband's. Where there are more wives 
than one no such sentiment of common interest exists. 
Each one is trying to get as much of her husband's 
property for herself and her child, if she have one, as 
possible. What she gets she will spend on jewels or on 
dresses for herself, which in case of divorce will remain 
as her property ; for the property of married women 
is strictly respected by Ottoman law. If not careful 
to gain as much for herself as possible, she is still jealous 
of what is given to her rival. 

WIFE'S LEGAL POSITION 

A still more serious inconvenience, due largely to 
polygamy and attaching to Turkish women, arises from 



FAMILY LIFE 69 

her uncertain position before Turkish law. The wife 
knows that at her husband's fancy he may bring home 
another woman, and that at his whim she may at any 
moment cease to be his wife. Her position thus deals 
a fatal blow to the conception of family life. Law 
gives her no redress. Educated Turks would generally 
admit that polygamy is not a satisfactory institution. 
The argument sometimes adduced in its favour, that it 
prevents prostitution, is not borne out by experience, 
and there are worse evils even than prostitution. 

Under a system of law which recognizes polygamy 
and the practice of making marriages without consulting 
both parties, easy divorce was a necessity. Accordingly 
Mahomet provided a regular and systematic legal 
manner of obtaining it. But in Mahometan countries 
generally, and certainly in Turkey, this method was 
found much too slow, and in its place " repudiation " 
has been substituted. The husband pronounces three 
times a simple formula by which he puts his wife away, 
and then, without the intervention of any kind of law 
court, the woman ceases to be his wife. Eminent 
Moslem legal authorities, both of Turkey and India, 
recognize that the practice of repudiation is an abuse, 
but it exists ; it is adet (custom) and has the force of 
law. I believe that in Turkey there are no cases of 
divorce, at least I never heard of one. The wife is 
simply put away. Cases have occurred not infrequently 
where a man has married, has tired of his wife after a 
few months, has repudiated her, and has repeated the 
process in heartless fashion several times. 

The abuse in past years became so great that the 
lawyers, who have generally been the defenders of 
women's rights, came to their aid and invented a method 
which to some extent prevents the abuse of repudiation. 
When a Turk of any position marries, he now usually 



70 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

gives a bond to the wife or her father to the effect that 
if he repudiates her he shall forthwith pay a fixed sum 
as liquidated damages. In addition to such sum, the 
fact that the wife's property is safe from her husband's 
grasp makes a husband hesitate before he repudiates 
his wife. 

Speaking generally, a Turkish woman has rights over 
her own property which are exceptionally large and are 
safeguarded by law. Though she owns property she is 
not compelled to contribute to household expenses. 
Does she inherit ? all the inheritance goes to her for 
her own use absolutely. In these respects indeed the 
wife's position in Turkey is better than it was in England 
before the passing of the Married Women's Property 
Acts. English lawyers used to say that the effect of 
marriage was to make two persons one, and that that 
one was the husband. But Moslems took much of their 
law from that of New Rome, 1 which was more favourable 
to women than that of medieval Europe. Probably 
also the system of polygamy rendered it necessary to 
strengthen the wife's hold over her property. Thus it 
comes about that upon repudiation the husband, with 
the aid of the lawyers, is compelled to give up all the 
property which his wife may have voluntarily brought 
into the common stock, and to pay the amount of the 
bond which he has signed. Where she brings none, her 
position is beyond remedy. 

When repudiation takes place, the wife has the right 
to keep the girls born of the marriage, and the boys till 
they are seven years old, when the father can claim the 

1 It seems not to be generally known that when Roman law is 
spoken of, that of Constantinople or New Rome is intended. For 
practical purposes and Roman law still holds its own in various 
European States the Instituties, Pandects, and Codes of Justinian 
are what is intended by the term. The Roman law of the Elder Rome 
is only of historical value. 



FAMILY LIFE 71 

boys. Repudiation and polygamy do much to account 
for the unimportance attached to the weaker sex. The 
birth of a boy is a subject for congratulation ; of a girl, 
for openly expressed condolence. 

The seclusion of women produces no advantages and 
many disadvantages. It dwarfs the intelligence of 
women. It therefore makes them much less fit to bring 
up their children than they would otherwise be. When 
one recalls how much of early education and of impres- 
sions which last for life are due to the influence of the 
mother, the absence of intelligence in her will be 
recognized as deadly. I was impressed with the remark 
of an educated Turk who struck the weak spot in the 
education of young children in Turkish houses. Said he, 
" I do not believe in your religion nor do I think much 
of mine, but your religion allows your girls and women 
to be trained in family life. They become intelligent, 
and their influence on the children is good. Ours are 
left to run about the harem, to hear all the base talk of 
women and servants, and to have purely animal notions 
put into their heads almost before they can talk." The 
seclusion of women, by dwarfing their intelligence, lessens 
that of their sons, and has largely to answer for the non- 
progressiveness of the Moslem as compared with the 
Christian populations. 

Though family life, in the European sense of the word, 
does not exist among the Turks, it must not be supposed 
that Turkish children have not a good time, and still less 
that Turks are unkind to their children. The youngsters 
are for the most part allowed to run wild. When a boy 
first goes to school, a pretty ceremony is often observed. 
He is placed on a gaily caparisoned horse in the centre 
of a procession of his school-fellows, and with the hodjas 
or schoolmasters among their pupils, while all join in 



72 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

chanting the praise of learning and wishing success to the 
new scholar. 

The Turks are indeed singularly kind to children. 
It is rare to hear a child of any race in Turkey cry, unless 
actually from pain ; but the Turks allow their children 
liberties which no Western people would tolerate. It 
is a common and a very pretty sight to see little boys 
running about and playing in the mosques while a 
considerable number of persons are saying their usual 
prayers. I have watched them on occasions even from 
the gallery of Hagia Sophia. No one attempts to stop 
them, nor does any Turk see any incongruity in such 
play within the house of prayer. Of course it must 
be remembered that though the prayers have to be 
and are gone through with very great formality and 
care, they are individual and only rarely common 
prayers. 

v While writing this chapter, a lady friend who had been 
occupied all the afternoon with a group of educated 
Turkish ladies called at our house. Her experience of 
movements among her sex in Constantinople is excep- 
tional and extensive. One lady, or hanum as my friend 
called her, meets other Turkish women periodically to try 
to advance elementary education. Another has just had 
a short series of meetings at her house to talk over the 
best way of rearing babies and young children. One 
of the ladies present at one of these meetings had been in 
England, and declared that the only proper way to treat 
a baby was the English way. She denounced all others 
as cruel and mischievous. She knew what she was 
talking about, said my friend, by detailing the faults 
of the Turkish nursery and the advantages of the British. 
My friend spoke also of a species of women's club which 
she is allowed to attend, where the members are Moslem 
and Christian women. Their object is to consider the 



FAMILY LIFE 73 

best rules to adopt for the conduct of life and for advanc- 
ing morality. They had recently invited a respectable 
Christian minister to open a discussion which she had 
heard on that subject. He openly claimed that the best 
teaching of morality was that found in the New Testa- 
ment, and as he treated the topic reasonably and not 
dogmatically, used fair arguments, and did not invite 
his hearers to become Christians, but allowed his facts 
and arguments to speak for themselves, the Moslems 
listened respectfully, and wanted to hear more of the 
matter. 

The most interesting portion of her conversation 
related, however, to her visits when only Turkish women 
were present. There are happily a few small groups 
of Turkish women who are meeting together for study 
and discussion of social questions. Her account is 
curious. The women sat round, threw off their veils, and 
each lit a cigarette. I asked my friend if she smoked. 
Her answer was that if she as a European were to smoke 
among them she believed her influence would be gone. 
They knew she did not smoke, and she would be looked 
upon as abandoning her principles if she took a cigarette 
to please them. 

" I asked her what her friends thought of the attempt 
of some Turkish women immediately after the revolution 
to abandon the yashmak. Her reply was that they 
disapproved of any such step. They thought the time 
had come when they ought to be allowed to be unveiled 
before men whom their husbands approved, and to sit 
at table with such men. But they were all opposed to 
anything like a revolt against a custom which was general 
in the country. One of them remarked that it was clear 
that the wearing of the veil was not obligatory according 
to the teaching of the prophet, for many Moslem women 
in other countries did not wear it, but the reform must 



74 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

be gradual, or it would be taken as backed by a desire 
to lead an immoral life. 

The sum of my friend's observations confirms the 
impression I have gained from other sources. There is 
a remarkable movement going on among Moslem women 
of the better class. The movement is spontaneous, 
absolutely unconnected with any missionary efforts, 
either Moslem or Christian, though, with keen perception 
of who were likely to help them in the way they wished 
to go, they asked good women, either Christian or Moslem, 
for their friendship and assistance. In revising these 
last sentences, I recall a fact which shows how Moslem- 
ism does cruel injuries to women. One of the ladies 
present at the meeting, alluded to is of exceptional 
intelligence and culture. \ Her husband and she lived 
happily together for ten years and have a fine son. Her 
husband's fancy was taken by a foreign woman, and as 
his wife would not consent to have a colleague, he 
" repudiated " her. Family life has an insecure basis 
where such a thing is possible and legal. 

Nevertheless, the influence of Western thought on the 
status of woman is having a valuable effect on home life 
in Turkey. English, American, and French teaching, 
the study of English literature, even the reading of the 
ordinary French novel, not a very elevating study in 
general all are exerting a useful influence in stimulating 
thought, and especially as indicating what family life is. 
If such life on the best Western models can be sub- 
stituted for that of the harem, a great reform will have 
been accomplished, and it is to this reform that a few 
devoted and enlightened Turkish ladies of the new 
generation are directing their serious attention. 



CHAPTER V 

IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 

Sultan lord of all kings Why foreigners visit Turkey Belief in 
foreigners' magical powers Evil eye, charms and talismans Fortune- 
telling Superstition has preserved inscriptions Anticas Counter- 
feits Objection to sketching Story of Toughra Of St Paul Variety 
of fashions among women Turkish officials Student dragomans 

THE ignorance of the Turkish peasant may possibly 
have had its equal in England during the Middle 
Ages, but hardly since. Let me give some present-day 
illustrations. Moslem peasants are convinced that the 
Sultan is lord of the world, and that all the sovereigns of 
other nations are under his orders. They admit that he 
has great trouble in keeping them in order, but that is 
merely part of his kismet. What many of them failed 
to understand about England was, how the Sultan would 
allow its vali or governor to be a woman. Of course all 
the extraordinary phenomena of nature are due to good 
or evil spirits. Foreigners are rich and influential, 
because they can control these spirits. The belief that 
every foreigner has the magical secrets of medicine is 
almost universal. An English house within ten miles 
of Constantinople but in a Turkish village serves per- 
force as a dispensary. The owner took up his residence 
there in the sixties of last century, and as a matter of 
course every one in the neighbourhood who had fever 
or any other malady went to him for relief. He had 
never studied medicine but had to practise it. This was 
of course without any payment. When he died some 

75 



76 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

eight or ten years ago, his sons and the ladies of the 
family had to continue his practice. Their annual bill 
for pills, and above all for quinine, is a heavy one. I 
should be afraid to administer the doses which I have 
seen one of these ladies give without hesitation. If the 
medicine is strong, and particularly nasty, it gets a great 
reputation even in distant villages. Travellers like Sir 
William Ramsay who get away from the great roads, 
find it difficult to live up to their reputation as healers 
of the sick. At first sight the eagerness for medicine 
looks like a violation of the Islamic opinion that every- 
thing is pre-ordained. But Mr Doughty, the Arabian 
traveller, himself a doctor of medicine, remarks that 
Islam " encourages its professors to seek medicines, 
which God has created on earth for the service of man, 
but they may not flee from the pestilence " a curious 
distinction. 1 

To the peasant, Moslem or Christian, it is a constant 
subject of wonder why foreigners who are not engaged 
in business should visit the country. Their explana- 
tions are various. One traveller must have committed 
a crime and is bound under a vow not to settle down until 
he has expiated it. If this England or France from 
which he comes is a flourishing country, why should a 
man want to leave it ? I took a snapshot with a kodak 
at a group of trees. " I suppose that in the country you 
come from," said the man who was driving me, " you 
have no fine trees like these." " Is your country as 
beautiful as this ? " has often been asked me. " Yes," and 
" has it good drinking water ? " " Excellent." " Then 
why do you not stay at home to enj oy it ? " The question 
is asked in simple honesty. The great aim in life is to 
make kef, to have sufficient food and no work to do. 
With such, why should a man wish to travel ? The 

1 " Wanderings in Arabia," vol. ii. p. 188. 



IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 77 

archaeologist is a puzzle to them. Why does he want to 
find stones with writing on them ? The usual answer 
by the peasants is that he knows there is treasure hidden 
somewhere in the neighbourhood, and the writing, if 
only he can find the proper inscription, will tell him 
where it is and how to get it. A common variant to 
this version is, that the visitor possesses in his own 
country a wonderful book which gives him a general clue 
to where treasure lies. This explanation was given to me 
under circumstances which illustrate the imagination of 
the peasant. I visited one of the small islands in the Gulf 
of Ismidt. On it, as I believe on every islet in the 
Marmora, there are the remains of a monastery, in the 
crypt of which I scratched away the soil which had 
drifted into it to see if there were any inscription. On 
the occasion of our visit there was no one on the island. 
Two years later, I again landed and found a peasant who 
had built himself a small hut and tended a few goats. 
We went into the crypt once more and were then told 
that two years earlier a boat, which I recognized from 
his description as my own, had brought a visitor from 
Constantinople who had a wonderful old book. He had 
not seen it, but he believed that the man had brought it 
from Russia. The visitors there were two had looked 
at their book, so the boatman had told him, and had 
found the treasure, which, however, they did not then 
attempt to carry off, but they must have visited the place 
some days after, because he had searched where he had 
found the ground had been disturbed and the treasure 
was no longer there. 

The belief of the Turkish peasant in the power of the 
Western traveller is marvellous. They will not only trust 
themselves and their children to his care in sickness, 
but they believe that his thaumaturgical power is 
extensive. He can prevent a misfortune happening or at 



78 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

least can foretell it. If he does not, it is because he is 
unwilling. An American missionary told me the story of 
a poor Moslem who went to him in great distress. His 
one possession of value was a cow which had fallen ill. 
He stated that the mollah had given him a verse of the 
Koran on a paper which he had made the cow swallow, 
but without avail. He had then paid, first the Greek, 
and then the Armenian priest to read prayers over it, but 
the cow was no better. " If only you with your foreign 
knowledge would read a verse over it," he was convinced, 
a cure would be ade. It was in vain that the missionary 
endeavoured to explain that such a practice was not in 
accordance with American religion. The only result was 
that the poor fellow left, convinced that the missionary 
did know a charm which would cure the cow, but that 
for some reason he was unwilling to use it. The mis- 
sionary, however, who had some knowledge of medicine, 
subsequently treated the cow and thus saved both it and 
his reputation. 

Superstition is almost equally general with Moslem 
and Christian peasants. It might be supposed that with 
the simple creed of the first, with no pictures in his 
mosque, no religious emblems, with absolutely nothing 
sensuous about his worship, and with very little which 
can be called spiritual, the Moslem would have got rid of 
his superstition. There remains, however, in the Turkish 
character much that is primitive. Moslemism indeed 
dealt a heavy blow at superstition. It is beyond doubt 
that it got rid of the more gross superstitions which pre- 
vailed in Arabia. But as an enormous number of persons 
adopted the Moslem creed on compulsion, they retained 
many of their old beliefs, and probably these largely con- 
tributed to perpetuate in the average Anatolian mind the 
old superstitions. 

It is rare to find a poor Turk who does not feel that the 



IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 79 

Christian Churches have some kind of thaumaturgical 
power, and this probably did much to save them. There 
are in many parts of Turkey Christian tombs which are 
venerated by Moslems and Christians alike. There are 
also many Turkish tombs which are reverenced by 
Moslems only. The traveller constantly comes across 
such tombs, which exist in considerable numbers in 
Constantinople itself, where articles of clothing have 
been attached to the railings which surround them in the 
belief that virtue will come from the holy person who is 
there buried, and will accrue to the benefit of the person 
who has deposited the article belonging to him or her. 
Many of these tombs have literally hundreds of such 
votive offerings hanging upon them, which time and 
strong winds have torn into shreds and rags. 

Probably the most widely dispersed superstition, not 
only in Asia Minor but throughout Southern Europe, is 
that of the evil eye. Moslems and Christians in Turkey 
have unquestioning belief in it. Blue eyes attract or 
give it. I knew a Turk who refused to negotiate on 
what promised to be a good business because the other 
party, an Englishman, turned out to be a man with a 
black beard containing a streak of white. This could not 
fail to attract the evil eye. Every race takes measures 
in various ways to avert the malign influence of the evil 
eye. The principle to be borne in mind in order to 
thwart it, is to have something strikingly conspicuous 
which will first catch its attention. If so, you are saved. 
A blue glass bead on your horse's neck is a good talisman, 
and hardly a horse is to be seen in Turkey without a 
necklace of such beads or at least one bead. A string of 
beads or of shells round a child's neck is also a good 
preservative. A cross, no matter how simply formed, 
on the top of the scaffolding, will prevent accidents, and 
is used by Christians and sometimes even by Turks. 



80 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Amulets and talismans play a great part in the life of 
all races in Turkey. They are of many kinds and formed 
of many different substances. The commonest are of 
stone or metal, strips of paper, parchment, or leather. 
Gems are specially valuable as talismans. The fondness 
of all classes for amulets may be shown by certain facts 
which I take from memoranda kindly furnished to me 
by Dr Sandier. During the last six years while in con- 
nection with a medical mission in Constantinople he has 
treated 40,000 patients. The majority of them were 
Spanish Jews, but there were also Turks, Greeks, and 
Armenians. Among them all, belonging to a variety of 
classes and races of both sexes, and of almost every age, 
Dr Sandier declares that he rarely saw one without an 
amulet or charm of some kind or other. He made many 
attempts to buy amulets from patients, but they were 
nearly always futile. The owners clung to their mascots 
with a singularly strong attachment. 

The wearing of such things is a solemn business. 
The person adopts his amulet with circumstantial 
ceremonial, as if he were performing an act of religious 
worship. He selects for the inauguration of his charm 
a lucky day. He avoids everything which might weaken 
or destroy its virtue. Astrology usually plays a dominant 
part in all the preparations. But the day of the week 
or month is also important. Nothing would induce a 
Greek to choose Tuesday as a propitious day, for every- 
body knows that Constantinople was captured on a 
Tuesday. The magic formulas are often fantastic, and 
usually incomprehensible, but they give the amulet its 
value. Egyptologists say that the Egyptians ascribed 
magic effect to curious words which had no sense what- 
ever. The same belief in the efficacy of senseless, but 
possibly traditional, conglomerations of words still exists 
with us, among Turks, Greeks, and Jews alike. Fre- 



IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 81 

quently the small leather bag of a talisman, worn as a 
rule upon the neck, contains whole sentences or even 
chapters from the Bible or Koran. Sometimes only the 
name of Allah or the Greek 'l^Ovs, formed of the initial 
letters for Jesus Christ, God, Son, Saviour, or the Pater 
Noster, are written upon it. Talismans and amulets 
with such names or sentences are the most sacred and 
powerful of all charms. But even these are not entirely 
valid, unless they have been submitted to incantations 
and ceremonial rites, often of a most elaborate and occult 
character, performed by an initiated person. Turkey 
abounds in quacks who offer numberless panaceas and 
remedies, which are far more wonder-working than our 
English patent medicines. 

The Oriental can certainly beat the Western in quack 
remedies. He has poison-expelling pills, spirit-cheering 
pills, and life-supporting powders. The pill of which John 
Bright spoke as " a remedy against earthquake " must 
have been made in Stamboul. The Moslem sibyls are 
especially great at concocting such pills. Dr Sandier 
tells of an old hanum in Stamboul who sells a rejuven- 
ating pill capable of dispelling all the ills of old age, of 
instilling new vigour and making one young, beautiful, 
and bright, like Phoebus in his morning flight. She lives 
in a room filled with every awe-inspiring object, and all 
the stock-in-trade of a witch, with ghastly skulls, snakes, 
and scorpions, with strange pots and pans for mysterious 
decoctions and mixtures, with fantastically shaped 
figures, and of course with the traditional black cat. 

Exorcism still survives, and ugly stories can be heard 
in coffee-houses of attempts which have been made, 
sometimes with, sometimes without, success to drive out 
the evil spirit. 

Fortune-telling flourishes. Any fine day in Constanti- 
nople the fortune-tellers may be seen in the streets. 
6 



82 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Even men who would be supposed to be educated will 
try their luck. It was so even a century ago ; for Dr 
Millingen relates that Lord Byron, whom he attended in 
Greece, requested him to find a witch in order to determine 
whether he was suffering from a spell cast by the evil 
eye. 1 The belief in astrology lingers on among all 
classes. How can it be otherwise when, for many years, 
Abdul Huda, the Sultan's astrologer, was a trusted 
adviser at the palace ? He probably at one time be- 
lieved in his own prognostications, but the story of his 
late years until the revolution of 24th July 1908 would 
show that, like so many of his profession, he was tempted 
to aid his reading of the stars. It is commonly asserted 
that he and Izzet Pasha worked together, that Izzet 
received telegrams daily from abroad and from various 
parts of the empire ; that he showed these to the 
astrologer before they were seen by the Sultan, and thus 
his predictions were singularly verified. 

Sir Thomas Roe, the British Ambassador to the Sultan 
in the seventeenth century, asked his government to 
send him all the books they could find on the subject 
of astrology. He explains that he has told the Sultan 
that English people do not believe in astrology, but the 
answer he received convinced him that his reply was 
considered an evasion. He and his people did not wish 
the Sultan and his advisers to learn the secrets of the art. 

To dart your hands out with your fingers open is the 
most effective way of cursing a person. If you do it to 
his face he will probably attack you, but it is equally 
effective if you do it when his back is turned. 

Superstition has in one matter served a useful purpose. 
Anything written has, among the Turks, a semi-sacred 
character. Among many of the lower classes it is 
regarded as dangerous to tread on a paper with writing 

1 Julius Millingen, " Memoirs," p. 139. 



IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 83 

or print on it. The explanation usually given is that the 
name of Allah may thus be insulted. In the same way 
an inscription on a stone had better be left undestroyed. 
The stone may be re-used, as thousands happily have 
been, for a tombstone, but the writing must not be 
effaced. An incident in Constantinople about 1906 
refers, I think, to the same superstitious instinct. The 
Tobacco Regie had hundreds of thousands of cigarette 
papers with the Sultan's toughra, or symbol, printed on 
each. A spy informed his Majesty that a smoker had 
thrown his cigarette end on the ground and trodden on it. 
It was an insult to the imperial insignia, and orders were 
given that no cigarette papers should bear the toughra. 
The loss to the Regie and the Austrian Company, which 
had a large stock of such papers on hand, would be heavy. 
Baron Calice, the Austrian Ambassador, went to the 
Sultan and explained that in Austria, as in other countries, 
postage stamps which bore the Emperor's head were 
stuck on often with spit, that such stamps were defaced 
by the postal officials, and were just as liable to be trodden 
under foot as cigarette ends. His arguments, after 
considerable difficulty, prevailed. 

The opposition to sketching is attributed to the inter- 
pretation of what we know as the second commandment. 
This is no doubt partly the explanation ; but I believe 
the real objection is based on the idea, common to all 
primitive peoples, that any representation of a human 
being takes from his life a part of his vitality. A Turkish 
gipsy strongly objected to being sketched or photo- 
graphed. Her life might be charmed away by the person 
who had the picture. The person whose likeness is taken, 
or better still who is represented by a clay image, may be 
bewitched and done to death by people who know the 
proper formula of incantation. But such bewitching is 
greatly aided if something belonging to the person can 



84 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

be secured : a piece of his coat will do. Something that 
he has written is equally valuable. To tread on the 
imperial symbol even accidentally may do injury to the 
person symbolized. Many a tale is told of the powers still 
exercised among the ignorant of various races in Turkey 
by witchcraft working on similar lines. 

The ignorance of the great mass of the people is aston- 
ishing, and is largely the cause of the widespread super- 
stition. I was travelling in Roumelia a few years ago, 
with my friend, the Vice-President of Robert College, 
when we spent the night at certain hot springs. A score 
of visitors were there, and among them a priest whose 
rank corresponded to that of archdeacon. At night, we 
all sat in a circle in the open air and in glorious moon- 
light and talked on a variety of subjects. Anent a 
remark of my friend, the archdeacon observed that he 
could not understand how a man could profess to be a 
Christian and yet believe that the earth is round, and 
that it was ninety-two millions of miles distant from the 
sun. He knew his Bible, and it was evident that the 
starry heaven above us was a firmament supported by 
pillars with windows through which rain was allowed to 
come. These and many other statements he uttered 
with a conviction which was evidently sincere. I need 
not summarize my friend's answers, which only elicited 
the remark, " Your science tells you one thing. My 
religion tells me another, and I believe it." The audience 
wanted to hear what I could say, and I told them Dr 
Ward's parable of the mice locked up in a piano. 

As illustrating the ignorance of Turkish officials even 
in Constantinople, I may relate an incident which came 
under my own observation a few years ago. A well- 
known Greek doctor of medicine came to consult me 
under the following circumstances. His wife, with the 
kindheartedness which is one of the best features among 



IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 85 

the Greeks, had brought up a poor boy as a working 
printer. He was now a man, but having been taken to 
prison, had appealed to his patron to get him released. 
In the printing-office where he worked they had brought 
out in Greek the rules of a Printers' Benefit Society, and 
on the title-page had been placed the words of St Paul 
(Gal. vi. 9 and 10), " And let us not be weary in well- 
doing/' etc. After the text on a separate line came the 
words 'ETT. TlavXov 77/309 FaXar. The police had seized 
a copy of the rules, and demanded from the young man 
the address of Paul, who was not registered as a printer. 
The young man replied that the rules had been printed 
in his master's office, as indeed was admitted, but that 
Paulos was dead. The police declared that this was a 
mere excuse. Could they not see for themselves ? It 
was Paulos who lived in Galata. It was in vain that 
they were told that " Galat." did not mean Galata, but 
the Galatians, a people that lived hundreds of years ago. 
They were not to be thus imposed upon. To prison he 
must go and remain there till he gave the address of Paul. 
From prison he managed to communicate with my friend, 
who went himself to the kouluk or police office and 
assured the officer who had arrested the man that Paulos 
was dead, that he was regarded as a saint by Christians, 
and that he died eighteen hundred years ago. The 
officer shook his head with an air which said, " You 
won't get over me : I see Paulos and Galata, and the 
printer Paulos must be found. The man shall not be 
set free till he is found." It was on this that I was seen. 
My advice was to take two well-known Greek colleagues 
and declare that all these were ready to swear that 
Paulos was dead, and to enter into sureties to pay if 
Paulos should be found. Upon the representations 
which were thus made, the printer was set free. 

Everybody knows that in the early infancy of man- 



86 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

kind some men had acquired the art of sketching with 
considerable accuracy. Some savages possessed it. 
But it is either by no means a universal instinct, or it is 
lost by non-use. Every one in civilized countries learns 
to distinguish what a drawing is intended to represent. 
But among those who cannot read or write, and especially 
probably among races to whom the representation of 
anything in heaven above or in the earth beneath is 
forbidden, it commonly happens that pictures convey 
little or no meaning. I remember on one occasion 
travelling with a friend who had a scientific magazine. 
A fine-looking old Turk who had been in conversation 
with my friend looked over the magazine and was 
especially attracted by a full-page illustration of a steam- 
engine. A European child of five would have recog- 
nized what it was. Not so the old Turk. After turning 
the page upside-down and looking at it all ways, he 
remarked, " I suppose that is a kind of animal that lives 
in your country. How big is it ? " 

I was with the same friend thirty years ago in the 
gallery of Hagia Sofia. We engaged in conversation 
with a mollah who, out of pure kindness, showed us the 
impress of Mahomet's hand and the other miraculous 
points of interest in the great church. He asked me 
where I came from, and on my reply said that Ingilterra 
was well known, and that her queen was a faithful servant 
of the Padisha. When my companion said that he came 
from America, the mollah brightened and said that he 
had heard of that country. It was a place which one of 
their great seamen, Capitan Pasha Colomb, had dis- 
covered, but he did not know whether the Padisha had 
yet built a mosque there. 

In a country with such a diversity of races it is danger- 
ous to generalize about the character of the people. 
This is especially the case when treating of peasant 



IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 87 

women. A Yorkshire woman in her dress and manner 
does not differ much from a Dorset woman. But the 
diversities of race in Turkey make the difference very 
obvious. As to the covering of the face, the practice 
varies greatly. There are districts where Turkish 
women, while wearing the head-dress, scarcely take the 
trouble to cover their faces when approaching a man. 
There are others where they uncover their faces as 
readily as European women. In other districts they will 
not only cover their faces but will turn sideways when a 
man approaches, and so remain until he has passed. 
A friend asked the husband to whom he had rendered a 
service why the women did this, and the answer was, " I 
would put away my wife if I knew that she had inten- 
tionally seen the face of another man." 

Then, too, in reference to the work done by women, 
the practice varies. Among the strange wandering 
Euruks, nomads abounding in the west of Asia Minor, the 
women seem to do most of the field-work, the men the 
loafing and lounging about the village cafes. With 
Circassians, on the other hand, the men do the field- 
work and the women remain at home. Yet, when the 
Circassian smartens himself up he is generally clean and 
handsome and something of a dandy, while the Euruk 
rarely looks other than a lazy and slouching vagabond. 

The fashion in woman's dress is a dangerous subject for 
a man to write upon. But woman is woman everywhere, 
and will have her changes of fashion. Thirty years ago 
every Turkish woman wore a spotless white yashmak. 
This was a head-covering carefully fixed so as to leave 
a narrow slit through which the eyes could be seen. The 
material, I am told, was a thin, clear muslin. With 
it was worn a cloak or feriji, very often of startling 
bright colour. All this has been changed. The yashmak 
has gone (except for palace women) as well as the feriji. 



88 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

I do not know how the present garment is made, but to 
me as a mere man it seems to be all of one piece, the upper 
portion of which covers the head and supports a veil of 
black silk gauze. Bright colours have given way to 
black among nearly all Turkish ladies. 



TURKISH OFFICIALS 

Before parting with the Turks something must be said 
of the official Turks. It is difficult for the foreigner to 
estimate them aright. The peasant is truthful and 
courteous though ignorant. The officials and all well- 
to-do Turks are officials keep their courteous manners, 
but, speaking generally, lose their truthfulness and 
honesty. Of course there are many exceptions, but it 
remains substantially true that the Turkish official 
becomes at once imbued with the vices of the rotten 
system of administration which has been for centuries 
the bane of Turkish life, and which was in as bad a con- 
dition during the thirty-two years of Abdul Hamid's 
reign as it has ever been. He ceases so long as he is in 
office to be trustworthy. The casual European visitor 
finds no difficulty, as he thinks, in gauging the character 
of the Turkish official. Those who have lived long in the 
country are less confident. The visitor will find the 
official ready to discuss the advantages of civilization, 
will be surprised to find that he has a full appreciation 
of them, and deplores the evils of the abominable system 
which retards the progress of his country, and of which 
he forms part. Speak on the necessity of the pure 
administration of justice in the law courts, on the need of 
education, of roads and railways, and the Turk will give 
illustrations of what is needed, and will leave the im- 
pression that he is burning to execute reforms. He has 
a wonderful knack of catching the point of view of his 



IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 89 

hearer and of reflecting his opinions. It is his way not 
only of impressing a visitor but of flattering him and 
being polite. If the European should be foolish enough 
to try flattery, he will at once find his superior. In this 
respect Abdul Hamid is a true Turk. A few years ago, 
the story was current of an ambassador who told Abdul 
Hamid that he was the ablest Sultan who had occupied 
the Ottoman throne since the capture of Constantinople. 
The answer came at once. While deprecating such 
praise, the Sultan declared that he was convinced that 
his auditor was the ablest ambassador his country had 
ever accredited to the Sublime Porte. In the worst 
periods of Abdul Hamid's reign, many English and other 
European statesman who visited Yildiz came away with 
the conviction that the Sultan was possessed of a re- 
markable zeal for reform and of far-reaching projects 
for the welfare of all his subjects, as to whom, whether 
Christians or Moslems, he would never make any dis- 
tinction ; for he loved them all equally. 

The desire of the Turkish official to keep up appear- 
ances has occasionally its humorous side. When a royal 
visitor came to the capital, the roads along which he was 
expected to pass were carefully swept, hoardings were 
built to hide unsightly objects, or whitewashed to make 
them look clean. On the last visit of the Kaiser, the 
usual preparations had been made. Unfortunately for 
their success, the Kaiser on one of his early morning 
rides determined to choose a route for himself. Whether 
he had received a hint or his choice was by chance, he 
turned off at a street into which all the filth of the streets 
through which it had been proposed that he should pass 
had been crowded, and he thus saw what he was not 
intended to see. 

The officials were more successful with a dignified 
Irish member of the House of Lords who took great 



90 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

interest in prisons. He went to one at Galata Serai, 
which is far from being as ill-managed as are many. He 
was received with extreme courtesy, regaled with coffee 
and cigarettes, and spent an hour in replying to the 
questions asked of him, and of giving his opinions on 
prison management. During that precious time all 
available men, warders and prisoners alike, were sweep- 
ing and cleaning, so that when the inspection was made, 
the visitor felt satisfied that the place was kept clean. 

The difficulty which a foreigner encounters in under- 
standing the higher-class Turk arises in part from the 
fact that he never sees him at home. He may be enter- 
tained at formal dinners, but there will be no ladies 
present. The dinner may be all that could be wished : 
well cooked, because the chef from one of the leading 
restaurants has been engaged for the day ; well served, 
because the waiters also have been brought for the 
occasion. The wines, the crockery, the table ornaments 
are all in European fashion, but there is very little to 
indicate that the dinner is Turkish. When the time 
comes to retire to the % drawing-room, the absence of the 
womanly element becomes still more marked. The 
foreigner may have intimate relations with the Turk in 
business. He may have a genuine liking for him. The 
two men may have common sympathies. If both are 
sportsmen, they will find ample occasion for pleasant talk. 
They may like each other and respect each other. But 
the intimacy does not advance beyond a certain stage. 
He soon finds that he gets no forwarder. Each pro- 
bably realizes that the other has different ideals and 
habits of thought and divergent standards of right and 
wrong. This feeling is enhanced by the glimpses the 
European obtains into Turkish private life. Europeans 
and Turks who have seen much of each other come to 
recognize that they live on different planes. The typical 



IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 9.1 

Turk has, in his own way, ideals to which he is faithful. 
While some of the many scandals of ordinary Turkish 
life reveal immorality of a kind peculiarly repulsive to 
Christians, the revelations of our Divorce Courts or of 
Western Society life as represented in French novels 
seem to the educated Turk to present a condition of 
immorality worse than he sees among his countrymen. 

As an illustration of the statement that the Turk is 
faithful to his own ideal, I may mention a common habit 
which I have never before seen noticed. The typical 
Turkish son considers it a sacred duty to pay the debts 
left by his father. It may take him years to do this, but 
he will economize and save until all are paid off. When 
this is done, he considers himself free to incur expenses 
on his own account, and he has no hesitation in con- 
tracting debts which he will not be able and indeed never 
expects to pay. That will be the business of his sons. 
Shopkeepers speak highly of the well-to-do Turk. He 
rarely pays at once, and therefore a large price is nearly 
always demanded from him, but he will pay, or his son 
will do so in the long run. 

When speaking of the Turks of the higher class, it is 
well to note that there are no wealthy men in the European 
sense among them. Nor is there any class of nobles. 
There are no great families proud of their descent and 
possessing historic estates, though there are a few men 
who claim to be descended from notable Turks, especi- 
ally from distinguished ulemas. In a few but very few 
of such families, the family name is preserved. A 
century ago there was a class of men known as Dere-beys 
who were in the position of great landlords, and who held 
their land on a feudal tenure in return for the service 
of bringing a certain number of men into the field in time 
of war. When this system came to an end, largely owing 
to the military reforms of Sultan Mahmud (1808 to 1839), 



92 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

the Dere-beys almost everywhere ceased to exist. In 
Turkey there are no " country houses, " no Moslems or 
even Christians who display wealth in the villages. The 
result is that the peasants are familiar only with poverty. 

The officials belonging to all European nations come 
more in contact with Moslem officials than with Christian 
Ottoman subjects, whether official or not. The tendency 
of the foreign official, especially in places remote from the 
capital, is to be on the best possible terms with his 
Turkish colleagues. It saves trouble. He hears the 
Turkish version of outrages, looks at whatever happens 
from the Turkish point of view, and, if he is an unsym- 
pathetic man, comes to look with so much contempt 
on the cringing Christian, that the latter dare not tell 
the story of his wrongs. Most of the British Consuls and 
Vice-Consuls between the Crimean War and the Russo- 
Turkish War of 1877-8 were notoriously blind to the 
wrongs of the non-Moslem subjects of the Porte. When 
Lord Salisbury came to Constantinople in December 1876, 
he had previously summoned a few of the ablest men in 
the Consular body to meet him. He learned two im- 
portant facts, first, that England had been singularly 
ill-informed of the relations between the Turks and 
Christians, and second, that Russia had been fully in- 
formed. British Consuls had taken their information 
almost solely from Turkish officials. The Russians had 
been in sympathy with the Christians. General 
Ignatieff on one occasion entered the Grand Vizier's 
room when Sir Henry Elliot was present. The Grand 
Vizier remarked that he had just heard that Russia had 
spies all over the empire. " Yes," said Ignatieff, 
" wherever there is a Christian, he is ready to bring his 
complaint to our notice. They are all spies for Russia." 
It is easy to object that Russia claimed and acted up to 



IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION 93 

her claim, put forward formally and admitted in the 
treaty of Kainardji, to be the protector of the Christians. 
The answer is that England and France had disputed her 
exclusive claim, and at the Crimean War had placed on 
record that they were also the protectors. But they had 
not exercised their right. Russia had. 

Lord Salisbury, on the last night which he spent in 
Constantinople, expressed his determination to reform 
the Consular system in Turkey, and especially to have 
British subjects appointed who were not likely by their 
long residence in one place to fall under Turkish influence 
exclusively. In accordance with this idea, he re- 
organized the service, and constantly during the last 
thirty years a detachment of student dragomans has 
arrived in Constantinople, who shortly pass into active 
service. The new plan has been a success. The great 
majority of these men are intelligent, energetic, and 
independent. With some exceptions, they cannot be 
justly accused either of being indifferent to the sufferings 
of either Christian or Moslem or of seeking to live a com- 
fortable life by making friends only with the Turkish 
officials. From Armenia and from Macedonia the 
reports they have furnished to the British government 
and public are models of fairness. If it can hardly be 
said that there is nothing extenuated, it may be safely 
affirmed that there is nothing set down in malice. It 
must be remembered that the tendency of all officials 
is to minimize the wrongdoing of other officials with 
whom they have to work. But they have told the truth 
fearlessly, and with this among other valuable results, 
that Christian and Moslem sought to represent their 
grievances to the British Consul. Russia no longer 
figures even to the Christians as the only Power which 
takes any interest in what happens to them. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 

How far a pure-blooded race Have varied little from classic times 
Hellenic Greeks impulsive Distinction between them and the 
Anatolian Greeks Individualism Greek islanders Massacre at 
Chios Story of Rhodes 

THE Greeks in the Ottoman Empire are said to 
number about 3,800,000. Of these, about 
1,700,000 are in European Turkey, including the capital ; 
1,600,000 in Asia Minor ; and 500,000 in the Greek 
islands. 

No one who knows the history of the Byzantine 
Empire would claim that they are of pure descent from 
the ancient Greeks. Fallmerayer long ago created a 
sensation among the subjects of the Greek kingdom by 
declaring that substantially they had very little Greek 
blood in their veins. The population of the Balkan 
Peninsula was so intermingled by the movements of 
various races that no race had remained pure. Slav 
villages existed well into the last century within a few 
miles of Athens. In the crusading centuries Macedonia 
was known as Great Wallachia, and although the Wallachs 
in the country are now few in number and greatly 
dispersed, it is probable that at one time they were one 
of the main elements in the population. Then the later 
Slav races, of which the two principal representatives 
in the Balkan Peninsula are the Bulgarians and the Serbs, 
encroached on the other inhabitants, Wallachs, Greeks, 
and Albanians, and thus the country became dotted 

94 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 95 

about with communities of different and often hostile 
races. The bond of union among them, until the fili- 
bustering expedition called the Fourth Crusade destroyed 
its influence, was the rule of the emperor and of the 
Orthodox Church in Constantinople. The difference in 
language as well as in race hindered any real amalgama- 
tion. As the chemists say, the elements were mechani- 
cally mixed but never chemically combined. They are so 
to the present time. The southern portion of Macedonia, 
say south of a line drawn westward from Salonika, is 
occupied by Slavs and Greeks who are in villages side by 
side with each other, and constantly in antagonism. 
After the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Balkan Peninsula 
right down to Cape Matapan was parcelled out among the 
Crusading barons, and its history for the next three 
centuries was one of constant struggle between them and 
their successors against the Greek adherents of the 
restored empire of Constantinople (1258), and in the later 
portion of the period against the Turks. All this points 
to a large admixture of races. The influence of the 
language of the peasant tillers of the soil prevailed, and 
the result is that the people of the southern part of the 
Balkan Peninsula (with the exception of a few Albanians 
and Turks) consider themselves either Greeks or Slavs. 
It is, however, simply impossible to draw a line across 
Macedonia and truthfully say that all north of it are 
Slavs and south are Greeks. 

Greek sculpture and coins have made us familiar with 
the type of face and head of the Greeks in classical times, 
and the evidence afforded by both is of value in reference 
to the question of purity of race. 

The Greek type of womanly beauty is much more 
commonly found in the islands of the ^Egean than on the 
mainland east or west of that sea. Nor is the explana- 
tion difficult. The hordes of barbarians who found their 



96 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

way as far south as Athens and left colonies in their 
many endeavours to occupy the lands whose owners they 
had dispossessed were in almost every case without 
fleets, and hence the people of the islands were saved. 
It is true that pirates and piratical adventurers like 
the Genoese and Venetians often raided the islands, and 
occupied some of them during several years ; but while 
in some islands they have left their mark, in most the 
admixture of blood has been slight. Most of the domestic 
servants in the capital and Smyrna are islanders, and 
many of them have the pure Greek profile. 

A distinction has to be made between the Greeks 
of the European provinces and those of Asia- Minor. 
Between them there exist the two common ties of 
religion and language, but the two populations differ to a 
considerable extent on account of admixture with other 
races, and of their different environments. Those in 
Europe represent the tendencies of what especially 
characterizes Hellenism much more distinctly than those 
in Asia. They have done so during the last two thousand 
years. Hellenic Greeks were steeped in the religious 
sentiment of Greece, which represented the supernatural 
powers as everywhere present. Their religion was 
Pantheism of a type which it is difficult to understand, 
but which is still ever present with the uneducated 
Greek. There was a deity for every spring, waterfall, 
valley, or forest. Though among the cultured the wor- 
ship became spiritualized as that of the forces of nature, 
among the uncultured it was polytheism of the most 
pronounced type. It was probably nearly always saved 
from being of a gross type by the lightsome, cheery, 
open-air temperament and life of the Greek race. But 
that the masses believed in the existence of a great 
number of gods I think is beyond reasonable doubt. 
When, beginning with Const antine the Great, public 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 97 

sacrifices to the gods, and subsequently sacrifices every- 
where were suppressed ; and when, in the time of Theo- 
dosius, decrees were issued ordering every subject to 
become Christian, nearly all men made profession of 
Christianity to save their lives or property. In pagan 
times it was well to be on good terms with all the gods. 
But no form of paganism was worth dying for. In 
becoming nominal Christians the people took their 
ancient practices with them and paganized the Church. 
The spring became an ayasma or Holy Well, usually 
guarded by a saint. Religious services were held at it 
and are continued to this day wherever there is a Greek 
population. The " saints," who were multiplied much 
more in the Eastern than in the Western Church, became 
the successors of the gods. The churches were filled 
with icons or holy pictures, and pagan practices in a 
variety of forms survived under Christian forms. 

The Hellenic people have varied little in the course 
of their history. In religion, as Lord Beaconsfield 
observed, they are still largely pagan. " They think/' 
as he made one of his characters in " Lothair " declare, 
" that their processions with sacred pictures are Christian, 
but they are only doing what their fathers did." The 
thousands gathered from the neighbouring country at 
any of the great shrines of the Greek Church in Turkey 
are only doing, probably on the same spot, and mostly 
in the same manner, what their ancestors did two 
thousand years ago. Apollo yesterday; St George 
to-day : for the instinct for sun-worship has never ceased 
to exist in the Greek race. There is no Greek village 
known to me where on the eve of St John's Day fires are 
not lighted on the hills and in the valleys as they have 
been probably for millenniums. 

In the same way the political characteristics of 
the race have little changed. The uncultured Greek 



98 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

is as violent in his prejudices, as eloquent and 
vehement and vainglorious in his speech, as incon- 
clusive in his arguments, and as unpracticable as were 
his ancestors. The greatest fault to be found with many 
of the leaders of the Greek people to-day is that they 
mistake oratory for statesmanship. Professor Bury 
says l that " Demosthenes was the most eloquent of 
orators and the most patriotic of citizens. But that 
oratory in which he excelled was one of the curses of 
Greek politics/' It is so still. The men of common 
sense, of cool heads, capable of thinking out the practical 
problems of statesmanship have little chance against 
the mere talker. The Greek kingdom during the last 
thirty years has suffered enormously because thoughtful 
men, and they exist in fair abundance among the better 
class of Greeks, have no chance against the fluent speaker 
or writer. Unfortunately it would be easy to give many 
instances of national folly and consequent misfortune 
due to mere unthoughtful oratory. Let one suffice. 
Most people remember the wretched war of 1897, when 
the Turks could have marched almost without hindrance 
to the sack of the Piraeus, and even Athens itself, if 
they had not been prevented by the watchfulness of 
Europe. Every one who had knowledge of the facts 
was sure that the Greeks would be beaten ignominiously 
if they were so foolish as to declare war. They were so 
beaten. The Greeks made a quite pitiful show of resist- 
ance. Happily the Powers agreed to leave the settle- 
ment of terms of peace to Austria, and thus Greece was 
saved. I was in Athens shortly after the war, and called 
upon an old friend who belongs to the Phocion rather 
than to the Demosthenian class of men. I asked why 
they had made the war when he and all other men with 
common sense knew they could have no chance of success. 

1 "History of Greece," ii. 326. 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 99 

His reply was substantially the following : " Of course 
many of us realized that we had no chance. But the 
orators of our cafes and the newspapers that pander 
to the vain glory of our ignorant mob had shrieked out 
the praises of the ancient Greeks, had talked of the 
brave deeds done at our revolution, of the invincible 
courage of our soldiers and sailors, to such an extent 
that they had persuaded their hearers and readers, 
and probably themselves, that they could beat the 
Turkish army. A loud cry for war was raised, and an 
easy victory anticipated/' 

" But you could not have thought so ? " Then he 
added a story which, as the principal actors are dead, I 
will relate. Three or four of the ex-ministers went at 
night to Mr Deliyani, the Prime Minister, and asked that 
their interview should be private. Deliyani agreed. 
His visitors explained the object of their coming. They 
were there to state that the unpreparedness of the 
country urged them to put aside all party feeling and to 
join cordially with the government to prevent war. 
They suggested that Deliyani should call a meeting of the 
Chamber there is only one exclude reporters, and urge 
the members not to speak of what went on at the secret 
session ; that the ministers should expose the unpre- 
paredness of the country. They in return would pledge 
themselves not to make recriminations, but loyally to 
support the ministry in any proposal to avoid war. 

Mr Deliyani expressed his appreciation of their patriot- 
ism, and thanked them with the utmost cordiality. It 
was agreed that the same persons should meet him on 
the following evening after he had consulted his cabinet. 

Next night they returned, and were first very sincerely 
thanked by Deliyani on behalf of all his colleagues. But 
after long deliberations the ministers had decided that 
the suggested course was too dangerous to adopt. The 



100 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

reason given was probably true : that the orators of the 
cafes and press had so intoxicated themselves and the 
mob with their own boasting, that if the government 
decided against war there would be a revolution. The 
royal family would be driven away, and Greece would re- 
ceive no kind of friendly aid from the European Powers. 

This is the explanation of why the Greeks went to 
a war in which mismanagement and incompetency 
were the chief features and in which they had never the 
slightest chance of success. 

So much for the average Greek in European Turkey. 
There are, however, many men among them of great 
ability and good judgment. It is a pleasure to turn from 
the Greeks, whether residing in Athens or in Constanti- 
nople, who are merely shallow and noisy politicians, and 
much more agreeable to speak of them in other aspects. 
Their joyousness is a lesson to Englishmen. Their 
patriotism, however blatant, is genuine. Their desire 
for education is praiseworthy. Their devotion to the 
interest of their own people is to be seen not in boastful 
speeches but in real work. Much of this work is done 
unostentatiously. Poor scholars educated ; promising 
boys sent to Europe to study special subjects many 
similar good deeds are told of Greeks in Constantinople. 
The late Mr Bikelas the historian, who died in the summer 
of 1908, devoted his later years and a large portion of his 
by no means large income to selecting and editing books 
written in English or other languages on practical 
subjects. These he translated into modern Greek and 
sold at the lowest possible prices to the public. When 
I saw him last, he had recently published a handbook on 
bee-keeping which had already given a large stimulus 
to that industry. Besides books on kindred subjects, 
he selected others for translation which were likely to 
stimulate the peasant to industry and to improve him 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 101 

materially and morally. His translation of the principal 
plays of Shakespeare was part of a plan to place before 
his countrymen selections from the best literature of the 
world. Probably his own inclination would have led 
him to continue the historical studies which had given 
him a place among the historians of Europe. 

Other Greeks in various spheres have been doing useful 
and self -denying work. Wherever a Greek community 
exists, the patriotism of the race shows itself in useful 
outlets. Athens indeed is in some danger of being 
pauperized by the asylums, hospitals, orphanages, 
schools, and other institutions with which it has been 
endowed by wealthy Greeks. Around the ^gean and 
the Marmora it constantly happens that a Greek from 
one of the villages makes his fortune outside his own 
country, and apparently his first object is to build a 
school or hospital, and occasionally, though not often, 
a church in his native place. The generosity of the 
Greeks in such matters is beyond praise. 

Their enterprise as business men is of a very high order. 
Greek traders are to be found in every civilized country. 
The merchant vessels owned by Greeks are said to be 
more numerous, though of course not of equal tonnage, 
than those possessed by any other nation except England. 
It will be remembered that wherever our soldiers went 
during the expeditions in Egypt they found Greeks. 
Lord Cromer, shortly before he left that country, paid 
them a well-deserved compliment as a race always in the 
forefront of commerce. A friend of mine, a mining 
engineer, went out at the late Mr Cecil Rhodes's request to 
examine certain mineral deposits in the back country of 
Rhodesia, and twenty miles from the nearest settlement, 
where, however, there was no Englishman. His com- 
panion fell ill and my friend rode late at night to procure 
medicine for him. When at midnight he reached a small 



102 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

settlement, the most remote in the country, all lights were 
out except one which was seen through the chinks of a 
shutter. Doubtful of whom he might find, he listened 
and heard the persons speaking Greek. He asked in that 
language for admission, found that the Greeks were as 
much astonished as he to find anyone in so remote a spot 
who spoke their language, and obtained all he wanted. 

What I have said of the Greek as a politician applies 
principally to the Greeks in Europe. Those who live in 
Asia and the Greeks of the capital have always been, 
and continue to be considerably different in character. 
Common language, a common Church, and the instinct 
of the Greek for travel have caused at various times 
a large influx of European Greeks into Asia-Minor. 
Smyrna is for example largely peopled by immigrants 
from Greece. The Greeks of Constantinople are from 
both Continents. Thousands of them have come from 
the Ionian Islands. It must be remembered that Greece 
is a small country, that much of it is rocky, and that the 
physical conditions are such that the adventurous Greek 
has been at all times forced to seek his living in other 
lands. Indeed, at present the most serious question 
with which the Greeks of the kingdom have to deal is 
emigration. The United States offers as many induce- 
ments to them as it did two generations ago to the Irish. 
With the family affection, which is one of the best features 
of the Greek, the industrious emigrant soon makes enough 
money to send for his relations, and so emigration has 
gone on, and goes on steadily increasing. In former 
times Greeks emigrated to places all round the Mediter- 
ranean, to Marseilles, Italy, Tripoli, Egypt, Syria, and 
especially to Asia-Minor. Anyone who recalls his Greek 
history will remember how, even in the classic period 
of the Greek race, its colonies were found far afield. 
Smyrna was always an important Greek centre. It is 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 103 

only within recent years that it has ceased to be the city 
inhabited by the largest number of Greeks. 

It must be noted that while neither Anatolian Greek 
nor Hellenic is of pure descent, the people with whom 
they have intermingled respectively have been different. 
The Europeans have intermarried with Slavs, Albanians, 
Wallachs, and Franks ; the Asiatics with the earlier 
races of Asia-Minor and Syria. The Semitic races have 
left their influence. So also have the Armenians. The 
Galatians, inhabitants of what was called by ancient 
geographers Gallo-Grecia, on account of its conquest 
and settlement in the third century B.C. by the Gauls, 
found a population probably of Hittites, and both con- 
queror and conquered contributed to the formation of the 
existing Asiatic Greek. All round the coast there were 
and are Greek-speaking peoples. The Lazes of north- 
eastern Asia-Minor, most of whom are now Moslems, 
form one such people. The colonies at Trebizond, 
Samsoun, Amasia, Sinope, and elsewhere on the Black 
Sea, and even inland near Konia, remain Greek in religion, 
but are notoriously not of pure race. On the south coast 
of Asia-Minor from Adalia to Alexandretta there has been 
a large intermixture of Arab blood. 

It is in their history and environment that we find 
how the Greek-speaking people of Anatolia have come 
to differ from their brethren in Europe. The tendency 
of Asiatic influence as already stated was monotheistic. 
No better illustration of the different tendencies of the 
Asiatic and European Greek could be given than that 
furnished by the Iconoclastic controversy, where the 
first was iconoclast, the second iconodule. 

The Asiatic Greek is not so lively, so hasty in temper, 
so versatile, or volatile in business and in pleasure as his 
European relation. But he is quite as intelligent. He 
is a slower-minded man, but his judgment is sounder. 



104 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

He takes life more seriously. The pleasures of the 
Hellenic Greek are more frivolous than those which will 
satisfy the Asiatic. The casino and the theatre in the 
towns, the cafe's in the villages are the Hellenic Greek's 
delight. 

The intelligence of the Greek-speaking people is 
undoubted. The lower class almost everywhere in the 
western portion of Asia-Minor have most of the small 
shops in their hands. They work hard, save money, 
are obliging and courteous. They dislike farming, but 
take readily to the sea and make good sailors in ordinary 
weather. Their fault as seamen is a want of coolness in 
sudden emergencies. I remember my own cutter being 
caught in one of the sudden squalls in the Marmora, 
when nothing but presence of mind and great activity 
can save a vessel. I was not on board at the time, but 
fortunately another Englishman was. When the fierce 
gale laid the cutter over almost on her beam-ends, the 
Greek sailors lost their heads, and instead of hastening 
to let everything go, began frantically crossing them- 
selves and calling on the Virgin and Saint Nicolas for aid. 
The Englishman was at the helm, but knocked the 
kneeling devotees over and kicked them into doing their 
duty. Voltaire said of English sailors that, having no 
belief in the power of the saints to work miracles, they 
worked them for themselves. The lower-class Greek 
has not yet reached that stage. 

It is from the lower class of Greeks that we who live 
on the Bosporus receive our domestic servants. They 
are usually good girls, rarely given to be fast, often quite 
illiterate, but occasionally, especially if coming from the 
islands belonging to Greece, able to read and write. 
Probably Hellene* is the commonest name among them. 
But all the old names exist. The ugliest maiden who 
ever served in our house was Aphrodite. We gave 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 105 

warning to Cassandra and she was replaced by a 
Theodora who was obedient, meek, and correct. The 
traditions of the Greeks have led them to keep the names 
of their illustrious ancestors. They have a kindly 
feeling even towards their pagan heroes. At Mount 
Athos I saw various pictures of heaven in which Leoni- 
das and Epaminondas and Plato occupied places of 
honour. These still remain common names. So also 
are Eustratius, Zoe, and Penelope. Constantine and 
George are probably now the commonest men's names. 

The modern pronunciation of Greek often puzzles 
travellers. A Greek lady visitor took up one of Mr 
Theodore Bent's books and remarked to me, " I see you 
have a book on the Kickldthees." It was on the 
Cyclades. I remember asking a witness his name. He 
gave it as Evripeethes. The judge, who was new to the 
country, asked how it was spelt. I replied, " Call it 
Euripides," and the difficulty solvitur risu. Some of 
the names strike an Englishman as strange. I have a 
servant who is called Saviour, Soteri. Another is 
Deuteri, pronounced Thevtari, or Monday. Paraskevi 
(Friday) is not unusual. Stavros, a cross, is common, 
the patronymic Stavrides being an ordinary surname. 
As, however, I have written elsewhere on the question of 
modern pronunciation, I need say no more. 

The individualism of the Greeks is very marked. Each 
one fights for himself. Greek boys usually are not good 
at games like football or cricket where combined action 
is necessary. Each plays for himself only, and not for 
his side. Nor have they the feeling for fair play. If the 
game is going against them, they lose their temper. To 
use convenient slang, what they do is " not cricket." 
In none of their contests can they be depended upon " to 
play the game." They are not less keen in athletic 
sports than any other race in the empire. Indeed, I 



106 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

think they are the keenest. For many years I have been 
astonished at the skill in athletics shown at the largest 
Greek commercial school in the country, which is in the 
island of Halki. I have seen splendid performances on 
the cross-bar, at climbing, running, leaping, and the like 
which showed exceptional activity, energy, and skill. 
The exercises were entirely voluntary, and the boys 
delighted in them. Within a mile from the school in 
question is the only Turkish naval college, where the 
students had no boat to practise in, and seemed to take 
their holiday or (as it is generally expressed in Turkey) to 
make their kef in sitting on a quay and dangling their legs 
over the water. The contrast between the restless 
activity and agility of the Greeks and the dead-and-alive 
conduct of the Turks is very striking. Yet set the Turks 
to play a game like football which requires organization, 
and all the experts are agreed that the Turks will play 
better. They instinctively recognize the need of orga- 
nization, of playing for their side. They take the 
game coolly, do the work assigned them, lose without 
loss of temper, and win without irritating exultation. 
They play the game. The same remark applies also 
to Armenian boys. Bulgarians take to athletic games 
readily, are very serious about them, and co-operate 
with their side. 

Combined action is contrary to the nature of the 
Greek. Individualism makes them courageous and 
daring, but as in the Greek revolution and in the conduct 
of the Greek nation ever since, they do not act well 
together. Artemus Ward's regiment, where there should 
be no one below the rank of colonel, would completely 
suit the Greek. He has no greater desire than other 
people to be superior in rank, but he must work for him- 
self and be the centre of what goes on around him. 
Every coffee-house in Athens has its knot of politicians 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 107 

who settle the Greek question nightly, every one appa- 
rently himself a better politician than any of the ministers 
in power. 

Yet it must not be forgotten that individualism has 
served the race well in many parts of the world, nor 
that the wealthiest Greeks are to be found in the great 
European cities outside Greece, where, notwithstanding 
that they have had to compete with the keenest of 
business men, they have held their own. 

THE GREEK ISLANDERS 

The Greek islanders are perennially interesting. I 
include in the term those who inhabit all the islands of 
the Archipelago, whether belonging to Turkey or Greece. 
The traveller who sees the Greek islands for the first 
time will be disappointed. Instead of a vegetation coming 
down to the water's edge, many of them look barren 
rocks, incapable of being cultivated. The " eternal 
summer " which " gilds them yet " has apparently 
burnt up every trace of green vegetation. Nevertheless 
most of them are beautiful, though they present their 
worst side to the sea. The description of them as places 
" where grew the arts of war and peace " has its truthful 
as well as its poetic side. But they are essentially places 
for rest for the weary sailor who has made a few pounds 
to quit the sea and live and lie reclined for the rest of his 
days. Possibly he may be as tired of the sea as St John 
was who, having only the dreary waste of waters to look 
upon from Patmos, described heaven as a place where 
there should be no more sea. But to an elderly Greek as 
to an Englishman, who never feels quite happy unless he 
knows himself to be within get-at-able distance from the 
sea, the island valleys with their abundance of vines, 
figs, and olives, present the restfulness, absence of excite- 



108 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

ment, joy of mere living which either invite to work as an 
indulgence or to a condition of nirvana. 

The history of most of these islands has never been 
written, yet I doubt whether any sites in the Western 
world possess more romantic interest. Natural scenery, 
archaeological remains, association with heroic deeds and 
with the struggle of races, all combine to invite a visitor 
to stay. Take for example Chios, an island about twice 
the size of the Isle of Wight, with a perfect climate and 
superb scenery. For a while in the occupation of a 
Genoese Company of merchant adventurers, each of 
whom took the name Justiniani ; then, a century ago, the 
paradise of Greeks who had made fortunes in various 
cities of Europe, a seat of learning with libraries and 
colleges the very name of Chios suggesting refinement 
and easy circumstances, for the island was under the 
indirect rule of a sultana, who received her tribute 
regularly and was content to let the Chiots alone. Then 
came the Greek revolution, the Chiots sending hostages 
to Constantinople, and carefully keeping out of the 
struggle, though with fear and trembling. Next the 
bursting of a thunderstorm, the Sultan having given the 
order, in 1822, that terror was to be struck into all the 
Greeks of the empire : a rush of all the scoundreldom 
from Smyrna and even from Constantinople itself ; the 
destruction of the houses, capture of the women and 
children, the murder of the men ; death and destruction 
everywhere ; three months of plunder, the gratification 
of man's lust, the desolation of the beautiful island : four 
thousand persons, mostly women and children, sold into 
slavery. Only five thousand left alive out of sixty 
thousand. 

The fate of many of the victims of the massacre of 
Chios is still a matter of lively tradition wherever the 
Greek race exists. In every place where there is a Greek 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 109 

colony in London, Marseilles, and Russia, the ablest 
Greeks usually claim Chios origin. Almost every 
family has a gruesome story to tell. One friend of mine 
glories in the fact that her grandfather, sent to Constanti- 
nople as a hostage, was hanged. There was no charge 
against him except that he was a Greek and a Chiot. 
Another, and this is a common case, tells of his mother 
having been taken into a harem and of her being assisted 
to escape on board a foreign vessel. My late friend Dr 
Paspates, the archaeologist, has often told how, when 
the plundering gang came into his father's house and 
killed most of the inmates, his mother, then a girl, con- 
cealed her jewellery in her thick mass of hair. Captured 
and sold into a Turkish harem, she managed to get into 
communication with a British merchant. She was 
unknown to him but trusted to British honour, then and 
always the most valuable asset we possess in Turkey. 
The Englishman entered cautiously into negotiations 
with her owner and succeeded in buying her freedom. 
Paspates was fond of relating how loyally and generously 
the Englishman behaved. Another well-known story 
relates how two little brothers were sold to different 
owners, one being brought up as a Moslem, and the other 
as a Christian purchased from a harem. They both 
lived to be old men in Constantinople, each keeping to the 
creed in which he had been trained. One rose to be grand 
vizier : the other to be a respected physician. 

Another island in the ^Egean under Turkish rule has a 
still more remarkable history. The inhabitants of 
Rhodes have many strains of blood. Every one knows 
the story of the Colossus of Rhodes, the bronze statue 
of Apollo, the Sun-god, usually represented as straddling 
across the mouth of the boat harbour, and beneath whose 
legs ships were supposed to enter. 1 

1 It probably served as a lighthouse, and thus may recall the noble 
figure of Liberty which forms so conspicuous an object on approaching 



110 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

But few people recognize that Rhodes played an 
important part in European history during the two 
centuries preceding 1522, when the island fell under 
Turkish rule. In 1310 it was occupied by the Knights 
of Jerusalem, who took the name of Knights of Rhodes. 
Their original duty had been to protect pilgrims on their 
way to Palestine. Their history is a long and glorious 
romance. Under them Rhodes was for a century at 
least the most powerful State in the Mediterranean. Her 
knights were the militant arm of Christendom, the 
inveterate enemies of the pirates from Algiers and other 
North African countries. When Philip le Bel with un- 
scrupulous ferocity suppressed the Knights Templars, 
the public opinion of Europe would not allow him to. 
touch the Knights of Rhodes. Their power became so 
great and their hostility to Mahometanism so formidable 
that Mahomet, the conqueror of Constantinople, after 

New York. Though accounts differ as to its height, the lowest 
assigned is a hundred feet. It is difficult to decide upon the position 
where it stood. With the aid of all I could read on the subject and 
the assistance of our consul, Mr Biliotti, members of whose family 
have made the island and its history their special study for two 
generations, I was unable to satisfy myself during my last visit to 
Rhodes in 1906 as to the original site. We examined what is now a 
small garden just within the walls, but which was certainly' at one time 
a boat harbour, and agreed in thinking that of all the sites suggested 
this appeared to be the likeliest. There is no reason whatever to 
contest the existence of the Colossus. The accounts come from 
various sources and are too full of detail to leave any doubt on the 
point. Sir Charles Newton and Mr Biliotti agree with certain ancient 
authorities that it did not straddle across the entrance to any harbour, 
but that the feet were on the same slab. The Colossus was destroyed 
by an earthquake fifty years after its erection, but the accounts of the 
heaps of bronze, the size of the fingers and other portions of the 
figure, furnish satisfactory evidence of its colossal proportions. 

Nor is there any reason to doubt that it was a superb work of art. 
The city of Rhodes itself was richly endowed with statues, and can 
only have been inferior in this respect to Athens itself. Even to-day, 
when half the museums in Europe have been enriched with treasures 
of art from it, one sees everywhere in the ancient city, pedestals, 
capitals, altars, fragments of friezes and other sculptured work, which 
fully confirm the statement that in classic times it was rich in this 
kind of wealth. 

I 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 111 

tremendous struggles to capture Rhodes, his latest siege 
being in 1480, left as a direction to his successors that their 
efforts were to be addressed, first against Belgrade, the 
key to the advance northwards, and then against Rhodes, 
to further attacks westward. Yet it was not till 1522 that 
the Turks succeeded in capturing it. 

The story of Rhodes is a thrilling one. It is full of 
varied interest and brave deeds, of heroic fighters and 
treacherous renegades. If a modern Sir Walter would 
study it, he would find ample material for a dozen histori- 
cal novels which would illustrate alike the valour of the 
knights, the wiliness of spies and renegades, and, let 
me add in fairness, the chivalrous deeds of many a 
Moslem. But how stands the once famous city of 
Rhodes to-day ? My last visit to it was in 1906. It 
remains in much the same condition as it was in the first 
half of the sixteenth century. No Christian is allowed 
to sleep within it. Its fifteenth-century walls and forti- 
fications are strictly guarded, though the interior of the 
city would not be worth capturing, and the fortifications 
would be useless under modern conditions. The stone 
houses are picturesque, with balconies, with grills, with 
numerous bridges across the narrow streets to enable the 
knights during a siege to pass readily from one place to 
another above the houses. In the streets one sees 
numbers of stone cannon-balls which tell of the last gieat 
siege, capitals and altars which belong to the earlier 
Greek period. The remains of the temple of St John, 
which was destroyed by an accidental explosion of the 
gunpowder magazine in 1856, enable the visitor to 
recognize that the drawings and the descriptions given 
by persons still living are correct in speaking of it, as a 
place of singular beauty. The houses of the Masters 
of each of the " nations " of knights are still preserved. 
Indeed, on every hand one sees inscriptions and shields 



112 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

which mark the dwelling-place of the most distinguished 
knights. There is notably a Rue de Chevaliers which, 
though stripped of many of the shields which I saw 
there on my first visit in 1876, is yet a street as little 
changed during the last four centuries as probably any 
in Europe. 

My last glimpse of the city was on the Greek Easter 
Sunday in 1906. Between the city and the cluster of 
houses half a mile distant, where Christians Irw and to 
which I was returning, there is a broad expanse of open 
country. The only persons whom I met were a Greek 
priest with four or five acolytes or friends on their way 
to a church two miles distant. As we got near they 
looked hard at the foreigner coming from the ancient 
city accompanied by a Turkish kavass. I gave them 
their Easter salutation, Xplcrros avlcrrr) : their faces 
brightened as with one voice they threw back the 
response, 'AXyOws aveo-Trj. Beyond the expanse of open 
land in front of me, bright with spring flowers, lay a wide 
stretch of yellow sand ; beyond that a sea of a glorious 
ultramarine such as I never saw in any other sea than the 
Mediterranean and not always there, and far on the other 
side of the fifteen miles of sea were the beautiful blue 
mountains of Asia-Minor, the highest still capped with 
snow. When Rhodes is more easily reached, its many 
attractions, not only to people interested in history, 
archaeology, and the modern Greeks, but to all who 
delight in beautiful scenery and enjoy a delicious climate, 
will make the island a favourite winter resort. 

