1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Turkey
TURKEY. The Turkish or Ottoman Empire comprises Turkey in Europe, Turkey in Asia, and the vilayets of Tripoli and Barca, or Bengazi, in North Africa; and in addition to those provinces under immediate Turkish rule, it embraces also certain tributary states and certain others under foreign administration. Turkey in Europe, occupying the central portion of the Balkan Peninsula, lies between 38° 46′ and 42° 50′ N. and 19° 20′ and 29° 10′ E. It is bounded on the N.W. by Montenegro and Bosnia, on the N. by Servia and Bulgaria, on the E. by the Black Sea and the Bosporus, on the S. by the Sea of Marmora, the Dardanelles, the Aegean Sea and Greece, and on the W. by the Ionian and Adriatic Seas. Turkey in Asia, fronting Turkey in Europe to the south-east, and lying between 28° and 41° N. and 25° and 48° E., is bounded on the N. by the Black Sea, on the N.W. by the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmora and the Dardanelles, on the W. by the Aegean Sea, on the E. by Persia and Transcaucasia, and on the S. by Arabia and the Mediterranean. So far as geographical description is concerned, the separate articles on Asia Minor, Albania, Armenia, and other areas mentioned below—constituting the Turkish Empire—may be consulted. (For maps of Asiatic Turkey, see Arabia; Armenia; Asia Minor; Palestine; Syria.)
The possessions of the sultan in Europe now consist of a strip of territory stretching continuously across the Balkan Peninsula from the Bosporus to the Adriatic (29° 10′ to 19° 20′ E.), and lying in the east mainly between 40° and 42° and in the west between 39° and 43° N. It corresponded roughly to ancient Thrace, Macedonia with Chalcidice, Epirus and a large part of Illyria, constituting the present administrative divisions of Stambul (Constantinople, including a small strip of the opposite Asiatic coast), Edirne (Adrianople), Salonica with Kossovo (Macedonia), Iannina (parts of Epirus and Thessaly), Shkodra (Scutari or upper Albania). To these must be added the Turkish islands in the Aegean usually reckoned to Europe, that is, Thasos, Samothrace, Imbros and, in the extreme south, Crete or Candia. In December 1898, however, Crete was granted practical independence, under the protection of Great Britain, France, Italy and Russia (see Crete), and the suzerainty of the sultan is purely nominal.
Asiatic Turkey.—The mainstay of the Ottoman dynasty is the Asiatic portion of the empire, where the Mahornmedan religion is absolutely predominant, and where the naturally vigorous and robust Turki race forms in Asia Minor a compact mass of many millions, far outnumbering any other single ethnical element and probably equalling all taken collectively. Here also, with the unimportant exception of the islands of Samos and Cyprus and the somewhat privileged district of Lebanon, all the Turkish possessions constitute vilayets directly controlled by the Porte. They comprise the geographically distinct regions of the Anatolian plateau (Asia Minor), the Armenian and Kurdish highlands, the Mesopotamian lowlands, the hilly and partly mountainous territory of Syria and Palestine and the coast lands of west and north-east Arabia. Asiatic Turkey is conterminous on the east with Russia and Persia; in the south-west it encloses on the west, north and north-east the independent part of Arabia. Towards Egypt the frontier is a line drawn from Akaba at the head of the Gulf of Akaba north-westwards to the little port of El Arish on the Mediterranean. Elsewhere Asiatic Turkey enjoys the advantage of a sea frontage, being washed in the north-west and west by the Euxine, Aegean and Mediterranean, in the south-west by the Red Sea, and in the south-east by the Persian Gulf.
Turkey’s Arabian possessions comprise, besides El-Hasa on the Persian Gulf, the low-lying, hot and insalubrious Tehama and the south-western highlands (vilayets of Hejaz and Yemen) stretching continuously along the east side of the Red Sea, and including the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
African Territories.—Turkey in Africa has gradually been reduced to Tripoli and Barca. Egypt, though nominally under Turkish suzerainty, has formed a practically independent principality since 1841, and has been de facto under British protection since 1881.
|Emery Walker sc.|
Population.—The total population of the Turkish Empire in 1910, including Egypt and other regions nominally under the sultan’s suzerainty, was 36,323,539, averaging 25 to the square mile; in the provinces directly under Turkish government, 25,926,000.
The following towns have over 50,000 inhabitants each: Constantinople, 1,150,000; Smyrna, 250,000; Bagdad, 145,000; Damascus, 145,000; Aleppo, 122,000; Beirut, 118,000; Adrianople, 81,000; Brusa, 76,000; Jerusalem, 56,000; Caesarea Mazaca (Kaisarieh), 72,000; Kerbela, 65,000; Monastir, 53,000; Mosul, 61,000; Mecca, 60,000; Horns, 60,000; Sana, 58,000; Urfa, 55,000; and Marash, 52,000.
Race and Religion.—Exact statistics are not available as
regards either race or religion. The Osmanlis or Turks (q.v.) are supposed to number some 10 millions, of whom 1½ million belong to Turkey in Europe. Of the Semitic races the Arabs—over whom, however, the Turkish rule is little more than nominal—number some 7 millions, and in addition to about 300,000 Jews there is a large number of Syrians. Of the Aryan races the Slavs—Serbs, Bulgarians, Pomaks and Cossacks—and the Greeks predominate, the other representatives being chiefly Albanians and Kurds. The proportion borne to one another by the different religions, as estimated in 1910, is: 50% Mussulman, 41% Orthodox, 6% Catholic, 3% all others (Jews, Druses, Nestorians, &c.). In the European provinces about two-thirds of the population are Christian and one-third Mahommedan. Full and fairly accurate statistics are available for a considerable portion of Asiatic Turkey. Out of a population of 13,241,000 (1896) in Armenia, Kurdistan and Asia Minor, 10,030,000 were returned as Mahommedans, 1,144,000 as Armenians, 1,818,000 as other Christians, and 249,000 as Jews. There are also about 300,000 Druses and about 200,000 Gipsies. The non-Mussulman population is divided into millets, or religious communities, which are allowed the free exercise of their religion and the control of their own monasteries, schools and hospitals. The communities now recognized are the Latin (or Catholic), Greek (or Orthodox), Armenian Catholic, Armenian Gregorians, Syrian, and United Chaldee, Maronite, Protestant and Jewish. The table
on the following page, for which the writer is indebted to the kindness of Carolidi Effendi, formerly professor of history in the university of Athens, and in 1910 deputy for Smyrna in the Turkish parliament, shows the various races of the Ottoman Empire, the regions which they inhabit, and the religions which they profess.
Administration.—Until the revolution of 1908, with a very short interval at the beginning of the reign (1876) of the deposed sultan Abd-ul-Hamid, the government of Turkey had been essentially a theocratic absolute monarchy. It was subject to the direct personal control of the sultan, who was himself a temporal autocrat, which he now is not, and the most generally recognized caliph, that is, “successor,” of the Prophet, and consequently the spiritual head of by far the greater portion of the Moslem world—as he still is. Owing principally to the fact that the system of the caliph Omar came to be treated as an immutable dogma which was clearly not intended by its originator, and to the peculiar relations which developed therefrom between the Mussulman Turkish conquerors and the peoples (principally Christian) which fell under their sway, no such thing as an Ottoman nation has ever been created. It has been a juxtaposition of separate and generally hostile peoples in territories bound under one rule by the military sway of a dominant race. Various endeavours have been made since the time of Selim III. (1789–1807), who initiated them, to break down the barriers to the formation of a homogeneous nation. The most earnest and
|Races.||Regions inhabited, or Vilayets.||Religions.|
|Albanians|| Iannina, Scutari of Albania,
|Bulgarians||Salonica, Kossovo, Monastir||Orthodox (dissenting)|
|Greeks|| Constantinople, Adrianople,
Salonica, Monastir, Kossovo,
Vilayets of Asiatic Turkey,
| Orthodox and partly|
|Turks|| The whole of European Turkey,
Vilayets of Asia Minor
|Lazes|| Trebizond and throughout the
whole of Eastern Asia Minor
|Mussulman and Orthodox|
|Kurds|| Erzerum, Sivas, Seert, Angora,
|Circassians|| Spread over the whole
of Asia Minor
|Avchar||Adana, Angora, Sivas||Mussulman|
|Arabs|| Adana, Aleppo, Syria, Bagdad,
Sanjak of Jerusalem, Hejaz,
Yemen, Beirut, Basna
|Armenians|| Constantinople and spread over
the other Vilayets of Turkey in Europe;
also Sivas, Angora, Trebizond,
Adana, Erzerum, Bitlis,
|Gregorian and Catholic|
|Jews|| Spread through Turkey in Europe
and Asia, and largely congregated
in the Sanjak of Jerusalem
and in the Vilayets of Bagdad,
Mosul, Syria, Beirut.
|Samaritans||Only in the Sanjak of Napluze||Samaritan Jew|
|Gipsies|| Spread throughout the
| Chaldaeans or Nestorians,
speaking partly Syrochaldaic
and partly Arabic
| Bagdad, Mosul and partly Aleppo,
Beirut and Mamuret-ul-Aziz
| Melchites, or Syrian
|Beirut, Aleppo, Syria||United Orthodox|
| Jacobite Syrians, speaking Arabic
and partly Syrian
| Beirut, Syria, Aleppo, Mosul,
|Monophysite and Jacobite|
|Monites||Mt Lebanon, Beirut||Monophysite|
|Druses||Mt Lebanon, Sanjak of Hauran||Druse|
|Yezzites||Mosul, Bagdad, Basra||Yezzite|
important of these attempts under Abd-ul-Mejid (1839–1861) proved, however, for various reasons abortive. So also did the “Midhat Constitution” promulgated by Abd-ul-Hamid almost immediately after his accession to the throne, owing largely to the reactionary spirit at that time of the ’Ulema and of the sultan’s immediate advisers, but almost, if not quite, in equal measure to the scornful reception of the Constitution by the European powers. The ’Ulema form a powerful corporation, whose head, the Sheik-ul-Islam, ranks as a state functionary almost co-equal with the grand vizier. Until quite recent times the conservative and fanatical spirit of the ’Ulema had been one of the greatest obstacles to progress and reform in a political system in which spiritual and temporal functions were intimately interwoven. Of late years, however, there has been a gradual assimilation of broader views by the leaders of Islam in Turkey, at any rate at Constantinople, and the revolution of 1908, and its affirmation in the spring of 1909, took place not only with their approval, but with their active assistance. The theoretical absolutism of the sultan had, indeed, always been tempered not only by traditional usage, local privilege, the juridical and spiritual precepts of the Koran and the Sunnet, and their ’Ulema interpreters, and the privy council, but for nearly a century by the direct or indirect pressure of the European powers, and during the reigns of Abd-ul-Aziz and of Abd-ul-Hamid by the growing force of public opinion. The enthusiastic spirit of reform which heralded the accession of the latter sultan never altogether died out, and from about the last decade of the 19th century has been rapidly and effectively growing in force and in method. The members and sympathizers of the party of reform who styled themselves “Young Turks,” working largely from the European centres and from the different points in the Turkish Empire to which the sultan had exiled them for the purpose of repression—their relentless persecution by the sultan thus proving to be his own undoing—spread a powerful propaganda throughout the Turkish Empire against the old régime, in the face of that persecution and of the open and characteristic scepticism, and indeed of the hostile action, of some of the European powers. This movement came to a head in the revolution of 1908. In July of that year the sultan Abd-ul-Hamid capitulated to the Young Turks and restored by Iradé (July 24) the constitution which he had granted in December 1876 and suspended on the I4th of February 1878. A reactionary movement started in April 1909 was promptly suppressed by the Young Turks through the military occupation of Constantinople by Shevket Pasha and the dethronement of Abd-ul-Hamid, who was succeeded by his younger brother Reshad Effendi under the title of Mahommed V. A new constitution, differing from that of Abd-ul-Hainid only in some matters of detail, was promulgated by imperial Iradé of the 5th of August 1909.
In temporal matters the sultan is a constitutional monarch, advised by a cabinet formed of executive ministers who are the heads of the various departments of state, and who are responsible to the elected Turkish parliament. All Turkish subjects, of whatever race or religion, have equal juridical and political rights and obligations, and all discrimination as to military service has been abolished. The sultan remains the spiritual head of Islam, and Islam is the state religion, but it has no other distinctive or theocratic character. The grand vizier (sadr-azam), who is nominated by the sultan, presides ex officio over the privy council (mejliss-i-khass) , which, besides the Sheikh-ul-Islam, comprises the ministers of home and foreign affairs, war, finance, marine, commerce and public works, justice, public instruction and “pious foundations” (evkaf), with the grand master of ordnance and the president of the council of state.
For administrative purposes the immediate possessions of the sultan are divided into vilayets (provinces), which are again subdivided into sanjaks or mutessarifliks (arrondissements), these into kazas (cantons), and the kazas into nahiés (parishes or communes). A vali or governor-general, nominated by the sultan, stands at the head of the vilayet, and on him are directly dependent the kaimakams, mutassarifs, deftardars and other administrators of the minor divisions. All these officials unite in their own persons the judicial and executive functions, under the “Law of the Vilayets,” which made its appearance in 1861, and purported, and was really intended by its framers, to confer on the provinces a large measure of self-government, in which both Mussulmans and non-Mussulmans should take part. It really, however, had the effect of centralizing the whole power of the country more absolutely than ever in the sultan's hands, since the Valis were wholly in his undisputed power, while the ex officio official members of the local councils secured a perpetual Mussulman majority. Under such a system, and the legal protection enjoyed through it by Ottoman functionaries against evil consequences of their own misdeeds, corruption was rife throughout the empire. Foreigners settled in the country are specially protected from exactions by the so-called Capitulations (q.v.), in virtue of which they are exempt from the jurisdiction of the local courts and amenable for trial to tribunals presided over by their respective consuls. Cases between foreigners of different nationalities are heard in the court of the defendant, and between foreigners and Turkish subjects in the local courts, at which a consular dragoman attends to see that the trial is conducted according to law. (See further, as regards Turkish administration, the account given under History below, regarding the reforms instituted under the sultan Abd-ul-Mejid in 1839.)
Education.—The schools are of two classes: (1) public, under the immediate direction of the state; and (2) private, conducted either by individuals or by the religious communities with the permission of the government, the religious tenets of the non-Mussulman population being thus fully respected. State education is of three degrees: primary, secondary and superior. Primary education is gratuitous and obligatory, and superior education is gratuitous or supported by bursaries. For primary education there are three grades of schools: (1) infant schools, of which there is one in every village; (2) primary schools in the larger villages; (3) superior primary schools. Secondary education is supplied by the grammar school, of which there is one in the capital of every vilayet. For superior education there is (1) the university of Constantinople, with its four faculties of letters, science, law and medicine; and (2) special schools, including (a) the normal school for training teachers, (b) the civil imperial school, (c) the school of the fine arts and (d) the imperial schools of medicine.
Public instruction is much more widely diffused throughout the empire than is commonly supposed. This is due partly to the Christian communities, notably the Maronites and others in Syria, the Anatolian and Rumelian Greeks, and the Armenians of the eastern province and of Constantinople. Under the reformed constitution (Aug. 5, 1909) education is free, and measures have been taken largely to extend and to co-ordinate the education of all “Ottomans,” without prejudice to the religious educational rights of the various religious communities. Primary education is obligatory. Among the Christians, especially the Armenians, the Greeks of Smyrna and the Syrians of Beirut, it has long embraced a considerable range of subjects, such as classical Greek, Armenian and Syriac, as well as modern French, Italian and English, modern history, geography and medicine. Large sums are freely contributed for the establishment and support of good schools, and the cause of national education is seldom forgotten in the legacies of patriotic Anatolian Greeks. Much educational work has also been done by American colleges, especially in the northern provinces of Asia Minor, in conjunction with Robert College (Constantinople).
Army.—In virtue of the enactments of May 1880, of November 1886, of February 1888 and of December 1903, military service had been obligatory on all Mussulmans, Christians having been excluded but under obligation of paying a “military exoneration tax” of £T50 for 135 males between the ages of 15 and 75. Under the new régime this system, which had greatly cramped the military strength and efficiency of the Ottoman Empire, has been changed, and all “Ottomans” are now subject to military service. Under certain conditions, however, and on payment of a certain exoneration tax, exemption may still be purchased. The revision of the whole military system was undertaken in 1910, especially as regards enrolment and promotion of officers, but, as things then stood, the term of service was twenty years (from the age of 20 to the age of 40), for all Ottoman male subjects: active service (muasaff) nine years, of which three with the colours (nizam), in the case of infantry, four in the case of cavalry and artillery; six and five respectively in the reserve (ikhtiat); Landwehr (redif) nine years; territorial (mustahfiz) two years. In case of supreme necessity all males up to 70 years of age can be called upon to join the colours. There are certain recognized rights to exemption from military service, such as some court officials, state officials, students in normal schools, medicine and law colleges, &c. The redifs form the principal part of the army in time of war, and are divided into two classes: Class I. comprises all men in the service who have completed their time with the nizam. In peace-time it is composed of weak cadres, on which falls the duty of guarding magazines and stores, and of carrying through musketry instruction and drill of the rank and file of the ikhtiat and the redif. Class II. was first established in 1898 under the name of ilaweh, and became “redif, class II.” in 1903. This class is distributed in very weak cadres in time of peace. In time of war, it is completed by all troops not serving with the nizam, the redif class I. or the mustahfiz. As the organization proceeded, and stronger cadres were formed, the redif class II. would become completely absorbed in class I. The mustahfiz have no cadres in peace-time.
The army is divided into seven army-corps (ordus), each under the command of a field marshal, and the two independent commands of Tripoli (Africa) and the Hejaz. The headquarters of the ordus are I., Constantinople; II., Adrianople; III., Salonica; IV., Erzerum; V., Damascus; VI., Bagdad; VII., Yemen; 15th division, Tripoli; 16th division, Hejaz. Only the first six army-corps have, however, their proper establishment: the seventh ordu and the commands of Tripoli and the Hejaz have only garrison troops, and are fed by drafts from the first six ordus. Each ordu territory, from I. to VI., is composed of 8 redif brigade districts of 2 regimental districts of 4 battalion districts apiece, each ordu thus counting 64 battalion districts. The total strength of the Ottoman army in 1904 was returned at 1,795,350 men all told, made up as follows: (1) Active (4 years' service) 230,408 (called), reserve (ikhtiat) 251,511 (called), total 481,919; (2) nizam (class I., completely trained) 237,026 (called); (3) redif (class II., not completely trained), from 21–29 years old, 585,846; from 30–38 years old, 391,563; total 977,409 (uncalled); (4) mustahfiz, trained 53,715 (called), untrained 40,286 (uncalled), total 94,001.
The strength of the different arms is given as follows:—
Infantry.—79 nizam infantry regiments 1 to 80 (4 is missing), each regiment consisting of four battalions of four companies apiece. Allowing for certain battalions unformed, there are altogether 309 nizam battalions; 20 separate chasseur battalions, of four companies each; 4 special chasseur battalions stationed on the Bulgarian frontier—total, 333 battalions in the first line. There are 96 infantry battalions of redif class I.; each regiment composed of 4 battalions—total 384 battalions. (In 1904 the 4th battalion of the 94th regiment, and regiments 95 and 96 had not yet been formed, but, it was stated, had by 1910 been made good.) The projected strength of redif class II. was 172 regiments of 4 battalions each total, 688 battalions. At the end of 1904 the organization of this class was stated as completed in Turkey in Europe at 40 battalions with a total of 160 regiments: how far the organization had progressed in 1910 in Asiatic Turkey was not known.
The following table shows the war strength of battalions, and the total war strength of the infantry arm:—
|Class.||War Strength of Battalions.||Total War Strength of Infantry.|
The troops are armed principally with Mauser repeating rifles (models 1887 and 1890) of which there are 1,120,000 issued and in store; there are also 510,000 Martini-Henry rifles in reserve.
Cavalry.—Cavalry of the Guard: 1 regiment “Ertogrul” or 5 squadrons, 2 regiments of hussars of 5 squadrons each, and 1 regiment of lancers of 5 squadrons. Nizam Cavalry: 38 regiments of 5 squadrons each, or 190 squadrons in all.
Redif Cavalry.—12 régiments of 4 squadrons each, or 48 squadrons in all, attached to the first three ordus. It was further proposed to appoint one régiment of redif cavalry to each redif division. On war footing the strength of a squadron of cavalry is 6 officers, 100 men, 80 horses (Ertogrul—140 men, 135 horses). The nizam cavalry is incorporated with the first six ordus. one cavalry division of 3 brigades of 2 regiments each being appointed to each ordu. The redif cavalry is not organized with large units, and in time of war would be employed as divisional troops. The total war strength of the cavalry is 54 regiments (210 squadrons); 1580 officers, 26,800 men, 21,900 horses. The cavalry is armed with repeating carbines (the N.C.O.'s with repeating revolvers) and swords.
Artillery.—From ancient times the artillery has formed an altogether independent command in the Turkish army. The grand master of ordnance is co-equal with the minister of war, and his department is classed separately in the budget; the artillery establishments, parts of the infantry and of the technical corps, and even hospitals are placed under his direct orders. The artillery is divided into (a) field artillery, horse artillery, mountain artillery and howitzer regiments; (b) fortress artillery, (c) artillery depôts. All artillery troops are nizam: there is no second line. On principle an ordu would have with it 30 batteries of field artillery, 3 batteries of horse artillery and 3 batteries of mountain artillery, or in all 36 batteries with 216 guns, all batteries being 6 guns strong. But the unequal strength of the ordus and political and other reasons have prevented this organization from being carried out.
On war-footing each field battery has 4 officers, 100–120 N.C. officers and men, 100–125 horses and draught animals, 3–9 ammunition wagons; each horse battery, 4 officers, 120 N.C. officers and men, 100 horses, &c., 3 ammunition wagons; each mountain battery, 3 officers, 100 N.C. officers and men, 87 horses, &c.; each howitzer battery, 4 officers, 120 N.C. officers and men, 100 horses, &c., 3 ammunition wagons.
In 1904 the total strength of the artillery was given as 198 field batteries (1188 guns), 18 horse batteries (108 guns), 40 mountain batteries (240 guns) and 12 howitzer batteries (72 guns): total 268 batteries (1608 guns). The guns are of various Krupp types. The ammunition train counts 1254 wagons. On a war-footing the strength of the artillery troops is 1032 officers and 29,380 men.
Technical Troops.—These are formed into battalions of pioneers, railway troops, telegraph troops, sappers and miners, &c.; in all 11 battalions (55 companies) numbering 245 officers and 10,470 men. Other non-combatant troops, such as military train, medical corps, &c., are undergoing reorganization. (For the history of the Turkish army, see Army, 98.)
Navy.—The Turkish sea-power, already decayed owing to a variety of causes (for the effect of the revolt of the Greek islanders see Greek Independence, War of), was shattered by the catastrophe of Sinope (1853). Abd-ul-Aziz, however, with the aid of British naval officers, succeeded in creating an imposing fleet of ironclads constructed in English and French yards. Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid, on the other hand, pursued a settled policy of reducing the fleet to impotency, owing to his fear that it might turn against him as it had turned against Abd-ul-Aziz. He added, it is true, a few torpedo boats and destroyers, but he promptly had them dismantled on arrival at Constantinople. These now refitted, a cruiser ordered from Cramp's shipyard (America) and another from W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., and the battleship “Messudiyeh” (9100 tons displacement) reconstructed by the firm of Ansaldo (Genoa) in 1902, and re-armed by Vickers, Sons & Maxim, formed the only really effective war-ships at the disposal of Turkey in 1910, although a few armoured ships in addition might still serve for coast defence at a pinch, and a few more for training ships. Taking all into account, the available strength of the fleet might be put at 7 armour-clad ships, of which the “Messudiyeh” was one, the six others varying in displacement from 2400 to 6400 tons; two cruisers (unarmoured) of 3800 tons displacement; some 18 gunboats; 12 destroyers, 16 first-class torpedo boats and 6 second-class torpedo boats. There were also two Nordenfeldt submarine boats of doubtful efficiency.
Up to 1908 the personnel was found by yearly drafts of two to three thousand men from army recruits designated by the minister of war; the term of service was 12 years, of which 5 were in the first line, 3 in the reserve, 4 in the coastguard. The peace cadres (including 2 battalions of marines and 4 battalions of mechanics) were supposed to comprise 12,500 men on peace-footing, to be increased on declaration of war to 37,000; but these cadres were mainly on paper.
Under the “new régime” the Turkish government displayed commendable energy in reconstructing and reorganizing the sea-power of the empire. New construction to an amount of £T5,000,000, repayable over ten years at the rate of £T500,000 a year by national subscription guaranteed by the government, had by 1910 been voted by parliament. The programme of construction which this initial expenditure was to cover was fixed at two battleships of about 16,000 tons displacement, one armoured cruiser of about 12,000 tons displacement, some few auxiliary vessels (destroyers and gunboats), and a floating dock to lift about 17,000 tons. The main armament of the battleships was to be three pairs of 12-in. guns in three turrets, and three pairs of 9.2-in. in three turrets. The secondary armament was to be sixteen 4-in. Q.F. guns, and a few smaller guns (boat and field). The armoured cruiser was to carry four pairs of 9.2-in. guns in four turrets as main armament, and fourteen 4-in. Q.F. guns, and a few boat and field guns as secondary armament. British naval officers were engaged for training the personnel, and to assist in the reorganization of the fleet.
Communications.—A considerable hindrance to the development of the empire's resources has been the lack of an adequate system of communications; but although it is still deficient in good roads, much has been done of late years to develop railways, extend canals and improve river communications. From 1250 in 1885, of which 903 were in Europe and 347 in Asia, the mileage of railways had increased to some 4440 in 1909, of which 1377 are in Europe, 1810 in Asia Minor, 418 in Syria and 835 fall to the share of the Hejaz railway, including the Ed-Dera-Haifa branch. The construction of this last line is one of the most remarkable achievements of the reign of Abd-ul-Hamid. It may be said to be an absolutely autocthonous enterprise, no recourse having been had to foreign capital to find the means requisite for construction and equipment, which were provided by means of a “national subscription”—not entirely voluntary—and from other sources which, although the financial methods were not strictly orthodox, were strictly Turkish. The line was designed, surveyed and constructed by Turkish engineers—employing Ottoman navvies and labourers—in a highly efficient and economical manner, the average cost per mile having been £3230, although considerable engineering difficulties had to be overcome, especially in the construction of the Haifa branch. The line, stations, sheds and stores are all solidly built, and the rolling stock is sufficient and of the best quality (see further under Finance, below).
Production and Industries.—The Ottoman Empire is renowned for its productiveness, but enterprise and skill in utilizing its capabilities are still greatly lacking. For the introduction of improvements something, however, was done by the creation in 1892 of a special ministry of agriculture, to which is attached the department of mines and forests, formerly under the minister of finance. Since the year named an agricultural bank has been established, which advances money on loan to the peasants on easy terms. Schools of agriculture have been opened in the chief towns of the vilayets, and in connexion with those schools, and elsewhere throughout the empire, model farms have been instituted, where veterinary instruction can also be obtained.
To prevent the gradual destruction of the forests by unskilful management and depredations, schools of forestry have been founded, and means have been taken for regulating the cutting of wood and for replanting districts that have been partially denuded. About 21 millions of acres are under wood, of which over 3 millions are in European Turkey.
Wheat, maize, oats, barley and rye are the chief agricultural products. The culture of cotton is making rapid progress, immigrants who receive a grant of land being obliged to devote one-fourth of it to cotton culture. Tobacco is grown all over the empire, the most important market for it being Smyrna. Opium is mainly grown in Anatolia. All the more common fruit-trees flourish in most districts. In Palestine and elsewhere there is a large orange trade, and Basra, in Turkish Arabia, has the largest export of dates in the world. The vine is largely cultivated both in Europe and Asia, and much Turkish wine is exported to France and Italy for mixing purposes. The chief centres of export are Adrianople (more than half), Constantinople and Smyrna, the others being Brusa, Beirut, Ismid, Mytilene and Salonica. Under the auspices of the Ottoman public debt administration silk culture is also carried on with much success, especially in the vilayets of Brusa and Ismid. In 1888 a school of sericulture was founded by the public debt administration for the rearing of silkworms according to the Pasteur method. The production of salt is also under the direction of the public debt administration. About a fourth of the salt produced is exported to foreign countries, and of this about three-fourths goes to British India. Since 1885 great attention has been paid to the sponge fisheries of Tripoli, the annual value of which is about £30,000. With its extensive sea-coast, and its numerous bays and inlets, Turkey has many excellent fishing-grounds, and the industry, the value of which is estimated at over £200,000 a year, could be greatly developed. Its general progress may be seen in the increase of the fishery revenue—derived from duties, permits, &c.—of the public debt administration. Among other important productions of the Ottoman Empire are sesame, coleseed, castor oil, flax, hemp, aniseed, mohair, saffron, olive oil, gums, scammony and liquorice. Attar of roses is produced in large quantities both in European and Asiatic Turkey, and to aid in furthering the industry numerous rose plants are distributed gratuitously. The empire is rich in minerals, including gold, silver, lead, copper, iron, coal, mercury, borax, emery, zinc; and only capital is needed for successful exploitation. The silver, lead and copper mines are mainly worked by British capital. The more special industries of Turkey are tanning, and the manufacture of muslin, velvet, silk, carpets and ornamental weapons.
Shipping and Commerce.—The figures obtainable with respect to shipping are approximate, the statistical data not being altogether complete. In 1890–1891 the number of steamers that entered and cleared Turkish ports was 38,601, and of sailing vessels 140,726, the total tonnageof both classesof vessels being 30, 509,861. In 1897–1898 the number of steamers was 39,680 of 32,446,320 tons, the number of sailing vessels being 134,059 of 2,207,137 tons, thus giving a total tonnage of 34,653,457. In 1904–1905 the number of steamers was 49,235 of 44,180,000 tons, and of sailing vessels 133,706, with a tonnage of 2,506,000 tons, the total tonnage being thus 46,686,000 tons. In 1909 the total tonnage was 43,060,515. About a third of the tonnage belongs to British vessels. The number of steamships belonging to Turkey in 1899–1900 was 177 of 55,938 tons, as compared with 87 of 46,498 tons in 1897–1898, the number of sailing vessels in the same years being respectively 2205 of 141,055 tons and 1349 of 252,947 tons. The following tables show the total value of exports and imports arranged according to countries of origin or destination for 1905–1906 and 1908–1909; the same information for the year 1905–1906 with respect to the principal ports of the empire, and the tonnage of vessels cleared thereat during the year 1908–1909; and the value of the principal articles imported and exported for the year 1905–1906.
Value of Principal Articles Imported and Exported
for the year 1905–1906.
|Nature of Goods.||Imports.||Exports.|
|Crude Iron and Iron Bars||432,091||—|
|Sheepskins and Goatskins||—||528,282|
|French Beans, Chick Peas and Beans||—||508,441|
|Cotton Print (Calico)||2,014,968||—|
Value of Goods Imported into, and Exported from, together with Number and Tonnage of Vessels cleared at, Principal Ports of Turkish Empire.
of Vessels 
| Dependencies of
|Tripoli in Africa||565,331||328,164||575||376,214|
|Tripoli in Syria||—||—||1,306||919,222|
Value of the Goods Imported from or Exported to Principal Countries during the years 1905–1906 and, 1908–1909.
| Country of Origin
|Imports from||Exports to|
The revenues produced by the customs duties for the five years 1905–1906 to 1909–1910 are as follows:—
Preliminary Sketch.—From the outset of their history the Osmanli Turks adapted to their own needs most of the political, economic and administrative institutions which existed before them. Primarily their system was based on the great principles enunciated by the immediate successors of the Prophet, especially by Omar, involving the absolute distinction between, and impartiality of treatment of, the Mussulman conquerors and the races which they conquered; and from this point of view a careful study of the financial history of Turkey will afford most valuable insight into the Eastern Question.
In reward for the brilliant services rendered him by Ertoghrul (the father of Osman) and by Osman himself, Ala-ud-din, the last of the Seljuk sultans, conferred certain provinces in fief upon these two great warriors. They in their turn distributed the lands so acquired among their sons and principal emirs on strictly feudal principles, the feudatory lands being styled ziamet and timar, a system long continued by their successors in regard to the territories which they conquered. The conquered peoples fell into an inferior caste, made to work for, and to pay for the subsistence of, their conquerors, as under the Arab domination; the principal taxes exacted from them were the kharaj, a tax of indeterminate amount upon realty, based on the value of lands owned by unbelievers—(in contradistinction to the tithe [a͑shār] which was a tax of fixed amount upon lands owned by believers)—and levied in payment of the privilege of gaining means of existence in a Mussulman country, and the jiziyé, a compulsory payment, or poll-tax, to which believers were not subjected, in lieu of military service. The conquerors were feudatories of the reigning prince or sultan, and their payments consisted principally in providing fighting forces to make up the armies of the prince. The kharaj, the jiziyé, and the whole feudal system disappeared in theory, although its spirit, and indeed in some respects its practice, still exists in fact, during the reforming period initiated by Sultan Selim III., culminating in the Tanzimat-i-Khairiyé (1839) of Abd-ul-Mejid, and the Hatt-i-Humayun issued by the same sultan (1856). The administration of the state revenues was managed by a government department known as the Beit-ul-Mal or Maliyé, terms generally employed throughout Islamic countries since the commencement of Islam. But the entire financial authority resided in the sultan as keeper, by right, of the fortune of his subjects. The public revenues were passed under three principal denominations: (1) the public treasury; (2) the reserve, into which was paid any surplus of revenues over expenses from the treasury; (3) the private fortune (civil list) of the prince. Expenditure, as under the Seljuk sultans, was defrayed partly in cash, partly in “assignations” (havalé).
The Osmanli sultans, as also the Mamelukes and the Seljuks, were accustomed to give largesse to their military forces on their accession to the throne, or on special occasions of rejoicing, a custom which still is practised in form, as for instance on the first day of the year, or the birthday of the Prophet (mevlûd). Largesse was especially given on the field of victory, and was, moreover, liberally distributed to stifle sedition and mutiny among the troops, the numerical strength of which was continually increased as the empire enlarged its borders. This vicious system, grafted as it was upon an inefficient administration, and added to the weight of a continually depreciated currency, debased both by ill-advised fiscal measures and by public cupidity, formed one of the principal causes of the financial embarrassments which assailed the treasury with ever increasing force in the latter part of the 16th and during the 17th and 18th centuries. The Turkish historian, Kutchi Bey, attributes the origin of the decline of the empire to the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566), when the conversion of many emiriyé lands into vakufs was effected, and the system of farming out revenues first introduced. Impoverished by these different causes, as well as by prodigal extravagance in interior expenditure, by shameless venality among the ruling classes, and by continual wars, of which the cost, whether they were successful or not, was enormous, the public treasury was frequently empty. So long as the reserve was available it was drawn upon to supply the void; but when that also was exhausted recourse was had to expedients, such as the borrowing, or rather seizure, of the vakuf revenues (1622) and the sale of crown properties; then ensued a period of barefaced confiscation, until, to restore public confidence in some measure, state budgets were published at intervals, viz. the partial budget of Ainy-Ali (in 1018 or A.D. 1609), the budget of Ali Aga (in 1064, or 1653) and that of Eyubi Effendi (in 1071, or 1660). At this time (1657–1681) the brilliant administration of the two Kuprilis restored temporary order to Ottoman finance. The budget of Eyubi Effendi is particularly interesting as giving the statement of revenue and expenditure for an average year, whereas the budget of Ainy-Ali was a budget of expenditure only, and even in this respect the budget of Eyubi Effendi is far more detailed and complete. The budget of Ali Aga is almost identical with that of Eyubi Effendi, and is worthy of special note for the conclusions which accompanied it, and which although drawn up 250 years ago, described with striking accuracy some of the very ills from which Turkish finance was suffering throughout the reign of Abd-ul-Hamid.
