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T>^T^UL-ISLAM



' What shall I tell you ? '

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DAR-UL-ISLAM

A RECORD OF A JOURNEY
THROUGH TEN OF THE

ASIATIC PROVINCES OF TURKEY



BY

MARK SYKES

AUTHOR OF 'THROUGH FIVE TURKISH PROVINCES

AND JOINT AUTHOR OF 'TACTICS AND MILITARY TKAININti'

BY MAJOR GEORGE D'ORDEL



WITH APPENDIX BY JOHN HUGH SMITH

AND

INTRODUCTION

BY

PROFESSOR E. G. BROWNE

ADAMS PROFESSOR OF ARABIC AT CAMBRIDGE



WITH MAPS AND I LLU ST RAT I O N S



LONDON

BICKERS & SON

1904



PRINTED BV

SPOTTISWOODE AND CO. LTD., NEW-STREET SQUARE

LONDON



TO THE

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MEN

OF 'F' COMPANY, 3RD BATT. PRINCESS OF WALES' OWN

YORKSHIRE REGIMENT

WHO SERVED IN SOUTH AFRICA, 1900-2



D6



AUTHOR'S ADVERTISEMENT TO THE
READER

IN this brief note I wish to convey my thanks to those
who so kindly assisted me in the production of the
book : first, Mr. John Hugh Smith, who by his
pleasant companionship suggested many ideas of which
I availed myself; secondly, Professor E. G. Browne,
whom I thank not only for his condescension in writing
the Preface, but also for his inspiring instruction in
Eastern custom and mode of thought ; thirdly. Professor
Keane, who has reduced my spelling of Oriental names
to order. My own, although interesting, was perhaps
erratic. I would also thank Shaykh Hassan Tawfiq for
the Arab writing of my name and the texts which appear
in various lithographs in the book.

I should like to point out that except for occa-
sional notes I have left the whole narrative practically
untouched, and it stands as it was written in Dar-ul-
Islam.




m>



INTRODUCTION

THESE few words of introduction to the book of
my friend Captain Mark Sykes are written
neither because I cherish any hope that they will
add in any way to its value, or diminish in the least
degree the risks — remote, as I hope — at which he hints
in the opening paragraph, nor because I feel conscious
of any special message to its readers urgently demanding
utterance, but simply in response to his request ; to
which, remembering the many pleasant hours passed in
his society, and the many occasions on which his enter-
taining anecdotes and reminiscences have relieved and
brightened the tedium of academic life, I can only
respond with a sam'an wa td'atan, * I hear and I obey.'

Captain Sykes has chosen as the title of his book the
name Dar-ul-Islam, *the Home of Islam,' a title specially
appropriate to the Turkish Empire, with certain portions
and characteristics of which the book deals. Just as to
the mediaeval Christian the world was divided into
Christendom and Heathenesse, so to the Muhammadan
(I will not say 'the modern Muhammadan,' when, with-
out



X Introdtiction

out Mr. H. G.Wells' ' Time Machine,' the Middle A^es
can still be reckoned not more than a week distant from
London) the world is divided into the Dar-ul-Islam, or
* Home of Islam,' and the Ddrztl-Hm^b, or * Abode of
War.' The former, that is, the territories mainly in-
habited by Muslims and ruled by a Muslim sovereign, has,
alas ! been sadly contracted and circumscribed in recent
times, so that, of all the vast empire of the Caliphs once
included under this title, only Turkey, Persia, Afghani-
stan, and Morocco still survive as independent states,
while it appears doubtful if all of these will outlive the
present generation. Of these four, without entering into
the vexed question of the Ottoman Sultan's claim to be
regarded as Caliph or ' Commander of the Faithful,' we
may safely assert that Turkey is, by virtue of certain very
sterling qualities of patriotism, courage, and dogged
endurance, the most stable, the most powerful, and the
least likely to succumb. Hardly any one who has had
opportunities of forming an unprejudiced judgment
has failed to recognise these qualities, or has remained
altogether unfriendly to a people who, whatever their
shortcomings may be, command the respect and esteem
even of those who least desire the continuance of the
Ottoman rdgirne. I speak, of course, of the genuine
Turk — not of the hybrid Levantine, who is too often
taken by the casual and superficial observer as a national

type



Introdttctmi xi

type, and still less of that fearful product of misapplied
European or American zeal, so faithfully portrayed by
the author of this book under the name of ' Gosmobaleet.'
The intrinsic value of ' Western civilisation ' in the
ordinary newspaper sense is doubtful enough, even if
Captain Sykes' definition of it in Chapter II be deemed
a trifle harsh ; but as a ' fancy dress,' badly fitted on un-
willing or unsuitable recipients, it moves to tears rather
than laughter.

