ONE of the cleverest statements circulated by the Turkish propagandists is to the effect that the massacred Christians were as bad as their executioners, that it was “50-50.” This especially appeals strongly to the Anglo-Saxon sense of justice, relieves one of all further annoyance or responsibility, and quiets the conscience. But it requires a very thoughtless person indeed to accept such a statement, and extremely little thought required to show the fallacy of it.
In the first place, the Christians in the power of the Turk have never had much opportunity to massacre, even had they been so disposed. If a few Turks have been killed in the long history of butcheries that have soaked the empire with blood, the reckoning, mathematically, will not be 50-50, nor even one to ten thousand. In addition to this, even with the shortcomings of the Christians of the world, in general, the teachings of Christ have made it better. In all the former Ottoman provinces that have succeeded in casting off the Turkish blight—Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece—there is very little, if any, record of Turks massacred by Christians.
The conduct of the Greeks toward the thousands of Turks residing in Greece, while the ferocious massacres were going on, and while Smyrna was being burned and refugees, wounded, outraged and ruined, were pouring into every port of Hellas, was one of the most inspiring and beautiful chapters in all that country’s history. There were no reprisals. The Turks living in Greece were in no wise molested, nor did any storm of hatred or revenge burst upon their heads. This is a great and beautiful victory that, in its own way, rises to the level of Marathon and Salamis.
One naturally asks what other Christian nation could have done any better? In fact, the whole conduct of Greece, during and after the persecution of the Christians in Turkey, has been most admirable, as witness also its treatment of the Turkish prisoners of war, and its efforts for the thousands of refugees that have been thrown upon its soil. I know of what I am speaking, for I was in Greece and saw with my own eyes. No one, I think, will have the courage to dispute these facts.
Had the Greeks, after the massacres in the Pontus and at Smyrna, massacred all the Turks in Greece, the record would have been 50-50—almost.