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RECRUITING FOR HAREMS OF CONSTANTINOPLE

The priest screamed denials. The twenty men had been lined up at one side of the room. In his trickery the Kaimakam had stationed his soldiers at a distance from the Armenians. When the torture of the priest continued and his screams died away into groans the Armenians could stand it no longer. They threw themselves upon the torturers—not to assault them, but to beg mercy for the holy man. Then the soldiers leaped upon them and killed them all.

The Kaimakam reported to Constantinople that it was impossible longer to obey the Ministry’s orders to allow the Armenians in Egin to remain—that they had revolted and attacked his soldiers and that he had been forced to kill twenty of them. Talaat Bey sent back the famous reply which now burns in the heart of every Armenian in the world—no matter where he or she is—for they all have heard of it. Talaat Bey’s reply was:

“Whatever you do with Christians is amusing.”

After this reply from Talaat Bey, the Kaimakam issued a proclamation giving the Armenians of Egin just two hours to prepare for deportation. The women besieged the officers and said to them: “See, we have given our precious stones to your wives, and we have given them many liras to give to you. Your wives promised us protection, and we have done nothing to abuse your confidence. Our men did not attack your soldiers in violence.”