By Maral Der OHANNESIAN & Sedat LACINER
JTW Accepts Mrs. Ohannesian's Open-Dialogue Call
It is not a secret. Journal of Turkish Weekly’s (JTW) approach on Armenian Issue is not shared by many Armenians. JTW has never named 1915 events as ‘genocide’. JTW argues that the 1915 events were communal clashes and a tragedy for Turks and Armenians under the First World War circumstances while most of the Armenians argue the reverse. We have received thousands of letters from our Armenian readers. And one of them was Mrs. Maral Der OHANNESSIAN.
We as the JTW are not happy with the current Armenian attitude regarding the Armenian issue. Baris Sanli, Nilgun Gulcan and Jan Soykok from JTW have labeled the Armenian approach as “shut-up-and-accept-it” approach and urged the Armenian side to construct a real dialogue environment.
Mrs. Maral Der OHANNESIAN first accepted this dialogue call and then challenged the JTW saying “I already made it clear to you that the Armenian approach regarding the Armenian Genocide is NOT as you described it: “shut up and accept. I accepted your (JTW’s) offer to have an Armenian-Turkish dialogue. I agreed to discuss with you the historical facts of the Armenian Genocide, even though such a discussion is offensive to the memory of the victims, and offensive to me personally as an Armenian and a third generation survivor of the Armenian Genocide."
Mrs. OHANNESIAN offers an open-dialogue between the JTW and herself.
We appreciate Mrs. OHANNESIAN’s good will. She is brave and ready to make a real contribution to Turkish-Armenian dialogue.
She says in her e-post:
“Once you claimed that Armenians’ approach is “shut up & accept”. I am ready to prove that is not the case, & I will suggest as a response to the offer that you made in your email saying “ I and the JTW is ready to play any role in such a co-operation and dialogue”, I suggest a one on one dialog, between you the Chief Editor of JTW & this ordinary young Armenian girl. I think that you won’t refuse such a dialog, if the initiative you made is really what you wish for! To make that dialog worth going through & so it won’t be a waste of your precious time nor mine; I will ask for a publication of that dialog in your journal, and as a result, if you manage to convince me of your point of view that is the Armenian Genocide is merely allegation, I will stop complaining about the credibility of your reporting & news. But if I manage to convince you that the Armenian Genocide is a fact, then it will only be fair & honest from your side to commit yourself to omit each & every _expression that JTW uses to cast suspicion on the fact of the Armenian Genocide, such as “ so-called” , “ alleged”, “disputed” & “ allegations” … etc.”
We (JTW) accepted the offer and we wish it will make contribution to a common understanding between Turkish and Armenian peoples. The JTW will publish Mrs. OHANNESIAN’s letters to the JTW and the JTW’s response to Mrs. OHANNESIAN. Thus the Armenian and Turkish approaches will really face to face.
If you have any comment on the letters, the JTW is ready to publish them. The first week’s letters:
MARAL DER OHANESIAN'S FIRST LETTER TO DR. SEDAT LACINER
From: Maral Der Ohanesian
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 12:47:09 +0300
Subject: A Question !!
In your article titled " Briner: 1915 Events Should Be Investigated by Turks and Armenians" http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=17645, you reported the following :
(Turkish scientists have found many mass killing graves of Turkish villagers in Eastern provinces of Turkey. )
I was wondering how did the Turkish scientists made sure that the corpses in these mass-graves were Turkish , not Armenians' . Specially when you admit that they were found in the Eastern Provinces which were known as The Armenian Villayets. I am sure that you are aware of the fact that there were Armenian population majority in those Villayets, therefore they were known as the Armenian Villayets.
Did they perform a DNA test to confirm that it was Turkish corpses, not Armenians' ?!
I mean how did you make sure that they are not actually mass-graves for massacred Armenians ??!!
DR. SEDAT LACINER WROTE TO MRS. MARAL:
First of all we should accept that there are many Armenian graves in Turkey because the Armenians lived in Anatolia for more than 1000 years, and they continue to live in many Turkish cities and they have graves, churches etc. in Istanbul and in other towns. But you should understand that Anatolia is also home of other nations as well, including the Turkish people. And many of them were killed during the First World War by armed Armenian gangs. You ask how did the Turkish scientists made sure that the corpses in these mass-graves were Turkish , not Armenians'. First of all Turkish scientist make work on the areas near Turkish villages and according to memories of the elderly Turkish villagers. The old Turkish villagers tell their stories to the Turkish scientist and then the works are started. They also find belongings which prove that the graves are Muslim graves. Crescent symbols on the tobacco boxes and other religious symbols and materials show that these graves are Muslim
graves. Also 'sunnet' is another proof.
You say "I am sure that you are aware of the fact that there were Armenian population majority in those Villayets, therefore they were known as the Armenian Villayets." However all the Ottoman and Armenian Church documents show that Armenians were not majority in any Eastern Province. They were not in majority even in any main town. I do not deny the fact of that Eastern Provinces are important for Armenians. The region is historically Armenian, but at the same time Turkish and Kurdish. The Muslim people were in majority during the Ottoman Empire despite of the great Armenian population. That was the reason of the Armenian tragedy. They tried to establish an Armenian state by forcing the majority to leave the region. I am sure that now you will argue that the Ottoman and Turkish statistics are not true. I can follow the same style and I may say the same for the Armenian documents. But I will not. Just compare the Armenian Turkish population. Now there are about 80 million Turkish in Anatolia and in Turkish diaspora in Western Europe while the Armenian population in whole world is less than 10 million. Even if we accept that more than 1 million Armenians were killed during the First World War, the Armenian population could not exceed the Turkish population in Anatolia. I am not trying to say that Anatolia was not a home for Armenians. It was and It always be. But Armenians should also keep in mind that Anatolia is also home for Kurds and Turks as well.
You also ask “Did they perform a DNA test to confirm that it was Turkish corpses, not Armenians'?!” I think they did once, and they called the Armenian scientists in a London meeting to come to Eastern Anatolia and make DNA tests. I was there when the offer was made. However the Armenian side rejected the offer and they said “there is no need to make any DNA test or anything because the reality is very vivid”. That is the problem. Some of the Armenians think that there is nothing to be discussed. Turks massacred the Armenians and Turks have to accept this sole reality and shut up. I am sorry but this is not a reasonable and acceptable style. Forgive me but you cannot solve any problem with this style. It is unfortunate that you may not harm Turkey or Turkish interest by just accusing. Even this style damages the Armenian interests.
We have to live with our pains and we should respect our pains. I respect Armenian pains and we, as the JTW, like to see Armenians and Turks in co-operation in any areas. I and the JTW is ready to play any role in such a co-operation and dialogue.
FROM MARAL DER OHANESIAN TO SEDAT LACINER
(2nd Letter) Sun, 4 Sep 2005 12:58:56 -0700 (PDT)
First of all, I would like to commend you for the many positive points you've admitted in your letter to me. But I would have to comment on some of the other points you listed.
Armenians lived in and around Anatolia, not for thousand years as you mentioned, but as the “Triumph Obelisk” of the Akkadian Sargun & his grandson, Nram-Sien recorded the Akkadian’s wars against the “Armani” people in Ararat, & given the fact that the Akkadian Kingdom was demolished around 2900 BC, we are left with a solid evidence which clearly states that the Armenians lived in this land for at least 4000 years.
Now let's get back to our point, the "mass graves". I would like to know the names of these Turkish scientists that had confirmed the Turkish mass graves according to the points you have mentioned. To be honest, I don't think that any scientist, or even a specialist, would make a judgment based on what you've provided as evidence. A specialist should know that mass graves, are graves that contain more than one dead body. Mass graves are created in two cases: One of them is the case of massive disaster, like floods, fires, diseases, etc., where there are huge numbers of corpses that the authorities can't bury traditionally, due to lack of time, unknown identities & epidemic diseases. The other case of mass graves would be war crimes & genocides. In that case, the perpetrators of that crime would need to hide their crime as soon as possible, make it as anonymous as possible, to cover it up.
Any specialist would know that. Any one who uses common sense would know that. Any specialist would know that a grave, any grave that would be dug up 90 years later, even 50 years later, would hardly contain any belongings. One would be lucky to find complete sound bones of the corpses. How about mass graves, which are made by the perpetrators to hide their crimes!!!
It is silly that a SCIENTIST can claim that he found a tobacco box with crescent in a 90 year old mass-grave, and claim that whoever made these mass graves did actually consider traditional burying!!! Unless, what those scientists found was nothing more than a Turkish cemetery.
You said: "I do not deny the fact that the Eastern Provinces are important for Armenians. The region is historically Armenian." Again I will have to commend your courage to counter the official Turkish position, in admitting that western Turkey was in fact an Armenian land. Then you added: "but at the same time Turkish and Kurdish.” Now the question that imposes itself here is how this homeland of Armenians became home for Turks & Kurds?! Well, the answer is very simple. The Armenian homeland simply turned to be a home to Turks & Kurds, because the Turks occupied it, gradually evacuated it from the original owners by harassing & abusing them at the beginning, then finally massacred them or sent them to the death caravans of deportation.
Then you made an argument based on comparing the number of Armenians & Muslims at the time of the Ottomans & today. Excuse me, but I don't see your point!! What does that comparison have to do with anything? No one claimed that the Armenians were the majority in the whole Ottoman Empire? Armenians were majority in the Armenian provinces, as the Arabs were majority in the Arab lands.
The Committee of Union & Progress wanted to quickly uproot the Armenians -- the legitimate owners of those lands and properties -- by massacring them. That’s why there are NO Armenians today in the historical Armenian lands. Anatolia, as you courageously admitted, was and always will be an Armenian land. Arabs got their homeland back, and we have the right to get our homeland back too.
I don’t know what qualified you to attend the making of the offer for the DNA test to Armenians, but I wanted to ask you to send me a copy of that report, as you must have one, for as you said that you attended the talks!
Once you claimed that Armenians’ approach is “shut up & accept”. I am ready to prove that is not the case, & I will suggest as a response to the offer that you made in your email saying “ I and the JTW is ready to play any role in such a co-operation and dialogue”, I suggest a one on one dialog, between you the Chief Editor of JTW & this ordinary young Armenian girl. I think that you won’t refuse such a dialog, if the initiative you made is really what you wish for!
To make that dialog worth going through & so it won’t be a waste of your precious time nor mine; I will ask for a publication of that dialog in your journal, and as a result, if you manage to convince me of your point of view that is the Armenian Genocide is merely allegation, I will stop complaining about the credibility of your reporting & news. But if I manage to convince you that the Armenian Genocide is a fact, then it will only be fair & honest from your side to commit yourself to omit each & every _expression that JTW uses to cast suspicion on the fact of the Armenian Genocide, such as “ so-called” , “ alleged”, “disputed” & “ allegations” … etc.
It’s your turn now Dr. Laciner to show the sincerity of your offer, & accept my humble invitation to this published one on one dialog.
MARAL DER OHANNESIAN
Dr. LACINER’S LETTER TO MRS. MARAL DER OHANNESIAN
(2nd Letter) 14 September 2005
Dear Maral Der Ohanesian,
First of all I should confess that I cannot understand the Armenian obsession with the past. History is important and should be discussed. However the discussion on the past does not allow us to discuss today in the Armenian case. Particularly when Armenia needs Turkey's friendship. I think you and the other Armenians cannot trust Turkey's sincerity about Turkish-Armenian friendship. It is unfortunate for Turkey and Armenia I think. Armenia especially lose time under these circumstances.
Now let's get back to your letter:
”I would like to know the names of these Turkish scientists that had confirmed the Turkish mass graves according to the points you have mentioned. To be honest, I don't think that any scientist, or even a specialist, would make a judgment based on what you've provided as evidence.”
Actually the Turkish History House (Turk Tarih Kurumu) and Ataturk University, Erzurum made some studies in Erzurum, Agri, Kars etc. provinces. And it is open to all the researchers to make research in the region. I mean any Armenian could search the Armenian mass graves as well. Also Turkish History House made DNA test to prove that those killed were Turkish. Turkish Delegation in London made offer to make more DNA tests to the opened graves, yet the Armenian gentlemen did not accept the offer. In fact none of these is important for me. Many were massacred in the East. I know that thousands of Turkish villagers were massacred by the armed Armenian gangs during the First World War and aftermath. No Turk denies that many Armenians were massacred by the Turkish and Kurdish gangs. The problem is that Turkish people does not accept that the killings was a genocide. It was a communal clash. Both sides suffered. And counting the corps or bones does not make any sense. I respect the Armenians and Turks killed in the clashes. It was purely dirty politics and they paid the cost. The Armenian extremists continued their fanaticism in independent Armenia and they lost their state to the communist USSR. Turkish people preferred to forget the memories and focused on to establish a strong state. I think not the Armenians but the Turks were right. Armenians are still speaking about hostility, revenge and killing. But the time passed. And we do not want to kill anyone and we cannot accept any genocide allegation when we paid more than the Armenians lost. We lost more than 5 million Turkish people during the collapse of the Empire. Many civilians were massacred by the Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians, Russians etc. Most of them were civilian and women-children-old people. We do not want to discuss all these. You are speaking about mass graves, in fact I prefer to speak about highways between Turkey and Armenia, regional economic integration in Caucasus etc.
You say in the letter “Any specialist would know that. Any one who uses common sense would know that. Any specialist would know that a grave, any grave that would be dug up 90 years later, even 50 years later, would hardly contain any belongings. One would be lucky to find complete sound bones of the corpses. How about mass graves, which are made by the perpetrators to hide their crimes!!! It is silly that a SCIENTIST can claim that he found a tobacco box with crescent in a 90 year old mass-grave, and claim that whoever made these mass graves did actually consider traditional burying!!! Unless, what those scientists found was nothing more than a Turkish cemetery.”
No, it is not right. I saw many English, Turkish and French belongings from the Gallipoli War in the museums. I lived for the years around Gallipoli and I know that many villagers found soldier belongings and mass graves around the region. And you should accept that thousands of Turkish and Kurdish villagers were massacred around Van for instance. And many Armenian books accept this fact that many were killed by the Tashnak militants. All these people were covered with their belongings by the Armenians or later by the neighboring villagers.
- “You said: "I do not deny the fact that the Eastern Provinces are important for Armenians. The region is historically Armenian." Again I will have to commend your courage to counter the official Turkish position, in admitting that western Turkey was in fact an Armenian land. Then you added: "but at the same time Turkish and Kurdish.' Now the question that imposes itself here is how this homeland of Armenians became home for Turks & Kurds?! Well, the answer is very simple. The Armenian homeland simply turned to be a home to Turks & Kurds, because the Turks occupied it, gradually evacuated it from the original owners by harassing & abusing them at the beginning, then finally massacred them or sent them to the death caravans of deportation.”
I just say Anatolia is not only Armenian but belong to many different nations. Of course Armenians established states in these territories. But also Greeks, Arabs, Kurds and Turks established their own states. And what is the point to remind the Armenian past of Eastern provinces. What do you really want: To occupy the Eastern part of Anatolia? To take revenge? Imagine all the Eastern provinces of Anatolia is yours. I mean all the East Anatolia is a greater Armenia. So what. With 2,5 million Armenians you cannot establish an Armenian Empire… Diaspora Armenians have not returned to Armenia to live. In fact about 1 million Armenians immigrated from Armenia to Europe and Northern America. So it is very difficult to understand why the Armenians want more territories. They want Karabakh and more Azeri territories, they want some parts of Georgia, even some from Iran and Russia. Today Turkey is a 75 million-country. There are more than 30 million Azeri Turkish in Iran and Azerbaijan.
And there are only 2,5 million Armenians in the region. Let say 3 million. More territory, for what. If Turkey gives all of the Eastern provinces to Yerevan, there will be no Armenian state, and Armenians would become minority in their own state. Now all Eastern provinces, including Ani is open to all Armenians. And thousands of Armenians come and visit the region. You or any Armenian could buy territory in the region, or settle permanently. There is no problem. If Anatolia is important for the Armenians, they should make investment there. By accusing or killing the Turks you cannot reach any of your aims.
- You say in the letter: “No one claimed that the Armenians were the majority in the whole Ottoman Empire? Armenians were majority in the Armenian provinces, as the Arabs were majority in the Arab lands”.
I think we read different history books. Armenians were not majority in any Eastern provinces at that time. If you compare the Armenian population of that time and today” Armenian population you simply find the fact.
- You say “The Committee of Union & Progress wanted to quickly uproot the Armenians -- the legitimate owners of those lands and properties -- by massacring them. That's why there are NO Armenians today in the historical Armenian lands. Anatolia, as you courageously admitted, was and always will be an Armenian land. Arabs got their homeland back, and we have the right to get our homeland back too.”
For what? Why you want Eastern Anatolia? Arabs have more than 20 states. And you see their situation. If you cannot establish a real state, more territory is just a problem. I think time has changed. We do not need more territories, but economic power. If Armenians are serious about their claims, they would have invested to Armenia. But they did not. Because the Armenians in US and in other countries are not serious about the past or about Anatolia. Most of them have not seen Anatolia or met any Turkish. They just trying to preserve their identity, they just resisting assimilation in US and other countries. It is sorry but the Armenian diaspora abuses the problem. The diaspora just works for itself, not for Armenians in Armenia. If the diaspora wanted, they could make Armenia the richest country in the region. If they were serious about the Armenian home in Anatolia, they would have made investment in Anatolia as the Jewish people made in Palestine. Turkey is a liberal open-market.
No doors are closed to Armenians.
- You say "I don't know what qualified you to attend the making of the offer for the DNA test to Armenians, but I wanted to ask you to send me a copy of that report, as you must have one, for as you said that you attended the talks!"
I am sorry but I do not keep all the reports about Armenians. However you may ask for a copy to the Turkish History House, Ankara.
- "Once you claimed that Armenians' approach is 'shut up & accept'. I am ready to prove that is not the case, & I will suggest as a response to the offer that you made in your email saying ' I and the JTW is ready to play any role in such a co-operation and dialogue', I suggest a one on one dialog, between you the Chief Editor of JTW & this ordinary young Armenian girl. I think that you won't refuse such a dialog, if the initiative you made is really what you wish for!"
Of course I do not refuse to make dialogue with you. I never question your or the Armenians sincerity about their arguments. Most of the Armenians are sincere and have good-will. The problem is obsession with the past and victimization feelings among the Armenians. I and JTW are ready to play any, but any role in solving the problems between Turkish and Armenians.
- "To make that dialog worth going through & so it won't be a waste of your precious time nor mine; I will ask for a publication of that dialog in your journal, and as a result, if you manage to convince me of your point of view that is the Armenian Genocide is merely allegation, I will stop complaining about the credibility of your reporting & news. But if I manage to convince you that the Armenian Genocide is a fact, then it will only be fair & honest from your side to commit yourself to omit each & every _expression that JTW uses to cast suspicion on the fact of the Armenian Genocide, such as ' so-called' , ' alleged', 'disputed'"
Thank you for your honest offer. Bu you should accept that we are not speaking about fact both of us accepted, but the beliefs or faith. It is very difficult to me to change an Armenian's faith. However I accept your offer. Of course I accept. But I know that the issue is not convincing of Turks or Armenians. Because they have never really made a dialogue. Anyway, I accept your offer, and JTW will publish your and mine letters next week, If it is OK for you too.
Dr. Sedat LACINER
By Maral Der Ohanesian's Third Letter to the JTW
Tuesday , 27 September 2005
In his research, Prof. George H. Stanton (The President of Genocide Watch Organization and Vice President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars), described “Twelve Ways To Deny A Genocide” http://www.genocidewatch.org/SudanTwelveWaysToDenyAGenocidebyGregStanton.htm, as the tactics used by the perpetrators or their accomplices to deny the crime of crimes (as some call it), that is Genocide.
Out of twelve tactics of Genocide denial, in the message you sent to me, alone , you have used 7 of these excuses:
1. Question and minimize the statistics
You wrote: “we cannot accept any genocide allegation when we paid more than
the Armenians lost. We lost more than 5 million Turkish people during the collapse of the Empire.”
The British Ambassador to Constantinople , Sir Harding Lauter, wrote to the British Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1910 that there only 6 million out of the 30 million population of the Ottoman Empire were Turks.
So, how can I believe that you got your statistics right, when you say that you lost 5 million Turks during the collapse of the Empire ?
2. Rationalize the deaths as the result of tribal conflict
You wrote: “Many were massacred in the East. I know that thousands of Turkish villagers were massacred by the armed Armenian gangs during the First World War and aftermath. No Turk denies that many Armenians were massacred by the Turkish and Kurdish gangs.” Then you wrote: “It was a communal clash. Both sides suffered . . . I respect the Armenians and Turks killed in the clashes.”
You made it look like a communal clash, something that is not. Armenians were massacred by government orders, carried out by soldiers of the Ottoman army, local police, tax collectors & the special organizations (Teskilati Mahsusa).
3. Blame out of control forces for committing the killings
You wrote: “Many were massacred in the East. I know that thousands of Turkish villagers were massacred by the armed Armenian gangs during the First World War and aftermath. No Turk denies that many Armenians were massacred by the Turkish and Kurdish gangs.”
By using the word “gangs”, you actually denied the Ottoman government’s responsibility for the killings and blamed it on the gangs.
4. Justify the denial in favor of current economic interests
You wrote : “Particularly when needs 's friendship I think you and the other Armenians cannot trust 's sincerity about Turkish-Armenian friendship. It is unfortunate for and I think. especially lose time under these circumstances.... You are speaking about mass graves, in fact I prefer to speak about highways between Turkey and Armenia, regional economic integration in Caucasus etc....Turkish people preferred to forget the memories and focused on to establish a strong state.”
5. Claim that what is going on doesn’t fit the definition of Genocide
You wrote: “No Turk denies that many Armenians were massacred by the Turkish and Kurdish gangs. The problem is that Turkish people does not accept that the killings was a genocide.”
I will remind you later about the definition of Genocide, according to International Law.
6. Blame the victims
You wrote: “ I know that thousands of Turkish villagers were massacred by the armed Armenian gangs during the First World War and aftermath.... Many civilians were massacred by the Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians, Russians, etc. Most of them were civilian and women-children-old people.... Thousands of Turkish and Kurdish villagers were massacred around Van for instance.”
7. Say that peace and reconciliation are more important than blaming people for Genocide
You wrote: “However the discussion on the past does not allow us to discuss today in the Armenian case. Particularly when needs 's friendship. I think you and the other Armenians cannot trust 's sincerity about Turkish-Armenian friendship. It is unfortunate for and I think. especially lose time under these circumstances.... Turkish people preferred to forget the memories and focused on to establish a strong state. I think not the Armenians but the Turks were right. Armenians are still speaking about hostility, revenge and killing. But the time passed.... You are speaking about mass graves, in fact I prefer to speak about highways between and , regional economic integration in Caucasus , etc.”
Now Dr. Laciner, let me tell you something very interesting here. Prof. Stanton’s research was on the Genocide in Darfur , but it can be applied to the on-going Turkish denial of the facts of the Armenian Genocide. All Genocide denials have the same pattern, and I don’t think that you’d be surprised if you know that there are people who are actually studying these patterns.
Moreover, the international genocide scholars, have described the Genocide as a process of eight distinctive stages: The final stage of EVERY Genocide is Denial. So, if they deny a Genocide, it would be more proof of the fact of Genocide itself. There is no criminal who voluntarily admits his crime, and the same goes for the Crime of Crimes.
Getting back to your message, I would like to add a few comments:
*You wrote: “No, it is not right. I saw many English, Turkish and French belongings from the Gallipoli War in the museums.”
Excuse me, but there is a huge difference between belongings kept in museum exhibits, which are collected at the time of WWI, or shortly thereafter, and belongings that are buried in the humidity of 90 year old graves. I don’t see the relevance.
*Your wrote: “In fact about 1 million Armenians immigrated from to Europe and Northern America ”
And there are more than 3 million Turks ONLY in , in addition to few more millions in Europe & America. What does that have to do with anything?
How does that disprove/prove the facts of the Armenian Genocide. Let’s not deviate from the subject which is the “Armenian Genocide.”
*You wrote: “If Armenians are serious about their claims, they would have invested to . But they did not.”
I’m sorry, it seems that you know nothing about the relations between the Armenians in the Diaspora and . I encourage you to take a closer look at the numbers and statistics before you say that the Armenians of the Diaspora haven’t invested in . And if you want, I will give you an example of the key words for that search. Try “Kirk Kerkorian.”
*You wrote: “I am sorry but I do not keep all the reports about Armenians.”
I doubt that someone who makes a headline of "Armenian Participant Sarkisian: Turkey Is Much Different Compared To What I Heard" from what a beauty contest participant had said about she thought that Turkish women wear headscarves and use black veils, doesn’t keep all the reports about Armenians, especially those kinds of reports.
Moreover I tried to search both the Turkish History House (Turk Tarih Kurumu), and the Ataturk University websites for any reports about this issue, I unfortunately found nothing, no reports not even any news about it.
Now the most interesting part of your message.
You wrote: “Now all Eastern provinces, including Ani is open to all Armenians. And thousands of Armenians come and visit the region. You or any Armenian could buy territory in the region, or settle permanently. There is no problem. If Anatolia is important for the Armenians, they should make investment there.”
Come and “visit” ?! And “buy” ?!
So let me get this straight, you kicked me out of “my” house, sent me into the desert without food or water, force me to march for months on my feet, killed my family members, orphaned me, while you are plundering “MY” house and property, granting it as a gift to your elite people or sold it and with “my” properties’ money you built "your strong state." And I was exiled to a foreign country whose people speak a language that I do not know, stayed a few years in the orphanage, worked hard to earn a living during my entire childhood, then grew up to be a man, worked even harder to save some money to be able to finally buy a house and made a new family. And now, you are kindly trying to sell me “MY” house to make some more profit of me. But where would you spend that money? Maybe you are planning to make another DVD to deny my facts, may be you are planning to buy another academic to write for you a book to cover up your crime against me, maybe …. Who knows!
Now how would you like it , if I show you my legal ownership papers to that house? Would you give it back to me or would you insist on selling it to me?
And you are now asking me: “For what? Why you want Eastern Anatolia ?”
Well that would be up to me , to do whatever I want with it, I may build a skyscraper or burn it down, after all, it’s my house.
And finally you wrote: “Thank you for your honest offer. But you should accept that we are not speaking about fact both of us accepted, but the beliefs or faith. It is very difficult to me to change an Armenian’s faith.”
Well, that’s not right. It’s not your belief or my belief. It’s not what you think or I think. It’s all about historical facts and reliable sources of the facts.
Therefore I encourage you to pay a visit to the Official German archives to obtain your facts. was the Ottomans’ “ally” in WWI. It is the “strongest” ally of and its main supporter to join the EU has acknowledged the fact of the Armenian Genocide based on its National Archives, and even apologized for its role in it -- turning a blind eye to the massacres of Armenians -- and called on to acknowledge the facts too. It’s more of a search for justice than what you describe as an “obsession with history,” because “Justice” doesn’t fade with time.
I understood from what you have said above, that you are not ready to give up on the “so-called” “alleged” “disputed” words and descriptions that you still using while mentioning the Armenian Genocide. You are not ready to remove them, not because the Armenians’ approach is “shut up and accept,” but because you are not ready to listen, to understand, or maybe because you are personally benefiting from using such expressions.
If that's the case, there would be no point at all for our dialog. when you are not yet ready to listen or to give up your denial to the historic fact of the Armenian Genocide.
Maral Der Ohanesian
Note : I would like to add to your information the definition of Genocide.
You won’t need any effort to realize that the massacres, the abduction of Armenian orphans who were forcefully Turkified, or even just the deportation and death caravans of Armenians, are classified under the international law as "Genocide."
The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide New York , 1948
This convention declares genocide a crime under international law. It defines what genocide is, and condemns this crime whether it's committed in peacetime or wartime.
The convention defines genocide as any act committed with the idea of destroying in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. This includes such acts as:
· Killing members of the group
· Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
· Deliberately inflicting conditions calculated to physically destroy the group (the whole group or even part of the group)
· Forcefully transferring children of the group to another group
The convention declares that there is no immunity from being prosecuted for committing genocide: those found guilty of genocide will be punished for their crime, regardless of whether they are or were legally constituted ruler, public officials, or private individuals.
According to this convention, anyone charged with genocide will be put on trial by either:
· a competent court of the country where the act was committed; or
· an international court that has jurisdiction over the people and crimes concerned.
The Armenian Population Of The Ottoman Empire
Maral Der Ohanesian's Response To Dr. Laciner
I didn’t want to leave out some important details, therefore I will reply your message in separate parts. And this is the first part. According to the Oxford Dictionary, to deny is “to say that something is not true.” So when you say that there is no Armenian Genocide, you are denying it. I understand why you might be sensitive about this word, since English is not your first language. It’s not mine either. But we will have a little talk about "Genocide Denial" later , in the coming parts.
Although it’s not just what “Armenians Claim” but the International Holocaust and Genocide Scholars and specialists as well as human rights organizations all over the world agree that the Armenian Genocide is a crime against humanity and recognize it as the First Genocide of the 20th Century. Turkey is still trying, with the aid of some local and Western revisionists, to revise the facts and convince Turks and others that “there was no Genocide”.
As the Turkish revisionist campaign, which is the main fist of the denial, claims that Armenian genocide was a "war propaganda," I will ONLY use Ottoman and pro-Ottoman (allies of the Ottoman Empire at the time) archival documents to show you the reality. Indeed you will deny for a long time that the Armenian genocide did not happen, because it is what you were raised to believe in. But I hope these facts will make you to rethink over.
Now, before we talk a little bit about the Ottoman statistics you have provided, and start the numbers’ game, let’s see what a German (Ottoman ally) high ranking officer recorded in his account about this issue:The German chief of staff of the Ottoman Third Army, Colonel Felix Guse, complained that "the Turks knew only poorly their country, on top of that, the possibility of getting reliable statistical figures was out of the question.” [Felix Guse, Die Kaukasusfront im Weltkrieg, Liebzig: Koehler und Amelang,1940, p. 83].
The First Census, 1830’s Census: You wrote: “According to the census documents 2,600,000 were Muslim men, and 1,400,000 were Jews and Christians. The number of Christians in Anatolia was about 400,000 in 1830.”
While the Ottomans had records of populations prior to the 1830s, it was only in 1831 that they founded the “Office of Population Registers Fund” (Ceride-i Nüfus Nezareti). To draw more accurate data, the Office decentralized itself in 1839; registrars inspectors and population officials were appointed to the provinces and smaller administrative districts.
The problem with such records was that instead of presenting a total count of population, they were rather based on what is known as “head of household,” male family members, ages, occupation, and property. And the evidence to that, you can find in your own quote, and I underlined that for you, “Men.” This is why the 1830’s Census is inaccurate and unreliable.
Then you didn’t mention that in the Census of 1844 the Ottomans recorded 2.4 million Armenians within the Ottoman Empire. In the Census of 1867, this number was maintained. Whether or not it was due to a political motive, that no Armenian population growth was registered for a period of 23 years, is unknown.The “Council of States” was later founded in 1867 and took the charge of drawing population tables, thus increasing the precision of population records. The evolution progressed from the new measures introduced in 1874, leading in 1881/1882 to the establishment of a “General Population Administration” which was attached to the Ministry of Interior thus politicizing the population counts.
Consequently , the first record of the General Population Administration, under the guidance of Sultan Abdul Hamid, was lower than half the figures of 1881/1882. While the Ottoman Empire in the 1877-78 lost Batum, Kars and Ardahan, the population of Armenian statistics for those regions would have influenced the “losses” of population, but can not account for the other million or more Armenians that were just “missing” in the records of 1881/1882 during the reign of Abdul Hamid, due to political reasons. Abdul Hamid was worried that Armenians might seek autonomy under the Treaty of Berlin (1878).
The Turkish author Kâz?m Kadri for instance writes: “During the reign of Abdul Hamid we lowered the population figures of the Armenians.…” He adds: “By the order of Abdul Hamid the number of the Armenians deliberately had been put in low figures.” [ Hüseyin Kâz?m Kadri, Balkanlardan Hicaza: Imparatorlugun Tasfiyesi. 10 Temmuz Inkilâb? ve Netayici, Istanbul: P?nar, 1992. Originaly published in Ottoman Turkish in 1920 in Istanbul by Islam and Askeri Publishers. p. 126, 133; in the original Ottoman version, p. 116, 123].
