Your Excellency, I respectfully enclose the transcript of a letter sent to me from Urfa by Deacon Kuenzler dated the 5th inst. The facts that he reports, namely that it is no longer the Mutesarrif or the court martial who make decisions in the matter of the Armenian question, but rather that two of the Committee’s emissaries, Halil and Ahmed Bey, are running a reign of terror, [Of these two, the Circassian Ahmed is a wild and disreputable fellow; Halil Bey, as I have meanwhile learned, is identical with Enver Pasha’s uncle, the commanding officer of the division sent to the East.] have been confirmed to me by a well-informed, distinguished, local Mohammedan as being undoubtedly true.
I have interceded many times on behalf of the pharmacist at the hospital with Djemal Pasha, with the Mutesarrif of Urfa, with the Vali of Diyarbekir, but it was all to no avail.
Djemal Pasha had agreed not to permit a possible judgment made by the court martial to be carried out before the files were presented for his perusal. The deportation to Diyarbekir, autocratically brought about by the members of the Committee, has prevented the success of this commitment. Should Djemal Pasha now make enquiries as to the whereabouts of the pharmacist, it will, of course, be reported that he fell into the hands of robbers. If he is satisfied with this information, then this proves that he, and with him the government in Urfa, do not, in fact, hold the power in their hands any longer.
Thus, the pharmacist who worked loyally for 16 long years in the German Hospital and for whose loyal Ottoman convictions the German Mission for the Orient had vouched, had to be sacrificed. The authorities have already begun to work against the Armenian doctor by forbidding him to operate by himself without assistance, and under these circumstances, it is not possible to blame him for losing heart and taking the first opportunity that comes along to leave Urfa. A certain Turkish side has achieved its goal of temporarily closing our hospital in which, over the past years, thousands of Mohammedan as well as Christian patients have received the best possible German medical treatment and care.
I am sending the same report to the Imperial Embassy.
Urfa, August 5, 1915.
When I arrived here on 3 July, returning from Aleppo, I found that our pharmacist was still in prison. At that time, some men from the court martial (ürfié) arrived here, supposedly to pass sentence on the prisoners. I visited the chairman of this committee and presented our case to him. The prisoners' situation already improved several days after the arrival of these men: however, Ahmed and a man named Chalil Bey, two Turkish Komitadjis, arrived here from Diyarbekir, and their arrival brought about the beginning of something that strongly looked like anarchy. These men then immediately insisted that Vartkes and Zohrab Effendiler, two former deputies who had just arrived here, be executed. The governor and the commanding officer of the gendarmes did not want to do this, but the above mentioned men supposedly threatened them with their own execution. Khalil Bey had the two Armenians executed an hour's distance from Urfa. The county doctor and the town doctor were then sent there and forced to give a false medical report stating that the two had been attacked by Arabs and killed. The court martial had the best of intentions, namely to release all of the Armenian notables. But Khalil and Ahmed Bey effected a telegram from Diyarbekir stating that all of the imprisoned Armenians had to be bound and sent on foot to Diyarbekir. This is why I sent you a telegram on Sunday, "Pharmacist still in prison, threatened with transport," and the transport of 40 men was carried out from Sunday to Monday, including our pharmacist and the Armenian Bishop, who had been imprisoned two days previously. Generally, it is believed that neither these men nor the 50 prisoners who were transported on Tuesday will ever reach Diyarbekir. I, too, have little hope for them, although I know of a secret agreement in which the two Beys have requested 1,300 Turkish Lira from the Armenians, promising that they will then not have the town cleared out as well as ensuring that those transported will reach Diyarbekir safely. Naturally, the Beys threatened that they would ban all the Armenians from Urfa if this secret became public knowledge.
The fact is that these two Beys, and not the government and not the court martial which was supposedly sent by Djemal Pasha, rule in the Armenian question and that it is a reign of terror.
For some time our hospital has also been having a number of difficulties. The new county doctor, Hamdi Bey, would like best to close down our hospital. He threatened us with this. But he should not be able to achieve this openly. Thus, he is now using a trick that was often practised in Hamid's time: he forbade our Doctor Armenak to operate by himself without assistance, as this would be illegal. This is only a trick, for we learned through you at that time that every qualified doctor may carry out the most difficult operations everywhere by himself. But Dr. Armanak, an Armenian, did not have the heart to resist now, despite my encouragement, and thus, during the past few days, he has not carried out any difficult operations. Next week he must go to Surudi to examine recruits, and then he wants to go to Aleppo—his wife is there—and possibly hide there until these bad times are over. I am, therefore, forced to close down the hospital until his return. Sad, for there are only two other doctors here and so many ill people. If only the two internees, Dr. Young, an Englishman, and Dr. Lause, a Frenchman, would be permitted to work in our hospital. If necessary, it would be easy for me to carry out the necessary control, should no trust be placed in the enemy, as I have already been completely initiated into the course of our work. I recommended this matter to the governor, but he did not like the suggestion.
Mr. … will inform you verbally as an eyewitness on the atrocity of the women's and children's convoys. Thus, I can finish this report here.