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Turkish Cruelties in Armenia., Issue 8041, 18 October 1889
Turkish Cruelties in Armenia.
* About a month ago we had a cable message from our London correspondent to the effect that Mr Gladstone had sent to the 'Daily News' a report on the Turkish cruelties in Armenia. The statement, which Mr Gladstone affirmed proceeded from a source which had every presumption of trustworthiness, was as follows: "In the month of March last, during the night, Moussa Bey, accompanied by his brother Djaso and his brother-in-law Eomer Bey, at the head of a large band of his men (about 100), entered by force the house of Agatchian, in the village of Khartz, about eighteen miles from Moosh, between Moosh and Bitlia. Having first killed the father of Agatchian by a shot from a Martini rifle, they proceeded to break into the rooms in which the different members of the family were sleeping, and had been awakened by the firing. Seeing themselves surrounded by the ruffians, they tried to escape, but wero prevented. Moussa Bey and his men then set to work to break into the cupboards and boxes, and to pillage the house of everything they could lay hands on, after which they left, carrying off with them the wife of Agatchian, Altoon, and their daughter Ghiulisar, aged fifteen years, the latter barefooted and with only her night* dress on. The ground was covered with snow knee deep, and the weather very cold. Altoon, the mother, being tired oat and unable to endure the fatigue, lay on the ground, and was left there after they had gone about an hoar. Ghiulisar remained alone in the hands of the ruffians, begging of them to let her go, but they beat her forward, sometimes dragging her by the hair. After a while she was no longer able to walk, and fell on the snow. After passing a river in this state they gave her some clothes, and continued on their road to Zenghachbar, where there is a kind of lodge belonging to Moussa Bey. Here they passed the night, and the girl was violated by Moussa Bey for the first time. After three days' journey over the mountains they arrived at tho village of Paresank, and two Kurds took her to the house of Chcik Mohnied. There the girl threw herself at the feet of the Cheik, and begged of him to save her from the hands of the ruffians. The Cheik went then to Moussa JBsy and prayed him to let the girl go, but he replied that it was impossible, and that the girl had been taken to bo the wife of his orother Djaso. Djaso arrived, amd Moussa Bey ordered the Cheik to perform the mar
riago ceremony between his brother and the girl. The Cheik replied that the girl was a Christian, and refused to become Mussulman; he therefore would not marry her in his house, and he must go elsewhere. Moussa Bey then drew his knife to kill the girl, but he was prevented by his companions, and, against the advice of the Cheik, Djaso took the girl and left for the village of Avedik, and went to the house of Sefer, husband of Mcheri, sister of Moussa Bey. Here Ghiuli3ar pleaded with Meheri for her liberty, but in vain ; for they said ehe had become Mussulman in marrying Djaso. She remained in this house one month with Djaso, while Moussa and his companions left for the mountains on other acta of brigandage and rapine. At the end of the month she left with Djaso for the village of Cheikhovoran. They remained there six days in the house of the Cheik, and then went to Khevenia, the village where Moussa Bey lives; they there stayed thiee weeks. About this time there arrived from Moosh one Hadji Dayib, with two gendarmes. They came to the house of Djaso, and demanded the girl. Djaso would not give up the girl, and she herself refused to go, saying on purpose, "I am Mussulman. Leave me in peace." Hadji Dayib replied that she must ro to the Governor of Moosh and say it. She replied that the Governor and Council should come, and she would tell them that she was Mussulman. It was about this time that Moussa Boy arrived at Bitlis, and left for Constantinople. Hadji Dayib, seeing that the girl would not go to Moosh, and believing that she had become Mussulman, took her to Bitlis, which was what she wished for. She was taken to Bitlis, to the house of Cheik EmiD, and when before the Governor and Council declared herself to be a Christian and the daughter of a Christian. It was on this that she was given up to the Armenian Council, and preparations made to send her and others to Constantinople, to give evidence against Moussa Bey. Djaso is only sixteen years of age, and already the perpetrator of several murders.
For a long time a man of the nama of Ohan, of the village of Godin, about nine miles from Bitlis, was persecuted by Moussa Bey. In the month of March last Moussa Buy, learning that Ohan was in Bitlis, sent one of his men, named Flamdi, to accompany him, seemingly as his friend. As they approached the village they saw Moussa Boy with others coming towards them. As soon as they met Moussa Bey ordered some irons they had brought with them to bo heated, and with theso tortured Ohan, after which, having made a fire of brushwood, tnoy threw him on to it. After he had been burnt to death they threw hia body on to the road, whoro it was found two days after fcy two Armenians. They had the body taken to the houso of Ohan, in tho village, to his wife Ohinlo. The Armenians of tho village carried tho body to the Konak at Moosh, but the Mutessarif, Ahmed Pacha, said the matter did not concern him, but must be taken before the Vali of Bitlis, Edhem Pacha, The body was buried and a petition sent to Bitlir. Moussa Bey was sent for to the Sorai, but after spending an hour there he was allowed to go. On 16th April, 1889, Moussa Bey, accompanied by Djaso, Kar Eomer Bey, Siah Eomer Bey, Ishmail Bey, Dervishoghu, and Sefi Bey Sadik Beyoglu, at tho hoad of a large band of their men, entered tho village of Dabavauk, and went t > the house of Hagop. There they killed Manuk, the | father of Hagop, and then Moussa Ismail and Eomer killed Hagop with their handjiara, and when the wife of Hagop throw herself with her three children at the feet of Moussa Bey, pleading for her husband's life, Moussa caught up the two youngest, one two years and the other eight months' old, and killed them by dashing them to the ground. They then violated all the women and young girls in the house, numbering seventeen, the youngest being ten years old. The hands and wrists of Hagop's wife are covered with wounds received in defending hernelf and children. The name of the Vali of Bitlis, just recalled, is Edhem Pacha; that of the Mutessarif of Moosh is Ahmed Pacha. [A recent cablegram informed us that Moussa had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death, but it is doubted if tho extromo penalty will be carried out.—Eu. E.S.]
Turkish Cruelties in Armenia., Issue 8041, 18 October 1889
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