864) Armenian Question Prof Koni & Mehmet Perincek -Talking Over / TRT


Cevirmeni / Translator : OZGE KAYAKUTLU
KAYIT TARIHI /Recording Date : 27.04.2005
SURESI / Length : 31:05
SOZCUK SAYISI / Number of words : 3497 SOZCUK / Words
SAYFA SAYISI / Number of pages : 17,5 SAYFA/Pages, INGILIZCE ALTYAZI/English Subtitles

Film Transcript

PROF. KONI Dear viewers, our guest today is Mr. Mehmet Perincek. 1
He is a researcher in the Istanbul University.. 2
..Institute for Ataturk Principles and Revolution History. 3

We will again discuss the Armenian question.. 4
..but our approach will be from the point of view.. 5
..of Soviet documents, opinions of Orientalists.. 6
..and even the Dashnak documents will hold an important place. 7

We will try to study these issues from an objective point of view. 8
Welcome. 9
Mr. Perincek, every year we spend the month of April.. 10
..with the Armenian question and the genocide allegations. 11

I used to work on the issue during the 80s.. 12
..but now my peers have retired and passed it on to your peers. 13

Until 1915 the Armenians were regarded as the "Faithful Nation".. 14
..but in 1915 the Ottomans suddenly decided to relocate them. 15

Is that true? 16
What do the documents say? What were the initiatives? 17
You are an important researcher working on the issue. 18

PERINCEK Thank you. 19
First of all, I'd like to give some information on the archives. 20

The Soviet archives and the observations of the Soviet state.. 21
..are important in that.. 22
..they are not documents that belong to Turkey.. 23
..and they render objective information from a different country.. 24
..to be presented to the international public opinion. 25

On the other hand, the events that happened in Eastern Anatolia.. 26
..actually involved the Transcaucasia front of the Soviet state. 27

They are firsthand witnesses of the events. 28

Most importantly, these documents are marked.. 29
..classified and top secret. 30

Therefore, they are not made up for propaganda purposes.. 31
..or with an effort to please Turkey. 32

They are inside correspondence marked classified and top secret.. 33
..written by highest ranking officials.. 34
..which prove that they demonstrate the objective facts. 35

KONI They are now open to the public, aren't they? 36

PERINCEK Certainly, they started to classify the documents in 1990s.. 37
..and gradually opened them. 38

I've been studying there for seven years. 39

There are tens of thousands of documents related to the issue. 40

If we make a general assessment before we go into individual examples.. 41
..we come across three basic conclusions. 42

The first one is that.. 43
..the events that happened in Eastern Anatolia.. 44
..during and after World War I cannot be described as genocide. 45

This is the first definite conclusion we reach. 46

The second conclusion is that.. 47
..these events are not genocide, but reciprocal killings. 48

Both Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Ziya Gokalp.. 49
..have put forth this definition. 50

Similarly, Soviet statesmen, representatives and Orientalists.. 51
..share this opinion. 52

The third conclusion is important in that.. 53
..tsarist Russia and the imperialist West.. 54
..have incited and used the Dashnaks against Turkey.. 55
..to divide and colonize Anatolia by provoking these reciprocal killings. 56

They are responsible of the reciprocal killings.. 57
..and Turkey has waged a rightful war against them. 58

We can summarize the three conclusions as such. 59

If we need to give examples on these conclusions.. 60
..for instance, Mdivani was the representative of Transcaucasia.. 61
..in the Soviet Russia. 62

He sends a telegram to Stalin.. 63
..saying "Turks also lost a lot of people against the Armenians. 64

We can never expect them to make concessions for Armenians." 65

That's how he warns Moscow on the issue. 66

Another important document is a report written.. 67
..by the Soviet People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs.. 68
..which corresponds to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.. 69
..to the Politburo, which was the highest central authority.. 70
..emphasizes that Muslims are in majority.. 71
..in the region regarded as the Turkish Armenia. 72

The reports also emphasizes that a coalition to be made with Dashnaks.. 73
..would bring nothing but provocation and corruption. 74

There is also a note made by Stalin in his own handwriting.. 75
..under a document or rather a letter which he later sent to Lenin. 76

In that note, he says "Giving Mu?, Van and Bitlis to the Armenians.. 77
..is an imperialist demand, Muslims are in majority in the region.. 78
..and such provocative and stupid demands cannot be our demands." 79

