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RAVELS AND ROlligL,

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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES




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Travels and Politics

in the Near East



Travels and Politics



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THE NEAR EAST



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William Miller



TVITH MAP ANT> ILLUSTRATIONS




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NEW YORK

FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY

PUBLISHERS



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TO

MY WIFE,

THRICE !\IY COMPANION ON
THE BALKAN



" Ei 06 iiTT ivoc; (ip\oiTo, H) (pi}ovioi Kara rwiVo, afxa\(n>
T av £('»/, (vai TToAAw Kpariaroi' ttiivtcov tdvihj}'^ Kara yvwiU}]V
Ti)v tjiu)}'. 'AAAa yctp TOVTO aTTOfiuv (T(pi Kd) OjUt'/ Y'^(i'O)' /hi) KOTe

n> 7H'(jr«t-" — Herodotus, v. 3.



3027941



PREFACE

This book is the result of four visits to the Balkan
Peninsula in the years 1894, 1896, 1897, and 1898,
and of a long study of the Eastern question.
While I can honestly say that I have acquainted
myself with all the principal works which have
appeared on the Near East during the last ten
years, I have in all cases relied upon my own
personal observations and inquiries, conducted
upon the spot, for the statements made in the
following pages. Most persons who have written
upon South-Eastern Europe have treated the
subject in a partisan spirit, some championing the
claims of one nationality, others espousing the
cause of another. Not being an enthusiastic
admirer of any one Balkan race to the exclusion
of all others, I have endeavoured to discover what
is most for the material progress and welfare of
them all. The critics of " The Balkans " were
kind enough to say that I had been impartial in
narrating the history of the Peninsula ; I trust
that I may be found to have been equally so in
describing its present condition,

I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to a
host of persons who have assisted me with in-

IX



Preface

formation and advice. Among them I would
specially mention Baron Kutschera, Baron von
Benko and Baron von Mollinary, of Sarajevo ;
Baron de Goumoens and M. Bohumil Para of
Plevlje; Mr. R. J. Kennedy, C.M.G., British
Minister to Monteneoro ; the Montenecjrin Prime
Minister and his colleague, the Minister of
Plnance ; M. Zaimis, the present, and M. Rhallis,
the ex-Prime Minister of Greece ; General Con-
stantine Smolenski, the Greek Minister of War ; '
M. Deligeorgis, M. Lambros Coromelas, and Mr.
Arthur Hill, of Athens, as well as the editors
of the "Ao-ru and the WKpoiroXic; ; Dr. and Mrs.
Dawes, of Corfu, and Professor G. Gelcic, of
Ragusa ; Sir A. Biliotti, Herr Pinter, Herr
Berinda, and M. Lyghounes in Crete ; H.H.
the Prince of Samos and Mr. Denys L. Marc,
British Consul in that island; H.E. Baron Von
Calice, Austro- Hungarian Ambassador at Con-
stantinople ; Mr. Block, dragoman of the British
Embassy, and Mr. Tarring, late judge of the
Consular Court ; Sir J. W. Whittall, Mr. ¥. S.
Cobb, British Postmaster, Mr. Edwin Pears, Dr.
Washburn, Professor Panaretoff, Dr. Dickson
and Mr. Whitaker, of the same place ; Consul-
General and Mrs. Blunt and Dr. House, of
Salonica ; Mr. Wratislaw, M. Shopoff, and M.
Constantine Caltcheff, of Philippopolis ; Dr. Clark
and Dr. Kingsbury, of Samakov ; M. Grekoff and
Professor Slaveikoff, of Sofia ; and the Bulgarian

' Left (jflicc Xovfinbcr lu.
X



Preface

diplomatic agents at Constantinople, Athens, and
Cetinje. I am also much obliged to Miss M.
Chadwick for a number of photographs.

I have adopted the Croatian system of spelling
the Slav names of persons and places, because it
is usually found in the best books, and avoids the
confusion which other methods of transliteration
produce. Moreover, Croatian has this advantage
for Western readers — ^that it employs the Latin
character. For those who are not familiar with
it I append a short table of pronunciation.

c is pronounced tz e.g. Marica = Maritza
c ,, ch e.g. Petrovic= Petrovich

c „ tch e.g. Bocae = Botchatz

j ,, y e.g. Jablanica = Yablanitza

s ,, sh e.g. Dusan = Dushan

z ,, j e.g. Zabliak = Jabliak

No good English map of the Peninsula being in
existence, I have obtained permission to use the
best German map, which I have corrected so as
to show the strategic rectification of the Thessalian
frontier at the peace of December 4, 1897. Un-
fortunately this has necessitated leaving the bulk
of the names in the map in their German dress.

