Diaries

6/5/1905

Sat 6. [6 May 1905] Grey still, but the sun came out later. Still very tired. Up at 6.45, breakfasted and resolved to send off the mules. I learnt yesterday that Karaman [(Laranda)] is on the Konia [Konya (Iconium)] line - such a piece of good news I have not heard for a long time and I blessed Zander and resolved to go by train to Konia. The weather got better and I went out about 10 with the Polis Effendi and called on the Kaimakam who was an agreeable old party speaking a little Arabic which he learnt in Egypt. I found there a most charming banished Pasha, Husne Pasha, in full splendid uniform. He talked very good French. He has been in Karaman 2 years and is sent there to keep him away from all consuls with whom he is supposed to be plotting! I then went on to the Medresseh and to the castle from which one has a fine view of the town. Near it to the SW are two ruined mosques, Seljuk. The first has a very beautiful tall and slender minaret, the second is of admirable work with a charming fountain opposite the main door. All in ruins. So back to lunch which Fattuh brought me from the locanda. At 3 the Kaimakam and Husne Pasha returned my call. Husne Pasha said the railway had already done a good deal of good to the town. Prices had risen and 400 wagons of grain had been sent from Karaman and the 2 neighbouring stations to C'ple [Istanbul (Constantinople)]. Freights are very high, £T25 a wagon to Haida Pasha [Haydarpasa]. What they needed here was population which was extremely scanty. The Yuruks do no cultivating, their business is merely flocks and a carrying trade. The hills are full of game. They had been out the day before and got a fine moufflon. So at 4 to the station by a shocking road. The train left at 5. I talked to the Greek station master who had been on the line 20 years having begun at Haidar Pasha under the English rule. He said the present rates of pay were very low. He earned more as a boy under the English than he did now. They get their lodging but no lighting or fire. The stations are got up regardless of expense with velvet sofas and the newest of telegraphic instruments etc. This and all the rolling stock comes from Germany. He is very pessimistic as to the prosperity of the line. Says the people are quite savages and will not learn. Nearly all the employÈs are Greek or Armenian. The fares are very high, often they have no passengers at all. I paid 3 mej to Konia and 1 mej for Fattuh. They cannot as yet compete with the camel transport. He regrets that the English did not build the line. Husne Pasha also said "We do not know these Germans and we do not like them. There is a long friendship between Turkey and England. We always look to England." The train came in 4 wagons to which we added 2 more goods wagons. On this occasion the 3rd class wagon was full, the 2nd class pretty full and there were 2 other 1st class passengers besides me. I had a red velvet carriage to myself. In the first class waiting room was the only looking glass in which I have yet been able to see myself since I came to A.M. Round all the stations they have planted trees. We passed 4 on our way to Konia, set in a desolate waste ringed round with mts. We got in at about 8 and I went straight to the German consulate to get my letters. The Loytveds received me most cordially and kept me to dinner. I got back to the hotel at 10.30 and read my letters till past midnight. An excellent German hotel kept by a Frenchman, most clean and comfortable - far better than any in Syria.

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