08 April 2006
Unfortunately, it is seen that the propaganda activities that aimed to be gained an international recognition for the so-called Armenian genocide allegations pursued by Armenian government and Armenian Diaspora which dispersed around the world are effective in some European countries...
However the real intention behind the Armenian government’s efforts to find legitimate ground for genocide allegations is clearly recorded in three documents which are so important for today’s Armenia: “The Declaration of Independence”, “Decision on Independence” and “Armenian Constitution”.
The article No: 11 of “the Declaration of Independence” dated 23 August 1990 signed by the Supreme Council of Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic stated that “The Republic of Armenia stands in support of the task of achieving international recognition of the 1915 Genocide in Ottoman Turkey and Western Armenia”.
“The phrase of “West Armenia” means the eastern region of Turkey, according to traditional Armenian ideology, it is the so-called homeland of Armenians and Armenians could not live in their homeland.
Armenian Parliament expressed and committed to be “loyal to Armenian Declaration of Independence” in the decision on independence in the date of 23 September 1991 and Armenian Constitution, approved in 1995, said that “Armenia shall be loyal to national goals in the Armenian Declaration of Independence”. Thus, this point became a constitutional provision. In this context, on February 1991, Armenian Parliament declared that “it does not recognize the borders drawn by the 1921 Kars Treaty”
But, all the anti-Turkish activities related to the so-called genocide that carried out by Armenian government will not change the fact that Armenians, living the golden times under Ottoman rule until the end of 19’th century, stabbed at the back of Ottoman Empire during its decline period and they were used by the Western powers which wanted to divide Ottoman Empire and in this way, attain their strategic interest.
These historical facts must be known by some countries that are under the intensive Armenian propaganda. These countries must not be reached to some unilateral judgment about Armenian allegations, but they must answer the question that why Turks, living together with Armenians for 600 years, suddenly decided to commit a total annihilation operation against them:
Armenian historians wrote that because of Byzantium cruelties, Armenians celebrated Turks who came to Anatolia. As a matter of fact, Seljuklu Turkish State took Armenian Church under their protection and abolished the heavy taxes over Armenian monastery and clergy and exempted them from taxes. It granted them free hand in religious and internal affairs and education and it never forced Armenians to convert to Islam. This fact is known even by Armenian historians.
In Ottoman society Armenians had a privileged position and obtained a high living standard. Armenians contributed to Ottoman-Turkish culture, life style and administrative system and they were deserved the title of “loyal nation”. Due to this title Ottoman Armenians reached to important positions in public services as well as in private sector. For example there were 29 pashas, 22 ministers, 33 parliamentarians, 7 ambassadors, 11 consular-generals and consular from Armenian community in Ottoman Empire. Armenians took higher positions in key ministries such as foreign ministry, the ministries of finance, trade and postal service and they often became minister.
Deterioration in Turk-Armenian relations began when some Western states, planned to attain the regional interests by dividing Ottoman State, incited Armenians to be organized against government with the aim of breaking Armenians from Turkish society. In this way, Armenian community went apart from Turks as a result of the provocative activities of Armenian churches and committees that armed and organized in the country and foreign territories.
In fact, first provocations began to come from Russia. This was followed by British and French plan over Armenians. However particularly Armenians-related targets of the countries that had some desires over Ottoman territories began to be realized during the First World War.
The impact of nationalist movements emerged during the First World War on new world order which was shaped by strategic targets of great powers led Armenians to have some expectations.
Armenian Committees that was provided to be established and given some material – moral support by some foreign states began to perpetrate such atrocities as killings, bombing and attack Turkish gendarme and tribes and raid villages and towns in order to form a paramilitary force and lead people to uprising.
Armenian uprisings began before 1914 and escalated during the First World War and they became a threat to state security to the extent that they forced to be taken the measure of relocation in 1915. While Armenians in foreign countries formed “vengeance regiments” when Ottoman declared the mobilization, Armenians living in Ottoman had escalated the rebellious undertakings particularly in regions in which they lived overwhelmingly.
In Ottoman archives, it can be seen the grave aspects of Armenian armament aimed to the establishment of Armenian state. It is also possible to obtain the documents –some of them based on British, American, French and Russian documents- that showed that under the leadership of committees, armed Armenians attacked the houses in Eastern Anatolia Region and perpetrated massacres against Muslim women and children.
In addition there were documents about the fact that Armenians brutally killed Turkish soldiers in many attacks perpetrated by them and Turkish soldiers suffered heavy losses. In this way Armenians aimed to destroy soldiers’ morale, who sent to front from the region and to cause them to go back their families and thus, to weaken the power of Turkish military.
Even the statement of “Dam Battalion” alone, one of many Armenian committees that were established during Ottoman State was under heavy war-time conditions, is enough to summarize Armenian intentions against Turkish people:
"If Russians successively proceed around Van, all Armenians, according to plan and particular orders, will revolt, kill Muslims, set to fire the city and destroy public buildings and force the Government to accept Armenian proposals and make easy for Russian occupation."
Due to Armenians who wanted to make things difficult for Ottoman army which experienced the most difficult conditions of the First World War, supply route of Ottoman army was cut off; many Armenians took in Russian side and made espionage activities on behalf of Russians. Finally Turkish army was forced to withdraw and in this way, Russians succeeded to occupy Erzurum, Bitlis and Trabzon.
Escalating attacks and atrocities against Turks due to courage taking from Russians, Armenians went too far to claim that those who were killed in Sivas, Van, Erzincan and Erzurum are Armenians, but a fact-finding commission established by Ottoman proved that Armenians who were claimed to be killed, in fact lived.
