11 November 2007

2182) Armenian Atrocities Against Muslim Turks by Michael Van Der Galiën Part I & II

In the debate - yes debate - about whether or not what happened to the Armenian population of Eastern Anatolia during World War I constitutes genocide, it’s often forgotten that Armenians organized themselves in militias which went out and killed many - according to some hundreds of thousands - (innocent) Muslim Turks. When this is pointed out by the side that disagree with the Armenian take on what happened in those dark years, they often respond aggressively (by arguing that these people were ‘independence warriors’ who fought the ‘oppressor’) or they simply pretend that the militias either didn’t exist or didn’t kill many innocent Muslims.

Sadly for them, and for the Turks who suffered on a massive scale back in the late years of the 19th and early years of the 20th century, the facts prove differently: Armenian militias didn’t ‘just’ fight against the Ottoman Empire, they also killed Muslim Turks who’s only sin was that they were just that… Muslim Turks. .

In chapter 9D of “of “Arsiv Belgeleriyle Tehcir - Ermeni Iddialari ve Gerçekler” (Armenian Allegations and the Truth – With Archival Documents) auteur Necdet Sevinç uses documents to prove that the Turkish point of view: namely that the deportations of the Eastern Anatolian Armenians was an act of self defense of the Ottomans because Armenians turned against their Muslim fellow countrymen.

Some excerpts from this book (Provisional Translation):

Various Armenian Methods to Kill Muslims

The situation faced by the Turks as well as the Ottoman Empire during World War I can be understood upon reading the following information. The Hunchak Organization which believed that an Armenian Republic could be founded by terrorist methods published organized instructions on how to kill Muslims, and how to demolish cities. One of the articles from the “Hinçakyan Ihtilal Komitesi Azasi’nin Vezaifine (Vazifesine) Dair Talimat” [The Duties of Hunchak Revolutionary Committee Members] instructions booklet is as follows:

Article 8: Each Committee should have a chief executioner with a team of executioners around him who share his values. Duties of this team include getting rid of those who disobey within and around the committee with the orders of the Committee. There are three methods of punishment: (1) warning, (2) beating, (3) death. There are three methods of death: (1) dagger, (2) revolver, (3) choking or poisoning.”

Methods of blowing up buildings are described as: “…Methods to be used for blowing up homes and other buildings: (1) solid dynamite, (2) dynamite solution, salicylic chemical, (3) derivatives of explosives prepared with gunpowder!”


Of course, the above mentioned document is far from the only document of its kind (please pay special attention to the year of publication):

Another similar document titled “Müdafaa-i Sahsiyye Için Talimat [Instructions of Self Protection]” and bearing the signature of Toman was printed in 1910 and was distributed by the thousands. Although it poses as self protection, this document actually prescribes various ways of wiping out Muslims. On page 4, after explaining which weapons should be used under each circumstance, it goes on to explain how to raid on villages and set them on fire as follows:

“There are three kinds of villages. (1) Armenian villages among other Armenian villages that are habited by Armenians, (2) Villages habited by Armenians but located among villages which are habited by others, (3) Villages where Armenians live altogether with others.

“In all three types of villages, organizations bear no difference. They all should join the “forces” with their ammunition and weapons. The forces are divided as (1) stationary and (2) mobile. Each force should be assigned a chief and an assistant to the chief. The mobile and stationary forces should each elect an experienced chieftain for their village. These chieftains will be the ultimate authority in the villages and all the forces in that village will be under his command. These chieftains will be the representatives of the government and of the armed forces in their villages. All village chieftains will get together to elect three persons in their district as temporary armed command commissions. These government representatives (Erkani Harbiye Heyeti) and the commander will have the power to collect arms from disabled users and redistribute them to more experienced persons during skirmishes. Messengers should be formed to inform nearby village forces in case of a surprise attack on a village. If the Armenians living as minority among others find themselves under attack and if they are unable to get help in time, they should collect their valuables and move in to other Armenian villages.

“In villages where the enemy numbers are fewer than Armenians, the former should be asked to leave if they have not done so on their own. Those who do not leave could be taken as hostage depending on the situation and the decision of the government.

“During skirmishes, doors will be kept open and those who are escaping from the army or police forces will be allowed to enter. Civilians wandering around without weapons should be forbidden. The villagers have to pay for any weapons lost to the enemy. Weapons taken over from the enemy belong to whoever confiscates them.”


And more:

“In order to attack villages:

1) Fortification points of enemy villages must be known.

2) The escape routes must be decided beforehand and kept under control of the outpost.

3) Villages that may aid to enemy must be explored beforehand and must be prevented.

4) Only three sides of the village to be attacked must be kept under siege. One side must appear like an escape route for the residents. (If contained from all four sides, the enemy may counter attack and endanger our victory.) Only a small contingent should be hidden on the fourth side to press and to inflict casualties on them. Actually, the real reason to leave an open side is to assure speedy victory by dividing the enemy’s forces, more so than allowing an escape route to them.

5) Attacking at dawn would surprise the enemy. Attacking earlier would cause us losses while waiting for the light.

6) In order to create chaos and commotion, fires must be started in different places at the same time and expanded. Necessary equipment must be prepared beforehand.

7) If there are no cavalrymen among the attackers, spare horses must be brought along to carry the wounded and the dead bodies into the Armenian villages so that they cannot be identified.

“A few days before the attack, strong and reliable agents selected by our Chief Armed Forces (Erkani Harbiye Heyeti) must be sent to the targeted village. They must stay there as long as it requires to collect the necessary information. Consequent attack preparations must be planned based on these agents’ reports.”


If the above paragraphs were too long for you to read here’s the summary:

While the Turkish Army was fighting on multiple fronts, thousands of kilometers away from their homes, Armenians were busy preparing brutal plans to eradicate their neighbors of 900 years. An Armed Chief Commander is going to be elected in each city, every Armenian will carry out the orders of this Chief of Armed Forces, agents will be sent to whichever village will be attacked, fire will be started in various places at dawn, and bullets will be raining on the Turks who flee their homes in panic. This was their plan.


The Armenian lobby, logically, never mentions these documents nor the criminal - yes criminal - behavior of their ancestors. It’s simply irrelevant to many of them that their ancestors were no angels.

Then, later, quite some Armenians did what their leaders had taught and told them to do:

Zeitun Rebellion

The first Armenian rebellion following the order to enlist men for the army started on August 17, 1914 in Zeitun, which is now the Suleymanli borough of Kahraman Maras. Armenians stopped paying their taxes to the government following their call to arms. They ran away from serving the Ottoman Military, and called the citizens to rebel against the government.

They held up young men on their way to enroll in the army, and robbed them. Those coming from mountain villages were ambushed on the road and killed. They raided a group of 100 Andinir Turks on their way through Ferens on August 17th while the latter were returning home after being discharged from the army. They killed most of these Turks and stole their money. They opened fire on the gendarmerie who were trying to collect vehicles from the village. At the Kaymakampinari site on the road to Maras, they killed some of the Turkish civilians of Besanli village.


If you read these paragraphs, it should become instantly clear to you why the comparison the Armenian side likes to make - that what happened to the Armenians is similar to what happened to the Jews during and before World War II - makes no sense whatsoever.

More:

In the villages of Dönekli, Akçarli, Kümperli, Fatmali, Hartalp, and Önek alone, 27 barns, 3 estate homes, and 62 houses were set ablaze. They also took with them the farm animals belonging to these village folks.

Upon following the bandits’ activities, it was discovered that these uprisings were staged to aid the British invasion forces. Melkom, one of the ringleaders of Zeitun confessed that “the leaders had taken orders to aid the British forces landing on the Mediterranean Coast from shores of Iskenderun”. It was understood that the planner and leader of this operation were the Hinchak Committee Chief Çakiroglu Panos, his brother Yenidünya, Agyaoglu with his 4 sons, Solakoglu Mesrop and Emanuel. They all belonged to the wealthiest families in town and they had been bestowed high compliments by the Sultanate prior to this event. The 61 bandits apprehended included the bishop as well. Some of their weapons turned out to be stolen from the Turkish Army.


If you, therefore, want to equate what happened to the Armenians to what happened to the Jews, you’ve got to pretend that the Jews organized themselves in militias back in 1930, attacked and brutally tortured and killed innocent civilians and

entire villages, stole from the German army and helped the Polish army when the allied forces attacked Germany.

Since we all know that this didn’t happen, it’s fairly easy to conclude that especially Jews should be careful not to equate what happened to their people to what happened to the Armenians.

Below this post I will completely copy the paragraph about the rebelion of Van. For now let me just say that the Armenians rebeled, in agreement with the Russians, and took over the city. The German Ambassador Wangenheim explained the mayhem in his report to his Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 25, 1915: “Armenians have rebelled in Van, attacked the Muslim villages and the citadel. The Turkish forces stationed at the citadel lost 300 soldiers. As a result of street fights which lasted for days, the city is now under rebel hands. On May 17th, the city was invaded by Russians, Armenians have sided with the enemy and started slaughtering Muslims. Eighty thousand Muslims have started to run away towards Bitlis.”

The author of the book summarizes it thusly: “Immediately following the mobilization of young men into the army, Armenians started to set on fire Turks’ homes. The water works were clogged with animal corpses, water fountains and wells were polluted with the same. In an effort to provoke the majority of the population in the city, church bells were rang loudly during the call for the Muslim prayers. Oil lamps, which were lit on top of minarets to inform Moslems when it was time to break their fast during Ramadan, were shot and extinguished. Muslims were unable to go to the Mosque of Kizilcami because they were gunned on their way as the road passed through an Armenian district. Eventually, the call to prayer was no longer chanted, and the mosque became desolate, so its name was changed to Mosque under captive.”

The author also points out that Mustafa Gül has written that “2,500 Muslims were slaughtered by 10,000 Armenians after Van fell to the enemy. This estimate which does not show any reference is quite conservative even if it only reflects those killed in the city center. Hulki Sarol, and Ergünöz Akçora who published valuable documents on the subject, are both in agreement that well above 10,000 Muslims were killed.”

What’s more “[t]he Armenian newspaper Gochnak, published in the USA reports on May 14, 1915 while announcing that Van is no longer an Ottoman city, and stating that all government buildings and army barracks are set on fire that “only 1,500 Turkish women and children remain in the city” , and we know these remaining 1,500 were also wiped out later by Armenian militia.”

In order to understand better - if it’s not clear now - why the Ottomans decided to deport the Armenians of Eastern Anatolia, let me point out some atrocities committed by the Armenian forces in Van (again I’m quoting from before mentioned book):

Deputy of the Ottoman Government from Erzurum Karekin Pastirmacian and his bandits of 1200 men roamed around Muslim villages after the Russians violated their border with Turkey and assaulted women with rape, torture. Pregnant women’s bellies were cut open to remove their babies from their womb instantly killing both. Apart from killing the bride of Kales Aga, from the Village of Kayak, his sons and other family members were killed by setting them on stake piles. In the Agcaviran Village of Mus, Musa and Sadullah Beg along with 10 of their friends were killed in the Kire District when their eyes were carved out. [note 33]

“Arsiv Belgelerine göre Kafkaslarda ve Anadoluda Ermeni Mezalimi - Cilt: 1 (1906-1918) [Armenian Atrocities in the Caucasus and Anatolia - Volume 1 (1906-1918)]”, (Ankara, 1995), p. 81.


That’s not all, of course. According to many sources and accounts the Armenians committed more grave crimes:

Armenian Militia threw away up in the air a new born baby and butchered him by holding a sword right under him in the Kalafa Village belonging to Yomra sub-district of Trabzon. A lot of Muslims were ferociously murdered and their bodies were burned in the Ipsil, Haçavra and Solday Villages of Maçka. [note 34]

“Arsiv Belgelerine göre Kafkaslarda ve Anadoluda Ermeni Mezalimi - Cilt: 1 (1906-1918) [Armenian Atrocities in the Caucasus and Anatolia - Volume 1 (1906-1918)]”, (Ankara, 1995), p. 235.


And more:

Even though their chief named Molla Hasan had surrendered with a white flag, the 57 residents (27 males, 12 women, and 18 children) of the Mirgehi Village from the Mahmudin sub-district of Van were strangled to death by the Armenian Militia who took away the girls with them. [note 35]

“Ermeniler Tarafindan Yapilan Katliam Belgeleri - Cilt: 1 (1914- 1919) [Evidence of Armenian Atrocities - Volume 1 (1914- 1919)]”, (Ankara, 2001), p. 18.


More? Of course there’s more. According to Ottoman accounts, Armenians also impaled a child from the village of Çariksiz on a spit and broiled him like a (leg of a) lamb. Furthermore, “[i]n the village of Kavlit, a 7 year old girl named Fatma and a 9 year old Gülfaz were raped by their front and back numerous times.”

The son of a Muslim Turkish woman was, according to witnesses, thrown into the oven of his mother by Armenian men when she was baking bread. When the woman - Zeliha - resisted, “the bandits pushed one of her legs into the fire as well. (This woman survived and lived for years after this event.) Many children were also collected from the same village and burned on bon fires.”

According to other sources, other girls were raped by Armenians in front of their father(s). And they also “killed retired teacher Rasif Efendi’s 60 year old wife by inserting a wooden log inside her vagina.”

Besides these innocent people, Armenian militias also - according to Turkish sources and documents - “Seyhane Village’s 300 residents who were on their way to Van were rerouted to Zive Village” were “killed en-masse” by armed gunmen.

There’s more: “In another document signed by Kaymakam Mehmet and dated March 15, 1915 , it is recorded that Haci Molla Sait of Kavlit Village was forced to strangle his daughter and every time he refused one of his organs was cut off and he was thus killed.”

The events described above “were later mentioned in the book published by Government Archives in 2001.”

In this article at the NYT Halil Bey is quoted as saying: “The Mohammadan population of Armenia had become so enraged at the Russophile elements that they had finally resorted to violent acts. The Turkish Government, he added, despite its own wishes, had been powerless to check these outbursts because the land was without policemen, who had been turned into soldiers and transported to the front.”

Another book, written by Bruce Clark, published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 2006 states the following (which is of interest because it shows how the gangs of Armed Outlaws came into being):

On the central part of the Black Sea coast and in its hinterland, many Greek Orthodox Christians were deported from their homes by Turkish authorities who claimed that Christian armed bands were collaborating, or preparing to collaborate, with the Tsarist forces who had already occuDied northeastern Anatolia. After 1917, when Greece joined the anti-Ottoman Entente, it was the turn of Orthodox Christians on the west coast to be deported.

But even before these tragedies unfolded there was one fateful development that accelerated the disintegration of relations between Orthodox Christians and Muslims in Anatolia from 1908 onwards. This was the fact that for the first time, a serious effort was made to force Christians to serve in the Ottoman army, mostly in a menial capacity. The old division of labour between Muslim soldiers, and Christians who paid a disproportionate share of tax, was no longer considered acceptable by the would-be builders of a more unitary Ottoman state. Christians were not usually trusted to bear arms, so they were often assigned to backbreaking work in forced-labour gangs. Many Christian peasants left home rather than join up. Some emigrated to Russia; others joined the gangs of armed outlaws which roamed the Anatolian countryside


If all the above fails to make you understand that there’s more to the entire story than the Armenian side seems to believe there is this:

In the Eastern Anatolia, it had become usual to see dead Muslims from all ages whose bodies had been destroyed, and crowds of cut legs, arms, heads, noses (Twerdo Khlebof. Journal de Guerre du 2 Regiment d’Artillerie de forteresse Russe d’Erzeroum-Notes d’un officier Superieur Russe sur les atrocites d’Erzeroum, Traduit du manuscrit original russe,1919) (Ahmet Refik Altinay. Iki Komite ve Iki Kital. Istanbul, 1919;p.71-72). The bodies of women displayed overt signs of violation by force. Russian Lieutenant Colonel Griyaznof reported that gun rockets were installed into the vaginas of these violated women bodies (Twerdo Khlebof, the same reference).

The Armenians ejected sulphuric acid to the faces of the Turkish folk, fired their houses and killed them using knife and bullet, in Gaziantep (Report of English Ambassador Henry D. Barnham in Halep, dated 16 November 1895).

On August 16, 1905, the Armenians killed all the Turks and Muslims who lived in Shusha, a town in Azarbaijan and engaged in commerce in the Armenian section of the town (News that appeared in the issue of September 6, 1905 of the newspaper Novoye Obozrenye)

In Trabzon, the massacred Muslim folk had been filled into wells and the bodies of people whose arms and legs had been plucked were thrown into the gardens. The mosques were made dirty with feces and even the fruit trees were felled (Telegram of Captain Ahmet Refik, 1 May, 1918).

Papazian the Armenian historian declared that the real purpose of these revolts were to force the European countries to interefere with the Ottoman’s internal affairs.


Why did I write this post, some may ask. The reason is simple: it’s of vital importance for all of you to know, to realize, what caused the Ottomans to deport the Armenians of Eastern Anatolia (remember that the ones living in Istanbul, for instance, were’t touched). If you’re interested in the debate about whether or not what happened to the Armenians constitutes genocide, and if you want to know what exactly happened in the dark years of World War I and why, you have to understand the (historical) context.

In this regard it’s also important to point out that the Turks at this point in their history felt like the whole world was coming down on them. This mighty people who -pounding on the gates of Vienna- had all of Europe trembling just a few centuries earlier were now no longer one of the “Big Guys.” Now the Christian Powers of Europe, were the “great powers” and the Turks felt themselves surrounded and beseiged and were beside themselves trying to figure out how to handle the situation.

What’s more, the information above - and below - may also help you understand the Turks better. This is a highly sensitive issue to them for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that the suffering of the Turks is completely ignored in the bigger debate. The world doesn’t care about what happened to their ancestors, to their relatives. They only talk about what happened to the Armenians and forget that Turks suffered tremendously as well.

My purpose, then, is to expose the fact that there are two sides to this story.

Thirdly, it might help you understand the nature and thoughts and ideology of the Ottoman rulers. Especially when you combine the information I just gave you with the following: Armen Garo (Dr. Pasdermadjian) - Armenian leader - wrote (in Why the Armenians should be Free: Armenia’s Role in the Present War) that the Ottoman government offered the Armenians the following (after Armenians had already formed militias): “If the Armenians,- the Turkish as well as the Russian Armenians - would give active co-operation to the Turkish armies, the Turkish government under a German guarantee would promise to create after the war an autonomous Armenia (made up of Russian Armenia and the three Turkish vilayets of Erzeroum, Van, and Bitlis) under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire.”

Info: published by Hairenik Publishing Company, Boston, 1918 and not as difficult as some may assume to get your hands on.

If you hate a race and want to exterminate it, would you offer them practically a state of their own a few months before?

It’s time for people to start paying attention to the Turkish side of the story. Wouldn’t you say?

For more I also refer you to this website and this document.

Below follows the part about Van

At a time when Turkish Armed Forces were engaged in fierce battles in Chanakkale, Armenians volunteered to collaborate with their enemies French and British on the South and obeyed the Russian army commanders in the East. It is understood from the telegraph sent to the Russian Ambassador by Temren, the Russian Council in Van, that planning of the Russian invasion started in 1908. Temren asks how he should explain the existence of Russian nationals among the 12 Armenian rebels caught in the underground water systems. The reply he received is not yet known to us.

Shortly afterwards, many adventurous Armenians posing as educators, priests, deputies, inspectors, etc. gathered in the Tashnak headquarters of Van, which the entire world knows is administered and manipulated by Russians.

The ringleaders were Ishan and Aram. Both of these adventurers were Caucasus Armenians. Aram Manukian was born in Susta town of Caucasus. Upon graduating from Armenian elementary and middle schools, he settled in the mountains and adopted terrorist means. Because he had masterminded the murdering of Van Mayor Ali Riza Pasha by Alev Basyan in Batum, he was condemned to death. However, at the last minute he benefited form the general amnesty declared to honor the declaration of First Mesrutiyet [Constitutional Government]. After being pardoned, he taught for a short while, but then retreated to the mountains.

Ishan on the other hand was condemned to death for crimes he committed in Russia. But, he saved his skin by escaping into Turkey.

After declaration of the constitutional government by the Ottoman Empire, Van’s fate was left to these two. Two others who were not much different from this duo were the Van deputies in the Ottoman Assembly: Vremian and Papazian.

These ringleaders organized the Van rebellion on behalf of the Russians and closed down the religious seminary school located in the Akhdamar island of Van. They seized the seminary’s assets and assigned the Tashnak committee members to the remote villages as religious clergy. A terrorist like themselves named Yeznik was dressed as minister and assigned to the post of Catogiggos’ assistant. A bloodthirsty a minister named Daniel who escaped form Istanbul since he had run into trouble with the security forces for organizing terrorist activities in Istanbul and various cities was assigned as advisor to him.

Others who joined the team of terrorist ringleaders were; a rebel named Rafael from Iran who posed as an inspector of Armenian schools, inspector of another school named Serkis, and Vartan and Osep, ill famed bandits of Van mountains from Karçikan.

Even though these people were bandits, they found strong support. Their closest allies were the British, French, and Russian counselors. Even Ishan, who was condemned to death in Russia, achieved Russian protection once he entered into Turkey. Most important strategies were being discussed at the Russian Councilors office with these ringleaders whose level of human abuse we explained above.

Atrocities started to occur in Van, when these bandits became administrators of the Tashnak Committee.

Immediately following the mobilization of young men into the army, Armenians started to set on fire Turks’ homes. The water works were clogged with animal corpses, water fountains and wells were polluted with the same. In an effort to provoke the majority of the population in the city, church bells were rang loudly during the call for the Muslim prayers. Oil lamps, which were lit on top of minarets to inform Moslems when it was time to break their fast during Ramadan, were shot and extinguished. Muslims were unable to go to the Mosque of Kizilcami because they were gunned on their way as the road passed through an Armenian district. Eventually, the call to prayer was no longer chanted, and the mosque became desolate, so its name was changed to Mosque under captive. The situation in rural districts was more unbearable. A problem about the number of sheep turned into a riot in the Timar Township on February 14, 1915. The number of rebels exceeded one thousand at no time. Armenians armed with Russians pistols attacked the villages. They attacked the gendarmerie unit stationed at the Banat Village. The soldiers and their commander Captain Süleyman Efendi were killed.

Upon declaration of war, Russian soldiers along with Armenian volunteer battalions crossed the border into Turkish territory, and the local Armenians took up arms. They killed a few gendarmeries in the Havasor sub district, and Governor Kadi Ismail Efendi in the District of Gevas. They attacked police stations and cut telegraph lines on the Gevas – Bitlis road. They rained bullets for 8 hours on the house, where the ruler of the sub-district Akan of Mush was staying with the gendarmeries accompanying him on their way to Kümes Village. Commander of Bitlis gendarmerie regiment along with his detachment was ambushed on their way to Hizan at the Karkar Valley. Many fell, during the fight that lasted 7 hours between the Turkish armed forces and Armenian bandits. In some districts, the revered township governors’ homes were set on fire.

Rebellion spread out all over Van, when teacher Osep was captured in Sitak with a distribution list of weapons and caches enough to arm an army corps. Well organized and heavily armed Armenians who seemed to be applying a pre-determined plan started slaughtering Muslims.

They blocked roads to Van, in order to prevent aid from reaching there. General Mafolski summarizes how the Armenians devoured the small gendarmerie force stationed in Van, how the Turks formed the 5th Squadron under the leadership of Kazim Bey to send to Van, that this squadron blockaded the Armenians in the citadel and the city center and how they came to the aid of Armenians as: “Upon hearing about the Van incident, it was decided to send General Turihin’s forces, later followed by General Nikolayef’s forces to aid the Armenians”.

During the uprising, the Ottoman Bank, Management of Public Debts of the Ottoman Empire, Post Office, and the Government Center were all blown up. Hamit Aga Kislasi (army barracks) and Muslim quarters were set on fire. Russian, French hats and Ottoman style fur caps with ‘Armenia is saved’ scribbled on them were found in trenches during the searches that followed. Armenians who massacred the Muslims of Mahmudiye, converted the mosques into stables.

The District Governor informed the Central Government of the Armenian atrocities with a report dated March 15, 1915. Van Mayor Cevdet Bey’s report which was written 10 days later was more worrisome. Mayor Cevdet Bey reported on March 25, 1915, that the Armenians had undergone huge preparations to allow the Russian invasion of Van with great ease.

During this time, in Çölemerik, the Nasturians rebelled with Russian support. The limited number of Van gendarmerie forces was not sufficient to engulf the rebellion. Mayor Cevdet Bey had to retreat the night of May 16-17 under Armenian and Russian pressure. Armenians started slaughtering Muslims in the city of Van which was now invaded by Russia.

The German Ambassador Wangenheim explained the mayhem in his report to his Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 25, 1915; “Armenians have rebelled in Van, attacked the Muslim villages and the citadel. The Turkish forces stationed at the citadel lost 300 soldiers. As a result of street fights which lasted for days, the city is now under rebel hands. On May 17th, the city was invaded by Russians, Armenians have sided with the enemy and started slaughtering Muslims. Eighty thousand Muslims have started to run away towards Bitlis.

Armenians who went on a killing spree of Muslims in Van, set on fire the house districts and shopping areas to eliminate those who took shelter in their homes and work places. We learn that the city has been burning for 4 days from a report dated May 21, 1915.

Admin update: Unfortunately, the comments section had to be closed after several commenters began an intense spamming campaign immediately after this post was posted. If you cannot disagree without spamming or becoming abusive, you won’t be allowed to comment here at all.

UPDATE by MvdG: First let me say it’s a crying shame that we had to close the comment section once again. On the other hand, it’s definite proof of the strategy of the other side in the debate. Remember that Jason Steck got attacked by them for declaring that although what happened constitutes ethnic cleaning, in his opinion, it doesn’t constitute genocide. This wasn’t enough and he got attacked and bullied. Of course, I’ve been treated much more aggressively; certain Armenian groups are organizing against this blog and against me personally online, which is fine with me for I’ve dealt with more serious and worthy opponents than them. Besides, whenever they act like they do, all they do is hurt their own cause. Perhaps they will, finally, understand this and moderate their tone a bit.