Before leaving the subject of the Greek islands I repeat 
that there is a wonderful charm about most of them. 
Sappho's birthplace, the picturesque island of Mitylene, 
still cherishes her memory, and though one may well 
doubt or rather have no doubt about the validity of her 



THE GREEKS IN THE TURKISH EMPIRE 113 

relics in the island, its scenery and associations, its very 
atmosphere and seas adds zest to what one reads of her, 
and by her. 

Hardly any of the islands are without valuable frag- 
ments of antiquity to add to their general interest. Take, 
for example, Milos or Melos. Everyone knows the famous 
Venus of Milo, now in the Louvre. Only a few are 
acquainted with the marvels which successive explorers, 
and of late years especially English scholars, have brought 
to light in that island. The objects discovered range in 
interest from a time when flint or obsidian implements 
marked man's progress through Greek and Roman 
periods down to late Byzantine times. 

As art decayed after the marvellous century of per- 
fection in Athens, its study was continued not only in 
various places in the West of Asia Minor, notably Lycia, 
but in the islands. Investigations and new finds are 
constantly strengthening this view. It is confirmed by 
the singular story about the Venus of Milo. When in 
1820 the statue was found by the French there was upon 
its base the name of a sculptor, Alexandrus son of 
Menides of Antioch, who belonged to the second century 
B.C. The name was afterwards cut away, because, said 
certain savants, it is impossible that so superb a 
work can be of so late a date. Surely it would be 
difficult to find a worse example of the chauvinism of 
archaeologists. 1 

1 Those curious as to this story may find the details in Overbeck's 
" Griechische Plastic," Book V. ch. iv. In the edition of 1882 (the 
third) it is in vol. ii. p. 329. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE GREEK CHURCH 

Its influence on European history Its organization Murder of 
Greek Patriarch in 1822 Religion and nationality Influence on 
Greek race and individuals Mount Athos Disorderly church- 
services Church preserved Greek language in Turkey Alleged 
intolerance of Greek church Attachment of Greeks to Church 
Traces of paganism in the Greek and other Eastern churches 
Conclusion 

ANY notice of the Greeks would be incomplete 
which did not speak of their Church and of its 
present position. No nation has ever been more closely 
identified with its Church than have the Greeks. Its 
influence also on European civilization has been immense. 
In the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries it took the largest 
share in formulating Christian theology, and it created 
canon law. The formation of the Nicene Creed alone 
as modified at the subsequent Council of Constantinople 
and arranged in its present shape by the Council of 
Chalcedon, the present Kadikuey, was a historical 
achievement of the first order. It is true that other 
races and churches were represented at these Councils, 
but Greek influence and Greek philosophy gave the lead. 
One-third of the bishops present at Nicsea were from 
Asia Minor. The creed has been accepted all down the 
centuries to the present day by nine-tenths of those 
who have professed Christianity. The skill and finesse 
with which the questions brought before these early 
Councils were discussed bear testimony to the acuteness 
of the intellect of the clergy of the eastern portion of the 

114 



THE GREEK CHURCH 115 

empire. The long-enduring results of their discussions 
show the thoroughness with which the questions were 
thrashed out. Once the premises on which the discus- 
sions took place are accepted, the conclusions are in- 
evitable and are universally accepted. We may be 
astounded at the violence displayed, at the intense 
energy of the disputants, as when in Ephesus a bishop 
was trampled to death, but we must respect the thought, 
the care, and the earnestness which they brought to the 
consideration of the difficult and solemn questions under 
consideration. 

With the aid of the lawyers the Church established a 
system of law, which in substance remains that of every 
civilized country in matters of testamentary and other 
succession, marriage and other questions of personal 
statute. 

The Greek Church has for many centuries ceased to be 
a missionary church. But besides Christianizing the 
various races within the empire, its great missionaries, 
Cyril and Methodius, succeeded in planting Christianity 
among the Slav races. The heresies with which it had 
to deal bear witness not only to the subtleties of the 
human mind, but to the determination to solve the 
great questions suggested by the Christian creed. The 
Nestorian with his two natures in Christ, and his refusal 
to recognize the Virgin Mary as the Theotokos ; the 
Syrians or Jacobites with their Monophysite teaching 
of one nature, the sects which taught that Christ had but 
one Will and were hence called Monothelites ; the 
Adoptionists or Paulicians whose teaching spread from 
the extreme of Asia Minor to Ireland all testify to great 
activity of mind, seriousness of thought, and quickness of 
intelligence. These questions for which men fought, 
for which hundreds were slain, though they have for the 
most part long lost their interest, yet remain like extinct 



116 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

volcanoes to show how fierce was the fire with which they 
once burned. 

The Greek Church, always devoted to the solution of 
moral and intellectual puzzles, while its gieat rival in 
the West paid more attention to questions which regarded 
the conduct of life, gradually and characteristically came 
to be known as the Orthodox Church. 

Among its many services to the world was that of 
creating a new style of architecture. The Greeks, during 
the great century of their history, had invented and 
brought to perfection the style which still charms the 
world in the Parthenon and the Erectheion. The Romans, 
though they did not, as is often loosely stated, invent the 
key-stone arch, for Professor Hilprecht found one under 
the accumulations of millenniums at Nippur, at least 
discovered its great utility and employed it in many 
solid and Stately buildings which still remain. The 
Orthodox Church, unwilling to employ the buildings 
which had been devoted to the worship of idols, or even 
to construct new ones after their model, employed the 
arch, extended its use, surmounted it with a stately 
dome, and made their churches glorifications of the arch. 

Let it be noted, however, that they invariably attached 
more importance to the interior than to the exterior of 
their Houses of Prayer, with the result that an English 
authority on architecture can say of the interior of the 
Great Church of Constantinople, which was built in the 
middle of the sixth century, that Hagia Sophia " is 
the most perfect and most beautiful church which has 
yet been erected by any Christian people." l Its exterior, 
however, remains unfinished to the present day. Though 
disfigured in appearance by additions and changes, prin- 
cipally intended to add strength, it has none of the casings 
and external ornamentation which have transformed St 

1 Fergusson's " History of Architecture," vol. ii. p. 321. 



THE GREEK CHURCH 117 

Marc's at Venice from what the present building was in 
the fourteenth century to what it is in the twentieth. 

Hagia Sophia gave a type of building which was repro- 
duced in various parts of the empire, reproduced but 
with many variations. The beautiful little churches in 
Constantinople, now Moslem temples, of St John the 
Baptist and the Kalendir mosque may serve as models 
of what the ordinary parish church was like. The Gul 
Jami or Rose mosque, once probably the church of 
Pantepoptes, the church of the Pantocrator, of Pam- 
makaristos and of Hagia Irene, remain as illustrations 
in the capital of how the architects gave reins to their 
skill. In Salonika other variations from the type exist, 
and some of its churches are illustrations of what beauti- 
ful effects can be obtained by employing bricks of any 
shape which the architect desired. The history of 
Byzantine architecture has not been satisfactorily written. 
Sir William Ramsay, who has had the subj ect under notice 
during the many years of his visits to Anatolia, has pro- 
bably collected material to give us the most complete 
book yet produced, showing its development until it 
culminated in Hagia Sophia, and subsequently made 
many interesting developments. 

Though Constantinople became the capital of the later 
Roman empire its bishop or patriarch never succeeded 
in occupying so important a position in the State as did 
the bishop of Rome. In the Eastern empire there were 
four patriarchates those of Alexandria, Jerusalem, 
Antioch, and Constantinople. The patriarch of Con- 
stantinople sometimes maintained long struggles with 
the emperors, and even successfully resisted them, but 
never succeeded in obtaining an entirely independent 
position. 

The ecclesiastical division of the empire corresponded 
to the civil. The chief bishop in a province was called 



118 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

a patriarch or an exarch. Gradually the name patriarch 
became limited in the East to the bishops of the places 
already mentioned. The Church is still governed in 
theory by the four patriarchs, who are equal in authority. 
The teaching of the Orthodox Church is that all the four 
patriarchs enjoy equal dignity and have the highest 
rank among the bishops. The bishops, united in a 
general council, represent the Church, and infallibly 
decide all matters of faith and ecclesiastic life under the 
guidance of the Holy Ghost. But as in the days of the 
empire, so now. With few exceptions the patriarchs have 
usually been under the supremacy of the civil power. 
Upon the capture of Constantinople this supremacy 
was transferred to the Sultan. 

The patriarch of Constantinople exercises ecclesiastical 
rule over European Turkey and a large portion of Asia 
Minor. Eighty-six bishops owe him allegiance. He 
resides at the Phanar, a district in Constantinople which 
for three centuries has been largely occupied by Greeks, 
and a century ago contained the residences of the 
wealthiest Greek families from whom men were taken to 
become the rulers of Moldavia and Wallachia. As there 
was much intrigue and bribery to secure these and other 
positions under the sultans, Phanariot came to be a 
synonym for a man of unscrupulous political intrigue. 

In the Phanar, which is on the south shore of the 
Golden Horn, is the cathedral church of the patriarchate. 
Immediately adjoining it is the official residence of the 
patriarch. One of the features which attracts the notice 
of visitors to the patriarchate is a large closed double gate 
at the head of the flight of stone steps leading to the 
principal entrance. The gate should indeed, be the 
usual entry to the official residence. But it has been 
closed since 1822, when the reigning patriarch was hung 
in the gateway. The story of his murder and the treat- 



THE GREEK CHURCH 119 

ment of his body is one which deserves to be remembered 
as illustrating the conditions under which Greeks lived 
in Constantinople less than a century ago. We have a 
careful account of it by a trustworthy witness, the Rev. 
Dr Walsh, who was chaplain to the British Embassy in 
Constantinople at the time. The excitement among all 
sections of the population in the capital had been for 
some time intense, on account of the progress of the 
struggle by the Greeks in Greece to gain their independ- 
ence. This had now been going on for some years. Dr 
Walsh repeats three or four times over that the Turks 
avowedly acted on the principle of making every man 
responsible for the acts of every other man of his nation. 
It is one well worth bearing in mind when reading of 
Turkish atrocities in Bulgaria and Armenia as well as 
against the Greeks. Already a reign of terror existed 
in 1822, throughout Western Turkey, and hardly any- 
where worse than in the capital itself. The Greeks of 
Constantinople were not aiding their countrymen, and 
were indeed too much stricken with fear to do so, though, 
of course, they sympathized with them. Nevertheless, 
they were everywhere publicly insulted, their property 
seized, and their leading men butchered. Men who were 
well known and highly respected by English and other 
foreign residents, as well as by their own people, were 
imprisoned, brought out suddenly and, without trial, 
hanged, or otherwise killed. Shortly before Easter 
Sunday of 1822, the execution of ten of the principal 
Greeks residing at the Phanar, and of various others of 
inferior note, seemed to whet the appetite of the Moslem 
population for blood. Hostages were hanged. Ana- 
tolian regiments passing through the capital were allowed 
to commit every outrage on Greek and Armenian women. 
The devilish spirit of triumphant fanaticism became so 
rampant that the Sultan himself became alarmed. 



120 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Foreigners were maltreated as well as native Christians. 
To prevent any movement on the part of the Greeks, the 
Sultan sent for the patriarch, and during an interview of 
five hours prepared a declaration signed by the patriarch, 
and subsequently by twenty-one of his bishops, which 
was printed and read on the following Sunday in all the 
Greek churches. It is a document of abject subjection, 
evidently wrung from the patriarch and signed by his 
colleagues, by the threats of a fear-stricken tyrant 
anxious for his own safety, and signed by the bishops 
with the object of saving the lives of their flocks. 

Easter fell in that year for both Latins and Greeks on 
the 22nd of April. Dr Walsh had finished his own 
service and was preparing to visit the patriarch according 
to custom on the great festival, when he " heard terrible 
news/' The patriarch and the bishops, in the conscious- 
ness of their own blameless conduct and in the belief 
that their pastoral address had removed all suspicion of 
their loyalty, had taken part in the usual service in the 
patriarchal church. The building was full, and a large 
crowd remained outside. Addresses were given, emphas- 
izing the advice given in the pastoral to remain quiet, to 
give no cause of offence, and to show themselves loyal 
subjects of the Sultan. Suddenly through the dense 
crowd soldiers forced their way to the patriarchal throne, 
seized the patriarch, who had just given his benediction 
to the congregation, and dragging him and the other 
bishops present into the courtyard tied ropes round their 
necks. According to the custom of that period each 
Church dignitary and even foreign consul had an attend- 
ant janissary told off to protect him. The patriarch's 
janissary had learned to respect and like him. When he 
saw his master roughly treated, he rushed to his defence 
and fought against the soldiers until he was stabbed into 
silence. The venerable and beloved old patriarch was 



THE GREEK CHURCH 121 

then dragged under the gateway. The cord was passed 
through the staple that fastened the folding doors, and 
the old man with his patriarchal robes upon him was 
hauled up and left to struggle in the agonies of death. 
Two of his chaplains were hanged at the same time in the 
neighbouring doorways. The bishops of Nicomedia 
(Ismidt), of Ephesus, and of Anchialos were dragged 
through the streets and hanged at different places in the 
Phanar on the same occasion. 

The body of the patriarch was allowed to hang for 
three days, and was exposed to various insults. Then 
some of the lowest class of Jews were ordered to drag it 
down to the Golden Horn, a distance of a hundred and 
fifty yards, and to throw it into the water. Dr Walsh 
is careful to point out that the creatures chosen for this 
purpose " were incapable of sense or feeling on such a 
subject ; they acted under the impressions of terror and 
stupidity, and any exultation they showed was to gratify 
their more brutal and ferocious masters/' 

Finally, however, the body was found floating in the 
Marmora and was taken to Odessa for interment. 

No shadow of proof or just ground of suspicion, says 
Dr Walsh, was ever stated against the patriarch. Indeed, 
the British chaplain, to whom the patriarch was personally 
well known, speaks of him as distinguished for his piety 
and gentleness. 

In concluding this story, there are two facts which I 
add with sincere pleasure : First, that Dr Walsh bears 
witness that the news of the outrage gave an immediate 
expansion to the Greek revolutionary party ; and, second, 
that throughout all the bloody outrages which preceded 
and followed the execution, the foreign residents, and 
especially the British, behaved well, succoured the 
desolate and oppressed, ransomed many prisoners, both 
men and women, and, whenever possible, hid them, 



122 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

disguised them, aided fugitives to escape, and did this 
often at the risk of their own lives. 

In Turkey, but especially among the Greeks, the 
religious community to which a man belongs is regarded 
as of more importance than his nationality. Ask a 
Turkish subject of what nationality he is, and he will reply 
that he is a Moslem or an Orthodox, a Catholic or an 
Armenian, as the case may be. It may be that he is an 
Armenian Catholic, but the latter word only will be used, 
the word Armenian, signifying that he belongs to the 
Armenian or Gregorian Church. So also of the Greek 
Uniats, that is, the members of the Greek race who are 
united to the Church of Rome. The answer of such a 
member will be that he is a Catholic. The Orthodox 
Church is by far the most important of the Christian 
millets or communities in Turkey, and their almost 
invariable use of the word Orthodox to signify the race 
to which they belong usually surprises a stranger. Of 
what nationality are you ? The answer in nine cases out 
of ten will be, "I am Orthodox/' To them race and 
religion, or nationality and religion, are usually identical. 

This conjunction has had important effects on the 
history of the Greeks and their Church. Since 1453 
they have always been able to speak with one voice ; 
the mouthpiece has been their Church. They have been 
singularly tenacious of their rights, which have all 
clustered around their Church. In return the Church 
saved the race. They had privileges granted to them 
by Mahomet immediately after the conquest. The con- 
cession of these privileges was rather a renewal of those 
which patriarchs had possessed under the empire than a 
new grant. The grant is creditable both to Mahomet, the 
conqueror, and the patriarch, the celebrated Gennadius, 
between whom not only official, but apparently really 



THE GREEK CHURCH 123 

friendly, relations existed. Cantimir states that the 
original Firman setting out the privileges was burnt, but 
its existence was established half a century later in 
presence of Sultan Selim. Throughout the four centuries 
which have passed since his time these privileges have 
been often confirmed, the latest formal confirmations 
being in the Gul Hane Hatt, and the Tanzimat, granted 
largely owing to the invaluable aid of Lord Stratford de 
Redcliff, and in the Constitution. Their churches were 
taken from the Greeks by successive sultans, so that in 
Constantinople itself only one insignificant building 
remains in which Christian worship has been celebrated 
continuously since 1453. But they were allowed to build 
others ; for this was one of the privileges conceded by 
the conqueror. Other privileges were accorded which 
proved of great value, the most important being the right 
of the patriarch on behalf of his flock to make representa- 
tions to the Sultan and the Turkish authorities respecting 
the violation of any of the privileges ; and to exercise 
legal jurisdiction over the members of his community 
in all matters in dispute among them. The latter con- 
cession Was in accordance with mediaeval practice, not 
only in Moslem, but in Christian states. It was not long, 
however, before the jurisdiction was limited to what now 
exists, to the right of jurisdiction in reference to marriage, 
succession, and questions of personal statute. To 
maintain these privileges the Church has constantly been 
in conflict with the State. During the Abdul Hamid 
period, it was seldom that a year passed without some 
attempt being made to limit them. Several encroach- 
ments were successfully made, the principal being that if 
either party to a suit objected to the jurisdiction of the 
patriarchal courts, he should be free to take his suit into 
the Turkish. I have not yet met the Greek who would 
willingly consent that the jurisdiction of the patriarchal 



124 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

courts should be abolished. The courts in question are 
far from being as satisfactory as they ought to be, but 
they are superior to the Turkish. When, therefore, the 
too zealous spirits of some of the Young Turkey party 
speak of abolishing the privileges of the Greek and other 
Christian Churches, they are met everywhere with serious 
opposition. The all-sufficient Greek answer is, " Reform 
your courts and then we will consider the matter." 
So long as by the Constitution the established religion of 
the country is Mahometanism, it is a necessity to the 
Christian communities that they should maintain their 
own courts. Family life being the basis of such com- 
munities, so long as the State does not recognize it, the 
Christians must be permitted to exercise jurisdiction in 
regard thereto. Take one case in illustration : no means 
exist under Ottoman law of punishing a Christian for 
bigamy. The dictum of its law is that a man may have 
a second wife or even a third or a fourth. The easy 
manner in which divorce is allowed by the Orthodox 
Church is probably due to the fear that if it is not per- 
mitted one at least of the parties will abandon the faith. 

THE INFLUENCE OF THE GREEK CHURCH ON THE 
RACE AND THE INDIVIDUAL 

It is easy to exaggerate the influence of the Orthodox 
Church in Turkey. The Hellenic Greek more especially 
is not a religiously minded man. I do not think that 
he ever possessed the Hebraic spirit. While Hellenic 
influence always tended towards the paganization of his 
religion, Paganism and Christianity alike sat lightly upon 
him. The Orthodox Church in Turkey, while saving the 
Greek race, has become very largely a political institution. 
It would not be right to say that it is without even 
serious religious influence on the community. But its 



THE GREEK CHURCH 125 

religious influence is almost solely among the uneducated, 
and for this and other reasons is more powerful in 
Anatolia than in European Turkey. There is a religious 
instinct which will find refuge in the established faith in 
almost any country. But I have yet to meet the 
educated Greek who is a regular church-goer, or who will 
admit his belief in what his Church teaches. So far as 
influence upon character is concerned, the Church has by 
no means lost its power over the educated class in Turkey. 
It is certainly not now an aggressive spiritual force. Its 
educational value is slight. Sermons, except in two or 
three of the larger cities, and there only rarely, are never 
heard. The parish priests are too ignorant to preach, 
too poor to be respected socially. They are, of course, 
not to blame for their ignorance or poverty. The system 
under which they live and the oppression of their pre- 
decessors by the Moslem majority during four and a half 
centuries are the chief causes. Several circumstances 
prevent them from rising in the social scale. They are 
wretchedly paid. No man in comfortable circumstances 
will bring up his son to be a priest. A priest must be a 
married man before he is ordained. The bishops never 
marry. Instead of having a fixed salary, the priest has to 
obtain his living by practices which are degrading, and to 
which a man of education ought not to have to resort. 
He usually goes round at least once a month to bless the 
house of each of his parishoners. For this he will receive 
a piaster or twopence. This seems to be his great 
stand-by. The rest he makes up in fees for baptisms, 
marriages, and funerals. The sordidness consequent on 
such a method of livelihood deters men of intelligence 
from encouraging their sons to enter the priesthood. 
As by the law of the Church the bishop must not be a 
married man, there is little hope of promotion for the 
ordinary priest, and therefore little incentive to ambition. 



126 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

The result is that the ordinary priest is not only poor 
but without hope of bettering his condition. Neverthe- 
less, as a class, the priests are sober, kindly, human, and 
honourable men. 

It should never be forgotten that whatever is the 
condition of the Orthodox Church in Turkey now, it has 
done splendid service to the race during the last four 
centuries. Its priests are uneducated because they 
are poor. But they are poor because their Church has 
been deprived of her property, because the people have 
been oppressed, and even when they had made money 
were unable to invest it so that it should not be 
plundered. 

The Church has dark pages during these four centuries. 
The higher order of priests, including the patriarchs them- 
selves, bribed in order to obtain or keep their positions. 
According to the uncontradicted testimony of a great 
number of writers, there is a melancholy series of the most 
miserable tales of intrigue and bribery of Turkish officials 
to obtain the higher offices. The patriarchs, who had 
gained their position by bribing grand viziers, tried to 
recover what they had paid by selling appointments of 
bishops and other functionaries to the highest bidder. 
The bishops endeavoured to recoup themselves by 
making priests and people pay. The whole story is a sad 
one, and helps us to understand how the influence of the 
Church as a spiritual force diminished. 

The result upon religious sentiment has been fatal. If 
the definition of religion is " morality touched by 
emotion/' then the answer is that in the Greek Church 
the standard of morality is low and religious emotion 
rarely visible. There is no enthusiasm either of 
humanity or of spiritual life. Everything is common- 
place and suggests the want of ideals. The priests seem 
incapable of appreciating the elevating character of 



THE GREEK CHURCH 127 

Christian teaching, and still less of displaying the 
grim earnestness that characterized Scotch ministers, 
Wesley an revivalists, Catholic priests, as well as the 
members of the two great parties in the English Church. 
They have, however, succeeded in saturating the Greek 
race with an intense love for their Church as representing 
national existence. 

During a fortnight's visit to Mount Athos, the 
Holy Mountain, I saw nearly all the great monasteries 
and many of the Sketes (a word from which we derive 
ascetics), and a number of leading monks. There are 
about 8000 in all on the peninsula. They are of two 
orders, the Coenobites, who live a collegiate life under a 
warden, and a more ancient order. The former are 
much more strict in attending church services and in 
regarding the fasts than the latter. But the impression 
left upon me was that they were all living a useless 
and most of them a lazy life. On my return to Con- 
stantinople I endeavoured to stimulate two or three 
leading Greek friends to visit the Mountain. I pointed 
out that the geographical position, the extensive and 
picturesque buildings, and the revenues of the monas- 
teries invited the establishment of a great theological 
college or university for the whole of the Greek race and 
others belonging to the Orthodox Church ; that the 
Greek monks, instead of spending their time largely in 
quarrelling with the monks of the Russian and the 
Bulgarian convents, should unite forces for the good of 
their common church, but especially for the furtherance 
of education. My friends were smitten with the idea 
and went to Mount Athos. When they returned it was 
with the melancholy conviction that the monks were 
hopeless, and that no project of the kind would have 
the least chance of success so long as the present 
occupants were in possession. 



128 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Before leaving the subject of Mount Athos, with its 
beautiful old buildings and crystallized fourteenth 
century habits, customs and art, and its glorious land- 
scapes with which an artist might fill many sketch books, 
I may mention some facts of interest. On the peninsula, 
which is about twenty-four miles long and from four to 
ten miles broad, there are eighteen large and many small 
monasteries. They are governed by a representative 
assembly which meets at Karyes, a small town in the 
centre of the peninsula where the heads of the houses 
form a Synod. There is a Turkish governor as an 
evidence of the rule of the Porte, but he has little to do. 
No woman is ever permitted to land, nor is there a 
female of any kind. Even hens are not allowed, though 
there is a large importation of eggs. 

I had often heard that many years ago an English lady 
had landed disguised as a middy. I asked one of the 
monks whether the story was true, and was gravely 
assured that it was, and that the Virgin had punished 
her for her sacrilegious trespass. Her child had died. 
I was able to assure him that the lady in question was 
still living, and was enjoying a happy old age, but had 
never been married. Thereupon the monk faced round 
and declared that he must have been mistaken as to 
the form of punishment, which evidently was that the 
lady had been unable to find a husband. 

Greek monks are as ignorant as the priests, but also 
as kindly, hospitable, and good-natured. At Batopedi 
and other monasteries I had a look at the libraries. My 
visit was not long after the discovery, in the library of 
the monastery of the Holy Sepulchre on the Golden Horn, 
of the "Teaching of the Apostles." The wonderfully 
interesting little treatise was found bound up with a 
number of other manuscripts. The book was labelled 
and indexed with the name of the first treatise only. 



THE GREEK CHURCH 

At Mount Athos I was curious to see whether the cata- 
logues were similarly incomplete. My inquiries, besides 
satisfying me that they were, brought me into contact 
in every monastery which I visited with the best 
scholars. The impression formed by me was that there 
were not more than two or three men who knew any- 
thing of palaeography. 

During the Greek revolution of 1820-6 Mount Athos 
was overrun by Turkish troops. The parchment MSS., 
not in the form of books but of rolls, were raided again 
and again by the soldiers to make haversacks. Thou- 
sands of MSS. have been destroyed by rats, or stolen or 
given away. At the same time I believe that in the 
libraries of the monasteries on the Mountain and in Mace- 
donia and in those of some of the mosques of the capital 
there may yet be as precious finds as " The Teaching of 
the Apostles." It is only at rare intervals that a scholar 
has been allowed to look at the piles of MSS., even in 
the Imperial Library at Seraglio Point known as Top 
Capou. Yet forty years ago Dethier dug out of them 
the manuscript of Critobolus, giving the only account 
which we have by a member of the Orthodox Church 
of the capture of Constantinople by Mahomet. Dr 
Arminius Vambery was allowed a few years ago to 
search for and take away some of the books which were 
captured at the taking of Budapest, and which had 
been in the library of Mathew Corvinus, King of Hungary. 
The director of the Imperial Russian Institute at Con- 
stantinople found also a copy of the Hexateuch which 
his government has recently published. With these 
exceptions I know of only one person who has been 
allowed to carefully examine the Imperial Library and 
that attached to St Sophia. He informs me that there 
are piles of MSS., mostly in Arabic or Turkish, but that 
there are others which he has seen in Greek and Latin. 



130 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

In the libraries attached to several mosques in Constanti- 
nople there were many MSS. How many remain ? 
Kim biler ? 

Before leaving the subject of the influence of the 
Greek Church and of its priests and monks, let me 
recall that they assisted to preserve a knowledge of the 
Greek language as well as to compact the Greeks to- 
gether. The very forms and ceremonies of the Church 
contributed to both these results. Even the hard 
shell of their religion guarded the living organization 
itself. During her centuries of oppression there must 
always have been found in the most degraded and in- 
different times many pious souls who recognized the 
inner meaning of their faith and were the better for it. 

APPEARANCE OF DISORDER IN ORDINARY GREEK 
SERVICES 

An English visitor to a Greek church is usually struck 
with the want of discipline, and disorder in the congrega- 
tion. His first impression is that there is a want of 
reverence, but further experience will show him that 
the congregation is reverent enough in its own way. 
Two incidents from my own experience will show what 
I mean. One Sunday morning I had taken a walk with 
my little daughter before breakfast. On my way we 
entered a Greek church. The important service is 
usually about eight o'clock. I was known to the priest 
and many of the congregation, and not wishing to dis- 
turb them, walked quietly up an aisle and stood for a 
while near a lectern, the priest standing on the opposite 
side at another. I wished to follow the service, and, as 
there was a book on the lectern, quietly turned its pages 
to find out where the priest was reading, doing so in a 
manner not to attract attention. The priest, however, 



THE GREEK CHURCH 131 

saw me, and, stopping his reading, called out " Can you 
read ancient Greek ? " I nodded an affirmative, where- 
upon he crossed the nave and found me the place, he 
meantime still reciting the prayers until he returned to 
his former place. I followed the words of the beautiful 
liturgy of Chrysostom for two or three pages. Then 
there came the insertion of a prayer which did not follow 
consecutively. He saw that I was lost and called out, 
of course in Greek, " Never mind, keep the place where 
I left off ; I shall be back there directly." Every one 
could hear what he had said, but probably none thought 
that anything remarkable had been done. It was only 
an act of courtesy to an Englishman who was interested 
in their service. 

Another instance has remained in my memory, though 
it happened soon after I took up my residence in Turkey. 
With Mr Schliemann, the first explorer of what is gene- 
rally accepted as Troy, and my friend Dr Paspates, I 
attended the celebrated Easter Eve service at the 
patriarchal cathedral in Stamboul. It commenced 
about half-past eleven at night and continued till two 
in the morning. The church was crowded in every 
part, nineteen-twentieths standing all the time, as is 
the rule in the Orthodox Church. A portion of the nave 
near the screen or iconostasis was railed off, and in it 
were stalls. Those on the south side were occupied by 
the patriarch and eight or nine bishops, the patriarch 
being seated on an ancient throne which tradition, 
probably wrongly, claims was actually used by 
Chrysostom. The corresponding stalls on the other 
side were for visitors, those immediately opposite the 
patriarch being known as the imperial seats and being 
occupied by our party. The choir, in two parts, were 
on the floor near the stalls. The service was, as this 
service always is, of an impressive character, but at one 



132 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

part a boy in the choir made a mistake. The choir- 
master left his place, crossed to the opposite side, and 
gave the lad a severe box on the ear. The lad shrieked 
with pain. The instant after he shouted out against his 
attacker and called him a brute, as indeed we thought 
him. Thereupon he received another blow : the lad 
replied ; more blows followed, and this contest went on 
in presence of the congregation two or three minutes. 
No one remonstrated, no one seemed to think the scene 
unseemly or extraordinary. 

The language of the Greek liturgy is almost unin- 
telligible to modern Greek peasants. The fact was 
brought home to me in an interesting service which I 
attended five years ago in Nicsea. Our party had been 
at the church when the ordinary service was held, 
and had heard the creed to which the city has given its 
name clearly read by a deacon, and was on its way home 
to breakfast, the service having commenced at half-past 
five, when we observed that the congregation were filing 
off to a burial-ground. We followed, and found there 
was to be a service for rain. To our surprise, the 
prayers were in Turkish and were read by the priest 
from sheets of paper. Half an hour later the priest 
joined us at breakfast and proved an exceptionally 
intelligent man. He explained that his flock could not 
understand Greek, though having heard the liturgy all 
their lives they knew fairly well what the prayers meant. 
When, as in the present case, the service was compara- 
tively strange to them, it was unintelligible, and therefore 
he had translated the Greek into Turkish. He hoped 
the members of our party did not consider he had done 
wrong. He was comforted when we told him that we 
had noticed the people nodding approval and saying 
Amen with great fervour at various statements in the 
prayers and at the appeals made to Heaven, and that 



THE GREEK CHURCH 133 

English people were of opinion that prayers ought to be 
in a language understood of the people. 

The Orthodox Church, judged by the declarations of 
some of its chiefs, is intolerant. In reference to its rites 
it is intensely conservative. The story goes that not 
long ago a patriarch spoke of the Pope as an unbaptized 
heretic. Dean Milman characterized it in reference to 
its unchangeableness and inadaptability as bearing the 
same relation to the Church of Rome as the latter does 
to the Protestant Churches. Yet its intolerance, except 
towards the Church of Rome, is more apparent than real, 
and is limited only to the Church speaking in its official 
character. Even here, however, it must be noted that 
it maintains friendly relations with the Armenian Church, 
and exchanges not unimportant official and friendly 
communication with the Anglican Church through the 
Archbishop of Canterbury. Its hostility to the Church 
of Rome is due largely to tradition a hostility which 
was predicted by Innocent III. when he denounced 
those of the Fourth Crusade who took part in the capture 
of Constantinople. It is interesting to learn that the 
Church of Rome has never formally excommunicated 
the Orthodox Church. 

The attempts of a section of the Anglican Church 
to establish union with the Orthodox Church have met 
with little success. The Church will not even recognize 
Anglican baptism. The attempt to obtain a formal 
recognition of the validity of Anglican Orders has not 
only failed but continues to be simply mischievous. It 
encourages the suspicion that Anglicans feel their 
position to be weak, and wish it to be strengthened by 
a Church whose Orders are beyond suspicion. The 
Presbyterian and other Protestant missionaries, Ameri- 
cans, Germans, and English, who have no desire of 
the kind, but whose work in the country is acknow- 



134 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

ledged by Greeks and Armenians to be purely beneficial, 
get on excellently with these Christian communities. 
The Armenians frequently allow Presbyterians to preach 
in their churches. The late Bishop of Gibraltar, 1 who, 
besides being a historical High-Churchman, was also a 
broad-minded man, was invited to preach in the Armenian 
church, in 1908, at Bardezag near Ismidt, and wisely 
accepted the invitation, thereby strengthening the hands 
of the Rev. Dr Chambers, a Canadian Presbyterian at 
the head of a valuable Armenian college in that town. 
He had a crowded congregation, and his address as well 
as his sympathy had an excellent effect upon the large 
Armenian population. 

TRACES OF PAGANISM IN THE EASTERN CHURCHES 

The Greek and other historical Churches in Turkey, 
being institutions whose development was suddenly cut 
short by the subjection of their members to Moslem races, 
retain many traces of paganism which, under different 
circumstances, would probably have disappeared. These 
are found in customs and superstitions, or attached to 
places of worship which have survived in being adapted 
to the change from paganism to Christianity. Such are 
the death-wailings which are pretty general through the 
Greek world, the ancient feasts of the dead, including the 
distribution of Blessed Bread and the burning of incense 
in honour of the departed. The saints became suc- 
cessors of the pagan gods. Every hill-top which had 
been crowned with a temple to Phoebus Apollo, the Sun- 
god, was succeeded by a church dedicated to St George, 
who is invariably represented as slaying the dragon. 
The transformation may be excused as allowing the pagan 

1 1 regret to have to speak of Dr Collins as the late Bishop. He died 
in March 191 1, on his way from Constantinople to Smyrna, at the early 
age of forty-five. He was a man of sterling merit, sympathetic, able, 
and learned. 



THE GREEK CHURCH 135 

pilgrimages, beneficial to bodily and mental health, to 
continue under the sanction of the Church. It is justified 
if St George be regarded as light overcoming darkness, 
as the champion of right triumphing over " the dragon, 
that old serpent which is the devil " (Rev. xx. 2), Chris- 
tianity victorious over paganism a noble symbol if 
assuring hope of the victory of right over wrong. Whence 
St George came I am compelled, after considerable search, 
to admit that I have been unable to find. I utterly fail 
to recognize him as either of the two somewhat common- 
place saints of that name who are given in the Hagi- 
ologies. There is a passage in Eusebius which possibly 
suggests his origin, but the discussion of the question is 
not within my present purpose. 

While the rule holds good that every hill-top of im- 
portance in the ^Egean and Marmora is crowned by a 
church or monastery dedicated to the Knightly Saint, 
it is subject to an exception of the kind which proves the 
rule : for churches may be found in some such places 
dedicated to St Elias. It seems now to be generally 
recognized that as in Greek the aspirate has been for 
many centuries unsounded, there was a confusion in the 
popular mind between the words, Helios, the sun, and 
Elias, the prophet, and that the church dedicated to the 
latter was really continuing sun-worship. Of course, 
it will not be forgotten that Elias was present on the 
Holy Mount at the Transfiguration. Some hill-top 
churches are named after that event, which the Gieeks 
call the Metamorphosis. In like manner, all along the 
shores inhabited by Greeks, St Nicholas has taken the 
place of Neptune or Poseidon. The Nereids are firmly 
believed in by Greek islanders. Our common word in 
modern Greek for water is nero. 

The traditional Greek spirit in their blood infuses 
poetry into Greek superstitions. " The Nereids' smiles 



136 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

turn to roses ; their tears to pearls " ; " beautiful as a 

Nereid " are common expressions. Their long and 

luxurious hair and supple forms still lure men. Mr Bent 

mentions certain well-known families of islanders who 

are reported to have Nereid blood in their veins. The 

rainbow is the " sun's girdle/' and as such recalls the 

myth of the virgin Iris. It is sent to show where buried 

treasure exists, and reminds us that Iris was Jove's 

messenger from heaven to earth. In the islands of the 

Archipelago there is hardly one of the gods who does not 

figure as a Christian saint. In Kios or Zea, Pan has 

given place to St Anarguris, who is the patron of flocks 

and herds. When an ox is ill the owner takes it to the 

saint's church and prays for its recovery. In Kythinos, 

when an islander goes abroad his friends collect, and as 

he crosses the threshold of his house one of them pours 

out a libation to the gods to bring him good luck. Mr 

Abbott notices the same practices in Macedonia. At 

Paros is a church dedicated to the " Drunken St 

George/' On the 3rd November, the anniversary of his 

death, the Pariotes usually tap their wine, get drunk, and 

have a scene of revelry in front of the church with the 

priests among them. Another form of worship of 

Bacchus may be seen at Naxos. St Dionysius, the 

Christian successor of Dionysus, preserves many traces 

of the worship rendered to his ancestor. A good story is 

preserved about him. According to the Christian 

legend, when the saint was going from his monastery on 

Mount Olympus to Naxos he found a plant which he 

placed in the bone of a bird to keep it moist. Later on, 

he put both in the bone of a lion, and on his last day's 

journey placed the three inside the bone of an ass. The 

plant grew to be a vine. From it he gathered 

grapes and made good wine. A draught of it made 

him sing like a bird ; a little more made him feel 



THE GREEK CHURCH 137 

strong as a lion ; and still more made him as foolish 
as an ass. 

Sometimes the old gods have been changed into modern 
saints, regardless of sex. At Kios, Artemis has become 
St Artemidos. Demeter is represented as St Demetrius, 
who is the protector of flocks, herds, and husbandmen. 
Many islanders still tell you that Charon lives in Hades, 
where he hunts his victims on a spectral horse. Charon 
or Charos is the modern synonym for death. A new 
personage has been introduced into Christian mythology 
as Charon's mother, a sweet, tender-hearted woman, 
probably from the analogy of the mother of Christ, who 
intercedes for sinners with her bloodthirsty son. 

Among all the Greek populations, miraculous powers 
are attributed to the old gods and their modern successors. 
It would be easy to cite illustrations from the shrines of 
the saints in Tenos and a dozen of the islands. But in 
the island of Prinkipo where, during upwards of thirty 
years, I have spent annually some months, a good illus- 
tration is at hand. Crowds of people assemble on the 
23rd of April each year to celebrate St George. They 
are dressed in all sorts of curious costumes, each of which 
is characteristic of the place from which the wearer has 
come on pilgrimage. Many of the women wear the 
divided skirt. Strings of coins, mostly silver, adorn their 
necks. Lovely tertiary tints of green and blue and red 
alternate with rich orange and yellow, the produce of 
traditional dyes in places to which aniline crudeness has 
not yet penetrated. St George's Church is of course 
on the highest peak of our island, six hundred feet above 
the sea. On the eve of his festival thousands of people 
flock together from the neighbouring and the remote 
islands in the Marmora and from the villages of Bithynia 
to celebrate the feast. Note in passing that in the East 
the eve of the feast day is usually more regarded than the 



138 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

day itself. In all the ancient churches, " the evening 
and the morning " make the day. The church is 
crowded, and hundreds of peasants, unable to gain 
admission, sleep out on the adjacent hill-side with the 
object of obtaining the saint's help in sickness, for St 
George, like his predecessor Apollo, the father of 
^Esculapius, is a great healer. It is a sad sight to see 
people in far advanced stages of consumption carried 
there in hope of a miraculous return to health. It is 
pathetic to see mothers, weary with long travelling, 
toiling up the steep hill, carrying their sick children to be 
cured : infants on whom death has set his mark receiv- 
ing all the care which maternal devotion can give in what 
the onlooker sees to be hopeless cases. The wild eyes of 
other visitors at this annual festival suggest craziness ; 
the vacant stare of others proclaims idiocy ; for this, 
like so many shrines of Apollo yesterday, and St George 
to-day, has been and still is reputed for healing the mad 
and the mindless. On the floor of the church there are 
iron rings to which mad creatures were bound, even 
within my own recollection, so that they might pass the 
night in the church and receive the benefit which St 
George, or the Black Virgin, whose picture, owing its 
colour probably to the fact that it was painted with white 
lead, was in some mysterious manner able to bestow. 

This kind of superstitious belief in saintly intervention 
is in the Greek blood. I knew one man who was con- 
stantly dabbling in small speculations on the Bourse. 
It was his habit, as he admitted, always to burn a candle 
to a saint to bring him luck when he had a speculation 
on hand. He openly professed unbelief in the existence 
of any supernatural being. He secretly believed it to be 
useful policy to be on good terms with all the saints. 

Occasionally Greek priests have encouraged the super- 
stitious tendencies of their followers for the sake of gain. 



THE GREEK CHURCH 139 

It must be remembered that they are almost always 
peasant priests, lamentably ignorant and ill-paid. 
Within my own recollection there have been ayasmas 
found and taken possession of by priests at Kandilli 
on the Bosporus and at Prinkipo, that is to say a spring 
of fresh water has been discovered. In each case the 
report was spread that an icon was found near the 
spring ; a priest took possession, erected a shrine, and at 
once received the offerings of worshippers. Such a 
priest I knew at Prinkipo, and have often visited his 
shrine. The latter exists, but the Greek was found to be 
aiding the smugglers of tobacco and was then sent away. 
Some ten yeais ago, a serious attempt was made to 
establish the reputation of a miracle-working shrine in 
Constantinople, but investigation showed that it was the 
work of persons who intended to exploit it for their own 
profit, and the patriarchal authorities put an end to the 
attempt. Near Smyrna, within the last few years, there 
was a similar attempt to encourage pilgrimages to a house 
supposed to have been inhabited by the Virgin Mary, 
the pilgrims being mostly Greek by race but belonging to 
the Roman Catholic Church. But the ecclesiastical 
authorities, after examination, put an effectual end to 
such pilgrimages. 

In Asia Minor, instances exist in abundance of the 
respect paid by Christians and Moslems alike to holy 
places, which have been held sacred for probably 
millenniums. Sir William Ramsay has called attention 
on various occasions to Moslem mosques which have 
been Christian churches, and which churches had taken 
the place of Hittite or other early temples. Something 
in or connected with the site long ago was regarded as 
marvellous or peculiarly suited for the worship of the 
Unknown. It may have been a prominent wild peak, 
a peculiar formation of rock, a spring welling up mysteri- 



140 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

ously out of the arid plain, or, as at Mahalich in the 
district south-east of Koniah, extinct volcanic craters 
leading to the abode of the infernal gods, and suggesting 
terror, which first led the original worshippers to regard 
the place as holy. Our military consul, Captain Dickson, 
at Van, a district which is full of traces of paganism, has 
told the story of a holy place on the summit of Jebel Judi, 
7000 feet high. Every August, thousands of Moslems, 
Christians, and Yezidis or devil- worshippers climb this 
great height to do homage to Noah at this, one of his 
many reputed tombs. The shrine was erected on the 
place by some early race ; worshippers flocked to it, and 
a reputation for sanctity gathered round it. When the 
old heathenism had to make way for the teaching of 
Christianity, those who were opposed to it clung to the 
holy place hallowed by the worship of their fathers, and 
those even who professed the new faith were unwilling 
to separate themselves from the ancient place of worship. 
There was often a lingering feeling that the old gods, the 
guardians of those places, ought to be appeased. Chris- 
tians, even in the time of St Paul, did not deny their 
existence or influence. They existed, but were powers 
hostile to the True God. Then when Christian worship 
had itself lasted for centuries, came the Moslems, the 
great iconoclasts. But they too felt the influence of the 
holy places, and while stripping the church of its pictures 
and ornaments, respected the place which tradition 
regarded as holy. 

I conclude this notice of surviving paganism by telling 
a story for which my authority is the late Theodore Bent. 
In his interesting book on the Cyclades, his last chapter, 
full of good matter, is about the island of Amorgos, at 
the south-east end of the group he has been describing. 
The following story is not given in it, but was told me by 
him shortly after the incident occurred ; and Mrs Bent, 



THE GREEK CHURCH 141 

who nearly always accompanied her husband, has kindly 
informed me recently that it was on Amorgos where the 
incident happened. Mr Bent had so often found that 
the customs mentioned by Herodotus were continued to 
the present time, that he incautiously asked the priest of 
St Nicholas, the successor of Poseidon as the protector 
of sailors, whether the old practice of divination by 
tossing up knucklebones and learning by the way in 
which they fell on the altar what the direction of the 
wind would be, still continued. The answer was in the 
negative. When the piiest turned away, an old woman 
who had overheard the conversation said to Mr Bent, 
" All the same, Chilibe, no ship goes to sea without the 
crew coming here to learn how the wind will blow." 
Mr Bent said nothing, but having learned that two or three 
days later a vessel had arranged to leave, watched her 
crew, and having seen them start on their way to the 
church, followed them at a distance, taking care to k( ep 
out of sight. They entered the church, and five minutes 
later were followed by Mr Bent, who arrived just in time 
to see, through the holy gates, candles lighted upon the 
altar, the priest with his hat off, and his long hair down, 
and in the very act of tossing the knucklebones. 

When we foreigners get impatient at the mistrust 
shown by the Greeks of their Moslem fellow-subjects, 
of their determination not to abandon one jot or tittle 
of the ancient rites of their Church, it is right that we 
should remember what are their traditions. The grand- 
children of the men who were butchered under the 
influence of Moslem fanaticism are still living. They 
remember that their fathers died for their faith, that each 
could have saved his life if he had been willing to renounce 
it, but that with very few exceptions they stuck to their 
creed, and with a glorious obstinacy which is the salt of a 



142 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

race, preferred death to a life purchased at the price of 
disloyalty to their beliefs. 

And how well they died ! I am not thinking of pious 
death-beds, of men borne up by the hope of exchanging 
the short time they had to live in this world for the 
eternal happiness of Paradise, but of men in the prime of 
life, anxious to be about their business, to provide for 
their families, and therefore desirous of living. Here, to 
this lovely island of Prinkipo, where I am writing, there 
were banished, between 1820 and 1830, great numbers of 
Greeks. Daily there came to it from the capital, eleven 
miles away, the Sultan's great cai'que, bringing the 
executioner. Mr Walsh, the embassy chaplain, relates 
how with a gaiety of heart, a worthy indifference to fate 
or contempt of death, they continued their games of 
tric-trac when the executioner arrived. He passed 
among them, laid his handkerchief on the shoulders of 
the men who were to be taken off to death, while the 
men themselves continued their game and finished it. 
Then those marked rose from their seats, said good-bye 
to their friends, and went as gallantly to death as ever 
did an aristocrat during the Terror in France. Bravo ! 
my light-headed Greek friends ; you can brag and be 
vainglorious, but you can also die like brave men. 

I recognize that I have said some hard things about the 
Greeks and their Church ; but both are worth criticizing. 
Modern Gieeks have the making of a fine people. They 
have admirable qualities. They have life and energy. 
More than this, they possess nous intelligence, brains. 
They can think as well as talk. Their commercial 
morality wants waking up, and if a Chrysostom or a man 
like many of the great teachers of the world should arise 
among them, the race might once more come into the 
front rank of the world. What they want both in religion 
and politics is a few men with clear, plain intelligence, who 



THE GREEK CHURCH 143 

can see questions concerning their race in their correct 
proportion, and will speak and act in accordance with 
their insight. 

Turkey and its many peoples make one believe in 
race. Jew or Armenian or Greek, neither can be exter- 
minated. They may be oppressed and trodden down, 
debased by long centuries of servitude, but, like a tree 
which is not rooted out, they will bring forth fruit after 
their kind. Disraeli's remark that, while Jews are always 
Jews, every nation gets the Jews it deserves, applies also 
to Eastern Christians. Give each their chance, and the 
quality of the race will be proved. Greeks are the most 
numerous of the latter, and they and the Armenians, in 
spite of oppression, have for four centuries found the 
brains not only for the Turkish government but for the 
greater part of the intellectual work in the country. 
Many of the best as well as the ablest men in the Turkish 
service have been Gieeks. Far and away the ablest 
minister of foreign affairs who has held office during my 
residence in the country was Alexander Pasha, one of the 
family of Caratheodoris, who have furnished and are 
allied to many men who, by their services in Turkey and 
abroad, have helped to keep the Tuikish Empire going. 
The ablest Turks, many of whom are conscious of hav- 
ing inherited Chiistian blood, are wise in proclaiming 
religious equality if they wish their country to take rank 
among the civilized nations of the earth. But of all the 
races under the Sultan's rule none are more valuable to 
the Turks than are the Greeks. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE VLACHS, THE POMAKS, THE JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 

Origin name Vlach Early notices of Vlachs Probably a Latin 
people and among earliest settlers in peninsula Pomaks possibly 
descendants Thracians Why Moslems Probably converted Adop- 
tionists Jews Some descendants of ancestors who have always resided 
in country Others exiles from Spain Dunmays professing Islam but 
keeping Jewish practices Story of Sabbatai Sevi, founder of sect. 

BEFORE speaking of any of the larger communities 
in European Turkey, it is convenient to notice 
three groups of different races and religions who are 
found in the Balkan Peninsula. These are the Vlachs, 
the Pomaks, and the Jews. The first two are exclusively 
European peoples. 

THE VLACHS 

The Vlachs or Wallachs are widely dispersed through 
Macedonia. They are of the same race as the Rumanians 
and speak the same variety of what may be called Latin 
language, except that there are certain dialectical peculi- 
arities in various districts due to the fact of their con- 
tiguity with Slavs and Greek. Little is recorded of the 
early history of the Vlachs. Sir Charles Elliot thinks 
that the origin of the name Vlach is to be found in the 
Polish word for " Italian/* and that it was applied to the 
Vlachs because of their Latin speech. 1 The suggestion 
does not appear to me to be necessary. Vlach or Wallach 
is a word which appears as Gael, Gaul, Galatia, Wales, 

1 "Turkey in Europe," p. 414. 
144 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 145 

and Welsh. It usually signifies foreigners or foreign. 
Of course no native speaks of his own people as foreigners. 
The Vlachs of Macedonia call themselves Rumani, or 
Armani, that is Romans, just as the largest group of the 
race call their country Rumania. In the time of Trajan 
such country was called Dacia, and as it is known to 
have been a Roman convict colony, a common explana- 
tion of the existence of a people speaking a form of Latin 
was that its inhabitants were the descendants of the 
colonists. The further particular was then added that 
they subsequently crossed the Balkans and spread into 
Macedonia and penetrated even as far south as into 
Greece. But the explanation fails for want of evidence 
when it is suggested as a reason why the Vlachs exist 
throughout the Balkan Peninsula. Even the assertion 
that the modern Rumanians are the descendants of the 
Trajan colonists was denied some forty years ago by 
Rossler, who claimed that the first mention of a Roman 
settlement north of the Danube is not before 1222. 
But we have notices of the Vlachs extending from the 
Pindus range in what is now Northern Greece right up 
into the Carpathians and across the peninsula almost 
to the Black Sea centuries earlier. Procopius, in the 
later half of the sixth century, gives the names of Illyrian 
fortresses in what may be called Rumanian Latin. A 
little later, in 587, soldiers of the Greek Emperor are 
represented as using such expressions as torna, frate (turn, 
brother). Cedrenus, about 976, speaks of the murder of 
the brother of Samuel, the Bulgarian King, by certain 
Vlach wanderers. Anna Comnena, in 1080, mentions 
them as existing in Thessaly. She describes how a 
certain general in Macedonia received orders to enlist 
as many soldiers as he could. These were not to be 
veterans but raw recruits, both for cavalry and foot, 
taken from the Bulgarians, " and from the wandering 
ie 



146 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

people commonly spoken of as Vlachs," or any others 
who might offer themselves. 1 

About the same time the Jewish traveller Benjamin 
of Tudela gives an interesting paragraph about them. 
Travelling in Southern Macedonia, he says that he 
reached the country of Wallachia, whose inhabitants are 
called Vlachs. " They are as nimble as deer and descend 
from their mountains into the plains of Greece, robbing 
and collecting booty. Nobody ventures to make war 
on them, nor can any king bring them under subjection. 
Their names are of Jewish origin, and some even say they 
have been Jews. When they meet an Israelite they will 
plunder but not kill him, as they do the Greeks. They 
profess no religious faith.'* 

When Benjamin wrote we are in the period of the 
Crusades, and the chroniclers of the Crusades speak of 
Macedonia as Great Wallachia. 2 His short account 
suggests that the Vlachs were highlanders. Most of 
them are mountaineers to the present day, and many 
prefer a wandering life as owners and leaders of pack- 
horses. They were of a different race from the ordinary 
subjects of the emperor, whom Benjamin here and else- 
where speaks of as Greeks. Their religion was not that 
of the Greeks. He thought they had none. Suppose that 
they belonged to the Adoptionists, Bogomils, or Pauli- 
cians, who would not tolerate worship of the Virgin or the 
saints, objected to icons, and to most of the outward and 
visible emblems of Christian worship which the Greeks 
had incorporated into their Christian worship from 
paganism. They would be regarded by the Orthodox, 
as we know that these so-called heretics were, as atheists, 
men of no religion. My conjecture is that they were 

1 " Anna Comnena," Bonn edition : '07r6<roi re etc ~Bov\ydpwv t KO.I 
oVoo-oi rbv vofJ.dSa fiiov et\ovro (^Xd^ouy rovrovs ij KOIV/J KaXelv olde Sia 
jcal roi)s dXXodev diracruy rwv x u P^ v epXW&ovs linreas re Kal ireovs. 

8 fj.eyd\a 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 147 

such heretics. It is possible of course that they were 
pagans, but in such case they would probably have been 
spoken of under that name or qualified as idolaters. 
However this may be, the mention of them suggests 
that in Benjamin's time they were a people who for 
some reason or other lived apart from the subjects of 
the emperor. Near the close of the twelfth century 
a Vlacho-Bulgarian kingdom was established. Pope 
Innocent III. addresses John Asam, one of its two lead- 
ing chiefs as a Vlach, and of Roman descent. Ville- 
hardouin, the chronicler of the Fourth Crusade, expressly 
says that Asam was a Vlach. 

In the twentieth century the Vlachs in Turkey are 
often regarded as Greeks because they belong to the 
Orthodox Church. Their villages are hidden away in 
valleys near the summits of mountains. The largest 
clusters of them are found in the Pindus range, on the 
north-west boundary of Greece and the adjoining country 
of Macedonia. Metsova is the town which has the 
largest proportion of Vlachs. But small settlements 
exist all over Macedonia and in Servia, to say nothing 
of thousands in Transylvania and Hungary. Every- 
where the Vlachs are industrious. Some are wealthy. 
They nearly all now belong to the Orthodox Church, and 
until thirty years ago seem never to have thought it 
necessary to have a separate Church. Rumania has 
claimed it for them, and attaches more importance to 
obtaining it than do the Vlachs who are Turkish 
subjects. 

While it is not denied that the Vlachs are of one race 
and language, there are certain differences between them 
due to their environment. Those of South Macedonia, 
about the Pindus range, who are known as Kutzo- Vlachs, 
have been for centuries intermixed with Greeks and 
have been under the influence of the Orthodox Church. 



148 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Further north the tendency of the Vlachs has been to- 
wards the Roman Catholic Church. 

My explanation of the presence at an early date of the 
Vlachs in the Balkan Peninsula is that they were 
members of that branch of the Aryan race to which the 
Latins belonged who in later years had taken refuge in 
the mountains from Greeks, Slavs, Goths, Avars, and 
other enemies. This would imply that they were 
amongst the earliest settlers in the peninsula. I suggest 
that Rumanian Latin, Latin of the Elder Rome, the 
language of the Gauls, of the ancient Britons and Erse, 
were all closely allied branches of a common language. 
It has been shrewdly conjectured that the soldiers of 
Julius Caesar got on well with the Gauls because each 
could understand the other. It is hardly probable that 
the first horde of immigrants, speaking the language 
from which all the Latin tongues are derived, when they 
entered Europe from Asia, would have passed over the 
fertile country south of the Danube without leaving 
many settlers. Hence, I conclude, that the large numbers 
of Latin-speaking Vlachs now found in Servia and 
Hungary, as well as scattered throughout the whole of 
the western portion of the Balkan Peninsula, are the 
descendants of an ancient race, possibly of settlers as 
old as the ancestors of the Albanians. They may be 
descendants of the Thracians dispersed and driven to 
the hills, though some of the place-names usually con- 
sidered Thracian have not a Latin sound about them. 

THE POMAKS 

In and near the Rhodope Mountains, partly in Mace- 
donia and partly in Eastern Rumelia, are found a 
number of people known as Pomaks. They are popularly 
believed to be Bulgarians who became Moslems in order 
to preserve their lands. The explanation is open to 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 149 

doubt. Though their language gives some support to 
this theory, since it is largely made up of Slav words, 
their appearance causes hesitation. Many of them have 
light or reddish hair and delicate features. It has been 
conjectured with some plausibility that they, possibly 
like the Vlachs, are descendants of the original Thracians, 
who were driven westward to the hills by successive 
invasions, first of Greeks and then of Slavs. If so, their 
change of religion may be due to a cause other than that 
just mentioned. It is possible that their ancestors, like 
a considerable portion of the population of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina and of Macedonia itself, were Adoptionists 
or Bogomils. 

In order to explain my meaning, I must make a short 
digression. A great heresy, existing almost certainly in 
the fourth century, spread from Armenia and its neigh- 
bourhood to Macedonia, to Bohemia, to Italy, and pro- 
bably to Britain. For convenience' sake we may call its 
professors Adoptionists. They were also known as 
Paulicians, not after St Paul, but from a certain Paul of 
Samosata, who was the typical Adoptionist. At a later 
period they were known in the Balkan Peninsula as 
Bogomils. They obtained their name from the doctrine 
that Jesus became Christ and Son of God at His baptism. 
God on that occasion adopted Him and remained in- 
dwelling in Him. They repudiated or attached little 
importance to the Christian sacraments. But they 
maintained that God was imminent in the Elect. They 
disliked ecclesiastical vestments, objected to the adora- 
tion of the Virgin and to the worship of icons. Speak- 
ing generally, they represented a Hebrew rather than a 
Hellenistic tendency. Like our own Puritans, they were 
greatly attached to Old Testament teaching. But the 
distinguishing mark of the Adoptionists was their piety, 
resulting from their belief in an indwelling God. Many 



150 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

of their devout men tried to live up to the theory that 
their bodies were the temples of the Holy Spirit. They 
regarded the rites and ceremonies of the Church as 
remnants of paganism. In some respects they recall 
our own Quakers. They were undemonstrative pietists 
who rejoiced in contemplation and in pious ecstasy. 
They were searchers after the Inner Light. It can 
hardly be doubted that the charges brought against them 
of rejecting some of the doctrines of the Church were 
well founded. Throughout Macedonia and Southern 
Bulgaria they formed a considerable portion of the 
Christian population during the thirteenth and two 
following centuries, their chief centre being at Dragovitza. 
In Bosnia and Herzegovina they were more numerous 
still, and their influence spread into Bohemia and cul- 
minated there in the movement headed by John Huss. 
The Council of Basle formally condemned the Bogomil 
heresy in 1435. At that time, in Bosnia and Herze- 
govina, the so-called heretics were between the hammer 
and the anvil ; for Roman Catholics on one side and the 
Orthodox Church on the other persecuted them with 
relentless pertinacity. To escape persecution they had 
invited the Turks to enter Bosnia as early as 1415. They 
were Protestants, and they seem to have regarded Islam 
as a form of Protestantism which on the whole was 
preferable to the paganism of the Orthodox Church. 
It is worthy of remark that other Christian dissenters 
under the empire had similar tendencies. They were 
at one with the object of protesting against what they 
regarded as pagan practices. 

Now contemporaneously with the spread through the 
centuries of this heresy among Christians a religious 
movement of importance had been going on among the 
Mahometans. From the time of the Prophet himself 
there had always been two tendencies in Islam ; the one, 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 151 

attributable to Persian influence, was spiritual though 
pantheistic. The Caliph Ali himself showed this tend- 
ency, and the members of the Shiah branch of Mahome- 
tanism, who are his followers, have felt such influence to 
a remarkable extent. The movement in question has 
long taken definite form, the pietistic forms of Islam 
having developed into many sects known as dervishes. 

While the majority of the Turks are Sunnis, nearly all 
the many sects of dervishes in Turkey are really, though 
not all nominally, followers of Ali. In Turkey the ulema 
represent the theological and formalist side of Islam ; 
the dervishes the religious and spiritual side. It may be 
taken as a rule even now that when a Turkish Moslem 
becomes seriously and devoutly inclined he becomes a 
dervish. Sultan Mahmud, the " Reformer," who sup- 
pressed the Janissaries, belonged to the dervish order of 
Me vie vis. The actual Sultan Mahomet V. is reputed to 
belong to the same order. 

The teaching and religious influence of Islam as repre- 
sented by its spiritual side appealed to the pietistic 
Christian heretics. 

The districts which the Pomaks inhabit were occupied 
to some extent by adherents of the Adoptionist heresy 
during the Middle Ages. Their principal church at 
Dragovitza was long regarded as the mother church, even 
by the Cathari or Albigenses. 

When the Turks took possession of Rumelia, most of 
the Bogomils of the plains about Philippopolis conformed 
to the rites of the Orthodox Church. But while conform- 
ing outwardly they kept their own organization and 
were in consequence fiercely persecuted. To escape this 
they joined the Church of Rome in the eighteenth 
century. The Bogomils of the hills, however, passed over 
into Islam, as did most of the people of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina, in order to escape the tyranny of the 



152 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Churches, and because they believed its religion to be 
more in conformity with their own than the Orthodox. 
The converted or perverted Bogomils of the Rhodope, 
if this conjecture be well founded, became the modern 
Pomaks. I give this suggestion as plausible, but the 
subject has never been carefully examined. 

Among the refugees who have entered Turkey during 
the last forty years to avoid being under Christian rule 
in Bulgarian or in Austrian territory, none furnish so 
valuable an element as the Bosniaks and Pomaks. Both 
races are industrious and honest. They are everywhere 
regarded as good neighbours. In this respect they 
compare most favourably with Circassian immigrants, 
who soon come to be on " shooting at sight " terms, even 
with their Mahometan neighbours. 

THE JEWS 

In the absence of trustworthy statistics it is im- 
possible to say how many Jews are found in Turkey. 
My impression is that they number about three hundred 
thousand. They are naturally numerous in Palestine, 
though half the Jews there are immigrants who have 
entered the country within the last century. Salonika 
is the capital of Turkish Jewry. Its Jews are physically 
the finest of the race whom I have seen. 

In Constantinople there are probably thirty thousand. 
They are mostly poor and reside in two very crowded 
villages on the Golden Horn, one at Balata (formerly 
Palation, from the neighbouring Palace of Blachernae), 
and the other at the village on the opposite shore called 
Hasskeui. On the Bosporus there are two populous 
villages which they have almost entirely to themselves, 
Ortakeui and Kuskunjuk. Many well-to-do Jews, how- 
ever, reside in Pera. My impression is that there have 
been Jews in the capital from a very early period. The 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 153 

Spanish writer Benjamin of Tudela gives an interesting 
account of his co-religionists in 1170. Their principal 
quarter was then in Galata. Frequent mention is made 
of them by later writers. Grimston in 1626 states that 
they had thirty-eight synagogues in the capital about 
double the number they now possess. 1 

Let me say in passing that the English and Scotch 
Jewish Missions which have schools in Constantinople 
and Salonika have done very valuable work. They have 
made very few converts, a fact that I cannot say that I 
regret ; but their educational work and influence generally 
have been wholesome and purely beneficial. Old residents 
declare that sixty years ago Jewish women occupied a 
much lower social position than they do at present. 
Polygamy was common. The women went about veiled. 
Few could read or write. It would be easy now to name 
many Jewish women who have been educated in the 
Mission-schools, who are cultured, and are received in 
any society to which their husbands' position entitles 
them. Indeed, these schools have raised the Jewish 
communities bodily to a higher level. 

Speaking generally, the Jew of Eastern Europe leaves 
much to be desired. Nowhere is Disraeli's dictum more 
applicable, that each nation gets the Jews it deserves, 
than in the East of Euope, notably in Russia, Rumania, 
and Turkey. The Jew has been better treated in Turkey 
than in the two other countries named, which annually 
supply Jewish emigrants to Turkey. The Turkish Jew 
is superior to his co-religionists from these countries. 
It must not be concluded, however, that he has received 
any exceptional favour in Turkey. There have been no 
favours bestowed on him, but neither has he been 

1 Grimston's Description of Constantinople, published in Sir Richard 
C. Temple's edition of " The Travels of Peter Mundy," p. 185. Hakluyt 
Soc., 1907. 



154 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

subjected to legislative restrictions in regard to trade, 
commerce, or industry. He has been left severely alone. 
The average Turk has tolerated but despised him. The 
lower class of Christians, the Greeks in particular, are full 
of medieval prejudice against him. But in Turkey, as 
elsewhere, he has managed to exist and in some cases to 
grow rich. 

There are two distinct types of Jews in Turkey which 
may be conveniently classed as Spanish, and German or 
Polish. The first frequently show delicate features, 
with light brown hair and occasionally with blue eyes. 
The second have the heavy features with dark hair and 
unusually large nose which we see in the race in England. 
Most of the so-called Spanish Jews are the descendants of 
men who were driven out of Spain in the reign of Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella. Their language is still Spanish. 
Turkey gave them a resting-place and assigned Salo- 
nika to them as sufficiently distant from the capital. 
They have flourished, and are now the most important 
commercial element in that city. They are good traders, 
will drive a hard bargain, but once it is made, once, as it is 
locally expressed, they have given their Sta ben6, they 
will scrupulously respect it. 

Disraeli brings into two of his novels Jews in Syria 
who claim to trace their descent and their occupation of 
certain estates from a time previous to the destruction of 
Jerusalem. I very much doubt whether any family can 
support such a claim. There are, however, ancient 
families in Palestine proud of their descent, which they 
can trace for several centuries. I admit, however, that 
if any such families can go back as far as Disraeli sug- 
gested, they are likeliest to be found in Syria or in the 
desert to the east of the Jordan, where, after the fall of 
Jerusalem at least, two Jewish States existed and 
flourished, and probably kept their race pure in blood. 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 155 

In the West, in Gaul and Spain, the suggestion of Renan 
appears to me to be justified, that the Jews belonged to 
the liberal section who based their religion on the later 
prophets, discarded the tribal ceremonials, taught a pure 
theism, and accepted good men of other races without any 
initiatory rite. It is beyond doubt that the Spanish 
Jews have developed a very distinct type which produces 
in both men and women handsome specimens of humanity. 
Mr Holman Hunt, in his " Finding of Christ in the 
Temple," which was painted in Jerusalem, has repro- 
duced models of both the Spanish and the German Jew. 
The Palestine Jew usually resembles the Spanish much 
more closely than the German. 

Besides these two classes of Jews there are many 
indications which show a considerable mixture of 
Jewish blood in the population of especially the eastern 
part of the empire. I do not speak of the various 
Jewish populations of Arabia whom Mahomet defeated 
or destroyed, as for example that of Khaiber. It is 
sufficient to say that the survivors were absorbed in the 
Arab population. But considerable detachments of 
Jews always a prolific race have been merged into the 
Anatolian population. Dr John Peters, the discoverer of 
Nippur, 1 travelled leisurely across country from the mound 
of that name, which is just beyond the south-east boundary 
of Mesopotamia, to Palestine, and found many traces of 
Jewish settlement. He was convinced that at least 
three small Jewish States had existed in that region 
after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. There can be 
little doubt that these Jews became lost in the general 

1 Nippur is the Calneh of Gen. x. ip. The identification was due 
to Professor Hilprecht, who had continued the work of exploration 
commenced by Dr Peters, and had obtained written records which 
go back seven thousand years before Christ, the total result being 
quite one of the most brilliant obtained by archaeology during the 
last century. 



156 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

population. In some places even now the process of 
absorption is going on. Mr Hogarth speaks of groups 
in Syria, who have long resided among Arabs, and who 
tend to become " hardly distinguishable from their neigh- 
bours in tradition and hope." l 

Earl Percy, in journeying through the wild districts of 
the Hakkiari near the Persian frontier, inhabited by 
Kurds and Nestorians, found near Girdi " three villages 
occupied by Jews." The date of their immigration was 
unknown, " but it is certain that they have resided in the 
country from a very early period, and having adopted 
the local dress and even the language of their Mussulman 
neighbours, are now, except in features, practically 
indistinguishable from the Kurds." Earl Percy suggests 
that these and others Jews whom he found in consider- 
able numbers, " not only in Mossul but in pastoral 
villages like Diza, Neri, Girdi, and Bashkali, may be the 
descendants of one of the numerous Israelitish colonies 
which the Kings of Assyria planted in distant portions 
of the empire after the fall of Samaria." 

Since the revolution of 1908, the Jews in Turkey have 
come very distinctly to the front, and now play a very 
important part in the government of the country. But 
even before that event, Jewish medical men, advocates, 
and merchants, formed a valuable part of the community. 

