Updated 22 July 2011
Response letter to Baroness S. Flather’s reply by Prof Norman Stone
Dear Lady Flather,
The London Turks showed me your letter on the Armenian issue. I’m a historian of the First World War, familiar with the background, and please will you reconsider.
Your first port of call should just be the Foreign Office, and please remember that the British, in occupation of Constantinople, found no proofs of genocide and had to release the Turks whom they were holding (on Malta). There were massacres, yes, but you might also bear in mind that the Ottoman government itself put fifty-odd of its people on trial and executed a governor.
If a member of say the French Senate accused the Sikhs or the Hindus of genocide in the Punjab in 1947 I imagineyou might hit the roof, and rightly. There are some very serious books about all of this, and I cannot think why politicians think they need to opine one way or the other.
Professor Emeritus of Modern History,
University of Oxford
(and sometime Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge)
. . .
British FCO Letter 2. 19 October 2007
British FCO Letter 1. 27 February 2006
Response letter to Baroness S. Flather’s reply by Lale Olcay 21jul11
Dear Baroness Shreela Flather,
I learned that at House of Lords you have recently proposed recognition of so-called Armenian genocide which depends on forgeries, falsified documents and lies which were confirmed by the English authorities, your ancestors themselves, depending on archival documents including those from the American archives.
After the Ottoman State was defeated in the 1st World War in 1918, the English, your ancestors and their allies arrested 144 high level Ottoman veteran or civil officials including the ex-prime ministers, ex-deputies, governors and many newspapermen, and banished them to Malta Island, claiming that they were responsibles for the death of Armenians.
However, the English authorities, your ancestors, had to make them all free in 1921, since they could not find any proof to be able to verdict them.
The following documents belong to your own archives:
Last word of Attorney General of Malta Tribunals
The letters written by H.M. Procurator-General’s Department to Mr Lancelot Oliphant (directed by Earl Curzon of Kedleston) dated July 29th, 1921 read:
‘It seems improbable that the charges made against some of the accused will be capable of legal proof in a Court of Law.’
(F.O. 371/6502/E.5845: L.Olipant (F.O.) to Mr Woods (Procurator-General’s Department)
5845/132/44 of May 31st,1921)
‘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 sumitted for his consideration’
(F.O. 371/6504/E.8745: Woods (Procurator-General’s Department) to the Under Secretary of Stat efor FO., of July 29th, 1921)
Upon the receipt of Attorney General’s opinion Mr WS Edmonds minuted:
‘From this letter, it appears that the chances of obtaining convictions are almost nil…
‘The American Government, we have ascertained, cannot help with any evidence…
‘In addition to the ABSENCE OF LEGAL EVIDENCE there is the extreme unlikelihood that the French and Italians would agree to participate in constituting the court provided for in art.230 of the Treaty (of Sevres)….
‘ON THE OTHER HAND WE CERTAINLY CAN NOT RELEASE ANY TURKS UNTIL OUR OWN PRISONRES ARE RETURNED…. THE PROPER TIME FOR THE RELEASE OF THE TURKS SEEMS TO BE WHEN IT CAN BE DONE AS PART OF A GENERAL SETTLEMENT WITH TURKEY.’
‘IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT THE TURKS HAVE BEEN CONFINED AS LONG WITHOUT CHARGES BEING FORMULATED AGAINST THEM….’
(PRO-F.O. 371/6504/E.8745: Minutes by Edmonds of August 3rd,1921)
From: Simsir, Bilal. Malta Sürgünleri. Bilgi Yayinevi, Ankara, 1985.
Please note that the Ottoman government had been taken prisoners by your ancestors and all the Ottoman archives had been under control of your ancestors and cynically an Armenian official was assigned to the Ottoman Archives.
Also note that YOUR FAMOUS BLUE BOOK, the telegrams of Aram Andonian and the diary of Ambassador Morgenthau which are proposed as supporters of the present Armenian thesis even now, had already been published at that time.
Please also note that during the trial in Berlin of the Armenian assassin Soghomon Tehlirian, who had murdered Talat Pasha in Berlin on March 15th, 1921, none of the Andonian documents were accepted by the court as evidence (Dashnakists’ book Justicier du Genocide, 1981, p.213)
Therefore, you personally should have found a new and reliable proof of a genocide which could not be found by no means by your ancestors and their allies themselves just at the time of these events.
I invite you to display these new evidences. I cordially believe that these evidences will make a real contribution to the scholarship of history.
