20 Dec 1917: Turks Drive 400,000 into Desert, Salt Lake Telegram

salt lake 20121917 


By Dr. Fred P. Haggard
Secretary American Commission for Armenian and Syrian Relief.
Copyright, 1917, by Newspaper Enterprise Association.

(This is the fourth of six articles on the horrors in Armenia, told by an Ameri-
can authority on the subject. Dr. Fred P. Haggard has spent much time in-
vestigating the atrocities of the German-dominated Turks, and is head of the Ar-
menian and Syrian Relief work in the United States. Written especially for The

    The awful story of the slaughter-
ing  of   thousands  of  defenseless
Armenians  by   Turks   with
axes,  at  the  edge   of   trench
graves the Armenians had first been
compelled to dig themselves, is noth-
ing  to the tragedy  which came with
the  spring  and  summer  of  1915.
Then    began  the  deportations  of
Greeks   along   the  coasts  of  the
Aegean and Black seas  to  the deso-
late regions of the  interior. Greeks
resident in Turkey - which, remem-
ber. is under complete Prussian dom-
ination - have shared the same fate as
the Armenians and Syrians.
   The Greek colonists were scattered
all along the seacoast of the Mediter-
ranean, in the adjoining islands, and
south  into  Palestine; also along the
Black  sea  coast and at cities in the
interior.  They, with  the  Armenians
and Syrians, have formed the most
progressive,  intelligent  and prosper-
ous element in the Turkish empire.
400,000 PERISH.
    According to the  latest  reliable re-
ports  from  Constantinople, at least
400,000 Greeks have been thus driven
into the desert and strange parts of
the   country  to  perish  of  hunger.
At  a   sweep  the  entre Greek  ele-
ment along the seacoasts were wiped
    Thousands died of stavarvation in the
great forced exodus and their skele-
tons  now  lie  on  the   roadsides.
    A letter  recently  received  from
Athens, signed by a professor in the
university and the president of the
college at Athens, says:
    "Seventy-five per cent of the un-
fortunte Greeks  deported into the
purely  Turkish  places  in  the inte-
rior of  Asia Minor died  of   hunger,
cold and untold sufferings, and mor-
tal disease.
    "In their enforced painful march to
the  interior,  the  infants  and the lit-
tle children and the weaker mothers
died. Mothers were not allowed to
bury their dead."
     Even those Greeks who for one rea-
son or other were allowed to remain
in their houses  are  in  extreme dis-
tress   and  destitution.  The entire
country is famine stricken, its  peo-
ple dying in the   streets  from epi-
demics such as typhus and cholera.
Many cities are literally in rags.
    The first blow to the Greeks came
through the mobilization of 1914. The
bread  winners  of the Greek families
in  Turkey,  all  between 16  and  55,
were first taken for the  army,  then
for  labor,   receiving  for   their  ser-
vices nothing but a loaf of bread per
day. Then came the  deportations.
    In one case where Greeks peasants
had  been deported from a Marmoran
village, of  150  survivors  who  man-
aged to reach Constantinople, eighty
soon perished  from starvation  and
       A prominent bishop writes:
    "Many thousands of families  have
been coming from Tireboli (Black sea
coast)   during  the  last  few days. I
saw them with my own eyes, as they
were coming like flocks of sheep for
weeks on the high mountains  amid
rains  and snows.   The  number  of
these  unfortunate  Christians   will
amount  to  20,000 souls  in  fifteen
    "At one time there  were over 15-
000  Greek  refugees  in  Sivas. They
were absolutely penniless and nearly
naked. They spent the intensely cold
nights in open fields.  
     From Arvalik,  near Smyrna, near-
ly 40,000 Greeks  were deported  en
masse to Konia (Iconium of the New
    This  story  of  the  atrocities  perpe-
trated  by  the  Turks  on  the unoffend-
ing   Greeks  is  quite  supplementary to
the   tragic  fate  of  the  Armenians, of
whom from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 have
been  massacred   or  have  died  from
starvation, and 2,000,000 more  are
now barely keeping themselves alive
in exile.


Turks Drive 400,000 into Desert. Salt Lake Telegram, Dec 20, 1917, p.11. https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6z61wbw/18032519 accessed June 6, 2022.


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