Regarding these revolts and massacres, the Ottoman Government merely declared to the Armenian Archbishop, deputies and community leaders that appropriate measures would be implemented if the Armenians did not stop massacring the Moslems. However, the intensification of the events, the increase of attacks against defenseless Turkish women and children and the war that waged on several battlefronts all at the same time necessitated to secure the rear lines.
The first move adopted on April 24, 1915 was to ban all Armenian committees and to arrest 2.345 leaders for crimes against the State. The date of April 24, commemorated by the Armenians abroad as the anniversary of genocide against Armenians, is the date of these arrests and has nothing to do with the replacement.
The Etchmiasin Patriarch, a priest named Kevork, sent the following cable to the United States President upon this move:
Mr. President, according to the latest news received from the Turkish Armenia, a massacre started there and an organised terror has put the Armenian lives in danger. In this precarious moment, I am addressing to the noble sentiments of the great American nation and ask you to intervene immediately through your Great Republics diplomatic representation for protecting my people left to the mercy of the violence of Turkish fanaticism, on behalf of humanity and Christian belief.
Kevorg, Ecumenic Patriarch of all Armenians.
This cable was followed by the Washington contacts of the Russian Ambassador.
The incident here was merely the banning of Armenian committees and the arrest of the culprits. Yet, the Armenians endeavoured to display it as a massacre and to rally the United States and Russia into their ranks.