Apart from unimportant modifications, the form of the budget must have remained unchanged until the organic reforms of Selim III., while its complete transformation into European shape dates only from the year 1278 (1862), when Fuad Pasha attached a regular budget to his report on the financial situation of the empire. Since that time there had been no further change worth noting until the “new régime” was established in 1908. Although the publication of the budget had only taken place at very irregular intervals, it must also be observed that the published budgets were by no means accurate. From the time of Eyubi Effendi until the end of the grand vizierate of Ibrahim Pasha (1730), the empire experienced periodical relief from excessive financial distress under the series of remarkable grand viziers who directed the affairs of state during that time, but the recovery was not permanent. Ottoman arms met with almost systematic reverses; both the ordinary and the reserve treasuries were depleted; a proposal to contract a foreign loan (1783) came to nothing, and the public debt (duyun-i-umumiyē) was created by the capitalization of certain revenues in the form of interest bearing bonds (sehims) issued to Ottoman subjects against money lent by them to the state (1785). Then came forced loans and debased currency (1788), producing still more acute distress until, in 1791, at the close of the two years' war with Russia, in which the disaster which attended Ottoman arms may be largely ascribed to the penury of the Ottoman treasury, Selim III., the first of the “reforming sultans,” attempted, with but little practical success, to introduce radical reforms into the administrative organization of his empire. These endeavours were continued with scarcely better result by each of the succeeding sultans up to the time of the Crimean War, and during the whole of the period the financial embarrassment of the empire was extreme. Partial relief was sought in the continual issue of debased currency (beshlik, altilik and their subdivisions), of which the excess of nominal value over intrinsic value ranged between 33 and 97%, and finally paper money (kaimé) which was first issued in 1839, bearing an interest of 8%, reduced in 1842 to 6%, such interest being paid on notes of 500 piastres, but not on notes of 20 or 10 piastres, which were issued simultaneously. Finally, usage of paper money was restricted to the capital only, and in 1842 this partial reform of the paper currency was followed by a reform of the metallic currency, in the shape of an issue of gold, silver and copper currency of good value. The gold coins issued were 500, 250, 100, 50, and 25 piastres in value, the weight of the 100-piastre piece (Turkish pound), 7.216 grammes, .916⅔ fine. The silver coins were of 20, 10, 5, 2, 1 and ½ piastre in value, the 20-piastre piece weighing 24.055 grammes, .830 fine. The copper money was in pieces of a nominal value of 40, 20, 10, 5 and 1 paras, 40 paras being equal to 1 piastre. In 1851 further attempts were made to withdraw the paper money from circulation, but these were interrupted by the Crimean War, and the government was, on the contrary, obliged to issue notes of 20 and 10 piastres. Finally, at the outbreak of the Crimean War Turkey was assisted by her allies to raise a loan of £3,000,000 in London, guaranteed by Great Britain and France; in 1855 an organic law was issued regulating the budget, and in the same year a second guaranteed loan of £5,000,000 was contracted in Great Britain. In 1857 an interior loan of 150,000 purses in bonds (esham-i-mumtazē), repayable in three years and bearing 8% interest, was raised; the term of repayment was, however, prolonged indefinitely. In the same year another series of bonds (haziné tahvili), bearing 6% interest, and repayable in 1861, was issued; in 1861 the term of reimbursement was prolonged until 1875. In 1858 a third loan was contracted in Great Britain for £5,000,000, and thereafter foreign loans followed fast on one another in 1860, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1869, 1872, 1873 and 1875, not to mention the two Egyptian tribute loans raised on Egyptian credit in 1871 and 1877. In 1859 the settlement of palace debts gave rise to the issue of 1,000,000 purses of new interior bonds (esham-i-jedidē) spread over a period of three years, repayable in twenty-four years, and bearing interest at 6%. Further 6% bonds, repayable in ten years, and styled serguis, were issued in the same year. Seeing the rapid increase of the financial burdens of the state, a commission of experts, British, French and Austrian, was charged, (1860) with setting the affairs in order, and with their assistance Fuad Pasha drew up the budget accompanying his celebrated report to the sultan in 1862. Meanwhile kaimē was being issued in great quantities (about 60,000 purses a month) and fell to a discount (December 1861) of 75%. In 1862 further sehims were issued, and these and the loan of 1862 (8,000,000) were devoted to the withdrawal of the kaimē. Later, however, the kaimē was again issued in very large amounts, and the years succeeding 1872 up to the Russian War (1877) presented a scarcely interrupted course of extravagance and financial disorder, the result of which is described below.
The Budget was supposed to be drawn up according to an excellent set of regulations sanctioned by imperial decree, dated the 6th of July 1290 (1875), of which the first article absolutely prohibited the increase, by the smallest sum, of any of the expenses, or the abandonment of the least iota of the revenues fixed by the budget. Under these regulations the revenues were divided into two categories, viz. the direct and the indirect. The first category included the “imposts” properly so called, the fixed contributions (redevances fixes) to be paid by the “privileged provinces,” and the military exoneration tax. In the second were comprised tithes, mine-royalties, forests and domains, customs, sheep-tax, tobacco, salt, spirits, stamps and “various.” The expenses were also divided into two categories—(1) “Periodic and fixed” expenditure, which admitted of neither reduction nor delay; and (2) the credits allowed to the various departments of state, which might be increased or diminished according to circumstances. The expenditure of the first category was made up of the service of foreign loans, of the general debt, of the dotations replacing ziamet and timarat (military fiefs) and of fixed contributions such as vakufs. In the second category were included the imperial civil list, the departments of the Sheikh-ul-Islamāt and of religious establishments, the ministries of the interior, war, finance, public instruction, foreign affairs, marine, commerce (including mines and forests), and public works, and, finally, of the grand master of ordnance. For every province (vilayet) a complete budget of receipts and expenditure was drawn up by its defterdar (keeper of accounts) under the supervision of the vali (governor); this budget was forwarded to the minister of finance, while each state and ministry of department received communication of the items appertaining to it. Each ministry and department then sent in a detailed budget to the Sublime Porte before the end of November of each year. (The Turkish financial year is from the 1st of March to the 28th of February o.s.). The Sublime Porte forwarded these budgets, with its own added thereto, to the minister of finance, who thereupon drew up a general budget of receipts and expenses and addressed it to the Sublime Porte before the 15th of December. This was summarily considered by the council of ministers, and then referred to the budget commission, which was to be composed not only of State functionaries, but of private persons “worthy of confidence, and well versed in financial matters,” and which was invested with the fullest powers of investigation and inquiry. The report drawn up by the commission on the results of its labours was submitted to the Council of Ministers, which then finally drew up a general summary of the definitive budget and submitted it by mazbata (memorandum) for the imperial sanction. When this sanction had been accorded the budget was to be published. The remaining regulations set forth the manner in which extra-budgetary and extraordinary expenses were to be dealt with, and the manner in which the rectified budget, showing the actual revenues and expenditure as proved at the close of the year was to be drawn up with the assistance of the state accounts department (divān-i-mouhassebāt). This rectified budget, accompanied by an explanatory memorandum, was examined by the budget commission and the Council of Ministers, and submitted for the imperial sanction, after receiving which it was ordered that both be published. Special instructions and regulations determined the latitude left to each department in the distribution of the credits accorded to it among its various heads of expenditure, the degree of responsibility of the functionaries within each department and the relations regarding finance and accounts between each department and its dependencies. These regulations provide carefully and well for all contingencies, but unfortunately they were only very partially carried out. It may indeed be said that it was only the previsionary budget (anglicé, the estimates) that received any approximately proper care on the lines laid down, while the rule that both the estimates and the definite budget (at the close of each year) should be published was almost wholly honoured in the breach; until 1909, when the Constitution had been re-established the budget had only twice been published, in 1880 and 1897, since the regulations were put into force. Not only were the budgets not published, but no figures whatever were allowed to transpire in regard to the true position of the Turkish treasury—which laid the accuracy of even the limited number of budgets published open to suspicion.
All this has now been changed, and the above regulations are
conscientiously carried out with the differences in procedure
necessary for compliance with constitutional methods, and with
the submission of the Budget to the houses of parliament. The
Budget is now published in full detail and that for the year 1326
(1910–1911), with the explanatory memorandum which prefaces
it, is an admirable work, mercilessly exposing the financial
shortcomings and sins of the previous system, or rather want of system,
while unshrinkingly facing the difficulties which the present
government has inherited. The account thus presented to us of
what the previous confusion was, underlines and attests the
summary exposition of it given in the last edition of this work.
It was there stated that, on the most favourable estimate,
the normal deficit of the Turkish treasury was £T2,725,000,
(upwards of £T
,1,700,000 below the truth as now declared)
and the following observations were appended:—
“This budget represents the normal situation of Ottoman finance; it does not tally with the budget published in 1897, which was prepared with a special object in view, and was obviously full of inaccuracies, nor indeed does it agree with figures which could be officially obtained from the Porte. It is, however, compiled from the best sources of information, and it exaggerates nothing. The formidable deficit is met principally in three ways. (1) By leaving the salaries of state officials and the army unpaid. In many parts of the empire the soldiers rarely receive more than eight months pay in the year, although in Constantinople the arrears are not so large. The reverse is the case with the civil officials, whose salaries in the provinces are paid more regularly than in Constantinople, owing to their being charged on the provincial budgets; the average arrears are from two to three months in Constantinople, and from one to three in the provinces. The arrears in civil and military salaries average annually about £T1,750,000. (2) By means of loans, both public and from individuals. By financial expedients of this kind payments were effected by the treasury in fifteen years (1881–1896) amounting to £T1,666,000 or at the rate of nearly £T800,000 per annum. (3) By anticipating the revenues of future years. This is the method so frankly condemned by Ali Aga, as was seen above, in 1653. Delegations (havalē) are granted on the provincial treasuries for one or two years in advance, sometimes for a series of years, in order to pay pressing debts too heavy to be met in a single payment. No better description of the financial distress and disorder of the empire can be given than that set forth in the official report of the budget commission of 1888. “It has hitherto been considered necessary owing to financial embarrassment, to commence financial years with unbalanced budgets. Later, without taking into consideration the effective amounts in cash at the disposal of the vilayets, considerable sums were drawn upon them, by means of havalēs, out of proportion to their capacity. For these reasons, during the last two or three months of the financial year, the vilayets have not a para to remit to the central administration, and it has been considered imperatively necessary to draw on the revenues of the following year. Thus, especially during the last two years, urgent extraordinary expenses have been perforce partially covered by the proceeds of the ordinary revenues, the revenues of 1303 (1887) were already considerably anticipated in the course of 1302 (1886). The former year naturally felt the effect of this, and the tithes which should have been encashed in the last months of the year were discounted and spent several months in advance. Moreover, in order to meet to some extent the deficit arising as well from the accumulation of arrears of state departments since 1300 (1884) as, to a large degree, from gross deficiencies due to the neglect of the civil officials of the government to encash the revenues—to meet, further, the needs of the central administration, and above all, the urgent military expenses of the empire, and to provide a guarantee for bankers and merchants in business relations with the government and the treasury, part of the revenues of 1304 were perforce spent in 1303.” This commission proved the deficit of the year to be £T4,370,000. It set out also at length the very defective and disorderly condition of the state accounts. During the finance ministry of Agop Pasha (1889 to 1894) a good deal was done to set matters in order, but most of the ground then gained has since been lost.”
To this may be added a short extract from the Explanatory Preface to the Finance Bill for the year 1910–1911. After pointing out the immense difficulties which he had had to encounter owing to the absence of any regular accounts, and above all of any of “those statistics which constitute the soul, indeed the very life of a public administration,” and that it was therefore impossible for him to pretend that he had been able to free himself altogether from the effects of the past, the minister continues, “every time we have endeavoured to have recourse to the previous elements of appreciation, we found ourselves faced by the chaos which characterized former years. We have sometimes ascertained things so strange that we cannot forbear expressing our astonishment at the idea that a great power such as ours could maintain itself under such conditions.” M. Ch. Laurent, the financial adviser to the Turkish government, stated in a lecture on Turkish Finance, delivered in Paris on the 22nd of April 1910, that the Ministry of Finance has now been largely reorganized. Officials, he says, with grand titles and no responsible duties have been abolished, and departments with responsible chiefs created. The agents of the finance ministry, instead of being mere clerks, are now employed in “the assessment and collection of taxes, the control of expenditure, the preparation and execution of the budget, the estimates of the necessary cash required at different points of the empire—all that, in fine, constitutes the real financial administration of a great empire.” Laurent points out that direct taxes furnish 54% of the revenues of the empire, that agriculture is accordingly very heavily taxed, and that the tax on realty is both excessive and unfairly administered. The summary history given above of the origin of the system of taxation prevailing in Turkey explains how this came about. Reform of this system, and, further, very necessary reforms of the methods of collection of the wines and spirits revenue (which is protection turned upside down, the home-growers being far more heavily taxed than importers), and of the customs (in which almost every possible administrative sin was exemplified), were also undertaken. Three bills, moreover, were presented to parliament, the first regulating Public Accountancy, the second regulating the Central Accounts Department, and the third the service of the Treasury. By this last the centralization of receipts and expenditure and the movement of funds in the provinces were to be confided to the Imperial Ottoman Bank, which extended and perfected its own organization for the purpose.
Passing now to the examination of the budget, it should be observed that the method of estimating the revenues—a matter of great difficulty owing to the previous want of method—is described by Laurent as follows: “For every nature of receipts the total effective collections for the five last known years were set out, the averages were taken of these and the increase or decrease of the yearly average of those same years was worked out and added to or deducted from the figure previously obtained. The only exception made to this rule was in the case of revenues showing a yearly increase, such as Post Office revenue, tobacco, salt, for which were taken the figures of 1323 (1907) increased by a certain average.” The expenditure was arrived at in the manner previously described and when the general budget came to be made up the severest pruning was found necessary, the original demands of the various ministries and departments having resulted in a deficit of upwards of £T9,000,000. It is thought better here, for the sake of clearness, to reserve observations on revenues specially assigned to the international administration of the Ottoman Public Debt, and on the expenditure of that administration, and to deal with that subject separately, while, however, including the total figures of both in the general figures in order to reproduce exactly the totals shown in the budget of the empire. The principal items of revenue and expenditure are as follows, the figures being taken from the published budget above-mentioned.
Revenue. Direct Taxes.—The tax on realty (verghi) is estimated to yield £T2,599,420. Duties on profession (temettū) consist (a) of a fixed duty leviable at rates declared in a schedule forming part of the special law (Dec. 8, 1907) regulating the tax, and (b) of a proportional duty at the rate of 3% on the value of buildings occupied by companies or individuals in the prosecution of their business; of 3% on salaries (subject to certain deductions) of employés of such companies and individuals; and on government contractors and revenue farmers, at the rate of 3% of 10% of the value of contracts filled and of revenues farmed. The law is defective and unfair in its incidence, and it is not applicable to foreigners. The government promised in 1910 to remedy the law with the assent of the Great Powers, and, if successful in its negotiations, to present an amended law. The duties are estimated to produce £T393,107; other professional duties £T110,887—together £T503,994. A “Military Exoneration tax” is levied on male Ottoman subjects between the ages of 15 and 75 to the amount of £T50 for 135 persons—certain exceptions such as priests, religious orders, &c., are allowed. The estimated revenue from this source is £T1,289,612. “Prestations” are payments in lieu of services (apart from military service) to the state, such as maintenance of highways, &c.—in effect, purchase of exoneration from forced labour. These duties vary in different parts of the empire: in the vilayets of Constantinople, Bagdad and Adrianople, and in the sanjaks of Bigha and Tchatalja the day’s work is calculated at 5 piastres (about 11d.); in the vilayets of Aleppo, Trebizond, Angora, Iannina, Konia, Sivas and Kastamuni at 4 piastres (about 9d.); and in most other parts of the empire at 3 piastres (about 7d.). These taxes were formerly levied either in cash or in kind: it has now been decided to levy them in cash only, although this change was expected to cause some arrears. Allowing for these, the estimated revenue is £T553,938. The “tax on sheep, camels, buffaloes and hogs” (aghnam, meaning literally “sheep,” but for taxing purposes the other animals are included under the same name), formed originally part of the “tithe.” It was transformed long since into a fixed amount per head of the animals taxed, which amount varies according to the region in which the tax is levied, the highest tariff being in the sanjak of Jerusalem (7½ piastres) and the lowest in the Yemen (1 piastre). The estimated receipts are, from sheep £T1,790,720, from camels and buffaloes £T144,520, and from hogs £T8890, or together £T1,814,152. “Tithes” are the direct descendant of the kharaj already alluded to above. It should here be noted that, from the fiscal point of view, the reforms instituted at the commencement of the 19th century may be summarized thus. In permanent remuneration of certain services to be rendered to the state, the sovereign assigned to civil or military functionaries territorial regions for the purpose, and with the power, of collecting land taxes imposed by Mussulman and Imperial law, i.e. the kharaj or tithe, and transfer and succession duties. The tithes were originally based on one-tenth of the agricultural produce of the country, but this proportion was gradually raised under the euphemistic pretence of “public instruction,” but really, under financial pressure, to 12% and again in 1900 for military “equipments” (Tejhīzāt-i-’Askeriyeh) by a further ½% to 12½%. This last surtax, which produces about £T90,000 per annum, was specially affected to a loan, known as the “Tejhīzāt-i-’Askerieh of 1905,” of £T2,640,000, by virtue of a contract between the government and the Deutsche Bank (April 17, 1905). The estimated receipts from the “Tithes” (including tobacco and silk, both hypothecated to the Public Debt Administration) are £T6,731,107. The remaining taxes under the category direct are the forest-dues (generally speaking 15% of the value of wood cut), estimated to produce £T130,094; the mining dues (being a fixed duty of 10 piastres per 10,000 sq. metres of the superficial area covering the mine, and a proportional duty varying from 1% to 20% of the gross value of metal contained in the ore, according to the kind of metal and the method of extraction of the ore), £T45,141; and tax-papers (Tezkērēs), £T58,434. The total “direct taxes” (inclusive of tobacco and silk tithes) are thus estimated to amount to £T13,725,892.
Section II. of the budget is composed entirely of revenues from stamp-duties. Of these, commercial stamps are among the revenues specifically hypothecated to the Public Debt Administration, £T460,079; the others, consisting of legal stamps of various kinds, registration and transfer-duties, &c., are estimated to produce £T653,373 forming a combined total of £T1,113,452.
Under Section III. fall the “indirect contributions” as now reclassified. The first revenue specified among these in the budget is that accruing from the wine and spirit duties, which is again among those assigned to the Public Debt, £T283,079. Licenses for sale of Tumbēki, a variety of Persian tobacco used for the narghilē, £T2046. By far the most important “indirect” revenue is that produced by the customs, consisting of import, export and transit duties, and various unspecified receipts. Under the old commercial treaties which lapsed about 1890—but which have been maintained “provisionally” in force until one or other of the great powers consents to set a term to the negotiation of fresh treaties—an ad valorem duty of 8% was imposed on all articles imported into the Turkish empire. In 1905 financial resources had to be found for the special administration of the three European vilayets as insisted upon by the powers, and to this end the Porte initiated negotiations with the latter to increase the import duties by 3%. As is usual in Turkey, this opportunity was seized for the demand of redress of grievances by such powers as considered they had any, and the negotiations were protracted until July 1907, when France finally gave in her adhesion. Since then the import duties have been collected at the rate of 11% ad valorem under the supervision of the Public Debt Administration, the bondholders having certain rights, under the decree of Muharem, described below, over any increase of revenue arising from modification of the commercial treaties. By the provisions of the “Annex Decree,” also described below, three-quarters of the additional revenue is assigned to the Turkish government, and one-quarter to the Public Debt Administration to swell the sinking-fund. Fresh negotiations were also undertaken to increase the import-duties by a further 4% in order to balance the deficit shown in the budget. In the year 1910–1911 the import duties were estimated to produce £T3,980,395, the transit duties £T20,276, and the export duties (1% ad valorem, which it was hoped the government might soon afford to abolish) £T168,993 total customs revenue, £T4,217,752. The remaining “indirect contributions” are port and lighthouse dues, £T148,426. Sanitary taxes, £T20,519, and fisheries and sporting licenses affected to the service of the public debt, £T153,990. The revenues figuring under “indirect contributions” thus reach a total of £T4,825,812.
Monopolies form Section IV. of the budget, and include in the first place the salt revenue (£T1,227,750), which is assigned to the Public Debt Administration, and tobacco revenues of which the larger part, £T865,737, is assigned to the same administration, the total (including share of Tumbēki profit) producing £T965,754; the remaining monopolies are: fixed payment from the Tumbēki Company, £T40,000; explosives, £T106,323; seignorage (Mint), £T10,466; and posts and telegraphs, £T912,129. The “Monopolies” thus render a total revenue of £T3,262,424.
Section V. includes receipts from commercial and industrial undertakings belonging to the state. These are the Hejaz railway, £T152,000; the Dolma-Bagtchē gas-works, £T59,130; technical school, £T8536; the Tigris and Euphrates steamships, £T62,513; and mines (Heraclea coal and other), £T120,710; forming a combined total of £T402,889.
Section VI. is composed of receipts from“State Domains” of which a large proportion was formerly included in the civil list. Under the deposed sultan the Civil List Administration had encroached in every direction not only on the revenues properly accruing to the state, but upon private and upon state property in most parts of the empire. Thus it is explained in the preface to the budget that the revenues “proceeding from the deposed sultan” are not classed together under one heading, but that they have been apportioned to the various sections under which they should fall “whether taxes on house property or property not built upon, tithes, aghnam, forests, mines, cadastre, sport, military equipment, private domains of the state, various receipts, proceeds of sales, rents”—a truly comprehensive list which by no means set a limit to the private resources of Abd-ul-Hamid II., who looked upon the customs also as a convenient reserve on which he could, and did, draw when his privy purse was short of money. Apart from the sources of revenue specified above, of which the amounts actually transferred from the civil list are not stated, Section VI. is estimated to produce £T513,651. In the previous budget there had been a special heading, “Proceeds of Domains transferred from the Civil List,” estimated to produce £T620,233, which may have been intended to include all the various receipts above enumerated.
Section VII., formed of the tributes of dependencies of which the two principal are the Egyptian, £T765,000, and that of Cyprus £T102,590 (assigned to the public, debt) comprises a total revenue of £T871,316. Finally, various receipts of which the principal separately specified are government share of railway receipts (Oriental railways and Smyrna-Cassaba railway), £T201,710, and “subscriptions” for the Hejaz railway, £T264,600, form Section VIII.
The total revenues of the empire are thus estimated to produce £T125,848,332, and seeing the careful and moderate manner in which the estimates have been framed, this may be looked upon rather as a minimum than a maximum. The minister of finance stated in his budget speech to parliament, delivered on the 23rd of April 1910, that the revenues for the year 1909–1910, which had been estimated to produce £T25,000,000, had as a matter of fact produced £T26,500,000.
Expenditure. Ministry of Finance.—The first item of expenditure shown in the budget is the service of the public debt, amounting to £T8,288,394. The Public Debt Administration plays so considerable a part in the finances of the Ottoman Empire, and its history is of such importance that a special section of this article will be devoted to it below. Under the budgetary heading “Public Debt” is included, as it should be, all expenditure in connexion not only with the public debt proper, but also with advances from banks and others, railway guarantees, an account of which will also be found below, and all capitalized liabilities, as far as known, contracted by the state.
It is explained in the preface to the budget that one of the abuses of the previous régime had been to obtain advances from credit establishments at high rates of interest varying from 7% to 9%, when it was found impossible to issue a public loan. The rates on these advances have now been generally reduced to 6% with the exception of that on the advances from the lighthouse administration, which refused to allow any reduction below 7%. In the years 1908–1909 the advances were reduced by £T688,000, in addition to repayments allowed for in the budget, and the credit agreed for the year 1909–1910 is £T663,000, as compared with £T1,160,000 for the previous year. In the year 1910–1911 the outstanding advances were to be so far paid off that the credits to be opened under this head would be still further reduced by £T500,000.
The civil list has been reduced to the definite amount of £T443,880, which, without the consent of parliament, cannot be increased. The sultan receives an annual allocation for himself and household of £T240,000, the crown prince one of £T24,000, and a sum of £Tl53,000 is assigned to the Imperial princes and the sultanas. The deposed sultan was allowed £T12,000 a year, and a similar amount was set aside to provide dowries for two sultanas who were just about to be married. The debts of the former are stated in the preface to the budget to be very large, and as payments are effected fresh creditors present themselves with undeniable vouchers in their hands, causing much embarrassment to the minister of finance: no figures, however, are given. The Finance Bill provides that these debts are to be paid out of supplementary credits.
Under the reformed constitution every senator is entitled to a salary of £T100 per month, any remuneration which he may receive from the government for other services to be deducted from the senatorial allowance which, however, it may of course exceed. Deputies are allowed £T300 for each session of parliament, and £T50 per month in addition should the session exceed its legal duration. They are further allowed travelling expenses from and to their constituencies on the basis of rules governing journeys of functionaries receiving a monthly salary of £T50. The amount reserved in the budget for these purposes is £T181,871.
The ministry of finance absorbs £T2,989,600. In this are included the expenses of the administration of both the central and provincial departments of the finance ministry, the mint, charitable allowances, expenses and presents in connexion with the holy cities (£T121,410), pension funds of state officials (£T628,038), administrative allowance made to the agricultural bank (£T225,380) and various other expenses. Various administrative reforms were in hand in 1910–1911, by which it was expected considerably to reduce the credits demanded by the finance ministry—especially those in connexion with the holy cities. Special attention was called by the minister to the fact that the system of contributions of officials to the pension funds has been modified, the deduction from salaries being now 10% instead of 5%, and the contributions to the funds being made as to one-third by the treasury, and two-thirds by the officials, instead of the reverse as formerly: the economy effected is about £T300,000. A credit of £T17,124 is allowed for the central accounts department. The total credits for the ministry of finance are, then, as follows: Ottoman public debt, £T8,288,394; House of Osman, £T443,880; legislative corps, £T181,871; treasury, £T2,989,600; central accounts department, £T17,124; forming an aggregate of £T11,920,869.
Indirect contributions, or more familiarly “customs,” are allowed credit of £T512,670. The minister of finance points out the immense importance of the thorough reorganization of the customs administration. The services of a first-rate English expert (Mr R. F. Crawford) were obtained, and much has been done at Constantinople, but the provincial custom’s offices are still lamentably defective. These were immediately to be taken in hand, and considerable sums are being voted for repairs of existing customs buildings and the construction of new buildings. The reforms already accomplished have resulted in a marked increase in the customs revenues.
Posts and telegraphs, which absorbed a credit of £T782,839 in 1910–1911, have also long been in urgent need of extension and better administration. An additional credit of £T90,000 was granted, as compared with the previous year, and increased expenditure was foreshadowed for the future; on the other hand, it was confidently expected that the post office receipts would increase in far more rapid ratio than the expenditure.
The ministry of the interior was estimated to require £T1,157,230. This sum covered “immigration expenses,” i.e. assistance given in settling Mussulmans immigrating from provinces detached from the Ottoman Empire. There can be no doubt that this expenditure is remunerative, since many rich regions of Asia Minor have long suffered from want of population.
Military expenditure, including the three departments of war, is as follows: the army (excluding artillery), £T8,280,452; ordnance, £T356,439; and gendarmerie, £T1,694,778. As regards the first of these, it is curious to observe that the budget decree of 1880 stringently limited the peace strength of the Ottoman army to 100,000 men, “including officers and generals,” in order to put a stop to the rapidly increasing military expenditure; but this was merely the expression of a pious wish, at a time when European financial good will was indispensable, that expenditure might be kept down. No real attempt has ever been made to observe the decree, and indeed observance has been impossible seeing the dangers which never cease to menace the empire. To some extent the real level of military expenditure has been masked by the separation of certain payments into “extraordinary” expenditure, a course which, it is understood, has not been followed in the budgets of the “new régime,” and which will not be revived. It should however, be remarked that out of an “extraordinary” budget, which will be mentioned below, sums of £T709,305 and of £T27,827 were allocated to the ministry of war and the ordnance department respectively in 1909. It is not expected that military expenditure can be much reduced, except in the direction of supply contracts, which have been the cause in the past of iniquitous waste of means.
The official budget shows a credit for admiralty expenditure of £T1,000,327, which is apparently less than that for the previous year by some £T220,000. This, however, is not a real decrease, salaries of functionaries not on the active list having been removed to the region of supplementary credits, as are those of civil departments. As a matter of fact, the marine budgets of the two years are almost identical. The vote of £T500,000 a year for ten years for the reconstruction of the Ottoman navy by “national subscription,” as already mentioned, was not included in the official budget, nor was there any allusion to it in the prefatory memorandum. The minister of finance did, however, allude to it in his budget speech, (April 23, 1910), and stated that four destroyers purchased in Germany had been paid for from the national subscription only, without touching the ordinary state revenues. It should be added that the Greek War (1897) revealed to the sultan the decrepit state into which the Ottoman navy had fallen, and considerable “extraordinary” expenditure—much of which was wasted—has been incurred since (and including) 1902 to put the least out-of-date warships into a serviceable condition.
The ministry of commerce and of public works absorbed £T883,161 a reduction of some £T180,000 on the previous year. The government acknowledges the unavoidable necessity of greatly extending and improving the internal communications of the country, but cannot see its way to doing so satisfactorily out of the ordinary resources of the country. This question was being seriously studied, and it was hoped that a comprehensive scheme would be presented ere long. The Hejaz railway figures in the budget for £T550,180, and it is explained that this will not only cover working expenses, but also the final completion of the line.
In March 1897 the floating debt was calculated by a financial authority in the Fortnightly Review to amount to upwards of £T55,000,000, which might be compressed to £T25,000,000 since a large proportion was certainly composed of salaries in arrear and other items of a similar kind which the government would never, under any circumstances, make good. Laurent tells us that the present government having found it absolutely impossible to arrive at even an approximate estimate of this “occult debt,” recourse was had, in order to fix it, to the creditors themselves, and a short act of parliament was passed declaring all debts prescribed which should not be claimed by a fixed date. In consequence of this 560,000 claims were received, and a first examination showed that the aggregate amount reached by these claims was not less than £T13,000,000. Considering the dilatory methods of Orientals, even when they are creditors, it is doubtful whether this sum adequately covers the whole of the claims outstanding, and it may be found difficult, even for a parliament, to refuse claims which should equitably be admitted and which may be preferred later. High authority in Constantinople put the true amount of the floating debt in 1910–1911 at the amount previously estimated, viz. £T25,000,000. No provision was then made in the budget to meet these liabilities, nor did the minister in his prefatory memorandum make any allusion to them; in his budget speech, however, he announced that a scheme for dealing with them would be presented with the budget for 1911–1912. Under the heading “Floating Debt” in the budget for 1910–1911 are placed the advances before described.
No other items in the budget call for special remark, but in order that the information given may be complete, each head of expenditure is shown separately below, and the budget for 1910–1911, as first placed before the Turkish parliament, presents the following picture, from which it may be observed that the public debt absorbs 26% of the revenue, war service 38% and civil services 36%.
|(See above for details of general headings here given.)|
This deficit was increased, by the action of parliament, to £T9,678,000. Almost immediately after the budget was drawn up a change of government took place, and largely owing to this fact the parliamentary budget commission introduced various modifications on the expenditure side of the account, which increased the estimated deficit to the account just mentioned. The principal increase is due to the war departments, according to the budget speech of the minister of finance (April 23, 1910), although he states that some increase is apparent in all departments. The actual figures of the increase are not, however, given. Exaggerated importance must not be attributed to the swollen deficit. The demands of the various departments of state had been much cut down, and according to the minister of finance's own statement much of the reduction was merely unavoidable expenditure deferred; the fact that some of this expenditure, which had been jealously scrutinized, was to be undertaken at once, meant that demands on future years would be relatively reduced. A loan of £T7,040,000 was arranged with a German group headed by the Deutsche Bank. This loan followed upon one of £T4,700,000 in 1908, and another of £T7,000,000 in 1909 (of which the service is provided by the revenues assigned to the Russian War indemnities amounting to £T350,000 per annum, of which payment has been deferred for forty years), the year 1909 having shown a realized deficit of about that amount—a condition of affairs which would appear alarming were it not that the Turkish Empire was passing through absolutely abnormal times, and was attempting to convert the unstable morass of disorder, ineptitude and corruption left by the previous system into a solid foundation for good and orderly constitutional government. With the two previous loans above mentioned, £T5,500,000 capital liabilities were paid off, the work of reorganization had made considerable progress, and £T2,000,000 remained in hand at the beginning of 1910–1911 to continue it. As before stated reorganization was quickly followed by a marked increase of revenue, and it seemed probable that the forecast of the minister of finance that within a comparatively short time that increase would amount to £T5,000,000 was not excessive. Negotiations were undertaken to increase the customs import duties by a further additional 4%. This measure would produce about £T1,250,000 per annum.
Further expenditure was voted in the course of 1909, to be met by an extraordinary budget. On the receipts side of this budget were comprised the Austrian indemnity for the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (£T2,500,000), cash and securities belonging to the deposed sultan (£T1,600,000), sale of old guns (£T300,000), sale of lands and other property recovered from civil list encroachments (£T908,000), and finally the unexpected balance of the proceeds of the 1908 loan (£T655,000), the whole forming an aggregate total of £T5,963,000. It was intended to assign to the war department £T3,804,918, to the grand master of ordnance £T358,108, to the admiralty £T93,912, and to the ministry of finance £T2,443,2O2 for the payment of the war indemnities in Thessaly and other urgent liabilities, the estimated aggregate extraordinary expenditure thus amounting to £T6,700,140. Some of the assets above mentioned proved, however, not to be easily realizable. Ready buyers were not found for the state lands, and the sale of the ex-sultan's securities was disputed by the German Reichsbank with which they were deposited, while the government did not consider it good policy to sell the Anatolian railway shares, which it seized at Yildiz, so that only £T450,000 were encashed by the ministry of finance from these sources. Of the sums really received the ministry of finance expended some £T3,000,000, in payment of the Greek indemnity, in repayment of £T1,000,000 of advances to the treasury and by assigning the credit voted to the ordnance department, and it was stated that these payments exhausted the extraordinary resources so far as it has been possible to realize them.
Collection of Taxes.—The Ottoman Empire possesses a very complete system of local self-government within certain limits. Every village or town district has a kind of mayor (mukhtar) appointed by election and approved by the official provincial authorities, and a “council of ancients” whose members are elected directly. The taxes are collected by means of the mukhtars, termed for this purpose kabz-i-mal (receiver of treasure), and under the supervision of gendarmes specially named, termed tahsildar (collectors). The official authorities provide lists of all the taxes to be collected to the tahsildars, who hand them, against formal receipt, to the kabz-i-mals. The latter are bound to pay in to the local authorities all sums collected in five days in town districts, and in fifteen days in villages, if under 1500 piastres; sums of 1500 piastres and over are paid in at once. The tahsildars check the accounts of the kabz-i-mals, and, if they discover peculation, send them at once to be dealt with by the chief official authorities of the caza (department); all the electors of a mukhtar are, ipso facto, joint sureties for him. If the tax-payer declines to pay his due, he is brought before the proper authorities by the tahsildar; if he persists in his refusal, all his goods, except those indispensable for his dwelling and the pursuit of his trade, are sold by auction, without recourse to a judgment by tribunal. If he has no goods which may be seized, he may be summarily imprisoned for a term not exceeding 91 days: two imprisonments for the same debt are not permitted. The military exemption tax is not collected as above, but by the spiritual chiefs of the various religious communities. None of the above regulations apply to Constantinople, where no military exemption tax is imposed, and where separate official regulations for the collection of taxes are in force. The system of farming put the revenues is admitted, and is almost invariably followed in the case of the tithes. When this is done, the revenues to be farmed are put up to public auction and sold to the highest bidder, provided he can prove himself amply solvent and produce sufficient sureties. Elaborate regulations are in force for this method of collection to secure the state receiving its full due from the farmers, who, on the other hand, are entitled to full official assistance to enforce their rights.
Assessment of Taxes.—For the purposes of assessment the taxes may be divided roughly into two classes: (1) variable taxes; (2) non-variable taxes. Under the first head would be included proportional taxes dependent upon the value of the property taxed; under the second, taxes whose amount does not depend upon that value. The first class contains such revenues as the emlak verghi-si (duty on realty), ‛ashār (tithes), temettū (professional tax), &c. In all such cases the taxable values are fixed by a commission of experts, sometimes chosen by the tax-payers themselves, sometimes by the official authorities; in all cases both tax-payers and authorities are represented on the commissions, whose decisions may be appealed against, in last resort, to the council of state at Constantinople, whose decision is final. Revenues composing the second class such as the tapu (registration tax) do not vary, unless by special decree, and the assessment is automatic.
The systems, both of assessment and collection, were equitable and far from oppressive in theory. In practice they left almost everything to be desired. The officials, already too numerous and underpaid, frequently, as has been stated above, found such pay as they had far in arrear. They were therefore naturally open to bribery and corruption, with the result that, while the rich often got off almost scot free, the poor were unduly taxed, and often cruelly oppressed by the tax collectors and farmers of revenue. In all departments there ensued, thus, an alarming leakage of revenue, amounting, it was credibly estimated, to quite 40%. The new government energetically proceeded to remedy this state of affairs.
