Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘allied occupation of constantinople’

“The
problem
of
delinquency In
Constantinople,
as
in
so
many
other
cities,
has
become
much
more complicated
since
the
great
war. This
is
due
not alone
to
the
general letting
down
of
moral
standards
noticeable
everywhere,
but also
to special causes
operating
here
and
not
to
such
an
extent
elsewhere.
First
and
most
potent
of
these should
be mentioned
the
large
influx
of
refugees,
of
various nationalities
and
from
various
places,
most
of
whom
are
without
regular
employment
and
many
of
them
very
poor.
Both
larceny
and
immorality
are
increased in
this
way,
and very
probably
other
crimes
also. 

A
second
special
cause
is
the
continuance
of a
state
of
war,
rendering the
return
to
stable
financial
and
business
conditions impossible. Until commerce
again
opens up
with
Asia
Minor
and
the
Black
Sea littoral,
the
employment
problem
will
not
be
settled,
and
the
temptations
to
business
dishonesty will
continue
to
be
great. 

A
third
special cause
has
been emphasized
by
some, namely, the
divided
responsibility
for
the
policing of
the city,
which
renders
it
impossible
for the Turkish
police
to arrest foreigners
and
impracticable
for the Allied police
to arrest Ottoman
subjects.
Whatever
truth
there may
be
in
this,
is
probably
offset
by
the
added
impetus
given to
the
Ottoman
police
by
the
aid and
example of
the Allied police,
so that in
the
opinion of the writer this
fact
has
little
bearing
on
the
prevalence
of
crime.
It
should
be
added
that
in
a
city
where
an
unusually
international
population
is
so
strangely
agitated by
nationalistic
feeling
and
jealousy,
the task
of keeping
order is
no
easy
matter. Many
crimes
of violence classed
as
civil
are
in
reality
political in
their
background;
and this
is
bound
to
be
so
in
unusual
proportion
until
the
future of
the
city
is
settled.
Under
existing
conditions
we
should
be
grateful for
the
measure
of
quiet
we
enjoy.

III.
The
Police
Force

I.
The Turkish Police 

a.
Organization
and Relation to Government

The
Turkish Police Department is under the Ministry of Interior, and is
under the direction of Hassan Tahsin Bey, Director-General, the
General Headquarters being at Shahin Pasha Hotel, Sirkedji, Stamboul.
There is a staff of thirty officials at the General Headquarters,
divided into four sections: Personnel, Secret Service, Public
Security, and Identifications. The appointment and removal of police
officials is in the hands of the Director-General, Tahsin-Bey, who is
responsible to the Minister of Interior. 

b.
Number and Location of Police Districts

There
are thirty-two Central Police Stations or Merkez, divided
geographically into three sections: those of Stamboul, Pera, and
Scutari. Besides these, there are two sub-stations or secondary
central stations, those of Bab-i-AH (Stamboul the Sublime Porte) and
Haidar Pasha (at the Railway) on the Asiatic side. The figures
represent the approximate staff attached to each Merkez, the number
varying somewhat from time to time. 

c.
Policemen: Number, Training, Efficiency
 

(i)
Regular Police:
Central Office: 31 
Chief
Commissaires (Ser-Kommiser): 43 
Sub-Commissaires:
48

Assistants
(Mouvin): 236

Policemen:
2812 
Total:
3170 

(2)
Civil or Secret Service Police:

Chiefs:
7

1st
class: 23

2nd
class: 31

3rd
class: 234

Information
Service: 5

Total:
300 

Grand
Total: 3470

d.Training.

About
ten years ago a School for Police was started, and is still
continued, under the care of Ghalib Bey, a man of thirteen years’
experience in the police service. Here from ninety to one hundred men
are given a three months’ training, their places being taken at the
end of that time by another set for another three months. They are
given courses in the principles of justice, in criminal law, methods
of conducting trials, police regulations, international law in its
police aspects, first aid, gymnastics and health care, drill of
various sorts, use of telegraph and telephone, etc., also
dactylography and physiognomy and the elements of anthropology. These
men are new candidates for the service, as well as those already in
service who have not had an ordinary education. They are selected by
the Chief of Police, and pass examinations both on entrance and on
completing the course. They may be expelled from the school and from
the service for drunkenness or persistent unexcused absences or bad
conduct. The students in the school have thus far all been Turks; in
fact, as far as can be learned, all Turkish Police are Turks. The
Director of the School says he is in favor of admitting men of all
races. Complaint has been made, and apparently with considerable
justice, that the course in the school is too theoretical, without
embracing those topics that would be of most practical use to fit men
for actual service. For instance, present-day criminal conditions in
the city are not studied. Methods of preventing crime, and of
watching notorious criminals, and the special characteristics of the
various classes and races, are not studied. The American Y. M. C. A.
has been introducing into the school modern methods in gymnastics and
games, with the double result of securing better physical bearing in
the men and promoting better relations between them and men of
different race and faith. This is very much appreciated by the
management.

(e)
Efficiency.

The
Chief of Police himself states that the great danger for the police
of this city is the taking of bribes. That this practice is fairly
common is attested from other sources; and there seems to be evidence
that many criminals get away from justice by this means. On the other
hand, the pay of the police has been increased since the war, to meet
the greater cost of living, and the Allied police authorities see to
it that these salaries are paid regularly. This has had its effect in
increasing efficiency as compared with the pre-war times

(f)
Warrants
for
Arrest
or
Search.

No
warrants
are
needed
by
a
policeman
for
arresting a
Turkish
subject,
for
any
cause
whatever;
but
a
warrant
is
required
by law
for
the
searching
of a
house.
No
foreigner
is
exempt
from
arrest
in
case
of
sudden
emergency or
crime
of
violence committed;
but
every
arrest
of
a
foreigner
must
immediately
be
made
known
to
the consular
or police
authorities of
his
nation,
and
the
prisoner
turned
over as
required.
The
Turkish
Police
are not
permitted to
search
the
house
of
a
foreigner
unless
with
the
consent
of his
government. 

(g)
Pensions.
There
is
a
system
of
pensions for disabled
policemen, and
for
the
families of
those that
die in
service.
It
is
described
by
the
Director-General
as
insufficient,
owing
to
shortage
of
funds.
In
the
efficiency
records
kept
for
the
police,
experience,
intelligence,
and
literacy
are
taken
into
account;
but in
the
pensions
given,
not
enough
attention
is
paid
to
the grade
of
efficiency
attained.
In
short,
as
Hassan
Tahsin
Bey
expressed
it,
there
are
neither sufficient
rewards
nor
sufficient
punishments.

2.
Inter-Allied Police

a.
Functions
and
Relation
to
Turkish
Police

The
Inter-Allied
Police have
both
military
and
civil
functions;
they
are
charged
with
the
duty
of
seeing that
the
provisions of martial law
are
observed
by every
nationality
in
the
city;
but
their
civil
authority
is
limited
to
the subjects or
citizens
of
Allied countries.
They
cooperate
with the
Turkish
Police
in
securing
the application of traffic
regulations
and
keeping
order in
the
streets;
the
Allied
police
authorities see to it
that
the
salaries of
the
Turkish
Police
are paid
regularly
and
that
they
maintain
a
certain
degree
of
efficiency;
but
otherwise
their
jurisdiction is
limited
to
the
foreign population. 

b.
Organization

The
Italian,
French,
and
British
sections of
the Inter-Allied
Police
are
each
under
its
own
officers
and
management;
but
all
are
united under
Colonel
Ballard,
President
of
the
Inter-Allied
Police
Commission.
For
the
purpose
of
the
Inter-Allied
Police,
the city
is
divided
into
six
sectors
:
Pera,
Galata, Shishli,
Stamboul
I(St.
Sophia),
Stamboul
II
(Bayazid),
and
Scutari.
The
central
office
is
in
Pera,
Rue
Cabristan,
in
the
former
Hotel
Kroecker;
there
are branch
stations
in
Galata,
at
Arabian
Han,
and
in
Stamboul,
opposite
the Public Debt
Building,
also
in
Scutari. 

