TURKISH ATROCITIES STIR BRITAIN TO ACT
SHE INVITES US TO JOIN IN INVESTIGATING MASSACRES OF GREEKS
ASKS FRANCE AND ITALY, TOO
ANNOUNCEMENT MADE IN COMMONS
- STATE DEPARTMENT HAS INVITATION BUT WITHOLDS COMMENT
NEW YORK TIMES
15 MAY 1922
"Austen Chamberlain, the Government leader, announced in the House of Commons today that the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had sent proposals to the French, Italian and American Governments for an immediate joint investigation into the grave charges brought against the Turkish Nationalists of acts of cruelty and barbarism in the treatment of the Christian minorities in Asia Minor.
Mr Chamberlain read two telegrams from the British High Commissioner in Constantinople, dated May 10,. The first runs: I have interviewed at great length Dr. Ward of the Near East Relief Commission, who has just arrived from Harpoot, which he left March 15. He corroborates the statements as to the treatment of minorities published May 5. The Turks appear to be working on a deliberate plan to get rid of the minorities.
Their method has beent to collect at Amasia Ottoman Greeks from the region between Samsoun and Trebizond. These Greeks are marched from Amasia and then back again, until they are eventually sent through Harpoot to the East. In this manner a large number deportees die on the road from hardship and exposure. A large number of deportees who were being sent to Van and Bitlis passed through Harpoot between June and December last year.
Now that Spring has come these deportations have begun again. Once these gangs have passed Diarbekir, which is the last American relief station, the Americans lose all track of them; but Dr. Ward has little doubt that many deportees die in the mountains east of that place.
The Turks in preference choose Winter weather for driving these deportees into the mountains. The American Near East Relief was not allowed to shelter children whose parents had died on the road. These children were driven forward with other deportees. Dr.Ward himself last year in December counted 150 bodies on the road between Harpoot and Malada. Fellow-workers saw and counted 1,500 bodies on the road to Harpoot, and 2,000 deportees died on the road east of that place. Two-thirds of the Greek deportees are women and children."