Stalin also sent a note from Baku.. 80
..to Chicherin who was the People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs. 81

Baku is also important as it is a region where incidents took place.. 82
..and close to Eastern Anatolia. 83

He says "The agents of the Allied Powers are exaggerating.. 84
..Turkey's campaign in Transcaucasia, take it easy." 85

As you know, the events that are regarded as genocide today.. 86
..includes the period between 1915 and 1923. 87

In those years, Stalin says that Turkey's campaign to Caucasia.. 88
..was exaggerated by the agents of the Allied Powers.. 89
..and tells the foreign office to keep calm. 90

Another striking document is a telegram sent to Stalin.. 91
..by Ionissian who was Secretary of the Central Committee.. 92
..of the Armenian Communist Party. 93

He says "Nationalist demands and desires of the Armenian bourgeoisie.. 94
..are responsible of the pain Armenians suffered.. 95
..and we have to establish good relations with the Ankara government.. 96
..to put a stop to them." 97

So, an Armenian official personally had accused the Dashnaks.. 98
..of being responsible for the pains suffered. 99

Stalin made a similar note in another document. 100

He says "Armenians have been victimized by the Allied Powers.. 101
..which incited them to attack Turkey." 102

Another striking document demonstrates the Dashnak terror. 103

The following statement takes place in a document signed by Mdivani.. 104
..and Nerimanov, the Secretary-General of the Azerbaijani Communist Party. 105

"About ten villages have been destroyed by the Dashnaks. 106

Dashnaks have slain the Muslim villagers massively.. 107
..and in an organized manner." 108

This statement is not made by our people. 109

It is the actual statement of Soviet officials. 110

It says "More than 2000 Armenians have found places to shelter in Azerbaijan. 111

The rest are hiding in the mountains." 112

The rest is important. 113

It says "The locals are defending themselves single-handedly.. 114
..against the Dashnak government.. 115
..and they only trust their own forces and the Turkish army in this war." 116

This is striking as well. 117

Again, an ultimatum given to the Dashnak Armenians.. 118
..by the Azerbaijani Revolutionary Committee.. 119
..says "This war against treacherous and cruel Dashnaks. 120

Dashnaks want to subserviate the people of Naxcivan at gunpoint." 121

KONI I'd like to ask a question at this point. 122

The Armenian operation begins from Caucasia.. 123
..and advances into the depths of Anatolia. 124

So, it's an extensive operation, isn't it? 125

PERINCEK Certainly. It doesn't only involve Caucasia. 126

If we come to the events of Eastern Anatolia.. 127
..we have to look into the Dashnaks. 128

If we consider the Dashnaks according to the interpretations.. 129
..of Soviet historians and Soviet statesmen.. 130
..we see that Dashnak had three basic characteristics. 131

The first one was that Dashnaks had served as a weapon.. 132
..in the hands of the imperialist states against Turkey. 133

The second one was that as Dashnaks carried out this role.. 134
..that is, as they served as a weapon to the imperialist.. 135
..they resorted to terrorism and conspiracy. 136

The third one was that Dashnaks were directly responsible.. 137
..of the relocation and other events that came about as a result.. 138
..along with the Allied Powers which used them. 139

Here is something about the point you've just made. 140

There is an Armenian historian by the name Boryan. 141

He's not known in Turkey but he wrote a book in 1928.. 142
..titled "Armenia, International Diplomacy and USSR". 143

This book was published in 1928 in Moscow and Leningrad. 144

He was a Soviet-Armenian historian and an academician at the university. 145

Here is how he assesses the Armenian question.. 146
..in relation to the point you've just made. 147

"After the Berlin Conference the Armenian question has become.. 148
..an instrument for the diplomacy of great powers to pressure Turkey. 149

The British and Russian diplomacy.. 150
..and the Russian and German diplomacy in pursuit.. 151
..have used the Armenian question.. 152
..as an instrument for their colonialist policies in the East." 153

This was written by an Armenian historian. 154

On the other hand, there is the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 155

It is an encyclopedia published by the Soviet state. 156

In the 1926 edition of the encyclopedia.. 157
..there is an entry on the Armenian question. 158

This entry is striking as well. 159

This is how it explains the Armenian question. 160

"When the Armenian question is considered from an outside viewpoint.. 161
..it is seen that the great powers.. 162
..have supported centrifugal forces in Turkey.. 163
..weakening and colonizing Turkey more easily." 164

