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two years ago, and his body left to rot by the roadside. So deplorable a state of anarchy and conflict exists in a province, the chief town of which contains three hundred regular and three hundred and eighty irregular troops: of the former none have been ordered out of Lattakia, and of the latter none ever reached the scene of action, although they left the town for the purpose of restoring tranquillity. The very presence of irregulars in the town is an evil, for their frequent excesses prevent the industrious and peaceful portion of the Ansairi population in the immediate vicinity from bringing provi
sions and other commodities to market."
As regards police, then, and in the matters of civil and criminal justice, the subjects of the Turkish government are truly unfortunate. The large reforms so much vaunted as the offspring of the Crimean war, are proved to be mere cheats, which have already served their time, and are no longer alluded to even as pretexts. The next question is: What progress has been made in the matter of taxation, and in the. removal of class disabilities? Viewed with reference to the population, the revenue of Turkey is so small that the public burdens would not seem to press heavily on individuals. Aussuming thirty millions* to be the number of the inhabitants of the Turkish dominions, and taking the revenue in round numbers at fifteen millions, the pressure would be no more than ten shil-ical violence of his fellow-soldiers. In. lings per head. But this would give a this respect the army of the shah convery erroneous idea of the actual condi- trasts very favorably with that of the tion of the laboring classes. The tithe sultan, for instances have occurred in of agricultural produce, which forms the which Mohammedan regiments in Persia back-bone of the revenue, "is collected have combined to save the lives of Nestorian Christians serving in their ranks.
by speculators, who purchase from the government the right of collection, hoping to receive from cultivators a greater amount than the price paid." In general it is the provincial council that thus buys up the tithes of a district, and so unlimited is their power of extortion, that instances are by no means rare of their exacting from the unhappy cultivator thirty-five per cent. instead of ten. In addition to this a variety of presents, in the shape of lambs, fruit, and forage, are wrung from the villagers, who are exposed as much to the violence and licentious passions of the tax-gatherer and his satellites as to their cupidity. One of the boons held out to the non-Moslem subjects of the Porte in the Háti-Humáyún was the abrogation of the capitation-tax, and to this was added a right of admission into military service. But this apparent concession has been changed into a fresh source of oppression. The capitation tax reäppears as the bedelich askerieh, or tax in lieu of military service, which is a permanent impost levied whether a conscription is going on or not, and is at least double the amount of the sum formerly exacted under the name of capitation. At the same time none but a Mohammedan could really enter the Turkish army, for, to say nothing of insults, his life would not be safe from the fanat
While on the subject of taxation, it is only fair to say that the author of Rambles in Syria, after speaking of the extortion to which the agricultural classes, and all, whatever their avocation, who are not Mohammedans, are subjected, nevertheless asserts that the taxation is not severe. "I believe," he writes, "that in comparison with other countries, the population of Turkey is on the whole lightly taxed." But it is quite evident that he is here looking rather at the amount of revenue raised, and of taxation per head, than at the ability of the population to pay. The best proof of the miserable condition of the people is the food on which they are obliged to supOf the whole Arab port themselves. population, amounting to several millions,
According to the census of 1844, the population of European and Asiatic Turkey, together with that of Tripoli, Fez, and Tunis, amounts to 33,350,000. But of these the Arabs number 885,
000 in Asia, and 3,800,000 in Africa (The Resources of Turkey, by J. L. Farley, p. 3), and many of the Arab tribes, the Anezi, for example (Rambles in Syria, p. 29), pay no taxes to government. The revenue for 1862 is calculated by Fuad Pasha at £15,118,640. (See Resources of Turkey, p. 29.)
