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28 January 2009

2721) Free E-Book: The Armenian Issue and the Jews By Sedat Laciner & Ibrahim Kaya

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com ASAM - Institute for Armenian Research
Ankara University Printing House, 2003 (Out Of Print)

CONTENTS
-About the Authors
-Armenia's Jewish Sceptism and its impact on Armenia-Israel Relations, Sedat Laciner
-The Holocaust and Armenian Case: Highlighting the Main Differences, Ibrahim KAYA
-Selected Bibliography . .


About the Authors
The Armenian Issue and the Jews
Sedat Laciner: Assist Prof. Dr. at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Department of International Relations and senior researcher at the Institute for Armenian Research, Ankara. He also is the President of the Middle Eastern Studies Desk at the Center for Eurasian Studies. Dr. Laçiner is co-editor of the Review of Armenian Studies and Ermeni Arastirmalari journals. Laçiner is also author of: “Art and Armenian Propaganda, Ararat As A Case Study”, (Ankara: 2003, with Kantarci); “Turkey and the World” (Istanbul: 2001); “Bir Baska Açidan Ingiltere” (Ankara: 2001, editor); “Ararat Sanatsal Ermeni Propagandasi” (Ankara: 2002, with Kantarci); “Ermeni Sorunu El Kitabi (with Kantarci, Kasim and Kaya). BA (Ankara University, Turkey), MA (Sheffield University, England), PhD (King’s College, University of London, England). E-mail: sedat100@hotmail.com.

Ibrahim KAYA: Assist. Prof. Dr. at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Department of Public Administration and senior researcher at the Institute for Armenian Research, Ankara. He is the author of many articles on Armenians and the Armenian issue. Dr. Kaya is also the co-editor of the Review of Armenian Studies, Stratejik Analiz and Ermeni Arastirmalari journals. BA (Ankara University, Turkey), LLM (Nottingham University, England), PhD (University of Keele, England).

Armenia's Jewish Sceptism and its impact on Armenia-Israel Relations
Asst. Prof. Dr. Sedat Laciner*

The Armenian Issue and the Jews

‘It is in our blood to hate the Turks. However, we hate Bulgarians and Greeks also. The Jews like Turks, but they hate Arabs. The Arabs, in their turn, are not in favor with the Turks. And the level of hatred is rising’
Narek Mesropian[1]

Although the Jewish community in Armenia dates back almost 2,000 years, the population of the Jews has reduced to fewer than 1,000 individuals in Armenia and in Karabakh province, which is the Azerbaijan territory under the Armenian occupation. Ironically this tiny Jewish community has exposed to the rising Armenian anti-Semitism in the recent years, and now they are considered as ‘guests’ in Armenia where they have lived for the ages.[2] The reasons for anti-Semitism among the Armenians is not actually the Jewish activities, but the regional and international politics and the historical mistrust, namely the problems between Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, and Israel’s recent co-operation with Turkey. Before analyzing the reasons, the study will provide the historical background of the Armenian ‘antagonism’ against the Jews and the history of the Jewish community in Armenia. Then it will move in to the current reasons of the Armenian Jewish skepticism in the recent years. The study, in questioning the reasons, also focuses on Armenia-Israel relations and the Israeli-Turkish alliance’s impact on Armenia’s perception of the region. The article further discusses Israel’s and the world Jewish community’s attitude regarding the Armenian ‘genocide’ allegations. The author reminds that the Jewish community clearly oppose the Armenian allegations and reject all the Armenian attempts to create a similarity between Holocaust and the 1915 events, and the article discusses the Jewish opposition’s effects on the Armenian issue.

I. ARMENIAN ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE OTTOMAN PERIOD

The Ottoman experience proves that anti-Semitism is an old Armenian habit. The main reason for anti-Semitism among the Ottoman Armenians was mainly religious biases. For the Christian Armenians the Jews were in great sin. It was a common belief among the Armenians that the Jews slaughter young Christian Armenians and use their blood at the Passover feast. In Amasya province for instance local Armenian priests and notables claimed that an Armenian woman had seen Jews slaughter a young Armenian boy and use his blood for religious purposes. Stanford J. Shaw describes the following events:

‘Several days of rioting and pillaging and attacks on Jews followed, with Armenian mobs devastating the Jewish quarter of the city, beating men, women and children alike. The Armenian notables convinced the local Ottoman governor to imprison several Jewish leaders, including Rabbi Yakub Avayu, who was accused of having supervised the blood letting. They were said, after undergoing severe torture, to have confessed to their crimes and were hanged. Later, however, the Armenian boy who supposedly had been murdered was found and a new Ottoman governor punished the accusers, though nothing could be done about the Jews who had suffered in the process.’[3]

As Abraham Ben-Yakob put it, the Armenian and Greek attacks against the Armenians continued in the following years:

‘There were literally thousands of incidents in subsequent years, invariably resulting from accusations spread among Greeks and Armenians by word mouth, or published in their newspapers, often by Christian financiers and merchants who were anxious to get the Jews out of the way, resulting in isolated and mob attacks on Jews, and burning of their shops and homes.’[4]

Apart from the religious prejudices, the Jewish community in the Empire dramatically rose in numbers and their influence over the administration and economy increased, and this development made the Christian subjects (Armenians, Greeks etc.) worried. Unfortunately this competition between the Jews and Christians resulted in a long series of attacks against the Jews by the Armenians and Greeks, who simply did not want to lose their influential position in terms of politics and economy. In these assaults many Jews were assassinated. When the Europeans increased their economic and political influence over the Ottoman Empire they publicly supported the Ottoman Christians and the Armenians and Greeks gained a clear privilege in trade, which was unfavorable to the Jews. The local Armenians and Greeks had the American and the European diplomats and businessmen with them, while the Jews had to rely on their own sources and their good relations with the Ottoman bureaucracy. In addition, as the Armenians and Greeks got richer and more influential, harassments and the constant attacks against the Jews increased as witnessed in Izmir during the 19th century. The competition between the Armenians and the Jews was severe in Palace and the financial system in particular. When the Armenian bankers sustained monopoly over the Ottoman financial system they did everything to get the Jews out of the Palace, and even labeled Jews by accusing the Jews of not being loyal to the Sultan. As a result of these slanders, many Jews lost their life.[5]

Another dramatic development for the Jews was the impact of the European military victories and conquests of Ottoman territories by the European armies, because when the Christian European armies occupied the Ottoman possessions they were supporting their Christian ‘brothers’, Armenians, Greeks and Bulgarians, and punishing the Jews and Muslims alike.[6] Consequently the Jews became the most loyal ones to the government in the 19th century and this also worsened the relations between the nationalist Armenians and the Jews. The radical Armenians perceived the Jews as the agent of the state against their ‘revolutionary’ movement. Even some Armenians would claim that some of the responsible officers for the 1915 events, which the Armenians see these events as ‘genocide’, were Jews, freemasons or supported by the Jews or freemasons. Although this kind of claims cannot be considered as serious or scholarly, they are useful to understand the degree of the Armenian anti-Semitism.

The fourth negative development for the Ottoman Jews was the nationalist-separatist movements in the Arab territories, the Balkans and in Anatolia. The only protector of the Jews in these regions was the Ottoman state and its governor because the Arabs and the Christians hated the Jews due to the tradition and religion. That is why the Jews became more and more loyal to their state, and this more annoyed the nationalist groups, particularly the Greeks and the Armenians. In many Greek uprisings for instance the Jews supported the Ottoman State against the rioters as witnessed in the Ottoman - Greek War in 1897 for Crete Island. The Ottoman security forces had to intervene to protect the Jews from the Armenians, Greeks and the Arabs especially in the 19th century. In Syria in particular the Christian Arabs and Armenians hated the Jews as a result of the religious biases.[7]

In summary, the Armenians continually attacked the Jews for the religious reasons and for personal and ethnic interests. In the words of Shaw, ‘the attacks were brutal and without mercy. Women, children, and aged Jewish men were frequently attacked, beaten and often killed’.[8] These attacks inevitably caused a severe tension and nourished mutual hate between the Armenians and the Jews. As a result the Jews sometimes co¬operated with other ethnic groups against the Armenians as Shaw puts it:

‘Jewish resentment against the continued persecution and ritual murder attacks by Greeks and Armenians led to such hatred that, for example, many Jews actively assisted the attacks of Kurds and Lazzes on the Armenian quarters of Istanbul in 1896 and 1908, showing the Kurds where Armenians lived and where many of them were hiding and joining them in carrying away the booty. The result was even greater Armenian hatred for Jews than had been the case before, leading to further persecution and attacks in subsequent years’.[9]

In addition to the assaults against the Jewish people the Armenians and Greeks made enormous efforts to keep the Jews out of the Palace and other important official places. Furthermore they tried to prevent constructing new synagogues in Istanbul. Güleryüz’s research on Turkish Jewry’ gives an example:

‘Greeks and Armenians agitated widely to prevent Jews from constructing new synagogues when needed in the Empire. The best example of this came with Greek and Armenian opposition to the construction of a new Jewish synagogue at Haydarpasha in 1899. Sultan Abdul Hamid II allowed the synagogue to be built, and assured its opening despite the protests by sending a contingent of soldiers from the nearby Selimiye barracks, leading the contregation to adopt the name Hemdat Israel synagogue, but also the word Hemdat was close to the name of their benefactor, Sultan Abdul Hamid.’[10]

In conclusion, anti-Semitism was a strong tradition among the Ottoman Armenians, and as will be seen it would be revived in the modern ages.

II. THE SECOND WORLD WAR: ARMENIAN-NAZI COLLABORATION?

The historical Armenian mistrust towards the Jews continued in the 1930s and 1940s and some radical Armenians did not hesitate to support the Nazi administration. Ayhan Özer claims that Hitler aimed to get the Armenian support in his anti-Semitic campaign. In other words both, Nazi party and the radical anti-Semitic Armenians saw each other in the same side. Apart from the ‘common feelings’ about the Jews, in foreign policy, ‘Hitler’s future invasion plans of Russia provided a golden opportunity for the Armenians to liberate what they considered to be “Historic Armenia” from the Soviet as well as the Turkish rule’[11] The Armenian-German alliance alarmed not only Turkey but also the Turkish Jews. The British Ambassador in Ankara reported to his government that ‘the Armenians (in Turkey) are extremely fruitful ground for German activities, and these non-Muslim elements with their mentality (rooted in the Ottoman years) are always viewed with mistrust by the Turkish authorities’.[12] Özer claims that as a result of the Armenian-Nazi alliance, the 812th Battalion later developed into a so-called ‘Armenian Legion with the efforts of Alfred Muradian, a German-Armenian, and by Armik Jamalian, the son of Arshak Jamalian, the Foreign Minister of the short-lived Armenian Republic. Some of this 20,000-strong Armenian legion were trained by the SS and its Security Division S. D. and later they joined the Nazi Einsatzgruppen in the invasion of the Crimea and the North Caucasia.[13] The skilled legion served the Nazi army as police unit for internal intelligence and controlling the ‘undesired elements’ like the Jews.

Moreover as Christopher Walker, a pro-Armenian researcher, admits that the relations between the Nazis and the Dashnaks living in the Nazi occupied areas were very close and active. The Armenians of Bucharest in May 1935 for example attacked the local Jews.[14] Walker summarize the close ties between the Nazis and Dashnag Armenians:

‘There remains the incontestable fact that relations between the Nazis and the Dashnags living in the occupied areas were close and active. On 30 December 1941 an Armenian battalion was created by a decision of the Wehrmacht, known as the Armenian 812th Battalion. It was commanded by Dro, and was made of a small number of committed recruits, and a larger number of Armenians from the prisoners of war taken by the Nazis in their sweep eastwards. Early on the total number was 8,000; this number later grew to 20,000. The 812th Battalion was operational in the Crimea and the North Caucasus.’[15]

Apart from the assaults against the Jews, the Armenians also published a German language magazine, with fascist and anti-Semitic tendencies. In these publications the radical Armenians supported the Nazi doctrines and justified the anti-Semitic Nazi policies.[16]

Though pro-Armenian researcher Christopher J. Walker admits that the Armenians collaborated with the Nazis, some of the Armenian authors may refuse these claims. However the Armenian periodicals of that period provide abundant proof for the Nazi-Armenian collaboration. For example the Armenian-language daily Hairenik on 17 September 1936 tried to legitimate the Nazi administration:

‘...and came (to power) Adolph Hitler after Herculean struggles. He spoke to the racial heart strings of the German, opened the fountain of his national genius...’[17]

Similarly Hairenik named the Jews as ‘poisonous elements’ in its 19 and 20 August 1936 issue:

‘Sometimes it is difficult to eradicate these poisonous elements (the Jews) when they have struck deep root like a chronic disease, and when it becomes necessary for a people (the Nazis) to eradicate them in an uncommon method these attempts are regarded as revolutionary. During a surgical operation the flow of blood is a natural thing.. .‘[18]

‘...Jews being the most fanatical nationalists and race-worshippers, are compelled to create an atmosphere of internationalism and world-citizenship in order to preserve their race. As the British use battleships to occupy lands, the Jews use internationalism or communism as a weapon. . .’ [19]

These quotations need no further comment as they speak for themselves. In this context, the next section will focus on the current Armenian skepticism towards the Jews.

III. RISE OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN ARMENIA AND KARABAKH

Jews in Caucasus and Armenia: Mountain Jews

The Jews from the Caucasus region are known as Mountain Jews and these people are one of the oldest inhabitants of the region.[20] ‘The distinct identity of Mountain Jews is believed to have crystallized by the eight century, which waves of Jewish immigrants began migrating to the Caucasus from Persia. Members of the community spoke Dzhuhuri — a kind of “Persian Yiddish” - a Farsi dialect with a heavy mixture of Hebrew’.[21] Unlike the other parts of the Caucasus, (like Georgia, Azerbaijan[22], Chechnya, Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan), however Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh had never had significant Jewish populations. Although the Jews were known to live in Armenia in ancient times, most of them had emigrated from the region in the early years. However, in the early 19th century they began arriving in the region mainly from Persia and Poland, creating Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities in the city of Yerevan.

After the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution the Armenian nationalists declared their independence in May 1918. The relations between the Armenians and the Jews were relatively good during this period although the radicalism of the Armenian nationalists caused a short-term fear among the Jews. However, when the Red Army defeated the Dashnaks (Armenian nationalists) Armenia became one of the Soviet republics under the communist system in 1921 for about seven decades. The number of the Jewish community increased after the World War Two when Moscow sent a number of Jews from the different territories of the Union to Yerevan. After the war the number of Jews was estimated over 5,000. Despite the number of the Jews dramatically decreased in the 1970s and the 80s, the Jews maintained their position in Armenia as one of the major minorities. In brief, the Jewish community had managed to survive, and thrive under the Muslim, Christian and communist rulers in Armenia until the end of the Soviet Union.[23]

a. Jewish Under the Rule of Independent Armenian Republic

In the Soviet Union the Jewish population in Armenia was over 6.000 people. The largest Jewish wave arrived in 1965 and 1972, mainly engineers and members of intelligentsia from Russia and Ukraine.[24] However their number declined in the 1970s and 80s as a result of the bad treatment, political reasons and economic catastrophes. In 1991 independent Armenian Republic recognized the existence of the Jews in Armenia. However for the Armenian Government, the Jews were in the ‘guests status’ in the country like the Russians, Polish and Azerbaijanis.[25] Apart from the official mistrust towards the Jews, the revival of Armenian nationalism caused communal tension between the Armenians and the minorities. The radical nationalists argued all ‘foreign elements’ must be out by starting an Armenization campaign. In this campaign the central and local government ‘encouraged’ the people to speak Armenian instead of speaking their native languages or other languages other than Armenian, like Russian, Turkish or Persian.[26]

When the armed conflicts erupted and the Armenian forces entered the Azerbaijani territories the fears and mistrust towards ‘foreigners’ and ethnically non-Armenians reached its peak in the country and some radical Armenians saw the Jewish minority as representatives of the ‘evil forces’ in country, although the Jews did not betray their country during the conflicts. As a result of the ethnic tension and economic problems the number of the Jews dramatically decreased in the 1990s. The Jewish population in Armenia in 2000 down to about 1500, while the number of Jews in Karabagh was just 30.[27] The estimations for 2002 show that there are less than 1000 Jewish in Armenia. The remained Jewish like their ancestors speak Armenian and do not know Hebrew. Most of those who remained aim to immigrate to Israel or any Western state. Those who cannot speak Hebrew go to the Sunday schools to learn Hebrew language because they hope Hebrew may helpful to become Israel citizens.

