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ASIA MINOR


streams, but nine-tenths of the country is treeless, except for scrub. On the south and west coasts the fig and olive are largely cultivated. The vine yields rich produce everywhere, except in the higher districts. The apple, pear, cherry and plum thrive well in the north; the orange, lemon, citron and sugar-cane in the south; styrax and mastic in the south-west; and the wheat lands of the Sivas vilayet can hardly be surpassed. The most important vegetable productions are—cereals, cotton, gum tragacanth, liquorice, olive oil, opium, rice, saffron, salep, tobacco and yellow berries. Silk is produced in large quantities in the vicinity of Brusa and Amasia, and mohair from the Angora goat all over the plateau. The wild animals include bear, boar, chamois, fallow red and roe deer, gazelle, hyena, ibex, jackal, leopard, lynx, moufflon, panther, wild sheep and wolf. The native reports of a maneless lion in Lycia (arslan) are probably based on the existence of large panthers. Amongst the domestic animals are the buffalo, the Syrian camel, and a mule camel, bred from a Bactrian sire and Syrian mother. Large numbers of sheep and Angora goats are reared on the plateau, and fair horses are bred on the Uzun Yaila; but no effort is made to improve the quality of the wool and mohair or the breed of horses. Good mules can be obtained in several districts, and small hardy oxen are largely bred for ploughing and transport. The larger birds are the bittern, great and small bustard, eagle, francolin, goose; giant, grey and red-legged partridge, sand grouse, pelican, pheasant, stork and swan. The rivers and lakes are well supplied with fish, and the mountain streams abound with small trout.

The principal manufactures are:—Carpets, rugs, cotton, tobacco, mohair and silk stuffs, soap, wine and leather. The exports are:—Cereal, cotton, cotton seed, dried fruits, drugs, fruit, gall nuts, gum tragacanth, liquorice root, maize, nuts, olive oil, opium, rice, sesame, sponges, storax, timber, tobacco, valonia, walnut wood, wine, yellow berries, carpets, cotton yarn, cocoons, hides, leather, mohair, silk, silk stuffs, rugs, wax, wool, leeches, live stock, minerals, &c. The imports are:—Coffee, cotton cloths, cotton goods, crockery, dry-salteries, fezzes, glass-ware, haberdashery, hardware, henna, ironware, jute, linen goods, manufactured goods, matches, petroleum, salt, sugar, woollen goods, yarns, &c.

Communications.—There are few metalled roads, and those that exist are in bad repair, but on the plateau light carts can pass nearly everywhere. The lines of railway now open are:—(1) From Haidar Pasha to Ismid, Eski-shehr and Angora; (2) from Mudania to Brusa; (3) from Eski-shehr to Afium-Kara-hissar, Konia and Bulgurli, east of Eregli (the first section of the Bagdad railway). These lines are worked by the German Gesellschaft der anatolischen Eisenbahnen. (4) From Smyrna to Manisa, Ala-shehr and Afium-Kara-hissar, with a branch line from Manisa to Soma. This line is worked by a French company. (5) From Smyrna to Aidin and Dineir, with branches to Odemish, Tireh, Sokia, Denizli, Ishekli, Seidi Keui and Bouja, constructed and worked by an English company. (6) From Mersina to Tarsus and Adana, an English line under a control mainly French. There are two competing routes for the eastern trade—one running inland from Constantinople (Haidar Pasha), the other from Smyrna. The first is connected by ferry with the European railway system; the second with the great sea routes from Smyrna to Trieste, Marseilles and Liverpool. The right to construct all railways in Armenia and north-eastern Asia Minor has been conceded to Russia, and the Germans have a virtual monopoly of the central plateau.

