The New York Times 27 March 1915

Turks Continue Urumiah Slaying - The New York Times - March 27, 1915.
The New York Times - March 27, 1915.


Again Force Their Way Into the American Mission and Massacre Christians.


But Turkey Has Also Now Promised to "Protect" the Foreigners, and a Clash Might Result.

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 Missions.

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."

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