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30 May 2008

2480) Victory for the Truth by Michael van der Galien

A while ago, the Toronto District School Board, Canada, announced that it would start a course about genocides in the world. One of the genocides the course would pay a lot of attention to is the so-called Armenian genocide. Obviously, this angered many Turks, historians who believe that what happened wasn’t genocide, and others like me who agree with said historians (like Bernard Lewis). A massive campaign got underway and, in the end, the Toronto School Board back peddled.

That’s obviously the correct decision, because historians and amateurs alike are still debating what exactly happened, who was to blame, who were killed by whom, what the intentions of the rulers were, etc. etc.

As said, the intention to teach the course about the Armenian Genocide (which wasn’t a genocide) angered historians as well; one of them is Guenter Lewy. It has now come under my attention that he sent a letter, hoping to convince the TDSB and others that they were wrong to do this. It paid off, so there may not be much use in me publishing this letter here, one may think, but I have decided to do so nonetheless because I think that the letter is well worded, well written, and that it explains quite well what people like Lewy and myself think about this issue.

To Dave Rowan, Associate Director
Nadine Segal, Superintendent
Toronto District School Board

Dear Madam/Sir:

I write to you as the author of several well-known books on the role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and the fate of the Gypsies and American Indians. My study of the mass killing of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey, published by the University of Utah Press in 2005 as The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide, began as part of a comparative study of genocide. The fact that I left Nazi Germany as a Jewish boy of fifteen is probably one of the reasons why I have been drawn to the study of genocide, a phenomenon of modern times that unfortunately is not limited to the Holocaust.

I commend the Toronto District School Board for its decision to organize a course on “Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications, ” however it is my considered judgment that the inclusion of the tragic fate of the Armenian community during World War I is a mistake.

According to the Genocide Convention of 1948, intent is a necessary condition of genocide, and most other definitions of this crime of crimes similarly insist upon the centrality of malicious intent. Hence the crucial question in this controversy is not the huge loss of life in and by itself but rather whether the Young Turk regime intentionally sought the deaths that we know to have occurred. Both sides agree that several hundred thousand men, women and children were forced from their homes, and during a harrowing trek over mountains and through deserts uncounted multitudes died of starvation and disease or were murdered. To the victims it makes no difference whether they met their death as a result of a carefully planned scheme of annihilation, in consequence of a panicky reaction to a misjudged threat, or for any other reason. It does make a difference for the accuracy of the historical record, not to mention the future of Turkish-Armenian relations.

Armenians and their supporters concede the absence of Turkish documentary evidence to prove the responsibility of the Ottoman government for the massacres, but cite the reports of foreign diplomats and missionaries on the scene. Given the large number of deaths and the observed complicity of local officials in the murders, it is not surprising that not a few of these witnesses concluded that the high death toll was an intended outcome of the deportation process. Still, well-informed as many foreign observers were about the events unfolding before their eyes, their insight into the mindset and the real intentions of the government in Istanbul was necessarily limited. Indeed, to this day the inner workings of the Young Turk regime, and especially the role of the triumvirate of Enver, Talaat, and Djemal, are understood only very inadequately.

Many Turks, too, misread the historical record. Quasi-official historians speak of “so-called massacres” or blame the deaths on starvation and disease that are said to have afflicted a far larger numbers of Turks. And yet there exists an important difference between deaths lost as a result of natural causes such as famine and epidemics, blows of fortune that afflicted Muslims and Christians alike, and deaths due to deliberate killing. It is undeniable that thousands of Armenians died at the hands of their corrupt escorts and the Kurdish tribesmen who occupied their route southward to Ottoman Syria.

