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Link: http://www.armenocide.net/armenocide/armgende.nsf/$$AllDocs/1918-03-16-DE-001
Source: DE/PA-AA/R14099
Publication: DuA Dok. 376 (re.)
Central register: 1918-A-11778
Edition: Caucasus Campaign
Departure of telegram: 03/16/1918 05:20 PM
Arrival of telegram: 03/16/1918 09:45 PM
Date of entry in central register: 03/17/1918 a.m.
Embassy/consular serial number: Nr. 371
Translated by: Vera Draack (Translation sponsored by Zoryan Institute)
Last updated: 04/15/2012

From the Ambassador in Constantinople (Bernstorff) to the Foreign Office

Telegraphic Report

Constantinople, 16 March 1918

Lately the Turks have once again been clumsy and slow in all questions related to the processing of public opinion in the Armenian matter. Despite all admonitions, censorship has only now intervened and forced the press either to be silent or to write articles that reassure.

All of the Armenians were already scared to death. Almost every day they sent patriarchs, the papal delegates or other legates to me to ask for help. This time the Turkish government is really honestly endeavouring to prevent acts of violence from the top post down through the ranks. The most anyone can say is that the atrocities of the Armenian gangs seem to be a welcome justification after the fact for the Turkish government for its own earlier sins.

The absence of the Grand Vizier is being greatly deplored, because he alone would be in a position to take things firmly under control and issue declarations on Armenian policy. All other local, leading circles are presently practically in a frenzy of confidence of victory, nationalism and pan-Islamism despite the hunger of the poor. They truly seem to believe that all of the Mohammedans of Asia, be they Tartars, Georgians or Persians and so on, are merely waiting to reach out the hand of brotherhood to the Turks and to found an Islamic confederacy. According to Your Excellency’s telegram 379, the Grand Vizier is still of the same opinion, namely that he does not want to hold Batum at all costs (see my telegram 360). With this point of view he will have a hard time of it here among his fellow countrymen unless the Caucasians are prepared to free the way for the Turks to Baku. Presently, at any rate, Turkish ambition is heading more towards Baku rather than Batum.


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