22.7.05

325) Armenian Issue - Allegations & Facts

INTRODUCTION
» The Four "T" Plan
» A Short Review Of Armenian History
» How the armenian issue came about?
» Armenian Revolts And Massacres
» April 24, 1915
» Law On Relocation And Its Implementation
» What is genocide?
» The Armenian Terrorism
» Current Situation
» Conclusion

Introduction
It is a fact that dose to 700,000 Armenians were killed or died of starvation and disease while being relocated during the First World War in eastern Anatolia. It is also a fact that more than 2 million Turks and Muslims were massacred in easterm Anatolia at the tum of the 20th century and during the First World War by Armenian Revolutionary Bands, acting in cooperation with the Russians who were the Attornan Empire's enemy.

What happened in eastern Anatolia during the First World War were tragic events from which lessons should be learned, so that similar incidents of ultra-nationalism that result in the total uprooting and devastation of communities are not allowed to occur again.

The world has heard a lot about the Armenian losses due to the tireless efforts of Armenian activists, which indude resorting to terrorism.Turks recognize the Armenian deaths and suffering in eastem Anatolia. What they strenuously object is the Armenian activists' one-sided portreyol of the tragic events to the world community and labeling them as "genocide" using propaganda and distortion of facts, in order to further their political agenda of obtaining money and land from Turkey. While doing so, Armenians ignore the death and massacres of more than twice as many Turks in the hands of the Armenian Revolutionary Bands and the Russians whom they were helping during the First World War.

The Armenian propaganda and allegations have not been countered in North America and Europe until the 1980's. There were no significant Turkish population outside Turkey until then. Armenians were unopposed in their one-sided depiction of history to the North American public, who were not expected to know the facts about the events of long time ego in a far away country. Now that the world public opinion is becoming aware of the Armenian massacres of the Turkish and Muslim population, Armenian activists accuse anybody who questions their one-sided version of the events as "rewriting history". They talk about things like "the psychology of genocide deniers" in order to attempt discrediting those who oppose their propaganda.

No Armenian publication, document or conference ever mentions the massacres of the Turkish and Muslim population by the armed Armenian Revolutionary Bands and terrorist organizations such as Hunchak and Dashnaktsutiun. If they did, they would not be able to daim a so-called "genocide" perpetrated on the Armenians by the Turks. In the kind of genocide Armenians daim, the alleged perpetrators ended up having more dead than the victims!

After the First World War the Attornan capital was under Allied occupation and all State archives were under the control of the British Authorities in Istanbul. As a result of constant propaganda and accusations by Armenian agitotofs, the British finalýr decided to transport more than 140 Attornan high officials and cabinet members to Malta for a trial, almost like an anticipation of the Nuremberg Trials. The prisoners were held in Malta for 30 months while the British, French and the Americans searched feverishly for evidence. If there were any credible witness or evidence regarding the alleged Armenian massacres, they could have been found easily.

No evidence could be found in Paris, Istanbul or in Anatolia to support the charge that the Ottomans had planned a mass slaughter of the Armenians. The British High Commission was unable to forward any legal evidence to London. There was nothing in the British archives that corroborated the wild accusations of the Armenians.

In America, there were already powerful Armenian lobbies. Certain Protestant cireles had also been carrying on an anti-Turkish smear campaign for decades. Surely evidence could be found in America, if it ever existed. On June 2, 1921 Sir Aueland Geddes, the British Ambassador in Washington, replied to Lord Curzon informing him that the State Department could not produce any evidence against the prisoners in Malta either.

The meticulous search conducted by the British for more than two years with utmost zeal to vindieete the Armenian allegations, produced nothing. The main source of information of the British High Commission in the capital city of Istanbul was massive Armenian propaganda machinery orchestrated by the Armenian Patriarchate.

From a political standpoint, it was highly desirable for the British Government that at least some of the Turkish deportees to Malta should be brought to trial. The British Foreign Office left no stone unturned in order to prove that the so-called "Arrnenian massacres" actually took place. Yet all efforts and zeal in this regard ended-up with a complete failure. There was no evidence, no reliable witness, no proof and no case. On October 25, 1921 af ter 30 months of imprisonment, the accused Ottomans left the British colony of Malta as free men.

Now, more than 80 years later, Armenian activists are rewriting history through organized campaigns, lobbying and propaganda in order to influence politicians to put forward motions of genocide recognition in the legislatures of different countries. What Armenians couldn't prove legally, theyare attempting to do politically.

In the definition of the "erime of genocide" approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1948, the essential element is that there has to be an intent of destroying a nationa" ethnica" racial or religious group. Such intent is elearly absent in the decision of the Attornan government on May 27, 1915 to relocate the Armenians who lived in eastern Anatolia which was the war zone with Russia during the First World War. This was a legitimate war measure taken by the government against its citizens who were actively cooperating with the enemy.

All sources, ineluding the most ardent advocates of the Armenian ca use, accept that none of the relocation measures imposed by the Attornan government were applied to the Armenians in the areas distant to the war fronts or to the Armenians who had settled in big cities such as Istanbul and ýzmir. All civil servants of Armenian descent maintained their positions during the conflict. If the Attornan Government's intention was to destroy the Armenian ethnic community, it would have been easier to do it eloser to the capital and other areas where they had direct control.

The aims of the stili active Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Hai Heghapokhagan Dashnaktsutiune) are well known:
1. To force Turkey to accept the so-called "Arrnenian genocide"
2. To force Turkey to apologize from the Armenians
3. To force Turkey to pay retribution
4. To annex eastern Turkey into Armenia.
The Dashnaktsutiun Committee (AR.F.) is attempting to obtain what they couldn't obtain byarmed rebellion in eastern Anatolia during the First World War, by influencing politicians and the public opinion in western countries to believe that an Armenian genocide existed.

At the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 after the First World War, Armenians were given a large part of eastern Anatolia by the Allied Powers, to form their own independent country. However, this treaty was never put in force. It was replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne on July 24, 1923 af ter the Turkish War of Independence, which drew the boarders of the modern Republic of Turkey. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation can not accept this fact and is trying to obtain today, through devious means, what they were promised at Sevres

by the British, French, the U.S. and others. The following quotation from the letter dated December 3, 1918 written by Boghos N u bar, who was the head of the Armenian National Delegation to the Paris Peace Conferance etler the First World War, to Mr. Stephen richon, the French Foreign Minister, demonstrates clearly that Armenians were not the innocent victims of genoeide but rather committing high treason by fighting on the side of the enemy against the country they were eitizens of:

"The Armenians have been, since the beginning of the war, de facto belligerents, since they fought a/ongside the Allies on all fronts: In France, through their volunteers, who started joining the French Legion in the first days and covered themselves with glory under the French Flag; in Palestine and Syria, where the Armenian volunteers, recruited by the Armenian National Delegation at the request of the French govemment, made up more than half of the French contingent and played a large role in the victory of General Allenby, as he himself and his French chiefs have officially declared. In the Coucasus, where, without mentioning the 150,000 Armenians in the Imperial Russian Army, more than 40,000 of their volunteers contributed to the liberation of a portion of the Armenian vilayets and where, under the command of their feoders Antranik and Nazerbekoff, theyalone among the peoples of the Coucasus, offered resistance to the Turkish Armies, from the beginning of the Bolshevist withdrawal right up to the signing of the armistice".

The following testimonial by lord Robert Ceeil also demonstrates Armenians' war efforts against the Ottoman Empire:

"In the beginning of the war, Armenians organized volunteer forces which bore the brunt of some of the heaviest fighting in the Coucasian Campaign. After the Russian Army's collapse following the 1917 Revolution, the Armenians took over the Coucasian Front, fought the T urks for five months, and thus rendered o very important service to the British Army in Mesopotamia. They served alike in the British, French and American armies, and have bom e their part in General Allenby's victory over the Turks in Palestine. The services rendered by the Armenians in the Common Cause can never be forgotten."

liman von Sanders, the German General said that
"The collapse of the Turkish Pa/estinian front was due to the fact that the Turks sent all their available forces to the Coucasian and Azerbijan fronts where they fought the Armenians. "

The Greek scholar Alexander Pallis, in his book entitled "In the Days of the Janissaries", 1951, outlined the European attitude against Turkey, which the Armenians exploited, as follows:

"Religious fanaticism and the fear bom with the unbroken Turkish military success, resulted in creating among Europeans o state of mind which rendered them for the most part incapable of viewing Turkeyand the Turks with an objective and unbiased eye".

The sema biased attitude against Turkey stili prevails today. The quotations and articles by non-Turks in this publication are intended to show the other side of the coin and to bring some objectivity to the Armenian claims regarding "genocide". They demonstrate clearly that Armenians were not the innocent victims of "genoeide", however, did suffer the tragic consequences of the activities of their Armed Revolutionary Committees, just as did more than twice as many Turks.

The Armenians living in Turkey today lead a respectable life with their 57 churches, 18 schools and numerous newspapers, magazines, assoeiations and sport Cývbs. The Declaration on January 30,2001, by a total of 53 Parish Council of Armenian Churches and Board of Administrators of Armenian Schools and Hospitals in Turkey, which is included in this publication, is a living testimonial to this. It is clear that they are fed up with the political activities of the Armenian diaspora in the Parliaments of the North American and European countries, influencing elected members into making biased resolutions against Turkey while distorting the histofical realities.


Demir Delen
© FORSNET
ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/articles/article8.html


As a bridge between Asia and Europe, with its straits connecting The Black Sea with the Mediterranean and its geopolitical situation at a point where the Central Asian, Caucasian and Middle Eastern natural energy sources intersect, Turkey draws the attention of the entire world.

The Ottoman Empire in the past and Turkey at present has always been an arena for which intrigues were incessantly designed. The colonialist superpowers wishing to eradicate the Ottoman Empire from the world by dividing it did not fail to use in their schemes also the Armenians who coexisted in peace with the Turks for so many centuries.

There are today just like in the past, several countries striving to secure themselves political and economic benefits at the expense of Armenian community. Monuments accusing Turks and Turkey of having committed genocide are being erected in some countries; decisions intending to recognise the so called genocide are brought into the parliamentary agenda in several countries and even voted for in some others. Issues that need to be left to historians are turned into means of self interest by the politicians.

The Armenians who were ousted from one place to the other, pushed into wars, and treated as third rate citizens throughout the history by the Romans, Persians and Byzantines. After the advent of Turks into Anatolia, they benefited from the just, humane, tolerant and unifying traditions and beliefs of their new neighbours. The period that lasted until the end of the nineteenth century when the apogee of these developments and relations was attained, was the golden age of Armenians. In fact, the Armenians were by far the greatest beneficiaries of the opportunities offered by the Ottoman Empire to all industrious, capable, honest and straightforward citizens of the non-Moslem communities. Being exempted from the military service and to a large extent from taxation, they had the opportunity to excel themselves in trade, agriculture, craftsmanship and administration and therefore were rightly called the “loyal nation” because of their loyalty and ability to interact with the Ottomans. There were so many Armenians who spoke Turkish, who even conducted their rites in this language , who rose to topmost public service posts such as the Ministries and Under-Secretariats of State for the Public Works, Navy, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Treasury, Posts and Telegraph and Minting. There were some who even wrote books in Turkish and foreign languages on the Problems of the Ottoman Empire .

With the start of the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the European powers began to intervene in its affairs and degeneration became evident in the peaceful Turkish-Armenian relations. Great effort was displayed by the instigators whom the Western powers planted into the Ottoman Empire under clerical guise, to create a schism between Turks and Armenians in the religious, cultural, commercial, political and social fields. Thus, bloody clashes arose, in which the blunt of pain was borne by the Turks, and thousands of Armenians and Turks lost their lives in the revolts that broke out in Eastern Anatolia and spread all the way to Istanbul.

Though there were many Armenians fighting in the Ottoman armies against the enemy or serving in the rear ranks during the World War I, a considerable number had sided with the foes on the battlefronts and launched massacres against the population without distinction of women, children and the aged. Their toll was hundreds of thousands of Moslems and ruin in Eastern Anatolia.

The measures adopted by the Ottoman Empire to stop this violence were presented to the rest of the world under a completely different light and the Armenians, misguided by the promises and instigation of the Western Powers started to undermine the country where they had led a privileged life more than a thousand years.

The Hinchak, Tashnak, Toward Armenia, Young Armenians, Union and Salvation, Ramgavar, Paramilitaries, Black Cross societies and Hinchak Revolutionary Committee, which were established out of Anatolia, formed organisations urging the people for an armed revolt. These activities were the bloody uprisings that cost thousands of Turkish and Armenian lives.

During World War I, the Ottoman Empire was fighting against Russian armies in Eastern Anatolia, where the Armenian revolt was at its peak; and also against Armenian forces which supported the Russians. On the other hand, behind the lines it had to continue to fight against Armenian guerrillas that were burning Turkish villages and towns and attacking military convoys and reinforcements. In spite of this violence, the Ottoman Empire tried to solve the Armenian problem for months by taking local measures. Meanwhile, an operation was made against the Armenian guerillas and 2345 rebels were arrested for high treason. When it became evident that the Armenian community was also in rebellion against the state, the Ottoman Empire proceeded with the last resort of replacing only those Armenians in the region who actively participated in the rebellion. With this measure, the Ottoman Empire also intended to save the lives of the Armenians who were living in a medium of civil war because Turks started to counter-attack the Armenians who had performed bloody atrocities against Turkish communities.

Today, Armenia and some states using Armenians for their economic and political benefits have launched a massive propaganda campaign to present the replacement decision and the 24 April arrests as genocide to the world public opinion.

At the end of the World War I, when the armies of Allied States occupied The Ottoman Empire and the British officials among them arrested 143 Ottoman political and military leaders and intellectuals for “having committed war crimes toward Armenians” and exiled them to Malta where a trial was launched. However, the massive scrutiny made on the Ottoman, British, American archives in order to find evidence to incriminate these 143 persons failed to produce even the least iota of proof against them. In the end, the detainees in Malta were released without trial and even any indictment in 1922.

The United States archives contain an interesting document sent to Lord Curzon on 13 July 1921 by Mr. R.C. Craigie, the British Ambassador in Washington. The message was as follows: “I regret to state that there is nothing that may be used as evidence against the Turkish detainees in Malta. There are no events that may constitute adequate proofs. The said reports do not appear to contain even circumstantial evidence that could be useful to reinforce the information held by His Majesty’s Government against the Turks.”

On 29 July 1921, the legal advisers in London decided that the intended indictments drawn up against the persons on the British Foreign Ministry’s list were semi-political in nature and therefore these individuals should be treated separately from the Turks detained as criminals of war.

They also stated the following: “No statements were hitherto received from the witnesses to the effect that the indictments intended against the detainees are correct. Likewise it does not need to be restated that finding witnesses after so long a time is highly doubtful in a remote country like Armenia which is accessible only with great difficulties.” This statement was made also by none other than the legal advisers in London of His Majesty’s Government.

Yet, the efforts to smear the image of Turks with genocide claims did not come to an end as the British press published certain documents attempting to prove the existence of a massacre claimed to have been perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire while efforts were being made to start a lawsuit in Malta. It was stated that the documents were found by the British occupation forces in Syria, led by General Allenby. The inquiries subsequently made by the British Foreign Office revealed, however, that these documents were fakes prepared by the Armenian Nationalist Delegation in Paris and distributed to the Allied representatives.

The Armenian Diaspora, who left no stone unturned to keep the genocide claims on the agenda despite all these facts, resorted to terrorism in the end. The so-called Armenian issue, which started to attract the attention of the world and Turkish public opinion through the smearing campaign launched by the Armenians against Turkey after 1965, in the ‘70s turned into terrorist attacks directed against the Turkish representations abroad. In Santa Barbara on January 27, 1973, the first individual terrorist attack was launched by an aged Armenian named Gurgen (Karekin) Yanikian. He murdered Mehmet Baydur and Bahadir Demir, the Turkish Consul General and Vice Consul in Los Angeles, and these murders turned into an organised campaign after 1975. The attacks against Turkish embassies, officials and institutions abroad gradually intensified.

A major increase in the attacks was noted after 1979 when an internal unease started in Turkey. The Armenian terrorists staged a total of 110 attacks at 38 cities of 21 countries. 39 of these acts were committed by small arms, 70 of them were realised by bombs and one was an outright occupation. 42 Turkish diplomats and 4 foreigners were killed and 15 Turks and 66 foreigners were wounded in these incidents.

As these actions received a strong reaction from the world public opinion, the Armenian terrorist organisations changed their tactics in 1980 and began to co-operate with the PKK terrorist group which was pushed into the scene by the Eruh and ªemdinli attacks as the ASALA and Armenian operations were stopped. The documents and evidence from Beqaa and Zeli camps show that the PKK and ASALA militants were trained there together.

The success achieved by the Turkish security forces made the Armenian terrorism pursue the so called genocide claims through the Armenian Diaspora and attempt to make the world believe in the existence of such an event by inducing several parliaments to adopt resolutions and laws which recognise it.

The goal of these terrorists is to plant into minds of people the existence of a genocide, to force Turkey to recognise it, to receive indemnity from Turkey and, finally, to snatch from Turkey the land needed for realising the dream of Great Armenia

THE FOUR “T” PLAN

The goal of Armenian terrorism that has never hesitated to go to such extremes as cold-blooded murder is to make the claims of genocide against Armenians heard and their demands known. The ultimate objective is a “Great Armenia”, for which they designed the so called “ Four T plan” based on propaganda, recognition, indemnity and land. The intention here is to rehabilitate the world public opinion by making them to accept, through terrorism, the existence of genocide against them, to force Turkey into recognising it, to receive compensation in monetary terms and finally to seize from Turkey the land needed for realising a Great Armenia.

The claims underlying “the Four T Plan” are the following:

The Turks invaded Armenia and seized its land.

They applied a systematic massacre against Armenians since the 1877-1878 war. They resorted to a planned genocide against Armenians from 1915 onward.

Talat Pasha issued secret orders to apply genocide on the Armenians. 1,5 million Armenians lost their lives through genocide.

It is necessary to make a brief study on the claims and the historical developments of Turkish-Armenian relations so as to understand how preposterous the insinuations are and which clandestine interests underlie them

A SHORT REVIEW OF ARMENIAN HISTORY

The racial origins of the Armenians and the geography in which they lived are still debated today. It is certain, however, that they have always been the subjects of other states throughout history.

The encyclopædias state that Yerevan, Lake Sevan, Nahkichevan, north of Rumiah Lake and Maku region were called “Armenia” which meant “ upper lands” and the people living there were named Armenians.

Some of the Armenian historians claim that they are descendants of the Hittites who lived in Cilicia and Northern Syria in the 6th century AD, while some others bring the genealogy to Haig, one of Noah’s sons. There is no certainty about exactly where the community referred today as Armenians settled and lived in the geographical region called Armenia. Their population and the percentage of their population to other groups that lived in the same area are still a mystery.

Thus, even the Armenian historians are not unanimous as to their origin. It may therefore be stated that it is impossible for a community that has never had the privilege of being a nation and founding an independent state, to have claims on a certain geography as “a homeland”. Consequently, the dream of Great Armenia is but the product of an expansionist ideology.

As the history went, the Armenians lived under the Persian, Macedonian, Seleucide, Roman, Partian, Sasanite, Byzantine, Arabian and Turkish hegemonies. In fact, all of the Armenian principalities known to have existed in the region were established by the sovereigns that controlled the region in order to draw this community into their sphere of influence and employ them in a variety of tasks.

The Selchuks saved the Armenians from the Byzantine persecution and offered them the opportunity of leading a decent life when they secured the control of Anatolia in 1071. Under the reign of Mehmed II, freedom of thought and belief was granted to the Armenians and the right to establish a patriarchate of their own for governing the community’s religious and social activities.

The Armenian Patriarch had the power of appointing and dismissing clergy members, banning the religious rites, collecting dues from the community, concluding the marriage formalities and even pronouncing imprisonment decisions.

Until the end of the 19th century, the Armenians lived their golden age under the Ottoman rule, also with the vast tolerance of the Turkish people. Having been exempted from military service and of most of the taxes, they excelled in trade, agriculture, artisanry and rose to major posts in the administration. For the services that they rendered to the Ottoman Empire, the Armenians were allowed to settle in the regions vacated after the Greek rebellion and were given the prestigious title of “the faithful nation”.

It ensues from the foregoing that there was not any Armenian issue until the end of the 19th century nor were any problems that the Armenian citizens could not solve with the assistance of Turkish administration.

HOW THE ARMENIAN ISSUE CAME ABOUT?

When the Ottoman Empire began to decline and was exposed to European interventions in many fields, deterioration began in the Turkish-Armenian relations. The Western powers then started to sever the Armenian community from the Ottoman community for attaining their own regional interests.

A number of European states that intervened in the Ottoman internal affairs under the guise of ensuring the introduction of reforms, organised the Armenians against the Empire. As a result of the provocations of the internal and external Armenian organisations as well as of the Armenian Church, this community gradually began to dissociate itself from the Turks.

Starting to fight against Turks under alliance with the Western powers despite all the good intentions of Turks, the Armenians initiated a campaign to present themselves as a subjugated society and to accuse the Ottoman Empire of “having annihilated” their sovereignty rights in Anatolia.

As they lost their former privileges when the Moslems and non-Moslems were given equal rights under the Restoration Firman, the Armenians asked Russia not to withdraw from Eastern Anatolia that it had invaded during the 1977-1878 Ottoman-Russian war, to grant autonomy to these regions or to introduce reforms in their favour. This request of the Armenians were partially accepted by Russia and the Armenian issue was brought onto the international platform after Hagia Stephanos Treaty, signed at the end of the war; and also after the Berlin Treaty signed later. Thus, foreign countries that wanted to divide Turkey started to intervene in Turkish-Armenian relations. It is with these claims that the Armenian issue had begun to take shape and acquire an international character.

ARMENIAN REVOLTS AND MASSACRES

In the period that followed the Berlin Treaty, the Armenian issue developed in two directions, The first is the interventions made by the Western powers in the affairs of the Ottoman Empire, and the second is the clandestine organisation and rearmament of Anatolian, Syrian and Thracian Armenians in various parts of Anatolia, particularly in Eastern Anatolia and Cilicia.

The initial provocations started coming from Russia. This attitude induced the British and French Governments to display a greater interest toward Armenians. British Consulates mushroomed in Eastern Anatolia and large numbers of Protestant missionaries were dispatched to this region.

As a result of these activities, several Armenian committees were formed in Eastern Anatolia from 1880 onward. These committees that remained at local level failed and withered away in time because the Armenians who lived in welfare and did not have any complaints against the Ottoman Empire were not interested in the committees.

When the plans to make the Ottoman Armenians revolt against the State through the committees failed, the Russian Armenians were encouraged to set up such committees out of the Ottoman Empire. Hinchak was founded in Geneva in 1887, with socialist tendencies and moderately militant ideas and Tashnak was established in Tbilisi in 1887, with extremist, terrorist and revolutionary attitudes favouring armed struggle and full independence. The goal imposed on these committees were the “salvation of Anatolian land and Ottoman Armenians”.

The revolt attempts launched by the Hinchaks that extended its organisation into Istanbul and aimed at provoking the Ottoman Armenians by drawing the Western attentions on the issue, were followed by those of the Tashnaks. The common features of the both groups were the fact that they were planned and oriented by the committees that came to the Ottoman Empire from abroad and that they were largely supported by the missionaries spread all over Anatolia.

The first revolt broke out in Erzurum in 1890, followed by the Kumkapi demonstration in the same year. These revolts were followed by 1892 and 1893 Kayseri, Yozgat, Çorum and Merzifon incidents, 1894 Sasun revolt, 1894 Sublime Porte demonstration and Zeytun mutiny, 1896 Van revolt and the occupation of Ottoman Bank the same year, the second Sasun Revolt in 1903, the 1905 attempt to kill Emperor Abdulhamid and the Adana revolt in 1909.

By far the greatest damage given to Turks by the Armenians were the massacres perpetrated during World War I. During this period, the Armenians acted as spies for the Russians, evaded the mobilisation orders by hiding, and those that were in the Ottoman army collectively committed high treason by joining the Russian forces taking their arms with them.. The Armenian gangs that had already started attacks on the Turkish villages, with the start of the war massacred, among others, the entire women, children and the aged inhabitants of Zeve village of Van Province.

The quelling of these revolts by the Ottoman army was presented to the world as a massacre of Armenians by the Moslems and thus the issue acquired a larger international dimension. In fact, the British and Russian diplomatic reports of the time state that the goals of Armenian revolutionists were to create social chaos against which the Ottoman army would react and to thereby ensure the intervention of Western powers in the situation. It seems that these goals were reached and the diplomatic and consular representations of the Western States, with the assistance of Christian missionaries spread all over Anatolia, played a major role in the transmission of the Armenian propaganda to the Western public opinion.

APRIL 24, 1915

Regarding these revolts and massacres, the Ottoman Government merely declared to the Armenian Archbishop, deputies and community leaders that appropriate measures would be implemented if the Armenians did not stop massacring the Moslems. However, the intensification of the events, the increase of attacks against defenseless Turkish women and children and the war that waged on several battlefronts all at the same time necessitated to secure the rear lines.

The first move adopted on April 24, 1915 was to ban all Armenian committees and to arrest 2.345 leaders for crimes against the State. The date of April 24, commemorated by the Armenians abroad as the anniversary of genocide against Armenians, is the date of these arrests and has nothing to do with the replacement.

The Etchmiasin Patriarch, a priest named Kevork, sent the following cable to the United States President upon this move:

Mr. President, according to the latest news received from the Turkish Armenia, a massacre started there and an organised terror has put the Armenian lives in danger. In this precarious moment, I am addressing to the noble sentiments of the great American nation and ask you to intervene immediately through your Great Republic’s diplomatic representation for protecting my people left to the mercy of the violence of Turkish fanaticism, on behalf of humanity and Christian belief.

Kevorg, Ecumenic Patriarch of all Armenians.

This cable was followed by the Washington contacts of the Russian Ambassador.

The incident here was merely the banning of Armenian committees and the arrest of the culprits. Yet, the Armenians endeavoured to display it as a massacre and to rally the United States and Russia into their ranks.

LAW ON RELOCATION AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION

Reasons for Relocation

The Ottoman Government, in order to deal with the Armenian riots and massacres, primarily applied regional measures and preferred to maintain a position of defence to settle the events locally. Despite the great roles the religious leaders played in riots and the desertion of Armenians with their arms, the Government agreed to define these riots as individual attempts. At the same time, the Armenian Patriarch and Armenian parliamentarians, committees and leaders of the Armenian community were told that more severe measures would have to be taken in order to ensure the defence of the country in case of newly arising disputes.

These endeavours of the Ottoman Government have been proven with documents. However, the Armenians that were well prepared for any riots before the occurrence of the war, didn’t revolt in masses as soon as the war broke out. While the Ottoman army was actively fighting on the fronts, the Armenian activities continued according plans prepared with “the aim to serve the alliance ideal for the Armenian independence”. Nonetheless, the fact that the activities carried out by the Armenian gangs were considered as a betrayal regarding the international laws was ignored.

The Armenian riots spread from Eastern Anatolia other towns. As the Russian occupation spread in and around Erzurum, Armenians considered that they could claim right on the blood of the dwellers and, as a German general cited, began to eradicate the Muslim population in this region.

While these actions and brutalities of the Armenian gangs continued, numerous kinds of arms and guns were caught in the searches performed by security forces in regions where Armenians resided. This severe condition that endangered the existence of the state indicated that more problematic arouse as result of more tolerance compensation would be impossible.

After the Ottoman State entered the war and especially after the defeat on the Caucasus front, occurrences such as Armenian oppression against the Muslim population, their desertion the military units, their attacks on the soldiers and security forces, their being capture with arms, the capturing of French, Russian and Armenian coding groups were the most significant proofs showing that they were about to start revolts within the country.

Besides taking necessary security precautions against riots and massacres, the Ottoman Government, before the “Law on Replacement and Settlement” was passed, had also settled the Armenians in some other regions when these precautions were not sufficient enough. However, the incident that strengthened the idea of the generalization of this practice that was the riots of the Armenians of Van.

Official documents prove that the Armenians were gathering in Van and, took up armes, waiting for the Russians to get closer, when the Ottoman State entered the war. The riots that Armenians caused, excluding the massacres and destruction, resulted in the occupation of Russians of Van, Malazgirt and Bitlis within a month. The example of Van showed clearly that the Turkish army would always be betrayed. Under these circumstances, the government had to decide upon the relocation of Armenians residing in various regions of the country.

The implementation of replacement became a necessity because Armenian dreaming over the foundation of an independent Armenia and thinking that they would be given the regions they occupied in the First World War. The practice of relocation of the Armenians living in the regions which formed a security line through the Caucasus, Iran and Sina, was not performed with the aim of eradicating the Armenians, but with the aim of ensuring security in the state and to protecting them. The replacement was the most successful one that ever been done in the history of world.

However, the implementation of relocation is not considered from this point of view. Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora have been exercising propaganda full of lies and calumnies against the Ottoman State. Nonetheless, the historical fact is this: by the decision of relocation, Ottoman State saved the Armenians from becoming extinct and also protected them in a way never seen before. If there exists an Armenian nation and is vast in population, it stems from the good intentions and the success of the Ottomans. Armenia and the Armenians, instead of accusing them, have to be thankful to the Ottoman State for providing them with an independent church and protecting them, and they have to consider the faithful and sensible approaches Turkish Armenians, as a good example.

As the riots and massacres made by the Armenians who joined in the activities of The Allied States and Russia reached to a point that would change the result of the war, the commander in chief Enver Pasha, sending a written notification to Talat Pasha, the Minister of Domestic Affairs, on 2nd May 1915, stated that it was necessary to disperse the Armenians that were ready and gathered to maintain their riots in the Van region so that they could not riot.

Taking immediate action, Talat Pasha, through sending a coded message to the 4th Army Command on 23th May 1915, ordered that the Armenians who were moved from Erzurum, Van and Bitlis be replaced and settled in Urfa district, excluding the southern part of Musul province, Zor district, and the central district; the Armenians who were moved from Adana, Halep, Maras settled in the eastern part of Syria province and to the eastern and southeastern part of Halep province. The Civil Services Inspector Ali Seydi Bey was assigned to the post of inspecting the settlement and relocation procedures in Adana region, Hamid Bey in Aleppo and Maras region.

Relocation Law

The Ottoman government had founded the basis of the practice of relocation within the framework of a law already valid in those times. It was not an arbitrary practice. The law containing four articles comprises the measures to be taken by military units against the rebels that refused the authority of the state taking action in war.

It is stated in the Article 1 of the Law on Relocation and Settlement that if there is opposition against the governmental powers and the established order, attacks and resistance, severe defence and elimination should be exercised, and in Article 2, it is stated that towns and villages that are proven to be betraying and engaging in espionage towards the armed forces be displaced to other regions, in Article 3 the validity of the law and in Article 4 the liability of the implementation of the law is stated.

As seen from the law, it is exactly an authoritative law against violence, and ensuring the protection of the state and public order. The most significant feature of the law is that no specific ethnic group and community are implied or indicated. The Ottoman citizens of Muslim, Greek and Armenian origin covered by this law were subject to relocation. Thus regarding the Law on Relocation and Settlement also known as the “Law on Migration” to be aiming at a specific nation either results from lack of information or is a deliberate attempt of propaganda.

While the Ministry of Domestic Affairs were taking measures to arrest the Armenian rebels, Russian, French and English governments, who issued a joint statement on 24th May 1915 claimed that Armenians were continuously being killed in one month in Eastern and South-eastern Anatolia, which they named as “Armenia” and declared that they agreed upon the fact that the Ottoman Government had to be charged for all these events.

Upon the new international dimension the issue had gained, Talat Pasha delivered an official note on the practice of relocation to the Prime Minister on 26th May 1915. In the note, he stated that they decided on the settlement of Armenians living in regions of war in other regions, after it was proved that Armenians started rebellions and massacres. The note of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs together with another note by the Prime Ministry was immediately put on the agenda of the Parliament. In the note of the Prime Ministry, it was stated that the practice of relocation was necessary for the security of the state and that it was necessary to exercise it in association with a procedure and regulation. The Parliament took a decision that approved this practice on the same date. Thus, the law issued on 27th May 1915 in the Parliament was put into force by being published in Takvim-i Vekayi, the Official Gazette of those times, on 1st June 1915.

In a written notification sent by the Prime Ministry to the Ministry of Domestic Affairs and Finance and the War Ministry on 30th of May 1915, it was explained in detail how the migration would be implemented and it was stated that the Armenians would be settled in the regions allocated for them, ensuring security for their lives and properties; their needs would be met through the subsidy of the immigrants’ association until they completely settled in their new houses; they would be given real estate and lands in regard with their former financial conditions; the ones in need would be provided with housing constructed by the government; the farmers and those engaged in agriculture as a profession would be provided with seed beds, equipment and devices; the movable properties they left behind would be returned to them; the immovable property, after their values being determined, would be sold and the money to the owners would be handed over; places such as olive, mulberry and orange groves, vineyards, shops, factories and warehouses which yield revenues would be sold by auction or be rented and costs of the same be registered at the deposit so that they would be paid to their owners later; all these issues would be executed by special commissions and a detailed instructions guide would be prepared regarding this matter.

The Telegraph Attributed To Talat Pasha

That the measures taken regarding the Armenians were not aiming at their eradication was frequently repeated by Talat Pasha. Even, the tone of the language used in a coded telegraph sent to the governor and the administrative units of the relevant provinces on 29th of August 1915 is a clear evidence of this. The code is as follows:

“The objective carried out by the government by displacing the Armenians from where they live and settling them in assigned regions is to ensure that this nation does not take part in activities opposing the government and that they become unable to follow their national ideal on founding an Armenian Government. The case is not that these people be eradicated, yet, during relocation, the security of Armenian convoys shall be ensured and all necessary precautions shall be taken in order to meet their needs through the subsidy of the immigrants’ association. Severe legal measures shall be taken against the attackers towards these convoys or the against gendarme and officials that take part in such attacks and they shall immediately be dismissed and delivered to the military courts.”

As to the telegraph that the so-called Armenian genocide claim supporters:

An Armenian called Aram Andonian mentioned this issue in his book “Naim Bey’in Anilari / Ermenilerin Tehcir ve Katliamina Iliskin Resmi Türk Belgeleri” (Memoirs of Naim Bey / Official Turkish Documents Related to the Armenian Migration and Genocide) he published in London, 1920. The telegraphs that are mentioned in the book and attributed to Talat Pasha are fake documents produced in order to create a criminal for the so-called genocide. As a result of the researches made by Sinasi Orel and Sureyya Yuca on these documents, numerous concrete evidences were found that they were fake.

The Practices during Relocation

Law on Relocation and Settlement provided how relocation would be made in detail. In these decisions and instructions, issues such as how movables and real estates were to be delivered of, condition of the lands and crop on them, their registration and even, giving hot food with meat to the immigrants were taken into consideration. The legislation clarifying how the law would be applied did not aim at destruction of any movables or real estate or killing of the people; on the contrary any mistakes in the execution of the regulation punished severely, including capital punishment.

Fundamentals of how relocation would be made was resolved by the Board of Ministers as follows:

The inhabitants shall be moved to the allocated regions in security, safety and comfortably.

Their victuals shall be met by the subsidy of immigrants association until they become resident at their new homes.

They shall be given lands and real estates taking into consideration their previous financial and economic conditions and the government shall construct houses for those in need and seeds and tools shall be supplied to the farmers and business experts.

The movable properties they left behind shall be taken to them in a proper manner.

Pursuant to fixing and evaluation of real estates in cities and villages evacuated by the Armenians, those shall be distributed to the migrants to be settled down in such villages.

Places such as olive and mulberry groves, vineyards, shops, factories and warehouses which yield revenues shall be sold by auction or shall be rented and costs of the same shall be registered at the deposit for to be paid later to their owners.

Such issues shall be pursued by a special commission and instructions shall be issued on this subject.

As may be understood from the text, displaced persons would take their movable assets with them or they shall be taken to them afterwards, their real assets were to be sold by auction, prices to be paid to them.

In accordance with the Law on Relocation and Settlement dated 27 May 1915 and the decrees setting forth the forms of application of this law; the Armenian convoys were gathered in some certain centers such as Konya, Diyarbekir, Cizre, Birecik and Halep, on the crossroads to their destinations.

The routes on which the convoys were to be displaced were selected among the nearest roads due to security reasons and prevention of difficulties the migrants may suffer.

Maximum attention was paid for orderly sending and protection from any dangers or loss of the convoys despite the war conditions. As a matter of fact, Mersin Consul of America, Edward Natan, in the report he sent to Ambassador Morgenthau on 30 August 1915 depicted, “All routes from Tarsus to Adana were full of Armenians; despite some troubles that may take place due to the crowd, the government managed the situation well; it did not allow violence and irregularity; the migrants were provided necessary number of tickets; and those in need were provided assistance”.

If Ottoman government initiated a practice of intentionally killing a group of people, it would not implement decisions such as conditions to be provided for the migrants on their way, protection of the convoys against attacks by the bandits, medical aid, protection of children, registration of movables and real assets they left behind, giving food with meat at certain intervals. Therefore, relocation of the Armenians was not slaughtering of the Armenians, but was aimed at ensuring the security of the state and is the most successful relocation and settlement movement in history.

Expenses incurred during the Relocation

General Administrate for Migrants was established in order to meet the needs arising in relation with displaced Muslims, Greeks and Armenians and the migration movements toward Anatolia which attempted to solve the settlement, means of living and other problems of the migrants.

Documents pertaining to the practice give detailed information on in which provinces and districts hospitals were established, and which buildings were allotted for the orphaned Armenian children. The documents show that the amount spent for relocation, settlement and ensuring the living of the migrants subject to relocation was 25 million kurus in 1915, and 230 million kurus in 1916.

The convoys established during the migration were provided with means of transport or saddle beasts special care was given to women, elderly and children. Article 2 and Article 3 of the regulations issued by the term Ministry of the Interior, explained respectively that “the displaced Armenians could take all their goods and animals together with them” and “protecting the lives of the Armenians on the journey to the places they were to be settled during their travel and supplying their food and rest were the duties of the administrative authorities of the regions they pass; any slackness or carelessness that might take place with regard to this issue would be responsibility of all of the officers”.

Quinine was distributed to those migrating via sea in order to make sure that they protect themselves from malaria, which was an epidemic of the day and for the patients, the possibility of benefiting from military hospitals in addition to the civil hospitals was given.

Ottoman Government, while spending so much money for this replacement implementation, either delayed or cancelled the public and private debts of the Armenians subject to immigration. At the same time, an amount of money sent from America to be given to the Armenian immigrants was distributed to the Armenians by the American missionaries and consuls with the consent of the.

Armenian Population before the Relocation

The most abused and distorted issue, which the Armenian revolutionary committee members and their supporters of today use, is the Armenian population before and after the migration process. The records of war period, official figures, church logs, information on population in the reports of foreign missionaries are being constantly distorted to make the real population of those days look much more despite those documents the figures are unreasonably exaggerated so as to find support to their so-called genocide allegations. Some of these figures even exceed the total Armenian population of today’s world.

In some foreign resources the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire is:

2.5 million as per Armenian Patriarchate

2.2 million as per the Armenian Committee of Lausanne

1.5 million as per the French Yellow Book

1.5 million as per Britannica

1 million as per the English yearbook.

Armenian population as to Ottoman official documents is as follows:

1.001.465 as per 1893 Census

1.120.748 as per 1906 Census

1.221.850 as per Population Statistics of 1914

Taking into consideration the statistics pertaining either to the Ottomans and foreigners, it is evident that the population of the Armenians living in the Ottoman territories during World War I was about 1.250.000 at most.

It is certain that the most reliable numbers with regard to Armenian population of Ottoman State is in official documents. General Directorate of Statistics was established in 1892 in the Ottoman State. The general director was Nuri Bey in 1892, a Jew called Fethi Franco between 1892 and 1897, an Armenian called Migirdiç Sinabyan between 1897 and 1903, an American named Robert between 1903 and 1908 and Mehmet Behiç Bey between 1908 and 1914. As it is seen, non-Muslims were in control of the information about population in the Ottoman Empire in a period during which important events were taking Armenian issue to the political arena. Therefore, the information on population given by Ottoman sources should be relied on since no documents and opinions showing the contrary have been found until now.

The Regions where the Armenians were Settled

Within the framework of relocation implementaitons, it was decided that the Armenians from Erzurum, Van and Bitlis were to be sent to south of Musul, and to Zor and Urfa Districts; and Armenians from Adana, Halep, Maras to be sent to eastern Syria and east and southeast of Halep. However, a note to Adana, Erzurum, Bitlis, Halep, Diyarbekir, Syria, Sivas, Trabzon, Elazig (Mamuretülaziz) and Musul provinces and Adana Abandoned Property Commission Chairmanship, Zor, Maras, Canik, Kayseri and Izmit Administrates upon continuing revolutions and slaughters of Armenians, on 5 July 1915, set forth that the regions allotted for Armenian settlement was widened. At the same time, special attention was paid to establish the residential areas of the Armenians 25 km far from the Baghdad railway at most, to make sure that the Armenian population does not exceed 10 percent of the Muslim population of the region and to ensure that every village has maximum 50 houses.

The Population of the Armenians Subjected to the Relocation

The number of Armenians subjected to the relocation regarding their arrival and departure points was under control and registered at all times. It is quite obvious that 438.758 people were displaced from various regions of Anatolia and 382.148 of these people were safely replaced in new settlements between 9 June 1915 and 8 February 1916. As seen, there is a difference of 56.000 people between the evacuees and the arrives. All the figures regarding the relocation of the Armenians were registered. The pertinent Ottoman documents explain this difference as follows:

500 people on the road between Erzurum and Erzincan; 2000 in Meskene, between Urfa and Aleppo and 2000 others on the outskirts of Mardin were massacred in attacks launched by bandits or nomadic Arabs. Another 5000 people were killed in attacks on convoys passing through Dersim. These figures prove that no massacre had been occurred against the Armenians and it is impossible to mention a genocide.

It was understood from these documents that many people had also fallen victim to hunger while on the road. Apart from these, some 25-30 thousand people had lost their lives when struck by fatal diseases such as typhoid and dysentery. In all, an estimated 40 thousand casualties had been registered during relocation. The remaining 10-16 thousand people were made at stay in provinces they had reached, when the implementation of relocation was brought to an end. For instance, on April 26, 1916, orders were given to provide the return to and the settlement in the province of Konya of those Armenians setting out form the province to new destinations. On the other hand, many other Armenians are believed to have fled to either Russia or to Western countries, including the Unites States.

Apart from this, many Armenians went to several countries prior to the war and after the war mainly to United States of America and Russia. It was set forth with certain documents that 50.000 Armenians were trained in the region where they joined the Russian army and that 50.000 Armenians were receiving training in the American army for fighting with the Turks. In fact, the letter of an Armenian who was living in America to Murad Muradyan an advocate in Elezig shows such information. In the concerned letter, Muradyan mentions that some Armenians were escaped to Russia and America and later 50.000 of those trained soldiers went to Caucassia. As it can be understood from all the concerned documents, many of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman State were scattered through various countries especially to U.S.A. and Russia, before and during the war. For example, Artin Hotomyan who was a tradesman in America sent a letter to the Chieftain of Security on January 19, 1915 and stated that thousands of Armenians migrated to U.S.A. and they were facing with hunger and hardships.

According to the report presented by Noradungian Gabrial to the Lausanne Conference Evacuation Commission, it was observed that 345.000 people went to the Caucasus, 140.000 people went to Syria, 120.000 to Greece and to the Aegean islands, 40.000 to Bulgaria, 50.000 to Iran; 695.000 in total.

In a message sent to Hüseyin Rauf by Hatisov who participated in the Trabzon Conference (14 March - 14 April 1918) and who was one of the eminent figures of the Armenians (he became the President of Armenia afterwards), it was said that the number of Armenians who left the Ottoman territories and went to the Caucasus was 400.000.

Another Armenian Richard Hovannisian states that 50.000 Armenians went to Lebanon, 10.000 to Jordan, 40.000 to Egypt, 25.000 to Iraq, and 35.000 to France and USA from the Arabian countries except for Syria .

In the light of the figures given by Armenians and foreigners, it is clear that 345.000 Armenians went to the Caucasus, 140.000 to Syria, 120.000 to Greece and to the Aegean islands, 40.000 to Bulgaria, 50.000 to Iran, 50.000 to Lebanon, 10.000 to Jordan, 40.000 to Egypt, 25.000 to Iraq, and 35.000 to France, USA, Austria etc. in the application of evacuation and placement; 855.000 Armenians in total.

It is impossible that 2-3 millions of Armenians could have been killed as claimed by Armenians. This slander may be the biggest lie on the earth as the number of the Armenians living in the territories of the Ottoman State had been around 1.250.000.

Moreover, if the Ottoman State had wanted to get rid of its Armenians subjects, this could have been handled by assimilation or by presenting the war as a reason. However, as it is known, Armenians led a more comfortable life than that of the Turks in the Ottoman Empire. As stated, when the Armenians, who were deceived by the dream that the territories occupied by Armenians would be given to them and that an independent Armenia could be established, began to fight with the Ottomans, in betrayal, the application of relocation became a must. Execution of relocation did not aim at the destroying Armenians, on the contrary, it was aimed at protecting them and providing security of the state, and it is the most successful relocation application of the world.

Attacks on the Armenian Convoys and the Measures Taken by the Government

Certain convoys were attacked by the tribes located between Aleppo and Zor, and by Arab bandits during the journey of Armenians to the placement areas. According to a deciphered telegram of 8 January 1916, it was reported that many Armenians had been killed by the attacks of Arab bandits whose intentions were robbery, in the area between Aleppo and Meskene, that 2.000 Armenians were robbed and attacked by the Arab tribes on their way to Aleppo through Saruç and Menbiç. It was also reported that around 2.000 people had been killed regardless of their religion including Muslims and non-Muslims in Diyarbekir by certain bandits and tribes, and that another convoy of 500 people travelling on Erzurum-Erzincan way was killed due to the attacks of Kurds.

The Ottoman Government spent great efforts in order to provide the safety of the convoys while it was also fighting with the enemy on battle fronts. Certain inspection delegations were established and sent to replacement areas in order to investigate the officials who failed to settlement areas. These delegations dispatched those people found guilty to Martial Court. Some authorities were dismissed from service and some others were given heavy punishments.

Those Armenians who were not Relocated

According to the telegrams of 2nd and 15th August 1915, sent to the Governor Offices of relevant provinces it was reported that those Armenians of Catholic and Protestant sects, Armenians serving in the Ottoman Army officers and in medical troops, Armenians working in the branches of the Ottoman Bank, Armenians in the Reggie administration and in certain consular offices were excluded from relocation as long as they remained loyal to the state.

In addition, the sick, the disabled, the old, and the women and children were excluded from relocation, they were taken care of in orphanages and villages and their needs were met by the state. In a circular of 30th April 1916, on Armenian families who need shelter, it was stated that those families whose fathers had been replaced or were serving the military or had nobody to look after them would be settled in villages and towns where there were no foreigners other then Armenians and that their needs would be met by the immigrant budget.

Property of the Armenians who were Relocated

According to the instruction published on 10th June 1915, properties of Armenians who were subjected to immigration were protected. Those properties that could not be protected, such as animals and workshops that needed to be operated were sold by certain committees established for the care purpose by public auction and the income earned was sent to their owners.

Returning of Armenians who were Relocated

The placement of Armenians in new settlements was stopped on 25 November 1915 due to winter. In a general instruction sent to the provinces and sanjaks, it was stated that the relocation of Armenians was stopped totally, and that no relocation would be performed for any reason. After the end of the World War I, a circular was issued in order to provide the return of Armenians who had been subjected to the relocation to their homes if they wished. In a document issued by the Interior Minister Mustafa Pasha and sent to the Prime Ministry on 4th January 1919, it was set forth that certain instructions had been issued in order to provide the return of Armenians who were subjected to relocation to their homes if they wished and it was stated in detail that required precautions were taken.

The Reflections concerning Relocation in the World

Although the foreign observers located in the areas where relocation operations were being executed reported that even though the Ottomans Government fought in several fronts in the World War I, it executed relocation operations successfully and with great care, the western press gave misinformation about the issue and distorted the facts. For example, although the Consular of the United States of America in Mersin, Edward Natan, stated in his report that the relocation implementations were carried out in an order, the Ambassador in Istanbul distorted the facts in Natan’s report and when his report reached America, the American press used this information against the Turks.

Within the framework of the reports of the British consulars in Iran, the claims that 1.000.000 Armenians were killed were taken into consideration in the English Parliament and the decision to protest the Turkish Government was taken. Moreover, the Mavi Kitap (the Blue Book) published in Britain on the Armenian events, claimed that in the Ottoman Empire one third of the total Armenian population, which was 1.800.000 was killed.

Inspection by Foreigners

After the World War I, following the occupation of Istanbul and other provinces by the Central European Powers, 143 Ottoman political and military leaders and intellectuals were arrested and sent to the Malta island by the British and to be tried. A comprehensive investigation was carried out in the Ottoman archives in order to find out the proof of guilt regarding these imprisoned people, but no proof showing that they were guilty could be presented to the court. The British Government studied on certain reports in its archives and the archives of the USA in Washington thoroughly, but no evidence was found.

In a message sent by the British Ambassador in Washington R. C. Craigie to Lord Curzon on 13 July 1921, it was stated that

“I am sorry to say that nothing to be used against the Turks persecuted in Malta as proof could be found... No problem is available at the moment to present as a qualified evidence. The relevant reports, in no way, seem to be including any proofs to support the information available in the Government of Her Majesty’s regarding the Turks”.

The Law Advisers in London stated on 29th July 1921 that the accusations on the persons included in the list of the British Foreign Office included semi-political judgement, and therefore a new operation has to be performed for those Turks who were arrested for accusations of war crimes.

“No statement was received from any witnesses proving that the accusations against the arrested persons are right. Indeed, it is not clear that any witness can be found as it is unnecessary to state that it is highly difficult to find any witness in a country which is far and hard to reach such as Armenia, particularly after such a long time”. This statement was made by the Law Advisers of the British Government in London.

In conclusion, those arrested people in Malta were released in 1922 without any hearing and any accusation directed to them.

During this period, certain documents were published in the British press accusing the Ottoman Government and trying to prove these accusations. It was claimed that these documents were found in the Ottoman State offices in Syria by the British Occupation Forces under the command of General Allenby. However, the investigations carried out by the British Foreign Office afterwards found out that these documents given to the British press were not the documents received by the British Army, but they were fake documents sent to the allied delegations by the Nationalist Armenian Delegation in Paris.

Replies of the Scientists for the Claims

Scientists considering the history according the sizes and principles of history, received the original information and documents regarding the issue since 1925 and listened to the witnesses, and made certain observations in the areas that the events took place. These scientists knew that the Ottoman Archives were open to foreign researchers to personal applications. Therefore, comments or contrary beliefs on their convictions can only be made by the people who know in detail as much as these scientists.

Another significant document regarding the issue is the report presented by the 69 American scientists to the Parliament of Representatives on 19 May 1985.

“The area called Turkey, in fact “Republic of Turkey”, was a part of the Ottoman Empire which was a multi-religious, multi-national state from the 14th century to 1922. It is incorrect to consider the Ottoman Empire as equal to the Republic of Turkey just as in the case of Habsburg Empire and Republic of Austria”.

Those American academicians whose signatures are present below and who are experts on Turks and Ottoman researches, are of the opinion that the language used in the resolution of the American Parliament of Representatives was distorted and incorrect. Our concerns focus on the use of the “Turkey” and “genocide” and can be summarised as follows:

The Ottoman Empire which was brought down in 1922 by the Turkish Revolution, which led to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 192, was a state that had the territories of more than 25 states currently located in the Southeast Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, one of which is the Republic of Turkey. The Republic of Turkey cannot be held responsible for any event that took place during the Ottomans.

As for the “genocide” accusation, those signing this report do not have any intention to look down on the dimensions of the pains that Armenians had suffered. Likewise, we are of the opinion that the suffering of the Muslim people in the concerned area cannot be treated in a different way either. (...) However, there are several documents and findings to be reached by the historians in order to differ the belligerent and innocent from the to find out the reasons for the events.

The accusations, such as those in the Resolution of the Parliament of Representatives No 192 shall lead to the unjust statements regarding the Turkish people and maybe will damage the improvements obtained by the historians in understanding these tragic events.

If the Congress approves this Resolution, it shall try to decide on what part of the historical problem is correct via laws. Such a decision based on suspicious assumptions shall damage historical research and shall damage the reliability of the American legislative process.”

WHAT IS GENOCIDE?

The replacement was presented by the Armenians and hostile states as a massacre and genocide against Armenians, and a massive propaganda campaign was launched against the Ottomans.

Genocide is the crime of annihilation of human groups because of racial, national, ethnic and religious differences. It can be perpetrated only directly by a Government or under its consent. In order to prevent the crime of genocide in the world, the United Nations General Assembly voted in 1948 the Genocide Convention, to which Turkey adhered in 1950.

The mention of genocide reminds the massive massacres perpetrated by Nazis against Jews and other ethnic groups In World War II. In this period lasting from 1939 to 1945 six million Jews, more than three millions of Soviet prisoners of war, more than one million Polish and Yugoslav civilians, about 200.000 Gypsies and 70.000 disabled persons were murdered. This is genocide in the true sense of the word.

Similarly, an imposing number of genocides have been committed in the recent years despite the United Nations Convention. For example, the confessions of two retired French generals published in the daily Le Monde show that the French army murdered at least one million Algerians between 1954 and 1962, while the Indonesian army massacred a full one million communists and their family members in 1965 and 1966, the Red Khmer killed 1,7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979, 500.000 Tutsis were beheaded by Huttus of Ruanda in 1994 and thousands of Moslems were exposed to Serbian atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.

The crime of genocide was committed in the above cases in its most blatant form. Contrary to the Armenian pretensions, the measures adopted regarding the Armenians in Eastern Anatolia was merely a replacement in another region within the Empire for security reasons and had nothing to do with genocide.

It is true that there were Armenian losses during the war and the replacement operation but they were actually due to the failure of establishment of order because of the war and the revolts in Eastern Anatolia., together with hunger, lack of food and fuel, adverse climatic conditions and epidemics such as typhus. There was no genocide or a planned massacre whatsoever.

It is a fact that the Armenians were subjected to many similar replacements in the past for treason against the states under whose hegemonies they were living. the Sasanites moved 70.000 Armenians to Iran in 379 AD, the Byzantines relocated 40.000 East Anatolian Armenians in Sivas and Kayseri in 1025, the Mameluks sent 10.000 to Egypt, the Iranians dispersed 24.000 into the country and the Russians invading Crimea sent thousands of Armenians into the Siberian steppes.

Without mentioning any of these preceding replacements and exiles, the Armenians strive to make a genocide issue out of their replacement undertaken in 1915 for undeniably sound reasons by the Ottoman State. This attitude is the product of policies designed to break apart the integrity of Turkey. The most obvious evidence of this phenomenon lies in the fact that the Western powers, oblivious to the true genocide events in Africa, the Balkans and several other parts of the world, lend support to the claims of genocide against Armenians.

THE ARMENIAN TERRORISM

Another significant dimension of the Armenian issue from Turkey’s point of view is the start of the use of armed terror methods by the Armenians against the Turks. This aggressive strategy which was aimed directly at Turkish statesmen, started with the bombed attack launched in 1905 against Emperor Abdulhamid II.

After the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, there was a peaceful period until 1965. In 1965 the terrorist movements suddenly rekindled with the support of the Armenian lobby. Turkish diplomats were killed, nearly 20 monuments were erected until the end of 1972 and a systematic press and publication activity was launched.

During the Armenian terror period, it was the traditional Tashnak and Hinchak organisations that designed, developed and implemented the attacks, diversified the targets, provided manpower for the terrorist teams, gave them moral and psychological support and found the necessary contacts for them.. The organisation that made itself known most frequently in this process was the ASALA, the acronym of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia.

The creators of the new terror age were the traditional terrorist organisations through the teams and groups that they trained, and the ASALA with the most merciless and inhuman practices under an independence mask. ASALA received its moral and psychological support, and the medium for contacts and relations from Hinchak. It may be stated on the basis of the foregoing that the traditional terror continued without respite, benefited from the occasions offered in the ‘60s and, making use of the of the opportunities launched a manhunt against Turks.

The Armenian terrorist organisations showed a rapid ascent within a relatively short time by armed assaults against the Turkish officials, representations and organisations abroad. During this period, the Armenians who secured themselves bases in Central and Eastern European Countries, and Syria and Lebanon also received help from the Cypriot Greeks and Greece.

The Armenian terror organisations, upon adverse reactions from the world opinion, have changed have their tactics and entered into co-operation with the terrorist group PKK in the ‘80s. PKK was pushed into the scene with the attacks directed against Eruh and ªemdinli in 1984 and the Armenian terrorist group ASALA withdrew to the background. The facts evidencing the connection between the Armenians and PKK are the following:

The terrorist group PKK announced the dates between 21 and 28 April 1980 as the Red Week and commemorated the 24th April as the day of genocide committed against Armenians.

On 8th April 1980, PKK and ASALA organised a joint press conference in the City of Sidon in Lebanon and issued a declaration at the end of this conference. Because of the reactions against this event, however, they decided to maintain their relations illegally on a secret basis. PKK and ASALA declared joint responsibility for the attacks made on the Turkish Consulate General in Strasbourg on 9th November 1980 and on the Turkish Airlines bureau in Rome on 9th November the same year.

Abdullah Öcalan, the separatist terrorist and the leader of PKK, was elected to honorary membership of “the Association of Armenian Authors” for “his intellectual contributions to the idea of Great Armenia.”

A Kurdistan Committee within the Armenian Popular Movement was formed as in many European countries.

On 4th June 1993, the Armenian Hinchak Party held a meeting at the PKK headquarters in Western Beyrouth with the participation of several members of PKK and ASALA.

Another striking example of the Armenian-PKK relations is the following group of decisions taken in the meetings held at two separate churches in Beyrouth from 5th to 9th January 1993, with the participation of the Armenian Orthodox Archbishop, officials of the Armenian Party and about 150 youth representatives:

A somewhat sedate attitude should be reserved toward Turkey for the time being.

The Armenian community is on the way to growth and better economic conditions.

The propaganda activities have started to make the genocide claims better understood in the rest of the world.

The recently-founded Armenian State, with a constantly growing territory, will definitely avenge the ancestors of its citizens.

The Western powers and particularly the United States side with and favour the Armenians in the combat for Karabakh. This opportunity should be well exploited as more and more Armenian young men join the ranks in this fight.

The civil war in Turkey ( referring to the war against PKK terrorism) will continue and eventually collapse the country’s economy, leading to an uprising by the entire population.

Turkey will be separated and a Kurdish State will be formed.

Armenians will hold good relations with the Kurds and support their fight.

Territories presently held by the Turks will become Armenian tomorrow.

It may be stated briefly that the common goal of the Armenian terrorist organisations is to destabilise Turkey using all available opportunities, to save the so-called Armenian land under occupation, and to create an independent Great Armenia. These expectations appear to be nurtured also by the new state of Armenia under different forms and guises.

CURRENT SITUATION

The Republic of Armenia that declared its independence on 23rd September 1991 following the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has made the genocide claims against Turkey a state policy. Trying to create the image of a nation under oppression and persecution, it strives to secure the sympathies of Western powers and particularly the United States and France and international organisations.

Their objective is the recognition and registering of the genocide claims, securing a sizeable indemnity from Turkey, the returning of the territories “seized from Armenians” and the establishment of Great Armenia. In fact, the declaration adopted on 23rd August 1990 by the Armenian Parliament states, in no uncertain terms, that “The Armenian Republic supports the efforts for the international recognition of the 1915 genocide in Western Armenia by the Ottoman Turkey”.

The initiatives intended for the recognition of the so called genocide have been concentrated on in a number of countries where commemorative monuments were erected and the claims of genocide were formally included in school curricula .

A relatively mild atmosphere prevailed in the Turkish-Armenian relations under the term in office of Ter Petrossian. With the election, however, of Kocharian to the Presidency in April 1998, the extreme nationalist activities were let loose and Armenia began to pursue a toughness policy in its relations with Turkey. Kocharian stated in an official declaration that “The Armenians will never forget the genocide and always try to remind the rest of the world of this tragedy” and added that “The Genocide remains unpunished and the international recognition and reproach are inadequate and insufficient”. He repeated this statement also in the 53rd General Assembly Meeting of the United Nations and said that Armenia was under the blockade grip of Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The best reply to people like Kocharian has been given by the Armenian community living in Turkey. Regarding the genocide and the replacement claims, Dikran Kevorkian, Kandilli Armenian Church Pastor, said the following on 7th October 2000 in a television programme named “ Nutshell”:

Genocide and replacement denote two different concepts. The imperialist schemes and the Armenian apolitical dream leaders (media, churches and the clergy) are the causes of this situation. The Patriarch is a spiritual leader and a blunder is committed when his opinions are sought about political matters. What could ASALA and PKK do if there were no political support behind them? There was a German pressure on the Sublime Porte for the replacement, in an attempt to shake the existing order and to secure itself economic benefits through the Berlin-Baghdad railroad.

For the assimilation claims, Kevorkian stated the following words:

Today, it is only in Turkey among all countries of the world that the Armenians manage to maintain their own identity. The Armenians in the Diaspora abroad continue their struggle for existence by changing their names because there are efforts there to assimilate the Armenians. The Diaspora knows very well that the Sunday rites in all major American churches are in English and the Armenians are gradually forgetting their own language. When we say these we are criticised. It is for these reasons that we, as the Armenians living in Turkey declare our regrets against these efforts, because an injustice is being committed to the concept of “National Forces” entrusted to us by Atatürk. All this is a stratagem conducted from abroad, including the ASALA, PKK and Kocharian’s declaration. We, as the citizens of Turkey believe that an injustice is perpetrated here. If Armenians are intelligent enough, they should not allow themselves to be used for the interests of others.

In a reception held at Hilton Hotel on 22nd May 1999, the Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II gave the following messages refuting most of the Armenian claims:

The establishment of the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate is an event unprecedented in the history. In 1481, only eight years after the conquest of Istanbul,. the firman issued by Mohammed the Conqueror for the conversion of the West Anatolian Armenian Episcopate into the Istanbul Patriarchate, is a clear evidence of his vision and the tolerance displayed by the subsequent sultans, toward other religions.

The establishment of a spiritual leadership office for a religion other than that of the ruler is unprecedented in the history before and after Mohammed the Conqueror. We will better understand the value of this event that occurred some 538 years ago and the importance of the tolerance between religions and cultures when we consider the clashes prevailing in the world and the wars being fought around us, at the threshold of a new millenium .

On this occasion, we recall with affection and gratitude Mohammed the Conqueror, all the statesmen that served the country along the lines that he had drawn and our eighty-three Patriarchs who faithfully served this office, beginning with the first Istanbul Armenian Patriarch Hovaghim from Bursa.

We, the Turkish Armenians as the largest Christian community living in this country sincerely believe in the bright future of the Republic of Turkey, we joyfully celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary and we maintain great hopes for the future.

CONCLUSION

As in the past, there are still some states that are trying to obtain political and economic benefits through the Armenian community. In some countries monuments have been erected to accuse Turks and Turkey of committing a genocide; in others, decisions with the purpose of the recognition of the so called genocide are included on the parliamentary agendas; and even in some other countries these decisions have been approved by the parliaments. These issues, which should have been left to historians are becoming a means of self interest in the hands of ambitious politicians.

Ever since the emergence of the Armenian problem, Armenian terrorists have never hesitated to kill and massacre. The aim of these terrorists, who insist on ignoring all the historical facts, is to publicise their claims for the so called Armenian genocide and the demands of Armenians, all over the world. The ultimate goal is “Great Armenia”.

In order to realise their “Great Armenia” dream, Armenians and their supporters have put their “Four T” plan into operation, which exploits the replacement of Armenians and presents it as a genocide to the whole world.

The objective of this plan is to make propaganda about the so called genocide, to have it recognised, to obtain indemnity and to acquire land from Turkey.

The Armenian problem was created by the states that wanted to attain their own goals by separating the Ottoman Empire. Today, the Armenian problem is a baseless, artificial and designed problem, which is still kept on the agenda by the same states which have different names now, so as to realise their evil intentions on Turkey.

Those, who hope to obtain benefits with these false claims and accusations are not the Turkish citizens of Armenian origin, who live in the borders of the Turkish Republic and who are completely free to practice all their traditions and religious customs. They are the Diaspora Armenians who are physically and emotionally away from the Armenian lands where people are suffering from starvation; They are the opportunistic politicians who provoke their own citizens for dangerous and futile adventures so as to get more votes. The injustice done to Turkey by these opportunists who disregard all historical facts for gaining political and economic advantages must be stopped.

www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/intro/index.html


Throughout history, hundreds, thousands...millions of people lived on these lands. At times, their existence was marked by battles, and at others, peace reigned over them. The Armenians too, were among the inhabitants of these lands. They were ruled by the Persians, the Macedonians, the Seleucids, the Romans, Partians, Byzantines and Arabs...were constantly exiled from one region to the other, and were accorded third-class citizenship until the Turks gained sovereignty over Anatolia, in 1071. After this date, fighting gradually diminished and Byzantine persecution left its place to the just, tolerant, humanitarian and unifying beliefs and traditions of the Seljuks. The years of peace and calm enjoyed by Armenians under the hegemony of the Seljuks reached a climax under the rule of the Ottomans...a period that can be defined as the 'Golden Age'... Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, who put an end to Byzantine rule, allowed the foundation of the Armenian Patriarchate, an unprecedented move for the Armenians to whom he granted freedom of conscience and faith. The transformation of the Armenian Episcopate in Western Anatolia to the Istanbul Patriarchate, following a decree he issued in 1461, is clear evidence of the vision and tolerance displayed by Mehmed and of the subsequent Ottoman Sultans toward other faiths.

As a matter of fact, the present day Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II was according due rights to those who in turn had taken a similar stand toward the Armenians throughout their 'Golden Age' by saying: " We can duely grasp the significance of tolerance between different religions and cultures, as well as the value of this incident dating back to 538 years, by taking into account the tensions witnessed throughout the world on the threshold of a new millennium, the ongoing wars beyond our borders in particular."

Following the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, Turco-Armenian relations continued excellently until the end of the 19th century. In fact, Armenians were by far, the greatest beneficiaries of the opportunities offered by the Ottoman Empire to all industrious, efficient, honest and productive subjects of the non-muslim communities. Being exempted from the military service and to a great extent from taxation, the Armenians had the opportunity to make headway in trade, agriculture, craftsmanship and administration, and by reason of their loyalty to the Empire, as well as their ability to intermingle with other subjects, they had duely attained the title of 'loyal people'.

SELJUK-ARMENIAN RELATIONS

Towards the end of 7th century, the Byzantine hegemony in Anatolia came to an end. First, the Umayyeds gained sovereignty and then the Abbasides came into power, ruled until the end of the 9th century. At the end of 10th century, the Byzantine Empire restored its hegemony in entire Anatolia.

Byzantine Emperor Vasil II spent the last years of his life leading some activities in the Caucuses. After the death of Gagik I (990-1020) of the Armenian Bagratuni dynasty, chaos started in this region, which gave the Byzantine Emperor a chance to interfere with the Caucuses successfully. Thus, a part of Georgia and Van region were annexed to the Byzantine Empire and the Armenian Ani dynasty was succeeded by Ionnas Smbat, the son and life-long heir apparent of Gagik. After Ionnas Smbat died Byzantine Empire had annexed the dynasty.

The Byzantine Empire not only annexed the territories in this land, where Armenians lived but also “removed the commanders of Armenian nation from their own houses and states and exiled these commanders with them” as Mateos of Urfa stated. The situation was really suitable for Seljuks to enter Anatolia. Christian defenses in the region had weakened and Byzantine army also lost power due to domestic political disputes and military rebellions.

The Seljukian Crown Prince Hasan commenced raids to Van Lake region in 1047-1048. Ibrahim Yinal who was appointed as Azerbaijan Governor General, in collaboration with Kutalmish defeated the Byzantine Army, which was under the command of Liparit, Aaron and Katalon, in Pasin Plains in September 1048, upon the order he took from Tugrul Beg.

Romanos VI. Diogenes, who obtained power by marrying Byzantine Emperor Konstantin Dukas’s (May 1067) wife after the emperor’s death, promptly took the control of the war against the Seljuks. However, due to the weakening of his army, he gathered an army mostly consisting of foreign soldiers (Pecheneg, Oghuz, Norman, Frank, Armenian, Slav, Bulgarian, German, Caspian, Georgian) with great difficulties.

According to Islamic and Christian resources, this army mobilized by the Byzantine Emperor, added up to a total between 200.000 and 600.000 soldiers. The Byzantine Emperor, before moving towards Malazgirt, heard the news that Armenians acted more brutally than the Turks did and he swore to destroy Armenian community after the war.

On 26th August 1071, the Byzantine Emperor attacked onto Sultan Alparslan’s army at a location around Van Lake near Malazgirt with his paid army, which was superior in number but undisciplined and consisting of foreign soldiers. However, his army was routed and almost destroyed by Alparslan’s army, and even the Emperor himself was captured. Alparslan made peace with Emperor Diogenes and sent him to Istanbul back to his throne with a great ceremony.

Mateos of Urfa, after listening to people who had experienced these events personally wrote about it and expressed Byzantine behavior towards Armenians who lived for so long under the sovereignty of Byzantium:

“... They (Romans) caused Catholicos (Haçik) to suffer from various types of torture because of his sect. As we heard, they tortured him with fire, but he came out of fire safe and sound.”

“Two years later (993-994) the Great Roman Duke attacked the Armenians with a powerful army, dashing at Christians, he killed them and captured them. He, like a poisonous snake, brought death everywhere, and thus took the place of godless nations.”

How did Turks behave the Armenians who fought together with Byzantium against Turks? Did Turks despise and oppress them or burn their churches and monasteries as the Byzantine rulers did? Mateos of Urfa recorded the tolerance shown to all non-Moslem minorities living under Seljukian rule, especially the Armenians:

“In 539 (27th February 1090-26th February 1091) the Armenian Catholicos Barseg went to Conqueror Sultan Melikshah. Seeing that Christians are oppressed at some places, taxes are demanded from churches of God and clergy, and bishops are oppressed in monasteries for taxes, Catolicosis decided to enter the presence of Iran’s and all Christians’ magnanimous and pleasant Sultan and tell him all problems. The Sultan admitted signor Barseg to his presence paid him a great compliment and fulfilled his wishes. The Sultan exempted all churches and monasteries and the clergy from taxes and gave Armenian Catolicosis, firmans and saw him off with compliments.”

As it can be understood from the statements above, Seljukian Turks showed Armenians as well as the other non-Muslim subjects, the tolerance, which had not been shown by the Byzantine Empire and ensured them that he will protect their religion and social lives. This tolerance continued in the period of Anatolian Seljuk Empire as well. In spite of all the tolerance shown to them, it is also known that Armenians sometimes supported to the Byzantine Empire and also, at the time of the Crusades, they reinforced the Crusade Armies.

REFERENCE:
Yıldırım, Dr.Hüsamettin, Ermeni İddiaları ve Gerçekler, Ankara, 2000.


TURCO - ARMENIAN RELATIONS

OTTOMAN — ARMENIAN RELATIONS

In the first years of the Ottoman Empire, Armenians were scattered as small princedoms and emirates. They were living as subjects of Iran, Byzantine Empire, Georgian and Seldjukian States and the other small emirates located generally in Cukurova, Eastern Anatolia and Caucasus regions.

The first relations of Armenians with Ottomans started in the western region of Anatolia, where Armenians were a small minority. After Bursa was made the capital city of the state by Osman Ghazi (Sultan Osman I) in 1324, most of the Armenians in Kutahya and the Armenian spiritual chieftain were transferred to this city.

Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, on his own initiative transferred Hovakim, the Armenian spiritual leader in Bursa, to Istanbul after he conquered Istanbul in 1453. In 1461, he had Armenian Patriarchate established as well as the Byzantine Greek Patriarchate, and he ensured Armenians to be controlled by this Patriarch. Following Sultan Selim’s (Selim I) conquest of South Caucasia and Eastern Anatolia in 1514-1516, Armenians in this region were also included in the same congregation and were connected to Istanbul Patriarch.

Armenians, who received the attention of the Ottoman Empire, an attention, which they had never received in their history from any other state or any other ruler, became sincerely fond of the Ottoman State and the Turkish nation. Because of this reason, in a short time great numbers of Armenians immigrated to Istanbul from various places, and formed a big community. Thus, they became one of the world’s most prosperous communities.

In a period of three hundred and fifty years from Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror to Sultan Mahmut II, religious and social affairs of Christians, as well as the Armenians, were certainly not interfered with. Many schools, printing-houses and libraries were established with the help of Armenian bankers (then called Amira), merchants and civil officials. In addition, many Armenian young men were sent to European universities and schools to be educated in various fields and learn art. Nevertheless, Armenians living under Russian rule were not given these rights at that period.

Armenian Patriarch Nerses stated, in his letter, to the Citizenship Assembly Council in 1876 that “If by any chance the Armenian nation has been preserved as a nation and if it is preserving its beliefs, its church, language, history and cultural values, all these are due to the protection, help and benevolence shown by the Turkish government to the Armenian nation. Fate bounds Armenians to Turks. Because of this, Armenians can not remain indifferent during wars and hardships facing the state. On the contrary, they are obliged to help the state as they have always done. The Armenian who loves his homeland and who will help the state, will receive the best service of his own nation.”

As it is seen in the statement above, the Armenian Patriarch says that the Armenians under Turkish rule have preserved their identities and he thanks for the rights offered by the Ottoman State.

The Ottoman State announced the reforms to be made in Gulhane Decree but non-Muslims were not pleased with these new rights given. Non-Muslims were obliged to do military service and they could also charged with official duty or attend civil and military schools. As a result of this, Armenians had the government ratify the Armenian Nation Regulations, which came into force in 1863 and consisted of 99 articles.

Armenians were always treated first class citizens as the other non-Muslims were. They did not do military service, furthermore, they gained important positions in society and became rich especially by obtaining key points in commercial life.

Armenians’ fidelity towards the Ottoman State, their adaptation of Turkish customs and even their speaking Turkish well ensured Armenians to be appointed to high and responsible positions of the state. With regard to this fact, in the 16th century, there were statesmen who were promoted to the post of vizier like Mehmet Pasha of Armenian origin. In the 18th century, there were palace jewelers and later Ministers of Mint from the Duzyan family of Divrik and palace doctors from Sasyan family. In the 19th century, there were Ministers of Mint from Bezciyan family and Ministers of Powder-mill from Dadyan family. Also, there were Armenian foreign affairs officials and ministers in the 19th century and Abdulhamid period and so on. In addition, many Armenians worked as counselors to Ottoman statesmen.

The Armenian community always lived in a tolerant and free environment, like all the other minorities and non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire. They were not a community which was exposed to a massacre as claimed but a community who held important positions and practiced important professions in every level of state administration.

Perhaps the most striking statements about Ottoman-Armenian relations were submitted in person by the Armenian community in Turkey. Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II used the expressions below in his speech in the reception in Hilton Hotel on May 22, 1999:

“We are at the brink of the third millenium. We are preparing to celebrate the beginning of a new period in the History of Humanity. I think that this is a great chance for all of us. The chance of designating our future with the dreams of unity of cultures and nations...

Respect to human life and individual rights and freedoms, and a world lawful and far away from all types of violence are common aspirations for all of us.

This milestone in front of us is offering not only a unique opportunity but also a difficult test. The second millenium, which we are preparing to leave behind, is full of tragic events.

However, among the ones we left behind there are also many events which we will always remember with respect and celebrate with pleasure in the coming milleniums.

As we celebrate today...

The foundation of Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate is an unique event in the history of world.

Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror’s converting the Armenian episcopalism in Western Anatolia into Istanbul Patriarchate with a firman in 1461, eight years after he conquered Istanbul, is a clear example of his and Ottoman Empire’s future vision and tolerance they showed to all religions.

In history, it has never been seen neither before Mehmed nor after him that a ruler who is a disciple of a certain religion establish a spiritual presidency for the disciples of an another religion.

If we consider present tensions in the world and especially the wars in our neighbors in the eve of a new millenium, I suppose we can comprehend better the value of this event, which occurred 538 years ago and the importance of tolerance between religions and cultures.

With pleasure and gratitude, we commemorate Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror who offered a new life for the Armenian community within the borders of the Empire according to their own customs and practice, the statesmen who served the country following Mehmed’s steps, and our 83 patriarchs, beginning with the first Istanbul Armenian Patriarch appointed in 1461, Hovagim of Bursa, all of whom served this position faithfully.

We, Turkish Armenians, as being the most crowded Christian community living in Turkey celebrate 75th year of our country with enthusiasm, we sincerely believe in the bright future of Republic of Turkey and we have great expectations for future.”

