2774) Open Letter To Sabrina Tavernize, NewYork Times, "Memo From Istanbul"

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com Memo From Istanbul .. Genocide Victims . . Cloak Of Amnesia By Sabrina Tavernise March 9, 2009, The Newyork Times March 9, 2009
Reader’s Reply By Sukru Aya

The article which interprets Murat Bardakci’s book, presents a number of misinterpretations or distortions, which needs the following clarifications and basic understanding on what we are arguing. In as far that I have compiled a very extensive book already on the Internet Free E-Book Library since . .
February 2008.

A number of serious book reviews as well as my articles (some 160) can be read on the same blog-site.

Those who care to read my compilation will understand that I offer a variety of referenced figures from different sources (none are Turkish, to avoid pro-Turkish slanders) which are well explained in chapter 15, pages 303 to 310 of my book. For the living Armenians in 1914, I think that the most indisputable number is line (l) on the list (page 303) or French Armenian Report prepared for land distribution dated March 1, 1914. Their given figure of 1.280.000 is almost equal to Bardakci’s 1.256.000.

Chapter 14 of my book, pages 265 – 297, gives various reports from different sources in respect of number of people relocated, safe arrivals, losses, records by consulates, relief workers etc.

First, under the circumstances I think that we should all accept some basic rules, in entering into any discussions or conclusions particularly so far back, in such extraordinary war and revolutionary chaos. Hence, I think that the best we can do is to read and compare different sources, also considering their reliability and arrive to an estimate in the number of people we are discussing.

I do have Murat Bardakci’s book, and it does not reflect huge contradictions, with my findings from various non-Turkish sources. Mr. Bardakci nowhere in the book said that 972.000 Ottoman Armenians disappeared, which implies that they were killed! All he says in page 77 of his book is “Number of Armenians that were relocated” 924.158. There are no given dates. This number of “relocated persons” may contradict Yusuf Halacoglu’s figures “by names” of about 450.000. I think that page 281 of my book with excerpt from German Staff officer Guse that 702.900 refugees had been resettled by the end of October 1916, is quite close. This figure is also pretty close to the figures given in page 306 and 307, or detailed breakdown by Akaby Nassibian as explained on page 308.

The number given by Bardakci as 284.157 two years later, is pretty close with other foreign estimates and it does not necessarily mean “dead” since “those who took refuge elsewhere” was also in this group. Even if we say that 300.000 persons died because of famine, disease, deprivations, this makes sense taking into consideration the number of trips back and forth on the rough terrain by some of them and the fact that in the cities such as Beirut or Aleppo where there was no war, about 10% of the population died because of hunger and epidemics. Now, the anti-Turkish press will hold Turks guilty for not “providing food to the people” during a war that lasted four years ,instead of estimated 3-4 months. And of course the same sources will not put any blame on the British-French and Russian navy which had blockaded all sea ports, making any sea transport impossible, when there was no roads or vehicles other than oxcarts. These are the facts, and about 30% of the Turkish soldiers died behind the lines because of same reasons. Similar famine conditions prevailed also in Europe, because of shortage of farming, draft animal and persons to work on the fields. These are the sad facts and war consequences. Another point worth mentioning is the fact that relocations started in the war zones, (end of May 1915) expelling everyone (including Turks, Kurds etc) leaving the front free of civilian people and ended in late August same year. Yet, it seems that some Armenians in the “road transport zones” were relocated for safety later..

Regarding the work of Donald Bloxham, I ask the readers to have a look at my book review about his and Taner Akcam’s works .Those who would compare the bibliography of that writer will be shocked to observe the multitude of biased references and the complete absence of neutral or even pro-Armenian history books, to name but a few, Pastermadjian, Katchaznuni, Lalaian, Nassibian, Relief Report, Memo to Paris Conference, works of Selahi Sonyel and others. I am not a scholar by profession; I am just a reader like most of you. I compiled this book “because of the unreliability of the information presented to us by such “biased or irresponsible scholars”. I have compiled a book to UNCOVER facts, not to earn money or serve some interests. !

Mrs. Sabrina Tavernise and the New York Times, may be pleased that “my hair counting work on this subject, so far is not refuted by any authority or person” or is not written by “liberal (?) papers such as TARAF” nor by “Milliyet” who were present at my “Turkish book” presentation only but made no mention of my English book because it is too long!

Gentlemen, my approach on the matter is not from the standpoint of nationality or ethnicity. My goal is well explained in the London Conference on Jan. 30th, which you can read here

I think that many will be bored in reading my explanation and given references. My advice as an elderly person would be that before you make any conclusion or accusation for other parties, do your homework well trying to avoid mistakes! I welcome those who can prove my mistakes, it is never too late to learn, particularly when defending TRUTH and DECENCY!

Sukru S. Aya, Istanbul March 10, 2009

Memo From Istanbul
Nearly A Million Genocide Victims, Covered In A Cloak Of Amnesia By Sabrina Tavernise March 9, 2009, The Newyork Times

ISTANBUL: For Turkey, the number should have been a bombshell.

According to a long-hidden document that belonged to the interior minister of the Ottoman Empire, 972,000 Ottoman Armenians disappeared from official population records from 1915 through 1916.

