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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 11

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amounting, as they sometimes do, to 200 piastres, which make 100 Florentine scudi yearly per head, without distinction of larger or smaller means. The mere Kharaj or poll tax, imposed by the Grand Signor on his subjects, , is only five piastres, while here it was increased to 40 piastres a head. And the people had to consider it a special favour that after many representations and petitions they were able to obtain a favourable rescript that they should not be bound or compelled to pay more than 21 piastres a head. In the year 1764 the tyranny of Chil Osman Agha, the Governor, had reached its height, and the people, the lower class of Turks especially, having grown insolent, committed the detestable excess of killing him, a deed which was soon followed by lamentable consequences, as I shall show in the proper place. I shall give a particular account of these events, at which I was present, and I had besides occasion to be mixed up with the leaders in the negotiations which were conducted by the Tuscan consul. The suite of the Muhassil is composed of the Khasnadar or treasurer, the Kiaya or secretary, and other subaltern charges entrusted to the Chawushes who are his personal guards, and the Choqadars, men about the court, who have different duties. Their number is not fixed, but there are generally from 100 to 150, and they have their own chiefs called Bash-Chawush and Bash-Choqadar. There are besides the Sarafs, through whose hands pass all the monies which enter or leave the Treasury, their duty being to test its goodness and value, and to keep the accounts. This office is held by a Greek, and the Terjuman of the Serai, or interpreter of the Palace, is also a Greek, who holds his post by a firman or order of the Porte. When the Governor wishes to impose some tax on the Greek ri'aya, or subjects, he does not address himself to the people directly, but to the interpreter, and he to the arch-. bishop, who sends notice to the several dioceses to make the ι] Island and Kingdom of Cyprus j

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