Recent Reports From Turkey -mr191607

Jump to: navigation, search


Missionary Review July, 1916

The Russians continue to advance in Asia Minor, but more slowly than at first. As they occupy the Armenian territory, the surviving Christians come out of their hiding-places and peace is restored to the remnant - but Asia Minor as a whole is in a pitiable condition.

The havoc wrought by the Turks can be better realized when we think that the number of Armenians, men, women and children massacred or starved to death in the past year would take three days and two nights to pass a given point marching twenty abreast without a break!

The American Board received a cable from the charge daffier at Constantinople, urging that all the missionaries in the interior of Asia Minor be withdrawn on account of increasingly tumultuous conditions, but a message from the United States Consul at Tiflis, Russia, stated that conditions in the region of Van are suitable for the missionaries who were driven out to return. The American Board new has four stations under the Russian flag, Van, Bitlis, Erzroom, Trebizond, and has found the Russian officials extremely friendly.

Matters, evidently, are very different in the Turkish territory and on the Russian side of the line. The American Board expects the male missionaries to return to Van at an early date. They will travel via Russia and the Caucasus and, for some time to come, will be occupied mainly in relief work. The missionaries still in Asia Minor (one hundred and twelve in number) are advised to consult with Treasurer Peet at Constantinople and the Unites States Embassy as to the wisdom of their remaining at their posts.

A company of eight missionaries from eastern Turkey, desiring to leave for home, have been detained at Beirut since January 1st, the Turkish government refusing to allow the United States battleship Des Moines to take them off.

In America, the Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief has been stirred to renewed activity by a recent cablegram which states that many of the Armenian exiles, deported from their homes by Turkish soldiers, are reduced to eating grass and are dying of starvation by hundreds.

"Sufferings among exiles have been greatly increased on account of their having refused to accept Mohammedan religion in accordance with offers generally made them. The fortitude of most of the people under the sufferings which they are undergoing is wonderful, and they are not losing their Christian faith. The men of the families of many of the exiles are still serving in the Turkish army."

The Committee has commissions at work in several cities of Turkey and Persia and relief is being distributed under the direction of American missionaries and United States consuls, each city being the distributing point for a large section of country where are thousands of destitute people. It is estimated that in Turkey, Persia, Syria, and Palestine there are approximately a million Armenians, Nestorians, and native Christians who are destitute and suffering for want of food and the necessities of life.

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