#30: Casualties of war (1919)
Some hundreds of unhappy Armenians who had registered as
Moslems on invitation of the Turkish officials to save
their lives, or often more truly to save the life and the
honor of a wife or daughter, were issued fresh citizenship
papers restoring their Christian names and nationality.
Numbers of Armenian women and girls also were released
from Moslem *harems* in accordance with the terms of the
Armistice. With the gradual subsistence of warfare between
Russia and Turkey, the College and Mission plant had been
changed from a vast hospital with patients up to the number
of 4,000 to a vast orphanage with real human children up
to the number of 2,500, of which Miss Willard was given
chief charge when American control was restored April 2nd.
Dr. Pye took in hand the renovation of such parts of the
plant and grounds as could be recovered from their use and
abuse, their degeneracy and decay. The old main building,
rambling and extensive, was almost beyond repair, and was
ultimately torn down, as were some other smaller structures.
In due season Dr. Marden came into his own, in rights and
in service, at the Hospital, which had been commandeered
and occupied by Turkish soldiers early in the war. The dawn
of a new day was surely breaking after the dreary night of
dreadful war. When my wife and I were given release from
Constantinople to rejoin our associates old and new in
Merzifon and re-enter our home, I asked some of my Turkish
friends how many of the 3,800 men who marched away as the
first levy of soldiers on the outbreak of the war, had
come back, and the answer was,--six! Now at last the war
was over! But was it? Probably this figure was not
mathematically exact but it was certainly suggestive.
And Turkey was still at war!
Another day there came to my office a young woman whose
face was somewhat familiar. She had been one of the girls
in our School before the war. She reminded me of herself
and of members of her family whom I knew quite well, then
told how she had been "taken" by one of the Mohammedans
of the city to his home where she had lived as his wife.
She had a child a few months old whom she loved as did
the father; the husband and father was very anxious that
she should remain. In general his treatment was kindly
within the means at his disposal, yet she was a Christian
with all that that meant in all the outlook of life and
she could not bear to remain in those surroundings. So
she said simply, "When he was not at home I put my baby
to sleep, and I closed the door, and I came away. Will
you admit me?" Mars was still driving the chariot.
NEXT: Starting again (1919)
to "NEOTURKISH ANATOLIA"