October 5, 1890
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
HELPLESS CHRISTIANS THE VICTIMS OF THE SUBLIME PORTE
To the Editor of the New-York Times: Disturbances of the gravest significance are being produced in the Ottoman Empire. The corrupt administration of the Turkish officials in Armenia, the Armenophobe policy of the Sublime Porte, the acquittal of Moussa Bey, the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks In Erzeroum, Bitlis, and Moosh, the multitude of spies swarming in the capital and in the principal cities, all have contributed to exasperate the proverbially enduring Armenians who are now seeking by all means to liberate their country from Ottoman despotism.
The Government of the Sultan has appointed a commission to inquire into the grievances of the Armenians and has made promises of reform. This it has done for the transparent purpose of appeasing European opinion; but all the world knows now by long experience that such promises of the Turk remain, and are intended to remain, mere words. The Porte pledged itself twelve years ago by the treaty of Berlin to realize without further delay reforms in the Armenian provinces. It abused the confidence of the signatory powers of the treaty, and instead of introducing reforms it withdrew gradually the ancient privileges conferred upon the Christian communities and delivered the Armenian provinces into the hands of the bloodthirsty Kurds and Circassians. Every day brings in fresh confirmation of the utter incapacity and unwillingness of the Turkish Government to rule its Christian subjects. While anarchy is thus horribly reigning in Armenia and millions of Christians are being ground down by Turkish oppression and Kurdish barbarity, the inactive attitude of the signatory powers, and of Great Britain especially, can by no means be justified, although explained by certain international circumstances.
The only satisfactory solution of this burning question seems to be that the Armenians be granted autonomy, as they constitute not simply a large majority of the population in Armenia, but they form almost exclusively the commercial, industrial, and agricultural population. Their men have with remarkable ability occupied the most responsible positions in the Governments of different foreign countries, as Nubar Pasha in Egypt, the Generals Melikoff, Der-Ghoogasoff, and Lazareff in Russia, and Hagop Pasha and Artin Pasha in Turkey. Why should the Armenians, capable of governing the world, not be permitted to rule their own country?
S. GABRIEL, M. D.,
202 WEST TWENTY-THIRD STREET, NEW-YORK,
SATURDAY, OCT. 4, 1890
President of the Armenian Patriotic Association in America