06 May 2007

1661) Inaccuracies Contained In The House Resolution 106

Pro-Armenian and anti-Turkish resolution, HR106, introduced at the 110th Congress, 1st Session, by the U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), George Radanovich (R-CA), Brad Sherman(D-CA) and Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) contains some serious inaccuracies, misrepresentations, distortions, and/or fabrications (Section 2, Findings.) . .

As summarized below, these flaws render the HR 106 practically useless by reducing it to partisan history based on political propaganda solely designed to insult, defame, and outrage Turkey, a close ally of the United States for more than half a century, just to appease Armenian activists, election campaign contributors, and voters.

Here are some of those inaccuracies:

1- THE MYSTERY FIGURE OF 1,500,000

The claim of 1,500,000 Armenian losses during the 1915 temporary resettlements (“Tereset”) lacks historical foundation and justification. It is safe to say that this number errs on the side of embellishment and/or exaggeration. It has been contrived to elicit emotion, not historical understanding.

According to the last census taken by the Ottoman Directorate for the Administration of Population Records of the Ministry of the Interior before the outbreak of the First World War, namely on 14 March 1914, 1,295,000 Armenians lived in the country [1].

Documents of the Directorate for Public Security and the Directorate for the Settlement of Tribes and Immigrants of the same Ministry indicate that 702,900 of these were subject to relocations in 1915-1916, and very large numbers of the displaced persons survived. George Montgomery, director of Armenia-America Society and a Protestant missionary who is highly critical of Armenian displacements, in a report he drafted in 1919 demonstrates that 1,104,000 Ottoman Armenians remained after the war [2].

At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties unanimously concluded that more than 200,000 Armenians in the Ottoman Empire lost their lives during the First World War [3]. Given the pertinence of its references compared to others, the Commission’s figure seems the most accurate one.

Professor Stanford Shaw, who examined the demographic evidence, concurs that about 200,000 Armenians must have died from all causes in the period [4].

Following the war hundreds of thousands of Armenians from Syria and Mesopotamia returned home in safety with the specific permission of the Ottoman government. Others are known to have either remained where they were or made their way to Europe and Americas.

Although amnesty was granted to all inhabitants of Turkey for their treasonous military and political conduct, or for fifth-column assistance given to the invading Allied powers or their nationals, and the rights of the minorities were further guaranteed by the Ankara Agreement of 20 October 1921 between Turkey and France and the definitive Lausanne Peace Treaty of 24 July 1923 between Turkey and the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, many Armenians left the Turkish territory on their own free will. Both the Turkish and Allied governments tried to persuade them to stay home, but the advice was of no avail. Armenians in the post-war era were therefore not compelled to abandon their homes and seek refuge abroad. To the contrary, they were given all the encouragement by the Turkish and Allied authorities to stay in. The Armenians who preferred to remain got on well with Turks.

2- “EX POST FACTO” : 1919 AMERICAN RESERVATIONSABOUT WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL FOR THE OTTOMAN LEADERS

During the deliberations of the Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, when it was proposed that a new category of “crimes against the laws of humanity” be created and there be a trial for the ‘Armenian massacres’, United States Secretary of State Lansing objected, challenging the ex post facto (by reason of a subsequent act) nature of such a legislation. As the chairman and dominant figure, Lansing further opposed the proposal on the grounds that the laws and principles of humanity were not a standard certain to be found in legal treatises of authority and in international law practices. He maintained that these laws and principles do vary within different periods of a legal system, between different legal systems, and with different circumstances and declared that there is no fixed and universal standard of humanity. The United States Secretary of State held that no such crime yet existed under positive international law and insisted that a judicial organ relies on existing law when administering it. The American reservations were so fundamental that they amounted to a dissent [5].

3- THE OTTOMAN RESPONSE IN 1915 TO THE ALLIED CHARGES

On 4 June 1915, the Ottoman government responded to the joint statement of the Allied powers of 24 May 1915 by stressing the right to national sovereignty and self-defense. It said that Russia, Britain and France were to be held responsible for their organization and support for the Armenian insurgents. Armenians in Van had revolted with Russian aid, while the Armenian inhabitants of Zeytun had refused to obey government orders and attacked Ottoman troops. Because of this violent revolt, the Ottoman government resorted to justified military means. The Ottoman government had to take precautions and measures to assure public security. The Allied powers had no justification to denounce the Ottoman actions as “crimes against humanity and civilization” since that was a concept outside the scope of any treaties or recognized doctrine. In the end, the Allied statement remained little more than a joint declaration. The Ottoman position was well-founded in international law then in force in 1915.

Furthermore, the threat directed against the Sublime Porte on that occasion by the governments of the Triple Entente did not deal with the types of acts which international law covered, namely measures taken by a government purely about its own subjects. International law in force in the First World War era conceded that the manner in which a State treated its own nationals in its sovereign territory was a matter exclusively within its own domestic jurisdiction. As a result, no other State had the right to complain about their treatment or to protest against it. To do so would constitute intervention in the domestic affairs of the other State, which would have been a violation of international law [6]. Therefore, the Armenian “Tereset” (temporary resettlements) of 1915-1916 were in line with the state of international law as it existed then.

The accusations against the Ottoman government concerned its own citizens, a situation not addressed by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land or, for that matter, by any other international agreement. [7].

As the American legal expert Telford Taylor rightly puts it, “(T)he Armenians were citizens of the Ottoman Empire; there was no formal state of war between Turks and Armenians, and so the Hague Conventions were wholly inapplicable.” [1]

[8] Remarkably, the Report Presented to the Preliminary Peace Conference by the Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties of 29 March 1919 did not consider that the Armenian “Tereset” of 1915-1916 constituted a violation of these Conventions.

