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The New York Times

October 10, 1915

LETTERS TELL OF OUTRAGES

One from a Turk Laments Over Expulsions of the Armenians

"The cruelty of the authorities is beyond description. In some cases


nails and
sharp points are being driven into the ends of the fingers; men are
beaten until
they fall senseless on the ground; the soles of the feet are pounded,
and then
boiling water is poured upon the raw, bleeding flesh; in other cases
the man is
pounded and beaten until it is impossible to know who he is, even
though he be a
near friend. All of this torture is given to compel the person to
reveal secrets
and to inform the Government of plots and schemes that may or may not
be planned
against it."

Some five hundred of the worst criminals in the prisons, " the letter
continues,
" have been let loose and sent to the Russian frontier to burn villages
and to
destroy the lives and property of the enemy. We met bands of these men
as we
came across the country."

A second letter tells of the wholesale deportation of Armenians to the


desert
and other distant parts of the Turkish Empire....from a certain unnamed
town,
the writer states that "the 1st included the educated and leading men
of
thecommunity, some of whom had been subjected to indescribable tortures
and were
unable to walk."

A third letter is from a Turk, a Moslem to his son, who is now in the
United
States. This is the first letter published from a strictly Turkish
source-and a
most reliable one-which confirms the stories of frightfulness and
torture and
death, sent to this country from various non-Turkish sources.

"I am returning the check you sent, for we cannot cash it, there being
no Raya
(Christians) her any more. The inhabitants of our village are all
Moslems now,
for all our Raya neighbors were driven away by night, nobody knows
where. There
houses are now occupied by Kurd and Cherkes Bashibasooks with their one
or two
Raya slave girls each.

Times are bad, my son. The Raya was everything to us, and the thief
Cherkes is
by no means a fair substitute for us. All the elders of the village
realize
this, although there are few who sympathize with this unhappy people. I
am only
taking my chances to write to you the way they were treated. It being
the
harvest time, the poor Raya had not a handful of already ground flour
in their
home, and were largely living on vegetables. If there were any who had
a bare
subsistence at hand, they were not given the chance to take anything
with them.
Some were taken out from bed and not given the time to dress so many
(mostly old
women and children) went half naked and barefooted. We hear many of
them died
before the end of the first day.

There is no more business activity in the whole of _____. Everything is


in an
anarchical state. The wheatstacks, still in the field, are constantly
being set
on fire by the Bashibaseeks. It tell you when the Winter comes we
ourselves will
have to starve, for, as you know, we all live on Raya's crops.