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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 140

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Consular Officers [CH. XXIII assigned by the Sultan to the several ambassadors and dis-tributed by them among consulates in the Levant. They are Greeks, Armenians and Jews, and their position costs them 500 sequins. On obtaining the berat they become the subjects of the Power to which they are allotted, and are exempted from allegiance to the Sultan, and from extortion at the hands of his officers. As long as a beratli lives, his wife and children share his privileges, but on his death they become again subjects of the Porte. Their only duty is to treat the consul with due respect as their protector. The consul cannot force one of them to interpret for him, even upon payment. Dragomans dress like Turks, but wear on their heads à qalpaq, or tall cap of marten or other skin, instead of the turban. Janissaries are Turkish soldiers, who stand as guards at the doors of the consular houses, and walk before the consul in the streets, carrying a staff, which they keep striking on the ground, to warn the people to give way. A consul generally has two, and he may choose his own men by an understanding with the Yenicheri-Agha. He may even have more if he cares to pay for them.

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Created at June 2008
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