The Armenian Jewish had no problem with the state authority and showed their loyalty in many cases. Most of the members of the community come from mixed marriage.[28] They have limited contact with any other foreign country. Israel makes some financial assistance yet it is limited. In another word, apart from the historical mistrust, there is no tangible basis for anti-Semitism. In Armenia as mentioned above the main reason of anti-Semitism are foreign policy considerations and need to blame a group for the economic and political failure. Because of this, those who use anti-Semitism as a tool in their policy, target an imaginary ‘Jewish enemy’. For this group there is a Jewish conspiracy against Armenia and Armenians. This conspiracy, to them, includes Israel and the Jewish lobbies based in the United States, Europe, Turkey and Russia and uses the Jewish minority in Armenia as well. Igor Muradyan’s article appeared in Golos Armenii (Voice of Armenia) in April 1999, which is one of the vivid examples of the anti-Semitic publications in Armenia, reflects the main idea of this group. Muradyan in his article claims that Armenian-Jewish relations have historically been filled conflict between “Aryan” Armenians and “Semitic” Jews. Igor Muradyan further blames Jews for inciting ethnic conflicts in the region, including the dispute over Nagorno-Karabagh. According to Muradyan’s view the greatest threat to Armenia posed by the close ties between Turkey and Israel. Interestingly Muradyan argues that Turkey’s ‘founding fathers’ were Young Turks and they were ‘Masonic’ with very good relations with the Jews.[29]

Saakian: ‘Jewish Danger Against Armenia’

Another example happened in November 1997. Ara Saakian, the Vice-Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly announced the danger of the ‘Jewish lobby’ and its plans over Armenia. Saakian at that time was supporting the ratification of the pact for allowing a Russian military base in Armenia and he accused those, who opposed any foreign military base in Armenia, as agents of the ‘greater anti-Armenian lobby’. For Ara Saakian the people who opposed ratification were ‘playing into hands of the Jewish lobby’.[30] It is interesting that the number of those who opposed the ratification was just four parliamentarians.

Saakian’s speech caused a hot debate in Armenia over the ‘Jewish problem’. First response came from the Russian-language newspaper Golos Armenii. Narek Mesropian, on 3 May 1997, in his ‘When Brother Acts Against Brother’ article focused on the so-called ‘Jewish issue’:

‘Ara Saakian even mentioned the Jewish problem. It is very painful problem, by the way. And it is so not only in Russia. In short, he sharply criticized the Jewish lobby, which allegedly disregarded all the rules of decency to profit from the oil of Baku. And the Jewish lobby turned into a pro-Azerbaijan power... Furthermore, it is well known that Ara Saakian, as one of the leaders of the Armenian National Movement, naturally considers himself among the so-called democrats... And all the Russian democrats are either Jews or controlled by the Jews...’[31]

Mesropian’s 5 August 1997 article, which was published again in Golos Arrnenii, reflects tension between the Jews and Armenians and clearly implies the historical mistrust between the two communities:

‘It is in our blood to hate the Turks. However, we hate Bulgarians and Greeks also. The Jews like Turks, but they bate Arabs. The Arabs, in their turn, are not in favor with the Turks. And the level of hatred is rising.’[32]

Furthermore, The Ajzm, weekly publication of the National Democratic Union[33], in its response to Oskanian accused the Armenian authorities. The Ajzm on 13 May 1997 published an article titled ‘They Say Jew, They Understand a Representative of the West’. In this article the unnamed author argued that the Armenian authorities mean Jews when they speak about West and perceive the Jews as identical with the concepts of the West, United States, MOSSAD or CIA.[34]

From Mistrust to Anti-Semitism: ‘Armenian Book Denies Holocaust’

The most recent example of the Armenian mistrust towards the Jews shows the anti-Semitic understanding behind the Jewish skeptic groups; as the JTA reported an anti-Semitic book ‘National System’ was distributed in the early days of 2002.[35] The book identifies Jews and Turks as the leading enemies of the Armenian nation. According to the ‘National System’ the Holocaust is a myth, which was created by the Zionists. The leader of Armenian Jewry at the 9 February gathering said, they are going to meet with Armenian President about the rising anti-Semitism in Armenia, yet the officials made no statement about the book and the anti-Semitic movements in the country.

In addition to the mistrust towards the Jewish minority inside, the skepticism against Israel and the Jewish lobbies is significant in Armenian foreign policy. As will be detailed below Armenia first of all has developed close ties with Israel’s ‘enemies’, namely Iran and Syria. Armenia even signed a military co-operation agreement with Syria.[36] Second, Armenian decision makers have perceived the Israeli and Jewish initiatives in the region against their national interest. Vartan Oskanian, Armenian Foreign Minister, for instance argued ‘Israeli and Armenian interests are diametrically opposed in the Caucasus region’.[37] According to Oskanian the main reasons for this are ‘Israel’s alliance with Turkey, and Israel’s interest in getting Azeri oil out to the Western market.[38]

The Armenian policy makers in general perceive that the Jewish lobby in the United States is so strong and dominates the US Congress and the White House. Even the Armenian press frequently claim that the Jewish lobby blackmails the US administration to protect the Israeli interests.[39] According to this view the Jewish lobby determines the American foreign policy regarding the region and the Jewish Americans favored Azerbaijan because of oil and other reasons.[40]

b. Karabakh: “Only Armenians Are Full-Fledged Citizens”

During the Soviet Union period, the Nagorna Karabakh in Azerbaijan was one of the ethnic and religious tolerance havens for the Soviet Jews. Thousands of Jews from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other parts of the Soviet Union arrived in Karabakh of Azerbaijan to escape anti-Semitism. Despite the majority was Armenian, the Azerbaijani administration had allowed the Jews to live their religion and culture freely and they had a close connection with the Jewish organizations in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. As mentioned the majority of the Karabakh Jews had flocked in the region in order to escape persecution. The second reason was to find a job. The mixed-marriages was another reason for coming in Karabakh for the Jewish community. The community had no problem neither with the other minorities (Russians, Polish and Azerbaijanis) nor the Armenians. However, anti-Semitism erupted with the rise of the Armenian separatist nationalism in Karabakh against the Azerbaijani rule.[41] For the Armenian nationalists all non-Armenian people were foreigner or ‘guest’ in the ‘Armenian territory. Maria Spector Groisman, who escaped from Ukraine to Karabakh, summarizes the change; she says the life for the Jewish community there was relatively easy in the 1970s and 1980s, and they lived a relatively open Jewish life, they even received regular packages from the Star of David association in Baku. But, she says when the wave of Armenian nationalism grown life became harder for the Karabakh Jews. Many Jews immigrated to Israel in the 1970s. Groisman recalls that Karabakhi nationalists had threatened to have Groisman fired from her job as a telephone operator unless she wrote an article describing the wretched conditions experienced by Soviet Jews in Israel and praising Armenian tolerance, and she said she had refused.[42]

When the armed conflict erupted between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in 1988, most of the Jews had to hide from the Armenian guerrillas. Steve Swerdlow, who is a human rights monitor for the Union Councils and the US Department’s Young Leadership Fellow in the Caucasus, reports that Alexander and Svetlana Peisakhov were two of them:

‘A mixed Jewish-Armenian couple, Alexander and Svetlana Peisakhov, lived in Stepanakert where their children, Sergei and Stella, were known as “local prodigies”. However during four years of fighting, the children’s grandparents, Niusia and Gelta Sarkisian, kept them back from school and hid them in basement. “We would bury the dead at night because the heavy shelling during the day made it too dangerous” said Nuisia Sarkisian. “We were scared because our children were not Armenians. We did everything we could them out through Baku”.[43]

The Armenians won the war with the Russian military support[44] and the Armenian forces occupied not only the Karabakh territories but also some other parts of Azerbaijan (over 20 % of all Azerbaijani territories). In the words of Sverdlow, the Armenian victory and ‘the war has ushered in a new era of chauvinism and intolerance to non-Armenians living in Nagorny Karabakh. And the Jewish community has dwindled to just 30 people’ [45] In this new era, the Jews had to hide their Jewish identity, because the ordinary Armenians think that Israel helps Azerbaijan and they perceive the Jewish community as the agents of the anti-Armenian West. Sverdlow gives another significant example for discrimination against the Karabakh Jews:

‘When the war broke out in 1988, Daniel and Svetlana Groisman were living in Shushi, now Nagomy Karabakh’ s second largest town. Daniel joined the Armenian army fought from 1990 until the ceasefire in 1994. Says Svetlana, “My husband helped retake Shushi. So many fled during the war. We aren’t even Armenian but we stayed and didn’t betray Karabakh. But now people call us Yids.” After the war, the new government paid out compensation to veterans of the conflict but Daniel was denied the benefits awarded to “pure-blooded” Armenians. When the city court confiscated the Groismans’ garage in 1998 and gave it to an ethnic Armenian veteran, the family was told “Only Armenians are full-fledged citizens. You should leave for Israel!’[46]

Since 1988, the Karabakh Jews have been almost entirely isolated from the Jewish organizations in Baku, Yerevan and Israel, and they could not connect even with the humanitarian organizations, like the Joint Distribution Committee which sends humanitarian aid and special foods.

c. Diaspora Armenian’s Jewish Skepticism

Apart from the homeland, the Armenians living in abroad shows mistrust towards the Jewish communities. In the United States in particular the Armenian community perceive that the Jewish are manipulating the public opinion and decision making process against Armenia and Armenians. The Jewish activities in the Congress are especially considered by the radical Armenians as a part of an anti-Armenian conspiracy. The role of the Jewish representatives in blocking the Armenian resolutions are seen as proof for such a plan although the American State Department and the White House made it clear that the Armenian anti-Turkish attempts in the Congress damage the American national interests in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus and the Armenian allegations are not based on the historical truth. When the latest Armenian resolution failed in the Congress for example the radical Armenian political groups saw Israel, American Jewish community, CIA, Pentagon, State Department and President Bill Clinton as responsible for the failure. Hagop Chakrian expressed this point of view in Asbarez, Armenian daily, on 27 July 2001:

‘When the Armenian genocide resolution was rejected by the US, the Turkish President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister expressed special gratitude to the White House, Pentagon, CIA, and State Department, as well as to Jewish organizations in the US, since President Clinton intervened on the issue at the request of Israel.’[47]

Chakrian and those who share his view do not provide any proof for their claims yet the words mentioned above clearly show the existence of Armenian Jewish skepticism among the Armenians in diaspora.

IV. THE MAIN REASONS FOR ARMENIAN SCEPTICISM TOWARDS ISRAEL AND JEWISH PEOPLE IN MODERN ERA

As will be seen the anti-Semitic and skeptic attitude towards the Jewish minority inside and Israel and Jewish diasporas outside continued in the independent Armenian Republic period. Surprisingly the most significant factors which nourished the ‘Armenian paranoia’ and the Armenian hostility towards the minorities were as mentioned were not the minority activities inside, but mainly the international developments. Three developments in particular were very important at this stage; Baku oil project, Turkey - Israel strategic cooperation and the improving relations between Turkey and Georgia. Armenia has perceived all these developments as an extension of anti-Armenian conspiracy, which for the Armenians orchestrated by the Turks and Israeli lobbies.[48]

In this context it can be argued that there are seven different main reasons for the Armenian mistrust towards the Jews:

a. Historical Reasons,
b. Religious Reasons,
c. The Armenian Western Skepticism and the Armenian Isolationist Perception,
d. Armenia Feels Isolated: From Fears to Paranoia?
e. Israel-Turkey Friendship’s Impact on Armenia
f. Azerbaijani Oils, Israel and the American Jewish Lobby,
g. Israel’s Attitude to the Armenian Allegations.

a. The Historical Reasons

As discussed in the previous sections anti-Semitism is an old Armenian habit or ‘disease’ and experienced in the Ottoman period. Unfortunately the Soviet period did not help in curing this ‘disease’, contrary the Soviet’s skepticism nourished anti-Semitism among the Armenians. In this period and later the Armenians have seen the foreigners including the Jews as the main source of their problems (scapegoat).

Apart from the historical mutual mistrust between the Armenians and the Jews, the traditional Turkish-Jewish friendship also affected the Armenian-Jewish relations. As a well known fact that when Jews suffered persecution in Spain in 15th century, the Ottoman Turks offered them sanctuary and ten thousands of them migrated to the Ottoman Empire. For the centuries the Ottoman Turks provided legal and political protection to the Jews and this friendly relations continued in the 20th century. However, ‘my enemy’s friend is my enemy’ understanding has made the Armenians more skeptical about the Jews.

b. Religious Reasons

As the religious reasons of Armenian-Jewish skepticism were discussed above these reasons are not detailed here.[49]

c. Armenia's Western Scepticism

One of the most important characteristics of the newly independent Armenian state is the feeling of an isolated Armenia. The Armenian decision makers similar to the laymen have accused the Western states of being indifferent toward the Armenians’ problems. For them the West had used the Armenians for their own interest yet in the end they deserted the Armenians in ‘cold’ before the Turks, Iranians and the Russians. Second, the Armenians have seen the Jewish people and Israel as the agents or representatives of the West. As a direct result of this perception the Armenian people’s Western skepticism shapes their policies towards the Jewish and Israel. In many cases when the Armenians accuse the Jewish people and the State of Israel they mostly mean the West in general not only the Jews and Israel. For many Armenians the CIA, MOSSAD, Israel, Jews and the United States are identical.[50]

d. Armenia Feels Isolated: From Fears to Paranoia?

The dissolution of the Soviet ‘Empire’ made the Armenian independence possible, and Armenia became an independent state for second time in history. However Armenia was born as a weak and in a problematic geography, which made preserving independence highly difficult. Armenia was the smallest of the successor states of the former Soviet Union. It was located in the Caucasus Mountains as a completely landlocked country. All these factors increased the Armenian insecurity feelings and led skepticism towards the minorities including the Jews.

Furthermore, after gaining independence in 1991 the country continued to be a zone of Russian influence. Moscow had economic, political and military leverages over the ‘independent’ Armenia,[51] and Armenia had to improve good relations with the neighboring states, namely Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran, in order to overcome its internal economic and political problems and to escape from the Russian hegemony. Moreover, it needed economic aid from the Western powers, notably the United States and the European Union. As a matter of fact that the environment was suitable for the Armenian policy makers to follow a more constructive foreign policy; Russia was in a domestic economic and political turmoil; the West was enthusiastic to integrate the former Soviet Union territories into the European political system and Turkey was ready for co¬operation with Armenia despite of the historical disputes. Turkey even was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Armenia. The moderate government under Ter-Petrosian, which put aside the historical Armenian claims in order to improve relations with Turkey, was another positive factor in the Armenian side. However, the Karabakh problem restricted Armenia’s freedom of action in foreign policy; When Armenia clearly supported the Karabakh Armenians against Azerbaijan, and occupied about 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territories, Turkey could not improve its relations with Armenia,[52] and diplomatic ties were never established between the two countries since Turkey indexed it to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.[53] Instead of improving relations with Armenia, Turkey moved into Georgia, Azerbaijan and the other former Soviet Union republics, and declared that it cannot improve its relations with Armenia until the Armenian occupation forces withdrew from the Azerbaijan territories. For instance, Mehmet Ali rtemçelik, former Turkish State Minister, summarized the situation as ‘Turkey’s ties with Armenia can improve in parallel with the development of relations between Baku and Yerevan’.[54] In practice Turkey restricted its economic and political relations with Armenia, and focused on relations with its kin-state, Azerbaijan. Yet, Turkey’s good relations were always perceived as hostile in both Yerevan and Moscow, and two states got closer each other during the 1990s. Yet the Armenians could not trust the Russians fully, and the co-operation in this period was limited.[55] In another word, Armenia saw almost all its neighbors as ‘enemy, Turks, Russians, Georgians and Iranians.

The Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories was not approved by the Western states as well and none of the countries recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as an Armenian territory except Armenia. The leading Western states called the Armenians to withdraw their forces from the region. As far as the Western interests are concerned, another consideration regarding the Armenians was that the Russians and the Iranians were planning to use Armenia’s problems with the other states to implement their regional policies against the Western block and this obviously disturbed the US, Israel and some of the European States and they warned Armenia not to turn its face to Moscow or Tehran.[56]

Apart from the security considerations, Armenia had to rebuild its devastated economy and strengthen its fledgling democracy. Under these circumstances Armenia could not get a serious aid from the West, and widespread dissatisfaction with the moderate Ter-Petrosian government increased, and although he won the 1996 elections, thanks to the growing opposition and Street demonstrations, he had to resign in two years (3 February 1998). The resignation of Ter-Petrosian granted power to the radical nationalists, and Robert Kocharian, a hard-core nationalist and a war veteran from Karabakh, became the President of Armenia after the second round of the 1998 elections.[57] Kocharian’s foreign policy was so different than Ter-Petrosian; Kocharian implied the change in Armenia’s Turkish policy before the elections:

‘If I am elected, there will be some new developments in our relations with Turkey, there will be some new emphases; we shall soon clarify our new line regarding our relations’[58]

His first action in office was lifting the ban on the activities of the fanatically anti-Turkish Dashnak Party, which was considered as terrorist organization by the Turkish state. The Dashnak Party had been banned by the previous Armenian President Ter-Petrossian in 1994 on the grounds that it was engaged in terrorist activities. Ankara’s response was calming. Ankara advised Kocharian to solve the Karabakh problem and withdraw its soldiers from the Azerbaijani territories, give up the ‘genocide’ claims and respect the international borders of his neighbors. Yet Kocharian choose the worst alternatives for Turkey; he refused all peace plans for Nagorno Karabakh claiming the problem was already solved since Karabakh was an Armenian territory and approached to the Russians, the traditional rival of the West and Turkey in the region, to counter-balance the Turks. Armenia under Kocharian’s rule furthermore focused on the ‘Armenian genocide’ claims, and tried to apply pressure on Turkey and pushing Turkey to accept to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia by simply threatening it with the international pressure.[59] But the worst of all was to open the Armenian territories to the Russian military forces. By doing this, Armenia was challenging not only to Turkey but also to the Western interests while Georgia and Azerbaijan have viewed as a way to counter-balance Moscow and as an aid in building their relations with the US in order to escape permanently from the Russian sphere of influence and became a really independent state.[60] In this framework Georgia and Azerbaijan implied that they wanted a NATO or a NATO member’s military base in their country, while there has been Russian soldiers in Armenia.

These policies increased the gap between Armenian policies and the Western Block’s policies in the Caspian region including Turkey, Israel and the US. Apart from the problems in the external relations, the economic depression caused a social turmoil in the country and the politicians accused the foreigners for all these problems. Under these circumstances the mistrust and fears among the Armenians dramatically increased towards the foreign powers and the fears became a paranoia, which as will be seen below, ultimately stroke the minorities, namely Jewish, Azerbaijanis etc.

e. Israel-Turkey Friendship’s Impact on Armenia

Apart from the mistrust towards the West and isolated Armenian foreign policy, one of the most important factors caused anti-Semitic attitudes and skeptic Israel policy in Armenia has been Israel’s friendly relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan, both of which are Armenia’s traditional enemies. As Inbar puts it the relations between Israel and Turkey greatly expanded and reached an unprecedented degree of closeness.[61] Turkey upgraded its diplomatic relations with Israel to ambassador level at the end of 1991 and then the two states have exchanged many high — level state visits and bilateral trade has grown significantly. As a cooperation of two pro-American democracies of the Middle East Turkey-Israel partnership has become an important factor in the region. Not only the Arab states[62], but also Greece, Southern Cyprus, Iran[63] and Armenia panicked and perceived the ‘alliance’ as a threat for their security.[64] For the radical Armenians the ‘alliance’ targeted Armenia. Haik Marcar for instance said: ‘Israel is now is in bed with Turkey, the mortal enemy of Armenia’[65] As a matter of fact that Israel was trying to counter-balance Syria and other Arab states in the Palestine problem while Turkey was making efforts to find a strategic partner against the Syria, which supported the PKK terrorism by providing a safe haven to its leader and bases, and logistical support for its armed operations against Turkey. Naturally there were more reasons for such a sensitive partnership yet none of the partners perceived the ‘entente’ against Armenia or Greece. Despite this, the strategic Turkish-Israeli alignment ‘reinforced’ Yerevan, Tehran and Athena partnership. Later Syria and the Greek Cyprus joined the Armenia-Iran-Greece co-operation.[66] It is understandable that the Israeli-Turkish co-operation was a great disappointment for the radical Armenians and it can be said that Turkish-¬Israeli co-operation has played a crucial role in Armenia’s search for co¬operation with the above mentioned states half of which are in the United States’ Terrorist States List. In addition, Armenians argued that Turkey-¬Israel relations have shaped Israel’s position regarding the Armenia issue and because of this Israel has never given support to the Armenian cause. Tsoluk Mornjian, Armeni’s Consul-General in Jerusalem clearly expressed the official Armenian view:

‘I understand Israel’s position for the time being. Turkey is very strategic ally for Israel, especially because of Syria (which borders, and is hostile to, both countries)’[67]

In brief, while Turkey has extremely good relations with Israel and the United States, Armenia has developed military and political co¬operations with Israel’s enemies and rivals like Syria and Iran, and all these choice has affected Armenia’s attitude towards Israel and the Jews in general, including the Jewish minority in Armenia. However at the next stage, Armenia’s good relations with Iran and Syria as a reaction to Israel¬-Turkey close ties worsened Armenia-Israel relations and Israel openly declared that ‘one of the reasons for the frozen relations is Iran-Armenia political and military co-operation’[68]

f. Azerbaijani Oil, Israel and Jewish Lobby: Israel-Turkey and Azerbaijan Block?

Both sides have always sympathized with each other and had good relations since the independence of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan in particular has given enormous importance to develop close ties with Israel.[69] All Azerbaijani Prime Ministers have not allowed any anti-Semitic movement in their country and opposed Iranian type fundamentalism. Israel has also seen Azerbaijan as a potential partner with Turkey. One of the most import factors determined Israel’s Caucasus policy has been the Caspian oil in the last decade. Israel who does not have good relations with the Arab states and Iran has seen the Azerbaijani oil and the natural gas in the other Turkish republics namely Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as an opportunity to lessen its dependency in the energy sector. Moreover, Israel has perceived the rise of the Muslim and Turkish republics as important actors in international arena as an opportunity to balance the other Muslim states and legitimate itself in world politics by getting support of Turkish Muslims against Iranians and Arabs. Furthermore the American Jewish businessmen viewed the area with the commercial considerations. For the American Jewish businessmen Azerbaijan would be ‘another Kuwait’ and it was a golden opportunity for the American petroleum companies. To get the biggest portion from this market, good relations with Azerbaijan, Armenia’s archenemy, was essential. Apart from these factors Armenia as a small and isolated state with no natural resource or industry can provide any cooperation opportunity to Israel and the American Jews. Because of these factors, the American Jewish lobby has made enormous efforts in the name of Azerbaijan. The efforts by some Jewish groups in the United States (US) to repeal Section 907 of US foreign assistance legislation that prohibits most the US aid to Azerbaijan are significant. In 1992, the well-financed Armenian lobby in the Congress had succeeded in inserting Section 907 into the Freedom Support Act. That provision prohibited direct U.S. Government assistance to the government of Azerbaijan and in effect had labeled Azerbaijan the aggressor although the Armenian forces still occupy more than 20 per cent of the Azerbaijani territories. The 11 Jewish organizations in the United States in Autumn 2001 declared that they were against the Section 907.[70] The Jewish lobby groups clearly argued that Azerbaijan is an important partner for Israel, the US and the West and must be supported by the US.[71] Thanks to the Jewish organizations’ and Turkey’s efforts the US Congressmen were convinced, and the Section 907 was repealed. However this was perceived as a Turkish-Jewish conspiracy against Armenia and led nationalist Armenians to blame the local Jews, whom they see as representatives of Israel.[72]

Apart from the Jewish lobby and oil policies, Israel has seen Azerbaijan as an important actor in the Caucasus against Iran and the Russian policies. In the early years (Elçibey Period) Azerbaijan had troubles with Iran and searched good relations with Israel. According to Elçibey Israel could help Azerbaijan in Karabakh problem by convincing the Americans to stop the Armenians. Though some researchers, like Jane Hunter, claimed Israel sent arms to Azerbaijan to use against Armenians,[73] it can be said that Israel avoided from directly involving Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict. For the Armenians, Turkey has encouraged Israel to support Azerbaijan[74] yet it can be argued that such an argument would be simplification of the case and this strategy seems Israel’s own choice.

It also should be noted that Israel further makes efforts to develop its relations with another regional state, Georgia. Israel and Georgia signed many co-operation agreement and Israel now is one of the most leading foreign investors in Georgia[75] while Turkey is Georgia’s the biggest trade partner.[76] It is also a well known fact that Israel pays extra attention not to contradict with the American interests in the region.[77] Considered the United States’ political support for Georgia, Israel’s ‘friendly’ Georgian policy can be understood more easily. As a result of their importance for Israel have embassies in Tbilisi and Baku while the Israeli ambassador to Tbilisi is at charge for the affairs concerning Armenia.[78]

However Turkey’s and Israel’s good relations with Georgia and Azerbaijan cause conspiracy theories in Yerevan, and the radical Armenians argue that the Jews play the main role in this ‘anti-Armenian great strategy’[79] As a matter of fact that Israel’s interest regarding to Azerbaijan and Georgia should not be interpreted as an anti-Armenian policy because Azerbaijan and Georgia’s commercial and political potentials cannot be compared with the Armenia’s potential.

g. Israel’s Approach to the Armenian Allegations

One of the formidable obstacles in Jewish-Armenian and Israel-¬Armenia relations is Israel’s attitude towards the Armenian anti-Turkish claims. As expected for the Armenians, Israel is the most important state in convincing the world to the ‘Armenian genocide claims’ and as Asbarez pointed out, for the Armenians, the importance of the recognition of the Armenian political claims by the Jews, and more importantly by Israel, cannot be overstated.[80] Therefore, the Armenian international campaign especially has focused on Israel and the Jews.[81] However Israel has consistently refrained from acknowledging the Armenian claims. Israel even in the recent years officially declared that the 1915 Relocation and the following inter-communal clashes couldn’t be called ‘genocide’ or ‘holocaust’. Government representatives have never participated in the memorial assemblies held by the Armenians every year on 24 April to commemorate the ‘genocide’.[82]

In last two decades four significant events show Israel’s opposed position against the Armenian arguments. First of all in 1978 the screening of a pro-Armenian film about the Armenian quarter in Jerusalem was cancelled and the film has never been shown since that time because the Israeli authorities thought that the film was a political and a propaganda material. As a matter of fact that Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA) had requested a documentary on the historical Armenian quarter in the city. However, though the film was supposed to be about the Armenian quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, Michael Arlen, director of the film, had focused on the 1915 Armenian Relocation and had accused the Turkish people. In another word, Arlen was repeating the well known Armenian political claims instead of concentrating on the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem. Naturally the IBA refused to broadcast the film. In convincing the IBA the Turkish Jews and the Jews had emigrated from Turkey to Israel played a significant role. Jews in Turkey argued that the documentary was a ‘one-sided political propaganda film’.

In 1982, when some Armenian researchers aimed to participate in an international conference on the subject of the Holocaust and Genocide in Tel Aviv (Israel), the Israeli Government saw this attempt as a part of the politically motivated propaganda campaign. For the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Armenians were trying to manipulate the public opinion by using the conference in Israel. As a result the Foreign Ministry rejected the Armenian applications and tried to limit the subjects regarding the Armenian claims. However the Armenian applicants started an international campaign against Israel and blamed the Israeli Government of damaging academic freedom.[83]

The third significant development occurred at the end of September 1989 when some American senators mainly led by the Armenian and Greek lobby proposed a bill in the American Senate Judiciary Committee to commemorate the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’ indicating a memorial day in the American calendar. As a matter of fact that the United States House of Representatives had previously rejected two similar attempts in 1985 and in 1987.[84] In the previous cases the US Presidents, the Government and the Congress had clearly showed that the US does not agree with the radical Armenians and never recognized such political claims. Turkey as expected condemned the attempt, yet the campaign against the bill was mainly organized by the Turkish Jews. The Chief Rabbi of Turkey sent a personal letter to every member of the US Senate and said ‘We recognize the tragedy which befell both the Turks and Armenians ... but we cannot accept the definition of “genocide”. The baseless charge harms us just as it harms our Turkish countrymen.’[85] The Chief Rabbi, moreover, pointed out that the Turks were tolerant towards the minorities in the Ottoman and Republican periods. However, the Turkish Jews and the official Turkish representatives were not able to affect the balance in the Congress as the Armenian and Greek lobbies were strong enough to manipulate the other senators for such a bill. Israel’s and the Jewish lobby in this context played a vital role by working behind scenes.[86] The American Jews officially did not accept their efforts in preventing the Armenian bill, because they did not want to alienate their relations with the American Armenians. Though Israeli diplomats denied such an initiative, Ha‘aretz, the respected Hebrew daily, on 17 October 1989 declared that the Jews and Israeli diplomats worked to prevent the commemoration. Similarly The Jerusalem Post later wrote ‘the Israeli Embassy in Washington actively lobbied to block a US congressional measure to commemorate the Armenian events. In that instance, the Foreign Ministry chided embassy officials for their excessive involvement.’[87] Not only the Israeli and Turkish lobbies but also the American administration was against the bill and another Armenian attempt also failed, and this once more underscored that the Turkish and Jewish have a similar view on the issue.

Another case showing the Israeli attitude about the Armenian allegations was witnessed in 1990. IBA cancelled screening another pro-Armenian documentary called ‘Journey to Armenia’ in 1990. As IBA confirmed 100.000 Turkey immigrant Jews sent protest letter to the institution. In all these letters the Turkey Jews argued that the Ottoman Empire protected the Jewish minority for the ages and the Turkish people have been outstanding in its humane and tolerant treatment of its Jewish minority for 500 years following the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain and saved masses of Jews from massacre. In this framework the letters further argued a massacre against the Armenians or any other ethnic group cannot be expected. A member of the IBA Board of Directors clearly said that the documentary is a propaganda film:

‘The film contains propaganda and injury to part of the public, because a Holocaust happened only to part of the public, because a Holocaust happened only to the Jewish people’[88]

‘We Reject the Armenian Attempts’

Israel in the 1970s and 1980s opposed the Armenian attempts to draw similarities between Holocaust and 1915 Relocation event, yet it made extreme efforts not to alienate the Armenians. Therefore all Israeli efforts to prevent the Armenians were secret and ‘behind the curtain’[89] Naturally there has been a pro-Armenian group in Israel as well and this group does not share the official policy. However the pro-Armenian politicians are not strong enough to shift the official Israeli position and does not reflect the official view. On the other hand the fragile political structure and coalition system allows the marginal groups to enter the cabinet. For instance Yossi Sarid’s, Israel’s Education Minister, efforts resulted in including some Armenian claims in the national curriculum. Similarly Yossi Beilin, then Deputy Foreign Minister, had given support to the radical Armenians in April 1994. In the following years two Israeli ministers expressed their sympathy for the Armenian argument. However David Levy, the Israeli Foreign Minister, declared that the Israeli position regarding the issue was the same and the two minister’s statements on the issue in no way reflected the Israeli Government’s position, expressing his wish to maintain the already excellent relations with Turkey on every level. David Levy reiterated in his letter to his Turkish counterpart ismail Cem that the Israeli government was clinging to its policy that the Armenian allegations should be discussed by historians, not by politicians or diplomats.[90]

In recent years the Israeli government’s attitude vis-à-vis Turkish and Armenians has changed and Israel has not hesitate to declare its opposition to the Armenian claims. The Nobel Peace Prize Awarded Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres for example declared that the Armenian political claims are meaningless.[91]

Peres in his speech in April left no doubt about that Israel has a similar view with the Turkish government on the question of the 1915 Relocation, saying that the fate of the Armenians in Anatolia was a ‘tragedy’, not a genocide.[92] Peres further continued:

‘Armenian allegations are meaningless... We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through but not a genocide... Israel should not determine a historical or philosophical position on the Armenian issue. If we have to determine a position, it should be done with great care not to distort the historical realities.’[93] (Emphasis added, p.1.)

