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AROUNDATIONS IN CONSTANTINOPLE

ACROSSES IN CONSTANTINOPLE IN THE EARLY 1821 – part b.

12 Apr, 2024

Friends,

After the Sultan's firman calling all to arms, and the beating of the dragoman of the French embassy, ​​the Europeans found that this disturbance threatened their financial interests, and, led by Lord Strangford, sent a commission to the Gate. The response was immediate. In no time a firman was read everywhere saying that the Franks (i.e. all foreigners) were under the protection of the state.

Chaplain Walsh of the English embassy went out into the town, thinking it safe. Those he met were Turks. He notes in his diary:

"I was walking in a cul-de-sac. A Turk was advancing in front of me. Suddenly, a Greek was seen coming down the street. He stood and pressed his back against the wall, making room for the Ottoman to pass. He took out the yatagani and slaughtered him. Then, he cleaned the bloody blade, went into the coffee shop next door and lit a cigarette."

“The Turks,” continues Wells, “tested their pistols by aiming and killing the first Romeo they saw before them. And only a few days later, the great massacre began."

The priest records all the information he gathered about the beheading of the dragoman of the Gate Constantine Mourouzis, whom he managed to meet at a reception in Peran.

Mourouzis was riding near the shore of the Bosphorus, when someone put a letter in his hand and he disappeared. It was a message from Al. Ypsilanti calling him to do his patriotic duty. Mourouzis was afraid and hurried to notify the ministers of the Gate. They, before delivering the letter to the sultan, advised him to omit a paragraph referring to well-known persons, who - in their opinion - were beyond suspicion. He agreed.

The sultan, after reading the translation, called a Roman gardener and ordered him to directly translate Ypsilanti's message from Greek into Turkish. Thus, he found the omission and ordered the beheading of Mourouzis, which he attended.

According to the Greek historians, the letter of Al. Ypsilanti was fake.

Konstantinos or Kostakis Mourouzis, son of the ospodar Alexander Mourouzis, Great Interpreter (Dragoumanos) for forty days, was then thirty-two years old. He hastened to deliver the letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs "proving the false and certain innocence of such an alleged conspiracy". But at the exit of the seraglio, the executioner was waiting for him (according to I. Philemon).

Different is the version of the Turkish historian Djevdet Pasha who maintains that the letter was from Muruzi and not from Al. Ypsilanti.

"Muruzis, a relative of the Ypsilantis, having on behalf of his patron Halet the appellant an order to send letters of entreaty to some of the members of the Society (of the Friendship), of which he was also a member, wrote ambiguous things in a letter sent to Vlachia, saying among other things: “Was it wise, then, that all these should now be done so untimely? Was it time for that?”

the 4η April 1821, summoned by the head of the grand vizier, he was reprimanded for this, saying: "What are the things you write in these letters?" Mourouzis answered with evasions, saying that each language has its own special ways of expression. However, this excuse was of no use. Immediately, in accordance with the issued orders, he was carried, still carrying his samurogunan and his kalpaki, in front of the Alai pavilion, where he died. The body was left exposed for three days as an example to others."

Finally, there is the report of the Dutch charge d'affaires in Istanbul Gaspar Testa to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and his superior on the incident:

"According to one version he showed disloyalty in the translation of some Greek texts, related to the great conspiracy to cover up his countrymen referred to in this correspondence. The sultan, when the documents came into his hands, wanting to be sure of the accuracy of the content, assigned the translation to a private secretary of his who learned Greek, as well as to one of the Greek gardeners of the seraglio who was renowned as a skilled translator. In this way, Murouzi's crime was revealed and he was immediately punished with death. Others say that this Dragoumanos was condemned because he had vouched for the lawfulness of the Maniatians who also raised the flag of rebellion."

 

 

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