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Title: Martyred Armenia
Author: El-Ghusein, Fà'iz
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Martyred Armenia" ***

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MARTYRED
ARMENIA

BY
FÀ'IZ EL-GHUSEIN
BEDOUIN NOTABLE OF DAMASCUS

Translated from the Original Arabic
All Rights of Translation Reserved

NEW YORK
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
MCMXVIII



FOREWORD


I am a Bedouin, a son of one of the Heads of the tribe of El-Sulût, who
dwell in El-Lejât, in the Haurân territory. Like other sons of tribal
Chiefs, I entered the Tribal School at Constantinople, and subsequently
the Royal College. On the completion of my education, I was attached to
the staff of the Vali of Syria (or Damascus), on which I remained for a
long while. I was then Kaimakâm of Mamouret-el-Azîz (Kharpout), holding
this post for three and a half years, after which I practised as a
lawyer at Damascus, my partners being Shukri Bey El-Asli and
Abdul-Wahhâb Bey El-Inglîzi. I next became a member of the General
Assembly at that place, representing Haurân, and later a member of the
Committee of that Assembly. On the outbreak of the war, I was ordered to
resume my previous career, that is, the duties of Kaimakâm, but I did
not comply, as I found the practice of the law more advantageous in many
ways and more tranquil.

I was denounced by an informer as being a delegate of a Society
constituted in the Lebanon with the object of achieving the independence
of the Arab people, under the protection of England and France, and of
inciting the tribes against the Turkish Government. On receipt of this
denunciation, I was arrested by the Government, thrown into prison, and
subsequently sent in chains, with a company of police and gendarmes, to
Aalîya, where persons accused of political offences were tried. I was
acquitted, but as the Government disregarded the decisions given in such
cases, and was resolved on the removal and destruction of all
enlightened Arabs--whatever the circumstances might be--it was thought
necessary that I should be despatched to Erzeroum, and Jemâl Pasha sent
me thither with an officer and five of the regular troops. When I
reached Diarbekir, Hasan Kaleh, at Erzeroum, was being pressed by the
Russians, and the Vali of Diarbekir was ordered to detain me at that
place.

After twenty-two days' confinement in prison for no reason, I was
released; I hired a house and remained at Diarbekir for six and a half
months, seeing and hearing from the most reliable sources all that took
place in regard to the Armenians, the majority of my informants being
superior officers and officials, or Notables of Diarbekir and its
dependencies, as well as others from Van, Bitlis, Mamouret-el-Azîz,
Aleppo and Erzeroum. The people of Van had been in Diarbekir since the
occupation of their territory by the Russians, whilst the people and
officials of Bitlis had recently emigrated thither. Many of the Erzeroum
officers came to Diarbekir on military or private business, whilst
Mamouret-el-Azîz was near by, and many people came to us from thence. As
I had formerly been a Kaimakâm in that Vilayet, I had a large
acquaintance there and heard all the news. More especially, the time
which I passed in prison with the heads of the tribes in Diarbekir
enabled me to study the movement in its smallest details. The war must
needs come to an end after a while, and it will then be plain to
readers of this book that all I have written is the truth, and that it
contains only a small part of the atrocities committed by the Turks
against the hapless Armenian people.

After passing this time at Diarbekir I fled, both to escape from
captivity and from fear induced by what had befallen me from some of the
fanatical Turks. After great sufferings, during which I was often
exposed to death and slaughter, I reached Basra, and conceived the idea
of publishing this book, as a service to the cause of truth and of a
people oppressed by the Turks, and also, as I have stated at the close,
to defend the faith of Islam against the charge of fanaticism which will
be brought against it by Europeans. May God guide us in the right way.

_I have written this preface at Bombay, on the 1st of September, 1916._

FÀ'IZ EL-GHUSEIN.



MARTYRED ARMENIA



THE NARRATIVE


OUTLINE OF ARMENIAN HISTORY.--In past ages the Armenian race was, like
other nations, not possessed of an autonomous government, until God
bestowed upon them a man, named Haig, a bold leader, who united the
Armenians and formed them into an independent state. This took place
before the Christian era. The nation preserved their independence for a
considerable time, reaching the highest point of their glory and
prosperity under their king Dikrân, who constituted the city of
Dikrânokerta--Diarbekir--the capital of his Government. Armenia remained
independent in the time of the Romans, extending her rule over a part of
Asia Minor and Syria, and a portion of Persia, but, in consequence of
the protection afforded by the Armenians to certain kings who were
hostile to Rome, the Romans declared war against her, their troops
entered her capital, and from that time Armenian independence was lost.
The country remained tossing on the waves of despotism, now independent,
now subjected to foreign rule, until its conquest by the Arabs and
subsequently by the Ottoman power.

THE ARMENIAN POPULATION.--The number of the Armenians in Ottoman
territory does not exceed 1,900,000 souls. I have borrowed this figure
from a book by a Turkish writer, who states that it is the official
computation made by the Government previous to the Balkan war; he
estimates the Armenians residing in Roumelia at 400,000, those in
Ottoman Asia at 1,500,000. The Armenians in Russia and Persia are said
not to exceed 3,000,000, thus bringing the total number of Armenians in
the world to over four and a half millions.

THE VILAYETS INHABITED BY ARMENIANS.--The Vilayets inhabited by
Armenians are Diarbekir, Van, Bitlis, Erzeroum, Mamouret-el-Azîz, Sivas,
Adana, Aleppo, Trebizond, Broussa, and Constantinople. The numbers in
Van, Bitlis, Adana, Diarbekir, Erzeroum, and Kharpout were greater than
those in the other Vilayets, but in all cases they were fewer than the
Turks and Kurds, with the exception of Van and Bitlis, where they were
equal or superior in number. In the province of Moush (Vilayet of
Bitlis) they were more numerous than the Kurds; all industry and
commerce in those parts was in Armenian hands; their agriculture was
more prosperous; they were much more advanced than the Turks and Kurds
in those Vilayets; and the large number of their schools, contrasted
with the few schools of their alien fellow countrymen, is a proof of
their progress and of the decline of the other races.

ARMENIAN SOCIETIES.--The Armenians possess learned and political
Societies, the most important of which are the "Tashnagtziân" and the
"Hunchak." The programme of these two Societies is to make every effort
and adopt every means to attain that end from which no Armenian ever
swerves, namely, administrative independence under the supervision of
the Great Powers of Europe. I have enquired of many Armenians whom I
have met, but I have not found one who said that he desired political
independence, the reason being that in most of the Vilayets which they
inhabit the Armenians are less numerous than the Kurds, and if they
became independent the advantage to the Kurds would be greater than to
themselves. Hitherto, the Kurds have been in a very degraded state of
ignorance; disorder is supreme in their territory, and the cities are in
ruins. The Armenians, therefore, prefer to remain under Turkish rule, on
condition that the administration is carried on under the supervision of
the Great European Powers, as they place no confidence in the promises
of the Turks, who take back to-day what they bestowed yesterday. These
two Societies thus earnestly labour for the propagation of this view
amongst the Armenians, and for the attainment of their object by every
means. I have been told by an Armenian officer that one of these
Societies proposes to attain its end by means of internal revolts, but
the policy of the second is to do so by peaceful means only.

The above is a brief summary of the policy of these Societies. It is
said, however, that the programme of one of them aims at Armenian
political independence.

Any who desire further details as to Armenian history or societies
should refer to their historical books.

THE ARMENIAN MASSACRES.--History does not record that the Kurds,
fellow-countrymen of the Armenians in the Vilayets inhabited by both
peoples, rose in conflict with the latter, or that the Kurds plundered
the property of the Armenians, or outraged their women, until the year
1888, when they rose by order of the Turkish Government and slaughtered
Armenians in Van, Kharpout, Erzeroum, and Moush. Again, in the time of
Abdul-Hamîd II., in 1896, when the Armenians rose and entered the
Ottoman Bank at Constantinople, with the object of frightening the
Sultan and compelling him to proclaim the Constitution, he ordered a
massacre at Constantinople and in the Vilayets. But hitherto there has
been no instance of the people of Turkey proceeding to the slaughter of
Armenians on a general scale unless incited and constrained to do so by
the Government. In the massacre of 1896, 15,000 were killed in
Constantinople itself, and 300,000 in the Vilayets.

Armenians were also killed in the Vilayet of Adana, some months after
the proclamation of the Constitution, but this slaughter did not extend
beyond the two Vilayets of Adana and Aleppo, where the influence of
Abdul-Hamîd was paramount till the year 1909. I do not, however, find
any detailed account of this massacre, or any information as to the
numbers killed.

