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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 98

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CHAPTER XX. OF AN INSURRECTION WHICH OCCURRED A SHORT WHILE SINCE IN THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS. CYPRUS had suffered for many years from the incessant, heavy and unjust burdens imposed on its inhabitants by the caprice of successive Governors, in spite of the commands issued by the Sultan to prevent such exactions. In 1764 Chil Osman Agha, Governor of the island, outdid all his prede-cessors, for he had scarcely taken over the government in July of this year than he published a decree, ordering the collection from every Christian subject of the Sultan 44^ piastres Turkish, and from every Turk half that sum, being double the Kharaj or annual poll tax assigned to the Governors of the island by the Sultan. In just five months, according to an accurate reckoning, besides the said tax he had probably encashed 350,000 piastres extorted from persons falsely accused of crimes. The bishops on behalf of the Christians, and the leading Turks for the Muslims, did not fail to submit their grievances to the Governor, and to pray him to abate his demands, showing him that it was impossible that all alike could satisfy them. Their kindly efforts elicited no other answer than that the order must be carried out : if they thought the tax exorbi-tant, let them appeal to the Grand Signor for redress of the injustice which they ascribed to him.

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