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|Posté le: Sam 11 Oct 2008 - 13:52
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana katliamı
|Adana katliamının sonuçları
Massacre d'Adana et Hadjen
Amerikalı misyoner Rosa Lambert’in 1909 Adana olayları hakkında yazdığı anılar kitabına eklenen rapor ile 76 Ermeni din adamının Adana yakınlarında öldürüldüğü açıklanıyor.
-Aslında böyle bir olay yaşanmamasına rağmen bir Ermeni kadınının anlatımına dayandırılan hikayenin yalan olmasına rağmen Ermeni diasporası aynı konuyu batı dünyasında tanıtmaya devam ediyor.
-Saygıdeğer Dr. Nejat Yaycıoğlu’nun çevirisini yaptığı Lambert’in hatıralarındaki “Katliamın Sonuçları” kısmını aynen sunuyorum:
“Askeri birliğin Haçına vasıl olmasından kısa bir zaman önce, Çukurovada vuku bulan katliamların korkunç haberlerini aldık.
Bir çok hrıstiyan köyleri tamamen silinip süprülmüştü ve tek bir Ermeni sağ bırakılmamıştı.Türkler ve Ermenilerin karışık olduğu yerlerde, Ermeni mahalleleri tahrip edilmişti. Fakat, şurada burada, hiç dokunulmamış yerler bulunuyordu bunun sebebi de yağmayı yürüten subayın, muvafık bulmamış olmasıydı, takdiri böyleydi.
Dul kadınlar ve yetim çocukların yüzlercesi, sürüler halinde, Çukurovadan ayrılarak Haçına ve bize yakın köylere döndüler.
Sevdiklerini kaybetmişlerdi ve bazılarının anneleri , babaları ve yakınları gözlerinin önünde insafsızca öldürülmüştü.Paraları pulları yoktu, Üstleri başları yırtık, ayak yalın, hasta, benizleri solmuş, ve hemen hemen tanınmayacak hale gelmişlerdi. Bunlar ovaya inmiş olan , çalışmak için, üç bin Haçınlının, anneleri, eşleri, ve çocukları idiler.
Hemen hemen hepsi misyon binalarına doluştular ve başlarından geçen felaketleri bizlere anlattılar. Bazılarının sağ kalmış bir tek erkek akrabası yoktu. Kadın cinsinin, aile içinde, korunmaya mutaç olabileceği, ve geçinebilmek için elinden tutabilecek kimse olmayabileceği , bir dayanağı bulunamayabileceği , akılda tutulursa, bu olayın sonuçları daha iyi anlaşılır. Bir ailenin yakın akrabalarından 23 kişi öldürülmüştü. Diğer bir 32 çocuk ve torun bulunan bir ailede ise, yatalak büyükbaba ve büyükanne ve bir çocuk ve bir torun kalmıştı.
Bazıları aklını oynatmıştı ve diğer bazılarıda şiddetli bir sinir krizinin sınırında bulunuyordu.
Karısına ve çocuklarına neler olduğunu bilmeyen bir yaralı tek başına, Haçına döndü. Daha sonraları, karısının epeyce dolaştıktan sonra, bir köye sığınmış olduğu meydana çıktı. Küçük bir yavru, başka bir kasabada, bir çok , aresiz ,yetimlerle beraber , sokakta bulunmuştu. Hayırsever kişiler tarafından başka bir kazadaki yetimhaneye gönderilmişlerdi. Bu aile, her tarafa yayılmış dağıtılmış ailelerden, sadece , birisiydi. Ancak , zamanla, belki, yaşamakta olup , kurtulabilenlerin , bir
araya gelip gelemeyeceklerini zaman gösterecekti.
Türk köylülerine Haçın kasabasının katliamdan korunmuş olduğunu anlatmak mümkün değildi, Haçına dönüşlerinde, ürkek dul kadınlar ve yetimler önlerinden geçerken, yüksek sesle teessüflerini haykırarak ifade etmişler ve bütün Haçını yer yüzünden silemediğiniz için utanmalısınız demiş ve geride daha çok sayıda gavur kaldığı için, katliam fikrini göze alamadınız , demişlerdi.
Bize sığınmış olan yoksul ve perişan kadınlar ve yetim çocuklar arasında, Saygeçitli tüccarların eş ve çocukları da vardı. Birbirleri arkasından sökün edip gelenler, papazların, delegelerin, ve papaz yardımcıları ve tüccarların ve bizim yetimhanenin kız bölümünün başöğretmeninin dahil olduğu 76 kişinin nasıl öldürüldüklerine şahit olduklarını söylemeleri bizleri çok üzmüştü.
Kervandakiler, Sis resmi öneticilerle ( mutasaarıf ?) ile temas kurarak, yola devam etmelerinde bir mahzur olup olmadığını sorduktan sonra, onun muvafakatı ile yola devam etmişlerdi ki, bir veya iki saat sonra, Kozanlılara, Adanada , şehrin yanmakta olduğu ve hrıstiyanların katledilmekte olduğuna dair haber gelmişti.
Kilisenin , ruhani dernek üyelerinden birinin karısı, kervanla Adanaya doğru gidenlerden biriydi ve hemen damadını at sırtında süratle giderek kervana yetişmesini önerdi ve yola devam etmenin tehlikeli olduğunu , ve geri dönmeleri gerektiğini söylemesini istedi. Onlara , Saygeçitte, yükleri indirmişken yetişti. Maalesef o zamana kadar , Türkler , kervana el koymuşlardı.
Haberci de ayni akibeti paylaşmak üzere , kervandakilerin arasına sokuldu.
Yolcuların hepsi kirli ve rutebetli hanın içini dolduruldu. Gece karanlığında, çılgın Türk gürühu, hanı sarmıştı.Bütün gece, kendilerini bu kana susamış düşmanlardan kurtarması için Tanrıya yalvardılar. Tanrının takdiri öyle değilse, bekledikleri sırada kendilerini ölüme alıştımaları lazımdı. Şafak vakti daha sabah olmadan, papaz yardımcılarının eşi, sinir krizi geçirerek, elem ve keder içinde, başında yolunmadık saç bırakmamıştı. Nihayet güneş doğdu, meşin eğerli bir Türk atlı son sürat köye girdi, Adanadan dün gece yarısı geldiğini söyledi ve bir evrak çıkararak valiliğin istediği kadar hrıstiyanı eline geçirdiğini , o sebeble başkasına ihtiyacı kalmadığını ve yollarda kalaların getirilmemesini dağıtılmasını emrediyordu. Hepsi esir alınmıştı ve akıllarından bir yığın kurtuluş çareleri geçirirken, kapı açıldı ve yönetici ( muhtar olabilir ?) içeri girdi. Müslümanların hiçbir kötü niyeti olmadığını, fakat Ermenilerin elinde silah bulunduğunun meydana çıkarıldığından dolayı bu heyecan ve gerginliğin başlamış olduğunu söyledi. Silahlarınızı, paralarınızı saatleriniz, ziynet eşyalarınızı, ve bavullarınızı bırakın,Bize teslim edin, ondan sonra beni takip edin, sizi , koruyabilmek için, kendi evime götüreceğim, dedi.
Her ne kadar, bizim işçilerimiz ve beraber çalıştığımız kişiler, bu yönetmenin sözlerine inanmadılarsa da, başka bir alternatifleri yoktu. Kervan yolcularının hepsi, bizim hepimizin ne gibi kıymetli eşyamız varsa alabilirsiniz, yeter ki, bizi koruyun, dediler ve bu konuda yöneticiye güvence verdiler.Türk soyguncular abdestlerini almışlardı ve şimdi cami içinde, silahları ellerinden alınmış ve yönetmenin evine götürülmüş, Ermenilere karşı, ölümcül planları konusunda Tanrının, kendilerine yardımcı olması için dua ediyorlardı.
Namaz bittikten sonra, camiden çıkanlar, kervan yolcularını korunmaya söz vermiş olan yönetmenin evine geldiler. Kapı açılınca, kervan yolcularının karşısına,kana susamış, fanatik dinci kişiler ellerinde kılıç, bıçak, sopa, tüfek ve baltalarla çıktılar.Yüzlerinde canavarca bir ifade, zavallı yolcuların çığlıklarıyla meydana getirdiklerinden çok daha fazla utanılacak bir manzara oluşturuyordu. Şehit namzetlerinin üstlerinde giyim eşyaları çıkartıldı sadece bir donları kaldı.Haçının First Church kilisesinin papazı, yolculara birkaç kelime söylemesine müsaade edilmesi için yalvardı. Onların adalet duygusuna ve merhametlerine sığınmak istedi , bundan bir fayda göremeyince, Allahtan korkun dedi, fakat bir Türk bir adım ileri attı, papazı sakalından yakaladı ve öne doğru çekti ve öldürdü.
Bundan sonra Haçının baş papaz yardımcısına sıra geldi.Karısı kurtarmak için arkasından koştu, fakat her ikisi de kurşunlandılar ve karısının vücudu ölen papazın üstüne yığıldı.
Bazıları ölünceye kadar sopalarla dövüldüler, bazıları kılıç darbesiyle can verdi, ve bazıları da baltalarla öldürüldü. Kervan yolcuları arasındaki kadınlar , her zaman olduğu gibi en sona bırakıldı.Bunlar , kibirleri kırıldıktan sonra tarif edilemeyecek kadar ağır rezalete tabi tutulup öldürüldüler.
Bir Türk kapıda bekledi ve birbiri ardından on altı kişiyi öldürdü.Çok yorulduğunu söyleyerek kendi yerine geçmesi için başka birini çağırdı.
Misyonerler toplantısına gidenlerin hepsi öldürüldükten sonra, sıra kervan yolcularından hrıstiyan tüccarlara ve eşlerine geldi.Son 2O seneden beri her yıl kış aylarını Haçında beraber geçirmişlerdi. Bu tüccarlardan biri, katillerin önünde diz çöktü ve her kolunda bir küçük çocuk olduğu halde ve Allah rızası için çocuklarımı yetim bırakmayın diye yalvardı. Katiller şu cevabı verdiler: Çocuklarını yere bırak, yoksa onları da öldürürüz. Tüccar çocuklarını söylendiği gibi yere bıraktı ; çocuklarının ve karısının gözlerinin önünde, tüccarı öldürdüler.
Ayakkabı tamircisi , henüz Türklerden biri için, bir çift ayakkabıyı bitirmek üzereydi ki,’’ hayatımı bağışlayın bu çift ayakkabıyı size vereyim,’’ diye yalvarmasına rağmen, ayakkabıya son dikişi geçirdikten sonra , ayakkabının sahibi tarafından öldürüldü. Iki düzineden fazla küçük çocuklar ve dul kalmış kadınların bazıları bu dehşet verici ve vahşet dolu sahneleri hayatları boyunca unutmamaları için canlarına kıyılmamıştı.
Ölenlerin vücutları bir öküz arabasına yerleştirildi ve diğer bir kısmı atların arkasına bağlanarak sürüklenmek suretiyle , köpekler ve çakallar tarafından parçalanmak üzere, yolun kenarındaki çukurların içine atıldı.
Misyonerlerden biri hayretini şöyle ifade etti: ‘’ Şaşılacak bir şey ! Böyle büyük ve misafirperver bir ova olsun ve şehitlere mezar kazacak yeri bulunmasın !
Bu zavallı dul kadınlar, Haçını özlemişlerdi. Burası kendilerin vatanı , memleketi idi. Işitmişlerdi ki bir askeri müfreze, kendileri korumak için Haçına varmıştır. Günlerce yol yürüdüler ve ayakları kabarmış, bezgin, üstleri başları yırtık pırtık,, aç ve beş kuruşsuz, evsiz barksız, çaresiz ve ümitsiz,kasabaya girerken gördükleri manzara karşısında dehşete düştüler ve çığlık attılar:
Gördükleri ilk insanlar, kervan yolcularını öldüren , Haçına bizleri kurtarmak ve korumak için gönderilmiş olan müfrezenin trampetçisi ( borazancıbaşısı ) ve askerleriydi. On altı kişiyi öldürenin de Haçındaki komşuları olduğunu şoklar içinde fark ettiler. Diğer katiller de, kocalarını ve kardeşlerini öldüren canilerdi.
Ölenlerin yığınları arasında,bir papazın karısı , bir tüccar ve bir de hizmetçi vardı ki bunlar ölmemişlerdi. Zamanla şuurları yerine geldi ve gece karanlığında emekleyerek kaçtılar ve günlerce aç susuz kaldıktan sonra bir köye vardılar. Orda da canlarına kıyılmamıştı ve biz de bu dehşet sahnelerinin hikayelerini onlardan dinledik”.
Lambert’in kitabında yer alan bu bilgilerin gerçek olması için,olayın tarafı olan Adana Valiliği, Sis Ermeni Kilisesi, Haçin’deki Amerikan Misyoner Okulu Arşivi, olaylar sonrası Adana’ya gelen Askeri Teftiş Heyetinin sorgulama raporları, Adana’daki yabancı ülke olay raporları içinde yer alması lazım. Ama bu bilgileri doğrulayacak hiçbir belgeye rastlanmış da değil. O zaman yalan üzerine dayalı karalama kampanyasının bir sonucu olan bilgiler bir tarihçinin mukayeseli eleştirisinden geçmediği için de hala yeni baskıları yapılarak dünya kamuoyunun “Ermeni Sorunu ve Soykırım” konusunda malzeme olarak kullanılıyor. Özetle Bayan Rahibe Lambert’in kitabında yer alan bilgiler “Bir Misyonerin Kin ve Intikam Dolu Bakışları” olarak görmek gerekir!..
Kaynak: Cezmi Yurtsever, SIS kitabı
Rahibe Lambert’in kitabında yer alan bilgiler
Emeğe saygılı olun, alıntılarınızda link gösterin ...
Dernière édition par mafilou le Lun 1 Avr 2013 - 20:57; édité 2 fois
|Posté le: Sam 11 Oct 2008 - 13:52
Sujet du message: Publicité
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|Posté le: Sam 11 Oct 2008 - 14:39
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana katliamı
|Bir çok resimde Adana, Mersin, Tarsus...vs gibi sehirlerin nasil yok edildigini gorduk. 1909 dan gunumuze kadar gelen belgeler Kilikya'da bir katliamin yapildigini fazlasiyla ispatliyor.
Turkler'e gelince onlarada Adana resimlerini sahiplenmek dusuyor bunu nasil yaptiklarinida gorduk.
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Inscrit le: 31 Jan 2008
Messages: 5 358
Point(s): 15 955
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|Posté le: Lun 9 Fév 2009 - 15:39
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana katliamı
|Adana-1909. Büyük Soykırımın Bildirisi
Ermeni Soykırımının açıklayamadığı sayfaları ve onun sonuçlarını aydınlatmak amacıyla ESME “Soykırım ve Sonuçları” konusunda uluslararsı bir konferans düzenlemektedir.
20-21 Nisan 2009 tarihleri arasında, Erivan’da yapılacak iki günlük konferans çerçevesinde raporcular Adana kenti ve çevredeki yerleşmelerinde 1909 baharında gerçekleştirilmiş olan Ermeni katliamlarıyla ilgili tedbirlerini sunma vasiyete sahip olacaklar.
1908 Jön Türk devrimi, İmparatorluğun Hristyan azınlıklar içinde dönüştürme ümidi uyandırdı. İlerleyen heyecanı, Müslim ve Hristyan halkının eşit hakları elde edilecek ümidi, Adana ve çevresindeki Ermeni ahalisinin insandışı kırımlarla sona erdiler.Bu kırımlar, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun azınlıklara, özelikle Ermeni topluluğa karşı korkusunu yeniden onardı.
1909’de Adana kırımları Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun Ermeni ahalisine yönelik gerçekleştirilmiş resmi politikasını simgeleyen bir başlangıcı idi. Ermenilere karşı kısmen arıtmalar eskide de gerçekleşmişti. Hamidi kırımların sonucunda 300.000 Osmanlı Ermeniler yok edildi, sürgüne uğrattılar.
1909’de Adana kırımlarının incelemesi takipçilk, tazminat verme , Türk ordusunun katılası ve benzeri konular ortaya çıkmaktadır.
Yukarıda kaydedilmiş olaylar eskide, Ermenilere karşı gerçekleşmiş mezalimlerle bağlanarak, yakın gelecekte olabilecek felaketini hissetirmekteydi.
Adana ve çevredeki Ermeni halkının kırımları ağır hatıralar yarattılar. Ermeni aydınları ve sosyal kuruluşlar mezalimlerden hasar görmüş, kırımların sebepiyle mülk ve eşya kaybedenlere insancıl amaçlı faaliyette bulundular.
Adana kırımları büyük çapla Ermenileri Birinci Dünya Savaşı ve sonraki yıllarında gerçekleşmekte olan yok etme politikasının başlangıcı olarak kabul edindi.Bunun sonucunda bir buçuk milyon Ermeniler yok edinildi.
KONFERANSA KATILMAK İÇİN
Konferansa katılmak için 2-4 sayfalık özeti (500-1000 söz) ve kısa biografinizi sunmak lazımdır.
• Bildiriler(teblirler) 1 Şubat 2009’e kadar kabul edilmektedir.
• Konferans 20-21 Nisan 2009’da düzenlenecek oluyor.
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|Posté le: Lun 16 Fév 2009 - 02:02
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana katliamı
|mafilou a écrit: |
|Lambert’in kitabında yer alan bu bilgilerin gerçek olması için,olayın tarafı olan Adana Valiliği, Sis Ermeni Kilisesi, Haçin’deki Amerikan Misyoner Okulu Arşivi, olaylar sonrası Adana’ya gelen Askeri Teftiş Heyetinin sorgulama raporları, Adana’daki yabancı ülke olay raporları içinde yer alması lazım. Ama bu bilgileri doğrulayacak hiçbir belgeye rastlanmış da değil. |
Askeri Teftiş Heyetinin raporları Çırağan Sarayı yangınında yanmışlar.
Emeğe saygılı olun, alıntılarınızda link gösterin ...
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|Posté le: Dim 8 Mar 2009 - 15:31
Sujet du message: Adana ve Kilikya Ermeni kırımları 1909 - Dosya -
|HRAÇİK SİMONYAN’IN KİLİKYA’DA ERMENİ KIRIMLARINA İLİŞKİN ÇALIŞMASI
Ermeni ve yabancı birçok araştırmacı 1915 Ermeni Soykırımı üzerine odaklanırken, 1909’da Kilikya’da meydana gelen ve 30 binden fazla Ermeninin kitlesel kırımda yaşamını kaybettiği olay İttihat Terakki’nin ilk gerçekleştirdiği kitlesel kırım anlamında da büyük önem taşımakta.
Anılan boşluğu doldurmak amacıyla tarihçi Hraçik Simonmyan’ın hazırladığı 529 sayfadan oluşan eser, belge ve içerdiği fotograflarla konusunda bilimsel ve kapsamlı nadide bir eserdir.
Kalusk Gülbenkyan Fon sponsorluğunda Erivan devlet Üniv. Yayınevi’nce yayımlanan eser ‘Kilikya’da Kitlesel Ermeni Kırımları (Nisan 1909)’ başlığını taşımakta.
Eser 4 bölümden oluşmakta. Adana kenti, Adana vilayeti vd. Kentler, Halep vilayeti Ermeni kırımları tarihi, sebep ve sonuçlar yanısıra Ermeni ve yabancı basında olayın yankıları, kaynakça ve olaya ilişkin ağıtlar, fotograflar, isim ve yer adları indekslerinden oluşmakta.
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|Posté le: Dim 8 Nov 2009 - 09:28
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana Katliamı tarihçilerin merceği altında
|1909 Adana Katliamı tarihçilerin merceği altında
1909’da yaşanan ve 30 bin kadar Ermeni’nin hayatını kaybettiği Adana Katliamı, tam yüz yıl sonra İstanbul’da düzenlenecek uluslararası bir çalıştayla mercek altına alınıyor. Türkiye, ABD, Almanya, Fransa, İngiltere ve Kanada’nın çeşitli üniversitelerinden gelen 24 akademisyen ve araştırmacı, iki gün boyunca yapılacak olan sekiz oturumda Türkiye tarihinin en karanlık sayfalarından birine farklı açılardan ışık tutmaya çalışacak.
Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Tarih Bölümü, Gomidas Enstitüsü, Bilgi Üniversitesi Tarih Bölümü, Sabancı Üniversitesi ve Uluslararası Hrant Dink Vakfı’nın düzenlediği ‘Adana 1909: Yüz Yıllık Bir Perspektiften Tarih, Bellek ve Kimlik’ başlıklı çalıştay, 6-7 Kasım’da Emirgân Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi’nde gerçekleştirilecek.
Düzenleyici kurumlar, yayımladıkları basın açıklamasında, “Çalıştayda olaylarla ilgili tanıklıklar, dayanışma örnekleri, Batılı hükümetlerin tutumları, resmi tepkiler, insani yardım çalışmaları ve yas konusu ele alınacak. Böylece tarihimizin karanlıkta kalmış ama bir o kadar da acılı bir dönemine belki ilk kez farklı bir ışık tutulacak” dedi.
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|Posté le: Dim 8 Nov 2009 - 21:09
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana katliamı
|Esat Uras'in palavralari ortaya çikacak.
Inscrit le: 17 Nov 2009
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|Posté le: Ven 4 Déc 2009 - 20:41
Sujet du message: Massacres d'Adana - 29 novembre 2009
|Adana ermeni soykirimi:
Massacres d'Adana - 29 novembre 2009
Une semaine de deuil a été décrétée au Liban pour commémorer les massacres d’Adana perpétrés il y a 100 ans de cela. Les cérémonies ont débuté hier au Catyolicossat d’Antelias avec l’inauguration d’un monument-Khatchkar dédiés aux victimes, ainsi qu’une exposition de photographies.
Le Catholicos Aram 1er a d’autre part annoncé la réédition d’un livre publié en 1909 à Constantinople, intitulé la Tragédie Cilicienne, écrit par Souren Bartevian. Un livre constitué de documents et de photographies sur les massacres perpétrés en 1909 contre les Arméniens de Cilicie qui ont fait environ 30 000 victimes,qui après les massacres de 1895 dans l’empire Ottoman ont marqué une nouvelle étape vers la solution finale du Génocide de 1915.
Nous demandons réparations à la Turquie pour tout cela, pour les pertes humaines et celle des biens a déclaré le Catholicos Aram 1er en inaugurant hier la semaine de commémoration à Beyrouth.
Inscrit le: 16 Oct 2010
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|Posté le: Dim 15 Mai 2011 - 21:39
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana katliamı
Bir $ey bilmek istiyorum.
Adana'da vatinde Fransizlar oldugunu duymu$tum ve Ermenileri bir gecede terk edip gittiklerini
30bine yakin ermeniyi Adana, Cilicie'de bir gecede soykirima ugradiklarini da.
Ama olayi iyi bilmiyorum tam olarak nasildi.
Bir kom$umla konu$tuk kendisi Fransiz o da hiçbir $ey bilmiyor.
Hatta o zamanlarda Fransizlarin Turkiyede oldugunu dahi.
Bunu anlatan bir chapitre varsa menmun olurum.
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|Posté le: Ven 20 Mai 2011 - 14:35
Sujet du message: Adana ve Kilikya Ermeni kırımları 1909
|Adana ve Kilikya Ermeni kırımları 1909
ԱԴԱՆԱՅԻ ԵՎ ԿԻԼԻԿԻԱՅԻ ՀԱՅՈՒԹՅԱՆ ԿՈՏՈՐԱԾՆԵՐԸ 1909Թ.
ԵՊՀ Հայագիտական հետազոտությունների ինստիտուտ
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Inscrit le: 04 Sep 2006
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|Posté le: Lun 16 Avr 2012 - 02:27
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana İğtişaşı/ Faciası/ Katliamı - Ayşe Hür
|1909 Adana İğtişaşı/ Faciası/ Katliamı
15 Nisan 2012
Ayşe Hür, binlerce insanın öldüğü bir tarihi yazdı…
Bundan 103 yıl önce tam bu günlerde, İstanbul’da tarihe “31 Mart Vak’ası” veya “31 Mart Olayı” olarak geçen ayaklanma patlak vermişti. Olay, bugün kullandığımız Milâdî Takvim’e göre 13 Nisan 1909 günü, o tarihte kullanılan Rumî Takvim’e göre ise 31 Mart 1325 günü başladığı için böyle adlandırılmıştı. 11 gün süren isyanın lider kadrosu doğru dürüst soruşturma yapılmaksızın idam edildiği ve İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti (İTC) arşivleri günümüze kadar ulaşmadığı için olayın arkaplanını hâlâ tam bilmiyoruz. Ancak ön yüzde, İTC’yi sevmeyen sabık Sadrazam “Monarşist” Kâmil Paşa, hem İTC’ye, hem Saray’a karşı olan “ademimerkeziyetçi” Prens Sabahaddin’in Ahrar Fırkası; iktidara tamamen el koymak isteyen İTC; halkın dinî duygularını tahrik eden Derviş Vahdetî ve Nakşibendîlerin kontrolündeki İttihad-ı Muhammedi Cemiyeti; Meşrutiyet’le birlikte ayrıcalıklarını yitirmekten korkan medreseli softalar; Arnavut asıllı askerler arasındaki milliyetçi unsurlar, ulema veya asker kılığına girmiş yerli ve yabancı ajanlar gibi değişik aktörler vardı. Ancak, planlayıcısı kim olursa olsun, sonuçta kazançlı çıkan ordu ve İTC olmuştu. İsyan bastırıldıktan sonra, Abdülhamid tahttan indirilerek Selanik’e sürgüne gönderilmiş, 1826’da Yeniçeri Ocağı’nın kapatılmasından beri siyasetten uzak tutulan ordu yeniden siyasete ağırlığını koyarken, İTC adım adım iktidarı ele geçirmeye başlamış, 23 Ocak 1913 tarihindeki Babıâli Baskını ile de otoriter rejimini kurmuştu.