Mr. Farley says (Resources of Turkey, p. 18): "It is not the fiscal dues imposed by the State which are burdensome to the the people; on the contrary, taxation in Turkey is much lighter than
in most other countries. It is the abuses of collection, the extortion of the revenue farmers or their agents, and the numerous rates of interest charged by the saraffs, that oppress the agriculturist, and by retarding the development of the vast natural resources of the empire, prevent her from taking that position among the commercial nations of Europe to which by nature she is eminently
66 the same author writes, "they never taste | bles in Syria, seen on the plain, are still very primitive, and the science of husbandry remains in a stunted infancy; but the soil is so marvelously productive that heavy crops are obtained by merely throwing seed into shallow furrows scraped by the most wretched of plows, without harrowing, rolling, or weeding. As for the Turks themselves, they are naturally averse to husbandry, and if they had not Christians and others for their farm-serfs, would scarcely be induced to till the earth's surface at all. 'Look,' said one of them, 'at these hills of El Himr, here a man can subsist without labor. There are sixteen kinds of roots here on which life can be supported, and amongst them the wild onion; what more is required ?'"
animal food, except when a sheep is slaughtered for a guest. Their ordinary food is bread dipped in melted butter, but they are often reduced to camel's milk, either alone or with a few dates." The irregulars under Háji Batrán were glad to feast on the flesh of a hyena. The Turkumans, who number about two hundred thousand, still live as in the time of Burckhardt," they taste flesh only upon extraordinary occasions." Yet these are professional robbers; and partly by plundering, partly by legitimate traffic, are in a position of luxury compared with the Fellahs or cultivators. The condition of these latter has not improved one whit since the days of the above-named traveler, who speaks of them thus: "The Fellahs live wretchedly; whenever they are able to scrape together a small pittance, their masters take it from them under the pretence of borrowing it. I was treated by several of them at dinner with the best dish they could afford-bad oil with coarse bread. They never taste meat except when they kill a cow or an ox, disabled by sickness or age; the greater part of them live literally upon bread and water." European travelers, especially if they are officials or men of rank, are purposely hindered from seeing the poverty of the land in traveling through Turkey. But let them leave the highroad, put off the name and dress of Englishmen, and take shelter in the villages at random, as Burckhardt did, and they will soon learn the truth. What is said by Mr. Senior's informant of the state of the masses in Egypt, applies generally to the people all over Asiatic Turkey. "The habits of the mass of the people are so bad, their bodies are so filthy, their dwellings are so wretched, their food is so ill prepared (and it may be added so unfit for man), that the climate must be excellent, or they could not live." To the excellence of the climate must be added also the fertility of the soil in most parts of Turkey, as the real reason why the scanty population does not dwindle even below its present number. "The agricultural improvements," says the author of Ram
* Travels in Syria and the Holy Land, AppenJournal kept in Egypt in 1855 and 1856 (Vic
toria Magazine, April, 1864).
+ Rambles in Syria, p. 86.
With absolute insecurity for life and property, with such preservers of the peace as Háji Batrán, with taxation carried to the utmost limits that the misery of the masses will allow; what, it may be asked, has been gained for Turkey by the Háti-Humáyún, and all the expenditure of blood and treasure in the Crimea ? There is but one reform to which the partisans of the Turks can point, and that is the security of life to converts from Islamism, or to those who lapse to their former faith after becoming Mohammedans. It is not very long since that an Armenian, who had become a Mohammedan, and reverted to Christianity, was put to death at Constantinople. It was said that application was made to the British embassy to interfere on that occasion, but that the intervention, however it was conducted, failed. A formal execution at the capital on such a charge would now, of course, be impossible, but, in spite of this, it is more than doubtful whether any step has been made in the right direction. Though a lapsed convert could not be openly put to death at Constantinople, his danger at any distant town would be extreme, and his execution certain, if the Mohammedan authorities were assured that the affair could not possibly come to the knowledge of a European cousul. If this be doubted, let reference be made to the unbiassed and unquestionable authority of the author of Rambles in Syria. His opinion on this head, which has been already quoted, is delivered in the clearest terms, and must be echoed by every one who pretends to a real acquaintance with the Turkish character, and the present state
of feeling among all classes of the Mohammedan population in the Turkish empire.
