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01 December 2007

2224) An Armenian Author On "Patriotism Perverted" By Prof. Dr. Turkkaya Ataov

© This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site
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AN ARMENIAN AUTHOR ON "PATRIOTISM PERVERTED"
• UN AUTEUR ARMENIEN S'EXPRIME SUR LE "PATRIOTISME PERVERTI"
EIN ARMENISCHER AUTOR UBER "PATRIOTISMUS MISSBRAUCHT"

PROF. DR. TÜRKKAYA ATAÖV
Ankara Üniversitesi Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi
SECOND PRINTING: APRIL 1985
ANKARA
DİZGİ: ÖZDE
BASKI: SİSTEM OFSET


Patriotism Perverted
A discussion of the deeds and the misdeeds of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, tne so-called Dashnagtzoutune

By
K. S. PAPAZIAN
BOSTON
BAIKAR PRESS 1934



AN ARMENIAN AUTHOR ON "PATRIOTISM PERVERTED"
Prof. Dr. TÜRKKAYA ATAÖV Chairman, International Relations Division, Faculty of Political Science, Ankara University.

Kapriel Serope Papazian, in a book entitled Patriotism Perverted and published in Boston by the Baikar Press in 1934, tried to present to the English-speaking Armenians of the United States and to the American public in general, a picture of an organization called the "Armenian Revolutionary Federation", or the Dashnagtzoutune (see Annex). He dedicated it to the memory of those Armenian martyrs who "met death at the hands of their brothers." That organization had received much publicity in connection with the assassination in New York of Archbishop Leon Tourian.

Author Papazian thought that "an understanding of the background, past activities, the purposes and the methods" of the Dashnags would be important. He believed that the Dashnags' 'mode of organization, its discordant mental make-up..., its belief in the use of violence... its tendency to disregard and distort the will of the majority..." were all alien to American ideals and Christian principles. He wrote the book to help create an idea "as to the moral and physical dangers" with which the youth and the community was "threatened on account of Dashnag activities."

The Dashnagtzoutune was organized in the Caucasus, in 1890, through the union of several secret Armenian revolutionary societies. It is difficult to assert that they shared a common purpose or ideal, which meant different things for the Armenian rightists and leftists, moderates and radicals. Although for some this might have meant "some measure of autonomy" (p. 9), author Papazian accepts elsewhere (p. 31) in the same book that the Armenian Patriarchs of Istanbul, under age-old firmans of the Sultans, enjoyed privileges, "according to which the Armenians were given some sort of autonomy in ecclesiastical, educational and purely Armenian community affairs." Papazian states that "from the very beginning, the society [Dashnags] has lacked consistency of purpose and method, and opportunism and lack of common sense have characterized most of its actions" (P. 11).

Papazian describes the organization of the Dashnags being "democratic in form only" (p. 11). He says that its various committees and conventions were "little more than debating societies and furnishers of money". The actual direction of affairs, he believes, "had rested in the hands of a secret Bureau", with headquarters in Geneva. The common members were not encouraged to communicate with each other or with committees. This did away with criticism and independent thinking (p. 12). The leaders of the official bodies could withhold facts and information from the rank and file. Hence, many plots, intrigues, conspiracies and terroristic enterprises were kept secret from the members (p. 13). Many innocent members were made co-partners in plots without knowing the purposes behind them. This "privilege of secrecy" has been gravely abused by the Dashnag leaders.

Papazian says that "self-interest governed the policies of the Dashnagtzoutune". Opportunists placed themselves at the helm of the organization, and "even criminal methods were resorted to..." (p. 14). 'Terrorism has, from the first, been adopted by the Dashnag Committee of the Caucasus." Papazian underlines that the "Dashnag publications are full of stories of terroristic exploits" (p. 15). The Program, adopted in 1892, reads that they believe in terrorizing the government officials and subjecting the government institutions to destruction and pillage. Papazian quotes several Armenian and other sources to prove that, at first, terroristic methods were resorted to in order to obtain money, then used to intimidate prominent men and exterminate officials.

