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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Cumberbatch, Henry Alfred

38.423734, 27.142826

Thurs Ap 4 [4 April 1907] Grey but warm. Spent the morning packing
my things with Fattuh. Mr Cum. [Cumberbatch] came in the middle and
told me a long tale about the protectorate of Catholics. It appears that
here the big Greek school put itself under our protection and all the
many branch schools which have grown out of it are under our
protection and fly our flag on feast days. The Italians have always
been trying to oust the French. Since the breach with the Pope the
Dominicans have withdrawn themselves from French protection and
put themselves under Italian, thanking the French kindly for all they
have done for them. The French still have a vast organisation and
quantities of priests are sent out. The Austrians also make a point of
being present at the great ecclesiastical functions so as to establish a
right to be considered as protectors of the Catholics. Here these 3
consuls go to the great services of the church officially in full uniform.
The new Catholic Archbp of Jerusalem [El Quds esh Sherif,
Yerushalayim] is an Italian subject. Consequently the Italian consul
slips out to meet him on arrival at the station but the French consul
meets him in state at the gates of the town and the two conduct him to
his house. Here the Austrian is absent! Lunched at the Consulate and
went with Mr and Mrs C. to call on Faik Pasha. He was very friendly.
We went to see his wife who fell on my neck. I made shift to say a few
words in Turkish. A very pretty daughter of 16 or so talking excellent
French showed us photographs of Konia [Konya (Iconium)]. She was
a curious contrast to the mother. When the wife of the secretary came
in Mme Pasha got up and gave her a deep salute, saluting her again
after they had sat down. The girl paid no attention at all. As we went
out I said to the girl that the house was very nice. "Oui" said she
"seulement nous y sommes enfermÈes." I caused a diversion by
spilling my coffee! fortunately I had on a dark gown. We then went to
Basma Khaneh and saw the General Manager, Monsieur Scala about
my luggage. Then we called on the good Hattons. He has been very
ill but has now quite recovered. He has left the service of the railway
and finds the time hang [sic] rather heavy on his hands. I asked Mr
Cum. who the Tatars were. He said they were immigrants from the
Dobruchka. He said the bomb outrages in C'ple [Istanbul
(Constantinople) were all due to Armenians - a regular organization to
attract the attention of Europe. They fear them here and he has been
warning the Vali not to decrease the number of his spies.

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