THE UNSPEAKABLE TURK

Auckland Star
May 29, 1922.


        An Inquiry has been promised into
the atrocities alleged  to have been com-
mited    by   the   Turks   against    Chris-
tians population of Asia  Minor, and if the
reports that  have  come  from   different
quarters  are  true  it  could  seem that it
is time some  action   was  taken  in   the
matter.    Turkish     butcheries     of    Ar-
menians have   now   reached  the    point
where a remnant of 120,000 has besought
the Council of the League of  Nations   to
send ships to transport them  beyond the
reach  of  their  persecutors.    It   is   not
quite  clear whether these 120,000 are all
that are  left of  the 1,500,000 Armenians
who   were in  Armenia   when  the   war
ended, and it  seems  probable  that   the
number  refers  only to those who were in
Cilicia at  the time  of the  French  occupa-
tion.  But even so,  it  seems  certain that
hundreds  of  thousands have  been  ruth-
lessly  slaughtered  and starved  by their
persecutors.  The "Kansas  City  Journal"
says, - "Modern   times  have  written no
such  chapter  as   that  which  puts  the
finis  to   the  national   history   of    the
Armenians,  who  are  to  leave  their im-
memorial     homeland    and    abandon
Armenia  for  an  indefinite period,  if not
for ever."  Nor  is  the  persecution   con-
fined    to   the  Armenians.   Systematic
annihilation   of  the Greek populations in
Asia Minor   is  said  to  be  also   part of
the  Turkish   program.    The   Patriarch
of Constantinople   has  received    state-
ments giving details of various massacres
of  the   Greeks.    Among  several    other
barbarities reported to the Patriarchate are
those in the city   of   Marsovan   and   in
Samsoun.   This  report    says:   "Osman
Agha, after  seizing  the property   of   all
the Christians, set fire to the Greek   and
Armenian  quarters.   The sight was most
horrible.   All  the streets  and alleys were
blocked by the   culprits   so   that  those
attempting to escape   were  either   shot
or pushed back into the fire  irrespective
of age or sex.   In   less  than five hours
1800  houses  were  burned  down  with
their  residents.  Crimes,  unheard  of  in
the history of vandalism, were committed
against    maidens    and  children.   And
while they did  this,  they cried, "Let your
Englishmen and   Americans, your  Christ
Himself,   come    now   and   save  you."
According  to   other reports  received by
the   Patriarch,  all  the Greek villages  in
the   region of Samsoun were burned and
the   inhabitants  massacred, while   more
than 200,000 Cilician refugees   evacuated
the   country   after   the Franco Kemalist
treaty.   It   is   not   easy  to   see exactly
what   action can  be taken   if   the   com-
mission   of     inquiry   confirms     these
reports,  but   it   is   plain   that,  if    the
Christianity   that   Europe professes is to
be   more   than   a  mockery,   something
must   be   done  to   remedy   a  state of
affairs which has been described as   "the
tragedy of modern history, the shame  of
Christendom."


Auckland Star, Volume LIII, Issue 118, 20 May 1922, Page 6 

 

Further Reading:
Feridunoğlu Osman Ağa (1883-1923)

Black Book: The Tragedy of Pontus, 1914-1922
6 Nov 1921: Reports Massacres of Greeks in Pontus, New York Times
Pontus

The Greek Genocide in American Naval War Diaries
The Samsun Deportations

 

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