Armenian Genocide ; Eye-Witness Accounts ( Part 5)

In 1916, a book was published entitled “The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-16. Documents presented to Viscount Grey of Fallodon, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs”, by Viscount Bryce which contained a comprehensive collection of documents produced by a variety of people who were eye-witnesses to the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. This research and abridged summary is taken directly from an original copy published at the time by His Majesty’s Stationery Office in London.

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Document 11: Memorandum dated 15/28th October 1915 from a well-informed source at Bucharest, relating to the extermination of the Armenians in Turkey.

1. At Vezir Kopru ( district of Marsovan) all Armenian women and girls from 7 to 40 years of age have been sold at auction. Women were also presented to the buyers without payment.

2. At Kaisaria more than 500 Armenian families were forced to embrace Islam.

3. All Armenian judicial officials in the provinces have been discharged. All Turkish officials who have shown special zeal in the extermination of the Armenians have been promoted. Thus Zeki Bey, the man who directed in person the terrible tortures of the Armenian prisoners and was responsible for the death of most of them, has been made mektoubdji of the Vilayet of Constantinople.

4. The Young Turk Government has published, as an excuse or perhaps as a means of exciting greater hatred against the Armenians, a book entitled, The Armenian Separatist Movement, which is as ridiculous as it is criminal. The reader finds in it not only copies of entirely fictitious publications, but actually pictures of enormous depots of arms and munitions purporting to be Armenian.

5. In Konia, and everywhere else, the wives of the Armenian soldiers who have not been deported have been taken as servants or concubines into Turkish families.

6. In Marash, more than 300 Armenians have been executed by Court Martial besides the numerous victims murdered in the course of the deportations….The bishops of Trebizond, Kaisaria, Moush, Bitlis, Sairt and Erzindjan have all been murdered by order of the Young Turk Government. According to reports from travellers, all the Armenian population of Trebizond has been massacred without exception. almost the whole male population in Sivas, Erzeroum, Harpout, Bitlis, Baibourt, Khnys, Diyarbekir etc has been exterminated.

7. German travellers from Aleppo describe the misery of the deported Armenians as terrible. All along the route they saw corpses of Armenians who had died of hunger….Some Armenians are leading a life of misery among the Arabs, 40 or 45 hours journey from Baghdad. Every day numbers of them die from hunger. The Government gives them no food. Moreover, fresh troops have been sent to Baghdad and these will be a new scourge to the unfortunate exiles.

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