I spent many months studying this sad episode in the archives of the German Foreign Ministry, the Public Record Office in London , and the National Archives in Washington , and I immersed myself in the published recollections of survivors and other eye-witnesses. It was and remains my conclusion that the relocation of the Armenian community of Anatolia to the interior of the Ottoman Empire involved a badly mismanaged war-time security measure, aimed at denying support to Armenian guerilla bands and to remove the Armenians from the war zones. This relocation took place at a time of serious military setbacks for the Ottoman regime while well-armed Armenian guerillas were cutting roads and lines of communication in the rear of the Turkish army. Henry Morgenthau, the American ambassador in Constantinople , reported to Washington on May 25, 1915 that nobody put the Armenian guerillas “at less than 10,000, and 25,000 is probably closer to the truth.” After World War I had ended, Boghos Nubar, the head of the Armenian delegation, proudly told the Paris Peace Conference that his people had played a crucial role in the war and that the Turks had devastated the Armenians “in retaliation for our unflagging devotion to the cause of the Allies.” Hence callous and brutal as was the expulsion policy of the Ottoman government, it can hardly be called unprovoked.

Many aspects of the relocation process contradict the idea of a premeditated program of extermination and hence genocide:

The large Armenian communities of Constantinople , Smyrna and Aleppo were not relocated and survived the war largely intact. These exemptions are analogous to Hitler failing to include the Jews of Berlin, Cologne and Munich in the Final Solution.

The relocation experienced much variation that depended on geography and the attitude of local officials. In many places Protestant and Catholic Armenians as well as needed artisans were exempted. The same goes for the large number of Armenians who often were allowed, or even forced, to convert. In the absence of a large Kurdish population, no massacres took place in Cilicia , and a substantial part of the exiles sent to Southern Syria and Palestine survived.

While some respected historians call these events the first genocide of the twentieth century, other historians, including distinguished scholars of Ottoman history such as Bernard Lewis, Roderic Davison, and Andrew Mango, while not questioning the horrible events that transpired, have raised doubts about the appropriateness of the genocide label for the occurrences of 1915/16. It is thus simply wrong to assert that the Armenian genocide is an “incontestable historical fact.”

Since we are dealing here with a genuine historical controversy, in my view the Armenian massacres do not belong in a high school teaching unit on genocide. Apart from the Holocaust, the 20th century provides other well-established instances of genocide, and it therefore should not be difficult to substitute another calamity such as, for example, the Cambodian genocide. If you do decide to reaffirm the inclusion of the Armenian massacres as a case of genocide, the unit, at the very least, should include references to the many scholarly works that challenge the genocide thesis.

Very sincerely yours,

Guenter Lewy
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
University of Massachusetts/ Amherst


Comments »
1
R
May 29, 2008

Actually the Toronto District School Board has not backpedalled on including the Armenian Genocide in the course. The Armenian Genocide will be taught as a genocide. Rather the TDSB bowed to Turkish pressure by including Lewy’s book and a book by Bernard Lewis on the reading list for the course and removing a book by well-known Canadian author Barbara Coloroso ”Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide”. http://www.tdsb.on.ca/wwwdocuments/about_us/media_room/docs/080502genocidedirdec.pdf The removal of the Coloroso book has generated a huge outcry by the mainstream media and human rights groups.

2
Michael van der Galien
May 29, 2008

The removal of the Coloroso book has generated a huge outcry by the mainstream media and human rights groups.

Heh, yeah. By Armenian groups and Armenian journalists especially.

3
robocaller
May 29, 2008

michael

i have no idea what other genocides are in the syllabus but other instances that i’ve heard refered to as genocides can be disputed as well

genocide has become a politically abused term

OTOH, in the history of the Ottoman Empire military conflicts have led to unwarranted massacres. During the Greek Revolution, for instance, there is documentation also of unwarranted massacres of Greek population, as a reaction to attacks by some Greeks.

Its not necessary to call this ‘genocide’ and its not necessary to call possible massacres of Armenians ‘genocide’ either.

4
JanJan
May 29, 2008

I surprised how quickly you descend on any story which appears anti-Armenian. Seeing as the board recommended that 1915 remain in the curriculum as genocide, your claim that what they did was "obviously the correct decision" is pretty funny. Or in your rush to celebrate did you just not properly research what you are talking about? That’s not reassuring for readers of your blog, that you speak before your research or are wrong about what you are saying.