Resmî tarihe göre “irticai” bir kalkışma olan 31 Mart Olayı’nı ve gayrı resmî tarihe göre “darbeciliğin miladı” olan Babıâli Baskını’nı bu sayfalarda (sırasıyla 6 Nisan 2008 ve 24 Ocak 2010’da) anlatmıştım. Bu haftaki konumuz, 31 Mart Olayı ile eş zamanlı olarak Adana’da yaşanan olaylar. Osmanlı yöneticilerinin deyimiyle “Adana İğtişaşı” (karışıklığı), yerel hükümet temsilcilerinin deyimiyle “Adana Vak’ası”, Ermeni kaynaklarına göre “Adana Faciası”, misyoner kaynaklarına göre “Adana Katliamı”. Bu yazının, her yıl ocak ve nisan aylarında zoraki biçimde hatırlanan Ermeni Meselesi ile ilgili belleğimizi tazelemesini umuyorum.
Çukurova’da zorlu mevsim
Kilikya (Adana havalisi), Ermeni nüfusun yoğun olduğu, ancak 1894-96 çatışmalarında zarar görmemiş bölgelerden biriydi. Zengin bir liman bölgesi olan Adana’nın 550 binden biraz fazla olan nüfusunun 60 bin kadarı Ermeni, 25 bini “Arap Uşağı”, 10-15 bini Rum, geri kalanı, yani 450 bin kadarı da Müslüman/Türk’tü. Ancak bu kesimler arasında en zengini Ermenilerdi. Adana’daki pamuk tarımı ve ticaret Ermenilerin elindeydi. Meşrutiyet’in ilanı bölgede zaten hassas olan dengelerin bozulmasına neden olmuştu. Müslüman-Türk kesim, artık “millet-i hâkime” olmadıkları için rahatsızdı. Ermeniler ise verilen haklardan tatmin olmamış, daha fazlasını elde etmenin yollarını arıyordu.
Nisan ayının başları Çukurova için önemli günlerdi. Her yıl olduğu gibi mart ayından itibaren pamuk çapası için çevre illerden gelen çoğunluğu Kürt asıllı mevsimlik işçiler şehrin çeperlerinde konaklıyorlardı. Arpa hasadı için ise civardaki Ermeni köylerinden işçiler gelmişti. 12 Nisan 1909 günü Ermeniler için çok önemli olan Paskalya Yortusu idi. 13 nisanda ise Adana’da pazar kurulmuştu. 14 Nisan 1909 günü Doğu vilayetlerinde çalışan Amerikalı misyonerler yıllık toplantıları için Adana’ya gelmişlerdi.
İşte böylesi yoğun ve heyecanlı günlerde, şehirde nasıl olduğu hâlâ tam olarak bilinmeyen bir nedenle iki toplum birbirine girdi. Ermeniler, 31 Mart Olayı’nı bastırmak üzere Selanik’ten gelen Hareket Ordusu olaylara müdahale edecek diye ikna edilerek ellerindeki silahları yerel yöneticilere teslim ettikten sonra katliam şiddetlenmiş, 23 Nisan 1909 günü Hareket Ordusu’nun bir bölüğü şehre girdiğinde ise ortalık kan gölüne dönmüştü. Şiddet olayları buna rağmen durmadı. Sadece Adana’da değil Misis, İncirlik, Ceyhan (Hamidiye), Osmaniye, Tarsus, Sis (Kozan) kazalarında da sürdü. 25 nisanda Adana’da bazı Ermeni gençlerinin askerî kışlaya silahlı saldırıda bulunması üzerine Adana’da yeni bir alevlenme yaşandı. Ardından kan gövdeyi götürdü.
Meclis heyeti gönderiliyor
Nisan ayı sonunda Vali Cevad Bey ve Ferik Mustafa Paşa azledildi. Yeni Vali Babanzade Zihni Paşa’nın yaptığı ilk tahkikat sonunda ölü sayısı yaklaşık 1.900 Müslüman, 1.500 Hıristiyan olarak verildi. (Ancak daha sonra gerçek sayının daha çok olduğu anlaşılacaktı.) Zanlıları yargılamak üzere biri Adana’da diğeri Cebel-i Bereket’te (Osmaniye) olmak üzere iki Divan-ı Harb-i Örfi kuruldu. İstanbul’dan da iki heyet gönderildi. Heyetlerden biri Mersin Mutasarrıfı Esad Bey başkanlığında Şûra-yı Devlet üyesi Faik Bey ile Cinayet Mahkemesi üyesi Artin Mosmorciyan Efendi’den; diğeri ise Meclis-i Mebusan üyeleri Yusuf Kemal (Tengirşenk) başkanlığında Tekirdağ Mebusu Hagop (Agop) Babikyan, Arif Bey ve Musdikyan Efendi’den oluşuyordu.
Mahkemeler ve heyetler işe koyuldular. Ermeni çevrelerine göre Bağdadizade Abdülkadir adlı biri Müslümanları Ermenilere karşı kışkırtmıştı. İki Ermeni gencin öldürüldüğü 13 nisandan beri Müslümanların dükkânlarına bir zarar gelmemesi için beyaz tebeşirle işaretlenmesi, hükümet yetkilileri de dahil bütün Müslümanların fes yerine sarık giymeleri, Payas Hapishanesi’nden üç bin tutuklunun silahlandırılarak salıverilmesi, Ermeni tarafınca olayların kasıtlı ve planlı olduğunun karinesi olarak görülüyordu.
Türklere göre ise suçlu 12.-14. yüzyıllar arasında Adana havalisinde varlığını sürdüren Kilikya Ermeni Krallığı’nı yeniden kurmak için Ermenileri kışkırtan Hınçak Partisi’ne yakın duran Piskopos Muşeg Seropyan’dı. 14 nisan günü taraflar arasında arabuluculuk yapmaya çalışan İngiliz Konsolos Yardımcısı Doughty-Wylie ise Müslümanların hepsinin olaylara karışmadığını, hatta bazı Müslümanların Ermenileri koruduğunu anlatacaktı.
Meclis-i Mebusan heyetinden Yusuf Kemal Bey hatıratında (sadeleştirilmiş Türkçe ile) şöyle demişti: “Yabancı müdahalesi sayesinde ayrı bir krallık kurmak amacıyla girişilmiş bir Ermeni ihtilaline kesinlikle inanmam. Eğer böyle bir amaçları olsaydı, topluca dağa çekilir, oradan kendilerini savunabilirlerdi (...) Bundan başka revolver ve av tüfeklerinden başka bir şeyle silahlı olmayan Ermenilerin gelişkin Osmanlı ordusuna karşı gelebileceklerini varsaymak saçma olur. Yabancı müdahaleye gelince, biraz siyasetten anlamak, böyle bir fikrin saçmalığını kanıtlamaya yeter. Müslümanlara gelince onların pek çoğunun, hükümetlerinin, yaşamlarının, dinlerinin tehlikede bulunduğuna gerçekten inandıkları düşüncesindeyim. Cehaletleri böyle bir durumun olanaksızlığını anlamayacak kadar çok idi. İçlerinden birçoğu Ermenilerce verilen küstahça söylevlerle kışkırtılmış (...) bundan başka yağma hırsı çevrenin çapulcularını çekmişti.”
Cemal Paşa Adana’da
Uzun bir süreçten sonra, tutuklu bulunan 130’u Müslüman, 95’i gayrımüslim (çoğu Ermeni) 225 kişiden, dokuz Müslüman, altı Ermeni suçlu bulunarak 10 Haziran 1909’da idam edildi. Ancak idamlardan sonra da olaylar devam etti, ortalık ancak, ağustos ortalarında Adana’ya vali olarak atanan Cemal Paşa’nın 47 Müslüman ile bir Ermeni’yi daha idam ettirmesinden sonra duruldu.
Olaylarda kaç kişinin öldüğü hâlâ bilinmiyor. Çünkü Yusuf Kemal Bey ve Hagop Babikyan görüş ayrılıkları yüzünden raporlarını hazırlayamamışlar; bir süre sonra da Babikyan evinde şüpheli biçimde ölmüştü. Adana Piskoposluğu’nun raporuna göre 17.844, Patrikhane’nin Adana’ya gönderdiği heyete göre 21.236 ölü (Ermeni?) vardı. Ayrıca kiliseler, okullar, tiyatro binaları, değirmenler, camiler, han ve oteller, evler, dükkânlar hasar görmüştü. Almanya’da yayımlanan Frankfurter Zeitung gazetesinin 20 Haziran 1909 tarihli nüshasında çıkan bir asker mektubunda ise “Kanları Adana sokaklarında akan 30 bin gâvur köpeğini öldürdük” deniyordu.
Cemal Paşa da anılarında, Adana’da 17 bin Ermeni ile 1.850 Müslüman’ın öldüğünü yazacaktı. Ölümünden sonra Babikyan’ın evine giden bir Ermeni ve bir Türk mebus Babikyan’ın raporunu mühürleyerek resmî olarak yayımlanana kadar eşine teslim etmiş, ancak bir grup Ermeni mührü kırarak mektubun bir kopyasını almıştı. 1912 yılında Kilikya gazetesinde yayımlanan bu kopyaya göre Adana İğtişaşı’nda hayatını kaybeden Ermeni sayısı 21 bindi.
Hangi rakam doğru olursa olsun, ortada büyük bir katliamın olduğu açıktı. Cemal Paşa yaraları sarmak için kolları sıvadı. Yıkılan binaların onarımı için bir komisyon kurdu, 200 bin lira banka kredisi buldu. Bu sayede Müslüman ve Ermeni mahalleleri yeniden ayağa kalktı, bir süre sonra da şehir tekrar eski günlerine döndü. Bu arada ilginç bir durum da şuydu: 1895’te Fransa’nın Ermenilere karşı sorumluluğuna dair ateşli konuşmalar yapan J. Jaures, A. France ve J. Clémenceau, Adana olaylarının haberleri geldikten sonra ya açık ya da örtük bir şekilde 1908 Devrimi’ne güvenmek gerektiğini savunmuşlardı. O günlerde en önemli hedefleri Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun yabancı ülkelerle ticaretinden daha büyük pay olmak olan ABD’nin tavrında da bir değişiklik olmamıştı.
Ancak Adana olayları, 1908’de II. Abdülhamid’e Meşrutiyet’i ikinci kez ilan ettiren İTC-Taşnak ittifakında ciddi bir kırılmaya neden oldu. Taşnaklar içinde bazı kesimler olayların liberaller, dinciler ve Abdülhamid arasında kurulan bir ittifakı sorumlu tutarken, bir grup doğrudan İTC’yi suçluyordu. Bunun ilk meyvesi parti içindeki Rusya yanlılarının (ayrılıkçı radikallerin) güçlenmesi oldu. Taşnaksutyun’u İTC’nin politikalarına fazla bel bağlamakla suçlayan Hınçakçılar da biraz mevzi kazandılar.
Taşnaksutyun’un 1909 ağustosunda yapılan V. Kongresi’nde bu durum uzun uzun tartışıldı ve birlikçiler galip geldi. Sonuç bildirgesinin ilk maddesinde İTC ile dayanışmayı devam ettirmek kararı alındı. İttihatçılar ve Taşnakçılar yeni bir ittifak antlaşması imzalamak için Selanik’te biraraya geldiler. İlk görüşme başarısız olduysa da İttihatçılar adına Mithad Şükrü (Bleda), Dr. Nâzım; Taşnaksutyun adına Karekin Pastırmacıyan (nam-ı diğer Armen Garo) ve Vahan Papazyan’ın yaptığı ikinci görüşmede “Vatanın hürriyeti, ülkenin birliği ve toprak bütünlüğü için, anlaşmazlıkların ortadan kaldırılması ve Osmanlı halkları arasında en iyi ilişkilerin kurulması için” İTC ve Taşnaksutyun arasında tam anlaşma sağlandı. Bundan böyle partideki çatışmalar Rusya Ermenileri ile Osmanlı Ermenileri arasında ya da genç kuşaklarla yaşlılar arasında değil, sosyolojik kökenlere göre gelişecekti.
İstanbul’da ve Adana’da olaylar bastırıldıktan hemen sonra İttihatçılar Abdülhamid’i hal etmeye karar vermişlerdi. Hal fetvasının ilk müsveddesini sarıklı mebuslardan Elmalı Hamdi Efendi (Yazır) hazırlamıştı. Fetva Emini Hacı Nuri Efendi, fetva metnini imzalamak istememişti, çünkü Padişah’a isnat edilen “31 Mart Olayı’na sebep olmak”, “dinî kitapları yaktırmak” ve “devlet malını israf etmek” suçlarına katılmıyordu. Ama sonunda imzalamak zorunda kaldı. Şeyhülislam’ın hal fetvasını padişaha okumak için Draç Mebusu Jandarma Mirlivası Esat Toptani Paşa, Selanik Mebusu Emanuel Karasu, Ermeni Katolik Cemaati temsilcisi Aram Efendi ve Ȃyan Meclisi’nden Gürcü Arif Hikmet Paşa görevlendirilmişti.
Emanuel Karasu anlatıyor
Emanuel Karasu’nun Alman gazetesi Frankfurter Zeitung’un 30 Nisan 1909 günkü nüshasında çıkan mülakatına bakılırsa, 27 Nisan 1909 günü Saray’ın girişinde kendilerini üç subay karşılamış, subaylar asker selamı verdikten ve kendilerini kucakladıktan sonra heyeti içeri yollamışlardı. Saray’da büyük bir sessizlik vardı. Tek ses heyetin adım sesleriydi. Nöbetçi subaylardan Selanikli Salih Bey heyeti sarayın bahçesindeki ufak nöbetçi kulübesine götürerek şapkalarını ve paltolarını burada bırakmalarını istemişti. Emanuel Karasu “Burası benim için garip buluşma yeriydi. Aylar önce tutuklu olarak buraya getirilmiş ve tam burada sorgulanmıştım. Kanun-i Esasi’nin ilan edilmesinden kısa süre önce Abdülhamid’in askerleri tarafından yakalanıp buraya getirilmiştim” diye devam ediyordu mülakatına.
Sultan’ın kaldığı köşkte Mabeyn Başkâtibi Cevad Bey tarafından karşılanan heyetteki bir diğer üye Esad Paşa, “Bir ilanı bildirmek için Sultan’ı görmek istiyoruz” demişti Cevad Bey’e. Devamını yine Emanuel Karasu’dan dinleyelim: “[Esad Paşa’nın] Kardeşini Galata Köprüsü’nde kiralık katile öldürtmesi nedeniyle, Abdülhamid’den öldüresiye nefret ettiğini biliyorum. Bundan dolayı Sultan’ın karşısında heyecanını kontrol edemeyip patlamasından korkuyordum. Fakat sakin görünüyordu. Abdülhamid sürekli olarak silah taşırdı ve bir suikasttan korktuğu anda bunu kullanmaktan çekinmeyecekti. Ani bir kol hareketiyle pek çok masum insanı öldürttüğünü biliyoruz. İyi bir nişancı olarak tanındığından, kendimizi korumak için tabancamızın kınını açtık; böylelikle tabancamızı kolaylıkla çıkarabilirdik. Bu bize güven verdi. Sultan eğer bize bir silah çekerse, kendisini birkaç saniye içinde öldürecektik.”
Padişaha “sen” mi dediler?
Abdülhamid’in heyeti gördüğünde “bir Türk padişahına, bir İslam halifesine hal kararını bildirmek için bir Arnavut, bir Yahudi, bir Ermeni’den ve bir nankörden başkasını bulamamışlar mı?” dediği rivayet olunur, ancak olayın tanıkları bu ifadeleri doğrulamazlar. Emanuel Karasu’ya göre küçük oğlu Abdürrahim ile salona gelen Abdülhamid korkulu gözlerle ve çaresizlik içinde heyete bakmıştı. Esad Paşa kaba bir Arnavut lehçesiyle “Milletimizin Şeyhülislam’ın verdiği fetvayla seni tahttan indirdiğini sana bildirmek için geldik” deyince Abdülhamid ürkmüş, yüzünde ve vücudunda bir ürperme görülmüştü. Padişaha “sen” diye hitap edildiği, Abdülhamid’in son Mabeyn Başkâtibi Ali Cevad Bey’in fezlekesinde de belirtiliyordu. Abdülhamid tebligatı duyduktan sonra derin bir yeis ifadesiyle sekiz on saniye suskun kaldıktan sonra “Milletin arzu ve amalinden zerre kadar inhiraf etmem,” diyecekti. Böylece “milletin arzu ve amali” ilk kez padişahın yetkilerinin kısıtlanmasının gerekçesi olmuştu. Abdülhamid önce Çırağan Sarayı’nda ikamet etmek istediğini söylemiş, İttihatçılar bunu kabul etmeyerek kendisini Avrupa’ya göndermek istemişler, Avrupa’yı da Abdülhamid kabul etmeyince, ailesi ve hizmetlileri ile birlikte Selanik’te Alatini adlı bir İtalyan un tüccarının köşkünde (Alatini Köşkü, sonradan Ordu Köşkü diye anılacaktı) mecburi ikamete tabi tutulmuştu.
Abdülhamid’in yerine Veliaht Mehmed Reşad Efendi’nin padişah ilan edilmesinden sonra İTC iktidara yerleşmeye başladı. 5 Mayıs 1909’da kurulan Hüseyin Hilmi Paşa kabinesinde cemiyetten bakan yoktu ama Hüseyin Hilmi Paşa’nın temmuz ayında kurduğu kabinede Talât Bey Dâhiliye Nazırı’ydı. Bu tarihten itibaren hükümet işleri İTC Merkez Komitesi’nin eline geçmeye başladı.
Abdülhamid’e gelince; İddialara göre, her tarafı sıkı sıkıya kapatılmış olan Alatini Köşkü’nde halı veya kilim parçası dahi bulunmadığı gibi, başlangıçta Abdülhamid ve ailesi yerde yatmak zorunda kalmıştı. Daha sonra ikamet şartları nispeten düzelecek, hükümet kendisine bazı şirket hisselerini ve Osmanlı Bankası’ndaki parasını teslim edecek, ancak gazete bile okumasına izin verilmeden, toplumdan tecrit edilmiş şekilde yaşayacaktı. Bu durum, I. Balkan Savaşı sırasında Selanik’in elden çıkması üzerine Abdülhamid’in İstanbul’da Beylerbeyi Sarayı’na nakline kadar böyle sürdü. Abdülhamid 10 Şubat 1918 günü bu sarayda son nefesini verdi.
Özet Kaynakça: Meltem Toksöz, “Adana Ermenileri ve 1909 ‘İğtişaşı’”, İmparatorluğun Çöküş Döneminde Osmanlı Ermenileri, Bilimsel Sorumluluk ve Demokrasi Sorunları, İstanbul Üniversitesi Bilgi Yayınları, 2011, s. 153-162; Yusuf Kemal Tengirşenk, Vatan Hizmetinde, Bahar Matbaası, 1967;Hatıralar, Cemal Paşa, Hazırlayan: Alpay Kabacalı, Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları, 2001; Necmettin Alkan, “II. Abdülhamid’in Tahttan İndirilmesi”, Toplumsal Tarih, Nisan 2008, S. 172, s. 22-28; Ziya Şakir, Sultan Abdülhamid’in Son Günleri, Çatı Kitapları, 2006; Atıf Hüseyin Bey,Abdülhamid’in Sürgün Günleri, Yayına Hazırlayan: M. Metin Hülagü, Timaş Yayınları, 2010. (TARAF)
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|Posté le: Ven 20 Oct 2017 - 12:34
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana katliamı
|ՏԵՂԵԿԱԳԻՐ (1909 Օգոստոս 7 —1910 Դեկտեմբեր 31 եւ 1911 Յունվար 1 — 1911 Յունիս 30)
ՈՐԲԱԽՆԱՄ ԿԵԴՐ. ՅԱՆՁՆԱԺՈՂՈՎ
Կ. Պոլիս, 8/21 Մարտ 1911
Տ. Վահրամ Ս. Արքեպ. Մանկունի
Տեղապահ Պատրիարքութեան Հայոց Թուրքիոյ եւ Նախագահ Ազգ. Կեդր. Վարչ. Պատկ. Քաղ. Ժողովոյ
Ազգ. Կեդր. Վարչութեան Պատկ. Քաղ Ժողովդ նկատի առնելով՝ Կիլիկիոյ աղէտին երեսէն անխնամ մնացած բազմաթիւ հայ որբերը հոգալու անհրաժեշտ պէտքը, 1909 Օգոստոսին կազմեց Որբախնամ Յանձնաժողովս, ուսումնասիրելու համար նոյն որբերը պահպանելու միջոցները եւ ըստ այնմ սահմանելու կարեւոր կարգադրութիւնները։
Յանձնաժողովս յօժարութեամբ ընդունած ըլլալով Պատկ. Ժողովիդ կողմէ առաջարկուած այս նուիրական պաշտօնը, կը կատարէ զայն իւրովսանն եւ այսօր կու գայ Պատկ. Ժողովիդ ներկայացնել 1909 Օգոստոս 7 — 1910 Դեկտ. 31ի իր համարատուութիւնը։
Շնորհակալութիւն յայտնելով այս առթիւ, Յանձնաժողովիս ընծայուած վստահութեան եւ աջակցութեանց համար,
Մնամք խորին յարգանօք
Ի Դիմաց Կիլ. Որբ. Կեդր. Յանձնաժողովոյ
Ա. Գ. ՇՄԱՒՈՆԵԱՆ
source Հայաստանի Ամերիկեան համալսարանի թուանշային գրադարան, 1999—2016
Ağlasın Ermeniler bu acı kıyıma
Çöle döndü görkemli adana
Ateş ve kılıç vicdansız talan
Rupenin evi ah oldu talan
Verme artık ışığını ey yüce güneş,
etrafında sakla yüce yasını.
güney rüzgarı geçti ülkeden,
soldu, kurudu çiçek ve ağaç.
zavalli ermeniler bir dakikada,
düştüler vicdansız kılıc altına.
kilise ve okul alevler içinde,
binlerce ermeni öldü hunharca.
kanunsuz duygusuzlar, yetim bıraktı,
evladı anasından, gelini damadından,
alcak adil ile duygusuz cavit,
doydular içip ermeni kani.
görkemli adana boşaldı bitti,
küllere boğuldu bütün kilikya.
sevgili hacın yaşadı yalnız,
dondu kaldi zeytun, bir kaya gibi.
ateşler içinde üç gün üç gece,
içerden kılıç, dışardan topla,
sildiler ermeniyi dünya yüzünden,
kanlar akıyor berrak sulardan.
yetmez mi artık bu adilikler,
ağlayıp sızlayıp taşıdık sonsuz,
yabancının evinde güven kayboldu,
şerefimizle ölelim bu topraklarda!
Inscrit le: 03 Nov 2013
Point(s): 1 847
Moyenne de points: 2,76
|Posté le: Jeu 30 Nov 2017 - 18:17
Sujet du message: 1909 Adana katliamı
Title: Betrayed Armenia = Author: Diana Agabeg Apcar
When this book was written, the writer was under the supposition then
generally current that the Armenian Massacres of April, 1909, in
Cilicia were instigated by Abdul Hamid and his Yildiz Clique. Babikian
Effendi, the Armenian deputy who went to Adana from Constantinople
to investigate into the massacres, plainly reported that all
investigations had failed to trace them to Abdul Hamid and his Yildiz
Clique. Babikian Effendi, as was to be expected, died suddenly on
his return to Constantinople, but later on it became known that the
massacres of April, 1909, had been planned, prepared, organized and
carried into execution by the Constitutional Government of what has
been called “Liberal Turks” or “Young Turks.”
[Illustration: THEY TORE THE BABES FROM THE ARMS OF THEIR MOTHERS, TO
HACK THEM TO PIECES WITH KNIVES, OR THROW THEM ALIVE INTO THE FIRE.]