But more impressive and convincing than the language of any writer is the testimony of events. Is it the case, that since the Crimean war the Christian population of Turkey has lived in greater security, and that the old Mohammedan rigor has been softened toward a faith whose followers have saved Mohammedan power from being torn up by the roots? What is to be said, then, of Jeddah ? of the massacres in the Lebanon,at Dier-el Kamar, at Hasbeya and Rasheya, and at Zahleh ? These places were destroyed by fire, and three thousand six hundred Maronites were slain in them. The same scenes of horror that occurred at Aleppo nine years and a half before, when for three weeks the Christian quarter was given up to pillage and the sword, would doubtless have been repeated in 1860, but for the firmness of Omar Pasha, a Russian refugee. What would have occurred at Aleppo may be inferred from what did occur at Damascus, where twelve hundred and eighty Christians were barbarously murdered, Were it indeed the case that the fanatiand every conceivable outrage that the cal, unbending spirit which was formerly most fiendish cruelty could suggest, was so characteristic of the Osmanli, was now perpetrated on an unoffending population. found only in the lower order of Turks, It is true that the authors of these atroci- or in those who, from residing in the inties were punished, that Ahmed Pasha, terior, are less exposed to contact with the governor of Damascus, the command European ideas, there might be some ants of Hasbeya and Rasheya, and a col- hope of improvement. But this is far onel of irregulars, with one hundred and from being the case. The higher classes seventeen of his officers and soldiers, and of Turks, even those who have resided in several civilians were shot, that sixty-six the capitals of the European States, and other ringleaders in the massacres were who have mixed in European society, still hanged, and five hundred and fifty sen- continue quite devoid of those free and tenced to hard labor for life or for twenty generous notions which are the true source years. But these retributive acts were of all real progress. The government itdue to French intervention, and were in self, though it yields to the remonstrances no degree ascribable to any regard for of the European ambassadors, returns to justice on the part of the Turkish gov-its original form wherever and whenever the pressure is removed. For example, retribution was exacted by the French for the massacres of 1860. The Porte yielded to the pressure, and about seven hundred and forty Mohammedans suffered death or imprisonment, but no sooner was the excitement over than Namik Pasha, who was governor of Jeddah during the massacre, was appointed to the highest disposable command in the empire, the government of Baghdad, where he is at this moment. Namik Pasha is, besides, an excellent illustration in his own person of the unchangeable character of t
It may be said, however, that the whole epoch of the Crimean war was fraught with bitter humiliation to the Turks; that to have required and received the aid of Christians to save them from being trampled under foot by Christians, was in itself inexpressibly galling to their proud spirit; that their pride was still further wounded when the sultan was compelled to proclaim, as the price of the intervention which had saved his empire, equality of rights to all his subjects, and abolish the preeminence of the Osmanli, which
for centuries had never been called in question; and that a violent revulsion of feeling was the inevitable result of such compulsory obedience to the wishes of a despised sect, but that the explosion once over the danger of reäction is past. This line of argument leads to the investigation of the second of the two questions with which we set out. It must, indeed, be admitted that hitherto the promised reforms in Turkey have not borne fruit, that there have been recent evidences of the continuance of the old rancorous spirit in the dominant race, that there is the same disorganization and anarchy and oppression, that for so many years have been so indignantly described by so many writers; but may not a better time be looked for, when, by the development of commerce, the immigration of Europeans, and incessant contact with Western civilization, the Turkish character itself may be altered, Mohammedan prejudices softened, and the equality of rights for all Turkish subjects, which has been now twice proclaimed by imperial edicts, be really established?