THE DUNMAYS 

Something must be said of an interesting sect or off- 
shoot of the Jews. These are Jews who profess Islam. 
They are called Dunmays. The name is Turkish for 
converts. They form an important part of the popula- 
tion of Salonika. They are found also in Adrianople and 
in other parts of the empire. They openly profess 

1 "The Nearer East," p. 184. 

2 " Highlands of Asiatic Turkey," by Earl Percy, 245-6. 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 157 

Mahometanism and secretly practise the rites of Judaism. 
It appears to me probable that they may all in time 
become simply Moslems. Their history is known from 
trustworthy sources and is interesting. They date only 
from the second half of the seventeenth century. Many 
accounts of their founder, a certain Sabbatai Sevi (1626- 
76), have been written within the last quarter of a 
century. 1 But the most trustworthy is that furnished 
by an exceptionally able British consul, Paul Rycaut, who 
resided at Smyrna, the birthplace of the founder and the 
scene of many of his doings. 

Among both Jews and Christians, but especially among 
the Jews, the belief existed in the first half of the seven- 
teenth century, that in 1666 the Messiah would appear. 
The Christians of course looked for the second coming of 
Christ ; the Jews for that of the promised and long 
expected Deliverer, who should restore the race to a 
proud position among the nations. The Jewish refugees 
from Spain, victims of religious persecution, had turned 
their attention more than ever to the practices and 
teaching of their religion, to the hopes and promises of 
a divine intervention in favour of the chosen people of 
Jehovah, held out to them by their traditions and sacred 
books. The study of the Talmud in particular engrossed 
their attention. Indeed, the intellectual culture of many 
of them was largely confined to its contents. The Koran 
itself was not more completely the authority for the 
conduct of life among Mahometans than was the Talmud 
among pious Jews in the seventeenth century. There 
was a veritable rage for interpretation of the sacred text, 

1 See in particular, from Jewish sources, a very full and thoughtful 
notice of Sabbatai and of the belief in a coming Messiah in the Revue 
des Ecoles de V Alliance Israelite : Paris, avril-juin 1902, and also a 
very learned paper giving new information regarding the Dunmays. 
by Abraham Danon in the Revue des Etudes Juives : Paris, oct.- 
decembre 1897. 



158 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

and for the verification of prophecies. Every passage, 

almost every word, had many explanations. There was 

mystery in every sentence. Men studied, worked, and 

longed for the discovery of these mysteries, but above all 

to find out by what signs the Expected One should be 

known. In many synagogues the worshippers prayed 

every Sabbath for the coming of the Messiah, and 

thousands of pious souls confidently expected his speedy 

advent. The attitude of mind among them was one 

which, if it were not abundantly proved by trustworthy 

evidence, would be incredible. So certain were hundreds 

that the advent could not long be delayed that they 

neglected business altogether and devoted themselves to 

making preparations to meet the expected Deliverer. 

Rycaut says that in 1666, having to journey from 

Constantinople to Buda, he " perceived a strange 

transport in the Jews, none of whom were attending to 

their business except to wind up former negotiations 

and to prepare themselves and families for a journey 

to Jerusalem." 

It was an attitude of mind which invited imposture. 
The impostor probably at first an unconscious one 
came in the person of a handsome Smyrna Jew. He was 
learned in all kinds of cabalistic literature. He gradually 
discovered that he himself had the necessary qualifica- 
tions and fulfilled the predictions relating to the coming 
Messiah. He journeyed to Egypt, to Palestine, to 
Salonika, everywhere declaring his divine mission. As 
he travelled his pretensions and his belief in his 
own mission increased. He met with many adven- 
tures. The rabbis persecuted him ; he was denounced 
as impious and a blasphemer. But every persecu- 
tion and denunciation served to confirm his own faith 
and that of the followers, who everywhere flocked 
around him. He was attended by a certain Nathan 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 159 

who acted as his Elijah. Nathan predicted the time 
when the Messiah should appear before the Sultan, take 
away his crown, and lead the grand vizier captive in 
chains. By the time he returned to Smyrna in 1665, 
the whole empire and the Jews throughout Europe were 
full of his doings. It was at Salonika apparently where 
the infatuation was keenest. The cry was raised that 
the Promised One had come. It was only necessary to 
await his signal. Many of the Jews fasted for days till 
they fainted. Others tortured themselves in various 
ways to render themselves acceptable to the Christ. All 
their shops were closed, and nothing was sold except to 
get rid of business altogether. The Gentiles would soon 
be subject to them, and all that was necessary was simply 
to support life till the Messiah should lead them to 
their own. Four hundred poor Jews were fed by the 
wealthy. 

When Sabbatai returned to Smyrna, a large section of 
the Jews hailed him as he wished. But the " Kochams," 
as Rycaut calls the rabbis, still stood aloof. His sup- 
porters appealed to the kadi or local judge, but, says 
Rycaut, " the kadi, according to the usual custom of the 
Turks, swallowed money on both sides and then remitted 
them to the determination of their justice " a delight- 
fully Turkish proceeding which has happened scores of 
times during the last thirty years. 

Nevertheless, his supporters at Smyrna daily increased, 
and with such increase the pretensions of Sabbatai grew 
also. He became either a greater knave or greater fool 
than ever, for he added to his title of Messiah that 
of " Son of God." Then there happened one of those 
strange outbreaks of religious or hysteric mania of which 
England had an example in the time of Edward Irving. 
Sabbatai's followers fell into ecstasies, and the young 
women began in this condition to prophesy. His 



160 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

followers demanded a miracle for the confusion of his 
enemies. On the occasion of his public visit to the kadi 
some of his disciples declared that a pillar of fire suddenly 
arose between him and the judge. Some persons swore 
they saw it. Others caught up the cry, and the belief 
at once spread to nearly all the Jews of the place. The 
Messiah's mission was attested by a miracle. Every 
man produced his treasure, his gold and jewels, 
and offered them as gifts. But Sabbatai prudently 
refused to receive them. Was it from principle or 
craftiness ? 

Shortly afterwards he declared that he was called by 
God to leave Smyrna and visit Constantinople, where he 
had to fulfil the most important part of his mission. 
With a select few of his disciples he took ship and 
spent thirty-nine days in making a voyage which is now 
done in twenty-two hours. Many, however, went 
overland and awaited his arrival. The Jews also in the 
capital, when they heard the news, were greatly moved 
at the approach of their deliverer. 

The grand vizier had often heard of the disputes among 
the Jews, but, so long as they only affected Salonika and 
Smyrna, did not trouble himself about them. Once it 
was announced that the supposed Messiah was on his way 
to the capital, his attitude changed. He sent to arrest 
him, and on his capture packed him off to one of the worst 
prisons in the capital. This step rather increased 
Sabbat ai's influence, for this again was the fulfilling 
of prophecies. He was visited by all that was best in the 
Jewry of the capital. One of the most highly esteemed 
among them headed a deputation of his co-religionists, 
and " during a whole day they stood before him with 
eyes cast down, bodies bending forward, and hands crossed 
before them," which as everybody knows is the rever- 
ential manner of standing before a Sultan. 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 161 

The Jews in Constantinople were as excited and 
credulous as those in Smyrna, and Rycaut relates a 
curious story of " some of our merchants," meaning 
members of the Levant Company who had debts to 
receive from certain of the Jews, and were in doubt now 
that the debtors had closed their shops whether they 
were going to be paid. So, partly out of curiosity and 
partly in hopes of obtaining payment, they went in a 
body to see Sabbatai and to complain. The prisoner 
heard them, and then wrote to each defaulter a request 
that he should pay the " members of the English nation," 
for, if not, " know that you are not to enter with us into 
our joys and dominions." Rycaut gives the text of the 
circular sent to the debtors. 1 

After two months' imprisonment in Constantinople, the 
grand vizier had to leave on the famous expedition 
destined to conquer Crete, and, not thinking it safe to 
leave Sabbatai in the capital, sent him as a prisoner to 
Abydos, at the east end of the Dardanelles, His removal 
once more confirmed the faith of his followers : for, said 
they, this prophet has foretold the doom both of the 
grand vizier and of the Sultan, and has spoken of putting 
the grand vizier in chains, and they would have killed 
him had they not known that he was a prophet. 

In all probability the Turks regarded him as deli, or 
mad, and all madmen and idiots are sacred throughout 
Turkey, while injury done to them, besides being 
irreligious, brings ill-luck. His prison at Abydos became 
a court, and he was visited not only by Turkish Jews, but 
by others from Poland, Germany, Italy, and Holland. 
Indeed he was now at the zenith of his career. In the 
synagogues the letters S.S. were emblazoned to honour 
him. He ordered a new form of liturgy to be used in 
them which he had himself composed. 

1 " The History of the Turkish Empire," from 1623 to 1677. 
II 



162 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Unfortunately he got into disputes with a rival from 
Poland, a man of great reputation, named Nehemiah 
Cohen, who claimed that there should be two Messiahs 
and that he was one. As they could not agree, Cohen 
laid a formal complaint against Sabbatai before the 
caimakan of Adrianople of so serious a character that 
this officer had to forward it to the government, who at 
once ordered Sabbatai's removal to that city. He was 
there brought before the Sultan. Now came his chance. 
If he could prove his power of working miracles, as his 
followers believed he could, the time for the deliverance 
of the Jews was at hand. But Sabbatai, possibly 
demoralized by success, showed the white feather. 
When asked to reply, he pleaded that he could not 
speak Turkish, and asked for an interpreter. One was 
allowed. This of itself was a disappointment to his 
friends who believed that, as the Messiah and the Son 
of God, his tongue would have been loosened into 
-eloquence in any language. Thereupon the Sultan sug- 
gested a test of his miraculous powers. He should be 
stripped and set as a mark for his skilled archers. If 
their arrows missed him, or if his body was proof against 
them, then he, the Sultan, would recognize him as 
Messiah and the person chosen by Allah to be ruler of 
Palestine. 

Sabbatai's courage failed. He declared that he was 
only an ordinary Jew and had no pretentious to 
authority. The Sultan replied that, as he had claimed 
the right to rule, he was a traitor and must pay the 
penalty of treason unless he became a Mahometan. If 
he did not, the stake was then ready at the Seraglio 
Gate for impalement. Sabbatai immediately declared 
that he wished nothing better than to change his religion. 
Thereupon the pretender was contemptuously dismissed. 
But numbers of his followers refused to believe the 



VLACHS, POMAKS, JEWS, AND DUNMAYS 163 

master had turned Moslem. His soul had been taken 
up to heaven : his ghost walked on earth in the dress 
of a Moslem. The rabbis, however, took courage and 
proclaimed him an impostor, and his pretentious to be 
the Messiah, damnable. In March 1669, he returned to 
Smyrna, but shortly afterwards settled in Constantinople, 
where he not only practised the rites of Mahometanism, 
but advised his followers that he could not persuade 
Allah to allow them the promised advantages unless 
they would abandon the imperfect elements of Judaism 
and follow his example. 

He died in 1676. His followers still number many 
thousands. They are probably the most numerous 
portion of the Jewish population in Salonica. Many 
even of the present professing Mahometans in that city 
are the descendants of Dunmays. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE ALBANIANS 

Ghegs and Tosks Vendettas Treatment of women Attitude 
towards religions Bektashis, influence of Occupations abroad 
Skender Bey Ali Pasha Albanian share in revolution 1908-9 
Future of Albania 

THE Albanians, known also as Arnaouts, are a sur- 
vival of possibly the earliest Aryan race who entered 
the Balkan peninsula. They have remained an isolated 
people since the earliest historical times, and have sur- 
vived as a people largely because of their isolation. 
With the sea on one side and occupying a mountainous 
country, their isolation resembled that of the Scots 
Highlanders until two centuries ago. On the landward 
side there came, at periods which are not yet determined 
accurately, other races Greeks on the south, Vlachs, 
Wallachs or Welsh on the east, and an early stream of 
Slav-emigrants on the north. The fringes of Albanian 
territory show some admixture of these races. But 
their advent seems only to have compacted the Albanians 
within their present territory and to have completed 
their isolation. In Montenegro, however, there is a 
famous clan of Albanians, who, though in race, customs 
and language they do not differ from their neighbours 
in Turkey, are yet loyal subjects of King Nicholas. The 
Albanians were estimated half a century ago by Schafarik 
to number about one and a half millions, and probably 
this estimate holds good to-day. 1 They inhabit the 
Brailsford's estimate is 1,250,000; that of Mr Charles H 

164 



THE ALBANIANS 165 

eastern shore of the Adriatic from and including part 
of Montenegro down to the Gulf of Arta and the confines 
of Greece. Their eastern boundary is as vague as that 
of the Scots highlanders two centuries ago, but may be 
represented generally by a line drawn from Kastoria to 
Lake Ochrida, thence to Uskub and into the vilayet of 
Kossova, in what is often called Old Serbia. Fersovich, 
a small town on the railway from Salonica to Mitrovitz, 
about equal distance from Prisrend, Uskub, and Pristina, 
may be regarded as the entry into Northern Albania from 
the north-east. 

The Albanians fall into two divisions, Northern and 
Southern. Possibly they are two branches of the same 
people. The first are known as Ghegs, though they call 
themselves Skipetars, probably meaning rock-dwellers. 
The second are conveniently spoken of as Tosks, from 
the name of the most important clan among them. The 
Skumbi river, which flows into the Adriatic just north 
of 41 latitude, may be taken as the boundary between 
the Ghegs and the Tosks. Prisrend is the most important 
centre of the Ghegs ; Koritza of the Tosks. The Ghegs 
have square heads, refined features, and usually light 
coloured hair. The Tosks have a heavier caste of 
features, with darker hair. Among both, however, are 
beautiful heads which recall those of classic Greece. All 
speak the Albanian language, though with certain dia- 
lectical peculiarities between the Northerners and 
Southerners. In both forms it is a pleasant language 
to hear. The Ghegs probably are the representatives 
of the ancient Illyrians. The late Professor Max Miiller 
concluded that the present Albanian speech is the repre- 
sentative of the Illyrian tongue. The Tosks, then and 
now the inhabitants of Epirus, were spoken of by the 

Woods (in the Westminster Gazette of 8th Sept. 1910) is between 
1,100,000 and 1,200,000. 



166 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

ancient Greeks as Pelasgi, and were regarded as a people 
more ancient than themselves. The characteristic dress 
of the Ghegs is a waistcoat, jacket, and breeches, each 
close-fitting, of a white material usually resembling 
tweed cloth, braided with black ; that of the Tosks is 
the long white petticoat, known as the fustanella, which 
the Greeks have taken for the uniform of the king's 
guards, known as the Euzones. The Gheg is proud of 
his dress, and is a picturesque figure. The Tosk loves 
his fustanella as does the highlander his kilt, which it 
resembles in shape, though its material is white cotton 
instead of wool. 

Both Ghegs and Tosks have at times extended beyond 
what are now the boundaries of their country. The 
Ghegs, though probably of purer race than the Tosks, 
have intermingled to a considerable extent with their 
Slavonic neighbours. During the seventh and succeed- 
ing centuries the Croats and other branches of the Slav 
races on the Dalmatian coast steadily pushed the 
Albanians southwards. During the reign of the Serbian 
Czar, Dushan, who died in 1348, the Ghegs flocked to his 
standard. The Serbian capital was for a while at 
Prisrend, at another time at Uskub or at Scutari in 
Albania. Even Arta and Yanina were in his possession. 
The existence of many place-names of Slav origin in- 
dicates a long Slavic occupation. After the coming of 
the Turks they and the Ghegs forced the Serbs to retire, 
and now not only do Albanians occupy the three towns 
mentioned, but they have taken possession of a large 
part of the vilayet of Kossova which two centuries 
and a half ago was occupied solely by Serbs. The 
oppression of the two races drove a number of Serbs, 
estimated at a hundred thousand, in about 1680 to 
emigrate in mass and headed by their patriarch into 
Hungary. The departure of other thirty thousand 



THE ALBANIANS 167 

followed early in the eighteenth century. Combined 
Turkish and Albanian oppression continued, the refugees 
finding their way during the first half of the nineteenth 
century across into Hungary, but during the later half 
into free Serbia. Those who remained had to purchase 
the right to live by rendering service to the Albanians, 
much as many Armenians had to do towards the Kurdish 
chiefs. Mr Brailsford states that at present in the 
vilayet of Kossova there are from 20,000 to 30,000 
Albanian families against only 5000 Serbian house- 
holders, 1 and he describes the country of the Serbian 
serfs under Albanian rule as " the most miserable corner 
of Europe." The Northern Albanian out of his own 
country proved himself an incompetent tyrant. But the 
point to which I here draw attention is that among them 
there has been a considerable admixture of Serbian blood. 
The Tosks or Southern Albanians have intermingled 
with the Vlachs, but especially with the Greeks. In the 
Greek War of Independence, Albanians and Greeks 
were so intermixed that it is difficult to distinguish 
them. What is certain is that the Albanians, whose sons 
now reside on Greek territory, largely aided in the 
triumph of the Greek cause. The Greek race has at all 
times shown a power of assimilating the races among 
which they dwell, and the Albanians furnish a striking 
illustration of the fact. When Constantinople was 
captured in 1204 by the Crusaders and Venetians, the 
empire was parcelled out among military chiefs. 
Southern Albania, with Yanina as its capital, became a 
principality, and Baldwin II., the last of the Latin 
emperors, gave Albania to a member of the House of 
Anjou. The Albanians, all of whom were then Christians, 
joined with their Greek neighbours to resist the tyrant 
from the West. They got on well together, and down 
1 Brailsford, " Macedonia," p. 274. 



168 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

to the present hour the influences at work for civiliza- 
tion among the Southern Albanians are derived from 
contact with the Greek race and Greek Christianity. 
Greek is more spoken among the Albanians even in 
Turkey than is Turkish. 

Mr Hogarth points out that the life and characteristics 
of the Ghek population is largely due to the peculiar 
relief of their country. 1 The isolation of the region, 
bounded on one side by a malarial swamp and on the 
other by a sea without safe harbours and its general 
inaccessibility, have prevented its development under 
Turkish rule. 

Both Tosks and Ghegs are mountaineers. Though the 
first are not so tall as the second yet they too are nimble 
and active. Throughout Albania the people all belonged 
to clans. But while the clan system has largely broken 
up among the Tosks, it flourishes in full force in Northern 
Albania. Everywhere it recalls the highland clans of 
Scotland of two centuries ago. 

The people are not only an Aryan people of race, but 
are European in their national instincts. Even the 
Moslems among them are monogamists. Their sense of 
family life is European and not Turcoman. They are 
barbarians but they have never assimilated with the 
Turks. They marry in their own rank. Their chieftains 
are born aristocrats. When it is remembered that the 
Turk is of mixed blood and has no family in the Western 
sense, and that his heir may be the issue of one of 
the slaves whom he has bought, the difference will be 
appreciated. 

The characteristic virtues of the Albanian look like 
survivals from the Middle Ages : his vices and occasional 
savage energy from probably an earlier period. Loyalty 
to the chief of his clan and to his word is his greatest 

1 "The Nearer East," p. 229. 



THE ALBANIANS 169 

virtue. An inborn courtesy is common to the race. 
The best fighter is the best man. Every Albanian feels 
himself independent except when bound by the ancient 
customs of his race. In Northern Albania he re- 
cognizes no law except that based on such ancient 
customs. The Turk has hardly attempted to impose 
any other law. Whether in the field or in the market- 
place he is nearly always armed and is ready to fight on 
the smallest pretext. The boy attains manhood when 
he can show that he possesses arms which he has captured 
from an enemy. His rifle is ever with him. All fire it 
as a sign of joy. The Christian summons the congrega- 
tion to divine service by a definite number of shots. 
His instincts are tribal, and he therefore revenges any 
insult to himself or his clan by starting a vendetta which, 
in case of his own death, is carried on by his relations or 
fellow-clansmen, until the bessa is given and ends the feud. 
Once this sacramental word is pronounced it is respected 
so universally that the man who violates it loses caste in 
his tribe. He respects the right of asylum, and even the 
enemy is safe who has sought his protection. When 
reconciliation has taken place he may consent to make 
his enemy a blood brother, each of them puncturing his 
arm and sucking a drop of blood from the other. But 
even while the vendetta lasts it must be conducted 
according to fairly well established customary laws. 
The intended victim, who for any cause has become 
liable to vendetta, may not be killed when he is accom- 
panied by a woman or by a child nor when he is with 
other men. The parties may agree upon a truce lasting 
for a definite number of days or weeks, and the bessa 
having been given for such time the intended victim 
is safe. If the vendetta is between clans they may agree 
that no action shall be taken against the other until an 
hour after sunset. 



170 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

The causes for which blood may be shed are also fairly 
well defined. Murder, of course, is one. But the chivalry 
of the race demands the blood also of a man who has 
struck a woman. There is usually no secret about a 
vendetta. Public opinion requires that for certain 
offences a man shall die by the hand of the person or 
relative of the person who has been insulted or injured. 
When the blood-avenger has killed his man, he pro- 
claims his deed so that public opinion may recognize 
that he has done his duty and saved his honour. There- 
upon he himself, by the tribal custom, may become liable 
to be killed by the relative of his victim. A sort of 
Council of Honour exercises jurisdiction over vendetta, 
and in certain tribes has large powers. It may burn the 
house and crops of the wrongdoer. Miss Edith Durham 
states from her own knowledge that " an incredible 
amount of food-stuff is yearly wasted and land made 
desolate " in consequence of such decisions. 1 This is 
the more serious because in Albania, as in certain districts 
of Bulgaria, there are House Communities containing 
sometimes from fifty to a hundred persons. In some 
of the tribes the Council has other important powers over 
their members. A tribesman belonging to the Northern 
Albanians cannot sell his land to others than members 
of his clan without the consent of the tribal Council. 
There still linger among them many of the communal 
proprietary rights which once existed among the whole 
Aryan race, and which still exist in the Indian Village 
Communities and until recently in the Russian Mir. 
An outsider cannot become a member of the clan with- 
out the consent of the tribal Council, because on being 
admitted he takes his share in the communal property. 
A tribesman may marry an outsider, but the woman loses 
her rights in the tribe she leaves, and, so to say, conies 

1 "High Albania," 1909, by M. Edith Durham. 



THE ALBANIANS 171 

under the patria potestas of her husband or his chief. 
An Albanian, whether of the north or south, on being 
asked his name will give it with the addition of the 
name of his tribe, just as a Scots highlander two centuries 
ago would call himself Ian Macleod or M'Tavish. 

The Albanian's treatment of woman is mediaeval. It 
can hardly be called chivalrous, because the sex is in 
no sense glorified or clothed with romantic attributes. 
Woman is simply left out of account in most matters. 
The wife works in the fields as hard or harder than her 
husband. But she nevertheless is respected. She can 
fight in case of need as fiercely as her husband. The 
presence of a woman acting as a guide to a man is a 
protection to him. But her husband leaves her to carry 
produce and to do his heaviest work. Among the 
Albanians who are Moslems she is not veiled, and in this 
respect is treated differently from other Moslem women 
in Turkey. 

Marriage by capture remains the rule, and this even 
among the Mirdites, a large clan in Northern Albania 
numbering 30,000, who have been under the influence of 
Italian teaching and are Roman Catholics. 

About two-thirds of the population of Albania are 
Mahometans. The remainder consist of about one- 
third Roman Catholics and two-thirds members of the 
Orthodox Church. The Moslems and the Roman 
Catholics are more numerous in the north, the members 
of the Greek Church in the south. 1 But throughout 
Albania the professors of different creeds get on fairly 
well together. 

The attitude of the Albanian towards religion is re- 
markable. Christians and Moslems are before all things 
Albanians. Indifference to religion and the strong sense 

1 An interesting and valuable article on the Albanians and thek 
relation to the Latin Church may be read in "Temple Bar," vol. 127, 
p. 178, and vol. 129, p. 68, by Reginald Wyon. 



172 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

of nationality as over-riding all other distinctions help 
to make them tolerant and create curious results. Until 
fifty years ago the custom prevailed in Northern Albania 
of bringing up the boys as Moslems, the girls as Christians. 
Even now in the Skumbri plain many of the boys are 
baptized as well as initiated into Mahomet anism. At 
home they have Christian names ; officially they have 
Turkish. There is no haremlik and salemlik as in a 
Turkish house. Many, of both sexes, keep both Lent and 
Ramazan. On the same table will be pork for the 
Christians and mutton for the Moslems. Lord Byron, 
nearly a century ago, noted that " the Greeks hardly 
regarded the Albanians as Christians, or the Turks as 
Moslems, and, in fact, they are a mixture of both, and 
sometimes neither/' l Religion, indeed, has always sat 
lightly upon them. I question whether they were ever 
much attached to Christianity. A Catholic archbishop, 
writing in 1610, says that out of a population of 400,000 
in the See of Antivari, 350,000 were Catholics. There 
are probably about one-third of that number now. It 
is certain that the two-thirds of the total population who 
now profess Islam are very loose Mahometans. 

On the death of the great national leader, Skender 
Bey, in 1467, many of the Albanian chiefs soon found it 
to their interest to profess Mahomet anism. By their 
conversion they obtained peace and the support of the 
Turks against other chiefs. Their followers, with the 
feudal attachment to their chiefs and without any great 
attachment to Christianity, adopted the creed of their 
leaders. Others were attracted to a life of adventure 
in the Turkish Army and adopted the creed of their 
comrades. Many, however, who remained at home, 
especially women, remained Christians ; many men 
became crypto-Christians ; outwardly conformed to 

1 " Notes to Childe Harold," Canto 1 1. 



THE ALBANIANS 173 

Islam, privately maintained Christian practices as do 
members of other races in Asia Minor to the present day. 
A decision of the Roman Church in 1703, however, forbad 
the practice of the secret administration of the Mass 
which had been continued among the Ghegs. 

The Mahometan Albanians show an amount of tolera- 
tion which is exceptional among Moslems in Turkey. 
Mr Brailsford attributes their toleration in religious 
practice largely to the influence of the Bektashi dervishes 
who have for two centuries been among them. The 
suggestion appears to me well founded. This Order 
from various causes was always tolerant of Christians 
and their religion. Hadji Bektash, its most illustrious 
member, though not the founder, appears to have been a 
man who took the good things Allah had sent in a spirit 
of joyous piety. It was he who gave the name of 
Janissaries or New Troops to the regiment which Sultan 
Orchan formed in 1326 by selecting youths from Christian 
families. Until the destruction of the famous corps in 
1826 the Bektashi dervishes always maintained their 
connection with them, and it is said that as the band was 
slaughtered, the men died with the names of Hadji 
Bektash and Allah on their lips. Immediately after the 
destruction an Imperial Decree suppressed the Order, 
alleging, falsely probably, that in their convents were 
demi-jons of wine stoppered with leaves of the Koran. 
But the Decree did not put an end to the Order, and their 
convents exist in many parts of the Empire, but are 
especially influential in Albania. It may be reasonably 
conjectured that most of the Janissaries during the first 
three centuries of the existence of the corps, all Christians 
of origin, who had been torn from their families and 
brought up as Moslems, kept up a feeling of kindliness 
and kinship for the relations from whom they had been 
taken, and that this reacted upon the Bektashis. Indeed 



174 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

many Janissaries, when they retired by reason of age 
from active service, became fully admitted Bektashis. 
But then as now there were attached to the Order a 
great number of lay brethren. It is certain that to 
this hour the numbers of the Order, both initiated and 
lay, are well disposed to all who are doing humanitarian 
work, and their influence everywhere favours religious 
toleration. I could mention several instances in con- 
firmation which have come under my own observation. 
Let me tell a story in illustration : a friend of my own 
had been settled for a year in a village where the popula- 
tion was about equally divided between Moslems and 
Christians. He had passed his time in learning the two 
languages spoken there, and in practising medicine. He 
had often observed an old Bektashi sheik in the street, 
followed by a number of disciples who crowded round to 
hear his words. My friend had taken him for a 
Moslem fanatic, and had carefully avoided him. One 
day, however, he had to pass the Bektash who was on 
the opposite side of the way. The old man beckoned 
to him to cross the road, and, with some hesitation, he 
did so. The sheik took him by the hand, linked his arm 
in his own, and, turning to his disciples, said something 
like the following : " I am very old, and Allah will soon 
take me home, but I request you, my children, to take 
a legacy from me. I give you this man to take special 
care of. I have watched him since he came to our town, 
and he has done nothing but good. Some of you may 
say he is a ghiour, but I don't care for that. Whether 
he says his prayers in the name of Mahomet, may his 
holy name be praised ! or whether he says them in the 
name of Jesus, may His holy name be praised ! does 
not matter to me. He has been doing no evil but only 
good, and I therefore charge you to take care of him 
for my sake." 



THE ALBANIANS 175 

The same friend many years afterwards took up his 
residence with his family in what was then a purely 
Turkish village near the Capital, but in which a Bektashi 
convent exercised influence. The fanatical part of the 
population were bitterly opposed to the residence of any 
Christians in their village. They threw stones, called 
ghiour after him, and made themselves generally dis- 
agreeable. He soon, however, made friends with the 
sheik of the Bektashi convent. His noble life gradually 
won the esteem of his Moslem neighbours, and when, in 
1901, he was carried in a chair from his house to the 
water-side in order to embark on a voyage, during which 
he died, the Moslem villagers extemporized a procession 
to wish him God-speed. The Iman's wife, who had been 
the leader of the opposition, led the women and ex- 
temporized a litany, " This is a good man, Allah, send 
him back to us." Fervent Amins followed. " He has 
been good to us, Allah ; give him health. He has 
helped our poor, saved our children," and so on till my 
friend embarked. It was a pathetic sight, showed the 
influence of the Bektashis, and proved once more that 
there is a good deal of human nature in men, irrespective 
of their creeds. 

The Albanian is an honest barbarian. He is sensitive, 
has a keen sense of honour, and a fine self-respect. He is 
never a coward and never mean. He is ready to turn 
highwayman, but not to pilfer or cadge. His trust- 
worthiness, activity and tidy, not to say picturesque, 
appearance, makes him a favourite in Turkey. His 
mountains furnish him only with a scanty living, and, 
largely from this cause, many Albanians as well as Croats 
and Montenegrins leave their country to take service in 
distant lands especially in Constantinople. Many become 
horse-dealers, especially from the Northern Albanians. 
They are found in Constantinople as road-makers, as 



176 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

guardians, body-servants, gardeners, and soldiers. The 
Turkish Army has long been as great a resource for the 
superfluous energy of the Albanian mountaineers as 
was the British Army a century ago for Highlanders. 

As road-makers and unskilled labourers, the Albanian 
has little to differentiate him from the Italian labourer 
out of his own country. As body-servants and guardians 
they are invaluable. They are ornamental as well as 
useful. Visitors to Constantinople are often struck 
with the gorgeous appearance of the cavasses before the 
doors of embassies, banks, or the houses of wealthy 
citizens. These men, constantly mistaken for Turks 
by visitors, are pretty sure to be Albanians, Montene- 
grins or Croats. The man chosen is handsome, proud of 
his bright dress, his one or two revolvers, and his dagger. 

The Albanian and the Croat, who is often half Albanian, 
make excellent guardians on account of their honesty. 
On all sides their trustworthiness and truthfulness are 
acknowledged. If I mention my own experience it is 
simply as typical of what hundreds of residents in Turkey 
could confirm from their own. During the last thirty 
years we have had a summer residence in the island of 
Prinkipo, which we have occupied during five or six 
months annually. On leaving it year after year for one 
in Pera, our furniture, household effects, summer clothing, 
books and ornaments are left in the house, in rooms 
which are not even locked. A gardener, at one time an 
Albanian, at another a Croat, has been left in charge, and 
on our return to the island in the spring we have never 
found anything missing. Most of the neighbouring 
houses, all of which are closed during winter, are similarly 
guarded by Albanians or Croats who usually agree well 
together. They are proud of their charge. Robbery 
from one house would be felt as a stain upon all the 
guardians. Our usual word on leaving for the winter is, 



THE ALBANIANS 177 

" We leave everything to you." The answer is, " On 
my head be it." 

Many other positions of trust are held by them in 
Constantinople and throughout all the western portion 
of the empire. They are bank-messengers, door-keepers, 
and gardeners, and are employed by many merchants 
who wish to have men who can be trusted absolutely. 
They are popular in such employ, not only from their 
honesty nor merely from their picturesque appearance, 
but because they are lively and always seem wide-awake. 
The Turk in a similar position, though equally trust- 
worthy, looks usually sleepy, and as if he wished to 
be " making kef." I should not wish to leave the 
impression that they are the only men who, in such posi- 
tions, are trustworthy. The uneducated classes of all the 
populations in the empire are usually honest when 
in positions of trust. Armenian and Turkish hamals 
or porters who are in a foreigner's employ are quite as 
trustworthy as Englishmen of the same class would be. 
My own hamals have always been either Armenians or 
Turks, and have cashed many thousands of pounds, and 
I do not believe that any of them has ever stolen a 
penny. 

Service in the Turkish army long afforded to the 
Albanian the most promising career. Where there is 
fighting to be done he is happy. He is willing to under- 
take the commonplace work of paving or road-making, 
of gardening or of watchman, when necessity compels 
him to leave his native mountains. But the life which 
appeals to him is that of the soldier in time of war. 
Until half a century ago it was military service under the 
Turks which offered the great and almost the sole induce- 
ment to leave Albania. It has been to his race the great 
attraction during the last two centuries. Though all 

12 



178 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

were Christians when the Turks first entered their 
country, gradually the allurements of soldiering led 
many of them to join the army. Von Ranke says that 
when the Albanians began to change they went over to 
Islam in masses. While thinking the statement too 
general, it is certain that the liking for military life largely 
resulted in the adoption of Mahometanism, sometimes 
even by whole clans. In other cases military service 
reacted upon the clans from which the men came by 
creating a friendly feeling which softened the asperities 
of Turkish rule. 

The Albanians were at first mixed with the other 
troops, but soon came to be considered the favourite 
soldiers of the Porte. They never had the reputation of 
being readily amenable to discipline. But they were 
especially useful to the Sultans in suppressing revolts 
among other subject races. For this purpose, in the 
latter half of the eighteenth, and the first half of the 
nineteenth century they were employed against Arabs, 
Egyptians, and Greeks. The great movement in Egypt in 
1811, which placed the present dynasty on the Khedivial 
throne, was led by a conspicuously able man, Mehmet 
Ali, who had a genius for warfare and administration, 
which, under other circumstances, might have produced a 
Napoleon. Mehmet Ali was an Albanian who had settled 
in Cavalla at the head of the ^Egean Sea. 

But the Albanians, though largely trusted by the 
Sultans to put down revolt, were seldom to be de- 
pended upon themselves, unless kept actively employed. 
The independence of the mountaineers made them 
uneasy under a discipline which they regarded as 
degrading. 

The same observation still holds good. Mr Brailsford 
mentions the case of a Turkish officer who, in 1904, struck 
a private soldier. " The whole garrison went into 



THE ALBANIANS 179 

mutiny, until it had found and slaughtered the erring 
lieutenant." l 

The turbulent spirit of the Albanian troops led at 
various times to attempts to bring the whole of their 
country under complete subjection. Up to the present 
time this has never been done. Urquhart, the great 
philo-Turk Englishman of the middle of last century, and 
a man of deservedly great influence in his day, claimed 
indeed that Sultan Mahmud the second, in the first 
quarter of the century, had subjugated the Albanians. 
Mahmud had done nothing of the sort. He had done 
what his predecessors had done, had sent overwhelming 
armies into the country, had killed many persons, had 
destroyed crops and burnt houses. Then the troops had 
retired, and in a few years the Albanians were as unsub- 
jugated as ever. Even now, there are clans which pay 
no taxes. The district north of Avlona and the back 
country into the mountains care nothing for the tax- 
gatherer and such law as is administered is not in many 
districts of Albania the law applicable elsewhere to the 
empire, but is a general summary of the tribal customs. 

The two Albanians who are best known in history are 
George Castriotes, more commonly spoken of as Skender 
or Iskender (that is, Alexander) Bey and Ali Pasha. 
They are distinctly representative of the best and worst 
side of Albanian character. Each figures as a National 
hero. The first lived and made his name renowned 

1 " Macedonia," p. 224. While revising these pages a somewhat 
similar incident occurred in Constantinople. On the 28th March 1911, 
a German officer struck an Albanian while at drill. The Albanian 
a few minutes afterwards shot him. When brought into the presence 
of the dying officer, and asked why he had shot his officer, his reply, 
given in the Turkish semi-official paper Tanin, was, " I shot you 
because you ill-treated me and humiliated me before my comrades. 
I would have done the same to my own father." He was publicly 
shot. 



180 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

throughout Europe in the middle of the fifteenth century. 
The second made Turkey and Western Europe ring with 
his bravery and misdeeds from 1790 to 1822. Each was 
a daring and skilful soldier. To Ali Pasha, however, must 
be assigned a special strain of perfidy and cruelty. 

Skender Bey was Christian by birth, the son of the 
chief of a clan who had been defeated and compelled 
to give his four sons as hostages to Sultan Bayazid. He 
went through a series of adventures which recall those 
of Garibaldi. Though he was without the humane and 
chivalrous qualities which characterized the Italian hero, 
he showed a like skill in guerilla warfare, and a like 
recklessness of danger. During the later years of his 
life, and for long after his death in 1467, he was regarded in 
Italy and elsewhere as a Christian hero. 

He left no successor capable of carrying on successful 
war ; and before many years had passed, the Albanians 
came, at least nominally, under Tuikish rule. 

The other Albanian whose name was well known in 
Western Europe was Ali Pasha of Yanina, a consummate 
master of intrigue, an inchoate statesman, an able soldier, 
but a treacherous and cruel tyrant. He is a good illus- 
tration of the type of man which Turkish tyranny 
developes among able and semi-independent races. He 
is often mentioned in the correspondence of Lord Byron, 
and his later history forms part of the story of the revolu- 
tion which led to the independence of Greece. That 
story itself has a happy issue. No Englishman in the 
twentieth century who knows anything of the history of 
Greece in the eighteenth century, and who has visited 
that country, can be otherwise than satisfied that the 
fatal blow to the Turkish power in Greece given at 
Navarino by the combined fleets of Great Britain, 
France, and Russia was wisely struck. Though for 
political purposes the British Government spoke of it in 



THE ALBANIANS 181 

intentionally vague language as an " untoward event/' 
its results were to create a nation whose remarkable 
progress has been witnessed by the world with satisfaction. 
If the story be true that William, afterwards the fourth 
king of that name, wrote on the dispatch to his old 
shipmate, Sir Edward Codrington, who was in command 
of the three fleets, " Go it, Ned/' and that this pre- 
cipitated the action, we may regard the act as a happy 
indiscretion. 

But the story of the revolution, always bearing in mind 
its happy issue, is grim and ugly. It is one of struggles 
between Greek and Albanian generals who distrusted 
each other, of contests between primates, of warfare of 
one section against another for the glorification of private 
levenge, of personal jealousies, of blood-feuds, treacheries, 
desertions to the Turks and back again, of intrigues, of 
political and private murders in the name of patriotism ; 
of the murder of prisoners on both sides, and withal of 
splendid acts of bravery by land and sea ; it was a period 
of chaos, of wild confusion, the struggles of slaves with 
great and glorious traditions but also with the vices of 
slaves, to become free. The idea of patriotism seemed 
at times to be entirely forgotten in the desire for selfish 
triumph. Fortunately, on the Turkish side, there was still 
more corruption among the officers and a brutality 
which constantly helped to weld the Greeks together. 
In all this medley of treachery and hard fighting the 
Albanians took a prominent part. It is estimated that 
even fifty years ago there were a hundred thousand of 
them within the kingdom of Greece, and the numbers 
were probably larger in the early part of the century. 
Under happier rule these are rapidly becoming merged 
among the subjects of King George, because whatever 
may be said of Greek foreign policy it must never be 
forgotten that the rule of their country by the Greeks 



182 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

has been, on the whole, a great success, and is infinitely 
preferable to that which preceded the revolution. They 
have passed from barbarism to civilization. 

When the struggle to throw off the Turkish yoke began, 
many of the Albanians made common cause with the 
Greeks. 

When Ali Pasha the Albanian was appointed by the 
Sultan about 1790, to be Vali of Yanina, he was already 
forty-five years old. Born near Avlona, he must be 
counted as a Southern Albanian. To the south of 
Yanina the mountain ranges were nearly inaccessible, and 
on many occasions the Turkish troops sent against him, 
when he sought refuge in the hills, utterly failed to take 
the positions. He had succeeded in getting named as 
Vali after defeating several neighbouring chiefs, after 
procuring the murdei of his father-in-law and sub- 
sequently of his brother-in-law, and after himself stabbing 
a Vali, who had been given a position he wanted for 
himself. When he obtained the Vilayet his power in 
Southern Albania was nearly absolute. He defeated the 
chiefs of the clans around him. He encouraged the 
Greeks in rebellion, and aided them with his own 
Albanian troops, doing this while always in the Sultan's 
service. He played off one revolutionary party against 
another, as well as Turks against Christians, always 
constant to the one purpose of making himself sole 
independent ruler. He intrigued with the French under 
Napoleon, against the English, and with the English 
against the French. 

Sometimes he took French officers to drill his troops ; 
sometimes English. He was relentless and brutal to all 
who opposed him. One of the incidents in connection 
with his career, which is best known, is connected with the 
small district called Suli, between Yanina and the Gulf 
of Arta. It was occupied by Christian Albanians, and 



THE ALBANIANS 183 

so strong in its independence from its natural position 
as almost to constitute a republic. There were in it 
about sixty villages, but only 1500 fighting men. Many 
attempts had been made by Turkish troops to capture 
the place, but the Suliots had always successfully resisted. 
Ali himself determined to annex it. He made his first 
attempt as early as 1792, with an army four times the 
number of the Suliots, and failed. During several 
years he endeavoured to bribe the Suliots into sub- 
mission, but always without success. In 1800 he again 
attacked them. Their trusted leader, Botzaris (not to 
be confused with Marco of that name) , was absent. After 
a fierce struggle against almost ever whelming numbers, 
the strength of the Suliots was broken. In 1803 orders 
were sent to Ali, by the Sultan, to capture Suli at all costs. 
The Suliots fought like heroes, and were led by a priest 
named Samuel whose curious cognomen was " Last Judg- 
ment." When, by means of treachery, the approaches 
to Suli had been captured Samuel refused to capitulate, 
and, as the place was being taken, deliberately blew up 
the powder magazine, destroying many friends and him- 
self. Some few escaped to a neighbouring place called 
Kiapha, and subsequently to one of the Ionian islands. 
When relief or further endurance was quite hopeless, 
six men and twenty-two women threw themselves over 
a precipice in order to escape falling into the hands of the 
blood-thirsty Ali. This appears to be the simple narrative 
of the deed. Heroic in itself it is one which has grown 
in the Greek imagination to a dramatic picture of a band 
of Suliot women circling round with joined hands in the 
old Pyrrhic dance, as they still circle in dozens of places 
throughout Greece on great feast days, and as the circle 
passed near the edge of the precipice each one in turn 
flung herself or himself over while the circle was im- 
mediately completed by the remainder, until all had 



184 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

voluntarily sought the doom which should save them 
from the brutality of Ali and his soldiers. 

Ali resisted the Sultan for nearly twenty-five years. 
His success secured him the admiration of his neighbours. 
His rule, when once it was firmly established and recog- 
nized, was not bad. Colonel Leake, who at the time 
visited almost every part of Ali's dominions, states that 
he " always encouraged education among the Greeks. 
He got rid of highway robbers, built roads and bridges, 
treated Christians and Moslems on an equality " ; but 
that he was a selfish tyrant is attested by all witnesses. 
Though calling himself a Moslem, he treated all cults 
with indifference, and it is suggested that he specially 
encouraged the Dervish order of Bektashis, because 
they were regarded by the Turks as infidels, or, at least, 
as men regarding all religions as he himself did with 
equal favour. 

In 1822, he received the Sultan's promise of pardon and 
a safe conduct to Constantinople, and upon this promise 
he surrendered. There are various accounts as to how 
he came by his death, the commonest being that the day 
after he had set out for the Capital he was beheaded. The 
rfritish Chaplain in Constantinople, Dr Walsh, who was 
in that city in 1822, saw the head of Ali exposed to public 
view. It was buried in the great cemetery outside the 
landward walls and immediately opposite the Silivria 
Gate. The traveller now has pointed out to him the 
tombstone of Ali the Albanian, and those of his brothers 
and three sons. 

As recently as 1880 it looked as if a united Albania 
might be possible, at least among the Ghegs. But the 
movement turned out to be nothing more than one of 
Abdul Hamid's futile attempts to frighten Europe. The 
time was an anxious one in Constantinople and in England. 
The Berlin treaty had decided that Antivari and its sea 



THE ALBANIANS 185 

coast should be given to Montenegro. 1 Abdul Hamid, 
however, refused to consent to any surrender of territory. 
Mr Gladstone, after negotiations had failed to persuade 
him, induced the European Powers to make a naval 
demonstration hi the Adriatic. But this also appeared 
to be on the point of failure. All the men-of-war of the 
Powers retired except those belonging to Great Britain. 
The Sultan and the enemies of England were in high glee. 
But they did not know that they had to deal not only 
with Mr Gladstone, but with one of the ablest Ambas- 
sadors England ever sent abroad, Mr Goschen. The 
latter went to the Palace and delivered an ultimatum. 
If the Sultan did not yield, England would occupy a 
Turkish seaport until he did. It was a message which 
tried a man's mettle, and I learned at the time that Mr 
Goschen's lips trembled as he gave it. Nevertheless the 
Sultan still refused. Sealed orders were sent to the Fleet, 
as the world learned a few months afterwards when a 
Blue Book told the story, to sail for and occupy Smyrna. 
The signals for departure were actually " bent on," 
ready to be shaken out, when a boat was observed pulling 
with all haste for the fleet, and a man in its stern waving 
something energetically. It turned out to be the British 
Consul bringing a telegram from Mr Goschen stating that 
the Sultan had given way. 

Meantime, in order to alarm the Powers a great fuss 
was made of an " Albanian League " which was going to 
do wonders if the Powers persisted. A native prince, 
Dodo by name, Chief of the Mirdites, whose capital is at 
Oroski, had been placed at the head of the League, every 
man of which was to shed his blood for the defence of 
Ottoman territory. When Abdul Hamid yielded he had 
no further need of Dodo, who soon found that Western 

1 Certain modifications were made, and a definite arrangement was 
only signed on i8th April 1880. See Nouradoungian's " Recueil des 
Treaties/ ' p. 260, vol. ii. The articles in the Berlin Treaty are 28 and 29. 



186 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Europe suited him better than Albania. He returned 
to Turkey after the Revolution. 

Many Albanians who have received some amount of 
instruction have risen to high offices in the State. They 
have intelligence and a dignity and courtesy of manner 
which makes a favourable impression. The Grand 
Vizir, Ferid Pasha, who held office until the revolution of 
July 1908, is a pure Albanian. He is a typically hand- 
some man, and always impressed me with his airs of 
manliness and straightforwardness. 

The Albanian regiments in Constantinople were trusted 
from his accession by Sultan Abdul Hamid, who during 
all his reign had never less than five thousand Albanian 
soldiers as his guard at Yildiz. Indeed the favours he 
showered upon them caused much jealousy among other 
troops. These favours were not confined to the Albanian 
guard ; for, in order to stand well with their race gener- 
ally, and to be able to employ them against the Serbians, 
Montenegrins and Bulgarians, taxes were allowed to 
remain uncollected, and their chiefs were permitted to do 
almost what they liked. During the seven or eight years 
preceding the revolution, they opposed the introduction 
of reforms in Macedonia urged by the Powers and 
nominally accepted by Abdul Hamid. 1 When outrages 
of an exceptional character occurred, the Sultan's 
excuse to prevent the execution of the reforms, was that 
the Albanians had got out of hand. The excuses 
deceived no ambassador. 

The Albanians played an important though unexpected 
part in Macedonia in precipitating the revolution in 
July 1908. The intention of the Committee of Union 
and Progress was to make their demonstration and 

1 Mr Brailsford's book on Macedonia is especially valuable for 
showing how the reforms suggested by Europe were for the most part 
evaded. 



THE ALBANIANS 187 

demand for constitutional government on the anniversary 
of the Sultan's accession, namely, the ist September. 
Abdul Hamid, however, had been informed by the be- 
ginning of July, and probably a fortnight earlier, of what 
the Committee was doing and of the disaffection in the 
third army corps stationed in Macedonia. He had sent 
forty spies, almost ostentatiously, to scent out the dis- 
affected. Shemshi Pasha was at Monastir ready to 
repress revolt, and on every side precautions against a 
rising were being taken. These incentives to speedy 
action, however, might not have been sufficient to make 
the Committee change their plans. Their proposed 
enterprise was full of risk, but the Committee believed that 
so long as their project was not generally known, every 
week or even day would enable them to strengthen their 
position. They wished to act with great caution and 
not to precipitate a hasty movement which would be 
ruthlessly ended. An incident at Uskub helped to force 
their hands. In that town there were certain drinking 
shops and cafes chantants which belonged to Austrian 
subjects. They hoisted the flag of their nation to show 
that they were under its protection. The Austrian 
Consul proposed to give a great picnic at Fersovich, or 
Ferizovich, about half way between Uskub and Kossova, 
and on the eastern frontier of Albania. The picnic was 
nominally for the benefit of an Austrian school in Uskub, 
and, according to repute in Uskub, was to be a record 
one. A special train was arranged to run to Fersovich ; 
a great tent had been sent on and even wooden shanties 
erected for the guests. But the organizers of the week's 
pleasure it was spoken of in the neighbourhood as a 
debauch had not taken the Albanians into account. 
The leading families among the Ghegs had been alarmed 
at the inducements to vice which had led some of their 
young men astray in the cafes chantants of Uskub. 



188 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

They collected some thousands of men in the neighbour- 
ing hills, and sent word to the Austrian Consul that they 
would not allow the picnic. They would burn the train 
and attack those in it if it were attempted. As an 
earnest of what they meant they destroyed the shanties 
and the casinos in Fersovich. 

The Committee of Union and Progress in Monastir 
and Salonika were alarmed at the news. If the conflict 
came off, the Austrians might enter the country ; war 
would ensue and the revolutionary projects would be 
for a time at least frustrated. Accordingly some of 
their members hastened to the hills near Uskub, con- 
ferred with the leaders at Fersovich, and persuaded them 
to make common cause for the establishment of con- 
stitutional government. 

Meantime, Galib Bey, who commanded the gendar- 
mery at Uskub, received orders from Yildiz to disperse 
the thousands of Albanians, but Galib had himself be- 
come a member of the Committee. The telegraph and 
most of the railway employes were gained over by the 
Committee which issued its instructions from Salonika. 
The conference lasted a week. On the 22nd of July 
telegrams of a common purport were sent from Fersovich, 
and many other places of Macedonia, to Yildiz, demand- 
ing a constitution, and intimating that if it were not 
granted " something very serious would happen to the 
Sultan himself/' In presence of these demands from 
nearly all the important towns in Macedonia the Sultan 
yielded. In the night of the 23rd-24th July replies were 
received, and before midnight the troops in Uskub, 
Monastir and Salonika saluted the constitution, some 
eight hours before the news was announced in the 
capital. The Albanians had joined with the rest of the 
population in Macedonia in the demand for this new 
form of government. 



THE ALBANIANS 189 

It was on account of the favours the Albanian soldiers 
had received from Abdul Hamid that after the revolution 
those in Constantinople were distrusted by the Committee 
of Union and Progress, and a considerable number were 
replaced in November 1908 by other troops brought from 
Salonika, whose officers were members of the Committee. 
It was known to be against the Sultan's wish that the 
Albanians should be sent away, but the Committee were 
determined, and two of their number were deputed to see 
him and declare that if the Albanian tioops resisted the 
change they would be attacked by the others and by an 
ironclad stationed in the Bosporus. In such an event 
" the Committee would not answer for the consequences." 
As their barracks were almost in the line of fire between 
the ironclad and Yildiz it was impossible that the Sultan 
should not realize what the consequence might be. 

As it was, when the first detachment of Turkish troops 
arrived from Salonika to replace them, a mutiny occurred 
among the Albanians in the Tashkisla barracks, which 
are about half a mile distant from the palace. In the 
struggle to repress it several men, officially stated as 
nine, were killed and more wounded, but the prompt 
action of the officers prevented further trouble. As 
other troops were expected whose arrival might cause 
further trouble riflemen were stationed during the follow- 
ing night in the valley between the mutineers' barracks 
and Yildiz, and the ironclad stationed in the Bosporus 
had her guns turned on the barracks and also, incidentally 
of course, on Yildiz itself. The Sultan, when a deputa- 
tion from the mutineers waited upon him to object to 
their removal, declared that it was the business of his 
Minister of War to determine where his troops should be 
stationed, and that as for himself he loved all his soldiers 
equally well ! 

Within six months, however, the very troops who had 



190 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

replaced the Albanians had been gained by the partisans 
of Abdul Hamid, and when, on the I3th April 1909, 
the soldiers in the capital rose against their officers, 
against the Committee of Union and Progress and the 
adherents of the new regime, these troops took part in 
the revolt. Those who occupied the Tashkisla barracks 
had many Albanians among them, and the regiment in 
question was known as the chasseurs of Salonika. On 
the I3th April they not only joined the other rebellious 
troops but killed all their officers whom they could find. 
When, therefore, ten days later, the army under Mahmud 
Shevket Pasha arrived before the city to recover posses- 
sion of it, and to punish some of the leaders of the silliest 
and most ill-considered movement that the brainless 
partisans of reaction could have devised, the chasseurs 
of Salonika were marked men. They knew the fate 
intended for them, and in the Tashkisla barracks made a 
more obstinate resistance on the famous Saturday the 
24th April, when the army captured the various barracks 
and public buildings near Yildiz than any other troops. 
For a while they remained in the barracks on the defen- 
sive, but about 9 A.M. upwards of a hundred sallied out 
to attack the invaders. Many of them fell, and the rest 
hastened back. The soldiers who had taken refuge in 
other barracks near had all surrendered by noon on that 
day, and many of us civilians had ventured beyond the 
cavalry barracks at the Taxim under the impression that 
the Macedonian army had captured every place of 
importance. Suddenly, about 3 P.M., firing commenced. 
A body of the chasseurs had barricaded themselves in 
the stables of Tashkisla barracks, and, after firing had 
ceased elsewhere, had opened fire. At once the available 
points for attack upon the stables were occupied by 
Shevket 's troops. Many of the civilians were in the line 
of fire and hastened into neighbouring houses for shelter. 



THE ALBANIANS 191 

Artillery was quickly brought up and by 4 P.M. the 
mutinous chasseurs were either killed or prisoners. At 
4.30 I was with the crowd of spectators examining the 
damage which had been done. All resistance had 
ceased. 

No serious attempts have ever been made to bring 
Albanians within the sway of civilization. Nor have 
matters improved in this respect under the Constitu- 
tional Government. In a rising in December 1909, 
which the Albanians declare was wantonly provoked and 
which lasted till the following April, the old method 
of suppressing discontent among them was followed. 
It may be admitted at once that the Albanians in 
question have been and are unruly, that many of them 
refused military service, objected to pay for exemption 
from such service, and, to use the usual slang phrase, 
required a lesson. But it should have been remembered 
that they were a people who had never been subdued, 
that they had been spoiled by Abdul Hamid, that no 
attempts had been made to civilize them either by 
making roads or encouraging education, that they hoped 
much from the Constitution which they had helped to 
establish, that they had been ready to fight Austria 
when young Turkey believed war was probable, and 
that the old method of sending men into the mountains 
to destroy their houses and crops and to kill all whom 
they could catch had invariably failed in making them 
a law-respecting people. The example of our own 
country after the rebellion in Scotland in 1745, when our 
fathers under not dissimilar circumstances, constructed 
roads through the highlands, would have been an excellent 
one to follow. Instead of following it, Turkish troops 
burnt their houses, aroused a bitter feeling of opposition 
throughout all sections of the race, and finished up with 
a number of executions and brutal punishments which 



192 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

left the impression upon the inhabitants that the new 
regime was no better than the old. The attempt to 
disarm the population of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and 
Albania, which followed was not only a failure, but was 
conducted in a grossly unfair manner ; it was a failure 
because very few of the forty-two thousand Mauser 
rifles, distributed among the people to be used against the 
Austrians if the troubles brought about by the annexation 
of Bosnia and Herzegovina should result in war, were 
collected ; it was conducted in a grossly unfair manner 
because the disarmament announced as general was only 
partial, the arms which were surrendered mostly old 
ones being in many cases handed over with little 
attempt at concealment to those in whom the officers 
in command had confidence. 

In concluding this account of the Albanians, some 
notice must be given of the struggle in reference to the 
written language. Koritza has for years been the centre 
from which this language struggle has been mainly 
conducted. It is now going on more fiercely than ever. 
It is not too much to say that the great majority of the 
people wish to employ Latin characters. Until a century 
ago there was practically no written Albanian whatever. 
About that time the Tosks in the south, and the Roman 
Catholic priests among the Ghegs, began to make fairly 
successful attempts to reduce the language into writing. 
The Tosks, through the influence of their Greek neigh- 
bours, employed Greek characters ; the Catholics used 
Latin. Forty years ago, when these tentative attempts 
were beginning to make considerable progress, the Turks 
took alarm and objected to both systems. The Roman 
Catholics had established primary and secondary 
schools at Scutari, and the Italians about ten years ago 
opened primary schools at Avlona and Yanina. The 



THE ALBANIANS 193 

Greeks had been equally zealous in spreading a know- 
ledge of their own written character. The language 
struggle has been going on intermittently for forty years. 
The Turks appealed to the religious sentiment of their 
faith, and represented to the Moslem Albanians that the 
employment of other than Arab characters was treason 
to Islam. But the plea of utility appealed to all 
Albanians who had received any kind of instruction. 
The difficulties of learning to read the Arab character, in 
which Turkish is written, notoriously exceed those of 
learning with either Greek or Latin letters. The famous 
Midhat Pasha, when Governor of Bulgaria forty years 
ago, told a friend of mine, that if he could, he would 
prevent Bulgarians and Greeks using their own system 
of writing ; " for," said he, " I know that a Greek or 
Bulgarian child can learn to read and write in two or 
three years ; ours require five or six/' So also with 
Albanian in Roman letters., Gradually there came to be 
almost unanimity amongst the Albanians capable of 
forming an opinion on such subject, that Latin characters 
with certain modifications which all readily understood, 
expressed most phonetically the Albanian language, and 
were most easily learnt. This unanimity was only 
arrived at after years of tentative attempts to find the 
most suitable script. Portions of the Bible and other 
books were printed in Sofia, Rome, and Bucarest in a type 
with dots, accents and characters which hardly look 
Latin. Finally a Latin script was generally adopted. The 
fact that the British and Foreign Bible Society, which 
has no other object than that of spreading a knowledge 
of the Sacred Scriptures, and the Catholic priests and 
missionaries in and about Scutari in Albania are in 
accord in using Latin character with certain modifica- 
tions, raises a fair presumption that it is the one best 
adapted for the purpose required. A gathering of repre- 

13 



194 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

sentatives from every part of Albania in September 1909, 
held at Elbasan, agreed to adopt the same system. 

Unfortunately, the young Turkey party, in its zeal 
for the Turkification, not only of the Albanians, but of 
all the races of the Empire, closed all the schools where 
Latin character is taught, confiscated Albanian books 
if not in Turkish type, and insisted upon forcing the 
employment of Turkish, if any character is to be taught. 
The Albanians do not object to the teaching of Turkish 
but they do to employing it for their own language. It 
is a foolish attempt on the part of the Turks, because, 
while on the one hand, no impartial persons would 
maintain that Arabic character can be learned as readily 
as Latin, on the other the written language in Latin 
character can be made as simple and as phonetic as 
Italian itself. 

Moreover, it must not be forgotten that the Albanians 
are a European and not an Asiatic people, and the educated 
men amongst them prefer the form of writing which 
should bring them in line with Europeans rather than 
Asiatics. Speaking on the subject to one of the Albanian 
deputies, who is thoroughly conversant with French, and 
is at the same time a Moslem who reads and writes 
Turkish with facility, he remarked on the folly of the 
young Turks in endeavouring to coerce his fellow-country- 
men in a matter of this kind : " what does it matter," 
said he, ** so long as we pay our taxes and give military 
service, how we write our language ? Nothing can pre- 
vent us from speaking it. Young Turkey recognizes this ; 
why then should we not be allowed to write it as we like." 
He assured me also that the Latin alphabet expressed 
more clearly the sound of the Albanian language than 
either Turkish or Greek. 

Whether the Albanians will ever become a compact and 



THE ALBANIANS 195 

autonomous body is doubtful. They are divided in 
religion, but not hopelessly and certainly not fanatically. 
They are united in their love for their country, and the 
dialectical difference between Ghegs and Tosks is not 
greater than that which existed two centuries ago between 
English and Scotch. They have no love for their Slav 
neighbours, and their desire for national independence is 
so great that they would form a turbulent element for 
either Italy or Austria. It appears to me highly pro- 
bable that as they advance in civilization for advance 
they will the formation of an autonomous state is the 
direction towards which they will aspire. Amongst 
the difficulties in the way of the realization of such a wish 
is that of defining tha eastward boundary of their 
territory. If, however, autonomy were granted to 
Macedonia generally they would probably be willing to 
be included in it. Should the happy consummation be 
realized of a federation of all the Balkan States, Albania 
might obtain a form of self-government in such federation 
which would greatly advance its civilization, and allow 
the Albanian people to develop on their own natural 
and national lines. 



CHAPTER X 

MACEDONIA PART I 

Progress and present condition of Romania, Serbia, Greece and 
especially Bulgaria, all principally as influencing the present position 
of Macedonia. 

THE kingdoms of Romania, Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria 
and Montenegro do not come directly within the 
limits of my task. But there is a large and important 
Bulgarian population, and there are Greeks, Serbians 
and Romanians residing in Turkey. It is with such 
dwellers that I am here principally concerned, but it is 
impossible to understand their condition and the ques- 
tions relating to them without some notion of the 
countries mentioned and of their recent history. All 
the states of the Balkan Peninsula which have been set 
free from the rule of the Turk have made great progress. 
In Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece we see nations 
which, though all a century ago under subjection to the 
Sultans, have risen from apparent death and are now on 
the highway to civilization. 

ROMANIA 

Romania, formed of the two tributary states known as 
the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, was, a 
century ago, the scene of constant troubles, of intrigues, 
disorders and massacres. When, in April 1866, its 
present king was chosen as Prince, Bismarck remember- 
ing the frequent revolutions, in giving him permission, 
against the king of Prussia's wish, to accept the position. 

196 



MACEDONIA 197 

added that if he reached the disaffected provinces, he 
would probably soon be driven out, but that his visit to 
the countries would always be a reminiscence for him. 
Napoleon III. was in his favour, and rightly judged that 
a well-organized state with a frontage on the Black Sea 
would be a barrier to the progress of Russia towards 
Constantinople. Austria, however, which probably hoped 
to add the turbulent population of the principalities to the 
million and a half of the same race already under her rule, 
was especially hostile to a member of the Hohenzollern 
family becoming ruler, and when it was known that the 
prince had disappeared from his home, tried to prevent 
his reaching the country of which he had been asked to 
become ruler. Her agents carefully searched for him. 
Every landing-place on the middle Danube was care- 
fully guarded in order that he might be arrested. Travel- 
ling as a private person, he had an awkward moment 
when at one of the wharfs the Austrian authorities 
examined his passport ; for he had forgotten his assumed 
name. His secretary however overcame the difficulty by 
calling out " Mr Kaufman, the customs authorities want 
to examine your luggage." When he landed at the first 
wharf in what was to be his territory, a small crowd, as 
soon as they knew who he was, set up a shout of welcome, 
and the Austrian agents knew that they had been done. 
From that time to the present the countries over which 
he went to rule as Prince Charles have prospered. As a 
result of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-8, the prince 
became king. He has been a model constitutional 
sovereign. From the moment of his arrival he gave 
great attention to the organization of the army, and one 
of the sui prises of the Russo-Turkish war was its effective 
condition. I remember before it broke out that even 
newspapers friendly to the Russian side spoke of the 
Romanians as moutons, quite useless as soldiers. In 



198 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

actual fact, they saved the Russian army at a moment 
of supreme danger. But Charles did more than organize 
his army. Though keeping himself strictly within the 
lines of constitutional rule, he made his influence felt on 
every set of ministers in his country, and thus guided its 
politics wisely and well. It should be remembered that 
in all these newly created states, the ministers are not only 
inexperienced in politics but have had little or,no training 
in administrating government, and know little of the 
political questions which every Englishman or French- 
man has been familiar with from his youth. While 
therefore constitutional government is on the whole 
the best adapted to meet their wants as signifying 
government of the people by the people, and as training 
the population in the art of government, it is of great 
importance that the permanent head of the state should 
be a man of good judgment, well acquainted with 
European politics and capable of suggesting to his 
untrained ministers the most expedient line of conduct in 
regard both to external and internal affairs. Such a 
man is King Charles. He has won the confidence of his 
people and without obtruding himself has directed the 
policy of his country. He has been greatly aided in his 
task by his deservedly popular queen. 

Little has been heard of Romania during the last 
thirty years. But the country which does not furnish 
the newsmonger of the West with striking incidents, is 
usually happy and prosperous ; and the prosperity of 
Romania has been steadily and constantly increasing. 
Its people are contented. Between my first visit to the 
country, thirty years ago, and my latest in 1910 the 
progress made is very striking. Better houses, better 
cultivation, well-built schools, and a steadily-growing 
population whose material prosperity is manifest, are the 
visible signs of national progress. 



MACEDONIA 



SERBIA 

Serbia with its thriving peasant population has also 
quietly advanced. The country has memories of 
its long slavery but also of heroic struggles. Its 
people are backward, but they are doing their 
best to promote and to establish industries. They 
are backward because during four centuries of weary 
strife against the forces of Asia they refused to buy 
prosperity by abandoning their faith. Their struggles 
are kept in mind by a rich collection of popular ballads 
and legends. Their capital, Belgrade, has alone a 
history which deserves to be commemorated in folk-lore 
and in poetry worthy of European renown. Mahomet 
the Conqueror of Constantinople recognized its strategic 
importance as being the key to conquest north of the 
Danube. The watchword already mentioned of the 
silent sultan bequeathed to his successors denoted the 
great objects which he tried to realize himself, and in 
which he failed but which he left to them. " First 
Belgrade, then Rhodes." Few pages in history are more 
thrilling than the story of the defence of Belgrade against 
his attacks in 1455-6. The city was held by the Hun- 
garians and the Serbs. Mahomet already occupied a 
part of the south-east Hungarian plain, and dared not 
advance with Belgrade in the hands of the enemies. His 
expedition against Serbia a year earlier had been on the 
whole successful, but the wily king of the country had fled 
into Hungary at the approach of Mahomet's messengers. 
Belgrade, once in his possession, would enable him to 
dominate Serbia and extend his dominions northwards. 
He therefore concentrated the full strength of his army 
before the city. The brave soldier John Hunyades was 
two hundred miles distant when he learned the news of 
Mahomet's approach. It would be out of place to tell 



200 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

here the glorious story of his relief and subsequent 
defence of the city, of the marvellous people believed 
it to be the miraculous heroism of the aged Franciscan 
monk, John Capistrano, who co-operated with him ; of 
the descent of Hunyades down the Danube with his mot- 
ley collection of boats carrying Hungarian and Serbian 
peasants ; of his being accompanied and greatly aided 
on shore by an ever-increasing crowd of ill-armed men 
kindled into enthusiasm by the burning words of the 
feeble and weird old monk, preaching as he stood beneath 
the great black banner of the cross ; of the simultaneous 
attack, by Hunyades on the great boom of boats which 
the Turks had placed to block the entrance to the city, 
and by Capistrano, upon the Turkish army on shore ; 
of the courageous rush which swept away every obstacle, 
and of the subsequent fiercely contested fight with the 
respective battle cries of Jesu ! and Allah ! and the final 
victory of the cross. It is a heroic story which has never 
been worthily written though ample material lies ready 
for the historian. It is sufficient for my purpose to say 
that Hunyades regained the reputation which had been 
tarnished at Varna (1444) and at Kossova-pol (1448), 
that his heroic resistance was successful, though it cost 
him his life a few weeks later, and that John Capistrano 
deserved from his church and Christian Europe, the 
recognition which he received after his death by being 
canonised. 1 

In 1521 the night of slavery fell on the Serbians, when 
Belgrade was captured by Sultan Suliman. Until the 
end of the eighteenth century their history was that of 
an attempt by the Turk to crush out all national senti- 
ment, and to extort from the population the uttermost 
farthing of taxes. They were exposed to exceptional 

1 The Story of the Siege is carefully told in The English Historical 
Review by R. Nisbet Bain, April 1892, p. 253. 



MACEDONIA 201 

extortion because the Janissaries in the eighteenth 
century, now no longer solely recruited from Christians 
but a body recalling the Praetorian guard, making and 
unmaking sultans and ministers, were the real rulers of 
the land. As they had become too powerful and in- 
dependent to submit to the control of their sovereign, 
the price they exacted for their services in war was a 
tacit permission to extort what they could from the 
Christian population of Serbia. Their exactions became 
so intolerable that, in 1804, a great rising of the people 
in despair occurred under a native leader named George 
Petrovich, commonly known as Kara George. The 
rising was successful : the Janissaries were defeated. 
Then the Serbians, encouraged by their success, en- 
deavoured to shake off Turkish rule altogether. 

