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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 13

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but to pay to the Qazi the tenth part of the sum in dispute : this is disbursed by the debtor if he is proved to be such, or by the plaintiff, if his claim be fraudulent or unfounded. A similar fee of one-tenth falls to the Qazi from the property of every person deceased. But the valuation is not very strict. There are in the island of Cyprus 16 Qaziliqs, which are so many courts, in each of which a Qazi presides, but all are subordinate to their chief the Molla. For although they may hold their posts under a special firman, or order of the Porte, they cannot give judgment except in a provisional form. In affairs of any consequence they must draw up their i4am> or judgment, and send it to the Governor, who sends it to the Molla, without whose consent and approval the Governor cannot examine a matter affecting the life of a subject. The military government of the island rests with the Alay Bey, who is the General of the Sipahi or mounted troops, and the Yenicheri Agha, who commands the infantry : their captain is called Zabit and Qolaghasi. There ought to be 3000 Sipahi in the island, and about 8000 Yenicheri (Janissaries), but now one would hardly find 100 of the first, and 2000 of the last, the several commandants having appropriated the pay and perquisites of the many men wanting. When the Turks took the island there were reckoned 80,000 subjects chargeable with the Kharaj or poll-tax, not counting women, children and old men, who were exempt. This number was maintained as long as the kingdom continued to be prosperous, and the Grand Signor received as his just due, at five piastres a head, 400,000 piastres a year. Wealth soon decreased and with it the population, but the Pashas continued to exact the same sum, and to this end increased the taxes on those who remained; and this course was followed even when the government was transferred to a Muhassil, for these officers raised the'amount to 40 piastres a head. Now there are only 12,0.00 men liable to Kharai ι] Island and Kingdom of Cyprus 9

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