|1822||Scio and vicinity||50,000||Greeks|
The spirit which animated the courts of Asia Minor was well defined as "fanaticism tempered by corruption", with wanton bloodshed and spoliation as a national policy. It is not often that the purpose of extermination is deliberately adopted and put into execution by an organized government. There are, to a be sure, some historic precedents for this ghastly project, but they had usually taken the form of plots or conspiracies rather than an accepted and predetermined plan of action conceived and executed by the government itself.
That this policy was still a possibility of Oriental statecraft hardly admitted of question, however, to any intelligent student of events in the Turkish Empire. The Armenian nation, a Christian people who were so unhappy as to be among the subject races of the Ottoman Porte, numbering within Turkish territory possibly two millions, became the victims of the political rage and the fanatical barbarity of their Turkish masters. In common with other Christian races, they had a long and serious grievance against Ottoman misrule, which the Powers of Europe sought through vain and empty diplomatic pledges to remedy.
It served to arouse the wrath of the Turkish rulers, especially the Sultan Abdul Hamid, to be known forever after in history as the "Great Assassin," and a policy of extermination was entered upon. The fiendish cruelty of these massacres has never been surpassed. Spoliation, rape, torture, agonizing assaults upon the person, dastardly sport with children, loathsome brutality which no civilized journal would dare to describe, living holocausts, wholesale murder of an inoffensive population, carried on for hours without cessation, and renewed day after day, robbery, looting, burning of homes, and horrible criminal orgies have combined to make a record of inhuman outrage.
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