In accordance with the Law on Transport and Resettlement dated
27 May 1915, and communiqué determining the forms of implementation
of this law, the Armenian convoys were gathered in certain
centers along the crossroads such as Konya, Diyarbekir, Cizre,
Birecik and Aleppo, to be distributed to the new settlement
The immigration routes were chosen among the closest possible
roads, so as immigrants not to come across any difficulties.
Furthermore, the concern to ensure security and protection
for the convoys played on important role in the choice of
routes. Therefore, ones transferred from Kayseri and Samsun
took the route via Malatya; just as the ones from Sivas, Mamuretülaziz,
Erzurum and its environs took the route to Mousul via Diyarbekir-Cizre
road (1). However, cases where that the roads were too crowded,
or upon a possibility of disorder in sub-divisions, these
routes were changed (2). The ones en route from Urfa via Re’sülayn
and Nusaybin were transferred via Siverek in order to protect
them from the attacks of Arabian and other tribes (3).
The convoys en route from Western Anatolia along Kütahya-Karahisar
— Konya — Karaman- Tarsus were transferred via Kars-i Maras
— Pazarcik to Zor. (4) Locations with railroad and river —
transportation facilities were preferred in choosing all these
routes. The idea that travel by train or the river travel
were the safest ways then, played an important role in this
choice. Therefore, almost all the immigrants from Western
Anatolia were transported by train (5). Convoys transferred
via Cizre road were also carried by train or river boats called
“Sahtur”. (6) In places where train or river transports were
not available, the convoys were gathered at certain centers,
and took the train from these centers.
The state used all its resources available, to implement an
orderly immigration process, and to prevent the convoys from
any possible harm, in spite of circumstances that prevailed
due to war. However, there arose difficulties at times to
find vehicles transporting immigrants due to the need to dispatch
military and food items to the front continuously. Therefore,
railway stations were congested. It being harvest season the
vehicles were scarce, which caused delays in transportation
at times, (7) as well as difficulties in the movement of the
convoys. In spite of all these difficult circumstances and
adverse conditions, the government succeeded, in an orderly
fashion, to transport the immigrating Armenians to their new
locations of resettlement.
In fact, US Consul in Mersin, Edward Natan, in his report
dated 30 August 1915, submitted to the Ambassador Morganthau,
stated that the railway route from Tarsus to Adana was full
of Armenians; and that they traveled from Adana onwards with
a ticket; and despite some difficulties due to crowds of people,
the government organized this process in the most orderly
fashion; and that the Government did not allow any act of
violence or disorder, provided sufficient number of tickets
to the immigrants and assisted those who were in need. (9).
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gercekler
- Realities on the Armenian Immigration - (1915), TTK Publications,
1) Cryptic Item., no: 54-A/157; no: 56/280; no: 56/387.
2) Cryptic Item., no: 56-278; no: 58/280; no: 56/308.
3) Cryptic Item., no: 57/277.
4) Cryptic Item., no: 65/95.
5) DH. EUM. Dept. 2, 68/99; Dept. 2, 68/94; Dept. 2, 68/81;
Dept. 2, 68/67; Dept. 2, 68/96.
6) DH. EUM. Dept 2, 68/101.
7) E.g. Cryptic Item, no: 54-A/393.
8) Cryptic Item, No: 54-A/59; no: 54-A/96
9) EUM, File 2D/13 (see Document 664).