International Administration of the Ottoman Debt.—In consequence of the piling up of the exterior public debt as described above, it amounted after the issue of “general debt” in 1875 to £T190,750,000, and swallowed up annually upwards of £T10,000,000, or nearly half the revenue of the empire as it was then constituted. The revolt of various disaffected provinces brought matters to a climax; in September 1875 one-half of the service of the interest was suspended, paper certificates known as “Ramazans” (since they were issued in the Arabic month of that name) being issued for that half in lieu of cash, and in the following March it was suspended altogether. After the war with Russia, in order to obtain credit from the Imperial Ottoman Bank and local financiers, who refused any further accommodation unless their previous and further advances were amply secured, revenues known as the “six indirect contributions” were handed over to a committee of local bankers (by decree of Nov. 22, 1879), to be administered and collected directly by them. These “six indirect contributions” were the revenues from tobacco, salt, wines and spirits, stamps (commercial), certain specified fisheries, and the silk tithe in specified provinces. Two years later, partly in view of the recommendations of the Congress of Berlin, partly to overcome insuperable difficulties in obtaining any kind of credit, the sultan authorized the Sublime Porte to issue an invitation to the various bondholders' committees in Europe to send delegates to Constantinople for the purpose of negotiating a resumption of payments. These “committees” were the “Council of Foreign Bondholders” for Great Britain, the Imperial Ottoman Bank and its “group” for France, Herr S. Bleichröder for Berlin, the Credit-Anstalt and its “group” for Austria-Hungary, and the Chamber of Commerce and of Arts of Rome for Italy. The Dutch bondholders placed their interests in the hands of the British council. Russia declined to countenance the negotiations in any way. Delegates from the various committees assembled in Constantinople in the early summer of 1881. The commission formed by them in conjunction with the delegates of the Sublime Porte is more generally known as the “Valfrey-Bourke commission,” from the leading parts played by the Right Hon. R. Bourke (Lord Connemara), the British delegate, and M. Valfrey, the French delegate. The outcome of the negotiations was the issue of an imperial decree, known as the “Decree of Muharrem,” owing to its bearing the date (Turkish style) of the 28th of Muharrem (Dec. 20) 1881. By this decree the outstanding capital of the exterior debt, to which were added the Ramazan certificates above mentioned, and all interest fallen due, making a grand total of £252,800,000, was scaled down to £106,437,234 (£T117,080,958). On this reduced capital a minimum interest of 1% was to be paid, the rate of interest to be increased by quarters per cent. as the revenues set aside for the service of the reduced debt permitted. For purposes of sinking fund the old loans were combined into four groups: group i. containing the 1858 and 1862 loans, with a reduced nominal capital of £T7,902,259; group ii. the 1860, 1863, 1864 and 1872 loans, with a reduced nominal capital of £T11,265,153; group iii. the 1865, 1869 and 1873 loans, with a reduced nominal capital of £T33,915,762, and group iv. the “general debt,” of which the last issue was in 1875, with a reduced nominal capital of £T48,365,236, and the “lottery bonds” (railway loan), with a reduced nominal capital of £T15,632,548, the total of group iv. being thus £T63,997,784. As security for the service of the new reduced debt it was provided that an international council should be formed, composed of one delegate each from the bondholders of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and Turkey, and one representing the “priority bondholders,” a term which will be explained later. On this council the Turkish government has the right of naming an imperial commissioner with “consultative voice,” i.e. no voting power, but the right to express his opinion on the proceedings of the council, who would make all reports he considered necessary to his government. The government was empowered also to name controllers to whom all the accounts of the administration should be open for inspection on demand. In all other respects the council, provided that it kept within the limits of the laws the administration of which was entrusted to it, was to be entirely independent of the Ottoman government, free to appoint and dismiss its own officials from highest to lowest, and to carry on its administration on such lines as it thought best. Proposals made by the council for the modification and improvement of the existing laws and regulations which concerned it were to receive an answer from the government within six months; this provision has remained a dead letter. Any difference between the government and the council, if not possible of adjustment, was to be settled by arbitration.
To this council, with these extended powers, was handed over the absolute administration, collection and control of the “six indirect contributions” above enumerated, for the benefit of the bondholders, and in addition, it was to encash for the same purpose bills on the customs, to be drawn half-yearly in its favour by the minister of finance, amounting annually to £T180,000, representing the tax on Tumbēki (£T50,000) and the surplus revenue of Cyprus (£T130,000); and the Eastern Rumelian annuity, originally fixed at £T245,000, but gradually reduced by force of circumstances, until after frequent suspensions of payment it reached in 1897 the level of £T114,000, and has, since the declaration of Bulgarian independence, been definitely stopped. In order to assist the young kingdom of Bulgaria, which could only with great difficulty and with much damage to its resources have found means to indemnify Turkey for this serious breach of treaty engagements, the Russian government intervened, and proposed as compensation to the Turkish government the deferment for forty years of the annual payment (£T350,000) of the 1877 war indemnity. This proposal was accepted by the Turkish government, which undertook to continue the annual payment of £T114,000 to the public debt administration until the extinction of the debt. The public debt council consented with good grace, although the minister of finance, by omitting to consult that council during the progress of negotiations, lost sight of the fact that a sum of £T87,823 was due to the public debt administration on account of arrears of the Eastern Rumelian annuity up to December 1887, and that a further sum of £T430,741 was due by the Bulgarian to the Turkish government itself in compensation for the Rustchuk-Varna railway under the Treaty of Berlin. As pointed out by Sir Adam Block, the representative of the British and Dutch bondholders, in his report for 1908–1909, the above arrangement would have been prejudicial to the bondholders had the public debt not been “unified” (as described below) since, however, as a result of that unification, the ceded revenues now produced a sum more than sufficient for the service of the debt, it was only the surplus of revenue reverting to the government which was affected. There were further handed over, under the Muharrem decree, to the public debt council, the tribute of Bulgaria, the amount of which has never even been fixed, but as compensation for which the tobacco tithe up to a yearly amount of £T100,000 was ceded to the council in the same conditions as the “six indirect contributions”; the proportional shares (generally known as the “contributive parts”) of the Ottoman public debt to be borne by Bulgaria, Servia, Greece and Montenegro, which according to the Treaty of Berlin were to be adjudged by the representatives of the Great Powers at Constantinople, one of whom (the Russian) never succeeded in obtaining his instructions, and which therefore have never been fixed; and, finally, the excess of revenue resulting from a revision of the commercial treaties. The ceded revenues, exclusive of ths “contributive parts” and the excess from commercial treaties, were estimated by Bourke, in his report to the bondholders on the decree of Muharrem, at £1,812,562 (£T1,993,8l8). A substantial reduction however, had to be made in favour of the 5% “priority bonds,” which were bonds issued to the local banks before mentioned in satisfaction of their claims, and formed an annual first charge of £T590,000 on the whole of the revenues ceded to the bondholders; the capital amount of the “priority bonds” was £T8,169,986, which was to be extinguished by 1906. Four-fifths of the net product of the revenues, after deduction of the first charge of £T590,000, was to be applied to the service of the interest on the new reduced debt, and provided that the four-fifths were sufficient to allow the distribution of 1% interest, one-fifth was to be devoted to sinking fund; but this latter fifth was to be reduced, if necessary, by an amount sufficient to maintain the rate of interest at 1%. The interest on bonds amortized was to be added to the funds available for sinking fund. The sinking fund was to work as follows: First ¼% on the whole reduced capital was to be applied to group i.; if there were any surplus this was to be applied to group ii., until that also received the same full ¼%, and so on for group iii. and group iv., until the whole sinking fund amounted to 1% on the reduced capital. It was to be applied by redemption at the best price possible on the market, until that price stood at £T66.66, when, if the rate of interest served were 1%, it was to proceed by drawings; if the interest were anything more than 1%, and less than 3%, the limit of price for redemption was to be raised to £T75; if the interest were between 3% and 4% inclusive, the limit was to be raised to par. Any surplus of revenue beyond that necessary to provide 4% interest and 1% sinking fund was to be handed over to the government. The lottery bonds receive a special treatment both in regard to interest and sinking fund; full information as to the intricate arrangements made for these bonds will be found in the decree of Muharrem and the published reports of the council of administration of the Ottoman public debt. In 1890 the sinking fund was increased by the conversion of the “priority loan” into a 4% loan and the extension of the term of its redemption for 15 years. In this manner an annuity of £T159,500 was set free, of which £T11,000 per annum was allotted as “extraordinary sinking fund” to series A and £T49,500 per annum each to series B, C and D; the lottery bonds were originally excluded from this arrangement, and special compensation was granted to these later. Each series receives the benefit of the interest on bonds belonging to it amortized by this special annuity. Thus, in the financial year 1900–1901 the total amount of the fund had risen from £T159,500 to £T231,500.
The arrangement set forth in and sanctioned by the decree of Muharrem on the whole worked admirably. Gradually, however, it became apparent that it would be desirable to give Turkish state securities, of which those governed by the decree of Muharrem formed the principal part, a better standing in European financial markets than was possible for bonds bearing so low a rate of interest; to obliterate thus, as far as possible, the effects of the past bankruptcy; and, further, to give the Turkish government a joint interest with the bondholders in the progress of the ceded revenues. The French bondholders, who hold by far the largest proportion of Turkish securities, took the principal initiative in this matter, and, after protracted negotiations with the Turkish government and the other “syndicates” of bondholders, they succeeded, in 1903, in obtaining the following modifications of the original decree of Muharrem.
Series B, C and D (series A having already been completely redeemed by the action of the sinking fund) were replaced by the creation of new 4% bonds to a nominal amount of £T32,738,772, with a sinking fund of 0.45% per annum, bearing identical rights and privileges, and ranking immediately after, the priority bonds. The rates at which the series were respectively exchanged against the new unified bonds were £100 series B against £70 unified, £100 series C against £42 unified and £100 series C against £37, 10s. unified. Bonds of the old series not presented for exchange within a period of fifteen years are prescribed. The amortization is to proceed by purchase when the unified bonds are below par, and when at or above par, by drawings. Coupons and drawn bonds not presented within six and fifteen years respectively of their due dates of payment are prescribed. Interest on amortized bonds goes to swell the sinking fund. When the net product of the ceded revenues amounts to £T2,157,375, the surplus is divisible as to 75% to the Turkish government and 25% to the public debt administration. A variation from this was provided as soon as the priority bonds should become extinct; but these bonds having since been repaid (as mentioned below) by a further issue of unified bonds, this variation lapses. The above 25% is to be employed as additional sinking fund for the unified debt and lottery bonds, in the proportion of 60% and 40% respectively. A reserve fund was created of which the nucleus was the sum already standing to the credit of the “Reserve fund for increasing the rate of interest” (£T1,113,865), plus £T300,000 at least in cash by the issue of sufficient unified bonds to produce that amount and the sum of £T150,000 to be paid by the government to the public debt at the rate of £T15,000 per annum. It should be added that the total issue was made sufficient to reserve also £T1,460,000 for expenses, after taking into account £100,000 in cash paid by the government to the public debt administration out of the said issue. The reserve fund was created primarily to make good any deficiency in the revenues below the amount required to pay the interest due. If such drafts upon the reserve fund become necessary, they are to be made good in the following years out of the surplus above mentioned. The reserve fund is increased by the interest it may earn, but when the capital amount of the fund reaches £T2,000,000 the interest earned is merged in the general receipts of the public debt administration. As soon as the unified debt is reduced to £T16,000,000 the reserve fund is to be reduced to £T1,000,000, the surplus over this last amount being paid to the government. The unified bonds and coupons are exempt from all Turkish taxation existing or to come. Further special stipulations regarding the Turkish lottery bonds were made, but these are, as before, omitted. They will be found in art. x. of the “Annex-Decree” of September 1–14, 1903, which gave the modifications to the Muharrem decree here described force of law. Finally the Imperial Ottoman government reserved to itself the right of paying off the whole unified debt at par at any moment, and all the dispositions of the decree of Muharrem not modified by the new “Annex-Decree” were formally confirmed and maintained. In 1906 a further modification took place in the shape of the final and complete repayment of the priority bonds by the additional issue of £T9,537,000 of unified bonds for the purpose, taken firm by the Ottoman bank at 86. The rate at which the exchange was effected was par with a cash bonus of 6%. The previous annuity required for the service of these bonds having been £T430,5O0, and the additional charge for the service of the unified debt as a result of the operation being £T424,396, while the government received £T1,272,600 in cash for its own purposes, there was a slight immediate advantage to be found in it: as, however, the priority debt would have been completely extinguished in 1932, the financial wisdom of the change is not apparent.
The ceded revenues administered directly by the public debt council have shown remarkable expansion, and may be fairly looked upon as exemplifying what would occur in the general revenues of the empire when good and honest administration and regular payment of officials finally took the place of the carelessness, corruption and irregularity which existed up to the change of régime. The council has not limited its duties to the collection of the revenues placed under its administration, but has taken pains to develop commercially the revenues capable of such development. A large and remunerative export trade in salt to India is now established, whereas formerly not one grain found its way there; the first steps in this direction were taken in 1892 when works were begun to place the great rock-salt salines of Salif, on the coast of the Red Sea, on a commercial footing. The gross receipts from this export trade amounted in the year 1908–1909 to £T99,564, and the profits approximately to £T12,000, in spite of the contest between Liverpool and Spanish salt merchants on the Calcutta market, which led to a heavy cutting of prices. Pains, moreover, have been taken by the public debt council to develop the sale of salt within the empire. These efforts have been rewarded by the increase of the salt revenue from £T635,000 in 1881–1882, the year preceding the establishment of the council, to £T1,075,880 in 1907–1908. Again, in the early years of the administration (1885), the Pasteur system of selection of silk-worms' eggs for the rearing of silk-worms was introduced, and an “Institute of Sericulture” on modern lines was erected (1888) at Brusa for gratuitous instruction in silk-rearing to students from all parts of the empire. Up to the end of 1907–1908, 919 students had received the diploma of the institute, and 465 silk-growers in addition had passed through the course of instruction. These men, returning to their various districts, impart to others the instruction they have received, and thus spread through the regions adapted to sericulture the proper methods of selection and rearing. As a result some 60,000,000 mulberry trees were planted in Turkey during 1890–1910, involving the plantation of about 130,000 acres, and new magnaneries and spinning factories sprang up in every direction; while the revenue (silk tithe) increased in the regions administered by the council from £T17,000 in 1881–1882 to £T125,000 in 1906–1907, the value of the silk crop in those regions having thus advanced by over £T1,000,000. But the regions not under its administration benefited at least equally by the methods above described. Thus the total value of the silk tithe in Turkey increased in the period named from about £T20,000 to £T276,500, and the total annual value of the crop from about £T200,000 to £T2,765,000, or by nearly 2½ millions pounds sterling.
Table A gives the produce of the revenues in 1881–1882, the last year of the administration of the “Galata Bankers,” the average product of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth quinquennial periods since the public council was established, and of the year 1907–1908.
Table B shows the total indebtedness of the Ottoman Empire, exclusive of tribute loans.
Table A.—Showing Revenues ceded to Ottoman Public Debt Administration at Various Periods to 1907–1908.
|Heads of Revenue.||Last year of
First Five Years
of Council of
Second Five Years
of Council of
Third Five Years
of Council of
Fourth Five Years
of Council of
Fifth Five Years
of Council of
|Six Indirect Contributions:—|
|Extra Budgetary Receipts||—||—||—||—||2,797||25,757||—|
|Total of Six Indirect Contributions||1,866,677||1,937,369||1,956,333||2,116,755||2,197,488||2,575,946||2,873,561|
|Tobacco Tithe||not collected||72,340||81,866||104,688||99,276||172,473||210,068|
|Eastern Rumelian Annuity||”||150,040||126,688||129,222||88,682||159,628||114,020|
|Excess of Cyprus Revenues||”||130,000||113,557||102,596||102,596||102,596||102,596|
|Tax on Tumbēki||”||50,000||50,000||50,000||50,000||50,000||50,000|
|Total Gross Revenue||1,866,677||2,339,749||2,328,444||2,503,261||2,538,042||3,060,643||3,350,245|
|Total Net Revenue||1,487,888||1,951,749||1,936,041||2,157,118||2,119,505||2,537,845||2,777,395|
Table B.—Position of the Ottoman Public Debt on the 1st of March 1326 (March 14, 1910).
|Designation of Loans.||Nominal
redeemed at 1st
March 1326 (1910).
|Nominal Capital in|
circulation on 1st
March 1326 (1910).
Tobacco Régie.—From the beginning of the year 1884 the tobacco revenue has been worked as a monopoly by a company formed under Ottoman law, styled “La Régie Impériale Coïntéressée des Tabacs Ottomans.” This company has the absolute monopoly of the manufacture and of the purchase and sale of tobacco throughout the Ottoman Empire, with the exception of the Lebanon and Crete, but exportation remains free. It is bound to purchase all tobacco not exported at prices to be agreed between itself and the cultivators; if no agreement can be arrived at, the price is fixed by experts. It is obliged also to form entrepôts for the storage of the crops at reasonable distances from each other, and, on certain conditions, to grant advances to cultivators to aid them in raising the leaf. The cultivators, on the other hand, may not plant tobacco without permits from the régie, although the power of refusing a permit, except to known smugglers or persons of notoriously bad conduct, seems to be doubtful; nor may they sell to any purchaser, unless for export, except to the régie, while they are bound to deposit the whole of the tobacco crops which they raise in any one year in the entrepôts of the régie before the month of August of the year following, and may not move any tobacco from the place where they cultivate it without the régie's express authority. In order to facilitate supervision, a minimum area of one-half of a deunum (a deunum = about one-fourth of an acre) is fixed for ground upon which tobacco may be cultivated; in the suburban districts of Constantinople and some other towns, and in enclosures surrounded by walls and attached to dwelling-houses, it is altogether prohibited. For its privileges the régie has to pay a rent of £T750,000 per annum to the government (assigned to bondholders), “even if it has no revenues at all,” and after the payment of a dividend of 8% to its shareholders, and certain other deductions, it has to share profits with the government and the bondholders according to a sliding scale agreed upon between the three parties. The régie did badly during the first four years of its existence, owing principally to two causes: (1) its ineffectual power to deal with contraband to which the system described above leaves the door wide open; (2) the admission of other than Turkish tobaccos into Egypt, which deprived it at once of about £T100,000 per annum. So great were its losses that in the year 1887–1888 it was obliged to write them off by reducing its capital from £2,000,000 to £1,600,000. At the same time it was granted an extension of penal powers, and the losses on reftieh (duty on tobacco exported to Egypt) were to be partially borne by the public debt administration. Things went better with it from that time until 1894–1895, when, owing to internal troubles in the empire, and the consequent fear of creating worse disorders, by the strict enforcement of the monopoly, the government withdrew most of its support, and contraband enormously increased. The following table shows the movement of the revenue of the régie from the year 1887–1888 to 1908–1909 inclusive:—
| Average for
from all sources.
including fixed charges.
Negotiations were initiated in 1910 for the prolongation of the concession of the tobacco monopoly, which reaches its term in 1913.
Railway Guarantees.—Up to 1888 the only railways existing in the Turkish Empire (exclusive of Egypt) were, in Europe, the Constantinople-Adrianople-Philippopolis line and the Salonica-Mitrovitza line (finished in 1872); and in Asia Minor, the Smyrna-Aïdin (completed in 1866), the Smyrna-Cassaba (completed in 1866), the Constantinople-Ismid (completed in 1872), the Mersina-Adana (completed in 1886). The want of railways in Asia Minor was urgently felt, but no capitalists were willing to risk their money in Turkish railways without a substantial guarantee, and a guarantee of the Turkish government alone was not considered substantial enough. In 1888 it was proposed by the public debt administration to undertake the collection of specified revenues to be set aside for the provision of railway guarantees, the principle to be followed being, generally, that such revenues should consist of the tithes of the districts through which the railways would pass, and that the public debt should hand over to guaranteed railway companies the amounts of their guarantees before transmitting to the imperial government any of the proceeds of the revenue so collected. The government adopted this proposal, and laid down as a principle that it would guarantee the gross receipts per kilometre of guaranteed railways, such gross receipts to be settled for each railway on its own merits. Considerable competition ensued for the railway concessions under this system. The first granted was for the extension of the Constantinople-Ismid railway to Angora to a group of German and British capitalists in 1888. The Germans having bought out the British rights, this concession became a purely German affair, although a certain proportion of the capital was found in London. Since that time various other concessions have been granted to French and German financial groups, principally the Imperial Ottoman Bank group of Paris and the Deutsche Bank group of Berlin.
The systems of guarantee above described are clearly faulty, since theoretically the railway company which ran no trains at all would, up to the limit of its guarantee, make the largest profits. The concessionnaire companies have, however, wisely taken the view that it is better to depend upon their own revenues than upon any government guarantee, and have done their best to develop the working value of the lines in their charge. The economic effect of the railways upon the districts through which they run is apparent from the comparative values of the tithes in the regions traversed by the Anatolian railway in 1889 and 1898 in which years it so happened that prices were almost at exactly the same level, and again in 1908–1909, when they were only slightly higher. Thus in 1889 they produced £T145,378, in 1898 £T215,470, and in 1908–1909 £T281,919.
A different system, still more uneconomic than the kilometric guarantee pure and simple, was adopted in the case of the Bagdad railway. In January 1902 the German group holding the Anatolian railway concession was granted a further concession for extending that railway from Konia, then its terminus, through the Taurus range and by way of the Euphrates, Nisibin, Mosul, the Tigris, Bagdad, Kerbela and Nejef to Basra, thus establishing railway communication between the Bosporus and the Persian Gulf. The total length, including branches to Adana, Orfa (the ancient Edessa) and other places was to exceed 1550 m.; the kilometric guarantee granted was 15,500 francs (£620). It should be noted that this concession was substituted for one negotiated by the same group, and projected to pass through Diarbekr. This raised strong objections on the part of Russia, and led to the Black Sea Basin agreement reserving to Russia the sole right to construct railways in the northern portion of Asia Minor. The Anatolian railway company, apparently unable to handle the concession above described, initiated fresh negotiations which resulted in the Bagdad railway convention (March 5, 1903). This convention caused much excitement and irritation in Great Britain, owing to the encroachment of German influence sanctioned by it on territories bordering the Persian Gulf, hitherto considered to fall solely within the sphere of British influence. Attempts were made by the German group, assisted by their government, to secure the participation of both Britain and France in the concession. These were successful in France, the Imperial Ottoman Bank group agreeing to undertake 30% of the finance without, however, any countenance from the French government—the “Glarus Syndicate” being formed for apportioning interests. The British government seemed, at one time, rather to favour a British participation, but when the terms of the convention were published, the strongest objection was taken to the constitution of the board of directors which established German control in perpetuity, while it was evident from the general tenor of the convention that a political bias informed the whole; in the end public feeling ran so high that any British participation became impossible.
The financial advantages, however, granted by the Turkish government were singularly favourable to the concessionnaires and onerous to itself. The kilometric guarantee of 15,500 francs (£620) was split into two parts, 4500 francs (£180) being granted as the fixed working expenses of the line, all receipts in excess of which amount were to be credited to the Turkish government in reduction of the remaining 11,000 francs (£440) which took the form of an annuity to be capitalized as a 4% state loan redeemable in 99 years, that being the period fixed for the duration of the concession. The line was to be constructed in sections of 200 kilometres (125 m.) each, and as the complete plans and drawings of each were presented at the times and in the order specified in the convention, the government was to deliver to the concessionnaires government securities representing the capitalization of the annuity accruing to that section. The capital sum per section was fixed, in round figures, at 54,000,000 francs (£2,160,000), subject to adjustment when the section was completed and its actual length definitely measured up. A minimum net price of 81½% was fixed for the realization of these securities on the market. The bonds are secured on the surplus of the revenues assigned to the guarantee of the Anatolian railway collected by the Public Debt Administration, on the excess revenue, after certain deductions, accruing to the government under the “Annex-Decree to the Decree of Muharrem” above described, on the sheep tax of the vilayets of Koniah, Adana and Aleppo, and on the railway itself. The first series (54,000,000 francs or £2,160,000), was duly handed over to the concessionaires in 1903, and was floated in Berlin at 86.4% realizing the sum of £1,868,000. The division of the line into equal sections of 200 kilometres apiece produced at once a somewhat ridiculous result. The little town of Eregli, some 190 kilometres distant from Konia, presented the only excusable locality for the terminus of the first section, and even that place is 90 kilometres distant from Karaman, the last town of any importance for some hundreds of miles on the way to the Euphrates valley, the country between the two towns being desolate and sparsely inhabited. But the Bagdad Railway Company (the share capital of which is £600,000 half paid up), naturally anxious to earn the whole of the capitalized subvention, completed the construction of the entire 200 kilometres. The line was thus continued to a station taking its name from Bulgurlu, a small straggling village four miles away, between which and Eregli there is not a single habitation. But even this did not quite complete the distance, and the line was carried on for still another kilometre and there stopped, “with its pair of rails gauntly projecting from the permanent way” (Fraser, The Short Cut to India, 1909). The outside cost of construction of the first section, which lies entirely in the plains of Konia, is estimated to have been £625,000; the company retained, therefore, a profit of at least 1¼ millions sterling on this first part of the enterprise. In the second section the Taurus range is reached, after which the construction becomes much more difficult and costly. On the 2nd of June 1908 a fresh convention was signed between the government and the Bagdad Railway Company providing, on the same financial basis, for the extension of the line from Bulgurlu to Helif and of the construction of a branch from Tel-Habesh to Aleppo, covering a total aggregate length of approximately 840 kilometres. The principle of equal sections of 200 kilometres was thus set on one side. The payments to the company were to be made in two lump sums forming “series 2 and 3” of the “Imperial Ottoman Bagdad railway loan,” series 2 amounting to £4,320,000, which was delivered to the company on the signature of the contract, and series 3 to £4,760,000. The Bagdad railway must for much time be a heavy weight on the Turkish budget, the country through which it passes—with the exception of the sections passing from Adana to Osmanieh, through the Killis-Aleppo-Euphrates district (that is, the first point at which the line crosses the Euphrates some 600 m. from Bagdad), and to a lesser extent through the plains of Seruj and Harran—being very sparsely populated, while the financial system adopted offers no inducement to the concessionaire company to work for increasing earnings. It should be mentioned that the Bagdad Railway Company has sublet the working of the line to the Anatolian Railway Company at the rate of £148 per kilometre, as against the £180 per kilometre guaranteed by the Turkish
Ottoman Railways worked at end of 1908.
|Designation of Main Lines.||Length in
|Turkey in Europe:—||£|
|Total European Turkey||1269|
|Turkey in Asia:—|
|Hamidie Railway of the Hejaz||932||Nil.|
|Anatolian Railway||635||Varies from £270 to £600.|
| (Konia-Bulgurlu section)||124||£620: Annuity £440 Working Expenses £180.|
|Smyrna-Cassaba||322||For main-line and Burnabat and Manisa-Soma branches the government guarantees £92,400 as half the annual receipts. For the Alashehr-Karahissar extension, there is a kilometric guarantee of £755.|
|Total Asiatic Turkey||2816|
Results of 1908 according to the Nationality of the Capital.
|Companies or Societies.||Lengths Worked.||Gross
| Totals per
government—an additional indication, if any were needed, of the thriftlessness of the latter in the matter. Moreover, the Anatolian railway receives, under the original Bagdad railway convention (1) an annuity of £14,000 per annum for thirty years as compensation for strengthening its permanent way sufficiently to permit of the running of express trains, and (2) a second annuity of £14,000 in perpetuity to compensate it for running express trains—this to begin as soon as the main Bagdad line reaches Aleppo.
It was stated in the preface to the budget of 1910 that the government would grant no more railway concessions carrying guarantees. The amount inscribed for railway guarantees in the budget of 1910 was £746,790. The tables on p. 440 show the respective lengths of the various Ottoman railways open and worked at the end of 1908 and the amount of kilometric guarantees which they carried—and the lengths, &c., of railways worked by the various companies according to the nationality of the concessionaire groups.
Banks.—At the close of the Crimean War a British bank was opened in 1856 at Constantinople under the name of the Ottoman Bank, with a capital of £500,000 fully paid up. In 1863 this was merged in an Anglo-French bank, under a concession from the Turkish government, as a state bank under the name of the Imperial Ottoman Bank, with a capital of £2,700,000, increased in 1865 to £4,050,000 and in 1875 to £10,000,000, one-half of which is paid up. The original concession to the year 1893 was in 1875 extended to 1913, and in 1895 to 1925. The bank acts as banker to the government, for which it has a fixed annual commission, and it is obliged to make a permanent statutory advance to the government of £T1,000,000, against the deposit by the government of marketable securities bearing interest at a rate agreed upon. The bank has the exclusive privilege of issuing bank-notes payable in gold. Its central office is in Constantinople, and it is managed by a director-general and advisory committee appointed by committees in London and Paris.
The National Bank of Turkey (a limited Ottoman Company) is a purely British concern with a capital of £1,000,000, founded by imperial firman of the 11th of April 1909, under the auspices of Sir Ernest Cassel. It is understood that it was originated at the unofficial instigation of both the British and Ottoman governments, with the idea of forming a channel for the more generous investment of British capital in Turkey under the new régime, so that British financial interests might play a more important part in the Ottoman Empire than has been the case since the state bankruptcy of 1876. This bank brought out the Constantinople municipal loan of 1909 (£1,000,000). Other banks doing business in Constantinople are the Deutsche Bank, the Deutsche-Orient Bank, the Crédit Lyonnais, the Wiener Bank-Verein, the Russian Bank for Commerce and Industry, the Bank of Mitylene, the Bank of Salonica and the Bank of Athens.
Monetary System.—The monetary system presents a spectacle of perplexing confusion, which is a remnant of the complete chaos which prevailed before the reforms initiated in 1844 by Sultan Abd-ul-Mejid. The basis of the system adopted was the double standard with a fixed relation of 1 to 15.09, and free coinage. The unit was the piastre (=2⅛d.), nominally subdivided into 40 paras. The gold pound (l8s. 2d.) was equivalent to 100 piastres; the gold pieces struck were £T5, £T1, £T½ and T¼; the standard is 0.916⅔ fine, and the weight 7.216 grammes. The silver coinage consisted of the mejidie (weight 24.055 grammes, 0.830 fine), equivalent to 20 piastres, and its subdivisions 10, 5, 2, 1, and ½ piastre pieces. The altilik, beshlik and metallik currencies struck, the first and last in the reign of Mahmud II. and Abd-ul-Mejid, and the second in the reign of Mahmud only, were not included in the reform; these were debased currencies bearing a nominal value, the altilik of 6, 3 and 1½ piastres, the beshlik of 5 and 2½ piastres, the metallik of 1, ½ and ¼ piastres; they represented the last degree of an age-long monetary depreciation, the original piastre having had a value of about 5s. 7d., which had fallen to 2⅛d. The heavy depreciation in silver causing large losses to the government, free coinage was suspended in 1880, and the nominal value of the mejidie was reduced by decree to 19 piastres (105.26 piastres thus = £T1), while in the same year the debased currencies were reduced, altilik, the 6-piastre piece to 5 piastres, the 3-piastre piece to 2½ piastres, the 1½-piastre piece to 1¼ piastre; beshlik, the 5-piastre piece to 2½ piastres, the 2½-piastre piece to 1¼-piastre; metallik, the 1-piastre piece to ½ piastre, the ½-piastre piece to ¼ piastre, the ¼-piastre piece to ⅛ piastre—these values representing approximately the intrinsic value of the silver, at mejidie standard, contained in the debased coins. The copper coinage (113,000,000 piastres) and the paper currency (kaïmē) (1,600,000,000 piastres) referred to in the above sketch were withdrawn in 1880 by repudiation. The 20-piastre mejidie currency, in spite of the further enormous depreciation of silver since 1880, has scarcely varied in the Constantinople market, but has always remained at a discount of about 3% (between 108 and 109 piastres to the pound) under government rate; this is doubtless due to the fact that the demand and supply of the coins in that market are very evenly balanced. The parity thus working out at 102.60, gold continued to be held away from the treasury, and in 1909 the government decided to accept the Turkish pound at the last named rate. The fractional mejidie coins (5, 2 and 1 piastres) are quoted at a separate rate in the market, usually at a premium over the 20-piastre piece. In the last twelve years of the 19th century the altilik currency was almost entirely withdrawn, and replaced by fractional mejidie; a large proportion of the beshlik has also been withdrawn, but the metallik has not been touched. These debased currencies are usually at a premium over gold owing to the extreme scarcity of fractional coinage. The standard of the altilik is about 0.440 fine, that of the beshlik is 0.185 to 0.225 fine, that of the metallik is 0.170 fine. Foreign gold coins, especially the pound sterling (par value 110 piastres) and the French 20-franc piece (par value 87½ piastres) have free currency. Throughout Arabia and in Tripoli (Africa) the principal money used is the silver Maria Theresa dollar tariffed by the Ottoman government at 12 piastres. The Indian rupee and the Persian kran are widely circulated through Mesopotamia; in Basra transactions are counted in krans, taking as a fixed exchange £T1 = 34.15 krans. The general monetary confusion is greatly intensified by the fact that the piastre unit varies for almost every province; thus, while the pound at Constantinople is counted at 108 piastres silver, it is at about 127 piastres for one kind of transaction and 180 for another in Smyrna, 135 piastres at Adrianople, 140 at Jerusalem, and so forth, accounts being kept in “abusive piastres,” which exist no longer. In some towns, e.g. Adrianople, small change is often supplemented by cardboard tickets, metal discs, &c., put into circulation by private establishments or individuals of good credit.
A commission (the successor of many) was instituted at the ministry of finance in 1910, to draw up proposals for setting this confusion in order. In his 1910 budget speech the minister of finance, Javid Bey, demanded authority to create a new aluminium coinage of 5, 10, 20 and 40 para pieces, of which he would issue, in the course of three years, a nominal amount of £T1,000,000 to those provinces in which there was a great scarcity of small coins. The amounts of Turkish gold, silver and debased coinage in circulation are approximately £T16,500,000, in gold, £T8,700,000 (940,000,000 piastres at 108) in silver mejidies and fractions, and 200,000,000 piastres in beshlik and metallik.
Tenure of Property.—Real property is held in one of four various ways: either mulk, emiriyē, vakuf or khaliyē. (1) Mulk is the absolute property of its owner, and can be disposed of by him as he wills without restrictions, save those enumerated lower down (General Dispositions) as general for all the four classes. Mulk property is governed chiefly by the Sheri (sacred law). A duty of 10 per mille on its estimated value has to be paid on transfer by sale, donation or testament; 5 per mille on transfer by inheritance; and a registration duty on expenses of transfer. (2) Emiriyē is practically “public domains.” The state may grant land of this category to private persons on payment by the latter of the value of the proprietary right—the tithes, ground-rent (should there be private buildings upon it), and the land-tax. It is administered by imperial functionaries called arazi-mēmuru; it is with the consent of the latter only that the proprietary rights can be sold. These rights are of simple possession, but they are transmissible in certain degrees to the heirs of the possessor. Emiriyē cannot be mortgaged, but can be given as security for debt on condition that it be restored when the debt has been repaid. The creditor may demand the arazi-mēmuru to proceed to a forced sale, but the arazi-mēmuru is not obliged to comply with that demand; no forced sale may take place after the decease of the debtor. Emiriyē is not transmissible by will, but may be transferred by donation, which returns to the donor should he outlive the beneficiary. Should a proprietor of emiriyē plant trees or vines, or erect buildings upon it, with the consent of the state, they are considered as mulk; an annual tax representing the value of the tithes on the portions of emiriyē thus utilized is levied. The emiriyē then becomes mulk, with certain restrictions as to transfer dues. A transfer duty of 5% on the estimated value of emiriyē is paid on transmission by sale, inheritance or donation, of 2½% on the amount of the debt in case of mortgage or release from mortgage, and of 10% on expenses of registration. A different scale is established for emiriyē with moukataa (rent paid for emiriyē with mulk property established upon it). (3) Vakuf is “all property dedicated to God, of which the revenue is consecrated to His poor”; or “property of which the usufruct, such as tithe, taxes and rents, is attributed to a work of charity and of public interest.” When once a property has been registered as vakuf it can never be withdrawn. There are two classes of vakuf: (a) Land so declared either directly by the sovereign or in virtue of imperial authority; (b) lands transformed by their proprietors from mulk into vakuf. The laws and regulations concerning vakuf are too intricate to be described; generally it may be said that they form a great obstruction to dealing with a large proportion of the most valuable property in Turkey, and therefore to the prosperity of the country. The vakufs are administered by a special ministerial department (evkaf nazareti), whose property, on behalf of the state, they theoretically are. The effect of the original system was that a vakuf property became the inalienable property of the state, and the original proprietor a mere tenant. All fundamental repairs thus fell to the charge of the state, which could not afford to effect them, and the vakuf revenues decreased so rapidly that already in the reign of Selim I. (1511–1520) a serious effort was made to deal with the difficulty. But this resulted in so heavy a burden upon the public that the law had again to be altered to extend hereditary rights, and to admit a system of mortgage which was assimilated to that for emiriyē; but the evils were little more than palliated. The curious gilds called guedik must here be mentioned. They were established at a time when industry was not free, and the government fixed the number of artisans of every kind of trade in each town, no one having the right to increase that number. The guedik, then, had the right to erect buildings on vakuf property and supply it with the tools, &c., necessary to exercise a trade. The ancient guediks have not been abolished, the government not daring to deprive them of their privileges; but since the Tanzimāt no new ones have been created, industry being declared free. The various special dues payable on vakuf form too long a list to be inserted; the highest is 30 per mille. (4) Kkaliyē. This property is also styled mevad. It consists of uncultivated or rough lands, such as mountains, stony ground, &c., which are useless without clearance, to which no possession is claimed, and which are at such a distance from the nearest dwelling that the human voice cannot be made to reach them from that dwelling. Any one can obtain a gratuitous permit to clear and cultivate such lands; the laws governing ordinary agricultural lands then apply to them. The permit is withdrawn if the clearance is not effected within three years. If the clearance is effected without the necessary permit, the land is nevertheless granted on application, and on the payment of the tapu or sum paid by the proprietor to the state for the value of the land.