The goods and cattle of the Armenians were plundered, and their houses
wrecked, more especially in the slaughter of 1896, but many of their
countrymen[A] protected them and concealed them in their houses from the
officials of the Government.

The Government consistently inflamed the Moslem Kurds and Turks against
them, making use of the Faith of Islam as a means to attain their object
in view of the ignorance of the Mohammedans as to the true laws of their
religion.

[Footnote A: Presumably amongst the Turks and Kurds.--TRANSLATOR.]

DECLARATION OF THE OTTOMAN GOVERNMENT.--"Inasmuch as the Armenians are
committing acts opposed to the laws and taking advantage of all
occasions to disturb the Government; as they have been found in
possession of prohibited arms, bombs, and explosive materials, prepared
with the object of internal revolt; as they have killed Moslems in Van,
and have aided the Russian armies at a time when the Government is in a
state of war with England, France, and Russia; and in the apprehension
that the Armenians may, as is their habit, lend themselves to seditious
tumult and revolt; the Government have decreed that all the Armenians
shall be collected and despatched to the Vilayets of Mosul, Syria, and
Deir-el-Zûr, their persons, goods and honour being safeguarded. The
necessary orders have been given for ensuring their comfort, and for
their residence in those territories until the termination of the war."

Such is the official declaration of the Ottoman Government in regard to
the Armenians. But the secret resolution was that companies of militia
should be formed to assist the gendarmes in the slaughter of the
Armenians, that these should be killed to the last man, and that the
work of murder and destruction should take place under the supervision
of trusty agents of the Unionists, who were known for their brutality.
Reshîd Bey was appointed to the Vilayet of Diarbekir and invested with
extensive powers, having at his disposal a gang of notorious murderers,
such as Ahmed Bey El-Serzi, Rushdi Bey, Khalîl Bey, and others of this
description.

The reason for this decision, as it was alleged, was that the Armenians
residing in Europe and in Egypt had sent twenty of their devoted
partisans to kill Talaat, Enver, and others of the Unionist leaders; the
attempt had failed, as a certain Armenian, a traitor to his nation and a
friend of Bedri Bey, the Chief of the Public Security at Constantinople
(or according to others, Azmi Bey), divulged the matter and indicated
the Armenian agents, who had arrived at Constantinople. The latter were
arrested and executed, but secretly, in order that it might not be said
that there were men attempting to kill the heads of the Unionist
Society.

Another alleged reason also was that certain Armenians, whom the
Government had collected from the Vilayets of Aleppo and Adrianople and
had sent off to complete their military service, fled, with their arms,
to Zeitoun, where they assembled, to the number of sixty young men, and
commenced to resist the Government and to attack wayfarers. The
Government despatched a military force under Fakhry Pasha, who proceeded
to the spot, destroyed a part of Zeitoun, and killed men, women and
children, without encountering opposition on the part of the Armenians.
He collected the men and women and sent them off with parties of troops,
who killed many of the men, whilst as for the women, do not ask what was
their fate. They were delivered over to the Ottoman soldiery; the
children died of hunger and thirst; not a man or woman reached Syria
except the halt and blind, who were unable to keep themselves alive;
the young men were all slaughtered; and the good-looking women fell into
the hands of the Turkish youths.

Emigrants from Roumelia were conveyed to Zeitoun and established there,
the name of that place being changed to "Reshadîya," so that nothing
should remain to remind the Turks of the Armenian name. During our
journey from Hamah we saw many Armenian men and women, sitting under
small tents which they had constructed from sheets, rugs, etc. Their
condition was most pitiable, and how could it be otherwise? Many of
these had been used to sit only on easy chairs [lit., rocking-chairs],
amid luxurious furniture, in houses built in the best style, well
arranged and splendidly furnished. I saw, as others saw also, many
Armenian men and women in goods-wagons on the railway between Aleppo and
Hamah, herded together in a way which moved compassion.

After my arrival at Aleppo, and two days' stay there, we took the train
to a place called Ser-Arab-Pounâri. I was accompanied by five Armenians,
closely guarded, and despatched to Diarbekir. We walked on our feet
thence to Serûj, where we stopped at a _khân_ [rest-house] filled with
Armenian women and children, with a few sick men. These women were in a
deplorable state, as they had done the journey from Erzeroum on foot,
taking a long while to arrive at Serûj. I talked with them in Turkish,
and they told me that the gendarmes with them had brought them to places
where there was no water, refusing to tell them where water was to be
found until they had received money as the price. Some of them, who were
pregnant, had given birth on the way, and had abandoned their infants
in the uninhabited wastes. Most of these women had left their children
behind, either in despair, or owing to illness or weakness which made
them unable to carry them, so they threw them on the ground; some from
natural affection could not do this and so perished in the desert, not
parted from their infants. They told me that there were some among them
who had not been used to walk for a single hour, having been brought up
in luxury, with men to wait on them and women to attend them. These had
fallen into the hands of the Kurds, who recognize no divine law, and who
live on lofty mountains and in dense forests like beasts of prey; their
honour was outraged and they died by brutal violence, many of them
killing themselves rather than sacrifice their virtue to these ravening
wolves.

We then proceeded in carts from Serûj to El-Raha (Urfa). On the way I
saw crowds going on foot, whom from a distance I took for troops
marching to the field of battle. On approaching, I found they were
Armenian women, walking barefoot and weary, placed in ranks like the
gendarmes who preceded and followed them. Whenever one of them lagged
behind, a gendarme would beat her with the butt of his rifle, throwing
her on her face, till she rose terrified and rejoined her companions.
But if one lagged from sickness, she was either abandoned, alone in the
wilderness, without help or comfort, to be a prey to wild beasts, or a
gendarme ended her life by a bullet.

On arrival at Urfa, we learned that the Government had sent a force of
gendarmes and police to the Armenian quarters of the town to collect
their arms, subsequently dealing with these people as with others. As
they were aware of what had happened to their kinsmen--the _khâns_ at
Urfa being full of women and children--they did not give up their arms,
but showed armed resistance, killing one man of the police and three
gendarmes. The authorities of Urfa applied for a force from Aleppo, and
by order of Jemâl Pasha--the executioner of Syria--Fakhry Pasha came
with cannon. He turned the Armenian quarters into a waste place, killing
the men and the children, and great numbers of the women, except such as
yielded themselves to share the fate of their sisters--expulsion on foot
to Deir-el-Zûr, after the Pasha and his officers had selected the
prettiest amongst them. Disease was raging among them; they were
outraged by the Turks and Kurds; and hunger and thirst completed their
extermination.

After leaving Urfa, we again saw throngs of women, exhausted by fatigue
and misery, dying of hunger and thirst, and we saw the bodies of the
dead lying by the roadside.

On our arrival at a place near a village called Kara Jevren, about six
hours distant from Urfa, we stopped at a spring to breakfast and drink.
I went a little apart, towards the source, and came upon a most
appalling spectacle. A woman, partly unclothed, was lying prone, her
chemise disordered and red with blood, with four bullet-wounds in her
breast. I could not restrain myself, but wept bitterly. As I drew out a
handkerchief to wipe away my tears, and looked round to see whether any
of my companions had observed me, I saw a child not more than eight
years old, lying on his face, his head cloven by an axe. This made my
grief the more vehement, but my companions cut short my lamentations,
for I heard the officer, Aarif Effendi, calling to the priest Isaac, and
saying, "Come here at once," and I knew that he had seen something which
had startled him. I went towards him, and what did I behold? Three
children lying in the water, in terror of their lives from the Kurds,
who had stripped them of their clothes and tortured them in various
ways, their mother near by, moaning with pain and hunger. She told us
her story, saying that she was from Erzeroum, and had been brought by
the troops to this place with many other women after a journey of many
days. After they had been plundered of money and clothing, and the
prettiest women had been picked out and handed over to the Kurds, they
reached this place, where Kurdish men and women collected and robbed
them of all the clothes that remained on them. She herself had stayed
here, as she was sick and her children would not leave her. The Kurds
came upon them again and left them naked. The children had lain in the
water in their terror, and she was at the point of death. The priest
collected some articles of clothing and gave them to the woman and the
children; the officer sent a man to the post of gendarmes which was near
by, and ordered the gendarme whom the man brought with him to send on
the woman and children to Urfa, and to bury the bodies which were near
the guardhouse. The sick woman told me that the dead woman refused to
yield herself to outrage, so they killed her and she died nobly, chaste
and pure from defilement; to induce her to yield they killed her son
beside her, but she was firm in her resolve and died heart-broken.