What’s more, for those interested. Here are some headlines in Western newspapers, via Turkish Armenians, h/t reader Mustafa:


  1. ) “Russian Troops Linked with Greek and Armenian Civillians As The Perpetrators” New York Times, 22 Oct 1915 Read The Full Text !
  2. ) “Armenian Rebels Advance” New York Times, 6 Sep 1904 Read The Full Text !
  3. ) “5 Armenian Revolutionary Societies To Bring About The Ruin of The Ottoman Empire” New York Times, 24 Sep 1896 Read The Full Text !
  4. ) “170 Armenian Bombs Exhibited” New York Times, 23 Sep 1896 Read The Full Text !
  5. ) “Armenian Bomb Factory was Discovered Near Kassim Pasha Cemetery” New York Times, 12 Sep 1896 Read The Full Text !
  6. ) “Armenians Are pardoned : Turkish Amnesty To Zeitoun” New York Times, 14 Feb 1896 Read The Full Text !
  7. ) “Armenians Insurgents Massacred All The Turkish Soldiers at Zeitoun” New York Times, 21 Dec 1895 Read The Full Text !
  8. ) “Armenians landed with Arms and Bombs” New York Times, 15 Dec 1895 Read The Full Text !
  9. ) “Aggression Of Armenians” New York Times, 2 Nov 1895 Read The Full Text !
  10. ) ” Mosque, School and Bazaar : Armenians Set Fire ” New York Times, 15 Dec 1891 Read The Full Text !
  11. ) “Armenians Accused of Massacre. Tartar Complaints” The Times London, 19 Mar 1920 Page 15 Read The Full Text !
  12. ) “8.000+ Armenian Volunteers fighting for the Russians in Turkey” Armenian Red Cross To The Times Editor : The Times London 12 Jan 1915 Page 7 Read The Full Text !
  13. ) “Welcomed Russians in Armenia Entered Turkey” Atlanta Constitution, 1914 11 07 Read The Full Text !
  14. ) “Druse Tribe Revolt Spreads” Indiana Evening Gazette, 1925, August 13 Read The Full Text !
  15. ) “Armenian Volunteers in Victory Over Turks” Nevada State Journal, 1918, 10 05 Read The Full Text !
  16. ) “Armenian Bands Preparing To Invade Ottoman Territory” Oakland Tribune, 1905, May 10 Read The Full Text !
  17. ) “Istanbul Robert College Educated General Mesrob Azgapetian Titled For His War Services Against Turkey,” Republican And Times, 1922 02 0 Read The Full Text !
  18. ) “150 000 Armenian Volunteers in Russian Army Were The Only Forces Against Turks: Boghos Nubar, Paris” Times of London , 1919 Jan 30 Read The Full Text !
  19. ) “Threatening Letters From Armenian Revolutionionary Committee” Liverpool Courier, 1897 08-23 Read The Full Text !
  20. ) “Bomb Outrage in Constantinople Eight Armenians Arrested” Liverpool Courier, 1897 08-21 Read The Full Text !
  21. ) “Armenian Raiders From Turkish Territory on Turco-Persian Frontiers” Bristol Times And Mirror, 1897-09-29 Read The Full Text !
  22. ) “Reported Armenian Aggression - Terrible Barbarities” Liverpool Courier, 1897-08-10 Read The Full Text !
  23. ) “Armenians Aid Russians Against Turks” Tyro Herald, 1914 12-10 Read The Full Text !
  24. ) “Four Hundred Cleveland Armenians Waiting to Call Back to Armenia To Fight Turkey” Lima Daily News, 1914 11-02 Read The Full Text !
  25. ) “Mahommedans Plan To Aid Co-Religionists - Barbarities By Armenians” NYT, 1905 June 26 Read The Full Text !
  26. ) “Four Villages Reduced To Ashes by Armenians” Lima Times Democrat 1906 Sep 19 Read The Full Text !
  27. ) “Armenians Join Russians and Scatter Turks Near Feitun” Washington Post, 1914 November 13 Read The Full Text !
  28. ) “Armenians Fight For Russia” Reno Evening Gazette London 1915 Jan 7 Read The Full Text !
  29. ) Russians Take Turks’ Fort Near Erzerum, In Pursuit of Turkish Cavalry Armenian Students Enthusiastic Volunteers in Petrograd” NYT, 1914 November Read The Full Text !
  30. ) “Armenians Fighting Turks, Besieging Van Others Operating Turkish Army’s Rear” ” NYT, 1914 November 7 Read The Full Text !
  31. ) “Russians Win Van District” New Oxford, 1916-24-2 Read The Full Text !
  32. “(Armenians) From America To Fight” NYT, 1915 January 8 Read The Full Text !
  33. ) “Armenians Join Russians” Indianapolis Star, 1915-1-08 Read The Full Text !
  34. ) “Armenians Aiding Russians in Campaign Against Turkey” Fort Wayne News, 1914-11-07 Read The Full Text !
  35. ) “Armenians Active in European War” Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, 1914-11-13 Read The Full Text !
  36. ) “Armenian Volunteers Are To Increased to 15.000″ Daily Kennebec Journal, 1914 May 28Read The Full Text !
  37. ) “Armenians in Revolt” Centralia Enterprise and Tribune, 1895-11-12 Read The Full Text !
  38. ) NYT: 18 Oct 1915 : “Dangerous Rebel Armenians Betray Their Rulers, Take Refuge in Christian Missions : The Kind of Armenians A Turk Knows” Read The Full Text !
  39. ) NYT: 22 Nov 1915 : “Rebel Turk Djemal Pasha Orders 2 Turkish Band Chiefs Be Hanged For ill Treatment of Armenians” Read The Full Text !
  40. ) NYT: 14 Nov 1920 : “Armenians Complain of French” Read The Full Text !
  41. ) NYT: 13 Nov 1914 : “Turkish Armenians Refuse To Join Turkish Army - Ready To Join Russian Invaders for Armed Revolt” Read The Full Text !
  42. ) NYT: 2 May 1928 : “Huncak (Agitates Against Turkish Rule) Editor S Sapah-Gulian Dead”Read The Full Text !
  43. ) NYT: 15 Dec 1903 : “Armenian Revolt Likely” Read The Full Text !
  44. ) NYT: 4 Aug 1940 “Armenian Military Hero, General Sebooh Arshak Nersesian, Who Fought Against The Turks In 1920, Died At 66″ Read The Full Text !
  45. ) NYT: 22 Jun 1935 “Armenian Patriot Miran Sevasly Dead: He Helped Raising 10.000 Armenians To Fight Against Turkish Front In Armenian Legion ” Read The Full Text !
  46. ) NYT: 8 Jan 1915 “Armenians From America, Arrived In Tiflis, To Serve With The Russian Army Against Turkey” Read The Full Text !
  47. ) NYT: 9 Oct 1915 “Why We Aid Armenians: It’s Because We’re Bought by Anglo-French Gold” Read The Full Text !
  48. ) NYT 13 May 1947 “James Chankalian, Won Honors, in Organising 300 Armenian Volunteers To Fight Against Turkey” Read The Full Text !
  49. ) NYT 29 Sep 1915: “Armenians Brought Reprisals on Themselves by Trying to Stir Up Rebellion Against Turkey” “ARMENIANS’ OWN FAULT-Bernstorff” Read The Full Text !
  50. ) “Turkish Garrisons Attacked by Armenian Rebels” The Washington Post, 1904 Aug 10 Read The Full Text !
  51. ) “Armenian Rebels Killed 20, Wounded 23, in Turkey” The News, 1904 May 2 Read The Full Text !
  52. ) “Armenians Aiding Russians In Campaign Against Turkey” Fort Wayne News, 1914 Nov 7 Read The Full Text !


Nov 10th, 2007
Source: The Van Der Galiën Gazette




Armenian Atrocities Against Muslim Turks Part: II

Below follows the translation of an article which appeared in the Dutch newspaper the Algemeen Handelsblad from Tuesday, May 1925, 1920. Here is the original article :
Please Click On The Images To Enlarge
. .



We have received the following interesting letter from one of our staff members in the Balkans, the content of which gives a different view on the Armenian question from the customary one in Western Europe. We have the greatest trust in the objectivity of this staff member. The way in which he relates his story contains the proof that he is deserving of this trust- and we have therefore printed his correspondence unchanged and without comment.

Just as under the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid abhorrent reports of mass slaughtering of the Armenians have been coming in again from Cilicia, as a result of which the nerves of the dulled world are once again shocked. In absolutely no way is it my intention to justify slaughter, no matter by whom it is performed, and to try and protect the most heinous of all murders, [that is] murder committed on religious grounds. But there are two sides to every truth and when the Armenian press-propaganda manages to exploit the Armenian bloodbath in Cilicia against the Turks in the sense that she thus is trying to realize the complete destruction of Turkey by the Entente, then I am of the opinion that it is in the interest of truth to investigate whether truly only the beastliness of the Turks is to blame for these mass murders.

I believe that I have some right to state this since, during the war, I had the opportunity to see Turkey, in a manner of speaking, in her negligee and of all places there where the Armenian and the Turkish tribes fought each other with the bitterest of hatreds.

In the spring of the memorable year 1918, when as a result of the Russian defeat, Turkey started the offensive again and the flag of the Prophet waved victoriously in alien countries, which had not happened since the peace of Kücük Kaynarca, I happened to find myself in the Armenian-Russian border region and so witnessed a part of the Turkish advance in the area that was predominantly inhabited by Armenians.

Whosoever knows what waging war is all about will have to admit that there is no better opportunity for getting to know a country and a people than during a war, where all human passions are expressed with violence, where the thin layer of culture and pretense disappears before the higher necessity of waging war. At the time I happened to find myself the only European in the critical surroundings and so I have been perhaps the only European witness of in what manner the events during the Turkish advance in Russian-Armenia occurred and how these two people related to one another.

Before I started my journey I already favored the Armenian side. During my stay in Constantinople, in the years 1916/17 I had already heard plenty of revolting details on the Armenian mass murders in Turkish Armenia and the Europeans, who were more or less well informed about the events in Armenia, therefore attributed blame to the Turks alone and they regarded the Armenians as the innocent sacrifices to [/victims of] the Turkish religious hatred and to the bestial pleasures of a barbaric people.

My relationship with the Turks was good enough to also discuss with them this difficult issue that many a European did not even dare to bring up. The position taken up by the Turks was to strengthen me in my convictions that the Armenians were innocent and that the Turks were to blame for everything. For with a quaintly brusque rejection I was answered by every Turk whom I had asked for information with regard to the pros and cons of the Armenian question: “Yes, everything is true what people say about us. We have killed millions of Armenians; it was a horrible bloodbath, but we were within our right and we are only accountable to ourselves for that.” I did not succeed in finding out further details, or grounds for these horrible acts. And so I could only arrive at the conclusion … In the released passions of the war the religious fanaticism towards the Christians was given a free reign wherever there was opportunity. And that happened in the highlands of Armenia, where, cut off from the entire world, the Armenians were entirely in the hands of the Turks.

In the spring of 1918 I arrived in Trabzon from where, as is known, runs the only passable road to the interior of Upper Armenia.

In 1915 Trabzon itself was witness to an Armenian bloodbath and three years later the Greek- and the Levantine Europeans still managed to relate to me in every detail the indescribable scenes of horror that occurred within the ancient city walls of Trabzon in 1915. How the streets of Trabzon ran red with the blood of Armenians! How the Armenian quarters went up in smoke and flames and that for days and weeks after the bloodbath the bodies of children continued to wash up against the ancient Constantine Dam in the harbour of Platana. I saw ruined stretches [of the city] and people told me that these had once been the Armenian quarters. People showed me Christian Churches. These were the Churches of the Armenians. People raked over dung heaps and bones and decomposed bodies appeared. These are the bodies of Armenians, people told me.

These are such awful realizations that one is never able to forget them and they evoke the same wish with everyone: God preserve every one of us for this barbarity and for the religious hatred of Moslems!

But a Prior of the Franciscan monks, a simple old priest, who undoubtedly stood on the side of the Christians, shook his head, when I started to curse the Turks. “You are mistaken”, he said, “the Turks are not the only ones to blame. Yes, someone who comes from Europe and who wishes to judge Asia with a European understanding will [undoubtedly] condemn the crime of the extermination of this people. But it is not the entire truth that you have seen and heard. You ought to look upon these things through Asian eyes and have understanding for the fact that here two peoples have been going to battle with a hatred and bitterness that are centuries old. One has two mentalities here, the Turkish and the Armenian and both mentalities were saying that one of them had to go down. Everything was arraigned against them and they were made to suffer defeat. But are you convinced of it that the Armenians, under the same circumstances, would not have done or in fact did exactly the same!? I have my reports from missions, sent forth by my order in Beyazit, Van, Erzurum, Erzincan; from the reports I know that in 1915 when the war with Russia started, it was the Armenians who, behind the Turkish Army, were fanning the revolution and who were depopulating Turkish villages and settlements and razed them to the ground. The subsequent events that happened in Turkey afterwards were only the consequences of this first hostile attitude of the Armenians. I admit that horrible things have happened and that never before so much blood was spilt. But the Armenians were not [exactly] innocent in how this bloodbath came about. And when the Turks went further than they had to, then the blame for that does not solely lie with the Turks, but with the mentality of Asia, where the hatred for a people runs deeper than with the European peoples and where war assumes beastly shapes.”

Just look at Trabzon, for instance. You have seen the burned down Armenian quarters, but did you also see the burned down Turkish quarters? Did you happen to pay attention to the graves of the Turkish population that were still fresh? No! You can see that when the Armenians found themselves in the same position as the Turks, when they advanced victoriously under the protection of the Russian Army, the same spectacle occurred as in the year of 1915, but that time it was the Turks who got it in the neck. Wherever the Armenians found a Turk he was mercilessly hacked down, wherever they saw a Turkish Mosque it was plundered and set on fire. Turkish quarters went up in smoke and flames just like the Armenian quarters. You are presently about to travel round the country and you will still be able to follow in the footsteps of war: Bayburt, Erzincan, Erzurum, and Kars. You will still see smoldering heaps of rubble; you will still smell blood and corpses, but it so happens that these were Turkish corpses.”

The Franciscan Father only told the truth. For months I traveled all across Armenia and Kurdistan and I found confirmation of what people had been telling me. After the withdrawal of the Russian Army, which followed after the Russian peace, the troops of the so-called Armenian Army, took over the military operations in the occupied Turkish areas. During the Russian occupation the Russians protected the lives and properties of the Turks. What happened after the withdrawal of the Russians is heart rendering. The smallest Turkish settlements were killed down to the last man by the gangs of the Generals Adronits and Murat and Churches were destroyed down to the very last stone.

Back then the Armenian expectations were still highly strung. Their plans reached far, encompassed the entire Turkish Empire. And they were hoping that they could settle the score with the old hereditary enemy, down to the last man, the last woman, the last child. I have seen ruins in Erzincan where hundreds of bodies of strangled Turks lay amidst the rubble. I have had light shone down wells that were full of bodies. I have seen with my own eyes that graves were opened in which the bodies of men and women were thrown haphazardly across one another, hundreds of them. Who did this? Those victorious Armenians.

These spectacles accompanied me on the distant and long road through Upper-Armenia, Kurdistan right up into Russian-Armenia. And is it a wonder that the Turks, when they in their turn became the victors, exacted revenge, repaid evil with evil? I have to admit that during the Turkish advance to Russian-Armenia the murdering was continued by the Turks. On the other side of the border of the Sarikamish the Armenian settlements, of which there were many, were depopulated with the aid of fire and iron. The most bitter of racial hatred was raging against the former victors, presently those who were conquered, in a bestial form, a wild country particular to Asia. Our European brains fail to comprehend this unrelenting hatred that sets people against people whipping them into a frenzy in which the worst atrocities are committed. But we should not forget that Upper-Armenia is a country the civilization of which can be compared to the primitive culture of the European peoples. The peoples there do not form nations, but rather hordes. And just like in the primitive situation of peoples a meeting of two hordes meant the annihilation of one them, thus in the mountains around Great Ararat, people’s minds are still not directed towards coexistence, but rather towards destruction. In the bare mountains of Upper-Armenia there exists no compromise, only a fight to the death. The victor will live all the conquered can do is die.

During my stay in Alexandropol (Gümrü) the following happened, which casts a good light on the mentality of the people there. From the direction of the group of mountains, the Alagöz, people one day heard the thunder of canons being fired. The Armenian population, which lived in fear behind the Turkish front line, explained this rumble of canons as that the English were advancing against the Turks. And they were under the conviction that within several hours the Turks would be beaten. Immediately there arose a rebellion behind the Turkish front line, and the weak Turkish posts in the Armenian villages were tortured to death in an ingenious manner. But the English did not come. A detachment of Kafkas-Armenians had tried to break through the thin Turkish front. Hence the reason for the rumbling canons. And when the fight was over only a couple of hours later there followed the revenge. The villages, in which Turkish soldiers had been murdered, were destroyed. Can one then say that the Armenians were not to blame?

In Alexandropol itself, in a purely Armenian city, where, despite the Turkish occupation, the Armenians quietly continued to do their work, I often came in contact with leading Armenian figures. The were continually living under a terrible fear that one day due to an ill-considered act of Armenian gangs the Turks would take revenge and that they would then be among the first to bear this revenge. A number of the Armenian people, the best part, were in favor of a peaceful coexistence with the Turks. For it so happened that they were more or less compelled to live together. And in that case only tolerance could put a stop to the murdering. But the greater number of the people and the gangs, the so-called soldiers, did not wish to know of peace. Their slogan was: “Them or us, one will have to go down.”

The men, who preached tolerance and reconciliation, were cursed by the greater part of the Armenian people. People in Armenian circles openly said to me: “At present those Turks are in control. But soon we will be lord and master again and then we will not suffer a single Turk that falls into our hands to live. No agreement is possible between us. We have a score to settle that is centuries old. Our fight is as old as our people. This fight started on the day on which the Turks entered our lands and it will last until the day on which they will be brought down. We do not wish to have reconciliation. Cursed are they who befriend Turks.”

Such was the mood in a time in which the Armenians had no hope ever to be freed from the Turks. It looked as if the victorious crescent would be making the whole of Russian-Armenia her own.

With this in mind one can judge what happened when the Turks were forced to withdraw and the Turkish settlements once again fell into the hands of the Armenians.

A comparison is only possible between civilized peoples. With the peoples of the wildest [part of] Asia there only exist hatred and destruction. “The Turks are guilty. They have murdered [people].” However, are the Armenians less guilty, who also murdered as soon as they had the power to do so?

One can only judge Asia with Asian eyes.

Nov 13th, 2007 by Michael van der Galiën


121 Responses to “Armenian Atrocities Against Muslim Turks Part II”
on November 13, 2007 at 10:56 pm
1 Nihat

The report overplays the Asiatic difference explanation. Must have been a common theme in Europe & West at the time. (Wait… maybe it still is; just remembering the age-old hatred explanations for Arab-Israeli, Sunni-Shia conflicts and the like.) “One of us has to go” was a relatively new invention at the time.

on November 13, 2007 at 11:00 pm
2 Michael van der Galiën

Nihat: of course. You have to understand that it was written in a day and time that Europeans basically considered themselves to be better than all the rest. Notice how, as far as he’s concerned, the Ottomans weren’t even civilized as such.

But what makes this article important is that it points out that there truly are two sides to this story. The Armenians did horrible things, like the Turkish gangs did.

It was not a one-way street, to say the very least.

on November 13, 2007 at 11:14 pm
3 Nihat

Sure Michael. I hear you. Furthermore, I consider myself immunized against such religious or civilizational bias on this particular topic, that is, I am not offended by it. Why? Because the first book I read on the subject was Abraham Hartunian’s “Neither to Weep, Nor to Laugh.” You have to give it a read, and you’d understand what I mean.

on November 13, 2007 at 11:15 pm
4 Michael van der Galiën

What’s it about?

on November 13, 2007 at 11:23 pm
5 John Anderson

This article does not do much to reinforces its premise–specifically, the main “argument” that Armenians should not have supported the Russians during the war. (Let’s keep in mind that the group which actively supported the Russians was still just a relatively small number of people, due to lack of real organization or weapons).

Perhaps this article fails to keep in mind the Hamidian massacres of 1894-1896 in which 80,000 - 300,000 Armenians were murdered by the Ottoman empire in an attempt by the Ottomans to reinforce their territorial integrity. Is this not a reason for the Armenians to have lived in perpetual fear?

With events such as this having taken place throughout the 4000-year presence of the Armenians in the Asia Minor region, can the Armenians be blamed for supporting the opposite side during WWI, to prevent a repeat of past events?

Does a small number of Armenians actively supporting Russia during the war really justify the estimated 1.5 million innocent (read: most of them not involved with any form of “revolt”) Armenian deaths?

Did Turks also die during this time period? Probably, but the statements from a “Franciscan” monk in the article do not really provide any numerical figures for us to put things into perspective. Also, the deaths of Turkish soldiers in some villages really doesn’t compare to the enormous number of innocent Armenians massacred by the Ottoman soldiers in 1915-1923.

Are the Turks the only ones to blame? Well, according to their government they are completely innocent and all the deaths of the Armenians were just an “unfortunate” event. This extreme stance their government takes is enough to make anyone familiar with Eurasian or Indo-European history to realize that facts are being twisted–especially considering their Ottoman past which had its fair share of killing people of different races such as the Greeks, etc.

Note: My comment is not meant to “bash” the article; I do agree that it gives a different view of things–however, it does not give any proportional scope and it makes it seem that the the Armenians in Turkey (which had little to no organization, as can be seen in the article where it mentions the rumbling of cannons which were assumed to be the English coming) caused any outcomes which were in anyway proportionate to the actions the Ottoman turks took.

on November 13, 2007 at 11:25 pm
6 Nihat

Oh, Hartunian was a priest/pastor (?) who survived those deadly years, and wrote his memoirs, I believe, sometime in the thirties in America. If I am not mistaken, Guenter Lewy talks about him and his book in “A Disputed Genocide.”

on November 14, 2007 at 12:24 am
7 Paul

It should also be noted that this aritcle was from years after 1915 and deals at least in part with the Turkish incursion into present-day Armenia (where the genocide did not take place). This phase of time is more aptly considered a war, whether one of aggression or defense, by Turkey against Armenia. This was not the same as 1915 because it was the Turkish army vs. newly independent republic of Armenia army, which while still being quite an unbalanced match-up, was not the same as the Ottoman Empire vs. it’s Armenian people in 1915. The army of this time did not have the same control over the people in this area or ability to deport them en masse because it was not Turkish territory nor citizenry. I don’t see what this account of war does to prove or disprove what happened in a different part of the region to a different group of people (though ethnic cousins). I believe your point is “look, there was violence on both sides, therefore the deportations were justified”. Sorry, but you can’t do that 3 years after the fact. The whole Turkish thesis is based on a perceived Armenian massive uprising throughout the empire all at once in 1914 or 1915 which caused the deportations to be necessary a few years later. This notion also ignores events like the Hamidian massacre which held to explain why these pockets of resistence existed, along with the fact that the Ottoman Empire’s human right record is hardly synonymous with that of western nations today (as comparisons are often drawn between Armenians in Turkey and Mexicans in America all suddenly rising up one day and “stabbing it in the back. Last I checked there were no wholesale massacres of over 100,000 Mexicans in the past decade for no good reason except creating fear).

Meanwhile no one ever answers my question of even if the whole population was in full revolution (which is of course a ridiculous notion not supported by anything except the work of quack historian Halacioglu), what threat were the Armenian women and children of Anatolia to their Turkish neighbors? Michael instead of handpicking special reports from years after the events to retroactively prove something didn’t happen years before, I’d be much more greatful if this question was answered for me becaues as of yet no Turk I’ve asked ever has.

on November 14, 2007 at 1:01 am
8 Harout Kassabian

The Armenians lived under Turkish rule for hundreds of years, and they were ill-treated for far too long. They, along with the Greeks and the Jews, were heavly taxed, had no voice in government, no fair representation in courts, and in general were treated badly by the common Turk because they were not Muslim (this was called the millet system).

The writer says “People in Armenian circles openly said to me” that they would readily crush the Turks, etc etc.
First of all, he is attributing a quotation to a group of people, and is obviously writing a general statement and secondly, how many of them actually meant it? Bein oppressed you entire life creates anger within you, what caused the Turks anger? Religion? Secondly, not every Armenian revolted against the Ottaman governemt. there was a huge divide, and even today, about how to deal with the Armenians living conditions within the Ottaman Empire. On one side, they called for a revolution (which meant physically fighting the Ottamans for lands and rights) and on the other side believed that they should instead depend on getting their voice heard through politics, with no violence whatsoever.

Using the word murderers in your last sentence is wrong because you make it sound like the Armenians were itching to wipe out the Turkish race. We gained a military power quite quickly, but we used that military strenght to get our land back, as opposed to going through a crumbling Ottaman Empire and wipe out its entire population.

The main issue surrounding the Armenian Question isn’t who was more inhuman, who suffered more losses, or which side was right. The fact is, without any arguement, that the Armenians were a large minority in the Ottaman Empire and were very active as a group. The Turks wanted the Ottaman Empire to be a nation for Turks, and Turks only and so they went ahead an killed any Armenian they saw. Yes, there was Armenian retaliation, and yes Turkish lives were lost, BUT we werent killing Turks based on the fact that they were muslim (as your title suggests). Rather, it was retaliation to the evil acts commited by the Turks.

