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Bitlis in Western Armenia

New Armenia 1916

Bitlis owes its somewhat flourishing state mainly to its position as a provincial centre; but it does a trade in gall-nuts and gum, collected in the surrounding country, as well as in loupes or whorls found on the trunks of the walnut trees and exported to France for veneering purposes. The nuts of these trees furnish an oil which is also marketable, and madder root is found in the district and used for dyeing purposes. From the leaves of the oak and other trees, the villagers in the neighborhood collect manna—an oldworld practice still in vogue in Kurdistan.

Descending the cliff-side to the main valley by a paved way, we pass the little mosque of Dort Sanduk, and the Armenian church of Karmirak. The latter, although presided over by the bishop of Bitlis, is an unpretentious building of four plain stone walls, with two rows of three stone pillars in the interior and crowned by a small dome. Attached to the church is a school with four teachers and over a hundred pupils. On an eminence is placed the Turkish High School or Rushdiyeh, with seventy scholars and four instructors. 
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