In retroactive terms, it should also be borne in mind that by Article 17 of Protocol II Additional to the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 it is allowed to displace the civilian population in the event of a conflict, if imperative military reasons so demand. [9]

4- KANGAROO COURTS OF 1919-1920 IN OCCUPIED ISTANBUL , GIVEN ZERO CREDENCE BY THE BRITISH CROWN COURTS IN 1919, SOMEHOW RECEIVES FULL TRUST OF SOME ILL-INFORMED AMERICAN POLITICIANS IN 2007

By all accounts, the majority reason for convening courts-martial at Istanbul was heavy pressure from the Allied powers, which insisted on retributions for the Armenian incidents. The Ottoman government of the day also hoped that by shifting blame to a few members of the Committee of Union and Progress (the political body that practically held the power in the Ottoman Empire between 1908 and 1918), they might receive more lenient treatment at the Paris Peace Conference. The procedures of the trials were inadequate and the reliability of their findings was questionable. The tribunals lacked the basic requirements of due process. The right of cross-examination was not acknowledged. The judge weighed the probative value of all evidence submitted during the preparatory phase and the trial and he questioned the accused. As a result, any claims by Armenians and other Ottomans based on hearsay and/or personal vendettas and even newspaper articles were accepted into evidence. At the 1919-1920 trials, the presiding officer acted more like a prosecutor than an impartial judge. Defense counsel was barred access to pretrial investigatory files and from accompanying their clients to pretrial interrogations. The tribunals failed to establish the criminality of the Armenian incidents by legal processes of investigation and judgment. When the British government considered holding trials of alleged Ottoman war criminals in Malta, it declined to use any evidence developed by the Ottoman courts-martial of 1919-1920.

Ottoman courts-martial handed down these sentences under duress from the Allied powers that were then occupying Istanbul, and that, in any case, these trials were organized by the political enemies of the accused. According to trial transcripts, although charges of mistreatment of Armenians were leveled, a majority of the charges and convictions were mainly political retribution, related not to crimes against civilians, but for mismanaging the war. Four members of the principal military tribunal were later arrested by the government on charges of contravening judicial procedure. By cloaking vengeance in legal proceedings, the idea of justice was discredited. Truth was not served in the courtroom.

5- NO EVIDENCE WAS EVER UNEARTHED IN 92+ YEARS SINCE THE “ARMENIAN TERESET” TO SUGGEST THAT GENOCIDE WAS PROPOSED, PLANNED, OR CARRIED OUT BY THE OTTOMAN GOVERNMENT

It was wartime and both sides suffered great losses, sorrow and pain. No program of genocide was ever proposed, planned, or carried out by the Ottoman government. No trustworthy empirical evidence to document these claims has ever been uncovered in any archives. The rulers of the Ottoman Empire had decided to temporarily resettle the Armenians for legitimate reasons of war, in the midst of a dire national emergency. Full set of measures were ordered to alleviate the resettled Armenians’ suffering and additional directives were issued throughout the “Tereset” on as needed basis. Of the masses of secret “Tereset” directives seen to date, not one orders murder of anyone, let alone Armenians (which is why the Armenians fabricated some poor fakes in Naim-Andonian book.)

Official circulars sent to the governors of the provinces from which Armenians were to be temporarily relocated made it clear that the relocation was not intended for the destruction of any individuals or groups, and the lives of the persons should be protected, that any Ottoman troops engaged in the murder, robbery or rape should be severely punished, and that guilty public officials should immediately be removed from office and court-martialed. Donald Quataert, an Ottomanist, reminds that these orders exist and can be examined and read; they are authentic materials and not forgeries or part of a hoax and are full of directives commanding the protection and care of the relocatees and their properties. Order after order speaks of the need to guard these relocatees and their property and assure their safety.[10]

Documents on the Armenian question can be found in the archives of all major powers. State papers of several nations about Armenians abound. Despite their importance, examining these files alone is not sufficient. Ottoman archival material and printed sources in Turkish must be employed together with European and American records. The Ottoman archives, which offer for the period a mass of material of daunting immensity, are much more informative on the relations between the Ottoman state and its Armenian subjects than any other source. This repository will open up new areas of inquiry and avenues of historical interpretation in the effort to understand more fully the nature of Armenian incidents.

6- HENRY MORGENTHAU, THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR AT ISTANBUL IN 1913-1916, WAS COMPLETELY “…UNDER THE SWAY OF HIS ARMENIAN EMPLOYEES…” AND HENCE WAS NOT A CREDIBLE SOURCE.

Henry Morgenthau, American Ambassador to the Sublime Porte in 1913-1916, was not a completely credible source. He never left the Ottoman capital during his twenty-six months tenure and never visited the regions where he said great crimes were committed. He depended heavily upon Arshag Schmavonian, translator and legal advisor of the Embassy, for all kinds of work. Schmavonian accompanied the Ambassador in all meetings with Ottoman officials and also assisted him in the writing of his cables to Washington, D.C. Morgenthau was largely influenced by the opinions of his Armenian functionary, who did not always have the American point of view. The former admitted that Schmavonian and his other Armenian clerks were given great liberties to modify his reports. Stanley Hollis, United States Consul General in Beirut and then London and a career foreign service officer, wrote to the Secretary of State Lansing strongly questioning the honesty and reliability of Schmavonian. Hollis accused the Embassy at Istanbul of disregarding his reports and falling under the sway of this Armenian employee. He said: “Although in all of my dispatches, and in my letters to the Embassy, I confined myself to statements of actual fact … such reports of facts and actual occurrences were not well received by the Embassy … [T]he attitude of the Embassy at [Istanbul] towards a Consular Officer’s reports was largely influenced by the opinions of its Armenian Dragoman, Mr.Schmavonian.” [11]

7- REAR ADMIRAL MARK BRISTOL, UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER AND AMBASSADOR AT ISTANBUL FROM 1919 TO 1927 REFUTED MORGENTHAU’S REPORTS

