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THE MASSACRE AT BAYAZID.

[From th-e Correspondent of the London Timet with

the Turkish Army.) Tt appears that on the 14th of Jane last, Lieutenant-Genarai Faik Pasha, commanding the Van Division of the Turkish army, having organised his forceß, which, prior to the outbreak of the war were much shattered, advanced from Pergi, on the eastern shore of the Van Lake, on Bayazid. The Bussian commandant, leaving two companies in the citadel, an old massive masonry building, marched to Tapani, some 13 miles south-east of the place, and gave battle to Faik's forces, Being much outnumbered, he was worsted, and retired in some confusion into tho town, occupying the citadul with his infantry, while the'cavalry remained just outside its walls. With the aid of two field' guns the officer managed to keep the Turks at bay ; but, Faik sending Munib Pasha with two battalions and three mountain guns to occupy a hill about 1200 yards east of the Castle, the Turks were enabled to command the Russian position, and finally renderod it untenable. On the 28th of June, their water supply having been cut off, the Commandant ofthe garrison hoisted a' white flag, and finally sent an officer out to arrange terms of capitulation. An officer of similar rank was deputed by Faik Pasha, and these two met in a house in the town and drew up the "proposed treaty, which received tbe sanction of both the Russian and Turkish Commandants. At 4 p.m that afternoon, all preliminaries having been gone through, Faik Pasha betook himself to the three gun battery to the east of the town, and sent a company of infantry up to the citadel, over which the white flag still flew, to line the road from the gates in order that the Bussian prisoners of war might march between the' ranks and so down to the camp prepared for them. At the appointed time the gates were thrown open, and tbe garrison, unarmed, filed out. Some two hundred or more had already, passed between the lines of Turkish soldiery, when suddenly a body of Kurds (of >horn in a previous letter I have reported there were eight thousand in Faik's forces) rushed on the defenceless men and commenced a wild massacre. In vain did the Turkish regular soldiery interpose ; it was all to no purpose; in vain did the Bussian officers appeal to their sense of honor, and cry that they were unarmed prisoaers of war; demons let loose from hell could have shown no worse devilry. A party dashed on in rear of the column and endeavored to cut off the Bussian retreat back to to the Castle, but, fortunately, some Bussian soldiers retaining their presence of mind, and saving their own at the expense of their comrades' lives, closed the gates and opened fire on tbe hell-hounds outside. It is stated, on Faik Pasha's authority, that he opened fire on these miscreants from his own guns, and thus aided the Bussian garrison to disperse them. Suffice it to say that, baulked of tbeir prey in the Bussian garrison, fof whom it is said | two hundred and thirty-six were thug massacred, the Kurds unchecked rushed sword in band into the city, and carried on their work of butchery among the defencei less inhabitants. Mussulman and Christian, I men and women, ohildren and babei, alike ' fell victims to their lust of blood. In one | church two hundred bodies were found. , 'Scarcely one house existed iv which there , were not two or more corpses —and, shame to Turkey, shame to the' name of soldier, Faik Pasha, a Lieutenant-General, at the head of six battalions of soldiers, heaven save I the mark! never moved a file into the town to check these bloodthirsty scoundrels in their woric of slaughter; on the contrary, ha moved his personal camp to Tapasis Kui,' retained the Kurds in his service, and re-opened fire on the citadel. ' The sufferings of the Russians, bad as they were prior to the massacre, when want of water, the direst want a garrison caii feel, led them to offer to surrender, were now increased a thousand fold. To die of starvation, preserving their honor, was preferable —far preferable to death at the hands ofthe murderous villains a Turkish General per-, t mitted to remain in his army. In spite of the breach of faith of which men in his own command had been guilty, Faik Pasha showed no sign's of'remorse for an act at which all Europe will stand aghast in horror, 'no sign of shame at'the infamy which must ■ inevitably fall on his own head, no sign of . pity for the gallaiit men inside the chateau,, ', ;no sign of acknowledgement of the white* L flag which still 'floated over the Bussian garrison; but gave orders for the continuance- of the bombardment, and exultingly ■ pointed out the accuracy of bis own artillery t 'practice.'boasted that night after night the' , stream, from whichi'-'alonethe Bus'sians could' ' ; obtain their =suprly'of \yater was watted, ]' and jthat tb'e""forlOm LKojiVwhich' e>v6r and' anon made desperate efforts fco carry soma

drops of the precious liquid to their cothfades, were attacked in th«ir gallant mission, ahd "nightly driven- back with loss. !For 23 days did this pitiless warfare continue; for 23 days did this gallant band hold out, enduring all the horrors of a siege, enhanced by the far worse terrors of a death from thirst, until on the morning of the 10th of July, Tergukasßoff, by a feat which must stand on record as one of th« most dashing feats of arms of modern times, with eight battalions, 32 guns, and seven regiments of cavalry, cut in between Ismail Pasha with 20, and Faik Paßha with six battalions and 11,000 liegulars, relieved his beleaguered comrades, carried them off, sick and wounded, guns and munitions of war, and then turning on Faik Pasha, signally defeated him, carrying off three guns and 800 prisoners of war. '■

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TC18771025.2.16

Bibliographic details

THE MASSACRE AT BAYAZID., Colonist, Volume XX, Issue 2301, 25 October 1877

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989

THE MASSACRE AT BAYAZID. Colonist, Volume XX, Issue 2301, 25 October 1877

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