So, the point emphasized by the encyclopedia.. 165
..is that the Armenian question has been used to colonize Turkey. 166

When we look further into the opinions of Soviet statesmen and Orientalists.. 167
..for instance, Boryan has a striking opinion. 168

He says "The movement of Armenian masses led by.. 169
..the representatives of the Armenian nation.. 170
..has always been used as a weapon against Turkey.. 171
..by the diplomacy of the great powers." 172

In a similar note he says.. 173
.."These representatives have always been a weapon.. 174
..in the hands of the great occupational powers.. 175
..and everything they did was dictated by the Western diplomacy." 176

Boryan asks in his book.. 177
..about how the slogans of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II.. 178
..became the slogans of Dashnaks.. 179
..and how the slogans the British and French imperialists.. 180
..became the slogans of Dashnaks. 181

Again, the collaborationist character of the Dashnaks.. 182
..which prefers to rely on the protection of the West.. 183
..or a great power is also emphasized.. 184
..by Vartanyan, another Soviet-Armenian historian. 185

Vartanyan says "They always had a great power behind them. 186

First it was the White Army. 187

Then, when the White Army was defeated.. 188
..they leaned on the British and French imperialists. 189

When they were defeated as well.. 190
..Dashnaks leaned on the Nazi Germany even in World War II.. 191
..and were engaged in operations to keep the way clear in the Caucasus.. 192
..for the Nazi Germany. 193

They even formed volunteer units." 194

This is also noted by Vartanyan. 195

Another important emphasis to demonstrate.. 196
..their collaborationist character and Turkey's rightful war against them.. 197
..was made by Korsun, who was both an officer.. 198
..and a military historian and professor. 199

He refers to the Dashnaks.. 200
..in the book he published in 1942 with the title "Greco-Turkish War". 201

He regards the Greeks and the Dashnaks as equal. 202

He says "Dashnaks and Greeks have worked in collaboration. 203

They even helped one another." 204

For instance, he refers to a Dashnak document. 205

He says, when Dashnaks get into trouble.. 206
..due to operations of the Turkish army.. 207
..they immediately apply to the Greeks.. 208
..telling them to pressure from the west to relieve them. 209

So, the Greeks reply them by saying they will be coming to their aid. 210

This is important in that, Turkey has waged a rightful war.. 211
..against the Dashnaks.. 212
..similar to the war they waged against Greeks in Western Anatolia. 213

KONI The same situation came about after the Cyprus operation. 214

The Greek intelligence supported the Armenian operations.. 215
..particularly after 1974. 216

So, the Orthodox structure has been in mutual support all along. 217

One part was successful with the support of the British.. 218
..because they were out of Anatolia. 219

The other part caused trouble in an area inaccessible for Turks.. 220
..and disseminated the pain and the emotional dimension of the events.. 221
..via the Church. 222

Are there any archived documents.. 223
..related to the events of the pre-1915 period? 224

PERINCEK Certainly. One of the most striking ones is related.. 225
..to an Armenian congress held in Tbilisi in 1915. 226

In 1915, Dashnaks organized a congress for all Armenians in Tbilisi. 227

It must be April 1915. 228

Here, the Dashnak representative of the military wing makes a speech. 229

He says, "the Russian government gave us this much money.. 230
..at the beginning of the war. 231

The mission of the Turkish Armenians was to revolt in the hinterland.. 232
..thus creating chaos and anarchy." 233

I'm emphasizing this part because these are his exact words. 234

"And the mission of the Transcaucasian Armenians.. 235
..is to establish voluntary units to make way for the Russian armies." 236

He says "We got this much money to carry out this mission.. 237
..so we have to do it." 238

So there were two missions to be carried out. 239

One was to weaken the Ottomans by revolting in the hinterland.. 240
..which is a confession.. 241
..and the other was to act as a battering ram for the Russian army.. 242
..by establishing voluntary units. 243

Shortly after this speech the Van uprising broke out. 244

Yes, the famous Van uprising. 245

Boryan's assessment on the issue is important. 246

He says "Dashnaks have now accomplished their mission.. 247
..as servants to the tsarist Russia." 248

The Armenian historian Boryan says this. 249

I must emphasize that Boryan.. 250
..is declared a traitor today by Armenian nationalists.. 251
..due to his book he published in 1929. 252