In the afternoon we went on towards Kara Jevren, and one of the drivers
pointed out to us some high mounds, surrounded by stones and rocks,
saying that here Zohrâb and Vartakis had been killed, they having been
leading Notables among the Armenians, and their Deputies.

KRIKÔR ZOHRÂB AND VARTAKIS.--No one is ignorant of who and what was
Zohrâb, the Armenian Deputy for Constantinople, his name and repute
being celebrated after the institution of the Chamber. He used to speak
with learning and reflection, refuting objections by powerful arguments
and convincing proofs. His speeches in the Chamber were mostly
conclusive. He was learned in all subjects, but especially in the
science of law, as he was a graduate of universities and had practised
at the Bar for many years. He was endowed with eloquence and great
powers of exposition; he was courageous, not to be turned from his
purpose or intimidated from pursuing his national aims. When the
Unionists realised that they were deficient in knowledge, understanding
nothing about polity or administration, and not aware of the meaning of
liberty or constitutional government, they resolved to return to the
system of their Tartar forefathers, the devastation of cities and the
slaughter of innocent men, as it was in that direction that their powers
lay. They sent Zohrâb and his colleague Vartakis away from
Constantinople, with orders that they should be killed on the way, and
it was announced that they had been murdered by a band of brigands. They
killed them in order that it might not be said that Armenians were more
powerful, more learned, and more intelligent than Turks. Why should such
bands murder none but Armenians? The falsity of the statement is
obvious.

Zohrâb and Vartakis fell victims to their own courage and firmness of
purpose; they were killed out of envy of their learning and their love
for their own people, and for their tenacity in pursuing their own path.
They were killed by that villain, Ahmed El-Serzi, one of the sworn men
of the Unionists, he who murdered Zeki Bey; his story in the Ottoman
upheaval is well known, and how the Unionists saved him from his fitting
punishment and even from prison. A Kurd told me that Vartakis was one of
the boldest and most courageous men who ever lived; he was chief of the
Armenian bands in the time of Abdul-Hamîd; he was wounded in the foot by
a cannon-ball whilst the Turkish troops were pursuing these bands, and
was imprisoned either at Erzeroum or at Maaden, in the Vilayet of
Diarbekir. The Sultan Abdul-Hamîd, through his officials, charged him to
modify his attitude and acknowledge that he had been in error, when he
should be pardoned and appointed to any post he might choose. He
rejected this offer, saying, "I will not sell my conscience for a post,
or say that the Government of Abdul-Hamîd is just, whilst I see its
tyranny with my eyes and touch it with my hand."

It is said that the Unionists ordered that all the Armenian Deputies
should be put to death, and the greater number of them were thus dealt
with. It is reported also that Dikrân Gilikiân, the well-known writer,
who was an adherent of the Committee of Union and Progress, was killed
in return for his learning, capacity, and devotion to their cause. Such
was the recompense of his services to the Unionists.

In the evening we arrived at Kara Jevren, and slept there till morning.
At sunrise we went on towards Sivrek, and half-way on the road we saw a
terrible spectacle. The corpses of the killed were lying in great
numbers on both sides of the road; here we saw a woman outstretched on
the ground, her body half veiled by her long hair; there, women lying on
their faces, the dried blood blackening their delicate forms; there
again, the corpses of men, parched to the semblance of charcoal by the
heat of the sun. As we approached Sivrek, the corpses became more
numerous, the bodies of children being in a great majority. As we
arrived at Sivrek and left our carts, we saw one of the servants of the
_khân_ carrying a little infant with hair as yellow as gold, whom he
threw behind the house. We asked him about it, and he said that there
were three sick Armenian women in the house, who had lagged behind their
companions, that one of them had given birth to this infant, but could
not nourish it, owing to her illness. So it had died and been thrown
out, as one might throw out a mouse.

DEMAND FOR RANSOM.--Whilst we were at Sivrek, Aarif Effendi told
me--after he had been at the Government offices--that the Commandant of
Gendarmerie and the Chief of Police of that place had requested him to
hand over to them the five Armenians who were with him, and that on his
refusal they had insisted, saying that, if they were to reach Diarbekir
in safety, they must pay a ransom of fifty liras for themselves. We went
to the _khân_, where the officer summoned the priest Isaac and told him
how matters stood. After speaking to his companions, the priest replied
that they could pay only ten liras altogether, as they had no more in
their possession. When convinced by his words, the officer took the ten
liras and undertook to satisfy the others.

This officer had a dispute with the Commandant of Gendarmerie at Aleppo,
the latter desiring to take these five men on the grounds that they had
been sent with a gendarme for delivery to his office. Ahmed Bey, the
Chief of the Irregular band at Urfa, also desired to take them, but the
officer refused to give them up to him--he being a member of the
Committee of Union and Progress--and brought them in safety to
Diarbekir.

After passing the night at Sivrek we left early in the morning. As we
approached Diarbekir the corpses became more numerous, and on our route
we met companies of women going to Sivrek under guard of gendarmes,
weary and wretched, the traces of tears and misery plain on their
faces--a plight to bring tears of blood from stones, and move the
compassion of beasts of prey.

What, in God's name, had these women done? Had they made war on the
Turks, or killed even one of them? What was the crime of these hapless
creatures, whose sole offence was that they were Armenians, skilled in
the management of their homes and the training of their children, with
no thought beyond the comfort of their husbands and sons, and the
fulfilment of their duties towards them.

I ask you, O Moslems--is this to be counted as a crime? Think for a
moment. What was the fault of these poor women? Was it in their being
superior to the Turkish women in every respect? Even assuming that their
men had merited such treatment, is it right that these women should be
dealt with in a manner from which wild beasts would recoil? God has said
in the Koran: "Do not load one with another's burthens," that is, Let
not one be punished for another.

What had these weak women done, and what had their infants done? Can the
men of the Turkish Government bring forward even a feeble proof to
justify their action and to convince the people of Islam, who hold that
action for unlawful and reject it? No; they can find no word to say
before a people whose usages are founded on justice, and their laws on
wisdom and reason.

Is it right that these imposters, who pretend to be the supports of
Islam and the _Khilâfat_, the protectors of the Moslems, should
transgress the command of God, transgress the Koran, the Traditions of
the Prophet, and humanity? Truly, they have committed an act at which
Islam is revolted, as well as all Moslems and all the peoples of the
earth, be they Moslems, Christians, Jews, or idolators. As God lives, it
is a shameful deed, the like of which has not been done by any people
counting themselves as civilised.

THE INFANT IN THE WASTE.--After we had gone a considerable distance we
saw a child of not more than four years old, with a fair complexion,
blue eyes, and golden hair, with all the indications of luxury and
pampering, standing in the sun, motionless and speechless. The officer
told the driver to stop the cart, got out alone, and questioned the
child, who made no reply, and did not utter a word. The officer said:
"If we take this child with us to Diarbekir, the authorities will take
him from us, and he will share the fate of his people in being killed.
It is best that we leave him. Perhaps God will move one of the Kurds to
compassion, that he take him and bring him up." None of us could say
anything to him; he entered the cart and we drove on, leaving the child
as we found him, without speech, tears, or movement. Who knows of what
rich man or Notable of the Armenians he was the son? He had hardly seen
the light when he was orphaned by the slaughter of his parents and
kinsmen. Those who should have carried him were weary of him--for the
women were unable to carry even themselves--so they had abandoned him in
the waste, far from human habitation. Man, who shows kindness to beasts,
and forms societies for their protection, can be merciless to his own
kind, more especially to infants who can utter no complaint; he leaves
them under the heat of the sun, thirsty and famishing, to be devoured by
wild creatures.

Leaving the boy, our hearts burning within us, and full of grief and
anguish, we arrived before sunset at a _khân_ some hours distant from
Diarbekir. There we passed the night, and in the morning we went on amid
the mangled forms of the slain. The same sight met our view on every
side; a man lying, his breast pierced by a bullet; a woman torn open by
lead; a child sleeping his last sleep beside his mother; a girl in the
flower of her age, in a posture which told its own story. Such was our
journey until we arrived at a canal, called Kara Pounâr, near
Diarbekir, and here we found a change in the method of murder and
savagery.

We saw here bodies burned to ashes. God, from whom no secrets are hid,
knows how many young men and fair girls, who should have led happy lives
together, had been consumed by fire in this ill-omened place.

We had expected not to find corpses of the killed near to the walls of
Diarbekir, but we were mistaken, for we journeyed among the bodies until
we entered the city gate. As I was informed by some Europeans who
returned from Armenia after the massacres, the Government ordered the
burial of all the bodies from the roadside when the matter had become
the subject of comment in European newspapers.