DIANA AGABEG APCAR.
THESE ARE THEY WHICH CAME OUT
OF GREAT TRIBULATION.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED,
BUT TRANSLATIONS INTO FRENCH AND ARMENIAN PERMITTED.
THE “JAPAN GAZETTE” PRESS.
Why and Wherefore 3
Disinterested Evidence 5
Preface to 2nd Printing 8
The Armenian Massacres and the Treaty of Berlin 19
The Armenian Massacres and the Turkish Constitution 25
The Armenian Massacres and the Armenian People 34
The Armenian Massacres and the Future of the Armenians 37
The Armenian Massacres and Civilized Europe 42
Out of the Depths 49
What the Turkish Constitution Means for the Armenians 51
The Armenian Question 53
Open Letter to the Honorable President William Howard Taft 56
Abdul Hamid, the Triumph of Crime 58
The Origin of the Armenians--The Introduction of Christianity
into Armenia--Decline and Grand Revival 63
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
They Tore the Babes from the Arms of their Mothers Frontispiece
Scene of the Massacres in Asia Minor 4
In this House 115 Women and Children were Roasted Alive 5
Ruined Church and Homes at Adana 6
General Prince Loris Melikoff 19
General Ter Goukassoff 24
Muckertich Khirimian 30
Matthevose Ezmerlian 33
Nerses Varjabetian 46
Minaret at Erivan, one of the Cities Tradition Ascribes to be
Founded by Noah 64
Great and Little Ararat 66
Abgar King of Armenia 70
Soorb Gregore Loosavoritch 74
The Cathedral of Etchmiatzi 76
WHY AND WHEREFORE.
In making a study of my race, I have found three marked characteristics
Intelligence--Energy--Industry. Combined with these three
characteristics is an intense Love of Nationality. We live in a
complex world. In an independent people these characteristics and this
sentiment are laudable Virtues. In a subject people they are Crimes.
After I had laid this bitter Truth to heart, I did not have to seek for
the Why and Wherefore of the Armenian Massacres.
The Armenian Massacres stand without their parallel in history. The
human mind staggers to contemplate the fiendish orgies of which they
have been the victims, and no pen can describe their horrors: and this
helpless christian people are to-day in the same deadly peril as they
have been since the famous Treaty of Berlin consigned them bound hand
and foot to the mercy of their executioners.
The Armenians may be led again “as sheep to the slaughter” and the
work of extermination may be completed--Jesus Christ was crucified on
Calvary and the servant is not greater than his Lord--but the work of
their extermination can only be completed when the evil influences in
the Turkish Empire have reached their culminating point. Hitherto the
Powers of Europe have by their jealousies and rivalries cultivated
these evil influences, they have watered them and made them grow,
but when their culminating point is reached, they must re-act on
Christendom and the natural consequence must follow. Those who sow the
wind, must reap the whirlwind. It is in the natural order of things.
I will allow that Liberty, Justice, Equality, Fraternity are the
watchwords of Young Turkey, but Young Turkey is only a small minority;
the great majority of the Turkish nation are not Young Turks.
The question therefore resolves itself into this critical point: “What
will Christendom do even now?”
[Illustration: SCENE OF THE MASSACRES IN ASIA MINOR.
The trouble began in Adana. An armed mob strengthened and augmented
by soldiers fell in overwhelming numbers upon the unarmed Christians.
The Armenian population of Antioch and vicinity were practically wiped
out and the Armenian villages in the Alexandretta district destroyed
with immense loss of life. Hadjim, Kessab and the neighbouring villages
were burned. The Armenian quarter in Tarsus was ruined and ill-omened
Marash stained again with the blood of thousands of Armenians. Zeitoon
was desolated. The entire population of Kirikon between Aleppo and
Alexandretta were massacred to the last babe. The mob and the soldiers
burned what they could not carry away, so that the material loss has
been enormous. In place of the former abundance and thriving industries
there are instead desolated provinces and the charred and blackened
remains of pillaged and ruined homes, and the residue of those who
escaped massacre are reduced to homelessness and starvation.]
I have thought it advisable to insert a few extracts from accounts of
the Massacres of April, 1909, given by disinterested witnesses.
[Illustration: IN THIS HOUSE 115 WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE ROASTED ALIVE.
History repeats itself. In 1895 Turkish soldiers fell upon seventy
to eighty young women and girls in a church, where they had fled for
refuge, and after hideously outraging them, barricaded them in, setting
fire to the building at the same time, and derisively shouting to their
victims as they were being roasted alive, to call upon their Christ to
save them now.]
“We are having a perfectly hideous time here. Thousands have
been murdered--25,000 in this province they say; but the
number is probably greater, for every Christian village was
wiped out. In Adana about 5000 have perished. After Turks and
Armenians had made peace, the Turks came in the night with hose
and kerosene, and set fire to what remained of the Armenian
quarter. Next day the French and Armenian schools were fired.
Nearly everyone in the Armenian school perished, anybody trying
to escape being shot down by the soldiers.”
“The Turkish Authorities do nothing except arrest unoffending
Armenians, from whom by torture they extort the most fanciful
confessions. Even the wounded are not safe from their
injustice. A man was being carried in to me yesterday when he
was seized and taken off to gaol. I dare not think what his
fate may be.”
“For fiends incarnate commend me to the Turks. Nobody is safe
from them. They murder babies in front of their mothers; they
half murder men, and violate the wives while the husbands are
lying there dying in pools of blood.”
“The authorities did nothing, and the soldiers were worse
than the crowd, for they were better armed. One house in our
quarter was burned with 115 people inside. We counted the
bodies. The soldiers set fire to the door, and as the windows
had iron bars, nobody could get out. Everybody in the house
was roasted alive. They were all women and children and old
people.”--Extract from letter of Mrs. Doughty-Wylie, wife of
British Consul at Adana; published in the London “Daily Mail.”
* * * * *
“The soldiers led the way in these horrors and were guilty of
atrocities so terrible that they can never be described in a
public print. Even the soldiers landed at Mersina--the soldiers
sent expressly to restore order--added to the crimes and for
three days continued the murders unchecked.”--Extract from the
London “Daily Mail.”
* * * * *
[Illustration: RUINED CHURCH AND HOMES AT ADANA.]
“The outbreak began in the Armenian bazaar on April 14th, and
on the pretence that an Armenian revolt was in progress the
Redifs or reserves were called out. These, as villainous a crew
as could well be found, had arms and ammunition served out to
them, and immediately joined in the slaughter, and all the
worst of the subsequent killing, looting, and house burning was
done by them.”
“The Armenians did not take their punishment lying down. Their
quarter of the town was so well defended that the mob, mad
as they were with lust for blood, would not venture into it.
Houses on the outskirts were besieged by thousands of men and
held by half a dozen; in fact, the courage of these hordes of
Moslem savages was only equal to butchering women and children
and unarmed men. I saw a Greek house which was held for eight
hours by one Armenian with a shotgun against hundreds of Turks
firing from the surrounding houses and the minaret of a mosque.
At last his cartridges gave-out, but not for two hours after
that did the mob pluck up courage to rush the house.”--Extracts
from accounts by Mr. J. L. C. Booth, special correspondent of
the London “Graphic.”
* * * * *
“Kessab was a thrifty Armenian town of about eight thousand
inhabitants, situated on the landward slope of Mt. Cassius
(Arabic, Jebel Akra) which stands out prominently upon the
Mediterranean seacoast half-way between Alexandretta and
Latakia. Kessab is now a mass of blackened ruins, the stark
walls of the churches and houses rising up out of the ashes
and charred timbers heaped on every side. What must it mean to
the five thousand men and women and little children who have
survived a painful flight to the seacoast and have now returned
to their mountain home, only to find their houses sacked and
burned! There were nine Christian villages which clustered
about Kessab in the valleys below. Several of these have been
completely destroyed by fire. All have been plundered and the
helpless people driven out or slain.”
“Can you imagine the feelings of the Kessab people as they
climbed on foot the long trail up the mountain, and then as
they came over the ridge into full view of their charred and
ruined dwellings? Their stores of wheat, barley and rice had
been burned; clothing, cooking utensils, furniture and tools
had gone; their goats, cows and mules had been stolen; their
silk industries stamped out; their beloved churches reduced to
smouldering heaps. The bodies of their friends and relatives
who had been killed had not been buried. And yet the love of
home is so strong that the people have settled down there with
the determination to clear up the debris and rebuild their
houses.”--Extracts from “The Sack of Kessab,” Stephen Van R.
As these sheets are going through the press there comes news of famine
at Zeitoon. The Rev. F. W. Macullum, American Missionary at Marash,
writes to the Rev. W. W. Peet, American Missionary at Constantinople,
that 12,000 souls in and around Zeitoon are dying of hunger; they are
wandering about in rags, mixing bran and water, and cooking and eating
it, if they can get even that. Rev. Macullum adds, “The same story
comes to us from all sides. As we foresaw all along, from now on the
distress will be greatest.”
If 50,000 were massacred, the list of those who have died and are dying
of homelessness and starvation will exceed 150,000. It is true; and the
numbers are not exaggerated. Last year the people reaped no harvest,
and this year there are no sowings.
The latest news is that Mush, a prosperous Armenian village that had
escaped the desolation of the massacres, has been plundered in a night
attack by armed Kurds, and the villagers are now reduced to extreme
distress. Before the outbreak the Armenian patriarchal vicar at Mush
had repeatedly appealed to the Armenian Patriarch at Constantinople,
and the Armenian Patriarch had repeatedly appealed to the Authorities
at Constantinople asking protection for the villagers of Mush as a
Kurdish attack was apprehended. It is evident that the authorities at
Constantinople are unable to protect thriving Armenian villages from
Kurdish and Turkish raiders.
PREFACE TO 2ND PRINTING.
The first and second parts of this little book were written and printed
in pamphlet form for circulation in the United States, shortly after
the Adana Massacres of April, 1909. I have now thought it advisable to
add a Supplement of a short history of the Origin of the Armenians and
the Introduction and Revival of Christianity in Armenia.
The illustrations and the extracts from the periodicals “Harper’s
Monthly,” “The Wide World” and the “Cosmopolitan” have been added to
the 2nd printing.
INTRODUCTION TO 2ND PRINTING.
My object in writing this little book is to lay the hard case of my
unfortunate race before the men and women of the United States; since
it is from the United States that the American Missionaries have gone
forth, who have been the only helping influence from without for my
suffering people in Asiatic Turkey. To the earnest and devoted men and
women of the American Missions, we Armenians owe a debt of gratitude
which we can never repay.
If in the contents of the pages of this little book I have exaggerated
Facts by one whit or one iota, if I have deviated by one hair’s breadth
from the Truth, I stand to be judged.
“God save us from another Adana, but the sword of Islam has not been
dulled” was one of the clarion notes sounded at the Sixth International
Convention of the Student Volunteer Movement, which was held at
Rochester, New York. The man who sounded that clarion note knew Islam,
and because knowing of my own knowledge that the sword of Islam has not
been dulled, I tremble lest its sharp edge fall once more on the neck
of my helpless race. If I knew and felt sure in mine own heart that
the sword of Islam was dulled, I would be content to let bygones be
bygones, and to hold my peace and be silent for ever.
Like the sudden explosion of a volcano in the physical world, comes
the explosion of a Turkish Massacre of Armenians in the moral world.
It comes just in that way; the subterranean fires are always there,
but all of a sudden the sulphur flames of religious fanaticism burst,
the lava floods of race hatred and lust of plunder, break forth and
run in fiery streams; the unfortunate victims are pounced upon,
swooped upon, pillaged, plundered, butchered, slaughtered, subjected
to outrages so hideous, cruel, loathsome, and revolting, that no pen
could depict their horrible realities and the details can never go
into print. The human mind is staggered and asks itself the question
if even the imaginations of fiends and devils could originate such
horrors. Then this orgy of the human fiends is arrested. For the time
being the appetite for blood, lust, and plunder is satisfied; for the
time being, the eye is content with the scenes of havoc and desolation
lying under the sun; the smell of corpses is in the air, the odor
from the carcases of the “christian swine” reek in the nostrils of the
Turk, he turns away, his jaws dripping with blood, and rests to couch
for a future spring. We have seen that sort of an end to the tragedy
of a tiger’s victim: the tiger has eaten his fill, he rests, to keep
guard over the crunched bones and mangled bits of bloody flesh that
bestrew the earth. So also now there is a residue left of those that
have served as the meat and wine of this devil’s feast; the demons
have gorged themselves over the banquet, and now there are left over
the broken remains of the banquet, the miserable residue homeless and
Civilized nations have received a temporary moral shock, like a shock
that spreads from the centre of an explosion; the electric vibration
running far and wide from the scene of the centre of devastation. There
are among these civilized nations generous and kind-hearted people
who open their purse strings; they give money to purchase shelter,
food and clothing for these homeless, naked and hungry beggars, made
homeless, naked and hungry through no fault of their own. But oh! ye
generous and kind hearted people! can any power under heaven assuage
the heart anguish of this miserable residue? Can they be made by any
means of human comfort to forget the black horrors or recover from
the effects of the fires of the hideous affliction through which they
have passed? What is there left for a woman who has seen with her own
eyes the slaughter and heard with her own ears the dying cry of her
murdered child? even her reason must give way under the stress of her
anguish. All ye who are mothers, I appeal to you, for one moment to put
yourselves in the place of thousands of such mothers, in whose hearts
the same mother’s love burns as in yours, and then measure the depth of
Generous and kind hearted people who open your purse strings; would
to God I entreat, ye would raise up your voices and demand that this
hideous slaughter and oppression of a helpless christian race should
cease. Would to God I entreat, ye would raise up your voices and demand
that this people of an industrious, intelligent christian race, robust
in mind and body, should be let to live. Would to God I entreat, that
ye would raise up your voices and demand for them that security of life
and property to which they are entitled just as equally as all other
Public Sentiment has done great things in the world’s history. Public
Sentiment liberated Greece, The Lebanon, The Balkan States from Turkish
Oppression. Slavery was abolished in the United States through Public
Sentiment: but alas! does Public Sentiment sleep for this helpless
Christian race. Are they not God’s creatures? have they not a right to
live on God’s earth as other nations? Does Humanity, does Christianity
allow that tender babes and children should be hideously and horribly
mutilated and butchered before the eyes of their mothers, or that the
ears of mothers should be rent with the cries of the dying agony of
their murdered children? Does Humanity, does Christianity allow that
helpless women should be forcibly subjected to the most hideous, the
most loathsome, the most revolting, and the most cruel outrages? Does
Humanity, does Christianity, allow all this?
Christian Governments have organized a Hague Conference of Peace and
Civilization, but they have closed its doors to the cause of a bleeding
christian race groaning under the yoke of the cruellest oppressors that
the world has yet known. Christian men and women have held up their
hands in horror at the Indian Juggernauth; but alas! the political
wheels of Christian Governments have been a Greater Juggernauth for a
helpless christian race. It is by Christian Governments that “we are
made as the filth of the world, and as the offscouring of all things
unto this day.” It is as if the answer to our groanings had been made
by Christian Governments in just these words:
“We know that you have had frightful grievances, such as have been
beyond the measure of human endurance. We know that since the Treaty
of Berlin your history has been written in blood and tears, as the
history of no other nation has been written before or now. We know that
your women are subjected to the most revolting and hideous agonies,
and your babes and children hounded to hideous deaths. We know that
the sum total of your wrongs and sufferings is so great, that the cry
of its anguish is piercing the very heavens, but really, our political
and commercial jealousies prevent; and we each one of us being on the
look out lest our separate political and commercial interests in the
Empire of your oppressors be endangered, cannot regard you. It may be
the deadliest scandal of Christendom that we Christian Powers should
be all gathered together, one against another, in the Empire of your
Oppressors, as eagles gather together round a carcase; but really
there is no help for it; and if you must die hideously by a hellish
extermination, why then you must die, and we have to condone your
hellish extermination, for in any case, each one of us must secure his
own political and commercial interests in this same Empire of your
In “Transcaucasia and Ararat,” published by Mr. James Bryce in 1876,
there occurs in the chapter entitled “Some Political Reflections” the
“The attention of the West was so much drawn towards Herzegovina
and Bulgaria by the events of 1876 that the miseries of the Asiatic
subjects of the Porte have been unreasonably forgotten or neglected.
They are fully as wretched as the Slavs or Cretans have been; and in
so far worse off, that in Europe there exists no large body of tribes
making murder and robbery its regular and daily occupation as the
Kurds, and latterly the Circassians also, have done in Armenia. If
anyone will take the trouble to read the complaints of oppressions and
cruelties presented to the Porte by the Armenian Patriarchate in 1872
(since reprinted in England) and some of the more recent statements
printed by the Armenians in England on the same topic, he will see that
the state of Turkish Asia presents as grave and pressing a problem as
that of Bulgaria itself.”
In the 4th edition of the same book, published in 1896, the following
note appears to the passage I have quoted:
“Shortly after this was written, the Blue Books presented to
Parliament, containing reports from British Consuls in Asiatic Turkey,
showed that things were really far worse there than they had been in
Bulgaria or Herzegovina.”
What has followed since 1876 is too well known. For seeking redress
from their frightful grievances the Armenians were hunted like wild
beasts and killed like rats and flies during the Hamidian régime.
You will tell me, my christian friends, that with the rise of the
reform party in Turkey, the era of massacres is at an end, and I
will tell you that the conditions of 1876 and 1896 have not actually
changed, though they may seemingly appear so to the uninformed and
uninitiated. I will answer you that the hideous massacres of April
last happened nine months after the reform party first rose in power,
and nine months after the inauguration of the Constitution. I do not
question the goodwill of the reform party, but the reform party does
not comprise the whole Turkish nation, and until the Turk learns to
become liberal, civilized and human, there may be no more Armenians
left, unless some Christian Power such as the United States demands
their protection and enforces it. No! my Christian friends, it can be
well for other Christians in the Turkish Empire with their powerful
Governments at their back; but alas! there is no security for a subject
people alien in race and religion.
The massacres in April last raged from Adana to Alexandretta, and
according to authenticated reports about fifty thousand men, women
and children were hideously exterminated; more than this, the last
massacres were especially characterized by the most hideous, the most
loathsome, the most revolting and ferocious cruelties perpetrated
on women and children. Now what other name can we find for the
perpetrators of this diabolical orgy, except to call them fiends
incarnate; and who is the bold man who can guarantee that these same
fiends incarnate have become metamorphosed and changed all of a sudden;
or that the handful of liberal Turks at Constantinople are capable
of controlling and restraining them. We have not even heard that the
leaders and participators of the last massacres have been punished as
they deserved; and what is the reason they are left unpunished? because
the Government is afraid to punish Mahommedans for killing Christians;
because the liberal Turks dare not punish the “true believers” for
The religion of Mahommed, the religion of the sword, has been infused
into the Turk, and to understand the effect of the religion of Mahommed
upon the Turk, it is necessary to regard it from four aspects, or from
four points of analysis. First, the fundamental doctrine and law of the
religion. Second, the character of the founder as an example to his
followers. Third, the racial and ethnographic characteristics of the
Turk. Fourth, the effect which this particular religion would be likely
to have on this particular race. When we have viewed the Turk and his
government from these four points of analysis, we have the explanation
of all the woe and desolation which have lain over the countries under
“When ye encounter the unbelievers strike off their heads until you
have made a great slaughter of them” is a chapter of the Koran which
the Turk has religiously and steadfastly made his creed.
In conclusion, I will ask my readers to compare one point of difference
between the two races, the oppressor and the oppressed. Thousands upon
thousands of Armenian women, thousands upon thousands of Armenian
children, have been hounded to death, or savagely, ferociously,
horribly and loathsomely maltreated by the Turk, and yet in all the
agonizing years when Massacre has succeeded upon Massacre, has there
been one known case or one single instance of a Turkish woman or child
maltreated by Armenians?
The last massacres though especially organized from the Palace at
Constantinople, were officially announced to originate from an affray
between one Armenian and three Turks, in which the single handed one,
on the one side, grappling with the three on the other, killed one of
the three: given equal numbers and arms, the Armenian is always a match
for the Turk, but alas for him that unequal numbers and want of arms
have always made him the victim of his oppressor.
Ahmed Riza Bey in the first part (Ses Causes) of his book “La Crise de
L’Orient” published in Paris in 1907 holds a brief for his nation which
through its own fallacious arguments falls to the ground. I will quote
one passage as an example.
“Jamais les populations chrétiennes ne se sont révoltées, spontanément,
d’elles-mêmes. Les révoltes ont toujours été partielles et espacées,
ce qui tend bien à prouver qu’elles sont provoquées non par certains
injustices administratives que nous savons être constantes et les mêmes
pour tous, mais par les sourdes menées de l’extérieur. Les agences
consulaires, les écoles étrangères, les maisons des missionnaires,
couvertes par les Capitulations, ont servi de foyer de propagande,
de dépôts d’armes, et même de refuge pour les perturbateurs. Souvent
les ambassadeurs sont intervenus pour faire gracier des rebelles pris
et condamnés. On se rappelle avec quelle solennité les Arméniens qui
s’étaient introduits dans la Banque Ottomane furent conduits sains et
saufs à bord d’un bateau par le drogman de l’Ambassade russe--leur
“Si ces prétendus patriotards sont tant soutenus et choyés dans le
monde occidental, c’est parce qu’ils constituent un élément ou plutôt
un instrument de destruction au service de certains Européens élevés
dans les préjugés des Croissades et qui crient avec Chateaubriand:
(‘L’espèce humaine ne peut que gagner à la destruction de l’Empire
The author of “La Crise de L’Orient” continues in this strain. Are we
then to suppose that the British Consuls, men whose truthfulness has
never been impeached, whose reports on the unsupportable sufferings
of the subject christian races and the oppressions and hideous
atrocities of the Turks, have filled volumes: and likewise the American
Missionaries, men who have deservedly gained the honor and respect of
the world, whose statements have corroborated the British Consular
reports; have been according to Ahmed Riza Bey the mischief-makers
in the Turkish Empire? since it is from them alone the world has
gained the widest and most correct knowledge of the daily miseries
and oppressions under which the subject Christian races have groaned.
Are we also to suppose that men like Mr. James Bryce and Dr. Dillon
have by mendacious writings upheld them, British Consul and American
Missionary, liars, and mischief makers? Or rather are we not to suppose
that if thinking men and women in the world have come to cry out with
Chateaubriand “L’espèce humaine ne peut que gagner à la destruction
de l’Empire Ottoman” it is because the Turks have earned the world’s
condemnation through their own diabolical acts, and on account of the
woe and desolation which Turkish rule has worked over the fairest
provinces under the sun. If the Turk will turn from the evil of his
ways unto good, the stigma of “the unspeakable Turk” which now attaches
itself to him, will cease to be a veritable truth. The bringing about
of the transformation rests with himself.
Further in answer to Ahmed Riza Bey’s account of the Armenian
“prétendus patriotards” in connection with the Ottoman Bank; I cannot
do better than quote from Mr. Bryce’s version of the story, and the
massacre that followed: “In the following June serious trouble arose
at Van, where some sort of insurrection is said to have been planned,
though in the discrepancy of the accounts it is hard to arrive at
the truth. Masses of Kurds came down threatening to massacre the
Christians, and a conflict in which many innocent persons perished, was
with difficulty brought to an end by the intervention of the British
Consul. A little later the Armenian revolutionary party, emboldened
by the rising in Crete, where the Christians, being well armed and
outnumbering the Muslims, held their ground successfully, issued
appeals to the Embassies and to the Turkish Government to introduce
reforms, threatening disturbances if the policy of repression and
massacre was persisted in. These threats were repeated in August,
and ultimately, on August 26, a band of about twenty Armenians,
belonging the revolutionary party, made a sudden attack on the Imperial
Ottoman Bank in Constantinople, declaring they were prepared to
hold it and blow it up should the Sultan refuse their demand. They
captured the building by a _coup de main_, but were persuaded by the
Russian dragoman to withdraw upon a promise of safety. Meanwhile the
Government, who through their spies knew of the project, had organised
and armed a large mob of Kurds and Lazes--many of whom had recently
been brought to the city--together with the lowest Turkish class.