For instance, in the Summer of 1902, a Dashnag "storm" squad "arrested" the well-to-do Isahag Jamharian and took him to a lonely spot outside the city of Shousha. He was let free when he promised to pay 30,000 rubles. But he notified the police. He fell dead, nevertheless, under the blows of a dagger inside an Armenian church in Moscow. M. Varandian,a historian of the Dashnags,1 writes that the traitor has paid for his sin. In Papazian's evaluation, "Jamharian had committed the sin of defending himself" (p. 16). He was a traitor in 1902, and still a traitor for the Dashnag historian Varandian, writing in 1932. Papazian says: "All those who disagreed with the Dashnag leaders, or against whom the local Dashnag chiefs nourished a grudge, were denounced as traitors..." Mateos Baliozian, a merchant of Izmir, was thus denounced.2 The same terroristic methods were also . . . . .
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Patriotism Perverted, on Armenian Revolutionary movements


In 1934 a book called Patriotism Perverted was published in Boston by an Armenian-American author Kapriel Serope Papazian (Baikar Press). " In it he tried to present to the English-speaking Armenians of the United States and to the American public in general a picture of an organization called the "Armenian Revolutionary Federation", or the "Dashnagtzoutune".

K.S.Papazian dedicated it to the memory of those Armenian martyrs who "met death at the hands of their brothers". That organization had received much publicity in connection with the assassination in New York of Archbishop Leon Tourian.

Prof.Turkkaya Ataov, an established Ottoman and Turkish history schollar later published a book called "An Armenian Author on Patriotism Perverted" from which these pages are taken. Plainly putting into view the Armenian Revolutionary Movement and its acts, which today's Armenian fanaticsm prefers to 'not remember' and biased historians sweep it under the rug as it contradicts their theories...

Author Papazian thought that "an understanding of the background, past activities, the purposes and the methods" of the Dashnags would be important. He believed that the Dashnags' "mode of organization, its discordant mental make-up.., its belief in the use of violence..its tendency to disregard and distort the will of the majority... " were all alien to American ideals and Christian principles. He wrote the book to help create an idea "as to the moral and physical dangers" with which the youth and the community was "threatened on account of Dashnag activities."

The Dashnagtzoutune was organized in the Caucasus, in 1890, through the union of several secret Armenian revolutionary societies. It is difficult to assert that they shared a common purpose or ideal, which meant different things for the Armenian rightists and leftists, moderates and radicals. Although for some, this might have meant "some measure of autonomy" (p. 9), author Papazian accepts elsewhere (p. 31) in the same book that the Armenian Patriarchs of Istanbul, under age-old firmans of the Sultans, enjoyed privileges, "according to which the Armenians were given some sort of autonomy in ecclesiastical, educational arid purely Armenian community affairs." Papazian states that "from the very beginning, the society (Dashnags) has lacked consistency of purpose and method, and opportunism and lack of common sense have characterized most of its actions." (p. 1l)

Papazian describes the organization of the Dashnags as being "democratic in form only" (p.11). He says that its various committees and conventions were "little more than debating societies and providers of money". The actual direction of affairs, he believes, "had rested in the hands of a secret Bureau", with headquarters in Geneva. The common members were not encouraged to communicate with each other or with committees. This did away with criticism and independent thinking (p.12). The leaders of the official bodies could withhold facts and information from the rank and file. Hence, many plots, intrigues, conspiracies and terroristic enterprises were kept secret from the members (p. 13). Many innocent members were made co-partners in plots without knowing the purposes behind them. This "privilege of secrecy" has been gravely abused by the Dashnag leaders.

Papazian says that "'self-interest governed the policies of the Dashnagtzoutune". Opportunists placed themselves at the helm of the organization, and "even criminal methods were resorted to..." (p. 14). "Terrorism has, from the start been, adopted by the Dashnag Committee of the Caucasus. '' Papazian underlines that the "Dashnag publications are full of stories of terroristic exploits" (p.15). The Program, adopted in 1892, states that they believe in terrorizing government officials and subjecting government institutions to destruction and pillage. Papazian quotes several Armenian and other sources to prove that, at first, terroristic methods were resorted to in order to obtain money, then used to intimidate prominent men and exterminate officials.