Turkish historian Dr. Secil Akgun declared : “The Ottomans do not have a definite number. That is, we have in our hands contradictory numbers regarding the Armenian population within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. I would think that Basmac?yan gives the most accurate number. This is to be between 2 and 3 million.” [In an Interview published in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, April 27, 1987]
Fa'iz El-Ghusein the Kaimakam of Kharpout wrote in his book, that according to the Ottoman official statistics there were about 1,9 million Armenian's in the Ottoman Empire. [Martyred Armenia by Fa'iz El-Ghusein, Bombay, 1916]
You referred to Talat Pasha’s Officially stated numbers: “According to Talat Pasha’s documents the Armenian population in Anatolia was 1,256,403. Talat Pasha says the number reduced to about 400,000 after the 1915 relocation campaign.”
Earlier this year, Talat Pasha’s Memoir was discovered in Turkey by one of his descendants. The memoir of Talat Pasha shows another figure of the Armenian Deportees: 924,000. [The guilty one is Talat Pasha, Zaman Daily Newspaper, May 5, 2005, by Mehmet Kamis].
Getting back to your figures, I will have to say, that your prejudgment on the issue, prevented you from seeing the contradictions and inaccuracies.
Quoting Dr. Stanford Shaw you wrote: “there were 12.585.950 Muslims, 1.139.053 Armenians in 1890. Shaw documents that the number of Muslims increased to 14.111.945 in 1897 and the Armenian population increased to 1.162.853. In 1906 the population of Muslims was 15.518.478, and the population of Armenians was 1.140.563. In 1914 Muslim Ottoman population reached to 15.044.846 and the Armenian population was 1.229.007.”
According to Dr. Stanford Shaw, we see that the Armenian population is declining drastically, and you missed the fact that there was no official census in 1914, but he might have “guessed” his numbers based on the records of 1905. And even Turkish and pro-Turkish sources (German archives) agree that the Ottoman records are unreliable, and contradicted.
In addition to that, and if we compare the “Last Figure” you provided to the “Total” Muslim population (13,339,000) and the total Armenian population (1,234,671) , with the well known fact of 25–30 million population of the Ottoman Empire, that would be a huge difference!
Dr. Shaw (UCLA) cannot be a reliable source because, according to The Middle East Studies Association Published Bulletins, Directory of American scholars and the Ottoman Studies Directory, he received money twice from the Institute of Turkish Studies in Washington D.C., which was established by a $3 million seed money from the Turkish government. The Institute's purpose is to counter Armenian activity at the "academic level" and as a pro-Turkey lobbying group. Dr. Shaw received a second “monetary grant” from the “American Research Institute in Turkey.” His research co-author is his “Turkish Wife,” Ezel Kural Shaw.
Therefore, I hope that in the future, you avoid using him as a source as he has been financed by Turkey to cast doubt on the Armenian Genocide, yet he didn’t succeed, because of his weak arguments and ill information.
Armenian Patriarchate Records:
The Armenian Patriarchate’s figure of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire, based on the published archival baptism and death certificates in 1913, is 1,914,620, which presents “precision” to the last digit. Mind you that those records were published in 1913, and no Ottoman official had rejected them at the time. [Raymond H. Kevorkian and Paul B. Paboudjian, Les Arméniens dans l'Empire Ottoman à la veille du génocide, Ed. ARHIS, Paris, 1992].
I can provide you more confirmation Armenian Patriarchate’s numbers from Western records. For example, German official records represent the Armenian population within the Empire to be 1.9 to 2 million. [An example of such a figure was provided in a report, A.A. Türkei 183/44. A27493, October 4, 1916 (German archives)].And most Western scholars believe the totality of the Armenian population within the Empire prior to 1915 to be between 1.8 and 2.1 million.
As for the Number of Armenian Victims:
In March of 1919, the then Ottoman Interior Minister relying on statistical data which the staff of the ministry had been compiling during the previous two months, publicly declared that "during the wartime deportations some 800,000 Armenians were killed.” [Alemdar (Turkish newspaper in Istanbul), March 15, 1919. Takvimi Vekâyi No. 3909, July 21, 1920, pp. 3, 4. The minister in question was Cemal]. And [ This document was republished in 1983 by the Turkish Prime Minstary ].
Excluded from this figure are the Armenian conscripts who, in the wake of their conscription, were liquidated in stages by fellow Turkish soldiers, and countless children, young girls, and brides who were forcibly Islamised and absorbed into the mainstream of the Turkish national entity.
While the official figures were of 800,000 killed, there were many unofficial numbers presented during the war by some Ottoman authorities. Talat Pasha, for instance, presented the figure of 300,000, but there are no indications as to how those figures were obtained. This figure is currently the one used by Turkish government officials. So the contradiction and unreliability is obvious.
If one discounts French and British sources, identified as they were with the enemy camp (as you mentioned), the available German and Austro-Hungarian sources (who were the Ottoman Empire’s Allies in the WWI and had “full access” to all areas, and Germany is still the strongest supporter of Turkey joining the EU) involving civilian and military officials of all ranks, and serving as wartime allies of Turkey, supply much more inclusive figures. According to these sources, the number of victims of the Armenian genocide ranges between 1.2 and 1.5 million. For example:
**According to German Interim Ambassador to Turkey, Radowitz, 1.5 million Armenians died and 425,000 survived. [A.A. Türkei 183/44. A27493, October 4, 1916 report].
**The German parliamentarian, Foreign Office Intelligence Director, and later Cabinet minister, Erzberger, estimated 1.5 million victims. [A.A. Türkei 183/42, A13959, May 27, 1916 report].
**The German Major Endres, serving in the Turkish army, estimated that "1.2 million Armenians perished in Turkey during the war." [Die Türkei. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1918, p. 161].
**The Austrian Foreign Ministry Archives 12 Türkei/380, ZI.17/pol. Austria-Hungary's Adrianople (Edirne) consul Dr. Nadamlenzki reported that from the entire realm of the Ottoman Empire, including its European part, by October 29, 1915 "already 1.5 million Armenians were deported." [12 Türkei/463, Z.94/P].
And you wrote: “So there was only 500,000 Armenians alive at that time. Now the total population of Armenians about 8-9 million. So the Armenian population increased 16-18 times in 90 years. Is it logical?”
The Jewish victims of the Holocaust were 6,000,000. The Jewish population all around the world in 1990, (after 45 years of the Holocaust) was 14.5 million.
And from your numbers, that Turkey lost 5 million out of 13 million 90 years ago, and now Turkey has a population of 70 million.
In addition to that, you forget to consider the fact that of 8-10 million Armenians all over the world, you need to exclude the 2.5 million living in the Republic of Armenia, and the 3 million Armenians who are living in Russia still, most of those were not originally from the Ottoman Empire.
To wrap up this numbers issue, let me bring your attention to the fact that, neither the population nor the victims figures, affect the fact of the Genocide. The Genocide Law, doesn’t consider the higher number of victims Genocide, and the lower not. In 1995 Srebrenica Massacres was recognized as a Genocide, although only 8,000 people lost their lives because of it.
Now, before I end this message let me comment on one small detail you mentioned.Germany’s Recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and calling on Turkey to do the same, was not because Germany is the only Genocidal country. That is totally baseless argument, why ?!
If you try to search in Human Rights Organizations , and Genocide Scholar’s Associations documents or websites, you’ll see that the 20th century is in fact, the century of Genocide. Not solely the Holocaust or the Armenian Genocide. There are the many other Genocides. For example:
*Cambodia Genocide (By the Khmer Rouge) 1975-79
*The Genocide in Rwanda 1994
*The Bosnian Genocide ( Srebrenica 1995)
*The Genocide in Kosovo
*And the ongoing Genocide in Darfur .
So it’s not because Germany felt lonely and wanted a pal in bearing the Genocide accusation (as you suggested) . And Germany had cleared it’s conscience long time ago from the Holocaust crimes, repented and compensated the victims’ families. And today Germany is one of the “leading” countries in the European Block.
The “real” reason of Germany’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide was the fact that the “German Official Archive” is very generous with documentation form the WWI where the Germans were Ottoman Empire allies and had officers of all ranks who witnessed the massacres and atrocities against the Armenians “First Hand.”
Maral Der Ohanesian
Armenian Letters 3: JTW Editor's Response to Maral
By Sedat Laciner
Tuesday , 27 September 2005
DR: SEDAT LACINER WROTE TO MARAL DER OHENESIAN: "WE SHOULD NOT SACRIFICE FOR THE PAST
First of all I do not deny genocide, because there is no genocide. So we do not search a way (or 7 ways) to deny something which not exist. I simply try to response to the Armenian claims. I try to show that Armenian allegations based on no proof but legends and beliefs. If Armenians claim something, so they have to prove their allegations, not the Turkish side. However the Armenians try to undermine Turkish interests everywhere from to the . Thus and the Turks fell that they have to response, they have to explain the past. That’s why we give statistics, documents etc.
Let me focus on your points step by step: 1. First you accuse me of questioning and minimizing the statistics. Excuse me but the Armenian researchers do not accept the Ottoman and Turkish documents. They the all Istanbul and other Turkish archives lie. They also do not accept the Istanbul Armenian Church’s Documents on Armenian population. If the Armenian side does not recognize the Ottoman Documents how we can be sure about the alleged population numbers. The Armenian side says the only reliable figures are the British and other foreign states’ diplomatic figures. Please note it that the Ottoman State was in war with , and at that time. So, all these figure are belong to the enemy countries’ documents. I think Turkish historians cannot use the British documents instead of the Ottoman documents. In fact even the foreigner reports show that the number of Armenians in the Ottoman territories was less than 1,5 million. According to Talat Pasha’s documents the Armenian population in
Anatolia was 1,256,403. Talat Pasha says the number reduced to about 400,000 after the 1915 relocation campaign because many of them did not return to Anatolia. The number of Armneians in Istanbul was about 80,000 and almost none of them left the city and the number remained the same after the relocation.
You say that we try to question the statistics. However even the Armenian researchers cannot agree on the same numbers. Some Armenian historians say that about 500,000 Armenians were massacred during the First World War, some other say about 1,5 million. The Wales Armenians even increased the number to 2,5 million. I am sorry but there are about 2 million people gap. So not us but the Armenians play with the numbers. The real number of the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire was about 1,5 million (total Armenian population) and many of them had dual citizenship.
First census was made during the Mahmud II in 1830 in the Ottoman Empire. According to thies census the men population of the Empire in Anatolia and the Rumeli (Balkans) was 4 million people. According to the census documents 2,600,000 were Muslim men, and 1,400,000 were Jews and Christions. The number of Christians in Anatolia was about 400,000 in 1830.
Another document in the Ottoman Archives shows the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire as following:
Eastern Provinces: Muslims (3,635,086), Armenians (810,285), Total (4,445,371)
Istanbul and Neighboring Provinces: Muslims (4,426,525), Armenians (283,064) Total (4,709,589)
Palestine, Syria Provinces and the Islands: Muslims (4,068,646), Armenians (59,018), Total (4,127,664)
TOTAL OTTOMAN POPULATION: Muslims (12,130,257), Armenians (1,152,367), Total (13,282,624)
The mentioned Ottoman document says that some of the provinces had yet to be registered. So the numbers should be slightly higher. Prof. Dr. Stanford J. Shaw on the other hand says that there were 12.585.950 Muslims, 1.139.053 Armenians in 1890. Shaw documents that the number of Muslims increased to 14.111.945 in 1897 and the Armenian population increased to 1.162.853. In 1906 the population of Muslims was 15.518.478, and the population of Armenians was 1.140.563. In 1914 Muslim Ottoman population reached to 15.044.846 and the Armenian population was 1.229.007, according to Prof. Shaw. Many Armenians immigrated to the Western Europe, and the before 1914 due to the economic reasons. Many became American, Russian or French citizens.
The Muslim population was 13,339,000, and the total Muslim population in the Ottoman territories was 1,234,671 according to the Ottoman official census documents.
Armenian 'propaganda papers' say that Turks massacred 75 percent of Armenians out of 2 million Armenians. So there was only 500,000 Armenians alive at that time. Now the total population of Armenians about 8-9 million. So the Armenian population increased 16-18 times in 90 years. Is it logical? No people’s population could grow 16-18 time in less than 90 years. If we apply the figures to , it means that ’s population will be about 20 billion in less than a century. Please be reasonable. If there is such logical gaps in the Armenian allegations, of course we have all the right to question the statistics. We do not minimize the figures but some Armenians exaggerate the figures. In fact the ultra-nationalist Armenians create a new past. They create figures and even documents as we experienced in the Talat pasha Telegrams Case.
I said “We lost more than 5 million Turkish people during the collapse of the Empire.” What is wrong with that? You cry for your people killed and died, and we ask respect to our people massacred too.
You say “The British Ambassador to Constantinople , Sir Harding Lauter, wrote to the British Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1910 that there only 6 million out of the 30 million population of the Ottoman Empire were Turks. So, how can I believe that you got your statistics right, when you say that you lost 5 million Turks during the collapse of the Empire?”
The problem is that the Ottoman Empire was not a solely a Turkish Empire. It was a multi-national state. And why are you believing the British Ambassador? Do you think the British always say truth? That is the problem: The Armenians did not trust to their own neighbors but the enemy states during the war times.
2. Your second point is that “Rationalizing the deaths as the result of tribal conflict”
You say “You made it look like a communal clash, something that is not.”
Communal clashes is a fact and the Armenian history books are also full of the proofs of this fact. Kurdish and Armenian tribes clashed severely. Kurdish gangs attacked the Armenians, and Armenians attacked the Kurdish. Thousands of people lost their life. This is not a secret. If you look at any book on “history of Tashnaks” or “history of Armenians” you will realize that.
You say “Armenians were massacred by government orders, carried out by soldiers of the Ottoman army, local police, tax collectors & the special organizations (Teskilati Mahsusa).” But which Armenians? Armenians killed by many different groups. It may be true some were killed by the army officers, police or tax collectors like any Ottoman citizen. And many of these criminals were punished by the Istanbul Government. In fact the number of executed officers in the Ottoman courts is higher than the Nurnberg Courts after the Second World War. Even a governor was executed by the Istanbul government for his mistakes against the Armenian civilians. It is unfortunate that the modern Armenians obsess with the genocide that is why they cannot see that it was a war time.
There are at least 5 main reasons for the Armenians casualties:
1. Bad administration and negligence. Ottoman officers and governors could not protect the Armenian citizens. In fact they could not protect the Turkish and other citizens as well.
2. Communal clashes between Kurds-Armenians and Turks-Armenians. During the first Armenian riots many Muslims lost their children, wives or husbands. So a revenge campaign was triggered.
3. Relocation: During the relocation the weaker Armenians died due to the bad road conditions, bad weather and famine.
4. War circumstances, economic reasons, famine and epidemic diseases.
5. War and riot. Many Armenians joined the Russian armies and many of them were killed by the Ottoman Armies. And during the many riots hundreds of Armenian armed gangs were killed by the Ottoman police and other security officers. However none of them can be considered as a part of genocide or massacre. If you fight against your own state, you deserve to die. It is a universal love anywhere in the world.
If we do not separate the different reasons and if we label all Armenian casualties ‘massacre’, we can never reach the truth.
3. The Ottoman Government was in a war in all fronts from Balkans to Caucasus. All men were in the clashes against the occupiers. Only the illegal armed men, old people, children and women were in the villages. Very little Ottoman soldiers were with the relocated Armenians masses. That is why the Armenian people on the road very easy targets for the revenge attackers and for the Kurdish and Turkish gangs.
4. I do not try to justify something in favor of current economic interests. I just say that needs . 2,5 million-Armenia is surrounded by 100 million Turkish people. A fight or disagreement is not very helpful for the ‘poor’ . If the Turks hate the Armenians they would not try to establish dialogue and co-operation with the Armenians. does not need 2,5 million Armenian market instead of bigger and richer Azerbaijani market. When tries to establish economic relations with , she risks its interests in . So it is not ’s current economic interests. Armenians have insisted on genocide for last 90 years and it has not harmed Turkish economy or in general. No state would end its trade or other relations with because the Armenians want so. I cannot see any great economic interest in solution of Armenian issue. But you or anyone cannot deny the Armenian interest in the solution. If opens its borders, the Armenian companies will freely enter the 75 million-market. is a bridge for the European Union and the Mediterranean. Turkey is strategic and vital gateway for sea-locked Armenia. But the Armenian diaspora cannot understand what needs. The life in California could be comfortable, but in a country isolated economically and politically is not as comfortable.
I do not try to justify the past or any mistakes. But I just say that we should more focus on today than we focus on the past. Past is important but today and future is more important. I don’t say ‘just forget your genocide allegations’. I only say that life continues and the Armenians in needs business than the endless discussions.
5. Anytime we may discuss the definition of genocide according to international law, and the 1915 events cannot be considered as genocide.
6. You wrote that we blame the victims, you mean Armenians. Please please…. You cannot divide people as Turks and Armenians. All Armenians were not victims, and all Turks were not murderers. It is well documented that more than 5 million Turkish people were massacred. More than 520,000 Turkish and Kurdish people werer massacred by the Armenian armed groups. Tashnaks wrote in their history books that they killed many Turks. They considered themselves hero, but I name them ‘murderer’. Turks and Armenians, both are victims, and both could be murderer. Being Armenian doesn’t make anyone victim, or murderer.
7. You say “There is no criminal who voluntarily admits his crime, and the same goes for the Crime of Crimes”. 1915 events happened during the Ottoman Empire, before the Republic of Turkey. All documents show that there was no genocide, but communal calashes and riots. Armenians have claimed the reverse. So they have to prove their claims, not me. If you accuse any nation of committing genocide, all nations reject such allegations. does not deny, but rejects the baseless allegations. If you want more territory, compensation and revenge you must bring proofs. And remember the Armenian terrorism. ASALA terrorists killed many Turkish diplomats who had no link with the 1915 events even no idea on Armenian issue. All were innocent civilians. All were just diplomats. An the Armenian terrorists killed them and even their wives and children. If you kill more than 40 Turkish diplomats after the 50-60 years, of course Turkish people do not admit anything. Even they would reject to discuss the matter. You name the Armenians ‘victims’, but I saw many Armenian photos that pictured them heavily armed. All these Armenians armed for what. If they did not riot against the Ottoman Empire, why did they militarized.
Of course peace and reconciliation are more important than blaming people for genocide if there is no genocide. And there is no genocide. But there are riots, communal clashes and terrorism.
You wrote “Moreover, the international genocide scholars, have described the Genocide as a process of eight distinctive stages: The final stage of EVERY Genocide is Denial. So, if they deny a Genocide, it would be more proof of the fact of Genocide itself.”
It is funny. You blame, I don’t accept your blames, and I become denier. What kind of a justice is this? So if I blame you for committing genocide against the Ottoman Muslims and Azerbaijanis in Khocali, and if you does not accept my claims would you become a denier?
About Gallipoli Findings: (You wrote “Excuse me, but there is a huge difference between belongings kept in museum
exhibits, which are collected at the time of WWI, or shortly thereafter, and belongings that are buried in the humidity of 90 year old graves. I don’t see the relevance”)
You still do not believe that many 90-year old belongings found in Gallipoli and in the eastern provinces. As a matter of fact, that we should not consume our energy on this matter. If you ask anyone, who is expert on archeology or history, he/she will confirm me. By the way, the villagers around Gallipoli still find 90 years-old belongings and they give them to the museums.
Your wrote “And there are more than 3 million Turks ONLY in , in addition to few more millions in Europe & America. What does that have to do with anything? How does that disprove/prove the facts of the Armenian Genocide. Let’s not deviate from the subject which is the “Armenian Genocide.”
There are more than 3 million Turkish people in and more than 5 million in other EU countries. But half of has not immigrated to other countries. Turkish diaspora is not bigger than ’s population. ’s population is still 75 million, not 2,5 million. I do not insult the Armenian peoples or just making a childish comparison. Anyone could immigrate anywhere. But Turkish people do claim the territories or any other neighbors’ territories. However the diaspora Armenians live in California or in Lyon and they still demand more territories for . If a nation’s 75 percent reject to live in their homeland, they should not ask more territories. It would be illogical. You say “let’s focus on genocide issue, do not deviate the subject”. However the Armenians mean more territory, compensation and half of when they say genocide. So no Turkish can believe the Armenian goodwill in historical disputes. Dou you want a recognition or more territories from . Decide it first.
You wrote ““I’m sorry, it seems that you know nothing about the relations between the Armenians in the Diaspora and . I encourage you to take a closer look at the numbers and statistics before you say that the Armenians of the Diaspora haven’t invested in .”
Excuse me but I have 4 books on modern . One of my books is on Armenian diaspora and I wrote many articles on the subject. When I say “Diaspora Armenians should make investment in ”, I use Armenia Armenians phrases. They complain about the current situation not me. Of course the diaspora Armenians buy houses and lands. But they do not make serious investments. GDP per capita in is less than 1,000 dollars. Obviously is a less developed country. There are more than 6 million Armenians in diaspora and the total population of is less than 2,5 million. Diaspora Armenians do not invest in enough, and they will not. Because the capital is the same everywhere. No investor spend money in such an instable country. has serious problems with all neighbors except . She does not recognize ’s and ’s borders. She has occupied almost 20 percent of neighboring and has no diplomatic relations with another neighbor, . Yerevan ’s relations with has not been easy one. The country has no sea port and the Turkish gate has been closed. Would you invest your money to such a country? The Diaspora Armenians will continue to their fight against until the last Armenia Armenian. Diaspora sacrifice and Armenians in .
- You say “you sell my house to me”. I am sorry but you have no house in . I did not kick you out of your house. Remember, this is , not the Ottoman Empire . My grandparents were exiled and they left their all belongings in . But I do not blame all Greeks or modern . Past has past… If you have anything here you may apply Turkish courts as one of the Armenians did in Adana . By the way many Armenians have bought houses and hotel-kind businesses in Van and in other eastern provinces. recognizes all European human rights documents. And you may even apply to European Human Rights Courts for your belongings. There is no obstacle. If you have anything in Turkish cities, you may get it.
You also say that “while you are plundering “MY” house and property, granting it as a gift to your elite people or sold it and with “my” properties’ money you built "your strong state." All these sentences could be considered insult to me and to . is a now strong country. But she was not after the First World War. Thanks to the Armenian riots we lost a war, and an empire. Millions of Turks left their homes and valuables in the Balkans and in the Caucasus . Many were massacred by the Russians, and the others. Turks lost their cities and towns because the Greeks fired many towns and cities in the Western provinces. Thanks to the Armenian riots, the Eastern provinces could not be developed. has not getting stronger on the Armenian or Greek belongings. You left a country in fire. has been getting richer in the last decades due to the good relations with the neigbours. Turkish export has grow more than 60 times since 1980. And I think you would accept that your ruined houses played no role in this miracle. By the way, the eastern provinces are still the poorest region of while the Istanbul Armenians are among the richest people of modern . Many Armenians have factories and million-dollar-companies.
You name Eastern Anatolia “my house”. If you call my country as “my house” we cannot find a ground to discuss anything.
ABOUT THE GERMANS: Germans have been the only genocide committed nation till now. And they searched a friend and now they try to add new nations to the list. Because when one says genocide all remembers . The German Parliament took a pro-Armenian decision. But don’t forget. The parliaments are the political places and they behave according to their national interests. If the German parliament take a pro-Turkish decision, will you change your ideas about the Armenian issue? Now the Armenian lobby is strong and they manipulate the Western parliaments, but the balance may change in time. In fact the real problem is that the Armenians try to use other states to force to accept something instead of direct dialogue. When you undermine Turkish interests in other countries and when you make allies with the anti-Turkish groups, Turkish people do not believe the Armenian sincerity. As far as you are among all anti-Turkish blocks, no Turkish man could trust you.
You say ”I understood from what you have said above, that you are not ready to give up on the “so-called” “alleged” “disputed” words and descriptions that you still using while mentioning the Armenian Genocide. You are not ready to remove them, not because the Armenians’ approach is “shut up and accept,” but because you are not ready to listen, to understand, or maybe because you are personally benefiting from using such expressions.”
Please don’t forget that I have been studying Armenian history and politics for the years. I know what you say. That’s why we named the Armenian approach as “shut-up-and-accept-it” approach. We actually do not discuss anything yet. I understand from your letters that this is the first time you read Turkish ideas on Armenian issue. I am not trying to change you. I do not try to change your ideas. All Armenians are free to say genocide, or massacre to the 1915 events. But I do not accept such blame.
You wrote “there would be no point at all for our dialog. When you are not yet ready to listen or to give up your denial to the historic fact of the Armenian Genocide.”
Please remember we discuss whether the 1915 events is genocide or not. But you try to force me to accept ‘genocide’ term. If recognizing ‘genocide’ is a pore-condition, what is the point in discussing whether 1915 Events genocide or not.
I am ready to listen to you, read your letters, or any Armenian’s letters. We publish them. It is really a valuable experience for me and for the Turkish people. I hope it is useful for the Armenian readers as well.
Dr. Sedat LACINER's to Maral Der OHANESIAN
According to the Oxford Dictionary, to deny is “to say that something is not true.” So when you say that there is no Armenian Genocide, you are denying it. I understand why you might be sensitive about this word, since English is not your first language. It’s not mine either. But we will have a little talk about "Genocide Denial" later , in the coming parts.
Although it’s not just what “Armenians Claim” but the International Holocaust and Genocide Scholars and specialists as well as human rights organizations all over the world agree that the Armenian Genocide is a crime against humanity and recognize it as the First Genocide of the 20th Century. Turkey is still trying, with the aid of some local and Western revisionists, to revise the facts and convince Turks and others that “there was no Genocide”.
‘DENY’ AND NATIONAL HONOR
It is true ‘deny’ means “disown; to reject as false; to declare a statement etc. to be untrue.”(Collins, 1993). However the Armenians do not use the word ‘deny’ to describe a fact but to accuse a nation wholly. And, the word ‘deny’ is a dirty word due to the Jewish Genocide. Being denier is one of the most horrible things in the modern age. When Armenians use the word ‘deny’ they mean that the Turks are like the Nazis. And this is not a honest plan. Turks do not accept the Armenian allegations because they are honored people and they believed that they have a past that they can proud with it. Many Armenians cannot understand why the Turkish people do not accept their arguments, because they have unchangeable assumptions about the Turkish people. They perceive the Turk like a monster. The Church and political parties in the Diaspora rewrote the history about the Turks. According to this history Turks may do anything bad to the Armenians and against humanity. Turks are infidel, Turks are dirty and they are thirst to blood. They needed to create enemy to unite the Armenians in the US, Canada, Europe and other countries, and the Ottoman years provided a great opportunity.
You are blaming the Turkish approach and the Western supports as revisionist campaign. This is not fair. Armenian accusations are ‘fact’, Turkish defense is “a revisionist campaign”. It is basic principles of the law that one who has a accusations he/she has to prove it. So Armenians have to prove what they are claiming instead of just accusing a nation and country.
TURKS DO NOT THINK ON THE PAST AND ARMENIANS?
You argue “you were raised to believe in. But I hope these facts will make you to rethink over.” Personally I made significant part of my education in the United Kingdom. But not only me but the Turks know many things about the Armenian tragedy. There has been a lively debate on Turkish-Armenian relations for the years in Turkey. There are Armenians in many Turkish cities. In Istanbul alone there are more than 100,000 Armenians. There are many Armenian churches and communities in many Turkish towns including in the city I live now. It is very easy to find translated pro-Armenian books in Turkish bookshops. Even the pro-Armenian researchers join the lively debates on Turkish national televisions. Pro-Armenian historians can continue their jobs in Turkish state and private universities. There three Armenian weekly newspaper. All have Armenian language pages. They may establish radio or tv station in Armenian language and as far as I know Hrant Dink plans to establish one in Istanbul. I can argue that the environment about the Armenian-Turkish relations in Turkey is more free than the environment in US, France or in Armenia. In Diaspora, the Armenians refuse to listen to the pro-Turkish ideas. They just accuse you of being denier. We cannot construct a dialogue and I feel very bad when I try to speak with an Armenian. He/she insults you, and does not allow saying anything. Even the Turkey Armenians cannot establish a dialogue with the diaspora Armenians. When Hrant Dink and Ethem Mahcupyan leading Turkey Armenians joined a conference in Italy and France last year they were insulted and even attacked by the Diaspora Armenians. You remember the latest Istanbul Armenian Conference. Even the Justice Minister of Turkey could not prevent the conference and all pro-Armenian authors and researchers made their speech at the heart of Turkey. It can be said that no Armenian dare to organize such a meeting in California, Lyon or Yerevan. Because all of us know that such an attempt could result in a bloody picture.
GERMANS AND GENOCIDE
Recently the Armenian historians have focused on the German ‘documents’ (letters etc.). They argue that “the Germans were the ally of the Ottoman Empire, so they would not lie”. The problem with the Germans is that they look for a friend. The world has equalized the term of genocide with Germany due to the Hitler memories. The Genocide maker image has cost a lot to Germany. That is why the Germans have tried to find new genocides, so they could show all the peoples that they are not the alone. The Bosnian Genocide helped them a lot. Now the world knows that the Germans are not alone. But the Armenian allegations will make more contribution to the German attempts. Second point is that the all German letters and documents do not prove genocide. During the Second World War, the world was divided into religion groups, and the journalists, politicians and peoples perceived the events according to their faith. Even if they are in the different military blocks, they supported those who shared their religion. If you make a search in The New York Times or The Washington Post archives you see the titles like “The Muslim Sultan Massacres the Christian Armenians”. Sometimes they do not use the name of ethnic group and just say “Muslims Torture the Christians”. I mean the Christians (and possibly the Muslims) saw the disputes through a religious approach. For a good German Christian, the Turks were infidels and deserved anything bad. “Turks were the scourge of the God” for the ‘good German, American or British Christians. The Protestants Catholics and Orthodox in the US or in Europe shared this idea. What I am trying to say that the Germans were Turks’ ally, yet they never fully supported the Turkish people in all areas and they saw the ethnic problems in Turkey as a religious clashes.
You wrote “The problem with such (Ottoman) records was that instead of presenting a total count of population, they were rather based on what is known as “head of household,” male family members, ages, occupation, and property. And the evidence to that, you can find in your own quote, and I underlined that for you, “Men.” This is why the 1830’s Census is inaccurate and unreliable.” I am sorry yet all who know anything know that almost all censuses in the 19th Century in almost all countries count the men. Similarly the election figures are based on male and taxpayer population in Ottoman Empire or in England. I gave the figure not to show the total population but the share of the Muslim and Armenian etc. populations. You claim that the Armenian population in 1844 was about 2.4 million. I have no idea what is your source. In fact even the original documents of the 1844 Census has not been found yet. And this census could no be completed. So a comparison between 1844 and 1867 could not be healthy. I don’t know what figure you are talking about on, but you should note that the Ottoman Empire was a huge country. The wars with Russians and other countries changed the size and population of the country a lot in couple of decades. The immigrations were also another factor which changed the Ottoman population a lot. I cannot accept your figures at this point, but I know the real share of the Armenian population in the Ottoman total population and 2,4 million is not a realistic one, but we know from the Ottoman archives that the number of Armenian population in 1893 was about 1 million. 1906 statistics show us that the number was not over 1,2 million.
The Istanbul Government tried its best to find the highest possible Armenian populations because of the tax. If the official Ottoman figures were low the Ottoman Government could not collect the tax she desired. So there is no reason to doubt about the Ottoman figures. However the immigration to Russia, Europe and the United States and the wars/conflicts did not allow any significant increase in Armenian population in the last decades of the Ottoman Empire. And the Istanbul Government was not happy with the decrease in Armenian population. Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid even complained about the Armenian immigration to the US and urged the US Congress and President to take measures to prevent Armenian immigration to the US because the immigration was harmful for the Ottoman economy.