Apart from the Armenian claims issue Peres underscored the good relations between the Turkish and Jewish peoples, and made special note of the esteem in which Turkey is held by the Jewish lobby in Washington. Peres having claimed ‘Turkey and Israel are in the same boat and Turkey-¬Israel relations are extremely good, said that he hoped the lobby would continue to lend support to Turkish causes.[94] Peres’ statement caused great reaction among the radical Armenians; The Asbarez, a periodical of a radical Armenian political group, labeled Peres and Israel as ‘denier’.[95] Haig Boyodjian from the same periodical protested Israel and further said ‘we Armenians in turn reject Israeli efforts at denying the reality of another genocide preceding theirs’.[96]

Memorial Day: No Way to the Armenian Allegations

In addition to Shimon Peres’ statements the First Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain also provided clear proofs for the Jewish stance on the issue of the Armenian attempts to create parallel between the 1915 events and the Jewish Holocaust. When the British government with the BBC organized a Holocaust Memorial Day, the Armenian lobbying groups saw this as an opportunity although the focus of the day was solely the events in the World War Two. In spite of this the Armenian political groups accused the British government and claimed that the British simply ignored the Armenians. Nevertheless they applied to join the day as the ‘victims’ of, as they called, a genocide. As expected the Armenian application was turned down by the British Government and the BBC and the Armenian groups were informed by the Home Office that the memorial ceremonies were designed for the Holocaust only.[97] The representatives of the British Government frequently declared that the United Kingdom had never recognized the 1915 events as ‘genocide’ and its stance regarding the Armenian allegations remained the same.[98] Not only the British but also the Jewish people and Israel were unhappy with the Armenian political attempts. As discussed Shimon Peres clearly refused the Armenian claims while the British Jewish never supported the Armenian attempt. Turkey’s Jewish community also declared that inclusion of other ‘so-called genocides’ in the commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain would be disrespectful to the Jews killed by the Nazis.[99]

Israel: ‘No Parallels Between Holocaust and the 1915 Events’

As the examples demonstrated that Israel has made it clear its position about the Armenian allegations and officially and clearly rejected all Armenian attempts to present the 1915 Relocation as ‘genocide’. The most recent example came from the Israeli Ambassador to Armenian Rivka Kohen. Mrs. Kohen on 7 February 2002, during a press conference in Yerevan said that the Israeli people and government are sorry for the both sides of the tragic events of 1915, but she refused to draw any parallels between the 1915 events and Holocaust. Rivka Kohen implied that the 1915 events couldn’t be considered as ‘genocide’ because the mass killings in these events were not planned and the Turkish Government had no intention to destroy a nation or a group of people. As a well-known fact many people from the Armenian and Muslim groups had lost their life in these events. She further argued that Holocaust is unique:

‘Holocaust was a unique phenomenon, since it had always planned and aimed to destroy the whole nation. At this stage nothing should be compared with Holocaust.’[100]

The Armenian reaction to Kohen’s comment was bitter: First, Dzyunik Agadzhanyian from the Armenian Foreign Ministry said Kohen’s statements were “unusual and sad”:

‘It is sad that the political leadership of the nation which went through the Holocaust continues to adhere to such position, based on unclear political reasons’.[101]

Then, the Armenian Aryan party urged persona non grata status for the Israeli Ambassador. For the Aryan party, Kohen’s “pro-Turkish” statement was “cynical and interference in Armenia’s internal affairs”. Aryan’s press release declared Israel as “genocide denier” and claimed that Israel helps Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenia.[102] After an anti-Israel campaign, Armenian Foreign Ministry had to change its ‘moderate’ position. On 15 February Dzunik Agadzhanyan the spokeswoman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry gave an interview to the Armenian press and criticized Kohen and Israeli policy regarding the Armenian issue. Agadzhanyan told the reporter that the Armenian Foreign Minister strongly denounced Israeli Ambassador’s remarks:

‘Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan has unequivocally negatively assessed Ambassador Kohen’s statement. Earlier the Armenian Foreign Ministry also negatively assessed a similar statement bu Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. This time the Armenian foreign minister has again taken serious steps to express his dissatisfaction… It is really regrettable that Israeli diplomacy sticks to such a position, which stems from certain political considerations…’[103]

After the statement Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a note of protest to Israel over the Ambassador’s remarks[104] and the Ministry cancelled Oskanian’s official visit to Israel which had been planned before the Ambassador crisis as Ms. Ashjain said ‘at this moment no visit on the level of foreign affairs minister is planned to Israel, and no delegation is expected from Israel at this moment in Armenia.’[105] As expected Israel did not accept the accusations and Israeli Foreign Ministry released its answer to the Armenian note of protest:

‘As Jews and Israelis we are sorry for the killings and tragedies that took place particularly in 1915-16. We understand the outbursts of the feelings of both sides (Turks and Armenians – s.l.), know that there were many victims and realize the suffering of Armenia nation. The examination of this theme requires discussions with participation of large communities of Society and dialogue of historians, which will be based on facts and proofs.’ [106]

As anticipated this reply did not satisfy the Armenians and the Armenian press blamed Israel and accused the Israeli Foreign Ministry of ‘playing dirty political games’[107] In conclusion, Israel’s attitude regarding the Armenian allegation has deeply affected the relation between both states; on the one hand Armenia has insisted on its allegations and accused Turkey and Israel for their positions, on the other it has criticized Turks and Israelis for not to develop good relations with Armenia.

CONCLUSION

To conclude, the anti-Semitic attitudes among the Armenians, and the Armenian skepticism about Israel and the Jews are apparent. One of the reasons for this is obviously the historical thorny relations between the Armenians and the Jewish communities and the historically good relations between the Turkish and the Jewish peoples. However, much of the Armenian anti-Semitism and Armenian Jewish skepticism stems from the relatively good relations Israel, and the United States currently have with Turkey and Azerbaijan. According to the American, European and Israeli policy makers the priorities in the region are stability and the security. The energy routes are also important for these countries. The ‘unreliable states’ of the region, like Syria, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, are sources of conflict and the Western world needs partners to stabilize the region and to maintain the security of the energy routes. Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan in this framework provide the co-operation the West needs. On the other hand, Armenia’s aggressive foreign policy has stirred up the regional states; Armenia first of all supported the separatist Armenians in Nagorna Karabagh and occupied 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territories. It then opened its territories to the Russian military forces. Furthermore Armenia supported the separatist Armenians in Georgia and sought military and political operations with the ‘rough states’ of the region, namely Iran and Syria. Armenian policy makers also implied that they do not recognize the international borders drawn by the international agreements signed by the State of Armenia and the Soviet Union. As a result of all these aggressiveness the regional states (Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey) have sought cooperation possibilities in order to maintain stability in the region, and their efforts have been supported by the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Israel. However many Armenian policy makers have perceived all these developments as a ‘Jewish and Turkish conspiracy’ instead of questioning their own foreign policy. The first victim of this foreign policy understanding was the Azerbaijanis and the other minorities in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh region including the Jews. Although the existence of the Jewish community in Armenia dates back the first centuries the Armenian nationalists forced thousands of them to emigrate from the country and their number is now less than 500 families in whole country while the Azerbaijani population is now in Armenia almost ‘zero’. Apart from the minorities in Armenia, the ‘conspiracy’ theories have harmed Armenia itself. This tiny state with no natural resources has been isolated from the region, and now its relations with Israel and the US are damaged as a result of Armenia’s uncompromising attitude on the historical issues. In this context, it can be said that Armenia first of all must question its own policies before blaming the others for its isolation from the region and the world, and then make efforts to save today before the historical debates over the events happened about 100 years ago.

Appendix 1.
Copy of the Press Release Signed by the 11 American Jewish Organisations

“Eleven Jewish groups, representing the organized Jewish community in the United States, have welcomed the inclusion of language to the Senate Foreign Operations appropriations bill that will ease restrictions on US assistance to Azerbaijan, a critical American ally in the war against international terrorism.

In particular, the organizations commended Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), a long-time advocate of US engagement in the Caspian region and Central Asia and the primary sponsor of the measure.

Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, passed in 1992, precludes the United States, among other things, from accepting Azerbaijan’s offer to allow US military overflight rights and the use of its military bases, as well as access to medical facilities and intelligence cooperation. Secretary of State Colin Powell, writing on behalf of President Bush, stated recently that Section 907 “severely constrains our ability to provide most support to the Government of Azerbaijan including assistance needed to support our operations in the ongoing war against terrorism.”

The new language will enable the President of the United States to waive the restrictions, in the interests of the global war against terrorism, as well as to protect Azerbaijan’s border security.

In a letter to senators, the Jewish groups observed that an easing of Section 907 “advances America’s immediate defense needs and long-term strategic objectives in the Caspian Basin.... As such countries as Azerbaijan look to the West, it is incumbent upon the United States to engage them and their societies, to add credibility to their road toward democracy and promoting of human rights, and reduce any pressure from other powers - Iran in particular - that seek opportunities to expand strategic influence and instill a very different world view than our own.”

The governments of Azerbaijan and Israel have had productive bilateral relations for several years, thereby providing further evidence that moderate Muslim nations can enjoy friendly ties with the Jewish State. Azerbaijan’s recent announcements that it will open an embassy in Israel next year and the foreign minister’s planned visit to Israel are additional demonstrations of Baku’ s staunch support of the Western world.

The organizations supporting this development are: Agudath Israel of America; American Jewish Committee; American Jewish Congress; Anti¬-Defamation League; B’nai B’rith International; Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Hadassah - The Women’s Zionist Organization of America; Jewish Council for Public Affairs; Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs; NCSJ: Advocates on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia; and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.”

Appendix 2.
Copy of the American Jewish Organizations’ Letter to the American Congress


Agudath Israel of America
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
Anti-Defamation League
B’nai B’rith International
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Hadassah
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
NCSJ: Advocates on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America October 24, 2001 Dear Senator:

As Jewish organizations representing the consensus of Jewish communities and national leadership across the United States, we urge you to support S. 1521 which advances America’s immediate defense needs and long-term strategic objectives in the Caspian Basin.

Secretary of State Colin Powell, on behalf of President Bush, wrote on October 15 to Senator Jesse Helms in support of this legislation, According to Secretary Powell, Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act of 1992 “severely constrains our ability to provide most support to the Government of Azerbaijan including assistance needed to support our operations in the ongoing war against terrorism.. .This type of assistance is a critical element of the United States fight against global terrorism.” The Administration now seeks a national security interest waiver of Section 907, which Senator Brownback has introduced in the form of S. 1521. We join in supporting this urgent measure.

We supported similar legislation in 1999, believing that genuine independence, peace and prosperity for the nations of the southern Caucasus and Central Asia will benefit the national interests of the United States and of Israel, as well as other regional allies. S. 1521 will strengthen U.S. ties to the strategically vital Caucasus and Central Asia.

As such countries as Azerbaijan look to the West, it is incumbent upon the United States to engage them and their societies, to add credibility to their road toward democracy and promoting of human rights, and reduce any pressure from other powers - Iran in particular - that seek opportunities to expand strategic influence and instill a very different world view than our own. These states nervously watch as powerful neighbors maneuver for influence, sometimes at their expense.

Building on the rich heritage of Azerbaijan’s diverse peoples, including ancient Jewish communities, it is a positive sign that Israel has developed productive bilateral relationships with the emerging, mostly secular Islamic republics adjacent to its own hostile neighborhood. The announcement that Azerbaijan will open an embassy in Israel next year is just one more indication of Azerbaijan’s commitment to be included in the pro-West, modern coalition of states that look to the industrialized, secular democracies for leadership.

Our original reasons for supporting a waiver of Section 907, including the strategic imperative, have only intensified since the tragic events of September 11. We urge you to support Senator Brownback’s initiative.

[1] Golos Armenii, 5 August 1997.
[2] ‘Anti-Semitism in Armenia’, NCSJ Armenia Country Report, 2001.
[3] Stanford J. Shaw, The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic, (New York: New York University Press, 1991), p. 84.
[4] Abraham Ben-Yakob, ‘The Immigration of Iraqi Jews to the Holy Land in the 19th Century’, paper delivered in the First International Congress for Study of Sephardic and Oriental Judaism’, 27 June 1978, quoted in Stanford Shaw, Christian Anti-Semitism in the Ottoman Empire, www.tetedeturc.com/Armenien/Antisemitisme.htm.

[5] For the examples see Shaw, The Jews..., p. 148.
[6] Shaw, The Jews..., p. 127.
[7] For the Jews in the Ottoman Empire and their relations with the state and the other millets see also: Stanford J. Shaw, The Jews...: Stanford J. Shaw, Turkey and the Holocaust, Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945, (London: Macmillan Press Ltd., 1993); B. Braude and B. Lewis (eds.), Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1982), pp. 185-207; Bernard Lewis, The Jews of islam, (Princeton: 1984); C. H. Dodd, Nations in the Ottoman Empire: A Case Study in Devolution, Hull Papers in Politics, No. 18, University of Hull, April 1980; Uriel Heyd, ‘The Jewish Communities of Istanbul in the Seventeenth Century’, Oriens, Vol.: VI, 1953, pp. 299-314; M. Sevilla-Sharon, Türkiye Yahudileri (Turkey Jews), (Ankara: iletisim Yay?nlar?, 1991); Ahmet Hikmet Eroglu, Osmanli Devletinde Yahudiler (The Jews in the Ottoman State), (istanbul: Alperen Yayinlari, 2001); Hakan Alkan, 500 Yillik Serüven, Belgelerle Türkiye Yahudileri I (The 500-Years Adventure, Turkey Jews I), (istanbul: Zvi-Geyik Yayinlari, 2000); Aron Rodrigue, Türkiye Yahudilerinin Batililasmasi, (The Westernisation of Turkey Jews), (istanbul: Ayraç, 2001); Eva Groepler, islam ve Osmanli Dünyasinda Yahudiler (Jews in the Islamic and Ottoman World), (istanbul: Belge, 1999); Avner Levi, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti‘nde Yahudiler (The Jews in the Republic of Turkey), (Ankara: iletisim Yayinlari, 1998).

[8] Stanford J. Shaw, ‘Christian Anti-Semitism in the Ottoman Empire’, Belleten, Vol. LIV, No.68, l991, p. 1129.
[9] Shaw, The Jews..., p.210.

[10] Güleryüz, ‘Turkiye Yahudileri Tarihi’ (The History of Turkey Jews), Salom, 19 November 1986.
[11] Ayhan Ozer, The Armenian-Nazi Collaboration in WWH, www.ataa.org/ataa/ref/arm_nazi.html
[12] Public Record Office, F.O. 371/3003 1/R5337, quoted in Özer, The Armenian...
[13] Özer, The Armenian...