Turk, under continual contact with European civilization. He has resided in both England and France; he speaks French almost as well as a native of France; he affects a great regard and admiration for Lord Palmerston. Yet it is notorious that there is not a more bigoted and relentless Turk in the whole empire. Not to speak of Jeddah, it is well-known that his constant aim is to resist European influence, and to mortify and harass those who are under consular protection. It is said, that having by an effort of this kind brought down on himself a sharp reprimand from the Porte, he was ordered to apologize to some European functionary, who, the better to insure the amende being made, was supplied with a copy of the dispatch. Armed with this paper the European proceeded to an interview with the pasha, who received him as usual, and said nothing about the instructions. At last the visitor, growing impatient, inquired if such a dispatch had been received. "Yes!" said the pasha, 66 the order has arrived. The sultan can take my head, but I will never apologize to an infidel." It may easily be imagined how little respect is shown under such a viceroy to the regulations of the Háti-Humáyún. Thus, in that edict it is said: "All foreigners may possess landed property, obeying the laws and paying the taxes; for this purpose arrangements shall be made with foreign powers." As a matter of fact, there are foreigners possessing land in the pashalik of Baghdad, but an inquiry into their grievances would discover many curious circumstances. At station, for instance, not very far from Baghdad, there is a most commodious caravanserah built by a foreigner. It is very much needed where it stands, and would be a great convenience to the public, but for some reason or other no one has ever entered it, or is likely to do so under the present régime.
The author of the Rambles in Syria admits most fully the wretched state of Turkey, and distinctly avows his disbelief in any improvement proceeding from the government itself. At the same time he does not altogether despair of a change for the better under certain circumstances. His panacea is "a steady but not violent pressure from without," coupled with the influence of European settlers." But under the most favorable circumstances, he thinks that progress in Turkey must be
a work of time, and that whether the change that has commenced will reach a fortunate issue or not, is still an unsolved problem. It is fair to quote his opinions at length in his own words, before commenting on them:
"Police is not what is most wanted in Turment creates here lawless classes, not individukey; it is government. The want of governal criminals. Lord Macaulay says that no ordinary misgovernment will do as much to make a nation wretched as the constant effort of every man to better himself will do to make a nation prosperous. The constant effort of most Turks to better themselves belongs to one of ance. High and low, official and unofficial, two descriptions: plunder and bribed connivrich and poor, all follow the tortuous groove of peculation, corruption, and extortion, on the one hand, or are addicted, on the other, to armed depredations. I allude, of course, only to the provinces of Turkey, as I have already more than once specified in remarking on the state of the country. Were the astonishing pursuit of illicit gain, and the great courage perseverance and ingenuity employed in the and skill displayed in acts of violence, turned into the wide and legitimate channel referred to by our distinguished historian, they would, by a parity of reasoning, make the nation very prosperous. But to effect any thing of the kind, a new social order must be inaugurated, which would admit of both classes earning their livelihood honestly, and some moral distinction must be established between what is right and what is wrong, that crime should be stigmatized. For the usual isolated disturbances, remedial measures, more or less prompt and efficacious, may be expected from the Turks, but, when a people is thus perverted, as well as misgoverned, all practical improve
ment to be looked for from the Porte can, I fear, be of little avail. The evil is deep-seated in a country where labor is not allowed to be productive, and plunder in all its varities is encouraged by sharing its profits. Lord Macaulay's ordinary misgovernment theory has no application here. This is a stupendous misgovernment, and the nation is very wretched."
