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Title: Armenia and the War
Author: Hacobian, A. P. (Avetoon Pesak)
Language: English
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An Armenian's Point of View
with an Appeal to Britain and
the Coming Peace Conference



With a Preface by the Rt. Hon. Viscount Bryce, O.M.

Hodder and Stoughton
London      New York      Toronto

     "They are slaves who fear to speak
     For the fallen and the weak:
     They are slaves who will not choose
     Hatred, scoffing and abuse,
     Rather than in silence shrink
     From the truth they needs must think:
     They are slaves who dare not be
     In the right with two or three."


"_To serve Armenia is to serve civilization._"


"_We have put our money on the wrong horse._"[1]


" ... _a Government incurably barbarous and corrupt._"


" ... _the Ottoman Empire ... decidedly foreign to Western

January 11, 1917._


The end of the war will leave Great Britain and her Allies the practical
arbiters of the destinies of Europe and the Near East. The predominant
part played in the prosecution of the war by Great Britain and the
British Empire will entitle them to an equally decisive voice in the
councils of the Peace Conference. That proud position carries with it a
supreme privilege as well as a heavy moral responsibility. That the
voice and weight of Britain and Greater Britain will be cast, on all
occasions, on the side of justice and liberty, there cannot be the
slightest doubt. But however just and fair-minded a judge may be, it is
impossible for him to dispense justice without hearing all sides of the
case before him.

That is my plea for placing this statement of the cause of my afflicted
country before the British public, confident that, with its inherent
love of fair play, it will give my pleading a fair hearing.

I am anxious to make one point clear. I hold no authority and claim no
right whatever to speak for the nation or any national or local
organization of any kind. The views set forth in this little volume are
the views of an individual Armenian who feels, as do no doubt all his
compatriots, that the Armenian blood that has flowed so freely in this
war, imposes upon every living Armenian the sacred duty of employing all
legitimate means in his power to secure to the survivors the justice and
reparation to which their numerous fallen relatives have given them an
overwhelming and indisputable title. They are my views, and the
responsibility for them rests on myself and myself alone.

I have stated my views frankly. One or two of my friends were kind
enough to express the opinion that that might injure our cause. While I
appreciate their interest and solicitude, I do not share their fears. I
am convinced that the truth can never be unpopular with the British
public or prejudice a good cause.

I have, of necessity, had to quote freely from many sources, and I take
this opportunity to express my apologies and indebtedness to the
authorities quoted, in particular to Lord Bryce and Mr. Arnold J.
Toynbee for very kindly permitting me to quote extracts from the Blue


February, 1917._


Of all the peoples upon whom this war has brought calamity and
suffering, the Armenian people have had the most to endure. Great as has
been the misery inflicted by the invaders upon the non-combatant
populations of Belgium and Northern France, upon Poland, upon Serbia,
the misery of Armenia, though far less known to the outer world, has
been far more terrible.

When the European War broke out, in 1914, the Government of the Turkish
Empire had fallen into the hands of a small gang of unscrupulous
ruffians calling themselves the Committee of Union and Progress, who
were ruling through their command of the army, but in the name of the
harmless and imbecile Sultan. By means which have not been fully
disclosed, but the nature of which can be easily conjectured, this gang
were won over to serve the interests of Germany; and at Germany's
bidding they declared war against the Western Allies, thus dragging all
the subjects of Turkey, Muslim and Christian, into a conflict with which
they had no concern. The Armenian Christians scattered through the
Asiatic part of the Turkish dominions, having had melancholy experience
in the Adana massacres some years previously of what cruelties the
ruling gang were capable of perpetrating, were careful to remain quiet,
and to furnish no pretext to the Turkish authorities for an attack upon
them. But the rulers of Turkey showed that they did not need a pretext
for the execution of the nefarious purposes they cherished. They had
formed a design for the extermination of the non-Mohammedan elements in
the population of Asiatic Turkey, in order to make what they called a
homogeneous nation, consisting of Mohammedans only. The wickedness of
such a design was equalled only by its blind folly, for the Christian
Armenians of Asia Minor and the north-eastern provinces constituted the
most industrious, the most intelligent, and the best-educated part of
the population. Most of the traders and merchants, nearly all the
skilled artisans, were Armenians, and to destroy them was to destroy the
chief industrial asset which these regions possessed. However, this was
the plan of the Committee of Union and Progress, and as soon as they
began to feel, in the spring of 1915, that the Allied expedition against
the Dardanelles was not likely to succeed, they proceeded to execute it.
They first disarmed all the Armenians in order to have them at their
mercy; and in some cases, in order to make it appear that the Armenians
were intending to take up arms, they actually sent weapons into the
towns and then had them seized as evidence against the Christians. When
such arms as the Christians possessed had been secured, orders for
massacre were issued from Constantinople to the local governors. The
whole Armenian population was seized. The grown men were slaughtered
without mercy. The younger women were sold in the market place to the
highest bidder, or appropriated by Turkish military officers and civil
officials to become slaves in Turkish harems. The boys were handed over
to dervishes to be carried off and brought up as Muslims. The rest of
the hapless victims, all the older men and women, the mothers and their
babes clinging to them, were torn from their homes and driven out along
the tracks which led into the desert region of northern Syria and
Arabia. Most of them perished on the way from hardships, from disease,
from starvation. A few were still surviving some months ago near Aleppo
and along the banks of the Euphrates. Many, probably thousands, were
drowned in that river and its tributaries, martyrs to their Christian
faith, which they had refused to renounce; for it was generally possible
for women, and sometimes for men, to save themselves by accepting
Mohammedanism. By these various methods hundreds of thousands--the
number is variously estimated at from 500,000 to 800,000--have perished.
And all this was done with the tacit acquiescence of the German
Government, some of whose representatives on the spot are even said to
have encouraged the Turks in their work of slaughter, while the
Government confined its action to propagating in Germany, so as to
deceive its own people, false stories which alleged that the Armenians
had been punished for insurrectionary movements.

All these facts, with many details too horrible to be repeated here, are
set forth in the Blue Book recently published in England, containing
accounts based upon incontrovertible evidence, and to which no reply has
been made, though some denials, palpably false, have emanated from the
Turkish gang, and some others from the German Government.

The victims who have thus been put to death, a large part of the whole
Armenian people, belong to what is one of the oldest nations in the
world, which has been Christian and civilized ever since the third
century of our era. If any people ever deserved the sympathy of the
civilized world, it is they who have clung to their faith and the
traditions of their ancient kingdom ever since that kingdom was
overthrown by the Turkish invaders many centuries ago. They now appeal
to the Allied Nations who are fighting the battle of Right and Humanity
against the German Government and its barbarous Turkish allies, asking
that when the end of the war comes their case may be considered and
they may be for ever delivered from the Turkish yoke. Nowhere is their
hard case better known than in the United States, for it is the American
missionaries who have, by their admirable schools and colleges planted
in many cities of Asiatic Turkey, done more for them than any other
country has done, giving them light, consolation and sympathy.

The author of this little book is an Armenian gentleman belonging to a
family originally from Ispahan in Persia, but now settled in England. He
speaks with intimate knowledge as well as with patriotic feeling, and
states the case of his countrymen with a moderation well fitted to
inspire confidence. Upon the arguments he puts forward I do not venture
to express any opinion in detail. But those who know something of
Asiatic Turkey will recognize with him that the Armenians are, by their
intelligence and their irrepressible energy, the race best fitted to
restore prosperity to regions desolated by Turkish oppression. The
educated Armenians, notwithstanding all they have suffered, are abreast
of the modern world of civilization. Among them are many men of science
and learning, as well as artists and poets. They are scattered in many
lands. I have visited large Armenian colonies as far west as California,
and there are others as far east as Rangoon. Many of the exiles would
return to their ancient home if they could but be guaranteed that
security and peace which they have never had, and can never have, under
the rule of the Turk. May we not confidently hope that the Allied Powers
will find means for giving it to them at the end of this war, for
extending to them that security which they have long desired and are
capable of using well?


_May, 1917._


[1] _After the massacres of 1895-1896, Lord Salisbury, who had himself
taken a prominent part in the consummation of the Treaty of Berlin and
the Cyprus Convention, frankly admitted the failure of the policy which
gave birth to these treaties, and the futility of relying upon Turkish


      ON AMERICAN OPINION                                          1


 III. "THE GENTLE AND CLEAN-FIGHTING TURK"                        22

      AND DEMOCRATIC BY TEMPERAMENT                               40


  VI. ARMENIA'S SERVICES IN THE WAR                               66

      AND VICTIM OF CONTENDING EMPIRES                            81


  IX. EXTRACTS FROM THE BLUE BOOK                                114

      OF ARGYLL'S VIEWS--AN APPEAL TO BRITAIN                    140


      POSTSCRIPT                                                 181

      APPENDIX                                                   189




The first official advance for peace made by Germany and her Allies,
although couched in defiant and menacing terms, was nevertheless an
unmistakable signal of distress, and has brought the world within
measurable distance of that just and durable peace which the Allies have
set out to achieve. The prospect of approaching peace has set on foot a
general reiteration of the issues at stake, and consideration of the
terms and problems of peace. Public attention in this country will
naturally be occupied, in the first place, with the momentous issues and
interests of the United Kingdom, the British Empire and her Allies
raised by the war and to be settled and secured by the impending peace.
It will therefore, I hope, not be considered amiss or premature for a
member of one of those small and oppressed peoples engulfed in the
vortex of the war who look to Great Britain and her Allies for
deliverance, reparation and the security of their future liberty, to put
before the British public his views, as well as facts and arguments that
may be of some service in enabling it to form a just estimate of the
claims and merits of one of the smaller problems which run the risk of
not receiving a full hearing at the Peace Conference, in the presence of
a multitude of larger and more important questions.

The item in the Allied peace terms stated in their reply to President
Wilson's note, "the setting free of the populations subject to the
bloody tyranny of the Turks," is the bearer to Armenians of a message of
comfort and hope. It heralds the dawn of a new day that will mark the
end of the long and hideous nightmare of Turkish tyranny.

If President Wilson, the American people, or other neutrals were in
search of evidence that would prove to them conclusively which of the
two groups of belligerents is sincere in its professions of regard for
"the rights and privileges of weak peoples and small states"; if Belgium
had not been violated and ravaged; if the _Lusitania_ and so many
hospital ships, liners and merchantmen had not been sunk without any
care as to the fate of the wounded, the children and women, the
non-combatant men and crews; if Zeppelins had not spread death and
destruction among women and children in their homes in the night; if all
these and so many other outrages had not been committed, and there had
been, in the whole course of the war, no other act of the Quadruple
Alliance in any degree contrary to the laws and usages of civilized
warfare and dictates of humanity, the single word ARMENIA would provide
that proof--a crushing, monumental proof--as to who is and who is not
sincere in the professions of regard for right, justice and humanity.
The spirit of desolated Armenia stands at the head of the phantom
spirits of outraged humanity, which must rise and shatter to atoms
every mask of benevolence, righteousness and injured innocence that the
protagonists of "frightfulness" may assume for the deception of their
own peoples and neutrals.

But in the United States at least there is no need for any fresh proof
or explanation of the issue at this stage, and the martyrdom of Armenia
has contributed largely to that state of American opinion. I have little
doubt that President Wilson's Peace Note and speech to the Senate are
the first steps towards America casting her whole weight into the scale,
aiming at the realization of a just and lasting peace.

The intense interest evinced by the people and Government of the United
States in the fate of Armenia and the Armenians is abundantly shown not
only by the generous gifts of money for the relief of the survivors and
the noble personal services by devoted missionaries and relief agents,
some of whom lost their lives in their work of mercy; but also by
diplomatic action on behalf of the Armenians in Constantinople (where
Mr. Morgenthau, to his great honour, struggled valiantly to stay the
hand of the ruthless oppressor), and by the prominence given to any and
every scrap of news concerning the holocaust in Armenia. It is no
exaggeration to say that, military operations apart, no incident of the
war, not excepting the violation and martyrdom of Belgium, has been
given more space and prominence in the American Press than anything
connected with the martyrdom of Armenia and Syria and the relief of the
refugees and exiles.

In his reply to the Armenian deputation who on December 14, 1916,
presented to him an illuminated parchment from the Catholicos expressing
His Holiness's gratitude and thanks to the American nation, President
Wilson said, _inter alia_--

     "We have tried to do what was possible to save your people from the
     ravages of war. My great regret is, that we have been able to
     accomplish so little. There have been many suffering peoples as the
     result of that terrible struggle, and _the lot of none has touched
     the American heart more than the suffering of the Armenians_."[2]

Nothing in the war has brought home to the people of the United States
the moral issues of the war more strongly and vividly than the
unprecedented barbarities committed by the Turks in their diabolical
attempt to wipe out the Armenian race. No event of the war has been more
damaging to the Central Powers in the eyes of the United States. Here
they have seen the ruthless spirit of the twin enemies of humanity and
liberty--the Turkish _yatagan_ supported by the Prussian jack-boot--in
its hideous nakedness, at work in the depths of Asia, unrestrained and
unperceived, as they thought, by the light of civilization.

This gospel of the jack-boot and the _yatagan_ will be best illustrated
by putting side by side two quotations, one from the _Tanine_, the
official organ of the Committee of Union and Progress in Constantinople,
and the other from a statement made by Count Reventlow in October 1915.
The _Tanine_ "invited the Government to exterminate or forcibly convert
to Islam all Armenian women in Turkey as the only means of saving the
Ottoman Empire."[3] Count Reventlow, the high priest of the gospel of
Brute Force and Militarism, writing in the _Tageszeitung_ in defence and
approval of Turkey's appalling crime, said that it was the Ottoman
Government's obvious right and duty to take the strongest repressive
measures against "the bloodthirsty Armenians"--the measures advocated by
the _Tanine_, which were carried out by Count Reventlow's worthy allies
on the Bosphorus with a completeness and ferocity that must have greatly
pleased him.

The German Government and German apologists have made a great parade of
the use of Indian and African troops in Europe by the Allies. By all
reports, these troops have fought as clean a fight as any troops in the
war. I think that in the judgment of future historians no incident of
this war, whose history is so heavily shadowed on one side with
outrages and violations of the laws of civilized warfare, will meet with
so strong a condemnation as Germany's alliance with the Young Turks, the
declaration of a "holy war" at her behest, and its dire consequences for
the already sorely tried Christian subjects of the Turks. (It should be
remembered that Germany and Austria are signatories to the Treaty of
Berlin, Art. 61 of which was to have brought about "the improvements and
reforms demanded by local requirements in the provinces inhabited by the
Armenians," and to have "guaranteed their security against the Kurds and
Circassians." This point cannot be too strongly emphasized.) She could
have foreseen these consequences; and if she did not foresee them, she
could have stopped them when they made themselves apparent. Turkey's
entry into the war placed her Christian subjects in a position of great
peril, as it has been her custom to wreak upon them her vengeance for
defeats; while a state of war freed her from the moral restraint of
Europe. It was hoped that German and Austrian influence would check
this tendency. How cruelly events have shattered that hope! They have
proved that it was too much to expect humanity and the ordinary feelings
of chivalry and compassion for the honour and suffering of women and
children from the State policies of these great Christian Governments
and the majority of their agents in Turkey. I do not believe that this
ungodly and inhuman policy has received general approbation either in
Germany or Austria-Hungary. This is evident from the quotations from
German missionary journals in the Blue-book on the "Treatment of
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire."[4] It is also proved by the protests
addressed to the Imperial Chancellor by several Catholic and Protestant


[2] Quoted in _The New Armenia_ of New York, January 1, 1917. The
italics are mine.

[3] Quoted in _Guerre Sociale_ (Paris), September 16, 1915.

[4] _The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire._ Documents
presented to Viscount Grey of Fallodon, Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs, with a preface by Viscount Bryce (Hodder & Stoughton).



The Governments of the Allies have unanimously declared that peace is
only possible on the principles of adequate reparation for the past,
adequate security for the future, and recognition of the principle of
nationalities and of the free existence of small states.

"Reparation" means no doubt in the first place reparation for the wanton
and ruthless destruction of unoffending and defenceless civilian lives
and property.

It is characteristic of the British sense of justice and fair play that
Belgium, France and Serbia should be given the first place in their
demand for reparation, for, of course, there are the British victims of
"frightfulness," Zeppelin and submarine victims and the victims of
judicial murders to be atoned for and recompensed.

This unanimous demand for reparation to the smaller nations for all they
have suffered as a result of the brutal and unscrupulous aggression of
their more powerful neighbours, and their security and free development,
augurs well for the future. It is an earnest given by the Entente Powers
to the world, of the sincerity of their declarations regarding the
unselfish, just and worthy objects which they entered the war to attain.

I must be excused, however, if I confess to feeling not a little
perplexity at the fact that, in discussing the peace terms, the great
organs of British public opinion, with some notable exceptions,[5] have
made little or no reference to Armenia in the demand for penalties,
reparation and redemption. This fact must have impressed Mr. Arthur
Henderson, who, in his reference to Armenia quoted more fully elsewhere,
remarked that " ... Armenian atrocities _were not much talked about_
here ... etc." My anxiety will be understood when I point out that for
us it is not a question of a little more or less territory, a little
larger or smaller indemnity. For us more than for any other race
involved in the war it is a question of "to be or not to be" in a real
and fateful sense: the rebirth of Armenian nationality from the
profusion of its lost blood and heaps of smouldering ashes, or the end
of that long-cherished and bled-for aspiration, and the consummation of
the "policy" of Abdul Hamid and the Young Turks.

The first general discussion of the terms of peace has coincided with
the publication, as a Blue-book, of Lord Bryce's comprehensive
documentary evidence on the attempt of the Turks to murder the Armenian
nation in cold blood. I gratefully acknowledge the fact that many
newspapers wrote sympathetic editorial articles or reviews on the
Blue-book, emphasizing, with incontestable force, that this conclusive
evidence of the abominable crimes committed by the Turks in Armenia
without any protest from official Germany, is a crushing reply to the
German Chancellor's protestations of solicitude for humanity.

But, opportune as has been the immediate effect of this fresh evidence
of Lord Bryce's noble and untiring labours in the cause of humanity, as
a tragic and terrible exposure of the irony of the Central Powers'
professions of pity for suffering humanity, that is surely not the only
or the principal moral to be drawn from these haunting pages. They
constitute a terrible and lasting reproach to the European diplomacy of
our time. They unfold to the horrified gaze of mankind a vast column of
human smoke and human anguish rising to the heavens as the incense of
the most fearful yet most glorious mass-martyrdom the world has ever
seen, but casting a shadow of lasting shame upon Christendom and
civilization. The unparalleled outburst of barbarity they reveal did
not come as a surprise. Europe had heard its premonitory rumblings these
last forty years. As far back as 1880 the representatives of the Great
Powers in their famous and futile Identic Note to the Sublime Porte,
said: "So desperate was the misgovernment of the country that it would
lead in all probability to the destruction of the Christian population
of vast districts." The massacres of 1895-1896 and 1909 cost the lives
of 250,000 to 300,000 Armenians. But most of the European statesmen of
the day persistently refused to believe that "the gentle Turk" was
capable of such bursts of unspeakable barbarism; while Bismarck declared
openly that the whole Eastern Question was not worth "the bones of a
Pomeranian grenadier." His successors have followed and improved upon
his ruthless, unchristian policy, and Europe sees the result.

With due respect to the small minority of humane Turks, who, I dare say,
are themselves shocked at what their rulers, their soldiery and populace
have proved themselves capable of, the Turk as a race has added yet
another and vaster monument than ever before to the long series of
similar monuments that fill the pages of his blood-stained history, in
proof of the unchangeable brutality of his nature. You cannot reason or
argue with him. Nor can you expect justice or ordinary human feelings
from such a nature. The only sane and honest way to deal with him is to
make him innocuous. It is official Europe that is to blame for leaving
him so long at large and his prey at his mercy. It is European diplomacy
of the past forty years that is responsible for looking on while the
relentless mutilation was going on limb by limb, until Moloch saw his
chance in the war and all but devoured his hapless victim, with the
tacit acquiescence of the Governments of two great Christian empires,
and the applause of Count Reventlow and his disciples.

How is it to be explained that this deliberately planned destruction of
more than half a million human beings by all the tortures of the Dark
Ages, and the deportation and enslavement worse than death of more than
half a million, have not aroused the righteous wrath of the great
British writers and thinkers of the day to nearly the same extent as the
martyrdom of Belgium? How is it that great writers and poets have not
felt the call of expressing to the world in the language of genius the
stupefying horror as well as the moral grandeur of this vast,
unparalleled tragedy?[6] Great Britain has always been, and is to-day
more than ever, the champion and "the hope of the oppressed and the
despair of the oppressor." That sympathy, horror and indignation exist
in this country in the fullest measure there is not the slightest doubt.
One sees proofs and indications of their existence at every turn. But
why, in Heaven's name, is it not proclaimed to the world that the
culprits may know and tremble and stay their hand? Bishops have been
burnt to death, hundreds of churches desecrated, and ministers of Christ
tortured and murdered; hundreds of thousands of Christian women and
children done to death in circumstances of unspeakable barbarity and
bestiality. Why are the Churches of Great Britain and all Christendom
not raising a cry of indignation that will reverberate throughout the
world and strike the fear of God into the hearts of these assassins and
all powers of darkness? Why is not a word said as a tribute, so richly
deserved, to the heroic and indomitable spirit of the men and women and
even children who chose torture and death rather than deny their Christ,
sacrifice their honour or renounce their nationality?[7] Here is
assuredly the most inspiring example of all times of the triumph of the
spirit of Christ and the fidelity in death to conscience, personal
honour and independence, over savage fury and brutal lust at the highest
pitch ever attained in them by fiends in human form; a triumph and an
example more inspiring, and with a deeper and more lasting significance
for humanity and Christianity, perhaps, than this great and terrible war
itself; and the Churches and spokesmen and writers of great Christian
countries, belligerent and neutral, pass over that aspect of the Great
Tragedy almost in complete silence!

I do not ask tributes for the martyrs; let their praise be sung by the
hosts of heaven. Nor is this a complaint; and it would be a presumption
on my part to assume the rôle of critic or mentor to leaders of
religion, thought and learning in great Christian countries. It is far
indeed from my intention to assume such a rôle. But these are facts
which I contemplate with inexpressible sorrow, almost despair--facts
which perplex and puzzle me and which surpass my understanding. Perhaps
my judgment is dimmed and embittered by my nation's sufferings. If that
is so, is any one surprised that the Armenian soul should be bitter
to-day, bitter with a bitterness, anguish and indignation such as the
soul of man has never tasted before, or any people can possibly imagine?

Some papers speak of the sufferings of the Armenians being _equal_ to
those of the Belgians.