General Dispositions.—By the “protocol of the 7th Sefer 1284 A.H.” foreigners may enjoy the rights of proprietorship on the same conditions as Ottoman subjects throughout the empire, save in the Hejaz. The transmission of property from a foreigner to his heirs is therefore governed by the Ottoman laws, and not those of the country to which he belongs. The real property of a Mussulman does not pass by inheritance to non-Mussulman heirs, but may pass to his Mussulman heirs of a foreign nationality, and vice versa. Property of an individual who has abandoned Ottoman nationality without legal authority so to do does not pass to heirs, whether Ottoman or foreign, but devolves to the state; if legal authority has been granted the government under which the foreign heirs live must have accepted the protocol above cited. An heir who has voluntarily caused the death of the person from whom he should inherit loses all rights of succession. It is not proposed to trace the formalities of transfer and transmission of real property here; they will be found in vol. iii. of the Dustur (Ottoman Code). Minerals are worked according to the law of the 14th Sefer 1324 (March 26, 1906). Mines can only be exploited in virtue of an imperial iradē. The concessions are to be for 99 years with the exception of chrome, emery, boracite and other minerals found only in the form of deposits, which may be granted for not less than 40 years or more than 99 years. They may be disposed of under certain conditions to third parties, and they may be inherited. Immovable property, working plant, tools and fixtures, cannot be seized for payment of debts. For the discovery of mines, special permits of research, on which there is a fee of £T5 to £T15, are necessary; full details of the requisite formalities are given in the law. No researches are permitted in boroughs and villages or in forests, pasturages, &c., if it be considered that they would interfere with public convenience. Two permits are not granted for the same mineral within the same area, until the first has lapsed. Specimens may be sent to Europe for expert examination up to an aggregate weight of 2000 tons, on paying the requisite duties. Explosives are under the control of the local authorities. In order to obtain permits foreigners must first have adhered to the law of 1293 (A.H.). The original discoverer of a mine is entitled to a certain indemnity for “right of discovery” to be paid by the concessionaire of that mine, should the discoverer be unable to work it. To obtain a concession, formalities detailed in the law must be complied with, under a penalty of £T100 to £T1000. Should a different mineral from that specified in the imperial firman for a mining concession be discovered in a free state, a fresh firman is necessary to exploit it. Discovered mines not registered by the government, or not worked for a period of 99 years before the promulgation of the law of the 26th of March 1906, are considered as non-discovered. On the promulgation of the firman for the exploitation of a mine, a fee of £T50 to £T100 becomes payable. Two categories of rent, fixed and proportional, are payable to the state by mine-owners. The fixed rent is 10 piastres per jerib (about 10,000 square metres), to be paid whether the mine is worked or not. The proportional rent is from 1% to 5% on the gross products of mines of vein formation, and from 10% to 20% on those of mines of deposit formation; the percentages are calculated on the value of the mineral after deduction of freight, &c. to Europe and of treatment. The proportional rents are fixed by the Mines Administration according to the wealth, area and facility of working of the mine, and are inserted in the imperial firman governing the mine, and must be paid before the minerals are exported. Yearly returns, under a penalty of £T5 to £T25, of the results of working have to be rendered to the Mines Administration. If payments due to the government are not made within two months of due date, the mines may be seized by the authorities and sold to the highest bidder. The working of the mine must begin within two years of the date of the delivery of the mine to the concessionaire. Certain specified plans must be delivered annually, under penalty of £T5 to £T25, to the Mines Administration, and, under similar penalties, all information and facilities for visiting the mines in detail must be afforded to government inspectors. Should a mine-owner, in the course of developing his mine, damage the mine of a neighbouring owner, he must pay him an agreed indemnity. With the exception of the engineer and foreman, the employés must be Ottoman subjects. No part of the subterranean working of a mine may be abandoned without official permission obtained according to formalities specified in the law. Owners of the land in which a mine is located have a prior right to work such mine under imperial firman, on the obtention of which a duty of £T4 is payable; if they do not work it the concession may be granted to others, on payment of a certain compensation to the landowner. The research of a mine in no way impairs the rights of ownership of the land in which the mine is located. If a mining concession is granted within lands which are private property or which are “real vakuf lands” (arazi-i-mevkufē-i-sahiha) only one-fifth of the proportional rent is payable to the state, the other four-fifths reverting to the land-owner or the vakufs, as the case may be. As to ancient coins, and all kinds of treasure of which the proprietor is unknown, reference must be made to the Dustur, No. 4, p. 89.
Bibliography.—I. Topography, Travels, &c.: The works of J. B. Tavernier, of Richard Knolles and Sir P. Rycaut, of O. G. de Busbecq (Busbequius), Sir T. Hanway, the Chevalier Jean Chardin, D. Sestine and W. Eton (Survey of the Turkish Empire, 3rd ed., 1801) are storehouses of information on Turkey from the 16th century to the end of the 18th. More recent works of value are those of J. H. A. Ubicini, Lettres sur la Turquie (1853–1854, Eng. trans., 2 vols., 1856); D. Urquhart, The Spirit of the East (2 vols., 1838); A. W. Kinglake (especially his Eothen, 1844); A. H. Layard, H. F. Tozer, E. Spencer, Ami Boué, A. Vambéry, W. M. Rameay and J. G. von Hahn (in “Denkschriften” of the K. Akad. der Wissenschaften zu Wien for 1867–1869). Sir C. Elliot's Turkey in Europe (London, 1907) is comprehensive and accurate. See also P. de Laveleye, La Péninsule des Balkans (Brussels, 1886); V. Cuinet, La Turquie d'Asie (5 vols., Paris, 1891–1894, and index 1900); id. Syrie Liban et Palestine (Paris, 1896–1898); W. Miller, Travels and Politics in the Near East (London, 1898); M. Bernard, Turquie d'Europe et Turquie d'Asie (Paris, 1899); M. von Oppenheim, Vom Mittelmeer zum persischen Golfe, &c. (2 vols., Berlin, 1899–1900); Lord Warkworth, Notes from a Diary in Asiatic Turkey (London, 1898); Mark Sykes, Dar-el-Islam (London, 1903); D. Fraser, The Short Cut to India (London, 1909); with the books cited under Turks and in articles on the separate divisions of the empire and on Mahommedan law, institutions and religion.
2. Law, Commerce and Finance: F. Belin, Essais sur l'histoire économique de la Turquie (Paris, 1865); Aristarchi Bey, Législation ottomane (8 vols., Constantinople, 1868–1876); R. Bourke, Report to the British and Dutch Bondholders (London, 1882); O. Haupt, L'Histoire monétaire de notre temps (Paris, 1886); F. Ongley and H. A. Miller, Ottoman Land Code (London, 1892); Medjellé (Ottoman Civil Code) (Nicosia, 1895); Kendall, Turkish Bonds (London, 1898); V. Caillard, Babington-Smith and Block, Reports on the Ottoman Public Debt (London, 1884–1898, 1899–1902, 1903–1910); Annuaire oriental du commerce (Constantinople); Journal de la chambre de commerce (Constantinople, weekly); Annual Report of the Régie Co-intéressée des Tabacs (Constantinople); Annual Report of the Council of Foreign Bondholders (London); C. Morawitz, Les Finances de la Turquie (Paris, 1902); G. Young, Corps de droit ottoman (7 vols., Oxford, 1905–1906); Pech, Manuel des sociétés anonymes fonctionnant en Turquie (Paris, 1906); Alexis Bey, Statistique des principaux résultats des chemins de fer de l'empire ottoman (Constantinople, 1909).
3. Defence: Djevad Bey, Etat militaire ottoman (Paris, 1885); H. A., Die türkische Wehrmacht (Vienna, 1892); L. Lamouche, L'Organisation militaire de l'empire ottoman (Paris, 1895); Lebrun-Renaud, La Turquie: puissance militaire (Paris, 1895); Hauptman Rásky, Die Wehrmacht der Turkei (Vienna, 1905). (See also Army.) (V. C.*)
Legend assigns to Oghuz, son of Kara Khan, the honour of being the father of the Ottoman Turks. Their first appearance in history dates from A.D. 1227. In that year a horde, variously estimated at from two to four thousand souls, with their flocks and their slaves, driven originally from their Central Asian homes by the pressure of Mongol invasion, and who had sought in vain a refuge with the Seljukian sultan Ala-ud-din Kaikobad of Konia, were returning under their chief Suleiman Shah to their native land. They were crossing the Euphrates, not far from the castle of Jaber, when the drowning of their leader by accident threw confusion into their ranks. Those who had not yet crossed the river refused, in face of this omen, to follow their brethren; the little band, numbering 400 warriors (according to others, consisting of 2000 horsemen) decided to remain under Ertoghrul, son of Ertoghrul, 1230–1288. the drowned leader. Ertoghrul first camped at Jessin, east of Erzerum; a second appeal to Ala-ud-din was more successful—the numbers of the immigrants had become too insignificant for their presence to be a source of danger. The lands of Karaja Dagh, near Angora, were assigned to the new settlers, who found there good pasturage and winter quarters. The help afforded by Ertoghrul to the Seljukian monarch on a critical occasion led to the addition of Sugut to his fief, with which he was now formally invested. Here Ertoghrul died in 1288 at the age of ninety, being succeeded in the leadership Osman I., 1288–1326. of the tribe by his son Osman. When, exhausted by the onslaughts of Ghazan Mahmud Khan, ruler of Tabriz, and one of Jenghiz Khan's lieutenants, the Seljukian Empire was at the point of dissolution, most of its feudatory vassals helped rather than hindered its downfall in the hope of retaining their fiefs as independent sovereigns. But Osman remained firm in his allegiance, and by repeated victories over the Greeks revived the drooping glories of his suzerain. His earliest conquest was Karaja Hissar (1295), where first the name of Osman was substituted for that of the sultan in the weekly prayer. In that year Ala-ud-din Kaikobad II. conferred on him the proprietorship of the lands he had thus conquered by the sword, and presented him at the same time with the horse-tail, drum and banner which constituted the insignia of independent command. Osman continued his victorious career against the Greeks, and by his valour and also through allying himself with Keussē Mikhal, lord of Harman Kaya, became master of Aīnēgeul, Bilejik and Yar Hissar. His marriage with Mal Khatun, the daughter of the learned sheikh Edbali, has been surrounded by poetical legend; he married his son Orkhan to the beautiful Greek Nilofer, daughter of the lord of Yar Hissar, whom he carried off from her destined bridegroom on her marriage-day; the fruits of this union were Suleiman Pasha and Murad. In 1300 the Seljukian Empire crumbled away, and many small states arose on its ruins. It was only after the death of his protector and benefactor Sultan Ala-ud-din II. that Osman declared his independence, and accordingly the Turkish historian dates the foundation of the Ottoman Empire from this event. Osman reigned as independent monarch until 1326. He pursued his conquests against the Greeks, and established good government throughout his dominions, which at the time of his death included the valleys of the Sakaria and Adranos, extending southwards to Kutaiah and northwards to the Sea of Marmora. Infirmity had compelled him towards the end of his life to depute the chief command to his younger son Orkhan, by whom in 1326 the conquest of Brusa was at last effected after a long siege.
Orkhan's military prowess secured for him the succession, to the exclusion of his elder brother Ala-ud-din, who became Orkhan, 1326–1359. his grand vizier. At that time a number of principalities had replaced the Seljukian state. Though Yahsha Bey, grandson of Mahommed Karaman Oghlu, had declared himself the successor of the Seljukian sultans, the princes of Aidin, Sarukhan, Menteshē, Kermian, Hamid, Tekkē and Karassi declined to recognize his authority, and considered themselves independent, each in his own dominions. Their example was followed by the Kizil Ahmedli Emir Shems-ed-din, whose family was afterwards known as the house of Isfendiar in Kastamuni. The rest of the country was split up among Turcoman tribes, such as the Zulfikar in Marash and the Al-i-Ramazan in Adana. At his accession Orkhan was practically on the same footing with these, and avoided weakening himself in the struggle for the Seljukian inheritance, preferring at first to consolidate his forces at Brusa. There he continued to wrest from the Greeks the lands which their feeble arms were no longer able to defend. He took Aīdos, Nicomedia, Hērēkē, and, after a siege, Nicaea; Tarakli and Gemlik fell to his arms, and soon the whole of the shore of the Marmora up to Kartal was conquered, and the Byzantines retained on the continent of Asia Minor only Ala Shehr and Biga. These acquisitions were made between 1328 and 1338; in the latter year Orkhan achieved his first conquest from Mussulman hands by the capture of Karassi, the pretext being the quarrel for the succession on the death of. the prince, Ajlan Bey.
At this period the state of the Byzantine Empire was such as to render its powers of resistance insignificant; indeed the length of time during which it held out against the Turks is to be attributed rather to the lack of efficacious means at the disposal of its assailants than to any qualities possessed by its defenders. In Constantinople itself sedition and profligacy were rampant, the emperors were the tools of faction and cared but little for the interests of their subjects, whose lot was one of hopeless misery and depravity. On the death of the emperor Andronicus III. in 1341 he was succeeded by John Palaeologus, a minor; and Cantacuzenus, the mayor of the palace, appealed to Orkhan for assistance to supplant him, giving in marriage to the Ottoman prince his daughter Theodora. Orkhan lent the desired aid; his son Suleiman Pasha, governor of Karassi, crossed into Europe, crushed Cantacuzenus's enemies, and penetrated as far as the Balkans, returning laden with spoil. Thus the Turks learnt the country of the Greeks and their weakness. In 1355 Suleiman crossed over from Aīdinjik and captured the fortress of Gallipoli, which was at once converted into a Turkish stronghold; from this base Bulaīr, Malgara, Ipsala and Rodosto were added to the Turkish possessions. Suleiman Pasha was killed by a fall from his horse near Bulaīr in 1358; the news so affected his father Orkhan as to cause his death two months later. The institution of the Janissaries (q.v.) holds a prominent place among the most remarkable events of Orkhan's reign, which was notable for the encouragement of learning and the foundation of schools, the building of roads and other works of public utility.
Orkhan was succeeded by his son Murad. After capturing Angora from a horde of Turkomans encamped there who were Murad I., 1359–1389. attacking his dominions, at first with some success, in 1361 Murad prepared for a campaign in Europe. At that time the Greek emperor's rule was confined to the shores of the Marmora, the Archipelago and Thrace. Salonica, Thessaly, Athens and the Morea were under independent Greek princes. The Bulgarians, Bosnians and Servians had at different periods invaded and conquered the territories inhabited by them; the Albanians, original natives of their land, were governed by princes of their own. When, on the death of Cantacuzenus, John Palaeologus remained sole occupant of the imperial throne, Murad declared war against him and conquered the country right up to Adrianople; the capture of this city, the second capital of the emperors, was announced in official letters to the various Mussulman rulers by Murad. Three years later, in 1364, Philippopolis fell to Lala Shahin, the Turkish commander in Europe. The states beyond the Balkan now began to dread the advance of the Turks; at the instigation of the pope an allied army of 60,000 Serbs, Hungarians, Walachians and Moldavians attacked Lala Shahin. Murad, who had returned to Brusa, crossed over to Biga, and sent on Haji Ilbeyi with 10,000 men; these fell by night on the Servians and utterly routed them at a place still known as the “Servians' coffer.” In 1367 Murad made Adrianople his capital and enriched it with various new buildings. He continued to extend his territories in the north and west; the king of Servia and the rulers of Kiustendil, Nicopolis and Silistria agreed to pay tribute to the conquering Turk. Lala Shahin Pasha was appointed feudal lord of the district of Philippopolis, and Timur Tash Pasha became beylerbey of Rumelia; Monastir, Perlepē, and parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina were next taken, and the king of Servia consented to furnish to Murad a fixed contingent of auxiliary troops, besides paying a money tribute. In 1381 Murad's son Yilderim Bayezid married Devlet Shah Khatun, daughter of the prince of Kermian, who brought him in dowry Kutaiah and its six dependent provinces. In the same year Bey Shehr and other portions of the Hamid principality were acquired by purchase from their ruler Hussein Bey, as the Karamanian princes were beginning to cast covetous eyes on them; but the Karamanians were unwilling to resign their claims to be heirs of the Seljukian sultans, and not until the reign of Mahommed II. were they finally suppressed. Ali Bey, the prince at this time, took advantage of Murad's absence in Europe to declare war against him; but the Ottoman ruler returning crushed him at the battle of Konia. Meanwhile the king of Bosnia, acting in collusion with the Karamanian prince, attacked and utterly defeated Timur Tash Pasha, who lost 15,000 out of an army of 20,000 men. The princes and kings who had consented to pay tribute were by this success encouraged to rebel, and the Servian troops who had taken part in the battle of Konia became insubordinate. Indignant at the severity with which they were punished, Lazarus, king of Servia, joined the rebel princes. Murad thereupon returned to Europe with a large force, and sent Chenderēli Zadē Ali Pasha northwards; the fortresses of Shumla, Pravadi, Trnovo, Nicopolis and Silistria were taken by him; Sisman III., rebel king of Bulgaria, was punished and Bulgaria once more subjugated. Ali Pasha then joined his master at Kossovo. Here Lazarus, king of Servia, had collected an army of 100,000 Serbs, Hungarians, Moldavians, Walachians and others. On the 27th of August 1389 the greatest of the battles of Kossovo was fought. A lightning charge of Yilderim Bayezid's dispelled the confidence of the enemy, scattering death and dismay in their ranks. The king of Servia was killed and his army cut to pieces, though the Turks numbered but 40,000 and had all the disadvantage of the position. After the battle, while Murad was reviewing his victorious troops on the field, he was assassinated by Milosh Kabilovich, a Servian who was allowed to approach him on the plea of submission.
Murad maintained a show of friendly relations with the emperor John Palaeologus, while capturing his cities. A review held by him in 1387 at Yeni Shehr was attended by the emperor, who, moreover, gave one of his daughters in marriage to Murad and the other two to his sons Bayezid and Yakub Chelebi. These princes were viceroys of Kermian and Karassi respectively; the youngest son, Sauji Bey, governed at Brusa during his father's absence. Led away by evil counsellors, Sauji Bey plotted with Andronicus, son of the emperor, to dethrone their respective fathers. The attempt was foiled; Andronicus was blinded by his father's orders and Sauji was put to death (1387).
After being proclaimed on the field of Kossovo, Bayezid's first care was to order the execution of his brother Yakub Bayezid I., 1389–1403. Chelebi, and so to preclude any repetition of Sauji's plot. The young prince Andronicus, who had not been completely blinded, sent secretly to Bayezid and offered him 30,000 ducats to dethrone his father John Palaeologus and make him emperor. Bayezid consented; later on John Palaeologus offered an equivalent sum and, since he engaged to furnish an auxiliary force of 12,000 men into the bargain, Bayezid replaced him on the throne. By the aid of these auxiliaries the fort of Ala Shehr was captured (1392), Manuel Palaeologus, son of the emperor, being allowed, in common with many other princes, the privilege of serving in the Turkish army, then the best organized and disciplined force extant. The principalities of Aīdin, Menteshē, Sarukhan and Kermian were annexed to Bayezid's dominions to punish their rulers for having joined with the Karamanian prince in rebellion. The exiled princes took refuge with the Kizil Ahmedli, ruler of Kastamuni, who persuaded the Walachians to rebel against the Turks. By a brilliant march to the Danube Bayezid subjugated them; then returning to Asia he crushed the prince of Karamania, who had made head again and had defeated Timur Tash Pasha. Bayezid now consolidated his Asiatic dominions by the capture of Kaisarieh, Sivas and Tokat from Tatar invaders, the relics of Jenghiz Khan's hordes. Sinope, Kastamuni and Samsun were surrendered by the prince of Isfendiar, and the conquest of Asia Minor seemed assured.
On the death of John Palaeologus in 1391 his son Manuel, who was serving in the Turkish army, fled, without asking leave, to Constantinople, and assumed the imperial dignity. Bayezid determined to punish this insubordination: Constantinople was besieged and an army marched into Macedonia, capturing Salonica and Larissa (1395). The siege of the capital was, however, unsuccessful; the pope and the king of Hungary were able to create a diversion by rousing the Christian rulers to a sense of their danger. An army of crusaders marched upon the Turkish borders; believing Bayezid to be engaged in the siege of Constantinople, they crossed the Danube without precaution and invested Nicopolis. While the fortress held out with difficulty Bayezid fell upon the besiegers like a thunderbolt. The first onslaught of the Knights of the Cross did indeed rout the weak irregulars placed in the van of the Turkish army, but their mad pursuit was checked by the steady ranks of the Janissaries, by whom they were completely defeated (1396). King Sigismund of Hungary barely escaped in a fishing boat; his army was cut to pieces to a man; among the prisoners taken was Jean Sans Peur, brother of the king of France. To the usual letter announcing the victory the caliph in Egypt replied saluting Bayezid with the title of “Sultan of the lands of Rum.”
After the victory of Nicopolis the siege of Constantinople was resumed, and the tower of Anatoli Hissar, on the Asiatic side of the Bosporus, was now built. However, by sending heavy bribes to Bayezid and his vizier, and by offering to build a mosque and a Mussulman quarter, and to allow Bayezid to be named in the weekly prayer, Manuel succeeded in inducing Bayezid to raise the siege. The mosque was destroyed later on and the Mussulman settlers driven out. Between 1397 and 1399 Bayezid overran Thessaly, while in Asia his lieutenant Timur Tash was extending his conquests. Meanwhile Timur (Tamerlane) had started from Samarkand on his victorious career. With incredible rapidity his hosts spread and plundered from Bagdad to Moscow. After devastating Georgia in 1401 he marched against the Turks. Some of the dispossessed princes of Asia Minor had repaired to Timur and begged him to reinstate them; accordingly Timur sent to Bayezid to request that this might be done. The tone of the demand offended Bayezid, who rejected it in terms equally sharp. As a result Timur's countless hordes attacked and took Sivas, plundering the town and massacring its inhabitants. Then, to avenge an insult sustained from the ruler of Egypt, Timur marched southwards and devastated Syria, thence turning to Bagdad, which shared the same fate. He then retraced his steps to the northwest. Bayezid had taken advantage of his absence to defeat the ruler of Erzingan, a protégé of Timur. All attempts to arrange a truce between the two intractable conquerors were in vain. They met in the neighbourhood of Angora. Timur's army is said to have numbered 200,000, Bayezid's force to have amounted to about half that figure, mostly seasoned veterans. The sultan's five sons were with the army, as well as all his generals; 7000 Servian auxiliaries under Stephen, son of Lazarus, took part in the battle (1402). Prodigies of valour on the part of Bayezid's troops could not make up for the defection of the newly-absorbed levies from Aīdin, Sarukhan and Menteshē who went over to their former princes in Timur's camp. The rout of the Turkish army was complete. Bayezid, with many of his generals, was taken prisoner. Though treated with some deference by his captor, who even promised to reinstate him. Bayezid's proud spirit could not endure his fall, and he died eight months later at Ak Shehr.
After the disaster of Angora, from which it seemed impossible that the Ottoman fortunes could ever recover, the princes fled Interregnum, 1403–1413. each with as many troops as he could induce to follow him, being hotly pursued by Timur's armies. Only Mussa was captured. Timur reached Brusa, and there laid hands on the treasure of Bayezid; one after another the cities of the Turks were seized and plundered by the Tatars. Meanwhile Timur sent letters after the fugitive sons of Bayezid promising to confer on them their father's dominions, and protesting that his attack had been due merely to the insulting tone adopted towards him by Bayezid and to the entreaties of the dispossessed princes of Asia Minor. Most of the latter were reinstated, with the object of reducing the Turkish power. Timur did not cross into Europe, and contented himself with accepting some trifling presents from the Greek emperor. After capturing Smyrna he returned to Samarkand (1405). Some years of strife followed between the sons of Bayezid, in which three of them fell; Mussa, seizing Adrianople, laid siege to Constantinople, and Manuel Palaeologus, the emperor, appealed for aid to Mahommed, the other son, who had established himself at Brusa.
In 1413 Mahommed defeated Mussa, and thus remained sole heir to Bayezid 's throne; in seven or eight years he succeeded Mahommed I., 1413–1421. in regaining all the territories over which his father had ruled, whereas Timur's empire fell to pieces at the death of its founder. Two years after his accession Mahommed overcame a rebellion of the prince of Karamania and recaptured his stronghold Konia (1416), and then, turning northwards, forced Mircea, voivode of Walachia, who in the dispute as to the succession had supported Prince Mussa, to pay tribute. The Turkish dominions in Asia Minor were extended, Amasia, Samsun and Janik being captured, and an insurrection of dervishes was quelled. In 1421 the sultan died. His services in the regeneration of the Turkish power can hardly be over-estimated; all agree in recognizing his great qualities and the charm of his character; even Timur is said to have admired him so much as to offer him his daughter in marriage. The honour was declined, and Mahommed took a bride from the house of Zulfikar. Amid the cares of state he found time for works of public utility and for the support of literature and art; he is credited with having sent the first embassy to a Christian power, after the Venetian expedition to Gallipoli in 1416, and the Ottoman navy is first heard of in his reign.
At the time of Mahommed's death his eldest son Murad was at Amasia; and, as the troops had lately shown signs of insubordination, Murad II., 1421–1451. it was deemed advisable to conceal the news of the sultan's death and to send a part of the army across to Asia. The men, however, refused to march without seeing their sultan, and the singular expedient was resorted to of propping up the dead monarch's body in a dark room and concealing behind it an attendant who raised the hands and moved the head of the corpse as the troops marched past. Shortly after Murad's accession the emperor Manuel, having applied in vain for the renewal of the annual subsidy paid him by the late sultan for retaining in safe custody Mustafa, an alleged son of Bayezid, released the pretender. Adherents flocked to him, and for a whole year Murad was engaged in suppressing his attempts to usurp the throne.
At last the armies of sultan and pretender met at Ulubad (Lopadion) on the Rhyndacus in Asia Minor; Mustafa's troops fled at the first onset; Lampsacus, where the pretender took refuge, was captured with the aid of the Genoese galleys under Adorno. Mustafa, who had crossed the strait and fled northwards, was taken, brought to Adrianople, and hanged from a tower of the serai (1422). Murad now laid siege to Constantinople to avenge himself on the emperor, and on the 24th of August the desperate valour of the defenders succeeded in driving back an assault led by a band of fanatical dervishes. The siege was raised, however, not owing to the bravery of the defence, but because the appearance of another pretender, in the person of Murad's thirteen-year-old brother Mustafa, under the protection of the revolted princes of Karamania and Kermian, called the sultan to Asia. Mustafa, delivered up by treachery, was hanged (1424); but Murad remained in Asia, restoring order in the provinces, while his lieutenants continued the war against the Greeks, Albanians and Walachians. By the treaty signed on the 22nd of February 1424, shortly before his death, the emperor Manuel II., in order to save the remnant of his empire, agreed to the payment of a heavy annual tribute and to surrender all the towns on the Black Sea, except Selymbria and Derkos, and those on the river Strymon. Peace was also made at the same time with the despot of Servia and the voivode of Walachia, on the basis of the payment of tribute. By 1426 the princes of Kermian and Karamania had submitted on honourable terms; and Murad was soon free to continue his conquests in Europe. Of these the most conspicuous was that of Salonica. Garrisoned only by 1500 Venetians, the city was carried by storm (March 1, 1428); the merciful precedent set by Mahommed I. was not followed, the greater part of the inhabitants being massacred or sold into slavery, and the principal churches converted into mosques.
The capture of Salonica had been preceded by renewed troubles with Servia and Hungary, peace being concluded with both in 1428. But these treaties, each of which marked a fresh Turkish advance, were short-lived. The story of the next few years is but a dismal record of aggression and of reprisals leading to fresh aggression. In 1432 the Turkish troops plundered in Hungary as far as Temesvar and Hermannstadt, while in Servia Semendria was captured and Belgrade invested. In Transylvania, however, the common peril evoked by the Turkish incursion and a simultaneous rising of the Vlach peasantry had knit together the jarring interests of Magyars, Saxons and Szeklers, a union which, under the national hero, the voivode János Hunyadi (q.v.), was destined for a while to turn the tide of war. In 1442 Hunyadi drove the Turks from Hermannstadt and, at the head of an army of Hungarians, Poles, Servians, Walachians and German crusaders, succeeded in the ensuing year in expelling them from Semendria, penetrating as far as the Balkans, where he inflicted heavy losses on the Turkish general. Meanwhile, again confronted by a rebellion of the prince of Karamania, Murad had crossed into Asia and reduced him to submission, granting him honourable terms, in view of the urgency of the peril in Europe. On the 12th of July 1444 a ten years' peace was signed with Hungary, whereby Walachia was placed under the suzerainty of that country; and, wearied by constant warfare and afflicted by the death of his eldest son, Prince Ala-ud-din, Murad abdicated in favour of his son Mahommed, then only fourteen years of age, and retired to Magnesia (1444). The pope urged the king of Hungary to take advantage of this favourable opportunity by breaking the truce solemnly agreed upon, and nineteen days after it had been concluded a coalition was formed against the Turks; a large army headed by Ladislaus I., king of Hungary, Hunyadi, voivode of Walachia, and Cardinal crossed the Danube and reached Varna, where they hoped to be joined by the Greek emperor. In this emergency Murad was implored to return to the throne; to a second appeal he gave way, and crossing over with his Asiatic army from Anatoli Hissar he hastened to Varna. The battle was hotly contested; but, in spite of the prowess of Hunyadi, the rout of the Christians was complete; the king of Hungary and Cardinal Cesarini were among the killed. Murad is said to have abdicated a second time, and to have been again recalled to power owing to a revolt of the Janissaries. In 1446 Corinth, Patras and the north of the Morea were added to the Turkish dominions. The latter years of Murad's reign were troubled by the successful resistance offered to his arms in Albania by Scanderbeg (q.v.). In 1448 Hunyadi, now governor of Hungary, collected the largest army yet mustered by the Hungarians against the Turks, but he was defeated on the famous field of Kossovo and with difficulty escaped, while most of the chivalry of Hungary fell. Little more than two years later Murad died at Adrianople, being succeeded by his son Mahommed.
After suppressing a fresh revolt of the prince of Karamania, the new sultan gave himself up entirely to the realization of Mahomed II. the Conquerer, 1451–1481. the long-cherished project of the conquest of Constantinople. He began by building on the European side of the Bosporus the fort known as Rumeli Hissar, opposite that built by his grandfather Bayezid. Tradition avers that but forty days were needed for the completion of the work, six thousand men being employed night and day; guns and troops were hurriedly put in, and all navigation of the Bosporus was stopped. After completing his preparations, which included the casting of a monster cannon and the manufacture of enormous engines of assault, Mahommed began the siege in 1453. Constantine Palaeologus, the last occupant of the imperial throne, took every measure that the courage of despair could devise for the defence of the doomed city; but his appeal to the pope for the aid of Western Christendom was frustrated through the bigoted, anti-Catholic spirit of the Greeks. The defenders were dispirited and torn by sedition and dissensions, and the emperor could rely on little more than 8000 fighting men, while the assailants, 200,000 strong, were animated by the wildest fanatical zeal. The siege had lasted fifty-three days when, on the 29th of May 1453, a tremendous assault was successful; the desperate efforts of the Greeks were unavailing, Constantine himself falling among the foremost defenders of the breach. The sultan triumphantly entered the palace of the emperors, and the next Friday's prayer was celebrated in the church of St Sofia (see Roman Empire, Later).
After some days' stay in Constantinople, during which he granted wide privileges to the Greeks and to their patriarch, the sultan proceeded northwards and entirely subdued the southern parts of Servia. A siege of Belgrade was unsuccessful, owing to the timely succour afforded by Hunyadi (1456). Two years later internal dissensions in Servia brought about the conquest of the whole country by the Turks, only Belgrade remaining in the hands of the Hungarians. The independent princes of Asia Minor were now completely subjugated and their territories finally absorbed into the Turkish dominions; Walachia was next reduced to the state of a tributary province. Venice having adopted a hostile attitude since Turkey's conquests in the Morea, greater attention was devoted to the fleet; Mytilene was captured and the entrance to the straits fortified. The conquest of Bosnia, rendered necessary by the war with Venice, was next completed, in spite of the reverses inflicted on the Turks by the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus, the son of János Hunyadi. The Turks continued to press the Venetians by land and sea; Albania, which under Scanderberg had for twenty-five years resisted the Ottoman arms, was overrun; and Venice was forced to agree to a treaty by which she ceded to Turkey Scutari and Kroïa, and consented to pay an indemnity of 100,000 ducats (Jan. 25, 1478). The Crimea was next conquered and bestowed as a tributary province on the Tatar khan Mengli Girai. Mahommed now endeavoured to strike a blow at Rhodes, the stronghold of the Knights of St John, preparatory to carrying out his long-cherished plan of conquering Italy. A powerful naval expedition was fitted out, but failed, an armistice and treaty of commerce being signed with the grand master, Pierre d'Aubusson (1479). But a land attack on southern Italy at the same time was successful, Otranto being captured and held for a time by the Turks. In 1481 the sultan was believed to be projecting a campaign against the Circassian rulers of Syria and Egypt, when he died at Gebzé. He is said to have been of a merry and even jocular disposition, to have afforded a generous patronage to learning, and, strange to say for a sultan, to have been master of six languages.
Mahommed II. was the organizer of the fabric of Ottoman administration in the form which it retained practically unchanged until the reforms of Mahmud II. and Abd-ul-Mejid. He raised the regular forces of the country to a total exceeding 100,000; the pay of the Janissaries was by him increased, and their ranks were brought up to an effective of upwards of 12,000. He established the system whereby the lands conquered by the arms of his troops were divided into the different classes of fiefs, or else assigned to the maintenance of mosques, colleges, schools and charitable institutions, or converted into common and pasturage lands. Many educational and benevolent foundations were endowed by him, and it is to Mahommed II. that the organization of the ulema, or legist and ecclesiastical class, is due.
Upon Bayezid II. succeeding to his father a serious revolt of the troops took place, which led to the institution of the Bayezid II., 1481–1512. regular payment of an accession donative to the Janissaries. At the outset of the reign Bayezid's brother, Prince Jem, made a serious attempt to claim the throne; he was defeated, and eventually took refuge with the knights of Rhodes, whom Bayezid bribed to keep him in safe custody. The unfortunate prince was led from one European stronghold to another, and, after thirteen years' wandering, died at Naples in 1494 (see Bayezid II.). Freed from the danger of his brother's attacks, the sultan gave himself up to devotion, leaving to his ministers the conduct of affairs in peace and war. But, though of an unambitious and peace-loving temper, the very conditions of his empire made war inevitable. Even when peace was nominally in existence, war in its most horrible forms was actually being waged. On the northern frontier border raids on a large scale were frequent. Thus, in 1492 the Turks made incursions into Carinthia as far as Laibach, and into Styria as far as Cilli, committing unspeakable atrocities; in 1493 they overran both Styria and Croatia. The Hungarians retaliated in kind, burning and harrying as far as Semendria, torturing and murdering, and carrying off the saleable inhabitants as slaves. In 1494 a crushing victory of the emperor Maximilian drove the Turks out of Styria, which they did not venture again to invade during his reign. In 1496 the temporary armistice between the Poles and Turks, renewed in 1493, came to an end, and John Albert, king of Poland, seized the occasion to invade Moldavia. The efforts of Ladislaus of Hungary to mediate were vain, and the years 1497 and 1498 were marked by a terrible devastation of Poland by the Ottomans; only the bitter winter, which is said to have killed 40,000 Turks, prevented the devastation from being more complete. By the peace concluded in 1500 the sultan's dominions were again extended. Meanwhile, in June 1499, war had again broken out with Venice, mainly owing to the intervention of the pope and emperor, who, with Milan, Florence and Naples, urged the sultan to crush the republic. On the 28th of July the Turks gained over the Venetians at Sapienza their first great victory at sea; and this was followed by the capture of Lepanto, at which Bayezid was present, and by the conquest of the Morea and most of the islands of the archipelago. By the peace signed on the 24th of December 1502, however, the status quo was practically restored, the sultan contenting himself with receiving Santa Maura in exchange for Cephalonia.
Meanwhile in Asia also the Ottoman Empire had been consolidated and extended; but from 1501 onwards the ambitious designs of the youthful Shah Ismail in Persia grew more and more threatening to its security; and though Bayezid, intent on peace, winked at his violations of Ottoman territory and exchanged friendly embassies with him, a breach was sooner or later inevitable. This danger, together with the growing insubordination of the aged sultan's sons, caused his ministers to urge him to abdicate in favour of Selim, the younger but more valiant. This prince pushed his audacity so far as to attack his father's troops, but the action merely increased his popularity with the Janissaries, and Bayezid, after a reign of thirty-one years, was obliged to abdicate in favour of his forceful younger son; a few days later he died. This reign saw the end of the Mussulman rule in Spain, Turkey's naval power not being yet sufficient to afford aid to her co-religionists. It also saw the first intercourse between a Russian tsar and an Ottoman sultan, Ivan III. exchanging in 1492 friendly messages with Bayezid through the Tatar khan Mengli Girai; the first Russian ambassador appeared at Constantinople three years later.
When he had ruthlessly quelled the resistance offered to his
accession by his brothers, who both fell in the struggle for the
Selim I., 1512–1520.
throne, Selim undertook his campaign in Persia,
having first extirpated the Shia heresy, the prevalent
sect of Persia, in his dominions, where it threatened
to extend. After an arduous march and in spite of the mutinous
behaviour of his troops, Selim
, crushed the Persians at Chaldiran
(1515) and became master of the whole of Kurdistan. He next
turned against the Mameluke rulers of Egypt, crushed them,
and entering Cairo as conqueror (1517), obtained from the last
of the Abbasid
caliphs, Motawakkil, the title of caliph (q.v.) for himself and his successors (see Egypt: History; Mahommedan
Period). The sultan also acquired from him the sacred banner
and other relics of the founder of Islam, which have since been
preserved in the Seraglio at Constantinople. Egypt, Syria and
the Hejaz, the former empire of the Mamelukes, were added
to the Ottoman dominions. Towards the end of Selim's reign
the religious revolt of a certain Jellal, who collected 200,000
adherents, was the cause of much trouble; but he was eventually
routed and his force dispersed near Tokat. While preparing
an expedition against Rhodes to avenge the repulse sustained
forty years before by Mahommed II., the sultan died at Orashkeui,
near Adrianople, at the spot where he had attacked his
father's troops. His reign of eight years had almost doubled
the extent of the Turkish dominions.