Whilst Rear Admiral Mark Bristol, United States High Commissioner and Ambassador at Istanbul from 1919 to 1927, took his diplomatic duties seriously and acquitted himself admirably, thanks to his mastery of detail, his extraordinary gifts for analysis, and his fairness. This independent-minded admiral-diplomat had very definite ideas on Turkey and the settlement of Near Eastern questions.[12]

He exerted influence on the outcome of the Armenian question and American policy in the Near East. His dispatches constituted an important source of information to American officials in Washington, D.C. They provided a corrective to the flood of anti-Turkish propaganda put out by various interests in the United States and Europe. [13]

As to the Secretary of State Lansing, in a personal letter to President Woodrow Wilson on 21 November 1916, he wrote that the mere fact of deportation of civilians from a particular region by military authorities was not, in his opinion, reprehensible.There might be ample justification for such action because of military necessity. In Lansing’s words,”(T)he well-known disloyalty of the Armenians to the Ottoman government and the fact that the territory which they inhabited was within the zone of military operations constituted grounds more or less justifiable for compelling them to depart from their homes. It was not to my mind the deportation was objectionable.” [14]

8- THE SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 12 OF 9 FEBRUARY 1916 FOUND THAT ARMENIANS’ CONDITIONS WERE DUE TO WAR [15]

It should be particularly pointed out that the Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 of 9 February 1916 found that Armenians’ conditions were due to war. [15] On the other hand, approximately four million Moslems in the Ottoman Empire died between 1914 and 1922, by far the largest in both proportion and total numbers of any other groups. These deaths were caused by military invasions, internal revolts, foreign blockades and disruption of agriculture and trade, which led to massacres, famine, plague, typhus and other diseases. The Armenian murder of the innocent civilians of Erzincan, Bayburt, Tercan, Erzurum, and all the villages on the route of the Armenian retreat in 1918 must be taken into account. The Armenian molestations and massacres in Cilicia, deplored even by their French and British allies, must be judged. And the exile or death of the Turkish two-thirds of the Erivan province, the Armenian republic, during the war must be remembered. Professor Justin McCarthy, one of the few Western scholars to have done systematic research in the Ottoman archives, comments: “To mention the sufferings of one group and avoid those of another gives a false picture of what was a human, not simply an ethnic, disaster.” Moreover he finds that “in the east [of Anatolia], the areas of Muslim deaths and Armenian deaths were almost perfectly correlated…In numbers, the Muslims lost many more persons than did the Armenians; in percentage of total population, less.The great mortality of both Muslims and Armenians does not fit into any theory that posits one group of murderers, and another group murdered.” [16]

9- THE NEAR EAST RELIEF WAS EXAGGERATING TURKISH ACTS TO HORRIFY AMERICAN PUBLIC OPINION INTO SUPPORTING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AMERICA’S INTERFERENCE IN THE NEAR EAST AFFAIRS

The Near East Relief was exaggerating Turkish acts to horrify American public opinion into supporting recommendations for America’s interference in the Near East affairs to protect minorities in Asia Minor (not unlike the claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003 to justify the iraq war.) Such reports were finding their ways into columns of the powerful New York Times without scrutiny or checking of the facts (145 such embellished and/or distorted reports published in NYT in 1945 alone with zero refutations and responses allowed to the Turkish side.)

This exaggeration was causing indignation and uneasiness in American circles familiar with conditions; indignation at the deliberate misrepresentations of facts and uneasiness in regard to the political consequences in winning over the powerful church elements in the United States to a policy that might menace American interests. While its affiliations with American churches made the Near East Relief a great influence in the United States, the fact that the organization was created by an act of Congress gave it added prestige and power to speak with authority. For this reason the fact that its publicity did not keep within the bounds of truthful representations of conditions was more to be deplored. One might ask why the Near East Relief publicity department, in its campaign among Americans to write their senators and congressmen demanding immediate governmental action to save minorities in Turkey, had forgotten to mention or explain atrocities Armenians had committed against the Turks. A strong Armenian propaganda in America continually suppressed mention of Armenian atrocities on Turkish populations. [17]

On 14 August 1922, Bristol said the Near East Relief had greatly contributed to the increase of antagonism between the different peoples in the area. All the propaganda used by the committee in the United States for the raising of funds painted the Armenians as religious martyrs suffering persecutions, deportations, and massacres at the hands of the Turks . In Bristol’s opinion this kind of propaganda for the raising of funds was not only contrary to the American idea of a square deal but it was also incensing Turks against the Christian peoples. He had tried in every way, since he had been in Turkey, to get American people to publish everything truthful about the situation here and to give both sides of the story impartially. He knew that many of the American relief workers were sympathetic to him, that they did not stand for this kind of one-sided propaganda. Bristol believed that the Near East Relief had made a grave error in not publishing full reports in regard to the conditions that they had observed in connection with the work they had been doing in Turkey. He was absolutely against the one-sided stories that had been circulated in the Near East Relief for the purpose of obtaining money and in the same way he had advised the committee workers not to print their reports simply as propaganda. [18]

10- OFFICIALS AND EXPERTS IN WASHINGTON D.C. LARGELY BLAMED THE ALLIED INTERFERENCE FOR THE ATROCITIES COMMITTED BY ARMENIANS AGAINST THE TURKS.

