25 April 2006

593) Articles and Letters from The Times of London

Articles from The Times of London



"Armenians are especially indebted to the Manchester Guardian and The Times for their valuable services to their cause, humanity and truth in exposing the reign of terror in Armenia and the Turk's affectation of "clean-fighting."

Avetoon Pesak Hacobian, "Armenia and the War," 1918, Footnotes, 4 of Ch. 2.


Viscount Northclife

The Times of London, as its "Times" counterpart from New York, was not known for its friendly take on Turks, feeling no compunction about printing stories that made the Turks come across as another species. The newspaper was published by Lord Northcliffe, a pioneer in the implementation of propaganda in the press; he was appointed "Director of Propaganda in Enemy Countries" in February 1918. On this page we'll present articles of interest, at times representing better kernels of truth that slipped past the generally biased publication. (With thanks to reader M. Mersinoglu.)


TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1) The Armenian Atrocities, 02-1895
2) England and Russia, 12-1894
3) The Porte and Armenia, 12-1894
4) Armenian Forces Armed by French, 10-1921?

Before continuing, let's keep in mind what Edward Said (in his scholarly work, "Orientalism") noted about the widespread European attitude regarding the Turks:

"Until the end of the seventeenth century the 'Ottoman peril' lurked alongside Europe to represent for the whole of Christian civilization a constant danger, and in time European civilization incorporated that peril and its lore, its great events, figures, virtues, and vices, as something woven into the fabric of life."

"From the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century the Ottoman Empire was almost continuously at war with the Christian Powers of
Western Europe. The terror inspired by the Turkish name among all the
European peoples was largely responsible for the widely spread popular
belief that the Turks were a race of uncivilized barbarians who,
wherever they went, left nothing but smoking ruins behind them and stamped out every vestige of civilization. Religious fanaticism, coupled with the
fear born of unbroken Turkish military successes, resulted in creating among
some detractors of the Turks a state of mind which rendered them for
the most part incapable of viewing Turkey and the Turks with an objective
and unbiased eye."

The Times of London was no different in its reportage. Writers constantly referred to how "barbarous" the Turks were. But within these mostly biased articles may be found kernels of truth, not only about history in general, but regarding Armenian-related events that led up to the "genocide" years.

Many thanks for M. Mersinoglu; it was through this reader's good graces that these articles have been made possible.

The British humor weekly got down to the heart of the matter with this cartoon: "Part Four: The Reaction; Punch or the London Charivari — May 18, 1895; The Duke of Argyl (Bryce) and Gladstone Brothers in arms THE OLD CRUSADERS! The Duke of Argyll and Mr. Gladstone "Brothers in arms" again! BULGARIA 1876 ARMENIA 1895"

(The Duke of Argyll was an Armenophile par excellence; for example, see his "Our Responsibilities for Turkey," K.G., K.T., John Murray, 1896, p. 72, included in A. P. Hacobian's "Armenia and the War," 1918. From Jeremy Salt's "Imperialism Evangelism and the Ottoman Armenians 1878-1896�: P.125: Among them were the Duke of Argyl and Gladstone - drawn in Punch as the ‘Old Crusaders’ sitting on white chargers with lances in hand - and the Duke of Westminster, Lord Bryce and an assortment of higher ecclastics. Symbolically the first mass meeting of the “Armenian agitation� [May 1895] was held at St. James hall, Picadilly. The mood was one of uncompromising hostility to the Turks and their religion. The Duke or Argyl began by insisting that England had the duty to impose a protectorate over the Christians of the Ottoman state. P.129: Gladstone suggested that recent action of the Porte ‘in Armenia particularly but not in Armenia exclusively’ were founded on ‘a deliberate determination to exterminate the Christians of that Empire’. No one apparently asked for tne evidence or suggested that without it such a statement was inflammatory and irresponsible. The rhetoric was unchanging, generally predicated on England’s rights and responsibilities as a Christian nation and it was usually England’s failure to ‘do something for the Armenians was contrasted with its apparent readiness to go to war with the United States over Venezuela.)

