11 September 2012

3368) Interview With François Georgeon: Revelation A Shameless Manipulation From Hachette

  1. Interview With François Georgeon: Revelation A Shameless Manipulation From Hachette
  2. The overlap of two realities: the martyrdom of muhacir and massacres of Armenians in Anatolia
  3. "Armenian genocide" thesis about the contradictory presence
  4. Interview with Fuat Dündar, History, No. 341, April 2009
  5. Interview with Fuat Dundar: Comments By Sukru Server Aya, 14 September 2012

These days, following private discussions about the two pages dealing with the Armenian "genocide" in the new textbooks (especially those of Hachette), this document has been sent. We discovered, read (with the greatest attention) and archived: it is indeed overwhelming for some "teachers" clearly unethical. Then, not knowing what to do in the immediate future, we said that we may publish it here. For fear of losing ourselves in developments unclear, we only bolded the passages that seem most important and serious contradiction with the contents of the screenshot below.

Collections of History, No. 45, October 2009, p. 52-61:

Chronicle of a collapse

The Treaty of Sèvres in 1920, after the First World War, leaving the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia State rump Northwest ... How did we get here?
. . .
Interview with François Georgeon

François Georgeon is Emeritus Research Director at the CNRS. Specialist in the history of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, he has published Abdülhamid II, Sultan Caliph (Fayard, 2003), a collection of articles: Under the sign of reform: state and society of the Ottoman Empire Kemalist Turkey, 1789-1939 (Istanbul, Isis, 2009). This interview is unpublished.

History: What does the term "decline of the Ottoman Empire"?

François Georgeon: At the end of the seventeenth century, there has been a series of setbacks territorial. Should we all talk about a "decline" or "decadence" as history textbooks continue to do so? And decline what? Absolute decline compared to the golden age of the empire? The Ottomans in the seventeenth century, felt that their situation was worse than the previous century, during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, and they needed to go back to previous political practices. Decline relative to European powers? The delay of the Ottomans was first manifested in technology. Then the institutions appeared inadequate: this is the challenge of reforms called the "Tanzimat" in the nineteenth century.

Following these reforms, the central government is increasing but the phenomenon is masked by the territorial decline. In reality, the state disappears at the end of the First World War is a state relatively effective, with a significant military force, with a capacity to mobilize the population and actual administrative efficiency. Imagine a declining empire ever since the seventeenth century is not likely. He has adapted the vicinity of a rapidly changing Europe, that of the rise of capitalism, the industrial revolution, and finally that of imperialism.

The H. : The term "sick man of Europe," where is she?

FG: The phrase was used by the Russian Tsar, Nicolas I in 1853, during a conversation with the British Ambassador on the eve of the Crimean War (1854-1855). To heal this man sick, the czar would just ... dismember. The idea of sharing goes back at least to the eighteenth century. She has never gone then. Trandafir G. Djuvara even wrote in 1914 a book entitled One Hundred sharing projects in Turkey. I do not know if there has been a hundred, but this title shows how diplomats have studied this problem ... with scissors.

The term "sick man" was then popularized. Many caricatures show great powers "doctors" the nursing "sick" with poisoned potions. It has also hurt the Ottomans in their pride and arrogance. The Sultan Abdülhamid II, in the late nineteenth century, rebelled against this approach and argues that the Ottomans will show Europeans that they are, in fact, the strong men of Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Empire is a great power.

The H. : What explains the recoil geopolitics, which seems to continue so inevitable?

FG: Two main factors explain these declines territorial: the great power politics - later called imperialism - and nationalism. The empire is a victim of appetite Russia in the Caucasus, north of the Black Sea and Crimea (the Russian push to the South Seas began in the eighteenth century) of Austria-Hungary in the Balkans; the French in Algeria and Tunisia, the British in Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean, the Italians in Tripoli.

The movement of contemporary nationalism is the onslaught of great powers and is also supported by them. After a first crisis in 1804, Serbia pulls its autonomy in 1829 and Greece, aided by the movement Philhellene and naval support of the great powers, gained independence in 1830.

What is the determining factor? It's hard to say. Certainly, the major powers are assigned to provinces margins of the empire, but, lest the breakup occurs for one of them, they are neutralized and, somehow, they helped preserve highlighting the theme of "the integrity of the Ottoman Empire." The rivalry between England established in India and Russia in the Caucasus has played in his favor. The British wanted to retain a state which controlled the straits between the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and the route to India. As for Russia, because they can not capture these strategic positions, she preferred a rotting empire rather than the dominance of one or the other of the states of Western Europe. When the Treaty of Paris in 1856, the Ottomans enter the "European concert". Three years after the word of Nicolas I, the Empire is part of Europe on the diplomatic front.

The H. : Where then lies the heart of the empire, Constantinople or Anatolia?

FG: In fact, almost to the end, the heart of the empire is in the Balkans. The Turks have gained a foothold in the middle of the fourteenth century. It was the richest region and the most modern, whence came the Janissaries and taxes. At the end of the nineteenth century, Thessaloniki is a more modern city Constantinople.

The H. : What is the political picture of the early twentieth century?

FG: In 1876 a crisis erupts, both financial and political, which is a turning point. Already overburdened, the empire must face bankruptcy. That same year, three successive sultans and the Russians intervened in favor of the Slavs and Orthodox revolted in the Balkans. Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 left a deep impression in the minds of the Ottomans armies of Tsar reached near Istanbul, was heard in the city Russian cannon thunder.'s English Istanbul save in extremis by sending ships through the Bosporus - the price will be Cyprus. In 1878, after the Treaty of Berlin, Turkey no longer in Europe that Macedonia, Albania and Thrace.

It is also in 1878 that Sultan Abdülhamid impose authoritarian regime turning. If not undermine modernization, it is a complete break with the Tanzimat as opening to the West. It continues to strengthen the state, but by reference to Islam and based on the middle classes. Sultan emphasizes the role of caliph for welding Muslim populations of the empire. Because of the disturbing events occurring after 1878: the non-Turkish Muslims, Albanians, Kurds and Arabs are agitated, wondering if the empire is strong enough to defend them. Until then, the empire was a victim of nationalism Christians. There are Muslim separatist movements represents a new danger.

The H. : In this multi-ethnic empire, what is the situation of the different communities in the late nineteenth century?

FG: It has to nineteenth century censuses and tax estimates or military travelers or diplomats. The first modern population census date of 1880-1890, it is followed by another in 1905-1906. Before 1878, non-Muslims accounted for about one third of the population can be estimated that in 1900 the empire was three-quarters Muslim. The situation varies greatly locally. In some cities, in 1900, non-Muslims are the majority. In Salonika, almost half of the population is Jewish, the rest being shared between Greeks, Bulgarians, Turks and Jews converted to Islam. Izmir is very Greek. Half of the population of Istanbul is not Muslim. We see that the term "community" is more appropriate than "minorities".

In the Ottoman Empire, particularly in the Balkans and parts of the Middle East, a map of nationalities is almost impossible to draw as they are nested in cities, villages and even neighborhoods. In his autobiography, maverick (Ramsay, 2005), Eric Hobsbawm, who had lived in Vienna after the war, said the old Austro-Hungarian capital remained a very cosmopolitan city, combining Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Jews ... But, says he, there was a common culture and language, German, allowing access to the universal. This is not the case in the Ottoman Empire. Each community is itself divided. Among the Armenians there Protestants, Catholics, Gregorians, among Muslims, Shiites, Sunnis, Alevis ...

