National Geographic : 1914 Dec
IN THE HARBOR OF CONSTANTINOPLE Photo by H. G. Dwight Constantinople is a city of mosques and minarets, and the harbor there without them would be like the harbor of New York without the skyscrapers of Manhattan deners, do efficient work; but they are two slow and too averse from learning new ways to suit most European masters. Their tradition is that of the rest of Asia, where many servants make up a household, each capable of doing only one thing. Turkish women never serve in Chris tian houses, unless as occasional char women or washerwomen. Greek and Armenian women, on the other hand, are the mainstay of the Constantinople house keeper; even Turks often employ them. The Greeks are the smartest and the most efficient, though they are perhaps too quick-witted to be perfectly reliable. The Armenians are neither so quick nor so presentable, and I doubt if they are any more honest. I do not mean, however, to imply that the Levantine is necessarily more uncertain than his western brother. Croats are a common addition to the menfolk of an establishment, whether as cooks, footmen, gardeners, or doorkeep ers-Croats or Montenegrins, who, as every one knows, are Serbs under other names. It is as doorkeepers that this gentry chiefly shine, lending the dignity of their stature and of their handsome costume to every door of any standing. Every Christian door-that is, for the Turks-employs Albanians for the same service. And no servant is more faith ful, whether as doorkeeper, groom, gar dener, or shepherd; but they are a proud and sensitive race and you must treat them with due consideration of their honor. In fact, the whole relation of master and man is a more human one in Constantinople than it is likely to be in the West. POLYGLOT OF TRADESMEN Housekeeping in Constantinople is a polyglot affair, but not so polyglot as it sounds. It can usually be conducted in Turkish or Greek. Some gifted persons are able to order a dinner in Armenian, while a few fortunate ones need only the French with which they came. This lan guage, or a flat variety of it, which after Paris reminds one of corked champagne, is spoken by more people in Constantino ple, I fancy, than any other single tongue.