Bessie Murdoch

An article mention Bessie Murdoch who was a nurse settled down at the Turkish borders to serve refugees in that area.

Families Escaping War

Armenian and Greek Families, men, women, and children leaving Turkey after the genocide. People are holding sacs and bags with their personal belongings. People are waiting for the aid of the Near East Relief.

Soup Line

Boys standing in a line to get soup in an orphanage, Bardizag Turkey.

Children waiting at the Near East Relief eye clinic, Constantinople

Children in line for treatment at the Near East Relief eye clinic in Constantinople. Near East Relief operated health clinics, a tuberculosis hospital, and at least three dedicated trachoma orphanages in the city in the early 1920s. This photograph appeared in the October 1922 issue of The New Near East magazine.

Children and soldiers at a Transcaucasian Railway stop

Children raising their hands to soldiers in uniform on a railway car. Children often begged at railway stops. The small child at left has bare feet and extremely ragged clothes. The writing and seal show that this was a Transcaucasian Railway car. H.C. Jaquith’s notes identify this as either Batoum or Tiflis, 1920. Both cities were stops on the railway.

Boys in uniform leaving Constantinople

Young Near East Relief orphans in uniform leaving Constantinople in the wake of the Smyrna disaster. The Near East Relief warehouse is visible in the background.

Emma Cushman with girls

Near East Relief worker Emma Darling Cushman with young girls just prior to the evacuation from Turkey. Cushman went on to head orphanages in Greece.

Men leading a camel

Photograph of two men leading a camel. Although camels are not indigenous to Turkey, they were widely used as draft animals in the Ottoman empire. Near East Relief sometimes used camels to distribute supplies in harsh terrain where cars, trucks, and trains were unable to travel. Although the location of this photograph is unknown, it was most likely taken somewhere in Turkey.

View of train station, most likely in Kars, Turkey

View of train station, most likely in Kars, Turkey. Numerous train tracks are visible in the foreground. The building is a long one-story structure with prominent arched windows in the Roman style. The date is unknown.

Dr. Mabel Elliott with a patient

Dr. Mabel Elliott with an emaciated young patient. Many children arrived at the orphanages suffering from severe malnutrition.

The Hamidian Massacres

Social and political conditions for non-Muslims deteriorated even further when the Russo-Turkish War ended. The despotic Sultan Abdul Hamid formed a special Kurdish military force called the Hamidiye. The true purpose of these well-armed cavalry regiments was to torment and assault Ottoman Armenians in what became known as the Hamidian Massacres. From Harpers Weekly, December 14, 1895

The First Deportations

The CUP blamed the Armenians for the CUP’s disastrous attempt to invade Russia in December 1914. The CUP accused Armenians of collaborating with the Russian army. The Ottoman government used the failed invasion as a pretext for a plan to destroy the Ottoman Armenian population.

The first deportations took place in the city of Zeitun on April 8, 1915. Men were marched out of town and executed. Women and children were forced from their homes and loaded into railroad cars bound for the desert. The Zeitun deportations served as a training event for the Ottoman killing squads.

Yarrow with Armenian and American relief workers

Ernest Yarrow (second from right) standing with a large group of American and Armenian relief workers at the orphanage in Kars prior to the forced evacuation from that area. Yarrow was the director of Near East Relief in the Caucasus region.

“10,000 Orphans Greet You”

Postcard of Near East Relief orphans in Constantinople. A group of Near East Relief boys in Boy Scout uniforms greet the first large group of American tourists to visit Constantinople since World War I began. Despite the ongoing political situation, the Near East maintained a thriving tourism trade. Visitors from America purchased orphan-made souvenirs and postcards like this one to benefit Near East Relief’s work.

Azadouhi as an infant

Azadouhi as an infant with Dr. Gannaway. Zadi was emaciated and ill when Near East Relief workers in Marash, Turkey took her in.

Malnourished children in Diyarbekir

The original caption reads: “These are some of the small number saved from starvation. These little ones have not yet begun to gain flesh, but their digestion is recovered. I stood by the bedside of a dying girl with whom Dr. Little had worked for weeks exhausting all her meager facilities for recovering the health of the digestive organs.”

–H.B. McAfee, Managing Director, Beirut. Diyarbekir, c. 1922.

Children Leaving Anatolia By Donkey

Five thousand children were evacuated from Near East Relief orphanages in Harput alone. The children traveled 500 miles on foot and by donkey to Syria. Boys and girls take turns riding donkeys on the road to Syria, circa 1922.

Kemal Mustafa

General Kemal Mustafa led the Turkish Nationalism movement and became the first president of the Republic of Turkey.

Human remains in a burned building

Soldiers (probably Russian) standing over human remains in a burned building. Many Armenians were deported to remote locations and massacred.

Map of the Republic of Turkey

This map of the modern Republic of Turkey features a soldier and a woman draped in the Turkish flag, watched over by Kemal Pasha Atatürk.

Ismail Enver Pasha

Ismail Enver Pasha as an officer in the Ottoman army. With Talaat Pasha and Djemal Pasha, Enver Pasha was one of the main architects of the Genocide.

Dr. Ruth Parmelee

Dr. Ruth Parmelee with Armenian babies at the American Hospital in Harput, Turkey. Dr. Parmelee joined Near East Relief through American Women’s Hospitals organization.

Refugee girl in front of makeshift tent, Constantinople

George W. Coleman’s original caption reads “The plight of the Armenian refugees in and around Constantinople is pitiful in the extreme . . . I visited several of the eight camps through the courtesy of the Near East Relief and I saw hundreds of the men, women and children who seem to be suspended between heaven and hell so far as their future is concerned.  I saw families in little tepee tents, under the broiling sun, with hardly floor space sufficent to lie down.”