Regarding the situation of communities on the legal level, the Tanzimat proclaimed equality before the law, but the reality is different, especially on the issue of military service. Until 1909, the army is entirely Muslim, with the exception of a few Jewish doctors as leaders doubt the fighting spirit of non-Muslims. Communities pay a poll tax, transformed into a tax exemption military. Their place in the administration is reduced, even if we know until the end of the empire of Armenian ministers. And then, in contradiction with the principle of equality, communities enjoy real autonomy, manage their schools, courts, taxes. The Ottoman state never dared to remove what had become a series of privileges to non-Muslims.

Communities also benefit from the protection of the Great Powers, which puts them in an ambiguous situation. This is France for Catholics and Maronites and Orthodox Russians, the Anglo-Saxon missionaries for Protestants. Jews get the support of the Alliance Israelite Universelle founded in France, which multiplies the schools in the Middle East.

The H. : Is this a golden age for these communities?

FG: Demographically, yes, as have shown Courbage Youssef and Philippe Fargues. What worries leaders: the growth of the Muslim population is lower. Economic modernization of the empire is mainly the Greeks, Armenians and Jews, among whom are recruited shopkeepers and entrepreneurs more active. They develop relationships with Europe. In Salonika, most commercial and industrial activities in the hands of large Jewish families as Allatini.

Muslims have a lower economic and social position. All this creates frustration. Proclamation of Tanzimat second major text, the "Imperial Rescript" of 1856, establishing the equality of all (especially for jobs in the public sector), has been described by one of the great men policies of the time, Ahmed Pasha Djevdet, which is also Ulema "day of mourning" for Muslims!

The H. : After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, there were large movements of Muslim populations to Anatolia. How is cohabitation with these newcomers?

FG: The issue of migration is essential for understanding the history of the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century. Successive losses of territory cause flows to what remained of the empire and Europe to Anatolia. Some inhabitants of the empire experienced a double or triple emigration.

Historians are unsure of the numbers, but we're talking about several million Muslim immigrants in the Empire in 1914. These people, called muhadjir "immigrants" are a fundamental feature of Anatolia. Ottoman Empire welcomed them, considering they represented wealth and that it was the duty of the caliph protected as they were Muslims.

The H. : For the empire, it was religion that had?

FG: Yes. These large movements of population have contributed to the Islamization of the whole. The empire was relatively underpopulated, there were long land available for new arrivals. Some immigrants were settled in the region of Bursa and Eskisehir to. Gradually, it became more difficult. We also tried to install the Caucasians in the East, but the Russians have pushed for not being in direct contact with them on their borders.

Some Caucasians like Circassians, were problematic because of their tribal organization. Many disorders and violence (neighborhood conflicts, kidnapping, rape, etc.). Anatolia due to their presence. They came into conflict with the Armenians who had difficult relations with the Kurds. All this complicated living together of the Ottoman Empire and accentuated its multi-nationality and multi-culturalism.

Part of the violence that we are witnessing the end of the empire are related to this fear, experience dramatic muhadjir. As clearly demonstrated Erik Jan Zürcher , most of the Young Turks themselves were from Turkey to Europe and had seen their little homeland disappear. They wanted to stop these successive declines in creating a state in Anatolia solid. They no longer wanted to be muhadjir.

The H. Who are these Young Turks? They could save the empire?

FG: The Young Turks, causing the 1908 revolution, believe in the empire. They are patriots and progressive secularists. The phrase "We will be the Japan of the Middle East" suggests their ideal to modernize without losing its soul and identity. They want to reduce the role of Islam and reform institutions. Their ambitious program is marked by positivism learned during their exile, notably in Paris. They have faith in science, in technology. And they want to save the empire by a constitution - finally achieve equality between communities, the panacea that will solve the problem of non-Muslims and prevent the intervention of the Europeans protect. It is with these dreams and illusions that the Young Turks arrived in the corridors of power in 1908. The empire is found with a constitution, a parliament, elections, and for at least some time, a lot of freedom of expression and association.

But the Young Turks will suffer terrible setbacks. In October 1908, three events occur simultaneously. First, Bulgaria, yet theoretically vassal declares its independence. The next day, Austria-Hungary annexed the occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina since the Congress of Berlin. Then its application Crete with Greece. Though these areas were only nominally in the Ottoman Empire on a map as they were still parts of the territory and the caliphate exercised their spiritual power over Muslim populations. Suddenly , the Young Turks were forced to surrender to the obvious: the constitution does not protect the empire. The great powers are not more favorable to a constitutional empire and modern than an old autocratic empire. In addition, freedom, actual, acquired in 1908, has benefited the communities that have created their newspapers and associations. Settled on a misunderstanding that means equality. For the Young Turks, it is first citizen of the empire and then only Armenian, Greek, Kurdish. For communities, it is the opposite.

The Young Turks also face resistance among Muslims, who accuse them of measures secularists too. A cons-revolution in April 1909 was suppressed by the army in Macedonia. For the first time, the army appears in the foreground. Rebels and soldiers clash in the streets of Constantinople. This is the end of the Young Turk revolution. Regime hardens, internal dissent are emerging financial difficulties appear. Not forgetting, of course, in 1909, the pogrom of Armenians in Adana which thousands died. In 1911, Italy invaded Tripolitania.

The H. : Then came the Balkan wars in 1912-1913. At the same time they mark the end of Turkey in Europe they are at a turning point in the Young Turk ideology?

FG: The defeat and territorial losses in Europe are painfully felt by public opinion more attentive and responsive thanks to the development of newspapers and associations, by an intellectual elite larger. Turks were beaten by nations that they once dominated, which is more humiliating than to be defeated by the great powers, the British or the Russians.

The army becomes the solution to the problems of empire: from it come the successes (the retaking of the city of Adrianople), when it is modern and well directed as it was by Enver Pasha. turns public opinion diplomacy. Time for militarism, newspapers are entitled The Bayonet, Canon.

At that time, the Ottoman elites cease to believe in the sustainability of the empire. Turks know they can not recover the lost provinces, including recent losses in the Balkans. Press about "revenge" of "revenge", but because they can not take a foreign enemy, anger channeled through the Young Turk leaders turned against the "enemy within", that is to say, the Christian communities of the empire accused of being a fifth column, and, primarily, the Armenians. The crushing defeat of the Russians face Sarikamich in January 1915, followed closely by the first steps of deportation of Armenians.

The H. : The special role of the army in Turkey today is rooted in the context of the early twentieth century?

FG: Many Young Turks were military, as Enver Pasha and Djemal Pasha. The army was the first institution to benefit from modernization in the eighteenth century, because war is the place of confrontation with the West. Huge financial effort, because of the vastness of the borders of the empire, are devoted to him: up half the budget in the nineteenth century. The German Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz, head of the Ottoman military schools established in the late nineteenth century, has a considerable influence on the generation of Young Turks. He popularized the notion of "nation in arms" and the idea that the war of the future will be a total war against frontally peoples and cultures.

It also explains the late 1890s that the Turks in the Balkans exhausted and need to refocus on Anatolia and the Arab provinces, changing capital. Following the loss of the Balkans, Istanbul has become very difficult to defend.