High officials and political experts in Washington D.C. stated that Allied interference, which the United States was urged to recommend, largely was responsible for the atrocities on the part of Armenians against the Turks. The reaction against the Armenians and any request for further interference would aggravate animosities existing between these two peoples. The Turks were fighting now two fronts—Izmir and Cilicia—against Allied intervention. The Armenians, by encouraging the Allied forces fighting against the Turks were inviting disaster on themselves. The Maras incidents in February 1920 were followed by a long series of abuses of the Turkish population in that area by the Armenian gendarmes armed by the French. General Henri Gouraud, High Commissioner for Syria and the Lebanon and Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Levant, forced this gendarme finally to disarm because of atrocities perpetrated in a Turkish village. [19]

11- MAJOR GENERAL JAMES HARBORD: “…WE SAW NOTHING TO INDICATE THAT ARMENIANS WHO HAVE RETURNED TO THEIR HOMES IN TURKEY ARE IN DANGER OF THEIR LIVES…”

Major General James Harbord, formerly Chief of Staff of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, who led a fact-finding military mission to Istanbul, Cilicia, eastern Anatolia and southern Caucasia in September-October 1919, had also devoted other considerations in the final report he submitted to the Senate on 13 April 1920. [20] Among many observations of particular importance he made on the post-war condition of the region one can cite the following three cases of quotation. They deserve special mention.

Harbord wrote forcefully: “On the Turkish side of the border where Armenians have returned they are gradually recovering their property, and in some cases have received rent for it, but generally they find things in ruins, and face winter out of touch with the American Relief, and with only such desultory assistance as the Turkish government can afford. Things are little if any better with the peasant Turks in the same region. They are practically serfs equally destitute, and equally defenseless against the winter. No doctors or medicines are to be had. Villages are in ruins, some being destroyed when the Armenians fled or were deported; some during the Russian advance; some on the retreat of the Armenian irregulars and Russians after the fall of the empire. Not over twenty percent of the Turkish peasants who went to war have returned. The absence of men between the ages of twenty and thirty-five is very noticeable. Six hundred thousand Turkish soldiers died of typhus alone and insufficient hospital service, it is stated, and absolute poverty of supply greatly swelled the death lists.”

The American Major General continued: “There is much to show that left to themselves the Turk and the Armenian when left without instigation have hitherto been able to live together in peace. Their existence side by side on the same soil for five centuries unmistakably indicates their interdependence and mutual interest. In the past the Turk making the pilgrimage to the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina left his family and property with his Armenian neighbor; similarly the Armenian on the eve of a journey entrusted his treasures to his Turkish friend.”

He added: “We saw nothing to indicate that Armenians who have returned to their homes in Turkey are in danger of their lives, but their natural apprehension has been greatly increased by unbalanced advice given by [the Allied] officers on the withdrawal of foreign troops from certain regions.”

12- HITLER QUOTE “WHO, AFTER ALL, SPEAKS TODAY OF THE ANNIHILATION OF THE ARMENIANS?” IS A MYTH.

An important part of Armenian propaganda efforts in the last few decades has been directed toward establishing a linkage between their own historical experiences and those of European Jewry during the Second World War. The cornerstone in their case has been Adolf Hitler’s purported remark which cites the precedent of the world’s lack of reacting to the fate of Armenians during the First World War as a justification for his planned extermination of European Jewry throughout the Second World War. The events in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and in Germany in 1939-1945 are of course not related at all.

Hitler’s oft-quoted address given to his three supreme commanders of the three branches of the armed forces, as well as the commanding generals bearing the title commanders-in-chief at Obersalzburg on 22 August 1939, a few days prior to his invasion of Poland, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” is a myth. Professor Heath Lowry clearly demonstrated that there is no proof that Hitler ever made such a statement; nor did the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg accept during its 23 November 1945 session, or in any other session, the above-mentioned faked quotation, which also appeared in The Times of London on 24 November 1945. The quotation actually first became before the public in What About Germany? (New York:Dodd, Mead & Co., 1942), pp.1-4 by Louis Lochner, the Associate Press’ Berlin bureau chief during the Second World War. Lochner, like The Times author, never disclosed his source. Regardless, the Nuremberg transcripts do not contain the alleged quotation. In fact, the transcripts show that the tribunal examined and then rejected Lochner’s third-hand version of Hitler’s address. Instead, the tribunal entered into evidence two official versions of the 22 August 1939 address found in captured German military records quoting those who were present at Obersalzburg. These bear document numbers US-29/789 PS and US-30/1014 PS. Neither document contains any reference to Armenians. Moreover, neither document refers to the Jews; Hitler’s address was an anti-Polish invective. [21]

13- POLISH-JEWISH JURIST AND THEN ÉMIGRÉ TO THE UNITED STATES RAPHAEL LEMKIN, CREATING THE TERM “GENOCIDE”AS A LEGAL DEFINITION IN 1944, MEANT IT FOR THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST, NOT ARMENIAN ALLEGATIONS

It must be remembered that the Polish-Jewish jurist and then émigré to the United States Raphael Lemkin, creating the term “genocide”as a legal definition in 1944, meant it only for the Holocaust. Lemkin’s ideas had been provoked undoubtedly by the extermination of some six million Jews which constituted seventy-five percent of the Jewish population in Europe by National Socialist Germany. Thus in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of Government, Proposals for Redress (Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for World Peace, 1944), pp.79-95 he treated genocide primarily as “a technique in German occupation practice during the Second World War.”The term, with its concept as an international crime, was first used officially at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg on 18 October 1945 during the prosecution of offenses committed by the European axis powers. Lemkin at that time was a member of the United States Army prosecution staff.

14- THE TEXTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 96(I) OF 11 DECEMBER 1946 AND THE UNCG DO NOT AT ALL MENTION THE ‘ARMENIAN GENOCIDE.’

