TURKS KILL WOMEN AND BABES AS FLAMES CONSUME SMYRNA
American Sailors Tell of Looting and Pillaging After Kemalist Forces Enter Asia minor Seaport.
The Evening Star, Washington D.C.
September 15, 1922.
By Cable to The Star and Chicago Daily News.
SMYRNA. September 14 (delayed).
- A crime which will brand the Turks
forever was committed Wednesday,
when the Turkish soldiery, after fin-
ishing their looting and pillaging,
set the town on fire. Smyrna is now
almost completely destroyed. Not a
single important establishment is left
and the total loss is estimated at
more than $1,000,000,000.
There is indisputable evidence that
the crime was planned and executed
by the Turkish authorities. Ameri-
can sailors guarding the various
buildings into which the refugees
had crowded saw with their own eyes
Turkish officers spreading fires
and setting fire to houses, after which
they locked the doors and left.
At the American Collegiate Insti-
tute, where 1,500 Armenian refugees
were gathered, the American guard
saw the Turks killing women and
babies. An American sailor leaving
the institute was fired at by the Turk-
ish soldiers who had been sent the
day before by the Turkish authori-
ties to protect the lives of the Ar-
Fire Envelops Town
The conflagration started in the
Armeian quarter, where the houses
were sprayed with kerosene by Turk-
ish soldiers. Half-maddened, the
people rushed to the water front, hop-
ing to get on board the foreign war-
ships. The whole town, except the
Turkish quarter, is burning. Crimi-
nals have already appeared on the
streets, and are shooting or clubbing
to death all whom they suspect of
possessing money or other valuables.
The authorities are assisting the
gangs of murderers.
The destruction of this flourishing
town is a crime made more monstrous
by the assurance given by the au-
thorities that normal conditions
would be re-established in forty-eight
hours. They were clever enough to
act in such a way as to lead every-
body to believe that the promise
would be kept.
Twenty four hours before the fire
started Nureddin Pasha, the Turkish
commander, said to the writer:
"You must realize that things have
changed and that the times when
victorious Turks used to massacre and
destroy everything are past."
The only plausible explanation of
the burning of a city of more than
300,000 inhabitants may be found in
the fact that the Turks wanted to
get rid of all the Christians in the
empire, and the only way of doing
so was to destroy their homes and
compel them to leave the country
forever. When the commander of the
city was approached and asked for
assistance in bringing food for the
refugees he said:
"Don't mention food. This will not
help. The only way of assisting these
people is to bring ships and take them
away from here."
Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.), 15 Sept. 1922. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1922-09-15/ed-1/seq-1/>
The Great Fire | Smyrna September 1922
La Mort de Smyrne (The Death of Smyrna), René Puaux
16 Sep 1922: Turks Killed 120,000, East Oregonian
15 Sep 1922: Turks Kill Women and Babes, The Evening Star
18 Sep 1922: Smyrna Ablaze. Stories of Massacre