THE BLIGHT OF ASIA
The Bobbs-Merrill Company, First edition, 1926.
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George Horton was the US consul-general in Smyrna during WW1 and its immediate aftermath. His account of the burning of Smyrna (Izmir) and the forced exodus of its Greek and Armenian inhabitants chronicles the last stages in the ethnic cleansing of Asia Minor of its native Christian population. According to Horton, the sacking of Smyrna was due to the military prowess of Turkish nationalists, imperial rivalries among western powers, and commercial interest groups seeking advantages in the emerging Turkish republic.
AMERICAN WOMEN’S HOSPITAL
NEAR EAST BRANCH
June 2, 1923.
Consul-General George Horton, American legation, Athens, Greece.
My dear Mr. Horton:
How true Gladstone’s famous statement was in regard to the Turks’s character has been most aptly proved in the late Smyrna disaster.
My position as a woman physician makes me peculiarly well placed to know about the treatment of young girls by the Turks. In my four-year experience in Turkey I think it is a rather remarkable fact that I have yet to see the Turkish girl or woman who has been ravished. As a marked contrast to this I have seen hundreds of Christian girls who have been in the hands of Turkish men. The late Smyrna disaster was no exception to this and I can justly come to the conclusion from what I have seen with my own eyes that the ravishing of Christian girls by Turks in Smyrna was wholesale. I have actually examined dozens of such girls and have had the story from them of the experiences of other girls with them. By actual examination I have proven that their story in regard to this was not exaggeration, so I have no reason to believe the statement they made in regard to their companions was not true.
The treatment of girls in Smyrna during the late disaster of 1922 is unspeakable and I am willing to go on record as an American physician and as a director of an organisation doing a very large medical work in Greece following the Smyrna disaster, as having made this statement.
(Signed) Doctor M.C. Elliott,
Director American Women’s Hospitals, Athens, Greece.
The Blight of Asia, George Horton. Sterndale Classics, London. 2003. pp105-106.