National Geographic : 1914 Dec
Photo by H. G. Dwight A BUTCHER IN CONSTANTINOPLE Photo by Emma G. Cummings CHICKENS EN ROUTE TO MARKET: CONSTANTINOPLE Often as many as 150o,ooo persons, of every race and of every region, clad in every kind of human garment, and representing every gradation of human rank, traverse the Galata bridge in a single day. There are no rules of the road. Carriage, beast, and pedestrian mix up in a hopeless jumble, the latter plunging into a tumultuous living mass, dodging hither and thither, stop ping now and rushing on again, and finally, as though by a miracle, emerging unharmed at the other end. the habits of Constanti nople are known to have been formed before the Turks arrived there; but it is also connected with an ancient guild system, which has not yet quite transformed itself into the trade-unionism of the day. All the industries. of the city used to be organized into guilds. The members of each were drawn from one race or district, and were divided into categories of masters and apprentices under a chief called a kehaya. The heads of the more powerful guilds were high official per sonages. This insured the guilds. certain privileges and immunities, in return for which they were com pelled to contribute gen erously to the expenses of war-and incidentally to those of the kehaya. A remnant of this cus tom exists today among the lightermen of the harbor and the custom house porters, who are required to give the gov ernment the use of so many boats and so many men on so many days a month. The continuance of this mutual relation is doubtless one reason why these two guilds are still able to resist foreign competition and modern industrial methods. The others are but a shadow of what they were, and with them are disappear ing many picturesque customs. The lighter men and the porters, however, absolutely con trol the port of Constan tinople.