The theme of Anatolia as a sort of mythical country, carrying the original purity began to emerge. This idea first becomes quite romantic politics after 1913. Preferred scenario is one in which the empire continues in Anatolia and the Arab provinces, a kind of Austro-Hungarian Turkish Arabic. But this idea collapsed in 1916 with the Arab Revolt. Then the only remaining Anatolia.

The H. Why Turkey between she war in 1914?

FG: This issue has been the subject of much debate. Why a ruined country, battered post-conflict disastrous he decides to go to war? And why side of the Central Powers? Regarding this last point, the Allies bear some responsibility because they have consistently turned back to the openings of the Ottoman government in 1914. Otherwise, we talked a lot about the influence of Enver Pasha, Minister of War, a pupil of von der Goltz, who was military attaché in Berlin - the grand vizier and others were themselves hostile to Germany. A secret treaty of military alliance was signed with Germany on 2 August 1914. The Germans maneuvered to draw the Ottomans in the war sooner than they did not wish, in November.

But what counts is nationalism. The opinion, white-hot, growing interventionism. Entered the war then appears the way to serve the interests of the empire. Remember that everyone believes that the war will be short and lead to a negotiated peace. Turks think Germany will win, but especially hope they "liberate" and the guardianship of the Great Britain and France. Because of capitulations, in fact, the Ottomans are not masters of their tariffs and large foreign companies have privileges.

Another key element to understand the entry in war of empire: the Russian threat. Following his disappointment Far East, the traditional enemy of the Ottomans was taken by his dreams of expansion to the South Seas and its willingness to exercise control over the Straits - at that time, most of Ukrainian wheat passes through them. In addition, in February 1914, the Russians have revived the issue of Armenian reforms in eastern Anatolia, to the chagrin of the Young Turk leaders. They hope the destruction of the Russian power interposed by Germans and the relief that would follow on the borders north side of the Caucasus. The first major offensive launched is also against the Russians in Eastern Anatolia during the winter of 1915.

At the same time, a coup de main against the Suez Canal fails. After forcing the Allies to re-embark the Dardanelles, Ottoman troops stop the British advance in Mesopotamia. However, the Russian offensive resumed in 1916, while the fronts crack Palestine and Iraq in 1917 at the hands of the British and the Arabs revolted under the sherif of Mecca. Certainly the Bolshevik revolution relieves the eastern front and allows Ottomans pushing until Azerbaijan, the "pan-Turkic dreams" Will it happen? But the front of the Central Powers collapsed in the summer of 1918, Bulgaria was defeated. The Ottomans signed the armistice of Mudros October 30, 1918. A few days later, the main leaders Young Turks fled Germany.

The H. : The Armenian genocide is taking place from 1915. What do we know today?

FG: The power of attitude towards Armenians is part of a broader framework of the growing distrust towards all non-Muslim communities. They are more vulnerable because they are so cut off from the great powers traditionally protected. Consuls and diplomats English and French have disappeared from the scene Anatolia. Network remains the German and U.S. one until 1917, and the few missionaries who deliver valuable evidence. War gives Young Turks opportunity to implement their plan to reduce the influence of communities.

For policy towards Armenians, historians, as Fuat Dündar , use the term "demographic engineering". It was for his master craftsman, Talat Pasha, to make a space Anatolia ethnically homogeneous, and thus expel the Armenians they were to be deported to the deserts of Mesopotamia. But deport the entire population to an inhospitable region was already organizing his disappearance. What should be added to the inhuman conditions of the transfer, local violence and massacres. Overall, it is probably between 600,000 and 800,000 Armenians who fell victims of this mass murder, qualified at the time of slaughter collective and thereafter, genocide, like the Holocaust (see p. 58).

It also existed in the Young Turk leaders fear collusion between Armenians and Russians, fueled by the defection of some Armenians moved from the Russian side after the defeat of Sarikamich in January 1915 and the Van revolt. The Young Turks want to neutralize this population and away from the theater of war. It is clear the way for more reliable components, the more secure loyalty. Violence but not limited to the east. April 24, 1915, which marks the beginning of what the Armenians call the "Great Catastrophe", hundreds of Armenian leaders and figures were arrested in Istanbul.

Other communities have been affected by these movements and these massacres. The Greeks in the Aegean region, the Chaldeans in eastern Anatolia. The Kurds have been the subject of travel because their loyalty was also questioned: they were away from the border they had long been considered the guardians against the Russians.

The H. : What is the outcome of the war for Turkey?

FG: Military losses are huge: 325,000 dead, 350,000 wounded, 250,000 prisoners. The social fabric is torn as a result of displacement, deportation and massacres. The conditions of the armistice were harsh: military occupation of the Straits, control communications (railways, telegraph), demobilization and disarmament of the Ottoman troops.

In the weeks after the armistice, the British troops occupied Mosul.'s Muslim population is exhausted by years of war and demoralized. Intercommunity conflicts multiply. In May 1919, the Greeks landed at Smyrna. In March 1920, the Allies occupied Istanbul. The Treaty of Sèvres in August 1920 left the Ottoman Empire a puppet state in Anatolia Northwest with Istanbul as its capital. The Straits are internationalized. Armenian republic was created in eastern Anatolia, while autonomy is granted to Kurds. Arab provinces are divided between France and Britain as mandates. Meanwhile, resistance was organized in Anatolia ...

(Interview by Huguette Meunier).

On pages 58-59, we find this text in addition:

Armenian tragedy

From January 1915, full military disaster, the Armenians were victims of deportations which soon turned to mass murder.

At the end of the Ottoman Empire, the Armenians are repeatedly victims of pogroms, the worst being that of Adana in April 1909. In 1914 the major powers, including Russia, have over the Sultan of pressure to sign the "reform of Armenia" document providing administrative arrangements favorable to the Armenians of eastern Anatolia. This reform must be carried out by two inspectors general, one Norwegian, one Dutch, appointed in July 1914.

For the Young Turks of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), in power since 1908, which have not hitherto expressed open hostility against Armenians, the first step toward independence of these regions appears immediately dangerous. switch But what makes the situation is the outbreak of the First World War, in which the empire between 1 November 1914 alongside Germany. Indeed, in January 1915, the military situation turns into a disaster. Enver Pasha, head of government fears an "attack back" in eastern Anatolia and it was then that Armenians become "internal enemies" .

In an interview published in History in April 2009 (the "Armenian Genocide: Scenario", No. 341, p. 8-21), the Turkish historian Fuat Dündar distinguished three stages marking the offensive. 1) The first police hunt Armenian activists under the pretext of pursuing deserters after the defeat against the Russians in January 1915 Sarikamich. 2) The second, taken by Djemal Pasha, commander defeated at Suez, targets the Armenians and Dörtyol Zeytoun: he decided - this is a first - their deportation in February 1915, causing the uprising Van 20 following April. The government then ordered the partial evacuation and full of Armenians in the provinces of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis to the desert of Deir ez-Zor, Syria, and Mosul. Desertion effective Armenians in Russia and the constitution Armenian militia, with the Russians ravaged Muslim villages and killing their inhabitants, accelerate the brutalisation of political CUP. 3) The third stage is reached when the army folds: all units, plus the Special Organization created by the secret CUP perpetrate massacres in late May to August 1915.

