Turkey Bars Red Cross -nyt19151019

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April 29, 1915

Will Not Permit America to Aid Armenian Sufferers

The Turkish government has informed the State Department at Washington that the Red Cross will not be permitted to send surgeons and nurses to the aid of the Armenian people of the Turkish empire. Not only are American Red Cross surgeons, nurses, and agents barred from Turkey, but also all other foreigners, foreigners in this instance undoubtedly meaning the nationals of neutral countries.

The State Department informed Ernest T. Bicknell and Miss Mabel Boardman of the executive staff of the American Red Cross of Turkey's decision, and Miss Boardman communicated the information to Dr. M. Simbad Gabriel of 410 West Twenty-third Street, this city, the President of the Armenian General Progressive Association in this country .

A few weeks ago Dr. Gabriel wrote to Miss Boardman concerning the atrocities committed against the Armenians by the Turks. He asked the American Red Cross to send physicians and nurses to Turkey to aid the sufferers. In his letter Dr. Gabriel said:

"A hundred American Red Cross nurses and physicians can work miracles there not only by the bread and medicine they will give but by virtue of their personal presence. " He also suggested that Armenians in this country might raise $50,000 to be expended by the Red Cross.

Informing Dr. Gabriel of the inability to send Red Cross aid, Miss Boardman, writing from Washington under date of Oct. 16 said:

"Your letter of Sept. 21 arrived during my absence from Washington. On my return I made inquiries regarding the possibility of the American Red Cross sending surgeons and nurses for the aid of the Armenians if the Armenians in America raised funds for this purpose. Mr. Bicknell took the matter up with the State Department, and on inquiry we found that the Turkish government had declined to allow any foreign personnel to undertake this work. Therefore it would be impossible for us to do so, even if the money were secured, greatly to our regret.

"We find it also difficult at present, almost impossible, in fact, to send supplies to Turkey, everything is in such a fearful condition in Europe. We have notified those that desire to send contributions for Armenian relief that we would transmit them through the American Ambassador at Constantinople, as this seems to be the only method at present of aiding the Armenian population. We can only hope that this situation will before long come to an end. It is growing daily so much worse that it seems as if it could not last long."

"The letter from the Miss Boardman," Dr. Gabriel said yesterday, "speaks for itself, and I think in the eyes of all prejudiced persons it will prove convincing evidence of the truthfulness of the terrible stories that are coming out of Turkey regarding the persecution, murder, and torturing of the Armenian people. Perhaps the President might make it personal request of the authorities at Constantinople that the American Red Cross be permitted to undertake this mission of mercy in behalf of a people who are the victims of the greatest and most systematic series of massacres recorded in history."