W. M.
10, Cheyne Gardens, Chelsea.
October 31, 1898.



XI



INTRODUCTION

When the inhabitants of the Balkan Peninsula are
meditating- a journey to any of the countries which
lie to the west of them, they speak of " going to
Europe," thereby avowedly considering themselves
as quite apart from the European system. So far
as " Europe " is concerned this geographical inac-
curacy possesses considerable justification. For of
all parts of our continent none is so little known to
the average traveller as the Near East, from which
he is nowadays but two-and-a-half days' distant by
rail. It is no exag'geration to say that many
regions of Africa are more familiar to the cultured
Eno-lishman or German than the lands which lie
beyond the Adriatic. Only when a newspaper
correspondent reports from time to time that some
fresh conspiracy has been detected against the King
of Servia or the Prince of Bulgaria, that the Greeks
are fighting against the Turks or paying their
creditors, and that Prince Nicholas of Monteneo-ro
is disposing of one of his daughters in marriage,
does public attention turn for a moment to the
Balkan States. Yet to the politician and the his-
torical student, to the traveller and the artist, to

xiii



Introduction

the man of business and the man of letters, few
countries should prove so interesting as these.
In the Balkan Peninsula that uncanny bird, the
Eastern question, has its eyrie, and there one day,
when Russia is ready, the fate of the Ottoman
Empire may be decided. There, too, under the
auspices of Austria- Hungary, perhaps the most
remarkable experiment in the government of an
Oriental country is being conducted ; while, in
other parts of the same Peninsula, young and
newly-emancipated nations are demonstrating their
capacity, or incapacity, for managing their own
affairs on European lines with all the modern
apparatus of Parliament and Press. It has been
reserved for the Balkans, too, to present us with
the most curious instance of patriarchal government
now extant ; and, in common with Asiatic Turkey,
to prove to the world that great military power may
co-exist with the feeblest and most corrupt of civil
administrations. Here again, in the past, great
empires, of which Western Europe is almost uncon-
scious, rose up at the bidding of some Bulgarian or
Servian Tsar, and then fell at his death, yet, falling,
left memories behind them which have had a lastino-
effect on the politics of our time. The battlefield of
Kossovo, the exploits of the great Emperor Dusan,
and the feats of the mediaeval rulers of Bulg-aria —
these are scarcely even names to most of us in the
West, but in the Balkans are living, and sometimes
very awkward, realities. Here, four times within the
present century, the armies of the Russian and the

xiv



Introduction

Turk have met ; and here, just twenty years ago,
the collective wisdom of Europe closed the last
great war of our time. The traveller in pursuit of
the picturesque or in Hight from the commonplace
will find here what he seeks and can escape what
he shuns. Full justice has scarcely even now been
done to the natural beauties of South- Eastern
Europe. The splendid primaeval forests of Bosnia,
the azure fiords of Dalmatia, the snow mountains
on the Macedonian frontier of Bulgaria, the gentle
Enpflish scenerv of Servia, and the "rim maoni-
ficence of Monteneo-ro's limestone citadel — these
remain, even now, almost unvisited. x^nd in the
Balkan Peninsula the interest of travel and the
beauties of the landscape are immensely enhanced
by the extraordinary variety of costume and cus-
toms, which still happily linger on in most parts of
the Near East. No Italian market-place can show
such an amount of colour as the squares of the
Dalmatian coast-towns ; no Swiss mountaineer can
compare in physique or in dress with the gigantic,
crimson-clad highlanders of Cetinje ; no artist's
model is half so artistic as the shaven Albanian,
with his arsenal of weapons. From the practical
standpoint, too, the British trader might with
advantage turn more attention to countries which,
though individually small, between them muster
over ten million inhabitants, and where the British
commercial traveller is almost unknown. And,
finally, to the literary man, the Balkan Peninsula,
with its extraordinary medley of races and languages,

XV



Introduction

affords a field of observation which is all but virgin
soil. Here the Hulgarian and the Greek, the
Albanian and the Serb, the Osmanli, the Spanish
jew and the Roumanian, live side by side. Here
we have the curious phenomena of people speaking
practically the same language yet using a different
alphabet ; of the same race, split up into three
distinct religrions ; of converts from Christianitv
becomino" more Mussulman than the Turks them-
selves. In short, the Balkan Peninsula is, broadly
speaking, the land of contradictions. Everything
is the exact opposite of what it might reasonably
be expected to be ; the traveller finds himself in the
realms of romance, where all his wonted ideas are
turned topsy-turvy, and soon falls into the native
distinction between what they do "on the Balkan"
and what they do in " Europe."



