TURKEY DECRIES NEW MONUMENT IN FRANCE
10, 19, 05
Turkey yesterday sharply condemned the opening
of a monument in Paris dedicated to an alleged genocide committed
against Assyrians and Chaldeans in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire.
A statement from the Foreign Ministry said: "Those who baselessly
accuse a state of the gravest crime to be committed against humanity,
genocide, are only humiliating themselves." /Cumhuriyet/
Armenians and Assyrians being marched into desert
where most will die from exhaustion, heat-strorke,
hunger and thirst.
It is truly amazing that Turkey will continue to deny
its responsibility in massacring the Assyrians during world war
I, including members of the Chaldean Church . By doing so it
wants the world to cast a blind eye on the hundreds of books
published about the event, to ingnore thousands of eye witness
accounts about the atrocities, to disregard thousands of news
reports printed in prominent newspapers at the time the events
Among many books written about the subject shortly after
the genocide are few by the Assyrian writers with ominous titles
Death of a Nation, Abraham Yohannan 1916
The Flickering Light of Asia Rev. Joel E. Werda, 1924
Shall This Nation Die? Rev. Joseph Naayem, 1920
Here is one quote by Naayem:
"In March 1915, there began to arrive at Urfa, [Turkey]
n the most pitiable state, convoys of women, children and old
men who were being deported. The girls and pretty women had been
carried off while on the road, and the men had been separated
from them or killed. To prolong the wanderings of the unfortunate
people, and to make them spend all they possessed, they were
compelled to halt several days at a time. This gave the Moslem
population sufficient time to besiege the convoy, and appropriate
for nominal prices whatever they wanted. At the same time, the
soldiers and police, who monopolized the trade with the convoys,
charged exorbitant sums for the provisions they had to buy.
They did worse, for at night they scaled the walls of the
large yard in which the Christians were kept, selected various
women and girls and carried them off across the flat roofs of
the houses. After being kept for some days as playthings, the
wretched creatures were then abandoned or massacred.
The yard where the convoys were taken soon became infested
with vermin, and rank with refuse, so that for several months
from ten to fifteen people died every day. The bodies were piled
on carts and taken outside the town, and thrown into ditches.
Those who had the strength wandered about the streets, ill and
in rags, reduced to begging their bread. Whenever I went out,
I met many of these poor people, the sight of whom unnerved me,
and I would hasten home again, sick at heart, obliged to refuse
alms, to my intense mortification, to so great a number. Many
fell in the streets and died there of starvation, their deathbed
one of mud or dust.
Aye! These eyes of mine have seen little children thrown on
manure heaps, while life still lingered in their little bodies."
Here is another:
"I should like to quote a few lines from a letter written
to me on the 31st of May 1919, by a Frenchman who had passed
more than three years among the Turks as a prisoner of war:
"I received your letter just at the moment when you were
giving your lecture, and was with you in spirit as I thought
of what you had to say as you retraced the unheard-of suffering
of the poor people who, during the war, lay prone under the Turco-German
whip. But have you told everything? Did you witness over there
all the misery and sufferings of those unhappy people? I saw
them in camp on their way through Kara-Pounar, a flock of miserable,
bleeding, starving, fever-riddled wretches, living skeletons
who had not even strength enough to dodge the cudgels of their
murderers. How I should have applauded had I had the good fortune
to be among your audience and hear you show up those butchers!
Would that I could bring to light the details of the martyrdom
of the Assyro-Chaldeans in the district of Djezire on the Tigris
and of Mediat, where over fifty villages I know were completely
sacked and ruined, all the inhabitants being put to the sword:
- a district which was fertile and prosperous and looked forward
to a happy future, because of the fact that the Baghdad Railway
was about to run through their territory.
There is not the slightest doubt that not less than 250,000
Assyro-Chaldeans, perhaps rather more than a third of the race,
perished through Turkish fanaticism during the Great War, and
immediately after the signing of the Armistice.
During the occupation by the Allied Armies, in June and July,
1919, two other Chaldean districts, Amadia and Zakho, not far
from Mosul, which until that time had been preserved by the frenzied
efforts of the Patriarch of Babylon, were invaded by the Kurds,
who put the men to death, and, after pillaging and sacking everything,
rode off with the women and girls. A letter from the Patriarch,
given me by his Vicar General at Rome, Mgr. Paul David, and which
I published in the press, briefly relates the details of this
Today the situation of this little nation is indeed precarious,
surrounded as it is by a thousand fanatical and hostile Arab
and Kurd tribes, which are still armed and seem contemptuous
of the small Allied forces sent to maintain order. At the first
opportunity they will fall upon our unhappy countrymen and exterminate
The New York Times - October 11,
TURKISH HORRORS IN PERSIA,
American Educated Native Asks Aid for
Thousands of Victims.
Shleeman Malek Yonan, a well-to-do Persian
[Assyrian] who was graduated from Washington and Leo University
and returned to his native City of Urumiah, has sent an appeal
to the country that gave him his education to help the thousands
of sufferers about him.
"When Turkey declared war against
the Allies, the Russians, had a small army in Urumiah. A couple
of months later the army was withdrawn from Urumiah. Now the
sought chance had come to the Mussulmans. Oh, they did what they
had contemplated, and a hundred per cent more.
"From that day commenced our tortures
and evil days. Honestly, as I am writing, the tears are running
down my cheeks. I can't help crying. Thousands and thousands
of our people-men, women, and children. have been butchered in
cold blood. Thousands of girls from seven years up have been
destroyed by the Moslems. Thousands have been forced against
their will to become Mohammedans. Our churches are converted
into stables-three-fourths of them burned. More than a hundred
and twenty villages of Christians have been turned into ashes.
Today there is no habitation left for us. Our own houses have
been burned-property taken away-absolutely nothing left. Not
being satisfied with this, the cruel Moslems imposed a heavy
fine upon certain persons.
There was a heavy fine on me. I couldn't find the money. Then
I was warned, to hide myself; if not I would mount the scaffold.
I had to borrow the money to pay the fine.
"Well, I suppose you would think
perhaps that was enough for me. But this was merely an introduction
to the greater horrors. My folks had fled to Russia when they
had a chance. My little brother and myself were left behind-found
it impossible to go, so we had to stay.
"For exactly four months I hid
myself. A Moslem friend of mine hid me. Imagine four months in
a dark room, not being able to see even sunlight. Three times
I escaped the capture. God himself saved me. The authorities
were hunting me hard. Why they were so diligently hunting for
me I do not know.
"The Christianity has absolutely
perished here. About twelve thousand have perished by famine,
murder and typhoid. Thanks to the American missionaries; they
did a heroic work. It was their efforts which saved the remaining
"As a friend, college mate, and
classmate, I appeal to you for help. We are making appeals everywhere.
The people are starving to death."
In submitting the letter for publication,
Mr. McWaine accompanied it with an appeal in Yonan's behalf,
saying that contributions might be sent to him, at Lexington,
Va., or direct to Shleeman Malek Yonan, Urumiah, Persia."
It is Turkey that is humiliating itself by denying such undeniable
atrocities which the Ottoman empire committed. Though the contemporary
Turks did not commit these crimes those who refuse to acknowledge
and denounce them imply that they are incapable of feeling sympathy
for the victims of the genocide committed in the past by their
countrymen. Turkey's refusal to acknowledge the truth makes
monuments such as the one in France and the retelling of what