Using the occasion, they launched this mob upon the peaceful Armenian
population. The onslaught began in various parts of the city so soon
after the attack on the Bank that it had obviously been prearranged,
and the precaution had been taken to employ the Turkish ruffians in
different quarters from those in which they dwelt; so that they might
less easily be recognised. Carts had moreover been prepared in which
to carry off the dead. For two days an indiscriminate slaughter went
on, in which not only Armenian merchants and traders of the cultivated
class, not only the industrious and peaceable Armenians of the humbler
class, clerks, domestic servants, porters employed on the quays and
in the warehouses, but also women and children were butchered in the
streets and hunted down all through the suburbs. On the afternoon of
the 27th the British Chargé d’Affaires (whose action throughout won
general approval) told the Sultan he would land British sailors, and
the Ambassadors telegraphed to the Sultan. Then the general massacre
was stopped, though sporadic slaughter went on round the city during
the next few days. The Ambassadors, who did not hesitate to declare
that the massacre had been organised by the Government, estimated the
number of killed at from 6000 to 7000; the official report made to
the Sultan is said to have put it at 8750. During the whole time
the army and the police had perfect control of the city--the police,
and a certain number of the military officers and some high civil
officials, joining in the slaughter. Of all the frightful scenes
which Constantinople, a city of carnage, has seen since the great
insurrection of A.D. 527 when 30,000 people perished in the hippodrome
there has been none more horrible than this. For this was not the
suppression of an insurrection in which contending factions fought. It
was not the natural sequel to a capture by storm, as when the city was
taken and sacked by the Crusaders in A.D. 1204, and by the Turks in
A.D. 1453. It was slaughter in cold blood, when innocent men and women,
going about their usual avocations in a time of apparent peace, were
suddenly beaten to death with clubs, or hacked to pieces with knives,
by ruffians who fell upon them in the streets before they could fly to
any place of refuge.”
I am also obliged to quote from an Article written by a Turkish Officer
who signs himself A. J. and published in the “Siper-i-Saïka-i-Hurriet,”
a Turkish daily, on July 6, 1909.
Every time that I hear the name Armenian I feel the bleeding of
a moral wound within me. It was the year I was sent into exile
(1896). On a Thursday, before we had left the Military School
for our vacation, a rumor flew through the school,--“They are
massacring the Armenians.” All my young patriotic companions
turned pale from deep emotion. Every one tried to read in the
sad faces of others the reason for this bad news. But each
one avoided expressing his thought. After a time the details
began to circulate to the effect that the Armenians had dared
to destroy the Ottoman Bank and government buildings with
bombs, and that this was the reason why they were massacred.
At that time all of us trembled, because we also were enemies
of that government, because we also wished to overthrow it,
and although we were not convinced that the best service could
be rendered by bombs, we were working quietly to spread our
ideas. In our hearts a flame of enmity and indignation, no
less terrible than bombs, was burning. The poor Armenians
were being massacred ruthlessly, because out of their number
five or ten persons, resenting their wrongs, had rebelled.
But that which maddened these poor men, that drove them to
rebellion and placed bombs in their hands was the stupidity of
the people and the outrageous oppressions of the government.
And now this inhuman government was killing with clubs a
noble nation, under the pretext of putting down a rebellion
produced by its own oppressions. Among the crimes committed
by the former government the most unpardonable crime was the
Armenian massacre. If there was a race up to that time among
non-Moslem peoples which with sincere and deep feeling honored
the Ottoman fatherland that race was the Armenian. It is the
Armenians who wear most nearly the national dress, who speak
and write Turkish best, and recognize the Ottoman country as
their fatherland. Besides this it is the Armenians who engage
in commerce and agriculture, and thus, by demonstrating its
fruitfulness, increase the value of the Ottoman Empire. Because
a few among them justly started an agitation, these our noble
and industrious brethren were being massacred. What a terrible
scene! When we left the school building we saw hundreds of the
bodies of our Armenian compatriots being removed in manure
carts; legs and arms were hanging down outside. This bloody
scene will ever remain impressed on my mind.
“This shocking crime of Yildiz formed a deep lake of blood,
and this lake, during the whole course of a cursed absolutism,
up to the last moment, grew wider. Even during the past
nine months of the Constitution, in spite of the brotherly
feelings which had been shown, the awful events in Adana took
place and the souls of all true Osmanlis melted into tears.
Up to the present time the deep sorrow caused by this event
has not disappeared, because this bloody wound in our social
body cannot easily be cured. While we fill our stomachs with
choice morsels, while we rest selfishly in our comfortable
beds, these fatherless and brotherless orphans, widows hungry,
naked, and barefoot wander hither and thither, and thousands
of families are fleeing from the fatherland. We are convinced
that the government is doing its work, but what has happened
is so great a calamity that it can keep a government busy for
years. However much sacrifice we may make, still it will be
inadequate, because the happiness of the fatherland depends on
healing such blood wounds as these as soon as possible. We are
convinced that the government and all connected with it are
persuaded of this as well as ourselves. We must now wipe out
the traces of the misfortune brought by a cursed period. We
must now comfort weeping hearts. We must understand and teach
those who do not understand that patriotism and brotherhood
do not differ from each other. The responsibility of the
government for the Armenians is very great and very weighty.
The whole Ottoman nation is under obligations to protect this
suffering race, because the liberty we enjoy to-day is in large
part due to the blood shed by the Armenians. We thought that
these truths were so obvious that we preferred to keep silence,
whereas to-day we understand that it is necessary from time to
time to recall the greatness of our obligation. We must not
forget that this unhappy people up to yesterday has endured
only barbarism, and for twelve years has been constantly
oppressed and ground to the earth, and has given thousands of
victims. Hereafter we must work to assure them that the era
of massacres has passed, and with all our strength of mind
and soul we must quiet them. The obligation of the government
to protect them is also very heavy, because our Armenian
countrymen live among wandering tribes. We must all assist the
government and point out its obligation. It must be declared
in public and periodically that the one of the most important
duties of the Ottoman nation is to protect, together with those
of other races, the interests, the life, and property of the
Armenians as well, since these are their sacred rights. Let
investigations be made and let whatever is necessary be done in
order to reach this aim.”
This article of the Turkish officer, who however does not dare
disclose his identity; and the account given by an authority like
Mr. James Bryce surely refute the facile explanation of Ahmed Riza
Bey in alluding to the Massacres as “les Massacres occasionnés par
les aventuriers Arméniens.” Indeed it holds out poor hope for the
furtherance of liberty and justice in Turkey when the man who is the
President of the Chamber of Deputies only as far back as 1907 tries to
palliate the horrors of the Hamidian régime by misrepresentations.
The author of “La Crise de l’Orient” also cites the Japanese as
an instance of the civilization and aptitude for progress of a
non-Christian oriental race. In this case, Ahmed Riza Bey certainly
needs to measure the distance between the mental, moral and humane
qualities of the Japanese and the Turk, a distance as great as lies
geographically between the North Pole and the South.
THE ARMENIAN MASSACRES AND THE TREATY OF BERLIN.
Since the gathering of the Plenipotentiaries of Europe at the famous
Congress of Berlin in 1878, and the signing of the still more famous
Treaty of Berlin, the martyr roll of the unfortunate Armenian nation
stands without its parallel in history.
In the Guildhall at Berlin hangs a picture of the memorable scene
witnessed in that city on July the thirteenth 1878. The painter has
depicted the proud array of representatives of the powerful Governments
of Europe, but in the interests of Humanity there should be attached to
that painting the wording of Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin written
in letters of blood (Armenian blood).
It was a curious irony of Fate, that although the taking of “the
terrible stronghold of Kars,” universally admitted to be one of the
greatest and most difficult military exploits ever achieved, and the
crowning success of the Russian arms in Asiatic Turkey, should have
been accomplished by an Armenian General; that although Armenian
Generals in the Russian service had led to conquest, and Armenian
soldiers fought, conquered and died, yet by these successes not only
was no amelioration attained of the hard fate of their unhappy nation
under Turkish rule, but that fate, hard before, was made a hundredfold
and even a thousandfold harder.
[Illustration: GENERAL PRINCE LORIS MELIKOFF.
Commanded the Russian forces in Asiatic Turkey during the Russo-Turkish
war and captured the impregnable fortress of Kars. Appointed Prime
Minister of Russia by Alexander II. The liberal policy which
characterized the reign of that excellent monarch, and the Constitution
that he was on the eve of granting to his people were influenced by
Melikoff; but after the death of Alexander II he was not allowed to
continue in his good work of reforming Russia, being overthrown from
office early in the reign of Alexander III.]
The efforts of the Armenians, and the entreaties of their Patriarch
Nerses had procured the insertion of Article 16 in the Treaty of San
Stefano signed between Russia and Turkey in March 1878. In fact the
wording of the Article had been suggested by the Patriarch himself.
It provided the following stipulation for the protection of the
“As the evacuation by the Russian troops of the territory which they
now 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
the Armenians, and to guarantee their security against the Kurds and
What followed has passed into history. The British Government of which
Lord Beaconsfield (then Mr. D’Israeli) was Premier, and Lord Salisbury
Foreign Secretary, once more pursued the old policy of baffling Russian
aggrandizement in Turkey. Afraid that her own real or fancied interests
would thereby become imperilled, England threw in the weight of her
power, and virtually commanded the substitution of the Treaty of Berlin
in lieu of the Treaty of San Stefano. Thus the substantial guarantee of
a natural and immediate protector, both able and desirous of enforcing
the protection which the Armenians then had in Russia, was taken away,
and the security of impotent words given in its stead, namely:--
“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
“_It will periodically make known the steps taken to this effect to the
Powers, who will superintend their application._” How this last proviso
could furnish food for laughter were it not for the terrible tragedy
involved in it.
The insertion of Article 61 in the Treaty of Berlin, granted, or rather
seemingly granted, by the six Powers of Europe, proved in reality, as
subsequent events bore out, an instrument of death and torture. It was
as if the reversal of the figures had reversed the possibilities of
succour and protection, and with the death of the Czar Liberator, the
last chance of the Armenians died.
The Turkish Massacres of 1875 and 1876 which led up to the
Russo-Turkish War of 1877 are historical facts too well known to need
further comment in this article. The Czar Liberator stands out in
history as that noble figure--a benefactor of mankind. Through his
humanitarian susceptibilities, and his sublime efforts for their
deliverance, the Christians of European Turkey received immunity
from Turkish slaughter; and the protection of his benevolent arm was
extended over that unhappy Christian nation of Asiatic Turkey, the
Armenians; at least it would have secured them immunity from the
record-breaking slaughter that followed, but the Power that had stood
behind Turkey since 1791 frustrated his endeavours.
A British commentator on that page of British policy has summed it up
in the words:--
“In no other part of the world has our national policy or conduct been
determined by motives so immoral and so stupid.”
The same commentator, in reviewing also the result of the substituted
Treaty, fittingly remarks:--
“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 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.”
It had been the constant endeavour of the Patriarch Nerses to point out
to the Armenians that their true policy lay in aiding Russian advance
in Turkey: that even if Russia were selfish in her designs, she was
the only Christian Power that would stand as their protector against
Turkish or Persian tyranny. His political foresight had already been
verified as early as 1827, and his strenuous life-long labours were
nearing the goal in 1878, but were frustrated by the fatal action that
England, by commanding the substitution of the Treaty of Berlin in
place of that of San Stefano had taken upon herself the heaviest
obligations any nation could incur. It is unnecessary to repeat that
those obligations were never fulfilled.
If the lamented death of the Emperor Alexander II was one of the most
unhappy events that could have befallen Russia; it was a hundredfold
more unhappy for the Armenian nation. His successor, who adopted
repressive and coercive measures for his own people in the place of
his father’s liberal policy, not only applied the same measures to his
Armenian subjects in his own domains, but left their countrymen under
Turkish rule to their merciless fate.
Russia, twice foiled in her subjugation of Turkey, changed her policy
from that of crushing into that of upholding the Ottoman Empire. When
the horrors of the Armenian massacres, revealed to the people of
England by their own ambassadors and consuls, their own journalists
and men of letters, thrilled the hearts of men and women, when
England’s “Grand Old Man” thundered his vituperations against the
“Great Assassin,” Prince Lobanoff in answer to British proposals of
coercion towards Turkey, conveyed Russia’s intentions in his warning
note to the Salisbury Government, and England, who in 1878 had rivetted
the Turkish yoke on the necks of the Armenians, to use the words of
an eminent British authority on Turkish affairs, “wrung her hands and
The same authority tells us that the _coup de grace_ to the
intervention of the Concert of Europe in Armenian affairs was given by
Prince Bismarck, “who in 1883 intimated to the British Government, in
terms of cynical frankness and force, that Germany cared nothing about
the matter, and that it had better be allowed to drop.”
Thus the Concert of Europe, under whose aegis the aspiring Armenians
foolishly and fondly hoped to recover National Autonomy, became the
cause of dealing out to the struggling nation, not security from
Turkish oppression, but instead fire, famine and slaughter, a slaughter
to which were added devilish ingenuity of torture, and the loathsome
horrors of Turkish prisons. If before the Treaty of Berlin the
Armenians had suffered from various phases of Turkish oppression, they
had at least not been pursued with the relentless fury that followed,
until the soil of the fatherland was soaked, and reeked and steamed
with the life-blood of its slaughtered sons and daughters; until
women and children were done to their death under the most hideous and
revolting circumstances, and tender youths and cultured men of letters
rotted in Turkish dungeons.
England, with her uneasy conscience, continued spasmodic efforts in the
shape of paper remonstrances, from time to time she rallied the other
powers who were signatories to the Treaty of Berlin and by means of
Ambassadorial Identical Notes and Collective Notes sought to terminate
the horrors that were stirring public feeling at home; but Abdul Hamid,
fully cognizant of the jealousies and rivalries of the Powers, and
knowing himself secure thereby, laughed in his sleeve at all the paper
No action was taken by the Cabinets of Europe to leash the tiger
sitting on the Ottoman throne. The lust of blood and the lust
of plunder of “le Sultan Rouge,” combined with the greed of his
satellites, were allowed to be gratified to the full on a helpless and
hapless people, whilst Europe looked on.
The character of Abdul Hamid has been well summed up in the testimony
of a writer having opportunities of intimate acquaintance with him.
“Il voit dans son peuple un vil troupeau qu’il peut dévorer sans pitié,
et à qui, comme le lion de la Fable, il fait beaucoup d’honneur en
daignant le croquer.”
When to these significant words, we add the following by the same
“De ce qu’Abdul Hamid n’est pas bon musulman, il ne faudrait pas
conclure qu’il aime les Chrétiens; il les déteste, au contraire, et
emploie fréquemment le mot _giaour_ pour désigner un infidèle ou
insulter un musulman.”
We have the explanation of the Armenian massacres; especially as that
unfortunate people had become by Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin,
subjects of the paper remonstrances of the Powers of Europe, and
thereby also objects of the tyrant’s vengeance.
[Illustration: GENERAL TER GOUKASSOFF.
Relieved the beleaguered Russian garrison at Bayazid during the
Russo-Turkish war of 1877, captured the fortress; and otherwise
distinguished himself during the war.
The other Armenian General who distinguished himself during the
Russo-Turkish war was General Lazaroff.]
That the Armenians should be constantly appealing to the Power that
had pledged itself for their protection, and that the same Power
should be constantly rallying the others, and making Ambassadorial
demonstrations, was enough to rouse the vilest passions of a nature in
which no feelings except vile passions existed.
Of all sins in this world, perhaps the sin of foolishness receives the
severest punishment, and of all crimes, the crime of failure meets
with the heaviest doom. For their foolishness in trusting in European
protection and hoping for European intervention the unfortunate
Armenians paid with rivers of their own blood, and for their crime of
failure they were made to wallow in that blood. The darkest pages of
their history have been written in the closing years of the nineteenth,
and the early years of the twentieth century; never since the loss of
their independence, nine centuries ago, had they hoped for so much, and
never had they paid so dearly for their folly.
If they had carefully laid to heart the whole history of Europe’s
intercourse with Asia, beginning with the conquests of the Macedonian
Alexander, they would have read in the light of sober judgement,
self-interest, and self-interest only written on every line and
page, but they committed the folly of hoping that for their sakes
the history of the world, which means in other words the history of
human selfishness, was going to be reversed; and they forgot what was
more important than all, that Europe had nothing to gain by their
emancipation. There is only one explanation for their folly. It is a
peculiarity of human nature that the troubles we have been bearing
with more or less patience, become unbearable when once hopes of
deliverance from them are awakened. Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin
awakened hopes that proved bitterer in the eating than Dead Sea fruit.
It aroused towards the Armenians the diabolical animosity of the human
fiend who held sovereignty over them.
Hunted like wild beasts, killed like rats and flies, out of the depths
of its agony and its martyrdom, the nation has still contrived to rear
its head and live; for it was as it is now, the industrious, energetic,
self-respecting element in the Turkish Empire, with a virile life in
its loins and sinews, that centuries of oppression culminating in
the unspeakable horrors of a thirty years’ martyrdom has failed to
As for the Treaty of Berlin--It has done its work.
THE ARMENIAN MASSACRES AND THE TURKISH CONSTITUTION.
The Turkish Constitution came with a bound that shook the equanimity of
Europe. To the anxious and jealously watching eyes of Europe the “sick
man in her midst” was at last becoming moribund. His recovery was as
startling as unexpected. Europe had not correctly gauged the latent
forces within the Turkish Empire, neither had she correctly estimated
the far-reaching astuteness of the tyrant on the throne.
Assailed by enemies from without and within, feeling the foundation
of his throne crumbling, Abdul Hamid, arch murderer and assassin,
performed his own _auto da fé_, and rose from his ashes a
constitutional sovereign. The obduracy of the merciless tyrant melted
like wax before the approach of personal danger, and the act was
necessary to save himself.
Hopes rose high at such a magnificent _coup d’état_ of the
revolutionaries. Young Turks and Armenians fell on each other’s necks,
embraced, and mingled their tears of joy together. Leaders of the
Turkish Constitution proclaimed in public speeches that the Turks
owed the deepest debt of gratitude to the Armenians who had been the
initiators of their struggle for Freedom, and in the Armenian graveyard
at Constantinople Turks held a memorial service and kissed the graves
of the Armenian dead, whom they called “the martyrs whose blood had
been shed for Turkish freedom.”
At the banquet given by Abdul Hamid to the Delegates of the Turkish
Parliament, the Armenian Delegates alone refused to attend, declining
to be the guest of the man responsible for the murder of hundreds of
thousands of their countrymen.
The Armenian revolutionaries had stood behind the Young Turk party and
joined hands with them; already the nation at large imagined itself
breathing the air of Freedom, and already in anticipation drank in deep
draughts of the air of Liberty.
The awakening came all too quickly. In spite of the Constitution the
machinations of Abdul Hamid and his palace clique could find fruitful
ground among a fanatical populace to whom the Padishah was not only the
Lord’s anointed but the Lord’s appointed, the delegate of the Prophet
on whom his sacred mantle had fallen; added to this the incentive of
pecuniary rewards to a brutal soldiery and the lust of plunder, and
once more the horrors of massacres were let loose on the Armenians.
There followed sacked and burning villages, plundered and devastated
homes, an unarmed population put to the sword, and as in every case,
cruelties of the most hideous and ferocious nature perpetrated on women
In the whole long story of the massacres, courage to face their
oppressors has never been found wanting on the part of the Armenians.
It is on record that the women of a whole mountain village surprised by
Turkish soldiers, in the absence of the men, fought and resisted to the
last gasp, and finally, to escape the clutches of the brutal soldiery,
committed suicide with their children by precipitating themselves from
their mountain cliffs. A nation which could produce such women, and
which has had the simple courage to die for its faith, as no Christian
people has died before, is not wanting in brave men, but no amount of
bravery and heroism can save an unarmed population from being mowed
down by soldiery equipped with modern instruments of carnage and
The horrors of Adana coming on the heels of a Constitution they had
aided, and from which they had hoped so much, presages grave fears for
No one doubts that a great forward movement is reaching its culminating
point in the destiny of Asia. The West has learnt its all of religion
(the moral and guiding principle of mankind) from the East, and now
the East would fain learn the law of restraint and the law of freedom
(the protecting principles of mankind) from the West. Inspired by
this feeling the liberal Turks decidedly mean well, and they are
animated with a sincere desire to ensure peace and security of life
and property for the heterogeneous peoples under the Turkish sway, but
they themselves have had to contend and still have to contend with a
To the Mahommedan world at large the Caliph of Islam is the envoy of
God, the sacredness of whose person must be inviolate. Abdul Hamid, the
astute politician, knew that the security of his sovereignty depended
on his Caliphal rights, and his main policy during the long period of
his execrable reign had been directed towards preserving and asserting
the same; thus we can see how his dethronement, which the liberal Turks
would gladly have accomplished simultaneously with the inauguration of
the Constitution, had to be deferred to a later period, and how it was
necessary for the Sheik ul Islam to pronounce the Caliph a traitor to
his sacred trust, a violator of the holy law of the Prophet, before his
dethronement could be dared or accomplished.
The Christian Armenians in Turkey live in the midst of the followers of
a hostile religion, with no power or force behind them which makes for
protection. Who does not know that the great numerical preponderance
of Hinduism keeps the balance of power in India, and restrains bloody
religious hostilities; and when we review the whole religious history
of Christian Europe, and that terribly long roll of crimes committed in
the name of Him who expounded His religion with the parable of the Good
Samaritan, and the precept of loving one’s neighbour as one’s self,
we cannot feel surprise at the fanatical outbursts of the followers
of Mahommed, the founder of a religion whose doctrines certainly
fall short of the humane principles inculcated by the Founder of
Christianity. If authentic historical facts prove to us that horrible
and atrocious cruelties have been perpetrated by Christian nations,
not only on other religionists, but on fellow Christians of different
denominations, how then can we expect better things from the Turk
unless some power or force restrain him?
Christianity has now partly emancipated herself from the ferocities
which darkened and poured the red stream of blood on her white banner:
but to the Mahommedan world at large, religion is still the powder
magazine which a spark can ignite.
“Better the Czar than the Sultan, but better any form of national
autonomy than either Czar or Sultan” has been the principle which has
animated the Armenians, and the goal towards which they have been
striving for thirty years.
National Autonomy has been the dream of the Armenians in Turkey, but it
is well to consider if such a dream has any possibility of realization.
Bulgaria declared her independence, and Austria annexed Bosnia and
Herzegovina, but these reductions of Turkish power were accomplished
by the force that stood behind them. Have the Armenians any such force
which could accomplish their deliverance? Have they an organized army
at their command? Are they equipped with all the necessary weapons of
modern warfare? are questions it is well for the nation to ask before
it makes itself a target for Turkish bullets.
On the other hand is it likely that the Turks will willingly give the
Armenians independence? To do so would mean that they should themselves
dismember their own Empire, and when we see Christian Governments
actuated in their foreign policy by the supremest selfishness;
Christian Governments striving tooth and nail in their own self
interest to keep possessions which are lawfully not their own, then
why in the name of common sense should we expect such extraordinary
magnanimity, or such super-nobility from the Turk.
Armenia stands in the unhappy position of being divided between Russia
and Turkey (if we except Persia, which does not count for much since
1827). It is evident that even the Czar Liberator, if he had been
allowed to carry out his humanitarian endeavours, would have liberated
Armenia from Turkey, not to give her independence but to make her into
a Russian possession, for to have given Turkish Armenia independence
would have been tantamount to fostering the spirit of independence in
those provinces of Armenia which had already passed under Russian rule.
It is well known that the Emperor Alexander II was guided and
influenced by the liberal principles of Loris Melikoff (or properly
Melikian according to the Armenian termination of his name). Melikian
enjoyed the personal friendship of the Czar, and the successful victor
of Kars was rewarded by his august master with the office of Prime
Minister. The policy of Melikian made for the Russofication of Armenia,
and while it is not possible that he loved Russia more than he loved
his own country, it is rather more than probable that he saw in the
Russofication of his nation the only way of saving its people.
With the death of Alexander II Melikian’s star passed out of the
horizon of Russian ministership; his liberal principles were not
acceptable to Alexander III, and the policy of Russia towards the
Armenians underwent a decided change.
Since the disastrous war with Japan the policy of Russia towards the
Armenians has undergone another change. In the years preceding the
war, the reigning autocrat had pursued the policy of his father to an
even greater degree of repression. Not only had national schools and
theatres been closed in Russian Armenia and newspapers suspended, but
the Czar went still further, and confiscated the lands and the wealth
of the Armenian church.
The late Armenian Catholicos Mukertich Khirimian (one of the delegates
sent to the Congress of Berlin by the Patriarch Nerses), to whom his
own people had given the beloved appellation of “Hairik” (little
father) had by his noble life of self-sacrifice, his unceasing labours
for the cause of the people, and his remarkable individuality, come
to be regarded as a sort of holy man. There in the Cathedral of
Etchmiatzin, under the venerable dome where for seventeen hundred
years the successors of Gregore Loosavoritch (Gregory the Illuminator)
had each in his turn held sway, and worshipped on the spot where the
vision of Christ the Lord had descended, there before the altar of
Christ, had Hairik the holy man lifted up his voice and cursed--cursed
the Czar; and cursed Russia--Pious Russia with its pious Czar at its
head shuddered, and the astounding reverses in the war with Japan that
followed were attributed to Khirimian’s curse.
Russia in Expiation made Reparation: the ban on schools, theatres and
newspapers was removed, the church lands and the church wealth were
restored, and the Czar of all the Russias in a friendly note to the
Armenian Catholicos assured him of the Imperial friendship, and the
Imperial solicitude for the welfare of his people.