Armenians know, if any one does, what bondage and suffering under the
tyrant's heel mean, and they yield to none in their profound sympathy
and admiration for heroic Belgium, Serbia and the occupied parts of
France. The martyrdom of 5000 unoffending Belgian civilians is a
horrible enough episode, but surely there is some difference between
5000 and 600,000 victims, to say nothing of the 600,000 who were
enslaved, forcibly converted to Islam, and driven in caravans of torture
and death to the Mesopotamian deserts.[8] What is the condition of
these unfortunates, and how many have survived, must remain a dread
secret of the desert until the end of the war.

Is it because the victims are Armenians, mere Armenians so used to
massacre, so long abandoned by Europe to the lust and pleasure of "the
Gentle Turk"? That may be so in the eyes of men. But there is God, and
in His eyes the life and pain and torture and death of an Armenian
child, woman, or man are the same, exactly the same, as those of any
other child, woman, or man without exception.


[5] Armenians are especially indebted to the _Manchester Guardian_ and
_The Times_ for their valuable services to their cause, humanity and
truth in exposing the reign of terror in Armenia and the Turk's
affectation of "clean-fighting." Part 101 of _The Times History and
Encyclopædia of the War_ was the first detailed account of what had
happened in Armenia since the outbreak of war, and I may add that,
considering the difficulties of obtaining information, it is a
remarkably well-informed account.

[6] Mr. Israel Zangwill concludes a moving and eloquent tribute to the
agony of Armenia in _The New Armenia_ (New York) of March 1, 1917,
entitled "The Majesty of Armenia," in the following words--"I bow before
this higher majesty of sorrow. I take the crown of thorns from Israel's
head and I place it upon Armenia's."

Is it not a strange fact that of all contemporary authors and publicists
of note, it should have fallen to a famous and gifted Jew to pay the
first tribute to "the majesty" of Armenia's martyrdom for the Christian

[7] Mr. P. W. Wilson's sympathetic and appreciative articles in _The
Westminster Gazette_ and _The Daily News and Leader_ of February 3,
1917, appeared after the above was written. While I am most grateful to
Mr. Wilson and the two great organs of British public opinion, I avail
myself of this opportunity to make one or two observations on some of
the points Mr. Wilson has raised--

"The first impulse of the refugee" has not only been "to start a shop"
but also to start a school and improvise the means of continuing the
publication of the newspaper he was publishing in Van before the exile,
as the Belgians have done here under more favourable circumstances. The
toleration practised by Armenians and their Church is not due to
adversity, but the true understanding of Christianity. The spirit of
toleration breathes through the pages of the history of the Armenian
Church from the earliest times.

Mr. Wilson says: "It is doubtless regrettable that the Armenians should
have failed to recommend their progressive conception of life to the
Moslems around them." This is a striking example of the misconception
that so often exists in the minds of even the most sympathetic observers
of Armenian affairs. Mr. Wilson knows no doubt for how much prestige
counts in the East. If the European missions with all the prestige of
their great nations, governments, embassies, consulates, etc., behind
them (to say nothing of the unlimited funds at their disposal) have had
such little success in Moslem countries, is it reasonable to blame the
Armenians, oppressed, harried, tortured, massacred, plunged into the
depths of misery, for not having fared better? What respect could the
Armenian's religion inspire among his Moslem neighbours who murdered his
bishops and priests, desecrated his churches and inflicted the most
revolting insults upon the outward symbols of his faith, while his
powerful co-religionists stood by and did nothing? Under these
circumstances what better service could the Armenian render his religion
than die for it? In happier days, the early Armenian Christians were
largely instrumental in converting the Georgians.

[8] It is some consolation to know, as some reports say, that the Arabs
have treated these unfortunates kindly. It is an indication of--and a
credit to--their superior civilization.



The Allies have declared in their reply to President Wilson that one of
their aims is "the turning out of Europe of the Ottoman Empire, _as
decidedly foreign to Western civilization_."

This fact of the Turk being "decidedly foreign to Western civilization,"
affirmed on the authority and conviction of the Governments of four of
the greatest and most advanced nations of Europe, needs no further
proof. Nevertheless it seems desirable, in the interests of truth, to
endeavour to dissipate the misconception that has been created by the
extraordinary myth of "the clean-fighting Turk."

There has been a disposition in this country, natural and intelligible
under the circumstances, to attribute the recent (let us hope the last)
and most terrible of the Armenian massacres wholly or largely to German
influence. That the German Government had it in its power to stop this
gigantic crime if it had so wished, there is no doubt. It seems likely
also that the Turk applied to his brutal scheme the method and
thoroughness he had learned from his German ally. But seriously to
assert, as some writers and speakers have done, that German influence
instigated the massacres, is to shut one's eyes to the Turk's record
ever since he became known to history. One need only turn the pages of
his history--a veritable chamber of horrors--to convince oneself that
massacre, outrage, and devastation have always been congenial to the

Without for a moment wishing to absolve the German Government of its
responsibility, before God and humanity, for not exerting its influence
to save more than a million absolutely innocent human beings from death,
slow torture, and slavery: the fact, nevertheless, remains that Hulagu,
Sultan Selim, Bayazid and Abdul Hamid were not under German influence,
that there were no Germans at the sack of Constantinople or the
massacres of Bagdad and Sivas, or, in more recent times, at the
butcheries of Chios, Greece, Crete, Batak, Macedonia, Sassoon, Urfa, or
Adana. The Turk, in fact, has nothing to learn from his Teutonic ally
in "frightfulness"; he has a great deal to teach him. I readily admit
that there are some Turks who are gentle and good men. Some of these
have risked good positions and even their lives to protect Armenian
women and children. But most unfortunately for us, for humanity and for
the Turks themselves, such good Turks are few and far between.

It is true that orders for the extirpation of the Armenians were issued
from Constantinople, but can any one imagine such revolting orders
_being carried out_ by "gentle and clean-fighting" troops and people? I
shall be much surprised if any unprejudiced man or woman in any
civilized country believes that any but the Turkish populace and
soldiery would be capable of carrying out such orders. History at any
rate has given us no such evidence.

I believe that, under a just and honest government and better
influences, the Turkish peasant will, in course of time, lose his
proneness to cruelty, for he has good qualities. But if this war is
intended to see the end of tyranny, oppression, brutal religious and
political persecution and the discontent and unrest that such
conditions always produce; if it is to prevent the possibility of a
repetition of the hell that the Turks have let loose in Armenia since
they entered the war and _so often before the war_; then it is clear
that never again must the Turk be allowed to possess the power over
other races, which he has so abominably abused ever since he "hacked his
way through" to the fair, fertile and once highly prosperous country
which he has devastated and converted into a charnel-house.

The Armenians of Turkey had no separatist aspirations. They knew that
was impracticable. Nothing would have suited them better than a reformed
government in Turkey, that would give them security of life, honour and
property, the free development of their national and religious
institutions and an approach to equality with Moslems before the law. On
the promulgation of the Constitution, all the Armenian revolutionary
societies were transformed into peaceable and orderly political parties
as by magic. They had great hopes of achieving these aims and the
regeneration of the Ottoman Empire from within in co-operation with the
Young Turks before the war, and they gave the Committee of Union and
Progress (was there ever a more incongruous misnomer?) all the support
they could, which was by no means negligible; but they had not long to
wait to be completely and bitterly disillusioned. The Adana massacres
gave their hopes the first blow. The Armenian leaders proved too earnest
and sincere democrats for the Committee leaders who, with few
exceptions, were actuated, as events proved, more by inordinate personal
ambition than the "liberty" and "equality" which they so loudly
proclaimed and which have proved such a hideous mockery. The
chauvinistic wing soon gained complete ascendancy over the party, which
resolved on the covert or forcible "Ottomanization" of all non-Turk
races of the Empire (as is proved by the recent exposures of the Grand
Sheriff of Mecca), and ended by joining the Germans in the war in the
hope of conquering Egypt and the Caucasus.

It is a mistake to think that Germany forced Turkey into the war
against her will by the presence of the _Goeben_ and _Breslau_. Those
who had any knowledge of Turkish affairs had no doubt of the existence
of a military understanding between Germany and Turkey for some years
before the war. The arrival of a military mission at Constantinople
under Liman von Sanders left no doubt on that point.

On the outbreak of the European war, the Armenian Dashnakist Party met
in congress at Erzerum to determine the attitude to be observed by the
Party in relation to the war. Hearing of this, the Young Turks forthwith
sent representatives to ascertain the attitude of the Party in the event
of Turkey going to war against Russia. (See Blue-book, p. 80.) This took
place some weeks before the arrival of the _Goeben_ and _Breslau_ at
Constantinople. Nor was the war as unpopular with the Turkish masses at
the outset as is thought by many. If that were so there would have been
a revolt against the Young Turks, and Turkey would have been detached
from the Central Powers long ago. It may be less popular now, because
their dreams of conquest have been shattered and the whole country is
suffering. No Turk, Young or Old, had any particular objection to the
prospects of the conquest either of Egypt or the Caucasus, and many of
them aimed at a Moslem Triple Alliance between Turkey, Persia and
Afghanistan under German auspices, and even dreamt dreams of an empire
that would ultimately embrace India and the whole of Northern

The Young Turks have tried their hand at the government of the Ottoman
Empire, and have failed more completely and proved infinitely more cruel
and brutal than the old Turks. Besides this, their betrayal of the
Entente Powers and the vast and unprecedented crime which they have
committed against humanity have left only one solution possible that
holds out any promise of peace, justice and normal progress in the
future. That one solution is, to draw up a new map of the Ottoman Empire
on the basis of nationality and historical rights, reparation in
proportion to services and sacrifices during the war, and the proved
aptitude of the races concerned for progress and development on the
lines of Western civilization.

There has long existed in Europe a school of politicians who have always
asked: "If you eliminate Turkish rule over the Turks' subject races,
what will you put in its place?" After what has happened in Armenia and
Syria, he would be a bold man or a prejudiced man who would deny that
_any_ change will be an improvement.

The unfitness of the Turk to govern alien, and especially Christian
peoples has been proved by such an overwhelming accumulation of
historical evidence and rivers of innocent Christian blood, that to urge
the contrary must appear like an attempt to obscure the sun by the palm
of the hand.

If this war is to bring peace and progress to Asia Minor instead of
chronic anarchy, bloodshed and devastation as in the past, there must be
an end of Turkish domination over alien races in any shape or form. By
all means give the Turk the chance of governing himself in the provinces
inhabited purely by Turks.

During the Turkish retreat from Thrace in 1913, the evidence of
newspaper correspondents was that the Turk was leaving Europe in the
same state--moral, material and intellectual--as he entered it four
centuries ago. The fact is, that centuries of contact with civilization
has made no difference to the nature of the Turk. War brings to the
surface the true nature of a people as nothing else can. The Turk has
proved by his conduct in this war that he is as cruel and brutal as he
was when he first swooped down as the scourge of God in Asia Minor one
thousand years ago. By centuries of conquest and domination he has
acquired an attractive free and easy outward manner which has stamped
him a "gentleman" in the eyes of European travellers. But the same
"gentleman" who will charm you with his manner will murder or enslave
any number of women and children without the slightest twinge of
conscience. Such is the Turkish "gentleman." The Turks are to-day
proving their gratitude for a hundred years of British and French
support by throwing the whole of their man-power and resources--largely
built up by British and French capital--into the scale on the side of
Germany. They have put at the disposal of Germany and held for Germany
the land routes by which alone she can hope to threaten the British and
French colonial empires. They have done their best to do England and her
Allies all the injury they can, and have given the enemies of England
all the help they can. And still the Turk and even the Young Turk have
friends and protectors in this country.[11] This, to my mind, is the
most astonishing phenomenon of the whole war. It must appear strange to
thinking Moslems that there should be found, in great and mighty
Christian countries, respected and prominent men who defend the Young
Turks at the very moment when their _protégés_ are persecuting and
massacring their weak and defenceless co-religionists in countless
thousands. I gravely doubt whether such an act is calculated to enhance
the prestige of Christianity in the eyes of the Moslem world.

Have the apologists of the Turks ever put themselves this question: "If
under German influence the Turks have been capable of attempting the
cold-blooded murder of a whole nation, how is the fact to be explained,
that under the same influence they were able to gain the reputation of
'clean fighters'?"

The irony of it all is, that in a war in which more than twenty
different nations are engaged, the Turk and the Turk alone among the
belligerents should have gained the epithet of "clean-fighter," though,
note well, from one of his adversaries only. How is this fact to be
explained? Is it seriously claimed that the Turk has proved himself,
under the test of war, superior in morals and chivalry to all the
nations of Europe?

Turkish mentality is not understood in Western Europe. The Turk has a
fanatical bravery which, however, easily degenerates into brutality. The
Russians, Rumanians and Serbs have fought the Turks for centuries. It
would be interesting to have their opinion of his "clean-fighting"
qualities. The fact is, the Turk knows he may need English help again
some day. He knows that there has long existed in England a school of
politicians which has believed that British interests in the Near East
will be best served by supporting the Turk. He knows that England has
millions of Mohammedan subjects who have still some sympathy for him on
religious grounds, and whose susceptibilities Englishmen are naturally
anxious to avoid hurting. He also knows that the British soldier is a
chivalrous warrior who gives full credit to his adversary for any good
qualities he may seem to possess. He understands the power of public
opinion in England. He sees, in short, that there is in England a
fertile and responsive psychological soil ready to nurture and fructify
a hundred-fold the smallest show of "clean-fighting" he may make.
Accordingly, the order goes forth to the Turkish soldier to be on his
best behaviour whenever and wherever he is fighting British troops, and
the Turkish soldier obeys with the blind obedience which is his chief

That is the true explanation of the amazing fact that so many--though
not all--British officers and soldiers have written or spoken of the
Turk as a clean-fighter. It is well-known that some wounded Australians
who had the misfortune of falling into the hands of the Turks were most
brutally mutilated in the early part of the Dardanelles campaign. A
wounded and gallant young New Zealander told me at a Hampstead hospital
that the Turks "put three bullets into him," while he was being carried
to the rear of the fighting line on a stretcher. (In case my remarks
concerning the clean-fighting qualities of the Turk should be
misconstrued or misrepresented as in any way implying a doubt as to the
evidence of British officers and soldiers, I wish to say emphatically,
what hardly needs affirmation, that I regard such evidence as absolutely
above doubt or question.)

The Russians said in one of their official _communiqués_ that a number
of their wounded had been mutilated by the Turks.

Two Russian hospital ships have been deliberately torpedoed by
submarines manned by Turks and flying the Turkish flag.

I do not of course suggest that there are no really clean-fighting men
among the Turks. There must be many such. It should be borne in mind in
this connection that, in the early stages of the war, the Turkish army
contained a considerable sprinkling of Christians--Greeks, Armenians,
Syrians, etc. But to label the Turks _as such and as a whole_ as clean
fighters and gentle folk is to admit the success of the most subtle
propagandist make-believe of the war and the biggest hoax ever played
off by Oriental cunning upon a chivalrous and unsuspecting adversary.

Armenians have known the Turk for centuries. They have known him _as he
is_, not as he affects to be in the presence of a European, and they can
claim credit for some knowledge of the subject. I venture to predict
that there is severe disillusionment in store for those who still
believe in the genuineness of Turkish "clean-fighting" and "chivalry,"
when the British prisoners in Turkey return. Strange indeed must be
this Turkish conception of chivalry to sanction the enslavement and
slaughter of women and children in hundreds of thousands, instead of
protecting them and their honour as the ordinary code of chivalry

A Reuter telegram from Cairo published in _The Daily Chronicle_ of
February 13, 1917, contained the following--

     "It is learnt on reliable authority that the British, French, and
     Russian prisoners who are employed on the construction of the new
     line are treated most roughly by the Germans and Turks, and that a
     large number are falling ill from dysentery and filling the
     military hospitals at Aleppo. Those who have not been attacked by
     dysentery have fallen victims to other diseases, resulting from bad
     food, rough treatment, and overwork.

     "One of the tricks adopted by the Germans and Turks, in order to
     throw dust in the eyes of the British regarding the treatment of
     prisoners, was the honour paid to General Townshend, who was
     returned his sword and accorded the best treatment possible. They
     brought him to Constantinople, and made him write a letter of
     thanks for the good treatment he and his men had received at the
     hands of the Turks.

     "General Townshend did not know at the time he wrote this letter
     what misery and hardship were awaiting his unhappy troops."

I may here quote in support of my contention one of the foremost living
European authorities on Near Eastern affairs, and one who certainly will
not be suspected of anti-Turkish prejudices--I mean Colonel Sir Mark
Sykes, M.P. Addressing a meeting at Kew on January 17, 1917 (I quote
from _The Near East_ of January 19, 1917), Sir Mark said--

     "The Turk, who in the last ten years had thrown back to the
     primitive Turanian Conqueror, was not content with dominating, but
     was now engaged in exterminating the Armenian, the Syrian
     Christian, and the Arabs, and was even now beginning to bully the
     Jews. The Turk had overthrown Islam as Prussia had overthrown
     Christianity. Prussia had replaced God by Thor and the Cross by
     his hammer. The Turk had replaced Mohammed by Oghuz and Allah by
     the "White Wolf" of the primitive Turks. No belief was to be placed
     in that cloak of chivalry under which in exceptional cases the Turk
     tried to hide his abominable acts.[12] He might treat General
     Townshend well; but how was he treating the thousands of Indians
     and Englishmen in his hands? If it were possible that the
     Teuton-Turanian federation of violence could win this war it would
     be twenty generations before mankind regained its liberty."


[9] Since this chapter was written, the following authoritative and
important piece of evidence on this much-debated subject has appeared in
_The Weekly Dispatch_ of March 4, 1917, from the pen of General Sir
O'Moore Creagh, V.C.--

" ... I have experience of the Turk. He is a merciless oppressor, whose
real character is often hidden behind a pleasant manner, and who is
ready to cut your throat with a sort of savage courtesy. Appeal to his
fanaticism, and in the trenches he has no fear of death; but he is very
subject, in case of reverse, to cowardly panic, which to a considerable
extent detracts from his worth as a soldier....

"I know some of our men who have met the Turk both on the Tigris and in
Gallipoli speak of him as a clean fighter. Certainly when he meets his
match he fights fairly enough, but when he is an easy victor he is
remorseless and merciless; and robs, murders, and ravishes with the
unrestrained savagery which lies at the base of his character. The
British prisoners taken by the Turk in the present war have been
disgracefully treated, and, as we know, denied clothing, medicine, and
the ordinary necessaries of life, starved, and even refused shelter in
extremes of heat and cold. The people who are always ready to praise the
Turk as a clean fighter should remember that he has a lot to answer for
in the present war."

[10] See Appendix, p. 188.

[11] See Sir Edwin Pears's article in _The Contemporary Review_, October
1916. (I note this with the deepest regret, for Armenians are under a
heavy debt of gratitude to Sir Edwin Pears for his generous and
authoritative defence of their cause in the past.)

[12] In reply to a question by Colonel Yate in the House of Commons on
February 12, 1917: "Mr. Hope said repeated representation had been made
to the Turkish Government to allow U.S. representatives to visit the
camps, but up to now without success. Efforts, however, would be
continued. Information had reached the Government that the conditions
under which officers were interned were fairly satisfactory, but the
condition of other prisoners was deplorable."--_Evening Standard._

_Truth_ says, in its issue of February 21, 1917: "I have in my
possession a letter written last autumn by a British Army officer, one
of the defenders of Kut, who was then at a place called Vozga, 160 miles
from Tigris Valley railhead. The unfortunate prisoner complains bitterly
of the privations which he and others have to endure at the hands of the



The exaggerated panegyrics on the virtues of the Turk, while the Turk is
at war with England and her Allies and Turkish emissaries are busy
making all the mischief they can among loyal subjects of the British
Empire, exploiting religion as a weapon of squalid intrigue, point to
the existence of influences which have been at work ever since Turkey
joined the war, to screen from public view and to palliate the enormity
of Turkish perfidy in making common cause with England's enemies in the
hour of England's difficulty. These same influences seem to regard with
disfavour the growth of Anglo-Russian friendship and would apparently
not be sorry to see some hitch or other occur that would weaken or
endanger the permanence of that friendship.

This may be an unfounded assumption, and I hope it is. But if these
pro-Turkish and anti-Russian influences exist in fact, and gain enough
strength to exercise any influence on the course of events after the
war, it will be a calamity for the smaller nations of the Near and
Middle East, and in fact for all Asia. It will be a hindrance and a
deterrent to the tranquillity and development that has been so long
denied to these regions. Close and cordial friendship between England
and Russia are almost as indispensable a condition of life and growth
and progress to these backward countries as light and heat. It is
scarcely for me to say that it is also necessary for the future peace of
Asia and the world. The unnatural and unfounded mutual distrust that
shadowed Anglo-Russian relations throughout almost the whole of the past
century has been chiefly responsible for the woes and miseries of the
peoples of the Near East, Moslems as well as Christians. It has kept
back the clock of progress and civilization for at least fifty years. We
have felt its effect in our daily lives and regard any prospect of its
return with the utmost apprehension and regret. Pan-Turanian intrigues
under the cloak of Pan-Islamism will not end with the war. They will be
continued after the war by their protagonists, whose chief concern is,
not the interests of the Mohammedan religion, but the unscrupulous
exploitation of religious sentiment for personal ends, and the
disturbance of the tranquillity and ordered government which in the
present chaotic state of these countries are only possible under the
strong and just arm of British, Russian, or French protection. Any
weakening in Anglo-Russian friendship would give these intriguers their
chance, of which they would not be slow to take the fullest advantage,
with injurious consequences to the countries concerned and to the
general interests of peace. The best elements of Islam, and specially
the peasant populations which form the vast majority of the Moslem
world, know and have proved by their loyalty that they have nothing to
fear from Britain, Russia and France, who have always not only
respected, but fostered their religious interests and given them, in
addition, the inestimable blessings of freedom, justice, security and
prosperity such as they could never expect to enjoy under any other

It is idle to pretend that any subject race loves any form of
domination for its own sake. But many races and countries in Asia and
Africa are so situated that independence is beyond the bounds of
practicability. Any change would result in an exchange of one domination
for another. Some forms of domination are sincerely welcomed because, as
against the evil of domination, they have not only conferred upon the
peoples under their rule benefits and blessings which they themselves
could not possibly have achieved, but have allowed them freedom of
development on their national lines. Such in varying degrees is the
nature of British, French, Russian, and I may add, Dutch dominion over
the alien races under their rule. What has Turkish domination been to
its subject races? An unmitigated curse to Christian, Moslem and Jew
alike, with this difference, that while the Moslem and Jew have been
reduced by merciless taxation and robbery to extreme poverty, the
Christian races have been bled almost to death. The Turks have
deliberately fostered the criminal propensities of large sections of
their people and encouraged their free indulgence to check the growth
and progress of the moral and civilizing elements in their dominions. If
some of the Moslems of India, Egypt or Tunis, whose sympathy with the
Turks on religious grounds every one will understand and respect, would
live under Turkish rule for a few months, I have no doubt they would be
completely cured of their love for the Turk as such, hasten back to
their homes and beg the British and the French to remain in their
countries for ever. Similarly, if it were possible for the most rabid
pro-Turks in this or any European country to live some time under the
Turk, disguised as Armenians or Syrians, they would also be cured and
more than cured of their admiration for the Turk; then only would they
come to understand his real nature.

