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RECRUITING FOR HAREMS OF CONSTANTINOPLE

strong. Of these, the Turks required all who were maidens to stand apart from those who were not. The brides and young wives then were told they would be sent to Constantinople, to be sold there either as concubines or as slaves to farmer Turks. The maidens were told they might save their lives if they would forswear their religion and accept Mohammed. Some of them were so discouraged they agreed. An Imam said the rek’ah with them, and they were sent away into the hopeless land—to be wives or worse.

One maiden, the daughter of an Armenian leader who had been a deputy from that district to the Turkish Parliament, was especially pretty, and one of the officers wanted her for himself. He said to her:

“Your father, your mother, your brother and your two sisters have been killed. Your aunts and your uncles and your grandfather were killed. I wish to save you from the suffering they went through, and the unknown fate that will befall these girls who are Mohammedan now, and the known fate which will befall those who have been stubborn. Now, be a good Turkish girl and you shall be my wife—I will make you, not a concubine, but a wife, and you will live happily.”

What the girl replied was so well remembered by the Turks who heard her that they told of it afterward