THE ARMENIAN ATROCITIES


Feb. 23, 1895, p. 5

The Special correspondent of Reuter's Agency who has been travelling on the Russo-Armenian frontier with the object of obtaining information concerning the reported outrages at Sasun and elsewhere, in a further communication posted at Tiflis on the 18th ult., writes:—

ln the letter I wrote ten days ago giving the result of some preliminary inquiries I had made at Constantinople, Samsoud, Kerrasund, Trebizond, and Tiflis, concerning the alleged atrocities and the state of affairs generally in Armenia, I endeavoured to convey some idea of the difficulties that would be encountered in prosecuting any sort of investigation or getting at the real facts of the case.

That I did not exaggerate these difficulties will be apparent from further information on the point which I am now in a position to supply. Take, to begin with, the cholera quarantine which is being enforced in various portions of the Sultan's dominions in such a manner as to draw a net round the districts of Armenia in which the atrocities are alleged to have occurred and to keep away from the scene of the outrages and from those who could throw any light on the subject all independent investigations.

It is announced that cholera exists in Van, Bitlis and Moosh, and that stirct quarantine regulations must therefore be enforced. Now it certainly is a peculiar circumstance that cholera should have happened to break out at this season of the year in the region of the Sasun massacres, and nowhere else in Asia Minor. Who is to prove or disprove the statement that the disease is raging in those snow-clad, practically inassessible mountain fastnesses? Even in Constantinople and Stamboul little or nothing is known by the public or by newspaper correspondents concerning the cholera outbreaks officially reported from time to time in these cities. In the Turkish capital a medical officer reporting a case of cholera receives double pay until a clean bill of health is returned from tbe affected district, and in a country like Turkey it is not surprising if doctors find symptoms of cholera in everything from croup to typhoid fever.

Even without the cholera quarantine, it would be practically impossible for the commission to make any real headway until spring, owing to the intense cold and the great amount of snow in Armenia. The situation may be judged to some degree by the fact that the roads to Erivan and Kars, in Russia, which are in a much lower altitude, have been for more than a fortnight blocked with snow.

At Kars a temperature of 30deg. below zero (Reaumur) has been experienced. Greater cold is reported from more exposed places. Water tossed into the air comes down frozen into ice, aad the moisture from a man's breath freezes his beard into a solid mass in less than a minute. As the Sasun mountains are much higher, the state of the weather may be imagined.

However, the British Government does not need Mr. Shipley to follow the Turkish commission, except for the purpose of seeing what the commission does not do, for a full report of the Sasun outrage has already been made by Mr. Halward, British Vice-ContuI at Van. It is on this report that the British Government is now acting in insisting upon a full investigation. Mr. Halward's report is incomplete, it is true, owing to the interference of the Turksin preventing a more thorough investigation, but the main facts are given, and the Government needs no further proof.

If there is any lingering doubt in the Western world as to the main facts of the Sasun massacre, there is none here, not even among people who have scant liking for Armenian people or Armenian traits of character. The Armenian Catholicos, the father of all the Armenians, whose home is at Etchmiadzin, in the Ararat region, near the Turkish frontier, is so well convinced of the truth of the matter that he is now waiting in Tiflis for permission to go to St. Petersburg to implore tbe help of tbe Emperor in behalf of the oppressed and persecuted people of Turkish Armenia. The Father has been waiting in Tiflis a fortnight since his arrival in Etchmiadzin, but the permission to proceed north has not yet come. However, he is not discouraged, but looks forward confidently to a speedy solution of the vexed Armenian question. "Say to our friends in England,said he, " that it is a very dark time for our people m Turkey, but a better time is coming very soon."


The writer need not have worried about whether there was any "lingering doubt" in the West, regarding Sasun; not when the "great Armenian horrors' boom all over the western world and America" was in full swing, as phrased in an Armenophile's 1895 article. The above illustration from the book "Turkey and the Armenian Atrocities, published in the United States in 1896, served as a typical example. Caption: "Slaughter of Armenians in Sasun. This is a true picture of the slaughter of innocent people which was inflicted on the innocent Armenians by the bloody Kurds and enraged soldiers. The carnage ended in the massacre of 50,000 people or more. Hundreds of thousands were left without food or shelter after the plundering and burning." (Erich Feigl, The Myth of Terror)