Response letter to Baroness Flather’s reply by Sevgin Oktay 21jul11
19 July 2011
Dear Baroness Flather,
Your letter attached above to Betula Nelson prompted me to write this letter to you on a matter with which you are quite familiar, I assume; namely, the Armenian issue. The purpose of my letter is not to argue per se, but to have a conversation with you from a humanitarian point of view (since I believe you are one of the Vice Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group) as to how it is that looking at the same events, two reasonable people can come to such different conclusions about the tragic human events that took place in the Ottoman Empire during the latter part of the nineteenth century leading up to and beyond First World War, WW I. I would like to learn from you as to what I am missing in looking at the whys and wherefores of these events. I should hasten to add that if it gets a bit too complicated to communicate through pecking on a keyboard rather than talking to each other face to face, I am willing to travel from New York to London to visit with you at your convenience. You might consider this as a naïve request on my part, but I am sincere. For, I respect you for what you have done in your life’s work and look up to you as an influential person whose guidance I need to come to terms with whatever real facts and logic may lead us to.
As for myself, I am an American citizen of Turkish origin who has been living in the United States for more than half-a-century. I have been following the Armenian issues for all those years and I could say that I am quite familiar with the issues involved.
If I may, let me start with the big picture rather than getting tangled up in the details. Can we perhaps first agree with the following historical markers, namely, that:
the Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and longest lasting Empires in history;
the recipe for its success was many fold, primarily among them:
a meritorious power system irrespective of ethnicity (race, color or creed);
an administrative policy of “live and let live.” For more, please see:
Armenians (and many other ethnic groups) lived as loyal subjects of the Ottoman Empire for more than 600 years;
the early American Calvinists in mid-nineteenth century believed that “the Ottoman Empire soon would be cast down, the Jews would return to Palestine to become Christians, and the Reign of Christ was at hand based on faith in their interpretation of the Book of Revelation,” and that accordingly “their mission became to convert Muslims, Jews directly at first, [but having failed on that] the conversion of Christian Greeks, Armenians and other Middle Eastern Christians through the Reformation” (from Justin McCarthy, The Turk in America- The Creation of an Enduring Prejudice, the University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 2010, pp. 2-5);
encouraged by the West, the Dashnak Armenians tried to carve out an Armenia in an area of the Eastern Anatolia with a minority Armenian population of about 10%;
and in the process, Dashnaks terrorized not only the Turks and Kurds, but even killed their own kin surreptitiously to make them rise up against the Ottoman government ;
while the Young Turk administration of the Ottoman government offered the Armenians autonomy and they accepted it on the face of it, but behind the scenes;
Armenians conspired with the invading Russians to turn against their own Ottoman comrades in arms in the trenches instead of fighting the invaders;
and, as a last resort, the Young Turks ordered the relocation of the trouble maker Armenians away from the battle fields to distant parts of the Ottoman Empire, namely, Syria, while at the same time providing rail transportation to those who could afford it, and giving strict orders to the gendarmes to protect all who unfortunately had to walk hundreds of miles to their destination;
and also unfortunately, in the ensuing mayhem, thousands of innocent victims died of famine, disease and atrocities along the way;
at the same time, as many, if not more, Turks and Kurds were killed by the Armenians through their terrorism and rebellious acts dating back to late 19th century, as well as due to famine, disease and marauding that was rampant at the time of WWI.
I tried to make this listing as short as possible to start a discourse. I would be very glad to expand upon any one of the items if so desired. I would much appreciate if you could kindly let me know if there are any disagreements in the outline above and if so, which ones.
Finally, just a very quick and humble response to your letter to Betula Nelson:
1. There are just as many horrifying pictures depicting the deadly suffering on both sides. However, it has been shown many times over that what the Armenians have been unashamedly advertising for so many years have been proven to be fabrications galore. Please see attachment “Skulls,” for example.
2. As to what Hitler is reported to have said, that also has been shown to be another fabrication. Please see attachment on “Hitler.” Also, you may wish to see other brochures at www.cptstrs.org .
3. My heart goes out to those people and their families hanging from wooden posts that you mention. My heart also goes out to people who were locked in their mosques from the outside on prayer day, Fridays, and set on fire, and many more.
As a human being, I too do not want those terrible events (like many others around the world even now, for that matter,) to be allowed to happen again. I do much appreciate your stance as well, given your involvement with Humanist groups. However, we must be cognizant of how the historical “facts” are sometimes distorted, forged and fabricated. As a great historian of the Middle East , Bernard Lewis once said referring to the then atrocities:
“. . . to make this a parallel with the holocaust in Germany you would have to assume that the Jews in Germany had been engaged in armed rebellion against the German state, collaborating with the Allies against Germany, that in the deportation order the cities of Hamburg and Berlin were exempted, the persons in the employment of the state were exempted, and their deportation only applied to the Jews of Germany proper and when they got to the pogroms they were welcomed into shelters by the Polish Jews. That seems to be an absurd parallel.”