IN PRISON.--On our arrival at Diarbekir the officer handed us over to
the authorities and we were thrown into prison, where I remained for
twenty-two days. During this time I obtained full information about the
movement from one of the prisoners, who was a Moslem of Diarbekir, and
who related to me what had happened to the Armenians there. I asked him
what was the reason of the affair, why the Government had treated them
in this way, and whether they had committed any act calling for their
complete extermination. He said that, after the declaration of war, the
Armenians, especially the younger men, had failed to comply with the
orders of the Government, that most of them had evaded military service
by flight, and had formed companies which they called "Roof Companies."
These took money from the wealthy Armenians for the purchase of arms,
which they did not deliver to the authorities, but sent to their
companies, until the leading Armenians and Notables assembled, went to
the Government offices, and requested that these men should be punished
as they were displeased at their proceedings.

I asked whether the Armenians had killed any Government official, or any
Turks or Kurds in Diarbekir. He replied that they had killed no one, but
that a few days after the arrival of the Vali, Reshîd Bey, and the
Commandant of Gendarmerie, Rushdi Bey, prohibited arms had been found in
some Armenian houses, and also in the church. On the discovery of these
arms, the Government summoned some of the principal Armenians and flung
them into prison; the spiritual authorities made repeated
representations, asking for the release of these men, but the
Government, far from complying with the request, imprisoned the
ecclesiastics also, the number of Notables thus imprisoned amounting to
nearly seven hundred. One day the Commandant of Gendarmerie came and
informed them that an Imperial Order had been issued for their
banishment to Mosul, where they were to remain until the end of the war.
They were rejoiced at this, procured all they required in the way of
money, clothes, and furniture, and embarked on the _keleks_ (wooden
rafts resting on inflated skins, used by the inhabitants of that region
for travelling on the Euphrates and Tigris) to proceed to Mosul. After a
while it was understood that they had all been drowned in the Tigris,
and that none of them had reached Mosul. The authorities continued to
send off and kill the Armenians, family by family, men, women and
children, the first families sent from Diarbekir being those of
Kazaziân, Tirpanjiân, Minassiân, and Kechijiân, who were the wealthiest
families in the place. Among the 700 individuals was a bishop named--as
far as I recollect--Homandriâs; he was the Armenian Catholic Bishop, a
venerable and learned old man of about eighty; they showed no respect to
his white beard, but drowned him in the Tigris.

Megerditch, the Bishop-delegate of Diarbekir, was also among the 700
imprisoned. When he saw what was happening to his people he could not
endure the disgrace and shame of prison, so he poured petroleum over
himself and set it on fire. A Moslem, who was imprisoned for having
written a letter to this bishop three years before the events, told me
that he was a man of great courage and learning, devoted to his people,
with no fear of death, but unable to submit to oppression and
humiliation.

Some of the imprisoned Kurds attacked the Armenians in the gaol itself,
and killed two or three of them out of greed for their money and
clothing, but nothing was done to bring them to account. The Government
left only a very small number of Armenians in Diarbekir, these being
such as were skilled in making boots and similar articles for the army.
Nineteen individuals had remained in the prison, where I saw and talked
with them; these, according to the pretence of the authorities, were
Armenian bravoes.

The last family deported from Diarbekir was that of Dunjiân, about
November, 1915. This family was protected by certain Notables of the
place, from desire for their money, or the beauty of some of their
women.

DIKRÂN.--This man was a member of the central committee of the
Tashnagtziân Society in Diarbekir. An official of that place, who
belonged to the Society of Union and Progress, told me that the
authorities seized Dikrân and demanded from him the names of his
associates. He refused, and said that he could not give the names until
the committee had met and decided whether or not it was proper to
furnish this information to the Government. He was subjected to
varieties of torture, such as putting his feet in irons till they
swelled and he could not walk, plucking out his nails and eyelashes with
a cruel instrument, etc., but he would not say a word, nor give the name
of one of his associates. He was deported with the others and died nobly
out of love for his nation, preferring death to the betrayal of the
secrets of his brave people to the Government.

AGHÔB KAITANJIÂN.--Aghôb Kaitanjiân was one of the Armenians imprisoned
on the charge of being bravoes of the Armenian Society in Diarbekir, and
in whose possession explosive material had been found. I often talked to
him, and I asked him to tell me his story. He said that one day, whilst
he was sitting in his house, a police agent knocked at the door and told
him that the Chief of Police wished to see him at his office. He went
there, and some of the police asked him about the Armenian Society and
its bravoes. He replied that he knew nothing of either societies or
bravoes. He was then bastinadoed and tortured in various ways for
several days till he despaired of life, preferring death to a
continuance of degradation. He had a knife with him, and when they
aggravated the torture so that he could endure it no longer, he asked
them to let him go to the latrine and on his return he would tell them
all he knew about the Armenian matter. With the help of the police he
went, and cut the arteries of his wrists[B] ... with the object of
committing suicide. The blood gushed out freely; he got to the door of
the police-office and there fainted. They poured water on his face and
he recovered consciousness; he was brought before the officer and the
interrogatory was renewed.[B] ... The Chief of Police was confounded at
this proceeding and sent him to the hospital until he was cured. I saw
the wounds on his hands, and they were completely healed. This was the
story as he told it to me himself. He desired me to publish it in an
Armenian newspaper called _Häyrenîk_ (Fatherland), which appears in
America, in order that it may be read by his brother Garabet, now in
that country, who had been convinced that the Government would leave
none of them alive.

I associated freely with the young Armenians who were imprisoned, and we
talked much of these acts, the like of which, as happening to a nation
such as theirs, have never been heard of, nor recorded in the history of
past ages. These youths were sent for trial by the court-martial at
Kharpout, and I heard that they arrived there safely and asked
permission to embrace the Moslem faith. This was to escape from
contemptuous treatment by the Kurds, and not from the fear of death, as
their conversion would not save them from the penalty if they were shown
to deserve it. Before their departure they asked me what I had heard
about them, and whether the authorities purposed to kill them on the
way or not. After enquiring about this, and ascertaining that they would
not be killed in this way, I informed them accordingly; they were
rejoiced, saying that all they desired was to remain alive to see the
results of the war. They said that the Armenians deserved the treatment
which they had received, as they would never see the necessity for
taking precautions against the Turks, believing that the constitutional
Turkish Government would never proceed to measures of this kind without
valid reason. The Government has perpetrated these deeds although no
official, Kurd, Turk, or Moslem, has been killed by an Armenian, and we
know not what the weighty reasons may have been which impelled them to
so unprecedented a measure. And if the Armenians should not be
reproached with a negligence for which they have paid dearly, yet a
people who do not take full precautions are liable to be taxed justly
with blameworthy carelessness.

[Footnote B: Episodes in the original are here omitted.--TRANSLATOR.]

MY TRAVELLING-COMPANIONS.--From time to time I visited the men who had
been in my company during the journey, but after my release the director
of the prison would not permit me to go to them. I used, therefore, to
ask for one of them and talk with him outside the prison in which the
Armenians were confined. After a while I enquired for them and was told
that they had been sent to execution, like others before them, and at
this I cried out in dismay. One day I saw a gendarme who had been
imprisoned with us for a short time on the charge of having stolen
articles from the effects of dead Armenians, and as he knew my
companions I asked him about them. He said that he had killed the
priest Isaac with his own hand, and that the gendarmes had laid wagers
in firing at his clerical headdress. "I made the best shooting, hit the
hat and knocked it off his head, finishing him with a second ball." My
answer was silence. The man firmly believed that these murders were
necessary, the Sultan having so ordered.

THE SALE OF LETTERS.--When the Government first commenced the
deportation of the 700 men, the officials were instructed to prepare
letters, signed with the names of the former, and to send them to the
families of the banished individuals in order to mislead them, as it was
feared that the Armenians might take some action which would defeat the
plan and divulge the secret to the other Armenians, thus rendering their
extermination impracticable. The unhappy families gave large sums to
those who brought them letters from their Head. The Government appointed
a Kurd, a noted brigand, as officer of the Militia, ordering him to
slaughter the Armenians and deliver the letters at their destination.
When the Government was secure as to the Armenians, a man was despatched
to kill the Kurd, whose name was Aami Hassi, or Hassi Aami.

SLAUGHTER OF THE PROTESTANT, CHALDEAN, AND SYRIAC COMMUNITIES.--The
slaughter was general throughout these communities, not a single
protestant remaining in Diarbekir. Eighty families of the Syriac
Community were exterminated, with a part of the Chaldeans, in Diarbekir,
and in its dependencies, none escaped save those in Madiât and Mardîn.
When latterly orders were given that only Armenians were to be killed,
and that those belonging to other communities should not be touched,
the Government held their hand from the destruction of the latter.

