OF RELOCATED ARMENIANS
The migration was sometimes
stopped during relocation both due to the weather conditions
and congestion. Starting from November 25, 1915, with the
orders sent to the provinces, the migration has been provisionally
interrupted due to winter. (1) On February 21st
1916, an order was sent to all provinces to stop the Armenian
relocation. However, it has been indicated that this would
not cover the harmful people, the ones related with the committees
would be immediately collected and sent to Zor province subdivision.
Upon the administrative and
military necessity, a general order was sent stating that
as of March 15th 1916, the Armenian migration was
stopped and no relocation would be made for any reasons thereafter.
After the completion of relocation,
since the Armenians were mostly settled mostly in Syria province,
the Armenian Patriarchy in Istanbul was closed on August 10th
1916 and moved to Jerusalem. Sis and Akdamar Cathogicospacies
were united and moved to Jerusalem. (4) The chairmanship of
the newly established patriarchy has been given to Sis Cathogicospos
Sahak Efendi. (5)
Following the end of the 1st
World War, Ottoman Government has issued a decree for the
return of the Armenians subjected to relocation to their former
locations. In the letter sent by the Ministry of Internal
Affairs, Mustafa Pasha to the Prime Ministry on January 1919,
it is indicated that orders have been given to the related
places for the transportation of the Armenians, who wanted
to return, to their former locations and that the necessary
precautions have been taken. (6) The decree of return prepared
by the government, dated December 31st 1918 is
1- Only the ones, who want
to return, will be migrated, except those people, no one else
will be touched.
2- The precautions necessary
will be taken for assuring a good journey, and for preventing
housing and catering shortage in the returning locations;
the migration and returning transactions will be started after
contact is established with the administrators of the regions
they will return to and after the necessary precautions are
3- The abandoned houses and
lands will be returned to the owners.
4- The houses of the ones,
where formerly immigrants have been placed, will be evacuated.
5- A few families may be settled
in the same location temporally in order to provide sufficient
6- Buildings such as churches,
schools and the income generating locations will be returned
to the society they belong to.
7- If requested, the orphans
will be returned to their guardians, who will be carefully
determined, or to their societies, after their identifications
are carefully determined.
8- The ones, who have converted
their religions, will be able to return to their former religion
if they want to.
9- Among the Armenian women,
who have married to Muslims and converted their religions
will be free to return to their former religion. In this case
their marriage act will be automatically canceled. The problems
relating to the ones, who do not want to return to their former
religion and not wish to divorce from their husbands will
be dissolved by the courts.
10- The Armenian properties,
which are not in anyone’s ownership, will be returned to their
first owners and the return of those which have become the
property of treasury will be decided with the approval of
the property officers. Further explanatory minutes will be
prepared about this issue.
11- The property sold to
the Muslim immigrants will be delivered to their first owners
gradually as their owners return. Article 4 will be definitely
12- If the Muslim immigrants
have made repairs and additions in the houses and stores that
will be returned to their former owners, or if they have planted
the lands and olive groves, the rights of both sides will
13- The immigration and expenses
of the Armenians in need will be met from the Military College
14- The amount of transportation
made until the current time and the amount of transportation
made and the target location of such transportation will be
notified on the fifteenth and last days of each month.
15- The Armenians, who have
left the Ottoman borders and who want to return, will not
be accepted until a new order is issued.
The provisions of the decree
explained herein above were valid for the Greek immigrants
as well as the Armenians.
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf,
Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication,
1) Coding Office, no
57/273; no 58/124; no 58/161; no 59/123; no 60/190
2) Coding Office, no 61/72
3) Coding Office, no 62/21
4) For the new regulation
made in 1916 for the Armenian Patriarchy, see Y. H. Batur,
Turkish Revolution History, III/3, p. 57-59.
5) Coding Office, no 66/202;
no 66/220; no 63/136
6) BA, BEO, no 341055.
This letter of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has also been
transferred to the Ministry of Courthouse and Sects due to
its relation, on 26 Kanun-u evvel 1334 (January 8th
1919), by the Prime Ministry.