He was succeeded by his son Suleiman “the Magnificent,” in whose long and eventful reign Turkey attained the highest Suleiman I., 1520–1566. point of her glory. Selim's Asiatic conquests had left his successor free to enter upon a campaign in Europe, after the suppression of a revolt of the governor of Damascus, who had thought to take advantage of the new sultan's accession to restore the independent rule of the Circassian chiefs. In 1521 war was declared against the king of Hungary on the pretext that he had sent no congratulations on Suleiman's accession. Belgrade was besieged and captured, a conquest which Mahommed II. had failed to effect. In the next year an expedition was undertaken against Rhodes, the capture of which had become doubly important since the acquisition of Egypt. The siege, which was finally conducted by the sultan in person, was successful after six months' duration; the forts of Cos and Budrum were also taken. The European war was now renewed; in 1526 the sultan, marching from Belgrade, crossed the Danube and took Peterwardein and Esseg; on the field of Mohács he encountered and defeated the Hungarians under king Louis II., who was killed with the flower of the Hungarian chivalry (see Hungary: History). Budapest hereupon fell to the Turks, who appointed John Zapolya king of Hungary (1528). But the crown of Hungary was claimed by the archduke Ferdinand, brother of the emperor Charles V., as being king Louis's brother-in-law. This brought Turkey into collision with the great emperor. Moreover, Francis I. of France, who had just been defeated by Charles, sent to the sultan ambassadors and messages dwelling on the danger of allowing Charles's power to become too great, and imploring the assistance of Suleiman as the only means of preserving the balance of power in Europe. Meanwhile Ferdinand's troops captured Budapest, driving out Zápolya, who at once appealed to Suleiman for aid. Suleiman decided against Charles, and marched north (1529). Zápolya joined the Turks at Mohács, and a joint attack was made on Budapest. After five days' siege the Austrians were driven out, and Zápolya was reinstated on the throne of Hungary. The Turks then marched on Vienna, which was bombarded and closely invested, but so valiant was the resistance offered that after three weeks the siege was abandoned (Oct. 14, 1529). Suleiman now prepared for a campaign in Germany and sought to measure himself against Charles, who, however, withdrew from his approach, and little was done save to ravage Styria and Slavonia. In 1533 a truce was arranged, Hungary being divided between Zápolya and Ferdinand.
During the Hungarian campaign the Shia sectaries had been encouraged to revolt, and the Persians had overrun Azerbäijän and recaptured Tabriz. Suleiman, therefore, turned his arms against them, reaching Bagdad in 1534, and capturing the whole of Armenia. The naval exploits of Khair-ed-din Pasha (see Barbarossa) are among the glories of the reign, and led to hostilities with Venice. After capturing Algiers, an attack by this famous admiral on Tunis was repulsed with the aid of Spain, but in the Mediterranean he maintained a hotly-contested struggle with Charles's admiral, Andrea Doria. Venice was in alliance with Charles, and her possessions were consequently attacked by Turkey by land and by sea, many islands, including Syra and Tinos, falling before Barbarossa's assaults. Corfu was besieged, but unsuccessfully. At Preveza Barbarossa defeated the papal and Venetian fleets under Doria. In 1540 the fort of Castelnuovo, the strongest point on the Dalmatian coast, was taken by the Venetians and recaptured by Barbarossa. Peace was then made on the terms that Turkey should retain her conquests and Venice should pay an indemnity of 300,000 ducats. Friendly relations had subsisted between Suleiman and Ferdinand during the expedition to Persia; but on the death of Zápolya in 1539 Ferdinand claimed Hungary and besieged Budapest with a large force. Suleiman determined to support the claims of Zápolya's infant son, John Sigismund, and in 1541 set out in person. At the end of August he appeared before Budapest, the siege of which had already been raised by the defeat of the Austrians; the infant John Sigismund was carried into the sultan's camp, and the queen-mother, Isabella, was peremptorily ordered to evacuate the royal palace, though the sultan gave her a diploma in which he swore only to retain Budapest during the minority of her son. On the 2nd of September Suleiman entered the city, and to the ambassadors of Ferdinand, who came to offer a yearly sum if the sultan would recognize his claim to Hungary, he replied that he had taken possession of it by the sword and would negotiate only after the surrender of Gran, Tata, Visegrád and Székesfehérvár. The war now continued vigorously by sea and land. The great expedition of the emperor Charles V. against Algiers ended in failure, his fleet being destroyed by a sudden storm (Oct. 31, 1541); and his diplomatic efforts to wean Barbarossa from his allegiance to the sultan fared no better. In 1542 a formal alliance was concluded between Suleiman and Francis I.; the Ottoman fleet was placed at the disposal of the king of France, and in August 1543, the Turks under Barbarossa, and the French under the duke of Enghien, laid siege to Nice. The town surrendered; but the citadel held out until, on the 8th of September, it was relieved by Andrea Doria. Meanwhile on land Suleiman had taken full advantage of the European situation to tighten his grip on Hungary. The attempt of the imperialists, under Joachim of Brandenburg, to retake Budapest (September 1542), failed ignominiously; and in the following year Suleiman in person conducted a campaign which led to the conquest of Siklós, Gran, Székesfehérvár and Visegrád (1544). Everywhere the churches were turned into mosques; and the greater part of Hungary, divided into twelve sanjaks, became definitively a Turkish province. A truce, on the basis of uti possidetis, signed at Adrianople on the 19th of June 1547 for five years, between the sultan, the emperor and Ferdinand I. king of Hungary, recognized the Turkish conquests in Hungary; while, for the portion left to him, Ferdinand consented to pay an annual tribute of 30,000 ducats. John Sigismund was recognized as independent prince of Transylvania and of sixteen adjacent Hungarian counties, Queen Isabella to act as regent during his minority.
Suleiman was now free to resume operations against Persia. In the spring of 1548 he set out on his eleventh campaign, which ended in the capture of Erzerum (August 16) and the conquest of Armenia and Georgia. But the Persian War dragged on, with varying fortune, for years, till after Suleiman had ravaged Persia it was concluded by the treaty—the first between shah and sultan—signed at Amasia on the 29th of May 1555.
Meanwhile the war in Hungary had been resumed. Neither side had been careful to observe the terms of the treaty of 1547; the Turkish pashas in Hungary had raided Ferdinand's dominions, while Ferdinand had been negotiating with Frater Geörgy (see Martinuzzi) with a view to freeing Transylvania from the Ottoman suzerainty. When the sultan discovered that Martinuzzi, who was all-powerful in Transylvania, had actually arranged to hand over the country to Ferdinand, he threw the Austrian ambassador into prison, and in September 1551 sent an army, 80,000 strong, under Mahommed Sokolli over the Danube. Several forts, and the important town of Lippa on the Marosch, fell at once, and siege was laid to Temesvár. This was raised after two months, and Martinuzzi took advantage of the retirement of the Turks to raise an army and recapture Lippa. Before the surrender of the city, however, he was murdered by Ferdinand’s orders on strong suspicion of treachery. The campaign of 1552 was disastrous for the Austrians; the Turks, under the command of Ahmed Pasha, defeated them at Szegedin and captured in turn Veszprém, Temesvár, Szolnok and other places. Their victorious career was only checked, in October, by the raising of the siege of Erlau. In the spring of 1553 the victories of the Persians called for the sultan’s presence in the East; a truce for six months was now concluded between the envoys of Ferdinand and the pasha of Budapest, and Austrian ambassadors were sent to Constantinople to arrange a peace. But the negotiations dragged on without result; the war continued with hideous barbarities on both sides; and it was not until the 1st of June 1562 that it was concluded by the treaty signed at Prague by Ferdinand, now emperor. Suleiman kept the possessions he had won by the sword, Temesvár, Szolnok, Tata and other places in Hungary; Transylvania was assigned to John Sigismund, the Habsburg claim to interference being categorically denied; Ferdinand bound himself to pay, not only the annual tribute of 30,000 ducats, but all the arrears that had meanwhile accumulated. Even this treaty, however, was but an apparent settlement. A year passed before the Latin and Turkish texts of the treaty were harmonized; and meanwhile irregular fighting continued on all the borders. In 1564 Ferdinand died, and was succeeded by Maximilian II. The new emperor attacked Tokaj, which was in Turkish possession; the tribute had been allowed again to fall into arrears; and to all this was added that Mahommed Sokolli, the new grand vizier (1565), pressed for new war to wipe out the disgrace of the failure of the Ottoman attack on Malta (May-September 1565). In May 1566 the war broke out, Suleiman, now seventy-two years old, again leading his army in person. In August he laid siege to Szigetvár with 100,000 men; but on the 5th of September, while preparations were being made for a final assault, the sultan died. His death was, however, kept secret, and on the 8th the fortress fell.
The reign of Suleiman the Magnificent marked the zenith of the Ottoman power. At the time of his death the Turkish Empire extended from near the frontiers of Germany to the frontiers of Persia. The Black Sea was practically a Turkish lake, only the Circassians on the east coast retaining their independence; and as a result of the wars with Persia the whole Euphrates valley, with Bagdad, had fallen into the sultan’s power, now established on the Persian Gulf. The Venetians had been driven from the Morea and the islands of the Archipelago; and, except a strip of the Dalmatian coast and the little mountain state of Montenegro, the whole of the Balkan peninsula was in Turkish hands. In the Mediterranean, Crete and Malta yet survived as outposts of Christendom; but the northern coasts of Africa from Egypt to Morocco acknowledged the supremacy of the sultan, whose sea power in the Mediterranean had become a factor to be reckoned with in European politics, threatening not only the islands, but the very heart of Christendom, Italy itself, and capable—as the alliance with France against Charles V. had shown—of being thrown with decisive weight into the balance of European rivalries.
The power of the Ottomans at sea was maintained during
this period by a series of notable captains, such as Khair-ed-din
Sea Power. and his son Hassan, Pialé, Torgud, Sali Reis and Piri Reis. Of these the two first are separately noticed (see Barbarossa). Pialé, a Croatian who had been brought up in the imperial harem and succeeded Sinan as capudan-pasha, crowned a series of victories over the galleys of Andrea Doria by the capture of the island of Jerba, off Tripoli (July 31, 1560). For this he was rewarded with the hand of one of the sultan’s grand-daughters. He later became the second vizier of the empire, and, as a supporter of Sokolli, was in power till his death in 1575. Torgud, also the son of Christian parents, was a native of the sanjak of Mentesha in Asia Minor, and began his career as a soldier in the Ottoman, sea service. After spending some time as a Genoese galley-slave, he turned corsair and became the terror of the Mediterranean coasts. He seized Mahdia, a strong post on a tongue of land about 43 m. south of Susa in Tunisia, and made this the centre of his piracies till, during his absence raiding the Spanish coasts, it was bombarded and destroyed by an expedition sent by Charles V. (September 10, 1550). Torgud was now summoned to Constantinople to answer for piracies committed on the friendly galleys of Venice; but he sailed instead to Morocco, and there for two years defied the sultan’s authority. But Suleiman, who needed the aid of the corsairs against Malta, pardoned him, and he was given the command of the expedition against Tripoli, which he captured. He now turned against Corsica, captured Bastia (August 1553) and on his return to Constantinople, laden with booty and slaves, chastised the insurgent Albanians. He was rewarded by Suleiman with the governorship of Tripoli, which he held till his death. He was killed during the unsuccessful attack on Malta, which he commanded (1565). Sali Reis, also by birth a Christian of Asia Minor, was likewise successful as a corsair; he distinguished himself especially at the capture of Tunis, and succeeded Hassan Barbarossa as beylerbey of Algiers.
Other captains carried the Turkish arms down the Arabian and Persian gulfs far out into the Indian Ocean. Of these the most remarkable was Piri Reis, nephew of Kamil Reis, the famous corsair who, under Bayezid II., had swept the Aegean and Mediterranean. Piri sailed into the Persian Gulf, took Muscat, and laid siege to Ormuz. But the approach of the Portuguese fleet put him to flight; some of his vessels were wrecked; and on his return by way of Egypt he was arrested at Cairo and executed. He had compiled a sea-atlas (the Bahrije) of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, every nook and cranny of which he had explored, with an account of the currents, soundings, landing-places, inlets and harbours.
Another literary seaman of this period was Sidi Ali, celebrated under his poetic pseudonym of Katibi (or Katibi Rumi, to distinguish him from the Persian poet of the same name). He was no more successful than Piri or his successor Murad in fighting the elements and the Portuguese in the Persian Gulf; but he was happier in his fate. Driven, with the remnant of his ships, into the Indian Ocean, he landed with fifty companions on the coast of India and travelled back to Turkey by way of Sind, Baluchistan, Khorassan and Persia. He wrote an account of this three years' journey, for which he was rewarded by Suleiman with an office and a pension. He was the author also of a mathematical work on the use of the astrolabe and of a book (Muhit, “the ocean”) on the navigation of the Indian seas.
At the close of Suleiman’s reign the Turkish army numbered
nearly 200,000 men, including the Janissaries, whose total he
Suleiman I. almost doubled, raising them to 20,000. He improved the laws and institutions established by his predecessors and adapted them to the requirements of the age; to him are due important modifications in the feudal system, aimed at maintaining the fiefs in a really effective condition. The codes of law were by him revised and improved, and he was the first sultan to enter into relations with foreign states. In 1534 Jean de La Forêt, a knight of St John of Jerusalem, came to Constantinople as first permanent French ambassador to the Porte, and in February 1535 were signed the first Capitulations (q.v.) with France.
A short sketch of the administration and state of the country at this time may find place here. Successively transferred from Brusa Ottoman Polity in the 16th Century. to Adrianople and thence to Constantinople, the seat of government was at first little more than the camp of a conqueror. After the conquest of the imperial city the sultans began to adopt the pomp and splendour century of eastern sovereigns, and largely copied the system, ready to hand, of the Byzantine emperors. Affairs of state were at first discussed at the imperial divan, where the great dignitaries were convened at appointed hours. Until the reign of Mahommed the Conqueror the sultan presided in person; but a rough Anatolian peasant penetrating one day to the council and exclaiming, “Which of you might be the sultan? I've come to make a complaint!” it was thought that in future it would be more consonant with the imperial dignity for the sovereign to remain concealed behind a grating where, unseen, he could hear all that was said. Towards the middle of Suleiman's reign even this practice was abandoned, and the sultans henceforth attended the divans only on the distribution of pay to the troops or the reception of a foreign ambassador, which occasions were usually made to coincide. The divan accompanied the sultan on military expeditions.
As established by Mahommed II., the officials of the state were divided into four classes: (1) administrative; (2) ecclesiastical; (3) secretarial and (4) military. The administration of kazas, or cantons, was usually entrusted to the cadis and the holders of the more important fiefs; the sanjaks, or departments, were ruled by alaï beys or mir-i-livas (colonels or brigadiers), pashas with one horse-tail; the vilayets, or provinces, by beylerbeys or mir-i-mirans (lord of lords), pashas with two horse-tails; these were all originally military officers, who, in addition to their administrative functions, were charged with the duty of mustering and commanding the feudal levies in war time. Above them were the beylerbeys of Anatolia and Rumelia, who served under the orders of the commander-in-chief. The title of vizier was borne by six or seven persons simultaneously; the grand vizier was the chief of these and exercised supreme authority, being invested with the sultan's signet. He often commanded an army in person, and was then given the title of serdar-i-ekrem (generalissimo); one of the subordinate viziers remained behind as kaïmmakam, or locum tenens. The duties of the other viziers were limited to attending the divan; they were called kubbē or cupola viziers from the fact that the council met under a cupola; they were pashas with three horse-tails, and were attended by large retinues, having generally achieved distinction as beylerbeys. These officers were usually chosen from among the more promising of the youths selected by the devshurmē, or system of forced levy for manning the ranks of the Janissaries: hence so many of the statesmen of Turkey were of non-Mussulman origin. Besides these members of the secretarial class, such as nishanjis and defterdars, as well as regular army officers, and occasionally members of the ecclesiastical class, or ulema, rose to the rank of vizier.
The highest dignitaries of the ecclesiastical class were at first the kazaskers, or military judges, of Europe and Asia; later the office of Sheikh-ul-Islam was created as the supreme authority in matters relating to the Church and the sacred law. Promotion was regular, but was obtainable only by entering at an early age one of the medressēs or colleges; the student, after passing through the successive degrees of danishmend, mulazim and muderris, became first a molla, then a judge, rising to the higher ranks as fortune and opportunity offered. In the time of Bayezid II. the post of nakib-ul-eshrāf, or registrar of the sherīfs, or descendants of the Prophet, was created.
The secretarial class consisted of six categories: the nishanjis, the defterdars, the reïs, the defter emini, the shakk-i-sāni (or second class) defterdars and the shakk-i-sālis (or third class) defterdars. The first named were charged with the duty of revising and duly executing the decisions of the divan respecting the assignment of lands to warriors and the apportioning of conquered territories. They were men of great culture, and many historians, poets and writers belong to this class. The defterdar was practically the minister of finance. The reïs was the secretary-general of the divan, and in more modern times became minister for foreign affairs. The defter emini kept the registers for the nishanji, whose place he took on emergency, the others acted as secretaries and clerks.
The military class was divided into two categories: (1) the regular paid troops who were quartered in barracks and were known as “slaves of the palace”; (2) the feudal levies who received no pay and were called upon to serve only in war-time. The Janissaries (q.v.) belonged to the first category. The rigid regulations for admission to their ranks were soon relaxed : at the close of the Persian war in 1590 their total amounted to 50,000. The regular troops comprised also armourers (jebeji), from 6000 to 8000 men, and six squadrons of cavalry; these were recruited in the same way as the Janissaries, and their numbers were raised by Murad III. to 20,000. There were also bostanjis, or forest-guards, numbering about 5000, besides local troops in distant and frontier provinces, and about 20,000 akinjis, or light troops, in Europe, who carried out forays in the enemies' country.
The fiefs were not hereditary, and were held directly from the sultan. On the conquest of a country the lands were apportioned by the nishanjis, who first computed the tithe revenue of each village, its population, woods, pasturage, &c.; and divided it into the three classes of fiefs (khās, ziamet and timar), or into vakŭf (pious endowments) or pasturage. Any estate with a revenue exceeding 100,000 aspres was a khās, and was conferred on a prince or on a high dignitary as long as he held his post; for each 5000 aspres of revenue one armed warrior had to be furnished in war. Fiefs with a revenue of from 20,000 to 100,000 aspres were called ziamets and were conferred on similar terms on inferior officers, usually for life or during good behaviour. Fiefs with a revenue of from 3000 to 20,000 aspres were timars, furnishing one armed warrior for every 3000 aspres' revenue; the grant of a fief was conditional on obligatory residence. The peasants owning the land remained undisturbed in their proprietorship, paying to their feudal lord the tithe, as well as the fixed duties on transfer, &c. Abuses in the system first began in the time of Khosrev Pasha, Suleiman's grand vizier.
The governors of the more distant provinces enjoyed a considerable amount of independence, which in the case of the Barbary states was more or less complete; these entered into treaties with foreign powers, and by their piratical outrages frequently caused the Porte considerable embarrassment. The sherīf of the Hejaz, Abu-’l-berekāt, made submission to Sultan Selim I. After the subjugation of the Yemen, the absorption of the holy places was also attempted, and in Suleiman's reign judges were appointed thither from Constantinople. But it was found politic to continue the office of the grand sherīf of Mecca in the sherifian family.
The princes of the Crimea were invested with many of the prerogatives of independence, e.g. that of coining money; the ruler of Transylvania was allowed to retain the royal title, nor were Turkish troops quartered in the country. The Danubian principalities were also ruled by native princes until the Phanariote period (see Phanariotes).
On the 17th of February 1568, two years after the accession of Suleiman's son Selim, peace was concluded with Austria Selim II., 1566–1574. on the basis of the former terms, the emperor Maximilian having sent ambassadors to congratulate the new sultan on his accession. A disastrous attack on Astrakhan, with the object of carrying out Sokolli's plan for uniting the Don and the Volga, first brought the Turks into collision with the Russians. Expeditions against the Yemen and Cyprus were successful, but the loss of Cyprus, accompanied as it was by the barbarous murder of the Venetian commander, Marco Antonio Bragadino, by the seraskier pasha Mustafa's orders, in violation of the terms of the capitulation of Famagusta (August 1571), roused the bitter resentment of the Venetians, previously incensed by Turkish raids on Crete. Already, on the 25th of May, had been concluded the holy league between the pope, Venice and Spain for a new crusade against the infidel, in spite of the efforts of France to prevent the adhesion of the republic. Preparations were hurried on and at the end of September the great allied fleet, under Don John of Austria, sailed into the archipelago. On the 7th of October was fought the naval battle of Lepanto, which broke for ever the tradition of the invincibility of the Turks at sea. The immediate results of the battle were not, however, as decisive as might have been expected. In June 1572 a fresh Ottoman fleet of 250 sail took the sea; and the jealousy of the allies and the incompetence of their commanders made any repetition of their former victory impossible. After a series of indecisive engagements Venice broke from the league and, under the mediation of France, concluded a treaty with the Porte practically on the basis of uti possidetis (March 7, 1573). With Spain the war continued, and on the 24th of August 1574 Tunis—which had been taken by Don John of Austria in 1572—was recaptured by the Turks, who from this new base proceeded, under Sinan Pasha and Kilij Ali, to ravage Sicily. In the same year Selim II. died. Known in history as the “Sot,” he had allowed his able grand vizier Mahommed Sokolli to rule the country.
The character of Murad III., who succeeded his father Selim II. at the age of twenty-eight, was not calculated to arrest Murad III., 1574–1595. the progress of decay within the Ottoman Empire. He was a weakling, swayed by his favourites in the harem, especially by his Venetian wife Safié; and, though he kept Sokolli in office, he was suspicious of the too powerful vizier, whose wise influence he allowed his minions to undermine. Thus eminent servants of the state such as Mustafa Pasha, Sokolli's nephew—who for twelve years had ruled the sanjak of Budapest with conspicuous enlightenment and success were deposed or executed to make way for the nominees of the harem. In even weightier matters the opinion of the grand vizier was slighted. Thus it was against his advice that, at the beginning of 1578, advantage was taken of the disorders arising on the death of Shah Tahmasp of Persia to attack that country. The war lasted for twelve years, during which Tiflis, Shirvan and Daghestan were taken; finally Shah Abbas established himself on the Persian throne and in 1590 made peace with Turkey, who retained her conquests in Georgia, Azerbāijān and Shirvan. But this short-sighted policy is criticized by Turkish historians, who censure Murad III. for thus weakening the neighbouring Mussulman states such as Persia and Daghestan, thereby facilitating Russia's future expansion at their cost. Sokolli's assassination, on the 11th of October 1578, had meanwhile thrown the ccomtry into disorder. There was now no authority left to hold in check the corrupt influences of the harem. The avenues to power were through bribery and yet more unspeakable paths; the fiefs which formed the basis of the feudal array were bestowed on favourites' favourites, or sold to the highest bidder, and the sultan himself shared in the corrupt plunder. At last that final expedient of weak governments, the debasing of the coinage, led to a crisis. In 1589 mutinies of troops took place all over the empire, and in the two following years there were several risings of the Janissaries at Constantinople, the pretext being everywhere that the soldiers were being robbed of their pay. At this juncture a fresh crisis in the relations with Austria arose. The peace concluded in 1568 and thrice renewed (in 1573, 1576 and 1584) had not prevented the continuance of raids and forays, from either side of the frontier, that at times assumed the dimensions of regular campaigns. The climax came in 1593. All through the preceding year Hassan “Tilli,” beylerbey of Bosnia, had raided in Croatia, taking border fortresses and driving off the inhabitants into slavery. In June 1593, with an army of 30,000 men, he laid siege to Sissek; the Austrian and Hungarian levies hurried to its relief; and on the 22nd the Turks were routed with immense slaughter on the banks of the Kulpa, Hassan himself, with many other beys and two of the imperial princes, being among the slain. Though not yet formally declared, the “long war” was now in full progress. In August, Sinan Pasha, the grand vizier—now eighty years of age—took command of the troops for the Hungarian War and left Constantinople, dragging with him the Austrian ambassador in chains. The capture of Veszprém and of Raab (1594) and the failure of the archduke Matthias to take Gran seemed to promise another rapid victory of the Ottoman arms; but Sinan was ill-supported from Constantinople, the situation was complicated by the revolt of Walachia and Moldavia, and the war was destined to last, with varying fortunes, for fourteen years. On the 16th of January 1595 Murad III. died.
In spite of the internal corruption which, under Murad III., heralded the decay of the empire, the prestige of the Ottomans in Europe was maintained during his reign. Even the emperor had to be content to be treated by the sultan as an inferior and tributary prince; while France had to suffer, with no more than an idle protest, the insult of the conversion of Catholic churches at Constantinople into mosques. In spite of frequent causes of friction, good relations were maintained with Venice, through the influence of the sultana Safié, and the capitulations with the republic of St Mark were renewed in 1589. Those with France were also renewed (July 6, 1581); and capitulations were signed for the first time with the grand duke of Tuscany (1578) and with England (1580). In the following year permanent diplomatic relations were established by England with the Porte by the despatch of William Harebone as ambassador, Queen Elizabeth urging as her special claim to the sultan's friendship their common mission to fight “idolaters.”
The new sultan, Mahommed III., Murad's son, succeeded to the throne at a moment when the Turkish arms were suffering reverses in Hungary and in the revolted Danubian provinces; Mahommed III., 1595–1603. the Janissaries, too, were ill-content and mutinous, and to put an end to their murmurings Mahommed was persuaded by Sinan Pasha to lead them to the war in person. The immediate effect was good; Erlau was captured in October 1596, and a three days' battle in the plain of Keresztes (Oct. 23 to 26) ended in the disastrous rout of the allied troops under the archduke Maximilian and Sigismund, prince of Transylvania. But the Turks did not profit much by their victory. The new grand vizier, Cicala, by his severity to the soldiers, mainly Asiatics, who had shown cowardice in the battle, drove thousands to desert; and the sultan, who had himself little stomach for the perils of campaigning, returned to Constantinople, leaving the conduct of the war to his generals. The campaign of 1598 began with the loss of Raab, and continued unfavourable to the Turks, who lost Totis, Veszprém and Pápa, and were hard pressed in Budapest. In October want of supplies and a mutiny of the Janissaries compelled the commander-in-chief to retreat into winter quarters at Belgrade. In 1599 the first peace overtures were made, but came to nothing; and the confused fighting of this and the following year culminated in the capture of Kanizsa by the Turks (September 1600). The attempt of the archduke Ferdinand, at the head of 30,000 men, to retake it a year later was defeated. In August 1602 Székesfehérvár again fell into the hands of the Turks; in November the siege of Buda by the archduke Matthias, who had taken Pest by storm, was raised by the grand vizier Hassan.
Trouble had, however, meanwhile broken out in other parts of the Ottoman dominions. The deserters from Cicala's army, distributed in armed bands throughout Asia Minor, had become centres round which all the elements of discontent gathered, and formed the mainstay of the Jellali sectaries who, at this time, rose in insurrection and ravaged Anatolia. In Constantinople, early in 1603, there was, moreover, a serious rising of the spahis; and, finally, in September Shah Abbas of Persia took advantage of what is known in Turkish history as “the year of insurrections” to declare war and reconquer Tabriz. In the midst of this crisis, on the 22nd of December 1603, Sultan Mahommed III. died, and was succeeded by his elder son, Ahmed I., a boy of fourteen.
Though negotiations for peace were at once begun, it was not till three years after Ahmed's accession that the peace of Ahmed I., 1603–1617. Sitvatorok, concluded on the 11th of November 1606, at last put an end to the war in Europe. By this treaty the annual tribute payable by Austria was abolished, but an indemnity of 200,000 florins was paid “once for all” by the emperor, who was henceforth to be given his proper imperial title (padishah) in Turkish official documents. The peace of Sitvatorok (or Zeideva, as it is also called) marks the close of Turkey's period of conquest. No longer haughtily imposed on the vanquished, as was the case with former treaties, it was submitted to the examination and discussion of both parties before being signed. It freed Austria from the humiliating tribute to which the treaty of 1547 had subjected her, and established relations between the two monarchs on a footing of equality. It was thus the first manifest sign of Turkey's decadence from the glory of Suleiman I.'s reign, when King Ferdinand stooped to call the sultan's vizier his brother. For the remainder of the reign the Persian War was continued fitfully, a treaty of peace, signed in 1611, not being observed.
In 1617 the sultan died, and was succeeded by his brother Mustafa; but the latter being declared incompetent to reign, Mustafa I., 1617–1618 and Osman II., 1618–1622. his brother Osman took his place on the throne. The war in Persia was terminated by the renewal in 1618 of the treaty of 1611, whereby all the conquests effected by Murad III. and Mahommed III. were given up. Peace, however, left the rebellious Janissaries leisure to engage in plots against the sultan, and in order to occupy them and to remove them from the capital advantage was taken of the king of Poland having intervened in the affairs of Transylvania and the principalities to declare war against him. Osman marched against Khotin, but failed to capture it, and his unpopularity with the army was increased by rumours that he designed to collect such troops as were loyal to him, under pretence of going on pilgrimage to Mecca, in order to destroy the Janissaries and reform the country. They therefore rose and dethroned him, soon afterwards putting him to death. For a few months Mustafa was replaced on the throne; when he abdicated in Mustafa I., 1622–1623, and Murad IV., 1623–1640. favour of nis nephew Murad IV. Turkey seemed to be at the point of dissolution. Profiting by the mutiny of the army, the Persians invaded Turkey, capturing Bagdad; at Constantinople and in the provinces alike anarchy was everywhere prevalent. This continued until the new sultan had acquired age and experience; but, nine years after his accession, he successfully crushed the military rebels, and thereafter ruled with a severity amounting to bloodthirsty cruelty. In 1638 he marched in person against the Persians and succeeded in recapturing Bagdad. Peace was made in 1639, leaving the Turco-Persian frontier practically as it now stands. In the next year the sultan died at the age of thirty-one, being succeeded by his brother Ibrahim. In his reign the Cossacks were driven from Azov and the expedition against Crete was begun, the immediate Ibrahim, 1640–1648. cause being the plunder of a Turkish vessel by Maltese corsairs who took their capture to Crete. War was therefore declared against Venice, to whom Crete belonged (1644), and continued in the island for twenty-five years.
The anarchy and misgovernment of Turkey now reached such a pitch that Ibrahim was dethroned and murdered, and Mahomed IV., 1648–1687. his son Mahommed IV. was proclaimed in his stead. For the first eight years of his reign successive grand viziers were unable to restore order to the country. In 1656 Mahommed Kuprili (q.v.) became grand vizier, and by dint of firmness and resolution repaired the falling fortunes of the country. The fleet was restored, and recaptured Lemnos and other islands which had passed into the hands of the Venetians; the revolts caused by Kuprili's severity were put down, and tranquillity was re-established in Transylvania. After five years' tenure of office the grand vizier died and was succeeded by his son, Ahmed Kuprili. In 1663 the disturbances which had broken out again in Transylvania led to war with Austria. Ahmed Kuprili attacked the Austrians, at first with success, but was routed by Montecuculi at the battle of St Gotthard Abbey and eventually consented to the treaty of Vasvár (Aug. 10, 1664), by which a twenty years' truce was agreed upon; Transylvania was evacuated by both parties, but remained tributary to Turkey. The Kuprilis, both father and son, had by their haughty and uncompromising demeanour done much to alienate the old-standing friendship with France, and at the battle of St Gotthard 6000 French, under Coligny, fought on the Austrian side. The result was that the Turks in retaliation deprived the Catholics, always under the protection of France, of some of their privileges in connexion with the holy places, which were now granted to the Orthodox Church. Meanwhile the Cretan campaign continued, and here also France lent her aid to the Venetians; this assistance could not, however, prevent the capture of Candia in 1669; on the 5th of September of that year Morosini, the Venetian commander, signed a treaty of peace with the Turks by which, after twenty-five years' warfare, they were placed in possession of the fortress of Candia, and with it of the effective rule over the whole island, Venice retaining only the fortresses of Suda, Grabusa and Spinalonga, and the islets along the coast.
Dissensions among the Cossacks led to the recognition by Turkey of Doroshenko, the hetman of the Sari Kamish, as ruler of the Ukraine; the Zaporog Cossacks, his antagonists, applied for aid to Russia. However, Michael Wiesnowiecki, king of Poland, considering the Ukraine as under his protection, sought to intervene, with the result that Turkey declared war against him (1672). The Turks captured Kamenets, Lemberg and Lublin. Hereupon the Poles sued for peace, and a treaty was signed at Buczacs (Oct. 18, 1672) whereby Podolia was ceded to Turkey, the Ukraine was left to the Cossacks, and Poland agreed to pay to Turkey an annual tribute of 22,000 sequins. But John Sobieski, who succeeded shortly afterwards to the throne of Poland, refused to abide by the terms of this treaty; the war was renewed and continued for four years, when the treaty of Buczacs was reaffirmed at Zuravno by both parties, the tribute clause alone being abrogated (Oct. 16, 1676). A few days later Ahmed Kuprili died.
Doroshenko now deserted the Turkish alliance for the Russian; in consequence an expedition was sent into the Ukraine which was both costly and useless. In 1678 the Turks succeeded in taking Cehrin, but their losses were very heavy, and on the 8th of January 1681 a treaty was signed at Radzyn whereby the territory in dispute was ceded to Russia. A revolt of the Hungarian Protestants, in consequence of the persecuting policy of the house of Habsburg, now led to a renewal of the war between Turkey and Austria, due in part to the overweening ambition of Kuprili's successor, Kara Mustafa, who desired to immortalize his tenure of office by some great exploit, and who cherished dreams of founding for himself a western Moslem Empire. The war is blamed by Turkish historians as unjustifiable and untimely, the country needing reform. A vast Turkish army marched to the walls of Vienna and closely beleaguered the imperial city, from which the emperor and his court fled. All hope seemed lost, when by a brilliant feat of arms John Sobieski, king of Poland, drove away the besiegers in hopeless confusion and saved the cause of Christianity, 1683. This was the signal for a general coalition against Turkey; Venice, Poland and the pope allied themselves with the Austrians; Russia, Tuscany and Malta joined in the attack. Turkey now sought for a rapprochement with France, and endeavoured to bring about her intervention in return for concessions as regards the holy places. But the French had just before bombarded Algiers and Tripoli, even menacing Chios (Scio), where some pirates had put in with French captives; and the mediation of France was not very actively exercised. One after another the Hungarian forts were captured by the Austrians; the Venetians were equally successful in Greece and the Morea; the Russians pressed on the Crimea, and Sobieski besieged Kamenets. The troops now mutinied and deposed the sultan, placing his brother Suleiman on the throne. But the disorder in the army and the administration continued, and the advance of the Austrians and the Venetians met Suleiman II., 1687–1691. with little opposition. In this emergency Mustafa Kuprili (q.v.) was appointed grand vizier (1689). His prudent measures at once re-established some degree of order in the army and the fleet, while he sought by a wise tolerance to improve the position and conciliate the sympathies of the non-Moslem subject races. At first eminently successful, he drove the Austrians across the Danube, recapturing Nish, Vidin, Semendria and Belgrade; repulses were also inflicted on the Venetians and the Russians. In the course of the campaign the sultan died, being succeeded by his brother Ahmed. The successes of the Turks were not maintained, the Austrians inflicting on them a crushing defeat at Slankamen, where Mustafa Kuprili was killed, and driving Ahmed II., 1691–1695. them from Hungary. After four years of disaster Ahmed died; he was succeeded by his nephew Mustafa. The tide of success now turned again in favour of the Turks, who recaptured Karansebes and Lippa, and at Lugos exterminated by the weight of overwhelming numbers an Austrian force under Field-marshal Count Friedrich von Veterani (1630–1695), the hero of many victories over the Turks, who was killed in the battle. Elsewhere, too, the Ottoman arms were victorious; in February the Venetians suffered a double defeat in the roadstead of Chios, and the island fell into the hands of the Turks. But Prince Eugene's genius restored the Austrian fortunes, Mustafa II., 1695–1703. and the Turks were utterly routed at Zenta on the Theiss, losing more than 15,000 men (1697). Russia, driven from Azov in 1695, succeeded in capturing it in the following year; Venice continued to press the Turks; in this condition of affairs Hussein Kuprili (q.v.) was called to office; England and Holland urged Turkey to make peace, and after long negotiations a series of treaties were concluded in January 1699 at Karlowitz, that with Poland being signed on the 16th and those with Austria and Venice on the 26th. The main provisions of these were, that Turkey retained the Banat, while Austria kept Transylvania; Poland restored the places captured in Moldavia, but retained Kamenets, Podolia and the Ukraine; Venice restored her conquests north of Corinth, but kept those in the Morea and Dalmatia. On the 4th, Russia concluded a two years' armistice, but remained in possession of Azov, which was formally ceded to her by the definitive treaty of peace signed at Constantinople on the 13th of June 1700. The peace of Karlowitz marks the definitive termination of Turkey's power of offence in Europe. Apart from the heavy losses which it imposed on her, it constitutes a fresh departure in her history, as putting an end to her splendid isolation and rendering her dependent on the changes of European politics. It is noteworthy also as being the first occasion on which representatives of the mediating powers took part in the peace negotiations. The grand vizier's efforts to take advantage of the peace to introduce order in the country were unavailing; he was driven from office, and disorders ensued which led to the sultan's abdication.
