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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 425

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title-deeds, and the encroachments are even now proceeding. This system of land-robbery was connived at by the officials for a "consideration; " old title-deeds! were exchanged for new on the application of the ! holder, and the seals of the venal authorities ren-1 dered them valid, at the same time that hundreds i of acres were fraudulently transferred from the state. When the intention of a British occupation wasj made public, a general rush was made for obtaining! an excess over the amount defined in the title-deeds, Ρ by the swindling method ; and the extent to which this 1 plunder was extended may be imagined from the fact'jn that 40,000 such documents were awaiting the neces-1 sary signatures when, by the arrival of the British D officials, the Turkish authority, who could not sign β the deeds with sufficient expedition, was dismissed, $ and the false titles were invalidated. The monasteries and the vacouf (Turkish religious lands) lay claim to lands of vast and undefined extent, which are mystified by titles and gifts for charitable . purposes, surrounded with clouds of obscure usages' and ancient rules that will afford a boundless field I for litigation. In fact, the existing government has arrived at the unpleasant position of being excluded from the land, nearly all of which is claimed either I by individuals or religious institutions. The arrangement of this most serious question will1 stir up a nest of hornets. The equitable adjustment " would demand a minute survey of the various districts, and a comparison of the holdings with the title-deeds ; I but what then ? It is already known that the holdings are in excess, and where is the legal remedy that can be practically applied ? If the actual letter of the

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