Turkey in Europe now, strictly speaking, only comprises the provinces, nearest Constantinople, the capital, the remainder of its territory being divided among the independent and tributary states of the Balkan Peninsula. Religion - More than one-half of the population are Christians, chiefly belonging to the Greek Church ; the remain-784 der consist of Mohammedans, with a few Jews. Government - Absolute monarchy. The Sultan is ruler, and his will is absolute, in so far as it is not in opposition to the precepts of the Koran. The legislative and executive authority is exercised, under the supreme direction of the Sultan, by the Grand Vizier, the head of the temporal government, and the "Sheik-ul-Islam," the head of the Church.
Turkey in Asia, with a population of about 17,000,000, embraces an area of 680,000 square miles.
On the northeast it is bounded by Transcaucasia ; on the east by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmora; on the west by the AEgean, Mediterranean, and Red Seas ; on the south by Arabia and the Persian Gulf, and on the east by Persia and the Persian Gulf.
Education in Turkey, among the Mohammedans, consists almost entirely of learning the Koran and certain verses of poetry. There are, however, public schools of an inferior grade throughout the empire, which are poorly patronized. There are also colleges and public libraries attached to a number of the principal mosques, but the instruction afforded by these establishments is limited. The Christians have established a number of schools, which are, however, discouraged by the government.
Abdul Hamid, the present Sultan of Turkey, was born in 1842, and ascended the throne in 1876.
Constantinople, the capital, is a beautiful city of nearly 1,000,000 inhabitants, and is situated on the Bosphorous. Of its many beautiful buildings, St. Sophia is the finest example of Byzantine architecture.
These are four states which formerly were part of the Turkish Empire which have been set apart as independent or semi-independent governments, but which have very little political influence or importance.
Area 48,300 square miles. Population - 5,800,000. Religion - The Greek Orthodox predominates. Government - Vested in King, assisted by council of State, a Senate of 120 members and Chamber of Deputies. Sovereign, Charles I. acceded to throne 1881.
Bucharest is capital and centre of trade.
Area, 37,060 square miles Population - 3,309,816. Capital city, Sofia. Religion is Greek Orthodox. Government - A constitutional monarchy, vested in a Prince, council of ministers and a national assembly. Reigning Prince is Ferdinand who acceded in 1887.
Area,3,630 square miles. Population - 228,000. Capital city, Cetigne. Government - Similar to that of Bulgaria, with Nicholas as reigning Prince.