During the Abdulhamid period, the European and American businessmen dominated the Ottoman economy and they used the Greek and Armenian tradesmen for their businesses in Anatolia. Most of the Armenians took American and European citizenships. In the east Russian encouraged the Armenians to riot. The Russian strategy was to massacre or force to immigrate the Muslim population of Russia to create a homogenous region between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in the Caucasus. Many were massacred and the other Muslims immigrated to the eastern part of Anatolia. Thus the share of the Armenians in the Eastern provinces decreased more. Most of the Armenians in some provinces became Russian citizens. Some Armenians hide their second passports while some of them immigrated to Russia during the 1890s-1918. Armenian sources count these Armenians twice.Particularly in the Abdulhamid period the Ottoman Empire never attempted to show the number of Armenians less than the real fact. In fact it was not possible, because there were thousands of Western missionaries, diplomats and businessmen. The Americans and European missionaries established missionary schools and hospitals for the Armenians in eastern provinces, many of them would be used as arsenal in future. You wrote “Abdul Hamid was worried that Armenians might seek autonomy under the Treaty of Berlin (1878)”. In fact some of the Armenian leaders asked for independence. The problem was that they asked the Russians and the European powers to establish a separate country.
DECLINING ARMENIAN POPULATION
It is understandable that the Armenian population declined slightly or not increased enough in the Ottoman territories during the last decades due to the immigrations and wars. Many Armenian sources openly declare that thousands of Armenians immigrated to Russia, US, Caucasus and Europe. So I cannot see any problem with Shaw’s figures. By the way the was a census study was started in 1905 and it concluded in 1914. Moreover a state does not need every year a census to know its ethnic groups. Taxing, population records and many more text easily showed the population of the Armenians during the Ottoman Empire.
You say Dr. Shaw (UCLA) cannot be a reliable source. Not only Prof. Dr. Shaw but all the historians who are not pro-Armenian are not reliable source for the Armenians. Mc Carthy, Shaw etc. all are liar. The Armenian researchers have dominated the Armenian studies in the United States and in European universities so far. Many US or EU scholars have never listened to the Turkish argument. They have never needed to see Turkish documents. Hundreds of Armenian historians just manipulated the Western scholars and universities. Armenian scholars wrote about the Armenian issue, they then gave references to what they had written before. You say that the Turkish Government donates 3 million dollars to Institute of Turkish Studies in Washington. You give no proof. Anyway, this is not strange for the US. Armenian lobbying institutions spend more than 60 million dollars each year to undermine Turkish interests in the world. In fact the many Armenians devote themselves to ‘destroy’ Turkey and to take revenge. They are obsessively spending money and energy to harm Turkey and Turkish people. Armenia issue is not the only issue in Turkey’s foreign relations and the institute you mentioned above spend very little financial source and time to Armenian issue. In Turkish universities even the history and international relations departments consume very little time for the Armenian issue. So there are couple of scholars in the world who defend Turkey’s arguments in Armenian issue. Even in Turkey there are Armenian lobbying groups. And I think the Armenian lobby groups spend more money to make Armenian propaganda in Turkey than the Turkish Government spends in Turkey.
In brief Armenians spend more money and energy to make Armenian propaganda. They pay the institutes in Europe and the United States. And I believe in Dr. Shaw and his wife’s studies. They are very respectful historians. Their studies are now classics in Turkish-Ottoman studies for many European and American universities.
FIGURES AND FIGURES
You do not accept Ottoman figures. You do not accept any reference which does not confirm pro-Armenian stance. You bring all the pro-Armenian and selected Western documents. We see how the West is impartial about the Turks. They have never been objective and they have always been discriminative regarding the Turkish people. The Ottoman Empire was in war, and you use all the enemy states’ propaganda texts. Please remember British, American, German, Italian, Russian and many other missionaries encouraged the Armenian peoples to riot against their own State. And please remember, Armenians and Turks lived together in Anatolia for the centuries and the Turks never massacred or harmed their Armenian neighbors for the centuries. The Ottoman Sultans, like Fatih, invited all Armenians and Greeks to come and live in Ottoman State. The Ottoman Governments saw the Armenian people as one of the most useful groups for the Ottoman economy and they lived in Istanbul near Ottoman Sultan’s Place. So what changed and the Turks became monsters and the Armenians became victims. I am not expert on Ottoman population. I can refer to population experts or Ottoman archives. If you do not accept these sources and if you insist on your figures what can I do? If the Ottoman State massacred 1.5 million Armenians where are the mass graves? The Ottoman State was in war in many fronts and almost all men population except children and old people were in war, so how the Ottoman State killed 1.5 million people. Please think first, we are talking about 1.5 million (1.500.000) people, more than half of the modern Republic of Armenia.
You say that “countless (Armenian) children, young girls, and brides who were forcibly Islamized and absorbed into the mainstream of the Turkish national entity.” If you accept that many Armenian children were adopted by the Turkish families and many Armenian women were married with the Turkish people you should have realized that the Turkish people cannot be racist. If they are not racist they could not commit genocide, because all genocides are based on racism. There is no Serbian man who adapted a Bosnian orphan child. Do you remember any Nazi SS officer who got married with a Jewish woman. Or imagine the Karabakh War, do you remember any adopted Azeri child by the Armenians, or any Azeri women who got married with Armenian soldier. No, you can’t. Many Azeri children and women were massacred by the Armenian soldiers, but none of the Armenian soldier adopted a Muslim child. All racists think that the lower nations are dirty, and they never want to take their dirty blood to their pure nation. Serbs raped the Bosnian women, killed Bosnian children. Nazi officers similarly killed countless Jewish women and children. They even raped the small children, but they never thought to get marry with them, or to adopt them. If the Turks so hated from the Armenians why they did not kill their countless children and women, but adopted or got married with them. That’s the crucial point: Turkish people know very well that thousands of Armenians were killed or died during the 1915 Relocation Campaign. Me or the majority of the Turkish people do not try to defend the killings or massacres. What we say is that the killings was not genocide. Because we adapted the Armenian children and we got married with the Armenian women. There are very famous singers, actress etc. in Turkey and we have no problem in respecting Armenians in Turkey. What the Turkish people cannot accept is label of genocide committer. The numbers may change according to the British, Armenian or Turkish, but the fact cannot be changed: Turks were not racist and did not commit genocide. And you mention “countless Armenian children and women”, so the Turks did not kill all of them but let countless Armenian children and women to live.
It is true, Turkish, Kurdish and some other immigrants from Russia killed Armenians for personal reasons and interests. Some want money, some attacked for house or garden. Some Kurds took revenge from the Armenians. Armenian Tashnaks attack the Kurdish villages, and the Kurdish gunmen attacked to Armenian villages to take their revenge. It is true, the Ottoman Government was not very good at the organizing such a relocation campaign. Many Turkish historians accept that the Istanbul could not take enough measures to protect the Armenians during the campaign due to the war circumstances. But many Ottoman abusers and many Ottoman officers and governors who neglected their duties were executed by the Ottoman Courts. The Istanbul Government tried to relocate the eastern Armenians to southern provinces of the country and never wanted to destroy the Armenian population. It is possible, some governors or officers personally desired to destroy the Armenians in some territories. However they had not such a power. After the First World War the British tried to captured all accused Ittihat Terakki members and some of these people hide in Armenian houses in Istanbul. Istanbul Armenians continued their life during the relocation campaign. Some of the relocated Armenians returned to Istanbul. Can you imagine a German Jewish who returned to Berlin after the genocide. Turkish people respect the Armenian tragedy, but they also expect the same respect from the Armenians. More than 520.000 Turkish and Kurdish were massacred by the Armenian extremists, and you may find one in the eastern Turkey whose grandpa or grandma massacred by the Armenians during the First World War. The Turks do not speak loudly, they do not accuse openly. They try to forget the past, because they know that if they do not forget, the peace would never come to this region. All sides made mistakes, but Turks did not make genocide mistake.
JTW 7 October 2005
H. Water: To Maral Der Ohanesian on Armenian Letters 4
9 October 2005
Maral Der Ohanesian has compiled an interesting list of the usual Armenian claims, so readily available with decades of fetishistic "Armenian genocide" research. Dr. Laciner has done a fine job of responding, but some of these claims called for more specific scrutiny.
The reason why the Armenian "Genocide" is "denied" is because when an awful charge is made with no factual evidence to back it, it is the duty of all moral people to make certain to say such a charge could not be true. Forces that irresponsibly accept the claims of these charges without digging beneath the surface cannot be presented as further "evidence." Thus, self-serving genocide scholars are the last body to point to as an honorable group; real scholars always examine all facets of a story. The story here is, as Armenian leaders have admitted, the Armenians sided against their nation in a desperate war after forty-odd years of committing terrible crimes and massacres the prejudiced world never considers. Armenians got moved out as a result, and some died; that is because casualties naturally occur when hundreds of thousands are involved, under poor conditions affecting all. The Armenians lost their war gamble, and no one with a code of ethics could support their terrible "genocide" charge, without investigating sources that would have had no reason to lie.
To make her case, Ms. Der Ohanesian offers opinions, for the most part. She begins with Col. Felix Guse, who charged that the Turks didn't know their country.
Let us get one thing straight: the Germans and Austrians were reluctant allies of the Ottoman Empire. Their religious and racial bigotry that was cultivated through the centuries when the Ottomans were one of their greatest threats, was not going to go away. For example, British P.O.W. Harold Armstrong wrote (Turkey in Travail, 1925): "The Germans treated the Turks with high contempt, and more than one told me how glad he was to meet another white man in this 'native' country." So we can imagine someone like Felix Guse looking down his nose upon this "primitive" race, not unlike Ambassador Henry Morgenthau (who used that word to describe the Turks), an American diplomat representing a "neutral" nation. Putting aside what a terrible insult it was for Guse to say that the Turks did not know their own country, one could smell his superior attitude, as he thought that he knew better.
Vahakn Dadrian wrote, "It is inconceivable that a military and political ally, during the war, would try...to discredit another ally. It is inconceivable." Indeed, there is logic here, but as always, in order to find truth, one must always dig beneath the surface. George Schreiner, perhaps the only American reporter who travelled through the interior in 1915 and served as a true eyewitness, knew the tragedies that occurred was not the result of intentional brutality on the part of the Turks. He tried to get the truth out, but the press censors disallowed him. Schreiner, desperate, tried to get his stories out through German channels, but was stopped as well. The reason: "The religious societies of Germany had finally managed to present the case of the Armenians to the emperor and had prevailed upon him to interest himself in these fellow Christians."
So when Ms. Der Ohanesian writes that she will rely upon testimony from pro-Ottoman allies, these biased sources will often not be reliable to demonstrate "the reality."
She is probably correct in mentioning that older censuses (as the 1830 one) were unreliable, as they were primarily concerned with 'heads of household," and not with other family members. As far as why the 1844 census of 2.4 million was unchanged by 1867, it is hinted that the Ottoman government purposely undercounted the Armenians. However, this was the period when the "Loyal Nation" of Armenians were fast becoming disloyal. When Russia conquered lands that included today's Armenia (especially in 1828 -- when Persia was forced to cede these territories -- and after) and began a policy of populating these regions with Armenians, where does one think these Armenians came from? Mostly from the Ottoman Empire. In 1829, the Treaty of Edirne granted the Armenians the right to choose between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. In that year alone, 100,000 Armenians left the areas beyond Erzurum to begin settling in what is sold today as their "ancient homeland." Until this time, Erivan had been inhabited almost exclusively by Moslems. Over the next few generations, more Ottoman Armenians would move to "Russian Armenia."
As unreliable as the older Ottoman censuses might have been, it is interesting that Ms. Der Ohanesian holds the Patriarchate records as presenting "'precision' to the last digit." Anyone who is familiar with the underhanded methods of the Patriarch through the years would laugh. In 1880, the Patriarch of that period revealed his methodology for the statistics, in a letter to the British. He actually counted up to sixty Armenians per household.
"The Turkish author Kâzim Kadri," Ms. Der Ohanesian reports, wrote that Abdul Hamid deliberately lowered the population figures of the Armenians. That could have been true; Abdul Hamid rightly feared that an increased population might allow the European imperialists a greater excuse to wrest further Ottoman lands away. (Regarding the 1878 Treaty of Berlin.) Yet Abdul Hamid's reign was long, and the census department went under great changes in the oncoming years. We can't assume what was policy in 1878, if indeed what Kazim Kadri wrote reflected the truth, remained a constant in the years to come. With the help of the American Ambassador in 1886, the Ottoman census began to undergo significant changes, resulting in a greater degree of accuracy.
Kamuran Gurun wrote: "The results of this (American-assisted) census were published in 1893. It is recognized that the results of the census are reliable, because everybody was given identity papers during the census, and from that date on it was impossible to engage in any occupation without these papers. However, the census was not taken as it is taken today, by requiring everybody to stay at home and going from one house to the next, but by asking the head of every household and by filling in a card for every member of the household. When these cards were being filled in, the muhtars (headmen of a quarter or a village) were present."
This particular census was under the helm of a Jew, Fethi Franco (1893 Armenians: 1,001,465). An Armenian, Migirdic Shabanyan/Shinabyan, ran the General Management of Statistics from 1897 to 1903, after which an American, Mr. Robert, took over. (1906 Armenians: 1,120,748.)
(These figures, by the way, are in line with what Stanford Shaw based his figures on. There was no "guessing" involved with what Shaw provided as 1914's 1,229,007 and Gurun's 1,221,850. I don't know how "official" the 1914 census was, but obviously these figures were not taken from the air.)
Now why should we even doubt the word of any Turkish writer such as Kazim Kadri? If a Turk claimed something, it had to be true, isn't that correct? (That is, solely in cases that are damaging. Otherwise, all Turkish sources must be suspect, of course.) This is what pro-Armenians are banking on; they have conducted the most obsessive research for many years, and Turkish testimony that damns the Turks is like "gold," because all the other sources are just so incredibly tainted.
However, let's keep in mind "Turkish" does not equal "Armenian." I'm speaking generally here, because there have been cases of honest Armenians, or times the Armenians have let their guard down. But as a whole, Armenians behave monolithically when it comes to their cause, and they have done an excellent job in keeping their crimes under a veil of secrecy. In contrast, Turks are generally not beholden to any cause. Turkish individuals can offer their opinions like individuals of any other background, because what Turks seek is the truth. For example: if I ever run into genuine evidence proving a genocide took place among the Armenians, it would be no skin off my nose to say so, and I am sure most Turks would feel the same way. To offer an extreme example of Turks not interested in seeking the truth, we have Taner Akcam and a flood of Turkish opportunists like him. Who is the Armenian counterpart to Taner Akcam? (That is, the "honest" counterpart, as Akcam has a dishonest agenda. In other words, Armenians who feel there was no state policy for extermination don't dare to say so publicly. A rare exception was Edward Tashji.)
Consequently, Ms. Der Ohanesian makes further use of her genocide industry's dirt-digging by offering as an example Dr. Secil Akgun. I had come across this report before, where she believed the Armenian population was between 2 and 3 million, as mentioned in a 1987 Hurriyet account. Keeping in mind that we have to be wary of the unscrupulous Vahakn Dadrian-types who are behind these translations, I wrote to Dr. Akgun, asking if the report was true. She replied, wondering whether the 2-3 million referred to the worldwide population. Whomever translated the above made it sound as though she meant "within the borders of the Ottoman Empire." Is this true? Only a look at the newspaper article will tell the tale. The professor promised to refer to this and get back to me, and so far she has not.
But even if it turns out that is what she said, what does it mean? It means whatever information she based her opinion on at the time was faulty. This is just another opinion, and by itself it means nothing; I'm sure Dr. Akgun would be the first to admit she did not conduct demographic research. Now if the preponderence of opinion among Turkish historians agreed, then we would need to pay more serious note.
Ms. Der Ohanesian's final "Turkish source" is Fa'iz El-Ghusein. (At 1.9 million.) Actually, this must be a "Muslim source," I guess, because that name is not Turkish. Regardless, whomever this Fa'iz El-Ghusein is, he is the author of a book called "Martyred Armenia." His name might as well be Woodrow Wilson or James Bryce.
Ms. Der Ohanesian writes, "Earlier this year, Talat Pasha’s Memoir was discovered in Turkey by one of his descendants." What is she basing this claim upon? I read the same newspaper account where what was called a "black book" was supposedly discovered (I say "supposedly," because some uninformed Turkish scholars who are new at the genocide game are quick to brand old news as new discoveries), and no historian was mentioned. (And no "descendant" was named, or even referred to, as far as I was able to understand.) The jury is out on whether Talat Pasha was behind this source, whatever it was. I'm still trying to determine whether the "Posthumous Memoirs of Talaat Pasha," published in The New York Times' Current History 15, no. 1 (October 1921) is authentic.
As Dr. Laciner pointed out, if there is proof Turkey established the Institute of Turkish Studies (ITS) with $3 million seed money, we have yet to see it. But let's see how Ms. Der Ohanesian attempts to discredit Prof. Stanford Shaw, whose home was bombed in 1977, and whom his fellow UCLA faculty member Richard Hovannisian stirred fanatical Armenian students to disrupt Shaw's classrooms. She relies on that "honorable" genocide scholar Israel Charny's smear tactic claims; Charny threw mud on the reputations on the 69 scholars who signed a 1985 declaration, and successfully warned other neutral academicians from entering this debate.
"The Institute's purpose is to counter Armenian activity at the 'academic level' and as a pro-Turkey lobbying group." I don't know the history of the Institute, but a visit to its web site will demonstrate that not one mention of Armenians is currently being made, and even carries a report by Armenian favorite Fatma Muge Gocek. Charny falsely charged the Institute with being a lobbying group, and that's good enough for Ms. Der Ohanesian, of course; on its web site we have: "In keeping with its charter and tax-exempt status, the Institute does not seek to influence legislation." Ms. Der Ohanesian is welcome to provide an example of such a lobbying effort.
There are groups in the USA that are involved at a "sick" level to constantly give Turkey a black eye, and this institution appears to be an effort to open Turkish studies in universities and to make some attempt to balance the evil work at play. Of course, anything or anyone that is "Turkish" must be connected with the Turkish government; this is what pro-Armenian propaganda has successfully gotten across.
Professors receive grants all the time from a wide variety of sources. If Prof. Shaw received a few grants from the ITS, even if this organization were wholly supported by the Turkish government, was that going to make or break his career? Isn't the implication absolutely ridiculous, that a professor would sell his soul, in order to get a grant? Of course, there may be some professors do that, like possibly Taner Akcam, who is partly supported by an Armenian foundation. But Akcam is of the variety whom fellow ex-terrorist and ex-friend Abdullah Ocalan warned was "open for manipulation." Not everyone would have a "dubious" (as Ocalan described) personality as Taner Akcam. How dare Maral Der Ohanesian libel Stanford Shaw, implying that he would deliberately lie? She offers another clue of Shaw's lack of credibility, that Shaw has a Turkish wife. How many of us would deliberately warp the truth, especially if our professional reputations were on the line, because our spouses ordered us to?
The other Charny-supported organization where Shaw is said to have received a grant was the American Research Institute (ARIT), based in Turkey. So because this organization is based in Turkey, it must automatically be designated a tool of the Turkish government... I suppose like the Armenian National Institute (ANI) must be a tool of the American government, because it is based in America. This is the level of immaturity and stupidity of pro-Armenian propaganda, which the world too often listens to. Here's ARIT's connection to the Turkish government, from its web site: "In 1964, a group of scholars representing American and Canadian universities established the American Research Institute in Turkey."
Ms. Der Ohanesian writes that "no Ottoman official had rejected" the 1913 Patriarch's figure of some 1.9 million. How could such a statement be made as though it were a fact? Do we have records of what every Ottoman official ever said?
Now let's observe the next ridiculous claim:
"And most Western scholars believe the totality of the Armenian population within the Empire prior to 1915 to be between 1.8 and 2.1 million."
The fact that lazy-thinking, unscholarly "scholars" accept Armenian propaganda at face value does not signify credibility.
2.1 million was the Patriarch's claim. 1.8 million was also the Patriarch's claim, the figure Armenian historian concluded, almost certainly derived from Patriarchate records. 1.85 million was the pre-war figure that the Patriarchate provided for Johannes Lepsius, as the missionary testified "under oath" at the 1921 Tehlirian trial.
Now how could the Patriarch be saying 1.8 million on one hand, and 2.1 million on the other? And in 1913, we were told the Patriarch claimed "1,914,620, which presents 'precision' to the last digit." I don't know what Ms. Der Ohanesian's definition of "precision" is, but I don't believe it stands for "wild fluctuation."
At any rate, who in their right minds would accept what the Patriarchate had to say, which has had a history of compromising church ideals by consorting with terror groups and making false statements at every turn? (In 1878, the Patriarchate's "precision" was 3 million. It was quickly "revised" to another "precision" of 1,780,000. Yes, even the Patriarchate is known to be a "revisionist.")
We're told the "German official records" maintained 1.9 to 2 million. Did the Germans take a head count? Or did they simply accept the "precision" of the Patriarchate, as did the rest of the Christian powers?
I once believed Talat Pasha presented 300,000 as the Armenian losses, but now I'm not sure if he did. Regardless, there are several computations indicating 300,000, and while I believe the total was closer to double this figure, 300,000 is not so unbelievable. Others agree, such as French author Georges de Maleville ("La Tragedie Armenienne de 1915").
The common consensus of "neutral" opinion from the period boils down to around 1.5 million. For example:
1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: 1.5 million
Clair Price: 1.5 million
Ludovic de Constenson: 1.4 million
1915 National Geographic: 2 million, nearly worldwide (in Russia, Turkey and Persia)
Lynch and Cuinet, who conducted the most serious studies, mostly referring to data from the Patriarchate, wound up with around 1.5 million, in earlier days. The population from the mid-1890s to pre-1915 basically remained the same, keeping in mind the waves of Armenian emigration.
Patriarchate member Vahan Vartapet: 1,263,900 in 1886. Cuinet wrote the clerical writer appeared not to "err on the side of exaggeration," and when non-Gregorians were added, the total might be upwards of 1.5 million.
There were British sources who believed the population was closer to one million. Even wartime propagandist Arnold Toynbee figured around that figure from his 1915 book, "Nationality and the War." (He felt the total population of Armenians living in Anatolia was only 761,000.)
Anti-Turkish sources such as Richard Hovannisian and Christopher Walker accepted 1.5 million as a possibility, at the lower end of the range they provided. Today, Armenian friend Halil Berktay is comfortable with 1.5 million.
The above are reliable, because none would have a reason to lie for the Turks. If one million Armenians survived, as even Dadrian, Hovannisian and Balakian concede, then we have an idea of the real figure for Armenian victims. Add to this all the hundreds of thousands of refugees Armenian historians wrote were alive at the end of the war. So a death toll of 300,000 is not beyond the realm of possibility. Certainly the mortality was a lot closer to 300,000 than to "1.5 million."
So when a German parliamentarian vouches for a loss of 1.5 million, or when a German officer believed 1.2 million, as Ms. Der Ohanesian tells us, we can see just how acceptable these German "opinions" were.
As far as the credibility of today's numbers vs. what was left back then, 8 million Turks (more like 10-10.5 million, as the Turkish mortality circa WWI was not 5 million, but over 2.5 million) could reasonably grow to 70 million today, if there were practically no wars and natural disasters. The Jewish victims of the Holocaust was a median of 5.25 million according to Washington's Holocaust Museum, and in order to ascertain whether 14.5 million could be reached in 45 years, it would be necessary to compare with how many Jews were left alive at the end of WWII. (The pre-Holocaust worldwide population might have been 16.5 million, and if we subtract 5.5 million, 11 million Jews were left. Today’s population is really around 13 million, and not 14.5 million. So in 45 years, the Jewish population only increased by 2 million.) As far as the Armenians, the worldwide population before the war according to "neutral" consensus was around 3 million. If 1.5 million were killed as Armenian propaganda and some Germans tell us, the likelihood of the remainder's more than tripling is something to ponder, especially since the Diaspora is so spread out, implying it is not always easy to meet fellow Armenians to mate with. And let's not forget, Armenian propaganda tells us all the men were killed.
Ms. Der Ohanesian brings up the "Genocide Law." If she is referring to the 1948 Convention, she should not forget that the "Law" requires proof of intent. I'm aware Ms. Der Ohanesian still believes in the Andonian "Naim Bey"-provided forgeries, and this is the kind of "evidence" that makes her comfortable. The 1948 Convention also exempts those who have formed political alliances. The Armenians openly sided with the Entente, and were at war.
As far as "The 'real' reason of Germany’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide," it boils down not to the hearsay within the “German Official Archive” from Germans who were nowhere near the scene. (Ms. Der Ohanesian tells us officers witnessed massacres "First Hand." For example? And if any actually witnessed massacres "First Hand" and didn't try to put a stop to them, wouldn't that make Germany an accomplice in Ms. Der Ohanesian's genocide?) What Germany’s recognition boils down to is that there are today's German equivalents to Johannes Lepsius, such as Tessa Savvidis Hofmann and Hilmar Kaiser, who for whatever reasons of their own, choose to perpetuate this genocide myth. And just as lazy-thinking Germans of yesteryear were totally simpatico with their co-religionists (witness the kangaroo trial of Soghoman Tehlirian in 1921, where murder was justified), the same is true of Armenian-influenced Germans today.
9 October 2005
Gregory Topalian: on Armenian Letters 4 and H. Water
Gregory Topalian, (Cambridge, UK)
The continuing debate through your pages vis a vis whether there was genocide against thje Armenians or not is tiresome. The Facts attest to the truth, which is that there was a State sponsored massacre of Armenians led by the CUP at the beginning of 1915, a crime that influenced Raphael Lemkin when he originated the term "genocide". End of story.
The real debate is over whether modern day Turkey should recognise that fact. If Turkey is serious about entry into the EU, then she should forget trying to diprove the genocide by manipualting facts, using
obscure references that go against the grain of the majority of reports (e.g. George Schreiner as cited by H. Water, and perhaps the only German eyewitness to suggest that this was not State sponsored massacre), and hold her hands up.
Water's focus on statistics is futile. Despite the fact that census figures 100 years ago are likely to be wildly inaccurate whoever compiles them, I am reminded of Winston Churchill's summing up of the value of statisics when he claimed "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics".
The Turkish State suggests that Orhan Pamuk has made comments detrimental to the interests of the nation. I would argue that people like H Water, who are arguing over a debate long since passed, are doing more of a disservice to the future of your country.
Likewise Ms. Der Ohanesian. The Nuremberg Trials established the guilt of the leading Nazis following World War Two. The Turkish Military Tribunals served the same purpose in 1919 vis a vis those guilty of
perpetrating the Armenian Genocide.
We do not need to argue over whether the genocide happened, just over when it might be a suitable juncture in history for modern day Turkey to acknowledge the fact.
The signs are that the truth is not far from being allowed to surface in Turkey, and that people like H. Water will, like their arguments, be consigned to the dustbin of history.
Gregory Topalian, (Cambridge, UK)
Kezban GULSATAR: On Armenian Letters and Gregory Topalian
Typically Armenian Attitude
Kezgan GULSATAR (Ankara)
11 October 2005
I have been reading the continuing Armenian Letters and the following debates. The comments prove that the Diaspora Armenians are still the typical. They never accept, never listen to the difference ideas, and they bring no proves. They just blame, they just make allegations without base. For the Diaspora Armenians, all Turkish documents are lies, all Ottoman Archives are full of distortions, all Turkish Government arguments are based on evil ideas. They accuse and then say that the case is over… Turkish nation will never accept such an attitude. The Diaspora Armenians have all the rights to accuse the innocent Turkish people, but they must note that the Turkish nation also has all the rights to defend itself. By the way, if you are obsessive with the past, you should go to a psychiatrist, not to the national parliaments. This is not an insult. I am definitely sure that if Turkey accept the Armenian allegations, nothing would be changed and the victimization among the Armenians would be encouraged by the ultra-nationalist Armenian groups like the Tashnaks.
Kezgan GULSATAR (Ankara)
11 October 2005
H. Water: To Gregory Topalian on Armenian Letters
14 October 2005
Gregory Topalian's letter reminded me of when Richard Hovannisian reportedly stated in 1982's "Congress on the Problems of World Armenians": "The Armenian problem could not be proved. The genocide is not valid legally and it is exposed to prescription."
But because Hovannisian transformed himself from a half-baked historian to an outright propagandist (a 1967 book of his was sometimes sensible; by the time of a 1990 book, he started writing sentences such as "Turkish Armenians still languished under the hand of a butcher," which no true historian would be caught dead writing), what did he reportedly state in a genocide conference held in Germany on March 2001?
"There is no need to prove that the government of Ottoman Empire committed genocide against Armenians in Turkey."
In other words, the genocide could not be proven. So let's just try to "pretend" that it is a fact, and hope the anti-Turkish world does not notice.
As a result, facts are naturally going to be "tiresome," in Mr. Topalian's word, to those ideologues whose last purpose is to desire analyzing the real truth. This is why the extremist Armenians and their mindless supporters have done their best to try and silence those who disagree, by staining their reputations.
Gregory Topalian is described (where he served as a panelist on a genocide-related conference last month, highlighting the chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg, Robert Jackson) as "a historian of the Armenian Genocide."
The definition of a historian is one who dispassionately observes all sides of a story. Since the Armenian "Genocide" could not be proven, anyone who makes such a terrible accusation without factual evidence is dealing in falsehood. Mr. Topalian would not like it if one accused him of a ruinous crime without presenting genuine facts. Attempting to defend himself, Mr. Topalian would be a vehement "denier" against such an outrage.
What does Nuremberg have to do with the Armenian myth? Mr. Topalian attempted to use the kangaroo court-martials of 1919-20 as a parallel, in order to demonstrate "what took place in the Anatolian homelands of the Armenians was a State sponsored genocide," as the bio goes on to tell us. This is the main "evidence" he offers in his letter.
Who were the prosecutors in Nuremberg? They were not the Germans, but the Allies. In order to present a true parallel, we must examine the tribunal that was similarly headed by the Allies at the end of WWI. This would be the Malta Tribunal, presided by the British.
Over two years of looking under every rock, in the archives of several countries, and the British had to release every one of the 144 (at one point) accused Ottoman for lack of evidence. This is when the British learned of the deception of the Armenians, and their Patriarch, upon whose information they almost solely had relied. The British couldn't utilize their own hysterical "Wellington House" war propaganda; they couldn't utilize the accounts even from Morgenthau and his American consuls. The British ambassador from Washington wrote all of this nonsense forming today's foundation of "genocide evidence" boiled down to the "personal opinions" of the writers. As we know, hearsay is not acceptable in valid courts of law.
Moreover, the 1919-20 kangaroo court-martials were so "fixed," the British rejected all of their findings. Of course; the puppet Ottomans not only wished to seek retribution against the previous administration, they were under the gun to come up with culprits for the massacres, otherwise they would get no mercy from the Peace Conference. The reward of these lackeys: the death of the Turkish nation, via the Sevres Treaty.
Just to give an idea of how invalid these courts were, Armenian lawyers such as Hmayak Khosrovian were allowed as "personal prosecutors" and "private plaintiffs." In other words, it was the defense (where the defendants could not choose their own lawyers) vs. not one prosecutor, but multiple ones. Can anyone be surprised that almost every defendant was found guilty? The 1944 Nazi court judging the accused in Hitler's failed assassination plot would have approved.
(By the way: while the British deserve a big hooray for observing the rule of law at Malta, they weren't always so honorable. The aforementioned Armenian lawyer was the same who defended the "Nemesis" assassin of an Azeri official in 1921 Istanbul. The killer, Missak Torlakian, got off scot free. He murdered a man, just like Nemesis' Soghoman Tehlirian murdered Talat Pasha in 1921 Berlin, and the British took the despicable example of the Germans' own kangaroo court.)
Those of you wishing more details on these phony Ottoman courts can read Professor and Holocaust Survivor Guenter Lewy's essay in http://www.meforum.org/article/748/. All readers are urged to read his forthcoming book, "The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide," promising to deliver a knockout punch... if this masterful article serves as an example.
