Principal Reasons proving The Claims of the Assyrians to Autonomy in Asia-Minor
and showing the necessity as well as the advantages of this autonomy
Firstly: During the war, the Assyrians were the only
nation of the Middle-East who officially threw their lot in with the Allies
and took arms against the enemies of the Entente, they have been denominated
by certain authors as "our little ally."
Secondly: They lost proportionately more people,
money and properties than any other of the belligerent nations.
Thirdly: They are only asking for their own national
territory, peopled with Assyrians, Allied Yezidis and Kurds, and here there
are no Turks and never have been any.
Fourthly: All the other small peoples who, before
the war, were under Turkish domination, have already obtained their autonomy
(Arabs, Israelites, Armenians, Kurds, Georgians, and the people of Azerbedjian);
why not the Assyrian people?
Fifthly: Their neighbors, the Armenians, the Kurds,
etc., see no objection to the recognition of this Assyrian autonomy, (The
Mohammedans would see this autonomy with sympathy. Moslem papers,
published in Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia, have expressed such an opinion),
because the Assyrians in the past have always maintained good relations
with their Moslem neighbors, and also because the Prophet Mohammed wrote
a letter of recommendation in favor of this people. This document
is well-known throughout the Islamic world, and is kept at the present
moment in the National Museum at Constantinople.
Sixthly: The number of (Assyro-Chaldeans) at present
is about two millions (2,000,000). They form one single nation, one
same race, all speaking the same language and having the same civilisation.
If they were to be left dispersed among their enemies, they would lose
Seventhly: If they are left in their present state
of dispersion, among their Moslem enemies of the great war they will not
fail to be again massacred, and if their national territory were recognised
to them, they would all return to it and would organise themselves in such
a way as to insure their future safety.
Eighthly: All the territory claimed by the Assyrians has
been watered by their blood during the war, and during the war the Assyrian
forces took a great part of it out of the hands of the Turks.
Ninthly: The recognition of this autonomy would not cause any
expense, either military of financial, to the Allies. On the contrary,
in the future- when it will have been organized, the Assyrian nation will
be able to render appreciable services.
Tenthly: It is in the interest of the Allied Powers
that there must be a Christian organization separating the one from the
others the different Moslem States, for the maintenance of peace and order
in South East Turkey.
Eleventhly: Before the war, though nominally under the sovereignty
of Turkey, one part of the Assyrian nation was already independent (Asherat)
in reality-the Turkish authorities never having penetrated on their territory
nor levied either taxes or soldiers, and that since centuries.
Twelfthly: The Assyrian people possess sufficient military forces
to defend their territory alone if it were to be recognised by the Allied
Governments; furthermore, there are enough citizens, who have received
education in Europe or in America, to organize the country politically.
Thirteenthly: If this autonomy were not recognised to the Assyrians
on their own territory (see map) the Turks would lay hold of all the mineral
wealth which is there: oil, coal, gold, silver, iron, etc., and they would
oblige the Assyrians to work for them without any pay.
Fourteenthly: SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR UNTIL NOW, ASSURANCES
AND PROMISES HAVE BEEN GIVEN AND MADE TO THE ASSYRIAN PEOPLE, EITHER IN
WRITING OR VERBALLY, BY THE ALLIED AUTHORITIES.
Firstly. The request presented by the Assyrians people for
an autonomy within the limits of the map annexed hereto, necessitates the
right of passage towards the seas. If this be possible, they request
that the Conference kindly recognise them by Alexandretta (Mediterranean)
and by Basso rah (Persian Gulf).
Secondly. The inhabitants of Azerbedjian, during the war, did
not remain neutral towards the Entente. Under the command of their
chiefs, Arshad Homayon, Medjid el Saltanah, and Simko (the murderer of
the Nestorian Patriarch) aided by Turkish and German officers, well supplied
with cannons and machine-guns, they fought the 5th Russian Regiment Zabekalski.
Besides that all the Christian Assyrian refugees at Koi, Salmas and Urmia,
although they were placed under the protection of the French and the American
flags, were massacred to the number of 17,000 by the Persians of Azerbaijan,
together with Mgr. Sontag, the Apostolic Delegate for Persia, and
Mr. UH6telier, both of French nationality. The Allied Missions were
reduced to ashes as well as the dwellings of the Assyro-Chaldeans.
The region of Urmia and or Salmas is at this moment still in the hands
of Simko. The Persian Government is not able to insure order and
In view of all these facts, Urmia and Salmas could be included in the
Assyrian autonomy, this in the interest of the peace in the future, as
well as a compensation for all the material losses and all the losses of
human lives of the Assyrians, and of the Allies, and also because: Urmia
and Salinas being situated on this side of Lake Urmia, are entirely outside
of the Persian territory.
Moreover, the English, Russian, Turkish and Persian Delegates, in 1914,
designated to determine the Turco-Persian frontier, have rectified this
frontier almost entirely in conformity to this request.
The Assyrian people, after all they have suffered, deserve their definite
separation from the Turks and Persians with whom they, however, desire
to live in a perfect state of peace.
The independence which the Assyrians are seeking to obtain, is
not requested as a charity, they have fought for it, they have paid for
it with streams of their own blood which was shed on the battlefields,
in Kurdistan, in Turkey, in Persia, in Russia, in Poland and in France.
A nation who has lost, owing to the role played in the world-war, one third
of her numerical forces,-should certainly be entitled to the recognition
of her independence. She requests it by making an appeal to the sentiment
of justice and equity of the Allies.
The above claims are in perfect agreement with the desires expressed
by all the religious, military and civil personages and all the population
composing the Assyrian nation.
LOSSES OF THE ASSYRIANS IN HUMAN LIFE AND MATERIAL
The Great War has cost the (Assyro-Chaldean) people about:
1. 275,000 persons killed, massacred, etc.
2. 2 million pounds sterling, war expenditure,
3. 8,700,000 pounds sterling loss for burning of houses, and destruction,
theft of jewels and goods, etc., and loss of revenue from property.
4. 2 milliards pounds, price of lands, towns and villages which
the Assyrians had bought and paid for in gold.
If their autonomy were not recognized to them, the Assyrians
would have no other resource, for the security of their lives, than to
abandon these properties and flee to Europe or America; who would reimburse
them the tremendous loss thus undergone?
15th of April 1922.
ASSYRIAN DELEGATION, 12, Boulevard des Capucines, Paris.
Despite the fact that the Treaty of Lausanne did not explicitly grant
the Assyrians their promised national rights, it was a significant step
in that it appointed a committee to lay down the frontiers between Turkey
and Iraq and it was hoped at that time that special considerations will
be given to the lot of the Assyrians. In addition, the Treaty defined
the nationality of all the peoples under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.
For the first time the Assyrian name was mentioned in this international
Treaty. However, the wording of Article 3 was not clear and this
led to conflict between Britain and Turkey which resulted into the "Mosul