In 1892 the Armenian population started pushing for civil reform, wanting amongst other things the right to vote and the formation of a constitutional government. The Sultan was not pleased, and telegraphs soon started sweeping the world, spreading stories of genocide and brutality being waged against the Armenian populace. This violence escalated to include any Christian groups.
The Jewish community of Constantinople hid many Armenians in their homes, to protect them from the onslaught, and this resulted in attacks on Synagogues in September 1895.
In 1895 the last Balkan province of the Ottoman Empire, Macedonia, succumbed to civil war.
Well so much for the peace and serenity of the Holy Land. We are presently visiting Istanbul in Turkey, Though I am certain it is Constantinople, and all the artworks are classed as "Byzantine". It is really unnecessarily tiresome that people keep changing the names of everywhere.
Richard got another one of those brown envelopes again, and he had to rush off to a meeting. Something about the Americans wanting voting rights. What business they have voting for anything in someone else's country is beyond me.
Miss Francesca and I went to the local market, such noise and bustle. People were grabbing and tugging at me to buy from them. I could have been torn to pieces had it not been for Miss Francesca. You can tell she has had to handle herself in some sticky situations. The hawkers backed right off when they saw her roll her sleeves up.
A nice Muslim gentleman escorted us to a carpet factory, where I purchased a beautifully silky carpet for you, as you already have Tulips. Did you know Tulips originally came from Turkey?
Yours affectionately Effie XXX"
Please tell Miss Francesca that I am much indebted to her for being with you on your travels. This year is proving to be a very volatile one, with wars raging at every border. I feel much calmer knowing she is with you.
As to the name of the place you are currently visiting, they are all correct. It WAS Byzantium, BECAME Constantinople, and is NOW known as Istanbul.
Your comment on the "Americans " wanting the right to vote had me in gales of laughter. I believe you mean the "Armenians".
This is a very dangerous time for those poor people, and there are rumours in the newspapers daily, about the great atrocities being brought against them. I hope Sir Richard is finished with his business soon, so you can move on.
I know you are trying with your grammar dear, but just a note;
Sir Richard "received" another one of those brown envelopes...or...Sir Richard "received" one of those brown envelopes again...not both.
Your ever-loving Governess
Miss Lillian xxx"
Sultan Abdul Hamid II
The market place in Constantinople circa 1895(Photoglob Zurich)
an envelope postmarked Istanbul 1895
A Turkish carpet by the Hereke Carpet Workshop circa 1895(just outside Istanbul)