France, Great Britain, and Russia Joint Declaration, 1915

 

France, Great Britain, and Russia Joint Declaration
Department of State, Washington
May 29, 1915
Amembassy [American Embassy],

Constantinople.

French Foreign Office requests following notice be given Turkish Government.

May 24th

For about a month the Kurd and Turkish populations of Armenia has been massacring [killing] Armenians with the connivance [approval] and often assistance of Ottoman authorities. Such massacres took place in middle April at Erzerum, Dertchun, Eguine, Akn, Bitlis, Mush, Sassun, Zeitun, and throughout Cilicia. Inhabitants of about one hundred villages near Van were all murdered. In that city [the] Armenian quarter is besieged by Kurds. At the same time in Constantinople Ottoman Government ill-treats inoffensive [harmless] Armenian population. In view of those new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied governments announce publicly to the Sublime-Porte that they will hold personally responsible [for] these crimes all members of the Ottoman government and those of their agents who are implicated [involved] in such massacres. 

Glossary

Constantinople was the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

The Turkish Government controlled the Ottoman Empire.

The Kurds were an ethnic minority living in the Ottoman Empire. Most Kurds practiced Islam.

The Turks were the ethnic majority that ruled the Ottoman Empire. Most Turks practiced Islam.

Armenia was a territory within the Ottoman Empire.

Armenians were one of many national groups that lived within the vast Ottoman Empire. With their own language and culture, most Armenians take pride in the fact that they were among the first people to adopt Christianity, even before the Roman Empire. 

In 1915, the Ottoman Empire ruled an area that extended from souther Europe to the Middle East.

Erzerum, Dertchun, Eguine, Akn, Bitlis, Mush, Sassun, Zeitun, Cilicia and Van were all villages and towns in Turkey with large Armenian populations. 

During World War I, the Allied governments, including France, Britain, and Russia, fought against the Axis governments, which included Germany and the Ottoman Empire.

The Sublime-Porte is the name of the court where laws were made in the Ottoman Empire.

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