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06 May 2010

3069) Dear Taner Akcam,

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com
Again in your book _1915 Writings_, I have read the criticism and analysis you have directed against various native and foreign authors, and have witnessed your knowledge of the subject. I have to state that I have found the criticism and analysis you have directed especially towards Prof. V. Dadrian’s book _Collected articles – Book 1 – Institutional Roles in the Armenian Genocide_ particularly praise-worthy in terms of objectivity. You have made the observation that, while Dadrian brought clarity to “what happened”, his head was confused on the subject of “why”. I am hoping that the several notes I am making below, again without following a chronological order, on the subject of why the relocation decision was taken, will help Prof. Dadrian get over his confusion and will help you think the subject over one more time: . .

Sydney Whitman: “I asked English Consul Mr. Graves: ‘Would you think there would have been any massacres if Armenian revolutionaries had not come to the country and incited the Armenian people to revolt?’. He replied ‘Certainly not! Not a single Armenian would have been killed.’”

Report of English Ambassador Henry Elliot to the Ministry, dated December 1876: “The Patriarch answered that the people were very excited, and he stated that, if a revolt were necessary to draw the attention of the European states, there was no difficulty in starting such an activity.”

Summary of English Ambassador Layard’s telegram on the occasion of thePatriarch’s visit of March 17, 1878: “The Patriarch was saying that last year they had no complaints of Turkish administration and they preferred to remain under Ottoman rule … however that the situation had changed when the Russian victory became conclusive, that Armenians were very angry with him because he had previously been against the Russians, and that they could even stone him.

… He was saying that if they could not obtain their demands by way of European intervention, that they would apply to Russia and would continue their agitation until being annexed by Russia.”

The program established at a 1982 meeting of the Dashnaksutiun:
To organize armed bands
To increase revolutionary activities making use of every recourse
To arm the populace
To establish revolutionary committees
To incite fighting
To provide for transportation of people and arms
To destroy government institutions

William Langer: ” One of the revolutionaries told Dr. Hamlin, the founder of Robert College, that the Hentchak bands would 'watch their opportunity to kill Turks and Koords, set fire to their villages, and then make their escape into the mountains. The enraged Moslems will then rise, and fall upon the defenceless Armenians and slaughter them with such barbarity that Russia will enter in the name of humanity and Christian civilization and take possession.’ When the horrified missionary denounced the scheme as atrocious and infernal beyond anything ever known, he received this reply: ‘… We are desperate. We shall do it.’”

Founder of the Dashnaksutiun and the first Premier of Armenia, Katchaznouni: “…. In the Fall of 1914, Armenian volunteer units were formed and they fought against the Turks. It could not be otherwise, as for roughly a quarter of a century the Armenian society had been fed with a particular and inescapable psychology. It was necessary that this state of mind manifest itself, and what had to happen did.”
Declaration of Armenians living in Marseilles dated August 5, 1914: “... No Armenian weapons should be turned towards our second motherland France or its allies and friends…. Register as volunteers in the armies of France and its allies.”
Rafael de Nogales: “After hostilities had actually commenced, the Deputy to the Assembly for Erzerum, Garo Pasdermichan, passed over with almost all the Armenian troops and officers of the Third Army to the Russians; to return with them soon after, burning hamlets and mercilessly putting to the knife all of the peaceful Mussulman villagers that fell into their hands.”

M. Philips Price: “When the war started, the Armenians in this region secretly contacted the Russian officials and … volunteers began to be sent to the Russian army.”

Felix Valyi: “In April, Armenian revolutionaries under the command of Aram and Vardan, took the city of Van… On May 6th, they delivered to the Russian forces the province of Van, cleansed of Moslems.”

September 18, 1914: From Bitlis Governor Mustafa Bey to the 3rd Army Command: “According to decisions taken and suggestions from Armenian community leaders, if there is war the Armenians in the army will pass over to the Russian side together with their weapons. If the Ottoman Army advances no action will be taken, if it retreats armed bands will be formed and movements to and from the front will be hindered.”

October 23, 1914 report from 3rd Army Command to High Command: “In Kagizman, about 800 persons, most of whom are army deserter Ottoman citizen Armenians, have congregated. The Russians are arming these.”