And how many actually died? According to the British archives, a British representative stated in an Oct. 12 memo that there were at most 10,000 Armenians in the region to begin with (Cuinet had counted 8,369) and the dead could not exceed 900. But the British Consul's report arrived at a different total, less than one-third: 265. (F.O. Turkey No. 1 [1895], No. 277, enclosure, p. 203; ibid., No. 252, pp. 155-61. From Gurun's "The Armenian File.") Naturally, there is no mention of the number of Muslims killed, as a result of "Murad" Boyajian's having incited 3,000 Armenians (including those who came from Mush, Koulp and Silvan) to rebel.

His followers and friends feel equally confident, but many of them think that his policy, or what is supposed to be his policy, is a mistake. Some even go so far as to declare that the eloquent Father is making the great mistake of his life. It is understood that he intends to ask that a tract of land be given by the Russian Government somewhere in the Ararat region for the founding of a colony of refugees from the persecuted regions of Turkish Armenia, and it is said he is ready to promise that the Armenian Church will bear the expense of transferring the people to the colony and taking care of them after they arrive there. This would be advantageous to Russia and also beneficial, in a material way at least, to the people to whom it is intended as a benefit. The scheme is believed to have the support of all the Armenians except those who are working for the independence of Armenia and the selection of a President or King. However, it is unlikeyly that anything will be done in the matter until after the Turkish Commission of Inquiry has made it report. it is believed here that the Sultan will order some sort of reform in the method of governing Armenia, but that it will merely be a husk and not a kernel of corn no one here has any doubt. Armenians will not be satisfied with a few promises.

If the Great Powers do not interfere there will be a wholesale emigration, or the more radical of the revolutionary leaders will push things to the extreme, and we shall have a repetition of the nameless atrocities. Let it not be supposed that the promise of interference by the Christian Powers has had any effect in lessening the activity of the revolutionary leaders.

On the contrary, these leaders were never more active than at present, as they realize the value of the opportunity that has now come in their way. It is, perhaps, not necessary to take measures to keep alive a burning hatred of the Turk among Turkish Armenians, but. lest time should lessen the feeling horror brought into existence by the Sasun massacre, a lithographed chromo has been put on public sale here depicting a typical scene of a massacre of Christian men, women and children by Turkish troops.The colouring of the picture is vivid and the realism awful. It is duly labelled "A massacre of Bulgarians by Turkish troops," but the purchaser knows what its real significance is intended to be. It needs no stretch of imagination to substitute "Armenian" for "Bulgarian."

This picture and frequent reports of fresh atrocities in various parts of Armenia are well calculated to keep alive the hot fever of hate which has agitated Armenians in other lands during the past few months. When the angered Armenians demand to know why something is not done to revenge the wrongs of their outraged countrymen some very fanciful stories are circulated.

Tales of oppression, outrage, and murder in other parts of Armenian Turkey are as thick as blackberies here and along the southern coast of the Black Sea, and enough information is obtainable from thoroughly trustworthy sources to establish the main facts without the aid of the more or less wild rumours or Armenian origin, the very asurdityof which makes the patient iinvestigator weary of his task. If the detailed facts of the Sasun massacre are ever established —and they probably never will be—they must be established independently of Armenian testimony, or their value may be seriously questioned.

To such an extent has the fear of the revolutionary movement taken hold of the officials of Turkey that Americans and Englishmen find it next to impossible to travel in any part of Armenia, however remote from the vilayet of Bitlis. To an American citizen of Armenian birth it is simply impossible to get into the country at all, no matter on what pretext.


ENGLAND AND RUSSIA

Dec. 17, 1894, p. 6

St. Petersburg, Dec. 15

The Russian Press continues to receive the telegraphic statements coming from England as to an alleged fresh grouping of the Powers on the basis of the rapprochement between England and Russia, and in fact, all the signs and evidences of British advances, with undisguised scepticism and suspicion. It is insinuated that the Armenian atrocities have been puffed up by the English Press for ulterior motives of self-interest. Russia, as to-day's Exchange Gazette observes, continues to maintain an expectant attitude towards the extraordinary revolution of feeling which appears to have occurred in England regarding this country, and waits for something more convincing in the shape of deeds than Ministerial speeches and newspaper articles. The value and great desirability of a general Anglo-Russian understanding is fully admitted on all hands; but the suddenness and overwhelming ardour of the change of front in England, as gathered from the daily Press, has only increased Russian mistrust, and made Russian writers think that it is far too good all at once to be quite sincere and lasting. —Our Own Correspondent.