Resolution 96(I) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its fifty-fifth plenary session on 11 December 1946 had affirmed “the principles of international law recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and its judgment.” This endorsement could not relate to the Armenian incidents, because the International Military Tribunal had rejected prosecution attempts to establish a precedent. The International Military Tribunal judgment expressly disclaimed jurisdiction for ‘crimes against humanity’ before the beginning of Second World War. Originating in response to Holocaust-era crimes and the subsequent Nuremberg trials, the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (UNCG) of 9 December 1948 outlaws acts with intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such. The texts of the General Assembly Resolution 96(I) and the UNCG do not at all mention the ‘Armenian genocide.’ [22]

15- THE UN HAS NEVER VOTED ON THE ARMENIAN QUESTION AND IT HAS NOT ENDORSED A REPORT LABELING THE ARMENIAN “TERESET” AS GENOCIDE

The United Nations has never voted on the Armenian question and it has not approved or endorsed a report labeling the Armenian experience as genocide. In March 1974 the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Committee on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities agreed to remove mention of the Armenian case from its report on genocide. On 5 October 2000, United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq said that there is no indication that the world organization has taken an official position on the Armenian events of 1915.

16- TREATY OF SÈVRES OF 10 AUGUST 1920 HAD BEEN IMPOSED ON THE DEFEATED OTTOMAN ADMINISTRATION; WAS NEVER RATIFIED BY ANY TURKISH PARLIAMENT; NEVER ENTERED INTO FORCE; AND WAS SCRAPPED

One should recall that the terms of Treaty of Sèvres of 10 August 1920 had been imposed on the moribund Ottoman administration, but were rejected by the government of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey which ran the affairs of the country at Ankara. The American government, which had never declared war on the Ottoman Empire, took no part in the drawing up of the treaty and consequently was not a party to it. By President Wilson’s direction the United States was not officially represented at the signing of the document. Legally, this instrument was invalid, since it was never ratified by any Turkish parliament or any signatory except Greece and therefore did not enter into force. It was stillborn and replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne which was negotiated with a government that genuinely represented the Turkish people. The abortive Treaty of Sèvres was scrapped.

17- RESOLUTIONS DO NOT MAKE LAW AND ONE CONGRESS DOES NOT NECESSARILY BIND ANOTHER; HJR 148 AND 247 SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FAILED LEGISLATION.

Simple resolutions do not make law. Only bills can become law. Therefore House Joint Resolution 148 of 8 April 1975 and House Joint Resolution of 247 of 10 September 1984 only express the opinion of the House of Representatives at those times. One Congress cannot bind another. Resolutions from prior Congresses do not survive into subsequent ones. Because resolutions do not make law, the officials mentioned in them are not obligated to abide by them. Indeed, the American president has not made any day an official day to remember man’s inhumanity to man, and, the president’s annual address to the Armenian Americans began long after the 1975 resolution. House Joint Resolutions 148 and 247 should be considered failed legislation.

18- MANY GOVERNMENTS, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, HAVE NOT CALLED THE ARMENIAN “TERESET” OF 1915 GENOCIDE

Many governments, including the United States, have not called the Armenian incidents of 1915 genocide. Since 1983, American presidents have repeatedly opposed the passage of numerous House, Senate or Joint resolutions classifying the above acts as genocide. At a White House luncheon in October 1983 President Ronald Reagan, speaking to editors and broadcasters, retracted his 1981 statement.

19- IN 1985 THE UN SUB-COMMITTEE “CONSIDERED” THE ARMENIAN ALLEGATION OF GENOCIDE UNDER THE UNCG, BUT DID NOT “ACCEPT” IT [23]

In 1985 the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Committee on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities considered the Armenian allegation of genocide under the UNCG, but did not accept it. [23] The Armenian lobby deliberately misrepresents this fact by claimin that the UN has “accepted” the Armenian genocide alleagtions. This distortion, curiously, found its way to HR 106.

20- GENOCIDE IS A CRIME THAT CAN ONLY BE DETERMINED BY THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE AT THE HAGUE (AND NOT BY POLITICAL LOBBIES, HOUSE RESOLUTIONS, NEWSPAPER EDITORS, PARTISAN GENOCIDE SCHOLAR, ARMENIAN CLERGY, OR ANY OTHER GROUPS)

Under the UNCG, genocide is a crime that can only be determined by the International Court of Justice at The Hague—principal judicial organ of the United Nations--or domestic courts of member states that have laws against genocide. Yet to this very day, no competent court has ever ruled that the Armenian case constitutes genocide. The International Court of Justice, where any party to the UNCG must prosecute a case it officially believes to qualify as genocide, has never considered the Armenian case. Not one country, which has by parliamentary resolution determined that genocide was committed against the Armenians, has put its allegation to the test and taken action at the International Court of Justice in accordance with Article 9 of the UNCG—which specifically states “Disputes…relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide…shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any parties to the dispute.” No person, living or dead, or any foreign state or sovereign body has been tried for the crime of genocide stemming from the Armenian allegation of genocide despite the opportunities to do so . The Armenian claims, to this date, have never been historically or legally substantiated. Indeed, it is precisely because the accusers have not been able to establish the crime based on international law or on irrefutable evidence, that they seek to manipulate foreign parliaments to provide legislative validation to their claims.

Above salient facts put the events into an accurate context and explain that the term “genocide” is erroneous to describe what actually took place in 1915-1923. Here search for justice in both historical and legal terms coincides with the pursuit of truth.

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References:

[1] Tableaux Indiquant le Nombre de Divers Eléments de la Population dans l’Empire Ottoman au 1er Mars 1330 (Istanbul: Imprimerie Osmanié, 1919). Particular mention should be made that the statistics of the Ottoman census, although by no means perfect, they are by far the most comprehensive and reliable source available concerning the population of the empire during the last half-century of its existence. The official Ottoman censuses supply useful data because their margin of error is far less than the figures given by observers, travelers and biased informants. The statistics for 1914 were of special importance as they showed the situation before various national groups such as the Armenians began to use distorted figures to back political claims which arose after the First World War. For additional information on Ottoman censuses see Stanford Shaw, “The Ottoman Census System and Population, 1831-1914”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol.9, No.3(August 1978), pp.325-338 and Meir Zamir, “Population Statistics of the Ottoman Empire in 1914 and 1919”, Middle Eastern Studies, Vol.17, No.1(January 1981), pp.85-106.