Let us also remember what president Shimon Peres of Israel has said:
“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.”
Of course Turks also went through a similar tragedy. But Turks must also be blamed for the distortion of history in front of their eyes as they did not respond to all these allegations for so many years. As C. F. Dixon-Johnson, British author of the 1916 book, The Armenians, appalled over the deceitful practice of his book’s subject, said then:
“Give a lie twenty-four hours start, and it will take a hundred years to overtake it.”
However, rest assured that there is a lively discussion going on in Turkey now, and that the 73 million Turks (minus a few including the likes of Taner Akçam, Fatma Gökçe, etc.) must be shown the undeniable documentation before they will accept the allegation of genocide against a people with whom they lived many years more in peace and harmony than fighting. You see, the diaspora Armenians- unlike the Armenians of Armenia, whom I call the “Yerevan Armenians”- lack an understanding or do not want to acknowledge what really happened during those terrible times of WW I. The “ Yerevan ” Armenians, on the other hand, understand too well, and they visit, vacation and work in Turkey now quite happily, and along with the Turks, wish a rapprochement to live as good neighbors once again. We must help them realize that sooner than later, rather than fanning the flames of hatred of the Diaspora Armenians. Wouldn’t be a wonderful thing if they can be freed from that “Life-Lie” that they seem to have embraced, but unfortunately will not be able to fly like the “Wild Duck” of Henrik Ibsen.
One final word: I seem to have been carried away, for which I ask your forgiveness. But I am really looking forward to hearing a positive response (not necessarily on the issue itself) to carry on with this conversation to a mutually agreed conclusion. We can of course, agree to disagree.
With Kindest regards,
Oktay Enterprises Int’l., LLC
Esteemed Lord Avebury,
I am sorry to note your consistent prejudice against the Turkish nation, to the extent of reversing written documentation. Should you have the frankness of speaking face to face, I am sure that your doubts (if not staunch bias) can be immediately rectified. I will make my statement very short hoping that you will have the courage to look into the given links and references.
a. I had given my autographed book to Mr. Ara Sarafian in 2008 in Istanbul and I have not heard any counter remarks from him.
b. My book has been on the Internet now for over 3 years and if you want to learn some of the facts "all from neutral and anti- Turkish sources" you can download it from: http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2008/04/2429-new-e-book-genocide-of-truth-based.html Should you want to have my autographed copy, I will be pleased to mail to you, plus my very recent book http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2010/12/3189-genocide-of-truth-continues-but.html
c.Mr. Ara Sarafian's last book distorting the contents of the last book of Talat pasha has been posted and replied by me, and my reply was sent to him by the "Armenians-1915.blogspot.com" offering to post his reply, if any. As always, he did not reply my counter comments on his distortions.
d. I had the honor of meeting Lord Maginnis. Should your authorized-concerned persons be interested in the TRUE SIDE of the events, I am prepared to FACE EVERYONE in the World. Gentlemen, my age is 81, I have read more than 50.000 pages of material and an official document, says: (U.S. National Archives Ref. 184.021/175)
[..., but the unanimity of the testimony of all witnesses, the apparent eagerness with which they told of wrongs done them, their evident hatred of Armenians, and, strongest of all, the material evidence on the ground itself, have convinced us as of the general truth of the facts, first, that Armenians massacred Musulmans on a large scale with many refinements of cruelty, and second that Armenians are responsible for most of the destruction done to towns and villages. The Russians and Armenians occupied the country for a considerable time together in 1915 ...]
Don't you think that you can be wrong and are doing a huge injustice refuting the British judges? When 144 Ottoman dignitaries were interned in Malta "pending charges for organized murders", the British could find NOTHING in the Ottoman Archives or US records for any legal indictment and they quietly released all Ottoman dignitaries, even without an indictment! What makes you think your Lordship, "that you know better" than those who lived the incidents ?
Sukru Server Aya, (Researcher - author) Istanbul, July 19, 2011
From: Eric Avebury
To: Betula Nelson
Even Turks no longer deny the facts of the Armenian Genocide, of which there is fresh evidence in the surviving papers of Talaat Pasha, left in the possession of his widow and now published by Ara Sarafian of the Gomidas Press.
When Ara and I went to Ankara to launch his Turkish translation of the Blue Book we were unable to deliver copies to the members of the TGNA, but the Turks no longer have any excuse for their false claim that the Blue Book was nothing but a piece of wartime propaganda. We tried strenuously to engage the members of the TGNA in a dialogue on the subject, but not one of them ever replied to our letters!