Kara George was defeated. In 1813 he fled the 
country, but in 1817 was murdered by another Serbian, 
Milosh Obrenovich. The rising under Milosh after many 
vicissitudes was successful. In 1830 he was recognized 
as prince by the Porte. He abdicated, was recalled and 
died in 1860. His son and successor, Michael, succeeded 
in getting the Turkish garrison removed from Belgrade 
in 1866. But he too was assassinated, and according 
to general belief by a member of the Kara George family. 
His successor was the grand nephew of Milosh named 
Milan, who became prince of Serbia in 1872. The 
struggle for independence was long but it fell within 
Byron's rule that : 

Freedom's battle, once begun, 
Bequeathed by bleeding sire to son, 
Though baffled oft, is ever won. 

In 1878 as a result of the Russo-Turkish war Serbia 
was recognized as a kingdom. 
Of the heroic struggle against the Turks in 1875 and 



202 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

of the abdication of King Milan, an entirely worthless 
sovereign, and of the accession of his son Alexander and 
the hideous and infamous tragedy of June 1903, in which 
the young king and his wife were brutally murdered, I 
have nothing to say. Our interest is with the Serbian 
people. In Serbia, in spite of the constant interference 
of Austria and Russia, the peasants have steadily im- 
proved their position. In 1897 an important under- 
standing was arrived at between Russia and Austria, by 
which Bulgaria was to be regarded as within the sphere 
of Russian influence while Serbia should be within that 
of Austria. The latter Power has never ceased from 
that time to harass Serbia. She vetoed in 1906 a pro- 
posed Treaty between that country and Bulgaria, which 
had for its object the preventing of misunderstandings 
between the two Balkan States, and which would have 
facilitated intercourse and commerce. 

It is believed among military experts that Austria 
recognizes that her descent towards Salonica could not, 
for military reasons, be made from Herzegovina, and that 
if ever the Austrian ambition of gaining a seaport on the 
Aegean is to be accomplished it must be through Serbia. 

GREECE 

A few words only may be said regarding Greece. 
Those who have read Finlay's " History of the Greek 
Revolution," Byron's " Letters while in Greece/' and 
some of the many able volumes of travel in that country, 
written between 1810 and 1840, will realize what was 
the anarchy which then existed, how low was the con- 
dition into which the country and its inhabitants had 
fallen, and the enormous difficulties which had to be 
surmounted before Greece could be born again. In- 
trigues, disloyalty, treachery, and disunion meet one 
at every turn. Dr van Millingen, who with Trevelyan 



MACEDONIA 203 

was probably the last survivor of the band of British 
Philhellenes, and who attended Byron on his death-bed, 
gave me a vivid description of the apparent hopelessness 
of the Greek struggle for freedom, a hopelessness mainly 
due to the discord between the Greek leaders themselves. 
But in spite of discords, illusions and failures, now that 
one can regard the struggle as a whole, we can recognize 
that amid all their dissensions the Greeks were constant 
to their ideal of making Greece free. How hopeless that 
struggle appeared to some persons may be gathered 
from a volume written about 1825 by a British consul 
in which he says something like the following : 
" There are some persons who choose to call this col- 
lection of huts Athens and profess to believe that the 
barbarians who live in them are capable of civilization. 
To such persons I do not address my observations." 
If I could now be side by side with that author upon 
the Acropolis I should like to show him what the bar- 
barians have done ; a well-built city of close upon 
130,000 inhabitants with a flourishing university, with 
museums which draw visitors from every civilized 
country, orphanages, asylums, free schools, hospitals 
and other eleemosynary institutions ; a well instructed 
people, having a large business connection with Con- 
stantinople, Alexandria and all the chief cities of the 
world ; the country limited in extent and not especially 
fertile, cultivated in security and a people eager for 
progress, thinking, striving, discussing, and blundering 
their way forward. 

The population of the country is only about two and 
a half millions. But it is the fatherland of Greeks all 
over the world, and with an affection for it which amounts 
to true patriotism, Greeks everywhere are ready to assist 
their countrymen in Greece and to aid in the develop- 
ment of Greek institutions. 



204 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

BULGARIA 

Bulgaria is the Balkan state which has made most 
progress and for various reasons and principally because 
of the large body of Bulgarians in Macedonia, deserves 
fuller notice than that given to the others. Its popula- 
tion in 1895 was 4,035,646, showing an increase in the 
period between 1880 and 1895 of 1,085,000. The census 
taken in the autumn of 1910 gives the population as 
4,317,069. Of these about half a million are Moslems. 
This population may be compared with that of Serbia, 
which is just over two millions. If Romania be put 
aside as a non-Balkan state, then Bulgaria has the 
largest population in the peninsula. Romania, however, 
has about six and a half millions. 

The Bulgarians are a race allied to the Finns. Their 
language, however, is now Slavic. It may fairly be said 
that the race began its career of early civilization when 
the great missionaries of the Eastern Church, Cyril and 
Methodius, in the second half of the ninth century, con- 
verted them to Christianity and gave them a Slavic 
liturgy. 

The recent history of Bulgaria is within the recollection 
of all Englishmen who are fifty years old. It is curious 
how completely its former history and almost the 
existence of the Bulgarian people had been forgotten by 
Western Europe. The Bulgarians were never demons- 
trative, and seemed to observers in the first half of last 
century to be hardly conscious of their own existence. 
Foreigners seemed to ignore their existence. Kinglake's 
account in Eothen of his journey from Belgrade to 
Constantinople never mentions them. A distinguished 
British statesman told me that when a young man I 
believe in 1851 he travelled over the same ground as 
Kinglake, but although he saw from the many churches 



MACEDONIA 205 

that there were Christian inhabitants, he took them to be 
Greeks. Many travellers made the like mistake. Prob- 
ably the houses at which they were entertained were 
those of Greek ecclesiastics ; for the Orthodox Church 
during the first half of last century, when bishops and 
even patriarchs obtained their posts by payment and 
intrigue, insisted upon sending bishops into Bulgaria 
who were Greek of race and usually only spoke Greek. 
The Bulgarian people in addition to their hard lot under 
Turkish rule had ceased to regard their Church as a pro- 
tector. The liturgy of the Church was Greek. The 
Church itself had come to be regarded as foreign. Indeed 
the question of the language was one of the grievances 
of the Bulgarian people and when a number of young 
Bulgars had learned from their education outside Turkey 
to be discontented with the lot of their countrymen, they 
demanded not only that the service hi their churches 
should be in a language understood of the people, but 
that the bishops sent by the patriarch should speak 
Bulgarian. Once awake, Bulgaria steadily persisted in 
her demand for at least this reform. 

The Bulgars for some years before their struggle for 
either ecclesiastic or civil liberty had made great efforts 
to give their sons an education. Russia alone among 
the Powers had given attention to them. It was there- 
fore natural that the Bulgars who had the common 
bond with Russia of religion and language should look 
to that country for aid. A number who advocated the 
cause of their Church and country formed a committee 
in Odessa which, until the Crimean war, continued to be 
the centre of Bulgarian national activity. After the 
war the Church struggle became more acute. Russia 
was unwilling to reopen a conflict with the Western 
Powers regarding Turkish subjects or Turkish territory, 
though the Bulgarian people had already gained the 



206 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

sympathy of the Russian Church. When the Bulgarians, 
finding that they could obtain no redress either from 
the Orthodox patriarch at Constantinople or from 
Russia, threatened that the population would join the 
Church of Rome, sending indeed a deputation to Rome 
in 1861, the Russian government consented to move, 
principally apparently to prevent such a schism from the 
Orthodox Church. She declared herself in favour gener- 
ally of the claims advanced on behalf of the Bulgarian 
Church. The dispute threatened to become inter- 
national. The Greek ecclesiastical authorities at the 
Phanar took up the position that a sectional or national 
Church was impossible and in consequence declined to 
recognize a Bulgarian Church or appoint Bulgarian 
bishops. Meantime England and France recognized that 
the only reasonable solution was to allow the Bulgarians 
to have their own Church. Russia after considerable 
hesitation joined them but her vacillation ceased when 
Napoleon III. advised union with Rome. The Porte was 
willing enough to sanction anything that would divide 
the Christians, and when the agitation became clamor- 
ous, and union with Rome probable, sultan Abdul Aziz 
in February 1870 granted a firman constituting the 
Bulgarian Church. Its authority was to extend over all 
Bulgarian-speaking communities in the empire. The 
head of the Church was styled the exarch. Monsignor 
Joseph was named and still continues to occupy that 
position. He has been respected during the long term 
of office by all the heads of foreign missions in Constanti- 
nople, by Turkish ministers and by the Bulgarian people. 
His moderation and steady perseverance have made him 
a model church ruler. 

The Orthodox Church declared the Bulgarians to be 
schismatics, and still refuses to admit them to com- 
munion with her. The division of the churches has had 



MACEDONIA 207 

its disadvantages. One in dogma and discipline, the 
hostility between Patriarchists and Exarchists helped to 
widen the gulf of racial divergence between Greek and 
Bulgar. It added especial bitterness to the struggles 
in Macedonia when Greeks and Bulgarians contended for 
the possession of church buildings. This strife com- 
menced with the appointment of the exarch, but happily 
diminishes in asperity. It shows itself in the opposi- 
tion to the appointment of Bulgarian bishops in Mace- 
donia, and does much to prevent the harmonious co- 
operation for political purposes of Greece and Bulgaria. 
Young Turkey made an attempt to settle the question of 
the ownership and occupation of the churches in Mace- 
donia, but happily the patriarch and exarch have 
avoided the scandal of having their differences settled 
by Moslems. In the majority of cases they have agreed 
as to the occupation of the churches and schools. 

The Russian and the Serbian Churches have never 
officially recognized the Bulgarian. But the synod of 
the Russian Church which represents by far the most 
important body of Orthodox Christians has never 
adopted the decision of the patriarch of Constantinople 
by which the Bulgarians are declared to be in schism. 

It is interesting to note that the Bulgarian church 
services are in a language known as " Church Slavic/' 
When the great missionaries of the Orthodox Church, 
Cyril and Methodius, preached Christianity to the Slavs 
the liturgies introduced were in a language now known 
as Old Slavic. In the seventeenth century, some of 
the Bulgarians reformed their liturgy so as to make it 
more in conformity with the Russian form of Slavic. 
When the Bulgarians insisted upon having their church 
services in Bulgarian, they obtained their church books 
from Russia. The Bulgarians had no printing press, 
and were glad to avail themselves of this kind of Russian 



208 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

aid. Their books though now printed in Bulgaria are 
still written in Church Slavic, which as I have explained 
is not Old Slavic. 

When the Bulgarians awakened from their long 
lethargy they turned their attention to the cultivation of 
their language. With some slight but not unimportant 
exceptions no attempt had been made to write Bulgarian 
until into last century. In 1838, a Bulgarian merchant 
in Odessa opened a school in his native country for the 
teaching of his own language and this did something to 
put it into grammatical shape. A great step was taken 
twenty years afterwards when two Americans, Dr Riggs 
and Dr Long, prepared a translation of the Bible into 
Bulgarian. Dr Long was my friend for a quarter of a 
century, until his death in 1903, and while he was my 
neighbour was constantly consulted by Bulgarians as 
to the proper form of writing Bulgarian words. The 
translation of the Bible, in which he took an important 
share, remained for many years the standard of what was 
or was not good Bulgarian. 

Meantime the active young spiiits among the Bulgarian 
people, having gained a victory in ecclesiastic affairs, 
turned their attention to obtaining reforms in the civil 
administration and, as some of the bolder men hoped, 
freedom from the Turkish yoke. They had a terribly 
difficult task before them. They had yet to learn from 
bitter experience that it was hopeless to obtain reforms 
from the Turkish Government. Every attempt made 
towards enlightenment by means of education was 
resisted. Even Midhat Pasha, at a later period the 
author of the constitution now in force, proposed to forbid 
instruction in their own language to the Bulgarians in 
order to level the people down to that of the Moslems 
in educational disadvantages. But the schoolmaster 
made headway and his peaceful penetration had wonder- 



MACEDONIA 209 

fill effects upon the country. It was in vain that the 
Turks imprisoned, exiled, tortured, or killed the school- 
masters, who were indeed the class which with a true 
instinct the Turks especially persecuted. Those who 
gave heed to their teaching met with a similar fate. The 
result of this method of treating suspects was that young 
men escaped from the country ; and soon, from Bulgarian 
exiles a committee was formed in Bucarest which had for 
its object the setting free of Bulgaria from Turkish 
misrule. The Committee's influence kept up the desire 
for freedom but it was looked upon coldly both by the 
government of Prince Charles, and by that of Russia. 
In Bulgaria itself while there was general dogged 
discontent, there were no attempts at rising. The 
enormous majority of the Bulgarian people, mostly 
peasants, wanted to be left alone to work their farms, 
and were deaf to the appeals made from Bucarest. The 
Turk, however, feared that a rising was contemplated 
and in preparation, and as he knew of no other means of 
keeping a subject people quiet than his usual one, gave 
orders for a massacre. He would strike terror into the 
Christians from one end of the country to the other. 
Now, orders for a Turkish massacre meant a free licence 
to soldiers, mostly barbarians from Anatolia, and to a 
small number of Circassian refugees who had recently 
been dumped down into the country by the Turks, to 
violate women, kill men, women and children, and take 
possession of or destroy their property. The orders were 
issued in April 1876, by the Ministers of Abdul Aziz. 
All the brutalities which had been practised in 1825 in 
Chio, were to be repeated and the Bulgarians were to be 
taught a similar lesson. The half century which had 
elapsed had not changed Moslem fanaticism or taught 
the Turk that important changes had occurred in Europe. 
Immediately after the Crimean War, and principally due 

14 



210 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

to the great influence, marvellous knowledge of Eastern 
affairs and diplomatic genius of Stratford de Redcliffe, 
there had been enlightened and reforming ministers 
in Constantinople, Ali, Fuad, and Reshid Pashas. But 
in 1875, they were dead, and a period of reaction had 
succeeded. Lord Stratford's fondly cherished and 
constant hope of a regenerated Turkey, a hope for which 
he made enormous personal sacrifices had proved illusory. 
The Turk fell back upon his traditional methods. He did 
not realize that Bulgaria was very many times the size 
of Chios and that from this difference alone his task was 
more difficult than that of his fathers. But the great 
change which he had overlooked was that the telegraphic 
wire and means of communication with Western Europe 
had altered the situation, and made it impossible to 
conceal a great massacre in any part of Europe. 

The news of outrages in Bulgaria came in slowly to 
Constantinople where I was then living. Little of it, 
however, was allowed to appear in the local papers. But 
from a variety of sources, the chief being from my friends 
Dr Washburn the president, and Dr Long the vice- 
president, of Robert College, I gathered enough facts 
to write a letter under the heading " Moslem Atrocities 
in Bulgaria," to the Daily News. It bore date June 16, 
and appeared on June 23. I gave the names of thirty- 
seven villages which had been destroyed and whose 
inhabitants had been tortured or killed. In a subsequent 
letter, written on June 30, I brought the number up to 
sixty, and stated that I had seen an official report which 
estimated the number of persons killed at 12,000. My 
letters, in the words of the late Mr Gladstone, " first 
sounded the alarm in Europe/' The first letter attracted 
much notice. Mr W. E. Forster called attention to its 
contents in the House of Commons, and the Duke of 
Argyll in the Lords. Mr Disraeli who was then first 



MACEDONIA 211 

minister made light of the matter, doubted whether 
torture had been practised on a large scale among a 
people " who generally terminate their connection with 
culprits in a more expeditious manner," and made 
statements for which it is now evident he had no 
authority. He spoke of the Circassians who had taken 
a large share in the plunder and killing of the Bulgarians 
as " settlers with a great stake in the country." As a 
fact, there were only a few bands of Circassian marauders 
who seized every opportunity of looting the property of 
the peasants. They seized and sold girls and this to so 
great an extent that, as I mentioned, girls could be bought 
into slavery for two or three Turkish pounds each. 

Mr Disraeli stoutly denied my statements, and his 
zeal for the Turks so far outran his discretion that on one 
of the many occasions when attention was drawn to the 
subject in the House, he held up a telegram, stating that 
he had received it from Sir Henry Elliot, the British 
ambassador in Constantinople, defending the conduct of 
the Circassians and Bashi-bazouks and stating that the 
alleged atrocities were gross exaggerations. As I knew 
that Sir Henry, who was essentially an English gentle- 
man incapable of lying, had had a great mass of letters 
and other documents in his hands which gave almost 
every detail which I had published, and that he stated 
that he had examined them, I wrote at once to the Daily 
News to the effect that I did not believe that our ambassa- 
dor had made any statement of the kind. Considerable 
controversy took place at the time. But when, some 
three years afterwards, Sir Henry was ambassador at 
Vienna, he declared to the common friend who had given 
each of us the mass of detailed news that he had never 
sent a telegram of this effect to Mr Disraeli, and that the 
misrepresentation of what he had said was so great that 
he had to consider whether he should lie under the imputa- 



212 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

tion of sending a telegram which perverted the truth or 
should clear himself by publicly stating what he had 
sent. It is beyond doubt that by accepting the former 
alternative he became the victim of a crowd of charges 
and attacks as the defender of murderers and thieves. 

My letters on the Moslem atrocities in Bulgaria formed 
the subject of a hot discussion in the English press. 
Though I had given the names of the villages burned, 
one of the leading London papers declared that they 
were names not to be found in any published map. I 
replied that they were as easily identified as if I had given 
the names of Yorkshire or Devonshire villages and I 
urged that a commission should be sent by Her Majesty's 
government to Bulgaria to make a report upon the 
subject. 

Meantime, I had written privately to Mr Robinson, 
afterwards Sir John, urging him to send a competent 
correspondent to report on the subject as it was im- 
possible for me to leave Constantinople and useless if it 
had been possible. Mr Robinson made a happy selec- 
tion in Mr Macgahan who was sent to Constantinople. 
After learning what he could from me and others, and 
accompanied by one of my clerks who acted as inter- 
preter, he went into Bulgaria with Mr Schuyler the 
United States Consul. One of the first places they 
visited was Batak the destruction of which had been 
mentioned in my first letter. From thence Macgahan 
sent me by private messenger a description simply 
stating what he had seen on entering that village. Its 
contents were horrible and as no telegram of the kind 
would have been transmitted by the authorities in 
Constantinople, I sent it on by letter to be dispatched 
from Bucarest. It was followed a day or two afterwards 
by a letter which I sent likewise by Bucarest. This 
letter which was dated 2nd August, and appeared in the 



MACEDONIA 213 

Daily News about a week later, created a profound sensa- 
tion, not only in Great Britain but throughout Europe. 
It was at once a series of pictures describing with photo- 
graphic accuracy what the observers had seen and a mass 
of the most ghastly stories they had heard on trustworthy 
authority. They had seen dogs feeding on human 
remains, heaps of human skulls, skeletons nearly entire, 
rotting clothing, human hair and flesh putrid and lying 
in one foul heap. They saw the town with not a roof 
left, with women here and there wailing their dead amid 
the ruins. They examined the heap and found that the 
skulls and skeletons were all small and that the clothing 
was that of women and girls. Macgahan counted a 
hundred skulls immediately around him. The skeletons 
were headless, showing that these victims had been 
beheaded. Further on they saw the skeletons of two 
little children lying side by side with frightful sabre cuts 
on their little skulls. Macgahan remarked that the 
number of children killed in these massacres was some- 
thing enormous. They heard on trustworthy authority 
from eye-witnesses that they were often spiked on 
bayonets. There was not a house beneath the ruins of 
which he and Mr Schuyler did not see human remains 
and the streets were strewn with them. When they 
drew nigh the church they found the ground covered 
with skeletons and lots of putrid flesh. In the church 
itself the sight was so appalling that I do not care to 
reproduce the terrible description given by Macgahan. 
Batak, where these horrors occurred, is situated about 
thirty miles from Tartar Bazarjik, which is on the railway 
and on a spur of the Rhodope Mountains. It was a 
thriving town, rich and prosperous in comparison with 
neighbouring Moslem villages. Its population previous 
to the massacres was about 9000. Macgahan remarks 
that its prosperity had excited the envy and jealousy of 



214 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

its Moslem neighbours. I elsewhere remark that, in all 
the Moslem atrocities, Chiot, Bulgarian and Armenian, 
the principal incentive has been the larger prosperity of 
the Christian population ; for, in spite of centuries of 
oppression and plunder, Christian industry and Christian 
morality everywhere makes for national wealth and 
intelligence. 

I am greatly tempted to dwell on the stirring times 
during the latter half of 1876, and on the many dis- 
closures made by Macgahan. He was a keen observer, 
absolutely fearless and withal of a kindly disposition and 
charming manner, which won for him the friendship of 
all whom he met. He afterwards accompanied the 
Russian army in the war which followed in 1877, and 
continued with it until it arrived at San Stefano. 
General Skobeleff became greatly attached to him. But 
the fatigues of the war bore heavily upon his strength. 
He came to my house at Prinkipo and spent two or three 
weeks while the Russian army was encamped during the 
peace negotiations at San Stefano. Strongly against 
my advice, for he was still weak, he went to Pera as he 
considered that it was his duty to go there for some days. 
Black typhoid and other malignant diseases were then 
raging fiercely in every part of Constantinople, brought 
into the place by the crowds of refugees. He caught 
typhoid and I accompanied him to the British hospital 
where everything that medical science could accomplish 
was done to save a life which was very dear to many of 
us. The malady was swift and he died. I remember 
General Skobeleff coming to see him as he lay dead, and 
crying bitterly over him. He also attended the funeral 
which it was my task to arrange. 

I am, however, anticipating what happened to bring 
about the independence of Bulgaria. The statements in 
my own letters were abundantly confirmed by those of 



MACEDONIA 215 

Macgahan, by Mr Galenga in the Times, and by the 
official report presented to the American government 
by Mr Schuyler. The latter by its official character is in 
some respects more terrible than the letters of Macgahan. 
It is an investigation carefully made, giving the number 
of houses, churches and schools destroyed and the state- 
ments made to him by Turkish officials. Alluding to the 
attempt made by the Turks to exonerate themselves by 
stating that outrages had been committed by the Bul- 
garians on the Moslems, he says " I have carefully 
investigated this point and am unable to find that the 
Bulgarians committed any outrage or atrocities or any 
acts which deserve that name. . . I have vainly 
tried to obtain from the Turkish officials a list of 
such outrages, but have received nothing but vague 
statements." 

Mr Disraeli had been compelled by public opinion in 
the House of Commons to send a commissioner to re- 
port to H.M. government, and Mr Baring, secretary of 
Embassy, was chosen for the task. Without giving the 
details either of his reports or that of Mr Schuyler, I may 
mention that Mr Baring found the number of villages 
destroyed to be fifty-nine, and that his estimate of the 
number killed was 12,000. Mr Baring's work was done 
under circumstances of considerable suspicion, by which 
I mean that many persons believed that he was sent to 
put the most favourable aspect possible on the doings of 
the Turk. The suspicion was probably without justi- 
fication, but whether well founded or not, Mr Baring did 
his work ably, conscientiously, and thoroughly. 

During the summer of 1876, Mr Gladstone had taken 
no share in the denunciation of the Moslem atrocities in 
Bulgaria. But in September, Mr Gladstone judged that 
the evidence upon the charges was complete, and he 
published a pamphlet under the title of " Bulgarian 



216 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Horrors and the Question of the East." This summed 
up the evidence and pointed to definite and statesmanlike 
conclusions. Its appearance was contemporaneous with 
an outburst of indignation in England against the authors 
of the horrors, such as had never taken place before nor 
has taken place since. Public meetings were held in 
nearly every important town in the British Islands. 
The agitation spread throughout Europe, and especially 
in Russia where the letters to the Daily News, Times, 
and other important newspapers were reproduced. It 
was a generous demonstration of human sympathy with a 
suffering people and of indignation against its oppressors. 
Nothing had been seen the least like it since the time 
when our grandfathers denounced the slave-trade. 
Members of all political parties, of all the churches, all 
the living historians including Freeman, Carlyle, and 
Froude, joined their voices in the denunciation of the 
most wanton and brutal attack which had been made 
on a race within living memory. 

Mr Gladstone in the pamphlet, page 21, wrote as 
follows : 

" The first alarm respecting the Bulgarian outrages 
was, I believe, sounded in the Daily News on the 23rd of 
June. I am sensible of the many services constantly 
rendered by free journalism to humanity, to freedom, 
and to justice. I do not undervalue the performances, 
on this occasion, of the Times, the Doyen of the press in 
this country, and perhaps in the world, or of the Daily 
Telegraph and our other great organs. But of all these 
services so far as my knowledge goes, that which has 
been rendered by the Daily News, through its foreign 
correspondence on this occasion, has been the most 
weighty, I may say, the most splendid." He adds : 

" I believe it is understood that the gentleman who 
has fought this battle for a battle it has been with such 



MACEDONIA 217 

courage, intelligence and conscientious care, is Mr Pears, 
of Constantinople, correspondent of the Daily News." 

The question arose of a remedy. No nation wished 
to make war on Turkey. England in particular desired 
to save her, whilst introducing reforms which would 
prevent a recurrence of massacres and would better the 
condition of Bulgaria and the other European provinces 
of Turkey, including Serbia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. 
Other nations also desired peace and objected to disturb- 
ing existing political relations. Accordingly, after long 
deliberations it was agreed by the Powers that an 
international Conference should meet at Constantinople. 
When the proposal was first made to the Porte, Sir 
Henry Elliot was directed to leave Constantinople if it 
were not accepted, because, as Lord Derby, at that time 
Foreign Secretary, stated, " It would then be evident 
that all further overtures to save the Porte from ruin 
would be useless." The Conference was accepted by the 
Turks on November 20, 1876, and each of the six great 
Powers named representatives. It was a gathering of 
eminent men who were practical statesmen, all of whom 
wished to avoid war. The most distinguished were Lord 
Salisbury who, with Sir Henry Elliot, represented Great 
Britain, General Ignatieff who was deputed by Russia, 
and Count Corti by Italy. Ignatieff was a man of 
remarkable energy and conspicuous if obtrusive ability. 
He declared to a friend of mine that he knew that he 
was sometimes called the " prince of liars, " but he 
deceived diplomats by telling them the truth. His 
statement was not far wrong. His manner was that of a 
man who prided himself on being a soldier rather than a 
diplomatist, and it is only fair to say that I never knew 
a false statement brought home to him. From the 
moment of Lord Salisbury's arrival in Constantinople, 
he and the representative of Russia got on well 



218 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

together. Both were big men physically and mentally. 
The two countries were believed by a great number of 
people to be watching each other, and ready to spring at 
each other's throat ; for the old hatred and jealousy due 
to the Crimean War was still strong within the memory 
of the inhabitants of both countries. But Russia did not 
want war and the aim of the Conference was to avoid it. 
In the preliminary meetings held before the Turkish 
delegates joined, the Russian ambassador " surprised his 
colleagues by the facility with which he made one con- 
cession after another/' On December 21, the full Con- 
ference began its sittings. The Turkish delegates were 
both able men, Safvet Pasha and Edhem Pasha. Each 
subsequently became Grand Vizier. They had received 
instructions to make no concessions. They knew, 
unfortunately, that the Powers were not united to coerce 
Turkey. The project of reforms on which all the non- 
Turkish delegates had agreed was rejected. Sentence 
by sentence the project was whittled down until many 
of us thought that if the remainder were accepted it 
would be useless. Much, however, might be sacrificed to 
avoid war. But Sultan Abdul Hamid who had suc- 
ceeded to the throne six months earlier would not have 
the reforms at any price. On January 18, 1877, the 
Conference broke up without having accomplished 
anything. The inspired Turkish papers weie jubilant 
at the failure. It was currently believed that Lord 
Salisbury was opposed by his colleague, Sir Henry Elliot, 
and while the Turkish papers sneered at the first, they 
had nothing but praise for the second. " Bravo, Sir 
Elliot/' was the heading of one paper, when the failure 
of the Conference was announced. I was present at a 
small reception given by Lord Salisbury the night before 
he left Constantinople. In conversation with me and 
the late Mr F. I. Scudamore he spoke freely and regret- 



MACEDONIA 219 

fully of the failure. " We have all tried/' said he, " to 
save Turkey but she will not allow us to save her." He 
did not wonder that some of us in the press had com- 
plained of the whittling down of the project, but their 
great objects were to avoid war and maintain the integrity 
of Turkey. There would be a war to a certainty and 
Russia could not afford, whatever the cost, to lose. 

Lord Salisbury was right. Russia perhaps more than 
any other Power, wanted to avoid war, and this not merely 
on account of its heavy expense and risks, but because 
she was not prepared for it. One person after another 
published statements in the local press showing that 
nothing was ready for war in Russia, and Sultan Abdul 
Hamid lent a willing ear to such statements. 

Meantime the diplomatists made one more effort to 
save Turkey from loss of territory. On the 3rd March 
the representatives of every European Power signed a 
Protocol at the British Foreign Office urging measures 
to be taken to satisfy the disaffected provinces. The 
reply to this Protocol by the Porte on April 9, was to 
reject it with contumely. Thereupon the Tzar of 
Russia on April 24, issued a dignified manifesto, in which 
he declared that having exhausted all pacific measures, 
Russia was " compelled by the haughty obstinacy of the 
Porte to proceed to more decisive acts." 

On the same day she announced to the Powers that 
she had declared war. 

Of the war itself, I have little to say. I was in Con- 
stantinople during its continuance. The city was full 
of refugees from Bulgaria. The first who came were 
Circassians and other unattached persons, who brought 
great quantities of plunder, horses, asses, cattle and 
especially the furniture and belongings of Bulgarian 
churches for sale. Prices were low on account of the 
large supplies offered. The spoils of the churches were 



220 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

especially cheap because the Greeks and Armenians 
thought it sacrilege to buy them and the Turks believed 
they would bring ill-luck. Some of us considered 
whether it would not be worth while to buy in order to 
return the objects to the churches plundered, but we 
concluded that it would be impossible to find the owners. 
I bought a silver and gold chalice for its weight in silver, 
a beautiful altar frontal for a trifle. A friend bought a 
complete set of priest's beautifully embroidered vest- 
ments for about half a sovereign. Then afterwards 
came crowds of Moslems who on the advent of the 
Russians fled before them fearing vengeance on the part 
of the Bulgarians. They crowded our streets and suburbs 
driving cattle before them and bringing typhoid and other 
deadly diseases. It was a horrible time. 

After a long and weary war, during which there was 
exceptional suffering, occasioned by a very severe winter, 
the end came somewhat suddenly. When Plevna was 
captured by the Turks after a defence by Ghazi Osman 
Pasha which showed the best qualities of the Turkish 
soldier, General Gourko advanced with the largest 
division of the army towards Sofia with the view of 
pushing on through the ancient gates of Trajan, and 
down the valley through which the railway between that 
city and Constantinople now passes. All newspapers 
correspondents with the Russians accompanied him. 
But another movement of at least equal importance 
had been arranged which was kept strictly secret. It 
was due to the genius of General Skobeleff . Winter in 
the Balkans was at its worst. The snow-covered range 
was believed by the Turks to be impassable. The most 
important pass debouched near the village of Shipka. 
Through it there was a good military road, but it was 
defended on its southern side by strong forts held by the 
Turks. Below the forts and on the plain was a Turkish 



MACEDONIA 221 

army of about 100,000 men under Vessel Pasha en- 
camped around a village known as Shenova, while to the 
west of the village, at a position where they would be 
ready to strike at the flank of Gourka's advance was 
another Turkish army with which was General Valentine 
Baker, then a pasha. Skobeleff saw that to attempt 
to cross the Balkans by the military road was useless. 
But he learned from Bulgarian peasants that to the east 
and west of it were goat tracks, where men travelling 
Indian file could cross. Accordingly while sending men 
to make a feint of attempting the road, he sent a detach- 
ment to cross to the east of the road, while he took 
command of a second which attempted to cross by the 
track to its west. Both these divisions could be seen by 
the Turks at the forts. The thin line of men was so long, 
that by the time the first had reached the southern end 
of the pass the last had not yet started. Skobeleff's 
division, however, as well as that to the east of the road, 
crossed without molestation. Then they joined forces, 
attacked the army under Vessel Pasha and utterly 
routed it. Vessel with his large army submitted, and 
consented to send orders to the Turks who were defending 
the forts on the Shipka road to surrender, orders which 
were obeyed. Before night fell, there were eighty 
thousand Turkish prisoners on the march northwards 
to Russia. The battle of Shenova was the most im- 
portant incident in the war, if the heroic defence of 
Plevna be left out of account. Skobeleff was authorized 
by the Czar to inscribe its name upon his flag. As not a 
single correspondent was with either of the armies which 
took part in the battle, only the results came to be known 
in Western Europe, and then only gradually and partially. 
I was the first to give an account of it. When the war 
was concluded Skobeleff came to Constantinople and 
was kind enough to give me a full description. I took 



222 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

this to my neighbour Baker Pasha, who made various 
corrections and additions rendered necessary by my then 
ignorance of the locality and of military matters and I 
published it under the heading, " The Battle of Shenova ; 
An omitted Chapter of the War." 

The conclusion of the war may be shortly told. 
Plevna fell on loth December 1878. By 5th January, 
Gourko's army was in Sofia. SkobelefFs army had 
crossed the Balkans on gth January, and within a week 
of its start was on its way towards the capital. On 
3rd March 1878, the Treaty of Peace was signed at San 
Stefano and Bulgaria became free. 

In many respects the rapid and immense progress 
made by Bulgaria since the war recalls that of Japan. 
In the days of my youth, I was in Java and heard of the 
limited visits of a limited number of Dutch ships and 
remembering all one has heard and read of the progress 
of the island empire during the last half century, one 
thinks of a fabled giant awakened after centuries of sleep. 
So also with Bulgaria. Its existence was practically 
forgotten. Its power of resisting Asiatic religion and its 
professors was unrecognized. Yet its advance since 1878 
far surpasses that of any state in Europe. Like the 
Japanese the Bulgarians felt the need of foreigners to 
instruct them in the arts of the West. Like them again 
having carefully profited by what the West could teach, 
they manage now to depend on their own resources with 
little aid from foreigners. 

It is difficult to make a satisfactory comparison of the 
condition of the country now, with what it was in 1878, 
because no statistics of or before that year are in exist- 
ence. Almost everything in the country has been 
created since then. Before this the name Bulgarian 
stood for ignorance, submissiveness, and unrecognized 
nationality ; the Bulgarians were rayahs or cattle. It is 



MACEDONIA 223 

now a name to be proud of. Under Turkish rule every 
part of the country was unsafe. Mr Stambouloff the 
last time I saw him gave me a vivid description of how 
he had put an end to brigandage in the district south 
of Burgas. It had long been unsafe for travellers, but 
a strong hand, inflexible justice and swift execution, 
gave a valuable district back to civilization. Now, in 
that district as throughout Bulgaria, it is a pleasant 
sight to see groups of school boys and girls with knap- 
sacks on their backs making excursions in even remote 
mountain districts without any thought of danger. 

A few fact swill show the progress made since the country 
became free. Sofia, when I first saw it, was a wretched 
village of mud huts and ill-built houses never more than 
two stories high. Its principal streets, then mere mud 
tracks, have now well-built houses four or five stories 
high with electric trams and lighting. The value of land 
has enormously increased. The city has many handsome 
public buildings. As with Sofia so with nearly every 
town in the newly established kingdom. Everywhere 
one sees good houses replacing mud huts. The first 
visible sign from the railway a year or two after the war 
were new schoolhouses which bore witness to the keen 
desire for education. Every year showed progress in 
that direction. As far back as 1892, I was astonished to 
see second grade schools or lyceums at Slivna and else- 
where, well filled with educational appliances, under 
teachers who had received training in Germany or some 
foreign country, a people who were enthusiastic for 
educational progress. I remember that during many 
years the largest number of students and graduates at 
Robert College on the Bosporos were Bulgarians. Then 
their numbers gradually fell off, until in the year 1906, 
for the first time on its record there was no Bulgarian in 
the graduating class. It looked as if the great American 
College had completed its work for Bulgaria, by showing 



224 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

its people how to organize their own teaching. But the 
year in question was the only one in which such a record 
has been noted, for Bulgarians still seek the advantages 
of an English training. Under Dr George Washburn, 
the Arnold of education in the Near East, and Dr Long, 
it had trained a succession of Bulgarians to think care- 
fully and soberly ; to avoid impracticable projects, to be 
self-reliant, to act for themselves and above all to 
endeavour to maintain a high standard of morality. 
Besides supplying able ministers like the premier 
Stoiloff and the permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 
Mr Demitroff, a man full of knowledge on every subject 
connected with the questions of the Near East, and 
Mr Gueshoff the present premier, it furnished also useful 
administrators like Matthieff. It equipped likewise a 
number of men like Calchieff, Slavekoff, Professor 
Panaretof of Robert College and a number of others who 
have been leaders in Bulgaria in its wonderful career of 
progress. Happily, there is reason to hope that Robert 
College is now going to exert a like useful influence on 
Turkish students as it did on Bulgarians and is already 
doing on Greeks and Armenians. 

In Bulgaria education is free and obligatory. There 
are 3506 primary schools ; 94 pro-gymnasiums, each 
with from three to five classes ; 33 gymnasiums each of 
seven classes and several with technical courses of instruc- 
tion. During the year 1909, there were 469,550 children 
attending school. The educational system is crowned 
with a university which had in 1909 no less than 1569 
students of whom 217 were young women. The results 
of the instruction given are no less striking. The census 
taken in 1905 showed that in the towns 93 per cent, of 
the Bulgarians and 83 per cent, in the villages between 
the ages of ten and fifteen could read and write. Though 
the law regarding public instruction applies to Mahome- 



MACEDONIA 225 

tans as well as Christians, only 21 per cent, in the towns 
and 4 per cent, in the villages between the same ages 
could read and write. The great difference is not 
attributable to the government but to the same causes 
which in India make the Moslem population unable to 
compete with the Hindoo. Out of Bulgaria's budget 
for 1910 showing a revenue of 6,880,000 sterling, no less 
a sum than 880,000 is assigned to education. 

Bulgaria has constructed, including some which are 
not quite finished, 12,500 miles of roads and, excluding 
those which had been built previous to 1878, 2380 miles 
of railways. All these are the property of, and are 
worked by the State. 

Immediately after gaining her freedom, Bulgaria 
established postal and telegraphic services. In 1879, 
she had 42 post-offices ; in 1910, these had increased to 
2070, with an additional 323 attached to railway stations 
and summer resorts. I remember visiting the Philippo- 
polis exhibition in 1892, and being surprised to find that 
we could be in telephonic communication with Sofia and 
most of the important towns in the country. We were 
impressed, because then, as even now, there was no tele- 
phonic service in Turkey. In Bulgaria at present the 
important towns can communicate by telephone with 
each other, with Belgrade and Budapest. A post- 
office Savings Bank was introduced in 1896. Twelve 
years later, the year's returns in 1908, showed that 
23,458,894 francs had been deposited and 21,886,410 
withdrawn. 

Still more striking as showing at once the thrift and 
enterprise of the Bulgarian peasant is the fact that in 
1908 there were 727 co-operative societies. There were 
also 33 Bulgarian banks with a paid up capital of 
nearly a million sterling. The Bulgarian national bank, 
founded in 1880, had had deposited in it during the year 

15 



226 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

1908, roughly two millions sterling (53,696,033 francs). 
Industries of various kinds have been commenced with 
Bulgarian capital and are prospering. The export of 
cloth, leather, wool, mining produce, food stuffs, etc. in 
1879 were J ust over two millions sterling. In 1908 they 
had increased to nearly ten millions. 

On my first visit almost the only manufacture worth 
speaking of was of the famous attar of roses in Kezanlik. 
It is an ideal industry. Thousands of rose bushes on a 
lovely plain at the foot of a bold spur of the Balkans ; 
the roses in full bloom, cream coloured, white, or red, 
the air redolent with their exquisite scent ; the rose- 
gathering mostly by girls and women in their bright 
and picturesque dresses ; cloth and home-made on 
patterns, traditional and uninfluenced yet by western 
fashions ; the home bringing of the leaves ; the handling 
of them with something like affection, and finally the 
extraction of the essential oil, so powerful that a few 
drops will suffice to make a half bottle pass as excellent 
rosewater ; the experience was altogether delightful. 
At Kezanlik I was courteously entertained in the house 
of one of the largest makers of attar of roses, a young 
man who had been at Robert College and had imbibed 
something of American energy and pushfulness. He 
had already been to America as well as the chief cities 
of Europe. In my bedroom were a series of glass jars 
containing the precious attar and to my surprise I was 
informed that the total value of their contents amounted 
to something over 3000. 

Even in the 'eighties I found at Slivan that excellent 
native woollen cloth was being made in large quantities, 
and it called up a smile to learn that a large order was 
being executed for the Turkish army, with whom a few 
years ago the Bulgarians had been fighting. It sug- 
gested a new reading of the text, " If thine enemy 



MACEDONIA 227 

hunger, feed him, if he is naked give him the where- 
withal to be clothed." 

I may mention that students of the Mir system, as it 
recently existed in Russia and as to a considerable 
extent it still exists in the Village Communities of India, 
may find many survivals of the kind in Bulgaria. House- 
communities are the most prominent examples. Several 
families in some portions of the kingdom occupy a huge 
house, or as it is called a Zadruga. The men leave the 
community to earn their living outside the village or 
even outside Bulgaria. Their earnings are thrown into 
the common stock according to well established rules. 

Under the Treaty of Berlin, the Bulgaria of the San 
Stefano Treaty was divided into two provinces after a 
considerable portion to the south had been returned to 
Turkey. The northern province was erected into a 
principality under an independent prince. The southern, 
named Eastern Rumelia, was to be under a prince 
named by the sultan. The arrangement did not work 
well, and when in 1885 the population expelled the prince 
of Rumelia even Sultan Abdul Hamid made no effort to 
enforce his rights under the Treaty. When in October 
1908 prince Ferdinand proclaimed himself king, no one 
seriously opposed. Certain financial questions occasioned 
some difficulty, but the Turks took up the position that as 
the country had for thirty years ceased to be under then- 
rule, it mattered little whether the ruler was called king 
or prince. 

MACEDONIA PART II 

Present Condition and Probable Future 

THE history and condition of the countries I have 
described has to be borne in mind when writing of 
Macedonia, for Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Albania 



228 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

nearly surround the country. The first three have 
escaped from bondage into freedom. Albania can hardly 
ever have been described as in bondage. A country thus 
surrounded was not likely to remain quiet under Turkish 
misrule. 

Valuable books have appeared within the last few years 
on Macedonia and its various races. Sir Charles N. E. 
Eliot's " Turkey in Europe " is full of information and 
valuable suggestions. Dr Brailsford's " Macedonia " 
abounds in the statements of a keen observer. A number 
of essays in French and German periodicals, published 
during the last ten years, show the interest taken in the 
Macedonian question and add to our stock of knowledge. 
Macedonia has indeed been and will continue to be the 
battle-field of writers on the questions of the Near East, 
and may become at no distant date the bloody battle-field 
of contending states. It is possible that but for the 
proclamation of the Turkish constitution in July 1908, 
it would ere this have become an autonomous state. 
The tendency of its history even now is in that direction. 

In order to understand and estimate this tendency, 
certain facts must be considered. Macedonia is a 
geographical term used to signify different extents of 
country. Sometimes it includes the whole of the Balkan 
Peninsula excepting Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and 
Greece, but even including that portion of European 
Turkey which comprises Adrianople and the country 
west of a line drawn from that city to the Struma, the 
ancient Strymon. Others would exclude Albania and 
the whole of the district between Constantinople and a 
line drawn roughly from Serres to the most southerly 
point of eastern Rumelia. A Greek author claims that 
the term Macedonia should be limited to the vilayets of 
Monastir and Salonika. Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia 
have each dreamed of a division of Macedonia, and each 



MACEDONIA 229 

one has done its best to show that it is entitled to a 
larger portion of the country than the others are willing 
to concede. 

Serbia claims that there are many Serbians in northern 
Macedonia under Turkish rule, and that the territory 
which they occupy should be delivered to her if any 
partition of Macedonia should be made. This territory 
is called Old Serbia, but the name has no precise meaning. 
In the reign of the great Serbian king, Dushan, who was 
crowned in 1331 and died 1355, all Macedonia and 
Albania with a large part of Greece was under Serbia. 
That indeed might be called Old Serbia. But apart from 
the fact that Dushan is spoken of also as king of Bulgaria, 
which indeed for a time was under his rule, the pre- 
cedent is as remote as that which caused our sovereigns 
to take and retain for centuries the title of kings of 
France. In like manner the claims of Bulgaria might 
be advanced ; for its kings ruled Macedonia, with an 
interval for a century and a half, their rule in that 
country ending in 1241. The Bulgarians however admit 
that, if a partition of Macedonia were made, a strip of 
country ought to go to Serbia because it is now occupied 
by Serbs. 

Serbian, Bulgarian, and Greek writers have been 
occupied during the last twenty years in discussing the 
ethnography of Macedonia. The object of this discus- 
sion has been political rather than scientific. The writers 
have brought much careful research to bear upon it. But 
the object has not been to learn the truth. Each writer 
gives the impression of holding a brief for his own country. 
The principal advantage gained by outsiders from the 
discussion arises from the accumulation of testimony, 
ranging over many centuries, as to the movements of the 
Slav and other races south of the Danube. The general 
results which I gather from many studies on the subject 



230 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

are that the word Bulgarian has often been used both by 
Slavs and others to indicate all the Slavs in the Balkan 
Peninsula with the exception of the dwellers on the Dal- 
matian coast ; some of whom are certainly of Albanian 
blood ; that at times the whole of such country has been 
called Bulgaria but that at other times Serbia has had 
a much more extended meaning than it now possesses. 
William of Tyre, for example, calls Harold Hardrage of 
Norway who aided the Greek emperor in 1050 to subdue 
the inhabitants of Macedonia Bolgara-brenner ; while 
during the same period, and for two centuries later, the 
country was known as Great Wallachia. 1 

The real questions of interest to Englishmen are only 
incidentally historical ; they are, who are the present 
inhabitants ? What is the actual condition of Mace- 
donia ? and what is it likely to be in the future ? 

The Greek population predominates on the shores of 
the Aegean. During all historical times this statement 
would have held good. It would almost hold equally 
good if made about all the shores of the Mediterranean. 
But in reference to Macedonia it is impossible to mention 
a period when the seaports and the immediate back 
country has not been occupied by Greeks. Let it be said 
also that Greek influence has been always in favour of 
civilization and commerce. Salonika is the most im- 

1 Those who wish for information on the subject will find it in 
Cvijic's " Remarques sur 1'Ethnographie de la Macedonie" and in a 
" Response " to it by Dr A. Tchircoff, published in Serbia in 1907 : The 
first gives the Serbian, the second the Bulgarian view of the question. 
Another book on the subject is worth examination " La Macedonie 
au point de vue Ethnographique, Historique et Philologique par 
Oleicoff," published in Philippopolis in 1888. In these works a mass 
of authorities, Slav and foreign, are cited. One of the writers best 
worth consulting is C. Lejean who gives a carefully drawn Ethnographic 
map of Turkey in Europe and the autonomous states. See his " Ethno- 
graphic de la Turquie." He was a young and energetic engineer who 
had travelled through all parts of the Balkan peninsula and died all 
too soon for the interest of geographical knowledge. The Greek view 
is well given in "La Macedonie et les Reforms" a valuable paper 
by the Macedonian Syllogos of Athens. 



MACEDONIA 231 

port ant city on the sea-coast of Macedonia. It is true 
that its influence and its commerce are now mostly due 
to its Jewish population. The Jews, largely of Spanish 
descent, the offspring of exiles driven out of Spain under 
Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492, still speak Spanish. But 
except during the last half century the Greeks had most 
of the business in their hands. Even now, the Greeks 
are by far the most important element after the Jews. 
As we penetrate inland we find at once Greek villages 
side by side with Bulgarians ; but on the shores the 
great majority of the people are Greek. 

Unfortunately no trustworthy statistics exist as to the 
population of Macedonia. The one factor in regard to 
it which is pretty certain is that the Bulgarians are the 
largest element. It may be safely affirmed that outside 
the Turkish provinces of Monastir and Salonika no Greek 
population exists. The Slav population are agricultural- 
ists ; the Greeks very rarely. Away from the shore it 
is rare to find a purely Greek village except near the 
confines of Greece. It is alleged by the Greeks that out 
of a total of 1,873,000 people in the two provinces 
named there are 777,000 Moslems, 659,000 Greeks, and 
374,000 Bulgarians. 1 Probably the number of Moslems 
equally with that of the Greeks is over-estimated. 
Rittich, an author quoted with approval by the Bul- 
garian Oleicoff, in his " Le Monde Slave " gives figures 
which may be compared with those put forward by the 
Greeks. In the same provinces, Monastir and Salonika, 
he estimates the Bulgarians at 682,714 instead of 374,000 ; 
the Greeks at 30,482 instead of 659,000, and the Turks 
at 175,968 instead of 770,000. The figures are of course 
incorrect and I believe that each set is grossly exaggerated. 

It is impossible to draw a line between the Greeks and 

1 "La Macedonie et les Reforms": Memoire du Syllogue Mace- 
donien d'Athenes, published in 1903. 



232 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Bulgarians and to say that all north of it are Bulgarians 
and all south, Greeks. In a conversation with the late 
Mr Tricoupis, the prime minister of Greece, he admitted 
this fact but added that though to the south of any line 
drawn there would be Bulgarian villages, after a genera- 
tion under Greek rule the inhabitants would consider 
that their ancestors had always been Greeks. Then with 
the frankness which was characteristic of the man, he 
added that there would be Greek villages to the north of 
any reasonable line which if placed for the same time 
under Bulgarian rule would believe themselves to be of 
Slav descent. The manner in which Greek and Bulgarian 
villages are dotted about in many parts of the country 
makes it incorrect to assign such country to either race. 
One of the many good stories told of General Ignatieff 
emphasizes this statement. When at the Conference 
after the Russo-Turkish War it became necessary to 
define the boundaries of Bulgaria, Ignatieff told the 
Turkish delegates that he was ready to take those marked 
by the Turks. They replied that they were ignorant of such 
boundaries. The Russian ambassador then explained that 
there were a number of villages burned by the Turkish 
troops because the inhabitants were Bulgarian. As one 
of these was within twenty miles of Constantinople, and 
others far south of the proposed new Bulgaria, another 
means of establishing a boundary had to be devised. 

A comparison of various accounts leads me to the con- 
clusion that the population of Macedonia, excluding 
Albania, is about 1,750,000 ; that of these about one 
million are Slavs, while the remainder may be divided 
about equally between Greeks and Turks. The Bul- 
garians claim that to their race belong sixty-nine per cent, 
of the population. 1 

The troubled condition of the country during the last 

1 "La Macedonia," p. 55, par Oleicoff. 



MACEDONIA 233 

fifteen years has considerably reduced the total popula- 
tion. Hundreds of Bulgarians emigrated into Bulgaria. 
It is asserted that even now, after some have returned to 
their desolated homes, there are 20,000 Macedonians in 
Sofia itself. But all along the borderland of Bulgaria 
families quitted the country which was the scene of 
violent anarchy and disorder in order to escape into the 
land of their countrymen which had obtained freedom. 
Emigration to America has also been going on quietly but 
constantly. In 1904 from the vilayet of Monastir, 3000 
men are stated to have crossed the Atlantic. In the 
following year the emigrants had increased to about 7000, 
while in the first half of 1906 the number had grown to 
nearly 15,000. In ten of the villages round Fiorina only 
women and children remained. 

It is not my intention to write the recent history of 
Macedonia. It is sufficient to recall that the consular 
reports, written by a number of Englishmen and French- 
men who have lived in or visited Macedonia, have placed 
on record a condition of anarchy which during the same 
period had no parallel in Europe. It was justly described 
by Victor Berard in 1906 as " une Macedonie pillee et 
massacree, unproductive pour elle-me'me et inutile pour 
le reste du monde, intenable aux indigenes et impene- 
trable aux etrangers." 1 The congress of Berlin was not 
entirely content to leave Macedonia to the tender mercies 
of Abdul Hamid. In conformity with its provisions a 
mixed commission was formed to draw up a scheme of 
reforms for European Turkey. The British com- 
missioner was Lord Fitzmaurice. Its work was done 
thoroughly. An organic law was produced. But it was 
thrown into the wastepaper-basket by the Turks. If 
the country had been in Asia-Minor probably it would 

1 " La Macedonie et les Reforms," by Dragonof, with preface by 
Berard, p. 134. 



234 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

have suffered less at the hands of the Sultan ; for the 
Macedonians were surrounded by four free states, and 
they naturally compared their condition with that of 
their neighbouring brethren. The influence of Greece 
made for civilization in the south. The newly created 
prosperity of Bulgaria and Serbia on the north and east 
awakened the energy of the Slavs, and the state of security 
in Montenegro and the other Christian states of the 
peninsula, aroused the desire for a like security from 
misrule. Oppression of a kind which no race is justified 
in tolerating, if it has a reasonable chance of setting itself 
free, drove many into voluntary exile and caused others 
to take to the mountains. In Bulgaria the exiles worked 
in collusion with their relations and friends to avenge 
their wrongs and to prevent others being committed on 
men and women of their race. They formed commit- 
tees. They organized means of punishing noteworthy 
offenders and of striking terror into the oppressors. 
In many instances the committees formed a kind of law 
court which did justice upon offenders, rough justice it 
is true, but like lynch law better than no justice whatever. 
Race hostility entered and complicated the situation. 
Greeks and Slavs were jealous of each other. Each 
feared that the other would establish a claim in case of a 
partition of the country to a larger share than that to 
which it was entitled. Still further to increase the 
difficulties of the situation, the Church came in with its 
division of the people into adherents of the patriarch and 
those of the exarch. Without the difference of an iota 
on matters of dogma, with none in reference to the forms 
of religious worship for the division in the Eastern 
Church is racial rather than ecclesiastical the odium 
theologicum added unusual bitterness to the political 
struggle between Slav and Greek. Greek bands flocked 
across the frontier to join the bands which had been 



MACEDONIA 235 

formed to attack the Bulgarians. Officers from the 
Greek army joined such bands. Abdul Hamid, with the 
cunning which sycophants chose to call capacity, took 
advantage of the hostility between the Christian races. 
The Greek bands were encouraged to attack the Bul- 
garians. One remembers with satisfaction that when 
the most self-sacrificing and daring of the missionaries 
of the revolutionary party, Dr Nazim Bey, who was 
already proscribed as a rebel, determined to place his life 
at the service of the Committee of Union and Progress 
in Salonika, he disguised himself in the Greek brigand's 
fustanella, crossed the frontier from Greece and descended 
into the town of Salonika, fearless of arrest by Turkish 
zaptiehs and rightly confident that his disguise would 
cause him to be regarded as friendly to Abdul Hamid's 
government. 

Without entering into details of the anarchy and 
misrule which prevailed in Macedonia during the first 
seven years of the present century, it may yet be gener- 
ally stated that there existed the minimum of security 
for life and property. Valuable mines were shut down 
on account of the risks of carrying provisions to the 
workmen or material for mining. Landowners, Moslems, 
and Christians alike, natives and foreigners were unable 
in hundreds of cases to visit their properties. Bulgarian 
and Greek bands of brigands held possession of many 
parts of the country and made life almost unsupportable. 
The Turkish peasants or proprietors were allowed to 
plunder their neighbours. The Turkish troops some- 
times favoured one and sometimes another band. They 
lived upon the peasantry and were useless as a protection 
for the innocent. Even when at the demand of Europe 
foreign gendarmerie officers were appointed they were 
prevented from examining and reporting upon the de- 
vastation caused by Turkish soldiers or Bulgarian or 



236 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Greek bands. It was in vain that ambassadors obtained 
promises from the Sultan that such officers should have 
the right to examine ; for orders were either never sent 
or disobeyed by men knowing well that Yildiz would be 
best pleased by disobedience. 

Massacres upon a scale comparatively small when 
measured by those of Bulgaria and Armenia, but great in 
the aggregate, went on all throughout the period in 
question. Villages were pillaged and burned by one or 
other of the bands, or by Moslem neighbours, or by the 
troops themselves, and scores of independent reports were 
furnished and photographs taken showing the desola- 
tion of these places and the ordered indifference of 
the authorities in regard to them. The law courts 
were abominably corrupt. Sentences were notoriously 
bought and sold. When a criminal outrage was com- 
mitted it was used as a pretext to extort from the accused 
man or from his relations whatever could be obtained. 
If a man were killed a whole village would be attacked. 
Administrative and judicial extortion in the collection of 
taxes was common throughout the country. Men were 
kept in prison " administratively," as it is called, with- 
out being brought to trial, the term of such imprison- 
ment being often measured by the time within which 
his relations and friends, or one of the committees, could 
find the money to buy his release. Though there is 
nothing in Turkish law to correspond with our writ of 
Habeas Corpus, the noblest legal invention of the British 
race for the safeguard of individual liberty, yet even 
under Turkish law such indefinitely long administrative 
imprisonments were grossly illegal. Nobody, however, 
could interfere to prevent them. 

The public opinion of Western Europe and notably of 
England and France became aroused. Something must 
be done to clear out the foulest Augean stable which 



MACEDONIA 237 

existed in Europe. But no government was anxious 
to take the lead. Each one knew that Abdul would be 
hostile to any interference. One might suppose that he 
was foolish enough to believe that disorders would be 
beneficial to Turkey or would at least show Europe that 
her interference could not mend matters. The latter 
suggestion will not bear examination ; for the whole 
history of sultanic rule in Turkey shows that reforms 
have never come from Turkish initiative. Germany 
had already begun her policy of shutting her eyes to 
abuses in Turkey and making friends with the Sultan in 
order to further her commercial interests. Even as far 
back as the Armenian massacres in Constantinople, 
friends and well-wishers of Germany had deeply regretted 
her careful abstention from any acts which showed 
disapproval of the brutal massacres at our doors, and 
this at a time when France and Great Britain even 
ostentatiously sheltered Armenian fugitives from the 
knives and sticks of Abdul Hamid's barbarous sopajis. 
But Germany had not yet disassociated herself from the 
Powers in endeavouring to obtain decent government for 
Macedonia. Russia looked on coldly because at the time 
she was dissatisfied with Bulgaria. She could not how- 
ever refuse to join England and France in efforts to better 
the condition of the Slavs. 

Austria from the first was so half-hearted in her action 
with the other Powers to obtain reforms as to leave the 
impression that she preferred that the disorders in the 
country should continue until Europe in general should 
ask her to take possession of the country in the interests 
of international peace. Among the papers of the ex- 
grand vizier Halil Rifaat Pasha were found several 
reports which he made in 1898, after the Turko-Greek war, 
which throw light on the attitude of Austria. These 
were published in Paris after his death with facsimiles 



238 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

of the originals and translations. In one he reports a 
meeting of the representatives of the European Powers. 
An original of the minutes, which was signed by the 
ambassadors of the seven Powers, was shown to him by 
the Austrian ambassador. The latter, according to the 
report, spoke of the great insistence (grande intran- 
sigeance) of the French, Russian and British ambassadors 
in their determination to submit to the Porte a proposal 
for putting into execution the scheme proposed by the 
joint commission of 1880. He claims credit for being 
the only ambassador who resisted this demand and for 
obtaining an adjournment in order to gain time. The 
grand vizier concludes by advising that his government, 
in order to shut the mouths of its enemies, should itself 
put into operation some of the reforms which would be 
submitted by the Powers. 

The advice was wise though it was not followed. But, if 
the grand vizier's report is a fair representation of what he 
was told, Austria then did not desire Macedonian reforms. 

Readers will remember that while the three Powers in 
question, to which Italy must also be added, worked hard 
to show the Porte that it was to its interest that security 
for life and property should be conferred on Macedonia, 
travellers and newspaper correspondents of all shades 
of political colour who watched events on the spot never 
believed in the sincerity of Austrian support. 

While on the subject of an attempt to persuade Abdul 
Hamid to institute reforms or to accept those proposed 
by the Powers, let me bear my testimony to the sincerity 
of the late Sir Nicholas 0' Conor's labours on their behalf. 
Long years of training in the diplomatic service and 
something in his native character made him an extremely 
cautious man. In everything which he undertook he 
was painstaking and industrious. He saw the various 
sides of any question submitted to him and carefully 



MACEDONIA 239 

selected what he deemed to be practicable. When, there- 
fore, from 1900 until his death in 1908, it was his duty 
to examine the proposed reforms for Macedonia he set 
about his task with the utmost care. This was the more 
important, because though he was the representative of 
only one of the Powers, it was notorious that the assist- 
ance given by the representatives of the others favouring 
reforms left to him the bulk of the work. The establish- 
ment of a financial commission for Macedonia, the great 
improvement in the control of the customs of the same 
country, and above all the foundation of a school of 
gendarmerie, were benefits which the country owes largely 
to his initiative, plodding industry and determination 
not to allow the purposes of his government to be 
defeated. He was aware that the Turkish officials knew 
that if they wished to stand well with Yildiz they must 
make the reforms impossible of execution. With luke- 
warm supporters and active enemies what he did was 
remarkable and his labours are bearing fruit to-day. 

I have no intention of writing the story of the at- 
tempted reforms. It is constantly asserted that the 
Muerzeg programme and the steady and slow progress 
which the reforms were making precipitated the revolu- 
tion of July 1908. The fear which existed among young 
Turks was that the Powers would declare that Macedonia 
should be formed into an autonomous state, and thus be 
separated from Turkey. I do not know whether such a 
course had been agreed upon. Probably not ; but the 
possibility of it was at least one of the causes which made 
the Committee of Union and Progress quicken their pace. 
Every one knows that the revolutionary movement 
began in Macedonia, that its headquarters, from which 
action was directed, was at Salonika, and that Albanians, 
Bulgarians and Greeks joined hands to bring it about. 
Such a union of hitherto hostile races in Macedonia had 



240 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

never been before seen. We hoped that under a con- 
stitutional form of government a better day had dawned 
upon Macedonia. To that hope most of us are still 
constant. When the military revolt occurred in the 
capital on I3th April 1909, the object of which was to 
overthrow the constitution, the Macedonian army at once 
took measures for its defence. Dr Carasso one of the 
deputies for Salonika with three or four others called 
upon Mahmud Shevket Pasha, the Commander-in-chief, 
on the evening of the I3th April, as soon as they learned 
the news of the revolt and asked what he proposed to do. 
The reply of Shevket was manly and soldierly. " I have 
sworn to defend the constitution and shall do so." His 
action was as prompt as his words, and the next day his 
army had commenced that journey which terminated 
happily by the capture of the capital on 24th April, and 
by the deposition of Abdul Hamid on the 27th. Mace- 
donia had saved the constitution. 

The subsequent history of that province is far from 
making altogether pleasant reading. A series of 
blunders were made by the government which has gone 
far to compact Albanians, Bulgarians and Greeks, into 
opposition against the Turks. The Committee of Union 
and Progress, containing some enlightened men among 
them, decided apparently to Turkify every race and 
institution in the Empire. Not only must the Albanian 
learn to read his own language only through Turkish char- 
acters, but Turkish must be taught in every school. The 
Arab with his semi-sacred language must communicate 
with government in Turkish. So also with the Greeks 
and Armenians. Old established institutions which for 
half a century like the Ottoman Bank had communicated 
in French were informed that henceforward their letters 
must be in Turkish. Nowhere was this drastic Turki- 
fication pressed more harshly than in Albania and Mace- 



MACEDONIA 241 

donia. Schools were closed because the teaching was 
not solely in Turkish. This attempt at Turkification was 
the first step towards alienation. 

In mitigation of the blunder of the Committee, the 
following facts should be remembered. It soon came to 
be noted that in spite of the popular demonstrations in 
the capital and elsewhere for brotherhood and equality, 
the adherents of the old system, the legion of spies and 
dismissed employes, pointed to the Committee and the 
government as one composed of atheists, Jews, and 
enemies of Islam. The sneer was, of course, unjust, but 
the presence of Ahmed Riza, who with his transparent, 
honesty avowed himself a Posit ivist, the outspokenness 
of some of the orators in the first bloom of the revolu- 
tionary period and the presence of one or two Jews, able 
and loyal as they had proved themselves to be, gave 
colour to the slander. It was scattered broadcast. 
Needless to say that in a country where the inhabitants 
are so backward as in Turkey such a charge was peculiarly 
dangerous. The danger was greatly increased when a 
strong party was formed with the real object of destroy- 
ing constitutionalism, but with the avowed object of 
establishing the religious law of the Sheriat. This party 
had its newspapers. Its members, while secretly 
opposed to the constitution, cheered for it, but carefully 
accompanied their cheers with cries for the Sheriat. The 
military revolt on I3th April 1909 showed to the world 
what was their intention. Real Hodjas, and others dis- 
guised to look like them, made the Sheriat the cry of the 
revolt. " We want the Sheriat," said a deputy springing 
upon a chair in the Chamber of Deputies on the morning 
of that day. That deputy is now in prison for his cry. 
" We will die for the Sheriat/' said a white-bearded 
military officer on the same day in inciting the troops to 
rebellion. He expiated his offence by being hanged a 
16 



242 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

fortnight later near the place where he had offended. 
The only cries during the revolt were for the constitution 
and the Sheriat, these cries coming from the same mouths. 
There can be no reasonable doubt that among the 
thousands of men in the streets the only intelligent 
demand was for the Sheriat, which they had been taught 
to believe would put an end to giving equality to Chris- 
tians. The cry meant that there must be no more talk 
of religious equality or of brotherhood with giaours. All 
that was against the Sheriat. It was treason to the faith. 
The prominent members of the Committee, of the 
Chamber of Deputies and newspaper writers, who had 
been in favour of the new regime, had to run to earth, 
Ahmed Riza being one of those most eagerly sought for. 

The leaders of the new movement when they recovered 
power had to appease their followers by showing that 
they were good Moslems and neither atheists, Jews, nor 
unbelievers. Hitherto they had proclaimed that Osmanli 
was to be the name common to all subjects independent 
of race or religion. This tune was now varied. It was 
necessary to conciliate the ignorant Turkish Moslem. 

It was at this critical moment that dissatisfaction arose 
among the Albanians. It was due mainly, if not entirely, 
to the efforts to make them conform to Turkish models. 
While Albanians were being suppressed, it was not likely 
that the Christian elements of the population would 
be fairly treated. The Hamidian methods employed 
against the race declared to be revolt were applied, 
especially during the disarmament, against the Bulgarians 
of Macedonia, and the populations for a time at least were 
alienated from loyalty to the young Turkish party. 

It is impossible to exonerate the government from 
blame, but it is just to point out their difficulties. The 
first and most important was the absence of men accus- 
tomed to administration. The government had to choose 



MACEDONIA 243 

between trustworthy men entirely without experience 
and men whose experience had been on Hamidian lines. 
In many cases they were under the necessity of choosing 
the latter. But such men had all the old prejudices 
against the Christians, the old traditions of stamping out 
opposition to the government by means of arbitrary 
arrest and torture and cruel punishment. They were 
tolerated in Macedonia probably because it was believed 
that their methods would show the Anatolian Moslem that 
the government was determined to carry out its designs. 
It may be admitted that the Albanians once in revolt 
invited a serious lesson ; and that the Bulgarian inhabit- 
ants were dissatisfied with the treatment meted out to 
them. Nevertheless it was unfortunate that the govern- 
ment had not faith in constitutional principles. They 
governed under panic and, instead of stoutly maintaining 
legal procedure and practices while ruling with a firm 
hand, allowed their subordinates to use the old brutal 
methods under the sanction of martial law. The govern- 
ment blundered and committed grave errors, errors 
which, it must be said, they are now trying to correct. 

As to what the future of Macedonia will be, the factors 
are too numerous to justify a satisfactory forecast. 
Serbia has for some years advocated a partition of the 
country between herself, Bulgaria, and Greece. Bulgaria, 
on the other hand, has been in favour of its erection into 
an autonomous State. Greece would prefer a partition 
if her share were larger than the Bulgarians would admit. 
The theory of many Greeks a generation ago, and the 
dream of many more, was that Greece should extend her 
rule along the coast of the ^Egean as far as and including 
Constantinople itself. They claimed that the long-shore 
population was and always has been Greek. But the 
so-called Greek population of the capital was never 



244 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Hellenic Greek. The Greek-speaking peoples of the 
eastern shore of the ^Egean had quite as much, and 
probably more, influence on its life and thought than 
those of Greece. The people of Macedonia, always with 
the exception of the Turkish minority, would probably 
prefer an autonomous State under a separate ruler named 
by the Sultan. But it is to be feared that Austrian in- 
fluence would prevent Serbia from approving autonomy, 
Austria's ultimate object being to reach Salonika. 

In these aspirations Turkey cannot be overlooked. 
Apart from the reluctance of every Moslem to sacrifice 
an inch of territory, the important part played by 
Macedonia in the revolution of 1908 and in the military 
rising in 1909 would make Young Turkey stoutly 
resist partition. It is true that Bulgarians, Greeks, 
Albanians, and Jews aided the Turks, and that happily 
all worked harmoniously together, but the Turks were the 
most numerous. Everything promised well until the 
Albanian rising in the winter of 1909-1910 and the events 
which followed it. Arbitrary measures, lawless im- 
prisonment and torture destroyed the rising hopes of 
Christians and Albanians alike and their willing accept- 
ance of Turkish rule. It may be that time and improved 
administration will effect a reconciliation. But the 
alienation of the races in Macedonia from the Turks 
is the most severe blow which constitutionalism has 
received in Tuikey, and lessens the chance of the Turks 
henceforward taking the lead. 

