University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Foreign Relations of the United States

Page View

United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, transmitted to congress, with the annual message of the president, December 4, 1876

Turkish Empire,   pp. 568-593 PDF (2.2 MB)

Page 588

 Quoted by F. Kanitz in the Oesterreichische Monatsc/mrift für den Orient
for 15th May,1875. Some of the abo~e details are taken from Herr Kanitz's
 Lamb-skins and kid-skins, salted—The quantity annually exported is
estimated at 200,000 lamb-skins and 50,000 kid-skins, valued at 50,000 pounds
 Cocoons—Previously to the disease of the silk-worms, the annual production
was superior to 25,000 okes. At present it is not more than 40,000 to 60,000
okes, (an oke, 2~ pounds avoirdupois,) of the value of 6,000 pounds Turkish.
The two principal centers of production are the towns of Stanimaka and Peroushtitza.
The dried cocoons are exported for France, while the rejects are spun out
and the silk obtained is sold for local consumption.
 .Wool.—The annual production must be superior to 100,000 okes, but
only one-tenth of it, which may be valued at 10,000 pounds Turkish, is exported,
the rest being used for the manufacture of abbas, shayaks, and ghaItan.
 Tobacco—The quantity annually exported may be calculated at 750,000
okes, but as the quality is low its value is not superior to 40,000 pounds
 Cow, ox, and buffalo hides.—The surplus over the local needs available
for export may be computed at 15,000 hides, representing a value 15,000 pounds
 Cattle—The annual export for Constantinople is estimated at 100,000
to 120,000, and 6,000 to 8,000 cows and oxen, of the aggregate value of 70,000
pounds Turkish. The number of sheep given is exclusive of the 400,000 sheep
which are annually brought down from the Vilaet of Sophia and driven through
the district of Philippopolis for Constantinople.
 Buffalo-horns, bones, rags, 4-c.—Value of annual export 5,000 pounds
 Sadder still than the state of agriculture in the district of Philippopolis
is the condition of industry. Forty years ago the manufacture of the coarse
woolen cloths called abbas, and of the woolen braid called ghaitan, as well
as the production of readymade clothes, had attained an importance which
marked out this district as one of the most industrial provinces of European
Turkey. Since the Crimean war, however, the spurious refinement which has
produced the change in costume, and the light duties levied by the Turkish
fisc on foreign goods—a policy by which Turkey has sought to win the
support of the western European powers—have gradually diminished the
production of these staple articles. If no measures are taken betimes for
the protection and encouragement of native industry, the observer who att3ntively
follows its declining fortunes in this part of the country can foresee a
not very distant time when it will virtually be reduced to nil.
 The little industury that remains is almost equally divided between the
inhabitants of the two mountain ranges that encircle the district of Philippopolis.
While the Balkan almost completely monopolizes the production of otto of
roses, shayaks, woolen socks, and ghaItan, the Rhodope produces the no less
important articles of the abbas, timber, wine, rakee, &.c. The value
of the products of the last mountain is superior to that of the Balkan products;
but then the Balkan possesses the only two progressive branches of industry,
the production of otto of roses and the manufacture of shayaks.
 Otto of roses—Luxurious Babylon is the first people mentioned by history
as having practiced, by a process unknown to Greeks or Roinans, the extraction
of the fragrant essence of the rose. Dear, down to the present day, is this
essence to the southern Asiatic. The large quantity produced at Gazeepoor~
on the Gauges, is entirely consumed in Asia. Persia produces rose-water,
but no otto; as regards Egypt, its production is scarcely equal to the demand
of its market. While, therefore, all the otto and rose-water produced in
India, Persia, and Egypt are consumed in the East, the large quantity of
otto required by the European and American perfumers is supplied by the district
of Philippopolis. The whole of the hilly northern parts of this di'4rict,
from Zaghra to Aorat-AIan, is studded with rose-fields, the greatest number
of which are found around Kazanlyk. The impassable Moltke himself was fired
with enthusiasm at the view of the Kazanlyk basin. In his Travels in Turkey
he calls it "the Kashmeer of Europe, the Turkish Gullistan, the land of roses.~~*
 The beauty of this valley will be best understood from the fact that out
of the' 350,000 meticals (6 meticals = 1 ounce avoirdupois) which constitute
the average annual yield of otto, and which represent a value of 60,000 pounds
Turkish, more than half is produced by it. The area required for this production
may be imagined when it is known that 3,200 ounces of rose-petals produce
10 ounces of otto.
 The variety of rose cultivated for this purpose (Rosa damascena, sempervirens,
and niosehata) thrives best on sandy, sunny ridges. The planting of the rose-trees
takes place in the spring or autumn, and the crop is ready in May or beginning
of June. As a rule, every peasant in the otto-producing district is more
or less of a rose-cultivator, and he is generally distiller too, unless he
chooses to sell his roses to the large pro-

Go up to Top of Page