SOME OF ARMENIANS WHO WERE AT DUTY IN THE OTTOMAN STATE

Name - Surname Duty
Agop Gırcikyan First ambassador of Ottoman Empire (Paris) counselor of Reshid Pasha. Chargé d’affaires of Ottoman Empire’s Embassy for Paris (1834 -)
Krikor Agaton Ottoman Post-Telephone-Telegraph General Manager (1864)
Employee in Foreign Affairs Ministry (1848 — 1850)
Sahak Abro General Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ministry (1850 - )
Sebuh Laz Secretary in Minas-Paris Turkish Embassy (1863)
Krikor Odyan Foreign Affairs Judgement Manager (1870)
Serkis Efendi Confidential Secretary in Foreign Affairs (1870 — 1871)
Ovakim K. Reisyan Court Chairman of Vize Town in Istanbul (1879)/ Preparatory Court Chairman of Chios (1885)/ Preparatory Court Chairman of Rhodes (1887)
Artin Dadyan Pasha Foreign Affairs Undersecretary (1880)
Diran Aleksan Beg Turkish Ambassador for Belgium (1862) Post Telephone Telegraph Inspector
Yetvart Zohrab Efendi Ambassador for London (1838 — 1839)
Hırant Düz Beg Mesine (Italy) Ambassador (1900 — 1907)
Hovsep Misakyan Efendi Ambassador in La Haye (1900 — 1907)
Sarkis Balyan Turkish Consulate in Montenegro and Italy (1900 - )
Azaryan Manuk Efendi Foreign Affairs Undersecretary
Kapriyel Noradunkyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Gazi Ahmet Muhtar Pasha’s Cabinet (1912)
Agop Kazazyan Pasha Minister of Finance / Minister of Treasure of Property
Mikael Portukal Pasha Ministry of Finance Counselor (1886- General Director of Ziraat Bank/ Minister of Civil List(1891)
Sakız Ohannes Pasha General Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ministry (1871) Minister of Treasure of Property (1897)
Garabet Artin Davut Pasha Ambassador for Vienna (1856 — 1857)/ Governor of Lebanon (1861) Minister of Post Telephone Telegraph and Public Works Ministries (1868)
Krikor Sinapyan Minister of Public Works
Krikor Ağaton Post Telephone Telegraph General Manager (1864)
Jorj Serpos Efendi Turkey Telegraphs General Secretary (1868)
Osgan Mardikyan Minister of Post Telephone Telegraph Ministry (1913)
Tomas Terziyan Lecturers in School of Civil Servants
Nişan Guğasyan Lecturers in School of Civil Servants
Tavit Çıracıyan Lecturers in School of Civil Servants
Krikor Zohrab Members of Istanbul in Parliament
Bedros Hallacıyan Members of Istanbul in Parliament


REFERENCES:
1)Türk Devleti Hizmetinde Ermeniler (1453 — 1953), Rahip Komidos Çarkcıyan, Istanbul, 1953
2)British Documents on Ottoman Armenians (4 volumes), 1983, 1989, 1990, Türk Tarih Kurumu
3) Osmanlı İdaresinde Ermeniler, Nejat Göyünç, 1983
4)Tarih Boyunca Türklerin Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Sempozyumu.Atatürk Üniversitesi.1985
5)Türk Tarihinde Ermeniler (Tebliğler ve Panel Konuşmaları). 9 Eylül Üniversitesi.1985
6)Osmanlı Ermenileri. Bilal Şimşir.1986
7)Osmanlı Arşivleri ve Ermeni Sorunu,Türkkaya Ataöv, 1989


RELATIONS DURING WORLD WAR I

Ottoman Empire went into war against Britain, France and Russia on November 1, 1914 and Armenian committees considered this as a great opportunity. The Armenians formed voluntary troops and joined the Russian forces. They attacked Eastern Anatolia together with the Russian expeditionary forces. Furthermore, new rebellions were provoked in various parts of Anatolia, Ottoman forces were stabbed in the back, and civil Turks were massacred. The Armenians’ targets were not only the Turks but also the Byzantine Greeks around Trabzon and Jews around Hakkari.

Tashnaqsutyun committee was gathered in Erzurum in June 1914 just before the Ottoman Empire began to fight and it took the following decisions:

“Tashnaqsutyun Congress takes into account economic, social and administrative policies contrasting and followed by the government of Party of Union and Progress against Christian factors, and especially Armenians and its deceptive activities about oppression and reforms. So, it decided to remain as an opponent to the party, to criticize party’s political program, to struggle severely against itself and its organization.”

Turkish Armenians living in Marseilles published a declaration at the end of the meeting held on August 5, 1914, when Ottoman Empire declared mobilization just before it went into war. Several statements from the aforementioned declaration which was published in various newspapers were as follows:

“Russian Armenians will fulfil their duties in order to take revenge of the abuse against our brothers’ corpses by taking place on the side of Moscow armies. We, Armenians under the tyranny of Turks, shouldn’t point any of our arms to France, which is our second homeland, and to its allies and friends.

Armenians, Turkey calls you to arms without telling you who the enemy is; to enlist voluntarily in the French army and its allies, in order to help the defeat of Wilhelm II’s army whose railways passed over the corpses of 300.000 of our brothers.”

We can easily learn from any sources that Armenians cooperated with Russians when the war broke out.

On this subject Philips Price said that:

“... when the war broke out, Armenians in that region (Eastern towns) contacted with Russian authorities in the Caucasus secretly, and volunteers from Turkish towns were begun to join the Russian forces by the help of an underground organization.”

Rafael de Nogales wrote:

“Garo Pasdermichan (Pastirmaciyan), deputy of Erzurum, passed across the border to join the Russian Army with almost all the Armenian Officials and soldiers the Third Army. After a short while, he returned with the Russian Forces, burned down the Turkish villages, killed violently all the innocent Muslims whom he caught. The measure taken by the Ottoman authorities was to disarm the Armenian soldiers and gendarmes still the army, perhaps they had not has the opportunity to escape, and to transfer them to labor battalions to work in road construction and in equipment transportation.

Clair Price wrote:

“ In compliance with the 1908 Constitution, the Government of Enver Pasha had the right to call Armenians to arms together with Turks who were at the right age for military service. However, they immediately began to resist with arms against authorities especially in Zeytun. Along the Eastern borders, Armenians began to escape and join Russian armies. The Government of Enver suspected the loyalty of the rest and transferred them to working battalions.”

The Ottoman Government declared mobilization on August 3. The Armenians of Zeytun refused to stay under the Turkish flag, so they formed Zeytun Commando Regiment under the control of their own officials and wanted to protect their region themselves. But naturally their demand was refused and hence they actually rebelled on August 30. At the end of the pursuit approximately 60 rebels were caught with their arms and peace was established for a short time, but in December people of Zeytun began to attack administrative officers and gendarme again.

In May 1915, Rsussian forces advanced in Eastern Anatolia. English and French forces attacked Çanakkale and in the south, the channel operation was in progress. The domestic situation of the country was as explained. In Zeytun, Van and Mus rebellions broke out, the rebellion in Van led to Rusian occupation, and meanwhile the revolts of Zeytun and Mus were going on. Every corner of the country was full of deserters, every corner was exposed to attacks of gangs. As all adult Turks were in the army, the country was left to Armenians. The State was trying to deal with those rebellions while it was also fighting on the fronts. Under those circumstances the Ottoman Empire had to take the decision of relocation of the rebellious Armenians. (1)

There was another decision taken during the war related to Armenians in Turkey, which actually concerned the Patriarchate. With a new regulation published in Takvim-i Vekayi on August 10, 1916, the relations of Armenian churches in Turkey with Ecmiyazin were stopped completely. Sis and Akdamar Catholicoses were united, the center of Catholicosism was moved to Jerusalem. Istanbul Patriarchate participated in that Catholicosism. It was also decided that the Istanbul Patriarch can only be contacted through sect administration. Moreover, the new regulation established new rules for the election of Patriarchs and the formation of Patriarch Assemblies. (2)

REFERENCE:
1) Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyası, TTK Basımevi, Ankara, sh. 193- 209
2) Gürün, a.g.e., sh. 229

ARMENIANS IN THE SÉVRES TREATY AND THE LAUSANNE CONFERENCE

Treaty of Sévres, which was signed upon the defeat of Ottoman Empire, gave new hopes to Armenians. In this treaty it was provided that Armenia would be recognized as a free and independent country, and its borders would be determined by US President Wilson. However, there was no provision concerning Armenians in the treaty of Lausanne dated July 24, 1923, which made the Treaty of Sévres invalid and founded the Turkish Republic.

As a result of the success of Turkish advanced operations on the East Anatolia Front towards the end of 1920, The English representative Lord Robert Cecil in the League of Nations submitted a motion in order to improve the life conditions of Armenians, to take necessary precautions to protect the Armenians in Turkish territory against so-called dangers and to create an environment which would not change according to rules and time; upon this a Plenary Meeting was held. In this meeting it was decided that one of the states would be assigned to find immediate solutions to the Armenian Problem and to settle the conflict between Armenians and Turks by coming to an agreement with related governments, also a committee would be formed to prepare a report on this issue.

A conference was held in London on February 27, 1921. In this conference Bogos Nubar and Aharunyan, two of the Armenian representatives, made a speech. Both Armenian representatives insisted that the Sévres Treaty should remain in force and they gave several reasons for this. Armenian representatives demanded autonomy for Cilicia. The French representative stated that it would be hard to change the situation in Cilicia; however, French Government would give the necessary importance to the minority there. The summary of the Article 9 concerning Armenians and determined in the Conference was as follows:

“ The promises given to Turkish Armenians until today lead to the right to establish an Armenian home in East Anatolia; for its realization the Board of the League of Nations gave some privileges to Armenians and they were in compliance with their decision about the suitable territory.”

In London Conference, the word of “home”, the meaning of which was not clear, was used instead of “free and independent Armenian State” used in the Treaty of Sévres. This different word was created by American missionaries referring to the kind of settlement, in order to provide autonomy for Armenians under the administration of the Turkish government. On September 21, 1921 the League of Nations decided that the “home” had to be independent of Turkey.

Armenian representatives opposed the decision about “home”; they defended the idea of founding an independent, united and integrated Armenian State. The foreign affairs ministers of Britain, France and Italy came together in Paris in 1922. They discussed the Armenian land, which the London Conference in March 1921 decided to establish. The decision of the League of Nations would be adopted. However, before that date, on March 16, 1921 the Treaty of Moscow; on October 13, 1921 the Treaty of Kars between Turks and Caucasian Republics; on October 20, 1921 the Treaty of Ankara with French Government were signed. It was understood that Cilicia would be left to Turks.

Lord Curzon said that “ the majority in Cilicia was Muslims and Turks , therefore Cilicia could be left to Turks” in the House of Lords in April 1921. This situation was protested during the Peace Conference in Paris on behalf of the minorities in Cilicia.

British, French and Italian Ministers of Foreign Affairs held a meeting in Paris on March 26, 1922. The rights of Armenians given in the Treaty of Sévres were abolished and the project of founding a national Armenian land, instead of an independent Armenia, was put forward during London Conference for the first time. England suggested that this national land (home) should be founded in Cilicia, but France suggested that it should be founded in East Anatolia. The decision below was made in the meeting:

“ The position of Armenians should be taken into consideration due to the disasters they faced and the favors they had done to the allied states during the war. Therefore, it is requested that the League of Nations help to find a national home in order to protect Armenians and to find a solution to their problem.”

So the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Allied States who gathered in Paris gave up their demands stated in the Peace Treaty of Sévres and the London Conference and transferred the issue to The League of Nations .

The victory of Turkish armies started, on August 26, 1922 on the Western Front and ended on August 30, 1922 with the Battle of Dumlupinar. The treaty of Mudanya was signed on October 11, 1922. The representatives of the Government of Turkish Republic were invited to a peace conference which would be held in Lausanne, Switzerland on October 28, 1922 by Entente Powers.

The Armenian Issue was discussed among “the issue of minorities” in Lausanne. The summary of the articles put forward in favor of minorities were as follows:

1. Providing some rights for the minorities in Turkey about language, religion and similar matters and inspection of these rights by The League of Nations
2. Christians’ being excused from military service, in return for this they would pay some amount of money
3. Keeping the privileges related to religion and sect exactly the same
4. Granting general amnesty for minorities
5. Recognizing the freedom of transportation
6. Allowing Armenians who had immigrated to the other countries return their to old houses
7. Giving Armenians land in East Anatolia and Cilicia

In the meeting dated December 13, 1922 of Lausanne Conference, about the protection of minorities, Lord Curzon, English representative, said that:

“Now I will talk about Armenians. These deserve to be taken into consideration due to the guarantee given to them about their future, but not due to the cruelties which they faced through several generations, which horrified the modern world.

In Erivan, which is now one of Soviet Republics, there is an Armenian Government. As I heard their population is 1.250.000. Because of great numbers of immigrants coming from various regions, the country is over-populated and cannot accept any immigrants. On the other hand, Armenians in Kars, Ardahan, Van, Bitlis, Erzurum were harmed.

When the French withdrew from Cilicia, Armenian people living there followed the French army due to fear. Now they live in Iskenderun, Aleppo, Beirut and along the Turkish border of Syria scattered here and there. In my opinion, the number of Armenians living in Anatolia was three million previously but now there remained 130.000. Most of them immigrated to the Caucasus, Russia, Iran, and the other neighboring countries. (...) I think it would be necessary to add special articles in the treaty concerning the protection and the security of Armenians who would be in large numbers in Anatolia and Thrace in the future.

Now I will mention the demands of both Armenians and their sympathizers in order to found an Armenian land. It is so natural that Armenians want to live in their own land. The territory of Armenia Republic would not be sufficient for them. Because of this, the Armenians living in Turkey demand the land in either Northeast or Southeast of Cilicia. Circumstances make it impossible to realize those demands now when compared to the past. However we would be pleased to find out the thoughts of Turkish representatives on this issue.”

Lord Curzon demanded that a sub committee be formed to examine the issue in detail and to explain their views on it. M. Barer and Marki Garoni expressed their thoughts about the same principles.

Ismet Inönü, the chairman for the Turkish delegation, made a statement about other issues with detailed documents, and then emphasized especially the following matters:

“Turkish people and Turkish government always tried to settle the rebellions and reacted to them when their patience came to an end. The reasons for the evil actions Armenians are faced with in Turkey, were their own atrocities. Adana events in 1909 and rebellions provoked in many towns of Anatolia during the First World War were the continuation of the same horrible tragedy. As it is understood from the events mentioned here, unless the non-Muslim subjects of the Ottoman Empire misused the good will of the administrators of the country where they lived in peace and wealth, for hundreds of years, Turks never denied their rights. The Jewish community who has never complained about any inhuman treatment of the Turkish government and people is an example which proves for the tragic events that happened. Armenians and Byzantine Greeks were responsible. Therefore, history emphasizes that the two principle factors of the minorities issue should be borne in mind.

Firstly, foreign political influences by some states emerging with the desire to interfere with the domestic affairs of the country under the cover of protecting the minorities, and hence the creation of the desired disorder with provocation and riot; secondly, domestic political factors which emerge after the tendency the minorities concerning their freedom in order to found an independent state.

When we consider Armenians: the relations which were consolidated with the treaties between Turkey and the Armenian Republic, removed the possibility of a siege by the Armenian Republic. On the other hand, Armenians who decided to stay in Turkey should take into account the necessity of living as decent citizens. As a result, the representatives of Turkish Grand National Assembly think that:

1. First of all, improvements in the life conditions of minorities in Turkey depends on the removal of all the provocation caused by all foreign interference.
2. In order to reach this target, firstly, it is necessary to exchange Turks and Byzantine Greeks.
3. The best guarantee for the reliability of the minorities which are excluded from the mutual exchange measures and for reforms, was the legal guarantee provided by Turkey for all the communities who have given up the duties to be undertaken by Turkish citizens.”

As Armenians’ problems were not dealt with in the Treaty of Lausanne, disappointed representatives of the Armenian delegation made speeches about the policies to be followed. Then, although the efforts of the Entente powers in favor of Armenians did not conclude in constructive results, a decision was taken about following the political principles to repeat those efforts at the right time. Armenian representatives delivered a declaration to participant countries while leaving Lausanne.

“Due to the explanations by the committees in Lausanne Conference and the peace treaty project published in newspapers, Armenian representatives understood that the Entente Powers had left the Armenian issue to its fate. We would like to put forward the position of Armenians has become worse because their problem remained unsolved.

During the Treaty of Versailles, the Treaty of Sévres, London Conference in 1921, Paris Meetings in 1922 some decisions were taken in order to save the minorities from the Ottoman Empire and provide a land for Armenians. No decision was made concerning to standing by the promises and commitments given in Lausanne to Armenians who were recognized as a war factor by allies during the war and an ally after the war. Under these circumstances, we, the Armenian representatives, on behalf of the Armenian people ask you to take a decision to find a solution for our troubles to obtain our rights and justice. We state that such a peace would not last long in the East.

A. Aharonyan, the chairman of Armenian Republic Commission, applied to The League of Nations on August 9, 1923, and said that existence of Armenians hadn’t been recognized in the Peace Treaty of Lausanne and thus claimed that the Armenian issue should be included in the agenda of The League of Nations. Furthermore, they sent a protest letter to the representatives of Allied States on August 9, 1923 and complained that they were not considered in the Peace Treaty of Lausanne and that the treaty ignored Armenians; they claimed that this treaty would not help them gain their rights and obtain justice so they announced that they were opposed to the treaty. (*)

REFERENCE:
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987, p. 422-438

THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TURKISH REPUBLIC AND ARMENIA FROM LAUSSANNE TO PRESENT TIME

The states which had been the protectors of Armenians for long years, claimed that they fulfilled this task with humanitarian feelings for human rights and justice, and they gave them promises and made commitments about some issues. However, when they saw that they would not benefit from this policy, they left them to their fate in Laussane Peace Conference. Armenians hoped that great European countries would be able to find solutions to their problems. When they understood that they would not be able to realize their demand in this way, they felt the necessity of befriending to Russia. Armenians thought that Russians had always been the natural enemy of Turks throughout history, that there was a deep-rooted antipathy between them, because Russia still aimed at reaching the Iranian Gulf or The Mediterranean Sea via Eastern Anatolia. They thought that any kind of regime in Russia would protect Armenians. Upon this thought, they prepared a program and decided to work on the principles below:

1. To consolidate the economy and the culture of Soviet Armenian Republic apart from the regime of the country.
2. To ensure and protect the national feelings, language, religion, culture and targets of Armenians living in the different parts of the world.
3. To ensure the demands and claims of Armenians in European countries and The League of Nations and to watch for an opportunity for this.
4. To provide donations of from charities for Armenian people and immigrants; to bring up orphans, to give necessary assistance to the ill and those in need.

It was planned to establish an organization to practice this program and to receive the support of Armenians living in Europe. However, some groups which opposed this, as they were afraid that committees would intervene again. In spite of this, the Tashnak Committee continued its demands about a “United and Independent Armenia”.

After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, a non-aggression pact was signed on December 17, 1925 between Soviet Russia and the Turkish Republic. That pact was in force for almost 20 years, however, when Second World War broke out Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs gave a note to the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, stating that the agreement was invalid from then on. While Turkey was under such bad circumstances, a petition signed by effective and dominant figures of the Armenian Diaspora in America, was submitted to Harry S. Truman, President of the United States. This petition, provoked by Armenian Tashnak Revolutionary Committee member, tried to bring the old problems on the agenda considering that Turkey living through extremely different difficult conditions.

In the petition submitted to Truman, it was requested that the USA should suggest the board of the United Nations (UN) that Armenia should attain its borders drawn by Woodrov Wilson, the President in 1920. Soviet Russia administrators began to follow a different policy when the Second World War ended. According to this policy, all Armenians living around the world would gather in Soviet Armenia Republic; Armenians who dispersed around the world would be provoked to rise in rebellion; especially Turkish antagonism would be regenerated; thus, they would get control of Eastern Anatolia. To this end, they started a intensive provocation. The advantages and benefits of the regime of Soviet Russia were explained; the exaggerated pleasure of Armenians in Soviet Armenia was propagated. For this reason, in order to deceive Armenians living in other countries and persuade them to join this cause, agents were sent those countries and Armenian Societies were established; it was put forward that the cause of Armenia was a problem of humanity and justice, hence, big states were called to be a mediator for this issue.

As the result of the aforementioned studies, the activities below were realized:

An American committee, so-called “Justice”, was founded by Armenians in Washington, the capital of the United States in December 1945. This committee, formed by people with communist tendencies published a declaration and demanded that Eastern parts of Anatolia should be given back to Armenian Republic, and the Turkish-Armenian border drawn by Wilson should be put into practice.

VI. Kevork Corekciyan, Echmiyazin Catholicos, sent a diplomatic note to Stalin, Soviet leader of Soviet Union Public Commissariat, to Truman, president of the United States, to Atlee, prime minister of England. In this diplomatic note old claims were repeated and it was demanded that towns in Eastern Anatolia had to be given to Soviet Armenia.

The activities in Syria and Lebanon: Soviet Russia increased its activities concerning Armenians by making use of the weak administration in Syria and Lebanon; it provoked Armenians there under the guise of assistance. These activities were conducted by the diplomats of Soviet Russia and one each head offices were opened in Aleppo, Damascus, Beirut and in many other cities. There were many schools, teachers of which were Russian Armenians. Military officers worked in these schools as agents. As a result of these activities, an Armenian organization was formed consisting of 100.000 members, 30.000 of whom lived in Lebanon. Solod, the Soviet Ambassador, founded “the Society of Armenian Friends” in Damascus with the cooperation of a communist party chaired by Armenian Hrant Devyan whoo had a political tendency towards Moscow. In those organizations communist members worked and aimed at annexing Eastern Anatolia to the Soviet Union, with the promise of founding an independent Armenia State.

In January 1946, a Soviet diplomat visited Beirut, met with representatives of Armenians in Lebanon and Hatay one by one and informed them about the directives of Soviet Russia.

The Armenian Committee in Lebanon sent a telegram to UN Security Counsel on May 16, 1946, saying that “we demand that our aforementioned territories should be annexed to Soviet Armenia in return for the confiscation of our goods and the invasion of our territories by Turks during the events resulted in the death of one and half million Armenians.

Armenian defense committee in Paris, in June 1946 sent a diplomatic note to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of four big states, demanding the annexation of Kars and Ardahan to Soviet Armenia.

Soviet Russia tried to influence Armenians in the country in various ways and also tried to seduce Armenians in other countries. Civenof, who was one of the members of the Armenian Science Academy was made to give a conference to the representatives of Armenian commission on February 20, 1946 at the hall of Polytechnic School in Moscow. During this conference the lecturer stated that Van, Bitlis, Elazığ, Erzurum, Sivas and Trabzon were within the borders of Armenia; he said that Armenians were killed in masses and accused the great states of Europe of having been spectators during such a tragedy. Civenof praised the interest of Russians for Armenians, and emphasized that towns in Eastern Anatolia left to Armenians in compliance with the Peace Treaty of Sévres had been exposed to attacks by Turks and that Turks regained control of the towns with the Treaty of Gumru signed with Tashnak Revolutionary committee members.

National Armenian Counsel prepared an 800-person feast for an American association named “Defense Association for Armenian Rights”. During the feast it was decided that one and half million Armenians dispersed all around the world would apply to UN board to claim the annexation of East Anatolian towns, which had been confiscated by Turks to Soviet Armenia.

On July 29, 1946 in Erivan, Bochon, a representative of English- Soviet Association told journalists that: “Each Englishman who knows Armenian history, knows about their sufferings and sympathize them. We will try to make these positive feelings the general view of English public opinion when we return home.”

Armenian Counsel in the United States published a brochure titled “What do Armenians want?” in September 1946. They claimed that the population of Armenians was increasing; the territories confiscated by Turks were empty and they added: “Armenians just want justice to prevail in order that their territories are given back to them.”

On August 15, 1946, Turkish-Armenian Problem Defense Committee applied to representatives of 21 nations in UN with a message about Turkish-Armenian Issue.

French Armenian Committee arranged a religious service chaired by Monsignor Manukyan on April 24, 1965, at the Armenian Church. In the evening of the same day, Old Warriors Association realized a demonstration and laid a wreath on the Unknown Soldier monument in France. Next day, another religious service was arranged at Notre Dame Church.

Demonstrations were also realized in England on April 24, 1969 which was declared as the remembrance day of the Armenian dead. An Armenian group, the majority of which was young, protested Turkey while passing by the Turkish Embassy.

Turkish antagonism appeared in the universities in the United States. An Armenian tycoon, named Agop Kevorkyan, donated 30 million Turkish Liras to New York University and had “the Institute of the East” department of the university closed down, and the Institute of Armenian Language and History founded. Now in New York university, people who have never heard about the existence of such a society study the language and history of Armenians, who had never notified to a nation.

Armenians in Latin America arranged a demonstration in Brazil, in the city of San Paulo, where Armenian majority lived. Armenians carried out a ceremony at the monument of Armenian Dead on April 24, 1965 of 50th Anniversary of putting into force the Law of Relocation, and a play titled “The Adventures of Armenians 1915” was written and played by Armenians of Brazil at a theatre of San Paolo.

An establishment on behalf of the United States National Armenian Committee, gave an announcement to the New York Times, in order to have the Armenian issue placed on the agenda of UN on April 2, 1967, when Cevdet Sunay, the president of Turkish Republic was visiting the United States.

Armenian Revolutionary committee members demanded that putting the Armenian issue on the agenda of UN had to be supported with this announcement, and hence they claimed that Turkey would participate in and serve for the world peace.

Armenians did not refrain from continuing their protests by means of press during president Sunay’s visit to Paris. It was stated in the article written by Hrant Samuel that: “Armenians in Paris welcomed General Sunay and expressed their respect and regard for this country; Turkish president received a standing ovation from them. However, we would like to emphasize that it does not mean that Armenians do not demand anything from Turkey. We would not give up our just cause, we will continue our struggle in the political arena in peace and try to find a solution.”

Patriarch I. Horen, took a trip in Europe, met with Makarios in Cyprus and following this, provocative publications in Armenian began to be published in Cyprus. Meanwhile, due to the 45th Anniversary of its foundation Armenian Ramgavar Party, the headquarter of which was in Lebanon, made a statement to the press about its purpose and plans concerning the determination of the boundaries of the territories which had been belonged to Armenians but now confiscated by Turks; realizing the independence and freedom efforts of Armenians in the framework of a free and democratic understanding.

While Armenian Revolutionary committee members were arranging demonstrations, conferences and protests in the countries where they were living, in order to protect their own existence and interests, Archbishop Shinork Kalusyan, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul, made statements to the world press on February 6, 1967 and April 4, 1967 as a response to the events going on throughout the world. He announced that there was not an Armenian Issue since Lausanne Treaty was signed, and that he regretted to see the development of these events.

Muslims of Lebanon and Christian Arabs commemorated 54th Anniversary of so-called Armenian Genocide all together in 1969, and Lebanon Government granted a day off Armenian officials on April 24 to mourn. As a result of this they arranged demonstrations in the streets against Turks and Israelis.

Big demonstrations were arranged in France, the United States, Germany and Greece due to the 60th Anniversary of the so-called Genocide, claimed to be realized against Armenians. Governments of aforementioned countries had to take measures concerning the protection of Turks before those demonstrations. (1)

After 1965, the Armenian issue was felt strongly in the world and in Turkish public opinion because of a campaign started by Armenians in various countries, to discredit Turkey. It turned into terrorist actions against Turkish representations abroad in 1970’s. “Individual Armenian Terror” started with the murders of Consul-general of Los Angeles, Mehmet Baydar and Consul Bahadır Demir by an old Armenian named Gurgen (Karekin) Yanikan on January 27, 1973 in Santa Barbara, USA. Then, it turned into “Organized Armenian Terror” in 1975.Armenian Attack directed to Turkish Embassies, Institutions and officials abroad, increased in a short time and became denser after 1980. Armenian terrorists realized 110 terrorist attacks, 39 of which were committed with arms and 70 of which were realized with bombs. These attacks were carried out in 38 cities of 21 countries. During these attacks 42 Turkish diplomats and 4 foreigners lost their lives, 15 Turkish and 66 foreigners injured.

The First World Congress of Armenian Organizations met in Paris on September 3-6 1979. ASALA participated in the congress with a significant power and played an efficient role during the congress. The congress had a great influence on the Armenian revolutionary forces in France, ASALA became particularly effective by providing participation to the terrorist organization. The purpose of this congress might be summarized as gathering and organizing Armenians in the world around a single ideal and under a flag, and making efforts to demand land use of convenient political circles.

PKK, the terrorist organization, declared the date of 21-28 April 1980 as the Red week and Armenians commemorated 24 April as so-called Armenian massacre day and arranged meetings on that date. PKK and ASALA, the terrorist organizations, arranged a joint press conference on April 08, 1980 in Sidon, Lebanon. As a result of this conference a declaration was prepared and they took a decision to organize their relations in an illegal arena secretly due to the reactions received from various sources. After the meeting, the attacks directed to Turkish Consulate-General in Strasbourg on November 09, 1980, and to THY agency in Rome on November 19, 1980 were undertaken jointly by the terrorist organizations, PKK and ASALA.

1983 Lausanne Congress was gathered owing to the important developments. Terrorism increased so considerably that world public opinion was about to condemn Armenians and terrorists. Especially the actions in the form of massacres began to disturb even the states that gave support to the Armenian cause. Under these circumstances Lausanne Congress was gathered in order to “unify the Armenian political views and direct their activities in one direction”. At the end of the congress, in which ASALA had not participated and parties in favor of violence were in the minority, separations from Tashnak and ASALA were observed. Sub terrorist teams and groups sometimes organized actions in the form of vagabond new organizations, their majority was cleared up, arrested and convicted.

The basic purpose of the congress titled “Third World Congress of Armenian Organizations” gathered in Sévres on July 7-13, 1987, was to accept the draft of the “Armenian Constitution”. Therefore, it was decided to form a “Union” which would represent Armenians throughout the world. During the congress which Armenian terrorist organizations did not attend legally, quality of the representation of Tashnaqs led to discussions. ASALA, which was not represented in this congress was exposed to drastic criticism.

With the participation of members of Armenian Hinchak Party, the terrorist organizations ASALA and PKK, a meeting was arranged at the headquarters of PKK in West Beirut on June 4, 1993.

Meetings were arranged in two different churches in Beirut on January 6-9, 1993 with the participation of Lebanon Armenian Orthodox Archbishop, Armenian authorities and 150 young people. The following decisions were taken:

* For now, calm stance should be displayed against Turkey.
* Armenian society has enlarged gradually and has been getting stronger economically.
* By means of propagandist activities developed, the so-called genocide has started to be known well throughout the world.
* Armenian state has been founded; they will take revenge of their ancestors and their territories have been gradually expanding.
* Western countries, especially the United States, have considered Armenians to be right in the still war continuing in Nagorno Karabakh; this chance should be made use of and new young men should join the Armenian youth in Nagorno Karabakh.
* Civil war (meaning the struggle against PKK terrorist organization) will go on in Turkey; its economy will decline to the bottom; citizens will rebel.
* Turkey will be divided.
* Kurdish State will be founded in Turkey.
* Armenians should continue their friendly relations with Kurds and support the struggle of Kurds.
* The territories under the control of Turks now, will be under the control of Armenians tomorrow.

Meanwhile, it is known that the arms supplied from Greece or other countries with the help of Greece with the money collected in October —November —December 1992 for Armenian Parties and institutions in Lebanon and other countries, and the food supplied with the rest of the money has been sent to Armenia at the beginning of January 1993, in order to transfer them to Armenians fighting in Nagorno Karabakh.

Armenian committees which transferred their activities to PKK terrorist organization in Turkey after 1984, have continued to make their so-called claims by means of Armenian Diaspora. They had the parliaments of some European countries, especially some states in the United States, which supported them issue laws which recognized the “so-called Armenian Genocide”. This process is still continuing.

REFERENCE:
(1) Sakarya, Em. Tümg. İhsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basımevi, Ankara, 1984, 2. Baskı, sh. 439-474

http://www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/relations/index.html


HOW THE ARMENIAN ISSUE CAME ABOUT
» Factors Leading to The Creation of The Issue
» Armenian Committees
» Armenian Revolts
» The Role of Church
» Missionary Activities
» Propaganda

A drastic change was witnessed in Turco-Armenian relations with the decline of the Ottoman Empire towards the end of the 19th century. As a result of activities carried out by instigators infiltrating the Ottoman territories from the West, mostly under a clerical guise, Armenians began to pull themselves away from the Turkish community in the religious, cultural, commercial, political and social fields. Armenians who used Turkish as their language, who conducted their religious sermons in Turkish and even those who had attained high positions within the Empire, such as cabinet ministers, undersecretaries and the like, collaborated with the enemy forces in a bid to attain the downfall of the Ottoman State.

It is during this period that the Armenians began to present themselves as an 'oppressed community' and claimed that their sovereignty rights over Anatolia had been seized by the Turks, this with the aim of securing the backing of the West. States aspiring to attain their goals by exploiting the Armenians, did in fact encourage such propaganda and helped to create public opinion in a drive to have a say in the sanctions to be imposed on Turkey, and to be able to intervene when necessary. Thus, all initiatives with the pretext of supporting the Armenians and safeguarding their rights found serious backing within their own public opinion.

Once they lost their privileged status, with the Reformation Bill granting equal status to muslims and non-muslims alike, the Armenians asked Russia not to withdraw from Eastern Anatolia, which she had invaded during the 1877-1878 Ottoman-Russian war; that autonomy be granted to these territories, or that reformation be conducted in line with their interests. These stipulations found the partial backing of Russia, and henceforward the Armenian issue began to assume an international dimension with the Yesilkoy Agreement, formerly known as the Hagia Stephanos Agreement, signed at the end of the Ottoman-Russian war and the subsequent Berlin Agreement. Thus, foreign powers aspiring o divide the country, started intervening in Turco-Armenian relations.

Once, efforts to organize Ottoman Armenians to take action against the State, by means of committees set up in Anatolia as a result of activities carried out by missionaries proved futile, it was then decided that Russian Armenians set up such committees in regions outside the boundaries of the Ottoman State. Thus, the moderately militant Hinchak, with socialist tendencies, was set up in Geneva in 1887, followed by the extremist and pro-independence Tashnak Committee set up in Tbilisi in 1890, favouring terror, rebellions and struggle to achieve its goals. These committees had been targeted at ' liberating Anatolian territory and the Ottoman Armenians'. Attempts to launch a revolt, instigated by the Istanbul-based Hinchaks and aimed at provoking the Ottoman Armenians by drawing the attention of European nations to the Armenian issue, were followed by acts carried out by Tashnaks who had launched a political struggle. These attempts, masterminded by committees outside the Ottoman lands were supported by missionaries positioned in Anatolia.

FACTORS LEADING TO THE CREATION OF THE ISSUE

Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, with the encouragement of Russia, Britain, France and the Empire of Austria-Hungary, the nations which constituted the empire started struggling for liberation and they were successful. These developments set examples for the Armenians, as well. With financial and moral help of the countries, which wanted to dissolve the Ottoman Empire, they started rebellions in some regions. In this way, in the second half of the 19th century, an “Armenian question” came into being.

During this period, the former Empire of Russia, which emerged gradually as an important state, accepted the Ottoman territories as a natural area of expansion through Ottoman territories and it possessed the goal of opening out to warm seas. In order to achieve this goal, its primary means was to make war. Beside this, it played the role of being the protector of the Christian communities under the Ottoman rule. On the other hand, the main powers of the period, Britain and France also aimed at securing the Armenians for Protestantism and Catholicism. In the framework of these goals, they established the Armenian Catholic Church in 1830, and the Armenian Protestant Church in 1847 in Istanbul. The real intention of this interest for the Ottoman Armenians and other Christian communities shown by Britain and France and Russia was to intervene in the interior affairs of the Ottoman State and dissolve the empire.

These powers promised Armenians the establishment of the Armenian State in Eastern Anatolia. However, in the period in question the Armenian population in the region constituted only 15% of the general population. For instance, in Bitlis, where they populated mostly, they were not even 1/3 of the population of the province. The starting point for the “Armenian question” is Hagia Stephanos Agreement and Berlin Conference, signed at the end of the 1877-78 Ottoman-Russian war. The 16th article of Hagia StephanosAgreement, which the Ottoman State had to accept is as follows:

“Because the evacuation of the regions in Armenia, which are under the occupation of the Russian Forces and ought to be rendered to Ottoman State, this might cause detrimental chaos in the friendly relations of the two states in these regions. The Ottoman State guarantees, without losing time, the redressing and arrangements required for the local interests in these provinces, where the Armenians live, and providing the security of the Armenians towards Kurds and Circassians.”

Although in principle this provision of the agreement did not exactly satisfy the Armenians, who wished to gain their independence, it is important to note that the "Armenian question" was recorded in an international document and the region called "Armenia" was mentioned for the first time in history. Also, in 1878, the 61st article of the Berlin Agreement, which was signed at the end of the Berlin Congress, replaced the 16th article of the Hagia Stephanos Agreement and it is as follows:

"The Ottoman State guarantees, without losing time, the redressing and arrangement that are required by the local interests in the provinces, where the Armenians live, and providing peace and security of the Armenians towards Kurds and Circassians. And since it shall notify the concerned states about these precautions, these states shall monitor the implementation of these precautions.”

With this provision of the Berlin Agreement, the foreign powers were recognised the right of intervention to the Turco-Armenian relations.


ARMENIAN COMMITTEES

* Hinchak
o Program
o Activities

* The Tashnak Terrorist Organization
o The Structure of the Organization
o Aims
o Strategies and Policies
o The Congresses of Vienna and Munich
o Support and Connections
o Political Developments
o The Media


HINCHAK

The Hinchak (Ring of Bell) Committee was established in 1886 in Switzerland by Avedis Nazarbelg, a Caucasian Armenian and a citizen of Russia, his wife Maro and other Caucasian students. In order to disseminate the idea of the committee, a newspaper called Hinchak was published. The heads and most of the members of this committee were Russian Armenians. This committee chose Eastern Anatolia as the area of operation. After some period of time, the headquarters of the committee was moved from Switzerland to London.

The program of the Hinchak Committee was Socialist, Marxist and Centralist. The principles of Karl Marx were adopted as fundamental. Although the members of this committee were called themselves as social democrats their political program totally had the nature of the communist manifesto. The Committee had its headquarters primarily in Istanbul and opened branches in some states of the Ottoman country. In this way, it started its organised activities. The main political objective of this committee was to save the Armenians in Turkey from the Turks, Iranian Armenians from the Iranians and Russian Armenians from the Russians and after that, getting rid of the capitalists in these countries.

PROGRAM

"Labourers and productive class comprise great majority of humanity. This class shall be free from the exploitation of the wealthy, sovereign minority, which has the capital, thereby having all the power and means of production, land, plants, mines and means of transportation. The independence of the productive class means the freedom of humanity as a whole, general economic prosperity.

In order to attain this objective and put this into practice actually, the productive classes in all civilised countries ought to organise in ways peculiar to themselves and materialise the communist revolution in all countries through activating the general political opportunities under their rule. Therefore, the other classes will disappear and the productive class will establish a socialist order. In this establishment, people will enact their own laws and show their power.

(…)

Now, the Armenians are under the rule of the classes which are dependent on autocratic regimes. Their administration, taxation and financial systems are destructive for them. One hand capitalist production methods are applied in these countries and on the other hand the old economic and management methods are being annihilated continuously."

Considering all these conditions, the provision of a general and comprising socialist rule for the Armenian social democrats and all the Armenians was accepted as a long-term objective and because of that reason all the tendencies and struggles required a short-term objective. This short-term objective was the basis for the social democrat Armenian Revolutionary Hinchak Party. These objectives were as follows:

a. To revolt

b. To annihilate the sovereign classes of the autocratic regimes

c. To save the Armenians from the slavery

d. To support the Armenians for their intervention to the political affairs

e. To remove the obstacles that affect economic and cultural developments

f. To prepare an environment where the working class can voice its wishes and tendencies openly

g. To rearrange the heavy working conditions

h. To provide information for the class so that they can organise themselves as a political unit peculiar to them

i. To facilitate the activities of the people and assist them to attain the long-term objectives

In accordance with this idea, the short-term objective of the Hinchak Committee was to struggle for the removal of autocratic regimes and its classes; and to replace them with constitutional regimes. Its main conditions were as follows:

a. For the representation of the people, a legislative assembly ought to be established through elections, in which all the sections can vote directly. This assembly ought to have the right to examine decide on all the political and economic affairs of the country.

b. Broad autonomy ought to be granted to the states

c. Complete freedom ought to be provided for the people

d. People ought to be able to select the government officials, all the people in public services security officials and the officials in the fields of education and justice

e. Without taking nationality and class differences into consideration, all major citizens ought to have the capacity to be elected both for states and autonomous administrations

f. All the citizens ought to be equal in the presence of law without taking nationality and religious differences into account

g. Complete freedom ought to be granted to press, expression, conscience, organisation, establishment of association and election procedures

h. All the citizens themselves and their homes ought to be protected against attacks

i. The churches ought to be separated from the government; all the religious organisations ought to survive with the help of the people themselves, who are frequenting these organisations

j. In peace, all the people ought to do its military service in militia forces

k. Secular and compulsory education system ought to be implemented; the government ought to aid poor people

Since the political rights mentioned above concern the improvement of the economic situation of the people, it is necessary to fulfil the conditions below:

a. The present tax system ought to be annulled and it ought to be replaced by a tax system, which is advanced and is in accordance with the power and the payment capacity of the people.

b. Indirect taxes ought to be abolished totally

c. The peasants ought exempt from all kinds of debts

d. Agricultural machines ought to be provided with the help of the people and the government. People should be thought how to use these machines and these ought to be delivered to the people

e. Agricultural corporations among the people ought to be established. The goals of these corporation ought to be the sale of the agricultural products, purchasing and management of some products like seeds, cereals etc.

f. All kind of transportation and contact means ought to be supplied

g. In order to hinder the exploitation of the working people, the government ought to procure help in this respect and ought to pass laws to protect them

The Turkish Armenians are the majority of the Armenians and the regions where they live, are the largest territories of our country. Thanks to the 61st article of the Berlin Agreement and the other international conditions, the struggle of most Armenians became a matter of rights and is recognised by the big European countries.

The political, economic and financial disorders, the decrease, the exhaustion, the interior chaos and the disturbances in the Ottoman Empire made the collapse of the Ottoman government necessary and definite. The other European states influenced this situation as well. Some parts of the Ottoman territories in Europe were separated in a systematic way and was owned by other states. Because of this reason, the procurement of the points below became a historical necessity and requirement:

a. The Armenian committee members shall exert their efforts for the defence and finalisation of the Armenian struggle in accordance with the short-term objective.

b. In this context, the struggle area of the revolution shall be the region of Armenians, who are living in Turkey.

c. Since the future of the Armenians shall necessitate the separation from the Ottoman State, the primary condition of short-term objective is the Armenian independence.

The solutions to attain the short-term objective is to mess up and create chaos in the Armenian regions in Turkey by revolution namely by force; and to declare war against the Turkish government with a general revolt. The means of these activities are as follows:

a. To make propaganda through the press, books and speeches among the people, especially the workers, to disseminate the revolution idea of the Hinchak Party, to establish some revolutionary organisations among the people and to rebel

b. To punish Turkish autocrats, detectives, informers, traitors; to use terrorism as the means for the defence of the revolutionary organisations and as a shiled against the infamous and those, who oppress the people.

c. To posses an active armed force for the purpose of protecting the people against the attacks of the government soldiers or tribes, to form raider troops. These troops shall play a leading role in a general revolution in the future.

d. A general revolutionary organisation, which will comprise many regular interconnected groups ought to be established. This organisation will work for the common goal with unity and will apply same tactics given and directed from a single centre.

e. To prepare the incidents for the implementation of an organised rebellion

f. The most appropriate instant for the success of a general revolt is the time when a country has declared war against Turkey.

g. To make the other minorities, which shared same destiny with the Armenians, side with us in order to make war against the Turkish Government, our joint enemy. The most important objective of the Hinchak Committee is to be free of the slavery of the Ottoman State and to establish a federation as in Switzerland.

The Hinchak Committee worked according to a political program and made the Marxism propaganda, which was very attractive especially for the working class. The young people, religious leaders, adventurers and the unemployed were very eager to be a member of the committee and work with us to create chaos and revolt. The Committee executives wanted to create an Armenian Proletariat by working on the class concept. Within the context of the living standards in Turkey, these activities of the Committee could not go beyond the propaganda of socialism. A lot of people from many foreign countries especially Russia and who were familiar with these matters participated in many of the revolts organised by the Hinchak Committee.

The start of the Armenian activities caused many tragic and bloody incidents, which could not be compensated for. For the foundation of the organizations of the Hinchak Committee, ªimavonfrom Tblisi, S. Danielyan, Russian citizen Rupen Hanazat and H. Megavoryan came from Geneva, Iran, Trabzon and Batum respectively. After very long discussions, the Istanbul Hinchak Committee Center was established. The other revolutionary organisations, which were established before 1890 in Istanbul, joined it as well.

As we can see, the destiny of the Armenians in Turkey was left to the hands of many Russian Armenians. In the way, those, who did not enter the committee and who did not help financially were put under pressure or killed. The organisations also extended to many states in Anatolia in a rapidly.

ACTIVITIES

The rules and regulations, and the program of the Hinchak Association were published in 1909, in Istanbul. These rules and regulations were delivered to the Ministry of Interior in accordance with the law concerning the associations; and obtained the certificate no. 90, of February 8, 1909, of the Governor of Istanbul. The rules and regulations were composed of 5 sections.

Concerning the activities of the Armenian Hinchak Committee, it was written as follows in the decision books of the years 1910,1911,1912 and 1913:

a. To work for supply of arms, ammunition and explosives

b. Military Training of the arms (by Marufyan, Yavruyan, Candan)

c. To speed up propaganda

d. To establish contact with the Tashnak Committee

e. To establish contact with the unionists

f. Formation and the management of guerrillas in Van (These guerrillas are; Orsfan, Cang, Goçnak,Juraçak, Pencak, Badami, Tejohenk, Maro and Paros)

On 24 July 1914, Hinchak Committee held its Third Congress in Turkey. This congress was opened under the chairmanship of Cangülyan and under the Secretaryship of Tancutyan with 28 delegates from 51 divisions and these decisions were adopted:

“Taking the serious responsibility, that is required by our activities and objectives and the danger emanating from them into account, we have to avoid adventures and irresponsible behaviour in order to prove, that we are civilised people. The balanced influences and means, which are planned meticulously, are the only solutions to achieve our goals and our operations”

Upon this, the Hinchak committee members started to leave Turkey in 1896. Disagreement occurred among the members of this committee and they were divided into two sections. Some of them were called the original Hinchaks (the supporters of Nazarbeg) and the others were called Reformed Hinchaks (Veragazmiyal Hinchak). A man, called Arpiyaryan started to lead this second group.

Both committees acted in accordance with the opinions and attitude of the directors, not according to their principles and program. They gave top priority to their personal interests and they defended this point of view. This disagreement among them turned into street fights and some of them were beaten and some were killed.

The Armenian people, who understood that Hinchak members were Marxist, refused the views of the members of bands. The struggles increased in 1902 and many members of the committees from both sides were killed in streets fights in Britain, Russia, Egypt, Bulgaria, the Caucasus and Iran. Although some small guerrillas were renamed as Hinchaks after the Revolt in Van, they were deprived as sufficient power. Some of the Hinchak leaders understood the disguised goal of the Russians and they derailed the way that they pursued and this played a major role in the dissolution of the Hinchak Committee.

REFERENCE:
Sakarya, Emg. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Genelkurmay Askeri Tarih ve Stratejik Etüt Baskanligi Askeri Tarih Yayinlari, Genelkurmay Basimevi, Ankara, 1984, 2. Edition, pp. 76-87

THE TASHNAK TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

The “Armenian Revolutionary Federation” or "Tashnak Organization" is also known as the "Tashnak Party." In fact, after the communist takeover of the Armenian Republic, the Tashnak organization continued its existence as a party in exile, mainly in Lebanon, Iran, France, Greece and the United States. This organization has remained active up to the present day and has performed a significant role in planning and promoting the new era of Armenian terrorism, as well as forming teams and groups for carrying out terrorist operations. A move was made, later in its career, to have its name changed from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation to the Armenian National Committee. The intention behind this was to achieve greater effectiveness in its propagandist activities by the removal of a name that could offend Western sensibility.

The Structure of the Organization

a. “Bureau”: This is the highest organ of the organization and takes the decisions that determine its administrative policies. In appearance the bureau represents collective leadership. It consists of eight members, one each from California, France and Iran and five from Lebanon. The members elect a chairman. The bureau, which was based in Lebanon until the outbreak of the Civil War, was moved from there to the United States and then to Greece and France. The regulations of the bureau and its decisions are kept secret .It is known that a person named Hrair Marukian, Persian by birth and domiciled in France, was its chairman until 1985.

b. "The Central Committee": It is the highest-level executive organ. It establishes the link between the bureau and the local groups and organizations. It is established in places where there is a sizeable Armenian population. Lebanon and France have one central committee each, whilst the United States has two, one on the eastern and' the other one on western coasts. Under the pyramid shaped structure there are local organizations and their organs. These have different names which usually refer to various “Armenian Themes” The most important ones are: the Federation of Armenian Youth, the Youth Organization, the Armenian Boy and Girl Scouts Club, organizations for sport and cultural activities.

c. There are also various offices operating under the central committees, such as those in charge of propagandist activities and publicity, as well as legal, financial, military and educational matters. These offices offer purely technical service or advice. As an example of an office rendering a specific service, we can mention the Committee for Supervising Armenian Immigration.

Aims

The Tashnak terrorist organization defines the meaning of the Armenian cause or “the Hay Taht” as the establishment of an independent and non-communist Armenia within the boundaries designated by the abrogated Sévres Treaty and the enforcement of payment of compensation by Turkey in return for the crimes said to have been committed against the Armenians. Tashnak publications express to this objective in the following words, "We will continue to insist on the implementation of the Sévres Treaty, as being one of the milestones in the pursuit of our cause."

In another publication, the aims of the Tashnaks are summarised as the recognition of the right of the Armenians to live in their own lands and to govern themselves. More commonly, the final aims of the Tashnaks can be summarised as “Four T Plan”: a) propaganda b) the recognition of the Armenian claim that genocide was committed, c) the payment of a compensation by Turkey, d) resettlement in the Armenian homelands.

Strategies and Policies

Although the Tashnakshave publicly declared that their strategies are directed towards the realization of their aims through “peaceful means”, neither the events of the past nor their activities in the new era of Armenian terrorism have proved this to be true. This ‘party’ which has all the characteristics of a terrorist organization, can assume, when needed, a peaceful guise and mislead the public by using propagandist tactics perfected through long years of experience. In fact, as has been said above, it was the Tashnaks who were responsible for the establishment of the “Justice Commandos for Armenian Genocide”, whose name was later changed to “the Armenian Revolutionary Army”. It is, indeed, the Tashnaks who decided upon and planned the assassinations and bomb assaults carried out by this group. These activities suffice to show that the Tashnak organization never abandoned the terrorist tendencies it possessed at its inception. Nonetheless, there is a significant difference between the strategies employed by the Tashnaksand those by ASALA. ASALA makes no distinction between the Turks and other nationalities, all of whom can figure indiscriminately as their targets, whereas the Tashnak organization and its affiliates take Turkish citizens or official representatives of Turkey as the sole targets of their deadly operations.

After the killing of the Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles in 1972, the Justice Commandos announced that their targets were “only Turkish diplomats and Turkish institutions.” The same declaration of intention was made in connection with the assault carried out by the Armenian Revolutionary Army against the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon in 1983.

The difference that exists between the strategies of the Tashnaksand ASALA may be explained by observing the historical development of the two organizations. As we have seen, the Tashnakstook a pro-Western stance in the 19th Century and the first two decades of the 20th Century and aimed at influencing public opinion in the West, whereas the Hinchaks turned towards Russia for protection and support. It is significant that, during the years 1973-1985, terrorism made use of both camps.

The strategy adopted by the Tashnaksfinds its clearest expression in the announcement made in the wake of the Lisbon attack. According to this, “a national liberation movement has to go through two phases in order to attain its end: firstly, the phase of internal propaganda, when bases of support are secured; secondly, the phase of external publicity directed towards gaining the sympathy of the world and attracting attention for the cause: hence the necessity for organizing activities that serve as demonstrations...”

For the Dashnaks, Armenian terrorism was but a form of demonstration conducted as part of their strategy. In other words, the assaults, bombings and raids that were carried out and the people who were injured, killed or trampled to death in the course of these incidents, were all considered to be the necessary elements of a scenario that made up the 'demonstration'.

The Tashnakhistorian Varandjian described the characteristics of the Tashnakterrorist organization in the words: “Perhaps no other revolutionary party, not even the Russian Narodovoletz (Narodnaya Volya) or the Charbonari of the Italians, adepts though they were at terrorism and undaunted by anything that came in their way, could breed terrorists as reckless and impassioned as the Dashnaks. Hundreds of men carrying guns, daggers and bombs are up in arms.” It is sobering to reflect that during the period we have studied the mission of these "reckless and impassioned" terrorists was to attack Turkish institutions and the Turks.

The Congresses of Vienna and Munich

On December 27, 1981 the following resolutions were taken in the twenty-second TashnakCongress held in Vienna:

a) The Party's goal is to secure the establishment of a united and independent Armenia.

b) Pressure should be exerted on other Armenian organizations by the political committees to induce them to join the ranks of the Dashnaks.

c) Complete agreement with the West must be secured.

d) Close relations have to be established with the Soviet Union, and Armenian immigration must be stopped.

In the Munich Congress held at the end of 1984 with the participation of representatives for fifteen countries, the following resolutions were passed:

a) New campaigns must be launched to publicise the Armenian cause.

b) An attempt must be made to resolve the 'Armenian question' through legal and other peaceful measures, for example, a campaign must be conducted to bring the issue of genocide before the United States Congress and the United Nations Committee for Human Rights so as to secure its recognition.

In the declaration made at the end of the Congress, the delegates made the following announcement: “We are to continue our struggle for the recognition of the legal rights of the Armenian people and of the genocide committed by the Turks; as well as the payment of a compensation for the human, cultural and economic losses endured by our nation and the restitution of the Armenian national home which has belonged to us for thousands of years.”

The resolutions taken at both Congresses are of interest in facilitating the identification of the themes that were to be used as means of propaganda by the Tashnak terrorist organization.

Support and Connections

The Tashnakterrorist organization derived its support largely from the United States and Europe. It operated on the basic principle of avoiding, as far as possible, contact with the other terrorist organizations. Instead, it had links with various organizations in the states mentioned, its primary source of support being the Church and the Union of Churches, as well as the Armenian lobbies and research centres.

Political Developments

Up to the 1970's the "liberation and independence of Soviet Armenia" formed the basis of the policies determined and implemented by the Tashnakterrorist organization. For this reason, the Tashnaksgave priority to hostilities against the U.S.S.R. and engaged in a merciless struggle against those who supported and controlled Soviet Armenia. During Christmas worship, the Archbishop of the Holy Cross Armenian Church in New York was assassinated by a Tashnaksuicide-killer. The reason given was the Archbishop's approval of the situation in Soviet Armenia.

After the 1970's, the break-up, due to death and other factors, of the ruling party in the Armenian Republic and the comparisons being drawn between the Third World liberation movements and the Tashnak terrorist movements led to significant changes in the Tashnak policies. Their hostility was now directed against Turkey and the Turks. "Fascist Turkey" had become the real enemy; Turkey's ally, the United States, was also counted among their enemies. The "Justice Commandos for Armenian Genocide" (JCAG), a terrorist group established in 1972 and organized by the Tashnaks, were put into action as a result of the policy changes mentioned above. The Aztag Shapatoriag, the propaganda organ of the Tashnak sand especially of the JCAG, issued a warning of 'terror' when they announced that "terrorism is the last hope and the only path to follow in the liberation struggles of today."

Despite all the propaganda efforts by the Tashnak terrorist organization, the Lisbon operation was seen as a complete failure. The attempts to present the attack on the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon, as a turning point in terror did not win general acceptance. Following this, they were obliged to change the name of the JCAG to "Armenian Revolutionary Army"; even so, this did not produce the desired results. In particular, the arrest and conviction in 1984 of Sasunian, one of the Tashnak murderers, proved a great setback to Tashnak policies. The Tashnaks lost the support of American-born Armenians. According to the Armenian Reporter, the Tashnak Party had been taken over by Lebanese Armenians from abroad, and was powerless in the face of a large majority who did not support terrorism. The weakening of the- terrorist wing of the party led to increasing clashes of opinion at the highest level of the Executive Council and Central Committees. The highest officials in the party were split into two groups. Powerful members of the Executive Council, representatives of the Lebanese Central Committee and leading members of the party administration, were murdered in Beirut or disappeared without trace. By the end of 1985, it was impossible to speak of a united Tashnak Party. Two important external factors helped to create this situation within the Tashnakterrorist organization. The first was the revelation that the Tashnak leaders had had connections with secret service organizations in certain countries and that these were trying to establish control over the Armenian churches. The second was the struggle between ASALA and the Dashnaks. ASALA described the Tashnak leaders as "parasites who were sucking the blood of Armenians dry." As a matter of fact, these developments within the Tashnak terrorist organization were not new. Whenever such conflicts and divisions arose in the past, the Tashnaks always re-emerged sometime later. In the World Armenian Congresses, the Tashnaks have always been, and will continue to be, a force to reckon with. As for the policy changes, they may be construed as being to temporary conflicts in leaderships.

The Media

Within the Armenian terrorist organizations, the Tashnak terrorist organization was experimenting in the field of propaganda and was giving support to that extent. They had acquired the means of constantly informing world opinion of their goals, their activities and their policy through the press and broadcasting media; for example, through various serials and feature films, through radio programmes, which they had purchased, thorough private radios, television and video films. Quite a few countries showed interest and provided the Tashnaks with special support in this area. Among the most important Tashnak publications were Hairenik and Asbarez, both published in Armenian in the United States, together with the Armenian Weekly, which was published in English.

The Tashnaks also organized twenty-two world conferences in places such as Paris, Bucharest, Erevan and Munich, although the number of participants was limited. This was a tremendous propaganda and publicity effort on their part.

ARMENIAN REVOLTS

* Musa Bey Incident
* The Erzurum Incident
* The Kumkapı Demonstration (July 1890)
* The First Sasun Revolt
* The Zeytun Revolt
* The Van Revolt
* The Storming of The Ottoman Bank
* The Second Sasun Revolt
* The Yıldız Assosiation
* The Adana Incident
* The Bursa Incident
* The Fındıkcık Incident
* Mount Musa Incident
* The Sebinkarahisar Incident
* The Urfa Incident
* The Izmit and Adapazarı Incidents
* The General List of Revolts


MUSA BEY INCIDENT

Before the Kumkapi protest in Istanbul by the Hinchak Committee, one of the incidents that were used by the committee members as various means of propaganda towards Europe was Musa Bey Incident. Because of this incident the safety and the security of the properties of Armenians in Turkey were put forward as something identical to the security of the Christianity and the wails occurred by this way.

The complaints on Musa Bey, who was from Mutki, can be summarised as follows:

Musa Bey pillaged and tyrannised a lot. However these complaints were not dwelled upon. Especially, he kidnapped an Armenian girl called Gulizar, the daughter of a priest from Mus province, and he took her to his house and raped her than he gave her to his brother; but he stipulated that she would be Muslim. The girl did not accept to change her religion. She became mutilated in her eyes because of the beating of Musa and she escaped from Musa’ s house to complain and came to Istanbul with the people from Mus, who were going to Istanbul. Including this girl and the priest, in total, 58 Armenian people from Mus made a petition to the Prime Minister’s office and to the Administration of justice. Nevertheless they could not receive a reply. The committee and the patriarchate accommodated them in the inns. With the encouragement of the committee, they were made to cry, “Mercy”, in the Sultan’s public procession place. Upon this incident they were taken to the Reception Rooms and were interrogated.

Thereupon Musa Bey was taken to Istanbul to be tried. He was tried in the presence of people, including political representatives and the members of press. About 60 complainants and witnesses were listened in the hearing. At the end, no evidence was found, Musa Bey was found not guilty. So this protest, to which the members of the revolt were attached great importance, did not obtain the desired result.

However, to this, the Musa Bey Incident became a considerable propaganda material. The photographs of Gulizar with her mother and her priest uncle and were sent everywhere especially abroad. Thus, they tried to incite Christian bigotry.

REFERENCE:
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987, pp. 460-461

ARMENIAN REVOLTS

THE ERZURUM INCIDENT

The Erzurum revolt occurred on 20 June 1890. Samih Pasha, the Governor of the time, and the other relevant persons were informed that the Armenians brought weapons and ammunition and they hid those in Sansaryan school and churches. In that year, during July the gendarme and the police wanted to search the church thoroughly; but since the Armenians were informed of this attempt in advance they made the necessary arrangements and prepared to resist. Upon the first command the Armenian committee members shot on the soldiers and killed one officer and two soldiers, who came to the incident area. The Church could be searched at the end of the operation, in which a policeman was killed.

An Armenian, who witnessed the incident in person explains to a newspaper published in America, called Hayrenik in Armenian in 1927 on of the anniversary of the Erzurum incident:

“The founder of the Sanasaryan School died in 1890. In order that this person might rest in peace the ceremony was made and we mourned. The government was informed that there was an arm atelier in the school. The Armenian Catholic priests were thought to be the informers. Before the search a man called "Köpek Bogos" (Dog Bogos), who was the member of “defender citizens” informed that the school would be searched in two hours. The national history books and registers and the things that could attract attention at first sight were removed immediately. At the end of the search nothing could be found. The Armenians were crying out that “the entrance of the Turks into the church is filthy and dirty.” Later on, the men of Gergesyan, who was one of the founding members of “Defender Citizens Association” and who was killed by the decision of the Tashnak Committee Erzurum headquarter, started provoking the people. The shops were closed. The ceremonies were forbidden and the bells were not allowed to ring. The Armenians were dominating the situation. In this occasion, the rebels were yelling “the Armenians are free for three days, we will protect this freedom with arms.” They wanted the government to decrease the taxes, abolish the military cost, burn the churches, the holiness of which was violated and to reconstruct them and materialise the article 61.

They stayed in the cemetery, the church and the court of the school for three-four days. The Armenian notables, who were the dispersion of the Armenians were beaten. The order of the Government, which said that people should be interested in their own matters only, was not obeyed. The committee members were going to some regions and were encouraging the people. Meanwhile, the brother of Gergesyan shot and killed two soldiers. A short fight between the two sides took place for two hours. In the following day, the consuls visited the city. More than 100 people died and about 200-300 people were injured. Aslanyan, the physician, who gave reports to the consuls on behalf of the Armenians, escaped from the city because he was wanted by the government.

While these incidents were taking place, a foreign wind, the wind of north was blowing. As a consequence of the protest by the Armenians, the Russian consul, Tevet, visited the Governor and he said, “If such rebellious people were in Russia, they would be smoothed” and to the Armenians, he said “To live under such a barabarian rule like Turkey is not worthy.”

REFERENCE:
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987, pp. 458-459


ARMENIAN REVOLTS

THE KUMKAPI DEMONSTRATION (July 1890)

One of the most important incidents, which the Armenian committees used as a propaganda was the Kumkapi Demonstration. H. Cangülyan, who administered this protest, about which the Armenians claimed that they had protested without a weapon, is explaining it as follows:

“Because of the Musa Bey Question in Istanbul and Erzurum Incident, if a contrary move was not made, the Armenians would have thought that they were forgotten. That’s why a reprisal was required. The murders, which would be committed in Anatolia, would not concern even Europe. Because of that reason in order to arouse the interest of Europe a complaint should be made in front of the ambassadors.

If the Armenian enthusiasm were solely and completely dependent upon the Armenians, this would attract the attention of Russia. Russia would be suspicious this and conquer Armenia one day. If the action were in the other provinces and in the center, this would attract the attention of the other states as well. In this case, since we found Britain closer to us than Russia, it would be more beneficial to shape the Armenian question within the framework of our national interests.

The situation, which was that the people were living with the other races in a dispersed and mixed way in the motherland, would cause the future actions fail only in the motherland. Because of this, the Armenian operations should be fulfilled outside the Armenian borders. For this reason, it would be impossible not to consider Istanbul as a convenient action centre. Including the bachelors and the other people who come from other cities, there were 200.000 Armenians in Istanbul.

The source of evil was in Istanbul. Consequently, it would be appropriate to fulfil the action very near the Palace.

When a revolution and rebellion spirit was aroused among a people, who lived under slavery for five-six centuries, it was necessary that the rebels should benefit from this, and should make this emotion much stronger, concrete and widespread. To disseminate the revolution among the people and to transform it to a much more fruitful way were among the objectives of their revolutionary activities.

The Turkish government and Turkish people believed that the sprit of unity among the Armenians, and a blow to Armenia atempted by these people by them would have negative effects in the other parts especially in Istanbul, where the international interests gathered. And if they see this, they will pursue a cautious policy. They will not dare to organise a new massacre.”

Before the Kumkapi incident, the notables of the committee met at the home of a Russian citizen, Megavoryan, who was living at the house of a foreigner, in the back streets of Beyoglu. Two persons were elected to administer the protest, which would be materialized in Kumkapi on 15 July. Cangülyan assumed the responsibility to bring the Party to the palace and Murad to read the declaration.

On the day when the incident occurred, the telegram lines were cut and the Hinçaks gathered in the church. The declaration was copied in handwriting and distributed to people. During the ceremony Cangülyan attacked the dais air and read the declaration. The patriarch Asikyan, who was presiding the ceremony, escaped and took shelter in the patriarchate. He did not consent to go to the Palace together with the committee members. The Hinçak committee members occupied the patriarchate and guns were shot. All the windows and the ceiling of the building were broken to pieces.

At last the patriarch Ashikyan was persuaded by force and was put in a carriage to go to the Palace. The people and the member of the committee, who gathered were crying, “God save the Hinçak Committee, God save the Armenian nation, God save Armenia, God save Liberty”. However since Dacad and Mampra Vartabets informed the government, the carriage, which the patriarch Asikyan was in, was stopped by the military forces. Upon this, the members of committee opened fire on the soldiers. Cangulyan was told this scene as follows:

“Our men were shooting at the soldiers continously and violently. The soldiers were trying to arrest those who were shooting. 6-7 soldiers were seriously wounded. 10 of them were slightly wounded. Two of us died.”

The Kumkapi incident, which was alleged to be the “protest with no arms” by the Hinchaks, ended by this way.

REFERENCE:
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987,pp.461-463

ARMENIAN REVOLTS

THE FIRST SASUN REVOLT

Sasun was a famous town its revolts. Sasun is a district of City of Siirt administratively and it is about 14 hours far from Mus. It is nearby Mutki and Garzan districts. Since its land is mountainous and steep, it is far from the government influence. The habitants including the Armenians spoke Zaza and Kurdish. A census was not fulfilled at that time; nevertheless, it was estimated that one fifth of the inhabitants were Armenian and the rest of it were Kurdish people.

In these regions in 1890’s, an Armenian called Mahran Damadyan travelled around for three years and tried to make the Armenians revolt, by propagating and provoking. Upon the information given by the Sasun Armenians Damadyan was caught and brought to Istanbul to be tried and then he was set free.

The Sasun revolt was arranged by the Hinçak Committee solely to invite the intervention of the foreign countries and was fulfilled through the mediation of Murad (Kamparsun Boyaciyan).

Murad was supported and aided by the Tashnak Committee to go to Sasun by passing through Caucasus. As soon as he arrived in Sasun, he gathered some of the Armenians and started to prepare the revolt plans.

In fact, this revolt, which was fulfilled for the attraction of the foreign intervention by the Armenian committees and the patriarchate as being bloody and violent was announced in various capitals of Europe, the meetings, the declarations in the parliaments. The responsibility, which was assumed by Britain through the Cyprus agreement, was mentioned everywhere.

English Consul to Van City, Holward wanted to go to Sasun for investigation; but since the government considered him as the provocative of the revolt, he was not allowed to. After very long correspondences. The Ottoman Goverment accepted the request that the consuls situated in Erzurum, namely France, Britain and Russia participated to the Ottoman research commission. The commission made investigation for six months, from 4 January to 21 July 1895, and held 108 meetings, and listened to more than 190 witnesses. Omer Bey from the committee was appointed for the post of Vice Governor of Bitlis. So he had to leave the commission on 29 January. On 23 August Murad, the leader of the revolt, was arrested.

The Armenians had a lot of hopes concerning the Sasun revolt. They thought that, in case of a revolt in Sasun, Europe would intervene immediately, the demands of the Armenians would be supplied and considerable benefits would be obtained.

In order to continue the revolt, Hinchaks collected a great amount of money in Istanbul and in the provinces through the tickets, which bore the seal of the committee.

It would be sufficient to read the article published in the American newspaper, New York Herald, which can not be accused of not being neutral concerning how the incident took place.

“The European investigation showed that the Armenians revolted with the assistance of the provocateurs who came from foreign countries. The rebels did everything with the modern weapons. In addition to arson, murder and the pillage, they revolted against the regular soldiers and resisted them and than they retreated to the mountains. The interrogation committee established that by sending soldiers against the rebels, the Ottoman government used its most legal right. These soldiers were able to defeat these rebels only after bloody fights. About 3 thousand fully armed rebels, who sheltered in the mountains, could not be defeated by convincing words, and articles in the newspapers.

3000 Armenians gathered in Mount Anduk. 500-600 of them wanted to besiege Mus district. With this objective, they attacked the Delican tribe in the south of Mus. They killed some of them and pillaged their properties. The belief of the Muslims, whom they caught, was despised and the Muslims were killed violently. These rebels attacked at the regular soldiers near Mus, too. However, because of the great number of the soldiers there, they could not occupy Mus district.

The rebels organized the gangs with the ones in Mount Anduk. These gangs committed awful murders and plundered. They burned the nephew of Ömer Agha alive. They raped the Muslim women in the region, which was three-four hours far from to Gulli Guzat village and strangled.

They picked out the eyes and cut the ears of most of the Muslims. The Muslims were insulted severely and shamefully and were forced to be converted to Christianity and to kiss the Cross.

Towards the end of August, the Armenians attacked the Kurdish people near Mus and burnt the Gülli Güzat village. As to the 3000 Armenian rebels in Talori, after terrorising and making the Muslims and the Christians mourn, they refused to abandon their weapons and continued to pillage and murder. Then army soldiers were sent to these places to prevent these atrocities.

Hamparsun, who was one of the rebels, escaped to the high mountains with eleven accomplices. He was caught alive. Nevertheless two men of his men were killed and six of them were wounded. At the end of August all of the rebellion gangs were dispersed.

The Turks treated the women, children, old people, the disabled in accordance with the Islamic and humanistic norms. The rebels, who died, were the ones who refused to surrender and preferred to fight against the legal sovereignty.

REFERENCE:
Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987,pp.471-477

THE ZEYTUN REVOLT

The most important revolt of the Hinchaks took place in Zeytun in 1895. It was informed that some of the foreign Armenians were active in the Arekin village and the government persecuted these people. It was understood that the activists, who were sent by the Hinchak Committee, were called Agasi, Hraçya, Abah, Nisan, Melek, Garbet; and they were the Hinçak propagandists. At that time centre of the committee was in London and the leader was Nazarbeg. The activists told the Zeytun inhabitants to arm and attack the Turkish people, the military forces around and the important towns; and that the necessary arms and money were being sent by the committee, adding that, the British fleet would arrive in Mersin and Iskenderun, as soon as the operation begins.

On 16 September, 1895 an Armenian committee, which comprised of 100 persons, including the rebels of Zeytun, Partogomios, Vartabet and the representatives of the village, met in Karanlik Dere (Dark Stream) and arrived at a decision concerning how to start the rebellion.

Upon these decisions revolts started everywhere, telegraph wires were cut, two thousand armed and four thousand unarmed inhabitants of Zeytun started the attacks. The rebels, who surrounded the barracks and the government office, took prisoner the district Governor, 50 officers, 600 soldiers and commanders. Later, the women from Zeytun killed the prisoners. The commander Remzi Pasha demanded to get reinforcement. Ethem Pasha came instead; but he had to demand for new reinforcement.

The rebels were equipped with modern weapons. The soldiers situated in Goksun attacked the rebels and they forced them to take shelter in Zeytun. The soldiers surrounded Zeytun; and just as they were wining the fight, the consuls in Istanbul proposed the government to be the act as mediator for the Armenians in Zeytun. The palace accepted this proposal and stopped the operations. The ambassadors appointed their consuls to Aleppo for the negotiations. On 1 January 1896, six official consuls entered Zeytun and they concluded peace with rebels of Zeytun on 28 January (1).

The rebels surrendered with the peace conditions, which were the submission of the weapons, that they fought with; amnesty general; the expropriation of the five members of the committee; and the exemption from the past taxes, reduction of the public tax; and the revolt ended.

The Hinchak gangs, who initiated the revolt, left Zeytun under the protection of the British Embassy and they departed from Mersin to Marseilles on 12 March.

With the Zeytun revolt the activity of the Hinchak Party in Turkey came to an end. The party was of the opinion that due to the activities it would attract the attention of Europe and would provide the independence for the Armenians. Because of that reason it murdered a great number of Armenians. But it could not obtain any result.(2)

REFERENCE
1. Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987,pp.491-496
2. Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.160-161)


THE VAN REVOLT

Although rebellion of Van started in the night between 14 and 15 June 1895, the preparations of this rebellion extends to very early days. General Mayewski, who was the Russian Ambassador for City of Van, for 6 years, and later appointed for Erzurum, explains as follows:

“In 1895, the rebels of Van exerted great efforts in order to attract the great attention of Europe to the Armenian question. Through the death threats, they sent letters to the rich Armenians for the pecuniary support. During this time, by the decision of Van revolution committee, some political murders were committed. One of the most important murders, took place on 6 January 1895, the most important Armenian Feast day; the murder of the Priest Bogos, who was going to the church for the sacred rite. (...) As from the spring the revolutionary preparations started. The people were talking about the corpses, which were cut in to pieces nearby the province. As the revolutionists saw that no prosecution took place, they became more and more encouraged. Besides this, as the Armenians were encouraged, the Muslims were expiring their patience.”

The British Ambassador Williams were foresighted as well and he writes the following:

“There are 400 members of Tashnaks in Van. They are terrorising their own co-religionists and they are provoking Muslim people by committing violent and bloody crimes acts together with the Hinchaks, whom I suppose not more than 50. They do not allow the reforms to be realised. I am sure that if those can be suppressed, the obstacle, hindering the security of the region will be eliminated.”

Military Commander of Van, Saadettin Pasha, also perceived the same situation. As from October 1895 there was already individual incidents in Van and therefore it became necessary to be on the alert to any incident. The official provincial reports show that until the beginning of the rebellion, 23 incidents were recorded. Saadettin Pasha, in his big report he sent after the revolt, mentioned these issues and summarised how the events developed.

The rebellion in Van continued between 15-24 June 1895. During the revolt 418 Muslims and 1715 Armenians deceased, and 363 Muslims and 71 Armenians were wounded.

After that date, in Van, individual incidents continued, concerning the gangs that kept coming by passing through Iran. However, those did not turn into revolts.

REFERENCE
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara, 1983,pp.161-163)


THE STORMING OF THE OTTOMAN BANK

The last incident of the year 1896 was the storming of the Ottoman Bank that occurred on 26 August. This incident was the initiative of the Tashnak Committee completely. Those, directing the operation were three Armenians, Varto, Mar and Boris. Akrein Pastirmaciyan, who was using the nickname Armen Garo, was elected as deputy from Erzurum. He came from Athens to fight on the Caucasian front with his gang against Turkey during the World War I., and joined them.

Esat Uras is telling how the raid developed on 26 August from Varantyan’s “Tasnaksütyun History” in Armenian:

“On 26 August, 6.30 in the morning. 6 persons were enough for the raid. The bomb sack on our shoulders, the arms in our hand, we started out. When we approached the bank we heard the noise of the bombs used by our leaders. We attacked the bank. They thought we were robbers. I told them not to be scared. The bombs had shocking results. The people, who were wounded by the bombs, did not die immediately. The bombs were tearing their hands into pieces and they were suffering with awful pain. Together with Garo we went to the office of the Director and had our conditions written. We wanted our demands to be fulfilled and wanted the rebels, who were involved in the fight, to be set free. Otherwise, we would explode the bank and kill ourselves too. 17 of us were left alive after the fight. 3 of us died and 6 of our friends were wounded. The casualty of our enemies was so great.”

The conditions of the members of the gang were as follows:

- A European High Commissioner shall be elected by 6 states.

- Governors, Governors of the provinces and Governors of districts shall be appointed by the High Commissioner and approved by the Sultan.

- Legal reform in conformity with the European system

- An absolute freedom of religion, education and press

- To spend ¾ of the country revenue for the local requirements

- To abolish the accumulated tax due

- Tax exemption for 5 years, allocation of the tax that shall be paid in the following 5 years to the losses caused by the recent chaos.

- The return of the property, which were seized

- The return of the immigrants freely

- The amnesty to the Armenians who were sentenced for political offences

- Founding of a provisional commission comprising of the representatives from the European countries and the provision of their control over the above mentioned issues

As a result, the General Director of the Bank Sir Edgar Vincent went to the Palace with Maximoff, the Chief Interpreter of the Russian Embassy and they were authorized to solve the problem. Their right to leave Turkey freely was guaranteed. 17 gangsters with Maximoff left the bank and went to the office of Sir Edgar and than they departed to go to Marseilles with the French Ship Gironde.

Thus, the raid of the bank ended, but the bombs and bullet casting of the Armenians to the soldiers, police and the people made the Muslim inhabitants of Istanbul very angry. The chaos in Istanbul continued for a few days. This is not an assault by the Muslims against the Armenians. The Armenians also continued to attack.

According to western sources, the number of the Armenians who lost their lives in this incident is 4.000-6.000. In the scanned Ottoman documents no information about this incident has been found yet. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the figure, 6.000 is exaggerated. At the end of the Sublime Porte protest, the chaos continued for a few days; but the number of dead people remained 172. In order to reach the figure of 4.000-6.000, the incident should have continued for weeks. Furthermore, since all the sources recorded that the Muslims struggled with sticks and knives, it is impossible such a number of people could be killed by these means. No record could be found concerning the number of the Muslim inhabitants who died. On the other hand, it was understood from the British sources that 120 soldiers of the Grand Vizier died and 25 of them were wounded. Again this year, in the same sources, it was registered that about 300 Muslims were arrested because of this incident and that the measures taken by the government were good.

