1908) Rare Turk-Sympathetic Coverage in the Western Press

It didn't happen often. In fact, it so rarely happened, Sidney Whitman reported in his book (Turkish Memories) that Sultan Abdul Hamit was somewhat excessively grateful, and all Whitman really did was to write the truth! This page will feature a few of the odds and ends that displayed fairness and truthfulness (what the genocide industry would call "Turkish propaganda"... as though the Turks, then and now, had or have any power whatsoever to get their voice heard in the Western media.

The New Era [Iowa], Oct. 5, 1898

A New View of the Turk.

The stories of the Armenian massacres, with their atrocious details of pillage, murder and every horrible passion let loose, have been made the subject of careful inquiry by Mr. Sidney Whitman, who writes of them in Harper's Magazine. He has come to the conclusion that the Turk has been grossly slandered and presents his reasons, based on personal research. The Turks of course adopted severe methods of repression against the revolutionary Armenians, who came mostly from Russian territory. The Armenians in Asiatic Turkey had long lived on perfectly familiar and friendly terms with their Mohammedan neighbors at the time of the insurrection in 1895. Even the Kurds, the most intractable and savage of the Turkish population, had been cordial in their relations. It was the Armenian revolutionists who brought down the whole cataclysm of evils on the heads of their brethren. The Armenian language, creed and schools were always free in Turkey. No social restrictions of any kind had been imposed on them. Their lives and property had been as secure as those of any Turkish subjects. They enjoyed such a degree of liberty and social freedom as no alien race ever enjoyed in Russia. The rebellion instigated among the Armenians by the emissaries who came over the Russian frontier was suppressed, according to Mr. Whitman, with as little severity as possible, and the outrages on the part of a few bands of fanatical Kurds were outside of government responsibility. Indeed the perpetrators of the outrages were severely punished by the pasha commanding the disturbed district, and the victims ware cordially assisted by the resident Mohammedans with money and protection.

Mr. Whitman's investigation of the outrages, made among Christians and Mohammedans of every class, Turkish officials, Christian missionaries and Armenians themselves of the better class, convinced him that the stories of Armenian atrocity were so vastly exaggerated as to be little better than an inverted pyramid of lies. The convictions formed by Mr. Whitman seem to be that the Turks in dealing with the last attempts at Armenian revolution did so with as little cruelty and barbarism as could be used, and that the monstrous deeds with which Europe and America rang, narrated from Armenian sources, had but little true basis except so far as they were perpetrated by lawless ruffians.

STARVING: Her Own People, Not Armenian
Refugees..." (Someone forgot to inform the
reporter that Ottoman-Armenians were not
"refugees," as they belonged to the Ottoman
Empire and were also "Her Own People.")

The New York Times, April 2, 1916


Her Own People, Not Armenian Refugees — American Red Cross Cables $10,000.

WASHINGTON, April 1. — The American Red Cross received word today that Turkey for the first time was ready to accept aid for a half million of her people who faced starvation. Hundreds, it is said, are dying for lack of food. Ten thousand dollars was cabled to fill immediate needs.

A message from Red Cross agents in Turkey said the American organization would be permitted to co-operate with the Red Crescent. The dispatch added:

"Great suffering throughout country, particularly at Constantinople and suburbs, along shores of Marmora, at Adrianople, Bruss, and Smyrna. In these regions 500,000, not comprising Armenian refugees, need help for bread. Hundreds dying of starvation. No relief in sight. Typhus is spreading, with high mortality.' Supplies cannot be shipped to Turkey from America because of the Allies' blockade, and foodstuffs probably will be purchased by the Red Cross and sent from Rumania."

Supplies cannot be shipped to Turkey from America because of the Allies' blockade, and foodstuffs will be purchased by the Red Cross and sent from Rumania.

This was an extremely rare report focusing on the hell the non-Armenians of the Ottoman Empire was going through, and it's almost ironic that such news would have been featured in the pages of the Turk-unfriendly New York Times. The newspaper would go on to inform in later months ("SEND SHIP TO AID STARVING ARMENIA" was one article, from Nov. 26, 1916) that two million dollars was raised for the Christians (a lousy ten grand wouldn't do in this case; naturally, the plight of the other starving Ottomans was quickly forgotten, since the above was probably the only article informing the American public of the other side of the coin), and the British naval blockade (designed to starve out the people; gunboats would even pick off grazing cows from the shore) was "persuaded" to let the aid to Armenians pass through without a problem.

The Steubenville Herald, Sept 29,1986

THAT the gentle Turk is not without a strong sense of humor is manifest from the following official dispatch sent to his legation in Washington:

The Armenian revolutionists of Pinkan, a village situated in the province of Sivas, after putting fire to their own houses, ran away, but they returned again and put fire to the houses that had not been burned the first time. The object of the revolutionists is evidently to make the people believe that there is no security in their country, but their efforts to provoke again sanguinary trouble have been frustrated, thanks to the efficient measures adopted by the imperial government.