The recommendations recommended looking into Lewis (who used to call it genocide) and Lewy’s books are possible additions to the course while throwing out Coloroso’s. While I think the reason for throwing out Coloroso’s book was not just and pretty absurd (they sneered at her conclusion that genocide is the extension of bullying, calling it inappropriate and unfit for teaching- making it sound a lot vile or out of the mainstream opinion than it actually is but anyway)… the fact does remain that the recommendation is keeping 1915 as genocide in the course. I think this reshuffling was to placate Turks with what looked like a refutation of the Armenians when it actually wasn’t. They heralded the news as the district doing a 180, removing a pro-genocide book and replacing it with the opposite, when in fact the course still says it was genocide. A full reading of their recommendation makes this entirely clear.

5
P. Connolly
May 30, 2008

Yes, I agree with "robocaller"; the term "genocide" has become a politically abused term. And as he correctly states; it’s not necessary to call the Armenian episode "Genocide". The issue here is the poisoning of the innocent minds of children with ideologies tainted by residual ethnic hatreds persisting since World War 1; handed down from generation to generation within the Armenian Community and now reaching their ugly tentacles toward the vulnerable minds of Non-Armenian Children.

Barbara Coloroso is to be commended for her work in the very important area of bullying. This issue has assumed the proportions of an emergency today and she correctly gets credit for adding to the solution of this difficult problem. Her book "Extraordinary Evil" was an attempt to leverage her success in the area of bullying or "an extension of Coloroso’s books on bullying" as stated on the cover. However, not only does she lack the training and background to be talking about the complex events of late 19th and early 20th Century Eastern Anatolia, the pages of the book betray her dismal lack of understanding of those events better than any missing diploma ever could. For example on page 112 of the book she states that in the Ottoman Empire Jews and Christians were known as "rayahs" which -she tells us- was "a pejorative term meaning literally ‘cattle’ a euphemism for second-class citizens". The insinuation is that the Jews and Christians were treated like animals in the Ottoman Empire. Not only is this highly incorrect, it is rightly regarded by persons of Turkish ancestry as an ethnic slur and an insult. The word meant "Protected flock"; the same word used by Christian religious leaders to refer to their congregations ! The ‘cattle’ translation is not only incorrect and unscholarly, it is extraordinarily "evil" and propaganda-based. Then at the bottom of the same page she quotes -as an authority for another of her assertions- from an individual who is not only a well-known Armenian Propagandist but also a sociology professor masquerading as an historian who lost his position at the State University of New York for Sexual Harassment !! All this on just one page of a 250 page book. Something has gone terribly wrong at the TDSB !

6
gary
May 30, 2008

the turks are barbarians.

Edited by MvdG: we’ll let this one stay up there, as to show just how racist all too many Armenians are.

7
Richard
May 30, 2008

The Turkish Government recently forced Professor Donald Quataert, President of the Institute of Turkish Studies at Georgetown University, to resign after he refused to give a retraction for his review of Donald Bloxham’s book “The Great Game of Genocide : Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians” (New York, Oxford University Press, 2005) 344 pp.

Prof. Quataert’s review was published in MIT’s Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Autumn, 2006.

The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and its Committee on Academic Freedom has written a protest letter to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan dated May 27, 2008. http://www.mesa.arizona.edu/about/cafmenaletters.htm

The letter concludes as follows: "Furthermore the attitude towards Dr. Quataert, sharply contrasts with your government’s recent call to leave the debate regarding the events of 1915 to the independent study and judgment of scholars."

8
JanJan
May 30, 2008

"Edited by MvdG: we’ll let this one stay up there, as to show just how racist all too many Armenians are."

True or false?: Stereotyping or using select examples as a way of representing an entire group is a form of racism.

9
Leo Aryatsi
May 30, 2008

Armenians just dislike turks and those who say it was okey for them to torture to death the ancestors of Armenians that should have been here with us. Yes the truth is becoming victorious although slowly.

