University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


News Accounts

Accounts of the Turkish Trials and Aftermath

Berlin, November 22, 1915, New York Times
"Rebel Turk For Armenians"
Djemal Pasha, Commander of the Turkish forces in Syria, has ordered that the chiefs of two Turkish bands be hanged for ill treatment ref Armenians and later tic; himself revolted against the Ottoman Government.

Constantinople July 133, 1919, New York Times
"Turkey Condemns War Leaders: Court-Marshal Gives Death Sentence to Enver Pasha Talaat Bey and Djemal Pasha"
This is a climax to a long series of prosecutions undertaken by the officials of the new regime to clear the skirts of the Turkish people from blame for joining in the war and for the Armenian, Greek and Syrian atrocities and deportations. Kemal Bey, Governor of Diarbekr, was executed in Bayazid Square on April 12, 1919. The prosecutor declared that it was necessary to punish the authors of the massacres, which had filled the whole world with a feeling of horror.

Berlin, March 16, 1921, New York Times
"Talaat Pasha Slain In Berlin Suburb"
Armenian student shoots former Turkish Grand Vizier, Held Responsible for Massacres... Ambassador Henry Morgenthau Blames Talaat for Atrocities.
Solomon Tellirian tapped Talaat on the shoulder as he was walking, drew his revolver and shot him in the head, killing him instantly. Talaat, living under an assumed name, was a fugitive war criminal living in Switzerland and later in Germany, after being condemned to death for the Armenian atrocities.

Berlin, June 6,1921, New York Times
"Armenian Acquitted for Killing Talaat"
Solomon Tellirian was acquitted of murder by German jurors after listening to overwhelming evidence condemning Talaat. Taking the life of Talaat, who had committed "innumerable and atrocious crimes," was "morally right." The verdict also pacified the German people, in that"German officers in Turkey permitted the massacre of Armenians, though they had the power to prevent them."

Berlin, July 21,1921, New York Times Current History
"Why Talaat's Assassin Was Acquitted"
Turkish official documents ordering the annihilation of the Armenians by Talaat were read into evidence during the trial in Berlin. One such document "written in Spring of 1915, before the massacres had begun...shows the extermination of the Armenians to have been the determined policy of the government."


"That the Moslem population was not to be held accountable for its share in the massacres was ordered in an October 8.1915 telegram."
"It was the pity awakened in the hearts of some of the local Turkish officials by the miseries of the Armenians, which produced" some disregard for "the heartless orders" from Constantinople and allowed a small remnant of the Armenians to survive.

February 3,1919, New York Times
An American Wife Witnesses the Murder Of Her Family.

Mrs. Ethyl Marston Agasarian was the American wife of a naturalized American citizen, born in Armenia. In November 1913, they returned with their son to Chmeshgadsak, Turkey. In June of 1915 the Turks murdered her husband Robert. She witnessed the mass drownings, as the Turks threw her young son bound together with other victims into a nearby river. She was spared because of American citizenship.