IV.
The
Correctional
System
 

1.
Police
Courts 

Persons
arrested
by
the
Turkish
Police
are
first
taken
to
the
nearest
police
station,
and,
as
soon
as
their
case is
heard
by
the
Commissaire
in
charge,
they are taken
to
the Merkez,
or
Center, of the
District,
where
there
is
a
trial
and
imprisonment,
the
prisoner
is
sent
to
a
Tevkif-Hane,
or
detention place,
to await
trial.
Of
these
there are
three;
one
each in
Stamboul,
Pera
and Scutari.
These
detention
places or
jails
are
the
local
prisons
also,
so
that
persons
awaiting
trial
are
generally
in
the
same
ward
or
guardroom
as
those
already condemned
to
short
terms. 

2.
Turkish
Prisons

a.
Old
or
Sultan
Ahmed
Central
Prison
in
Stamboul 
Facing
the
ancient
Hippodrome,
directly
opposite
the
Mosque
of
Sultan Ahmed,
is
the
group
of
buildings
known
as
the
Sultan
Ahmed
Prison,
which
for
centuries
past
has
served as
the
main
prison
for the
city.
It
is
in
the
heart
of
the
residence
section
of
the
old
city.
Previous
to
the
erection of
the
new
prison,
near
the
Department
of
Justice,
this
prison
was
usually
overcrowded;
and at
present
its
population
is
far
beyond
what
would be
considered its
healthful
capacity.
Here
were
found,
on
March
19,
1921,
748
prisoners,
all
males,
of whom
some
72
were
in
the
separate
division
for
boys,
their
ages
ranging
from
fifteen
to
twenty-one. 

Divisions:
The
main
bulk
of the prisoners are in
two
sections,
of
approximately
250
and 500 respectively,
each
having
a
common
yard,
and
being
lodged in
barracks
or
rooms
opening
on
this.
These
main buildings
are stated to date
back
to
the times
of the
Janissaries, who
flourished
from
1360
to
1826,
and
to
be
about 600
years
old.
Parts
of
them
certainly
appear
to
bear
this
out. They
were
used
in
those
days
for
the
barracks
of
the Marines.
In
the smaller of the
two
main sections,
we
found
at
our
visit
about
218
prisoners,
quartered
in
two
rooms,
each about 100
by
25 feet,
with
ceilings
some
15
feet
high, each
with four
small windows.
These
are
neither sufficiently
lighted
nor
sanitary
in
their
appointments.
The
men sleep
in
two
rows
with
an aisle
between,
and
about
as
thick
as
the
beds
can
be placed.
The
prisoners
in
this
building
are in
general
those with
lighter
sentences, the terms
varying from
six
to
eighteen
months.
Nationalities
are mixed
in
an
interesting
conglomerate:
an
Arab
from
Yemen, a
Greek
from Adrianople,
a
Maltese,
a
Syrian,
and
others
in
one
group.
In
one
of
these rooms,
was
a
man
with
a
genius
for decoration; he
had
constructed
out
of
prison bread
a
number
of
miniature
deer,
geese, dogs,
and
other
animals,
placing them
on
a
garden
box with
real
grass
growing
in
it.
This
rare
instance
of
any
occupation for
any
of
the
prisoners
deserves to
be
mentioned.
This
same
building
contains also
small
rooms
for
well
behaved
cases
who
have
thereby
earned special
privileges. Several
such men
are
serving long
sentences,
for
murder,
etc.,
but
for good
behavior
are
placed
from
three
to
six
in a
room.
Some
of
these rooms
were
quite
comfortable
looking,
with
pictures
on
the
walls,
and
in
some
instances
with
reading matter.

Indiscriminate
Herding:
Neither
here
nor
anywhere in
the
prison is
there
any
effort
to
keep
prisoners
apart.
They
are
thrown
together
all
the
time,
and
have free
access to the common
yard
apparently
whenever
they
like.
Thus
the
hardened
criminal
has
all
the
chance
he desires
to corrupt
those
who
may
be
perfectly
innocent
and
under mistaken
condemnation
to
a
short
term. Opening
out
on
the
larger of the
two
yards
were
two
main
wards.
One
of
them
was formerly
the
storage
room
for
ammunition;
it
is about
lOO
by
30
feet
and
the
ceiling
is
high,
at
least
30
feet.
It is
quite
dark,
with
only
small windows.
Eighty-two
men
were
here,
most
of
them
in
for
long
sentences,
some
for
life;
or,
as
the Turkish
sentence
reads,
for
101
years.
Among
them,
however,
were some
serving
short sentences.
About
eighteen
of these
men
are
quartered
in
a
gallery, above
the
main
floor,
and
their
lot
is
somewhat
better;
for
the
floor
itself
is
damp
and
quite
unhealthful.
This
was
the
only
place
where
any
iron
bedsteads
were
found,
aside
from
the
private
rooms.
Were
it
not
for
these
bedsteads,
all
the
inmates
would
certainly
suffer
with
rheumatism, if
nothing
worse. In
every other
ward,
the
men
sleep
on
the
floor,
the
Government
furnishing
only a
thin
blanket
or mat
to
put
under
them.
If
they
or their
friends
can
furnish
mattresses or
blankets
or quilts
to cover
them, they
are
fortunate.

The
Black
Hole:
The
room
characterized
by
the
Chief
Warden
as
the
worst
of
all
is
L-shaped,
the
two
wings
of
about
the
same
length;
and
opening
into
these
two
long
corridors
are fourteen
square
cells,
each
twelve feet
square, with
dome
ceilings,
and
the
very
little
light
reaching
them
comes
from
a
single window
into
the main
corridor;
which
itself
is
none
too
light
even
on
a
bright
day. Each
corridor
is
about
300
feet
by
20,
yet
there are
but
six
small
windows
for
each,
and
nearly
all
were
shut
on
the
day
of
our
visit,
to
keep
out
the cold but
fresh
air.
In
each of the small cells,
seven
men
make
their
home.
Their condition
is
most
pitiable.
Here
again,
men
serving
all
lengths
of sentence are mingled. About
300
prisoners
are
in
this place.
It should
be
added
that
this
section, like
all
others
in
the
prison, is
fitted
with
electric
lights, which
were turned
on for
our
benefit.

Boys’
Department:
The
boys,
of
from
fourteen
to
twenty-one,
are in
a
smaller
building,
with
upper
and lower
rooms
of
the same
size,
each
about 75
by
18
feet,
fairly
well
lighted,
with
a
very
small
courtyard
for
exercise.
Here
are
several boys
under
sentence
for murder,
even
one only
fifteen
years
old;
several
also
for
sexual
crimes;
many
for
larceny; and
several
had
been
sentenced
more
than
once.
All
are
not
only
mingled
indiscriminately,
but
in
such
cramped
quarters
that it
seems
impossible
for any
boy
to
come
through
without
having
become
a
hardened
criminal.
Here,
as
everywhere
in
the
prison,
the inmates
were
hardly
decently
clothed,
most
of
them
being
in
rags
and
with
very insufficient
underclothing
and
many
of
them
barefoot,
either
with
or without clogs.
The
prison
management
furnishes
no
clothes
whatever.
Those
prisoners
who
have
friends
or
relatives
depend
on them
to
keep
them
supplied;
while
for the
most
desperate
cases
who
are
friendless,
an
appeal
is
sometimes
made, we
were
assured,
for
cast-off
clothing
to
hide
their
nakedness.
The
clothing
certainly
looked
cast-off,
and
it
hid
their
nakedness
only
partially.

Bath:
Once
in
two
weeks the
whole
prison
population
is
put
through
the
Turkish
bath,
in
batches
of sixteen
to twenty,
since
the
bath
is
none
too
large.
It
takes
about
four days to
bathe
the
whole
number, each
batch being allowed about half
an
hour.
While
the
man
is
bathing,
his
clothing
is
said
to be
put through
a
delousing
machine;
but
of
the machine
we
saw
nothing.

Hospital:
The
prison
hospital
is
a
modern
frame
structure,
fairly well
equipped
with beds,
bedding,
and
necessaries,
and
capable
of holding
from
twenty-five
to thirty
men.
At
the
time of this
visit,
there
were
ten
men
in
the
general ward,
eight
in
the
venereal ward,
and
four
in
the
tubercular ward.
The
warden
informed
us
that if
any
case
of
contagious
disease
appears,
it
is sent
to one
of
the city
hospitals,
as
there
are
no
accommodations for
such here.
Only
the
cases that involve
lying
in
bed
are
brought
here,
those
who
are
able to
sit
up
are
treated
in
the
wards
or
barracks
of
the
prison. There
is
a
doctor,
who
comes
from
outside
every
day,
also
a
surgeon,
an apothecary, and
a
nurse
appointed
for
this
prison
hospital.
No
hospital
clothes or
pajamas
are
provided;
the
sick
occupy
the
beds
dressed
in
whatever
rags
they may
possess.
On
a
later
visit,
we
saw
at
the
hospital a
man
serving
a
life
sentence
for murder,
who
is
feeble-minded
and
has
to
be
watched.
There
is
no
special
hospital or
prison for such in
the
city.

On
this
later
visit,
we
were
shown
the
quarters
which
were formerly
used for
women,
and
had
just
been
opened
to
younger
offenders.
Here
we saw
twenty-two
boys,
all
in
for
short terms. The
rooms
are
lighter and
airier
than
any others
in
the
whole
institution.   

Guards:
To
preserve
order
in
this
prison,
there
are
but
twenty-eight
guards, of whom
usually
about
eight
are
away on
leave.
Naturally
twenty men
are
far
too small a
number
to
guard
750
or
800
inmates,
especially
when
these
have
every
opportunity to
consult
and
conspire
together
unhindered
in
the
great yard. Occasionally trouble has
broken
out
– though
we
did
not learn this
from
the
prison
authorities
– and
gendarmes
from without
are
hurriedly
summoned.
The
warden
told
us there
had
been
but two
escapes
from
the
prison during
the
year,
both
of
them
persons
who
had
been
allowed out
of the
walls
for work.
We
were
assured
by
the
warden
that
corporal punishment
is
not
allowed
by law; but this
is
denied
by others.
The
only
methods
of
punishment
acknowledged for
insubordination
of any
sort
are a
lengthening
of
the
sentence
or “solitary
confinement”
in
a
separate
cell
or
building.
This
is
a
shed
approximately 40
by
18
feet
in
size, with
the
only
windows
high
above the
ground,
in
a
yard
separated
from
the
rest
of
the
prisoners;
and
here
as
many
as
four
persons are
sometimes
given
“solitary
confinement”
together;
but
at
the
time of this
visit,
the
place
was
empty. 

Employment:
The form of sentence in the case of long or severe sentences is often
for so many years “with hard labor.” The warden confessed,
however, that there was no provision whatever for the hard labor, and
that with the exception of a very few professional men who work for a
part of day, nobody had anything to do in the form of regular
employment. The prisoners do their own washing and cleaning, carry
the food around to the various barracks, where it is eaten – there is
no dining-room whatever – and do the menial work; but most of them
sit idle all day, save as that well-known personage keeps them busy
who “finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.” We
were shown the workshop, where five or six men were making mangals,
or braziers, for cooking purposes. These sell for one lira ($.80) ;
the materials cost about half that sum, and the prison authorities
receive 20 per cent of the profit, leaving about forty piasters
($.32) theoretically for the workman, this being deposited to his
credit. From other sources, however, we learned that very often this
does not reach the prisoner, either in cash or in credit. There were
others making window-frames and doing other carpentry; also in
another room four or five men making shoes and one was doing
tailoring – a man serving ten years for murder.
The
officials
told
us the men
worked
six
hours
a
day
if
they
wished;
but
the
men
say
they are allowed
to
be
there only about
three
hours. Materials
and
implements must
be
furnished by
the
men
themselves.   

Physical
and
Moral
Welfare:
Samples of
prison fare,
both
for
ordinary
prisoners
and
the
sick
on
special
diet,
were
shown
us,
and
were well
cooked
and appetizing.
The
bread
also
is
fair
in
quality.
It
is
baked
in
ovens
outside,
there
being
no
facilities
in the
prison for baking. The
amounts
assigned
for
daily consumption
are
as
follows: 

Boulghour
250
grams

Beans
128

Rice
210 
Fresh
Vegetables 320 
Bread
960
grams

The
following
vegetables
in
rota-

Vegetable
225

Olive
Oil
30

Onions
30

Salt
12

Relishes
12

(Meat,
once a
week,
192
grams)

Also,
for washing,
150
grams
soap
each fortnight.

The
heating
of the
barracks
is
mainly
by charcoal
mangals,
though
in
one
we
saw
two
stoves
for
coal or
wood.
Virtually
all
the
living
quarters
are
lit
at
night
by
electricity;
this makes
some of
these
places better lighted by
night
than
by day,
though
even
then
hardly
enough
to
read
by.

There
is
a
mosque
for
the
Moslem
inmates,
and
a
church
or
chapel for
Christian
service;
a
Greek
and
an
Armenian
priest
come
once
a
week,
and
a
Moslem
hodja
daily.
These
holy
places
are tiny,
considering
the
prison
population; but attendance
is
purely
voluntary, and
we
were
assured
that
the
accommodations
were quite
sufficient.
Before
leaving
the
place,
one
of
the American
visitors,
a clergyman
(though the
warden
was not
aware
of
this)
was
asked
to
say
a
few
words
to
encourage
the
prisoners.
It
was
a
most
unusual
opportunity,
and
an
interesting
audience
to
address.
He
spoke
to
them
of
the
fact that,
though
they
had
been
sent
there
by
human
judges,
their
actual Judge
was
God
Himself,
before whom
every
heart
was
open,
and
from
whose eyes
nothing
could
be hid,
and
that
it
was
to
Him
that
they
must
give
account; but that
they
should
remember
that
God
Is
love,
and
loves
even
the
evil-doer,
that
He
loves
every
one of
them
and
longs
for their
salvation.
The
entire
company
that
listened were
most attentive;
evidently they
do
not
hear
such
words
very
often.

The
Chief
Warden
of
this
prison
is
Emroullah
Bey,
who
has
been in
this position
only
about
five
months. 