I cannot profess to agree with every view expressed
in this book, least of all with the author's estimate of
Abu'l-'Ala of Ma'arra, who, cynic and sceptic as he
unquestionably was, must certainly be reckoned, as Baron
Von Kremer reckons him, one of the greatest and most
original poets whom Western Asia has ever produced.
Yet it is a pleasure to read a book so full of acute observa-
tions and so devoid of cant ; and it is to be hoped that it
may do something to remove the beams from the eyes of
the seekers after motes. The author has travelled much
and seen something of life in four continents, besides going
through the South African campaign ; and he has made
it abundantly clear that, in his opinion, it does not befit
the authors of the crusade in China to say too much
about Turkish ' outrages,' and that the Turks are not the
only nation which entrusts important duties to incompetent
hands. Neither is he deceived by the specious platitudes

so



xii InfrodMction

so dear to that deplorable product of modern European
democracy, ' the man in the street,' as to * extending the
blessings of Western civilisation ' ; rather he regards with
unconcealed apprehension the contingency of the Western
Asiatics becoming ' a prey to capitalists of Europe and
America, in which case a designing Imperial Boss might,
untrammelled by the Government, reduce them to serf-
dom for the purpose of filling his pockets and gaining the
name of Empire-maker.' He even speaks, at the begin-
ning of Chapter I V, of ' the blight of European influence ' ;
does not disguise his preference for countries with 'a
past ' to countries with ' a future ' ; recognises the fact
that there is more true equality, because less snobbery
and pretence, in Asia than in Europe ; and emphasises
the great truth that ' Orientals hate to be worried and
hate to have their welfare attended to.' ' Oppression,' as
he says, ' they can bear with equanimity, but interference
for their own good they never brook with grace.'

This leads me to speak of a matter which for the last
fifteen years has constantly occupied my thoughts : I
mean the selection and training of those young English-
men who are destined to serve their country in the East
as either its representatives or its administrators. The
system adopted in connection with the Indian Civil
Service appears to me most open to criticism, the selec-
tion being based entirely on competitive examinations,

which



Introdiicfion xiii

which can in no case afford any test of such important
qualities as imagination, style, or personality, even if they
were made to hinge more upon a knowledge of the
languages, religions, and history of the East, and less
on natural science, mathematics, and political economy ;
which latter things, though all very well in their way,
appear to me to be of quite secondary importance for
the understanding of the character and idiosyncrasies
of Eastern peoples, by which alone one would have
thought it would be possible to govern them with tact,
discretion, and sagacity. In this respect England has
definitely retrograded since the days of the old East
India College at Haileybury, where a really thorough
training in Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit, extending over
a considerable time at the most impressionable period of
life, produced men who really had some considerable
acquaintance with the spirit of the East. It is, I think,
generally recognised that Lord Macaulay, whose deplor-
able dogmatism was proof against all arguments which
did not accord with his own preconceptions, was more
responsible than any one else for the destruction of
Oriental learning in England ; but the course which he
inaugurated has been steadily pursued by his successors,
and ever since 1888, when I first began to teach Persian
to Indian Civil Service selected candidates, three fresh
changes detrimental to the study of Oriental languages

have



xiv Infroductto7z

have been introduced. At that period selected candidates
spent two years at least in pursuing their special studies,
and were permitted, if they desired to take an Honours
Degree in Oriental languages or any other subject
connected with their work, to remain at the University
for three years ; while for Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit,
prizes were given which, though of no great value,
undoubtedly served as a great stimulus to work on
account of the distinction which they conferred. The
first retrograde step, taken, I think, in 1889, was the
withdrawal of the permission to spend a third year in
study ; the second, which soon followed it, was the
abolition of the prizes, whereby, I suppose, a paltry
economy of a hundred or two of guineas was effected ;
and the third, which took place about 1893, reduced the
period of probation nominally to a year, but in reality,
what with vacations, delay in assigning provinces, and
the like, to about six months, in which time it is expected
that men whose minds are wearied with cramming, whose
average age is certainly not under twenty-two, who are
burdened with a quantity of legal and other subjects,
and who know that, with the one exception of the
vernacular of their province, hardly a pretence is made
of taking Oriental languages seriously in the final
examination, will obtain a knowledge of Persian,
Sanskrit, Chinese, or Arabic which will be of some

