15 Sep 1922: Turks Kill Women and Babes, The Evening Star

evening star 15091922

American Sailors Tell of Looting and Pillaging After Kemalist Forces Enter Asia minor Seaport.

The Evening Star, Washington D.C.
September 15, 1922.

By Cable to The Star and Chicago Daily News.
                 Copyright 1922.
SMYRNA. September 14 (delayed).
- A  crime which will brand the Turks
forever  was  committed Wednesday,
when the  Turkish soldiery, after  fin-
ishing    their  looting  and  pillaging,
set the  town on fire. Smyrna is now
almost  completely destroyed.  Not a
single important establishment is left
and the total loss is estimated at
more than $1,000,000,000.
     There is indisputable evidence that
the crime was planned and executed
by   the  Turkish   authorities.  Ameri-
can   sailors   guarding   the    various
buildings  into   which   the  refugees
had crowded saw with their own eyes
Turkish    officers    spreading    fires
and setting fire to houses, after which
they locked the doors and left.
     At the American Collegiate Insti-
tute, where 1,500 Armenian refugees
were  gathered, the American  guard
saw  the  Turks  killing  women  and
babies.  An  American  sailor  leaving
the institute was fired at by the Turk-
ish  soldiers  who  had been sent the
day  before  by  the  Turkish authori-
ties to protect  the  lives  of  the Ar-
        Fire Envelops Town
     The conflagration started  in  the
Armeian  quarter, where the houses
were sprayed with kerosene by Turk-
ish soldiers.   Half-maddened,  the
people rushed to the water front, hop-
ing to get on board the foreign war-
ships. The whole town, except the
Turkish quarter, is burning. Crimi-
nals have already appeared on the
streets, and are shooting or clubbing
to death all whom they suspect of
possessing money or other valuables.
The authorities are assisting the
gangs of murderers.
     The destruction of this flourishing
town is a crime made more monstrous
by  the  assurance  given  by  the  au-
thorities    that    normal    conditions
would be re-established in forty-eight
hours. They  were  clever  enough to
act in such a  way  as  to  lead  every-
body  to  believe  that    the  promise
would be kept.
     Twenty four hours before the fire
started  Nureddin Pasha, the Turkish
commander,   said   to   the   writer:
   "You  must  realize  that  things  have
changed and  that  the  times  when
victorious Turks used to massacre and
destroy everything are past."
      The only plausible explanation of
the  burning  of  a  city of more than
300,000 inhabitants may be found in
the fact that  the  Turks  wanted  to
get rid of  all  the  Christians in the
empire, and the only way of doing
so was to destroy their homes and
compel  them  to  leave  the country
forever. When the commander of the
city was approached  and  asked for
assistance in bringing food for the
refugees he said:
     "Don't mention food. This will not
help. The only way of assisting these
people is to bring ships and take them
away from here."

Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.), 15 Sept. 1922. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1922-09-15/ed-1/seq-1/


Further Reading:
The Great Fire | Smyrna September 1922
La Mort de Smyrne (The Death of Smyrna), René Puaux
16 Sep 1922: Turks Killed 120,000, East Oregonian
15 Sep 1922: Turks Kill Women and Babes, The Evening Star
18 Sep 1922: Smyrna Ablaze. Stories of Massacre


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