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Massacres in Harput

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"In 1922-23 Near East Relief evacuated 22,000 children from ophanages in interior Turkey to Syria and Greece. These two pictures show part of the 5,000 children from Karput en route on donkey back and foot"

Massacres in Harput District were a large scale of massacres that happened in the district. [1]



In May 1915, prior to the start of the deportations, the authorities in Harput began to mount systematic searches for arms in Armenian shops and homes in the twin cities and the surrounding villages. [2]

In the words of an eye-witness.

“We were surrounded for a week or ten days by a cordon of burning villages on the plain. Gradually the cordon of fire and fiendish savages drew nearer the city. The attack in the city was planned for Sunday, November 10th, and some of the city rabble began to make demonstrations; but the soldiers drove them back.

Denmark's minister in Turkey during the First World War. "The Turks are vigorously carrying through their cruel intention, to exterminate the Armenian people," Carl Wandel wrote on 3 July 1915. The Bishop of Karput was ordered to leave Aleppo within 48 hours "and it has later been learned that this Bishop and all the clergy that accompanied him have been ... killed between Diyarbekir and Urfa at a place where approximately 1,700 Armenian families have suffered the same fate ... In Angora ... approximately 6,000 men ... have been shot on the road ... even here in Constantinople (Istanbul), Armenians are being abducted and sent to Asia ..." [3]

Attack by Kurds

The first sign of dangers was the appearance on the plain of bands of Kurds from the regions north and east. Villages were attacked, looted and burned, while the villagers were killed or scattered. For a time the marauders seemed to hold aloof from the city itself, but as they kept on their course of pillage their appetite for plunder was whetted, and they looked with avaricious eyes at the city on the hill. [4]


  1. The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response - Page 334 by Peter Balakian
  2. The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide - Page 168 by Lewy, Guenter
  3. You're talking nonsense, Mr Ambassador By Robert Fisk
  4. Turkey and the Armenian Atrocities by Edwin Munsell Bliss, p.428

See also

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