material



Introduction xv

material use to them hereafter ! The large prospective
pension will always induce a considerable number of
good men to submit to the present or any other scheme
which may be hereafter devised, even though it be still
more closely assimilated to the Chinese type which
appears to have been taken as a model. The contempt
displayed for subjects which, though most germane to
the nature of the service, are outside the ordinary school
and university curriculum, is shown by the fact that in
the open competition 900 marks are awarded for each of
two varieties of mathematics, 750 each for Latin and
Greek, and 600 for each of the natural sciences ; but for
Arabic and Sanskrit, though the standard is appallingly
high, only 500 marks. And similarly a great light of the
University of Oxford remarked recently that ' no man
worth his salt ' would take up Arabic without the distinct
prospect of a career : a fine conception of humane and
liberal scholarship which tempts us to exclaim, in the
words of a Persian poet —

Chu kufr az Ka^ba bar khizad, kuj'd mdnad Musulnidni ?
• When blasphemy arises from the Ka'ba,* where does Muhammadanism
remain ? *

Turning now to the Eastern Consular Service, which
is more germane to the subject of this book, a much
brighter picture presents itself. This service has always

* The great mosque at Mecca, the holy of holies of Isldm.

appeared



XV i Introduction

appeared to me, next to the diplomatic, to offer the
most attractive of careers, and I still retain a vivid
recollection of my disappointment when I found that
the knowledge of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, by which
I had hoped to enter it, afforded no means of doing so,
only European languages being admitted in the entrance
examination. On the other hand the successful candi-
dates are almost always good linguists, men who have
travelled or lived abroad, and whose mental freshness
has not been destroyed by cramming with mathematics,
natural sciences, and political economy ; and their two
years' probation, with its much higher linguistic ideals,
is incomparably more valuable than that of selected
candidates for the Indian Civil Service. The Foreign
Office, moreover, which is responsible for choosing and
training these Student Interpreters destined for the
Consular Service, is, so far as my experience goes,
not only the pleasantest Government Office with which
to have dealings, but the most reasonable, and the
development of this branch of its work, if at times slow,
has been sound, steady, and always in the direction of
greater efficiency.

Within the last year or so a still greater impulse
has been given to the study of Arabic for administrative
purposes by the scheme recently adopted by the
Governments of Egypt and the Soudan for the selection

and



Introduction xvii

and training of candidates for their service. It would
be out of place to discuss this more fully here, but I
cannot refrain from expressing my profound conviction
that if it endures for any length of time it will produce
a class of administrators in the East who will command
the respect and affection of those committed to their
charge in a quite exceptional degree, and I believe that
Lord Cromer and Sir Eldon Gorst, to whom above all
others this scheme owes its existence, will be gratefully
remembered for all time as the restorers of that edifice
which Lord Macaulay destroyed. Captain Sykes, at the
end of Chapter VI, has called attention to the point
on which hinges all that I have said. ' It would be well,'
he remarks, addressing ' budding British Consuls ' (and
the remark applies with nearly equal force to other
young Englishmen serving their country in Eastern
lands) * for them to remember that, no matter what their
feelings may be, it would be much wiser to maintain the
best relations possible with (native) officials, taking every
opportunity to entertain them, for if the Consul in a
district knows the various functionaries personally and
intimately, he will be able to act with much more effect
in times of crisis ; besides, being well acquainted with the
character and nature of the men he has to deal with, his
influence will be stronger.'

Captain Sykes is an acute observer, and singularly

a free



xviii Introduction

free from the prejudices which obscure the outlook of so
many of even the most intelHgent and conscientious
travellers in the East. That he has in this book mingled
many weighty observations and valuable suggestions
with much matter couched in a lighter strain should not
cause it to be ignored or laid aside half read by those
who interest themselves in the state of the Turkish
Empire. These I would remind of the old Arabian
proverb, Al-hazhi fll-kaldm kdl-7nilhi flt-ta'dni, 'the
jest in discourse is like the salt in food.'

EDWARD G. BROWNE.

Cambridge, March ii, 1904



CONTENTS



CHAPTER P^^.?