XVI



CONTENTS



CHAPTER I.

THE THRESHOLD OF THE NEAR EAST : ISTRIA AND
DALMATIA.

PAGE

From Trieste to Pisiiio — Istrian politics — Tlie Foiha — Abbazia —
Pola — Characteristics of Dalmatia — Dalmatian seamen — Lussin-
piccolo — Zara — Sebenico — The Kerka F'alls — Dalmatian dress —
Slavs and Italians — Want of railways — Trail — Spalato — Ragusa,
the "South Slavonic Athens" — Dalmatian politics — Lacroma —
Valle\- of the Ombla— The Bocche di Cattaro . . . 1-40



CHAPTER n.

A PATRIARCHAL PRINCIPALITY : MONTENEGRO.

Effects of Princess Helena's marriage — Growth of Cetinje —
Character of Prince Nicholas — His relations with England — His
political aims — His relations with Austria-Hungary — A benevolent
autocrat — His Court — Montenegrin dress — Crown Prince Danilo — ■
Montenegrin Ministers— Christmas at Cetinje — The standing
army — Roads and Post-ofhce — Montenegrin harbours — Trade and
Education — Scenery — Rjeka — Podgorica — Dioclea — Danilovgrad
— The Monasteries of Ostrog— Niksic— Ride to Risano 4i-!S6

CHAPTER III.

THE MODEL BALKAN STATE : BOSNIA AND THE HERCE-
GOVINA.

History prior to the Occupation — The first lour years — Religious
equality : Catholics, Orthodox, and Mussulmans — Education —
Technical training — The land question — Railways — Government
hotels — Trade — The Press — Administration — Montenegrin aspira-
tions — Taxation — Public health — Baron and Baroness Von Kallay
— The future of the Occupied territory .... A(jE

Turkish officialdom — Tiie spy system — Censorship of the Press —
The foreign post-olftces — The currency — A bookseller's experi-
ences — Yol tcskerch — Impediments to trade — The Sultan and his
system — Cause of tlie Armenian massacres — Robert College —
Turkish women — Brusa — Society at Stambtil — ^The dogs — Monte-
negrin cavassi's — Fires — A householder's woes — Turkish time —
Suburban resorts ......... 390-432



CHAPTER XIII.

AN EXPERIMENT IN EMANCIP.\TION : BULGARIA.

Bulgarian coinage — Bourgas — Philippopolis — Through the Valley
of Roses to the Shipka Pass — Bulgarian surgery — The "Bulgarian
Switzerland " — Missionaries at Samakov — The servant question —
Sofia — New railways — The Sobraiije — Prince Boris — Prince
Ferdinand— The politicians : Dr. Stoiloff, M. Grekoff, and M.
Nacevic — Treatment of Mussulmans — Slivnica — Relations with
Servia — King Alexander and his father — Servia and Austria-
Hungary — Servian scenery — Nis — Belgrade . . . 433-478



CHAPTER XIV.

THE GREAT POWERS IN THE NEAR EAST.

Solutions of the Eastern Question — A Balkan Confederation — A
Servian, Bulgarian, or Greek Empire — A reformed Turkey — A
settlement by the Great Powers — The Eastern policy of Great
Britain — Decline of British trade and influence — Growth of Ger-
man power — France and Italy in the Near East — Austria-Hungary
and Russia — The " sick man's " protracted death-agony . 479-509