[2] George Montgomery Papers, Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Box 21, Armenia-America Society January-February 1920, Copy of report titled “The Non-Arab Portion of the Ottoman Empire”, 1919. George Montgomery’s appointment as an assistant to the King-Crane Commission on Syria and Palestine in 1919 provides substantial weight to his stature as an authority on the subject of ethnic populations in the Near East during the late Ottoman period. He had earlier spent several years in the region.

[3] James Brown Scott Papers, Georgetown University Library Special Collections Division. (henceforth referred to as Scott Papers) Box 28, Report Presented to the Preliminary Peace Conference by the Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties, 29 March 1919, p.19. This Commission was headed by the United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing and based its findings on Armenian deaths upon the memorandum of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul addressed to the Ambassadors of Britain and France, Armenian memorandum addressed to the Paris Peace Conference, report of the American Near East Relief Committee, Viscount Bryce’s work The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, various documents in the possession of the British government, professor Martin Niepage’s report and notes of a German traveler in Turkey during 1915 (published by the Swiss Committee for the Relief of the Armenians). Martin Niepage’s report was also published as a book The Horrors of Aleppo, Seen by a German Witness (London: T.Fisher Unwin, 1917).

[4] Stanford Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Vol.2: Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1801-1975, (London: Cambridge University Press, 1977), p.316.

[5] See Scott Papers, Box 28, Memorandum of Reservations presented by the Representatives of the United States to the Report of the Commission on Responsibilities, 4 April 1919, pp.64 and 73. The importance of this memorandum cannot be overemphasized. Several new works examine the problem in more detail. See, for example, Norman Geras, “Genocide and Crimes against Humanity”, in John Roth, ed., Genocide and Human Rights A Philosophical Guide (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005), p.177.

[6] Lassa Oppenheim, ed., Ronald Roxburgh, International Law: A Treatise, Vol.1: Peace, (London: Longmans, Green and Co., Third Edition, 1920), pp.206-209 and 229. For a most recent treatment of the theme see Thomas Buergenthal, “International Law and the Holocaust”, in Michael Bazyler and Roger Alford, eds., Holocaust Restitution Perspectives on the Litigation and Its Legacy (New York and London: New York University Press, 2006), pp.18-21.

[7] For the text of the Hague Conventions see, for example, Leon Friedman, ed., The Law of War: A Documentary History, Vol.1, (New York: Random House, 1972), pp.221-250 and 270-369.

[8] Telford Taylor, The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials A Personal Memoir (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1992), p.13.Brigadier General Telford Taylor headed the American Office of Chief Council for War Crimes, which was in charge of all Nuremberg trials in 1946-1949.

[9] Text of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II)can be found in Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 1977), pp.89-101. This instrument addressing civil wars was signed at Geneva on 12 December 1977 and entered into force on 7 December 1978.

[10] Donald Quataert, The Ottoman Empire 1700-1922 (New York: Cambridge University Press, Second Edition, 2005), p.187.

[11] On Arshag Schmavonian’s personality and role see in particular United States National Archives and Records Administration ( henceforth referred to as USNA ), 867.00/1115. Report of Consul General at London Stanley Hollis on political conditions in Syria, 2 February 1920. For more details see Heath Lowry, The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story (Istanbul: The Isis Press, 1990),pp.14-19, 25, 33, 38, 47 and 53-54. The author’s piece of scholarship is based on painstaking research and guided by sophisticated and sound judgment.

[12] John DeNovo, American Interests and Policies in the Middle East 1900-1939(Minneapolis:University of Minnesota Press, 1963), pp.130-131.

[13] Detailed accounts can be found in Laurence Evans, United States Policy and the Partition of Turkey 1914-1924 (Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins Press, 1965), pp. 270-272 and Thomas Bryson, “Mark Lambert Bristol, U.S. Navy, Admiral-Diplomat: His Influence on the Armenian Mandate Question”, The Armenian Review, Vol.21, No.4-84(Winter 1968), pp.6 and 11.

[14] See Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, The Lansing Papers 1914-1920, Vol.1, (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1929), p. 42. The international law expertise of Lansing lends this statement special significance. He had served as counsel in several international arbitration cases, and by the time of his appointment as Secretary of State he possessed enormous practical skills with a great sense of appreciation for diplomacy.

[15] House Calendar No.144 64th Congress, 1st Session S.Con.Res.12 [ Report no.837 ].

[16] Justin McCarthy, Muslims and Minorities: The Population of Ottoman Anatolia at the End of the Empire (New York and London: New York University Press, 1983), pp.137-138.This work is clearly the best available on the subject and merits the close attention of any serious, disinterested reader.

[17] Larry Rue, “Relief Policy in Near East Causes Alarm”, Chicago Daily Tribune, 4 September 1921, p.8. Larry Rue was an American correspondent who had long been making a first-hand study of the tangled situation in Asia Minor, and who had obtained a clear view on many points that had thus far remained obscure to the outside world. His observations and comments attracted considerable attention in daily newspapers and periodicals. Those concerned in Near Eastern affairs would do well to assess Rue’s reporting closely.

[18] USNA, Naval Records, Bristol Diary, July-August 1922, WT-Turkey, Box 834.

[19] Larry Rue, “Fear Effect of Help”, Chicago Daily Tribune, 3 July 1921, p.12.

[20] See and examine Major General James Harbord, “Conditions in the Near East: Report of the American Military Mission to Armenia”, 66th Congress, 2nd Session, Document no.266, 13 April 1920. All quotations in this section are from this source.

