Turkish Atrocities.

The Irish Times,

Tuesday, May 16, 1922

 

  MR. CHAMBERLAIN'S statement in the
House of Commons yesterday will send a
shudder of disgust throughout the civilized
world. For several months ugly rumours
have been coming from Asia Minor in
regard to Turkish atrocities. The cata-
logue of horrors which was read out
by the Leader of the House of Commons
was appalling. His statement, based on
information which he had received from
the British High Commissioner on the
spot, embodied the independent testi-
mony of impartial American witnesses.
Therefore, there cannot be the slightest
doubt about its accuracy.
Massacres are
in progress which are even more com-
prehensive than those of GLADSTONE's day,
and they are calculated to finish the dire
work which was begun in 1915. The
process of extermination extends over the
whole area in Asia Minor that is in
KEMALIST hands, from the Pontic coast
near the Caucasus, across to Adalia in
the South West. The principal victims are
the [*]Ottoman Greeks; but the Armenians
are not being spared,
and the roads
of Asia Minor are strewn with their
bleaching bones. DR. WARD, who is chief
of the American Relief Commission in
the Near East, counted 150 corpses on the
road between Kharput and Malatia
recently. Another American counted 1,500
bodies, while at least 2,000 are lying on
the roadsides east of Kharput.
The method which is being adopted by
the Turks is peculiarly loathsome. All
the available Christians in the Trebizond
area, for instance, were herded together
in Amasia, and then forced to march, via
Tokat, and Sivas, to Cesarea. From this
town they were marched back to Amasia
and then through Kharput, into the
mountains of the East. Naturally,
thousands of them died on the way. The
"deportations" have been carried out
during the winter, while the weather has
been at its worst, and many of the victims
apparently were frozen to death. The
Americans have done their best to relieve
distress in the torture areas, but they
themselves have been treated very badly
by the Turks.
Nobody can estimate the
number of Greeks and Armenians who
have been done to death during the
past six months. One high official of
the KEMALISt Administration announced
recently that when the Allies should make
peace with Turkey, there would be no
minorities left to safeguard. "The error
which was committed in 1915," he said,
"when an end was not put once for all,
to Christianity in Turkey, must be
remedied now." Complete extermination
is the order of the day.


***

NOTE: After the Revolution of 1823, the Greeks of mainland Greece were freed after 400 years of enslavement by the Turks. But the Greeks of Asia Minor remained Turkish subjects, a.k.a. "Ottoman Greeks" until 1922. (SKK)

 

POINTS OF NOTE:

...impartial American witnesses.
Therefore, there cannot be the slightest
doubt about its accuracy.

The principal victims are the [*]Ottoman
Greeks; but the Armenians are not being
spared, and the roads of Asia Minor are strewn
with their bleaching bones.

The "deportations" have been carried out
during the winter, while the weather has
been at its worst, and many of the victims
apparently were frozen to death. The
Americans have done their best to relieve
distress in the torture areas, but they
themselves have been treated very badly
by the Turks.

Complete extermination
is the order of the day.

 

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) - British Statesman

“... Mustapha Kemal's Army ... celebrated their triumph by the burning of Smyrna to ashes and by a vast massacre of its Christian population...”

Churchill W, The Aftermath, New York, Charles Scribner's and Sons, 1929, p444

Top