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 European Witness

George Horton's


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The European Prospect
Page 3


    I HAVE often been impressed with the hopelessness of making people who have not been eye-witnesses, comprehend the dreadful character of the massacres which were carried on by the Turks against the Christian population of the Orient. I have never been able to describe sights that I have witnessed in such manner as to make my listeners actually see and understand. It frequently happens that people, sitting in their comfortable houses, lay aside an article or book on the subject, with the remark: "We are fed up on Armenian atrocities."

    Here is another strong point of the Turk’s position: he has killed so many human beings and over so long a period of time that people are tired of hearing about it. He can, therefore, continue without interference. [...]

    The extermination of the Christians of Turkey was an organized butchery, carried out on a great scale, and well under way before the Greeks were sent to Smyrna. We have seen it in operation in the days of Abdul Hamid, "the butcher," we have seen it more fully developed and better organized under Talaat and Enver, those statesmen of the "Constitution." We shall behold it carried out to its dire finish by Mustapha Khemal, the "George Washington" of Turkey.

    This part of the story would not be complete if I passed over in silence the systematic extermination, and the satiating of all the lowest passions of man or beast which characterize Turkish massacres of the Greeks and Armenians of the Pontus. There have been, from time to time, descriptions of the massing of bands of these wretched people at different points on the shores of the Black Sea where they had arrived after long journeys on foot and indescribable hardships, and of the relief given them by American organizations. Often officers of these organizations, or American missionaries, have uttered cries of protest, which have caused a momentary feeling of wonder in the minds of the American people, or have passed unheeded. Yet the systematic massacre, deportation, plundering and violation that went on among the Christians of once prosperous region of the Black Sea is one darkest and foulest pages even in Turkish history.

    The flourishing communities of Amasia, Caesaria, Trebizonde, Chaldes, Rhodopolis, Colonia, centers of Greek civilization for many hundreds of years have been practically annihilated in a persistent campaign of massacre, hanging, deportation, fire and rape. The victims amount to hundreds of thousands, bringing the sum total of exterminated Armenians and Greeks in the whole of the old Roman province of Asia up to the grand total of one million, five hundred thousand. Thus has been created that "regenerated" Turkey, which has been compared in some quarters to Switzerland and the United States.

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