Diaries

7/4/1907

Sun 7. [7 April 1907] Grey, warm, some rain. Went off at 12.15 to Burnabat [Bornova]. Elsie W. met me at the station and took me to her house - the Edward Whittalls. Lunched and spent the afternoon there. Mr E.W. said that Turkey was getting poorer and poorer. 20 years ago the officials used to be paid, now they are not. Formerly the taxes used to be collected very mercifully; when a man couldn't pay he was allowed to get many years into arrears. Now every penny of these arrears had been squeezed out of the people and they were paying taxes for 2 years ahead. The Palace takes 5 million a year instead of the former 1 million; this is to pay for spies and the palace guard. £40,000 goes from Smyrna [Izmir] vilayet every week for the palace. The result is almost nothing is left for the working of the vilayet. He thinks the end must be near. Possibly the govt. will provoke a movement against the Xians in which case Europe must intervene. He said the action in Macedonia cd never produce an effect as long as the Turks were allowed to carry out the decisions of the Powers. He thinks if Macedonia were granted autonomy the difference bet. the native Xians would soon settle themselves. He hopes the next Sultan will not be allowed to ascend the throne without the promise of some sort of a constitution. He hopes Kiamil Pasha may be the man to administer it if he is not too old. The Sultan's health is very shaky. The eldest son is a drunken madman; the next Burhan ed Din is the Sultan's choice. Reshad is the present Sultan's younger brother. We went out in the rain to see the garden. He grows quantities of bulbs for England, propagating them here[?], either foreign or native. A beautiful pale double daffodil was in flower and three tulips, saxatile (pale pink) gesnaria (a tall red one with black marks inside) and elurium, (I think, a red and white with a very pointed flower). Had tea and then went on to the Richard Whittalls where I found Mrs van Heemstra. Mr Cumberbatch was calling. Stayed there to dinner. Dick Whittall showed me photographs of a lovely Greek statuette found at Cnidus - looked like 4th cent. It is now at the Brit. Mus. He wants £600 for it and they offer him £250. He considers Cnidus one of the most promising sites. He has a collection of pottery, ancient and modern and various odds and ends. Drove home in the rain, an hour's drive. Mr E.W. says a great change has come over the attitude of the Turks with regard to the Sultan. 'Abdul Aziz stayed with his grandfather and after the visit the Turks flocked to kiss the place where he had stood and slept. Now they openly curse him, to a European not to one another because they fear spies. During the recent occupation of Mytilene [Mitilini] some peasants asked him what was happening. He said it was to get justice for Macedonia. "Why don't they try to get justice for us" they said " we are suffering as much." He thinks the only possible salvation is the education of the women - if it is not too late. It is beginning. He now sees Turks driving about with their wives which wd have been unheard of before. Also some of the women see were unveiled.

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