Bulgars And Armenians -nyt19151223b

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Doubt Cast Upon the Report of a Massacre at Adrianople

December 23, 1915

To the Editor of the New York Times

A telegram from London, dated Dec.21, which appeared in the columns of The Times and of some other papers, purports to give the contents of a dispatch to The London Times to the effect that "all Armenians in Adrianople have either been massacred or deported by the Bulgarians, 1600 men being deported to Asia Minor," and that "many were placed on fishing vessels bound for Asia Minor." Unless we suppose that in the transmission of the above dispatch the word "Bulgarians was by mistake substituted for "Turks," the whole story is sheer nonsense. In the first place, Adrianople is not in Bulgaria or under Bulgarian rule. In the second place, the deported could not have been sent to Asia Minor " on sailing vessels," because Adrianople is an inland town at least 150 miles from the sea, and all the intermediate territory between is and the sea is under Turkish rule.

But the strangest part of the dispatch is that the first half of it asserts is contradicted by the second half, namely, that a memorial had been presented (by Armenians, of course,) to the Bulgarian Government "invoking interference in behalf of the persecuted Armenians" and giving "a frightful picture of their sufferings in Asia Minor at the hands of the Turkish authorities." Every sensible man will see that the Armenians could not very well ask the Bulgarian Government to interfere against its own doings or its own authorities. The whole dispatch is evidently an intentional or unintentional muddle.

The truth of the matter is that of all the peoples in the Near East the Armenians and the Bulgarians have invariably maintained most kindly and friendly relations with each other. At the time of the massacres in 1896, when Greece and Rumania refused them any asylum, thousands of Armenians fled for refuge to Bulgaria, where they were kindly received and treated. A large number of them have permanently established themselves in the country, and during the Balkan wars many of them fought in the Bulgarian ranks. During the recent persecutions, also, hundreds of Armenians who succeeded in making their escape from Constantinople or other places found safety in Bulgaria. A memorial presented by an Armenian deputation, last August, to the Bulgarian Prime Minister, begging for Bulgaria's interference in the behalf of the Armenians, was officially forwarded to the Turkish Government , while the Bulgarian press unanimously look up their defense and urged upon Turkey their better treatment.

New York, Dec.22, 1915

A hard copy of this article or hundreds of others from the time of the Armenian Genocide can be found in The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From The American Press: 1915-1922