Statistical
Report of Old Central Prison, Stamboul. Year 1336-1920
 
Total
number
of
prisoners: 1530
Moslems:
1098

Non-Moslems
(Christians
and
Jews): 432

Literate,
Moslems:
402

Non-Moslems
.
. . 212

Single:
1057

Married:
473

Twenty-five
years old
or under:
841

Over
twenty-five:
689 

Crimes:
Larceny
761

Sodomy
10 
Wounding
94

Murder
116

Miscellaneous
..
549 

Hospital
Report:

Admitted:
697 
Recovered:
488

Improved:
124

Unimproved:
35

Died:
6

Transferred:
15 


Venereal
cases:

Moslems:
130 
Non-Moslem:
80

Total:
210

Treated
with
neo-Salvarsan: 170 

b.
New
Central
Prison
in
Stamboul

Site
and
Plan:
The
newly
constructed
Central
Prison in
Stamboul
(not
yet
complete)
is
located
back
(south)
of the
Department
of
Justice,
near
Saint
Sophia, It
was
designed
by
a
Turkish
architect,
and
seems admirably
suited
to its
purpose,
embodying
as
it
does
many
of
the most
modern
ideas about
prisons.
It
consists
of
three floors
besides
the basement,
and
is
solidly
built of
heavy
masonry, with
iron
bars
at
all
windows.
Around
it
runs
a
yard,
and
around that,
the
outer wall of the premises. Guards
stationed
at
the
four
corners
can
see
the
whole
area.
Besides
the prison itself,
there
are quarters for the officials,
and
a
mosque
and
a
church,
the latter
not
yet
completed
or
ready for
use.
The
foundations
are
in
for
a
separate
building for women,
to
be
isolated
from
the
main
building
but accessible
from
the
officials’
quarters;
but
until
this
is
constructed
the women
are
occupying
the
officials’
quarters,
while
the
latter
have
rooms
in
the
main
building.
The
total
capacity
of
the
building
is
given
as
400.

In
the
lower
floor
are
dining-room
accommodations
(not
finished
off
or
used
as
yet)
and
storerooms
for
food. The
kitchen
is
in
a
separate
outhouse. Nothing
in
the
line
of
dungeons
was
visible,
nor
are
any
of
the
prisoners
kept
in
underground
or
dark
rooms.
Just
at
the entrance
on
the
main
floor
is
the
office
of
the
doctor;
and
each
prisoner
when
first
brought
in
is
given
a
medical
examination.
If
any
disease
is
suspected,
he
is
kept
in
the
quarantine
rooms
for
ten
days, before
being allowed in
the
cells
or
wards.
There
is
on
the
south
side
of
the building a
large
airy
room
for
a
hospital; but
it
is
as
yet unused,
and
sick
persons
are
kept
in
the
rooms
intended
for
recalcitrants,
some
of
which
are
single
cells,
some
double.
The
building
was
begun
four
years
ago, but
the
money
appropriated
has been exhausted. 

Prisoners:
The total number of prisoners at the time of the visit was 246, of
whom between 40 and 50 were women. The women are under a woman
matron, and the ordinary Moslem precautions, such as giving previous
notice and covering the faces of the women, are observed when the
Chief Warden or any other man is admitted to the women’s quarters. No
separation of nationalities or religions was observed, either among
men or among women. Most of the prisoners were found in large rooms,
from eight to twenty in a room. There is no idea of separate cells
for each, except as a punishment for insubordination. The younger
prisoners – from fifteen to twenty years old — are kept separate
from the older men; but there appears to be no attempt to separate
hardened criminals from neophytes, nor those sentenced to long terms
from those whose trial has not yet taken place. Those adjudged guilty
of murders and grand larceny were found in the same room with those
not yet tried. 

Accommodations:
The
rooms
all
have
high
ceilings
and
appeared well
ventilated,
with
plenty
of window-space,
though
all
windows
seemed
to
be
kept
shut
for fear of the cold (early
in
March).
Each group
of
prisoners,
however,
was
found
to
have
a
brazier
of coals,
and
it
was
stated
that
an
allowance of
two
kilograms
{4-/5
pounds)
of
charcoal
per
day
was
given
for
each.
This
was
not
verified.
The
rooms
were
all
fairly
warm.
A
central
heating
plant
with
hot water
pipes
is
among
the
plans
for the building,
but
has not been
installed
for
lack of funds.
The
excavation
for
the “calorifer” was
shown us.

One
room
was
occupied
by
three
men
sentenced
by
the
court-martial,
who
appeared
to
have
special
privileges; but
in
other
rooms
those
under
sentence
of court-martial and
those
sentenced by
the
civil
courts
were
mingled.
This
was
explained
as
irregularity,
since it
was
stated
that all
persons
from
the
court-martial
were
supposed to
be
in
the
military prison on
the
grounds
of
the Seraskerlat,
or
War
Department.

The
various
rooms
were
not
locked or
fastened,
and
prisoners
appeared
to
have
the
run
of
the corridors.
Guards
armed with
rifles
and
bayonets
stand on
each
floor,
as
well
as
outside
of the
building.

Food
and
Furnishings:
Owing
to
the
incompleteness
of the
dining-rooms,
meals
are
now
served
in
the
prisoners’
quarters, or
in
the
corridors.
Each
prisoner
is
given
a
daily
allowance
of
960
grams (2
pounds)
of
bread, of good
quality,
specimen
of
which
was
exhibited;
also one
hot
meal
per
day,
consisting
of
either
thick soup,
or
beans,
lentils
or
some
other
such vegetable ;
with
meat
once
a
week.
The
meal
is
served
in
large
dishes,
one
for
each
six
or
eight
prisoners, a
spoon
or
fork being
allowed each person.
The
prisoners
all
looked
well
cared
for,
and
apparently
get enough
to
eat.

A
start
has
been made
in
furnishing
the
prison
with
iron
bedsteads,
there are as
yet
only
about
fifty
of
these;
the rest
of
the
prisoners
sleep
on
the
floor.
In
theory,
each
bedstead
is
to
have
a
mattress,
a
pillow,
a
sheet, pillowslip,
and
two quilts
or
army
blankets.
In
practice,
not
all
the
fifty
beds
have
mattresses
yet,
nor
do
those
who
sleep
on
the
floor
have
them; they
have
but
one
blanket
under
them,
and
one
over them. We
saw
but
one
sheet
and
one
pillow-slip
in
the
prison

a
sample
in
the
future
hospital.

Cleanliness
and
Godliness:
The
prison
bath
Is
a
little
gem
of
its
kind,
finished off
in
white
marble,
but has
not
yet
been
used,
nor
have
the
water
connections
been
put In.
Evidently
It
Is
not
Intended
to
give
four
hundred
prisoners
a
dally bath, for It
Is
built
to
accommodate
six
persons
at
a time.
The
prisoners
do
their
own
washing.
There
is
a
mosque
for
the prisoners,
which,
through
a
separate
entrance,
is
also
available for the civilians
of
that district
of
the
city.
This
was
explained
as
due
to
the
fact that,
before
the
prison was
built,
there
was
a
mosque
on
that
spot,
and
the
people
were
entitled
to the use
of
one
there.
But
the
prisoners do
not
use
It
at
the
same
hour
with
the
civilians.
Jewish
prisoners
also
use
the
mosque
for
their
services if
they
desire.
A
separate
building has
been erected
for
a
church
for
the
Christian
prisoners,
but
the
Interior Is
still entirely
unfinished.
The
interior
of
the
mosque
is
prettily
finished
off
in
blue
tiles
and
white
plaster,
with
the
names
of
the Moslem
prophets,
etc..
Inscribed
on
the
tiles.
For the
medical
care
of the
prisoners, two
doctors
are
detailed, who
come
on
alternate
days
to
examine
any
cases
that
call
for
care.
A
resident
male
nurse
is
constantly
in
attendance,
but cases
of
illness
do
not
appear
to
be
numerous,
to judge
from
the
six
cases
in
the
sick
bay
at
the
date of the visit.