The Armenians werent actively, or even thinking about revolting and fighting the Ottamans up until the end of the 19th century, so it is clear that this chain reaction of events started with the Turks and any response by the Armenian’s, was brought on by the Turks, not the other way around as is indicated in the article

on November 14, 2007 at 1:15 am
9 John

DIVIDE AND CONQUER
by Christopher Hitchens

Slate Magazine
October 29, 2007 Monday

In the past century, the principal victims of genocide or attempted genocide have been, or at least have prominently included, the Armenians, the Jews, and the Kurds. During most of the month of October, events and politicians both conspired to set these three peoples at one another’s throats. What is there to be learned from this fiasco for humanity?

To recapitulate: At the very suggestion that the U.S. House of Representatives might finally pass a long-proposed resolution recognizing the 1915 massacres in Armenia as a planned act of “race murder” (that was U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau’s term for it at a time when the word genocide had not yet been coined), the Turkish authorities redoubled their threat to invade the autonomous Kurdish-run provinces of northern Iraq. And many American Jews found themselves divided between their sympathy for the oppressed and the slaughtered and their commitment to the state interest of Israel, which maintains a strategic partnership with Turkey, and in particular with Turkey’s highly politicized armed forces.

To illuminate this depressing picture, one might begin by offering a few distinctions. In 1991, in northern Iraq, where you could still see and smell the gassed and poisoned towns and villages of Kurdistan, I heard Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan say that Kurds ought to apologize to the Armenians for the role they had played as enforcers for the Ottomans during the time of the genocide. Talabani, who has often repeated that statement, is now president of Iraq. (I would regard his unforced statement as evidence in itself, by the way, in that proud peoples do not generally offer to apologize for revolting crimes that they did not, in fact, commit.) So, of course, it was upon him, both as an Iraqi and as a Kurd, that Turkish guns and missiles were trained last month.

And here, a further distinction: Many of us who are ardent supporters of Kurdish rights and aspirations have the gravest reservations about the so-called Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK. This is a Stalinist cult organization, roughly akin to a Middle Eastern Shining Path group. (Its story, and the story of its bizarre leader Abdullah Ocalan, are well told in Aliza Marcus’ new book Blood And Belief: The PKK and the Kurdish Fight for Independence.) The attempt of this thuggish faction to exploit the new zone of freedom in Iraqi Kurdistan is highly irresponsible and plays directly into the hands of those forces in the Turkish military who want to resurrect Kemalist chauvinism as a weapon against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, which it sees as soft on Kurdish demands.

There’s a paradox here, in that the uniformed satraps who claim to defend Turkish secularism are often more reactionary than the recently re-elected and broadly Islamist Justice and Development Party. The generals vetoed a meeting earlier this year between Abdullah Gulnow president of Turkey and then foreign ministerand the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq. This alone shows that they are using the border question and the PKK as a wedge issue for domestic politics.

This is enough complexity to be going on with, but Congress and the executive branch have been handling it with appalling amateurishness.

The Armenian resolution is an old story. I can remember when it was sponsored by Sen. Robert Dole and stonewalled by President Bill Clinton. What a shame that we didn’t get it firmly on the record decades ago. But now a House and a White House that can barely bring themselves to utter the word Kurdish are both acting as if nothing mattered except Turkish amour-propre.And, as a consequence, the United States and its friends are being squeezed by Ankara instead ofto put it shortlythe other way around. This is disgracefully undignified.

In 2003, the Turkish authorities, who had been parasitic on American and NATO support for several decades, refused to allow our bases in Turkey to be employed for a “northern front” in the removal of Saddam Hussein unless their own forces were allowed to follow us into Iraqi Kurdistan. The Bush administration quite rightly refused this bargain. The damage done by Turkey’s subsequent fit of pique was enormousnobody ever mentions it, but if the coalition had come at Baghdad from two directions, a number of Sunni areas would have got the point (of irreversible regime change) a lot sooner than they did.

The rogue PKK presence was not then a hot issue; Turkey simply wished to pre-empt the emergence of any form of Iraqi Kurdish self-government that could be an incitement or encouragement to its own huge Kurdish minority.

So, let us be clear on a few things. The European Union, to which Turkey has applied for membership with warm American support, has insisted on recognition of Kurdish language rights and political rights within Turkey. We can hardly ask for less. If the Turks wish to continue lying officially about what happened to the Armenians, then we cannot be expected to oblige them by doing the same (and should certainly resent and repudiate any threats against ourselves or our allies that would ensue from our Congress affirming the truth). Then there remains the question of Cyprus, where Turkey maintains an occupation force that has repeatedly been condemned by a thesaurus of U.N. resolutions ever since 1974. It is not our conduct that should be modified by Turkey’s arrogance; we do a favor to the democratization and modernization of that country by insisting that it get its troops out of Cyprus, pull its forces back from the border with Iraq, face the historic truth about Armenia, and in other ways cease to act as if the Ottoman system were still in operation.

on November 14, 2007 at 1:31 am
10 Gökalp

Quoting paul” what threat were the Armenian women and children of Anatolia to their Turkish neighbors?”

“Because They were supplying the Armed gangs”. You can not defeat a Guerrilla style force without cutting its supplies. There is even no need to argue about that…

Apart from this obvious reason here are some other examples why Armenian women were relocated.

****
The attempt on Sultan Abdul Hamid’s life comprised “The Yildiz Incident” (July 21, 1905), resulting from a decision by the Dashnak committee to extend their activities to Istanbul; Krisdapor Mikayelian proposed doing so at the Sofia Congress (Jan. 1904), where the idea was accepted. Mikayelian first went to Greece, getting in touch with Zaruhi, previously sent there. Zaruhi was a woman.

Another Dashnak (Sapho Torkom, a.k.a. Constantine Kabulian or Torosian) arrived afterwards in Greece with a 35-year-old from Tiflis, Marie Anchkova, a woman. The group was joined by two Armenian women, one named Robina, 65 years old. Her “code name” was “Robina Fein,” as it said on her forged passport, where she posed as a Russian Jew. (Mikayelian’s alter ego was “Samuel Fein.”)

In Istanbul, preparations were being made for the assassination attempt. Apart from Mikayelian (who would be killed in Bulgaria with another Dashnak while testing the bombs), one of the other major conspirators was Joris from Belgium, and his wife. Another was Marie Zein, a woman.

The plot was a failure, and some of the conspirators, including Sapho Torkom, were expelled from the Dashnak Committee on account of inefficiency, for abandoning their associates in Istanbul, and for being concerned with their own safety alone.

The summary of the report in French prepared by the Investigation Committee (under the leadership of Nedjib Melhame) contained information about the plotters, and among the women:

3) Robina Fein, also known as Nadejda Datalian, daughter of Wolf, an Armenian girl from the Caucasus, her real name is unknown. She participated in the plans and activities of the Committee in Istanbul and played an active role in the explosion of the bomb in the carriage.

4) Marie Zein, Sophi Arecho (fugitive), born of a German father in the Caucasus, wife of the murderer Rips, participated in the activities of the Committee and the assassination attempt of July 21, under the name of Sophi Rips. She selected Robina Fein for the above purpose and brought her to Istanbul.

Anna Nellens (fugitive), wife of Joris. Collaborated with the members of the Committee in preparing the assassination.

14) Marie Anshanev or Terez Askova, of Tiflis, her real name is unknown. Helped the Committee and assisted in the assassination attempt.

(Joris was condemned to capital punishment but was later pardoned by the sultan, given five hundred liras, and sent to Europe as a secret agent against the Armenians.)

The French report is “Enquitê sur l’attendant commis dans la jounée de 21 Juillet 1905 à l’issue la cérémonie de Selamlik,” Travail de la Commission Speciale. From “The Armenians in History and the Armenian Question,” Esat Uras, 1988, pp. 780-87.

*****
From The Newark Daily Advocate, April 8, 1896

The Hero Women of Zeitun.

The character of the Turkish soldiers and the struggle in Armenia are shown in a light not to be forgotten by a telegram lately appearing in the London News. The Armenians of Zeitun were held in check by a garrison of Turkish soldiers quartered partly in a fort upon a hill, partly in the town itself. The soldiers assaulted and insulted the Armenian women. It was then the Armenians resolved to avenge themselves. They poured kerosene into the source of the only water supply for the garrison. This soon brought the garrison to terms. After three days the Turkish soldiers in the fort capitulated to the Armenians of Zeitun. While the Armenian men were attacking the fort the Armenian women were forced to defend themselves from the brutal horde in town. These amazons seized axes and rushed upon the soldiers. The men, thrown into confusion, gave up their arms. But fresh Turkish troops arrived at Zeitun. All the Armenian men and boys capable of bearing arms were yet away fighting. Inspired with a courage that seems superhuman, the Armenian women rushed with uplifted axes also upon these. The dispatch to The News says they chopped the Turkish soldiers to pieces and threw their bodies over the cliff. They were driven to this desperate deed by the outrages they suffered at the hands of the Turkish soldiers. So long as history remains to be written this bloody, yet heroic deed of the Armenian women will be told

(This news is from the Zeitun rebelion a part of the so called “hamidian Massacres” where the Armenin bands razed 3 Turkish villages and killed the population entirely and then started bombarding the Western press with massacre stories.

One thinks at firts the Soldiers killed by women must be a hand full. No Ottoman archives report that 300 soldiers were killed.

This is also a very good example how the Western press gives the news. Some Armenian sends a Telegram of massacre stories or “Armenian heroes” and it makes in to the headlines with a stinking biased tone. “Heroes”…? it should rather be “Butchers”.)

*****
“…Zeki Pasha had come down to the station, evidently trying to escape, when some of these Armenian women recognized him and attacked him savagely. To save his life, the British soldiers locked him up…”

Rev. Ernest Partridge, “The Pensacola Party and Relief Work in Turkey,” Armenian Affairs, Summer-Fall 1950, Vol. I, No. 3-4, pp. 293-297
*****

“The women, armed with axes, guns, daggers, and sticks, chased the Turkish prisoners who were escaping, and killed most of them, only 56 of them were able to escape.”

Diary of Aghasi [or Aghassi], leader of 1895 Zeitun rebellion, p. 289 [as cited in “The Armenian File”]
*****

Not to mention numerous Women Armenian Fedayis who are among Armenian National heroes now.

on November 14, 2007 at 1:36 am
11 Richard

The great historian Arnold Toynbee published a book in 1917 entitled “The Murderous Tyranny of the Turks”. The book has been scanned and the original can be read here:

http://www.archive.org/details/themurderoustyra00toyniala

“THE ARMENIAN ATROCITIES OF 1915. (pages 15-16)

Only a third of the two million Armenians in Turkey have survived, and that at the price of apostatising to Islam or else of leaving all they had and fleeing across the frontier. The refugees saw their women and children die by the roadside, and apostacy too, for a woman, involved the
living death of marriage to a Turk and inclusion
in his harem.

The other two-thirds were deported that is, they were marched away from their homes in gangs, with no food or clothing for the journey, in fierce heat and bitter cold, hundreds of miles over rough mountain roads. They were plundered and tormented by their guards, and by subsidised bands of brigands, who descended on them in the wilderness, and with whom their guards fraternised. Parched with thirst, they were kept away from the water with bayonets. They died of hunger and exposure and exhaustion, and in lonely places the guards and robbers fell upon them and murdered them in batches some at the first halting place after the start, others after they had endured weeks of this agonising, journey.

About half the deportees and there was at least 1,200,000
of them in all perished thus on their journey, and the other half have been dying lingering deaths ever since at their journey’s end ; for they have been deported to the most inhospitable regions in the Ottoman Empire : the malarial
marshes in the Province of Konia ; the banks of the Euphrates where, between Syria and Mesopotamia, it runs through a stony desert ; the sultry and utterly desolate track of the Hedjaz Railway.

The exiles who are still alive have suffered worse than those who perished by violence at the beginning.”

on November 14, 2007 at 2:12 am
12 P. Connolly

If the Armenians were only asking that Ottoman Atrocities be recognized as such it would be different. But what they are asking is that Ottoman actions be recognized as “genocide”. This in spite of the fact that they have finally admitted -if I understand correctly- to much loss of civilian Moslem Turkish life at the hands of Armenians -with the stipulation that the Turks “started” it… it was a “chain reaction” of events and -in other words- they deserved what they got.

The first question to be asked is: why have Armenians been in denial about these terrible deaths of Moslem Turkish Women and Children at the hands of Armenians for all this time? Why is it that only now we see admission of retalliation for “evil acts” committed by Turks?

Secondly, the English word “genocide” is inseparably associated with an attempt to eliminate all members of an ethnic group as Hitler clearly attempted to do. Now we’re hearing that “We gained a military power quite quickly, but we used that military strength to get our land back” and “we werent killing Turks based on the fact that they were muslim …it was retaliation to the evil acts commited by the Turks.” …and we are expected to advocate a label of “genocide” under these circumstances ?

Regarding the tax aspect of the Milliet system - it was an Ottoman attempt to apply a law of the Qur’an which stipulated that Christians and Jews could not be “drafted” (to use the modern term) into the military. In exchange for this dispensation, the law required that they were required to pay a special tax which Moslem peoples -who were subject to the “draft”- didn’t have to pay. But the Qur’an also stipulated that Christians and Jews living in Moslem lands were to have religious freedom and the Milliet system also attempted to apply and fulfil this requirement. It is inaccurate to represent the Milliet system as institutionalized persecution or prejudice. It was an (admittedly somewhat awkward) attempt to respect the rights of religious minorities such as Jews and Christians rather than forcing them to submit to a Moslem Legal System. They lived under an autonomous legal and judicial system which -although ultimately answerable to the highest authority in the state- gave them considerable lattitude to create laws which codified -and thus respected- Christian or Jewish customs.

on November 14, 2007 at 2:20 am
13 Harout Kassabian

Gökalp, you say that the Armenian women were arming rebel forces and/or working against the Ottaman Empire.

As I said before, no one is denying that Turkish lives were lost, but the difference between the two cases is that the Armenian Genocide was as a result of the Ottaman governments contempt for the large Armenian population. The Turkish issue deals with Armenians revolting against their oppressors who were limting their freedom (which continues on today)

My question to you is, why were all the women, children, and elderly forced to walk hundreds of kilometres with no food or water and killed and/or raped by Turkish gendarmes.

Why did the Turkish military courts convict Talat and Enver for the massacre of the Armenians, why is there articles by people where they state “policy of extermination”. You may say that this is media bias, but I feel it is hard to believe that before the word genocide was invented, Armenians were already “lying” to the world to make them believe that the Turks were systematically destroying them. This wasn’t a precautionary measure at a time of war, it was preconceived and the government set out to fully annilate the Armenian population.

on November 14, 2007 at 2:36 am
14 Harout Kassabian

To P. Connely:

The word genocide was formulated by Raphael Lemkin, who felt compelled to bring this concept to League of Nations. He said that his inspiration came from the experience of the Assyrians massacred in Iraq on 11 August 1933 because the event evoked “memories of the slaughter of Armenians” during World War I. Even after World War II, he spoke of the Armenians as a basis for this evolutionary term. I’m not trying to be rude, but I cant understand why you do not believe that the term genocide applies to what happened to the Armenians, it is accepted that they were systematically targeted and killed, so what is left to discuss?

I am not saying that the Turks got what was coming to them, rather the chain of events did not start with Armenians attacking Turkish villages at the start of the 20th century, which this article focuses on.

I am fully accepting the lives of Turks that have been lost, no one is denying this.

I know how the millet system worked, but you cannot deny that this system was abused at times(not exclusively to this time period were discussing or the Armenians).

on November 14, 2007 at 3:00 am
15 P. Connolly

The true genocide which occorred under Hitler was motivated by more than “contempt” for the Jews; he’s not the first one in history to hold a minority in contempt. Genocide requires much more than that.

Asking about the women and children being forced to walk hundreds of miles without food and water is a legitimate question but this is not the first instance of collosal mismanagement in Ottoman history. And this is not to suggest that the whole thing boils down to collosal mismanagement but that’s undoubtedly a large part of it. Another large part of it is the fact that population transfer was regarded by Western Thinkers of the time as a suitable solution to the problem of civil unrest. It was later applied -with the full blessing and undoubtedly at the suggestion of western thinkers in Western Anatolia. We should not be surprised to see it in eastern Anatolia. And the constant Armenian tendency to liken it to the deportation of Jews under Hitler is -in my view- a deliberate attempt to distort historical facts. Can it be said that some Ottoman Officials “didn’t care” about some of these women and children; that they had a certain contempt for Armenians …yes that’s quite possible in my mind. But this still doesn’t prove genocide any more than President Truman’s dropping of the Bomb on Hiroshima - killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of women and children- proves genocide in his case.

The Armenian continual tendency to constantly bring up instances of rape -in view of the corresponding atrocities prepretrated by Armenians on Moslems- is absolutely unacceptable in my view. The only motivation I can see for it is an organized attempt to smear Turks.

Raphael Lempkin is irrelevant to the present day understanding of the English word Genocide. Word etymologies can be interesting at times but they are not always relevant. The fact of the matter is that outside of the Armenian Community and the self-proclaimed genocide “scholars” he is practically an unknown. The definition of the word “genocide” is not dependent on him in any way.

The history of the world is filled with instances of peoples being systematically targeted and killed simply because they were regarded as “the enemy” - yes even women and children and even women and children of the same ethnicity. But when we use the word “genocide” we reserve it for attempts to wipe out all members of an ethnic group and -as bad as it might be- the evidence in the Armenian case clearly shows otherwise.

There are many cases of abuses in the history of the Ottomans as in the history of other peoples. The Armenians were not -in my view- troublemakers who who deserved to be regarded with suspicion. But they were caught right in the middle of one of the most complex conflagrations the world has ever seen. Yes, perhaps their story remains to be told properly, but regardless of how it is told the word “genocide” is inappropriate and the Turks know it.

on November 14, 2007 at 3:06 am
16 John

I think maybe we are getting confused about the word genocide. The slaughter of Armenians would be more accuratley described as the first jihad of the 20th century. Since muslims feel compelled to kill anyone who does not convert to islam, these acts are considered by Turks to be nothing more than religous duty. The very idea of genocide to a muslim does not apply. It just so happens that the majority of the people they killed in this jihad were Armenian. To them it’s not genocide because it wasn’t directed at an ethnic group, it was just directed at a group who refused to convert to islam. In their minds, no harm no foul what is everyone getting upset about? It makes sense to me just like it made sense to the Turks. They are right that we should not classify this as genocide because in the classic sense of the term as we know it, this was not a racial issue, it was a religous one. The Armenians had a choice, islam or death. 2 million chose death. Let’s not belittle their choice. They died an honorable death. I should mention that Armenians who did convert to islam, were not killed. So, if genocide were the motive they would have been killed too. So, let’s call it what it is, ignorant religious biggotry, murder, rape, kidnap, illegal. moraly reprehensible, a crime against humanity. But not genocide. Now can we get on with our lives?

on November 14, 2007 at 3:55 am
17 konservo

John: “In their minds, no harm no foul what is everyone getting upset about? It makes sense to me just like it made sense to the Turks. They are right that we should not classify this as genocide because in the classic sense of the term as we know it, this was not a racial issue, it was a religous one.”

SO TRUE!!! SO TRUE!!! SO TRUE!!!

The U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines ‘genocide’ as:

on November 14, 2007 at 3:58 am
18 konservo

Mea Culpa, mea culpa.

Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Genocide Convention

on November 14, 2007 at 4:05 am
19 konservo

All and all I’m in complete agreement with John and Michaelvdg on this one. I mean, Who still talks nowadays of the extermination of the Armenians?”

on November 14, 2007 at 4:38 am
20 John

While I agree that the UN Convention could be applied to these acts as Genocide, I think you are missing my point. The idea that Turkish muslims were carrying out a religous directive supercedes any connection with what we term as genocide. If two racial groups just hate each other and one decides to actively do any or all of things described in the UN definition, it’s genocide. What else would you call it? The term genocide was designed to explain secular exterminationations not religous ones. Is either crime worse than the other? No, but people who do anyhting in the name of religion excuse themselves from responsibility. Why? Because they believe they are doing God’s will. The Turkish muslims who carried out this atrocity were only doing what they believed to be what God wanted them to do. No harm no foul. Now you have to ask yourself a question, What did God say about murder? You shall not kill. Not, you shall not kill but later on I want you to kill everyone who is a nonbeliever. He didn’t say that, to anyone. Why would he? Don’t you think if God wanted someone dead he couldn’t just think it and it would be done? Why does he want non believers killed? He doesn’t. He wants everyone to believe. Dead people don’t believe anything. Why? Because they are dead. To kill in the name of God is a perversion of the truth and it shows that the killer has no real faith in the Allmighty. To murder is to kill yourself, but no one else. I recommend anyone who thinks the Ten Commandments have been suspended, they still apply, and all fall short of the glory of God. All. Stop judgeing each other and stop trying to justify murder no mater what side of this conflict you are on. No Armenian should ever kill another Turk and no Turk should ever kill another Armenian. And even if you only feel it in your heart , you are guilty says God. He comes very soon. Are you ready?

on November 14, 2007 at 5:49 am
21 Kathy

But this still doesn’t prove genocide any more than President Truman’s dropping of the Bomb on Hiroshima - killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of women and children- proves genocide in his case.

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not genocide. I’m not aware of anyone who says they were. They were war crimes; they were atrocities, but they were not genocide. I mean, I think that would be a fairly uncontroversial statement.

on November 14, 2007 at 7:13 am
22 P. Connolly

Actually I was referring to both Hiroshima and Nagasaki of course. Just google the words hiroshima and genocide in the same search and start clicking some of the 596,000 links that come up.

I don’t disagree with you when you say that “they were atrocities, but they were not genocide”. But after you start clicking some of those links and start reading, I’m sure you’ll change your mind about whether that is an unconroversial statement.

on November 14, 2007 at 7:16 am
23 John Anderson

I agree with Kathy, the Hiroshima bomb was not motivated by the desire to whipe out an ethnic race from the region, therefore it does not fit into the genocide definition as set by either Lemkin or the UN Convention.

on November 14, 2007 at 7:26 am
24 Harout Kassabian

The relilgion factor wasnt the main issue at hand, why do you think we dont hear of the mass deportation on Greeks and Jews? Because Armenians were the largest minority, most influential (both positive and negative)

The deportation of Armenians wasn’t mismanagemnet. The deportees were killed mass exuction style (his is primarily the men) to keep the number of deportees at the same level as they passed mroe towns and took in more Armenians. The gendarmes were told to kill ALL of them. The purpose of Talat Pasha’s plan was to get rid of an entire ethnic group, so i do not see how the term genocide doesnt apply here.

I’m sure you have, but if not, read some accounts from survivors. I mean there is a common thread of brutality and methods of killing people off. You cant tell me that these were individual cases or that soldiers were out of the governments control or that there were different groups of Turks.

You say the origins of the word genocide are irrelevant, i say it is not. This is very important because he used these past two events as a basis to create and define the term genocide. Why do you say “self-proclaimed” genocide scholars, every scholar or historians picks specific topics to focus on. You think that no one knows about him, that is a pretty general statement. Have you met with all the historians of the world and asked them whether or not they know how to word gencoide was originated? The definition of genocide hasnt evolved, if anything, it has broadened so the original terms that it was founded upon still apply today, and even if you disagree with me on this, it was used to categorize the Armenian Genocide as its name at the time and thus, is categorized in this way. Perhaps in a hundered years we wont call what happened to the Jews genocide because the term has changed or the fact that it was the first official categorized gencoide is totally irrelevant?

on November 14, 2007 at 7:35 am
25 P. Connolly

Both Lemkin and the UN Definition are completely irrelevant here. You are not arguing a case before the International Court of Justice, you are arguing it before the English speaking public. As such you have no choice but to use the definition of genocide as used in the English Language - not the legal definition of any court. If -as I understand- Armenian leaders are having Lawyers tell you that some day you will be able to bring a case before a supra-national court, you should question the motives of your leaders. The reality in todays world is that even when a true genocide is being perpetrated and its perpetrators are alive, it has been extremely difficult to effectively bring the case before a supra-national court. That’s why the ICC was formed, but the ICC can’t prosecute cases going back before 2002. If you want to go on believing that some day you’ll be able to bring your case before a court you are free to do so. I do not believe you would ever be able to bring your case before a supra-national court even if it were a true genocide - which it most certainly isn’t.

In any event you are not now before a court, you are before the English Speaking public and you cannot demand that we believe in any future ability to bring your case before a supra-national court so, as previously stated, the UN definition is irrelevant.

on November 14, 2007 at 7:57 am
26 Harout Kassabian

Im not saying it will be brought to a court, I only ask that the Turkish governemnt confirms what they stated over 80 years ago when convicting their former leaders, that the government planned to exterminate the Armenian population. I, personally, am not seeking reperations (monetary or any land claims, which in the legally isn’t even possible).

The main point is that the Ottaman Government planned to exterminate the entire Armenian population, and this does constitute genocide under Article 2 of the Genocide Convention, totally ignoring Lemkin for the moment.

I do not understand why you are so intent on not classifying this as a genocide. The Ottaman Empire seized all of the Armenians possesions and resold. If they were being relocated or temporarily deported, revenue should have been returened to the (remaining) Armenian population. I mean there are letters from an officer in the War Office of Istambul stating that before April 24 1915, they were creating propaganda against the Armenians to justify the future crimes they were to commit. There are hundreds of independent sources, and sometimes Ottaman sources stating that the Ottaman’s are trying to exterminate the Armenians.

What doesn’t make this a genocide?

on November 14, 2007 at 8:16 am
27 konservo

26 Harout Kassabian


It was genocide, and the UN Genocide Convention is the only definition that pertains to matters like this.

on November 14, 2007 at 11:10 am
28 Michael van der Galiën

The Armenian continual tendency to constantly bring up instances of rape -in view of the corresponding atrocities prepretrated by Armenians on Moslems- is absolutely unacceptable in my view. The only motivation I can see for it is an organized attempt to smear Turks.

