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Armenians, Koords, and Turks II

Auteur : James Creagh
Éditeur : Samuel Tinsley Date & Lieu : 1880, London
Préface : Pages : 307
Traduction : ISBN :
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 130x195 mm
Thème : Histoire

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Armenians, Koords, and Turks II


As it was my opinion, (which everything occurring since only confirms more and more,) that the very instant the Russians crossed the Pruth, England ought to have declared war, I have felt a peculiar interest in the action we might then have taken in Asiatic Turkey.

Trusting in England, looking to England, believing in England, the whole Turkish, and Koordish, and even Armenian population were ready to obey any Englishmen sent to their assistance. Then, and at that moment, we might, without offending any prejudices, and without the least danger of any Pasha, Effendi, or Bey, daring even to hint a word of opposition, have raised a superb army which, without doubt, would have driven the Muscovite forces to the other side of the Caucasus.

Independently of interest, there are no European people so respected by the Ottomans as the English. Our gruff and surly manners to strangers, our habit of saying what we mean, and coming to the point at once without any prevarication, and our disinclination to give deferential salutations to ;people for whom we have no respect, are ail regarded by the Turks with the most profound admiration. 'They see in these peculiarities a reflection of that intense pride inherent in their own character...

Armenians, Koords, and Turks II

Journeying alone along the wild mountains between Kars and Bayazid, I first became acquainted with the celebrated Koords, whose feudal system of government and aristocratie mann ers assimilate them to a great entent with the Bosniak Mussulmans, living at the very opposite aide of the Ottoman Empire.

It appears to me that the modern Koord differs very little from the swarms of light horsemen who resisted so successfully the arms of the Crusaders.

He is mounted on a hardy, spirited, and well-bred horse, capable of enduring the extremes of both fatigue and hunger. His saddleis decorated with every imaginable kind of caparison or ornament, which dangles down towards the ground.

His flowing garments of the brightest and most fantastic hues, his voluminous turban of a sombre colour, his long flowing locks reaching half-way down his back, his immense moustachios, black and piercing eyes, insolent expression and proud display of pistole, knives, yataghans, scimitars, blunderbuss, long gun, and sword, besides an enormous spear about twelve feet long, ornamented (instead of a flag like that of an European lancer) with a bundle exactly resembling in size and chape an ordinary football, from which several strings or streamers are dependent—give him a truculent and aggressive aspect ; quite justifying the remark of an Armenian, who, looking after one of them and getting easier as the distance increased between them, said in a very solemn and impressive toue : " You may laugh if you please, but moere you to meet that fellow alone, all your courage would evaporate.'

Nobody has ever attempted to write a history of the Koords, because they are as destitute of annals as the wolves and jackals among whom they have lived in the high mountains from immemorial time.

Although some of them have made permanent settlements in villages, which they generally share with Armenians, the great body of the nation is nomadic, and wanders about in order to procure pasture for their large herds and according to the variations of the yearly seasons.

In summer they are to be found living under black tents in the highest of the mountain ranges, which they leave when the temperature becomes too cô1d, and when the snow falls thickly on the places where they have spent the warm weather....

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