Concerning this incident a special law court was established and this court tried the arrested Muslims and the Armenians.

REFERENCE:
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara, 1983,pp.163-166)

THE SECOND SASUN REVOLT

As the first attack on 8 August 1895, in Sasun, could not obtain any result, the Tasnaks wanted to make the second attack on July1897. Generally, the Tashnak bands were came Turkey by passing through Iran and Van route. But the Mazrik tribe was irritating them on their road. In order to eradicate this tribe the committee members assaulted the tribe’s tents in Honasor with a gang of 250 people on July 1897, at dawn. But they could not get the result that they expected and they retreated when they had the risk of being besieged.

After that date, the Tasnaks moved their activities to Sasun and Mus region. At that time Antranik took up the gang acts. Antranik, born in 1866 in ªarki Karahisar, entered the Committee at a very young age, and he was imprisoned for killing a Turk. He was smuggled from the jail by the Committee and was sent to Batum. In the World War he became famous for gang fights and he was promoted to Regiment Commandership. Towards the end of 1890s his name became known in the region.

In 1901 the Ottoman government decided to establish barracks at the Taluri and Shenik hills in order to bring order to the Sasun administration; the Armenians opposed this project. The fight with the gangs under the leadership of Antranik actually started on this date. But towards the end of 1903 the real revolt started to disseminate in this region to everywhere. On 13 April 1904 the troopss were sent against the rebels and, the rebels could not resist. Nevertheless, the fights of the bands continued until August and Antranik had to escape to the Caucuses.

According to the book, “Antranik Wars” written by K. Küdülyan in Armenian and published in Beirut in 1929, during the fights on 14, 16, 22 April; 2 May; 17 July, in total 932-1132 Turks but only 19 Armenians were killed. Those are the figures announced and written by the Armenians. Sasun Revolt II resulted in the re-emergence of the so-called massacre issue on the international agenda once again. But it did not attract as much attention as in the past. As a matter of fact, a new period, when the attention of the countries was drawn on other issues was about to start.

REFERENCE
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.166-167

THE YILDIZ ASSASSINATION

The last initiative of the Tashnaks is the assassination of Abdülhamid. Papazian confirms this accordingly:“The assault against Sultan Abdülhamid’s life was the last try of the Tashnaks for the revolution on behalf of the Turkish Armenians. That was one of the splendid but useless initiative of Tashnaksutyun. Its success would not have contributed to the Armenian problem. Its failure saved our people from a great catastrophe.”

Together with Krisdapor Mikaelyan, Vram ªabuh Kendiryan from Arnavutköy, Belgian Joris and his semi-Greek wife Silvio Risçi, Lipa-Rips born in Germany, Torkom (Ardas Haçik Kaptanyan), Safo (Konstantin Kabulyan), Mari Zayn, Garo (Hamparsun Agacanyan), Kris Fenerciyan, Asod (Karlo Yovanoiç) and some adventurous people coming from different parts of the Caucuses and Europe gathered in Istanbul and started to make plans for the assassination. First of all, they went to the Polonezköy (Polish village) with 12 bombs and made some bombing experiments in Ibrahim Pasha forest.

Because of his Russian Jewish merchant passport, Krisdapor went to the Sultan’s public procession ceremony with the advise received from the Russian Embassy and he made the investigation freely. He thought that it was easy to throw the bomb on the Sultan when he was passing. Yet, since the roads were covered with sand, it was possible that the bomb would not explode.

Later on the plan was discussed. On fifteenth day of Ramadan during the ceremony, two men with guns would attack the Sultan, Joris proposed to rent a house on the road, from Yildiz to Dolmabahce. The men appointed to fulfil this mission were present with the guns. Yet, that day, the Sultan went to Ciragan Palace through the Yildiz Garden and the assassination attempt of the committee failed.

Finally, it was planned to bomb the premises, where foreign guests were frequenting, and at the same time to explode a great bomb in a carriage. Careful studies and calculations were made and it was decided that the bombs would be prepared in foreign countries; the tests would be materialized there and the assassination would be realised with a time bomb put in a special carriage.

Krisdapor continued his investigations. He went to Yildiz every week. He recorded the time when the Sultan arrived at and departed from the mosque; he measured the distance between the carriage and the mosque, the steps and the time. Finally, they decided to explode a timed-bomb in a carriage which would wait among the carriages of foreign guests. The carriage would be placed as close as possible to the Sultan and the Sultan would be killed together with the people around him .

A metal chest, to be placed in the coachman’s seat was made and it would include 120 kilos of explosives. In order to inflame the explosives a clock face, a circuit of 42 seconds was prepared. It was decided that Zare Haçikyan, 45 years old, veteran murderer, Armenian committee member, would ride the carriage.

On 18 July, in the morning the explosive material and 500 capsules were loaded in an iron chest under the driver’s seat. Having made all the preparations, on Friday, 21 July 1905, following the public procession ceremony while Sultan Hamid was going back to the Palace the bomb exploded in front of the mosque. Although everything was calculated with precision, the Sultan met Sheikh-ul-Islam after he left the mosque and talked to him. Because he was late for a few minutes the assassination failed.

At the end of the investigations concerning the incident, Edouard Joris, Austrian citizen, was sentenced to death. After some time, Joris was brought to the Palace. He was appointed as an agent to work against the Armenians with the Sultan’s gift of 500 liras and was sent to Europe. (2)

REFERENCE:
(1) Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.167
(2) Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987,pp.524-531


THE ADANA INCIDENT

Following the Armenian provocation, which lasted for days, the Armenians killed two young Muslims and when they insisted not to surrender the murderer, the demonstrations took a serious turn and extended to streets. The Muslims and the Armenians fought in the streets for 3 days.

The government sent troops from Dedeagach to Adana immediately. Upon their arrival the incidents tented worsen; but they were suppressed easily. In his memoirs, Cemal Pasha said that during the Adana incident 17.000 Armenians and 1.850 Muslims died. If the Armenians had had the majority of population, in the province, these figures would have been differred. During the bloodshed, the behaviour of the parties was not different from each other.

According to the research made by the Patriarchate 21.300 people died. Babikyan Efendi, the deputy of Edirne province prepared a report to be presented to the parliament, but he died shortly after the report, which stated that the number of dead was 21.001, could not be discussed in the Assembly. By taking into consideration that there was the possibility was that there might be some people, who escaped from the scene and came back later; and since the figure established by Cemal Pasha belonged to a period after the trial, it was accepted that the muöber of the Armenians, who died was nearly 17.000, not 21.000.

After the incident, Adana was put under martial law. The Muslim and Armenians who committed crimes were sent to Court Martial.

REFERENCE:
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.175-76

THE BURSA INCIDENT

Upon the increase of the Armenian rebellions and incidents, the Armenians gangs, who heard that at the end of the searches in Adapazari and Izmit many weapons were obtained; and who had been preparing in Chengiler, Soloz, Orhangazi, Bilecik regions for a long time, started to attack the Turkish people. Their aim was to make the government forces the gendermerie and the military units to pursue Armenians themselves. Thus forces who were fighting against the enemy on the front would be weakened and demoralised.

The Armenian bands that had modern weapons and even medical equipment, started assaults everywhere in groups 60-70, by uniting with the bandits who had escaped from Izmit and Adapazari. It was established that the leaders of the Armenian gangs were the Chief Priest Vekil Barkef and his secretary Sokpas, the Principal of Bursa Armenian School, porter of the church and the religious people.

REFERENCE:
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.239

THE FINDIKCIK INCIDENT

While the Armenians in Zeytun region, who revolted against the Ottoman government from time to time, were being replaced in the other regions, the Armenians, who spread out to the land, in the north of the Nur Mountains, attacked the Turkish villages, the military units and the gendarme detachments and set fire, destroyed and killed.

After a period of time, in Spring 1915, 600 bandits, who were Armenians from Zeytun, Saimbeyli and Maras, gathered and revolted between Maras and the Bahçe Town; and Findikçik village, which was 30 kilometres distant from Ayvalik Subdistrict. They burned four Turkish villages nearby this village. The Armenians in Maras region also started to get together in Findikçik, the center of the rebellion. The village was prepared for the defense.

Meanwhile, although a gendarme detachment was sent to the rebellion region, no positive results were achieved. Upon this, 312th Infantry Regiment from Islahiye and infantry battalion from Belen and a mountain cannon team were sent to the Findikçik region and the revolt was suppressed. More than 10 Turkish villages were set on fire and about 2.000 Turkish people were killed violently in this incident.

REFERENCE:
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.243-244

MOUNT MUSA INCIDENT

Mount Musa is at the foot of the Nur Mountains. It is 1.000 meters high. It is covered with huge rocks and bushes and looks like a single block of rock. The book “40 Days at Mount Musa”, by a Jew, called Werfel, was made a film, in order to propagate the said oppression by the Armenians in America. The Governor of Aleppo of the time, General Fahrettin Türkkan describes the incident that broke out in the World War I as follows:

“During the World War I, it was rumoured that the Entente Powers would land on the shores of the Iskenderun Region. So the habitants of seven Armenian villages connected to Samandag subdistrict, did not pay their tax due. They refused to support Turkish Armed Forces. They revolted and escaped to Mount Musa.

Upon this development, although the government sent some officials to talk to them and to persuade them to obey the government orders, the Armenians did not pay attention to this and defended themselves with weapons. Colonel Galip, the commander of the region could not find any other solution therefore he took the roads under the control, that were extending from Mount Musa. Although he wanted to talk to the rebellions individually for the last time, he saw that nobody was left on the mountain. At the end of the search, it was found out that the Armenians came down to the Mediterranean by the slope of a hill that was stretched out to the sea. Following the tracks, Colonel Galip climbed down to the shore and came across 20-30 animal corpses.

The search unveiled that a French war ship, which was observing the shores of Iskenderun, sent a boat to the shore upon the signal given from Mount Musa. This boat carried the Armenian gang leaders and the other rebels to the ships. This information can be obtained from the official channels of the French Government. The searches made the Mount Musa revealed that there were no human corpses on the shore or , even wounded or diseased people. Within this respect, it was concluded to a conclusion that the aim of the book written by Werfel, a Jewish origin, was likely to propagate in order to create a public opinion against the Turkish people. It was translated into all languages; and was made a film.”

This is the Mount Musa Incident. Its objective was to discredit and condemn the Turks. During World War I the French considered Aleppo and Hatay provinces as a significant entrance and exit to the Mediterranean and attached great importance to the Samandag region. Moreover they searched the possibility to land on this region. Because of this reason, they bombarded Iskenderun Province six times. Although they wanted make trouble for the Ottoman government by provoking the Christians, they could not find the opportunity and courage to materialise this initiative.

REFERENCE:
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.245-246

THE SEBINKARAHISAR INCIDENT

Besides the Armenian incidents, many rebellions occurred in Anatolia. One of them is ªebinkarahisar incident on 5 June 1915.

Murat (Hamparsun Boyaciyan), born in Sivas, was an Armenian band leader who attacked Shebinkarahisar with about 500 men. Since the road to transport reinforcements to the Turkish Eastern Front passed through the region, it had strategic importance. In case of an Armenian seizure of the region, the reinforcement and the back-up services of the TSK (Turkish Armed Forces) would be delayed and the front operations of the Russian army would become easier. The bandits set fire to the Muslim quarters. They started to kill the Turkish people, they tortured them, first. They attacked the army and gendarmerie detachments.

Reconsidering these conditions, the forces were brought from other fronts and they were sent to Shebinkarahisar. They besieged the Armenian rebels.

The message that was sent to the High Command of the 10th Army Corps Headquarters in Sivas on 15 June 1915 included the statements below:

“It is informed that about 500 Armenian bandits, who were collected from different places, sheltered in the old castle in ªebinkarahisar and revolted. The Sivas Governor informed that the fights took place between the security forces and the bandits.”

The message sent by the Sivas Governor to the 3rd Army Corps Headquarters on 18-19 June 1915 included the following:

“It is reported that the Shebinkarahisar rebellion was suppressed; about 800 Armenian women, men and children took shelter in the castle; about 200 of the rebels were armed.”

REFERENCE:
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.227-228

THE URFA INCIDENTS

Following the declaration of the Constitutional Regime, the Armenian committees also established an organisation in Urfa, composed of volunteers. The Armenians who were replaced in this region, were also deceived. Meanwhile, a man, who was found guilty in the Urfa revolt in 1895, was exiled to Tripoli. This man, who was discharged after the declaration of the Constitutional Regime, came back to Turkey and introduced himself as a priest. The Armenian Patriachate to Istanbul sent him to Urfa. He prepared the Armenian revolt and instilled Turkish hostility within the region. He explained to them the importance of weapons and armament.

The Russians attached great importance to the Armenian preparations in Urfa; because Urfa is in a location on the main road that stretches out from Eastern Anatolia to Iskenderun. Food, which would be sufficient for the rebellions for thirty years was stored. The occupation of Van province by the Russians speeded up the provocation and the propaganda of the Armenian rebels. By putting forward that the Russians would come to Urfa by passing through Diyarbakir, and Siverek, they called Armenians for revolt.

One of the most significant features of the revolt preparations was carrying water to the rebels who kept them coming from Maras and Diyarbakir, grinding the wheat to make flour, cooking bread, taking care of the patients, cleaning up the guns, receiving orders, making bullets, making speeches and forming the teams. These would be realized with an armed force, which was comprised of local volunteers and the deserters, and which would be used under the order of the commanders for Zeytun, Sason, Bitlis, Antep regions. They succeeded in materialising these preparations.

While waiting for the appropriate time to start the revolt, during the collection of the weapons and the recruitment of the ones, born in 1894, the Armenian soldiers, who escaped from Zeytun, Sason, Haçin, Diyarbakir provinces joined the rebels. The first revolts started in Germis village, 7.5 kilometers away from Urfa and on Thursday, 19 August 1915 in the center of Urfa.

On the following day of the Urfa incident the Armenian soldiers of the service battalion, who were working at the Tellüllebyaz-Urfa-Siverek road attempted to kill the officers and the Turkish workers, as they had planned before. However they could not achieve this. Later on, the Armenian soldiers, who were working at the Tellülebyaz-Urfa section, martyred Reserve Officer Ibrahim Hilmi through the pickaxes, shovels and the guns they obtained from the guard gendarmes; and they wounded four gendarmes and the alderman.

After this incident on 28 August 1915, the order prevailed until 29 September 1915. Nevertheless, on 29 September 1915, 40 gunshots were made. On the following day, the police and the gendarme, who went to the Armenian quarter to investigate the incident, met the fire and one gendarme had died and two were wounded. The rebels attacked the houses of the Turks and they captured the ones, who were suitable for defence and attack; and martyred 10 women, young and old, from the Muslim families.

The revolt in Urfa was planned and directed by the Armenian committees perfectly. It was established that foreign countries were involved in this incident and that they received help from them.

Following the rebellion, the leaders of the Armenian gangs managed to escape to other regions. The 4th Army Commander informed the Supreme Military Command about the fight through the code number 7664 on the day it ended, 16 October 1915.

REFERENCE:
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.240-243

IZMIT AND ADAPAZARI INCIDENTS

When the Russian navy was bombarding Eregli in the Black Sea Region, it was found out that the Armenians in the region spied for the Russians. Especially, the Armenians in Adapazari started telling and propagating clearly that “The Russians will land on the Black Sea coast in a few days; they will come here. When they come there will be no Turks left in our region.” Upon this, the government had a search made in the region. At the end of the search a great number of explosive materials guns, pistols, soldier and gendarme uniforms, a great amount of ammunition and dynamite fuses were found. Only few of them were enough to destroy Adapazari. Another search was made in Izmit and similar things the same things were found.

According to the evidence given by the revolutionists who were arrested both in Adapazari and Izmit, if the Russian occupation had taken place, in the estuary of the Sakarya River these explosives would have been used against the Turkish army and Turkish people. Therefore, a plan for massacre and total destruction was going to be put in practise. Some of the Armenians would wear uniforms of the Turkish Army and destroy the Turkish Army from within. When this plan of the Armenians was unveiled, the gang leaders escaped to Yalova and Bursa regions and they robbed and killed the Turkish people they came across.

In spite of all these, the Armenians started to disseminate news and rumours, about Armenians being killed and tortured everywhere. In the end, the government had to take the fundamental measures. Some of the Armenian gangs were arrested and some of them escaped to different regions.

REFERENCE:
Sakarya, Em. Tümg. Ihsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basimevi, Ankara 1984 pp.238

THE GENERAL LIST OF REVOLTS

The Armenian revolts started with the Erzurum incident in 1890 and ended with Van rebellion in 1896. This period of Armenian massacres to Turks was referred as a so-called “genocide” by the Western world.

Nalbadian says, ”in this period, 50.000-300.000 Armenian were killed.”

David Marshall Lang writes that 200.000 Armenians were killed between 1894-96.

According to Pastirmaciyan there were 100.000-110.000 dead people.

Misasskian writes “At least 300.000 Armenians died.”

Hepsius’s number for Armenian casualties is 88.243.

However, there are some doubts about all these figures. For instance, in 1896 it is said that 20.000 people were killed in Van. But most of the bands activated in Van province came from Iran. Saadettin Pasha says that 6.000 people died in Zeytun. According to Agasi 125 people lost their lives. The British documents state that after the end of the rebellion the people, who died because of the diseases, were 3.000. Yet these deaths are not related to the rebellion.

Bliss’s figure belonging to 1895 is 35.032.

It is evident that the Armenian bandits and rebels killed thousands of Turks in 1890’s and the Armenian casualties during their own revolts would not be more than 20.000.

Agasi’s words “We killed 20.000 Turks in Zeytun” clarify the facts. With no doubt, Muslim casualties are much more than the Armenian casualties.

REFERENCE:
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.167-68

THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH

* The Independence Activities of The Armenian Church
* The proclamation of Constitutional Regime, the Collaboration of Tashnak - Hinchak
* “The regulation on Armenian CATHOLICOS and Patriarchate”
* The Activities of Patriarch Zaven Efendi

The regulation called “Nizâmnâme-i Millet-i Ermeniyân” (Regulation of the Armenian Nation), which reinforced the situation of the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire on 29 March 1863, and which granted some additional privileges and autonomy concerning their self-governance, became effective. According to the Islahat Fermâni (Firman of the Reforms) this regulation, which included some new provisions, that were additional to the present rights, was a reward that was granted to the Armenians, who were considered as the most loyal citizens of the state. The Armenian Patriarchate Assemblies prepared this regulation taking the consent of the Ottoman Government. With this regulation, immense privileges were granted to the Armenians. This can be expressed as “a State in a state; governance in governance.” In a way, with this regulation, the Armenians wanted to eliminate the aristocratic dominance of the Armenian nobles. In this period, the Gregorian Armenians lived in 26 Episcopal branches under the administration of their patriarch in Istanbul; and the Catholic Armenians, whose majority was in the cities, constituted 13 Episcopal branches under the administration of a Patriarch (1). Kagik Ozanyan, the Armenian writer, expressed that this regulation incites the revolutionary spirit among the Armenians and “The Armenian Question” was put on the agenda (2).

THE INDEPENDENCE ACTIVITIES OF THE ARMENIAN CHURCH

After the declaration of “Regulation of the Armenian Nation” in 1863 the Patriarchs started to work in the national and political environments. This regulation was considered as a step for autonomy. They hoped that if the European intervention expanded because of the Lebanon incidents, this intervention would be very beneficial for them. The revolts (1780-1862) that were started for an independent Armenia in the Ottoman Empire, did not became succesful (3).

The idea of creating an autonomous state in the Ottoman Empire belongs to Migirdiç Hirimyan (1869-1873). Migirdich Hirimyan, born in 1820 in Van, became Vartabed (4) to the Akdamar Church in 1854, at the age of 34; thus, he became the member of the church. He started to publish the newspapers: The “Eagle of Van”, aiming at Armenian independence, was printed in the printing house he established in the Varak Monastery in Van; and “Eagle of Mus” was printed in the St. Garabed Monastery in 1863 in Mus. Hirimyan, who attracted attention through his sermons, was elected as the Armenian Patriarch in Istanbul in 1869 (5). His election as the Patriarch resulted in an increase in the national Armenian interests. As soon as he started to work he began his new job on these two principles:

a. To examine the “Regulation of the Armenian Nation” again and have it modified according to the demands and the needs of the provinces,

b. To attract the attention of the Armenians in Istanbul, the Assembly and the Government to Armenia.(6)

The bankers, moneychangers and the officials did not approve and opposed these ideas of Hirimyan, whose aim was to pull Armenians into dangerous adventures. They believed that their future was united with Turkey. Consequently, Hirimyan could not obtain his objective as a Patriarch, and he had to resign in August 1873.

His predecessor Patriarch Nerses Varjabedyan (1874-1884) pursued the idea of Hirimyan. In 1876, Abdulhamid II ascended the throne and the First Constitutional Regime was declared. During the Istanbul Conference (12 December 1876- 20 January 1877), which was held to settle the Bulgarian issue, Nerses Varjabedyan submitted a report prepared by the ex-Patriarch Hirimyan to the British Ambassador Henry Elliot concerning the so-called pressures on the Ottoman Armenians. However, because it was not on the agenda of the conference, his initiative was successful (7).

Reports and the applications of complaints by the Patriarchate which started in the Hirimyan era increased after the problems of Christians in Thrace. If we examine the reports of violence given by the Patriarchate to the Sublime Porte and the European countries, it is easy to notice that most of them were nothing but common police incidents. On one hand, the Patriarchate was exaggerating the most common incidents and informing the government about them, on the other hand, the Patriarchate transformed these incidents into serious political issues; and started to inform the European countries about them.

Before 1877-1878 Ottoman-Russian War there were two alternatives for the Armenians:

a. To remain loyal to the Ottoman State and the Turkish people,

b. To follow the steps of the other Christian communities in the Empire and to provide the intervention of the European states.

Patriarch Nerses sent a letter to the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lord Salisbury on 13 April 1878. The letter is as follows:

“It is no longer possible for the Armenians and the Turks to live together. Only a Christian administration can provide the equality, justice and the freedom of conscience. A Christian administration should replace the Muslim administration. Armenia (Eastern Anatolia) and Kilikya (8), are the regions, where the Christian administration should be founded... The Turkish Armenians want this... That is, a Christian administration is demanded in Turkish Armenia, as in Lebanon.”(9)

The Patriarch visited the British Ambassador to Istanbul, Layard on 17 March 1878 and told him that: “A year ago we did not have any problems with the Ottoman administration. However the Russian victory has changed the situation now. We want an independent Armenia in the East. If you can not help us, we will apply to the Russians.” When the ambassador asked him what he meant by “Armenia”, the Patriarch said, “Van, Sivas, Diyarbakir and Cilicia”. The ambassador said “Yes; but you do have not the majority in these places.” The Patriarch replied “We know this. Yet Russia is gaining lands now. The balance of powers between Russia and the Ottoman Empire changed. We have to take our future into account.” (10) Thus, he explained the objective of the Armenians.

Upon the peace request of the Ottomans, 1877-1878 Ottoman- Russian War ended on 31 January 1878 through the armistice concluded in Edirne (11), the terms of the peace agreement were settled in Ayastefanos (Yesilköy). During the peace negotiations in Ayastefanos (Yesilköy), Nerses Varjabedyan, in person and the Armenian notables negotiated with the Grand Duke Nikola, the head of the Russian delegation, the brother of the Tsar and they maneged to add an article concerning the Armenians. On 3 March 1878, the Ottoman State and Russia signed the Ayastefanos Agreement, which included heavy provisions. By stating the word “Armenia” in the 16th article of the agreement, the Ottoman State was forced to accept the presence of a state. However this agreement was not put into force.

When Patriarch Varjabedyan heard that the Ayastefanos Agreement would be modified in Berlin, he started to initiate the activities among the states that would participate in the congress. Within the context of this objective, the Archbishop of Besiktas Horen Nar Bey went to Russia (St. Petersburg) and was received by Tsar Alexander II. Horen Nar Bey requested him to continue protecting the Ottoman Armenians and to defend their struggle in the Berlin Congress. A delegation under the chairmanship of the ex- Patriarch Hirimyan visited the capitals of Europe (Rome, Vienna, Paris, London) and started to propagate in order to gain the politicians consent for the Armenian Struggle (Hai Tahd). The delegation had a project comprising of 7 articles, which stated the Armenian demands for the purpose of establishing Armenia in Turkey (12).

In addition to those activities, patriarch Nerses Varjabedyan sent a letter to the president of the Manchester Armenian Committee, Karekin Papazyan (13), stating that they were grateful to Russia and thanks to Britain, they gained the hope and goals, which was to attain material and moral prosperity. He also visited the British Ambassador, Layard, in Istanbul on June 30. He reported that they had given the project to the congress and he requested that the British should support this project. (14)

Additionally, Patriarch Nerses sent the falsified statistical figures of the church concerning the Armenian population in the big states.

As a result, this artificial problem, the 16th article of the Ayastefanos Agreement, was accepted as the 61st article of the Ayastefanos Agreement without many modifications on July 13, 1878. In this way, the Armenian question was established as the “Issue of Reforms”, that would be implemented in the Ottoman State under the supervision of the big states.

Nuryaz Çeraz participated in the Berlin Congress with ex-patriarch Hirimyan as an interpreter-secretary and published a brochure in 1879, which says that for the Armenians there was no need to sink into despair because of the results obtained in the Berlin Congress. Nuryaz Çeraz addressed them as follows (15):

“The Berlin Congress laid down the foundations of the national structure (The Armenian State)...Europe gave us arms; we have to use them before they rust...We acquired a gold mine through the Berlin Congress. It is our duty to run it and mine the gold”

As it is seen in the brochure, the Armenians were proposing the armed action and it was also stated that the European countries were supporting them.

Patriarch Nerses Varjebedyan believed that the problem should be worked out by means of revolution and rebellion and he founded the “Reforms Commission” in the Patriarchate. Towards the mid 1879, the Commission sent a circular to the Episcopacies and invited the Armenians to the rebellion with one statement. This circular also included what the Armenian religious people in the provinces were supposed to do (16).

Meanwhile, the Archbishop Mateos Izmirliyan, the Deputy Armenian Patriarch in Istanbul, dealt with sending letters to the episcopacies. When these letters are examined, it is easy to see that the Patriarchate was unfaithful and the aim of the action pursued was to demolish the government to provide foreign intervention, eventually to obtain autonomy (17).

The Governor of Sivas province, Hakki Pasha attracted attention to the below mentioned issues in his article, published in 1881 and 1882, when the activities of the Patriarchate against the state were reported to the Ministry of Interior (18):

1. The Patriarchate started sending circulars which mention revolution and rebellion preparations, to the bishops.

2. The Patriarchate fired or killed some of the sensible old bishops, who did not obey the rules of the Patriarchate and who were of the opinion that it was in vain for the Armenians to revolt and rebel and that the Armenian people would experience harm. Young and revolutionist bishops and priests replaced them.

3. The Patriarchate was involved in the censure, which was the duty of the state, through sending secret circulars to the European states, in order to show that they had the majority in the “Six Provinces”.

4. The Patriarchate propagated against the Turks and in favour of the Armenians in the European press, by collecting taxes using different names such as Famine Relief for the Armenians, payment of debts of Kudüs-ü ªerif and so forth. It tried to pretend to demonstrate the ordinary crimes as if they were the Armenian genocide. In short, it started a campaign based on the distorted incidents, fiction and slander.

5. The Patriarchate has hundreds of thousands liras (gold), which it collected from the Armenians under the pretence of “relief”. The armed gangs, which disseminated from Russia to Eastern Anatolia, with the help of local guards and using some of this money started to terrorise.

6. The priests demolished the respect for the rules of the government and obedience through posioning the minds of the Armenian people even the little children in the Armenian schools.

7. The Patriarchate is providing financial assistance to the committees it had helped to establish. It is useful to mention that the committees are under the administration of the Patriarchate.

After the death of Nerses Varjabedyan in 1884, the Bishop of Erzurum, Haratyun Vehabedyan (1885-1888) was elected as Patriarch in 1885. Vehabedyan disapproved the policy pursued by Migirdiç Hirimyan and Nerses Varjabedyan and he believed that it was useless to hope for help from Europe for the reformation of the condition of Turkish Armenians.

During the age of Haratyun Vehabedyan, who was the Patriarch for three years, the Armenian rebellion committees were expanded and opened branches in Europe and in America. The Armenian Revolutionist Parties adopted the Armenian nationalism ideal along with the church, in other words, the ideal revolutionary movement demanding autonomy. “Armenagan”, the first Armenian political party was founded in 1885 in Van. It was organised according to the model of its pioneers in Europe and had its own publication organ (19). In 1887, the Armenians founded their first Marxist party in Geneva. Later on they acquired the name “Hinçak Revolutionist Party” in 1890(20).

The Archbishop of Izmir Monastery, Horen Asikyan (1888-1894) replaced Haratyun Vehabedyan. During this period, the ordinary crimes in the provinces were exaggerated by the bishops and were reshaped and reflected to Europe as the “Turkish oppression and torture”(!).Their intervention was requested.

However, the Armenian committee members attempted to assassinate of Patriarch Horen Asikyan believing that he was not active enough for their cause. The Patriarch was only wounded and he resigned (21).

After Horen Asikyan, the Ex-Patriarch to Egypt, Mateos Izmirliyan was elected as the Armenian Patriarch to Istanbul (1894-1896). This boosted the morels of the Hinchaks. He employed officials and members, from the committees. Izmirliyan did not only disseminate the idea of revolution and rebellion but he also severely criticised the services provided by the government and he sent reports to the British Embassy and to the newspapers in London (22).

The rebellions, which took place in the period of Mateos Izmirliyan, started to expand rapidly to almost all the provinces (23). Thanks to the dexterity of Abdulhamid II, these rebellions were suppressed in a very short time. Izmirliyan resigned and went to Jerusalem. When he came back to Istanbul he was elected as Patriarch for the second time (1908-1909)(24).

The proclamation of Constitutional Regime, the Collaboration of Tashnak - Hinchak

Following the proclamation of the Constitutional Regime on 23-24 July 1908, the Patriarchate became accomplice a full of the committees. Thus, the Armenian Church acquired its role in terror after the proclamation of the Constitutional Regime.

The report No 602 on 3 December 1910 sent by the Russian Consul to Bitlis to the Russian Embassy to Istanbul (25), was clearly showed the relationship between the church and the Tasnak members.

Following the “Incident of 31 March” in 1909, in Istanbul temporarily there was no government and this provided the opportunity, which the Armenians sought. With the encouragement of Armenian Archbishop to Adana, Museg, the Armenian rebellion took place on 14 April 1909, with the aim of obtaining the intervention of the European countries through attracting their attention to this and establishing the Armenian State in Adana, Maras, Mersin and Iskenderun with the assistance of the Hinchaks (26). During 13 days, approximately 20.000 Turks and Armenians died in Adana incidents. And the Bishop Museg escaped to Alexandria in the second day of the revolt.

In the same period, on 29 May 1909, the Armenian Patriarch in Istanbul, Mateos Izmirliyan, left to Istanbul to replace the Catholicos Post, Eçmiyazin, Migirdiç Hirimyan, who died on October 1907. Yegice Turhan replaced Mateos Izmirliyan (1909-1911) as the Patriarch (27). After this, Hovannes Arsaruni was elected for the Post of Patriarch (1912-1913)(28).

“The regulation on Armenian CATHOLICOS and Patriarchate”

The activities of the Armenian Patriarchate to divide the country, necessitated the modification of the rights, that were stated in the “Regulation of the Armenian Nation”, granted by the Patriarchate and the State in 1863. With the “Regulation of Armenian Cathogicos and Patriarchate”, which became effective on 10 August 1916, the two separate posts like Cathogicos, which is spiritual and superior, and Patriarchate, which is semi spiritual, semi political and administrative, were put together and the single post, Cathogicos - Patriarchate Post emerged. The two Cathogicoses (Sis and Akdamar) in the Ottoman State and the two Patriarchates (Istanbul and Jerusalem) were abolished. The only post, Katogigos-Patriarchate replaced them. Its location was not Istanbul, the political center of the state; but the religious centre of Christianity, Jerusalem. The changes were materialized in the assemblies of the Patriarchate. The General Assembly (Millî Meclis-i Umumî) comprised of 140 members was abrogated and the Religious Assembly (Meclis-i Ruhanî) comprised of 12 persons and the Joint Assembly replaced it. The Ottoman State aimed at disconnecting the relation between the Cathogicos of Echmiyazin and Russia. Therefore, the Ottoman State tried to free the Ottoman Armenians from moral protection of Russia.

The Ottoman Empire was defeated in the World War I and the Entente Powers occupied its lands according to the provisions in the Armistice of Mondros, which was signed between the Entente Powers and the Ottoman Empire on 30 October 1918. Now, the time has come for the liberation of the country and the establishment of a new state, The Republic of Turkey.

The Activities of Patriarch ZAven Efendi

The Armistice of Mondros was an important step for the Armenians to establish Armenia. Zaven Efendi, the Armenian Patriarch, came to Istanbul on 6 December 1918 in accordance with the Regulations in 1918 (30). He established an organisation to found the independent Armenia (31). He collected aids like guns, bullets and money, tried to find the necessary equipment and got considerable assistance from the Greek Patriarchate (32).

Bogos Nubar Pasha made an application to the Entente Powers on 30 November 1918, using the title of “the representative of Turkish Armenians” and he requested from the Entente Powers and the League of Nations to take Armenia under their protection (33). In the mean time, on 12 February 1919, the Patriarch Zaven Efendi went to Istanbul, Paris and then to London for the realisation of the same issue. First, he met Bogos Nubar Pasha and he enlightened him concerning issues; next Lord Cecil, Lord Curzon and his deputy Lord Harding. He also negotiated with French Chambon and the Greek Prime Minister Venizelos (34). He visited the British King George V to express the gratitude of the Armenians (35). While he was coming back from London to Paris he met with the French President and the Prime Minister and he came back with feelings of contentment and hope (36).

After the foundation of the Turkish Republic and the Lausanne Conference, there was no Armenian Question. The Armenian Church in Turkey opposed the initiatives of the Armenian Diaspora that would put Turkey into difficulty let alone pose problems. The Armenian Patriarch continued to react against the so-called Armenian genocide.

Therefore Dikran Kevorkan, the Chief of the Armenian Church in Kandilli said the following in the TV program, called Ceviz Kabugu on 7 October 2000 concerning the newly started propaganda within 6 months:

“The genocide and relocation (Tehcir) (the act of moving someone from somewhere) mean different things. The intrigues of the imperialists, the Armenian leaders with apolitical visions (media, churches, and the religious people) caused all these incidents. The Patriarch is the spiritual leader. It is a mistake to ask him about his political views. What could have they done the imperialist powers if had not supported ASALA and PKK?”

The idea of Kevorkan about the “assimilation” was as follows:

“Turkey is the only country, where the Armenians can preserve their identity freely and strongly. The Armenians, in the Diaspora abroad, change their names before they start their struggles, because in those countries an assimilation policy. The Armenians in the Diaspora against Turkey, know very well that in some of the churches in America the sacrifice ceremonies are fulfilled in English. The Armenians are forgetting their own language. When you say this, you are criticised. Therefore, we, the Armenian citizens of the Republic of Turkey, are expressing our grief. Why? Because it is unfair to act towards the Kuvay-i Milliye (Power of Nation), commanded by Ataturk. All these are the intrigues of the outsiders, including PKK, ASALA, and this decree. Those are the ruse of the outsiders. We, the citizens in Turkey, are of the opinion that this is unfair. If the Armenians are wise they should not let themselves be used as a tool.”

REFERENCES
1. Ilber Ortayli, Tanzimattan Cumhuriyete Yerel Yönetim Gelenegi, Istanbul 1985, pp. 73
2. Esat Uras,a.g.e.,pp.412
3. See Erdal Ilter, Ermeni Mes’elesinin Perspektifi ve Zeytun Isyanlari (1780-1880), Ankara 1988, pp.97-115
4. The spiritual ranks of the Armenian Church are as follows: Katogigos, Patriarch, Bishop, Vartabed, Priest.
5. Esat Uras, a.g.e., pp. 417; Louse Nalbandian, a.g.e., pp.53; Kamuran Gürün, a.g.e., pp. 62,74-
6. The word, Armenian means the Eastern Anatolia. However the word Armenia is accepted as the geographical term, not as an ethnic term, in the geographical scientific milieus. As from the XIII. Century, the name Armenia, which means “High/ Upwards/ Mountainous Region”, did not occur by chance and until the second half of XIX. Century the region (Eastern Anatolia) was called “Turcoman Country”. For more information see H. Kemal Türközü, Türmen Ülkesi (Dogu Anadolu) Adi Emperyalizmin Etkileri, Ankara 1985, pp. 1-12; Kamuran Gürün, a.g.e., pp. 1-9; Mehlika Aktok Kasgarli, a.g.e., pp.329; Tuncer Baykara, Anadolu’nun Tarihî Cografyasina Giris, Anadolu’nun Idarî Taksimati, 1, Ankara 1988, pp.24-25,
7. Esat Uras, a.g.e., pp.417; Salahi Ramsdan Sonyal, The Ottoman Armenians,pp.41
8. Kilikya is a region between Taurus Mountains, Amanos Mountains and the Mediterranean. In the administrative context, Adana province was called Kilikya in the Ottoman Empire. The borders of Kilikya has changed sometimes.
9. F.O. 424/70, No. 134/I zikr., Bilal N. ªimsir, British Documents On Ottoman Armenians 1856-1880), Vol. I, Ankara 19R2, pp.173. Document No. 69
10. Kamuran Gürün, a.g.e., pp. 99.
11. Nihat Erim, Devletlerarasi Hukuk ve Siyasi Tarih Metinleri: Osmanli Imparatorlugu Andlasmalari, Vol.1, Ankara 1953, pp.381-385.
12. For the whole of the project, see Esat Uras, a.g.e., pp.459-485; Enver Ziya Karal. A.g.e., Vol. VIII, pp.132; L’ Angleterre et les Armeniens (18391904), pp.19-22.
13. For the text of the letter, see Esat Uras, a.g.e., pp.485-486.
14. Kamuran Gürün, a.g.e., pp.104.
15. Turkey No.4(1880). No.118/I. Zikr., Bilal N. ªimsir, a.g.e., pp.602-606, Document No.309..
16. Mehmed Hocacioglu, Tarihte Ermeni Mezalimi ve Ermeniler, Istanbul 1976, pp.181-182.
17. For the essence of the letter, see Aspirations et Agissement Revolutionaires des Comites Armeniens..., pp.308-310.
18. Mehmet Hocaoglu, a.g.e., pp.182-185.
19. Louise Nalbandian, a.g.e., pp.90.
20. Louise Nalbandian, a.g.e., pp104-117.
21. Esat Uras, a.g.e., pp.724-725. For the threatening letter to Horen Asikyan, sent by the Hinçak Committee see Aspirations et Agissement Revolutionaires des Comites Armeniens..., pp.310-311
22. Hüseyin Nazim Pasa. Ermeni Olaylari Tarihi, I. Ankara 1994, pp.66.
23. For the chronological order of the rebellions see Kamuran Gürün, a.g.e., pp.139-159.
24. Esat Uras,a.g.e.,pp.833; Salahi Ramsdan Sonyel, a.g.e., pp.281.
25. Aspirations et Agissement Revolutionaires des Comites Armeniens..., pp.95-103.
26. For more information on 1909 Armenian incidents see Cemal Pasa Hatirat (1913-1922), Istanbul 1922, pp.249-256; Esat Uras a.g.e., pp.810-829; Mehmet Asaf, 1909 Adana Ermeni Olaylari ve Anilarim, yay. haz., Ismet Parmaksizoglu, Ankara 1982; Salahi R. Sonyal, “The Turco-Armenian Adana Incidents in the Light of Secret British Documents (July, 1908- December-, 1909), “Belleten, Number:20 i (Aralik 197), pp.1291-1338.
27. Jacques de Morgan, a.g.e.,pp. 369: Raymond H. Kevorkan-Paul B. Paboudjian, Les Armeniens dans L’Empire Ottoman, Paris 1992, pp.29.
28. Jacques de Morgan. A.g.e., pp.369.
29. BOA, DUIT, No. 67/1-I; for the French version of the Regulation see, Hrant Vartabed, L’Empire Ottoman et L’Independence de L’Eglise Armenienne, Publications de Dadjar, No. 2, Constantinople 1917, pp.80-94.
30. Zaven Efendi, who worked as bishop in Erzurum between 1898-1906, in 1910 in Van and between 1919-1913 in Diyarbakir, was elected the Armenian Patriarch to Istanbul. However because of his negative activities he was sent to Baghdad. Following the Mondros Armistice he came back to Istanbul. For more information see Christopher J. Walker, a.g.e., pp.426-427; and see Zeki Sarihan, Kurtulus Savasi Günlügü, I, Ankara 1993, pp.136-137.
31. M.Kemal Atatürk, Nutuk, I, 1919-1920, Istanbul 1967, pp.2; Selahattin Tansel, Mondros’ tan Mudanya’ ya Kadar, I, Anakara 1973, pp.106
32. Ergünöz Akçora, “Milli Mücadele Yillarinda Kurulmus Faydali ve Zararli Cemiyetler,” TDTD, Number: 4 (April 1987), pp.20.
33. For the reference text of Bogos Nubar Pasha see Esat Uras, a.g.e., pp. 923-924.
34. Esat Uras, a.g.e.,pp. 943-944.
35. Esat Uras, a.g.e., pp.943-944
36. Esat Uras, a.g.e., pp.943-947.

MISSIONARY ACTIVITIES

It is understood that the missionaries, who first came to Turkey, were the members of the “British and Foreign Bible Society”; and after the establishment of this organisation in 1804 it started to send the missionaries from Izmir to the inner parts of Anatolia. As from 1819 the American missionaries began to come.

In 1896, differant missionaries, who were related to different Churches, 7 from America, 4 from Britain, dispersed to the Ottoman lands. 176 American missionaries and 869 local assistants worked together with them. The principal cities, where there was a mission were as follows: Bursa, Izmir, Merzifon, Kayseri, Sivas, Trabzon, Erzurum, Harput, Bitlis, Van, Mardin, Antep, Maras, Adana, Hacin, Ankara, Yozgat, Amasya, Tokat, Arapkir, Malatya, Palu, Diyarbekir, Urfa, Birecik, Elbistan, Tarsus.

Although the missionary activities did not support the Armenian revolts, they played an important role within the context of preparing the ground for the rebellions. The reports received from the provinces recorded that the missionary activities increased in the periods just before and immediately after the rebellions.

REFERENCE
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara,1983,pp.40-44


PROPAGANDA

We can easily say that the weakest point of Turks is propaganda. The situation was the same in the Ottoman State, as well; and it has been the same in the Republic of Turkey. For Turks propaganda meant responding the articles and false claims. That is, nothing but a passive effort aiming at self-defence. This approach provided the comfort and freedom of activity for the other side to lay the blame on Turkey.

The most intensive period, when the propaganda against Turkey and the Turks occurred in America, was the year 1923. Powell writes about its reasons as follows:

“The reasons for the deep-rooted hostility against the Turks can be cited like that: The oppression policy against the Christian minority and especially the Armenians; secondly, religious prejudices and political propaganda. It is hard to say where the former ends and the latter one starts. Thirdly, the worry and the disappointment because of the re-emergence of a country, which we considered as defeated and disintegrated; and finally, the insistent rejection of the Turks to defend themselves.”

Powell writes about the last reason in the page 32 of his book and in his article in 1922, he reports the conversation he had with Sultan Vahdettin, in Yildiz Palace and the statements of the Sultan as follows:

“Your newspapers and the magazines would not publish it, if we sent an article written by a Turk. If it was published, your people would not read this; if they read it they would not believe in it. Even if we sent an expert, who can express the Turkish opinion in your own language to America, can this person find unbiased masses of listeners?”

Perhaps the words of the Sultan are right. Therefore, again in page 10 of the same book, it is said that one of the esteemed religious people of New England, whose name is not stated, says as follows: “I do not want to hear the truth concerning Turks. I have already changed my opinion about them.” This is because Turks were silent all the time and its opponents propagated against them and the religious and political considerations made an impression. Besides this, the mentality like “somehow or other it would not be published; even if it was published people would not read; even if it was read people would not believe”, was an associate element which caused the development of an approach against Turkey and production of an easy and quick result of contrary propaganda. Generally, almost in every country there is tendency to believe that the article in a newspaper gives facts.

It is obvious how the religion factor and political considerations have an associate role in the development and adoption of a disadvantageous ambience against Turkey. When the wise propaganda is involved the situation becomes worse. The reality in the reflected news diminishes or is totally lost, let alone reflect unilateral news. In the book the statements given prove this thesis:

“Events of violence were greatly exaggerated. Some of the violence supposed to have happened recently did not even occur. One of the local press representatives (Istanbul) of the American relief organisation told his friends frankly that he could only send the news against the Turks; because it was what earned him money.”

“The fact that they did not want to publish the report is not incomprehensible. Additionally, M. Venizelos laid all his weight. He objected to the publication of the incidents when the names of the witnesses were concealed and which were established without the presence of the Greek representative. It was rightful to behave like this not within the framework of the western commission but the local Greek authorities. The people, who unveiled the information against Greece lived in the regions under the Greek occupation and they could not be exposed to Greek retaliation. The same legal concerns were valid for the Bryce Report, which was about the treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and the German brutality in Belgium. Despite the same reasons, the allied governments did not hesitate to publish the above mentioned reports.”

The Bryce Report, that Toynbee mentioned, is the Blue Book of the British, of which he was the editor.

However, the opposite occasions seldom occurred. The British had to evacuate Baku on 18 September 1918. When the newspapers published this news, they mentioned the disloyalty of the Armenians. The British propaganda services seriously became anxious about it and tried to remove the effect of the news. The below mentioned lines of a memorandum, which was prepared with this objective, are very important:

“To discredit the Armenians means to weaken the struggle for Turkish hostility. It was difficult to eliminate the conviction that the Turkish people who were trying to with disasters continuously, are noble people. This news will revive this conviction and will harm the prestige of the Zionists and the prestige of Arabs. (...) The Turkish treatment towards the Armenians is the greatest leverage of the Government of the Majesty to provide the acceptance of the radical solution for the Turkish issue at home and abroad.”

It is useful to have a look at what kind of organisation the British established in order to take measures for the propaganda:

“The first thing that I heard concerning the propaganda department was that on August 1914 in Walton Health Golf Club, on Sunday, following a lunch, Mr. T.P. O’Connor told Lloyd George that it was necessary to respond to the propaganda, which was launched by the German in America by distributing brochures in the streets, and giving them to the passengers getting of the ships. Upon this, Lloyd George said, see this issue, what can Charlie do, consider this. Masterman accepted it.”

Mr. Masterman was an old Member of Parliament, and a member of the House of Commons. After this date, Mr. Masterman established the propaganda bureau and became the head of it. The presence of the bureau was concealed. Mr. Masterman resigned his post in the National Health Insurance Commission and he transformed the working place of this Commission “Wellington House”, into the headquarters of the bureau and it was recorded as “Wellington House” in the documents.

The activity domain of the “Wellington House” is described as follows:

“To disseminate the incidents like the struggle of the Allies; the efforts of the British; the things done by the Navy, Army and the merchant Marine; the economic and military capacities of the Empire, the reasons and the goals of the war; the crimes and the brutality of Germany and its allies; the struggle of Belgium, the incidents which prove the non-humanistic side of the submarine war. The means, which are used are books, brochures, magazines, diagrams, maps, posters, postcards, pictures, photographs and exhibitions.”

It was stated that only in Britain, the department published 17 million copies.

At the end of the 3rd report of 118 pages concerning the activities of Masterman's Bureau, there is the list of the published brochures and the books. At the end of the second half of 1916, the number of the published brochures and books is 182. We come across the names of writers like Max Aitken, William Archer, Balfour, James Bryce, E. T. Cook, Conan Doyle, Alexander Gray, Archibald Hurd, Rudyard Kipling, A. Lowenstein, C. F. G. Masterman, A. J. Toynbee, H. G. Wells. One of the three books of Toynbee is “ The Tyrannies on Armenians”.

All the references in the “Blue Book”, which was published by the Masterman’s Bureau and re-published by an Armenian publishing house in America, are the Armenian newspapers like “Horizon” published in Tiblisi, “Armenia” published in Marseilles, “Ararat” published in London, “Gotchnag” published in New York, and the Committee of Armenian Tyranny in America, which reflected the information that was collected from the missionaries. It is evident what kind of book it would be, which was based on these sources. In the meantime, it is useful to note that although the Armenians in Istanbul and Izmir were not replaced, in the map given in this book it looks as if they have been replaced.

After the explanation on how the Blue Book was written, it is necessary to quote from two writers who studied these issues and how the propaganda materials was collected. The first writer is Arthur Ponsoby and the name of his book is “The Lies In the War Time”. Ponsoby was a member of the Liberal Party in the House of Commons as from 1910 until 1918. Later on, he was joined to the Labour Party. He was a person, who was against war. He published his book in 1928. The interesting parts which tell about the methods of propaganda are as follows:

“The War-Office issued a circular and invited the Officers to report on the war incidents about the enemy and had added that the incidents did no have to be real, a normal probability was enough.” (Page 20)

“Lies about brutality are one the most satisfactory ones: Especially in this country (Britain) and America, no war can be without them. To discredit the enemy can be considered as patriotism.” (Page 22)

“Even in ordinary incidents, of no importance, the witnessing of people would not create absolute confidence. At a moment when prejudices, enthusiasm, ambition and patriotism are mixed with sentiments, the statements made by a person has no value. It is impossible to block the dissemination of brutal stories. They were reiterated with brochures, posters, letters and speeches for many days. Popular figures, who would avoid to sentence their mortal enemies because of lack of evidence, did not hesitate be the leaders who accuse a nation of all kinds of brutalities and unnatural murders.”(Page 129)

“A photograph, taken by a camera has a great effect on the people because it is reliable. There is nothing more authentic than an instantaneous photograph. Nobody would think of doubting the authenticity of a photograph. Because of this, if it is false, it takes time to reveal it. During the war, the photograph assemblage became an industry. All the states did this; but the experts were the French.” (Page 135)

This expression may seem vague. Therefore it is appropriate to give some examples:

“In Europe, soon after the news was realised about the storming of Ottoman Bank by Armenians and attacks on the Armenians, some of the artists from illustrated newspapers were sent to Istanbul to draw the pictures of brutal incidents. One of the well-known war correspondents, Mr. Melton Prior was among them. He was a man of energetic and determined nature. He had an independent character. He told me that he was in a very delicate position because of his special task. People in his country heard about brutal and violent incidents and were eager to see pictures about them. Since the deceased Armenians were buried, the women and children were not harmed and none of the Armenian churches were attacked, providing these pictures was a problem. Being an honest man who appreciated the Turks, he refused to contrive false pictures of scenes he had not witnessed. However, the others were not as honest as he was. Consequently, I saw, in an Italian illustrated newspaper, horrible pictures, which showed the massacred women and children.”

“One of the up-front names, that was mentioned on the occasion of the so-called brutal correctional measures, was Musir Sakir Pasha, who was sent to Anatolia to make reforms. It was rumoured all over the world that while the Field Marshall was in Erzurum on October 1895 that is during Armenian Revolt, his chain watch in his hands, he was instructing the soldiers to kill the Armenians for one and a half hours more- two hours in some of the versions-... Taking into account the objective of our trip, we visited the British Consul, Mr. Graves; the Governor, Mehmet ªerif Rauf Pasha; The French Consul M. Roqueferrier and the Russian Consul, M. V. A. Maximov. We asked these people whether they believed the rumors about ªakir Pasha. M. Roqueferrier told us that these were ridiculous stories, that were made up for fun and he added some words of appreciation for Sakir Pasha.”

“Russian Consul, M. Maximov said: It is not my responsibility to contradict these stories. What I can tell you about ªakir Pasha is that it is true that he is very brave and kindhearted. I have known him for long years. He is my friend. The British Consul, Mr. Graves said I was not there. I did not talk to him concerning this subject. However the Governor said that this is not true. This is sufficient for me because I believe what Rauf Pasha says without any hesitation.”

“I asked Mr. Graves, “Do you suppose that any massacre would occur, if the Armenian rebels did not encourage the Armenian for the rebellion.” He replied, “certainly not. Not a single would have been killed.”

Nevertheless, this information never published in the western press. As it is stated in these words:

“At the end of October (1922), the representative of the Near East Relief Organisation, late Miss Annie T. Allen and Miss Florence Billings sent a report to the headquarters of the organisation in Istanbul. The report, consisted of the condition of the Turkish villages, which the Greeks set on fire while they were retreating. The organisation never published the report, as Lloyd George did not publish the Bristol Report concerning the catastrophe in Izmir caused by the Greeks.”

Truly, Lloyd George did not publish the Bristol Report.

“During the massacres in 1905, many photographs were taken in Russia. These photographs belonged to a group of corpses, surrounded by a crowd. One of these photographs was published in “Le Mirroir” on 14 June 1915 under the headline of "the murders in Poland by the German gangs". Similar pictures, were published in many other newspapers.” (Page 136)

The second writer is Allen Lane and the name of the book is “Evdeki Atesi Yanik Tutun” (Keep the Firs at Home on). The first page of the book gives, the speech given by the US. President Coolidge on the occasion of Journalists Association. The President says the following: “The propaganda tries to reflect some parts of the incidents; block the relations between one and another and come to conclusions, which are impossible to attain if the series of the incidents are examined thoroughly.”

Some of the passages from the book are as follows:

“The objective of the propaganda is to simplify. It creates a way of thinking, which will vindicate the fights, with the continuous reiterations for a long time. It does this through the methods which the organisations responsible for propaganda and the news agencies will accept. The propagandist will create simple and believable descriptions and fiction because these will fit the beliefs which the people are actually invited to believe. As Gobel said in the successive war, “propaganda is to submit evidences, which people cannot find and verify by themselves, to naive people the issues, they think over and have wished for. (Page 3)

“In the time of war, this is, above all, to create the expected outlook and behaviour of the enemy in accordance with the prejudices about their behaviour. This necessitates concealing of the news that will make the enemy look and the submission of the news in a way, that will always arouse hatred for the enemy.”(Page 3)

“The brutal stories appear in every war. The goal is to create an image which is inspired by war and which will arouse fear on it.”(Page 3)

“War is presented to the people by means of universal and simple ideals on which nobody can oppose and which are known by everybody. These ideals are the symbols of the national virtues such as freedom, justice, democracy, and Christianity.” (Page 4)

“Characteristic brutal stories have come from the correspondents, who are far from the operation area. Unchangeably, these are told by some of the refugees whose identities were concealed. More than after these stories give second-hand information” (Page 84).

The subject of propaganda can be summarised by the words of C.F. Dixon Johnson:

“The emergence of the stories concerning the massacre of the masses is disadvantageous for Turkey at the final vindication. We do not hesitate to reiterate that this is the evident objective of the direction of the British Government’s policy. The nation, with which we have close alliance ties and which is co-religionist of millions of our citizens, is accused of committing horrible crimes against humanity by relying on the evidences, which are exaggerated considerably and shamelessly. There is no need to apologise for trying to accuse it honourably.”

REFERENCE:
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara, 1983, pp. 40-44

www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/armenian_issue/index.html


» An Overall Assessment
» Cavusoglu Barnyard
» Mass-Graves in Kars - Subatan
» Mass-Grave in Van - Zeve
» Mass-Grave in Erzurum-Dumlu-Yesilyayla Village
» Mass-Grave in Igdır - Oba Village
» Igdır Genocide Monument And Museum
» The Lists
» Massacres in Azerbaijan
» Armenian Atrocities Against Their Own Nationals
» Eye Withess Accounts

AN OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF MASSACRES BY ARMENIANS

The committees such as "Kara Hac / Black Cross", "Armenakan" and "Vatan Koruyuculari / Land Protectors " in Anatolia, " Hinchak " in Geneva, "Tasnak" in Tiblisi, were founded by the Armenians. Their targets were lands in the Eastern Anatolia and the union of the Ottoman Armenians.

The Armenian committees were provoked for this purpose, first they rioted in 1890 in Erzurum, afterwards they organized the Kumkapi demonstration, Kayseri, Yozgat, Corum and Merzifon events, Sasun revolt, Bab-i Ali / Sublime Porte demonstration, Zeytun and Van revolts, The raid of Osmanli Bankasi / Ottoman Bank, assassination trial to Sultan Abdülhamit, and Adana revolt in 1909. Due to the Armenian oppressions, 100 Turks in Zeytun in 1914, 3.000 Turks in Van events in 1915, and 20.000 Turks lost their lives 1914 — 1915, in Mus Events.

Armenians gave the greatest harm to the Turkish people, by the massacring them during the First World War. In this period, the Armenians spied for the Russians, they fled from their military service, by not obeying the mobilisation orders, and those Armenians who were taken under arms joining onto the Russian Army, with their arms, and they thus committed collectively the guilt of being “ treacherous to the land “. The Armenian bands that started to attack the Turkish Army and these bands have given great harm to the civilian people, as well. For example, the whole population of the Zeve village of the Van province massacred by the Armenian people without discriminating if they were women, children, or the old.

TURKISH MASSACRED IN CAVUSOGLU BARNYARD

Prof. Dr. Metin Ozbek, who was conducting observations in the region, tells the event as follows:

I brought some human skeletons found coincidentally during the construction of a house in Cavusoglu Samanligi, and taken to the laboratuary at Hacettepe University in order to examine it. As it is known, Anthropology enables the scientists to know the age and causes of death, sex, ailments, and some other facts by means of skeletons with the aid of advanced techniques and methods. Above all it is possible to determine the which race it belongs to through the examination of a skull. It was impossible to match the skulls with the bones of the body where, the remains of the skeletons we found. Thus, we counted the individual skeletons according to the amount of skulls and we numbered each.

In other words each individual skeleton had a different anthropological identity. We found out that there were five females and four males among the remains. The most prominent criterion that indicates the age of death is “symohysin pubiswhich” is a part of Pelvis. This part was preserved in seven of the individual skeletons we worked on. We demonstrated the age range of skeletons found in Cavusoglu Samanligi as follows.

1. Female (P6)........17-18 age
2. Male (P7)...........17-18 age
3. Female (P4)........18-19 age
4. Female (P3)........27-30 age
5. Male (P2)...........35-40 age
6. Female (P1)........39-44 age
7. Male(P5)............50 age (approximately)
8. Chid (D.1)..........15 age (approximately)

There was a striking common characteristics of the skeletons examined; there were injuries on the skulls which resulted from crushes with cutting tools. Accordingly, the common cause of death was subjection to severe torture.

I. Marks of Cuts on the Skulls:

Nr.1) Female, There are two clefts on the skull caused by sharp-edged instruments. One of them is on the right parietal and it is 42 mm. Long. The second one is also on the right parietal and it is 36 mm. long. Presumably her instant death resulted from the blows directed towards the head.

Nr.2) Female (Photograph 1) We identified the traces of four cuts on the skull. The first one is on the first parietal and it is 95 mm. long. The sharp edged instrument cut through the skull and reached the brain. The second cleft is on both parietals. The cutting tool-most probably an axe hit the Pemals on the head and split the skull open. Such an act is enough to cause instant death. The third stroke left a mark on the left parietal and is 12 mm. to the back of the first cleft.

This scar is 48 mm. long and 19 mm wide and looks like a shuttle. The fourth trace is right at the back of the third and is in the same direction. Half of it is on the occipital bone.

Nr.3) Male (Photograph 2a) He is one of the group having the greatest number of clefts on the skull. The sharp edged tool hit its mark on the left ear and severed to mastoid totally. This blow slightly abraded the occipital bone as well. The second blow hit the left eye and left a deep mark on the frontal. The third mark which is 75 mm. long is on the left parietal. The sharp-edged instrument which entered the brain caused a long cleft between the left tuber parietal and sutura lamb doidalis.

The power of the blow formed some other cracks in the same area. The fourth blow right on top of the head cut the sagittal suture. This cleft is 48 mm. long. The fifth blow is in horizontal plane and severed the right parietal in parts close to the sagittal suture. The instrument hit on the left zygomatic bone. In this area it cut the bone and some parts of the superior maxillary. This person was also burned in fires. (Photograph 2b)

Nr 4) Male (Photograph 3) There are marks of three blows directed towards the brain. The first one is a vertical cleft which is 37 mm long. The second horizontal one is along the parietal and frontal. It is 92 mm. long. The third blow was also on the left parietal and caused a cleft which is 49 mm long and 21 mm wide.

The sharp-edged tool severed the tabule externa. These blows resulted in an instant death. Like the person, this one was also burned after death.

Nr.5) Female (Photograph 4). We discovered four cutting marks on the skull. The first one on the frontal is 28 mm. long and not very deep. The second one is at the top part, along both sides of the parietal and it is 77 mm long. This cleft is deep enough to be the sign demonstrating her instant death. The third blow on the right ear was also fatal. It severed the mastoid totally and cut the inferior maxillary partly. The fourth mark is on the front part of the right upper jaw.

Nr.6) Male (Photograph 5). An adult which has four clefts on the head. The first one on the left parietal is quite deep. It is 57 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The cutting tool entered the brain as well. On the side of the sagittal suture there is a 23 mm long crevice. The second one is on the saggittal suture. It is 29 mm. long and 28 mm wide. This crevice is intersected by other two clefts. The horizontal one ise 43 mm. and the oblique one is 42 mm. The third cleft is also oblique. It is on the right parietal, a few mm. to the front of the parietal cavity. The foruth mark is made by a sharp pointed instrument. It is caused by a blow struck on the head close to the sagittal suture. The individual was probably tortured severely.

Nr.7) Male: There are signs of five hard blows. The first one is in the area of the left auditory canal. The sharp-edged instrument severed the mastoid totally. It even severed the zygomatic partly. There were two blows stuck on the left ear one after the other. They probably caused death right at that moment. The second mark is closer to the lambda suture on the right parietal. This cleft is partly on the horizontal plane and it is 41 mm long. The third crevice is between the two lambda suture on the occipital. It is 44 mm. long. The fourth one is quite deep and 48 mm. long. It is situated on the procenus occipital externa. The fifth crevice is right on the back of the skull. It is 53 mm. long.

Nr.8) Female: The skeleton belongs to a girl who died at about the age of fifteen. There are three cutting marks on the skull. The first crevice is deep and reaches the brain area. It is on the right parietal and 50 mm. long. The second one is situated in a vertical position and 20 mm. long The third one is right at the back part. This teenager was burnt in fire after being killed.

Nr.9) Female: She died at about the age 17 or 19. There are no signs of blows on the preserved bones of the skull. The main parts of the occipital were either broken or lost. It is impossible to state the reasons of death.

II. Identification of race through skeletons:

It is possible to identify race by measurement, index, and morphological observation of the skulls. However there are variations in each group of race. By means of Anthropometric techniques we examined the skeletons found in Cavusoglu Samanligi. We calculated the cephalic index which is the most prominent criteria in race studies. We took the measurement of the eight skulls. The indexes varied between 76 and 89. This result showed that four are mesocaphalic and the others are brachycephalic. We never came across with dolchocephalic group. In Anatolia Alpina race which includes both mesocephalic and brachycephalic ones, all the skeletons belonged to Alpine group to which Anatolian Turks belong. The skeleton of the female whose death age is between 17 and 19 does not belong to this group. It is in the east variation of the Dinaric race which is called Armenoid.

While evaluating the heights we used the regression equations of Trotter and Gleser. Where the three female skeletons are concerned, the results are 52.9 cm. 159.2 cm and 168.2 cm. The results related with the three men are 170.1, 172.4 and 173.5 cm.

Along with the skeltons, we also found one (shirt) button, a sharp-edged iron piece and a part of an upper jaw. According to Prof.Dr.Ilber Uzel from the Dept. of Dentistry at Gülhane Medicine Academy, the fragment of the upper total Prothesis belong to the right posterior. The prosthesis is rubber and the teeth are porcelain. Prostheses were used by the members of higher classes in 1900 s. Acatin traces (on the prosthesis) suggest the possibility of a Male owner.

This type of porcelain was used between the years of 1915-1925 and produced by an American firm known as SSN. The epoch, there skeletons belong to is thus proved in this way as well.

III. Marks on the long bones:

Despite a large number of cutting marks on the skulls, there are very few cuts on the other bones of the skeletons. Virtually, this is because of the fact that in fatal attempts the most appropriate part of the body is the head since it is vulnerable.

1.There are three clefts on the diaphysis of the humerus of an adult. This depicts that signs of the adult was burned.

2.On the front side of the diaphysis of the right tibia of a women there is a deep cutting mark.

3.There is a deep cutting mark in the lower parts of the right tibia of a male.

IV. General Conclusion and Evaluation:

The skeletons which were coincidentally found in Cavusoglu Samanligi (Ercis) were examined thoroughly in terms of antrophological methods. It is concluded that these skeletons belong to mostly young people who were deliberately killed and some of them were burned. The skulls demonstrated that these skeletons belong to people from the Alpin race-type. Where Anatolia is concerned, they most probably belong to Turks. The scientific discoveries prove that these people were subjected to severe torture and killed brutally. These facts confirm the statements of the witnesses who live in the same area today. Thus the part of history related to Armenians has to be rewritten because the people who were massacred violently were not the Armenians but the Turks.

Prof. Dr. Metin ÖZBEK
Anthropologist

THE REPORT ON EXCAVATION OF THE MASS-GRAVES IN KARS - SUBATAN

One of the excavations of the mass-graves aiming to explore the events happened in Eastern Anatolia betweeen 1915 and 1918 has been done in Kars-Subatan (Figure 1.) The opening of the mass-graves in Subatan village which is situated near Ani Örenyeri, on the boarders of Turkey-Russia, 28 kilometres in the east of Kars was carried out on Governor of Kars, S.Filtekin, the Mayor of Kars, Prof.Dr.Hursit Ertugrul, the president of Atatürk University, Prof.Dr.Ahmet Cakir, the dean of Science and Literature Faculty of the same university and Prof.Dr.Enver Konukcu, Prof.Dr.Azmi Süslü from Ankara University, Prof.Dr.Metin Özbek from Hacettepe University, Prof.Dr.Fahrettin Kirzioglu From Gazi University, Prof.Dr.Metin Tuncel from Istanbul University, Assoc.Prof.Dr.Abdüsselam Ulucam from 100.Yil University and Ali Ercan, the director of Kars museum.

The excavations in Subatan village which has about 20-30 houses of Moslem population today were carried out in accordance with the oral statements of 120 year old Fariz Öztürk and 95 year old Duraga Öztürk who witnessed the events. They were conducted in a 8x10 meter hole which was opened in the barn in Köseogullari district (Figure 2). The first works were started in A1 hole within the field divided into four separate 4-5 meter areas. The excavation which had been realized in a wide surface first was narrowed down to the inner crosspoint of A1 and B1 holes After having removed the 40 centimeter earth, the first skeletons were found. It was observed that most of these skeletons which were found with some personal belongings belong to children between the age groups of 0-1.

Another group of skeletons which was found in 80 centimeters depth in A1 hole displayed quite a shocking scene. These skeletons which were located in the north-south direction must belong to a mother and her daughter. The woman fell onto her right side and embraced the child with her left arm. The two stroke marks found on the head of the woman prove that they were killed with an axe or some other sharp instrument. The first stroke mark is not as deep as the second one. Both the woman and the child were buried in their clothes.

The photograph taken on April 25 th 1918

Another skeleton group was found in the south corner of A1 hole. Only a few of these could be analyzed. As these analyses show, bodies were thrown haphazardly. The rest of the findings were after of a belt, a pair of ear-rings, a number of colored beads of a small necklace; decayed wooden beams and were given to Kars Museum to be displayed in the newly opened Genocide Section for exhibition.

According to the oral statements of the witnesses, Fariz Öztürk and Duraga Öztürk whose statements are supported by the archive documents, the massacre committed by Armenians happened in the following way: The Tashnak-Armenian guerrillas who retreated from Kars and Sarikamis attacked Subatan village where Turkish, Armenian and Greek people lived together were captured wildly without feeling pity. According to the photographs in the archives and findings of the excavations, the women, children and old men who had been killed with axes and bayonets were left in the streets. The archive documents show that a total of 570 people were murdered in the village. After the withdrawal of Armenians, Turkish soldiers came to the district. The soldiers with the help of survivors collected the corpses, which were decayed and eaten by dogs, to an area and put them in a barn. Due to the hard conditions of that time and lack of time, the bodies were buried together. Some other mass-graves were formed by collapsing the roofs of barns. The archive documents and statements of witnesses show that in three separate mass-graves in Subatan, there are a numbers of martyrs buried. In the barn in Köseogullari district , more than 180, in Tiptip street more than 25 and in the barn which is located in the south of the village mosque more than 350 bodies are buried.

Prof. Dr. Cevat BASARAN
Archaeologist

THE EXCAVATION OF VAN - ZEVE MASS-GRAVE

Armenian Massacres in Van - Interview with Witnesses

In the excavations that were started on April 4th 1990 in the cemetery for martyrs near Zeve which is in the vicinity of Citören Village that is located at 18 km. north-west of Van province, in accordance with oral statements of the eyewitness "Ibrahim Sargin" who witnessed the event, after removal of 30-40 cm thick earth, massacred human skeletons were found. It was observed that some of the skulls were broken, some were crushed and some were cracked and burnt. The most important findings of the excavations were poniard (khanjars) and daggers, a lot of cartridges, pieces of silk clothes, necklaces with bead of Sultan Reshad's monogram, amulets covered with wax, copper coins and glass buttons.

When these findings are combined with the statements of the eyewitness, the following information are obtained: The Armenian guerrillas who entered the district under Russian support in 1915 started attacking the villages, killing innocent Turkish and Moslem people. The Armenian guerillas brought into Zeve village about 2000-2500 people who were gathered by force from eight villages in the district and were put in houses and barns. They first tortured these people with piercing and cutting tools and then opened fire at them. Then, they set all houses on fire. Materials found in the excavation have been exhibited at

" Massacre Section" in Van Museum.

Prof. Dr. Cevat BASARAN
Archaeologist

THE EXCAVATION THE MASS-GRAVE IN ERZURUM-DUMLU-YESILYAYLA VILLAGE

The excavation of the mass-grave in Erzurum - Yesilyayla Village, to which even foreign press was attended, was carried out on October 7th 1988.

Arkeolog Doc. Dr. Cevat Basaran

Anxiety;"They where also human, they have the right to live.

In Yesilyayla massacre which we learned from the memories of "Kazim Karabekir Pasa", old men, women and children who were gathered by force were put in a barn and opened fire at them. The tobacco boxes with crescent and star, pages of Koran, cartridges, pieces of a half-burned wooden post, some long pigtails of hair, pieces of silk dress and small dress buttons were found in the field of excavation. Approximately up to 100 of skeletons were excavated from the mass-grave. Materials found in the excavation have been exhibited in Erzurum museum.

Prof. Dr. Cevat BASARAN

EXCAVATION OF THE MASS-GRAVE IN IGDIR - OBA VILLAGE

Prof. Dr. Enver Konukcu is the first person who discovered that there were mass-graves which belonged to the Turks massacred by the Armenians in Oba Village of Igdir. This information was supported by the documents of archive. On March 1st 1986, in the excavation of the mass-grave, findings verifying the historical documents were obtained and the massacre of "Tandir Dami" told by Sakine Aksu who was one of the living eyewitnesses became even clearer.

At the excavation, the first hole of 6x8 meters was started in the inner part of the northern door and a closed "iron lock" was found. The second hole was dug in the central part of the room and approximately 90 human skeletons were found under an earth layer of one meter thick.

The stone base (floor) in the south of the Tandir which was situated in the middle of the room must have belonged to the only wooden post which had supported the earth-covered roof and the burnt pieces of that column were also found.

By combining these findings with the statement of the eyewitness, it is realised that the " Tandir Dami" massacre occured as follows: most of the unarmed civil people from Oba Village were gathered by force and subjected to torture and then they had been laid as face down and locked them in the room, and opened fire at them. And then the Armenian guerrillas set the "Tandir Dami" on fire by pouring kerosene into the chimney and the earth roof collapsed after burning of the wooden column. During the excavation, melted iron pieces, burnt wooden pieces, pieces of glass, bullets and skeletons and pieces of clothes were found. Thick burnt layer and ash layer on the wall and floor of the house showed that other evidences and proofs had been disappeared with the fire.

Prof. Dr. Cevat BASARAN
Archaeologist

IGDIR GENOCIDE MONUMENT AND MUSEUM

Scientists and politicians from many countries took part in the International Symposium on Historical realities and Armenians, held in Igdir from 24 to 26 April 1965. As the project prepared by one the participants from Azerbaijan, Architect Professor Dr. Cafer Gayisi, for commemorating the Turks massacred by Armenians, a need was expressed for the erection of this monument and this opinion was stated as follows in the final declaration of the symposium: “Resolved, that a monument of martyrs should be erected in Igdir and a cemetery for martyrs should be established in Oba Village in order to eternalise the memories of more than one million Turks that fell in Eastern Anatolia and to give a similar answer to those declaring the 24th April as the genocide day and to the monuments erected in many places of the world for the genocide alleged to have been perpetrated against the Armenians. The monument to be erected in Igdir will enable us to remember to the eternity the unpleasant days of the past and the colonialist Powers seeding enmity among us, and shed light for our future on the basis of friendship, good neighbourhood and co-operation.”

The location selected for the genocide monument is at the eastern entrance of the City of Igdir, that is, at the junction of roads from Azerbaijan, Iran and Armenia. The selected triangular area has a surface of 1,3 hectares and the monument will rise on a diminutive Agri Mountain. Its foundation was laid on 1 August 1997.

The monument is erected at the focal point of the triangle, on a mound rising 7,20 metres above the ground in form of a mound. The tradition had it that the mounds erected for the rulers and army commanders who once lived in the Eurasian steppes, these immense stretches inhabited by the Turks, had the sarcophagus in the centre. The circular hall constructed underneath the mound has the symbolic grave of the Turks massacred by the Armenians and constitutes the main section of the genocide museum. The Armenian bloodthirstiness is shown with the pictures of the mass graves of massacred Turks. Photographs of the massacres perpetrated by Armenians are posted in the room at the right-hand side of the corridor extending from this circular hall while the opposite room contains the library for the genocide studies.

The main entrance of the museum is designed in form of a crown door after the Selchuk-Turkish architectural traditions. A compositional similarity is also noticed with the Ottoman mosque pulpits in the spatial design, suggesting an entry into a holy location. The claret and black granite slabs used at the entrance door and frames of small-size windows which are relatively few connote the grievous and mournful nature of the genocide.

A 36-metre high sheaf of swords rise from the centre of the mound to commemorate the Turkish Army that saved the innocent Moslem people from the genocide and its martyrs and warriors. The swords, five in number, are placed in a pentagonal plan. Viewed from above, the swords represent the star in the Turkish flag constituting the symbol of the Turkish State.

Soldiers of the ancient Turkish armies had the tradition of honing their swords under wind, rain and lightning before entering the battlefield. Thus, the swords pointed against the sky within sight of the Mount Ararat will depict the might of the Turkish armies before any would-be intruder and the Armenians, whose national goal is to get hold of the Mount Ararat and its vicinity, now see the Turkish swords raising against them.

The curved tips of the five huge swords unite above and take the shape of a dome, reminiscent of the Selchuk shrines. The Turkish-Oghuz funeral architecture tradition was to erect dome-like shrines on the tombs of rulers, heroes, commanders and other dignitaries. The Selchuk shrines consist traditionally of an underground tomb and a surface tower section and so has the Igdir monument two stories. The underground stratum is the museum part while the five swords depict the tower-like structure.

The Igdir monument is thence designed to embody the three major features of the Turkish memorial architecture dating back to Ions in the past: The mound, the Selchuk shrine and the epitaphs and created a composition conformant to the demands of contemporary architectural construction demands.

The sword in a man’s hand is fearsome and those stacked together represent the peace, well-being and strength and show also the defence will of the nation. The sharp edges turned outward suggest readiness against any intrusions from outside.

The circular museum hall (the underground structure representing the tomb) and the tent-like pentagonal glass light shaft is between the swords. The shaft, made of gold-plated frames and coloured glass, epitomises the golden tent, a masterpiece of the Turkish architecture. Flag of the State used to wave on the golden tent, the symbol of the sovereignty. The golden tent, pitched on the centre of the bivouacs of the armies on the go, used to be protected with extraordinary measures of defence. Thus, five swords protect the Turkish flag rising atop the golden tent in the monument.

The sword’s sanctity is reflected also in its aesthetic design. The butt of the Turkish sword, quite an efficient instrument, used to be inlaid with precious stones and metals. So are the butts of the Igdir monument’s swords, embellished with bronze relieves and ornaments within granite frames. The grey wolf, horse and twin-headed eagle patterns are repeated on all the five swords.

The grey wolf is the main totem of ancient Turkish tribes and became the national symbol from Hun to Ottoman Empire. Before the adoption of Islam by the Turks, a grey wolf’s head was used to be put on the tips of flagpoles, replaced later by the crescent and star.

The admiration for the grey wolf as a strong, freedom-loving and intelligent animal exists among all Turks from the Altai Mountains to Anatolia. During the presidency of Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the grey wolf was depicted on the banknotes, postage stamps and many other official documents. The existence of the grey wolf relief on the sword’s butt is an indication of the respect for national set of values and obedience to the Atatürk’s ideals.

The sword era in the history was at the same time the horse era. According to the Turkish historians, the great conquests of the Turks were due to their great mastery of two arts: Horse training and mining, and especially the smith-craft. The latter was important for manufacturing and shaping swords while the horse training was essential for covering great distances in the wars that never ended. The Turkish soldier always departed with his sword, horse and tent for military expeditions.