Now if it had been added that the men cut their own heads off and the women outraged themselves in spite of [all] efforts to prevent them the [?] would have been complete.

The Atlanta Constitution, Dec. 20, 1915


Count von Reventlow Says Britain and Russia Incited Armenians to Revolt.

Berlin, December 19.--(Via London.) Count Ernest von Reventlow, naval expert, writing in The Tages Zeltung, further discusses the Armenian question, using as his text an expression contained in a pamphlet just published by C. Adolf Bratter, a Berlin political writer.

Count von Reventlow cites this book as saying Armenian atrocities always arise in the same way, i. e.: Revolutionary Armenians are incited by Great Britain or Russia to uprisings, rebellions and treason. Full of bitterness, the Turks for decades have been vainly endeavoring to suppress these conspiracies."

Bratter's book further declares that "Great Britain, with the help of Russia and France in the present case. planned an extended conspiracy in Armenia with the purpose of having an uprising occur at the moment when the allies entered the Dardanelles. Unfortunately for the Armenians, the uprising came too soon."

Count von Reventlow welcomes book, saying:

"It is high time Germans comprehended the real meaning of Armenian atrocity affairs. They should finally understand that it is not our affair to feel or even express sympathy witb. Armenian revolutionaries and usurers who form a great and malignant danger for our brave, tried and true Turkish allies, and who are the tool of our mortal enemies--Great Britain and Russia.

*If the Turks did not defend themselves energetically and thoroughly against the Armenian danger whenever it arises they would be doing their allies as well as themselves a bad service. Therefore, we Germans must consider the handling of the Armenian question as an internal affair of the Turks."

Davenport Daily Republican Nov. 16, 1895 (Also The Fort Wayne Gazette November 16, 1895: BLAME THE ARMENIANS. Turkish Authorities Declare They Are Responsible for the Troubles.)

From the Sultan of Turkey.

Washington, Nov. 15.-- The Turkish legation here received the following telegram from the Sublime Porte under yesterday's date:

"The Armenian revolutionists of Sivas after teking out of their shops all merchandise attacked the Mussulmans. They fired from the windows of their houses and wounded severely one soldier. A pistol shot broke the window of the room occupied by the governor general. They also attacked the village of [Mardjili], killed many Mussulmans and engaged in plunder. The authorities of Arabguirdi discovered forty of the bombs which the Armenian agitators had prepared to blow up public buildings, such as the barracks, the palace of the governor, the military store house and the like. The fire that broke out in the city originated from bombs prepared for that purpose. The Turkish population of Abguird, being attacked by 1,500 rioters perfectly armed and equipped telegraphed to the Imperial government for protection: YThe provincial authorities neglect absolutely nothing to preserve peace.

The Armenian rioters of Crzindjar fired on the Mussulmans and attacked the palace of the governor, the military station and other buildings. They were repulsed, however, by the military.

The Armenian revolutionists of Arabquirdi, having attacked the Mussulman quarter Iquiknir, a bloody conflict ensued between Mussulmans and Armenians. Another conflict took place near the villay of Saroy (Van) between Armenian brigands and gendarmes. The brigands fled to the village of Bogazkean, but they were dispersed. Many gendarmes were killed and wounded.

The authorities at Arabguir discovered in the houses of Tarngadji Oglon Zerkis and other Armenians many bombs prepared for incendiary purposes. Explosive bombs were also found. The agitators Krikor and Kevork, of the village of Kemer (Sivas) who fired shots and in whose houses ammunition and cartridges were discovered were arrested.

"More than 5,000 Armenian revolutionists are at Tchonkmerzen (Adana) and are preparing themselves to commit aggressions."

(But of course, the rare "pro-Turk" report almost always was balanced by the usual poopity-whoop, often on the same day and on the same page:)

Armenia is Laid Waste

New York, Nov. 15.-- Ex-Minister to Turkey Oscar Strauss today received from Rev. Henry O. Dwight, head of the Bible House mission in Constantinople, the following telegram:

"Armenia laid waste; quarter million souls destitute. Will you start humanitarian work forming strong non-partisan relief commission independent of missionaries?"

Referring to the dispatch Mr. Strauss said that Mr. Dwight had been in Turkey for twenty years and his statement could be relied upon. "He would not cable thus," said Mr. Strauss, "if he were not thoroughly assured of the facts. There evidently must have been some terrible conflicts between the Turkish troops and the Armenians. There should be co-operation upon the part of the various committees which have been formed for this purpose and steps will be at once taken with the end in view."

(The Rev. Dwight's word could certainly be "relied upon," much as he was in Istanbul, and far away from the action in the East. As though "Armenia" — where was that? Was there a country by that name? — was so "laid waste" that a quarter-million folks would be "destitute." Brother! But, of course, the missionary's word was gold.)

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