Holdwater: So the Brits switched tracks to start working with the Russians in order to hasten the Ottomans' demise, and the Russians still weren't satisfied?

THE PORTE AND ARMENIA.

Dec. 8, 1894, P. 5

LATEST INTELLIGENCE.
THE PORTE AND ARMENIA.
CONSTANTINOPLE, Dec. 7.

The Turkish Government is manifesting great anxiety to arrive at the truth with regard to the atrocities which are reported to have occurred in Armenia. In order to give complete satisfaction to foreign Powers in this respect, the Porte asked toe United States Government to appoint a delegate to take part in the inquiry which is to be made by the Turkish Commission. Lord Kimberley was also requested to name one of the British Consuls in Asia Minor as a member of the Commission. The British Government immediateIy agreed, and at the same time the President of the United States, who had previously declined to appoint an American delegate, telegraphed to the effect that be had reconsidered his decision and would allow the American Legation here to nominate a delegate. The British, American, and Turkish Governments are still in communication on the subject, and no final arrangements have yet been made regarding the coarse to be adopted.

It is officially explained that the origin of the difficulty in Armenia was a kind of insurrection of the Armenians at Sasun against the Turkish authorities. Bands of men excited the country to rebellion, the result being that the Turkish troops were repulsed and killed. Moreover, some conflicts took place between the Armenians and Kurds, and the country was in a state of great disorder. Consequently, Turkish troops were sent to repress the rebellion, and hare been accused of excesses.

It is, however, firmly believed by the authorities that no such murders or excesses were committed by the regular troops. It is possible that in their operations against the rebellious villages a great number of people may have been killed, but the murder of defenceless inhabitants is deemed to bo wholly improbable, as Turkish troops would only fight against rebels with arms in their hands.-Reuter.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7.
Mr. Miles Jewett, United States Consul at Sivas, has been appointed to represent the United. States on the Turkish Commission which is to inquire into the alleged outrages m Armenia. He will present a separate report to the Secretary of State.-Reuter.

VIENNA, Dec. 7.
Some of the leading Austro-Hungarian newspapers, following int the wake of their German contemporaries, affect concern at England's present foreign policy. On Wednesday morning the Neue Freie Presse, dealing with the Armenian question, concluded its remarks as follows :— "Civil strife in Asia ia always barbarously conducted, but that does not prove that any foreign Power has a right to interfere. If events in Armenia are grossly exaggerated in England it is probably done on quite different grounds to those of humanity. One is almost inclined to suspect that, by persistently putting forward the Armenian atrocities, and at the same time bringing grave accusations against tho Porte, it is intended to do Russia a service." The same evening the Pester Lloyd, which in matters of foreign policy is known to te inspired from Vienna, referring to the same subject, wrote thus :—" The question as to why this affair has now been officially made much of in London, and has been put upon the tapis as an occasion for attacking the Porte, ia difficult to answer. Possibly, England wants to make herself agreeable to Russia. It would not be the first folly of which the Liberal politicians on the Thames have been guilty. Those gentlemen appear to forget that the slightest shock given to the situation in Turkey may loosen the whole frail edifice and bring about a state of confusion of which it is impossible to foresee the consequences."

To-day's Neue Freie Presse, commenting upon the telegram published in The Times from Odessa concerning the transport of Russian troops to Batoum, writes as follows :—"If the news be true, it is of considerable importance. The concentration of Russian troops on the frontier would be a menace to Turkey, and if it takes place, it can only be in agreement with England." The Pester Lloyd expresses itself to the following effect :—"It is to be hoped that the Powers will maintain the calm and composure necessary to select the right means for alleviating the fate of the long-suffering Armenians without creating a new and embarrassing question calcuated to endanger the existing peace."