The horse another one of the main totems of the Turks and inseparable friend and helper of the soldier. You may not imagine the sword without horse and the Turk without a horse and a sword. For this reason, all sword butts have a rearing horse figure in relief. It was the symbol of heroism, happiness and sun. The are at both sides of the butt.

The inner sides have twin-headed eagle figures. The Altaic figures carved into rocks suggest that the eagle also was totemised as a sign of grandeur and magnificence among the Turks. The double-headed eagle symbolised first the Hittite Empire and the Byzance Emperors had later adopted it for themselves. Used finally by the Selchuk Empire as its coat-of-arms, it stands at the apogee of this centuries-long tradition as the Byzance Empire finally crumbled before the Turkish might.

The outer sides of the butts have soldier reliefs together with grey wolves, horses and eagles as the products of the ancient Turkish symbology. The soldier figures are different in each of the swords on the monument and each butt depicts a soldier of Hun, Göktürk, Selchuk, Ottoman and modern Turkish soldier.

Having created magnificent empires in various periods of the history, the Turkish soldier deserves the greatest of all monuments. Epitomised in bronze in the sword butts of the monument, symbolise all the soldierlike generations throughout the history as the staunch defenders of the nation, peace and order.

Monument’s foundation was laid on 1 August 1997 by Igdir’s Governor Semsettin Uzun. The circumferential walls of the complex were masoned with stones from Ahlat quarries and their cones were ornamented with wrought iron grills. Museum door, windows and drawers are of chestnut wood, the swords were coated with grey Bianco Maris granite imported from Italy use was made of African red granite for some architectural details. Marbles from various parts of Turkey, including the Taurus black from Kayseri, Theos green and Ægean grey from Izmir, Hazar pink from Diyarbakir, Ægean claret from Mugla, travertines from Denizli and Kütahya, Kayran slabs from Bodrum, Bergama granite cobblestones and Imyra stone from Antalya, went into the monument’s construction. Great care was exercised for ensuring the harmony of all these materials with each other and with the details in which they were applied.

The monument and museum was sponsored by the Foundation for Developing Igdir and its counties. It constitutes as such a magnificent shrine of all who were mass-murdered and whose graves are unknown. Those visiting this shrine will remember our martyrs whom we sometimes forget and strive to understand the true authors of the scourge that attained the proportions of a genocide.

REFERENCE
GIYASI, Prof. Dr. Cafer A., The Igdir Genocide Monument and Museum, Atatürk Research Centre Publication, Ankara 2000, pp.5-9.

THE LIST OF MASSACRES BY ARMENIANS OF TURKS IN ANATOLIA AND CAUCASIA, 1906-1922
Volume and Doc. No
Date Place Deaths
1/2
1914-2-21 Kars, Ardahan 30.000
1/3
1916-5-8 Pasinler 2.000
1/3
1916-5-8 Tercan 563
1/3
1916-5-8 Van, Tatvan 1.600
1/3
1915-5-9 Bitlis 40.000
1/3
1916-5-8 Bitlis 10.000
1/3
1915-5-9 Bitlis 123
1/4
1915 Van 44
1/4
1916-5-22 Van 1.000
1/4
1916-5-22 Köprüköy / Van 200
1/4
1916-5-22 Van 15.000
1/4
1916-5-22 Van 8
1/4
1916-5-22 Van 8.000
1/4
1916-5-22 Van 80.000
1/4
1916-5-22 Van 15.000
1/5
1916-5-23 Of 5
1/6
1916-5-23 Trabzon 2086
1/6
1916-5-23 Van 300
1/6
1916-5-11 Van 44.233
1/6
1916-5-11 Malazgirt 20.000
1/7
1916-6-11 Bitlis 12
1/8
1916-4-1 Van, Reşadiye 15
1/9
1916-6 Van Abbasağa 14
1/9
1916-6 Edremid, Vastan 15.000
1/10
1915-4 Bitlis 29
1/10
1915-4 Muradiye 10.000
1/11
1915-5 Van 20.000
1/11
1915-2 Haskay 200
1/11
1915-2 Dutak 3
1/12
1915-4 Van 120
1/12
1915 Van 150
1/11
1915-5 Bitlis 16.000
1/11
1916-5 Muş 500
1/12
1916-5-25 Bayezid 14.000
1/13
l 915 Muş 800
1/13
l 915-8 Müküs 126
1/13
l 915-6-7 Müküs Sehan 121
1/13
l 915-7 Muş Akçan 19
1/13
329 Muş 10
1/14
l 915 Bitlis Hizan 113
1/15
l 915 Van 5200
1/16
1916-8-14 Bitlis 311
1/19
1916-6-6 Şatak Serir 45
1/19
1916-6-6 Şatak 1150
1/23
1916-1-15 Terme 9
2/2
1919-1-25 Kars 9
2/3
1919-1-21 Kilis 2
2/4
1919-2-26 Adana, Pozantı 4
2/5
1919-5-18 Osmaniye 1
2/7
1919-6-13 Pasinler 3
2/10
1919-6-3 Iğdır 8
2/11
1919-7-7 Kars, Göle 9
2/12
1919-7-9 Kağızman 6
2/13
1919-7-9 Kurudere 8
2/16
1919-7-8 Mescidli 4
2/16
1919-7-8 Gülyantepe 10
2/22
1919-7-11 Mescidli 20
2/26
1919-7-19 Bulaklı 2
2/31
1919-7-24 Kars, Kağızman 9
2/36
1919-7 Sarıkamış 803
2/37
1919-7 Sarıkamış 695
2/38
1919/8 Muhtelif Köyler 2502
3/1
1919-7-5 Kağızman 4
3/1
1919 Tiknis, Ağadeve 5
3/1
1919-7-19 Pasinler 2
3/1
1919 Nahçıvan 4000
3/6
1919-7 Kurudere 8
3/6
1919-7-4 Akçakale 180
3/6
1919 Sarıkamış 9
3/7
1919-8-15 Erzurum 153
3/7
1919-8-15 Erzurum 426
3/14
1919-9 Allahüekber 3
3/16
1919-9-14 Sarıkamış 2
3/18
1919-11-11 Maraş 2
3/19
1919-11 Adana 4
3/19
1919-11-16 Ulukışla 7
3/22
1919-12-7 Adana 4
3/26
1920-1-22 Antep 1
3/27
1919-9 Ünye 12
3/28
1920-2-28 Pozantı 40
3/29
1920-2-10 Çıldır 100
3/32
1920-3-9 Zaruşat 400
3/33
1920-2-2 Şuregel 1350
3/35
1338-3 Maraş 4
3/36
1920-3-22 Şuregel, Zaruşat 2000
3/37
1920-3-9 Zaruşat 120
3/37
1920-3-16 Kağızman 720
3/39
1920-4-6 Gümrü 500
3/40
1920-4-28 Kars 2
3/41
1920-5-5 Kars 1774
3/46
1920-5-22 Kars 10
3/47
1920-7-2 Kars, Erzurum 408
3/47
1920-7-2 Zengibasar 1500
3/49
1920-7-27 Erzurum 69
3/50
1920-2-1 Zaruşat 2150
3/50
1920-5 Kars, Erzurum 27
3/50
1920-8 Oltu 650
3/50
1920-8 Kars, Erzurum 18
3/51
1920-10-15 Bayburt 1387
3/52
1920-10-20 Göle 100
3/53
1920-10-17 Pasinler 9287
3/54
1920-10-18 Tortum 3700
3/55
1920-10-19 Erzurum 8439
4/2
1920-10-26 Kars civarı 10693
4/3
1920-10-?8 Aşkale 889
4/4
1919-1-6 Zaruşat 86
4/5
1920-12-1 Kosor 69
4/6
1920-12-3 Göle 508
4/7
1920-12-4 Kosor 122
4/9
1920-12-4 Kars, Zeytun
28
4/10
1920-12-4 Sarıkamış
1975
4/12
1920-12-6 Göle
194
4/14
1920-12-7 Kars, Digor
14620
4/16
1920-12-14 Sarıkamış 5337
4/17
1920 Göle 600
4/17
1920 Kars 3945
4/18
1920
Haramivartan 138
4/19
1920
Nahçıvan 64408
4/20
1920-11-29
Zarcışat 1026
4/21
1921-2
Zenibasar 18
4/23
1920
Nahçıvan 5307
4/24
1920-2
Kars civarı 561
4/26
1920-12
Erivan 192
4/27
1921
Karakilise 6000
4/29
1921-11-21
Pasinler 53
4/29
1921-11-21
Erzurum 1215
4/30
1918
Hınıs 870
4/31
1918
Tercan 580
4/32
1921 Nahçıvan 12
4/33
1921 Bayburt 580
4/34
1921 Arpaçay 148

Sources: GOVERNMENT ARCHIVES

THE LIST OF UNDETERMINED NUMBER OF INCIDENTS
Volume and Doc. No
Date Place Deaths
1/2
1906-2-11 Revan The people of 25 villages
1/3
1915-5-9 Bitlis The people of 1 village
1/3
1915-5-9 Bitlis No. of people not known
1/4
1916-5-22 Van No. of people not known
1/6
1916-5-23 Van No. of people not known
1/6
1915-5-11 Trabzon No. of people not known
1/7
1916-6-11 Bitlis No. of people not known
1/7
1916-6-11 Van No. of people not known
1/7
1916-6-11 Başkala No. of people not known
1/10
1915-6-11 Van 180 Families
1/11
1915-6 Bitlis 100 Families
1/11
1915-5 Van No. of people not known
1/11
1915-6-10 Maçka No. of people not known
1/13
1914-12-17 Eleşkird No. of people not known
1/13
1916-5-23 Hınıs No. of people not known
1/13
1915-12 Muş No. of people not known
1/13
1915-1 Muş The people of 2 villages
1/13
1915 Elaziz No. of people not known
1/13
1915-8 Gevaş No. of people not known
1/13
1915-2 Şatak 9 villages
1/14
1915 Hizan No. of people not known
1/18
1916-6-3 Diyarbakır 55
1/20
1916-5 Tercan 30 villages
2/2
1919-1-25 Ardahan No. of people not known
2/15
1919-7-8 Gülantab 2 villages
2/20
1919-7-16 Büyük Vedi No. of people not known
2/32
1919-7-25 Gümrü No. of people not known
2/35
1919-7-12 Kars 1 Families
3/1
1919-7 Artvin Several
3/1
1919-7 Bayezid A series of people
3/4
1919-8 Nahçıvan The people of 3 villages
3/6
1919 Sarıkamış In large no.
3/6
1919 Sarıkamış 1 village
3/6
1919 Sarıkamış No. of people not known
3/6
1919-8-15 Erzurum 30 Families
3/8
1919-7-12 Kars 2 Families
3/9
1919-8-12 Kars No. of people not known
3/9
1919-8-12 Kars All Males
3/9
1919-8-12 Kars All people
3/9
1922-8-18 Kars All Males
3/12
1919-8-31 Sarıkamış All people
3/12
1919-8-31 Kağızman No. of people not known
3/13
1919-8-18 Kağızman No. of people not known
3/14
1919-9 Karaurgan No. of people not known
3/16
1919-9-14 Sarıkamış No. of people not known
3/31
1920-3-3 Kozan In large no.
3/33
1920 Şuragel No. of people not known
3/37
1920-3-9 Zaruşad No. of people not known
3/37
1920-3-16 Kağızman No. of people not known
3/47
1920-5-24 Kars Civarı No. of people not known
3/49
1920-7-27 Oltu-Göle All males
3/50
1920-5-24 Kars civarı All people
4/8
1920-12-3 Kars No. of people not known
4/23
1919 Kars civarı a few Tents
4/23
1919-3 Kars civarı 85 Families
4/23
1919-3 Sarıkamış The people of 1 village
4/23
1919-2 Iğdır Hundreds
4/23
1920 Kars civarı No. of people not known
4/26
1920-11 Erivan-Kars No. of people not known
4/30
1918 Tekman No. of people not known


SOURCES
1. Osmanli Belgelerinde Ermeniler (1915 — 1920) / Armenians in the Ottoman Documents (1915 — 1920), Basbakanlik Devlet Arsivleri Genel Müdürlügü Yayinlari, Prime Ministry State Archives General Management Publications, 1995.
2. Hüseyin Nazim Pasa, Ermeni Olaylari Tarihi / History Of Armenian Events, Basbakanlik Devlet Arsivleri Genel Müdürlügü Yayinlari, Prime Ministry State Archives General Management Publications, 1994.
3. Arsiv Belgelerine Göre Kafkaslar’ da ve Anadolu’ da Ermeni Mezalimi / Armenian Oppressions in Caucasia and Anatolia In Accordance With Archive Documents, (Turkish and English), Basbakanlik Devlet Arsivleri Genel Müdürlügü Yayinlari, Prime Ministry State Archives General Management Publications, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998.
4. Armenians in Ottoman Documents (1915 — 1920), The Turkish Republic Prime Ministry General Directorate Of The State Archives Publication, 1995.
5. Kars Ili ve Cevresinde Ermeni Mezalimi / Armenian Oppressions In The Kars Province And Its Environs, Dr. Fahrettin Kirzioglu, 1970, Kars Turizm Dernegi / Kars Tourism Society.
6. Arsiv Vesikalariyla Tarihte Ermeni Mezalimi ve Ermeniler / Armenian Oppressions and Armenians in History In Accordance With Archive Documents, Mehmet Hocaoglu, 1976; Osmanli ve Sovyet Belgelerinde Ermeni Mezalimi / Armenian Oppressions In The Ottoman And The Russian Documents, Halil Kemal Türközü, 1983; Ermeni ve Rus Mezalimi / Armenian and Russian Oppressions, Erdal Ilter, 1999.


MASSACRES BY ARMENIANS IN AZERBAIJAN

The massacres committed by the Armenians towards the Turkish people were not limited to Anatolia, but continued in the Caucasius and in the Azerbaijan, as well. The following, information is from the documents from Prof. Fahrettin M. Kirzioglu.

“ In August 1919, Armenians attacked the 45 villages around Nahcivan and Serür with their military troops; and opened fire from armoured wagons to the villages along the railroad.

Towards the end of May 1920, the Armenians expelled by force the people of the Islam village named Karadagli, near Uluhanli in Erivan, pillaged their goods and obliged them to emigrate.

On the night of May 23 — 24, 1920 more than 300 Armenian cavalrymen surrounded the Cebecali village, 5 km to the north of Uluhanli, gathered all the men, and bayoneted all of them.

On the night of June 27, 1920, the Armenians who raided the Hacibayram and Haberbegli Villages in Erivan, pillaged the goods and belongings of the people, and killed a lot of them. A small minority who could survive from the raid, were drowned in the Aras River while they were passing the river towards the south, upon the attacking of Armenians.

500 Moslems carrying the passsports issued by the Azerbaijan Ambassador in Erivan and going to Gence, by train, to reach Azerbaijan and other places were forced to get off the train near Gümrü and all of them were murdered.

On April 6, 1920, the Armenians attacked with regular troops comprising several military branches, the Islam villages in the Zengezor, Ordubad, Vedi regions, and they performed all kinds of atrocities and conducted all kinds of violence to the most disgusting limits.

The Armenians attacked the Islam people of the Hacaparak village, which is 15 minutes away from the city of Erivan, on the night of April 16, 1920 and attempted to murder all the people. 6 men, who could not flee from this atrocity, were killed by strokes of daggers. The chastity and then women and girls were spoiled or they were killed or burned. All of the homes were pillaged. “

The atrocities of the Armenians towards the Azerbaijani people were not limited to those committed in Azerbaijan, but also continued in the USSR / CCCP era and also during the period of the Armenian Republic period, which was founded after the scattering of the USSR. Assoc. Prof. Yasin Aslan, exhibits important documents on this subject, in his book named “ Ermenistan Tarihi Yol Ayiriminda / Armenia in Historical Cross — Road “.

Armenians had demonstrations on February 13, 1988 in Hankendin (Stepanakert), the Administrative center of Nagorno Karabakh. The demonstrators demanded that Nagorno Karabakh be taken from Azerbaijan and given to Armenia. After this, the chain of demands started to extending beyond this. On February 18, 1988 the first Azerbaijani began to come to Baku. They were packed in buses and they were sent back. But, they started to come back again after a short while. This time the emigrants took shelter in Sumgayit, instead of Baku, but some events took place there, followed by others. 180.000 — 200.000 Azerbaijani people were forced to get out of Armenia. Approximately, same number of Armenians were also made to leave Azerbaijan. In short, more than one million Azerbaijani people were made to fall into position of emigrants.

In fact, the events that started in 1988 in fact, form the last link in the chain of exile. The Azerbaijanis living in Armenia, were exiled from their historical lands several times, some of which were in the USSR / CCCP era in 1945. Arutunyan, the President of the Armenian Communist Party, wrote a letter, to Stalin for the giving of Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia. Stalin, in turn, sent a letter to Mir Cefer Bagirov, the President of Azerbaijan Communist Party Bagirov, in his reply to Stalin stated that Susa, whose population is composed of Azerbaijani people, should stay with Azerbaijan, and that Azerbaijani people also land demands from Armenians. Such an approach helped the closing of this artificial problem at that time.

However, the Council of Ministers of the former Soviet Union with the decision no 4088 dated December 23, 1947 decided to exile the Turks living in Armenia, to the Kura — Aras Plain, under the name of “ Azerbaijani ”. Two and a half months later, the very same Council of Ministers, provided the application of the previous decision by their new decision No. 754, dated March 10, 1948 with the signature of Stalin. After the decision, the Azerbaijanis; living in Armenia were sent out of those places, and this process continued until Stalin’s death. In this period, more than 150.000 Azerbaijanis were expelled from their lands where their ancestors had lived for many years.

At the beginning of the century, the exile of the Azerbaijanis living in Armenia was realised in various ways. In 1927, Azerbaijanis formed the 70 % of the population living in Erivan. In those years, 130.000 Azerbaijanis were expelled and close to 100.000 Armenians were brought in their places from Middle Eastern countries. This process also continued in later years. According to the Armenian historians, out of the 2.000 of the 2.300 villages in Armenia, were Azerbaijani villages. After 1936, the Armenian authorities started to change and cancel the Azerbaijani place names and also in 1991, Armenian names were given to 90 Azerbaijani villages, in accordance with the order of Levon Ter — Petrosyan, the President of Armenia. The changing of place names started in 1960s and 1970s under the presidency of Hovannes Bagdarasyan, the Deputy President of Armenian Supreme Soviet.

At the end of expelling and immigration acts conducted, which continued for two centuries, 1.500.000 Azerbaijani Turks were expelled from their historical homelands in Armenia and were forced to immigrate by several pretexts. In 1988, the expulsion process was completed.

At present, there is not even one single Azerbaijani in Armenia. In 1988, the Armenians made up 88.6 % of the population. The Armenian land was 9.000 km2 at the beginning of the century. Now it has reached 29.8 km2, due to the adoption of Azerbaijani lands. This figure does not include the lands invaded by the Armenians in the recent times.

It has to be accepted that the pressure of the Russian — Armenian pair over Azerbaijan has been increased / intensified. Azerbaijan is almost about to turn into Lebanon soon. The danger of the land being broken up has not yet been avoided. The Armenians are still keeping control over the Lacin Corridor, which connect the Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia. 20 % of the Azerbaijani lands are under invasion of Armenia. On the other hand, Armenia has declared / announced in May 1992, that it has founded a “Kurdish Republic” in, in Lacin — Kelbecer Region.

Azatamart Newspaper and Azadlig (Freedom) Radio, which are the publication organs of the opposition in Armenia, published the sensational declaration of Eduart Oganisyan, the Ex — President of The Armenian Service, The President of Russian — Armenian Relations Organization, and one of the leaders of the Tashnaksutyun Party. In his declaration, Oganisyan, stated that Armenian Government had signed a secret agreement with Russia, for unification with Russia. However, this fact is being kept as secret.

Armenia wants to play a specific role in the region for herself. Alode at the articles published in the Russian and Armenian press is sufficient to find out the kind of role what Armenia wants to play.

The article named “ Turan, in Lieu Of Soviet Union? “ in Issue No. 1993 / 4 of the Nas Sovremennik (Muasirimiz) Magazine, written by 1963 born Artur Gevarkyan, one of the staff of Armenian Pedagogy Institute, Philosophy and Politology Department, attracts attention from many respects. Gevarkyan, who defends the revival of the “Third Rome” even more forcefully than a Russian, summarised his views related with the subject in the following way:

“Armenia is the supporter of Russia in the Caucasia, and is her natural and historical ally. The Armenians obstruct the (Turan) road of the Panturkists who is a member of the horrible trio composed also of Anglo-Saxons and Zionists. The only salvation of Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Serbia, and other Christian nations is to revive the “Third Rome”.

Some Russian authorities defend that the Caucasia must be taken into a circle of fire, in order to prevent it from the effect of other countries. In such a situation, those states that are closely interested in the region, like Turkey and Iran, will not be able to penetrate into the region, by cutting through the circle of fire. A good example to this is the article of Vadim Simbursky in one of the April 1994 issues of Segodnaya newspaper. Simbursky’s views are as follows:

“The only region that forms a direct threat to the interests of Russia, is Caucasia. The existence of small empires in Caucasia like “ Azerbaijan “ and “ Georgia “ that would like to stay as national states is suitable to the interests of Russia. There are reformist powers that would work to protect the interests of Russia in the region. For this reason, the “Stabilised Instability” in the region must be preserved. As a matter of fact, such a situation is being realized in the region for years, and this prevents the free movement of Turkey and Iran. The continuing of conflicts in the region at low level is suitable for the interests of Russia. Because; such a situation would contribute the formation of the circle of fire that would hinder the penetration of Turkey to the region.

While Russia is behaving in such a way in the west of the Caspian Sea, it should protect stability in the east of the Caspian Sea, because; the Kazakhstan is semi-Russian region, it should be transformed into a security belt that protects the southern borders of Russia.

Odenburg, will be open to the expansion of the Central Asia. For this reason, Russia should do her best to transform Kazakhistan and other Central Eastern countries into an internal security belt. “

Vazgen Manukyan, who was the Armenian Minister of Defence in between the years 1992 — 1993, and is now one of the unofficial leaders of the opposition, stated, in his interview with the Nezavisimaya newspaper in April 1994 that the time had come for Nagorno Karabakh to form a federal state in Azerbaijan.

The proposal of the Armenian Andronik Migranyan, the political consultant of Russian President Yeltsin and Member of Presidential Congress, is interesting from many aspects. Migranyan proposed the transformation of Azerbaijan and Georgia into a Federal State, in an article in one of the January 1994 issues of Nezavisimaya newspaper. He claimed that Azerbaijan and Georgia, when transformed into a federal state would not be able to live without Moscow. Migranyan also stated that Armenia should also be transformed into a peace and stability element in the southern border of Russia.

Levon ªirinyan had also put forth before the same proposal in his comment in the Azatamart newspaper. In another article ªirinyan mentioned that Nahcivan should also be given back to Armenia. It is possible to extend the chain of examples. These examples clearly indicate from which centers the events are being directed.

Those who prevent Turkish — Armenian rapprochement are those who clearly make propaganda against Turkey, Tashnaksutyun Party and some secret organisations that gathered under its roof, pro — Moscow ones, consultants like Ambatsumov (Ambartsumyan), Migranyan and Kurginyan, who gathered previously around Gorbachev, then around Yeltsin and Armenian people who have duties at several levels of the Russian Government and especially the Armenian Diaspora.

The news published on December 7, 1993 by the Tashnaksutyun Party to provoke the people and to create panic among them is a good example to this. Basing news on foreign sources and especially on the French Intelligence Organization, Tashnaksutyun Party News Center informed that the Turkish Army would make a rocket attack on many targets in Armenia, inclusive of the Medzamor Nuclear Electric Power Plant. According to the news, Turkey would use the excuse of the existence of PKK terrorists in Armenia, make its attacks legitimate. According to Bagrat Sadoyiyan, the President of the News Center, Turkey would make such attacks from the lands of Nahcivan.

There are numerous articles against Turkey published in the Russian and the Armenian press. In these articles the aim is to frighten the public opinion, by the Turkish Factor”. Expressions such as “The Awakening Giant “, “ The Awakening Lion “, “ The Death Angel Of The Soviet Empire “, “ The Ottoman Soul is Being Revived “ and “ One Of The Two Pillars Of The Empire of the Future” are being frequently used. Andronik, the Armenian politiologist expressed the following about such articles:

“Armenia, Russia and Iran may prevent the unification of Turkey with Azerbaijan and Central Asia. Armenia and Iran should transform into a factor that hinder the unification of the Turks.”

Armenia has plays an important role in the foreign policy of Russia for the last few centuries. Armenia has taken up the role of an outpost in the forefront of Russia in the Turkish — Moslem World. However, for the last few years Russian Nationalists have been mentioning that the friendly relations with the Turkish World are necessary, and they have been condemning the aggressions of Armenia against Azerbaijan. Some Russian Nationalists now see Armenia as a burden on the shoulders of Russia.

According to Moscow newspapers, Russia pays the 57 % of the Armenian budget. It is not possible for Armenia to continue a wide front war without foreign aid. Resul Guliyev, The President Of The Azerbaijan National Assembly, expressed in his interview with the Russian TV that Armenia would not be able to continue the war for another five years without foreign aid. According to Guliyev, Armenia is in such a position that it cannot buy even a single tank. The supporters of Armenia are the Armenians who live in emigration, some western states and some countries that are the members of CIS / Commonwealth of Independent States.

Moskovskiya Novosti newspaper mentioned in its issue no. 1992 / 13, that “with the withdrawal of Russia from the region, the stability in the Caucasia will be broken up and the influence of Turkey will accelerate.”

The report of the Gorbachov Fund on Nagorno Karabakh, sheds lighten does not the subject from another point of view, and putforth that a large state as Russia does not need Armenia from many aspects. Armenia is nothing more than a voluntarily ally to Russia. The following statements in the report attract the attention: “ The historical past of the Russian — Armenian relations, obliges Russia to support Armenia. “

Armenians are aware of this and they are searching for ways of making maximum use of the existing medium. Levon ªirinyan expressed his views in his article published in Azatamart newspaper in Armenia as follows:

“With no doubt, Russia will be the most powerful state in the Caucasus, in the future. Until now, many states, including USA, did not attempt to defy the interests of Russia in the region. Russia’s losing of the Eastern Europe and the strategic interests of Russia in the south make Russia get closer to Armenia. The mission of Armenia is to observe carefully the political manoeuvres of Russia in Caucasus, and to seek the ways of making maximum use of them. It is a necessity to accept co-operation within the framework of CIS / Commonwealth of Independent States and in the form of bilateral relations. Otherwise, another country or another partner will take the place of weak and parasitic Armenia. “

For more than 70 years, the policy of Armenia on Turkey, depended on the campaign to make the Western World believe that the Turks have killed 1.5 million Armenians and to take back the lands that were left to Turkey by the 1921 Treaty in the north-west part of Turkey. Apart from this, the programs of all political parties in Armenia, include the principles of taking back the lands left to Turkey and obliging Turkey to apologize for the Armenians killed during the Ottoman State era. As it is known, the “Armenian Secret Army”, shortly known as ASALA founded for the Salvation of Armenia, have killed 45 Turkish diplomats and the members of their families between the years 1974 — 1985, for future purposes.

With the coming into power of the Armenian General National Movement under the leadership of Ter — Petrosyan, in 1990, important changes started to happen in the policy of Armenia about Turkey. Within the framework of the attempts at separating from the Soviet Union, Armenia entered into the process of developing economic and commercial relations with Turkey and Iran. This new approach also found its expression in the Independence Declaration that was announced in August 1990. Although in the Independence Declaration, it was repeated that genocide be recognised by the international public opinion, no claims of land were made.

The scattering of the Soviet Union has jeopardised the sensitive Turkey — Armenia rapprochement. Turkey’s being the first country to recognising of the independence of Azerbaijan, also affected the developing relations in the negative manner.

An Armenian Government delegation came to Turkey in November 1992. Turkey put forward four conditions for enabling the development of the relations between the two countries:

1. Armenia should recognise the existing borders between Turkey and Armenia,

2. Armenia should stop its campaign towards the recognition of the genocide in 1915 in the international public opinion,

3. Armenia should refrain from intervening in the internal affairs of Turkey (Here especially the and provided to PKK have been considered),

4. Armenia should accept the cease-fire in Nagorno Karabakh with the conditions demanded by Azerbaijan.

The parties have reached an agreement on the first three items; and the Ministers of Energy of Turkey and Armenia signed a protocol on giving electricity to Armenia. The infringement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey at that time, to explain the contents of the protocol and its importance, could not convince the leaders in Azerbaijan and the opposition in Turkey. Therefore, Turkey gave up the application of the agreement. This development was a great blow onto the Government of Armenia who suffered an energy shortage. As it is known, Armenia obtains 96% of her energy needs from abroad. Armenia obtained 80% of her natural gas needs from Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan stopped supplying natural gas to Armenia in fall of 1991. Due to this reason Armenia started to procure natural gas from Turkmenistan. The natural gas pipeline passes through the region in Georgia with its old name Borcali, now called Marneuli, where Azerbaijanis lived. At least 10 sabotages were done in 1995 to this pipeline.

Turkey’s permission to the aeroplanes going to Armenia to pass through her air corridors has been evaluated as an attempt to balance the aid given to Azerbaijan in order not to take the world public opinion against her.

While the world public opinion was busy with the attack of Russia on Chechen States, Levon Ter Petrosyan, the Armenian President, who led the Armenian General National Movement, and who left Nagorno Karabakh Committee, started a large scale political cleansing campaign in the country for the first time after the large operation that was realised by Gorbachov in 1988 against the Nagorno Karabakh Commitee. As it is known, Gorbachov had ordered the capture of the 11 members of the Nagorno Karabakh Committee, including Ter — Petrosyan.

Ter-Petrosyan had temporarily forbid with a single order the activities of Dasnaksütyün Party, known as Armenia Revolutionary Federation on December 28, 1994 with a single order. Apart from this, he closed down several organisations and newspapers connected to the Tashnaksutyun Party.

Ter-Petrosyan, in this TV speech that he made after the political cleansing infringement, expressed that the Tashnaksutyun Party smuggled heroine, committed political murders, and housed the terrorist organisation called DRO. He also added that DRO formed a threat to the security of the Armenian State and that it conducted spying in the field of armed forces.

These attempts of Ter-Petrosyan had not been a surprise, because; he was fighting against Tashnaksutyun Party for long time. For example, in June 1992 he exiled Hrair Marukyanagain to Greece where he was back from emigration.

Babken Ararktsiyan, the speaker of the Parliament, while evaluating the political cleansing infringements of Ter-Petrosyan stated that the recent events and the demonstrations realised under the leadership of Tashnaksutyun Party were aimed at spoiling the political stability in the country.

The Constitution Court, declaring that no political party is entitled to open branches abroad and told that foreigners could not be placed in their leader teams has temporarily banned the activities of Tashnaksutyun Party. Even though the party leaders were Armenian, many of them are citizens of other countries. Double citizenship is not allowed in Armenia until now. Tashnaksutyun Party has members that live in many countries of the world, and it has branches in countries where Armenians live collectively. The center of the party is in Athens.

Tashnaksutyun Party is not the only party that returned to Armenia after the scattering / disintegration of Soviet Union. “ Rankavar Azatakan “ (Liberal Democrats) also returned to the country. This party follows a more moderate line. Tashnaksutyun is nationalistic and opposes the government in many aspects.

Tashnaksutyun Party, whose activities are banned, was previously thought of participating in the elections as a part of a block formed of left wing parties. This subject block had unified organisations and institutions like the Nagorno Karabakh the Armenia Group, Intellectual Union, Constitution Rights Union and Heritage Movement under its roof. But, The Central Election Committee did not allow the left union to participate in the elections. On the other hand, the participation of the Monarchist Party and Armenian Women Party in the election also was hindered.

Ter-Petrosyan participated in the elections together with “Republican Block” that he formed by taking 5 political parties with him. Even though the ratio of participation in the elections was around 55 %, The Republican Block had 114 parliamentarians and hence formed the majority. While the ªamiram Women’s Organisation was taking the second rank, the Armenian Communist Party could not achieve the success that was expected from it. While Gagik Hartunyan was explaining the defeat of the extreme nationalistic block and the communists, he expressed that they lacked a good program and their egoist behaviour affected the election results. However, the public opinion researches that were conducted before the elections showed that the communists would take at least the 20 % of the votes.

Armenia is now living one of the most difficult periods of her history. It is in the effort of passing through a very dangerous narrow bottleneck. The people live in poverty. The minimum retirement pension is less than one dollar. According to the State Statistics Department data, the average salary is equal to 2.5 dollars. On the other hand, the data of the Central Election Department, about to 1991 and 1994 elections, indicate that the population has decreased by 30 % within the last three years. In other words, approximately 1 million Armenians have left the country since 1993. The Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh are fleeing from there. The number of Armenians who going to Russia and the west increased in a fast way. According to the words of Georg Pogosyan, the President of the Sociology Research Center of Armenian Sciences Academy, the 70 % of the population of Armenia are potential emigrants. The research show that the Armenians do not leave their countries just because of cold and hunger. There are specific social and political reasons for this. The Armenian newspapers published the results of a sociological research made among the Armenians who recently left the country in the years 1993 — 1994. Armenians, who were consulted, said that 45 % left their country due to the arbitrary behaviour of the police and similar organisations, 24 % left due to socio — economic reasons and 12 % left due to no possibility for making free trade.

The war Armenia conduct in some regions of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan and the embargo related to this imposed by Turkey and Azerbaijan upon Armenia influenced the life in Armenia in the negative way.

Armenia is in the effort of developing her relations with her neighbours, especially with Russia and Iran, including the idea of open to the sea over Georgia. The Russian — Armenian co-operation is being exhibited in almost all fields. From these points of view, The Russian — Armenian rapprochement is rather attracting attentions.

In spite of the termination of the “ Cold War “ era, the geopolitical war is still continuing. Parallel to the weakening of Russia, and together with the coming of the western petroleum companies to the region and with the strengthening of the regional nationalist feelings, a special international system is being formed especially in the Caspian region.

It is not a coincidence that Grachov, the Russian Minister of Defence, visited Armenia and Georgia, instead of the front line, when the Russian Army attacked the strategic Argun, ªali and Gudarmes regions of Chechenya. Grachov both visited the Russian Army units in the these republics and also negotiated the matters of military co-operation with the leaders of the countries. We have to remember that Russia also made use of her bases in Armenia and Georgia for her attacks on to Chechenya. The agreement for the use of the bases in Armenia by Russia was signed in March 1995.

In spite of the fact that the antipathy in Russia against Caucasian people has increased, the Russian Government and even some extreme racist organizations and nationalistic Russian organizations still see Armenia as a very important ally. The extreme rightist Russian Organizations, are evaluating Armenia as an anti-Turkish and anti — Moslem trench. For Russia, Armenia is a tool to keep Turkey far away from Caucasia and sustain the pressure on Azerbaijan.

Armenia should take the first step to solve the problems that irritate its neighbours, beginning with Turkey and Azerbaijan. The armed Armenian gangs should leave the Azerbaijan lands, which are under invasion and the Nagorno Karabakh problem, should be solved within the framework of integrity of Azerbaijan lands. The existing situation, has exceeded the boundaries of “ Self — Determination “ right of Nagorno Karabakh. Armenians consider at the Nagorno Karabakh as their own lands, and they have even started to mention “Third Armenia”. The article of Levon ªirinyan, in Azatamart newspaper is a good example to this. ªirinyan, who seems quite confident in himself, states that the Armenian Plain and in the neighbouring region, he adds that twenty million Kurds are sticking to the “National State” proceeding in this direction, from now on nobody can disregard their rights and the future is pregnant to more fearful / violent events. It is not difficult to understand from which source ªirinyan is fed. It is not possible to reach a result by confusing minds with such articles. Now, is the time to wake up and act sensibly in order to save the nation from the severe situation that it is now in. The historical experiences show that policies based on grudge and hatred have collapsed and will also collapse in future. For this reason, the latest developments in the region and the general situation in Armenia, show that the time has come for Erivan to act with common sense and to take courageous steps in order to maintain stability in the region.

Turkey, who is located at the focus point of the world, is an element of stability in the region. This is not an empty claim. While the mentioning the contributions of the countries especially Iran that have a close interest in Caucasus and the Central Asia, Pravda stresses specifically the reality of Turkey. According to Pravda, Turkey is the most suitable model for the republics of Caucasus and Central Asian countries, with her serious investment possibilities modern technology and secular system. The advancing of Turkey towards these targets, will contribute to peace and stability not only in the country but also outside the boundaries of the country. Especially after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, several western countries are accepting that Turkey plays an important role in the region, within the new geo-political medium that has been formed.

According to the Financial Times newspaper, the Western European contries see Turkey as a trade and political center, in the East Mediterranean, and a stability factor in the Caucasus and Middle Asia. All European countries and the United States of America are evaluating Turkey, as the “Regional Power” and “Secular Democratic Model”. According to Financial Times newspaper, Turkey is a great element of stability in the region which extends from the Middle East to the Central Asia and from the Balkans to Caucassia.

REFERENCES
1. Kirzioglu, Prof. Dr. M. Fahrettin, Kars Ili ve Cevresinde Ermeni Mezalimi (1918 — 1920) / Armenian Oppressions in the Kars Province and its Environs (1918 — 1920), KÖKSAV Yayinlari / KÖKSAV Publications, Ankara, 1999.
2. Aslan, Doc. Dr. / Assoc. Prof. Yasin, Ermenistan Tarihi Yol Ayiriminda / Armenian History at the Cross Road., Ankara, 1997.
3. Ermeni Alimleri ve Feryat Koparan Taslar / Armenian Scholars and the Stones That Create Screams (Russian) 1902, p. 80 — 123.
4. AFP, 6. 5. 1994.
5. Azerbeycan Sovyet Ansiklopedisi IV / Azerbaijan Soviet Encyclopaedia IV, page 81 — 82, Azerbeycan Gazetesi / Azerbaijan Newspaper, 11. 3. 1994.
6. Moscow News, 11. 12. 1993, Nu. 46, ITAR — TASS, 31. 8. 1993.
7. Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 8. 4. 1994; Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 18. 1. 1994.
8. Moscow News, 15. 1. 1993.
9. Nas Sovremennik (Muasirimiz) Magazine 1993 / 4 issue.
10. Segodnaya (Bu Gün / Today) Newspaper, 9. 4. 1994.
11. Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 8. 4. 1994.
12. Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 18. 1. 1994.
13. Azatamart Newspaper, November 2 — 8, 1993.
14. Snark News Agency, December 7, 1993.
15. Moskovskaya Pravda, 24. 9. 1992.
16. Turan Ajansi / Turan Agency, December 4, 1993.
17. Moskovskiya Novosti Newspaper, 1992 / 13.
18. Azadlig, 12. 5. 1992.
19. Azatamart, 2 — 8. 11. 1993.
20. Soviet Analyst, May 15, 1991 nu. : 10.
21. Neue Zeurcher Zeitung, February 9, 1993.
22. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 15, 1993.
23. Wall Street Journal, January 25, 1995.
24. Segodniya, June 28, 1995.
25. Segodniya, July 13, 1995.
26. ITAR — TASS, November 27, 1994.
27. Snark News Agency, December 1, 1993.
28. New Times, November 1994.
29. Country Report, 3 rd Quarter / 1994.
30. Segoniya, June 30, 1995.
31. Salam (Iran Newspaper), October 7, 1995.
32. Moscow News, December 8 — 14, 1995.
33. Komersant — Daily, October 17, 1995.
34. Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 4, 1996.
35. Azatamart Newspaper, September 7 — 13, 1993.
36. Republik Ermenistan, August 3, 1993.
37. Pravda, March 3, 1993.
38. Financial Times, January 21, 1994.
39. Vremya, May 5, 1993.
40. Los Angeles Times, October 5, 1980.
41. Armenian Weekly, May 7, 1994.

ARMENIAN ATROCITIES AGAINST THEIR OWN NATIONALS

Armenian committeemen not only conducted massacres on Turks, but also made various oppressions on the Armenians whom they suspected were on the side of the Turks.

After the Kumkapi demonstration, which took place in July 1890, the Hinchak Committee, started arranging assassinations to the suspected Armenians presumed to be the supporters of the government.

Advocate Hachik was killed by a 15-year-old Armenian named Armenak.

Dacad Varabet, the preacher of Gedikpasa Church was cut into pieces.

Mampre Karabet, who was elected to the Spiritual Assembly, was wounded assassination and because of spying for the government.

It was suspected that Patriarch Ashikyangave the plans of the committee to the government, and due to this reason an assassination was arranged by an Armenian named Diyarbakirli Agop / Agop From Diyarbakir, elected by drawing lots by the committee in the patriarch ate church on March 24, 1804. Since the Karadag branded pistol the assassin used was defective, the young man was arrested.

The Hinchak Committee carried out an assassination on March 10, 1894 to Simon Maksut, when they considered being the friend of Ashikyan, through two committeemen, in front of the Havyar Han in Galata.

The French Ambassador Monsieur Cambon gave the following information to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 27, 1894 about these assassinations:

“From Cambon to Casimir Perier,

Beyoglu: March 27, 1894

Last Sunday, while Patriarch Ashikyan was leaving the Kumkapi Church after the ritual service in order to go back to the patriarchate, an eighteen-year-old Armenian youngster aimed on him by his pistol and fired a few shots. Since the weapon was defective, no bullet hit the patriarch. The patriarch was fainted and he was treated in his home. The young Armenian was taken to the police station, and when he was interrogated on the reason of the murdering, he told that Ashikyan is the enemy of Armenians, and that he frequently informed the government, therefore, the Armenians had sworn to get rid of this man to save the nation. He also emphasised that he and his colleagues from the same sect were faithful to the Sultan.

Cambon. “

Monsieur Cambon states in his telegram which he sent on June 3, 1894 that :

“ From Cambon to the Minister of Foreign Affairs :

Beyoglu : June 3, 1894

In the last days, an assassination has been made to a leader of Armenian Society in Istanbul. This person who survived the attack, is Simon Maksud, the gate attendant or the chief translator, a wealthy banker, and one of the contractors of the Ministry of Defence. Mr. Maksut, one of the members of the Patriarchate People’s Assembly, were known by the members of the same sect as a treacherous person who was sold to the Turks. Mr. Maksut, last year, when the celebration of the constitution granted by Sultan Mecit to the Armenians was banned by the Sultan, he refused to make conspiracies for the lifting of this ban. He attracted the hatred of the conspiracies and provocateurs violently.

The porters from Van, who tried to kill him, are the people who suffered a lot of from Kurds, and Turkish officials in Van.

There is no doubt that that we are facing a political murder. The murderers were carrying documents and letters written by the Armenian committees. These people admitted that they were hired by an Armenian person named Levona and who had paid them for the crime. After the assassination attempt, the committees wished to warn the members from the higher Armenian classes whom they considered to be treacherous and who did not serve to their national cause and were considered to be the friends of Turks. The committees wanted to strike their blows in the center of the government / in the capital, and not in the provinces from then on, and to provide a larger area for their activities, and to make a strong effect on the Sultan.

The Sultan was very annoyed by this assassination. A lot of arrests that were made by the police in Istanbul prove this.

P. Cambon “

The leader of the Hinchak Committee in Istanbul, after the Kumkapi demonstration, is Murad (Hamparsum Boyaciyan). Vart Badrikyan, came from Caucasia as the Hinchak representative. Badrikyan was arrested after one or two months later but since he was a Russian citizen, he was taken; by the Russian Embassy. Ardavazt Ohancanyan, was sent from Caucasia in lieu of him. The assassinations occured at a time when these representatives were in Istanbul. (1)

The oppressions of Armenians on Armenians do not only comprise of assassinations. The Armenian committeemen, who tried to obtain money for the rebellions, robbed a great number of Armenian citizens. As a matter of fact, the following information given to M. Sifir, whose actual name is Rezi Yalkin, by the famous Pantikyan, who played a great role in the armistice, is very shocking :

“ I would like to stress especially that, in the raids made by the Kurds and the Turks, as a reaction to the rebellion movements in the several regions of Anatolia at those times, the amount of material losses were extremely small compared to the wealth pillaged by the Hinchaks in the robberies in Istanbul. The percentage would not total even to one percent. The committeemen robbed the Istanbul Armenians in such a pitilessly. They put several wealthy persons into a penniless situation.

I find it useful to list the amount of money stolen at that time, to give a lesson to the new Armenian generation, to expose these robbers by giving figures, and the names of the owners of the money as far as I remember:

A committee of bandits conducting robberies under the leadership of the priest Murat Irakliyan, from Van, one of the famous wicked men operated in Bakirköy, Yedikule and Samatya. The collected twenty two thousand gold coins only from poor Armenian shoppers and craftsmen. They apart from these they collected six thousand gold coils from carpets trader Karnik Sümbülyan, five thousand gold coins from draper Nisan ªahpazyan, and ten thousand gold coins from mobile grains traders.

The robberies made in Yenikapi, Kumkapi districts were not less than these were at all. The all existences of all-small traders, shoppers and craftsmen were taken away from their hands and the safes of the outstanding wealthy men were all seized. In case my memories do not mislead myself, the totals of the robberies made in this district also reached thirty thousand golden coins.

Those who collected tributes in Galata and Beyoglu brole all the records of robbery. Thirty thousand gold coins were seized only from one of the outstanding jewellers of that time named Istepan, who was a wealthy Armenian, and a total of the robberies in this district hundred thousand gold coins was the sum total. Izmirliyan, who gained control of even the patriarchate Migir, together with the five secret detectives of the committee; priest Murat Irakliyan; Musdic Kesisyan, from Aleppo and his friends became extremely wealthy.

The committeemen of that time claimed that an important part of that money was given to the men of the palace. But these words are absolute lies, because, ten years after the event, Murat Irakliyan escaped to Sofia, and settled there. He personally told the event to my father in detail, and he emphasized that the thirty thousand gold coins which was his share, was taken by force from him by Izmirliyan. “ (2)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hasan Oktay, ation from the University of Yüzüncü Yil, Department of History, has found out a very shocking example regarding the oppressions of Armenians on Armenians :

“Following the atmosphere which prevailed after the announcement of the Second Constitutional Regime, the post of Mayor in Van, was given to Bedros Kapamaciyan, an Armenian member of Van Administrative Assembly, in the midst of the year 1909. In spite of the fact that the Moslem people constituted the majority of population in the city; Kapamaciyan Efendi was elected as a member without any considerations of discrimination by earning the respect of all the people, therefore, he also received votes the Moslem people. As a matter of fact, at the end of the elections, two out of ten members in the Administrative Assembly were Armenians.

Kapamaciyan Efendi, who pleased the people of the province during his administration and who always sided with the Ottoman State in spite of the Tashnak and Hinchak committees, served for the peace and the welfare of both the Turkish and the Armenian committees in Van. While Kapamaciyan, the Mayor, was working hard for the peace and the future of the city, the Armenian Patriarch was conspiring for plots and provocation in Van and its environs. He collaborated with the Tashnak committee in order to keep the Armenian matter alive for the European states.

As a result of these plots, a series of fires broke out in Van, and the houses of some of the Armenians were also burned up in these fires. The Patriarch wanted the Major to send a report to the Ambassadors of the European States stating that the fires and provocation were caused by the Moslem people, and that they are getting ready to destroy the lives and the property of the Armenians at any moment.

However, Kapamaciyan Efendi, the Mayor, sent a report telling that the matter was not so and the fires were started by the Armenian Tashnak committees.

The existence of Kapamaciyan Efendi, who spoiled the efforts of the revolutionary Armenians still working with great efforts in the center of Van, was an unbearable situation, so the committees took the decision to execute the major. The revolutionary gangs, who based their theories on an Armenian-Turkish conflict, had arranged assassinations before the outstanding Armenian people who supported the Ottoman State and who weakened their domination over the people. Thus, with this assassination they were going to frighten the community and avoid further opposition.

Kapamaciyan Efendi, who was frequently threatened on December 10, 1912 in the evening, w,th all his family got onto the sledges that was waiting in front of the door of his home, to go to Marcidciyan Efendi, who was one of his relatives, for the celebration of “name giving”. He did not know that he was on the black list. A Tashnak group was waiting near his home the group started a volley of shots onto the crowd. The Mayor, who was caught unaware and without any protection at all, was shot with two bullets in his head and fell dead on the ground.

Since the home of the Mayor was in the Baglar quarter, the closest patrol station was ten minutes away. So, the murderers fled in the darkness before the gendarmerie arrived. The Baglar quarter was a place with gardens and vineyards. In this is quarter Armenians were the majority and it was easy for the murderers to hide and run away.

The witnesses who saw the incident started to be questioned. The facial features and other information about the murderers were slowly being revealed. Especially from the evidence given by the Mayor’s son, it was understood that Karakin and his friend were probably the murderers. Thus, the disclosure of the murderers prevented probable clashes between the Moslem and the Armenians. Karakin was caught after rapid operations, and his friend whose name we could not find out, escaped. The assassins who were among the group who committed the crime and was wanted for smuggling arms into Van whose names were Potur, the carriage man, Sarac, Osep, jeweller Karakin, and somebody named Sahaf who fled to Karagündüz village after the event and who was one of the leading members of Tashnak committee, and who planned the murder of Kapamaciyan Efendi, were caught after a difficult search. The friend of the murderer Karakin, who got lost just after the event, was later on captured and put in prison.

Viramyan Efendi, one of the writers of the Azadamart newspaper as published in Van by the members of Tashnak committee in Van; Aram Manukyan Efendi, the inspector of Armenian schools and the Van delagate of Tashnak committee; and some of the Armenian leaders of the Tashnak committee were arrested for plotting Mayor Kapamaciyan’s murder.

Because the Ottoman officials were successful in finding the murderer of Kapamaciyan, who was very popular among the Armenians, the capturing of the murderers, even though they were not punished severely, still met with pleasure by the people. But the Armenian people felt deep sorrow because the murderers were Armenians. Necessary measures were taken in the funeral and thus special care was taken to avoid any disturbances. The English, Russian, and the French Consuls were among the foreign missions who also participated in the funeral. However, the fact that nobody from the military and also from the Tashnak committee was at the ceremony, which was rather meaningful. With this attitude, the Tashnak committee made it clear to their supporters and enemies that they killed the mayor and thus this was a warning to their enemies.

The revolutionist Tashnak committees could kill their own people without any their hesitation to reach their goals. The committeemen were capable doing all kinds of actions for the formation of a suitable medium for a revolution. They conducted their actions systematically with the help of Russia; they were able to occupy Van, temporarily. When the Russians retreated because of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Van again passed to the hands of Turks. “ (3)

Oktay, reports the following from Altan Deliorman concerning to the oppressions of Armenians on Armenians:

“While the Armenians were conducting their activities in Anatolia, in Istanbul they were also, killing those Armenians who did not sympathise with them. Advocate Hachik; Dacad Vartabet, the Chief priest of Gedikpasa Church; Trader Karagözyan, Candle man Onnik; Apik Uncuyan; Policeman Markar, Mampre Vartabet, the member of the Spiritual Assembly; Hajji Dikran Migirdic Tütüncüyan are only a few of the Armenians who were murdered by the Armenian gangs. “ (4)

REFERENCES
(1) Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi / The Armenians and the Armenian Matter In History, Belge Publications, Istanbul, 1987, p. 469 — 471.
(2) Banoglu, Niyazi Ahmet, Gündüz Printing House, Ankara, 1976, p. 24 — 25.
(3) Oktay, Assoc. Prof. Dr., Hazan, "www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/articles"
(4) Altan Deliorman, Türklere Karsi Ermeni Komitecileri, Istanbul, 1975, p. 31.

EYE WITNESS ACCOUNTS

* Muhammed Reşit Güleşer
* Şeyh Cemal Talay
* Salih Taşcı
* Bekir Yörük
* İbrahim Sargın
* Ayşe Sevimli
* Hacı Zekeriya Koç
* Hikmek Saylık
* Mehmet Şaar
* Kadriye Duran
* Abdülbari Barlas
* Sait Kaya
* Yamin Tosun

MUHAMMET RESIT GÜLESER
Father's Name : Abdullah
Mother's name : Habibe
Place of Birth: Van
Date of Birth: 1900

I was a young student at the (Teachers' training college) school, around 15 or 16 years old during the Armenian massacres, and remember what happened quite well. Before the First World War, we had good neighbourly relations with the Armenians (whose population was said to be approximately 17,000).

With the declaration of the constitutional monarchy in 1908, they started to exploit the principles of independence, equality, and justice to their benefit. Their leader in Van, Aram Pasha, was in the delegation that notified Sultan Hamit that he would have to leave his throne. The Armenians set up an underground organization in Van, and dug tunnels which extended from near the Great Mosque (Büyük Camii) all the way to the old section of town. It was even possible to go through these tunnels on horseback. One day some parts of the tunnel collapsed so was discovered by a guard incidentally. Aram Pasha was caught near the Great Mosque upon the intelligence of an Armenian but was released without punishment due to the political sensitivities of the time.

In short, the Armenians organized themselves very well and became rich financially in commerce. After the Armenians and Jews were permitted to join the military, some groups of Armenians, joined the military with their weapons during the retreat of the Van division. Our soldiers were carrying German-made primitive weapons which could only fire four shots and the fifth one would drop to the gound. According to what we had heard from Mr. Haci Latif and the others who later returned to Van, the Armenians in the Van division were shooting our soldiers in the back. There were also several cases of Armenian doctors and nurses poisoning our wounded soldiers who were treated in the hospitals in Van after returning from the eastern front.

As to the situation in Van, the Russians were approaching from three fronts, Muradiye, Özalp, and Baskale. The Armenians in the city were rebelling and continued an aggressive campaign against the Muslim population for 29 days. We had three barracks, Haci Bekir, Aziziye, and Toprakkale. Ten soldiers would guard each one. They attacked to these barracks and slaughtered the soldiers like sheep by cutting their throats off. Ali Cavus, our neighbour, was also slained there. While our weak militia were digging trenches to trying to fight, the Armenians made holes in the walls and were firing shots with machine guns, pouring cans of kerosene, lighting fires, and escaping through the deep tunnels. This brutal attack lasted 29 days. The decision of retreat was finally made so that the Muslim population would not suffer any more deaths. Those with carts used them; those without them were under desperate conditions, but we all joined the exodus. People left their children on the roads, others died from hunger and disease.

It should be remembered that the Armenians not only committed large massacres in Van, but in the villages as well. The homes in the villages of Timar, Bakale, and Özalp were stuffed with hay and set on fire. Those that tried to escape were killed with bullets and bayonets. The inhabitants of a few villages in Zeve got organized and fought against the Armenians, but almost all of them -from seven different villages- were killed. Mass graves are still being uncovered in these villages and a memorial was built.

Eight of the twelve ships carried the Muslim refugees from Van, four ships carried government employees and their families. All the sailors aboard the vessels were Armenians. The Armenian bandits by the help of these sailors, forced the four government employee boats to dock at the Adir Island, and killed all the passengers. As to the remaining other eight boats they were taken to another island near Tatvan where Armenian bandits were waiting, but they managed to escape with few casualties because they were armed.

When we left Van, we first went to Bitlis, and later to Diyarbakir. We witnessed the Armenian savagery along the way. Finally, I will tell you about what we saw and heard upon returning to Van. The Armenians applied all types of torture to the inhabitants, God bless their souls. They paraded Isa Hodja, who was over 100 years old, on a donkey through the village, raided and looted homes, and gathered women and girls into Mr. Ziya's home where they repeatedly raped them. They threw the bodies of the dead into wells, and even filled the well of our mosque with the bodies of victims.

When General Cevdet entered Van for the first time, he asked the gendarmes to escort 130 women, whose husbands were at the front, to Diyarbakir. They were in bad situation in Van because they did not have any transportation. About 30 of them stayed in our house. They spun wool to survive. They were also given military rations. They told us that there was no end to the torture and cruelties they suffered at the hands of the Armenian bandits. The Armenians skinned the men, castrated them, and raped the women.

We returned to Van four years later. In the beginning we stayed two years, but were forced to flee again when the Russians arrived. This time we went as far as we could go. Finally we arrived to Siirt. When we returned, 200-250 Armenian families were seeking refuge on the Carpanak Island. They were hoping that the Turks would leave, and that they would resettle in Van. Most of them were artisans. A short time later, a new decree was issued, and they were sent to Revan under the protection of the government. However, Van was raided seven times by the enemy, was completely destroyed except for the Armenian quarters. We rebuilt the city afterwards.

SEYH CEMAL TALAY
Father's Name : Cimsid
Mother's name : Fatma
Place of Birth: Van
Date of Birth: 1901

The Russians were providing weapons for the Armenian bandits. With military assistance of Russia and encouragement of England, France and the United States -all had consulates in Van- Armenians increased their hostilities in the beginning of 1915. The Russians were secretly providing them weapons hidden in food supplies, which they sent to Russia through the port of Trabzon. Those supplies were transported by caravans to Van. The goods on the caravans were distributed in the centre of the old city, and the hidden ammunition was secretly distributed to the Armenian militants. The leader of the Armenian revolt in Van was Aram Pasha. But I don't remember the name of the Dashnaks’ leader. They all had land claims, especially in Van. The 11th squadron was assigned to Van, but went to Erzurum to be mobilised. The Armenian bandits increased their activities and started their terrorist campaigns against the Muslim inhabitants.

The militants were raiding the Muslim villages and neighbourhoods. The only thing we had to fight them with was a militia led by Imam Osman, composed of those either too old or too young to join the army.

Let me tell you a story which I will never forget. I went to a school located near the government mansion. Armenian children also studied at the same school. Some of the students in the Armenian underground went to get a Muslim student named Rustu from his home with an excuse of studying. They took him to the Isitma bridge near the industrial park. After insulting him, they raped and killed him, leaving his body for his family to find the next day. The family later composed a ballad to honour his memory.

I can remember the beginning of the skirmishes between the Muslims and Armenians. Our militia, which would meet in the Mahmut Aga barracks across the street from the Van State Hospital, was on duty, a day before the war with the Armenians started. The Armenians prepared the night before and positioned themselves. They dug holes in the State Mansion, and when our militia was preparing for morning prayer at a fountain nearby, the Armenians showered them with bullets. Many of our soldiers were killed. The fighting between local Muslims and Armenians began. There was a big confusion in the streets from both sides. Despite this, we got up and went to school. We had two teachers, one from Salonica, one from Edirne. They said "Come on kids, let's all forgive each other, we might not see each other again" and suggested we use the side streets to avoid Armenian bullets. I left school with some friends, but decided to take our regular route. We saw that weapons and ammunition were being distributed in front of a storage area for protection against the Armenians. We then noticed a few Armenians creeping up from behind, and notified the man distributing the weapons. He threw them down in his hand and fired on them, and they ran away.

The war started on April 2 and 3 in 1915. In 1914, the Russians were not able to penetrate the front line, but they surrounded our soldiers from behind by passing Caldiran-Bahcesaray, and established headquarters in the Molla Hasan village.

It was difficult to provide our soldiers with military supplies since the young students and elderly people carrying the equipment could not go further because of the cold weather. Many of them died.

We couldn't go anywhere. But in the spring the Armenians went completely crazy. On May 10, 1915, the Russians were moving towards Van. With Governor Cevdet's orders we evacuated Van, taking with us what we could carry. During the war, Armenian brutality reached a stage that no one, including the old, sick, captive, women or children could escape. The atrocities reached the degree that even the Armenians' main supporters, the Russians, were trying to prohibit their actions.

My grandmother Mihri couldn't flee with us because one of my uncles was paralysed from the waist down. Unable to speak because of the shock of what happened in our absence, she later learned to speak by sign in order to explain what happened. They shaved my uncle's moustache along with his flesh, and then took them to a house which they used as a detention centre and tortured him and the other captives until the Russians arrived.

When we became refugees there were 23 members of our family. We lost most of our family on the road to Bitlis and Urfa. Only two of us returned to Van. Our first stop on the road was Bitlis where we arrived in eleven days, and then went to Siirt, where we had relatives with whom we stayed for a few months. When we heard about the Russian advance, we again fled to Diyarbakir. Our convoy consisted of 250 people. We suffered from hunger and thirst on the way. We went through Kurtalan and Diyarbakir and the village of Kebir, where we did not stay long, and again took the road to return to Van. When we reached Kurtalan, we learned that the Russians had entered Van again and went to Siirt. In the spring of 1916, we went to Baghdad, but fled to Mardin when the English Army advanced. In 1917, we arrived to Urfa. The French who entered Urfa started tormenting the Muslims by bringing the Armenian of Aleppo to the city. This time we fought for twenty-two days.

We left Van in 1915. When we were finally able to return, only two people remained from the 23-membered family. Van was totally destroyed. The Armenians burned and demolished everything except for the Armenian houses. In fact, when the Turkish army entered Van, around 2.000 Armenian artisans, expecting retaliation for their repression of the Turkish population, sought refuge on the island of Adir. The Turkish government instead ensured their safe passage to Revan.

SALIH TASCI
Father’s Name: Mirza
Mother’s Name: Hane
Place of Birth: Van
Date of Birth: 1883

The Armenians who revolted by the Russian assistance began to fight against the Muslims though they had lived together for many years. Their intention was to steal our lands and to establish an Armenian state. They had dugouts underground and they were easily hiding in them after they killed the Turks.

They tortured people especially in central Van and in the castle. Their leader was a man called Aram Pasha. We were defeated by them as they had rich ammunitions. Then we decided to migrate to safer places as we did not want to suffer more casualties.

Some people went to Bitlis by way of land and some went by sea. The ones who stayed were all killed. The refugees of Van were spread everywhere in country. From Bitlis to Diyarbakir, Elazig, Nazilli, Burdur... However, the Armenians undertook massacres in the villages of Van.

In those villages the Armenians and the Russians closed the roads. They killed all the men and raped all the women there. Later, Armenian bandits gathered in Van and carried massacres out there too. In short, it was like the doomsday. In Lake Van there were sailing boats. They really tortured so much that they got bored from killing people. They put the people into the boats and threw them in to the lake.

Those Armenians nailed our elders to the walls from their hands and foreheads. We resisted them as much as we could do and fought. We did everything necessary. But, we never touched any Armenian child or women; we just fought against men. Armenians were so cruel. After I returned from the Iranian Front in 1921, I found Van in a ruin. All the Turkish districts were burnt by the Armenians and the Russians; all the Muslim properties were plundered. But, the Armenian houses were still standing out. Van was empty. Later, the Muslims returned one by one. Everybody began to rebuild his house; we have rebuilt the city.

BEKIR YÖRÜK
Father's Name : Yusuf
Mother's name : Gülnaz
Place of Birth: Van
Date of Birth: 1900

Q: Can you tell us what you can remember and what the Armenians did in Van and Gevas?

A: We lived in the same neighbourhoods with the Armenians. We were living in Norsin neighbourhood and got along well until the Russians intervention. In those days, the Armenian youth established committees by Russian encouragement, and started causing trouble. They killed the police superintendent and threw him in the park. They killed the postman in Hasbagi. They bombed a building, which is a bath now, and twenty people died in the explosion. When the constitutional monarchy was declared, the mufti and the priest shook hands and declared the brotherhood of Muslims and Christians. The Mufti cried as he shook hands, but events developed against us. The committee members became increasingly out of control and the rebellion began. We fought the Armenians for 29 days in Hasbagi. We had no weapons. When the division went to Erzurum we remained completely defenceless.

The Armenians who joined the army after the establishment of the constitutional monarchy used our weapons to shoot at us, and those who remained in the army shot our soldiers from behind. They also bombed the barracks. The young people and the elderly left in the Muslim neighbourhoods took turns guarding against the Armenians. Meanwhile, the Russians sent gold to Armenians to finance their effort.

This struggle lasted 29 days until the arrival of the Russians. The elderly Armenians didn't approve this fight because they were the wealthiest inhabitants of the area, and feared losing their standard of living. Armenians owned up to 1,000 stores and sold European cloth in the old part of the city of Van. When these events broke out, inhabitants of nearby villages and towns all fled to Van, and those stores disappeared within two days.

Later on, fifty vessels full of people left Van, carried wounded soldiers. Cevdet Pasha saw the passengers off at the pier. We went to Adir Island, where the Armenians were training underground. We stayed on the island for nine days. The waves destroyed some of the ships with wooden sails. The island had wells and two bakeries. No one brought any supplies from Van. We were hungry and perplexed. My elder brother was an officer and came back wounded from Erzurum. My brother realised that the Armenians would cut us off. He convinced his captain, and ten ships left the place but we couldn't go very far. Thank God that we stayed close to the shore. The next day, we reached Tatvan under difficult circumstances. The day we left Van the Armenians set everything ablaze. There were wounded soldiers from all parts of Turkey in Van, and the Armenians set the apartment buildings on fire used as a hospital where they were teken care of. That is why Van is a sacred place with martyrs from 67 provinces (in Turkey).

My uncle, Terren Aga, was very old, and we couldn't take him with us when we left Van. His wife, daughter, and two grandchildren remained with him. Armenian hoodlums beat my uncle and the children with an ax and killed them. His daughter was hiding in an abandoned American school. When the Armenians found her, they killed her by throwing her from the second floor.

We went to Bitlis from Tatvan where we stayed for nearly two months. When the Russians arrived, we set off on the roads again. We then went to Hizan and Diyarbakir. After we left, the Gendarme commander who was crying like a baby- brought my uncle (who was Deputy Governor Omer Bey) a report. A soldier named Mansur was also present in the room. When we asked him to explain what happened, he said that three days after Van was evacuated they went to pick up the bodies. Hundreds of elderly women were impaled on stakes. They still had their scarves on and looked as if they were sitting. When they got closer they saw that they were killed before being impaled. They saw a woman who was split into two parts and her unborn child was placed on her chest.

Muslims who witnessed these thousand of examples of inconceivable brutality tearfully reported the incidents to Omer Bey, who then told Mustafa Kemal. When the Russians finally arrived, they were displeased with the savageness which resulted in the destruction of four-fifths of Van. In addition to those massacred by the Armenians, many people also died as they were fleeing. Many collapsed on the road from hunger and disease. No one was able to take anything with them when they left Van.

When we returned to Van from exile three years later, we found the Muslim neighbourhoods destructed, but the areas owned by Armenians, were left undamaged. When we returned there were about 2,000 Armenians living in Van who fled to the islands when the Turks started returning. Two years later, the government sent them to Revan.

Q: Did you ever participate in the fighting or use a weapon?

A: No. I have never used a weapon. I didn't have a gum, plus they didn't give me one because I was too young and didn't know how to use it. Instead. I would bring food and water to the combatants.

Q: What kind of equipment were the Armenians using?

A: They had the latest equipment which was provided by Russia and England. They gave them weapons and had them fight against us. The Armenians couldn't do anything to us, but when the were armed, the balance was upset.

Q: Did many people die in these and other clashes?

A: Of course, thousands of people died. After fighting for 29 days, the then Governor Cevdet Pasha commanded us to leave Van when he heard that the Russian forces were approaching. Cevdet Pasha was actually a very courageous man, but we had neither guns nor ammunition. while the Russians were armed with top of the line weapons.

Q: Didn't the Ottoman State take any precautions against the Armenians arming themselves to this extent? Didn't a word get around?

A: People knew, and the government knew. Yet the military was on the fighting front, and only a few gendarmes were left in Van. They couldn't do anything about it.. The Armenians first shot Police Lieutenant Nuri Efendi, and blew up the Hamitaga barracks. Many soldiers were killed. Then they placed bombs in the Norsin Mosque and Haci Naci Hodja Mosque. They blew up Hafiz Hodja with his son using granedes. Our women were raped, and our children shot.

Q: How was the evacuation carried out?

A: We left this place on 50 ships. That day the weather was stormy and rainy, as if hell broke loose. The ships ran into each other. They were unable to approach the pier for a long time. The weather was not warm enough-I think it was April. We left before the Russians arrived. There were about 250 people in our group, and 60 died. Some died at the hands of the Armenians bandits, other from cholera, diseases, and hunger.

My uncle, his family and children, were all cut into pieces with a hatchet under a mulberry tree in our neighbourhood. They (Armenians) massacred all those who stayed behind when we left. We lived in Norsin neighbourhood at the time. They burned Van entirely. All was planned by the Armenian committees that treacherously manipulated the Armenian population.

Q: Do, you remember the names of those committees?

A: Dashnak was the most prominent one. There were others as well, but I don’t remember their names now. They received money and gold from Russia and Britain.

Q: Did the Armenians kill a lot of women and children?

A: The elderly didn't bother much, but all the young people were armed. They killed whoever they could catch. They killed them and threw them into the lake or onto the fire. For example, a woman was baking bread in a nearby village, and had her young child was at her side. The Armenians went into her backyard and asked her what she was doing. When she answered that she was baking bread, they insisted she needed a kebab as well, and pierced her child and threw him into the fire and burned him alive.

What else can I tell you? God knows the extent of what went on. During our escape, we took off on the ships, and stayed around the islands for four days. We couldn't sleep at nights because of the wails and screams we heard all night. These were the cries we heard from the surrounding villages: Zeve, Bardakci, Kalac, and Molla Kasim. I hope God ensures that we don't have to get back to those days again, ever.

Q: Where did you go after the islands?

A: From the islands we went to the Dervis village. It took us all day to get there. Ten ships were tied together at the edge of the lake. We were very frightened. In the morning we left toward Tatvan, and finally reached our destination. We were able to rest there, and later left toward Biths.

Q: Do you remember how many people were with you in your convoy?

A: There were between 10 and 20 thousand people in our convoy.

Q: Did many people from your convoy die in the exodus?

A: Of course.

Q: Could you tell us how they died?

A: The women could not take care of their children. Some would leave them in far areas. Hunger and disease were at its peak. For example, Omer Efendi wrapped his child in rags and left him alive under a tree as we approached the Bitlis creek. There were many other children like this thrown into the Bitlis creek or buried, then they died. But, Omer Efendi regretted what he did, and a few days later went to save the child and brought him back alive.

Q: How long were you a refugee?

A: Three years.

Q: What did you find when you returned to Van? How was Van, was there much damage?

A: I saw Van; it was completely destroyed and burned. When we were in Bitlis, the Deputy Governor Ömer Bey was there. He would regularly receive reports on the situation in Van. We would learn about the situation of the Russians there. One day a soldier, Mansur, came to Bitlis. He was from Aleppo and used to live near the Norsin Mosque. He was in tears as he told us the story of how they entered Van, and saw that the women were lined up in a row with their head scarves still on. As they approached, they saw that they were impaled and killed. They removed them and buried them. The soldiers left all their work and buried them. Later, they went to another location where the women had been raped and then killed. There was blood everywhere.

A similar incident occurred in the Amik village which is close here. The inhabitants took refuge in the castle and pulled up the ladder when the Armenians arrived. The Armenians approached and convinced them to let down the ladder because they were now friendly and there was no reason to be afraid of. As soon as they ascended the stairs, they separated the children and men and threw them down the hill. Some of the women threw themselves from the castle, while the others were taken to an unknown location.

Q: Did you hear about similar incidents at the time?

A: Of course I did, but what else can I tell you? Dignity, chastity, and integrity all was gone. We suffered so much, some people even ate flesh like cannibals. But we were so merciful that, when we found Armenians hiding on the island, we didn't do anything to them.

Q: Were they the Armenians who stayed when you fled?

A: No, they were Armenians remaining on the island. During the exodus they brought, many Turks to this island and killed them. The ship captains were Armenians. Many of our, people were maliciously killed in this way on the ships. As I told you earlier, we couldn't sleep because of the wads in those days. When we left, Van was burning, and it was still burning when the soldier Mansur came.

Q: Will you tell us about your situation in Bitlis?

A: When we arrived in Bitlis as refugees, they were angry with us because we abandoned Van. Initially the people of Bitlis were not very kind to us, asking us why we ran away and did not fight against the enemy. We answered that we had no other choice because we did not have guns or ammunition. Not long after, the population of Bitlis had to flee as well, and they understood our position. The heat was extreme. There was no food or water. Cholera and diseases were spreading out. Many people died. One day we saw some vehicles coming from Elazig. The army corps came with Armenian drivers to bring salt to Harput.

Q: Were the drivers Armenian?

A: Yes. Armenian soldiers who were carrying salt. There was a captain leading them and my brother approached him and asked him to stay and send a telegraph to arrange for a truck to carry us. We obtained permission from Mustafa Kemal Pasha and they started to transport us to Divarbakir. There was neither food nor water on the way. Many people died from diseases. At that time, there was a landowner named Mehmet. He later died, but he was a unique person. He gave food to the army and fed their horses as well. He also handed the keys of his stables over to the army. A year later Mustafa Kemal Pasha came, talked to him, and asked how much the government owed him. When he said "for what?", Mustafa Kemal explained that the army had depended on him for a year. He answered that “they are welcomed for the remaining food, as well”. Anyway, when he saw us, he gave the order to set up a feast table right away. Wheat, rice, lentil, and meat were prepared. Everyone ate.

Let me tell you another story. I saw many of the men who had been tortured by the Armenians with my own eyes. In some places they had no meat on their bones. From hunger they ate human flesh. There was a milkman called Faik whose father was carrying a child when we saw him. When I asked him what he was doing, he said if he didn't carry the child away, they would eat him too.

I hope God doesn't make us live through those days again. Hunger and disease left us with nothing. No dignity, chastity, no nothing.

IBRAHIM SARGIN
Father's Name : Halil
Place of Birth: Van-Zeve
Date of Birth: 1903

I am from the well-known Zeve village, site of the most rampant Armenian massacres.

Q: How old were you when the Armenians rebelled?

A: I had just turned 11 at the time.

Q: Were your parents alive at the time?

A: Yes, they were.

Q: Were they subjected to Armenian atrocities?

A: I will tell you all about that later. I first want to try to explain the situation of the Armenians. We know how untrustworthy the Armenians and Russians were, and about their efforts to stab the Ottoman State from behind by forming bands of rebels. At that time, Russians were paying Armenians wages. However, the Armenians were paying the Ottoman State only one gold coin in taxes while those unable to pay that much, were paying five silver coins. There were certain changes during the rule of Sultan Hamid and Sultan Resad. They extended equal rights to the Armenians, declaring that they would be equal to Muslims, like brothers. They passed a law abolishing the tax imposed on them, and made them equal to us. There was jubilation in the streets. Armenian priests and our religious leaders hugged each other and kissed. At this time, it was also decided that Armenians would serve in the army with us and study in our schools. The Armenians were thrilled with these changes. As soon as they had the opportunity, they established committees and asked for money from France and England and arms from Russia. They figured they could co-operate with the Russians, receive military supplies from them, and attack the Ottomans while the Russians could advance from the outside.

What did the Russians do? They constructed storage bins out of the stove pipes and stove metal. These bins were three feet long and one and a half feet wide, and filled with arms and munitions. Some of our supplies including kerosene came from Russia at the time. The Russians delivered these military supplies to the Armenians by hiding them in the bins and covering them with kerosene containers. Having armed the Armenians in this way, the Russians sent a member of the secret revolutionary society from Russia. His name was Aram, and he was blind in one eye. A Russian Armenian, they named him Aram Pasha. Then they brought someone named Antranik to Mus, and called him Antranik Pasha. Plus, there was an Armenian revolutionary committee leader nicknamed Sahin (Falcon) in the Karagunduz village of the Ercek region. They would set up committee organisations and head for the Turkish borders. They crossed into the Turkish villages where they would attack and kill Turks, and then retreat. They carried weapons and bandits to Karagunduz on horseback.

Q: Do you remember the revolutionary committees in the region and the names of their leaders?

A: I named some of them a little earlier. I don't remember any other names. They armed themselves with the help of the Russians, and came on horses. They created storage areas in the Sisanus village, and moved to a lake village which was completely inhabited by Armenians who had moved into the village earlier. On the lake there were enormous ships which could carry 500-600 people. These ships would carry arms and ammunition to Adilcevaz, Ahlat, Ercis, and Gevas. Some would later be sent to Tatvan, Mus and Bitlis. The Armenians armed themselves well with these supplies, and started to form guerrilla groups. More specifically, they organised fighters and hid them on the Islands of Akdamar, Carpanak, and Kadin Tbese fighters later scattered throughout the area, insulting and provoking the public. After a while, they decided to get along with the Russians. After the Russians declared war to the Ottoman Empire, all of our soldiers left the area. Some went to the Caucasian front line, while others went to the Iranian front line. The Armenian soldiers accompanied our soldiers. After the two sides started fighting, our soldiers noticed that they were being shot from behind. The doctors could not understand why soldiers who should be hit from the front were hit from behind. Then they realised that Armenian soldiers would kill ours whenever the opportunity arose. We lost perhaps thousands of our soldiers in this way, but it was too late when it was discovered. Some of the traitors were found, while some joined the Russian fighters. This war lasted two and a half years. Our soldiers were in terrible shape, and were forced to retreat. The Russian military started to advance. When they arrived at the Caldiran plains, they came across the Hamidiye regiment which was formed during the reign of Sultan Hamit and was composed of tribes. The Russians used the Hamidiye organisation for their own means, telling them to provide soldiers to defend the area, while they would provide munitions and arms.

A soldier who heard that the Russians arrived in Caldiran ran to his village (Derebey) and told the village headman that it was futile to work in the fields since the Russians had already arrived in Caldiran, which meant they would be in the village either that day or the next. He told the villagers they would all be killed if they didn't flee. Hearing this, the villagers gathered together, took some food and whatever they could carry, and left toward Van. They first reached the Zorava village, which is Circassian. When the inhabitants asked them what was going on, they told them that they were headed to Van because the Russians had entered Caldrran and were advancing toward Muradiye.