The return from exile of the Patriarch Ezmerlian to Constantinople,
was quickly followed by his nomination to the See of Etchmiatzin,
left vacant by the death of his predecessor, and now we hear of the
Catholicos appealing to the Russian Government to take over the
protectorate of Armenia from Turkey. Ezmerlian knows Turkey, he has
been in close touch with the liberal Turks, and he knows the Turkish
nation as a whole; he knows also that the present and immediate future
of Russia is dark in the gloom of autocratic Czardom, and a man of his
intellectual attainments and liberal principles can have no sympathy
with absolutism. The appeal therefore of the Catholicos Ezmerlian
(the Iron Patriarch as he is familiarly known) must be read as a
premonition, that not only has all hope of wresting national autonomy
from Turkey died in his resolute heart, but also that he entertains
grave fears of the possibility of the horrors of Adana being repeated.
[Illustration: MUCKERTICH KHIRIMIAN.
(Late Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of Etchmiatzin. Author and
Russia may go on massacring Jews until Russians have left off being
fanatical devils, and learned to be human, but however much she may
pursue the policy of suppressing nationalism, however much she may seek
to absorb the nation into herself, she has stopped at slaughter as far
as Armenians are concerned. In his appeal to Russia, the Catholicos can
be actuated by no other motive except the one motive of safe-guarding
the people, of whom he is the acknowledged head.
A man of high character and a dauntless patriot, known to his people
under the beloved appellation of “Hairik” (little father). He was one
of the delegates sent by the Patriarch Nerses to the Congress of Berlin
in 1878. He worked for the cause of the people during his whole life,
and died, worn out with heartbreaking disappointments; his dying words
were, “We must not despair.”
In an article entitled “The Church of Ararat” by Henry W. Nevinson in
Harper’s Monthly Magazine of April, 1908 there is given the following
interesting account of the late Catholicos.
The old man was sitting up in bed, a gray rug neatly spread
over him for counterpane. There was something childlike and
appealing in his position, as there always is about a sick man
lying in bed in the daytime. One felt a little brutal standing
beside him, dressed, and well, and tingling from the cold
outside. It was a time for soothing hands and motherly care
to put this baby of fourscore years to rest. But his mother
was long ago forgotten: even his wife had been dead for half a
century; and his only nurse was a stalwart black-bearded bishop
of middle age.
It was a long, low room, pleasant in its austerity. The
whitewashed walls, the bare floor, the absence of all ornament,
told of a clean and devoted mind. The windows looked upon a
courtyard, silent but for the murmur and fluttering of pigeons.
The old man’s hands lay quiet on the blanket, white, and wasted
almost to the bone. The nightgown hid a form so thin it hardly
made a ripple under the clothes. Through the white and shrunken
face every lineament of the future skull was already visible;
but on each side of the thin nose, hooked like a round bow, a
great brown eye revealed the inward spirit’s intelligence and
zeal unquenched. On his head was a close-fitting cap of purple
Thus, near the end of last December, one of a century’s
greatest men--Mgrditch Khrimian, Katholikos of the Armenian
Church, and soul of the Armenian people--slowly approaching
to death, lay in the ancient monastery called Etchmiatzin,
or “The Only-Begotten is Descended.” From the window of a
neighboring room he might have looked across the frost bound
plain of the Araxes, where the vines were now all cut close and
buried for the winter. Beyond the plain stood a dark mass of
whirling snow and hurricane that hid the cone of Ararat. And
just beyond Ararat lies Lake Van, last puddle of the Deluge.
On the shore of that lake, eighty-seven years ago, Khrimian
was born. In 1820 the Turkish Empire was still undiminished by
sea or land; the Sultan still counted as one of the formidable
Powers of Europe. It was four years before Byron set out to
deliver Greece from his tyranny, and established for England a
reputation as the generous champion of freedom--a reputation
which still rather pathetically survives throughout the
Near East. Long and stormy had been the life upon which the
Katholikos now looked back, but not unhappy, for from first
to last it had been inspired by one absorbing and unselfish
aim--the freedom and regeneration of his people. It is true he
From his earliest years, when he had witnessed the terrors of
Turkish oppression in the homes of Armenians round Ararat, he
was possessed by the spirit of nationality--such a spirit as
only kindles in oppressed races, but dies away into easygoing
tolerance among the prosperous and contented of the world.
He began as a poet, wandering far and wide through the
Turkish, Persian, and Russian sections of Armenia, visiting
Constantinople and Jerusalem, and recalling to his people by
his poems the scenes and glories of their national history.
Entering the monastic order after his wife’s death, he devoted
himself to the building of schools, which he generously threw
open to Kurds, the hereditary assassins of Armenians. For many
years, while Europe was occupied with Crimean wars, Austrian
wars, or French and German wars, we see him ceaselessly
journeying from Van to Constantinople and through the cities of
Asia, unyielding in the contest, though continually defeated,
his schools burned, his printing-presses broken up, his sacred
emblems of the Host hung in mockery round the necks of dogs.
When elected Armenian patriarch of Constantinople (1869), he
was driven from his office after four years.
But the cup of Turkish iniquity was filling. The pitiless
slaughter of Bulgarians and Armenians alike was more than
even the European Powers could stand. With varied motives,
Russia sent her armies to fight their way to the walls of
Constantinople, and Khrimian found himself summoned to plead
his people’s cause before the Congress of Berlin. Though he
speaks no language but Armenian and Turkish, he visited all
the great courts of Europe beforehand, urging them to create
an autonomous neutral state for Armenia, as they had done with
success for the Lebanon. In London he became acquainted with
Gladstone; but Gladstone was then only the blazing firebrand
which had kindled the heart of England, and, in the Congress
itself Khrimian could gain nothing for his people beyond the
promises of Article 61, pledging the Powers, and especially
England, to hold the Kurds in check and enforce Turkey’s
definite reforms. It is needless to say that none of these
promises and pledges were observed. Beaconsfield returned to
London amid shouts of “Peace with Honor,” and Armenia was left
So it went on. Detained in Constantinople as prisoner, banished
to Jerusalem for rebellion, and finally chosen Katholikos, or
head of his Church and race, by his own people, he maintained
the hopeless contest. Year by year the woe increased, till by
the last incalculable crime (1894-1896), the Armenians were
slaughtered like sheep from the Bosporus to Lake Van, and
the lowest estimate counted the murdered dead at 100,000.
Gladstone made the last great speech of his heroic life.
England attempted some kind of protest. But rather than join
the Liberal demand for action, Lord Rosebery left his party
for private leisure, and Russia, France, and Germany combined
to secure immunity for the “great assassin.” It was the lowest
point of Europe’s shame.
Blow followed blow. Hardly had the remnant of the Armenian
people escaped from massacre when their Church fell under the
brutal domination of Russia. Plehve ordained its destruction,
and Golitzin was sent to Tiflis as governor-general to carry
it out. Church property to the value of £6,000,000 was seized
by violence, the Katholikos resolutely refusing to give up
the keys of the safe where the title deeds were kept (June,
1903). For two years the Russian officials played with the
revenues, retaining eighty per cent. for their own advantage.
But in the mean time assassination had rid the earth of
Plehve, and the overwhelming defeats of Russia in Manchuria
were attributed to the Armenian curse. Grudgingly the Church
property was restored, in utter chaos, and for the moment it is
Russia’s policy to favor the Armenians as a balance against the
Georgians, whom the St. Petersburg government is now determined
Such was the past upon which the worn old man, stretched on his
monastic bed, looked back that winter’s morning. Singleness of
aim has its reward in spiritual peace, but of the future he
was not hopeful. He no longer even contemplated an autonomous
Armenia, either on Turkish territory or on Russian. On the
Russian side of the frontier the Armenian villages were too
scattered, too much interspersed with Georgians and Tartars, to
allow of autonomy. On the Turkish side, he thought, massacre
and exile had now left too few of the race to form any kind
of community. Indeed, for the last twelve years the Armenian
villagers have been crawling over the foot of Ararat by
thousands a year to escape the Kurds, and every morning they
come and stand in fresh groups of pink and blue rags outside
the monastery door where the head of their Church and race
lies dying. They stand there in mute appeal, as I saw them,
possessing nothing in the world but the variegated tatters
that cover them, and their faith in their Katholikos. Slowly
they are drafted away into Tiflis, Baku, or their Caucasian
villages, but nowhere are they welcomed.
Some of the bishops and monks, who form a council round their
chief, still look for Europe’s interference, and trust that the
solemn pledges taken by England and other Powers at Berlin may
be fulfilled. The Bishop of Erivan, for instance, still labors
for the appointment of a Christian governor over the district
marked by the ill-omened names of Van, Bitlis, and Erzeroum.
I also found that even among the Georgians there was a large
party willing to concede all the frontier district from Erivan
to Kars, where Armenian villages are thickest, as an autonomous
Armenian province, in the happy day when the Caucasus wins
federal autonomy. But the majority of the Armenian clergy, who
hitherto have led the people, are beginning to acquiesce in the
hopelessness of political change, and are now limiting their
efforts to education and industries. One cannot yet say how far
their influence may be surpassed in the growing revolutionary
parties of “The Bell” and “The Flag.” Of these, the Social
Democratic “Bell” follows the usual impracticable and pedantic
creed of St. Marx. The “Flag,” or party of Nationalist
Democrats, is at present dominant, and at a great assembly
held in Erivan last August (1906) they adopted a programme
of land nationalization, universal suffrage and education,
an eight-hour day, and the control of the Church property by
elected laymen. If the Russian revolution makes good progress,
they will naturally unite with the Georgian Federalists, on
whom the best hopes of the country are set.
Whatever may be the political future of the Armenians, they
seem likely to survive for many generations yet as a race,
held together by language and religion. Except the Jews, there
is, I think, no parallel to such a survival. It is a thousand
years since they could be called a powerful nation. For almost
as long they have possessed no independent country of their
own. For six hundred years their ancient capital city of Ani
has stood a splendid but empty ruin in the desert between Kars
and the great mountain of Alagöz, which confronts Ararat, with
nearly equal height. They have been rent asunder and tormented
by Persians, Turks, Tartars, and Russians in turn. Even their
religion is not nationalistic or distinctly separate from other
forms of religion, like the Jewish. Except for metaphysical
shades of difference, hardly comprehensible to the modern
world, there is little to distinguish it from the orthodox
Christianity of the Near East. Yet, through innumerable
disasters and attempts at extermination, the race persists,
like the Jews, with astonishing vitality, unmistakable in
characteristics which may not be exactly heroic, but lead to a
certain material success. After all, it is only in harassed and
persecuted nationalities that true patriotism ever survives.
[Illustration: MATTHEVOSE EZMERLIAN.
Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of Etchmiatzin. A man of high
character and great ability, also a distinguished linguist. As
Patriarch of Constantinople he was familiarly known as the “Iron
Patriarch.” Banished by the Hamidian Government, he returned from exile
in 1908 and was shortly after elected Catholicos of Etchmiatzin.
The Armenian Catholicos is not infallible like the Pope. He is elected
by the nation, but his appointment is subject to the sanction of the
THE ARMENIAN MASSACRES AND THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE.
During a period extending over thirty years the civilized world has
heard of Turkish Massacres of Armenians. Massacres of a nature so
ferocious and diabolical, so hideous and revolting, that no pen could
adequately describe their horrors.
Writing in 1896, Mr. James Bryce, in his supplementary chapter to the
4th edition of his book “Transcaucasia and Ararat” makes the following
“Twenty years is a short space in the life of a nation. But these
twenty years have been filled with sufferings for the Armenian
Christians greater than their ancestors had to endure during the eight
centuries that have passed since the first Turkish Conquest of Armenia.
They have been years of misery, slaughter, martyrdom, agony, despair.”
And the years that have followed from 1896 to 1909 have had the same
tale of woe to unfold; a tale of horrors such as have never been
surpassed in the history of nations.
The opinion of the Turkish Pasha, “The way to get rid of the Armenian
Question, is to get rid of the Armenians” was followed by “le Sultan
Rouge,” and that the monster and assassin who sat on the Turkish
throne from 1876 to 1909 was not able to accomplish this policy to the
bitter end of complete extermination, was no doubt due to the grit and
stubborn endurance of the victims.
A Turkish writer has made the remark, “There are Armenians, but there
is no Armenia.” This assertion would be true if meant in a political
sense only, for of all civilized races on earth, Armenians are
politically one of the most forlorn, but the country has not been wiped
off the map. It still occupies the geographical place it has held since
history has been written. The land of the Euphrates and Tigris, that
Araxes valley, where, as simple and primitive Armenians will to this
day assert in unshaken belief, God made man in His own image, and the
country round the base of Ararat, where the generations of men once
more began to people the earth.
Once the land of Ararat was an independent kingdom until the tide of
victory rolled over it and conquered its independence. Hemmed round
by three Great Empires, Russian, Turkish and Persian, the unfortunate
geographical position of the country became the cause of its people’s
It is of bitter interest to Armenians to know that Ararat is the point
where the three Empires, Russian, Turkish and Persian, meet, whilst
the children of the land of Ararat have passed under the sovereignties
of Czar, Sultan and Shah. Thus it may be true that there is no Armenia
in the political sense of the word, but if Armenia has lost her
independence, the Armenian people have survived.
The Author of “Transcaucasia and Ararat” thus writes of them:--
“The Armenians are an extraordinary people, with a tenacity of national
life scarcely inferior to that of the Jews.”
The remark is true. There are two nations of antiquity who
notwithstanding unremitting persecutions, and centuries of loss of
independence, have survived their contemporary nations; their fortunes
have run on parallel lines, though their national characteristics have
been different in some respects. Together with his other avocations,
the Armenian is mountaineer, soldier, labourer, agriculturist, while
the Jew is purely a dweller in cities; but the same virility of life,
the same mental and physical strength have sustained both. The sons
of Heber, great grandson of Shem, have however become wise in their
generation, the Jew is now more American than the American, more
British than the British, more French than the French, more German than
the German. Not so the sons of Haik, great grandson of Japhet, for with
the same determined obstinacy with which he has clung to his faith, the
Armenian clings to his nationality. He has known how to resist Russian
endeavours of absorption, and Turkish systems of extermination. When
he gives up his nationality, it will be the story of the hunted animal
brought to its last gasp.
The Armenians have been called “the most determined of Christians,”
a remark the truth of which has been borne out by their unequalled
martyrdom for their faith; and yet it may truly be said that in no
Christian Church is the lay element more strong than it is in the
Armenian Church. Conscious of this freedom, Armenians are surprised to
read assertions made by some writers, about “the gross superstitions”
of their Church, which they on their part regard as the happy medium
between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Surrounded with pomp and
splendour, and a show of outward ceremonies, which the average Armenian
regards as no more than mere adjuncts to gratify and impress the
sensibilities, the Liturgy of the Armenian Church, in its grandeur and
pathos, appeals to the heart of the Armenian people, as no other form
of worship can; it is the reason, as has truly been said of them, that
“they carry their religion with them wherever they go.”
The Armenians have also been called “the interpreters between the
East and the West.” There is no doubt a certain adaptability which
is a national characteristic; and as language is the vehicle of
comprehension, their talent for acquiring languages helps to bring
them into touch with Eastern and Western peoples; but the main truth
of the observation lies in the fact, that being born Asiatics, and
living for the most part in the midst of Asiatic surroundings, they
fall into the ways of Asiatic life; they understand Asiatics better,
and know how to sympathise with them; whilst on the other hand, their
religion is the religion which has moulded the thought of the West, and
consequently also the religion that has moulded the thought of a people
who were the earliest Christians.
The main point of social difference between them and other Asiatic
nations, lies in the exalted position occupied by their women, and this
point of difference may be traced to that one cause or influence, which
has exalted the position of women in the West, the doctrines of Jesus
of Nazareth. This point of difference in social life, together with the
difference of religion, has always kept them separate from Persian and
Private and trustworthy information to hand brings the news that the
ex Sultan Abdul Hamid, aware of his impending dethronement, desired
to bring about a general massacre of Christians in Constantinople,
beginning with the foreign Embassies downwards. “I must be the last
Padishah, even though Turkey perish,” was Abdul’s frantic appeal to his
satellites, but his minions, not daring to venture on so dangerous an
undertaking, planned the massacres to begin at the village of Adana,
inhabited by the unfortunate Armenians. It was a safe plan, since the
Armenians had no battleships to turn their guns upon Constantinople,
and by the bombardment of the capital, to seek revenge for the murder
of their countrymen.
A massacre so wanton as that of Adana, can only find its counterpart in
the other Turkish massacres of Armenians which preceded it.
“Abdul the Damned” has been dethroned, but he has not been executed,
and so long as he continues to draw breath, as long is there danger for
We hear of the Mahommedans in India cabling their petition to the
new Turkish Government to spare the life of the ex-Padishah and the
ex-Caliph of Islam; the erstwhile “God’s shadow on earth” and the
erstwhile “God’s envoy on earth” the sacredness of whose person should
be inviolate. In this demonstration of the Indian Mahommedans, we
can read the epistle of Mahommedan thought, and feel the pulse of
Mahommedan feeling all over the Sunni Moslem world.
Although intensely mercenary, Abdul Hamid however not only never
grudged the gold which helped to accomplish the Armenian massacres,
but he used it largely in douceurs which purchased silence or false
representations of his diabolical acts, and it was by means of such
douceurs that he went farther than seducing merely his own subjects.
“Mais l’oeuvre de l’impérial corrupteur a dépassé les limites de son
Palais et de ses États, N’a-t-il pas, en effet, étouffé sous des
baillons dorés la voix d’importants organes de la presse européenne?
N’a-t-il pas acheté à l’étranger des politiciens et même des diplomates?
“Saïd Pacha ayant recherché ce qu’en six mois les massacres d’Arménie
avaient coûté au Trésor turc, en allocations à certains journaux
européens, a établi le compte approximatif suivant: 640 décorations, et
235,000 Livres Turques (près de cinq millions et demi)!”
It needs not be added that no one who knows the truth of Turkish
affairs, doubts the truth of this impeachment.
“But whatever the future may bring, the past is past, and will one
day fall to be judged. And of the judgement of posterity there can be
In these memorable words, Mr. James Bryce in the supplementary chapter
of his book “Transcaucasia and Ararat” concludes his criticism on
what he calls “the fatal action followed by the fatal inaction of the
It is true. As surely as the world revolves on her own axis, and as
day succeeds night, so surely History will record and Posterity will
judge. But what compensation to the Armenians? What compensation for
the rivers of blood that have inundated their land? What atonement for
the hideous past? What relief for the present? What hope for the future?
THE ARMENIAN MASSACRES AND THE FUTURE OF THE ARMENIANS.
The above is a subject for profound meditation for the Armenian people;
it has therefore naturally for me occupied much deep thought.
National Autonomy has been the dream of the Armenians; a dream which
through centuries of oppression and years of slaughter, the nation
has been striving and struggling to realize. The oldest of historical
nations, we have held to our nationality, language and religion; we
have struggled and striven, and though billows of affliction have
swept over us, we have not allowed ourselves to be engulfed. “Love is
stronger than Death” and truly the Armenian has loved his nationality
with a steadfastness and tenacity that has conquered death.
Steady, stubborn grit, combined with a remarkable natural intelligence
have been characteristics of the race, and have kept us alive in spite
of national adversities, such as no other nation could have suffered
But our position is an acutely unhappy and an acutely unfortunate one.
Our misfortunes began with the physical geography of our country.
Surrounded by three great empires, our kingdom was strangled by the
overwhelming pressure, and to-day our country is divided up between
Russia, Turkey and Persia. For this reason we have been a great deal
more unfortunate than the Balkan States, and now if there were any
possible chance of wresting autonomy for Turkish Armenia from Turkey,
Russia fearing the spread of the same spirit in her own provinces,
would assuredly not only frown on such an attempt but use all the means
in her power to crush it.
There is also a stern fact which a people so politically helpless and
forlorn as ourselves must ever bear in mind, namely, that we live in an
intensely selfish and intensely grasping world; no prating the pretty
nonsense of Western Civilization, or Western Humanity, or Western
Christianity can alter that stern hard fact as it stands, and as it has
stood since the history of our world has been written.
Indeed, nineteenth century civilization, which has made the world
of commerce acutely grasping, has also made the world of Politics
However much it may clothe itself in the garment of fair speech,
what we call “Politics” is actually made up of that one devouring,
absorbing, grasping element--Selfishness. “The friends of to-day may be
enemies to-morrow” is more truly spoken in the domain of Politics than
Let the Armenians take a lesson not only from the Turkish massacres,
but from the attitude of Europe towards those massacres? Let them look
back on the past, and remember how they have been trampled under the
merciless foot of Political Selfishness, and then left to welter in
Who doubts, who can gainsay, that by so much as the lifting up of a
finger the Powers of Europe could have stopped those massacres? Was
that finger ever lifted up, however, all through the long years of
“slaughter, martyrdom, agony, despair” to save our helpless people
from butcheries so enormous, so hideous, so appalling that no pen
could portray the horrible realities? Had the Turkish bonds been in
jeopardy, Constantinople harbour would have witnessed the battleships
of the Powers of Europe discharging their cannon on the capital of
the Turkish Empire, but a hundred thousand or five hundred thousand
Armenians, more or less, mangled and butchered to death, or fleeing
from their sacked and burning villages to die of cold and starvation in
their mountain passes, could not rouse action on the part of Europe,
even though the Concert of Europe had been instrumental in their
I do not write with a desire to indulge in recriminations, since vain
recriminations will not bear profitable fruit; but I write with the
object of impressing on my countrymen to remember, always to remember,
the lessons written on the pages of a past that should never be
forgotten by us.
In his book “Our Responsibilities for Turkey” the late Duke of Argyll
quotes from the famous despatch of a British Ambassador to Turkey, the
date being given as September 4, 1876. The despatch proceeds thus:--
“To the accusation of being a blind partisan of the Turks I will only
answer that my conduct here has never been guided by any sentimental
affection for them, but by a firm determination to uphold the interests
of Great Britain to the utmost of my power; and that those interests
are deeply engaged in preventing the disruption of the Turkish Empire
is a conviction which I share in common with the most eminent statesmen
who have directed our foreign policy, but which appears now to be
abandoned by shallow politicians or persons who have allowed their
feelings of revolted humanity to make them forget the capital interests
involved in the question.
“We may and must feel indignant at the needless and monstrous severity
with which the Bulgarian insurrection was put down; _but the necessity
which exists for England to prevent changes from occurring here
which would be most detrimental to ourselves is not affected by the
question whether it was 10,000 or 20,000 persons who perished in the
“We have been upholding what we know to be a semi-civilized nation,
liable under certain circumstances to be carried into fearful excesses;
but the fact of this having just now been strikingly brought home to us
all cannot be a sufficient reason for abandoning a policy which is the
only one that can be followed with due regard to our interest.”
I quote this famous despatch merely to point out that “due regard to
our interest” was carefully followed out in the Past by the Powers of
Europe, and that “due regard to our interest” will be just as carefully
followed out in the Present and in the Future.
From the Turk and Persian, the Armenian must ever remain separate, as
he has through centuries, though living in the midst of them, remained
separate. The gulf that divides the one nation from the other two,
the wall of iron that rises between them is the position of woman. The
Armenian has accepted whole-heartedly the position in which woman has
been placed by the Great Founder of his faith. For seventeen hundred
years unremittingly since Christianity was revived in Armenia by
Gregory the Illuminator, the Christian law with regard to the position
of woman has moulded the thought of the nation, it has left its impress
on the nation, and it is this vital and essential difference between
the law of Mahommed and the law of Christ that like a two-edged sword
has cleaved apart Christian Armenian from Moslem Turk and Persian.
If “East is East, and West is West” it is on account of the social
plane on which woman stands, a social plane that is never so degraded
in any corner of Asia, as it is in the countries where the law of
The Armenians in Asiatic Turkey are scattered and dispersed among Turks
and other antagonistic races; they are without any military force or
organization to wrest autonomy from the military and governing power.
That Europe should aid their endeavours, or that Turkey should make
them a free gift of autonomy, are both of them absolutely out of the
question. Then what remains for us?
To hold to our own nationality and to be subject--Subject to Russia,
subject to Turkey, subject to Persia--What shall it profit us? What
will it profit? What doth it profit us? Our strong, clever, energetic
men, our beautiful, intelligent women, when neither chance nor
opportunity can enable our finest and best to reach the higher rungs of
the world’s ladder, and when as a subject people we must ever remain
hewers of wood and drawers of water, even our Aivasowskis and our
Melikoffs have been known to the world as Russians, not as Armenians.
Have we a chance of bursting the fetters? Have we strength to break the
chains? Can we reach the goal toward which, bleeding and torn, we have
been striving, and still are striving? These are questions which we
must ask ourselves; looking them soberly in the face.