[14] Christopher J. Walker, Armenia: The Survival of a Nation, (London: 1980); The Times, 19 July 1941, p. 5, also see Sonyel, The Great..., p. 183.

[15] Walker quoted in Türkkaya Ataöv, Hitler and the “Armenian Question “, (Ankara: 1984).
[16] Ataöv, Hitler.., p. 91; Salahi Sonyel, The Great War and the Tragedy of Anatolia, (TTK, 2000), pp. 182-183.
[17] Quoted in Özer, The Armenian...

[18] Quoted in James G. Mandalian, Who Are The Dasnags, (Boston: Hairenik Press, 1944), pp. 13-14.
[19] Hairenik, 20 August 1936, quoted in Mandalian, Who..., pp. 13-14.
[20] For the medieval Jews see: Michael Nosonovsky, ‘Medieval Jewish Community in Eghegiz, Armenia’, Christian Orient, Vol. 1 (3), 1912 (translated. by www.ubalt.edu); Lev Gorodetsky, ‘Mountain Jews in Jeopardy’, The Jerusalem Post, 31 October 2001; Kevin Alan Brook, ‘The Unexpected Discovery of Vestiges of the Medieval Armenian Jews’, The Sephardic Voice, No. 45, December 2001; Daphna Lewy, ‘The Lost Jews of Armenia’, Ha’aretz, 4 February 2001; Frank Brown, ‘Stones From The River’, The Jerusalem Report, 24 September 2001, pp. 44-45; Jacob Neusner, ‘The Jews in Pagan Armenia’, Journal Of The American Oriental Society, Vol. 84, 1964, pp. 239-240. 21 Gorodetsky, ‘Mountain...’

[22] Although Azerbaijan had one of the oldest Jewish centers the economic crises forced the Jewish to move. Some went to Moscow, while some others to Israel: Gorodetsky, ‘Mountain...’.

[23] Daphna Lewy, ‘The Lost of Jews of Armenia Traces of a Previously Unknown Jewish
Community Dating Back to the Middle Ages Have Been Discovered by Chance’, Ha‘aretz, English version via net: www.sephardichouse.org/armenia.html

[24] ‘The Jewish Community of Armenia History and Activities’, www.iatp.am/resource/ngo/jewish/text.html.
[25] ‘Anti-Semitism in Armenia’, NCSJ Armenia Country Report, 2001.

[26] At the end of the 1 990s Armenian language campaign failed and some groups argued that Armenia needs other language notably Russian to develop itself in terms of economy and education. For a detailed debate see Susanna Petrosian, ‘Armenia’s Cultural Watershed’, IWPR, CRS No. 82, 14 May 2001.

[27] ‘Anti-Semitism in the Former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics’, in Anti-Semitism Worldwide 1997/98, Tel Aviv; ‘Armenia’, in Anti-Semitism in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, UCSJ Special Report, Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, via net, www.fsumonitor.com/stories/asem1az.shtml.
[28] Sydney Galanty, ‘2,000 Strong Jewish Community in Armenia Struggles to retain Identity’, Armenian Mirror-Spectator, 27 June 1998.

[29] Igor Muradyan, Golos Armenii, April 1999; For the English version of Muradyan’s article see: ‘Armenia’, via net, www.fsumor?itor.com/stories/082599caucasus.shtml.

[30] Michael Danielian, ‘An Armenian Journalist Discusses “The Jewish Problem” in Armenia’, Express-Chronicle, 10 October 1997 (Translated into English by Lena Cochran, 5 November 1997 and edited by UCSJ).

[31] Mesropian, quoted in Danielian, ‘An Armenian...’.
[32] Golos Armenii. 5 August 1997.
[33] The movement’s leader is Vasgen Manukian. Manukian was the opposition candidate for president.
[34] Quoted in Danielian, ‘An Armenian...’.
[35] ‘Armenian Book Denies Holocaust’, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 18 February 2002.
[36] Syria, Armenia Sign Defense Cooperation Deal’, Reuters, 27 August 2001.
[37] Marilyn Henry, ‘Armenia Asks Israel to Recognize Turkish Genocide’, The Jerusalem Post, 22 April 1999.
[38] Henry, ‘Armenia...’.

[39] For the example see Ayots Ashkar’s 23 September 2000 issue. For the English version of this Armenian newspaper see ‘Armenian Newspaper Says Jews Blackmailed the United States’, Union of Councils for Soviet Union, www.fsumonitor.com/stories/092600Arm.shtml.

[40] Not only the Armenians in Armenia but also some radical Armenians in diaspora and some other anti-Semitic groups argue that there is an ‘anti-Armenian Jewish conspiracy’ in the regions of Caucasus and Central Asia. Lyndon LaRouche, the American ‘presidential candidate for 2004’, who has close ties with the Armenian Americans in Los Angeles, claimed a Turkish-Israeli conspiracy in these regions. According to LaRouche’s statement published by the Armenian press the conspiracy is organized by the US and the UK: “Freeman asks: ‘... Several Arabian newspapers recently published articles, which confirm that Israel secretly delivers military technology to Azerbaijan... during the visit of the Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon to Ankara, both sides discussed the issue of rendering joint assistance to Azerbaijan... Please comment on this situation.’

Lyndon H. LaRouche replies: ‘...The Israelis are part of that. They show up as parts of this operation (an operation by the US and the UK). It is not an Israeli conspiracy, nor an Israeli-Turkish conspiracy... So, therefore, you have a Turkish-Israeli involvement in Central Asia, which should be looked at as an Israeli conspiracy, or a Turkish-Israeli conspiracy, but as a reflection, through these two entities, of a more general operation, of the type which is the Clash of Civilizations type... obviously, the Israelis and the Turks have conspired. Well they didn’t really conspire; they were induced to conspire. They are simply auxiliaries of this Anglo-American, Utopian interest — the thing that I have to fight inside the United States... behind the Turkish operations, behind the Israeli operations there are larger forces.” (For the details see LaRouche’s Campaign site or http://groong.usc.edu/news/msg435 57.htm.

[41] For the rise of Armenian separatist nationalism in Karabakh and the ethnic conflicts see:
Kamer Kasim, ‘The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, Caspian Oil and Regional Powers’, in Bülent Gökay (ed.), The Politics of Caspian Oil, (New York: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 185-198; Kamer Kasim, ‘The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict From Its Inception to the Peace Process’, Armenian Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, June-July-August 2001, pp. 170-185; S. E. Cornell, ‘Turkey and the Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh: A Delicate Balance’, Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 34, No. 1, January 1998; Gerard Liberidian, The Karabagh File: Documents and Facts on the Region of Mountainous Karabagh, 1918-1988, (Cambridge: Zorian Institute, 1988); Michael P. Croissant, The Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, Causes and Implications, (London: Praeger, 1998); Paul A. Goble, ‘Coping With the Nagorno-¬Karabakh Crisis’, Flatcher Forum of World Affairs, 16, 2, Summer, 1992; Tim Potier, Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia : A Legal Appraisal, (Kluwer Law International, 2000).

[42] Steve Swerdlow, ‘The Forgotten Jews of Karabakh’, IWPR, CRS No. 85, 14 June 2001.
[43] ibid.
[44] Russia provided military equipments, and significant Russian troops joined the war on the Armenian side. Russia’s Minister of CIS Affair Aman Tuleyev and defense Minister Rodionov admitted this support by conforming that 84 T-72 tanks and 50 armored personnel carriers, 24 Scud missiles and other military equipment had been given to Armenia: Kasim, ‘The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict From...’, p. 180; Martin Sieff, ‘Armenia Armed by Russia for Battles with Azerbaijan’, The Washington Times, 10 April 1997, p. 11.

[45] Swerdlow, ‘The Forgotten...’.
[46] ibid.

[47] Hagop Chakrian, ‘US Promotes Turkey’s Anti-Armenian Policy’, Asbarez, 27 July 2001.

[48] Mikael Danielian, ‘An Armenian Journalist Discusses “The Jewish Problem” in Armenia, Express-Chronicle, 11 May 1997, (Trans. By Lena Cochran) translated in ‘Report From Yerevan’, Union of Councils for Soviet Jews News Report, 12 November 1997.

[49] For anti-Semitism and its religious roots see also: David I. Kertzer, The Popes Against The Jews: The Vatican’s Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism, (2001); Sidney 0. Hall, Christian Anti-Semitism and Paul’s Theology, (2000); Judith Taylor Gold and Joseph Gold (eds.), Monsters and Madonnas: The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism, (New York: Syracuse University Press, 1999); Rosemary Ruetether, Faith and Fratricide: The Theological Roots of Anti-Semitism, (New York: Seabury Press, 1971); David M. Szonyi (ed.), The Holocaust: An Annotated Bibliography and Resource Guide (New York: KTAV for the National Jewish Research Center, 1985); Türkkaya Ataöv, ‘The Jewish Holocaust and the Armenians’, in Türkkaya Ataöv (ed), Armenians in the Late Ottoman Period, (Ankara: 2001), pp. 314-344.

[50] ‘When They Say Jewish They Understand The Representative of the West’ article which was published on 13 May 1997 in The Ajzhn daily is a good example for this perception. For the English version of this article see: Mikael Danielian, Express-Chronicle (Lena Cochran), via UCSJ, ‘An Armenian Journalist Discusses “The Jewish Problem” in Armenia’, Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, 12 November 1997. 3

[51] Gayane Novikova, ‘Armenia and the Middle East’, MERIA, Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 4 (4), December 2000.

[52] As known Azerbaijani people are ethnically Turkish and speak Turkish language similar to the Turks in Turkey.
[53] Sibel Yesilmen, ‘Back to Square One in Clandestine Flirt’, Diplomacy Papers, June 1998, p. 30.
[54] ilnur Çevik, ‘Ankara Hopeful About the Future of Ties with Armenia’, Turkish Daily News, 4 November 1999.
[55] Country Review Armenia 2001, (Texas: Country Watch, 2000), pp. 16-18.
[56] Caspar W. Weinberger and Peter Schweizer, ‘Russia’s Oil Grab’, The New York Times, 12 May 1997.
[57] Country..., p. 20.
[58] Yesilmen, ‘Back...’, p.31.

[59] Most of the Armenians believe that the Ottoman Turks massacred 1.5 million Armenians as a state policy, and they named these events happened in 1915 as the ‘first genocide of the 20th century, while the Turks refuse all these claims. The Turkish people argue that they did not massacre the civilian Armenians. For the Turkish argument, ‘the Ottoman territories, surrounded by war, had lost its peace and order as a result of the Armenian revolts, which broke out one after other, and by famine and epidemics. The gangs struck, these attacks were retaliated, and blood was shed everywhere. Under these circumstances, compulsory immigration was decreed, resulting in the death of thousands civil Armenians, including women, men and children’ (Gürsel Göncü, ‘The Tragedy of Hundreds of Thousands’, Atlas, June 2001, p.68). The Ottoman government punished several officials who acted negligently, even some of them were sent to prison. The Government admitted that its officers and civil servants failed to implement the project properly. However none of the Government members were anti-Armenian or racist and as proved by many researchers the Government did not intend to massacre or genocide a people. As a result of the events occurred in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, thousands of Turkish were killed by the Armenian bands while the Kurdish bandit attacks and the war circumstances with the epidemic diseases caused thousands of casualties in the Armenian side. For the details see: Mim Kemal Öke, The Armenian Question, 1914-1923, (Oxford: University Printing House, 1988); Türkkaya Ataöv (ed.), The Armenians in the Late Ottoman Period, (Ankara: TTL, 2001); Salahi Sonyel, The Great War and the Tragedy of Anatolia, Turks and Armenians in the Maelstrom of Major Powers, (Ankara: TTK, 2001); McCarthy, ‘The Anatolian Armenians, 1912-1922’, in Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, (Istanbul: 1984), pp. 17-25.

[60] Gayane Novikova, ‘Armenia and the Middle East’, Meria, Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 4 (4), December 2000.

[61] Efraim Inbar, ‘Regional Implications of the Israeli—Turkish Strategic Partnership’, Meria, Vol. 5 (2), June 2001. For Israel-Turkey co-operation also see Andrew 1. Killgore, ‘Consequences of the Israel-Turkey Alliance, The Israel-Iran Alliance Failed: Can Israel and Turkey Fare Any Better?’, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 2000; Raphael Israeli, The Turkish-Israeli Odd Couple’, Orbis, 2001, pp. 65-79; Hakan Yavuz, ‘Turkish-Israeli Relations Through the Lens of the Turkish Identity Debate’, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1997, pp. 22-37; Amikam Nachmani, ‘The Remarkable Turkish-Israeli Ties’, Middle East Quarterly, June 1998; Neil Lochery, ‘Israel and Turkey: Deepening Ties and Strategic Implications, 1995-98’, Israel Affairs, 5

(5), Fall 1998; George Gwen, ‘Dynamic Progress in Turkish-Israeli Relations’, Israel Affairs, 1 (4); Daniel Pipes, ‘The Emerging Turkish-Israeli Entente’, The National Interest, Winter 1997/98; Don Waxman, ‘Turkey and Israel: A New Balance of Power in the Middle East’, The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Winter 1999), pp. 25-32; Alan Gresh, ‘Turkish-Israeli-Syrian Relations and OEeir Impact on the Middle East’, Middle East Journal, 52 (2), Spring 1998; John Tirman, ‘The Ankara-Jerusalem Axis’, Nation, 1 April 1999, Vol. 268 (1); Anat Lewin, ‘Turkey and Israel’, Journal of lnternational Affairs, Fall 2000, Vol. 54 (1); Gil Dibner, ‘My Enemy’s Enemy’, Harvard International Review, Winter 1998/1999, Vol. 21 (1); Stanley K. Sheinbaum, ‘Israel Plays Turkey’, NPQ, New Perspectives Quarterly, Summer 1996, Vol. 13 (3); Kamer Kasim, ‘Türkiye-Israil iliskileri: iki Bölgesel Gücün Stratejik Ortakligi’ (Turkey-Israel Relations: The Strategic Co-operation of Two Regional Powers), in idris Bal (ed.), Türk Dis Politikasi (Turkish Foreign Policy), (Ankara: Alfa, 2001).

[62] For the Arab states’ response see: ‘Turkish-Israeli Links Criticized’, Jane’s Defense Weekly, 2 July 1997; Efraim Inbar, ‘Regional Implications of the Israeli-Turkish Strategic Partnership’, Meria Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2, June 2001; Andrew Borowiec, ‘Arab Nations Decry Turkey’s Israel Ties’, The Washington Post, 1 June 2001; Nadia E. El-Shazly, ‘Arab Anger at New Axis’, World Today, January 1999, Vol. 55, No. 1.

[63] Iran condemned Turkey’s closeness to Israel and claimed that Turkey’s friendly relations with this country would provoke the feelings of the Islamic world: ‘Iran Condemns Turkey, Israel, US Naval Exercises’, Asbarez, 16 January 2001. For Iran-Armenia partnership see: ‘Kocharian Says Iran One of Armenia’s Principal Trade Partners’, Asbarez, 18 April 2001; ‘Iran, Armenia Reconfirm Close Ties’, Asbarez, 17 July 2001.

64 Robert D. Kaplan argues that ‘a real battle has commenced’ and ‘on one side are the Turks, their fellow Azeri Turks in Azerbaijan, the Israelis and the Jordanians’ while on the other side are Armenians, Syrians, Iraqis, Kurds and Greeks: Robert D. Kaplan, ‘Redrawing the Middle East Map’, The New York Times, 21 February 1999.

[65] Halk Marcar. ‘2000-Forgotten Jews in a Country Forsaken By The Nabobs of the Media and the Barons of Finance!’, www.codoh.com/newsdesk.html.