THE SYRIACS.--But the Syriacs in the province of Madiât were brave men,
braver than all the other tribes in these regions. When they heard what
had fallen upon their brethren at Diarbekir and the vicinity they
assembled, fortified themselves in three villages near Madiât, and made
a heroic resistance, showing a courage beyond description. The
Government sent against them two companies of regulars, besides a
company of gendarmes which had been despatched thither previously; the
Kurdish tribes assembled against them, but without result, and thus they
protected their lives, honour, and possessions from the tyranny of this
oppressive Government. An Imperial Irâdeh was issued, granting them
pardon, but they placed no reliance on it and did not surrender, for
past experience had shown them that this is the most false Government on
the face of the earth, taking back to-day what it gave yesterday, and
punishing to-day with most cruel penalties him whom it had previously
pardoned.

CONVERSATION between a postal contractor from Bitlis and a friend of
mine, as we were sitting at a café in Diarbekir:

Contractor: I see many Armenians in Diarbekir. How comes it that they
are still here?

My Friend: These are not Armenians, but Syriacs and Chaldeans.

Contractor: The Government of Bitlis has not left a single Christian in
that Vilayet, nor in the district of Moush. If a doctor told a sick man
that the remedy for his disease was the heart of a Christian he would
not find one though he searched through the whole Vilayet.

PROTECTION AFFORDED BY KURDS TO ARMENIANS ON PAYMENT.--The Armenians
were confined in the main ward of the prison at Diarbekir, and from time
to time I visited them. One day, on waking from sleep, I went to see
them in their ward and found them collecting rice, flour and moneys. I
asked them the reason of this, and they said: "What are we to do? If we
do not collect a quantity every week and give it to the Kurds, they
insult and beat us, so we give these things to some of them so that they
may protect us from the outrages of their fellows." I exclaimed, "There
is no power nor might but in God," and went back grieving over their
lot.

DESPATCH OF THE ARMENIANS TO THE SLAUGHTER.--This was a most shocking
proceeding, appalling in its atrocity. One of the gendarmes in Diarbekir
related to me how it was done. He said that, when orders were given for
the removal and destruction of a family, an official went to the house,
counted the members of the family, and delivered them to the Commandant
of Militia or one of the officers of Gendarmerie. Men were posted to
keep guard over the house and its occupants during the night until 8
o'clock, thereby giving notice to the wretched family that they must
prepare for death. The women shrieked and wailed, anguish and despair
showed on the faces of all, and they died even before death came upon
them.[C] ... After 8 o'clock waggons arrived and conveyed the families
to a place near by, where they were killed by rifle fire, or massacred
like sheep with knives, daggers, and axes.

[Footnote C: A few sentences of immaterial description are here
omitted.--TRANSLATOR.]

SALE OF ARMENIAN EFFECTS, AND REMOVAL OF CROSSES FROM THE
CHURCHES.--After the Armenians had been destroyed, all the furniture of
their houses, their linen, effects, and implements of all kinds, as well
as all the contents of their shops and storehouses, were collected in
the churches or other large buildings. The authorities appointed
committees for the sale of these goods, which were disposed of at the
lowest price, as might be the case with the effects of those who died a
natural death, but with this difference, that the money realised went to
the Treasury of the Turkish Government, instead of to the heirs of the
deceased.

You might see a carpet, worth thirty pounds, sold for five, a man's
costume, worth four pounds, sold for two medjidies, and so on with the
rest of the articles, this being especially the case with musical
instruments, such as pianos, etc., which had no value at all. All money
and valuables were collected by the Commandant of Gendarmerie and the
Vali, Reshîd Bey, the latter taking them with him when he went to
Constantinople, and delivering them to Talaat Bey.[D] ...

The mind is confounded by the reflection that this people of Armenia,
this brave race who astonished the world by their courage, resolution,
progress and knowledge, who yesterday were the most powerful and most
highly cultivated of the Ottoman peoples, have become merely a memory,
as though they had never flourished. Their learned books are waste
paper, used to wrap up cheese or dates, and I was told that one high
official had bought thirty volumes of French literature for 50 piastres.
Their schools are closed, after being thronged with pupils. Such is the
evil end of the Armenian race: let it be a warning to those peoples who
are striving for freedom, and let them understand that freedom is not to
be achieved but by the shedding of blood, and that words are the
stock-in-trade of the weak alone.

I observed that the crosses had been removed from the lofty steeples of
the churches, which are used as storehouses and markets for the keeping
and sale of the effects of the dead.

[Footnote D: Some remarks in this connection are omitted.--TRANSLATOR.]

METHODS OF SLAUGHTER.--These were of various kinds. An officer told me
that in the Vilayet of Bitlis the authorities collected the Armenians in
barns full of straw (or chaff), piling up straw in front of the door and
setting it on fire, so that the Armenians inside perished in the smoke.
He said that sometimes hundreds were put together in one barn. Other
modes of killing were also employed (at Bitlis). He told me, to my deep
sorrow, how he had seen a girl hold her lover in her embrace, and so
enter the barn to meet her death without a tremor.

At Moush, a part were killed in straw-barns, but the greater number by
shooting or stabbing with knives, the Government hiring butchers, who
received a Turkish pound each day as wages. A doctor, named Azîz Bey,
told me that when he was at Marzifûn, in the Vilayet of Sivas, he heard
that a caravan of Armenians was being sent to execution. He went to the
Kaimakâm and said to him: "You know I am a doctor, and there is no
difference between doctors and butchers, as doctors are mostly occupied
in cutting up mankind. And as the duties of a Kaimakâm at this time are
also like our own--cutting up human bodies--I beg you to let me see this
surgical operation myself." Permission was given, and the doctor went.
He found four butchers, each with a long knife; the gendarmes divided
the Armenians into parties of ten, and sent them up to the butchers one
by one. The butcher told the Armenian to stretch out his neck; he did
so, and was slaughtered like a sheep. The doctor was amazed at their
steadfastness in presence of death, not saying a word, or showing any
sign of fear.

The gendarmes used also to bind the women and children and throw them
down from a very lofty eminence, so that they reached the ground
shattered to pieces. This place is said to be between Diarbekir and
Mardîn, and the bones of the slain are there in heaps to this day.

Another informant told me that the Diarbekir authorities had killed the
Armenians either by shooting, by the butchers, or at times by putting
numbers of them in wells and caves, which were blocked up so that they
perished. Also they threw them into the Tigris and the Euphrates, and
the bodies caused an epidemic of typhus fever. Two thousand Armenians
were slaughtered at a place outside the walls of Diarbekir, between the
Castle of Sultan Murad and the Tigris, and at not more than half an
hour's distance from the city.

BRUTALITY OF THE GENDARMES AND KURDISH TRIBES.--There is no doubt that
what is related as to the proceedings of the gendarmes and the Kurdish
tribes actually took place. On receiving a caravan of Armenians the
gendarmes searched them one by one, men and women, taking any money they
might find, and stripping them of the better portions of their clothing.
When they were satisfied that there remained no money, good clothes, or
other things of value, they sold the Armenians in thousands to the
Kurds, on the stipulation that none should be left alive. The price was
in accordance with the number of the party; I was told by a reliable
informant of cases where the price had varied between 2,000 and 200
liras.

After purchasing the caravans, the Kurds stripped all the Armenians, men
and women, of their clothes, so that they remained entirely naked. They
then shot them down, every one, after which they cut open their stomachs
to search for money amongst the entrails, also cutting up the clothing,
boots, etc., with the same object.

Such were the dealings of the official gendarmerie and the Kurds with
their fellow-creatures. The reason of the sale of the parties by the
gendarmes was to save themselves trouble, and to obtain delivery of
further parties to plunder of their money.

Woe to him who had teeth of gold, or gold-plated. The gendarmes and
Kurds used to violently draw out his teeth before arriving at the place
of execution, thus inflicting tortures before actual death.

A KURDISH AGHA SLAUGHTERS 50,000 ARMENIANS.--A Kurd told me that the
authorities of Kharpout handed over to one of the Kurdish Aghas in that
Vilayet, in three batches, more than 50,000 Armenians from Erzeroum,
Trebizond, Sivas, and Constantinople, with orders to kill them and to
divide with themselves the property which he might take from them. He
killed them all and took from them their money and other belongings. He
hired 600 mules for the women, to convey them to Urfa, at the rate of
three liras a head. After receiving the price, he collected mules
belonging to his tribe, mounted the women on them, and brought them to a
place between Malatîya and Urfa, where he killed them in the most
barbarous way, taking all their money, clothes, and valuables.

