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TURKEY : THE BLIGHT OF ASIA
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THE editor of a great Paris journal once remarked that he attributed the extraordinary success of his publication to the fact that he had discovered that each man had at least one story to tell.
I have been for many years in the Near East—about thirty in all—and have watched the gradual and systematic extermination of Christians and Christianity in that region, and I believe it my duty to tell that grim tale, and to turn the light upon the political rivalries of the Western World, that have made such a fearful tragedy possible.
Though I have served for the major part of time as an American consular officer, I am no longer acting in that capacity, and have no further connection with the United States Government. None of the statements, which I make, therefore, has any official weight, nor have I in any way drawn upon State Department records or sources of information. I write strictly in my capacity as a private citizen, drawing my facts from my own observations, and from the testimony of others whom I quote.
I was in Athens in July, 1908, when, at the instigation of the Young Turks’ "Committee of Union and Progress" the Saloniki army revolted and demanded the immediate putting into effect of the Constitution of 1876, which had become a dead letter, and I noted the reaction produced upon Greece by that apparently progressive move.
I was in Saloniki shortly after and witnessed the sad awakening of the non-Mussulman elements of that part of the Balkans to the fact that the much vaunted "Constitution" meant no liberty for them, but rather suppression, suffering and ultimate extinction.
I was in Smyrna in May of 1917, when Turkey severed relations with the United States, and I received the oral and written statements of native-born American eye-witnesses of the vast and incredibly horrible Armenian massacres of 1915-16— some of which will be here given for the first time; I personally observed and otherwise confirmed the outrageous treatment of the Christian population of the Smyrna vilayet, both during the Great War, and before its outbreak. I returned to Smyrna later and was there up until the evening of September 11, 1922, on which date the city was set on fire by the army of Mustapha Khemal, and a large part of its population done to death, and I witnessed the development of that Dantesque tragedy, which possesses few, if any parallels in the history of the world.
To the first chapter : TURKISH MASSACRES
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The Blight of Asia in Print