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The article of 1911 Edition of Encyclopaedia Brittanica about 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° to' to 19° 20' E.), and lying in the east mainly between 40° and 42° and in the west between 39 0 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 Mahommedan 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 southwest 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.


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; Homs, 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 are. supposed to number some 1 o millions, of whom 11 million belong to Turkey in Europe. Of the Semitic races the Arabs - over whom, however, the Turkish rule is little more than nominal - number scme 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.


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 24 E 20 „??, Uzh viSeirad?..l ";e 'k. di Chachak ., ?

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Regions inhabited,orVilayets.


Albanians .

Iannina, Scutari of Albania,

Kossovo, Monastir




Buigarians .

Salonica, Kossovo, Monastir

Orthodox (dis-


Servians.. .



Greeks.. .

Constantinople, Adrianople,

Salonica, Monastir, Kos-

Orthodox and

partly Greco-

sovo, Janina, Archipelago,

Vilayets of Asiatic Turkey,

(Hudavendighiar, Aidin,

Konia, Angora, Kastamuni,

Trebizond, Sivas, Adana


Syria, Aleppo, Sanjak of

Jerusalem) Crete

Kutzo-Vlachs (See

Monastir, Iannina



Turks.. .

The whole of European Tur-

key,Vilayets of Asia Minor,

(Bitlis, Van, Mamuret-ul-


Aziz, part of Mosul and cer-

tain islands of Vilayet of the

Archipelago, of Cyprus,


Lazes.. .

Trebizond and throughout

Mussulman and

the whole of Eastern Asia



Kurds. .

Erzerum, Sivas,Seert,Angora,



Circassians .

Spread over the whole of Asia



Avchar. .

Adana, Angora, Sivas


Arabs.. .


Sanjak of Jerusalem, Hejaz,

Yemen, Beirut, Basna


Armenians. .

Constantinople and spread

Gregorian and

over the other Vilayets of


Turkey in Europe; also

Sivas, Angora, Trebizond,

Adana, Erzerum, Bitlis,

Mamuret-ul-Aziz, Mosul,

Aleppo, Van

Jews.. .

Spread through Turkey in

Je w

Europe and Asia, and large-

ly congregated in the San-

jak of Jerusalem, and in the

Vilayets of Bagdad, Mosul,

Syria, Beirut.

Samaritans .

Only in the Sanjak of Nap-

luze (Vilayet of Beirut)

Samaritan Jew

Gipsies. .

Spread throughout the whole



Chaldaeans or

Bagdad, Mosul and partly



speaking partly

Aleppo, Beirut and Mamu-




and partly

Arabic (Syro-

chaldaic in

their churches)

Melchites, or

Beirut, Aleppo, Syria

United Ortho-

Syrian Greco-



(Greek in feel-

ing, speaking


Jacobite Syrians,

speaking Ara-

bic and partly

Beirut, Syria, Aleppo, Mosul,



and Jacobite

Syrian (Syrian

in their churches)

Monites (speak-

Mt Lebanon, Beirut


ing Arabic and


in their churches



Druses.. .

Mt Lebanon,SanjakofHauran


Mendaites or


Sabaean: or of


the sect of the

son of John

the Baptist

(Ben-i-Yahya l

whomthey re-

gard as their

only prophet.

Yezzites. .

Mosul, Bagdad, Basra


medan sect)

I a o Pa Paxo t, f s -- ? NI ~ G. of Vo/o' 39 ? (°t's i? 0,Leuca Santa 0 lf G.of Chander li r tiaid arPash o 1 SEA OF KQUIn ? Kadi ravatsara 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 regime, 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 Irade (July 24) the constitution which he had granted in December 1876 and suspended on the 14th 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-Halnid only in some matters of detail, was promulgated by imperial Irade 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 nahies (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, 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).


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 regime 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 977,4 0 9 (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 94 th 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: - 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 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 regiments of 4 squadrons each, or 48 squadrons in all, attached to the first three ordus. It was further proposed to appoint one regiment 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.

War Strength of Battalions.

Total War Strength of Infantry.



N. C. O. 's

and Men.






and Men.




Special Chasseurs. .









Nizam. ... .









Redif I.. .. .






337,5 00

39,75 0


Redif II.. .. .









Mustahfiz.. .










