The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on April 20, 1930 · 107
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · 107

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 20, 1930
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PAGE 2 ENQUIRER SUNDAY MAGAZINE APRIL 2 0 , 1 93 0 s Largest fortune moil arem iimates -fated 1 urkisli sultan World I o Be Split A Of The v n a b n n a -m Last And ill $1,500,000,000 Estate Of Abdul, "The Damned," Will Bring Life Back To Tragic Eyes Of Circassian Beauties Who Have Wandered About Like Lost Souls Since Despot Died. By Padraic King. UT OF ISTANBOUL, most w ancient of Turkish com- Mosul oilfields. munltles, where intrigue Aslae from thege holdings, an in-walks hand in hand with ventorv taken nhortlv after his oustinir tfie witchery of the East, comes a story as picturesque as any in the Arabian Nights entertainment It is the romance of the world's greatest fortune. After a five years' legal battle, according to recent news dispatches, the nine surviving widows and thirteen children of Atidul Hamld II, the last Sultan of the Ottoman Em- pise, are to receive $50,000,000 from his $1,500,000,000 estate. It was some 21 years ago, April, 1 OdP. to be exact, after reigning a third of a century as an all-powerful Or'.?ntal despot, that the ill-fated Fultan, who was known as Abdul the Damned, lost his throne and was cast Into a Turkish prison, where he was to languish until the day of his death, February 11, 1918. And while the tyrant had been gathered unto his Islamic gods, his spell for evil continued to manifest Itself from beyond the grave. When all that was mortal of Abdul Harnld was entombed In the mausoleum of his grandfather, the Sultan Mahmud, the children and harem favorites, who had accompanied him into his prison exile, were turned adrift upon a war-maddened world. . Tragic, indeed, was to be the fate of the women of the Sultan wives and slaves who now for the first time found themselves face to face with a new life, the hard, uncompromising life of the twentieth century. They were children of the ancient glories and traditions of the stars and crescent. All had lived in Oriental luxury and idleness. Even as companions of . the Sultan, during his nine years' imprisonment, they had enjoyed a life of comparative ease and pleasure. BUT the dream of the voluptuaries was now at an end, and rude was the awakening of the harem favorites. Death, through the poison cup coffee flavored with aconite spared many of the aged and un-beautiful from the terrors of the alien world, while not a few of the youthful charmers found their way into the underworld of the capital of Europe. Hume of the women of the harem, the most courageous of the lot, struggled grimly with poverty and hi-rddliips, yet never despairing that their contention they enlisted the aid the day would come when they would of British and American bankers. share part of the huge fortune left And as oil In almost unbelievable by their lord and master. amounts was Involved In the con- And for those of the household of troversy It was not difficult to lnter-the once Imperial Turkey, who est the financiers of New York and weren't sucked under In the whirl- London In the woes and troubles uf ;ool of hopelessness, the day of re- the heirs of Abdul, loielng and happiness Is at hand. The First the Anglo-Hellenic Finance news out of Athens, Constantinople, Corporation was formed, and then the and London t3 that Greece is prepared Valldeh Trust, Ltd. Then for some to pay $50,000,000 to the legal heirs reason, not yet explained, the Ameri-of Abdul Hamld II can bankers withdrew from these The names of those who are to corporations, but the British held haie in this huge fortune read like tight, for, after all, oil was oil; As list of characters from the ad- result the Aegean Trust, Ltd,, of ventures of Haroun-al-Raschid. They Westminster, London, was formed. are: Prince Selim, Pilnoe Ahmed and Princess Zelie, and their niothei. Bediifelek, Abdul's favorite wife. Piince Abdul Kadir and Princi-ss Naimee, the children of his second favorite, Bidar, who is dead. Princess Naile, Prince Nouireduin. Princess Alchee, Prince Abld, Princess Refie, Princess Chadie and Prince Ardurrahlm. Katlma, BehldJ, Mouchlf ika, Nadjle, Sazighlar, Emsalinour and Peivesto, the Sultan's other wives and their respective mothers, and Prince Dour-hanneddln and his mother, tha tenth of Abdul's consorts. Abdul, in the course of his long reign over the Ottoman Empire, acquired by "gifts" and other means from his "devoted subjects" Immense, wealth and great eBtates. When he was deposed by the Young Turks In 1909 his private fortune, which was . then estimated at $50,000,000, and his estates, which brought him a revenue of about $18,000,000 a year, was confiscated. THAT property Included: Lands In Thessaly, Greece; almost half the province of Salonicu; a large portion of Macedonia; extensive hold- ings inSyria, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Cyprus; tha island of Tassos, where an Anglo-German syndicate is develorjlnar the line deDOslts and the aa ruier 0f Turkey brought to light, the sum of f 450.000 in gold. This money was cached in two safes, which had been cemented In secret walls of the Ylldlz Palace. In eleven burlap sacks, in another secret recess, the sum of $2,200,000 was found, as well as $9,000,000 In gllt-edged British securities. On deposit with the Ottoman Bank in Con- stantinople Abdul had $250,000, while in the banks of London he had stored