10
damask
May 30, 2008

Armenians dislike Turks, but Greeks dislike Turks also. A lot of ethnicities in the region don’t like Turks. I’m not arguing that everything Armenians claim is true, I don’t know enough about the subject. But it isn’t simply about Armenian racism.

11
Michael van der Galien
May 30, 2008

Damask: um. Doesn’t that have anything to do with the fact that the Greek believe they ‘own’ Istanbul (Constantinople) and Izmir (Smyrna), and other places? You know, rivalry?

Literally everyone who has ever visited Turkey is positive about the Turkish people in my experience. The Greek who don’t like Turks are those who have never visited Turkey, and who harbor big - in my opinion big - nationalistic sentiments (feeling bad about losing Ancient Greece, etc.).

Don’t you think that has something to do with that?

And - it has to be said; Turkey’s enemies have waged a very successful propaganda war in the West, for centuries already. "The terrible Turk" is one of the most successful prejudices and myths in human history.

12
damask
May 30, 2008

Or maybe because its because historical massacres during the Greek Revolution like at Chios, and fights over Cypriot independence?

Obviously, there is nationalism involved, that’s not what I’m disputing. Nationalism might also lead to bigotry.

I’m just saying the Ottomans have a lot to answer for, and there are legitimate grievances.

Turks have a sense of nationalism also.

13
P. Connolly
May 31, 2008

Response to Richard in #7 above:

Governments have come to the realization that certain forms of speech can be harmful because they cause serious social disturbances, crimes, even wars and must therefore be limited. In 1994 the Evangelical Lutheran Church apologized for anti-Jewish Statements made in the writings of Martin Luther; a German. Certainly Martin Luther never would have intended his words to have led to the Holocaust but the fact of the matter is that it is now recognized that his words played no small part in the centuries long persecution of Jews in Europe which culminated in the Holocaust. The apology is here:

http://archive.elca.org/ecumenical/interreligious/jewish/declaration.html

We should mention that when the Jews were ejected from Europe they were welcomed and sheltered by the Turks and treated far better there (something that the TDSB students most likely won’t be learning, incidentally) than they were in Europe.
But Martin Luther didn’t rail against one ethnic group only; he railed against two: the Jews and the Turks. You provide us with no information as to what exactly it was that Quataert said in his review and the journal isn’t easy to obtain. We don’t know if he reinforced the hateful propaganda **yes PROPAGANDA and yes HATEFUL** of the Armenian Diaspora. But if he did, I would argue that no one, and no government -least of all the Turkish governemt- should be obligated or even expected to be involved in the payment of his salary.

History departments need to make an effort to distinguish between propaganda and historical discourse - that’s their job. This is what the TDSB has failed miserably to do. It can be done and it must be done and those who fail to do it will have to face the consequences -at least in the court of public opinion and scrutiny, if not from responsible government officials whose responsibilty indeed it is to protect the weak and vulnerable from the oppression of the more powerful.

I should mention that I do believe that Martin Luther introduced reforms which were certainly necessary at the time.

14
Michael van der Galien
May 31, 2008

I’m just saying the Ottomans have a lot to answer for, and there are legitimate grievances.

From both sides. AFter the First World War, the Turks behaved better than the Greek did. They destroyed every Turkish village or city they conquered. They committed mass murder on an unprecedented scale…

The real story of that region is very complex, and the old canard that the Turks were the evil-doers has been proven incorrect, by just about anyone who did some serious research. The Greek, for all their complaints about the Turks, weren’t exactly sweethearts either.

Which is, of course, why Turks aren’t exactly fond of the Greek.


15
Global Hero
May 31, 2008

The Armenian genocide is the model for all modern genocides. Therefore it’s inclusion in the genocide curriculum is essential. The interest on Armenian genocide in academic circle grew because of the repeats of recent genocides. A case in point Turkey does not accept Darfur situation as being a genocide. In fact it is arming the government of Sudan therefore encouraging the genocide to be carried out. This is the sad fact of Turkey not recognizing the Armenian genocide.

