Turkey Washing her Hands

Turkey has made official announcement of the execution of fifty-one soldiers and civilians found guilty of participation in the Armenian massacres. This is the first definite evidence that the Turkish government felt any disapproval of the barbarities which have shocked the world. It is good as far as it goes. If Turkey undertakes to punish all the men responsible for the atrocities it will have a huge job on its hands.

Reliable reports have indicated that severed hundred thousands of Armenians have perished. The latest contribution of that harrowing page of history comes in the form of a bulletin issued by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, telling of the Erzerum slaughter. American missionaries corroborated in derail the charges that the Turks at Erzerun perpetrated a general massacre of the Armenian population just before the Russians entered the city of 20,000 Armenian residents, says the bulletin, only 200 escaped. The victims were slaughtered with incredible cruelty and outrage.

The Turkish government in announcing the execution of the offenders referred to asks Americans to suspend judgment. It is too late for us to take dispassionate view of the matter, but Turkey would regain a good measure of our respect it it undertook to execute every Turk who has issued orders for the massacres or voluntarily participated in them. That, however, might decimate the civil and military population of the Ottoman empire.

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