Armenian National Institute
The 1915 Armenian Genocide
in the Turkish Empire
Washington D.C. 1998 by Ara Sarafian
Reviews Armenian Forum . . .
Icons and Scholarship
Zadig Khanzadian’s map, Rapport sur l’unité géographique de l’Armenié: Atlas historique (Paris, 1920), has become a central icon of the Armenian Genocide. It was the first attempt to map out the losses of the Geno-cide, the principal deportation and transit routes, and locations where mass killings had taken place between 1915 and 1917. It illustrated losses in red circles that var-ied in size according to the populations in question. Given that Khanzadian’s map was printed in 1920, immediately after the cataclysm of 1915, and under very trying circumstances, it is not surprising that many details were left ambiguous, pre-sumably because of a lack of information. 1 Despite its imperfections, the 1920 work was of pioneering significance and remains a milestone in the historiography of the Armenian Genocide.
Some eighty years after the publication of Khanzadian’s work, the Armenian Na-tional Institute (ANI) has also produced a map of the Armenian Genocide. This new map purports to be the “latest research” on the Armenian Genocide, and an ex-ample of the ANI’s commitment to the “promotion of scholarship.” 2 Though the ANI could have drawn on a great deal of new scholarship for such a map, their “latest research” is simply an English ver-sion of Khanzadian’s 1920 work, com-bined with a more recent publication by Raymond Kévorkian, “Axes de déportation . . .
The Gomidas Institute’s Armenian Forum 2, no. 3, published a lengthy and illustrated review, “Icons and Scholarship,” by Mr. Ara Sarafian, also editor of the journal, re-garding the map of the Armenian Geno-cide issued by the Armenian National Institute (ANI). The review levels mali-cious charges against the Armenian Na-tional Institute and the map is subjected to tendentious criticism, none of which are sustainable.
The review begins with the accusation that ANI engaged in an unscholarly prac-tice in producing a map on the Armenian Genocide because it lacked footnotes.
There is no established practice or require-ment that a map be footnoted and its derivation sketched out in some geo-genealogical chart. There are entire librar-ies of maps without footnotes.
Direct Link To The Document
Direct Link To The Document
Comments by Sukru Aya
It is not my desire to "become a part" in the discussion between Ara Sarafian (I take to be fair in scholarship generally) and Mr. Adalian of ANI.
On P.83, there is a statement about "NYT of Oct.7, 1915, that James Bryce was informed by the Italian Consul in Trabzon that ten thousand Armenians were drowned, but later he did not include this in the Blue Book". I think that the Armenian people living in the Trabzon area were not more than 6.000. The only means of communication was the telegram line of the post office and it looks unlikely that Consuls would use this line only up to Istanbul, again with no extensioms.
US Consul Heizer should have informed his Ambassador Morgenthau first, but there is no mention of Heizer in his diary in October. The Trabzon port was blockaded by the Russian navy, and it was impossible for any ship (or kayik) to go in or out or to have such mass drownings, without reporting even one floating corpse in the sea, where there are no sharks.
On P.141, There is a reference of a report dated April 11, 1919 to US State Department. This also sounds very strange, Political relations between Ottoman Empire and USA were severed in mid 1917, when USA declared war on Germany and all US Ambassador and consuls (Davis of Harput) had to leave Turkey. The first "US High Commisioner" to come to Istanbul was Admiral Mark Bristol, August 8, 1919 to 1927. I am not sure if US had any Consul in Trabzon at that date!
On P.144, there is again a reference to a Heizer report dated July 6, 1915 about 8.000 Armenians taken out in boats and drowned. We know that the first Armenian groups had to depart in early July 1915, and hence the news about drowning does not catch up with logic. There were no floating bodies reported by the Russian navy who were just out of the port.
They could shel the city easily. Trabzon fell to the Russian army on Feb. 16, 1916 and it was only liberated as late as Feb.24, 1918. Let us remember that the Republic of Armenia was announced on May 28, 1918 and before this date contacts were carried between Turks and Armenians both in Trabzon and Batum. We know that after the Dashnakist Republc was founded and Treaty of Amity was signed with Turks jut a week later, revolutionary leaders such as Antranik, Kanajan and others did not accept this peace and continued their "cleansing operations" for a few more months in the areas under their control, until they had to take refuge into other countries (Antranik to Britain, Kanajan to Roumania, Pastermadjian to USA) before the Mudros Cease Fire of Oct.30,1918.
28 Mar 2014