Several more comments on Mr. Topalian: since he is a historian, he should at least try to make a surface attempt to be careful with the facts. George Schreiner was not a "German," but an American. Any historian of the Armenian "Genocide" calling George Schreiner "obscure," should bow his head in shame. (He was likely the ONLY American newspaperman witnessing events firsthand in 1915!) And he was far from "perhaps the only German eyewitness to suggest that this was not State sponsored massacre," if we're speaking about Germans. Bronsart von Schellendorf, for example, was so aghast at the fixed trial proceedings of Tehlirian, where not one witness for the prosecution was summoned, he wrote a magazine article to "help truth find its rightful place." He was a real eyewitness, unlike the bigoted German consuls and diplomats who were usually not near the scene, whose often prejudiced opinions Vahakn Dadrain has dutifully compiled. (And the ever-present missionary, Johannes Lepsius, who was oddly summoned for this trial.)
If Mr. Topalian remains unconvinced that this "genocide" is disputed, let me present the private testimony of a witness most zealous for the Armenian cause: missionary Mary Louise Graffam (She publicly "revised" her views a few years later; as we know, missionaries had the agenda to vilify Turks):
"I am not in any way criticizing the government. Most of the higher officials are at their wits end to stop these abuses and carry out the orders which they have received, but this is a flood and it carries all before it."
As a Cambridge resident, perhaps Mr. Topalian would feel comfortable with the words of a "genocide scholar" who used to teach at Cambridge's university:
"...[D]eportation -- a time-honoured strategy in nineteenth-century Turkey -- while tantamount to death for the old, the weak and the infirm, was not genocide."
Jay Winter, THE GREAT WAR, Penguin Press. You see, Prof. Winter explained, it was renegade soldiers acting on their own, and the like. Kind of akin to My Lai, only -- curiously -- the United States has escaped charges of attempting to exterminate the Vietnamese people. Prof. Winter, by the way, "revised" his views even more in later years, going on to edit a horrid genocide propaganda book. No doubt the genocidal "glamour" he has enjoyed has helped him to get positioned in the prestigious university of Yale; genocide can be a highly profitable industry, for some.
It is true the Armenian tale influenced Raphael Lemkin; in his native Poland, rare was the time when the press treated the story fairly as with every other Christian country. When one hears only one propagandistic version of an event, the natural impulse for most people is not to scratch beneath the surface. What's more interesting about Lemkin is that he supported the exemption of those forming political alliances, implemented in the 1948 U.N. Convention. On that basis alone, anyone calling this mythology a "genocide" is not adhering to the Convention's rules. Ottoman-Armenians openly sided with their nation's enemies, and joined in the war.
"Water's focus on statistics is futile." My letter was in response to an Armenian woman who has deeply accepted this propaganda, and who had brought up statistical evidence so convincing on the surface. I wonder why Mr. Topalian did not fire off a letter, over the futility of Ms. Der Ohanesian's statistical presentation?
A real historian would hesitate before making such a rash statement. Of course we can get a reasonably good idea as to the number of Ottoman-Armenians before the war. All we must do is mainly listen to sources that would have had no reason to lie. If Mr. Topalian believes in the futility of trying to sort out what happened 100 years ago, he must believe in the futility of all history... so it is strange that he should be in the "historian" business.
The bio further states: "Gregory Topalian is a Director with the Gomidas Institute (UK), whose primary role is to introduce the Armenian Genocide to young people in the United Kingdom." So Mr. Topalian is attempting to use his false version of events to sway impressionable young British minds.
No matter how much Mr. Topalian craves that this is "a debate long since passed," the fact is what people have come to accept is not real history, but propaganda. The real history demonstrates that if there was a systematic campaign for extermination, it was on the part of the Armenians, with the assistance of their Russian allies. Mass murderers like Dro and Armen Garo had a field day helping to brutalize hundreds of thousands of innocent and defenseless civilians, when the Turkish men were away, fighting a desperate war. Because of the world's prejudice and the power of wealthy, obsessed and influential Armenians, these unethical forces have been able to get away with their hateful tales.
Yet these forces should be afraid. What passes for historians among them, unless they have been hopelessly brainwashed, know the true nature of the events. Far from these tiresome facts being "consigned to the dustbin of history," as Mr. Topalian has written, they should keep in mind the words of George Schreiner (in a powerful Dec. 11, 1918 letter penned to his "fellow German," Henry Morgenthau, criticizing the ex-ambassador's "Story" book):
"Ultimately, truth will prevail."
(In my previous letter, the omitted name of the Armenian historian vouching for 1.8 million Armenians was Kevork Aslan.)
14 October 2005
By Maral Der Ohanesian to JTW Editor
Wednesday , 02 November 2005
Milleti Sadika 'The Loyal Nation':
Before I start “PART TWO” of my response to your letter, I want to make the following comment: First of all, I think that you made a serious error when you decided to post the opinions of someone with a fake name in a comment page of your website [ http://www.turkishweekly.net/comments.php?id=1783].
I thought that we had an agreement that this dialog is a one-on-one dialog between you, Dr. Laciner, the Editor in Chief of the JTW, and this ordinary Armenian girl. I don't want to believe that you broke your agreement, according to which, comments from any reader on this subject should have been posted in the “Letters To Editor” section. I suggest that you correct that unintentional mistake by removing this fake article and placing it in the "Letters to the Editor" section.
Mutual respect is the number one rule between you and I in this dialog. This is not a circus where any anonymous clown can jump in the middle of the conversation trying to do some tricks and expect us to applaud him/her/it. It won’t make any difference if the fake name is “Hold Water” or “ Mickey Mouse.” Excuse me, but this is unprofessional and unacceptable.
Therefore, I don't wish to respond to someone who is too cowardly to disclose his/her/its real name. For all you know, he/she/it could be a criminal or an ex-convict or even a wanted terrorist. I don't have the time for such speculations. Therefore, I will not respond to his/her/its comments. I'm sorry, but I won't stoop that low. The bottom line is: no name, no credibility, no opinion! Since that person, whoever it is, wrote an opinion piece, it does matter whose opinion it is. Please do not think that what matters is the opinion and not whose is it. Wouldn't the readers want to know whether a particular statement is made by Hitler, Mohammed or Mickey Mouse? It does matter, doesn't it? That is why no self-respecting credible journal would print an opinion column under a fake name.
If you want my answers to any of his/her/its nonsense assertions, implications or comments, there is only one way that would happen: Adopt whatever you wish of his/her/its comments, rephrase it in a more non-offensive and respectful style, put your name on the comment, then I would consider responding to it.
What did surprise me the most is how did you allow this interference in our dialog? Theis only weakened your argument, and negatively affect your position in this dialog, especially when this person wrote the following words about you personally: “Dr. Laciner has done a fine job of responding, but some of these claims called for more specific scrutiny.”
Saying that you [Dr. Laciner] did a fine job, but it was not good enough, so let the “professional” handle it?!! Excuse me, but how is this acceptable to you, especially coming from someone who doesn't have any ID?! Even if one ignores his/her/its unacceptable tone in writing and personal attacks on other people rather than making a real point or argument!
One last thing: I couldn't help but laugh when I read this: “I wrote to Dr. Akgun, asking if the report was true. She replied, wondering whether the 2-3 million referred to the worldwide population. Whomever translated the above made it sound as though she meant 'within the borders of the Ottoman Empire .'"
Please!! Did he/she/it think that the JTW readers are that stupid? He/she/it keeps forgetting the fact that a person with a fake name can just as easily make up a fake e-mail! And that “made up” stuff won’t hold water against published material.
As you can see, in that typical revisionist/denialist piece, there is nothing solid -- no document, no evidence, nothing! This is just an attempt to cast doubt on the facts. I presume you have a Ph.D., Dr. Laciner, therefore, you should know that scientific research doesn't work that way. A theory needs to be proven by evidence, not empty words hidden under a fake name!
Now let’s return to “PART TWO” of my response, to Your Letter 3.
You have provided 5 suggested reasons for the Armenian Casualties, but if you look more carefully to those 5 reasons, you find only “One” perpetrator, The Turkish Government of the infamous Committee of Union and Progress.
1-Bad Administration: The Government to blame for it.
2-Deportation: (you describe it as Relocation): I don’t think that there is a need to say that Relocation means that when you kick people out of their homes, you’ll need to find measures to “relocate” them, give them new homes, or at least compensate their home’s loss, something that never happened, and never planned to happen.
The testimony of Ali Fuad Erden, a Turkish General with military jurisdiction over the Mesopotamia regions to which Armenians were deported can give a confirmation about the fact that it wasn’t a “Relocation,” but a “Deportation” or “Exile” of the Armenian population. In his post-war memoirs he emphatically declared that “…there was neither preparation, nor organization to shelter the hundreds of thousands of the deportees."
Dr. Ahmet Kuyas, of Turkish Galatasaray University consents by saying “…When the [Ottoman] state took the decision to march away all the young and the old, the male and the female people up to the age of 70 from Tokat to Aleppo, it was well aware that more than the half of them wouldn’t be able to reach their destination. To march away all these people meant to send them to death… Talaat Pasha [was] guilty for this act.”
So, as you see, it wasn’t a Relocation, it was a Deportation of masses of people, sending them to the desert without ANY food, medication or rest, expose them to inhuman circumstances, by marching for months under the heat and hungry, expose them to criminal attacks by local Turks and Kurds, in addition to the abuse and murders by soldiers and special organizations of criminals. If all of that wasn’t enough to be described as government responsibility for its subjects’ systemic destruction and deaths, then what is in your opinion?!
3-War circumstances: This would be also the government’s responsibility. The reckless decisions of the leading circles of the government dragged the Ottoman Empire to the WWI.
4-“Communal Clashes” (in your words): This was not the case as I said earlier, because:
As you accepted in your previous message, which is a well known fact, that all able bodied men were recruited in the war. Who is then fighting in these massive so-called communal clashes?!
Do you think that it would be possible for old men, women and children, who were still frightened by memories of the massacres that had happened against them for decades earlier, to engage in a “Communal Clash” or “Civil War” against Muslims protected by the government, army and police?!
Then the communal clash is a clash between two tribes or distinct groups of people taking advantage of the “Absence” of the “Central Authority.” Now another question imposes itself here, do you think that a Government that leads a World War and dictates the Empire through it for four years, can be described as an “Absent authority”?! And let me remind you that World War I, under the leadership of the CUP, continued for two other years after the uprooting of the Armenians from their home was totally finished in 1916.
Therefore is absolutely no basis for your “communal” clash argument.
5- “Riot” (in your words): Let’s examine that argument.
It is a well known fact, accepted by the whole world, even by Ataöv, one of the Turkish government’s leading revisionists, and other revisionists like Sonyal, that Armenians for FIVE Centuries and up to the WWI were known in the Ottoman Empire as the “ Millet-i Sadik-a”, which can be translated, “The Loyal Nation”, “ The Truth-telling Nation” or “The Most Trustworthy Nation.”
It is also an accepted fact that the leaders of the major Armenian political party at the time, the Dashnaktzoutiun, as early as August 1914, publicly declared its allegiance to the Ottoman state, and called on the Ottoman Armenian population to support the Ottoman Empire as loyal citizens in its war with Russia and the Allies, although they refused to form militias to attack the Russian villages on the eastern front. At the same time the Armenian Patriarchate also officially declared the loyalty and support of the Armenian people to the Ottoman State in the WWI.
More confirmation on Ottoman Armenian “Loyalty” was a testimony by “Enver Pasha” himself, the Minister of Harbiya. In January 22, 1915, upon his arrival to Constantinople from Sivas , after his bitter defeat in Sarikamish, he made a speech congratulating the Armenians for “admirably” doing their duty and praising their loyalty and bravery on the Caucasian front and elsewhere. Moreover he thanked the Armenian soldier who “saved” him from being killed or captured by the Czarist forces.
So what was “really” going on?! And where did all those lies of general riot and “Millet-i Sadika-a”’s treachery, and joining the Russian army allegations came from?
It was an “Agenda” of the Ittihad Leaders who tried to “Justify” their Crimes against their Armenian subjects, and it was followed by all the consequent governments, except for the Turkish governments between 1918-1923, which did actually acknowledge this “Crime” against the Armenians, and called for “Punishment” of the perpetrators. Prof. Deborah Dwork, the notable Holocaust Scholar and the Director of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University , summarizes the Ittihad ve Terakki’s agenda, by saying:
“The first item on this agenda concerns the liquidation of the Armenians. Ittihad will dangle before the Allies a specter of an alleged revolution prepared by the Armenian Dashnak party. Moreover, local incidents of social unrest and acts of Armenian self-defense will deliberately be provoked and inflated and will be used as pretexts to effect the deportations. Once en route, however, the convoys will be attacked and exterminated by Kurdish and Turkish brigands, and in part by gendarmes, who will be instigated for that purpose by Ittihad.”
A similar judgment was expressed, in an official German archival document, by Count Wolff Metternich, the German Ambassador to Turkey, who reported to Berlin in September 18, 1916, saying: “There was neither a concerted general uprising nor was there a fully valid proof that such a synchronized uprising was planned or organized.” 
Another historical testimony about the “Fabrication” of CUP Government leaders in order to “Justify” their hideous crimes, stated by the German vice-consul in Erzerum, Dr. Max Erwin Scheubner-Richter who wrote in an official dispatch dated December 6, 1916 describing the futile and spotty Armenian resistance:
”They [the Turkish Leaders] were planning on fabricating, for the benefit of Allied Powers, an alleged revolution stirred up by the Dashnak (Armenian) party. They also planned to inflate the importance of isolated incidents and acts of self-defense by the Armenians and use them as an excuse to deport the targeted population which then would be massacred by escorting gendarmes and assorted gangs.”
So what were the civilian Armenians trying to defend themselves against?!
In his account, Vice-Marshall Joseph Pomiankowski, the Austro-Hungary's (Ottoman ally’s) military plenipotentiary, who during the war was attached to Ottoman general headquarters, described the self-defense of the Armenians as follows:
"The Van uprising certainly was an act of desperation. The local Armenians realized that the general butchery against the Armenians had started and that they would be the next victims.”
Thus, as the Official archival documents of the Ottoman Empire allies on one hand, and eyewitnesses including the survivors of the Genocide on the other hand, agree on the fact that when the “General Butchery” against the Armenians started and as the news reached the Armenians in the other vilayets, they knew what was their fate to be, therefore some of them in an act of desperation tried to resist forthcoming deportation and avoid annihilation, and chose to “defend” themselves, their homes and families against the released criminals and soldiers. But, all those self-defense acts, resistance to Turkish slaughter, ended by the invasion of the soldiers. And the “Whole” Armenian population was “Wiped Out” and uprooted from their homes, farms, shops and properties, which were looted, then seized and sold to the benefit of the “Government.”
Now, as I show with historical official archival documents of the Ottoman Allies that the Ottoman Armenians were no threat to the Empire, and that they were “only” defending themselves and their homes against the Ottoman soldiers, police, tax collectors and special organizations, let’s examine your other sentence. You wrote “Many Armenians joined the Russian armies and many of them were killed by the Ottoman Armies.”
I honestly can’t believe, how can anyone who have any idea about history and geography fall for an attempted meaningless mingling like that!!
First of all, you must understand that there were two different Armenian populations involved in the WWI. The Armenian citizens of the Russian Empire, who joined the Russian army as any Russian citizen on the side of the Allies, and the Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire, who declared their loyalty to the Ottomans in the WWI and joined the Ottoman Army as citizens of the Empire, only to be disarmed and massacred by the Turkish military.
As historian Jay Winter of Cambridge University described: "It became a political and strategic threat when the war broke out because of the place of Armenians in the Russian Empire. However, most Armenians, two million of them living in the Turkish Empire , were no threat whatsoever. 
Genocide deniers and revisionists, intentionally handle this issue with ambiguity, taking advantage of most people’s ignorance about historical and geographical facts, by just saying that Armenians joined the Russian army, but which Armenians? It was the Russian citizen Armenians. That’s what they don’t say.
Now how can you hold the “Whole” Ottoman Armenian citizens accountable, for the loyalty of the Russian Armenian citizens?!
Is that in your opinion “Treachery”?!
Does that in your opinion “justify” Genocide against the Ottoman Armenian Population?!
Of course not, mind you that there is “NOT” even one evidence, or document that proves the allegation of “Armenian Treachery” that you were trying to imply in your letter. There is not even one trial of ANY Armenian for the charge of “Treachery,” and even if there was (hypothetically) that couldn’t be an excuse for the Ottoman State to exterminate the “Whole” Armenian population of the Empire, or even to exile them. Sorry, that does not “Justify” Genocide.
Although one can’t be surprised of these Turkish Allegations, because the whole world had recently witnessed the Turkish standards of “treachery”, when in May 2005 the Minster of “Justice” had branded Turkish academics who wanted to hold a conference about the Armenians as “traitors” and accused them of “Stabbing the Nation in the back” . And as one of the Turkish columnists Hasan Cemal, had describe it in his column in the Turkish newspaper “Millet” by saying :
“… It is not easy to find any other country where, as in , it is this easy to produce traitors.”
You said: “If you fight against your own state, you deserve to die. It is a universal law anywhere in the world.”
Dr. Laciner, allow me to say that you are wrong. Not only because we didn’t fight against our state but some of us did defend themselves, not only because that there was no trial or conviction of any Armenian with the charge of treachery; you are wrong because only a genocidal State would exterminate a whole ethnic population for (if there is any) the resistance of some of the members of this group. Even if Armenians fought for their independence (which is something that didn’t happen), it is the “Natural” right of every occupied people to have their independence.
Excuse me, but this is not a universal reaction as you stated, and nothing can “Justify” genocide. Irish people, for example, are still fighting for their independence for 700 years now. Did the British government adopt a Genocide policy against the “Whole” Irish population?!
What about the Chechens who are still fighting against Russia for 400 years with simple weapons, and the power balance is not in their favor at all, they are afflicting huge losses on the Russian army. Did ever try to deport or exterminate them?!
Genocide Can Never be Justified!! (End of Part Two)
Maral Der Ohanesian
Notes of Maral's Letter:
 Ali Fuad Erden, Birinci Dünya Harbinde Suriye Hatralar (Syrian memoirs of World War I), vol. 1. Istanbul , 1954, p. 122.
 Dr. Ahmet Kuyas of Galatasaray University , in an interview with Turkish journalist Deria Sezak, “Millet” Turkish newspaper, Oct. 3, 2005.
 David Marshall Lang and Christopher Walker, The Armenians: Report 32, Minority Rights Group, 1998); Christopher J. Walker, “: The Survival of a Nation,” London , 1980.
 Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt, “The Holocaust: A History” ( New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2002), p. 38.
 German Foreign Ministry Archives, A.A. Türkei 183/40, A25749, September 18, 1916 report, p. 25. This source contains Ambassador Metternich's reference.
 Joseph Pomiankowski, Der Zusammenbruch des Ottomanischen Reiches (The collapse of the Ottoman Empire ). 1928.
 Jay Winter and Blaine Baggett. “The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century.” New York and London : Penguin Studio, 1996.
 Hasan Cemal, “Millet” Turkish newspaper Sept. 28, 2005.>
By Laciner's Response to Ohanesian's Letter
Wednesday , 02 November 2005
You claim that JTW published a letter with a fake name in our comment page, and you name it as ‘serious error’. I do not share your opinion. JTW has all the rights to decide whether to publish or not a letter. We publish all the letters we receive from Turkish, Armenian or any others in our pages. Only those which include insults and strong language are excluded. Second, we know who Hold Water is. He kindly asked us not to mention his original name due to the threats from Armenian radicals. And we find it a reasonable demand. The Armenian radicals threaten our writers too. Some of the letters say that they will kill or harm our writers. As you know very well we experienced in the past that many Turkish diplomats, journalists and academicians were attacked, and even killed by the Armenian extremists. Even the foreigners were assaulted by the Armenian groups. Prof. Shaw’s house in the was fired, and Prof. McCarthy was attacked by the Armenian groups. The problem is that many Armenians cannot bear to listen different opinions. If any Armenian or any other readers ask us to hide their real names, we may help them too. Apart from the nick name usage, the important thing is what Hold Water writes. We should not focus on the individuals but the context. I do not know you for instance. I do not know your real name is Maral or not, and this is not my problem. What is important is what you write. Normally JTW does not like to publish letters or articles with nick names, yet when we need to protect the people, we have to do so.
You wrote that “I thought that we had an agreement that this dialog is a one-on-one dialog between you, Dr. Laciner, the Editor in Chief of the JTW, and this ordinary Armenian girl” and you accuse us of breaking ‘our agreement’ by posting a letter to JTW pages. First, JTW is a newspaper, and I cannot make any agreement with anybody to limit the JTW publication. Our ‘agreement’ is not an obstacle to publish other comments. JTW not only publish the letters which criticize your ideas, but it publishes the pro-letters too. We published Armenian letters which support you and criticize JTW and me. We, in principle publish any letter as far as it contributes solution and includes valuable views. Yes we may publish even Micky Mouse’s letters, if his/her letters says something serious about Armenian Issue or any others issues.
You say that you do not want respond H. Water’s comments and you wrote “I don't wish to respond to someone who is too cowardly to disclose his/her/its real name. For all you know, he/she/it could be a criminal or an ex-convict or even a wanted terrorist”. I am sorry but I do not remember any anti-Armenian Turkish terrorist name but I can call many Armenian terrorists. No Armenian was harmed by any Turkish ‘terrorists’ for the decades, but more than 40 Turkish diplomats were murdered by ASALA and other Armenian terrorists. Armenian terrorists put bombs to civilian airports in Paris , Ankara , London and many other cities. So, you can be sure that H. Water is not a terrorist but someone who is afraid of Armenian fanatics and terrorists. We did not post his letter to urge you to give a response. Off course you do not have to give a reply to him. He has no link with JTW or anyone from our staff. He sent a letter and we publish it, as we publish many Armenian letters in our pages.
I understand that H. Water’s letter made you nervous and angry. You label his letter ‘offensive and non-respectful’. I do not understand which part of the letter made you so nervous. As a matter of fact that I receive everyday more aggressive and more non-respectful letters. Even an Armenian journalist called me ‘dishonorable man’ because we had different opinions. Most of the Armenian letters sent me include very strong language and they insult me, my nationality, my family etc. I have replied almost all them and I told them that they should understand that I do not hate the Armenians. I work to establish a real dialogue between Turkish and Armenian peoples because they need each other. Whether they understand or not is not important, I have great hopes, and I know there are some Armenians there who will appreciate my goodwill and works in future.
You wrote again “What did surprise me the most is how did you allow this interference in our dialog?” Plase do not forget that our diolgue is not a personal dialogue. I do not know you and you do not know me personally. This is an open dialogue and I have no problem with interferences from Armenian or Turkish side. If the people send letters on your or on my opinion it means that we reach our aim. You are not happy with the following words of H. Water letter: “Dr. Laciner has done a fine job of responding, but some of these claims called for more specific scrutiny.” I do not understand what disturb you in these words. He supports my arguments like many other letters we receive. Not only me, buy you also receive significant support and encouragement. For instance Edward Sarafian sent to JTW too the letter sent to you. Sarafian in his letter says “Voghch ellas. Vartzket gadar. Excellent Response. Keep up the good work.” Not only Sarafian but also other Armenian agree with you and we try to publish their letters too. If you send a letter to a newspaper with more than 15.000 readers every day, you naturally receive pro and con letters. Don’t take this as offense.
Response to Your ‘PART TWO of Letter 3’
First of all you and many Armenians name the Istanbul Government, ‘Turkish Government’. Off course the dominant ethnic group was the Turks, but the Istanbul Government at that time was an Ottoman Government. Even some of the Armenian books use ‘’ instead of ‘the Ottoman Empire ’. Please remember was established in 1923. Not only you, but the well-kown Armenian ‘historians’ and experts also make this mistake. Atom Egoyan for instance used Turkish Republic ’s flag in his Ararat film instead of the Ottoman Empire flag. I do not try to escape any responsibility for the Ottoman past. However we first should use the concepts properly.
I understand you accept that there was at least 5 reasons for the Armenian casualties, but you argue the Ottoman Government and Ittihat ve Terakki was main responsible for all these reasons, including the bad weather.
1-Bad Administration: You blamed the Government for bad administration. Of course the government was responsible for the bad administration and even the Turkish people suffered a lot from Ittihat’s bad administration. The Ottoman State lost great territories under the Ittihat. They were not democratic and not gifted. Most of the Turkish people do not like the Ittihat Terakki members. Even during the First World War the majority of the Turkish people did not support this party. They were guilthy for bad administration, but not for a genocide or a massacre. They were patriotic people and they were trying to protect their peoples and country. The problem is that they failed.
2-Deportation/Relocation: I name the 1915 Campaign as ‘re-location’, not ‘deportation’ because you cannot deport your citizens to your territories. The word ‘deportation’ is described by the Cambridge Dictionary as “ forcing (a person) to leave a country because they have no legal right to be there or because they have broken the law”. The Ottoman Government did not deport them from the Ottoman territories. They were re-settled to another Ottoman territory, and other southern Ottoman provinces. The relocated Armenians were not illegal. The Government took an administrative measurement to protect its armies against the Russian-Armenian attacks. The similar measurements took by the during the Second World War and many Japanese Americans from the Western coasts of the were forced to settle near the Mississippi river . If you look at the Relocation (tehcir) Law, the Ottoman Governors and other officials had to protect the Armenians in the campaign. Armenian had be helped in selling their properties. In fact the Armenians did not have to sell their properties if they wanted. According to the Tehcir Law, the Armenians were free to return their hometowns when the war conditions ended. It was the Ottoman Governers’ duty to buy train tickets. The Ottoman Governers in the southern provinces had to find jobs and homes for the new comers. The Ottoman Army had the duty to protect the Ottoman Armenians on the journey. The Tehcir Law was a perfect legal document and implemented in some provinces fully. The problem was that the Government had no full control over the Ottoman territories. The army was in a bloody war against the French, British, Russians and Greeks in many fronts. Some parts of the country was under occupation and it was really a formidable job to organize such a relocation campaign. Therefore I accuse the Government for their failure. They caused great tragedies for the Turkish and Armenian peoples. But no one could name this failure as a ‘genocide’. Many Ottoman civil servants and officers were judged and sentenced after the relocation campaign for their failure and ignorance.
You are right, “there was neither preparation, nor organization to shelter the hundreds of thousands of the deportees” in many provinces. The Government asked the impossible jobs from the Governors. But this is a typical bad administration. It is unfortunate that the laws are better than the implementation in many countries. There is no perfect government and the politicians just promise what they cannot do. It is the same politicians who promised Turkish people a stable and secure country. But millions of Turkish citizens were killed or wounded during the First World War.
I cannot agree with Dr. Ahmet Kuyas. There are many pro-Armenian scholars and journalists in different from Armenia Diaspora Armenians. is a free country and everyone is free to defend anything. Dr. Kuyas opinion is just an opinion, not a historical fact. The Government was in real troubles. Imagine a country that fight the greatest powers of the world in all sides. British, Russian, French, Greek and others attacked you. Arabs and some other minorities were making co-operation with the ‘enemy’. Armenian gangs attacked the civilian Muslim villages. There were more than 200,000 Armenians in the enemy side. The country was in an economic catastrophe, the people, even the soldiers had to eat grass and wild animals because they could not find anything to eat. All men are at the war fronts, and the state organization was simply out of control. The Russians attacked from the East and the Armenian militants attacked from the back of the front. The Ottoman army was between of these two. The Istanbul Government had to take some measures. They had two options: destroy all the Armenian villages or relocate the Armenian villages far away from the war theatre. They did not have time to estimate whether they had enough power to relocate hundreds of thousands people. They had no time, and it was an emergency situation. They had do something and they decided to relocate the Armenians near the war theatre. If there was a German State in Anatolia at that time, what they would had chosen is not a secret. The German generals advised the Ottoman Government to destroy all the Armenians. Many Armenians were killed in communal clashes and by other reasons. However most of them safely immigrated from the war region. Some of them, not many, returned to their hometown after the war. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk told an American newspaper that hundreds of thousands Armenians had the chance to return their hometowns, but they supported the French occupation forces after the First World war and they fought against the Turkish Salvation Armies. With the French armies, they tortured or killed many Muslims. Ataturk said “after such a war, none of them dared to return to their towns”. However many Armenians returned to Istanbul , when they found dangerous to return to the small towns. Hundreds of thousands immigrated to , , island, Caucasian, Europe and North America . That is why there are strong diasporas in these countries.
3-War Circumstances: You again accuse the government for the war circumstances. But please please it was First World War. Almost all nations were in the war. War is not a good thing. But a reality. And Istanbul Government was one of the latest one who joined the war. If you blame the Ottoman Government for joining the war, you should blame the Russians, British, French and Greeks too. They came to Anatolia . They occupied the Turkish homeland. The Ottoman State ’s war was in fact a resistance war. And the Armenians. More than 200,000 Armenians joined the allies and helped the occupation. They occupied the Van province and cleaned the way for Russian occupation. The Tashnaks and other militant groups proudly tell the ‘heroic’ stories about how they massacred the Turkish and Kurdish villagers, agas and civil servants during the First World War. You should decide whether the Armenians were innocent people with no arm or ‘heroic warriors’. If they were in war against their own government, you cannot name the conflicts as ‘genocide’ or ‘massacre’. All governments have the rights to surpass the armed riots. If the Armenians lived in and if they behaved as they did during the First World War, the picture would be totally different. There would be no Armenian diaspora, but Armenian graves everywhere.
4- Communal Clashes: You wrote “This was not the case as I said earlier, because… all able bodied men were recruited in the war. Who is then fighting in these massive so-called communal clashes?!” The communal clashes were between Armenian Kurdish villages. Actually Armenian gangs mainly targeted the Kurdish villages. Tashnak documents clearly shows how the Kurdish villages were ‘cleared’ by the Armenian attacks. And after the First World War when the Armenians joined the occupying French soldiers in the south eastern provinces in particular, the Turkish and Kurdish people organized resistance groups. Many Turkish and Kurdish wanted to take revenge of their parents and children. There was a real problems between Armenian Kurdish villages in some provinces and this caused great clashes. Most of the Kurdish men were at home during the war. And the war did last four years not forever. Even in Central Anatolian provinces the people were really angry about the Armenian and Greek co-operation with the occupying armies and they attacked the Armenians and Greek districts in some towns. But the real problem was the looters. Some illegal criminals and gangs groups attacked the Armenian districts and houses by abusing the tension between the communities. Most of the Armenians were protected by their Muslim neighbors from such attacks. These gangs not only attacked the Armenians but also the Muslim families. My grandma clearly calls that period, and she said many Turkish were also murdered by these criminals and the Government could do nothing. Even some of the gendarme officers joined the gangs in order to loot the wealthy people. These officers were captured and sentenced.
5- Riot: ‘Milleti Sadika’ is not a 5 century-old concept. The concept was used first time during the 19th century. Because all the minorities rioted against the Istanbul but the Armenians remained loyal to Istanbul . The relations between Armenians and Turkish people were perfect for the centuries. Fatih Sultan Mehmet invited all the Armenians to Istanbul ( Constantinople ) and the Armenian Istanbul Patric was under the Sultan’s personal protection. However the balances were change with the Russian encouragement. aimed to establish a Christian region between and the Ottoman State . They first tried to clean the Muslim population in the Caucasus and then granted citizenship to the Ottoman Armenians. Most of the Ottoman Armenians, apart from the Ottoman citizenship, became citizens before the First World War.