16
zekiye
June 1, 2008

Genocide is the greatest crime of humanity and International Court of Justice or domestic courts are the only authorities reserved to prosecute and proclaim genocide according to the 1948 UN Convention. Therefore, accusing a whole nation and its generations as criminals of genocide requires strong historical and legal proofs and supports. Turkish historians, Turkish prime minister and Turkish Assembly several times suggested Armenia to discuss the events which occured in the WWI together with historians from both sides and even historians from other countries. The Armenians have neither applied to international courts nor accepted to discuss these events in joint commissions made up of historians from Armenia, Turkey and other countries. The claim of the Armenians that international scholars support their thesis is thus meaningless. Does one not ask them ‘then why they fiercefully reject to present their very strong evidences supported by thousands of international scholars to historical commissions made up of Armenian, Turkish historians, in addition to historians from other nations’. If they really believed that they were supported by the scholars of the world, then why are they afraid of proving their thesis?

The other reason why the Turks and Turkish governments do not accept the label of genocide is that the Turkish documents and family stories the Turkish people heard from their own grandparents do not comply with an Armenian genocide. The Turkish , Armenian and English Archives demostrate that:* the Armenians inflicted massacres upon Turks/Muslims from the beginning of 1890’s; *that when the deportation were under way, the Armenians of the big cities (and Katholic and Protestan Armenians) were exempted;* that officials who were found faulty during the deportations were court marshalled in early 1916 (out of 1673 who stood in court, 67 were given death sentences, 524 jail term, 68 row boat and monetary punishments by Talat Pasha government, before we lost the war);* that in December 1918, a new law letting the Armenians return their homes and claim their properties was issued and that many of them returned their homes (According to Armenian Church in Istanbul a total of 644,000 people returned back from exhile. Children were returned to their parents.

In a report presented by Aneurin Williams, chief of English-Armenian Committee, to Lord Curzon it was reported that many immigrants who were forced to migrate in 1915 returned to Cilicia from Syria, Palastine and Egypt after the Mondros Armistice (UK ARCHIVES, FO 608/278);*that those who returned their homes cooperated with the French and English armies and fought in these armies individually wearing their uniforms during the Turkish Freedom War and *that the documents presented by the Armenians to support their views are full of forgeries. Apparently, the Armenians are afraid of anything which may question the reliability of the scenario they created. And they are afraid of anything which may lead their children who had already been filled with Turkish hatred, to question the reliability of the history written by their parents and to discard this hatred. Perhaps, hatred serves as something which hinders them to face with their own ancestor’s faults. Refer to Line Abrahamian’s article in the Readers digest.

http://www.readersdigest.ca/mag/2006/10/hate_to_hope.php. She says hatred is OK if it involves Turks. Hatred is the major nutrient the Armenians are fed, so they are afraid of getting rid of it.

And as long as a school board supports Armenia on its biased and fake thesis, it will have fostered hatred and thereby violence and taken the responsibility of destroying world peace. This attitude, obviously leads people to question its scholar and ethical reliability.


17
Lucrèce
June 2, 2008

True or false?: Stereotyping or using select examples as a way of representing an entire group is a form of racism.

Mr. Van der Galien don’t speak about the entire group of Armenians in the world, but about a large part of this.

http://www.azsam.org/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=32
This organization-ASALA- was a terrorist one which was based on Armenian Revolutionist Federation and organised terrorist attacks on Turkish diplomats in European countries beginning from 1980s. As a result of Karapetyan’s bombing attack on Orly airport in 1983, 8 people died. Karapetyan who was an active member of the “ASALA” was caught by the French police and he was given the punishment of life sentence by the French Court on March 3,1985.

In order to put Karapetyan out of French prison, a sign campaign was started and nearly one million sign was collected under the leadership of Echmiadzin Church and of course with the assists of the Armenian government.