[66] For Syria-Armenia cooperation see: ‘Syria, Armenia Sign Defense Cooperation Deal’, Reuters, 27 August 2001; ‘Armenian-Syrian Cooperation to be Expanded’, Asbarez, 24 August 2001; ‘Syria Sends Assistance to Armenia’, Asbarez, 4 October 2001; ‘Armenian-Syrian Political & Economic Relations Can Improve’, Noyan Tapan, 11 February 2002; ‘Syria’s President Ratified Syrian-Armenian Agreement’, www.armenpress.am/eng/arxiv/2001/jun/25txt.htm ‘Armenia Cozies Up To Russia, Syria and Iran’, Weekend Passport, 11 September 1997, Vol. 4, No. 27. For Greece-Armenia co-operation see: ‘Armenia and Greece to Increase Military Cooperation’, GIU, Global Intelligence Update, 16 July 1997.

[67] Patrick Goodenough, ‘Armenia Seeks Recognition of “Genocide”, Conservative News Service, 23 April 1999.
[68] Armenian news agency Mediamax claimed that Israel’s Ambassador to Armenia Rivka Kohen told the Armenians ‘Iran factor’ is the key reason for the weak relations between Israel and Armenia: Miramax, 15 February 2002.

[69] Anar Veliev, ‘The Israel-Turkey-Azerbaijan Triangle: Present and Future’, Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 2, 2000.
[70] For a detailed history of Section 907 see: Araz Aslanli, ‘ABD’de Adaletsizlige Verilen Ara: 907 Sayili Ek Madde’nin Uygulanmasinin Durdurulmasi’ (A Pause to an Unjust Decision: Repeal of Section 907), Stratejik Analiz, Vol. 2, No. 21, January 2002, pp. 55-62.

[71] For the press release of these 11 organizations and the copy of the letter signed by them and sent to the senators see Appendix 1 and 2.

[72] ‘Anti-Semitism in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia’, UCSJ Special Report, 25 August
1999.

[73] Jane Hunter, ‘Israel and Turkey: Arms for Azerbaijan’, Middle East International, 23 October 1992, p. 12.
[74] For that claim see Nezevisimaya Gazeta, 4 December 2001. For its Turkish version: ‘israil-Türkiye-Azerbaycan’, AZG Armenian Daily, 6 December 2001.

[75] The principal foreign investors in Georgia are: Israel, Turkey, Ireland, United States, Korea, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands and Russia: Fact Sheet: Republic of Georgia, 1 August 2001, www.bignis.doc.gov.

[76] The other main partners are: Turkey, Russia, Germany, Azerbaijan, United States, Ukraine, Switzerland, and Italy. Georgia’s Ten Largest Trading Partners, 2000, http://web.sanet/mospm/News/announcement.htm.
[77] Novikova, ‘Armenia...’.
[78] RFE/RL5-18.

[79] Mehriban Babazade, ‘National Interests in Formation of Contemporary Azerbaijani Foreign-Policy Concept’, http://bridge.aznet.org/bridge/interst.htm

[80] ‘Dr. Yair Auron Responds to Shimon Peres’ Statements’, Asbarez, 18 April 2001.
[81] Marilyn Henry, “Armenia Asks Israel to Recognize Turkish Genocide”, The Jerusalem
Post, 22 April 1999.
[82] Yair Auron, The Banality of Indifference, (New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 2000), p. 352.
[83] Israel Charny, ‘The Conference Crisis. The Turks, Armenians and the Jews’, in The Book of the International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide. Book One: The Conference Program and Crisis, (Tel Aviv: 1982); on, The Banality..., pp. 354-355; Leora Eren Fruncht, ‘A Tragedy Offstage No More’, The Jerusalem Post, 15 June 2000. Also see: Amos Elon, ‘Their Holocaust’, Har’aretz, 11 June 1982; Yad Vashem, ‘We and the Armenians’, Ha’arerz, 29 June 1982; Israel Amrani, ‘A Little Help for Friends’, Ha ‘aretz, 20 April 1990; Norman C. Finkeistein, The Holocaust Industry, Reflections on Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, (Verso Books, 2001), Chapter 2.

[84] Auron, The Banality.... Also see: Yoav Karni, ‘Battle of Politicos Over the Armenian Holocaust’ Ha’aretz, 27 October 1989.
[85] Auron, The Banality..., p. 356.

[86] Yoav Kami, ‘Battle of the Politicos Over the Armenian Holocaust’, Ha’are?z, 27 October 1989.
[87] Leora Eren Fruncht, ‘A Tragedy Offstage No More’, The Jerusalem Post, 15 June 2000.
[88] Kol Haeir, 22 June 1990, quoted in Auron, The Banality..., p. 359.
[89] For the details of these examples see: Patrick Goodnough, ‘Armenia Seeks Recognition of “Genocide”, Conservative News Service, 23 April 1999, www.conservativenews.org/ Leora Eren Fruncht, ‘A Tragedy Offstage No More’, The Jerusalem Post, 12 May 2000.

[90] ‘Levy Clarifies Israeli Policy On Alleged Armenian Genocide’, People’s Daily, 26 May
2000; Turkish Daily News, 25 May 2000.

[91] Haig Boyodjian, ‘Peres Claims Armenians did not Experience Genocide’, Asbarez, 10
April 2001; ‘Israeli Opposition Leader Mr. Yossi Sarid Attends Memorial Service: He Addresses Commemorative Rally at the Armenian Convention Jaffa’, The Armenian National Committee of Jerusalem, 25 April 2001.
[92] Thomas Patrick Carroll, ‘Ankara’s Strategic Alignment with Tel Aviv: Implications for Turkey and the Region’, Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 5, May 2001.
[93] ‘Peres: Armenian Allegations are Meaningless’, Turkish Daily News, 10 April 2001; Boyodjian, ‘Peres...’
[94] Carroll, ‘Ankara’s...; Boyodjian, ‘Peres...’
[95] ‘Dr. Yair Auron responds to Shimon Peres’ Statements’, Asbarez, 18 April 2001.
[96] Boyodjian, ‘Peres...’.
[97] Independent, 22 November 2000.

[98] Sedat Laçiner, ‘Armenian Diaspora in Britain and the Armenian Question’, Armenian Studies, Vol. 1, No: 3, September-October-November 2001, pp. 223-257; Ara Sarafian, Denial of the Armenian Genocide by the British Government, a lecture delivered in London on 24 March 2001, organized by the Socialist History Society.
[99] ‘Rabbi in Turkey Says Jews Only at UK Holocaust Day’, Asbarez, 26 January 2001.
[100] ‘Israeli Ambassador Says No Parallels Between Holocaust and 1915 Genocide’, Asbarez, 8 February 2002 and National Television of Armenia, 9 February 2002 (via Groong).
[101] Avet Demourian, ‘Armenian Radical Party Calls For Declaring Israeli Envoy Persona Non Grata’, Associated Press, 12 February 2002.

[102] ‘Armenian Party Urges Persona Non Grata Status For Israeli Envoy’, Arminfo, 11 February 2002; Demourian, ‘Armenian…’.
[103] ‘Oskayan Reacts Negatively To Ambassador Kohen’s Statement’, Iravunk (Armenian daily), 15 February 2002 (For English version see: Groong, 15 February 2002).

[104] Press Release, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, 15 February 2002; ‘Armenia Files Complaint With Israel Over Comments On Genocide’, Ha’aretz, 17 February 2002; ‘Armenia Protests To Israel Over Envoy’s Genocide Comments’, Agence France Press, 16 February 2002.

[105] ‘Armenian Foreign Minister Not To Visit Israel In Near Future’, ArmenPress News Agency, 15 February 2002; ‘Foreign Ministry Sends Protests to Israel’, Asbarez, 15 February 2002.

[106] Press Release, The Israeli Foreign Ministry, 18 February 2002.

[107] Rouzan Poghosian, ‘Diplomatic Incident: Israeli Foreign Ministry Answers Armenia’s
Protest Notes’, AZG Armenian Daily, 19 February 2002.


The Holocaust And Armenian Case: Highlighting The Main Differences
Ibrahim KAYA*

The Armenian Issue and the Jews
Introduction

Similarities do not make two things same. However, if two things are so similar they can be grouped in the same category. Common rules would apply to all the things in the same category. Therefore, similarities and abstraction are extremely important not only from academic but also from legal point of view. Surely if the things had nothing in common, or similarities are very low, they are different. Different things do not fall within the same category and are subject to different treatment and rules.

With the increasing awareness of the Holocaust around the world, the concept of Holocaust gained currency as a most horrendous crime. Therefore, the charge of Holocaust became a weapon and many have tried to draw some parallels between the Holocaust and their cases.[1] The supporters of the so-called Armenian genocide are no exception, frequently using the term “Armenian Holocaust”. The efforts for drawing some, considerable, parallels between the fates of the European Jews and Armenians of the Ottoman Empire aim to expand the recognition of the 1915 incidents as genocide. Because the Holocaust is the most inhuman treatment of man to man and anything similar, or the same, deserves to be condemned and, consequently, punished. However, the calamity befell upon the Jews is so grave and it is not easy to call every instance of great human losses the Holocaust. Therefore, it is worth noting that Armenian historians tend to distinguish both the Armenian experience and the Holocaust from all other instances of great human losses. If they manage to make the 1915 incidents recognized as Holocaust, first simply to the public and later to the legislatures of various countries, laws of these countries prohibiting even academic criticism of the Holocaust would also apply to the Armenian case.

A significant portion of Armenian efforts has been devoted to establishing a linkage between their own historical experiences and those of European Jewry during the World War II. The cornerstone in these efforts has long been the infamous Hitler quote: “Who, after all, speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?”. The aim is to prove that Hitler was encouraged by the lack of reaction to the fate of the Armenians.[2] As examined in great detail and convincingly proved by Lowry, there is no historical basis for attributing such a statement to Hitler.[3] Yet, a comparative analysis of the Holocaust and Armenian case is worthwhile.

The aim of this paper is to examine the Holocaust and 1915 incidents with a view exploring the differences, and of course similarities, between the two. If they have much in common, both deserves to be treated same. If not, the categorization applicable to one would not fit the other one. Firstly brief features of the Holocaust will be given to the attention of the reader. This will be followed by a comparative analysis of the Holocaust and 1915 incidents. Since the author comes from a legal profession, analysis of the legal elements of both incidents will also be emphasized throughout the paper. The sources on the 1915 incidents used in this article will be the sources of Armenian origin and official legal material the authenticity of which cannot be denied. To give a full record of 1915 incidents is clearly out of scope of this work which will only make an attempt to analyze the differences and similarities between the Holocaust and what the Armenians experienced in and around 1915.

The Holocaust:[4] Evil for the Evil’s Sake[5]

There has been so much cruelty, hatred, and killing in the history of mankind. It is also a fact that various communities have tried to exterminate other communities which were different from theirs in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, language. The most recent examples of this are obviously the Rwanda and former Yugoslavia cases. However, none of previous campaigns is in a position to challenge the uniqueness of the Nazi Holocaust.

It is significant not merely because its victims were the Jews. Throughout the history the Jews were made the victims of mass murder campaigns, but none of them was called the Holocaust.[6]

The Holocaust is generally regarded as the systematic slaughter of not only 6 million Jews, (two-thirds of the total European Jewish population), the primary victims, but also 5 million others, wiped off the Earth by the Nazis and their collaborators. 11 million people were killed because of racism and hate, all in a period of 11 years between 1933-1945.

The most important feature of the Holocaust is, possibly, that it is evil for the evil’s sake. In this respect it differs from all other mass murder incidents. There is no ground upon which the conditions imposed upon the Jews of Europe by the Nazis could be explained. The Jews neither cooperated with Russians against Germany nor stabbed the German army from the back. They even did not form any armed organization to defend themselves, let alone terrorist groups to rebel against the legitimate government of the country where they live.

The Holocaust was brought into being because it had meaning to its perpetrators. Anti-Semitism is the key point. It had its roots in the Middle Ages. According to the Christian belief of the Middle Ages, it was the Jews who killed Jesus Christ. Therefore, they were to be hated and punished. Every Jew was individually responsible for this crime and sin. On their way to Jerusalem, the Crusaders slaughtered the ‘infidel’ irrespective whether he was a Muslim or Jew. The Jews were required to live in the ghettos in the Middle Ages of Europe. They were also subject to some discriminative procedures like bearing certain signs and following certain dress code in many places. Thereby the Jews were differenced from the rest of the society, becoming the ‘other’. It is also a fact that with the Enlightenment an amelioration of the situation of the Jews was seen, since the equality of all mankind was a pillar of the Enlightenment. While the Napoleonic armies marched in Europe, the more Jews became free as the equalitarian principles spread. The hard-working and talented Jews became part and often the leading part of the social, cultural, economic, and scientific life of Europe in the end of the nineteenth century. Their success was also partly because of the solidarity among the Jews. On the other hand, the anti-Semitism was not buried, but this time instead of religious intolerance it was grounded on the so-called scientific knowledge. Nazi propaganda identified them as a “race” and an inferior one. To create a powerful nation inferior ones should be eliminated according to the Nazi scientists.

The Nazis picked out and specifically targeted the Jews, and they did this from the very beginning -- the Nazi Party Program of February 1920 to the very end Hitler’s Testament of April 29, 1945.

The Nazis harassed and brutalized the Jews throughout the 1920s during the “struggle for power.” Speech after speech painted the Jews as Germany’s “misfortune” and prophesied a time of reckoning.

The Nazis came to power in 1933 and the Jews were their very first target. The infamous boycott against Jewish businesses took place in April 1933 and the first laws against the Jews were enacted on 7 April 1933. Jews were progressively erased from almost every facet of German life. The Nuremberg Laws, passed in 1935, deprived the Jews of almost every remaining right and freedom. The “Nuremberg Laws” proclaimed Jews second-class citizens. Furthermore one’s Jewishness, according to the Nuremberg Laws, was dependent on that of a person’s grandparents, not that person’s beliefs or identity. More laws passed between 1937 and 1939 exacerbated the problem further: Jews were more and more segregated and life was made much harder. Jews could not go to public schools, theaters, cinemas, or resorts, and furthermore, they were banned from living, or sometimes even walking, in certain parts of Germany. This culminated in the bloodiest pogrom to date the Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) in November 1938. Over 100 Jews were murdered and a “fine” was levied against the Jews in excess of 1 billion Mark.

Approximately half the Jewish population of Germany fled along with more than two thirds of the Austrian Jewry. Emigration took them to Palestine, the United States, Latin America, along with eastern and western Europe. The Jews who remained in Nazi Germany were either unwilling to leave or unable to obtain visas. Some could not get sponsors in host countries, or were simply too poor to be able to afford the trip. Many foreign countries made it even harder to get out due to strict emigration policies designed to thwart large amounts of refugees from entering, particularly in the wake of the Depression. The United States, Britain, Canada, and France were among these. Thirty eight countries met at Evian, France to discuss the treatment of the Jews in Germany, but no real help was offered.

By the outbreak of World War II, actions taken against the Jews included marking them and ghettoizing them. Jews were forced to label all exterior clothing with a yellow Star of David with the word Jude (Jew). By the time of the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the decision had been taken to kill the eastern European Jews by shooting them where they were found and by the end of that year, the decision was taken to kill all European Jews.

Communists, homosexuals, Gypsies, prisoners of war, Russians, Poles, Catholic priests, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others were more or less systematically murdered as the Holocaust continued. By the end of the war, as many as 6 million of these people had been killed, along with between 5 and 6 million Jews.

Einsatzgruppen carried out these murders at improvised sites throughout the Soviet Union, following behind the advancing German army. It was between 1942 and 1944 that the Germans decided to eliminate the ghettos and deport the ghetto populations to “extermination camps,” killing centers equipped with gassing facilities in Poland. This was known as “the final solution to the Jewish question,” implemented after a meeting of senior German officials in late January 1942 at a villa in Wannsee (a suburb of Berlin). It was official state policy, the first ever to advocate the murder of an entire people.

