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Link: http://www.armenocide.net/armenocide/armgende.nsf/$$AllDocs/1915-03-13-DE-012
Source: DE/PA-AA/BoKon/168
Publication: DuA Dok. 019 (gk.)
Embassy register: A53a/1915/1712
Edition: Genocide 1915/16
Embassy/consular serial number: J. N. 2234
Last updated: 04/22/2012

From the Consul in Adana (Buege) to the Ambassador in Constantinople (Wangenheim)


J.No. 2234
Adana, 13 March 1915

Your Excellency, I beg to present to you the following enclosure about Armenian activities in Dört Yol, which was put forward by Simon Agabalian, an assistant official at this consulate.

I cannot in any way vouch for the reliability of the report, but I am sure, that everything has been truthfully described.

The opinion expressed by Mr. Agabalian at the end of the report to the effect that the current German-Turkish relationship have protective value for the Ottoman Christians hardly represents his personal conviction, even less that of the general discernible notion, that Germany is by no means to be considered as a protective power.



The unrest in Dört Yol.

The area in and around Dört Yol is with few exceptions mainly inhabited by Armenians, and is surrounded by Turkish residences. The population is growing oranges for their livelihood, but this year is unable to bring the only product of their work to market because of the war. The inhabitants of Dört Yol had to serve or to pay ”bedel” during mobilisation. Because of the general lack of money, these people could not help themselves and many, or you can rather say all, of them deserted instead of responding to the military invitation. Some of the deserters fled far away and others stayed home.

The attention of the government was arisen by these circumstances and by the mistrust of the Turks living in this area towards the Armenians, more so because the inhabitants of Dört Yol defended themselves against the Turks.

Several times after the bombardment of the Turkish harbours by the English war-ships, the British came on land without any difficulty and went to the Armenians in Dört Yol to do their shopping. Some Armenians dealt with the English out of greed, while others were disgruntled on account of this, since they realised that the government would watch all this and would eventually blame all for the actions of a few.

A few weeks ago a former deserter by the name of Saldschian, who received his education from the local Jesuits and who later taught French at the Armenian school, went to Dört Yol. Two years ago he had gone to Cyprus and presently most likely has joined the English. He went together with an Armenian from Alexandrette to Dört Yol and stayed there for 6-7 days. You could almost say he tried to recruit the inhabitants for the foreign service. It is not known how far he succeeded and some merchants’ claim the trip involved Saldschian’s private business and had nothing to do with the general public. The notables of the village did not know about the visit and some of them were not even present at that time.

Saldschian managed to obtain identity papers and introduced himself as a merchant. Even the police was informed of his presence. By sheer coincidence, after Saldschian returned to the English war-ship, the police became aware of the fake merchant, and could only arrest the man, who had accompanied him.

A few days later another Armenian by the name of Köschkerian from the village of Odschakli leaves the war-ship to came on land. After the murder of his wife during the massacre by the Turks he went abroad. This man is supposed to have carried money with him in the amount of 40 Ltq.

From all these actions and occurrences one cannot deduct that the Armenians had any kind of organisation for the purpose of a conspiracy or revolution. But one can surely say, that the arrival of the war-ships and their aggressive behaviour generated joy among the majority of the Christian populace and especially Armenians, and if it should ever be possible for the English or French to reach land, they would be extremely welcomed by the Christians.

During one night all the male Armenians of the village were arrested and sent away from this area, due to the emphatic request from the Turkish population of the neighbouring residences to remove the Armenians from Dört Yol and because they wanted to arrest deserters and avoid any unforeseen actions. They were sent to Aleppo under strict supervision and are now doing roadwork. During the arrest the Armenians showed submission and did not resist the officials. Three people were shot while trying to flee. Even these did not use any weapons.

We do not know too much about the weapons of the Armenians. An ongoing investigation will clarify this.

It is said that he Vali of Adana expressed his satisfaction because the Armenians did not resist and the apprehension of his critics (one of them Akiah Bey in Osmanié) did not materialise.

The actions of the military during the arrests took place without misdeeds or excesses. At this time there is nothing to worry about the fate of the women and children left behind. Poverty is a common occurrence in the country.

The Armenian community and their representatives as much as the parish-principal and the Catholicos simply are onlookers and disapprove of any imprudent deed of an individuals. They only try to support the helpless women and children; otherwise they refrain from any action and wait for the decision of the court-martial.

Here and there is some talk about massacres. But one is glad that it is a happy chance that the Turks allied themselves with the Germans. They would disapprove of any brutal and unjust act and prevent it from happening.

We cannot find out anything about foreign propaganda. Mr. Chambers carries out only religious propaganda and is not only not tolerated by the Armenians of Gregorian confession on account of the negative things he said about the Armenians during and after the massacre but he is also being avoided because of his fanatical protestant activism. He has more influence over the Protestant Armenians and does not even socialise with the principal of the parish.

Adana, March 12, 1915

S. Agabalian

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