THE VIOLATION OF WOMEN BEFORE OR AFTER DEATH.--[E] ...

[Footnote E: I refrain from particulars. The gendarmes and Kurds are
stated to have been the perpetrators of these acts.--TRANSLATOR.]

INCIDENT OF THE SHEIKH AND THE GIRL.--I said above that the Armenian
women were sent off in batches under guard of gendarmes. Whenever they
passed by a village the inhabitants would come and choose any they
desired, taking them away and giving a small sum to the gendarmes. At
one place a Kurd of over 60 picked out a beautiful girl of 16. She
refused to have anything to do with him, but said she was ready to
embrace Islam and marry a youth of her own age. This the Kurds would not
allow, but gave her the choice between death and the Sheikh; she still
refused, and was killed.

BARSOUM AGHA.--Whilst I was Kaimakâm of the district of Kiakhta, in the
Vilayet of Kharpout, I was acquainted with an Armenian Notable of that
place, named Barsoum Agha. He was a worthy and courageous man, dealing
well with Kurds, Turks, and Armenians, without distinction; he also
showed much kindness to officials who were dismissed from their posts in
the district. All the Kurdish Aghas thereabouts kept close watch over
him, hating him because he was their rival in the supremacy of the
place. When, after my banishment, I arrived at Sivrek and heard what had
befallen the Armenians, I enquired about him and his family. I was told
that when the Government disposed of the Armenians of Kiakhta he was
summoned and ordered to produce the records of moneys owing to him
(Kurds and Armenians in that district owed him a sum of 10,000 liras);
he replied that he had torn up the records and released his debtors from
their obligations. He was taken away with the other Armenians, and on
arrival at the Euphrates he asked permission to drown himself. This was
granted, and he endeavoured to do so, but failed, as he could not master
himself. So he said to the gendarmes, "Life is dear and I cannot kill
myself, so do as you have been ordered," whereupon one of them shot him
and then killed the rest of the family.

NARRATIVE OF A YOUNG TURK.--This youth, who had come to Diarbekir as a
schoolmaster, told me that the Government had informed the Armenians of
Broussa that their deportation had been decided, and that they were to
leave for Mosul, Syria, or El-Deir three days after receiving the order.
After selling what they could, they hired carts and carriages for the
transport of their goods and themselves and started--as they
thought--for their destination. On their arrival at a very rugged and
barren place, far distant from any villages, the drivers, in conformity
with their instructions, broke up the conveyances and left the people in
the waste, returning in the night to plunder them. Many died there of
hunger and terror; a great part were killed on the road; and only a few
reached Syria or El-Deir.

CHILDREN PERISHING OF HUNGER AND THIRST.--An Arab of El-Jezîra, who
accompanied me on my flight from Diarbekir, told me that he had gone
with a Sheikh of his tribe, men and camels, to buy grain from the sons
of Ibrahim Pasha El-Mellili. On their way they saw 17 children, the
eldest not more than 13 years old, dying of hunger and thirst. The Arab
said: "We had with us a small water-skin and a little food. When the
Sheikh saw them he wept with pity, and gave them food and water with his
own hands; but what good could this small supply do to them? We
reflected that if we took them with us to the Pasha, they would be
killed, as the Kurds were killing all Armenians by order of the
authorities; and our Arabs were at five days' distance from the place.
So we had no choice but to leave them to the mercy of God, and on our
return, a week later, we found them all dead."

NARRATIVE OF A PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR.--We were talking of the courage and
good qualities of the Armenians, and the Governor of the place, who was
with us, told us a singular story. He said: "According to orders, I
collected all the remaining Armenians, consisting of 17 women and some
children, amongst whom was a child of 3 years old, diseased, who had
never been able to walk. When the butchers began slaughtering the women
and the turn of the child's mother came, he rose up on his feet and ran
for a space, then falling down. We were astonished at this, and at his
understanding that his mother was to be killed. A gendarme went and took
hold of him, and laid him dead on his dead mother." He also said that
he had seen one of these women eating a piece of bread as she went up to
the butcher, another smoking a cigarette, and that it was as though they
cared nothing for death.

NARRATIVE OF SHEVKET BEY.--Shevket Bey, one of the officials charged
with the extermination of the Armenians, told me, in company with
others, the following story: "I was proceeding with a party, and when we
had arrived outside the walls of Diarbekir and were beginning to shoot
down the Armenians, a Kurd came up to me, kissed my hand, and begged me
to give him a girl of about ten years old. I stopped the firing and sent
a gendarme to bring the girl to me. When she came I pointed out a spot
to her and said, 'Sit there. I have given you to this man, and you will
be saved from death.' After a while, I saw that she had thrown herself
amongst the dead Armenians, so I ordered the gendarmes to cease firing
and bring her up. I said to her, 'I have had pity on you and brought you
out from among the others to spare your life. Why do you throw yourself
with them? Go with this man and he will bring you up like a daughter.'
She said: 'I am the daughter of an Armenian; my parents and kinsfolk are
killed among these; I will have no others in their place, and I do not
wish to live any longer without them.' Then she cried and lamented; I
tried hard to persuade her, but she would not listen, so I let her go
her way. She left me joyfully, put herself between her father and
mother, who were at the last gasp, and she was killed there." And he
added: "If such was the behaviour of the children, what was that of
their elders?"

PRICE OF ARMENIAN WOMEN.--A reliable informant from Deir-el-Zûr told me
that one of the officials of that place had bought from the gendarmes
three girls for a quarter of a medjidie dollar each. Another man told me
that he had bought a very beautiful girl for one lira, and I heard that
among the tribes Armenian women were sold like pieces of old furniture,
at low prices, varying from one to ten liras, or from one to five
sheep.[F] ...

[Footnote F: An unimportant anecdote omitted.--TRANSLATOR.]

THE MUTESARRIF AND THE ARMENIAN GIRL.--On the arrival of a batch of
Armenians at Deir-el-Zûr from Ras-el-Ain, the Mutesarrif desired to
choose a servant-girl from amongst the women. His eye fell on a handsome
girl, and he went up to her, but on his approach she turned white and
was about to fall. He told her not to be afraid, and ordered his servant
to take her to his house. On returning thither he asked the reason for
her terror of him, and she told him that she and her mother had been
sent from Ras-el-Ain in charge of a Circassian gendarme, many other
Armenian women being with them. On the way, the gendarme called her
mother, and told her to give him her money, or he would kill her; she
said she had none, so he tortured her till she gave him six liras.[G]
... He said to her: "You liar! You [Armenians] never cease lying. You
have seen what has befallen, and will befall, all Armenians, but you
will not take warning, so I shall make you an example to all who see
you." Then he cut off her hands with his dagger, one after the other,
then both her feet, all in sight of her daughter, whom he then took
aside and violated, whilst her mother, in a dying state, witnessed the
act. "And when I saw you approach me, I remembered my mother's fate and
dreaded you, thinking that you would treat me as the gendarme treated my
mother and myself, before each other's eyes."[H] ...

[Footnote G: Unfit for reproduction.--TRANSLATOR.]

[Footnote H: Unimportant anecdote omitted.--TRANSLATOR.]

"THE REWARD OF HARD LABOUR."--The Turks had collected all those of
military age and dispersed amongst the battalions to perform their army
service. When the Government determined on the deportation and
destruction of the Armenians--as stated in their official
declaration--orders were given for the formation of separate battalions
of Armenians, to be employed on roads and municipal works. The
battalions were formed and sent to the roads and other kinds of hard
labour. They were employed in this manner for eight months, when the
severity of winter set in. The Government, being then unable to make
further use of them, despatched them to Diarbekir. Before their arrival,
the officers telegraphed that the Armenian troops were on their way, and
the authorities sent gendarmes, well furnished with cartridges, to meet
the poor wretches. The gendarmes received them with rifle-fire, and 840
men perished in this manner, shot close to the city of Diarbekir.

A CARAVAN OF WOMEN.--[I] ...

[Footnote I: Unimportant. The writer describes the inhabitants of
Diarbekir, on the arrival of a party, as hastening to select women. Two
doctors pick out twenty of them to serve as hospital
attendants.--TRANSLATOR.]

A NIGHT'S SHELTER FOR FIFTY POUNDS.--The man who showed the greatest
capacity for exterminating Armenians was Reshîd Bey, the Vali of
Diarbekir. I have already stated how many were killed in his Vilayet.
When news of his removal arrived, the remaining Armenians, and the
Christians generally rejoiced, and shortly after the report was current
some Armenians, who had hidden themselves, came out from their
concealment and walked about the city. The Vali, who was anxious to keep
his removal secret and to inspire terror, began deporting Armenians with
still greater energy, and those who had come out returned to their
hiding-places. One of the principal men of Diarbekir stated that one
Armenian had paid fifty Turkish pounds to an inhabitant for shelter in
his house during the night before the Vali's departure, and another told
me that a man had received an offer of three pounds for each night until
the same event, but had refused from fear of the authorities.