Author's Advertisement vii

Introduction ........ ix

I. Mainly Introductory i

II. To Palmyra ii

III. To HOMS 22

IV. Hama 37

V. To Aleppo 48

VI. To THE Taurus 57

VII. To Zeitun City 69

VIII. To Albistan 82

IX. To Derendeh 96

X. To Hekim Khan 105

XI. To Malatia 113

XII. Diarbekr to Dara 132

XIII. Dara to H.ajerlo 140

XIV. To Jezireh 147

XV. Eastern Kurdistan 159

XVI. ToAkra 170

XVII. To Mosul AND THE Tigris 177

XVIII. To Kerkuk 186

XIX. To Suleimanieh 201

XX. To Shernakh 214

XXI. To THE End 235

XXII, A Last Chapter 244

Table of Routes 259

Appendix . . 269

Index 291



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



Frontispiece

Ancient Cutting at Suk Wadi Barada

Dawn at Ain el Beda ....

Palmyra .......

The Castle, Palmyra ....

Temple of the Sun, Palmyra
Country .ground Homs ....

Hama Bridge

House of the Arzeb F.a.mily at Hama
House of the Arzeb Family, another view
The King of the Jann ....

Houses at Hama

Naura (Water -Wheel) at Hama .

' Karantina ' !

Ma'aret en-Noman

KiLLlS

View from Essengeli ....

Nomad Kurds

The Kurdish Maiden ....

View of Marash

View of Marash, another view

Government Officials at Marash

Kurd Feast near Marash

Municipal Government and Garrison at Zeitun

Bridge on the Road to Zeitun

Zeitun City

Officers of the Garrison, Zeitun

Woman of Zeitun

Battery overlooking Zeitun City .



to face page



8
II
i6

19
20

32
36

42

43
45
46
48
50
52
58
60
62

64
66
67
68

70
72

74
76

78

79
80



XXll



List of Illustrations



The Kussuk Pass

HiTTiTE (?) Lion (?)

Climbing

Village-Dwelling Kurds of Guernlu .
The King of England's eldest Daughter
Two Types of Turk ....
Wedding Party near Hekim Khan .
The Pavement lately discovered at Arga

Nearing Albistan

Spring !

Bridge near Pavreli

Ferry at Durnakh

Bridge at Zakho

The Agha and Bishop of Zakho
Mounted Infantry (Siyaras)
View near Nawishki ....
View from Amadia

NiMRUD EfFENDI and HIS RETAINERS

Ruined College below Amadia .

Derasht Pass

View near Redenia

Country near Akra ....

Kaimakam and Mejlis at Akra .

Akra

Sultan's new Khan at Makhmur
Our House at Kerkuk ....
Escort of Hamawand Kurds
Country beyond Suleimanieh .
Ruined Castle at Sardasht , .
The Hill of the Serpent

Rania

Ibrahim Agha

Aku Kurds

Landscape from the Nalkewan Pass .

Nearing Rowandiz

The River Gorge at Rowandiz



to face page 82

99
105
106
109
III
114
120
122
124
126

159
160
162
163

164
166
168
170
172

173
174

175
176
188
196
200
208
210
212



List of Ilhistrations



XXlll



View from Rezan ....
Hussein Agha and his Sons .
View of the Amadia Valley
Amadia from the Minaret

Abdi Agha

Castle at Shernakh

Bedawin

List of Shiah Villages round Arga



to face page


224




225




226




228




232




234




278



119



LIST OF MAPS



General Map ....

Beyrut to Ma'aret .
HoMS to Besne ....
Aleppo to Tel-Arfad
Tel-Arfad to Killis

KiLLIS TO ESSENGELI .

Essengeli TO Shaykhli .

Shaykhli to Marash

Zeitun to Hamidieh

Marash to Derendeh

Derendeh to Malatia .

Besne to Killik

Killik to Hewek ....

Killis to Tatwan .

Zakho to Amadia ....

Amadia to Akra

Kalat Sherkat to Altin Kiopru

Dukhan to Rania

Rania to Rowandiz

Rowandiz to Rezan .

Diarbekr to Igdir

The Khabur River .



to face Introduction
to face page i

51

57

59

„ 61

„ 61

„ 61

81

87

„ 117
129

131
132
167

176

187
.. 215

219
» 223

237
„ 290




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DAR-UL-ISLAM

CHAPTER I

MAINLY INTRODUCTORY

I MAKE no apology for this book ; if indeed I owe an
apology, my crime is so grievous that I deserve
no forgiveness for having added yet another gallon
to that deadly, dreary, weary, dismal ocean of literature
which is composed of bad books of travel. If the book
is bad and dull, then let it lie ; it will sink slowly down
in the course of years, pressed by the overwhelming
weight of its younger brothers, towards a kind and blank
oblivion. And after . . .