The troubles were not ended by the accession of Ahmed III., and many high dignitaries of state were sacrificed to the Ahmed III., 1703–1730. lawlessness and insubordination of the Janissaries. Meanwhile Turkey found herself again involved with Russia. After the defeat of Charles XII. of Sweden at Poltava, this monarch took refuge in Turkey, and was allowed to reside at Bender. The Russians pursued him into Turkish territory; which led to a Turkish declaration of war (1710). The Turks succeeded in surrounding Peter the Great near the Pruth, and his army was menaced with total destruction, when the Turkish commander, the grand vizier Baltaji Mahommed Pasha, was induced by the presents and entreaties of the empress Catherine to sign the preliminary treaty of the Pruth (July 21, 1711), granting terms of peace far more favourable than were justified by the situation of the Russians. These were: the cession to Turkey of Azov with all its guns and munitions, the razing of all the forts recently built on the frontier by Russia, the renunciation by the tsar of all claim to interfere with the Tatars under the dominion of the Crimea or Poland, or to maintain a representative at Constantinople, and Russia's consent to Charles's return to Sweden. It was long, however, before the latter relieved Turkey of his presence. During the campaign Peter had entered into alliance with the hospodars of Moldavia and Walachia, respectively Demetrius Cantemir and Constantine Brancovano, from whom he had received material assistance. These were naturally dismissed after the defeat of the Russians; the former made good his escape to Russia, the latter was executed. The sultan determined henceforth to appoint Greeks to the principalities as more likely to be subservient to his will than the natives hitherto appointed. This system was continued until the Greek insurrection of 1821.
Russia having thus lost all the advantage gained by the peace of Karlowitz, Venice was next taken in hand, she having invaded the Bosnian frontier and incited the Montenegrins to revolt, besides capturing Turkish ships in the Mediterranean. These acts were held to be infractions of the treaty, and war was declared (1715). The result was the stamping out of the insurrection in Montenegro and the capture of the whole of the Morea. The fleet also took Tinos and Cerigo, as well as the three forts still remaining to the Venetians in Crete. Turkey's action, and the preparations being made for the siege of Corfu, now brought about the intervention of Austria. Charles VI., weary of the war for the Spanish succession, had shortly before concluded the peace of Rastadt (1715) and was anxious that Venice should not be too hardly pressed. He therefore urged Turkey to give up to Venice certain places in Dalmatia as a compensation for the loss of the Morea. The Porte was at first disposed to comply, but the party of resistance finally prevailed. War was declared against Austria (1716); the fleet sailed for Corfu and the army crossed the Save from Belgrade to Semlin. Near Peterwardein a great battle was fought, in which the Austrians completely routed the Turks; pursuing their advantage they took Temesvàr and overran the Banat; in 1717 they captured Belgrade, the Turks retreating to Adrianople. England and Holland now urged their mediation, and after negotiations the treaty of Passarowitz (Pozharevats in Servia) was signed (July 21, 1718); Venice ceded the Morea to Turkey but kept the strongholds she had occupied in Albania and Dalmatia; Belgrade, Temesvar and Walachia as far as the Olt were retained by Austria.
Meanwhile relations with Russia continued strained. The peace of 1712 had been concluded only for a term of years, and the neglect of the tsar to carry out its provisions had all but led to a fresh outbreak of hostilities when the intervention of the other powers led in 1713 to the renewal of the treaty; and in November 1720 it was superseded by a treaty of “perpetual peace,” signed at Constantinople. But, though the questions at issue between Russia and Turkey in Poland and the northern littoral of the Black Sea were thus for the time settled, the aggressive designs of Russia in the Caucasus and in Persia soon caused a renewal of anxiety at Constantinople. Again war all but broke out; but, through the intervention of France, a treaty of partition was signed at Constantinople on the 23rd of June 1724, whereby the shores of the Caspian from the junction of the Kur and the Arras (Araxes) northwards should belong to Russia, while the western provinces of Persia should fall to the share of Turkey. These provinces had not yet been conquered by Turkey; and, when a part of them had been taken, a treaty was concluded with the Afghan Ashraf Shah, who had risen to supreme power in Persia, by which Turkey should retain them on condition of recognizing him as shah (Oct. 23, 1727). But Nadir Kuli Khan came forward as the champion of Shah Tahmasp II., the rightful ruler, and drove the Turks from these provinces, capturing Tabriz. This news caused consternation at Constantinople; the inevitable revolt of the Janissaries followed, headed this time by one Patrona Khalil, and the sultan was forced to abdicate in favour of his nephew Mahmud. With difficulty the rebellion Mahmud I., 1730–1734. was suppressed; in 1733 the war with Persia was resumed, and after three years of fighting Nadir succeeded in 1736 in inducing Turkey to recognize him as shah of Persia and to restore the territory captured since the reign of Murad IV.
Russia's designs on Poland now brought about war. On the death of Augustus II., king of Poland (1733), France had War of Polish Succession. put forward as candidate Stanislaus Leszczynski, Louis XV.'s father-in-law. Austria and Russia supported Augustus III., elector of Saxony, and the empress Anne marched an army into Poland and compelled the election of her candidate, though Russia had bound herself by the treaty of 1711 and again by that of 1720 to abstain from all interference with Poland. France thereupon declared war against Russia and her ally Austria, and her envoy, the marquis de Villeneuve, urged Turkey to join by representing the danger of allowing Russian influence to extend. Turkey had cause of complaint against Russia for refusing to allow the Crimean troops to march through Daghestan during the Persian campaign, and on the 28th of May 1736, war was declared, in spite of the efforts of England and Holland. The Russians had not waited for the formal declaration of war; and on the very day that this was notified by the hanging out of the horse-tails before the Seraglio at Constantinople a Russian army under Marshal Münnich stormed the ancient wall that guarded the isthmus of the Crimea. While Münnich conducted a systematic devastation of the peninsula, forces were detached under his lieutenants Leontiev and Lascy to attack Kinburn (Kiiburun) and Azov. Both these places fell; and in July of the following year Münnich captured Ochakov. Meanwhile the western sea-powers had made earnest efforts to restore peace, and in August 1737 the plenipotentiaries of the combatant powers met at Niemirov to arrange terms under their mediation. But Austria, which had made a great show of seconding their efforts, now began to unmask her real aims, which were to take advantage of Turkey's embarrassments to push her own claims in the principalities and the Balkan Peninsula. To the refusal of the sultan's representatives to concede any of her demands, Austria replied by revealing the existence of an alliance with Russia, which she threatened to make actively offensive if her terms were refused. In November the conferences broke up; in the spring of the following year Austrian divisions advanced simultaneously into Bosnia, Servia and Walachia; and in July the main army, under the prince of Lorraine, crossed the frontier and captured Nish. In spite of this initial success, however, the campaign proved disastrous to the Austrians; and France, which had meanwhile come to terms with the emperor, endeavoured to mediate a peace in conjunction with Sweden and Holland. But the Ottomans, though the negotiations continued throughout 1738, were in no hurry to come to terms; for the tide of war had turned against both Austrians and Russians; Ochakov and Kinburn were recaptured; and the victorious Turks crossed the Danube and penetrated far into the Banat. Not till the middle of 1739 would they consent to negotiate seriously for peace. The conferences were opened at the close of July in the camp of the grand vizier, who was pressing Belgrade hard and demanded the surrender of the city as a sine qua non. This was conceded; on the 1st of September, under the mediation of the French ambassador Villeneuve, the preliminaries were signed; on the 4th the grand vizier made his formal entrance into the city, where on the 18th the definitive treaties with Austria and Russia were signed. By the former Austria gave up Belgrade and the places on the right bank of the Save and the Danube which she had gained by the treaty of Passarowitz, together with the Austrian portions of Walachia. The treaty with Russia provided that Azov should be razed and its territory devastated to form a barrier, Russia having the right to erect a new fortress at Cherkask, an island in the Don, near Azov, and Turkey to build one on the border of Kuban near Azov. But Taganrog was not to be refortified, and Russia was to have no war-ships on the sea of Azov or the Black Sea. The Kabardias, great and little, were to remain independent, to serve as a barrier between the two empires. By the 12th article the Ottoman government agreed “amicably to discuss” the question of recognizing the tsar's claim to the imperial title, and by the 13th admitted his right to send to Constantinople representatives of whatever rank he might judge fitting (Noradounghian, Recueil, i. 258).
Scarcely two years after the signature of the treaty of Belgrade sinister rumours reached Constantinople from Persia, where Nadir Shah, on his return from India, was planning an attack on Mesopotamia. The war, which broke out in 1743, was waged with varying fortunes, and the peace by which it was concluded on the 5th of September 1746, beyond stipulating for a few privileges for Persian pilgrims to the holy places, altered nothing in the settlement arranged ten years before with Murad IV. In the war of the Austrian Succession, which followed the accession of Maria Theresa to the Habsburg throne, Turkey, in spite of the urgency of France, would take no share, and she maintained the same attitude in the disorders in Persia following the death of Nadir Shah.
In 1754 the Sultan Mahmud died. He was succeeded by Osman III., 1754–1757. his brother Osman, whose three years' reign was marked by no political event of special importance. Osman III. was succeeded by his cousin Mustafa. At the outset of his reign negotiations Mustafa III., 1757–1773. were actively pursued for the conclusion of a treaty with Prussia, to counteract the alliance between France and Austria contracted in 1756; and these resulted in the signature of Capitulations, or a treaty of friendship and commerce (March 22, 1761). The attitude of the northern powers, however, and especially of Russia, towards Poland was beginning to excite the sultan's liveliest suspicions; and these the accession, in 1762, of the masterful Catherine II. to the Russian throne was not calculated to allay. In 1763, Catherine took advantage of the death of Augustus III. of Poland to force her favourite, Stanislaus Poniatowski, on to the vacant throne. From the committee of patriots at Warsaw complaints and warnings were carried to Constantinople; and the cession of Podolia was offered as the price of a Turkish attack on Russia. The sultan, though inclined to take up the cause of the Polish dissidents, was slow to move, and contented himself for a while with protests and threats. But the aggressive policy of Russia in the direction of the Caspian and Black Seas became more and more evident; complaints reached the Porte of a violation of the neutrality of Kabardia, of a seditious propaganda in Moldavia by Russian monks, and of Russian aid given to the malcontents in Servia and Montenegro. Added to all this was the news of the continual Russian military aggressions in Poland, against which the Catholic confederation of Bar continued to appeal for aid. At last, on the 6th of October 1768, on the refusal of the Russian minister to give guarantees for the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Poland and the abandonment of Russia's claim to interfere with the liberties of the republic, war was declared and the Russian representative was imprisoned in the Seven Towers.
The war that followed marks an epoch in the decay of the Ottoman Empire and in the expansion of Russia. When, in the spring of 1769, the first serious campaign was opened by a simultaneous attack by three Russian armies on the principalities, the Crimea and the buffer state of Kabardia, the Turks, in spite of ample warning, were unprepared. They were hampered, moreover, by an insurrection in the Morea, where a Russian expedition under Orlov had stirred up the Mainotes, and by risings in Syria and Egypt. It was not, however, till September that the fall of Khotin in Bessarabia marked the first serious Russian success. The following year was more fatal. In May the Ottoman fleet was attacked and destroyed off Cheshme, and the Russian war-ships threatened to pass the Dardanelles. In June Romanzov's victory at Kartal made him master of the principalities, and by November the fortresses of Izmail and Kilia, guarding the passage of the Danube, and those of Akkerman and Bender on the Dniester had fallen into the hands of the Russians. The campaign of 1771, which opened with a gleam of success in the capture of Giurgevo, proved yet more disastrous to the Turks, the Russians passing the Danube and completing the conquest of the Crimea. Prussia and Austria now offered their mediation; and in June conferences were opened at Focshani, which led to no result. In the following year a conference, from which the Austrian and Prussian representatives were excluded, was opened at Bucharest (November 1772). In February 1773 the Russian plenipotentiary delivered his ultimatum, of which the most important demands were the cession of Kerch, Yenikale and Kinburn, the free navigation of the Black Sea and Archipelago for Russian trading and war vessels, and the recognition of the tsar's right to protect the Orthodox subjects of the sultan. These conditions were submitted to Constantinople, and rejected after a stormy debate in the divan. The conference of Bucharest now broke up, and the war continued. The successful defence of Varna and Silistria seemed to justify the stubbornness of the Porte.
On the 24th of December 1773 Mustafa III. died, and was succeeded by his brother Abd-ul-Hamid I., a weakling, from Abd-ul-Hamid I., 1773–1789. whose character nothing could be expected to retrieve the now desperate fortunes of the war. The exhaustion of the treasury was evidenced by the absence of the usual donative to the troops; and the demoralization in both army and court made further resistance useless. At the beginning of July the Russians, under Kamenskiy, were before Shumla; and a few days later the grand vizier and his army, their communications with the capital severed, were surrounded in the fortress. Negotiations for peace were now opened and on the 21st of July—chosen by the Russian plenipotentiary as the anniversary of the humiliating convention of the Pruth—the treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji was signed. Its terms were the most onerous as yet imposed on the Ottoman sultans. The Tatars Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji, 1774. from the frontier of Poland to the shores of the Caspian, including those of the Crimea and Kuban, were declared independent under their own khan of the race of Jenghiz, saving only the religious rights of the sultan as caliph of Islam. Russia, however, retained the fortresses of Kerch, Yenikale and Kinburn, with the desert country between the Bug and the Dnieper, while Ochakov was left to the Turks. Bessarabia, with the fortresses of Akkerman, Izmail and Kilia, was restored to Turkey. Moldavia and Walachia were likewise restored, but under conditions which practically raised them to the position of semi-independent principalities under Russian protection (art. xvi.). Azov and its district were annexed to Russia, and the two Kabardias were transferred subject to the consent of the khan of the Crimea. Russia undertook to evaluate Mingrelia and Georgia. The recognition of the imperial title (padishah) was at last conceded to the Russian tsars.
Commerce and navigation in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean were free to both countries. Turkey was to pay a war indemnity of 15,000 purses, the Russian fleet was to withdraw and the islands captured by it to be restored. By article vii. of the treaty the Sublime Porte undertook “to protect the Christian religion and its churches” and conceded to the ministers of Russia the specific right to “make representations in favour of the new church” which, under article xiv. of the same treaty, the Russian government was empowered to build, in addition to the embassy chapel “in the street named Bey Oglu.” This article is of great historical importance as forming the basis of the later claim of Russia to possess by treaty the right to protect the Orthodox subjects of the Porte. Poland, the original cause of the war, was not even mentioned in the treaty, having been partitioned in 1772.
After yielding to these hard conditions, Turkey took advantage of her respite to strengthen the frontier defences and to put down the rebellions in Syria and Egypt; some effort was also expended on the hopeless task of reforming the Janissaries. It was not long before Russia showed that it was not the independence but the absorption of the Crimea which she desired. In 1779 a rupture on this account was only averted through the mediation of the French ambassador, coupled with the fact that Turkey was in no condition to enter upon hostilities, owing to the outbreak of plague in her army. The Porte, unable to resist, was obliged to consent to the convention of Ainali Kavak (March 10, 1779) whereby the Russian partisan, Shahin Girai, was recognized as khan of the Crimea, the admission of Russian vessels to navigate Turkish waters was reaffirmed and Russia's right of intervention in the affairs of the Danubian principalities was formally recognized. Five years later Potemkin induced the chiefs of the Crimea and Kuban to hold a meeting at which the annexation of their country to Russia was declared, Turkey giving her consent by a convention, signed at Constantinople, on the 8th of January 1784, by which the stipulations as to the liberty of the Tatars contained in the treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji and the convention of Ainali Kavak were abrogated. In 1786 Catherine made a triumphal progress through the Crimea in company with her ally, Joseph II., who had succeeded to the imperial throne on the death of his mother. These events and the friction caused by mutual complaints of infringements of the treaty stirred up public opinion in Turkey, and the British ambassador lent his support to the war party. In 1788 war was declared, but Turkey's preparations were inadequate and the moment was ill-chosen, now that Russia and Austria were in alliance, a fact of which Turkey became aware only when the horse-tails were planted for the campaign. The Turks drove back the Austrians from Mehadia and overran the Banat (1789); but in Moldavia Romanzov was successful and captured Jassy and Khotin. After a long siege Ochakov fell to Potemkin, and all its inhabitant's were massacred. This news affected the sultan so deeply as to cause his death.
Selim, the late sultan's nephew, who succeeded, made strenuous preparations for continuing the war, but his Selim III., 1789–1807. generals were incompetent and his army mutinous; expeditions for the relief of Bender and Akkerman failed, Belgrade was taken by the Austrians, Izmail was captured by Suvorov, and the fall of Anapa completed the series of Turkey's disasters. Sultan Selim was anxious to restore his country's prestige by a victory before making peace, but the condition of his troops rendered this hope unavailing; while Prussia, though on the 31st of January 1790 she had signed an offensive treaty with Turkey, gave her no help during the war. Accordingly a treaty was signed with Russia at Jassy (Jan. 9, 1792) by which the Crimea and Ochakov were left to Russia, the Dniester was made the frontier in Europe, and the Asiatic frontier remained unchanged. Joseph II. had died, and his successor, Leopold II., was averse from the Russian alliance. Through the mediation of England, Holland and Prussia, Turkey and Austria concluded on the 4th of August 1791 the treaty of Sistova, by which Belgrade and the other conquests made by Austria were restored.
The conclusion of peace was welcomed by Selim as the opportunity for carrying out reforms, of which he thoroughly realized the necessity in every branch of the administration, and especially in the army, to whose defects the disasters of the state were due. Accordingly it was decided to form troops known as nizam-i-jedid, affiliated to the Janissaries so as to disarm the jealousy of the latter, properly drilled and wearing a distinctive uniform. The fleet was reorganized, military schools were established, and skilled instructors were obtained from Europe. These reforms excited much opposition, which was at first unheeded. Meanwhile Turkey came into conflict with The War with France. France. Throughout all the vicissitudes of the Revolution the relations between the two states had remained unimpaired, and Turkey had been one of the first countries to recognize the republic. Bonaparte's sudden occupation of Egypt (1798) came therefore as a complete surprise. This expedition was in reality directed against English rule in India. Nelson's destruction of the French fleet at the battle of the Nile disconcerted Bonaparte's plans; he hoped to pursue his designs through Syria, and laid siege to Acre, which, however, successfully held out. Turkey now joined Great Britain and Russia against France. The Russian and Turkish fleets attacked and took the Ionian Islands, which had become French by the treaty of Campo Formio, and certain towns, hitherto unconquered, on the Albanian coast. An expeditionary force was also sent against Bonaparte, now practically blockaded in Egypt. This was routed and driven into the sea at Abukir (July 15, 1799). For the subsequent operations in Egypt, which ended in its evacuation by the French after the British victory at Alexandria, see Egypt: History.
Meanwhile in Turkey disorder prevailed in almost every province of the empire, and the local governors in many Servian Rising. places became entirely independent, oppressing the people under their rule and often driving them to revolt. This was notably the case in Servia, where the temporary domination of Austria, to which the treaty of Sistova (1791) put an end, had had the effect of awakening the national spirit of the people. But no armed manifestation of revolt had taken place until the lawless and savage conduct of the Janissaries, who had made themselves masters of the country, assisted by the notorious governor of Vidin, Pasvan Oglu, and his band of outlaws, drove the peaceful rayas to rebel. The insurgents chose as their captain one George Petrovich, nicknamed Kara Georgi (i.e. Black George), and under his able leadership succeeded in capturing Belgrade and in breaking the power of the Janissaries. The Porte also sent an army against Pasvan Oglu, but after reducing him to submission reinstated him in his government. A serious outbreak took place at Adrianople in 1804, where 20,000 of the new troops had been sent, ostensibly to put down the revolt in Servia, but really to try to bring about the reform of the European provinces. So strong was the opposition that the troops were recalled, and the anti-reform party was greatly strengthened. The Wahhābi movement in Nejd now began to assume serious proportions. These religious sectaries attacked and plundered all Mussulmans not conforming to their peculiar tenets; they overran Kerbela and the Hejaz, sacking the holy cities and closing the pilgrim routes. Only in the reign of Mahmud II. were they put down (see Wahhabis).
In 1802, by a treaty of peace signed at Paris on the 25th of June, France resumed her former terms of friendship with Complications with Russia. Turkey. Russia, desirous of deriving some return for the support which she had given the sultan during his rupture with the French, induced the Porte to address to her a note in which the right of intervention in the affairs of the principalities, conferred on her by the treaty of Kainarji and reaffirmed in the convention of Ainali Kavak, was converted into a specific stipulation that the hospodars should be appointed in future for seven years and should not be dismissed without the concurrence of the Russian ambassador at Constantinople. In pursuance of this agreement Constantine Ypsilanti was appointed to Walachia and Alexander Muruzi to Moldavia—both devoted to Russian interests. Their intrigues in favour of the Greek and other revolutionary movements induced the Porte to dismiss them in 1806, contrary to the arrangement of 1802. Russia and England hereupon used threatening language, and Turkey replaced the hospodars. But war was nevertheless declared on the 27th of December 1806, and Russia occupied the principalities. The British ambassador sought by every means in his power to induce Turkey to give way to Russia, going so far as to guarantee the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Moldo-Walachia if the Porte remained at peace, and threatening that if Turkey persisted in her opposition England would join with Russia against her. But France's influence, backed by the strong personality of her ambassador, General Sebastiani, was sufficient to enable the sultan to withstand these arguments, and the British ambassador broke off relations and withdrew to the fleet at Tenedos (February 1807). Helped by a strong south wind, the British war-ships passed up the straits and anchored off the Seven Towers. An ultimatum was presented ordering Turkey within twenty-four hours to dismiss the French ambassador, hand over the Turkish fleet, and make peace with Russia. With Sebastiani's encouragement the Porte resisted these demands; in one day a thousand guns were ranged along both sides of the Bosporus; and after a stay of ten days the British fleet was ordered to leave, and was considerably damaged by the fire of the forts while passing down.
Meanwhile the sultan's whole efforts were directed towards the reform of the country; the newly-instituted militia was Revolt against Selim. in every respect a success; it grew in numbers, and hopes were entertained that it would gain popularity. But the Janissaries and the corrupt officials were fundamentally opposed to the scheme, and the conservatives joined with them against such reforms of European origin. The rulers of the provinces shared these views; the consequence was disquiet and confusion throughout the empire. At this difficult moment the army was obliged to march to the Danube, leaving the government in the hands of men hostile to reform. In 1807 the garrisons of the Black Sea forts at the entrance of the straits rose in rebellion, headed by one Kabakji Mustafa, and killed their officers. The sultan sought to appease them by pacific means, but the movement spread to the Janissaries, who insisted upon the abolition of the new troops. But even this concession did not satisfy them; they dethroned Selim and proclaimed his nephew Mustafa. Mustafa IV., 1807–1808. The new sultan was obliged to abolish all the reforms, and during practically the whole of his fourteen months' reign the Janissaries were in rebellion, even while facing the Russians. All officers who were partisans of the reforms were obliged to take refuge in flight; and Turkey's position would have been desperate but for the conclusion of the peace of Tilsit (July 7, 1807) between Russia and France, to which Turkey also became a party. The army hereupon retired to Adrianople, and the powerful pasha of Rustchuk, Mustafa Baïrakdar, who had distinguished, himself by his resistance to the Russians, and who thoroughly shared Selim's desire for reform, was now induced by the many officers who held similar views to march on Constantinople to restore Selim to the throne. But he arrived too late; Selim had already been killed; the unworthy Mustafa was put to Mahmud II., 1808–1839. death, and Mahmud, the sole survivor of the house of Osman, became sultan. Mustafa Baïrakdar, was now raised to the dignity of grand vizier, succeeded in inspiring the Janissaries with a wholesome respect, due to their dread of the 10,000 irregulars known as kirjalis by whom he was accompanied. The remnants of the abolished new troops were collected and formed into regiments affiliated to the Janissaries under the name of seymen-i-jedid; the dignitaries of state were called upon to take an oath of fidelity and loyalty. The feast of Ramazan hereupon occurring, the grand vizier unwisely allowed his own troops to disperse. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the Janissaries rose by night and besieged the house of the grand vizier, who eventually blew himself up in the arsenal. Fighting became general and extended to the fleet, which bombarded the capital. The Janissaries slaughtered all the “new troops” whom they met, and finally extorted an amnesty from the terrified government.
After the peace of Tilsit an armistice had been agreed upon with Russia (Aug. 24, 1807). Turkey was at this time the Treaty of Bucharest; Troubles in Servia. only neutral state in Europe; it was of vital importance that she should not be absorbed into the Napoleonic system, as in that case Russia would have been exposed to a simultaneous attack from France, Austria, Turkey and Persia. Accordingly, though France made every attempt to induce Turkey to adopt her side, the young Stratford Canning succeeded in causing the resumption of the peace negotiations at Bucharest, broken off through Russia's terms being considered too onerous, and followed by the capture of Izmail and Bender. The British diplomatist secured his first triumph in the signature of the treaty of Bucharest (May 28, 1812) whereby Khotin, Bender, Kilia and Akkerman were left to Russia; the frontier was fixed at the Pruth; the Asiatic boundary was slightly modified. The treaties as to the principalities were renewed; and though Servia was restored to the direct rule of Turkey it was stipulated that clemency was to be observed in the Forte's dealings with the country, which was given the power of regulating its own affairs.
The vagueness of these latter provisions at once gave rise to disputes, and in 1813 the Turkish troops occupied the country. The new pasha of Belgrade appointed one Milosh Obrenovich headman of his own district, but a few years later Milosh raised a successful revolt, drove out the Turks, and re-established Servian semi-independence. Karageorge, who had fled to Austria in 1812, was induced to return, but Milosh caused him to be murdered, and in 1817 was by a popular vote named hereditary prince of Servia.
The affairs of Servia, however, were not the only question left unsettled by the treaty of Bucharest. In the course of the war with Persia Russia had received permission from the Ottoman government to use, for a limited time, the easy road from the Black Sea to Tiflis by way of the valley of the Rion (Phasis) for the transport of troops and supplies, and this permission had been several times renewed. Wishing to make this important privilege permanent, Russia by secret articles of the Treaty of Bucharest had secured the cession of this district, in return for an undertaking to destroy the forts of Kilia and Izmail on the Danube. But the sultan refused to ratify these articles, and the relations between Russia and Turkey were therefore determined by the patent treaty only, which positively stipulated for the evacuation by the Russians of every spot occupied by them on Turkish soil in Asia. When the Russians showed no signs of withdrawing from the valley of the Rion, the sultan threatened to renew the war, the sole result of which was to reveal the determination of the tsar not to be bullied into concessions. The dispute, at first of little importance, developed in seriousness during the next year or two, owing to the avowed intention of Russia, which by conquest or treaties with independent chiefs had acquired all the high land between the Caspian and the Black Sea, to take possession of the low lands along the coast, between Anapa and Poti, of which the sultan claimed the sovereignty.
Such was the situation when the question of a European guarantee of Turkey was raised at the Congress of Vienna. Congress of Vienna. In view of the multiple dangers to which the Ottoman Empire was exposed, both from without and from within, and of the serious consequences to the world's peace which would result from its break-up, there was a strong feeling among the powers in favour of such a guarantee, and even the emperor Alexander was willing to agree to it in principle. But nothing could be done until the Porte should have come to terms with Russia as to the Treaty of Bucharest; for, as the British ambassador, Sir Robert Listen, was instructed to point out to the Ottoman government, “it is impossible to guarantee the possession of a territory of which the limits are not determined.” With the consent of the tsar, it was proposed to submit the questions at issue to the decision of Great Britain, France and Austria; and the Porte was informed that, in the event of its accepting this arrangement, the powers would at once proceed to guarantee the integrity of the Ottoman Empire. But the sultan could not bend his pride to suffer foreign intervention in a matter that touched his honour, and the return of Napoleon from Elba threw the Eastern Question into the background. The Ottoman Empire thus remained outside the European concert; Russia maintained her claim to a special right of isolated intervention in its affairs; and the renewal of war between Russia and Turkey was only postponed by the preoccupation of Alexander with his dream of the “Confederation of Europe.”
Meanwhile, within the Ottoman Empire there was every sign of a rapidly approaching disintegration. In Egypt Mehemet Egypt. Ali had succeeded in establishing himself as quasi-independent ruler of the country. By his action during Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion, and later when the British fleet after leaving Constantinople in 1807 proceeded to Egypt, he had to some extent acquired the goodwill of the Turkish government. In 1811 he was called upon by the Porte to put down the Wahhābi insurgents (see Arabia, vol. ii. p. 268), his success in this matter, and especially in the recovery of the holy cities, adding greatly to his prestige.
Sultan Mahmud now devoted himself to breaking the overgrown power of the local governors, which had for many years practically annihilated that of the central authority. Their extortions impoverished the whole country, yet the abolition of the system might perhaps have been carried out more gradually and with greater precaution, and Turkey more than once felt the want of their aid, questionable as its value often was. Thus Greek Revolt. Ali (q.v.), Pasha of Iannina, the most famous of these, though insubordinate and inclined to intrigue with foreign powers in the hope of making himself independent, had used his influence to keep the Greeks quiet; and it was only after his power had been broken in 1821 that the agitation of the Hetairia issued in widespread dangerous revolt. The first hope of emancipation from the Turkish yoke had been founded by the Greeks on Peter the Great, who had planned the expulsion of the Turks from Europe and had caused the inscription “Petrus I., Russo-Graecorum Monarcha” to be placed beneath his portrait engraved at Amsterdam. Catherine II. following in his footsteps, aspired to found a Greek empire, the throne of which was to be occupied by her nephew, Constantine, specially so baptized, and brought up by Greek nurses (see Constantine Pavlovich). During the war of 1770 the Greeks had risen in an abortive rebellion, promptly crushed by the Turks. But the idea of liberation continued to grow, and about 1780 the Society of Friends (Ἑταιρία τῶν φιλικῶν) was founded at Bucharest by the fervent patriot and poet, Constantinos Rhigas (q.v.). The secret organization, temporarily checked by Rhigas's arrest and execution in 1798, was revived at Odessa in 1814; it extended throughout Turkey, and in 1820 the insurrection took shape, a favourable opportunity being afforded by the outbreak of hostilities between Ali Pasha and the Porte. (See Greek Independence, War of.)
On the 6th of March 1821 Prince Alexander Ypsilanti, son of the hospodar Constantine, and a general in the Russian service, crossed the Pruth, proclaiming the revolt of the Greeks against the sultan and the intention to restore the Greek Empire of the East. But in the principalities, where the Vlach peasants regarded the Phanariots as worse oppressors than the Turks, the movement had little chance of success; it was doomed from the moment that the emperor Alexander disavowed Ypsilanti's claim to his support (see Alexander I.). After some initial successes the Greeks were finally routed at the battle of Dragashani (June 19, 1821). It was far otherwise with the insurrection which broke out at the beginning of April in the Morea. The Mussulman population of the Morea, taken unawares, was practically exterminated during the fury of the first few days; and, most fatal of all, the defection of the Greeks of the islands crippled the Ottoman navy by depriving it of its only effective sailors. The barbarous reprisals into which Sultan Mahmud allowed himself to be carried away only accentuated the difficulty of the situation. The execution of the patriarch Gregorios, as technically responsible for the revolt, was an outrage to all Christendom; and it led at once to a breach of diplomatic relations with Russia.
To prevent this breach developing into war was now the chief study of the chanceries. Public opinion throughout Europe was violently excited in favour of the Greeks; and this Philhellenic sentiment was shared even by some of the statesmen who most strenuously deprecated any interference in their favour. For at the outset Metternich was not alone in maintaining that the war should be allowed to burn itself out “beyond the pale of civilization.” The mutual slaughter of barbarians in the Levant seemed, even to George Canning, a lesser evil than a renewed Armageddon in Europe; and all the resources of diplomacy were set in motion to heal the rupture between Turkey and Russia. In spite of the emperor Alexander's engagements to the Grand Alliance and the ideal of European peace, this was no easy matter; for the murder of the patriarch was but the culmination of a whole series of grievances accumulated since the Treaty of Bucharest. Moreover, the Porte was thrown into a suspicious mood by the contrast between the friendly language of the western powers and the active sympathy of the western peoples for the Greeks, who were supported by volunteers and money drawn from all Europe. But, though the sultan remained stubborn, the emperor Alexander, who since the Congress of Laibach had been wholly under Metternich's influence, resisted the clamour of his people for war, and dismissed his Greek minister Capo d'Istria (q.v.). The Congress of Verona (1822) passed without any serious developments in the Eastern Question.
The stubborn persistence of the Greeks, however, dashed Metternich's hope that the question would soon settle itself, and produced a state of affairs in the Levant which necessitated some action. In the instructions drawn up, shortly before his death, for his guidance at Verona, Castlereagh had stated the possibility of the necessity for recognizing the Greeks as belligerents if the war continued. The atrophy of the Ottoman sea-power had left the archipelago at the mercy of the Greek war-brigs; piracy flourished; and it became essential in the interests of the commerce of all nations to make some power responsible for the policing of the narrow seas. On the 25th of March 1823 accordingly, Canning announced the recognition by Great Britain of the belligerent character of the Greeks.
This roused the emperor Alexander to action, since it seemed as though Great Britain was aiming at ousting Russian influence in the Levant. He suggested a joint intervention of the powers; but the conference, which met at St Petersburg in April 1824, came to nothing, since Turkey and the Greeks alike refused to be bound by its decisions, and Canning would not hear of coercion being applied to either. The sole outcome of the conference was the offer in March 1825 of the joint mediation of Austria and Russia, which the Porte rejected.
Meanwhile Mahmud, realizing the impossibility of crushing the Greek revolt unaided, had bent his pride to ask the help of Mehemet Ali, who was to receive as his reward Crete, the Morea and the pashaliks of Syria and Damascus. The Egyptian fleet and disciplined army were now thrown into the scale; and from the moment when Ibrahim Pasha landed at Modon (Feb. 24, 1825), the fate of the Greeks seemed sealed. The Morea was quickly overrun; in April 1826 Missolonghi fell, after a heroic defence; in June 1827 Athens was once more in the hands of the Turks. Crowds of Greek captives were being sent as slaves to Cairo; and, should the powers not intervene, there was every prospect of Greece being depopulated and colonized with Mussulman negroes and fellahin.
At the close of 1825 an isolated intervention of Russia had seemed probable. A great army was assembled in the south of Russia, and the emperor Alexander had gone to place himself at its head when he died (Dec 22, 1825). It was to prevent such an intervention that Canning seized the opportunity of the accession of Nicholas I. to send the duke of Wellington to St Petersburg in order to concert joint measures. The result was the protocol of St Petersburg of the 4th of April 1826, by which Great Britain was empowered to offer to the Ottoman government a settlement of the Greek question based on the establishment of Greece as a vassal and tributary state. Should the Porte refuse, the two powers were to take the earliest opportunity, either separately or in common, of establishing a reconciliation on the basis of the protocol.
Russia, meanwhile, had seized the occasion to send to Constantinople an ultimatum demanding satisfaction for her own particular grievances; the Porte resented the intrusion of new Convention of Akkerman. demands before the others had been dealt with, and hurried on preparations for war. The reform of the army, however, involved the destruction of the Janissaries (q.v.), and though their massacre on the 15th of June left the sultan free to carry out his views with regard to the army, it left him too weak to resist the Russian demands. On the 7th of October, accordingly, these were conceded by the Convention of Akkerman. Its terms were: the confirmation of the Treaty of Bucharest and the opening of the navigation of the Black Sea to the Russian flag; a stipulation that the hospodars of Walachia and Moldavia should be elected by the boyars for seven years, their election being confirmed by the Porte which, however, had no power to dismiss them without the concurrence of the Russian ambassador at Constantinople; finally, Servia's autonomy was recognized, and, save in the fortresses, no Mussulman might reside there.
The Greek question was however, not yet settled. Months passed without any action being taken under the protocol Agreement of the Powers as to Greece. of the 4th of April; and Russia suspected Great Britain of merely using the protocol to prevent her own isolated intervention. The situation was however materially altered by the end of August 1826; for the Greeks, driven to desperation, had formally invited the mediation of England, thereby removing Canning's objection to an unasked intervention. He now invited the co-operation of Russia in representations to the Porte on the basis of the protocol, and, in the event of its refusal to come to terms, suggested certain measures of coercion. The tsar consented, and proposed that the coercion should take the form of a pacific blockade of the Morea, so as to force Ibrahim, by cutting off his supplies, to evacuate the country. To this Great Britain agreed in principle; for Canning clearly saw the need for yielding on the question of a joint intervention, if the isolated intervention of Russia were to be prevented. In the conference of the five powers of the Grand Alliance opened at London in the early summer of 1827, however, a divergence of views at once became apparent. Austria and Prussia protested against any coercion of the Porte “to serve revolutionary ends” and, failing to carry their views, withdrew from the conference. France thereupon proposed to convert the protocol of the 4th of April into a treaty; Russia and Great Britain agreed; and on the 6th of July the Treaty of London was signed by the three powers.
By the patent articles of the treaty the powers agreed to secure the autonomy of Greece under the suzerainty of the sultan, but without any breach of friendly relations with Turkey. By additional secret articles it was agreed that, in the event of the Porte not accepting the offered mediation, consuls should be established in Greece, and an armistice proposed to both belligerents and enforced by all the means that should “suggest themselves to the prudence” of the high contracting powers. In general it was allowed that these means should be the “pacific blockade” proposed by the tsar. Instructions to this effect were sent to the admirals commanding in the Levant.
The armistice, accepted by the Greeks, was refused by Ibrahim, pending instructions from Constantinople, though he Navarino. consented to keep his ships in the harbour of Navarino. The Greeks, having put themselves in the right with the powers, were free to continue the war; and the destruction of a Turkish flotilla off Salona on the 23rd of September followed. Ibrahim, taking this as a breach of the convention, set sail from Navarino northwards, but was turned back by Sir Edward Codrington, the British admiral. Then, the Russian and French squadrons having joined, it was determined to put further pressure on the Egyptian commander, and the allied fleets, on the morning of the 20th of October, stood into the bay of Navarino. A chance scuffle led to a battle, and by the evening the Turkish and Egyptian fleets had ceased to exist (see Navarino, Battle of).
