An extensive summary of a speech held by the Governor General to the 12 most outstanding members of the Armenian community in his house on the evening of the 9th shows the entire interrelation. I have been informed in confidence that the following is the contents of this speech.
Already 5 months ago, the police reported that bombs and revolvers were hidden in the Armenian cemetery. At that time, I refused to have the graves opened, because I did not want them to be disturbed as long as there was any doubt about the truth of the report. You know that in the meantime the bombs have come to light and that further investigations led to the finding of revolvers, hung in a watertight container in the fountain in the forecourt of the Armenian Church in Karatash. I had asked you to determine the guilty parties or the instigators, in order to free me of this burden and to ensure that you were safe. You stated that you could not do this as it was the police's task. I pointed out to you that the police was not suitable for this and if it took this matter into its hands many innocent people would have to suffer unnecessarily. You insisted on your point of view; in this way, we came to the beginning of the deportations, and I will regret having to carry this matter out to the end. Today, 250 people, almost all of whom have friends or relatives here, were deported; they create new enemies for me whom I must deport, whereupon an even larger number of enemies arises that must also be deported, and so on until even the most respected, like those here present, must be deported. It was not only the central government that continuously reproached me because of my leniency towards the Armenians, but also a large part of the population in the vilayet who is dissatisfied. Naturally, I always cut these people off so that they do not dare to insist on their plans, but I have made many enemies in this way who even claim that by paying 30 to 40000 pounds the Armenians bought their peace from me. You yourselves can best judge the untruth of this news, but I must tell you openly that I am now weary of this matter, I cannot bog myself down in details as I have an enormous load of work now, and I must ask you to sort things out in your community yourselves. Discuss this among yourselves; with a little bit of good will you will be in a position to give me the names of the guilty who are still in Smyrna, otherwise everyone will have to suffer. You know me; you know how unhappy the thought makes me that I might be the murderer of those who were deported today, but the guilt for those who will be innocently deported rests with you. If you had shown your good will these deportations would never have come about; if you take the trouble now and name the guilty, you may rest assured that not only will no further deportations take place, but that all the innocent deported today will return upon my orders."
On Tuesday, 14 November, the Vali was given a list with about 30 names, and this with the remark that the community had examined the names with the greatest care and conscientiousness, that it had to regard the people named as being dubious and, thus, was passing on these names for the purpose of their being determined more closely and examined further. The Governor General became indignant over this answer and remarked that the community should either state that it considers these people to be dangerous or say that it was not in a position to do so, that the answer that it had given did not meet his requirements. On the afternoon of the same day the list with all the names was given to the Vali with the remark that after a conscientious examination the community felt obliged to inform the Vilayet government that the people named were dubious and that, for this reason, they felt obliged to inform the Vilayet government that those named could be dangerous for the community. The bishop supposedly said the following, "If you ask me whether the people named are wrongdoers, I cannot give you a conclusive explanation. Although the people's past is not clean, I must add that during the past year almost all of them lived very quietly."
The Vali appeared to be satisfied with this result. The Vali informed me today that for the first time he had succeeded in getting the Armenians to name the dangerous people themselves; these would be deported and the other innocent people already deported would be brought back.
I learned in confidence that the central government had ordered the further transportation of those deported on the 9th, but that the Governor General gave the opposite order and reported this to the central government.
Thus, for the time being, the Armenian question appears to be settled in Smyrna.
The conditions at the beginning of this month were particularly alarming for Germany's reputation, because the highest military command forces, those of the 5th Army and the 17th Corps, are in German hands, and both holders were in Smyrna during the deportation. The news spread fast that the Germans wanted to rid themselves in this way of the Armenian trade competition. The notification of the Governor General by army leader Marshal Liman von Sanders, already been reported elsewhere, that such arrests and deportations influenced the military situation and, therefore, the military command could not tolerate them, did not become public knowledge, but the numerous meetings on these days gave the population the definite impression that German circles had intervened against the procedures carried out against the Armenians.