From these and a number of other causes it appears 
to me that Macedonia is returning to the status quo of 
three or four years ago. If Turkey can regain the 
sympathy of the various races which she held during 
twelve months after the revolution Macedonia may con- 
tinue to be an integral part of Turkey. It is possible 
that the Turks themselves may come to recognize that 



MACEDONIA 245 

to erect it into an autonomous State under her own pro- 
tection and subjection would be in their interest. The 
Macedonians would be satisfied, for their feeling of 
nationality is strong. No considerable portion of them 
desires annexation either to Bulgaria, Serbia, or Greece 
except as a means of getting rid of misgovernment. The 
genuine Macedonian considers himself the superior of the 
subject of either of those States. Bulgaria also has 
constantly declared that she too would be satisfied with 
Macedonian autonomy. She fears that Austria intends 
to employ Serbia as a means of getting down to Salonika. 
The conduct of the Turkish government is the most 
important factor in estimating what the immediate future 
of the country will be. If it can repress disorders, and 
content the various races, the country, which is one of 
the most fertile in Europe, will become prosperous and 
satisfied to remain under Turkish rule. But to attain 
this result Turkey must abandon Hamidian methods. 
The danger for the Turks, as for the Bulgarians, is that 
Austria, supported by Germany, shall remain constant to 
her design and persistent in her efforts to get to the 
^Egean. An autonomous State under Turkish rule with 
a contented and prosperous people would constitute a 
moral barrier which European public opinion would make 
it difficult for Austria to break down. A condition of 
things like that which existed three years ago would make 
many observers and well-wishers to Young Turkey echo 
the words of the late Lord Salisbury, that if Austria were 
about to take possession of Salonika it would be " glad 
tidings of great joy." My conclusion, therefore, is that 
the future of Macedonia depends mainly on the conduct 
of the Turkish government. Have they learned the 
lesson that mere repression, without liberty in its various 
forms, is not enough to enable them to keep their hold 
over a people and a province ? The future will show. 



CHAPTER XI 

ASIA MINOR 

Physical features Isolated communities, racial and religious 
The Nomad races Turcomans Euruks, etc. Druses, Maronites, 
Nestorians, Crypto-Christians Kizilbashis, Stavriotai. 

IN this chapter I deal with Asia Minor. I have already 
spoken generally of the Turkish population who, in 
their more normal condition, are found in this portion of 
the empire. The Armenians, who are the most important 
element of the Christian population east of the Bosporus, 
will require a separate chapter. But in addition to the 
adherents of the two great religious systems of Islam and 
Christianity there are in Asia Minor a number of small 
communities, some of which appear to have halted 
between the two systems while others have retained more 
ancient forms of worship or of superstition. Taken singly 
each of these communities is small, but taken altogether 
they form a far from unimportant section of the popula- 
tion. Asia Minor contains the debris of many races, the 
drift of many religious or theological storms. Scattered 
about its mountains or in its almost unvisited valleys, 
in out of the way corners whither they have been 
pushed by new-comers into the country, the student of 
compaiative religion may find almost virgin country 
for his investigation. 

Before attempting a description of these communities 
some account must be given of the physical conformation 
of Asia Minor ; for it is this conformation which has 
largely aided the survival of the remnants of ancient 
races and religious beliefs. 

246 



ASIA MINOR 247 

Asia Minor is in shape like an inverted dish, the larger 
portion being an elevated tableland. In its slope towards 
the north are many fissures in which various rivers flow 
to the Black Sea. In the west the slope is gradual, and 
the fertile valleys of the Mendere, the ancient Meander, 
and other less important rivers have always supported a 
considerable population. In the eastern portion, my in- 
verted dish is without a rim, the mountain ranges and the 
tableland extending east of the Tigris to the Persian 
frontier and beyond it. The southern portion slopes off 
somewhat rapidly in a line continuous with that of the 
coast of Cilicia, where the Taurus is the southern bound- 
ary of the tableland, to the plain between Alexandretta 
and the Euphrates. It is the drainage from the tableland 
which supplies the water for that river and the Tigress. 

The tableland varies in height, but its eastern portion 
is lofty through a large area. Lake Van is 5300 feet 
above sea-level. The plain extending from Van to 
Erzeroum is nearly everywhere above 5000 feet. 

South of this central tableland and west of the 
Euphrates is the Syrian desert. Along this roam many 
tribes of Bedouins not more advanced in civilization than 
the Red Indians of America. When I was in Damascus a 
marriage took place at which the dowry contracted to be 
paid by the bridegroom, a Bedouin chief, or sheik, was 
the value of what he could plunder from the next caravan 
of the Sacred carpet. A friend, who had known the 
Bedouin for many years, assured me that this form of 
dowry was not unusual. The caravan alluded to was 
the one sent annually from the capital to Mecca with great 
ceremony by the Sultan. It carries the presents of the 
sender, the most notable of which is a carpet to be used 
in the mosque of the Kaaba. An ordinary Bedouin 
travelling party is singularly unromantic and not more 
picturesque than gipsies on the tramp. 



248 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Where water is available the desert to the immediate 
south of the tableland blossoms as the rose. I have 
stood at the place where Mahomet, looking down on the 
green oasis of Damascus, declared that he would not enter 
because he could only hope to behold one Paradise. The 
mass of green is strikingly beautiful because it is set in 
the midst of a yellowish red desert, with a background of 
white mountain limestone. It is the nakedness of the 
neighbouring land in comparison with the fertility pro- 
duced by the rivers Abana and Pharpha which gives the 
oasis of Damascus and the plain of Sharon their reputa- 
tion for beauty. 

The north-west corner of Syria has a like beauty due 
to its water supply. Mr Hogarth remarks with justice 
that Palestine itself is not a fruitful country except by 
comparison " with the awful aridity of Sinai." 

The great road from Syria to Constantinople in Roman 
times, and until the destruction of the Greek Empire, was 
through the pass in the Taurus, known as the Cilician 
Gates, and along the country through which the Konia 
railway has been built. The country west of that road 
has been invaded and settled by men coming from the 
south and from the shore of the ^Egean. It is still being 
peacefully penetrated by a largely increasing Greek 
population which now, as formerly, comes in from the 
western shore of the ^Egean. As it appears pretty 
certain that the days of massacre in that part of Asia 
Minor are ended, the ancient method of thinning out the 
Christian population will no longer be available to pre- 
serve the balance in numbers between Moslems and 
unbelievers. Owing mostly to economic causes the 
Moslem population in that portion of Turkey is giving 
place to the Christian. 

It must be noted also that in this western part of 
Anatolia the population, and especially the Christian, is 



ASIA MINOR 249 

fairly industrious. Within the last generation the in- 
habitants have had two inducements to industry which 
were wanting to their predecessors. First and most 
important, the existence of two railways running almost 
at right angles from the coast and each beginning at 
Smyrna, enables the peasants to get their produce down 
to the coast and find a market. The second is that 
European merchants and capitalists have opened markets 
for the sale of Turkish carpets, and have thus, as already 
mentioned, largely increased an industry which already 
gives home employment in the villages to many thousands 
of men, women and children. If security to life and 
property, such as exists in civilized countries, can be 
provided, the development of the western portion of 
the country may be regarded as secure. 

Early travellers, as well as recent ones like Miss Lothian 
Bell and Sir William Ramsay, American and other mis- 
sionaries who reside at centres in Asia Minor and who 
visit the less known parts of the neighbouring country, 
tell of encounters with people in isolated villages, whose 
faces and even dress recall those of Assyrian and even 
Hittite sculptures. The nature of a large portion of the 
country facilitates survivals. 1 

Perhaps it is in the great central tableland and in the 
north-west corner of Syria that the isolation of small 
communities, which I have called survivals, is most 
noticeable. But it would hardly be an exaggeration to 
say that there are survivals of all the peoples which have 
ever occupied Asia Minor and representatives of all the 
heretical sects, Christian and Moslem. The Armenian 
community of Zeitoun can hardly be called a survival, 
though, strictly speaking, it is one. Its peoples are a 
brave remnant, the survivors of Little Armenia, a king- 

1 This is well brought out in Mr D. G. Hogarth's " Nearer East," 
the best book yet written on the influences of the physical geography 
of Turkey upon the history of its inhabitants. 



250 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

dom erected by the crusaders and itself the fragment of 
a larger state which once extended from the Mediter- 
ranean to Persia. Secure in their mountain fastnesses 
they have repeatedly defied Turkish armies, and have 
done deeds of heroism as great as even Montenegro can 
show. A dozen years ago Abdul Hamid determined to 
extirpate them. But the troops he poured across the 
mountains lost so many men, and the resistance offered 
by the mountaineers was so successful that, when the 
Powers, and principally England, let the Sultan know 
that Europe would not tolerate a wanton massacre of 
brave men, he was probably well satisfied to say that he 
had been obliged to yield to diplomatic pressure, and the 
Zeitoun Armenians were saved. 

Other communities, both Christian and Moslem ; 
Yezidis and others unattached to any recognized cult, 
followers of some dervish or Christian heretic, are hidden 
away and owe their safety to their obscurity and in- 
significance. They are survivals who have got into 
backwaters and are out of the main stream of their race's 
history. In Lycia, in the Taurus mountains, and in 
many other parts of Asia Minor, they are occasionally 
encountered. They have kept the habits and customs, 
the weapons and in many cases the dress of their ancestors. 
The Holy Places of their remote ancestors in their midst 
have continuously been reverenced, sometimes under 
Pagan forms, sometimes under the form of Christian, and 
later under that of Mahometan sanctuaries. In the 
province of Konia, at Sinason, where there are no Turks, 
there is a survival of ancient Greek-speaking people who 
keep many words and forms of the ancient language 
which modern Greeks have forgotten. The same district 
abounds in rock dwellings. There are still troglodytes 
with many of the characteristics that are attributed 
only to prehistoric man. 



ASIA MINOR 251 

One of the most important causes which contributed 
not only to the survival of isolated communities, but to 
the impoverishment of Asia Minor under Turkish rule, 
is to be found in the constant incursions and perpetual 
wanderings of Asiatic nomads. I propose to indicate 
the more important of these nomads and to give such a 
summary of their condition as will show that they have 
exercised an influence which has been largely mischievous. 
In doing so I am aware that I am rummaging amid the 
debris of many races and religions, in which a careful 
searcher with ample time and knowledge of the languages 
and people would make valuable discoveries. 

NOMADS IN TURKEY 

The nomadic races which migrated into Turkey are 
mainly four in number Turcomans, Euruks, Araplis, 
and Abdals. The Turcomans, commonly known in 
Turkey as Tartar] is, are numerous throughout the 
central tableland. Their supreme head is supposed by 
his followers to live in Korassan, but I am told that 
actually he resides in India and is a pensioner of the 
British government. They profess a form of religion 
which can hardly be classed either as Moslem or Christian. 
They acknowledge the authority of one hereditary high 
priest who, when he reaches a village or camp, is placed 
in a tent apart. In this tent he receives the confessions 
of men and women. If any man has quarrelled with his 
neighbour, he calls both before him and tries to induce 
them to settle their differences amicably. If either 
refuses, he has the power of excommunication, which is 
put into force as follows. On the great day of a religious 
service, resembling either a Christian communion or love 
feast, Agape, there are two tables spread, one for the 
married, the other for the unmarried. Each family brings 
a dish together with wine or raki (mastic). The dishes 



252 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

are held by each person providing them till the priest 
authorizes his placing them on the table. In case the 
priest does not permit him to do so, he or his household 
cannot take part in the feast, a much dreaded punish- 
ment, as it entails the refusal of all intercourse with the 
other members of his tribe. Before the feast is eaten the 
priest blesses the food and passes the wine cup round. 
There is no divorce amongst the Tartar] is, and they can 
only marry a second wife in case the first proves sterile. 
The above practices look like a remnant of Christianity. 
So also does the fact that they observe certain Christian 
saint days. But the same people keep the month of 
Moharrem as a time of abstinence, eating only of lenten 
dishes. They do not, however, keep the sacred month of 
Ramazan, which orthodox Moslems observe, though they 
in certain places profess to do so. The priest or sub- 
stitute kills all the animals intended for food, receiving 
a small sum of money per head. 

They claim to be followers of Ali, the son-in-law of 
Mahomet. Their tradition is that when Ali was at death's 
door he commissioned his sons to hand over his body to 
an Arab on a black camel who would call for it. When 
the body was delivered to the Arab, the sons, out of 
curiosity, by taking a short cut, overtook the Arab and 
to their surprise found their father leading the black 
camel. From this and from other traditions they con- 
clude that Ali was incarnate God. On the tenth day of 
Moharrem they prepare the Ashoureh, small baked cakes, 
something like the koliba by which the orthodox Greeks 
commemorate their dead after forty days. 

Two of the other nomad communities may be dis- 
missed as of slight importance : first, the Araplis, or 
Arablis, who are believed by the population to be of 
African descent. They are nearly all charcoal burners 
or wood-cutters ; and second, the Abdals, who are not 



ASIA MINOR 25a 

numerous and are unfavourably regarded by their 
neighbours. 

Of all the nomad races the Euruks are the most 
numerous. They are found in small communities 
throughout central Asia Minor, from Smyrna to Armenia. 
They consist of several tribes, of whom the Tekelis have 
the best reputation for honesty, while the Chiplis have 
the worst and are dreaded as thieves and generally 
untrustworthy. It is difficult to decide when the Euruks 
entered the country. Some maintain that they are the 
descendants of one of the ancient autocthonous races 
which was never subdued. Whether this be true or not, 
it is certain that their numbers increased greatly on, 
and immediately after, the invasion of Genghis Khan in 
the first quarter of the thirteenth century, and again 
after that of Tim our at the end of the fourteenth. 

The only nomads with which Western Europe is 
familiar are the Gipsies. But they have nowhere been 
sufficiently numerous to constitute an element of general 
danger. Many of the nomads who came into Asia Minor 
were vigorous and wild barbarians from the steppes of 
Central Asia. Ignorant of, and unused to, agriculture, 
they treated the settlers who had been under the empire 
as their lawful prey. The Seljuk Turks showed a power 
of assimilating much of the civilization possessed by the 
people whom they conquered, but they were either unable 
or unwilling to check the inroads of the Euruks. They 
probably made use of them to devastate the enemy's 
country. In presence of the constant stream of nomad 
immigrants, deterioration rapidly ensued. The country 
population was driven into the towns or their immediate 
neighbourhood for protection. The great roads, which 
the Romans and subsequently the Byzantine rulers of 
the empire had maintained, became unsafe. Never 
repaired, they were destroyed by rainstorms and gradually 



254 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

perished. Communication between neighbouring towns 
almost ceased to exist. Produce could not be got to 
market. Poverty followed, and with it knowledge of art 
and literature perished and industry ceased. The people 
fell back into barbarism, content to grow enough food 
to keep body and soul together. 

The Euruks exist throughout large tracts of Asia 
Minor, sometimes merely harmless, driving small flocks 
of sheep and living much like our own Gipsies, but every- 
where justly regarded with distrust as thieves who reck 
little of life. I have a vivid recollection of seeing a 
number of these nomads at, and near, Hierapolis. The 
ruined city is intensely interesting and suggestive. Built 
upon the slope of a mountain forming one side of a 
magnificent valley in a district which the Europeans of 
Smyrna call the Anatolian Switzerland, its situation is 
superb. Laodicea, with its ruined theatre and deserted 
buildings, is distant some five or six miles. Three or four 
walled towns, absolutely deserted and not all even identi- 
fied, exist between Aidin, the ancient Tralles, and the 
valley in question. But Hierapolis must have been a 
large and fashionable city. Its two noble theatres which 
still remain were capable of seating thirty thousand 
people. Its ruined churches speak of a time when there 
was a large Christian population. Indeed Renan 
asserts that even as early as the third century the 
Christians formed a majority of its population. The 
chief attractions of the city were its hot baths, whose 
extensive ruins suggest that it was once a Roman 
Harrogate or Bath. A spring of hot water wells up in 
large volume which yet flows along channels carefully 
constructed by the side of some of the principal streets 
to the great baths. In the course of many centuries it 
has deposited in these channels a coating of limestone 
which has raised the level of the channel six inches ; 



ASIA MINOR 255 

and in another part overflows down the rocks forming 
a series of beautiful terraces somewhat resembling, though 
on a smaller scale, the famous terraces of New Zealand. 
Everything bears witness that at one time the city was the 
inland resort of a well-to-do population who could afford 
to spend time and money amid luxurious surroundings. 

The city is now a desolation. Churches, theatres, 
markets, baths, all of which have been solidly built, 
have fallen to ruins or have entirely perished. There is 
not a single habitable house ; not a single resident. But 
in the great cemetery there are large tombs and sarco- 
phagi, and among them on my visit was a temporary 
encampment of Euruks. Most of the tombs had been 
broken open. Works of art with valuable inscriptions 
had been destroyed ; and the explanation given was that 
the Euruks had broken them either out of pure wanton- 
ness or in hopes of finding treasure. The members of our 
party who well knew the country between Hierapolis and 
Aidin agreed that to be caught alone by these nomads 
would certainly imply being robbed of everything and 
killed in case of resistance or even merely to save possible 
trouble. In fact, they were looked upon much as settlers 
in Western America look upon the savage Red Indians, 
as dangerous men, enemies of civilization, and a curse 
to the country where they are found. 

It was such nomads who completed the work of destroy- 
ing Anatolian civilization which other Asiatic invaders 
had commenced. 

Among the remnants of races which have been driven 
into isolation are three or four communities who inhabit 
the north-west corner of Syria, the Lebanon, Anti- 
Lebanon and the Ansarieh, the highland district from 
the Lebanon to Alexandretta. Most of the inhabitants 
are Shiah Mahometans (not Sunnis like the Turks) The 



256 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Metuali number about 30,000. It is probable that the 
fact that they are not Sunni gave rise to the belief that 
they came from Persia where the Shiah sect is dominant. 
There is also a remnant of the Hashashin. Their evil 
reputation has given Western Europe the word assassin, 
on the supposition that before killing their victims they 
intoxicated themselves with hashash, a species of hemp. 
But by far the most interesting of these refugees or sur- 
vivals in Syria are the Maronites and the Druses. The 
first are now Christians and in union with the Church 
of Rome. It is among the second, or Druses, that the 
most interesting traces of an early race exist. 

DRUSES 

A century ago the Druses were hardly to be found 
outside the Lebanon. During the last three generations 
great numbers migrated into the Hauran, the fruitful 
district around, but principally south, of Damascus, 
where their numbers have largely increased. A not 
inconsiderable number have emigrated into Egypt, since 
native reports from that country have spoken of the 
security for life and property under British rule. Others 
have gone further afield and even to America. As usual 
in Turkey no trustworthy statistics of their numbers 
exist, but two American friends, who know the Druses 
well and reside in Syria, made an estimate of the popula- 
tion in the autumn of 1910, with the result that they 
found the total number to be 225,000, of whom 60,000 are 
in the Lebanon. 

The Druses are a fair-haired Indo- Germanic people 
who at some early period were driven into the mountains 
of Lebanon. I can find no information which appears 
trustworthy as to their origin. They believe themselves 
to have occupied the Lebanon since Noah's flood. 
Though there is a considerable literature of the Sacred 



ASIA MINOR 257 

Books of their community, and though many volumes 
have been written about the Druses themselves, both 
their religion and history remain a mystery. When 
visited by the famous Jewish traveller, Benjamin of 
Tudela, in 1163, he found them friendly to his people, but 
"of no religion, and regarded by their neighbours as 
heathens." As professing neither Judaism, Islam, nor 
Christianity, the description was not unnatural. At an 
early period the Druses seem to have given refuge to 
fugitives of various creeds and races, to Kurds and even 
to Yezidis, or Devil Worshippers. They still continue 
the practice. They profess to do this on the principle 
that all men are brothers and equally the sons of God. 

In 1019, Hamze, a Persian mystic, preached among 
them, and one of his supporters claimed to be the incarna- 
tion of Christ. Apparently their tenets and practices 
have always been mysteries. The Druses are enjoined 
to keep their religion secret. They are said to be allowed 
to profess whatever faith is dominant in the country 
where they live. The same statement is made, however, 
in regard to various sects of Dervishes. While I admit 
that there are many expressions in Eastern philosophies 
which would justify such a belief, I doubt very much 
whether any sect has formally adopted the proposition 
that so long as the spirit of religion is kept any form 
may be professed. But the Druses appear to live up to it. 
They are ready to sprinkle themselves with holy water 
in the Maronite Church, or to perform the Moslem ablu- 
tions. Prayer, however, is regarded as an insult to the 
Creator, as attempting to interfere with the Divine Will. 
But so entirely is the obligation to secrecy observed that 
only a few initiated persons are supposed to know the 
secret doctrines of the sect. Such initiated persons are 
the Elect, and it may well be that they have adopted the 
formulae of some of the Dervish sects and believe that the 
17 



258 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Elect are divine. They are said to believe it to be their 
duty to kill any uninitiated person who obtains posses- 
sion of their Sacred Books. Nevertheless, such books 
have found their way to Rome and elsewhere. 

The meetings of the Diuses are on Thursday evenings. 
So long as strangers are present nothing extraordinary 
takes place. The Koran is read and not their own Sacred 
Book. The opinion of their neighbours is that, if there 
are no strangers in their meetings, the lights are extin- 
guished and a ceremony takes place at which the break- 
ing of bread and the distribution of wine form an essential 
part. If true, this suggests a Christian origin. Their 
neighbours, the Maronites, assert that on such occasions 
there take place orgies of an indescribable character. 
Churchill, whose books on the Druses still remain authori- 
ties on the subject, appears to support this opinion, 
and speaks of many of the Druses indulging in the " dark 
and unscrupulous libertinism of Darazi," a Druse heretic 
of the eleventh century. He is careful, however, to point 
out that the majority of the people follow the teaching 
of Behr-ed-din, which is unobjectionable. 

They consider their community responsible for all its 
members, so that Druse beggars are unknown. Many 
traces of this solidarity and mutual interdependence of 
the community exist in Turkey. The community is 
responsible for the criminal acts of its individual members. 
While it exercises a tribal jurisdiction over them, it also 
is bound to grant them protection. To those who are 
outside it constitutes a unit. 

Men of other races, including Europeans who have lived 
among the Druses, speak highly of their hospitality. It 
is noteworthy, however, that they do not carry their 
hospitality to the length of the Arab tribes. It does not 
follow that because a man has shared their bread and salt 
that he will be safe from attack. Lord Carnarvon, who 



ASIA MINOR 259 

visited them in 1861, speaks of the " refinement which 
distinguished the conversation and manners of those 
amongst the Druse chiefs " whom he met. The char- 
acteristic of the Druses which impressed me most was 
their self-respect ; the absence of anything like loutish- 
ness or gaucherie in the manners of peasants and chiefs 
alike. Further experience taught me that this feature 
was general throughout all the population of the empire. 
A man who, by his manners, dignity of carriage, natural 
politeness to everybody, was one of the most distinguished 
I have ever known was my own Armenian head porter. 
Freedom from awkwardness is almost universal in 
Turkey. My late friend, General Blunt, himself a model 
of charming manners, was fond of calling attention to the 
trait in question among the poorest men in the community. 
Even a beggar will ask for a light for his cigarette with as 
much confidence and delicacy as would any gentleman. 
The labourer who passes and observes that you are in 
want of a light wilt offer it with the like absence of 
awkwardness. In this respect the General would remark, 
the people are more advanced in civilization than our own. 

Nevertheless, the self-respect of the Druses is not a 
mere question of manners. Like the Albanians, they are 
proud of their families, of their race, and of their history ; 
and like the Albanians they have great names and 
reputations among them ; princes, like Shehab, whose 
pedigree goes back to times beyond the Crusaders, against 
whom their ancestors fought ; chiefs with long lines of 
ancestry of which they are as proud as any sons of the 
Crusaders in the West. English and American residents 
in Syria, like the Druses, because they are men, strong, 
truthful, trustworthy and independent, because they are 
a fighting race and will not cringe or lie before any man. 

I may conclude this notice of the Druses with an 
account of their origin as given by themselves. It was 



260 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

related to me by a trustworthy Roman Catholic who 
resided in the Lebanon and knew them well. Their 
version is, that after the Noachian deluge, all the sur- 
vivors lived in the great garden of Paradise on and 
around the Lebanon. Centuries passed, and then Allah 
sent a prophet named Moses. Many followed him and 
left the garden. More centuries passed, and then a 
greater prophet came from Allah named Jesus. A larger 
host left the garden to become His disciples. Then again 
centuries passed, and Allah sent the last prophet, Maho- 
met ; and so large a host quitted the garder that only a 
remnant of the inhabitants was left. Finally, Allah 
sent the archangel Gabriel, who asked of the elders why 
they also had not quitted the garden : " Allah has sent 
three great prophets ; why have you not followed one of 
them ? " The elders took counsel together and answered 
the archangel, " Allah is Great and we thank him for 
sending the three Great prophets. But we have no need 
of one. " Allah is sufficient for us/' 

MARONITES 

The largest community in the Lebanon is the Maronites. 
In the fourth century they were monotheletes. By this 
name they were distinguished from the monophysites, 
who claimed that Christ had only one nature instead of 
two as Christians generally hold, a divine and a human. 
The monotheletes desired apparently to indicate that, 
whether there was only one or two natures, as to which 
they expressed no opinion, there was at least only one 
will or source of action. The controversy was a curious 
one, and the class of questions to which it belonged 
remains, like extinct volcanoes, though at one time their 
fires burnt fiercely. The clauses in the Nicene and 
Athanasian creeds in regard to them have been happily 
described as the tombstones of buried heresies. The 



ASIA MINOR 261 

heresy of the Maronites separated them from the other 
Christian churches. They became a distinct community 
perhaps as early as the fourth century, under a certain 
S. John Maro, from whom their name is derived. 
Whether they aie a distinct community by race is, how- 
ever, doubtful. The evidence appears to me to suggest 
that they are ; that, like the Druses, they are the 
remnants of an ancient race who became isolated in the 
mountains and developed on their own lines, and were 
persecuted as heretics. When the Crusaders entered the 
Holy Land they were ready to ally themselves with 
Christians who were generally hostile to their persecutors. 
As early as 1182 their patriarch admitted Roman 
supremacy, and since then they have always been 
Maronite Catholics. It is claimed that they number 
about 300,000. During the last century they were 
under special protection of the French government, just 
as the Druses were, or at least were supposed to be, 
under that of the British. 

THE NESTORIANS 

These Christians are found near and around Bagdad 
and in the country to the north and east of that city as 
far as, and within, Persia. Nestorius, from whom the 
name is derived, was patriarch of Constantinople between 
428 and 431. His heresy is another illustration of how 
burning questions come to resemble burnt-out volcanoes. 
Very hot controversy raged about his teaching. As he 
began his short patriarchate by being a bitter persecutor 
of others, no surprise arises at his being swept aside when 
his opponents came into power. His heresy consisted 
in denying that Christ was born God, though he taught 
that God dwelt in Christ. Hence he held that though 
Mary was the Mother of Christ she was not the Mother 
of God. Indeed, the controversy raged about the test 



262 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

word ^core/cos, which his followers would not allow to 
be used. It is noteworthy that his doctrine did not 
prevent his accepting every article of the Nicene Creed, 
and a recently discovered MS. by him tends to show 
that he was not a Nestorian ! But popular opinion was 
against him. His teaching was declared heretical, and 
the emperor, Theodosius, abandoned him. 

In the east of the empire and in Syria a Nestorian 
Church was formed. It had a remarkable history as a 
missionary church, glories in many martyrs, and spread 
Christianity through many countries in Central Asia, in 
India, and Java, and even in China, where, as may be 
learned from a long inscription given in Colonel Yule's 
" Marco Polo " as existing in Singanfu, the Nestorian 
Church had an extensive organization. So far as I can 
learn it has never permitted eikon worship. The decline of 
the Church was due to the terrible invasion of Tamerlane 
who, in 13981403, swept across Central Asia and into 
Asia Minor as a veritable scourge, destroying hundreds 
of Christian churches. Since that time the Nestorians 
have gradually become of less importance. Their head- 
quarters are now around Lake Urmia. Their patriarch 
lives at Koshanes and takes the title of Marshiman. 1 
They number about 159,000 and are now perhaps the 
most ignorant of all the sects of Turkish Christians. 
Twenty-five years ago I was assured by a Nestorian 
bishop that no copy of their liturgy had ever been printed. 
I believe the honour of first putting it into type belongs 
to an American missionary. The Nestorians in Turkey 
are largely descendants of the old Chaldean race, and 
their race has been kept fairly pure. Sometimes they 
call their Church the Syrian and themselves Chaldeans. 
But the name Chaldean Church is now applied to those, 

1 The patriarchate is hereditary, passing usually to a nephew. 
Lord Percy paid him a visit and gives interesting facts about this 
ancient people. See his " Highlands of Asiatic Turkey," pp. 165-172. 



ASIA MINOR 263 

mostly town dwellers, who separated from the Nestorian 
Church and accepted the supremacy of Rome. The latter 
are said to number 70,000 ; their chief, whose name is 
always Elias, takes the title of patriarch of Babylon. 

An Anglican mission is making a useful attempt to 
improve the Nestorian Church. It was due, I believe, in 
the first instance to Mr Athelstan Riley, who was sup- 
ported hi his efforts by Archbishop Benson. Its educa- 
tional work and the influence of a singularly tactful and 
sympathetic missionary, Mr W. H. Browne, who died in 
1910, have been of great value. I make only one remark 
about it. I do so as an Englishman who cares little about 
the distinctive dogmas of the churches, but wishes well 
to all civilizing work done among the Nestorians who, from 
circumstances for which they are not responsible, are 
degraded, whether such work is done by Anglicans, 
Roman Catholics or non-Episcopal missionaries. My 
remark is, that Anglicans make a mistake in giving the 
grossly ignorant Nestorian priests the notion that because 
they belong to an Episcopal Church and have valid 
" orders " they are necessarily superior to the representa- 
tives of non- Episcopal churches. Such teaching retards 
Anglican work, creates ill-feeling, and is unjust to the 
men belonging to the non-Episcopal churches. 1 

THE KIZILBASHIS 

The Kizilbashis, or " Red Heads/' are another people 
distinguished from the ordinary Moslems of Turkey by 
their religious belief and practices. They are said to be 
Turkish emigrants from Persia who, during the long wars 
in the sixteenth century between Turkey and that 
country, left the latter and were allowed by the Turks to 

1 The Quarterly Paper of the Assyrian Mission is interesting and some- 
times amusing, but I have seen too much of the work of eastern priests 
to give credit to the stories of Chaldean, that is, Uniate, priests con- 
stantly intriguing to induce the Nestorians to quit their Church. 



264 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

settle in the northern portion of Asia Minor. Afioum 
Kara Hissar, the " black opium castle," for such is the 
meaning of the name, a remarkably strong position 
which the Konia railway passes, may be taken as the 
southern limit of the country occupied by the Kizilbashis. 
A line drawn from that town through Angora to Amasia, 
about a hundred miles south-west of Samsoun, runs 
through fertile plains largely occupied by them. They 
profess Mahometanism, but are exceptionally tolerant 
towards the professors of other religions and especially 
towards Christians. Their women are unveiled except 
in presence of the ordinary Turk. They object to 
polygamy, and are said to have secret meetings in which 
wine is ceremoniously drunk. A former British consul, 
who was stationed at Angora and who knew the people 
well, spoke of them as superior in intelligence to the 
ordinary Turk, and was convinced that their ancestors 
had been Christians. He spoke well of their morals, 
of their cleanliness, of their trustworthiness and of 
their kindly help towards each other. They are good 
agriculturists, and our best apples and pears come from 
Amasia where they are grown by Kizilbashis. 1 

Near Yuzgat the Kizilbashis are largely occupied in 
the breeding of horses. 

The Kizilbashis, if they were Turks of origin who had 
settled in Persia, a statement which I take leave to doubt, 
had possibly become influenced by the Shiah doctrines 
which have usually been in favour of religious toleration. 

1 The local tradition is that they owe their excellent fruit trees to 
the English. The Levant company had a factory at Angora which in 
the eighteenth century was fairly nourishing. There are now no 
Englishmen residing in that ancient city, but there are some families 
of Greeks who are proud of showing English books which belonged to 
their ancestors, probably daughters of Englishmen who married Greeks. 
In passing, I may remark that such marriages have frequently taken 
place in many of the seaports of the empire. The offspring are 
naturally brought up as Greeks, and after the second generation are 
entirely assimilated by the Greek community. 



ASIA MINOR 265 

They call themselves Alevi, that is, followers of Ali, a 
fact which shows that they wish to be regarded by their 
neighbours as Moslems. When asked by a stranger 
whether they are Moslems or Alevi they will probably 
answer, " We are all the slaves of Allah." Their tradition 
is that their ancestors came from near Brussa and were 
Christians. When once their confidence is gained by 
a European they are communicative. They hate the 
ordinary Moslem and are equally hated in return. 

They carefully respect the Christian emblems found on 
gravestones in their villages, emblems which are usually 
defaced by the ordinary Moslem. Turkish neighbours 
declare that on the occasion of certain Kizilbashi feasts, 
meetings are held in a room carefully tiled, the doors of 
which are guarded by armed men who will kill any 
intruder. Even their weekly assemblies are remarkable. 
An old Kizilbashi, who gave full confidence to my 
informant, stated that every Thursday evening his com- 
munity meets in one of the large houses belonging to a 
member. The men occupy one side of the room, the 
women the opposite. At one end stands a priest. The 
assembled people then partake together of their ordinary 
evening meal, and when this is concluded the priest 
intones an ancient hymn, accompanying himself on a 
kind of small guitar. Then one of the men rises, takes 
a cup and fills it with wine from a large earthenware 
jar. The man advances with the full cup to the priest 
who tastes and blesses it. The man returns to his place 
and drinks the wine. Each of the men and women 
present repeat this ceremony. When all have partaken, 
the meeting breaks up and each goes to his own home. 
The consul already mentioned was invited to be present at 
one of the Thursday meetings, but was unable to remain. 
A friend, however, who had frequently been present at 
them testifies to the truth of the above statements. 



266 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Thursday evening meetings, ceremonial supper, wine : all 
this is suggestive of either Christian or Mithraic traditions. 

CRYPTO-CHRISTIANS ; STAVRIOTAI 

That there are Crypto-Christians in Asia Minor who 
pass as Mahometans is, however, beyond doubt. In the 
year 1904 the Orthodox patriarch had a case which 
attracted considerable attention concerning some persons 
in the neighbourhood between Batoum and Trebizond 
who are known as Stavriotai, or followers of the Cross. 
An Orthodox priest was imprisoned for having read the 
burial service over one of this sect, whom the authorities 
claimed to have been a Moslem. The community of 
Christians belonging to the Orthodox Church who never- 
theless professed Islam was so numerous that the 
patriarch threatened to resign if the priest were not 
released, and to save the scandal of its becoming known 
to the world that men were forcibly prevented from pro- 
fessing themselves to be Christians, the Porte gave way. 

It is stated that there are some thirty thousand 
Stavriotai. They openly profess Mahometanism. They 
secretly practise Christian rites. They do not tolerate 
polygamy among them. When they marry the ceremony 
is a Christian one, often taking place in a rock-hewn house 
or one underground. Then to keep up the pretence of 
being Moslems they will go through a ceremony in 
Mahometan form. A trustworthy Greek tells me the 
story of his entering the house of a family which he had 
always taken to be Moslem, and rinding the table pro- 
vided in one part with lenten food and in another with 
meat, he remarked on their thoughtfulness in prepar- 
ing lenten food for him, but received the reply that they 
were keeping lent and that the flesh meat was for him. 
Later on a mollah entered the house, and to the visitor's 
surprise showed himself to be a Christian priest. When 



ASIA MINOR 267 

one of the sect dies, a Christian ceremony takes place as 
well as the usual Moslem one. Old men in the com- 
munity declare that half a century ago their cryptic 
ceremonies had to be conducted with the utmost care, 
but that now, so long as the men register themselves as 
Moslems and are thus available for military service, 
nobody cares to inquire whether they are Christians at 
heart or Moslems. 

Most of the Stavriotai come from Lazistan. Many of 
them are miners. Most of the Lazes are fanatical 
Moslems, but there are Christian Lazes also who are 
interesting. They, as well as many of the Stavriotai, 
travel over a considerable area to work at mines. Prob- 
ably the largest number is to be found at the Ak-dagh- 
maden mines in the vilayet of Angora. They have a 
special bishop, Orthodox, of course, whose seat is at 
Gumushhana, the " Storehouse of Silver/' who travels 
far afield to look after his flock, for many are in the 
north-east corner of Asia Minor. There are others, how- 
ever, engaged in mining not far from Eregli, beyond 
Konia, and in the Taurus. The corresponding state of 
things in England would be that there should be a 
bishop for the Gipsies. 

There is no reason to doubt the tradition of the Stav- 
riotai that their ancestors had the choice of accepting 
Mahometanism or death. They chose the first and still 
continued to be Christians at heart. 

The Crypto-Christians of Turkey present almost virgin 
ground for investigation. I am sure that it would bring 
to light many interesting facts. In speaking of them 
with a singularly learned French Catholic priest who is 
also an archaeologist and has paid special attention to 
the subject of the forms of religion in Asia Minor, I threw 
out the suggestion that possibly there was no heretical 
sect in the early Church which was not now represented 



268 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

in some part of Turkey. He at once replied that he had 
arrived at a similar conviction. Many difficulties would 
have to be dealt with by an investigator, amongst which 
one of the most serious would be to distinguish between 
the influence of ancient Christian teaching and that of 
other faiths, old and new, derived from Persia. The 
followers of Ali, the son-in-law of Mahomet, of whom 
there are many sects, have often adopted a teaching 
which looks curiously spiritual. Many extracts might be 
made from their books which would pass as the utterances 
of Christian mystics. " Indeed," says a recent writer 
who has been fifteen years a missionary in Persia, " some 
have supposed that the Ali-Allahi (believers in the 
divinity of Ali) were once Christians who, when con- 
quered by the Arabs, substituted the name of Ali for 
Jesus and afterwards forgot their origin." The same 
writer adds that the Persian sects in question call Ali 
" the Light of God manifested in the flesh. He is the 
Redeemer." l They also have a ceremony which re- 
sembles a Christian communion. These and other 
indications suggest that these sects, both in Persia and 
in Turkey, had a Christian origin. But other indications, 
such as the adoration of Light, the symbolic use of fire 
on the occasion of religious service, recall Zoroaster and 
Fire worship. I suspect also that there are many traces 
of Mithraism. It is only of recent years that the wide- 
spread worship of Mithras has received attention, a 
worship which so curiously resembled that of the Christian 
Church that many Christian Fathers, Tertullian notably, 
taught that the devil had instituted many of its rites in 
order to travesty Christianity. Mithraic worship, which 
was fully developed at least three centuries before Christ, 
originated in Persia, but was more fully developed in 
Asia Minor. Careful examination might discover 
1 " Persian Life and Customs," by the Rev. S. G. Wilson. 1899. 



ASIA MINOR 269 

whether the curious religious practice of ceremoniously 
drinking wine in some of the sects regarded as Crypto- 
Christian is a survival of Mithraism or of Christian 
communion. While writing on the subject I have read 
Sir William Ramsay's " Notes on the Revolution in 
Turkey," published in 1910, and observe that he states 
as a " matter of surprise that so little evidence remains 
of the worship of Mithras in Asia Minor." Yet he 
mentions the discovery of an inscription by himself 
which shows that its ritual was familiar to the Phrygian 
people and suggests that a fuller examination would 
bring to light further evidence. 

My own belief in regard to Mithraism is that it will be 
shown to have played an important part in the history of 
the Christian Church. Its followers were found through- 
out southern Europe as well as in Asia Minor. The 
emperors fostered it in the army " as a counterpoise to 
the influence of Christianity." When all subjects of the 
empire were ordered to become Christian the Mithraic 
worshippers would find little outward difference between 
their old faith and the new. Even the festival of the 
birth of Mithras was on the 25th December. But when 
men change their religion on compulsion, their tendency 
is to take into their new worship the practices to which 
they have been accustomed, and the Paganism against 
which the Christians had to struggle was, I suspect, 
largely imported from Mithraism. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE ARMENIANS 

General characteristics Armenian Church Persecution of 
Armenians Cause of Abdul Hamid's hostility Massacres in 1894-7 
Testimony of Daily Telegraph Of Rev. Ed. H. Hepworth 
Of Mr Fitzmaurice Slaughter at Oufra Massacre at Adana in 1909 

IN some respects the Armenians are the most interest- 
ing people in Asia Minor. They are physically 
a fine race. The men are usually tall, well built and 
powerful. The women have a healthy look about them 
which suggests good motherhood. They are an ancient 
people of the same Indo-European race as ourselves, 
speaking an allied language. During long centuries 
they held their own against Persians, Arabs, Turks, 
and Kurds. Wherever they have had a fighting chance 
they proved their courage. In the economic struggle 
for life against alien races they and the Jews have 
managed to hold their own ; but, unlike the Jews, a 
large proportion of them have remained tillers of the 
soil. In commerce they are successful not only in Turkey, 
but in Russia, France, England, and India. Though 
subject to persecution for centuries under Moslem rule 
they have always, though sometimes after long and 
arduous struggle, managed to make their race respected. 
Notwithstanding a long series of massacres, in one of 
the latest of which, that under Abdul Hamid in 1894-7, 
probably at least two hundred and fifty thousand of 
them were killed or died from exposure, the race has 
continued to increase. It is prolific and comparatively 

270 



THE ARMENIANS 271 

free from the deadly maladies of immorality, which,/ 
unless checked, will exterminate the Turkish race. A 
century and a half ago, the Armenian language was 
prohibited in several parts of Armenia. The penalty 
for speaking it was to have the tongue torn out. Never- 
theless, Armenian is still almost everywhere spoken 
by the race. Its people are stiff-necked and have a 
toughness about them which prevents their being 
broken. They probably number about four millions, 
of whom two are in Turkey, one and a half in Russia, 
and the remainder dispersed throughout the world. 
They are thriving merchants in India and Persia, make 
splendid agricultural colonists in the United States, 
where there are already three or four considerable towns 
almost exclusively composed of them, and are found 
in almost every country in Europe. 

Accepting Christianity at an early period their Church 
has always been jealous of outside interference. They 
keep their own rites and liturgies and only own 
obedience in religious matters to their own patriarch 
and catholicos. 

Since the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks 
they have always been more open-minded than any 
other of the Christian races in the empire in reference 
to matters of religion. It is generally said that the 
Greeks will not tolerate a Roman Catholic or Protest- 
ant missionary, because they consider any man who 
abandons the Orthodox Church is a traitor to his race. 
They regard religion and nationality, using the latter 
word in the sense in which Turkish subjects employ 
it, as meaning the Millet or community to which they 
belong, as synonymous. But while the Armenian is 
proud of his Millet and does not look kindly on a man who 
changes his religion, he does not consider that it should 
prevent him inquiring into the truth of other forms 



272 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

of Christianity, or adopting one of them if he likes. In 
the sixteenth century the Armenian Church dignitaries 
corresponded with Erasmus and Melancthon and other 
reformers. The Jesuits and early Roman Catholic 
missionaries in Asia Minor are said to have used this fact 
against them, and persuaded the Porte that for Armenians 
to treat with such foreigners was treason to the State. 

When, in the eighteenth century, Catholic missionaries 
endeavoured to make converts among the Armenians 
they met with considerable success. The absence 
of living and visible force in the Ancient Church no 
doubt greatly aided them. The converts were formed 
into a Uniat Community, known as the Armenian Catholic 
Church. The first Armenian Catholic patriarch was 
recognized by the Roman Church in 1742. Its 
adherents are more numerous in the towns than in the 
country. Their patriarch has virtually the same powers 
and his Church the same system of church organization 
as the great majority of their countrymen possess in the 
Ancient Church. The advantage which the Armenian 
Catholics possess is that, being in union with the great 
Latin Church, they find co-religionists and places of 
worship wherever they go. They would add, of course, 
that they are members of the only true Church. Some 
at least of their opponents suggest that the greatest 
of their advantages was that, on becoming Catholics, 
they obtained protection from France or Austria, which 
claimed the right of protecting those who acknowledged 
Rome. But I see no reason to doubt that the great 
majority of converts were actuated by honest conviction. 
It may be added that some of the Armenian Catholics 
have a tendency to get rid of their racial character and 
give the impression that they do not like it to be known 
that they are Armenians. Whether it is an advantage or 
not that all Christians should be merged in one Church and 



THE ARMENIANS 273 

lose their national or race feeling is a fair subject for 
difference of opinion. 

The American Protestant missionaries have also 
met with success among the Armenians. Protestant 
communities exist among them throughout the empire. 
In the massacres of Adana in April and May 1909, 
where Protestants, ordinary or Gregorian Armenians 
and Catholic Armenians were slaughtered indiscrimi- 
nately by the fanatical mob, twenty-two Protestant 
pastors were murdered. 

Whatever may have been the doctrine and the practice 
among the early American missionaries, their teaching 
and method of conducting their missions during the 
last twenty years have tended not so much to make con- 
verts as to act as a useful leaven upon the population 
around the missions, especially the part of it professing 
Christianity. The Eastern Christian Churches generally 
had become almost useless as institutions for religious 
or moral teaching. Sermons were unknown. The 
American missionaries have infused into the ancient 
Armenian Church a spirit of piety as understood in the 
Churches of the West, which was almost unknown. The 
Armenians have seen from the teaching in the American) 
schools, and from preaching in which attacks upon thof 
Ancient Church are carefully avoided, that there is no 
desire to make proselytes. Their confidence has been 
obtained. In many places, priests and the heads of the 
Ancient Church work harmoniously with the American 
missionaries. Men and women attend their preaching 
but attend also the Ancient Church. A Methodist 
Episcopal missionary declared, thirty years ago, his 
preference for this kind of co-operation. " Why," he 
asked, " should men be asked to leave the church of 
their father ? " He assimilated the practice followed 
by him and others to that established with the approval 
18 



274 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

of Wesley when his followers went to the Established 
Church for the sacraments but to the preaching for 
religious instruction. Of course it happens when a 
priest is notoriously immoral or stupid that a separate 
community is formed. But in many places Armenian 
priests have been present at, and have taken part in, 
Protestant services. In like manner Protestant mission- 
aries are often invited and preach in Armenian churches. 
My own impression is that the American leaven has 
worked excellently, that a reform, religious awakening, 
an improvement call it what you will has been and is 
being effected among the Armenians of a valuable 
character. 

The Armenians still keep the iconoclastic spirit. They 
object to pictures in their churches except one which 
is usually of the Virgin and Child placed over the altar. 
Sometimes, however, small eikons or even bas-reliefs 
are placed on the altar, but in order that they shall not 
be confounded with ordinary eikons, they are specially 
dedicated for church use. The absence of eikons in 
church or even of a screen or iconostasis is noticeable. 
Nor do they keep them in their houses. The practice in 
the Greek Church of kissing the eikons is neither pleasant 
nor edifying. Prelates and superior persons may say 
what they like in its defence, but they will never persuade 
independent observers that the mass of poor worshippers 
do not regard the pictures themselves as possessing a 
miraculous virtue. The practice is a survival of, or a 
reversion to, fetishism. The Armenian Church has never 
encouraged it. 

I believe the Armenian race to be the most artistic in 
Turkey. Many paint well and some have made a reputa- 
tion in Russia and France. Amateur painting is so 
general as to suggest that the race has a natural taste for 
art. The picture gallery on the Island of San Lazzaro 



THE ARMENIANS 275 

at Venice, where (as also in Vienna) there is a convent 
of Armenian Catholics known from the founder as 
Mechitarists, contains many works of art by Armenians 
which won the approval of Ruskin. I can only judge of 
the Armenian love for music from the fact that nearly 
every family which can afford a piano has one upon which 
its members often play well, and that excellent choirs 
of Armenian singers come occasionally to the capital. 
Every observer notes that our best native companies of 
actors are Armenians. 

The National Church of the Armenians is sometimes 
spoken of as the Gregorian, because the conversion of 
the nation was largely due to Gregory the Parthian, 
known as " the Illuminator/' whose great work was 
accomplished in 301, when Christianity was adopted as 
the established religion. The kingdom of Armenia was 
thus the first state to erect Christianity into the national 
faith. The Church adopted only the decisions of the three 
Great Councils of Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381), and 
Ephesus (431) as against the seven recognized by the 
Orthodox Church. Its history is a long martyrology. 
In later years, persecuted by the Persians, nearly isolated 
from other countries where Christianity had begun to 
spread, notably in Phrygia, the Armenians developed the 
Church on national lines. Amid many changes, it has 
always had a powerful hold over the race. Armenians 
felt the influence of Hellenism very slightly. They were 
always iconoclasts with a strong conviction in favour 
of Monotheism : their religion never showed much 
tendency to adopt the practices of Paganism which had 
something like a fascination for the Greek race. 

The Armenian patriarch has no territorial title, but is 
called " Patriarch of all the Armenians/' While the 
government of the Church is in his hands, aided by his 
council, the spiritual head is the Catholicos, who resides 



276 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

at Etchmiadzin. Although the majority of Armenians 
in Turkey are found in Armenia, there is no province 
or important city in the empire which is without them. 
Everywhere they seem to be successful. They have 
great mental capacity. The Greeks may excel them 
in quickness of perception and vivacity but the Armenian 
has a steadiness, a thought fulness, and a canniness about 
him which is of value. Armenians and Greeks have 
furnished the brain of the Turkish empire during the last 
two centuries. Those who have known Turkey during 
the last thirty years will readily recall, not to mention 
living men, the names of a host of able public servants. 
Medical men, advocates, teachers, managing clerks, 
belonging to the race abound and have the confidence 
of natives and foreigners. 

And yet this race, which in religion has never been 
aggressive, and which under Turkish rule only asked for 
the protection of life and property and desired to live at 
peace with its Moslem neighbours, was during the reign of 
Abdul Hamid so fiercely persecuted as to lead many to 
suppose an intention to exterminate all who belonged to it. 

The causes of the massacres in Armenia in 1894-7 
were mainly four. All of them had been in operation 
for years. There was first, a traditional feeling among 
their Moslem neighbours that they had the right to 
plunder Christians ; second, the superior industry and 
thrift of the Armenians, which had enabled them to 
acquire land and become generally wealthier than their 
neighbours, who thus coveted their possessions ; third, 
their superiority in intelligence, due to their thirst for 
instruction which had induced them to be less tolerant 
than they had formerly been of periodical robbery and 
outrages upon their wives and daughters. In other 
words education had fostered the desire to be free. 



THE ARMENIANS 277 

Lastly, a series of petty persecutions by their Moslem 
neighbours, especially by the Kurds, and the impossi- 
bility of obtaining redress. These causes led to the 
emigration of many Armenians to Russia and America, 
and to the formation of revolutionary committees out- 
side Turkey. In despair of obtaining redress, a few 
Armenians within the empire joined these committees. 
These bodies gave Abdul Hamid the excuse for massacre. 

The idea of the foreign committees appears to have 
been the very dangerous one that, by promoting disorder 
in the country, the Turks would be certain to commit 
barbarities and then Europe would intervene in favour 
of their people. Many members of the foreign revolu- 
tionary committees entered Armenia from Russia and 
provoked disorder. As Europe did not do more than 
lodge protests, as in particular Russia was unwilling to 
enter the country, the Sultan and his gang considered 
that they had a free hand. 

The Sultan, in a hundred ways, had shown his dislike 
of the Armenians. He had closed schools wherever 
possible. He had prohibited the entry into the country 
of all books which could in any way feed the aspirations 
of the Armenian people. If a geography for schools even 
mentioned the word Armenia it was not allowed to enter. 
Armenian newspapers were even more strictly censored 
than those in other languages. School teachers in 
particular were regarded with suspicion and were 
arrested on the slightest pretext or without pretext. It 
was impossible for an Armenian to obtain justice in 
the law courts if one of the parties were Moslem. 
Arbitrary government showed itself in Armenia at its 
worst. Wholesale arrests, imprisonment without trial, 
tortures of the most horrible character which the in- 
genuity of savages could devise in order to extort evidence, 
public executions, private murders in the prisons, the 



278 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

veriest pandemonium which the nineteenth century 
could show, were all displayed to the world before the 
massacres of 1895 commenced. Abdul Hamid knew of 
these outrages and justified them. I remember a story 
which Sir Philip Currie told me in 1894. He had re- 
ceived news from a Consul in Armenia of the arrest, 
imprisonment and torture of sixty persons in a village 
where a Moslem had been killed. He went to see the 
Sultan and to ask that they should be released. Abdul 
Hamid replied " but a Moslem has been killed/' and this 
with an air, said Sir Philip, as if to say " you can't object 
to imprisoning the whole lot when you remember that." 
Our Ambassador explained that in civilized countries, 
the murderer would be sought out and punished. It was 
useless to try and persuade Abdul Hamid that order could 
be maintained by limiting the action of his servants in 
that fashion when Armenians were concerned. 

Shortly afterwards came the massacres. By Abdul 
Hamid's orders Moslem fanaticism was inflamed ; 
Moslem cupidity was given a free hand and the barbarous 
masses were encouraged to enrich themselves and prove 
their fidelity to their faith by robbing and killing their 
Christian neighbours. The massacres were carefully 
organized. Messengers were sent from the capital to 
each of the large towns. They gathered the Moslems 
in the largest mosque, harangued them as to their duty 
to their sovereign and religion, and urged them on the 
following day to pillage. As I elsewhere mention, these 
messengers of evil were sometimes stoutly opposed in 
the mosques themselves by good Moslems, whose sense 
of what was right led them to protest against the proposed 
horrors as outrages on their own religion. Unhappily 
such protests were rare, and when made little heeded. 
On the day following the meeting in the mosque the 
horrors commenced by sound of trumpet. 



THE ARMENIANS 279 

I have no intention of re-telling the hideous story of 
that terrible time. I denounced the illegal imprison- 
ments, the unjust executions, the brutal tortures, the 
utterly and inexpressible stupidity of Abdul Hamid's 
government in Armenia. But I also denounced the 
sending of revolutionary agents to provoke insurrection 
and this on the sole ground that the Armenians would 
and could have no chance of success. I knew generally 
what the palace gang was capable of, though I had not 
then fathomed the depths of savagery in them. Instead 
of recalling what I myself wrote about the outrages 
in Aimenia, I may summon certain witnesses whose 
testimony will not be suspected. The Special Com- 
missioner of the Daily Telegraph in Armenia on April 2, 
1895, telegraphed a long dispatch from which I take 
the following statements ; " The Armenian population 
throughout the entire country are exhibiting a marvellous 
degree of patience under treatment which would rouse 
any other people to open rebellion. The mischievous 
remarks of people writing from Tiflis concerning the 
workings of a secret society, and so forth, are utterly 
devoid of truth. There is no secret society worthy the 
name in Armenia now. The Armenians are incapable 
of guarding secrets or of being welded into a powerful 
organization ; and the revolutionary plans talked of 
are a mirage of the brain ; but the injustice and oppres- 
sion of which the Armenian people are the victims would 
change the most loyal of Europeans into rebels. Women 
are being constantly insulted, assaulted, and dishonoured ; 
property is being seized by violence ; men, women, and 
children struck, wounded, and killed ; and Christ's 
religion publicly reviled. Those who dare to complain 
are imprisoned, and the highest officials who enjoy the 
Sultan's confidence offer the very worst example. Every 
day I see property of Christian merchants publicly 



280 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

taken away by Mohammedans, and when these helpless 
people kept their shops closed to avoid pillage the 
Governor-general himself ordered them to be opened. 

" Two days ago three Armenian ladies came to me for 
protection. They did not fear death, they said, but only 
dishonour, and they had been told by Turkish officers 
that when the riot began each one of them would be 
handed to certain officers who had marked them for 
their own. The female teachers of an Armenian Pro- 
testant school at Erzeroum took refuge with the 
American missionary's family, as they were all too much 
alarmed to spend the night in the school-house. 

" The collection of taxes offers opportunity for exac- 
tion and nameless injustice. I am enabled to state 
as an absolute fact that the governmental tax-gatherers 
are no longer satisfied with the money due to the treasury, 
or the usual bribes for themselves, but indulge in wanton 
cruelties such as tying men to posts, flogging them, 
rubbing fresh manure into their eyes, nose, mouth, and 
ears ; slowly pouring cold water over them while they 
stand naked in snow ; and forcing them to walk barefoot 
over sharp thorn bushes." 

My object in making the above quotation is to show, 
(i) that the influence of the foreign revolutionary com- 
mittees was greatly exaggerated, (2) that the Armenians 
were enduring suffering which would have fully justified 
revolt if revolt had the slightest chance of success. 

My second witness is one of quite exceptional quality. 
The Rev. Geo. H. Hepworth is a Presbyterian clergy- 
man greatly respected in the United States, who has 
turned his attention largely to journalism. He was sent 
to Armenia with two others by Mr Bennett of the New 
York Herald. The Sultan had stipulated with Mr Bennett 
that Mr Hepworth should be accompanied by Mr Sidney 
Whitman, with whom he had personal relations and in 



THE ARMENIANS 281 

whom he had great confidence. 1 The party was accom- 
panied by three of the Sultan's aides-de-camp and a 
secretary. Mr Hepworth remarks that no other repre- 
sentatives of the press had been allowed to make the 
proposed journey. I have never met Mr Hepworth 
but I recall that when it was known in Constantinople 
that the correspondents of the New York Herald were thus 
sent off to make an inquiry under the special protection 
of the palace we concluded that Abdul was at his old 
trick of trying to deceive Europeans, and beyond all 
doubt this was so. But Mr Hepworth in his preface 
tells us that from the first he determined to be impartial. 
He kept his promise and his book indicates a clear-headed, 
high-minded and trustworthy man with eyes to see and 
with will to resist all temptation to pervert truth and for 
this reason it affords invaluable evidence. 

I select certain passages from his admirable, because 
impartial, account. "It is one thing," says he, " to 
read about the tragedy, the stupid blundering tragedy, 
when you are seated in your easy-chair, thousands 
of miles away, but a very different thing to look into the 
wan and wrinkled faces of women whose homes have been 
broken up, and who were compelled to fly to the moun- 
tains amid the snows of winter in order to save themselves 
and their children, while their husbands and fathers lay 
dead under the deserted roof." 2 

As I have already written, some of the Armenians were 
worried into rebellion by the attacks made upon them 
by the Kurds, attacks which brought in revolutionary 
agents from Russia. This is how Mr Hepworth states 
the matter. " When I say that the Armenian massacres 
were caused by Armenian revolutionists, I tell a truth, 

1 " Through Armenia on Horseback," by the Rev. Geo. H. Hepworth, 
Isbister & Co., London 1898. 
8 Page 129. 



282 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

and a very important truth, but it is not the whole truth. 
It would be more correct to say that the presence of the 
revolutionists gave occasion and excuse for the massacres. 
That the Turks were looking for anioccasion and an excuse, 
no one can doubt who has traversed that country. 

" Way down in the bottom of his heart, the Turk 
hates the Armenian. He will swear to the contrary, but 
I am convinced that the statement is true nevertheless. 
The reasons for this are abundant, as I have tried to 
show in other chapters of this book. The Turk is ex- 
tremely jealous of the Armenian, jealous of his mental 
superiority, of his thrift and business enterprize. He has 
therefore resorted to oppression, and his steady purpose 
has been and is now, to keep his victims poor. Equal 
opportunities for all are a delusion and a snare. They 
do not exist, and it is not intended that they shall exist. 
If the Turk could have his own way, unhampered by the 
public opinion of Europe, there would neither be an 
Armenian nor a missionary in Anatolia at the end of 
twenty years, for both are equally obnoxious. 

" If you put an Armenian and a Turk side by side in 
a village it will hardly be twelve months before the Turk 
will retire impoverished because the Armenian has 
absorbed the business. The Turk has conquered the 
Armenian by force of arms, but the Armenian has the 
better of the Turk by force of brains. Up to the time of 
the recent massacres the Turk was continually losing 
money, while the Armenian grew richer every day." 

As to the numbers killed, Mr Hepworth's statement 
may be compared with that of Sir William Ramsay. 
Each statement is that of an honest observer, but that 
of Sir William is by a man who has known the country for 
a quarter of a century. Mr Hep worth says " It would be 
a moderate estimate to say that fifty thousand have 
been killed. These victims were mostly heads of 



THE ARMENIANS 283 

families/' l Sir William says, " Abdul Hamid has a 
fair claim to rank among the greatest destroyers of 
human kind that have ever stained the pages of history. 
Responsible for half a million deaths, a still larger number 
who have suffered permanently from destitution, torture, 
mutilation, loss of property, of honour, etc. He can vie 
with Mongols like Tamarlane. . . . Not one spark of 
any grand or great quality illumined his life or ennobled 
his fall." 2 

Mr Hep worth renders homage to the " marvellous 
heroism of the Armenians in the heart-rending ordeal 
through which they passed." They met their doom 
" with the true and indomitable spirit of martyrdom and 
were as noble in their deaths as they were faithful in their 
lives." In exceptional instances they renounced their 
religion to save their lives, but, adds the writer, " Let 
those who think they would prefer to have their skulls 
broken with a club blame the people of Birejik if they 
choose to do so I can only say that I myself dare not 
do it." 3 " Think of women," says he, " holding their 
honour at such a price that they deliberately leaped from 
the bank of the Euphrates and sank beneath the raging 
torrent rather than submit to the lust of the Kurd. Can 
the old days of persecution furnish nobler examples 
of self-sacrifice than these ? " 4 He raised his hat to 
their honour as he passed the place from which they 
threw themselves. 

For myself I will remark that while I recounted 
several instances of self-sacrifice in a letter to the Daily 
News which I headed with the phrase " The Noble Army 
of Martyrs praise Thee," I wish with all my heart that 
the Armenians had not submitted so readily to death. 
An Englishman who was present at one of the massacres, 

1 Page 344. 3 Page 163. 

* " Diary in 1909-10," p. 140. * Page 164. 



284 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

I think in Trebizond, expressed his opinion very con- 
fidently that had there been a score of fighting roughs 
from the east end of London, or from the western states 
of America, they could have organized a resistance which 
would have prevented many of the worst outrages. It 
was because the victims submitted too readily that the 
blood-thirsty and cowardly scum of the Moslem popula- 
tion were encouraged to a profitable slaughter which 
entailed no risk to themselves. The attitude of turning 
the other cheek is not suitable for such occasions. Still, 
we must not forget that these people were unused to 
arms and were in most cases without weapons, while 
their opponents were well armed. 

The alternative presented to the Armenians was a 
dreadful one, says Mr Hep worth, " turn Moslems or be 
exterminated. . . . The poor fellows at Birejik looked 
into the faces of their wives and children whose fate 
depended on their decision. It was a tragic scene and 
tragic moment. Their brethren in other parts were being 
murdered by hundreds. The cemeteries were glutted 
with victims. They surrendered and saved their lives/' 
I have marked many other passages but refrain. The 
writer speaks of torture as to which he had trustworthy 
evidence, of the savagery of the Kurds, of the impossi- 
bility for an Armenian to obtain justice in the law courts, 
of the practice of buying the judges and of the absence 
of roads. 

The last witness I will call is at the present time the 
chief dragoman at the British Embassy in Constantinople, 
Mr Fitzmaurice. The whole of his reports dealing with 
the troubles in Armenia during 1895-6 are of value, as 
narratives by a keen observer who has long been known 
for his skill in gaining the confidence of Moslems and 
Christians alike and for his habitual good faith. In 
February 1896, the Sultan at the demand of Sir Philip 



THE ARMENIANS 285 

Currie consented to allow Mr Fitzmaurice to go to 
Birejik and elsewhere in Armenia, to inquire on behalf 
of the British government into the conversions from 
Christianity to Islamism. His story on the subject is a 
terrible one. It is contained in a report dated 5th March 
i8g6. 1 The Turkish officer in Birejik had asked the 
Christians to surrender their arms " otherwise he could 
not protect them." All the arms they had were sent to 
Government House. The Moslem mob was excited 
against the Kaimakan, reproached him " as an un- 
circumcised infidel, with protecting Christians, and with 
concealing the sultan's orders for their extermination." 
Then the mob took the matter into its own hands. The 
major in charge of the troops refused to protect the 
Christians. Every Armenian house whether belonging to 
Gregorian, Roman Catholic or Protestant, was pillaged, 
ruined and desecrated. Here, as happened in certain 
other places, a kindly Moslem of good position tried to 
protect the Christians. He begged the major " with 
tears in his eyes " to give him a few soldiers to go up and 
help to save what he could. His request was refused. 

The Christians were surrounded ; many killed ; all 
were menaced with death as they left a large building 
where they had taken refuge. Their position was hopeless 
when a woman ascended the roof and, holding a white 
flag, declared that all within it had become mussulmans. 
As Mr Fitzmaurice says, " they accepted Islam to save 
their lives, to save themselves from certain death." 

The official report prepared by the Turkish officials, 
which represented the conversions as voluntary, was a 
huge lie. Even when Mr Fitzmaurice was there, the 
population was determined to kill any convert who 
renounced Islam. 

On the 1 6th March 1896, an even more gruesome story 

1 "Blue Book," Turkey No. 5, 1896. 



286 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

was told by Mr Fitzmaurice. He wrote from Ourfa, the 
ancient Edessa, and described the hideous massacres 
which took place there in the preceding October and 
especially on 28th and 29th December. 

When he arrived in the first half of March, he found 
desolation everywhere. In December the town contained 
40,000 Mussulmans and 20,000 Armenians. 

Troubles began in October in consequence of an 
Armenian asking a Moslem for payment of a debt. The 
latter and his friends attacked the Armenians, believing, as 
all the Moslem population in that portion of Asia Minor 
did, that the Sultan wished the Christian population to be 
exterminated. The Armenians lived in a quarter apart 
from the Moslems. They had all been carefully disarmed. 
Their water supply was cut off and no food was per- 
mitted to enter the quarter after the end of October. 
The Armenian bishop tried to telegraph to the Sultan, but 
having withdrawn to a monastery outside the town he 
was kept prisoner. Neither he nor any Armenian was 
allowed to telegraph or send letters by post. Among the 
Armenians, and aiding them was a brave American lady, 
a Miss Shattuck, who was only permitted to leave the 
town an hour before the great massacre commenced, on 
28th December. All bore up well during the state of 
siege, from the end of October to the last days of 
December. They reopened old wells, caught rain water 
and managed to obtain a scanty supply of food. Many 
messengers were sent out but all were caught and 
stripped. Twenty-five Armenians were induced to sign 
a telegram stating that tranquillity had been restored. 

On 28th December the leading Armenians gathered in the 
cathedral, drew up a statement of their fears and asked 
protection. The officer in charge of the troops promised 
that it should be given. Hardly had the promise been 
given when the great massacre began. The intended 



THE ARMENIANS 287 

victims were surrounded by a double ring of soldiers and 
mob. At the mid-day prayer, a mollah waved a green 
flag. " Soldiers and mob then rushed on the Armenian 
quarter and began a massacre of the males over a certain 
age." Here is one of the ghastly incidents recorded. 1 

" A certain sheik ordered his followers to bring as 
many stalwart young Armenians as they could find. 
They were to the number of about 100 thrown on their 
backs and held down by their hands and feet, while the 
sheik, with a combination of fanaticism and cruelty, 
proceeded, while reciting verses of the Koran, to cut 
their throats after the Mecca rite of sacrificing sheep.'* 

All the houses were plundered. Many women were 
cut down mercilessly while trying to protect their male 
relations. 

Towards sunset a trumpet sounded ; all outrages 
ceased. On the next day, Sunday 2Qth December, the 
trumpet again sounded and the massacre re-commenced. 
Moslems who had not taken part on Saturday fearing 
resistance from the Armenians joined in on Sunday. 

A savage butchery continued until noon and then 
culminated in an act, says Mr Fitzmaurice, which for 
fiendish barbarity is one to which " history can furnish 
few, if any, parallels." This was the deliberate sacrifice 
of a cathedral full of people. The hideous holocaust will 
not and ought not to be forgotten. The ugly barn-like 
Cathedral of Ourf a,like the mountain of sacrifice of Mexico, 
like the Bridge of Sighs of Venice and the other monu- 
ments of man's inhumanity to man, ought to be religiously 
preserved as a memorial of the stiff-necked determination 
of the Armenians to die rather than change their religion, 
and of the infernal brutality which can be practised in 
the name of religion. The facts are the following : 

The Cathedral Church would hold about 8000 people. 

1 "Blue Book," page 12. 



288 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

A general belief prevailed that the unarmed persons who 
took refuge within its walls would not be killed or even 
molested. On the Saturday night the priest recorded 
on one of the pillars of the church, where the record was 
read by Fitzmaurice, that he had administered a last 
communion to one thousand eight hundred of his flock. 
These one thousand eight hundred remained in the church 
all night and were joined by several hundreds more, who 
believed that they would be there in a place of safety. 