House of Lords, Tel 020-7219 xxxx
London SW1A 0AA
18 July, 2011
To: Baroness Shreela Flather
House of Lords
London SW1 OPW
16 July 2011
Subject: Wartime tragedy that engulfed Muslims and Christian alike; not genocide that only victimized Armenians
Dear Baroness Shreela Flather,
I was shocked and saddened to learn about your question and proposal at the House of Lords on the 16th of June 2011 regarding recognition by the British Government of the so called Armenian Genocide, a racist and dishonest version of history promoted by the Armenian lobby. Your biased approach to the Turkish-Armenian conflict showed a lack of appreciation of the facts surrounding this matter.
Please allow me to explain:
Bias & Bigotry In The Term Armenian Genocide
If one cherishes values like fairness, objectivity, truth, and honesty, then one should really use the term Turkish-Armenian conflict. Asking on Do you accept or deny Armenian Genocide shows anti-Turkish bias. The question should be re-phrased What is your stand on the Turkish-Armenian conflict?
Turks believe it was an inter communal warfare mostly fought by Turkish and Armenian irregulars, a civil war which is engineered, provoked, and waged by the Armenian revolutionaries, with active support from Russia, England, France, and others, all eyeing the vast territories of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, against a backdrop of a raging world war.
Armenians, on the other hand, totally ignoring Armenian agitation, raids, rebellions, treason, territorial demands, and Turkish victims killed by Armenians, unfairly claim that it was a one way genocide.
Genocide Allegations Ignore The Six T's Of The Turkish-Armenian Conflict
While some in unsuspecting public may be forgiven for taking the blatant and ceaseless Armenian propaganda at face value and believing Armenian falsifications merely because they are repeated so often, it is difficult and painful for someone like me, the son of Turkish survivors on both maternal and paternal sides.
Those seemingly endless War years of 1912-1922 brought wide-spread death and destruction on to all Ottoman citizens. No Turkish family was left untouched, mine included. Those nameless, faceless Turkish victims are killed for a second time today with politically motivated and baseless charges of Armenian genocide.
Allegations Of Armenian Genocide Are Racist And Dishonest History
They are racist because they ignore the Turkish dead: more than 3 million during WWI; about half a million of them at the hands of Armenian nationalists.
And the allegations of Armenian genocide are dishonest because they dismiss the six T's of the Turkish-Armenian conflict:
1) TUMULT (as in numerous Armenian armed uprisings between 1882 and 1920)
2) TERRORISM (by well-armed Armenian nationalists and militias victimizing Ottoman-Muslims between 1882-1920)
3) TREASON (Armenians joining the invading enemy armies as early as 1914 and lasting until 1921)
4) TERRITORIAL DEMANDS (where Armenians were a minority, not a majority, attempting to establish Greater Armenia, the would-be first apartheid of the 20th Century with a Christian minority ruling over a Muslim majority )
5) TURKISH SUFFERING AND LOSSES (i.e. those caused by the Armenian nationalists: 524,000 Muslims, mostly Turks, met their tragic end at the hands of Armenian revolutionaries during WWI, per Turkish Historical Society. This figure is not to be confused with about 2.5 million Muslim dead who lost their lives due to non-Armenian causes during WWI. Grand total: more than 3 million, according to Prof. Justin McCarthy.)
6) TERESET (temporary resettlement) triggered by the first five T's above and amply documented as such; not to be equated to the Armenian misrepresentations as genocide.)
Verdict Without Due Process Amounts To Lynching
Those who take the Armenian allegations of genocide at face value ignore the following:
1- Genocide is a legal, technical term precisely defined by the U.N. 1948 convention (Like all proper laws, it is not retroactive to 1915.)
2- Genocide verdict can only be given by a "competent court" after "due process" where both sides are properly represented and evidence mutually cross examined.
3- For a genocide verdict, the accusers must prove intent at a competent court and after due process. This could never be done by the Armenians whose evidence mostly fall into five major categories: hearsay, mis-representations, exaggerations, forgeries, and other.
4- Such a "competent court" was never convened in the case of Turkish-Armenian conflict and a genocide verdict does not exist (save a Kangaroo court in occupied Istanbul in 1920 where partisanship, vendettas, and revenge motives left no room for due process.)
5- Genocide claim--first appeared in 1965, that is, 50 years after the events--is purely political, not historical or factual. It reflects bias against Turks. Therefore, the term genocide must be used with the qualifier "alleged", for scholarly objectivity and truth.
History Is A Matter Of Scholarship, Not Consensus
History is not a matter of "conviction, consensus, political resolutions, political correctness, or propaganda."
