A. Audience with the Patriarch (24 April)
1) according to a telegram that arrived two days ago from Erzurum, the Armenian dignitary Aratus Tchilusgirian had been murdered on the street. The murderers of Pasdirmadjian Effendi, who was shot to death on 29 February in Erzurum, have not been found.
2. Talaat Bey denies that the government’s policy is hostile towards the Armenians, but the Patriarch is of the opinion that Talaat is not honest; he prefers Enver Pasha, who expresses his opinion openly;
3. during a meeting with the Patriarchate on 23rd inst., it was suggested that the dignitaries should speak to the ministers and should sincerely assure them that the Armenians are loyal and are not thinking of any revolt. The thought of a pacifying commission to be sent into the interior was welcomed by the Patriarch. The deputy Zohrab Effendi is taking the matter into consideration;
B. the same applied to General Posseldt, on 26th inst.
1) He believes that the Armenians would remain calm if they were not suppressed by the Turks and provoked by them. It may also be a matter of envy of competitors. The behaviour of the Armenians is said to have been excellent.
It is correct that the Turkish Armenians repeatedly served as guides for the Russians in their advances against Erzurum. Also some of these were found among the prisoners who were seized from the Russians. On the other hand, he considers it to be out of the question that Armenians troops had fired at their Turkish comrades; they had always used the Armenians behind the front.
2. he confirms the activities of the Committee in Erzurum; the conscription list includes the names of 22 Armenians. Tahsin Bey, the Vali, has done his utmost to prevent slaughters from being carried out. The head behind this anti-Armenian movement is said to be a certain Shakir Bey (amongst other things, he led a band of volunteers near Artvin), his acolyte Halil and the Director of Police in Erzurum.
Pasdirmadjian was murdered because his brother, a former deputy, had intervened in the Vilayet Van in the interest of the Russians; he was shot by two soldiers. The names of the murderers were revealed anonymously to the authorities, but although he, Posseldt, had taken an interest in the matter, they were not arrested.