For instance, in the summer of 1902, a Dashnag "storm" squad "arrested" the well-to-do Isahag Jamharian and took him to a lonely spot outside the city of Shousha. He was set free when he promised to pay 30,000 rubles. But he notified the police. He was stabbed to death inside an Armenian church in Moscow. M. Varandian, a historian of the Dashnags, (1)writes that the traitor has paid for his sin. In Papazian's evaluation, "Jamharian had committed the sin of defending himself" (p.16). He was a traitor in 1902, and is still a traitor for the Dashnag historian Varandian, writing in 1932. Papazian says: "All those who disagreed with the Dashnag leaders, or against whom the local Dashnag chiefs nourished a grudge, were denounced as traitors..." Mateos Baliozian, a merchant of Izmir, was thus denounced. (2) The same terroristic methods were also used within the ranks of Dashnag leaders for differences of opinion and to satisfy personal grudges. In 1891, for example,

Gerektzian was killed in Erzurum by the decision of the local Central Committee, whose members cast lots, and the lot fell on Aram Aramian, who killed Gerektzian. (3) According to Papazian, The Dashnags were "very prolific in organizing and carrying out terroristic acts " (p.17). Terrorism against their own co-nationals has been a prominent part of the activities of the Dashnags. Varandian exalts terroristic activities in. the following words: "...Perhaps there has never been a revolutionary party-not even the Russian Narodovoletz, or the Italian Carbonaris-with such experien-ces on the road of terroristic acts, as the A.R. Federation..."(4) Papazian concludes: "One of the most unfortu-nate results of these terroristic methods was the gradual development of a class of terrorists, who used their bullets and dagger indiscriminately.. This class of terrorists enjoyed a place of honor within the society" (p.18). They killed Mihran in 1909. (5) They shot and stabbed to death Abbot Arsen Vartabed of the Akhtamar Monastery (near Van) and his secretary Mihram in 1904. They then dismembered their bodies and threw them into Lake Van. Abbot Vartabed had opposed the designs of Ishkan, a notorious Dashnag chieftain, who wanted to control the property and the income of the monastery. Papa-zian adds: "After his death, Ishkan and his gang pillaged the ancient monastery" (pp.68-69). Dehertzi David was a very trustworthy man in the ranks of the Dashnags in Van. He was sent to Iran on a secret mission. Returning to Van he found that his fiancee had been gravely mistreated by Aram, the chief Dashnag leader in the district. He was disarmed and imprisoned at Aram's order, but escaped. Maddened with thoughts of revenge, he confessed to the Turkish authorities. He was killed by the Dashnags in 1908 (p. 69). Garjgantzi Manoug, a former Dashnag, who had opposed the arbitrary acts of the leader, was murdered in 1910. Bedros Capamajian was likewise shot and kil-led one winter night in 1912 while getting into his carriage with his wife and daughter.

Hampartzoum Arakelian the well-known seventy-year old editor of the journal Mushag of Tiflis (Tbilisi), "whose biting pen and sarcasm", in the words of Papazian, "had mercifully lashed the Dashnag stupidity and arbitrariness for many years," was killed in his bed one night in 1918 by terrorists. Garjigian, "a Dashnag of high rank, who occupied a ministerial chair in the newly formed Armenian Republic at Erivan", was killed in 1918 by another Dashnag, Egor Der Minasian (pp.69-70). Bedros Atamian, the manager of the Ramgavar paper Nor Alik, was stabbed to death on a street in Salonica (Greece) in 1926. Dekhruni, a Hunchagist was shot to death in Athens in 1933. Mihran Aghazarian, a Hunchagist editor, was killed in Beirut also in 1933.

The Dashnags adopted the methods of sensational, sporadic and partisan fights inside Turkey. They decided on an attack on the Imperial Ottoman Bank. In August 1896, a group of young men entered the Bank in Istan-bul, subdued the employees and threatened to blow it up. Through the intervention of the Tsarist Russian Embassy, they were safely escorted out and placed on board a French steamer. The Dashnag leader clung to the idea that such terroristic acts would bring European intervention in favour of the Armenians. Papazian says that they ignored "the people of Turkish Armenia," that they "never took the trouble of inquiring into the actual conditions" of the Armenians and that they never consulted them. "They pursued their own disastrous methods" (p.2l).