There were thus in the church on Sunday morning at 
least three thousand people when the mob attacked it, 
the mob all well armed, the victims long since disarmed. 
The attack commenced by firing in through the windows ; 
then, the iron door was smashed in. The mob made a 
rush and killed all who were on the ground floor, nearly 
all men, the women and children having gone into the 
gallery. They rifled the church treasures and ornaments, 
tore down the shrines and mockingly " called on Christ to 
prove Himself now a greater prophet than Mahomet." 
The huge gallery was partly stone and partly wood and 
was packed with a shrieking and terrified mass of women 
and children with some men. Some of the mob began 
picking off men with revolver shots, but this process 
of killing Christians was too tedious. A large quantity 
of bedding, doubtless the yorghans or duvets which are 
used both as coverings and as mattresses for the sleeper, 
was collected together and with many other combust- 
ibles including the straw matting covering the floor 
were arranged for setting fire to the galleries. Some 
thirty cans of Kerosine were poured over them and also 
on the dead bodies lying about on the ground floor 
and then fire was set to the whole. 

The gallery beams and staircase soon caught fire and 
then the mob left the mass of the struggling human beings 
to become the prey of the flames. 



THE ARMENIANS 289 

Abdul Hamid and Islam had avenged themselves, and 
a deed of devilry had been done which is on a level with 
the barbarous Moslem outrages in Bulgaria at Batak, in 
1876. 

Moslem inhabitants spoke of the hideous stench of 
burning flesh, and, says Mr Fitzmaurice " even to-day, 
two months and a half after the massacre, the smell 
of putrescent and charred remains in the church is un- 
bearable." 

Like the other massacres in Armenia, for which Abdul 
Hamid and his gang must be held responsible, the 
massacre was systematically commenced and completed. 
At 3.30 on that terrible Sunday afternoon, the trumpet 
once more sounded ; the mob withdrew and, soon after- 
wards, the mufti and other Moslem notables went round 
the Armenian quarter to proclaim that the massacre 
was at an end. 

Mr Fitzmaurice is careful to point out that no dis- 
tinction was made between Gregorian, Roman Catholic 
or Protestant Armenians. He notes that 126 families 
were so completely wiped out that not even a woman 
or a baby remained. He estimates that on the two days, 
the 28th and 2Qth December, close upon 8000 persons 
perished, and that of these between 2500 and 3000 were 
killed or burnt in the Cathedral. 

Between 400 and 500 persons, during the two months' 
siege, became Moslems. I agree with Mr Hep worth, in. 
not daring to blame those who saved their lives by chang- 
ing their faith. A letter from an Armenian woman was 
shown me by our own cook, which gave a vivid picture of 
the trials of the time. It was addressed to her husband, 
who, like many of his countrymen, was working in 
Constantinople, and sending his wages home for his wife 
and family. It ran practically thus : " Our three 
children were with me when a man came up and seized 

19 



290 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

little Andon and held a huge knife to his throat, threaten- 
ing to kill him unless I turned Moslem. I could not 
bear it. You know what a bonny boy he is. He was 
just turned six and how he loved us. He shrieked and 
the others did the same, and God forgive me I turned 
Turk/' 

I regret that I must not leave the subject of the 
massacres of the Armenians without speaking of the 
hideous tragedy in Cilicia in April 1909. It was the 
culmination of the series of horrors by which Abdul 
Hamid's reign will be noted in history, horrors of which 
it is hard to say whether their stupidity or their brutality 
is the most distinguishing feature. 

The revolution nine months earlier had shorn Abdul 
Hamid of his arbitrary power. No one supposes that 
he had re-established the Constitution, framed by Midhat 
in 1877, willingly. Menaced by numerous telegrams 
from various classes of his subjects in Macedonia who 
demanded the Constitution, informed by many of his 
spies that his troops were no longer to be depended on, 
but confident in his own powers of intrigue, the Sultan 
called together his leading advisers in order that they 
might find a path of escape from threatened revolution. 
Their deliberation was long, because, while all were 
agreed that the only chance of avoiding a probably 
bloody struggle was to proclaim the Constitution, none 
dare mention the word. At length Abdul Hamid's 
chief astrologer and sooth-sayer summoned up courage 
to pronounce it and to inform the Sultan that it was 
necessary to bow before the storm. Abdul Hamid pro- 
claimed the establishment of Constitutional government 
and swore, or allowed it to be stated that he swore, to 
observe its conditions. But Abdul had lived a life of 
intrigue. He never made a confidant, but being a firm 
believer in his own intellectual powers, which ambas- 



THE ARMENIANS 291 

sadors had often told him were the greatest with which 
any existing sovereign was endowed, he began at once 
to intrigue for his restoration to power. His plan, or 
that of his adherents apparently, was to bring about a 
counter revolution by a series of general and simultaneous 
risings. The difficulties were great : Macedonia was 
the stronghold of his enemies ; the population of the 
capital was generally favourable to the new regime. 
Abdul Hamid knew that the army generally was largely 
discontented, but he trusted that the Albanian troops 
around Yildiz, which for many years he had favoured, 
would support his cause. But his great hopes were 
fixed on Anatolia. There fanatical Moslemism was 
strongest, and there consequently was the largest amount 
of material for a counter revolution. Both in the capital 
and throughout Anatolia he and his friends intrigued to 
obtain especially the support of the large number of 
Moslems who had seen with dislike the declarations in 
favour of religious equality. A well-informed " occasional 
correspondent " of the Times whose letter appeared in 
the Mail of August 20, 1909, and who, from internal 
evidence is evidently a man with exceptional local 
knowledge, said that "all through the Asiatic provinces 
it is believed that he instructed the high officials to 
destroy the Christians. The report varies in detail but 
is always the same in substance. It is to the effect that a 
telegram was received from Constantinople by the Vali, 
the commandant or the Mutesarif directing them to 
create disturbances/' 

He further states in detail how dates had been fixed 
for massacres in several big provincial towns and com- 
municated to the country population. The Sultan 
hoped for a Jehad, or religious war, against the Christians 
and against the Committee of Union and Progress as 
consisting of unfaithful Moslems, Jews and Freethinkers. 



292 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

The plans for a counter revolution were laid in great 
secrecy, and the stroke fell like a bomb on the ministry, 
the population of the capital and every ambassador. 
The 13th day of April was the appointed day. A 
demonstration took place in the capital by which, in a 
few hours, Abdul Hamid became once more undisputed 
master in Constantinople. The Committee of Union 
and Progress, the deputies, the editors of the newspapers 
favourable to the Constitution disappeared. It looked 
for a few hours as if the revolution had been in vain. 
It is true that Abdul Hamid at once declared that he 
would respect the Constitution, but nobody believed him. 
It may be confidently affirmed that if the Sultan had 
possessed one-tenth of the ability with which his syco- 
phants, his paid agents in the native and foreign press 
and even ambassadors who ought to have known better, 
had credited him, he could have become once more an 
absolute ruler. But during this period he was inert, 
apparently bewildered, unable to decide upon any action 
and left all such to his creatures. By the distribution of 
large donatives to the troops and by disguising men as 
Hodjas and Mollahs who raised the cry of " Islam in 
danger " he or his friends made a successful first move 
in the capital itself. But he had not even thought 
apparently of the second. It is sufficient here to recall 
that Mahmud Shevket Pasha with Mahmud Muktar, 
whom Abdul Hamid had in vain sought to kill, led the 
troops from Macedonia, captured Constantinople, took 
possession of Yildiz, deposed the Sultan and on the 24th 
April packed him off without ceremony to Salonika. 

The movement planned by the party of reaction 
throughout Anatolia came off only in Cilicia and its 
neighbourhood and principally in Adana. It was a 
terrible success there and was contemporaneous with 
that in the capital. Elsewhere the reactionaries waited 



THE ARMENIANS 293 

to see which side in Constantinople would win ; and 
when, in less than a fortnight, the result showed the 
powerlessness of the Sultan, no further attempt at 
reaction took place. Amid some problems which are 
still unsolved, it cannot be doubted that there was a 
deliberate attempt to raise Anatolia against the new 
regime. 

In Adana exceptional circumstances favoured the 
party of reaction. Among them must be placed the 
foolish conduct of a section of the Armenian population. 
Some of them, flushed with the wonderful changes 
brought about by the revolution, gave vent to their 
newly raised hopes, and declared that Christians and 
Moslems were now equal. A few were foolish enough 
to talk of Armenian independence. Many Armenians 
had bought arms, and the quantity purchased, greatly 
exaggerated by the fears of the Moslems, contributed, 
together with incendiary speeches, to drive Moslems 
into a panic. The cry of " Islam in danger " was 
readily listened to. The Moslem population was inflamed 
and ready to acquiesce in the suggestions of men who 
purposed to create disorder. 

On the appointed day, the I3th of April, an attack 
was commenced by the Moslems of Adana upon the 
Christians. The Governor either countenanced it or was 
criminally weak. Within a few hours, fire was set to the 
Armenian quarter of the town and the government depot 
of petroleum which adjoined the governor's house was 
opened and the petroleum taken away to increase the 
fire. The movement spread to the villages and beyond 
the borders of Cilicia. Probably not fewer than five 
thousand persons were killed. 

The distress occasioned by the tragedies in Cilicia, 
and beyond that province as far as Aleppo, was terrible. 
An international Committee of Relief, of which I was a 



294 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

member, published the statement three months after the 
events in question that " from the most authorized 
sources " the number of victims who required relief was 
nearly eighty thousand of whom five thousand were 
orphans. " The number of killed has been stated to be 
ten thousand but it would be safe to take half this number 
as probably nearly correct. As these were the bread 
winners of hundreds of families, the sufferers from desti- 
tution among the surviving women and children were 
many times that number/' The slaughter of these 
victims was the characteristic event which marked the 
end of the reign of Abdul Hamid. 1 

The massacres of Armenians have received and deserve 
the fullest condemnation. Nowhere else in Europe 
during the last century were there any wanton outrages 
on humanity on so large a scale. When during the 
Napoleonic wars, Spaniards and Germans were forced 
from their homes to become food for powder, when during 
military occupation in Germany and in France, horrors 
were committed on both sides, we remember that these 
were in war, and we recall also that the horrors even of 
war have been lessened among civilized nations. The 
massacres in Armenia, as in Bulgaria in 1876 and in 
Chios in 1825 were cold-blooded slaughters of men, 
women, and children by inferior races, perpetrated for 
the purpose of plunder and in the name of religion. The 
victims in Chios, Bulgaria, and Armenia were not rebels. 
Their horrors recall the Mongolian invasions of long past 
centuries in Asia Minor and of last century in central 
Asia. 

We may continue to hope what we like from the 
Turkish revolution. We may believe that it is possible 

1 An admirable, because impartial, account of the massacres in 
Adana and its neighbourhood is given by Mr Charles H. Woods in 
"The Danger Zone of Europe" (1911). 



THE ARMENIANS 295 

that the Moslem population can abandon its fanaticism. 
But it is impossible to read such books as Hepworth's 
" Ride through Armenia " or Walsh's " Residence in 
Constantinople/' or any fair account of how the Turks 
treated the Greeks in 1820-30, the Bulgarians in 1876, or 
the Armenians in 1895-8 without recognizing that there 
is a depth of brutality, a recklessness of human life and 
hatred of Christian men and women among the lower 
class of Turkish Moslems which is unfathomable. A long 
and hideous series of testimony is given in the extremely 
interesting " Ride through Asia Minor and Armenia " by 
Henry E. Barkley ; by Sir William Ramsay in his 
" Impressions of Turkey/' and by many others who have 
been through Anatolia. We have black pages in our own 
history, and especially in reference to the treatment of 
the Irish people. Other western nations have even 
blacker, but nothing in the nineteenth century can ap- 
proach the horrors committed in Turkey under the 
sanction of religion. The Turkish reformer has to deal 
with a solid mass of prejudice, based on ignorance and 
tradition, of blind unreasoning hatred of the very name 
of Christian ; traditions which speak of the utter ex- 
termination of enemies, which teach that all moslems 
have the divine right of dominancy ; bigotry which will 
refuse to examine the objections to a divinely revealed 
faith, and which therefore makes the mass not only 
impervious to argument but unwilling to listen to it. 
Pride of race, spiritual conceit, and the obstinacy of 
ignorance are the obstacles which the new teaching will 
have to encounter in its endeavour to teach the lesson 
of religious liberty and equality to lower class Moslems. 



CHAPTER XIII 

MAHOMETAN SECTS 

Influence of Shiah teaching the Dervishes Senoussi Mevlevis 
Howling Dervishes Bektashis Religious teaching and influence 
of Dervishes The Yezidis. 

THE Shiah branch of Islam has had important in- 
fluence on the religion of a considerable part of the 
population of Turkey and demands observation. The 
Shiahs or Shi'ites are most numerous in Persia. Con- 
siderable hostility exists between them and the other 
great division, or Sunnis, to which most Turks belong. 
The Sunnis are those who hold by the Sunnat or Pre- 
cedents or Traditions of Mahomet. The Shiahs hold 
that the caliphate or successorship to the temporal and 
spiritual rule over the faithful was vested by Mahomet in 
Ali and his descendants, through Hassan and Hossein 
the children of Fatima, daughter of the prophet. Their 
form of belief is that " There is one God and Ali is the 
caliph of God." They commemorate the month of 
Moharem as a time of lamentation for the three martyrs, 
Hassan, Hossein, and Ali the son of Hossein. In the 
fatal battle of Kerbela six sons of Hossein, grandsons 
of the prophet, were killed, Ali another son alone escap- 
ing. The city of Kerbela, where the tombs of these de- 
scendants of the prophet exist, has long been and still 
continues to be the chief place of pilgrimage for all 
Shiahs. Thousands of corpses are carried thither annu- 
ally from Persia and India in order that they may be 
buried in the place made holy by the dust of the three 
martyrs. 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 297 

The annual commemoration of the death of Hassan 
and Hossein is held in Constantinople in the largest 
Persian Han, and is one of the most bloody and grue- 
some sights I have witnessed. It is celebrated still more 
dramatically or rather realistically in Persia. In Con- 
stantinople a number of men in white gowns each bearing 
a sword, pass round in procession, again and again wailing 
in melancholy cadence " Hassan, Hossein ; Hassan 
Hossein," until they have roused themselves to a frenzy, 
when they cut and slash their own faces and heads. 
Other men stand outside the line with stout sticks to 
prevent them inflicting dangerous or even fatal wounds. 
After a while there is not a man in the procession who is 
not bleeding profusely and the spectacle becomes simply 
disgusting. 

The influence of Persia upon Mahometanism has been 
remarkable. The Persians were, even in the prophet's 
lifetime, an educated people. They had cultivated art, a 
philosophy of their own and that of Greece and Egypt. 
The natural result followed that when they accepted 
Islam they introduced into it a number of conceptions 
which were foreign to the Arabs, and still more to the 
Turks or any other central Asiatic race. Mahometanism 
among pious Turks is essentially a religion of discipline 
rather than of emotion. The daily prayers five times 
repeated ; the formal purification before prayer, and at 
other times daily, to avoid defilement ; abstinence from 
all alcoholic liquors ; the rigid observance of the fast from 
sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramazan ; these 
and other observances are all disciplinary. I readily 
admit that the repetition of the attributes of God has a 
reflex action on him who utters them. But there is no 
apparent striving after spirituality. To the Shiah such 
worship is formalism. It makes for " mere morality " 
and is not religion. Shiah influence as represented in 



298 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Turkey by the Dervishes is on the other hand essentially 
emotional and spiritual. It has been especially great in 
the development of mysticism and a curious kind of 
religious philosophy. Even now in Persia, according to 
the observant American already quoted, " conversation 
on religious subjects is habitual." * Religious revivals 
have taken place both among the Sunnis and the Shiahs, 
roughly speaking among the Turks and Persians. With 
the first they have taken the form of a demand for the 
return to early practices, a stricter observance of Moslem 
ceremonies. With the Shiahs, they have produced a 
more intense feeling for mystical devotion and especially 
of insistence upon the immanence of God in the human 
soul, a doctrine which as held by them is the continuation 
of a form of Pantheism which was common both to certain 
sects of Greeks and Persians but which is spiritual rather 
than disciplinarian. 

One interesting result of this difference of conception 
and development may be noted. The Sunnis are much 
less tolerant than the Shiahs. The Shiah sects as repre- 
sented in Turkey by various orders of dervishes, are less 
attentive to forms than the ordinary Turkish Moslem, 
but their conception of religion is different. So long as 
a man's heart " is right with God," to use a phrase 
which is common to them and to Christians, the ordin- 
ary Dervish would consider his profession of faith as a 
secondary matter. It is not this conception so much as 
their neglect of forms which has made them regarded as 
only half believers as at best, only hike-warm Moslems, 
at worst, as infidels or atheists. But the same conception 
makes them tolerant of good men of other creeds, for they 
conclude from their conduct that they too are partakers 
in the immanence of God. 

1 " Persian Life," by the Rev. S. G. Wilson, 1899. 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 299 

DERVISHES 

The Dervish sects in Turkey are still a living force. 
They are the Religious Orders of Islam. Unlike Christian 
Orders the members are married men ; for marriage is 
regarded by Islam as the completion of manhood. Few 
of them are of very recent date. One general observation 
may be made which is applicable to Moslem sects whether 
Dervishes or not. The ascetic and reactionary sects like 
Islam itself came from Arabia. None of them have made 
any considerable progress in Asia Minor or European 
Turkey. Babism is of Persian origin. Babism, called 
after its founder who was executed at Tabriz in 1850, who 
had taken the name of the Bab or Gate and which greatly 
troubled Persia, never caught on in Turkey. Even 
Wahabism which owes its name to a Sheik named Wahab 
who about the middle of the eighteenth century founded 
a sect which grew in political importance in Turkey until 
checked by Mehmet Ali about 1830, has not taken deep 
root in the country. The Wahabi seized the holy places 
and were in force around the Persian Gulf and formed 
communities in Afghanistan and throughout India. 
They have been spoken of as the Puritans of Islam, but 
the term is misleading. While they lopped off many 
of the later accumulations of their religion, they en- 
deavoured to secure a reform by rigid asceticism but 
never possessed a lofty ideal. 

The Senoussi originated hi Africa, but their founder, 
after whom the sect is named, established himself in 
Mecca, where his influence made itself felt and where his 
distinctive dogmas were formulated. Subsequently he 
went to Tripoli in Africa and established himself near 
Bengazi. His sect spread throughout the Sahara. He 
extended the ascetic system of the Wahabi. Like the 
latter he forbade the use of coffee, tobacco and silk, and 



300 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

denounced all customs which were not specifically 
authorized by the Koran or the Traditions. His hostility 
to the Turks as bad Moslems was as great as towards the 
Christians. His declaration " I will crush out Turks and 
Christians alike in one common destruction " sufficiently 
indicates his attitude. 

Happily it may safely be said that Wahabism and 
Sinoussism only make progress among the less advanced 
races. The latter has made no progress in Asia Minor or 
in India. It is worth noticing, however, that it is chiefly 
these forms of Mahometanism which show the missionary 
spirit, the latter in particular spreading Islam among the 
fetish worshippers of Africa at a somewhat rapid rate. 
Nor is this to be deplored. To replace fetishism by a 
belief in one God marks an advance in civilization. The 
savage or barbarian convert to Islam is an improvement 
on the unconverted man. Englishmen who have resided 
on the west coast of Africa learn to respect the truthful 
Moslem convert as more trustworthy than his neighbours. 
The pietistic sects of Islam, roughly generalized as 
Dervishes, cannot be classed among the reactionaries, 
except as to some of the smaller sects. Among the thirty 
existing orders classed as Dervishes probably the Refaees 
are the most reactionary. They are simply barbarians 
and happily not numerous and diminishing in numbers. 

The three principal sects of Dervishes in Turkey are 
the dancing or whirling Dervishes who are known as 
Mevlevi, the howling Dervishes and the Bektakis. 
Casual visitors to the dancing Dervishes in Constanti- 
nople are usually surprised at what they see. They 
anticipate something amusing. Instead, they find them- 
selves present at a moslem religious service of which the 
most characteristic feature is reverence. A limited 
number only whirl round. Others, without any dis- 
tinctive dress, sit as spectators and are thereby greatly 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 301 

edified. Solemn hymns are sung to weird music. No 
observer can fail to be impressed with the genuine 
sincerity of the worshippers. They are carried out of 
themselves in an ecstacy of devotion. The Mevlevi have 
many places of worship even in Constantinople. Their 
order is the wealthiest in the empire, their wealth con- 
sisting mostly of landed property. 

They claim that their founder in the earlier part of the 
thirteenth century was taken up into heaven and then 
returned to earth and that he could become invisible to 
ordinary sight. He urged men to become Dervishes in 
order that they might be exalted by piety above the cares 
and anxieties of the world. His followers wear dis- 
tinctive caps, brown and lofty, and coats of the same 
colour. Their convents are known as Tekkes. The 
teaching of their founder is found in a poem which is 
regarded as sacred. It is purely mystic ; its subject 
being divine love. The raptures of worship are inspira- 
tions from on high, which enable the worshipper to hold 
communion with God. They give each other the greeting 
" May love be with you." Many of them command the 
respect of those who know them by the purity of their 
lives and their charity. There are no beggars among 
them. Usually there is a fountain attached to their tekke 
and a brother ready to give drinking water with the 
salutation " In the path of God and for the love of God." 

Their belief in love is the salt of their lives and saves 
them from bigotry or intolerance. The head of the 
largest tekke in Constantinople was, within my recollec- 
tion, a freemason and visited an English Lodge established 
in the capital. He was respected during his life as a holy 
man, and for this reason a light is still kept burning upon 
his tomb in the Grand Rue de Pera. The head of all the 
Mevlevi Dervishes resides at Konia, in and around which 
the Order possesses much real property. He is known as 



302 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

the Chelebi effendi and, as already stated, preserves the 
right of girding on the sword of Osman on every new 
sultan. 

The howling dervishes excite less attention than the 
whirlers. Their mantles are generally green or black, 
these being the colours worn by the prophet. They 
adopt as a principle the necessity of withdrawing from 
the world, with its cares and inducements to sin. De- 
claring themselves satisfied with God alone, they abandon 
all the ordinary pleasures of life. Their prayers begin 
with the words : "In the name of Allah, the merciful 
and tender. I seek a refuge in God from the break of day 
against the wickedness of those creatures whom He has 
created . . ." After the prayers the ninety-nine names 
of God are recited. As each one denotes one of the divine 
attributes, it is unnecessary to reproduce them. They 
are termed the beautiful names of God, and figure in the 
rosary not only of Dervishes but of many other Moslems. 

Foreign visitors often ask what are the strings of beads 
they see in the hands of Turks, Greeks and Armenians. 
The answer is that in the majority of cases they are not 
used for prayer but simply for diversion. The habit is 
a curious one but on the same principle as Addison's 
barrister who could not speak without a piece of string 
in his hands, which the wags called the thread of his 
discourse, those who have once adopted it do not feel 
comfortable unless they have a few beads to twiddle in 
their fingers. 

Another order of Dervishes which among Europeans is 
often regarded as a branch of the howling Dervishes is 
the Nakshibendi. Their principal claim to notice is the 
possession of spiritual powers which enables certain of 
their number to perform miracles. This claim is very 
wide-spread and those who make it are credited with 
large powers by the ordinary Mahometan. The treading 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 303 

upon sick persons by one of the elect is held to effect a 
cure. Their books are full of the spiritualistic wonders 
performed by their leading saints. The marvels of 
mediums, of animal magnetism, mesmerism and above all 
of the Powers of Will, figure in the accounts of their 
founders. Provided that the operator is a holy man 
and has acquired the Power of Will, time and space cease 
to be obstacles to its exercise. The wonderful powers 
claimed by these Dervishes appeal to the inborn super- 
stition of men and women of all races. Among others 
whom they attracted was the late Lawrance Oliphant. 
His many stories of their wonders even when told with 
an air of incredulity led me to conclude that he was half 
convinced of the existence of some kind of traditional 
miraculous power which might even now be obtained by 
prayer, meditation and introspection. A man of ex- 
ceptional culture, of wide experience think of a man 
who had been under-secretary of State, becoming a 
member of Harris's community and then sent to sell 
strawberries at a railway-station the marvellous had a 
fascination for him. He seemed to me to have dwelt 
upon it so long that he wished to believe in what he saw. 
If anyone is curious to learn how he expressed himself on 
the subject they should dig up an article in " Blackwood," 
which appeared about thirty years ago on his experiences 
in Damascus. 

Another order of Dervishes is the Bektashis. They date 
from a very early period. Some indeed claim that they 
were organized as an Order before the Christian era. 
They are mystics to whom, as I have already mentioned, 
no existing creed whether Christian or Moslem is of first 
importance and it is claimed that they have been ready 
to adopt that of any race provided that they were allowed 
to follow their own practices. They have their own 
secret signs and tenets which are only known to the elect. 



304 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

As many of the " new troops " or Janissaries became 
members of the Order of Bektashis an intimate relation- 
ship was established between the Order and the military 
fraternity. When in 1826 the Janissaries who were in 
Constantinople were ordered to accept the military 
reforms in dress and drill which Mahmud demanded, they 
turned their camp kettles upside down, their usual signal 
of revolt, and were attacked by artillery. The revolt 
was suppressed as I describe in a later chapter and six 
thousand Janissaries were slaughtered. Thereupon the 
Order of Bektashis was formally suppressed. 

In Constantinople the Bektashis have never recovered 
from the blow struck by an imperial edict which sup- 
pressed the Order. They were never, however, entirely 
suppressed even in the capital. They have an establish- 
ment at Rumelia Hissar and another near Kadikeui. 
I have already stated that in Macedonia they are still 
numerous, influential and a living force. 

They have always been suspected of disloyalty to the 
faith of Islam. The Turks sometimes speak of them as 
atheists. All Orthodox Moslems seem to regard them as 
heretics and there has constantly been friction between 
their Sheiks and the Ulema. They claim a kind of 
apostolic succession from the first Caliph Abou Bekr. 
Their ancient Sheiks or elders are believed to teach the 
" true path " which leads mankind to God. They base 
themselves on one of the Hadjis or sayings of the prophet : 
" The paths leading to God are as numerous as the 
breaths of His creatures." Hence they consider religious 
toleration as a duty. 

The Bektashis are Pantheists in the sense that they 
regard all nature as part of God. But their Pantheism 
helps them to look charitably on all men and to be kind 
to animals. A Sheik whom I knew expressed the opinion 
that there was nothing in Christianity which need prevent 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 305 

a man from becoming a good Bektash. He was an old 
man much respected not only by his own Order, but by 
many Europeans for his gentleness, invariable kindness 
and truthful simplicity. I lived for a year in a Turkish 
village near his Teke, and on passing our house, which 
he did almost daily, he would bring a peach or an apple 
or a freshly-picked rose to give to my little daughter. 
On being thanked one day by a lady of the house, he 
struggled to assure her that he and his people regarded 
Christians as their brothers as well as Moslems, and went 
so far as to remove his head-dress to show that in the 
embroidered portion there was always a cross. Their 
kindness to animals is one of several practices which 
has suggested that their teaching was influenced by 
Buddhism. It is extremely difficult to prove what their 
theology is, or whether they have a precise theology. I 
believe that the most important feature of their mystical 
system is perfectionism, the doctrine that if a man really 
recognizes the voice of God and lives accordingly, he may 
become so perfect that he is above the need of a moral 
code. On the initiation of a neophyte certain secrets are 
whispered into his ear. But whatever their secrets or 
their theology may be, many fine characters exist among 
the Bektashis. 

I have read a great number of the regulations of the 
various Dervishes' Orders and many of their prayers. 1 
They are somewhat dismal reading and to a large extent 
useless, for I am convinced that most members knew little 
of them. But they have a pathetic side. They suggest 
that each Order has had among its founders and first 
votaries honest men, seekers after God, men who were 

1 Those who are curious about them and the Orders will find a mass 
of information in "The Dervishes," by John P. Brown, formerly 
American Consul in Constantinople ; and in a later work, " Les Con- 
freries Musulmanes," par Rev. P. Louis Petit, the Superior of the 
Assumptionist Mission in Constantinople. 

20 



306 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

willing to sacrifice everything in order to win divine 
favour. Some of them had evidently come under the 
influence of the Greek philosophy which had worked its 
way into Arabia and Asia Minor. Others, and perhaps 
the great number, knew something of Buddhism and of 
that Indian and Persian philosophy of which there are 
traces in the New Testament. The early members at 
least, and probably others, all down the centuries, were 
men who, by such lights as they had, struggled hard to 
find their true relation to the Eternal ; men who had 
wrestled with God as the old phrase runs, suffered in 
order that they might find the path to Him ; starved 
themselves like early Christian ascetics ; tortured them- 
selves like Indian fakirs ; deprived themselves willingly 
of the ordinary pleasures of life in order that they might 
propitiate an angry God. Many of their regulations were 
harsh and inhuman. The intention among some of them 
was that the believer should save his soul eternally by 
sacrificing his humanity here. Happily the Mevlevis, 
and especially the Bektashis, brought the best ethical 
rules of their Order into practice. 

All the Dervish Orders have, I believe, followed the 
general course of similar movements ; first, fervency of 
devotion and intensity of belief ; then, the formulation 
of rules and practices intended to stimulate the devotion 
that was waning ; third, the gliding into formalism, with 
little of the original fervency left, but always keeping 
some aroma and saving grace of the spirituality which 
had given birth to the movement. 

The smaller Orders in Turkey, and especially those 
which I have called reactionary, diminished in numbers 
during the last century. Some which had lost general 
respect have quite disappeared. Within my own recol- 
lection it was a common sight to see half-naked men with 
dervish bowl and battle-axe in the streets of the capital, 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 307 

terrifying simple travellers by their demands, claiming the 
right and exercising it of entrance into mosques or minis- 
tries, and making themselves a nuisance to the public. 
Such men were justly regarded during the eighteenth and 
early nineteenth centuries as the embodiment of fanatic- 
ism, and their religious profession as a cloak for robbery. 
These wandering Dervishes did much to bring the Orders 
generally into disrepute. I remember that on a journey 
thirty years ago to Lake Ascanius with two Turkish 
friends we suddenly came on two such men. In reply to 
my inquiry, who they were, one of my friends answered, 
Dervishes by profession, brigands when they get the 
chance. Even in the middle of last century, Ubicini 
relates that hardly a week passed without some Turkish 
minister having to submit to the remonstrances of some 
Dervish who chose to push himself forward for the 
purpose of abusing and threatening the minister. 

Various attempts have been made to suppress some of 
the larger Dervish Orders. Perhaps their survival may 
be taken as an illustration of Carlyle's dictum that no 
religion ever perishes till all the good has gone out of 
it. Nevertheless, the Dervishes too have felt the world 
movement like other people, and have advanced with it 
or have been carried along by it. 

In concluding my notice of the Moslem brotherhoods I 
add that the best side of them is also the truest. There 
are bad men in all communities, but the influence of the 
practices and teaching of the great majority of the 
Dervishes makes for righteousness. 

The devotional meetings of even the so-called Dancing 
Dervishes are a suggestive and a pathetic sight ; sug- 
gestive, because one is driven to think of the elemental 
character of reverence and of religious worship irrespec- 
tive of creeds or formulas ; of the human soul desirous of 
entering into communion with the Creator ; pathetic, 



308 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

because the sad seriousness of the faces is joined to a 
look of ecstasy which we associate with the rapture of 
triumphant piety, with an exaltation of spirit which 
painters like Guido have successfully caught, and which 
suggests that these are men who, having passed through 
tribulation, have obtained a glimpse of unearthly glory. 
The weird music, the rapt look upon the faces of even the 
whirling Dervishes, the devout aspect of the passive 
members of the congregation, all indicate an emotional 
religion. I have seen the same look on the simple faces 
of Flemish fishermen in Belgian churches, and in Primitive 
Methodist chapels in Yorkshire. One feels oneself in 
presence of pious men, each of whom has sought " to 
reign within himself and rule passions, desires, and fears/' 
of strong men who have wrestled with themselves in order 
to practise the bed-rock duties which make for righteous- 
ness. Yet over many of their faces has come an aspect 
of peace, calm after storm, a peace which passes all 
worldly conception ; the peace of men whose consciences 
tell them, as the Dervishes would say, that they have 
striven to obtain clean hearts, or, as the Primitives would 
express it, to find salvation. 

THE YEZIDIS 

I have spoken of Christian and Mahometan sects, of 
strange survivals of ancient creeds following intuitions, 
giving themselves up to ecstasies rather than to authority 
or even to sequence of thought ; but something must be 
said of a somewhat large group of people who cannot be 
classed either as followers of Christ or of Mahomet, a 
group who, in the modern world, are an anachronism, who, 
if they are not a survival, are born out of time. These 
are the Yezidis, usually called " devil worshippers." 
They are interesting whether we regard them as a people 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 309 

who have kept an ancient belief, or as one which has 
perverted any or all of the three monotheistic religions 
to which Syria and Arabia have given birth. They 
occupy a somewhat wide range of country. A few are 
nomads ; others inhabit a small number of villages in 
Armenia, in the vilayets of Diarbekir, Van, and Aleppo. 
But by far the larger number exist in the districts of 
Sheikhan and Sinjar, in the province of Mossul. In the 
plains of Sheikhan there are between 15,000 and 16,000 
Yezidis, occupying thirty villages. These villages obey 
the Government except in refusing to send men for mili- 
tary service. The Yezidis of Sinjar are mountaineers and 
are less civilized than their co-religionists of the plains. 
Many of them live in tents. Few engage in agriculture. 
All have the reputation of dangerous brigands. The 
Sinjars are reckoned at about 20,000. Taken altogether 
the Yezidis probably number about loo^oo. 1 Formerly 
their numbers were much greater. Ainsworth, an 
English traveller, writing in 1863, estimated them at 
300,000. 

Many attacks were made upon them previous to and 
during the reign of Abdul Hamid. They have constantly 
claimed that they were not Moslems and that they were 
therefore not liable to military service. The Turkish 
Government, on the other hand, chose to consider them a 
Mahometan sect, and this mainly because many of them 
have Mahometan names a fact which proves nothing 
since many Syrian Catholics employ such names. Many 
expeditions were sent to compel them to furnish their 
quota to the army. The latest of importance attracted 
little attention outside the Yezidi countries and was in 
the year 1886. It was commanded by General Eumer 

1 An Armenian writer, in November 1910, who knows the country 
of the Yezidis, estimates their number at 150,000. He includes in his 
estimate those living in Persia and many scattered about Asia Minor 
in districts other than those I have mentioned. 



310 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Pasha, who granted pensions and decorations to the prin- 
cipal chiefs and did his utmost to persuade them to serve 
in the army. When his efforts at conciliation failed, he 
attacked them and took possession of the celebrated tomb 
of Sheik A'ddy, regarded by the Yezidis as the Mahome- 
tans regard the Kaaba at Mecca. The people themselves 
arouse so little sympathy that few who knew of the ex- 
pedition at the time cared to trouble themselves about 
what was regarded as an attempt at exterminating an 
idolatrous, dirty, and rebellious race. 

A Turkish writer, Jelal Nouri, in May 1910 gave the 
fullest recent account of the Yezidis which we possess, to 
which may be added another by an Armenian, published 
in Constantinople in November 1910. Jelal Nouri states 
that he is largely indebted for his facts to his father, 
Nouri Bey, now a senator, who, while governor-general of 
Mossul, wrote a book upon them called " Les Adorateurs 
du Diable " which, however, was burned for fear of the 
censorship under Abdul Hamid. Nouri states that 
Eumer destroyed half the district of Sheikhan containing 
more than seventy prosperous villages. The persecution 
was known to be severe and many thousands perished, 
but whether Ainsworth's estimate of the population 
nearly half a century ago is too high I am unable to say. 

The Sinjars of the mountains and the people of the 
fertile plain of Sheikhan are of the same race. They are 
dirty in their persons, but truthful ; undesirous of inter- 
course with their neighbours, but hospitable to refugees. 
They wish to have the least possible intercourse with 
other people. Like other Yezidis they not only deny 
that they are Moslems, but claim that they are a distinct 
race and are not the descendants of Adam and Eve, with 
whose offspring they are forbidden to have any relations. 
Their theory of origin is curious. They declare that God 
is formed of seven emanations, and that each emanation 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 311 

is God. From these emanations came the angels, the 
first of whom was the devil. He sinned, suffered, was 
restored to favour and was placed highest in order 
amongst the angels. Then the angels revolted ; God 
punished them ; and, this time, made Satan their chief 
and named him the Meleki Tavus, or Peacock King, con- 
ferring on him power equal to that he himself possessed. 
' Just as two flames unite so did Allah and Satan become 
one." If this quotation, which I give from Jelal Nouri, 
be from the sacred writings of the Yezidis it would imply 
a monotheistic belief. But all accounts, including that 
of Jelal himself, speak of them as recognizing a dualism, 
the personification of the ideas of good and evil respec- 
tively. The same notion is found in Egyptian, Persian, 
Assyrian and other ancient religions. It is man's theory 
in a certain stage of his history to solve the eternal riddle 
of the existence of evil. It cannot come from a good 
spirit, therefore it must come from another. It is wide- 
spread and irresistible. Therefore that other is of almost 
equal power. Many other peoples have sought to pro- 
pitiate an angry God. Human sacrifices were offered 
even in our own country to appease such a god. But 
all such expiatory offerings have been made to an anthro- 
pomorphic god who was the giver of good things as well 
as a revengeful god. It remained apparently for the 
Yezidis to teach, as they do, that prayers to One were 
insults, inasmuch as He was always working for good and 
wanted neither prayer nor guidance, but that to reverence 
and propitiate the spirit of evil because he has the power 
and the will to do mischief to man was at least a useful 
precaution. It is worth noting that Yezidism, like other 
creeds, while recognizing the antagonism between the two 
emanations declares that ultimately the evil emanation 
will be overpowered. 

The two powers united to create Adam and Eve. 



312 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Their posterity lived on earth for 10,000 years and died 
out leaving the world in possession of Jins. The human 
inhabitants perished because of their disobedience. 
This process was repeated five times. Then a new Adam 
and Eve were created from whom all humanity is de- 
scended, with the exception of the Yezidis. The latter 
are the sons of Adam but not of Eve. The creation 
in each case was the joint work of the Allah of the seven 
emanations and of the Peacock King. Yezidi is one 
name by which the latter is known. His followers 
believe in transmigration. The soul of Yezidi has occu- 
pied various earthly forms, the most important being 
that of the famous Sheik A'ddy. He has often revisited 
earth as a mahdi. Now a mahdi or messiah or Keutchek 
is not a prophet, but an incarnation of God himself. 
Many mahdis have since claimed to be incarnations and 
have constantly appeared, but as they invariably lead 
rebellions against the Turkish Government, they are 
ruthlessly hunted down. 

Needless to say, the Yezidis are intensely conservative, 
in the sense of being non-progressive. They claim to be 
under the protection of the Peacock King, otherwise the 
devil. Their legends are many and extremely weird. As 
far as possible they refuse to have any dealings with their 
Moslem neighbours. The Moslem authorities distrust 
them, and on the other hand, no Yezidi chief will visit the 
Turkish authorities unless upon substantial guarantees 
being given for his safety. No Yezidi will enter a 
mosque. They have no desire to meet Christians, but 
they do so more willingly than Mahometans. The 
features in their conduct which has most contributed to 
their repute are : their distrust of all who are not of their 
religion ; and their belief that reverence must be shown 
for the devil. They regard as enemies those who lightly 
take his name in vain. Layard got himself into trouble 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 313 

while at Nineveh for using one of the names of his Satanic 
majesty in presence of some of them. Satan, devil, 
Eblis, and numbers of other words are not to be 
mentioned. They claim that it is their duty to kill any 
one who speaks ill of the devil. Jelal Nouri confirms 
the statement of earlier writers who declare that their 
religion requires them to murder those who do not accept 
their opinions and authorizes them to take their property. 

As to what their religion is, whence it comes, or what 
it teaches, opinions differ. None of the Yezidis has given 
to the world a statement of their creed and we are con- 
sequently limited to the reports of outsiders, few or none 
of whom have had the necessary facts or knowledge of 
the growth of religious ideas to give a satisfactory 
account of it. They have two sacred books called the 
" Jelveh " and the " Black Mushafi," but as it is a 
crime to any except the members of one family, to read 
and write, it is difficult to obtain information as to their 
contents. They have never been printed. Of recent 
years they declare that even all their manuscript books 
have been destroyed. Both Moslem and Christian 
authors, however, have asserted that the lost books were 
transcripts of parts of the Koran with the words Satan, 
Eblis, as well as other words by which the Prince of 
Darkness is alluded to, such as the " Wicked One," the 
" Accursed One," omitted. Jelal Nouri says, in opposi- 
tion to those who declare that the Sacred Books have 
been compiled from the Koran, that from extracts of the 
books which he has seen there is nothing which resembles 
the text of the sacred book of Islam. 

They are undoubtedly idolaters. They venerate the 
statues of a peacock representing the great God-Devil, 
Meleki-Tavus. The principal feature in their public 
worship is dancing which they practise around these 
statues. They also offer sacrifice. The most important 



314 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

and most venerated of these idols was captured and con- 
fiscated by Eumer Pasha, to the infinite regret of its 
worshippers, when he took possession of the sacred tomb 
of A'ddy. When the statue was carried by some 
members of the small Caste set apart for the purpose to 
a Yezidi village, it was lodged in a house of the believer 
who paid the highest price for the honour. As it was 
hollow so as to receive the contributions of its devotees, 
the host is supposed usually to have made a profitable 
business by receiving it. 

Their faith and practice is a pot-pourri of superstitions 
and rites, a thing made up of contributions from all the 
faiths which the country, the most fecund in the produc- 
tion of religions, has ever produced. It might be ex- 
plained historically if the facts were more fully known. 
For the present we must take it as it is. Its professors 
practise circumcision like Jews and Moslems. Dancing 
as the principal form of worship recalls various ancient 
religions including Judaism. They baptize their children 
like Christians and, like them, drink wine and spirituous 
liquors. They turn towards the morning star like fire- 
worshippers. Some of them at least worship water and 
never pass a spring without a prayer. They believe 
firmly in transmigration like Hindoos and, like them, 
favour Fakirs. They repudiate Islam and yet have often 
been classed, both by Moslems and Christians, as Mahome- 
tan sectaries. Turkish writers claim that they derive 
some of their doctrines and practices from the Nestorians. 
But, one God with a co-equal devil, the latter to be held 
in equal respect, was never the dogma of any Christian 
sect. The pious Moslem of old time would never tread 
on a scrap of paper lest the name of Allah should be 
inscribed on it. The Yezidi shows his respect by being 
ready to die if his second divinity's name is uttered with 
disrespect. He will never spit in the fire for that would 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 315 

be an insult to his god. As far as one can judge, it is a 
topsy-turvy creed. One God is a negligible quantity, 
because he has handed over the government of the world 
to Satan ; the other requiring adoration because he is 
mighty and will punish those who do not render him due 
honour. 

The problem of the origin of these people and of their 
beliefs has been guessed at with some plausibility. 
Ainsworth and other writers who knew them suggest 
that they are the descendants of ancient Assyrians. 
Their appearance rather favours this idea. They are 
robust and well built, wear their hair long and gathered 
into a bunch behind the head, and resemble in features 
and even in dress the figures found on Assyrian sculptures. 

As the Yezidis admittedly resemble these sculptures, 
I see no difficulty in accepting Ainsworth's suggestion 
that they are Assyrian survivals. But their religion ; 
Whence comes it ? I suggest that it is based on that of 
Assyria with accretions and modifications from the Fire- 
Worshippers of Persia, from Buddhism, from Christianity 
as developed among their Nestorian neighbours, and 
possibly from Islam. Those who have read such essays 
as those of Professor Fritz Hommel on " Explorations in 
Arabia, " of Professor Hilprecht on " Assyria and Baby- 
lonia," both included in the remarkable volume of 
" Explorations in Bible Lands," published by the 
University of Philadelphia, will recognize that in Meso- 
potamia, eastward and southwards, there are found the 
ruins of religious systems showing the most curious 
aberrations of religious thought, a power of perverting, 
and turning topsy-turvy the theological developments of 
great religious systems. Think, for example, of that view 
of the Trinity which prevailed among many of the Arabs 
at the time of Mahomet. I am unable to produce 
evidence of how the Yezidis developed their curious 



316 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

beliefs and practices. Such evidence at present is not 
complete, though I think it probable that it would bear 
out my suggestion. Of course it does not follow because 
the Yezidis circumcise that they adopted the practice 
from either Jew or Moslem. The habit was probably 
earlier. Nor does the practice of pilgrimage which exists 
among them necessarily point to Islam. They visit the 
tomb of Sheik-A'ddy, just as some of their neighbours 
visit Mecca and others the three famous tombs at Ker- 
bella. Pilgrimage, indeed, as a religious duty was not 
unknown to many of the ancient religions. The feasts 
at the tomb of Sheik-A'ddy are usually described as orgies, 
but as non- Yezidis were not allowed to be present the 
statement may be doubted. Baptism, however, appears 
to point unmistakably to Christianity. Their practice 
of praying only in presence of the morning star, 
which is possibly derived from Persia, is equally likely 
to indicate a habit derived from the Chaldeans or 
Assyrians. The transmigration of souls may have come 
from India. 

The American Protestant Missionary Board has a 
mission to the Yezidis which has apparently gained their 
confidence, and during the famine of 1909 one of the mis- 
sionaries was entrusted with the distribution of food. He 
tells an ugly story of the way they are still treated. I 
regret to say that it appears to me quite trustworthy. 
He wrote in November 1910 the following : " The 
Yezidis are overflowing with gratitude, and some of their 
villages are asking us to give them teachers. But the 
government will not allow us to do so. The position 
taken up by the government is that the Yezidis are a 
branch of Islam that has been led astray by corrupt 
teachers, and they must be persuaded, not forced as 
formerly, to adopt Moslem Orthodox teaching only/' 
That is their theory. But a different story must be told 



MAHOMETAN SECTS 317 

as to their practice. In the recent rebellion of Ibraham 
Pasha the soldiers separated the Yezidis from the Kurds 
and then slew the Yezidis and their families, plundering 
and burning their houses and carrying off their tents. 
The American plan of persuasion is some centuries ahead 
of the Turkish. 

The language of the Yezidis is akin to that of the Kurds, 
and is therefore not Semitic nor belonging to the Tur- 
coman variety. Language, however, is by no means a test 
of the origin of a people. There are many Armenian 
villages where only Turkish is spoken, and many Greek 
villages where the inhabitants have forgotten the speech 
of their race. I for one shall wait eagerly for further 
investigations on the history of these people and of their 
curious religion, and to see what success the American 
missionaries will have in their praiseworthy attempt to 
bring them within the range of civilization. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM 

Is Islam unchangeable ? Foreign influences Conservatism of 
Moslems Statements in Koran may now be discussed Hindrances 
to development Rules of interpretation Have women souls ? 
Paradise Claim that Christians shall have equality Conclusion 
hopeful 

THE popular conception of Mahometanism is that it 
is unchangeable ; that having a creed of only two 
short articles, the first declaring that there is only one 
God and the other that Mahomet is his prophet, Moslems 
desire no change, do not think improvements possible 
and resent every attempt, especially those made by 
Christians, to change their faith. 

Mr Palgrave, 1 one of the keenest observers who ever 
travelled among the Arabs, says " Islam is in itself 
stationary and was framed thus to remain/' The Rev. 
T. P. Hughes, author of a " Dictionary of Islam " which is 
regarded by experts as singularly accurate, claims that 
Mahometanism is " a barrier against the progress of 
civilization," that Mahometanism " admits of no progress 
in morals, law or commerce/' It would be easy to 
multiply quotations to a like effect. Without forgetting 
that educated Pagans, in the time of Constantine, made 
similar observations regarding the incompatibility of 
Christianity with civilization, it may be admitted that 
one of the features of Islam which has most impressed 
the imagination of non-Moslems has been its unchange- 

1 "Arabia," vol. i. p. 372. 
318 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM 319 

able character. The Koran has been presented as a final 
but complete revelation. It has been said " to contain 
the whole of the religion of Mahomet," to be " an all 
embracing and sufficient code regulating everything." 
Above all it has been represented as a Holy Book which 
must be accepted but not discussed. 

Yet even in Moslem countries the world moves. There 
are communities where such ideas still prevail. They 
were much more generally held half a century ago. The 
Koran was beyond criticism and even outside discussion. 
It came from God and its teaching was therefore infallible. 
No Christian cottager who " just knew and knew no more 
her Bible true " was ever more convinced that every 
statement contained in it, must be regarded as liter- 
ally true than was the Moslem in regard to the Koran. 
Popular sentiment supported the notion that Islam must 
neither be attacked nor discussed. 

The penalty for abandoning Islam was, and still is, 
death. On the rare occasions within the last half century 
when Moslems in Turkey have changed their creed they 
have either fled the country or disappeared and their 
friends have assumed, and probably rightly, that they 
have been secretly killed. Religious liberty was decreed 
as far back as the time of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, but 
when that great ambassador learned that a Moslem had 
been sentenced to death for having become a Christian, 
he hurried off to the palace, refused to take mere verbal 
assurances from the Sultan that the man's life would be 
spared, and insisted on waiting until with his dragoman 
he could take away the order that the man should be 
given up to him. He believed that the convert would be 
hanged as a sacrifice to Moslem prejudice immediately 
it was known that the ambassador had interfered and 
that his hanging would be declared to be a mistake. 
The popular sentiment against a change of faith is prob- 



320 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

ably as strong now in eastern Anatolia as then. In a 
hundred villages in Turkey a man would be killed if he 
declared that he had become a Christian, and his mur- 
derers would believe they were doing God a service. 

Nevertheless, Islam being a human institution it would 
be remarkable if in the midst of change it were unchange- 
able. It is true that the old system of astronomy and 
other matters which in the Ages of Faith were held also 
by Christians are still clung to in most, perhaps all, 
Mahometan schools for softas. Christianity, though 
always tardily, has never yet failed to accept the teach- 
ings of science. A material firmament supported by 
pillars, with windows which are opened when rain is to 
be supplied, with a score of similar beliefs have long since 
been discarded by nearly all Christians and though these 
relics of early teaching linger on among Moslems, it would 
be strange if the movement which has enabled Christians 
to read into their belief, conclusions for which their pro- 
fessors would have been burnt five centuries ago and for 
which they would have been cast out one century ago, 
had not its counterpart in Islam. A friend was fond of 
saying that the difference in the eras, that of A.D. and of 
A.H. (the hegira 632 A.D.) marked the difference between 
the civilization of the west and the east. We are in 1911. 
Moslems are in 1326* The remark has a truth in it. But 
the learning of the Christian west cannot be ignored 
among the Turks and still less among the Moslems of 
India, where the teachings of science are being steadily 
diffused. In India the Moslems read English books 
which have obviously been written not with the object of 
perverting the faith but of instructing Englishmen. They 
are founded on science. They do not profess to teach 
with divine authority but appeal to reason and arguments 
which the student is invited to examine and is at liberty 
to accept or reject as he likes. Many of them are of 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM 321 

course written by agnostics while most of them make no 
reference whatever either to Islam or Christianity. 
Religious instinct or tradition may fight against the con- 
clusions but reason ultimately compels acceptance. 

So also in Turkey. The wealthier classes usually know 
some western language, most commonly French. Mili- 
tary students have been sent to Germany, a few naval 
men to England. Young men training for diplomatic or 
consular posts must always acquire at least one foreign 
language. It is natural that the professors of Islam, 
which I have heard a prominent Moslem of the Young 
Turkey party speak of as first and foremost a hygienic 
religion, should endeavour to study the art of healing. 
But for this purpose, even though they are students 
in the great medical college at Hyder Pasha a foreign 
language is necessary, if the student is to know what 
progress in medical science is being made. Hence the 
proportion of men who know a foreign language is con- 
siderably high. This fact has an important bearing on 
the way in which Islam is regarded by educated Turks. 
The basis of their traditional creed is not shaken : but 
adjuncts to it go by the board. They see professors 
drinking wine and not becoming drunkards. They 
recognize that the command to abstain from eating bacon 
or ham is merely a hygienic rule useful in a semi-tropical 
country. They note that the ceremonial washings and 
regulations against defilement are useful sanitary pre- 
cautions, but not matters to be regarded as sacred 
commands. 

My own observation leads me to conclude that, of the 
students who have been to the West and of those who 
associate with Frenchmen or Englishmen or read their 
books, the majority are far from disowning the religion 
of their fathers but they do not care to practise its ob- 
servances. A few among them openly profess Free 

21 



322 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Thought or adopt Positivism. Indifference is probably 
the best word to apply to the attitude of mind of educated 
Turks in regard to the observances of religion. It has 
been said that many Moslems, in neglecting the teaching 
of their youth, become drunkards. The statement is 
simply untrue. I have known Turks who have drunk to 
excess but I am sure they are not numerous. 

It is rare among the mollahs, and they are the leaders 
of religious thought, to find a man who knows anything 
about western literature or can speak a western language. 
Arabic, the language of the Koran, is naturally the 
language which they acquire. Hence to find the old- 
fashioned Moslem with all his intolerance and bigotry 
one would first look among them. 

There are, however, thoughtful men among the mollahs 
who respect their religion and feel the difficulties which 
exist in maintaining the old beliefs and practices with the 
new teaching coming from the West, and who wish to 
reconcile the two. The needs of Turks have forced in- 
novations. Every reader of travels in Turkey will re- 
member the general esteem felt for Europeans as the 
depositaries of medical secrets. Medicine has indeed 
made great progress in Turkey. There are excellent 
surgeons who are recognized by their European colleagues 
as their equals ; physicians with European training, and 
even a medical school which would do credit to a European 
city. The religious precepts of the Sheri, formed on the 
Koran and the sayings of the prophet, cannot be changed, 
but they can be explained away or conveniently disre- 
garded. The criminal law of Islam is as crude and tribal 
as that given to the Jews. Remembering the tenacity 
with which our fathers refused to disobey the injunction 
" Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live/' we can at least 
make allowances for the Turk whose religion not only 
teaches him that he has the latest and final revelation of 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM 323 

God but that it places him upon a higher plane than even 
men who follow the " religion of the books," that is 
Jews and Christians. 

How much the Moslem has stuck to the sacred letter 
of his law may be illustrated. The penalty to be inflicted 
on a Moslem for eating or drinking during daylight in the 
month of Ramazan is death, to be inflicted by pouring 
melted lead down the offender's throat. I am writing this 
during Ramazan, and while doing so I had a visit from a 
former procureur imperial, who told me that on one 
occasion in Asia Minor a Kadi formally notified him that 
he had sentenced an offender to this penalty for the offence 
of eating during the prohibited time. My informant re- 
monstrated, stating that he could not be a party to such 
a proceeding. The reply was, " I have to give sentence 
according to the sacred law against the man who has been 
found guilty of its violation : it is for you to see to its 
execution/' The matter was referred to the Ministry of 
Justice in Constantinople and conveniently forgotten. 
In a dozen different matters the law being sacred remains, 
but is disregarded. In this way some of the less reason- 
able commands of the Sheriat have fallen into disuse. 

One enormous advance has been made by Moslem 
scholars during the last thirty years. After much struggle 
it has come to be recognized that the statements in the 
Koran may be discussed. It is no longer a conclusive 
reply to an objector that the Koran says so and so. It is 
recognized that there are other truths than those con- 
tained in the great Sacred Book, such for example as 
those in the Ahadis, and if the statements in the first 
conflict with such other truths, the matter may be ex- 
amined. Once such a position is accepted the old dogma- 
tism is undermined. In the development of Islam the 
recognition of the right to criticize the Koran and the 
Ahadis or " Traditions " is of supreme importance, because 



324 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

once these books can be examined their true value can be 
ascertained. Mr Hughes states indeed and everything 
from the pen of so accurate an expert as he is, on the 
subject of Islam, merits attention that " as Islam is a 
system of the most positive dogma, it does not admit 
either of rationalism or free thought." He compares the 
influence of a certain Indian Mahometan reformer upon 
Islam with that of Mr Voysey upon orthodox Christianity. 
The comparison is fair. But I believe the truth to be 
that just as modernism, the higher criticism, broad 
churchism, or by whatever name liberalism in Christianity 
is known among us, has made great progress among all 
Christian churches, so the same order of ideas, the same 
tendency of the age has made and continues to make pro- 
gress among at least some Mahometan peoples. It is true 
that Islam like Christianity is burdened with dogma, but 
a similar movement and like arguments which have caused 
all western churches to ignore much of their dogma, and 
to get back to principles, are being employed by Mahome- 
tan students. 

A great hindrance to the reception by Moslems of 
European ideas in regard to politics, philosophy or 
religion is the spiritual pride of the Mahometan, by which 
term I mean the undoubting conviction that the believer 
in the religion of Mahomet has a divine right to treat all 
non-believers as on a lower plane, to reduce them to sub- 
jection if they are " Jews or Christians," and to exter- 
minate them if they are Idolaters. Among the ignorant 
masses of Moslem Turks this sense of superiority is deep. 
I may illustrate it by the following. When about 1880, 
Colonel Coumaroff the military attache of the Russian 
embassy in the capital was riding two or three miles away 
from Pera, a Moslem stepped out in front of him, took 
deliberate aim and shot him dead. He was arrested and 
tried for the murder. As all the embassies were inter- 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM 325 

ested, in consequence of the official character of the 
Victim in seeing that justice was done, a court was ap- 
pointed of which several foreign representatives, among 
them Hobart Pasha, were members. On the evening of 
the trial he expressed to me his regret that I had not been 
present to see the prisoner's attitude when he was asked 
incidentally whether he knew the man he was shooting 
was a Christian. " Of course I did/' was his immediate 
answer. " You don't think I am capable of shooting a 
believer, do you ? " " It was/' said Hobart, " as if we 
had asked after a dog." This attitude of spiritual conceit 
can only arise from the conviction of ignorance that divine 
Power has ordained that Moslems should possess domin- 
ance over other men. Once let the Sacred Books be 
examined and discussed, as they are beginning to be, and 
the conviction of inherent superiority will diminish or 
disappear. 

In certain cases of difficulty learned Moslems boldly 
tackle the discrepancies which exist between what their 
reason teaches them is true and what they find commonly 
taught as the doctrine of Islam. By what is now a well- 
recognized system of interpretation they make a distinc- 
tion between the teaching which is to be of general applica- 
tion and that which had only application to the particular 
case under discussion. It is claimed that this mode of 
interpretation is very old and that it is sanctioned by the 
early doctors of Moslem teaching. It is evidently one of 
wide application. It should also be noted that the 
Moslem doctors of all schools are agreed that even Moslem 
law is not held to be contained exclusively in the Koran. 
It is to be gathered, say the professional teachers of all 
branches of Islam, from four sources, from the Koran, the 
Sayings and Traditions of Mahomet, the Consent of 
certain early Doctors of the Law, and the Reasoning of 
Learned men. If these early Doctors agree there can be 



326 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

no doubt, say all the orthodox teachers, what Islamic 
Law is. 

The greatest drawback to the progress of Moslem 
civilization is the position popularly assigned to women. 
Thoughtful men among Turks as well as among 
foreigners recognize that this is the most serious blot 
upon Mahometan practice. Lady Mary Montagu, 
writing in 1717, said it was a popular delusion among 
Christian peoples that in accordance with Turkish belief, 
women have no souls. She then goes on to explain that 
the belief is that they have souls but of an inferior char- 
acter to those of men. The popular delusion alluded to 
still exists and in support of it I may quote Sir Edward 
Malet's pleasant book, " Shifting Scenes," in which among 
other things he explains how he remonstrated with the 
Khedive, Tewfik, during the Arabi disturbances in Egypt. 
He gives Tewfik's reply. " Death does not signify to me 
personally ; our religion prevents us from having any 
fear of death ; but it is different with our women. To 
them, you know, life is everything, their existence ends 
here : they cry and weep and implore me to save them.'* 

A cultured American lady informed me that on three 
several recent occasions Turkish ladies had excused their 
ignorance as to the matters under discussion by saying, 
" We don't understand such things, we women have no 
souls/' There is probably little difference between those 
who use such language and those who agree with Lady 
Mary's informants that women's souls are of an inferior 
sort. 

On the other hand it is clear that many Moslems hold 
that women have souls. The evidence for this is to be 
found on some women's tomb-stones. Near Haskeuy on 
the Golden Horn is one with " grant my soul the blessing 
of a prayer." In a Turkish cemetery opposite me while 
writing, is " weep not for her : she has become a dweller 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM 327 

in the Gardens of Paradise/' Such epitaphs, however, are 
rare. Among those who have come under European 
influence, men and women, it is of course recognized that 
woman is as clearly endowed with a soul as man. The 
pious reconciler of the Sacred Word and the teaching of 
the West wishes to establish that the popular belief is 
incorrect and that no such inequality ought to be credited. 
European commentators on the Koran are agreed that 
there are passages in the Koran that justify those who 
claim that women have souls and may enter into a para- 
dise. The two verses relied upon are clear. The first is 
in Sura or chapter xlviii. v. 5;and says that God is knowing, 
wise " to make the believers, men and women, enter into 
gardens beneath which rivers flow to dwell therein for 
ages." l The second is in Sura iv. v. 123. " He who 
doeth good works be it male or female and believes, 
they shall enter into Paradise." 2 

If it be asked how in presence of these passages, the 
belief has become popular that women are soulless, the 
answer is not difficult to give. The rewards promised in 
the Koran to men who attain Paradise are very promin- 
ently brought forward 3 Those for women are very few 
and are not given and though a woman may attain 
Paradise her pleasures and her occupations are not de- 
scribed. The houris are not earthly women but a distinct 
creation. 

If we pass from the educated man's examination of the 
question to the popular conception and even teaching in 
the backward parts of Anatolia, the following is illustra- 
tive : Some years ago, an American young lady living in 
an interior city in Asia Minor visited a mosque, and tells 

1 " Translation of Koran," by E. H. Palmer, " Sacred Books of the 
East," edited by F. Max Miiller. 

2 Ibid. 

3 See Suras, 47, 55, 56 and 76, and given in fuller details in the 
" Sayings of the Prophets." 



328 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

the following story : Some of her Turkish friends wished 
her to hear a sermon specially for women. As it was 
unheard of for a foreigner to attend such a service, she put 
on the charshaf (or sheet) of the Turkish woman and so 
disguised attended as a Turkish woman. 

She knew Turkish, and as she sat on the floor huddled 
up, and closely veiled, she lost her fear of being discovered 
in the interest of listening to the preacher. Her account 
is the following : The imam sat on a sort of low armchair, 
raised six or eight feet above the floor and so wide be- 
tween the arms that he could sit in it cross-legged. 
From this elevation he gave golden counsel to the veiled 
women crowded together on the floor around him. He 
said, " Of course you women have no souls." And the 
women rocked to and fro and beat their breasts and said, 
" Yes : amin : we have no souls. We are asses. We 
are beasts." Then the preacher discoursed long on their 
duties. He said, " Although there is no place prepared 
for you in Paradise, you may possibly get there by being 
very good to your husbands and sons, your fathers and 
brothers. If you rise in the night and prepare food and 
see that the house is clean and do all the things that your 
men like and never neglect their wishes and work hard 
and faithfufly and never think of selfish pleasure, when 
your husband or your son dies and rides into Paradise on 
a noble white steed you may catch hold of the tail of the 
horse and so get in." And all the women rocked back 
and forth and said " We are asses ; but please Allah we 
may reach Paradise." 

The enjoyments of Paradise as everyone knows are of 
the most sensual kind, and in this respect the Mahometan 
contrasts unfavourably with the Christian conception of 
Heaven. The teaching of Christ is that the inhabitants 
" neither marry nor are given in marriage," and the ideal 
which speaks of the consummation of just men made 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM 329 

perfect could not be bettered by prophet, practical man 
or dreamer. 

But even here the influence of modern thought is 
visible. The sensual delight of Mahomet's Paradise are 
felt by many pious Moslems to constitute a low ideal of 
happiness, and teachers are now found who speak of such 
enjoyments as figurative, like many of the expressions in 
Solomon's song. Mr Hughes, however, is presumably 
right when he states that " all Moslem theologians have 
given a literal interpretation of the sensual .delights, and 
it is impossible for any candid mind to read the Koran 
and the ' Traditions ' and arrive at any other conclusion 
on the subject " x 

Whatever the recent teachers of Islam may say, it is 
however beyond reasonable doubt that the position of 
women in Moslem is lower than in Christian countries. 

The modernist among Moslems is trying to find a 
remedy for the position in which woman is placed. Her 
worst grievances are to be found in polygamy and in her 
liability to be " repudiated." Her husband has but to 
pronounce the simple formula of repudiation three times 
and his wife is legally put away. No reason need be 
assigned. She is cast off almost as easily as an old shoe. 
The leading Moslems both in Turkey and in India recog- 
nize the evil of such a practice. A Turkish Moslem and 
an Indian, the latter a barrister-at-law, both of them 
reputed to be experts on Mahometan law, have assured 
me that the practice of repudiation though everywhere 
admitted is an abuse contrary to the religious teaching 
of Islam and that regular divorce proceedings based upon 
adultery is what Mahomet enjoined. I cannot, however, 
find in Mr Hughes' " Notes on Mohammedanism " any 
authority for the statement. My informants claimed 
that the movement to abolish repudiation will be sup- 

1 Hughes' " Notes on Mohammedanism," p. 93. 



330 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

ported by appealing to early religious teaching. As 
happened in England, and as I have already explained, the 
lawyers came to the assistance of Turkish women. From 
the days of the early caliphs, they claimed that women 
were entitled to their own property. Modernism, however, 
wishes to strike at the practice of repudiation altogether. 
Perhaps the most remarkable signs of the movement 
to get rid of the hardness and rigidity of Mahometan 
dogma is the attempt made during and since the revolu- 
tion of July 24, 1908, to show that Christians and Moslems 
ought to be regarded as equals. The cry during the first 
weeks after the destruction of the debasing and irritating 
tyranny of Abdul Hamid was for liberty, equality, frater- 
nity and justice. The four words were inscribed on most 
of the Turkish banners. In a great procession which 
passed my house in Pera on the 3rd December 1908, there 
were probably fifty open carriages, in each of which sat a 
mollah side by side with a Christian bishop or priest or 
with a Jewish rabbi. Every form of Christianity in the 
Empire was represented. The Orthodox Church, the 
Armenian, Melkite, Coptic, Armenian Catholic, each had a 
member sitting side by side with a Moslem dignitary. 
From the terrace of the Town Hall a mollah offered prayers 
for brotherhood, and the crowd, composed about equally 
of Moslems and Christians, responded with hearty Amtns. 
Two months previously I had a conversation with the 
Sheik-ul-Islam who is at once " primate and lord chancel- 
lor " of the Moslem Millet or community, and had invited 
him to express his opinion on the question whether by the 
law of Islam equality with Christians could be permitted 
by the " Sheri ' ' or Sacred Law. His reply was remarkable. 
He declared that in accordance with the teaching of 
Mahomet they ought to be so treated, and that as a fact 
they were so treated by him. In response to my ob- 
servation that I could not recall any Mahometan ruler 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM 331 

who had recognized the " People of the Books " as the 
equals of Moslems, he admitted that this was true gener- 
ally but added that when the Moslem applied the law of 
the conqueror he was acting against the law of Islam. 
He asked me whether I had given attention to the early 
progress of Islam. In reply I told him that I had and 
that I considered it the most wonderful progress of which 
history bears record. " Yes/' said he, " from India to 
Gibraltar within a few years was marvellous," but what 
was my explanation of it ? I told him that I would 
much prefer to hear his. He then claimed that it was be- 
cause Mahomet proclaimed liberty and granted equality. 
Thousands of Christians flocked to his standard as they 
did afterwards to that of the caliphs in order to enjoy the 
liberty and the equality which he offered them. Mahomet 
and the caliphs were true to these principles. Then he 
added, and the phrase was twice repeated during the 
conversation and recalled to him by me a little later in 
an interview in presence of Mr Noel Buxton and Dr, 
now Sir Arthur Evans, that liberal though the Consti- 
tution granted in July was, Islam was still more liberal. 

In the course of my second interview and upon the 
suggestion of Mr Roden Buxton I asked whether he re- 
garded the members of the Sheah sect as Mahometans. 
His answer was emphatically yes. In the course of the 
same conversation he made a statement which I confess 
startled me. All men, said he, may be recognized as 
entitled to equality and even as belonging to the religion of 
Islam if they are prepared to say and believe " La ilaha 
Il-lal-laho," " There is no deity but God." He did not add 
the other portion signifying " Mahomet is the prophet of 
God." Upon his making the remark I replied, " then all 
of us here are Moslems for we all believe and are all ready 
to say that." The venerable head of the faith smiled 
pleasantly but said nothing in the way of dissent. 



332 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

If this statement be held by any considerable member 
of Ulema or of Moslem scholars, and it was made in 
presence of four or five Moslem dignitaries, then the 
world is in presence of a movement before which the old 
notion of Mahometanism, as a crystallized faith, will have 
to be abandoned. 

Of one thing I am convinced, that among the educated 
and thoughtful Moslems of Turkey there have been for 
some years and still are forces at work which are exercis- 
ing immense influence on them and their religious con- 
ceptions. Among these forces are, the progress of 
physical science, the example of the prosperity, strength, 
order, better government and civilization of Christian 
countries, the influence of travel both of Moslems who 
have resided in Western Europe and of European travel- 
lers who have visited Turkey, and association with and 
the example of men of other religions. 