Hearing this, the villagers in Zorava joined the refugees. Later there were eight villages which joined this caravan to Van; Hakis, Zorava, Derebey, Sih Omer, Sihkara, Sihayne, Hidir and Göllü. They had no idea that Van was emptied and that its inhabitants had migrated. When they arrived at the Everek plains, they saw some Armenians who asked them in Armenian: "Where are you mindless people going?" to which they answered, "We're going to Van. We will go wherever the inhabitants of Van go." To this the Armenians showered them with insults and added "Turks left Van over six or seven days ago, and are refugees. The administration of Cevdet Pasha was over long time ago. Aram Pasha’s Administration was formed. All of the wounded, hospitalised, women and children in Van were killed. Mosques were torched, barracks burned. We cut up all of the Muslims in Van. There were only 20-30 women remaining, and we gave them to Aram Pasha." To this, Circissian Ibo said that they would become prisoners, and proposed that they go to Zeve, which was very close to the lake. He suggested they could find a ship there and save the women and children.

By the time this group of refugees reached our village (Zeve), we saw that there were over 2,000 of them. When we asked them what happened, they responded, "We were fleeing to Van, but Armenians stopped us and told as that the inhabitants of Van had already migrated, so we came here to acquire a ship in the hope of saving our women and children."

It was spring and it was not easy to settle the refugees in our small village, but we did our best. We settled them in homes, tents, and barns. There were more than 2,000 of them, and they stayed with our villagers who numbered about 500. In addition, soldiers disbanded from the army came home to our village. You should have seen them. They had long beards, their uniforms were torn, they were full of lice. We settled them, too. One was my brother Necip, my cousin Mustafa, my brother-in-law Mehmet, my cousin Ilyas, Recep, son of Saban, Mustafa's son Seyyat, and Emrah's son Sukru. They were emaciated -just skin and bones. They took of their clothes and burned them and pulled of the lice. My uncle Yusuf was a good barber. After scrubbing their heads with hot water, he shaved them with a razor. Believe me, because of the lice, blood was dripping from their faces and eyes. They were somewhat more comfortable after that.

Two days had passed. On the third day, the village Hodja began his morning call to prayer. Those who wanted to pray and the others went to work, There was a river in the middle of our village. If flows all the way from the Iranian border, and becomes a lake in the spring when the snow melts. But we were never sure exactly where this water came from. One day we heard a woman's voice from the other side of the river calling for someone to carry her to our side. On hearing this, my uncle grabbed his purse, followed the sounds, and was suprised to see, Esma, the daughter of Ahmet, who married someone in the Molla Kasim village.

She promised to tell her story after my uncle helped her cross the river. He helped her onto the saddle and brought her to this side of the river. At this time the villagers had already finished their morning prayer and gathered around them. She told them to defend themselves that Hamit, Molla Kasim, and Ayanos had been killed, and that the perpetrators would be in our village any day now. The Hodja addressed the crowd with "Friends, we are Muslims. It doesn't fit our religion for us to die needlessly. We have about 60 weapons, 2 chests full of ammunition, and eight or nine soldiers with guns and bullets. Let's defend our village. My father's cousin, Hodya Osman who served with Cevdet Pasha had sent 60 guns and the ammunition."

There were hills near our village, below the bridge. There were plains on the top, and grasslands below. The villagers took their positions on the top part of the hills, and waited for the Armenians to advance. When the Armenians surrounded the village on three fronts and attacked, our villagers were prepared. They fought the Armenians until noon. When our side charged them, the Armenians were startled. Some of them fled to Mermit village, while other went to Vadar village. Afterwards they started to re-grouping. There were other Armenian villages such as the enormous Alay village comprised of 400 homes. They gathered together, all of the Armenians, and again started a battle which continued until the end of the mid-afternoon prayer. After the mid-afternoon prayer, there were up to one hundred horses speeding down Erzurum Street which originated in Van. The villagers thought that they were Ottoman soldiers who came to their assistance after hearing gunfire, but soon saw that they were Russian Armenians who heard the gunfire and came to the village. The fighting started again, and our villagers started to run out of bullets. The Armenians saw this as an opportunity and entered the village by killing the Turks who were guarding it. The village was burning, and herds of people numbering two or three thousand started to flee. The Armenians were throwing small children in the air and piercing them with bayonets or sticking them in the stomach with bayonets. The children let out shrill cries and foil to the ground like baby birds. In desperation, some of the women and young girls threw themselves into the river, while others lit fire to bails of grass and threw themselves into the bonfire.

They captured Corporal Seyat alive, laid him one the ground, undressed him, and skinned him alive. They also carved out his shoulders and carved into his sides, taunting him by saying that Sultan Resat promoted him and gave him a medal. The Armenians also set fire to the grass and threw some of our women and children into the fire and burned them alive. They sliced the throats of the rest of the survivors as if they were sacrificial lambs. Not one child survived. After massacring the entire village, they killed the five most attractive women; my cousin Sober, Esma, the headman's wife, a distant relative Hayriye, my aunt Aye, and Güllü. Then they left. I'll explain to you how I survived even though the Armenians vowed to continue the massacres until we were all dead. My father was very well known, and he had extended much kindness to the Bardakci village. My father had once saved the life of Kirbe, and his son Asvador was among the Armenians. Although at the time my father was in Iran as a reserve officer, Asvador came to us during the massacre. Asvador told the Armenians not to touch me, my mother, and one of my sisters and saved our lives. After the Armenians left, Asvador took us out of hiding. The wounded were moaning from pain, begging for someone to wrap their wounds or give them some water.

Asvador brought us to the Bardaci village where we stayed for some time. My cousin Sema in Bardakci would swear to us that in the evening the Armenians would come and pick out ten or eleven women out of the 150, and rape them until the morning. The women were covered with blood, and after they dropped them off they were unable to sit.

Meanwhile a Russian government was established in Van and Aram Pasha became its leader. Aram Pasha's government proclaimed that any refugee who is in need of food or water is welcome to Van. My father at this time was in the Hacik village where he and my uncles were on Halil Pasha's boat. From there they went to a village in the Hosap region. When my uncles heard the proclamation they went to Van. They were shocked to see that the city was burned and completely destroyed. The city used to be at the foothill of the castle. Everything was completely destroyed: the buildings, barracks, mosques, bathhouses, and government buildings.

My father was from the Hacbahan neighbourhood where there were Armenian homes and stores. Coincidentally, Asvador ran into him on the street. After the customary greeting, my father asked him if he had any news about our village. Asvador responded that they had slaughtered all of Zeve, but that his younger wife, child and daughter were safe with him. He volunteered to hand us over to my father. My father acknowledged the favour by Asvador, but feared that the Armenians would kill him if he went to the village, so he suggested that Asvador bring us to him instead so that he could take us away. When Asvador came to see us that night, he told us that he ran into my father, and that we should prepare ourselves so that he could take us to him. In the morning he loaded us onto an ox cart, took us to Van, and delivered Lis to my father. We didn't stay long because the Armenians were raiding a village; many people were fleeing either towards Iran, Mardin or Diyarbakir to save their lives.

Q: Mr. Ibrahim, can you tell us about what happened in Van. Apparently the first revolt took place, where the castle was toppled by cannon fire, the city was completely destroyed, and an Armenian government was set up. Since you were in Zeve you may have seen the troubles in Van. Do you have any knowledge of the incidents in Van?

A: They used cannon fire to burn the castle. At that time we were in the village of Bardakci, and could see the fire in Van from there. Mosques, buildings and barracks were burned. After capturing the castle, they aimed some of the cannon fire downhill. The mosque near the castle also was burned and destroyed, as well as the Hamitaga barracks. They butchered almost all of the Muslims there -only a few women survived. After the Russian government was established, these women complained Armenians to the Russian authorities, and asked for protection because they trusted the Russians more. The Russians had the women guarded and did not violate their virtue, but the Armenians raped our women and massacred the children and the elderly.

Q: Mr. Ibrahim, is it possible that one of the reasons that the Russian soldiers did not touch your women was the possible presence of Turks in the Russian army?

A: Yes. There were Crimean and Caucasian soldiers and officers. They protected our women because they too were Muslims. In fact, they even sent them back to their villages including the Molla Kasim village. During the massacres they could only send 30 of the 150 women. They planned to stay in the Molla Kasim village until the Ottoman military arrived. However, they were subject to even further hardships. When the Russians retreated, the Armenians stayed behind. The Armenians suggested that the Russians leave their weapons, ammunition, cannons, and supplies, so they could fight the Ottoman government. When the Russians left all of their equipment to them, the Armenians became even more ruthless and continued the massacres. When our army starting arriving from Bitlis to Gevas and clashing with these Armenians, the Armenians headed to Van toward Muradiye and Kars. They ultimately went to Russia and Iran. Only a handful of Armenians remained behind. They stayed on small islands in Lake Van such as Carpanak.

Q: Were there any Armenians in yourk Zeve village?

A: No, none.

Q: Where were you at the time that the Armenians established an Armenian government with the Russians?

A: We were in Zeve at the time.

Q: How many people from Zeve survived?

A: Including to myself, six women were saved from Zeve, and that was only because of a good deed my father had done earlier. Everyone else was murdered, including many women and children.

Q: They say that a mosque near the Van castle was burned. Was this mosque in Van or Zeve?

A: It was in Van, but mosques in Zeve were burned down as well. In Van they burned other mosques such as the Kayacelebi, Ulu, and Hüsrev Pasha, as well as many smaller mosques. You can still see all of their traces.

Q: Were there any people inside the mosques in Van when they were burned down?

A: Without a doubt.

Q: How about in Zeve?

A: Many had gone into the mosque for protection. Among them were uncle Hamza, Dervis, and Derebeyli. I don't remember the names of the others except for a great personality in Zeve whose name you may have heard; Sultan Haci Hamza. He built the first dervish lodge in the area.

Q: Isn't it true that during the massacres the Turks sought refuge in the lodge thinking that they would not be killed?

A: They sought shelter in the tomb, not the lodge.

Q: They say that the Armenians burned down the tomb, is that right?

A: It is true. They set fire to the tomb too, and threw everyone inside killed, but three people survived. Unfortunately, mosques, tombs made no difference to them. They burned them down with everyone inside. I hope God will protect us from similar events in the future.

AYSE SEVIMLI
Father's Name : Dervis
Mother's name : Hayriye
Place of Birth: Van-Zeve
Date of Birth : 1897

When the villagers heard that the Armenians were coming, they took as many precautions as possible. They dug positions in the hills. The inhabitants of seven villages filled up our village. There was little room in the village to manoeuvre around the people and carts. on the day that we heard the Armenians had almost reached the village, the men ran to take their positions and began fighting.

We had no ammunition or weapons assistance. When the Armenians entered our village, some of our men died fighting; others were burned in their homes. I hid with my mother and some others in a barn further away from the fighting grounds I got under a large basket. The Armenians killed everyone they found and also fired at the barns. A bullet hit my mother's scarf, but she was not hurt. I know of only two other women who survived.

The Armenians went to Bardakci before they came to our village. My God, when we went out at night, blood, gunfire, mourning, and wailing filled the air. I saw them torturing people by cutting "pockets" out of skin while mockingly telling them they were decorating them with medals. When we approached the Bardakci village, I saw that on the other side of the brook, in the field near Mehmet's house they had tied the arms of five men together and were shooting at them. When they fell to the ground, they stabbed them with bayonets. My mother handed them all of her money and valuables so that we would not be hurt. They then brought us to Van, and tortured the prisoners in unmentionable ways. We stayed in the military barracks for four months. We later became refugees and remained as such until April 1918.

HACI ZEKERIYA KOC
Father's Name : Yakup
Mother's name : Nadide
Place of Birth: Van

When the Armenian incidents broke out we were in our village. Ayanis.. Zeve. Mollakasim and Ayanis were the villages in the region inhabited entirely by Muslim. There were five or ten Armenian homes in the other villages. Before these problems broke at, we had excellent relations with the Armenians. We got along particularly well with Armenian-inhabited Alaköy. We would invite each other to banquets, and there were no hostilities between us.

Then when everything started and the residents of Van fled, we decided to migrate as well. We got together, filled four carts as much as possible, and got on the road. As we were leaving the village, a man came from Van, and asked us where we were going. When we told him, he urged us to stay, saying he, had cannons, guns, and military supplies. on his encouragement, everyone returned home. Three days passed. On the fourth day, we were at my grandmother's. I was standing and eating a piece of buttered bread my grandmother prepared for me. Three villagers were there helping us out. We heard one gunshot, and the men said "This noise is from Armenian guns, it buzzes like tin. Our weapons clatter. Something is going on."

Meanwhile someone came from Mollakasim, stood on tire hilltop of our village, and yelled Why are you still around? Kurds raided and plundered Alakoy, and the Armenians are attacking villages." Right after this my cousing Dursun showed up. An elderly woman asked him why he came. He had a bullet on his thumb and said, "They destroyed the village and I ran away. Before the villagers had a chance to organize, the Armenians surrounded the village. The Armenians captured our livestock near the cemetery and took them to Alaköy. The Armenians went into the villages and separated the men and stuffed them into a room. Their leader was Hamados Pasha, who had paid Iranian Kurds to fight with him. He told his fighters to separate all males over the age of seven, and add them to the men to he burned.

They spoke Turkish almost as well as we did. At that time I was seven years old. My mother immediately wrapped a scarf around my head, put a loose dress on me, and pulled me by her side. I survived, but they picked out four or five people from among us and took them away near the men. As soon as they added them to the men they poured gasoline on the crowd and lit a fire. The screams emanating from there reached the skies. They rounded up the women and took them outside. They would mock them saying "ladies why don't you sit here and rest. Look how nicely the dogs are at each other's throats. "The "dogs" they referred to were someone's son, husband, father or uncle. They were crying "oh my God" in agonizing pain. They made us sit there for up to an hour. When we walked by the cemetery, one of the Armenians began singing a ballad mocking us.

At that moment we saw that the Armenians shot my mother's cousin with her child still nursing on her breast, then an Armenian came and killed the child with a bayonet. They killed a lot of people in that area. Those that could run away escaped, those that couldn't had gas poured over them and were burned. We were forced to sit there for quite a while.

Hamza, Haci Ummet's uncle lived in our village. He always carried a dagger. The Armenians were going to carry him away and kill him, but he ran toward them. He was either going to kill them or be killed. Unfortunately he was not able to overcome them. Before they killed him they carved out "pockets" in his thighs and placed his hands inside. Excuse my language, but they cut his organ and placed it in his mounth, and cut his nose and placed it in his behind.

They then took us to a hilltop in Alakoy before taking us into the village. There they packed us into a barn. The children in the group were starving and began to wail from hunger. The Armenians cut off the hands, feet and other organs of the dead men, cooked and brought them as food. The children could not differentiate, but the women said that it was preferable to starve, and explained the truth to the children. When nightfall came, they flooded the barn with water. The women had placed the children on their shoulders and were shouting. After some time they emptied the water out of the barn by opening a trench. The next day the women were escorted out, and dried their clothes on rocks outside the village. The women of Molakasim lived a little further down our place. The Armenians had killed the men in the village there and imprisoned the women.

In other words they were raiding Muslim villages, killing the men, and imprisoning the women in Alakoy then led us onto the road towards Van. When we arrived at the Mermit stream, some of the women threw themselves into the water to kill themselves rather than die in the hands of their captors. The infidels shot them from behind and killed some of them. They broke the arms and mashed the heads of some that wanted to jump into the water. I was with my mother, aunt, and grandmother. My mother was still nursing my sister. When my mother wanted to throw herself into the water and kill herself, my grandmother held onto her and would not let her go. The Armenians put blockades by the stream to prevent people from jumping. The next thing we knew, an Armenian came to us and asked my grandmother who we were, and from which village we came from. My grandmother was rude at first, but told him when he insisted. When she responded that we were from the village of Ayanis, and that my grandfather's name was Muhittin, her sons Yakup and Niyazi. He grabbed the sides of her skirt and said he would never want or permit harm to come to us. We were stunned. He then told us a story that when they were coming from Bahcesaray to Van in eight wagons, my father prevented some men who wanted to kill the Armenians from doing so, instead, he escorted them all the way to Van then went back to the village.

That man gave us some bread, old cheese, and yogurt. In the morning they took us from there and brought us to Bardakci. At night we slept in the plains of the village with armed guards at our sides. What harm could women do anyway? There were about 700-800 of us. Then in the morning they woke us up, and took us to the foot of the castle in Van. There the governor of Van, Cevdet Pasha, had a three-storey detention center. They brought a lot of people there before us. One of the women who was there gave birth to a baby. The Armenians threw the child off the roof of the building; and the child was lost. We stayed there for five days. In the afternoon they let us go out in the fields, and people gathered whatever they could find to eat.

After five days, they brought two more groups of people. In the afternoon they moved us to Haci Bekir's detention center near the old Governor's home. They also brought the inhabitants of the Muslim village Pürüt there. Before they passed out bread, they added sulphir and other things to it. Up to 70 people a day died as a result. The Armenians dug ditches along the wall across from the barracks and brought in the dead on stretchers and threw them there. Here too, we ran across one of the Armenians which my father had saved. That Armenian fed us for a few days. People were attacking upon the food.

A week went by, and they told us the Russians arrived. One day a major, a captain, and two soldiers came into the barracks and counted and recorded the prisoners. The next day we were fed with rice and meat, and taken outside where there were Russian guards. The Russians asked about our villages, and told us they would take us there. When we all wanted to go to Mollakasim, they accepted. In the morning they loaded us onto 70-80 wagons and took us to Mollakasim. After our arrival, we stuck together out of fear of the Armenians. We chose a leader from among us and lived that way until the Turkish army came to Van. After some time, we rehabilitated the villages which the Armenians had burned and plundered.

HIKMET SAYLIK
Father's Name : Ziver
Mother's name : Söhret
Place of Birth: Van Gülsünler
Date of Birth: 1901

I am from the village of Gulsunler, which used to be called Sihkara. We left the village when the Armenians raided the villages and started massacring the Muslim population. We were going toward Van, but the Armenians stopped us before we arrived. We had no choice but to return. About 300 people from the village gathered in Zeve, while an equal number returned to the village. We fled toward Hosap as a group. Turkish soldiers were in Hosap, and they told us to leave as soon as possible and get out of the line of fire.

In spite of the difficulties we faced, we went as far as Siirt. Many of the refugees suffered and died due to widespread hunger and disease. From there, we arrived in Diyarbakir, Mardin, and finally in Adana. We then went to Konya, because the French had occupied Adana. The government then sent us to Mersin, but when the Turkish military took back Van, we returned. But Van and its villages were completely ruined, burned, and destroyed. There, hundred people were martyred in our village. They gathered the people in houses and burned them alive. The inhabitants of Van fled, and those that remained were cut up by the Armenians. When we returned, not all of the Armenians had left. Some of the villages, such as Alaköy remained as they were, and the Muslims did not hurt anyone there. The government later sent the Armenians to Russia.

Many members of my family were martyred in this village including my mother, father, brother Mustafa and other relatives. Around 30-40 families fled with us, but only ten families returned. Those that stayed and those that went to Zeve were all massacred. I found the skeletons of nearly 200 Muslims killed by Armenians. I buried them here, but could not afford to provide headstones to be put in the graveyard. This includes the graves of my mother and father, as the Armenians had burned them alive.

MEHMET SAAR
Father’s Name: Tevfik
Mother’s Name: Rukiye
Place of Birth: Van-Göllü
Date of Birth: 1901

I am from the Gollu village. The Armenians revolted when the army in Van retreated towards Erzurum. The Armenians killed all our parents. My father was a gendarme sergeant and he was among those who were killed. The villagers in Mollakasim, Amik, Sihayne, Gollu, Hidir, Kurtsatan, and Koprukoy were also murdered. Some of our villagers were hidden in Zeve and were later killed, but we were able to escape.

Armenians tortured and practiced all types of cruelties on the people they kidnapped. They cut up pregnant women and removed the unborn children with their bayonets. They raided and burned all of the Muslim villages, murdering men, women, children and the old. The Muslim population, which fled from the villages, I mentioned, tried to escape by crossing the bridge on the Ablengez River. The Armenians demolished the bridge, and threw the bodies of their prisoners into the river. In the spring when the snow melted, the bodies were carried away into the lake. During the day time, my mother, my two sisters, and I stayed in the hills. We knew that if the Armenians found us they would kill us. My mother died before we reached Diyarbakir. I later lost my two sisters, and was left all alone. I stayed in Diyarbakir for three years, and returned to my village the fourth year. Van and the Muslim villages were all burned and destroyed, we settled down in an Armenian village since they remained intact. We later returned to our villages which we rebuilt with our own hands.

Words cannot express the torture we suffered at the hands of the Armenians. We lost our homes, families, and possessions. After losing my mother, father, and two sisters, I also lost my cousin and other relatives who were trying to escape to Tatvan by ship with thousands of other people. All of the passengers on the ship were brutally slaughtered by the Armenians near the Parket village near Adilcevaz.

KADRIYE DURAN
Father's Name : Hamid
Mother's name : Nigar
Place of Birth: Van-Kavunlu
Date of Birth: 1904

I was ten years old when we became refugees. Before we fled, Degirmen was an Armenian village which included 80 Armenian families and three Muslim Turkish families. One day the Armenians gathered the three families, cut them up, and tossed them into a well. They tortured and killed the young men by cutting "pockets" into their thighs and crucified them by nailing them to the walls by their foreheads. Roughly 30 young people died this way.

A woman whose father-in-law lived in the Degirmen village came to tell a cleric in our village what was going on in Degirmen. After this, conflicts arose with the Armenians living in our village, and a few Armenians were killed. After what happened in the Degirmen village, a weapon was distributed to every home in our village as a precaution. My father was the headman of our village. Since the surrounding villages were Armenian, the Muslim population feared that our village would be attacked, and gathered in the mosque. We filled sacks with sand and used them as barriers.

During this time, two young Armenians were locked into a home because our villagers could not stand to kill them. But they dug a tunnel under the house, and fled to Degirmen village carrying news. Then the inhabitants of three villages, Degirmen, Farih and another Armenian village raided our village. The fighting lasted for more than an hour. The Armenians controlled the bridge above the stream, and invaded Ziyaret as well. The stream overflowed with melted snow, and it was pure chaos when we tried to cross the stream. When my mother entered the water, it reached her chest. Naturally, people broke their arms, legs, or heads, while children were carried away by the water. It was hell, pure hell. The Armenians were throwing the dead bodies onto heaps of wheat. The bodies had piled up like hills. My father jumped on his horse and went to Van from Akkoprü. Since Sihke was an Armenian village, they didn’t give him permission to pass through. My father explained the situation to the governor of Van, Cevdet Pasha and asked for his help. One hundred soldiers came to our rescue, and the Armenians fled. We hid in the village of Dirandaz which was Muslim. After spending the night there, my father went to Van in the morning and asked those entering the city if we should return to our village. They said that we shouldn't, so we were forced to become refugees. My sisters and I wore men's clothing and hit the road.

We were going towards Edremit when the Armenians raided Van. The city was burning, and the houses were in flames, which reached to the sky. We reached Edremit, but they raided that too. We went from there to Bitlis, from Bitlis to Siirt, to Diyarbakir, and then to Siverek. We stayed there three years. There were eight people in our family who became refugees. On the way, my brother Ali was captured. The rest died on the road. Only my mother and I were able to return to Van. We were not the only ones affected. The inhabitants of Van, Edremit, and Van's Muslim villages all became refugees. Those that didn't run were killed at the hands of the enemy, while most of those that got away died on the road.

A few years later, my mother and I returned to Van, and could not believe our eyes! There were ruins everywhere, a few people, but they were all hungry, thirsty, and miserable. Neighbourhoods and houses were empty. There was no bread, wheat, or anything. We were compelled to return to the village of Coravanis. The wheat there was starting to mature. We cracked the bitter seeds, boiled them, and drank the water. The Armenians took furniture, goods, animals and everything they have found. They destroyed our houses as well. A man on a horse who saw us alone in the village told us that there was a grain storage area near the pier. My mother and I went to get 60 kilos of flour there, but it was later stolen. The Armenians had not yet withdrawn completely. There were bandits everywhere. One time my mother and I went to the Erek mountain to gather pieces of metal which we wanted to trade for bread with the soldiers. We ran into six Armenians who were going to kill us, but when it suddenly started to rain and hail, we ran away and hid in a cave. We barely saved our lives.

We suffered considerably. Three years later my brother died in captivity. We were told that the Armenians were going to kill him, but the Russians objected. They had made him build roads in Armenian villages by hand. We rebuilt our homes, planted our fields, and started a new life.

ABDULBARI BARLAS
Father’s Name: Mehmet Emin
Mother’s Name: Ayse
Place of Birth: Van-Saglamtas
Date of Birth: 1919

As I have heard from my father, the Russians invaded our country, but there were no phones, no radio so the villagers could not understand where abouts the enemy come from. My father had a cousin named Abdulkadir and my father had told to him “I am so sick and my son (my brother) is a soldier on the Iranian front, he fights against the Russians. Go and get information”. So Abdulkadir goes. There is a meadow behind those hills, when he climbs up the hill, he sees that the people of Ercis are running away. Abdulkadir comes to my father and says “All the people of Talat Aga are running away”. Then my father decides to leave the village. They immediately begin preparations.

The season is spring, they leave the village with ox carts, but the animals are not ready for such a journey and they quickly get tired. They go as far as the hill standing on the southeast border of the village. But most of the villagers give up. The imam of the village asks my father “where are the Russians, where are the Armenians? Who are you running away from?” My father answers “this is not a clan war! This is the Russian war. We do not have cannons, rifles. We have to run away.” In the morning my father’s family and the Sheikh family set up again. However, people of the other thirty-eight houses stay.

The day after my father leaves the village; the villagers see that the Russians guided by the Armenians are coming. All the villagers begin to run through the stream, but the horsemen circle them and they immediately kill most of them. Later they gather the others in to a house on the hill. Two armed Armenians watch the door, and two Armenians kill all people with bayonets. Only a woman and a little girl are alive by remaining in silent among the dead bodies. As she told my father later that her name was Azime and the girls was Rusen.

As Ms. Azime told, she waited until the night in silence. She straightened out she called out if there was anybody who was alive. Only that little girl answered her. So she takes that girl and goes to Siirt passing through the mountains, which is a long and painful story.. Everyone knows the place of those martyrs. But, I don’t know under which ruin they are in. But, there are many other places as such. As I told you before, the Armenians passed through the hill by killing everybody they saw on the way.

My father’s family and the Sheikh family went to Diyarbakir, Farikin. When they arrived, they harvested the crops. Later on the government sent them to Konya because of epidemy where they stayed for three years. Later, they returned to our village.

* Cousin of Abdulbari Barlas, Abdulhamit Barlas showed the place where the Turkish villagers were killed by the Armenian bandits. He said that the villagers who migrated found countless human bones here. As those bones could not be collected under the circumstances of that time, they all disappeared. In this village, the Armenians killed 150-200 people.

SAIT KAYA
Mother's name : Emine
Birth Place: Van Province Ercis District
Birth Date: 1898

I am living in Ercis since I was born. The Armenians revolted a Friday and planned to kill the Moslems in masses. When this was heard our man got together and killed the Armenian leaders by swords. I mean the only leader males, because our religion prohibits the killing of children, women and innocent and armless people.

Later when the Armenian priest was together with the Armenian Nishan Subgovernor, he said "It is a pity that you did not allow us, we should have killed them one week earlier." Then became spring, we migrated from the Armenian tyranny. We escaped but the majority stayed. The Armenians captivated them and put them inside the barns and killed them. Just because we migrated early, no one from my family was killed by Armenians. However several Moslems were slaughtered and burned by the Armenians. We first moved to Diyarbakir and then to Urfa.

We stayed there for three years. From there, we moved to Antalya. As we were not in peace with Italy, the governor did not allow us to the city, so went to Denizli and stayed there for eight years. Finally we returned back to our hometown Ercis. They had already burned and destroyed most of the houses. We worked for years and rebuilt them.

YAMIN TOSUN
Father's Name : Osman
Mother's name : Hanim
Place of Birth: Van-Ercis-Haydarbey

I am from Haydarbey village. We became refugees when the Armenians revolted and the Russians came. We moved to Urfa, where my mother, father, and brothers died of the famine occurred that year. When the Russians retreated, Armenians took over the place, but the Turkish army pushed them back to Revan. We returned to our homes, and found Ercis, the Muslim village and our village completely burned down and demolished.

www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/massacres/index.html


The Ottoman government, against numerous rebellions that began after 1890 and promptly following Armenian massacres which resulted in the murder of tens of thousands of Turks, contented with informing most important persons of Armenian congregation and Armenian deputies that "Government will take the necessary precautions if Armenians continue to stab in the back and assassinate the Turks". However, it became a necessity to secure behind the borders because the army was in war at various fronts, the events did not stop but increased and assaults towards defenseless Turkish women and children increased.

With this aim, on April 24, 1915 the Armenian Committees were closed and 2345 of their directors were arrested due to the crime of carrying out activities against the government. April 24, which is commemorated annually as the "Anniversary of Armenian Massacre" by the Armenians abroad is this date when the 2345 revolutionary committee members were arrested and it has no relation with deportation.

However, the Armenian revolutionary committee members who propagandize even the unfounded events by exaggeration, promptly made a move to propagandize these mentioned arrests. As a matter of fact, Ecmiyazin Catholicos Kevork sent the telegraph below to the President of USA:

"Dear President, according to the last news we got from Turkish Armenia, the massacre began there and an organized terror endangered the presence of the Armenian people. At this critical moment, I am addressing to the noble feelings of your Excellency and great American Nation and in the name of humanity and Christianity belief requesting you to promptly interfere by means of your great Republic's diplomatic representatives and protect my people in Turkey who are left to violence of the Turkish fanaticism.

Kevork, Archbishop and Catholicos of all Armenians."

Pursuant to the telegraph of Archbishop Kevork, Russia's Washington Ambassador got in contact with USA and thus, April 24, which is the day when Armenian committee members dealing with illegal works were arrested was propagandized to world's public opinion as "the day on which Turks massacred Armenians".

REFERENCE:
Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara, 1983, s.210-211


RELOCATION
» The Definition of Relocation
» Reasons Behind Relocation
» The Telegram Attributed To Talat Pasha
» The Relocation Law
» Relocations Takes Start
» Regions They Were Moved To
» Armenian Population Subjected to Relocation
» Armenian Casualties
» Measures Taken by The Government
» Armenians Not Subjected to Relocation
» Meeting the Expenses
» Properties of The Armenians
» The Return of Immigrants
» Repercussions Abroad
» Foreign Investigations
» The Stance Taken By Scholars
» UN Treaty on Genocide
» Conclusion

REASONS BEHIND RELOCATION

The decision regarding migration was taken under compulsion, in order to prevent the harmful acts of Armenians, who stabbed the Ottoman State that was their own state, in order to establish an independent Armenia. Documents confirm how the Russians and the Entente States deceived and provoked Armenians. (1)

The Armenians who were deceived by such promises as to be given the lands they obtained during the War and that their independence to be recognized; established a number of revolutionary societies (2). Armenians, who started their terrorist activities before the immigration process, continued these activities even during the immigration. They collaborated with the enemy both in the border areas and in the inner regions, and applied genocidal activities to the Moslem people (3).

Ottoman Government decided to compile the documents expressing the cruelties of the Armenians in a book and requested the documents and photographs of Armenian massacres (4). Those documents and photographs collected in a book and published under the title of Ermeni Komitelerinin Faaliyetleri ve Ihtilal Hareketleri/ Mesrutiyetin Ilanindan Once ve Sonra (5).

Armenian cruelties continued after the First Wold War as well. In fact, one of the most striking examples of such activities is the one committed in Nahcivan by an Armenian band of 1.200 people under the command of an Armenian named Hanov (6). Furthermore, it is understood from the telegraphs dispatched on 3 and 7 March 1920 respectively by Mümtaz Bey who was then the acting Governor of “Mamuretül Aziz” Province, that the Armenians protected by the French Forces in the region were then under the delmion of establishing an independent Armenia from Clicia to Adana provinces (7).

Upon such developments, Enver Pasha, acting Head Commander, in order to find a solution to this problem, sent the following note to Talat Pasha on May 2, 1915.

“Armenians domiciled around Lake Van, and in Van Provincial Governorate are always ready for an uprising. I think that the Armenians should be moved from these places, and centers of revolt be dissipated. According to the information given by the 3rd Army Command, the Russians caused the Moslems within their own boundaries to immigrate over our boundaries in miserable conditions. Both as a retaliation to this act, and to ensure the aim I mentioned above, either the said Armenians should be transported into the Russian land together with their families; or they should be distributed in the various regions in Anatolia also with their families. I kindly request from you the selection of the most suitable alternative and act accordingly. However, I personally prefer that the revolting people and their families be sent beyond our borders; and Moslem people their families be re-settled in their place” (8).

With this letter, which may be accepted as the first sign of the intention of immigration process, Enver Pasha requested of dispersion of Armenians in order to avoid their uprising act. According to the said letter, it is clear that the implementations would be made only in locations where the Armenians revolted; and it was carried out accordingly.

Talat Pasha, not wishing to waste time due to the urgency and importance of the matter, initiated the re-settlement implementation without waiting for the resolution of the Parliament hence did not hesitate to undertake such a heavy responsibility by himself (9). Talat Pasha, who took first considered to start immigration of the Armenians domiciled in Van, Bitlis and Erzurum regions out of the War area. He informed Tahsin Bey, Cevdet Bey and Mustafa Abdulhalik Bey, Governors of Erzurum, Van, and Bitlis Provinces respectively on the matter by cryptic communiqués dd. May 9, 1995. Talat Pasha in his above — mentioned cryptic message communicated that the Armenians concentrated in certain regions to start revolts and uprising were decreed to immigrate towards the south, and that every possible assistance should be given to the Governors in order for this decree to be implemented. Talaat Pasha noted that a communiqué concerning the issue was sent to the Supreme Military Command to the Commanders of the 3rd and 4th Armies. He informed that it would be advantageous if the implementation was undertaken in areas to cover the southern part of Erzurum along with Van, the critical sub-provinces in Bitlis, and especially the vicinities of Mus, Sasun, and Talori; and requested from the Governors to immediately initiate the implementation in cooperation with the army commanders.

Furthermore, Talat Pasha issuing a cryptic communiqué to the 4th Army Command dated 23 May 1915, listed the location requested to be evacuated as follows:

1. The provinces of Erzurum, Van ad Bitlis;

2. The subdivision of Maras excluding the city of Maras;

3. Villages and towns within the boundaries of the sub provinces of; Iskenderun, Beylan (Belen), Cisr-i Sugur and Antioch excluding the central sub province of the Province of Aleppo;

4. The sub-divisions of Adana, Mersin, Kozan and Cebel-i Bereket excluding the cities of Adana, Sis (Kozan) and Mersin;

Accordingly; Armenians evacuated from Erzurum, Van and Bitlis were decreed to be transferred to the southern part of Mousul along with the sub-division of Zor and sub-division of Urfa excluding the central city: and the Armenians evacuated from the vicinities of Adana, Aleppo and Maras to be transferred to the eastern part of the Province of Syria along with the eastern and southeastern part of the Province of Aleppo. To supervise and manage the immigration process, State Inspectors, Ali Seydi Bey and Hamid Bey were appointed to the Adana region, and to the regions of Aleppo and Maras, respectively.

It was stipulated that the Armenians arriving at the new locations of resettlement were to be settled either in the houses that they would build in the existing villages or towns; or in the villages that they would re-establish in the locations identified by the government; and that the Armenian villages were to be at least of 25 km away from the Baghdad Railway.

The protection of lives and properties of Armenians following the process of immigration, and provision of their needs such as food, drink and rest were left to the regional authorities along the transfer route. It was decreed that the immigrating Armenians to be allowed to carry along all of their belongings and arrangements about their established properties were to be prepared and submitted to the authorities concerned (11).

In order for the immigrating Armenians not to re-constitute dens of conspiracy, the Supreme Military Command communicated a letter dated 26 May 1915 to the Ministry of Interior, considering the following aspects:

1. The population of the Armenians in the locations they newly immigrated to should not be in excess of 10% of the population of the existing tribes and Moslems.

2. The villages the Armenians to be re-established should not be bigger than fifty houses each.

3. The Armenian immigrant families should not change houses either for the purposes of travel or transfer (12).

A short while after the Ministry of Interior’s measures were came in force, Russian, French and English governments issued a joint declaration stating that in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, which they referred as “Armenia”, Armenians had been killed with in a month. In addition, they declared that the Ottoman Government is responsible for these events (13).

Upon the spread of the issue in international arena in this manner, Talaat Pasha, sent a communiqué dated 26 May 1915 to the Prime Ministry in order to provide a legal basis for the implementation of the immigration (14). In this communiqué, having stated that the invaders promoted discrimination among the Armenians, who were Ottoman citizens, and assisted them, in order to realize their invasory desires; that the uprising Armenians took variety of means to hinder the progress of the operation of the Turkish Army fighting against the enemy; that they abstracted the transport of food items, weapons and ammunition to the soldiers, that they collaborated with the enemy; that a group of them joined the enemy rank, and organized armed attacks against the military units and innocent civilians; that they massacred and pillaged in cities and towns; and that they provided food to the enemy navy and disclosed critical military zones to the enemy, Talaat Pasha noted that a radical measure needed to be taken for the security of the state and on this account, the Armenians rioting in war zones needed to be immigrated to other regions.

This communiqué of the Ministry of Interior was submitted immediately to the Parliament along with another communiqué written by the Prime Ministry. Talat Pasha’s statement having been reiterated in the Prime Ministry’s communiqué, it was expressed that the initiation of the immigration implementation was rightly made for the security of the state and that it was necessary to implement this policy methodically and systematically. (15) And the Parliament decreed to ratify the implementation on the some date.

In the Parliamentary decree, it was noted that it absolutely necessary to block through effective methods such harmful activities for having a negative impact on the existence and the security of the state, and that the measures by the Ministry of Interior on this account were rightfully and duly taken. Furthermore, a communiqué was issued regarding the determination of the immovable properties owned by the immigrating Armenians by a commission to be appointed, and the creation of job opportunities suitable for the conditions of the Armenians in their new locations, and the assistance to be given on the account of Immigrant’s Compensation. It was requested that an order to be written to those concerned in order to ensure the implementation of immigration securely (16).

The following communiqué dated 30 Mays 1915 sent by the Prime Ministry to the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of War and the Ministry of Finance, the regulations of implementation of the immigration were stated: (17)

a) The Armenians shall be transported to the regions allocated in a comfortable manner, ensuring the security of their lives and property.

b) Their food and drink expenses shall be covered by the Immigrant’s Compensation until they settle in their new houses.

c) Real estate and land shall be provided for them in accordance with their former financial status.

d) The government shall build houses for those in need, and provide seeds, and agricultural equipment for the farmers and agricultural experts.

e) The movables they left behind shall be delivered, and after the determination of their immovable properties settled, these shall be distributed among the Moslem immigrants to be setting in their place. Income generating from places that are not within the expertise of these immigrants such as olive, mulberry and orange groves, vineyards, shops, inns, factories and warehouse shall be either auctioned or rented and their compensations shall be recorded in deposit by savings fund to be paid to their owners.

f) Special commissions shall implement all these issues and an order shall be issued in this regard.

REFERENCE:
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gercekler — Realities on the Armenian Immigration- (1915), TTK, Yayini, Ankara, 2001

FOOTNOTES
1) Cryptic Item, no: 45/115 (sent a communiqué about this matter to the provinces of Van, Bitlis, Mamüretüaziz, Adana, Diyarbekir and Sivas, via the telegram dated 23 September 1916)
2) DH. EUM. Division 2, File 1, document 45/2 (see document 670).
3) Cryptic Item. , NoB 6; no; 62/24; no: 63/175; no; 64/92; no: 64/163; no; 64/194; no: 66/51; no: 46/56; no: 66/192; BA, BED, no: 343464 (see document 784).
4) Cryptic Item, no: 62/57; 62/58; 63/241.
5) Istanbul 1916. The same work was translated in French, in 1917, in Istanbul and published as an abridged version under the title Les Allogations et les Mouvements Révolutionnairs des Comités Arméniens— (Ankara, 1981)
6) Letter dated 1 February 1920 from the Ministry of Interior to the Prime Ministry (BA: BEO, no; 341351).
7) Security, File 2 F/3; Security, File 2 F75 see document 799 and 800.
8) ATBD, December 1982, no: 81, document 1830
9) Bayur, ibid, III/3, 38.
10) G.K., no: 15/200; no: 52/281-282
11) G.K, no: 53/94
12) General Staff, no: 1/1, Folder 44 File 207, F 2-3, quoted by, K. Gürün, ibid, p.213.
13) Bayur, ibid, III/3, p. 37
14) BA, BED, no: 326758
15) Parliamentary Decree, Book no: 198, Decree no: 163 (see document 123); Bayur ibid. III/3, pp. 40-42.
16) Bayur, ibid, III/3, pp. 40-42
17) BA, BED, no: 326758

THE TELEGRAM ATTRIBUTED TO TALAT PASHA

One of the most significant Armenian allegations regarding the immigration implementations is the telegrams, which —also allegedly- contained Talaat Pasha’s orders for killing the Armenians. However, Talaat Pasha himself has expressed in number of occasions that the measures taken with regard to Armenians have no object of massacring them in any way. In fact; in a cryptic telegraph —communiqué wired on August 29, 1915 to the Governors of Hüdaverdigar, Ankara, Konya, Izmit, Adana, Maras, Urfa, Halep, Zor, Sivas, Kütahya, Karesi, Nigde, Mamuretülaziz, Diyarbekir, Karahisar-i Sahib, Erzurum and Kayseri Provinces and sub-Provinces; the purpose of the immigration was explained as the follows (1).

“The purpose of the Government regarding the moving of Armenians from their original settlements is to prevent their anti-governmental actions; and to discourage their ambitions of establishing an Armenian State. Their massacre is completely out of question; on the contrary the safety of the groups during immigration should be ensured; and while measures for their catering should be taken, the “Immigrants Allocation” should be used to meet the cost. Armenians who are allowed to stay in their original settlements should not be re-located afterwards. As it was stated before the immigration of the dependents of military forces; protestant and catholic Armenians; and artisans (in accordance with the need) are definitely prohibited by the Government severe legal measures. Against the gendarmes and government officials who attack the immigrating groups or those who lead such attacks severe legal measures should be taken and such individuals should immediately Court-Martialled. Relevant provincial and sub-provincial authorities shall be held responsible for such events.

In another cryptic note sent to Ankara on May 27 1915 it was said that; “The measures taken by the Government regarding the Armenians are based on the necessity to ensure and protect the welfare and order of the Country. Exclusion of the Catholic and Protestant Armenians —who are at present observed as impartial at the present- from immigration, is the indication that the Government has no intention to massacre them” (2).

However, the communiqué which was issued by the Government for deporting the terrorist Armenians and their Gang leaders has been understood incorrectly in some places. Hence, several Armenian Bands, which were caught, were sent to places in which they continued their actions more freely. Upon such occurrence’s Talaat Pasha issued another communiqué on June 1, 1915, stressing that such Armenians should be transported to the places where they would not be able to continue their harmful actions, and also there deportations should be limited to the terrorists and rebels only (3).

Furthermore, in still another cryptic note dated June 13, 1915 dispatched to Mamuretüllaziz province, it was stated that the Armenians, besides those who were handed to the Court Marshall should be kept at suitable locations within the province under a previous order, hence not necessarily sent to Mousul province (4).

In a cryptic note dated June 14, 1915 which was sent to Erzurum, Diyarbekir, Mamuretülaziz and Bitlis provinces, after stressing that the Armenians should be protected during the immigration process; it was mentioned that it was natural to take measures against those who would try to flee or rebel against the gendarmes; however in no case Moslem peoples should be involved in such corrective acts; and also no opportunities should be set to start conflicts between the Moslems and Armenians.

Coming to the telegraph which is the core of the alleged claims of Armenian massacre (5).

An Armenian named Aram Andonian referred to it in his book, titled : “Memoirs of Naim Bey / Official Turkish Documents Regarding the Deportation and Massacre of the Armenians” published in London in 1920. This book was published under the titles: “Official Documents Regarding the Massacre of the Armenians”; and “The Gross Offence, the Last Armenian Massacre and Talat Pasha; the Originals of the Signed Official Telegraphs” in Paris and Boston respectively.

The telegraphs in the book, which were attributed to Talat Pasha, are false documents, which were originated to create a “massacre criminal”. As a result of the examination and research which was carried out by Messrs. Sinasi Orel and Süreyya Yuca on the subject documents a number of positive evidences, which prove the falsity of them were found. Among these evidences are: “that the person named Naim Bey — from whom the documents have been said that obtained- had never been employed in the “Celleppo Re-Settlement Department, that neither the said documents were authentic, nor the type of the papers were the same of those used in the official communication of that time; that the original counterparts were not among the Ministry of Interior documents in the Prime Ministry’s Archives; that the deed numbers on the documents could not fond in the registration logs of the relevant department; that there were some mistakes on the dates according to Mohammedan and Gregorian Calendars; that there were inconsistencies between the signatures; and there were some big grammatical and spelling mistakes in them.”

Furthermore, although it was mentioned that; “the original copies of the documents which were used in the book were kept at the Armenian Office in Manchester” since then they have persistently been concealed from the examination of the World opinion, and since their “authenticity was based on the report of the Aleppo Armenian Unit during the Ottoman times; is an important indication of the falsehood of the alleged claims of Armenian massacre.

REFERENCES:
Hallacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gerekceler (1915), TTK Yayini, Ankara, 2001.

Published by:
Turkish Hutorical Association, Ankara, 2001.

FOOTNOTES:
1) DH. EUM 2. Branch, 68/80
2) DH. EUM 2. Branch, 68/71; 2. Branch 68/84 (see doc: 192, 200)
3) DH. EUM 2. Branch, 68x101 (see doc 217).
4) An Armenian group which consisted of 26.064 people and lived in Aleppo were not actually included in the immigration process. Because; the population re-settled in the new settlement location were brought from Anatolia. On the other hand while the number of those who arrived at Aleppo were given as around a hundred thousand, (see: DH EUM. 2nd Branch, 68/80) the population arrived here was taken as 100.000.
5) OREL, Sinasi, YUCA Sureyya, Ermenilerce Talat Pasa’ya Atfedilen Telgraflarin Gercek Yüzü, Turkish Historical Association Publication, Ankara 1983.

THE RELOCATION LAW

“Temporary Law on the Measures Implemented by the Military against those Opposing the Government Implementations at Wartime” also known as “Immigration Law-Tehcir Law” was resolved on 27 May 1915. (1) The Law was published in the Official Gazette of the time, Takvim-i Vekayi, on 1 June 1915 and came into force. (2)

Article 1 of the before mentioned temporary law authorizes, the commanders of the Army, Army-corps and Divisions to take military measures against those opposing government orders, country’s defense, and the protection of peace; and against those organizing armed attacks and resistance, and kill rebels during aggression and uprising in wartime. The second article authorizes the same commanders to transfer and resettle on a single basis or in mass, the people living in villages and towns who are found to be engaged in espionage or treason.

The properties owned by the Armenians subjected to immigration were protected under an order (3) dated 10 June 1915. “Commission on Abandoned Properties” comprising of a president and two members, one administrative and one financial, was established. These commissions are to determine Armenian properties in the villages and towns that are evacuated, and to keep detailed record books. One of the books is to be kept in the regional churches, one to be submitted to the regional administration, and one shall be kept by the commission. Non-durable goods and animal stock shall be auctioned and the money shall be kept. In location where a commission is not appointed, the provisions of the communiqué shall be enforced by the officers in the regions. Both the commission and the regional administrators shall be responsible for the protection of these properties until the Armenians return.

As it can be understood from the law dated 27 May 1915 and order dated 10 June 1915, the immigration implementation initiated by Talat Pasha and approved by the Parliament covers “the regions that threaten the security of the front directly”. The first of these regions includes the vicinities of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis, which constitute the background of Caucasian and Iranian fronts. The second region is provinces of Mersin-Iskenderun, which constitute the background of the Sinae front. Because, in these regions, Armenians were collaborating with the enemy and were engaged in activities facilitating the landing of the enemy forces.

However, the law regarding “the measures implemented by the military against those opposing the government implementations at wartime” is an authorizing law intended to protect the state and its legal order. One of the most important characteristics of this law is that “not a name of any ethnic group or community was mentioned nor even suggested in the text of the law”. The Ottoman citizens of Moslem, Greek and Armenian origin covered under this law were subjected to immigrate from their own place and resettle elsewhere. To regard this law as being directed against one particular ethnic group is an indication of a lack of information, or else, intentional behavior... (4)

REFERENCE:
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gerekceler — Realities on the Armenian Immigration — (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara 2001.

FOOTNOTES:
1) Bayur, ibid., III/3, p.40; Gürün, ibid., 214.
2) Takvim-i Vekayi’, 18 Recep 1333/19 May 1331, 7th year, no:2189; Y.H. Bayur, ibid, III/3, p.30
3) ATBD, December 1982, ibid., no:81, document 1832
4) Yildirim, Dr. Hüsamettin, Ermeni Iddialari ve Gercekler — Armenian Claims and Realities- Ankara 2000, p. 21


RELOCATION TAKES START

In accordance with the Law on Transport and Resettlement dated 27 May 1915, and communiqué determining the forms of implementation of this law, the Armenian convoys were gathered in certain centers along the crossroads such as Konya, Diyarbekir, Cizre, Birecik and Aleppo, to be distributed to the new settlement areas.

The immigration routes were chosen among the closest possible roads, so as immigrants not to come across any difficulties. Furthermore, the concern to ensure security and protection for the convoys played on important role in the choice of routes. Therefore, ones transferred from Kayseri and Samsun took the route via Malatya; just as the ones from Sivas, Mamuretülaziz, Erzurum and its environs took the route to Mousul via Diyarbekir-Cizre road (1). However, cases where that the roads were too crowded, or upon a possibility of disorder in sub-divisions, these routes were changed (2). The ones en route from Urfa via Re’sülayn and Nusaybin were transferred via Siverek in order to protect them from the attacks of Arabian and other tribes (3).

The convoys en route from Western Anatolia along Kütahya-Karahisar — Konya — Karaman- Tarsus were transferred via Kars-i Maras — Pazarcik to Zor. (4) Locations with railroad and river — transportation facilities were preferred in choosing all these routes. The idea that travel by train or the river travel were the safest ways then, played an important role in this choice. Therefore, almost all the immigrants from Western Anatolia were transported by train (5). Convoys transferred via Cizre road were also carried by train or river boats called “Sahtur”. (6) In places where train or river transports were not available, the convoys were gathered at certain centers, and took the train from these centers.

The state used all its resources available, to implement an orderly immigration process, and to prevent the convoys from any possible harm, in spite of circumstances that prevailed due to war. However, there arose difficulties at times to find vehicles transporting immigrants due to the need to dispatch military and food items to the front continuously. Therefore, railway stations were congested. It being harvest season the vehicles were scarce, which caused delays in transportation at times, (7) as well as difficulties in the movement of the convoys. In spite of all these difficult circumstances and adverse conditions, the government succeeded, in an orderly fashion, to transport the immigrating Armenians to their new locations of resettlement.

In fact, US Consul in Mersin, Edward Natan, in his report dated 30 August 1915, submitted to the Ambassador Morganthau, stated that the railway route from Tarsus to Adana was full of Armenians; and that they traveled from Adana onwards with a ticket; and despite some difficulties due to crowds of people, the government organized this process in the most orderly fashion; and that the Government did not allow any act of violence or disorder, provided sufficient number of tickets to the immigrants and assisted those who were in need. (9).

REFERENCE:
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gercekler - Realities on the Armenian Immigration - (1915), TTK Publications, Ankara, 2001.

FOOTNOTES:
1) Cryptic Item., no: 54-A/157; no: 56/280; no: 56/387.
2) Cryptic Item., no: 56-278; no: 58/280; no: 56/308.
3) Cryptic Item., no: 57/277.
4) Cryptic Item., no: 65/95.
5) DH. EUM. Dept. 2, 68/99; Dept. 2, 68/94; Dept. 2, 68/81; Dept. 2, 68/67; Dept. 2, 68/96.
6) DH. EUM. Dept 2, 68/101.
7) E.g. Cryptic Item, no: 54-A/393.
8) Cryptic Item, No: 54-A/59; no: 54-A/96
9) EUM, File 2D/13 (see Document 664).

REGIONS THE ARMENIANS WERE MOVED TO AND FROM

The regions Armenians evacuated and resettled in were stated in the cryptic message dated 23 May 1915 by Talat Pasha sent to the 4th Army Command. In his aforementioned cryptic message, having provided the information regarding the Armenians to be transported to other provinces, Talat Pasha communicated that it would be suitable for the Armenians evacuated from the provinces of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis to be resettled in the Southern part of the province of Mousul, and in the sub-division of Zor and in the sub-division of Urfa excluding the Central City; and also those evacuated from the vicinities of Adana, Aleppo and Maras, to be resettled in the Eastern part of the province of Syria along with the Eastern and Southeastern part of the province of Aleppo.

However, due to the fact that Armenian rebellions and massacres went on; and order dated 5 July 1915 was sent to the provinces of Adana, Erzurum, Bitlis, Aleppo, Diyarbekir, Syria, Sivas, Trabzon, Mamuretülaziz and Mousul, to the Office of the President of” Commission on Abandoned Properties in Adana”,. And to the Governors of the Subdivisions of Zor, Maras, Canik, Kayseri and Izmit; and it was stated that the regions allocated for the resettlement of Armenians were broadened upon need.

Accordingly, the following shows how the region where Armenians were transported and resettled, was determined ensuring that the Armenian population should not exceed 10% of the Moslem population:

1. The eastern and southern regions of the province of Mousul including the villages and towns in the subdivision of Kerkük 80 km from Iranian border;

2. East and south of the sub-division of Zor including the settlements in Habur and Euphrates River valley, 25 km within the Diyarbekir boder;

3. Villages and towns in the east, south and south-west of the province of Aleppo, excluding the northern part; towns and villages 25 km away from the railway route including the sub-divisions of Havran and Kerek in the province of Syria.(*)

REFERENCE:
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gerekceler -Realities on the Armenian Immigration - (1915), TTK Publications, Ankara, 2001.

FOOTNOTE:
(*) G.K., no: 54/315

ARMENIAN POPULATION SUBJECTED TO RELOCATION

The numbers of the Armenians, subjected to relocation was controlled from their departure until their arrival, between June 9, 1915 and February 8, 1916. The figures below are taken from pertinent Ottoman documents (1)
--------
. Transferred Remained

Adana (2)

14.000

15-16.000

Ankara (Central)(3)

21.236

733

Aydin(4)

250

-

Birecik(5)

1.200

-

Diyarbakir(6)

20.000

-

Dörtyol(7)

9.000

-

Erzurum(8)

5.500

-

Eskisehir(9)

7.000

-

Giresun(10)

328

-

Görele

250

-

Aleppo(11)

26.064

-

Haymana(12)

60

-

Izmir(13)

256

-

Izmit(14)

58.000

-

Kal’acik(15)

257

-

Karahisari sahib(16)

5.769

2nd 222

Kayseri(17)

45.036

4.911

Keskin

1.169

-

Kirsehir(18)

747

-

Konya(19)

1.900

-

Kütahya(20)

1.400

-

Mamuretülaziz(21)

51.000

4.000

Maras(22)

-

8.845

Nallihan

479

-

Ordu

36

-

Persembe

390

-

Sivas(23)

136.084

6.055

Sungurlu

576

.

Sürmene

290

.

Tirebolu

45

.

Trabzon(24)

3.400

.

Ulubey

30

.

Yozgat(25)

10.916

.

TOTAL

422.758

32.766

. . .

--------
On the other hand, in the telegraph sent by the Director of Immigrants and Tribe Placement, Sükrü Bey on October 18th 1915, notified that “the number of the Armenians transported to Aleppo was about 100.000, among these, 25.000 were settled in Rakka and Zor, 3000 were settled in the south of Aleppo and the remaining would be settled in Kerek and Havran surroundings (26).

Meanwhile, it is understood from the records that an Armenian population of 120.000 people gathered in Diyarbekir as of September 18th 1915 and an Armenian population of 136.084 people gathered in Cizre as of September 28th 1915 to be sent to Musul and Zor region (27). In a coded telegraph sent by Sükrü Bey from Nizip on November 3, 1915, it is expressed that transportation continued in a regular manner (28).

Among the population included as the displaced population in the list given herein above, but indicated not to have been transported yet, the ones in Adana have been transported to the new settlement regions later (29). Hence, the transported population and the population reaching the settlement region seem to be almost equal. The total of the immigrated population is 438.758 and the population safely arrived to new settlements is 382.148. (30)

REFERENCE:
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Relocation (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

FOOTNOTES
1) DH, EUM. 2nd Branch, File 1, document 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 51, 55, 64 (see document 152, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 194, 200, 206).

2) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/77 (Ek-XXII).

3) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/77 (Ek-XXII).

4) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.69/250.

5) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/101.

6) In these documents the number of the Armenians of Diyarbakir is not mentioned. It was estimated that from this city 20.000 Armenians were relocated.

7) DH. EUM. 2nd branch, number.68/89.

8) Code. number. 54/1629) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/72nd

10) Giresun, Persembe, Ulubey, Sürmene, Tirebolu, Ordu ve Görele ayni vesikada verilmistir (Bkz. DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/41).

11) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/76.

12) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/66.

13) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.69/260.

14) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/67 (Ek-XXIV)

15) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/79

16) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/73.

17) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/75 (Ek-XXV).

18) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/66.

19) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.69/34.

20) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/93.

21) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/70 (Ek-XXVII).

22) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/41.

23) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/84 (Ek-XXVII).

24) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/41.

25) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number.68/66.

26) DH, EUM, 2nd Branch, 68/80

27)DH, EUM, 2nd Branch, 68/71; 2nd branch 68/84 (see document 192, 200).

28) DH, EUM, 2nd Branch, 68/101 (see document 217).

29) 26.064 Armenians in Aleppo included in the population subjected to the displacement application were not included in the immigrated Armenians. Since, the ones that reached to the new settlement region consisted of the Armenians sent from Anatolia. On the other hand, although it is notified that the number of the people that have come to Aleppo was approximately one hundred thousand (see DH, EUM, 2nd branch, 68/80), the population coming to that region has been taken to be 100.000.

30) DH.EUM, 2nd Branch, File 1, document 45/1-1 (see document 57).

See document 687.

ARMENIAN CASUALTIES DURING RELOCATION

The number of Armenians who were made to migrate through various means was strictly controlled, both at departure, and at the arrival of a convoy to its new destination. According to figures taken from pertinent documents of the Ottoman Archives: A total of 438.758 people were relocated and 382.148 of these safely reached their new destinations. As can be seen, the number of casualties had occurred as follows: 500 people on the road between Erzurum and Erzincan; 2000 in Meskene, between Urfa and Aleppo and 2000 others on the outskirts of Mardin were massacred in attacks launched by bandits or nomadic Arabs. Another 5000 people were killed in attacks on convoys passing through Dersim. It was understood from these documents that many people had also fallen victim to hunger while on the road. Apart from these, some 25-30 thousand people had lost their lives when struck by fatal diseases such as typhoid and dysentery. In all, an estimated 40 thousand casualties had been registered during relocation.

The remaining 10-16 thousand people were made at stay in provinces they had reached, when the implementation of relocation was brought to an end. For instance, on April 26, 1916, orders were given to provide the return to and the settlement in the province of Konya of those Armenians setting out form the province to new destinations. On the other hand, many other Armenians are believed to have fled to either Russia or to Western countries, including the Unites States.

As a matter of fact, according to the pertinent documents, 50.000 of the Armenian soldiers serving in the Ottoman Army joined the Russian forces, and some other 50.000 Armenian soldiers went to America to be trained in the US Army to fight against the Turkish Army. In fact, the letter of an Armenian called Murad Muradyan- who was an advocate in Elazig later immigrated to America — shows such information. In the concerned letter, Muradyan mentions that some Armenians were escaped to Russia and America and later 50.000 of those trained soldiers went to Caucassia. As it can be understood from all the concerned documents, many of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman State were scattered through various countries especially to U.S.A. and Russia, before and during the war. For example, Artin Hotomyan who was a tradesman in America sent a letter to the Chieftain of Security on January 19, 1915 and stated that thousands of Armenians migrated to U.S.A. and they were facing with hunger and hardships.

All the documents clarify that there had not been a genocide occurred during relocation.

REFERENCE:
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Ait Gercekler (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

ATTACKS ON ARMENIAN CONVOYS AND MEASURES TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT

Some Armenians have died as the result of the attacks made to some companies during the movement of Armenians towards their new settlement regions, especially by the Arabic tribes between Aleppo - Zor and Armenian committee member Urban. As understood from a coded telegraph dated January 8th 1916, the attacks on the roads between Aleppo and Meskene resulted in the death of many Armenians, (1) and that approximately 2.000 of the Armenians moving from Diyarbekir to Zor and from Saruc to Halep through Menbic road were robbed by the Urban tribes (2).

Again in Diyarbakir region, it has been notified that the gangs and the bandits killed almost 2.000 people including Armenians and Non - Muslims. Upon this event, it has been notified severely that such events should be immediately stopped and peace should be absolutely provided on the route of the companies, otherwise that province would be held responsible for the actions of the bandits. (3)

A coded telegraph sent to Diyarbekir, Mamuretülaziz and Bitlis provinces on June 14th 1915 informing that another company of 500 people were killed as the result of the Kurd attacks between Erzurum — Erzincan road. Upon this event, the use of any kind of instruments against the attacks of the villagers and the tribes and severe punishment of the ones attempting murder and usurpation had been ordered. (4)

The Ottoman government has shown extra ordinary efforts for providing food and the security of the companies while fighting against the enemy. It has shown great sensitivity about the murders and robberies, to which Armenians have been subjected to and tried to provide the safe performance of this transportation. With the instructions written to the administrations in the provinces, to which the transportation was made, the ones attacking the Armenian companies have been punished. The government, following up the precautions taken about this issue, has asked how many were punished harmed to the Armenian convoys, in the coded telegram it sent to Erzurum, Adana, Ankara, Halep, Hüdavendigar, Diyarbekir, Sivas, Trabzon, Konya, Mamoretülaziz provinces and Urfa, Izmit, Zor, Karesi, Kayseri, Kütahya, Maras, Karahisar administrators on September 5 1915. (5)

On the other hand, Investigation Commissions have been established for determining the officers, who showed reluctance or unlawful actions during the transportation of the Armenian companies. A commission consisting of Muhtar Bey, Ankara Province civil service investigator, and Kaymakam Muhiddin Bey, Izmir Gendarme Regional Investigator under the chairmanship of Asim Bey, first chief of Interrogation Court has been sent to Adana, Halep, Suriye, Urfa, Zor and Maras regions (6) and a commission to which Ismail Hakki Bey, member of State Council has also participated, under the chairmanship of Hulusi Bey, chairman of Court of Appeal has been sent to Hüdavendigar, Ankara, Izmit, Karasi, Kütahya, Eskisehir, Kayseri, Karahisar-i sahib and Nigde regions. (7)

A third commission consisting of Nihad, Public Prosecutor of Istanbul Court of First Instance and Ali Naki Bey, a Gendarme Major under the chairmanship of Mazhar Bey, former governor of Bitlis has been appointed in Sivas, Trabzon, Erzurum, Mamuretülaziz, Diyarbekir, Bitlis and Canik regions. In a coded confidential telegraph sent to Mazhar Bey, who was the chairman of this commission and was in Sivas at that time, the commission has been requested to carry out the necessary investigations at the locations they visited and then to report the results of such investigations continuously to the center. (8)

In accordance with the instructions given to the commissions, gendarme, police officers or directors would be sent to the Court Martial in accordance with the result of the investigation to be carried out about them. A list of the ones sent to the Court Martial would be given to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The results of the investigations to be carried out about the governors and district governors would be first submitted to the Ministry of Internal affairs and the transactions would be carried out in accordance with the order given. If there occurred any misuse among the Court Martial chairmen or members and military officers, those people would be notified to the related army commanderships.

In the light of the reports given by the investigation commissions, many officers misusing their duties (stealing money and goods from the companies, causing the companies be subject to violation because of not performing their protection duties as required, acting in violation of the transportation order) have been discharged. Some of them have been judged at the Court Martial and have been sentenced to heavy punishments. (9)

REFERENCE:

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001

FOOTNOTES

1) Coding Office, no. 59/244

2) Coding Office, no. 56/140; 55 — A/144

3) Coding Office, no. 54/406; no 54 — A/73; no 54 — A/248

4) Coding Office, no 54/9; no 54/162

5) Coding Office, no 55-A/84

6) Coding Office; no 56/186

7) Coding Office; no 56/355; no 58/38

8) Coding Office, no 56/267

9) Coding Office, no 58/278; no 58/141; no. 55-A/156; no. 55-A/157; no 61/165; no 57/116; no 57/416; no 57/105; no 59/235; no 54-A/326; no 59/196

ARMENIANS NOT SUBJECTED TO RELOCATION

The relocation decision has not been applied to all Armenians. At the beginning, a part of the Armenians living in the regions (In Urfa, Germis and Birecik, Erzurum, Aydin, Trabzon, Edirne, Canik, Cannakkale, Adapazari, Halep, Bolu, Kastamonu, Tekirdag, Konya and Karahisar-i sahib) have been kept out of the scope of migration. (1) But, thereafter, when it has been certain that these people were also involved in various severity events, majority of them been subjected to migration. (2) The ill and the blind were not subjected to relocation and the Catholic and the Protestant ones, the soldiers and their families, the officers, merchants, some workers and masters were not subject to migration, either. Likewise, in the telegraphs sent to the provinces, it is requested not to move the ill, the blind, the disabled and the old and to settle them in the city centers. (3)

With the telegraphs sent to the related provinces on August 2, 1915 and August 15th 1915, it has been ordered not to subject the Armenians from the Catholic and Protestant sects to migration and to settle them in the cities they were currently in and to notify the number of their population. (5) The ones that have been subjected to migration by mistake have been settled in the cities they were currently in. (6). But among the ones that were kept out of the scope of migration, the ones that were observed to have harmful actions have been sent to new settlement regions regardless of their being Catholic or Protestant. (7)

In the coded telegraph sent to the provinces on August 15 1915, the Armenians providing service as officers and health personnel in the Ottoman army and their families have not been subjected to migration and left at their locations. (8) Besides this, the Armenians working in the branches of Ottoman Bank, in the Turkish Tobacco Monopoly and in some consulates have not been subjected to relocation, either, as long as they remained loyal to the government and their good behavior continued.

Furthermore, orphans and widowed women have not been subjected to migration and have been taken under protection in the villages and orphanages. (10) The children, who became orphans during the transportation have been sent to Sivas and settled in the orphanages there. (11) A general order was issued on April 30, 1916 about the Armenian families needing protection. With this order, the families with no guardians, whose male members either were transported or were in military service, were settled in the villages and towns, where there were no Armenians and their catering were met from the Immigrants’ Allowance. The children up to 12 were given to Muslim families at locations, where the orphanages were not sufficient and their education and development have been provided. 30 kurush was paid to the poor Muslim families to meet the expenses of the children from the Immigrants’ Allowance. Young and widowed women were permitted to marry Muslim men with their own will. (12)

REFERENCE:

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001

FOOTNOTES

1) Coding Office, no 54-A/155; no 56/ 114; no 56/ 225; no 56/ 226; no 57/89; no 57/177; no 59/ 218

2) Coding Office, no 54-A/271; no 54-A / 272 (July 22nd 1331/ August 4th 1915)

3) Coding Office, no 56/27; no 67/186

4) Coding Office, no. 54-A/ 251; no 55/20

5) Coding Office, no. 56/112 (September 6th 1331/ September 19th 1915, to Konya province)

6) About this issue, orders have been sent via telegraph to Sivas (Coding Office 56/176), Mamuretülaziz and Diyarbekir provinces (Coding Office no 56/172) on September 14th 1331 / September 26th 1915; to Konya (Coding Office, no 58/2) and Ankara (Coding Office, no 58/159) provinces on 1 Tesrinisani 1331 / November 14th 1915.

7) A telegraph in this way has been sent to Adana province on August 1331 / September 2nd 1915 (Coding Office, no. 55-A/23).

8) Coding Office, no. 55/18

9) Coding Office, no 56/36 (September 3rd 1331 / September 16th 1915); no 56/243 (September 17th 1331 / September 30th 1915); no 56/360 (September 28th 1331 / October 11th 1915).

10) Coding Office, no 54/411; no 54/450; no 54-A / 325

11) Coding Office, no 61/18-20

12) This order has been sent to Adana, Erzurum, Edirne, Halep, Hüdavendigar, Sivas, Diyarbekir, Mamuretülaziz, Konya, Kastamonu, Trabzon provinces and Izmit, Canik, Eskisehir, Karahisar-i sahib, Maras, Urfa, Kaysri, Nigde possessorships (Coding Office, no 63/147) and to Ankara province on May 17th 1332 / May 30th 1916 (Coding Office no 64/162).

MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS AND EXPENSES OF RELOCATED ARMENIANS

The Government has written notices to all provinces before beginning the Armenian relocation and requested them to take precautions to meeting all needs of the companies that would pass through their regions and to stock food. (1)

Various orders have been given to Immigrant and Tribe Settling Directorate for food — beverage provision. (2) Sükrü Bey, the Immigrant and Tribe Settling Director was individually in charge for the determination and provision of the needs. (3) It is understood from the documents that a total of 2.250.000 kurus has been allocated to meet the needs of the companies and of this amount, 400.000 kurus has been allocated to Konya, 150.000 to Izmit province subdivision, 200.000 to Eskisehir province subdivision, 300.000 to Adana province, 300.000 to Halep province, 100.000 to Syria province, 300.000 to Ankara province, (4) 500.000 to Mousul province. (5)

Furthermore, the provinces could aid the immigrants from their own budgets and sometimes new money allocations were sent from the center in accordance with the condition of needs. (6) Meanwhile, a certain amount of money sent from America to be given to Armenian immigrants has been distributed to the Armenians under the knowledge of the government, by the American missioners and consuls. (7) Besides this, it has been understood that some Armenians living in America have secretly sent the money they collected among themselves to the Armenians subjected to immigration. (8)

The Ottoman Government, while spending such great amounts of money for relocation on one hand, either delayed or completely canceled the debts owed either to the state or individuals of the Armenians subjected to migration. Likewise in a coded telegraph sent by Talat Pasha to Maras Governor on June 1, 1915, he requested not to take back the debts of Armenians and in another order sent to all provinces on August 4th 1915, the tax debts of the displaced Armenians were postponed (9).

On the other hand, health officers have been assigned to the migrating companies for providing therapy in case of illness. (10) Furthermore, the legal proceedings about the criminal suspects, who were among the ones subjected to migration, were delayed. (11)

REFERENCE:

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

1) Coding Office, no 55/291; no 55/341; no 57/345; no 57/351

2) Coding Office, no 55/152; no 55/291; no 55/341; no 55-A/17; no 55-A/135; no 57/110

3) Coding Office, no 55-A/16 (telegraph dated August 18th 1331 / August 31st 1915)

4) Coding Office, no 55-A/17

5) The budget of the Directorate of Settlement of Tribes and immigrants for the year 1331 was 78.000.000 kurus and 1332 budget was 200.000.000 kurus and this amount was spent for the Armenians, Greeks and Arabs subjected to relocation and the Muslims coming from the regions invaded by the enemy (BA, BEO, no. 334063).

6) Coding Office, no 53/305, no 55-A/118

7) Coding Office, no 60/281

8) Coding Office, no 60/178

9) Coding Office, no 54-A/268

10) Coding Office, no 54-A/226

11) With a notification sent from the Courthouse and Sects Ministry to the Office of the Grand Vizier, it is notified that a decision for judging the ones that are migrated at the locations they are sent to and the ones that are not migrated at the locations they were at (BA, BEO, no. 329176).

PROPERTIES OF THE ARMENIANS SUBJECTED TO RELOCATION

With an order issued on June 10, 1915, the properties of the Armenians subjected to displacement have been taken under protection. In accordance with the order, it has been decided to sell the properties by auction that may decay and the animals or the production houses that must be operated, by the commissions that were established and by auction and to send the money to their owners.

It is understood that the Ottoman Government showed great care in the implementation of this order. In order to prevent any misuse, a great care has been shown. Through the Commission on Abandoned Property, the money coming through the auction in the names of their owners was paid to the owners of such property. (1) When there was some gossip was made during these sales, the government has sent a coded telegraph to the governors, provinces and Commissions on Left Properties on August 3rd 1915 and forbidden the purchase of those properties by the state officers because this could lead to some misuses. (2) But, thereafter, this decision has been canceled in some province on the condition of paying the real value with cash. (3)

The government has taken all precautions in order to prevent any kind of unlawful actions. Likewise, in a coded telegraph sent to the Chairmanship of Commission on Abandoned Property of Sivas on August 11th 1915, it has been requested to take the precautions that would prevent profiteering and misuses. (4) Again on the same date, with an order sent to all provinces, the precautions to be taken and the applications to be performed about this issue were indicated in the form of articles (5)

In accordance with this order: “no suspected person would be permitted to enter the evacuated regions; in case some people have purchased properties against cheap prices, the sales would be canceled and the real value of the property would be determined so that illegal interests would be prevented; the displaced Armenians would be permitted to take any goods they want with themselves; among the goods that can not be carry away like, the ones that would decay would be sold, but the goods that would not decay would be protected in the name of their owners; care would be paid not to lose touch with the owner of the immovable assets that would be hired, transferred and pledged and if there was any applications carried out in violation of these provisions starting from the date of commencement of the migration, they would be canceled; that no disputes would be allowed about such goods; the Armenians subjected to migration would be permitted to sell their properties to anybody except the foreigners” (6)

The provisions in these orders were applied with great care and the art and commerce enterprises that remained from the Armenians were transferred in high prices to settlement companies, which were established, their real value. (7) The Commission on Abandoned Property has sent the money from sold properties to their owners. (8)

REFERENCE:

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

FOOTNOTES

1) Coding Office, no 53/303

2) Coding Office, no 54-A/259

3) Coding Office, no 55/107

4) Coding Office, no 54-A/385

5) For the texts of the laws issued about the properties of the displaced Armenians, see “Ahar mahallere nakledilen eshasin ve düyun ve matlubat-i metrukesi hakkinda kanun-u muvakkat”, Takvim-i Vekayi, September 14th 1331 and 18 Zilkade 1333, no. 2303, 7 year; furthermore, see Y.H.Bayur, Turkish Revolutions History, Ankara 1957, III/3, p. 45-46

6) Coding Office, no 54-A/388

7) Coding Office, no 61/31; no 60/275; no 60/277

8) Coding Office, no 57/348; no 57/349; no 57/350

THE RETURN OF RELOCATED ARMENIANS

The migration was sometimes stopped during relocation both due to the weather conditions and congestion. Starting from November 25, 1915, with the orders sent to the provinces, the migration has been provisionally interrupted due to winter. (1) On February 21st 1916, an order was sent to all provinces to stop the Armenian relocation. However, it has been indicated that this would not cover the harmful people, the ones related with the committees would be immediately collected and sent to Zor province subdivision. (2)

Upon the administrative and military necessity, a general order was sent stating that as of March 15th 1916, the Armenian migration was stopped and no relocation would be made for any reasons thereafter. (3)

After the completion of relocation, since the Armenians were mostly settled mostly in Syria province, the Armenian Patriarchy in Istanbul was closed on August 10th 1916 and moved to Jerusalem. Sis and Akdamar Cathogicospacies were united and moved to Jerusalem. (4) The chairmanship of the newly established patriarchy has been given to Sis Cathogicospos Sahak Efendi. (5)

Following the end of the 1st World War, Ottoman Government has issued a decree for the return of the Armenians subjected to relocation to their former locations. In the letter sent by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mustafa Pasha to the Prime Ministry on January 1919, it is indicated that orders have been given to the related places for the transportation of the Armenians, who wanted to return, to their former locations and that the necessary precautions have been taken. (6) The decree of return prepared by the government, dated December 31st 1918 is as follows:

1- Only the ones, who want to return, will be migrated, except those people, no one else will be touched.

2- The precautions necessary will be taken for assuring a good journey, and for preventing housing and catering shortage in the returning locations; the migration and returning transactions will be started after contact is established with the administrators of the regions they will return to and after the necessary precautions are taken.

3- The abandoned houses and lands will be returned to the owners.

4- The houses of the ones, where formerly immigrants have been placed, will be evacuated.

5- A few families may be settled in the same location temporally in order to provide sufficient housing.

6- Buildings such as churches, schools and the income generating locations will be returned to the society they belong to.

7- If requested, the orphans will be returned to their guardians, who will be carefully determined, or to their societies, after their identifications are carefully determined.

8- The ones, who have converted their religions, will be able to return to their former religion if they want to.

9- Among the Armenian women, who have married to Muslims and converted their religions will be free to return to their former religion. In this case their marriage act will be automatically canceled. The problems relating to the ones, who do not want to return to their former religion and not wish to divorce from their husbands will be dissolved by the courts.

10- The Armenian properties, which are not in anyone’s ownership, will be returned to their first owners and the return of those which have become the property of treasury will be decided with the approval of the property officers. Further explanatory minutes will be prepared about this issue.

11- The property sold to the Muslim immigrants will be delivered to their first owners gradually as their owners return. Article 4 will be definitely applied.

12- If the Muslim immigrants have made repairs and additions in the houses and stores that will be returned to their former owners, or if they have planted the lands and olive groves, the rights of both sides will be observed.

13- The immigration and expenses of the Armenians in need will be met from the Military College Allowance.

14- The amount of transportation made until the current time and the amount of transportation made and the target location of such transportation will be notified on the fifteenth and last days of each month.

15- The Armenians, who have left the Ottoman borders and who want to return, will not be accepted until a new order is issued.

