09 March 2006

533) Turkey's top historian: Ottoman archives disprove Armenian 'genocide'

Yusuf Halacoglu, whose fight against the allegations of Armenian genocide has led him to personally face legal challenges in Europe, now has finally gathered together his findings in a book to counter the Armenian claims.

The president of the Turkish Historical Society (TTK), in his book entitled "Armenian Allegations, From Exile to Genocide," indicates the starting point of the Armenian problem as the Ottoman-Russian War of 1877-78 and discusses the conditions of Armenians during World War I.
Working to refute the Armenian genocide allegations through documents taken from the archives of states which were at war with the Ottoman Empire, Halacoglu, in his 159-page book, combines statistics with visual material -- in the form of photographs showing the activities of Armenian gangs.

Halacoglu stated that most of the world takes the genocide allegations seriously due to the effective propaganda of the Armenian diaspora. He also added that in the war years of 1914-1918, almost all layers of society -- Armenians, Turks, Muslims, etc. -- who were living in the Ottoman Empire suffered through tragic events. "If Turkey starts a discussion about the so-called genocide on international platforms with objective researchers, it'll be understood that thousands of people lost their lives on both sides, and it wasn't a genocide engineered by the state itself. Thus these incidents can't be legally defined as genocide," said Halacoglu.

Criminals were punished

According to Halacoglu's book, the purpose of the measures taken against Armenians was to assure and preserve law and order in the country. The book states that approximately 40 million people lost their lives due to illness and starvation during World War I and only 7,000 Armenian were killed in attacks of bandits, according to the Ottoman archives. Moreover, 50,000 Armenian living in Anatolia lost their lives due to epidemic diseases and starvation.

Halacoglu underlines that the state took measures in order not to let bandits violate the law in those turbulent years, and only a total of 2,000 Armenian bandits were punished.

"With each count, the number of Armenians who died during the exile seem to be rising," says Halacoglu in his book. "It was claimed in 1915 that approximately 600,000 Armenian were killed. Today, this number has ballooned to 2 million. It's a made-up number, as the number of Armenians that used to live in the Ottoman Empire hardly numbered in the millions. In that case there should have been more than four mass graves."

The New Anatolian / Ankara


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