From some famous exchanges between Turkish Interior Minister, Mehmet Talaat Pasha (soon to be one of the last Ottoman Grand Viziers, Talaat was one of the leaders of the "Young Turks" and an architect of the Armenian Genocide), and American Ambassador in Constantinople, Henry Morgenthau, in 1915 (in "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story", by Henry Morgenthau):
"...I have asked you to come here"[, Talaat said,]"so as to let you know that our Armenian policy is absolutely fixed and that nothing can change it. We will not have the Armenians anywhere in Anatolia. They can live in the desert, but nowhere else."
I still attempted to persuade Talaat that the treatment of the Armenians was destroying Turkey in the eyes of the world, and that his country would never be able to recover from this infamy.
"You are making a terrible mistake," I said, and I repeated the statement three times.
"Yes, we may make mistakes," he replied, "but" -- and he firmly closed his lips and shook his head -- "we never regret."
One day Talaat made what was perhaps the most astonishing request I had ever heard. The New York Life Insurance Company and the Equitable Life of New York had for years done considerable business among the Armenians. The extent to which this people insured their lives was merely another indication of their thrifty habits.
"I wish," Talaat now said, "that you would get the American life insurance companies to send us a complete list of their Armenian policy holders. They are practically all dead now and have left no heirs to collect the money. It of course all escheats to the State. The Government is the beneficiary now. Will you do so?"
This was almost too much, and I lost my temper.
"You will get no such list from me," I said, and I got up and left him.