The following account of the experiences of some Indian pilgrims at
Kerbela at the outbreak of war, which appeared in _The Times_ of June 6,
1916, bears out my contention--

     "The Bombay Government have published the story of an Indian Moslem
     pilgrim, Zakir Husain, who recently escaped from Kerbela (Baghdad
     Vilayet), whither he went on pilgrimage with his mother and sister
     in the summer of 1914.

     "Zakir Husain states that after the outbreak of war all routes
     homewards were blocked, and the many Indian pilgrims at Kerbela
     were subjected to the utmost discomfort and cruelty. The Turkish
     authorities issued orders that the goods and women of Indians were
     the legal property of those who plundered them. Their houses were
     searched, their goods taken, and dozens of Indians were arrested
     and deported to the Aleppo side, while their families and children
     were left in Kerbela.

     "Throughout these fourteen months," he continued, "we never got
     meals more than once a day. We could not get any work, and
     consequently we had to beg from door to door in order to get a few
     scraps of bread to eat, and the state of the women and children was
     worse even than that of the men. For a man to be an Indian was
     considered a sufficient reason by Turks to torture and imprison
     him. We protested that we were Moslems, but they never paid heed.
     They themselves are no Moslems, and do not act according to the
     precepts of Islam. According to what I heard, the Indians in
     Nejef, Kazimain, and Baghdad have also been treated in the same
     cruel way as we were; hundreds have been deported and their houses

The following from _The Times_ of December 26, 1916, is another
illustration of the way Turks treat Moslems of another race who refuse
to become the blind slaves of their political madness--

     "Emir Faisal, commander of the Arabian forces in the vicinity of
     Medina, has telegraphed to Mecca stating that the Turks have hanged
     and crucified and employed every species of barbarity against the
     population of Medina."

Turn now from that picture to the following appeal made to Armenians by
one of their principal Tiflis daily papers, _Mschak_ (Labourer), of May
16, 1915--

     "To-day the Moslem Benevolent Society is organizing a collection
     for building and maintaining a shelter for the children of the
     (Moslem) refugees. War causes suffering to the population of the
     country without distinction of race or creed. Moslems as well as
     Christians have to face the effects of the war, therefore the
     scheme of the Moslem Benevolent Society to establish a shelter for
     the children of Moslem refugees is deserving of all sympathy and
     support. We are convinced that the Armenian community also, having
     in mind the universal idea of humanity, will take part in the
     collection and do their duty as a humane people and good

These incidents, small in themselves, bring into strong relief the
difference between the mentality and degree of civilization of the two
races. The Armenian appeal on behalf of refugee Moslem children at a
time when one half of their own race was in the throes of the most
ferocious of the numerous attacks made upon its existence, is also
incidentally a reply, more trenchant than the most eloquent argument in
words, to those pro-Turks who have from time to time expressed fears for
the rights of the Turks, Kurds, Tcherkesses, Kizilbashis, etc., in an
autonomous Armenia. Such a fear is either due to ignorance of the
characteristics of the races concerned, or to prejudice. It is
inconceivable that any Armenian Government would tolerate, much less
impose upon orderly and good citizens, an injustice which Armenians
have themselves endured and struggled against for generations, and which
is, for that reason, abhorrent to their very nature. A study of the
Armenian Church organization will prove to the most sceptical that the
Armenian temperament is essentially democratic. In the smallest village
the candidate for priesthood must be elected by a vote of the
inhabitants before he can be ordained by the bishop of the diocese. The
Armenian deputies in the Russian State Duma as well as the late members
of the Ottoman Parliament are and were supporters of the Progressives.
Armenians who have risen to positions of influence in the service of
foreign countries have invariably used their influence in the cause of
progress. General Loris Melikoff as Minister of the Interior had
actually prepared a scheme for the reform of the Government of Russia
when his Imperial Master, the Czar Alexander II, died, and the scheme
was shelved. Nubar Pasha, the famous Egyptian-Armenian statesman, for
many years Prime Minister, was largely responsible for the abolition of
the _corvée_ in Egypt, and the introduction of many other reforms. The
writer of Nubar Pasha's biography in the _Encyclopædia Britannica_,
referring to his substitution of Mixed Courts in place of the
"Capitulations," says (Eleventh Ed., Vol. 19, p. 843), "That in spite of
the jealousies of all the Powers, in spite of the opposition of the
Porte, he should have succeeded, places him at once in the first rank of
statesmen of his period." Prince Malcolm Khan, for some years Persian
Minister in London, sowed the first seeds of constitutional government
in Persia, for the defence of which another Armenian, Yeprem Khan, laid
down his life while leading the constitutional struggle against Mohamed
Ali Shah. The first constitution of the Ottoman Empire, known as the
Midhat Constitution, was largely the work of Midhat Pasha's Armenian
Under-Secretary, Odian Effendi. These are but a few outstanding
instances. It must appear inconceivable to right-minded men that a race
with such a past record, achieved under all sorts of handicaps, will
either establish a régime of tyranny over other races or prove incapable
of self-government after a transition period under European advisers, as
is alleged by some.



Although the Allies have declared in their reply to President Wilson
that one of their aims is "the liberation of the peoples who now lie
beneath the murderous tyranny of the Turks," no official or
authoritative statement has yet been made by the Allied Governments as
regards the precise future status of Armenia. Mr. Asquith in his
Guildhall speech spoke of "reparation and redemption." M. Briand in a
letter to M. Louis Martin, Senator of the Var, published in the _Courier
du Parlement_ (Paris) of November 12, 1916, says: "When the hour for
legitimate reparation shall have struck, France will not forget the
terrible trials of the Armenians, and, in accord with her Allies, she
will take the necessary measures to ensure for Armenia a life of peace
and progress." M. Anatole France, in his speech at the great "Homage à
l'Arménie" meeting in the Sorbonne in April 1916, used these words:
"L'Arménie expire, mais elle renaitra. Le peu de sang qui lui reste est
un sang précieux dont sortira une postérité héroïque. Un peuple qui ne
veut pas mourir ne meurt pas. Après la victoire de nos armées, qui
combattent pour la liberté, les Alliés auront de grands devoirs a
remplir. Et le plus sacré de ces devoirs sera de rendre la vie aux
peuples martyrs, a la Belgique, a la Serbie. Alors ils assureront la
sureté et l'independance de l'Arménie. Penchés sur elle, ils lui diront:
'Ma soeur, lève toi! ne souffre plus. Tu es désormais libre de vivre
selon ton genie et foi!'"[13]

M. Paul Deschanel, the President of the French Senate, and M. Painlevé,
Minister of Public Instruction, spoke in more or less similar terms.

The most recent authoritative reference to Armenia--and one which is of
special importance, coming as it does from a member of the Inner Cabinet
or War Council--is Mr. Arthur Henderson's statement in his conversation
with the correspondent of the _New York Tribune_, reported in _The
Times_ of January 8, 1916, as follows: "Speaking of the part of Turkey
in the war, Mr. Henderson said that though Armenian atrocities were not
much talked about here, they had undoubtedly made a deep impression on
the minds of the working population, who, he thought, were determined
that never again should a Christian nation be under the yoke of the
Turk." These are comforting words indeed to Armenians, as were those of
Mr. Asquith at the Guildhall. Nothing could give the Armenian people
more comfort and hope for the future than this assurance of the British
working man's sympathy--of which they never had any doubt--and his
determination to see them freed from the Turkish yoke once and for all.

But here again Mr. Henderson--no doubt for very good reasons--gave no
intimation of the intentions of the British or Allied Governments
concerning the new status of Armenia after its liberation from the
Turkish yoke.

It has been suggested that American opinion would favour annexation by
Russia as a means of putting an end to Turkish atrocities and
misgovernment of Armenia. This reading of American opinion is not
supported by President Wilson's statement in his historic speech to the
Senate that "no right anywhere exists to hand peoples from sovereignty
to sovereignty as if they were property." All the Allied countries, and
probably all neutrals, are determined to see the end of the Turkish
reign of terror in Armenia. But _annexation_ by Russia or any other
Great Power, before the blood is dry of hundreds of thousands of
Armenians sacrificed for their faith and passionate adherence to their
ideal of nationality, must seem particularly unjust to all fair-minded
men in all countries, especially the great American democracy, who
themselves put an end to misgovernment of a much milder kind in Cuba,
but did not annex it. Indeed, having herself, jointly with her Allies,
solemnly laid down the "recognition of the principle of nationalities"
as one of the terms of peace stated in the Allied Note to President
Wilson, it seems unthinkable that Russia, on her part, would entertain
the intention of _annexing_, and especially of annexing a country and
people who have paid a terrible price largely on account of their
sympathy with and support of the Allied cause, and rendered services the
value of which Russia herself has generously recognized.

It is argued in some quarters that the Armenian highlands are a
strategic necessity to Russia. There is a "scrap of paper" ring in such
an argument, and I for one cannot believe that the justice-loving
Russian people would allow such considerations to override a solemn
pledge and the principle of common justice. An Allied protectorate with
Russia acting as their mandatory would place these strategically
important regions under practically as effective a Russian control as
outright annexation, while it would have the additional advantages of
giving real effect to the "recognition of the principle of
nationalities," and avoiding injustice, injury and affront to the
national sentiment of a people which has endured such grievous
sufferings and sacrifices to uphold that sentiment.

As I write, two important references to the future of Armenia have
appeared in the Press. One in the _Manchester Guardian_--that old
and constant champion of wronged and suffering humanity--quoted
by _The Times_ of December 30, 1916, as follows: "Another word
remains--Armenia--a word of ghastly horror, carrying the memory of deeds
not done in the world since Christ was born--a country swept clear by
the wholesale murder of its people. To Turkey that country must never
and under no circumstances go back...."

The other reference is made by the _Spectator_ in its issue of December
30, in a leading article entitled "The Allied Terms." It says--

     "The process of freeing nationalities from oppression must be
     applied organically to the Turkish Empire. The Armenians, or what
     remains of the race, whose agonized calls for help and mercy have
     been heard even through the din of the present war, will probably
     have to be placed under the tutelage of Russia. They could not
     stand alone among the Kurds."

If by "Russian tutelage" the _Spectator_ means the setting up of a
self-governing Armenia under Russian suzerainty, that would amount, in
my opinion, to the approximate realization of the hopes and aspirations
of the Armenian people, provided that by "Armenia" is understood the six
vilayets and Cilicia; provided also that Great Britain and France
retained the rights of Protecting Powers as in the case of Greece.
Anything short of this, any parcelling out of Armenia, either by
annexation or "tutelage" of different parts under different Powers,
would not only be irreconcilable with the "recognition of the principle
of nationalities" which the Allies have solemnly declared to be one of
their principal aims and terms of peace; it would imply an outrage upon
the ideal of nationality which is the ruling passion of Armenians
everywhere. Lynch, the great Armenian authority, has called the
Armenians "the strongest nationalists in the world." This ideal of
nationality has grown stronger, more alive and resolute than ever by
their services and unimaginable sufferings and sacrifices in the war.
"The little blood that is left them" has become doubly and trebly
precious to the survivors. They rightly feel that they have established,
and more than established, their title to autonomy and a strong claim
upon the whole-hearted support of the Allied Powers to enable them to
stand on their feet again and make a fair start on the road to
nationhood. If Armenia is cut up and parcelled out without regard for
this fervent living sentiment of Armenian nationalism, and their high
hopes and expectations are dashed to the ground, it will conceivably
engender in all Armenians a deep sense of wrong and injustice, an
intense discontent with the new order of things, that are not likely to
conduce to that contentment and that smoothness of relations between the
governors and the governed that are the essentials and the fundamental
preliminary steps towards setting these much-troubled regions on the
road towards good government, progress and civilization.

The "principle of nationalities" and of "government by the consent of
the governed" will be applied all along the line: Belgium,
Alsace-Lorraine, Serbia, Poland, Bohemia, Transylvania, Arabia, Syria,
Palestine, will have restored to them or will be granted the forms of
government most acceptable to the peoples concerned. These true and
righteous principles, which will herald the dawn of universal justice
and morality in the treatment of their weaker brethren by the Great
Powers of Europe, will cease to operate only when Armenia comes to be
dealt with. Armenia alone, who has suffered the most tragic, the most
grievous and heartrending Calvary, shall be denied an Easter. Why?
Because the Armenian people have lost too much blood; because they have
paid too high a price for their fidelity to their faith, the
preservation of their distinctive national life and their strong support
of the Allied cause. That would be an unspeakably cruel and bitter
climax to the unending nightmare of Turkish tyranny, the Great Tragedy
and martyrdom of the Armenian people. It will be nothing less than a
confirmation of the death sentence passed by Abdul Hamid and the Young
Turks on the ideal of Armenian nationality.

Let those who speak lightly of _annexation_ by Russia put themselves in
the place of the tens of thousands of Armenians who have lost wife and
children, sons, brothers, fathers, near or distant relatives, both in
massacre as well as in what they understood to be a sacred struggle for
liberty, to say nothing of their complete economic ruin. They would be
much more or much less than human if they did not feel a deep and
smarting sense of wrong at seeing all their appalling sacrifices and
important services result in a mere exchange of the _Kaimakam_ for the
_Chinovnik_. It is far indeed from my purpose to put the two types of
official and the respective systems of government they represent on the
same level. They differ as day from night. In my opinion and to my
knowledge the vast majority of Armenians will welcome Russian suzerainty
with sincere satisfaction. But, after the ordeal of blood and fire
through which they have passed, they must feel, as I believe they do
feel with ample justification, that they have a right to a voice and a
liberal measure of participation in the government of their own country.

I cannot do better than quote here a passage from Mr. Gladstone's great
speech on the Treaty of Berlin, which is applicable to Armenia, and than
which there could be no wiser, more just or authoritative guidance for
the formation of a sound and just view on the Armenian and kindred

     "My meaning, Sir, was that, for one, I utterly repelled the
     doctrine that the power of Turkey is to be dragged to the ground
     for the purpose of handing over the Dominion that Turkey now
     exercises to some other great State, be that State either Russia or
     Austria or even England. In my opinion such a view is utterly
     false, and even ruinous, and has been the source of the main
     difficulties in which the Government have been involved, and in
     which they have involved the country. I hold that those provinces
     of the Turkish Empire, which have been so cruelly and unjustly
     ruled, ought to be regarded as existing, not for the sake of any
     other Power whatever, but for the sake of the populations by whom
     they are inhabited. The object of our desire ought to be the
     development of those populations on their own soil, as its proper
     masters, and as the persons with a view to whose welfare its
     destination ought to be determined."

It may be argued that things have changed since 1878. The answer to that
is that principles are immutable. The only change is the cruel reduction
of the Armenian population. I ask, first of all: "Is it fair and right
and just that we should suffer massacre and persecution for generations,
and when the time for reparation comes, should be penalized because so
many of us have been massacred?" Secondly, it should not be forgotten
that although the Armenian element of the population has been reduced,
the Turks and Kurds have also suffered very considerable losses.
Thirdly, the Armenians are much more advanced intellectually to-day than
they were forty years ago, while their neighbours--Turks, Kurds, and
others--are stagnating in the same primitive state as they were
forty--or, for that matter, four hundred--years ago. Another
circumstance which adds materially to the chances of success of an
autonomous Armenia is the existence of a number of nourishing Armenian
communities of various sizes in other countries--in the Russian Caucasus
and the Russian Empire, Persia, the United States, Egypt, the Balkans,
France, Great Britain, India, Java, etc.--which are at the present time
looking forward with enthusiasm and readiness for sacrifice, to "do
their bit" in the sacred work of the reconstruction of their stricken
and beloved Motherland.

Coming to the _Spectator's_ contention that "they (the Armenians) could
not stand alone against the Kurds," I can assure the _Spectator_ that
there is no cause whatever for apprehension on that score, if only the
Russian Government and Army authorities will agree to allow the
Armenians to organize under their guidance and supervision, immediately
after the war, a number of flying columns from among discharged Armenian
volunteers and soldiers in the regular army, for the specific purpose of
carrying out a "drive" from one end of the country to the other and
disarming the Kurds. The Armenian volunteers, of whom I speak in another
chapter, have had a good deal of fighting to do with the Kurds during
the war and have proved more than their match, in many cases against
superior numbers.

The prevailing erroneous belief that the Armenians "could not stand
alone among the Kurds" has its origin in the fact that for centuries (up
to 1908) Armenians have been an easy prey to the Kurds by reason of
their being prohibited to possess or carry arms on pain of death, while
the Kurds were supplied with arms from the government arsenals, and
encouraged and supported in every way by the central government to
harass the Armenians. What chance would the bravest people in the world
have under such circumstances? Since 1908, when the prohibition of
carrying arms by Christians was relaxed, it is a well-known fact,
attested by European travellers, that Kurds never attacked Armenian
villages which they knew to be armed. Zeytoon and Sassoon have
demonstrated beyond question that when Armenians have met Turks on
anything like equal terms, they have proved their match. These isolated,
compact communities of fearless mountaineers were never entirely
subjugated by the Turks until the outbreak of the present war, when the
Zeytoonlis were overwhelmed by Turkish treachery and the Sassoonlis died
fighting to the last man and woman (_see_ Blue-book, pp. 84 and 87).

In 1905 the Tartars, who are nearly twice as numerous as the Armenians
in the Caucasus, made a sudden attack upon the latter in the Hamidian
style. But thanks to the equity of Russian government, Armenians in the
Caucasus were as free to carry arms as Tartars, so the Tartars soon
regained their "humane sentiments" and offered peace to stop further
bloodshed. I would recommend those who entertain any fears of Armenians
being able to defend themselves against Kurds or Tartars to read
Villari's _Fire and Sword in the Caucasus_ and Moore's _The Orient

At all events Europe will not be taking any risk in giving the Armenians
the opportunity of proving that they can "make good" in spite of the
Kurds, and also, as we hope, can gradually civilize the Kurds and other
neighbouring backward races.[14]

As far as I know (in fact I have no doubt about it), Armenians are
prepared to take the risk of "standing alone among the Kurds", provided
that the Entente Powers afford them the necessary assistance during the
first few years of reconstruction and initiation, and above all,
provided that they enjoy the whole-hearted and benevolent good-will of
Russia, for which, it is as certain as anything human can be, their
great protector and neighbour will reap a rich harvest in the future--as
rich a harvest as that which Britain is reaping to-day for her act of
justice and statesmanship in South Africa.


[13] "Armenia is dying, but she will be born again--the little blood
that is left to her is the precious blood from which will arise a heroic
posterity. A people that refuses to die will not die. After the victory
of our armies, which are fighting for justice and liberty, the Allies
will have great duties to fulfil. And the most sacred of these duties
will be to bring back to life the martyred peoples, Belgium and Serbia.
Then they will assure the security and independence of Armenia. Bending
over her they will say to her: 'Rise, sister! suffer no more. Henceforth
you are free to live according to your genius and your faith!'"

[14] Armenians have from time to time opened schools for Kurdish
children, but their efforts were not successful, mainly owing to the
unfriendly attitude of the Turkish authorities.



I have spoken earlier in these pages of the services of the Armenians to
the Allied cause in the war. What are these services?

The Armenian name has been so long and so often associated with massacre
that it has given rise to the general but utterly unfounded belief by
those who have not gone deeper into the matter, that Armenians are
devoid of physical courage and allow themselves to be butchered like
sheep.[15] Where this belief is not based upon ignorance of the facts
and circumstances, it is, I am bound to say, a particularly dastardly
piece of calumny upon a people who have groaned for centuries under a
brutal tyrant's heel, with an indomitable spirit that has ever been and
is even to-day the Turk's despair. The struggle that has gone on for
five or six centuries between Armenian and Turk symbolizes, perhaps
better than any event in history, the invincibility of the spirit of
Christianity and liberty and the ideal of nationality against
overwhelming odds of ruthless tyranny, the savagery of the Dark Ages and
the unscrupulous and mendacious exploitation of religious passion. That
struggle has been as unequal as can well be imagined, but we have not
permitted the forces of darkness to triumph over the spirit of Light and
Liberty, though the price paid has come very near that of our
annihilation. Nevertheless, we have been able, in this world-wide
struggle, not dissimilar to our own long struggle in the moral issues
involved, to render services to the cause of the Allies, which is the
cause of Right and Justice, and therefore our cause also, quite out of
proportion, in their effect, to our numbers as a race or our
contribution of fighting men as compared with the vast armies engaged,
although that contribution has been by no means negligible.

On the eve of Turkey's entry into the war the Young Turks employed
every conceivable means--persuasion, cajolery, intimidation, the promise
of a large autonomous Armenia, etc.--to induce the Armenian party
leaders to prevail upon the Russian Armenians to join themselves in a
mass rally to the Turkish flag against Russia. They sent a number of
emissaries to Russian Armenia with the same object. The Turk must have a
peculiar understanding of human nature, and not much sense of humour, to
have the _naïveté_ to make such overtures to Armenians after having
persecuted and harried and massacred them for centuries. All the
Armenian leaders promised was a correct attitude as Ottoman subjects.
They would do neither more nor less than what they were bound to do by
the laws of the country. They could not interfere with the freedom of
action of their compatriots in the Caucasus who owed allegiance to
Russia. They kept their promise scrupulously in the first months of the
war. Armenian conscripts went to the dépôts without enthusiasm. How
could it be otherwise? What claim had the Turks upon the sympathy and
support of their Armenian subjects? Is sympathy won by tyranny, or
loyalty bred by massacre? They (the Armenians) were placed in a most
difficult position. They were naturally reluctant to fight against the
Russians, and the position was aggravated by the fact that the Russian
Caucasian army was largely composed of Russian Armenians. But in spite
of these sentimental difficulties, mobilization was completed without
any serious trouble.

Soon, however, Armenians began to desert in large numbers; the Young
Turks had joined the war against their wish and advice; they had not
their heart in the business, and, last, but not least, they were
harried, ill-treated and insulted by their Turkish officers and comrades
at every turn: there were exceptions, of course, but that was the
position generally in the closing months of 1914. Let me add that there
were large numbers of Turkish deserters also, and that the Armenian
leaders did all they could to send the deserters of their own
nationality back to the ranks, doing so forcibly in some cases. Then
came the defeat of the Turks at Sarikamysh and the ejection of Djevdet
Bey and his force from Azerbaijan. On his return to Van, Djevdet Bey
told his friends: "It is the Armenians much more than the Russians who
are fighting us."