In Turkey, any discussion of what happened to the Ottoman Armenians can bring a storm of public outrage. But since its publication in a book in January, the number — and its Ottoman source — has gone virtually unmentioned. Newspapers hardly wrote about it. Television shows have not discussed it.

"Nothing," said Murat Bardakci, the Turkish author and columnist who compiled the book.

The silence can mean only one thing, he said: "My numbers are too high for ordinary people. Maybe people aren't ready to talk about it yet."

For generations, most Turks knew nothing of the details of the Armenian genocide of 1915 to 1918, when more than a million Armenians were killed as the Ottoman Turk government purged the population. Turkey locked the ugliest parts of its past out of sight, Soviet-style, keeping any mention of the events out of schoolbooks and official narratives in an aggressive campaign of forgetting.

But in the past 10 years, as civil society has flourished here, some parts of Turkish society are now openly questioning the state's version of events. In December, a group of intellectuals circulated a petition that apologized for the denial of the massacres. Some 29,000 people have signed it.

With his book, "The Remaining Documents of Talat Pasha," Bardakci (pronounced bard-AK-chuh) has become, rather unwillingly, part of this ferment. The book is a collection of documents and records that once belonged to Mehmed Talat, known as Talat Pasha, the primary architect of the Armenian deportations.

The documents, given to Bardakci by Talat's widow, Hayriye, before she died in 1983, include lists of population figures. Before 1915, 1,256,000 Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire, according to the documents. The number plunged to 284,157 two years later, Bardakci said.

To the untrained ear, it is simply a sad statistic. But anyone familiar with the issue knows the numbers are in fierce dispute. Turkey has never acknowledged a specific number of deportees or deaths. On Sunday, Turkey's foreign minister warned that President Barack Obama might set back relations if he recognized the massacre of Armenians as genocide before his visit to Turkey next month.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire was bloody, the Turkish argument goes, and those who died were victims of that chaos.

Bardakci subscribes to that view. The figures, he said, do not indicate the number of dead, only a result of the decline in the Armenian population after deportation. He strongly disagrees that the massacres amounted to a genocide, and he says Turkey was obliged to take action against Armenians because they were openly supporting Russia in its war against the Ottoman Empire.

"It was not a Nazi policy or a Holocaust," he said. "These were very dark times. It was a very difficult decision. But deportation was the outcome of some very bloody events. It was necessary for the government to deport the Armenian population."

This argument is rejected by most scholars, who believe that the small number of Armenian rebels were not a serious threat to the Ottoman Empire, and that the policy was more the product of the perception that the Armenians, non-Muslims and therefore considered untrustworthy, were a problem population.

Hilmar Kaiser, a historian and expert on the Armenian genocide, said the records published in the book were conclusive proof from the Ottoman authority itself that it had pursued a calculated policy to eliminate the Armenians. "You have suddenly on one page confirmation of the numbers," he said. "It was like someone hit you over the head with a club."

Kaiser said the before and after figures amounted to "a death record."

"There is no other way of viewing this document," he said. "You can't just hide a million people."

Other scholars said that the number was a useful addition to the historical record, but that it did not introduce a new version of events.

"This corroborates what we already knew," said Donald Bloxham, the author of "The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians."

Bardakci is a history buff who learned to read and write Ottoman script from his grandmother, allowing him to navigate Turkey's written past, something that most Turks are unable to do. He plays the tanbur, a traditional string instrument. His grandfather was a member of the same political party of Talat, and his family knew many of the important political figures in Turkey's founding.

"We had a huge library at home," he said. "They were always talking about history and the past."

Though he clearly wanted the numbers to be known, he stubbornly refuses to interpret them. He offers no analysis in the book, and aside from an interview with Talat's widow, there is virtually no text beside the original documents.

"I didn't want to interpret," he said. "I want the reader to decide."

The best way to do that, he argues, is by using cold, hard facts, which can cut through the layers of emotional rhetoric that have clouded the issue for years.

"I believe we need documents in Turkey," he said. "This is the most important."

But some of the keenest observers of Turkish society said the silence was a sign of just how taboo the topic still was. "The importance of the book is obvious from the fact that no paper except Milliyet has written a single line about it," wrote Murat Belge, a Turkish academic, in a January column in the liberal daily newspaper Taraf.

Still, it is a measure of Turkey's democratic maturity that the book was published here at all. Bardakci said he had held the documents for so long — 27 years — because he was waiting for Turkey to reach the point when their publication would not cause a frenzy.

Even the state now feels the need to defend itself. Last summer, a propaganda film about the Armenians made by Turkey's military was distributed to primary schools. After a public outcry, it was stopped.

"I could never have published this book 10 years ago," Bardakci said. "I would have been called a traitor."

He added, "The mentality has changed."

Sebnem Arsu contributed reporting.

Annex: Some documentary references excerpted from the book for your comfort.