But this is not enough: if we must persist in holding to our
nationality, we must look into ourselves, we must search out and probe
our national failings and our national weaknesses, and find out in what
essential characteristics we are wanting as a nation, and so build up
national character. Let us weigh ourselves in the balance, and supply
what in us is found wanting.
In the period of less than a decade a Great Power has risen in the
Orient. The people of a small island empire with an empty Treasury
have beaten successfully and disastrously a colossal empire of whom
the Powers of Europe had stood in awe, and against whom not one had
ventured single-handed to engage.
On the field the ever victorious army of little Japan undermined
Russia’s stronghold, and succeeded in driving back and ever driving
back the ever defeated and ever retreating army of colossal Russia.
At sea the ever victorious Japanese Fleet succeeded in completely
annihilating the Russian Fleet. It was war such as the world had
never yet seen. The secret of such astounding successes should be
investigated, and here I beg leave to quote from one of a series of
articles in which I gave view to my opinions during the Russo-Japanese
War. “Japan may be likened to the bundle of faggots in the fable
firmly tied together; one faggot of larger dimensions in the centre,
the sovereign round whom the whole nation clusters, and all, ruler and
people tied together by adamantine bands of patriotism.”
These remarks of mine were based on observations of actual facts. In
national unity Japan stands as an object lesson to the world; she
furnishes an example which the world needs to copy, and which a nation
so politically forlorn as ourselves more than any other needs to copy.
From the astounding success of Japan let us turn to the position
the Great Republic of the United States of America occupies in the
world, and take the lesson to heart of what Union can accomplish as we
contrast their present position with the position that the handful of
puritan pilgrims occupied when they first landed on American soil not
quite three hundred years ago.
National Unity is our greatest need; it is the banner which we must
raise up over our national life. National Unity must be engraven on the
tablets of our minds and throb in the pulses of our hearts. There are
mountains of difficulties before us, and if ever we must reach the goal
we can only do so by being bound together like the bundle of faggots in
the fable, with no weakening or loosening of the bands. Then perhaps we
might once more be able to get an independent footing on the historical
soil of our fathers, and perhaps once more rally round our own flag.
A Japanese lives for the State, not for himself; we have no State for
which to live, but let us live for our communities whilst we keep the
hope in our hearts that communities grow into States.
We have grit and endurance in an unparalleled degree, but these
characteristics will profit us nothing if we are wanting in unity.
Let us remember that utterance of the Founder of our faith. In our
loyalty and allegiance to Him our life-blood has flowed like the
torrents of a cataract, but we must remember His warning utterance:--
“What shall it profit a man.” What shall it profit a nation. Unity is
the soul of a nation. Let us keep our soul and not lose it.
THE ARMENIAN MASSACRES AND CIVILIZED EUROPE.
“Hear then ye Senates! hear this truth sublime,
They who allow Oppression share the crime.”
“A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping;
Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her
children, because they were not.”
In the twentieth century of the christian era, in the age of trumpeted
progress, of boasted and vaunted civilization, there is a Ramah of
countries, a desolated Ramah, blackened and calcined with the fires
of oppression, and over her desolated wastes there flows, flows,
continually flows, ever replenished and ever renewed, that red stream
which crieth up from the earth to God: and out of this modern Ramah, a
voice is heard of lamentation and bitter weeping, it riseth up in its
boundless anguish to reach the heavens, it crieth out and will not be
stopped, for it is the voice of the Rahel of nations weeping for her
children and refusing to be comforted, because they are not.
Ah! thou Rahel of nations! to the cry of thy boundless anguish, to
thy lamentation and bitter weeping, Christendom and Civilization,
the Christendom and Civilization of Europe have replied “Are we thy
Who that has read the history of the Crusades has not turned with
sickening disgust from the chapters wherein history has recorded the
savage barbarities and fearful excesses of those christian warriors,
who went to Palestine ostensibly fired with the enthusiasm of a holy
cause, but in reality only to glut in slaughter and gratify brutal
passions. Europe has, however, designated her past as the “dark ages”
into which she has thrust back, the ferocious outbursts of religion,
the merciless persecutions of the church, the savage sweep of the
barbarians of the north, and the unbridled tyrannies of despotic power,
from all which she loudly boasts to have emancipated herself, and like
the evolution according to the Darwinian theory of the anthropomorphal
ape, to have progressed into the state of civilization. But beginning
from the last quarter of the nineteenth and on into the first decade of
the twentieth century, the horrors of the darkest ages in human history
have lain at her doors, and towards these horrors Europe has kept up
the role of an extenuatingly disclaiming, a mildly rebuking, sweetly
frowning, smilingly denouncing, Disapprover.
Half a million Armenians annihilated by organized massacres of the most
ferocious and hideous natures, and perhaps a corresponding number
fated either to rot to death in Turkish prisons or made homeless and
destitute to die of cold and starvation, with Europe nonchalantly
looking on is surely convincing proof that the Humanity, Christianity
and Civilization of Europe are whited sepulchres, hiding by the smooth
outside the rottenness within; therefore ye priests of the gospel come
down from your pulpits, close your churches, hold your tongues and
be silent for ever, for the Christianity you preach has bowed itself
out, if ever it existed, in Christian Europe. The Christ of Europe
is the demon of greed and the demon of land hunger, and the god of
civilization is Mammon.
In 1878 an astounding policy was carried out by Great Britain; it was
the crowning act of her long continued support to Turkey, a government
she knew to be hopelessly vicious and profoundly cruel and bad to the
core. With this Power, England posing before the world as the home of
freedom, the friend of the oppressed, and the defender of the rights
and liberties of man, entered into a Convention. It was called the
“Anglo-Turkish Convention,” of which Article I reads thus:
“If Batum, 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 between
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.”
It is well to remark here what was blazoned to the world at the time
that part of those “_necessary reforms_” “_in these territories_”
include twenty-two large organized massacres of Armenians (besides
smaller ones) dating from September 30th, 1895 to December 29th, 1895;
and be it remembered that these were massacres of a hideousness and
ferocity of nature even devils could not rival; besides also other
organized massacres by the Turkish Government of the same nature (large
and small) both before and after that period.
The British press, followed by a large section of the British public,
raged against what they called the advance of Russia in the East, as
they had already raged for half a century past. It is astonishing how
one nation can swallow its own camels and strain at the other’s gnats.
However, this Anglo-Turkish Convention and the Congress at Berlin was
the crowning act of England’s support and defense of a power whose rule
had been characterized by mis-rule, massacre and oppression. Her prime
minister returned from the Congress of Berlin loudly proclaiming “Peace
with Honour.” Of that “Honour” Time has been the test, and Time has
revealed to the world that “Peace” in its true character.
Dating from the Congress of Berlin the supreme tragedy of Armenia
begins; deliberately and without compunction England revived the
dying tyranny of Turkey for the Armenians, deliberately and without
compunction she took away from them (a people politically the most
helpless and forlorn of all civilized nations) the only protection they
had of a powerful neighbour willing and able to enforce its protection,
and rivetted on their necks the yoke of the cruellest oppressor that
the world had yet known. The history of the rule of the house of Osman
up to the thirty-fourth Padishah was knowledge enough and experience
enough for the British Government and the British people, and yet in
the last quarter of the civilized nineteenth century, the great and
enlightened Christian power of Great Britain proceeded to carry out
and complete this gigantic political crime of fastening on the necks
of a struggling Christian people, the last remnants of an ancient
civilization, the merciless yoke of their oppressors. From that time
onward history must mark the course of the supreme tragedy of Armenia.
The bold move taken by the Patriarch Nerses of sending delegates to the
Congress of Berlin cost the renowned prelate his life, his firm refusal
to recall his delegates aroused the last fury of Turkey’s Padishah; the
Patriarch was stealthily murdered and his genius and great personal
influence lost to the cause of his people.
But a loss greater than the loss of their beloved leader befell the
Armenians in the assassination of the Emperor Alexander II, whose
untimely death plunged Russia back into the night of ignorance, bigotry
and superstition, of the savagery and slavery, out of the darkness of
which he was leading her; the best and noblest of Czars was succeeded
by a son whose policy shaped itself directly contrary to that of his
father’s, and Russia from being the help of the Armenians under Turkish
rule turned into one of the pillars of support of their oppressor.
“Since 1884,” writes Mr. James Bryce, “it has been generally understood
in Constantinople that the Russian Embassy has made no serious effort
to bring about any radical change in Turkish administration, and it was
indeed believed that the more England remonstrated the more did Russia
point out to the Sultan how much he had erred in supposing that England
was his friend.”
We have it on the authority of Professor Arminius Vambéry that the
Czar Alexander III had given assurances of his friendship and support
to Sultan Abdul Hamid; and there are not wanting political students
who affirm that the Armenian Massacres were in part instigated by
Russian politicians who saw, or professed to see, in a free Armenia
an impediment to Russia’s advance in the south and a fostering of the
spirit of independence in the Russian provinces of Armenia. This on
the authority of Mr. James Bryce was the reason which Prince Lobanoff
assigned for his refusal to give support to British proposals of
coercion towards Turkey. “On January 16, 1896,” so writes Mr. Bryce,
“when the massacres had gone on for more than three months, he (Prince
Lobanoff) ‘saw nothing to destroy his confidence in the bonne volonté
of the Sultan, who was’ (”he felt assured“) ‘doing his best.’” And Mr.
Bryce continues to add “Turkey, which in 1877 had looked to England
for help against Russia, now turned to Russia for support against the
menaces of England.”
We have it also on the authority of Mr. Bryce that shortly after the
terrible and cold-blooded massacre of Armenians at Constantinople “the
German Ambassador presented to the Sultan a picture of the German
Imperial family which he had asked for some time ago” and the
friendship of Kaiser Wilhelm for Abdul Hamid “his friend and brother,”
as an American writer has called him; the costly gifts presented by the
ex-Sultan to the German Imperial family, the magnificent reception of
the Kaiser at Constantinople, and the still more magnificent concession
of Turkish territory to Germany, are too well known to the world to
need any further comment.
Thus it became the fate of the unfortunate Armenians to be the bruised
and mangled shuttle-cock of powerful bats.
[Illustration: NERSES VARJABETIAN.
(Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople).]
Much has been written and much has been said by great authorities, (far
more comprehensively and by pens much more forcible than my humble
efforts could aspire to reach) against the selfishness and callousness,
the inhumanity and cynicism of those great powers which have coldly
looked on and permitted the hellish atrocities and horrors of the
Armenian Massacres. The name of William Ewart Gladstone is loved and
revered by Armenians all over the world; but the thunderings of that
veteran statesman and the denouncing protests of those thoughtful men
whose feelings of revolted humanity have made themselves heard in
sounding language, have fallen on stony ground; they have been like the
voices of men crying out in the wilderness. Europe has turned a deaf
ear to the condemnations of justice and truth, even as she has turned a
deaf ear to the voice of Rahel weeping for her slaughtered children.
The victim of Abdul Hamid’s revenge who was stealthily murdered in his
bed. He was elected Patriarch in 1843 and held the highest place in the
esteem and affection of his people. Mr. James Bryce gives his age at
the time of his election in 1843 as seventy-three; if this is correct
then he was over a hundred years old when he was foully murdered. Mr.
Bryce writes of him as, “the worthy leader of his nation,” “a man of
high character and great ability.”
A writer signing himself Beyzadé gives the following account of the
Patriarch’s tragic death in the July number of “The Wide World:”
The attempted poisoning and subsequent death of Monseigneur
Nercès Varjabétian, the Armenian Patriarch and Archbishop of
Constantinople, was a revolting illustration of the inhuman and
barbarous tactics of the Yildiz Kiosk “Camarilla.” Monseigneur
Nercès Varjabétian was not only one of the most prominent
prelates of the Armenian Church, but was also a fearless
patriot--a distinguished linguist, an eloquent preacher, and
a thorough gentleman in every sense of the word. When peace
was concluded between Turkey and Russia, and preparations were
being made for the Berlin Congress, it was he who, in spite of
the feared fanatical uprising of the Turks, threw prudence to
the winds and took a step that will long be remembered in the
annals of Armenian history.
At the first meeting of the Berlin Congress the Turkish
delegates were thunderstruck to learn from official sources
that an Armenian delegation had arrived from Constantinople,
sent by Monseigneur Nercès, the Patriarch, their object being
to request the signatory Powers of the Berlin Treaty to force a
guarantee from the Turkish Government to make certain important
improvements in Armenia.
Abdul Hamid and his advisers were furious at this affront, and
Monseigneur Nercès was summoned to the Palace. It is said that
when he received the summons he simply smiled and asked one of
his curates to read the Burial Service to him, as he did not
expect to return alive. However, he went. No one has ever heard
what passed between the Sultan and himself at the interview;
suffice it to say that he immediately summoned the Armenian
General Assembly and tendered his resignation. This was not
accepted by the Assembly, and, amidst enthusiastic cheers,
he was carried back to his apartments at the Patriarchate.
Meanwhile a peremptory order reached him, signed by the Sultan,
to recall the Armenian delegation from Berlin. This Monseigneur
Varjabétian point-blank refused to do, and retired to his
private residence at Haskeuy, a village on the Golden Horn.
The success of the delegation, however, did not come up to
his expectations. The Armenians, as it happened, could not be
heard, but they were so far successful as to have an article
inserted in the treaty.
The Sultan and his advisers never forgave the Patriarch this,
though they could not openly do anything to him on account of
his enormous popularity. Time passed on, and to all appearance
the incident was forgotten, but it was not so. One summer
afternoon a most cordial invitation was sent by a very high
dignitary of the Palace, requesting the Archbishop to dine
with him informally. An invitation of this kind could not very
well be refused, so the Archbishop, accompanied only by a
body-servant named Vartan, repaired to the Pasha’s house. The
Pasha received him at the door and escorted the visitor with
much ceremony and extreme courtesy to a private apartment of
the salamlik of his house (the men’s quarters), where dinner
was served. The geniality displayed by his host dispelled any
fears that the Archbishop might have had as to his personal
After dinner, as usual, coffee was served. Now, this serving
of the coffee is rather a ceremonial according to high Turkish
etiquette, and it is not unusual for guests to bring their
own _tchooboukdar_ (the servant who carries his master’s pipe
and pouch and also superintends the making of his coffee).
The Archbishop was presented with a “tchoobouk” (pipe) filled
and lighted for smoking, and a servant followed with coffee.
The Archbishop accepted both with due compliments to his
host, and took a sip at his coffee. Just at that moment the
heavy curtains over the doorway were thrown apart, revealing
the ghastly pale face of his servant Vartan, who cried, in
Armenian, in a voice trembling with emotion, “Monseigneur, I
did not brew the coffee!”
This was enough for the Archbishop; he pretended to be
startled and spilt the coffee, but, alas! he had already
drunk a small quantity of it. Meanwhile a scuffle was going
on behind the _portière_, where his poor servant Vartan was
paying the penalty of his devotion to his master. Concerning
Vartan’s whereabouts or his ultimate end nothing was ever
made public--the poor fellow simply vanished. Monseigneur
Varjabétian, after a short interval thanked the Pasha for his
generous and kind hospitality and took his departure. On the
way home he was taken violently ill and a doctor was hastily
summoned. The Patriarch took to his bed, and lost all his hair
through the effects of the poison. Then, one morning, when a
servant took his breakfast upstairs he found, to his horror,
that both the bedroom door and the window were wide open and
his beloved master lay dead in his bed, which was covered with
blood! There are no such things as coroners and juries in
Turkey to ascertain the causes of mysterious deaths of this
kind, but the news that the Patriarch was dead spread like
wildfire through Constantinople. The Sultan himself thought it
advisable to show some concern in the matter, and aides-de-camp
from the Palace were sent to the Patriarchate to learn the
full details of this “sad catastrophe,” as they termed it. The
official statement was that the Archbishop died of dysentery.
Only a very few know how the Archbishop had died, and they
wisely kept their mouths shut.
I was told the details of this story by a high official of the
Armenian Patriarchate. It seems that as the poison did not act
as quickly as the Patriarch’s enemies had anticipated, owing
to his having been cautioned in the nick of time, they “had
to resort to other means”! The funeral was the largest ever
witnessed in Constantinople, with an escort of Turkish cavalry
sent specially by the Sultan, and representatives of all the
religious denominations and the Diplomatic Corps. I was myself
present, representing a foreign Government.
OUT OF THE DEPTHS.
“Oh that my head were waters and mine eyes a fountain of tears,
that I might weep day and night for the slain of my people.”
A book has been written and published in Japan, its title “Niku Dan”
translated into English, reads, “Human Bullets.” This little book, a
narrative of the siege of Port Arthur, after being read through the
length and breadth of the empire, found translators to translate it
into the best known of languages; and its young author, himself an
actor in the siege, was summoned to the presence of his sovereign to
be thanked and praised. The book is a graphic narrative of the most
terrible siege in history, wherein is vividly portrayed the deadly
struggle of the besiegers. It contains as an acknowledgement of its
merit, a page on which is recorded the Field Marshal’s appreciation,
and another page bearing the Commanding General’s commendation.
In simple narrative the author carries the reader through appalling
scenes of horror, and as we read we are made to realize the slaughter
of the enemy’s machine guns, of their ground-mines, electric-wire
entanglements, and exploding shells; we are made to hear the roar of
the artillery fire dealing death and destruction, and there rises
before us the mental vision of the fierce hand to hand conflict, and
the dead and dying lying thickly in the dark ravine.
“For hill and battle plain,
With dying men and slain,
Grew mountain heights of pain,
And mine is boundless woe.”
The grim warrior who stormed and took the most impregnable fortress
in the world gives expression to his feelings on his own great
achievement, in saddest words.
“And mine is boundless woe,”
For the grim warrior’s heart is cleft in twain for the human bullets
that under his command hurled themselves to their death.
In the world’s greatest war, human bullets were sacrificed for the
protection of hearths and homes and a nation’s existence, moreover the
human bullets were made of men who fought and died for sovereign and
But there is a counter picture of horrors in which also there has
been a sacrifice of human bullets, made not only of men but of women
and children, human bullets, not of soldiers, themselves fortified
and equipped with instruments of slaughter for fighting and grappling
with the foe, but human bullets of unarmed men, of helpless women and
children, of youth and old age, caught like rats in a rat-trap; and
these human bullets have been sacrificed to the savage lusts of murder
and plunder of the world’s fiercest oppressors, and to the political
and commercial interests of civilized nations.
In the first decade of the civilized twentieth century, a horrible and
wanton slaughter of unarmed men, of helpless women and children has
been perpetrated with all the accessories of cruelties unsurpassed for
their fiendishness: whole towns and villages have been desolated, homes
pillaged and destroyed, not only men, but women and children subjected
to hideous deaths and nameless horrors, which no pen could depict in
their true realism, and the details could never go into print, and
this wanton slaughter, even as the many of a similar nature that have
preceded it, has come and gone like a ripple on a smooth sea.
No cry of horror has risen from the hearts of civilized nations! Turkey
can butcher the helpless victims of her greed and carnivorous instincts
with impunity, since Christendom and Civilization are busy only with
Turkish concessions, with land grabbing and money making.
“Human Bullets”! “Human Bullets”! here are human bullets of heavier
rain than at the world’s grimmest siege; here are “sure death
detachments” hurled to a more pitiful fate; and the civilized world
does not care, for Armenian Massacres come and go, and the civilized
world is getting used to them. But in the eternal order of things, a
Nemesis follows human actions, be they of individuals or of nations.
Material Prosperity is a great and good thing, but Moral Prosperity is
greater and better. The Armenians may be done to their death, the last
remnants of an ancient civilization may be exterminated and consigned
in their blood to oblivion; but to the nations grown great in material
prosperity that for their own selfish interests can allow and condone
this hellish extermination, history teaches a mighty lesson. The moral
cancer eating into the moral sense of nations, saps moral prosperity
which in its turn undermines material prosperity. Great Empires once
flourishing have decayed through moral poverty. History repeats itself.
WHAT THE TURKISH CONSTITUTION MEANS FOR THE ARMENIANS.
A year has passed since the inauguration of the Turkish Constitution;
since the first glad cries of “liberty, fraternity, equality” were
resounded as heralds of the peace and prosperity that were to follow;
but although a whole year has passed, the Turkish Constitution, thus
far, has only paraded itself as a spectacular effect, and as a panorama
on shifting sand.
A whole year has passed and the liberal Turks have produced neither a
Prince Ito nor an Abraham Lincoln, though both were urgently needed to
meet the pressing exigencies and heavy responsibilities of the times;
and we may well ask now, Where is the man who is to hold the helm of
the Constitutional ship and steer it over the turbulent waters?
The task of the new régime was the most difficult that could have
fallen to any administration. Beset on the one hand by the jealousies,
rivalries, and political intrigues of European Powers; on the other, by
the machinations of that “Red Beast” the ex-Sultan and his murderous
and corrupt clique, by disappointed plundering pashas and officials
(compelled to grant their arch enemy the ex-Sultan a lease of life
through fear of a fanatical populace), the liberal Turks on their
own part have not brought to bear upon their work any administrative
ability, when extraordinary powers of governing and the highest and
strongest genius for administration were absolutely needed. The Turk
has always shown to the world that he is a born fighter, but a puerile
For the Armenians the Constitution has resulted in two
conditions--Massacre and Oppression; their hopes and aspirations have
ended in the death throes of, as some accounts give, thirty thousand
and others fifty thousand of their unhappy race, in homelessness and
precipitation into absolute destitution of a few more thousands,
and in insecurity for the nation at large. An unarmed population
scattered and dispersed among a hostile, murderous and fanatical
populace; their position even under the new régime is to be compared to
that of herbivorous animals standing at bay in the midst of ravening
His spiritual interests call upon the Moslem Turk and the Moslem Kurd
to murder the Christian Armenian; his material interests to plunder and
enrich his own idleness with the worldly goods the other has acquired
by his industry and toil, and the prosperity and well-being that the
Armenian labours to bring to the fairest provinces under the sun are
swooped upon and devastated by the brigandage of his enemies. Religious
fanaticism and lust of plunder have always been governing elements in
the Turkish massacres, and against these same religious fanaticism and
lust of plunder, the Armenians stand to-day in deadly peril under the
What more is to follow? Our hearts sicken to forecast, and our
minds tremble to foresee. Are the balance of our striplings and our
greybeards, our pen-men, and our ploughmen to be made to rot in
Turkish dungeons, condemned to such loathsome horrors as can only be
perpetrated in Turkish prisons? Are the balance of our women to be
subjected to agonies so hideous and revolting that death at the fiery
stake or on the iron rack were mercy and bliss? Are the balance of our
babes and children to be exterminated like vermin? Are the balance
of our people, the industrious, intelligent, clean, self-respecting
element in the Turkish Empire, to be yet again hunted like wild beasts
and killed like rats and flies?
We are not wild and lawless descendants of Jenghis Khan and Tamerlane:
we are peace-loving, law-abiding citizens, lovers of language and
literature, of the arts and sciences, energetic traders, hardworking
tillers of the soil, industrious artizans and labourers, producing in
ourselves all the elements that constitute the society and well-being
of civilized man; and as the oldest Christians, we ask of Christian
nations, if we are to be trodden out?
On the soil of our fatherland we are surrounded by a murderous,
marauding, religion-frenzied populace, and neither Humanity nor
Christianity will hold out to us a helping hand.
If nothing else were done for the Armenians, at least Christian
governors should be appointed over the provinces inhabited by them:
we do not expect the Turkish Government to do this of their own
initiative, but we have a right to expect the European Powers that were
signatories to the Treaty of Berlin to compel the new régime to do
it. Since the signing of the famous Treaty of Berlin thirty-one years
ago, the history of the Armenians has been written in blood and tears,
as the history of no other nation has been written before or now; and
we ask, How long? How long will the Christian Powers stand silent
witnesses to the work of slaughter and oppression carried on under
Alas! the weight of the Turkish bonds is too heavy in the scale, and
Armenian life too light; the selfish interests of the European Powers
involved in the Turkish Empire cannot be endangered to save the blood
of three or four millions of Armenians, and the death warrant of an
oppressed and bleeding nation can find no place on the table of the
Hague Conference of Peace and Civilization.
THE ARMENIAN QUESTION.
In the closing pages of “Twenty Years of the Armenian Question”
published in 1896, its distinguished author, one of the greatest
authorities on the subject, makes the following notable comment on the
character and fate of the Armenian race.
“They had maintained their nationality from immemorial times, before
history began to be written. They had clung to their Christian faith,
under incessant persecution for fifteen centuries. They were an
intelligent, laborious race, full of energy, and increasing in numbers
wherever oppression and murder did not check their increase, because
they were more apt to learn, more thrifty in their habits, and far less
infected by Eastern vices than their Mahommedan neighbours. They were
the one indigenous population in Western Asia which, much as adversity
had injured them, showed a capacity for moral as well as intellectual
progress, and for assimilating the civilization of the West. In their
hands the industrial future of Western Asia lay, whatever government
might be established there; and those who had marked the tenacity and
robust qualities of the race looked to them to restore prosperity
to these once populous and flourishing countries when the blighting
shadow of Turkish rule had passed away. But now, after eighteen years
of constantly increasing misery, a large part, and, in many districts,
the best part, of this race has been destroyed, and the remnant is
threatened with extinction.”
