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Source: DK/RA-UM/Gruppeordnede sager 1909-1945. 139. D. 1, ”Tyrkiet - Indre Forhold”. Pakke 1, til 31 Dec. 1916
Edition: Danish diplomatic sources
Departure of telegram: 06/24/1916
Embassy/consular serial number: Nr. 127
Translated by: Matthias Bjørnlund
Last updated: 04/01/2012

The minister at Constantinople (Carl Ellis Wandel) to the Foreign Minister (Erik Scavenius)


Nr. 127
Constantinople, 24 June 1916.


Mr. Foreign Minister,

The arrests, deportations, and executions of Arab and Maronite notables in Syria that I have mentioned in my previous reports appear to take on greater proportions, and the government has now summoned a number of well-known persons from Lebanon, Homs [Hims], Damascus, Beirut, Baalbek, Zahla [Zahleh], Hibrain [Houran?], Aleppo, etc., who are charged with belonging to secret societies that have as a purpose to break away certain parts of the Empire from Turkish rule, to appear before the court within 10 days.

Among the exiled persons and families from Lebanon is the Governor in Batrum, the President of the Court of Cassation, a brother of the Maronite Patriarch, the President of Lebanon's Administrative Council, and a number of journalists.

About 50 families have been deported from Beirut; among them are the Maronite Archbishop, Monseigneur Chibli, the Vicar of the Greek Archbishop, Melkita, and 2 members of the well-known Maronite families Matteo and Gamarha; furthermore the Drogman [dragoman, i.e. interpreter] at the French consulate, Felippo-el-Khazen [Sheikh Phillippe el Khazen] and his brother Ferid-el-Khazen [Sheikh Farid el Khazen], who is Papal Chamberlain and a well-known writer.

When the Apostolic Delegate here, Monseigneur [Angelo Maria] Dolci, the other day protested in the Foreign Ministry against these measures, the Foreign Minister [Halil Bey] initially answered that the reports were false, and it was only when the Delegate showed that there could be no doubt about their accuracy that the Minister wondered how these reports had gotten out and promised to bring up the subject with his colleagues.

Even so, the persecutions of Christians in Lebanon are not likely to cease, and for the moment it can hardly be expected that any kind of intervention will succeed in making the government change its policy.

With the highest esteem I remain, Mr. Minister, yours faithfully

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