The massacres and deportations began soon after the collapse of the
Turkish invasion of the Caucasus and Northern Persia, and it is only
after it was seen clearly that the Turks were determined to deport or
destroy them all that the Armenians in many places took up arms in
self-defence. There was no armed resistance before that, and the Turkish
and German allegations of an Armenian revolt are a barefaced invention
to justify a crime, a tithe of which not one but a hundred revolts
cannot justify or palliate. This is proved beyond all question by Mr.
Toynbee's concise and illuminating historical summary at the end of the
Blue-book on the Treatment of Armenians by the Turks during the war.
There was no revolt. But when the Armenians were driven to self-defence
under the menace of extermination, they fought with what arms they could
scrape together, with the courage of desperation. In Shahin-Karahissar
they held out for three months and were only reduced by artillery
brought from Erzerum. In Van and Jebel-Mousa they defended themselves
against heavy odds until relieved by the Russians and the Armenian
volunteers in the first case, and rescued by French and British cruisers
in the second. The Turkish force sent against the insurgents of
Jebel-Mousa was detached from the army intended for the attack on the
Suez Canal.

Of course ill-armed, poorly equipped bands without artillery, wanting in
almost all necessaries of modern warfare, brave as they may be, cannot
possibly maintain a prolonged resistance against superior forces of
regulars well supplied with artillery, machine-guns and all that is
needed in war. Nevertheless, some of these bands seem to have succeeded
in holding out for many months, and it is believed in the Caucasus that
there are groups of armed Armenians still holding out in some parts of
the higher mountains behind the Turkish lines.[16] It will be
remembered that some weeks ago--I do not recall the date--a
Constantinople telegram reprinted in _The Times_ from German papers
stated that there were 30,000 armed Armenian rebels in the vilayet of
Sivas. This is an obvious exaggeration, and it may simply mean that a
considerable number of Armenians were still defending themselves against
the menace of massacre. When the Russian army entered Trebizond a band
of some 400 armed Armenians came down from the mountains and surrendered
themselves to the Russians. Quite recently a band of seventy men cut
through the Turkish lines and gained the Russian lines in the
neighbourhood of Erzinjian.

The Turks have repeatedly declared that the "Armenian revolt" threatened
to place their army between two fires. The particle of truth that there
is in this assertion is, as may be judged by the facts so far known as
cited above, that the Armenian resistance to massacre and deportation
proved to be more serious than they had anticipated, and that they had
to detach large numbers of troops and in some cases artillery and
machine-guns to keep these "rebels" in check. It is consequently
undeniable that Armenian armed resistance to deportation and massacre
has been a considerable hindrance to the full development of Turkish
military power during the war and has, in that way, been of material,
though, indirect assistance to the Allied forces operating against the
Turks. To this may be added the demoralizing effect that the deplorable
state of affairs created by the Turks in their dominions must have
exercised on the morale of their people.

Such in general outline have been the services of the Turkish Armenians
to the Allied cause. It is not my purpose here to endeavour to appraise
the possibly ill-concealed, but not by any means ostentatious or
provocative, sympathy of the Armenians for the Allies, upon the sinister
designs of the Young Turks. I will content myself with the description
of a significant cartoon that appeared early in the war in the Turkish
comic paper _Karagöz_ in Constantinople. The cartoon depicted two Turks
discussing the war. "Where do you get your war news from?" asked Turk
number one. "I do not need war news," replied Turk number two; "I can
follow the course of the war by the expression on the faces of the
Armenians I meet. When they are happy I know the Allies are winning,
when depressed I know the Germans have had a victory."

The following extract from a dead Turkish officer's notebook, reproduced
in the _Russkaia Viedomosti_ (No. 205), throws some light on the Turkish
estimate of the value of Armenian support in the war. "If our Armenians
had been with us," wrote this Turkish officer, "we would have defeated
the Russians long ago."[17]

The services of the Russian Armenians to the Allied cause, but
principally, of course to the Russian cause during the war, have been of
a more direct and positive character and of far-reaching importance.
They may be divided into two distinct parts, namely, military and
political; and in order the better to explain the full meaning of the
Armenian "strong support of the Russian cause" (in the words of _The
Times_), I will deal with each of the two parts separately.

The Armenian population of Russian Armenia and the Caucasus numbers,
roughly, 1,750,000 souls, and there are probably another 100,000 to
200,000 Armenians scattered over the other parts of the empire. They are
liable to military service as Russian subjects, and it is estimated that
they have given to the Russian army some 160,000 men. Apart from this
not negligible number of men called to the colours in the ordinary
course of mobilization, the Armenians, as a result of an understanding
with the authorities, organized and equipped at their own expense a
separate auxiliary volunteer force under tried and experienced guerilla
leaders, such as Andranik, Kéri and others, to co-operate with the
Caucasian army. This force contained a number of Turkish Armenians,
mostly refugees from previous massacres. Some twenty thousand men
responded to the call for volunteers, though I believe not more than
about ten thousand could be armed and sent to the front. The greatest
enthusiasm prevailed. Armenian students at the Universities of Moscow
and Petrograd and educational institutions in the Caucasus vied with
each other in their eagerness to take part in the fight for the
liberation of their kinsmen from bondage. Several young lady students
offered to enlist, but I believe all but two or three were dissuaded
from taking part in actual fighting. Boys of fourteen and fifteen years
ran away from home and tramped long distances to join the volunteer
battalions. It is recorded that an Armenian widow at Kars, on hearing
that her only son had been killed in battle, exclaimed, "Curse me that I
did not give birth to ten more sons to fight and die for the freedom of
our country."

The volunteer force was not large, but it was a mobile force well
adapted to the semi-guerilla kind of warfare carried on in Armenia, and
the men knew the country. They seem to have done good work as scouts in
particular, though they took part in many severe engagements and were
mentioned once or twice in Russian _communiqués_ as "our Armenian
detachments." Generous appreciation of the services and gallantry of
the volunteers as well as of Armenians in the army has been expressed by
Russian military commanders, the Press, and public men. High military
honours were conferred upon the volunteer leaders, and His Imperial
Majesty the Czar honoured the Armenian nation by his visit to the
Armenian Cathedral in Tiflis, demonstrating his satisfaction with the
part played by Armenians in the war.[18]

There are, of course, many Armenian high officers in the Russian army,
including several generals, but so far they have not had the opportunity
of producing in this war outstanding military leaders of the calibre of
Loris Melikoff and Terkhougasoff. General Samsonoff, "the Russian
Kitchener," was killed early in the war in East Prussia in his gallant
and successful attempt to relieve the pressure on Paris.

The political effect of the strong and enthusiastic support of the
Russian cause by Armenians has been to keep in check the discontented
and fanatical section of the Tartars and other Moslems of the Caucasus,
who would have been disposed to make common cause with the Turks
whenever a favourable opportunity should present itself to do so without
much risk to themselves. The Tartars and other Moslem elements of the
Caucasus are as a whole genuinely loyal to Russia, but the existence of
a minority who would welcome the success of the Turkish invasion cannot
be denied. Some of the Ajars did, in fact, join the Turks during their
invasion of Ardahan.

All things considered, therefore, those who have any knowledge of the
racial and political conditions in the Caucasus will not, I think,
regard it as in any sense an exaggeration to assert that the
whole-hearted support of the Armenians--and I may also add, though in a
lesser degree, the Georgians--has contributed very materially to the
success of Russian arms in the Caucasian theatre of the war. The absence
of that support, or even mere formal or lukewarm support, would not
only most probably have had serious consequences for the Caucasus, it
would have left the whole of Persia at the mercy of the Turks; and who
can say what the consequences of such a catastrophe would have been on
Arabia, Mesopotamia, Afghanistan and even the northern frontiers of
India itself?

Nearly all the able-bodied Armenians in France, between 1000 and 1500
strong, joined the French Foreign Legion quite early in the war. Some
Armenians came from the United States to fight for France. Only some 250
have survived, I understand, most of whom are proud possessors of the
Military Cross.

Propaganda in neutral countries has played an important part during the
war. The just cause of the Allies has had no stauncher supporters or
better propagandists than the hundred and twenty-five thousand or more
Armenians in the United States, while the Great Tragedy of Armenia has
incidentally added to the armoury of the Allies a melancholy but
formidable moral weapon.


[15] Pierre Loti, the well-known French writer, who was an ardent
Turkophile before the war, after adding his quota to the current, and,
one is constrained to say, cheap, comments on the lack of courage and
numberless other failings of the Armenians, adds the following P.S. in
his _Turquie Agonisante_ (pp. 94-95) after a longer sojourn in the
country and closer contact with realities. (I give the translation from
the French.)--

"Before concluding I desire to make honourable, sincere and spontaneous
amends to the Armenians, at least as regards their attitude in the ranks
of the Ottoman Army. This is certainly not due to the protestations
which they have inserted in the Constantinople Press by the power of
gold." [This is a curious admission by Pierre Loti; one of the stock
cries of the Turkophiles is that the Turk is above "bakshish."] "No, I
have many friends among Turkish officers; I have learned from them, and
there can be no doubt, that my earlier information was exaggerated, and
that, notwithstanding a good number of previous desertions, the
Armenians placed under their orders conducted themselves with courage.
Therefore, I am happy to be able to withdraw without _arrière pensée_
what I have said on this subject, and I apologize."

Of all British games and sports Armenians in different parts of the
British Empire, the Dutch Colonies and Persia have manifested a natural
predilection for Rugby Football, in which physical courage comes into
play more than in most other games. In recent years the Armenian College
of Calcutta won the Calcutta Schools' Cup three years in succession,
which gave it the right to retain the trophy. I am glad to see in the
March issue of _Ararat_ that the Boy Scouts of the same college, under
Scoutmaster Dr. G. D. Hope, have won the King's Flag, presented by His
Majesty to the troop having the largest number of King's Scouts in India
and Burmah.

[16] I may here point out that--though it is stated in the admirable
historical summary in the Blue-book (p. 649) that "the number of those
who have emerged from hiding since the Russian occupation is
extraordinarily small"--this number has been growing very considerably
of late, as may be seen from Mr. Backhouse's telegram to the chairman of
the Armenian Refugees (Lord Mayor's) Fund, dated Tiflis, November 27,
1916, published in the newspapers.

[17] Compare an Armenian officer's evidence, Blue-book, p. 231, " ...
they laid the blame for this defeat upon the Armenians, though he could
not tell why."

[18] In an article on "The Armenian Massacres" in the April
_Contemporary Review_, Mr. Lewis Einstein, ex-member of the staff of the
United States Embassy in Constantinople, says: "Talaat attributed the
disasters that befell the Turks at Sarikamish, in Azerbaijan and at Van,
to the Armenian volunteers."



No country and people have suffered so severely from the clash of rival
empires, both in war and diplomacy, as have Armenia and the Armenians,
so far as is known to the recorded history of the world. Her
geographical position has made Armenia the cockpit of ambitious empires
and conquerors, and the highway of their armies in Western Asia, much as
Belgium and Poland have been the battle-grounds of Europe. But whereas
in these European battle-grounds the invading armies have generally
moved east and west only, Armenia has endured the horrors of invasion,
time after time, from north, south, east and west. Then, again, Armenia
being a much older country, the record of her suffering from the
invading armies of her stronger neighbours, "hacking their way" through
her territory, extends over a proportionately longer period than that of
Belgium and Poland. Armenia has been invaded and ravaged in turn by
Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Hittites, Parthians, Macedonians,
Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Tartars and Turks. Only during the
first century B.C. did she succeed in subduing all her neighbours, and
establishing a short-lived empire of her own, extending from the
Mediterranean to the Caspian.

The analogy between Armenia and her European co-sufferers from the ills
of aggressive Imperialism ceases altogether, however, when we come to
the period of Turkish domination. The blood-stained history of that
régime is well enough known. Periodic explosions have reminded Europe of
the existence of the inferno of unbridled lust, corruption and predatory
barbarism which this unhappy people have been fated to endure for
centuries. What has not been brought into sufficient relief is the fact
that this "bloody tyranny" could have long since been brought to an end,
or, at all events, effectively curbed, if it had not been for the
jealousies and rivalries of the great modern Christian empires. The
history of the acts of European diplomacy in regard to Armenia and the
Near East during the last sixty or seventy years is not one of which the
diplomats and statesmen concerned can be particularly proud. Who can
claim for them to-day to have served, in the sum total of their results,
either the interests of the Christian subjects of the Porte, the
progress of civilization, the material interests of the Great Powers
themselves, or the supreme interests of peace?

Mr. Balfour says in his famous Dispatch to the British Ambassador to the
United States that "Turkey has ceased to be a bulwark of peace," thereby
implying, obviously, that Turkey had played that part before. Mr.
Balfour is a great authority on political history, and when he avers
that Turkey has been a "bulwark of peace" she must have filled such a
rôle at some period of her history. But to his Christian subjects, at
any rate, the Turk has never brought peace. He has brought them fire and
sword and a riot of unbridled lust, rapacity, corruption and cruelty
unparalleled even in the Dark Ages. The only peace he has brought them
has been the peace of death and devastation. He has not even left trees
to break the awful silence of desolation which he has spread over this
fair and fertile land once throbbing with human life and activity. That
is the price paid for whatever part Turkey may have played in the past
as a bulwark of international peace. Professor Valran of the University
of Aix-en-Provence estimates the Armenian population of Turkey in the
beginning of the nineteenth century at 5,000,000.[19] The population of
the not too healthy island of Java was the same at the same period.
Under the excellent rule of the Dutch, the population of that island has
grown up to over 35,000,000 during the century. What has become of the
Armenians, one of the most virile and prolific races of the world living
in a healthy country? Let the friends and protectors of the Turk and his
system of government give the answer. In particular let those answer
who, with the Turks' black and bloodstained record of centuries before
them, have, nevertheless, the effrontery to maintain, at this hour of
day, that the Turk has not been given a fair chance. The blood of the
myriads of innocents who have fallen victims to the Turks' incurable
barbarism throughout these centuries, cries aloud against such a brazen
and deliberate travesty of the truth.

One of the principal enactments of the Treaty of Paris was to admit
Turkey into the comity of the Great Powers of Europe. To-day, after a
probation of sixty years, at a fearful cost to her Christian subjects,
it is at last admitted that Turkey has proved herself "decidedly foreign
to Western civilization." Could there be a more crushing condemnation of
the judgment of the statesmen responsible for that treaty in regard to
the Turk? The more one studies the record of the Turk, the more one
marvels at the unbounded confidence placed in his promises of reform by
some of the greatest statesmen of modern times. In vain have I ransacked
the history books in search of an instance where the Turk carried out,
or honestly attempted to carry out, a single one of his numerous
promises of reform. Every one of them was a snare and a pretence
designed merely to oil the wheels of a cunning diplomacy or tide over a
momentary embarrassment. Whether it was the Sultan or Grand Vizier or
Ambassador, whenever the Turk made a promise to improve the lot of his
Christian subjects, he had made up his mind beforehand that that promise
would never be performed.[20]

Since the beginning of last century Russia has been, by reason of her
geographical contiguity, practically the only Power which the Turk has
really feared. In contrast with the near Eastern policies of the Western
Powers, Russian policy has been almost invariably hostile to the Turk
since the days of Peter the Great. Of course, this was not always pure
altruism on the part of the rulers of Russia. But, whatever the motive,
Russian policy certainly coincided absolutely with the interests of
humanity and civilization. And while in the West the policy of
"buttressing the Turk" (in the words of the Bishop of Oxford) often met
with strong opposition among the democracies of England and France,
Russian policy in regard to the Turk has always enjoyed the unanimous
support of the Russian people, who being the Turk's neighbour and having
had several wars with him, knew his true nature from prolonged personal
contact. The one departure from Russia's traditional policy was Count
Lobanoff's regrettable--and I may say inexplicable--refusal to take
joint action with Britain and France to put a term upon the butcheries
of 1895-96, and adopt such effective measures as would perhaps have put
it beyond the power of the Turk to indulge again in his diabolical
orgies of cold-blooded barbarism.

His fear of Russia, which acted as a wholesome restraint upon the
predatory tendencies of the Turk, was weakened by the Treaty of Paris
taking away from Russia her effective protectorate over the Christian
subjects of the Porte, and was removed altogether by the Treaty of
Berlin and the Cyprus Convention. The Turk was quick to understand that
the Western Powers would not permit Russia to intervene on behalf of his
persecuted Christian subjects. He saw that conditions were favourable
for putting into execution his "policy" of getting rid of his Christian
subjects, and he forthwith set to work to carry out his foul project.

Events have proved the Treaty of Berlin to have been the masterpiece of
Bismarck's policy of "divide et impera." It created, as it was designed
to create, a deep and bitter feeling of mistrust and antagonism between
Great Britain and Russia, which gave Germany her chance of gaining a
strong foothold in the Ottoman Empire.

The appearance of Germany upon the scene created new dangers, which
have proved all but fatal to the Armenian people.

The Emperor William II, on his return from his pilgrimage to the Holy
Land, paid a visit to, and fraternized with, the murderer of 250,000
Armenians who had died for the sake of the very Christ from the scene of
whose life the Christian emperor had just returned. This, by the way,
was in characteristic contrast with King Edward's refusal of the
Sultan's offer of his portrait about the same time. This act of the
great and humane English king has touched the hearts of Armenians, who
cherish a deep and reverent affection for his memory.

The result of the Emperor William's visit to Abdul Hamid was the Baghdad
Railway and many other concessions, and no doubt a great scheme of a
future Germano-Turkish Empire in the East.

I believe it was Dr. Paul Rohrbach, the well-known German writer on Near
Eastern affairs, who suggested some years ago that the deportation of
the Armenians from their homes and their settlement in agricultural
colonies along the Baghdad Railway would be the best way to make that
line pay quick and handsome dividends.

Some time ago I read in _The Near East_ the account of a conversation
between an American missionary and a German officer travelling together
in Anatolia. The German officer confessed that what he had seen was
horrible, more horrible than anything he had ever seen before; "but," he
added, "what could we do? _The Armenians were in the way of our military
aims._" Supposing that resistance to massacre by Armenian men was
interpreted by the German agents in Turkey as being "in the way of their
military aims," what possible excuse could there be for the abominable
treatment, the torture, the slaughter, and the driving to misery and
death of hundreds of thousands of women and children? Were they also in
the way of their military aims?

While the Turks were butchering Christians in their hundreds of
thousands, the German Emperor was presenting a sword of honour to the
Sultan of Turkey and showering honours upon Enver Pasha at his
headquarters. While thousands of Christian children and women were
being mercilessly slaughtered and driven to death by Germany's ally, and
their bodies thrown to the wolves and vultures in the Mesopotamian
deserts, the German Government was making provision for the housing and
tuition of thousands of Turkish youths in the technical schools of
Germany to fill the places of the "eliminated" Armenians. What have
Christian Germans to say to all this? Do the Johanniter Knights, of whom
the Kaiser is himself Grand Master, approve of these proceedings? Do
they think that He who said "inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of
these little ones, ye have done it unto Me" knows of any distinction of
race? How can German Christians, from their rulers downwards, face God
and the Son of God in the intimacy of their prayers after sanctioning
these black deeds which are the very negation of God and the teaching of
Christ? Do the rulers of Germany and Turkey and the protagonists of the
Reventlow doctrine believe that empires, railways, or any other schemes
of expansion, built upon foundations of the blood and tears of hundreds
of thousands of human beings, will endure and prosper and bring forth
harvests of plenty and peace and happiness to their promoters, their
children, and their children's children? They are mistaken. My word may
count for naught to the rulers and leaders of mighty states; but it is
true. We are an ancient people. "We have seen empires come and empires
go." We have been ground for centuries in the mill of the ruthless clash
of contending empires; but in spite of our long and bitter sufferings
our belief to-day is as strong as ever in the existence of another mill,
the mill of Divine Justice, which grinds in its own good time, and may
grind slow, but "it grinds exceeding small." Who will doubt or deny that
violence to women and children and unoffending, defenceless men, "every
hair of whose head is numbered," will not be forgiven by their just and
Almighty Creator; that the sacrifice of them for ulterior selfish
objects will not be overlooked? Political and military acts of the
mightiest empires, entailing injustice, violence and suffering to weaker
peoples will bring Nemesis in their train in due course. The idol with
feet of clay, sunk in the blood of innocents, cannot endure. Sooner or
later it must fall.


[19] _Le Sémaphore de Marseille_, November 20, 1915.

[20] I am indebted to my friend Mr. H. N. Mosditchian for the following
account of an incident which throws some light on the ways of the Turk--

"The massacres of Sassoon in 1893-1894, first described at the time by
Dr. Dillon in _The Daily Telegraph_, and the first of the series that
drenched Armenia with the blood of over 200,000 of her sons and
daughters, raised such a cry of horror and indignation throughout the
civilised world that Great Britain, France and Russia, through their
Embassies at Constantinople, prepared a Scheme of Reforms, known as the
Scheme of the 11th of May 1895, and after much difficulty and long
negotiations obtained thereto the approval of Abd-ul-Hamid, 'the Red

"I was with the Patriarch when the Hon. M. H. Herbert, Secretary to the
British Embassy, brought to the Patriarchate the good tidings of the
Sultan's acceptance of the Scheme. Upon his special advice, the
Patriarch sent there and then telegraphic instructions to all the
Armenian Bishoprics in the provinces to chant Te Deums in the churches
and to offer up prayers for the benign and magnanimous Padishah!

"I was again with the Patriarch a day or two after when telegrams began
to pour in from the provinces announcing a fresh outbreak of massacres
throughout the country. I hastened to the Embassies of the Six Great
Powers to give them the appalling news and to ask for their immediate
assistance. As is well known, they did or could do nothing, and the
massacres went on, unchecked and unbridled, assuming every day larger
dimensions and a better organised thoroughness...."

I called on Judge Terrell, the American Ambassador, also. "I am not at
all surprised," said he, "at these fresh massacres. I knew they would be
coming, so much so that the moment I heard that the Sultan was about to
affix his signature to the Scheme of Reforms, I hastened to the Grand
Vezir and insisted upon his sending telegraphic orders to all the Valis
to take good care that no American subject was hurt. The Grand Vezir
protested of course that there was no necessity for such orders inasmuch
as peace and security reigned supreme in all the Vilayets, but I told
him that I knew what was going to happen shortly as well as he did, and
refused to leave until he had despatched the telegrams in my presence."
Judge Terrell then told me that it had long been known to him that the
Valis of all the Vilayets had received standing orders from the Sultan
to massacre the Armenians (_a_) whenever they should discover any
revolutionary movement among them, (_b_) whenever they should hear of a
British, French or Russian invasion of Turkish territory, and (_c_)
_whenever they should hear that the Sultan had agreed to and signed a
Scheme of Reforms_.



