Reports Asia Minor Looking To America -nyt19190607

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Bishop Fout Says That Turks, Syrians, and Armenians Want Her as Mediator.


Rev. P. F. B. Chappell Quotes British Authority for His Figures -- Syrians Still Starving.

JUNE 7, 1919

ROME, June 4, (Associated Press) -- The people of Armenia, Syria, and Turkey are most eager that the United States shall have the League of Nations mandate for their countries, according to Bishop H. H. Fout of Indianapolis, the head of one section of the American Commission for Relief in the Near East. The Bishop, who belongs to the United Brethren, arrived in Rome today on his way to the United States, accompanied by seventeen other members of his commission.

"These people," he added, "look to the United States in their present appalling condition. They cry out for the United States. America in their first choice, with Great Britain second.

"Turkey by her inhuman treatment, in my opinion, has list the right to be entrusted with authority to rule. From various estimates I have reached the conclusion that out of the Armenian nation of 3,000,000 at the outbreak of the war, 1,000,000 were massacred. The condition of the remainder is most appalling.

"There is plenty of mute evidence in the hundreds of thousands of skeletons scattered throughout the Turkish Empire that the Turks sought to exterminate the Armenians by systematic massacre. The Armenians were driven like herded cattle from one locality to another until they were exhausted by tortures and torments of unbelievable character. In addition the Turks sought to wipe out the clergy of Armenia. Only eight out of forty-four Bishops survive, while only 10 per cent. of the clergy is living today."

The Rev. Paul F. B. Chappell of Nashville, Tenn., told the correspondent of what he had seen in traveling from Port Said to Aleppo.

"Poverty is most profound, although the prospects for the next harvest are good," he said. "Even at the present time the people fall dead in the streets from the effects of Turkish treatment. The Turks could not invade Syria as they invaded Armenia, but they were successful in preventing food from going to Syria. Starvation is wide-spread throughout the region.

"Colonel Hawker, the British commander at Beirut, told me he thought it would be found that only 30 per cent. of the Armenians were living when final accounts were taken. He said the Armenians were hounded and driven over an area 1,200 square miles in extent. They were harassed by armed and mounted Turks who worked in relays.

"The Turkish plan was to take all the able bodied men from the community and tie them up. Then they would torture them by cutting their flesh and burning the wounds. Finally, they would cut off their heads in the presence of the wives and children of the victims. The old men, women, and children were herded together and driven from place to place."

A large number of photographs taken in Armenia, showing piles of skulls and skeletons and pictures of deformed children and tortured women were shown the correspondent by the Rev. Samuel T. Bartlett of Toronto, a member of the committee who penetrated into Eastern Turkey.

"At Ourfa," Mr. Bartlett said, "I saw a deep well filled with skulls of dead Armenians. There must have been several thousand of them. At Malatee there is a pit containing thousands of skeletons. A little girl at Sivas told us the Turks had taken her father and other men, tied and tortured them and then killed them.

"The Turks also took all the babies in the town and threw them into the river until it overflowed its banks. They let out the priests, put red-hot iron shoes on their feet, tied them to wagons and forced them to walk long distances. The finger and toe nails of the priests were pulled out, and the priests finally were compelled to say the rites over the dead, while the Turks looked on and laughed and mocked. At other places they pulled out the beards of the priest and tortured them until they fell dead from exhaustion. It was a tale of bloody butchery that we heard."

Mr. Bartlett said that the committee traveled across Central Asia Minor from Aleppo to Samsun to Constantinople they were the guests of Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, the American commander in Turkish waters, en the Destroyer 149.

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