Ethnology.—None of the conquering races that invaded Asia Minor, whether from the east or from the west, wholly expelled or exterminated the race in possession. The vanquished retired to the hills or absorbed the victors. In the course of ages race distinction has been almost obliterated by fusion of blood; by the complete Hellenization of the country, which followed the introduction of Christianity; by the later acceptance of Islam; and by migrations due to the occupation of cultivated lands by the nomads. It will be convenient here to adopt the modern division into Moslems, Christians and Jews:—(a) Moslems. The Turks never established themselves in such numbers as to form the predominant element in the population. Where the land was unsuitable for nomad occupation the agricultural population remained, and it still retains some of its original characteristics. Thus in Cappadocia the facial type of the non-Aryan race is common, and in Galatia there are traces of Gallic blood. The Zeibeks of the west and south-west are apparently representatives of the Carians and Lycians; and the peasants of the Black Sea coast range of the people of Bithynia, Paphlagonia and Pontus. Wherever the people accepted Islam they called themselves Turks, and a majority of the so-called “Turks” belong by blood to the races that occupied Asia Minor before the Seljuk invasion. Turkish and Zaza-speaking Kurds (see Kurdistan) are found in the Angora and Sivas vilayets. There are many large colonies of Circassians and smaller ones of Noghai (Nogais), Tatars, Georgians, Lazis, Cossacks, Albanians and Pomaks. East of Boghaz Keui there is a compact population of Kizilbash, who are partly descendants of Shia Turks transplanted from Persia and partly of the indigenous race. In the Cilician plain there are large settlements of Nosairis who have migrated from the Syrian mountains (see Syria). The nomads and semi-nomads are, for the most part, representatives of the Turks, Mongols and Tatars who poured into the country during the 350 years that followed the defeat of Romanus. Turkomans are found in the Angora and Adana vilayets; Avshars, a tribe of Turkish origin, in the valleys of Anti-Taurus; and Tatars in the Angora and Brusa vilayets; Yuruks are most numerous in the Konia vilayet. They speak Turkish and profess to be Moslems, but have no mosques or imams. The Turkomans have villages in which they spend the winter, wandering over the great plains of the interior with their flocks and herds during the summer. The Yuruks on the contrary are a truly nomad race. Their tents are made of black goats’ hair and their principal covering is a cloak of the same material. They are not limited to the milder districts of the interior, but when the harvest is over, descend into the rich plains and valleys near the coast. The Chepmi and Takhtaji, who live chiefly in the Aidin vilayet, appear to be derived from one of the early races. (b) Christians. The Greeks are in places the descendants of colonists from Greece, many of whom, e.g. in Pamphylia and the Smyrna district, are of very recent importation; but most of them belong by blood to the indigenous races. These people became “Greeks” as being subjects of the Byzantine empire and members of the Eastern Church. On the west coast, in Pontus and to some extent of late in Cappadocia, and in the mining villages, peopled from the Trebizond Greeks, the language is Romaic; on the south coast and in many inland villages (e.g. in Cappadocia) it is either Turkish, which is written in Greek characters, or a Greco-Turkish jargon. In and near Smyrna there are large colonies of Hellenes. Armenians are most numerous in the eastern districts, where they have been settled since the great migration that preceded and followed the Seljuk invasion. There are, however, Armenians in every large town. In central and western Asia Minor they are the descendants of colonists from Persia and Armenia (see Armenia), (c) The Jews live chiefly on the Bosporus; and in Smyrna, Rhodes, Brusa and other western towns. Gypsies—some Moslem, some Christian—are also numerous, especially in the south.

History.—Asia Minor owes the peculiar interest of its history to its geographical position. “Planted like a bridge between Asia and Europe,” it has been from the earliest period a battleground between the East and the West. The central plateau (2500 to 4500 ft.), with no navigable river and few natural approaches, with its monotonous scenery and severe climate, is a continuation of central Asia. The west coast, with its alternation of sea and promontory, of rugged mountains and fertile valleys, its bright and varied scenery, and its fine climate, is almost a part of Europe. These conditions are unfavourable to permanence, and the history of Asia Minor is that of the march of hostile armies, and rise and fall of small states, rather than that of a united state under an independent sovereign. At a very early period Asia Minor appears to have been occupied by non-Aryan tribes or races which differed little from each other in religion, language and social system. During the past generation much light has been thrown upon one of these races—the “Hittites” or “Syro-Cappadocians,” who, after their rule had passed away, were known to Herodotus as “White Syrians,” and whose descendants can still be recognised in the villages of Cappadocia.[1] The centre of their power is supposed to have been Boghaz Keui (see Pteria), east of the Halys, whence roads radiated to harbours on the Aegean, to Sinope, to northern Syria and to the Cilician plain. Their strange sculptures and inscriptions have been found at Pteria, Euyuk, Fraktin, Kiz Hissar (Tyana), Ivriz, Bulgar, Muden and other places between Smyrna and the

  1. The people, Moslem and Christian, are physically one and appear to be closely related to the modern Armenians. This relationship is noticeable in other districts, and the whole original population of Asia Minor has been characterized as Proto-Armenian or Armenoid.