To realize, even approximately, the unimaginable barbarities that have
been committed by the Turks during the Great Armenian Tragedy of 1915,
it is necessary to read the Blue-book itself. But the Blue-book is a
bulky volume, and the average man or woman has so many calls on his or
her attention in these stirring and momentous times, that I fear it will
not be read as widely as it deserves to be read in the interests of
humanity, Christianity, and civilization. I have, therefore, thought it
desirable to quote a number of extracts which will give the reader some
idea of the nature and magnitude of the horrors chronicled in that
fearful epic of a nation's martyrdom, in the hope that they may thereby
reach a wider circle of the public.

Apart from giving the reader a general idea of the atrocities
themselves, I have selected and grouped the extracts with the object of
calling attention to the incidental or subsidiary morals and lessons
they convey, which have received little or no notice in the Press
reviews. The Blue-book reveals the spirit, the character and the ideals
which lay hidden under the unattractive outside appearance of the
Armenians, upon which has been based their mostly superficial judgment
of them by European travellers. Often under the influence of a sense of
indebtedness for an escort of Zaptiehs "graciously placed at their
disposal by a kindly vali" (in whose harem were probably languishing a
dozen or more enslaved women), they have seldom paused to understand the
tragedy of the dour, subdued, anxious mien of the Armenian peasant seen
trudging wearily along in the highways and byways of Asia Minor. They
little realized that the Armenian lived under the strain of constant
terrorism; that he never knew when the honour of his wife or sister
might be violently assaulted; when he might be stabbed in the back; when
his cattle might be driven away or his crops burned or stolen. He was
afraid even of a too attractive personal appearance, lest he should
excite the cupidity and jealousy of his Turkish neighbour. If he fell
upon his persecutor and slew him in defence of the honour of his
womenfolk, it meant the wiping out not only of his family but of his
whole village. His own government was his deadly enemy, bent upon his
destruction. This has been the tragedy of the Armenian's life for
generations. It has been little known in the West because Armenia is a
long way off, and few European travellers have stopped to look below the
surface. He has lived with the _yatagan_ hanging over his head, like the
sword of Damocles, from birth to death. Virile, industrious, patient,
long-suffering, but never despondent, he has clung to his faith, his
soil, his ancient culture, his nationality and ideals of civilization
with a tenacity that centuries of "bloody tyranny" have tended only to
steel more and more. That he has succeeded in preserving the ideals
which have cost his nation such heartbreaking sacrifices is abundantly
proved by the Blue-book. Here is one evidence: "Mr. Yarrow, seeing all
this, said, 'I am amazed at the self-control of the Armenians, for
though the Turks did not spare a single wounded Armenian, the Armenians
are helping us to save the Turks'" (p. 70).

But of all the tales of calm, dignified heroism in face of death
recorded in the Blue-book, W. Effendi's letter (p. 133, and 504 of the
Blue-book) written on the eve of his, his young wife's and infant
child's deportation to what he knew to be certain death, will ever stand
out as an impressive example of the noblest heroism, the highest
conception of the teaching of Christ and a complete triumph of the
spirit, unsurpassed in the annals of Christian martyrdom. "May God
forgive this nation all their sin which they do without knowing," wrote
this true follower of Christ, while he was making ready for his and his
loved ones' journey to sorrow and death. It recalls the story of St.
Stephen's martyrdom. W. Effendi's letter and Nurse Cavell's immortal
words, "patriotism is not enough," strike me as the two most remarkable
utterances delivered spontaneously by heroic spirits in proof of the
bankruptcy of the "frightfulness" to which they were on the point of
falling victims.

There was a short notice in _Truth_ of January 31, 1917, in connection
with Armenia Day which contained the following remark: "Some people
despise these 'eleventh Allies' as a mercenary race, but others, like
Mr. Noel Buxton, depict them in a much more attractive light."

With the reader's indulgence I will digress for a moment to deal briefly
with this totally unjustified stigma cast wantonly upon the character of
a sorely tried nation.

In the unoffensive sense of the word the whole human family may be
called "mercenary." I have not met or heard of a race of men in any of
the explored parts of the earth, whatever their colour, creed, or degree
of civilization, who had any conscientious objection to the acquiring of
as much money as they could acquire by legitimate and honourable means.
I do not suppose _Truth_ itself is dispensing its very helpful "Rubber
tips" week by week solely for the good of humanity. But if it is
asserted that the Armenian race puts the love of gold before everything
else in life, such an assertion at this juncture is a particularly
ill-timed, offensive and unworthy aspersion. A mercenary race, forsooth!
If the Armenian race had valued gold above its loyalty to its faith and
nationality; if it had attached greater value to material prosperity
than to spiritual ideals and principles, it would have accepted Islam
centuries ago--Heaven knows the temptation was great--and won a
predominant position for itself in Asia Minor. It would be counted
to-day not by two or three, but by twenty or thirty millions. But under
the longest and bloodiest pressure endured by any people in history,
culminating almost in its extermination, it refused to sell its soul.

Thousands of Armenians could have saved their lives by feigning to
accept Islam, but, with few exceptions, they refused to commit even
that measure of spiritual dishonesty, which would perhaps not have been
considered unpardonable under the circumstances. There is scarcely any
instance of an Armenian woman trafficking her honour for money; which
is, perhaps, the most eloquent refutation of the calumny.

What good object has _Truth_ served by giving currency in its columns to
this libel against an oppressed people, almost wiped out because of its
Christian faith and its sympathy for and support of the Allied cause?
Even if there were the remotest justification for it one would have
thought that _Truth_ would have shrunk, at this dark and bitter hour,
from adding insult to the agony of a people plunged into sorrow and
mourning for the loss of half its number. But the assertion that the
Armenians are a mercenary race is not true. It is part of the propaganda
carried on by a very few people who are either blinded by unreasoning
prejudice, or have some special purpose to serve, or believe that they
are discharging some kind of duty by whitewashing the Turk and
blackening the Armenian. I believe that these admirers of the votaries
of "bloody tyranny" on the Bosphorus are very few indeed in this
country. Whoever they are and whatever their motives, conscious of my
obligations to the generous hospitality of this country--for which I
cannot be too grateful--but taking my stand on the broader ground of
Humanity, I wish to say to them, "Though you are in Great Britain, you
are not of it; though this great, humane and Christian country may be
your physical home by accident of birth, you will find your congenial
'spiritual home' in the offices of Count Reventlow and the _Tanine_.
Charity, after all, is a matter between a man and his conscience and his
God. If you cannot give your money to a starving woman or child without
massacring them morally, while the Turk is taking their life, pray spare
your money and let the Armenian die; it will please the Turk and his
allies. Perhaps it would be more in harmony with your sentiments and
political faith to lend your money to your friend the Turk. When the war
is over he may need a fresh supply of arms, for even the tender limbs of
the countless women and children on whom he has practised his
'chivalry' may well have blunted and worn his old stock."

There are mercenary Armenian individuals as there are mercenary persons
in every nation. It may be that, debarred from government posts except
when he was indispensable, the town Armenian in Turkey, like the Greek
and Syrian, has been compelled to direct his energies into commercial
channels in a larger proportion than free and independent nations.
Naturally, also, through generations of ruthless persecution, the
Armenian nation has thrown up a flotsam and jetsam of indigents
wandering far and wide in search of security and the means of earning a
living. But to brand the whole Armenian race as "mercenary" is
malevolent nonsense, or credulity due to a total ignorance of the facts.
Seventy or eighty per cent. of the Armenians in Turkish as well as
Russian Armenia are peasants, farmers and artisans. That is
approximately true also of the Persian Armenians. Even in the United
States the majority of the immigrants have taken to fruit-growing in
California. Armenians who have the means to give their sons a good
education almost invariably make them follow a profession in preference
to commerce, as witness the number of Armenian university professors,
doctors, lawyers and some artists and painters of considerable merit in
the United States.[21] Probably no people have made the sacrifices made
by Armenians, in proportion to their means, for the relief of distress
during the war. There have been a few exceptions among the very rich
whose moral sense has been blunted by luxury and self-indulgence. They
can be counted on the fingers of one hand. They belong to that class of
cosmopolitan financiers and traders who are no more thrilled by the
music of their country's or any country's name; who are unmoved by the
cry of starving women and children of their own or any race; whose home
is the world and whose god is gold; who are no more the masters but the
slaves of money. But this, again, is not peculiar to Armenians; very far
from it. It is a fraternity that embraces members of every, or almost
every, race; and Armenians are barely represented upon it. It is
palpably misleading as it is inaccurate to assert that these represent
the Armenian nation. In fact, as far as my knowledge goes, the masses of
the Armenian people are ashamed of them, because their worship of gold
and vanity are alien to the national spirit, and bring discredit upon
the nation. For generations Armenian educational and religious
institutions have been maintained by voluntary grants; and I do not know
that any European citizen bears a heavier burden for the needs of his
nation than does the individual Armenian.

It must not be supposed from what I have said that all, or the majority,
of rich Armenians have been deaf or indifferent to their country's need.
That would be a mistake and an injustice. On the whole their response to
the call of their afflicted country has been satisfactory, considering
that they had obligations to the belligerent countries to which they
owed allegiance. I know of one contribution of £30,000,[22] while ten
Moscow merchants raised a million roubles between them for their
nation's needs. A prominent Armenian physician has relinquished a large
and remunerative practice at Petrograd to superintend personally the
administration of an orphanage at Erzerum, which he has opened on his
own private account. The Catholicos's palace at Etchmiadzin was
converted into a hospital for refugees in the early months of 1915.
Almost every Armenian peasant family in the Caucasus have housed and
cared for one or more refugees in their humble cottages ever since the
influx of their distressed kinsmen from the other side of the frontier
in the spring and summer of 1915. I have not marshalled these facts in a
spirit of flaunting the virtues of my race--we certainly hold no
monopoly of all the virtues, or indeed of all the vices, to which human
nature is heir--but I know of no better way to disprove the baseless
aspersions assiduously disseminated by some interested people for
purposes of pro-Turkish propaganda and accepted by the credulous as

Lord Bryce has known the Armenian people longer and more intimately than
any eminent European statesman, historian and diplomatist has ever done
before, and his dictum will no doubt be generally accepted as that of a
great and final authority. I therefore make no apology for quoting his
lordship's most recent utterance on the subject reported in the _Journal
of the Royal Society of Arts_, February 2, 1917--

     "Having known a very large number of Armenians, he had been greatly
     struck, not only with their high level of intelligence and
     industry, but also by their intense patriotism. He did not know of
     any people who had shown greater constancy, patience and patriotism
     under difficulties and sufferings than the Armenians. He personally
     had always found them perfectly loyal. He had frequently had
     occasion to give them confidential advice and to trust them with
     secrets, and never on any occasion had he found that confidence
     misplaced.... As a proof of their loyalty and devotion to their
     country he might mention that the Armenians living in America had
     contributed sums enormous in proportion to their number and
     resources, for they were nearly all persons of small means, for the
     relief of the refugees who had been driven out by the Turkish
     massacres. No people during the war had done more in proportion to
     their capacities than the Armenians had done for the relief of
     their suffering fellow-countrymen. A large number of them were also
     fighting as volunteers in the armies of France, where they had
     displayed the utmost courage and valour in the combats before

To return to the extracts from the Blue-book. Group "A" affords a
melancholy abundance of indisputable evidence that it was not Kurds and
brigands alone who did Satan's work in Armenia, but that the chief
culprits were Turkish officials, high and low, officers, soldiers,
gendarmes and rabble; even a member of parliament took a turn! They not
only played the principal part in the vast and revolting carnival of
blood, lust and savagery, but they took a delight and pride in the part
they played, and laughed at the sufferings and tortures of their

Group "B" bears evidence of a heroism and fidelity in torture and death,
to faith, honour and the ideal of nationality, unsurpassed in the
history of mankind, which must redound to the eternal glory of
Christianity and to the honour of the Armenian name. I respectfully
suggest for consideration by the Heads of the Christian Churches that a
day should be fixed to commemorate annually the martyrdom of this vast
number of Armenian Christians.

Group "C" contains proofs of the conduct of insurgent Armenians in the
unequal struggles for self-defence, and it should be remembered that
these are but a few instances, mainly of what was seen or heard of by
foreigners. The ruined towns and villages, the silent fields and
highways of this land of blood and tears, what secrets of desperate
heroism in defence of wife and child, mother and sister, these guard
will probably never be known. Group "C" also contains evidence of the
fact that the Turks had to employ considerable bodies of troops to
overcome the desperate resistance of Armenians in many places, such as
Moush, Sassoon, Van, etc. A third feature in this group is, that the
Turks attributed their defeats in the Caucasus to the Armenians.[24]

Taken together, these extracts, and the Blue-book from which they are
taken, form a better mirror of the characteristics of the two races than
all that has been written on the subject for a century. They show the
radical dissimilarity of their natures, and the vast difference between
the respective stages of civilization in which the two races find

Was it Buddha or Confucius who said that the principal difference
between man and the rest of the animal world is, that man possesses the
feeling of pity for the pain and suffering of his fellow-men or animals?
What would they think of this strange race of human beings who delight
in torture and murder, sparing neither sex nor age, nor even unborn
babes and their mothers; who inflict pain and jeer at their victims?

I remember reading in one of Mr. Lloyd George's speeches not long ago:
"It is not the trials one has to go through in life, but the way one
faces them that matters," or words to that effect. This is as true of
nations as it is of individuals. "In the reproof of chance lies the true
proof of men," and of nations. How has the Armenian nation conducted
itself in this great upheaval and borne the terrible ordeal revealed by
the Blue-book: an ordeal the horror and magnitude of which it is
absolutely beyond the power of the human mind to imagine? The Blue-book
itself furnishes the answer. From the first day of the war, Armenians in
all countries understood the nature of the issues involved. They had no
doubt on which side lay their sympathies, which were never influenced by
the varying fortunes of the war. They were exposed to grave risks and
paid a terrible price. Could there be a better proof of intellectual
rectitude and the sincerity of sentiment? This, I trust, will silence
for ever the dastardly reflections often cast upon the honesty of the
Armenian people. There are some dishonest Armenians as there are some
dishonest men in all nations. But, whether through prejudice, malice, or
ignorance of the facts, to brand as dishonest a whole people who have
been on the Cross for half a millennium for their religion and
patriotism, is unworthy of civilized and right-minded men.

There are two other important facts which the Blue-book establishes
beyond dispute. There was no revolt. Indeed, it would have been sheer
madness on the part of the Armenians to attempt a rising when their
able-bodied manhood was with the colours. The second fact the Blue-book
reveals is, that the Armenian party leaders did their utmost to dissuade
the Young Turks from joining the war. When the veil of war has lifted,
and Europe comes to know more of what took place behind the scenes in
Constantinople prior to Turkey's entry into the war, it will be seen how
near the personal influence and eloquence of the Armenian deputy Zohrab
came to turning the scale against the fateful and suicidal decision.
This brilliant young jurist, an intimate personal friend of Enver and
Talaat who sought his advice almost daily, was murdered by their orders
on the way to Diyarbekir. Armenians have been charged with a lack of
political aptitude as well as with treachery to the Ottoman Empire. I
would specially call the attention of those who hold these
views--Europeans, Moslems, and thinking Turks themselves--to the fact
that, at a time of crisis, it was the Armenians who saw clearly the path
of safety for the empire, and showed their loyalty to it, in spite of
all they had suffered in the past, by their councils of prudence to
which the Young Turks lent a deaf ear.

While on the subject of the Blue-book, I cannot refrain from saying
that I noted with profound regret the distinction that was evidently
made, in many cases, between Catholic and Protestant Armenians on the
one hand, and Gregorians on the other, in the efforts that were made to
save them from massacre or deportation. It is no secret that His
Holiness the Pope and President Wilson intervened through their
representatives in Constantinople, and possibly in Berlin and Vienna, to
stop the massacres. I record this fact with the deepest gratitude. Of
course no such distinction can possibly have been made by the Pope or
President Wilson, or their ambassadors; it was probably due to the
well-meant activities of subordinates or of local European or American

No doubt it was better to save Catholics and Protestants than none at
all, but the very idea of any distinction being thought of, under such
fateful circumstances, is obviously contrary to the spirit of
Christianity, and the passages referring to it make sad reading to a


[21] Visitors to the San Francisco Exhibition will have seen and admired
the work of the Armenian sculptor Haik Partigian, whose exhibits, I am
told by one who saw them, were among the best, if not the best, of all
the exhibits in the Sculpture Section. Russia's great marine painter
Aivazovsky was an Armenian. The recently instituted Society of Armenian
Artists is holding its first exhibition in Tiflis at the time of

[22] It was reported in the Tiflis papers, after the above was written,
that Mr. Mantashian, the Baku oil king, has made a further donation of
£60,000 for agricultural improvements, and offered thirty thoroughbreds
to improve the breed of horses in Armenia.

[23] Some of the most distressing and disgraceful cases of Turkish
bestiality appeared in Doctor (Major) Aspland's report on the hospital
at Van, which was under his charge as representative of the Lord Mayor's
Armenian Relief Fund. Describing some of the individual cases brought to
him for treatment, Dr. Aspland says--

"Here is a young woman leaving hospital to-day, who was raped by eight
Kurds. She has suffered for months, and even now, in spite of
operations, will be crippled for the rest of her life. Here is _a small
girl aged five, similarly treated by Turks_, and is now lying in plaster
of Paris in order to recover from injury to the hip joint."--(_Ararat_,
October 1916, p. 172.)

[24] Compare this with the diary of a Turkish officer, reported in the
_Russkaia Viedomosti_ (p. 75).



_Group A_

"The Archbishop of Erzeroum, His Grace Sempad, who, with the Vali's
authorization, was returning to Constantinople, was murdered at
Erzindjan by the brigands in the service of the Union and Progress
Committee. The bishops of Trebizond, Kaisaria, Moush, Bitlis, Sairt, and
Erzindjan have all been murdered by order of the Young Turk Government"
(p. 23).

"The shortest method for disposing of the women and children
concentrated in the various camps was to burn them. Fire was set to
large wooden sheds in Alidjan, Megrakom, Khaskegh, and other Armenian
villages, and these absolutely helpless women and children were roasted
to death.... And the executioners, who seem to have been unmoved by this
unparalleled savagery, grasped infants by one leg and hurled them into
the fire, calling out to the burning mothers: 'Here are your lions'" (p.

"The Turks boasted of having now got rid of all the Armenians. I heard
it from the officers myself, how they revelled in thought that the
Armenians had been got rid of" (p. 88).

"It was heartrending to hear the cries of the people and children who
were being burnt to death in their houses. The soldiers took great
delight in hearing them, and when people who were out in the streets
during the bombardment fell dead the soldiers merely laughed at them"
(p. 90).

"Every officer boasted of the number he had personally massacred as his
share in ridding Turkey of the Armenian race" (p. 90).

"Mehmed Effendi, the Ottoman deputy for Gendje (Ginj), collected about
forty women and children and killed them" (p. 94).

"Of the other children, a girl was taken away and only escaped many
months later when the Russians came. Very reluctantly she poured out
her story to the Stapletons, from which it appeared that she had been
handed round to ten officers after the murder of her husband and his
mother, to be their sport" (p. 225).

"'See what care the Government is taking of the Armenians,' the Vali
said, and she returned home surprised and pleased; but when she visited
the Orphanage again several days later, there were only thirteen of the
700 children left--the rest had disappeared. They had been taken, she
learnt, to a lake six hours' journey by road from the town and drowned"
(p. 260).

"Sister D. A. was told, at Constantinople, that Turks of all parties
were united in their approval of what was being done to the Armenians,
and that Enver Pasha openly boasted of it as his personal achievement.
Talaat Bey, too, was reported to have remarked, on receiving news of
Vartkes's[25] assassination: 'There is no room in the Empire for both
Armenians and Turks. Either they had to go or we" (p. 261).

"A crowd of Turkish women and children follow the police about like a
lot of vultures, and seize anything they can lay their hands on, and
when the more valuable things are carried out of a house by the police,
they rush in and take the balance. I see this performance every day with
my own eyes" (p. 289).

"It was a real extermination and slaughter of the innocents, an
unheard-of thing, a black page stained with the flagrant violation of
the most sacred rights of humanity, of Christianity, of nationality" (p.

"When the Governor was petitioned to allow the infants to be entrusted
to charitable Moslem families, to save them from dying on the journey,
he replied: 'I will not leave here so much as the odour of the
Armenians; go away into the deserts of Arabia and dump your Armenia
there'" (p. 328).

"P. P., the college blacksmith, was so terribly beaten that a month
later he was still unable to walk. Another was shod with horse-shoes.
At Y., Mr. A. D. (brother-in-law of the pastor, A. E., who suffered
martyrdom at Sivas twenty-one years ago) had his finger-nails torn out
for refusing to accept Islam. 'How,' he had answered, 'can I abandon the
Christ whom I have preached for twenty-years?'" (p. 378.)

"In Angora I learned that the tanners and the butchers of the city had
been called to Asi Yozgad, and the Armenians committed to them for
murder. The tanner's knife is a circular affair, while the butcher's
knife is a small axe, and they killed people by using the instruments
which they knew best how to use" (p. 385).

"The Ottoman Bank President showed bank-notes soaked with blood and
struck through with daggers with the blot round the hole, and some torn
that had evidently been ripped from the clothing of people who had been
killed--and these were placed on ordinary deposit in the bank by Turkish
Officers" (p. 386).

"One girl had hanged herself on the way; others had poison with them.
Mothers were holding out their beautiful babies and begging the
missionaries to take them" (p. 403).

"What was the meaning of all this? It was the deathblow aimed at
Christianity in Turkey, or, in other words, the extermination of the
Armenian people--their extermination or amalgamation" (p. 404).

"During the weary days of travel I had as my companion a Turkish
captain, who, as the hours dragged by, came to look on me with less of
suspicion, growing quite friendly at times. Arrived at ---- the captain
went out among the Armenian crowd and soon returned with an Armenian
girl of about fifteen years. She was forced into a compartment of an
adjoining railway coach, in company with a Turkish woman. When she saw
that her mother was not allowed to accompany her, she began to realize
something of the import of it all. She grew frantic in her efforts to
escape, scratching at the window, begging, screaming, tearing her hair
and wringing her hands, while the equally grief-crazed mother stood on
the railway platform, helpless in her effort to save her daughter. The
captain, seeing the unconcealed disapproval in my face, came up and
said: 'I suppose, Effendi, you don't approve of such things, but let me
tell you how it is. Why, this girl is fortunate. I'll take her home with
me, raise her as a Moslem servant in my house. She will be well cared
for and saved from a worse fate--besides that, I even gave the mother a
lira gold piece for the girl.' And, as though that were not convincing
enough, he added: 'Why, these scoundrels have killed two of our Moslems
right here in this city, within the last few days,' as though that were
excuse enough, if excuse were needed, for annihilating the whole
Armenian race. I could not refrain from giving him my version of the
rotten, diabolical scheme, which, however, fell from his back like
water" (p. 410).