These remarks made in 1896 by a great and disinterested authority with
a profound knowledge of the subject he was writing about, stand as true
to-day as when they were written. From 1896 onwards, events following
in succession one upon another have proved the truth and soundness of
Can the Armenians hope now for any change in their condition under
Turkish rule? To this question, we must answer an emphatic No!
The causes that must operate against any change are many and
deep-seated. In the first place it cannot be expected that a few Turks
of liberal ideas (or it may be French polished) at Constantinople,
are going to change the thought and character of the nation. The
characteristics of a people change very slowly, if they ever change at
all, and the predominant national traits of the many-blooded modern
Turk have been shown to the world to be, cruelty and fanaticism,
combined with a fierce sensuality; and what is more than all, and which
has to be remembered most, is, that they are a people accustomed to the
unbridled gratification of their worst passions.
The ethnographic traits of the Turkman which history bears out, are
wildness and fierceness, and it would not be incorrect to argue that
with the instincts of his primitive ancestors have been assimilated the
many cross currents that run in his veins, into all of which has been
infused the doctrines of the religion of the sword, a religion which
does not make for the peace or well being of mankind; a religion, also,
which assigning one of the two sexes to the degraded position of being
created solely for the gross pleasure of the other, does not make for
the exaltation of mankind.
To quote again the eminent authority previously referred to: “No
Mahommedan race or dynasty has ever shown itself able to govern well
even subjects of its own religion, while to extend equal rights to
subjects of a different creed is forbidden by the very law of its
Not the Jewish conceit proclaiming itself God’s elect and chosen, and
originating the name “heathen” which it scorned. Not the Christian
conceit emanating from the Jewish source, and laying the flattering
unction to its soul of superiority over the “heathen” of its own time.
Not the unbending caste exclusiveness of the Brahman across whose
path even the shadow of the despised Sudra falling would be deemed
defilement. Not any of these, can equal the intolerant religious pride
of the Mahommedan, or reach the pinnacle of religious self-sufficiency
on which he has seated himself. To be a Mahommedan, is enough--_Cela
To any one who has familiar acquaintance with Mahommedans, and intimate
with Mahommedan thought, one fact must strike itself most forcibly, and
that is, the Mahommedan is above all things a Mahommedan. His religion
is the paramount question in his life, and remains its predominating
feature above everything else. This should not be surprising, since to
the “faithful” Paradise is secured, and all crimes and transgressions
against “unbelievers” absolved.
Added to these important factors of racial characteristics, influences
of religion, and long grown habits of the Turk, we have also in
Turkish Armenia another evil, from which the other provinces of the
Turkish Empire fortunately for themselves have been exempt; this
super-added evil, is, the large neighbouring bodies of Kurds and
Circassians, greater marauders and depredators than the Turks, the
regular occupation of whose lives comprises murder and robbery, and who
have through weary centuries unremittingly quartered themselves upon
the industrious christian peasants, and lived on the fruits of their
labour and toil. Indeed as the Hamidieh cavalry which was established
expressly for the Hamidian massacres was composed of these Kurds, it
ought to be matter of speculation what outlet these warriors, trained
and practised in organized murder, can now find for those habits in
which they were encouraged and trained to indulge by the Hamidian
Under all such conditions no hope of better days can be forthcoming, no
prospect of better times seems possible, for that unhappy portion of
the Armenian race whom force of circumstances keeps on the soil of the
The appointment of Christian governors over the provinces inhabited
by them might ameliorate some of the evils, or the other alternative,
of allowing the use of arms to all alike, irrespective of creed or
nationality, would furnish some means of self-defence against the raids
and barbarities of the oppressors; but even if such concessions were
granted, life for the christian peasant subject to Turkish rule, and
living in the midst of his enemies, must remain one long struggle and
battle against pillage, murder, depredation, and offences of the worst
nature. Not the most fertile soil, not the most favourable climatic
conditions, not the most assiduous industry, not the most peace loving,
law abiding instincts, can bring to the Armenian peasant under Turkish
rule even a modicum of that comfort, happiness, and security of life
and property, which the law of all civilized countries guarantees to
the industrious labourer and tiller of the soil.
OPEN LETTER TO THE HONORABLE PRESIDENT WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT.
You are the President of the mighty Republic of the United States
of America, and I am only an obscure unit of a forlorn and helpless
nation, but encouraged by the intrinsic qualities of your head and
heart, and also by the record of great and noble services rendered in
the cause of oppressed humanity, by certain of your predecessors in the
presidential chair (so encouraged) I venture humbly to address you. The
annals of that presidential chair on which you sit are clear and bright
as the noonday sun; turning over the pages of their brightness, I am
encouraged to address you its present occupant.
Your immediate predecessor rendered a great service in the interests
of Humanity, by bringing a terrible and bloody war to its close. His
staunch strong hand of friendship was held out to the gallant nation
fighting heroically for its national existence, whilst the might of
his iron will strenuously contested and made the peace which will ever
be associated with his name, but there was a peace which his great
heart wished to break but could not succeed in breaking, and which his
upright mind has branded as “infamous”: such are his own words “the
infamous peace kept by the joint action of the great powers, while
Turkey inflicted the last horrors of butchery, torture and outrage upon
the men, women and children of despairing Armenia.” For thirty-one
years the great European Powers kept up by joint action an infamous
peace, and out of regard for their own selfish interests allowed a
corrupt, vicious, gangrened and blood-thirsty power to wreak its
hellish atrocities not only on the men, but on the women and children
of a helpless nation.
These are strong words, but they are true, and you will agree with me
that the meanest and humblest of God’s creatures has a right to speak
the truth, and that greatest is the right to speak the truth, when
it is spoken in the cause of murdered, outraged and misery-stricken
The yoke of Turkey rivetted on the necks of the Armenians by England in
1878, was rivetted again by Russia, and yet again rivetted by Germany.
The political interests and the commercial interests of Europe have
trampled us under foot; we have been sacrificed on the altar of the
political animosities of England and Russia, and given over, men,
women and children to butchery, slaughter, imprisonment, torture;
we have been crushed under the iron wheels of the Baghdad railway, a
greater Juggernauth for us, while the ex-Sultan received his payment
and “bartered a kingdom for the Kaiser’s friendship”; and yet again
we have been crushed when British diplomacy checkmated William of
The death warrant of our bleeding nation has found no place on the
table of the Hague Conference of Peace and Civilization since the
selfish interests of the European Powers would give it no abiding room.
President of a great and free Republic, let it be the work of your
mighty hands to lay it there. The Cabinets of Europe have turned a deaf
ear to the death shriek of our bleeding nation, let our despairing cry
be heard now in the Senate of the United States of America.
It remains for the historian of the future to record the Armenian
Massacres as the foulest blot and the blackest stain on European
Civilization and European International Morality, but in addressing
you now I will turn down the pages of the hideous Past, and humbly lay
open the pages of the Present, on which is clearly written the deadly
peril in which our nation stands: the book is open, and who will may
read. For it is not the goodwill of the new régime that has to be
taken into calculation, as far as the Armenians are concerned, but the
powerfulness or the powerlessness of the new régime to make for their
How can we forget Adana? A whole town and villages sacked and
desolated; fifty thousand of our men, women and children done to
horrible deaths, and the residue left to homelessness and starvation.
How can we forget that the arch-enemy of Christian and liberal Turk
still lives, dethroned but not executed, and that through fear of his
worshippers and his adherents the liberal Turks are compelled to pamper
and support the monster assassin of the world? When such difficulties
beset the path of the liberal Turks, the rulers, what security is there
for a subject people, alien in race and religion?
President of a great and free Republic, we need a friend, we ask for
your mighty hands to be held out to us in succour, since the number of
our enemies are legion: even Nature has arrayed herself against us in
the inexorable conditions of the physical geography of our country.
Shall the President of a mighty Republic with noble traditions; shall
the christian men and women of the United States leave us to our
“To serve Armenia is to serve Civilization.” These words were spoken
by a great and revered statesman; the noble handiwork of his Creator
(William Ewart Gladstone), now gone to his honored rest. “Do not let
me be told that one nation has no authority over another” was his reply
to the Armenian deputation which waited on him in 1894. Let his reply
be your answer to us now, President of a mighty Republic; let it be
your answer written in golden letters across the banner of that great
civilization, of which you are the presiding head.
The Republic of the United States of America has been compared to that
grain of mustard seed, which when planted in the earth budded forth and
grew into such dimensions that the birds of the air lodged under the
branches thereof. I pray that the shadow of those branches be extended
over my bleeding nation.
ABDUL HAMID, THE TRIUMPH OF CRIME.
A monster assassin! Has he been brought before the bar of his country,
tried and condemned to the penalty of death, such as in the days of his
power he meted out to hundreds of thousands of innocents? Has he been
cast into a loathsome prison, such as the many in which thousands of
his victims have rotted and died? Nay! not so! it is not so decreed in
In Turkey, a camarilla of murderous and plundering pashas, and a
fanatical and marauding populace stand behind a Padishah who knew how
to furnish gratification for the murdering and marauding instincts of
his adherents. Nay! neither death nor imprisonment for the Padishah
whose sovereignty was the most auspicious for brigandage and murder.
Who dares to slay or imprison the demigod of rapine and despotism? Such
things cannot be done in Turkey.
For crimes that were in comparison as light as air, those puerile
tyrants, Charles of England and Louis of France forfeited their heads.
Poor Charles and Louis! Your heads chopped off and your bodies trundled
away in a cart: no glorifying spiritualized titles of Zeid and Imam
read out in your bills of indictment; such glorifying spiritualized
titles are reserved for monster assassins in Turkey.
In Turkey, a monster assassin whose list of murders rank him as premier
assassin of the world, who under heel of iron and fire annihilated
the rights and liberties of his subjects is pensioned off to live in
purple and fare sumptuously: housed in a luxurious palace, he sits on
carpeted divans, supported by silken and velvet pillows, with eleven
ministering houris, the youngest and fairest of his past entourage,
to solace the “dolce far niente” of his deposed Padishahdom. Ample
leisure, possible opportunities to hatch plots for the subversion of
law and order, and the revival of the reign of plunder and massacre.
But it is so allowed in Turkey. It is enough to be a Caliph and a
Padishah to be able to count victims, not by thousands, but by hundreds
of thousands, and remain immune from punishment for mountains of crime.
What evil, what woe and desolation hast thou not wrought, spiritualized
Zeid and Imam, Caliph and Padishah? And yet thou art allowed to live!
Evil genius of thy people! thou hast worked out their moral degradation
to the lowest depths that a nation could fall; but limitless evil,
supremest woe, hast thou worked over the nation whose country thou
turned into a charnel house of slaughter, and over whom thy reign of
thirty-three years hung like a pestilence. Who can count the multitude
of thy crimes against them, who can measure the height and the depth of
the woe that thou laid over their lives. Hearths and homes pillaged and
desolated, harvest fields turned into rivers of blood, not thousands
upon thousands, but hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children
tortured with devilish ingenuities of torture, imprisoned in loathsome
dungeons, outraged, butchered, slaughtered, hunted like wild beasts,
left to homelessness and starvation.
Enough blood to drown a leprous souled and gangrened souled Padishah
and his gangrened pack of followers! Enough crime to hang a Caliph!
Out with thy Caliphate! even by the law of thy prophet, that fierce
son of the desert, the Caliph is ordained protector of the weak and
helpless; what didst thou with thy thirty-three years of Caliphal
power, except crush the weak and annihilate the helpless.
The very earth has echoed with the dying cry of the least of them,
those “christian puppies” with little bodies piled up one upon another,
and little heads struck off together at one stroke; with the frenzied
shrieks of mothers who have seen with their own eyes the slaughter
of their children, with the anguished wail of women, with the death
groans of youth and old age. Aye! the very earth has echoed with the
dying gasp of that righteous man, the venerable sire of his people, the
renowned nonagenarian whom thou stealthily silenced on a bloody bed
into the sleep of death for trying to save his flock from thy hyena
An explosive bomb shattered the life of thy crowned opponent, (a
noble life consecrated to the welfare of his people) but no chance or
opportunity directed any explosive bomb to shatter thy cadaverous body.
No jeweled pistol or secret dagger like the many that have dripped
with the blood of thy victims in thy Yildiz Kiosk, found its way to
thy treacherous heart. No poisoned cup of coffee like the countless
cups brewed in thy palaces trickled down thy throat to end thy vampire
Thou hast lived! Protected from the Nemesis of thy crimes by the
jealousies and rivalries of great powers which thou artfully played one
against another; by the combined forces of religion and plunder which
thou cunningly wielded into one. Even so thou livest! Peerless living
example in the civilized twentieth century of the Triumph of Crime.
In the foregoing pages I have directed my humble efforts to sketch out
what the Powers of Europe have done in the past, and how their actions
have reflected on my unfortunate race.
It is considered good policy now by a certain class of European writers
to ascribe all the horrors of the Armenian Massacres to Hamid the
despot, to represent him as a tyrant as unassailable and unconquerable
as he was implacable, in short as a sort of superhuman being who swept
everything before him to the consummation of his own despotic will. The
reason for this is not difficult to perceive. They would fain disavow
the part Europe has played in the tragedy, and to do this successfully
it becomes necessary also to present Turkey to the world now as a
paradise (from whence the tyrant once removed) peopled only by saints
and angels; so we have also many roseate colored word pictures of
The murders, deportations and imprisonments of the Turkish
revolutionaries, or more correctly reformers, were undoubtedly the sole
work of Abdul Hamid and his palace clique, but Abdul and his minions
could not have carried out that hellish work of wholesale extermination
of the Armenians without the perpetration and participation of the
Turkish people. It is true the massacres were originated and organized
in the Palace, the Palace clique stirred up religious fanaticism and
race hatred, but the co-operation of the people was necessary; and
the people co-operated in order to plunder and enrich themselves with
the worldly goods that the Armenians always knew how to acquire by
their own industry and toil; the appeal to their marauding and bestial
instincts met with a ready response. It was moreover easy work for a
race of brigands, especially as their numbers exceeded their victims by
about ten to one and who were practically unarmed.
The first Armenian Massacres of Abdul Hamid were tentative; he began
by feeling the pulse of Europe; he found that the six Signatories to
the Treaty of Berlin accepted the situation, he was thus emboldened
to carry out that long and awful list of horrors that stands without
its parallel in history. Clearly it was in the power of Europe to have
prevented both the massacres and all the agonizing sufferings that came
in their train, but Europe took no preventive action.
Let us ask the question, Who and what are these Turks, whom Europe for
her own sordid ends has petted and pampered and helped and supported?
and the answer comes with striking force to-day over the lapse of a
century, in the words of one of England’s greatest sons: “I have never
before heard that the Turkish Empire has been considered any part of
the balance of Powers in Europe. They despise and contemn all Christian
princes as infidels, and only wish to subdue and exterminate them and
their people. What have these worse than savages to do with the Powers
of Europe but to spread war, destruction, and pestilence among them?
The Ministers and the policy which shall give these people any weight
in Europe will deserve all the bans and curses of posterity.”
To-day the Powers of Europe are armed to the teeth. To-day they are
groaning under the burden of armaments which they are increasing
with breathless speed although the burden grows heavier. To-day all
Europe is trembling lest the hell-hounds of war be let loose. Has
any political student put his finger on the cause which began, the
beginning and the source of the evil, the Alpha of the Omega. I have
put my finger on it--the beginning and the source--The jealousies and
rivalries of European Politics in the Turkish Empire. According to an
Eastern proverb “The flies are always round the honey,” but sometimes
the flies stick in the honey.
Politicians of the Governments of Europe have said in the pride of
their hearts “There is no God.” Particularly has this spirit of
cynicism and heartlessness governed the actions of Russian politicians
after the death of Alexander II. Since 1881, they have looked upon the
extermination of the Armenians just as the pathfinder in a forest would
look upon a dense forest growth, the clearing away of which would make
out a path for him and lead to running streams and harvest fields. In
the eyes of Russian politicians the unfortunate Armenians have been the
forest growth which has stood in the way of their advance to the South
and into Persia, and they have looked on with intense satisfaction at
the exterminating process of the Turk, which they have regarded as
the helping hand that clears away the difficulty confronting them.
But precisely whether Russia can grow strong by the pouring out of
Armenian blood, and whether her empire will be extended by their
hellish extermination remains to be solved by the future. One thing,
however, the history of the world points out, that iniquity ends, not
in strength, but in dissolution; and “The wages of sin is death.”
Politicians of Europe have, in the pride of their hearts, arrogated
to themselves that power, which appertains to the Creator; they have
imagined that they hold the world in the hollows of their hands, and
the misery or happiness of millions of human beings has weighed as
nothing in their estimation, against the interests of what they have
designated “our sphere of influence,” but they have forgotten what they
need to be reminded that the Creator is mightier than the creature and
that the eternal law of heaven and earth changeth not for politicians.
“And the First Morning of Creation wrote;
What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.”
“Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are
the work of thy hands.
“They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax
old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall
be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”
When the heavens and earth shall perish, shall wax old as a garment
and be changed as a vesture; whence shall endure the power and
principalities, the empires and spheres of influence of him who is
“As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he
flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the
place thereof shall know it no more.”
THE ORIGIN OF THE ARMENIANS--THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO
ARMENIA--DECLINE & GRAND REVIVAL.
“God shall enlarge Japhet and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and
Canaan shall be his servant.”
For the interpretation of this blessing of Noah’s to his eldest son,
and of how it may or may not have met with its fulfilment, I shall
leave to theologians to discuss, and only record it here as a quotation
from Genesis. Beyond the story of his connection with the flood, and
this blessing with which his father blessed him, and the genealogy
of his sons, we read nothing more in Genesis, of Japhet, this mighty
father of the Caucasian race.
The genealogy in Genesis runs thus:
“The sons of Japhet, Gomer and Magog and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal,
and Meschech, and Tiras.
“And the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah.
“And the sons of Javan; Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodamin.
“By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every
one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.”
Only the names of the three sons of Gomer, and the four sons of Javan
are given in Genesis, and by these we are told were the isles of the
Gentiles divided. So much for Genesis.
Later history records that these Gentiles spread themselves over part
of that stretch of terra firma which now goes by the name of Europe,
developing their own families, and their own nations, and originating
their own tongues, and also they spread themselves over other parts of
the surface of the globe, populating where they could, ruling where
But through the roll of centuries which lost themselves into the flight
of thousand years, one branch of the sons of Japhet kept themselves on
the land where Noah planted his vineyard, and round the base of that
mountain from whence his descendants began to spread and people the
Tradition has woven a romance round the names of towns and villages
in Armenia. “No aighee” (Noah’s vineyard) is the name of a village
supposed to be the place where the patriarch planted his vine; and
“Nakhitchvan” meaning (first descent) where Noah is supposed to
have descended from the ark; also “Mairand” meaning (mother is there)
where Noah’s wife is supposed to be buried; and “Erivan” meaning
(that which can be seen) supposed to be the land in the distance which
could be seen when Noah descended from the ark.
[Illustration: MINARET AT ERIVAN, ONE OF THE CITIES TRADITION ASCRIBES
TO BE FOUNDED BY NOAH.]
Armenian history begins with Haik, the first chief or king of the
tribe: he was third in descent from Japhet, and fourth in descent from
Noah, and his genealogy is given thus: Haik the son of Togarmah, the
son of Gomer, the son of Japhet, the son of Noah.
“They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and
horsemen and mules” is the designation given by Ezekiel, 27th chapter
14th verse of the merchants of Armenia trading with Tyrus.
Haik revolting from Belus, the Nimrod of Genesis, the son of Cush and
grandson of Ham, retraced his footsteps from the plains of Shinar,
where he with others had tried to build the tower whose top should
reach into heaven, and with his followers and children settled himself
round the base of Ararat.
Perhaps a nascent fire of patriotism was burning in Haik’s heart as
he retraced his steps to the land of his father’s or grandfather’s
childhood: perhaps owing to the circumstances under which he was
placed, he had not the alternative of another choice.
We read in Armenian history that Belus sent the following message to
“Why didst thou go to that cold country? Were it not better for thee to
have moderated thy pride, and submissively dwelt on my territory in any
part thou wished.”
To which Haik replied:
“It is better to die bravely than to bow down in fear to that
presumptuous man who would be worshipped as a god.”
Whatever causes may have influenced Haik, his choice of country was
geographically most unfortunate for the race he founded, and it may
truly be said that owing to its geographical conditions affording
facilities for the march of conquerors, to have been instrumental in
bringing about the overwhelming and unequalled adversities that through
weary centuries have followed like a grim fate the footsteps of his
No geographical position on the surface of the globe could have been
more unfortunate, hemmed round by larger territories, with no natural
defences or boundaries, and no outlet to the sea, except the lake of
the Caspian on the one side, and the lake of the Black Sea on the
other, that land on which Haik chose to found a country and a nation,
has been soaked with the blood and the tears of this branch of the sons
The animosity between Haik and Belus continued, and later, according to
Armenian historians, Belus was slain in battle by an arrow from the bow
We read the following record of Belus in Genesis: “he began to be a
mighty one in the earth.” “He was a mighty hunter before the Lord:
wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.”
In Armenian history, Haik is depicted as a man of powerful physique
and gigantic stature; no man of his time being able to bend his bow or
shoot his arrow. Moses of Chorene, the chief of Armenian historians,
quoting from the learned Syrian Mar Abbas, writes of him thus:
“He was graceful and well built, curly haired, pleasing in appearance,
and strong armed, and it might be remembered that among the heroes of
his time he was the most remarkable of all.”
However that may be, Armenian history awards to Haik the proud
distinction of having overcome and slain Belus, the mighty hunter
The people who retraced their steps from the plains of Shinar, and
settled round the base of Ararat called themselves “Hai” after their
chief, and they named their country “Haiyastan,” and these names still
continue to be used in the Armenian, or “Haiyérane” as the Armenians
call their own language.
[Illustration: GREAT AND LITTLE ARARAT.]
I will pass over the periods when the son and grandson of Haik ruled
over Armenia, and only mention that the mountain known to the world
as Ararat was called by the Hai “Masis” after their king Amasia and
great-grandson of Haik. To this day, Armenian peasants and others
dwelling round Ararat, call the mountain “Masis.” I remember in my
childhood having seen an Armenian periodical entitled “Masis,” which
showed that the name had been steadily kept up.
I will again pass over the periods ruled by the successors of Amasia,
and relate the story of King Aram, who ended his brilliant reign in
B.C. 1796 after ruling over Armenia fifty-eight years.
He was a great and powerful prince, and extended his dominions, and
grew to be so mighty in battle that the neighbouring nations called
his country Aramia and the people were called Aramians, such names as
Armenia or Armenians being no doubt later corruptions.
The first victory of Aram was over Neuchar king of Media, whom he took
prisoner and put to death, and made a large part of the country of the
defeated prince tributary to his own. The second victory of Aram was
over Barsham king of Babylon, whom also he took prisoner and put to
death. The next victory was over the king of Cappadocia; the army of
the Cappadocians was pursued to the very shores of the Mediterranean,
and the whole of Cappadocia fell into the hands of Aram B.C. 1796.
Also Ninus king of Assyria, at one time an eager enemy, awed by the
victories of Aram, sought to cultivate his friendship.
No doubt if the volumes and scripts of paper or parchment of the famous
Alexandrian library, which burned for six months as fuel in the four
thousand baths of the city, had escaped that most atrocious act of
vandalism, and been preserved instead, vast treasures of knowledge now
lost to us concerning the ancient kingdoms of Western Asia might be
known in our day; and also when the tide of Islam victory rolled over
the kingdom of Armenia, how much of the story and history of the people
was lost and destroyed along with the destruction of their independence
it would be difficult now to calculate or assert, but in taking up
link by link of whatever knowledge has been left to us, there seems
to be grounds for supposing that the “Aramæans” designated by foreign
writers as “a people of Semitic race, language and religion, coming
from Northern Arabia and settling in the region between the western
boundaries of Babylonia and the highlands of Western Asia” were no
other than the Hai who under their King Aram had spread their conquests
and their kingdom into Mesopotamia and even to the shores of the
Herodotus also rather corroborates this conjecture when he includes
Northern Mesopotamia, together with the mountainous country of Ararat,
under the name of Armenia, and in writing of the Armenian boats that
brought merchandise to Babylon, he remarks that they were constructed
in Armenia, _in the parts above Assyria_.