I agree, and of course it is. I’ve read first hand accounts of Armenian survivers, who went through hell; but I also read first hand accounts of Turkish Muslim survivers and their hell wasn’t any less.

The author of the article summarizes it, in my view, perfectly. One can still see the racial hatred at work when one hears angry Armenians talk about Turks. The hatred is still there.

An above comment has been deleted (the author was already banned if I recall correctly) and one has been edited (no personal attacks allowed).

on November 14, 2007 at 11:12 am
29 Michael van der Galiën

It was genocide, and the UN Genocide Convention is the only definition that pertains to matters like this.

No it doesn’t and… if you believe that what happened to the Armenians was genocide, than you also have to call what the Armenians did to Turkish Muslims as genocide.

on November 14, 2007 at 3:59 pm
30 Paul

“No it doesn’t and… if you believe that what happened to the Armenians was genocide, than you also have to call what the Armenians did to Turkish Muslims as genocide.”

That’s possibly the most ridiculous assertion I’ve heard all day. Only governments can do genocides, not a poorly-equipped minority of a minority population. Furthermore the effects on both, when considered are just not comparable. On top of that a great deal of the information used to back up this notion was done during the actual wartime of 1918 in the Caucasus, not relating to the deportations of Anatolia. Turkish harrassment and pressure resulted in the war between the now independent Armenia and OE, yet that is used to confirm the fact that Armenians were a threat all along and that the deportations were necessary.
All this equalization of “they went through equal hell” is totally subjective and not backed up by any facts. How can anyone debate against an opinion without real data? Taking quotes out of random sources with citations from unnamed friars does not in any way turn 1915 into a genocide of Turks. Of course not every moment of it was pretty for the Anatolian Turks either, but this attempt to both blame and attribute everything that happened on the Armenians and to somehow justify the deportation is callous. There can be NO justification for hundreds of thousands of deaths of women and children in a desert and is not comparable to the Turkish expierence.

Meanwhile the only data you have is Halacioglu, who can hardly be considered even remotely close to a reliable source (unless you agree to accept all researchers- not that there are any- who are paid to do their research by the Armenian government). Then we get people like Michael Gunter and Gunter Lewy who suddenly become first-rate respected scholars to bolster your side of the debate… Lewy for his part was the inspiration for Norman Podhoretz which seriously should make you reconsider what this says about Lewy.

And finally the Ottoman Empire is given some sort of ultimate position in all this where it was deserving of the complete loyalty of it’s subjects, despite the fact it had massacres Armenians numerous times leading to 1915 and by 1913 had been commandeered by those who desired to see a Turkey for the Turks. This is NOT United States-style democracy and I seriously warn anyone who’d try to draw such parallels between this happening in both locations and applying the dreaded t-word (treason) equally. Of course the vast majority of Armenians had nothing to do with any of that to begin with, but thanks to the work of Halacioglu everyone is free to ignore that because his ridiculously inflated numbers can indicate for those who want to believe them (and thusly totally undermine their creditibility).

on November 14, 2007 at 4:16 pm
31 Michael van der Galiën

“Only governments” - Hmm, strange that. When I pointed out that there’s no definite proof that the Ottoman government ordered the killings, but that - instead - many of those who killed innocent Armenians were punished (not something such a government would do), I receive the answer that this ‘doesn’t matter as such.’

And finally the Ottoman Empire is given some sort of ultimate position in all this where it was deserving of the complete loyalty of it’s subjects, despite the fact it had massacres Armenians numerous times leading to 1915 and by 1913 had been commandeered by those who desired to see a Turkey for the Turks.

Paul, when you write those things, perhaps you should also mention that the Armenians themselves (quite some of them) had already rebelled before that time? Or is that ‘irrelevant’ as well?

Of course the vast majority of Armenians had nothing to do with any of that to begin with, but thanks to the work of Halacioglu everyone is free to ignore that because his ridiculously inflated numbers can indicate for those who want to believe them (and thusly totally undermine their creditibility).

Like the Armenians inflated their numbers, or what? First it was 500,000, then 600,000, than 800,000, than 1 million, now 1.5 million. How about that?

And did you know that, all in all, 3,000,000 Turks died during World War one (because of the Armenians, Russians, allies, etc.)? Many more Turks than Armenians died, so I don’t think that Armenians want to play the numbers game.

And for all your talk of oppression, why is it that even Garo himself wrote that the Ottomans offered the Armenians - in 1915 - an autonymous land of their own, theoretically still part of the empire, but practically completely independent? For all your talk about Turkish hatred towards Armenians, it seems to me that the Turks actually proposed the Armenians quite an acceptable deal.

Of course, as Armen Garo wrote, the Armenians didn’t accept the offer, because they thought they could have it all: complete independence and much more land. That’s why they fought and that’s why they killed so many Muslim Turks (as described by the author).

In short: the plan was to create a big new Armenia, but the plan failed.

That’s what led up to the deportations. It’s, again, important to point that out when you talk about this issue (unless you have a clear agenda; retribution, lands, etc.).

Meanwhile the only data you have is Halacioglu, who can hardly be considered even remotely close to a reliable source (unless you agree to accept all researchers- not that there are any- who are paid to do their research by the Armenian government). Then we get people like Michael Gunter and Gunter Lewy who suddenly become first-rate respected scholars to bolster your side of the debate… Lewy for his part was the inspiration for Norman Podhoretz which seriously should make you reconsider what this says about Lewy.

Stop the character assassinations. They don’t work at this blog. Lewy is, indeed, a scholar. The darling of the Armenians, Taner Akcam, on the other hand, is not. He’s not a historian. He’s not a scholar. He’s simply a communist thug. O, and a forger, and a liar. Yet, the Armenian lobby continues to support him and pretends that he’s a true, objective scholar.

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.

On top of that a great deal of the information used to back up this notion was done during the actual wartime of 1918 in the Caucasus, not relating to the deportations of Anatolia. Turkish harrassment and pressure resulted in the war between the now independent Armenia and OE, yet that is used to confirm the fact that Armenians were a threat all along and that the deportations were necessary.

I have given many examples in other posts of atrocities committed by the Armenians in the run-up to the deportations. You know that, I know that. There’s no reason - unless you have an agenda - to deny that Armenian militias killed lots of innocent Muslim Turks because they wanted to create a Christian Armenian nation-state.

All this equalization of “they went through equal hell” is totally subjective and not backed up by any facts. How can anyone debate against an opinion without real data? Taking quotes out of random sources with citations from unnamed friars does not in any way turn 1915 into a genocide of Turks. Of course not every moment of it was pretty for the Anatolian Turks either, but this attempt to both blame and attribute everything that happened on the Armenians and to somehow justify the deportation is callous. There can be NO justification for hundreds of thousands of deaths of women and children in a desert and is not comparable to the Turkish expierence.

And this is why, in the end, the Armenians will lose this battle. All too often they indicate that they either don’t care about the Turkish losses or that the Turks had it coming. Sadly, they then prove to be hypocritical because when someone says “yes, vice versa as well,” they object.

I agree that there can be no ‘justification’ for hundreds of thousands of deaths. So, when will Armenian groups condemn the horror caused by their ancestors?

As with regards to Armenian atrocities, I have referred, at this website, to many sources with many more yet to come. It really isn’t so difficult to find evidence of it; in fact, the Armenians themselves wrote about it every now and then during and around World War I.

Paul, I’m sad to break the news for you, but this war had two guilty sides. There were two sides who made it all happened. There were innocent individuals, but not innocent ’sides.’ Armenians turned against Turks, Turks and Kurds turned against Armenians.

And yes - the more research I do, the more my conviction grows that this was a nasty, dirty, extremely destructive civil war, in which both sides committed crimes and which both sides - not necessarily governments, but groups, bands and individuals - are guilty (not of genocide, but of other crimes).

on November 14, 2007 at 5:14 pm
32 P. Connolly

The reasons it’s not a genocide are that :

1. There was not a plan to exterminate the entire Armenian Population. This is precisely the issue that is so insulting to the Turks. They know what their feelings are toward the Armenians and if you of the diaspora would get to know them better instead of directing so much hatred at them you would understand better what’s really going on here. there was a massive problem in Eastern Anatolia and the civilian Armenian Population was caught right in the middle of it.
2. What is not understood here in the West is that by 1915, the Turkish people felt like the whole world was caving in on them. Sixty years earlier a private conversation between the Czar of Russia and the representative of the British Government had been leaked to the press in which he had broached the subject as to how the pieces of the Ottoman Empire might be properly divided among the “great powers” after the collapse which everyone knew was imminent. By the time of WWI the situation in Turkey was desperate, chaotic and rather disorganized.

Armenians have a past of their own which they need to revisit and acknowlege - not only in Anatolia but even in the Diaspora. The disapora needs to stop being the source of so much disruption and clean up their own house first.

on November 14, 2007 at 5:17 pm
33 Richard

Saying that “3,000,000 Turks died during World War one” is like saying that 7.5 million Germans died in WW2. It may be true but its not relevant to the issue at hand.

The issue is did the Young Turks intend to exterminate the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. Whether 800,000 died or 1.5 million died would not change this.

I agree that no one should be subject to character assassination. This includes Taner Akcam who far from being a “thug” is actually a very nice man.

on November 14, 2007 at 5:33 pm
34 Michael van der Galiën

The issue is did the Young Turks intend to exterminate the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. Whether 800,000 died or 1.5 million died would not change this.

And the question to that answer is: no. And, we can turn it around: did the Armenian leaders intend to exterminate the Turkish population of lands they wanted for themselves? The answer to that question?

This includes Taner Akcam who far from being a “thug” is actually a very nice man.

I have difficult respecting someone who purposefully uses forgeries, distorts the truth and, on top of that, was a communist revolutionary basically.

Armenians have a past of their own which they need to revisit and acknowlege - not only in Anatolia but even in the Diaspora. The disapora needs to stop being the source of so much disruption and clean up their own house first.

I agree with that wholeheartedly.

If any resolutions, from now on, should be passed it should be something like this: “The [fill in country] government hereby condemns the violence caused by both Armenian militias and Turkish and Kurdish gangs and expresses compassion with all those who suffered. We further call on both countries and allied groups to open their archives for historical research as to be able to conclude who exactly is responsible for what.”

on November 14, 2007 at 5:42 pm
35 Richard

Akcam certainly was a leftist in his youth but has evolved like most who hold wrong-headed opinions when they are young.

on November 14, 2007 at 5:43 pm
36 Michael van der Galiën

Lets agree to disagree.

on November 14, 2007 at 6:15 pm
37 Paul

“I have difficult respecting someone who purposefully uses forgeries, distorts the truth”

Gunter Lewy has been accused of exactly the same. He does not know Turkish nor Ottoman and relied on unnamed Turks for all his translation of archival material. Basically this means his book has been pasted together using archival materials which he never even saw himself, and furthermore won’t even name who the Turks were that did the translation. How does this give us any confidence in the validity of his primary source material? How do we know these unnamed translators didn’t have the translations fit their ulterior motives?

Furthermore, Lewy’s book’s premise is more about the uniqueness of the Holocaust and thus why the 1915 wasn’t a genocide, as opposed to anything else. I think using the Holocaust as a reference to then retroactively interpret another event is not a way we want to go about this, since not only is it unrelated but Lewy was guided by his premise that it wasn’t genocide because the Holocaust is unique from the beginning. While I agree 1915 does not match the Holocaust and all events are different, what kind of a researcher takes his personally held conviction and then molds a book around it to validate those beliefs?

Beyond that, Lewy seems to be more of an agnostic on the issue of whether it was a planned genocide or not and does concede that the deportations were planned at best with a total disinterest in the effects it would have on the people. Anyone who says those deaths were unforseen is terribly naive or tricking themselves because I don’t know how taking people into the desert without food or water and then them dying in massive numbers could possibly be an unforseen consequence of even the most lackadasical planning.

on November 14, 2007 at 6:23 pm
38 Michael van der Galiën

While I agree 1915 does not match the Holocaust and all events are different, what kind of a researcher takes his personally held conviction and then molds a book around it to validate those beliefs?

Taner Akcam and virtually every other ‘pro-Armenian’ scholar (for lack of a better word that’s not incredibly insulting) out there.

Beyond that, Lewy seems to be more of an agnostic on the issue of whether it was a planned genocide or not and does concede that the deportations were planned at best with a total disinterest in the effects it would have on the people. Anyone who says those deaths were unforseen is terribly naive or tricking themselves because I don’t know how taking people into the desert without food or water and then them dying in massive numbers could possibly be an unforseen consequence of even the most lackadasical planning.

You did read the ‘take care of them to the best of your ability’ instructions, right? You also understand that many of the ones responsible were punished? You also understand that the Ottoman Empire was under attack, that the leaders panicked and that the Armenians rebeled against them, giving them the impression that they had to be relocated for if they were not, the Ottomans would lose completely?

In other words: you act as if all was fine, there were no problems etc., whereas this was a country under siege, even from within. They obviously made a blunder, but that’s:
1- understandable for every objective observer
2- automatically not genocide

BTW: we had stopped talking about Akcam, why is it you continue to go after Lewy?

on November 14, 2007 at 6:35 pm
39 Jim Collins

Richard,

If Young Turks had wanted to exterminate the Armenian Population, they would not have relocated only the Armenians in particular cities. Armenians in Istanbul and rest of the western Anatolia were not relocated. Also 1.5Million number is a statement that needs to be carefully studied. Refer to following link if you are interested in learning more about it.

http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/census.htm

All, please remember, the coin has two sides. Flip it once and you’ll believe it has one figure. You need to flip it more to see the both sides. So please read and learn more on this subject before making false claims.

Quote

Furthermore, Talat Pasha issuing a cryptic communiqué to the 4th Army Command dated 23 May 1915, listed the location requested to be evacuated as follows:

1. The provinces of Erzurum, Van ad Bitlis;

2. The subdivision of Maras excluding the city of Maras;

3. Villages and towns within the boundaries of the sub provinces of; Iskenderun, Beylan (Belen), Cisr-i Sugur and Antioch excluding the central sub province of the Province of Aleppo;

4. The sub-divisions of Adana, Mersin, Kozan and Cebel-i Bereket excluding the cities of Adana, Sis (Kozan) and Mersin;

Accordingly; Armenians evacuated from Erzurum, Van and Bitlis were decreed to be transferred to the southern part of Mousul along with the sub-division of Zor and sub-division of Urfa excluding the central city: and the Armenians evacuated from the vicinities of Adana, Aleppo and Maras to be transferred to the eastern part of the Province of Syria along with the eastern and southeastern part of the Province of Aleppo. To supervise and manage the immigration process, State Inspectors, Ali Seydi Bey and Hamid Bey were appointed to the Adana region, and to the regions of Aleppo and Maras, respectively.

It was stipulated that the Armenians arriving at the new locations of resettlement were to be settled either in the houses that they would build in the existing villages or towns; or in the villages that they would re-establish in the locations identified by the government; and that the Armenian villages were to be at least of 25 km away from the Baghdad Railway.

The protection of lives and properties of Armenians following the process of immigration, and provision of their needs such as food, drink and rest were left to the regional authorities along the transfer route. It was decreed that the immigrating Armenians to be allowed to carry along all of their belongings and arrangements about their established properties were to be prepared and submitted to the authorities concerned (11).

on November 14, 2007 at 6:44 pm
40 Richard

“Jim Collins” I thought we had moved beyond linking to those kind of web sites.

on November 14, 2007 at 6:51 pm
41 Harout Kassabian

I am not going to continue posting here, mainly because I do not have the time to read all these comments as well as the fact that you have your opinions and they seem to be too biased for my taste. I at leats am ready to admit when I am worng and look outside of conventional Armenian discussion on the issue and understand more perspectives of the issue

1. First of all, the Ottaman Empire did set out to kill an entire population. It was organized by the government and I do not see why you are refusing to accept this. There are telegrams and letter properly documented showing that this truly was the intent of the governemnt, primarly Talat and Enver. Also, you do not need to set out to “kill” an entire population to consitute genoicde. Any method to bring down a nation, both literally and in terms of national identity, constitues genocide. There were so many cases of Armenians forced to convert to Islam or turn Turkish and forget their identity.

2. Leading into to the whole “prejudice agiants Muslims” issue, Armenians dont have a problem with the fact thay the Turks are muslim, the Armenians didn’t base their hate for the Turks for this and I dont attribute their faith to their actions either. You may argue about media bias at the time, so we dont even need to refer to the western news outlets because the ottaman documents are enough.

3. I do not like using numbers in this issue, primarily because you cannnot trust number of dead from either side, not because of some conspiracy, but becasue of the accuracy or record keeping at the time. Yes, the Turks lost a lot, from Armenians, Russians, and the Allies, but their losses can not be compared to the loss of Armenians, not becasue we went through a lot worse, but because the motives and organization were totaly different. No one is denying that the Ottaman Empire lost a lot during the beginnign of the 20th century, but you cant use the reason that no one is looking at the Turks deaths as justification for not accepting the genocide.

4. Yes, the Armenians were trying to regain their lands, what is worng with this? You make it sound like they are the ultimate evil in this issue becasue they wanted their lands back. Were they going to try to take over the entire Ottaman Empire? No. They wanted what was historically theirs and nothing more. We did not plan on organizing a mass slaughter of all Turks as revenge, I do not know where you are getting this idea from.

5. You call Taner Akcam a liar, why? He is a communist you say, on what basis? Athough I am not a communist, there are a lot of misunderstandings about the concept due top the Soviet Union, which wasn’t a true communist state to begin with. Theres a big diffeence between what people think of communism and what Karl Marx envisioned. I think it is more accurate to say that he is a socialist, and there is nothing wrong with that if it is true.

6. The Armenians revolted against the government. Your point? This revoultion wasnt a campaing to exterminate the peoples opressor and all Turks, it is totally irrelevant to use past actions or judgments to justify what happened because there is no excuse for genocide.

on November 14, 2007 at 6:53 pm
42 Michael van der Galiën

Although that site is obviously biased, they actually do seem to have an interesting collection of works, no?

And… you defend Taner Akcam, but you’re offended by someone linking to that website?

That’s a bit ironic.

Anyhoo.

on November 14, 2007 at 7:01 pm
43 Michael van der Galiën

First of all, the Ottaman Empire did set out to kill an entire population. It was organized by the government and I do not see why you are refusing to accept this. There are telegrams and letter properly documented showing that this truly was the intent of the governemnt, primarly Talat and Enver

Do you actually refer to the telegrams that have proven to be forgeries?

2. Leading into to the whole “prejudice agiants Muslims” issue, Armenians dont have a problem with the fact thay the Turks are muslim, the Armenians didn’t base their hate for the Turks for this

Yes they did actually. They wanted to create a Christian Armenian nation-state. That’s no secret.

Yes, the Turks lost a lot, from Armenians, Russians, and the Allies, but their losses can not be compared to the loss of Armenians, not becasue we went through a lot worse, but because the motives and organization were totaly different. No one is denying that the Ottaman Empire lost a lot during the beginnign of the 20th century, but you cant use the reason that no one is looking at the Turks deaths as justification for not accepting the genocide.

No, that’s true. But…. the organization was indeed so much different that most historians agree that the Ottomans didn’t want to wipe out all Armenians. In fact, the most weighty historians also argue that they didn’t wipe out the Armenian population of eastern Anatolia.

O, and what about the Armenians who wanted to rid the lands of Muslims?

4. Yes, the Armenians were trying to regain their lands, what is worng with this? You make it sound like they are the ultimate evil in this issue becasue they wanted their lands back. Were they going to try to take over the entire Ottaman Empire? No. They wanted what was historically theirs and nothing more.

Firstly, there’s nothing per se wrong with ‘wanting your lands back.’ It does matter, though, whether the lands were yours in the first place (many of the lands they claimed were and are not) and it also matters how you try it. In this case, they formed militias and killed lots and lots of innocent civilians simply because they were Muslim Turks.

And yes, there’s something wrong with that.

5. You call Taner Akcam a liar, why? He is a communist you say, on what basis? Athough I am not a communist, there are a lot of misunderstandings about the concept due top the Soviet Union, which wasn’t a true communist state to begin with.

If you don’t know that Akcam was a communist / far-left revolutionary thinker, you don’t know anything about him, seemingly, and I would advise you to do some research.

He’s a liar because he, like you, continues to use documents he knows are false and distorts the truth to suit his purpose. The difference between you and him? I think that you truly are misinformed. Akcam doesn’t have that excuse.

6. The Armenians revolted against the government. Your point? This revoultion wasnt a campaing to exterminate the peoples opressor and all Turks, it is totally irrelevant to use past actions or judgments to justify what happened because there is no excuse for genocide.

To a large degree it was actually. The Armenian leaders were sometimes quite honest about it actually.

With regards to their intention, it’s fascinating to see how easy it is to refute many of the points made by today’s Armenians simply by confronting them with the words of their former leaders.

on November 14, 2007 at 9:53 pm
44 Gökalp

I have been closely watching this discussion from the beginning and I am happy that we are finally able to talk in a decent way. This is good news but the amount of false “facts”, misinformation and half truths are overwhelming. Not to mention racist bigotry… like “muslims feel compelled to kill anyone who does not convert to islam, these acts are considered by Turks to be nothing more than religous duty.” By john.

So I will try to clarify the main aspect right from the beginning if I may…

Let me start from the definition of Genocide. Genocide is strictly a law term thus can only be described and understood under the context that the international law puts it. So remarks like “Both Lemkin and the UN Definition are completely irrelevant here. You are not arguing a case before the International Court of Justice, you are arguing it before the English speaking public”by P.Connoly are actually wrong. And will only end up in the current confusion that we are experiencing.

As it has been quoted many times here the genocide convention describes genocide as:

Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

If the whole report is not read in detail this definition lead us to a point where %90 of all armed conflicts and any war within the history should be defined as genocide and it fits. But this is not the case. Because you are reading the description only partly and without the required back ground!

Let me explain the key aspects that are present in the international law but overlooked here:

****Protected Groups
The groups to be protected under the Convention mentioned in Article 2 are limited to four types, that is, national, ethnical, racial and religious groups. Lemkin, who had defended the inclusion of the political groups, suggested himself during the deliberations on the draft text that the political groups be left outside the scope of the Convention. Unlike Resolution No. 96 , neither the `political groups’ nor the `other groups’ found their way into the Convention text. This modification constitutes a highly important difference because history shows that the most frequently seen struggles -and the ones that claim the largest number of civilian lives- take place between groups with political aims. Accordingly, for example, the massacres committed in Cambodia by the Pol Pot regime causing the deaths of nearly two million civilians did not fall within the scope of the genocide definition given by the Convention. Similarly, the deaths that occurred in the framework of the October Revolution (1917) cannot be considered genocide. In line with many verdicts of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, save perhaps some exceptional acts which will be judged in the future trials as genocidal, even the extensive Serbian ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina does not correspond to the definition of the crime of genocide.
The term `political group’ covers civilians along with the members of the group engaging in politics or waging an armed struggle. At first glance, this inevitably causes confusion. There are those who question why destruction of civilians affiliated with a group described as political should not be considered genocide. But this is a semantic problem that arises from the `definition’. A group comes to be called a `political group’ when an attempt is made to destroy it with political aims. In other words, if there is a political struggle between two groups and if, in the course of that struggle, one of these groups commits against the other group acts such as murder, injury, massacre or deportation, the injured party comes to be called a political group. Killing civilians in the course of a political struggle continues to be a crime. But that crime is not genocide.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN: As I have happily seen finally some Armenians accept the fact that Armenians also killed “some” Turks. This “some” refers to 527.000 people according to the SECRET Ottoman reports. Secret meaning here that these reports were used only within the state it self. Not distributed for propaganda purposes or published like “The blue book” or “Morgenthaus Story” or “Lepsius Documents” or any other material like works of the great historian “Tonybe” working for the English propaganda bureau. Thus their reliability is solid.
Apart from that the presence Armenian separatist movement that root back to 1878 are irrefutable facts. Which is present in many Armenian documentation online.
This means that Armenians by engaging in seperatist activities (working for an independent Armenia) by engaging in Armed rebellion or resistance against the valid and rightful government (meaning that it is the government that is accepted internationally) constitute a POLITICAL GROUP. Meaning that the actions agains them were not made because they were Armenians or Orthadox Cristians but because they were a political group aiming an Independent Armenina. Thus Armenians are not protected by the genocide convention. Even if we thing that every thing the Armenians say are true the simple fact that they gathered in Revolutionary organizations and engaged in armed rebellion rules out the Genocide definition. Basicly the moment that an Armenian says Armenians wanted an independent Armenia he simply says “there is no genocide”.
That is the main reason Armenian propagandists are so careful in covering up Armenian Armed activities and Revolutionary organizations.

****The Intent to Destroy
According to Article 2 of the Convention, perpetration of one of the five cited acts was a necessary condition for genocide, provided that it be committed with the intent to destroy one of the four groups `as a group’. However, the Armenian apologists focused their efforts to prove that the Ottoman administration had the intent to destroy the Armenians. Since no evidence of the existence of `the intent to destroy’ could be found, they did not refrain from what should be called falsification. An Armenian named Aram Andonian published so-called “telegrams” in which Talât Pasha was supposedly “ordering the extermination”. Though soon enough these were foiled as fakes, they continued to use them as propaganda material. Just visit the official Armenian Genocide museum to see that these fake documents are still in use despite the fact that THE WHOLE HISTORY COMMUNITY SAYS THEY ARE NOTORIUS FORGERIES!
Nevertheless, after some time, the failure to find any official documents, which could corroborate the `intent to destroy’, pushed the pro-Armenian circles to adopt a new strategy. Obviously, what mattered was to achieve pre-determined results. They started claiming that 1,5 million Armenians had died during the `deportation’. Such an unduly high figure was being cited beside its propaganda effect, to prove indirectly the presence of the intent to destroy by way of `deporting’, and thus to prove that genocide had been committed. For that reason, the pre-transfer Armenian population had to be revised upwards. The Armenian losses were put to 200.000 in Paris peace conference, 500- 600.000 by English propaganda bureau, yet after 50 years Dadrian puts it to over a million and finally today it is 1.5milion. One falsification led to another. History was being distorted to make it coincide with the requirements of the law.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: Unless Armenians come up with an Ottoman Document that orders to destroy the Armenian race. It can not be defined as a genocide.