It is certainly not a mere coincidence that the two Ieading newspapers of Austria-Hungary should take up identically tho same tone towards Engand, nor can there be the slightest doubt that they reflect, more or less faithfully, the view taken in official quarters. Misgivings are evidently beginning to be entertained in those regions with regards to the possible results of the improvement of relations between England and Russia. There is, however, good reason to believe that the English Government is resolved to act with firmness in the Armenian question. It is, of course, entirely within its rights in demanding that a whole population, for whom the Berlin Treaty provided justice and good government, should not be left to the mercy of their barbarous oppressors simply because the Porte neglects to fulfil its obligations. Nor can it for one moment be admitted that any of the Treaty Powers should object to such a course on the part of England because it suits themselves to stand aloof in the matter. It is not likely that England will take any active measures without inviting the other signatory Powers to join her in doing so, but if they refuse there is no reason why other parties to the Treaty of Berlin, who take their stand on principles of humanity, should not see that its stipulations are carried out so far as circumstances permit.—Our Own Correspondent.

Holdwater: Bravo to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which would show its friendship with the Ottoman Empire by annexing Bosnia-Herzegovina a few years later, for telling it like it was! And boo on the "Correspondent" for maintaining the sham that Britain was purely interested in the welfare of the Armenians, while smacking her lips on the juicy possessions of Europe's Sick Man. And just in case the reader missed the point about the "barbarous oppressors," the article made sure to conclude observations by the following reliable witnesses:


ATHENS, Dec. 7.
Two Armenian refugees arrived here to-day and give [sic] harrowing accounts of atrocities committed by Turkish troops of which they themselves were eye-witnesses. They report that on October 23 four Turkish officers and two gendarmes set fire to a number of buildings in the Armenian town of Hadjin, near Marash, consisting of about 1,200 wooden houses. They had previously poured petroleum upon the buildings to insure their burning. An Armenian named Merdakian Garabed and his mother witnessed this act of incendiarism and cried for help. The Kaimakam, however, refused to allow any assistance to be rendered and imprisoned Garabed, who was killed three days afterwards, his body being thrown, among the ruins of nne of the burnt houses.

The refugees also state that Mgr. Nigohos, Archbishop of the monastery of Fournoul, near Zeitun, together With 11 viliagers from that place, was captured by Turkish troops and taken in chains to Smyrna 11 days ago. Their fate is unknown. —Reuter.


ARMENIAN FORCES ARMED BY FRENCH

Oct. 27, 1921?

CILICIAN POSITION WORSE.

ARMENIAN FORCES ARMED BY FRENCH.

The Armenian Bureau in London has received the following telegram dated April 9 from Cilicia through the naval wireless of one of the Allied Powers;—

The siege of Hadjin continues. The French military authorities declare themselves unable to undertake the defence of the region. Armenians have mobilized forces armed by the French, but owing to a lack of means of transport, progress is much delayed. It is imperative to insist in the proper quarters on the importance of holding the mountain regions for securing the safety of the plain of Cilicia.

The general situation becomes more and more critical. The irregulars of Mustapha Kemal Pasha, with the cooperation of native Musulman bands, are threatening Cilicia on all sides. Local resources are insufficient for controlling a general rising of the Turks. — Reuter.


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Letters from The Times of London



"Armenians are especially indebted to the Manchester Guardian and The Times for their valuable services to their cause, humanity and truth in exposing the reign of terror in Armenia and the Turk's affectation of "clean-fighting."

Avetoon Pesak Hacobian, "Armenia and the War," 1918, Footnotes, 4 of Ch. 2.