Six killing sites were chosen according to their closeness to rail lines (essential for shipping the victims) and for their location in semi-rural areas. The locations were: Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Cheimno, Majdanek, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The SS operated the killing centers, and their methods were similar in each location. Railroad freight cars and passenger trains would bring in victims. Men were immediately separated from women. Prisoners were stripped and their valuables confiscated. They then were forced naked into the gas chambers, disguised as showers, where carbon monoxide or Zyklon B asphyxiated them. The bodies were then stripped of hair, gold fillings and teeth, and burned in crematoria, or buried in enormous mass graves. They also were often used for medical experiments and subject to extreme brutality on the part of the guards. Many died as a result.

With the tide of the war turned and the Allied armies liberated the German occupied soil an international tribunal for the prosecution of those who were responsible for the Holocaust was formed. The Nuremberg Tribunal condemned twelve to death by hanging.

The Turks and Armenians

Having briefly reviewed the Jewish question in Europe and the constituent elements of the Holocaust, now its time to turn to the comparative analysis of this with the Turkish-Armenian relations, including and especially what the Armenians experienced in 1915 under the World War I circumstances.

Status of the Jews of Europe and Armenians of the Ottoman Empire

It has been clear from the above examination that the Jews of Europe had lived in unfavorable, at best, conditions in Middle ages and the Nazi period in Europe, in terms of social and legal status as a predictable result of anti-Semitism. It would be wise to examine the legal status of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire to reach a sound conclusion on the comparison.

The principles upon which non-Muslims were governed have their roots in the earlier traditions of Persian and Roman rule and Islamic norms. Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians had a special place in Islam. They are all called “People of Book” and allowed to live in a country governed by Muslims as long as they accepted the Muslim rule and paid special taxes. There are two important categories of taxes that must be agreed to be paid by non-Muslims living under Islamic rule: namely cizye, a special pool tax and harac, the land tribute.[7]

The Ottoman society, being a multi ethnic and religious entity, was divided into various communities along religious lines. Each group or individual belonged to one or the other millet according to religious affiliation. Each millet established and maintained its own laws and institutions to regulate conduct and conflict under its own leaders. The leader of each millet was called millet bashi (head of millet). The Greek and Armenian millets were each headed by a patriarch and the Jews by a grand rabbi. In addition to their spiritual authority over their own ecclesiastical subordinates and coreligionists the millet bashis had a fairly extensive civil authority in the internal administration of their millets. Some taxes also collected by the heads of the millets.[8] In the fifteenth century Sultan Mehmet II established the millet system to facilitate coexistence between the different ethnic and religious groups. After his conquest of Istanbul (Constantinople) in 1453, Mehmet II vested the new Greek patriarch, Gennadius, with ecclesiastical and civil authority over his coreligionists of the Empire and invited Bishop Yovakim, the Armenian primate of Bursa, to Istanbul in 1461 and conferred upon the title of “patrik”, thus placing him on the same footing as the patriarch of the Greek community. The authority of the Greek patriarch extended over the Serbs, Bulgarians, Wallachians, Moldavians and Melkites while the non-Orthodox Christian subjects, comprising the Syrian Jacobite, Ethiopian, Georgian, Chaldean and the Coptic communities were placed under the authority of the Armenian patriarch.[9] This shows that the millet system was based on the religious affiliation not that of ethnical. By implementing the millet system, the Ottomans restored peace and order in the classical period.

The Ottoman Empire reached its height in the sixteenth century. The decline also started in this century, becoming more apparent in the following centuries. The Ottoman Empire did not fully experience the Renaissance. The decline of the Empire brought corruption and oppression to all subjects, irrespective whether they were Muslims and non-Muslims. Most striking of all was the armed forces. In some provinces they became oppressive, taking without payment whatever they wanted from the population, again notwithstanding whether it was Muslim and non-Muslim. The Ottoman system still included some men of integrity and of ability who proposed reforms for the survival of the country. In 1839 a reform edict was issued in Gülhane in the name of the sultan. The principle of equality of persons of all religions is recognized by the edict. However, in practice, it is not to be supposed that the immediate equality for all Ottoman subject was to be secured, for mainly two reasons. Firstly the transformation of traditional structure of any society takes some, important, time and secondly the state had not enough power to implement this policy. Therefore, in 1856 another reform edict renewed the commitments of 1839; .guaranteeing free exercise of religion, charge of their own belongings, access to public employment, equal taxation and equality before the law. In 1876, constitutional monarchy was proclaimed and the parliament convened, The constitution granted all subjects equal rights and liberties.[10] As a result, between 1876-19 15 twenty nine Armenians served in the highest governmental rank of pasha; twenty two served as ministers, including the ministers of foreign affairs, finance, trade and post; thirty three served as members of the parliament; seven served as ambassadors; eleven served as consuls-general, eleven served as university professors; and forty one served as other officials of high ranks.[11]

To conclude this part, it could be conveniently suggested that the legal status of Armenians under the Ottoman rule does not accept any kind of comparison to that of the European Jewry. It is equally clear that the anti-Armenianism, as the counterpart of the anti-Semitism- the motive behind the Holocaust, has never existed among the Turks.

Genesis of the Armenian Question

The Jews of Europe had never tried to get sovereignity over a certain part of the European territory, never got armed and committed attacks against government officials and civilians of other ethnicities and religions. No foreign state intervened the affairs of a Jewish population living under the jurisdiction of any other state and no state tried to rescue the European Jews from prosecution, with the exception of the Turks who welcomed the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 and theRepublic of Turkey provided a safe haven for the Jews who had to flee from the Nazis.[12]

Without adequately examining the roots and nature of the Armenian question, dealing only with the 1915 events from only one point of view would lead illusions. Therefore, being a part of the continuous process of the Armenian question the 1915 events would only the examined adequately by going to the roots of the Armenian question. This examination would also provide material that makes things easier in the comparison of the Holocaust and Armenian issue.

The Armenian issue goes as back as the Eastern Question. Unity in the Ottoman Empire deteriorated as nationalism spread to the Empire.[13] Many Christian nations of the Ottoman Empire gained their independence in the following years of the Great French Revolution, as a result of the nationalist philosophies inspired from the Revolution. Among them were the Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs. It must be noted that the Western Powers helped these nations to gain their independence. However, the Armenian nation which was widely dispersed geographically did not form majority in any place.[14] The Great Powers perceived themselves as the protectors of the non-Muslims living in the Ottoman territory. Therefore, the Great Powers had a free hand to intervene the domestic matters of the Empire. Russia became the protectorate of the Armenians by an international treaty, the Treaty of St. Stefanos of 1878. Other Great Powers also gained the same status with respect to the Armenians by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin, signed on 13 July 1878, provided:

The Sublime Porte undertakes to carry out, without further delay, the amelioration and reforms demanded by local requirements in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians, and to guarantee their security against the Circassians and Kurds. It will make known periodically the steps taken to this effect to the Powers, who will superintend their application.[15]

With these treaties the Ottomans had to accept the international dimension of the Armenian issue officially. The Ottomans promised some reforms for the Armenians by the Tanzimat and Islahat edicts in 1839 and 1856 respectively and an Armenian National Constitution was approved in 1863.[16] These efforts never satisfied the revolutionary fractions within the Armenian community.

There are also internal reasons for the Armenian issue to rise. Wealthy Armenians sent their sons to Europe for education. The first Ottoman Armenians who received advanced western education were sent to Italy.[17] Others went to various European capitals. In Europe most of these young men were given the opportunity to acquaint themselves with constitutional political systems and progressive ideas, including positivism and materialism. Many Turkish Ottoman students in Europe experienced the same. They compared their falling country’s conditions with those of European ones and came to the conclusion that nationalism was the essential element for development. The first Armenian societies were non-political, aiming at especially expanding education among the members of the Armenian millet. For example, on 27 April 1849 the Young Armenians formed the Ararat Society in Paris, which brought together almost all the Armenian students in the French capital. They declared that “... the happiness of a nation can only come through education...[The Ararat Society] is to bring progress to the Armenian nation and to provide for all its needs” in their society’s program. Most of the European-educated students took important posts in the civil service of the Ottomans.[18] However, not all Armenian organizations had this kind of innocent aims. Especially towards end of the nineteenth century, many revolutionary organizations with armed sections were formed. The Union of Salvation and the Black Cross were created in Van in 1872 and 1878 respectively. The Protectors of Fatherland was formed in Erzurum in 1881. The first non-local Armenian revolutionary party was the Armenekan, founded in Van in 1885. The Armenekan expanded to Mus, Bitlis, Trabzon, Istanbul and even Russia and Iran. The Armenekan bought and smuggled arms and engaged terrorist activities. This was followed by the Revolutionary Hunchak Party, created in 1887 in Geneva, and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (commonly called by the name of the Dashnak Party) formed in 1890 in Tiflis. Although all were called parties, what they had common was their military wings which carried out many armed activities, or as called today terrorist activities. The flag of the Dashnaks which bad on one side five stars encircling the number sixty one and on the other side the slogan “vengeance, vengeance” and a skeleton makes the aim and the method of the ‘party’ clear.[19]

As most of the Armenian organizations formed outside of the Ottoman territory, their leadership took decisions on the activities, including rioting, in the European capitals. To cite an example, when the Armenian committees which had their leadership in Brussels, Paris and London prepared for battle in July 1996, Theodor Herzl, in the words of Yair Auron “the founder of political Zionism and “prophet” of the modern Jewish state”, tried to organize a ceasefire and persuade them to delay this for a month.[20]

Since the places where the Armenian committees claimed independence were inhabited overwhelmingly in numbers by Muslims from different ethnic origins, including the Kurds and Circassians who were expelled from their historical homeland in the Caucasus where the Armenians were settled by the Russians, the activities of the Armenian independence caused a civil disturbance and clashes between Muslims and the Armenians, harming many civilians alongside with the fighting elements. These intercommunal clashes were presented as the slaughter of the Armenians by the Muslims in the European press with the influence of the Armenian leadership based in the European capitals. Again Theodor Herzl points out on this as follows:

I did not visit Constantinople without investigating the question of the subject peoples of the Turkish Empire, and I truly believe that people in England have not been entirely fair toward the Sultan. He personally abhors brutality, and he honestly yearns to live in peace with all of his subjects. In a recent discussion of this question, he made a particularly apt comment. ‘My subjects’ he said, ‘are like the children of different wives. They argue amongst themselves but they can have no quarrel with me because I am their father’.[21]

The scope of this work does not permit a detailed discussion of the activities carried out by the terrorist groups organized by the Armenians. Yet, it seems that one difference between the Jewish case and Armenian issue is that the Jewish case had one side full of power, Nazis, to carry out whatever they wanted to do and defenseless civilian victims, whereas in the Armenian issue some heavily armed Armenian terrorist bands were in an armed conflict with the official state forces and Muslim civilian elements.

The Jews in WWII and Armenians in WWI

The Jewish Holocaust is a result of an intended and well planned state activity carried out by the Nazi officials as explained above. Anti-Semitism and Nazism provided an ideological base for the annihilation of the European Jewry during the World War II. The innocent, defenseless and unarmed civilian Jews were the victims. In this part of the paper the Armenians in the World War I and especially the 1915 relocation of the Armenians will be examined to find out the differences and similarities of the Holocaust and what the Armenians experienced in the World War I. To this end, the most important material is the legal documents of the Ottoman archives that help us to reach sound conclusions on the perception of the relocation by the Ottoman state.

It is clearly accepted even by the Armenian nationalist historians that the Armenians tried to use the entry of the Ottoman Empire in the World War I. For example Nalbandian pointed out that this was regarded by the Armenian revolutionary committees as “the most opportune time to begin a general uprising to achieve their goals”.[22] Apart from a general uprising, it must also be pointed out that with the start of the World War I some Armenians fought for the Allies, in particular for the Russians, against the Ottoman Empire. French Premier Clemenceaus’s letter of 14 July 1918 to an Armenian leader points out this fact in saying:

The spirit of self-abnegation of the Armenians, their loyalty towards the Allies, their contributions to the Foreign Legion, to the Caucasus front, to the Legion d’Orient, have strengthened the ties that connect them with France.[23]

On the one hand, the Ottoman army fought against the Allied forces supported also by the Ottoman Armenians and, on the other, the Armenians revolted, posing threat to the domestic order of the Ottomans in many provinces. In Van province, for example, although initially local Van Armenians, especially those who lived in urban areas, had no intention of rebelling, as a result of the activities of revolutionary committees with the help of the Russians, the Armenians were armed in anticipation of a widespread rebellion. In early April 1915 the Armenian uprising began. Coupled with the Russian advance, the government ordered their own Muslim population to evacuate the city. Many Muslims suffered and lost their lives during the process of evacuation. It is clear that it was the bloody Armenian rebellion in Van that left no alternative to the Ottoman government but relocate those citizens deemed disloyal and rebellious in other parts of the Ottoman territory. Enver Pasa, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, send the following dispatch to the Interior Minister Talat Bey (later Pasa) on 2 May 1915:

According to information provided by the Commander of the Third Army, the Russians, on April the 20rn, began expelling their Muslim population, by pushing them without their belongings across our borders. It is necessary, in response to this action...either to expel the Armenians in question to Russia or to relocate them and their families in other regions of Anatolia. I request that the most suitable of these alternatives be chosen and implemented. If there is no objection, I would prefer to expel the creators of these centers of rebellion and their families outside our borders, and to replace them with the Muslim refugees pushed across our borders.[24]

To comment on the dispatch, it is obvious that there was no intent to annihilate the Armenian population of Anatolia and it was the security needs of the Empire that dictated to taking measures. Moreover, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief’s dispatch suggested two alternatives of which the expulsion of the Armenians from Anatolia to Russia was favored by the Deputy. Obviously suggesting some alternatives other than the extermination of the population shows the absence of any intention to annihilate the Armenians. After giving a full consideration the Interior Ministry chosen the alternative of the relocation of the local Armenian population in other parts of the country. Although the Interior Ministry did not give reasons why the Ministry preferred this to the expulsion of the Armenians, it could be suggested that the expulsion would have caused detrimental harm to the Armenian population. Because they would have passed through a war zone between the Ottoman and Russian armies and the soldiers on both sides would have attacked the relocated for various reasons like vengeance and looting. Moreover, they would have been attacked by the Muslim population expelled from the Caucausus by the Russians when their contact on their route was inevitable.

On 27 May 1915, the Ottoman Empire passed a law for the resettlement of the people who posed security threat to the Ottoman Army.

This obviously included especially the Armenians who were engaged in rebellious activities. The relocation was painful because displacing thousands of people and resettling them was not an easy task. The year 1915 witnessed the killing of some Armenians by some elements of the local Muslim population for revenge on their route to their new settlements. Some government officials also contributed to this campaign. However, Talat Bey made it clear that the relocation of the Armenians was not aimed at massacring them. In a coded telegram of 19 August 1915 to the highest ranking officers of the places from where the Armenians were forced to immigrate and the places to which they were relocated, Talat Bey explained the aim of the relocation as follows:

The objective sought by the government in evicting the Armenians from their resettlement and moving them to the areas marked for resettlement is rendering this ethnic element unable in engaging in anti-government activities and prevent them from pursuing their national aim of founding an Armenian government. The annihilation of these people is, not only out of question, but also the authorities should ensure their safety during their movement and see to it that they are properly fed, making the necessary expenditures from the Refugee Fund. Apart from those evicted and moved, the Armenians allowed to stay should be exempt from further evictions. As communicated earlier, the Government has taken a firm decision not to move families of soldiers sufficient number of artisans as well as Protestant and Catholic Armenians. Firm measures should be taken against those who attacked the moving parties or any gendarmes or officials who instigate such attacks. These people should be immediately expelled and court-martialed. Provinces and sandjaqs will be held responsible for the recurrence of any such events.[25]

Compared with the decisions taken at the Wansee meeting, it is clear from the position taken by the government that the extermination of the Armenians was not the objective of the 1915 Relocation. Equally true that many Armenians lost their lives during the relocation. The number of the Armenians and how they lost their live does not fall within the scope of this paper which compares the features of the official Nazi and Ottoman positions here.

