8 Oct 1917: Greek Deportations, The New York Times

nyt 8oct1917

The Needs of the Latest Victims of Turkish Cruelty

The New York Times
8 October 1917

To the Editor of The New York Times: 
   The deportation and atrocious slaugh-
ter of the Greeks in Asia Minor,  the  de-
portations to the total number of 700,000
by  the  Turkish   authorities  have   been
overshadowed by  massacres, larger and
more   appalling, of Armenians   and  Sy-
   No attentiom was attracted by the sack
in  June  1914, of  Phocaea, a  Greek  city
near  Smyrna.  The account   of  the  de-
truction   appeared   in  the   Revue  des
Deux  Mondes, December 1914. The nar-
rative  by  the  French  archaelogist,  M.
Felix Sartiaux,  an  eye-witness,  showed
that this  massacre  of  the  Greek inhabi-
tants   of  this city by  the  Mohameddan
neighbors   and  Turkish  troops matched
every   Armenian  massacre  in its   char-
acter,  though  there  was  less   wanton
   A year later Greek deportation began
on a   scale second   only to   the  great
crime in  Armenia.  At least   one-half of
the Greek population has been deported
from  the cities   and  hamlets  on   the
coast of Asia Minor from the  Black  Sea
to the eastern end of Cilicia, or around
three-fourths of the coast  of  this  pen-
   For  these  acts  no excuse  or pretext
whatever existed in rebellion, resistance,
conspiracy or agitation  against  the  Ot-
toman Empire.   This  Greek   population
has always  been  free  from  opposition
to the  rule  of the Turkish Government.
The only  reason for this atrocious crime
was and is to  take  support  from  the
claim of both Greece  and  Italy  to  the
control of the littoral  of  Asia  Minor on
the ground that it has  a large Christian
population. The deportation of  700,000
Greeks from this section will  not leave
enough Christians to give  body to this
plea   of  Greece  and  Italy.   But  this
is more  than   a  mere  diplomatic   or
strategic movement. Deportation means
slavery and death to the deported. The
victory   of the   Allies will undoubtedly
take the   Asia  Minor  littoral from the
Ottoman  Empire;  but   meanwhile the
need of relief for these suffering Greeks
is as urgent as for the Armenians and
   The Greeks were the first race to be
slaughtered  in   the  new development
of the Ottoman Empire.   The  first   of
these outrages was   a century ago in
1818, and this   was followed   by   the
Turkish massacre in Scio in which 25,000
were killde, 47,000   deported and only
5,000 left alive. It was this that aroused
Europe   to   action,   inspired   Byron's
poems, and   brought   personal activity
by many Americans on behalf of Greek
independence   and   resulted in the pro-
duction of   our   own American Powers'
familiar   and   typical   structure,   the
"Greek Slave."
   All   these   suffering nationalities are
being relieved   by   the American  Com-
miitee for Armenian and Syrian   Relief-
and since it is most probably that   Oct.
20 and 21 wiil be   designated   by   the
President as   special   days for  the con-
sideration of the needs of Western Asia,
I venture to urge contributions   to   the
wants of the  survivors   of   the   Greek
deportations. TALCOTT WILLIAMS.
New York, Oct 7. 1917.


The New York Times, October 8, 1917. Source


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