Dr. Gabriel Tells of More Than 450,000 Killed In Recent Massacres
600,000 DRIVEN INTO EXILE
Useless Neutral Powers Intervene, says Nubar *****, Almost the Whole People Is Doomed
SEPTEMBER 25, 1915
Dr. M. Simbad Gabriel, President of the Armenian General Progressive Association in the United States told a TIMES reporter last night that no American could possibly conceive of the atrocities which the Turks had perpetrated on the Christian Armenians. He said that from correspondence he had received from Nubar *****, the diplomatic representative in Paris of the Katholikos or head of the number of Armenians put to death as more than 450,000 , while 600,000 others had been driven from their homes to wander among the villages of Asia Minor all these out of a population of 1,500,000.
"We in America can't begin to realize the extent of this reign of terror," says Dr. Gabriel, "because Armenians in Turkey are nor allowed to write, nor even to converse with each other of what we are undergoing at the hands of the Turks. Nubar ***** writes that he has been informed by the Katholikos and also by prominent Armenians in Constantinople, who bind him by the most solemn oaths not to reveal deeds which have been pretreated by the Moslems on the Armenians.
"I was talking to an Armenian woman two or three days ago," he continued, "who had come from Constantinople last month her three children Beseeching me not to reveal her name, last vengeance be visited upon her husband, who is still in Constantinople, she told me of horrors that made my blood run cold. One morning twenty of her friends were taken out by the Turks and hanged in cold blood, for no other reason than that they were suspected of being unfriendly to the Turkish cause. This is but an example of what the Armenian in Turkey who has not bee exiled wakes every morning to fear."
The doctor said that greed, religion, and politics all combined to induce the Turks to massacre the Armenians. The Government was always behind every massacre, and the people were acting under orders.
"When the bugle blows in the morning," he said, " Turks rush fiercely to the work if killing the Christians and plundering them of their wealth. When it stops in the evening, or in two or three days, the shooting and stabbing stop just as suddenly then as it began. The people obey their orders like soldiers.
"The dead are really the happiest," he continued. "The living are forced to leave their homes and wander in an alien country amid a hostile population. They are allowed as a food ration by the Government only half a pound of grain a day. The youngest and strongest of the men are forced into the army but not to fight. They are not armed and have to do all the trench digging and the supply carrying for the Turkish soldiers. Do you blame them that they do not favor their country's cause?"
Nubar *****, in sending the correspondence he had received to Dr. Gabriel, wrote that the massacres of the Sultan Abdul Hamid in 1895, in which 300,000 Armenians fell, seemed insignificant in comparison with the butchery of 1915.
"What has occurred during the last few months in Cilicia and Armenia is unbelievable," he writes. " It is nothing more or less than the annihilation of a whole people."
A letter from Constantinople says that Armenians in all the cities and villages of Cilicia have been exiled to the desert regions south of Aleppo. They have not been allowed to carry any of their possessions with them, the letter goes on, and Moslems are occupying the lands and houses left vacant. The young men are kept for military service, and it is only the weak and aged who are deported.
"The court-martials are functioning everywhere," says another letter. "Numerous Armenians have been hanged, and many others sentenced to ten or fifteen years in prison. Many have been beaten to death, among them the priests of the village of Kurk. Churches and convents have been pillaged and destroyed, and almost all the Bishop have been arrested to be delivered up to court-martial.
"The villages in the vilayets of Van and Bitlis have been pillaged and the population put to the sword. We in Constantinople live at present isolated, as if in a fortress, and have no means of correspondence, either by mail or telegram. Christian martyrdom has at no time assumed such colossal proportions; and if the neutral powers, especially the united States of America, do not intercede, there will be very few left of the million and a half of the Christian Armenians in the Turkish Empire."
Dr. Gabriel says that the Armenian progressive Association was first organized in 1909 after the Young Turks had massacred 30,000 of the Armenians in Cilicia. He says the association attempted in various ways to promote a better understanding between the two races, but feels now that such efforts are useless. Nubar *****, who lives in Egypt, according to Dr. Gabriel, was called by the Katholicos once before at the end of the Balkan wars, to strive to arrange with the European powers some agreement concerning the rights of the Armenians.
New York Times