Ottoman repression over Armenian insurgency was reflected to the World public with a message of “Muslims committed massacre against Christians” and thus, it is made efforts to achieve international aspect for Armenian question. As a matter of fact, the reports of then British and Russian diplomatic missions said that “the goal of Armenian revolutionaries is to create civil turmoil and lead Ottoman to take measure and thus cause foreign countries to intervene.” These reports confirmed this fact.
Turmoil escalated by Armenian committees created a need for the Ottoman army to take areas behind the front line under security. Therefore, in 24 April 1915, Ottoman Government closed down Armenian committees and arrested their officials because of their destructive activities. This date which is called “Genocide day” by Armenians, in fact, is the day in which 2345 active Armenian members of Committees were arrested in Istanbul.
However prudential attitude of Ottoman Government against Armenian uprisings and massacres that cost thousands lives of Turkish people was not sufficient to stop Armenian uprisings and terrorist movements. Therefore in order to rein in civil turmoil, Ottoman Government had to settle Armenians in the regions which constituted a security line of Caucasus, Iranian and Sinai fronts to new settlements which was far from war front line as a measure.
The aim of Armenian relocation was to preserve the state security and protect them, but not to annihilate them and is the most successful relocation in the world. The decision of relocation did not apply to the whole Armenians. The Catholic and Protestant Christian Armenians and Armenians who took duty in Ottoman army as officer and servant in medical class and Armenians who worked at branches of Ottoman Banks and some consulates were not subjected to the relocation as long as they remained to be loyal to the state. On the other hand, patients, disabled, old people and orphans and widow women were not subjected to the relocation and they were taken under protection in orphanages and villages and their needs were met by the state from Immigrant Fund. This point is important to show the goodwill of Ottoman about the relocation.
The last census of Ottoman state was made in 1914. According to the last census, Armenian population was 1.221.850. Although it is true that Armenians suffered losses during the relocation, these people died because of attacks of bandits and gangs or war-time material impossibilities, transportation difficulties, harsh climate conditions and contagious disease. In fact, if it is taken into consideration the fact that whole Armenian populations was 1.221.850, 1.5 million Armenians was not possible to die. In addition, a sharp rise in Armenian population in Syria is sufficient to prove to be a great immigration there. Even these statistical data is enough to prove that the claims that “1.5 million Armenians died during relocation” are groundless. In addition documents in local-foreign archives consist of detailed information about material supports allocated for sending, settling and providing livelihood of Armenians and aids called on international organizations for Armenian migrants and the places in which hospitals were established and buildings that were allocated for Armenian orphans.
Passing through a harsh and difficult period like the First World War, Ottoman state did not commit genocide or assimilation against Armenians who stabbed its back despite all events. Besides while many Armenians fighting in Russian side against Turks lost their life, Armenians settled in new regions continued their life.
Perpetrating different assassinations, as well as massacres and uprisings committed under the provocations of Armenian committees, Armenians applied again to the same methods after years. In 1970's, ASALA, aiming to throw Turkey in instability and capture Armenian territories under the so-called occupation and establish “Greater Independent Armenia, came on the scene and it had killed 42 Turkish diplomats until 1984. Due to reactions from the World, Armenian terrorist organizations changed their tactics and established cooperation with PKK terrorist organizations in 1980’s. PKK and ASALA did not avoid showing their cooperation by holding joint press briefings and issuing joint declarations. As a matter of fact, the responsibilities of the attacks against Roma Office of Turkish Airlines were undertaken jointly by PKK and ASALA terrorist organizations. Separatist terrorist organization PKK began to commemorate 24 April as the so-called Armenian massacre day and to hold meetings.
Accusing Turkey to commit genocide and aiming to put forward this on international arena and becoming this aim a constitutional goal, mentioning a part of Turkey as “Western Armenia” and occupying 20 % of Azerbaijani territories, committing civil massacres in some regions like Khojali and declaring that it does not recognize Kars Treaty, thus the borders with Turkey, Armenia has still indicated not to give up all these historical goals and the hidden intents mentioned above.
The responsibility of making clear about intentions of then Ottoman government, the reasons of its decisions and events happened at that time is on historians.
In Ottoman archives there are too many documents that will allow the researchers to make clear this issue. On March 7’th, 2005, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayip Erdoï¿½an and the leader of Republican People Party, main opposition party Deniz Baykal made a joint call on Turkish and Armenian historians to review all the relevant archives including Turkey’s archives and to make clear the 1915 period.
In addition Prime Minister Erdogan sent a letter to Armenian President Robert Kocharian and offered him to set up a joint commission to review the developments and events in 1915. In his letter Prime Minister Erdoï¿½an emphasized that Turkish and Armenian people had shared a common history and geography and lived together for a long time and the main function of leaders is to create an atmosphere in which tolerance and mutual respect are dominant for the next generations.
It is a fact that past events caused each two sides to suffer heavy losses and experience great sorrows, “the hostility policy” fuelled particularly by Armenian Diaspora who does not want to leave history to historians and certain circles that aimed to obtain some benefits from distorted history created big obstacles for two countries even today to develop their bilateral relations.
However the last developments prove that Armenians who do not want to discuss the issue want the entire world to believe the occurrence of an Armenian massacre in the past. They refused reviews about the issue that will be carried out by scientists and made efforts to convince the world that in fact Turkish government has opposed the review of the issue. However the current situation emerged as a result of Armenian allegations proves that historians from two countries must make archives’ research by forming joint working groups about the issue and the real history must be come into light. In this way it is provided some authorities who made one-sided evaluations and took wrong decisions to fulfill its duties before the history.
And true history will prove that current Armenian genocide allegations are remnants of historical Armenian intentions.