The provisions of the decree explained herein above were valid for the Greek immigrants as well as the Armenians.

REFERENCE:

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

FOOTNOTES

1) Coding Office, no 57/273; no 58/124; no 58/161; no 59/123; no 60/190

2) Coding Office, no 61/72

3) Coding Office, no 62/21

4) For the new regulation made in 1916 for the Armenian Patriarchy, see Y. H. Batur, Turkish Revolution History, III/3, p. 57-59.

5) Coding Office, no 66/202; no 66/220; no 63/136

6) BA, BEO, no 341055. This letter of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has also been transferred to the Ministry of Courthouse and Sects due to its relation, on 26 Kanun-u evvel 1334 (January 8th 1919), by the Prime Ministry.

REPERCUSSIONS ABROAD REGARDING RELOCATION

Although the foreign observers, who were at the locations of relocation, wrote that the Ottoman Government’s performance was perfect and done with care in spite of war conditions, the western press preferred to mislead the events. Likewise, although Edward Natan, the consul of America in Mersin, reported that relocation has been carried out regularly, (1) the Ambassador of U.S.A. in Istanbul, Morgantau, has related the events in a completely opposite way to his country and the American press has used these events against Turks. According to the claims issued in the newspapers, Morgantau bribed the Ottoman Government and purchased some Armenians to send them to America; furthermore he has saved some English, Russian and French citizens in Istanbul. A Turkish citizen in U.S.A. reported all these lies and false information used by the press on September 14th 1915 (2).

In the frame of the reports of English consuls in Iran, claims such as killing of 1.000.000 Armenians was discussed in the English Parliament and the parliament decided to protest the Turkish Government. Furthermore, the “Blue Book” published about the Armenian events in England included news claiming that over a third of 1.800.000 Armenians claimed to exist in the Ottoman country were murdered. (3)

Against those ill — willed publications, some objective Western press members have reported that the events were falsely communicated on purpose. In an article issued in a Stockholm newspaper which uses the headline “Massacre in the Ottoman Province, Where the Armenians live”, the absurdity of such claims and the reasons for creating such false news were explained. (4)

The Ottoman Government has declared the English claims to be false on January 4th 1917 with the signature of the Undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (5) In the denial letter, it has been expressed that the Armenian population living in the Ottoman country has never reached 1.000.000, that this amount has decreased due to the migrations that took place before the war and the claims were denied. In the same document, it was pointed out that the Germans were held responsible for the murders of Armenians in an article of a certain issue of the “Times”.

REFERENCE:

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

FOOTNOTES

1) See document 664.

2) See document 665

3) DH, EUM, 2nd Branch, File 1, document 23 (see document 668)

4) DH, EUM, 2nd Branch, File 1, document 76 (see document 669)

5) DH, EUM, 2nd Branch, File 1, document 23 (see document 668).

INVESTIGATIONS CONDUCTED BY FOREIGNERS ABOUT AND THEIR OUTCOME

Just after the First World War, following the invasion of Istanbul and other regions by the entente states’ armies, hundreds of political and military leaders and Ottoman intellectuals were sent to and imprisoned in Malta Island by the English, with the claim that they were “war criminals”. Comprehensive investigations have been carried out on the Ottoman archives for finding evidences of crime about the people imprisoned in Malta. As the result of these investigations, no evidence could be submitted to the court neither against the Istanbul government of that time nor about the people imprisoned in Malta in order to prove the accusations on them. The English Court has made desperate investigations in their own archives and in the archives of USA government in Washington, but again no results could be reached.

In the same way, in the message found in the USA archive reports, sent by R.C. Craigie, the English Ambassador in Washington to Lord Curzon on July 13th 1921, the following is expressed:

“I am sorry to notify you that there is nothing that can be used as evidence against the Turks imprisoned in Malta. There is nothing that will provide sufficient evidence. These reports do not seem to include even the evidences that may be helpful in supporting the information that is currently held by the Majesty’s Government about the Turks in any way.” (1)

On July 29th 1921, the Legal Consultants of the King in London decided that the accusations directed to the people in the list of the English Foreign Affairs had a semi — political characteristic and therefore the transactions to be carried out about them should be held separate from those of the Turks, who have been arrested as war criminals.

Furthermore, the expressions “Until now, no deposition has been obtained from any witness proving the accusations made about the arrested are true. In fact, it is not definite if a witness will be found or not; since in a country that is far and difficult to reach like Armenia and especially after such long time, it is even unnecessary to express how difficult it is to find a witness” (2) belongs to the Legal Consultants of His Majesty’s Government.

Consequently, the people, who were under arrest in Malta, were set free in 1922 without any accusation directed to them and without any cases held.

During that time, some documents accusing the Ottoman Government of a so — called genocide and trying to evidence this issue was published by the English press. These documents were claimed to have been found in the Ottoman State Offices in Syria by the English Invasion Forces under the direction of General Allenby. However, the interrogations carried out thereafter by the English Foreign Affairs Ministry showed that these were not documents obtained by the English army, but false documents written by the Nationalist Armenian Delegation in Paris to the allied delegations.

REFERENCES:

1.PRO. FO. July 13th 1921, 371/ 6504/ E.8519

2.Foreign Office, July 29th 1921 371/ 6504 / E.8745

THE STANCE TAKEN BY SCHOLARS TO ALLEGATIONS OF GENOCIDE

The scientists, who perceive the history within the scientific principles, have reached the original copies and documents relating to the issue since 1925 until today, have listened to living witnesses and have made individual observations at the locations of the events. These are the scientists, who knew that the Ottoman archives were open to the researchers since 1925 and who themselves reached the documents. Therefore, only those who are as knowledgeable on this issue as they can comment on or can object to their views. For this reason, the report submitted by 69 American scientists to the members of the Assembly of Representatives in relation with the issue has great importance. (1)

“To the attention of the Members of USA Assembly of Representatives

The Turkish, Ottoman researches and the American Academicians specialized in Middle East, whose signatures are put hereunder, have agreed that the language used in decree number 192 by USA Assembly of Representatives is misleading and / or wrong in many points.

“Although we fully support the concept of “National Day of Commemorating Inhuman Behaviors”, we find the following part, in this text, unacceptable:

…. 1.5 million Armenian — originated people, who have been the victims of the genocide made in Turkey between 1915 and 1923 …”

Our disagreement focuses on the use of he words “Turkey” and “genocide” and may be summarized as follows:

From the 14th century until 1922, the area, which is called Turkey, more correctly as the “Republic of Turkey” today, was a part of the Ottoman Empire, which was a multi — religion and multi — national state. Just as it is wrong to accept the Habsburg Empire to be equivalent to the Republic of Austria of today, it is also wrong to accept the Ottoman Empire to be equivalent of to the Republic of Turkey. The Ottoman Empire, which exited from the history stage in 1922 with the Turkish Revolution gave birth to the establishment of current Republic of Turkey in 1923, was a state, which kept the lands of more than 25 states, over Southeastern Europe, Northern Africa and Middle East. The Republic of Turkey was only one of them can not be held responsible for any events that happened in the Ottoman period. But the ones, who have written the decree, wanted to give the responsibility of the “genocide” between 1915 and 1923 to Turkey by using the name “Turkey”.

As for the genocide accusation, no one, who has signed this paper, have the purpose of underrating the dimensions of the pains that the Armenians have suffered. Likewise, we have the opinion that the pains of the Muslim public in the mentioned region can not be assessed in any other way. The evidences put forward until now point out that an internal war between the communities (between the Muslim and Christian groups) has become more complex with the hunger, epidemics and the massacres and pains in and around Anatolia during the first World War. In fact, during those years, a continuous war has been suffered in the region that is not so different from the tragedy going on in Lebanon in the last decade. The losses of both the Muslim and the Christian nations are big numbers. However, there are many documents and findings that the historians must reach in order to determine the reasons of the events that resulted in the death of the Eastern Anatolian public, which includes many Christians as well as Muslims.

History is created by the statesmen and the politicians and it is written by the scientists. For the operation of this process, the scientists must be given the chance to reach the written records of the former statesmen and politicians. Until now, a big part of the archives related with this issue in the Soviet Union, Syria, Bulgaria and Turkey have been kept closed to the historians. Until these archives are reached, the history of the Ottoman Empire between 1915 — 1923 in the scope of the decree of the Assembly of Representatives numbered 192 can not be completely known.

We believe that USA Congress should encourage the full opening of the history archives relating to the issue and should not make any accusations until the historical events are fully brought into light. The accusations such as the ones in the decree number 192 of the Assembly of Representatives would unavoidably result in unfair decisions about Turkey and maybe damaging the improvement, which the historians started to record in understanding these tragic events.

As shown by the comments herein above, the history of the Ottoman — Armenians is an issue that is frequently debated among the historians and many of the historians do not share the expressions in the decree number 192. In case the congress adopts this decree, it will have tried to decide which part of the historical problem is true through laws. Such a decision basing on assumptions that are historically doubtful gives harm to the honest historical research and damages the reliability of the American legislation process.

May 19 1985

Prof. Dr. Rifaat Abou — El — Haj

History, California State University


Prof. Roderic Davison

History, George Washington University

Ass. Prof. Sarah Moment Atis

Turkish Language and Literature, Wisconsin University


Distinguished Prof. Walter Denny

Art History and Near East Researches, Massachussets University

Ass. Prof. Darl Barbir

History, Siena Institution (New York)


Dr. Alan Duben

Anthropologist, Researcher, New York

Ilhan BASGÖZ

Ural — Altay Studies Division, Turkish Researches Program Director, Indiana University


Ass. Prof. Ellen Ervin

Turkish Researches, New

York University

Prof. Daniel G. Hates

Anthropology, New York City University


Prof. Caesar Farah

Islam and Middle East History, Minnesota University

Prof. Ülkü Bates

Art History, New York City University


Prf. Carter Findley

History, Ohio State University

Prof. Gustav Bayerle

Ural — Altay Studies, Indiana University


Prof. Michael Finefrock

History, Charleston Institution

Prof. Andreas G. E. Bodroglifetti

Turkish and Iran Languages, California University


Ass. Prof. William Hickman

Turkish, California Berkeley University

Ass. Prof. Kathleen Burril

Turkish Researches, Columbia University


Ass. Prof. Frederick Latimer

History, Utah University

Prof. Alan Fisher

History, Michigan University


Prof. John Hymes

History, Glenville State

Institution

Prof. Timothy Childs

Teacher, Johns Hopkins University


Dr. Health W. Lowry

Turkish Research Institution

Inc. Washington D.C.

Prof. Shafiga Daulet

Political Science, Connecticut University


Prof. Halil Inalcik

Ottoman History, American

Art & Science Academy

Member, Chicago University

Ass. Prof. Ralph Jaeckel

Turkish, California University


Ass. Prof. Ezel Kural Shaw

History, California University

Ass. Prof. Ronald Jennings

History & Asian Researches, Illinois University


Prof. John Masson Simth, JR

History, California Berkeley University

Ass. Prof. Cornell Fleischer

History, Washington University


Dr. Svat Soucek

Turkologist, New York

Prof. Peter Golden

History, Rutgers University


Dr. Philip Soddard

Middle East Institute Director, Washington D.C.

Prof. Tom Goodrich

History, Indiana University


Prof. Frank Tachau

Political Science, Chicago,

Illinois University

Dr. Andrew Could

Ottoman History, Arizona, Flagstaff


Robert Staab

Middle East Center Vice

Director, Utah University

Prof. William Griswold

History, Colorado State University


Prof. Rhoads Murphey

Middle East Languages,

Cultures and History,

Columbia University

Prof. Tibor Halasi — Kuv

Turkish Researches, Columbia Professor


Ass. Prof. June Starr

Anthropology, Suny

Stony Brook

Distinguished Prof. J.C. Hurewitz

Former Director of Middle East Institute, Columbia University


Prof. James Stewart Robinson

Turkish researches, Michigan University

Prof. Avgdorlevy

History, Brandens University


Prof. Thomas Naff

History, Middle East

Researches Institute Director, Pennsylvania University

Prof. Bernard Lew’is

Middle East History, Princeton University


Ass. Prof. John Woods

Middle East History, Chicago University

Ass. Prof. Justin Mc Carthy

History, Louisville University


Prof. Pierre Oberling

History, New York CityUniversity

Prof. Jon Mandaville

Middle East History, Portland State University


Ass. Prof. Madeline Zilfi

History, Maryland University

Prof. Michael Meeker

Anthropology, California University


Prof. Metin Tamkoc

International Law, Texas

Tech. University

Ass. Prof. James Kelly

Turkish, Utah University


Prof. Stanford Shaw

History, California University

Ass. Ass. Prof. Kerim Bey

Southeastern University


Dr. Elaine Simth

Turkish History, Retired

Foreign Affairs Officer

Prof. Metin Kunt

Ottoman History, New York


Ass. Prof. David Thomas

History, Rhode Island Institute

Ass. Prof. William Ochsenwald

History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute


Ass. Prof. Grace M. Simth

History, California Berkeley university

Ass. Prof. Robert Olson

History, Kentucky University


Ass. Prof. Margaret L.Venzke

History, Dickinson Institute (Pennsylvania)

Ass. Prof. William Peachy

Jewish and Near East Languages & Literatures, Ohio State University


E. Prof. Donald Webster

Turkish History

Ass. Prof. Donald Quataert

History, Houston University


Prof. Walter Weiker

Political Science,

Rutgers University

Prof. Howard Reed

History, Connecticut University


Prof. Warren S .Walker

English, Turkish Oral

Stories Archive Director,

Texas Tech. University

Prof. Dank Wart Rustow

Political Science, New York City University


Invitations have been made by Turkey at different times in order to discuss the correctness of the documents put forward by the Armenians and the Armenian pretensions supported by the Western European Countries and Russia. These calls have been both directed at to the Armenian scientists and to the people, who have undertaken the Armenian propaganda. However, an important part of these people did not participate the meeting without showing any reasons. The last example of this condition has been set in the 11th Turkish History Congress that gathered in 1990.

For the first time, an “Armenian Section” had been programmed in the 11th Turkish history Congress and the foreign historians who have been “Armenian struggle Supporters” have been invited to the discussions in this section, but each of them using various excuses avoided participating in these scientific discussions.

The list of the foreign scientists invited to the 11th Turkish History Congress, held in Ankara between September 5th — 9th 1990, in relation with the Armenian problem, is given hereunder:

Prof. Dr. Heath LOWRY (participated)

Garin ZEDLIAN (did not answer)

Prof. Dr. Bernard LEWIS (could not participate)

Prof. Dr. Justin McCARTHY (participated)

Prof. Dr. Stanford SHAW (participated)

Prof. Dr. Anthony BRYER (Did not answer)

Dr. Andrew MANGO (participated)

Prof. Dr. Salahi R. SONYEL (participated)

Prof. Dr. M. MARMURA (did not answer)

Prof. Dr. Allan CUNNINGHAM (did not answer)

Prof. Dr. Robert ANCIAUX (participated)

Prof. Dr. Aryeh SHMUELEVITZ (participated)

Prof. Dr. Jak YAKAR (participated)

Prof. Dr. Hans G. MAJER (could not participate)

Prof. Dr. Wolf Dietrich HUTTEROTH (did not answer)

Prof. Dr. Klaus KREISER (could not participate)

Prof. Dr. Jean — Paul ROUX (did not answer)

Prof. Dr. Paul DUMONT (participated)

Prof. Dr. Robert MANTRAN (could not participate)

Prof. Dr. Richard HOVANNISIAN (did not answer)

Dr. Gerard LIBARDIAN (did not answer)

Dr. Levon MARASHLIAN (participated)

Prof. Dr. Vahakn DADRIAN (did not answer)

Christopher WALKER (could not participate)

Anahid Ter MIMASSIAN (could not participate)

Tessa HOFFMAN (did not answer)

REFERENCE:

(1) Yildirim, Dr. Hüsamettin, Ermeni Iddialari ve Gercekler, Ankara, 2000

ARMENIAN ALLEGATIONS AND UN TREATY ON GENOCIDE

The concept “genocide” is defined with the “UN Agreement on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crime” dated 1948. In accordance with article 2 of the agreement;

“Genocide covers one of the following actions; with the intention of killing a national, ethnic, racial or religious group completely or partially: killing the members of the group, giving heavy damages to the physical or mental integrity of the members of the group, keeping the group in living conditions that will result in the loss complete partial physical existence of the group, taking precautions that will prevent births among the group, transfering of the children in the group to another group by force. In genocide, planned actions that have become a state policy are involved.”

When the issue is assessed in terms of the genocide agreement, it is impossible not to mention some events in the history. For committing an offence of inhumanity as genocide, that nation must have a tendency for such a crime in its history. Tendency for crime is a characteristic for the societies just as it is for human beings. When the Turkish history is examined, one can not find any trace of no genocide or assimilation.

When we look at the geography, on which it has spread, we see that the Ottomans held a part of Europe together with the Balkans up to the borders of Vienna, all Northern Africa on Mediterranean coast, all of the Middle East and the Arab Peninsula under its management for many years. This period is at least 200 — 400 years. Which nation in this geography can be said to be extinct? In the period, during which religious rules were executed in Anatolia, beliefs such as the oldest Christianity sect Syriacism and Yezidi belief worshipping flame and peacock were able to survive lived and in 1800s, although violated of the religious laws, churches have been opened in Anatolia. Even while one of the two brothers was Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, the Ottoman Grand Vizier, the other was assigned as Patriarch to the Makarje Serbian Church and has resurrected the Serbian nation. In the same period, when we look a other regions of the world, we see the genocides of the sects struggle period in Europe, the communities, whose languages were changed in the far east (Indians — Pestun), Africa, and Southern America whose language and religion have been completely changed.

Nazis have killed millions of people during the 2nd World War. Between 1939 — 1945, 5-6 million Jews, more than 3 million Soviet war prisoners, more than one million Polish and more than one million Yugoslavians, approximately 200.000 gypsies and 70.000 disabled were killed. This is the genocide.

In addition to these, although the United Nations has a preventive agreement, there have been many genocide events in the modern era. For example, in accordance with the confessions of 2 retired French generals published in Le Monde, the French have killed minimum one million Algerians between 1954 — 1962, the Indonesian army has killed one million communists and their families between 1965 — 1966, the Red Kmers in Cambodia killed 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975 — 1979, in 1994 500.000 Tutsies have been killed by the Hutus in Ruanda, and finally thousands of Muslims have been subject to the Serbian severity in Bosnia — Herzegovina after 1991.

The genocide crime has been committed in these events in its real meaning. Contrary to the Armenian pretensions, the implementation performed in Eastern Anatolia in 1915 is the migration from one place to another region within Ottoman land and it has no relation with the genocide. Turkish management is accustomed to living with the nations of different cultures and races in the regions it dominated. There is “justice” in the Turkish tradition, there is “keeping the cultures alive”; but there is no “massacre” or “genocide”. This matter is clearly indicated in the book of Justin McCarthy named “Death and Exile”. In this book, the story of the Balkans and the Caucasian people taking refuge in the Ottoman management to escape death are related.

One should the ones accusing the Ottoman management with genocide: Where did the Jews and the Muslims escape from Spain and Portugal in 1469 where did Tökeli Imre and his men escape from Hungary in 1680, where did Rakoczi Ferench and his men go in 1711, where did Layos Kosuth and a Hun group of 2000 people go in 1849, where did Prince Chartorski go with his 135000 soldiers in 1841 and 1856, where did the Russian commander Vrangel and even Trouchki escape in order to take refuge from death?

The history gives the answer all these questions as the “Ottoman”. Don’t the ones announcing the relocation implementation in 1915 as the so called “Armenian genocide” know that Poland and Germany origin Jews found shelter in Turkey since 1930s? While only 20 — 25 years had passed over the so — called Armenian genocide, why did the ones looking for a country to adopt chose Turkey as their rescuer? The answers to these questions are hidden in the just, humane, tolerant, uniting character of the Turkish State tradition, which has always been respectful towards traditions and beliefs.

Furthermore, the genocides and assimilations made in the Balkans 550 years after the Ottoman Empire Fatih, who gave the people living on the land he ruled, the chance of preserving their values alive and transferring them to the new generations, must be remembered. The Balkan nations, whose languages, religions, churches, schools were taken under guarantee with this order, have torn the Bosnians, Albania — rooted Muslims, Macedonians and Bulgaria Turks out of their own land in the verge of the 21st century. Today, the ones accusing Turkey of genocide have ignored the massacres that continued for moths and tapped their ears to the screams of the raped women of any age. Recently, not only the Balkan nations found shelter in Turkey; but also the Iraqis running away from Saddam Hüseyin, the Iraqi state president, who tried to commit genocide using the “mustard gas” he provided from the western chemical weapon producers, found shelter in Turkey. The Turkish people has always shared their bread at any time in history in spite of their limited opportunities and have opened their arms to the oppressed nations. The Turkish people, the Ottoman and the Republic of Turkey have a very clean register that can be an example for other nations and states.

CONCLUSION

Many things have been said and written about relocation since the date of its application. The Armenians have managed to deceive the world public opinion for a long period by hiding behind the false documents. The Armenian massacre stories, which began with 300.000s and came to 3.000.000s have no basis. Likewise during the invasion of Istanbul, both the English and the French have sufficiently investigated the Ottoman archive and since they have not been able to submit any documents in relation with the Armenian genocide, they must not have found any such document.

On the other hand, they should have photographs in their archives taken by the journalists who came to Anatolia at that time to observe the relocation implementation. If a genocide had been committed with the order of the state, these photographs would have been presented to the world public opinion a long time ago. Furthermore, if the party claiming the reality of a genocide had concrete documents, would the for establishing a “commission of jurists” be left without a response? Why did not this official suggestion of the Ottoman State left unanswered? Was the reason the fear that the roles of some western countries would become apparent in the organization and agitation of the Armenian bands or the fear that sources, from which the Armenians obtained their guns to kill thousands of innocent civil people, be disclosed?

When the word genocide is mentioned the Nazi mass murder that resulted in the loss of millions of Jews and other ethnical groups, comes to mind. When the word genocide is heard, the murder at least a million Algerians by the French between 1954 — 1962 is remembered. When the word genocide is heard, the murdering of 1 million communists and their families by the Indonesian army between 1965 — 1966 is remembered. When the word genocide is mentioned, the massacre of almost 2 millions of Cambodians by the Red Kmers in Cambodia between 1975-1979 is remembered. When the word genocide is mentioned, the murdering of 500.000 Tutsies by the Hutus in Ruanda in 1994 is comes to mind. And finally when the word genocide is heard, the severe massacre of thousands of Muslims in Bosnia — Herzegovina and Kosova after 1991 by the Serbians is remembered. The genocide crime has been committed during these events in its real meaning.

If the Ottoman State had any intention of subjecting the Armenians to “genocide”, wouldn’t it commit it where the Armenians lived? What was the need for such expense made during the relocation and so many commercial and military precautions that needed to be taken?

The purpose of the relocation which the world’s most successful resettlement program has never been eliminating Armenians but was born out of a compulsory need of providing state security.

REFERENCE:

Hallacoglu, Prof.Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915); TTK Publication, Ankara 2001.

www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/24041915/index.html
www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/relocation/index.html


» Armenian Terror
» Armenia and Terrorism
» PKK - Armenian Relations
» Common Features of Armenian Terrorist Organizations
» The Tashnak Terrorist Organization
» The Asala Terrorist Organisation
» JCAG
» ARA
» The Dream of " A Greater Armenia"
» The Paris Congress of 1979
» The Lausanne Congress of 1983
» The Sevres Congress of 1986
» The Armenian Constitution
» Aims of Armenian Congresses
» Armenian Demands and Propaganda



ARMENIAN TERROR

Following the Lausanne Treaty, the 'Armenian Issue' ceased to exist. However, the Armenians of Diaspora, clinging firmly to their allegations, unleashed a series of terrorist attacks on Turkish diplomatic missions abroad as of 1970. All these attacks were masterminded by ASALA for short, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia. Under a mask of independence, ASALA carried out ruthless and dastardly attacks. Psychologically and logistically supported by the Hinchaks, ASALA engaged in acts of terror against Turkish diplomats, representation offices and other organizations. These armed assaults rapidly escalated in a short period of time. Armenians who had assured bases for their activities in both Europe and the East, Syria and Lebanon in particular, continued their acts of terror in collaboration with Greeks and Greek Cypriots. As a result of the world wide repercussion of these armed attacks on Turkish diplomats, Armenian terror organizations changed tactics in the 1980's and began this time to collaborate with the separatist terror organizaion PKK, and later abandoned the scene to this organization.

Having proclaimed the period between April 21 and 28, 1980 as the 'Red Week', the PKK started organizing meetings to commemorate April 24 as the so-called 'Armenian Genocide Day'. At a joint press conference held in the Lebanese City of Sidon, the two terror organizations made public a joint declaration. When this initiative aroused reaction, the PKK and ASALA decided to maintain secret ties in their illegal activities. In fact, these two organizations assumed responsibility for the bomb attacks perpetrated on November 9 of the same year on the Turkish Consulate General in Strasbourg and on November 19th on the Tukish Airlines offices in Rome. Honorary membership of the Association of Armenian Writers was conferred upon separatist terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan for his 'contributions to the idea of a Greater Armenia'.

ARMENIA AND TERRORISM

The Armenians and the Turks have enjoyed peace and harmony for ten centuries and the Armenians consisted of high socio-economic status than the Turks. After the defeat of the Ottomans in Ottoman-Russian Wars (1877-1878), first Hagia Stefanos Treaty was signed on 3rd March 1878 and the treaty of Berlin (13th July 1878) followed it. Both treaties have clearly changed the attitudes of the Armenian subjects towards the empire and Russia and some other European countries have started to provoke them. The Armenians have organized themselves for an independent Armenian State.

Russia, in line with their national Caucasian policy since the Tsars, was wishing to weaken the ties of Caucasian Azerbaijan with Turkey by establishing a strong Armenian state located between these countries. Keeping this goal in mind, Russia’s Bolshevik leader Lenin has given the authority to the Armenian origin Caucasian Commissar Stepan SALIMYAN to establish an Armenian State, which would be dependent on Russia. Lenin appointed Salimyan on December 18th, 1917 with the decree of December 30th, 1917.

On April 27th, 1920 under the influence of the Bolshevik rule in Azerbaijan and Southern Caucasia, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, the autonomous province of Nahcivan and the autonomous Karabag region had been established. Thus, Armenia has come to own a state with its borders outlined. Their nationalistic and occupational sentiments thoroughly aroused and provocated, the Armenians, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, have declared their independence on August 23rd, 1990 and have commenced attacking their neighbors with the utopic idea of forming a greater Armenia.

In 1915, Armenians who betrayed the Turks during the World War I were relocated. Armenians have claimed that 1,5 million Armenians had been killed during the relocation and have been claiming that this was a genocide. Armenia always had the utopic dream of forming a greater Armenia. Under this pretext Armenians have demanded land, compensation and acceptance of genocide from Turkey. In order to accomplish their aim, they have attacked our representatives and representations abroad and our domestic establishments between the years 1937 and 1986 by organized terrorist ctivities and they requested the fulfillment of their demands.

Lately, Armenians have understood that they would be unable to fulfill their demands with terrorist activities. So they have resorted after 1986 to put pressure on Turkey on the political platform and to give various types of support to the PKK terror organization, whose aim is to ruin our country and thus to fulfill their land demand.

It has been realized that Armenia has given militant and logistic support to the PKK terror organization in settlements close to our country’s borders, has helped to form camp sites within its boundaries and that there are top officers in the PKK terror organization who are Armenian origin.

Armenian Terrorism

The Armenian attacks, targeting our representatives, our missions and establishments abroad, began as an “Individual Armenian Terror” by the assassinations of our Los Angeles Consul General Mehmet BAYDAR and Consul Bahadir DEMİR in the city of Santa Barbara on January 27th, 1973 by old Armenian named Gurgen (Karekin) Yanikan. Since 1975 this has been followed by “Organized Armenian Terror” and it became more violent after demonstrating a rapid increase within a short time span.

Each being different than the other, 110 attacks have taken place in 38 cities of 21 countries. Out of these 110 attacks, 39 were armed, 70 with bombings and was an occupation. In these attacks, 42 diplomatic Turkish citizens and 4 foreigners have lost their lives, 15 Turks and 66 foreign nationals have been wounded. When we analyze the attacks by years, we observe that the Armenian terror has shown a major increase since 1979.

The Armenian terror organizations have finalized their active terror actions after 1986 and have carried the Armenian matter to international platforms. They continue their activities by providing logistical and militant support to the PKK terrorist organization in southeastern Anatolia.

PKK-ARMENIAN RELATIONS

Changing their tactics after the ‘80s as they encountered adverse reactions from the world. Now, it was time for PKK to carry on the mission. Their first terrorist act started at Eruh and Semdimli in 1984 while the ASALA-Armenian terror receded to the background. Some of the tangible proofs of the ties between Armenians and PKK are the following:

The terrorist organisation PKK announced the period from 21 to 28 April 1980 as the “Red Week” and started to organise meetings on April 24 as the anniversary of the alleged genocide against Armenians.

The PKK and ASALA terror organisations held a joint press conference on 8 April 1980 at the City of Sidon in Lebanon where they issued a declaration. Since this drew a considerable reaction, they decided that their relations should be maintained on a clandestine basis. The responsibility of the attacks launched against the Turkish Consulate General in Strasbourg on 9 November 1980 and the Turkish Airline office in Rome on 19 November 1980 were undertaken jointly by the ASALA and PKK.

Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the separatist terror organisation, was elected to the honorary membership of the Armenian Authors’ Association for “his contributions to the idea of Greater Armenia”.

A Kurdistan Committee was formed within the Armenian Popular Movement like in many European countries.

On 4 June 1993, a meeting was held at the headquarters of PKK terrorist organisation at West Beyrouth with the participation of representatives from the Armenian Hinchak Party, ASALA and PKK.

Another striking example of the Armenian-PKK ties are the following resolutions adopted in meetings held at two separate churches from 6 to 9 September 1993 with the participation of Lebanese Armenian Orthodox Archbishop, officials of the Armenian Party and about 150 youth leaders:

A somewhat sedate attitude should be reserved toward Turkey for the time being.

The Armenian community is on the way to growth and better economic strength.

The propaganda activities have started to make the genocide claims better understood in the rest of the world.

The newly founded Armenian State with a constantly growing territory will definitely avenge the ancestors of its citizens.

The Western powers and particularly the United States side with and favour the Armenians in the combat for Nagorno Karabakh. This opportunity should be well exploited as more and more Armenian young men join the ranks in this fight.

The perpetual terrorist attacks in Turkey (meaning the PKK’s actions) will continue and eventually collapse the country’s economy, leading to an uprising by the entire population.

Turkey will be abolish and a Kurdish State will be formed.

Armenians will hold good relations with the Kurds and support their fight.

Territories presently held by the Turks will the Armenian’s tomorrow.

PUBLICATION ORGANS OF TERRORIST ORGANISATION PKK IN ARMENIA

The newspapers Reya Taze and Bota Redaksiyon are published in Armenia in Cyrillic alphabet under the control of terrorist organisation PKK with the help of PKK members coming from Turkey and Europe and carries out propaganda for the PKK.

PKK-ASALA RELATIONS

The Armenian terrorism at international first started basis in 1973 and began to gain impetus after the 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation with attacks or terrorist nature against Turks and Turkish representations abroad with sabotages and outright assaults.

Upon resurrection of the Kurdish terrorist movement that began to show itself in a variety of legal political entities from ‘70s onward, the Armenian terror organisation ASALA ceded its place in 1984 to the PKK that killed without distinction of Turk or Kurd in a bloodthirsty manner under the guidance of Abdullah Öcalan.

Yet in prior to that date, of the co-operation between terrorist organisations ASALA and PKK was known manifesting in the training of ASALA militants at PKK’s trannie camps, the joint operations and declamations by them both and training support provided at the PKK camps by Armenian experts, not to mention the organic ties between the terrorist organisation PKK and Armenian Tashnak Sutyun Party.

The common goal of the co-operation between the terrorist organisations PKK and ASALA is to establish States in Turkey’s Southeastern and Eastern under the Marxist-Leninist ideology. Since, however, an overview of the areas on which both organisations had schemes, it may be deduced that one of these organisations acts as the other’s mercenaries.

An examination of the discovered documents revealed that the militants of ASALA and PKK terrorist organisations underwent training at the Bekaa and Zeli camps.

1987 AGREEMENT BETWEEN PKK AND ARMENIANS

An agreement was concluded between the separatist terror organisation PKK and Armenians in 1987. Following are the highlights of this agreement:

1. Armenians will be involved in training activities within the PKK terror organisation.

2. Five thousand American Dollars per annum will be paid to the PKK terror organisation per capita by the Armenian side.

3. The Armenians will participate in the small-scale operations.

As the Armenian component began to acquire a significantly elevated position within the organisation as a result of this agreement, the following resolutions were adopted in a meeting held on 18 April 1990 with a person named Hermes Samurai, reported to be the official responsible for the PKK-ASALA relations:

1. The PKK and ASALA terrorist organisations will be under a joint command from that date on.

2. The Armenians will undertake intelligence work on the Turkish security forces.

3. Territories gained through the expected revolution will be equally shared between the parties.

4. Seventy-five percent of training camp expenses will be borne by the Armenians.

5. Operations will be conducted at the metropolitan cities in Turkey.

The terrorist organisation PKK that moved its bases into Northern Iraq after because of very heavy blows dealt in the transborder operations and lost all possibilities of sheltering there is known to have entered into arrangements for shifting some of its cadres to Iran and Armenia where it started an active subversive operation toward Turkey.

It has also been learned that a group of European representatives of the terrorist organisation PKK paid a visit to Armenia where they concluded an agreement with the Armenian leaders for the unhindered ingress to and egress from Kars region by their militants, that Armenia offered sheltering, monetary and equipment support to the Kurdish settlements in that country following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the formal proclamation of the Armenian Republic. Similarly, a group of militants of the terrorist organisation PKK left Urmiah for Armenia on three vehicles on 19 and 20 May 1992 for fighting against Azerite Turks together with the Armenians.

COMMON FEATURES OF ARMENIAN TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS

The survey of the aims and strategies of the Armenian minority organizations from a historical perspective during the phase of New Armenian Terrorism (1973-85) shows that they had all assumed the character, aims and functions of terrorist organization. Their activities were directed towards the objectives of inciting and perpetrating revolts, revolutions and acts of terrorism.

It has already been noted above that the Dashnaks who had become organized in the 1890's, had adopted a program based on terrorist strategies, such as forming gangs, demoralizing the target Ottoman population, killing the Turks and undermining their sovereignty, arming the Armenian minority groups in preparation for uprisings, revolts and terrorism, forming revolutionary committees and murder squads, and destroying governmental institutions. After seizing power and establishing an Armenian Republic (1918 - 1920) within a year of the Russian Revolution, in the region where Soviet Armenia is situated today, the Dashnaks engaged in diplomatic activities and tried to assert themselves as a legitimate power; nevertheless, the fundamental terroristic philosophy never disappeared and resurfaced years later in 1972 with the formation of an subsidiary group named the Justice Commandos for Armenian Genocide. The operations of this group are well-known to everyone, not least to the non-involved Armenians on whom they exert constant pressure.

Similarly, the Marxist Hunchak organization has shown that it too endorses terrorism by the protection and support it gives to ASALA, the principal terrorist organization of the period 1973 1985. It is noteworthy that the Hunchaks provided the inspiration and intellectual impetus for the creation of this group.

For terrorist organizations, the Armenian cause, or the Armenian issue no matter what interpretations may be placed upon it has been identified with terrorism whilst the ideals or aspirations of the Armenian people have been reduced to hostility against the Turks and Turkey, to be pursued through vindictive acts and bloodshed.

The Armenian terrorist organizations are, as a rule, formed by a small number of activists, who control the central administration. The operations agreed upon by the central administration are carried out by a number of teams; each entrusted with specific duties. When required for propagandist purposes, these teams are made public under a variety of names, which serves the purpose of creating an impression of large numbers and widespread activity.

Terrorist organizations need not be situated in one specific physical or geographical location. They could be dispersed in several countries, or scattered over the same country. Although this situation on the surface gives an impression of amore democratic and open structure, yet, in reality, such organizations observe a strict discipline imposed by a central organization.

Another characteristic of the terrorist organization is their tendency to split into a number of smaller groups both because of their differing functions and also as a result of rivalries between their members and their leaders. One outcome of this phenomenon is that each group that breaks away forms its own affiliate organization. Hence, there is an apparent mushrooming which once again produces the impression of proliferation.

Secrecy forms one of the basic tenets of these organizations. However, at times, particularly through the instrumentality of the subsidiary team, disclosures are made in order to publicize the activities performed as an occasion for propaganda. This policy also serves the aim of concealing the main centre from detection, which can thus continue its activities in security. For the same reasons, the teams make announcements both before and after committing crimes and take responsibility for them.

In all Armenian terrorist activities, terrorism goes hand in hand with psychological coercion. In fact, the former is a phase in the process of applying the latter. Terrorism can be used as a means of propaganda, as well as an instrument of oppression, intimidation and retribution. The second use of terrorism is reserved for those who oppose the activist organizations or disobey its commands. The majority of non-involved Armenians are subjected to such pressures.

These organizations possess an immense store of expertise and experience in the fields of public relations, communications and the media. Moreover, they have close contacts with the institutions and the people who disseminate information and influence public opinion. Such expertise and contacts provide the organizations with opportunities for survival and gradual expansion.

The terrorist organizations enjoy the open or secret support of one or more states. These may use them either as an instrument to further their own interests, or as a means of covering up their secret organizations or propaganda units.

Hostility against Turkey and the Turks provides the terrorist organizations with a motive for their existence and survival, as well as serving to rationalize their claims and demands. However, in countries, which have close relations with Turkey, the hostile reactions apparently provoked by these organizations tend to be short-lived. Indeed, in such cases, particularly when terrorism takes as its target not only Turkey but also the country where it operates and its citizens, it has to be assumed that the activists are aiming at intimidating their opponents, rather than carrying out hostile operations against the host country.

In retrospect, Armenian terrorism appears to have three main objectives: 1) to compel the Armenians to join the ranks of the activists by exerting pressure on them, thus securing their support, 2) to influence world public opinion by convincing it of the might and scope of Armenian terrorism, and 3) to prepare the ground for hostility against Turkey in case of future conflicts of interests and political confrontations on the international scene. The nineteenth century myth of an enslaved and impoverished minority deprived of its rights, and the twentieth century theme of a nation subjected to massacres and genocide have both been used in order to have access to sources of power in international relations. These sources will probably be enlisted in the service of nations who are Turkey's rivals or even by international institutions for specific ends. What, in fact, is not known among the aims of the terrorist organizations is the to which the opportunities, that arise by instigating international conflicts, will ultimately be put. This is no other than the attainment of the goal or ideal, which they expect to be realized through its own momentum in the course of a historical process outside their immediate sphere of influence.

NEW ERA OF TERRORISM (1973 - 1985)

In the era of New Armenian Terrorism, Dashnak and Hunchak organizations function as the main centres which encourage, promote and train terrorist groups so that they can develop and expand over new areas and increase the scope of their targets. Their leadership extends to the formation of new terrorist groups and teams, providing man-power, intellectual and moral support for the newly founded organizations, and the preparation of the ground for their activities through the establishment of contacts and relations. Apart from these, ASALA, short for the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armen ia constitutes another major terrorist organization. It has succeeded in having its name mentioned more than that of any other group, and as such has become almost synonymous with Armenian terrorism. Together with the traditional organization and their offshoots, ASALA, too, is the initiator of the new era of terrorism. As has been noted above, despite its seemingly independet status, ASALA is affiliated to the Hunchaks, deriving its moral and intellectual strength from them, as well as making use of their established contacts and relations.

Seen from this angle, it may indeed be claimed that terrorism as we see it in our day is a continuation of the earlier tradition of terroristic activities, which was revived under the favourable circumstances of the sixties, and, making use of the opportunities that were created anew, once again embarked upon its mission of hostility against the Turks, engaging in criminal acts of the greatest inhumanity and cruelty.

One of the attempts at rationalizing terrorism is provided by Michael M. Gunter in his study on "Armenian National Liberation", where he claims that the peoples of many different countries in our day support the struggles of the terrorists and believe in the validity of the reasons for which they take action. Similarly, Gerard J. Libaridjian, the editor of the Armenian Review and director of the Zorian Institute for Contemporary Armenian Studies situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, explains the reasons that lie behind Armenian terrorism as follows: "The reluctance of Turkey and the major world powers to recognize the exasperation of the Armenians, even after sixty years spent in attempts at establishing peace, has resulted in bringing about a new era of terrorism." Agop Agopian, the ASALA leader, on the other hand, argues that Armenian terrorist activities emerged "after it became evident that the policies pursued by the traditional parties had failed:"

In the light of these statements it becomes clear that those who share such views, present the situation as if it were one that entails a choice between peaceful or violent methods of pursuing the Armenian cause; they ignore the phenomenon of Armenian terrorism as a continuing historical process. Moreover, they fail to explain from what source they derive the right to launch such violent attacks against Turkey and to instigate revolutions, revolts and warfare with the aim of destroying its unity, nor do they tell us who invests them with this right or authorizes the exercise of such acts. The terrorists claim a right to perform acts of violence - the right to cherish animosity, seek revenge and commit assassinations - and to exercise this right freely. They pretend not to be aware of the fact that the Armenian activist organizations were engaged in terroristic operations right from the start. For the new era of terrorism is clearly a revival of the older and traditional phase of terrorism, reactivated as a result of preparations made in the sixties through propaganda campaigns and demonstrations, as a means of manipulating the aspirations of certain countries and peoples over Turkey and taking advantage of the attitudes of rivals exploiting her political and economic difficulties. One need not doubt, however, that the era of New Armenian Terrorism will come to the same end as the former. Yet, in the meantime, the Armenian people themselves are undergoing the humiliation and anguish of being branded as terrorists in the eyes of the world and observe with anxiety the course taken by the events. This is an aspect of the situation which the terrorist organizations do not wish to see, or perhaps, one which their mentors refuse to see. In this way, regardless of the harm caused, propaganda and psychological coercion campaigns continue to be waged on a large scale.

HINCHAK

The Hinchak (Sound of the Bell) Committee was established in Switzerland in 1886 by Avedis Nazarbelg and his wife Maro, Caucasian Armenians of Russian citizenship, and a group of Caucasian students. They also started the publication of a newspaper titled Hinchak to propagate the ideas of the Committee, of which the leaders and members were Armenians from Russia. It selected the Eastern Anatolia as its field of operation and, after a while, its headquarters was moved from Switzerland to London.

The Hinchak Commitee’s programme was socialist, Marxist and Centralist It adopted the principles of Karl Marx. Though it qualified itself as social democrat, its political programme is reminiscent of the communist manifesto. The Committee opened in 1890 a branch office in Istanbul with subdivisions at various provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The main political goal of the Committee was to save the Armenians in Turkey from the Turks, those in Iran from the Iranians, the Russian Armenians from Russia and to do away with all the capitalists in these countries.

Its PROGRAMME:

The working and producing classes constitute the great majority of the humanity. The emancipation of these classes from the exploitation of a rich and sovereign minority will be achieved through the seizure of all production factors, soil, factories, mines and transports. The independence of the producing classes means the salvation of the entire humanity and a general and economic welfare.

The achievement of this goal and its physical implementation require the organisation as dictated by its own desiderata of working classes in all civilised countries and the accomplishment of the communist revolution everywhere using the general political capabilities at their disposal. Thus will be eliminated all other social classes and the producer classes will create a socialist order. In this new structuring, the people will make their own laws and display its might.

(…)

The Armenians today are under the subjugation of the classes run by monarchic rulers. Their administrative, fiscal and tax systems are self-destructing for themselves. Around these monarchies, all ancient economic and administrative structures wither away while the capitalist management systems are used in the production.

The introduction of a socialist order embracing the Armenian social democrats and all Armenians at large is admitted to be a distant goal under the prevailing conditions and, therefore, all tendencies and toils require a nearer target. It is this nearer target that created the Armenian Revolutionary Hinchak Party, which aims at the following:

a) To foment the revolution.

b) To annihilate the sovereign classes of the absolutist administrations.

c) To save the Armenians from slavery.

d) To strengthen the Armenians for entering into the political realm.

e) To eliminate the hurdles preventing the economic and cultural advancement of the Armenians.

f) To prepare an environment where the working classes will be able to freely express their opinions.

g) To improve the unbearable working conditions.

h) To provide the workers with knowledge on their own class for enabling them to organise into a special political entity of their own.

i) To facilitate the work by the people to attain the distant goals.

In line with these goals, the nearer targets of the Hinchak Committee are to destroy the monarchic administrations and to replace them by democratic and oligarchic regimes, for which the following conditions were set:

a) A constituent assembly should be elected, for a true popular representation, by direct votes of all citizens. This assembly should have the power of examining all political, economic and other issues and legislation of the country in question and resolving on them.

b) Provinces should be given a large autonomy.

c) Full independence should be provided for the people.

d) The people should be able to elect the government, security, justice and education officials in public service.

e) Every citizen, irrespective of nationality, should have the right to be elected to provincial and autonomous administration positions.

f) All citizens irrespective of nationality and religion differences should be equal before the law.

g) Full freedom of press, expression, assembly and election should be recognised to all citizens.

h) Homes of all citizens and citizens themselves should enjoy freedom from molestation.

i) The churches should be dissociated from the State and maintain their existence solely through the help of persons of their own congregation.

j) Military service should be performed by all citizens as militia members during the peace time.

k) A secular and compulsory education system should be implemented and the State should assist the poor in this field.

Since the improvement of the people’s economic lot is involved, the following conditions must be fulfilled by securing the political rights listed above and based on them:

a) The existing taxation system should be replaced by one based on the payment power.

b) The indirect taxes should be abandoned altogether.

c) Peasants should be absolved of all of their debts.

d) Farm machinery should be provided with the help of Government and of the people, their proper use should be taught and they should be given to the people themselves.

e) Agrarian partnerships should be established among the people for the purpose of ensuring the sale of farm products and purchase of such amenities as seeds, fertilisers and the like.

f) Vehicles should be provided for all kinds of transportation and contacts.

g) The Government should prevent the exploitation of working classes and adopt laws for this purpose.

Regions where the Armenians hold the majority are also the largest areas of our country. The Armenian cause acquired the status of a right by the 61st article of the Berlin Treaty and under the pressure of other international conditions and was recognised by the European Powers.

The political, economic and financial débâcle of the Ottoman Empire together with the internal uprisings appear to have been contributing factors that prepared its doom with also the assistance of the European Powers. It is therefore necessary that the following should be achieved tp comply with the requirement of a historical necessity as the Ottoman territories in European continent were seized by other States:

a) The Armenian rebels will concentrate their efforts for defending the Armenian cause and achieving the short-term goals.

b) The area where the revolution will be launched will therefore be that in which the Armenians live.

c) Since the future of Armenians need to be separated from the Ottoman Empire’s destiny, the first condition of the short-term goal will be the Armenian independence.

For attaining the short-term goal, the Armenians decided that the peace and order should be interrupted and altered by a revolution and a war should be started against the Turkish Government and the revolution’s tools were indicated as follows by the Armenians:

a) A propaganda campaign will be initiated among the people and particularly the workers through the press, books and speeches, to broadcast the revolutionary ideas of the Hinchak party, to create revolutionary organisations and to foment mutinies.

b) The terror will be used as a weapon to punish the Turkish secret police members, informers and traitors and the terror will be used as a shield for the defence of revolutionary organisations and a guard against the rascals that persecute the people.

d) An armed force will be kept in readiness and spearheading legions will be formed to defend the Government and the people against the soldiers and tribal groups and the legions will be used as the advance units in an uprising.

e) Suitable occasions will be created for instigating an uprising.

f) A general revolution organisation, consisting of several regular units commanded by a single central headquarter and marching in unison toward the common goal, within the context of which has been prepared a regulation for defining the responsibilities and powers of these units and the organisation and activities of the Hinchak Committee.

g) Efforts will be made to secure the alliance of other minorities having the same destiny as the Armenians and to have them to join the Armenians our common enemy the Turkish Government. The greatest objective of the Hinchak Committee will be to establish a federation similar to the Swiss one after throwing off the Ottoman yoke.

The Hinchak Committee operating under this political programme carried out an intense Marxist propaganda especially among the working classes. Both the youth and religious leaders, adventurers and unemployed went out of their way to foment unease and to foment a revolution while the Committee’s leaders concentrated their efforts on creating an Armenian proletariat. These efforts, however, did not go beyond a socialist propaganda under the then prevailing conditions in Turkey. Persons coming from Russia and other countries with a flair for such work often took part in these activities.

The Armenian actions led in this country to many bloody incidents of which the relics will not easily be forgotten. Renowned militants like Shimavon of Tbilisi came from Geneva, S. Danielian arrived from Iran, Rupen Hanazat of Russia showed up from Trabzon and H. Megavorian appeared from Batoum to organise the subdivisions of the Hinchak Committee. Other revolutionary organisations formed in Istanbul prior to 1980 eventually joined this new setup.

It therefore becomes evident that the fate of Armenians in Turkey was left to the discretion of Russian Armenians. Pressure was being exerted on those refusing to join the Committee and to grant monetary aid and many of them were being murdered. Thus, the organisation rapidly started to spread to the other Anatolian provinces.

ACTIVITIES

The charter and programme of the Hinchak Society was printed in Istanbul in 1909, submitted to the Ministry of Interior pursuant to the Law on Associations and received the approval letter no 90 of 8 February 1909. The charter consists of five parts.

The ledger of resolutions seized by the security forces show that the following resolutions were adopted in q910, 1911, 1912 and 1913:during operations:

a) Efforts will be spent to secure weapons, ammunition and explosives.

b) Weapons training will be given by Marufian, Yavruian and Candan.

c) Propaganda work will be accelerated.

d) Relations will be established with the Tashnak Connittee.

e) Similar relations will be maintained with the Union and Progress Party.

f) Support will be given to the Orsfan, Cang, Gochnak, Jurachak, Penchak, Badami, Tejoheng, Maro and Paros bands in Van.

The Hinchak Committee held its third congress in Turkey on 24 July 1914. The congress, held with 28 delegates from 51 branch offices, was chaired by Cangulian with Tancutian as the secretary and the following decision was adopted:

"Taking into account the great responsibility necessitated by our goals and the dangers involved, and in an attempt to prove that we are a civilised people, care will be exercised for always avoiding adventures and actions not thoroughly planned in advance, and we will bear in mind the fact that a balanced attitude and proper means are the most suitable tools for reaching our final objectives. "

On the basis of this decision, the Hinchak leaders started to leave Turkey after 1896 and disagreements soon arose among them, with the result that the party broke into two factions. One faction was called the true Hinchaks (Nazarbeg’s followers) and the other came to be known as the reformed (Veragasmial) one. The latter group was led by an Armenian named Arpiar Arpiarian.

It seems that both factions acted in obedience to the beliefs and opinions of their leaders rather than under valid principles and programmes. The disagreement among them often led to street fights, some of them were beaten and many were killed.

The Armenian people, realising that the Hinchaks were Marxists, gradually withdrew themselves from it. The divergence came to a head in 1902 when militants from both sides began murdering each other on streets in England, Russia, Egypt, Bulgaria, Caucasus and Iran. Though some small bands continued bearing the name of Hinchak, they lost their previous strength after the Van resurrection. Another factor contributing to the disappearance of the Hinchak Committee was the fact that several Hinchak leaders had seen the true intentions of the Russians and left the organisation.

Reference: SAKARYA, Ret. Maj. Gen. İhsan, Armenian Issue with Decuments,Military History Publications of the Department of Military History and Strategic Studies, Turkish General Staff Printing Plant, Ankara 1984, 2nd ed., pp. 76-87.

THE TASHNAK TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

The “Armenian Revolutionary Federation” or "Tashnak Organization" is also known as the "TashnakParty." In fact, after the communist took over of the Armenian Republic, the Tashnak organization continued its existence as a party in exile, mainly in Lebanon, Iran, France, Greece and the United States. This organization has remained active up to the present day and has performed a significant role in planning and promoting the new era of Armenian terrorism, as well as forming teams and groups for carrying out terrorist operations. A move was made, later in its career, to have its name changed from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation to the Armenian National Committee. The intention behind this was to achieve greater effectiveness in its propagandist activities by the removal of a name that could offend Western sensibility.

1. The Structure of the Organization

a. “Bureau”: This is the most important organ of the organization and takes the decisions that determine its administrative policies. In appearance the bureau represents collective leadership. It consists of eight members, one each from California, France and Iran and five from Lebanon. The members elect a chairman. The bureau, which was based in Lebanon until the outbreak of the Civil War, was moved from there to the United States and then to Greece and France. The regulations of the bureau and its decisions are kept secret .It is known that a person named Hrair Marukian, Persian by birth and domiciled in France, was its chairman until 1985.

b. "The Central Committee": It is the highest-level executive organ. It establishes the link between the bureau and the local groups and organizations. It is instituted in places where there is a sizeable Armenian population. Lebanon and France have one central committee each, whilst the United States has two, one on the eastern and' the other one on western coasts. Under the pyramid shaped structure the local organizations and their organs take place. These are known by the names of a variety of Armenian associations and clubs, such as the Federation of Armenian Youth, the Youth Organization, the Armenian Boy and Girl Scouts Club, organizations for sport and cultural activities.

c. There are also various offices operating under the central committees, such as those in charge of propagandist activities and publicity, as well as legal, financial, military and educational matters. These offices offer purely technical service or advice. As an example of an office rendering a specific service, we can mention the Committee for Supervising Armenian Immigration.

2. Aims

The Tashnak terrorist organization defines the meaning of the Armenian cause or “the Hay Taht” as the establishment of an independent and non-communist Armenia within the boundaries designated by the abrogated Sévres Treaty and the enforcement of the payment of compensation by Turkey in return for the crimes said to have been committed against the Armenians. Tashnak publications give expression to this objective in the words, "We will continue to insist on the implementation of the Sévres Treaty, as being one of the milestones in the pursuit of our cause."

In another publication, the aims of the Tashnaks are summarised as the recognition of the right of the Armenians to live in their own lands and to govern themselves. More commonly, the aims of the Tashnaks are presented as centring around three specific demands: a) the recognition of the Armenian claim that genocide was committed, b) the payment of a compensation by Turkey, c) resettlement in the Armenian homelands.

3. Strategies and Policies

Although the Tashnaks have publicly declared that their strategies are directed towards the realization of their aims through “peaceful means”, neither the events of the past nor their activities in the new era of Armenian terrorism have proved this to be true. This ‘party’ which has all the characteristics of a terrorist organization, can assume, when needed, a peaceful guise and mislead the public by using propagandist tactics perfected through long years of experience. In fact, as has been said above, it was the Tashnaks who were responsible for the establishment of the Justice Commandos for Armenian Genocide whose name was later changed to the Armenian Revolutionary Army. It is, indeed, the Tashnaks who decided upon and planned the assassinations and bomb assaults carried out by this group. These activities suffice to show that the Tashnak organization never abandoned the terroristic tendencies it possessed at its inception. Nonetheless, there is a significant difference between the strategies employed by the Tashnaks and those by ASALA. ASALA makes no distinction between the Turks and other nationalities, all of who can figure indiscriminately as their targets, whereas the Tashnak organization and its affiliates take Turkish citizens or official representatives of Turkey as the sole targets of their deadly operations.

After the killing of the Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles in 1972, the Justice Commandos announced that their targets were “only Turkish diplomats and Turkish institutions.” The same declaration of intention was made in connection with the assault carried out by the Armenian Revolutionary Army against the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon in 1983.

The difference that exists between the strategies of the Tashnaks and ASALA may be explained by observing the historical development of the two organizations. As we have seen, the Tashnaks took a pro-Western stance in the nineteenth and the first two decades of the twentieth century and aimed at influencing public opinion in the West, whereas the Hunchaks turned towards Russia for protection and support. It is significant that, during the years 1973-1985, terrorism made use of both camps.

The strategy adopted by the Tashnaks finds its clearest expression in the announcement made in the wake of the Lisbon attack. According to this, “a national liberation movement has to go through two phases in order to attain its end: firstly, the phase of internal propaganda, when bases of support are secured; secondly, the phase of external publicity directed towards gaining the sympathy of the world and attracting attention for the cause: hence the necessity for organizing activities that serve as demonstrations...”

For the Tashnaks, Armenian terrorism was but a form of demonstration conducted as part of their strategy. In other words, the assaults, bombings and raids that were carried out and the people who were injured, killed or trampled to death in the course of these incidents, were all considered to be the necessary elements of a scenario that made up the 'demonstration'.

The Tashnak historian Varandjian described the characteristics of the Tashnak terrorist organization in the words: “Perhaps no other revolutionary party, not even the Russian Narodovoletz (Narodnaya Volya) or the Charbonari of the Italians, adepts though they were at terrorism and undaunted by anything that came in their way, could breed terrorists as reckless and impassioned as the Tashnaks. Hundreds of men carrying guns, daggers and bombs are up in arms.” It is sobering to reflect that during the period we have studied the mission of these "reckless and impassioned" terrorists was to attack Turkish institutions and the Turks.

4. The Congresses of Vienna and Munich

On December 27, 1981 the following resolutions were taken in the twenty-second Tashnak Congress held in Vienna:

a) The Party's goal is to secure the establishment of a united and independent Armenia.

b) Pressure should be exerted on other Armenian organizations by the political committees to induce them to join the ranks of the Tashnaks.

c) Complete agreement with the West must be secured.

d) Close relations have to be established with the Soviet Union, and Armenian immigration must be stopped.

In the Munich Congress held at the end of 1984 with the participation of representatives for fifteen countries, the following resolutions were passed:

a) New campaigns must be launched to publicise the Armenian cause.

b) An attempt must be made to resolve the 'Armenian question' through legal and other peaceful measures, for example, a campaign must be conducted to bring the issue of genocide before the United States Congress and the United Nations Committee for Human Rights so as to secure its recognition.

In the declaration made at the end of the Congress, the delegates made the following announcement: “We are to continue our struggle for the recognition of the legal rights of the Armenian people and of the genocide committed by the Turks; as well as the payment of a compensation for the human, cultural and economic losses endured by our nation and the restitution of the Armenian national home which has belonged to us for thousands of years.”

The resolutions taken at both the Congresses are of interest in facilitating the identification of the themes that were to be used as means of, propaganda by the Tashnak terrorist organization.

5. Support and Connections

The Tashnak terrorist organization derived its support largely from the United States and Europe. It operated on the basic principle of avoiding, as far as possible, contact with the other terrorist organizations. Instead it had links with various organizations in the states mentioned, its primary source of support being the Church and the Union of Churches, as well as the Armenian lobbies and research centres.

6. Political Developments

Up to the 1970's the "liberation and independence of Soviet Armenia" formed the basis of the policies determined and implemented by the Tashnak terrorist organization. For this reason, the Tashnaks gave priority to hostilities against the U.S.S.R. and engaged in a merciless struggle against those who supported and controlled Soviet Armenia. During Christmas worship, the Archbishop of the Holy Cross Armenian Church in New York was assassinated by a Tashnak suicide-killer. The reason given was the Archbishop's approval of the situation in Soviet Armenia.

After the 1970's, the break-up, due to death and other factors, of the ruling party in the Armenian Republic and the comparisons being drawn between the Third World liberation movements and the Tashnak terrorist movements led to significant changes in the Tashnak policies. Their hostility was now directed against Turkey and the Turks. "Fascist Turkey" had become the real enemy; Turkey's ally, the United States, was also counted among their enemies. The "Justice Commandos for Armenian Genocide" (JCAG), a terrorist group established in 1972 and organized by the Tashnaks, were put into action as a result of the policy changes mentioned above. The Aztag Shapatoriag, the propaganda organ of the Tashnaks and especially of the JCAG, issued a warning of 'terror' when they announced that "terrorism is the last hope and the only path to follow in the liberation struggles of today."

Despite all the propaganda efforts by the Tashnak terrorist organization, the Lisbon operation was seen as a complete failure. The attempts to represent the attack on the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon, as a turning point in terror did not win general acceptance. Following this, they were obliged to change the name of the JCAG to "Armenian Revolutionary Army"; even so, this did not produce the desired results. In particular, the arrest and conviction in 1984 of Sasunian, one of the Tashnak murderers, proved a great setback to Tashnak policies. The Tashnaks lost the support of American-born Armenians. According to the Armenian Reporter, the Tashnak Party had been taken over by Lebanese Armenians from abroad, and was powerless in the face of a large majority who did not support terrorism. The weakening of the- terrorist wing of the party led to increasing clashes of opinion at the highest level of the Executive Council and Central Committees. The highest officials in the party were split into two groups. Powerful members of the Executive Council, representatives of the Lebanese Central Committee and leading members of the party administration, were murdered in Beirut or disappeared without trace. By the end of 1985, it was impossible to speak of a united Tashnak Party. Two important external factors helped to create this situation within the Tashnak terrorist organization. The first was the revelation that the Tashnak leaders had had connections with secret service organizations in certain countries and that these were trying to establish control over the Armenian churches. The second was the struggle between ASALA and the Tashnaks. ASALA described the Tashnak leaders ad "parasites who were sucking the blood of Armenians dry." As a matter of fact, these developments within the Tashnak terrorist organization were not new. Whenever such conflicts and divisions arose in the past, the Tashnaka always re-emerged sometime later. In the World Armenian Congresses, the Tashnaks have always been, and will continue to be, a force to reckon with. As for the policy cahnges, they may be construed as being to temporary conflicts in leaderships.

7. The Media

Within the Armenian terrorist organizations, the Tashnak terrorist organization was experimenting in the field of propaganda and was giving support to that extent. They had acquired the means of constantly informing world opinion of their goals, their activities and their policy through the press and broadcasting media; for example, through various serials and feature films, through radio programmes, which they had purchased, thorough private radios, television and video films. Quite a few countries showed interest and provided the Tashnaks with special support in this area. Among the most important Tashnak publications were Hairenik and Asbarez, both published in Armenian in the United States, together with the Armenian Weekly, which was published in English.

The Tashnaks also organized twenty-two world conferences in places such as Paris, Bucharest, Erevan and Munich, although the number of participants was limited. This was a tremendous propaganda and publicity effort on their part.

THE ASALA TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

During the new phase of Armenian terrorism from 1973 to 1985, the terrorist organization most frequently mentioned was ASALA (The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia). No information has yet been published on its establishment, structure and activities. With regard to ASALA, various Armenian sources and publications provide information about certain individuals, and the results of terrorist activity, mostly obtained from publications issued by the organization or terrorist group. This is information, which the terrorist group wishes to publish or does not object to having published. With regard to the founding of ASALA, some publications link it with the events in Lebanon; they take the view that it was established under the inspiration of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, within which it had been active. Others claim that it was founded by a small group of Armenians, who, within a short time, carried out the most sensational and effective acts of terrorism of the period. All this is very far from providing a complete explanation of how ASALA was founded. Until the conditions under which ASALA first appeared as an organization are better known and the gap it filled is more satisfactorily elucidated, present doubts will continue for a long time to come.

It is generally known that the first Armenian terrorist activities of the new period were in accordance with the policies and targets of the Dashnak terrorist organization. Throughout the course of history as well as in the period under discussion, the Dashnaks were completely pro-Western. They adopted a policy of limited terrorist activity, which was directed basically against Turkish targets, and, as revealed by various sources of evidence, they obtained help and support from the Western states; in fact, they collaborated with them. Basically, their principles and historical development did not allow them to adopt a different approach. In this situation, one sphere of activity still remained. Namely that relating to the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, which appealed to the younger Marxist Revolutionary generations and, particularly, to the "New Armenian Resistance Organizations", in France. In fact, this area had long since been filled by the Hunchaks. Since 1960, they, with their various points of view, had also been preparing for a new period of terror. However, the Hunchaks were not in evidence, and a terrorist organization, wishing to be regarded as completely new, appeared on the scene in the guise of ASALA. When the factors leading to the new period of Armenian terrorism are taken into consideration and their aims and policies, especially as a Hunchak terrorist organization, are examined, the conclusion can be reached that ASALA is a terrorist offshoot of the Hunchaks. It was above all the conditions and new developments in Lebanon that lay behind the emergence of this group as a new terrorist organization, which because known for the various acts of terrorism for which it claimed responsibility. In fact, no significant change has taken place. The two Armenian terrorist organizations once again occupy the centre of the stage against the backdrop of history. The first is more in evidence, operating through its terrorist offshoots, whilst the second operates under cover, in the guise of a terrorist group to which it has given manpower and expertise, as well as moral support. This group in turn carries out terrorist activities through subsidiary groups and teams.

1. Foundation and Organizational Structure

ASALA was founded in 1975. The leader of this terror organization is known to have been Agop Agopian, one of the two most active members of the six or seven founding members. The second was Agop Tarakdjian, who was personally involved in terrorism and other criminal activity and who ensured the continued existence of the organization in the absence of Agop Agopian. The second of these two men died in 1981, whilst the first continued as leader throughout the whole of this period, apart from the time spent under treatment for wound received. He was well known as a mucahid and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The organization was structured in accordance with the general practice of the Armenian terrorist groups. The Lebanon Central Committee was the supreme executive body. In 1980 this committee took on a very important form in the Lebanon and assumed the nature of a "bureau". Subordinate to the Central Committee were bodies such as the Political Committee, the Finance Committee, the Propaganda and Information Committee, the Intelligence Committee and the Military Committee. Subordinate to the Military Committee were a number of operational teams.

2. Aims and Objectives

ASALA revealed to the world its aims and objectives in a "political programme" published in the end of 1981. According to this, the aim of ASALA was “the foundation of a united Armenia under the leadership of a democratic, socialist, revolutionary government”. The identity of the government in question is quite clear from the definition. All aid was welcome from the USSR and other socialist countries, while at the same time Soviet Armenia was accepted as a base in "the long struggle of the Armenian people".

In this political programme their enemies were divided into two groups. The first of these was the Dashnak Armenian terrorist group, and all the "regional reactionaries" who opposed, or at least failed to support ASALA. The second was "Turkish imperialism, aided and abetted by international imperialism".

ASALA believed that “the only way of liberating Armenian territory was through the use of violence”, and issued public announcements to this effect. According to their programme, ASALA was to support all those who rejected the domination of the ruling classes and who were willing to work towards the foundation and strengthening of coalitions within the international revolutionary movement. Violence and terror formed an essential element in this programme.

In order to realise ASALA's aims and objectives it was not essential that terrorist activities should be directed solely against Turks and the friends of Turkey, or against people in positions of power or authority. "Terror is a phenomenon" and the important point is its scope and dimension. The actual targets may be of secondary importance. Greatest stress it to be laid on murders and massacres that will arouse violent public reaction. Whether the targets are men, women or children, Turks or non-Turks, is of little significance. Nevertheless, first importance was to be given to attacks on Turkey and the Turks. The importance of the attacks and massacres carried out in the airports of Paris and Istanbul, in the Istanbul Covered Market and the airport of Orly, lay entirely in the nature and violence of the reaction these were aimed at arousing.

3. Strategy, Attitudes and Behaviour

The essential aim of ASALA was to make the Lebanon the centre for all progressive Armenian movements throughout the world and the point from which all operations would be directed. In short, all progressive Armenian groups were to unite in the Lebanon and for the basis for an "ASALA Popular Movement". In this way, all progressive Armenians could enter into an official organization in which their individual strengths could be united.

An attempt was made in the summer of 1981 to put this section of ASALA strategy into effect by calling all progressive Armenians to a meeting in the Lebanon. By "progressive" was meant "Marxist-Leninist".

The second stage of this strategy began with the terrorist activities and open war undertaken by the organization thus founded with the help of certain socialist states. Armenian terror formed an integral part of the struggle for independence in the Middle East, uniting with other movements directed against the integrity of Turkish territory. This led inevitably to the union of ASALA and PKK.

ASALA was clearly a terrorist organization in attitude and behaviour. In all ranks of the administration terror and the implementation of terror was regarded as an essential feature of the organization. The leaders murdered one another, liquidated those of whom they disapproved or had them done away with. Apart from this, each terrorist team was presented to world opinion as if it were a separate Armenian organization and all types of propaganda were carried on by this means. Responsibility for the crimes committed were assumed by various organizations whose names had never before been heard of. A list is to be found in an appendix at the end of this Introduction showing how in 1981 and 1982 the murders, crimes, bombings and raids were carried out by a single organization but attributed to groups with a variety of different names. By examining this list the reader will find a number of operations claimed to have been carried out by a great many different Armenian groups but which actually all bear the mark of a single team and a single organization. All these so-called independent groups remained subordinate to and directed by ASALA itself.

4. Political developments

The first stage in the political development of ASALA, which is generally agreed to have been founded in 1975, was highly effective, and the organization was strengthened by new forces recruited during the Armenian Congress in Paris in 1979. It gained further strength in 1981. In 1983 it split into two factions.

The first operation carried out by ASALA was the assassination by Agop Tarakdjian, one of the founders of the organization, of Oktay Cerit, First Secretary in the Turkish Embassy in Beirut, on 16 February 1976. The period up to 1979 was marked by ASALA's involvement in the conflicts between the various Palestinian groups, in the course of which Agopian, one of the leaders, was wounded. Links with the Armenian terrorists in France were established during the Armenian Congress meeting in Paris in 1979, which saw the organization strengthened by the addition of new elements and fresh blood. The most famous of the new members were Alex Yenikomshian and Monte Melkian. In 1981 a number of terrorist attacks carried out by ASALA on innocent groups or individuals having severely shaken its standing in world public opinion. Following the Israeli occupation of the Lebanon the ASALA leaders were forced to leave the Lebanon along with the Palestinians. A split in the organization took place in 1983.

• The Agop Agopian Group - This was centred in Greece and the Middle East. Its terror was directed indiscriminately against Turks and non-Turks, as well as against innocent women and children. It was this group that was responsible for the attack at Orly.

• In Western Europe the movement operated under the name of the "Asala Revolutionary Movement". This followed a more moderate course of action and directed its terror solely against Turks. The leaders of this group were Monte Melkonian and Ara Toranian. Toranian was the leader of a group centred in Paris known as the "Armenian National Movement" which described the Orly attack as a purely Fascist operation.

Melkonian, who had been born in Iran, declared his intention of setting the Armenian struggle on a sound political footing. According to this the movement had two aims; to rouse the Armenians to action, and to make common cause with other groups in their struggle against Turkey. In this second stage, Melkonian was involved in establishing alliances with other groups while Agopian continued with his own type of activity.

5. Support and Alliances

ASALA received support from three main sources:

1.The Soviet Union, the Eastern block and other socialist countries.

2.Countries such as Greece and Syria whose geopolitical expectations depended on the destabilisation of Turkey from within and without.

3.Various communist parties, indirectly from the Hunchak Armenian terrorist organization and its sympathisers, and also from the Armenian church, in spite of its difference in outlook.

In ASALA's links with other groups first priority was given to relations with non-Armenian terror groups which threatened Turkey directly or indirectly, and whose activities ran parallel to the strategy implemented by ASALA itself. In the period between 1976 and 1980 these consisted of groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization, activist members of the various communist parties and the secret services belonging to certain states. In 1980 ASALA widened the scope of its activities following the agreement reached with PICK at a meeting in Sidon in the Lebanon, thus establishing unity of outlook and action between ASALA and PKK. As a matter of fact, these two organizations had already displayed a marked affinity in aims, structure and beliefs. From 1983 onwards ASALA relations began to develop along the lines of the strategy laid down by Monte Melkonian. First priority was given to terrorist activity within Turkey, and links were established with any group capable of furthering this strategy by either direct or indirect means. These groups were headed by PKK, the Turkish CommunistParty and other communist organizations.

6. Publications and information media

ASALA's most important, official organ is Haiastan

Other important publications include the periodicals Hai-Baikar, Armenia and Kaytzer, published in London.

ASALA's first radio broadcasts began in 1981 in Beyrut with a daily one-hour programme "The Voice of the Armenians in the Lebanon". Apart from these, facilities are provided by the public radio corporations and mass communication media belonging to countries with which it has established contacts.

ASALA — MR

Monta Melkonian (Meykonyan) who left ASALA and passed to France in September 1983 has disclosed that he has founded the ASALA — The Military Apparatus Of People’ s Movement, ASALA — Revolutionary Movement (ASALA — MR). The recovering of the relations with the French Government, which deteriorated has been their most important goal. While it was being thought that these would do their actions in Turkey, they have taken the North American and Western European wings totally under their own control and attracted the militants in these regions to their line. Melkonian, was killed in 1993 in Nagorno Karabakh while he was fighting against Azerbaijanis.

JCAG

Has been founded in Beirut in 1975 by Taşnak Party and by Armenian Revolutionary Federation, which is its extension in the USA as a competitor to ASALA and Hınçak Party. The organisation is operating as the Military Apparatus of the Taşnak Party, and it has made its name known for the first time by the world public opinion by the event of the murdering of Daniş Tunalıgil, The Ambassador of Turkish Republic in Vienna on October 22, 1995. The purpose of the organisation has been disclosed to be the foundation of the independent Great Armenian State.

ARA

Ara was founded in France and it became famous with the assassination of Dursun Aksoy, the Administrative Attaché of Brussels Embassy of The Republic of Turkey. ARA was carried this action out together with ASALA and JCAG. ARA is a racist organization, is totally against the methods and ideas of ASALA. The organization is supported by all Armenian Terror Organisations except the Tashnak Party, which ideologically and practically supports Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos (JCAG) and ASALA.

THE DREAM OF “A GREATER ARMENIA”

The “ Great Armenia “ has been put forward b the Armenian President Levon Ter — Petrosyan. The past and the ideas of Ter — Petrosyan, who was born in Aleppo, is based on the principles of the Armenian Communist Party, which was the only political party at the time of USSR / CCCP period. (1)

Ter — Petrosyan is the chief organiser who has flamed the Nagorno Karabakh matter and the demonstrations that were intensified from 1987 onwards in Armenia. The “ Nagorno Karabakh Committee “ which was founded by him in February 1988, for the connecting of Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia after it is separated from Azerbaijan, has changed its name as “ Armenian National Movement “ in November 1989.

After he won the elections, and within the process of becoming a party, Ter — Petrosyan, who collected the majority of the votes, and who was elected as the President Armenian Supreme Soviet on August 1990, has declared the independence of Armenia on August 4, 1990. Armenia has signed the Alma — Ata (Almatı) Declaration on December 21, 1991 and then became a member of AGİK (AGİT) and United Nations.

In the same period, Armenia has violated the international agreements, its own commitments, Helsinki and AGİT principles and actually invaded the Nagorno Karabakh, which is an autonomous region connected to the Republic of Azerbaijan. Armenia has applied a clear genocide against the Azerbaijani people here, apart from invading. (2)

Ter — Petrosyan, in his first speech in the 1990 elections, has made the call for the recognition of so-called genocide of 1915 to the international organisations. (3)

Ter — Petrosyan visited US President Bill Clinton on August 8, 1994 in The White House. The members of the Armenian Church, Priest Rafael Andonyan, Chief Bishop Mesrob Aşçıyan, Chief Bishop Hayag Barsamyan and Chief Bishop Vahe Hovsepyan were present among those who participated the meeting along with the Taşnak Party leaders. Here the weighted subjects that were discussed, were the difficulties shown to Armenia by Turkey and Azerbaijan, and the recognition of the so — called Armenian genocide. (4)

The Clinton visit of Ter — Petrosyan was attracting attention. Because, such kind of a meeting; was made for the first time within the last 10 years; by an US President. Apart from this, the discussing of the so — called genocide in between a President of USA and Armenian leaders has been evaluated as a new situation.

FOOTNOTES

(1)Armenian Communist Party has changed its name in the year 1993 as Armenian Democratic Party. Claims related to the making the world to accept the independency of Nagorno Karabakh and the claims related to the soils that remain in Turkey; do take place within the ideological properties of the party.

(2) Katliam / Massacre (Album), Istanbul 1993; The Tragedy of Nagorno Karabakh, Ankara 1993, p. 13, 15 -* 16, Yankı / Echo, 3. 7. 1995, p. 36.

(3) Yankı / Echo, 3. 7. 1995.

(4) The Armenian Reporter, 13. 8. 1994.

THE PARIS CONGRESS OF 1979

The "First International Congress of Armenian Groups" was held in Paris on 3-6 September 1979. ASALA was very strongly represented at this congress and played a very influential role. The congress exerted a very considerable influence on the progressive Armenian groups in France, particularly in persuading them to become involved in terrorist activity. The main aim of this congress was to gather the Armenians of the world around a single idea and a single flag, and to make territorial demands on the basis of a careful evaluation of the political environment.

The most important proposals put forward at this congress were the following:

a. An end should be put to party and sectarian squabbles and a "Central Committee" established.

b. Measures should be taken to prevent the assimilation of Armenians in the Diaspora.

c. Military theoreticians and tacticians should be employed in their operations.

The decisions taken were as follows:

a. Extra impetus should be given to the Pan-Armenian movement. In the diaspora the concept of Armenianism should be politicised and importance given to the organization of an international "Armenian Front".

b. An investigation should be made into the possibility of help for the Armenian cause by Armenians living in the USSR and measures should be taken to facilitate such assistance.

c. Territorial claims should be made directly to Turkey.

d. The Armenian Church should be given a national character.

e. Work should be begun on the foundation of an Armenin bank.

f. Central Bureaus should be established and publication and communication facilities developed.

The Paris Congress resulted in an increase in violence and terror. ASALA was strengthened by the introduction of fresh blood. Military training was increased in a number of centres.