He's not alive now but he is still being attacked. 253

After saying that they have accomplished the mission as servants.. 254
..Boryan emphasized something very important. 255

I think the essence of the Armenian question.. 256
..lies in this statement of Boryan. 257

He says, "It is obvious that when a mass of ten thousand people.. 258
..revolt against the state behind the military front.. 259
..the idea of state entails the state rule and statesmen.. 260
..to take responsible precautions to necessary defense." 261

He says there is a mass of ten thousand people revolting.. 262
..and the Ottoman state would obviously take precautions.. 263
..in self-defense. 264

The following phrase should be emphasized as well. 265

Boryan says "I must remind the following principle.. 266
..keeping in mind that there is an important mission to accomplish.. 267
..which necessitates to search and find opportunities.. 268
..to put down the uprising: 269

The end justifies the means." 270

That is, there is an attack against the state. 271

The means used to defend the state are justifiable.. 272
..which was the relocations they now regard as genocide. 273

He says it was a justifiable means and puts forth the Dashnak documents. 274

He says Dashnaks made these speeches and maintained such correspondence.. 275
..to accomplish their mission to revolt.. 276
..and to act as a battering ram or servant. 277

In return, the Ottoman state took necessary precautions.. 278
..for its self-defense. 279

He says it was their duty to take those measures. 280

He doesn't say they could have taken measures or not. 281

He says, "If this is a state they have to do it.. 282
..and they have all the right to defend themselves." 283

KONI I'd like to make a point. 284

The tsarist Russia has executed pogroms against the Jews.. 285
..claiming that they didn't put up a good fight. 286

There were no revolts or anything. 287

They just came and massacred them. 288

Why don't the Jews seek revenge against the tsarist Russia.. 289
..whereas Armenians are so eager to revenge on Turkey.. 290
..with the support of the West. 291

PERINCEK -Today? KONI -Yes. 292

PERINCEK As we have seen in the Soviet documents I've mentioned.. 293
..the Armenian question belongs neither to Armenians, nor to Turks. 294

The Armenian question is actually an issue created to weaken Turkey. 295

As they used the Armenians to reach the point.. 296
..to sign and implement the Treaty of Sèvres.. 297
..they are putting pressure on Turkey with this issue. 298

Actually, it's neither the Armenians in Turkey.. 299
..nor the Armenians in Armenia. 300

It's the Western diplomacy as it was in 1915 and 1920s. 301

It's interesting what Wolfowitz said when our deputies went there.. 302
..about a month ago. 303

He said "These bills will keep coming to the Senate." 304

He said, "If you do this about the base in Incirlik.. 305
..and that about the seminary in Heybeliada.. 306
..and cooperate with us against Iran and Syria.. 307
..we will not ratify these bills. 308

But if you take action otherwise we will ratify these bills." 309

So, all this reveal that.. 310
..the Armenian question or the genocide allegations.. 311
..are not issues to reveal historical facts. 312

They are completely political issues like they were in the past. 313

Wolfowitz did not say "Let's study the issue.. 314
..open the archives, examine the documents.. 315
..and accept or reject the genocide according to the facts." 316

He said "Your attitude will determine whether there was a genocide or not." 317

That is, they are trying to corner and weaken Turkey again.. 318
..like they did in Cyprus and the Aegean questions.. 31
..or the events experienced in Eastern Anatolia.. 320
..this time using the Armenian question as a package.. 321
..to create a foundation to realize the Great Middle East Project. 322

The Great Middle East Project can only be implemented.. 323

..by weakening and finally eliminating the national state of Turkey.. 324
..so the Armenian question is brought before Turkey again. 325

It does not arise from the anger or hatred of Armenians against Turkey. 326

They use the hatred. 327

You had a Turkish Armenian guest last week on the program. 328

He revealed how the Armenians were used very well. 329

The same "hatred" is used today. 330

KONI They also use the issue of identity in our day. 331

Jews make use of the Holocaust extensively.. 332
..which justify their actions in the international politics. 333

It is a protection against oppression and a means of economic gain. 334

The Diaspora is much more active than Armenians living in Armenia. 335

Armenians living in France and America pressure those countries.. 336
..which supports your thesis.. 337
..and they accept it as a fact. 338

Did you ever see an Ottoman document in an international conference? 339

No. So how come you believe in what a single person says? 340

Our people were slain in the Balkans. 341

Shouldn't there be any repercussions or vengeance on that? 342

Have you ever heard of a Turk.. 343
..attacking and killing the diplomats of another country.. 344
..claiming that our people were slain in the Balkans? 345