History is a matter of research, peer review, thoughtful debate, and honest scholarship.
Even historians, by definition, cannot decide on a genocide verdict, which is reserved for a "competent court" with its legal expertise and due process.
What we witness today amounts to lynching of the Turks by Armenians (and their supporters) to satisfy the age old Armenian hate, bias, and bigotry. Values like fairness, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, objectivity, balance, honesty, and freedom of speech are stumped under the fanatic Armenian feet. Unprovoked , unjustified, and unfair defamation of Turkey, one of NATO's strongest members and a reliable ally of the West since the end of WWII in the troubled Middle East, in order to appease some nagging Armenian activists runs counter to Western interests.
Those who claim genocide verdict today, based on the much discredited Armenian evidence, are actually engaging in "conviction and execution without due process". Last time I looked in the dictionary, that was the definition of lynching.
Isn't it time to stop fighting the First World War dishonestly and give peace a real chance?
Son of Turkish Survivors of the Balkan Wars
President,The Assembly of Turkish-American Associations,
Washingon DC, USA
Cell: USA (949) 878-xxxx
Dear Baroness Shreela Flather,
The Ataturk Society of the UK has been astonished and dismayed to learn about your question and proposal regarding a possible timetable for the British Government to recognize the so called Armenian Genocide at the House of Lords on the 16th of June 2011. Whilst we appreciate your right to ask questions as a member of the House of Lords (not as an elected representative), we would like to bring the following facts to your attention regarding this matter.
First of all can we remind you that there is no legal justification for such a recognition unlike the Holocaust or Bosnian massacres.
As a historical event, it is a fact that Suzanne and Gregoire Krikorian took their case to the European Court of Justice in 2003 in reference to the so called Armenian genocide, and demanded moral and material compensation. However, they lost this court case on the 17th December 2003 and were ordered to pay the court expenses of 30,000 Euro for unfounded charges.
This issue began with the passing of an ill conceived resolution C-190 of the European Parliament on 20th July 1987 that Turkey cannot become a member of EEC unless she recognizes the so called Armenian Genocide!
Twelve years later, in 1999, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was negotiating with the EEC regarding Turkish candidacy and when the discussions were strained, the Turkish P.M. was invited to Helsinki talks. The Helsinki European Council decision was to officially invite Turkey into the E.U. Since than Turkey has been a candidate member and has many agreements with the EU, going back to 1963 Ankara Association Agreement).
This invitation obviously did not go the way the Armenian Diaspora wanted and they opened a court case against:
The European Parliament
The European Union Association Council
The European Commission
at the European Court of Justice, with reference to the European Parliament's resolution no. C-190, demanding that Turkey acknowledges so called Armenian Genocide before being offered membership status, otherwise EU's contractual status would be impaired and therefore insisting on â€œResponsibility from the European Union outside of its commitments and without any judicial justification.
We would like to remind you that this court case was rejected by the First Division of the European Court of Justice on December 17, 2003 under decision number T-346/03, confirming that there is no legally accepted justification for so called Armenian genocide.
Still unsatisfied the Armenian Diaspora applied to the Court of Appeals for the repeal of the referred decision. This application was heard by the Fourth Division of the European Court of Justice at the session dated 17.04.2004. It was rejected again under the clause No. C-18/04 and the Armenians were charged to pay the court expenses of 30,000 Euros.
Dear Baroness Flather, we would like to ask you to reconsider your question to the House of Lords in the light of the evidence presented above and before taking a stance against the decisions of the European Court of Justice which is an authorised Court set up to deal with these kind of cases and is officially recognized by the UK Parliament.
Turkish people have a right to request that you re-address the House of Lords regarding your question and put right the inaccuracies or injustices done to the Turkish Nation. We consider your action as biased and prejudiced, and also lacking in informed knowledge and the right facts of the matter.
Foreign Media Coordinator
Ataturk Society UK
Extracts from the European Court of Justice decision number T-346/03;
Secondly, as regards the requirement that the applicants must have suffered actual and certain damage, the applicants clearly confined themselves in their application to relying in general terms on non-material damage caused to the Armenian community, without giving the least indication as to the nature or extent of the damage which they consider they had suffered individually. Therefore the applicants have supplied no information that would enable the Court to find that the applicants in fact suffered actual and certain damage themselves (see, to that effect, Case T-99/98 Hameico Stuttgart and Others v Council and Commission  ECR II-2195, paragraphs 68 and 69).
As regards the alleged breach of fundamental rights (see paragraph 10 above), it is sufficient to note that the applicants merely claim that such a breach took place, without explaining how that follows from the conduct of the defendant institutions complained of in this case.
For further information please see: