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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 99

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When the bishops and leading Turks saw that the Governor was inflexible, they thought it well to inform the Porte of the injustice daily practised, and deputed certain persons to go to Constantinople to obtain a rescript in their favour. The bishops, fearing that the common cause was not being pushed at Constantinople with zeal worthy of the emergency, deter-mined to go there in person ; but their plan was discovered, and they were detained and put under arrest. They were thus obliged to wait the return of their agents, who arrived on October 31, accompanied by a Vezir Choqadar, an official of the Grand Vezir's Court, bearing three orders. The first com-manded the Governor not to exact from each Christian, as Kharaj, more than 20 piastres, and 10 from a Turk, and to restore all that he had collected beyond that amount. A second ordered a rigorous investigation concerning all sums exacted upon lying charges, and restitution to be made thereof. A third was addressed to the persons who had counselled the Governor to such acts of extortion. On the morning of November 5 the Vezir Choqadar pro-ceeded to the Mehkeme or Qazi1 s Court, and sent thence a summons to the Governor to attend the Court and hear the purport of these decrees. He excused himself, and begged the Vezir Choqadar to be so good as to come to the palace, and read the decrees there. The Vezir Choqadar made no difficulty, and bade the bishops and leading men in Nicosia, both Turks and Greeks, to attend the reading at the palace. A large crowd assembled in the courtyard to hear the con-clusion of so vital a matter, and many others were in the divan, or hall of audience, but the first order had scarcely been read when the part of the room in which stood the bishops and other principal Turks and Christians, fell in, and carried down with it some 300 persons. The catastrophe caused great confusion, and many people suspected it to be a trick pre-arranged by the Governor, whereon the Molla or chief judge, the Choqadar and others went to examine the CH. xx] Insurrection 0/1764 95

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