The number of Armenians
who were made to migrate through various means was strictly
controlled, both at departure, and at the arrival of a convoy
to its new destination. According to figures taken from pertinent
documents of the Ottoman Archives: A total of 438.758 people
were relocated and 382.148 of these safely reached their new
destinations. As can be seen, the number of casualties had
occurred as follows: 500 people on the road between Erzurum
and Erzincan; 2000 in Meskene, between Urfa and Aleppo and
2000 others on the outskirts of Mardin were massacred in attacks
launched by bandits or nomadic Arabs. Another 5000 people
were killed in attacks on convoys passing through Dersim.
It was understood from these documents that many people had
also fallen victim to hunger while on the road. Apart from
these, some 25-30 thousand people had lost their lives when
struck by fatal diseases such as typhoid and dysentery. In
all, an estimated 40 thousand casualties had been registered
The remaining 10-16 thousand
people were made at stay in provinces they had reached, when
the implementation of relocation was brought to an end. For
instance, on April 26, 1916, orders were given to provide
the return to and the settlement in the province of Konya
of those Armenians setting out form the province to new destinations.
On the other hand, many other Armenians are believed to have
fled to either Russia or to Western countries, including the
As a matter of fact, according
to the pertinent documents, 50.000 of the Armenian soldiers
serving in the Ottoman Army joined the Russian forces, and
some other 50.000 Armenian soldiers went to America to be
trained in the US Army to fight against the Turkish Army.
In fact, the letter of an Armenian called Murad Muradyan-
who was an advocate in Elazig later immigrated to America
— shows such information. In the concerned letter, Muradyan
mentions that some Armenians were escaped to Russia and America
and later 50.000 of those trained soldiers went to Caucassia.
As it can be understood from all the concerned documents,
many of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman State were scattered
through various countries especially to U.S.A. and Russia,
before and during the war. For example, Artin Hotomyan who
was a tradesman in America sent a letter to the Chieftain
of Security on January 19, 1915 and stated that thousands
of Armenians migrated to U.S.A. and they were facing with
hunger and hardships.
All the documents clarify that
there had not been a genocide occurred during relocation.
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Ait Gercekler
(1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.