In November, the Ottoman Empire is at war.

Numerous communications through April 1915, about armed band movements and raids…

Telegram of April 22, 1915, from the governor of Sivas to the Ministery of the Interior: “Many contraband weapons and much ammunition has beeen found in searches conducted within the province. It has become certain from statements by the caught suspects that, in this province, Armenians have armed 30,000 people, that 15,000 of them have joined the Russian Army, and that the remaining 15,000, in case of lack of success by the Turkish Army, will threaten our army from the rear.”

The governor of Diyarbakir writes the following on April 17, 1915: “Searches have ben conducted in Diyarbakir for army deserters, weapons, and ammunition. As a result, many weapons, much ammunition, military clothing, and explosives have been found. From Armenian komitajis, even at the province center more than 1,000 deserters have been apprehended.”

This is the internal situation going into May 1915, and the Russians are advancing in Eastern Anatolia. The English and French are landing at Canakkale with the world’s greates armada, and the Canal operation is in progress in the South.

May 2 communication from acting commander-in-chief Enver Pasha to the Minister of the Interior Talat Pasha: “The Armenians around Lake Van and in locations known by the governor of Van are continuously grouped and ready to continue with their revolt. I am of the mind that these grouped Armenians should be moved out of these areas so that this source of revolt is broken up. According to intelligence given by the 3rd Army Command, the Russians have pushed Moslems within their borders in through our borders in a miserable and wretched condition. Both to reciprocate for this, and to achieve the goal I have mentioned above, it is necessary either to send these Armenians and their families into the Russian borders, or to disperse these Armenian families to various places within Anatolia. I would like to request that the more feasible of these two options be chosen and put in operation. If there is no drawback, I would prefer that the families of rebels and the population in areas of revolt be sent outside our borders, and that, in their stead, the Islamic people who arrived from outside be settled within our borders.”

And in May 1915, the Ottoman Government made the decision of “Relocation and Re-settlement”.

In the light of these documents and information, I would now like to direct to you several questions:

Is there anything surprising in me joining the observation that the decision of relocation was a proper one as concerning the Turks, as, among many other foreign authors, the Dashnak leader Katchaznouni also stated in the Dashanksutiun Congress of 1923?

Can you reproach me for believing that it does not conform with scientific truth and reality to try to explain the relocation decision as one “taken years ago by the Unionists to annihilate the Armenians in order to Turkify Anatolia”, to equate it with a “spirit of violence”, and to claim that it is because “genocide is a sub-element of the Ottoman Turkish culture”; and for believing the documents and the information as well as the statements of many historians and authors that this was a decision “taken purely for military and strategic reasons”, and that it was an act of self-defense?

Can it be expected that we should believe in claims that “the Unionist planned many years ago to annihilate the Armenians and relocated them for the purpose of destroying them” after having read Enver Pasha’s letter of May 2nd?

If the Armenians, instead of having been relocated to the South, where there were no battles, with the more humanitarian approach having been chosen, had been exiled to the front and regions of battle, as the Russians did to one million Moslem people, since today you do not speak of Russians having committed genocide, would you have proposed that the Ottomans committed genocide?

If annihilation was the purpose of the relocation, would the relocation not have been finished in two months, as the Russians did, not in the nine months it actually took.

Even if one-hundreth of the savagery and massacre scenes described in detail by yourself as well as Prof. Dadrian in terms of “what happened” were true, just as it is obviously impossible that any Turk with the smallest amount of conscience and fairness would approve, can it also be approved that those who gave rise to the events described above, while the Anatolian population was in a life or death struggle against the most powerful armies of the world on several fronts, be presented as “a handful of romantic youths fed up with being misled about reforms”?
Certainly the events related to the documents listed above cannot be accepted as reasons to commit genocide or in defense of genocide. On the other hand, is it acceptable that both you and Prof. Dadrian have handled these events as not ever having happened and as if these realities did not exist when claiming that the relocation decision was taken for the purpose of genocide, since these distance your readers from understanding the truth?

I would like to bid you farewell with a final future letter on your declarations on population and resolution.

Orhan ARASLI
Retired Economist

Address:
Acibadem cad. No:156 / 4
Uskudar / Istanbul / Turkey .

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