Plans:
The
Chief
Warden,
Ismail
Hakki
Bey,
has
many
good
ideas
in
connection
with
prison
management,
and
evidently
has
studied
modern
methods.
He
plans
to
have
a
school
for the
prisoners, and
also
workshops,
so
that
they will
be
taught
trades
as
well
as
how
to
read
and
write.
He
also
plans
to
have
prison
garb
for
all,
so
that at
their admission
they shall
have
a
bath
and
put
on
this
garb,
their
own
clothing
being
taken away
and
kept
in
a
storeroom
till
they
are discharged. He
wishes
all
to
be
given
an
hour’s exercise
daily in
the
courtyard.
He
also
insists
on
the
necessity
of
sufficient
bedsteads
and
bedding as
above
outlined;
and
further
desires
the
prison guards
entirely
disconnected
from
the
city
police
force
and
given
their
own
distinctive
uniform.
All
these
things
depend
on money, and this
is
not
forthcoming. The
Government
has
not even enough
for
the payment
of
salaries. 

Statistical
Report of New Central Prison, Stamboul,Year
1336-1920 

Total
accused sent
to
prison:
954 

                    Male   Female    Total

Moslems:

                    642     70            712

Greeks:       134     10            144

Armenians:  74       8               82

Jews:           I5        1               16

Total:           865      89           954

Released:

Acquitted     276

On
Bail         —
Other
ways   — 

Condemned
and
imprisoned:
457

Charged
with: 

Larceny              556

Forgery                10

Murder                 99

Pickpockets           8

Wounding            78

Abuse
and
Insult   6

Highway
robbery
25

Arson                    5

Fornication          23  
Robbery                3

Swindling            20

Bribery                  3

Beating               18

Insulting
police     3

Pickpockets        36
Forbidden
weapons
3

Adultery               14

False
witness        3

Rape                   14

Breach
of
trust      2

Embezzlement    12

Breach
of
peace   2

Drawing
weapon 11 

Hospital
Report, New Central Prison, Stamboul, Year 1336-1920


Total
cases          287

Influenza               18

Spanish
Influenza
41

Grippe                   17

Syphilis                  78

Gonorrhea             13

Burns                     27

Stomach
Troubles 24

Tuberculosis          15

Typhoid                  15

Pneumonia            13

Malaria                   21

Epilepsy                 5

Left
Hospital:

Cured                     222

Died                        2

Unimproved           63

Total:                      287 

c.
Pera
Prison

Location:
This
old
and
dilapidated
prison is
next
to
the Lycee
of
Galata
Serai,
back
of
the
Police Station
of that
district
which
faces
the Grand’
Rue.
High
buildings
on
three
sides
of
it
block
off
the
sunshine;
and
the
location in
the
midst
of
the business
portion
of the
city
is
quite
unsuitable. 

Accommodations:
Prisoners
are
accommodated
in
six rooms,
and
the
theoretical capacity
of the
prison
is
50
though at
the
time
of the
visit
there
were
59
there.
Two
rooms,
each about 15
feet square, have
ten
occupants
each,
and
with
only
one
very small
window,
high
up,
letting
in
about
two
square
feet
of
poor
light
and
one
square
foot of air.
Another,
the
largest room
of
all,
is 50
by
8
feet, and
has
two
similar
windows
of
like
size;
and
here
20
men
stay.
Another,
about 21
by
15
feet,
has
also
two
windows,
and only
8
inhabitants,
making
the
proportion
of
light
and
air
better. The
best
accommodations
of
all
are
those
for
women,
this
room
of
30
by
13
feet
having
four
windows,
opening on the
sunnier side
of
the building.
  
Uses
of
Prison:
No
persons
serving
long
sentences
are kept
in
this
prison;
it
is rather
a
place
of confinement
for
those whose
trial
is
not
yet
ended, or who
are
serving
sentences
of
a
few
weeks.
More
than
half
of those we
found
there
had
their
trials
still
pending;
and
among
them
were several
who
had
been
in
this
place
from
four
to
six
months.
The Pera
prison
serves the
uses
of Pera;
but
when
anyone
is
convicted
and
sentenced
to
a term
of
any
length,
he
is
transferred
to
Stamboul,
to
one
of
the prisons there.

Causes
of
Arrest:
By
far
the greater number
here
found
were charged with
larceny,
while
those under
arrest
for
assault
and
for
murder
were
approximately
eight
or
nine
each.
In
nearly half the cases,
the
prisoners on
being
asked why
they
were
there,
said it
was
a
case
of
mistaken
identity
or
of
undeserved
arrest,
they
not
being guilty
at all.
This
is
perhaps
the
best
line
of
defense
for
one
not
yet
convicted.

Furnishings:
There
are
said
to be
iron
bedsteads
for
all
prisoners,
but
at
the
time of our
visit
one
room
was without
beds;
they were
reported
to
be
in
the
hands
of
the repairer.
One
single
piece of
covering, either
for
the floor
or
to
put
over or
under
the
prisoner
on
the
bedstead, is
furnished
by
the
Government;
any
other
such
luxuries
must
be
obtained from
outside.
There
is
no
bath
attached to
this
prison;
when
persons
are
detained
in
it
more
than
a
month,
they
are sent to
a neighboring
public
bath, under
guard at
the
order
of
the doctor. The
toilets
were
in
fair
condition,
though
the
general
odor
of
the
place
was
not
good.

There
are
no
dining-room
accommodations,
but
meals
are
served
in
the
barracks
or
wards.
The
standard
of
meals
is
about
what
it
is in
the
other
prisons
as
before
mentioned. Several
of the rooms
seemed to
be
damp,
but
the
warden
assured
us
this
was
due
to
their
having
been washed
down
with
carbolic
acid,
and
not
to
the
natural
dampness
of
the
place.

The
greatest
desideratum
of
this
place
of detention is
more
light.
The
room
especially
where
the
boys
are
kept
is
pitifully
dark.
The
two
small
windows
are
utterly
inadequate
at
best;
but
the
next
building on
this
side
is
so
close by
that
nearly all
the
light
is
cut
off,
even
on
the
brightest
of
days.
It
was
difficult
for
the inspectors
to
see
to
make
notes,
in
here.
And
certainly
two
of
the
eight boys
detained here
were
less
than
fifteen
years
old;
they
gave
their
ages
as
thirteen
and
fourteen,
but
looked
under
twelve.
These juvenile
offenders, like
all
the
rest,
are
allowed
two
hours
per day
in
the
open
court
beside the prison; but
this
is
only
9 feet
by
45 feet,
and
the
adjacent
houses
are
so
high
that
the
prisoners
get almost
no
sun,
and
see
nothing
except
the
sky
above.

The
warden
of
the prison,
Halid
Bey,
who
has
been in
charge
here for
nine
years, and
has
spent
thirty
years
of his
life
in
prison
work,
told
us that in
all
the
time he
had
known
this
prison
there had
been
no
improvement. Our
guide,
Mouzaffer
Bey,
who
accompanied
the
investigators
to each
of
the
four
prisons,
said of
this
one:
“May
God
save
us
from
this
prison.
If
a person
of
our
antecedents
should
stay
here
one week, we
would
be
ready
for
the
hospital,
and
if
we
stayed
one
year,
it
would
kill
us.”
Mouzaffer
Bey
is
the
Assistant
Attorney
General at
the Department
of
Justice.