Viscount Northclife
The Times of London, as its "Times" counterpart from New York, was not known for its friendly take on Turks, feeling no compunction about printing stories that made the Turks come across as another species. The newspaper was published by Lord Northcliffe, a pioneer in the implementation of propaganda in the press; he was appointed "Director of Propaganda in Enemy Countries" in February 1918. As with the New York Times, sometimes the fairest and most truthful information from non-Turks about Turks would appear on the LETTERS page. On this page we'll feature a few. (With thanks to reader M. Mersinoglu.)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1) Smart British Officer
2) In Defense of Zeki Pasha
3) Showing Up Lord Bryce


Smart British Officer
Sept. 22, 1922
From Lt.-Col. T.S.B. Williams
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir,—Underlying the whole of this Turkish question is the attitude of the Christian to the Moslem, and the Moslem to the Christian. Each believes the other to be an unbeliever and unfit to rule races of an opposite religion. Most Turkish atrocities (and they have been much exaggerated for propaganda purposes) have been due to the support given by Christian Europe to Turkish Christian minorities. Except at such moments, the Turk has been, generally, a tolerant ruler of minorities. Most of those who really know will, I think, agree that much of Turkish intractability in the past has been due to their feeling that as between Turk and Christian, the case was always prejudged in favour of the Christian. That this prejudgment was often wrong is patent to anyone who knows how the Turk was often driven to massacres by the communities concerned, those communities, or rather their revolutionary committees, realizing that their only hope of European Christian support was to keep the question alive politically. Until we recognize that the fundamental truths of both religions are the same, and cease to support seditionists in Turkey merely because they are Christians, so long will this sore remain and break out at frequent intervals.

Yours faithfully,
T.S.B. WILLIAMS, Lt.-Col., I.M.S. (Retd.).
East India United Service Club, St. James's square, S.W.


In Defense of Zeki Pasha
Dec. 21, 1894
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir, — During my visit to Armenia three years ago, an American missionary mentioned to me the actions taken by Zeki Pasha in June, 1890, in order to prevent the scenes of rioting and bloodshed which were then taking place in Erzeroum being repeated at Erzinghian — his headquarters as Commandant of the Fourth Army Corpss. My informant said he prevented this by placing a battery of guns in position to command the Turkish quarter of the town, and threatened to open fire upon it if its Moslem occupants attempted to raise a finger against their Christian neighbours. The threat had the desired effect.

This incident and others I heard about the kindly disposition of the Pasha leads me to feel that, if the officer sent by him in command of the troops charged to restore order in the Mousch and adjacent districts has been unwarrantably severe, no one will deplore it more than he will. Allow me further to say, from what I know of the humane feelings of officers of the regular Turkish army from actual contact with them, that it is not fair upon mere report to assume that this officer has been guilty of the atrocities with which he has been charged.

Without wishing to palliate any over-acts this subordinate officer in the disturbed districts may have committed, I feel compelled — in view of the information I then also obtained of the attempts then being made by the Russian Armenian Committee at Tiflis, and subsequently by that at Athens, to ferment sedition and incite insurrection in Turkey — to charge them with being accessories before the fact for the calamities which fell last year on their co-religionists in the district of Sivas and those more recently in Mousch and vicinity, and for which they now appeal to our sympathies. It should be generally known in this country, as it is beginning to be understood by many of us, that the ulterior objects of these committees and that which has its headquarters in London, is not so much the bringing about the objects aimed at it in the 61st Article of the Treaty of Berlin, but to secure eventually the rescuscitation of the Ancient Kingdom of Armenia by securing for that purpose primarily such a Constitution as that given to the Lebanon at the instigation chiefly of France and England in 1861. The first must be regarded as too visionary to require consideration and the second as politically impossible from the fact that the Moslems are numerically greater in number in Kurdistan — as Armenia is now administratively known — than are the Armenians.

If, therefore, the Anglo-Armenian Committee and their British sympathizers would confine their efforts to the practical and common-sense object of pressing for the introduction of the reforms asked for in the Berlin Treaty, they would aim at conferring an undoubted blessing both on Christian and Turk alike in Armenia. The course of agitation on which they are now engaged witll notonly further delay the introduction of these necessary reforms by the Imperial Ottoman Government, but will also weaken the efforts which have been made since 1879 and which are now being so ably made by her Majesty's Ambassadors to the Porte in the same direction.

I am yours truly, A.F.M. London, Dec. 15


SHOWING UP LORD BRYCE
THE ARMENIANS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir,—Though the topic is one of minor interest and will soon, in all probability, Iapse into the background altogether, I trust that your kindness will allow me a few lines--final on my part-ut cornment on some statements recently published in your columns by Mr. J. Bryce and by the Earl of Carnarvon regarding the Armenians of Asia Minor and my view of the merits of the resolution moved in their behalf by the noble earl. These statements refer partly to the general character of the Armenians as a nation, and, consequently, to their claims on European interference in their behalf, partly to their numerical and statisistical value in that part of historical Armenia which has been for some centuries past incorporated into Asiatic Turkey.