[21] For a thorough discussion of the Hitler statement, and its falsity, see Heath Lowry, “The United States and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians”, Political Communication and Persuasion, Vol.3, No.2(April 1985),pp.111-140.

[22] See and examine the texts of the United Nations Documents GA Res. 96 (I) and GA Res. 260 (III A,B, and C). Also History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Laws of War, compiled by the United Nations War Crimes Commission (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1948).

[23] See United Nations Economic and Social Council Official Records, Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Committee on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities 38th session, Item 57, United Nations Document E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/SR 36/(1985).

*******

19/03/07

Ergun KIRLIKOVALI
ergun@turkla.com



Comments:
Lydia Borland
* Congratulations to the Turkish Americans who worked on this so hard. This is the fourth member to withdraw his name. 187 more to go!!!! Actually, it is unusual for Members to withdraw their names, so this is a real victory

Full Text:

Mr. SCOTT of Georgia . Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that my name be removed as a cosponsor of H. Res. 106.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Georgia ?

There was no objection.


____________________

A.T.A.A.
* 1) Call to action! This is the web site established by the TurkishPAC. Turish-Americans are running a campaign against the so called "Armenian Genocide Resolutions in US House and Senate. Please. join us. Please let your friends know and take action before April 24, 2007.

Click on this URL to take action now
http://capwiz.com/turkishpac/utr/2/?a=9653081&i=83289176&c=

If your email program does not recognize the URL as a link, copy the entire URL and paste it into your Web browser.

****************

2) OPINION POLL RESULTS: THE ARMENIAN LOBBY IN THE U.S. IS POISONING THE 50+ YEARS OF U.S.-TURKISH FRIENDSHIP WITH THEIR ENDLESS AND MINDLESS ANTI-TURKISH RESOLUTIONS IN THE U.S. CONGRESS.

A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT - April 20, 2007. By A.T.A.A. ( ASSEMBLY OF TURKISH AMERICAN ASSOCIATIONS), Home of 63 Turkish American Associations across U.S., Canada and Turkey, 1526 18th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036 Phone: (202) 483-9090 Fax: (202) 483-9092

Armenian Research Committee; Turkey: A First Nationwide Poll.
Turkish Views on U.S. Congressional Armenian Resolutions

FINDING: 83% of Turkish Citizens To Demand Turkey Suspend Diplomatic and Military Relations with the United States

Terror Free Tomorrow, http://www.terrorfreetomorrow.org

ARI Movement, http://www.ari.org.tr

ARI Foundation USA, http://www.arifoundation.org

SUMMARY OF SURVEY RESULTS

Rare is the occasion for Congress to impact and alter the foreign relations of the United States with respect to Turkey, a major strategic ally as the only predominately Muslim country in NATO and partner in the greater Middle East and Eurasia, as in the resolutions before the House and Senate that define the Armenian case as genocide. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pledged to bring H.Res. 106, that purports that the U.S. Record defines the Ottoman Armenian case of 1915-1923 as genocide, to a vote before the House soon.

According to the first nationwide public survey in Turkey regarding the impact of a U.S. Congressional Armenian resolution, the evidence is strong that such legislation of history and criminal charge against people of Turkish heritage would actually damage the cause it purports to achieve, namely, Turkey’s recognition of its own past and reconciliation with Armenia. Furthermore, the evidence is strong that Turkish public opinion regarding the United States will worsen to a point that relations and cooperation will suffer great damage, if not paralysis.

The feelings of the Turkish people on this historical and legal matter run deep, as 78 percent oppose legislative resolutions that legislate history, in the instant case, H.Res. 106. Nearly 75% believe that passage of a resolution will be reason to lower their opinion of the United States and support their opinion that America is increasingly anti-Muslim.”

The more significant finding of the survey, however, is not the opposition of the Turkish people, but how profoundly that opposition is felt. Almost four-fifths of the Turkish people favor strong action by the Turkish government if an Armenian resolution passes, including suspension of diplomatic and military relations with the United States. Only 7 percent would favor no action by the Turkish government. A plurality of Turks indicated that they would even boycott American products, services, and companies doing business in Turkey.

Critically, Turks surveyed feel so powerfully about this issue that should an Armenian resolution pass, 83 percent would oppose Turkey assisting the United States in neighboring Iraq, which of course includes the Incirlik Air Base which provides logistical support to forces in Iraq.

The reasons for Turkish opinion have less to do with the historical issue of whether or not the events constitute genocide, than with outside, American, politicized judgment of Turkish history and the Turkish people. In fact, three-quarters of all Turkish people surveyed would accept scholarly research by independent historians on the Armenian Independence movement and associated rebellion, and the Ottoman response of relocating Armenians from the war zones, and whether such a response constitutes genocide or a lesser crime.

Seven percent of the Turkish people surveyed favored passage of a resolution because they believe that Turkey committed genocide, and do not mind the United States passing a resolution to such effect.

The main problem for most Turkish people is that they do not consider the U.S. Congress a neutral judge of this issue. Instead, the Turkish people largely see Armenian resolutions as driven by anti-Muslim feelings and American domestic politics.

Indeed, if the goal of a Congressional Armenian resolution is to promote reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia, 73 percent of Turks think such a resolution will have the opposite effect and actually worsen relations between Turkey and Armenia, and Turks and Armenians.

The views of the Turkish people are firmly held regardless of age, income, education or even their present view of the United States. Significantly, 84 percent of those who now have a very favorable opinion of the United States responded that their opinion would deteriorate if the resolution passes.

The consensus among the Turkish people against a resolution by the U.S. Congress on the issue of whether the Armenian case constitutes genocide is not only universal, but also so powerfully felt that it could push anti-American (and ironically anti-Armenian) feelings to extreme levels. Results for the surveys are based on face-to-face interviews among a representative nationwide random sample of the adult population conducted in Turkish. Fieldwork occurred in all 15 provinces of Turkey between January 27, 2007 and February 8, 2007, with a total of 1,021 interviews conducted among those 18 and older, with a margin of error of +/- 3.06 percent.