As a result of serious “developments” in French judicial system beginning from 1985 and the sign campaign, French Court of Appeal forgave Karapetyan on April 23,2001 conditionally that he had to leave the country immediately. It was a surprising point that he was let out of prison a day before April 24 which has been known as the remembrance day of the so-called genocide. It was also determined that Karapetyan would be given the right of asylum by the Armenian government and in addition to this a house and a job would be supplied to him by the mayor of Yerevan.
In addition to that the Prime Minister of Armenia, Adranik Margaryan, was visited by Varujan Karapetyan; Margaryan explained his pleasure with Karapetyan’s heroic struggle for Armenia and he demanded Karapetyan to be looked after from the Minister of Health.

This facts are the proof that many Armenians, including the leaders of Armenian Republic and the diaspora, approve the acts of ASALA (racist, terrorist group), including the Orly’s bombing.

18
Lucrèce
June 2, 2008

The Armenian genocide is the model for all modern genocides.
Ridicoulous.

“This is a question of definition and nowadays the word ‘genocide’is used very loosely even in cases where no bloodshed is involved at all and I can understand the annoyance of those who feel refused. But in this particular case, the point that was being madewas that the massacre of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was the same as what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany and that is a downright falsehood. What happened to the Armenianswas the result of a massive Armenian armed rebellion against the Turks, which began even before war broke out, and continued on a larger scale.Great numbers of Armenians, including members of the armed forces, deserted, crossed the frontier and joined the Russian forces invading Turkey. Armenian rebels actually seized the cityof Van and held it for a while intending to hand it over to the invaders. There was guerilla warfare all over Anatolia. And it is what we nowadays call the National Movement of ArmeniansAgainst Turkey. The Turks certainly resorted to very ferocious methods in repelling it.There is clear evidence of a decision by the Turkish Government, to deport the Armenian population from the sensitive areas. Which meant naturally the whole of Anatolia. Not including the Arab provinces which were then still part of the Ottoman Empire. There is no evidence of a decision to massacre. On the contrary, there is considerable evidence of attempt to prevent it, which were not very successful. Yes there were tremendous massacres, the numbers are very uncertain but a million nay may well be likely.The massacres were carried out by irregulars, by local villagers responding to what had been done to them and in number of other ways. But to make this, a parallel with the holocaust inGermany, you would have to assume the Jews of Germany had been engaged in an armed rebellion against the German state, collaborating with the allies against Germany.

That in the deportation order the cities of Hamburg and Berlin were exempted, persons in the employment of state were exempted, and the deportation only applied to the Jews of Germany proper, so that when they got to Poland they were welcomed and sheltered by the Polish Jews. This seems to me rather absurd parallel.”
Prof. Bernard Lewis, 14 April 2002 (http://www.ataa.org/reference/pdf/lewis.pdf)
“The three pillars of the Armenian claim to classify World War I deaths as genocide fail to substantiate the charge that the Young Turk regime intentionally organized the massacres. Other alleged evidence for a premeditated plan of annihilation fares no better.Whether to apply the genocide label to the events that occurred almost one hundred years ago in the Ottoman Empire may be of minor consequence to many historians, but it remains of great political relevance. Both Armenian partisans and Turkish nationalists have staked claims and made their case by simplifying a complex historical reality and by ignoring crucial evidence that might yield a more nuanced picture. Professional scholars have based their positions on previous works, often unaware that these represented a bastardized interpretation of the original sources.

With the political stakes high, both sides have sought to silence opponents and stymie a full debate. In one famous example, in 1995 a French court partially upheld a civil complaint brought by an Armenian group against eminent historian Bernard Lewis because they objected to a letter he had published in Le Monde on January 1, 1994, in which he had questioned the existence of a plan of extermination on the part of the Ottoman government.[55] Turkish leaders have applied diplomatic pressure and threats; the Armenian government has accused those who do not acknowledge that the massacres constituted genocide of being deniers who seek to appease the Turkish government. Some Turkish and Armenian historians have suggested recently that it is time to "step back from the was-it-genocide-or-not dialogue of the deaf, which only leads to mutual recrimination" and instead concentrate on empirically grounded historical research that seeks a common pool of firm knowledge.[56] Time will tell whether it will be possible to rescue history from nationalists who have plundered history to serve their own political ends.”