Sorry It has been too long. But I just want to point that unlike the confusion here International Law is extremely clear and when international law is applied there is no way… Absolutely no way to define the events as Genocide.

on November 14, 2007 at 10:36 pm
45 Richard

The legal arguments are interesting. In 2002 during the proceedings of the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) at the instigation of one of the Turkish members, former ambassador Gunduz Aktan, an independent legal opinion was sought from the International Center for Transitional Justice seeking an objective and independent legal analysis regarding the applicability of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to the events in question.

The ICTJ opinion was essentially that the Genocide Convention could not apply retroactively (i.e. to events prior to 1951) but that the events in question would fall within the definition of genocide as: ”.. viewed collectively, can thus be said to include all of the elements of the crime of genocide as defined in the Convention, and legal scholars as well as historians, politicians, journalists and other people would be justified in continuing to so describe them”. http://www.genocidewatch.org/TurkeyArmeniaREPORTOFTHETARC.htm

46 Gökalp

You are right about the report. but the report it self declares

“This memorandum is a legal, not a factual or historical, analysis. Inderiving the conclusions contained in this memorandum we have attempted to stateexplicitly whether our conclusion relies on any factual assumptions. Although we havereviewed various accounts of the relevant facts, we have not undertaken any independent factual investigation”

And when you look at the references section you see that it is full of Armenian references and war time propaganda materials which are long discredited like “Morgenthaus Story”. INCREDIBLY there is not a single Turkish source! Except the one stating the Turkeys position. Or any other material close to the Turkish thesis. Still the report again declares.

Genocide, by contrast, requires, at the very least, an awareness on the partof the actor of the discriminatory nature of his actions. While murder in the context of a
widespread and systematic attack may constitute a crime against humanity, it cannot meetthe legal definition of genocide absent evidence of the perpetrator’s intent to kill with theeffect of destroying, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group assuch. The scope and level of the requisite intent, however, involve complex and evolvingissues of international law.52The travaux preparatoires report debate on the question of the scope andlevel of intent required to commit genocide.

Meaning that Even by using only Armenian friendly, one sided, biased sources.The genocidal intent is not proven.

on November 15, 2007 at 3:25 am
47 Gökalp

I wish to adress some claims here

*** “Armenians were opressed”:

To say that one must really not know what year he is talking about.

They were so opressed that there were 16 Armenian senartors in the Ottoman senate in 1914 (till they decided to join Russians). The MINISTER of forreign affairs was Armenian till 1913. The ambassador to England was Armenian till the beginning of the WWI. There were uncountable numbers of Armenian officers in the Goverment, in the judgement system as Judges. The real wealt of the empire was shared by Armenians and Jews.

and they were so opressed that this “Genocide Survivor” describes her/his life like this.

Directly from the online book by an Armenian Scholar.
Memories of Eyewitness-Survivors of the Armenian Genocide, by Verjiné Svazlian

http://ermeni.org/turkce/vkayutyun.php?tp=ea&lng=eng&nmb=27

“Our family was large: five brothers, forty-five people, we lived in a patriarchal way in peace and harmony. First, the men had their dinner, then the children, then the woman and then the maid-servants. Until the heroic battle of Vaspourakan (Van Rebelion that is), we were happy and joyful at home.

My father’s brothers were — Panos, Martiros, Vahan, who was the MAJOR, Khosrov was a merchant, Marouth was the youngest. He and my father used to go to the eighteen villages and administered them. My father secretly brought arms to Van. Each of the five brothers had three rooms, which now are equal to fifteen rooms, and we had special rooms for the servants and the guests.

The American missionaries had a school and a hospital in Aygestan. The German missionaries had theirs as well. The school director of Kaghakamedj (in-town) was Haykak Kosoyan, who became later the leader of the Kaghakamedj fighting. He had studied at the Gevorgian Seminary, had a staunch heart; was a marvelous man. Our teachers were scholars, who had studied in Europe. There was no beating or thrashing in the classroom, they taught us with advices and education. There were thirty-thirty five pupils in each class. We studied English in the Protestant school and French in the others. Once a week a Mullah came, during those periods we used to sing and dance, then he left and went away. The school had 11 grades. Hambartsoum Yeramian was the director. He was blind, but he recognized each of us by our voices. He taught us history. The school had a good teaching staff, and, as it was expensive, only the children of well-to-do families attended it. The Protestant schools were free of charge. (my note: No freedom of religion and language!! Ottoman OPPRESSION in its worst form )

In the past the Armenians were on high posts. The Turks were soldiers, policemen; they sold fruits on donkeys, while the Armenians were merchants and craftsmen. We used to have many guests; besides the Armenians we had special rooms to receive Turkish guests. Pashas and beys came to our houses and we laid abundant tables. (my note:Poor exploited Armenian folk!)

In Aygestan the American Protestants had their church, hospital, pharmacy, school and very often they helped the poor.

My grandfather had the St. Vardan Church built near our house, and he wanted to be buried there. He supplied the government soldiers with food on his own expense. One day when the Pasha (my note:Turkish military commander) came to us, he burned all the bills under the coffee-pot and said, “I burnt, them all.” My grandfather’s tombstone was made of marble brought from Italy.

There were many minstrels in Van, who played on chongour (musical instrument) and sang about Andranik and Serob pashas. (my note: A country is under attack and these citizens are singing and praising the Guerrilla leaders.That is a nice way to thank for all the richness)

There were American, German orphanages in our town. They kindly treated the patients and the handicapped; they pitied them.”

So as you see in the age of slavery. In an age when there was not a single Protestant Churc in Paris. In an age where the Jews were guilty of the typhus epidemic in Berlin. The Armenians were opressed. Please…

If you are talking about the higher taxes, the difference was equal to 1$ of that time. Anyone would gladly pay such an amounth to be released from Army service.

**** Mr. Harout says:
“You may say that this is media bias, but I feel it is hard to believe that before the word genocide was invented, Armenians were already “lying” to the world to make them believe that the Turks were systematically destroying them. ”

Actually Armenians started lying and worse things much before as the American missionary Cyrus hamlin reports in this newspaper article.

*A Dangerous Movement Among the Armenians
by Cyrus Hamlin
The Congregationalist, December 28, 1893

An Armenian “revolutionary party” is causing great evil and suffering to the missionary work and to the whole Christian population of certain parts of the Turkish Empire. It is a secret organization and is managed with a skill in deceit which is known only in the East.

In a widely distributed pamphlet the following announcement is made at the close.

HUNTCHAGIST REVOLUTIONARY PARTY

This is the only Armenian party which is leading on the revolutionary movement in Armenia. Its center is Athens, and it has branches in every village and city in Armenia, also in the colonies. Nishan Garabedian, one of the founders of the party, is in America, and those desiring to get further information may communicate with him, addressing Nishan Garabedian, No. 15 Fountain Street, Worcester, Mass., or with the center, M. Beniard, Poste Restante, Athens, Greece.

A very intelligent Armenian gentleman, who speaks fluently and correctly English as well as Armenian, and is an eloquent defender of the revolution, assured me that they have the strongest hopes of preparing the way for Russia’s entrance to Asia Minor to take possession. In answer to the question how, he replied: “These Huntchagist bands, organized all over the empire, will watch their opportunities to kill Turks and Kurds, set fire to their villages and then make their escape into the mountains. The enraged Moslems will then rise and fall upon the defenseless Armenians and slaughter them with such barbarities that Russia will enter in the name of humanity and Christian civilization and take possession.” When I denounced the scheme as atrocious and infernal beyond anything ever known, he calmly replied: “It appears so to you, no doubt, but we Armenians are determined to be free. Europe listened to the Bulgarian horrors and made Bulgaria free. She will listen to our cry when it goes up in the shrieks and blood of millions of women and children.” I urged in vain that this scheme will make the very name of Armenian hateful among all civilized people. He replied, “We are desperate; we shall do it.” “But your people do not want Russian protection. They prefer Turkey, bad as she is. There are hundreds of miles of conterminous territory into which emigration is easy at all times. It has been so for all the centuries of the Moslem rule. If your people preferred the Russian Government there would not be now an Armenian family in Turkey.” “Yes,” he replied, “and for such stupidity they will have to suffer.” I have had conversations with others who avow the same things, but no one acknowledges that he is a member of the party. Falsehood is, of course, justifiable where murder and arson are.”

*MY note: So that was the plan… To enrage Muslims by burning their villages and mosques and make them attack the Armenians. Multiply the numbers by 100 and then cry to imperial powers. This is a plain and best description for the so called Hamidian massacres. Or take this other newspaper article to see why the atrocity stories were endlessly inflated

**The Reno Evening Gazette, November 14, 1915

AMERICA AND THE ARMENIANS

Having imposed upon a committee of well-meaning but admittedly prejudiced American missionaries, the same agencies that have been engaged in reporting Armenian outrages which never had been committed are now trying to mislead Christian charity in America and Switzerland into furnishing funds for the relief of the supposed victims of the unspeakable Turk.

It would not matter, so far as the country at large is concerned, but unfortunately there is danger that a self-sufficient person like President Woodrow Wilson will accept these stories of atrocities as truth, with no further evidence than the statements of Armenians who are directly interested in raising money for the support of themselves. Professional beggars who have bled their own countrymen for years are now trying to to induce kindly Americans to support them, not caring for whether the United States would or should not be imbroiled with Turkey and through Turkey with Germany. Ambassador Morgenthau appears to have fallen a ready victim to the same smooth rascals that, by apocryphal tales of outrages, have procured contributions from their Armenian countrymen abroad and in this country and have lived in luxury on the proceeds for the last 30 years.

The ambassador seriously notified the state department that the Turks had slaughtered “the majority of the Armenians of Asia Minor.” This “majority” now turns out to be 32,000 known to be hostile to Turkey and, therefore, dispossessed of their homes in Erzerum and Zeitun and interned in a district where they could be watched by Turkish troops — not killed, nor even dying. The English have done no more with German residents and even with English subjects of German birth and the Germans have done the same with English residents of the German states.

If this country, therefore, does not want to appear foolish before the whole world it will refuse to be duped by impossible tales and will let the Armenians severely alone.

on November 15, 2007 at 4:48 am
48 konservo

45 Richard
The legal arguments are interesting. In 2002 during the proceedings of the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) at the instigation of one of the Turkish members, former ambassador Gunduz Aktan, an independent legal opinion was sought from the International Center for Transitional Justice seeking an objective and independent legal analysis regarding the applicability of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to the events in question.

The ICTJ opinion was essentially that the Genocide Convention could not apply retroactively (i.e. to events prior to 1951) but that the events in question would fall within the definition of genocide as: ”.. viewed collectively, can thus be said to include all of the elements of the crime of genocide as defined in the Convention, and legal scholars as well as historians, politicians, journalists and other people would be justified in continuing to so describe them”.

http://www.genocidewatch.org/TurkeyArmeniaREPORTOFTHETARC.htm

Cased closed.

What gets me is the fact that modern Turkey can not be blamed, so they make themselves look like monsters with all of their genocide denial.

on November 15, 2007 at 7:02 am
49 Harout Kassabian

a) BRINGING FACTS ABOUT ARMENIAN REVOLUTIONARIES OR WORKING WITH THE RUSSIAN IS TOTALLY IRRELEVANT IN THE CASE OF DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS GENOCIDE. I am not saying we should forget about these other issues in general, but it is not applicable in this discussion.

b) At KONSERVO: No one is”blaming” Turkey of genocide, they are asking Turkey to “accept” it happened. The Ottoman Empire and todays government are two different groups. The only thing the Turkish government is accused of is lying, not genocide.

on November 15, 2007 at 7:13 am
50 Kathy

I don’t disagree with you when you say that “they were atrocities, but they were not genocide”. But after you start clicking some of those links and start reading, I’m sure you’ll change your mind about whether that is an unconroversial statement.

LOL, okay, I was wrong about the uncontroversial part, then.

on November 15, 2007 at 7:22 am
51 Kathy

Unless Armenians come up with an Ottoman Document that orders to destroy the Armenian race. It can not be defined as a genocide.

Gokalp, to the best of my knowledge, the Nazis put nothing in writing about the planned extermination of the Jews in Europe either. In fact, that’s why the term “Final Solution” was used. Even after they had gotten well into their mechanized murder of what was ultimately most of European Jewry, the Nazis took extreme care to hide what they were doing. Obviously they did not succeed in that, because well before the war was over the world knew what was going on, but the point is there were no “extermination orders” at least in that literal sense of the kind to which you appear to be referring.

Yet the Nazi murder of six million Jews was most definitely genocide, as we all know. We know that it was genocide, not because the Nazis wrote down that they intended to kill all the Jews in Europe, but because they did (or almost all).

on November 15, 2007 at 7:42 am
52 P. Connolly

There is a long history of hatred directed toward Jews in Europe; the evidence of it in literature down through the centuries is absolutely overwhelming. How Christian Europeans felt toward the Jews was no secret. It is all over their literature.

on November 15, 2007 at 7:44 am
53 John

OK. Because I don’t have a Koran I have no way to verify this but I am being told these verses are in the Koran. Can anyone tell me if this is true? Or did someone just decide to make this up and post it on a web page knowing it wasn’t? I’d like to know the truth.

Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them(2:191)
Make war on the infidels living in your neighboorhood (9:123)
When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them (9:5)
Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse to pay Jizya tax (9:29)
Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable (3:85)
The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them (9:30)
Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticise Islam. (5:33)
The infidels are unclean; do not let them into a mosque (9:28)
Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies
(22:19)
Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them (47:4)
The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them (8:65)
Muslims must not take the infidels as friends (3:28)
Terrorise and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an (8:12)
Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorise the infidels (8:60)

on November 15, 2007 at 7:45 am

54 Vince

http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_armenianside15.295044b.html

on November 15, 2007 at 10:09 am
55 How’s This Guy a PJM(tm) Correspondent? « Dj Konservo

[…] but also a genocide denier and propagandist. He recently wrote a post with the following headline: Armenian Atrocities Against Muslim Turks Part II. In this post, MvdG reproduces an article from “the Algemeen Handelsblad from Tuesday, May […]

on November 15, 2007 at 4:06 pm
56 P. Connolly

Well actually, VDG Gazzette had another article just recently where this theme was discussed; it would be better discussed there because here it could lead us way off-topic. I realize why you’re asking and yes it’s relevant but the bottom line is that there are no brief quick answers to the question you’re ultimately asking. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. Now regarding the question you ask (grouped in 3 categories):

YES : the key here is the interpretation of “unbelievers” or “infidels”. The word referred to the Barbaric Tribesmen of Arabia - not to Jews and Christians and other ordinary individuals living outside of uncivilized Arabia.
Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them(2:191)
When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them (9:5)
Muslims must not take the infidels as friends (3:28)

VERY BAD TRANSLATION - these translations are so bad that they would have to be categorized as maliciously manipulated:
Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse to pay Jizya tax (9:29)
Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable (3:85)
The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them (9:30)
Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticise Islam. (5:33)
Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies (22:19)
Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them (47:4)
Terrorise and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an (8:12)

VERY POOR TRANSLATION:
Make war on the infidels living in your neighboorhood (9:123)
The infidels are unclean; do not let them into a mosque (9:28)
The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them (8:65)
Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorise the infidels (8:60)

on November 15, 2007 at 4:13 pm
57 Michael van der Galiën

What i find fascinating, P.Connolly, is that I actually saw people calling me a genocide denier, liar, etc., based on this article. That’s a bit strange considering that I simply reproduced an article written by a Dutch journalist in 1920. In other words: simply pointing out that tehre are two sides to this story is ‘evil.’

Goes to show where their priorities lie: it’s not with humanity, nor with justice.

on November 15, 2007 at 6:24 pm
58 Vince

Can you please give an honest answer to my question?
Do you also think there are two sides story when it comes to holocaust or you just consider the other side story tellers anti semites or holocaust deniers?

on November 15, 2007 at 6:29 pm
59 Vince

“Although the Turkish government contends the deaths of more than 1 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 were not a genocidal attempt to expunge the Armenian population from their ancestral homeland in what is now eastern Turkey, many leading scholars say the massacres clearly fit the definition of genocide.

The International Association of Genocide Scholars unanimously approved a 2005 letter stating that “the overwhelming opinion of scholars who study genocide” is that the murders were genocidal.

To deny the Armenian genocide “is like Holocaust denial,” said Gregory Stanton, vice president of the association, president of Genocide Watch and a professor of human rights at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.

Other genocide-studies groups — including the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota, the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem and the Institute for the Study of Genocide at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York — also term the massacres genocide.

James Sheehan, a professor of history at Stanford University and former president of the American Historical Association, said extensive documentation supports defining the atrocities as genocide, which involves a deliberate intent to fully or partially destroy an ethnic, national, racial or religious group.

Sheehan said evidence that Turks tried to obliterate their Armenian population is visible throughout eastern Turkey, which had been home to Armenians for 2,500 years.

“I’ve spent some time in eastern Turkey, and it’s quite remarkable that there’s virtually no trace of the Armenian population that lived there for centuries,” he said. ”

http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_armenianside15.295044b.html

on November 15, 2007 at 6:45 pm
60 Kathy

There is a long history of hatred directed toward Jews in Europe; the evidence of it in literature down through the centuries is absolutely overwhelming. How Christian Europeans felt toward the Jews was no secret. It is all over their literature.

Yes, but that is not a written plan by the Nazis to exterminate the Jews. Thousands of years of hatred and persecution is not a documented plan to exterminate European Jewry in WWII.

on November 15, 2007 at 6:48 pm
61 Vince

The Talmud is no sercret too.

on November 15, 2007 at 6:49 pm
62 Kathy

Of course not every moment of it was pretty for the Anatolian Turks either, but this attempt to both blame and attribute everything that happened on the Armenians and to somehow justify the deportation is callous. There can be NO justification for hundreds of thousands of deaths of women and children in a desert and is not comparable to the Turkish expierence.

Well said, Paul. Thank you for saying it.

on November 15, 2007 at 7:02 pm
63 P. Connolly

Regarding the “findings” of Genocide “Scholars”: In any culture, the people who study the facts of history and report on them are called “Historians”. Historians build their reputations by sorting through haystacks of information to find a needle of fact; following a process developed down through the centuries since sometime after Herodatus. This novelty of Genocide “Scholars” does not have universal standing at all in the academic history community. Please tell me what exactly they would study that Historians don’t already study? The motivations of Rulers and Governments and peoples have always been the object of the most intense scrutiny and enquiry of historians for millenia. Historians must present proof -at the peril of their own reputations- for their statements. These self-proclaimed Genocide “Scholars” do not enforce the uniformly rigorous training and credentialing process that prevails among Historians. It is clear that the movement has been infiltrated by individuals with a hidden agenda and that the word “genocide” is becomming -in the recent words of a perceptive Rabbi living in Jerusalem- a “political football” used to “acheive political advantage”.

on November 15, 2007 at 7:15 pm
64 Michael van der Galiën

That comparison [this is in response to a comment which seems to have been deleted, by I want to respond to it nonetheless, because it repeats a meme that’s quite popular with the Armenian lobby. It says that what happened to the Armenians is similar to what happened to the jews during world war one, etc.] is so widely off the mark - and insulting to the Jews who suffered during World War II - that it’s not even funny.

Lets start with the article I reproduced here. The one you’re supposed to read. The Armenians destroyed complete villages and killed tens, possibly even hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims Turks. They organized themselves in militias, joined allied armies and plundered the Muslim population of Turkey.

What’s more, as Professor Justin McCarthy explains in “The First Shot: An Approach to the Armenian Question,” Armenian Christians had started rebeling against the Ottomans in the 19th century, they stepped up their revolt in the 20th, when the allied forces (especially the Russians) started attacking the Ottomans for real.

The goal of the Armenian militias was to be in control of many lands. They wanted to create a nation-state of Armenia, where Armenians ruled supreme, according to this wellknown expert.

The only problem was that they formed the minority in those lands, not the majority. So, they had to push out the Muslim population and - if that didn’t work - they had to kill them (which many of them considered to be a pleasent hobby anyway).

So, they conquered entire villages - this was before the relocations - and wiped out the Muslim population. Sometimes they killed people individually, sometimes they ‘collected’ them in a mosque after which they burned the mosque down.

At a certain moment, the Ottomans realized that something had to be done. The Russians - we’re now talking about the first world war - invaded and Armenians joined forces with them if they could. When they did, they were the most ferocious anti-Turk ‘warriors’ out there, who couldn’t be controlled by their superiors.

Of course other Armenians were a bit far away from the front / couldn’t join the Russians. What many of them did was, then, to revolt in the Ottoman Empire itself, as to prevent thousands of Ottoman soldier from fighting against the Russians at the front (where they were desperately needed). When these Armenians captured a village, they burned many homes down, forced Turks out or killed them and tried to hold on to it until the Russians came.

At this moment the Ottomans panicked and decided to relocate the Armenians, for if they did nothing they would sure lose the war. In other words, as Professor McCarthy points out, it was an act of self-defense.

Sadly, this was a major mistake: the ones who were sent off often didn’t have enough food and drinks, and Armenians weren’t exactly popular in ‘Turkey’ by that time. Both Turkish and Kurdish gangs took revenge on the marching Armenians, resulting in many innocent deaths and horror.

After the war - when the Ottomans were already defeated - the French used something called the Armenian legion. As Stanford J. Shaw points out in “The Armenian Legion and its Destruction of the Armenian Community of Cilicia,” these ’soldiers’ couldn’t be controled by the French. They attacked innocent Muslims, tortured them, killed them, raped Muslim women, etc.

All in all, the situation in Cilicia got so bad that “an American naval officer working along the coasts in Syria and Cilicia reported to Admiral Mark Bristol, commander of the American fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean and American High Commissioner in Instabul, that American missionanies were playing an important role in the slaughter by spreading anti-Muslim hatred stirring up the local Christian against their Muslim neighbors and providing hiding places for the arms and ammuniation which was being used against the settled Turkish population.”

He wrote: “Dr. Nichols I consider a very dangerous man who can do a great deal of harm if given a free hand. He is a religious fanatic apparently, and anxious to have something sensational take place between Turks and Armenians, in order to influence public opinion in the United States.”

The fears of this officer were, as Shaw points out, “fulfilled right from the start. The French army confirmed the Ottoman military reports, with even more detail than that provided by the local Ottoman officials, reporiting that wherever the Armenians went, they terrorized the Turkish and Arab civilian population” (my emphasis).

The situation got so bad that the French reported: “The hopes of General Hamelin were to be unfulfilled. As the incidents multiplied and became worse, discipline became harder, the condemnations by military courts more numerous. But the Amernian legionnaires continued to understand only that we were defending the Turks, our previous enemies, against the Armenians who were always our friends. Monseignuer Mouchegh, Armenian Archbishop of Adana, after going around among the Amrenian legion units, wrote on 28 April 1919: ‘They [ the Armenian soldiers] see with what tolerance and what friendship, France treats the Turkish nation, crimianl and enemy. They only see the obstacles with which one surrounded the brightness o fhte Armenian nation that had valiantly fought on the field of battle beside their allies’. The rancor or hatred therefore turned against us, excited by the Armenian committees, which, abandoning open action of intervention, undertook a secret action of inciting the Amrenian soldiers to ‘disobedience, revolt, vengeance or patient resignation whil waiting the right hour to throw off the yoke of the French oppressors of their country’.”

Because the Armenians couldn’t be kept from “dishonoring” Muslim women, and killing Turkish men, women and children, the French government decided to disband the Armenian legion on 1 August 1920.

However: “The demobilized Armenian soldiers […] continued their widespread despoiling of Turkish villages, kiling hundreds of turks and eliciting numerous requests from all sides that something be done to get rid of them.”

And on and on it goes.

If you read this comment, I think it’s fairly easy for anyone to conclude that the comparison to the holocaust and what happened to the Armenians is false.

The Jews didn’t rebel in, say, 1925, against the Germans, and didn’t start killing Germans on a massive scale. Nor did they - when Germany was attacked by the allies - form militias behind the lines that attacked German villages and wiped out the local Christian population. Nor did they, after the war, come to Germany and did all the above.

And lets not even mention that the Ottomans didn’t want to destroy all Armenians, that they instructed their inferiors to treat them as well as possible, that they punished many of those who killed innocent Armenians, and so on and so further.

That’s also why Jews themselves should be very careful not to compare their own experience to the Armenian one. The Jews were innocent victims, scapegoats, whereas the Armenians did their very best to rid the country of Muslims and take over.

on November 15, 2007 at 7:17 pm
65 Michael van der Galiën

Of course not every moment of it was pretty for the Anatolian Turks either, but this attempt to both blame and attribute everything that happened on the Armenians and to somehow justify the deportation is callous. There can be NO justification for hundreds of thousands of deaths of women and children in a desert and is not comparable to the Turkish expierence.

Well said, Paul. Thank you for saying it.

So, when are Armenians going to apologize for the ethnic cleansing they committed against Muslim Turks well before, during and after World War I?

on November 16, 2007 at 3:45 am
66 John

I apoogize for the ethnic cleansing we committed against Muslim Turks well before, during and after World War I.