Papazian refers to another "futile expedition" which he calls the "fiasco of Khanasor." He describes the "Khanasor expedition" as the "result of the machinations of the Russian authorities, whose purpose was to encourage political unrest and turmoil along the eastern borders of Turkey.'' He says that the Dashnag leaders of Tiflis were "playing the game of the Russian government.'' In November 1897, about 250 Armenians attacked the camp of the Mazrik tribe in the Plain of Khanasor and set fire to the nearest tents, killing some. The main body of the tribe, however, drove back the attackers, who in their confusion fired upon each other. The Dashnags declared Sharaf Bey, the tribal chief, dead, celebrating the "glorious victors" -although he rived another twenty, years, and the episode itself was a retreat and a failure. Similar terroristic acts, involving sacrifices of human life, failed to lead to "European intervention". Papazian states that had the attempt on the life of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II been successful, this "would not have helped the Armenian cause" (p.24).




1-History of the Dashnagtzoutune, t.1, Paris 1932 p. 3Z5-327.
2-Ibid., p. 450
3-Ibid., p. 86
4-Ibid., p. 491
5-Ibid., p. 491



Papazian concludes: "Years of futi-le and wasteful struggle against the Turk-ish Governments finally forced the scholastic leaders of the Dashnagtzou-tune, who had directed the struggle from their safe refuges of Geneva and Tiflis, to admit their defeat, but not their ignorance" (p. 25). The Dashnag flirtation with "socialism" angered the Russian Government and failed to attract the support of the European socialists. "The net result," says Papa-zian, "was a tremendous waste of energy and internal dissensions" (p. 31).

According to Papazian, the Dashnags also agitated against the Armenian church in Turkey. He adds: "In a great many instances, the Dashnag leaders made their henchmen break into the churches, fling open the doors and start their political meetings..." (p. 35). He mentions that at least in one instance, "two Armenians who wanted to protect the church of Smyrna from being sacrileged (violated), were shot and killed on the spot by Dashnag terrorists."

When the First World War broke out in Europe, the Dashnagtzoutune gave assurances to the Turks that in the event of a war between Tsarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire, they would support the latter as loyal citizens (p.37). However, they did not keep their promise of loyalty (p.38). "They were swayed in their actions by the interests of the Russian Govern-ment..even the decisions of their own convention of Erzurum was forgotten, and a call was sent for Armenian volunteers to fight the Turks on the Caucasian front" (p.38). Papazian adds that the "Armenian volunteer regiments rendered valuable services to the Russian Army" in the years 1914-1916. "The methods used by the Dashnagtzoutune in recruiting these regiments were so open and flagrant that it would not escape the attention of the Turkish authorities." Armen Garo, a Dashnag leader (whose real name was Karakin Pastirmadjian, one of those who invaded the Ottoman Bank in 1896), also a member of the Ottoman Parliament, had taken an active part in the organization of volunteer regiments to fight the Turks. His picture was circulated in the Dashnag papers (p.39). Papazian concludes that the representatives of the Armenians in Turkey, the Patriarchate and its organs were not consulted in adopting these policies.

Although the Armenians rendered service to the Russian forces, the latter did not help the Armenian cause. They kept the conquered Ottoman provinces in the East for themselves, and after the Bolshevik Revolution, their army abandoned the front. The Armenians declared the independence of Armenia on the Caucasus, recognized by the Turks on June 4, 1918 by the Treaty of Batoum. "The Dashnag party found itself in the saddle" (p. 40). Used to violent methods, "they failed to show any ability for government and statesmanship_They tyrannized the people and defied the government" (p.41). In support of his statements, Papazian quotes the report of General Harbord's Commission (U.S.) and the words of Hovhannes Katchaznouni, (6) the first Prime Minister of the Armenian Republic. He notes that in internal affairs, the Dashnag government "failed to establish peace and a minimum of law and order" (p. 42). Externally, it waged three wars in two-and-a-half years. (p.43). The war in Georgia "caused untold calamity to Armenia" (p. 44). The war with Azerbaijan "ended disastrously for the Armenians." The war with Turkey was "the outcome of the Act of May 28, 1919," by which the Armenian Republic claimed Eastern Anatolia. This proclamation claimed that eastern Anatolia "united" (p.47) with the existing Armenian Republic. Papa-zian continues: "If we remember that the existing Republic was recognized by the Turks under the Treaty of Batoum, in which the Russian-Arme-nian envoys renounced all territorial claims over Western Armenia, we can readily comprehend why the Turks regarded the Act of May 28, 1919, as a provocation of war" (p.45). He adds that the Armenian Govern-ment "created an immediate occasion for conflict by occupying the district of Oltu." He also says the arrogant attitude of the Armenian Government toward Soviet Russia in 1920 deprived the small republic of a strong and natural ally.

