The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 augustus 1896
Bron: National Library of Australia

The Riots in Constantinople

TERRIBLE SCENES IN THE STREETS

THE RIOTERS DICTATE TERMS TO THE GOVERNMENT

THE TERMS ACCEPTED

THE SEIZURE OP THE OTTOMAN BANK

HOW THE BANK WAS HELD


[By cable]
(From our correspondent)

LONDON, Aug. 20.

Further particulars with regard to the riots in Constantinople show that the Armenian Committee notified the Porte and the foreign embassies that the Armenians intended to seize the Imperial Ottoman Bank with the view of coercing the Powers to bring about some settlement with regard to Armenia. The Armenians threatened to blow up the bank by means of dynamite, and to destroy the securities it contained if they were molested.

Porters who were supposed to be carrying coin introduced the bombs into the bank, and the rioters, entering the bank one by one as if in the ordinary course of business, were not noticed.

When they had all entered a preconcerted signal was given, upon which they fired revolvers and threw bombs. A panic ensued, during which they were enabled to capture the bank.

The officials and the staff of the bank fled upstairs. Sir Edgar Vincent, governor of the bank, and several of the directors escaped by way of the roof, but two directors and a large number of clerks were captured by the rioters and were retained as hostages.

Twenty pounds weight of dynamite was placed in the cellar under the bank, a fuse was placed ready, and a man stood in readiness to explode it.

The rioters helped the cashier to lock up 10,000 sovereigns, and nothing was stolen.

After the rioters had fought all day and had lost half their numbers they offered to surrender on condition that they were allowed to proceed to England, and they threatened that in the event of these terms being refused they would explode the dynamite under the bank.

The Government accepted these terms, and bodies of British sailors escorted the rioters to a yacht which was in readiness to take them from the city.

Bands of furious Moslems paraded the streets of the city, and being armed with yataghans and iron clubs made reprisals wherever they could. They massacred every Armenian they saw.

The number of victims is estimated at from 2000 to 4000.

There were many hideous scenes, and the streets of the city resembled a battlefield.

The police were apathetic, and during the disorder looting was general.

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