150 Days to the Circassian Genocide 150th Year Commemoration
1st of June, 1864 – An article in the English, the Times Newspaper, on the large number of deaths among the deported Mountaineers in Turkey, and (the means that the Russian Government followed to subjugate the Caucasus):
The Times Newspaper reported:
Documents submitted to the British House of Commons, concerning the deportation of Circassians, the tragic circulated rumors among the public, on this issue, but the matter that lacks precision is the numbers of migrants; and estimates of the Foreign Ministry’s Correspondents, between 300 thousand and 800 thousand, and the Russian government announced in mid-May about 100 thousand, and Lord Napier stressed, after meeting Prince *(Gorchakov), that the number of deported Caucasians in Turkey reaches to 150 thousand people.
The formal details of this case, are more of sorrow of those that come to us through the rumors, the mortality numbers have worsened terribly in Trabzon, and our Consul writes that serious panic has effected the city, and everyone is rushing to leave the city, one of three doctors in the city, became victim of typhus, the other doctor, most of his time is dedicated to work in the quarantine, and does not have the capacity to assist the population. As a result of these circumstances, from first of December to mid of February 3500 people, had perished, including 3000 of the immigrants and 471 of Turks.
At the time, Circassians arriving to Trabzon were no more than 25 thousand, and the consul in his report dated May, 19, that immigrants are still arriving, and the mortality rate in the city between 120 to 150 people a day. The case in Samson is similar to the case of Trabzon, there were 40 thousand people who came to the city, the disease claimed five hundred of them in two days, then scared bakers closed down, the city has suffered for several days of scarcity of bread, which almost lead to the rebellion, all of this happened before the onset of heat; what can be expected to happen later on! We can not hold the Ottoman Government alone, responsible for this tragic situation, which has not carry out the necessary arrangements to receive the deportees, but also the behavior of those, makes it easy to spread the infection. And their political map doesn’t not convey optimism of their relationships, when they were in the Caucasus, which there was no political relations between the tribes of the north and the other tribes, and they are unable to forget the tribal disputes, not to mention the solidarity of the public for their common interest, and those who remained on the rebellion, they hope that an imminent war between the Europeans and Russia would erupt.
Sir Henry Belfor had presented to Her Majesty the **(Queen) Empress of Britain, a letter that was sent to her, this poor people that begins counting the cruel methods (?), that the Russian government had followed over the last eight years, for the intention to subdue the Caucasus (their homeland since the beginning of time). And how consistently, they fought for their independence, sacrificing their lives and whatever they own.
Since the beginning of deportation, the Russians tried to mitigate its horrors, the Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich had secured Immigrants, with government and commercial ships in the Black Sea, and opened the Caucasus coast for ships of all nationalities, but when examining the reasons for migration, the available documents should compel us to a true blame (?), due to the excessive cruelty. Here is what Lord Napier writes, from Saint Petersburg on date 23, May: "It seems evident to observers, that the Russian government decided long ago, to expel some of the tribes from the Caucasus, at any price, therefore, it has over the two years conducting the following manner: It will push the line of Cossacks’ forts and settlements towards the mountains, then will expel the free Caucasian population towards the coast, and the expulsion of the rebel tribes is a usual policy of Russia. ”
Persians and Babylonians as well, had done that in the past. However, and in fact, Russia had given the Circassians the Choice between being deported to Turkey, or the resettlement on the Kuban.
Also, the Emperor personally presented the offer to them last year. Some have preferred the second option, and they are now living quietly on the Kuban.
It is not surprising that most of them choose to live under the rule of the Mohammedan state, which has always supported the people of her faith in their struggle against Russia. Deportation to the Kuban will bring in fact, submission to the laws of Russia, not to mention the military service.
The British Consul in Sokhumi*** (Kala), G. Dixon, wrote that the physical suffering of the deportees, will be tougher with their homesickness. And provides a reality of the harshness of the Russians, and he doesn’t think that it is exceptional, (?) they did not see the special (?), a village had surrendered to the Russians, and those (the Russians) killed one hundred of the population, including children and women.
** Queen Victoria of Great Britain 1819-1901.
*** Sokhum (Kala), Modern Sokhumi.
St. Petersburg Gazette, 1864. June 1. Number 124.