Head of New Government in Asia Minor Deplores Persecutions and Massacres and Promises Better Treatment
By Morning Journal Specialized Wire
Siva, Asiatic Turkey, Sept 20 (By courier by the Associated Press)-Mustapha Kemal Pasha, head of the nationalistic Turkish government recently set up in Asia Minor, has informed the correspondent of the Associated Press that the new government has issued orders to respect the Armenians and deplores earlier Armenian massacres.
All the Kurds are eager to have the United States assume a mandate for Armenia.
The mission of Major General Harbord, which the correspondent accompanied, arrived at Sivas after a fortnight’s journey by railroad and automobile. The trip was marked by no hostile attitude on the part of bandits and cordial receptions were given the mission all along the route.
Mustapha Kemal Pasha, the national leader, said in his interview with the correspondent of the Associated Press:
‘We have just received news of the note of President Wilson to the sultan, regarding future attacks on Armenians. The nationalists regard the whole business of the Armenian massacre as a regrettable affair, of which time will show the causes. We will certainly comply with the wishes of President Wilson. We have ordered our organization to respect the Armenians.’
Apparently the nationalists do not wish to dethrone the sultan, but are seeking to bring about conference with his advisers.
The nationalists have apparently made up their minds in case it is decided to permit the present Armenian government to continue, not to oppose the grant to Armenia of sufficient territory to insure the formation of a prosperous state, with a port on the Black sea instead of isolating it behind impossible boundaries.
Some of the Armenians, on the other hand, lay claim to the territory from Erivan, in the Russian Caucasus, to Adana, just off the Mediterranean, but others recognizing the impossibility of securing the territory to organize such a state, suggest abandoning the idea of reconstituting ancient Armenia.
Members of the mission are leaving here today for Erzingan, Erizum and Erizan, where they will strike the railroad to Tiflis. It is too early to anticipate the recommendations which the mission will make to the American delegation at the peace conference on the subject of Armenia. The members of the mission have been accumulating voluminous notes on various details of the problem.
The statement of Mustapha Kemal, nationalist leader, whose government controls large sections of Asia Minor from Erzerum to Kinieh, on the ‘note or President Wilson to the sultan,’ apparently refers to the warning conveyed through Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, commander of the United States naval forces in Turkish waters, that massacres of Armenians must cease. The United States in this action which was taken during the second half of August, did not attempt to speak for the peace conference, but conveyed the warning directly and informally to the representatives of the sultan.
The correspondent of the Associated Press, who accompanied the mission of Major General Harbord on its long and difficult progress through Asia Minor to east and west, and north and south, is the first foreign correspondent to have conversed with Mustapha Kemal Pasha since the formation of the present nationalist government in Asia Minor, and his interview does much to clear up the attitude which this government takes toward the Armenians who inhabit so large a portion of the territory now under the sway of Mustapha Kemal’s forces and toward the Constantinople government.”