We are now beginning to see the results. Islam is 
theism plus many practices. These practices have in 
many cases become sanctioned as if they were articles 
of belief. Some are useful, others of doubtful utility. 
Many have served their turn and have become useless. 
The hygienic regulations have made the Moslems the 
most cleanly people in Turkey. The rule as to abstaining 
from eating swine-flesh in any form, though generally 
observed, is spoken of by educated Moslems merely as a 
good sanitary observance for a country like Arabia. In 
time it will probably be sent to the limbo of the similar 
provisions made for the Jews. The dogma insisting on a 
pilgrimage to Mecca, which is officially taught to be one 
of the " Five Pillars of Islam," has had its use but is 
generally recognized as one which may be obeyed or not 
according to the convenience of the believer. The 
practices of Islam which cannot reasonably be justified 
will die out, but they will die slowly. The great definite 



THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM 333 

advance which has been made in deference to modern 
Moslem thought is that investigation is permitted by 
public opinion. To be not altogether satisfied with 
dogmatic teaching and to be able to examine it is in itself 
progress and the best Turkish thought has arrived at 
that stage. 

But one must face facts ; and while one welcomes the 
developments of Islam it must not be forgotten that the 
modern views have to make way against a dense mass 
of bigotry, superstition and unreasoning attachment to 
old beliefs. There are developments which are acting as 
leaven, but it would be against all experience to believe 
that the leaven will work quickly. A recent writer, Leon 
Cahun, says " Les Turcs ont ete toujours trop inaccessible 
au sentiment religieux pour jamais devenir heretiques. 
Us ne demandent pas mieux que de croire, mais ils ne 
tiennent pas du tout a comprendre " and though it must 
be remembered that the Turks of Turkey are a mixed 
race, with Arab, Syrian, Karamanian, Armenian, and 
Greek blood in them, the remark is substantially true. 
It is of course true of most peoples, but in Islam the 
doctrines of pre-ordination, of foreknowledge, of fatalism 
have taken away or at least lessened the desire for know- 
ledge and the thirst for inquiry. To suggest that any 
other religion, be it Christianity or Buddhism, ought to be 
examined is an insult to the uncultured Turk. An 
apostate ought to be killed ; doubt is disloyalty. The 
elect are preordained. To accept any other faith is in 
popular belief to abandon all hope of that Paradise which 
awaits every Moslem, to lose the right of dominancy 
over the professors of all other creeds with which his 
religion inspires him and to willingly take a lower place 
in the world. Nevertheless I believe in the power of the 
leaven which has already begun to work. 



CHAPTER XV 

THE CAPITULATIONS AND FOREIGN COMMUNITIES 

Capitulations a survival Largely employed in Middle Age 
Foreign jurisdiction an obligation, not a privilege In full force in 
1453 French Capitulations of 1535 Followed by English Favoured 
nation clause Its operation British and Turkish administration 
of law compared. 

FOREIGNERS constitute so large and important 
an element in the population of Turkey, that some 
notice must be given of them, but especially of the 
peculiar conditions under which they reside in the empire. 
This is the more important because there constantly 
appear statements in British and American papers 
which display ignprance of what these conditions are. 

The subjects of European States and of America who 
reside in Turkey are, within certain well-defined limita- 
tions, subject only to the jurisdiction of the countries 
to which they belong. British subjects form a colony 
within Turkey, and are always within the legiance of 
the British king. Their descendants, no matter how 
remote, do not become Turkish subjects merely by being 
born on Turkish soil. They are justiciable before the 
British Courts where British Law is administered by 
British judges and British juries. In like manner, 
German, French, Russian, American and subjects of other 
civilized states form colonies in Turkey, each set of 
subjects being amenable to their own laws. There are 
thus a series of imperia in the imperium of the Turkish 
Empire. Such a condition of things does not exist in 
any other European country. It is usually and correctly 



CAPITULATIONS & FOREIGN COMMUNITIES 335 

stated to be due to the Capitulations. The word belongs 
to mediaeval Latin and signified Treaties with the 
conditions given under small headings. In its modern 
use as applied to Turkey it simply means treaties. It is 
the Treaties or Capitulations which create for non- 
Turkish subjects the exceptional position which they 
possess in Turkey. 

Many incorrect statements have been made and much 
nonsense has been uttered in regard to the origin of the 
Capitulations. Such statements have been founded on 
one of two assumptions, both of which are contrary to 
fact. It has often been asserted even in the House of 
Commons that the Capitulations are a proof of the far- 
sightedness or magnanimity of the Turkish Sultans who, 
in their desire to foster commerce, conferred privileges on 
foreigners in order to induce them to reside on Turkish 
territory. It is more usual to describe them as con- 
cessions wrung from the Sultans by the grasping foreigner. 
Each view is incorrect. The first is hardly colorably 
true ; the second is ludicrously at variance with facts. 
When it is remembered that the most important Capitula- 
tions to the Western nations were granted during the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries when Turkey was at the 
height of her power, when indeed all Western Europe was 
alarmed at the almost uninterrupted encroachment upon 
Christian territory made by the Grand Turk, it will 
at least be recognised as unlikely that Western Europe 
compelled him to make concessions which reduced his 
sovereign rights. Indeed the supposition is at once 
absurd and without any historical foundation. 

The explanation of the existence of capitulations and 
of what appears now to be the anomalous conditions 
created by them is to be found in their history. The 
key to their history is in the fact that they are not 
creations of modern statesmen, but survivals to modern 



336 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

times of legal conceptions which were familiar to the 
Roman and especially to the Later Roman, or, as I 
prefer to call it, the Greek Empire. 

This is not the place to point out the conditions under 
which foreigners lived under the Roman Empire before 
the time of Caracalla. This has been done by various 
German, French and English writers. It is sufficient 
to say that under the Greek Empire and in Syria during 
the Crusades, foreigners were permitted to form colonies 
on Greek and Saracen territory which were governed by 
their own laws and administered by their own magistrates. 
The ruler of the territory only conceded the privilege of 
residing within it. What is now regarded as at least an 
equally valuable concession, namely that foreigners 
should be governed by their own magistrates, who should 
administer their own laws, was not considered by the 
emperors or sultans as a privilege. It was an obligation 
imposed on them as a condition upon which they enjoyed 
the privilege of residing in the foreign country. All 
ancient peoples regarded their laws as sacred. They 
considered them as privileges which were not to be con- 
ferred on outsiders. Students of the Bible will recall 
the treatment prescribed for Gentiles. Students of 
Roman law will remember that by the side of the Civil 
Law, which was only for Roman citizens, there grew 
up under the direction of an officer appointed to 
settle matters between foreigners, and called the Pretor 
Peregrinus, a parallel system of law, the Roman equally 
with the Jew being unwilling to allow foreigners to 
have the advantages belonging to his own citizenship. 
They might reside in the empire but they must govern 
themselves. The Roman knew nothing of their laws or 
usages, and was not going to be troubled with their 
internal affairs except when they were likely to disturb 
public order. 



CAPITULATIONS & FOREIGN COMMUNITIES 337 

This system took a wider development when the seat 
of the empire was fixed on the Bosporus. When the 
Greek Emperors, or the Saracens granted permission to 
reside in their territory, it was on the well-understood 
condition that the foreigners on whom the privilege was 
bestowed should remain subject to the sovereign to 
whom they had owed allegiance before coming. They 
were to remain under his jurisdiction while residing on 
foreign territory, and he was to support the burden of 
governing them. 

One of the earliest Treaties or Capitulations known 
was made between the Greek Emperor and the Warings 
or Russians in 905. It was renewed in 945. From that 
date to the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 
1453 there is a series of Capitulations between certain 
European states and the Greek Empire. There were 
also similar Capitulations between various Italian States 
and the Saracens in Syria and Egypt. 

When the Turks captured Constantinople they there- 
fore found Capitulations in full force. Galata on the 
opposite shore of the Golden Horn was a walled town 
occupied by Genoese, who, by virtue of their Capitula- 
tions with the Emperors, elected their own podesta or 
mayor, were governed by their own laws, and were sub- 
jects of the Duke of Milan. The Sultan, within a few 
days after the capture of the city, confirmed the ancient 
capitulations in favour of the people of Galata and the 
Genoese generally, though he would not allow their 
fortifications to remain. He stipulated that they should 
govern themselves and remain subject to the Duke of 
Milan their overlord. 1 

In the following year, 1454, the Venetian colony in 
Constantinople likewise received Capitulations and were 

1 The treaty containing these Capitulations is given in Von Ham- 
mer's " History of the Ottoman Empire," and in Sauli's " Storia di 
Genovesi in Galata." 

22 



338 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

allowed to govern themselves under their own bailo or 
mayor, it being always, of course, understood that they 
should continue subjects of the Republic of Venice. We 
need not trouble ourselves about other Capitulations 
until we come to those given to France in 1535. These 
are, however, of great importance because they formed 
the basis upon which all European nations obtained 
similar treaties. 

The first English Ambassador to the Sultan was 
William Harborne, who arrived in Constantinople in 
1583. He at once began to appoint consuls. A 
" Charter of Privileges " had been granted to the English 
in 1579. These were enlarged in the following year. 
The new treaty is given in Anderson's " History and 
Chronological Deduction of the Origin of Commerce " 
under the title " The Charter of Privileges granted to 
English and the League of the great Turke with the 
Queenes Maiestie in respect of Traffique." These 
privileges were formally confirmed as Capitulations in 
1593, under Sir Edward Barton the second English 
ambassador. They were renewed and added to in the 
time of Charles II., in 1675. They have received further 
modifications which have reference almost exclusively 
to commerce. 

Now the English Treaty obtained in the last years of 
Queen Elizabeth was based upon the French Treaty of 
1535, and that again was founded on, and so far as legal 
principles are concerned was identical with, the Treaties 
with Genoa and Venice. The English Treaties of 
Elizabeth and Charles II. have never, so far as the legal 
status and immunities of British subjects are concerned, 
been changed from that day to the present. 

If, under an empire which had conferred on the world 
Roman Law, it was judged necessary to have capitula- 
tions, which compelled resident foreigners to provide 



CAPITULATIONS & FOREIGN COMMUNITIES 339 

for their own government, such provisions were far 
more needful when the ruler of the empire was a Moslem. 
Neither Turk nor foreigner would be content that such 
residents should be under Turkish law. The Moslem 
could never consent to accord to the miscreant the 
privileges his religion conferred on him as a believer. 
The unbeliever to him is on a lower plane. He is a man 
to be killed if he will not submit to Moslem rule, to be 
treated as an inferior being if he submits. The Koran 
is for the Moslem at once a civil and a religious code. 
The foreigner, as a non-Moslem, is outside religion. The 
law being an advantage derived from religion, only be- 
lievers can share in its advantage. Foreigners, how- 
ever, could not consent to be treated as cattle or rayahs, 
the term which the Turk applies to non-Moslem subjects. 
It was nevertheless in the interest of the country that 
foreigners should live in Turkey. They could do so, 
but they must govern themselves. The arrangement 
suited both parties. 

It was in the realisation of the unsuitability of 
Turkish law either to the Turkish or foreign subject 
that all foreign countries received Capitulations. Then 
there followed a somewhat interesting and important 
development. Each nation sought to obtain the best 
possible conditions, and from an early period a stipulation 
was inserted in the Capitulations which any country 
obtained that whatever advantages were accorded to 
any other nation should likewise be granted to that 
obtaining the new capitulation. Thus each capitulation 
contains the " most favoured nation clause/* The effect 
is that the subjects of all foreign nations are under the 
same regulations or capitulations, and thus the Capitula- 
tions taken altogether form a body of law applicable to 
all foreigners who reside in the Turkish Empire. The 
general result was correctly stated by Lord Watson in a 



340 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

case before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 
and is that such foreigners " form an anomalous ex- 
territorial colony of persons of different nationalities, 
having unity in relation to the Turkish Government, but 
altogether devoid of such unity when examined by itself ; 
the consequence being that its members continue to 
preserve their nationality and their civil and political 
rights, just as if they had never ceased to have their 
residence and domicile in their own country." 

The operation of the Capitulations in Turkey leads to 
each European State having a separate colony with 
its own court of law, laws, and judges. In case of dis- 
putes between non-Turkish subjects in Turkey of different 
nationalities, the court of the defendant has jurisdiction. 
Where either of the contending parties is a Turkish sub- 
ject, then under the Capitulations the question in dispute 
has to be decided by a special court. This consists of 
three Turkish judges with two assessors named by the 
Embassy of the nation to which the foreigner belongs. 
For the further protection of the foreign litigant, whether 
plaintiff or defendant, the presence of a dragoman, that 
is of an official interpreter belonging to the Embassy in 
question, is necessary. The tribunal in question is 
usually spoken of as a " mixed court." Many such 
courts exist throughout the empire. As without the 
presence of the dragoman the court is not validly con- 
stituted, he is an officer of considerable importance. 
Usually and throughout the empire the dragomans told 
off to attend the mixed courts are able and trustworthy. 
If he be so, his influence on the assessors, who are very 
rarely legal men, and on the judges is beneficial. 

Since 1869, foreign subjects have been permitted to 
own land in Turkey. Inasmuch as the condition on 
which they hold is that they are to be considered in 
reference to such ownership as Turkish subjects, and 



CAPITULATIONS & FOREIGN COMMUNITIES 341 

therefore judiciable in purely Turkish Courts where 
they are not permitted to have the advantage either of 
assessors or dragoman, it would be out of place here to 
speak further on the subject. 

Turkish courts and judges call, however, for remark. 
Speaking generally, they are corrupt. I have known not 
merely able, but honest Turkish judges, but their popular 
reputation is deservedly bad. Bentham says that the 
greatest liar who ever lived made more statements which 
were true than were false. In like manner I believe that 
the majority of Turkish judgments are substantially 
just. But there is certainly no presumption in the 
public mind that a judgment, even if just, has been 
honestly obtained. Popular sentiment on the subject 
is the very antithesis of what it is in England. The 
system of Trial by Jury has produced in England the in- 
incalculably valuable effect of familiarising all classes 
of the community with the course of legal procedure, 
especially in criminal cases, and of thus inspiring public 
confidence. The Assize system, practised during long 
centuries, increased this confidence. The solemn entry 
of the king's judges into a provincial city, where they 
were met by the High Sheriff, the mayor and all local 
dignitaries, all clothed in official livery, the fanfare of 
trumpets, the reading of the King's commission, the 
ringing of the church bells, the attendance in state at the 
cathedral, all added dignity and importance to the 
occasion. People noted that these representatives of the 
King came from the capital, knew nothing of local 
differences, had no temptation to favour one person 
more than another, and having executed the task assigned 
to them by the sovereign did not linger in the place. If 
ever dramatic effect were useful to a state it was here. 
Justice was not only properly administered, but ap- 
peared to be so. It was known also that the judges 



342 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

were chosen from the most eminent men at the bar, and 
were paid large salaries. The result has been that in no 
country on earth do the great mass of the people more 
completely believe in the purity of the administration 
of law. The advantage is an enormous one. With a 
somewhat exceptional knowledge of most of the foreign 
systems of law administered throughout Europe, having 
had the advantage of working for upwards of thirty 
years with able and loyal legal colleagues representing 
almost every European state, I confidently affirm that 
our judicial system has a reputation not only among 
British subjects, but among competent foreign observers, 
for dispensing even-handed justice such as is not pos- 
sessed by the legal system of any other country, and I 
add that such reputation is deserved, and is one of which 
we may well be proud. I am not thinking so much of 
the spirit of our legislation, which has given us the Habeas 
Corpus Act, and which for two centuries at least has never 
tolerated the preliminary and secret official examination 
of accused persons which still prevails in some civilised 
states, as of the spirit of confidence, of respect for fair 
play and for seeing both sides of a question, created in the 
public mind by an administration which is believed to be 
beyond suspicion. It is largely from having acquired 
this spirit that our trades-unionists and our socialists 
are far ahead of their continental colleagues in modera- 
tion and fair-mindedness, and take the lead in the Inter- 
national Congresses of working men. 

In Turkey, things are far different. There is little 
fault to be found with the Turkish law. In a sense the 
Turks may be said to have inherited Byzantine law, that 
is the law of the New Rome formulated mainly in the 
time of Justinian. The members of the Orthodox church 
are governed to this hour by Byzantine law in all matters 
relating to marriage, succession, dowry and personal 



CAPITULATIONS & FOREIGN COMMUNITIES 343 

statute. The Turks adopted large portions of it, partly 
from Byzantine law directly, chiefly from compilations 
made from it during the time of the caliphs. Within 
the last half century they have largely used the French 
codes for framing their system of commercial law and 
procedure. It is true that the Koran furnishes a system 
of law and procedure which believers hold to be sacred. 
But at all times Moslems have held and still hold that 
the advantages of such law are for believers only. 

Mahomet the Conqueror granted what may be called 
Capitulation to the Christian churches in Turkey, in 
order that they might govern themselves. He re- 
cognized that the law of the Koran administered by 
what are known as Sacred or Sheri Courts could not deal 
with many matters, and that a Christian system was so 
alien to that of Islam that Christians must be allowed 
on such matters to govern themselves. They were left 
therefore to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchal Courts. I 
have elsewhere cited bigamy as an offence unknown to 
the Sheri Court. 

Fault is to be found not with Turkish law but with its 
administration. Why its administration is impure is 
difficult to understand. But there is no tradition of just 
administration. It has been often said that Asiatic 
influence is against it. But why ? I have no sufficient 
answer. I note, however, as a fact which would have to 
be considered in seeking for an answer so far as Turkey 
is concerned, that the outward signs of respect for the 
administrators of the law as exhibited by the judicial 
genius of our race have no existence in Turkey. Nothing 
has been done to exalt the position of the magistrate. 
He is an ordinary servant of the state, unsurrounded by 
any accessories which confer dignity on his office, and 
he is ill paid. 



342 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

were chosen from the most eminent men at the bar, and 
were paid large salaries. The result has been that in no 
country on earth do the great mass of the people more 
completely believe in the purity of the administration 
of law. The advantage is an enormous one. With a 
somewhat exceptional knowledge of most of the foreign 
systems of law administered throughout Europe, having 
had the advantage of working for upwards of thirty 
years with able and loyal legal colleagues representing 
almost every European state, I confidently affirm that 
our judicial system has a reputation not only among 
British subjects, but among competent foreign observers, 
for dispensing even-handed justice such as is not pos- 
sessed by the legal system of any other country, and I 
add that such reputation is deserved, and is one of which 
we may well be proud. I am not thinking so much of 
the spirit of our legislation, which has given us the Habeas 
Corpus Act, and which for two centuries at least has never 
tolerated the preliminary and secret official examination 
of accused persons which still prevails in some civilised 
states, as of the spirit of confidence, of respect for fair 
play and for seeing both sides of a question, created in the 
public mind by an administration which is believed to be 
beyond suspicion. It is largely from having acquired 
this spirit that our trades-unionists and our socialists 
are far ahead of their continental colleagues in modera- 
tion and fair-mindedness, and take the lead in the Inter- 
national Congresses of working men. 

In Turkey, things are far different. There is little 
fault to be found with the Turkish law. In a sense the 
Turks may be said to have inherited Byzantine law, that 
is the law of the New Rome formulated mainly in the 
time of Justinian. The members of the Orthodox church 
are governed to this hour by Byzantine law in all matters 
relating to marriage, succession, dowry and personal 



CAPITULATIONS & FOREIGN COMMUNITIES 343 

statute. The Turks adopted large portions of it, partly 
from Byzantine law directly, chiefly from compilations 
made from it during the time of the caliphs. Within 
the last half century they have largely used the French 
codes for framing their system of commercial law and 
procedure. It is true that the Koran furnishes a system 
of law and procedure which believers hold to be sacred. 
But at all times Moslems have held and still hold that 
the advantages of such law are for believers only. 

Mahomet the Conqueror granted what may be called 
Capitulation to the Christian churches in Turkey, in 
order that they might govern themselves. He re- 
cognized that the law of the Koran administered by 
what are known as Sacred or Sheri Courts could not deal 
with many matters, and that a Christian system was so 
alien to that of Islam that Christians must be allowed 
on such matters to govern themselves. They were left 
therefore to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchal Courts. I 
have elsewhere cited bigamy as an offence unknown to 
the Sheri Court. 

Fault is to be found not with Turkish law but with its 
administration. Why its administration is impure is 
difficult to understand. But there is no tradition of just 
administration. It has been often said that Asiatic 
influence is against it. But why ? I have no sufficient 
answer. I note, however, as a fact which would have to 
be considered in seeking for an answer so far as Turkey 
is concerned, that the outward signs of respect for the 
administrators of the law as exhibited by the judicial 
genius of our race have no existence in Turkey. Nothing 
has been done to exalt the position of the magistrate. 
He is an ordinary servant of the state, unsurrounded by 
any accessories which confer dignity on his office, and 
he is ill paid. 



CHAPTER XVI 

SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 

Can Turkey reform Three periods taken between 1820 and 1911 
to illustrate progress of Turkish people Abdul Hamid's reign A 
reaction Progress in sanitary matters In Education Efforts of 
Christian Churches American Schools and Missions Robert College 
Scutari College 

IS it possible that Turkey can reform ? Is the Turk 
capable of improvement ? Is he not an irreclaimable 
barbarian, a man incapable of civilization, unconsciously 
prevented from making progress by his religion and his 
traditions ? Many have both asked and answered these 
questions. Their answers fall under two categories. In 
the first the position is taken up that all reform in Turkey 
is impossible. " It is clear to me/' says the author of an 
able and altogether honest book on Armenia, " that 
Turkey will never organize practical reforms. She does 
not know how to reform, is quite content to remain as 
she is, hates all innovations, even when they come in the 
shape of improvements." The sentences quoted are 
written at the end of Mr Hepworth's investigations re- 
garding the Armenian massacres and record his conclu- 
sions. It would not be difficult to find similar utterances 
in the suggestive books of those experienced travellers in 
Anatolia, Sir William and Lady Ramsay. Both know the 
country well and their conclusions lead the reader almost 
to despair of reform. I have myself often called attention 
to the terrible task of effecting any beneficial changes in 
Asia Minor, and have spoken of the career of the Turks 
during the last five centuries as one of destruction and 

344 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 345 

never of construction. I have no intention of unsaying 
what I have said. I may have stated even that the Turk 
was hopeless, though I think not. In denouncing the 
iniquities of misgovernment in Turkey, it was hardly 
possible to employ the language of exaggeration. When 
writing of the general corruption in the administration 
of government ; of the great variety and number of out- 
rages committed, the torture of prisoners to obtain 
evidence or confession ; of the imprisonment of crowds 
of Armenians to find one criminal ; the daily extortion, 
shared in or permitted, by those in authority ; the organ- 
ized massacres of tens of thousands whose offences were, 
first, that they were Christians, and second, that they 
were more prosperous than their Moslem neighbours, 
hardly any language could be characterized as too violent. 
That in writing upon them in the twentieth century, one 
should regard the perpetrators as incapable of reform was 
natural. Expressions denoting the hopelessness of reform 
might be gathered by the score from many English and 
other authors belonging to the nineteenth century. 

Another class of writers who were much in evidence 
half a century ago would have given different answers ; 
for they regarded the Turks and reforms from a totally 
different point of view. The most conspicuous writer of 
this class was Mr Urquhart who about the time of the 
Crimean War exercised influence on English opinion. 
He was the great leader of the Philo-Turks in England. 
His followers went far beyond their leader in admiration 
for everything Turkish. The Turk was the only gentle- 
man left in Europe. If mal-administration existed in the 
country it was due to foreign influence. Christians had 
corrupted Turks. Christian traders had introduced such 
abominations as general bribery among the Turks who by 
race and religion were honourable and pure-minded. 
The Christian races of the Empire were degraded, liars, 



346 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

untrustworthy, incapable of civilization and sunk in 
ignorance and superstition. Islam was a religion well 
suited to the Turkish race and on the whole preferable to 
Christianity. Indeed three of the disciples of Urquhart, 
all holding a somewhat conspicuous position before the 
British public, became Mahometans. In 1873 when I 
arrived in Constantinople, the influence of these English- 
men was still powerful. I recall one of them in particular 
who paid a long visit to Turkey, who could never see 
anything Turkish except through rose spectacles. He 
was an elderly, kindly, and intelligent man, but his belief 
in the immaculate character of the Turk was incurable. 
Before leaving he gave me very seriously a word of advice : 
" You are a young man, and if I were you I should become 
a Moslem : you would then have a great career before 
you." I smiled and said that one must draw the line 
somewhere, and that most certainly I should draw it 
before reaching that stage." He was a generous man and 
wealthy. In passing through the picturesque Turkish 
cemetery at Scutari he met two Turkish soldiers, who 
asked him for bakshish. In his entire confidence in the 
native goodness of the Turk he pulled out of his pocket 
all the money he possessed, including gold and silver and 
showed them in his hand, inviting them to take something. 
One of the soldiers seized the hand and simply emptied 
its contents into his own. Does the reader imagine that 
this disillusioned him ? Not the least ! I could tell 
many stories about him and other philo-Turks of that 
period of a similar character. I will only relate one : An 
imaginary debt was paid to a Turkish department running 
into thousands of pounds, after the imaginary debtor had 
been assured by legal advice in England and in Turkey 
that he was under no legal or even moral responsibility in 
regard thereto. To complete the story I may mention 
that he sent a man to pay the amount and that for two 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 347 

months the Turks refused to receive it, fearing probably 
that the offer of payment was a trap, and that if they gave 
a receipt it would be used to found a demand for the 
payment of a much larger sum. The man who was sent 
with the money came to me about a month after his 
arrival, and stated that he had had a visit from two 
government officials who told him that they had arranged 
with the minister to receive the money, but that he would 
have to pay them 500 for persuading the minister to do 
so. He was a blunt sort of Englishman of the straight- 
forward, superior working man class, and his answer to 
the officials, which referred to his boots and their persons, 
was not complimentary either to his master or to the 
Turks. Ultimately, but only after two months' delay, the 
Turks took the money and no bakshish was paid for 
receiving it. 

This is, of course, an extreme case of Philo-Turkism, but 
the attitude of mind years ago was not so rare as might 
be supposed. There were Englishmen who, while unable 
to see any fault in the Turks, could see no merit in the 
Christian subjects of the Sultan. The most distinguished 
of such men in later years, and one of whom I can only 
speak with respect, was the late Earl Percy. His ten- 
dency and that of all the school in question is to hold 
that the need for reform is greatly exaggerated, and that 
the Turk may safely be left alone to work his own will 
upon his subjects. Such writers would hardly go so far 
as to say no reforms are advisable, but that, all things 
considered, there is no need to worry the Turk to make 
them. Some would add that more harm is done by 
pressing for them than by letting things take their 
natural course. The sufficient answer to such a con- 
tention is twofold ; that while not one of the able men 
who were British ambassadors here during the last or 
the present century has held such an opinion, no improve- 



348 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

inent in Turkey during the same period was initiated by 
the Turkish Government. All ambassadors alike, begin- 
ning at the opening of last century with the greatest ever 
sent to Turkey by England, Lord Stratford de RedcMe, 
and continuing to the revolution of 1908, have had as 
their chief duty to urge upon the Porte the necessity of 
reforms which should make for the welfare of Moslems 
and Christians alike, and which in particular should make 
the lives of Christians endurable. The longer they have 
remained here the more firmly have they been convinced 
that Turkey must perish if such reforms are not carried 
into execution. 

Seventy years ago, Lord Stratford, then Stratford 
Canning, used the phrase found in Shakespeare, and made 
famous in connection with Turkey by W. E. Gladstone, 
" bag and baggage/' as expressing his hopelessness of 
reforms. " I wish," said he in 1821, " that the Sultan 
were driven bag and baggage into the heart of Asia." l 
Sixty years later, Sir Henry Layard was sent here by Mr 
Disraeli and chosen as a friend of the Turks. An old 
acquaintance of Urquhart, he believed that once they 
were shown that reforms were for the advantage of the 
country, the Turk would accept them. His reputation 
was bound up in such acceptance. No ambassador ever 
worked harder in trying to show the Turks that what 
England advised through him was in their own interests. 
But he was compelled to admit that he had entirely failed, 
and those who, like myself, often saw him and observed 
how from month to month his illusions fell before the 
steady resistance of Abdul Hamid, were not in the least 
surprised when his famous dispatch of April 1881 was 
published admitting his failure. It recorded an honest 
change of opinion arrived at by the irresistible force of 
evidence. 

1 "Life of Stratford Canning," by S. Lane Poole, p. 307. 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 

Yet, in spite of the many statements that the Turk 
cannot reform, in spite of the comparative failure of the 
attempts by the Powers, and, to England's credit, 
especially by her, to urge the execution of reforms, in 
spite of the publication of paper reforms decreed to 
placate Western Europe, and including the famous Hatti- 
Humayoun and Midhat's constitution of 1876 and their 
immediate neglect by the Turks, there has been im- 
provement. 

Even in reference to Turkish fanaticism, I have no 
hesitation in saying that it has diminished and is dimin- 
ishing. The pages of Turkish history even before 1800 
give ample evidence of such change. They contain the 
records of foul slaughter, of which, if fanaticism was not 
the direct cause, it always supplied the most dangerous 
element. In the beginning of the sixteenth century, 
Sultan Selim (1512-1520) proposed to put all Christians 
in the capital to death unless they accepted Mahome- 
tanism, and to convert all their churches into mosques. 
Happily the grand vizier recognized the folly of so terrible 
a proposal and arranged with the patriarch a pretty little 
plot. The patriarch was to appeal against the proposal 
to the chief officer of the Sheri, or Religious Court, who 
had also previously been seen by the vizier and was in 
accord with him. When the case came on for hearing 
the patriarch, in presence of the Sultan, quoted the Koran 
to the effect that the " People of the Books " were to be 
spared. The chief judge declared that all the authorized 
Moslem commentators agreed with the version given by 
the patriarch. It was therefore Sacred Law. The Sultan 
had to content himself with taking their churches and 
giving them permission to build others in wood. No 
such monstrous proposition has ever been renewed. 

But though the lives of the Christians were saved, 
they were subject to constant brutalities and periodical 



350 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

massacres. The seventeenth century is a story of wild 
disorder, of continued oppression and of the general 
toleration of lawlessness so long as it was directed against 
the Christian rayahs. In the middle of the century 
foreign subjects were almost as ill-treated as the rayahs. 
In 1645, when the Porte declared war on Venice, orders 
were issued to slaughter or make slaves of every Venetian 
subject found in the empire. The war was declared by 
throwing the ambassador and his suite into prison. This 
practice, indeed, continued till the Peace of Ryswick in 
1697 ; and in the enclosure called the Seven Towers, which 
was usually employed for the imprisonment of diplomats 
and their suites, there still exist inscriptions on the walls 
carved just before that date by diplomatist prisoners. 

The eighteenth century is full of injustice toward the 
Christians, but it is an improvement on the seventeenth 
and this because the influence of European States had 
begun to be felt in Constantinople. As the century 
advanced, the Turks learned that Europe would not 
tolerate the imprisonment of ambassadors or the murder 
of subjects of foreign States because Turkey was at war 
with them. But so far European influence hardly told 
upon the Turk in reference to the treatment of his own 
subjects. I may remark in passing that there appears to 
be an idea in England that the Turk always showed a 
contemptuous toleration for his Christian subjects. This 
is far from being true. His history at its best, in regard 
to them, is one of comparative indifference alternated 
with energetic persecution. Until the nineteenth century 
his policy was one of constant worry with occasional 
Bartholomew massacres. 

The nineteenth century enables us to estimate the im- 
provement which has taken place and the diminution of 
fanaticism as part of it. For the purpose of examination 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 351 

I may divide it into three periods each representing 
roughly about a generation. We may begin with the 
year 1820. 

CONDITION OF TURKEY BETWEEN 1820 AND 1830 

The atrocities committed between 1820 and 1830 in the 
capital, in Smyrna, in Chios and, indeed, wherever Greeks 
were found throughout the empire, were of a hideous 
character. The dregs of the Moslem population were 
turned loose upon the Christians in the name of religion 
to satisfy their greed and their lust. It is hardly possible 
to imagine, and quite impossible to describe without 
giving scenes unfit to be printed, what was the brutality 
of the tortures and the treatment generally meted out to 
the Christians. All this is now known from a variety of 
eye-witnesses, but it took months or years before the 
horrors of the time were brought to the knowledge of 
Western Europe so long indeed that the reports when 
they arrived had lost much of their interest. 

The condition of Constantinople was far worse than it 
has been even during the thirty-three years of Abdul 
Hamid. The English embassy chaplain of that period, 
Mr Walsh, mentions that, as regiments passed through 
Constantinople, they committed every kind of outrage 
with impunity on the unarmed rayahs, women and men 
alike. He tells the story of an Armenian cloth merchant 
who was measuring a length for a soldier and leaned over 
the cloth while doing so. The naked neck was tempting, 
and the soldier whipped out his yataghan and with one 
stroke the Armenian's head dropped into the cloth. This 
was in Constantinople itself. The body was left, but the 
soldier carried off the cloth with the head in it, showed it 
openly and boasted of his feat. Nobody dared interfere. 
The victim was only a Christian. Wealthy Christians 
were tortured on the slightest pretext. Many were killed 



352 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

without even the semblance of a trial. Every now and 
then the Turks would take it into their heads to order the 
Christians not to show themselves in the streets, even of 
Pera, the foreigners' quarter of Constantinople. The chap- 
lain mentions an incident on one of these occasions when 
the Turks alone paraded them. He saw a Greek who had 
ventured out of a bakaTs, or huckster's, shop to buy some 
article and who was returning when a Turk, who was 
walking just in front of the chaplain, met him. The 
Greek drew himself up to the wall as close as possible to 
let the Turk pass, but the latter deliberately pinned him 
to the wall with his yataghan and the Greek fell dead. The 
Turk wiped his weapon, entered a coffee-house where the 
chaplain saw him unconcernedly smoking his chibook. It 
was no uncommon thing, he declares, for a Turk to try his 
pistol on the first Christian he could get a shot at. Every 
day some wounded person was carried hastily by the 
embassy gate. He tells the story of a man being beheaded 
in the street by a soldier. There was no trial, no ap- 
parent cause of offence except that the man was a giaour. 
He mentions the names of men respected in the city who 
were suddenly decapitated without any trial or even 
formal charge. Lawlessness was general. Men were 
executed on slight suspicion. A well-known dragoman, 
intimate with every ambassador, was summarily executed 
before the eyes of the Sultan. His offence was that in 
reading out a letter which he considered it his duty to 
disclose to the Turks he omitted to mention the name 
of one of his friends. If he had said nothing about the 
letter no harm could have come to him. 

The city during many weeks was in the possession of 
an unbridled rabble, and the Turkish ministers declared 
to the ambassadors that they could not control it. The 
chaplain gives many illustrations of what he himself 
saw. A man was cut down in front of the embassy 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 353 

gates. An artist who would have been killed for painting 
the scenery of a small theatre where a play objected to by 
the Turks was put on, took refuge in the embassy and 
was given employment to save him from the Turks. " Not 
knowing/' says Dr Walsh, " how long we might keep our 
heads, we thought it a good opportunity of sending some 
representations of what they were to our friends at home." 
So they had their portraits taken. Finally, the man 
was smuggled one night on board a Russian ship where 
he was hidden in a cask and arrived safely in Odessa. 

After the massacre of Chios, the price of Greek slaves 
went down so low in the capital that a boy or girl could 
be bought for a few dollars. Indeed the glut was so great 
that many were killed to get rid of them. The chaplain 
saw or heard on good authority of headless men ; of 
caiq-jis taking captives to be killed who were slaughtered 
with such fiendish delight that the expedition was re- 
garded by the savages as a picnic. The British embassy 
gardens were filled with fugitives for whom the pretext 
of finding work was found as an excuse for not turning 
them out to be killed. They were of different trades, but 
Lady Strangford found excuses for keeping them all, and 
kept her brave and mirthfu] spirit alive amid the 
pandemonium. She declared that she had sent the 
tailors among the cabbages, and the bakers among the 
flowers. Let it be said, with pride, that all accounts of 
the devilry of that dreadful decade show the conduct of 
the British residents to have been worthy of the best 
traditions of our race. Though foreigners and other 
Christians were forbidden to ransom or buy slaves, 
British merchants arranged with individual Turks to pur- 
chase and set them free. They sheltered them whenever 
they could, helped them to escape from the country, and 
behaved generously to the victims of ignorance, savage- 
dom and religious fanaticism. 
23 



354 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

We have another and valuable account given of the 
condition of Constantinople and Smyrna by an intelligent 
traveller who was in the capital from May to October 1828. 
He had previously been in Smyrna. The author, an 
English barrister, Charles MacFarline, was a cautious 
man, and a faithful recorder of what he saw and learned 
from trustworthy persons. He visited Chios and re- 
marks that the fearful outrages perpetrated were because 
the island was the centre of an educational movement. 
He describes the hanging of the hostages as a brutal crime 
against civilization, and arrives at the conclusion that 
besides the thousands who were killed in the massacre, 
no less than 40,000 men, women, and children were sold 
into slavery. The population of the island was 15,000, as 
against 100,000 five years earlier, or, according to the 
Greeks, 120,000. The fate of the Christians of both sexes 
" was most horrible." 

On his arrival in Smyrna in August 1827, ne found the 
city tranquil. He tells the story of the massacre of the 
Greek notables, of the desire of the Moslems to extirpate 
the Gieek population, and of the violence of the mob 
against the governor, who honestly tried to prevent so 
extreme a measure. " But," he adds, " the ruffianly 
mob, while destroying Greeks like game in preserves, had 
become, in fact, masters of the town from which they had 
frightened speculation and commerce to the no small 
detriment of the pasha's revenue." To object to the 
killing of Greeks was to be on their side. In the streets 
wherever a Greek was seen he was shot at, the most 
violent of their enemies being Moslems from Crete. 
MacFarline makes a remark which is interesting as 
recalling what happened in Armenia in 1895-6. The 
misfortunes of the Greeks were so many and so terrible 
that " some came at last to court death. They were to 
consider their death at the hands of the blaspheming 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 355 

Mahometans as a martyrdom, and hundreds submitted 
their throat to the knife with a placidity, self-possession 
and unresistingness that might go far to merit that palm." 
Resistance, according to many eye-witnesses, was rarely 
offered. Let me say of Smyrna what I have also said of 
Constantinople, that the British residents sympathized 
with and protected the Christians, and that they were 
ably assisted by the French consul and colony. 

On leaving Smyrna MacFarline passed to Pergamon 
and has to tell the same story of lawlessness, poverty, 
desolation and slaughter. He landed also at Mitylene, 
and found the beautiful island of Sappho suffering from 
the same mad fanaticism and lawlessness as the other 
islands which he had visited. He embarked on the first 
steamer which was ever seen in these parts, for Con- 
stantinople. As they entered the Dardanelles they were 
fired at by a company of Zeibecks, savages from the hills 
whom the Sultan was endeavouring to drill into a useful 
force. The firing was only for fun, and happily no one on 
board was hit. 

When he arrived in the capital, he was " astonished at 
the melancholy, depopulated aspect of the place." The 
explanation follows at once. It was not a question of the 
Greeks. They had had their bad time. It was now the 
turn of the Armenian Catholics. In January 1828, eight 
or ten thousand of this always respectable community 
had been exiled into Asia from the capital. Two or three 
thousand more had been cleared out of the city, but 
allowed to settle in neighbouring villages. In the Grand 
Rue de Pera nearly every third house was painted red. 
This indicated that they belonged to Turks. They had 
been stolen from the exiles by the government, but had 
been sold at not a twentieth part of their value, and only 
to Moslems. MacFarline tells many stories of arbitrary 
oppression, of brutal cruelty, and of the horrors of 



356 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

slavery. It is unnecessary to furnish other illustrations 
of the condition of the country between 1820 and 1830. 

But the point that I wish to note is, that the state of 
things described was hi the capital, and hi the most 
civilized cities of the empire. We have seen Armenians 
slaughtered in Armenia by Abdul Hamid amid a devilry 
quite equal to that exhibited in Constantinople. We 
had here, even hi Constantinople in 1897, a massacre of 
Armenians. But the massacre in the capital cannot be 
compared with those between 1820 and 1830. It was a 
short, sharp, tentative attempt made by Abdul to see 
whether Europe and his own people would allow a 
massacre like those which he had successfully carried out 
in Armenia, an attempt which was put an end to after 
the first day by the collective and stern representations 
of the ambassadors of the Powers. His own people in the 
capital were hardly less decisive in their answer. His 
army of spies dare not tell him of the deep loathing 
which respectable Turks expressed at his conduct, but it 
is inconceivable that they did not inform him that his 
own subjects, excepting, of course, the low rabble which 
had been employed as his instruments, utterly disapproved 
of his brutal savagery. In other respects the capital, even 
after long years of Abdul Hamid's rule, showed that there 
had been improvement. It is true that property was 
arbitrarily seized by the late ruler, but a pretext had to be 
found before it was confiscated. Some men mysteriously 
died or disappeared, and hi popular belief, which in 
certain cases was probably well grounded, they had been 
made away with. But the openly reckless slaughter of 
men under Sultan Mahmud's reign had disappeared. 

I have mentioned Mahmud as Sultan during the period 
between 1820 and 1830. His long reign, which began in 
1808 and lasted till 1839, was a useful one. His chief 
reform consisted in the adoption of European drill, 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 357 

discipline and methods in his army. To accomplish this, 
he had to break the power of the Janissaries. These 
" New troops " had ceased about 1680 to be recruited 
exclusively or even mainly from Christian families. Their 
organization had become so complete and their esprit de 
corps was so strong that during the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries they were a greater terror to Sultan 
and ministers than to a foreign enemy. 

Originally, and until the Moslem conquest of Con- 
stantinople, they were never more than 15,000 in number. 
But this number gradually increased, and members of the 
corps took other offices as watchmen, body servants, and 
the like, so that in 1826 there are said to have been 120,000 
in the capital alone. Of these about 25,000 were in the 
fighting service. When they refused to obey Mahmud's 
orders, every one knew that the long expected struggle 
was at hand. Their predecessors had deposed sultans, 
had demanded the heads of unpopular ministers, and 
had almost invariably succeeded in obtaining them. 
Mahmud, however, was made of sterner stuff. 

In the courtyard of the Seraglio, near the once famous 
church of St Irene, they overturned their camp kettles. 
They were attacked by a small body of troops, who had 
been drilled on the European model, and fled a short 
distance, less than a quarter of a mile, to the hippodrome 
or At-meidan where they had a barrack. This was on 
the I5th June 1826. From thence they fled to the Et- 
meidan, or meat market, a mile and a half distant, where 
their principal barrack was situated. 1 This was sur- 
rounded by troops. The rebels were ordered to surrender. 

1 It is worth noting the difference between the two words, Atmeidan 
and Etmeidan, because in an otherwise able article in a French Review 
on the Janissaries the slaughter is described as having taken place 
on the hippodrome or At-medan. On my pointing out this to the 
writer he frankly admitted that he had thought at and et indicated the 
same place. At-medan is a Turkish translation of hippodrome, at 
being a horse. Et-medan means meat market. 



358 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

On their refusal the barracks were surrounded and 
attacked. A desperate rush was made by a compact 
mass of Janissaries to break through the iron ring which 
had been drawn round them. Cannon were in front of 
them, but when the gunners hi charge saw the mass of 
their fellow Moslems rush forward with their cry of Hadji 
Bektash, their hearts quailed and they turned their backs 
to the guns. It was at this fateful moment that an 
officer named Kara-gehenna, or Black Hell, rushed for- 
ward to one of the guns and discharged it by firing his 
pistol over the priming. The charge was of grape shot, 
and the havoc it made among the densely packed mass 
in the crowded street was appalling. The Janissaries 
hesitated in confusion. Some turned and fled. A 
second discharge completed their discomfiture. 

The scene is a hideous one, and that which followed, 
during the next few days, the slaughter of every Janissary 
who could be found in Stamboul or across the water was, at 
least, awful. The British ambassador estimated that six 
thousand Moslems were killed in the attack. The Janis- 
saries had, by their crimes against individuals and the 
State, filled the cup of their iniquity, and no great fault can 
be found with Mahmud for destroying them. I mention 
the incident first, to complete the picture of Constantinople 
at the period under consideration ; and second, to mark 
that the suppression was part of the work, on the whole 
a needful part, of Mahmud's reforms. Many others were 
attempted. He endeavoured to prevent the outrages of 
his soldiers, and when he could not prevent, he punished 
the wrong- doers with a strong hand. I have mentioned 
that a body of Zeibecks amused themselves by firing at 
the passengers on board the ship on which MacFarline 
passed the Dardanelles. Another band of the same 
lawless scoundrels, on their way through Brusa and other 
Bithynian towns, fired their pistols at Greeks and 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 359 

Armenians, broke open their shutters and doors, and 
killed harmless rayahs. Mahmud had given orders that 
all outrages should cease. The tidings of the conduct of 
this particular band preceded them to Constantinople, 
and when it arrived, they were decimated, and, according 
to one account, twenty, according to another, forty, were 
strangled and thrown into the Bosporus. 

CONDITION OF TURKEY BETWEEN 1830 AND 1870 

In endeavouring to point out the improvement effected 
in Turkey, I now pass from the period ending in 1830 to 
about the year 1870. It is the period when the am- 
bassadors of England and France are striving to obtain 
reforms. Canning was again the representative of 
England though he was absent from 1829 to 1841. He 
had had a rough time towards the end of the first period 
I have taken. When the news of the destruction of the 
Turkish fleet at Navarino, in October 1827, arrived, the 
attitude of the Turks became so alarming that he and his 
colleagues representing France and Russia thought it not 
unlikely that they and their suites would be sent as 
prisoners to the Seven Towers. As a precaution Canning 
burned his papers. He and his colleagues asked for their 
passports, which were refused, and all left the country 
without permission. The practice of imprisoning am- 
bassadors had ceased, as we can now recognize, for ever. 

Canning's name will ever be associated with the 
attempts of Western Europe to place Turkey among 
civilized nations. He recognized that if she were ever to 
take such a place there must be radical reforms. She 
" must be saved by the assimilation to Western principles 
of liberty, toleration and good government/' " One of 
the chief points in his programme," says his biographer, 1 

iLane-Poole's^'Life." 



360 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

" was the removal of all the distinctive disabilities which 
oppressed the Christians." He recognized, as all un- 
prejudiced observers had done from the time of the able 
British consul Rycaut in the seventeenth century, that 
the Christians form the most intelligent element in the 
country, and that the empire had need of their intelligence. 
He concluded, therefore, that in helping the Christians, in 
making himself their protector, as he soon came to be 
regarded, he was rendering good service to Turkey. On 
this principle he worked steadily for years. He obtained 
great influence and became for Turkey a benevolent 
despot always trying to drive home reforms. 

He was a man of strong will, of clear insight, of con- 
siderable tact, and of even a fierce courage. His long 
experience had made him self-reliant. He belonged to a 
period when an ambassador was not a foreign office clerk 
at the end of a telegraph wire. He had had the duty im- 
posed upon him when only twenty-three years old of 
deciding what England's policy should be during a period 
of eighteen months when he was unable to receive com- 
munications from his government. Between 1810 and 
1812 he had prevented Turkey joining with France. He 
had been disciplined into self-reliance, and in the accom- 
plishment of his purpose never feared responsibility. On 
his return to Constantinople, thirty years later, he acted 
with a firmer hand than ever. When his government, at 
the request of the Porte, sent a circular to each consul 
practically telling them not to interfere with individual 
cases of oppression, Canning wrote a private note to 
each one to say that the circular did not apply to him. 

The following may be mentioned as illustrating his 
character. Among the debasing customs which the 
Turks had retained from the time of their supremacy, was 
one in accordance with which every European, as well as 
Christian subjects, had to dismount and walk past the 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 361 

imperial palace. On one occasion Canning was returning, 
bespattered with mud from a long ride, and was ordered 
to dismount. He did so, and, just as he was, demanded 
an audience of the Sultan and did not leave until orders 
were given that this practice should cease. 

Acting constantly with the desire to benefit the Turkish 
nation he tackled the question of the inequalities to which 
the Christians were subject. He judged rightly that so 
long as religious toleration did not exist, reform for the 
nation was impossible. In 1844 his indignation had been 
brought to fever heat by the reports which reached him 
from the provinces. He learned that Christian children 
were being seized in various parts, forcibly made 
Mahometans, and confined in harems. He found that 
the practice of executing Moslems who changed their 
religion was general, though such changes were few. He 
worked hard to put an end to both practices. A special 
appeal was made to him while driving from Pera to 
Therapia by the relatives of a young Armenian then under 
arrest. His crime was that, having become a Moslem, he 
had reverted to Christianity. The efforts of Canning were 
in vain, and the man was executed. But the man did not 
die in vain. Canning and his French colleague took the 
matter up and each succeeded in obtaining instructions 
from his government to require of the Porte that punish- 
ment should no longer be inflicted on persons who 
abandoned Moslemism. When Canning framed an 
official note to the Porte in this sense, his dragoman, 
Pisani, whom I remember well as a brave old man well 
fitted to serve such a chief, replied that it would never 
succeed. Canning's reply was given with a look of deter- 
mination, " Mr Pisani, it shall." 

The struggle was long. The Turkish ministers wanted 
to compromise, to give a vague declaration of their desire 
" to avoid, as far as it might be practicable, occasions of 



364 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

according to their beauty and accomplishments. Men, 
women and children, who had been imported could be 
bought cheap. The M second hands," that is, those who 
were being sold by their owners and who had learned to 
cook, to cut wood, or be useful in the house, fetched a 
higher price. He saw a fine negress, with good recom- 
mendations as a cook and sempstress, put up for sale. 
It was admitted that she had an incorrigible temper, and 
on this account had been sold thirteen times. Buyers 
apparently were afraid, but she was finally knocked down 
to an old mollah for 17. Negroes and negresses usually 
increased in value for some years after their arrival in 
the country : white female slaves, however, fetched lower 
prices, the reason being that young women were rarely 
re-sold except for incorrigible defects, or for another 
reason. It was " no uncommon practice," says Colonel 
White, with young and wealthy profligates to purchase 
young women from the Circassian dealers at Tophana, 
or from those who bought such women from the dealers 
to educate and re-sell and then, at the expiration of a 
few weeks, to send them to Avret Bazaar in order to 
procure money for purchasing other novelties. 

The trade in human flesh in 1843 was not so flourishing 
as it had been a few years previously. An old Arab who 
had carried on the business for many years, " with Allah's 
permission," as he carefully explained, cleared about 
thirty per cent, on his sales. The profits would have 
been much larger but for the unfortunate fact that sixty 
out of every hundred died on their journey from their 
homes in Africa to Stamboul. Nevertheless, the business 
flourished, though prices were not high. The slaves 
brought from Africa were of course black. A newly im- 
ported one could be bought for 14, and never fetched 
more than 25 ; a second-hand article who had been 
taught to work and was in good health ranged from 25 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 365 

to 50. White women sold in the market when young 
averaged from 9 to 14. The choice articles in white 
slaves were, however, sold at Tophana. In 1822 the 
number of slaves officially notified as imported from 
Africa was 2800, while Circassia sent 500 in the same year. 
The Circassians were almost always imported young. 
Dealers bought them, had them carefully fed, washed and 
clothed, and sold them off at prices varying according to 
their personal charms. A young girl thus treated often 
doubled or tripled in value after two or three years. 
Colonel White relates that a doctor who was sent to 
examine one, reported that she was not in any danger, 
whereupon the owner replied " Thank God ; it would 
have been a sad loss, she cost me 400." 

The remarkable thing about these Circassian slaves is 
that they were usually brought up by their parents for 
the purpose of sale. The girls themselves looked forward 
with pleasure to the time when some wealthy pasha would 
take a fancy to add them to his harem. Many Circassian 
slaves rose to high honours : for slavery was not a bar to 
marriage and by adet, or custom having the force of 
law, a slave who bore a child to her master became 
free. 

It may be admitted that on the whole slaves in Turkey 
were not and are not ill-treated. A woman in particular 
who has been long in the service of her master is kept on 
until her death, though she has become incapable of work. 
Even in the slave depots they did not usually complain. 
Still, the system was and is a barbarous one, and so long 
as a human being is a chattel and there are brutes among 
men, instances of cruelty will occur. Colonel White him- 
self was witness of one : the broker had ordered a girl to 
follow him round the colonnade arranged for showing off 
his goods. The girl either from shame or obstinacy went 
the other way. The broker struck her so severely on the 



366 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

face that she fell and the blood rushed from her mouth 
and nose. The Englishman's blood rose and he would 
have liked to have punished the brute, but he points out 
that an attack would only have resulted in the expulsion 
of himself and friend. 

Slavery in Turkey has not ceased to exist. But it has 
become illegal though everybody who knows Turkey is 
aware that thousands of slaves are still found in the 
country, that every now and then black slaves are landed 
from Africa, and that the sale of a Circassian is by no 
means unknown. In a Turkish village where I lived for a 
year on my first arrival in the country, there was a house 
where an old Turkish woman always had from two to 
half a dozen little Circassian girls. The neighbours 
assured me, and I have no reason to doubt their state- 
ment, that her practice was to buy them young, to let them 
run wild on the beautiful hill-side for two or three years, 
and then to sell them into harems. They were not 
cruelly treated. Talking some three years ago with a 
medical man who has studied in England, France, and 
Germany, but who is a Turkish subject, he observed 
" You Europeans know nothing of what goes on in the 
harems. We hekims are privileged. You believe slavery 
is abolished rubbish. I have myself examined five 
women for the purpose of sale within the last month." 

During several years Canning had endeavoured to pre- 
vent the importation of negro slaves. MacFarline and 
Stevens as well as Colonel White found the practice 
general and not apparently condemned by public opinion. 
But the sufferings of the slaves in their passage to the 
coast and thence to Turkey were terrible and awakened 
the sympathy of all Englishmen. Canning called the 
attention of the Sultan to what civilized states had done 
to put down the slave-trade and in 1850 succeeded in 
persuading him to issue a law forbidding Turkish vessels 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 367 

to transport slaves. I cannot find that he ventured to 
touch the domestic aspect of the question. 

In the same year he succeeded in obtaining the recog- 
nition of the Protestants in Turkey as a distinct body, 
which was to enjoy the same privileges as the Greeks 
and Catholics respectively. For this purpose they were 
authorized to name a representative or Vekil who should 
have the right to represent any Protestant before the 
government. The arrangement continues to the present 
day. The Armenian Catholics had fallen under the dis- 
pleasure of the Turks, but Canning judged that they were 
oppressed and pleaded successfully also on their behalf. 

There were thus distinct and important reforms due 
to the efforts of the Powers and always mainly of England 
which were effected during the second period I have 
chosen. Many of them, as for example the order abolish- 
ing torture, are rightly classed as paper reforms. Far and 
away the most important was the granting of a charter of 
liberties known as the Hatti-humayoum. It marked the 
climax of Canning's career as a reformer. It included 
and summarized all the reforms he had succeeded in ob- 
taining during twenty-five years. Already in 1839 an 
imperial decree had been issued known as the Hatti- 
sherif of Gulhana which promised security for life and 
property for all subjects of the empire without distinction 
of race and creed. But the Hatti-humayoum promul- 
gated in February 1856 was in more emphatic language. 
It renewed the ancient privileges of the churches, guar- 
anteed the free exercise of non-Moslem religious rites, 
and allowed every church and sect to have the control 
of its ecclesiastical and educational buildings. It pro- 
claimed that " every distinction and designation tending 
to make any class whatever of the subjects of my empire 
inferior to another class on account of their religion, lan- 
guage or race, shall be for ever effaced ... no subject of 



368 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

my empire shall be hindered in the exercise of the religion 
which he professes nor shall he be in any way annoyed 
on that account. No one shall be compelled to change 
his religion." It was a Magna Carta for Turkey. 

When at the end of the Crimean War, the Treaty of 
Paris was drawn up, the Hatti-humayoum was formally 
recognized in Article IX. To Canning's disgust no pro- 
vision was made in the Treaty for enforcing its provisions. 
But they remained on the Statute Book and have often 
been appealed to in the law courts and by diplomatists. 

Let the remark be made here once for all, that irades or 
decrees making promises of reforms and other promises 
are one thing, their execution another. In my own ex- 
perience decrees forbidding torture have been made again 
and again but constantly disregarded both in their letter 
and spirit. Torture, abolished by law half a century ago, 
flourished five years since with all sorts of hideous horrors. 
Slavery, abolished in like manner, still exists though the 
traffic is driven under ground. Reforms for the bettering 
of the lot of Armenians, promised by the Treaty of Berlin, 
were drafted by the Powers, strongly supported by 
England and urged upon the Porte. Each reform was 
keenly contested and had to be abandoned until what 
Lord Salisbury qualified as the " irreducible minimum " 
was attained and then Sir Henry Layard had even to cut 
down the " irreducible/' Finally a show of reforms was 
agreed upon and an imperial irade, followed by promises 
made to the Great Powers, was issued. But judging by 
results there was no intention to cairy them into execution 
and for the most part they have remained a dead letter. 
The specific reform longest dangled before Western eyes 
regarding Armenia was the appointment of assistant 
governors who would be Christians. Naturally the 
Sultan's creatures selected men who would do what the 
Moslem governor ordered them to do and such men in 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 369 

popular speech soon became known as Evvet effendis, or 
" certainly sirs/' because of their subserviency. 

Have then all these promises, obtained by the strenuous 
and unremitting labours of Canning, who is still known in 
Turkey as the " Great Elchee," and of other ambassadors, 
been of no avail ? The answer is that they have not. 
The attempts to evade them as far as possible, to go 
through the pretext of carrying them into execution so 
that the Powers should not worry the Porte by their 
importunity, have had a beneficial result, an educational 
value. The people, Moslem and Christian alike, learned 
what the promises were, formed the conviction that the 
Powers wished better government for all sections of the 
community, and, as the reforms were intended to intro- 
duce religious toleration and to prevent oppression, they 
helped to prepare the population for the introduction 
of a better system of government. Paper reforms led 
the people to anticipate real reforms. They gave the 
Christians hope and taught the fanatical portion of the 
Moslem population to regard reforms as pre-ordained. 

The point, however, to which I wish to call attention is 
that Turkey had made progress towards improvement 
between 1830 and 1870. 

But though the paper reforms were not without distinct 
value, and while noting definite improvement, it must not 
be supposed that the condition of Turkey at the end of 
the period cited showed that they had effected a great 
general bettering of the condition of the population and 
especially of the Christians. Scenes of violence were less 
frequent but misgovernment still continued. The same 
gross mass of ignorance and fanaticism which we have 
seen in excelsis in the period between 1820 and 1830 still 
existed : the same corruption in the administration, the 
like injustice in the law courts, the same refusal to admit 
the Christian to equality with the Moslem. It would be 
24 



370 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

easy to fill hundreds of pages with quotations from a score 
of volumes published soon after the Crimean War showing 
that injustice, oppression, mis-government and no govern- 
ment remained. One of the earliest of such books may 
be mentioned as giving a faithful picture of the condition 
of Turkey during the period of ten yeais after that war. 
The " Hakim Bashi," by Dr Humphry Sandwith, weU 
known as the author of " The Siege of Kars," was pub- 
lished in 1864. The author's picture is not the less true 
because he tells his story under the guise of a romance. 

The doctor of medicine or " Hakim Bashi " visits and 
resides in Salonika as well as in Bagdad and Syria. 
Sandwith wrote from actual experience and it would be 
difficult to show venality, corruption in all sorts of persons 
in authority and general demoralization in more striking 
lights. 

The " Hakim Bashi " goes to Damascus. The people 
have heard of the firman confirming the Hatti-humayoum. 
The incident related in the following extract is valuable 
as showing the way Moslems regarded and treated 
Christians notwithstanding all promises of reform to 
better their condition. 1 ** While buying a lantern at the 
shop of a Moslem, I heard jeering voices a few paces from 
me, with the words, " Hanzeer-pig, Kaiffer, and such like. 
I turned and saw two Christian merchants hurrying 
through the streets, looking neither to the right nor to 
the left, and as they passed each shop, jeers and scoffs 
followed them. The tradesman who was showing me his 
goods stopped for a moment, put down his lanterns, and 
cried out, " Hanna, thou pig, I am coming to help myself 
out of thy house : I shall take thy daughter to my harem/' 
A few steps further on a young boy planted himself before 
the two Christians, and tracing a cross on the ground spat 
upon it, and as the two men hurried by, he gave them 

1 " Hakim Bashi," vol. ii. p. 199. 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 371 

each a vigorous kick, which feat was loudly applauded by 
the bystanders. 

" What have these Christians done," I asked of the 
lantern seller, " that they should be treated so scurvily ? 
Have they stolen anything ? have they broken the law ? 
are they felons ? " 

" Man, they are Christians/' fiercely answered the 
shopkeeper ; "is not that enough ? they are Christian 
pigs, and ought not to defile the city with their presence." 
" But have you not always had Christians amongst 
you ? " I replied. " What have they done lately to 
excite your anger ? " " What have they done ? " 
screamed an armourer close by ; " they have year by 
year been invading our privileges. When I was a boy 
they were humble rayahs ; no Christian durst mount 
a horse, or take the wall of a Moslem, or dress in hand- 
some clothes ; now they are richer than ourselves, they 
seek protection of foreign consuls, some of them even 
ride horses, nay, I have seen one or two bear arms. 
May God curse them. Wait until the firman comes to 
Damascus, and we will make short work of it." 

" My friend," I replied, " why should not the Christians 
wear good clothes if they pay for them ? Why should 
not they ride horses, if they buy them ? There is no law 
against their riding their own animals surely ? " 

" No law against Christians riding horses ? Hear the 
blasphemer," cried more than one voice : for there was 
now quite a crowd gathered to hear the discussion which 
I had foolishly begun. " Abdullah ibn Omar- Abdullah, 
tahl, tahl, come come, tahl heyn come here : you are 
wanted. Come and refute this Kiaffir." 

" I am not a Kiaffir " I replied indignantly : " I am 
a Moslem. II hand ull illah praise be to God," " Aib, 
aib, shame on the fellow : he calls himself a Moslem, 
and talks like a Christian. What is he ? " "A Turk 



372 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

surely," remarked a bystander. " Naam yes indeed : 
he is one of the Stamboulis who come to govern us : 
he is a cross between a dog and a sow a bad breed 
surely," said the sallow-faced armourer/' 

The last sentence points to a truth that applies to 
Constantinople and has applied to it for a century. The 
inhabitant of the capital, the Stambouli, the Moslem in 
particular has always and is now far in advance of his 
co-religionists in Anatolia. Everybody knows that all 
our words denoting civilization point to its growth in 
cities as opposed to rural districts. Civility, politeness, 
urbanity are opposed to rusticity and boorishness. 
Freedom and progress alike spring from city life. But 
to realize how these words have come to have their 
derived meaning, we need to recall the isolation of cities 
in former times. The want of communication means 
poverty, ignorance of what other men are doing, the 
nursing of the sentiment that an outsider is a barbarian 
and to be treated as an enemy. Isolation in Turkey even 
at the present time exists because there are few roads 
and the country is never safe. But isolation was more 
complete fifty years ago. Hence the contrast between 
the condition of things in the capital and in Anatolia was 
striking. The Earl of Carlisle who visited Turkey in 1853 
describes it as follows : " When you leave the partial 
splendours of the capital, and the great state establish- 
ments, what is it you find over this broad surface of a 
land which nature and climate have favoured beyond all 
others, once the home of all art and all civilization ? 
Look yourself : ask those who live there ; deserted 
villages, uncultivated plains, banditti-haunted mountains, 
torpid laws, a corrupt administration, a disappearing 
people." i 

Unhappily the distinction made by Lord Carlisle up- 

1 "Diary in Turkish and Greek Waters," by the Earl of Carlisle, p. 184. 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 373 

wards of half a century ago is true to-day. Macedonia 
is half a century, and the eastern portion of Anatolia a 
full century, behind the capital. Nevertheless there has 
been progress since Sandwith and Lord Carlisle wrote, 
and this in spite of the reactionary reign of Abdul Hamid 
between 1876 and 1908. 



PROGRESS IN ABDUL HAMID'S REIGN, 1876-1908 

I have endeavoured to show that in the first two 
periods selected, terminating with the accession of Abdul 
Hamid, definitely marked progress had been made by the 
Turkish nation. I now proceed to deal with the reign 
of that Sultan with the object of showing that even under 
a reactionary sovereign of the worst kind, Turkey has 
continued to improve. 

One of the first notable events in his reign, for which, 
however, Abdul Hamid cannot be held responsible, were 
the Moslem atrocities in Bulgaria. They occurred in 
May 1876. I have already described the indignation 
they aroused throughout Europe. The outcry prevented 
further massacre in Bulgaria and withdrew sympathy 
from a nation capable of such horrors. Punch's cartoon 
on the subject reflected English opinion on the matter 
when it represented the Sultan with his hands dripping 
blood, surrounded by corpses and asking for British 
help. The reply was " not with your hands that colour." 
For the first time the Porte was astonished to find that 
their treatment of Christians was a matter which pro- 
foundly interested Western nations. It was a useful 
lesson and constituted a landmark of progress. When in 
1885, eastern Rumelia threw off her allegiance to Turkey, 
the Sultan hesitated to exercise the right he possessed 
under the Treaty of Berlin, to enter the province and 
reduce it to subjection. But it was well known in Con- 



374 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

stantinople that when such a proposal was made to him, 
he declared that his troops were rough fellows and could 
not be restrained, and that such an occupation would 
awaken European fanaticism against Turkey's method 
of punishing rebels. He declined to exercise his right. 
In other words Abdul Hamid had learned the lesson of 
the Atrocity agitation in England. 

The massacres in Armenia, in 1895-1896, were in many 
respects more ghastly than either those of the Greeks in 
1820-1830 or of the Bulgarians in 1876. But there are 
several considerations which show that western opinion 
though powerless to prevent them was a factor which 
even Abdul Hamid did not altogether neglect. Armenia 
is a long distance from Constantinople. There is no 
province in which the Christians are in a majority. The 
only adjoining country was Russia which was known to 
be unwilling for various reasons to interfere. Lord Salis- 
bury publicly regretted that he could not send a fleet over 
the Taurus mountains. The Sultan and the palace gang, 
mindful of the agitation over the Bulgarian horrors in 
1876, made most determined efforts and with a large 
measure of success, to prevent any European and especi- 
ally any newspaper correspondent from learning what 
was going on. Unscrupulous mendacity on a large scale 
was resorted to in order to deceive foreign consuls and 
ambassadors and prevent them from learning what was 
being done. The organization of the massacres was kept 
strictly secret. The Sultan's orders were promulgated 
only in the mosques when, of course, only Moslems were 
present. The open, shameless, almost ostentatious de- 
struction of Christian men, women, and children which 
had taken place at Chios, and even in Bulgaria, was 
replaced by massacres which were concealed as far as 
possible and were made to appear the spontaneous work 
of the Moslem population. When they were repeated, 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 375 

though on a much smaller scale, in the capital they were 
stopped immediately on the receipt of an open telegram, 
due to the initiative of the British Charge 1 d' Affaires, Sir 
Michael Herbert (in the absence of the ambassador, Sir 
Philip Currie), and signed by aU the European ambas- 
sadors telling Abdul Hamid that if these events did not 
immediately cease " there would be danger to his throne 
and dynasty/' No letter or similar message would have 
been sent even half a century earlier, or if sent, would 
have been regarded. 

The progress of a nation may be delayed by the acts 
of an incompetent, perverse and ignorant ruler. But 
there are movements beyond his control. So it has been 
in Turkey. Outside influences make themselves felt. 
One of the most important in Turkey was derived from 
the progress made by neighbouring peoples, and though 
Abdul Hamid did his utmost to prevent such progress 
from becoming known, he failed in this as in so many of 
his foolish attempts to keep the nation in ignorance. It 
was in vain that he appointed a censor in every newspaper 
office and caused every sentence in each local paper to be 
carefully censored, that he excluded school books which 
stated that Asia Minor was once highly civilized but under 
Turkish rule was now largely depopulated ; that he pro- 
hibited the mention of the words Armenia and Macedonia ; 
that he rigorously insisted that not a word should be 
published to indicate that the English had entered Egypt ; 
that whenever an attempt was made upon the life of a 
ruler of a foreign state he required that no mention should 
be made of it, and that when such attempts succeeded as 
they did against Nicholas of Russia, King Humbert, the 
Empress of Austria, Mr M'Kinley, M. Carnot and Mr 
Stambuloff , he would only permit the statement of death 
without a word to indicate that it had been the result of 
violence ; in vain that he prevented as far as he could 



376 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

the entry into the country of foreign newspapers which 
either mentioned facts which he wished concealed, or 
commented unfavourably upon his want of states- 
manship, or exposed the evils of his administration. 
It was all supremely silly because all the facts which 
he wished to conceal became known at once to his 
subjects. Foreign newspapers in his pay praised his 
statesmanship. 

Members of various parliaments, received in audience 
and conversing with a ruling sovereign for the first time, 
were flattered by him into believing that he was a wise 
ruler. Even ministers who ought to have known better 
and ambassadors though thank God never a British 
ambassador mistook his cunning for capacity and spoke 
of him as an enlightened ruler. He was emphatically the 
sultan of reaction and, in all matters where a wise sultan 
could have favoured material progress or exalted the ideal 
of his people, did harm. Possibly owing to the commonly 
expressed belief of his Moslem subjects that he was of 
Armenian origin, he showed himself a frantic supporter 
of Moslem fanaticism against the Armenians. But I 
repeat that his efforts to put an end to progress towards 
civilization were in vain. He arrested it, put a brake 
upon it, but the elemental forces were too strong for him 
and finally, to the delight of all, swept him unrelentingly 
into obscurity. 