Prof. Guenter Lewy : www.meforum.org/article_print.php?id=748&v=4103442121

“Many historians find military chronicles dry and difficult to comprehend. Nevertheless, when it comes to the controversy over the fate of Armenians in 1915, they are crucial. Many contemporary historians accuse the Special Organization and Major Stange of complicity in genocide. The records, though, do not lend such accusations credence.The official military histories of the modern Turkish Republic portray the operations of organized Ottoman Special Organization units on the Caucasian front from December 1914 through the end of 1916 as largely conventional.

There is little evidence of a cover-up, especially as these histories are technical, not intended for the public, and predate the scholarly controversy over allegations of Special Organization complicity in Armenian genocide. Importantly, the official histories fully cite archival sources and often reproduce reports and orders.Early Special Organization operations near Batum were unconventional and involved guerilla warfare operations. However, the Sarikamiş offensive provided the engine that drove the Special Organization into the arms of regular army commanders like Stange. Subsequent and perennial manpower shortages kept the Special Organization engaged in conventional military operations. From the record of unit assignments and locations on the front, it appears that the Special Organization units associated with Stange were not redeployed from the Caucasian front to deport and massacre Armenians.Nor does it seem possible that Stange was involved in the deaths of Armenians.

The modern Turkish histories show that he commanded regular army forces engaged in conventional offensive and defensive operations until late March 1915. Although he technically commanded all Ottoman forces near Ardahan in 1914, he exercised no real control over the Special Organization or volunteers. After Stange gained command of the Lazistan Area Command, he held direct command over Special Organization forces, which he employed on the defensive line in a conventional manner. In effect, from December 11, 1914 through March 20, 1915, Stange can be characterized as a detachment commander who cooperated with the Special Organization in conventional operations. After March 20, 1915, Stange was an area commander who commanded Special Organization forces for conventional defensive operations. The record demonstrates that Stange was neither a Special Organization commander, nor was he a guerilla leader. Indeed, Stange was unhappy with the discipline and training of both the Special Organization and irregular forces, reflecting his lack of authority over them.[46]The Turkish histories do reveal an intriguing alternative possibility concerning who might have been redeployed to deport Armenians. The reserve cavalry regiments (the former aşiret or tribal cavalry) were grouped into four reserve cavalry divisions that were mobilized into the Reserve Cavalry Corps in August 1914.

The tactical performance of this corps was abysmal, and its levels of discipline and combat effectiveness low.[47] Consequently, the Ottoman General Staff inactivated the Reserve Cavalry Corps on November 21, 1914,[48] and only seven of the twenty-nine reserve cavalry regiments remained with the colors in the Third Army.[49] The remaining regiments were dissolved, and "10,000 reserve cavalrymen dispersed throughout the region and returned to their villages."[50] Most of these men were tribal Kurds or Circassians and, unemployed following demobilization, many may have been attracted to the work of deporting the Armenians in the spring of 1915. Clearly, many Armenians died during World War I. But accusations of genocide demand authentic proof of an official policy of ethnic extermination. Vahakn Dadrian has made high-profile claims that Major Stange and the Special Organization were the instruments of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Documents not utilized by Dadrian, though, discount such an allegation.”Dr. Edward J. Erickson www.meforum.org/article_print.php?id=991&v=7123442121


19
Victory for the Truth
June 4, 2008

Toronto–At a special meeting on June 2 the Program and School Services Committee (PSSC) of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) unanimously approved the recommendation of its Review Committee (RC) and its Director to include the Armenian Genocide in its Grade 11 genocide curriculum. Turkish groups have, in the past six months, lobbied against the inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in the Grade 11 curriculum. The PSSC recommendation now goes to the board’s June 25th meeting for final adoption. At the beginning of the meeting, the committee provided 20 minutes each for the Turkish and Ukrainian community representatives to make an oral deputation in regard to their concerns about the curriculum.The Council of Turkish Canadians (CTC) objected to the inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in the curriculum and called for its removal. Furthermore, CTC threatened to take legal measures to halt the introduction of the curriculum if the board did not consent to the CTC demand. A representative of the Muslim Canadian Congress, Farzana Hassan, turned the curriculum teaching issue to a religious crusade.