Races:
About
two
thousand
prisoners
pass through
this
jail
per
year.
At
the
time
of our
visit,
of
the fifty-nine
prisoners,
twenty-five were
Turks,
thirteen
Greeks,
ten
Armenians,
four
Russians,
two
Jews,
and
five
scattering.
The
warden,
however, informed us
that in
general
the
largest element
of
the
population
was
Greek,
corresponding to
the preponderatingly
Greek
character
of the population
of
Pera, and
that
the
smallest number
in
proportion
to
inhabitants
was
from the
Jews.

d.
Scutari
Prison
Building:

This, the
only
prison building on
the
Asiatic
side of
the
Bosphorus,
was
built
during
the
war,
and
is
modeled
after
prisons
in
Belgium.
British
troops
were
stationed
here for some
time
after
the Armistice,
and, according
to
the
jailer,
had
done Ltq.
40,000
($32,000) worth
of
damage.
The
building
is
wired
for
electricity,
but
the connections are
not
yet in.
When
completed,
the
prison, like
the
new
one
at
Stamboul,
is
to
have
men’s
and
women’s
sections
entirely
separate.
At
present,
the two
women
prisoners
merely
have
a
separate
room
with
a
woman
guard.

Prisoners:
One
of
these women
prisoners
is
sentenced
to
one
month
for
having
led
young
girls
into
a
life
of
vice1
The
other,
a
Greek,
has been in
the
prison
two
months,
accused
of
having
killed
her
husband;
but
the
authorities thought
it
would
take
several
months
longer
before the
trial
was
finished.
She
is
seventeen
years old.
The
male
prisoners
at
the
time
of the
visit
were
36 in
number,
confined
to
three
rooms,
each approximately 18
by
14
feet,
and
each
lighted
by
a
single
window,
from
3
by
23
feet
up
to
6
by
4 feet.
There
were
respectively
15,
II, and
10
prisoners in
the
three
rooms.
Most
of
these
were
Turks,
but
four
in
the
first
room
were
Armenians.

Records:
These
men
were
serving
sentences ranging
from
four
days
to
three
months.
This
is
a
place
intended only for short sentences.
Of
the
36,
26
were
sentenced
for larceny,
7
for
assault,
2 for
drunkenness,
and
i
for
breaking
a
government
seal.

Regulations:
All
prisoners are
allowed
one hour
per
day
in
the
prison yard, which
is
amply
large
for this
small
number
of
prisoners.
Aside
from
this
hour,
they are
confined to
their
rooms.
They
all
sleep
on
the
floor,
and
if
they
wish
bed
covering,
they must
furnish
it
themselves
as
the
prison furnishes simply
floor
covers.
There
are
two
toilets,
which
are
kept
fairly
clean. The
prisoners
are let
out
of their
rooms
by
the
guard
to
go
there.
There
are
sixteen
guards
in
this prison.
  
Food:
Prisoners receive the regulation number of calories – 3000 — per
day. They receive one kilogram (2% pounds) of bread each per day, and
twice a day receive a dish of hot meat or beans or some other
vegetable.


Separate
Cells:
The
men’s
section
has
a
number
of
cells
for
one
or more
people,
amply
large
and
each
with its
window.

Note:
On
the
testimony
of
the warden
and
of
prisoners themselves, one
of
the
greatest
evils
in
the
Old
Central
Prison,
and
presumably in
all
the
prisons,
is
the
prevalence
of
the
opium
habit.
The
authorities
do
not
succeed in
keeping
the
drug
out;
it
is brought
in
especially
by
Turkish
women,
whom
it
is
extremely
hard
to
search
every
time
they go
to
see
relatives; and
many
become
addicts.
The
warden
told
of
one
man
who
had
been
convicted
twenty-one
times
in
twenty
years,
of
various crimes,
and
was
an
incurable
opium
fiend.

3.
Inter-Allied Prisons

Under
the
control of the Inter-Allied Police,
there
are now
four
or five
temporary
prisons.
One
is
used
by
the
Allies together,
near
the
Public Debt
Building
in
Stamboul.
The
French
have one
in
the
Koum
Kapou
quarter
of Stamboul,
near
the
Marmora.
The
British
have
prison
quarters in
Galata
Tower,
and
also
in
Arabian
Han,
near
the
Galata
Custom
House.
A
more
permanent
and suitable
prison
arrangement
is
being
prepared
by
the
British underneath
the
Headquarters
of
the
Allied
Police,
in
the
former
Hotel Kroecker,
in
Pera.
Here,
several
model
cells
have
already
been
made
ready,
and
the
work
is
being
pushed. This
when
completed
will
accommodate
about
one hundred
men, and will
be
both
sanitary
and
modern
in
every
way,
with
ample
yard
space
in
the
sunshine.

4.
Consular Jails

In
connection with
the
Consular
Court
of
each
foreign
nationality
is
a
jail
for
the
detention
of prisoners both
during
and
after
trial.
These
are
entirely
under
the
jurisdiction
of
the
Judge
of
the Consular
Court,
and
are
for
the
nationals
of that
Consulate.

– from Clarence Richard Johnson, ed., Constantinople to-day; or, The pathfinder survey of Constantinople; a study in oriental social life.  New York: MacMillan Company, 1922. pp. 331-355 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

“Constantinople
has three main
divisions,
Stamboul
on the
peninsula washed
by
the
waters
of
the Bosphorus,
the Golden
Horn
and
the Sea
of
Marmara— Galata
and Pera,
on
the
European side
of
the Bosphorus,
and Scutari
on
the
Asian
side, with
suburban
villages along
the Bosphorus
and along the
street-car and
railway
lines,
running
out
respectively from Pera and Stamboul and Scutari.
The towns
of
the islands are
also considered
within the city
precincts. The
larger
factories lie
on
the
outskirts of the city.
The
Golden
Horn, both on the
Stamboul
and the
Galata
side, handles
the commerce;
depots
are gradually creeping up the
Bosphorus.
The shipping
agencies and
banks,
for the most
part, are centered
in Galata;
the
wholesale houses, in
Stamboul.
Certain of
the Galata
houses
have
branch banks in
Stamboul.
The
bazaars
occupy the
first
slope
of Stamboul
up from the
outer bridge across the Golden
Horn. Hand
trades
are generally grouped
and are
located for the most
part
in Stamboul,
and in the
section of
Galata
between the
outer and
inner
bridges which
span the
Golden
Horn. Small shops are
usually clustered in
the
various defined quarters of Constantinople, though
they
are also found
promiscuously scattered over
the
city.

Most of the streets in Constantinople are narrow.
There is
one
main street from
Galata
winding up the
hill
to Pera, and
passing
through
that
quarter, which
must accommodate
a
street-car line and
vehicle
traffic,
besides
the sidewalks, actually
far
too inadequate for the throngs of pedestrians. Another
artery
even narrower
runs
the length of Galata. following the shore line.
Another
main street
runs
from
the
end
of
the outer Golden
Horn
bridge
up
to
and
along
the ridge of Stamboul;
on the
ridge it
becomes
the
most
commodious
street
in the
city.
The
street-car
system
follows
these
three main
streets
with
branches
towards the
outskirts.
Including
the street-car
line that
runs up
the
Bosphorus
six
miles
to
the
suburb Bebek,
the
lines
measure
in
all
about
seventeen
miles.

