Ransoms Armenian Girls -nyt19160213

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American Committee Asks Funds to be paid to Turks

FEBRUARY 13,1916

The American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, among the members of which are Cardinal Gibbons, Oscar S. Straus, Bishop Greer, Charles R. Crane, and many other prominent Americans, announced yesterday that it had undertaken the work of reclaiming Armenian women and girls who were in the hands of the Turks, and also the paying of ransom, when necessary, to recover the captives.

"From information furnished this committee," the statement said, "it is authoritatively estimated that there are hundreds of these young girls and women who today are in the hands of the Turks and Kurds. A great many of them have been reclaimed, but many more remain to be saved. Upon authentic authority it is asserted that there as on an average of one out of every twelve of these young women who is returned to her family by those who were her captors.

It is principally from personal influence that the way is opened for this work of reclamation. The Turkish officers for so much money will give information as to where these young women may be found. Further payments will cause them to be brought to some appointed place, and then it is a matter of how much money will be paid for their release.

"So far as the payment of ransom money is concerned, no estimate as to the average amount is possible. An instance cited is that of a Russian orthodox priest who was a Persian by birth. The Kurds demanded $15,000 ransom for his release, but when $5,000 was offered they accepted it.

"It is for this work that urgent appeals are being made by the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief. Contributions may be sent to Avenue, New York."

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