THE LAUSANNE CONGRESS OF 1983

The Lausanne Congress had been preceded by a number of very important developments. Terrorist activities had attained very serious dimensions, and world public opinion was becoming aroused in condemnation of Armenian terrorism. Some of these terrorist activities, which were now taking the form of massacres, were beginning to constitute a matter of deep concern and anxiety, not only for impartial observers but even for friends and allies of the Armenians and, above all, for the Armenians themselves. The Lausanne Congress met against this background with the aim of uniting Armenian political views and of directing all action towards a common goal. ASALA did not participate in this congress and those in favour of violence found themselves in a minority. The Congress ended with splits and factions appearing in both ASALA and the Dashnak groups and with vain attempts by the terrorist teams and groups to form new organizations. Most of them were expelled from the organization, arrested and condemned.

The following were the most important of the proposals put forward and the topics discussed:

a. A constitutional council should be established to decide upon basic politics, to determine and formulate views with regard to territorial claims, and to establish such claims on a sound basis.

b. A national liberation movement should be established on the basis of nationalism and democracy.

c. These congresses should be similar to the International Jewish Congresses and display a strongly democratic, parliamentarian character.

The following decisions were taken:

a. Measures should be taken to ensure that the congresses should possess a democratic, parliamentarian character, and that a "Constitution" should be drawn up.

b. The Constitution should be drawn up by a constitutional council, which should also be responsible for the preparation of a text presenting a synthesis of the various political views held.

c. The work of the council should be published and distributed to the international public.

This congress ended in disagreement and great confusion. The moderates proved dominant but were unable to achieve any notable proved dominant but were unable to achieve any notable results. The conflict continued after the close of the congress, and the factions and splits referred to above began to make their appearance.

THE SÉVRES CONGRESS OF 1986

This congress met at Sévres on 7-13 July 1985 under the title "The Third International Congress of Armenian Groups". Its aim was the discussion and acceptance of the "Armenian Constitution". This was to lead to work on the establishment of a "Union" representing Armenians throughout the world.

The Armenian terrorist groups did not participate in this congress. The question of Dashnak representation gave rise to protracted disputes. ASALA was not represented at this congress and was exposed to violent criticism.

The following proposals were put forward:

a. The slogan "One Armenianism, one goal, one struggle and one voice" was proposed and accepted.

b. It was proposed that the Congress of Sevres was to be accepted as valid and the Congress of Lausanne as invalid.

c. The proposal that no support should be given to ASALA was accepted.

d. It was proposed and accepted that the struggle against Turkey should be continued.

e. It was proposed and accepted that support should be given to the struggle being conducted by Greece and the Greek Cypriots against Turkish expansionist policy.

f. It was proposed that the Congress should bear a character similar to that of the "Palestine National Congress in Exile", and this was accepted on the basis of observation of the required developments.

The congress decisions are as fallow:

a. The Congress accepted the text of an "Armenian Constitution".

b. The Congress accepted the application of a many-sided strategy for the achievement of their aims.

aa. It was decided that collaboration should be established between progressive and revolutionary movements in Turkey and the Armenian nationalist movement, as well as between the Armenians and the various other peoples engaged in the struggle against Turkish oppression and exploitation, and that recognition should be given to the inevitably close links between the struggle of the Armenian people and that of other oppressed peoples.

bb. The International Armenian Congress decided that although it was in no way connected with any state or power, it would accept aid and assistance from any country that respected and supported the Armenian cause.

c. It was decided to send a note to the United Nations, the USA, the USSR, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia, the Council of Europe, the unaligned states and all signatories of the Lausanne Agreement bringing to their attention the fact that the Armenians were the only people who had failed to profit from the abolition of colonialism.

d. The Congress, convinced that Turkey should be compelled to admit its involvement in the genocide of 1915 and that such an admission would open the way to the liberation of Armenian territory, decided to disseminate information on this question and to have recourse to the necessary quarters.

The USSR was praised for its recognition of the genocide of 1915 and for the publication of an article on this subject in Pravda in April 1985, while at the same time criticism was levelled at the American administration for having failed to ensure the passage through the US Congress of a genocide bill.

THE ARMENIAN CONSTITUTION

In his speech introducing the Armenian Constitution, accepted by “Third International Armenian Congress”, Mr. James Karnuzian declared that "the Armenians had been greatly handicapped by their lack of unity" and that the only means of removing this handicap and ensuring unity was to form "a unified group”. He went on to say that the text known as the "Constitution" comprised all the various views consonant with this aim.

Impartial observers announced that, in the event of this Constitutions being put into effect, "all groups and organizations engaged in the struggle for the victory of the Armenian cause would be gathered together under the aegis of the Armenian Congress".

The main aims of the Armenian Congress as reflected in the Armenian Constitution were as follows:

a. To unite the Armenians scattered throughout the world into a single body.

b. To disseminate information throughout the world concerning the work of the Congress.

c. To make use of all political and diplomatic means at their disposal to liberate Armenian territory now under Turkish occupation.

d. To organize the return of the Armenians to their homeland and to make the necessary preparations for this.

In order to realize these aims, the Congress would seek ways of ensuring the participation of other groups, without, however, sacrificing anything of their independence and autonomy. Every group of ethnic Armenians composed of over twenty members should have the right to representation in the Congress in accordance with democratic principles, thus accepting the principle of a wide popular base.

According to the Constitution the work of the Congress centre should be based in Switzerland.

Traditional bodies such as the "Armenian National Council" should be divided into organizations such as the "General Council" and "Executive Council".

CONCLUSIONS

What is the truth concerning the "Armenian Problem" and the "Armenian Question" that lies behind the renewal of terrorist activity in the years between 1973 and 1985?

What are the lessons to be learned from this terrorist activity, which far surpasses in ruthlessness the work of any of the Armenian terrorist groups of the past?

What light can be shed on future developments by an evaluation of the events of that period?

As a conclusion to this comprehensive study, almost entirely based as it is on Armenian publications or on works deriving from sources sympathetic to the Armenian cause, we believe a satisfactory reply can be given to all these questions.

1. The propaganda formerly used to exploit the various interests, aims and expectations of the Armenians living within the Ottoman Empire, and at converting these minority groups into a problem for the Ottoman State, is still being propagated under the guise of an "Armenian Cause" in various countries in the world, including the Armenian Republic, which now forms part of the USSR. It is now no longer a question of an "Armenian Problem" but of an "Armenian Cause", a concept that is now being thrust upon world public opinion, international organizations, and various parliaments and senates. The new Armenian terrorism of 1973-1985 employs weapons, crimes, massacres and attacks as propaganda aimed at enforcing acceptance of the justice of this "cause". In other words, all these massacres, crimes and attacks have a single aim - to publicize the "Armenian Cause", to emphasise its scope and dimensions, and so arouse fear and apprehension regarding the lengths to which this terror could well be taken.

2. There are certain lessons to be learned by humanity as a whole, as well as by the Armenians themselves, whose names have become associated with a terrorist activity in which they have been in no way involved, from the new wave of Armenian terrorism of 1973-1985. The use of terror as a means of propaganda and psychological pressure is a question of concern to all states, and it from this point of view that the 1973-1985 era must be evaluated. States founded on principles of law and order find their field of activity restricted or even rendered utterly powerless in the face of a terror that acknowledges no law and regards all means as legitimate. Even more important, some states sympathise with this terrorism and even support it on geopolitical grounds, failing to realize that one day the same weapon may be turned against themselves. From this point of view, the new wave of Armenian terrorism contains a number of very valuable lessons.

From another angle, the apparent differences, conflicts and even divisions between the various Armenian terrorist groups are purely superficial. As a means of propaganda for the propagation of the "Armenian cause", whatever the method of application, range or scope, all these apparently discrete elements complement each other in their work towards the achievement of a common aim. And the expert in the use of psychology in political struggle is presented with clear evidence of terror as one aspect of psychological warfare.

3. Future developments will be determined by the attitudes adopted by states who see in the acceptance or rejection of the "Armenian Cause" the realisation of the geopolitical expectations of international organizations, states, parliaments and senates in the field of international relations, and they will increase commensurately in importance.

The acceptance of the "Armenian Cause" in the form in which it is now presented, means the advance acceptance of an attitude that will not be content with sporadic massacres, crimes and attacks, but which will inevitably turn towards the waging of a regular war.

If the "Armenian Cause" is interpreted as being the preservation and development of the Armenian language, religion and culture, this will result in the complete rejection of terrorism, and will liberate the Armenian people from a situation which is causing them great anxiety and apprehension. Otherwise, they will finally become the victims of a steadily increasing anarchy and the incriminations of others.

AIMS OF ARMENIAN CONGRESSES

Throughout the period covered by the "Armenian Question" or "Armenian Problem" the Armenian terror groups have been given indirect encouragement by certain churches and states, while at the same time a number of Armenian congresses have been held at their request and invitation. Most of these congresses have been organized by the Dashnak or Hunchak terror groups and attended by their own members, together with other Armenians interested in the topic and representatives of the churches. Such congresses have normally been in the nature of forums at which topics such as the actual situation and conditions together with the activities and potential capabilities of the organization were discussed, and at which a number of decisions were taken. These decisions were, however, very rarely actually applied and most often served merely to foment faction and conflict.

In the period 1973-1985, during the New Armenian Terror, congresses under such titles as "The International Armenian Groups" were held in Paris in 1979, Lausanne in 1983 and Sevres in 1985. At these congresses attempts were made to address world public opinion, as well as the various Armenian communities and members of the Armenian terror groups. At the congress held in 1985 under the chairmanship of a priest, James Karauzian, the text of an "Armenian Constitution" was accepted. The declared aims of the congresses held during this period were "to foster unity and co-operation among Armenians", "to form a centre for the formulation of political demands and aspirations", and "to combine the various Armenian terror groups in a single organization". Priority was given to a massive propaganda and psychological campaign to inform international public opinion of their activities. Attempts were also made to interest Armenians in the work of the various groups and to involve them in terror or other operations. Another aim of these congresses was to ensure harmony and co-operation between the various separate Armenian terror groups. Thus all terror and other activities could be presented as the common policy of the international Armenian community, and the various elements brought together in a united front.

These congresses had a number of characteristics in common:

a) In all of them priority was given to discussions concerning armed struggle. Disagreements between those who supported armed struggle and those who opposed this strategy finally led to splits in the Armenian terror groups. ASALA refused, or was not allowed, to participate in any of the congresses held after the Paris Congress of 1979.

b) It was decided that the texts of all decisions taken at these congresses should be forwarded to the various international bodies and that these decisions should be considered and discussed at various levels in the international forums. Means were also discussed by which this decision could be put into effect.

c) One of the most important topics of discussion was the union of all Armenians in a single organization, but no agreement could ever be reached on how this aim was to be achieved. The text known as the "Constitution" accepted the idea of a preparatory period.

d) The number of participants at these congresses steadily diminished.

e) No effective measures were taken to remove the differences of opinion that were very clearly revealed at these congresses.

ARMENIAN DEMANDS AND PROPAGANDA

The Armenians' demands from Turkey are recognition and compensation of so-called genocide, and grant of land. These demands are based on following claims:

1. The Turks occupied Armenia and deported the Armenians.

2. The Turks systematically massacred the Armenians from after Russo-Ottoman War in 1877-78.

3. From the beginning of 1915, the Turks methodically annihilated the Armenians.

4. Talat Pasha gave secret commands for the annihilation of the Armenians.

5. 1.5 million of Armenians had been killed in the genocide.

All these claims can be vanished with an objective research:

- When the Turks came to Anatolia, an independent Armenia did not exist; thus, it is impossible to say that the Turks occupied the Armenian lands.

- The Armenian riots following the Russo-Ottoman War in 1877-78 are mentioned above. Today it is clearly known that the Armenians revolted to attract the attention of the European Powers.

- Events of 1915 were just a measure taken by the Ottoman government to provide security in its territories against the Armenians who stabbed the Ottoman Army from its back. Besides United Nations describes genocide as a government's intention to annihilate a race. There is no evidence to prove such an intention of the Ottoman government. The Ottoman archives are opened to the historians and any further investigation would reveal the facts.

- Armenian historian Andonyan claimed that he found the confidential documents of Talat Pasha and for many years these documents used as the evidence of so-called genocide. However, two Turkish historians researched those documents and proved they are counterfeit.

- These telegrams were published in British "Daily Telegraph" in 1919. It was believed that during the occupation of Aleppo forces of General Allenby had found some documents remained from the Ottoman government. When the British Foreign Affairs Bureau have investigated this issue, they have learnt that the documents belonged to an Armenian group in Paris. The original documents of this investigation are still in the British archives.

Talat Pasha was killed by an Armenian terrorist called Tehliryan, in Berlin. During Tehliryan's trial in Berlin, five of those counterfeit telegrams adduced to the court although their nullity was proven. The language and the paper of the telegrams were not in the Ottoman style and the experts have clarified this fact.

The number of the Armenian casualties does not have any valid basement. It is said that 1.5 million Armenians were killed but, according to the Ottoman records, there were 1.3 million Armenian habitants. If the total Armenian population was, 1.3 million it is impossible to kill 1.5 million Armenians. However, there is neither a method nor a record to count the Armenian casualties. For example, the president of the Armenian delegate in the Lausanne Conference Bogos Nubar stated that, in that time, 700.000 Armenians migrated to other countries and there were only 280.000 Armenians in Turkey. If these numbers are correct and the Armenian population was 1.3 million, the casualties should be 300.000 including the ones joined the Russian Army and died in the First World War.

In 1918 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica the number of the Armenian casualties is 600.000 but in its 1968 edition, the number is 1.5 million. As seen the casualties increase on paper.

After the war, in Istanbul, Mustafa Pasha Council was formed and the remaining members of Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) were arrested. The list of the suspects were given by the British and four group of people were arrested:

1. The people who harmed the Armenians and the Greeks during the war.

2. The people who disobeyed the war rules.

3. The people who disobeyed the armistice.

4. The people who disobeyed the allies in Caucassia (these are the Azerbaijani Turks).

At first, the trial was planned to be holding in Istanbul but later the suspects were taken to Malta. Most of them would have been judged from the Armenian genocide. The court took more than a year and the British made long investigations. The arrests were made usually on denunciations, which still exist in the files. The British government asked the Royal Attorney if it is possible to suit against these people but the response was negative, because there were not enough evidence to trace a trial. Britain then asked for evidence to the Embassy in Washington but the response was the same, there was no proof of genocide in the American archives.

The telegrams which, Andonyan mentioned in his book were in Britain at that time. If they were real the British government would have absolutely revealed them to the court and sentence the suspects. If the most keen, Turk opponent Lloyd George's government did not prove anything, it means there is no proof to condemn Turkey.

During the displacement, the Ottoman government associated with Armenian Relief Society and USA. USA distributed aids to the refugees. In this respect, it is illogical to accuse the Ottoman government by a methodical annihilation movement.

To conclude, it is irrational to accept a counterfeit genocide.

www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/terrorism/index.html


The main targets of Armenian terror organizations, ASALA in particular, were now being chosen from among Turkish diplomats abroad. The first of the series of terrorist attacks was carried out against Mehmet Baydar, the Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles and his Deputy, Bahadir Demir. The assassinations were perpetrated by an Armenian by the name of Gurgen Yanikan in 1973. This individual action turned into organized Armenian terror as of 1975 and further escalated as of 1979. 110 acts of terror were carried out by Armenian terrorists in 38 cities of 21 countries. 39 of these were armed attacks, 70 of them bomb attacks and one was an occupation. 42 Turkish diplomats and 4 foreign nationals were assassinated in these attacks, while 15 Turks and 66 foreign nationals were wounded.


Tarih Şehir / Görev Adı-Soyadı
27.01.1973 Santa Barbara / Consul General Mehmet BAYDAR
Santa Barbara / Consul Bahadır DEMİR
22.10.1975 Vienna / Ambassador Daniş TUNALIGİL
24.10.1975 Paris / Ambassador İsmail EREZ
Paris / Driver Talip YENER
16.02.1976 Beirut / First Secretary

Oktar CİRİT

09.06.1977 Vatican City / Ambassador Taha CARIM
02.06.1978 Madrid / Ambassador?s wife Necla KUNERALP
Madrid / Retired Ambassador Beşir BALCIOĞLU
12.10.1979 The Hague / Ambassador?s son Ahmet BENLER
22.12.1979 Paris / Tourism Counsellor Yılmaz ÇOLPAN
31.07.1980 Athens / Administrative Attache Galip ÖZMEN
Athens / Administrative Attaché?s daughter Neslihan ÖZMEN
17.12.1980 Sydney / Consul General Şarık ARIYAK
Sydney / Security Attaché

Engin SEVER

04.03.1981

Paris / Counsellor for Labour Affairs Reşat MORALI
Paris / Counsellor for Religious Affairs Tecelli ARI
09.06.1981 Geneva / Secretary M.Savaş YERGÜZ
24.09.1981 Paris / Security Attaché Cemal ÖZEN
28.01.1982 Los Angeles / Consul General Kemal ARIKAN
08.04.1982 Ottawa / Counsellor for Commercial Affairs Kani GÜNGÖR
04.05.1982 Boston / Honorary Consul General Orhan GÜNDÜZ
07.06.1982 Lisbon / Administrative Attaché Erkut AKBAY
27.08.1982 Ottawa /Colonel, Military Attaché Atilla ALTIKAT
09.09.1982 Bourgas / Administrative Attaché Bora SÜELKAN
08.01.1983 Lisbon / Administrative Attaché?s wife, wounded in the armed assault directed against her husband Erkut Akbay on 07 06 1982, died on 08 01 1983 Nadide AKBAY
09.03.1983 Belgrade / Ambassador Galip BALKAR
14.07.1983 Brussels / Administrative Attaché Dursun AKSOY
27.07.1983 Lisbon / Counsellor?s wife Cahide MIHÇIOĞLU
28.04.1984 Teheran / Secretary?s wife Işık YÖNDER
20.06.1984 Vienna / Attaché for Labour Affairs Erdoğan ÖZEN
19.11.1984 Vienna / International Official Enver ERGUN
07.10.1991 Athens / Press Attaché Çetin GÖRGÜ
11.12.1993 Baghdad / Administrative Attaché Çağlar YÜCEL
04.07.1994 Athens / Embassy Counsellor Haluk SİPAHİOĞLU


MEHMET BAYDAR

27 January 1973

Los Angeles/USA

The Armenian assaults against Turkish citizens started in 1973 when Mehmet Baydar and Bahadir Demir, Turkish Consul General and Consul in Los Angeles, were murdered by a 78-year-old American Armenian named Gurgen (Karakin) Yanikian.

Inviting Baydar and Demir to the Baltimore Hotel in Santa Barbara by declaring that he wished to give a painting of Abdulhamid as a gift to Turkey, Yanikian shot the two Turkish diplomats dead. He was arrested for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, Yanikian was paroled on 31 December 1984 and died shortly afterwards.

This incident, constituting the first assault against the Turkish diplomats, launched a chain of murders and became a template for the subsequent attacks by Armenian terrorists.

BAHADIR DEMIR

27 January 1973

Los Angeles/USA

The Armenian assaults against Turkish citizens started in 1973 when Mehmet Baydar and Bahadir Demir, Turkish Consul General and Consul in Los Angeles, were murdered by a 78-year-old American Armenian named Gurgen (Karakin) Yanikian.

Inviting Baydar and Demir to the Baltimore Hotel in Santa Barbara by declaring that he wished to give a painting of Abdulhamid as a gift to Turkey, Yanikian shot the two Turkish diplomats dead. He was arrested for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, Yanikian was paroled on 31 December 1984 and died shortly afterwards.

This incident, constituting the first assault against the Turkish diplomats, launched a chain of murders and became a template for the subsequent attacks by Armenian terrorists.


DANIS TUNALIGIL

Vienna/Austria

22 October 1975

Turkey’s Vienna Ambassador Danis Tunaligil was murdered by three terrorists raiding the Embassy.

When the Turkish Airline Office in Beyrouth was bombed on 20 February 1975, the letter left in the location by ASALA’s Esir Yanikian group that undertook the attack’s responsibility declared that they would fight against the imperialists for the Armenians’ rightful case and that the attacks would aim at Turkey, Iran and United States and that this case was only a beginning.

On 22 October 1975, three persons bearing automatic weapons forced their way into the Turkish Embassy in Vienna, neutralised the guards and entered the Ambassador’s office. Receiving an affirmative reply to their question in Turkish to Danis Tunaligil if he were the Ambassador, they shoot him with automatic weapons. Tunaligil died on the spot and the murderers rapidly left the premises and fled in an automobile.

ISMAIL EREZ

Paris/France

24 October 1975

Turkey’s Paris Ambassador Ismail Erez and his driver Talip Yener were murdered in the vicinity of the Embassy. The Ambassador’s car was ambushed at around 13.30 hours at the Bir Hakeim Bridge on Seine River and Ismail Erez and his driver Talip Yener were murdered by automatic weapon fire. The attack

was owned by an organisation that called itself the Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos.


TALIP YENER

Paris/France

24 October 1975

Turkey’s Paris Ambassador Ismail Erez and his driver Talip Yener were murdered in the vicinity of the Embassy. The Ambassador’s car was ambushed at around 13.30 hours at the Bir Hakeim Bridge on Seine River and Ismail Erez and his driver Talip Yener were murdered by automatic weapon fire. The attack

was owned by an organisation that called itself the Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos.

OKTAR CIRIT

Beyrouth/Lebanon

16 February 1976

Turkey’s Beyrouth Embassy First Secretary Oktar Cirit became the victim of Armenian terrorism while sitting at a hall. The attack was owned by the ASALA, which made its name known for the first time.

TAHA CARIM

Rome/Italy

9 June 1977

Turkey’s Vatican Ambassador Taha Carim was killed by the cross fire of two terrorists in front of the Embassy’s residence. The attack was owned this time by the Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos organisation.


NECLA KUNERALP

Madrid/Spain

2 June 1978

Three terrorists opened fire on the car of Turkey’s Madrid Ambassador Zeki Kuneralp whose wife Necla Kuneralp and retired Ambassador Besir Balcioglu lost their lives in this attack owned by the organisation that called itself the Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos organisation. For the first time in this incident, a foreigner had lost his life in an attack directed against Turks. That was the Ambassador’s driver Antonio Torres.

BESIR BALCIOGLU

Madrid/Spain

2 June 1978

Three terrorists opened fire on the car of Turkey’s Madrid Ambassador Zeki Kuneralp whose wife Necla Kuneralp and retired Ambassador Besir Balcioglu lost their lives in this attack owned by the organisation that called itself the Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos organisation. For the first time in this incident, a foreigner had lost his life in an attack directed against Turks. That was the Ambassador’s driver Antonio Torres.


AHMET BENLER

The Hague/Netherlands

12 October 1979

Ahmet Benler, son of Turkey’s The Hague Ambassador Özdemir Benler, was killed in an armed attack. This case was owned separately by the ASALA and the Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos organisation.

YILMAZ COLPAN

Paris/France

22 December 1979

Turkey’s Paris Tourism Counsellor Yilmaz Colpan was murdered as a result of the attack by a terrorist. This case was the second attack in Paris of the Armenian terrorism. A person calling the news agencies thereafter said that the Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos was responsible for the assaults in Rome, Madrid and Paris and added that it was killing the Turkish diplomats because Turkey did not grant the rights of Armenians.

GALIP ÖZMEN

Athens/Greece

31 July 1980

Turkey’s Athens Embassy Administrative Attaché Galip Özmen and his 14-year-old daughter Neslihan Özmen were killed in an armed attack by a terrorist while his wife Sevil Özmen and son Kaan Özmen survived though seriously wounded. The attack was owned this time by the ASALA.

NESLIHAN ÖZMEN

Athens/Greece

31 July 1980

Turkey’s Athens Embassy Administrative Attaché Galip Özmen and his 14-year-old daughter Neslihan Özmen were killed in an armed attack by a terrorist while his wife Sevil Özmen and son Kaan Özmen survived though seriously wounded. The attack was owned this time by the ASALA.


SARIK ARIYAK

Sydney/Australia

17 December 1980

Turkey’s Sydney Consul General Sarik Ariyak and his security guard Engin Sever became the victims of Armenian terrorism.

Aside from this case,

- Dogan Türkmen, Turkey’s Ambassador to Switzerland, came out alive from the attack on 6 February 1980 in Bern,

- Fire was opened on 17 April 1980 on the official car of Turkey’s Vatican Ambassador Vecdi Türel. Both Türel and his security guard Tahsin Güvenc were wounded in this attack, and

- Selcuk Bakkalbasi, the Press Attaché of Turkish Embassy in Paris, was wounded in an armed attack on 26 September 1980.


ENGIN SEVER

Sydney/Australia

17 December 1980

Turkey’s Sydney Consul General Sarik Ariyak and his security guard Engin Sever became the victims of Armenian terrorism.

Aside from this case,

- Dogan Türkmen, Turkey’s Ambassador to Switzerland, came out alive from the attack on 6 February 1980 in Bern,

- Fire was opened on 17 April 1980 on the official car of Turkey’s Vatican Ambassador Vecdi Türel. Both Türel and his security guard Tahsin Güvenc were wounded in this attack, and

- Selcuk Bakkalbasi, the Press Attaché of Turkish Embassy in Paris, was wounded in an armed attack on 26 September 1980.


RESAT MORALI

Paris/France

4 March 1981

Resat Morali and Tecelli Ari, Counsellors of Labour and Religious Affairs at the Turkish Embassy in Paris were attacked by two terrorists when they were taking their car in front of the Labour Attaché’s office. Morali was killed on the spot while the Religious Affairs Attaché Ari succumbed to death at the hospital where he was rushed with serious wounds. The attack was owned by ASALA in this third murderous attack of the Armenian terrorism and Turkey gave a protest note to France for not properly protecting the Turkish diplomats.

TECELLI ARI

Paris/France

4 March 1981

Resat Morali and Tecelli Ari, Counsellors of Labour and Religious Affairs at the Turkish Embassy in Paris were attacked by two terrorists when they were taking their car in front of the Labour Attaché’s office. Morali was killed on the spot while the Religious Affairs Attaché Ari succumbed to death at the hospital where he was rushed with serious wounds. The attack was owned by ASALA in this third murderous attack of the Armenian terrorism and Turkey gave a protest note to France for not properly protecting the Turkish diplomats.


M. SAVAS YERGÜZ

Geneva/Switzerland

9 June 1981

Mehmet Savas Yergüz, Secretary of the Turkish Consul General in Geneva, lost his life in an armed attack shortly after leaving the office for going home. The attack was owned by the ASALA. Mardiros Camgozian, the Lebanese Armenian terrorist arrested after the attack, received a 15-year imprisonment sentence.


CEMAL ÖZEN

Paris/France

24 September 1981

Four Armenian terrorists occupying the premises housing the Turkish Consulate General and the office of Cultural Attaché, hostaged 56 Turkish officials and citizens and killed security guard Cemal Özen who attempted to attack and wounded Consul General Kaya Inal. The terrorists wanted Turkey to release 12 political detainees and to send them to Paris. As they realised that this demand would not be complied with, they surrendered to the police some 15 hours after. Turkey warned France once more and France demented the attack that was owned by the ASALA. Four Armenian terrorists named Vasken Sakoseslian, Kevork Abraham Gozlian, Aram Avedis Basmacian and Agop Abraham Turfanian, received 7-year imprisonment sentences. The court verdict received a large dissentment in Turkey.

Also in 1981,

- Turkey’s Copenhagen Labour Attaché Cavit Demir came out with small arm wounds on 2 April in the lift of the apartment house where he lived, and

- Turkey’s Rome Embassy Second Secretary Gökberk Ergenekon survived with minor wounds an attack that was directed against him on 25 October on a street.


KEMAL ARIKAN

Los Angeles/USA

28 January 1982

Turkey’s Los Angeles Consul General Kemal Arikan was killed by the Tashnak militant Hampig Sasunian, who was sentenced to life imprisonment.

ORHAN GÜNDÜZ

Boston/USA

5 May 1982

Turkey’s Boston Honorary Consul General Orhan Gündüz was killed in an armed attack.


ERKUT AKBAY

Lisboa/Portuga

7 June 1982

Turkey’s Lisbon Embassy Administative Attaché Erkut Akbay died as a result of an armed attack on his car. His wife Nadide Akbay succumbed later to death at the hospital where she was brought with corporeal wounds.


NADIDE AKBAY

Lisboa/Portuga

7 June 1982

Turkey’s Lisbon Embassy Administative Attaché Erkut Akbay died as a result of an armed attack on his car. His wife Nadide Akbay succumbed later to death at the hospital where she was brought with corporeal wounds.


ATILLA ALKIKAT

Ottawa/Canada

27 August 1982

Atilla Alkikat, the Military Attaché at the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa, was killed in an armed assault.

BORA SÜELKAN

Bourgos/Bulgaria

9 September 1982

Bora Süerlan, Administrative Attaché of the Turkish Consulate General in Bourgos, was killed by a terrorist attack.

Also in 1982,

- Kani Güngör, Commercial Attaché in the Ottawa Embassy of Turkey, was wounded in an attack on 8 April,

- Kemal Demirer, Rotterdam Consul General of Turkey, was wounded in an attack in front of his residence on 21 July. He came out of this attack with minor wounds and the attacker was arrested while trying to get away.

- On 7 August, two ASALA terrorists made an armed attack in Esenboga Airport of Ankara. There were eight casualties and seventy two injuries in this attack, constituting the first within Turkey of the Armenian terrorism.



GALIP BALKAR

Beograd/Yugoslavia

9 March 1983

An armed assault was made against Turkey’s Belgrade Ambassador Galip Balkar on 9 March 1983 by two terrorists. Mortally wounded in this attack, Balkar died on 11 March. A Yugoslavian student also lost his life in this incident. Terrorists Kirkor Levonian and Raffi Alexander were sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment on 9 March 1984, exactly one year after the incident.

DURSUN AKSOY

Bruxelles/Belgium

14 July 1983

Turkey’s Brussels Embassy Administrative Attaché Dursun Aksoy was murdered by Armenian terrorists.

CAHIDE MIHCIOGLU

Lisboa/Portugal

27 July 1983

The Lisbon Embassy of Turkey was occupied and those within the building were hostaged by five Armenian terrorists. Cahide Mihcioglu, wife of Embassy Counsellor Yurtsev Mihcioglu, was killed during this incident. The Portuguese police saved the hostages by an operation and killed all five terrorists. The attack was owned by an organisation that called itself the Armenian Revolutionary Army, which threatened with death the Portuguese Prime Minister Mario Soarez because of the death of the terrorists.

On 16 June, a terrorist opened fire on the people at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Two persons were killed and twenty-one were wounded in this attack of which the author was killed on the spot. It was later ascertained that he was an Armenian.

A bomb exploded in front of the Turkish Airlines office in Paris-Orly Airport. Two Turks, four Frenchmen, one American and one Swedish died and sixty-three persons, of whom twenty-eight were Turks were wounded in this attack, named later as the “Orly massacre”.

ISIK YÖNDER

Teheran/Iran

28 April 1984

Isik Yönder, husband of Turkey’s Teheran Embassy Secretary Sadiye Yönder, who was a businessman doing trade with Iran, was killed by an ASALA militant.

ERDOGAN ÖZEN

Wien/Austria

19 November 1984

Turkey’s Vienna Embassy Labour Attaché Erdogan Özen was killed as a result of the explosion of a bomb planted in his car. This incident was owned by the Armenian Revolutionary Army.

ENVER ERGUN

Wien/Austria

19 November 1984

Enver Ergün, an official at the UN Representation of Turkey, was killed as a result of the explosion of a bomb planted in his car. This incident too was owned by the Armenian Revolutionary Army.

A terrorist trying to plant a bomb on the car of Isil Ünel, Turkey’s Teheran Embassy Deputy Commercial Attaché, was blown to pieces as the bomb exploded in his hands on 28 March 1984.

The next day, Hasan Servet Öktem and Ismail Pamukcu, First Secretary and Deputy Attaché of the Turkish Embassy in Teheran, were wounded in an armed assault in front of their houses.

www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/diplomats/index.html


* What does "Genocide"Mean?
* April 24, 1915
* What is Relocation? Does it mean Genocide?
* What was the Demographic Data Before and After Relocation?
* Did the Armenian Casualties Amount to 1,5 Milion?
* Did the Ottoman Government Refrain from an Investigation?
* Did Talat Pasha send Secret Telegrammes Ordering Genocide?
* Is There Access to the Ottoman Arcihves? Are Documents Related Relocation Concealed?
* How do Scholars React to Allegations of Genocide?
* What is Outcome Research Conducted by Foreigners?
* What is the "Four T" Plan?
* Is the Sevres Treaty Still in Force?
* Were Armenians Oppressed and Subjected to Atrocities by the Turks Throughout History?
* Did the Turks Engage in Massacring the Armenians as of 1890's?
* Did the Turks Practice a Planned and Systematic Genocide on Armenians in 1915?
* Is Eastern Anatolia the Homeland of Armenians?
* Did the Turks Invade and Confiscate Armenian Lands Starting with the Seljuks and the Ottomans?
* Are the Armenians in Turkey Oppressed at Present?
* What is the Picture from the Standpoint of UN Treaty on Genocide?
* How do Armenian Clergymen Assess the Allegations of Genocide?



WHAT DOES "GENOCIDE” MEAN?

This term refers to a well defined crime, the definition of which has been given in an international convention made after the Second World War: the "Convention of Prevention and Repression of Crime of Genocide", approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution of December 9, 1948 and which went into effect on January 11, 1951, convention Turkey has signed and ratified this agreement.

In the convention the definition of the crime of genocide consists of three elements: for one thing, there has to be a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Then, this group has to be subjected to certain acts listed in the convention: the "murder of the members of the group, and forced transfer of the children of one group into another group and subjecting the members of a group to conditions which -will eventually bring about their physical destruction". But the third element is the most important: there has to be "an intention of destroying", in part or as a whole the said group. This key-description helps to differentiate between genocide and other forms of homicide, which are the consequences of other motives such as in the case of wars, uprisings etc. Homicide becomes genocide when the latent or apparent intention of physical destruction is directed at members of any national, ethnic, racial or religious groups simply because they happen to be members of that group. The concept of numbers only becomes significant when it can be taken as a sign of such an intention against the group. That is why, as Sartre said in speaking of genocide on the occasion of the Russell Tribunal on the Vietnam War, that one must study the facts objectively in order to prove if this intention exists, even in an implicit manner.

(23) Prof. SOYSAL, Mumtaz, The Orly Trial, 19 February - 2 March 1985, Statement and Evidence Presented at the Trial,

Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences, 1985

APRIL 24, 1915

The Ottoman government, against Armenian revolts starting from 1890’s and Armenian massacres which resulted with murders of tens of thousands of Turks, informed high members of Armenian congregation and the Armenian deputies that “Government will take necessary measures, if the Armenians continue to stab back the Ottoman State and to kill Turks”. The Ottoman government’s efforts to stop the events could be clarified with documents.

However, it became a necessity to secure the behind lines as the army was in war more than one fronts, the events did not stop on the contrary they increased. The Armenian attacks on innocent and defenseless Turkish women and children became a vital problem.

Under these circumstances, on April 24, 1915 Armenian Committees were closed by the Ottoman Government and 2345 leaders of these committees were arrested due to their antigovernmental activities. April 24, which is commemorated annually as “Anniversary of Armenian so-called Genocide” by Armenians abroad is this date when 2345 revolutionary committee members were arrested and this day is irrelevant with the Relocation Implementation.

However, Armenian revolutionary committee members always used this a propaganda rule by distorting and exaggerating the facts. As a matter of fact, Ecmiyazin Catholicos Kevork sent a telegraph to the President of USA, stating:

“Dear President, we have been informed that in Turkish Armenia, massacres began and the lives of the Armenians are in danger. At this delicate moment, I address to the noble feelings of Excellency and the great American Nation and in the name of humanity and Christianity, I invite you to interfere Turkey by your Great Republic’s diplomatic representatives and protect my people who were left to fanatic violence of the Turks.

Kevork, Archbishop and Catholicos of all Armenians.”

Russian Ambassador for Washington’s contacts with the US government followed Kevork’s telegraphs. Thus, 24 April, the day, which the Armenian committee members were arrested for their illegal activities was begun to be referred as “the day of so-called Armenian genocide by Turks”.

REFERENCE:

Gürün, Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyasi, TTK Basimevi, Ankara, 1983, s.210-211

WHAT IS “RELOCATION”? DOES IT MEAN “GENOCIDE”?

The Arabic originated word “tehcir” means “emigration / immigration”, it definitely not means “deportation” or “exile”. Hence the law commonly known as the “Tehcir Law” is the same as “Temporary Law On The Military Measures To Be Taken For Those Who Resist The Governmental Acts And Supplementation’s.” The word used to explain the implementation in line with this law is “tenkil” in the Ottoman language and means “transport- not the equivalent of “deportation”, “exile” or “proscription” in Latin originated languages.

The relocation, which was started with the orders of Talaat Pasha, and approved by the Government and the Parliament as a measure against the Armenian riots and massacres, which had arisen in a number of places in the Country — pre — dominantly in Van province, was only implemented only in the regions in which such riots and massacres affected the security of the fronts directly. The first area was Erzurum, Van and Bitlis Vicinities which formed the rear part of the Caucasian — Iran Front; and the second was Mersin — Iskenderun Region which formed the rear part of the Sina Front. In both of these regions, Armenians had collaborated with the enemy and involved in activities to facilitate the enemy’s invasion.

Later, the scope of the immigration was widened in order to include the Armenians in the other provinces, who rioted, collaborated with the enemy and screened the activities of Armenian Gangs. Although the Catholic and Protestant Armenians were excluded from immigration at the beginning, later those whose harmful activities were observed, were also relocated.

Since 1915, numerous papers, reports, books, etc. were written and published about the immigration implementation. The Armenians, by using false documents have succeeded to deceit the World for a long time. The rumor about Armenian holocaust (!) which expressed at first as three hundred thousand and later increased to three million has no basis at all. In fact, although English and French authorities have extensively studied the Ottoman archives during their occupation in Istanbul have failed to find even a single document hinting about such holocaust.

Had the Ottoman State intended to make genocide on Armenians; could not they realize such an act at the places where the Armenians live? Why would it be necessary “to immigrate” them for such an intention? Why did they undertake the significant fiscal and material costs of their security, safety, health and food of the immigrating Armenians? During this immigration and re-settlement process which lasted approximately 1,5 year from May 1915 until October 1916, why would the central and local administrations take measures to ensure the lives and properties of Armenians in spite of the difficult war circumstances? In addition, would it be necessary to accept great administrative, military and financial burden —as if opening a new front- to protect and secure these people?

The answers to these questions shall be sufficient to understand the real intention of the Ottoman State. Also there is no logical explanation that why the Ottoman State suddenly changed its policy towards a community which had always been called as “millet-i sadika” (loyal people) due to their being really faithful to the Government. Hence the party whose attitude had changed was not the Ottoman Government, but the Armenians who were deceived by the independence promises of Russia and the Entente States.

In conclusion, it can be said that the Armenian Immigration which was a necessary measure to ensure the State Security and Safety is among one of the most successful transportation and re-settlement processes; and has no intention whatsoever to annihilate Armenians.

Reference:
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gerekceler (1915), TTK Yayini, Ankara, 2001.

WHAT WAS THE DEMOGRAPHIC DATA BEFORE AND AFTER RELOCATION?

The Armenian committee members always distort and exaggerate the facts about Armenian population before and after the Relocation Implementation. They try to create a basis for their false claims by using war records, official records, church statistics and, reports of foreign missionaries. Some of numbers that is given about the Armenian population in the Ottoman territories are sometimes exceed to the total Armenian population of the Diaspora.

Armenian Population before the Relocation:

There are many different claims about Armenian population in the Ottoman territories; some figures are as follow:

1.British Annual Register 1917 1.056.000 (1)

2.Patriarch Ormanyan 1.579.000 (2)

3.The Armenian historian Kevork Aslan 1.800.000 (3) (In “Armenia and Armenians”, Aslan states the Armenian population in Anatolia 920.000, in Clicia (Adana, Sis, Maras) 180.000, in the other Ottoman territories 700.000, total 1.800.000)

4.German Priest Johannes Lepsius 1.600.000 (4)

5.Cuinet 1.045.018 (5)

6.The French Yellow Book 1.475.011 (6)

7.The Armenian historian Basmajian 2.280.000 (7)

8.Patriarch Nerses Varjabedyan 1.150.000 (8)

Official Ottoman census statistics are as follows:

The Ottoman Directory of Statistics was founded in 1892 The first director of the branch was Nuri Bey. Between 1892-1897 a Jewish Ottoman, Fethi Franco was appointed for the duty. From 1897 until 1903, an Armenian director was in charge, called Migirdic Shabanyan. Later, Mr. Robert an American was appointed (1903-1908). Between, 1908-1914 Mehmet Behic was the general director. (9)

As it is seen, in a very chaotic period when the Ottoman government was facing with the Armenian Issue on the international arena, the Ottoman Statistics were under the control of foreigners. At this point, the Ottoman statistics should be considered as the most objective documents about the Armenian population living in Ottoman territories.

* Ottoman census statistics for 1893 1.001.465

* Ottoman census statistics for 1906 1.120.748

* Ottoman census statistics for 1914 1.221.850 (10)

An evaluation of the three sources clarifies that, during the First World War, the Armenian population in the Ottoman territories was approximately 1.250.000.

The numbers of the Armenians, subjected to relocation was controlled from their departure until their arrival, between June 9, 1915 and February 8, 1916. The figures below are taken from pertinent Ottoman documents (11):

Adana (2)

14.000

15-16.000

Ankara (Central)(3)

21.236

733

Aydin(4)

250

-

Birecik(5)

1.200

-

Diyarbakir(6)

20.000

-

Dörtyol(7)

9.000

-

Erzurum(8)

5.500

-

Eskisehir(9)

7.000

-

Giresun(10)

328

-

Görele

250

-

Aleppo(11)

26.064

-

Haymana(12)

60

-

Izmir(13)

256

-

Izmit(14)

58.000

-

Kal’acik(15)

257

-

Karahisari sahib(16)

5.769

2nd 222

Kayseri(17)

45.036

4.911

Keskin

1.169

-

Kirsehir(18)

747

-

Konya(19)

1.900

-

Kütahya(20)

1.400

-

Mamuretülaziz(21)

51.000

4.000

Maras(22)

-

8.845

Nallihan

479

-

Ordu

36

-

Persembe

390

-

Sivas(23)

136.084

6.055

Sungurlu

576

.

Sürmene

290

.

Tirebolu

45

.

Trabzon(24)

3.400

.

Ulubey

30

.

Yozgat(25)

10.916

.

TOTAL

422.758

32.766



On the other hand, in the telegraph sent by the Director of Immigrants and Tribe Placement, ªükrü Bey on October 18, 1915 notified that “the number of the Armenians transported to Aleppo was about 100.000. (36) Meanwhile, it is understood from the records that an Armenian population of 120.000 people gathered in Diyarbakir as of September 18, 1915 and an Armenian population of 136.084 people gathered in Cizre as of September 28, 1915 to be sent to Musul and Zor region. (37) In a coded telegraph sent by ªükrü Bey from Nizip on November 3, 1915, it is expressed that transportation continued in a regular manner. (38)

As it is from the figures given above, the Armenian population subjected to relocation was 438.758 and 382.148 of these safely reached their new destinations. (40)

The number of casualties had occurred as follows: 500 people on the road between Erzurum and Erzincan; 2000 in Meskene, between Urfa and Aleppo and 2000 others on the outskirts of Mardin were massacred in attacks launched by bandits or nomadic Arabs. Another 5000 people were killed in attacks on convoys passing through Dersim. (41) It was understood from these documents that many people had also fallen victim to hunger while on the road. (42) Apart from these, some 25-30 thousand people had lost their lives when struck by fatal diseases such as typhoid and dysentery. (43) In all, an estimated 40 thousand casualties had been registered during relocation.

The remaining 10-16 thousand people were made at stay in provinces they had reached, when the implementation of relocation was brought to an end. For instance, on April 26, 1916, orders were given to provide the return to and the settlement in the province of Konya of those Armenians setting out form the province to new destinations. (44) On the other hand, many other Armenians are believed to have fled to either Russia or to Western countries, including the Unites States.

As a matter of fact, according to the pertinent documents, 50.000 of the Armenian soldiers serving in the Ottoman Army joined the Russian forces, and some other 50.000 Armenian soldiers went to America to be trained in the US Army to fight against the Turkish Army. In fact, the letter of an Armenian called Murad Muradyan- who was an advocate in Elazig later immigrated to America — shows such information. (45) In the concerned letter, Muradyan mentions that some Armenians were escaped to Russia and America and later 50.000 of those trained soldiers went to Caucassia. As it can be understood from all the concerned documents, many of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman State were scattered through various countries especially to U.S.A. and Russia, before and during the war. For example, Artin Hotomyan who was a tradesman in America sent a letter to the Chieftain of Security on January 19, 1915 and stated that thousands of Armenians migrated to U.S.A. and they were facing with hunger and hardships. (46)

REFERENCE:
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf-; Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gercekler (1915), TTK Yayini, Ankara 2001.

FOOTNOTES

1) Annual Record of Britannica, 1917

2) Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul 1987

3) Aslan, Kevork, Ermenistan ve Ermeniler, Istanbul 1914.

4) Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

5) Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

6) 1893-1897 Ermeni Isleri, Paris, 1897 Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

7) Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

8) Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

9) Mazici, Nursen, Belgelerle Uluslar arasi Rekabette Ermeni Sorunu, Istanbul 1987.

10) see. Karpat, Kemal, H. Ottoman Population 1830-1914 Demographic and Social Characteristic, The University Of Wisconsin Press, 1985 London.

11) Armenians of Kastamonu, Balikesir, Antalya, Istanbul, Urfa, Protestants and Catholics, the sick people, teachers, orphans and women with no guardian were not subjected to relocation.

12) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number 68/77 (appendix-XXII).

13) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number 68/77 (appendix -XXII).

14) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number 69/250.

15) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number 68/101.

16) The number of the immigrants from Diyarbakir is not determined. It is estimated that 20.000 Armenians were relocated from Diyarbakir.

17) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/89.

18) code. number54/162

19) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/72

20) Giresun, Perºembe, Ulubey, Sürmene, Tirebolu, Ordu and Görele are given in the same document (see. DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/41).

21) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/76.

22) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/66.

23) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number69/260.

24) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/67 (Appendix-XXIV)

25) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/79

26) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/73.

27) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/75 (Appendix-XXV).

28) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/66.

29) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number69/34.

30) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/93.

31) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/70 (Appendix-XXVII).

32) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/41.

33) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/84 (Appendix-XXVII).

34) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/41.

35) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/66.

36) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/80 (Appendix-XXVIII).

37) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/71 (Appendix-XXIX); 2nd Branch, number68/84.

38) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/101.

39) The number of Armenians transferred from Aleppo is approximately 100.000 (see. DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/80).

40) The figures can slightly differ.

41) Coded telegraphs that were sent to the governors of Trabzon, Erzurum, Sivas, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Bitlis, Maras and Canik dated June 26, 1915. (code., number 54-A/112).

42) code., number 57/110.

43) see. DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number68/81; see. code., number 57/51.

44) code., number 63/119.

45) DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number2F/14.

46) see. DH. EUM. 2nd Branch, number2F/94.

DID ARMENIAN CASUALTIES AMOUNT TO 1.5 MILLION?

Armenian propagandists claim that as many as 1,5 million Armenians died as the result of so-called "genocide". Like the rest of their claims, this also is imaginary, with the number claimed being increased over years. At first, immediately following the war the Armenians claimed that as many as 600,000 had been killed. Later they raised it to 800,000 and now they talk about 1,5 million and tomorrow they may talk even about three million. The 1918 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica said that 600,000 Armenians had been killed; in its 1968 edition this was raised to 1,5 million.

How many Armenians did die? It is impossible to determine the number exactly, since no complete death records were kept during those years. The only basis on which even an estimate can be made is the actual Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire at the time. Even here figures vary widely, with the Armenians claiming far more than other sources:

Claimed Armenian Population

1.British Annual Register 1917 1.056.000 (1)

2.Patriarch Ormanyan 1.579.000 (2)

3.The Armenian
historian Kevork Aslan 1.800,000 (3)

(In “Armenia and Armenians”, Aslan states the Armenian population in Anatolia 920.000, in Clicia (Adana, Sis, Maras) 180.000, in the other Ottoman territories 700.000, total 1.800.000)

4.German Priest Johannes Lepsius 1.600.000 (4)

5.Cuinet 1.045.018 (5)

6.The French Yellow Book 1.475.011 (6)

7.The Armenian historian Basmajian 2.280.000 (7)

8.Patriarch Nerses Varjabedyan 1.150.000 (8)

Official Ottoman census statistics are as follows:

The Ottoman Directory of Statistics was founded in 1892. The first director of the branch was Nuri Bey. Between 1892-1897 a Jewish Ottoman, Fethi Franco was appointed for the duty. From 1897 until 1903, an Armenian director was in charge, called Migirdic Shabanyan. Later, Mr. Robert an American was appointed (1903-1908). Between, 1908-1914 Mehmet Behic was the general director. (9)

As it is seen, in a very chaotic period when the Ottoman government was facing with the Armenian Issue on the international arena, the Ottoman Statistics were under the control of foreigners. At this point, the Ottoman statistics should be considered as the most objective documents about the Armenian population living in Ottoman territories.

* Ottoman census statistics for 1893 1.001.465

* Ottoman census statistics for 1906 1.120.748

* Ottoman census statistics for 1914 1.221.850 (10)

An evaluation of the three sources clarifies that, during the First World War, the Armenian population in the Ottoman territories was approximately 1.250.000.

The Armenian population subjected to relocation was 438.758 and 382.148 of these safely reached their new destinations. (11) The number of casualties had occurred as follows: 500 people on the road between Erzurum and Erzincan; 2000 in Meskene, between Urfa and Aleppo and 2000 others on the outskirts of Mardin were massacred in attacks launched by bandits or nomadic Arabs. Another 5000 people were killed in attacks on convoys passing through Dersim. (12) It was understood from these documents that many people had also fallen victim to hunger while on the road. (13) Apart from these, some 25-30 thousand people had lost their lives when struck by fatal diseases such as typhoid and dysentery. (14) In all, an estimated 40 thousand casualties had been registered during relocation.

The remaining 10-16 thousand people were made at stay in provinces they had reached, when the implementation of relocation was brought to an end. For instance, on April 26, 1916, orders were given to provide the return to and the settlement in the province of Konya of those Armenians setting out form the province to new destinations. (15) On the other hand, many other Armenians are believed to have fled to either Russia or to Western countries, including the Unites States.

As a matter of fact, according to the pertinent documents, 50.000 of the Armenian soldiers serving in the Ottoman Army joined the Russian forces, and some other 50.000 Armenian soldiers went to America to be trained in the US Army to fight against the Turkish Army. In fact, the letter of an Armenian called Murad Muradyan- who was an advocate in Elazig later immigrated to America — shows such information. (16) In the concerned letter, Muradyan mentions that some Armenians were escaped to Russia and America and later 50.000 of those trained soldiers went to Caucassia. As it can be understood from all the concerned documents, many of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman State were scattered through various countries especially to U.S.A. and Russia, before and during the war. For example, Artin Hotomyan who was a tradesman in America sent a letter to the Chieftain of Security on January 19, 1915 and stated that thousands of Armenians migrated to U.S.A. and they were facing with hunger and hardships. (17)

REFERENCE:
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf-; Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gercekler (1915), TTK Press, Ankara 2001.

FOOTNOTES

1) British Annual Record for 1917

2) Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi, Istanbul, 1987

3) Aslan, Kevork, Ermenistan ve Ermeniler, Istanbul, 1914.

4) Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

5) Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

6) 1893-1897 Ermeni Iºleri, Paris, 1897 Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

7) Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

8) Uras, Esat, a.g.e.

9) Mazici, Nursen, Belgelerle Uluslar arasi Rekabette Ermeni Sorunu, Istanbul 1987.

10) see Karpat, Kemal, H. Ottoman Population 1830-1914 Demographic and Social Characteristic, The University Of Winsconcin Press, 1985 London.

11) Some figures can be slightly change.

12) Coded telegraphs from governors of Trabzon, Erzurum, Sivas, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Bitlis Maras, Canik, June 26, 1915 (code, number. 54-A/112). Telegraphs from governors of Eregli and Musul (June, 8 1915 coded telegraph sent to Konya province, code, numberr.57/337; Zor province February 3, 1916, code, number.60/219).

13) code, number.57/110.

14) see DH. EUM. 2. branch, numberr.68/81; see. code., number. 57/51.

15) code, number. 63/119.

16) DH. EUM. 2. ªube, nr.2F/14.

17) Bkz. DH. EUM. 2. ªube, nr.2F/94.

DID THE OTTOMAN GOVERNMENT REFRAIN FROM AN INVESTIGATION?

The Ottoman Empire indicated its intent, by verbal notes addressed on 26th March 1916, to receive two jurists from each of Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland as countries not involved in the World War I. This initiative, of which the documents are reproduced in the last part of this document, was blocked by an intervention from the United Kingdom and as a result the formation of the committee of jurists and the investigation of the subject were blocked (1).

This move is an indication of the fact that there was nothing against the international law in the acts and deeds of the Ottoman Empire and an expression of self-confidence. In fact, the prevention of this investigation seems to be motivated by the wish to conceal the actual criminals and descriptions. Had this committee been established, the arrows of accusation now aimed to Turkey would hit the real targets and the insubstantial claims would be burried.

The initiatives launched by the Ottoman State did not come to an end with this move as the Sublime Port requested, by its cable dated 7th March 1920(2), the Allied Powers and Admiral Bristol to inquire into the matter, to elucidate the facts and to inform the Turkish and world public opinions of the outcome. This cable was a request “for an immediate in situ examination by an international committee of the purported massacre of Armenians and the acquittal of the Turkish nation from the propaganda with malice aforethought”. This plea was published also in all the dailies as an open letter. Similarly, a group of foreign reporters, led by Ahmet Refik, was dispatched to Eastern Anatolia for an in-depth survey(3).

Would a State that had committed a crime against humanity risk the consequences of such initiatives? This example and several others to be described later will reveal beyond any shade of doubt how far the injustice made to the Turkish nation and history and how these indecent these insinuations were from a humane viewpoint.

DID TALAT PASHA SEND SECRET TELEGRAMMES ORDERING GENOCIDE?

Armenian propaganda claiming that so-called genocide was an Ottoman government policy requires proof that such a decision was in fact made. For this purpose the Armenians produced a number of telegrams attributed to Talat Pasha supposedly found by British forces commanded by General Allenby when they seized Aleppo in 1918. It was claimed that they were found in the office of an Ottoman official named Naim Bey, and that they could be destroyed only because the British occupation came with unexpected speed. Samples of these telegrams were published in Paris in 1920 by an Armenian author named Aram Andonian, (38) and they also were presented at the Berlin trial of the Armenian terrorist Tehlirian, who killed Talat Pasha. Nevertheless, the court neither considered these documents as "evidence" nor was involved in any decision claiming the authenticity of them. These documents were, however, entirely fabricated, and the claims deriving from them therefore cannot be sustained. They were in fact published by the Daily Telegraph of London in 1922, (39) which also attributed them to a discovery made by Allenby's army. But when the British Foreign Office enquired about them at the War Office, and with Allenby himself, it was discovered that they had not been discovered by the British army but, rather, had been produced by an Armenian group in Paris. In addition, examination of the photographs provided in the Andonian volume shows clearly that neither in form, script or phraseology did they resemble normal Ottoman administrative documents, and that they were, therefore, rather crude forgeries.

Following the Entente occupation of Istanbul, the British and the French arrested a number of Ottoman political and military figures and some intellectuals on charges of war crimes. In this they were given substantial assistance by the Ottoman Liberal Union Party, which had been placed in power by the Sultan after the war, and which was anxious to do anything it could to definitively destroy the Union and Progress Party and its leaders, who had long been political enemies. Most of the prisoners were sent off to imprisonment in Malta, but the four Union and Progress leaders who had fled from the country just before the occupation were tried and sentenced to death in absentia in Istanbul. Three other Government officials were sentenced to death and executed, but it was discovered later that the evidence on which the convictions had been based was false.

In the meantime, the British looked everywhere to find evidence against those who had been sent to Malta. Despite the complete cooperation of wome enthusraztic supporters such as the Ottoman Liberal Union (38) ANDONIAN, Aram, Documents Qfficiels concernant les Massacres Armmiens, Paris, Armenian National Delegation, 1920. (39) Daily Telegraph, 29 May 1922. government, nothing incriminating could be found among the Ottoman government documents. Similar searches in the British archives were fruitless. Finally, in desperation, the British Foreign Office turned to the American archives in Washington, but in reply, one of their representatives, R. C. Craigie, wrote to Lord Curzon:

"I regret to inform your Lordship that there was nothing therein which could be used as evidence against the Turks who are at present being detained at Malta ...no concrete facts being given which could constitute satisfactory incriminating evidence.... The reports in question do not appear in any case to contain evidence against these Turks which would be useful even for the purpose of corroborating information already in the possession of His Majesty's Government.''(40)

Uncertain as to what should be done with prisoners, who already had been held for two years, without trial and without even any charges being filed or evidence produced, the Foreign Office applied for advice to the Law Officers of the Crown in London, who concluded on 29 July, 1921:

"Up to the present no statements have been taken from witnesses who can depose to the truth of the charges made against the prisoners. It is indeed uncertain whether any witnesses can be found." (41)

At this time the "documents" produced by Andonian were available, but despite their desperate search for evidence, which could be presented in a court of law, the British, never used them because it was evident that they were forgeries. As a result, the prisoners were quietly released in 1921, without charges ever having been filed or evidence produced.

It is useful to reiterate that the main elements in the chain of evidence constructed in proving that Andonian's "documents" were all patent forgeries:

1. To show that his forgeries were in fact "authentic Ottoman documents" Andonian relied on the signature of the Governor of Aleppo, Mustafa Abdiilhalik Bey, which he claimed was appended to several of the "documents" in question. By examining several actual specimens of Mustafa Abdülhalik Bey's signature as preserved on contemporary official documents, it is established that the alleged signatures appended to Andonian's "documents" were forgeries.

2. In one of his forged documents, Andonian dated the note and signature attributed to Mustafa Abdülhalik Bey. Again, by a comparison with authentic correspondence between the Governor (40) 13 July 1921; British Foreign Office Archives 371/6504/8519 (41) British Foreign Office Archives 371/6504/E8745

Aleppo and the Ministry of the Interior in Istanbul, on the date in question, it is proven that the Governor of Aleppo on that date was Bekir Sami Bey, not Mustafa Abdulhalik Bey.

3. Consistently, Andonian's forgeries attest to the fact that he was either totally unaware of, or carelessly neglected to account for, the differences between the Muslim Rumi and Christian calendars. The numerous errors he made as a result of this oversight are, in and of themselves, sufficient to prove the fabricated nature of his "documents". Among other things, the errors Andonian made in this respect served to destroy the system of reference numbers and dates that he concocted for his "documents".

4. By way of a detailed comparison of the entries made in the Ministry of the Interior's Registers of outgoing Ciphers, wherein are recorded the date and reference number of every ciphered communication sent out by the Ministry, with the dates and reference numbers placed by Andonian on his forgeries, it is proven that his so-called "ciphered, telegrams" bear no relationship whatsoever to the actual ciphers sent by the Ministry to Aleppo in the period in question.

5. Again, by comparing the Turkish "originals" of Andonian's " ciphered telegrams" with actual examples of contemporary Ottoman ciphered messages, it is shown that the number groupings he employed bear no relationship to the actual ciphers the Ottomans were using in that period. Thus, in his attempt to make his forgeries appear credible, he created a whole series of unusable, non-existent ciphers. Further, from the dates he affixed to his forgeries in this category, the Ottomans would have had to use the same ciphers over a six-month period which was impossible. By publishing a series of documents instructing officials to change the ciphers they were using, it is shown that, in fact, the Ottomans were changing their cipher codes on average once every two months during the war years.

6. By comparing the manner in which the common Islamic injunction, Besmele, was written on Andonian's two forged letters with numerous examples of the way in which it appears on authentic contemporary Ottoman documents, it is suggested that Andonian's clumsy forgery of this term may well have stemmed from the fact that non-Muslims, even those who knew Ottoman Turkish, did not employ this injunction.

7. A number of examples from Andonian's forgeries show that it is simply inconceivable that any Ottoman official could have used such sentence structures and make such grammatical errors. In the same vein, a host of expressions; allegedly uttered by prominent Ottoman officials are used, which no Ottoman Turk would ever have used. Andonian's intention in these instances was clear: he wanted nothing less than the Turks themselves to be seeming to confess to crimes which he had manufactured for them.

8. The forged documents, with two exceptions, were written on plain paper with none of the usual signs found on the official paper used by the Ottoman bureaucracy in this period. The fact that one of the forged Turkish originals was written on a double-lined paper, which the Ottomans did not even use for private correspondence, constitutes an even more serious error on Andonian's part. Even the two forgeries which appear at first glance to have been written on some kind of official Ottoman stationery are actually written on blank telegraph forms, which anyone wishing to send a telegram could pick up in any Ottoman post office.

9. At a time when the British were frantically searching the world's archives for anything to be used as "evidence" against the group of Ottoman officials whom they were holding for trial as being "responsible for the Armenian incidents", their failure to utilize Andonian's "documents" which were readily available in their English edition, strongly suggests that the British Government was fully aware of the nature of these forgeries.

10. Had documents of the nature of those concocted by Andonian ever actually existed, their confidential nature would have dictated that they be sent by courier for security reasons; rather than through the easily breachable public telegraph system. Likewise, had such documents really ever been written; it is inconceivable that they could have lain around in a file for three years, instead of being destroyed as soon as they had been read.

11. There are also numerous differences between the French and English editions of Andonian's book. Indeed, these variations are of such significance that it is absolutely impossible to ascribe them to printing errors, or errors in translation.

12. Finally, the fact that even some authors with close links to Armenian circles, who serve as spokesmen for Armenian causes, have indicated their own doubt as to the veracity of Andonian's "documents" should not be overlooked. In short, from start to finish the so-called "Talat Pasha Telegrams" are nothing more than crude forgeries, concocted by Andonian and his associates. Moreover the Ottoman archives contain a number of orders; whose authenticity can definitely be substantiated, issued on the same dates, in which Talat Pasha ordered investigations to be made to find and punish those responsible for the attacks which were being made on the deportation caravans. It is hardly likely that he would have been ordering massacres on one hand and investigations and punishments for such crimes on the other.

A letter forged by Aram Andonian with the date, February 18, 1331 (March 2,1916) opens with a "bismillah" (blessing), which would never have been written by a Moslem. The forger, Andonian, made his most fatal mistake with the date, however. He was obviously not well enough versed in the tricks of converting to the Rumi year of the Ottomans, where a difference of thirteen days between the Rumi and Gregorian calendars must be taken into account.

The date he put on the letter was off by a full year. Instead of 1330 (1915), he wrote 1331 (1916). The contents of the letter are supposed to be evidence of the long advance planning of the resettlement operation of 1915.(42) (42) Feigl, Erich. A Myth of Terror, 1991, Edition zeitgeschichten-Freilassing- Salzburg, p. 85

An American aid organization called "the Near East Relief Society" was allowed by the Ottoman Government to stay and fulfill its functions in Anatolia during the deportations. Even following the entry of U.S.A. into war on the side of Entente powers against Ottoman Empire, the same organization was permitted to remain in Anatolia. This was dealt in the reports of the American Ambassador Elkus in Istanbul. In this case, if an order for "massacring Armenians" had been given, would the Ottoman Government have allowed to an American organization to be witness to the "massacres". In other words, it is ridiculous to suppose that the Ottomans said to America: "We are massacring Armenians. Why don't you have a look at it." Such an allegation could never be a logical explanation of historic facts. Finally, and in the end most important, when the war came to an end, the Armenian population still was substantially in place in Western Anatolia, Thrace and Istanbul. Had the Ottoman government ordered massacres, evidently they too would have been killed. And for that matter, had the Ottoman government wanted to eliminate all the Armenians in the Empire, it could have done so far more easily by killing and disposing of them where they lived, rather than undertaking a large-scale deportation of those in the Eastern war zones under the eyes of foreign observers.

The claim, thus, that the Ottoman government ordered and carried out a general massacre of Armenians in the Empire cannot be sustained and is disproved by the facts.

IS THERE ACCESS TO THE OTTOMAN ARCHIVES? ARE DOCUMENTS RELATED RELOCATION CONCEALED?

Documents on all matters dealing with the relocation are accessible to all. The Ottoman Archives in where these documents are kept are available for the examination of all researchers since 1925 at the Prime Ministry’s State Archives. From 1925 to date, a total of 3.817 scholars, broken down into 605 from the United States, 168 from Germany, 150 from France, 98 from Saudi Arabia, 84 from Iran, 74 from the United Kingdom, 70 from Israel, 63 from Libya, 58 from Hungary, 52 from Argentina, 47 from Bulgaria, 47 from Egypt, 39 from the Netherlands, 36 from Romania, 35 from Tunisia, 35 from Algeria and 28 from Canada, to whom should be added 190 Turkish citizens of Armenian origin, studied the existing documents and carried out scientific work.

Aside from the free examination by thousands of foreigners, these documents were also published in Turkish and English and made available to the researchers. It should also be mentioned that the archives of the Turkish General Staff are being published in the Military history Documents Magazine in facsimile and modern Turkish, and being sold.

Similarly, there is another publication prepared from which the Prime Ministry’s Yildiz Palace archives was published in three volumes in the Ottoman Turkish, English and modern Turkish.

Despite all these facts, several Turkish and foreign organisations and nationals still claim, either intentionally or because for lack of information that the Republic of Turkey is being incriminated for “deliberately avoiding to make the archives available for examination”

HOW DO SCHOLARS REACT TO ALLEGATIONS OF GENOCIDE?

ATTENTION MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

(May 19, 1985)

The undersigned American academicians who specialize in Turkish, Ottoman and Middle Eastern Studies are concerned that the current language embodied in House Joint Resolution 192 is misleading and/or inaccurate in several respects. Specifically, while fully supporting the concept of a "National Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man," we respectfully take exception to that portion of the text, which singles out for special recognition:

". . . the one and one half million people of Armenian ancestry who were victims of genocide perpetrated in Turkey between 1915 and 1923 . . .."

Our reservations focus on the use of the words "Turkey" and "genocide" and may be summarized as follows:

From the fourteenth century until 1922, the area currently known as Turkey, or more correctly, the Republic of Turkey, was part of the territory encompassing the multi-national, multi-religious state known as the Ottoman Empire. It is wrong to equate the Ottoman Empire with the Republic of Turkey in the same way that it is wrong to equate the Hapsburg Empire with the Republic of Austria. The Ottoman Empire, which was brought to an end in 1922, by the successful conclusion of the Turkish Revolution which established the present day Republic of Turkey in 1923, incorporated lands and people which today account for more than twenty-five distinct countries in Southeastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, only one of which is the Republic of Turkey. The Republic of Turkey bears no responsibility for any events which occurred in Ottoman times, yet by naming Turkey' in the Resolution, its authors have implicitly labeled it as guilty of "genocide" it charges transpired between 1915 and 1923; As for the charge of "genocide" no signatory of this statement wishes to minimize the scope of Armenian suffering. We are likewise cognizant that it cannot be viewed as separate from the suffering experienced by the Muslim inhabitants of the region. The weight of evidence so far uncovered points in the direct of serious inter communal warfare (perpetrated by Muslim and Christian irregular forces), complicated by disease, famine, suffering and massacres in Anatolia and adjoining areas during the First World War. Indeed, throughout the years in question, the region was the scene of more or less continuous warfare, not unlike the tragedy which has gone on in Lebanon for the past decade. The resulting death toll among both Muslim and Christian communities of the region was immense. But much more remains to be discovered before historians will be able to sort out precisely responsibility between warring and innocent, and to identify the causes for the events which resulted in the death or removal of large numbers of the eastern Anatolian population, Christian and Muslim alike.

Statesmen and politicians make history, and scholars write it. For this process to work scholars must be given access to the written records of the statesmen and politicians of the past. To date, the relevant archives in the Soviet Union, Syria, Bulgaria and Turkey all remain, for the most part, closed to dispassionate historians. Until they become available, the history of the Ottoman Empire in the period encompassed by H.J. Res. 192 (1915-1923) cannot be adequately known.

We believe that the proper position for the United States Congress to take on this and related issues is to encourage full and open access to all historical archives and not to make charges on historical events before they are fully understood. Such charges as those contained H.J. Res. 192 would inevitably reflect unjustly upon the people of Turkey and perhaps set back progress irreparably. Historians are just now beginning to achieve in understanding these tragic events.

As the above comments illustrate, the history of the Ottoman-Armenians is much debated among scholars, many of whom do not agree with the historical assumptions embodied in the wording of H.J. Res. 192. By passing the resolution Congress will be attempting to determine by legislation which side of the historical question is correct. Such a resolution, based on historically questionable assumptions, can only damage the cause of honest historical inquiry, and damage the credibility of the American legislative process.

SIGNATORIES TO THE STATEMENT ON H.J. RES. 192 ADDRESSED TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

RIFAAT ABOU-EL-HAJ

Professor of History

California State University at Long Beach

SARAH MOMENT ATIS

Professor of Turkish Language & Literature

University of Wisconsin at Madison

KARL BARBIR

Associate Professor of History

Siena College (New York)

ILHAN BASGOZ

Director of the Turkish Studies Program at the Department of Uralic & Altaic Studies

Indiana University

DANIEL G. BATES

Professor of Anthropology

Hunter College,

City University of New York

ULKU BATES

Professor of Art History

Hunter College

City University of New York

GUSTAV BAYERLE

Professor of Uralic & Altaic Studies

Indiana University

ANDREAS G. E. BODROGLIGETTI

Professor of Turkic & Iranian languages

University of California at Los Angeles

KATHLEEN BURRILL

Associate Professor of Turkish Studies

Columbia University

RODERIC DAVISON

Professor of History

George Washington University

WALTER DENNY

Associate Professor of Art History &

Near Eastern Studies

University of Massachusetts

DR. ALAN DUBEN

Anthropologist, Researcher

New York City

ELLEN ERVIN

Research Assistant Professor of Turkish

New York University

CAESAR FARAH

Professor of Islamic

& Middle Eastern History

University of Minnesota

CARTER FINDLEY

Associate Professor of History

The Ohio State University

MICHAEL FINEFROCK,

Professor of History

College of Charleston

ALAN FISHER

Professor of History

Michigan State University

CORNELL FLEISCHER

Assistant Professor of History

Washington University (Missouri)

TIMOTHY CHILDS

Professorial Lecturer at SAIS,

Johns Hopkins University

SHAFIGA DAULET

Associate Professor of Political Science

University of Connecticut

JUSTIN MCCARTHY

Associate Professor of History

University of Louisville

JON MANDAVILLE

Professor of the History of the Middle East

Portland State University (Oregon)

RHOADS MURPHEY

Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern

Languages & Cultures & History

Columbia University

PIERRE OBERLING

Professor of History

Hunter College of the City University of

New York

ROBERT OLSON

Associate Professor of History

University of Kentucky

DONALD QUATAERT

Associate Professor of History

University of Houston

WILLIAM GRISWOLD

Professor of History

Colorado State University

WILLIAM HICKMAN

Associate Professor of Turkish

University of California, Berkeley

JOHN HYMES

Professor of History

Glenville State College

West Virginia

RALPH JAECKEL

Visiting Assistant Professor of Turkish

University of California at Los Angeles

JAMES KELLY

Associate Professor of Turkish

University of Utah

PETER GOLDEN

Professor of History

Rutgers University, Newark

TOM GOODRICH

Professor of History

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

ANDREW COULD

Ph.D. in Ottoman History

Flagstaff, Arizona

MICHAEL MEEKER

Professor of Anthropology

University of California at San Diego

THOMAS NAFF

Professor of History & Director, Middle East

Research Institute

University of Pennsylvania

WILLIAM OCHSENWALD

Associate Professor of History

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

WILLIAM PEACHY

Assistant Professor of the Judaic & Near

Eastern Languages & Literatures

The Ohio State University

HOWARD REED

Professor of History

University of Connecticut

TIBOR HALASI-KUN

Professor Emeritus of Turkish Studies

Columbia University

J. C. HUREWITZ

Professor of Government Emeritus

Former Director of the Middle East

Institute (1971-1984) Columbia University

HALIL INALCIK

University Professor of Ottoman History & Member of the

American Academy of Arts & Sciences

University of Chicago

RONALD JENNINGS

Associate Professor of History & Asian Studies

University of Illinois

KERIM KEY

Adjunct Professor

Southeastern University

Washington, D.C.

DANKWART RUSTOW

Distinguished University Professor of

Political Science

City University Graduate School New York

STANFORD SHAW

Professor of History

University of California at Los Angeles

METIN KUNT

Professor of Ottoman History

New York City

AVIGDOR LEVY

Professor of History

Brandeis University

DR. HEATH W. LOWRY

Institute of Turkish Studies Inc.

Washington, D.C.

JOHN MASSON SMITH, JR.

Professor of History

University of California at Berkeley

ROBERT STAAB

Assistant Director of the

Middle East Center

University of Utah

JAMES STEWART-ROBINSON

Professor of Turkish Studies

University of Michigan

FRANK TACHAU

Professor of Political Science

University of Illinois at Chicago

DAVID THOMAS

Associate Professor of History

Rhode Island College

WARREN S. WALKER

Home Professor of English & Director of the

Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative

Texas Tech University

WALTER WEIKER

Professor of Political Science

Rutgers University

MADELINE ZILFI

Associate Professor of History

University of Maryland

ELAINE SMITH

Ph.D. in Turkish History

Retired Foreign Service Officer

Washington, D-C-EZEL

KURAL SHAW

Associate Professor of History

California State University, Northridge

FREDERICK LATIMER

Associate Professor of History (Retired)

University of Utah

BERNARD LEWIS

Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near

Eastern History

Princeton University

WHAT IS THE OUTCOME OF RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY FOREIGNERS?

Immediately after the World War I and following the occupation of Istanbul and several other regions of the country by the Allied armies, the British authorities had sent several hundred Ottoman political and military leaders as well as intellectuals, to Island of Malta under the accusation that they were criminals of war and imprisoned them there. The Sublime Porte had vehemently co-operated with the Allied Powers in all areas just in order to keep the sultanate and its very existence and to get rid of the Union and Progress Party that ruled the Empire for ten years and had a significant influence in the Government.

A thoroughgoing examination was made on the Ottoman archives in order to find clues for indicting the Union and Progress Party as well as the detainees both in Malta and in Istanbul. All these efforts did not produce an iota of evidence that might be used to incriminate the Government of that time and the detainees. Despaired by this failure, the British Government screened its own archives and the documents held by the United States Government in Washington. The result was a blatant impasse.

The United States archives contain an interesting document sent to Lord Curzon on 13 July 1921 by Mr. R.C. Craigie, the British Ambassador in Washington. The tenor of this message is as follows: “I regret to state that there is nothing that may be used as evidence against the Turkish detainees in Malta. There are no events that may constitute adequate proofs. The said reports do not appear to contain even circumstantial evidence that could be useful to reinforce the information held by His Majesty’s Government against the Turks.(1)”

On 29 July 1921, the legal advisers in London decided that the intended indictments addressed against the persons on the the British Foreign Ministry’s list were semi-political in nature and therefore these individuals should be treated separately from the Turks detained as criminals of war.

They also stated the following: “No statements were hitherto received from the witnesses to the effect that the indictments intended against the detainees are correct. Likewise it does not need to be restated that finding witnesses after so long a time is highly doubtful in a remote country like Armenia which is accessible only with great difficulties. (2)” This statement was also made by the legal advisers in London of His Majesty’s Government.

In the end, the detainees in Malta were released in 1922 without trial and even indictment.

Yet the efforts to smear image of Turks with the so-called genocide claims had not come to an end as the British press published certain documents attempting to prove the existence of a massacre claimed to have been perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire while efforts were on-stream to start a lawsuit in Malta. It was stated that these documents were unearthed by the British occupation forces in Syria led by General Allenby. The inquiries subsequently made by the British Foreign Office revealed, however, that these documents were fakes prepared by the Armenian Nationalist Delegation in Paris and distributed to the Allied representatives instead of having been discovered by the British army.

REFERENCE:

1. PRO.FO. 13th July 1971, 371/6504/E8519.

2. Foreign Office, 29th July 1921, 371/6504/E8745

WHAT IS THE FOUR “T” PLAN?

The goal of Armenian terrorism that has never hesitated to go to such extremes as cold-blooded murder is to make the claims of genocide against Armenians heard and their demands known. The ultimate objective is a “Great Armenia”, for which they designed the so-called “ Four T plan” based on propaganda, recognition, indemnity and land. The intention here is to rehabilitate the world public opinion by making them to accept, through terrorism, the existence of genocide against them, to force Turkey into recognising it, to receive compensation in monetary terms and finally to seize from Turkey the land needed for realising a Great Armenia.

The claims underlying “the Four T Plan” are the following:

- The Turks invaded Armenia and seized its land.

- They applied a systematic massacre against Armenians since the 1877-1878 war.

- They resorted to a planned genocide against Armenians from 1915 onward.

- Talat Pasha issued secret orders to apply genocide on the Armenians.

- 1,5 million Armenians lost their lives through genocide.

It is necessary to make a brief study on the claims and the historical developments of Turkish-Armenian relations so as to understand how preposterous the insinuations are and which clandestine interests underlie them.

IS THE SÉVRES TREATY STILL IN FORCE?