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 depots. 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, Poo 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 II 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-ulHamid, 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 regime " the Turkish government displayed commendable energy in reconstructing and reorganizing the seapower of the empire. New construction to an amount of £T5,000,000, repayable over ten years at the rate of £T50o,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.


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. In1890-1891the number of steamers that entered and cleared Turkish ports was 38,601, and of sailing vessels 140,726, the total tonnage of both classes of vessels being 30,509,861. In1897-1898the 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. In1904-1905the number of steamers was 49, 2 35 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 in1899-1900was 1 77 of 55,93 8 tons, as compared with 87 of 46,498 tons in 1897-1898, the number of sailing Value of Goods Imported into, and Exported from, together with Number vessels in the same years being respectively 2205 of 141,055 tons and Tonnage of Vessels cleared at, Principal Ports of Turkish Empire. 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 for1905-1906and 1908-1909; the same information for the year1905-1906with 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.

Nature of Goods.














American Cloth






Figs .



Cotton. .. .. ... .






Crude Iron and Iron Bars.. .



Sheepskins and Goatskins. .



Carpets, &c.






Cotton Thread.



French Beans, Chick Peas and Beans



Cashmere Cloth






Madapollam 916,715








Woollen Fabrics





Cotton Print (Calico). .. .



Tiftik (Silk-waste) .









S ugar. .. ... .



Country of Origin or


Imports from

Exports to
















England. ... .









Germany. ... .









Austria-Hungary. .






10 87



Italy. ... .









Spain ... .. .








0 10

Persia. ... .









Switzerland. .. .


o 23







United States.. .









Belgium. ... .


















Russia. ... .









Rumania... .









Japan. .. .









Servia. .. .









Holland. ... .









France. ... .









Montenegro. .. .









Greece. ... .


I 79







Egypt. .. .









Bulgaria. ... .

' 409,727








Samos. ... .




o 66




Tunis.. .









Other Countries .







£ 2 7,5 1 4, 0 5 2











Import Duties.

















1 9 08 - 1909








Value of Principal Articles Imported and Exported for the year 1905-1906. Value of the Goods Imported from or Exported to Principal Countries during the years1905-1906and 1908-1909. The revenues produced by the customs duties for the five years1905-1906to1909-1910are as follows: Finance 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 i As Dedeagatch is gaining, and will gradually gain, importance, it has been included in this table.

Value of the Goods im-

ported into, or exported

from, Turkey, during

Table indicating the

number of Vessels,

(Steamships and Sail-

Boats), and Tonnage,

cleared at the follow-


the year 1905-1906.

ing ports of the Otto-

man Empire, in the

year 1908-1909.




of Vessels






1 ,3 81 ,43 2

1 7,79 2


Dependencies of



2 ,453,75 8



Smyrna.. .

3,7 2 4,5 2 5

5,7 22, 2 73



Beirut. .. .

3,5 68 ,437

1 ,57 8, 6 9 1



Salonica.. .

3, 111 ,957




Prevesa.. .





Yemen.. .





Jidda. .





Adrianople. .





Bagdad.. .

1 ,5 10 ,43 0









Tripoli in Africa





Trebizond .

1 ,5 0 7,77 1


1 ,3 8 9


Scutari, Albania .





Erzerum.. .





Basra... .





Kavala.. .





Samsun .





Tripoli in Syria .





Jaffa. .. .





Chios... .





Aivali. .





Dedeagatch 1.





Total. .




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 [ashar] 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 jiziye, 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 jiziye, 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-Khairiye (1839) of Abd-ul-Mejid, and the Hatt-iHumayun 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 Maliye, 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 " (havale). 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 (mevlud). 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 currenc y, 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 emiriye 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 regime" 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-usnumiye) 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 (kaime) 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 loo-piastre piece (Turkish pound), 7.216 grammes, .9163 fine. The silver coins were of 20, 10, 5, 2, I and 2 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, TO, 5 and i 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 io 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-mumtaze), 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 (hazin g 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 X 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 jedide) 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 kaime 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 08,000,000) were devoted to the withdrawal of the kaime. Later, however, the kaime 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-ulIslamat 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 (divan-i-mouhassebat). 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 (anglice, 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 ill fifteen years (1881-1896) amounting to £T11,666,000 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 (havale) 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 havales, 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 £T 9 ,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.