CHASTITY OF THE ARMENIAN WOMEN.--[J] ... An Arab of the Akidât told me
that he was going along the bank of the Euphrates when he saw some of
the town rabble stripping two women of their clothes. He expostulated
and told them to restore the clothes, but they paid no attention. The
women begged for mercy, and finding it unavailing they threw themselves
into the river, preferring death to dishonour. He told me also of
another woman who had a suckling child, and begged food from the
passers-by, who were in too great fear of the authorities to help her.
On the third day of starvation, finding no relief, she left the baby in
the market of El-Deir and drowned herself in the Euphrates. In this way
do they show high qualities, honour, and courage such as many men do not
possess.

[Footnote J: An official relates how he wanted to choose a servant from
a boatload of victims, who said they were willing to come as servants,
but as nothing else. He took one, and on coming home one night drunk he
tried to offer her violence; she reproved him in suitable terms and he
conducted himself well thenceforward.--TRANSLATOR.]

WOMEN-SERVANTS IN DIARBEKIR.--You cannot enter a house in Diarbekir
without finding from one to five Armenian maid-servants, even the
humblest shopkeepers having one, who probably in the lifetime of her
parents would not have condescended to speak a word to the master whom
she now has to serve in order to save her life. It is stated that the
number of such women and girls in the city is over 5,000, mostly from
Erzeroum, Kharpout and other Vilayets.

NARRATIVE OF SHAHÎN BEY.--Shahîn Bey, a man of Diarbekir, who was in
prison with me, told me that a number of Armenian men and women were
delivered to him for slaughter, he being a soldier. He said: "Whilst we
were on the way, I saw an Armenian girl whom I knew, and who was very
beautiful. I called her by name, and said 'Come, I will save you, and
you shall marry a young man of your country, a Turk or a Kurd.' She
refused, and said: 'If you wish to do me a kindness I will ask one thing
which you may do for me.' I told her I would do whatever she wished, and
she said: 'I have a brother, younger than myself, here amongst these
people. I pray you to kill him before you kill me, so that in dying I
may not be anxious in mind about him.' She pointed him out and I called
him. When he came, she said to him, 'My brother, farewell. I kiss you
for the last time, but we shall meet, if it be God's will, in the next
world, and He will soon avenge us for what we have suffered.' They
kissed each other, and the boy delivered himself to me. I must needs
obey my orders, so I struck him one blow with an axe, split his skull,
and he fell dead. Then she said: 'I thank you with all my heart, and
shall ask you one more favour'; she put her hands over her eyes and
said: 'Strike as you struck my brother, one blow, and do not torture
me.' So I struck one blow and killed her, and to this day I grieve over
her beauty and youth, and her wonderful courage."

PHOTOGRAPHS OF ARMENIANS lying in the road, dressed in turbans, for
despatch to Constantinople. The Turkish Government thought that European
nations might get to hear of the destruction of the Armenians and
publish the news abroad so as to excite prejudice against the Turks. So
after the gendarmes had killed a number of Armenian men, they put on
them turbans and brought Kurdish women to weep and lament over them,
saying that the Armenians had killed their men. They also brought a
photographer to photograph the bodies and the weeping women, so that at
a future time they might be able to convince Europe that it was the
Armenians who had attacked the Kurds and killed them, that the Kurdish
tribes had risen against them in revenge, and that the Turkish
Government had had no part in the matter. But the secret of these
proceedings was not hidden from men of intelligence, and after all this
had been done, the truth became known and was spread abroad in
Diarbekir.

CONVERSION OF ARMENIAN WOMEN TO ISLAM.--When the Government undertook
the extermination of the Armenians some of the women went to the Mufti
and the Kadi, and declared their desire to embrace the Mohammedan faith.
These authorities accepted their conversion, and they were married to
men of Diarbekir, either Turks or Kurds.

After a while, the Government began to collect these women, so the Mufti
and the Kadi went to the Vali and said that the women in question were
no longer Armenians, having become Mussulmans, and that by the Sacred
Law the killing of Mussulman women was not permissible. The Vali
replied: "These women are vipers, who will bite us in time to come; do
not oppose the Government in this matter, for politics have no religion,
and the Government know what they are about." The Mufti and the Kadi
went back as they had come, and the women were sent to death. After the
removal of the Vali--in consequence, as it was said, of abuses in
connection with the sale of effects left in Armenian houses and
shops--orders arrived that the conversion of any who desired to enter
Islam should be accepted, be they men or women. Many of the Armenians
who remained, of both sexes, hastened to embrace the Faith in the hope
of saving their lives, but after a time they were despatched likewise
and their Islamism did not save them.

THE GERMANS AND THE ARMENIANS.--Whenever the talk fell on the Armenians
I used to blame the Turks for their proceedings, but one day when we
were discussing the question, an official of Diarbekir, who was one of
the fanatical Young Turk Nationalists, said: "The Turks are not to blame
in this matter, for the Germans were the first to apply this treatment
to the Poles, who were under their rule. And the Germans have compelled
the Turks to take this course, saying that if they did not kill the
Armenians there would be no alliance with them, and thus Turkey had no
choice."

This is what the Turk said, word for word. And it was confirmed by what
I heard from a Turk who was imprisoned with me at Aalîya, on the charge
of corresponding with Abdul-Kerîm el-Khalîl. He said that when passing
through Damascus he had visited the German Vice-Consul there, who had
told him confidentially that Oppenheim had come on a special mission,
which was to incite Jemâl Pasha to persecute the Arabs, with a view to
causing hatred between the two races, by which the Germans might profit
in future if differences arose between them and the Turks. This was a
short time previous to the execution of Abdul-Kerîm.

THE KILLING OF THE TWO KAIMAKÂMS.--When the Government at Diarbekir gave
orders to the officials to kill the Armenians, a native of Baghdad was
Kaimakâm of El-Beshîri, in that Vilayet, and an Albanian was Kaimakâm of
Lîjeh. These two telegraphed to the Vilayet that their consciences would
not permit them to do such work, and that they resigned their posts.
Their resignations were accepted, but they were both secretly
assassinated. I investigated this matter carefully, and ascertained that
the name of the Baghdad Arab was Sabat Bey El-Sueidi, but I could not
learn that of the Albanian, which I much regret, as they performed a
noble act for which they should be commemorated in history....[K]

[Footnote K: The writer here describes how a Turkish judge (kâdi), to
whom the office of Kaimakâm was entrusted after the murder of Sabat Bey,
boasted in conversation that he had killed four Armenians with his own
hand. "They were brave men," he said, "having no fear of
death."--TRANSLATOR.]

AN ARMENIAN BETRAYS HIS NATION.--[L] ...

[Footnote L: The author tells the story of an Armenian of Diarbekir who
gave information to the police against his own people, disclosing their
hiding places. He saw him walking about the streets with an insolent
demeanor, giving himself the airs of a person of great importance. He
considers that such a traitor to his nation deserves the worst form of
death.--TRANSLATOR.]

THE SULTAN'S ORDER.--Whilst I was in prison, a Turkish Commissioner of
Police used to come to see a friend of his, who was also imprisoned. One
day when I and this friend were together, the Commissioner came, and, in
the course of conversation about the Armenians and their fate, he
described to us how he had slaughtered them, and how a number had taken
refuge in a cave outside the city, and he had brought them out and
killed two of them himself. His friend said to him: "Have you no fear of
God? Whence have you the right to take life in defiance of God's law?"
He replied: "It was the Sultan's order; the Sultan's order is the order
of God, and its fulfilment is a duty."

ARMENIAN DEATH STATISTICS.--At the end of August, 1915, I was visited in
prison by one of my Diarbekir colleagues, who was an intimate friend of
one of those charged with the conduct of the Armenian massacres. We
spoke of the Armenian question, and he told me that, in Diarbekir alone,
570,000 had been destroyed, these being people from other Vilayets as
well as those belonging to Diarbekir itself.

If to this we add those killed in the following months, amounting to
about 50,000; and those in the Vilayets of Bitlis and Van and the
province of Moush, approximately 230,000; and those who perished in
Erzeroum, Kharpout, Sivas, Stamboul, Trebizond, Adana, Broussa, Urfa,
Zeitoun, and Aintab--estimated at upwards of 350,000--we arrive at a
total of Armenians killed, or dead from disease, hunger, or thirst, of
1,200,000.