Analysis and Recommendation of the ARI Foundation:

Rather than alienate the United States from Turkey and the broader Muslim world, Congress should explore ways to supplement the United States Executive Branch’s chosen method of encouraging scholarly and legal research in a cooperative spirit by Turkish and Armenian experts, with a view toward recognizing the tragedies of the past and reconciling for the hopes of tomorrow.

Rather than win Turkish empathy, an Armenian resolution from Congress will simply harden public attitudes in Turkey — and in Armenia as well. Such hardening may even frustrate the free and open research and debate from which the Turkish people are benefiting today in Turkey on their shared history with the Armenian people.

The issue of whether the Armenian case is genocide, or a lesser no less horrific crime, or no crime at all is a legal question in which Ottoman historians can serve as expert witnesses. The task before the Congress should be to help promote a neutral, independent and credible mechanism for truth finding and reconciliation. That neutral forum should not only include expert historians, legal scholars and political leaders from both Turkey and Armenia, but also similar experts from other countries.

TO DOWNLOAD SURVEY, PLEASE VISIT:

http://www.terrorfreetomorrow.org/articlenav.php?id=5#pt


____________________

Mine Ipek
* Dear California Turkish-American community members, This coming Monday, AJR 15 will be voted in California State Senate. Assembly Joint Resolution 15 (AJR 15) declares April 24th, 2007 an Official Day of Remembrance in California. We have to urge the California State senators not to pass this resolution. We need to do this for two reasons: 1) We have to start raising our voices collectively as a community, so that they know Turkish-Americans are here, and becoming a political force to reckon with, 2) Even if the resolution passes, influence as many senators as possible so that the Yes votes are low. Here is what you do: 1) Select and copy the following text (or your own edited version) 2) Go to senators' email list following this link: http://www.senate.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senemail.htp 3) Update the senator's name, and send email (sample has one of the senator's name already) 4) Fax and phone info of the senators are in the following link, if you want to call or fax: http://www.senate.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senators.htp PLEASE DO IT NOW AS WE DON"T HAVE MUCH TIME BETWEEN NOW AND MONDAY. Thanks for your help. Turkish American Alliance for Fairness (TAAF) Members of the Board www.taaf-org.net
____________________

Barak Obama
* ABD'de, 2008 baskanlik seçiminde Demokrat Parti'den baskan adayligi için yarisan Illinois Senatörü Barack Obama, ''Farkinda olmayanlar için söylüyorum. Ermeni halkina karsi bir soykirim oldu'' dedi. Senatör Barack Obama'nin, baskent Washington'da, 100 kadar Illinoisli'ye hitaben yaptigi kahvaltili konusmada, sözde ''Ermeni soykirimi'' iddialarina da degindigi bildirildi. Pan Armenian internet sitesinde yer alan habere göre, toplantiya katilan Ermeni Ulusal Komitesi (ANCA) Hukuk Isleri Direktörü Raffi Karakasyan ve ANCA Dogu Bölgesi Direktörü Karine Birazyan'in, ABD Senatosu'na sunulan ve sözde Ermeni soykiriminin taninmasina iliskin 106 sayili tasariya iliskin tutumunu sormasi üzerine Obama, ''Farkinda olmayanlar için söylüyorum, Ermeni halkina karsi bir soykirim oldu. Gördügümüz, Türk hükümeti ve digerlerinin yine bunun oldugunu sürekli inkar etmeleridir. Diplomatik olarak bu sorun, aciyan bir nokta durumuna geldi'' dedi. Toplantinin ardindan açiklama yapan ANCA Dogu Bölgesi Direktörü Birazyan, ''Illinois'teki Ermeni asilli Amerikalilar ve ABD'deki tüm Ermeniler, senatör Obama'nin, 106 sayili Ermeni tasarisinin destekçileri arasinda yer almasini bekliyor. Obama'nin, soykirimin taninmasina iliskin tutumu çok onurlu bir tutum ve ABD Senatosu Dis iliskiler Komitesi'nin bir üyesi olarak bu tasariya Obama'nin destegi, senato genel kurulundan bu tasarinin çabuk bir biçimde geçmesini garanti edecektir'' dedi. (AA)
____________________

Yusuf Halacoglu
* “Prime Minister Rajab Tayyib Erdogan should immediately appeal to 19 countries, which recognized the events happened in 1915 as genocide. These countries should be demanded to ground their decisions to recognize these events as genocide. The Prime Minister should note if these countries can not give proofs, we will break all relations with them,” chief of Turkish Historical Society, Professor Yusuf Halacoglu told the APA’s Turkey bureau. “I am sure that none of these countries will be able to reply to us within a month. Then the Prime Minister should hold press conference and clarify Turkey’s relations with these countries,” he said. The professor suspects that some documents in Armenian archives have disappeared. “We will soon find out whether our doubts are groundless or not. Foreign scientists want to investigate mass graveyards in Turkey, and the government has already given positive answer. Such a mass graveyard will be opened in Hatay on April 24. Unlike Armenians, we announced that our archives are open. Turkey is ready to pay for opening dashnak (Armenian) archives in Boston,” he said. Chief of Turkish Historical Society also spoke of the necessity of united struggle against claims on ‘Armenians genocide’. “Armenia does not recognize Turkey’s borders regulated by Kars treaty of 1921. Why does Armenia demand opening of the neighboring country’s borders which it does not recognize? Border is the main means to exert pressure on Armenia – when 20% of Azerbaijani territories are under occupation. No government in Turkey can bring the issue on opening of borders with Armenia,” he stressed.

Copyright © 2003-2004 Turkla.com

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