away for emergency purposes $5,405,000. He was not only a billionaire, but the greatest grafter that ever flashed across the world's political horizon. When it came to filling his strong box with gold and keeping it filled Abdul Hamid stopped at nothing. lie was the original of the "get the money" boys, being "outgammoned," as he once complained, "only by the tricky bankers of London's Lombard Street." He forced the promoters of the Hedjaz Railway to disgorge the sum of $3,500,000 for merely affixing his signature to a concession. He also put in his pocket $1,000,000 the funds which had bttn gathered for the relief of the Turkish soldiers In the Greek war of 1897. These wcrr but minor samples of his grafting propensities. Post-war treaties compelled. Turkey to hand over to Greece certain territories which were once the Sultan's private property. The Mosul oilfields were dealt with by apportionment to companies which included the Royal Dutch Shell, the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, as well as the French Government. The treaty of Lausanne of 1923. however, provided that the property ot Turkish Nationals was to be respected by the various countries which took over parts of the Ottoman Empire, and it is In partial settlement of these claims that the heirs of Abdul are to receive the sum of $50,-000,000. r IHE WIVES and children of tho last Sultan of Turkey have always protested that the confis cation of the ruler's property was Illegal, and In their efforts to establish taking over the Interests of the New York financial group. And it is this British financial or ganization which has brought about the settlement between Greece and the heirs of the Sultan. Its task, however, has been difficult. It was only after securing the good offices of a French Jurist of world-wide repute that the differences between the heirs were composed and a common demand made for recognition. For five years the negotiation have been In progress. Immense sums have been expended In searching for records of the Sultan's properties and a collection of 50,000 title deeds ha been secured. In addition the trust has had to find a monthly sum ol about $5,000 to enable some of the imperial heirs to live. Men and women reared In the Oriental luxury and splendor of the Ylldlz Kiosk, the Sultan's palace in Constantinople, and waited upon by slaves to whom their slightest wish was law, have been hard put to find enough to eat. Once the settlement is made with Greece, the claims in respect of the properties in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and the .Mosul ollfield.s will becoina 'V i-.- K' 'V'-: vW'k A V- V it. the object of legal consideration. The property In Iraq alone, consisting as It does of oilfields, has an estimated value of $1,000,000,000. The arrangement between the Sultan's heirs and the Aegean Trust, Ltd., of London, according to well- established reports, is that the latter shall recieve 35 per cent of the value of all properties recovered. This means that a group of London bankers will eventually dominate the richest oilfields In the world. w ITH the favorites of the harem of the late Turkish Sultan once more in the news, there has been a revival of the memories of the life onee followed by these . i . The doorway of the former Sultan's harem through which his "city of beauties" fled when he was deposed. - ' ... .. fti, fix -7,i, ,OrfrV T;o.".,a(r.,.;.:.,. Jhe Sultan sen, word by his chief eunich to the harem that all ...1 -J 2Ai U!w Cm avIL ff,5"tu lu J " whenever a(member of the Imperial at once. It was a veritable bedlam into which the messenger household saw a queenly bit of fem-walked. for the women were running; about and screaming like ininity, he was to lose no time nor a pack of poor creatures, during the days when Abdul Hamid ruled the ottoman Empire. All of the wives of the Turkish despot were slaves. In fact, nearly all the women of Abdul's harem, nearly 400 in number, were Or- List Of Names Of Those To Share In Vast Wealth Reads Like Characters From Arabian Nights Entertainment Followed Their Master,Who Preferred Blondes, Into Exile. 0 ahnnU inttlV v AT trt f rtllrtW Kim wild animals. casslan slaves, many of whom were the most beautiful in tne wonq. ineir chief beauty Is in their eyes and hair. Abdul Hamld chose the women of hit harem purely upon the word of his courtiers. He never saw them until one of his pashas had bought 'r$ V' " -ts 1, Wi -$'.'.1 V;, A V j I In J III Oh Sultan Abdul of Turkey, who became the richest man in the world, and whose harem contained thousands of beautiful women. na Pald for her at hls command and "hered her into his royal presence. There was a standing order that spare any money In effecting a deal for her addition to the harem. Thus each member of tha Sultan's household,. as he went about the streets of Constantinople, kept his eye 'peeled for beautiful women. .The Sultan, unlike most Turks, did not like fat women. He insisted on his beauties being of the willowy and lissome type, and rather tall. He had no use whatever for women with large feet. Brunettes held for him but small appeal. He was passionately fond of blonde, girls, often paying huge prices for them. . The many stories that Abdul's harem included women of all nations were without foundation, for he had no use for foreign beauties. American and French women were especially repugnant to him. , He really admired but the one type, the Circassian slave. Harem life, as It existed under the rule of Abdul Hamld, was as