It was in company with Mr. John Hugh Smith that
I started on an inconsequent journey through the
Turkish Empire. We landed at Beyrut early in No-
vember 1902, intending to depart immediately for the
interior ; this for a variety of reasons was impossible,
and we sojourned most unhappily for many days in the
deserted dwellings of the spring-season tourists. Even-
tually a portion of our luggage was released ; not from
the grasp of corrupt Turkish customs officials, but from
the clutches of some social labour problem at Marseilles,
into whose talons it had fallen. We then made our
escape, and I followed Mr. Smith, who had preceded

B me



2 Dar-ul-Islam

me to Baalbek, whither I went by rail to bring him the
good news.

It was thus my good fortune to travel by the
Rayak Hama branch of the Da7nas Hmiran et Prolonge-
ments Railway. I arrived at Rayak about 1.30, not more
than an hour late, and there prepared to board the
Hama train ; this conveyance was filled with people,
some frantically mounting, others excitedly descending
from the cars. At one third-class carriage three native
porters were wildly endeavouring to cram a Turkish
officer, a Saratoga Trunk, a little Boy, and some Loaves
of bread into a compartment which already contained
three Mohammedan Women, a Fruit-seller, a Zaptieh, a
Barber, a Prisoner, a Native mission teacher, the Zap-
tieh's saddle-bags, a Sword, Two umbrellas, a Bandbox
containing a Sewing Machine, the Fruit-seller's Stall,
and one hundred and fifty Oranges in a cloth ; the cloth
had burst and the oranges streamed through the chinks
in the door not occupied by the porters wrestling with
the officer ; the Mohammedan ladies explained in brief
that there was ' no Majesty and no Might save that of
Allah, the Glorious and the Great ' ; the Zaptieh, who
had not paid his fare, roared explanations over the
Officer's shoulder ; the porters thrust the Officer ; the
Officer pushed the fruit-seller ; the Fruit-seller cast asper-
sions on the religion and ancestors of the Oranges ; the
Barber cried ' Shame ! ' on all for having so little self-
control, while the Mission Teacher, on whom he was
sitting, was too overcome to make any comment. Truly
there was no engine on the train, nor was there any
likelihood of its immediate movement ; but it must not
be supposed that orientals are never in a hurry ; on all

occasions



Of Departures 3

occasions of departure or arrival, confusion, violence and
strife reign supreme ; fatalism is forgotten, and it is every
man's duty to heave, to punch, to kick, to curse and
swear, until the train, steamer, or caravan has started.

At the further end of the platform I found the chef de
train, mecanicien, Controlleur des croisements militaires,
sous-controlleurs de Voies et materiel, chef de gare,
sous-chef de gare, depute des filets telegraphiques, chef
de genie, sous-inspecteur de Voies,* and some six other
individuals of the Syro-Phcenician blend, engaged in a
lengthy and earnest council ; various clerks approached
the group and proffered yards of telegraphic tape ; these
were consulted, reconsulted, referred to, put away, and
solemnly noted in books, on envelopes, and scraps of
newspaper. Here there was no haste ; matters were
discussed with sublime calm, and though some rhetorical
expressions were made use of by the Gallic members of
the staff, and though the gestures of all were a little florid,
there was neither excitement nor animation. Indeed,
this was as it should be, for I learnt from the sous-chef
de gare that thirty-six hours previously a train travelling
at the horrible speed of twenty-four miles an hour had
been hurled from the track, and though no one was
killed, the permanent way had suffered, and communica-
tions were severed. When would the line be repaired ?
Ah ! it was hoped, in half an hour. The whole staff had
been engaged since the disaster in doing their all possible,
but in the presence of major forces f who could tell }

'^'- These titles are provisional.

t ' Force Majeure' : Whenever a Frenchman has performed any par-
ticularly foolish act, or exposed his incompetence in some strangely obvious
manner, the disastrous consequences are attributed to ' force Majeure.' An
Englishman usually calls it ' Providence,' but I suppose since the French Revo-
lution such an expression would have been derogatory to the ' Dignity of man,'

B 2 I was



4 Dar-ul-Islmn

I was interrupted at this moment by a voice using
violent expletives, whose pronunciation smacked of
Chicao-o : I turned round, and beheld an American
Colonel, whom I had met at Beyrut, pacing up and
down the platform, apparently at the end of his patience
and the following dialogue ensued :

Colonel (to the world in general) : ' I offered two
hundred dollars for a ride on their breakdown train yester-
day. O, my Lord, why have I struck this crowd of low-
down lazy greasers jes' when I wanted to get to Baylbeak ?'


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