See how easy it is?

on November 16, 2007 at 4:11 am
67 Paul

“So, when are Armenians going to apologize for the ethnic cleansing they committed against Muslim Turks well before, during and after World War I?”

See… the funny thing about that is… is that there are millions and millions of Turks in Anatolia today. There are essentially 0 Armenians. So… about that ethnic cleansing thing…

You can continue to go on and on about hundreds of thousands of Turks killed by Armenians, but as I’ve said Halacioglu’s estimation is severely flawed. It adds 0s to the end of figures extremely liberally (8 killed in Van becomes 80,000 in one day!!) and in other cases for example it claims 70,000 Azeris died of disease in Nakhichevan in the winter of 1920 and threw that into the number killed as well. If you want to believe his number that 527,932 Turks were killed by Armenians then I guess I can’t stop you, but it is a total perversion of history. I wouldn’t dispute that certainly some Turkish villages must have been destroyed, but you can’t take the fact it happened and turn it into this huge wholesale massacre throughout the country etc. The work you rely on- in Halacioglu’s case at least- is extremely unsourced. He just says numbers and people believe it without question.

on November 16, 2007 at 4:41 am
68 Gökalp

I am sorry that I cannot really answer some questions real time. So time for me to go back a little.

****Konservo says: “Cased closed.
What gets me is the fact that modern Turkey can not be blamed, so they make themselves look like monsters with all of their genocide denial.”

NO Case is not closed. Case can only be closed by a competent court decision. Which is possible. Althaugh ICC can not judge on the issues before the genocide convention another organ of the Hague can judge on international conflicts when brought before the court. If Armenia and Turkey brings the genocide conflict before this court this can be resolved once and for all. Turkey is keeping this as her last resort, if things go like that for sure soon she will use it. If Armenians were sure of their thesis they should have been before this court decades ago.

No case is not closed: Genocide is the ultimate crime and a timeless crime. Despite the fact that Ottoman empire was a multi ethnic government. Despite the fact that, modern Turkey is something much much different than the Ottoman Empire. Despite the fact that many of the so-called “Young Turks” of CUP and their financers were Jews (this is not a conspiracy theory but basic historical knowledge. Still there is much exaggeration and bigotry) and there were many Greeks in CUP. This crime is put on the shoulders of our grand fathers. There is no way that we can accept this. Especially knowing that there was no genocide. We are ready to mourn for the deaths of all sides and apologize for the Armenian losses. But the outrageous smear of Genocide cannot be accepted…!

*****Mr kassabian says: “BRINGING FACTS ABOUT ARMENIAN REVOLUTIONARIES OR WORKING WITH THE RUSSIAN IS TOTALLY IRRELEVANT IN THE CASE OF DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS GENOCIDE. ”

NO it makes all the difference as I explained above. It determines whether actions against Armenians were taken only because of their ethnicity or rather because of their rebellious activities and cooperation with the enemy. It determines if they are a “political group” or an “ethnic group”. It determines if they are protected by the convention or not.

****Mr. Kassabian also says: ” No one is ”blaming” Turkey of genocide”.

Well maybe not Turkey but Turkish/Kurdish people.

**** Kathy says “Gokalp, to the best of my knowledge, the Nazis put nothing in writing about the planned extermination of the Jews in Europe either”

Indeed there is no reference to wiping out or extermination in German documents. But repots from the Wansee meeting, and thousand of other Nazi documents contain direct orders of killing. These documents also report the careful plan to EFFICENTLY “terminate” Jews.

But up to date there is no document found that orders the killing of Armenians in the Ottoman archives and secret communications. NOT A SINGLE ONE! On the contrary the orders to protect the relocation convoys, orders not to treat bad to Armenians. Orders to protect their remaining property are abundant. In addition to that, in 1916 (during the course of the “Genocide”) more than 1400 Ottoman officials of various ranks were tried in the Ottoman courts for their crimes against the Armenians. These crimes were ranging from gaining unjust financial benefit to assault. Hundreds of these Ottoman officials were hanged by the Ottoman court. Can you imagine Nazis hanging SS officials for their bad treatment to Jews. What kind of a genocide is that?

**** The issue about Koran that John refers.

There are some verses in Koran that order or advice things that are unacceptable from today’s point of view. That is correct and holds true for any Holy book including the Bible.
Please read the Bible.

The infidels that Koran refers are not Jews or Christians. These are the fire and Idol worshippers.

Islam refers Jews and Christians as the “people of the book”. Meaning that they also are the people of THE God. All prophetsfFrom Adam to Jesus are holly and Virgin Mary as well. They are all respected in Islam and that is the reason why Ottoman Empire was so tolerant to other religions. The saying of Prop.Muhammet was the motto “your religious is yours and my religion is mine”.

***** Finally about the International Genocide Scholars:
I really detest efforts of character assassination so I wont go in to that direction. Instead I would like to ask people to draw their own conclusions by taking a look at the CVs of the founders and current members of the organizations. The first founder of the organization “Israel Charney” and the current president. Are they qualified to make any comments on history? Are there any Historian who can read Ottoman Turkish among them? How many Armenians are the and in which position? (Just a hint for the ones who do not feel like searching. “Israel Charney is a Family Therapist” Can you believe that..! First he rehabilitated married couples with problems, now rehabilitating the Armenians I guess. Or maybe his purse? He was the main actor in the efforts of harassment on dozens of USA historians who signed the open letter to the congress stating the events can not be defined as genocide back in 1986.)

If you see Mr. Stanton from the same group somewhere could you please ask him to identify the first 5 steps of genocide in the Armenian issue.
(These 8 steps are really nicely formulated by him. Interesting that he has no referral to the Armenian issue here. Maybe he wanted his major work to be clean at least.
http://www.genocidewatch.org/8stages.htm)

Go through their publications and please ask your selves “Why these people never address these historical events”.

1. Genocide of the American Indians
2. Algerian “Genocide” (between comma till more data and court decision)
3. The Gypsies of Switzerland! (till 1986!! 1986!!!! Gypsie children were separated from their family and Gypsies were sterilized. Remember the genocide definition)
4. Eskimos of Denmark. What happened to their land to their culture to their population?
5. People of Kongo. 10 milion killed by Belgium. Torture and organized Amputation as a form of punishment and oppression! (now that is oppression not higher taxes!)
6. France, France, France and it endless genocidal orchestrations that are recently reported once again by ex-French Army officials.
7. Armenian occupation in Azerbaijan (1992). 1.milion people exiled. Children heads crushed with stones… Rape, torture, massacre…!!!
8. Iraq. Almost 1 mil. civilians are said to perish. Phosphate bombs burned babies in their cradle in Telafer!!!

What is in common between these oppressed people? 1. Non western/Aryan/indo-European. 2.They don’t have enough of these warm green papers called dollars.

**** Finally if needed the Ottoman Tribunal that convicted Talat and Envercan be explained. Just to say this much.They were convicted to death in ABSENTIA.Without hearing their defence! The courts were directed by English officials and Ottoman Sultan and his “cabinet” was nothing more than English pupets. The very same English who were determined to draw Turks bact to Asia.

More importantly the English had to leave 144 ottoman officials including the Grand Vizier due to lack of evidence of virtually anything. they were captives in Malta. When Istanbul was under occupation, English goverment sent several Armenians to search the Ottoman Archives to collect evidence against these officials. They found nothing! They also could not use the reports of the “great historian” Tonybe and the Blue books as evidence since they were their own fabrications. Unlike todays big goverments who are raising accusations recklessly they at least had the customs of a big Empire. Today England still offically deannounces genocide claims.

on November 16, 2007 at 4:49 am
69 Kathy

If you read this comment, I think it’s fairly easy for anyone to conclude that the comparison to the holocaust and what happened to the Armenians is false.

And yet, it’s so odd, but when Hitler made his famous remark to convey his belief that the world would not be all that upset if the entire Jewish people were exterminated, he did NOT say, “After all, who now remembers the Turks?”

That’s also why Jews themselves should be very careful not to compare their own experience to the Armenian one. The Jews were innocent victims, scapegoats, whereas the Armenians did their very best to rid the country of Muslims and take over.

The Nazis didn’t feel that way, though. The Nazis didn’t think the Jews were innocent victims or scapegoats. In fact, one of the Nazi charges against German Jews was that they were traitors who fought against Germany in WWI. Jews were the cause of all the Germans’ misery.

Point being, it’s kind of strange to try and prove that the extermination of the Armenians in Turkey was not a genocide, by using all these Turkish sources. One would not argue against the Nazi extermination of European Jewry being genocide by using Nazi sources, would one?

Others have made this point, but it’s worth repeating, I think. If the case for the non-reality of there being an Armenian genocide must rely solely, or mostly, on Turkish sources — if the entire world other than Turkey is in general agreement that there was a genocide against Armenians by Turkey in WWI and only Turkey disagrees, that would seem to me to be a very big impediment to your argument.

on November 16, 2007 at 4:53 am
70 Gökalp

Ah Paul says
” in other cases for example it claims 70,000 Azeris died of disease in Nakhichevan in the winter of 1920 and threw that into the number killed as well.”

God god. All Armenian, Russian, Turkish, English, French, USA sources, virtually all sources says “300.000 to 400.000 Armenians went to Russia with the retreating Russian army” and you guys put them to the death list. What about that…

If people that died of disease and starvation are not in the death list Armenian losses will fall below 100.000 in any case.

You also say that ” as I’ve said Halacioglu’s estimation is severely flawed. It adds 0s to the end of figures extremely liberally (8 killed in Van becomes 80,000 in one day!!)”

To bad that All the Armenian historians and Armenian friendly historians that has been to the Ottoman Archive did not figure that discrepancy you figured and made a fool of Halacoglu. Ah maybe it is because less than a hand full of these people can understant Ottoman Turkish.

on November 16, 2007 at 5:37 am
71 John

I’ve tried to cut both sides of this issue as much of a break as I can. I asked in all fairness if the Koran said kill the infidels. The answer came back yes. OK. I asked if maybe muslims were only following the Koran then maybe it could not be called genocide. No comments. I apologzed for Armenians killing Turks. Nothing. Just what do you people want? I will say this, in my family, they like to argue more than they like to make up. SO, it stands to reason that Armenians just llike to argue. It looks like Turks too just like to argue. Maybe you ARE the same people. Maybe THIS is the probelm. It’s a family fight and no one will give the other quarter. I’ve now heard musilms say that Christains and Jews are not included in the kill the infidels rule. Great, no worries. Why don’t we all just put the sabres back in the holster and sit down and figure this thing out? Once and for all. Fix this broken wing and learn to fly. How about a NEW country? Take Turkey, Aremenia, and Azerbaijan and create one big new counrtry. It would be better than fighting. We could call the country Araratia. Perfect. Baklava for everyone.

on November 16, 2007 at 6:05 am
72 P. Connolly

“I asked if maybe muslims were only following the Koran then maybe it could not be called genocide”

…missed that one.
As another poster has mentioned, Christians and Jews were protected peoples by the law of the Qur’an. The word “Sephardic” (Jews of Turkey) comes from Spain. Christian Spain ejected the Jews - set them adrift on boats - in 1492 - because they were Jews. The Turks opened their doors to them because they were a Protected People by the law of the Qur’an.

Did Moslem Turks sometimes do things that they should not have done according the the Law of the Qur’an? Yes!

Should the Christians of Spain ejected the Jews in 1492 - according to what the Gospel had taught? I’ll let you answer that one. The fact of the matter is that there is a long history of mistreatment of Jews in CHRISTIAN Europe before and after 1492. The Holocaust was not an isolated event - it was the culmination of centuries of mistreatment of Jews in CHRISTIAN Europe.

It’s great that you’re willing to apologize for Armenians Killing Turks. I don’t understand why you’re suggesting border adjustment. Turkey isn’t any utopia; it has minority problems like so many other countries but overall, Armenians in Turkey today get along quite well with Turks and most importantly, Turks LIKE them and accept them for what they are!! It’s the Diaspora’s “genocide” demand that is the problem here. If Diaspora Armenians would be willing to back down on that demand, this issue would have hope of resolution. The Turkish people have a right to be greatly offended by this charge.

on November 16, 2007 at 6:18 am
73 Paul

“If people that died of disease and starvation are not in the death list Armenian losses will fall below 100.000 in any case.”

Gokalp, then why does Justin McCarthy say 600,000 Armenians died from the deportations and such? He is the favorite historian who was brought in to lecture and teach Turkish parliamentarians.

on November 16, 2007 at 3:32 pm
74 Gökalp

Dear John

I appreciate your approach very much. And I feel regret that I thought your comments on Koran were racist in nature. But you should also understand me after spending some time in Armenian forums one would automatically be so defensive.

We can discuss everything in peace. We do apologize for Armenian losses! It is a terrible part of our history and many Armenian innocents suffered fates that they did not deserve in any way. Anatolia lost a lot of its valuable human potential due to this disaster.

But we cannot accept the definition. Call it a civil war, even ethnic cleansing all is ok. But We can not accept the term “Genocide”. We can not accept to be in the same jar with the Nazis. Apart from that all can be easily discussed. All we ask is this much. When this step is taken all will return to normal very fast.

I also believe that Armenians and Turks are very much the same people. But creating a new country…? That seems pretty impossible. Much more impossible for the Armenian side I guess.

on November 16, 2007 at 3:38 pm
75 Michael van der Galiën

Gökalp: although I agree with you that what happened to the Armenians was horrible, there are more reasons than ‘we don’t want to be equated to the nazis’ to reject the genocide notion. It wasn’t genocide, because - among other things - the government didn’t order the massacres but, instead, tried to prevent it.

Yes, archival research clearly shows that.

What’s more, the ‘massacres’ weren’t committed by the Turks and Kurds alone. Armenian militias went out and wiped out entire Muslim villages as I’ve proven quite some times already. If Armenians want to talk about the relocations and the massacres there, they should also talk about what their own ancestors did to Turkish Muslims, and stop acting as if they were all good, friendly freedom warriors who fought against the oppressor.

The fact is that they weren’t ‘fighting against the oppressor’ as much as they tried to become the oppressor.

The dialogue should be about the deaths on both sides, and both sides should be condemned.

on November 16, 2007 at 3:44 pm
76 Michael van der Galiën

And yet, it’s so odd, but when Hitler made his famous remark to convey his belief that the world would not be all that upset if the entire Jewish people were exterminated, he did NOT say, “After all, who now remembers the Turks?”

Kathy, you once again prove that you actually don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s not a problem, but then at least accept it when people give you the facts.

Hitler never said what you think he said. One person said he did, but that was never, never ever, verified. In the official history of the Nuremberg court, this was taken out.

O, and the reason we don’t talk about what the Armenians did to Turkish Muslims is because the Turks have forsaken their duty: they should’ve shared their side of the story with the world. Instead, they let Armenians dominate the scene.

Point being, it’s kind of strange to try and prove that the extermination of the Armenians in Turkey was not a genocide, by using all these Turkish sources. One would not argue against the Nazi extermination of European Jewry being genocide by using Nazi sources, would one?

Did you read the names of the people I quoted? They are all Westerners Kathy. They are American officers, British officers, American scholars, French army commanders, and so on.

Besides, when you want to know whether or not the Ottoman government ordered the killings of Armenians or whether they ordered something else altogether, you have to take a look at the Ottoman archives, no?

If the case for the non-reality of there being an Armenian genocide must rely solely, or mostly, on Turkish sources — if the entire world other than Turkey is in general agreement that there was a genocide against Armenians by Turkey in WWI and only Turkey disagrees, that would seem to me to be a very big impediment to your argument.

Read the above. It’s a false argument. If you ever followed philosophy classes you would realize the incredible inaccurateness and weakness of what you just said.

on November 16, 2007 at 3:46 pm
77 Michael van der Galiën

P.Connolly: what’s more. According to both British and French archives, the Armenians had a good go at, not just the Turks, but also Jews living in the areas they targeted - which is one of the reasons that Jews living in Turkey opposed the genocide resolution, and people only taking the suffering of Armenians into account. They know that the Armenians were actually intend on establishing a real Christian nation, with no place for large and influential Turkish and Jewish groups.

on November 16, 2007 at 4:13 pm
78 P. Connolly

Michael: Yes, and for European Leaders -of all people on Earth- to be so critical of Turks after the Turks sheltered Europe’s Orphaned Jews for centuries!! Where is the acknowledgement from Europe’s Leaders of the fact that The Turks “covered” for them and silently sheltered these people who had been the targets of so much Hatred and Bigotry in CHRISTIAN Europe for reasons, primarily, of religious fanaticism and ignorance. The Turks did this simply because they regarded it as the right and natural thing to do and to this day one scarcely sees them claiming credit for it or pointing the finger at Europe.

on November 16, 2007 at 4:40 pm
79 Michael van der Galiën

I agree wholeheartedly Connolly. I just wrote a post in which I also mention this. It’s awkward, to say the least.

on November 16, 2007 at 4:59 pm
80 John

I have participated in many discussions and many blogs and never have I found common ground until today. I call on the Armenian Diaspora to take the comments in this thread to heart. We can not put out a fire that we keep fanning. Let’s back off the genocide talk and give the Turks and Armenians who actual live in Turkey a chance to heal this wound. I’m not just blogging here, I am serious. We all know both Turks and Armenians are good people. What happened, happened. No good comes from trying to start that fight again. I only have one suggestion, tell one other person you know you think we can resolve this if we all just cool off. Then give it 6 months. I’m willing to bet they figure it out and open relations and the border between Turkey and Armenia. Peace is the answer my brothers and sisters both Turkish and Armenian. Give it a chance.

on November 16, 2007 at 5:00 pm
81 Michael van der Galiën

I agree completely with John there. Back off, and let the talking - not shouting and condemning - begin.

on November 16, 2007 at 7:48 pm
82 Paul

“what’s more. According to both British and French archives, the Armenians had a good go at, not just the Turks, but also Jews living in the areas they targeted”

Care to share those sources? I’ve heard the claim made by Turks but never seen it backed up by anything. Azeris do the same thing in claiming there was an Armenian Genocide of Jews in Azerbaijan during this time. If you could share those sources that’d be great..

on November 16, 2007 at 7:51 pm
83 Michael van der Galiën

Paul: both works I quoted in my long comment quote French sources. I advise you to read books like that. I realize that it’s sensitive issue, but if we want to know what truly happened, and why, and if we want to understand why both peoples were traumatized… I think it’s wise to look at both sides of the debate.

I know much of what the other side says, so to speak, but nobody’s listening to the Turkish side (save for the experts who sit in their office all day long and write big books).

Let me add that what I think is really necessary, is for both sides to come together and to share experiences. Both peoples suffered, both sides hold grudges, both sides have horrible stories to tell and have horrific memories, etc.

The way to deal with this issue isn’t by pour oil on the fire: people should actually sit together, exchange experiences, and historians should do what they do best.

Many terrible things happened, many innocent individuals suffered tremendously.

On both sides.

on November 16, 2007 at 7:56 pm
84 Kathy

Kathy, you once again prove that you actually don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s not a problem, but then at least accept it when people give you the facts.

Michael, it’s tempting to respond in kind, but I won’t, because I know this is a very emotional subject and you feel just as strongly on your side as I do on mine.

The fact that you are wrong on almost everything you’ve said in this discussion does not mean that you are not doing your best to keep it civil.

Hitler never said what you think he said. One person said he did, but that was never, never ever, verified. In the official history of the Neuremberg court, this was taken out.

One person? What was the name of the one person?

on November 16, 2007 at 8:05 pm
85 Michael van der Galiën

Kathy seriously… i don’t think that we will go anywhere, even if we continue to talk about it for ages. I’ve given you more facts than you’ve given me (you haven’t given me any facts actually) and your reaction is: “The fact that you are wrong on almost everything you’ve said in this discussion.”

The facts are wrong then, I guess.

Very strange.

Paul and John: I wanted to say that I appreciate the tone of the two of you. I see that more radical elements - on both sides - don’t comment here (anymore), which is a good thing. The thread seems to have evolved into a conversation. That’s what’s needed imo.

on November 16, 2007 at 8:05 pm
86 Paul

“Many terrible things happened, many innocent individuals suffered tremendously.”

Except you look under rocks trying to scrounge up a hundred thousand phantom Jews (Turkey’s figure) Armenians allegedly killed. What’s so funny is word of these Jews (and the ones in Azerbaijan) never came up until the past month or two- ironically at the same time the ADL came under fire by fellow Jews for not being more forthcoming about 1915.
Yes, an article in the Azeri press declared new records were just found saying that 10,000 Jews were killed by Armenians, therefore Jews should be angry at Armenians.
How much of this “newly found information” is real- and how much of it is an attempt to co-opt the Jewish community’s sympathy for Armenians and supplant it?

Also I can’t find the French sources, I looked through the comments section in this and past entries, but nothing about Armenians killing Jews though. It’s probably somewhere, but there’s so many comments in so many entries about this subject that this is a needle in a haystack. So if you could please just copy+paste the lines from your western sources describing the Armenian Genocide of Jews in 1915 I’d appreciate it.

on November 16, 2007 at 8:13 pm
87 Michael van der Galiën

Shaw and McCarthy Paul? The books I mean. I mentioned them and quoted them here I think (not about the jews)? You can find the info in those works. They’re fairly easy to get your hands on.

on November 16, 2007 at 9:15 pm
88 Paul

No I’m looking for you to verify what you said about Armenians massacring Jews. Turkish sources have claimed 100,000 of them were killed- so I guess that’s what you are referring to and accepting unquestioningly? Are you saying that Shaw and McCarthy wrote and/or French sources wrote about this?

on November 16, 2007 at 9:17 pm
89 Michael van der Galiën

Why yes. And I made many notes, sadly this isn’t one of them. So: I will have to reread both documents in order to give you the quotes. Which I am, of course, willing to do. But you’ve got to have a bit of patience.

Turkish sources have claimed 100,000 of them were killed

Note that I didn’t make that claim.

Anyway - later tonight I’ll give you the quote(s), tomorrow morning at the very latest (my time). I’ll require some reading, to say the least, but that’s no pro.

on November 16, 2007 at 9:17 pm
90 Duke

Kathy, the one person to report it was Louis Lochner. An Israeli journalist encaptulates the whole story here:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/914602.html

While it’s possible Lochner was accurate in his reporting–and all the official Nazi documents and other reports regarding the relevant Hitler speeches were wrong–to the objective observer it’s one of those things that seems highly, highly unlikely. In fact, if anything, the liberal use of this quote as an unassailable truth has the unintended consequence of buttressing Turkish claims that Armenians have a selective memory and play fast and loose with history. While the Hitler quote might be a useful PR soundbite and be the easy hook most journalists casually fall back on in writing about how the world should never forget, presenting it as fact–or without a major asterisk next to it–is about the equivalent of entering a scholarly debate about George Washington and pointing to the cherry-tree story as proof that he never told a lie.

on November 16, 2007 at 10:03 pm
91 Paul

OK Michael, thanks.
But you did make the claim that Armenians did massacre Jews despite the Jewish component never even being a factor in this whole debate until just this year when the ADL was thrown into the fray. Don’t you think, with so many watchdog groups out there- if there was an Armenian massacre of the Jews we would have known about it before 2007? It seems more than coincidental, and yet you do accept the claim unflinchingly, whether or not you list the exact numbers.

I know you portray yourself as having a balanced view of 1915- atrocities on both sides, people died all around- but it seems that you often go out of your way to then follow it up with “NOW LOOK AT THIS EVIL THING THE ARMENIANS DID”.

Meanwhile you rebuke any and every of even the most well respected genocide scholars (Samantha Power, Israel Charney…) because *gasp!* Justin McCarthy exists! You continuously make it seem like because, for example, Bernard Lewis is more well known than Charney, Bernard Lewis is right about everything. Anyone who has ever met an Armenian seems to get disqualified in your book- and yet you welcome the figure produced by Halacioglu whose work is funded by the Turkish government of 527,923 Turks massacred by Armenians with open arms despite me pointing out just a couple of the fallacies with that work (along with the fact none of it was proven, he just states a crazy and exact number).

You claim to be impartial- but it seems you have essentially superglued yourself to one side, and it is from that vantage that certain people are completely trustworthy while others at least equally respected historians are worthless- a side where any research by an Armenian is inadmissable but Halacioglu’s research is gospel on exactly how many Turks were killed by Armenians. I just can’t understand why you don’t understand what I’m getting at here- you seem to be enabling your views by unquestioningly accepting some and unquestioningly totally ignoring others. You seem to have firstly thrown out of consideration the entire Armenian side (the blog said it would be open to posting something from the opposite point of view, I supplied you with it, it never got posted- meanwhile you have never claimed a single thing correct about any piece of pro-genocide research out there) while fueling this with random quotes from unnamed friars and the like- causing you to become more certain of the total correctness of your view every day- from which it becomes even easier to ignore the other side.

on November 16, 2007 at 10:08 pm
92 Michael van der Galiën

The piece you sent me was a hitpiece, with Akcam and the other ‘expert’ both lying through their teeth (they even denied that the American had militias: I mean, goodbye, not going to post that here. If someone actually has something good to day; numbers, memories, etc. than that’s fine, but this was a shitty piece of journalism if there ever was one).

What’s more: I’m siding with Turkey on this one. I don’t think it was genocide and I think that the world conveniently ignores what the Armenians themselves did. To me, it’s important to point that out. Only then can we find a solution for it and can all parties involved deal with it.

Setting the record straight, if you will.

on November 16, 2007 at 10:55 pm
93 Richard

Paul, I am curious as to what article you submitted which was deemed so offensive.

In any event it has become obvious that no real dialogue is possible on this blog. People like Akcam are considered “liars” (or “thugs”, “communists”, “terrorists” - some of the other epithets used here) and the great majority of other scholars are dismissed while any evidence provided is taken directly from certain types of web sites.

on November 16, 2007 at 11:02 pm
94 Gökalp

Clarification:

I dont claim that 100.000 Armenians were killed (murdered). It may be any number. it may be 57.000 as Halacoglu reports from the Ottoman Archives or it may be 400.000. There is no real way to know or reach a consensus on that.