How can these people be so audacious? 346

These issues must not be forgotten. 347

Are there any documents on the role and various efforts of the Church? 348

PERINCEK There are important documents that reflect figures.. 349

..on the arms aid made by the West and the tsarist Russia. 350

KONI -So they exist. PERINCEK -In detail. 351

And it's not only arms, but everything material... 352
They even include the flour. 353

For instance, America sent flour to the Dashnaks. 354

Tsarist Russia gave them weapons. 355

The British dressed up the army and gave them broadcloth etc. 355

All these weapons and supplies were mostly stored in churches.. 356
..in order to accomplish the mission to revolt in Turkey. 357

The documents reveal that as well. 358

The churches in Istanbul played an important role.. 359
..and the churches in Eastern Anatolia were used as an arsenal.. 360
..for the weapons given by the British imperialists and the tsarist Russia. 361

They were used in the Van uprising. 362

They say there were ten thousand armed rebels. 363

Ten thousand people. 364

Those weapons were kept in churches.. 365
..and as the churches had immunity they were used very comfortably. 366

This is how we can summarize the role of the Church. 367

KONI Horrible. I asked this question.. 368
..because Germany, which was our ally in World War I.. 369
..accuses us depending on the writings of a Protestant German priest.. 370
..which say so many Armenians were killed here and there. 371

That is, they incriminate Turks based on the allegations.. 372
..made by the priests who acted as supporting forces.. 373
..in the churches where the weapons were hidden. 374

That's how biased they are. 375

Don't you think Armenians have read those documents? 376

PERINCEK Armenians may have read them. 377

But Armenians have the Dashnak documents at hand.. 378
..which are the best sources to reveal the issue. 379

KONI -Are they opened? PERINCEK -No, they're kept in. 380

Russia has some of them and a part of them are opened. 381

But it is said that an important part was smuggled to Europe. 382

But all the Dashnak documents are like confessions. 383

As I've mentioned before.. 384
..they say they had to do and were actually doing certain things.. 385
..to accomplish their mission. 386

What could Turkey have done against that? 387

Boryan replies the question. 388

He says they had to take precautions to defend the state and they did. 389

German priests, British generals and officers, American missionaries.. 390
..accuse us of massacring the Armenians.. 391
..but Irandust, another Soviet historian published a book in 1929. 392

It is important for the West that accuses us today as well. 393

He draws attention to the Dashnak massacres that occurred in Cilicia.. 394
..that is the Adana and Mara? region.. 395
..and says "Terror regime was applied in the occupied regions. 396

The gendarme units comprised of Dashnaks formed by the French.. 397
..engaged in massive murders against the Turkish population. 398

They seriously brought forth the Great Armenia project.. 399
..which contained Cilicia and the eastern provinces of Turkey.. 400

..extending from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. 401

Armenian bands slaughtered all the villages one by one.. 402
..and implemented the program to physically annihilate.. 403
..the Turkish population consciously.. 404
..completely under the leadership of the occupational forces." 405

The emphasis is that.. 406
..the French imperialists have consciously used Dashnaks.. 407
..to annihilate the Turkish population. 408

It was not the hatred of the Dashnaks. 409

He says it was executed consciously and according to a program.. 410
..under the protection of the French. 411

Shouldn't you take precautions against that? 412

Those priests are accusing Turkey. 413

The present Western diplomacy, the American Senate.. 414
..or certain "intellectuals" accuse Turkey of genocide. 415

But Soviet historians reveal the issue clearly. 416

There are tens or hundreds of similar examples. 417

Gurko-Kryajin wrote a book in 1925 titled "Near East and States". 418

In his book he recounts the massacres against Turks.. 419
..in the Transcaucasia region, Eastern Anatolia.. 420
..and Adana and its vicinity.. 421
..by mentioning the names of the villages. 422

And these are not written by Turkish historians. 423

They are not Ottoman documents either. 424

They are statements made by Soviet officials.. 425
..in their reports and works. 426

KONI Our brief time is over Mr. Mehmet Perincek. 427

Thank you for the information you've given us. 428

The question is gradually coming into light. 429

I wish you a good day. 430

Hope to see you again in another program. 431

Kindly provided by Mehmet Perincek


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