The most noteworthy improvements made in his reign 
are those which tend to the preservation of health. 
Constantinople a century ago was the city in Europe 
where plague was endemic and most virulent. As re- 
cently as 1835 the well-known American traveller Stephens 
asked " Can this beautiful city, rich with the choicest 
gifts of heaven, be pre-eminently the abode of pestilence 
and death ? where year after year the angel of death 
stalks through the streets and thousands and tens of 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 377 

thousands look him calmly in the face and murmuring 
Allah, Allah, God is merciful, lie down and die." 

The latest outbreak of plague in Constantinople was 
in 1841. But hardly less terrible were the visitations 
of cholera, of which the last worth noting was in 1865. 
These diseases once introduced spread with terrible 
rapidity. A soil saturated with the filth of centuries ; 
street-dogs, homeless, often mangey, numbering probably 
thirty thousand ; street cleaning unknown ; heaps of 
decaying vegetable and other matter, the absence of 
drainage and a deficient water supply supplied the 
conditions which enabled the great scourges mentioned 
to sweep away tens of thousands. The sanitary con- 
ditions of all towns in Turkey at the present day, in- 
cluding the capital itself, is disgraceful. Typhoid fever, 
small-pox, diphtheria and other deadly diseases kill 
hundreds annually whose lives would have been saved 
by decent regulations. But nevertheless there has 
been great improvement in the Public Health. The 
establishment of an International Sanitary Board, in- 
tended primarily to prevent the entry of epidemic 
diseases by means of quarantine, has had a useful 
influence. Consequent upon its representations, ac- 
cumulations of filth have been removed, some attempts 
have been made to cleanse the streets, and above all a 
public opinion has been created in favour of better 
sanitary arrangements. We have even seen the dogs 
of the capital disappear. These measures were in many 
cases opposed by Sultan Abdul Hamid, who introduced 
to the Sanitary Board about 1882, nominees of his own, 
sufficient in number to swamp the delegates of foreign 
states. 

The general corruption in the administration was 
seen even in the execution of the simplest sanitary 
precautions. Whenever there occurred as there did 



378 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

nearly every year an alarm lest cholera or plague 
should break out, dirty places were daily sprinkled with 
a white powder which was supposed to be chloride of 
lime, but which was popularly, and I believed rightly, 
understood to be pounded maltese stone mixed with 
a small quantity of the disinfectant. The principal 
streets have been paved during the last fifteen years 
with basalt blocks which, when we have our heavy 
rains, allow them to be washed and therefore largely 
lessen the accumulations of filth which previously 
existed. The change was valuable. 

Moslems generally are cleanly in their persons and 
in their houses. But many travellers old and new 
have remarked that they care little about filth in the 
streets. Colonel White noted with surprise, in 1842, 
well-dressed ladies sitting upon small stools or scamni, 
which were placed upon heaps of refuse. Many other 
travellers have noted that the Turk, during plague or 
cholera, would take no precaution against infection or 
contagion. While Greeks or Armenians were particular 
about the disinfection of their houses and food, carrying 
their somewhat primitive notions of avoiding it to 
absurd extremes and carefully avoiding touching other 
persons or their clothes during the prevalence of epi- 
demics, the Turk would stalk carelessly through the 
most infected quarters fearless of death. His fatalism 
made him courageous. Defoe tells a story in his history 
of the Plague in London which has had its analogy 
thousands of times hi Turkey. A negro boy remarked, 
when his master's family were about leaving the horrors 
of that time in London, that he supposed his master's 
God lived in the country, the inference being that he 
was unable to afford protection in town. The Moslem, 
with the belief that he still expresses in the form, " all 
is written," that everything is fore-ordained, considered 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 379 

it wicked as well as impossible to attempt to evade the 
eternal decree. 

Notwithstanding this belief, he was generally willing 
to take medicines. Foreigners in Turkey were always 
supposed to possess magical powers over sickness. The 
Moslem's theory is that God has provided remedies to 
be used by man, but that man nevertheless cannot 
evade " what is written." Human nature is stronger 
than dogmatic belief. 

Gradually it dawned upon the Turks that it would 
be well that they as well as foreigners should learn the 
secrets of the healing art. A decision to this effect 
was not arrived at without difficulty. Besides the 
chief objection, that the attempt to cure sick persons 
was to interfere with the decrees of heaven, there was 
a strong prejudice against anatomy, which indeed still 
continues. In time, however, and especially during 
the last twenty years, this prejudice was overcome, and 
Turks became medical students. A well- arranged medi- 
cal school has been built at Haidar Pasha and its staff 
of teachers does credit to all concerned. 

In no direction has more progress been made in 
Turkey than in the healing art. Abdul Hamid, with 
his rare faculty of seeing danger in most kinds of progress, 
did not see any in the study of medicine. He would not 
allow his naval officers to receive the instruction which 
some of those who had been in Europe proposed to 
give. One of these indeed, an able man known as 
English Said, was, during the early years of Hamid's 
reign, a sort of show pasha. I recall a visit paid here 
by the late W. E. Forster in 1876 who had a long inter- 
view with Said. The next day he told the Englishman 
who had introduced him that he would believe in the 
possibility of reform if the Sultan would make English 
Said Grand Vizier. But this kind of Turk was far too 



380 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

intelligent to be taken into imperial favour. Said pasha 
wished to improve the education given to the pupils of the 
Turkish Naval College, but so far was he from succeeding 
that orders were sent that they should be taught nothing 
but reading and writing. Said ended his career by being 
shipped away from the capital and dying in obscurity. 

In other directions Abdul Hamid showed his dread 
of progress in educational matters. The elementary 
schools which had been established before his reign, 
where children might be allowed to read and learn the 
Koran, were permitted. Their principal aim seemed 
to me always to teach the Koran by rote. The children 
might be seen swinging backwards and forwards while 
they shouted out the sacred text. Though in a very 
clumsy manner, they were taught Turkish reading and 
writing, and after years of labour many of them were 
able to decipher what appeared in the newspapers. 

One of the difficulties in the way of elementary 
education for the Turks arises from the use of Arabic 
characters in Turkish writing. Reading is rather 
deciphering. It is almost inconceivable that an ordinary 
scholar should attempt to read a book of considerable 
length, say a novel by Dickens or Dumas, even if any 
one would take the trouble to translate it. Something 
has been done during the last quarter of a century to 
simplify the written character, but it is still far from 
being as easy to read as any Western language or as 
Greek, Bulgarian or Armenian. Some years ago, a 
considerable number of Turkish scholars strongly advo- 
cated the use of Latin characters. Even those who 
oppose such a change recognize that it would render 
reading and writing much easier. But it would be 
difficult to accomplish and has probably about the 
same chance of being made as the adoption by English 
speaking peoples of a phonetic system of spelling. 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 381 

Christian schools were at a disadvantage. An educa- 
tional tax was levied about twenty-five years ago to 
which both Christians and Moslems had to contribute, 
though the Christians had to support their own schools 
and derived no advantage from the new ones. The 
Greeks were the first to establish elementary schools. 
But all the Christians were keen to learn. It was an 
interesting sight even thirty years ago, before the 
Armenians were forbidden to meet, except for service 
in church, to see able bodied labourers in their churches 
on Sundays struggling with the elements of reading and 
writing. The efforts of the two great Christian churches 
stimulated the Turks to follow their example. 

Education for the wealthier classes of Christians had 
already made considerable advance. The credit of 
having been the first to furnish such educational aid is 
due to the Roman Catholics. The Armenian Catholic 
Church, denied the privileges of a separate community 
and persecuted if they attended religious service at 
Latin churches, had for many years a rough time. 
Their young men intended for priests and the sons of 
men who could afford it were sent abroad for their 
education. Two great institutions were established 
by wealthy Armenians, which subsequently passed into 
the possession of Armenian Catholics, one on the island 
of San Lazzaro at Venice, the other known as the college 
of the Mechitarists at Vienna. The convent at San 
Lazzaro with its picture galleries, the exercises in the 
Armenian language of Lord Byron, and the mementoes 
of Ruskin and Gladstone, is probably well known to 
many readers. Its most valuable product has been a 
supply of young men who have returned to Turkey 
with a good education and especially with a knowledge 
of Italian and French. 

The example of the Armenian Catholics stimulated 



382 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

the national Armenian Church, and the two have vied 
with each other in educating boys and girls throughout 
the empire. 

In aU these educational matters Abdul Hamid either 
had no share or did what he could to prevent their 
development. There was no university. A large build- 
ing indeed was erected by his predecessor as the crown 
of an educational system and is still known by the 
pretentious title of The Gate of Learning. But it has 
never been used for the purpose for which it was built. 
It is now the seat of the principal Law Courts. A 
valuable middle-class lyceum was established at Galata 
Serai, before Abdul Hamid ascended the throne, and 
did very useful work under an able French director, 
but it was looked on unfavourably by the Sultan, and 
when some six or seven years ago the building was 
burnt down, popular opinion held that the fire was by 
" superior orders." The late distinguished director of 
the Imperial Museum remarked to me at the time that 
I should never see it rebuilt. The prediction would 
probably have come true, but for the revolution of July 
1908. It has now risen from its ashes and has probably 
a greater career of usefulness before it, than in the past. 

Quite the most remarkable instance of educational 
progress during the period of which I am treating, 
is that of Turkish women. My own impression is that 
Abdul Hamid regarded women as a negligible quantity 
in the matter of education. If a few women chose to 
learn foreign languages, to occupy themselves with 
what they considered learning, what did it matter ? 
Turkish fathers, however, who had seen how women 
were treated in Western Europe were often anxious 
that their daughters should be taught. One such 
father applied to the head of an American school and 
begged that his daughter might be received. The 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 383 

directress was not anxious to receive her, and judging 
from an expression he had used that he thought the 
school was English, she explained that it was American. 
" What does it matter/' was his reply, M English or 
American, the teaching will be clean and good." During 
the last thirty years there have been many governesses 
in Turkish harems. English, French, German and Swiss 
women have been in demand. One may say even that 
it became the fashion in Turkish Society to have a 
governess. Abdul Hamid did not like the fashion and 
grew alarmed. One of his latest orders, given a few 
months before his dethronement, was that foreign 
governesses should not be employed in Turkish families. 
The order was quietly evaded. He was equally per- 
sistent in his endeavour to prevent Turkish girls receiv- 
ing instruction in European schools, and many orders 
were issued forbidding them to attend. He never even 
pretended that his opposition was based on the fact 
that in such schools the girls might be proselytised. 
Spies were sent even in Constantinople to prevent them 
attending. Happily, under the regime of the Capitula- 
tions, no Turkish official can enter foreign premises 
without the permission of the embassy of the country 
to which it belongs. But within my own knowledge 
I have known both boys and girls whose Moslem parents 
have succeeded in persuading the managers of such 
schools to allow their children to attend, and in order 
to prevent the Sultan becoming aware of their attend- 
ance, have requested that the pupils in question should 
not be allowed to go outside the school grounds. At 
the gates stood or slunk the miserable agents of the 
palace, to find out who were the Turkish children or 
their parents who sought instruction. Yet in spite of 
these precautions, children and grand children of some 
of the most highly placed persons in the empire, includ- 



384 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

ing men who were in immediate attendance on the Sultan 
himself, managed to elude his orders. Education was 
a forbidden fruit and fathers and mothers, the latter in 
particular, decided that their girls should eat of it. 
The managers were not keen upon having Moslem 
children, because their presence led to constant annoy- 
ance by palace spies. In many cases when the director 
of the school or college pointed out that the institution 
was Christian and that the girl or boy, would be required 
to attend the Christian services, the answer was "let 
him (or her) attend them. We have no fear that they 
will be taught anything wrong and we wish them to be 
taught Christian morality." I have never heard of a 
case where this confidence in the absence of a proselytis- 
ing spirit has been abused. 

When the revolution came, there was immediately 
an increase of applications for entry into the foreign 
Christian schools, and within my own knowledge the 
college and school faculties or committees have had to 
make regulations by which the number of Moslem 
pupils should be limited. 

The influence of the foreign schools established in 
Turkey has been great and purely for good. Such 
progress as has been made by the people of Turkey has 
been largely by their aid. 

I have a high opinion of the value of the educational 
work done in Turkey by the Roman Catholic mission- 
aries. But the most extensive and valuable work in 
this direction has been accomplished by the Americans. 
Their missions exist throughout the empire. I deal 
separately with Robert College for boys and young men 
and with the Scutari College for girls, for, although 
these are perhaps the two most important in the empire, 
neither of them is or professes to be a missionary institu- 
tion. Elsewhere throughout Turkey there are noble 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 385 

American missionary establishments both for elementary 
and for advanced education. There are colleges at 
Marsovan, Kharput, Aintab, Tarsus, Marash, and 
Smyrna. The Smyrna College is managed by a Board 
of Trustees upon which are some of the leading British 
subjects in that city ; for in this matter of education 
Englishmen have always worked harmoniously and 
heartily with Americans. There has been no British 
ambassador in Turkey for a century, whether Protestant 
or Roman Catholic, who has not shown high appreciation 
of American educational missions in the country, and 
who has not rendered aid to them whenever he could. 

In addition to the colleges, there are under the American 
Board of Missions forty-four establishments which may 
be classed as High Schools. Some of these are for girls. 
There are also two hundred and seventy elementary 
schools. Counting all the schools, instruction is now 
being given to 25,000 pupils by one hundred and eighty- 
six missionaries. These are all Americans or Canadians. 
One of the most interesting institutions near the capital 
is at Bardizag, two hours distant from Ismidt, the ancient 
Nicomedia. The town is almost exclusively Armenian 
and the school with its orphanage is full of Armenians. 
Its director, Dr Robert Chambers, a Canadian, is exerting 
an admirable influence over some four hundred of his 
pupils. In 1908 it was visited by Dr Collins, the late 
Anglican bishop of Gibraltar, who was delighted with 
what he saw. The local priests and the members of the 
school staff work well together. The bishop was invited 
to preach in the Armenian church and did so to a crowded 
congregation, the service being one in which Armenian 
priests and Presbyterian pastors took part with the 
Anglican bishop. 

At Beyrouth there exists an American university 
whose beneficial influence is not only wide-spread but 
25 



386 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

recognized by Turk and Arab as well as by the members 
of the many ancient churches in Syria. It contains eight 
hundred and seventy students . Thirty-five of its teachers 
or professors are Americans. In addition there are forty 
teachers who are natives of the country. The university 
has one faculty for medicine ; another for law and others 
for commerce and engineering. In the American ele- 
mentary schools of Syria there are 5600 scholars. 

The two great American institutions in Constan- 
tinople which have especially rendered valuable service 
to the Turkish people deserve special notice. These 
are Robert College on the European side of the Bosporus 
and Scutari College on the Asiatic. There are about 650 
boys and young men in the first college and 250 girls in 
the second. From the foundation each has been a con- 
spicuous success. Robert College was due to the efforts 
of the Rev. Dr Hamlin, an American, long resident in 
Turkey, a useful and versatile man in the Crimean days 
and for long after, and possessed of a remarkable energy 
which he kept almost to the age of ninety. He had the 
confidence of Sii Stratford de Redcliffe and other British 
representatives as well as those of America. Even in 
Crimean War days he had convinced himself that educa- 
tion was the great need of the Christian peoples of the 
empire. His experience had taught him that if instruc- 
tion given by foreigners were identified with proselytising 
it would not be welcomed. After expressing this opinion 
in New York, a wealthy merchant, Mr Robert, liked the 
idea of having a college where the teaching should be 
Christian but undenominational, and where no attempt 
whatever should be made to induce the students to leave 
the churches to which their fathers belonged. He offered 
40,000 as a first contribution towards the founding of 
such an institution. Thus the college called after him 
was commenced. It is on a noble site above the famous 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 387 

castles of Europe constructed by Mahomet II. in 1452 as 
a basis for his operations against Constantinople. Many 
other buildings have since been added to the original 
block paid for by Mr Robert. Various donors have given 
liberally ; Mr Kennedy, one of the most liberal, crowned 
his gifts by bequeathing in 1908 upwards of 300,000 
for its development. The success of the institution was 
remarkable from the first. Its president for thirty years 
was Dr George Washburn who retired in the spring of 
1908. He exercised a great and useful influence ; for he 
impressed hundreds of young men who passed through 
the college, with his own manly character, soundness of 
judgment and moderation. His example and teaching 
discouraged wild thought and violent action, but stimu- 
lated an enthusiasm which had permanent effects on the 
character of the young men under him. Many of these 
graduated, for the college under a charter from the State 
of New York has the power of conferring degrees, and 
have become conspicuous professional men or merchants 
throughout Turkey. Dr Washburn was ably supported 
by an excellent staff of professors, notably by Dr Albert 
Long and Professor van Millingen, an Englishman and 
a great authority on the antiquities of Constantinople. 
I have been well acquainted with them all for many years 
and can honestly say that their influence has been of price- 
less value. English being the language of the college it 
will be readily understood that without any attempt 
whatever to form political opinion, the studies and the 
educational atmosphere were hostile to absolutism. On 
this account Abdul Hamid with the old palace gang never 
looked with favour on the college and did not hesitate to 
let their hostility be known . On many occasions Turkish 
boys have been ordered to cease attending. But in spite 
of these orders, and in spite of the fact that the faculty 
did not care to have students to whose attendance the 



388 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

government was opposed, Moslem parents constantly 
begged that their sons might be allowed to attend. 
Shortly after the college opened, the majority of the 
pupils were Greeks. So highly was the course of educa- 
tion appreciated that a number of wealthy men of that 
race felt that they ought not to be beholden to Americans 
and therefore established a middle-class commercial 
school in the island of Halki, about ten miles from Con- 
stantinople, which has done and is doing excellent work. 
I have already spoken of the beneficial influence exerted 
by Robert College on Bulgaria. 

The American college for girls at Scutari, though a 
younger institution than Robert College, has done and is 
doing equally good work. As women's education was 
even behind that of men, this work is the more remark- 
able. Its influence has been equally well appreciated by 
all the populations of the empire. Like Robert College 
it has the power given by an American State Charter to 
confer degrees. It turns out annually a number of young 
women who have received as good an education as they 
could have obtained in an English or American High 
School : but above all mental attainments, its graduates 
and other students leave it with high ideals of home life 
and purity. Under the direction of Dr Mary Patrick, 
its president, whose influence is magnetic and wholesome, 
and a staff of educated American women of the best type, 
bright, intelligent, highly educated and earnest workers, 
but kindly, sympathetic, and lovers of fun the students 
leave the college for their homes throughout the empire, 
to become wherever they settle, centres of light and 
civilization. Home life is the great desideratum of all 
the races in the empire : and the women of Scutari 
College are annually furnishing models for such life. The 
diversity of races to which they belong is remarkable. 
Four years ago I was present at a lecture in it by my old 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 389 

friend Canon Shoobridge of Tasmania. After the lecture 
there was an "at home " in the college drawing-room, 
and noticing that half a dozen of the elder students were 
in conversation with the canon, I observed that he would 
be interested in finding how many races his half dozen 
hearers represented. He asked each and found that 
there were five, a Greek, a Bulgarian, a Turk, an 
Armenian and a Jewess probably from Russia. 

How about the religious difficulty ? might be asked. 
The answer is that like Robert College, the institution is 
Christian but not sectarian. Neither institution is under 
a missionary society and there is no religious difficulty. 
If the parents of the Jew or the Turk do not wish their 
child to be present at the religious services, he or she may 
be absent. As for the Christians, as no attempt whatever 
is made at proselytism, the parents prefer that they 
should receive religious instruction at the college. Even 
Turks have often desired that their children should attend 
Christian lessons. The members of the ancient churches 
are allowed and indeed encouraged to attend their own 
places of worship on holidays and festivals, but on ordinary 
Sundays they will listen to a sermon in the college from 
an Episcopalian, Presbyterian or any other minister 
whom the president may invite. The happy result of 
this liberality is that from the beginning both institutions 
have been regarded favourably by the Orthodox patri- 
arch, the Bulgarian exarch, the Armenian patriarch and 
the heads of every Christian Church in the empire except 
the Roman Catholics. Indeed it is usual at the annual 
" Commencement " of both these colleges for the repre- 
sentative of each of the heads of these Churches to be 
present or represented in order to show their sympathy. 

We English are doing something for education in 
Turkey. We have in Constantinople a High School 
for girls where there are two hundred pupils of whom 



390 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

about one fourth are English. The school itself is in the 
High Street of Pera and is built on a site given by Sultan 
Abdul Medjid after the Crimean War for the purpose of a 
girls' school. During the last twenty years it has been 
successfully managed and a succession of girls have been 
sent forth well trained for the duties of womanhood. It 
possesses property which brings in a revenue of about 
800 a year, with the result that it is able to maintain an 
excellent staff of about a dozen teachers. It is under the 
management of a committee of which the ambassador for 
the time being is ex-officio president. 1 

An English boys' day school has also recently been 
established, to which in 1908 the British government, 
allotted the annual sum of 300. It is right to mention 
that every important European State subsidises a school 
or schools in the capital. England was the last to do so, 
and no one who knows what other States are doing in 
order to spread a knowledge of their respective languages 
can doubt that England was wise in following their 
example. 

It is a satisfactory feature that the great American 
colleges mentioned have had the cordial sympathy and 
support of every British ambassador, and there is probably 
no British subject in the empire who does not highly value 
the work they are doing and wish them every success. 2 

1 I may be allowed to mention that I have been for many years 
chairman of this committee. 

a While on the subject of education in Turkey, I may call attention 
to a matter which usually occasions surprise to visitors in Turkey. 
Those who come to Constantinople or the other large cities are aston- 
ished to find that most persons are able to use at least three or 
four languages. Every foreign resident has to know something of 
four. Let his own be English, German, Russian or Italian, he will 
find it of little use to him outside his own community. French will 
carry him much further because it is the language of diplomacy and 
because it is acquired by every Ottoman subject with any pretentious 
to education. The worst linguists in Europe are probably Frenchmen, 
though we run them very close, but the races of Turkey seem to pick 
up French or indeed any European language with remarkable ease. 
You may meet any day a bevy of Greek or Armenian girls who will 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 391 

If I have dwelt long on the educational work done by 
the Americans in Turkey it is because I regard such work 
as a living regenerative force. It is hardly possible to 
speak too enthusiastically of its value. A body of edu- 
cated men and women are scattered throughout the 
empire who are everywhere centres of light. The houses 
of the missionaries are models of simple home comfort 
and home life. Their occupants, by their life and con- 
duct, set an example of what a Christian family should be. 

be speaking French instead of their own language. They are absolutely 
free from the foolish shyness which marks English boys and girls 
in speaking a foreign tongue. They recognize that language was 
made for use and begin using it as soon as they know a few words. 
Once language is acquired in this way, that is by treating it as a living 
language and by using it on every occasion without mauvaise honte, 
a working knowledge is soon obtained. The learners seem to bother 
little about grammar but the grammar nevertheless comes. They 
obtain, if not a full vocabulary, a practical knowledge of the language^ 
Nor is a full vocabulary needful for the ordinary business of life. 
An old Rumanian who had taken Orders in the English church and 
was a wonderful linguist expressed his belief that a man could say all 
that was needful in any language if he knew forty words and that if 
he knew a hundred he could write a book in it. But he added, he 
must know the words : they must rise to his lips as easily as his 
thoughts came. I have met dozens of persons in Turkey who were 
at home in five languages. A legal friend in Constantinople is familiar 
with eleven. He is Maltese of origin and his native language at once 
gave him the clue to Arabic. His studies were made in Italian and 
Latin, the latter being taught as a living language. This facility of 
acquiring foreign languages sounds somewhat remarkable to an 
Englishman, but not to a native of Turkey. My own conclusions 
about the acquisition of languages are pretty definite and are founded 
on somewhat exceptional opportunities of observation. I am quite 
clear that it is better that a man or woman should be able to express 
six ideas in one language than one idea in six languages, and speaking 
generally, the alternative lies that way. The men whom I know or 
have known who are able to speak many languages have had to 
neglect the study of other subjects. While I should like to see a 
more widespread knowledge of languages in England than at present 
exists, I should strongly deprecate the sacrifice of other subjects to 
make room for them. It is of supreme importance that a man should 
know his own mother tongue. It may be said of many natives 
of Turkey that they have no mother tongue. Their vocabulary of 
words in any of the languages they speak is small. But words repre- 
sent ideas and without a somewhat extensive vocabulary men know 
little and can know little of the literature, the thought, and the ideas- 
which are moving the world. 



392 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

Let me say at once that they do not make any converts to 
Christianity from the Moslems. I doubt whether they 
ever try. In the large majority of instances they make 
no attempt to withdraw Greeks or Armenians from their 
own churches. They try to live on good terms with the 
priests of the ancient churches and though in the early 
days of the American missions they were met with per- 
sistent jealousy and hostility, their lives and conduct 
have lived these sentiments down. But the work being 
done is mainly educational and its influence is recognized 
as invaluable. Moslems have seen native as well as 
foreign Christians who are not degraded, who are living 
good lives and prospering, and in many districts there has 
been a marked change of feeling towards them by the 
best followers of Islam. British and American travellers, 
of all churches and of none, in Anatolia, Bulgaria, and 
Macedonia, have borne willing testimony not only to the 
civilizing influence of the missionaries themselves but to 
that of their pupils. In a journey made a few years ago 
through the entire length of Rumelia from the west to 
the Black Sea, I found in almost every town that the 
houses with the conveniences of European civilization, 
with decent sanitary appliances, and the comparative 
refinements which are to be found in English houses 
of the lower middle class, were those of ex-pupils of 
American schools. 

In thus giving a necessarily short account of what has 
been done in Turkey during the past century, I trust I 
have shown that there has been definite progress in 
civilization. Turkey is usually classed as an Eastern 
nation. Arnold's lines 

" The East bowed low before the blast 

In silent deep disdain, 
And let the legions thunder past 
Then plunged in thought again," 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 393 

convey a truth, but not the whole truth. The difference 
between races is not between those which are progressive 
and those which are non-progressive, but between those 
which are more and those which are less progressive. 
The human mind whether Asiatic or European goes 
marching on, and Turkey is no exception. But Turkey 
can hardly be classed as an Eastern nation. At least one 
half of the population are the direct descendants of 
civilized peoples, of Assyrians, Chaldeans, Hittites, 
Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, and European settlers. In 
the other half there is a large admixture of Greek and 
Armenian and other Christian blood. " When our 
fathers half a century ago," said a leading Turk in 
presence of several others and of a British consul, 
" wanted a wife, they selected one from the Greeks 
and Armenians and took her by force." The statement 
is true of all parts of the empire. The result of the 
admixture of races has been that the Osmanli people, 
using the word in its modern sense to include all 
subjects of the Sultan, is hardly properly classified as 
Eastern. 

In concluding my notice 6f improvement during the 
last thirty-five years, I may call attention to indications 
within my own recollection in another direction which 
are not without value. The behaviour of the ordinary 
soldier has greatly improved. Before the Turco-Russian 
War, it was hardly safe for European ladies to walk about 
unattended even in Pera. New comers were warned that 
if they met two or more soldiers it was better to leave the 
side-walk and go into the street so as to give them a wide 
berth. Almost every woman had a story to tell of her 
own experience. They were severely pinched, or received 
an indecent blow or were jammed up against the wall by 
men who were simply savage brutes. The stories one 



394 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

heard of their treatment of poorer Christian women were 
heart-rending. 

The Russian War taught the common soldier and even 
the Turkish officer a useful lesson. Hundreds of Russian 
officers came daily to the city while their army was en- 
camped from San Stefano to the Black Sea. They con- 
ducted themselves well and went about with the pride of 
their position as representing the army of their country. 
If their scabbards clanked at every step, the clanking did 
not suggest that they were ashamed of their service. 
After a while the Turkish officers imitated them. But 
the most valuable lesson taught to the Turkish people 
came from the conduct of the Russian private soldiers. 
All reports which came in from the camp at San Stefano, 
only ten miles from Constantinople, spoke of the excellent 
discipline of the whole army and of the respectful be- 
haviour of the men not only to their officers but to all 
who visited the camp whether men or women. The 
result was that Turkish officers made an effort to knock 
decent behaviour into their own men and to some extent 
succeeded. 

Another valuable lesson was taught by the same war. 
A large number of prisoners were taken by the Russians. 
At the great defeat of Shenova, at least sixty thousand 
captives sent off at once across the Shipka Pass 
reached Russia. At the end of the war these men were 
released and sent back to Turkey. They were loud in 
praise of the treatment they had received. The effect 
was the more remarkable since before the war the 
Russians were held to be ogres. 

When the revolution came in July 1908, its first and 
immediate effect was to improve enormously the disci- 
pline of the army. I have not heard of any misconduct, 
in Constantinople at least, of private soldiers towards 
Christians. The old rollicking fashion of strolling 



SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TURKEY 395 

through the streets and finding amusement in insulting 
European and other Christian ladies, in tearing their 
dresses and in pinching them has disappeared, let us 
hope for ever. 

I set out in this chapter to show that Turkey had im- 
proved. By comparing the condition in the three periods 
I have chosen, I trust I have established my contention. 
All the influences which have combined to bring about 
the improvement already achieved are still at work, and 
it is not unreasonable to believe that they will operate 
with increased activity. Education, increased facility of 
travel, and intercourse with the people of the West will do 
much to lessen Moslem fanaticism. It is a force which 
will have to be reckoned with, and Europe may yet see 
wild outbursts due to its influence, but it is a diminishing 
force. The ulema class is beginning to be under the 
influence of Western ideas, and the day is coming when 
even the ignorant Moslem will not consider it meritorious 
to kill a Christian. Looking beyond the present day, the 
evidence appears to point to a continued though slow 
improvement. The revolution of 1908 constitutes a 
great landmark in the advance of the Turkish people. 
Its primary object was to rid the country of a sovereign 
who represented arbitrary and reactionary methods of 
government. But its success was due to the belief that 
the time had come to put into practice the ideal of Lord 
Stratford de Redcliffe and to establish a government 
which should recognize equality among all subjects in- 
dependent of religion and race. The revolution itself 
gave hope to all the races in Turkey. Foreigners, who 
like the present writer, saw the accession of Abdul Hamid 
and the mischief he perpetrated during upwards of a 
generation, welcomed the revolution and the dethrone- 
ment of the Sultan with unmixed satisfaction. The ten- 



396 TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 

dency of most men who saw and sympathised with the 
sufferings of the Turkish people during Abdul's weary 
reign was to be oblivious of such progress as was being 
made, and to conclude that the nation was incapable of 
advance in civilization. The historical method is the best 
corrective of such tendencies. I have confidently asserted 
in my short sketch that the Turkish nation in the nine- 
teenth century had lost some of the barbarism which 
had characterized it in previous centuries : and I have 
indicated that the condition of the Turkish people in the 
middle of last century was better than it was between 
1820 and 1830, and that the population even under Abdul 
Hamid, and in spite of him, made a real advance. An 
Arab proverb says, " The dogs bark but the caravan 
moves on." Those who have seen the lines of camels 
pursuing their course with steady, stolid, unheeding but 
unresting steps, and who have witnessed their disregard 
of attacks by the village packs of wolf-like hounds, will 
recognize the vividness of the proverb. It applies to 
Turkey ; in spite of the disaffection of reactionaries, of 
fanatics, of indifference, cynicism and other hostile forces 
there is reason to believe that Turkey will continue in 
her course of advancement. If her people have learned 
or show themselves capable of learning the lesson of 
religious equality, she will yet take her place among 
civilized nations. 



INDEX 



ABDALS, 251, 252 

Abdul Hamid, n, 19, 26, 43, 65,89, 

185-191, 218, 219, 227, 250, 

270, 277-279, 283, 290 rfw?., 

356, 373 

attempt of, to conceal Armenian 

massacres, 374 

attempt of, to keep Turks in ignor- 
ance, 375 

banishment of, to Salonika, 292 
European threat to, 375 
love of intrigue of, 290 
opposition of, to sanitary reforms, 

377 ; to education, 382 
progress during reign of, 373 et seq. 
speciousness of, 376 
Abdul Medjid, 10 
Absolutism, necessity of, 7 

responsible for fanaticism, 43 
Adana, massacre at, 293 

account of, 294 note 
Adoptionists, 149 

compared with Puritans, 149 
compared with Quakers, 150 
persecution of, 150 
theory of, denounced by Council 

of Basle, 150 
Albanians, 23, 24, 94, 103, and 

chapter ix. 
an Aryan race, 168 
blamed for outrages, 186 
characteristics 
chivalry, 170 
courtesy, 168 
independence, 178 
instincts, tribal, 169 
militarism, 169, 177 
tolerance, 172, 173 
trustworthiness, 168, 175-177 
tyranny, 167 
communal rights, 170 
compared with Scotch Highlanders, 
1 66, 1 68, 176 



Albanians continued 
crops, washing of, 170 
divisions of, 165 
education of children, 172 
excuses for lack of civilization, 191 
family life, 1 68 
future of, 194 
independence, national, desire for, 

195 

intermingled with Greeks, 167 

language, 168 

language struggle, 192-194 

Latin Church, relation to, 171 note 

marriage rights, 170, 171 

number of, 164, and note 

promotion to State offices, 186 

religion, 171, 172 

Revolution of July, 1908, 186 

schools, establishment of, 192 

taxes, refusal to pay, 179 ; un- 
collected, 186 

trades, 175 

treatment of, by Sultan, 186 

vendetta, 169, 170 

women, treatment of, 171 
veiling of, 171 
work of, 171 

Ali, as successor to Mahomet's tem- 
poral rule, 296 

Tartarjis followers of, 252 
Ali Pasha, 179-184 

attacks Suliots, 183 

career of, 182 

death of, 184 

intrigues with English and French, 
182 

resists Sultan, 184 
Ambassadors, imprisonment of, 350 
Amulets. See Talismans. 
Anatolians, 31 

Anatomy, prejudice against, 379 
Antiquities 

in Greek islands generally, 113 
397 



398 



TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 



Antiquities continued 
in Milos, 113 
in Rhodes, 109 note, ill 
Apostasy, death penalty for, 361 

abolishment of, 362 
Arabs, 24, 26, 103 
Araplis, 251, 252 
Architecture 
Byzantine, 117 
Greek Church, 116 
Hagia Sophia at Constantinople, 1 1 6 
Mosques at Constantinople, 117 
Rhodes, in, 112 
Salonika, 117 
St Mark's, Venice, 117 
Armenians, 23, 26, 29, 103, and 

chapter xii. 

Ancient Church, 272, 273 
as agriculturalists, 270, 271 
as Hamals, 52 
as iconoclasts, 274, 275 
as merchants, 270, 271 
attacks of Kurds on, 277, 281 
Catholic Church, 272 
characteristics 

artistic qualities, 274 
courage, 270 
dramatic qualities, 275 
healthiness, 270, 271 
industry, 276 
mental capacity, 276, 282 
morality, 271 
music, love of, 275 
physique, 270 
thrift, 276 

Church, 272, 274, 275 
absence of eikons in, 274 
patriarch of, 272, 275 
compared with Greeks, 271 

with Turks, 276, 282 
distribution, 271, 276 
early history, 270 
iustice in law courts, impossibility 

of, 277, 284 
language, 270, 271 
massacres of 1894-1897, 270, 276 

et scq. 

Blue Books on, 285, 287 
causes of, 276 
conversion of Christians in, 283, 

285, 289 

"Daily Telegraph," quoted on, 
279 



Armenians massacres of 1894-1897 
continued 

description of, 277 et stq. 
families exterminated by, 289 
Fitzmaurice on, 285 
Hepworth, Rev. G. H., on, 281- 

283 
influence of revolutionists on, 

281, 282 

in Ourfa Cathedral, 287, 288 
Moslem opposition to, 278 
number of killed in, 282, 289 
organization of, 278, 286, 287, 

289 

outrages of tax-gatherers in, 280 
Ramsay, Sir Wm., on, 282 
report of Turkish officials on, 285 
submissiveness of victims of, 279, 

283, 284 
massacres of 1909, 273 

circumstances leading to, 290- 

293 
destitution among survivors of, 

294 
numbers killed in, 293, 294 

missionaries, work of, 272, 273 

number, 270, 271 

religion, 271, 273, 275 

revolutionary committees, 277 
influence of, exaggerated, 280 

Sultan's dislike, 277 

Turks' dislike, 282 

women, 270 

Aryans. See Albanians. 
Asia Minor, Chapter xi. 

as battlefield between East and 
West, i 

contains debris of many races, 246 

influence of nomads on, 251 

obscurity of communities in, 250 

physical features of, 247 

religion of, 2 
Assyrians 

as ancestors of Yezidis, 315 

traces of, I, 25, 249, 315 
Astrology, 80, 82 
Athens, Modern, 203 
Athos, Mt., 127 

theological college at, proposed, 127 
Attar of roses, manufacture of, 226 
Austria, designs of, on Salonika, 244, 

245 
relationship of, to Serbia, 202 



INDEX 



399 



BABISM, 299 

Babylonians, traces of, I 

Bain, R. Nisbet, on Siege of Bel- 
grade, 200 note 

Balkan Peninsula, 94, 95 

Balkan States, federation of, possi- 
bility of, 195 

Barkley, Henry E., 295 

Batak, scene of Bulgarian Atrocities, 

212, 213 

Beads, 302 

Bedouins, 247 

Bee-keeping, amongst Greeks, 100 

Beggars, 51 

Bektashis, 173, 300, 303 

character of, 304, 305 

influence of, 175 

influence of Buddhism upon, 305 

Pantheism of, 304 

religious toleration of, 7, 174, 304, 

305. 

suppression of, 304 
Belgrade, capture of, by Suliman, 200 
defence of, by Hunyades, 199, 200 
strategic importance of, 199 
Benjamin of Tudela, quoted, 257 
quoted, on Wallachs, 146 
referred to, on Jews, 153 
Bent, Theodore, on relics of Pagan- 
ism, 140 
Berlin, Treaty of, 227 

Abdul Hamid disobeys, 184 
England's measures to enforce, 185 
reforms promised by, 368 
Bikelas, work done by, 100 
Bogomils. See Adoptionists 
Brailsford, Dr, on Albanians, 167, 

173. 178, 1 86 note 
Bridal dinner, description of, 60, 6 1 
dress, description of, 60 
guests, 60 

British subjects, status of, 334 
Bulgaria, 204 et seq. 

atrocities, England's attitude to- 
wards, 373 
banks, 225 
boundaries, 232 
brigandage suppressed, 223 
characteristics of natives, 204 
church, 205 

constitution of separate, 206 
Joseph, Monsignor, as exarch 
of, 206 



Bulgaria church continued 

liturgy of, 207 

Orthodox Church's hostility to, 
206, 207 

Russia's sympathy with, 205 

threat of, to join Rome, 206 
comparison with Japan, 222 
co-operative societies, 225 
educational progress, 223-225 
freed, 222 

King Ferdinand, 227 
language, 204, 208 
manufactures, 226 
massacres of 1876, 209^ seq. 

commission sent by Disraeli to 
report on, 215 

description of, 213 

Disraeli on, 210, 211 

Elliott, Sir Henry's telegram on, 

211 

English indignation at, 216 
European attitude to, 217 
European Conference subsequent 

to, 217, 218 

Gladstone's pamphlet on, 215 
impossibility of concealment of, 

210 
letters to "Daily News" on, 

210, 212 

Macgahan's report on, 212, 213 
motives for, 209, 214 
newspaper incredulousness as to, 

212 

population, 204 

postal services, 225 

progress, 222 et stq. 

railways, 225 

roads, 225 

Robert College,influence 0^223,224 

savings bank, 225 

schools, number of, 224 

telephonic services, 225 

university, 224 
Bulgarians, 23, 28 
Bury, Professor, quoted, 98 
Byron, Lord, quoted, 107 

quoted on Albanians, 172 

superstition of, 82 

CAHUN, Le"on, quoted, 333 

Caliph, Abdul Hamid's claim to be, 

20, 21 
qualification of, 20 



400 



TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 



Caliph continued 
signification of, 19 
Sultan's claim to be, 19, 21 
Canning, character of, 360 
early responsibility of, 360 
experience of, as Ambassador, 389 
intervenes to put down slave trade, 

366 

obtains charter of liberties, 367 
success of, in abolishing torture, 363 

in obtaining reform, 362 
work of, not in vain, 369 
Capistrano, 200 

Capitulations, advantage of, 339 
between England and Turkey, 338 
France and Turkey, 338 
Genoese and Galata, 337 
Greek Emperor and Europeans, 

337 

Greek Emperor and Russians,337 
Italians and Saracens, 337 
Venice and Constantinople, 337 

granted to Christian Churches, 343 

growth of, 339 

instances of, in Middle Ages, 337 

Lord Watson's definition of, 340 

meaning of, 335 

operation of, 340 

origin of, 335 

Carlisle, Earl of, on isolation, 372 
Carpet industry, 249 

making, 56 
Carpets, export of, 46 
Castriotes, George. See Skender Bey 
Catholicos, 275 
Cemeteries, 50 
Chairs, 44 

Chaldeans, traces of, I, 262 
Characteristics 

ambition, lack of, 37 

attitude to Christians, 42, 282, 295, 

325 

charm of manner, 259 

cleanliness, personal, 32,47>33 2 >37& 

courtesy, 35 

fanaticism, 38, 39, 295, 349 

fatalism, 32, 34, 378 

indifference to religion among edu- 
cated classes, 322 

industry, lack of, 38 

intellectual conceit, 37 

lower classes, brutality of, 280, 295 

pilgrimages, practice of making, 332 



Characteristics continued 
self-respect, 32, 38 
sobriety, 32, 322 
superstition, 78 et seq. 
thrift, lack of, 34 
truthfulness, 38 

Chasseurs of Salonika, mutiny of, 190 
Chelebi effendi, 302 
Children, custody of, in case of re- 
pudiation, 70 
education of, 71 
happiness of, 71, 72 
kindness of Turks to, 72 
Chios, 1 08 

desolation of, in 1822, 108, 109 
outrages at, 108, 109, 294 

cause of, 354 
Cholera, 378 

Christianity, penetratien of, 27 
Christians, ill-treatment of, 350 et seq. 
inequalities of, 360, 369 
position of, under Ottoman rulers, 7 

See also Massacres 
Russia protects, 92, 93 
transplanting of, 29 
Cilician Gates, 248 
Circassians, 24, 28, 87 
as slave dealers, 364 
as slaves, 368 

Columbus, Christopher, belief regard- 
ing, 86 
Constantinople, 3-5 

allusions to, by Byzantine authors, 4 
bulwark against encroachments of 

Asia, 4 

comparison of, with Florence, 3 
with Paris, 3 
with Venice, 3 
conditions of, between 1820 and 

1830, 351, 354, 355 
ecclesiastical position of, compared 

with Rome, 117 
educational influence of, 153 
International Sanitary Board in, 377 
invaded by Arabs, 4 
Jews in, 152 
mistakes of Western authors in 

regard to, 4 
patriarch of, 117, 118 
plague in, 377 
prosperity of, 5 
sale of slaves in, 363 
source of " Roman Law," 5 



INDEX 



401 



Constantinople continued 

streets of, 53 

synagogues, Jewish, in, 153 
Constitution of 1908, Abdul Hamid's 
attitude to, 290 

effect of, on Macedonia, 228 

fails to civilize Albanians, 191 
Consuls, British, attitude of, to 

Turkish officials, 92 
Coronation, 12, 1 8, 19 
Cotton yarn, 54 

Courts of Justice, compared with 
English, 341 

corruption of, 341 

injustice in, 277, 284, 369 

mixed, 340 

site of, 382 

special, 340 

Croats, character of, 176 
Crypto-Christians. See Stavriotai. 
Currie, Sir Philip, 278, 284 
Cvijic, 230 note 
Cyprus Convention, history of the, 16 

"Daily News," revelation of Bul- 
garian Atrocities, 210, 212, 216 
"Daily Telegraph," quoted on 

Armenian massacres, 279 
Damascus, oasis of, 248 
Darius, invasion by, I 
Date-palm, cultivation of, frustrated, 

56 

Debts, son's duty to pay father's, 91 
Defilement, dread of, 48, 49 
Deliyani, attitude of, to war of 1897, 99 
Dere-beys, 91 
Dervishes, 299 et seq. 
character of, 307 
Dancing, 300, 301 
beliefs of, 301 
religious services of, 300, 301, 

307 
disappearance of smaller Orders of, 

306 

early asceticism of, 306 
emotionalism of, 308 
formalism of, gradual gliding into, 

306 

Howling, 300 et seq. 
garb of, 302 

Nakshibendi, branch of, 302 
prayers of, 302 
principles of, 302 

26 



Dervishes continued 

influence of Eastern philosophies 
on, 306 

prayers of, 302, 305, and note 

suppression of, attempted, 307 

wandering, 307 

Devil-worshippers. See Yezidis 
Dickson, Dr, on death of Sultan 

Abdul Aziz, 15 

Dinner, description of formal, 90 
Diplomats, imprisonment of, 350 
Disraeli, indiscretion of, 21 1 

on Bulgarian massacres, 210, 211 

on Jews, 143, 153, 154 
Divan, 44 
Divorce, 329 

ease of obtaining, in Greek Church, 
124 

non-existent among Tartarjis, 252 

wife's property in case of, 68 
Dogmatism, movements to get rid of, 
330 

undermined by education, 321, 323 
by medicine, 321, 322 
by science, 320 
Doughty, C. M., cited, 31 

quoted, 76 
Drainage, unsatisfactory condition of, 

46, 5 
Drawings, unfamiliarity with, 86. 

See also Sketching 
Druses, 256 et seq. 

British protection of, 261 

hospitality of, 258 

interdependence of, 258 

manliness of, 259 

meetings of, 258 

number of, 256 

origin of, 256, 260 

politeness of, 259 

principles of, 257 

religion of, 257 

self-respect of, 257 
Dunmays, 156 et seq. 

founder of, 157. See also Sabbatai, 
Sevi 

number of, 163 

Durham, Miss Edith, quoted, 170 
During, Dr von, on decrease of 
Turkish population, 26 

EDUCATION, demand for, 384 
Eikons, 274 



402 



TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 



Elliot, Sir Henry, cited, 14 

on Bulgarian massacres, 211 
Employment, want of, 51 
Engagements, 59 
England, Queen of, belief regarding, 

86 

Erasmus, 272 
Esnaf, 51, 52 

Euruks, 24, 27, 87, 251, 253-255 
Evil-eye, 79, 82 
Exorcism, 81 
Eyoub, invasion of Constantinople 

by, 4 
mosque of, 18 

FALLMERAYER'S theory, 94 
Family life, chapter iv. 

absence of, 37, 57, 58, 62 
Family name, absence of, 57, 58, 91 
Fatalism, 333 

Fergusson's ' ' History of Archi- 
tecture " referred to, 116 
Fitzmaurice, on Armenian massacres, 

285-289 
Foot gear, 47 
Foreigners, as landowners, 340 

credited with healing powers, 379 

position of non-Moslem, 339 

right of, to own land, 340 

status of, 334 

treatment of, 350, 372 
Forks, 44 
Fortune-telling, 81 
Fratricide, Mahomet III.'s crime, 9 

polygamy as cause of, 8 

GHEGS, 165 

characteristics of, 168 

dress of, 166 

intermingle with Slavonic neigh- 
bours, 1 66 

physical features of, 165 

physical features of country of, 168 

representatives of ancient Illyrians, 

165 
Gladstone, quoted on Bulgarian 

atrocities, 216 
Goods, foreign, importation of, 54 

tariff on, 54, 55 
Goschen threatens Sultan, 185 
Governesses, European, demand for, 

383 
forbidden for Turkish families, 383 



Government, civil, state of, 6, 7 
Greece, 202, 203 

anarchy in, between 1810 and 
1840, 202 

ideals of, 203 

population of, 203 
Greek, pronunciation of modern, 105 

survivals of ancient, 250 
Greek Church, chapter vii. 

architectural features of, 116 

as political institution, 124 

bribery in, 126 

canon law created by, 114 

Christianizing work of, 115 

compared with Western Church, 
116 

difficulties of, 115 

divorce in, 124 

friendly relations of, to Anglican 

Church, 133 

to Armenian Church, 133 
to Presbyterians, 133, 134 

ignorance amongst priests of, 125 

influence of, on European civiliza- 
tion, 114 

intolerance of, 133 

lack of ideals in, 126 

liturgy of, often unintelligible, 132 

Nicene creed, formation of, by, 1 14 

privileges granted to, by Mahomet, 

122, 123 

confirmation of, 123 
religious influence of, 125, 130 
services of, lack of orderliness in, 

I3<>> 131 

traces of paganism in, 134 
Greek islands, physical features of, 

107 

Greeks, chapter vi. 
23, 94 et seg., 234 
as domestic servants, 104 
Asiatic, 103 

attitude of, to pagan heroes, 105 
autonomy of, successful, 181 
beekeeping amongst, IOO 
characteristics 

behaviour in games, 105 

contrasted with Turks, 106 
bravery, 142 

devotion to own people, loo 
family affection, 102 
generosity, 101 
intellectuality, 143 



INDEX 



403 



Greeks characteristics continued 

intelligence, 104 

intolerance, 271 

love of travel, 102 

patriotism, 100, IOI 

political enthusiasm, 106 

skill in games, 106 

tenacity, 143 
Christian names amongst, example 

of, 104, 105 

commercial enterprise of, 101 
compared with Armenians, 271 
distinctions between, 96 
emigration of, to U.S.A., IO2 
festivals, religious, of, 92 
individualism of, 105-107 
influence of, 230 
need of intelligent leaders amongst, 

142 
oratory of, Prof. Bury on, 98 

responsible for war of 1897, 

98-100 

pantheism amongst, 96 
political characteristics of, 97 
polytheism amongst, 96 
seamanship of, 104 
sun-worship amongst, 97 
type of womanly beauty amongst, 

95 

value of, to the Turks, 143 

war of 1897 between, and Turks, 

143 

Grimston, cited, 153 

HABITS, difference between European 

and Turkish, 90 
Hamals, 50-53, 177 
Harem, 1 8, 19 

furniture of, 62 

position of doctor to, 62 

quarrelling in, 63 

recruited from slaves, 366 
Haremlik, 62 
Hashashim, 256 
Hassan and Hossein, commemoration 

of death of, 296, 297 
Hatti-Humayoun, 349, 367 

recognized in Treaty of Paris, 368 
Hatti-Sherif, 367 
Hawkers, 50 

Hepworth, Rev. G. H., quoted on 
Armenian massacres, 281-284 

on reforms, 344 

26* 



Heredity, influence of, 29 

Herodotus, customs mentioned by, 
still existent, 141 

Hierapolis, former importance of, 254 
present ruin of, 255 

Hilprecht, Prof., 155 note 

Hittites, traces of, I, 25, 103, 249 

Hogarth, D. G., cited, on Ghegs, 168 
on " Nearest East," 249 
quoted, on Syrian Jews, 156 

House, description of peasant's, 44, 

45 

exterior, 45 

interior, 44 
Hughes, Rev. T. P., cited, 20 

quoted, 2O, 21, 318, 324, 329 
Hunyades, defends Belgrade, 199 
Huss, John, 150 

ICONOCLASTIC controversy, 103 
Iconoclasts, among Armenians, 274, 

275 
Industries, native, 53, 54 

killed by Government ignorance, 55 
Infanticide, Abdul Medjid's efforts to 
deal with, 10 

medical men on, 9 

polygamy as cause of, 8 
Inscriptions, sacredness of, 83 
Islam, criminal law of, 322 

definition of, 332 

development of, chapter xiv. 

dogmas of, investigated, 332 

law of, as regards equality, 330, 

331 

liberty, 331 
Islamism, 2, 22 
Iskender Bey. See Skender Bey 

JANISSARIES, 173, 201, 304 

as members of Bektashi Order, 304 
quelled by Sultan Mahmud, 357 
slaughter of, 358 

Jews, Anatolian, 155 
character of, 153 
Disraeli's dictum on, 143, 153 
educational influence of, 153 
expectant of coming of Messiah, 

157 

immigration of, 28 
in Constantinople, 152 
number of, 152 



404 



TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 



Jews continued 

Palestine, resemble Spanish Jews, 

155 

polygamy among, 153 

position of, since Revolution of 

1908, 156 
position of, under Ottoman rulers, 

7 

Renan on, 155 
Spanish, beauty of, 155 

integrity of, 154 

prosperity of, 154 
treatment of, by Christians, 154 

by Turks, 153 
types of, 154 

KERBELA, battle of, 296 

pilgrimages to, 296 
Kizilbashis, 24, 263 

attitude of, to Moslems, 265 

meetings of, 265 

occupations of, 264 and note 

religion of, 264 

tolerance of, 264 

trustworthiness of, 264 

women unveiled among, 264 
Koran, as civil and religious code, 

33? 

as lawgiver, 343 
discussion of statements in, 323 
infallibility of, 319, 323 
quoted, on immortality of women, 

3 2 7 

taught by rote, 380 
Koreish, tribe of the, 20, 21 
Kurds, 317 

LABOUR, absence of skilled, 52-54 

slight value of human, 50, 51 
Latin characters, Albanian views on, 

194 
opposition to, by Young Turkey 

party, 194 

struggle concerning, 193 
Latin language, traces of, 144 
Law, administration of, bad, 343 
French codes adopted for framing 

commercial, 343 
origin of Turkish, 342 
Lawyers, as champions of women's 

rights, 69, 70, 330 
assistance given to Greek Church 

by, us 



Lazes, 24, 25, 103 
Legitimacy, law of, 8 
Lejean, C., on Macedonian ethno- 
graphy, 230 note 
Loti, Pierre, referred to, 64 
Lunatics, attitude to, 161 

MACEDONIA, chapter x. 
anarchy in, 233-235 
backwardness of, 373 
books on, 228 

defends Constitution of 1908, 240 
definition of, 228 

effect on, of 1908 Constitution, 228 
ethnography of, 229, 230 note 
fertility of, 245 
future of, 243-245 
Greek and Slav jealousy in, 234 
massacres in, 236 

attitude of Austria towards, 237, 

238 

attitude of England towards, 236 
attitude of France towards, 236 
attitude of Germany towards, 237 
attitude of Italy towards, 238 
attitude of Russia towards, 237 
population of, 230-232 

reduction of, by emigration, 233 
reforms for, Sir N. O'Conor's 

efforts to secure, 238 
Turkification ordered in, 240 
MacFarline, quoted on Smyrna mas- 
sacres, 354, 355 * - v -^-;-^ 
Macgahan, investigation of Bulgarian 

atrocities by, 212-214 
Magistrates, position of, 343 
Mahmud II., 6, 10, 151, 179, 356, 

357 
army reforms of, 356 

Mahomet II., 6 

Mahomet III., 9 

Mahomet V., 11-13, 151 

Mahometanism, disciplinary character 

of, 297 

discrepancies in, 325 
effect of education on, 321 
effect of science on, 320, 332 
effect of travel on, 332 
effect of Western civilization on, 

320, 321, 324 

immutability of, doubted, 318 
influence of Persia upon, 297 
interpretation of, 325 



INDEX 



405 



Mahometanism continued 

leniency, modern, with regard to, 

321-323 

missionary efforts of, 22 

penalty for abandoning, 319, 320 

Persian, compared with Turkish, 

297, 298 

emotional character of, 298 
spiritual pride of, 324 
Maronites, 256, 260, 261 
founder of, 261 
French protection of, 261 
number of, 261 
religion of, 260 
Marriage, ceremony of, men not 

allowed at, 59 
description of, 59 et seg. 
negotiations for, 58 
Turkish system of, compared with 

French, 67 
disadvantages of, 67 
Marshiman, Patriarch of Nestorian 

Church, 262 

Massacres, in Adana, 273 
in Armenia, 270, 273, 2"]% et seg., 

294 
in Bulgaria, 209 et sep., 289, 294, 

373 

in Chios, 108, 109, 294 
in Cilicia, 290, 293 
in Constantinople, 119, 356 
in Macedonia, 236 
in Mitylene, 355 
in Pergamon, 355 
in Smyrna, 354 

in Sixteenth Century, proposed, 349 
in Seventeenth Century, 350 
in Eighteenth Century, 350 
motives for, 345 

of Armenians, not spontaneous, 40 
opposition to, by pious Moslems, 

4> 35 6 

reasons for, 42, 43 
secrecy regarding, 374 
of Greeks, in 1822, 119-121 
of Janissaries, 357 
Meckitarists, 275 
Medical Science, progress of, 321, 

322 

Mehmet Ali, 178 
Melancthon, 272 
Meleki-Tavus, 313 
Mesmerism, 303 



Messiah, beliefs regarding appearance 

of, 157 
Metuali, 256 

Mevlevis. See Dervishes, dancing 
Midhat Pasha, 193, 208 

Sir H. Elliott on trial of, 15 
Militarism, 6, 7 

effect of, on population, 27 
Millets, 7, 271 
Milos, 113 
Mir system, 227 

Miracles, performance of, 302, 303 
Missionaries, American, among Ar- 
menians, 273, 274 
among Yezidis, 316 
Anglican, among Nestorians, 263 
Catholic, among Armenians, 272 
Missionary spirit, among Senoussi 

and Wahabi, 300 
Mithraism, 268 
Mitylene, 112, 355 
Moldavia. See Romania. 
Mollahs, ignorance of Western pro- 
gress among, 322 

Monasteries, at Mt. Athos, 127, 128 
libraries in, 128, 129 
manuscripts in, 129 
remains of, 77 
Mongols, 24 
Monks, idleness of, 127 

ignorance of, 128 
Muezzin, 36 

NAKSHIBENDI, 302 

powers claimed by, 303 
Navarino, battle of, 180, 359, 363 

attitude of Turks after, 359 
Negroes, as slaves, 364 
Nereids, 135 
Nestorian Church, 262 

improvement of, 263 

Patriarch of. See Marshiman 
Nestorians 

decline of, 262 

founder of, 261 

missionary efforts of, 262 

religion of, 261 
Nicene Creed, 114 
Nippur, 155 

Noah, reputed tomb of, 140 
Nomads, influence of, in Asia Minor, 

251, 253 
Nouri, Jelal, on Yezidis, 310 et seq. 



406 



TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 



OFFICIALS, characteristics of 

courtesy, 88 

dishonesty, 88 

flattery of strangers, 89 

ignorance, 84 

love of appearances, 89 

untrustworthiness, 88 
Kaiser outwits, 89 
Oleicoff, 230 note 

Oliphant, Lawrance, stories of, 303 
Osman. See Othman 
Osmanli, 24, 242 
Othman, 7 

sword of, 1 8, 19, 302 
Ourfa Cathedral, massacre in, 287* 
288 

PAGANISM, relics of, 140 
Palgrave, quoted, 38, 318 
Pan-Islamism, 21, 22 

Abdul Hamid's attitude to, 22 
Pantheism, in doctrine of Bektashis, 

304 ; of Shiahs, 298 
Paradise, conception of, 328 

influence of modern thought 

on, 329 
conditions for men entering, 327 

for women entering, 327 
sensual delights of, 329 
Paris, treaty of, 368 
Patchinaks, 24 
Patriarchal courts, 123, 124 
Patriarchs, 118, 126 
Paulicians. See Adoptionists 
Peasants, courtesy of, 88 
ideals of, 76 

ideas of, concerning archaeologists, 
77 ; foreigners, 75-78 ; nature, 
75 ; Sultan, 75 
ignorance of, 75, 84 
poverty of Moslem, 41 
superstition of, 78 et seq. 
truthfulness of, 88 
Percy, Earl, as philo-Turk, 347 

quoted, 156 
Persia, influence of, on Mohametan- 

ism, 297 

Peters, Dr John, 153 and note 
Petroleum, use of, 47 
Phanariot, meaning of, 1 18 
Philo-Turkism, advocates of, 345, 347, 

348 
instances of, 345-347 



Plague, 378 

Plevna, capture of, by Turks, 220 

fall of, 222 
Polygamy, as cause of fratricide an 

infanticide, 8 

bearing of, on prostitution, 69 
decrease of population despite, 29 
disadvantages of, 68 
Political economy, ignorance of, 55 
Pomaks, 23, 24 
character of, 152 
origin of, 148 
persecution of, 151 
physical qualities of, 149 
religion of, 151 
Population, 23 

change of elements in, 27 et seq. 
decrease of Turkish, cause of, 28, 

248 

unification of, unsuccessful, 2 
varying elements in, 2, 23 
Prayer, daily, 36, 72 
Prayer-place, cleanliness of, 32 
Priests, Greek Church- 
character of, 126 
ignorance of, 125, 126 
must be married, 1 25 
payment of, 125 
poverty of, 125 
Turkish, ignorance of, 84 
Prisons, condition of, 90 
Protestants, recognition of, 367 

QUACKS, 8 1 

RAMAZAN, fast of, 36, 297 

sacredness of, not observed by Tar- 

tarjis, 252 

Ramsay, Sir Wm., cited, 30 ; quoted, 
37, 283 ; on Mithraism, 269 ; 
on reforms, 344 
Refaees, 300 

Reforms, Canning's views as to, 359 
co-existent with toleration, 361, 

369 

danger of delay in granting, 348 
England's attempt to secure, 349, 

359 

evasion of, 368 

France's attempt to secure, 359 
Hepworth on, 344 
hesitation to grant, 361 



INDEX 



407 



Reforms continued 
opposition to 

in Albania, 192 

in Bulgaria, 208, 218 

in Macedonia, 237 
paper, 369 

Philo-Turk's failure to secure, 348 
possibility of, discussed, 344 
progress of, in city and country, 

compared, 372 
Ramsay, Sir Wm. , on, 344 
religious, 367 
sanitary, 376 

opposition of Abdul Hamid to, 

Turkey's future dependent on, 348 

Religion, as hygienic factor, 33 
attitude of Anatolians to image- 
worship, 31 

conjunction of, with race, 122 
Divine immanency, 31, 36 
fatalism engendered by, 33, 37 
formalist side of, 151 
influences of, 29 
Monotheism, 30 
Monotheistic, source of, 2 
pantheism among Greeks, 96 
polytheism among Greeks, 96 
position of women in regard to, 36 
Ramsay, Sir Wm., on, 30 
simplicity of, 78 
spiritual side of, 151 

Renan, cited, 254 

Repudiation, 329 
as substitute for divorce, 69 
safeguards against, 69, 70 

Reschad Effendi. See Mahomet V. 

Revolution of 1908, 3, 239 
Albanians' part in, 186-188 
counterstroke to, planned, 291 
partial success of, 292 
"Times" correspondent on, 

291 
women's part in, 65, 66 

Rhodes 

beauty of, 112 

capture of, by Turks, 1 1 1 

Colossus of, 109 and note 

description of modern, in 

hostility of, to Mahometanism, no 

knights of, 1 10 

statues, remains of, in, 109 note 

Robert College, 223, 224, 384 



Rock dwellings, 250 
Romania, 145, 196-198 
King Charles, 197 
as administrator, 198 
as politician, 198 
organizes army, 197 
prosperity, 198 
Roman Law, 70 note 
Rugs. See Carpets 
Ruskin, on Armenian art, 275 
Russia, protection of Christians by, 

92, 93 

Rycaut, Paul, referred to, 157 ; 
quoted, 158, 161 

SABBATAI. See Sevi 
St Dionysius, 136 
St Elias, 135 

St George, 97 ; churches dedicated 
to, 134 

festival of, 137 
St John's Eve, 97 
St Nicholas, 35 

St Paul, mistake concerning, 85 
Saints, as successors of pagan gods, 
97, 134-138 

miraculous powers of, 137 
Salemlik, 62 
Salisbury, Lord, reforms Consular 

system, 92, 93 
Salonika, 152, 154, 156, 230, 239, 

244, 245 
Sandwith, Dr Humphrey, " Hakim 

Bashi " quoted, 370-372 
Sappho. See Mitylene 
Scamni, 44 
Schools, Armenian Catholic, 381 

Christian, 381 

Elementary, 380, 381 

influence of, 384 

medical, 379 
Scutari, American college at, 64, 

384 

Sects, Mahometan, 296 et seq. 
Sedan chairs, 53 
Seljuk Turks, I, 25, 253 
Sell, Rer. Edward, cited, 21 note 
Senoussism, 299, 300 
Serbia, 199-202, 229 

Austria's interference in, 202 

recognized as kingdom, 201 

revolt of, in 1804, 201 
Serbians, 23, 94 



408 



TURKEY AND ITS PEOPLE 



Sevi, Sabbatai, 157-163, 157 note 

brought before Sultan, 162 

claims of, 159 

conversion of, 162 

death of, 163 

fall of, 162 

followers of, 163 

imprisonment of, 160 

infatuation caused by, 1 59 

journeyings of, 158 

persecution of, 158 

regarded as mad by Turks, 161 

veneration of, 160 

visits Constantinople, 160 
Shakespeare translated into Greek, 100 
Sheik A'ddy, 310, 312 
Shenova, battle of, 221 
Sheriat, religious law of the, 241 
Shiah Mahometans, 255 
Shiahs, 296, 298, 331 
Sh'tak, 54 
Sinjars, character of, 310 

dualism of, 311 

theory of origin of, 310 
Skender Bey, 179 
Sketching, objection to, 83 
Sketes, 127 

Skobeleff, Gen., 220, 221 
Slaves, 353, 354, 363 et seq. 

prices of, 364 

Slavs, 94, 95, 103, 115, 234 
Smyrna, massacres in, 354 

peopled by Greek emigrants, 102 
Sofia, 223 
Spies, 14, 356 
Stavriotai, as crypto-Christians, 266 

as miners, 267 

marriage ceremonies among, 266 

polygamy forbidden among, 266 
Succession, law of, 8-19 

European, 8 

Turkish, 9 et seq. 

incompetence of heir under, 1 1 
infanticide under, 8-10 
suspicion created by, II, 12 
workings of, illustrated, 12 et 

seq. 

Suliman, 6 

Suliots, heroism of, 183 
Sultana Valida, 18 
Sultans, eminent, 6 

heirs of, compared with English 
and German heirs, 1 1 



Sultans heirs of continued 
incompetent, II 

mothers of, in recent times, 6 

private lives of, 19 
Sumerians, traces of, I 
Sunnzs, 20, 151, 296, 298 
Sun-worship, among Greeks, 97 
Superstitions, 78 el seq., 136-141 

encouraged by priests, 1 38 
Syllogos of Athens, 230 note 

TALISMANS, 79, 81 

Tartarjis. See Turcomans 

Tartars, 24 

Tchircoff, Dr A., 230 note 

Tekkes, 301 

Territory, cession of, illegal, 16 

Timour, invasion by, I 

Tombs, veneration of, 79 

Torture, Canning's efforts to suppress, 

363 

order abolishing, 367 
Tosks, 165, 192 

dress of, 166 
Troglodytes, 250 
Tuesday, unluckiness of, 80 
Turcomans, 24, 28, 251 
Turkification, consequences of, 194, 
240 

VAN, Lake, 247 

Veil, use of. See under Women 

Vekil, 367 

Vendetta. See under Albanians 

Vlachs. See Wallachs 

WAHABISM, 299, 300 
Wallachia. See Romania 
Wallachs, 23, 94, 103, 144 et seq. 
industry of, 147 
language of, 144 
origin of, 145 

Anna Comnena on, 145, 146 note 
Benjamin of Tudela on, 146 
presence of, in Balkan Peninsula 

explained, 148 
religion of, 146, 147 
settlements of, 147 
Walsh, Dr, on the massacres of 1822, 

119-121 

" residence in Constantinople," 295 
Water, use of, for ceremonials, 48 
in house, 45 



INDEX 



409 



Wealth, absence of landed, 91 

White, Col., cited, 9 

Wilson, Rev. S. G., cited, 28 ; quoted, 

268, 298 
Women 
Albanian, 171 
Armenian, 270 
as slaves, 363 

treatment of, 365 
betterment of, 74 
childishness of, 62 
Christian, 24 

children of, 24 
club for, 72 
dress of, 18, 87 
colours in, 88 

educated, examples of, 64-6 
education of, 382 
emancipation of, 66 
Greek, 95 
grievances of, 329 
ignorance of, 63, 71, 326 
immortality of 
Koran on, 327 

popular delusion as to, 326, 328 
influence of Western thought on 

status of, 74 
Jewish veiling of, 153 
manners of, 63 

' married, legal position of, 68, 70 
m position of, 326, 329 

in regard to religion, 36, 37 

repudiation of, 69, 329 

seclusion of, as cause of non-pro- 

gressiveness, 71 
fatal to family life, 62 
sermon for, account of, 328 
unveiling of, 66, 73 



Women, veiling of, 87 

Writing, Arabic characters used in, 

380 
sacredness of, 82 

XERXES, invasion by, I 

YENGHIS KHAN, invasion by, i, 253 
Yezidis, appearance of, 315 

as water worshippers, 314 

baptism of children, 314, 316 

brigandage, 309 

circumcision, 314, 316 

conservatism of, 312 

distribution of, 309 

dualism of, 311 

idolatry, 313 

language of, 317 

missionaries, American, among, 
316 

Nouri, Jelal, cited on, 310 et seq. 

numbers of, 309 

origin of, theory as to, 312, 315 

persecution of, by Turks, 310 

pilgrimage, practice of, 316 

refuse military service, 309 

religion of, 313-315 

resemble Assyrians, 315 

reverence for devil, 312 

sacred books of, 313 

suspicion of Moslems, 312 

Turkish treatment of, 316 

ZADRUGA, 227 
Zeibecks, 355, 358 
Zeitoun, heroism of community of, 
249 



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