Turks Fear Armenians -nyt19151013a

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American Attribute Massacre Largely to Dread of Uprising

OCTOBER 13, 1915

Fear that the Armenians will rise against them is the principal reason why the Turks are slaughtering their Christian neighbors, according to a letter given out yesterday by the American Committee on Armenian Atrocities form an American professor in one of the American colleges in Turkey.

The Professor says that during the last week in April the Professor of Armenian at his college was arrested and imprisoned with twenty-five other prominent Armenians. Later he was taken to Sivas, where he died on June 26. Many of the prominent and strong men of the city, including Professors Hagopian and Manasdjian, were taken to the soldiers' barracks until the total numbered 1,215.

"These 1,215 Armenians, "writes the professor, "were bound together in groups of five or six men and sent away at night under the guard of the gendarmerie by order of the Government. At a place three hours distant form the city, on a lonely road leading to Zileh, all of these men were brutally slain by the gendarmerie and by men called chettehs. Chettehs are murderers released from prison for the express purpose of preying on Armenians."

The writer also tells of the wholesale deportation during July of 12,000 persons from "that section of the city nearest to our institutions," and of how at some distance from the city men and boys were separated from the women and girls were sent on and gradually taken from the guards to be appropriated by Turks for their harems or perish by the roadside."

"A Government officer," the writer continues, "declared that the destination of the exiled was to be Mosul, a city about 500 or 600 miles distant in the desert regions of Mesopotamia. These were practically impossible that any of the people should ever reach this place.

"The town of Samsun was similarly emptied of its Armenian population, also Amasia, Vezir Korpru, Chorun, and all other towns and villages in the vicinity of Marsovan.

"The last of August, along the Anatolian Railway, from Angora to Constantinople I saw 50,000 Armenians scattered in the field and at stations along the road, without adequate supply of food and with no means of shelter. At Merkedjle alone, the station master told us, there were 30,000 exiles. Many were weak from hunger, others almost dead."

The writer says that the American Consul was told that the Turkish Government intended to exterminate the Armenians.

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