With regard to the former class of statements1 1 observe that general assertions, unsupported by independent testimony, have no ‘zilue beyond what may be assigned them by the opportunities enjoyed by their maker for accurate observation and by his own personal capacity for using tho~o very opportunities. Sow, I cannot, with all possible deference to Lord Carnarvon’s judgment, ft(imit an equality between Mr.. Bryce and myself Sa the former of these points, nor even on the latter. His lordship is probably unaware that I passed more years In Turkish “Armenia “than Mr. Bryce weeks, and that during that space of time I etuploycci an average of four months annually in leisurely travel throughout the very districts so hastily visited by Lord Carnarvon in-1 formant, living and lodging the while with the natives themselves, Christian or Mahomedan, Annenian or Koard indifferently, and conversing with them in their own languages, without the dub~citis interposition of the proverbially unreliable dragoman tribe, Mr. Bryce’s sole medium of cornmunication during his hurried tour. Nor had I, Iike that gentleman, any specified partisan object in view, nor the necessities of book-making amid cornmittee haranguing on my return to warp my judgment or colour my views. Mr. Bryce wont pta-determined to find, and found accordingIy.

For further and unbiased testimony regarding the Armenians of Asia Minor I beg to refer Lord Carnarvon and those of his way of thinking to the writings of Knolles, Rycaule, D’Hossou, Von Hammer, and a host of bbe game class or, If more recent witnesses be preferred, tbici’ni, Captain Fred Barnaby, and ~‘ A Consul’s Daughter ~ will confirm, the two former absolutely, the latter with slight modification, whatever I myself have said.

Regarding the numerical and statistieni value of the Armenian population in North-Eastern Turkey, I regret that Lord Carnarvon has not specified the source of the "Turkish official figures� which he says induce him to “believe “some very extraordinary computations set down in his letter. I myself have not the Turkish official “Sal-i-~ameb,� or yearly almanack, here to hand ; and, in its do-feet, can only appeal to such authorities as the “Statesman a Year Book ‘ zinc! the Foreign OffIce Reports, consular or diplomatic, published by her Majesty’s order. According to t&~e, the total population of the provinces of Erzerum and Diar-Bekir, ‘with port of the Trebizond and Sins districts, the whole conaSuting the comic-what ill-defined region in question, amounts to about fivo mWicms and a half, thus distributed:

-4rrnenians, 1,400,000; Turks--i.e., descendants of Turkish or Turcoman ancestry-%200,000; Knords. 700,000; remainder, chiefly Nestoian, 250,000-total, 5~330,O0D ; of which the Armenians accordingly make up somewhat less than a fourth part. Such are the values assigned, roughly enough I admit, by competent European statiats; as to the noble earl’s “Turkish 1~ authorities, I cannot but suspect them (especially considering the almost universal employment of the Turkish language by Armenian clerks, especially where computations and the like ave concerned) of being in truth Armenian, and of being an anticipatory statement of what the district. population will be after the establishment of the desired “system of local self-government,� rather than of whet it is at. present under Ottoman rule.

The residue of vague assertion in disparagement or praise, that wakes up the bulk of Mr. Bryce’s and. Lord Carnarvon’s letters does not, either for substance or tone, require any comment on my part.

I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,

Norwich, h]y 10. W. GIFFORD PALGRAVE.


Holdwater: Is it not a pity there were so few knowledgeable and objective westerners such as Mr. Palgrave? In this case, at least, Bryce was not allowed to get away with his stupid reliance on Armenian information passing for "Turkish"... a common tactic used by less honest Armenians, successfully time and again.

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© Holdwater

The source site of this article gets revised often, as better
information comes along. For the most up-to-date version,
the reader may consider reviewing the direct link as follows:

www.tallarmeniantale.com/Times-London.htm
www.tallarmeniantale.com/Times-London-LETTERS.htm

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