Index



511



XX



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

STAMBUL ..... Frontispiece

ATHENS ...... Vignette

PAGE

THE FOTbA, PISINO ..... 5

THE AMPHITHEATRE, POLA . . . -9

CASA ROSSINI, SEBENICO . . . . IJ

THE LOGGIA, TRAU . , . . ■ ^3

SPALATO ...... 25

THE MARKET-PLACE, RAGUSA . . . -9

PALACE OF THE RECTOR, RAGUSA . . . 3I

CASTELNUOVO . . . . . -37

CATTARO ...... 39

PALACE AT CETINJE. PRINCE NICHOLAS AND THE KING

OF SERVIA . . . . . -48

PORTRAIT OF PRINCE NICHOLAS OUTSIDE BRITISH LEGA-
TION ...... 57

POSTMASTER AND LANDLORD . . . -70

MONTENEGRIN BOYS ..... 76

DANILOVGRAD . . . . . . 80

COFFIN OF LAST BOSNIAN KING ... 88

CORPUS CHRISTI DAY AT MOSTAR . . -92

MOSTAR, HERCEGOVINA .... 93

xxi



List of Illustrations



PAGE



MECCA PILGRIMS . . • • • -95

A MUSSULMAN WOMAN .... lOO

SARAJEVO . . . • • 1-4

BARONESS VON KALLAV. . . . I26

''a whole BOATLOAD OF MEN AND WOMEN" . . I32

MUSSULMAN WOMAN OF MOSTAR . . . 1 35

CHRISTIAN WOMEN AT MOSTAR .... I36

THE SOURCE OF THE BUNA .... I39

"a BOSNIAK CARRYING A RAM ON HIS BACK " . . I46

THE BAZAR AT SARAJEVO .... I48

"the SHADY TURN OF THE RIVER WHERE THE MUSSUL-
MAN DELIGHTS TO DRINK HIS COFFEE " . . 151

STREET IN TRAVNIK . . . . . 154

IN THE BAZAR AT TRAVNIK . . . -156

JAJCE : THE OLD BOSNIAN CAPITAL . . . 158

PENANCE AT JAJCE . . . . . 160

"THE BEAUTIFUL MINARET . . . WHICH ADORNS THE

FERHADIJA MOSQUE " . . . . 166

YRANDUK . . . . , . -175

CAJNICA ...... 180

PLEVLJE ....... 191

"the SERB WOMEN, WHO HERE WEAR . . . KILTS OVER

THEIR LONG GARMENTS" .... I93

THE BAZAR, PLEVLJE ..... 195

OUR RAFT ON THE DRINA .... I98

OLD BRIDGE AT VISEGRAD .... I99

GIPSIES, VISEGRAD ..... 200

A STREET SCENE, VISEGRAD .... 201

xxii



List of Illustrations



PAGE

CHILDREN AT VISEGRAD .... 202

OUR CARRIAGE AT PODROMANJA .... 204

OLIVE GROVE, CORFU . . . . . 215

ROYAL PALACE, FORMER RESIDENCE OF BRITISH LORD

HIGH COMMISSIONER ..... 221

" ROUGH MOUNTAINEERS . . . WITH THEIR VAST CLOAKS

OF frieze" ..... 224

"a humble HAN . . . SUPPORTED ON WHITE- WASHED

pillars" ...... 228

palaeokastrizza, corfu .... 23o

corfiote woman ...... 234

DELPHI ...... 248

THE CORINTH CANAL . . . . -251

M. DELYANNIS ...... 286

M. RHALLIS ...... 290

GENERAL SMOLENSKI (MINISTER OF WAR) . . 299

CANEA, AFTER THE RIOTS OF FEBRUARY, 1897 . . 32I

THE QUAY OF CANEA ..... 322

MOUND AT CANEA (SHOWING FLAGS OF TURKEY AND THE

POWERS) ...... 324

STREET IN CANDIA ..... 327

CHRISTIAN INSURGENTS AT ALIAKANOU . . . 33O

RETHYMNO ...... 333

A MUSSULMAN PICNIC NEAR CANDIA . . . 336

SIR A. BILIOTTI AND COLONEL SIR H. CHERMSIDE WITH

GROUP OF CRETAN CHIEFS . . . 34I

CRETAN BOYS ...... 343

CANDIA ....... 345

A BAIRAM RAM : CANEA ..... 350

xxiii



List of Illustrations



PAGE



CRETAN LADIES SHOPPING . • . 35^

VATHY : SAMOS ...... 353

POLICEMAN AT VATHY . . . . . 355

SAMIANS ....... 359

"SALONICA, SEEN FROM THE SEA " . . . 364

"THE FINE OLD ARCH OF THE EMPEROR GALERIUS " . 368

A JEWESS OF SALONICA .... 383

THE BRITISH POST OFFICE, GALATA . . . 396
"the lord of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE GOES FORTH TO

HIS devotions" ..... 406

CARTS USED TO CONVEY MASSACRED ARMENIANS . . 4O9

"the great towers OF THE * CASTLE OF EUROPE'" 413

BRUSA ....... 419

RUSSIAN MONUMENT, SAN STEFANO . . -431

BULGARIAN BRIDE ..... 434

PHILIPPOPOLIS ...... 438

BULGARIANS DANCING ..... 442

BULGARIAN PEASANTS ..... 446

THE PALACE, SOFIA ..... 457

"the TINY PRINCE DRIVES OUT " . . . 461

BRIDGE OVER THE MARICA, SCENE OF THE PHILIPPO-
POLIS MURDER ..... 464

JOSEPH HANEMIAN, THE MURDERED CLERK OF THE

BRITISH POST OFFICE .... 492

MAP (in pocket a end of volume).



