HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
 
 
 
 
uses Google technology and indexes only and selectively internet - libraries having books with free public access
 
  Previous Next  

CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 287

View PDF version of this page

DRUMMOND. 277 I hare already told you that this island is governed hy a person who is both Massellim and Mnhassil, that is governor and collector of the revenne for the Grand Signor, though formerly it constituted part of the Valide Sultan's jointure, and, with other places appropriated for that purpose, enjoyed great privileges. Then Cyprus was ruled by a viceroy, or what they call a Pasha, until the late Snltan Ahmed III., who was deposed, bestowed it as a jointure upon Iiis daughter, who was the widow of the Vazir Ibrahim Pasha. At present it forms part of the revenue of the prime Vazir, as first minister, and is farmed to the governor for 310,000 piastres, amounting (with the tst. at 8 piastres) to limit t33,750, besides presents of considerable vaine, which he innst give to different people in different ways. The government is annual, so yon may well imagine how the wretched people are fleeced. Muliassil Mustafa Bey, according to the best information Τ could obtain, has this last year extorted as mnch as will pay his rent, indemnify him for the presents he made, defray the ex pence of travelling and living, and put in his pocket 500 purses, or £31,250, exclusive of innumerable things of value, with which his favour has been courted, This method of raising money is called Mangiare i danari, that is, to eat, or rather to devour, the coin : and indeed eveiy Tnrkish officer, from the highest to the lowest degree, resembles a creature in Poland of the hog kind, called in the German language Vielfrass or the glutton (Gufo boreali*) which gormandizes in a voracious manner as long as it can find food, and then getting between two stones squeezes itself so as to disgorge what it had swallowed, that it may hare the pleasure of eating it again : with this difference, however, that the squeezing of the Vielfrass is voluntary, whereas that of the Turkish governor is compulsive, and performed by the Grand Vazir, who in a moment transfers the burthen to his own maw. Of the 310,000 piastres for which the whole of this island is fanned 160,000 are paid for the land rent, and 150,000 for the Kharaj or capitar}' tribute. The number of Tnrks in the Island of Cyprus may amount to 150,000, aud that of the Christians to 50,000: I mean Greeks who are snbject to the Grand Signor; for as to the Europeans, who lire in I arnica or Salines, and nowhere else, they do not amount to 100. The greater part of the inhabitants lire in Nicosia, Lamica, Famagosta, Carpasso, Baffo, Cerigna, Leinisol, and Salines, but I cannot learn the particular number inhabiting each of these places: for they do not know how to make any tolerable exact estimate, nor do they give themselves any trouble about the matter. In the Tillages there are abont 4,000 Turks, who pay contribution, and of the Greek subjects about 12,000. So that these last constitute by far the greatest part of the labourers in this country. I told you the salt pits are let fur 1,600 piastres, though sometimes they fetch 2000, for they are annually pnt np to sale by the defterdar or high treasurer. The money thus raised contributes to the subsistence, or rather, is a t -rqnisite of the janisaries : and the farmers, after paying their rent and charges, may pocket 500 or 1000 piastres, according to the accidents that raise or lower the price of salt. The annual produce must be sold within the year, or never afterwards, unless the nunnal consumption should exceed the produce—a case that is not likely to happen. The impositions noon the island are such as you never heard of, namely, the Kharaj or poll tax, divided into three* classes : the first called 'ala or great, amounting to 11 piastres, raises £33,750: the second, vassal or middle, brings in £20,000; and third, called edna or little, prodnces £18,750. Then there is the maishet, or expence of supporting the governor, for which every man pays oh piastres ; and mtzul, according to their condition or station in life. Tin's tax, by agreement, is generally at 7£ p. a man. Those who are rich, of the first

View PDF version of this page


  Previous First Next  
 
 
 
 
 
Our banners   Bibliography   Global Folio
All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated.
If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate Cyprus Explorer as a source and place link to us.
Created at June 2008
              Яндекс.Метрика