Moreover, the dragoman is frequently enabled, through the close relations which he necessarily maintains with different classes of Turkish officials, to furnish valuable and confidential information not otherwise obtainable.
Cases between foreigners of different nationalities are heard in the court of the defendant, and between foreigners and Turkish subjects in the local courts, at which a consular dragoman attends to see that the trial is conducted according to law.
The princes who now succeeded one another in rapid succession were mostly Greeks from the Phanar quarter of Constantinople who had served the palace in the quality of dragoman (interpreter), or held some other court appointment.
In 1814 he went to Constantinople as a student interpreter, and afterwards travelled in Asiatic Turkey, spending a year with the Maronites in the Lebanon, and finally becoming dragoman at Aleppo.
That he acted to some degree as Peter's interpreter or dragoman (ip,usp Ein), owing to the apostle's imperfect mastery of Greek, is held by some but denied by others (e.g.
From that time until 1821 the Greeks monopolized the management of Turkey's foreign relations, and soon established the regular system whereby the chief dragoman passed on as a matter of course to the dignity of hospodar of one of the Danubian principalities.
If, however, circumstances should be of a nature to require a second inquiry, it shall not take place without previous notice given to the minister, or the charg daffaires, or the consul, and in this case the business shall only be proceeded with at the supreme chancery of the shah at Tabriz or Teheran, likewise in the presence of a dragoman of the mission, or, of the consulate.
The duties of an embassy dragoman are extensive and not easily defined.
The functions of this tribunal are to inquire into and judge differences and suits between Persian subjects and foreigners, and it is stipulated in the treaty of Turkmanchai, which is the basis of all existing treaties between Persia and other countries, that such differences and suits shall only be examined and judgment given in the presence of the dragoman of the mission or consulate (of the foreign subject), and that, once judicially concluded, such suits shall not give cause to a second inquiry.
It soon became necessary to create the important post of chief dragoman at the Porte, and there was no choice save to appoint a Greek, as no other race in Turkey combined the requisite knowledge of languages with the tact and adroitness essential for conducting diplomatic negotiations.