Tehcir ile ilgili Sevk ve İskan adıyla alınan Bakanlar Kurulu Kararı
transfer of the Armenians
“The decision approved and decreed by the Council of Ministers”
Date Number Office of Foreign Affairs
Copy of the Decree May 31, 1915 326758 / 270 840
It has been understood that some of the Armenians residing near the regions bordering the battle lines have been jeopardizing the maneuvers of the Ottoman Army who is trying to defend the Ottoman borders against the enemy forces by: slowing down the transfer of provisions and military equipment, willing to cooperate and act in unison with the enemy, joining the enemy forces, organizing armed assaults on the armed forces and the innocent people in the country, providing the enemy navy with supplies, showing the fortified areas to the enemy courageously. Therefore, the insurgent elements ought to be receded from the theatre of operations. Activities and measures to this end will be launched. The Armenians residing in Adana, Mersin, Cebeli Bereket, and Kozan Sanjacks, excluding the Armenians living in Van, Bitlis, Erzurum Vilayets, and in the central Adana, Sis and Mersin; the Armenians living in Maraş Sanjack, excluding the ones living in the central Maraş; the Armenians living in İskenderun, Beylan, Cisrisugur, Antakya districts and in their townships and villages, excluding the ones living in central districts Aleppo Vilayet, will be sent to the southern vilayets urgently. The Armenians will be transferred to Zor sanjack, to Mosul Vilayet, excluding its northern region bordering Van Vilayet; to the southern region of the Urfa Sanjack, excluding the central Urfa; to the eastern and southeastern regions of the Aleppo Vilayet, and to the eastern regions of Syria Vilayet; in order to be relocated in the places that are allocated to them. The decree, dated May 26, 1915, and numbered 270, suggests that this procedure, seeking solely the most basic benefits of the state, ought to be put into practice through method and regulations, has been taken in consideration at the Council of Ministers. In the discussions held it has been decided that the harmful activities against the measures taken to protect the well being of the state and its security, and against the regulations put in to practice with extreme devotion ought to be eliminated effectively; as the decisions, pertaining the issue, put into practice by your Ministry are found extremely appropriate and clear, it has been decided and approved that the following applications should be put in to practice by your Ministry. As you have mentioned earlier, the Armenians, who are to be receded from the villages and towns you have written shall be transferred to their allocated places in comfort, their well beings and possessions shall be secured during their voyage, and the expenses to be encountered in their thorough relocations in the allocated places shall be met by the immigrant funds they shall be given properties and land in proportion to their previous financial and economic means. The needy shall receive new houses built by the state, the farmers shall be given seeds, should there be a need, the artisans shall be provided with tools and implements. Their belongings and possessions they have left behind shall be returned to the owners or their equivalent values shall be paid in the same manner. The immigrants and tribes shall settle the evacuated villages, and the properties and lands, after determination of their real values, shall be distributed among them. The real estates belonging to the relocated people in the evacuated villages shall be recorded in accordance with their types, values, and amount, and shall be distributed among the immigrants. The vineyards and olive, mulberry, and orange orchards, and the shops, factories, inns and storehouses, that are outside the scope of interest and skills of the immigrants, belonging to the relocated shall be sold in auctions or they shall be rented and the total amount of the money to be gained from the sales shall be invested temporarily in accountable property offices only to be given to their rightful owners. It has also been decided that all the expenses to be made in realizing these shall be met by the immigrants’ funds in accordance with the regulations drawn by your Ministry. The sub-commissions shall undertake the organization, inspection, and application of the regulations in the protection, administration, and the acceleration of the procedures pertaining to the settlement of the derelict property. Appointing of officials to these subcommissions, their scope of duty and responsibility, the appointing of presidents and two members – one from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and one from the Ministry of Finance – to the sub-committees, their dispatching to their places of responsibility resides in your power. It has also been decided that the governors shall be responsible for the application of the regulations mentioned in the areas where commissions cannot be sent. The issue has been forwarded to the Ministry of Defense and to the Ministry of Finance. The decree for the application of the procedures by your Ministry has been issued.