The horror is not over. Survivors are forced deportation marches to the Syrian desert deadly in enclosed camps in Where they die of hunger and disease. Raymond Kevorkian in The Armenian Genocide (Odile Jacob, 2006) gave a detailed description of the company and chilling genocidal intent Where is clear. Recently (2009) was published the specifications of Talat Pasha, Minister of the Interior, document gathering secret texts, maps and statistics of 1914 (consolidated in 1916 for operational purposes). All figures for Armenians therein. The "telegrams" Talat Pasha (the fund DH.SFR) set for each province maximum thresholds for the Armenian population: in the regions affected by the reform (Diyarbakir, Sivas, Trabzon, Van, Bitlis, Erzurum, Mamuretulaziz) no Armenian should be left for Aleppo expected 2%, 5% for the rest of Anatolia and 10% in the desert of Deir ez-Zor, Damascus and Mosul.

The crucial point concerns the interpretation of the deportation order of 27 May 1915. For some historians, including Fuat Dündar, "intentionality" is in this document, because the authorities had deported necessarily aware that in the desert equivalent to a death sentence.

As for the quantitative assessment, the current state of knowledge, we can not establish conclusively. Fuat Dündar from estimates of survivors of a share of the population before the massacres of the other - 1.5 million according to the specifications of Talat Pasha, from 1.9 to 2.1 according to the census of the Armenian Patriarchate - , estimates that 850,000 Armenians who survived either in Anatolia or emigrated, bringing the death toll to at least 650,000. Erik Jan Zürcher for, the figure would be 600 000 to 800 000 deaths. Estimates differ widely depending on the source, but the proportion of missing remains roughly the same: about half. Men of goodwill from all sides and try to watch the horror in the face. A historian help, away controversial and hateful caricature.


Google Translated Content in French : Armenologie


The overlap of two realities: the martyrdom of muhacir and massacres of Armenians in Anatolia
Erik Jan Zürcher, Turkey: A Modern History, London and New York, IB Tauris, 2004:

"The events of 1877-78 were a disaster for the Empire. Territorial loss, even after the Berlin Conference, was enormous, including as was the case of Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Thessaly, parts of Anatolia and Cyprus, overall about one-third of the territory of the Empire and more than 20% of its population.

The disaster was not limited to military, political or financial, it was also a tragedy in human terms. The immigration of Muslims in the Empire had been a characteristic of Ottoman life since the late eighteenth century. The Russian Empire was expanding along the shores of the Black Sea since. After the Russian conquest of the Crimea (1771) and again after the Crimean War (1854-56), Muslim Tatars emigrated from the north shore of the Black Sea in large numbers. The total was probably in the region of half a million people. Further east, the Russians finally took control of the mountainous region of the Caucasus in 1864, after a long struggle with guerrilla bands Cerkez (Circassians). Again, many Muslims, including some entire tribes, preferred to migrate to the Ottoman lands to live as Christian leaders. Often they were terrorized by fleeing the advancing Russian army or irregular Cossack and Georgian. A total of approximately 1, 2 million Muslims were forced to emigrate, or fled, from the Caucasus.

Regions lost Empire in Central Europe, until now, had not generally significant Muslim populations. In 1877-78, for the first time, areas where a considerable part of the population was Muslim and Turkish fell under foreign occupation, foreign occupation, which also turned a blind eye, or even helped the mass killings of villagers Muslims. The result was that about one million people fled. Many returned home after the war, but about 500,000 of them remained refugees (muhacirs). No fewer than 260,000 people were killed or died of disease and starvation. Many survivors ended in Istanbul, but many others were resettled in Anatolia in the Ottoman Balkans, Crete and even Syria, often with great difficulty, contributing to the anti-Christian sentiment became so strong at the end of the nineteenth century . "(p. 80-81)

"However, the magnitude of losses in the Ottoman Balkan War can not be understated. It was a disaster on human, economic and cultural. L'Empire lost almost all its European territories, more than 60,000 square miles in total, with nearly four million people. Again, as in 1878, Istanbul was flooded with Muslim refugees who had lost everything. There were serious outbreaks of typhus and cholera and a high mortality rate among the refugees. resettlement caused huge problems and spent many years in the slums. meaning but went even further: the lost areas (Macedonia, Albania, Thrace) were the key areas of the Empire for over 500 years. They were the wealthiest provinces and the most developed and a disproportionate share of the Ottoman ruling elite was from there. Thessaloniki, after all, was the birthplace of the CUP. A side effect of the loss was that now, for the first time in Ottoman history, ethnic Turks became a majority of the population. " (P. 108-109)

"Clearing the way to Central Asia may have been a reason for some [in the massacres of Armenians], but Turkism movement remained fairly marginal, at least until 1917. Ottoman Muslim nationalism became, however, very stronger after 1912. The fact that at least one quarter of the Muslim population of Anatolia was composed of muhacirs, refugees (or children of refugees) areas of the Balkans, the Black Sea region and the Caucasus as Christian states had conquered the bitterness added to ethnic tensions. these people remembered how they or their parents had been forced to leave their ancestral homes, often more than once, and were determined not to let that happen again.

The killings were not motivated by any racial theory false (which is a major difference with the Nazi persecution of Jews during the Second World War). "(P. 117)

"Armenian genocide" thesis about the contradictory presence

Courbage Youssef and Philippe Fargues, Christians and Jews in the Arab and Turkish Islam, Paris, Zone Books, 1996, p. 222-227:

"Passed under the tutelage of the Russian Orthodox, Eastern Armenia (Erivan and Karabakh) was known as early as 1830, a national revival, religious and cultural, and economic expansion. Eastern Armenia became independent and Greece formed two poles assets nationalism. Armenians and Ottoman Greeks were thus torn between loyalty to the empire and new aspirations for independence. recent escalated around the First World War, which saw off ottomaniste doctrine. More than three million Christians were Ottoman pay with their lives, or exile, the clash of nationalisms and the birth of modern Turkey.

The Armenians in Turkey, the number provided by the first census of the Republic, 77,000 in 1927, is our only support. What people were they the survivors? De 1.2 million people, as evidenced by the last Ottoman counts (1914), or from 2.4 million in 1882, as claimed by the Armenian Patriarchate? Formerly Milleti Sadika, "loyal nation", "all nations subject to the Porte, which has more common interests with the Turks and the most directly interested in maintaining them," the Armenian community was brutally deported to Turkey 1915-1916 the periphery Arabic. In Exodus, it undergoes extensive massacres which continue after three quarters of a century, feeding the controversy between Armenians and Turks. Remained if the Armenians in Anatolia after the deportation and killings, the vagaries of Russian political , American and French at the turn of the war were quick to rush disappearance.

To know what was the scope of the massacre, we must know the number of Armenians in Turkey before the present war, and the exiles from Turkey after. The estimates support the contention that Armenians and Turks are contradictory. Armenians cast doubt Ottoman counts: the penalty to badal, they say, encouraged Christians to hide from state officials. Echoing those of patriarchy, their estimates usually vary between 1.8 and 2.1 million Armenians on the eve of the war. Toynbee, who was not Armenian, offers a workforce of between 1.6 and 2, 0,000,000. Regarding the Turks, they endorse today as yesterday and the enumeration of 1914 put the figure at 1.3 million. Is it possible to decide this battle of numbers? Difficult to judge whether the statements of the American Committee for Relief to the Armenians and Syrians, who reported in 1915: "The Turkish government estimates are generally considered too low and those of the Armenian Patriarchate as sometimes too high, with a trend in the first case and to reduce the latter to exaggerate the number and importance of the Armenian population. "

Reopening the file in the 80s, an American scholar [Justin McCarthy] has spent the screened data Ottoman Contemporary demographic methods. Reassess It Armenian population of 1.6 million and concluded that there was no deliberate manipulation but rather an underestimation given normal counting techniques of the time. Subtracting identified Armenians in Turkey after the war, and leads to depopulation of about a million and a half people, including the massacre itself and migrants, deported or voluntary, and converted.

