(* Miss Egan writes that she managed to bring this document out of Turkey by copying it on the margins of the inner pages of a book, which she pretended to be reading when the Turkish officials searched her at the frontier. The book was examined but the marginal pencilling passed undetected.)
Our fellow countrymen, the Armenians, who form one of the racial elements of the Ottoman Empire, having taken up, as a result of foreign instigation for many years past, with a lot of false ideas of a nature to disturb the public order; and because of the fact that they brought about bloody happenings and have attempted to destroy the peace and security of the Ottoman state, and the safety and interests of their fellow countrymen, as well as of themselves; and, moreover, as they have now dared to join themselves to the enemy of their existence* and to the enemies now at war with our state -- our Government is compelled to adopt extraordinary measures and sacrifices, both for the preservation of the order and security of the country and for the welfare and the continuation of the existence of the Armenian community. Therefore, as a measure to be applied until the conclusion of the war, the Armenians have to be sent away to places which have been prepared in the interior vilayets; and a literal obedience to the following orders, in a categorical manner, is accordingly enjoined on all Ottomans:
* i.e. Russia.
First. -- All Armenians, with the exception of the sick, are obliged to leave within five days from the date of this proclamation, by villages or quarters, and under the escort of the gendarmerie.
Second. -- Though they are free to carry with them on their journey the articles of their movable property which they desire, they are forbidden to sell their lands and their extra effects, or to leave the latter here and there with other people, because their exile is only temporary and their landed property, and the effects they will be unable to take with them, will be taken care of under the supervision of the Government, and stored in closed and protected buildings. Anyone who sells or attempts to take care of his movable effects or landed property in a manner contrary to this order, shall be sent before the Court Martial. They are free to sell to the Government only the articles which may answer the needs of the Army.
Third. -- Contains a promise of safe conduct.
Fourth. -- A threat against anyone attempting to molest them on the way.
Fifth. -- Since the Armenians are obliged to submit to this decision of the Government, if some of them attempt to use arms against the soldiers or gendarmes, arms shall be employed against them and they shall be taken, dead or alive. In like manner those who, in opposition to the Government's decision, refrain from leaving or seek to hide themselves -- if they are sheltered or given food and assistance, the persons who thus shelter or aid them shall be sent before the Court Martial for execution.
* Reprinted from " La Question Armeniènne a la Lumière des Documents," par "Marcel Léart" (Paris, 1913).
** The analysis excludes certain portions of these provinces where the Armenians are only a minor element.
These portions are as follows: -- Hakkiari in the Vilayet of Van; the south of Sairt, in the Vilayet of Bitlis; the south of the Vilayet of Diyarbekir; the south of Malatia. in the Vilayet of Mamouret- ul-Aziz; the north-west and west of the Vilayet of Sivas.