It also becomes clear from the above quotation that not all the Armenians but some of them were relocated in contrast with the Nazis who tried to exterminate all the Jews wherever they were found. The Nazis also tried to exterminate other ethnicities like the Gypsies, Poles, Slays and all political opponents and homosexuals. As explained in the relevant section of this paper, the aim of the Nazis was to create a Europe with no inferior races. However, the Armenian relocation of 1915 contradicts with this total campaign, as an infamous Armenian author accepts that sometimes the Armenian Catholics and Protestants as well as the Armenians of Istanbul and Izmir (Smyrna) were exempted from the deportation decrees.[26] As pointed out by Halaçoglu, of course, when some those allowed to stay were seen engaged in harmful activities, they, too, were relocated irrelevant of their creed.[27]

Aftermath of the World Wars and Justice

A special international tribunal was formed for the prosecution of those who committed war crimes in the Nazi era. The Nuremberg Tribunal condemned twelve to death by hanging. It is striking that only twelve people were responsible for the extermination of six million Jews and others. By prosecuting twelve was supposed to bring justice. Justice has been a key word with regard to the Armenian case as well.

As the relocation was beginning, the Allies issued a joint declaration on 24 May 1915. They alluded to the “assistance of Ottoman authorities” in harming the Armenians and announced that “they will hold personally responsible ... all members of the Ottoman government and those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres”.[28] This declaration is a result of the wide coverage by the European press of the relocation which was presented as an attempt to massacre of the Armenians by the Armenian committees and some Allies that wanted the American entrance in the World War I on their side. However, the Americans maintained their neutrality towards Turkey.

When the Armistice was signed on 30 October 1918, Turkey lay at the mercy of the European Allies. As they announced, they had to punish all those who were responsible for the alleged Armenian massacre. Justice, however, required appropriate jurisdiction, legal evidence, and the machinery to administer the applicable laws. There were two different mechanisms with regard to the Armenian case, one is domestic and the other one is international, to punish the alleged criminals. By the end of the war, the ruling party’s leading figures fled from the country and a new government with strong opposition, if not hostility to, the former ruling party was installed by the sultan. The new government formed a special Court Martial whose statutes were set forth on 8 May 1915. The principal task of the tribunal was the investigation of the alleged “massacres and unlawful personal profiteering” as well as the charge of “overthrow of the government”.[29] The second charge makes it clear that the tribunal directly involved in politics and the punishment of those associated with the former governing party. The political considerations of the special tribunal were reflected on its composition and decisions as well as the way it operated. It was composed of non-professionals of law, composed of Armenian members who may have not been completely unbiased, operated under pressure, sometimes with intervention, of the government and Allies which occupied Istanbul, relied on the testimonies of the people who had never been to the places where the massacres allegedly taken place and testimonies of the children who were even under the age of five as eye-witnesses.[30] Since the criminals of the Holocaust were not punished by the domestic tribunals, but by an international tribunal, there is no need to go deeper in the Turkish Court Martial formed after the World War I.

The first attempt to form an international tribunal was made by the Ottoman government which requested two lawyers each from Denmark, Spain, Sweden and Holland “to participate in the international committee to be formed to investigate if any injustices were made during relocation”.[31] The delegates of the international committee were to visit places where the alleged massacres occurred to make investigations and to establish the facts which would have led to prosecution of alleged criminals. However, the attempt failed since the mentioned neutral countries were reluctant to participate.

The inevitable biased decisions of the Turkish ‘special’ tribunals under the circumstances touched upon above caused disappointment in the Turkish population, often reflected in the Istanbul press. This prompted the British to initiate measures for the transfer of the detainees, who were arbitrarily arrested by the new government in Istanbul, often, by the directives of the occupying Allied forces, to British custody in Malta.[32] The total number of the Malta deportees were more than one hundred and forty.

The prominent members of the Turkish society, like the former Grand Vizier, speaker of parliament, chief of general staff, ministers, members of parliament, senators, army commanders, governors, university professors, editors, journalists composed the deported.[33]

On 4 August 1920, the British Cabinet decided that “The list of the deportees be carefully revised by the Attorney General with a view to selecting the names of those it was proposed to prosecute, so that those against whom no proceedings were contemplated should be released at the first convenient opportunity.”[34] And the Attorney General wrote to the Foreign Office that the “British High Commissioner at Istanbul should be asked to prepare the evidence against those interned Turks whom he recommends for prosecution on charge of cruelty to native Christians.”[35]

Sir Harry Lamb, the political-legal officer of the British High Commission at Istanbul, stated on the issue of evidence of the alleged massacre:

“No one of the deportees was arrested on any evidence in the legal sense...The whole case of the deportees is not satisfactory...There are no dossiers in any legal sense. In many cases we have statements by Armenians of differing values...The Americans must be in possession of a mass of invaluable material...”[36]

Then, the British Foreign Office decided to ask the assistance of the US State Department. On 31 March 1921, Lord Curzon telegraphed to Sir A. Gedes, the British Ambassador in Washington, the following:

“There are in hands of His Majesty’s Government at Malta a number of Turks arrested for alleged complicity in the Armenian massacre...There is considerable difficulty in establishing proofs of guilt...Please ascertain if United States Government are in possession of any evidence that would be of value for purposes of prosecution.”[37]

The Embassy returned the following reply:

“I regret to inform Your Lordship that there was nothing therein which could be used as evidence against the Turks who are being detained for trial at Malta. The reports seen...made mention of only two names of the Turkish officials in question and in these case were confined to personal opinions of these officials on the part of the writer, no concrete facts being given which could constitute satisfactory incriminating evidence. ..I have the honor to add that officials at the Department of State expressed the wish that no information supplied by them in this connection should be employed in a court of law. ..Having regard to this stipulation and the fact that the reports in the possession of the Department of State do not appear in any case to contain evidence against these Turks..., I fear that nothing is to be hoped from addressing any further enquiries to the United States Government in this matter.” [38]

The Attorney-General’s Department returned the following reply:

“...It seems improbable that the charges made against the accused will be capable of legal proof in a Court of Law...Until more precise information is available as to the nature of the evidence which will be forthcoming at the trials, the Attorney-General does not feel that he is in a position to express any opinion as to the prospect of success in any of the cases submitted for his consideration.”[39]

Upon the receipt of this reply, W.S. Edmonds, Under-Secretary in the Eastern Department of the Foreign Office, minuted:

“From this letter it appears that the changes of obtaining convictions are almost nil... It is regrettable that the Turks have confined as long without charges being formulated against them...”[40]

Sir H. Rumboid, the High Commissioner in Istanbul, wrote:

“Failing the possibility of obtaining proper evidence against these Turks which would satisfy a British Court of Law, we would seem to be continuing an act of technical injustice in further detaining the Turks in question. In order, therefore, to avoid as far as possible losing face, in this matter, I consider that all the Turks... should be made available for exchange purposes.”[41]

From now on, the Turkish detainees at Malta were not considered as “offenders” for prosecution, but rather as “hostages” for exchange against British prisoners in Anatolia.[42] Subsequently all Turkish deportees at Malta were exchanged with the British prisoners of war. The Law Officers of the Crown abstained from accusing anyone of Turkish deportees of massacre of the Armenians and all Turkish deportees were released and repatriated without being brought before a tribunal. The findings of the British obviously contradicts what the Tribunal found in the Holocaust trials.

CONCLUSION

This paper examined the main differences of the Holocaust and Armenian case. It has become clear that they had not much in common. Anti-Semitism and Nazism provided the ideological background for the Holocaust. There is no doubt that without anti-Semitism and racist ideology, the laws discriminating Jews would not have passed. The Holocaust was the intentional and planned organized crime as expressed by the Wansee Conference. Not only the Jews but also other ‘inferior races’ became the victims of the Nazis. Moreover, no victim involved in any activity against the Nazis. The perpetrators were brought before the justice after the World War II.

The Armenian case greatly, if not completely, differs from the Holocaust. No anti-Turk or anti-Muslim element, let alone anti-Armenism, existed in the Ottoman legal and social system. In contrast with the victims of the Nazis, the Armenians formed revolutionary organizations and carried out activities to terrorize the civilian population of both Muslim and non-Muslim. The Armenians’ corroborations with Russians, hostile of the Ottomans, in the World War I left the government with no alternative but to relocate those who posed security threats to other parts of the Empire. It is unfortunate that during the relocation lost their lives. But there is no evidence that the casualties were intentional. On contrary, official legal documents provides that the casualties were to be kept minimum. Although the Western press widely covered the relocation and told the stories of massacres as a apart of the war-time propaganda, the alleged criminals were released even without charges being formulated against them before an international tribunal, because neither Britain nor the USA was able to provide any evidence capable of legal proof in any court of law.

The following quotation from a Nobel Prize winning Israeli statesman, Shimon Peres, closes the discussion:

“We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through but not a genocide...Israel should not determine a historical or philosophical position on the Armenian issue. If we have to determine a position, it should be done with great care not to distort the historical realities.”[43]

[1] For example see Richard G. Hovannasian, ‘Etiology and Sequele of the Armenian Genocide’, in George J. Andreopulos (ed.), Genocide: Conceptual and Historical Dimnensions, (Philedeiphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), pp. 125-126.
[2] For a recent example of this see Vahak” N. Dadrian, ‘The documentation of the Armenian Genocide in the Light of Persistent Turkish Denials’ Conference paper delivered at Generations of Genocide, Wiener Library, 26-27 January 2002, London/UK.
[3] Heat W. Lowry, ‘The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians’, Political Communication and Persuasion, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1986, pp. 111-140.
[4] The facts given in this part is based on the information supplied by Haim Bresheeth, Stuart Hood and Lisa Jansz, The Holocaust, Turkish translation, Soykirim, (istanbul: Milliyet Yayinlari, 1996). Various internet resources, including thinkquest, Massuah. The Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, remember.org, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are also referred to. The views contrary to those which summarized here may be found at fpp.co.uk and the works of David Irving.
[5] Emil Fackenheim at http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/uk/newsid6l80
[6] Eight centuries ago the Jews were hunted in Germany, expelled from England, France and finally from Spain in 1492.
[7] Yavuz Ercan, Osmanli Yönetiminde Gayrimüslimler (Non-Muslims under the Ottoman Rule), (Ankara:Turhan Kitapevi, 2001), p. 3.
[8] See Ercan, Osmanli Yönetiminde... ,pp.1-23.
[9] Vartan Artinian, The Armenian Constitutional System in the Ottoman Empire, (Istanbul), p.1 1.
[10] Yves Ternon, The Armenians, (Delmar: Caravan Books, 1981), pp. 37, 38 and 49.
[11] Jamanak, Facts from the Turkish Armenians, Istanbul, 1980, p. 4.
[12] For a full record of the Turkish-Jewish relations during the Ottoman Empire and the Holocaust see Stanford J. Shaw, The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic, (New York: New York University Press, 1991) and Turkey & The Holocaust, (London: MacMillan Press, 1993).
[13] Telford Waugh, Turkey, Yesterday, to-Day and To-Morrow, (London: Chapman & Hall,
1930), p. 130.
[14] Hovannisian, Etiology and Sequence..., p. 119.
[15] Shavarsh Toriguian, The Armenian Question and International Law, (Beirut:
Hamaskaine Press, 1973), p. 88.
[16] Düstur, II, pp.938-961 .Also cited by Gülnihal Bozkurt, Gayrimuslim Osmanli Vatandaslarinin Hukuki Durumu (The Legal Status of the Non-Muslim Ottoman Citizens), (Ankara: Turkish Society for History, 1996), p. 181.
[17] Artinian, The Armenian Constitutional..., p. 59.
[18] Artinian, The Armenian Constitutional..., p. 65.
[19] Ternon, The Armenians, pp. 74-82.
[20] Yair Auron, The Banality of Indifference, (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2000) pp. 102 and 112-113.
[21] Interview with a Jewish journalist and activist, Lucien Wolf, of the Daily Graphic, 6 July
1896. (Quoted by Auron, The Banality of.., p. 117.)
[22] Louise Nalbandian, Armenian Revolutionary Movement, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1963), pp. 110.111.
[23] Mandelstam, La Societe des Nations et les Puissances Devant le Probleme Armenien, 1970, pp. 472-473. (Quoted by Toriguian, OEe Armenian Question..., p.98.)
[24] Journal of Military History Documents, 81, December 1982, Document No: 1830.
[25] BOA, Chipper Desk, No: 55/292. (Also published in Armenians in Ottoman Documents Directorate of Ottoman Archives, Ankara, 1995, pp. 94-95. The English translation quoted by Yusuf Halaçoglu, ‘Realities behind the Relocation’ in Türkkaya Ataöv, The Armenians in the Late Ottoman Period, (Ankara: Turkish Historical Society, 2001), pp.
[26] Hovannisian, Etiology and Sequence..., p. 124.
[27] Halaçoglu, Realities behind..., p. 122.
[28] FO 371/2488/51010 (28 May 1915) (Also cited by Vahakn N. Dadrian, ‘Genocide as a Problem of National and International Law: The World War I Armenian Case and Its Contemporary Legal Ramifications’ The Yale Journal of International Law, Vol. 14, No. 2, 1989, p. 262.)
[29] Takvimi Vekayi, No: 3540, 5 May 1919 and Takvimi Vekayi, No: 3571, 13 June 1919.
[30] See Senol Kantarci, “Speeches on the Armenians Attributed to Atatürk and his Help to the Victims of Armenian Terrorists and ‘Court Martials” Armenian Studies, Vol. 1, Issue, 4 and Nejdet Bilgi, Ermeni Tehciri ve Bogazlayan Kaymakami Mehmed Kemal Beyin Yargilanmasi (Armenian Relocation and the Trial of Governor of Bogazlayan Mehmet Bey), (Ankara: Köksav, 1999).
[31] BOA, HR:MÜ. 43/17, 6 May 1919.
[32] Dadrian, Genocide as a Problem of.., p. 285.
[33] Bilal N. Simsir, The Deportees of Malta and the Armenian Question, (Ankara: Foreign Policy Institute, 1992), pp. 18-33.
[34] FO 371/5090/E.9934: Cabinet Officer to Lord Curzon of 12.8.1920.
[35] FO 371/6499/E.l801: Law Officers to Foreign Office of 8.2.1921.
[36] FO 371/6500/E.3554: In closure, minutes by Sir H.Lamb, dossier Veli Nedjdet.
[37] FO 371/6500/E.3552: Curzon to Geddes. Tel No 176 of 31.3.1921.
[38] FO 371/6504/E.8515: Craigie, British Charge d’ Afaires at Washington, to lord Curzon, No.722 of 13.7.1921.
[39] FO 371/6504/E.8745: Procurator-General’s Department to the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 29.7.192 1.
[40] Ibid: Minutes by Mr. Edmonds of 3.8.1921.
[41] FO 371/6504/E.10023.
[42] Simsir, The Deportees of Malta..., pp.45-48.
[43] Peres: Armenian Allegations are Meaningless’, Turkish Daily News, 10 April 2001; Haig Boyadjian, ‘Peres Claims Armenians Did Not Experience Genocide’, Asbarez, 10 April 2001.



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‘Kocharian Says Iran One of Armenia’s Principal Trade Partners’, Asbarez, 18 April 2001; ‘Iran, Armenia Reconfirm Close Ties’, Asbarez, 17 July 2001.

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Laçiner, Sedat, ‘Armenia’s Jewish Skepticism and Its Impact on Armenia-Israel Relations’, Armenian Studies, Vol. 1, No.4, December 2001-January-February 2002, pp. 296-335.

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Source: http://www.eraren.org

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