3 March 1878 was turning point in Armenians’ loyalty to the Ottomans. After the Russian-Ottoman War the Russian armies came to very close to capital Istanbul . The Armenian Patriarch Narses saw the event as a great opportunity to make pressure over the Istanbul Government. The Patriarch in fact aimed a separate Armenian state. The Armenian Patriarch went to the Russian Emperor Nikola’s tent and gave him the Armenian demands list. Thus the Russians establish a great influence over the Ottoman Armenian citizens. The Berlin Agreement confirmed the situation. The Armenians were used as a Trojan Horse during this years. Nevertheless the middle class Armenians continued their support to Istanbul Government. The Armenian nationalist-terrorist organizations Tashnak and Hinchaks were established abroad to establish an Armenian state on the Ottoman territories. One of them was established in and the other was established in . The young Armenian students were encouraged to organize separatist movements against the Ottomans. The strange thing is that none of the founders of these organizations had seen the Ottoman territories before. The American and other missionary schools also encouraged the Armenian separatism in the Eastern provinces. Many schools and churches were used as arsenal. The American schools and Russian agents gave military training to the Armenian youth in the eastern provinces. The Armenian terrorists attacked the Ottoman Bank in Istanbul . They also made bomb attack to the head of the Ottoman State , Abdulhamid II. Interestingly the first modern terrorist examples given by the Armenian nationalist groups. They kidnapped the people, they bombed the civilian targets, they killed to create a terror environment. The number of Armenians killed by the Armenian groups was higher than the number of Turkish people killed by the Armenians at the beginning. The nationalist fanatics were trying to change the Armenian public opinion about a possible uprising against the Istanbul . They first killed the pro-Ottoman Armenians. Then they made provocative attacks to the Muslim villages. The Tashnaks particularly attacked the Kurdish and Turkish villages which had friendly relations with the Armenian villages. Under these circumstances the concept of the ‘millet-i sadika’ (loyal nation) was sabotaged by the armed Armenian extremists. Of course there were loyal Armenians too. Armenians in Istanbul and in many other Western provinces mainly did not join the uprisings. The Armenian terrorists were mostly from abroad, not Ottoman citizens. Even many Armenians joined the Ottoman Army in Canakkale (Dardanel Operation) against the British and French occupying armies in 1915. Some of the British and French military ships were destroyed by the Ottoman Armenian officers. That’s why not all of the Armenian population was included to the Relocation Campaign.
However the picture in the east was quite different. The Armenians established armies in Van. If you like to see the armed pictures of the Armenian rioters and gangs please see Hratch Dasnabedian’s book: “History of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Dashnaktsutiun, 1890-1924, Milan, , OEMME Edizioni, 1989). Dasnabedian’s book clearly shows how the Armenians were loyal to Ottoman State ( ! ) .
You give reference from Prof. Dr. Turkkaya Ataov in your letter to prove how Armenians were loyal. So you trust to distinguished Prof. Ataov’s studies. He revelaed last week important Armenians documents. The documents, say Professor Ataov, prove that up to 200,000 Armenians fought with allied troops against the Otoman Army during the
First World War. Noting the extremely high numbers of Armenian soldiers admitted to in these documents, Professor Ataov says "200,000 is a serious number. It is atleast 65 thousand more than the American soldiers found in Iraq today."
It is realy impossible to say that the Armenians were not a threat to Otoman security in the Eastern provinces. The Armenian population in the Eastern provinces was a real and close therat during the First World War. After the War the Armenians joined the occupying forces. There is no need to speak about their so-called loyalty. The Otoman newspapers and archives are full of the proofs. The problem is you name all the Turkish historians and experts “Genocide deniers” or “revisionists” and you label the Ottoman and Turkish documents “lies”. No one blames the whole Ottoman Armenians. But we know that a significant size of the Armenian population were at the same time Russian citizens. Hundreds of thousands joined the Russian or French armies against the Ottoman army. The loyal Armenians had no difficulty in living with the Turkish people. More than 100,000 Armenians have lived in Istanbul since the First World War and none of them were injured by their neighbors. Today the number of the Armenians in Istanbul is higher than 100,000. It is impossible for the Turks to live in , but Istanbul is still a safe home for the Armenians. Even about 50,000 Armenians from come to Istanbul to work.
You wrote “the whole world had recently witnessed the Turkish standards of “treachery”, when in May 2005 the Minister of “Justice” had branded Turkish academics who wanted to hold a conference about the Armenians as “traitors” and accused them of “Stabbing the Nation in the back” .
I do not share Mr. Cicek’s words about the conference, but it should be accepted that is a mature democracy where the academicians can organize a conference though the Minister of Justice brand them “traitors”. is a democracy and even the ministers cannot prevent the expression of different ideas. The conference was a fully pro-Armenian one, and people and media attended the conference, and no one was injured or sentenced. Most of the participants were lecturer from State universities and none of them lost their job. By the way Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan clearly declared that he did not agree with the Minister of Justice. He said “all ideas have right to be discussed in ”. It is really difficult to see such a picture in or in Armenian diaspora. Even the Turkish Armenians cannot give lecture in or in . When a Turkish professor does not name the 1915 events as ‘genocide’, attempt to arrest him. It is almost impossible to defend Turkish approach in many countries where Armenian diaspora is so strong. They manipulate the Western governments, or they directly threaten the Turkish authors and experts.
Of course “Genocide Can Never be Justified”, and the Armenians should not commit genocide against history by fabricating a past based on emotions, biases and hate.
2 November 2005
Maral Der Ohanesian's Letter
Thursday , 10 November 2005
My Response to Your Letter 4
Here are my comments on your last response. They are as follows (in the same sequence as your titles and I added one at the end):
“‘DENY’ AND NATIONAL HONOR”
* You wrote: “Many Armenians cannot understand why the Turkish people do not accept their arguments, because they have unchangeable assumptions about the Turkish people.”
- This is not true, Armenians are not convinced by the Turkish argument, because they had witnessed the Ottoman abuse and Genocide first hand, I for one am 100% descendent of Ottoman citizen Armenians, all four of my grandparents were Ottoman citizen Armenians, and survived that abuse, and I don’t think that it is possible to anyone in my shoes to “believe” a denialist’s claims against her own family history!!
* You wrote “The Church and political parties in the Diaspora rewrote the history about the Turks.”
- The question that imposes itself here is, if you are right, then how come that history “Matches” with the other historical sources and official archives of WWI, of both enemies and allies of Ottoman Empire, and testimonies of Turks themselves?!
* You wrote “According to this history Turks may do anything bad to the Armenians and against humanity. Turks are infidel, Turks are dirty and they are thirst to blood.”
- In a speech he made in
Baku , May 1992, in his last trip before he died, Turgut Ozal, the former Turkish PM, blatantly threatened the Armenians by saying: “Let those Armenians not forget what we did to them. Let them behave themselves or else....”
Let me share with you some interesting statement made by a well educated Turk, in an open letter to the “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Armenian Diaspora” that was posted on a Turkish denialist site. Kufi Saydali threatened the Armenians openly, by saying: “he who lives by the sword, must be prepared to die by the sword.” Mr. Saydali continued threatening the Armenians by saying that if they won’t give up the Genocide claims, there will be a “strong” Turkish “Reaction.” He wrote: “Don't you know that, to every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction? In fact, with the Turks, this opposite reaction is mostly not equal but much much stronger. If you don't believe me, ask your Greek friends, they can tell you more about it. They have tasted it in Inonu, Sakarya, Izmir , and more recently, in .”
So Dr. Laciner, do you still blame people for having the “monster” image in mind about the Turks?
* You wrote: “They needed to create enemy to unite the Armenians in the , , Europe and other countries.”
- The Armenians who survived in the past 5000 years do not need a common enemy for their solidarity. This is not a creation of an enemy. It’s a common experience shared by the “Survivors” and their offspring.
In a masterpiece of a poem titled “An Evening Promenade”, written soon after he was released from prison, Nazim Hikmet, one of the finest Turkish poets, mentions his Armenian friend “Karabet” who:
“...shall never forgive, until his death
Those responsible for his [Karabet’s] father's slaughter
In the Kurdish mountains.
He still hates them...
But [the poet concludes addressing himself]
Karabet loves you
Because he knows well
That you yourself have not forgiven
Those responsible for the shame brought on the Turkish people.”
The stigma of the Genocide is the main reason for “innocent denials” of the Genocide when someone doesn’t know the truth of what had happened, but trying his best not to believe that it, in fact, was Genocide, like yourself. The worry of being classified in the same category with the Nazis is another reason for it. Just because of National Honor many Turks refuse to accept historical, universally accepted facts of the Armenian Genocide. Well, let me remind you, my friend, “National Honor” can not “Change” historical events, “National Honor” can not “defend” a bunch of criminals and “Convert” them to National Heroes. Turkish people should not be “proud” of criminals like Talat, traitors like Enver and butchers like Cemal. Turkish people should be proud with real heroes not a bunch of criminals who, for the whole world’s concern, are dumped in the cesspool of history. That’s why need to reconcile with its past before aiming at reconciliation with Armenians.
“TURKS DO NOT THINK ON THE PAST AND ARMENIANS?”
* You wrote: “We cannot construct a dialogue and I feel very bad when I try to speak with an Armenian. He/she insults you, and does not allow saying anything.”
- Can you blame any Armenian if he/she insults you in reaction to your insult of him/her?! Let me explain to you again, my friend, that brazen denial of the Armenian Genocide is an insult and offense to any Armenian whose parents had survived that Genocide. Please don’t blame any Armenian for not being able to withstand the re-victimization nor accepting your (unintentional maybe) insults, and for not having the patience to try and explain to you the facts that he/she knew first hand from his/her parents “the survivors”, because with the Genocide denial, one is re-victimizing the victims, by blaming them for it, and calling them liars.
* You wrote: “Hrant Dink plans to establish one in Istanbul .” Well, Hrant Dink was given a six-month suspended sentence last week.
* You wrote: “There are many Armenian churches and communities in many Turkish towns including in the city I live now.”
- A statistical research ordered by the Ottoman Interior Ministry to Archbishop Maghakia Ormanian from the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople during 1912-1913, concluded that there were 2200 Armenian monasteries and churches in western Armenia [modern eastern Turkey], before 1914.
In 1974, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) published data, according to which 197 of 913 Armenian monuments standing after the genocide could be saved by immediate reconstruction, while the rest were already destroyed.
In 1980, the Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul declared that out of 2000 Armenian churches before 1915 there were six left, and that was only 6 years after the UNESCO report.
As for the present day Eastern Turkey or Western Armenia , there is “ONLY ONE” functioning church, in the “ONLY ONE” remained Armenian community in the “Whole” of what was once known “The Armenian vilayets” or “Ermenistan,” and that is in the area of Musa Ler / Musa Dagh.
How did All those Armenians Vanish?!
“GERMANS AND GENOCIDE”
* You wrote: “The Genocide maker image has cost a lot to . That is why the Germans have tried to find new genocides, so they could show all the peoples that they are not the alone.”
As I said earlier, the Official German archive for WWI is full of documents that prove the Armenian Genocide. German Academic Publishing House published few months ago a 500-page book by Wolfgang Gust titled “The Armenian Genocide, 1915/16: Documents from the Diplomatic Archives of the German Foreign Office”. In this book there are 235 published Official German documents clearly indicating that what had happened to the Armenians in 1915-16 was a premeditated, centrally organized massive crime against the Armenians.
didn’t need to show the world that it was not alone as you concluded the reason for German recognition. In fact, if you had read the “Text” of the Armenian Genocide recognition by the German Bundestag (Parliament), in June 15, 2005, you would’ve known that what you are asserting is not true. Because Germany in this resolution, not only recognized the fact of the Armenian Genocide 1915, but also regretted its own responsibility (Germany’s responsibility) in the Armenian Genocide, even if that was by turning a blind eye to all these crimes by the Ottoman Empire. So recognized another Genocide in its History, and it wasn’t trying to improve its image by blaming others.
The opening part of ’s Recognition Resolution, was approved and supported by all the political factions in the Bundestag, including the ruling party, read:
“The German Bundestag honors and commemorates the victims of violence, murder and expulsion among the Armenian people before and during the First World War. The Bundestag deplores the deeds of the Young Turkish government in the Ottoman Empire which have resulted in the almost total annihilation of the Armenians in Anatolia . It also deplores the inglorious role played by the German Reich which, in spite of a wealth of information on the organized expulsion and annihilation of Armenians, has made no attempt to intervene and stop these atrocities.” 
You wrote: “What I am trying to say that the Germans were Turks’ ally, yet they never fully supported the Turkish people in all areas.”
The German Government in WWI, as the German Bundestag (Parliament) acknowledged, had fully supported the Ottoman Empire, and did absolutely nothing to stop or intervene these atrocities against Armenians, in spite of it’s “Full” awareness of what was going on, and if Germany were to sympathize with Armenians because they were Christians, as you were implying, then it would’ve at least tried to stop the Ottomans from Exterminating the Armenian Population.
For more details, refer to Harut Sassounian’s analytic column of June 23, 2005, titled “German Parliament Deals Fatal Blow To Turkish Denial of Genocide” http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=German_Parliament_Deals_Fatal_Blow_To_Turkish_Denial_of_Genocide.
* You wrote: “The İstanbul Government tried its best to find the highest possible Armenian populations because of the tax.…. So there is no reason to doubt about the Ottoman figures.”
- Let’s have a word about the “Tax Collecting” procedure in the Ottoman Empire ’s late decades. In his account Seddik El-Demluji, while he was a government official in one of the Ottoman vilayets, explained how “ People look at it [the tax collecting offices] as a way to plunder people’s money. The responsible officer assesses the tax amounts without any legal calculation [according to what he desires] and then collect it with the force of law: that is prison, confiscation and torture … and the tax collectors had set the record for their bribery and they did even “purchase” their posts from the villayet’s Defterdar [treasurer], and each county’s price is calculated by the Defterdar according to it’s size and resources.” 
Historian Kemal M. Ahmed, refer to the inaccuracy of Ottoman records saying: “Their [Ottoman official’s] control over Kurdistan [Kurdish areas] was very obviously diminished, even their presence was completely unnoticeable in the mountainous areas, and among the strong [Kurdish] tribes.” 
As you can see how the Ottomans were collecting their taxes, and how it would not have been possible for them to have accurate records in all areas. Thus counting more people didn’t mean more taxes, since the tax amounts were assessed differently according to the tax collectors’ desire.
* You wrote: “In fact some of the Armenian leaders asked for independence. The problem was that they asked the Russians and the European powers to establish a separate country.”
- You haven’t provided any evidence for your claim, and Armenians never claimed autonomy, but only reforms. In the treaty of Berlin 1878, the Armenians were asking for “reforms” and not autonomy, those reforms were democracy, freedom of press, a parliamentary system, they were demanding to improve the lives of Armenians, as well as Turks, and Arabs. The same demands that the Turks themselves were asking for. And do not forget that the Ottoman Government had accepted and signed the Treaty of Berlin, thus pledging to apply these reforms “according to article 61 in the treaty” in the Armenian provinces.
“DECLINING ARMENIAN POPULATION”
* About Dr. Shaw’s figures you wrote “So I cannot see any problem with Shaw’s figures. By the way the was a census study was started in 1905 and it concluded in 1914.”
So as you say, the “actual” census started 1905, and the population figure was concluded after 9 years in 1914, right? Then where did Dr. Shaw come up with those two figures from, claiming that the first was 1906 census, and the second was 1914 census?!
Now let me re-quote you about Dr. Shaw’s numbers from your letter 3, you wrote “In 1906 the population of Muslims was 15.518.478, and the population of Armenians was 1.140.563. In 1914 Muslim Ottoman population reached to 15.044.846 and the Armenian population was 1.229.007, according to Prof. Shaw.”
So according to you and Shaw, there are two figures for only “one” census, 1905’s, but how can this be possible? Therefore one of those two numbers must be fabricated?!
And again let me remind you, that the number of the victims doesn’t prove whether genocide was committed or not!
* You wrote: “You say that the Turkish Government donates 3 million dollars to Institute of Turkish Studies in Washington . You give no proof.”
Of course I do have proof. Like I would jeopardize my credibility and say something like that without a proof!! I am not a Liar you know.
The proof you can find in the very same Institute of Turkish Studies (ITS) website, in it’s published in 82 pages “ITS Report 1982-2002”: http://turkishstudies.org/itsreport.doc, this report “clearly” admits that it was founded by the Turkish government, and is still financed until today by annual income from the foundation “Gift” of the Turkish Government, page 14 reads:
“The Institute of Turkish Studies was established in 1983 through a one-time gift from the Republic of Turkey invested in a trust fund. The annual income derived from this trust fund constitutes its primary funding base.”
So as the Institute admits, it is TOTALLY dependant on Turkish Government’s Money with Dr. Faruk Loğoğlu, the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the U.S. (page 12), as the Institute’s Honorary Chairman. In the section of “Purpose And Objectives,” you can read that one of the main purposes of this institute is “To support the publication of books and journals that contribute to American scholarship on Turkey, and to broaden the understanding and knowledge of Turkish history, society, politics, and economics in the United States” (page 8).
In the section of “Annual Grant Program,” the institute proudly declare that: “The grants awarded to individuals and institutions during the past twenty years have made a major contribution to the promotion of scholarship and knowledge about in the . ITS graduate research and dissertation-writing grants have played an important role in the training of many scholars of Turkish studies who are currently teaching in various American universities” (page 20).
In the same page ITS admits that: “To date, the Institute has awarded 968 grants for a total value of $2,314,262. The grant program for the 2002-2003 academic year provided support for 25 projects (14 individual and 11 institutional) in the amount of $107,000.” A lot of details are provided in the website: how many and which “Universities” received monetary grants from ITS, which projects were funded by ITS money, who was in charge of these projects, which college professors received money from ITS, how much and how many times they received money from the ITS, etc.
The report also stated that “ITS has been a major source of funding support for conferences, workshops, and lecture series on topics related to the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey in the American academia.” (page 66)
As for Dr. Stanford J. Shaw, of UCLA, the ITS report declared that he received monetary grants from the institute, thus Turkish Government, for “Six” consequent academic years, from 1985 to 1991. And the details are as follows:
1985-1986 - Stanford J. Shaw ( Republic of Turkey databank at University of California , Los Angeles ) p.79.
1986-1987 - Stanford J. Shaw ( Republic of Turkey databank at University of California , Los Angeles ) p.80.
1987-1988 - Stanford J. Shaw (Development of an online database of bibliographic and text materials on and the Ottoman Empire ) p.80.
1988-1989 - Stanford J. Shaw (Produce photocopies of British intelligence reports for “History of the Turkish War of Independence, 1918-1923”) p.81.
1989-1990 - Stanford J. Shaw, Research on “Jews of the Ottoman Empire ” and “Turkish War for Independence.” p.38.
1990-1991 - Stanford J. Shaw, Research on Status and Experience of Turkish Jewry in 20th Century. p. 38.
Interestingly, Dr. Shaw had “stopped” publishing new books on the Armenian Genocide after 1991!! What does that tell you about Shaw’s work?! Totally financed by Turkish money, admitted by Turks themselves.
Now, the earlier published reports of the Institute of Turkish Studies (ITS), the institute used to mention the $3 million foundation money of it, which was set by the Turkish Government. The Boston Globe newspaper had published more details on the subject in 1995, in an article titled “Turkish endowment gifts to U.S. colleges spur debate over study of Armenian massacre,” it reported that: “For 10 years, Lowry directed the Institute of Turkish Studies in Washington, a lobby set up in 1982 with $3 million from the Turkish government and annual funding from Ankara. A 1992 institute report cites its own "key role ... in encouraging the government of to embark upon a plan of endowing a series of chairs in Turkish studies at major American universities".” 
* You wrote:“Armenian lobbying institutions spend more than 60 million dollars each year to undermine Turkish interests in the world.”
- I gave you the proof you need. Now, it’s Your Turn to tell me what proof you have to support your claim of the “astronomical” figure of $60 million that Armenians supposedly spend each year?!
Last month, a board member of some Turkish denial site, the so-called "Turkish Forum,” Hanimefendi Fatma Sarikaya, published a translation and summary of article titled “Money spent by the Armenian lobby in ” authored by Senol Kantarci, an Assistant Professor at Erzrum University , claiming that Armenians had spent $7 million on the lobbying in the in one year. In answering that baseless claim, Harut Sassounian exposes Kantarci’s lies in his column titled: “Turks scare themselves by claiming Armenians spend millions on lobbying.” http://www.armeniandiaspora.com/archive/37808.html. I strongly recommend that you read it, before making such far-fetched claims in the future.
* You wrote: “More than 520.000 Turkish and Kurdish were massacred by the Armenian extremists.”
In your earlier message you stated that according to the Ottoman records, there were “Only” 1,200,000 Armenians in 1914, and as we all know, the Ottoman archival documents published in 1983 stated that “800,000 Armenian women, old men and children were deported.” Are you trying to convince me that the 400,000 Armenians who were “supposedly” left in Turkey after the deportation, according to Ottoman records, (who were of course not all revolutionaries, if there were any left, and they were not all able bodied men, as we both agreed earlier that able bodied men were all driven to war fronts), so after we exclude all that, you are trying to convince me that “supposedly” those few hundred thousand women, old men and children killed 520,000 Turks?! How on earth that can be possible?! I hope you see now how much the denialists’ claims are contradictory.
FATE OF ARMENIAN CHILDREN IN THE GENOCIDE OF 1915
* You wrote: “If you accept that many Armenian children were adopted by the Turkish families and many Armenian women were married with the Turkish people you should have realized that the Turkish people cannot be racist.”
- Although I had used the word “absorbed” rather than “adopted,” that doesn’t mean there were no adopting incidents. As Armenians can not forget the criminal atrocities that were perpetrated against them, Armenians also can’t forget the righteous and kind Turks and Kurds and Arabs who spared their lives, challenging the “Governmental Orders” and threats of not hiding any Armenian within their households. Many Turks, Kurds and Arabs had saved lives of their Armenians neighbors and friends, or even strangers, an act of kindness that no Armenian will forget. You are right. The Turkish “People” are not racists, but the Ittihadist government was. Chanting the slogan, “ for the Turks,” they decided to get rid of the largest Christian minority who was refusing to be “Turkified” to fulfill their “Pan-Turkic Empire” dream.
But, all of the kidnapped, sold and adopted Armenians were raised as Turks after some nominal rituals of conversion to Islam, including circumcisions and name changes, thus, lost their identity and absorbed into the mainstream of Turkish society. I don’t think that it is needed to point out here that they were not willingly converted into Turks and Muslims, for they were helpless children.
The Ittihadist government needed to do a complete job in extermination of all Armenians, without sparing anyone’s life. Those who miraculously survived this genocide always remember the soldiers shouting to each other: “Kill them, kill them all, so no one will come to take their revenge in the future”. Accordingly, the Ittihad leaders decided to rely on “bloodthirsty murderers” (kanli katil) as instruments of massacre. Thousands of felons and repeat criminals were selected and released from the various prisons of the Ottoman Empire for massacre duty; they were to show no compassion or mercy for women, children or the infirm.
One would be mistaken if he thought that all Armenian children’s lives were spared during the genocide, because for a sane human being, it is too heinous to kill an innocent harmless child. But children killings and torture was, in fact, another chapter of this massive crime against my ancestors.
For example, in his account, Signor Gorrini, the Italian Consul-General at Trabzon, in a detailed report called attention to the fact that: “The children [were] torn away from their families… placed by hundreds on board ship in nothing but their shirts, and then capsized and drowned in the Black Sea and the river Degirmendere- these are my ineffaceable memoirs of Trabzon memoirs which still, at a month’s distance, torment my soul and almost drive me frantic….”
More confirmation to that testimony came from Turkish officials themselves. The most poignant testimony on drowning operations was provided by the Turkish deputy of Trabzon province, Hafiz Mehmet, who by profession was a lawyer. In a postwar speech, in December 11, 1919, in the Chamber of Deputies of the Ottoman Parliament, he revealed that he personally saw how, one day, Armenian women and children were loaded onto barges at the port city of Ordu in Trabzon province and drowned in the high seas. He then stated that the local people were lamenting with the words, "God will punish us for what we did." At the 15th sitting of the Trabzon trial series 1919, Turkish Ordu merchant Hüseyin, appearing as a witness, confirmed this very operation of drowning. In its Verdict, the Tribunal with emphasis referred to these operations of mass drownings targeting as they especially did "male and female infants" (zükur ve inas cocuklari) with the help of "repeat criminals" (cerayimi mükerrere).
During the proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal in Spring 1919, some two dozen Turks, including physicians, military officers, governmental officials, and merchants, in the course of twenty sittings, testified orally and in writing to the methods used to dispose of children. 
Two Turkish MDs, Dr. Ziya Fuad, Inspector of Health Services, and Dr. Adnan, the city's Health Services Director, testified based on evidence gathered from local Turkish physicians that Dr. Ali Saib, Director of Public Health of Trabzon province, systematically poisoned Armenian infants brought to the city's Red Crescent Hospital and ordered the drowning at the nearby Black Sea of those who resisted taking his “medicine.” Another method Dr. Saib applied in a house full of Armenian infants was “the steam bath.” Through the installation there of an army “etüv” contraption, babies were exposed to suffocating hot steam and thereby instantly killed. Father Laurent, the French Capucin Father Superior in Trabzon , testified through an interpreter that he personally saw the corpses of the dead poisoned children being squeezed into large, deep baskets on the hospital grounds, like animals from a slaughterhouse, and then dumped into the nearby sea.
That same Red Crescent Hospital had been reduced to a pleasure dome, where the province's governor-general, Cemal Azmi, was keeping fifteen young girls, to be used for frequent sex orgies. This fact had prompted Customs Inspector Nedim to denounce the governor.  and Turkish Lieutenant Hasan Maruf to expose the additional fact that “After committing the worst outrages the government officials involved had these young girls killed.” In a separate study, a young Armenian who had befriended the governor's son in Berlin , where the governor had taken refuge right after the war to escape prosecution in , provided additional data on this episode of lethal debaucheries. During one of his boastful narrations about this debauchery, Governor Azmi told the following to the young Armenian, whom he believed to be a Turk as the latter had by then assumed a complete Muslim Turkish identity, including the Turkish name Mehmet Ali, a thorough study of the Kuran, and circumcision: “Among the most pretty Armenian girls, 10-13 years old, I selected a number of them and handed them over to my son [who was then 14 years old] as a gift; the others I had drowned in the sea.” 
The sexual abuse during the Armenian Genocide was not limited to young Armenian females. A Swiss pharmacist who throughout the war remained in Urfa and traveled extensively in the area asserts that widespread homosexual rape occurred both in connection with genocidal killings and in Turkish homes where young Armenian boys were kept as adoptees. As he reported, “Turkish officers, especially, inflicted unbelievable and unspeakable acts of bartering upon Armenian girls, but nobody can imagine the magnitude of crimes of unnatural sex inflicted upon hundreds, yes thousands, of Armenian boys.” He also stated that “long after the killings had stopped, rapes, acts of deflowering virgins and other forms of sexual violations, especially of young boys, continued.” 
Other examples of abusing and torturing children involved rape before murder. In Ankara province, near the village of Bash-Ayash , two rapist-killers - a brigand, Deli Hasan, and a gendarme, Ibrahim - raped twelve boys, aged 12-14, and subsequently killed them. Those who were not dead at once were tortured to death while crying "Mummy, Mummy." 
The German M.D. H. Stoffels, staff physician, reported to the Austrian consul in Trabzon that on his way to Mosul he came across in Mush (and Siirt in the same province) “a large number of formerly Armenian localities, where in the churches and houses he saw charred and decomposed corpses of women and children” (verkohlte und verweste Frauen- und Kinderleichen). 
Need I say more about the fate of the innocent Armenian children and young girls whose only crime was being Armenian…?!
Allow me here to share my own grandfather’s experience, he was 10 years old in 1915, he lost both of his parents and his 6 sisters who were killed during the deportation, he was “kidnapped” and “sold” four time, from one family to another. Through out that time my grandfather’s name was changed to “Hussein” and he was forbade to speak Armenian or even to think of declaring his Armenian origin in front of anyone. For two years, he lived as a slave to the last family that had bought him. Two dry pieces of bread were his only food for the entire day. He looked after the man’s sheep from early morning until dark. For months, he planned his escape. He ate one piece of bread and sold the other one. He finally managed to save enough money to buy a train ticket and escape to an Arab country. Then through a humanitarian organization, he managed to find his older brother after years of separation. This child, who grew to be my grandfather, couldn’t get over the pain of orphanhood and suffered for the rest of his life from the mistreatment that he had endured as a youngster. I remember seeing him crying whenever he remembered those childhood days, until the last days of his almost 8 decades of life. With physical and spiritual scars my grandfather survived, and he formed a new Armenian family. If he hadn’t manage to escape that Turkish family, I might have been a Turk today, as well as my 6 other siblings and cousins, and for generations to come!!
In his article titled “Would you wish to be an Armenian in 1915?”  Ahmet Altan wrote:
“No one is denying that Armenians were murdered, right? It may be 300,000, or 500,000, or 1.5 million. I don't know which number is the truth…. What I do know is the existence of the death and pain beyond these numbers…Those numbers cannot describe the murdered babies, women, the elderly, the teenage boys and girls….”
He continues: “When I see the shadow of this bloody event on the present world, I see a greater injustice done to the Armenians. Our crime today is not to allow the present Armenians even to grieve for their cruelly killed relatives and parents. Which Armenian living in today can openly grieve and commemorate a murdered grandmother, grandfather or uncle? I have nothing in common with the terrible sin of the past Ittihadists, but the sin of not allowing grief for the dead belongs to all of us today… Even in those terrifying times there were Turks who risked their lives trying to rescue Armenian children. We are the children of these rescuers, as well as the children of the murderers. Instead of justifying and arguing on behalf of the murderers, why don't we praise and defend the rescuers' compassion, honesty, and courage?”
Encouraging the Turks to follow the steps of their righteous grandparents who rescued the Armenians he wrote: “There are no more victims left to be rescued today…I still believe there is something yet to be rescued from all these meaningless and pitiless arguments, and that something is called ‘humanity.’”
Maral Der Ohanesian
 Nazim Hikmet, Poems, in Eastern literary Armenian, translated by Gevork Emin, Yerevan : Haypethrat , 1986, p. 112. Revised from the original Turkish by K.I.Pilikian.
 German Bundestag Printed matter 15/5689 15th electoral period June 15, 2005
 Saddik El-Demluji, “Emaret Behdean” , Mosul 1952, p. 80-86.
 Kemal M. Ahmed “ Kurdistan in The Years Of The First World War” 2nd ed. 1984, p. 83
 The Boston Globe, “Turkish endowment gifts to colleges spur debate over study of Armenian massacre” Nov 24, 1995 - 21:51 EST. http://users.ids.net/~gregan/globe.html .
 Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's Prosecution of the Authors of the Armenian Genocide: Four Major Court-Martial Series," Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring 1997), pp. 39-42 on The Trabzon Series.
 Turkish Military Tribunals, Court-Martial 10th sitting, April 12, 1919.
 Ibid. 16th sitting.
 Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Documentation of the World War I Armenian Massacres in the Proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal," International Journal of Middle East Studies. Vol. 23, No. 4 (November 1991), p. 574, note 55; Arshavir Sheeragian, Gudagun Err Nahadegneroun (The Testament of the Martyrs). Beirut , 1965, pp. 262-263.
 Jacob Künzler, Im Lande des Blutes und der Tränen. Erlebnisse in Mesopotamien Während des Weltkrieges “In the Land of Blood and Tears. Experiences in Mesopotamia During the World War”. Berlin-Potsdam, 1921, pp. 77, 87. In the new edition, edited by Hans- Lukas Kieser, Zurich , 1999, pp. 99, 108-109.
 Haigashen Darekirk (Haigashen Annual). Vol. 1, 1922, p. 328. The names of four of the victims are listed in this source.
 Austrian Foreign Ministry Archives. 12 Türkei/380, folio 909, May 26, 1917
 Ahmet Altan “Soykirim... 1915 yilinda bir Ermeni olmak ister miydiniz?” Gazetem, 9 Mayis 2005, http://www.gazetem.net/ahmetaltan.asp.
