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 European Witness

George Horton's


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The European Prospect
Page 2


    THESE people [Greek Ottoman subjects] were the expert artisans, principal merchants and professional men of the cities, and the skilled and progressive farmers of the country. It was they who introduced the cultivation of the famous Sultanina raisins, improved the curing and culture of tobacco, and built modern houses and pretty towns. They were rapidly developing a civilization that would ultimately have approached the classic days of Ionia. A general boycott was declared against them, for one thing, and posters calling on the Mussulmans to exterminate them were posted in the schools and mosques. The Turkish newspapers also published violent articles exciting their readers to persecution and massacre. [...] This campaign bore immediate fruit and set the Turk to killing, a not very difficult thing to do. [...]

    The beginning of the work on the "Great Turkish Library" at Smyrna was peculiarly interesting as a revelation of the mentality of the race. Christians were used for the labor, the taskmasters, of course, being Turks armed with whips. When I called the attention of Rahmi Bey, the governor-general, one day to the fact that there were not sufficient books existing in his native tongue to justify the construction of so great an edifice, he replied:

    "The first thing is to have a building. If we have a building the books will necessarily appear to fill it, and even if they don’t, we are going to translate all the German books into Turkish."

    The structure was never finished, and consequently the books have not been written. 



    PHOCEA [was] a town of eight thousand Greek inhabitants and about four hundred Turks, situated on the sea a short distance from Smyrna. The destruction of Phocea excited great interest in Marseilles, as colonists of the very ancient Greek town founded the French city. Phocea is the mother of Marseilles. [...] [The description of the sack of Phocea in 1914] is necessary to the complete and substantiated picture of the gradual ferocious extermination of the Christians which had been going on in Asia Minor and the Turkish Empire for the past several years, finally culminating in the horror of Smyrna; it is a peculiarly graphic recital, bringing out the unchanging nature of the Turk and his character as a creature of savage passions, living still in the times of Tamerlane or Attila, the Hun;—for the Turk is an anachronism; still looting, killing and raping and carrying off his spoil on camels; it is peculiarly significant, also, as it tells a story strongly resembling some of the exploits of Mohammed himself; it also gives a clear idea of what happened over the entire coast of Asia Minor and far back into the interior in 1914, temporarily destroying a flourishing and rapidly growing civilization, which was later restored by the advent of the Greek army, only to go out in complete darkness under the bloody and lustful hands of the followers of Mustapha Khemal; it rings again the constant note, so necessary to be understood by the European or American, that this was an "organized movement".



    THERE have probably been destructive movements that have cost more lives than that of the extermination of the Christians by the Turks. Tamerlane, for instance, swept over vast stretches of country, killing and burning for the mere love of destruction. He spared neither Mussulman nor Christian. But there were features of fiendish cruelty and long-drawn-out suffering in the Ottoman persecution of the Christians that did not characterize the methods of Tamerlane. [...] The heart-rending and harrowing details of the wholesale murder of the Armenians can be drawn out indefinitely. Suffice it to say that, in addition to actual and repeated killings on a grand scale, the plant of doing to death by the slow torture of deportation is one of the most devilish that depraved and fiendish brains have ever conceived.

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