|The New York Times - March 27, 1915.|
TURKS CONTINUE URUMIAH SLAYING
Again Force Their Way Into the American Mission and Massacre Christians.
APPEAL, SENT TO RUSSIA
But Turkey Has Also Now Promised to "Protect" the Foreigners, and a Clash Might
TIFLIS, Thursday, March 25, (via Petrograd, March. 26.) - Turkish troops have
committed further acts of violence at the American Mission in Urumiah, Northern
Persia, according to a message received by the local Viceroy from Gordon
Paddock, the American Consul at Tabriz. Mr. Paddock transmits a message from
Robert M. Labaree, a missionary at Urumiah,, to the effect that the Turkish
Consul at Urumiah forced his way into the mission compound with a. number of
Turkish regular troops and removed some Assyrian Christian refugees, who were
then massacred. The Turks also beat and insulted the American missionaries.
Special to The New York Times.
WASHINGTON, March 26. - The American and British Consuls at Tabriz, Persia, not
far from Urumiah, have joined, in an appeal to the General commanding the
Russian forces there to go to the succor of the American mission at Urumiah,
which is besieged by Turkish regular troops and Kurds. According to press
dispatches, a native Bishop and some native Christians have been hanged and an
American. Missionary has been assaulted. Information of the appeal came to the
British Embassy today from the Foreign Office at London, which, received a
telegram on the subject from the British Consul, telling of the action of
himself and his American colleague. Counselor Barclay of the British Embassy
laid this information before Secretary Bryan today. In the dispatch from the
British Consul it was said that the Russian General had expressed willingness to
proceed to Urumiah if his Government would give him authority to do so. At the
same time he expressed the fear that if troops were sent to the scene of the
trouble the forces that had been committing indignities at Urumiah might
massacre the missionaries and those in their care. The dispatch from the British
Consul, in which., the American Consul Gordon Paddock, joined, was sent from
Tabriz several, days ago. According to the State Department, nothing in regard,
to .the attacks on American missions has been received by it.
State Department Active
In view of the alarming press reports of atrocities, including the hanging of
sixty men taken from the French Mission and five from the American mission
compound at Gulpashan, near Urumiah. The State Department was today stirred to
further efforts to obtain protection for the American missionaries and refugees
in that vicinity. Ambassador Morgenthau at Constantinople have been twice
appealed, to by Secretary Bryan in the last few days to urge the Turkish
Government to send protection to the imperiled section, and it was learned
tonight that the State Department had received definite assurances from the
Turkish Government that protection would be rushed to the scene. In view of
present efforts by the American Government to have Turkish troops sent to the
region, it is regarded as probable here that no further effort will be made to
get aid from the Russian soldiery. In view of the hostilities between Russia and
Turkey, aid from both sides would be impossible. It is suggested also that the
Consuls at Tabriz were moved to be cautious in getting.troops into the district,
for fear that their coming might cause a massacre. The State Department tonight
had received no off1cia.l notice of the destruction and outrages at Gulpashan. a
few miles from Urumiah, as reported to the Presbyterian Board of Foreign
Everything Being Done, Says Bryan.
"We are not prepared to announce what we May or can do in the matter," said
Secretary Bryan, late in the day. He gave assurances, however, that the State
Department was doing everything it could. Directions, he said, had been sent to
several American Consuls, including Glazebrook at Jerusalem and Paddock at
Tabriz, but nothing had been heard from any of the Consuls directly. Word was
received by the British Embassy, as well as the State Department; that the
Turkish Government had issued orders for the saving of the Christians.
Additional directions were cabled to Ambassador Morgenthau by the State
Department tonight, forwarding the reports received by the Presbyterian Board of
Foreign Missions in New York. The officials fear that the Porte itself can only
with difficulty exert control over the irregular Turkish forces reported to be
operating in Northern Persia, nominally against the Russians, but also to a
larger extent against the native Christians.
Massacre at Gulpashan.
All the men at Gulpashan, a large village near Urumiah, have been shot by Kurds,
the women assaulted, an American missionary beaten, and sixty-five refugees,
taken from the French and American missions, have been hanged on gibbets erected
in the mission yards, according to a cablegram received here yesterday by the
Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions.
The missionary referred to as having been beaten is F. T. Allen, a Canadian, who
is a naturalized American. The sum of $6,000 for relief at Urumiah was cabled
yesterday to the American Consul at Tabriz by the Persian War Relief Committee.
This information was contained in a cablegram from Tiflis signed by four native
Christians, three of them, and perhaps the fourth naturalized Americans. The
message follows : Gulpashan destroyed. Its men shot, women violated. Sixty men
taken from the French Mission compound and five from the American, Mission
compound, hanged. Allen beaten; hanging pole erected in French, Mission yard.
Massacre imminent. Implore State, Department that Consul at Tabriz proceed to
Urumiah. The message was received by Jesse Yonan, E. O. Eshoo, Isaac Yohannan,
and Paul Shimman, all of whom are known to the board. Eshoo and Shimman, both
Americans, left this city for Urumiah five weeks ago, proceeding by way of
Norway and Petrograd.
Officials of the Presbyterian,Board were somewhat surprised yesterday to hear
that the Secretary of State Bryan had requested that the American Consul at
Jerusalem to investigate conditions at Urumiah and its vicinity. They said it
was almost as difficult to get from Jerusalem to Urumiah as from New York to
Urumiah. "We have requested Secretary Bryan, both by letter and telegram, to do
all that is possible to help the situation in Persia." A representative of the
board said, "and trust that he will be able to do so through other agencies than
the Consul at Jerusalem, who we understand would meet great delays and
difficulties in going or getting agents to go to Urumiah."