Dr. Laciner's Response
Thursday , 10 November 2005
You argued in your previous letter that Armenians are not convinced by the Turkish argument, because they had witnessed the Ottoman abuse and Genocide first hand. Of course there are people who experienced that difficult times among the Armenians. However the second and third generation Armenians in the diaspora have never experienced the 1917 Events, they have never been to and almost all them have never met a Turkish man or woman. Ironically many Armenians who experienced the Ottoman rule spook Turkish language, most of them lived in their houses like a Turkish family. They missed , and when they met a Turkish abroad, they hugged their neighbors, and even some of them confessed that ‘some Armenians’ made great mistakes to the Ottoman State . It is ironic that the second and third generation Armenians’ hate is greater than the first generation Armenians', not because of the experiences or respect to their grandparents’ memories. The new generation Armenians created a monster called ‘Turk’. When an Armenian in or in the says ‘Turk’ or ‘Turkish’ he/she does not mean a name of a nation or a group of people. As a matter of fact that diaspora Armenians do not want to meet with a real Turkish, and they do not want to establish dialogue with the Turkish people. They do not want all, because confronting the real Turk would destroy all the Armenian identities in diaspora. What would left from an Armenian if he/she does not hate from the Turks. What unite the millions of Armenians in the diaspora except the hate against the ‘terrible Turk’.
Wake up, wake up!...
There is no ‘terrible Turk’…
Turks are not the monsters you created. Turks and Armenians are the most similar peoples in the world. Both listen the same melodies, they eat almost the same food, both think in a similar way etc. If I do not say that ‘I am a Turk’ no Armenian could guess my race… We did not only share the same territories, but the same fate. The only difference between us is that you left these territories, but we stayed. We experienced the tragedy, we died, and we killed. You have forgotten that you killed, you just remember your pains. I understand both of them because I still live here. I can easily see the hate in your eyes, how you suffer in defining your Armenianness, why you hate etc. Turkish people passed all this process decades ago. We wanted to forget all the pains and hates. Otherwise the Turks were not able to establish a state, not able to survive. The Armenians in chose a different way, they preferred to remember and to maintain all the pains alive. They encouraged their youth to continue to kill. They declared war, and they started a terror campaign while Mustafa Kemal made all the possible efforts to establish friendly relations with the Greeks, Armenians and with all the neighbors in a short time after the great war. He knew that needed its neighbors to establish a common future. The First Armenian Republic was occupied and Armenians more suffered in the Russian rule. Thanks God, the collapsed and the Armenians established another independent Republic. But they still focused on the hate against the neighbors, they once more wanted more territories instead of more friends in the region.
WRITING A NEW HISTORY
All nations rewrite the world history. All nations blame the others and praise itself. However the real leaders and real intellectuals are aware of that the facts and written history are not the same. Great nations can confront with their pasts. They can criticize their past, and the real leaders and real intellectuals focus on future co-operations, not obsess with the past mistakes. The problem with the Armenian ‘nation’ is that the Armenians have no real leaders and brave-heart intellectuals. The Armenian ‘leaders’ always encouraged the hate between Turkish and Armenian people. They said “kill, take the revenge, put a bomb’ etc. They declared wars. I have never read a book or an article making self-critics about the Armenian past. There is no Armenian who questions the 1915 Events in a different way. If you are Armenian, you cannot think differently. This is strange for me, because Anatolia is a place of diversity and pluralism. One may find all the diverse ideas in Turkish academia, media and politics even in the Armenian issue. You post me the ‘pro-Armenian’ Turkish articles. I am aware of all them and it is very easy to find more radical papers everyday. No one could guess a Turk’s ideas on Armenian issue before discussing the matter. That’s the difference between a Turkish and an Armenian. So I have no * * * representing all the Turkish people on this issue. Of course majority of the Turkish people think as I do, but even there are differences between these people too. * * * is a place of diversity and pluralism. One may find all the diverse ideas in Turkish academia, media and politics even in the Armenian issue. You post me the ‘pro-Armenian’ Turkish articles. I am aware of all them and it is very easy to find more radical papers everyday. No one could guess a Turk’s ideas on Armenian issue before discussing the matter. That’s the difference between a Turkish and an Armenian. So I have no representing all the Turkish people on this issue. Of course majority of the Turkish people think as I do, but even there are differences between these people too.
You remind me Turgut Ozal’s speech. Actually a very bad example. Turgut Ozal was the most brave-hearted Turkish leader. He even once said that “let’s recognise what the Armenians say. Both people should not lose time and energy because of a useless debate on the past”. He has no problems with the Armenians and he never accepted the Armenian allegations. His problem was with the current problems and he made enormous efforts to establish diplomatic and other connections with the young Armenian Republic . was one of the states who recognise the Armenian Republic . But when occupied the neighboring ’s territories and attacked the Nakhcivan region near Turkish borders Ozal had no choice. If Armenian can not accept Ozal and Tayyip Erdogan policies they have no chance in solving ‘Armenian Problem’, because the history will not see more pro-Armenian Turkish in future. And if you have problem with Ozal and Erdogan, it means that Armenians do not live in a real world.
I do agree with Mr. Saydali. “He who lives by the sword, must be prepared to die by the sword.” If you attack a nation, they would attack you too. This is a basic rule of the world. If Armenians attacked the , Washington would do more than the done so far. Look at the case. What did? Armenians have undermined the Turkish interests for the decades. The Armenian lobby in the and Western Europe has joined all anti-Turkish blocks. They supported the PKK terrorism, they made co-operation with the anti-Turkish Greek campaigns etc. has seen the Armenians almost in all anti-Turkish campaigns and policies (not only in the Armenian issues). And Armenian terrorism massacred the distinguished Turkish diplomats. None of them had any connection with the Armenian issue. Even some of the Turkish diplomats killed by the Armenians had no idea about the Armenians. The terrorists also killed their wife and children. If the diplomats were not the Turkish but Americans, I am sure that the Washington would have used ‘sword’. And now, Azerbaijani territories have been under the Armenian occupation. Remember Hocali, do not just remember the 1915. It was just a decade ago, not almost a century ago. If Armenian occupy neighboring countries, if they threaten their neighbors, they can never expect friendly responses. Mr. Saydali reminds Inonu, Sakarya, Izmir and . In Inonu, Sakarya and Izmir clashes Turkish people defended their independence. Greeks occupied the Western Anatolia and they were forced to leave. In , did not occupy the whole of the island but saved the Turkish Cypriots. No one has been injured since the Peace Operation of 1974 in . You blame Mr. Saydali’s understanding and you imply that the real source of the ‘monster Turk’ image is the Turkish threats. If it was so, Americans would be the monster not the Turks. has never occupied any country in 20th century. has never declared war against any nation during the Republican era (except the Cyprus Peace Operation and United Nations operations). has never threatened the Armenians. has never attacked the Armenians. On the other hand Armenians massacred Turkish diplomats and other Turkish representatives. Armenians attacked number of Turkish companies and embassies. Armenians have threatened the Turkish people. Armenians are talking about ‘occupying the Eastern Turkey territories’, Armenians accuse the Turkish people of coming the most terrible crime: genocide. does not recognise ’s and ’s national borders. And you could speak about so-called ‘Turkish threats’ against the Armenians. I think Armenians should look at the mirror. ‘Armenian genocide allegations’ are considered an insult by the Turkish people. Turkish people perceive the accusations as a matter of honor. and Turkish people do not threaten the Armenian people or . Turkish Prime Minister invites Armenian President to , he offers to establish a joint commission, he and many other Turkish politicians offer dialogue. does not speak about the war or conflict. has made enormous effort to stop Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. But at the same time it should be noted that if one attacks the others, he/she may find attacks. If one wants friendly relations, he/she should be a real friend.
By the way, it is really difficult to me why the Armenians are so sensitive on Turkey-Greek relations but show a great indifference on Occupied Azerbaijani territories and massacred Turkish diplomats. Armenians now say nothing about Armenian terrorism.
Armenians in the diaspora needed to create enemy to unite the Armenians in the , , Europe and other countries. You say that “The Armenians who survived in the past 5000 years do not need a common enemy for their solidarity.” Please remember Armenians did not live in the , and Western Europe for 5.000 years. And when they first came to US for instance, they were not a part of a strong nation. Even they could not communicate by Armenian language. Some Armenians were speaking Russian, some other Turkish, and some of them were speaking Arabic. The strong American or European cultures and languages was an open threat to the Armenian culture. Not the Armenian tragedy but the ‘Armenian Genocide Legend’ was created by the political and religious institutions to save the Armenian identity in the ‘new world’. The Armenians created a world based on hate against the ‘Turkish monster’. There was no Turk in the North America , and lack of Turkish opposition made creating a past easier. Now the Turks oppose the Armenian claims. And the Armenian Diaspora perceives the Turkish opposition as matter of insult. Because they created a ‘religion’ and they cannot make any discussion on the matter. Because even discussing the matter is considered a sin by the Armenian Genocide ‘Faith’. Armenians in Diaspora sees the Armenian issue as a matter faith, not a matter of politics or history.
It is true it was a common experience shared by the “Survivors” and their offspring.
MASSACRE AND GENOCIDE
Armenians resist to understand that and Turkish people have no problem in accepting the Armenian tragedy and massacres in the past. Yes, it is a fact, many Armenians were killed or massacred by the Kurdish or Turkish individuals or groups as the Armenians killed or massacred them. The matter is that these events cannot be named as ‘genocide’. Genocide is a legal term and all kind of killings cannot be genocide. If so, there are many genocides against the Turkish nation in history. Turkish people do not deny a ‘genocide’ but they deny the ‘Armenian allegations’. And there is no universally accepted ‘Armenian genocide’. Armenian political groups manipulate the domestic politics of the Western countries. The French Parliament accepted the Armenian allegations in session which very small group attended. The Armenian diaspora makes impact on the French media and the Armenian French journalist write the anti-Turkish articles in the French papers. and the Turkish people in the West did not give response to the Armenian lobbying activities in the past. However now the situation has changed. The Turkish diaspora is now stronger and oppose the Armenian ideas. The problem is that the Armenians just accuse the Turks of being denier instead of establishing a real dialogue.
ENVER AND CEMAL PASHAS
Personally I do not agree with the Ittihad’s policies. Cemal, Enver and his friends were so utopian and romantic. They caused the collapse of the Ottoman State . They made great mistakes, yet I know that they did not make genocide, because they were Turkish. I agree with you, needs to question its past, ant it tries its best. There is no one voice in . Diversity on historical matters is beyond what you can expect from Turks. The problem is that the Armenians show no effort. They just blame and accuse. That’s why the Armenians are like a one single block in this issue.
NOTHING LEGITIMATES INSULTS
In your letter you try to legitimate the Armenian insults to me and to the Turkish people. This is not a right and nice way. Nothing legitimates insults. Insult is not an ethical problem, but also a legal problem. You cannot insult anybody. I do not insult anyone. I do not force anyone to think like me. You can believe in ‘genocide stories’, you can blame me. Free world. All are your choices. But, you have to accept that we have freedom of speech too. And when you accuse me of committing the most horrible crime in the world, I have all the rights to defend myself without insulting anyone. And I do not accept your accuses. Even if your parents were experienced a real tragedy in Anatolian territories, and even if my parents killed your parents, you have no right to insult me. There are local and international courts, is member of Council of Europe and recognized all the individual rights to apply European courts. The local Turkish courts are also open to the Armenians and others. You may apply to American or any other courts. And imagine, can I insult you because of that you and the majority of the Armenian people do not condemn the Armenian terrorism during the 1970s and 1980s and the current Armenian Occupation in . Many Turkish diplomats were massacred by the Armenian terrorists and most of them were declared ‘hero’ by the Armenian State and community. Do I have the right to insult you? I can just criticize your attitude. I strongly condemn the Armenian community for terrorism, yet I cannot insult, and I do not insult. Supporting terrorism is a grave mistake and I see no difference between ASALA and Usame Bin Laden men. And the latest genocide in the recent years was Hocali Genocide. The innocent civilians were genocided in by the Armenian Armies and the Western media, including The Economist, the NYT and many others, pictured and documented the genocide. The Armenians are now silent. They say nothing about the Hocali Genocide, yet they can remember the events happened almost a century ago.
You can make terrorism, you may kill innocent diplomats, you may massacre families of Turkish diplomats, Tashnaks have all the right to kill the high-ranked Ottoman statesmen in the name ‘revenge’, you can insult me, you can fire American and Turkish professors’ houses because they do not agree with you, you can make genocide in Hocali, you do not have to remember 520.000 Turkish and Kurdish civilians killed by the armed Armenians during the First World War, you have all the rights to occupy almost 20 percent of your neighbor Azerbaijan, you can claim territories from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, you have all the right not to recognise international borders, you can make anti-Turkish lobbying in the US and elsewhere, you have the right to undermine all the Turkish interests abroad, you can make films showing Turkish people barbarians etc., but we can do nothing. We, the poor Turks, have to be silence. We have no rights to question what you argue. We have to accept what you say. You can kill us, you can blame us, but we cannot give any response. Otherwise you call us ‘denier’.
You remind me the Hrant Dink case. He was given a six-month suspended sentence. But I am sure that Dink will remain in and will never go to to live because he knows that is more democratic and he can defend what he thinks in . It is true we still have problems in implementation of the new laws, yet shows a real progress while the Armenians are still there. The courts verdict was not shared by the Turkish media and majority of the Turkish people, including Prime Minister and by many Cabinet members. If Dink was in , he could not speak anything about the Armenian issue.
You argue that only 6 Armenian churches left in , and only one of them is functioning in the eastern . First of all you call eastern Turkish provinces ‘Armenian vilayets’ and ‘Ermenistan’ (). This is not a friendly approach. If you say Turkish provinces , one day Turkish people may say that “there is no and Armenian Republic is not a legitimate state.” There is no end in such aggressive and provocative debates. is , and is . There are many churches in the Eastern region of , particularly in the Mardin province. I don’t know the real figure but Armenians can find a church to pray in every main cities. The problem is that the number of Armenians is very small and they cannot finance a church or a school in this region. The obstacle is not the law or the governmental restrictions. If a Turkish Armenian wants to establish a church there is no restriction. Americans, Europeans and even Korean missionaries now establish their own churches even at the heart of , in Ankara . Missionary activities right now in is very high. I mean the Armenian population in the mentioned region is not enough to establish churches. In Istanbul there are about 100,000 Armenians. They have many schools and churches. We met with the Patrick Mesrop II last year and he complained about the Istanbul Armenians. They do not send their children to the Armenian schools and the voluntary assimilation is at the level of real risk. The mixed marriage in particular threatens the existence of Armenian people in .
You claim there are just 6 churches in Istanbul . However the Armenian Church does not confirms you. If you visit http://www.hyetert.com/rehber.asp site you will see that someone deceives you. The list of the Armenian Churches under the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate rule:
İstanbul Ermeni Patrikliğine Bağlı Kiliseler (Armenian Churches in Istanbul)
1. Bolge - Eski İstanbul (First Region, Old İstanbul):
Surp Asdvadzadzin Patriklik Kilisesi
Şarapnel Sok No 3, 34480 Kumkapı
Tel : (0212) 5162517, Fax : (0212) 5172614
Surp Kevork Ermeni Kilisesi
Marmara Cad No 79, 34310 K.M.Paşa
Tel : (0212) 5850193
Surp Hagop Ermeni Kilisesi
Kırımlı Aziz Sok No 16, Altımermer
Tel : (0212) 5883417
Surp Sarkis Anıt Mezar şapeli
Silivrikapı Yolu No 8, Balıklı
Tel : (0212) 5826600
Surp Harutyun Ermeni Kilisesi
Çakmak Taşı Sok No 35, 34490 Kumkapı
Tel : (0212) 5172301
Surp Hovhannes Ermeni Kilisesi
Sarayiçi Sok No 7, 34490 Gedikpaşa
Tel : (0212) 5178078
Surp TateosPartoğomeos Ermeni Kilisesi
Alboyacılar Sok No 57, 34300 Yenikapı
Tel : (0212) 5300695
Surp Hovhannes Ermeni Kilisesi
Narlıkapı Cad No 150, 34310 Narlıkapı
Tel : (0212) 5859341, (0212) 5858867
Surp Nigoğayos Ermeni Kilisesi
Posta Yolu Cad No 159, 34270 Topkapı
Tel : (0212) 5236582
Surp Pırgiç Ermeni Kilisesi
Ermeni Hastanesi, 34760 Yedikule
Tel : (0212) 5825050
Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi
Ebuzziya Cad No 34, 34710 Bakırköy
Tel : (0212) 5716575
2. Bölge - Boğaz'ın Avrupa Yakası (Second Region: The European bank of the Bosphorus):
Surp Istepanos Ermeni Kilisesi
İnci Çiçeği Sok No 4, 34800 Yeşilköy
Tel : (0212) 5730243
Surp Hıreşdagabed Ermeni Kilisesi
Kamış Sok No 2, 34220 Balat
Tel : (0212) 5216960
Surp Yeğya Ermeni Kilisesi
Karayel Sok No 16, Eyüp
Tel : (0212) 5651990
Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi
Kanun Sok No 5, Eyüp
Tel : (0212) 5768118
Surp Istepanos Ermeni Kilisesi
Kemeraltı Sakızcılar Sok No 3, Karaköy
Tel : (0212) 2925762
Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Ermeni Kilisesi
Kemeraltı Sakızcılar Sok No 3, Karaköy
Tel : (0212) 2925762
Surp Yerrortutyun Ermeni Kilisesi
Sahne Sok No 24Ğ1, 80070 Galatasaray
Tel : (0212) 2441382, (0212) 2933181
Surp Harutyun Ermeni Kilisesi
Meşelik Sok No 34, 80060 Taksim
Tel : (0212) 2498296
Surp Vartanants Ermeni Kilisesi
Şahadet Sok No 13, 80250 Feriköy
Tel : (0212) 2482913, (0212) 2473464
Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi
İlhan Sok No 20, 80690 Beşiktaş
Tel : (0212) 2618517
Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi
Cibinlik Sok No 5, 80840 Ortaköy
Tel : (0212) 2607921, (0212) 2603016
Yerevman Surp Haç Ermeni Kilisesi
Kırbaç Sok No 47-49, 80820 Kuruçeşme
Tel : (0212) 2655641
Surp Santuht Ermeni Kilisesi
Durmuş Dede Sok No 8, 80830 Rumelihisar
Tel : (0212) 2577201
Surp Yerits Mangants Ermeni Kilisesi
Aktar Apti Sok No 2Ğ1, 80850 Boyacıköy
Tel : (0212) 2775560
Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi
Salih Ağa Sok No 19, Yeniköy
Tel : (0212) 2624870
Surp Hripsimyants Ermeni Kilisesi
Çayırbaşı Sok No 52, 80890 Büyükdere
Tel : (0212) 2422366
3. Bölge - Boğazın Anadolu Yakası (The Anatolian Bank of the Bosphorus)
Surp Takavor Ermeni Kilisesi
Muvakkithane Cad No 44/1, 81300 Kadıköy
Tel : (0216) 3360166
Surp Haç Ermeni Kilisesi
Selamsız, Kozanoğlu Sok No 3, 81140 Üsküdar
Tel : (0216) 3330250
Surp Garabet Ermeni Kilisesi
Bağlarbaşı, Yeni Mahalle Vasiyet Sok No 6, 81140 Üsküdar
Tel : (0216) 3333819
Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Ermeni Kilisesi
Çarşı Cad No 49, Kuzguncuk
Tel : (0216) 3415002
Surp Yergodasan Arakelots Ermeni Kilisesi
Kurtbağrı Sok No 17, 81620 Kandilli
Tel : (0216) 3320249
Surp Nigoğayos Ermeni Kilisesi
Mehmet Yavuz Cad No 14, 80650 Beykoz
Tel : (0216) 3310905
Surp Nışan Ermeni Kilisesi
Soğanlık Sok No 6, 81140 Kartal
Tel : (0216) 3741412
4. Bölge – Adalar (Armenian Churches in Istanbul Islands)
Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Ermeni Kilisesi
Akgünlük Sok No 8, 81360 Kınalıada
Tel : (0216) 3814214
5. Bölge - Anadolu Ermeni Kiliseleri (Churches in Anatolia)
Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Ermeni Kilisesi
Cafer Bey Mah, Yeni Sok No 5, Kayseri
Tel : (0352) 3302608
Surp Giragos Ermeni Kilisesi
Yenikapı Cad Göçmen Sok Diyarbakır
Tel : (0412) 2211819
Surp Sarkis Ermeni Kilisesi
Surp Hagop şapeli
Surp Kevork Ermeni Kilisesi
Kale Mahallesi, 47801 Derik, Mardin
Surp Karasun Manuk Ermeni Kilisesi
52 Sokak No 4, 31201 İskenderun, Hatay
Tel : (0326) 6172614, (0326) 6139240
Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Kilisesi
Tel : (0326) 3441020
Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi
Vakıflıköy, Samandağ, Hatay
Tel : (0326) 5261139
6. Bölge - Girit Adası (Crete Island, Greece)
Armenian Church of St. John the Baptist.
Tel : (+30-81) 28-6224, (+30-81) 28-8593.
And the list of the Armenian schools in :
Aramyan-Uncuyan Ermeni İlköğretim (Primary) Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Leylek Sok. No. 3, 81300 Kadıköy
Tel : (0216) 3361598
Bezciyan Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Şarapnel Sok. No. 1, 34480 Kumkapı
Tel : (0212) 5170948
Bomonti Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
İzzetpaşa Sok. No. 45, Bomonti
Tel : (0212) 2478598
Dadyan Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Ebuzziya Cad. No. 34/1, 34720 Bakırköy
Tel : (0212) 5716077
Esayan Ermeni Lisesi (anaokul ilköğretimhazırlıklise)
Meşelik Sok. No. 34, 80060 Taksim
Tel : (0212) 2435016
Getronagan Ermeni Lisesi (hazırlıklise)
Kemeraltı, Sakızcılar Sok. No:19, 80030 Karaköy
Tel : (0212) 2440503, (0212) 2430259 Fax : (0212) 2510514
KalfayanCemaran İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Toprak Yol Sok. No. 28, Altunizade, Üsküdar
Tel : (0216) 4929781, (0216) 3330677 Fax : (0216) 3330256
Karagözyan İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Abidei Hürriyet Cad. No. 228, Şişli
Tel : (0212) 2480074
Kocamustafapaşa Anarat Hığutyun Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Işkırlak Sok. No. 18, Kocamustafapaşa
Tel : (0212) 5851160
Levon Vartuhyan Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Emin Molla Sok. No. 6, 34270 Topkapı
Tel : (0212) 5319891, (0212) 5322237
Merametciyan Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Çobanoğlu Sok. No. 416, 80250 Feriköy
Tel : (0212) 2407814, (0212) 2471042
Nersesyan-Yermonyan Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Hacı Bakkal Sok. No. 39, 81200 Üsküdar
Tel : (0216) 3330389
Pangaltı Anarat Hığutyun Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Ölçek Sok. No. 198, Pangaltı
Tel : (0212) 2405752
Pangaltı Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu ve Lisesi (anaokul ilköğretimhazırlıklise)
Süleyman Nazif Sok. No. 9, Pangaltı
Tel : (0212) 2466179, (0212) 2480421, (0212) 2477114
Sahakyan-Nunyan Ermeni Lisesi (anaokul ilköğretimhazırlıklise)
Marmara Cad. No. 55, 34310 K.M. Paşa
Tel : (0212) 5855315, (0212) 5850195
Surp Haç Ermeni Lisesi (lise)
Ekmekçibaşı Sok. No. 3, Üsküdar
Tel : (0216) 3330307
Tarkmançats Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Taşbasamak Sok. No. 52, 80840 Ortaköy.
Tel : (0212) 2617751
Yeşilköy Ermeni İlköğretim Okulu (anaokul ilköğretim)
Köyiçi Huban Sok. No. 6, 34800 Yeşilköy
Tel : (0212) 5738913.
Armenian Foundations and Other Institutions in Turkey:
Surp Pırgiç Ermeni Hastanesi (Hospital)
Tel : (0212) 5825050
Getronagan Ermeni Lisesi ve Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Ermeni Kilisesi
Kemeraltı Sakızcılar Sok. No. 19, 80030 Karaköy
Tel : (0212) 2441462
Surp Haç Ermeni Lisesi (Eski Tıbrevank)
Ekmekçibaşı Sok. No. 3, Üsküdar
Tel : (0216) 3330307
Toprak Yolu No. 28, Altunizade, Üsküdar
Tel : (0216) 4929781, (0216) 3330677, Fax : (0216) 3330256
Abide-i Hürriyet Cad. No. 228. Şişli
Tel : (0212) 2480074
Türkiye Ermeni Azınlık Okulları Öğretmenleri Yardımlaşma Vakfı
Zafer Sok. No. 11-13/2, Pangaltı
Tel : (0212) 2339415, (0212) 2403889
Şarapnel Sok. No. 3, 34480 Kumkapı
Tel : (0212) 5162517
O. Gümüşyan Vakfı
Şarapnel Sok. 20, 34480 Kumkapı
Tel : (0212) 5170970, (0212) 5170971
Armenian Socities-Associations in Turkey (Dernekler):
Getronagan Lisesinden Yetişenler Derneği
Harbiye, Prof Celal Öker Sok No 2, 80220 Şişli
Tel : (0212) 2404128
Esayan Lisesinden Yetişenler Derneği
Billurcu Çıkmazı No 17, 80060 Sıraselviler
Tel : (0212) 2443708
Surp Haç Tıbrevanktan Yetişenler Derneği
Kennedy Caddesi No 150, Narlıkapı
Tel : (0212) 5858867
Sahakyan Lisesinden Yetişenler Derneği
Marmara Caddesi No 79, 34310 KMPaşa
Tel : (0212) 5855316
Pangaltı Lisesinden Yetişenler Derneği
Halaskargazi Caddesi No 132, Pangaltı
Tel : (0212) 2406283
Bezciyan Okulundan Yetişenler Derneği
Molataşı Caddesi No 36, 34480 Kumkapı
Tel : (0212) 5172635
Dadyan Okulundan Yetişenler Derneği
Niyazi Bey Sok No 39, Bakırköy
Tel : (0212) 5725522
Feriköy Okulundan Yetişenler Derneği
Şehadet Sok No 46, 80250 Feriköy
Tel : (0212) 2466055
Aramyan Okulundan Yetişenler Derneği
Karakol Sok No 8Ğ1 Kadıköy
Tel : (0216) 3360790
Boğosyan-Varvaryan Okulundan Yetişenler Derneği
Çakmaktaşı Sok No 33, Kumkapı
Tel : (0212) 5226837
Yeşilköy Ermeni Okulundan Yetişenler Derneği
Çardaklı Sok No 4, Yeşilköy
Tel : (0212) 5743923
Karagözyan Okulundan Yetişenler Derneği
Abide-i Hürriyet Caddesi No 228/1, Şişli
Tel : (0212) 2467357
Semerciyan Cemaran Nersesyan Yermonyan Derneği
Muradiye Mektep Sok. No:19
Tel:(0216) 342 77 66
Fax: (0216) 342 77 23
Türkiye Ermeni Azınlık Okulları Öğretmenleri Yardımlaşma Derneği
Zafer Sok No 11-13/2, Pangaltı
Tel : (0212) 2339415, (0212) 2403889
Kınalıada Çocuk Kampı (Karagözyan)
Serap Sok No 2, Kınalıada
Tel : (0216) 3814371
Taksim Gençlik Kulübü
Kurtuluş Caddesi No 29/5, Feriköy
Tel : (0212) 2477500
Tarkmanças Okulundan Yetişenler Derneği
Karakaş Sok. No:9/2-3, Ortaköy -İstanbul
Tel : (0212) 2606429, Faks: (0212) 2606457, e-mail: email@example.com
Şişli Spor Kulübü
Billurcu Çıkmazı No 17/1, Sıraselviler
Tel : (0212) 2449153
Armenian Press in Turkey (Basın):
“Lraper” Ermeni Patrikliği Kilise Bülteni
Şarapnel Sok No 20-22 Kumkapı
Tel : (0212) 5170970, (0212) 5170971
“Şoğagat” Dergisi - Türkiye Ermenileri Patrikliği
Şarapnel Sok No 20-22 Kumkapı
Tel : (0212) 5170970, (0212) 5170971
“Jamanak” Günlük Gazete
İstiklal Cad Narmanlı Yurdu No 390, P K 22 Beyoğlu
Tel : (0212) 2435639, Fax : (0212) 2433196
“Nor Marmara” Günlük Gazete
Solakzade Sok No 5, P K 507 Beyoğlu
Tel : (0212) 2444736, (0212) 2491989, Fax : (0212) 2498165
“Agos” Haftalık Gazete
Halaskargazi Cad Sebat Ap 192/3, Daire 6 80220 Pangaltı
Tel : (0212) 2962364, (0212) 2315694, (0212) 2195082, Fax : (0212) 2475519
“Surp Pırgiç” Hastane Dergisi
Surp Pırgiç Ermeni Hastanesi, 34780 Yedikule
Tel : (0212) 5825050
“Nor San” Sanat Dergisi - Pangaltı Lisesinden Yetişenler Derneği
İnci Pasajı 3/5, 80220 Şişli
Tel : (0212) 2406283
“Jbid” Çocuk Dergisi
Zafer Sokak No 11-13/2, 80220 Şişli
Tel : (0212) 2469415
“Lusadu” Okul Dergisi - Getronagan Lisesi Yayın Temsil Kolu
Getronagan Lisesi, Kemeraltı Sakızcılar Sok No 19, 80030 Karaköy
Tel : (0212) 2440503
“Punç” Öğrenci Dergisi - Surp Haç Lisesi Kültür ve Edebiyat Kolu
Surp Haç Lisesi Ekmekçibaşı Sok No 3, Üsküdar
Tel : (0216) 3330307
“Meğu” Dergisi - Pangaltı Lisesinden Yetişenler Derneği
İnci Pasajı 3/5, 80220 Şişli- İstanbul
Tel : (0212) 2406283
“Talarkyuğ” Yeşilköy Kilisesi Dergisi
İnci Çiçeği Sok No 4, 34800 Yeşilköy
Tel : (0212) 5730243
Armenian Graves in (Mezarlıklar)
Bağlarbaşı Surp Haç
Bağlarbaşı Nuh Kuyusu Cad No 144
Tel : (0216) 3348927
Bağlarbaşı Surp Garabet
Bağlarbaşı Nuh Kuyusu Cad No 148
Tel : (0216) 3338055
Tayyareci Hayrettin Sok No 2
Tel : (0212) 5836308
Silivrikapı Yolu No 8
Emirgan, Reşitpaşa Mah, Zergerdan Sok No 7
Tel : (0212) 5443019
Halıcıoğlu, Bademlik Yokuşu No 7
Tel : (0212) 2208025
Çayırbaşı Bentler Cad, Kibrit Fabrikası Yanı No 34 Hasanpaşa Taş Ocakları
Tel : (0216) 3264032
Kınalıada, şükrü Gülesin (Mezarlık) Sok
Kuruçeşme, Tepeüstü, Avize sok
Dereboyu, Bostan Üstü
Rumelihisar Üstü, Birinci Sok, Ayazma Yolu No 3
Şişli, Abide-i Hürriyet Cad No 4
Tel : (0212) 2480072
Yeniköy, Salih Ağa Sok Bağlar Yolu
Surp Yerrortutyun Kilisesi, Beyoğlu
Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Kilisesi, Karaköy
Yerevman Surp Haç Kilisesi, Kuruçeşme
Karasun Mangants Korosu
Surp Astvadzadzin Kilisesi, Bakırköy
Surp Astvadzadzin Patriklik Kilisesi, Patriklik
Surp Harutyun Kilisesi, Taksim
Surp Haç Kilisesi, Üsküdar
Surp Astvadzadzin Kilisesi, Beşiktaş
Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Kilisesi, Kınalıada
Surp Istepanos Kilisesi, Yeşilköy
Surp Kevork Kilisesi, Samatya
Sayat Nova Korosu
Surp Yerits Mangants Kilisesi, Boyacıköy
Surp Garabed Korosu
Surp Garabed Kilisesi, Üsküdar
Surp Hovhannes Korosu
Surp Hovhannes Kilisesi, Narlıkapı
Surp Hripsimyants Korosu
Surp Hripsimyants Kilisesi, Büyükdere
Surp Takavor Korosu
Surp Takavor Kilisesi, Kadıköy
Surp Astvadzadzin Kilisesi, Ortaköy
Surp Vartanants Kilisesi, Feriköy
Surp Harutyun Kilisesi, KumkapıDışı
Surp Hovhannes Kilisesi, Gedikpaşa
Do you still think that all Turkey Armenians vanished?
