On 10 July 1922, the New York Times printed an article reported that the Washington Legation charged publicly that the systematic persecution of the Greeks of Asia Minor, through killings, deportations, and famine, by Turkish authorities resulted in at least 700,000 dead. To this day the Turks continue to deny the genocide of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians of Asia Minor.
“Charge Made by Washington Legation, Which Puts Dead at That Figure.
KILLINGS AND DEPORTATIONS
These, With Famine, Said to Have Been Responsible for the Tragedy in Asia Minor.
Nearly 700,000 Greeks have been massacred, deported, or have died of famine since the war with Turkey began, according to a statement given out today by the Greek Legation. Half of these victims are said to have been Greeks of Pontus and the others were from the interior of Asia Minor. Part of the statement follows:
“American travelers and others just arriving here from Samsoun, said a dispatch from Constantinople, report horrible details of the persecutions of Christian populations in that region. The notorious murderous chief, Osman Agha, arrived at Samsun the second day of Bairam, a Turkish holiday similar to Easter, inaugurating his entry by the murder of ten Greeks. Then, surrounding the stores of the American Tobacco Company, he arrested all the Greek clerks, numbering about 800, and had them transported to an unknown destination. The Greek quarter was then surrounded and 1,500 other Greeks arrested and deported to the interior.
“The population of thirty other villages in the Samsoun region were massacred while they were being transported to the place of exile. The Turkish authorities prohibited the use of the waters of the river contaminated by the bodies. Other villages having refused to comply with the deportation order, were set on fire by the Turks, and the inhabitants, regardless of age and sex, were killed.
“The American commission which went to this place reported these crimes and brought back burned bones, which were shown to the Turkish Governor.
“Since the beginning of the war the Turks have exterminated by massacres, deportations and through famine more than 350,000 Greeks of the Pont (Pontus, district of Asia Minor bordering on the Black Sea) and as many other Greeks from the interior of Asia Minor. This work of extermination of an entire peaceful population is pursued right before the eyes of the civilized world.
“The Ecumenic Patriarchate is much worried by reports which are constantly coming in from Metropolitans, of Greeks in the interior. The Patriarchate is preparing for the British High Commissioner a long memorandum showing in detail the Turkish crimes. At the same time the Patriarchate will call the attention of the interallied authorities to violations by the Turks of the regulations laid down by the interallied control at Constantinople in the arrest of Greeks coming from Ismid and other localities of Marmora, under the pretext that they had participated in activities against the Turks.”
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