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sented by the laboring class, but is taken as a matter of course. In the country the relations between the employer and his laborer partake of a patriarchal character.


There are some corporations or guilds of laborers but they bave no appreciable effect on the advancement or welfare of their members. They are intended to prevent orercrowding the market, and in that respect may benefit the members. There are no counter organizations of capital.

The constitution of trade corporations in Turkey bas probably been handed down from the middle ages. To give a succinct idea of them the corporation of porters (bamals) in the capital will be taken as an example; it is a large and important one. Each quarter of the town and the suburbs has its own porters. They are all under one chief who is recognized by the Government and buys his place. He pays their taxes, which he afterwards collects from each porter; they can only take loads in the quarter to which they belong, and each day their earnings are shared by all belonging to the same quarter. In case of sick. ness or disability they assist each other, and as they come mostly from distant provinces in Asia they are assisted by the corporation to defray the expenses of a visit to their homes once in two or three years. Other trades have similar corporations, but the guild of porters is probably the most powerful one.


Strikes are of extremely rare occurrence. I am aware of but two, and they were of small importance, in the last six years. One was a strike of the Government dock-yard laborers, for their arrears of pay, they not having received any for seven months; and the second was a strike of cigarette makers of the tobacco régie, Government monopoly, for an increased rate of compensation and the exclusion of women from this class of work. Both strikes were successful, the Government laborers were paid, at least in part, and the cigarette makers obtained higher pay and women were excluded from the factories.

FOOD PURCHASING. The working people are everywbere at liberty to purchase wherever they choose. The country is afflicted with a wretched mixed currency of debased silver, and the laborer is paid with this coin and at irregular periods.

CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES. The only associations among the native workmen that might be called co-operative are the corporations or guilds mentioned in answer to interrogatory 6. They are not instituted to provide food and other nec. essaries of life at a lower or more regular rate than could be obtained in the regular retail market, but are intended to secure the trade or avocation from being overcrowded. The members pay a small annual sum to the head of the corporation, which is ostensibly for the relief of the members who may have sickness or accidents. But the fund is seldom used for this purpose, the members of the corporation considering the payment as a tribute to secure their membership. There is a constant struggle going on between the chief of the corporation and its members—the first to increase their number and bis income, and the second to prevent the increase, which would reduce their profits.

A co-operative society has been organized here by foreigners, but it does not affect the native working people, and does not, therefore, come within the scope of these inquiries.


Viewed from our standpoint, the condition of the working classes in Turkey is wretched. They live in hovels; their food is of the plainest and cheapest description; their clothes, however, although coarse, are substantial and durable; their chances of bettering their condition or of laying up for old age and sickness are scanty. As regards their moral condition, they are generally quite illiterate and extremely ignorant, and are satisfied with the forms of religion. In the country districts a man taking to the road in hard times and living by rapine does not necessarily become an outcast from society, but rather a hero, in the estimation of those from whose ranks he came, and if he returns to peaceful pursuits his antecedents are not against him in public opinion, except, perhaps, with the authorities, and even they show large in. dulgence to a repentant transgressor.

SAFETY OF EMPLOYÉS. No precautions are taken. Employers do not concern themselves with the moral or physical well-being of their employés. The general relations prevailing between them may be stated as good, but with a large degree of indifference on the part of the employers.


They have no more political rights than the rest of the population, who have none. Like all others, they have certain legal rights. They have to pay a small tax for a license, but there is nothing else in Ottoman legislation that atfects the working class as such.


There is no emigration of the working classes, as we understand it. There is migration from one province to another, caused by religious prejudice. When Bulgaria and Ronmelia obtained their autonomy, and a quasi independence, particularly the former, the Mussulman population left those provinces in large numbers, rather than be under Christian government, where they felt themselves at a disadvantage, and came to Constantinople, whence they were sent to the Asiatic provinces. The same removal of the Mussulman element took place in the Dobroudtcha (Roumania), the provinces ceded to Greece, and the por tion of Armenia ceded to Russia The great majority were agriculturists, as they came from provinces where agriculture is the principal occupation of the people. This migration took such large proportions, after the Russo-Turkish war, that it created serious alarm. The people flocked in from the ceded provinces in vast numbers, in a state of abject destitution. They were packed in the mosques and unoccupied buildings of Constantinople and its environs, and, for a long time the former were rendered unfit for use. The number of refugees has been esti. mated at nearly a quarter of a million ; diseases of every kind followed in their train. Their sufferings were great, although the Sultan did his utmost for their relief. Many sold their children to secure them homes.