I will continue to my response in a separate letter, because your letter’s size is beyond a normal letter. I do not want to lose the focus of the debate.
Maral Der Ohanesian's Response To Dr. Laciner
Wednesday , 19 April 2006
The Armenians : The Struggle To Survive
Dear Dr. Laciner,
When someone believes in a “Just Cause,” he won’t spare anything to advocate that “Just Cause.” So, when you say that “Holdwater” aka Mickey Mouse, whoever he is, “… kindly asked us not to mention his original name due to the threats from Armenian radicals,” proves my point that he is a “Coward” and leaves us to doubt his faithfulness and true belief in the cause that he’s advocating!
"An advocate is not supposed to be a coward."
As you said, it’s your call to decide what you publish. The JTW readers now know how badly you need help, when you said that you would be willing to “… publish even Micky Mouse’s letters, if his/her letters says something serious about Armenian Issue or any others issues” as a commentary, not even as a letter to the editor.
I do appreciate your good will and hopes toward reconciliation as you said “… I have great hopes, and I know there are some Armenians there who will appreciate my goodwill and works in future,” but I will need to remind you that there can not be any reconciliation on the basis of denial; Turkey needs to reconcile with its past before aiming at reconciliation with the Armenians.
Coming to your letter, I just wanted to quickly comment on a few things before I proceed with my response.
* I want to point out the fact that, the alternate use of the words Ottoman/Turkish and Ottoman Empire/Turkey is not something that I or any other Armenian had started. If you return to almost all the sources, whether they were official archival documentation, or historians’ research of the 19th century and later, you’ll find that this alternate use of words was very common. In fact, you yourself had used it in the same letter you wrote to me saying that “But millions of Turkish citizens were killed or wounded during the First World War.” Anyway, I appreciate your honesty in declaring that you “do not try to escape any responsibility for the Ottoman past.”
* Your insistence on using the word “Relocation” instead of “Deportation” is really pointless, especially when you consider the Turkish equivalent of it “tehcir” that you mentioned. “tehcir” is an Arabic originated word, which EXACTLY means deportation, or forced immigration “Hicra,” which exactly means as you said “The word ‘deportation’ is described by the Cambridge Dictionary as “ forcing (a person) to leave a country because they have no legal right to be there or because they have broken the law”. Elsewhere in the same letter your accepted that it was kind of immigration, saying “most of them [the Armenians] safely immigrated from the war region.” Although it was a forced one! In addition, the word “Deportation” is used by international historians and Genocide scholars in describing the law according to which Ottoman Armenians were driven through the desert in “Caravans of death.”[i]even used by many Turkish writers[ii]well as some notable Armenian Genocide denialists such as, for example, Justin McCarthy[iii] Stanford Shaw[iv]. So I don’t see any point in arguing about that, unless you are reiterating the Turkish Official Version of History ( Resmi Tarih)!
* You tried to justify the deportation of the Ottoman Armenians by considering it as a defensive measure, saying that “ The Government took an administrative measurement to protect its armies against the Russian-Armenian attacks,” adding, “They [Ittihad Government] had do something and they decided to relocate the Armenians near the war theatre.” You claimed that Ottoman Armenians were deported from “War Theater” ONLY, to protect the Ottoman armies from the attacks (!) of Armenians in that area, although that would not justify the deportation of harmless, innocent children, women and old men which make no sense in light of what you are claiming.
Then you wrote “Of course there were loyal Armenians too. Armenians in Istanbul and in many other Western provinces mainly did not join the uprisings.” And finally, affected by the Turkish propaganda “Myths” you came up with the conclusion that “That’s why not all of the Armenian population was included to the Relocation Campaign.” Your claim is not true and is a fabrication. There are hundreds of official archival documents and eyewitness accounts refuting that myth. In addition, even the Turkish State Archives refute those tall stories in a book published in Ankara in 1995,[v] which declassified several Ottoman documents. The Turkish government had to admit the fact that Ottoman Armenians were deported not only from War Theater, but from all over the Ottoman Empire. These recently declassified Ottoman documents showed that, Armenians were deported from Adana, Ankara, Aydin, Bolu, Bitlis, Bursa, Canik, Canakkale, Diyarbakir, Edirne, Eskishehir, Erzurum, Izmit, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Karahisar, Konya, Kütahya, Elazig, Maras, Nigde, Samsun, Sivas and Trabzon. These towns were hardly in the east, and nowhere near the “War Theater,” as you claimed. This clearly shows that deportation was carried out on the whole territory of Anatolia, not only from the War Theater, and not because of a defensive measure! So the question is: why did the government “really” deport the entire Ottoman Armenian population?
* You repeatedly base your claims on the supposed actions of the Ottoman Armenians “after the First World War.” Excuse me, but what does anything having happened “After The First World War” (whether true or not) has to do with your attempt to justify the Armenian Genocide? Mind you that the perpetrators had successfully reached their goal in exterminating and uprooting the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire two years before the end of The First World War. How does that justify their crime?
* If you had carefully read my previous letter, to which you were responding, you would’ve seen that I had carefully pointed out that: “Genocide deniers and revisionists, intentionally handle this issue with ambiguity, taking advantage of most people’s ignorance about historical and geographical facts, by just saying that Armenians joined the Russian army, but which Armenians? It was the Russian citizen Armenians. That’s what they don’t say."[vi]
Yet you repeated for at least four times, that 200,000 Armenians joined the Russian army or the Allies, without supporting this ambiguous statement by any evidence other than the so-called “secret” documents that the charlatan Ataöv had somehow found recently, and again, exactly as I said, without mentioning which Armenians they were! I challenge Ataöv to prove his claims and show us a copy of that so-called document (if it really exists), that proves (?) that 200,000 “Ottoman Armenians” had joined the Russian army. And please don’t make the hilarious excuse for not showing the document (as the one that Ataöv was offering for not showing it), saying that if he shows the document, Armenians might destroy it. If there really is such a document, there has to be a “replica,” and the “Original” of which will have to be found in the official archive of the country he found it in, therefore, it will be perfectly safe from destruction. Unless Ataöv was suggesting that the Armenians will invade that State Archive building to destroy the so-called document! It seems that your Dr. is too affected by adventure movies. Until Ataöv publishes that so-called document, no one can base his argument on it. If you are seeking to find the truth really, you will want to see it for yourself too!
* It’s ironic, that the one and ONLY reference you gave me throughout our entire discussions during the past few months, was a reference for a “picture” and it was from an Armenian book!
A picture of armed Armenians you said! Well, why is that so strange for you? Didn’t you know that Armenians had joined the Ottoman army fighting in the Balkan Wars 1912-1913? Didn’t you know that the Armenians had joined the Ottoman army in the First World War? How did you think that Armenian soldiers will look like? Did you think that they were fighting those wars for the Ottoman fatherland with wooden sticks?! Please, make sense!
Last time anyone have used a picture like that as an evidence for anything, as the Turkish media had reported, was a lady who identified herself as a Turkish Lobbyist in America [her name I won’t mention to save her the embarrassment] in the Istanbul conference “Ottoman Armenians during the Demise of the Empire” last September, dismissing her claims the chairman of the session Ahmet Insel simply answered her: “Hanimefendi, stop ridiculing yourself”!
And if you still insist on using pictures as evidence, let me share with you the phototypographic collections that were took by WWI officers who witnessed the Armenian Genocide, and tried to record a few aspects of that calamity. Here you’ll find some of them,
* You wrote “The loyal Armenians had no difficulty in living with the Turkish people More than 100,000 Armenians have lived in Istanbul since the First World War and none of them were injured by their neighbors.” Well first, how dare you accuse my orphaned children grandparents, who lost their entire families in the Genocide of the Armenians during WWI, with disloyalty!! And again, the intact Armenian population of Istanbul and other Western provinces is nothing but propaganda fabrication Myth.
* Last but not least, I want to show my appreciation for your grandmother’s honest testimony, which you enclosed in your letter saying “Most of the Armenians were protected by their Muslim neighbors from such attacks. These gangs not only attacked the Armenians but also the Muslim families. My grandma clearly calls that period, and she said many Turkish were also murdered by these criminals and the Government could do nothing,” although it would be more accurate to say that “the government did do nothing to stop them,” if that testimony mean anything, it would only show how desperately the Turkish government wanted to get rid of all Armenians of the Ottoman Empire even if that required the order of terrifying, killing and burning down houses of righteous Muslims who hided their Armenian neighbors and friends. Such orders were verified during the proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunals 1919-1920; page 7 of the Indictment reads:
“The telegram bearing the signature of Third Army Commander Mahmut Kamil [proclaims]: 'any Muslim who protects an Armenian will be hanged in front of his house which will also be burned down. If the culprit is an official he will be dismissed and court-martialed. If those who deem it worthwhile to provide protection are military officials they will be severed from the military and will be handed over to the above mentioned Court Martial to be tried before it'.”[vii]
The Armenians: The Struggle to Survive
It seems to me that you have no idea on what you are talking about! Or if you actually do, I would have to say that you are today in the 21st century still living with the mentality of the 19th century, and the mentality of Abdul Hamit still prevails in Turkey. Taking issues out of their context, and affected by some of the Turkish denialist propaganda websites, you told us a totally reference and evidence lacking tall tails about different issues including the interesting, baseless story about Patriarch Nerses Varjabedian, and supposedly the Russian Tsar meeting in the latter’s “tent” (!), and based on that, you decided that “3 March 1878 was turning point in Armenians’ loyalty to the Ottomans…”
But what had happened in 3 March 1878?
Allow me, to put you and the JTW readers, back in context, and let’s all together examine, with historical well documented facts, the circumstances and the complications of that era.
The Abortive Reforms and the so-called ‘Tanzimat’ Era
According to the Islamic Legal Pact that’s originated from the Islam’s Holy Book (The Koran), the Armenians, as well as all other non-Muslim minorities of the Ottoman Empire, were considered to be subjugated Zimmis. According to Islamic Legal Pact, the zimmis should be guaranteed protection and clemency, when they are willing to pay tributes “djizah”, and “they be reduced low” (chapter 9, verse 29). According to that the zimmis were treated with social degradations. Two well known Islamic scholars Gibb and Bowen gave some examples of those social degradations:
“The zimmis are expected to wear distinctive clothes so that they may be differentiated from the Muslims, the “true believers.” They are forbidden to ride horses or to bear arms. Their churches may be converted into mosques and they are not allowed to build new ones. At best they may be permitted to undertake repairs of those churches that have fallen into disrepair. A zimmi may not marry a Muslim woman but conversely, a Muslim man may marry a zimmi woman. A Muslim murderer of a zimmi is exempt from the death penalty.”[viii]
So, Armenians were considered worthless second-class citizens in the Ottoman Empire, James Creagh, a former captain of the First Royals in his book published 1880, provided additional and more specific examples about the social degradations in the Ottoman Empire, and their impact on the affected people; for example, the non-Muslim of the Ottoman Empire had to wear “a very peculiar costume, resembling that of females.” Since they were not permitted to ride horses, they were “forced to ride about on mules or donkeys, which they were even compelled to mount in the attitude of women.” They were not allowed to use bells. “The size of their houses or churches was regulated by law to diminutive standard.” They were forced to “treat the poorest or meanest Mussulman whom they might chance to meet, with every demonstration of deference and respect.” The net result of this kind of treatment involved a level of coerciveness that “soon made Christians servile, cowardly, deceitful, contemptible and even ridiculous.” [ix]
In addition to all above discriminative aspect, the two more grave ones were, first, the denial of the right to carry arms and join the military; which made the Armenians vulnerable to the Kurdish and Turkish tribal attacks, and the consequence of which was assessed by James Creagh in 1880, who noted that as a result of this deliberate denial of the right to bear arms and to be trained militarily in the armed forces as citizens of the Ottoman state, the Armenians became “cowardly and wretched,” and inept to resist or to mount countermeasures against the Kurds.[x]
The second grave discriminating aspect involved legal issues, in particular the inadmissibility of Christian evidence against that of Muslims in the court of law; even after the introduction of 1839 and 1856 Tanzimat reforms, which were intended to equalize justice in civil courts, the old practice remained intact with one of British counsels characterizing those reforms as “nominal.” The following report in 1864 by a British vice-counsel gives a summarized idea about the situation:
“The great test of equality of Christian and Mussulman before the law, the admission of Christian evidence, signally fails before the experience of the last ten years. Christian evidence is utterly rejected in the lower criminal courts, and only received in the higher when corroborated by a Mussulman … A Mussulman’s simple allegation, unbacked by evidence, will upset the best founded and most incontrovertible claim.” [xi]
Thus, any claims against any Christian, that mainly meant that it is to be considered as the complete truth, the latter was to be locked up in jail, and tortured until he confess the crime whether he did it or not. In a massive volume, Turkish author Taner Akcam examined the religious-cultural context within which the propensity for cruelty and torture developed to be as an integral part of the Turkish justice system in general, and justice with respect to non-Muslims, especially the Armenians.[xii]
In light of all above circumstances, the Armenians, as well as all other ethnic and non-Muslim minorities in the Empire sought administrative reforms. With so many European diplomats, it was not possible for the Ottoman authorities to hide those entire grievances and petitions, and as the Ottoman authorities wished to join the Concert of Europe, they tried to look innovated and developed in the eyes of the European Powers, knowing that the equality of all subjects in front of the law was the touchstone for that development as far as those Powers concerned, they began an era of reforms or Tanzimat (1830 – 1876).
Compelled by the Great Powers (European Powers) in 1839 (in Rose Bower [Gulkhane]) and again in 1856 declarations of the equality of all the Sultan’s subjects were made. However, in practice, these reforms were obstructed.[xiii]
England and France, supported by Austrian diplomatic pressure, fought the “Crimean War” supporting Turkey (Ottoman Empire), to deny Russia a victory against the Turks who “enthusiastically” had declared war against Russia in October 1853, bust subsequently were facing the danger of defeat, and all that was implied by it. As the Allies managed to subdue Russia, they wrested from the Turks the February 1856 Reform Edict, “repeating” the 1839 guarantees to Christian subjects of “security of life, honor and property.” With those Reform Edicts (of 1839, 1856) and up to the 1876 First Ottoman Constitution declaration and beyond, came repeatedly the promise of equality of all subjects of the Sultan, yet the fact remained that “No genuine equality was ever attained.”[xiv]
In the almost similar circumstances, came the declaration of the 1876 Constitution, after the 1876 massacres against the Bulgarians, and Russia’s threat of war. After the failure of the December 1876 Constantinople Conference, and the Ottoman government’s resistance to the European Powers’ suggestions, the Constitution promulgated (with repeated promise of equality) to mollify the European Powers, and the public opinion, and to avoid the war that was apparently approaching. French Orientalist, and Armenian Genocide denialist Bernard Lewis epitomizes those repeated Reform Edicts, and how they were used as a ploy to gain European Powers’ quiescence as follows:
“ … Rose Bower, of 1839, came soon after the disastrous defeat of the Ottoman army at Nezib, when European support was needed against the victorious Muhammad Ali of Egypt; the Imperial Rescript of 1856 had followed immediately on the Crimean War, when Western goodwill was required in securing a peace treaty favorable to Turkey; and now … the proclamation of a liberal constitution [of 1876] were perfectly timed to circumvent plans for intervention and protection, and to rally Western support in the war with Russia that was looming ahead….The timing of the reforms, and the dramatic manner of their presentation, were no doubt influenced by the desire to secure political advantage from them.”[xv]
The Futility of Armenian Efforts for Administrative Remedies.
In a period of twenty years up to 1870, Armenian Patriarchs, in their capacity as recognized heads of the Armenian millet, had submitted to the Ottoman government 537 memoranda (takrir) detailing the depredations in the provinces involving fraud by officials, abductions, forcible conversions, brigandage, murder, denial of religious practices, including funeral and burial rites, and confiscatory taxes. This aggregated effort culminated in a major report in the form of a Memorandum of Grievances that was prepared by an eight-member Special Commission of Inquiry in 1870. The Memorandum was debated in Armenian National Assembly in 22 October 1871, and it was intended to be sent to the Sultan and his government. Before that report was compiled, however, Khrimian (the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey at that time) sent a circular in 4 June 1871, along with questions to the Dioceses in the provinces seeking specific data on depredations and governmental corruption, with the following key instruction: “Leave out anything and everything which is false or inaccurate. You are to report to us only those facts the certainty and authenticity of which you personally examined and have verified.”[xvi]
The Memorandum of Grievances that finally emerged had four parts and addressed such issues as (1) tax abuses; (2) corruption of governmental officials; (3) the venality of Judiciary, primarily arising out of the inadmissibility of Armenian testimony in courts; and (4) special types of depredations. The patriarchate, for two years, repeatedly tried to get the Porte (the seat of the Ottoman Government) to act upon the Memorandum, and when the Constantinople Conference of the Ambassadors of the Powers had convened in December 1876, still no action had been forthcoming. By 17 September 1876 a new memorandum was submitted, which was but a continuation of the first in terms of complaints received from the provinces since April 1872. In 24 August 1876 the new patriarch, Nerses Varjabedian, sent a special memorandum to the Porte focusing exclusively on large-scale expropriations of agricultural land tracts belonging to Armenian peasants who “comprise the overwhelming part of the Armenian people.” Dismissing it as non-specific and vague, the Porte directed the patriarch to name names, places, and concrete facts. The ensuing statistical tables promoted the Porte to create a commission to inquire into the problem. Having done so, the commission submitted its report and disbanded itself without achieving any concrete results.[xvii] In consequence life continued to harden each day, for the rural Armenian peasants who formed the vast majority of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire, and those were described as “the mass of Ottoman Armenians remained loyal subjects” [xviii] to the Sultan and the Empire.
The abortiveness and insincerity of the so-called Reform Edicts were evident, and they were described by the academics of that time as “pseudo-reforms,”[xix] also described by Ottoman officials, as Koca Mustafa Reºid who was a Grand Vizier for six times in the period of 1846-1858, described those reform edicts as containing “misleading definitions of meanings,” and the purpose of which was “to fool” the Europeans (igfal için konulmuº), and he reportedly cast aspersions on the ideas of “complete emancipation” and “total equality” to be granted to non-Muslim subjects[xx].
Despite reforms on paper, most institutions which could mediate between the Sultan and his subjects “had been abrogated or enfeebled, leaving the sovereign power with nothing but the paper shackles of its own edicts to restrain it.”[xxi] And ultimately the abolishment of the Ottoman newly proclaimed Constitution, which didn’t last more than two years, in 1878 by Sultan Abdul Hamit II.
In The Aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War 1877-78
After the massacre of the Bulgarians 1876, and the failure of the Constantinople Conference in December 1876, The Russo-Turkish War broke in 24 April 1877. Upon a request from Sultan Abdul Hamit (who had became the Sultan only six months earlier) who urged the Armenians to form volunteer units to fight against Russia, in complying with this request Patriarch Nerses Varjabedian, had his circular read in all Armenian churches, inviting young Armenians to enroll in such units so that “Muslims and Christians could jointly defend the common fatherland.” For this support, the Patriarch was decorated by Sultan Abdul Hamit with the “Osmaniya” Medal First Class.[xxii] Yet at the very same time, the Turkish soldiers, Kurdish and Circassian brigands were devastating the heavily populated Armenian towns and villages in an around the theater of military operations.
In 1878 the victorious Russian armies had advanced into the territory of the Ottoman Empire and seized control or most of the Turkish Armenia, so the Ottomans, affected by this defeat, sought a peace treaty and started negotiating the six European Powers, the Armenian community (millet) leaders sent a delegation to ask for the reforms in the Armenian provinces, and no the Patriarch Nerses did not attend its sessions of neither San Stefano treaty nor the Treaty of Berlin, he evidently didn’t participate himself, and boldly refused to comply with Sultan Abdul Hamit II request to recall the Armenian delegation from the peace conference, and he told the Sultan’s emissaries: “Go and tell the Sultan that I myself sent these delegates to the Congress to secure remedies for the woes of my communities, and I will not recall them even if he means to hang me at the door of the patriarchate as the Greek Patriarch was hanged half a century ago.”[xxiii]
By March 3rd 1878 the Treaty of San Stefano was concluded[xxiv] and already signed, granting “Independence” to Serbia, Montenegro, and Rumania and autonomy to a Bulgarian state. No such provision was either sought or executed for Armenians. On the contrary, the Russians agreed to their armies from almost all Turkish Armenia, while annexing the boarder districts of Batum, Ardahan, Kars, Alashkert, and Bayazid (which were taken from her in 1856).[xxv] Article 16 of the Treaty of San Stefano reads as follows:
“As the evacuation by the Russian troops of the territory which they occupy in Armenia, and which is to resorted to Turkey, might give rise to conflicts and complications detrimental to the maintenance of good relations between the two countries, the Sublime Porte [Ottoman government] undertakes to carry out into effect, without further delay, the improvements and reforms demanded by the local requirements in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians, and to guarantee their security from Kurds and Circassians.” [xxvi]
Many facts can be concluded from the text of the Article 16 of the Treaty of San Stefano above,
1) That the Armenians were demanding reforms not separation nor independence, those reforms would have improved the life of Armenians as well as the Turks and Kurds in the Armenian provinces.
2) “Without any further delay” points out the stalling of the Ottoman government in carrying out the reforms that was promised repeatedly since 1839, and yet to be accomplished.
3) That the Armenians were living in an insecure environment, and constantly attacked by the Kurds and the Circassians, and they had no ability to defend themselves against it.
4) That Russian General M.T. Loris-Melikov was to stand firm in Erzerum until this condition was met.
Not satisfied with the situation, Great Britain’s Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and specially Foreign Secretary Robert Salisbury believed that the interests of the British Empire were jeopardized by the treaty, they started pushing and intimidating Russia. The outcome was the convening of a European Congress in Berlin. During the negotiations, special meetings were held, one of them, was “the Convention of 4th June 1878, Between England and Turkey, stipulates that in return of the engagement undertaken by the former [England] of these Powers to defend the Asiatic territories of the Sultan, the latter [the Ottoman Empire] … consents to England occupying and administering the island of Cyprus.” [xxvii] So, Lord Salisbury proposed an article, stipulating that the immediate withdrawal of the Russian armies from Turkish Armenia [Armenian provinces], and that the Sultan Abdul Hamit would simply pledge to take it upon himself to implement the necessary reforms and to report to the European Powers collectively about the progress, that article was accepted, without any discussion, by the Congress of Berlin[xxviii], and in July 1878 the Ottoman Empire and the European Powers, signed the Treaty of Berlin, and the Article 61 (that was supplanting Article 16 of San Stefano) reads as follows:
“The Sublime Porte engages to carry out into effect, without further delay, the improvements and reforms demanded by the local requirements in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians, and to guarantee their security from Kurds and Circassians. It will make known periodically the steps taken to this effect to the Powers, who will superintend their application.”[xxix]
So, the security of the Armenians and the implication of the reforms were depended on the goodwill of Abdul Hamit II, and he was only to report the progress to the Powers!! As a payment for this services rendered to the Sultan, Great Britain was granted the strategic island of Cyprus, and Austria-Hungary gained the right to administer Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had been taken back from now independent Serbia[xxx]. In the eastern provinces, meanwhile, horrified Armenian peasants witnessed the evacuation of the Russian army. In spite of that, the Armenian community leaders didn’t loose hope and declared that they still had faith in the Ottoman government and its introduction of the necessary reforms. Armenian Patriarch Nerses Varjabedian swore fidelity to the Sultan and emphasized that efforts to overcome misfortunes would be made within the established legal framework of the Ottoman homeland. At a time when several of the Balkan nationalities had won independence, the Armenians still shunned talk of separatism. [xxxi] Nearly twelve years after that, in 1891, a legist and an International law expert Rolin-Jaquemeyns, notice the naivety of the Patriarch Nerses’s high hopes and his faith in the Ottoman government’s implementations of the necessary reforms, he wrote “Thus spoke the Patriarch Nerses upwards twelve years ago. Have events justified the enthusiastic hopes of the venerable priest? Are the lives, honor, and property of the Armenian populations safer now than before 1878? Are the unarmed peasants less exposed to the depredations of the hordes which surround them? Is justice better administered or government less tyrannical?”[xxxii]
After signing the peace treaties, and as he secured the best deal he can make, and pledged to carry out the necessary reforms in the Armenian provinces, despotic Abdul Hamit II, not only didn’t live up to his promise, but started showing his real intentions; he adopted a fiercer policy of a collective punishment rejecting outright even any lip-service to the reform programs of his predecessors (which he crushed by abolishing the constitution), and reforms that he promised Great Powers that he will install all over the empire and for all it’s peoples, declaring: “I made a mistake when I wished to imitate my father, abdulmecit, who sought to reform by persuasion and by liberal institutions. I shall follow the footsteps of my grandfather, Sultan Mahmut. Like him, I now understand that it is only by force that one can move people with whose protection God has entrusted me.”[xxxiii]
Thus Abdul Hamit II (1876-1909) implemented a highly centralized, autocratic and tyrannical form of control of the Ottoman Empire, that was despised by all Muslim and non-Muslim people of the empire. With this reactionary mentality, Abdul Hamit regarded the mere demand of Armenian community (millet) that the promised reforms (to which he pledged in the peace treaties) be implemented as a sign that the Armenians were traitors, to the tyrant the very presence of Armenian delegation in the peace conference to ask from administrative reforms was an act of treason, at a time several other nationalities of the Ottoman subjects gained their independence!
As a result, the Ottoman treatment of Armenians, became harsher , and instead of implication of the reforms that he had promised, Abdul Hamit II with the Kurdish tribesmen that he had organized and armed, spread havoc over the eastern provinces, especially the in the districts from which the Russian army had recently withdraw. Neither the petitions by the Armenian patriarch, nor the establishment of more European consular posts in the eastern provinces helped to improve the situation. For two years the European Powers, outwardly was cooperating under the joint responsibility of the Article 61, issued collective and identic notes reminding the Sublime Porte of its treaty obligation. After few years, the European Powers became too involved in the scramble for the empire elsewhere to worry further about the Armenians. They silently shelved the Armenian Question and turned away from Armenian afflictions,[xxxiv] leaving the Armenian people to their fate facing another calamity that Abdul Hamit II was planning for them, which lead them into another phase of their struggle to survive, which is The Hamidian Massacres 1894-96.
How “Loyal” Turks were To the Ottomans!!
The tyrannical and oppressive regime of Abdul Hamit II, incite not only Armenians to form a secret opposition groups, but all the other nationalities of the Ottoman Empire including the Turks themselves. In 1902 the First congress of Ottoman liberals, attended by Turkish, Armenian, Arab, Greek, Kurdish, Albanian, Circassian and Jewish intellectuals, convened in Paris and joined in demands for equal rights for all Ottoman subjects, local self-administration, and restoration of the Constitution, which had been suspended since 1877-78.[xxxv] Even within the Ottoman Empire itself, Turkish opposition elements, especially among the junior military officers and the faculty of technical institutions, and the Military Medical Academy, merged into the secret Committee of Union and Progress (Ittihad ve Terakki Teshkilati), popularly referred to as the “Young Turks.” When the Young Turk army officers in Macedonia were about to be exposed by the sultan’s agents in 1908, they led their regiments toward Constantinople, and as the mutiny spread, demanded restoration of the constitution. Lacking loyal units to crush the coup, Abdul Hamit bowed to the ultimatum in 23 July 1908 and acquiesced in the formation of a constitutional monarchy[xxxvi].
In the immediate aftermath of the Young Turk revolution, Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria asserted Full independence, Crete declared union with Greece, and Italy forcibly pursued claims to Tripoli and the Libyan hinterland, yet the Armenians remained loyal to the newly formed government and did not claim separatism like the other nationalities. Although some of the Turkish conservative elements tried to stage a countercoup, against the Young Turks, to restore the Sultan’s authority, that movement was suppressed and “in April 1909, the Third Army [which] was the home of a number of Unionists officers, including Enver, then military attaché in Berlin, and Mustafa Kemal, who founded the Turkish Republic in 1923. These men marched on the Capital and crushed the insurrection,”[xxxvii] and Abdul Hamit II was deposed and exiled. The abortive countercoup prompted the Young Turk cabinet to declare a state of siege and to suspend the normal constitutional rights, again!
I am really surprised with the level of your biases and prejudice. You accuse Armenians with disloyalty or even high treason because they asked for administrative reforms and you say “3 March 1878 was turning point in Armenians’ loyalty to the Ottomans…,” yet you applaud the Turkish officers who lead their rebelled armies to the Ottoman Empire’s Capital and overthrew the Sultan and seized control over the empire and lost her more land!!! Mind you that even the Modern Turkish Republic was formed in 1923 by some of those very same Young Turk rebels and revolutionaries. How can the Young Turk revolution and coup be a Heroic act, while an Armenian demand for reforms was ‘disloyalty’ in your consideration?!
Today, you one of the highly educated Turks, a holder of M.A. and Ph.D. Degrees in International Politics, Director of the ISRO, and JTW Chief Editor, speak to me with that very same mentality that Abdul Hamit II had “Two Centuries” ago!! What did you leave to people with modest education, or no education at all? How can Turkey hope to join the rank of European nations with leaders, like you, still live in the mentality of the tyrannical, oppressive Sultan of the 19th century?! Haven’t you study anything about the simplest “Human Rights” in life, security and honor? How do you allow yourself with all this education that you have to decide that “3 March 1878 was turning point in Armenians’ loyalty to the Ottomans”? I only hope that you didn’t know what you were talking about, or it would be so sad if someone as educated as yourself keeps living in this mentality today!
Der Ohaniesian’s Response To Dr. Laciner
For me, your response in whole is out of our discussion subject, that is whether the event of 1915 was Genocide or not, I don’t want to deviate from our original discussion, so let’s stay focused here. Although you are yet to provide the evidences that I asked for to support whatever you have claimed in your previous letter.
There are only few points, I wanted to comment on, and they are as follows:
** The list of churches which, alone, constituted over 50% of your response to my letter, which was really unneeded as the link you provided was enough to make your point, contains not only churches, but schools, cemeteries and other institutions, which None of them except few are in the region of Eastern Turkey (The Historical Six Armenian Vilayets) the area in question, and if you had read my letter carefully you’d know that, it was the area about which I was speaking, and that list only concurred with what I was saying!!
In point “5. Blge - Anadolu Ermeni Kiliseleri (Churches in Anatolia),” you listed only 8 churches in the region where over 2000 Armenian churches and monasteries situated before 1914, according to the list made by Maghakia Ormanian by the order of the Ottoman Interior Ministry.
Well, even if you find that keeping 8 churches out of 2000 is a sign of “Turkish kindness,” I kindly ask you to publish the attached pictures of one of your listed churches (one of the 5 listed to contain a phone number), Surp Giragos Ermeni Kilisesi.
Surp Giragos was one of the largest cathedrals of the Christian world. Today, the ruins of the church serve the “Armenian community” of Diyarbakir, which consists of 10 families (less than 1% that was before 1915). I have attached the picture of Surp Giragos’ bell tower taken before 1914, and a more recent one. Do you know that this is violation of the Versailles treaty, according to which Turkey pledged to protect the Christian monuments?!
** While talking about Cemal, Enver and their friends, you wrote “They made great mistakes, yet I know that they did not make genocide, because they were Turkish.”
What does that supposed to mean? Excuse me, but are you actually saying that they can’t commit Genocide “just because they are Turks”?!! Are Turks some sort of impeccable or divine race, that doesn’t make mistakes? Please, make sense!!
** One last thing, you kept repeating that “Armenians hate …” Allow me to ensure you, that Armenians do not hate you or any other individual Turk, Armenians have a “Cause,” and this is a Cause for Justice. Justice is what Armenians want, and seeking Justice is Armenians motivator, not hate. it is a grave error and underestimation to simply blame it on hate, and thus you can comfort your conscience for not at least giving the benefit of doubt to the Armenians' demands of Justice, and justify to yourself not trying to find the truth about what had happened, and so simply dismiss the case in whole and continue your life with clear conscience.