The main Armenian claim is that Armenians were sent to desert to die of starvation and dissease (the desert being Dar el Zor a city near the river). And Paul said people who died of starvation does not count. My 100.000 figure was an answer to that.

on November 16, 2007 at 11:07 pm
95 Paul

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/washington/news.aspx?id=68245

“The argument says there were Armenian uprisings. It is simply a lie. The deportations were taking place before any Armenian uprising. There was only one incident in April 1915 and the deportation decree occurred at the end of March. They were individual Armenian deserters and even Armenians were against them. Not only were Armenians deported from eastern Anatolia, they were deported from the entire Anatolia, despite being totally integrated into the Turkish life.”

I wouldn’t call that denying there were militias- he admits an uprising. He, like me, disputes the notion of some populace-wide revolution.
Meanwhile, those in the militias cannot be denied completely as universally evil and terrorists. If they destroyed an innocent village, then yes, but that wasn’t their purpose, at least not what all of them did. Don’t forget that many who ended up in the militias actually fled the Turkish army for their lives.
My great-great-grandfather was drafted into the army along with all the men of his village under the pretense of needing to help with a road repair- of which they were taken out of and all murdered on spot. Word of this was getting around to those in the regular army (as opposed to these impromptu labor battalions) that their fathers, brothers, uncles had been killed and they fled for their lives. My great-uncle is an example, some went from here to join up with the militias. By only taking these people and portraying their numbers as totally regular Armenians who decided to betray their country as traitors you paint a totally inaccurate. There is no black and white, if you saw your family killed (as some of them did) or heard word they will killed by the government’s army, would you oppose it?

on November 16, 2007 at 11:12 pm
96 Paul

“And Paul said people who died of starvation does not count.”

When did I say this?!?!?!
The government orders these people into the desert and their deaths there don’t count?!
Come on!!!!! I will continue to not buy the explanation that the government didn’t forsee the humanitarian disaster of sending a bunch of ill-equiped women and children into the desert with protection made up of people mostly released from the prisons and it was totally unintended. The Ottoman pashas were guilty of at the very least gross neglect, though I can’t imagine something worse was not- I mean who didn’t see that coming?! Would you send a bunch of people into the desert and assume most of them to make it?? Everyone who died in the desert of those conditions do count as blood on the Ottoman government’s hands because these women and children HAD NO BUSINESS BEING THERE. Every life is sacred, Armenian or Turkish, and we are not just going to pretend that those Armenians who died of starvation or exposure in the desert to due government action and not because of a bullet don’t count.

Would my great-granduncles have died of starvation in their sisters arms if they were left at home? These kids were 9 and 12- what threat were they to the Turkish government?! Why did they have to go to the desert?! Why does no one ever address this question and instead just say those people ‘don’t count’?!

on November 16, 2007 at 11:39 pm
97 P. Connolly

I felt that the question has been addressed. They certainly do count. It was indeed very tragic. See my post 15 above.

on November 17, 2007 at 12:59 am
98 Gökalp

I am not out of mind to say such a thing but by saying this (below) you actually said it your self. (sorry it was dissease instead of starvation)

Quoting Paul “and in other cases for example it claims 70,000 Azeris died of disease in Nakhichevan in the winter of 1920 and threw that into the number killed as well. If you want to believe his number that 527,932 Turks were killed by Armenians then I guess I can’t stop you, but it is a total perversion of history.”

And Who was running rampage in Nakhichevan at that time. The Armenian Dashnak government I guess…

The problem is John, generally Armenians are so easily making mockery of other peoples pains and losses while continuously asking for empathy their own losses.

You are not the only one who has lost members of your family. My grand grand father lost his two cousins in an Armenian village (near Erzurum if I remember correctly) on his way to join the Army. They were killed by axes. more than 100 unarmed soldiers on the way to join the army were killed near our village in Arapgir, Malatya. My grandfather Survived the Sarikamis disaster and after the Russian revolution on his way back he withnessed the dead and Tortured bodies of Turkish civilians and soldiers who were crucified to trees and skinned alive.

these are my own family stories that I have listened to. Despite this background my family never tough me to hate Armenians and waste my life on revenge.

+++++
a populace-wise uprising is a thing to discuss but the treachery of Armenians in the ottoman army was clear. Also it is clear that many Ottoman Armenians joined the Russians and the Armenian volunteers. as these sources clearly indicate:

Another Armenian “Genocide” survivor’s testimony from Svazlians book:

TONAKAN ABRAHAM TONOYAN’S TESTIMONY
(Born in 1893, Moosh, Bulanekh, Hamzashekh village)

In 1908, in the days of Hurriyet*, my eldest brother Aghadjan, who was already married to avoid military service, had joined Andranik’s army, and, I don’t know how, he had gone to Russia, and had been living in Yalta for seven years far from his family. After four years, in 1912, I was called to serve in the Turkish army, but I ran away and went to look for my brother. My mother Mariam, tears in her eyes, used to repeat: “Times are complicated, son. A new storm is being prepared for the Armenians. Find your brothers, bring them home, let the members of the family come together again.” But how would they reunite as most of them were in Andranik’s army?

Movses Balabanian, born in 1891, Moussa Dagh
There was a doctor from Kessab, who was a prisoner of the Turks, for he had been serving in the Turkish army. They were helping us. For instance, there was a Turkish cannon on top of the Catholic Monastery in Haifa. It was turned towards the Turkish side and bombarded and killed the Turks. It turned out that the soldier there had been an Armenian boy and, in order to help us, he had turned the cannon towards the Turks and killed many of them.

Rafael de Nogales (my note:A merchenary who fought for the ottoman army in Van)
Four Years Beneath the Crescent, 1926, p. 45

After hostilities had actually commenced, the Deputy to the Assembly for Erzurum, Garo Pasdermichan(my note: Armen Garo, a member of the Ottoman senate), passed over with almost all the Armenian troops and officers of the Third Army to the Russians; to return with them soon after, burning hamlets and mercilessly putting to the knife all of the peaceful Mussulman villagers that fell into their hands. These bloody excesses had as their necessary corollary the immediate disarmament by the Ottoman authorities of the gendarmes and other Armenian soldiers who still remained in the army (This is Nogales´ note: probably because they had been unable to escape) and the utilization of their labor in the construction of highways and in carrying provisions back and forth across the mountains. The altogether unjustifiable desertion of the Armenian troops, united to the outrages they committed afterwards, on their return, in the sectors of BashKaleh, Serail, and Bayacet, did not fail to alarm the Turks and rouse their fear lest the rest of the Armenian population in the frontier provinces of Van and Erzurum revolt likewise, and attack them with the sword. This indeed is precisely what happened a few weeks after my coming, when the Armenians of the vilayet of Van rose en masse against our expeditionary army in Persia; thus giving rise to bloody and terrible occurrences which, under the circumstances, might have been foreseen.

++++
So that was the situation. Ottoman pashas had no way or time to select who is rebellious who is innocent. They had to act fast. The very existence of the country was at stake.

Yes many innocent Armenians were the victims of this decision and it is dreadful. Yet despite the situation Enver and other Ottoman Pashas are “guilty” of this decision by putting the country into war in the first place. But have you ever asked yourself if Armen Garo, Antranik, Boghos Nubar all these Hunchakist, Dashnakists did they have the right to play revolutionary games with innocent Armenian lives. Did they have the right to send letters after letters to imperial powers promising the help of Armenians. Letters that Ottoman spies were damn aware. These are questions Armenians never ask. And once again Armenians are looking at the imperial powers with the aid of such people and being hostile against the Turks who are the very brothers of the Armenians. What a bad fate…

on November 17, 2007 at 1:13 am
99 Kathy

Kathy, the one person to report it was Louis Lochner.

Thank you, Duke. I read the entire piece in Haaretz; it was very interesting. I stand corrected — or perhaps cautioned would be a better word — on the credibility of Hitlers’ “Who remembers the Armenians” remark. And I take your point about not using it when arguing against people who deny the Armenian genocide — if there’s any reasonable chance it’s not a true quote, I don’t want to use it. And it’s not as if there isn’t enough solid evidence of the Armenian genocide without it.

on November 17, 2007 at 1:29 am
100 Kathy

I’ve given you more facts than you’ve given me (you haven’t given me any facts actually) and your reaction is: “The fact that you are wrong on almost everything you’ve said in this discussion.”

Yeah! That was my reaction.

You seem surprised, or startled at that reaction. Why would you feel that way, when you said the same thing to me? Oh wait, I think I know. When you told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and that I should accept it when people give me that facts, you weren’t being arrogant or uncivil: you were merely saying what was true. But since you DO know what you’re talking about, and have given me all the facts, it doesn’t make sense for me to tell you you are wrong.

My bad.

I would share with you my lesson plan on Fact Versus Opinion, but I think I’ve done enough talking about things I know nothing about for one day.

on November 17, 2007 at 4:12 am
101 Gökalp

Quoting Paul “Meanwhile you rebuke any and every of even the most well respected genocide scholars (Samantha Power, Israel Charney…)”

Once again for the ones who missed in my huge posts.

Israel Charney is a FAMILY THERAPIST. When did he become a respected expert on history?

and Samantha Power`s expertise on Ottoman history can be compared to Samantha Fox.

How can you compare these people to Bernard Lewis?

What is a Genocide Scholar anyway? A title invented by Charney.

on November 17, 2007 at 4:55 am
102 Hrant

This article is a “cocktail” of unrelated events with no clear chronology and a very doubtful source. Anyway, when we put facts into chronological order we get a mass scale massacre or genocide or ethnocide (or cxall it whatever u want, it is killing of or an attempt to kill an entire nation)

Back in 1914, when Ottoman Turkey entered WWI against Russia and Great Britain, armenians of Ottoman Turkey were loyal citizens and sent 300, 000 men to the ottoman army. Similarly, their political parties like Tashnag was part of the parliament and government then and through its Congress in Erzurum in 1914 decided to stay loyal to Ottoman state in the war

In begining of 1915, retreating ottoman armies started committing atrocities and blaming armenians for their defeat in Saregamish

In begining of 1915, the ottoman government with its local authorities started an anti-armenian campaign by agitating kurds, and local turks against armenians, sporadic killings, rapes, followed

In beginning of 1915, thousans of armenian men serving army were taken to special places for manual work and killed/executed in cold blood, deserters were pursued

In April 1915, in a sudden move, ottoman police and genderma summoned more than 300 armenian clergymen, and politicians and writers in Constantinople….those were exiled to Cangiri and Ankara and executed

Deportation orders and harrasments started in Erzurum and Van vilayets, in Van few hundred armenians finally revolted and protected themselves inside the fortress (u call this civil war) , turks used artillery and regular army for 2 months to crush the population, meanwhile all villages surrounding Van were destroyed

In Summer of 1915, most of armenians of Mus, Erzurum, Diyarbekir, Erzincan, and places as far as kayseri, konya, esgishehir, were deported and raped and killed on their way to syrian deserts

In sumer of August and September, 1915, against news of killings and deportation orders few hundred armenians in karahisar and urfa resorted to armed defense for 1 month and later they were all killed or deported (u call this civil war-shame on you)

In September of 1915, armenians of Cilicia were summoned and deported to Syria, only few villagers of Musa Dagh resorted to armed defence on top of their mountain, until the french ships came and they were saved (u call this civil war-shame on you)

By end of 1915, most of armenians living in Eastern and Southern Anatolia and central anatolia and cilicia were deported, their villages were either destroyed or loothed , u want to play with their numbers as to how many were killed and how many were deported , go ahead do it…it doesn’t matter ….they were wiped out….

In the end of 1915, russian armies advanced to Erzurum and Mus (they had advanced and retreated from Van 2 times) and retreated again in 1916

During 1916, ottomans continued their deportation and mass kiling-abduction-rape party in all remaining corners of the shattering empire , few hundred thousand could make to syria and 2-300, 000 retreated with russian armies to Caucasus, (out of 2 million people)

In 1917, due to russian revolution and internal strife, russians left the front and retreated, the area was left in the hands of armenian volunteers from Caucasus (Russian Armenia)

In 1918, armenian volunteers, out of revenge for 1 million plus deads and great disaster brought upon fellow armenians started revenge killings in Erzurum area (u call this civil war-or massacres to justify the Genocide-how convenient)

In 1918, armistice was declared and communists signed agreement with Ottoman Turkey, armenian volunteers had to retreat to behind russian boundaries and armenians decalered independence in May 1918

Whatever happened after that date, was between 2 states, and Ottoman Turkey attacked newly independent Armenia twice in 3 years, in 1918 and 1920…

in the meantime, there were no more armenians in Eastern Anatolia nor dashnaks, nor killers nor civil war makers as u assume and allege and lie, but only tens and thousands of armenians orphan children who were turkified and islamized, and few thousand islamized villagers in the north,

When u follow those historic stations apologist stories such as above “article” would shatter in the air, its is made only for the purpose of anti-armenian propaganda and could not in anyway, reduce the effect and reality of the Genocide (call it whatever u want-it doesn’t change the fact)

on November 17, 2007 at 9:02 am
103 P. Connolly

“”Anyway, when we put facts into chronological order we get a mass scale massacre or genocide or ethnocide (or call it whatever u want, it is killing of or an attempt to kill an entire nation)”

…only when viewed through Armenian Tunnel-Vision and when Moslem lives -which this wordy post just doesn’t seem to mention- aren’t counted. This poster has gone to great lengths to tell us about the bad things the other side did but even when confronted with evidence about what Armenians did, it just doesn’t seem to count.

That’s the whole problem here. Moslem Turkish lives just don’t count to Armenian Propagandists. They just want to spread more and more of their hateful propaganda with big long posts about the terrible things that Turks did so that hopefully the other side will be completely drowned out.

on November 17, 2007 at 12:17 pm
104 Michael van der Galiën

Whatever happened after that date, was between 2 states, and Ottoman Turkey attacked newly independent Armenia twice in 3 years, in 1918 and 1920…

LMAO!

P.Connolly: remarkable that huh? The hatred towards Muslims is amazing. What’s more, his chronology starts… right, after the Armenians already went out and plundered entire villages.

Perhaps you should drop the name “Hrant.” Hrant Dink never was a fan of the Armenian Diaspora now was he?

on November 17, 2007 at 4:43 pm
105 Paul

Uhh Michael– this is not about hatred towards Muslims. Sorry to break it to you but Turkey did attack Armenia, in 1918 most certainly. You can’t deny that too- or make it about “hatred of Muslims”. That’s about as ad hominem as it gets.
For example, in 1918 the Army of Islam (Ottomans) had pushed all the way into present day Armenia. There were battles at what is now Vanadzor and Sartarabad, where they were finally pushed back. Less than two years the territory of Oltu ended up being controlled by Muslim warlords even though it was part of Armenia under Mudros. Armenia sent border troops and a skirmish occured, which Karabekir took as excuse to march on Armenia again. Armenians were met with ethnic cleansing as he marched through the lands. This was also the time when he was given the order that he needed to destroy Ani for national security reasons, but thank goodness he saw the futility of the task and wrote back it’d be impossible so didn’t bother. With Turks on one side and Soviets pressuring on the other, Armenia had no choice but to join it for their protection or would have faced completely annihilation- which of course was the start of 80 more years of suffering under Soviet rule.
This once again just proves your complete following of the Turkish line. I don’t know how anyone can turn these events into “hatred of Muslims”, the fact there was war declared twice on eastern Armenia (the Russia part which wasn’t involved in the genocide) is not an opinion based on ethnic bias but an undisputed truth. You are so far and away from conceding an inch to Armenians that you go to the extent of calling them Muslim-haters if they state truths you might not like!
You’re as biased as any diasporan out there, the very people you revile.

on November 17, 2007 at 4:48 pm
106 Michael van der Galiën

Those evil Ottomans, fighting for their country! Trying to salvage and hang on to whatever they could! Who gave them that right?

Paul: I assume you do understand that if the Ottomans had every right to defend themselves and fight back, no? They were pushed back everywhere. What would you have wanted them to do? Drop their weapons, say ‘we love you, can’t we all get along’ and give Turkey to Armenians and allies?

Turks were fighting their butts off to defend themselves, to keep their country. And the Armenians, among other things, had joined the allies and fought against the Turks.

It’s completely defendable that the Turks fought them, wouldn’t you say?

“We joined with the Russians, and tried to conquer the great part of what’s now Turkey and claim it for ourselves. Then those evil bastards fought against us.”

That’s your reasoning?

on November 17, 2007 at 5:43 pm
107 John

The very few Armenians left alive today who were actually alive in 1915 were only children when all this took place and prbably don’t have a clear memory of the events. I’d guess, they don’t really care at this point. The Turks on the other hand are most likely long since dead. The Armenian diaspora have no rights to Aremnia or Turkey. The modern day Turks, own the land they were born on. They have no responsibility to pay for a crime they didn’t commit and Armenians have no right to seek justice for crimes of which they were not the victims. So, genocide or not it does not matter. Drop it. What do any of you think you are gaining by continuing this argument? You remind me of two children arguing over an ice cream cone while it melts away. In the end, no one gets ice cream and they both just cry. Armenia and Turkey. two children. I think al the genocide memorials now erected in the world should be rededicated as man’s unstoppable desire to bind his ego. Wouldn;t be better to erect monuments to our abilty to forgive and forget? Just so no one gets confused about who I am, I am an American decendant of Armenians on my Fathers side, Irish Cherokee on my Mothers side. Do I have a beef with several goverments including my own over the way my peoples were treated? Nope, unless the State of California starts rounding up Aremenians or Irishmen or Indians I’m OK. SO, I think all of you should agree to put your hate or your dislike or even your indifference away forever. Wake up tomorrow not as a Turk or Armenian or Dutch or whatever. Wake up tomorrow as just a human. It’s very liberating when you don’t hate anyone. Don;t just leave history to the historians, just leave history altogether. (PLease don’t throw out that “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat” Rant. I doubt if anyone actually ever said that except Mr. Benjamine my 8th grade civics teacher. However, if history does repeat itself it’s because people won’t let it go not becasue they forget it. Wow, did I say that? That was good.

on November 17, 2007 at 7:02 pm
108 P. Connolly

John raises a legitimate question “Why do we continue this…” and it deserves an answer.

We continue this because we know that the Armenian Agitators are simply biding their time knowing that time is on their side. Even if HR106 doesn’t succeed, in a few years short political memories will have forgotten and they’ll be back again using the same old tried-and-tested deceptions (Lemkin, Hitler Quote, genocide “scholars”, Morgenthau, “all we want is justice” …etc.) on a new generation of unsuspecting legislators who -quite frankly- won’t have any idea what’s going on. The big losers will be Turkey and the Turks both in Turkey and Turkish citizens of other countries and the Armenian Agitators will be celebrating their victories once again and measuring their miserable gains. Turks everywhere will continue to be victims of an ignorant prejudice based on events that happened centuries ago and whose perpetrators are long dead and buried. Start talking to Turks and listen to the stories of the prejudice and mistreatment they face in their everyday daily lives -year-in and year-out- because of this hate-based disinformation campaign waged by these Armenian Agitators.

Some of us want to put a stop to this cycle.

I’ve been wanting to mention that whenever possible, I intentionally use the terms “Armenian Agitators” or “Armenian Groups” to communicate to listeners that my words are not directed toward all Armenians. In fact there are many Armenians who have distanced themselves from the despicable behavior of the deceitful ones in their midst and are very embarrassed by their conduct.

on November 17, 2007 at 7:56 pm
109 Nihat

John, your comment #107 was a deja vu for me… I swear I read you saying the same things quite some time ago elsewhere… So, good to see you again, I guess.

on November 17, 2007 at 9:58 pm
110 John

Nihat,

Yes. I get caught up sometimes and get defensive or offensive but I read what the Turks are saying and I remember that peace begets peace. Then I find myself making sense instead of war. So, it’s nice to see you again as well.

Now I’d like to trhow a little more water on the fire if I may. My Grandmother, Pearl Katchadorian, lived in a village where her family had been for generations. Her Father was the priest of her village. During the chaos of WWI a group came to her village. I don’t know who they were. Her Father and Mother were killed outright. She was a young girl and was taken captive. Her brother Kay was left to die. She was sold to a promenent Turkisk man of great wealth. Kay was rescued by Catholic misonaries and raised in an orphanage.

Pearl had 2 sons who were around 10 and 11 when she took the opportunity to escape. She left my uncles behind. Eventually she made her way to America and even managed to find her brother. That’s not my point however. Somewhere in Turkey I have 2 uncles who are as Armenian as I am, their children are as Armenian as mine are, their Grandchildren are as Armenian as my Grandchildren. And, we are all related, blood to blood.

Being rasied as Turks they probably have no idea of their heritage. They may be sitting around right now discussing these unreasonable Armenians and don’t have a clue. This story can’t be unique. Hundreds maybe thousands of Armenian women and girls were blended into Turkish culture. A culture right now that can’t beign to phathom that we are one race, one people. And yet we all we do is argue.

I have no quarrel with the Turks. We are brothers and sisters of the same flesh. One blood, one heart. Talking about Armenian Agitators does nothing to solve this dilema. Only when all of us are willing to accept that this has gone on long enough will we heal.

All of us are running from the past, some of us are running from the future. If our future, Turks and Armenians, isn’t peace, then it certainly will be war. War is a future I won’t be part of. My hand is out, my arms are open. Let there be peace. Please.

on November 17, 2007 at 10:29 pm
111 P. Connolly

The story John relates is a terribly tragic one. Thank you for sharing it with us and for sharing what you have done personally with the emotions it has undoubtedly generated. Undoubtedly there are aspects of his life - not shared here - which were forever altered because of the events which took place so long ago in the lives of his grandmother and uncles. Instead of hatred, he has nurtured feelings of brotherhood for one human race, one human family, one people. This is the right thing to do. He will not pass down hatred to his children. Terrible traumas have touched his life but his response is different; his response is constructive, his response has the potential to effect real lasting change on earth. We cannot change the terrible things that have happened in the past.

We can change the present. And the future.

I cannot go along with the suggestion that we allow the despicable few among the Armenian Community to have a free hand in wreaking so much havoc on the everyday lives of Millions of Turks everywhere. I continue to feel that they must be exposed for the deceitful liars that they are if we are ever to find a solution to this difficult problem.

on November 17, 2007 at 11:13 pm
112 Nihat

John, your heart is certainly in the right place. I appreciate the fact that you’re able to say we’re the same people. That takes courage given the extremists of both sides. (And Turkish extremists are not in short supply, either. Somehow, I am not able to get over the fact that Turkish demonstrators who chanted “We’re all Armenians” after Hrant Dink’s murder were quickly shunned after a short period of shock.)

Not to inflame the thread any further, but Yusuf Halacoglu –Paul’s historian extraordinaire– might know about your uncles. He caused quite a stir past month or so when he declared that there were state records of Kurdish and Alevite Turkish communities of Armenian origins. He was almost unanimously accused for racism. Such state records should be destroyed for good, said his critics.

on November 17, 2007 at 11:36 pm
113 Nihat

A random bit thrown in to go along with John’s drift.

There is an interesting book, a memoir, by Irfan Orga: “The Portrait of a Turkish Family.” It was written in the 50s or so if I recall correctly, and is available at amazon.com. Orga relates a story about himself and his younger brother getting separated in Istanbul under Allied occupation. They are both young kids at the time. The interesting thing is, he later sees his brother in a government facility by total accident. The occupying authorities were apparently collecting orphans, and sorting them out into ethnic-religious groups according to their physical characteristics, and they put Orga’s brother in the Armenian group. Anyway Orga, with the help of a few adults who care to listen, reunites with his brother, and they grow up together as Turks.

It is therefore not beyond imagination that there should be Turks who are today Armenians somewhere.

on November 18, 2007 at 1:41 am
114 Vahe

Micheal -You can print this if you want or not, but I would appreciate it if you would at leats read it all the way through.
I have followed some of the articles you have written on this blog and it is clear that the information you are being given is bias and totally wrong in most cases to say the least.
As a clear example something that was only quoted in Azeri and Turkish nationalist anti Armenian sites ; the EU parliaments resolution recognising the Armenian Genocide - this was never revoked, it still stands, but in these sites they said that the EU had revoked this decision. On your blog you said the same and when you were challenged on it you reiteratetd it at least twice - you were of course wrong, but you did not question your sources or even check the fact (you could have done so very easily). If you have been misinformed of this simple present historical fact how much are you mistaken about historical facts of 90 years ago.

Now with the latest claim of Armenians massacring Jews - this is a completely new one!? Anti genocide activists have always ridiculed Morganthau’s version because he was an ‘American Jew’, he even went out of his way to save as many Jews as possible by shipping them out of dangers way. Are you seriously saying that even though he did everything to save the Jewish population he would not have known what was happening to them and who was killing them? And then tried everything to tell the world of what was happening to the Armenians. Oh please - you are (I am assuming) doing your doctorate you have to be more intelligent than that!! This is the first time ever I have heard this new accusation against the Armenians - perhaps you should forward it and the sources to historians!

With regard to Armenians wanting to take over the Ottoman empire and make it into a ‘Christian State’ this again has been something a few Turkish Nationalists have been saying for decades, it is also a ‘red herring’ not even the government has been claiming this. The reality is that it was the Young Turks who wanted to create a pure Muslim state and not only considered Armenians ‘uncompatable’, but also the 300,000 + Christian Assyrians (who were killed) as well as the 100,000+ Greeks who were either killed or forced out of the area (well documented, but not mentioned by you on this site - because the anti Armenian sites do not mention it - I wonder why?). The statements made by the Young Turks at the time clearly define what they wanted to create.