The effect on the passionate sultan of this “unparalleled outrage on a friendly power in time of peace” is easy to imagine. In spite of the weak efforts of the British government to palliate the significance of this “untoward incident,” Turkey broke off diplomatic relations with the three powers concerned, and on the 20th of December Mahmud, giving full vent to his rage, issued a hatt-i-sherīf denouncing the cruelty and perfidy of the Christian powers, declaring the convention of Akkerman null and void, and summoning the faithful to a holy war. The struggle that followed was, however, destined once more to be a duel between Russia and Turkey. Great Britain, when Canning was no longer at the helm of state, had reverted to the traditional policy of preserving Ottoman integrity at all costs; the invitation of the tsar to accept the logical consequences of Navarino was refused; and Russia was left to settle her account with Turkey.
The war that followed proved once more the wonderful resisting power of the Turks. In spite of the confusion due War with Russia. to the destruction of the Janissaries and army reforms as yet hardly begun, it cost the tzar two hardly fought campaigns before the audacious strategy of General Diebitsch enabled him to dictate the terms of the treaty of Adrianople (Sep. 14, 1829). Meanwhile the other powers had taken advantage of the reverses of the Russian arms to discount the effect of their ultimate victory by attempting to settle the Greek question. In July 1828 France had been commissioned to oust Ibrahim from the Morea; and though by a convention, concluded on the 9th of August by Codrington with Mehemet Ali, the principle of evacuation by the Egyptian troops had already been settled before the arrival of the French expedition, the Morea remained for the time in French occupation. On the 16th of November a protocol of the London conference placed the Morea, with the neighbouring islands and the Cyclades, under the guarantee of the powers; and on the 22nd of March 1829 another protocol extended the frontier thus guaranteed to the line Arta-Volo and included the island of Euboea. According to this instrument Greece was to be erected into a tributary state, but autonomous, and governed by an hereditary prince chosen by the powers.
The Treaty of Adrianople, by which the Danubian principalities were erected into practically independent states, the treaty Greek independence. rights of Russia in the navigation of the Bosporus and Dardanelles confirmed, and the districts of Anapa and Poti in Asia ceded to the tsar, included also a settlement of the Greek question on the terms of the protocol of the 22nd of March. This fact, which threatened to give to Russia the whole prestige of the emancipation of Greece, spurred the other powers to further concessions. The acceptance of the principle of complete independence, once more warmly advocated by Metternich, seemed now essential if Greece was not to become, like the principalities, a mere dependency of Russia. On the 3rd of February 1830 was signed a protocol embodying the principle of an independent Greece under Leopold of Coburg as “sovereign prince.” This was ultimately expanded, after the fall of the Wellington ministry, into the Treaty of London of the 7th of May 1832, by which Greece was made an independent kingdom under the Bavarian prince Otto. (See Greece: History.)
Before the final settlement of the Greek question a fresh crisis had arisen in the affairs of Turkey. Her lessened prestige Syria. had already received a severe blow from the bombardment and capture of Algiers by the French in 1830, and her position was further embarrassed by revolts in Bosnia and Albania, when news reached Constantinople that Mehemet Ali had invaded Syria (Nov. 1, 1831), nominally in order to punish his enemy Abdullah, pasha of Acre, really in order to take by force of arms the pashaliks of Syria and Damascus promised as a reward for his services in Greece. An account of the collapse of the Turkish power before Mehemet Ali, and of the complicated diplomatic developments that followed, is given in the article Mehemet Ali. Here it must suffice to say that the recognition of Mehemet Ali's claims, forced on the sultan by France and Great Britain, was followed in 1833 by the signature cf the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, which seemed to place Turkey wholly in the power of Russia, after which Sultan Mahmud concentrated his energies on creating a force strong enough to crush his rebellious vassal.
At last, in 1839, his eagerness would no longer be restrained, and without consulting his ministers, and in spite of the warnings of all the powers, he determined to renew the war. On the 21st of April the Ottoman army, which had been massed under Hafiz Pasha at Bir on the Euphrates, crossed the stream, by the sultan's orders, and advanced on Damascus. On the 23rd of June it was attacked by Ibrahim at Nezib and annihilated. As for Mahmud, the news of the disaster reached Constantinople when he was unconscious and dying. Early on the 1st of July he was dead, and his son Abd-ul-Mejid, a lad of eighteen, reigned in his stead (see Mahmud II.).
The Eastern Question had now suddenly once more entered an acute phase. The news of Nezib was immediately followed Abd-ul-Mejid, 1839–1861. by that of the treason of Ahmed Pasha, the Ottoman admiral, who, on the plea that the sultan's counsellors were sold to Russia, had sailed to Alexandria and handed over the fleet to Mehemet Ali. With an inexperienced boy on the throne, divided and untrustworthy counsels in the divan, and the defences of the empire shattered, the house of Osman seemed doomed and the Turkish Empire about to dissolve into its elements. If Russia was to be prevented from using the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi for her own purposes, it was essential that the powers should concert measures to deal with the situation. The story of the diplomatic negotiations that followed is told elsewhere (see Mehemet Ali). Here it may suffice to say that the desire of the emperor Nicholas to break the entente between Great Britain and France led him to waive his special claims under the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, and that in the ultimate concert by which the question was settled France, which throughout supported Mehemet Ali, had no part. The intervention of the powers, based on the convention of London of the 15th of July 1840, led to the withdrawal of Ibrahim from Syria, and the establishment by the firman of the 13th of February 1841 of Mehemet Ali as hereditary pasha of Egypt under conditions intended to safeguard the sovereign rights of the Ottoman sultan. On the 10th of July the four signatory powers of the convention of London signed a protocol recording the closure of the incident (protocole de clôture), and on the 13th France united with them in signing another protocol (protocole des détroits) by which the powers engaged to respect the principle proclaimed by the sultan as to the closing of the Dardanelles to foreign warships.The severe crisis through which the Ottoman Empire had passed accentuated the need for strengthening it by a drastic Reform Policy in Turkey. The Tanzimāt. reform of its system. For such an experiment, though hampered by continual insurrections within and troubles without, Mahmud had done something to pave the way. The destruction of the Janissaries and the suppression of the quasi-independent power of the dérébeys had removed the worst disturbing elements; the government had been centralized; a series of enactments had endeavoured to secure economy in the administration, to curb the abuses of official power, and ensure the impartiality of justice; and the sultan had even expressed his personal belief in the principle of the equality of all, Mussulman and non-Mussulman, before the law. It was therefore no sudden revolution when, on the 15th of November 1839 Abd-ul-Mejid signalized his accession by promulgating the Tanzimāt, or Hatt-i-Sherīf of Gulhané, a decree abolishing the arbitrary and unlimited power hitherto exercised by the state and its officials, laying down the doctrine of the perfect equality of all Ottoman subjects of whatever race or creed, and providing for the regular, orderly and legal government of the country and the security of life, property and honour for all its inhabitants. Yet the feelings of dismay and even ridicule with which this proclamation was received by the Mussulmans in many parts of the country show how great a change it instituted, and how strong was the opposition which it encountered among the ruling race. The non-Mussulman subjects of the sultan had indeed early been reduced to such a condition of servitude that the idea of their being placed on a footing of equality with their Mussulman rulers seemed unthinkable. Preserved merely as taxpayers necessary to supply the funds for the maintenance of the dominant and military class, according to a foreign observer in 1571, they had been so degraded and oppressed that they dared not look a Turk in the face. Their only value was from a fiscal point of view, and in times of fanaticism or when anti-foreign sentiment ran high even this was held of little account, so that more than once they very nearly became the victims of a general and state-ordered massacre. Thus Sultan Ibrahim was dissuaded from such a step in 1644 only by the refusal of the Sheikh-ul-Islam to sanction the proceeding. The humane and tolerant measures provided for in the “nizam-i-jedīd,” or new regulations for the better treatment of the Christians enacted by Mustafa Kuprili during his grand vizierate (1689–1691), did for a time improve the position of the rayas. But the wars with Russia and other Christian powers, and the different risings of the Greeks and Servians, helped to stimulate the feelings of animosity and contempt entertained towards them by the ruling race; and the promulgation of the Tanzimāt undoubtedly heralded for the subject nationalities the dawn of a new era.
The reforms introduced by Sultan Mahmud and by the Tanzimāt necessitated the remodelling of nearly all the departments Remodelling of the Administration. of state. Towards the end of Mahmud II.'s reign ministries had been instituted, and a council of ministers had been established, presided over by the grand vizier. In 1837 the “council of the Sublime Porte” and the “supreme council of legal affairs” were established: the latter was the tribunal to which were referred all complaints against officials or claims pending between the state and private individuals; the council of the Sublime Porte was in 1839 transferred to the ministry of commerce; the supreme council of legal affairs after undergoing various modifications was in 1868 absorbed in the council of state. In 1837 a “council of public works” was instituted, converted ten years later into a separate ministry. In 1835 the “ministry of administration” was formed; two years later its title was changed to ministry of the interior. Regulations prescribing the duties of the local governors and officials of all ranks were drawn up only in 1865 and 1870, but since Mahmud's time their functions were exclusively civil and administrative. A regular hierarchical order was elaborated for the official classes, both civil and military, whereby the rank of each person was clearly defined.
The military reorganization dates from the destruction of the Janissaries (June 15, 1826). On that day Aga Hussein Pasha was appointed “Seraskier (commandant) of the victorious Mahommedan troops”; at first only two divisions were established, quartered respectively at Constantinople and Scutari. In 1833 the reserves were instituted, and three years later reserve commandants were appointed in six principal provinces. In 1843 the corps d'armée of Constantinople, Rumelia, Anatolia and Arabia were formed, and a military council was appointed. In 1847 a recruiting law was promulgated, reducing the period of service (until then unlimited in point of time), to five years. Military schools were founded. For the reorganization carried out from 1908 to 1910 see section Army, above.
After the Greek revolution the system of manning the navy from the Christian natives of the archipelago and the Mediterranean littoral was abandoned, and recruits for the navy are now selected under the ordinary law. A naval school and a modern factory and arsenal were established. The direction of the police, formerly left to the Janissaries, was formed into a ministry, and a body of gendarmerie was instituted. For the financial reforms see the section Finance, above.
The ministry of public instruction was established in 1857; until the reign of Selim III. (when a few military schools were established) Education. the only schools had been the colleges of the Ulema and such preparatory schools as had been founded by private munificence. In 1838 the council of education had been created and several secondary state schools were founded. In 1860 the regulations for public education were promulgated; schools were everywhere opened, and in 1882 a portion of the receipts from certain vakufs were appropriated to their maintenance. As all the preparatory schools founded by the state were for Mussulman children only (the various Christian communities maintaining their own schools), idadi or secondary schools were established in 1884 for the instruction of children of all confessions. In 1868 the Imperial Lycée of Galata Serai was founded; most of the later generation of officials received their education there. Special state schools of medicine, arts, science, crafts, &c., have been created successively, and in 1901 a university was founded. Educational affairs in the provinces are now superintended by special officials.
After the promulgation of the reforms, the judicial duties of the Imperial Divan, which with other functions also exercised those Justice. of a kind of supreme court of appeal, were transferred to the Sheikh-ul-Islam. The codification of the civil law, which soon became necessary, was effected by the promulgation in 1859 of the Mejellé, or civil code. Commercial and criminal codes, as well as codes of procedure, were drawn up, largely on the basis of the Code Napoléon. The rules regulating the Ulema were amended, a school for judges was formed, and the Sheikh-ul-Islam was charged with the duty of revising all judgments. In 1865 the court of cassation was founded.
In 1835 the Reis-ul-Kuttab, to whom the superintendence of foreign affairs was entrusted, received the designation of minister Foreign Relations. for foreign affairs. Turkey had originally maintained no representatives abroad, and appointed such only for special occasions as e.g. the signature of a treaty or the announcement of a new sultan's accession. Selim III. was the first sultan who entered into regular relations with foreign powers, and employed permanent ambassadors; the practice was discontinued at the time of the Greek revolution and the consequent rupture with the powers. Later, during the Egyptian negotiations, ambassadors were accredited to London, Paris and Vienna. Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz's journey to Europe and the return visits paid by foreign princes strengthened Turkey's relations witli foreign states.
The ministry of the Evkaf or pious foundations was established n 1827 and extended ten years later. Such foundations had been created from the earliest times, and the execution of the testator's wishes was generally left to his descendants, under the supervision of some high official designated in the act of endowment. In case of failure in the line of succession an administrator was appointed by the state. But many such foundations fell into disorder, and the ministry was created to exercise the requisite supervision.
Though the provisions of the Tanzimāt were not fully observed, they afforded convincing proof that reform was entirely Results of Reforms. practicable in Turkey. Reforms were effected in every direction; the finances and the army were reorganized, military instructors being procured from Europe; the administration was gradually centralized, and good relations were cultivated with the powers, the only serious international controversy arising in 1848–1849 over the refusal by Turkey, with the support of England, to surrender the Hungarian and Polish insurgents who had taken refuge within her borders. It cannot indeed be said that complete tranquillity prevailed throughout the country meanwhile; disturbances in the principalities and in the Lebanon gave serious trouble, while in 1842 the unsettled state of the Turco-Persian frontier nearly led to war. By the mediation of England and Russia the Treaty of Erzerum was signed (1847) and a frontier commission was appointed. But as the frontier was not definitely demarcated the door was left open for controversies which have occurred frequently up to the present day.
Turkey's progress in the path of reform was viewed with some uneasiness in Russia, the cardinal principle of whose Russian Policy since l829. policy since 1829 had been to maintain her own influence at Constantinople by keeping the Ottoman government weak. In favour of this view the traditional policy of Peter the Great and Catherine II. had been deliberately given up, and by the secret convention signed at Münchengrätz on the 18th of September 1833 the emperor Nicholas had agreed with his brother sovereigns of the revived “Holy Alliance” to maintain the integrity of Turkey, where Russian influence seemed to have been rendered supreme and permanent by the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi. The crisis which ended in 1841, however, materially altered the situation from the Russian point of view. By his concert with the other powers in the affair of Mehemet Ali, the tsar had abdicated his claim to a unique influence at Constantinople, and he began to revive the idea of ending the Ottoman rule in Europe, an idea which he had only unwillingly abandoned in 1829 in response to the unanimous opinion of his advisers. In 1844 he took advantage of his visit to England to propose to British ministers a plan of partition, under which Great Britain was to receive Egypt and Crete, Constantinople was to be erected into a free city, and the Balkan states were to become autonomous under Russian protection. This proposal, as might have been expected, only served to rouse suspicions as to Russia's plans; it was politely rejected, and the whole Eastern Question slumbered, until, early in 1850, it was awakened by an incident trivial enough in itself, but pregnant with future trouble: a quarrel of Catholic and Orthodox monks about the holy places in Palestine.
By the Capitulations signed on the 28th of May 1740 on behalf of Sultan Mahmud I. and Louis XV. “emperor of France,” The Holy Places. not only French pilgrims to Jerusalem, but all members of “Christian and hostile nations” visiting the Ottoman Empire, had been placed under the protection of the French flag, and by a special article the Frank, i.e. Roman Catholic, ecclesiastics had been guaranteed certain rights in the holy places. These stipulations of the treaty, which were in effect a confirmation of the firman granted in 1620 by Murad IV. to Louis XIII., had fallen into oblivion during the age of Voltaire and the turmoil of the Revolution; and meanwhile, every advance of Russia had been marked by further encroachments of the Orthodox clergy in Palestine on the ancient rights of their Latin rivals. The quarrels of these monks might have been left to the contempt they deserved, had not Napoleon III. seen in the situation an opportunity at once for conciliating the clericals in France and for humiliating Russia, which had given to his title but an equivocal recognition. His ambassador, accordingly, handed in at Constantinople a formal demand for the restitution of the Catholics in all their property and rights. The Ottoman government, seeking to gain time, proposed a “mixed commission” of inquiry; and to this France agreed, on condition that no documents later than 1740 should be admitted as evidence. To this suggestion, which would have excluded the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji, the emperor Nicholas replied by a haughty demand that nothing should be altered in the status quo. It was now clear that no less an issue was involved than a contest between France and Russia for paramount influence in the East, a contest into which Great Britain would inevitably be dragged. The British government did its best to help the Porte to evolve a compromise on the questions immediately at issue, and in March 1852 a firman was issued, which to Protestants and Mahommedans might well seem to have embodied a reasonable settlement. Concessions were made to one side and the other; and the question of the right of “protection” was solved by the Turkish government itself undertaking the duty. But neither Napoleon nor Nicholas desired a settlement. The French emperor wanted a war for dynastic reasons, the tsar because he conceived his honour to be involved, and because he judged the moment opportune for expelling the infidel from Europe. France, he believed, would never come single-handed to the assistance cf Turkey; Austria would be bound at least to benevolent neutrality by “gratitude” for the aid given in 1849; the king of Prussia would sympathize with a Christian crusade; Great Britain, where under the influence of John Bright and Richard Cobden the “peace at any price” spirit seemed to be in the ascendant, would never intervene. Nicholas even hoped for the active sympathy of Britain. Lord Aberdeen made no secret of his dislike for the Turks, and openly expressed his disbelief in the reality of their reforms; and in January 1853 the tsar, in conversation with Sir Hamilton Seymour, the British ambassador at St Petersburg, spoke of the Ottoman Empire as “the Sick Man,” and renewed the proposals for a partition made in 1844.
Early in 1853 the Russian army was mobilized, and Prince Menshikov, a bluff soldier devoted to the interests of Orthodoxy and tsardom, was sent to present the emperor's ultimatum at Constantinople. He demanded the recognition of the status quo in the holy places, and of the tsar's right, under the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji, to the protectorate of all Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman dominions. The Porte, in alarm, turned to Great Britain for advice and assistance. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, who reached his post at Constantinople shortly after the arrival of Menshikov, at once grasped the essential facts of the situation. The question of the holy places was insignificant in itself—it might be settled if France were granted political compensation elsewhere; that of the protectorate claimed by Russia over the Christians involved the integrity of the sultan's sovereignty. With great address he succeeded in persuading Menshikov to present the two demands separately. On the 22nd of April the French, Russian and British ministers came to an agreement on the question of the holy places; with the result that, when the question of protectorate was raised, Menshikov found himself opposed by the ambassadors of all the other powers. On the 5th of May, nevertheless, in obedience to his peremptory instructions, he presented his ultimatum to the Ottoman government, which, backed now by all the other powers, rejected it. On the 22nd Menshikov and the whole of the Russian diplomatic staff left Constantinople; and it was announced that, at the end of the month, the tsar's troops would enter the Danubian principalities. On the 22nd of June the Russian army, under Prince Gorchakov, crossed the Pruth, not—as was explained in a circular to the powers—for the purpose of attacking Turkey, but solely to obtain the material guarantees for the enjoyment of the privileges conferred upon her by the existing treaties. The news of this aggression roused intense excitement in England; but the British government still exerted itself to maintain peace. In August a conference of the four powers assembled at Vienna, but the settlement they proposed, which practically conceded everything demanded by Russia except the claim to the protectorate, though accepted by the tsar, was rejected by the Porte, now fallen into a mood of stubborn resentment at the Russian invasion. At the beginning of October Turkey formally declared war; on the 22nd the French and British fleets passed the Dardanelles. Lord Aberdeen still hoped to secure peace, and the Russian government was informed that no casus belli would arise so long as Russia abstained from passing the Danube or attacking a Black Sea port. To the emperor Nicholas this was tantamount to a declaration of war; and in effect it was so. On the 30th of November the Russian fleet attacked and destroyed a Turkish squadron in the harbour of Sinope; on the 3rd of January the combined French and British fleets entered the Black Sea, commissioned to “invite” the Russians to return to their harbours.
The emperor Nicholas had been singularly misled as to the state of public opinion in Europe. The news of the affair of Crimean War. Sinope, rather wanton slaughter than a battle, raised excitement in England to fever heat; while the excellent bearing and consistent successes of the Turkish troops during the first months of the campaign on land excited the admiration of all Europe. The belief in the rejuvenation of Turkey seemed to be justified; and when, on the 27th of March 1854, Great Britain and France declared war on Russia, the action of the governments was supported by an overwhelming public opinion. As regards Austria, too, the emperor Nicholas was no less mistaken. If she maintained neutrality, it was due to no impulse of gratitude, and it was far from “benevolent.” As the Russians withdrew from the Danubian principalities, Austrian troops occupied them, and by a convention with the Porte the Austrian government undertook to resist by arms any attempt of the Russians to return. So far as the extreme claims of the tsar were concerned, neither Austria nor Prussia was willing to concede them, and both had joined with France and Great Britain in presenting, on the 12th of December 1853, an identical note at St Petersburg, drawn up at the Conference of Vienna, reaffirming the principles of the treaty of 1841. Save for the benevolent neutrality of Prussia, therefore, which enabled her to obtain supplies from the north, Russia was pitted single-handed against a coalition of Turkey, Great Britain and France, to which Sardinia was added later.
The events of the war that followed are told elsewhere (see Crimean War). The main operations were confined to the Crimea, where the allied troops landed on the 14th of September 1854, and they were not concluded, in spite of the terrible exhaustion of Russia, till in December 1855 the threatened active intervention of Austria forced the emperor Alexander II. to come to terms. These terms were ultimately embodied in the Treaty of Paris of the 30th of March 1856. Its provisions, held by some to be so unduly favourable to Russia as to justify the question whether she had not been victorious in the war, were as follows: Russia abandoned all pretensions to exercise a protectorate over the Christians in Turkey, or to an exclusive right of interference in the Danubian principalities, to which Bessarabia was restored; the navigation of the Danube was made free and placed under the supervision of an international commission; the Black Sea was closed to warships, while open to the commercial flags of all countries; the Asiatic frontier between the two empires remained unchanged; Turkey was admitted to the concert of Europe, and all the contracting parties agreed to respect her independence and the integrity of her territory; moreover, the provisions of the Tanzimāt were reaffirmed in a fresh decree of the sultan, which was incorporated in the treaty, and further provided for a large measure of local autonomy for the Christian communities. It was stipulated that Turkey's promises of reform gave no power the right of interference on behalf of the Christians.
The Treaty of Paris was regarded as opening a new era in the progress of Turkey. Admitted on equal terms to the European The New Era. family of nations, the Ottoman government had given a solemn guarantee of its intention to make the long-promised reforms a reality. But it soon became apparent that the time was scarcely come for liberal measures; and fanatical outbreaks at Jidda (1858) and in Syria (1860) gave proof that the various sections of the population were not yet prepared to act together in harmony. The Syrian disturbances brought about a French occupation, which Fuad Pasha, ably seconded by Ahmed Vefyk Effendi, the Turkish ambassador in Paris, contrived to restrict, and to terminate as soon as possible. The immediate local result was the institution, by a règlement, signed at Constantinople on the 6th of September 1864, of autonomy for the Lebanon under a Christian governor appointed by the powers with the concurrence of the Porte, an arrangement which has worked satisfactorily until the present day. In 1859 the Danubian principalities, deliberately left separate by the Congress of Paris, carried out their long-cherished design of union by electing Prince Cuza both in Moldavia and in Walachia, a contingency which the powers had not taken into account, and to which in the end they gave a grudging assent (see Rumania).
On the 25th of June 1861 Sultan Abd-ul-Mejid died, being succeeded by his brother Abd-ul-Aziz. The new sultan's reign Abd-ul-Aziz, 1861–1876. marked, if not the beginning, at least the high tide of that course of improvident and unrestrained expenditure, facilitated by the enthusiasm created in Europe by Turkey's admission to the ranks of the powers which loosened for her the purse-strings of the foreign investor. The viceroy of Egypt, Ismaïl Pasha, followed his suzerain's example in this respect, and was lavish in his bribes to his imperial overlord to obtain the extension of his own privileges and the establishment in Egypt of succession from father to son; these concessions were granted to him by the firmans of the 27th of May 1866 and the 8th of June 1867, in the latter of which the viceroy is addressed for the first time as “khedive.” Abd-ul-Aziz is said to have yielded the more readily as being desirous of bringing about a similar alteration in the succession in Turkey, in favour of his own eldest son, Prince Yussuf Izz-ed-din; public opinion was, however, opposed to so sweeping a change, and the succession to the throne in Turkey still goes to the eldest surviving member of the house of Osman. Though the foreign relations of Turkey remained untroubled, disturbances in Servia, Montenegro and Crete continued throughout the “sixties.” Servia had long resented the occupation of her fortresses by Turkish troops; frequent collisions arising from this source resulted in June 1862 in the bombardment of Belgrade; some slight concessions were then made to Servia, but it was not until 1867 that, through the mediation of England and other powers, she succeeded in obtaining the withdrawal of the Turkish garrisons. The Cretan insurrection rose to a formidable height in 1868–69, and the active support given to the movement by Greece brought about a rupture of relations between that country and Turkey. The revolt was suppressed, the Turko-Greek conflict was settled by a conference of the powers in Paris, and Crete received a charter of local self-government which for a time pacified the island. Abd-ul-Aziz had visited the Paris Exhibition of 1867 and had paid his respects to Queen Victoria, who conferred on him the order of the Garter. In 1869 the visit was returned by many sovereigns and princes on their way to the opening of the Suez Canal, among these being the empress Eugénie. An important event not to be passed over without mention is the grant on the 10th of March 1870 of the firman instituting the Bulgarian exarchate, thus severing the Bulgarian Church from the jurisdiction of the Greek patriarch of Constantinople. This concession, given under strong pressure from Russia, aroused the deepest resentment of the Greeks, and was the principal factor in the awakening of the Bulgarian national spirit which subsequent events have done so much to develop. Russian influence at Constantinople had been gradually increasing, and towards the end of 1870 the tsar took advantage of the temporary disabling of France to declare himself no longer bound by those clauses of the Treaty of Paris which restricted Russia's liberty of possessing warships on the Black Sea. An international conference convoked in London early in 1871 laid down the principle that treaty engagements were binding, and then proceeded to abrogate this particular engagement. Russia and Turkey thus regained full liberty as regards their naval forces and armaments in the Euxine; the passage of the straits remained interdicted to ships of war.
A reform not unworthy of notice was effected by the law promulgated on the 18th of June 1867 whereby foreigners were for the first time allowed to hold landed property throughout the Ottoman Empire (save in the Hejaz) on condition of their being assimilated to Ottoman subjects, i.e. divested of their right to the protection of their own authorities in every respect concerning such property.
Meanwhile in Turkey national bankruptcy was brought within measurable distance by the sultan's extravagance and the incompetence of his ministers; it was staved off only by loans contracted almost annually to pay the interest on their predecessors. External influences and latent fanaticism were active; a serious insurrection broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1875, and the efforts to quell it almost exhausted Turkey's resources; the example spread to Bulgaria, where abortive outbreaks in September 1875 and May 1876 led to those cruel measures of repression which were known as “the Bulgarian atrocities,” Mussulman public feeling was inflamed, and an attempt at Salonica to induce a Christian girl who had embraced Islam to return to her faith caused the murder of two foreign consuls by a fanatical mob. The finances of Turkey now collapsed, and the inevitable bankruptcy was declared, whereby Deposition of Abd-ul-Aziz. more than through any other cause she lost such sympathies as she possessed in western Europe. Turkey's distress was Russia's opportunity; the sultan fell entirely under the influence of General Ignatiev, the tsar's ambassador, and it became evident that the country was hastening to its dissolution. A conspiracy to bring about a change was hereupon formed by certain prominent statesmen, whose leaders were Midhat Pasha, Mehemed Rushdi Pasha and Mahmud Damad Pasha, the husband of a princess of the blood, sister to Prince Murad. These succeeded in gaining over the Sheikh-ul-Islam, and in obtaining from him a fetva for the deposition of Abd-ul-Aziz.
In virtue of this judgment of the supreme legal authority, and with the aid of the fleet, Abd-ul-Aziz was deposed, being shortly afterwards found dead, apparently by his own hand. Murad V. reigned in his stead. But the change of sultans brought no relief to the troubled state: Servia and Montenegro declared war, and in less than three months it had become evident that Murad was incapable of governing.
Murad 's brother Abd-ul-Hamid was accordingly proclaimed sultan on the 31st of August 1876. The diplomacy of Accession of Abd-ul-Hamid II., 1876. Europe had been searching in vain since the autumn of 1875 for the means of inducing Turkey to institute effective administrative reforms and to grant to its European provinces that autonomy which now appeared essential. But the new sultan was as averse from accepting any of the formulae proposed as were his predecessors: Servia and Montenegro were with great difficulty pacified, but it was plain that Russia, whose Slavonic and Orthodox sympathies had been strongly aroused, would soon begin hostilities herself. Turkey now made a show of going even beyond the demands formulated by Europe, and the international conference which met at Constantinople during the last days of 1876 was startled by the salvo of artillery which heralded the promulgation of a liberal constitution, not for the European provinces only, but for the whole empire, and the institution of a Turkish parliament. The decisions of the conference, moderate though they were, in the end requiring merely the nomination of an international commission to investigate the state of the European provinces of Turkey, and the appointment by the sultan, with the approval of the Russo-Turkish War. powers, of governors-general for five years, were rejected by the Porte. The statesmen of Europe still continued their efforts to avert a conflict, but to no purpose. On the 24th of April 1877 Russia declared war and her troops crossed the Turkish frontiers. Hostilities were conducted both in Europe and Asia for nearly a year. Rumania joined the Russians, and in Europe no effective opposition was encountered by the invaders until the assaults on Plevna and the Shipka Pass, where the valiant resistance of the Turks won for them the admiration of Europe. By November the defence of the Turks in Asia Minor had entirely collapsed. Plevna surrendered on the 9th of December 1877 after a heroic struggle under Osman Pasha. Thereafter the Russians advanced practically unchecked (see Russo-Turkish Wars). An armistice and preliminaries of peace were signed on the 31st of January 1878 at Adrianople, and a definitive treaty was concluded at Treaty of San Stefano. San Stefano on the 3rd of March 1878. Its terms were: the creation of an autonomous tributary principality of Bulgaria extending from the Black Sea to the Aegean; the recognition by Turkey of the independence of Rumania, Servia and Montenegro, with increased territories; the payment of a war indemnity; the introduction of reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the cession to Russia of Bessarabia and the Dobruja; the opening of the passage of the straits at all times to the merchant vessels of neutral states; and the razing of the fortresses on the Danube.
Great Britain had throughout the war preserved strict neutrality, but, while making it clear from the outset that she could not assist Turkey, had been prepared for emergencies. Turkey's severity in repressing the Bulgarian insurrection had raised up in England a storm of public opinion against her, of which the Liberal opposition had taken the fullest advantage; moreover the suspension of payments on the Ottoman debt had dealt Turkey's popularity a blow from which it had never recovered. But upon the approach of the Russians to Constantinople the British reserves were called out and the fleet was despatched to the Bosporus. Accordingly, and as her line of retreat might be threatened by Austria, Russia consented to a revision of the Treaty of San Stefano at a congress to be held at Berlin. Congress of Berlin, 1878. Before the meeting of this congress, which assembled on the 13th of June 1878, the powers principally interested had arrived at an understanding as to the modifications to be introduced in the treaty, and by a convention concluded with Turkey on the 4th of June 1878 England had undertaken to defend the Asiatic dominions of the sultan by force of arms, provided that his majesty carried out all the necessary reforms, to be agreed upon later, and assigned to England the island of Cyprus, which was however to be restored if Turkey fulfilled her engagements as to reforms and if Russia gave back to her Kars, Ardahan and Batum. On the 13th of July 1878 the Treaty of Berlin was signed: the Great Bulgaria of the San Stefano Treaty was diminished to an autonomous province north of the Balkans, the south-eastern portion, no longer extending to the Aegean, was formed into a self-governing tributary province styled Eastern Rumelia; Turkey abandoned all pretension to suzerainty over Montenegro; Servia and Rumania received their independence (but the last named was made to cede Bessarabia to Russia, receiving instead the Dobruja); the Asiatic frontier was readjusted, Kars, Ardahan and Batum becoming Russian. It was further provided that Bulgaria should pay to Turkey an annual tribute, and should moreover (as well as the other Balkan states receiving accessions of territory at Turkey's expense) bear a portion of the Ottoman debt. The sums payable by the different countries were to be fixed by the powers; but no effect has so far been given to this reasonable stipulation, which may now be looked upon as null and void. Turkey undertook to pay to Russia a war indemnity of 300,000,000 roubles, and the status of the straits remained unchanged. Measures of reform in Armenia were also provided for, as also the convocation of an international commission for drawing up a reform scheme for the European provinces left to Turkey. The organic law for Crete was to be carried out, and special laws enacted for other parts of Turkey. Bosnia and Herzegovina were handed over to the administration of Austria; Montenegro and Greece received accessions of territory to which only strong pressure coupled with a naval demonstration induced Turkey to consent three years later.
Peace once restored, some attempt was made by Turkey in the direction of complying with her engagements to institute reform. Financial and military advisers were procured from Germany. English officers were engaged to reform the gendarmerie, and judicial inspectors of foreign nationality were to travel through the country to redress abuses. It was not long before the unsubstantial character of all these undertakings became apparent; the parliament was dissolved, the constitution was suspended and its author exiled. Egyptian affairs next threatened complications. In May 1879 the misgovernment of Ismail Pasha and the resulting financial crisis rendered the deposition of the khedive inevitable; in order to anticipate the action of England and France, who would otherwise have expelled the erring viceroy, the sultan deposed him himself; the succession devolved upon his son Mahommed Tewfik Pasha. The Egyptian Question. (For the subsequent history of the Egyptian question see Egypt: History.) The revolt of Arabi Pasha in 1881 broke up the Anglo-French condominium in Egypt and led to outrages at Alexandria followed by a bombardment on the 11th of July 1882. The occupation of the country by Great Britain gradually took a more permanent form, and though negotiations were more than once entered into with Turkey with a view to its termination, these either proved abortive or were rendered so (as e.g. the Drummond-Wolff convention of 1887) by the action of other powers. The Anglo-French agreement of 1904 left England in undisputed mastery.
The financial straits of Turkey after the war became so acute Public Debt. that the sultan was compelled to consent to a measure of foreign control over the finances of the country; the administration of the public debt being established in December 1881. (See Finance, above.)
In 1885 the practically bloodless revolution of Philippopolis on the 18th of September united Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia, severed by the Treaty of Berlin. A conference held at Constantinople sanctioned the union on terms which were rendered acceptable to the sultan; but Said Pasha, who had assisted the sultan in centralizing at Yildiz Kiosk the administration of the country, and who had become grand vizier, was a strong adherent of the policy of armed intervention by Turkey, and the consequence was his fall from office. His successor in the grand vizierate, Kiamil Pasha, was soon called upon to deal with Armenian unrest, consequent on the non-execution of the reforms provided for in the Treaty of Berlin and the Cyprus Convention, which first found vent about 1890. But Kiamil Pasha was not subservient enough to his imperial master's will, and his place was taken by a military man, Jevad Pasha, from whom no independence of action was to be apprehended.
It is from this period that the German ascendancy in Constantinople is noticeable. Railway concessions were given to German Activity in Turkey. Germans over the heads of British applicants already in possession of lines from which they were expropriated, thus affording the nucleus of the Bagdad railway (of which Germany obtained the concession in November 1899). (See Bagdad, vol. iii. p. 197.)
From 1890 Crete was frequently the scene of disturbance; the Christian communities in other parts of Turkey began to chafe under the attempted curtailing of their privileges; about Christmas 1893 the Greek patriarch caused all the Orthodox churches to be closed as a protest; and the Armenian agitation entered upon a serious phase. The Kurds, the constant oppressors of that people, had received official recognition Armenian Troubles. and almost complete immunity from the control of the civil law by being formed into a yeomanry frontier-guard known as the Hamidian cavalry. The troubles arising from this cause and from greater energy in the collection of taxes led the Armenians in outlying and mountainous districts to rise against the authorities. The repression of these revolts in the Sassun district in the autumn of 1894 was effected under circumstances of great severity by Turkish troops and Kurdish irregulars. A commission composed of British, French and Russian officials held an inquiry into the events which had occurred, and early in 1895 England, France and Russia entered actively into negotiations with a view to the institution of reforms. The scheme propounded by the three powers encountered great objections from the Porte, but under pressure was accepted in October 1895. Its acceptance was however the signal for a series of massacres in almost every town of importance throughout Asia Minor, which there is but too strong evidence for suspecting were committed with the connivance of the authorities, and in which upwards of 200,000 persons are computed to have perished. In 1896 Lord Salisbury induced the other powers to unite in urging the execution of the reforms, but no agreement could be come to for the use of coercion, and Europe could but look on and protest. Changes of ministry at Constantinople were powerless to bring about an improvement, and early in 1896 Cretan affairs became so serious as to call for the intervention of the powers. In September yet another Cretan charter of self-government was promulgated. Shortly before, a revolutionary attack by an Armenian band on the Ottoman bank at Constantinople brought about a general massacre of Armenians in the capital (where a widespread revolutionary organization undoubtedly existed), in which at least 3000 victims fell, and the persecution of Armenians became the order of the day.