The relative importance of the massacres and deportations been the most controversy. Immediately after the events, the British historian Toynbee and Pastor Lepsius comptabilisèrent German refugees in Syria, Russia and Persia, which had been counted upon arrival by charitable organizations, as well as those who remained in Turkey, because they had the opportunity to reside in a large city, Istanbul or Izmir, where "it was difficult to remove them before so many witnesses" [statement of Chaliand and Yves Ternon] or because they escaped death at the cost of conversion to Islam. Toynbee leads to 660,000 people were massacred and Lepsius 1 million.

The Turkish thesis recently presented recognizes the phenomenon of deportation, euphemistically called "relocation." She admits its size, 703,000 persons of both sexes and all ages Ottoman official sources, nearly 70% of deported Armenians from . This deportation was an act of war inevitable because of the intelligence of the Armenians with the Russian enemy. This thesis also recognizes more than 300,000 Armenians died, but denies that they have perished under the Turkish sword. Far from a massacre orchestrated from above, the war dead would be collateral damage victims of epidemics or weakening during the exodus, or fallen in battle which pitted rival armies and militias. The responsibility of the Turkish regular army would not be so concerned that uncontrolled bands, Kurds or highwaymen.

Western scholars are now in a same scale suffering of the Turks and the Armenians: "Mention the suffering of a group and avoid those of the other gives a false picture of what was a human disaster, not only ethnicity. "[Justin McCarthy] One of them has taken the calculations to reach 584,000 victims [always McCarthy] (Table VI.8). Its estimate should be slightly revised upwards. Indeed, in his reconstruction of the Armenian population living in Turkey on the eve of the war, he failed the Armenians of Istanbul and Turkey to Europe. They should be back, leading to 688 000 deaths, a figure likely. Moreover, it is the magnitude that Toynbee had advanced hot.

The last vestiges of the Armenian population continued to languish after the deportations and massacres. Those who left were not allowed to return [of measures similar to those of the first Austrian Republic from the Austro-Hungarian citizenship obsolete as regards the nationality laws]. In 1965, the last census mentioning religion counted 64,000 Armenians, 32,000 of which arménophones only. Disappeared from the Great and Lesser Armenia, their community now living in the former Ottoman capital, Istanbul [note the recent immigration of tens of thousands of ex-Soviet Armenians]. "

Interview with Fuat Dündar
History, No. 341, April 2009, p. 8-21:
Armenian Genocide: Scenario

Turkish historian working today in the United States, Fuat Dündar helps us to understand how it was decided and executed the deportation of the Armenians in 1915. Leading to the massacre.

After supporting a thesis in 2006 at the EHESS, "Engineering ethnic Committee of Union and Progress and turkicization of Anatolia (1913-1918)," Fuat Dündar teaches at the University of Michigan. He has published in Turkish "policy installation of Muslims led by the Committee of Union and Progress" (Istanbul, Iletisim Yayinlari, 2000) and "The Figure of modern Turkey. Ethnic engineering of the Committee of Union and Progress "(Iletisim Yayinlari, 2008). It will release in the U.S. a book entitled Crime figures. The Role of Statistics in the Armenian Question, 1878-1918.

History: To understand the tragedy that was developed in 1915, it is necessary to understand the situation of the Ottoman Empire, the "sick man of Europe", on the eve of the First World War.

Fuat Dündar: The Ottoman Empire is in full flow. The Balkan war of October-December 1912 waged against Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro led to the almost total loss of the European territories of the empire. It is interesting to note that the Young Turks back to power in January 1913 have never tried to recover these territories (except Adrianople, now Edirne). The Young Turks are so realistic in deciding to withdraw in Anatolia.

The H. Who are these Young Turks who came to power in 1913? What ideology the guide?

FD: The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP is the official name of the movement led by the Young Turks), was in fact came to power for the first time in July 1908 but lost in the summer of 1912. He returned to power in a coup in January 1913, then. It is composed mostly of Turks in Macedonia and the Balkans, that is to say people who have been affected personally and in their families, by the Balkan territories lost after the War of 1912.

The coup bringing the Young Turks to power in 1913 was something of a coup for refugees in the Balkans. They were first done everything not to lose their homeland, try to change up through the transfer of populations ethno-religious composition of land in Macedonia (deporting Christians in Anatolia and installing the Muslims). But it is a failure. They then turn to Anatolia, with the desire to strengthen his character and Muslim Turkish population by changing the regions mostly non-Turkish and non-Muslim.

The Young Turks, like many movements of the late nineteenth century, believe in science as a religion. They appropriate a social Darwinism teaches that to survive he must be strong, but also have a scientific approach to reality. For them it becomes a vital necessity.

The H. : Their program is to build a strong and modern Turkish nation?

FD: Yes. Turciser for Anatolia, they will use all means of modern ethnography. Maps, statistics and surveys. If we are to believe the reports of the French consulate in Istanbul, it was in the aftermath of the coup d'etat of 1913 that the Young Turks were sent scientists, sociologists in particular, for ethnographic missions in Anatolia.
What you need to understand is that the population policy of the Young Turks is a global project that affects a dozen different populations. Immediately after the coup of 1913, they first attacked the Bulgaria, of course many of the territory that is now Bulgaria in Turkey but also in Europe and eastern territories of modern Greece. To ensure the safety of the capital Istanbul, Adrianople was taken to the Bulgarian army in During the Second Balkan War in July 1913. Bulgarians, who were the majority in Thrace are then expelled. In fact the European border of Turkey today is drawn that time.

The second target was the Rum (Greek Orthodox empire, the Greeks distinguished the kingdom of Greece) outside Istanbul, they were especially numerous in the Aegean region, Cappadocia and in the region of Pontus, south east of the Black Sea. Became the border town after the occupation of the Aegean islands of Greece, Smyrna and its surroundings are subject to terror. Muslim attacks strips (consisting mostly of Macedonian refugees and Crete), who sow panic and economic boycott, which starves the people, were the two main instruments used to force Roums to emigrate. But the Young Turks continue to argue that it is a movement "voluntary". Indeed, the Young Turks do not want this to become a deportation casus belli for the kingdom of Greece.

With the decision to enter the war on the side of Germany, this policy change. The Rum who lived throughout 2000 kilometers of coastline were deported to the interior of Anatolia, predominantly Muslim region. Conversely, thousands of Balkan Muslims are encouraged by the Young Turks to emigrate to be installed in non-Muslim villages (called the muhadjir). approach to solve this problem by manipulating the ethnic composition of the population will find its conclusion with the decision of general deportation of the Armenians.

The H. : What place do they occupy the Armenians in the empire on the eve of the First World War?

FD: It is estimated that the population on the eve of the First World War to about 1.5 million. They are especially numerous in the vilayets (provinces) of Van, Bitlis, Erzurum, Sivas and Istanbul (see map, p. 10) . Until then, the Young Turks were not developed hostility towards them. In Salonika, the Young Turk nationalism was first directed, I said, against Rums and against the Bulgarians. The Young Turks admired the intellectual level of the Armenians, more likely to be educated in the Western missionary schools, and often had very close relations with the Armenian organizations: Alliance of Young Turk Committee of Union and Progress with ARF Dashnaktsutyun (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) lasted until 1914.