The Armenian propagandists claim that the Sévres Agreement, which provided for the establishment of an Armenian State in eastern Anatolia, is still legally in force, and use it to base their claims for the "return" of "Armenian lands". In fact, this agreement was never put into force. It was superseded and replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne, and thus no longer has the force of law. In addition, after the Tashnaks established an Armenian Republic in Erivan on 28 May 1918, it signed the Batum Treaty of 4 June, 1918 with the Ottoman Government. This treaty was described by Foreign Minister Hadisian of the Armenian Republic as involving the full disavowal on the part of the latter of all claims on the territory or people of the Ottoman Empire including its Armenians and the lands claimed by the Armenian nationalists:

"The Armenians of Turkey no longer think of separating from the Ottoman Empire. Their problems no longer are even the concern of relations between the Armenian Republic and the Ottomans Relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian Republic are excellent, and they must remain that way in future. All Armenian political parties feel the same way. Continuation of this good neighbourly spirit is one of the principal points of the program recently announced by the Armenian Government, of which I am Foreign Minister. "(43).

Even the Tashnak organ Hairenik stated on 28 June 1918:

"Russia's policy of hostility toward Turkey emboldened the Armenians of the Caucasus; that is why the Caucasus Armenians were involved in clashes between two friendly races. Thank goodness that this situation did not last too long. Following the Russian Revolution, the Armenians of the Caucasus understood that their security could be achieved only by having good relations with Turkey, and they stretched out their hands to Turkey. Turkey also wanted to forget the events of the past, and grasped the out-stretched hand in friendship. We agree that the Armenian Question has been resolved and left to history. The mutual feelings of suspicion and enmity created by foreign agents should be eliminated.''(44)

These declarations make it clear that the Armenian Issue was closed by the agreements concluded, following World War I; that- the events that had taken place were the responsibility of the Russians and Armenians, not of the Turks, and that if anyone had been mistreated it was the Turks, no-one else. It is true that the World War I settlement was reopened for a time by the Armenian Republic. Despite the Tashnak declarations, Armenian bands began to raid into eastern Anatolia in the summer of 1918. On 28 May 1919, in the first anniversary of the foundation of the Armenian Republic by the Tashnaks, it declared that "Armenia has annexed Eastern Anatolia" thus laying claim to the territories of eastern Anatolia which had been returned to the Ottoman Empire following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. To examine the Armenian claims and recommend a settlement, American President Wilson sent an American investigation committee to Anatolia in the fall of 1919 under the leadership of General James G. Harbord. It toured through Anatolia during September and October, and then reported to Congress that:

"The Turks and Armenians lived in peace side by side for centuries; that the Turks suffered as much as the Armenians at the time of the deportations; that only 20% of the Turkish villagers who went to war would be able to return to their homes: that at the start of World War I and before the Armenians never had anything approaching a majority of the population in the territories called Armenia; that they would not have a majority even if all the relocated Armenians were returned; and the claims that returning Armenians would be in danger were not justified. "(45) As a result of this report, in April 1920 the American Congress rejected the proposal, which had been made to establish an American Mandate over Anatolia for the purpose of

enabling the Armenians to establish their own state in the East.

On 10 August 1920 the Armenians joined in signing the long-hoped-for Treaty of

Sévres, which provided that the Ottoman government would recognize the establishment of an

independent Armenian state, with boundaries to be determined by President Wilson. This treaty

was, however, signed only by the Ottoman Government in Istanbul, while most Turks, and

most of the country accepted the leadership of the Ankara government, led by Mustapha

Kemal, who actively opposed the treaty and its provisions.

In the meantime, following the Armistice of Mondros which concluded the fighting of World War I in 1918, the province ofAdana was occupied by the French. The British occupied Urfa, Marash and Antep but later left these also to the French. As French forces occupied these provinces, in south and southeast Anatolia, they were accompanied by Armenians wearing French uniforms, who immediately began to ravage Turkish villages and massacred large numbers of Turks. These atrocities stirred the Turks of the area to resist, once again leading to the spreading of propaganda in Europe that Turks were massacring Armenians. This time, however, since the French themselves were forced to send the Armenians to the rear to end the atrocities, the Armenian claims were evidently false, and no-one really believed them.

After the American Congress rejected a Mandate over Anatolia, the Armenian Republic in the Caucasus, starting in June 1920, attacked Turkey, sending guerrilla bands as well as organized army units into eastern Anatolia, and undertaking widespread massacres of the settled population. The Ankara government moved to the defense in September, and within a short time the Armenian forces were routed, eastern Anatolia was regained, and order and security re-established. By the Treaty of Gumru (Alexandropol) signed by the Ankara Government and the Armenian Republic on 3 December 1920, both sides accepted the new boundaries and acknowledged that the provisions of the Treaty of Sévres were null and void. The Armenians also renounced all territorial claims against Turkey. Shortly after this the Red Army entered Erivan and established the Soviet Armenian Government. However through a revolt in Erivan on 18 February 1921 the Tashnaks once again took over control of Armenia. The new Vratzian Government sent a committee to Ankara on 18 March asking for Turkish assistance against the Bolsheviks, a strange event indeed considering that only two years ago the Tashnaks had organized an Armenian invasion of Turkey. The Tashnak government did not last very long, however, and the Soviets soon regained control of Erivan. On 16 March 1921 Turkey signed the Moscow Treaty with the Soviet Union, by which the boundaries between Turkey and the Soviet Union were definitively drawn. As arranged in this agreement, on 13 October 1921 Turkey signed the K-ars Agreement with Soviet Armenia, confirming the new boundaries between the two as well as their agreement that the provisions of the Treaty of Sévres were null and void once and for all. The situation on the southern front was settled by the Treaty of Ankara signed with France on 20 October 1921. France evacuated not only its own troops, but also the Armenian guerillas and volunteers who had cooperated with them, and most of the Armenians who had gathered at Adana in the hope of establishing an Armenian state there. Many of these Armenians were settled in Lebanon. This agreement made possible the subsequent return of Hatay to Turkey, thus fulfilling the provisions of the Turkish national pact, which had been drawn up by Mustapha Kemal, and the leaders of the Turkish War for Independence. All these settlements effectively nullified Armenian ambitions for a state in eastern Anatolia. The Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923 in place of the Treaty of Sévres, did not even mention the Armenians, which is why Armenian nationalists even today try to resurrect the Sévres treaty which never really was put into force.

NOTES:

(43) SCHEMSI, Kara, op. cit., p. 31.

(44) SCHEMSI, Kara, op. cit., pp. 31- 32.

(45) URAS, Esat, po. Cit., pp. 682-683

WERE ARMENIANS OPPRESSED AND SUBJECTED TO ATROCITIES BY THE TURKS THROUGHOUT HISTORY

Armenian propagandists have claimed that the Turks mistreated non-Muslims, and in particular Armenians, throughout history in order to provide support for their claims of "Genocide" against the Ottoman Empire, since it would otherwise be difficult for them to explain how the Turks, who had lived side by side with the Armenians in peace for some 600 years, suddenly rose up to massacre them all. The Armenians moreover, have tried to interpret Turkish rule in terms of a constant struggle between Christianity and Islam, thus to assure belief in whatever they say about the Turks on the part of the modern Christian world.

The evidence of history overwhelmingly denies these claims. We already have seen that the contemporary Armenian historians themselves related how the Armenians of Byzantium welcomed the Seljuk conquest with celebrations and thanksgivings to God for having rescued them from Byzantine oppression. The Seljuks gave protection to an Armenian Church, which the Byzantines had been trying to destroy. They abolished the oppressive taxes which the Byzantines had imposed on the Armenian churches, monasteries and priests, and in fact exempted such religious institutions from all taxes. The Armenian community was left free to conduct its internal affairs in its own way, including religious activities and-education, and there never was any time at which Armenians or other non-Muslims were compelled to convert to Islam. The Armenian spiritual leaders in fact went to Seljuk Sultan Melikshah to thank him for this protection. The Armenian historian Mathias of Edessa relates that,

"Melikshah's heart is full of affection and good will for Christians; he has treated the sons of Jesus Christ very well, and he has given the Armenian people affluence, peace, and happiness."

After the death of the Seljuk Sultan Kilich Arslan, the same historian wrote,

"Kilich Arslan's death has driven Christians into mourning since he was a charitable person of high character. "

How well the Seljuk Turks treated the Armenians is shown by the fact that some Armenian noble families like the Tashirk family accepted Islam of their own free will and joined the Turks in fighting Byzantium.

Turkish tradition and Muslim law dictated that non-Muslims should be well treated in Turkish and Muslim empires. The conquering Turks therefore made agreements with their non-Muslim subjects by which the latter accepted the status of zhimmi, agreeing to keep order and pay taxes in return for protection of their rights and traditions. People from different religions were treated with an unprecedented tolerance which was reflected into the philosophies based on good will and human values cherished by great philosophers in this era such as Yunus Emre and Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi who are well-known in the Islamic world with their benevolent mottoes such as having the same view for all 72 different nations" and "you will be welcome whoever you are, and whatever you believe in". This was in stark contrast to the terrible treatment which Christian rulers and conquerors often have meted out to Christians of other sects, let alone non-Christians .such as Muslims and Jews, as for example the Byzantine persecution of the Armenian Gregorians, Venetian persecution of the Greek Orthodox inhabitants of the Morea and the Aegean islands, and Hungarian persecution of the Bogomils.

The establishment and expansion of the Ottoman Empire, and in particular the destruction of Byzantium following Fatih Mehmed's conquest of Istanbul in 1453 opened a new era of religious, political, social, economic and cultural prosperity for the Armenians as well as the other non-Muslim and Muslim peoples of the new state. The very first Ottoman ruler, Osman Bey (1300 -1326), permitted the Armenians to establish their first religious center in western Anatolia, at Kutahya, to protect them from Byzantine oppression. This center subsequently was moved, along with the Ottoman capital, first to Bursa in 1326 and then to Istanbul in 1461, with Fatih Mehmet issuing a ferman definitively establishing the Armenian Patriarchate there under Patriarch Hovakim and his successors. As a result, thousands of Armenians emigrated to Istanbul from Iran, the Caucasus, eastern and central Anatolia, the Balkans and the Crimea, not because of force or persecution, but because the great Ottoman conqueror had made his empire into a true center of Armenian life. The Armenian community and church thus expanded and prospered as parts of the expansion and prosperity of the Ottoman Empire.

The Gregorian Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, like the other major religious groups, were organized into millet communities under their own religious leaders. Thus the ferman issued by Fatih Mehmet establishing the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul specified that the Patriarch was not only the religious leader of the Armenians, but also their secular leader. The Armenians had the same rights as Muslims, but they also had certain special privileges, most important among which was exemption from military service. Armenians and other non-Muslims generally paid the same taxes as Muslims, with the exception of the Poll Tax (Harach or Jizye), which was imposed on them in place of the state taxes based particularly on Muslim religious law, the Alms Tax (Zakat) and the Tithe (Ötür), from which non-Muslims were exempted. The Armenian millet religious leaders themselves assessed and collected the Poll Taxes from their followers and turned the collections over to the Treasury officials of the state.

The Armenians were allowed to establish religious foundations (vakif) to provide financial support for their religious, cultural, educational and charity activities, and when needed the Ottoman state treasury gave additional financial assistance to the Armenian institutions which carried out these activities as well as to the Armenian Patriarchate itself. These Armenian foundations remain in operation to the present day in the Turkish Republic, providing substantial financial support to the operations of the Armenian church.

By Ottoman law all Christian subjects who were not Greek Orthodox were included in the Armenian Gregorian millet. Thus the Paulicians and Yakubites in Anatolia as well as the Bogomils and Gypsies in the Balkans were counted as Armenians, leading to substantial disputes in later times as to the total number of Armenians actually living in the Empire.

The Armenian community expanded and prospered as a result of the freedom granted by the sultans. At the same time Armenians shared, and contributed to, the Turkish-Ottoman culture and ways of life and government to such an extent that they earned the particular trust and confidence of the sultans over the centuries, gaining the attribute "the loyal millet". Ottoman Armenians became extremely wealthy bankers, merchants, and industrialists, while many at the same time rose to high positions in governmental service. In the 19th century, for example, twenty-nine Armenians achieved the highest governmental rank of Pasha. There were twenty-two Armenian ministers, including the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Trade and Post, with other Armenians making major contributions to the departments concerned with agriculture, economic development, and the census. There also were thirty-three Armenian representatives appointed and elected to the Parliaments formed after 1826, seven ambassadors, eleven consul-generals and consuls, eleven university professors, and forty-one other officials of high rank.

Over the centuries Armenians also made major contributions to Ottoman Turkish art, culture and music, producing many artists of first rank who are objects of praise and sources of pride for Turks as well as Armenians in Turkey. The first Armenian printing press was established in the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century.

Thus the Armenians and Turks, and all the various races of the Empire lived in peace and mutual trust over the centuries, with no serious complaints being made against the Ottoman system or administration which made such a situation possible. It is true that, from time to time, internal difficulties did arise within some of the individual millets. Within the Armenian millet disputes arose over the election of the patriarch between the "native" Armenians, who had come to Istanbul from Anatolia and the Crimea, and those called "eastern" or "foreign" Armenians, who came from Iran and the Caucasus. These groups often complained against each other to the Ottomans, trying to gain governmental support for their own candidates and interests, and at the same time complaining about the Ottomans whenever the decisions went against them, despite the long-standing Ottoman insistence on maintaining strict neutrality between the groups. The gradual triumph of the "easterners" led to the appointment of non-religious individuals as Patriarchs, to corruption and misrule within the Armenian millet, and to bloody clashes among conflicting political groups, against which the Ottomans were forced to intervene to prevent the Armenians from annihilating each other.

These internal disputes, as well as the general decline of religious standards within the Gregorian millet led many Armenians to accept the teachings of foreign Catholic and Protestant missionaries sent into the Empire during the 19th century, causing the creation of separate millets for them later in the century. The Armenian Gregorian leaders asked the Ottoman government to intervene and prevent such conversions, but the Ottomans refrained from doing so on the grounds that it was an internal problem which had to be dealt with by the millet and not the state. Bloody clashes followed, with the Gregorian patriarchs Chuhajian and Tahtajian going so far to excommunicate and banish all Armenian protestants. Later on, serious clashes also emerged among the Armenian Catholics as to the nature of their relationship with the Pope, with the latter excommunicating all those who did not accept his supremacy, forcing the Ottomans finally to intervene and reconcile the two Catholic groups in 1888.

The freedom granted and the great tolerance shown by the Ottomans to non-Muslims was so well known throughout Europe that the empire of the sultans became a major place of refuge for those fleeing from religious and political persecution. Starting with the thousands of Jews who fled from persecution in Spain following its re-conquest in 1492, Jews fled to the Ottoman Empire from the regular pogroms to which they were subjected in Central and East Europe and Russia. Catholics and Protestants likewise fled to the Ottoman Empire, often entering the service of the sultans and making major contributions to Ottoman military and governmental life. Many of the political refugees from the reaction that followed the 1848 revolutions in Europe also fled for protection to the Ottoman Empire.

The claims that the Ottomans misruled non-Muslims in general and the Armenians in particular thus are disproved by history, as attested by major western historians, from the Armenians Asoghik and Mathias to Voltaire, Lamartine, Claude Farrére, Pierre Loti, Noguères Ilone Caetani, Philip Marshall Brown, Michelet, Sir Charles Wilson, Politis, Arnold, Bronsart, Roux, Grousset Edgar Granville Garnier, Toynbee, Bernard Lewis, Shaw, Price, Lewis Thomas, Bombaci and others, some of whom could certainly not be labelled as pro-turkish. To cite but a few of them:

Voltaire:

"The great Turk is governing in peace twenty nations from different religions. Turks have taught to Christians how to be moderate in peace and gentle in victory. "

Philip Marshall Brown

"Despite the great victory they won, Turks have generously granted to the people in the conquered regions the right to administer themselves according to their own rules and traditions. "

Politis who was the Foreign Minister in the Greek Government led by Prime Minister Venizelos:

"The rights and interests of the Greeks in Turkey could not be better protected by any other power but the Turks. "

J. W. Arnold:

"It is an undeniable historic fact that the Turkish armies have never interfered in the religious and cultural affairs in the areas they conquered. "

German General Bronsart:

"Unless they are forced, Turks are the world's most tolerant people towards those of other religions. "

Even when Napoleon Bonaparte sought to stir a revolt among the Armenian Catholics of Palestine and Syria to support his invasion in 1798 -1799, his Ambassador in Istanbul General Sebastiani replied that "The Armenians are so content with their lives here that this is impossible."

DID THE TURKS ENGAGE IN MASSACRING THE ARMENIANS AS OF 1890’s?

The so-called "Armenian Question" is generally thought of as having begun in the second half of the nineteenth century. One can easily point to the Russo-Turkish war (1877 - 78) and the Congress of Berlin (1878) which concluded the war as marking the emergence of this question as a problem in Europe. In fact, however, one must really go back to Russian activities in the East starting in the 1820's to uncover its origins. Czarist Russia at the time was beginning a major new imperial expansing force across Central Asia, in the process overrunning major Turkish Khanates in its push toward the borders of China and the Pacific Ocean. At the same time, Russian imperial ambitions turned southward as the Czars sought to gain control of Ottoman territory to extend their landlocked empire to the Mediterranean and the open seas. As an essential element of this ambition, Russia sought to undermine Ottoman strength from within by stirring the national ambitions of the Sultan's Christian subject, in particular those with whom it shared a common Orthodox religious heritage, the Greeks and the Slavs in the Balkans and the Armenians. At the same time that Russian agents fanned the fires of the Greek Revolution and stirred the beginnings of Pan-Slavism in Serbia and Bulgaria, others moved into the Caucasus and worked to secure Russian influence over the Catholicos of the Armenian Gregorian church of Echmiadzin, to which most Ottoman Gregorians had strong emotional attachments. The Russians used the Catholicos' jealousy of the Istanbul Patriarch to gain his support to such an extent that Catholicos Nerses Aratarakes himself led a force of 60,000 Armenians in support of the Russian army that fought Iran in the Caucasus in 1827 —1828 and, in the process capturing most of Iran's Caucasus possessions, including those areas where the Armenians lived. This new Russian presence along the borders of eastern Anatolia, combined with the support of the Catholicos, enabled them to extend their influence among Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Russian pressure in Istanbul finally got the Patriarch to add the Catholicos' name to his daily prayers starting in 1844, furthering the latter's ability to influence Ottoman Armenians in Russia's favor in the years that followed. Most Ottoman Armenians were still too content with their lot in the Sultan's dominions to be seriously influenced by this Russian propaganda. The lands abandoned by those who immigrated to Russia were turned over to Muslim refugees flooding into the Empire running away from persecution in Russia and Eastern Europe. This led to serious land disputes when many of the Armenian emigrants, or their descendants, unhappy with life in Russia, sought to return to the Ottoman Empire in the 1880's and 1890's.

The Russians were not the only foreign power seeking to protect-the Ottoman Christians. England and France sponsored missionary activities that converted many Armenians to Protestantism and Catholicism respectively, leading to the creation of the Armenian Catholic Church in Istanbul in l830 and the Protestant Church in 1847. However these developments were not directly related to the development of the "Armenian Question", except perhaps as indications of the rising discontent within the Gregorian church which the Russians were seeking to take advantage of in their own way.

On the other hand, the Reform Proclamation of 1856 was of major importance. While not abolishing the separate congressions and churches and the institutions that they supported, the Ottoman government now provided equal rights for all subjects regardless of their religion, in the process seeking to eliminate all special privileges and distinctions based on religion, and requiring the communities to reconstitute their internal regulations in order to achieve these goals. Insofar as the Armenians were concerned, the result was the Armenian Community Regulation, drawn up by the Patriarchate and put into force by the Ottoman government on 29 March 1862. Of particular importance the new regulation placed the Armenian comunnity under the government of a council of 140 members, including only 20 churchmen from the Istanbul Patriarchate, while 80 secular representatives were to be chosen from the Istanbul community and 40 members from the provinces. The Reform Proclamation of 1856 led England and France to be more interested in Armenians which in return intensified the interests of Russia in the same ethnic group. Their concern was based on their own imperialist interests rather than their affection for Armenians. Russia now sought to gain Armenian support for undermining and destroying the Ottoman state by promising to create a "Greater Armenia" in eastern Anatolia, which would cover substantially more territory between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean than the Armenians ever had ruled or even occupied at any time in their history.

It was against this background that the Ottoman-Russian war (1877 - 78) awakened Armenian dreams for independence with Russian help and under Russian guidance. Toward the end of the war, the Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul, Nerses Varjabedian, got in touch with the Russian Czar with the help of the Catholicos of Echmiadzin, asking Russia not to return to the Ottomans the east Anatolian lands occupied by Russian forces. Immediately after the war, the Patriarch went to the Russian camp, which by then was at San Stephano, immediately outside Istanbul, and in an interview with the Russian Commander, Grand Duke Nicholas, asked that all of Eastern Anatolia be annexed to Russia and established as an autonomous Armenian state, very much like the regime then being established for Bulgaria, but that if this was not possible, and the lands in question had to be returned to the Ottomans, at least Russian forces should not be withdrawn until changes favoring the Armenians were introduced into the governmental and administrative organization and regulations of these provinces. The Russians agreed to the latter proposal, which was incorporated as Article 16 of the 'Treaty of San Stephano. Even as the negotiations were going on at San Stephano, moreover, the Armenian officers in the Russian army worked frantically to stir discontent among the Ottoman Armenians, urging them to work to gain "the same sort of independence for themselves as that secured by the Christians of the Balkans." This appeal gained considerable influence among the Armenians of Eastern Anatolia long after the Russian forces were withdrawn.

The Treaty of San Stephano did not, however, constitute the final settlement of the Russo-Turkish war. Britain rightly feared that its provisions for a Greater Armenia in the East would inevitably not only establish Russian hegemony in those areas but also, and even more dangerous, in the Ottoman Empire, and through "Greater Armenia" to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, where they could easily threaten the British possessions in India. In return for an Ottoman agreement for British occupation of Cyprus, therefore, to enable it to counter any Russian threats in Eastern Anatolia, Britain agreed to use its influence in Europe to upset the provisions of San Stephano, arranging the Congress of Berlin to this end. As a result of its deliberations, Russia was compelled to evacuate all of Eastern Anatolia with the exception of the districts of Kars, Ardahan and Batum, with the Ottomans agreeing to institute "reforms" in the eastern provinces where Armenians lived under the guarantee of the five signatory European powers. From this time onward, England in particular came to consider the "Armenian Question" as its own particular problem, and to regularly intervene to secure its solution according to its own ideas.

A committee sent by the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul attended the Congress of Berlin, but it was so unhappy at the final treaty and the Powers' failure to accept its demands that it returned to Istanbul with the feeling that "nothing will be achieved except by means of struggle and revolution." Russia also emerged from the Congress without having achieved its major objectives, and with both Greece, and Bulgaria being left under British influence. It therefore renewed with increased vigor its effort to secure control of Eastern Anatolia, again seeking to use the Armenians as a major instrument of its policy. Now, however, it was resisted in this effort by the British, who also sought to influence and use the Armenians by stirring their national ambitions, though in this respect, in the words of the French writer Rene Pinon, who is in fact known with his pro-Armenian views, "Armenia in British hands would become a police station against Russian expansion." Whether under Russian or British influence, however, the Armenians became pawns to advance imperial ambitions at Ottoman expense.

It was British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the Tories who defended Ottoman integrity against Russian expansion at the Congress of Berlin. But with the assumption of power by William E. Gladstone and the Liberals in I880, British policy toward the Ottomans changed drastically to one which sought to protect British interests by breaking up the Ottoman Empire and creating friendly small states under British influence in its place, one of which was to be Armenia. In pursuit of this policy, the British press now was encouraged to refer to eastern Anatolia as "Armenia"; British consulates were opened in every corner of the area to provide opportunities for contact with the local Christian population; the numbers of Protestant missionaries sent to the East was substantially increased; and in London an Anglo-Armenian Friendship Committee was created to influence public opinion in support of this new endeavour. The way how Russia and Great Britain used Armenians as a tool for their own ambitions has been adequately documented by numerous Armenian and other foreign sources. Thus, the French Ambassador in Istanbul Paul Cambon reported to the Quai d'Orsay in 1894 that "Gladstone is organizing the dissatisfied Armenians, putting them under discipline and promising them assistance, settling many of them in London with the inspiration of the propaganda committee." Edgar Granville commended that "There was no Armenian movement in Ottoman territory before the Russians stirred them up. Innocent people are going to be hurt because of this dream of a Greater Armenia under the protection of the Czar," and "the Armenian movements intend to attach Eastern Anatolia to Russia." The Armenian writer Kaprielian declared proudly in his book "The Armenian Crisis and Rebirth that "the revolutionary promises and inspirations were owed to Russia." The Tashnak newspaper Hairenik in its issue of 28 June 1918 stated that "The awakening of a revolutionary spirit among the Armenians in Turkey was the result of Russian stimulation." The Armenian Patriarch Horen Ashikian wrote in his History of Armenia "The protestant missionaries distributed in large numbers to various places in Turkey made propaganda in favor of England and stirred the Armenians to desire autonomy under British protection. The schools that they established were the nurseries of their secret plans." And the Armenian religious leader Hrant Vartabed wrote that "'The establishment of protestant communities in Ottoman territory and their protection by England and the United States shows that they did not shrink from exploiting even the most sacred feelings of the West, religious feelings, in seeking civilization", going on to state that the Catholicos of Echmiadzin Kevork V was a tool of Czarist Russia and that he betrayed the Armenians of Anatolia.

In pursuit of these policies, starting in 1880 a number of Armenian revolutionary societies were established in Eastern Anatolia, like the Black Cross and Armenian societies in Van and the National Guards in Erzurum. However these societies had little influence, since the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire still lived in peace and prosperity and had no real complaints against Ottoman administration. With the passage of time, therefore, these and other such Armenian societies within the Empire fell into inactivity and largely ceased operations. The Armenian nationalists therefore moved to center their organizations outside Ottoman territory, establishing the Hunchak Committee at Geneva in 1887 and the Tashnak Committee at Tiflis in 1890, both of which declared to be their basic goal the "liberation" from Ottoman rule of the territories of Eastern Anatolia and the Ottoman Armenians.

According to Louise Nalbandian, a leading Armenian researcher into Armenian propaganda, the Hunchak program stated that:

"Agitation and terror were needed to "elevate the spirit" of the people. The people were also to be incited against their enemies and were to "profit" from retaliatory actions of these same enemies. Terror was to be used as a method of protecting the people and winning their confidence in the Hunchak program. The party aimed at terrorizing the Ottoman government, thus contributing toward lowering the prestige of that regime and working toward its complete disintegration. The government itself was not to be the only focus of terroristic tactics. The Hunchaks wanted to annihilate the most dangerous of the Armenian and Turkish individuals who were then working for the government as well as to destroy all spies and informers. To assist them in carrying out all of these terroristic acts, the party was to organize an exclusive branch specifically devoted to performing acts of terrorism. The most opportune time to institute the general rebellion for carrying out immediate objectives was when Turkey was engaged in war. "

K. S. Papazian wrote of the Tashnak Society:

"The purpose of the A. R. Federation (Tashnak) is to-achieve political and economic freedom in Turkish Armenia, by means of rebellion ... terrorism has, from the first, been adopted by the Tashnak Committee of the Caucasus, as a policy or a method for achieving its ends. Under the heading "means" in their program adopted in 1892, we read as follows: The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Tashnak), in order to achieve its purpose through rebellion, organizes revolutionary groups. Method no. 8 is as follows: To wage fight, and to subject to terrorism the Government officials, the traitors, ... Method no.11 is: To subject the government institutions to destruction and pillage. "

One of the Tashnak founders and ideologues, Dr. Jean Loris-Melikoff wrote that:

"The truth is that the party (Tashnak Committee) was ruled by an oligarchy, for whom the particular interests of the party came before the interests of the people and nation.. They (the Tashnaks) made collections among the bourgeois and the great merchants. A t the end, when these means were exhausted, they resorted to terrorism, after the teachings of the Russian revolutionaries that the end justifies the means. "

The same policy was described by .the Tashnak ideologue Varandian, in History of the Tashnakzoutune (Paris, 1932).

Thus as Armenian writers themselves have freely admitted, the goal of their revolutionary societies was to stir revolution, and their method was terror. They lost no time in putting their programs into operation, stirring a number of revolt efforts within a short time, with the Hunches taking the lead at first, and then the Tashnaks following, planning and organizing their efforts outside the Ottoman Empire before carrying them out within the boundaries of the Sultan's land.

The first revolt came in Erzurum in 1890. It was followed by the Kumkapi riots in Istanbul the same year, and then risings in Kayseri, Yozgat, Corum and Merzifon in 1892 - 1893, in Sasun in 1894, the Zeytun revolt and the Armenian raid on the Sublime Porte in 1895, the Van revolt and occupation of the Ottoman Bank in Istanbul in 1896, the Second Sasun revolt in 1903, the attempted assassination of Sultan Abdulhamid II in 1905, and the Adana revolt in 1909. All these revolts and riots were presented by the Armenian revolutionary societies in Europe and America as the killing of Armenians by Turks, and with this sort of propaganda message they stirred considerable emotion among Christian peoples. The missionaries and consular representatives sent by the Powers to Anatolia played major roles in spreading this propaganda in the western press, thus carrying out the aims of the western powers to turn public opinion against Muslims and Turks to gain the necessary support to break up the Ottoman Empire.

There were many honest western diplomatic and consular representatives who reported what actually was happening, that it was the Armenian revolutionary societies that were doing the revolting and slaughtering and massacring to secure European intervention in their behalf.

In 1876, the British Ambassador in Istanbul reported that the Armenian Patriarch had said to him:

"If revolution is necessary to attract the attention and intervention of Europe, it would not be hard to do so. "

On 28 March 1894 the British Ambassador in Istanbul, Curie reported to the Foreign Office:

"The aim of the Armenian revolutionaries is to stir disturbances, in order to get the Ottomans to react to violence, and thus get the foreign Powers to intervene. "

On 28 January 1895 the British Consul in Erzurum, Graves reported to the British Ambassador in Istanbul:

"The aims of the revolutionary committees are to stir up general discontent and to get the Turkish government and people to react with violence, thus attracting the attention of the foreign powers to the imagined sufferings of the Armenian people, and getting them to act to correct the situation. "

Graves response to New York Herald reporter Sydney Whitman’s question:

"If no Armenian revolutionary had come to this country, if they had not stirred Armenian revolution, would these clashes have occurred ", was "Of course not. I doubt if a single Armenian would have been killed. "

The British Vice-Consul Williams wrote from Van on 4 March 1896:

"The Tashnaks and Hunchaks have terrorized their own countrymen, they have stirred up the Muslim people with their thefts and insanities, and have paralyzed all efforts made to carry out reforms; all the events that have taken place in Anatolia are the responsibility of the crimes committed by the Armenian revolutionary committees. "

British Consul General in Adana Doughty Wily wrote in 1909 "The Armenians are working to secure foreign intervention." Russian Consul General in Bitlis and Van; General Mayewski, reported in 1912:

"In 1895 and 1896 the Armenian revolutionary committees created such suspicion between the Armenians and the native population that it became impossible to implement any sort of reform in these districts. The Armenian priests paid no attention to religious education, but instead concentrated on spreading nationalist ideas, which were affixed to the walls of monasteries, and in place of performing their religious duties they concentrated on stirring Christian enmity against Muslims. The revolts that took place in many provinces of Turkey during 1895 and 1896 were caused neither by any great poverty among the Armenian villages nor because of Muslim attacks against them. In fact these villagers were considerably richer and more prosperous than their neighbors. Rather, the Armenian revolts came from three causes:

1. Their increasing maturity in political subjects;

2.The spread of ideas of nationality, liberation, and independence within the Armenian community;

3.Support of these ideas by the western governments, and their encouragement through the efforts of the Armenian priests. "

In another report in December 1912, Mayewski wrote that:

"The Tashnak revolutionary society is working to stir up a situation in which Muslims and Armenians will attack each other, and thus pave the way for Russian intervention. "

Finally, the Tashnak ideologue Varandian admits that the society "wanted to assure European intervention," while Papazian stated that "the aims of their revolts was to assure that the European powers would interfere Ottoman internal affairs." At each of their armed revolts the Armenian terrorist committees have always propagated that European intervention would immediately follow. Even some of the committee members believed in this propaganda. In fact, during the occupation of the Ottoman Bank in Istanbul the Armenian terrorist Armen Aknomi committed suicide after having waited in desperation the arrival of the British fleet. It can be seen thus that the basis for the Armenian revolts was not poverty, nor was it oppression or the desire for reform; rather, it was simply the result of a joint effort on the part of the Armenian revolutionary committees and the Armenian church, in conjunction with the Western Powers and Russia, to provide the basis to break up the Ottoman Empire.

In reaction to these revolts, the Ottomans did what other states did in such circumstances, sending armed forces against the rebels to restore order, and for the most part succeeding quickly since very few of the Armenian populace supported or helped the rebels or the revolutionary societies. However for the press and public of Europe, stirred by tales spread by the missionaries and the revolutionary societies themselves, every Ottoman restoration of order was automatically considered as a "massacre" of Christians, while the thousands of slaughtered Muslims being ignored and Christian claims against Muslims automatically accepted. In many cases, the European states not only intervened to prevent the Ottomans from restoring order, but also secured the release of many captured terrorists, including those involved in the Zeytun revolt, the occupation of the Ottoman Bank, and the attempted assassination of Sultan Abdulhamid. While most of these were expelled from the Ottoman Empire, it did not take long for them to secure forged passports and other documents and to return to Ottoman territory to resume their terroristic activities, with the cooperation of their European sponsors. Whatever were the claims of the Armenian revolutionary societies and whatever the ambitions of the imperial powers of Europe, there was one major fact which they simply could not ignore. The Armenians comprised a very small minority of the population in the territories being claimed in their name, namely the six eastern districts claimed as "historic Armenia" (Erzurum, Bitlis, Van, Elaziz, Diyarbakir and Sivas), the two provinces claimed to comprise "Armenian Cilicia" (Aleppo and Adana) and finally Trabzon which was later claimed to have an outlet to the Black Sea coast. Event the French Yellow Book, which among western sources, which made the largest Armenian population claims, still showed them in a sizeable minority:


.

Total Population


Total Armenians Population


Percent of

Gregorian

Erzurum


645,702


134,967


20.90

Bitlis


398,625


131,390


32.96

Van


430,000


80,798


18.79

Elaziz


578,814


69,718


12.04

Diyarbakir


471,462


79,129


16.78

Sivas


1,086,015


170,433


15.68

Adana


403,539


97,450


24.14

Aleppo


995,758


37,999


3.81

Trabzon


1,047,700


47,200


4.50

Thus even by these extreme claims, the Armenians still constituted no more than one third of the provinces' population. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1910, the Armenians were only 15 percent of the area's population as a whole, making it very unlikely that they could in fact achieve independence in any part of the Ottoman Empire without the massive foreign assistance that would have been required to push out the Turkish majorities and replace them with Armenian emigrants.

Russia in fact was only using the Armenians for its own ends. It had no real intention of establishing Armenian independence, either within its own dominions or in Ottoman territory. Almost as soon as the Russians took over the Caucasus, they adopted a policy of Russifying the Armenians as well as establishing their own control over the Armenian Gregorian church in their territory. By virture of the Polijenia Law of 1836, the powers and duties of the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin were restricted, while his appointment was to be made by the Czar. In 1882 all Armenian newspapers and schools in the Russian Empire were closed, and in l903 the state took direct control of all the financial resources of the Armenian Church as well as Armenian establishments and schools. At the same time Russian Foreign Minister Lobanov-Rostowsky adopted his famous goal of "An Armenia without Armenians", a slogan which has been deliberately attributed to the Ottoman administration by some Armenian propagandists and writers in recent years. Whatever the reason, Russian oppression of the Armenians was severe. The Armenian historian Vartanian relates in his History of the Armenian Movement that "Ottoman Armenia was completely free in its traditions, religion, culture and language in comparison to Russian Armenia under the Czars." Edgar Granville writes, "The Ottoman Empire was the Armenians' only shelter against Russian oppression."

That Russian intentions were to use the Armenians to annex Eastern Anatolia and not to create an independent Armenia is shown by what happened during World War I. In the secret agreements made among the Entente powers to divide the Ottoman Empire, the territory which the Russians had promised to the Armenians as an autonomous or independent territory was summarily divided between Russia and France without any mention of the Armenians, while the Czar replied to the protests of the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin only that "Russia has no Armenian problem." The Armenian writer Borian thus concludes:

"Czarist Russia at no time wanted to assure Armenian autonomy: For this reason one must consider the Armenians who were working for Armenian autonomy as no more than agents of the Czar to attach Eastern Anatolia to Russia. "

The Russians thus have deceived the Armenians for years; and as a result the Armenians have been left with nothing more than an empty dream.

DID THE TURKS PRACTICE A PLANNED AND SYSTEMATIC GENOCIDE ON ARMENIANS IN 1915?

The beginning of World War I and the Ottoman entry into the war on November l, 1914 on the side of Germany and Austria - Hungary against the Entente powers was considered as a great opportunity by the Armenian nationalists. Louise Nalbandian relates that "The Armenian revolutionary committees considered that the most opportune time to begin a general uprising to achieve their goals was when the Ottoman Empire was in a state of war", and thus less able to resist an internal attack.

Even before the war began, in August 1914, the Ottoman leaders met with the Dashnaks at Erzurum in the hope of getting them to support the Ottoman war effort when it came. The Dashnaks promised that if the Ottomans entered the war, they would do their duty as loyal countrymen in the Ottoman armies. However they failed to live up to this promise, since even before this meeting took place, a secret Dashnak Congress held at Erzurum in June 1914 had already decided to use the oncoming war to undertake a general attack against the Ottoman state. The Russian Armenians joined the Russian army in preparing an attack on the Ottomans as soon as war was declared. The Catholicos of Echmiadzin assured the Russian General Governor of the Caucasus, Vranzof-Dashkof, that "in return for Russia's forcing the Ottomans to make reforms for the Armenians, all the Russian Armenians would support the Russian war effort without conditions." The Catholicos subsequently was received at Tiflis by the Czar, whom he told that "The liberation of the Armenians in Anatolia would lead to the establishment of an autonomous Armenia separated from Turkish suzerainty and that this Armenia could be realized under with the protection of Russia." Of course the Russians really intended to use the Armenians to annex Eastern Anatolia, but the Catholicos was told nothing about that.

As soon as Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire, the Dashnak Society's official organ Horizon declared:

"The Armenians have taken their place on the side of the Entente states without showing any hesitation whatsoever; they have placed all their forces at the disposition of Russia; and they also are forming volunteer battalions. "

The Dashnak Committee also ordered its cells that had been preparing to revolt within the Ottoman Empire:

"As soon as the Russians have crossed the borders and the Ottoman armies have started to retreat, you should revolt everywhere. The Ottoman armies thus will be placed between two fires: of the Ottoman armies advance against the Russians, on the other hand, Armenian soldiers in Ottoman soldiers should leave their units with their weapons, form bandit forces, and unite with the Russians. "

The Hunchak Committee instructions to its organizations in the Ottoman territory were:

"The Hunchak Committee will use all means to assist the Entente states, devoting all its forces to the struggle to assure victory in Armenia, Cilicia, the Caucasus and Azerbaijan as the ally of the Entente states, and in particular of Russia. "

And even the Armenian representative to Van in the Ottoman Parliament for Van, Papazyan, soon turned out to be a leading guerilla fighter against the Ottomans, publishing a proclamation that:

"The volunteer Armenian regiments in the Caucasus should prepare themselves for battle, serve as advance units for the Russian armies to help them capture the key positions in the districts where the Armenians live, and advance into Anatolia, joining the Armenian units already established there."

As the Russian forces advanced into Ottoman territory in eastern Anatolia, they were led by advanced units composed of volunteer Ottoman and Russian Armenians, who were joined by the Armenians deserting the Ottoman armies and went over to the Russians. Many of these also formed bandit forces with weapons and ammunition which they had for years been stocking in Armenian and missionary churches and schools, going on to raid Ottoman supply depots both to increase their own arms and to deny them to the Ottoman army as it moved to meet this massive Russian invasion. Within a few months after the war began, these Armenian guerilla forces, operating in close coordination with the Russians, were savagely attacking Turkish cities, towns and villages in the East; massacring their inhabitants without mercy, while at the same time working to sabotage the Ottoman army's war effort by destroying roads and bridges, raiding caravans, and doing whatever else they could to ease the Russian occupation. The atrocities committed by the Armenian volunteer forces accompanying the Russian army were so severe that the Russian commanders themselves were compelled to withdraw them from the fighting fronts and send them to rear guard duties. The memoirs of all too many Russian officers who served in the East at this time are filled with accounts of the revolting atrocities committed by these Armenian guerillas, which were savage even by the relatively primitive standards of war then observed in such areas.

Nor did these Armenian atrocities effect only Turks and other Muslims. The Armenian guerillas had never been happy with the failure of the Greeks and Jews to fully support their revolutionary programs. As a result in Trabzon and vicinity they massacred thousands of Greeks, while in the area of Hakkari it was the Jews who were rounded up and massacred by the Armenian guerillas. Basically the aim of these atrocities was to leave only Armenians in the territories being claimed for the new Armenian state; all others therefore were massacred or forced to flee for their lives so as to secure the desired Armenian majority of the population in preparation for the peace settlement.

Leading the first Armenian units who crossed the Ottoman border in the company of the Russian invaders was the former Ottoman Parliamentary representative for Erzurum, Karekin Pastirmaciyan, who now assumed the revolutionary name Armen Garo. Another former Ottoman parliamentarian, Hamparsum Boyaciyan, led the Armenian guerilla forces who ravaged Turkish villages behind the lines under the nickname "Murad", specifically ordering that "Turkish children also should be killed as they form a danger to the Armenian nation." Another former Member of Parliament, Papazyan, led the Armenian guerilla forces that ravaged the areas of Van, Bitlis and Mush.

In March 1915 the Russian forces began to move toward Van. Immediately, on April 11,1915 the Armenians of Van began a general revolt, massacring all the Turks in the vicinity so as to make possible its quick and easy conquest by the Russians. Little wonder that Czar Nicholas II sent a telegram of thanks to the Armenian Revolutionary Committee of Van on April 21,1915, "thanking it for its services to Russia." .The Armenian newspaper Gochnak, published in the United States, also proudly reported on May 24,1915 that "only, 1,500 Turks remain in Van", the rest having been slaughtered.

The Dashnak representative told the Armenian National Congress assembled at Tiflis in February 1915 that "Russia provided 242,000 rubles before the war even began to arm and prepare the Ottoman Armenians to undertake revolts", giving some idea of how the Russian-Armenian alliance had long been preparing to undermine the Ottoman war effort. Under these circumstances, with the Russians advancing along a wide front in the East, with the Armenian guerillas spreading death and destruction while at the same time attacking the Ottoman armies from the rear, with the Allies also invading the Empire along a wide front from Galicia to Irak, the Ottoman decision to deport Armenians from the war areas was a moderate and entirely legitimate measure of self defense.

Even after the revolt and massacres at Van, the Ottoman government made one final effort to secure general Armenian support for the war effort, summoning the Patriarch, some Armenian Members of Parliament, and other delegates to a meeting where they were warned that drastic measures would be taken unless Armenians stopped slaughtering Muslims and ceased to undermine the war effort. When there was no evident lessening of the Armenian attacks, the government finally acted. On April 24,1915 the Armenian revolutionary committees were closed and 235 of their leaders were arrested for activities against the state. It is the date of these arrests that in recent years has been annually commemorated by Armenian nationalist groups throughout the world in commemoration of the so-called "genocide" that they claim took place at this time. No such genocide, however, took place, at this or any other time during the war: In the face of the great dangers, which the Empire faced at that time, great care was taken to make certain that the Armenians were treated carefully and compassionately as they were relocated, generally to Syria and Palestine if they came from southern Anatolia, and to Irak if they came from the north. The Ottoman Council of Ministers thus ordered :

"When those of the Armenians resident in the aforementioned towns and villages who have to be moved are transferred to their places of settlement and are on the road, their comfort must be assured and their lives and property protected; after their arrival their food should be paid for out of Refugees' Appropriations until they are definitively settled in their new homes. Property and land should be distributed to them in accordance with their previous financial situation as well as their current needs; and for those among them needing further help, the government should build houses, provide cultivators and artisans with seed, tools, and equipment. "

And it went on to specify :

"This order is entirely intended against the extension of the Armenian Revolutionary Committees; therefore do not execute it in such a manner that might cause the mutual massacre of Muslims and Armenians. "

"Make arrangements for special officials to accompany the groups of Armenians who are being relocated, and make sure they are provided with food and other needed things, paying the cost out of the allotments set aside for emigrants. "

"The food needed by the emigrants while travelling until they reach their destinations must be provided ... for poor emigrants by credit for the installation of the emigrants. The camps provided for transported persons should be kept under regular supervision; necessary steps for their well being should be taken, and order and security assured Make certain that indigent emigrants are given enough food and that their health is assured by daily visits by a doctor... Sick people, poor people, women and children should be sent by rail, and others on mules, in carts or on foot according to their power of endurance. Each convoy should be accompanied by a detachment of guards, and the food shoul be supplied for each Coney should be guarded until the destination is reached... In cases where the emigrants are attacked, either in the camps or during the journeys, all efforts made to repel the attacks immediately... "

Out of the some 700,000 Armenians who were transported in this way until early 1917, certainly some lives were lost, as the result both of large scale military and bandit activities then going on in the areas through which they passed, as well as the general insecurity and blood feuds which some tribal forces sought to carry out as the caravans passed through their territories. In addition, the relocation of Armenians took place at a time when the Empire was suffering from severe shortages of fuel, food, medicine and other supplies as well as large-scale plague and famine. It should not be forgotten that, at the same time, an entire Ottoman army of 90,000 men was lost in the East as a result of severe shortages, or that through the remainder of the war as many as three or four million Ottoman subjects of all religions died as a result of the same conditions that afflicted the deportees. How tragic and unfeeling it is, therefore, for Armenian nationalists to blame the undoubted suffering of the Armenians during the war to something more than the same anarchical conditions which afflicted all the Sultan's subjects. This is the truth behind the false claims distorting historical facts by ill-devised mottoes such as the "first genocide of the twentieth century" which Armenian propagandists and terror groups try to revive to justify the same tactics of terror today which brought ù such horrors to the Ottoman Empire during the last century.

IS EASTERN ANATOLIA THE HOMELAND OF ARMENIANS?

Even Armenian historians disagree on this question. Let us examine some of their contradictory theories while looking into Anatolian history.

1.The Biblical Noah Theory. According to this idea, the Armenians descended from Hayk, great-great grandson of the Biblical patriarch Noah. Since Noah's Arc is supposed to have come to rest on Mount Ararat, the advocates of this idea conclude that eastern Anatolia must have been the original Armenian homeland, adding that Hayk lived some four hundred years and expanded his dominion as far as Babylon. This claim is based entirely on fables, not on any scientific evidence, and is not worthy of further consideration. The historian Auguste Carriere summarily dismisses it stating that "it depends entirely on information provided by some Armenian historians, most of which was made up.”

2.The Urartu Theory. Some Armenians claim that they were the people of Urartu, which existed in eastern Anatolia starting about 3000 B.C. until it was defeated and destroyed by the Medes, with its territory being contested for some time by Lydia and the Medes until it finally fell under the influence of the latter. This claim has no basis in fact. No form of the name Armenian is found in any inscription in Anatolia dating from that period, nor was there any similarity at all between the Armenian language and that of Urartu, the former being a member of the Satem group oflndo European languages, while the latter was similar to the Ural-Altaic languages. Nor were there any similarities between their cultures. The most recent archaeological finds in the area of Erzurum support these conclusions very clearly. There is, therefore, absolutely no evidence at all to support the claim that the people of Urartu were Armenian.

3.The Thracian-Phrygian Theory. The theory most favoured by Armenian historians claims that they descended from a Thracian-Phrygian group, that originated in the Balkan Peninsula and by the pressure oflllyrians migrated to eastern Anatolia in the sixth century B.C. This theory is based on the fact that the name Armenian was mentioned for the first time in the Behistan inscription of the Mede (Persian) Emperor Darius from the year 521 B.C., "I defeated the Armenians." If accepted, of course, this view effectively contradicts and disproves the Noah and Urartu theories.

(1) CARRIERE, Auguste, Moise de Khoren et la Genealogie Patriarcale, Paris, 1896

DID THE TURKS INVADE AND CONFISCATE ARMENIAN LANDS STARTING WITH THE SELJUKS AND THE OTTOMANS?

The territory in which the Armenians lived together for a time never was ruled by them as an independent, sovereign state. This territory was ruled by others from the earliest times from which there is evidence that Armenians lived there. From 521 to 344 B.C. it was a province of Persia. From 334 to 215 B.C. it was part of the Macedonian Empire. From 215 to 190 B.C. it was controlled by the Selephkites. From 190 until 220 A.D. it frequently changed hands between the Roman Empire and the Parthians. From 220 until the start of the fifth century it was a Sassanian province, and from then until the seventh century it belonged to Byzantium. From the seventh to the tenth centuries it was controlled by the Arabs. It returned again to Byzantine rule in the tenth century and, finally, it came under the domination of the Turks starting in the eleventh century.

The Armenians living in this territory who remained under the rule of these various empires, could not continuously maintain any sort of independent or unified Armenian state. At the most, a few Armenian noble families dominated certain districts as feudal vassals of the neighboring imperial suzerains, serving as buffers between the powerful empires that surrounded them. Most of these Armenian "principalities" were, thus, simply set up by local Armenian nobles within their own feudal dominions, or by the neighboring empires, who in this way secured their military services against their enemies. The best example of this was the Baghratid family, long brought forward by Armenian nationalist historians as an example of their historic independent existence, which was in fact put in charge of its territory by the Arab Caliphs. Some of the "Armenian" families which assumed the title of principality at this time were, moreover, really Persian rather than Armenian in origin. That they did not constitute any sort of independent nation is shown in the statement of the Armenian historian Kevork Asian:

"The Armenians lived as local notables. They had no feeling of national unity. There were no political bonds or ties among them. Their only attachments were to the neighboring notables. Thus whatever national feelings they had were local.”

These Armenian principalities existed for centuries under the control of various great empires and states, often changing sides to secure maximum advantage, and thus earning for Armenians often caustic and critical remarks from contemporary historians, as for example the Roman historian Tacitus, who in his Annalium liber wrote: "The Armenians change their position relating to Rome and the Persian Empire, sometimes supporting one and sometimes the other", concluding that they are "a strange people.”

It was as a result of these conditions, and then, the Armenians' lack of unity and strength, their very failure to create a real state, their weakness in relation to their neighbors, the fact that the territory in which they lived was the scene of constant conflict among their more powerful suzerains from all sides, that they often were deported, or moved voluntarily, from the lands where they first lived when they appeared in history. Thus when they fled from the Persians they settled in the area ofKayseri, in Central Anatolia. They were deported by the Sassanians into central Iran, by the Arabs into Syria and the Arabian Peninsula, by the Byzantines into Central Anatolia and to Istanbul, Thrace, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, Transylvania and the Crimea. During the Crusades, they went to Cyprus, Crete and Italy. In flight from the Mongols they settled in Kazan and Astrakhan in Central Asia, and finally, they were subsequently deported by the Russians from the Crimea and the Caucasus into the interior of Russia. As a result of these centuries-long deportations and migrations, then, the Armenians were widely scattered from Sicily to India and from the Crimea to Arabia, thus forming what they call "the Armenian diaspora" centuries before they were deported by the Ottomans in 1915.

The Armenians broke away from the Byzantine church in 451,150 years after they accepted Christianity, leading to long centuries of Armenian-Byzantine clashes which went on until the Turks settled in Anatolia starting in the late 11th century, with the Byzantines working to wipe out the Armenians and eliminate the Armenian principalities in order to maintain Greek Orthodoxy throughout their dominions. Contemporary Armenian historians report in great detail how the Byzantines deported Armenians as well as using them against enemy forces in the vanguard of the Byzantine armies. As a result of this, when the Seljuk Turks started flooding into Anatolia starting in the late llth century, they did not encounter any Armenian principalities; the only force remaining to resist them was that of Byzantium. The Seljuk ruler Alparslan captured the lands of the Armenian Principality ofAni in 1064, but it had previously been brought to an end by the Byzantine in 1045, nineteen years earlier, with Greeks being brought in to replace the Armenians who had been deported. It is therefore false to claim that the Seljuk Turks destroyed any Armenian principality, let alone a state. This already had been done by the Byzantines, and it was in fact the social and economic ferment that resulted which greatly facilitated the subsequent Turkish settlement. Contemporary Armenian historians interpret this Turkish conquest of Anatolia to have constituted their liberation from the long centuries of Byzantine misrule and oppression. The Armenian historian Asoghik thus reports that "Because of the Armenians' enmity toward Byzantium, they welcomed the Turkish entry into Anatolia and even helped them." The Armenian historian Mathias of Edessa likewise relates that the Armenians rejoiced and celebrated publicly when the Turks conquered his city, Edessa (today's Urfa).

An Armenian principality did arise in Cilicia starting in 1080 but it was the result, not of the Turkish settlement in Anatolia, as has been claimed, but, rather, of the Byzantine destruction of the last Armenian principalities in eastern Anatolia, which caused a flood of Armenians fleeing into Cilicia. This principality maintained good relations with the Turks even as it provided assistance to the Crusaders who passed through its territory on their way to the Holy Land, while accepting the suzerainty, first of Byzantium, and then after it declined, of the Crusader Kingdoms, the Mongols, and, finally, the Catholic Lusignan family which gained control of Cyprus. This sort of relationship with "unbelievers^, however, displeased the Gregorian Armenian Church, with the resulting internal divisions playing a significant role in the Principality's conquest by the Mamluks of Syria and Egypt in 1375. In the end, the most significant consequence of this last Armenian principality was the establishment of a separate Armenian church from the one centered at Echmiadzin, which added to the internal divisions within Armenian Orthodoxy which remain important to the present day.

Thus, when eastern Anatolia was conquered by Fatih Mehmet II and Yavuz Sultan Selim I, it was taken from the White Sheep Turkomans and from the Safavids of Iran, who had occupied it after the Byzantines had retired; while Yavuz Selim took Cilicia from the Mamluks. MIn no case, therefore, did the Ottoman Turks conquer or occupy an existing Armenian state or principality. In every case, these Armenians had previously been conquered by peoples other than the Turks.

(*) ASLAN, Kevork, L'Armenie et les Armeniens, Istanbul, 1914.

ARE THE ARMENIANS IN TURKEY OPPRESSED AT PRESENT?

Armenian nationalist propagandists from time to time claim that the Armenians of Turkey are being persecuted. This is done, not only to reinforce their claims that the Turks persecuted Armenians throughout history, but also to provide a unifying bond for Armenian action groups and to get foreign states to intervene in Turkish internal affairs. Like the other Armenian claims, this also is not based on fact.

The 40,000 - 50,000 Armenians living in Turkey today are in no way separated from the remainder of the population. They are full Turkish citizens, with the same rights and privileges as other Turkish citizens, with their lives, liberties and happiness guaranteed by law.

The Armenians of Turkey continue to worship in their own churches and teach in their own language in their own schools. They publish newspapers, books and magazines in Armenian and have their own social and cultural institutions in addition to participating fully in those open to all Turks. The Armenian community in Istanbul has 30 schools, 17 cultural and social organizations, two daily newspapers called Jamanak and Marmara, two sports clubs, named Shishly (ªisli) and Taksim, and many health establishments as well as numerous religious foundations set up to support these activities.

Most of the Turkish Armenians continue to be Gregorian, and are led by a Patriarch. In addition there are a number of Catholic and Protestant Armenians who have their own churches and other institutions.

The Armenians of Turkey are as free to live prosperous and happy lives as are Turks of other religions. Many of them are prosperous merchants as well as leading members of the arts and professions. The Armenians of Turkey are proud to be Turkish citizens and, along with all other Turks, deeply resent the lies about their country spread in their name by outside Armenian nationalists. In particular they abhorred the terrorist attacks carried out by these groups on Turkish diplomats, citizens; and interests throughout the world.

On November 1st 1981 the Armenian Patriarch held a memorial service at the Patriarchate to commemorate the Turkish diplomats slaughtered by Armenian terrorists and to condemn these acts done in the name of the Armenian people. In February 1982 the Patriarch vigorously denied the claims made by the Council of Europe that Turkey is oppressing its minorities, stating "The Armenians of Turkey are Turkish citizens, they live in peace in Turkey, they practice their religion freely and benefit from the freedom of belief." Following the Armenian terrorist assassination of Turkish Consul-General Kemal Ankan in Los Angeles on 28 January, 1982, the Armenian Patriarch stated "The Turkish Armenians, like all other Turkish citizens, learned of this with great sorrow", and appealed for "all Armenians living outside Turkey to rise up against these illegal activities and murders." Turkish Armenians themselves thus put the lie to the claims of the Armenian propagandists.

WHAT IS THE PICTURE FROM THE STANDPOINT OF UN TREATY ON GENOCIDE?

The genocide concept was defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crime. According to the article 2 of this Convention, the genocide is any of the acts of assassination of or inflicting serious physical or mental integrity on the group members or their detainment under living conditions that would result in its annihilation or introduction of measures preventing births within the group or forcibly transferring the children of one group into another in order to partially or wholly eradicating a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. The genocide implies acts and actions under a planned State policy.

When the issue is examined from the viewpoint of genocide Convention, some events in the history should be recalled. For the perpetration of such a serious crime against humanity as the genocide, there should be a certain tendency toward it in the history of the nation concerned. The criminality is as much a personal trait as a national one. A study of the Turkish history reveals no traces of genocide or assimilation. A short historical tour of horizon and a recall of the geography once under the Ottoman rule show us that the Ottomans had penetrated well into Europe all the way up to Vienna, controlled the whole of the North African coast and the entire Middle East for a period from 200 to 400 years. Which nation may be said to have been exterminated during this period? In a era when the sharia prevailed in Anatolia, creeds such as Syriac, the oldest Christian denomination, and Yezidite that idolatrised the fire and had their own free reins and churches were built throughout Anatolia in the 1800s despite the fact that it was against the religion’s commandments. As a matter of fact, one of the brothers of Sokollu Mehmet Pasha, an Ottoman Grand Vizier, was appointed as the Patriarch of Makarije Serbian Church and led the revival of Serbian national spirit. We find examples of genocide in the era of intersectarian wars of Europe, in the people whose languages were forcibly changed (Hindus and Peshtus), in Africa where the language and religion were entirely altered and in South America when the Europeans had set foot there.

The Turkish administration is used to coexist with the peoples of different cultures and origins in all regions where it rules. This is probably a feature acquired by living together with different cultures for long periods in its history.

The Turkish State tradition has justice and preservation or cultures, but no trace whatsoever of massacre or genocide. This is revealed in no uncertain terms in Justin McCarthy’s book titled Death and Exile, in which examples are given of how the Balkan and Caucasian peoples had fled to the Ottoman rule to avoid death. A question needs to be asked to those accusing the Ottoman administration of having perpetrated genocide: Why did the Jews and Moslems leave Spain and Portugal in 1469, why did Tokely Imre and his entourage leave Hungary and seek refuge in the Ottoman Empire in 1680, Racozy Ferenè and his confidantes in 1711 and Lajos Kosuth and his two thousand associates in 1849, and where had the Swedish King Charles and the remainder of his army the same year, the Polish Prince Chartorsky in 1841 and 1856, the Russian General Vrangel with his army of 135.000 in 1917 and even Trotsky sought safety for life? Don’t those accusing Turkey of having committed so-called genocide in 1915 know that the Polish and German Jews had fled to Turkey in the late ‘30s? Why, only after 20 or 25 years after the so-called genocide, these people preferred Turkey for seeking asylum and finding safety?

Let us remember the genocide and assimilation events in the Balkans some 550 years after Mohamed the Conqueror who confirmed by his firman of 1478 the freedom of and preserving the values inherent in all human beings and for transferring them to the following generations. The Balkanic nations whose languages, religions, churches and schools were put under protection under this firman ousted the Bosniacs, Albanian Moslems, Macedonians and Bulgarian Turks from their countries in the 21st century just for creating homogenous societies. Those accusing Turkey with genocide disregarded the massacres that continued for months and ignored the desperate screams of women of all ages who were raped. The Iraqi people who fled from Saddam’s ire who attempted to annihilate his own people with the mustard gas that he had obtained from the Western weapons manufacturers had found the safety in Turkey where they had fled. The Turkish people, despite their limited means, shared their food with them and received without reservations all humans persecuted in their countries. This is the clean slate that may be shown as an example to all others of the Turkish nation, Ottomans and the Republic of Turkey.

In his talk before the United States House of Representatives, Professor Justin McCarthy indicated with the following words that Turkey also had suffered great pains in the World War I but preferred to keep them deep in its heart:

"The will to avenge is always branded in the minds of those that lose everything in wars. There would be a far greater number of deaths if the new Turkish Republic harped on these feelings. For this reason, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Government adopted a policy whereby the losses sustained in the past were overlooked and peace treaties were signed with its former foes because it had felt that pressure to be applied on the Armenians and other minorities would rekindle the old animosities and led to further wars. Thus the Turks never mentioned their own problems. This was the best decision that could ever be adopted under the then prevailing conditions. The point to which we arrived today is due to the fact that nobody had spoken on behalf of the Turks. What do you expect the Turks to think when they are unjustly criticised for something that they had not done?"

HOW DO ARMENIAN CLERGYMEN ASSESS THE ALLEGATIONS OF GENOCIDE?

Dikran Kevorkian, Pastor of Kandilli Armenian Church, who took part in 7th October 2000 in the TV programme named “in a nutshell” said the following:

The genocide and relocation denote two different concepts. The imperialist schemes and the Armenian apolitical dream leaders (media, churches and clergy) are the causes of this situation. The Patriarch is a spiritual leader and a blunder is committed when his opinions are sought in the political matters. What could ASALA and PKK do if there were no political support behind them?

There was a German pressure on the Sublime Port for the relocation in an attempt to shake the existing order and to secure itself an economic benefit through the Berlin-Baghdad railroad.

With regard to assimilation, I am prepared to say this: Today, it is only in Turkey among all countries of the world that the Armenians manage to maintain their own identity. The Armenians in the diaspora abroad continue their struggle for existence by changing their names because there are efforts there to melt the Armenians in the cultural pot.

The diaspora knows very well that the Sunday rites in all major American churches are in English and the Armenians are gradually losing their own language. Those who declare these things are branded to be black sheep of the herd. It is for these reasons that we as the Armenians living in Turkey, declare our regrets against these efforts, because an injustice is committed to the spirit of national forces entrusted to us by Atatürk. All this is a stratagem concocted abroad, including the ASALA, PKK and Kocharian’s declaration. We, as the citizens of Turkey, believe that an injustice is perpetrated here. The Armenians should know better than being scapegoats if they are intelligent enough.

MESROB II,

(THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCH)



Mesrob II, the Armenian Patriarch, gave the following reply during a round-table meeting at the Turkish CNN TV in October 2000 to he question of a spectator named Henika Kiremitci who asked him how they as the uneasy Armenian minority should act:

MESROB II - I too, feel a certain uneasiness when I feel the pulses of our Istanbul congregation members; yet I wish to say to all members of my church as well as to all the Armenians living in Turkey that there is no reason for you to be uneasy. Please have confidence in the common sense of all our citizens living here and particularly of our State and don’t feel yourselves embittered since you don’t even have the least involvement with these schemes and actions.

MESROB II,

THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCH

Patriarch Mesrob II chairing the ceremonies at the Surp Krikor Losavoric Church in Kinaliada in the morning of 22 August delivered the following sermon in the Surp Badarak rites presented by Hayr Sahak Apega:

FIRST PART OF THE SERMON

There was a holy pool named Siloam at Yerusagem. At the time of Rab Hisus, the citizens used to say that the water in the pool suddenly churned from time to time and believed that the sick people who threw themselves into the pool when the water churned would be healed. Hundreds of sick people used to keep guard by the poolside and chant prayers. One day 18 people horribly died there when one of the poolside pillars collapsed. This incident is confirmed in the thirteenth chapter of Lucas Bible.

Reminding this incident to his disciples, he asked them whether these 18 people were more sinful than the other congregation members and, failing to receive any replies, said this: “No, because people may die for many other reasons than their own faults or sins. But the important thing here is this: everyone should be ready for the critical moment between life and death for acts of God or other causes and should avoid being caught unaware by the death. The greatest disaster that we may encounter is to lose God’s realm. If we want God’s affection and paternity, we should repent and approach Him. This constitutes the focal point of the sermons of Baptist Yahya (Surp Hovannes Migirdic) and Rab Hisus in the Bible: Repent, because God’s realm is near.

We are under the influence of the horrible earthquake of which the Centre was Izmit. Pains suffered by the death of more than twenty thousand people aside from the material and spiritual values are not easy to bear. The imminence of the earthquake was known. But this is in the human nature; we do not want to understand how late we were in adopting appropriate measures until that moment comes. I am wondering if the consciences of these thieve contractors are now bothering them. And the administrators acting as if they are in a slow-motion movie? On the other hand, is it possible not to feel grateful to the Greek citizens who sent their blood together with monetary help or the Israeli Government who set prize to its people and citizen even in an other country?

Humanity precedes piousness. Surp Agop says that those who do not love others may not love God, an invisible spirit. Those that consider religious, lingual and racial differences are lowly miserable. Like Rab Hisus taught in the example of Good Samaritan, all peoples are the children of the good father in the sky and brothers of each other even if they belong to different religions and ethnical groups. The people should be able to display the virtue of philanthropic spirit of help. The people who died in the Marmara earthquake, the suffering survivors without homes are all our brothers in the God. All believers should give the help they are capable to. It is indeed a sin to remain aloof to such grieves and pain.

When the autumn rains begin, myriad of people who live in the open will be getting ill. When we live in the warmth of our homes and partake our three daily meals, we should also think of disaster-stricken brothers and set aside a little from what God gave us. This is our first duty.

Our second duty is to repair within shortest possible time the damages in our community schools, churches and Patriarchate building and reinforce them against a probable new earthquake.

Doing all this, however, we should not overlook one point: This earthquake should be an opportunity for us to question ourselves, to renew our repentance and to socially, administratively and spiritually renew our deeds.

SECOND PART OF THE SERMON

In the second part of my sermon, I want to mention an important issue when the new school year approaches since our spiritual and cultural life sustains a major erosion. This is due to snobbism and desire to show off. It is not possible to conceive the reasons for disdaining the community’s schools and for preference particularly by the nouveau riche group to send their children to prestige schools. These people spread unjust rumours on the quality of the community’s schools to justify their action. Not less than eight of the graduates of our schools gained access to the Robert College with very high scores and the percentage of our senior high school graduates finding their way to universities is quite high. Our senior high schools rank hundred and fiftieth in the whole country.

Aren’t these the indicators of the success rates of our schools? Parents who refuse paying two hundred millions to our schools and send their children to those charging two to three billion Liras make the greatest unfairness to their off-springs by denying them the richness of their own language, culture and spiritual wealth. I am certain that these children will blame their parents when they grow up. There are different makes of cars and many alternatives when you want one as good as or better than that of your neighbour. But our community schools have none. Our schools educate very conscientious Turkish citizens and acquaint them with the Armenian language and literature and the basic tenets of the Christian religion.

Don’t our schools have problems? Of course they do. But so do the other schools. Therefore, we should take an active role in the school administrations, committees, and parent-teacher associations in order to remove the administrators who do not perform well and who do not renew themselves in a democratic way and replace them with better ones. This is possible only by the efficient and learned participation of our community. One of the direct consequences of the alienation from our schools is the deterioration of our family order. The rate of divorces, something unheard of until recently, rose rapidly in the last decade. Our people married without a holy bond and those who just simply cohabit reached almost sixty percent. We have many philanthropists among us who provide material support and seek an outlet from the blind alley into which our community entered. On the other hand, there are several who simply show off and remain aloof to these problems, but raise a lot of humdrum if they are not seated at the head tables or seen in the pictures taken.

Who, then, be involved in these problems if not the community leaders, intellectuals and Samaritans? I have only spiritual powers. The only thing that I may say as your Patriarch is that I will withdraw my benediction from every person and every family who remove their children from their community, religion and school. Pity to those devoid of the benefaction of the church and church fathers! Happy are those who are bonded by the affection ties and unison of this great family! Happy are those who are able to drink the eternity waters through our foreseeing merciful church built under the customs and traditions of our ancestors!

Briefly I want to say this: There are only a few weeks before the start of the new school year. Own up your schools, support them, keep your children in your own education institutions, encourage your beloved teachers, have faith in your church and schools and return your children to the community schools even if they are enrolled elsewhere for one or two years.

MESROB II,

THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCH

Now we will reprint here the interview given to Milliyet daily’s reporter Yavuz Baydar by the Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II:

Question: There were no Armenian Patriarchs in Constantinapolis until its conquest by Mehmed II. Why?

Mesrob II:The history of Armenian community in Constantinapolis date back to the fourth century BC. We know that there was an Armenian church in the sixth century within the city walls. Later, since Byzantine was not tolerant to Christians other than the Orthodox denomination, the Armenians held their rites in buildings outside the walls. The spiritual leader of all Armenians in Thrace and in Europe until Lvov was in Bursa. For this reason, an Armenian Patriarch was not deemed necessary within Byzantine.

Question: What was the situation of the Armenian community in Anatolia until the conquest?

Mesrob II:The history of Christian Armenians in Anatolia dates back to the missionary work in eastern regionsd by two of the apostles of Jesus, Saint Thaeeus and Saint Bartholomeus. In 301 AD, the Armenian Kingdom accepted the Christianity as the official religion and the Echmiadzine Patriarchate, considered as the Archbishop for the Armenians was founded. We will celebrate in 2001 the 1700th anniversary of this event. Furthermore, the Armenians dissociating themselves of the Jerusalem Patriarchate established a separate Armenian one.

The Aktamar Patriarchate founded on the Isle of Aktamer in Van lake in 10th century was the third. The Clician one in Kozan was established in 1441. In all other regions, there were Armenian Bishopries or Archbishopries, called ”marhasas” in Ottoman.

Question:Why did Fatih the Conqueror grant a Patriarchate edict to the Armenian community in Istanbul?

Mesrob II:After the conquest of Istanbul, Mehmet II brought large numbers of Armenians to the city in order to populate it. Following the recognition of Gennadios as the Greek Archbishop, the same treatment granted to Hovagim as the Archbishop of all Armenians may perhaps be deemed as urged by the wish to establish a balance between Christian inhabitants.

We should bear in mind the fact that there was a large mass of people who did not accept the Byzantine Orthodox doctrine within the Empire. Furthermore, the Archbishop would constitute an authority for facilitating the collection of taxes from the Armenians.

Question: We find the Armenians during the Ottoman reign as a merchant and artisan community who were not involved on a large scale in the existing problems. The Armenians began to get closer to the palace from the Mahmud II period onward. In the era following the Reformation, the Regulation on the Armenian Nation imparted a secular autonomy to the Armenian community that produced deputies and even viziers. At the same time, however, the dissolution trend in the Ottoman Empire was accelerating and some Armenian political parties were revolting against the central administration and the bitter events that were experienced culminated in 1915. What do you think of all these discussions that continue still?

Mesrob II: I don't think that the Armenians, at the time, were after independence. Most of the community were followers of the Patriarchate and the Ottoman Empire. Some were even disturbed by the plunder and political unrest in the Eastern part of the Empire, and were requesting the reestablishment of security. Only a minor part, the Taºnak followers, were after independence.

The rulers of that period did a major mistake by holding the entire minority responsible for the deeds of a just a few of them. To me, the problem was this: the collapse of the Ottoman Empire had started and numerous countries proclaimed their independence. And of course, some powers of the West, took part in this chaos. Due to reasons like this, the Turkish-Armenian relations were forced into an insecure atmosphere. Thus, the decree on relocation was declared, which led to events called as "the big disaster" in the history of the Armenians.

Nevertheless, it would be misleading to explain the entire history of the Turkish-Armenian relations, up to the establishment of the Turkish Republic, just based on this last period.

We have to study the history, from the beginning of the 5th century. We shall not disregard that the first Armenian publishing house was established in Istanbul and that the first Armenian book was printed there, as well as, that the first Armenian Theatre, which was also opened in this city. To me, the most important thing is that people from various communities, cultures and religions lived together under the same roof of an Empire, for more than 600 years. This is a fact to be celebrated.

Question: Was the transition to the Republic a pain for your Church?

Mesrob II : Of course, it was. The First World War was over and the relocation took place. Destruction effected the entire community. In the first five years of the Republic, the community did not have a Patriarchate. After Muslu I. Mesrob was elected as Patriarchate in 1927, a normalisation period started.

Question: What are the problems of your community and Church, today?

Mesrob II: We don't have problems, regarding religious matters. We can perform our religious duties at any place and time, as we like to do. The most important problem is lack of clergymen. A school of clergymen is a must, however, we desire to solve this problem together with YÖK, within the university system.

The community has social problems. The Declaration of 1936 forced some limitations on our community, which are in the present time totally obsolete and require reform. One should be allowed to donate to a church, as other are allowed to donate to mosques. All donations of properties to Foundations, after 1936, are to be returned to the owners since 1970. If the ex-owners have already died, the property was confiscated. I wish this act would be annulled soon.

Question: What is your perspective of the Turkish nation, in the eve of 2000 ?

Mesrub II: Though the atmosphere in Turkey, of which we are celebrating the 75th anniversary, seems somehow tight and thick, I do not think that the situation is that bad. I bear hope for the future. I feel positive, both for the regional situation of our country and its steps into the future. I think that we can overcome most of the problems by revising the system.

Question: What is your opinion, concerning the discussion on secularism ?

Mesrub II: Our community shares this principle. The document of 1863 verifies our attitude. We still share this attitude. I, as the Patriarch of the Turkish Armenians, do not have the least interest to be a judge of a religious court solving claims of marriage, divorce, and the right of property.

As a citizen born in the era of the Republic, I think that there is no way to turn to the past. To me, in the eve of 2000, any attempt to of ruling daily live with religious rules, which means a return to the middle ages, is ridiculous.

Question: The Year 2000 Celebrations are attracting the entire humanity, nevertheless, they have a special meaning for the Christians. How will you contribute to the "Millennium" Celebrations in Turkey ? Are these celebrations a big opportunity for Turkey ? Do you think that Turkey is giving the deserved attention to this subject ?

Mesrob II: It is very important for us, however, I do not know what importance is given by the government authorities. Look, there are 3 major Anatolian Churches in Turkey: The Armenian, the Greek and the Syriac. As far as I know, the government did not get in touch with any of these churches, regarding the 2000 Celebrations. We are ready for any contributions, but if it is left to the very last moment, I am afraid that we might encounter some undesired obstacles. I have always said:

If Palestine and Vatican are countries of prior importance for Christianity, Anatolia, in other words Turkey, is of secondary importance. The tombs of half of the Apostles are in Anatolia! In 2000, a flood of tourists will visit Israel. How many will visit Turkey? If were are looking for a solution to our tourism crisis, we should also consider this issue. The cultural, folkloric and religious tissue of Turkey should be demonstrated in full range. I think that this is not done. We should exploit this great opportunity.

MESROB II,

THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCH

Mesrob II, the Armenian Patriarch, in his speech held on a reception on 22 Mai 1999, at the Hilton Hotel:

"We are on the eve of the 3rd Millennium. We are preparing to celebrate the beginning of a new era in the history of mankind. I think that this is a great opportunity for all of us. An opportunity that could enable us to realise our dream of unifying continents, cultures and nations…

A world where individual rights and freedom is respected, a world of justice far away from any and all kind of violence is our mutual desire.

The crossroad ahead does not only offer a great opportunity but also a very difficult exam. The 2nd millennium that we are going to leave behind us, is full of tragedies.

But still, there are also incidents that we will remember will with respect in the following millenniums.

Just the one that we are celebrating today…

The establishment of the Istanbul Armenian Patriarch, is a unique incident in the history.

Eight years after the conquest of Constantinapolis by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, in 1461, he transformed the West Anatolian Archbishopship into the Patriarchship of Istanbul, by a decree. This was a clear evidence of the toleration of Fatih and the successor Ottoman Sultan, towards different religions.

Neither before nor after Mehmed the Conqueror, the world history does not have a second example of a Ruler who granted a religious rank to the believers of another religions.

In the eve of a new millennium, considering the conflicts in the world and our vicinity, we should give this incident, that took place 538 years ago deserved respect as an example of toleration between religions and cultures.

We remember with respect, both Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror who arranged the daily live of the Armenians in the empire, in accordance with their beliefs and traditions, as well as our prior 83 Patriarchs, who served at this post with loyalty, starting with Hovagim of Bursa the Istanbul Armenian Patriarch, who was appointed in 1461.

We the Armenians in Turkey, as the major group of Christians in our country, are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Turkish Republic with happiness and are hopeful for the future.

www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/answers/index.html

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Would You Please Update/Correct Any Of The
3500+ Posts by Leaving Your Comments Here
- - - YOUR OPINION Matters To Us - - -


We Promise To Publish Them Even If We May Not Share The Same View

Mind You,
You Would Not Be Allowed Such Freedom In Most Of The Other Sites At All.

You understand that the site content express the author's views, not necessarily those of the site. You also agree that you will not post any material which is false, hateful, threatening, invasive of a person’s privacy, or in violation of any law.

Please READ the POST FIRST then enter YOUR comment in English by referring to the SPECIFIC POINTS in the post and DO preview your comment for proper grammar /spelling.

You need a Google Account (such as Gmail) to publish your comments.

Publishing Your Comments Here:
Please enter your comment in plain text only (NO Formatting) in an editor like notepad first,
Then copy and paste the final/corrected version into the comment box here as Google/Blogger may not allow re-editing/correcting once entered in some cases.
And click publish.
-If you need to correct the one you have already sent, please enter -New Comment- as we keep the latest version and delete the older version as default

More . . :
http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2007/05/Submit-Your-Article.html

All the best