"I learned here, too, of a nurse who had been in one of the mission
hospitals, who two days before my arrival there had become almost crazed
by the fear of falling into the hands of the human fiends, and had
ended her life with poison. Were these isolated or unusual instances, it
would excite no comment in this year of unusual things, but when we know
of these things going on all over the empire, repeated in thousands of
instances, we begin to realize the enormity of the crimes committed. I
spoke again to the captain: 'Why are you taking such brutal measures to
accomplish your aim? Why not accept the offer of a friendly nation,
which offers to pay transportation if you will send these people out of
the country to a place of safety?' He replied: 'Why, don't you
understand, we don't want to have to repeat this thing again after a few
years? It's hot down in the deserts of Arabia, and there is no water,
and these people can't stand a hot climate, don't you see?' Yes, I saw.
Any one could see what would happen to most of them, long before Arabia
was reached" (p. 411).

"Crowds of Turkish women were going about insolently prying into house
after house to find valuable rugs or other articles" (p. 411).

"The nation is being systematically done to death by a cruel and crafty
method, and their extermination is only a question of time" (p. 432).

"Women with little children in their arms, or in the last days of
pregnancy, were driven along under the whip like cattle. Three different
cases came under my knowledge where the woman was delivered on the road,
and because her brutal driver hurried her along, she died of hæmorrhage"
(p. 472).

"I saw one young woman drop down exhausted. The Turk gave her two or
three blows with his stick and she raised herself painfully" (p. 484).

"I saw two women, one of them old, the other very young and very pretty,
carrying the corpse of another young woman; I had scarcely passed them
when cries of terror arose. The girl was struggling in the clutches of a
brute who was trying to drag her away. The corpse had fallen to the
ground, the girl, now half-unconscious, was writhing by the side of it,
the old woman was sobbing and wringing her hands" (p. 564).

"Sixteen hundred Armenians have had their throats cut in the prisons of
Diyarbekir. The Arashnort (bishop) was mutilated, drenched with alcohol,
and burnt alive in the prison yard, in the middle of a carousing crowd
of gendarmes, who even accompanied the scene with music. The massacres
at Benia, Adiaman, the Selefka have been carried out deliberately;
_there is not a single male left above the age of 13 years_; the girls
have been outraged mercilessly; we have seen their mutilated corpses
tied together in batches of four, eight, or ten, and cast into the
Euphrates. The majority had been mutilated in an indescribable manner"
(p. 21).

"Five hundred young men were shot outside the town without any
formality. During the following two days the same process was carried
out with heartless and cold-blooded thoroughness in the eighty Armenian
villages of Ardjish, Adiljevas, and the rest of the district north of
Lake Van. In this manner some 24,000 Armenians were killed in three
days, their young women carried away and their homes looted" (p. 73).

"According to Turkish Government statistics 120,000 Armenians were
killed in this district" (p. 95).

"The immense procession, sinking under its agony and fatigue, forces
itself along and moves forward without respite.... No pen can describe
what this tragic procession has endured, or what experiences it has
lived through, on its interminable road. The least detail of them makes
the human heart quail, and draws an unquenchable stream of bitter tears
from one's eyes.... Each fraction of the long procession has its
individual history, its especial pangs.... Here is a mother with her six
children, one on her back, the second clasped to her breast; the third
falls down on the road, and cries and wails because it cannot drag
itself further. The three others begin to wail in sympathy, and the poor
mother stands stock still, tearless, like a statue, utterly powerless to
help" (p. 197).

"Babies were shot in their mothers' arms, small children were horribly
mutilated, women were stripped and beaten. The villages were not
prepared for attack; many made no resistance; others resisted until
their ammunition gave out" (p. 36).

"A little bride and a slim young girl sidled up to our wagon to talk. In
reply to our talk they told us that they were 'busy taking care of the
babies.' We asked what babies, and they said: 'Oh, those the effendis
stop here; the mothers nurse them and then go.' We asked if there were
many, and were told that every house was full. We were watched too
closely to make calls possible. Afterwards we found an officer ready to
talk, who said: 'We take them off after a while and kill them. What can
we do? The mothers cannot take them, and the Government cannot take care
of them for ever'" (p. 359).

"This frightful suffering inspires no pity in the ruthless officials,
who throw themselves upon their wretched victims, armed with whips and
cudgels, without distinction of sex or age" (p. 414).

_Group B_

"Many Armenian women preferred to throw themselves into the Euphrates
with their infants, or committed suicide in their homes. The Euphrates
and Tigris have become the sepulchre of thousands of Armenians" (p. 14).

"While the Armenian refugees had been mutually helpful and
self-sacrificing, these Moslems showed themselves absolutely selfish,
callous and indifferent to each other's suffering" (p. 42).

"Many went mad and threw their children away; some knelt down and prayed
amid the flames in which their bodies were burning; others shrieked and
cried for help which came from nowhere" (p. 86).

"Several young women, who were in danger of falling into the Turks'
hands, threw themselves from the rocks, some of them with their infants
in their arms" (p. 87).

"Among the massacred were two monks, one of them being the Father
Superior of Sourp Garabed, Yeghishe Vartabed, who had a chance of
escaping, but did not wish to be separated from his flock, and was
killed with them" (p. 96).

"In some cases safety was bought by professing Mohammedanism, but many
died as martyrs to the faith" (p. 102).

"The mother resisted, and was thrown over a bridge by one of the Turks.
The poor woman broke her arm, but her mule-driver dragged her up again.
Again the same Turks threw her down, with one of her daughters, from the
top of the mountain. The moment the married daughter saw her mother and
sister thrown down, she thrust the baby in her arms upon another woman,
ran after them, crying, 'Mother, mother!' and threw herself down the
same precipice" (p. 274).

"Sirpouhi and Santukht, two young women of Ketcheurd, a village east of
Sivas, who were being led off to the harem, by Turks, threw themselves
into the river Halys, and were drowned with their infants in their arms.
Mlle. Sirpouhi, the nineteen-year-old daughter of Garabed Tufenjjian of
Herag, a graduate of the American College of Marsovan, was offered the
choice of saving herself by embracing Islam and marrying a Turk.
Sirpouhi retorted that it was an outrage to murder her father and then
make her a proposal of marriage. She would have nothing to do with a
godless and a murderous people; whereupon she, and seventeen other
Armenian girls who had refused conversion, were shamefully ill-treated
and afterwards killed near Tchamli-Bel gorge" (p. 325).

"Many began to doubt even the existence of God. Under the severe strain
many individuals became demented, some of them permanently. There were
also some examples of the greatest heroism and faith, and some started
out on the journey courageously and calmly, saying in farewell: 'Pray
for us. We shall not see you again in this world, but some time we shall
meet again'" (p. 335).

"'No, I cannot see what you see, and I cannot accept what I cannot
understand.' So the ox-carts came to the door and took the family away.
The wife was a delicate lady and the two beautiful daughters well
educated. They were offered homes in harems, but said: 'No, we cannot
deny our Lord. We will go with our father'" (p. 354).

"In a mountain village there was a girl who made herself famous. Here,
as everywhere else, the men were taken out at night and pitifully
killed. Then the women and children were sent in a crowd, but a large
number of young girls and brides were kept behind. This girl, who had
been a pupil in the school at X., was sent before the Governor, the
Judge, and the Council together, and they said to her: 'Your father is
dead, your brothers are dead, and all your other relatives are gone, but
we have kept you because we do not wish to make you suffer. Now just be
a good Turkish girl and you shall be married to a Turkish officer and be
comfortable and happy.' It is said that she looked quietly into their
faces and replied: 'My father is not dead, my brothers are not dead; it
is true you have killed them, but they live in Heaven. I shall live
with them. I can never do this if I am unfaithful to my conscience. As
for marrying, I have been taught that a woman must never marry a man
unless she loves him. This is a part of our religion. How can I love a
man who comes from a nation that has so recently killed my friends? I
should neither be a good Christian girl nor a good Turkish girl if I did
so. Do with me what you wish.' They sent her away, with the few other
brave ones, into the hopeless land. Stories of this kind can also be
duplicated" (p. 355).

"The men were finally convinced of the uselessness of their efforts when
one of the younger and prettiest girls spoke up for herself and said:
'No one can mix in my decisions; I will not "turn" [change her
religion], and it is I myself that say it'" (p. 357).

"Mr. A. F., a colporteur, had been willing to embrace Islam, but his
wife refused to recognize his apostasy, and declared that she would go
into exile with the rest of the people, so he went with his wife and
was killed" (p. 378).

"Again and again they said to me: 'Oh, if they would only kill me now, I
would not care; but I fear they will try to force me to become a
Mohammedan'" (p. 403).

"When we consider the number forced into exile and the number beaten to
death and tortured in a thousand ways, the comparatively small number
that turned Moslem is a tribute to the staunchness of their hold on
Christianity" (p. 413).

"If the events of the past year demonstrate anything, they show the
practical failure of Mohammedanism in its struggle for existence against
Christianity--in its attempt to eliminate a race which, because of
Christian education, has been proving increasingly a menace to
stagnating Moslem civilization. We may call it political necessity or
what not, but in essence it is a nominally ruling class, jealous of a
more progressive Christian race, striving by methods of primitive
savagery to maintain the leading place" (p. 413).

"The courage of that brave little doctor's wife, who knew she must take
her two babies and face starvation and death with them! Many began to
come to her home--to her, for comfort and cheer, and she gave it. I have
never seen such courage before. You have to go to the darkest places of
the earth to see the brightest lights, to the most obscure spot to find
the greatest heroes.

"Her bright smile, with no trace of fear in it, was like a beacon light
in that mud village, where hundreds were doomed.

"It was not because she did not understand how they felt; she was one of
them. It was not because she had no dear ones in peril; her husband was
far away, ministering to those who were sending her and her babies to
destruction" (p. 418).

"One woman gave birth to twins in one of those crowded trucks, and
crossing a river she threw both her babies and then herself into the
water" (p. 420).

"And how are the people going? As they came into B. M., weary and with
swollen and bleeding feet, clasping their babes to their breasts, they
utter not one murmur or word of complaint; but you see their eyes move
and hear the words: 'For Jesus' sake, for Jesus' sake!'" (p. 478).

"Let me quote from W. Effendi, from a letter he wrote a day before his
deportation with his young wife and infant child and with the whole

"'We now understand that it is a great miracle that our nation has lived
so many years amongst such a nation as this. From this we realize that
God can and has shut the mouths of lions for many years. May God
restrain them! I am afraid they mean to kill some of us, cast some of us
into most cruel starvation and send the rest out of this country; so I
have very little hope of seeing you again in this world. But be sure
that, by God's special help, I will do my best to encourage others to
die manly. I will also look for God's help for myself to die as a
Christian. May this country see that, if we cannot live here as men, we
can die as men. May many die as men of God. May God forgive this nation
all their sin which they do without knowing. May the Armenians teach
Jesus' life by their death, which they could not teach by their life or
have failed in showing forth. It is my great desire to see a Reverend
Ali, or Osman, or Mohammed. May Jesus soon see many Turkish Christians
as the fruit of His blood.

"'May the war end soon, in order to save the Moslems from their cruelty
(for they increase in that from day to day) and from their ingrained
habit of torturing others. Therefore we are waiting on God, for the sake
of the Moslems as well as of the Armenians. May He appear soon'" (p.

"Before the girls were taken, the Kaimakam asked each one, in the
presence of the Principal of the College, whether they wanted to become
Mohammedans and stay, or go. They all replied that they would go. Only
Miss H. became a Mohammedan, and went to live with G. Professors E. and
F. F. had been arrested with other Armenians, but in the name of all the
teachers some £250 to £300 were presented to the officials, and so they
were let free" (p. 370).

"The priests were among the first to be sent off. A Turk described how
K. K. was killed. They stripped him of all his clothes, excepting his
underclothing. With his hands bound behind his back, he knelt, with his
son beside him, and they finished him off with axes, while he was
praying. The same description was given of the execution of L. L.--how
they took off his head by hacking down into his shoulders with axes and
carving the head out like a bust" (p. 371).

_Group C_

"But the [Armenian] revolutionists conducted themselves with remarkable
restraint and prudence; controlled their hot-headed youth; patrolled the
streets to prevent skirmishes; and bade the villagers endure in silence:
better a village or two burned unavenged than that any attempt at
reprisals should furnish an excuse for massacre" (p. 33).

"Some of the rules for their men [the Armenian defenders of Van] were:
'Keep clean; do not drink; tell the truth; do not curse the religion of
the enemy'" (p. 35).

"But, enraged as Djevdet was by this unexpected and prolonged
resistance, was it to be hoped that he could be persuaded to spare the
lives of one of these men, women and children?" (p. 39).

"Not all the Turks had fled from the city [Van]. Some old men and women
and children had stayed behind, many of them in hiding. The Armenian
soldiers, unlike Turks, were not making war on such" (p. 41).

"Our Turkish refugees cost us a fearful price.... Then, for four days
more, two Armenian nurses cared for the [Turkish] sick ones at night and
an untrained man nurse helped me during the daytime" (p. 42).

"Mr. Yarrow, seeing all this, said: 'I am amazed at the self-control of
the Armenians, for though the Turks did not spare a single wounded
Armenian, the Armenians are helping us to save the Turks--a thing that I
do not believe even Europeans would do'" (p. 70).

"The Turks offered to the Georgians the provinces of Koutais and of
Tiflis, the Batoum district and a part of the province of Trebizond; to
the Tartars, Shousha, the mountain country as far as Vladikavkaz, Bakou,
and a part of the province of Elisavetpol; to the Armenians they offered
Kars, the province of Erivan, a part of Elisavetpol; a fragment of the
province of Erzeroum, Van and Bitlis. According to the Young Turk
scheme, all these groups were to become autonomous under a Turkish
protectorate. The Erzeroum Congress refused these proposals, and advised
the Young Turks not to hurl themselves into the European
conflagration--a dangerous adventure which would lead Turkey to ruin"
(p. 80).

"The Turkish regulars and Kurds, amounting now to something like 30,000
altogether, pushed higher and higher up the heights and surrounded the
main Armenian position at close quarters. Then followed one of those
desperate and heroic struggles for life which have always been the
pride of mountaineers. Men, women and children fought with knives,
scythes, stones, and anything else they could handle. They rolled blocks
of stone down the steep slopes, killing many of the enemy. In a
frightful hand-to-hand combat, women were seen thrusting their knives
into the throats of Turks and thus accounting for many of them. On
August 5, the last day of the fighting, the blood-stained rocks of Antok
were captured by the Turks. The Armenian warriors of Sassoun, except
those who had worked round to the rear of the Turks to attack them on
their flanks, had died in battle" (p. 87).

"In the first week of July 20,000 soldiers arrived from Constantinople
by way of Harpout with munitions and eleven guns, and laid siege to
Moush" (p. 89).

"The energetic Armenian committees have taken care of their own people,
and have been unexpectedly generous to the Syrians who are quartered in
their midst" (p. 107).

"He met an Armenian officer who had escaped from the Turks, who told him
of the deportation and massacre of the Armenians. He said that the
attitude of the Turks towards the Armenians was more or less good at the
beginning of the war, but it was suddenly changed after the Turkish
defeat at Sari-Kamysh, as they laid the blame for this defeat upon the
Armenians, though he could not tell why" (p. 231).

"The fact cannot be too strongly emphasized that there was no
'rebellion'" (p. 34).


[25] Mr. Vartkes was an Armenian deputy in the Ottoman Parliament, who
was murdered, together with another deputy, Mr. Zohrab, when he was
being escorted by gendarmes from Aleppo to be court-martialled at
Diyarbekir (see Documents 7 and 9).--EDITOR.



There is no brighter page in the glorious history of the British Empire
than the records of the liberties that conduce to the contentment and
happiness of peoples--freedom of thought and worship, freedom of speech
and association, freedom of movement and habitation, freedom of
language, etc.; as well as measures of self-government varying in
accordance with local needs and circumstances--granted unstintingly to
the great family of nations and races constituting that marvellous
commonwealth. This policy of broad, liberal justice has proved, under
the stern test of this great war, the highest statesmanship and the
strongest bond of empire. Freedom, justice, humanity have proved an
infinitely stronger impetus to loyalty than "frightfulness," a stronger
cement, a superior and better "paying" stock-in-trade of empire by far
than the jack-boot and the _yatagan_. The conclusive and practical
demonstration of this great fact by the British Empire will probably
exercise a far-reaching influence for good on the future policies of
empires and the liberties of mankind. The British Flag has not only
carried security, order and justice wherever it has gone, it has
scrupulously respected religious and national sentiment everywhere. It
has not denied to the peoples under its sway, or attempted to suppress,
the sentiments and allegiances which it has itself held sacred. It has
maintained the freedom of the seas as I believe no international device
could have achieved it. I do not say this to please British readers. I
have lived and travelled among small peoples and subject peoples large
and small, and that is the impression I have gathered. Thus the Union
Jack has become a symbol of freedom and fairplay the world over, and
persecuted peoples have long had the conviction, deep down in their
hearts, that British influence is continually at work towards their
ultimate liberation. If we were to reverse Mr. Gladstone's famous
challenge concerning Austria, and ask, _mutatis mutandis_: "Can any one
put his finger on the map of the world and say, 'Here the British Empire
has wrought evil'?" it may be that Count Reventlow himself and the
author of the "Hymn of Hate" might find themselves baffled. However
opinions may differ as to the justice of some of her wars, the just and
liberal treatment of the peoples that have come under British dominion
is an indisputable historical fact to which the masses of mankind owe at
least as much gratitude as they do to the French Revolution. Ireland may
be singled out, and not without reason, if I may say so, as the one
shaded spot on this bright page of the story of the spread of British
liberty. To the neutral observer it certainly seems strange that
Ireland, so near the home of liberty and the stronghold of democratic
institutions, should be so long denied the full and free enjoyment of
those blessings liberally bestowed upon the more distant parts of the
empire. Possibly neutral observers do not and cannot understand the
difficulties and obstacles that have hitherto proved insuperable. It is
outside the scope of my subject and beyond my competence to enter into a
discussion of the Irish question here, but this much I may say, that
Ireland should convince rulers in all countries that material prosperity
alone "is no remedy." Security, order, prosperity, an efficient and
equitable administration may palliate but can never heal a political
injustice. They can never satisfy the legitimate aspirations for
self-rule of a high-spirited and cultured people conscious of a strong,
indestructible will as well as the undoubted capacity to govern itself.
On the other hand, to compare the wrongs and sufferings of Ireland (and
Poland) with the agony of Armenia, as is sometimes done, is to compare a
headache, an acute headache if you will, with the Black Death.

It is in keeping with the ill-fortune that has dogged the footsteps of
the Armenian people for five centuries that Armenia should have been the
one exception to the rule; the one country which has been denied the
blessings and benefits that have accrued to every small people which has
come within the sphere of, or whose fortunes have been directly or
indirectly affected by, the policy or interests of the British Empire.

One of the most striking features of what has been said and written in
this country on the treatment meted out by the Turks to their Armenian
subjects during the war has been the paucity of reference to the effect,
incidental and indirect no doubt, but the real and disastrous effect,
nevertheless, of British policy in Turkey since the Crimean War upon the
fate of the Armenian subjects of the Turk. This is in contrast with what
was said and written during previous massacres, and is no doubt
attributable to the fact of the country being at war. I am not touching
this aspect of the question in the way of a grievance. I well know, and
most gratefully recognize what the British Government and people have
done and are still doing for us during the long and ghastly nightmare
through which we are passing. The noble and unremitting efforts of Lord
and Lady Bryce, Lady Frederick Cavendish, Mr. Aneurin Williams, Mr. T.
P. O'Connor, Miss Robinson, Mrs. and Miss Hickson, Mrs. Cole, Mr. Noel
Buxton and his brother the Rev. Harold Buxton, Mr. Arthur G. Symonds,
Mr. Llew Williams, the Rev. Greenland, Mr. Arnold J. Toynbee, and so
many other friends of Armenia in this country, have placed us under a
lasting debt of gratitude to them and to Britain. Lord Bryce's name will
live in Armenian history as long as Armenia lasts.

But I do think it is fair, in justice to the people of this great and
righteous empire, to one-half of the Armenian nation who have fallen as
heroes and heroines both in war and martyrdom, and to "the little blood"
that is left to the Armenian people, that the facts in this connection
should be placed frankly and fully before the British public at this
juncture, so that it may be able to form an equitable estimate of the
reparation due to the Armenians, not only for the crimes and ravages
committed by the enemy during the war, but also in the light of the
obligations and responsibilities incurred by Europe in general and
Great Britain in particular for the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman
Empire by Art. 61 of the Treaty of Berlin and the Cyprus Convention.

I have said "Great Britain," but it would be more accurate to say "the
British Government of the day," for I firmly believe--in fact, who will
doubt?--that if the British people had had the slightest suspicion that
the Treaty of Berlin and the Cyprus Convention had in them the germs of
the disaster that has since overtaken the Christian subjects of the
Porte, they would never have ratified those treaties. Nor do I suggest,
I need hardly say, that the statesmen who are responsible for these
diplomatic instruments consciously and deliberately jeopardized the
existence of an ancient Christian people. Lord Salisbury's sympathetic
utterances in 1895-96 show unmistakably how deeply distressed he was at
the grievous turn events had taken, and still more at the powerlessness
of the Concert of Europe to save the Armenians from the position of
extreme peril in which the Concert had placed them in 1878.

Successive British Governments have made frequent attempts to improve
the lot of the Armenians; but the more they tried the more the Turks
massacred. There is no fairer-minded public than the British, whose
hospitality and the blessings of whose rule I have gratefully enjoyed
for many years, as have some thousands of my compatriots in almost every
part of the empire. There is also no one more ready and anxious to pay
his debt than the Briton when he knows what he owes. I have therefore no
fear whatever of arousing any resentment by calling the attention of the
British public to the existence of this old liability. On the contrary,
I am convinced that the fact will be taken note of in good part, and by
most even thankfully. I read a Press article not long ago--it was, if I
remember rightly, a review of Mr. Llew Williams's book, _Armenia Past
and Present_ in _The Court Journal_--which ended with the following
question: "If these terrible things are true and we have any
responsibility, why are we not told so?"

As regards the nature of the responsibilities and obligations, I refer
my readers to the Appendix, where will be found the texts of Art. 61 of
the Treaty of Berlin, Art. 18 of the Treaty of San Stefano--which was
torn up and superseded by the Treaty of Berlin--the full text of the
Cyprus Convention, and Lord Salisbury's Dispatch to Sir Henry Layard
containing instructions for the negotiation of that Convention.

