One other form of enterprise was developing at the time of my fieldwork: diesel-powered flour mills. Traditional mills had been water powered, and the nearest to Sakaltuta was about four hours' walk away in a village blessed with enough water to run seven mills. Just before my arrival a diesel-powered mill had been set up in Tomarza. In I950 a number of men of Süleymanli, Sakaltutan's nearest neighbour, had combined to put up the capital for one in their village. While I was in Sakaltutan another was built there and was in operation in I951. By I952 a man returned from the Argentine had invested his savings in yet another in a village between Sakaltutan and Elbashï.
The details of capital and running costs and the income from these mills varied greatly every time I tried to get information. The Süleymanli mill was financed by nine shares, but some of these in turn were divided among two or more partners; the total capital cost of the mills seems to have been about T.L.20,000 (£2,500, $7,000). The shareholders originally tried to run the mill entirely by their own labour, dividing responsibility into nine, like the shares; three men on duty, six off. Since the mills ran all day and all night after the harvest, it is not surprising that they found this very hard work and rather unsatisfactory.
The main mover in the Sakaltutan mill seems to have been Haci Osman (H). He admitted to disappointment in 1952 and again in I955, because the running costs and repairs had been more than he had expected, but he said by I955 that most of the debt had been cleared, and he looked forward to an income of about T.L.500 per annum as his share. I never obtained a reliable statement of the shares but a considerable part of the capital came from Kayseri. Haci Osman's wife's brother, head of a leading village household, also held a share. Haci Osman ran a shop by the mill, profiting by the throng of people. It is plain that the mills were a fairly satisfactory investment.
The traditional mills used to charge one-twentieth (five per cent) of wheat and rye milled, and one-fifteenth (6 2/3 per cent) of barley. The mills began by charging the same, but by I955 they were charging six per cent for wheat and rye, and nine per cent for barley. People said the new mills produced finer flour, and of course they saved those who lived near them hours of carting, journeying and waiting.