To the
uninitiated,
Constantinople
addresses spell confusion; they may bear
the
name of
the street, or
in lieu of
this,
so
often missing, especially
in Stamboul,
an address
may
simply
refer to the
district, or
to a Han;
the
latter corresponds
to the
American business
term
“building,”
as “Singer
Building,” etc.
The complexity
of streets and
business
blocks would
worry to despair
any
postal
service; for this reason postal service is less used by business firms than messenger service.  The Hans
and
other
business houses and
apartment houses
in Galata
and Pera,
as also in Stamboul,
are
of stone or
brick. These
buildings
average
two or
three stories; some
are
taller; and
recently
a few
six and
seven
story blocks have
been erected. An
inquiry
was recently
made of
an American
society, concerning
a contracting
firm that would undertake the erection of a fifty story building.
The
customer
wanted a building
“like in
America!”
for
an
apartment house.
The estimate was finally cut down to six
stories.

Dwelling houses
in Stamboul
for
the greater part were, until
recent
years, of wood.
Since
1908
devastating
fires
have
razed about 25,000 structures
in the
city,
and
it
is reported
that
no
wood
constructions
will
be
allowed on
the
burned
areas.
It is
also
reported
that the municipality intends
more
scientific
modifications
in
the
street
plans
of these areas.
A
few
frail
two
story
brick structures have
already
been
erected
in
these
seared spots.  

Needless to say, fire escapes are almost universally lacking. The large buildings, stone structures, are seldom the origin of fires. The wooden structures are small and there is seldom loss of life in a fire, though large districts of the city are destroyed in one sweep of flame, because fire fighting provisions are so largely lacking. The irregular firemen with their diminutive hand pumps are still the vanguard in the fire-fighting to the more deliberate regulars with their modern equipment. Since the war, the powerful apparatus of the allied armies has had telling effect in diminishing fire disasters.

Among
the
native business firms
overhead
expense
is
cut down
to the
minimum, and
the
capital and
activity of
a firm
can in nowise
be
judged
from the
office
space
and
accommodations. A
telephone
is
the
first
sign of
modernity.
Electric
lighting is
the
second step,
progressing
more slowly,
especially in
the
small shops of Stamboul, where
sun
time still
largely
regulates hours
of
work.
There are
not more than
a dozen
elevators
in
the
entire city including
the hotels, and
the running
of these is
qualified. Heating
is
primitive;
only a few
of
the larger hans and
hotels
are installing
central
heating plants. The
brazier,
partly displaced
by
the
small stove about the time of the Crimean
War, is
still
largely
used. Ventilation is
sacrificed to the
conservation of heat in
the
cool seasons.

The great
influence of
tradition in
the Orient
is
patent.
Adet,
custom,
has strongly resisted
foreign
influence. People
and government alike
are
permeated
with
the conservative spirit,
though
for
different reasons. The
system
of
government
in
Turkey
until 1908
was an absolute
monarchy;
the
fiat
of
the ruler
often
reinforced tradition,
rarely
set
it
aside;
there have
been only
spasmodic
and limited
periods of liberalness
and
development. The business world felt the despotic control.
The non-Moslem
subject
races especially
have
been affected
by
this,
and
large
enterprises have
in
general
not developed
normally through fear
of extra exactions; for the same
reason
the possessing of riches
has
been
made
as
unostentatious
as
possible
among
these
peoples, with
the
resultant lack of business accommodations
and
facilities
at the
present time.

Foreign
influence has
played
an important role in
the
development
of
the business life
in Turkey.
The
Capitulations, a political
modification
of Byzantine
economic policy,
which
have been the
special protection
of foreigners in
Turkey,
have assured
larger rewards
to foreign
than to other
capital, with
the
result that
the most considerable
firms in Turkey
to-day,
with
certain
exceptions, are foreign firms.
It is even stated that Russian refugee street vendors
have claimed
the tax exemption
accorded in an
eighteenth
century Russian
commercial treaty
with
the
Sublime
Porte.

The
three
factors enumerated
above,
custom, government, and foreign
influence in business
life,
are
not as such
peculiar to Turkey,
but
they have
a peculiar
relation here in most
illogically
reinforcing
or opposing
each
other in
business enterprises.
It is hardly necessary to state that, as
capital has
been
affected, there
has been
a reaction
on
the
condition of employees
of
capital.

Previous to 1908, under Sultan Abdul Hamid II especially, inventions and industrial improvements were looked on with suspicion by the Government. There was no electric lighting system, save for a few suburban steamers recently imported and for the Sultan’s palace and the Khedival palace on the Bosphorus. There was no telephone system, no local telegraph save for messages in Turkish, and no letter collections. Local mail service was not used by foreigners; business communications were carried on by messengers, and this method still largely prevails in the city. There were no electric street cars, though even before the underground service in New York there was a tunnel funicular between Galata and Pera. There were no automobiles in the city. The introduction of machinery was generally surreptitiously effected. Small shops and hand trades predominated. Since Turkey has been either at war or threatened with war every year since the revolution in 1908, these last two characteristics persist in the business life of the city to-day. The foreign commercial life has progressed more rapidly, yet still most of the actual labor of caring for cargo is performed by hand. Cranes for loading and unloading are few, and quay space and commodious depots are not adequate in normal times.

Constantinople
is
a cosmopolitan
city.
While on
a small
scale, in business
life,
racial distinctions
are
becoming
effaced
in the
labor organizations that are being formed,
and the
relation of employer
with employee is
largely
controlled by
the
dollar and
cent
reckoning of service,
a lingering
sense of paternalism, especially
in the
smaller shops, is
at times
evident. This
is
seen
either in greater
financial consideration of
employee,
or
in inadequate
compensation
for
service.

Baksheesh,
tips,
play
such a
large
part in
the
reward
of unskilled labor in Constantinople, as elsewhere in the Orient, — that
it
loses here
its
Western
signification of "gratuities,“ and
becomes in many
fields almost
synonymous with
"pay."”

–  Laurence S. Moore, “Some Phases of Industrial Life,” from Clarence Richard Johnson, ed., Constantinople to-day; or, The pathfinder survey of Constantinople; a study in oriental social life.  New York: MacMillan Company, 1922. pp. 167-172

Read Full Post »

‘“Our Spirit.” A Modern Ottoman Interpretation of Ottoman History’

“In order to
be able to govern a community well, it is necessary to have
understood it; in order to understand it, it Is necessary to know its
spirit. I take it that up to the present our spirit has not been
analyzed. This is a very broad subject for investigation. As a brief
introduction to it, I offer this rough draft of an essay.

"This is
certain : we belong to a people originally nomad shepherds. For
example, like the primitive Germans, the property of our ancestors
consisted in flocks. Being under the necessitiy of searching for
pasture, they had no permanent centers of life. They were satisfied
with a camp instead of a house, and in the place of heavy household
effects, they contented themselves with huge saddle bags and meager
supplies which were easy to transport. In this way they passed on to
us the instinct to go lightly laden. It can be said that even to-day
you will not find a Turkish home without its travel boxes.

"Our
ancestors, like well trained shepherds, were dexterous, devout,
imaginative, and openhearted. Because they managed flocks that were
always obedient to them, they became accustomed to authority. It is a
well-accepted sociological principle that the customs of ancestors
consti- tute the most important of the factors which determine
character. The fact that our ancestors were accustomed to authority
has created in us a ‘tendency to tyranny.’ I remember a saying which
I used to hear frequently twenty or twenty-five years ago: ‘An Abdul
Hamid burns in the spirit of every one of us.’ And we see every day
that those who reach places of authority among us act somewhat like
shepherds, and treat the people somewhat as if they were a flock of
sheep. I have not yet seen in our country a government which, except
under pressure and necessity, challenges thought, explains its
policies, and calls for an expression of popular will from us in one
way or another, as if we were men. When the subject is looked at in
this light, the yoke of the past appears to hang on our necks with
all its burdensomeness.