I may here point out that though at first sight there appears to be
little difference between the wording of Art. 16 of the Treaty of San
Stefano and Art. 61 of the Treaty of Berlin, there is this fundamental
difference between the application of the two clauses that, while the
former left the Russian Army in occupation of the Armenian provinces
until the reforms should be an accomplished fact, the latter was a mere
Turkish promise to be performed after their evacuation by the Russian
forces. How the Turk performed his promise is well enough known, and
forms the darkest page of modern history--probably of all history.

Those who have the interest and the time for fuller information on the
subject I recommend to refer to Mr. Gladstone's famous speeches on the
Eastern Question and the Treaty of Berlin, the debates in both Houses of
Parliament on the massacres of 1895-96, Canon Maccoll's "The Sultan and
the Powers," Mr. W. Llew Williams's "Armenia Past and Present," and last
but not least, "Our Responsibilities for Turkey," by the late Duke of
Argyll. This frank and admirable commentary on the bearing of British
policy upon the Armenian question is now unfortunately out of print. I
therefore quote, with apologies, the following lengthy extract for the
convenience of those who may have difficulty in procuring a copy. It is
an authority that will command general and respectful attention.[26]
(The italics are mine.)

"Nothing can be more childish than to suppose that the significance and
effect of such a change as this[27] can be measured or appreciated by
looking at the mere grammatical meaning of the words. The words seemed
harmless enough. They may even seem to be most benevolent and most wise
in the interests of the Christian subjects of the Porte in Armenia. But
when we look at the facts which lay behind the words, and at the motives
which were at work among the contracting parties, we must see that
nothing could have been devised more fatal to their interests. The
change which the new words affected in the Treaty of San Stefano wounded
the pride and the most justifiable ambition of Russia to be the
protector of her co-religionists in provinces with which no other
Christian Power had any natural connection. On the other hand, it
delighted the low cunning of the Turk, in constituting another 'rift
within the lute' which by and by would be quite sure to make the 'music
mute' of any effective concert between the Powers of Europe. The Turk
could see at a glance that, whilst it relieved him of the dangerous
pressure of Russia, it substituted no other pressure which his own
infinite dexterity in delays could not easily make abortive. _As for the
unfortunate Armenians, the change was simply one which must tend to
expose them to the increased enmity of their tyrants, whilst it damaged
and discouraged the only protection which was possible under the
inexorable conditions of the physical geography of the country._[28]

"But this is not the whole of the responsibility which falls on us out
of the international transactions connected with the Treaty of Berlin.
After that treaty had been concluded, we entered by ourselves into a
separate, and for a while a secret, convention with Turkey, by which we
undertook to defend her Asiatic provinces by force of arms from any
further conquests on the part of Russia, and in return we asked for
nothing more than a lease of Cyprus, and a new crop of Turkish promises
that she would introduce reforms in her administration of Armenia. No
security whatever was asked or offered for the execution of those
promises. We simply repeated the old mistake of 1856, of trusting
entirely to the good faith of Turkey, or to her gratitude. But this time
the mistake was repeated after twenty-two years' continued experience of
the futility of such a trust. As to gratitude, it must have been quite
clear to the Turks that we were acting in our own supposed interests in
resisting the advance of Russia at any cost.

"No doubt we had occasion to remember, with some natural bitterness, the
sacrifice to Russia of all that the gallant General Williams had done
for Turkey in his splendid defence of Kars. But we ought to have
remembered, also, how dreadful had been the account given by that able
and gallant man of the detestable Government which he was defending. We
ought to have remembered how easy were the reforms which he had
recommended, if the Turkish Government had been honest; and how they had
all been systematically evaded. We ought, above all, to have considered
the inevitable effect of this new treaty of guarantee upon the sharp
cunning of the Turks. They saw how eagerly it was sought by us, and they
must have concluded that, whilst we were clearly not only earnest, but
excited, in our opposition to Russia, we were comparatively careless and
lukewarm about any changes in their own system of government. _They must
have seen that the new convention_[29] _practically superseded even the
slightest restraints put upon them by the Treaty of Berlin, and that the
Christian population of Armenia were practically left entirely at their

"Let us look back upon all these transactions as a whole, and try to
form some estimate of the position of responsibility in which they have
placed us towards the Christian populations subject to the Ottoman
dominion. In 1854-56 we had saved that dominion from destruction by
defeating, and locally disarming, its great natural enemy. We had set
up that dominion with new immunities from attack, and we had choked off
from any protectorate over the Christians the only Power which would or
could exert any such influence with effect. We had done this without
providing any substitute of our own, except a recorded promise from the
Turks. We had provided no machinery whereby bad faith on the part of
Turkey could be proved and punished. Then, twenty years later, in 1876,
we had obstinately refused to join the other Powers of Europe in
remedying this great defect, by putting a combined pressure on Turkey to
compel her to establish effective guarantee for the future. In 1878 we
had denounced the treaty in which Russia, by her own expenditure of
blood and treasure, had imposed on Turkey the obligations which we had
admitted to be needful, but which we had ourselves declined to do
anything to enforce. Then, in the same year, at Berlin, we had again
done all we could to choke off the only Power which had the means and
the disposition to secure the fulfilment of any promises at all.
_Particularly in Armenia we had substituted for a promise to Russia
which her power, her geographical position, and her pride might have
really led her to enforce, another promise to all the Powers which, on
the face of it, was absurd--namely, a promise to let all the Powers
'superintend the execution' of domestic reforms in a remote and very
inaccessible country._ Lastly, in the same year, as we had already
choked off Russia, we now proceeded by a separate Convention to choke
off also all the other Powers collectively, by inducing Turkey to give a
special promise to ourselves, apart from them altogether. For the
performance of this special promise we provided no security whatever,
but trusted entirely, as we had done in 1856, to the good faith of a
Power which we knew had none. _With Russia deeply offended and
estranged, and the rest of Europe set aside or superseded--such were the
conditions under which we abandoned the Christian subjects of the Porte
in Asia to a Government incurably barbarous and corrupt._

"And now, we are astonished and disgusted by finding that the terrible
consequences of all this selfish folly have fallen on those whom we had
professed, and whom we were bound by every consideration of honour, to
protect. Surely these years might have brought us a reconsideration of
our position. The fever of our popular Russophobia had sensibly abated.
We had secured our "scientific frontier" in India, and Russian expansion
had taken a new direction in the Far East. New combinations--and some
new disseverments--had taken place in Europe. The whole position of
affairs was favourable to a policy of escape from bad traditions--from
obsolete doctrines--and from duties which it was impossible we could
discharge. Surely we might have asked ourselves, What had we been doing
all these years to fulfil those duties? Nothing. And yet all along we
were not ignorant that the vicious Government which we had so long
helped to sustain against all the natural agencies that would have
brought it to an end long ago was getting no better, but rather worse.
We knew this perfectly well, and we have recorded our knowledge of it in
a document of unimpeachable authority. In the second year after the
Treaty of Berlin, when the obligations we had undertaken under it were
still fresh in our recollection, we had made one more endeavour to
recall the Ottoman Power to some sense of shame, if not to some sense of
duty. In 1880 we had a special Envoy at the Porte, one of our most
distinguished public men--Mr. Goschen; and we had called together at
Constantinople a meeting of all the Ambassadors of the six Powers of
Europe who were signatories of the Treaty of Berlin. They drew up an
Identic Note, which they all signed and presented to the Porte. In that
Note they declared that no reforms had been, or were even on the way to
being, adopted, and that so desperate was the misgovernment of the
country, that 'it would lead in all probability to the destruction of
the Christian population of vast districts.' Could a more dreadful
confession have been made in respect to the conduct and policy of any
Christian Government?

"This Identic Note commented severely on the calculated falsehoods of
all kinds, and on the cunning procrastinations, which characterized the
conduct and language of the Porte. It concluded by reminding that
Government, as an essential fact, 'that by treaty engagements Turkey was
bound to introduce the reforms which had been often indicated,' and that
these reforms were to be 'carried out under the supervision of the

"We might as well have addressed our representations to a convict just
released from a long sentence, and determined at once to renew his
career of crime. And so we had gone on for fifteen more years since
1880, failing to take, or even attempt taking, any effectual measures to
protect the helpless populations subject to a Government which we knew
to be so cruel and oppressive--_populations towards whom we lay under so
many responsibilities, from our persistent protection of their
oppressors_. At last comes, in 1894, one of those appalling outbreaks of
brutality on the part of the Turks which always horrify, but need never
astonish, the world. They are all according to what Bishop Butler would
have called the 'natural constitution and course of things,' that is to
say, they are the natural results of the nature and government of the
Ottoman Turks."

Such is the nature of Great Britain's debt to us. It was rashly incurred
by her statesmen. Successive British Governments have made strenuous
efforts and run great risks to discharge it. But it has proved
undischargeable for forty years, with consequences to us which are well
known. This terrible war and the ensuing peace will give Great Britain
both the power and the opportunity to discharge that obligation, and our
weapons for enforcing our claim are the honour, the conscience and the
never-failing sense of justice of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and
the British Empire. I appeal to these in the name of my sorely-stricken
nation, pale, prostrate and bleeding almost to death, to stand by us and
fight our battle at the Peace Conference. And if my appeal reaches a
wide enough circle of British and Irish men and women, I am confident
that my nation will not die, but will live and prosper, and carve out a
future that will amply compensate her for the past.


[26] _Our Responsibilities for Turkey_, by the Duke of Argyll, K.G.,
K.T., John Murray, 1896, p. 72.

[27] The supersession of Article 16 of the Treaty of San Stefano by
Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin.

[28] _Town Topics_ of February 10, 1917, had the following: "The idiotic
and ignorant criticism of the Navy one hears occasionally, recalls an
immortal answer by a harassed First Lord, during an earlier Armenian
atrocity (1895-96)--

"'Will the right honourable gentleman tell the House definitely whether
it is proposed to send a British battleship to Armenia?' asked the bore
who worried about every country but his own.

"'It is not proposed to send any ships there,' replied the Minister
gravely. 'Navigation, I am informed by expert advisers at the Admiralty,
has not been good in the vicinity of Ararat since the cruise of the

Would to God that this intelligence had reached the Foreign Offices of
Europe twenty years earlier, before the signing of the Treaty of Berlin.

[29] The Cyprus Convention.



Gentlemen, this historic conference has come together to draw up a map
of a new Europe and a new Near East which will in no part violate the
principle of nationality--the great weakness and inherent injustice of
former treaties, which has been largely responsible for the disastrous
war now happily come to an end.

You have also assembled as a great international tribunal to uphold the
sanctity of law and humanity, and to give judgment as to the just
reparation that must be made, and as to the penalties to be exacted for
all outrages committed during the war against humanity and the laws and
usages of civilized warfare.

Among the multitude of problems, great and small, that await a just and
wise settlement at your hands, there is also the Armenian question.

This question may appear, to some of you at least, a small and
insignificant one in the presence of the great and weighty questions of
world-wide importance that await settlement. I claim for it without any
fear of contradiction that in point of outraged humanity and
civilization, measured by the sacrifice of innocence, the magnitude and
unspeakable horrors of the martyrdom, destruction and ruin that has been
brought upon this people with a calculated, deliberate object, and
without the slightest provocation; I maintain that, on these
incontestable grounds, this is the greatest Wrong that ever demanded
justice and reparation at the bar of a great International Tribunal.

And it is not Turkey and Germany alone who owe us reparation, although
upon their shoulders lies the guilt for the innocent blood that has been
ruthlessly shed, the wanton destruction that has been wrought and the
untold suffering and sorrow brought upon this people during the war. All
the Great Powers of Europe have their share of responsibility for
leaving them at the mercy of the Turk to be murdered, burned, outraged,
enslaved, to provide this or that European Statesman the satisfaction of
having scored a point against his opponent in the sordid jealousies and
rivalries of conflicting interests.

In 1877 Russian armies, partly under Armenian generals, occupied our
country, and we hoped and believed that the hour of our liberation from
the hideous nightmare of Turkish domination had struck.

It was a short-lived joy. The Congress of Berlin assembled soon after,
tore up the Treaty of San Stefano which had given us the blessing of
effective Russian protection, compelled the liberating Russian armies to
evacuate our country, and left us once again the sport and prey of our
Turkish and Kurdish tormentors.

After the butcheries of 1895-96 Great Britain was prepared to exact
effective guarantees from the Sultan Abdul Hamid, if necessary by force
of arms, against a repetition of these unspeakable barbarities; but the
Russian Government of the day, sore at the rebuff administered to it by
the Treaty of Berlin and the Cyprus Convention, opposed Great Britain's
proposal of taking coercive measures to stay the hand of the Great

In 1913 a Scheme of Reforms proposed by Russia formed the subject of
discussion by the Powers, and was finally agreed to by Turkey after it
had undergone such modifications and revisions at the instance of the
Turks, backed by Germany, as to render it of little practical value. The
war intervened before the scheme could be put into operation, and it
remained a dead letter, as had all its predecessors. Meanwhile massacre,
outrage, rapine, plunder, and all conceivable forms of oppression and
persecution went on without respite, though in varying degrees of
intensity, culminating in the frightful hecatombs of the last two years.

Although, of course, such was not their object and intention, the net
result of these transactions was to give the Turk the opportunity, as
events have unfortunately proved, of murdering, burning, drowning,
torturing, violating, enslaving and forcibly converting to Islam at
least 2,000,000 unoffending and defenceless Christians within the
comparatively short space of forty years. I do not for a moment suggest
that the authors of these Treaties themselves foresaw such a result of
their efforts. But that makes no difference to the result. Europe backed
"the wrong horse," as Lord Salisbury had the courage to say, and the
stakes were the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent
Christians--men, women and children--and a sum of human suffering and
misery such as the world has probably never seen before.

I gratefully acknowledge the efforts made by the successive British,
French, Russian and Italian Governments, from time to time, to bring
moral or diplomatic pressure upon the Turks to treat us with less
harshness and inhumanity. But the Turk, Young and Old, knew that
coercion would never be used against him. He treated all European
representations with amusement and contempt and went his way
relentlessly, intent upon wiping out the whole race. He felt more secure
from the danger of coercion after the Christian Emperor William II, on
his return from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, paid a visit to and
fraternized with the Sultan Abdul Hamid while his hands were still red
with the blood of the fearful massacres of 1895-96.

That, gentlemen, has been the net result of the solemn promises given by
the Turks in the Treaty of Berlin, for which every Signatory Power has
its share of responsibility. Since that Treaty became the law of Europe
we have made numerous appeals and representations for the application of
Art. 61. The reply we received from the Ministers of the Signatory
Powers was almost the same every time and everywhere. "Insistence on the
application of Art. 61 will lead to complications; you must wait for a
favourable opportunity."

Gentlemen, that long-looked-for opportunity has at last come.
Armenia--"the little blood that is left to her"--stands at the bar of
this Conference, full of hope and expectation that the Entente Powers
will compel Turkey in the first place to make full reparation for the
untold horrors, outrages and injustices that she has inflicted upon her;
that they will compel Germany to compensate her for her acquiescence in
the atrocities committed by the Turks while Turkey was under her
influence and control; and that they will add their own quota as a debt
of honour and conscience in return for a part at least of what she has
had to endure as a result of the diplomatic transactions cited above,
for which they have their share of responsibility. You cannot give us
back our dead, but this Conference gives you the opportunity of exacting
and making a reparation as generous as our trials and sacrifices have
been heavy.

"What do you expect this Conference to give the Armenian people as their
adequate reparation and just rights?" I would probably be asked.

This is what I should expect the Conference to give to my nation, in all
justice and equity:

The formation of an autonomous Armenia, comprising the vilayets of Van,
Bitlis, Erzeroum, Kharput, Diyarbekir and Eastern Sivas, also Cilicia
with an outlet on the Gulf of Alexandretta, say from the port of
Alexandretta to a few miles south-west of Mersina.

This State to be an internationally guaranteed neutral State with its
ports and markets open to all nations. It would have an Organic Statute
drawn up for it by the Protecting Powers, England, France, and Russia,
giving equality before the law to all the different elements of the
population with extra-territorial rights and consular courts for
Europeans for a term of years. Russia to act as mandatory of the
Protecting Powers, and during the first few years the executive to
consist of a Governor-General or High Commissioner and a mixed
Legislative Council appointed by the Protecting Powers. A Legislative
Assembly to be called together as soon as the country regains its normal

The country being at present in a more or less chaotic state, an army of
occupation will be necessary for as many years as will be required to
organize and train an efficient gendarmerie from the local population.
European advisers and heads of departments would be necessary, but there
are large numbers of experienced Armenian administrators, magistrates,
post and telegraph inspectors, engineers, etc., etc., in the Ottoman
Empire as well as in the Caucasus, Egypt and the Balkans, who would
gladly put their services at the disposal of their own country. Some
would probably come from America, India and elsewhere. Adequate
financial compensation by Turkey[30] and Germany would place at the
disposal of the executive ample funds to begin the work of rebuilding
the ruined towns and villages and reconstruction generally, and to carry
on the Government of the country until the first year's harvest is sown
and gathered and revenue begins coming into the Treasury.

This is the scheme I would propose in broad outline, it being impossible
to go into details here.

"But there is not a large enough number of Armenians left to form a
State," I may be told, as I have been told so often recently. (I may say
here, in parenthesis, that the Turkish and German delegates cannot
advance this objection, as their Governments have denied the existence
of any massacres.)

That is an entirely mistaken assumption, created by the frequent but
inaccurate use of the phrase "Armenian extermination." The Turks did
make a final ruthless attempt to exterminate us, and have dealt us a
staggering blow as a race; but, gentlemen, they have not quite succeeded
in their nefarious design, and it would be a sad day, indeed, for
civilization if such a design had succeeded.

There are to-day 500,000 Turkish Armenians in the parts of vilayets in
occupation of the Russian armies, in the Caucasus and Northern Persia.
Far from their spirits being broken, these people are animated with the
unshakable determination that their beloved country shall rise again
from its ashes and their nation revive and enter upon a new era of
security and free development. Armenians all over the world are animated
with the same spirit and determination. Of the above half-million 50,000
or 60,000, mostly able-bodied men, are in different parts of the
occupied provinces. There are a little over 250,000 refugees in the
Caucasus and Persia, and some 200,000 emigrants and refugees from
pre-war massacres; most of them are ready to return to their homes, one
potent reason for the readiness of the pre-war emigrants to return
being the growing scarcity and dearness of land in the fertile parts of
the Caucasus. Then there are the hundreds of thousands of Armenians in
concentration camps in Northern Mesopotamia and Syria. How many are
alive to return to their devastated homes, I cannot say. Perhaps the
Turkish delegate will be able to inform the Conference on that point.
Then there are still large numbers of Armenians--though mostly old men,
women and children, so far as our information goes--in Anatolia and
Thrace, and over 200,000 mostly young, intelligent, ambitious men, who
have emigrated since the beginning of Abdul Hamid's reign of terror, to
the United States, Egypt, the Balkans, and different other countries. A
not unimportant number of these will return to their native land ready
to "do their bit" in the--to them--sacred work of its reconstruction and
regeneration with invincible industry.

This will give us within a very short time an Armenian population of not
much under one million souls in the proposed Autonomous Armenia. It may
not form a majority taken as a whole, but it will form the largest
coherent ethnological element. In many important centres, such as Van,
Alashgerd, etc., where there are almost no Turks left and a much smaller
number of Kurds than there was before the war, it will form an absolute
majority. This is an important fact which the Conference should bear in
mind. Although the Armenian element is sadly reduced in numbers, the
great majority of the Turkish and kindred elements in these occupied
provinces have, as is their wont, followed the retreating Turkish armies
and will probably never return. On the other hand, Armenians have for
some time past and do still percolate through the Turkish lines in
groups of various sizes and gain the Russian lines. This movement of
population will almost certainly continue for some years, tending to
increase the Armenian and reduce the Turkish element in the proposed
Armenian State, if such a State is set up. Similar movements of
populations have always taken place whenever any piece of Turkish
territory has passed under Christian rule.

I may also remind the Congress that when Greece achieved her
independence, the population of Greece proper did not exceed 400,000.

Another important point bearing on this question of population is the
fact, to which most students of Near Eastern affairs have borne witness,
that the Armenian race is endowed with extraordinary powers of
recuperation, is almost entirely free from the diseases that impede the
rapid growth of population, and is one of the most prolific races in the
world. Their neighbours, on the evidence of travellers and students, are
less free from disease and, in spite of polygamy, or perhaps partly
because of it, are much less prolific.

But apart from mere counting of heads, it is, I believe, generally known
and admitted that there is a vast difference between the moral,
intellectual, economic, and industrial value of the Armenian population
as compared with most of its neighbours, the Armenians being markedly
superior in every field of human activity. They have proved this even
under the most trying handicaps, and when they have had a fair field
they have easily proved themselves the equals of Europeans. In fact,
the Armenian mind is much more European than Asiatic.[31]

Lord Cromer has said that "the Armenians with the Syrians, are the
intellectual cream of Near Eastern peoples."

But apart from all these practical and certainly essential and vital
considerations there remains, messieurs, the moral argument which, I
feel quite certain, this august Conference, representing the will and
the conscience of Europe, is not minded to ignore.

After the massacres and deportations of 1915 Talaat Bey is reported to
have said: "I have killed the idea of Armenian autonomy for at least
fifty years." Whether he said it or not, that was clearly the object--to
kill the Armenian question by wiping out the Armenian race, and
incidentally to destroy the roots of Christianity in Asia Minor.

Is this Conference going to condone and justify the barbarous and
revolting practice, as a State policy, of the deliberate attempt to
murder a whole nation in cold blood, by permitting that infamous policy
to succeed in its object?

Is it conceivable that this historic Conference can bring itself to
decree that the myriads of our brothers and sisters who have fallen
victims to the super-tyrants' fury, for their religion and their nation,
as well as those who have fallen in the common struggle for Right, have
suffered and died in vain?

In the name not only of the living, but also of the dead, I appeal to
you; I appeal to the heart and conscience of Europe to desist from
enacting such a flagrant and cruel injustice.

M. Paul Doumer, late President of the French Senate, declared in Paris
not long ago, with a fine sense of French chivalry and outraged
humanity, that when the question of Armenian population came to be
considered at the end of the war, the dead must be counted with the
living. Who but my martyred nation has the moral right to invoke the
memorable and exalted words of the French officer who, at a moment of
dire straits for men, looked at his fallen heroes around him and
exclaimed "Debout les morts!"?

