No. 513.
Mr. Maynard to Mr. Evarts.

No. 251.]

Sir: There was much excitement yesterday over an occurrence at the Tcheragan Palace, understood to be a revolutionary attempt to restore to the throne the ex-Sultan Murad V.

The circumstances, as far as they transpired, were embodied last evening in a report by the dragoman. The press was silent, but to-day it gives a very guarded account, quite in contrast, no doubt, with the voluminous narratives which will be published in Western Europe and America.

This, the most beautiful of all the imperial palaces, was built by the late Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz, and was a favorite resort, though his residence was the palace of Dolmabagtché, distant less than a mile. Both are on the European shore of the Bosphorus, not far from where it unites with the Golden Horn. It was regarded as a mark of respect toward the United States that he received me in audience at this palace to deliver my letters of credence. Here it seems the unfortunate Murad has lived, [Page 883] not exactly a prisoner, but under surveillance, ever since his dethronement (dispatch No. 91, of September 1, 1876). His mental condition has been the subject of a good deal of surmise, chiefly, I imagine, because he was kept secluded from the public, and his existence shrouded in the mystery that envelops the Sultan’s palaces, and invites speculation. The most authentic account I have heard is that his faculties, naturally weak, were unsettled by his uncle’s tragic death (dispatch No. 69, of June 8, 1876), and that he has never recovered from the shock. His brother, the reigning Sultan, has a reputation for great humanity, and it is said treats him as tenderly as their relative situations will permit.

I have, & c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 251.]

Mr. Gargiulo to Mr. Maynard.

Dear Sir: The following is the account of the plot against the Sultan, which I believe to be exact:

This morning from five to six hundred men, armed with rifles and revolvers, attacked the palace of Tcheragan, where the ex-Sultan Murad lives.

The conspirators planned to carry off Murad and proclaim him Sultan. Notice of the plot having been given, three thousand soldiers arrived and surrounded the palace. The iron-clads also intercepted the approach to it by sea. All the conspirators were disguised in the costume of refugees.

There were found among them some officers of the army and some of the servants of Murad. Murad is now at Top-Capon under a strong guard.

It is asserted that about three hundred were killed and wounded on both sides. The fight lasted three hours. Up to this time more than two hundred arrests have been made, and they continue.

The panic that prevailed at the bazaar existed also at Bechiktash. Patrols are active everywhere.

I am, sir,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 251.]

Newspaper account of the recent attempt at revolution.

mysterious movement at tcheragan—conflict in the palace—death of ali suavi effendi.

Yesterday morning, a crowd of several hundred refugees, or men in the costumes of Roumelia, assembled in the broad road which leads by the palace of Tcheragan from Béchiktach to Ortakeui. They were quiet in their demeanor, and the assemblage created no alarm in the neighborhood, until about 11 o’clock, when they approached the great gates opening upon the central building of the palace designed for the residence of Sultan Abdul-Aziz, and lately occupied by ex-Sultan Murad V. At this gate, the persons who directed the movements of the crowd were observed to demand admittance, and when this was refused by the sentinel on duty, a rush was made; the sentinel was overpowered and stabbed, and the mob pushed its way through the courtyard and gained the entrance to the palace itself. Here there was resistance on the part of the guard, and some shots were fired, hut the sentinels were borne down by the weight of the crowd, a portion of which passed over their bodies into the palace, but the great bulk of the crowd remained outside. The persons who pushed their way into the building are said to number upward of 100, but their number is not precisely known. They, however, seemed familiar with the building, and went straight to the apartments of Murad. By this time, however, the alarm of the shots fired by the sentries had brought two companies of infantry to the spot, at sight of whom the crowd outside the palace rapidly dispersed. Marching on into the palace, after closing the gates behind them, the troops met the mob, and a conflict ensued, which began with daggers and bayonets and ended in a fusillade. The result was that the in [Page 884] traders were defeated; 21 were killed, 17 wounded, and the rest taken prisoners and sent at once on hoard the iron-clads in the Bosphorus. Among the dead were his excellency Ali Suavi Effendi, late governor of the Imperial Lyceum of Galata-Seraï—formerly well known as a prominent exiled littérateur of the “Young Turkey “party—as also a Circassian chief, and some other leaders of the movement. The wounded prisoners, after being questioned by the bimbashi (officer in charge), were, at His Majesty’s request, taken before the Sultan, who interrogated them in person. They were all, they said, from the neighborhood of Philippopoli, and had joined a band which had been raised by Ali Suavi and the Tcherkess chief with the avowed object of assisting their brethren in the Rhodope. Ali Suavi had given them arms, and had mustered them near Tcheragan to do homage to the Sultan before they started on their expedition, and the Sultan, they had been led to believe, would furnish them with money. They were not aware that Murad was not the Sultan, or that they were going to the presence of Murad; they thought they were being led to their padishah. The Sultan expressed his commiseration for them, as they had been deceived by the instigations and misrepresentations of the ringleaders, and he ordered that every medical attention should be paid to the wounded.

Early in the afternoon, His Majesty summoned ministers to a special cabinet council at Yeldiz-kiosk, at which some measures were discussed for the prompt removal of the refugees from the capital, and, if our information be correct, it was decided to charter without delay a sufficient number of steamers to convey them to some other place. After the council, the Sultan sent an invitation to ex-Sultan Murad to come to the imperial villa at Yeldiz, which that prince at first declined to accept, and he was even inclined to resist it when pressed upon him by His Majesty’s aide-de-camp. On being assured, however, that he would be exposed to no sort of inconvenience, Murad Effendi attended the aide-de-camp to the Sultan’s residence at Yeldiz-kiosk, and still remains there, the guest of his imperial brother.

Some minor incidents may be worth mention. For some days past, refugees, or persons in the garb of refugees, are said to have been observed assembling near the palace of Tcheragan in somewhat unusual numbers, and then gradually dispersing. Most of those who took part in the affair of yesterday were of the lower class of Turks, tchapkyns, as the Turks themselves call them, but some few of those who forced their way into the court-yard of Tcheragan are said to have been wearing the uniform of the civic guard. When the firing at Tcheragan was heard, an alarm was given among the troops at and near the imperial villa of Yeldiz-kiosk. The riflemen encamped above the kiosk of the Great Flamour ran to arms, and shortly afterward four battalions came from the Bella Vista barracks and surrounded the Yeldiz villa. These troops, however, marched back to their barracks about 4 p.m., and Yeldiz remained guarded only by parties of riflemen. The palace of Tcheragan was also strongly guarded by soldiers and zaptiehs. Some versions, as was to be expected, set down the number of refugees engaged as also the number of killed and wounded in the affair as considerably larger than that which our own information has justified us in giving. When it was seen from the water that there was something wrong at Tcheragan, several boats filled with armed sailors were sent off at once from the iron-clads to the palace. Great excitement was caused in all parts of the capital as the news of the affair spread, with the customary exaggerations, it being described as a revolution, part of a general plot, & c. At Stamboul there was an outcry that “the Russians were coming,” and the stall-holders in the bazaar caused the gates to be closed, shutting in a number of male and female purchasers, many of the latter of whom fainted. In Galata, too, several of the khans were closed, and only persons known were allowed to enter. This feeling of panic, however, soon abated, and before evening set in had worn away.