863) The Armenian Issue in the Russian State Archives by Mehmet Perincek

The Documents of a Lie

Today there are documents in the Russian state archives proving that the imperialists have plotted the "genocide" story. These documents bring to light the truth that Armenians have never been the majority in any region of the Anatolia, they have led a comfortable life and, they imposed atrocity on the Muslim people after provocations. . .

Commemorating the anniversary of the alleged Armenian genocide, certain Western people and Turkish intellectuals who surrendered the West started to put forward the Armenian allegations vigorously again. If we exclude the Turkish and Armenian parties, the most important witnesses of the incidents in the east part of Turkey in 1915-1923 are the Tsardom Russia and the Soviet Russia. For this reason the state archives of the Russian Federation include documents that will play a significant role in the revelation of the truth about the Armenian issue.


Firstly, Tsardom Russia is inside the Armenian issue in the position of a party and as a nation who fought in the Caucasus Front recorded the before and after of the deportation in 1915 in details. Secondly, Turkey's Eastern Front's being the Trans-Caucasus Front of Russia indicates that the Soviet archives are the first hand sources. Thirdly, while the Tsardom archives possess certain parts of the Dashnag documents a power using the Dashnags, as a Soviet Republic the Soviet archives include specific parts of the Soviet Armenia. Today some documents in the Armenian state archives, which are closed to the researchers, can be reached through Russian state archives. Azerbaijani and Georgian sources can be added to these documents.

Consequently, the remarks of the German generals, British officers and American missioners, even when we put their imperialist aspirations aside, do not go beyond "personal" considerations, Russia witnessed the incidents as a state in both periods. When we add the sources of the Armenian and other Trans-Caucasian Republics, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the Russian archives have the most important documents regarding the Armenian question.

The significance of the quality of the documents in these archives arises from the fact that all the documents are top-secret reports and letters signed by the high level officials of Tsardom Russia, Soviet State, Dashnag and Soviet Armenia. The documents in the archives regarding the Turkish-Armenian question while on one hand contain the confessions of the claimants or reveals the considerations of the powers which use the Armenian Question against Turkey and on the other hand are the effective and valid evidences at the international level due to the fact that it reflects the comments of a third party such as Soviet Russia. Especially the reports and internal correspondence include the sincere evaluation of the state officials directed towards finding the truth.

The common feature of the documents in the Russian state archives relating to content is that they verify Turley's views and reveals that the Armenian genocide is untrue beyond doubt. As a result of the researches we have been conducting in the Russian state archives of the Tsardom Russia and the state archives of the Soviet era on the Armenian Question, I can summarize the basic conclusion as follows:

*These documents proved that the Armenian gangs followed a systematic massacre policy against the Turks and Azerbaijani Turks and Kurds in Trans-Caucasus, Eastern Anatolia and Adana and Mara? regions called Cilicia in 1915-1920.

*The ethnic cleansing policy of the Armenian gangs in and after the World War I caused war and mutual massacres between the Armenian gangs and the Turkish state and the Muslim people (Turks and Kurds together). Thus both sides resorted to violence against each other.

*Those who are responsible for the cutting of the throat struggle between the Armenians and Muslims are the Western imperialists and the Tsardom Russia. In a desire to divide and share the Ottoman State, great powers provoked the fanatic Armenian organisations and incited them to fight. The Ottoman State, government of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the Muslim community took warfare measures in this case and conducted a justifiable struggle by oppressing the revolting Armenian gangs and thus defended its country.


These documents are especially in these archives: Military archives and the foreign ministry archives relating to the Tsardom period; Central Party Archive of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the foreign ministry archive of the Soviet era, Red Army Archive relating to the Soviet era and the State Archive of the Russian Federation for both periods.

After these outline information, let's dwell upon the sorts of the documents about the Armenian question that are accessible in the Tsardom and Soviet archives respectively


In the Tsardom archives, the documents about the Armenian question goes back especially to the late 19th Century and extends to 1919 and includes as well as the period before that date. While the Tsardom rule collapsed completely by the October Revolution in 1917, survival of the White Armies, Armchair Government and the Central Headquarters of the Caucasus Front in Tbilisi for a while expanded the time period of the Tsardom archives. We can classify the documents in these archives as follows:

1. The living standards of the Armenians in the Ottoman State: Tsardom archive documents refute in a clear way the arguments of the Armenian nationalists and the nationalist-chauvinist historians about the life conditions of the Armenians in the Ottoman State. According to these documents the Armenians has lived in very good conditions in Turkey and has been supported and protected by especially the Ottoman State until the intervention of the imperialist states and especially until the Berlin Conference (1878). The correspondence of the Tsardom officials show that the living standards of the Ottoman Armenians have been better compared to the Armenians in Russia. Therefore the Armenians have fled the Tsardom Russia and taken shelter in the Ottoman State. Moreover, the Armenian peasants have always been wealthier than the Muslims in certain places. In fact, the Armenians have had significant positions in trade and craft. In addition, the communities of the Ottoman State, especially Turks, Kurds and Armenians have lived in complete harmony.

The information within this framework proves that the Armenian question was made up artificially to justify the occupation of Turkey by the West and the Tsardom Russia. In an effort to hide the imperialist aggression, a public opinion was created for the sake of the Armenians' alleged poor living conditions.