XXIV



Travels and Politics in the Near East



CHAPTER I

THE THRESHOLD OF THE NEAR EAST : ISTRIA AND
DA LM ATI A

OF the countless travellers who pass through Trieste
every year on their way to the East, few have the
curiosity to explore the peninsula, which runs far out
into the azure-blue waters of the Adriatic and divides the
great Austrian seaport from the lovely gulf of the
Quarnero. Istria is still the least known of all the
Austrian provinces, although the "discovery" of Abbazia
by an enterprising railway company has in recent years
attracted the attention of Viennese society to the charms
of its eastern coast. But, in spite of the excellent service
of steamers, which call at all the principal places on its
shores, and the state railway, which traverses the interior
from end to end, the Istrian peninsula is less familiar to
British tourists than that of Sinai, and many educated
Englishmen have never so much as heard its name.

Yet no country in Europe presents such rapid and
remarkable changes of scenery. At one point you have
waving groves of laurel and smiling vineyards, with a
climate which recalls that of the French Riviera ; at
another, barren rocks and a total lack of vegetation
remind you that you are in the domam of the bora, that
terrible wind, which is the scourge of the Adriatic, which

I B



Travels and Politics

blows railway trains off the track and sweeps away trees
and unroofs buildings in its headlong course. The soil,
too, is all the colours of the rainbow. White Istria,
yellow Istria, red Istria follow each other in quick suc-
cession, and, when lighted up by the rays of the setting
sun, the red earth becomes a gorgeous purple, marvellous
to behold.

The Istrian railway, which slowly winds its tortuous
path up the hills above the gulf of Trieste, enters the
stony desert of the Karst, a region which for barrenness
is unequalled in all Europe. Yet there is something
quaint and ev^en attractive about these limestone boulders
scattered hither and thither broadcast over the land, like
missiles in some battle of the giants. We pass by deep
ravines, formed by almost perpendicular walls of rock, with
here and there a tiny chapel clinging on to the mountain-
side, while, far below, the sea shimmers in the sunlight.
And then the line turns down into the peninsula, and the
quaint old towns of Istria, with names as picturesque as
their situation, begin to appear. The fat fingers of a very
loquacious lady, who is going to Pola, wave to and fro in
front of the carriage window, as she discusses her family
affairs with a new-found acquaintance, and prevent us
from seeing as much of the view^ as we could w^ish. But
a lucid interval fortunately intervenes as we approach
Pinguente, once the seat of the margraves of Istria, who
built the walls which still surround it. Perched on a
hilltop, Pinguente seems the very ideal of those old
Italian cities which Virgil has so graphically depicted as
" piled by force on the summit of steep rocks " — congesta
nianu pnvruptis oppida saxis.

It was evening when we arrived at Pisino, the most
interesting place in the interior of the peninsula, and we
wondered whether a habitable inn existed in so primitive
a spot, for we had read strange descriptions of Istrian

2



in the Near East

accommodation. But our fears were speedily set at rest
by a smart young fellow, who at once stepped forward
and offered to escort us to the Aqnila Nera. The " Black
Eagle " proved to be a comfortable inn, such as one finds
in small Italian towns, where the linen was of spotless
whiteness and the Istrian wine at 80 kreuzers (or
IS. 4d.) a litre, as sound a vintage as the heart of man
could desire. Our host, though an Istrian by birth, was,
like some of his compatriots, an Italian by sentiment.
He had, indeed, hung up in his parlour the inevitable
portraits of the Austrian Emperor and Empress, which
adorn every inn, however humble, throughout the length
and breadth of the Monarchy. But his real interest was
centred on a map of the seat of the war, then going on
in Abyssinia, by the aid of which he was following the
fortunes of the Italian troops with the closest attention.
Indeed, some Italian extremists go so far as to include
Istria in that " unredeemed Italy " which they hope one
day to see comprised within the kingdom of Umberto.
It is true that, though Istria has been in the uninterrupted
possession of the House of Hapsburg ever since 1814, a
large section of the population, amounting at the last
census to 45 per cent., is Italian by race and language,