She accused the board and the Western world of religious bias. She made similar accusations against Canadian media, specially the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star newspapers. Two Turkish parents also made presentations. Ukrainian community representatives commended the board for introducing the "worthy program", but they objected to the omission of the Ukrainian famine/genocide from the curriculum. They urged the PSSC to reconsider the exclusion of the Ukrainian case. In responding to a question from trustee Gerri Gershon, David Rowan, associate director of TDSB, reassured the Ukrainian community that the Ukrainian famine /genocide, even though it is not in the curriculum as a separate unit on its own, it will be discussed and taught in many forms during the curriculum teaching. After the presentations, the committee unanimously voted to adopt the recommendations without any changes.

Based on yesterday’s meeting and the approval of the recommendations, the Armenian Genocide will be part of the Grade 11 genocide curriculum and it will be taught as one of the three case studies along with the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide and as a separate unit. In regard to Barbara Coloroso’s book, Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide, even though it will not be required reading, it will be included in the curriculum as resource material. Representatives of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), the Greek and Cypriot communities, the Zoryan Institute, the Armenian Certified Teachers Association, the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto, the Armen Karo Student Association, the Armenian National Committee of Toronto, and many other supporters of the curriculum turned out in large numbers to attend the meeting.

ANCC President, Dr. Girair Basmadjian, commended the TDSB for upholding its moral and ethical principles and for not wavering in the face of unprecedented revisionist campaign to falsify and rewrite the history of the Armenian Genocide. “By approving the recommendations, the TDSB proved that the Turkish government interference and manipulation of academic institutions and its attempt to suppress freedom of expression is a failed policy. We are confident the curriculum will create the basis for a better understanding between Turkish and Armenian students and will help them rationalize their common history,” stated Dr. Basmadjian.

Aris Babikian, executive director of ANCC, deplored the Turkish representatives who tried to use an educational forum to promote unsubstantiated accusation against the Armenian community by insinuating that Armenians are teaching hatred against Turks in their churches, schools and community centres. “Once again, we would like to emphasize that we do not have any conflict with the Canadian-Turkish community. At issue is the Turkish government’s denial policy. A policy which Turkish ultranationalists are using to whip hysteria and animosity between the two people. A policy which simply does not fit with, neither school boards view of history, nor that of Canadians generally,” said Babikian. ********The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues.

20
Robert
June 5, 2008

From post #19:
"Aris Babikian, executive director of ANCC, deplored the Turkish representatives who tried to use an educational forum to promote unsubstantiated accusation against the Armenian community by insinuating that Armenians are teaching hatred against Turks in their churches, schools and community centres."

Well Mr. Babikian doesn’t live in the same world as we do or is a liar… Probably both…

I DO live in Canada, in a predominantly Armenian diaspora neighbourhood and I can assure you that kids born here from turkish parents DO get bullied by armenian kids at school.

I know personnaly a family of turkish origin who HAD to sell their house because of the threats they got from some Armenians. Here, the Armenians have their Armenian / Nagorno-Karabakh flag hanging from their balconies. Many of them openly show their affiliation / support for the Dashnaks by having different kinds of stickers on their car windows arboring the Dashnak 1890 and ARF logos.

Now my question is: If what Mr. Babikian said that "we do not have any conflict with the Canadian-Turkish community" is true, where did these Armenian Diaspora kids of 6 years old and up learned to hate and bully the turks like that ?

And Mr. Babikian goes on saying: "Turkish ultranationalists are using to whip hysteria and animosity between the two people."

Looking at the behavior of the Armenian Diaspora kids here, I really don’t have any doubt as to WHO are the ultranationalists and WHO are spreading hysteria and animosity between the two people.

Çok geri zekâli !

21
Lucrèce
June 6, 2008
Hate propaganda against Turks in Canada:

armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2008/05/2456-hate-propaganda-against-turks-in.html


Source: Poligazette: May 29, 2008