In some districts there is a fixed price of blood; at Argyrokastro, for instance, the compensation paid by the homicide to the relatives of his victim is 1200 piastres (about £10), at Khimara 2000 piastres; once the debt has been acquitted amicable relations are restored.
1 The Indo-China budget is reckoned in piastres, a silver coin of fluctuating value (is.
Partial relief was sought in the continual issue of debased currency (beshlik, altilik and their subdivisions), of which the excess of nominal value over intrinsic value ranged between 33 and 97%, and finally paper money (kaime) which was first issued in 1839, bearing an interest of 8%, reduced in 1842 to 6%, such interest being paid on notes of 500 piastres, but not on notes of 20 or 10 piastres, which were issued simultaneously.
The gold coins issued were 500, 250, 100, 50, and 25 piastres in value, the weight of the loo-piastre piece (Turkish pound), 7 .
These duties vary in different parts of the empire: in the vilayets of Constantinople, Bagdad and Adrianople, and in the sanjaks of Bigha and Tchataljatheday'sworkis calculated at 5 piastres (about 11d.); in the vilayets of Aleppo, Trebizond, Angora, lannina, Konia, Sivas and Kastamuni at 4 piastres (about 9d.); and in most other parts of the empire at 3 piastres (about 7d.).
It was transformed long since into a fixed amount per head of the animals taxed, which amount varies according to the region in which the tax is levied, the highest tariff being in the sanjak of Jerusalem (72 piastres) and the lowest in the Yemen (1 piastre).
The latter are bound to pay in to the local authorities all sums collected in five days in town districts, and in fifteen days in villages, if under 1500 piastres; sums of 1500 piastres and over are paid in at once.
2d.) was equivalent to 100 piastres; the gold pieces struck were £T5, £T1, £T2 and £ T 4; the standard is 0.916* fine, and the weight 7.216 grammes.
The silver coinage consisted of the mejidie (weight 24.055 grammes, 0.830 fine), equivalent to 20 piastres, and its subdivisions 10, 5, 2, I, and 2 piastre pieces.
And Abd-ul-Mejid, and the second in the reign of Mahmud only, were not included in the reform; these were debased currencies bearing a nominal value, the altilik of 6, 3 and 12 piastres, the beshlik of 5 and 22 piastres, the metallik of 1, 2 and 4 piastres; they represented the last degree of an agelong monetary depreciation, the original piastre having had a value of about 5s.
The heavy depreciation in silver causing large losses to the government, free coinage was suspended in 1880, and the nominal value of the mejidie was reduced by decree to 19 piastres (105.26 piastres thus = £T1), while in the same year the debased currencies were reduced, altilik, the 6-piastre piece to 5 piastres, the 3-piastre piece to 22 piastres, the 12-piastre piece to 14 piastre; beshlik, the 5-piastre piece to 22 piastres, the 22-piastre piece to 1;-piastre; metallik, the 1-piastre piece to 2 piastre, the 2-piastre piece to 4 piastre, the *-piastre piece to a piastre - these values representing approximately the intrinsic value of the silver, at mejidie standard, contained in the debased coins.
The 20-piastre mejidie currency, in spite of the further enormous depreciation of silver since 1880, has scarcely varied in the Constantinople market, but has always remained at a discount of about 3% (between 108 and 109 piastres to the pound) under government rate; this is doubtless due to the fact that the demand and supply of the coins in that market are very evenly balanced.
The fractional mejidie coins (5, 2 and 1 piastres) are quoted at a separate rate in the market, usually at a premium over the 20-piastre piece.
Foreign gold coins, especially the pound sterling (par value 110 piastres) and the French 20-franc piece (par value 872 piastres) have free currency.
The amounts of Turkish gold, silver and debased coinage in circulation are approximately £T16,500,000, in gold, £T8,70o,000 (940,000,000 piastres at 108) in silver mejidies and fractions, and 200,000,000 piastres in beshlik and metallik.
Annual pension each of fifteen purses (a purse ~ 500 piastres) and other privileges, but that the government should be in the hands of the pasha.
The Egyptian pound (~E.) is divided into 100 piastres, of which there are coins in silver of 20,10,5 and 2 piastres.
The old terms his or purse (Soo piastres) and khazna or treasury (Iooo purses) are still occasionally used.
The fixed rent is pp piastres per jerib (about 10,000 square metres), to he paid whether the mine is worked or not.