The H. : Everything changed with the First World War?

FD: Before the war, has been a very important event: the reform of the eastern part of Anatolia, known in the West as the "reform of Armenia", a document that was signed by the Sultan, under pressure from Western powers, in February 1914. Inspired by Russia, the plan called for the appointment of two inspectors general foreigners, with full powers, which were to administer and oversee a package of reforms for the Armenians of eastern Anatolia. This reform, which was considered by the UPC as a first step towards the independence of these regions, also meant the intrusion of the Russians to the heart of Anatolia, now regarded by the Young Turks as "Turkish home" . Its effect will be instrumental in the anti-Armenian policies conducted in 1915.

The H. Why the Ottoman Empire between he war on the side of Germany in 1914?

FD: The Young Turks admired Germany, its culture and its military power. The school German (Prussian) enjoyed great prestige among Ottoman officials. However, they waited until the end of October 1914 before embarking alongside the Germans. They feared indeed Bulgaria enemy power during the two Balkan wars and the country closer to the capital Istanbul. But at the end of 1914, they were convinced that the Germans will win the war and activism pushes them to act, and act quickly. They hope the war gains territory.

The H. : It is in this context of war that the Young Turks attack the Armenians?

FD: Among the Young Turks, a small group decided (I take their vocabulary) to "fix" the Armenian question and to "flush out" one by one all Armenians. That is why that was prepared a secret notebook of Talat Pasha, one of the Young Turk leaders, then Minister of the Interior. It is a set of texts, statistics and maps, together (most likely) in spring 1916, and whose statistical information dating from 1914, before the war. If these documents are valuable is that they have not been established for propaganda purposes or publication, but for operational purposes.

The H. : What is in the book of Talat Pasha?

FD: This book is an account of Armenians in the empire. It provides such an inventory in 1914 and another after the deportations.

This is where we get the figure of 1.5 million Armenians in the Empire in 1914 (the Young Turks had secretly establish statistics which resulted in a total of 1.2 million Armenians, but is not the number they have finally chosen, considering that all the Armenians were not made ​​identification).

In this book, everything is recorded: the number of orphaned Armenian Armenian women, Armenian property. The State of Talat Pasha is a great machine counting. It must be said that man is powerful: Minister of the Interior from 1913 and Grand Vizier, that is to say about Prime Minister, from 1917 to 1918, he was beyond his power political, technical means to observe, coordinate and control all the details of the deportation. What this book shows is that it is the Minister of the Interior who takes the lead and not, as is often argued, the Young Turk leader Enver Pasha.

The H. : This book, one does not know?

FD: Some excerpts from the book Talat Pasha had been unveiled in 2005 by the Turkish daily Hürriyet journalist Murat Bardakci. The latter, which claims to have obtained from the family of Talat Pasha, was published in full in December 2008.

In addition to this book, there are untapped sources, coded telegrams relating to power of the Young Turks who are in the Ottoman archives in Istanbul - called "Talat Pasha telegrams" - and I could view. There are three essential funds: DH.SFR (Ministry of the Interior. Bureau figure) which includes the coded telegrams; DH.EUM.2.Sube (Ministry of the Interior. 2nd section of the Branch security funds, opened in 2005) which includes responses coded telegrams to the provinces; EUM.KLU (Ministry of the Interior. Branch safety. general correspondence) where the ethnographic maps and statistics. These documents illuminate the process of administration. And the character that plays a central role here is still Talat Pasha.

The H. : These coded telegrams, you have not been the first to see them?

FD: No, of course. Coded telegrams These are at the heart of the controversy since the publication in 1920 of the work of journalist Aram Andonian, a collection of "official" documents by which it claimed that Talat Pasha ordered the extermination Armenians. I believe with many others that some of these documents are fake., But they had the merit of drawing attention of researchers DH.SFR funds from the Ministry of Interior. For the first time in 1995, two historians, Ara Sarafian and Hilmar Kaiser, tried to work. Soon, however, relations were strained between officials of the Ottoman archives and the two researchers who were eventually excluded from the archives. The event has increased the mistrust of the scientific world to these documents. It was at this time that I started working in the Ottoman archives.

The H. : What do we find in these coded telegrams?

FD: It is in these telegrams, for the first time, according to my research, Talat Pasha established for each province "thresholds" that the Armenian population must not exceed (and July 12, 1915, August 5, 27 October, etc..), but it always includes these telegrams through the decision has been taken before. In the regions covered by the "reform" of 1914 and threatened the independence project (those of Diyarbakir, Sivas, Trabzon, Van, Bitlis, Erzurum and Mamuretulaziz (see map below cons), plus a single Armenian should remain. Elsewhere, it was expected percentages of 2% for Aleppo, 5% for the other regions of Anatolia and 10% in the desert of Deir ez-Zor, Damascus and Mosul.

Specify, as I showed in my 2001 book, that at the same time the power has shifted Young Turks and other non-dispersed Turkish (Kurds, Albanians, Bosnians, Circassians, etc.). Always with the same objective: to limit the proportion varying a threshold Anatolia 5 to 10%. however, for these populations, the decision did not have the same deadly consequences for the Armenians.

Where are these percentages? I think the Young Turks believed that if a displaced population was limited to that proportion, it would be easily assimilated and absorbed by the local population.

The H. : How did we draft deportation massacre?

FD: The war has accelerated things. At the outbreak of war, the 1st-November 5, 1914, the situation is catastrophic for the Ottoman armies and going to deteriorate. The attack Sarikamich in the Caucasus in December 1914-January 1915, when nearly 100,000 Ottoman soldiers die, cold for the most part causes the failure of the offensive against Russia and opens the armies of Anatolia Tsar. With the defeat of Suez in January-February 1915 against the British, and especially the Battle of the Dardanelles, the Franco-British naval expedition in February 1915 to force the straits and occupy Istanbul, the situation is getting worse. Indeed, the Allied naval expedition then attempts landing from April 25, 1915 directly threatening the capital, under these conditions, as Enver Pasha said the American consul, "we can not afford to attack back "that is to say, in eastern Anatolia.

The H. : This is the moment that triggers the offensive against the Armenians?

FD: Three successive steps: a step after the defeat of police Sarikamich, a step deportation after the defeat of Suez, a step of massacres after the failure of the Ottoman incursion into Russia and especially after taking by Van Armenians supported by the Russians.

1) First Step police: in the Battle of Sarikamich in December 1914, the Ottoman army has identified some comitadji (nationalist agitators) Armenians from the Russian army over a small portion of the Armenians of Ottoman troops deserted. The result was the pitiless hunt activists Armenian organizations.

2) Second step, that of deportation: Djemal Pasha, commander defeated by the English at the Battle of Suez in February 1915, targets, he returned to his headquarters in Damascus, Armenians and Dörtyol Zeytoun. The first village was then the capital of a prefecture coast, considered a potential landing point for the Allies. About Zeytoun further north, in the region of Marash is a rallying point for young Armenians fleeing military service. After a few armed clashes with the Armenians, Djemal Pasha is the first deportation decision in February 1915, the families of the "rebels" of these two regions to the province of Konya.