degrading as it was boring. The beauties were versed in those accomplishments that were only the veneer of education. They were taught French ana music, oui iew new .,UUBu m-fct of the narem beautle became think. poor degraded creatures of thj streets. And almost similar was to IN FACT, they were not permitted D9 tne fate of many of ths girls, to think. They had no cares, no wno accompanied their mothers into responsibilities. From morning' exia wjth the Sultan, as a result until night they had nothing to do, 0f which there are today only 22 save preening themselves like pea- legal heirs to the $1,500,000,000 estate cock. They spent all of their time 0f Abdul Hamid II. In perfumed baths and at their toilets. Twelve years have passed since the Eating sweets and smoking cigarettes last of Turkey's Sultans have died, also helped them to pass away the yet this lapse of time has not dimln-borlng hours. lshed one whit the hatred and con-To prevent jealous outbursts on the tempt of the Turkish people for the part of his harem beauties, Abdul man who plundered his country,' sent Hamid quartered his women In dlf- hundreds of thousands of his sub-ferent kiosks, or small Individual Jects to death on cruel and bloody houses. He never paid them visits, battlefields and ruined the woman-but invited, rather, commanded them hood uf not only his own country, to call upon him. Such commands but of Armenia, were awaited with eagerness by tho Cup i Isiit. 1S30 many wdmen inmates of the harem. When he wished to enjoy the society of one of his four legal wives, or of his 400 others, he despatched the chief eunuch to bid the honored one to make herself as beautiful as possible, because she was to attend upon his Imperial Majesty. That this chief eunuch must have served his master faithfully almost goes without saying, for when this functionary died his estate totalled $2,000,000. Abdul Hamid did not let his harem favorites want for anything. He was extremely generous to his Circassian beauties. If they displeased him, or age was beginning to take toll of their beauty, he did not bundle them up in a sack and dump them Into the Bosphorus. He just simply married them to one of his Pashas. And the Pashas never rebelled, for the Sultan never gave away one of his women without a bountiful gift of cash. If Abdul Hamid tired of one of the women, and he did not marry her off, she would receive no more summons to the royal kiosk. -But she was not expelled from the harem, she Just remained on, enjoying luxury until she died. And when the time rame for a harem beauty to depart this life she was buried, as was then the custom in Turkey, not in a casket, but on a mattress. The face that once pleased the Sultan was covered with silk, hidden from the gaze' of all other men in death as In life. W' ITHOI .11. ,v wick ITHOUT a doubt Abdul Hamid ,was one of the world's wickedest men, and the most abject of cowards. He had all tho cruelty of a Nero, without the courage. He .was extremely suspicious of everyone with whom he came in contact, for he lived In mortal fear of assassination. He always went about armed, carrying two pistols, which he was ready to use on the slightest pretext He killed his gardener in almost cold-blooded fashion. While strolling through the Imperial gardens, Abdul Hamld came upon his workman who was on his knees planting some flowers. As soon as the gardener realized who was behind him he rose quickly to salute his sovereign. The Sultan, mistaking the movement for an attempt on his life, whipped out his revolver and shot the man dead. When on the night of his abdication, April 24, 1909, he was peremptorily ordered to abdicate his throne in favor of his brother, Rerhad, Mahomet V., and told that ' his mad rule had come to an end, he whined and begged for mercy. He begged his captors that he be permitted to live in one of his beautiful palaces. His request was curtly refused. He pleaded that his life he spared, and that every precaution be taken to guard him from an assassin's bullet Without much ceremony he was dispatched from the Ylldir Palace to the Villa Allatlni in Salonica. and there he remained until the fa'l of 1912. He was not to be returned to Constantinople and kept a pris oner in a ramshackle palace for ths next six years. And., here he died February 11, 1918. On the night he was being made ready for the trip to Salonica he fell to the floor in a wild convulsion. When he recovered consciousness h sent word by his chief eunuch to the harem that all who wished to join him in exile should make ready to follow him at once. It was a veritable bedlam into which tha messenger walked, for the women were running about and screaming like a pack of wild animals. As soon as the official exDlained the object of his call, silent weeping replaced the sHouting and screaming. t IN THE WAKE of the big black three sultanas, six concubines anl t a retinue in all of 27 persons, nono of whom were especially young or beautiful. But the children of thewi harem favorites were to blossom Into charming young womanhood during, the next nine years years of long exile. Xnd when the gates of Ylldiz Palace swung open to permit Abdul Hamid and the women to depart from the scenes of their former glories for a prison in Salonica, the street mobs openly jeered and scoffe.l at their one-time ruler. After tho exit of the Sultan from his palace some 300 women ruefully filed through the gates to freedom. But ther rreedom w not lonv-Ilved. for

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