Maral Der Ohanesian.
[i] Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh’s Memoirs, titled as such when he himself encountered a caravan of fleeing Armenians
[ii] M. Sukru Hanioglu, Preparation for a Revolution: The Young Turks, 1902-1908. (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2001). See For Example p.77; Feroz Ahmad, The Making Of Modern Turkey. (London: Routledge Publication , 1993). See for example p.46; Aykut Kansu. The Revolution of 1908 in Turkey. 1997. See for example p.77; Sukran Vahide, Islam in Modern Turkey: An Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. 2005. See for example p.116 ; Sukran Vahide, Islam In Modern Turkey: An Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. 2005. See for example p.116; Resit Ergener. About Turkey. 2002. See for example p.99.
[iii] Justine McCarthy, The Ottoman People and the End of the Empire. Oxford University Press 2001. See for example pp. 111, 139.
[iv] Stanford J. Shaw Ezel Kural Shaw , History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey: Volume 2, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977). See for example p 316.
[v] Armenian In Ottoman Documents (1915-1920), Ankara 1995, BOA. DH. EUM, 2. Sb. 68/88 ; BOA. DH. EUM, 2. Sb. 68/90 ; BOA. DH. EUM, 2.Sb. 68/79 ; BOA. DH. EUM, 2. Sb. 68/100 ; BOA. DH. EUM, 2. Sb. 68/66 ; BOA. DH. EUM, 2. Sb. 69/9 are only few examples.
[vi] Armenian Letters, Milleti Sadika 'The Loyal Nation': Part II answer to Letter 3 .
[vii] Indictment of the Turkish Military Tribunal 1919; p. 7, quoted in Vahakn N. Dadrian, "A Textual Analysis of the Key Indictment of the Turkish Military Tribunal Investigating the Armenian Genocide,"Journal of Political and Military Sociology, 22 (1994, 1), pp. 133-172.
[viii] H.A.R. Gibb and Harold Bowen , Islamic Society and the West. I. part 2 (London: Oxford university Press 1962), pp.208.
[ix] James Creagh, Armenians, Koords, and Turks, vol. 1, (London: S. Tinsley, 1880). p.139.
[x] Ibid, vol.2, p.178.
[xi] Report from Her Majesty’s Counsels Relating to the Condition of the Christians in Turkey, 1867 volume, pp.5, 29. See also related other reports by various British counsels and vice-counsels, in ibid., vol. 1860, p. 58; vol. 1867, pp. 4, 5, 6, 14, 15; and vol. 1867, part 2, p. 3.
[xii] Taner Akçam, Siyasi Kültürümüzde Zulüm ve I?kence (Atrocity and torture in our political culture), (Istanbul: Ileti?im Publications, 1992), pp. 90, 159, 163, 192.
[xiii] Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turke., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962), 3rd ed. 2002. pp. 73-126.
[xiv] Roderic H. Davison, Turkish Attitudes Concerning Christian-Muslim Equality in the Nineteenth Century. American Historical Review 59 (July 1954), p.848.
[xv] Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002 ,3rd ed.). p. 166.
[xvi] Nor Giank 3, no.11 ( 1 June 1900), pp. 164-5.
[xvii] Vahakn N. Dadrian, Warrant for Genocide, (Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ 1999), pp. 39-41.
[xviii] Stanford J. Shaw Ezel Kural Shaw , History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey: Volume 2, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977). p 202.
[xix] Albert Vandal, Les Armeniens el la Reforme de la Turquie, (Paris: Plon, 1897), pp.22-23.
[xx] Cevdet pa?a, Tezakir (Memories), vol. 1, C Baysun, ed. (Ankara: Turkish Historical Society, 1953), p.79. Cited in Dadrian, Warrant, 45.
[xxi] Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002 ,3rd ed.). pp. 134-35.
[xxii] Lilian Etmekjian, The Armenian National Assembly of Turkey, Armenian Review 29, no. 1-113 (Spring 1976), p. 48.
[xxiii] Quoted in A.O. Sarkissian, History of the Armenian Question to 1885, University of Illinois Bulletin 35, no. 80 (3 June 1938). P.88.
[xxiv] Richard Davey, The Sultan and His Subjects, (London: Chatto & Windus 1907) p. 191.
[xxvi] Great Britain, Sessional Papers, 1878, vol. 83, c 1973, Turkey no. 22, Preliminary Treaty of Peace Between Russia and Turkey signed at San Stefano 19th February/2nd March, 1878, and c. 1975, Turkey no. 23, Maps showing the new Boundaries under the Preliminary Treaty between Russia and Turkey Signed at San Stefano. See also M.G. Rolin-Jaquemeyns, Armenia, the Armenians and the Treaties, (London: John Heywood, 1891), p. 34.
[xxvii] M.G. Rolin-Jaquemeyns, Armenia, the Armenians and the Treaties, (London: John Heywood, 1891), p. 36.
[xxviii] Ibid. pp.37, 39.
[xxx] Richard Davey, The Sultan and His Subjects, (London: Chatto & Windus 1907) p. 191
[xxxi] A.O. Sarkissian, History of the Armenian Question to 1885, University of Illinois Bulletin 35, no. 80 (3 June 1938). P.89-90.
[xxxii] M.G. Rolin-Jaquemeyns, Armenia, the Armenians and the Treaties, (London: John Heywood, 1891), p. 41.
[xxxiii] Quoted in Heather Rae, States, Identities and the Homogenisation of People, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2002), p.139.
[xxxiv] For documents relating to the conditions after the Treaty of Berlin and the diplomatic notes and correspondence about the introduction of reforms in the Armenian provinces, see for example, Great Britain Sessional Papers, 1878, vol.81, c. 1905, Turkey no.1: 1878-79, vol. 79, c. 2204, Turkey no. 53 and c. 2205, Turkey no. 54, vol. 80, c. 2432, Turkey no. 10; 1880, vol. 80, c. 2537, Turkey no. 4, vol. 81, c. 2574, Turkey no. 7, and c. 2611, Turkey no. 9, vol. 82, c. 2712, Turkey no. 23; 1881, vol. 100, c. 2986, Turkey no.6. See also British and Foreign State Papers, 1877-78, vol. 69, 1313-47, and 1880-81, vol. 72, 1196-1207.
[xxxv] Ernest E. Ramsaur, Jr., The Young Turks ( Princeton: Princeton University Press 1957), pp. 65-76, 124-29.
[xxxvi] Ibid, pp. 130-39; Feroz Ahmad, The Young Turks, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), pp.1-13.
[xxxvii] Feroz Ahmad, The Making Of Modern Turkey. (London: Routledge Publication , 1993), pp.36-7.
Dr. Laciner's Response to Maral Der Ohanesian
Wednesday , 19 April 2006
First I am sorry that I am late to response your Letter 6. I have participated international and national conferences on Turkish-Armenian relations apart from the usual business. As you are aware of that Armenian conferences are a new trend in Turkey. Some argues that the Armenian taboo has been broken by these conferences. However it is unfortunate that the Turkish taboo is still strong in Armenia and Armenian diaspora. It is impossible to travel Armenia or Armenian diaspora to share our views. Take the case of Yektan Turkyilmaz, an internationally acclaimed Turkish scholar who was arrested in Armenia on June 17th on charges of seeking to smuggle antique books out of the country. Fluent in Armenian, Mr Turkyilmaz is actually a pro-Armenian Turkish scholar. However Armenia can not accept even the slight differences. The first ‘Turkish’ academic to be granted access to Armenia's national archives, Mr Turkyilmaz was held in a maximum security prison in Yerevan. He faced trial and he was freed after the international pressures. Even the American politicians and statesmen had to intervene the case (The Economist, ‘Turkish history and the Armenians: When history hurts’ Aug 4th 2005). I receive many e-mails and letters from the Armenian ‘readers’ threatening me. They insult me and Turkish nation in their letters. It is really difficult to understand these people for us in Turkey. You can find any pro-Armenian books in Turkish bookstores or Turkish university libraries translated from Armenian or any other language. Turkish TV stations screen tow or three pro-Armenian debate almost every week. Armenian and Turkish journalists freely debate the issue and some of the Turkish professors like Halil Berktay (Sabanci University) and Baskin Oran (Ankara University) opposes the Turkish Orthodoxy in Armenian issue. However it is impossible in Armenia, France and even in the U.S. to say that there was no Armenian genocide. If you are bold to oppose the Armenian radicals, your house and family could be under Armenian threat as Prof. Shaw family experienced in the United States. His house was sabotaged by fire.
Anyway, we hope the Armenian brothers and sisters could find the right way and follow the Turkish experience. Otherwise the loser side would be the both sides.
Let me return to your letter. Again the ‘Mickey Mouse’ issue. I cannot understand why Holdwater is so important. I have received more than 250 letters protesting Holdwater issue. All letters are from Armenians except the one. What I understand is Holdwater is one of the few Turkish advocators in Armenian issue and he or she disturbs the Armenians. The letters and the reaction prove that the Holdwater is a real man (like Zoro in history?) and JTW did nothing wrong by publishing his letters. By the way we have published many letters from our Armenian readers and we have never questioned their real identity though I know some of them had nick (or fake) names. Thank you for your help offer, but I still think that we can publish even Micky Mouse’s letters, if his/her letters says something serious about Armenian Issue or any others issues. Who do not? Micky Mouse is more famous than you and me (!)
You say in your letter 6 that “I will need to remind you that there can not be any reconciliation on the basis of denial; Turkey needs to reconcile with its past before aiming at reconciliation with the Armenians.” Actually this is a well-known Armenian argument. 'First accept what you did, then we may dialogue'. Please understand it, this is a vicious circle. Turks never and ever accept that they are the worst creator in the world. No nation can do that. Please and please, remember we live today, not in the past. And we should not sacrifice today for the past disputes. Denial argument is a revenge policy. If you attack you will find only more attacks. Armenians first should learn to listen and respect the others’ mourn as well. You are not the only one who lost their dears. More than 520,000 Turkish and Kurdish were massacred by the armed Armenian militants. Armenians never touch these murders. They are just speaking about the killed Armenians. How about the Armenian attacks in Southeastern Anatolia during the French occupation. The strong side was the French and Armenians. Anatolia was under occupation after the First World War. All the facilities they had to prove the so-called 1915 genocide. What happened? No Turkish politician or military man was punished by the French or British. But thousands of Turks and Kurds were massacred again.
And the returned Armenians issue. Do you remember how many Germany Jews returned to their homes after the Second World War? Let me remind you: 0. The Turkish Armenians case is quite different. More than 600,000 Armenians returned to Anatolia as Armenian journalist Hrant Dink put it. Some Armenian sources argue that the number is low as 200,000. But it is still crucial to understand what happened in 1915. No one would have returned to the genocide territories. If more than half million of Armenians returned to Anatolia, it means that there was no systematic racism or genocide.
Relocation or Deportation
The Armenians were relocated by force to another part of the Ottoman State. Syria was Ottoman territory, like Istanbul or Van. So it was not a deportation. If we take your quotation from the Cambridge Dictionary “The word ‘deportation’ is “ forcing (a person) to leave a country because they have no legal right to be there or because they have broken the law”. The Armenians were not sent to another country but to another province. It was like New York and California. As the Americans did to the Pasific Coast Japanese people. As you remember the American Japanese from the Western Coasts were relocated to the Mississippi region during the Second World War. As a matter of fact that many states followed the ‘tehcir’ policy in history, including French, Americans and Russians. Armenia forced more than 1 million Azeris to leave their homes and country during the Karabakh War and all these poor people are still away their homes. As you remember many civilians were massacred in Khocali as well.
The ‘tehcir’ decision was defensive measure. It was an acceptable idea. However the Ottoman Government failed to implement it properly. And the result was a catastrophe. You are arguing that “if the tehcir was a defensive measure why the old Armenians, children and women were also forced to immigrate”. You cannot select just the men in relocation policies, because you cannot separate family members. Otherwise the result would be worse than the experienced one.
You argue that “the Ottoman Armenians were deported not only from War Theater, but from all over the Ottoman Empire”. If you remember that the Ottoman State was in the First World War you realize that such an argument is baseless. The Russians were attacking from the East and north west. The Western regions were under the Greek, French and British aggressions. The southern parts of the Ottoman State were under British and French attacks. The Black Sea coasts were targeted by the Russians. No province with a few exceptions were free of attacks in practice. And if you are in a great war, even the inner regions become sensitive to foreign intelligence activities. If you remember, even the small Jewish community in Karabakh was considered as a threat to the Armenian interests during the Karabakh War. Almost all of the Armenians remained in Istanbul and they were not relocated in 1915 Relocation campaign. That is why there are more than 100,000 Armenians in today’s Istanbul. Armenians as a community were deported from all provinces. You mention the provinces of Adana, Ankara, Aydin, Bolu, Bitlis, Bursa, Canik, Canakkale, Diyarbakir, Edirne, Eskishehir, Erzurum, Izmit, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Karahisar, Konya, Kütahya, Elazig, Maras, Nigde, Samsun, Sivas and Trabzon. Most of these provinces were not in the eastern regions, but some of them are really sensitive provinces like Canakkale. Canakkale is based on the Canakkale (Gallipoli) Strait. The Strait was under heavy military attacks of the British, French, Australian, New Zealand etc. attacks. It was a crucial turning point. If the allied forces passed the Straits the whole Ottoman State would have collapsed. It was probably the worst and difficult time in Turkish history and the Armenians rioted in the East. There were more than 1,000 Armenians in Canakkale town in that time, and all were deported to first Adana and then to Syria. However some of them returned to Canakkale after couple of months. Feroz Ahmad argues that the ‘tehcir’ was a direct result of the Gallipoli Wars (http://www.hyetert.com/yazi3.asp?s=0&AltYazi=Makaleler+%5C%3E+Tarih&Id=229&DilId=1). The Turks were in desperate situation in Canakkale and the Armenian riots were undermining the security everywhere. By the way, there were Armenian Ottoman soldiers in the Gallipoli War. The graves of these Armenian martyrs could be seen in Canakkale.
You argue that I “repeatedly base my claims on the supposed actions of the Ottoman Armenians “after the First World War.” It is not true, I do not base my arguments on the post-First World War events. The Armenian separatists militants attacked the Ottoman targets since the 19th century and killed thousands of Armenians, Kurds and Turks before the First World War. They aimed to start a revenge war between the ethnic groups. During the war they increased their attacks. The 1915 Relocation Campaign solved almost nothing, because the separatist Armenian militants continued and increased their armed attacks against the Muslim and Ottoman targets after the Relocation Campaign. When the war result in allied victory, most of the Ottoman territories were occupied by the Allied forces and the Armenians saw it an opportunity to establish a separate state though there were not majority in any province or city. Most of the Armenians returned to their homes as well. Many Armenian Ottomans made co-operation with the occupiers against their own state. However the Turkish War of Independence shifted the balance again.
You are arguing that the Armenian attackers were Russian Armenians but not the Ottoman Armenians in the east. You and me, both of us are right. Because most of the Armenians in the Eastern provinces had both Russian and Ottoman dual citizenship. Russia encouraged the Ottoman Armenians to become Russian citizen in order to interfere the Ottoman internal issues and finally to establish an Armenian security bar between Russia and Ottoman State. In the first years of the Armenian separatism majority of the militants were ‘imported warriors’ from the Armenian diaspora in Europe and Armenian diaspora in Russia and Georgia. However till the First World War they gained massive support in some regions. The leaders of the Armenian separatists were still from the Russian and European Armenian diaspora. However majority of the Armenian population in many provinces secretly had Russian citizenship.
Prof. Ataov is not speaking about a document in Turkish archives but those in the West. The Ottoman documents clearly show that thousands of Armenians joined in the Russian side. It is difficult to finde documents supporting the Ottoman side in the Western archives. Because US, UK, France and Italy were in war against the Ottoman State and they saw the events as they wished during the war. Another reason is the Armenian Vandalism. It is almost impossible to find a pro-Turkish book on Armenian issue in the Western libraries since the Armenian ‘readers’ simply destroy them. Not only the books and materials sent by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs are on the target, but also the books bought by the libraries are also destroyed by the Armenians radicals. The valuable documents in the archives are no exception. That’s why Prof. Dr. Ataov prefers to keep the place secret for a while until he secures the documents.
You sarcastically say that “It seems that your Dr. is too affected by adventure movies”. First of all Prof. Dr. Ataov is not only my Dr. Dr. Ataov received his B.A. degree in Humanities from Robert College - Turkey, his first M.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University - USA and his second M.A. in Economics from New York University - USA. In 1959, he received his Ph.D in Political Science with emphasis on International Relations from Maxwell Graduate School, Syracuse University - USA. He has written 122 books and booklets and he is co-author of another 48 books. He has published a few thousands of articles in periodicals and newspapers. His works appeared in 20 languages. His articles appeared in 96 periodicals, published in 27 countries spread over four continents. His works referenced some seven hundred times in foreign books and periodicals. He was decorated by 14 governmental and non-governmental bodies including the ones from the U.N. Secretary General (J.P. de Cuéllar), Russian Academy of Sciences, the University of Bophuthatswana (South Africa), the Governments of Afghanistan, Cuba, Hungary, India, Macedonia, Palestine, and the former Yugoslav Federation.
So should I trust Prof. Dr. Turkkaya Ataov or you Maral to find the truth really?
I had wrote in my previous letters that “The loyal Armenians had no difficulty in living with the Turkish people More than 100,000 Armenians have lived in Istanbul since the First World War and none of them were injured by their neighbors.” And I understand you are not happy with these facts. You say “the intact Armenian population of Istanbul and other Western provinces is nothing but propaganda fabrication Myth”. And if you think so, it means that you very little about the Turkey Armenians. If you do not trust the figures I wrote then you may write to Armenian Patrik Mesrop Mutafyan. He personally told me in 2003 that the number of Armenians in Istanbul is over 100,000. 8The Encylopedia of the Orient and Wikipedia also state that 100,000 Armenians live in Turkey. Even some Armenian sources argue that the number of Armenians is over 1 million. All these figures clearly show that there was no genocide in Turkey. Today there are many Armenian singers, journalists, businessmen, actress, actors etc. No one questions their identity.
You wrote about the letter so-called written by Third Army Commander Mahmut Kamil. Source is Dadrian. A radical Armenian lobbyist. If you study the Ottoman Archives you would understand that the language of the Turkish military archive is not the language produced by Mr. Dadrian. This is not the first letter. Talat Pasha letters is one of the most famous fake letters. First an Armenian creates a letter, and then the followers cite it many times.
You say that you appreciate my grandma, but you do not understand my grandma. She told me that the Armenians and Greeks tortured many Muslims and killed many more including dearest friends of her. But she never advised us to hate the Greeks or Armenians. She always told us that we should forget the bad memories and concentrate on the future. “They were ignorant; they made a mistake and all we paid. You should not make such great mistakes” she told us.
First of all you blame the whole Islamic legal codes. You give references but almost all of them non-Muslim writers and many of them are biased. And I understand that you know very little about the Muslims and Turkish Islamic understanding.
The Turkish Islamic tolerance was the most important strength of the Ottoman power. As a direct result of this tolerance some of the Christian peoples called the Ottomans to conquer the countries they live in as experienced in the Greek Christians. And if the Ottoman legal system was so awful for the Armenians, how did the Armenians (with the Greeks and Jews) became the wealthiest nations of the Ottoman Empire. The banking-finance, business and many other areas were under the Armenian, Greek and Jewish hegemony during the Ottoman years even when the State was collapsing. There was a great competition between the Christians and Jews to control the Ottoman foreign trade and finance system. The Armenians made co-operation against the Jewish Ottomans and they even misused the biases against the Ottoman Jews.
You, in your letter accuse Islam and Quran (Kuran). For you, the Islamic laws put Armenians under pressure and even made them slavers. If so, why did the Armenians not to riot before the 19th century? And if Islam is so bad towards the minorities, how did the Ottoman Sultans invited the Jews and Christians to their country? The Ottoman State was the only state in Europe who did not make any anti-Semitism. When the Jews were killed, burned and tortured by Spain, the Istanbul Government saved most of them. Similarly Turke was the only continental European country who did not implement anti-semitism. When Hitler asked to handle the Jews to Germany, Turkey was the only continental European country which resisted the demand. All other continental European countries, including France, Italy, Bulgaria etc sent their Jewish citizens to Germany.
You argue in your letter that a Muslim murderer of an Armenian was exempt from the death penalty in the Ottoman legal system. How bad references you read, how wrong you perceive the Ottoman years. I think you create an Ottoman myth in the Armenian diaspora which has very little common with the real Ottoman State. No murderer was exempt from the death penalty in the Ottoman legal system, even if he is a Sultan (head of the state) or vezir (Prime Minister). The Ottoman history is full of the courts on Muslim-non-Muslim disputes and some of them are between the Sultan and non-Muslims.
You say in your letter that “A Christian may not marry a Muslim woman but conversely, a Muslim man may marry a Christian woman” under the Islamic law. It is true. But it is true for many religions and even today the Armenian Patrik of Istanbul, Mutafyan declared that the Armenian Church is against the mix marriages because this kind of marriages cause assimilation and shrinking of the Armenian minority in Turkey. Similarly the Rome Catholic Church declared that they are against the mixed marriages. I do not think that the situation is so different in the Jewish case. By the way as you know (I hope) almost all of the Sultan wives are non-Turks. Some of them Greek, some are Hungarian etc.
Another problem with your info about the zimnis, you think that the Ottoman legal system did not change during the six centuries.
Another point, you argue that “the churches may be converted into mosques and Christians were not allowed to build new ones”. You had argued that there were more than 2,000 churches in Anataolia (apart from ıstanbul and Western provinces). If Christians were not allowed to build new churches and the existing churches were being converted to mosques, so how the Armenians alone could build more than 2,000 churches in conservative Anatolian provinces. There could be two explanations: 1) Your reference on number of the Armenian Churches is wrong (if not fake), 2) Your references on the legal status of the non-Muslims in the Ottoman State is wrong (if not fake).
It is unfortunate that I see a clear anti-Muslim perception in your letter as time to time I find it in some of the Armenian diaspora studies.
You argue that “Armenians were considered worthless second-class citizens in the Ottoman Empire”.
When Fatih Sultan Mehmet took Istanbul city from the Byzantium (1453), he called Hovakim, the Armenian spiritual leader in Bursa) to establish Armenian Istanbul Patriarchate. Similarly Yavuz Sultan Selim encouraged the Anatolian Armenians to join and to strengthen the Armenian Patriarchate. The Ottoman Sultans did not interfere the internal issues of the Armenian nation between Fatih Sultan Mehmet to II. Mahmut. The Armenians under the Ottoman rule became the biggest businessmen, architects, musicians, doctors, bankers etc. Most of the Palace doctors were Armenian or Jewish. Most of the bankers in the Ottoman cities were again Armenians. Armenians were among the wealthiest peoples in the Ottoman towns. That’s why the Armenian Ottomans resisted the Armenian separatist movements from the radical Armenians in Caucasus and Western Europe. For instance, the militant Armenians killed more Armenians than Turks between 1900-1905.
Many Armenians were sent to Western Europe for education. The Armenian bankers and businessmen financed the new Armenian schools, hospitals, libraries, other social institutions and religious buildings and institutions in the Ottoman country. Interestingly the Russia Armenians did not enjoy the similar rights for the long time.
Armenian Patrik Nerges (1876 Nerses Speech to Citizenship Parliament Session) clearly show that the Armenians should appreciate the Ottoman contribution to preservation and maintain the Armenian identity:
“If the Armenian nation was preserved and protected as a nation, and if the Armenians today could preserve their religion, language, history and cultural values, all are the direct result of the tolerance, assistance and understanding shown by the Ottoman Government.”
You may find many Armenians who became Ottoman ministers, generals, ambassador, businessmen, banker, jeweler etc. The Palace Bankers were from the Armenian Duzyan Family (Divrikli) during the 18th century. The General (Pasha) Mehmet Pasha was Armenian (16th Century). Most of the Palace Doctors were from the Armenian Sasyan family. Many Ministers for the Ottoman Mint (darphane) were from the Armenian Bezciyan family in the 19th century. And again some of the Ministers for the Arsenals were from the Armenian Dadyan family. The Foreign Ministry of Ottoman State employed a lot of Armenians under the Abdulhamid II rule. There are many Armenian ambassadors and other diplomats in the Ottoman foreign missions in these years. The Ottoman Sultans had many Armenian advisers and experts in all centuries as well. The Ottoman Army also employed many Armenians as soldiers (in low and high ranked positions) even during the First World War.
I list the Armenian high-ranked figures in the Ottoman past:
Agop KAZAZYAN (Minister for Finance)
Maresal Garabet Artin DAVUT Pasha (Minister for Communication)
Mareşal Garebet Artin DAVUT Pasha (Minister for Public Works)
Andon Tıngır YAVER Pasha (Minister for Communication)
Oskan MARDİKYAN(Minister for Communication)
Berdos HALLACYAN (Minister for Public Works)
Baristor Krikor SINAPYAN (Minister for Public Works)
Krikor AGATON (Minister for Public Works)
Gabriel NORADUNKYAN (Minister for Public Works)
Gabriel NORADUNKYAN (Minister of Foreign Affairs)
Agop KAZAZYAN Pasha (Head of the Ottoman Treasury)
Mikael PORTAKALYAN Pasha (Head of the Ottoman Treasury)
Sakız OHANNES Pasha (Head of the Ottoman Treasury)
Mareşal Ohannes KUYUMCUYAN Pasha
Abraham ERAMYAN Paşa
Directors in Thresury
Armenian MPs in Ottoman Parliement
Ohannes ALLAHVERDİ Deputy to Parliement Speaker
Sebuh MAKSUDYAN (Istanbul)
Rupen YAZICIYAN (Edirne)
Sahak YAVRUMYAN (Bursa)
Hamazasb BALLARYAN (Erzurum)
Manuk KARCIYAN (Halep)
Mikael ALTINTOP (Ankara)
Agop ŞAHİNYAN (Sivas)
Taniyel KARACİYAN (Erzurum)
Krikor ZOHRAP Istanbul Milletvekili
Bedros HALLACYAN Istanbul Miletvekili
Agop BABİKYAN Tekirdağ Milletvekili
Agop BOYACIYAN Tekirdag Milletvekili
Artin BOŞGEZENYAN Halep Milletvekili
Dr. Nazaret DAGAVARYAN Sivas Milletvekili
İstepan İSPARTALIYAN İzmir Milletvekili
Hamparsum BOYACIYAN Kozan Milletvekili
Kegam DERGARABEDYAN Mus Milletvekili
Karakin PASTIRMACIYAN Erzurum Milletvekili
Vahan PAPAZYAN Van Milletvekili
Istepan CIRACIYAN (Başkanlık divanı katibi) Ergani Milletvekili
Onnik İHSAN İzmir Milletvekili
Bedros HALLAÇYAN Istanbul Milletvekili
Krikor ZÖHRAP Istanbul Milletvekili
Agop HIRLAKYAN Maras Milletvekili
Kegam DERGARABEDYAN Mus Milletvekili
Artin BOŞGEZENYAN Halep Milletvekili
Dikran BARSAMYAN Sivas Milletvekili
Matyos NALBATYAN Kozan Milletvekili
Karabet TOMAYAN Kayseri Milletvekili
Sasun Bağdat Milletvekili
Varteks SERENGÜLYAN Erzurum Milletvekili
Armenian Permanenent Undersecratries in Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ohannes SAKIZ Pasha
Artin DADYAN Pasha
Harutyun DADYAN Pasha
Other Hing Ranked Armenin Civil Servants in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ovakin K. REİSYAN
FROM THE MANAS FAMILY: Rupen, Sebuh, Zenop, Pol, Piyer, Gaspar, Puzant, Aleksandr, Jozef MANAS
Armenian Ambassadors and Councillers in Ottoman State's Foreign Missions
Garabet Artin DAVUT Pash (Berlin and Vien)
Dikran ALEKSANYAN (Brussels)
Yetvart ZOHRAB (London)
Hovsep MISAKYAN (The Haig, Netherlands)
Maresal Ohannes KUYUMCUYAN Pasha (Rome)
Dikran TINGIR (Berlin, Germany)
Armenian Other Councillers in the Ottoman Diplomacy
Other Armenians in Ottoman Embassies
Important Armenian Figures in the Ottoman Ministry for Communication
Ministers & High Ranked Civil Servants
Maresal Garabet Artin DAVUT Pasha (Minister)
Andon Tıngır YAVER Pasha (Minister)
Osgan MARDIKYAN (Minister)
Krikor AGATON (General Director)
Kevork Sabit FINCANCIYAN
Some of the Armenian Civil Servants
Ministry of Finance - Some of the Important Armenians
Agop Kazazyan PASHA (Minister)
Ministry of National Education - Some of the Armenians in This Ministry
Mihran DÜZ (Müsteşar)
Rahip Kleman SİBİLYAN
Prof. Krikor KÖMÜRCİYAN
Ministry of Justice and Danistay (The Council of State) - Some of the Armenians
Danıstay Uyeleri (Council of State) Members
Andon Tıngır YAVER Paşa Danıştay Üyesi
Abraham YEREMYAN Paşa Danıştay Üyesi
Mihran DÜZ Danıştay Üyesi
Bedros KUYUMCUYAN Danıştay Üyesi
Serkis KARAKOÇ (Und.)
Artin Şinasi PEKMEZOĞLU (Undrs.)
Bedros Zeki GARABETYAN
Ministry of Internal Affairs - Some of the Armenian Civil Servants
Mareşal Garabet Artin DAVUT Paşa
Some of the Armenians in the Ottoman Ministry of National Development
Maresal Garabet Artin DAVUT Pasha (Minister)
Bedros HALLAÇYAN (Minister)
BAristor Krikor SINAPYAN (Minister)
Krikor AGATON (Minister)
Gabriel NORADUNKYAN (Minister)
Armenicam Civil Servants
Edvard Yervant SAMUELYAN
We can add more and more examples. But all these are the basics of the Ottoman history and it is a shame to discuss in such an ‘exclusive’ dialogue letter. If the Armenian diaspora read the Ottoman history from the English or French, a constructive dialogue is not possible. Armenians are not in position of diaspora in Turkey. Turkey is their own country and the Ottoman State was also their own country. They should read the Ottoman (at the same time their own past) in Ottoman and Ottoman Armenian documents in Istanbul.
You in your letter argue that the Armenians were vulnerable to the Kurdish and Turkish tribal attacks because they had no right to carry arms and join the military, which is totally wrong. Many Armenians paid for not to make military service while most of the Turks and Kurds were soldiers during the First World War. There were only women, children and old Muslims in the Muslim villages because the men were in the fronts. However most of the Armenian men paid or simply did not join the army in the Eastern provinces.
You again discuss the so-called discriminations in the Ottoman legal system, however you actually critic the Islamic understanding. I see a clear Islamohobia in your letter, and I do not prefer to response your arguments regarding the Islamic Law. First I am not an expert on Islamic Law and even I am not an expert even I can easly see the ignorance about the Islamic rules in your letter. And your references are not strong enough. You mention Taner Akcam as ‘Turkish author’. As a matter of fact that I am not sure about Taner Akcam’s real nationality. I do not question Akcam’s nationality because he defends the pro-Armenian thesis. I have doubts that he could be a secret Armenian (donme). Anyway, I think Taner Akcam is not a reliable source. His education was financed by the Armenian lobbies and he is still under the Armenian lobbies’ all kind of protections. I mean he is not like a Prof. Dr. Baskin Oran, he is not independent.
As your letter is so long, and I have not enough time to response your letter at once, I should cut my letter here and I hope I will continue my response in a separate letter in coming days. I understand you get help and some of the Armenian groups send you some stuff. The blog discussions and the e-mail sent to me clearly show that some of the Armenian activists see this letter exchange as an opportunity to make more Armenian propaganda. I see your letter is so long and full of well-known biased propaganda materials. It is hardly possible to find a ground to discuss dialogue and reconciliation. The letter only says that “accept otherwise no reconciliation is possible”. It means there is no way for reconciliation or dialogue. All these make me sad and hopeless.