There remain 300,000 Armenians in the Vilayet of Aleppo, in Syria, and
Deir-el-Zûr (those deported thither), and in America and Egypt and
elsewhere; and 400,000 in Roumelian territory, held by the Balkan
States, thus making a grand total of 1,900,000.

The above is what I was able to learn as to the statistics of the
slaughtered Armenians, and I would quote an extract from _El-Mokattam_,
dealing with this subject:

"The Basle correspondent of the _Temps_ states that, according to
official reports received from Aleppo in the beginning of 1916, there
were 492,000 deported Armenians in the districts of Mosul, Diarbekir,
Aleppo, Damascus, and Deir-el-Zûr. The Turkish Minister of the Interior,
Talaat Bey, estimates the number of deportees at 800,000, and states
that 300,000 of these have been removed or have died in the last few
months.

"Another calculation gives the number of deported Armenians as 1,200,000
souls, and states that at least 500,000 have been killed or have died in
banishment" (_El-Mokattam_, May 30th, 1916).

THE ARMENIANS AND THE ARAB TRIBES.--As I approached Diarbekir, I passed
through many Arab tribes, with whom I saw a number of Armenians, men and
women, who were being well treated, although the Government had let the
tribes know that the killing of Armenians was a bounden duty. I did not
hear of a single instance of an Armenian being murdered or outraged by
a tribesman, but I heard that some Arabs, passing by a well into which
men and women had been thrown, drew them out when at the last extremity,
took them with them, and tended them till they were recovered.

THE ARAB AND THE ARMENIAN BEGGAR WOMAN.--[M] ...

[Footnote M: The narrative concludes with the relation of an instance of
courageous charity on the part of a Baghdad soldier to an Armenian woman
begging in the streets of Diarbekir.--TRANSLATOR.]



CONCLUSION


If the Turkish Government were asked the reasons for which the Armenian
men, women, and children were killed, and their honour and property
placed at any man's mercy, they would reply that this people have
murdered Moslems in the Vilayet of Van, and that there have been found
in their possession prohibited arms, explosive bombs, and indications of
steps towards the formation of an Armenian State, such as flags and the
like, all pointing to the fact that this race has not turned from its
evil ways, but on the first opportunity will kill the Moslems, rise in
revolt, and invoke the help of Russia, the enemy of Turkey, against its
rulers. That is what the Turkish Government would say. I have followed
the matter from its source. I have enquired from inhabitants and
officials of Van, who were in Diarbekir, whether any Moslem had been
killed by Armenians in the town of Van, or in the districts of the
Vilayet. They answered in the negative, saying that the Government had
ordered the population to quit the town before the arrival of the
Russians and before anyone was killed; but that the Armenians had been
summoned to give up their arms and had not done so, dreading an attack
by the Kurds, and dreading the Government also; the Government had
further demanded that the principal Notables and leading men should be
given up to them as hostages, but the Armenians had not complied.

All this took place during the approach of the Russians towards the city
of Van. As to the adjacent districts, the authorities collected the
Armenians and drove them into the interior, where they were all
slaughtered, no Government official or private man, Turk or Kurd, having
been killed.

As regards Diarbekir, you have read the whole story in this book, and no
insignificant event took place there, let alone murders or breaches of
the peace, which could lead the Turkish Government to deal with the
Armenians in this atrocious manner.

At Constantinople, we hear of no murder or other unlawful act committed
by the Armenians, except the unauthenticated story about the twenty
bravoes, to which I have already referred.

They have not done the least wrong in the Vilayets of Kharpout,
Trebizond, Sivas, Adana, or Bitlis, nor in the province of Moush.

I have related the episode at Zeitoun, which was unimportant, and that
at Urfa, where they acted in self-defence, seeing what had befallen
their people, and preferring death to surrender.

As to their preparations, the flags, bombs and the like, even assuming
there to be some truth in the statement, it does not justify the
annihilation of the whole people, men and women, old men and children,
in a way which revolts all humanity and more especially Islam and the
whole body of Moslems, as those unacquainted with the true facts might
impute these deeds to Mohammedan fanaticism.

To such as assert this it will suffice to point out the murders and
oppressive acts committed by the Young Turks against Islam in Syria and
Mesopotamia. In Syria they have hanged the leading men of enlightenment,
without fault on their part, such as Shukri Bey El-Asli, Abdul-Wahhâb
Bey El-Inglîzi, Selîm Bey El-Jezairi, Emir Omar El-Husseini, Abdul-Ghani
El-Arîsi, Shefîk Bey El-Moweyyad, Rushdi Bey El-Shamaa, Abdul-Hamîd
El-Zahrâwi, Abdul-Kerîm El-Khalîl, Emir Aarif El-Shehâbi, Sheikh Ahmed
Hasan Tabâra, and more than thirty leading men of this class.

I have published this pamphlet in order to refute beforehand inventions
and slanders against the faith of Islam and against Moslems generally,
and I affirm that what the Armenians have suffered is to be attributed
to the Committee of Union and Progress, who deal with the empire as they
please; it has been due to their nationalist fanaticism and their
jealousy of the Armenians, and to these alone; the Faith of Islam is
guiltless of their deeds.

From the foregoing we know that the Armenians have committed no acts
justifying the Turks in inflicting on them this horrible retribution,
unprecedented even in the dark ages. What, then, was the reason which
impelled the Turkish Government to kill off a whole people, of whom they
used to say that they were their brothers in patriotism, the principal
factor in bringing about the downfall of the despotic rule of
Abdul-Hamîd and the introduction of the Constitution, loyal to the
Empire, and fighting side by side with the Turks in the Balkan war? The
Turks sanctioned and approved the institution of Armenian political
societies, which they did not do in the case of other nationalities.

What is the reason of this sudden change of attitude?

It is that, previous to the proclamation of the Constitution, the
Unionists hated despotic rule; they preached equality, and inspired the
people with hatred of the despotism of Abdul-Hamîd. But as soon as they
had themselves seized the reins of authority, and tasted the sweets of
power, they found that despotism was the best means to confirm
themselves in ease and prosperity, and to limit to the Turks alone the
rule over the Ottoman peoples. On considering these peoples, they found
that the Armenian race was the only one which would resent their
despotism, and fight against it as they previously fought against
Abdul-Hamîd. They perceived also that the Armenians excelled all the
other races in arts and industries, that they were more advanced in
learning and societies, and that after a while the greater part of the
officers of the army would be Armenians. They were confounded at this,
and dreaded what might ensue, for they knew their own weakness and that
they could not rival the Armenians in the way of learning and progress.
Annihilation seemed to them to be the sole means of deliverance; they
found their opportunity in a time of war, and they proceeded to this
atrocious deed, which they carried out with every circumstance of
brutality--a deed which is contrary to the law of Islam, as is shown by
many precepts and historical instances.[N] ...

In view of this, how can the Turkish Government be justified at the
present time in killing off an entire people, who have always paid their
dues of every kind to the Ottoman State, and have never rebelled against
it? Even if we suppose the Armenian men to have been deserving of death,
what was the offence of the women and children? And what will be the
punishment of those who killed them wrongfully and consumed the innocent
with fire?

I am of opinion that the Mohammedan peoples are now under the necessity
of defending themselves, for unless Europeans are made acquainted with
the true facts they will regard this deed as a black stain on the
history of Islam, which ages will not efface.

From the Verses, Traditions, and historical instances, it is abundantly
clear that the action of the Turkish Government has been in complete
contradiction to the principles of the Faith of Islam; a Government
which professes to be the protector of Islam, and claims to hold the
_Khilâfat_, cannot act in opposition to Moslem law; and a Government
which does so act is not an Islamic Government, and has no rightful
pretension to be such.

It is incumbent on the Moslems to declare themselves guiltless of such a
Government, and not to render obedience to those who trample under foot
the Verses of the Koran and the Traditions of the Prophet, and shed the
innocent blood of women, old men and infants, who have done no wrong.
Otherwise they make themselves accomplices in this crime, which stands
unequalled in history.

In conclusion, I would address myself to the Powers of Europe, and say
that it is they themselves who have encouraged the Turkish Government
to this deed, for they were aware of the evil administration of that
Government, and its barbarous proceedings on many occasions in the past,
but did not check it.

_Completed at Bombay on the 3rd September, 1916._

FÀ'IZ EL-GHUSEIN.

[Footnote N: Fà'iz El-Ghusein here gives a list of citations from the
Koran, the Traditions, and from Moslem history in support of this
view.--TRANSLATOR.]



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