I appeal to you, in particular, great and noble-hearted Russia, our
mighty neighbour and protector. Our destiny is indissolubly bound up
with yours. Without the protection of your mighty sword and your most
generous grants to our refugees, the Turk would have succeeded in his
sinister design. We will remain ever grateful to you, and loyal to the
death. We have always proved our unswerving loyalty to you in your hour
of peril. We in our turn have rendered services which have been of value
to you. Your generals gave our men great praise. Your foremost
newspapers hailed our soldiers and volunteers, and with truth, as the
saviours of the Caucasus. Your great Statesmen and Ministers declared in
the Duma that our terrible sufferings were chiefly due to our loyalty to
Russia. Have trust in us. Help us to stand on our feet again and rebuild
our devastated homes. _Leave us freedom to develop and progress
according to our own national genius._ Some of your newspapers are
speaking of a scheme to plant Russian colonies in Armenia, "to create a
dividing zone between the Russian and Turkish Armenians."[32] If this is
true, it is an injustice. I am speaking candidly as a friend of Russia,
and a supporter of my nationality as my birthright. Russians will always
be welcome amongst us. To show our feelings towards you I may mention
the fact that in conversation between themselves Armenians do not speak
of you as "Russians" but as "kéri," which means "uncle." But it is
manifestly unfair to establish colonies and apportion lands before the
repatriation of our numerous refugees, some of whom may be the owners of
the land given away. Besides, what is the object or the necessity of a
"dividing zone" between the Turkish and Russian Armenians? We are all
ready to rally to your support again if the need should arise, as we
have always done in your righteous struggle against barbarism. Such
measures, before the blood of our numerous victims is dry on our land,
grieve and perplex us. I say again, we welcome your protection, but
enable us to say always, as Sir Wilfrid Laurier said of the French
Canadians, "We are loyal because we are free." With such just and
liberal treatment from you, we will not only create in a short time
important markets for your trade down to the shores of the
Mediterranean, but you will have in us a reliable bulwark and
counterpoise, on your southern frontier, against the turbulent elements
who are a standing menace to that frontier. The stronger you help us to
grow, the more secure that frontier of your empire will be.

To England, France and Italy I appeal jointly with Russia, to prevent
the Congress from finally condemning to death our long-cherished and
legitimate aspirations of national regeneration, for which we have paid
such a fearful price. In particular I appeal to you to give us an outlet
to the sea, not only as an indispensable necessity of our economic life
and development, but also as the avenue of Western Culture which a hard
and cruel fate has so long withheld from us.

Let the radiant sun of liberty and security shine again on our land of
sorrow and drive away for ever the stifling miasma of the Turkish
blight, and there will spring to life, within a generation, a people
with a passionate craving for the light and progress of the West--a
people morally and mentally equipped and adapted for the assimilation of
the New Dispensation not only for its own benefit, but also for its
dissemination amongst its less advanced neighbours--a well-qualified and
willing instrument and leaven of Christian civilization.


[30] A friend of mine, a Turkish Armenian well acquainted with local
conditions, told me that £50,000,000 would be a conservative estimate of
the material loss of the 1,200,000 massacred, deported, enslaved, but in
all cases despoiled, Armenians.

[31] M. J. de Morgan says in an article in _La Revue de Paris_ (May 1,
1916): "Les Arméniens sont des Orientaux par leur habitat seulement,
mais des Européens par leurs origins, leur parler, leur religion, leurs
moeurs et leurs aptitudes."

[32] The _Retch_, the organ of the Constitutional Democrats in Russia,
has published the following in its issue of July 28, 1916 (O.S.)--

"The scheme of settling Russian emigrants in the occupied parts of
Turkish Armenia, recently discussed in the Duma, is being energetically
carried out. This matter has been the subject of a lively discussion
between the Emigration and Military authorities. Investigations are in
progress, not only in the districts near the frontier, but also further
afield, the fertile Mush valley being the object of special attention.
Agricultural battalions have been in course of organization since last
autumn and already number 5000 men. More will be found presently.
_Armenians and Georgians are excluded._ The task of these young arms is
to cultivate the fields on which investigations have been carried out,
under the supervision of agricultural experts, in order to facilitate
the provisioning of the army. The question of emigrating the families of
these men is also under consideration.

"Side by side with this scheme there exists another scheme of settling
Cossacks in Turkish Armenia, on similar lines to what has already been
done in Northern Caucasus with good results. _Those who have conceived
these schemes have in view the creation of a sufficiently broad zone
inhabited by Russians, separating the Russian Armenians from the Turkish

"Armenian refugees are gradually returning to their country and resuming
the work of cultivating their lands. They usually settle in the villages
that have suffered least, their own villages having been totally ruined.

"To avoid confusion, the Grand Duke Nicholas issued a Ukase in March
last, warning these returned refugees to keep themselves in readiness to
vacate these districts on the establishment of Russian Civil
Administration. In the same Ukase the Commander-in-Chief of the
Caucasian Army has decreed that the vacant lands in the plains of
Alashkert, Diadin and Bayazid may be given in hire up to the time of the
return of their rightful owners. _General Yudenitch has issued orders,
however, prohibiting the settlement in these places of any other
immigrants except Russians and Cossacks._ Only those natives are
permitted to return who are able to prove ownership of land or property
by legal documents. This arrangement makes it impossible for the natives
(Armenians) to return to their homes because it is ridiculous to speak
of title-deeds, when dealing with land in Turkey; and as for other
documents which prove ownership, these always get lost during flight.

"In the above three plains, also in parts of the plain of Bassain, the
surviving native inhabitants are debarred from returning to their homes
and resuming their peaceful occupations."


Since the foregoing pages were written and before they had left the
printer's hands, two momentous events have occurred which must
profoundly influence not only the remaining course of the war, but also,
and more especially, the settlement of the peace on its termination: two
events that together mark the greatest triumph of democracy and
civilization the world has seen. The Russian revolution and the entry of
the great American Republic into the ranks of the champions of Right and
Humanity have not only brought peace nearer, they have banished any
doubt that may have existed in the minds of sceptics both in belligerent
and neutral countries that this war of wars is a struggle between the
forces of Light and Liberty and the powers of Darkness and Reaction.

After watching the course of the struggle for more than thirty months,
taking note of the difference between the methods of warfare employed by
the opposing groups of belligerents; after ascertaining their respective
aims; after long, patient and careful deliberation, the greatest of all
the neutral judges came to the conclusion that "civilization itself
seems to be in the balance." (It will not be forgotten in the Entente
countries, I feel sure, that though unlimited submarine "frightfulness"
was the immediate _casus belli_, the martyrdom of Armenia played an
important part in leading President Wilson and the people of the United
States to that conclusion.) The world's greatest Democracy, imbued with
a deep-rooted love of peace and abhorrence of war as to which no doubt
or suspicion anywhere exists, has broken away from a century-old
tradition, which was the very foundation of its external policy, and
drawn the sword impelled not by ambition or the furtherance of material
interests of any kind, but by honour and the instinctive call of true
chivalry to stand by those who have carried on a long and fierce
struggle to save the "desperately assaulted" free institutions,
principles and ideals which are its own and humanity's most precious and
sacred possessions. For the first time in history--I think one can
safely say that--a great nation, led by a great and sagacious leader,
has gone to war prompted almost entirely with the disinterested motive
of upholding its own ideals and the ideals and rights of humanity--truly
an event of which the best elements of the human race will always be
proud; which will ever stand out as a bright and noble landmark in the
history of the world.

While these epoch-making events have stamped the cause of the Allies
with the seal of supreme moral sanction, they have also made assurance
doubly sure that the end of the war will confer upon the world a lasting
peace based upon _real_ justice and equity. The presence of the
delegates of the United States at the Peace Conference side by side with
the representatives of the British Empire, France, Italy, and free
Russia will constitute a sure and sterling guarantee to the world that
the determining factors in the moulding of its destinies will not be
the selfish interests, avowed or veiled, of this or that empire, not the
whims and ambitions of despots and ruling castes or the greed of
cosmopolitan financiers, but "the pure milk," of the broad interests of
justice and peace, the rights of nations great and small and the freedom
and welfare of mankind itself.

To the Armenian people it is a final pledge that the reparation to be
demanded and obtained for them, in the terms of peace will be
commensurate, in full measure, with the magnitude of the wrongs and
sufferings inflicted upon them because, in a vast waste of ancient
barbarism and fraud, they formed an oasis embodying the ideals and
principles which the democracies of Europe and America are struggling to

If the great and free nations of Europe have greeted these auspicious
events with the satisfaction and enthusiasm we have witnessed in these
last days, it can be readily imagined how intense is the rejoicing they
have evoked in the hearts of the most ruthlessly oppressed of all
peoples, so long denied the blessings whose advent has been placed
beyond all doubt by President Wilson's clarion call to Democracy and by
the declarations of the Provisional Government of free Russia.

That the declarations of the Provisional Government of free and
regenerated Russia have been received with profound satisfaction by
Armenians, goes without saying. These declarations added to those
already made by the Allied Governments in regard to their war-aims, and
President Wilson's "Declaration of Liberty"--as his inspiring and
memorable address to Congress has been rightly called--finally ensure
the realization of Armenia's legitimate aspiration to freedom and
self-government. And if the Russian people should decide that the new
Russia shall be a Republic, that would open out the vista of a
thoroughly democratic, integral and united Armenian State free to work
out her regeneration according to her own national genius, under the
guidance of the Protecting Powers and with their and America's generous
moral and material support.

America's interest in Armenia and the excellent work of her Missions in
numerous Armenian centres both in Armenia itself and throughout Asia
Minor leave no doubt that when the time for reconstruction comes,
American aid--moral, material and cultural--will be forthcoming on a
scale and in a manner worthy of that great country and the lofty aims
for which she entered the war. For, what part of the vast war-stricken
area in Europe and the Near East more acutely and tragically exemplifies
the evils which the Allies and the United States are determined to put
an end to once and for all, and what nobler and more fitting culmination
to their gigantic efforts and sacrifices for humanity, than the
redemption and re-birth of this thrice-martyred ancient Christian

Before concluding, I take this opportunity to call attention to a
passage in Mr. Asquith's speech in the House of Commons on the entry of
the United States into the war, which brings into strong relief the
guilt of the Governments of the Central Powers in the stupendous crime
of attempting the murder of a nation, although the occasion of the
speech was of course the very antithesis of the attitude of the Central
Powers towards the Armenian atrocities.

"In such a situation," said Mr. Asquith, "aloofness is seen to be not
only a blunder but a crime. To stand aside with stopped ears, with
folded arms, with an averted gaze, when you have the power to intervene
is to become not a mere spectator, but an accomplice."[33]

I am quoting this striking utterance by one of England's greatest living
statesmen also in the hope that it may furnish food for reflection to
those pro-Turks who have maintained during pre-war massacres, and still
maintain, with Count Reventlow and his followers, that the massacre of
his Christian subjects by the Turk is his own concern, and that nobody
has the right or the obligation to intervene and create new conditions
that will eliminate the possibility of its recurrence.


[33] _The Times_, April 19, 1917.



As the evacuation by the Russian troops of the territory which they
occupy in Armenia, and which is to be restored to Turkey, might give
rise to conflicts and complications detrimental to the maintenance of
good relations between the two countries, the Sublime Porte engages to
carry into effect, without further delay, the improvements and reforms
demanded by local requirements in the provinces inhabited by Armenians,
and to guarantee their security from Kurds and Circassians.


The Sublime Porte undertakes to carry out, without further delay, the
improvements and reforms demanded by local requirements in the provinces
inhabited by the Armenians, and to guarantee their security against the
Circassians and Kurds. It will periodically make known the steps taken
to this effect to the Powers, who will superintend their application.


TURKEY NO. 36 (1878)

Correspondence respecting the Convention between Great Britain and
Turkey, of June 4, 1878.

Presented to the Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty 1878.


     No. 1. The Marquis of Salisbury to Mr. Layard, May 30, 1878.

     No. 2. Sir A. H. Layard to the Marquis of Salisbury, one Inclosure
     June 5, 1878.

     No. 3. Sir A. H. Layard to the Marquis of Salisbury, one Inclosure
     July 1, 1878.

No. 1 is the letter which conveys to Mr. Layard Lord Salisbury's
instructions for entering into the Convention (as follows)--


     Foreign Office, May 30, 1878.


     The progress of the confidential negotiations which have for some
     time past been in progress between Her Majesty's Government and the
     Government of Russia make it probable that those Articles of the
     Treaty of San Stefano which concern European Turkey will be
     sufficiently modified to bring them into harmony with the interests
     of the other European Powers, and of England in particular.

     There is, however, no such prospect with respect to that portion of
     the Treaty which concerns Turkey in Asia. It is sufficiently
     manifest that, in respect to Batoum and the fortresses north of the
     Araxes, the Government of Russia is not prepared to recede from the
     stipulations to which the Porte has been led by the events of the
     war to consent. Her Majesty's Government have consequently been
     forced to consider the effect which these agreements, if they are
     neither annulled nor counteracted, will have upon the future of the
     Asiatic provinces of the Ottoman Empire and upon the interests of
     England, which are closely affected by the condition of those

     It is impossible that Her Majesty's Government can look upon these
     changes with indifference. Asiatic Turkey contains populations of
     many different races and creeds, possessing no capacity for
     self-government[34] and no aspirations for independence, but owing
     their tranquillity and whatever prospect of political well-being
     they possess entirely to the rule of the Sultan. But the Government
     of the Ottoman Dynasty is that of an ancient but still alien
     conqueror, resting more upon actual power than upon the sympathies
     of common nationality. The defeat which the Turkish arms have
     sustained and the known embarrassments of the Government will
     produce a general belief in its decadence and an expectation of
     speedy political change, which in the East are more dangerous than
     actual discontent to the stability of a Government. If the
     population of Syria, Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia see that the Porte
     has no guarantee for its continued existence but its own strength,
     they will, after the evidence which recent events have furnished of
     the frailty of that reliance, begin to calculate upon the speedy
     fall of the Ottoman domination, and to turn their eyes towards its

     Even if it be certain that Batoum and Ardahan and Kars will not
     become the base from which emissaries of intrigue will issue forth,
     to be in due time followed by invading armies, the mere retention
     of them by Russia will exercise a powerful influence in
     disintegrating the Asiatic dominion of the Porte. As a monument of
     feeble defence on the one side, and successful aggression on the
     other, they will be regarded by the Asiatic population as
     foreboding the course of political history in the immediate future,
     and will stimulate, by the combined action of hope and fear,
     devotion to the Power which is in the ascendant, and desertion of
     the Power which is thought to be falling into decay.

     It is impossible for Her Majesty's Government to accept, without
     making an effort to avert it, the effect which such a state of
     feeling would produce upon regions whose political condition deeply
     concerns the Oriental interests of Great Britain. They do not
     propose to attempt the accomplishment of this object by taking
     military measures for the purpose of replacing the conquered
     districts in the possession of the Porte. Such an undertaking would
     be arduous and costly, and would involve great calamities, and it
     would not be effective for the object which Her Majesty's
     Government have in view, unless subsequently strengthened by
     precautions which can be taken almost as effectually without
     incurring the miseries of a preliminary war. The only provision
     which can furnish a substantial security for the stability of
     Ottoman rule in Asiatic Turkey, and which would be as essential
     after the re-conquest of the Russian annexations as it is now, is
     an engagement on the part of a Power strong enough to fulfil it,
     that any further encroachments by Russia upon Turkish territory in
     Asia will be prevented by force of arms. Such an undertaking, if
     given fully and unreservedly, will prevent the occurrence of the
     contingency which would bring it into operation, and will, at the
     same time, give to the populations of the Asiatic provinces the
     requisite confidence that Turkish rule in Asia is not destined to a
     speedy fall.

     There are, however, two conditions which it would be necessary for
     the Porte to subscribe before England could give such assurance.

     Her Majesty's Government intimated to the Porte, on the occasion of
     the Conference at Constantinople, that they were not prepared to
     sanction misgovernment and oppression, and it will be requisite,
     before they can enter into any agreement for the defence of the
     Asiatic territories of the Porte in certain eventualities, that
     they should be formally assured of the intention of the Porte to
     introduce the necessary reforms into the government of the
     Christian and other subjects of the Porte in these regions. It is
     not desirable to require more than an engagement in general terms;
     for the specific measures to be taken could only be defined after a
     more careful inquiry and deliberation than could be secured at the
     present juncture.

     It is not impossible that a careful selection and a faithful
     support of the individual officers to whom power is to be entrusted
     in those countries would be a more important element in the
     improvement of the condition of the people than even legislative
     changes; but the assurances required to give England a right to
     insist on satisfactory arrangements for these purposes will be an
     indispensable part of any agreement to which Her Majesty's
     Government could consent. It will further be necessary, in order to
     enable Her Majesty's Government efficiently to execute the
     engagements now proposed, that they should occupy a position near
     the coast of Asia Minor and Syria. The proximity of British
     officers, and, if necessary, British troops, will be the best
     security that all the objects of this agreement shall be attained.
     The Island of Cyprus appears to them to be in all respects the most
     available for this object. Her Majesty's Government do not wish to
     ask the Sultan to alienate territory from his sovereignty or to
     diminish the receipts which now pass into his Treasury. They will,
     therefore, propose that, while the administration and occupation of
     the island shall be assigned to Her Majesty, the territory shall
     still continue to be part of the Ottoman Empire, and that the
     excess of the revenue over the expenditure, whatever it at present
     may be, shall be paid over annually by the British Government to
     the Treasury of the Sultan.

     Inasmuch as the whole of this proposal is due to the annexations
     which Russia has made in Asiatic Turkey, and the consequences which
     it is apprehended will flow therefrom, it must be fully understood
     that, if the cause of the danger should cease, the precautionary
     agreement will cease at the same time. If the Government of Russia
     should at any time surrender to the Porte the territory it has
     acquired in Asia by the recent war, the stipulations in the
     proposed agreements will cease to operate, and the island will be
     immediately evacuated.

     I request, therefore, your Excellency to propose to the Porte to
     agree to a Convention to the following effect, and I have to convey
     to you full authority to conclude the same on behalf of the Queen
     and of Her Majesty's Government--

     "If Batoum, Ardahan, Kars, or any of them shall be retained by
     Russia, and if any attempt shall be made at any future time by
     Russia to take possession of any further portion of the Asiatic
     territories of the Sultan, as fixed by the definitive Treaty of
     Peace, England engages to join the Sultan in defending them by
     force of arms. In return, the Sultan promises to England to
     introduce necessary reforms (to be agreed upon later between the
     two Powers) into the government of the Christian and other subjects
     of the Porte in these territories; and, in order to enable England
     to make necessary provision for executing her engagement the Sultan
     further consents to assign the Island of Cyprus to be occupied and
     administered by England."

     I am, etc.,
     (Signed) SALISBURY.

No. 2 is the Convention itself, as follows--


If Batoum, Ardahan, Kars, or any of them shall be retained by Russia,
and if any attempt shall be made at any future time by Russia to take
possession of any further territories of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan
in Asia, as fixed by the definitive Treaty of Peace, England engages to
join His Imperial Majesty the Sultan in defending them by force of arms.

In return, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan promises to England to
introduce necessary reforms, to be agreed upon later by the two Powers,
into the government and for the protection of the Christian and other
subjects of the Porte in these territories; and in order to enable
England to make necessary provision for executing her engagement His
Imperial Majesty the Sultan further consents to assign the Island of
Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England.


The present Convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications thereof
shall be exchanged, within the space of one month, or sooner if

In Witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the
same, and have affixed thereto the seal of their arms.

Done at Constantinople, the fourth day of June, in the year One thousand
eight hundred and seventy-eight.

(L.S.) A. H. LAYARD.

No. 3 is the Annex to the above Convention, consisting of Six Articles,
signed at Constantinople on July 1, 1878, by A. H. Layard and Safvet
respectively. The first five Articles deal with the manner in which the
Island of Cyprus would be governed, whilst under British occupation. The
final Article, viz. Article VI, is as follows--

     "That if Russia restores to Turkey Kars and the other Conquests
     made by her in Armenia during the last war, the Island of Cyprus
     will be evacuated by England; and the Convention of June 4, 1878,
     will be at an end."


(p. 29.)

"The Turanian movement is not the spasmodic effort of a few enthusiasts.
It represents a carefully matured plan most elaborately studied in its
philosophical and practical aspects, and carried out on a vast and
ambitious scale. The spirit of its teaching has been made to permeate
all classes of the purely Turkish population, including women; while, in
the army, it has been taught in the shape of a patriotic creed, and the
force of military discipline has been laid at the service of its
promoters. The movement, therefore, no longer expresses the creed of a
limited number of nationalist fanatics, represented by the Central
Committee of Union and Progress, or the extremist section of it, but of
practically the whole of the Turkish people, backed by the formidable
power of the army. Thus, the view that would represent the Turkish
people as unwitting or unwilling tools in the hands of the Unionist
Government can no longer be accepted. The Turkish race as a whole, with
but few exceptions, stands convicted of indulging in a wanton political
dream, for the realization of which it seized the opportunity of the
world-war to commit most atrocious crimes. It is true that the initial
responsibility lies with the C.U.P., but the whole of the Turkish nation
has since shared the responsibility by its ready response. This is borne
out by the easy success attained by the Unionist Government in
modifying--with hardly a dissentient voice--the system of State
education, embracing even the elementary schools, and in
misappropriating the _Wakfs_ funds.

"Military officers of the higher grades were instructed to pay
periodical visits to the barracks and there deliver lectures of a mixed
religious and racial character, prepared by the Government. Were not the
Turkish heart a ready soil, such sowings would not have yielded such an
early and abundant harvest. In spite of successive admixtures of blood,
the Turks have retained the original instincts of the wild men of the
Steppes, and a creed aiming at conquest and domination through
destruction and bloodshed found eager response in their souls. Islam,
sympathetic as it is, despite its militant character, was sacrificed for
the realization of this widest of human dreams. There was not enough of
'iron and blood' in its teaching. The Turanian creed, framed on the
Prussian pattern of militarism, appealed a thousand times more to the
Turks' savage nature; and the proof is that, without any compulsion
being employed, it quickly supplanted the religious heritage of
centuries. The troops took up readily the heroic Turanian songs in place
of the usual prayers which had, until lately, been compulsory, but are
so no more. The simplest of Anatolians willingly accepted the idea that
the prophet of later days is Enver! The fundamental rules of Islam
became, for them, the Testimony (for the unity of God), Reason,
Character, and the Collection of contributions for the Government and
the War under the Turkish banner."

(From an article entitled "Turanian and Moslem" in _The Near East_,
April 20, 1917.)


[34] By a curious irony of events, at the time these lines were written
by the great English statesman, Egypt was governed by an Armenian Prime
Minister, Nubar Pasha, while the victorious Russian Army in the Caucasus
was under the command of the Armenian General Loris Melikoff, the victor
of Kars, who later became Minister of the Interior and one of the most
trusted advisers of the Czar Liberator. It is interesting to note that
Egypt had an Armenian Prime Minister during the reign of the Khalif
Al-Mustansir (1036-94) by the name of Badr-el-Gamali (probably a
variation of Bedros Gamalian), "who governed wisely and well for twenty
years (1073-94)."--_See_ ADRIAN FORTESCUE: _The Lesser Eastern
Churches_, p. 237.


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