The Treaty of Sevres, which recog-nized Armenia, was signed on August 10, 1920, by the representatives of the Armenian Republic. "The same men were to repudiate the Sevres Treaty and the claims of Armenians in Turkey by signing the Treaty of Alexandropol on December 2,1920" (p.48). Papazian says that the text of this treaty has not been published by those responsible for it, that neither A.Khatisian (the head of the Armenian delegation that signed the Treaty), nor S.Vratzian (the head of the Armenian Government at the time), who have both written voluminous histories of the Armenian Republic, embody the text of the Treaty in their books (p. 74). Article 3 of the Treaty states: "As it is evident from Turkish, Russian and all other world statistics, and from the established social situation, we again, on this occasion, confirm that there is no territory within the Ottoman borders where the Armenians form a majority" (pp.74-75). Article 9 said that the Government of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey refrained from demanding indemnities although it had a "right to demand indemnities as a result of the war against Armenia which it has been compelled to wage." Article 11 declared the Sevres Treaty "null and void." The same article stipulated that the Armenian Government undertook ''to withdraw its delegations in Europe and America, that are tools in the hands of certain imperialistic governments and circles." Article 15 mentioned that the Armenian Republic agreed "to con-sider as null and void all those stipula-tions of treaties she has signed with any power, which relate to Turkey and are against the interests of Turkey" (p. 77).

The Bolsheviks entered Armenia without any resistance. This was the decision of the Dashnags. They were driven out of authority in the new Soviet Armenian Republic (p.49). But they could not reconcile themselves to the idea of being out of power. On February 18, 1921, a rebellion under the leadership of Simon Vratzian broke out in Armenia against the Bolsheviks when the Bolshevik forces were temporarily driven out of Armenia. Not sure of his own ability to hold out against them, he "sought military assistance from the Turks" (p. 50). On March 18, 1921, he sent to Ankara a formal appeal asking the Tur-kish Government whether it "finds it possible to send military aid to, Arme-nia; and if able to do so, to what extent and when?" (p.50-51). Papazian gives the complete text of this appeal by Vratzian as Appendix V in his book (pp 77-78). Papazian significantly points out that the "appeal of Vratzian as the president of the newly formed Armenian Government was virtually the ratification of the Treaty of Alexandropol, by which the Dashnag leaders declared to the whole world that Armenia has denounced all her demands on Turkey and has no more cause of dispute" (p.51). Coming back to the armed conflict with the Soviets, "there was much bloodshed, until the Dashnags were again defeated by the Bolsheviks and driven out of the country."

---

Papazian, on the other hand, states that the newly--formed Armenia on the Caucasus "was really the beginning of a political future for the Armenian people" (p.54). The criticism leveled by the Dashnags at Soviet Armenia that "it is not independent, and that it is not a national government, have, according to Papazian, "no ground to stand upon'' (p.55). He recalls: "The Dashnags themselves, while they were at the helm, tried to place Armenia under the protection of some great power...Armenia has now secured its political existence..as one of the federated republics."

Papazian devotes several pages (pp.60-65, 71-73) to the Dashnagt-zoutune attempts to terrorize the Ar-menian church and the diaspora into submission. He mentions a number of acts of violence, including assaults and even murders, in the United States, Egypt, Syria and Greece. He compares their language, mentality and actions to those of the Mafia and the underworld gangsters (p. 64, 67). He concludes:" Its hands are raised against everybody, its plots and crimes have rocked the conscience of all decent Armenians, and have disgraced our people before the civilized world" (p. 67).




6-See: Turkkaya Ataov, An Armenian Source; Hovhannes Katchaznounj, Ankara, 1984.


Source: An Armenian Author on "Patriotism Perverted", Professor Turkkaya Ataov