"Neither the
palace nor the Divan at any time demanded thought, shrewdness, and
intelligence from the people. Their sole and perpetual demand was
obedience. They expected from us immeasurable, unending, and
universal tractability. This constant obedience has become a very bad
mold for our spirit. In our most liberal judgments a form of
servitude can be detected. Our minds cannot draw a deep intellectual
breath; and our intellects are not commensurate with the liberty
demanded by our hearts.

"If you look
closely, our history is six centuries of tyranny. The pyramid of
government from top to bottom was an apparatus of oppression. It
quite flattened out the Turkish soul whose exaltation was its holy
task. Every official stamp is a pollution of the spirit of the
people. Our feelings with reference to the rulers of our affairs can
be summarized in a few words: the state of being cowed. We recall
that one name of a subject was ‘slave.’ In reality, bad government
has stamped us a little with the spirit of the slave. We were
accustomed to mistrust and deception and, although outwardly pleased
with the government, at the bottom of our hearts we were critical.
Our historians are interpreters of popular sensibilities: ‘Under a
layer of deceit a deep ocean of contempt,’ they say.

"Upon these
original endowments there were grafted on to our spirits in
succession three civilizations: the Seljuk, the Moslem, and the
Byzantine. The Seljuks had brought to Western Asia the civilization
of the Persians with whom they had been in contact for a century and
a half. In their life and art there was a strange Persian flavor.
They spoke Turkish but they wrote Persian. Among the Seljuks as among
the Persians, Islam had assumed the form of mysticism.

"Ertoghroul
Bey and our ancestors who were with him naturally were influenced by
this Seljukian civilization which was originally Persian. Thinking it
poor and contemptible, they did not deem the language which they had
brought with them from Central Asia suitable for official
correspondence and for literature. Our language was left open to
Persian words without rule or limitation. Along with Persian thought
and literature a tendency to emphasize details had its influence on
our spirit. We lost the power to master the general form of the
intellectual and artistic aspects of our life, as a shepherd surveys
a landscape. Our minds were seeking both beauty and truth in elements
and details.

"Our poets,
disregarding the thought structure of a poem, exhibited diffused and
disordered art in its couplets and hemistichs. Structural beauty was
sought, not in the general make-up of our buildings but in their
interior designs and detailed ornamentation. The beauty of our music
also was found in simple melodies rather than in the harmonious
movements of music. In painting, even, principles of art inspired by
Persia were prevalent. There was no science of perspective; there
were no rules of arrangement; there was no eloquence of exposition;
the only beauty held in honor was that of very fine lines and
acrostics.

"On the
other hand, the influence of Moslem culture began to be felt in court
and sanctuary. Our vocabulary was thrown open to Arabic words for the
sake of law and religion. Our intellect remained under the discipline
of Arab learning.

"After we
entered Constantinople we found ourselves in contact with Byzantine
civilization. The Byzantine legacy was a mixture of good and evil.
For example, on the one hand, well-filled libraries, advanced fine
arts, lofty sages, and wise historians were found. On the other hand,
superstitions, lethargy, superficial culture, a paper government,
moral indulgence that was open to criticism, bribery, legal delays,
the arrest of justice because of hair-splitting distinctions.

"Neither
Persian, nor Arab, nor Byzantine civilization was suited to our
character. For in our minds there is no great aptitude for minute
philosophizing like the Persians, nor for fine analysis like the
Arabs, nor for devotion to aesthetics like the Byzantines. The Turks
are an active folk. Like the English and the Romans they could excel
in the field of activity and achievement. In our veins there was a
wealth of life. This ought to have been discovered and directed
toward fruitful efforts. Bewildering success was promised to the Turk
in agriculture, commerce, and industry on land and sea. The object of
our attention ought to have been science and art, especially their
practical aspects. Our old leaders misunderstood progress. They
fancied that a far-flung kingdom of territory would assure general
happiness. They dissipated the life of the nation in ceaseless
warfare.

"Our worthy
religion suited as it is to every type of worldly progress, every
development, and every phase of evolution in the hands of extremely
conservative men suspicious beyond reason, became, so to speak, a
thickened and congealed social factor. We could not sufficiently
realize the comfort arising from the breath of civilization which
fills Islam. Some forbidden things were emphasized in an excessive
degree, and some lawful things were abused. For example, on the one
hand women were imprisoned in ignorance and blindness, on the other
hand decorated dungeons, consisting of fifty or sixty rooms, were
opened for women under the name of Pashas’ harems. The one was abuse
of the veil, the other was abuse of concubinage.

"We have
heaped upon the path of our history a mass of the ruins of things
that have vanished. We ought to have bound these together in a
unified system; we could have done this by the grace of Islam. We did
not do it. Our countrymen have lacked cohesion. This land of ours has
been too early stopped up with a mass of the sediment of division. We
left to other elements duties which were suited to the native ability
of the Turk. We allowed the Turk to become intoxicated with his
political supremacy, and we yielded to the flaccidity of Byzantium.
The faithful and persistent Turk grew laxer and laxer.

"If the Turk
had received an historical training suited to his temperament, like
the English, he would have been a model of persistence and
perseverance, and he would have been as devoted to national
traditions. Our ancestors followed a single purpose for centuries
without faltering. Today any movement which continues for a few
months shakes us like a disease. Afterwards giving way to some other
movement,it disappears. I can assert that every movement among us
grows old before it reaches maturity and leaves no trace in its path.

"Our
national traits are, in a word, negative. Living in the present we do
not really master the present, let alone live through the past. For
every one of us history begins with his swaddling clothes and ends
with his tomb. We are not subject, as it were, to time and place.
Sons destroy what their fathers built, and no one thinks about the
founding of a spiritual structure which shall be the dwelling place
of conscience for our race. At the same time all of us imagine that
we are laying foundations, and what we call a foundation is such a
house of cards as is built in the morning but torn down by the wind
in the evening.

"Our
connection with the past is this only: we bear the torture of our
long line of forefathers. We have no definite plan based on the
experience of history. Once in a while in our political actions,
well-thought-out phases appear but you never see a phase tested by
life. If you probe a little into our administrative policies that
seem most fundamental, you will find their roots suspended in
emptiness; as if the freedom that is necessary for administration is
to be found in such emptiness.

"Finally,
the spirit of the Turk has received an historical training which has
overwhelmed his character, because of the mass of ruins with which he
has come in contact. We have wanted without selection to make use of
the products of civilization which have come to our hands. The spirit of the
Turk has been urged on in directions contrary to its capacity.

"Worthy
aspects of our nature have not been allowed to develop. We have been
able to exhibit a puny, hybrid civilization. If we had followed a
line of development congenial to our original endowments, the social
calamities which we have experienced would have been each one a
lesson in regeneration, and our life in general would have become a
line of shrewd progress. What use is it that the fine dough which
makes up the spirit of the Turk has been kneaded by unskillful
hands!”

– Jenab Shehabeddin Bey, Professor of the Turkish Language and Literature in the University of Stamboul. “Our Spirit.” Peyam-Sabah {Morning News), January 31, 1921.

– from Clarence Richard Johnson, ed., Constantinople to-day; or, The pathfinder survey of Constantinople; a study in oriental social life.  New York: MacMillan Company, 1922. pp. 57-62

Read Full Post »