Serendipity in Istanbul

I am walking along the main shopping street, seeing many Turks but actually thinking it would be nice to read more on Edwin Chadwick, when I stumble across a bookstore with a largish section of Augustus M. Kelley reprints, no Chadwick but they do have the everyone-should-now-reread-it Herbert Feis, Europe the World's Banker, 1870-1914, and I stumble upon the section on Greece and the International Finance Commission of 1898.

A bit of Googling yields the following (JSTOR):

The I.F.C. was set up in 1898 as a result of Greece's disastrous defeat in the 1897 Greco-Turkish War.  The powers involved in its creation were Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, and Italy.  The purpose of the commission was to control the collection and employment of the revenues assigned to…[various foreign loans, mostly to the aforementioned powers]…on which the country had defaulted in 1893, as a result of the slump in the currants trade.

The Greeks ended up raising the money through state monopolies on their customs ports, kerosene, salt, matches, playing cards, emery and cigarette paper, plus taxes on tobacco and stamp duties.

At $40, I pass on the book and I will see the story reenacted in any case.


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