2. Birth of the Armenian Nationalism and its Characteristics: Tsardom documents show that the Armenian nationalism has developed in parallel with the projects of the West and Tsardom Russia to use Armenia against Turkey especially in the 19th Century. Especially the Armenian publications and documents in the archives about that period put forward obviously the cooperative, chauvinistic and aggressive origins of the Armenian nationalism. The Armenian intellectuals in the Caucasus have already been dreaming of founding an independent Armenia "in cooperation with" the imperialist states and they have tried to impose their ideals on the Armenians in Turkey by force.

3. Eastern Europe's Role in the Development of the Armenian Question: Russia and Europe who are in competition in sharing the East were also competing against each other on the use of the Armenians. The reports written by the Russian officials reveal particularly the British provocations about the Armenian Issue. According to the officials it is aimed at straining the relations between Russia and Turkey and on the other hand sharing the Ottoman state by supporting the centrifugal forces.

4. Tasks Assigned to the Armenians during World War I: It is understood from the Dashnag's correspondence and talks with the officials of the Tsardom Russia that the Armenians have been assigned two missions within the framework of the plans to occupy Turkey. The Armenians would launch an uprising in the rear front and weaken the Turkish army. This is the first assignment. The second assignment is to split the line of defence of the Turkish army and facilitate the Russian occupation by means of the Armenian volunteer units. In addition, there are numerous reports written by the Russian officials in this regard. All these plans have been carried out under the command and control of the Western States and Tsardom Russia.

5. The Ottoman Armenian Masses were dragged into imperialist plans. The Turkish Armenians played an active role in the performance of this duty. It was not the matter of several Dashnag terrorists. Broad Armenian groups participated in forming the volunteering units and triggering the rebellions. The archives are full of Armenian's applications to the Russian officials in order join the Tsardom armies to fight in the voluntary units against the Turks. The names of thousands of Armenian citizens ranging from ordinary peasants subordinate to the Turkish subjects, university students and doctors can be seen in the archives. These documents are significant from the point of view of showing the dimension of the threat.

6. Massacre and Pillage Policy of the Armenian voluntary units. According to the hundreds of reports prepared by the Tsardom generals and officers and the records and verdicts of the Tsardom military courts, Armenian voluntary units in the occupied regions during The First World War massacred the Muslim people and pillaged their property. To these documents, this massacre and pillage policy was performed systematically. Even the Russian commanders who used the Armenian gangs struck with terror due to this atrocity. Many Armenian officers and soldiers were tried in military courts and were executed. It is highly essential that these massacres have started before deportation.

7. "Armenia without Armenians" project of the Tsardom Russia: The internal correspondence of the Tsardom officials prove the Russian plans to make the Armenians organize an attack on the Turks and settle the Don Kazakhs in the region after the occupation. Tsardom officials defined this plan as the "Armenia without Armenians."


The documents in the Soviet archives go back to the years after 1917 and include the Soviet officials' comments about the past events.

1. Armenian Question is the Imperialism Question: The major leaders of the Soviet government such as Lenin and Stalin, Armenian Bolshevik theorists have made many explanations about the foundations of the Armenian question. According to these comments that that have been reflected the correspondence and reports, etc. the Armenian Question has been used as a means by the imperialist states in sharing Turkey. Turkey has defended its country against division and has conducted a justified struggle.

2. The role and ethnic cleansing policy of Dashnag Armenia: Soviet leaders established that Dashnag Armenia built a wall between the revolutionist Turkey and Soviet Russia and became the subcontractor of imperialism in the region after the World War I. Dashnag Armenia played the role of a base in the West's realisation of the plans in the East.

Soviet documents prove the ethnic cleansing policy followed by the Dashnags in the territories that is called Armenia today. Dashnag government removed a considerable part of the Muslim population for "merely" the sake of establishing a national state. Moreover, the Muslim population were put to the sword systematically under the auspices of France in Adana, Mara? region that is called Cilicia.

3. Turkish-Soviet alliance and Elimination of the Dashnag Armenia: As it was clearly proven by the Soviet archive documents, Dashnag government was disintegrated by the cooperative efforts of the Turkish armies and the Red Army, and Soviet government was established. The operation of the Turkish Army on Armenia, which is called genocide today, was supported by the Soviet leadership and was assessed as a progressive operation. Turkey's operation was the part of the defence of the country.

This is why the Armenian nationalists attack on the Soviet leadership as Talat and Enver Pashas did. Russian Armenian Union collected the documents on this subject in its book titled "Guardians and Accessories of the Armenian Genocide" and considered Lenin and Stalin to be the accomplices of he Armenian Genocide. What must be underlined here is the condemnation of Russia by the Armenians via the Soviet State.

4. Dashnag's Nazi-Guided Policy in the World War II: In the World War II, Dashnags assumed the role that they had assumed in the World War I but this time side by side with the Hitler Germany. Dashnags were involved in a new crime against the regional people by establishing voluntary units for fascist German armies

In addition, both Tsardom and Soviet documents prove that the Muslim population has been much more than that of the Armenians' before deportation.

by Mehmet Perincek
April 2006 (Cumhuriyet)

Kindly provided by Mehmet Perincek
Istanbul University


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