Diaries

3/4/1907

Wed Ap 3. [3 April 1907] Went out at 8 and up onto Mt Pagus. Most wonderful morning, the view superb, a brilliant light red anemones growing inside the ruined walls and the fruit trees in flower. We came up between the two hills where the stadium was. I looked for the site of the theatre but in vain. Elsie W. [Whittall] told me that a man had come recently to her father saying he had found an underground passage in which was a sarcoph. and wd Mr W. give him a charm wherewith to find gold, for when he worked at trying to get out the sarcoph. he made such a noise that all the neighbours heard. Mr W. thinks of going up to have a look at the place. Fattuh says that since the railway came to Aleppo [Halab] all the trade goes that way and Alexandretta [Iskenderun (Alexandria ad Issum)] is deserted. Mr Barnham has gone to Persia. The new man is a rough rude fellow and drinks. Walked down through the town, changed and wrote letters. Mr van L. [Van Lennep] and Mr Bari, the fig merchant came to see me. After lunch did some shopping and went to Burnabat [Bornova] by train. Elsie W. met me at the station and we called on Mrs Ernest Paterson, Mrs Stonor's aunt, a handsome oldish woman with an older and uglier sister. Then we went to the Herbert Whittalls whom I was very glad to see again. I found them both aged and looking very sad; their daughter Helen died last September. They were very friendly dear creatures. Then we went to Mr Richard W. where we found him and his wife and his daughter Mme[?] van Heemstra. He was most kind and gave me all sorts of help and good advice. He then spoke of the state of AM and of the disappearance of the Turk. In the last 10 years the military drain has been 800 000 men all of whom died or came back crippled and useless. The Circassian settlers die out what with fevers and idleness. They will not work but are merely horse stealers and cattle lifters. The native population hates them and shoots them down if possible. Once he was out shooting with a Turkish peasant and suddenly the man stopped and crouched down behind a bush saying "Wait! be quiet!" and prepared to shoot. Mr W said: "What are you going to shoot?" "Hush hush!" said the men. Mr W. looked through the trees and saw a Circassian whom the man was aiming at. He was just in time to stop him. The man was much surprised and said "Why? isn't he carrion?" (elish?) (Mr W couldn't find the English word). When the Russians invaded Bulgaria and it passed from Turkish hands 300 000 Bulgarian Turks emigrated. 250 000 came to the coast lands of AM, an excellent sober hard working population. They at once began to cultivate with great diligence and their Turkish neighbours gradually followed their example. As a result an immense deal more land came into cultivation. Mr W. remembers when all round Malcajik and to Ephesus it was nothing but scrub and swamp, now it is all under cultivation. With more cultivation the swamps disappeared and the country became more healthy. Formerly a Turk with 5 children used to count upon losing 4 from fever and ague; now he only expects to lose 2. These Bulgarians are probably not Turks by race but the local population of the Balkans forced to embrace Islam by the conquerors. Their villages are clean and well kept whereas the Osmanli[?] villages are dirty and tumbledown. The immigrants from Crete [Kriti] are idle and useless. Mr W doubts whether the C'ple [Istanbul (Constantinople)] quays will turn out good business. Haidar Pasha [Haydarpasa] is the port of Asiatic Turkey and it is in German hands; the Germans will develop it more and more. C'ple is the port of European Turkey but if Macedonia goes it will have little value for it will only desserve the town itself. He expects that Macedonia will go very soon and says the Turks expect it too. They are leaving the country in large numbers and coming to AM. He thinks the Bulgarians are the race of the future and that they will solve the Macedonian question. He says they must not be judged by the insurgent bands of Macedonia who are the mere riff raff. He knows Chekeji well and says he is on the best terms with his family but that now he is reduced to desperate straits; his wife died recently in prison. Mr Edward W once got Chekeji pardoned and has had the most curious correspondence with him. Once he went out by appointment to meet him in the Nif Dagh but Ch. was ill and cd not come. Elsie W. came with me to the station. We met Mr Harry Paterson there and she introduced him. I had a letter to him from Dr Freshfield. The old Mrs Whittall married at 15 and had 20 children! She is now 85.

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