By decree dated 17 March No. 213.
The Imperial Consul of Aleppo, who was requested to send a report by telegraph, describes the help offered by the Swiss for the suffering Armenians as well as the informative journey of Dr. Vischer, whom he considers to be particularly suitable for this purpose, as very desirable. However, he does not believe that the Swiss organisation’s participation can be carried out in a concrete manner; rather, that this is an attempt to assist secretly and for this reason he advises that Dr. Vischer’s destination be given as Baghdad to enable him to visit Der-el-Zor inconspicuously where most of the Armenians have settled.
It is an open question whether or not the Turkish authorities will tolerate the emergency aid for the Armenians which was recently also supported through generous financial means from the United States, even in a modest form and avoiding any sort of political propaganda whatsoever.
Despite all the assurances to the contrary, the Porte is apparently beginning to decimate the remainder of the deported and, if possible, to exterminate those who have escaped the misery and the disaster before peace is made. Thus, according to the latest news from Mr. Roessler, the evacuation of the Armenians residing in Aleppo is close at hand; the police are secretly making it known that those who convert to Islam will be exempted from this measure. Recently, the same methods were used in Adrianople. Thus, both in Aleppo and in Adrianople numerous Armenians have converted to Islam. The situation of the deported Armenians who have gathered in various districts in Asia Minor is similar. They are left without support by the authorities; in those cases where they attempt to earn their own living they are prevented from working, threatened with further deportation and, in the end, search for their salvation by apostatising.
Mr. Vischer’s letter to Mr. Roessler has been passed along together with a questionnaire. I have sent the remaining questionnaires to the Imperial consular offices in Damascus, Adana, Smyrna and Mosul.