News of the deportation panic Istanbul Armenians. Much more to the east, on April 20, the Armenians of Van begin to build barricades. On April 24, the Armenian notables were arrested in Istanbul while the idea emerges to deport Armenians to the deserts of Mesopotamia, between Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor. Throughout the history of mankind, this is the first time a population was deported to this inhospitable region.

A general panic seized the Armenians believe that the Young Turks began their systematic extermination. In this climate of terror, resistance turns into Van rebellion and the Ottoman army loses the center of the kaza (district) of the city. Istanbul then orders the evacuation, initially limited (9 May 1915) and total (23 May 1915) Armenian provinces of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis. However, these orders are not executed by the governors or are only partially executed. A large part of the Armenian population of the region fled to Russia. This desertion has accelerated the brutalisation of political CUP, where desertion was synonymous with danger, statistically and militarily. Every deserter could turn into Armenian Russian soldier - some of these deserters were already enrolled and attacked Muslim villages. In addition, the Armenian population could be reduced by the Russian army in regions that occupy it, which could pose a threat statistics in the future.

3) It is in this climate of failure of deportation and loss of Van the army fell inward. All units, regular and irregular, including tribal regiments (Kurdish) Cavalry (achiret suvari alaylari), whom James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee called in their 1916 report "battalions butchers Djevdet Bey" perpetrated mass killings. I'm not sure of the dates, but I can say that the massacres took place in late May to August 1915. That is to say, when Talat Pasha ordered by a coded telegram June 21, 1915 the evacuation of "all Armenians without exception" provinces that were included in the reform of 1914. That's when the deportation and massacre are crossed.

Much of deported Armenians who arrived in the desert regions have been held there, in a kind of concentration camps (Ermeni mintikalari) - of which there is unfortunately very little information.

The H. : What were the protagonists of these deportations and massacres?

FD: The first is the Special Organization (Teshkilat-Mahsusa, OS), a secret organization created by the paramilitary CUP probably in 1914, and is regarded by many scholars as the main actor of the mass killings. We can not measure its role before his archives, which are very likely in the military archives in Ankara are open. We know that this organization was founded during Operations Demographic anti-Rum, has been widely used on the Russian front, she took first mission is to spread terror in the Russian territories. Its ranks were swelled by the release of convicted criminals. When the offensive in the Russian Caucasus was completed, and especially after the fall of Van, May 19, 1915, the troops of the OS are folded inwards with the army, engaged in the transition to acts of mass violence.

The Ottoman Army also deported Armenians. By the law of 27 May 1915, it was indeed permitted without prior approval of the central government, to "transfer" and "to put an end immediately, with the utmost rigor, and using armed force to any aggression and resistance. "

The H. : There were people to resist or oppose this policy?

FD: When, June 21, 1915, the order of deportation "without exception all Armenians" was given and the installation in the desert region decided, Djemal Pasha, commander of the Fourth Army in Damascus and governor of the province Syria, the same one that triggered the deportation of the Armenians and Zeytoun Dörtyol in February 1915, proposed to install in Aleppo, where living conditions were not as bad. Following a lengthy discussion with Talat Pasha and Chükrü Bey (later responsible for the deportation of Kurds in the 30s), Djemal Pasha obtained permission to install a 2% (or 11,600 Armenians considering that, according to official figures, 580,000 Muslims living there) of the Armenian population in Aleppo. Djemal Pasha was well aware that giving the Armenians in the desert meant condemning them to certain death.

The other character that occurred is the vali (governor) of the province of Aydin, Rahmi Bey, who was opposed to the mass deportation of Armenians in the region.

The H. : Can we finally say that there is an order from the central government to exterminate the Armenians?

FD: This question is much more sensitive than the definition of genocide involves not only the "intent", but also an order, a written document. Personally, my goal is not to criticize the massacres. Or even to prove that the government (or not) the intent to exterminate the Armenians. I want to establish is the importance of the decision to deport the Armenians. If it was criminal, it is for three reasons: 1) the Armenians were deported en masse to the desert where there was nothing to survive, 2) in the context of the war, the deportation was accompanied attacks convoys organized by the Special Organization, by units of the army and police, but also spontaneous attacks by local populations that led to the death of thousands of people, and 3) all it was covered by a government that had been in the nineteenth century all kinds of displacements and could not ignore the consequences. Above all, the Young Turk leaders, immigrants from the Balkans, had personally measured the destructive consequences of deportation, led epidemics.

The question is not that of intentionality, but that of Talat Pasha's awareness of the lethality of deportation. Ten months before the deportation decision, Talat Pasha, to repel an application installation muhadjir beyond Aleppo (in the region of Deir ez-Zor), replied: "If we had sent and well dispersed muhadjir all died of starvation. "What difference is there between this consciousness and intentionality whose research evidence?

The H. : College or not, the responsibility of the central government is heavy?

FD: Sure. As a researcher working on the documents of the bureaucracy of the Young Turks, I never found extermination order in the Ottoman archives I consulted. However, we have not yet seen the archives of the UPC and especially those of the Special Organization. In addition, we know perfectly well that apart from formal exchanges of correspondence between the institutions and their representatives, leaders of the Young Turks communicate privately and this private communication also helps to understand the mechanisms of decision making. For example, after his wife, Talat Pasha used the telegram to him, communicated the whole night with his friends about Armenians. Statesman, he knew how to not always give an official dimension to events.

We have no information on the content of the correspondence between the center (Talat Pasha) and for example the head of the political section of the Special Organization Bahaeddin Chakir. Central figure of the CUP although never having been a member or minister, it was regarded as the main actor of Armenian massacres. But by looking paperwork found in the Ottoman archives, we understand that Talat Pasha and the government knew exactly what happened to the Armenians. Talat We know that ordered the governors of Diyarbakir (July 12), of Ankara (July 27) and finally all provinces (August 29) to stop the massacres. During this time we found for the first time (to deny the existence of) the term "policy extermination "(IMHA siyaseti).

During the mass killings of 1915 were perpetrated by the auxiliary forces and irregular (bachibozouk), the government did collect photos and documents which prove that the Armenians did have a general plan of rebellion to justify repression in the eyes of world. Somehow, during the massacres, the government sought to conceal the truth.

Finally, the government is busy distributing Armenian orphans in Muslim homes or orphanages and Armenian women married to Muslims for their "assimilation and education", in the words of the Young Turks.

The H. : What is the death toll Armenian?

FD: It is very controversial and it is a huge challenge. I think we can estimate the number of victims at around 650 000.

My starting point is the figure of the Armenian population given by Talat Pasha in 1915: 1.5 million which is a plausible figure.

The real difficulty is to determine the number of survivors at the end of 1918, when the fall of the Young Turk power. There were three categories of survivors who found refuge in the Caucasus and Europe, those who remained in Anatolia and those who survived in the desert regions. 1) Assessments of the diaspora vary between 250 000 and 350 000. The figure of 350,000 was advanced by the Government of Armenia to get, in my opinion, more humanitarian aid. 2) For the second group, those who remained in Anatolia, including Istanbul, according to the specifications of Talat Pasha, he stood at 284,000. 3) For the third group, we do not know the number of deported Armenians who survived the end of 1918 in the concentration camps in the desert. In these inhumane conditions, people were dying by the thousands from hunger, thirst, disease. We know that nearly 500,000 people have arrived in 1915, but there was no official figures on deaths in the camps concentration. I estimated about 300,000 survivors at the end of 1918.

If we total, it is estimated that about 850,000 Armenians survived, and 650,000 have died during the deportation, massacres in the camps.