The neglect of the Porte to carry out all the stipulations of the Cretan arrangement of 1896 led to a renewal of the disturbances, Greek War of 1897. and Greece began to take steps for the invasion of the island; in February 1897 Colonel Vassos sailed from the Piraeus with an armed force, intending to proclaim the annexation of Crete to Greece, and Greek troops were massed on the Thessalian frontier. Diplomacy busied itself with fruitless attempts to avert hostilities; on the 17th of April 1897 war was declared by Turkey. The resistance offered by Greece was feeble in the extreme: Europe was obliged to intervene, and Turkey gained a rectification of frontier and a war indemnity of £4,000,000, besides the curtailment by the treaty eventually signed of many privileges hitherto enjoyed by Hellenic subjects in Turkey. But Europe was determined that the Cretan question should be definitely settled, at least for a period of some years, and, after an outbreak at Candia, in which the lives of British troops were sacrificed, the four powers (Germany and Austria having withdrawn from the concert) who had taken over the island en dépôt handed it over in October 1898 to Prince George of Greece as high commissioner (see Crete: History).
Crete being thus removed from the scope of her action, Turkey found ample occupation in the almost constant turbulence of Revolts in Arabia. the Yemen, of Albania and of Macedonia. After 1892 the revolts, frequently renewed, of the so-called imam of Sana, necessitated the despatch of large and costly expeditions to Arabia, in which thousands of Turkish troops have fallen in guerrilla warfare or through the inhospitable climate; in Albania disturbance became almost endemic, owing to the resistance offered by the intractable population to successive attempts of the central authorities to subject the country to regular taxation and the operation of the laws.
Unsettled claims by French citizens led to a breaking off of relations and the occupation of Mitylene by France in November 1901; the rupture was of short duration and Turkey soon gave way, according complete satisfaction both in this matter and on certain other French demands. In 1901 and 1902 Turkish encroachments on the hinterland of Aden brought about a dangerous state of tension between Great Britain and Turkey, Disputes with France and Britain. which had its parallel in 1906 in similar trespasses by the Ottoman authorities on the Egyptian land frontier near Akaba. In both cases Turkey eventually yielded; a similar question arose in 1906 with France over the boundaries of the African possessions of the two countries.
But Macedonia was Turkey's chief source of anxiety. That country, left by the Treaty of Berlin with its status unaltered, was Macedonian Question. in a continued condition of disturbance. The Christian population, who in common with their Mussulman fellow subjects suffered from the defective methods of government of their rulers, had at least before them the example of their brethren—Greeks, Bulgarians or Servians—dwelling in independent kingdoms under Christian governments on the other side of the frontier. The hope of eventual emancipation was stimulated by sedulous propagandists from each of these countries; from time to time armed bands of insurgents were manned and equipped in the small neighbouring states, with or without the co-operation of the governments. So long as Stambolov, the energetic Bulgarian statesman, was alive he succeeded in keeping the Bulgarian element quiet, and the peace of the country was less liable to disturbance. But for some years the three rivals in Macedonia, to which a fourth, the Rumanian element, must be added, were in constant strife (see Macedonia). A serious Bulgarian insurrection in Macedonia in the autumn of 1903 induced Austria and Russia to combine in formulating the Mürzsteg reform programme, tardily consented to by Turkey, by which Austrian and Russian civil agents were appointed to exercise a certain degree of control and supervision over the three vilayets of Salonica, Monastir and Kossovo. It was also arranged that foreign officers should be named to reorganize the gendarmerie. An Italian officer, General De Giorgis, was appointed to the chief command in the reorganization, and the three vilayets were apportioned among the great powers into districts, in each of which was appointed a staff officer with a number of subordinate officers of his nationality under his orders. The work of reorganization was efficiently carried out, and the gendarmerie school at Salonica, under British supervision, showed excellent results. But the achievements of the two civil agents were less noteworthy; and in 1905 it was agreed that, in view of the financial necessities of the provinces, the other great powers should each appoint delegates to a financial commission with extensive powers of control in fiscal matters. The Porte opposed the project, and an international naval demonstration and the occupation of Mytilene by the powers became necessary before Turkey gave way in December 1905. Even so it proved impossible to fulfil the Mürzsteg programme, though the attempt was prolonged until 1908. The Austro-Russian entente had then come to an end; and after a meeting between King Edward VII. and the tsar Nicholas II. at Reval, a new scheme of reforms was announced, under the name of the “Reval programme.” The enforcement of these reforms, however, was postponed sine die owing to the revolution which transformed the Ottoman Empire into a constitutional state; and the powers, anticipating an improvement in the administration of Macedonia by the new government, withdrew their military officers in the summer of 1908.
The Young Turkish party had long been preparing for the overthrow of the old régime. Their central organization was in The Young Turks. Paris and their objects were known throughout Europe, but except at Yildiz Kiosk their power was almost everywhere underrated. The Porte strove by every means at its disposal to thwart their activity; but elsewhere they were regarded as a body of academic enthusiasts, more noisy than dangerous, who devoted their scanty funds to the publication of seditious matter in Paris or Geneva, and sought to achieve the impossible by importing western institutions into a country fit only to be ruled by the sheriat and the sword. Such was the opinion held even by experienced diplomatists and by historians. It was strengthened by the fact that the Young Turks had deliberately abstained from violent action. They had, in fact, learned from events in Russia and Poland that sporadic outbreaks on a small scale would inevitably discredit their cause, and that a successful revolution would require the support of the army. To gain this, an extensive propaganda was carried on by secret agents, many of whom were officers. At the beginning of 1908 a favourable opportunity for action arrived. The Ottoman troops in Arabia were mutinous and unpaid; the Albanians, long the mainstay of Turkish military power in the west, had been irritated by unpopular taxes and by the repressive edicts which deprived them of schools and a printing-press; foreign interference in Crete and Macedonia was resented by patriotic Moslems throughout the empire. In these circumstances the headquarters of the Young Turks were transferred from Paris to Salonica, where a central body, known as the committee of union and progress, was established (1908) to organize the revolution. Most of its members were military officers, prominent among them being Majors Enver Bey and Niazi Bey, who directed the propaganda in Albania and Macedonia. By midsummer the Albanian leaders and the greater part of the Turkish army in Europe had sworn fidelity to the constitution.
On the 25th of May an insurrection broke out in Samos, owing to a dispute between the Samian Assembly and Kopassis Effendi, “prince,” or governor of the island. After the port of Vathy had been bombarded by Ottoman war-ships the revolt was easily crushed.
This affair however was of little more than local importance, and the Young Turks were not directly concerned in it. They The Revolution of 1908. struck their first blow on the 22nd of July 1908, when Niazi Bey and his troops raised the standard of revolt at Resna, a town on the road from Monastir to Ochrida. On the 23rd the committee of union and progress, under the presidency of Enver Bey, proclaimed the constitution in Salonica, while the second and third army corps threatened to march on Constantinople if the sultan refused to obey the proclamation. On the 24th the sultan yielded, and issued an iradē, restoring the constitution of 1876, and ordering the election of a chamber of deputies. Various other reforms, notably the abolition of the spy system and the censorship, were announced soon afterwards. Some of the more unpopular officials associated with the old régime were assassinated, among them Fehim Pasha, the former head of the espionage department, who had been exiled to Brusa in 1907 at the request of the British and German ambassadors. Otherwise the revolution was effected almost without bloodshed; for a time the insurgent bands disappeared in Macedonia, and the rival “nationalities”—Greek, Albanian, Turk, Armenian, Servian, Bulgarian and Jew—worked harmoniously together for the furtherance of common constitutional aims. On the 6th of August Kiamil Pasha, an advanced Liberal, became grand vizier, and a new cabinet was formed, including a Greek, Prince Mavrocordato, an Armenian, Noradounghian, and the Sheikh-ul-Islam.
The success of the Young Turks created a serious situation for the statesmen of Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. A regenerated Bosnia and Bulgaria. Ottoman Empire might in time be strong enough to demand the evacuation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to maintain or extend the nominal suzerainty over Bulgaria which the sultan had exercised since 1878. Accordingly, at the beginning of October 1908, the emperor Francis Joseph informed the powers signatory to the treaty of Berlin that the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Dual Monarchy had become necessary, and this decision was formally announced in an imperial rescript dated the 7th of October. The independence of Bulgaria was proclaimed on the 5th. The Ottoman government protested to the powers, but it wisely limited its demands to a claim for compensation. Austria-Hungary had from the first undertaken to withdraw its garrisons from the sanjak of Novibazar—an important concession; after prolonged negotiations and a boycott of all Austrian goods exported to Turkey, it also agreed to pay £2,200,000 as compensation for the Turkish crown lands seized in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This arrangement was sanctioned by the Ottoman parliament, which assented to the annexation on the 6th of April 1909 and recognized the independence of Bulgaria on the 19th of April, the Russian government having enabled Bulgaria to pay the indemnity claimed by Turkey on account of the Eastern Rumelian tribute and railways (see Bulgaria: History). On the 3rd of February 1910 the Porte accepted a Bulgarian proposal for a mixed commission to delimit disputed sections of the Turco-Bulgarian frontier, and in March King Ferdinand visited Constantinople.
Meanwhile the Young Turks were confronted with many difficulties within the empire. After the first fervour of enthusiasm The Reaction in the Provinces. had subsided the Christian nationalities in Macedonia resumed their old attitude of mutual jealousy, the insurgent bands began to reappear, and the government was in 1909–1910 forced to undertake the disarmament of the whole civil population of the three vilayets. In Albania serious discontent, resulting in an insurrection (May-September 1909), was caused by the political rivalry between Greeks and Albanians and the unwillingness of the Moslem tribesmen to pay taxes or to keep the peace with their neighbours, the Macedonian Serbs. In Asia Minor the Kurdish troops under Ibrahim Pasha revolted, and, although they were defeated with the loss of their commander, the Kurds continued to attack indiscriminately the Turks, Nestorians and Armenians; disturbances also broke out among the other reactionary Moslems of this region, culminating in a massacre of the Armenians at Adana. In Arabia Ratib Pasha, the Turkish commander-in-chief, joined the enemies of the new régime; he was defeated and captured in the autumn of 1908, but in the following year frequent raids upon the Hejaz railway were made by Bedouin tribesmen, while a Mahdist rebellion broke out and was crushed in Yemen.
More serious than any of these local disturbances was the counter-revolution in Constantinople itself, which began with The Constantinople Counter-revolution. the revolt of Kiamil Pasha, the grand vizier, against the authority of the committee of union and progress. Kiamil Pasha was forced to resign (Feb. 14, 1909) and was succeeded by Hilmi Pasha, ex-high commissioner of Macedonia. Strife then arose between the committee and the Liberal Union, a body which mainly represented the Christian electorate, and on the 5th of April Hassan Fehmi Effendi, who edited the Serbesti, the official organ of the union, was assassinated. He was an Albanian, and his fellow countrymen in the Constantinople garrison at once made common cause with the opponents of the committee. Mutinous troops seized the parliament house and the telegraph offices; the grand vizier resigned and was succeeded by Tewfik Pasha (April 14); and delegates were sent by the Liberal Union, the association of Ulema and other bodies to discuss terms with the committee. But Abd-ul-Hamid had issued a free pardon to the mutineers, and the committee had now decided that the new régime would never be secure while the sovereign favoured reaction. They refused to treat with the delegates, and despatched 25,000 men under Mahmud Shevket to Constantinople.
The senate and chamber met at San Stefano, and, sitting jointly as a National Assembly, issued a proclamation in favour The New Régime. of the committee and its army (April 22, 1909), by which Constantinople was now invested. Part of the garrison remained loyal to the sultan, but after five hours of severe fighting Shevket Pasha was able to occupy the capital (April 25). The National Assembly met in secret session two days later, voted unanimously for the deposition of Abd-ul-Hamid II., and chose his younger brother Mahommed Reshad Effendi (b. Nov. 3, 1844) as his successor, with the style of Mahommed V. Abd-ul-Hamid II. was removed to Salonica on the 28th, and on the 10th of May the new sultan was formally invested with the sword of Osman. Hilmi Pasha again became grand vizier, but resigned on the 28th of December 1909, when he was succeeded by Hakki Bey. On the 5th of August 1909 the new constitution described above was promulgated by imperial iradē; parliament was prorogued for three months on the 27th, and during the recess the committee of union and progress met at Salonica and modified its own rules (Oct. 23), ceasing thenceforward to be a secret association. This was regarded as an expression of confidence in the reformed parliament, which had laid the foundation of the important financial and administrative reforms already described. On the 13th of September 1909 the Macedonian international commission of finance met for the last time; its members were reappointed to a higher finance board for the whole empire, under the presidency of Djavid Bey. Ch. Laurent had already been nominated financial adviser to the empire (Sept. 16, 1908), while Sir William Willcocks became head of the irrigation department; the reorganization of the army was entrusted to the German General von der Goltz, that of the navy to Admiral Sir Douglas Gamble (resigned Feb. 1, 1910).
The evacuation of Crete by the four protecting powers was followed in 1909 by renewed agitation. Turkey was willing Crete, Greece and Rumania. to concede the fullest local autonomy, but not to abandon its sovereign rights over the island. In July 1909, however, the Greek flag was hoisted in Canea and Candia, and it was only lowered again after the war-ships of the protecting powers had been reinforced and had landed an international force. The Cretan administrative committee swore allegiance to the king of the Hellenes in August, and again, after a change of government, at the end of December 1909. This situation had already given rise to prolonged negotiations between Greece and Turkey. It also contributed towards the conclusion of an entente between Turkey and Rumania in the summer of 1910. Both of these powers were interested in preventing any possible accession of territory to the Bulgarian kingdom; and Rumania (q.v.) had for many years been a formidable opponent of Hellenism among the Macedonian Vlachs. Greece and Crete were thus confronted with what was in effect a defensive alliance between Turkey and Rumania. The Cretans had insisted upon their demand for union with Greece and had elected three representatives to sit in the Greek national assembly. Had this act been ratified by the government at Athens, a war between Greece and the Ottoman Empire could hardly have been avoided; but a royal rescript was issued by the king of the Hellenes on the 30th of September 1910, declaring vacant the three seats to which the Cretan representatives had been elected; the immediate danger was thus averted.
Bibliography.—(1) General Historical Works: The monumental Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches, by J. von Hammer Purgstall (1st ed., 10 vols., Vienna, 1827–1835; 2nd ed., 4 vols., Pest, 1840; French trans., by J. J. Hellert, 18 vols., Paris, 1835–1843), is still the standard work until the conclusion of the treaty of Kuchuk Kai'narji (1744), at which date it stops. Founded upon it are Sir E. S. Creasy’s History of the Ottoman Turks (London, 1878) and S. Lane-Poole's Turkey in the “Story of the Nations Series” (London, 1888); Sutherland Menzies’s Turkey, Old and New (2 vols., 1880) is derived chiefly from French sources and is less accurate and unbiased. An excellent and impartial history in Turkish is the Tarikh-i-devlet-i-osmanié, by Abdurrahman Sheref (Constantinople, A.H. 1315–1318 = A.D. 1897–1900). The Balkans, by W. Miller (London, 1899), in the “Story of the Nations Series,” deals with Turkey’s relations with the Balkan states. Halil Ganem’s Les Sultans ottomans (2 vols., Paris, 1902) contains much that is interesting, if not always entirely trustworthy.
2. Monographs: Much information on modern Turkish history and politics will be found in the works dealing primarily with topography, finance, law and defence, which have been cited above. See also S. Lane-Poole, Life of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe (2 vols., London, 1888); A. Vandal, Mémoires du marquis de Nointel (French ambassador at Constantinople from 1670 to 1678); E. Engelhardt, La Turquie et le Tanzimat (Paris, 1882); E. Driault, La Question d'orient depuis ses origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris, 1898); V. Berard, La Turquie et l'Hellénisme (Paris, 1897); idem, Le Sultan, l'Islam et les Puissances (Paris, 1907); idem, La Révolution turque (1909).
3. Official Publications and Collections of Treaties: Sir E. Hertslet’s Treaties Regulating the Trade, &c., between Great Britain and Turkey (London, 1875) presents a summary of all the principal treaties between Turkey and other states; see also Gabriel Effendi Noradounghian, Recueil d'actes internationaux de l'empire ottoman, 1300–1789, t. i. (Paris, 1897). Much valuable information is to be obtained from parliamentary papers. These are too numerous for detailed mention, but the following periods may be cited as the most interesting: 1833–1841 (Egyptian question); 1849–1859 (Crimean War and the events by which it was preceded and followed); 1868–1869 (Cretan insurrection); 1875–1881 (Bosnian and Herzegovinian insurrection, Russo-Turkish War, Berlin treaty and subsequent events); 1885–1887 (union of Eastern Rumelia with Bulgaria); 1889–1890 (Cretan disturbances); 1892–1899 (Armenian and Cretan affairs); 1902–1907 (Macedonia); 1908–1910 (revolution and reform). Some analysis of the unpublished documents in the record office, for the period 1815–1841, by W. Alison Phillips, will be found in the bibliographies to chs. vi. and xvii. of vol. x. of the Cambridge Modern History. (X.)
In all literary matters the Ottoman Turks have shown themselves a singularly uninventive people, the two great schools, the old and the new, into which we may divide their literature, being closely modelled, the one after the classics of Persia, the other after those of modern Europe, and more especially of France. The old or Persian school flourished from the foundation of the empire down to about 1830, and still continues to drag on a feeble existence, though it is now out of fashion and cultivated by none of the leading men of letters. These belong to the new or European school, which, in spite of the bitter opposition of the partisans of the old Oriental system, has succeeded, partly thiough its own inherent superiority and partly through the talents and courage of its supporters, in expelling its rival from the position of undisputed authority which it had occupied for upwards of five hundred years. For the present Old School. purpose it will be convenient to divide the old school into three periods, which may be termed respectively the pre-classical, the classical and the post-classical. Of these the first extends from the early days of the empire to the accession of Suleimān I., 1301–1520 (700–926); the second from that event to the accession of Maḥmūd I., 1520–1730 (926–1143); and the third from that date to the accession of ‛Abd-ul-‛Azīz, 1730–1861 (1143–1277).
The works of the old school in all its periods are entirely Persian in tone, sentiment and form. We find in them the same beauties General Character of Ottoman Literature. and the same defects that we observe in the production of the Iranian authors. The formal elegance and conventional grace, alike of thought and of expression, so characteristic of Persian classical literature, pervade the works of the best Ottoman writers, and they are likewise imbued, though in a less degree, with that spirit of mysticism which runs through so much of the poetry of Irān. But the Ottomans did not stop here: in their romantic poems they chose as subjects the favourite themes of their Persian masters, such as Leylī and Mejnūn, Khusrev and Shīrīn, Yūsuf and Zuleykhā, and so on; they constantly allude to Persian heroes whose stories occur in the Shāh-Namā and other storehouses of Iranian legendary lore; and they wrote their poems in Persian metres and in Persian forms. The mesnevī, the ḳasīda and the ghazel—all of them, so far at least as the Ottomans are concerned, Persian—were the favourite verse-forms of the old poets. A mesnevī is a poem written in rhyming couplets, and is usually narrative in subject. The ḳasīda and the ghazel are both monorhythmic; the first as a rule celebrates the praises of some great man, while the second discourses of the joys and woes of love. Why Persian rather than Arabian or any other literature became the model of Ottoman writers is explained by the early history of the race (see Turks). Some two centuries before the arrival of the Turks in Asia Minor the Seljūḳs, then a mere horde of savages, had overrun Persia, where they settled and adopted the civilization of the people they had subdued. Thus Persian became the language of their court and government, and when by-and-by they pushed their conquests into Asia Minor, and founded there the Seljūḳ Empire of Rūm, they carried with them their Persian culture, and diffused it among the peoples newly brought under their sway. It was the descendants of those Persianized Seljūḳs whom the early Ottomans found ruling in Asia Minor on their arrival there. What had happened to the Seljūḳs two centuries before happened to the Ottomans now: the less civilized race adopted the culture of the more civilized; and, as the Seljūḳ Empire fell to pieces and the Ottoman came gradually to occupy its place, the sons of men who had called themselves Seljūḳs began thenceforth to look upon themselves as Ottomans. Hence the vast majority of the people whom we are accustomed to think of as Ottomans are so only by adoption, being really the descendants of Seljūḳs or Seljūḳian subjects, who had derived from Persia whatever they possessed of civilization or of literary taste. An extraordinary love of precedent, the result apparently of conscious want of original power, was sufficient to keep their writers loyal to their early guide for centuries, till at length the allegiance, though not the fashion of it, has been changed in our own days, and Paris has replaced Shīrāz as the shrine towards which the Ottoman scholar turns. While conspicuously lacking in creative genius, the Ottomans have always shown themselves possessed of receptive and assimilative powers to a remarkable degree, the result being that the number of their writers both in prose and verse is enormous. Of course only a few of the most prominent, either through the intrinsic merit of their work or through the influence they have had on that of their contemporaries, can be mentioned in a brief review like the present. It ought to be premised that the poetry of the old school is greatly superior to the prose.
Ottoman literature may be said to open with a few mystic lines, the work of Sultān Veled, son of Maulānā Jelāl-ud-Dīn, the author Pre-classical Period. of the great Persian poem the Mathnawī. Sultān Veled flourished during the reign of ‛Osmān I., though he did not reside in the territory under the rule of that prince. Another mystic poet of this early time was ‘Āshiḳ Pasha, who left a long poem in rhyming couplets, which is called, inappropriately enough, his Dīvān. The nocturnal expedition across the Hellespont by which Suleimān, the son of Orkhan, won Galipoli and therewith a foothold in Europe for his race, was shared in and celebrated in verse by a Turkish noble or chieftain named Ghāzī Fāzil. Sheikhī of Kermiyān, a contemporary of Maḥommed I. and Murād II., wrote a lengthy and still esteemed mesnevī on the ancient Persian romance of Khusrev and Shīrīn; and about the same time Yaziji-oghlu gave to the world a long versified history of the Prophet, the Muḥammedīya. The writers mentioned above are the most important previous to the capture of Constantinople; but there is little literature of real merit prior to that event. The most notable prose work of this period is an old collection of stories, the History of the Forty Vezirs, said to have been compiled by a certain Sheikh-zāda and dedicated to Murād II. A few years after Constantinople passed into the hands of the Ottomans, some ghazels, the work of the contemporary Tatar prince, Mīr ‛Alī Shīr, who under the nom de plume of Nevāyī wrote much that shows true talent and poetic feeling, found their way to the Ottoman capital, where they were seen and copied by Aḥmed Pasha, one of the viziers of Maḥommed II. The poems of this statesman, though possessing little merit of their own, being for the most part translations from Nevāyī, form one of the landmarks in the history of Ottoman literature. They set the fashion of ghazel-writing; and their appearance was the signal for a more regular cultivation of poetry and a greater attention to literary style and to refinement of language. In Sinān Pasha (d. 1420), another minister of Maḥommed the Conqueror, Ottoman prose found its first exponent of ability; he left a religious treatise entitled Tazarru‛āt (Supplications), which, notwithstanding a too lavish employment of the resources of Persian rhetoric, is as remarkable for its clear and lucid style as for the beauty of many of the thoughts it contains. The most noteworthy writers of the Conqueror’s reign are, after Aḥmed and Sinān, the two lyric poets Nejātī and Zātī, whose verses show a considerable improvement upon those of Aḥmed Pasha, the romantic poets Jemālī and Hamdī, and the poetesses Zeyneb and Mihrī. Like most of his house, Maḥommed II. was fond of poetry and patronized men of letters. He himself tried versification, and some of his lines which have come down to us appear quite equal to the average work of his contemporaries. Twenty-one out of the thirty-four sovereigns who have occupied the throne of ‛Osmān have left verses, and among these Selīm I. stands out, not merely as the greatest ruler, warrior and statesman, but also as the most gifted and most original poet. His work is unhappily for the greater part in the Persian language; the excellence of what he has done in Turkish makes us regret that he did so little. The most prominent man of letters under Selīm I. was the legist Kemāl Pasha-zāda, frequently called Ibn-Kemāl, who distinguished himself in both prose and verse. He left a romantic poem on the loves of Yūsuf and Zuleykhā, and a work entitled Nigāristān, which is modelled both in style and matter on the Gulistān of Sa‛dī. His contemporary, Mesīhī, whose beautiful verses on spring are perhaps better known in Europe than any other Turkish poem, deserves a passing mention.
With the accession of Selīm’s son, Suleimān I., the classical period begins. Hitherto all Ottoman writing, even the most highly Classical Period. finished, had been somewhat rude and uncouth; but now a marked improvement becomes visible alike in the manner and the matter, and authors of greater ability begin to make their appearance. Fuzūlī (d. 1563), one of the four great poets of the old school, seems to have been a native of Bagdad or its neighbourhood, and probably became an Ottoman subject when Suleimān took possession of the old capital of the caliphs. His language, which is very peculiar, seems to be a sort of mixture of the Ottoman and Āzerbaijān dialects of Turkish, and was most probably that of the Persian Turks of those days. Fuzūlī showed far more originality than any of his predecessors; for, although his work is naturally Persian in form and in general character, it is far from being a mere echo from Shirāz or Isfahān. He struck out a new line for himself, and was indebted for his inspiration to no previous writer, whether Turk or Persian. An intense and passionate ardour breathes in his verses, and forms one of the most remarkable as well as one of the most attractive characteristics of his style; for, while few even among Turkish poets are more artificial than he, few seem to write with greater earnestness and sincerity. His influence upon his successors has scarcely been as far-reaching as might have been expected—a circumstance which is perhaps in some measure owing to the unfamiliar dialect in which he wrote. Besides his Dīvān, he left a beautiful mesnevī on the story of Leylī and Mejnūn, as well as some prose works little inferior to his poetry. Bāḳī (d. 1599) of Constantinople, though far from rivalling his contemporary Fuzūlī, wrote much good poetry, including one piece of great excellence, an elegy on Suleimān I. The Ottomans have as a rule been particularly successful with elegies; this one by Bāḳī has never been surpassed. Rūhi, Lāmi‛ī, Nev‛ī, the janissary Yahya Beg, the muftī Ebū-Su‛ūd and Selīm II. all won deserved distinction as poets. During the reign of Aḥmed I. arose the second of the great poets of the old Ottoman school, Nef‛ī of Erzerūm, who owes his pre-eminence to the brilliance of his ḳasīdas. But Nef‛ī could revile as well as praise, and such was the bitterness of some of his satires that certain influential personages who came under his lash induced Murād IV. to permit his execution. Nef‛ī, who, like Fuzūlī, formed a style of his own, had many to imitate him, of whom Ṣabrī Shākir, a contemporary, was the most successful. Nā‛ilī, Jevrī and Fehīm need not detain us; but Nābī (d. 1712), who flourished under Ibrāhīm and Maḥommed IV., calls for a little more attention. This prolific author copied, and so imported into Ottoman literature, a didactic style of ghazel-writing which was then being introduced in Persia by the poet Ṣā‛ib; but so closely did the pupil follow in the footsteps of his master that it is not always easy to know that his lines are intended to be Turkish. A number of poets, of whom Seyyid Vehbī, Rāghib Pasha, Raḥmī of the Crimea, Kelīm and Sāmī are the most notable, took Nābī for their model. Of these, Sāmī is remarkable for the art with which he constructed his ghazels. Among the writers of this time who did not copy Nābī are Sābit, Rāsikh and Ṭālib, each of whom endeavoured, with no great success, to open up a new path for himself. We now reach the reign of Aḥmed III., during which flourished Nedīm, the greatest of all the poets of the old school. Little appears to be known about his life further than that he resided at Constantinople and was alive in the year 1727 (A.H. 1140). Nedīm stands quite alone: he copied no one, and no one has attempted to copy him. There is in his poetry a joyousness and sprightliness which at once distinguish it from the work of any other Turkish author. His ghazels, which are written with great elegance and finish, contain many graceful and original ideas, and the words he makes use of are always chosen with a view to harmony and cadence. His ḳasīdas are almost equal to his ghazels; for, while they rival those of Nef‛ī in brilliancy, they surpass them in beauty of diction, and are not so artificial and dependent on fantastic and far-fetched conceits. The classical period comes to an end with Nedīm; its brightest time is that which falls between the rise of Nef‛ī and the death of Nedīm, or, more roughly, that extending from the accession of Aḥmed I. 1603 (1012), to the deposition of Aḥmed III., 1730 (1143).
We will now glance at the prose writers of this period. Under the name of Humāyūn Nāma (Imperial Book) ‛Alī Chelebi made Classical Prose Writers. a highly esteemed translation of the well-known Persian classic Anvār-i Suheylī, dedicating it to Suleimān I. Classical Sa‛d-ud-Dīn (d. 1599), the preceptor of Murād III., wrote a valuable history of the empire from the earliest times to the death of Selīm I. This work, the Tāj-ut-Tevārīkh (Crown of Chronicles), is reckoned, on account of its ornate yet clear style, one of the masterpieces of the old school, and forms the first of an unbroken series of annals which are written, especially the later among them, with great minuteness and detail. Of Sa‛d-ud-Dīn’s successors in the office of imperial historiographer the most remarkable for literary power is Na‛īmā. His work, which extends from 1591 (1000) to 1659 (1070), contrasts strongly with that of the earlier historian, being written with great directness and lucidity, combined with much vigour and picturesqueness. Evliyā, who died during the reign of Maḥommed IV., is noted for the record which he has left of his travels in different countries. About this time Ṭash-köpri-zāda began and ‛Aṭā-ullāh continued a celebrated biography of the legists and sheikhs who had flourished under the Ottoman monarchs. Ḥājī Khalīfa, frequently termed Kātib Chelebi, was one of the most famous men of letters whom Turkey has produced. He died in 1658 (1068), having written a great number of learned works on history, biography, chronology, geography and other subjects. The Persianizing tendency of this school reached its highest point in the productions of Veysī, who left a Life of the Prophet, and of Nergisī, a miscellaneous writer of prose and verse. Such is the intentional obscurity in many of the compositions of these two authors that every sentence becomes a puzzle, over which even a scholarly Ottoman must pause before he can be sure he has found its true meaning. The first printing-press in Turkey was established by an Hungarian who had assumed the name of Ibrāhīm, and in 1728 (1141) appeared the first book printed in that country; it was Vanḳuli’s Turkish translation of Jevheri’s Arabic dictionary.
Coming now to the post-classigal period, we find among poets worthy of mention Belīgh, Nevres, Ḥishmet and Sunbuli-zāda Vehbī, each of whom wrote in a style peculiar to himself. Three poets of note—Pertev, Neshet and Sheikh Ghālib—flourished under Selīm III. The last-named is the fourth great poet of the old school. Ḥusn u ‛Ashḳ (Beauty and Love), as his great poem is called, is an allegorical romance full of tenderness and imaginativePost-
classical Period. power. Ghālib’s style is as original as that of Fuzūlī, Nefī or Nedīm. The most distinguished prose writers of this period are perhaps Rāshid, the imperial historiographer, ‛Āsim, who translated into Turkish two great lexicons, the Arabic Ḳāmus and the Persian Burhān-i Ḳāṭi‛, and Kānī, the only humorous writer of merit belonging to the old school.
When we reach the reign of Maḥmūd II., the great transition period of Ottoman history, during which the civilization of the West began to struggle in earnest with that of the East, we find the change which was coming over all things Turkish affecting literature along with the rest, and preparing the way for the appearanceTransition Period. of the new school. The chief poets of the transition are Fāzil Bey, Wāṣif, notable for his not altogether unhappy attempt to write verses in the spoken language of the capital, ‛Izzet Molla, Pertev Pasha, ‛Ākif Pasha, and the poetesses Fitnet and Leylā. In the works of all of these, although we occasionally discern a hint of the new style, the old Persian manner is still supreme.
More intimate relations with western Europe and a pretty general study of the French language and literature, together with the steady progress of the reforming tendency fairly started under Maḥmūd II., resulted in the birth of the new or modern school, whose objects are truth and Modern School. simplicity. In the political writings of Reshīd and ‛Ākif Pashas we have the first clear note of change; but the man to whom more than to any other the new departure owes its success is Shināsī Effendi, who employed it (1859) for poetry as well as for prose. The European style, on its introduction, encountered the most violent opposition, but now it alone is used by living authors of repute. If any of these does write a pamphlet in the old manner, it is merely as a tour de force, or to prove to some faithful but clamorous partisan of the Persian style that it is not, as he supposes, lack of ability which causes the modern author to adopt the simpler and more natural fashion of the West. The whole tone, sentiment and form of Ottoman literature have been revolutionized by the new school: varieties of poetry hitherto unknown have been adopted from Europe; an altogether new branch of literature, the drama, has arisen; while the sciences are now treated and seriously studied after the system of the West. Among writers of this school who have won distinction are Ziyā Pasha, Jevdet Pasha, the statesman and historian, Ekrem Bey, the author of a beautiful series of miscellaneous poems, Zemzema, Ḥāmid Bey, who holds the first place among Ottoman dramatists, and Kemāl Bey (d. 1878), the leader of the modern school and one of the most illustrious men of letters whom his country has produced. He wrote with conspicuous success in almost every branch of literature—history, romance, ethics, poetry and the drama; and his influence on the Young Turk party of later days was profound. (For the Turkish language see Turks.) (E. J. W. G.)
The magnum opus in English on Turkish poetry is E. J. W. Gibb’s History of Ottoman Poetry (5 vols., 1900–8, vol. v. ed. E. G. Browne).
- Hudavendighiar, Aidin, Konia, Angora, Kastamuni, Trebizond, Sivas, Adana Syria, Aleppo, Sanjak of Jerusalem.
- Bitlis, Van, Mamuret-ul-Aziz, part of Mosul and certain islands of Vilayet of the Archipelago
,of Cyprus, Crete.
- Vilayet of Beirut.
- Syrochaldaic in their churches.
- Greek in feeling, speaking Arabic.
- Syrian in their churches.
- Speaking Arabic and in their churches Syrian.
- Catholic monothelite.
- Or Ben-i-Yahya.
- Or of the sect of the son of John the Baptist (Ben-i-Yahya) whom they regard as their only prophet.
- Mahommedan sect.
- Steamships and Sail-Boats; 1908–1909.
- As Dedeagatch is gaining, and will gradually gain, importance, it has been included in this table.
- It should be noted that the classification of the revenues included respectively under the “direct” and “indirect” categories has now been quite properly changed, the sheep-tax, tithes, mining royalties and forest royalties being comprised under “direct taxes”; stamps and registration duties are placed in a special category, and salt and tobacco under “monopolies.”
- On the 25th of June 1910 the chamber finally passed the budget
for 1910–1911. The figures were as follows:—
Ordinary expenditure, £T32,997,000; extraordinary expenditure, £T2,696,000; revenue £T26,015,000, leaving a deficit of £T9,678,000, which was brought up to over £T10,500,000 by special credits for the pension fund, the payment of debts incurred by Abd-ul-Hamid and indemnities to officials. On the other hand, the minister of finance reckoned that the revenue would probably show an increase of £T1,500,000, while about £T2,000,000 of expenditure would remain undisbursed, which, with a reserve of £T2,000,000 from 1909, would reduce the deficit to roughly £T5,000,000.
- For simplicity's sake, the lottery bonds having a special treatment different from that of the rest of the loans, these groups, when the new bonds of the reduced debt were exchanged against the old bonds of the original loans, became “series” thus: Series A, group i.; series B, group ii.; series C, group iii.; series D, group iv. and lottery bonds.
- Exclusive of £T50,000 representing the retrocession of the reftish (Egyptian tax, abolished in 1895) to the régie.
- Up to 1902–1903 the extra-budgetary receipts and fines had been carried to account of the respective revenues concerned; after that date they were placed under a special heading. After 1905–1906 extra-budgetary receipts relating to expenditure previously effected have been deducted from “General Expenses.”
- The 3% customs surtax is not included in this table. It came into force on the 13th of July 1907, and produced during the remainder of the financial year £T544,987; 25% of this revenue is ceded to the public debt; the remainder reverts to the government.
- The capital in circulation for these loans, established on the 1st of March 1326 (1910), is approximate.
- There was a heavy fall in the receipts in the four years 1895–1896 to 1898–1899 inclusive. The climax was reached in 1897–1898 when the net revenue amounted to only 63,975 as compared with £T352,000 in 1894–1895, and it did not revert to its previous level until 1902–1903. This was the result of the Armenian massacres, the wholesale emigration of Armenians of all classes, the accompanying profound political unrest throughout the country, and the great extension of contraband which ensued from it.
- Specially formed by the Anatolian railway group for the execution, which the Anatolian Railway Company guarantees under the Bagdad Railway Convention, of the Bagdad railway concession.
- The line from Mustafa-Pasha to Vakarel now lies in the kingdom of Bulgaria.
- Constructed and worked by the State.
- Extension of Anatolian Railway.
- The Anatolian Railway group (German) has obtained control of this little railway, which was originally British.
- After the fall of the caliphs of Bagdad (1258), descendants of the Abbasids took refuge in Cairo and enjoyed a purely titular authority under the protection of the Egyptian rulers.
- It was ten years before a formal truce was signed with Spain (1584); two hundred years passed before the signature of a definitive treaty of peace and commerce (Sept. 14, 1782).
- They were renewed with England in 1593, 1603, 1606, 1622, 1624, 1641, 1662 and 1675.
- The definitive treaty was signed at Constantinople on the 16th of April 1712 (renewed June 5, 1713).
- See G. F. de Martens, Recueil des traités, 1st series, vol. ii. p. 286, also Noradounghian, Recueil, p. 319.
- Text in Martens, Recueil, 2nd series, vol. iv. p. 466.
- The treaty of alliance with Russia was signed on the 23rd of December 1798, that with Great Britain on the 5th of January 1799.
- Text in Holland, p. 212.
- “Correspondence . . . respecting the rupture of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Greece, &c.,” in State Papers, lix. 584., &c., Protocols of Conferences, p. 813, &c.
- See Mr Baring's reports in Parl. Papers (1878), lxxxi.