The London Times30 August 1918

PERSIAN TRIBAL ALLIES

A REFUGE FROM THE TURKS WITH THE BRITISH. (FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.)

TEHERAN, AUG. 14.
The Russians early in the war raised two battalions from the Syriac or Jelu tribes of the Van region, which, on the Russian evacuation of this country, returned to Urumiah and, helped by other Christian races of the Van and Urumiah region, long bravely resisted the Turks. Turkish pressure and lack of ammunition and supplies, however, recently forced these tribes, estimated at 80,000 souls, to with-draw through Bijar towards Hamadan. Over 20,000 have already passed Bijar, wher a temporary hospital is established. Some 2,000 women, children, and sick have arrived, destitute and starving, at Hamadan, and 6,000 more are arriving. A relief committee has been started, and funds are badly needed. AUGUST 20.-The Turks in 1915 incited Kuchik Khan, an obscure Gilan Nationalist, to raise a band of Gilan (a tribe near Resht) to repel Russian aggression. This movement grew, but they soon left the Russians unmolested, and Kuchik Khan became a power among the Gilan as a reformer and protector of the poor against a corrupt Government. He has latterly ruled the Gilan, whilst the movement has spread widely. Enemy agents flocked to the Gilan camp seeking to convert the movement to Turkish Pan-Islamism. The Gilan have now consented to cease hostilities, to release their prisoners, and to dismiss the enemy agents.



The London Times