Nothing can be said in answer to this interrogatory, as there is no possibility of making even an approximate estimate of the number of women and children employed in industrial pursuits, or even as domestic servants.

Some women are employed in raising silk.worms, and in weaving the celebrated silks of Broussa and the carpets of Smyrna, which are woven on hand looms; and a large number are engaged in agricultural labor, particularly where the men are mostly absent on military service, or in the larger towns, where they find work as porters, teamsters, and drivers, &c. In a country like this, where mechanical appliances are rare, manual labor is in demand to perform work 'which would elsewhere be done by machinery.

Women are not employed in the other pursuits mentioned.


All that can be stated is that women are employed in the rural districts, on their own farms, in all kinds of agricultural labor, but they do not hire out for this work. They are frequently compelled to do the work of men. They are employed as domestic servants at wages less than one-half of those paid to men. In silk and woolen factories they are paid by the piece, at low rates; their work, however, is generally at home.


The wages of female servants have increased during the last few years, but, as a general rule, they bave remained the same.

As they do not hire out, with rare exceptions, for other than household work, their employment as servants has no effect on the wages of men. There has been a considerable increase in the price of the necessaries of life, especially in towns.


The education of female children of the working classes is generally neglected, and but little more care is taken with that of the male chil. dren of the same classes. Women being rarely employed, even in the silk and woolen factories (as they work by the piece and do it at home), they are not exposed to the influences, for good or for evil, incident to the agglomeration of large numbers.

Taking the population of the northern Asiatic provinces as the type of the Turkish people, there are few races superior to them physically. The southern provinces are inhabited by a widely different people, the Arabs, and they are also physically a fine race. Intellectually, they are in a state of dense ignorance, owing to the absence of schools for the poorer classes, and, in the case of the Arabs, to their total indifference to education. Morally, they are on a level with other Oriental peoples.



Constantinople, June 25, 1884.


Wager paid per week of six days.

[The honrs of labor are from daylight to one hour before sunset, with one hour for rest in the middle

of the day.)

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Wages paid per month or year to household servants (towns and cities) in Turkey.


Lowest. Highest. A verage.

$17 60


$8 80
8 80
6 60
8 80
6 60
22 001
8 80

$26 60
17 60
13 20
15 40

35 20
13 20



The following circular letter was addressed to persons in various representative industrial centers in the United States, for such wage and food statistics as would enable the Department to institute comparisons between American and European conditions. The communications herewith given were the only answers received, and the Department hereby returns its thanks to the gentlemen who so freely and promptly furnished the information requested.


Washington, July 22, 1884. SIR: On request of the president of the Workingmen's Assembly of the State of New York, and of the president of the Workingwomen's League of Washington, the inclosed circular was prepared and transınitted to the consuls of the United States, in the several countries. The answers thereto are now being prepared in the Department for publication, and as it is important, for purposes of comparison, to secure the rates of wages at present prevailing in the principal trade centers of the United States, I therefore take the liberty of requesting you, in furtherance of this very important work, to fill out, as far as you conveniently can, the within blanks, showing the wages paid in your city.

It is not expected that you will do more than fill out the blanks from information which it is thought you already possess, or can readily secure, I will therefore feel thankful if you will give the matter your immediate attention. I am, sir, your obedient servant,



NEW YORK, August 2, 1884. DEAR SIR: I have just received yours of July 19, requesting information as to rate of wages, condition of labor, and cost of living.

I cheerfully inclose blank sent for that purpose, filled out with the latest data at hand.

When I called the attention--last June, a year ago-of your Department to the importance of investigating the condition of labor abroad, I recognized the necessity of those enjoying the confidence of organized labor, to be supplied with the latest reliable facts bearing upon the question, in order that workingmen here might act intelligently upon the question of free trade and protection, should the issue be raised; and, in order to accomplish that end, I issued the inclosed circular last year. You then


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