With regard to massacres of Turks by Armenians - again your numbers are way way off. www.armenianreality.com is an anti Armenian ultra nationalist web site which you and your articles have currently been top billing. In it you will find that there is actually a memorial in Van in rememberance of the Turks killed in Van. You might try doing some research into for how many the memorial killed is for (no one is saying that absolutely no civilians were killed by The Armenian civilians, in Rwanda was it only one group that was killed?) (But your numbers are wrong - not surprising courtesy of Mcarthy). Did you know that in 1905/6 there were specific laws created making it illegal for Armenians to have any form of arms. They were so strict on this law that some Armenians without arms had to buy them from Tuks/Kurds so that they would have something to hand in. While we are on the subject of massacres in another entry you said that only Armenians from Eastern Anatolia were killed everywhere else they were left alone - again something that anyone reading your blog with any basic knowledge of the issue is probably laughing at and makes a mockery of all your other statements. Why exactly do Armenians comemorate the Genocide on Aril 24th, 1915?

With regard to Taner Ackam, he did not initially become into prominance because of views on the Armenian issue, he became noted because of what he said about the treatment of Kurds in Turkey for which he received a ten year jail sentence, went into hiding and then fled to Germany. There are also other Turkish historians who openly talk about the genocide, Gocek for one, again you might want to do some proper research into who the others are.

I understand the need for America as well as Isreal to have Turkey as allies. I also understand that you have several Turkish friends (one of whom in America contributes to the site) as well as friends currently in Turkey and if you want to think what you want to think that is fine, if you want to talk about it on your web site that is also fine. But when you and your quotes are reprinted (with or without your consent) on anti Armenian nationalist sites then the contorted and misinformed facts become self perpetuating. So what you might ask, if that is what you believe anyway. There is a much bigger issue here that if you as someone who wants the best for Turkey is missing.
The only people who will pay credence these misinformed conceptions are the ultra nationalists who read these blogs and reprints of what you have to say on the subject. It is the ‘deep state’ and the ultra nationalists that are now holding back Turkey not only in reforms for free speech, but also any form of reconciliation possibilities not only with the Armenians, but the Greeks, the Cypriots and even the Kurds. Your statements and articles have been more inflametory than anything else. It is all well and fine to talk without actual knowledge on the subject from behind the screen, but the reality is much more different - Armenia and Armenians, will as you have already guessed never drop the issue until Turkey recognises the Genocide (whether you believe it happened or not) and geographically Turkey and Armenia have to live together as neighbours. Adding flames to the situation does not help.
Let me give you an example of the mentality which is sadly still rife in Turkey - in 2006 a Gallup poll showed that 59% of Turks still believed that 9/11 was not carried out by Arab muslims! (this coming from a country which says it is ready to join the EU) If you really care about Turkey (and even the Armenian issue) the best thing you could do is writing fervently for the abolition of anti free speech laws such as 301 as well as support the human rights groups currently in Turkey which are trying to open up discussion on all issues including the Armenian one and also the Kurdish one.

If you want to do a factual historical study on the whole issue do so in a university, if you want to affirm your support for Turkey and the obstacles it faces this is not the way to do it. You are very shortsighted if you are adding positively to the debate in this manner.

on November 18, 2007 at 4:48 am
115 John

Vahe,

I have always found Michael to be fair and accurate. I don’t hink you are right to criticize him. I believe he only seeks the truth and I also believe he wants to see a peaceful resolution to this issue. However, this will mean that he radical elements on both sides are not going to get what they want. We have to change what they want into what they need. This is the key, getting to what everyone really needs. This will be a hard thing for some people to accept and it will be hard work for those who are willing to really do this. I would very much like to see this blog become a brainstorming tool on how to make peace between Turkey and Armenia. And it can’t be like a divorce where each side vindictively demands from the other. It has to be like a marriage, each side bringing their wealth to the table. Can’t you imagine in your wildest dreams what could be accomplished if this happened? A Turkey and an Armenia free of it’s past, living together! I guarantee you would prefer it over where we are today. It is possible. No one has ever done it, and the world will be quick to say no one can do it. They all get a kick out of watching us go at each other. But we are a great people, both Turks and Armenians, and we can do things others can’t. Let’s stop reading history, and instead let’s make history.

on November 18, 2007 at 5:47 am
116 Areen

John,

I love the part about making history, but not at the cost of sacrificing the reading of history. That doesn’t strike me as a fair bargain. One side destroys the other, and then somehow expects that other side to conveniently forget because it would be “better” than where we are today. Sounds like blackmail if one reads between the lines.

Anyway, there’s sadly no mutual trust or interaction between either side, and it will basically remain that way until there’s an honest reading of history, plain and simple. There’s a 500 pound gorilla in the room and it ends there.

Clearly, Michael doesn’t understand this and acts as if there’s a genuine debate about facts, figures, HISTORY. He may think he’s doing us a civic service by somehow “revealing” the long attacked and besmirched “truth” that has alluded professional historians, scholars, and the world for the last 92 years.

It’s sad.

on November 18, 2007 at 6:15 am
117 P. Connolly

It is not correct to argue that “The Young Turks wanted to create a pure Muslim State and considered Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians incompatible”. I’m afraid this is another case of Armenian Tunnel Vision. In the Late 19th Century, it was clear to everyone that the Ottoman Empire was in its death throes. The “great powers” were already hovering over the “sick man” and thanks to a leaked conversation between Czar Nicholas of Russia and a British Diplomat it was no secret that they had already broached the subject as to how the pieces of the corpse were to be equitably divided among them. These “Great Powers” were all Christian; “Holy Russia”, Great Britain, France, Germany, etc, and they had a centuries-long history of interference in the internal affairs of the Ottoman Empire with respect of the Christian Minorities.

What the Armenian argument fails to take into account is that this situation in which a weak, dying Turkey was breathing its last breaths, with Christian Great Powers hovering over it, and with the Christian Armenians’ close historical relationship -complete with indirect military ties- to “Holy Russia”, the hereditary enemy of the Ottomans, amounted to a recipe for disaster. Policemen from Eastern Anatolia were drafted into the army; Eastern Anatolia became like a heap of dry wood that needed only a spark to ignite it. In my view it is very incorrect to blame the whole situation on the Armenians. But it is worse still - in view of the known actions of many Armenians at the time - to characterize the Turkish actions as genocide. It is generally unwise to try to justify the Turkish actions under the circumstances but we cannot call it genocide unless we ignore the atrocities committed by Armenians against Turkish civilians and ignore the fact that it was primarily localized to Eastern Anatolia.

To attempt to reduce all this to religious prejudice saying that the Young Turks wanted to create a Pure Moslem state is either misinformed or a deliberate misrepresentation of historical facts. In the Greek Areas of Western Anatolia there was serious Civil Strife and the insinuation -if I interpret it correctly- that the population transfer in Western Anatolia was evidence of a desire to create a Pure Moslem State is really Pure Armenian Propaganda. The accusation has been made here before but the historical facts clearly show otherwise. Western thinkers of the time regarded it as a suitable (though last resort) solution to the problem of civil unrest in order to ensure self-determination in areas where the populations were inhomogeneous. It is a complete distortion of historical facts to attribute all this to the Young Turks or to Ataturk as Armenians often do. To this day this same theory - which wrought so much pain and misery (many deaths also) on so many Greeks and Turks alike - still has its proponents here in the West and a variant of it is regarded by some as a suitable solution to present-day Shiah-Sunni problems in Iraq.

on November 18, 2007 at 8:34 am
118 Vince

Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term `genocide’ in 1944, and who was the earliest proponent of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide , invoked the Armenian case as a definitive example of genocide in the 20th century.

on November 18, 2007 at 8:35 am
119 Vince

In August 1985, after extensive study and deliberation, the United Nations SubCommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities voted 14 to 1 to accept a report entitled `Study of the Question of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide ,’ which stated `[t]he Nazi aberration has unfortunately not been the only case of genocide in the 20th century. Among other examples which can be cited as qualifying are . . . the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916′.

on November 18, 2007 at 8:36 am
120 Vince

In 1948, the United Nations War Crimes Commission invoked the Armenian Genocide `precisely . . . one of the types of acts which the modern term `crimes against humanity’ is intended to cover’ as a precedent for the Nuremberg tribunals.

bunals.

on November 18, 2007 at 8:37 am
121 Vince

The first resolution on genocide adopted by the United Nations at Lemkin’s urging, the December 11, 1946, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96(1) and the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide itself recognized the Armenian Genocide as the type of crime the United Nations intended to prevent and punish by codifying existing standards.

on November 18, 2007 at 3:26 pm
122 Vahe

P. Connely

One has to be careful not to be sanctioning mass murder and ethnic cleansing on the basis of excuses. There is no excuse for masss murder.

Not sure if anyone had the opportunity to watch parts of the trial of Saddam Hussien. When he was challenged about the Kurds whom he gassed he got up and without flinching said that he had to do what he did, they had risen up and that he had to keep control of the country. I remember he said this with sincere conviction, he actually believed what he did was completely in his rights,(especially when the whole world was battering at the doors of Iraq trying to get at the oil fields and remove him from power). Luckily for the Kurds he did not then try to remove all of them by marching them into the desert in an attempt to get rid of them once and for all.

There are no mitigating circumstances for mass murder. If we allow excuses then more people will continue to be killed in Darfur, Pol Pot leaders will not be convicted on the same grounds etc.etc……..

on November 18, 2007 at 5:18 pm
123 P. Connolly

As stated earlier, mass murder is not the same as genocide. As mentioned above in my post #15, mass killing of large numbers of civilians during wartime has occurred many times in the history of mankind. Acknowledging that it has occurred is not tantamount to “making excuses” or “sanctioning” it. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a mass killing and permanent mutilation of hundreds of thousands of non-combatant women and children but it was not genocide for the simple reason that Truman’s motives were not the same as Hitler’s.
The repeated Armenian Assertion that the relocation of the Armenians was proof of genocide is groundless and they need to admit it. Repeatedly insisting that it was an “attempt to get rid of them once and for all” is a vain attempt to distort historical facts. Regardless of how badly it was executed or how many hateful individuals tried to increase the suffering of the Armenians or prey on their misfortune the fact remains that moving populations in this way was regarded by leading thinkers -western thinkers- as a suitable solution to the problem of civil unrest and there was a very serious problem of civil unrest in Eastern Anatolia at the time.
The lesson to be learned is that moving populations is never a suitable solution to complex political problems - no matter how bad it gets. It is mind boggling to see that such otherwise intelligent (Western) men could come up with such hare-brained theories and then fail to learn the lessons that that they should have learned from the Greek-Turkish Population Transfer of Western Anatolia which was carried out with the full sanction (shall we say “guidance”?) of Western powers and under the supervision of both governments and yet resulted in many deaths of the migrants and long-term psychological suffering and trauma of the relocated survivors and their descendants.

on November 18, 2007 at 7:09 pm
124 John

I don’t think our Turkish brothers are making excuses. If you read evry line and not just the lines you like you will see that over and over again the Turks agree that killings took place. They get it. They would appreciate it if we would stop trying to ram it down their throats. What happened was unfortunate but it is over. This constant debate is wreacking the lives of people in Turkey and Armenia who are just trying to get up every day and pay the rent. None of us have the right to interfere with a man trying to feed his children. How hypocritical is this? We will demand that people who did nothing admit to a crime they didn’t commit and make them suffer until they do. If you think this issue isn’t causing suffering in Turkey you are not paying attention. Enough is enough. Get off their backs already.

on November 19, 2007 at 2:43 am
125 John

Well well. I have been checking this blog all day and it is very quiet. It’s late afternoon here in California. My dinner is cooking in the oven. It’s nice outside, not cold not hot. I am drinking a cup of hibicus tea and reflecting on all I have learned the last few days. I understand the Turks now. Muslims too. Much much better than I ever did. I’m hoping you too understand that not all Armenians are insane. Even the crazy ones mean well. They just need time to relax. They have as much passion as the Turks. These two great cultures, we must bring them together. I want to see Istanbul now, Ankara too. I want to walk down the street in a Turkish city and walk into a shop and have coffee and baklava and discuss the weather with a Turk. A Turk who knows I am Armenian but doesn’t care. I bid you all farewell as I will not be back. For those of you in Turkey, you may see me some day. Walking down the street. I look just like you. I am just like you. I pray that peace wins out over the screamers. They will wear themselves out eventually. It’s not too late for us. Turk and Armenian. May God bless you all. All the Turks and all the Armenians. God has already given you the greatest gift. You are all alive. You can talk, you can write. Use this to make this horror go away. This wall between us. Tear it down.

on November 19, 2007 at 3:54 am
126 Pat

John

If you can visit Bodrum, Epidaurus, Antalya, Alanya and the Southern coast in general. I’d stay away from Ankara in the winter though, the coal heating can really cause pollution!

on November 19, 2007 at 4:30 am
127 P. Connolly

“These two great cultures, we must bring them together… This wall between us. Tear it down”

Well Said John! How could there be a better way to say it !! Thank you for sharing these wonderful thoughts with us !

on November 19, 2007 at 5:36 am
128 Areen

Tear it down, but not by disregarding or scuttling the truth.

on November 19, 2007 at 7:07 am
129 Vince

admin: ethnic bigotry is not welcome here

November 21, 2007 at 1:46 am
130 Gökalp

John all I can say at this point is “God bless you”. I am so happy to meet someone like you. Hope you will make it to my country (which is also “Your Country”) some day.

on November 22, 2007 at 3:13 am
131 BrianAlbright

It’s truly saddening to see the numerous comments by Armenian propagandists that continue to focus hate on the Turkish government and their never ending quest to make the Turkish government look like “the liars.” However, it is also uplifting to see some Armenians that will discuss these events maturely and will actually try to argue. While some of the Armenian propagandists will dismiss whole articles and use their argument of “it happened” or “everybody believes it already” or “The Armenian revolution is irrelevant”, such arguments by scholars on all sides are said to not aid the Armenian genocide argument. It is a debate, and just because one says it isn’t a debate, doesn’t make it so.

The Armenian Revolution is completely germane to this issue. One must ask the question of motive to understand what actually happened in World War I and before with the Armenians and the Ottoman Muslims. Would the Ottoman Empire that is at its lowest point since its formation, suddenly decide that it wants to exterminate all the Armenians when they are already in war on several fronts against Russia, England, and their allies? Would the Ottoman Empire just barely awakening from the fact that they just lost most of their empire in the last few decades suddenly decide that the Armenians need to be urgently exterminated? This is a silly argument at best. The Ottoman Empire had nothing to gain from exterminating its own subjects and civilian populations that pay them taxes.

As a counter-argument, the Armenian genocide argument supporters say that the Turks hated the Armenians. If the Turks hated the Armenians why didn’t they kill them off centuries ago when Europe was in turmoil and when minorities in empires had no standardization of protection by the international authorities? If the Turks hated the Armenians why weren’t there any hate speeches by government leaders like in Hitler’s case or in every other real genocide? If the Turks hated the Armenians, why did they allow Armenians to have high ranking roles in their government and in their economy? If the Turks were out to exterminate the Armenians, why didn’t they have some sort of identification process to identify who is Armenian? Nazi Germany forced all Jews to wear the Star of David as a yellow badge. Jews lived in certain ghettos and it was known where they were located. Armenians lived freely in Eastern Anatolia, they had their own national constitution and local government because the Ottomans granted them this through the millet system, which was Europe’s standardized minority protection system that many European countries had adopted years ago.

The motive is this: The Armenians wanted their own nation, and the Armenians do not deny this. They claim the revolution was a response to the genocide—but wait a second, if the revolution was a response to the genocide, then why was the Armenian Revolutionary Federation established in the late 1880s? Please look up the Dashnak party and what they were created for, and you’ll see that they were formed way before the supposed 1915 genocide.

The Armenians watched as the Balkan countries gained their independence with the direct help of Russia. Russia was desperate since the 1500s to take over the Ottoman Empire. Look up Turkish-Russian wars, there was at least ten of them maybe more. The Russians were finally winning, they had succeeded in the Balkans freeing many Slavic countries. Is it that unlikely that the Russians would even use their good friends the Christian Armenians to rebel as well? Is it that hard to believe, that the Russians wouldn’t provide significant portions of weapons and ammunitions for the freedom of Armenia. Were the Armenians not nationalist by this point?

As a counter-argument, Armenian propagandists say that just because some Armenians were rebelling which they admit was before any massacres, doesn’t mean that all the Armenians were rebelling. They are absolutely correct, but revolutionary leaders also know this, and this is their technique to defeat the Armenians who DO NOT want to rebel. They go ahead and massacre villages of the enemy that they want to rebel against. They let some of these villagers go to tell the others in neighboring towns or perhaps to deliver the news to the Sultan himself. Then they hide somewhere safe, in hopes that the enemy will try to take revenge and massacre Armenian villages in return. Their plan worked well; now the Armenians saying “No we shouldn’t rebel against the Ottoman Empire, whats the point?” will now say “My God, the Turks killed my friends and my villages, we MUST rebel immediately!”.

This always happens when there are two or three ethnicities living in a mutual area, revolutions usually are more difficult, and usually civilians also get killed. During the American Revolution, the British were not there, only the soldiers, and thus, British civilians were not harmed, and because the Americans won the war, they gained their independence. However, where revolutions fail, such as in Palestine, the people there, whether true or not, will claim that they had been oppressed, mistreated, or massacred, or even claim their aggressors committed genocide. This might or might not be true, and it should be investigated, but it is quite obvious there was no genocide in Israel. It is also just as obvious that there was no genocide in Eastern Anatolia by the Turks. There was no intent, no motive, no benefit, and of course no evidence, that the Turks committed genocide against the Armenians.

Some Armenians point to the Talat Pasha Telegrams as evidence that the Ottoman government intended to exterminate the Armenians. However, that evidence was proven false by many courts of law when used as a defensive argument for defendants from ASALA (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia) that had murdered Turkish civilians around the world as evidence of a genocide. It was proven that the forger did not understand the Ottoman Royal language fully, and had wrongly forged the dates and ciphers used to authenticate telegram orders. Sometimes they use Hitler’s quote saying “[Let’s do the Holocaust, after all who here remembers the extermination of the Armenians]”, not only is this not evidence, but it too was proven false by Western historians.

So was the Armenian Genocide the “First Genocide of the 20th Century”? No, it was not, that was the Congo genocide that eight to thirty million Congolese were exterminated for the purpose of clearing the nation to give it to the king of Belgium, this was before 1915. The fabricated Armenian Genocide, is more like the First Act of Collective Terrorism of the 20th Century, and it was for the purpose of creating mutual massacres to create a full Armenian revolt that will create their own nation!

on November 29, 2007 at 1:04 pm
132 Nouralhouda

I invite you to visist tnis site web which invite you tu know the truth
http://www.nourmohamed.com

on November 29, 2007 at 2:06 pm
133 Michael van der Galiën

Brian: good comment.

on November 29, 2007 at 10:49 pm
134 BrianAlbright

Put yourself in Armenians’ position, you have lost an independence, the Allies and Russians who have promised you large chunks of land in your homeland the Anatolia, have backed off, and signed treaties without you recognizing Turkey’s borders and granting the Armenians a tiny piece of land. After all the work your countrymen have done, you have been given almost nothing. All those Turkish villages your countrymen burned down, in hopes of initiating mutual massacres, has worked in massacring your own people, and the genocide idea has even been published by British propagandists to dehumanize the Central Powers. However, it hasn’t established your dreams. In fact, it has made it worse, because the mountain Ararat which you so love, is now positioned right on the border where Armenians will stare at it everyday knowing they will never have their landmark back or many young Armenians’ dream of climbing it will never be successful.

Now that World War I is over, you now hate the Turks very badly. How can you make the whole world understand your hate? How can you make the world see that many nations that broke off the Ottoman Empire got what they wanted, except Armenia. How can you make the world understand why the Turks have ruined your peoples’ dreams? You can’t just go around yelling “The Turks are bad, the Turks are evil” people will simply claim you are racist (although Armenians have tried that). You can’t just go around telling people “The Turks are nasty Muslims and they smell.” No, but you can go around telling everyone “The Turks in 1915 massacred millions of Armenians in a systematic extermination to ethnically cleanse my people and commit genocide. They are like Nazis!” and people will not call you a racist, because they worry it might be true, and they sympathize with victims of genocide. However, Armenians were never victims of genocide, the evidence claims there was no genocide. How can the Armenians’ make sure everyone believes this without ever having to argue about it?

Ah, this is where propaganda works best. You can convince politicians to help you with money and the promise of votes. You can easily convince them to start resolutions about the Armenian genocide, has anyone even read what H.R. 106 is? What does the Armenian Genocide have to do with the United States, it’s not even something recent like Darfur where we as human beings have failed to stop the massacres there. So we stop focusing on genocides today, and go back a hundred years to send harsh messages to the Ottoman Empire which doesn’t exist anymore? The people supposedly involved in the Armenian genocide, were either assassinated by Armenian terrorists or died naturally.

What else can the Armenians do? They can publish books, documentaries, and videos, describing how horrible the Turks treated the Armenians. They can make claims about number of deaths without ever providing proof. They can show pictures of dead Armenians and claim it as proof of a genocide, when it doesn’t mean that the Armenians were being ethnically cleansed and they burn and hide photos of Muslims who were massacred by Armenian revolutionaries.

The number one weapon of hate, is to pretend you are the victim of the person you hate.

If a girl goes to a police station claiming that a guy they know has raped her. The police might go and bring the guy in, to interrogate. It’s a strong weapon to accuse someone of a crime. The Armenians have done the same about Turks. However when the rape-kit comes back, it will show that the guy didn’t rape him at all, it will still be trouble, because she’ll claim he used a condom. The only thing that might save the guy may be an alibi, if a witness says that the guy was somewhere else at the time of the crime. In any case, there will be a trial, and problems may occur. However, the Turks have all the proof they need, it makes no logical sense that the Turks would commit genocide against the Armenians. However, it is very rare will you ever find Armenians trying to debate the issue, because they claim there is no debate since most historians agree with them (although I have never heard of these historians, except the ones of Armenian descent). The Armenian propaganda machine tries its best, to show to everyone that the Armenian genocide is a FACT, not a debate or theory, which would be the proper scientific term for it.

Anyone that rejects the Armenian genocide is immediately labeled as a denier using its bad connotation. However, they forget, that rejecting the Armenian genocide doesn’t mean they are liars, it simply means they disagree with the term “genocide”. They don’t claim Armenians never died, they prove that it was a civil war between Ottomans and Armenians who were armed by the Russians to revolt and form their own nation. The Armenian propagandists omit history that disproves the Armenian genocide while only showing facts that support their genocide theory. They selectively pick facts to convince people there was a genocide, and try their best to avoid debates.

on November 30, 2007 at 1:02 am
135 vsovereign

Hmmmm….
I’ve read this blog from top to bottom & I am more & more convinced that there are two sides of the coin…

Were there killings? YES
Who are the victims? CIVILIANS ON BOTH SIDES
How many died? 1mil+ Armenians & 500k+ Turks….
Was it a genocide? Debatable
Did the Armenians rebel? YES
Is it because of genocide? Debatable

I am interested in this because I have Armenians & Turkish friends (they don’t mingle)

I am interested because my Armenian friends tried several times to make me acknowledge the genocide (I said I’m neutral-though I let them speak & then change the subject)

I am interested because my Turkish friends never say bad things about Armenians or Armenia while my Armenian friends DO

Reading this & many other sources from the net, however biased they are, I am inclined to say that the Armenian Question is NOT a genocide.

Not that I’m going to say that to my Armenian friends though

on November 30, 2007 at 10:57 pm
136 BrianAlbright

Armenian deaths (although some have died from disease, starvation, disease, and other turmoils of WWI):
According to Ottoman Archives: ~600,000
According to Armenian Scholars: ~1,000,000
According to Armenian propagandists: ~1.5-2 million
Logical Estimation: 700,000-800,000

Armenian Population(1915):
According to Ottoman Archives: 1.4 million
According to Armenian Patriarch: 1.6 million
Logical estimation: 1.5 million

Turkish Deaths:
Anywhere from 500,000 to 3 million. Are they all a result of Armenian killings? Perhaps not.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation was established in 1890, just look at their emblem. It was established to rebel from not only the Ottoman Empire but also Iran. This was way before 1915 genocide, and this was BEFORE massacres of Armenians. They had been getting armed since the 1880s to rebel and create their own nation, they saw how successful the Greeks, Arabs, and Balkan nations were. They had all the motive to rebel and cause massacres. While the Turks had no motive to attack its own subjects and tax-paying minorities in their most WEAKEST point (Sick Man of Europe was almost dead).


Source: The Van Der Galiën Gazette

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Would You Please Update/Correct Any Of The
3500+ Posts by Leaving Your Comments Here
- - - Your Opinion Matters To Us - - -


We Promise To Publish Them Even If We May Not Share The Same View

Mind You,
You Wouldn't Be Allowed Such Freedom In Most Of The Other Sites At All.

You understand that the site content express the author's views, not necessarily those of the site. You also agree that you will not post any material which is false, hateful, threatening, invasive of a person’s privacy, or in violation of any law.

Please read the post then write a comment in English by referring to the specific points in the post and do preview your comment for proper grammar /spelling.

Note To Spammers
If you believe Your Comments will ever appear here, You are DREAMING

You need a Google Account (such as Gmail) to publish your comments


Publishing Your Comments Here:
Please type your comment in plain text only (NO Formatting) in an editor like notepad first,
Then copy and paste the final/corrected version into the comment box here as Google/Blogger may not allow re-editing/correcting once entered in some cases.
And click publish.
-If you need to correct the one you have already sent, please enter "New Comment" as we keep the latest version and delete the older version as default

Alternative way to send your formatted comments/articles:
http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2007/05/Submit-Your-Article.html

All the best