"By putting a check upon the abuse of powsulmans and Christians, by effecting a more er through its equal distribution between Musequitable arrangement of the respective and relative rights of conflicting sects, and by opening the country to foreign colonists, along with an absolute prohibition of foreign protection and local interference, these ends might be attained in so far as legislative means can avail. Interests now antagonistic would thus be longer forced to work for another, might then bound together. The laborer or artisan, no work for that other while working for himself. A middle class would spring up from such a regulation of social rights in proportion as
prosperity might enable the cultivator and tradesman to extend their operations, and according as necessity might oblige the great proprietor of land and looms to become himself industrious. Trade would then be indigenous, and wealth would cease to be monopolized by local magnates and foreign speculators, while money, instead of filling the coffers of a favored few, leaving the provinces to purchase influence, or being sent abroad by strangers, would circulate at home, begetting affluence, producing what is now imported, and remaining in the country as the stock of future generations. The missing links in the social chain once supplied, the equilibrium essential to productive harmony established, the different wheels of the machine so adjusted as to work well alone, and the population brought to the normal state of well-regulated society, prosperity would become possible, and good government certain. The hour of redemption from starving pride on the one hand, and from debasing servitude on the other, sounded for millions of human be
ings at the close of the Crimean war. The lapse of a certain interval between the shock of a great conflict, and the realization of its stipulated and proclaimed results, naturally took place. The shaken supremacy of the dominant race oscillated for a time, and Europe looked on in expectation of the final practical abolition of all class privileges. Matters have settled down, however, on their former basis. The decree, comprising the germs of such important social and political changes, has remained a dead letter, in so far as regards all practical results. The warning conveyed to the tottering throne of Turkey has hitherto been disregarded. Unaided and unwatched, one can have but little confidence in the administrative abilities and political morality of any man or set of men in Turkey. With the exception of Fuad Pasha, Ahmed Wefik Ef fendi, and a select few-too few to achieve the rapid transformation of so vast and so corrupt an empire-the best-intentioned sultan has not instruments at his disposal for such an undertaking. Hence arises the grievous evil of foreign local interference in the details of govern-Austria could hold them against Russia. ment, to which it may not be unfair to attrib- Her interests are naturally the same as ute in a great measure the failure of Turkey those of England. She is, as respects Western Europe, a pacific, unaggressive power. We can not strengthen her too much." By an extraordinary combina tion of circumstances, France and England were able and willing to unite against Russia to preserve Turkey, but it is very improbable that such an alliance could be formed again for a similar purpose. In the mean time Russia has more than recovered the vantage-ground she lost by the Crimean war. In the first place, she has
There are, it seems to us, two fallacies involved in these theories for the resuscitation of Turkey, as in similar views propounded by those whose opinions have been reported by Mr. Senior. The first of these fallacies is in speaking of "the steady but not violent pressure from without," as if the welfare of Turkey was the prime object of all the European States, whereas there is nothing so certain as that, except England, Turkey has not a single real friend or disinterested ally. It is true that France, Sardinia, and, to a certain extent, Austria, combined with England to save Turkey in the Crimean war, but jealousy of Russia was the moving principle in that struggle, and not regard for the Porte. France has since then shown a strong disposition to join in the dismemberment of the country she protected; and were Austria assured of the impossibility of resisting Russian aggrandizement she would certainly, as the next best course, unite in plundering the fallen. There are not wanting politicians who would willingly assign the Principalities and perhaps Bosnia to Austria, and who would say, as was said to Mr. Senior: *
to keep her promises. She is not left time nor temper to do it under the constant teasing of embassies about trifles. Every one knows that our own ambassador has never followed that course, and that Sir Henry Bulwer has, on the contrary, contributed very efficaciously toward the realization of every good purpose of the Porte, while his not having always succeeded either in effecting progress or preventing evil is not to be wondered at in presence of other influences, less disinterested and beneficent, but equally entitled by position to claim the sultan's careful consideration. I can not doubt, however, that by a moderate and justifiable insistance on the adoption of obvious principles and practice, emanating directly from a friendly
power, so as to escape the Scylla and Charybdis besetting the local approaches to the Porte, Turkey might be placed and kept in a train of improvement advantageous to herself and satisfactory to Europe. It must, certainly, be a work of time; for I imagine that a people can not at once be raised, as was expected, from the actual state of the sultan's subjects by international stipulations and imperial enactments, however beneficial and comprehensive they may appear, without passing through a period of transition. That period has commenced; whether or not it will ever arrive at a favorable issue, is still an unsolved problem, involving the peace of Europe."
* A Journal kept in Turkey and Greece in 1857 and 1858, p. 86.