Archæological researches have laid the claim that the modern Armenians
are the descendants of the old Hittites; the modern Armenian being
supposed to be the survival of the ancient Hittite tongue, and it
is asserted almost everything that is known in the Hittite language
is Old Armenian in form: but who these Hittites were, or whence they
came neither historian nor archæologist have been able definitely to
ascertain. In the Armenian version of the Bible, we find the name
“Kethosi” used for the Hittite who were known to the Assyrians and
Egyptians as “Ketha,” but this can have no important bearing since the
Bible was translated into the Armenian language from the Greek in the
fifth century of the Christian era, and the Armenian scribe no doubt
simply translated what he found in the Greek.
According, however, to all known history the Hittites were a warlike
and conquering race and ranked among the foremost of the nations of
Western Asia. The modern historian has come to the following conclusion
concerning them: “Their primitive home is thought to have been in that
part of Armenia where the Euphrates, the Halys, and Lycus approach
nearest to one another; and it is even asserted that the modern
Armenians are descendants of the old Hittites. From this point they
began their career of conquests, probably under the leadership of
some able and vigorous chief, whose ambition overleaped his native
boundaries. One conquest led to another. Their leaders acquired great
armies, and subdued many nations, until the Hittites became one of
the most powerful peoples of ancient times, and their kings were able
successfully to defy even Egypt, at that time the strongest nation on
This description accords with Armenian history; the Hai being known
from time immemorial as a warlike race, and extending their territory
by conquests, until, as I have narrated, under the leadership of Aram
their kingdom spread from the mountains of Upper Armenia to the shores
of the Mediterranean and into northern Mesopotamia, which proves that
almost all of Asia Minor was conquered by them, and according also to
Armenian history the language of the Hai was introduced into Cappadocia
by King Aram.
Allowing, however, for the many obscurities of Armenian history,
confusion comes in, when historians or archæologists ascribe a
Mongolian ancestry to the Hittites, whereas Armenian history holds its
unquestionable ground firmly and decidedly on the Japhetian ancestry;
and the peculiar physiognomy of the Armenians; the oval contour of
face, the distinctive, prominent nose, large eye, and well marked arch
of eyebrow do not show any traces of Mongolian ancestry. It follows
therefore that if the Armenians are the descendants of the Hittites,
then the Hittites were not of Mongolian ancestry. If the Hittites were
the Hai, the name must have undergone corruption during the course of
centuries and it is reasonable to suppose that they shared the fate of
all conquerors, and after a period of power, were driven back from the
shores of the Mediterranean to their own native home.
Aram was succeeded by his son Ara, a prince of such singular and
surpassing beauty that he was surnamed “Ara the Beautiful.” The
famous Semiramis, wife of Ninus king of Assyria, attracted by his
great personal beauty offered him her affections and her throne after
the death of her husband, but her proffers of love were scornfully
rejected by Ara, who according to the story related of his own love
was passionately attached to his queen Nuvard. The proud Semiramis,
scorned, enraged and mortified, declared war against Ara and entered
his country with her armies; a battle was fought in which Ara leading
his army was slain, although Semiramis had given special instructions
to her troops to be careful of his life and bring him to her a living
The death of Ara was evidently a grief to Semiramis, for she
established his son Kardos on his father’s throne. She also built a
town and fortress on the shores of Lake Aghthamar, now called Van,
the battlefield on which the beautiful Ara pursued by her fatal love
lost his life. The town and fortress were named “Semiramakert” meaning
“built by Semiramis.”
The name of the highest mountain in Armenia which the people of the
country called “Masis” came to be known as Ararat, it is supposed to
be derived from the Armenian words “Ara-i-jard” meaning “the defeat
of Ara” or “the undoing of Ara.” If this version is correct, the name
is likely to have been used in derision by the Assyrians. According
to another version the name of Ara was converted into Ararat, and the
country called after him. Thus we read in the account of the flood
given in Genesis:
“And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the
month, upon the mountains of Ararat.”
In the Armenian version of the bible, we read “on the twenty-seventh
day of the month,” but likewise as in English “upon the mountains of
Ararat.” This is not surprising since the designation “thaghavoroothune
Araratian” meaning “the kingdom of Ararat” is in use in the Armenian
I have alluded to the reigns of Aram and Ara to show how the Hai have
come to be called Armenians and how their country has come to be
named Armenia; also whence the name, Ararat; and as I purport here
only to treat of the origin of the Armenians, I shall now pass on to
the no less interesting period of their history: THE INTRODUCTION OF
When that great event bearing the message “on earth peace, goodwill
toward men” celebrated throughout the Christian world as the divine
birth, took place in the city of Bethlehem; Abgar the son of Arsham
reigned in Armenia.
That country was now broken in strength, the severe blows dealt on the
one side by the Roman Empire, and the incessant warfare of the Persian
on the other, had greatly curtailed her former independence and power;
the talons of the Roman Eagles were already felt in her vitals, and the
king of Armenia subsisted under the favor of the Roman Emperor, whilst
it became necessary for him to cultivate the friendship of his powerful
neighbour, the king of Persia.
Whilst in Persian territory, whither he had gone to settle the dispute
that had arisen on the death of the Persian monarch between his sons,
Abgar had contracted a severe disease, evidently leprosy.
[Illustration: ABGAR KING OF ARMENIA.
Converted to Christianity in A.D. 34. Baptised by the Apostle Thaddeus.]
The wonderful cures and miracles of Christ were reported to him by the
representatives he had sent to the Roman General Marinus in Jerusalem.
These representatives had gone to refute the charges brought against
him by King Herod, and to propitiate the Roman Power; they came back to
tell what they had witnessed in Jerusalem, of the singular wisdom and
wondrous works of a marvellous man named Jesus, who was of Nazareth,
but whom his own followers persisted in calling the Son of God.
The story relates that Abgar was deeply impressed by what he heard,
and expressed his own belief that man could not do such wondrous
works as were related of this Jesus the Nazarene. Thereupon the King
sent messengers to Jerusalem with a letter to Jesus. What a touch of
human nature is here displayed; the king is suffering from a loathsome
disease, the medical skill of his country and of neighbouring countries
has been exhausted, all in vain; the royal heart is stricken as well
as the royal body, for his disease is so loathsome, that although he
is king, his subjects would rather shun than approach him; he hears
of this wonderful man Jesus, his representatives have come back from
Jerusalem to tell him that “he cleanseth the lepers.” Hasten to him,
said the king, take unto him my greetings, carry my messages and my
letter and bring him unto me that I might honor him and if so be that
he may heal me.
The messengers of Abgar were headed by Anany the Greek scribe of the
king and they are supposed to be present in the procession of Christ’s
entry into Jerusalem. The twentieth and twenty-first verses of the
Gospel of St. John are adduced by Armenian historians as corroborative
“And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at
“The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee,
and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.”
Anany and his companions are supposed to be the “certain Greeks” who
came to Philip asking to see Jesus. And here I have to explain that the
letters of the Armenian alphabet were invented by St. Mesrope in the
beginning of the fifth century of the christian era; previous to the
time of Mesrope there were no special Armenian letters, and as this
invention was hailed as a signal national boon we have to conclude that
there was no written Armenian language previous to the fifth century.
One thing however must be certain, that this letter carried by the
king’s Greek scribe, the leader of the messengers, must originally have
been written in Greek. This letter has already been translated from the
Armenian into English; the translation reads thus:
“Abgar the son of Arsham, Prince of Armenia, sends to Thee, Saviour and
Benefactor, Jesus, who didst perform miracles in Jerusalem, greeting.
“I have heard of Thee, and of the cures wrought by Thee without herbs
or medicines; for it is reported that Thou restoreth the blind and
maketh the lame walk, cleanseth the lepers, casteth out devils and
unclean spirits, and healeth those that are tormented of diseases of
long continuance, and that Thou also raiseth the dead:--hearing all
this of Thee I was fully persuaded that Thou art the very God come down
from heaven to do such miracles, or that Thou art the Son of God and
so performeth them; wherefore I write to Thee to entreat Thee to take
the trouble to come to me and cure my disease. Besides, I hear that the
Jews murmur against Thee and want to torture Thee. I have a small and
beautiful city--sufficient for us both.”
The story goes on to relate that among the messengers was an artist by
the name of John who had been commissioned by the king to bring back a
portrait of Christ; the artist however failed in his efforts to portray
the divine features, whereupon Christ gave him a veil which he had laid
to his face and on which his features had become imprinted, to carry
back to his master.
We are also told that the apostle Thomas was commanded by Christ to
write a reply to Abgar. The reply has also been translated into English
and the translation reads thus:
“Blessed is he who believes in Me without seeing Me, for it is written
of Me that they that see Me shall not believe, and they that have not
seen Me shall believe and be saved. As concerning the request that I
should come to thee, it becomes Me to fulfil all things for which I was
sent, and when I have fulfilled those then I shall ascend to Him that
sent me; but after my Ascension I will send one of my disciples, who
shall cure thee of thy disease and give life to thee and to all those
that are with thee.”
Two stories are given of the cure of Abgar. According to one version he
was healed on receiving the veil, according to the other, the apostle
Thaddeus on coming to Armenia laid his hands on the king and cured him.
This story of the veil has been treated by certain scholars as a
legend, especially as the Roman church has also got a somewhat similar
story. We are of course not in a position to vouch for its truth
or incorrectness, but it seems to me if all the miracles of Christ
as related in the gospels are to be credited, this one also can be
regarded as one out of many. If according to the gospel story water
was turned into wine at the marriage feast in Cana, what is there
incredible about the imprint of the divine features on a veil; and
if the gospels assure us of the healing of many lepers there can be
nothing astonishing in the healing of the king of Armenia.
I was however much interested when I came across the following passage
in the history of the “Spread of Islam”:
“To the east they advanced to the banks and sources of the Euphrates
and Tigris; the long disputed barrier of Rome and Persia was forever
confounded; the walls of Edessa and Amida, of Dara and Nisibis, which
had resisted the arms and engines of Sapor or Nushirvan, were levelled
in the dust; and the holy city of Abgarus might vainly produce the
epistle or the image of Christ to an unbelieving conqueror.”
“The long disputed barrier of Rome and Persia” which was “forever
confounded” was of course Armenia; and “the holy city of Abgarus” the
historian evidently had in his mind must have been Edessa, whither
Abgar had removed his seat of government. To Armenians, however,
Edessa has never been “the holy city,” if they had a holy city, they
would prefer to name Ani, the city of a thousand churches, or on
account of its peculiar associations Etchmiatzin the ecclesiastical
It was in Anno Domini 34 that the apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew
went to Armenia, where they were warmly welcomed and received with
great reverence and respect by the King, who accepted the christian
faith at once, himself and the royal household being baptised by the
Thaddeus and Bartholomew continued their preaching in Armenia,
converting and baptising the people; churches were raised up, bishops
consecrated, and the christian religion established in the country.
It might have been a matter of wonder to us why Saint Paul did not
address an epistle to the Armenians as he addressed to other nations;
but I think the 20th verse of the 15th chapter of his epistle to the
Romans clearly explains the reason why there was not an epistle written
to the Armenians also:
“Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was
named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation.”
Clearly then no epistle was written to the Armenians because Christ
was already named among them, and Paul did not wish to build upon the
foundation of Thaddeus and Bartholomew who had laid the foundation of
Christianity in Armenia at a time when Paul himself was persecuting
Christians. Thaddeus and Bartholomew left behind no epistles, and we
have only Armenian history for the record of the work they did in
Abgar died soon after his baptism and conversion, and was succeeded
by his son Anany who tried to revive the old religion, which was
something similar to the worship of the Greeks and Romans. The people
of the country however had in large part accepted Christianity, and
the revival of the old religion was consequently met with disfavour,
but before their discontent had time to assume active tendencies Anany
met his death by an accident; the people thereupon immediately invited
Abgar’s nephew Sanatrook to occupy the throne, taking a pledge from
him that he would not interfere with their religion. The pledge was
readily given by Sanatrook, but once secure on the throne he proved a
cruel and merciless despot: the remaining sons of Abgar were killed,
and his daughters and widow Helena banished, but the crowning act of
the tyrant’s wickedness and infamy was the martyrdom of the apostles
Thaddeus and Bartholomew. Thus Christianity continued its struggles in
Armenia, persecuted and declining, but still enduring.
About Anno Domini 260 the king reigning in Armenia by the name of
Terdat, persecuted Christianity. He had regained his throne through the
support of the Roman Army, and to celebrate his accession he offered
thanksgiving and sacrifice in the temple of the goddess Anahid, which
was no other than the goddess Diana of the Romans, but the fathers of
the Armenian church in their christian zeal have reversed the name of
the goddess, made a topsy-turvy of it, calling her Anahid, and so the
name has remained in the Armenian language to this day.
This occasion of the king’s worship and thanksgiving in the temple of
Diana, marked the beginning of the persecution of Gregory, afterwards
known as Gregory the Illuminator and the patron saint of Armenia. The
childhood of Gregory had been shadowed by a parent’s guilt: his father
Anak having treacherously assassinated the then reigning king Khosrov
the Great, the whole family was exterminated, only two sons escaping
death, one of them, Gregory, was secretly removed by his nurse to
Caesaria, and kept in concealment, until in the course of years the
father’s crime having been forgotten, all danger for the life of the
son was supposed to have passed away.
[Illustration: SOORB GREGORE LOOSAVORITCH.
(St. Gregory the Illuminator)
Patron Saint of Armenia. Revived Christianity in Armenia in A.D. 276.]
Gregory’s christian faith however now became the cause of his
misfortunes; the king called upon Gregory to assist in the worship
in the temple of Diana, but he firmly refused and boldly avowed his
christianity, which so incensed the king that he ordered frightful
tortures to be inflicted upon him, but as the tortures had no effect
and Gregory remained firm to his faith, the king ordered him to be
thrown into a dry well. The story goes on to relate that Gregory lived
for fifteen years in this dry well, food and drink being conveyed to
him secretly by a woman, herself a christian. On this spot is built the
famous monastery of “Khorvirap” meaning “deep well.”
A beautiful Roman maiden by the name of Rhipsimè fleeing from the
addresses of the Emperor Diocletian sought refuge in Armenia; she
was accompanied by a friend, a woman of maturer years of the name of
Caiana, and some other christian maidens, all fleeing from persecution
Rhipsimè’s rare beauty had captivated the Roman emperor, and she had
sought to escape from his passion by flight, but a crueller fate
awaited her in Armenia, for king Terdat in his turn smitten by the
exquisite beauty of her face offered to make her his queen, and her
refusal to accept his throne and his love so exasperated the king that
he ordered her beautiful head to be cut off. Thus Rhipsimè with Caiana
and their young companions were cruelly martyred. Rhipsimè and Caiana
were later beatified as saints in the Armenian church.
The king however did not escape the Nemesis of his diabolical crime,
the memory of the beautiful Rhipsimè haunted him; remorse took the
place of the ferocious anger that had doomed his hapless victim to
her cruel death and the king lost his reason. The king having become
incapacitated, Gregory was released from his underground prison by the
king’s sister Khosrovidookt, and as the malady of the king was mental,
remorse for his own crime having overturned his reason, it became
the peculiar office of Gregory to minister to the king, and by his
spiritual ministrations to effect the restoration of the royal mind.
Terdat recovered his reason and as a broken-hearted penitent accepted
the religion of Gregory and the beautiful Rhipsimè.
Gregory now freely preached Christianity in Armenia. It was a grand
Revival; the temples of Anahid were turned into the churches of
Christ, and the whole nation accepted Christianity, which became the
established religion in the country. The name of Gregory has been
handed down to posterity as Soorb Gregore Loosavoritch (Saint Gregory
the Illuminator). “Illuminator” is the generally accepted English
translation of the Armenian term “Loosavoritch,” but it is true
nevertheless that neither the term “Illuminator” nor “Enlightener”
suitably conveys the definition of its meaning; sometimes modes
of expression are so difficult to translate from one language into
another, and it can be said that the term “Illuminator” is used for
want of a better word in English. The Armenians call their religion
“loois havat;” the word “loois” means “light” and “havat” means “faith”
or “religion,” but if I translated the two words as “enlightened faith”
or “enlightened religion” the translation would not suitably convey the
meaning of the original.
[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL OF ETCHMIATZIN.
(Only Begotten Descended).
Seat of the Supreme Patriarch. The foundation stone was laid by St.
Gregory the Illuminator who built the Church in the third century of
the Christian era.]
The cathedral of Etchmiatzin is identified with Gregory; its name
“Etchmiatzin” means in the Armenian language “the only begotten is
descended,” and the story attached to it is, that in a vision Christ
appeared to Gregory descended in light; Gregory built his church on
the spot where the vision had appeared to him, giving it the name of
“Etchmiatzin” (only begotten descended). The cathedral also gives its
name to the town Etchmiatzin, the ecclesiastical metropolis of Armenia.
Since the time of Gregory, Christianity has been the national religion
of the Armenians, and they have clung to their christian faith through
unremitting persecutions and martyrdoms such as no other christian
people have been called upon to endure.
The cathedral of Etchmiatzin built by Gregory still stands to-day; it
has constantly been repaired and rebuilt in some part or other, until
perhaps little of the original building may be left, but it still
claims to be the church built by the patron saint of Armenia. I shall
here quote a passage from “Historical Sketch of the Armenian Church,”
written by an Armenian priest:
“Owing to political circumstances the Armenian Patriarchate had at
times to be transferred to metropolises and to other principal towns of
Armenia. In the year A.D. 452 it was removed to Dwin, in 993 to Ani, in
1114 to Rômklah, and in 1294 to Sis. The Kingdom of Cilicia becoming
extinct, and, we having no more a kingdom and no longer a capital town,
it was natural and proper to re-transfer the See to its own original
place, as the entire nation unanimously desired it. Accordingly, in the
year 1441, it was decided by an ecclesiastical meeting that the seat
of the Catholicus should return to Holy Etchmiatzin, where to this day
has been preserved the proper unbroken succession from our Apostles and
from our holy Father, St. Gregory the Illuminator.”
I read the other day in one of the foreign papers published in Japan,
the following piece of news:
“An Armenian Church pronounced by experts to date from the second
century of the Christian era, has been discovered in a fair state of
preservation in the neighbourhood of Bash-Aparnah.”
Perhaps the excavations in Armenia which Professor Marr is now
conducting might lead to throwing more light on Armenian history.
 In a recent publication “Fifty Years in Constantinople,” the
author Dr. George Washburn, ex-President of Robert College, estimates
the number that were slaughtered in cold blood in the streets of the
city as 10,000. Dr. Washburn adds the following: “The massacre of the
Armenians came to an end on Friday, the day after the soldiers came
to the College; but the persecution of them which went on for months
was worse than the massacre. Their business was destroyed, they were
plundered and blackmailed without mercy, they were hunted like wild
beasts, they were imprisoned, tortured, killed, deported, fled the
country, until the Armenian population of the city was reduced by some
seventy-five thousand, mostly men, including those massacred.”
 “Transcaucasia and Ararat: Twenty Years of the Armenian
 “Our Responsibilities For Turkey.”--Argyll (note to 2nd printing).
 In 1826 the Russian General Paskevitch defeated the Persians at
Elizabetopol and in the following year 1827 he seized the monastery of
Etchmiatzin (the seat of the Armenian Patriarch) and Erivan one of the
great towns of Armenia and gained for himself the title of Erivanski.
By these successes Russia advanced as far as the line of the Araxes and
wrested from Persia the provinces of Erivan and Nakhitchvan. The Treaty
of Peace was concluded between Russia and Persia at Turkmantchai on the
22nd of February 1828.--Note to 2nd printing.
 Commenting on the effect on Abdul Hamid of the indignation aroused
in England over the massacres, Mr. James Bryce writes, “The indignation
expressed in England exasperated him; he passed from fear to fury, and
back again to fear; and went so far as to beg, and obtain, the friendly
offices of the Pope, who, through the Government of Spain, asked the
British Government not to press too hardly upon the Sultan with regard
to the Armenians.”--Note to 2nd printing.
 “Transcaucasia and Ararat: Twenty Years of the Armenian
Question.”--James Bryce. Note to 2nd printing.
 “Abdul Hamid Intime,” Georges Dorys. In the Preface by Pierre
Guillard to the same book, there occurs the following passage:
“Gladstone dénonça le Grand Assassin; M. Albert Vandal flétrit le
Sultan Rouge; M. Anatole France fit trembler dans l’antre de Yildiz le
Despote fou d’épouvante et d’autres le traitèrent de Bête Rouge et de
“Cependant aucun de ces termes excessifs en apparence n’est encore
satisfaisant et n’exprime en toute son horreur le caractère d’un être à
face humaine, tel, disait récemment un haut exilé ottoman, qu’il n’en
existe point de semblable, qu’il n’en a jamais existé de pareil et
que selon toute probabilité, il n’en pourra dans l’avenir exister un
second. Les conquérants assyriens qui se vantent dans des inscriptions
lapidaires d’avoir exterminé les peuples rebelles et tendu de peaux
écorchées les murailles des villes prises, Néron, Caligula, Timour,
Gengiz Khan, les inquisiteurs catholiques et les tortionnaires chinois,
aucun tueur d’hommes n’égala Abdul-Hamid.”--Note to 2nd printing.
 “Abdul Hamid Intime,” Georges Dorys.--Note to 2nd printing.
 Nicholas C. Adossides [Youngest Son of Adossides Pasha] in the
“Cosmopolitan” for July, 1909, (“Abdul the Dethroned”) writes as
“I remember the following incident which depicts the official Russian
attitude: One night, while dining at the Russian legation in Bern,
Switzerland, many Russian officials being present, the conversation
was directed to the ever-engrossing Eastern question. A diplomat from
St. Petersburg expressed his admiration of Abdul Hamid, praising
his extraordinary intelligence and diplomatic skill. ‘Besides,’ he
continued, ‘he is not so black as his enemies have painted him.’
“Not being able to restrain my indignation at this, I protested, saying
he was an arch assassin. ‘Not to speak of his innumerable cruelties and
many villainies,’ I said, ‘can you deny, Sir, that he instigated and
accomplished the annihilation of 360,000 Armenians?’
“The admirer of the Sultan smiled, but before he could answer me, the
military attaché of the legation, who was sitting next to me, exclaimed:
“If you condemn the Sultan for that, you astonish me. The Armenians?
Bah! They ought to be exterminated _en masse_, and the Sultan did an
excellent piece of work when he got rid of them. I have no use for
them. Besides,’ he continued, ‘can’t you see that a free Armenia would
be a serious obstacle to Russian expansion and to our advance to the
south and into Persia? Abdul Hamid has proved himself a very valuable
ally of Russia. He is the best Ambassador at Constantinople that we’ve
ever had.”--Note to 2nd printing.
 This statement is corroborated by Dr. George Washburn in his
account of the Constantinople Massacre: “But the Concert of Europe
did nothing. It accepted the situation. The Emperor of Germany
went further. He sent a special embassy to present to the Sultan a
portrait of his family as a token of his esteem.”--“Fifty Years in
Constantinople,” George Washburn. (Note to 2nd printing.)
 Since these lines were written later accounts show that over
a hundred thousand have been precipitated into homelessness and
destitution, and this misery is growing greater every day.--Note to 2nd
 “Transcaucasia and Ararat: Twenty Years of the Armenian Question,”
James Bryce.--Note to 2nd printing.
 “The Strenuous Life: Expansion and Peace,” Theodore
Roosevelt.--Note to 2nd printing.
 Edmund Burke--Speech in Parliament in opposition to Mr. Pitt,
1791.--Note to 2nd printing.
 Nakhitchvan--Invaded and seized by the Persian Monarch Shah Abbas
in 1603. Taken from Persia by Russia in 1827.
 Erivan--Invaded and seized by the Persian monarch Shah Abbas in
1603. Taken from Persia by Russia 1827.
 The Hittites flourished in the sixteenth and fifteenth centuries
B.C. King Aram completed his conquest of Cappadocia in B.C. 1796.
 The orthodox church of Armenia is the church founded by Gregory.
Since the loss of their independence, persecution has scattered and
dispersed the people, thousands fleeing from their native home sought
refuge in other countries and in some cases they or their descendants
have come under the influence of other churches; thus the Mukhitharian
monks of the monastery of St. Lazar in Venice have been drawn into
the Romish Church and their influence has been extended over a small
minority of laymen; also the influence of the American Missionaries in
Asiatic Turkey has drawn others into Protestantism, but the bulk of
the nation has remained Gregorians. It is well to remark here however
that the orthodox Church, although calling herself “The Holy Catholic
and Apostolic Church” has devoted her energies mainly to upholding the
essential principles of Christianity and has not concerned herself
much about dogmas. As for the modern Armenians of the Gregorian Church
their religious views are characterized by liberalism, they look to the
central figure of Christianity and regard dogmas as immaterial: their
jealousy of their church is only actuated by the passionate feeling of
preserving nationalism. They regard their church as the ark in which
nationalism may be preserved until the dawn of better days.
End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Betrayed Armenia, by Diana Agabeg Apcar
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