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The Argus, 28 september 1915
Bron: National Library of Australia

Atrocities in Armenia

WHOLESALE MASSACRES

AWFUL TALE OF CRUELTY

Fate of Women


LONDON, Sept. 27.

An awful story of cruelty is formed by narratives published by the "Daily Chronicle" of eye-witnesses of the Turkish atrocities in Armenia.

"History does not record such scenes," declares the "Daily Chronicle." "Besides many thousand Armenians who have been killed, 500,000 have been deported since last April."

"The first step was the disarming of the Armenians, and under this pretext many murders and torturings were committed. Then they were imprisoned en masse. The deportations followed, and were accompanied by massacres. Scarcely a man was left. The Turks in the Kharput province marketed the remainder. The highest functionary to the simplest peasant bought wives, forcibly converting them to Islamism."

"Little children were put upon the roads, and wandered, famished, until many died from starvation. Similar scenes occurred in the Diarbekir Province. Some facilities were granted to the deportees in other provinces, but robbers and peasants looted and stripped the caravans and killed the few remaining youths, abducted the women and girls, and whipped the old women along the roads until they dropped from exhaustion or died from hunger."

One eye-witness states:— "Women who were deported from the Erzeroum Province left the Kharput plain foodless, and died at the rate of fifty or sixty daily."

A little girl states that when one caravan arrived at the Governor's office at Sari Kichila children were torn from their mothers' arms and the caravan was forced lo continue without them. As it arrived at each village the women were exposed at the Governors' offices to allow Mussulmans to take their pick. The caravan, starting at Papert, gradually dwindled in numbers, and finally the remaining women and children were thrown into the Euphrates before Erzinga. Two German Red Cross nurses were so shocked at what they saw that they resigned and reported the atrocities at the Constantinople Embassy. The roads in many of the provinces were littered with corpses.

A Mussulman traveller states that during a nine hours' journey from Malatia to Sivas he encountered only the corpses of men and women. Armenian soldiers met the same fate in the Erzeroum and Diarbekir provinces, where they were sent to work on the roads. Turks butchered 1,800 of them from Kharput. Many Armenians sought to be converted to Islamism in order to escape their co-religionists' fate. Those at Sivas were notified that they must first surrender their children for education.

The authorities at Kharput ordered that the women desiring conversion must first marry a Mussulman. Many threw themselves into the Euphrates with their babies. Evidently the Government is determined to end the Armenian question once for all by extermination.

Colofon