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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

Tuesday Ap 2. [2 April 1907] At 7 we were opposite Chios [Khios]. Very cold but bright, the snow very low. We got into Smyrna [Izmir] at 11. Mr Whittall, a son of Mr Richard W, Fattuh and a kavass came on board for me. Got through the custom house without trouble. Went to the Hotel de la Ville where I was greeted as an old friend. Mr van Lennep came there to see me and returned after lunch. We went out together to the Anglo Oriental Stores and bought provisions for Konia [Konya (Iconium)]. Called on Mr Barfield and on the Cumberbatches. Mr B. is head of the Aidin [Aydin] rly and promises me all assistance. Much talk of the brigand Chekeji who is busy to the north of the line at Oldemish. Mr B. has a man to propose for my work, RouverÈ, but I don't think he will do. Mr Cumberbatch was full of talk about the Kiamil Pasha incident, Kiamil was an excellent Vali and very pro English. He had been Grand Vezier more than once - I think 3 times. It was he to whom Ferid owed his rise and he always spoke very highly of Ferid's powers and ability. He was the English candidate for the Vezirate and was thus a danger to Ferid who was supposed to be and probably was, a friend to Russia and perhaps in her pay. Kiamil has a son, Said Pasha, who was born the same day as Burhan ed Din and has been treated as his foster brother and given every rank which he received. This young man is a rogue, weak and in bad hands; he was used as a spy against his father by the Palace Clique. Then came the question of the suppression of brigandage and Kiamil was accused of having received bribes from the brigands to prevent their capture. The bribes had indeed been received but by other hands, those of a number of the palace clique. But this accusation was used as a pretext to disgrace Kiamil. He knew what was happening and begged leave to return and live in {Smyrna} Beyrout [Beyrouth (Beirut)]. No answer. One evening the head of the police received a telegram in cypher telling to arrest Kiamil. He was away in one of the islands and the cypher was in Smyrna. He came in next morning, read the telegram and proceeded to the Konak. Meantime Mr Cumberbatch had gone early to the Konak. The Vali knew that the blow was coming and asked if he might come to the consulate. Mr C. replied that there was no reason he shd not visit him in the morning. When he had left, Kiamil took a small bag, got into his carriage and drove to the Consulate. As he arrived there the h. of p. reached the Konak and found that the bird had flown. It was at first suspected that he had been smuggled into an English ship - one had come in that morning and by chance had anchored in the port just opposite the consulate. The telegrams from C'ple [Istanbul (Constantinople)] at once changed their tone when it was known that Kiamil was with us; he was given all the titles and honours of an engrand[?] Vizier whereas the previous telegram ordering him to Rhodes [Rodhos] had been couched in the curtest terms. Mr Barclay conducted the affair with great energy, it was as well Sir N. was away. Mr Cumberbatch refused to let Kiamil go until he was perfectly assured of his safety. Kiamil particularly wished for a clause securing that his sons (ie Said) should in no way suffer. Kiamil refused angrily to believe in the tales of Said's intrigues or that he had taken money from the brigands. Barclay refused to do anything for Said. Finally a clause of protection for Kiamil's "family" was secured. Then he went to C'ple where he now lives in all honour. I went back to dinner and we played Bridge after, lots of people coming in, among them Elsie Whittall, Mr Edward's daughter. They played very well. I left soon after 10. Most queer world this. French or English they are all without any nationality or any mother tongue. Faik Pasha, of Konia, is here now.

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