The H. : What are the Armenians who escaped deportation?

FD: Some regions and families - to some extent - been spared. Even if they have experienced individual deportations, three provinces (Istanbul, Edirne and Aydin in the Aegean region) were not part of mass deportations, deportations of entire populations (without distinction). Edirne and Istanbul to the authorities fear of having to explain to the civilized world the deportation of people living in European lands.

Aydin also played a personal factor, the role of the governor (vali) Rahmi Bey, but also the fact that in this region, the main concern of the Young Turk leaders - which included Rahmi Bey - was the demographic and the economic power of Rum. The Armenians were seen as a counterweight.

Three categories of families have also escaped deportation principle: the artisan families, families of the soldiers and Armenians Protestant or Catholic.'s Notion of "family" (efradi wing), as it was defined by the Young Turks exclude boys over 15 years, and married girls over 15 years. They should be deported. Armenians who had escaped the deportations, however, be separated and distributed in Muslim villages, never exceed the threshold of 5% of the total population.

The H. : What are other people who have been affected by the ethnic policy of the Young Turks?

FD: When, from the spring of 1915, the power was estimated that the Armenian issue was "resolved" by the deportation and massacres, acts the influx of Muslims fleeing the areas occupied by Russia. These refugees were subject to reprisals Armenian organizations are separated by the Young Turks Kurds and Turks. Kurds were deported and settled in the Turkish regions with a threshold limit of 5%, and the Turks have settled in the Kurdish regions, to break the concentration of population of Kurds.

Other non-Turkish Muslims (Albanians, Bosnians, etc.). Were scattered aussi, always with the objective of Limiting the population Between 5 and 10% in the Turkish regions. During all operations thesis, Jemal Pasha was deported aussi Thousands of families of Syrian Arabs in Anatolia, a brutal policy That Will be one of the arguments of the Arab Revolt. He wanted aussi déjudaïser Palestine. At The Beginning, all the Zionist organisms Were Involved, Their leaders deported to Anatolia and Their capital confiscated Ottoman Jews Expelled Especially not. Under the pressure of international public opinion, the deportation was stopped. Talat Pasha HAD even then the idea of ​​deporting Jews kibbutz, and install the muhadjir! If this project was not executed, it is for two reasons: the reaction mentioned above and the priority given by the Young Turks in Anatolia.

The H. : You yourself are Turkish. How did you get interested in this topic?

FD: Because I am of Kurdish origin, the question of identity I worked since my childhood. Member of the Commission of minority rights in the Association of Human Rights in Istanbul (IHD), I was confronted with discrimination against non-Muslims and especially the forced evacuation of Kurdish villages and migration of Kurdish villagers. The publication of the book by Taner Akcam and especially the meeting with Armenian historian Ara Sarafian pushed me to try to make the history of forced migration in the Ottoman Empire. An article by Benedict Anderson has played a role in my direction. Maybe because I'm an engineer, my initial training in mathematics led me to determine my key issue: the role of statistics in all matters of ethnicities, religions and sects.

The H. : Have you encountered any obstacles?

FD: No, and one reason is that I do not work specifically on the Armenians, but the Young Turks. At a time when the Young Turks and positivism are openly discussed my work enlighten another aspect of their policy.

The H. : Your work they had echoes in Turkey? How have they been received by the Armenians?

FD: My editor is in its third printing in a few months, and the book has been positively received. My work has been challenged by either the Turks or the Armenians. Actually, I was surprised.

The H. : There is much talk in France Book Taner Akcam, A Shameful Act. How would you search from this book?

FD: I have some differences with Taner Akcam. I believe there has not been a decision made prior to the massacre: I think I have told you that the massacre was the product of circumstances the result of a gradual evolution of events, as has also seen Donald Bloxham. If there had been no deportation in February 1915 Zeytoun, there would been no reaction of Armenians in Van and Istanbul. If there had not been the defeat of the Ottoman army against the Russian troops during the offensive between Lake Van and Ourmiya, resistance-Van rebellion would not have occurred. If Van had not fallen into the hands of the Russians with the revolt, the mass killings would not have happened ...

Second point of disagreement with Taner Akcam: I do not think the government ordered the killings but he helped the executioners somehow, he was responsible for ensuring the logistics. However, the deportation was neither an excuse nor a secondary, but a deadly decision. For the Young Turks, the danger was not yet the Armenian demographic imbalances. This is why I advocate that policy was Turkification CUP - above all - a statistical and mathematical. The arménophobie developed not before but after the massacre. Turkish nationalism does not precede the Armenian nationalism. But it must be fair and recognize that, even if his arguments are sometimes questionable, Taner Akcam is the most energetic of "genocide scholars" (genocide scholar) in the world, and it is thanks to his energy to talk about what subject.

The H. : There was also a request for forgiveness by Turkish intellectuals launched in December 2008. This attitude is new?

FD: Yes (see interview with Ahmet Insel, p. 19). In fact, it is the result of the new world order. The Cold War now over, one of the reasons that led these two communities, Turkish and Armenian, to remain isolated from the rest of the world has disappeared. Since Turgut Ozal (Prime Minister and then President from 1983 to 1993), opens Turkey to the west, and Turkish intellectuals maintain more contact with the world and therefore also with the Armenians (a notable example is the Wats, Turkish-Armenian Workshop for Scholars).

The most important is that Turkey today faces serious about his past Young Turk and his positivist ideology. Ideology that dominates Turkey for almost a century is based on the denial of Kurdish identity, the extermination of the Armenians and the eradication of Islam. Since coming to power of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002, these three points are revalued, re-discussed.

On the other hand, among the Armenians, two major events have pushed to communicate with the Turks: the independence of Armenia (1991) and the qualification of genocide recognized the massacres of Bosnians in Srebrenica. The decision of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2004, confirmed in 2007, encouraged the Armenian side considers - correctly - that the massacres Meds Yeghern ("Great Catastrophe" in the terminology Armenian) deserved the qualification genocide.

Campaign asking for forgiveness is a turning point, but so far only 30,000 people have signed this text. At a time when millions of Turks can use the Internet and easily sign, I think this figure is very low. The walls are broken but the bridges are not built yet.

(Interview by François Georgeon).

Our comment: although his remarks are questionable in many respects (including acceptance of the subjective and polysemic term "genocide"), Fuat Dündar has the merit of not blindly follow the Armenian allegations outrageous and recontextualize the Young Turk revolution. His work is interesting and challenging. It may well be with her historical research on this subject crosses a new milestone.

To see a course he gave at the University of Michigan in November 2010, Please : Click Here
Please Feel Free to email Us A Better Translation

Comments by Sukru Server Aya Marked in Blue

TA 3368 Comments on Fuat Dundar’s interview in 2009:

Thank you for your valuable addition to your E-library. Although there are several by-passes or oversights in the interview made with Mr. Fracois Georgeon, I am under the impression that he was sincere and objective within his sources of knowledge. Hence, I prefer to comment on the interview with Mr. Fuat Dundar. I have watched a portion of his lecture and must express my surprise for the deliverance of same in a university.

Interview with Fuat Dündar
History, No. 341, April 2009, p. 8-21:
Armenian Genocide: Scenario
. . .

. . It is physically impossible to study from different sources, the depth and dimensions of various Armenian publications, plus original documents. However, University of Michigan is reputed for Armenophiles . . .



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All the best