Those Who Turn to Us in Hope
STATISTICS sometimes make dry reading. Yet there are figures behind which lurk facts so full of sinister truths that they spring into the category of romance through sheer fascination.
Hidden away in Mohammedan homes, varying from the palatial abodes of rich Turks to the tents of wandering Arabs, are Christian Armenian girls, numbering, according to a careful compilation of the figures of romantic fact, 63,800. The following tabulation makes anything but dry reading:
|In the distinct of Der-el-Zar|
|a Zibar, Egahar and Verakora tribes holding at least ......||500|
|b The Jibour tribe ......||600|
|c Shamor tribe ......||700|
|d Anezai tribe ......||2,000|
|Chechen tribes ......||2,000|
|In Constantinople and the surrounding country ......||6,000|
|In Nicomedia, Broussa, Balikes ar and Kara-Hissa ......||2,000|
|Eskishehr and Konia ......||3,000|
|Kaisarien (Cesarea) ......||3,500|
|Diarbekir and Mardin ......||25,000|
|Bitlis and Van ......||5,000|
Imagination pictures life in the harem as degrading in the extreme according to Western standards. The intolerance of Mohammedan toward Christian adds to the degradation of these girls the horrors of relentless persecution. It has been our imperative duty, as Christians, to [affect] their release wherever possible.
The fascinating figures go on to tell us that after all these unfortunate Christian girls constitute a pitiful minority among the saddened groups of the victims of these wars of religion.
Throughout Turkey, still exposed to intimate contact with an ancient enemy, are 561,100 Armenians. Resident in Armenian Republic, around which has surged recent terrific warfare, are 1,293,000 Armenians. Also in this small, uncertain country are 263,000 refugees [image] from Turkish Armenia, and hidden away in lonely mountain places are 20,000 more who have tried thus desperately to free themselves of long-endured persecution. Even this enumeration does not complete the list of those whose eyes are turned to us in hope.
No, you cannot say these figures have no fascination. They represent romance in tragic guise.