Tax collection was pretty brutal.
In a village called Semal, the Armenians, led by a priest who had received assurances from the colonel of the Turkish forces that they would be unharmed, gave themselves up. But as soon as they surrendered . . . gave the order to seize the priest, and they proceeded to gouge out his eyes and bayonet him to death. Then they separated the men from the women and that night raped the women. The next night they bayoneted the men to death, within the hearing of the terrified women. . . . culminating in a massacre of some three thousand Armenians in the district . . .
pp. 55-56, with the later wuote being frmo British vice-consul H.S. Shipley.[T]he massacre at Susan was the first instance of organized mass murder of Armenians in modern Ottoman history that was carried out in peace time and had no connection with any foreign war . . . the object was extermination, pure and simple.
p. 55No distinctions were made between persons or villages as to whether they were loyal and had paid their taxes or not. The orders were to make a clean sweep. A priest and some leading men from one village went out to meet an officer, taking in their hands their tax receipts, declaring their loyalty and begging for mercy; but the village was surrounded, and all human beings put to the bayonet.