“Barton soon was the dominant Board administrator. In the position of foreign secretary, he gave priority to educational missions, becoming perhaps the outstanding American promoter of colleges abroad. He eventually assisted the start of development of 20 inter-denominational Christian schools of higher learning in Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, India, Ceylon, China, and Japan, helping them secure over $30 million. In a constant dialogue with the U.S. Government, Barton sought to guard Protestant institutions in Turkey and elsewhere. With Barton as ACASR head, missionaries felt that not all would be lost. After months of dismay, the Protestant to Turkey began to hope again… During the winter of ACASR’s birth in 1915 -16, Morgenthau left for home. When he reached New York, the executive committee of the ACASR met him on docks.” #23
23. Joseph L. Grabill, Protestant Diplomacy & the Near East, U. of Minn. Press, 1991, pg.73

“… deeds of vengeance committed by the victorious insurgents. After the flight of the Turkish garrison, all important buildings in the city of Van were set on fire. Revenge for centuries of slavery under Turkish role exploded in ‘a night of orgy, of saturnalia,’ wrote an eyewitness. ‘It is impossible to even faintly depict the grandeur of the flaming night,’ Onnig Mukhitarian, the secretary of the Armenian defense council, recorded in his diary… After the departure of the Turks, writes the American missionary Clarence Ussher, the Armenians searched the city. ‘The men they put to death; the women and children they spared.’ Despite their protest, Dr. Ussher writes, this went on for two to three days. ‘They burned and murdered; the spirit of loot took possession of them, driving our every other thought. The American Mission compound, which earlier had sheltered 5,000 Armenian refugees, now took in 1,000 Turkish women and children. ‘These 1,000 fugitives,’ wrote Mrs. Ussher in a letter, ‘would all have been killed had we not opened our doors to them.’ Another German missionary noted years later that the three days of Armenian revenge that she had witnessed in Van were difficult to forget… This charge is not implausible. An Armenian boy, recalled Dr. Ussher, entered the Turkish military hospital and killed several patients who had been left behind. Another eyewitness writes that some of the Armenians went to look for their wounded in the Turkish hospital, ‘and when they did not find them they were so infuriated that they killed some of the Turkish wounded and burned the building.’ A Swiss missionary concluded with considerable understatement that the victorious Armenians of Van ‘did not act according to the provisions of the Geneva Convention and still less according to the words of Jesus Christ.’ The Turkish side, too, has made charges of atrocities.

Grand Vizier Said Halim told U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau in 1915 that the Armenian rebels had killed 120 000 Turks at Van. A recent publication of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA) alleges that after the Armenian takeover, large numbers of Moslem inhabitants of the villages surrounding Van were murdered. ‘In one incident, Moslems from villages to the North of Van were herded into the village of Zeve, where all but a few of the approximately 3 000 Moslem villagers were killed. Similar incidents took place throughout the region.’ Another publication by the same organization includes interviews with survivors of the Van region, who tell how the ‘Armenians skinned the men, castrated them, and raped and impaled the women.’ Women and girls threw themselves into rivers to escape their tormentors. Many thousands of Armenians who feared punishment for the atrocities they had committed, writes a Turkish historian, fled with the retreating Russian troops into the Caucasus” #20
20. Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, U. of Utah Press, pg. 97- 98

“THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nov. 5, 1914: RUSSIAN INVASION of ARMENIA BEGUN – Several Towns Taken – Czar Has Splendid Native Soldiers to Fight the Turks “…

“THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nov.7, 1914: ARMENIANS FIGHTING TURKS – Besieging Van – Others Operating in Turkish Army’s Rear
London, Sat. Nov.7: The Turkish town of Van (140 miles southeast of Erzurum, Turkish Armenia) is being besieged by a detachment of Armenians, who are aiding the Russians. The town has a large arsenal. Another Armenian detachment is operating in the rear of the Turkish Army”

“…The Englishman C.F. Dixon-Johnson, however, writing in 1916, saw ‘good and sufficient reasons for believing that the Armenians themselves commenced the troubles’ by rising in rebellion. ” #21

21. Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, U. of Utah Press, pg. 99

“…Eventually, he writes, ‘the mountains swarmed with Armenian irregulars.’ A French military historian, too, links the Ottoman-Armenian volunteers to the partisans who attacked isolated Turkish units. Pasdermadjian noted with pride that the Armenian resistance movement in the summer of 1915 tied down five Turkish divisions and tens of thousands of Kurds, who therefore were not able to fight the Russians on the Caucasus front. Not surprisingly, the Turks eventually came to consider the Armenians a fifth-column and decided to take decisive measures to put an end to these treasonable actions. Ambassador Morgenthau reported to Washington on July 10th, 1915, that ‘because Armenian volunteers, many of them Russian subjects, have joined the Russian Army in the Caucasus and because some have been implicated in armed revolutionary movements and others have been helpful to Russians in their invasion of Van province, terrible vengeance is being taken.’ The Turkish position is that the issue was not revenge but national survival in a situation of extreme danger.

… During the Turkish mobilization none of the inhabitants of Zeitun accepted enlistment in the army, and by the end of 1914 clashes between Armenian bands and gendarmes had taken place. On Feb. 23, 1915, the French ambassador in Moscow reported that representatives of an Armenian revolutionary group in Zeitun had arrived in the Caucasus. Almost 15 000 men, the emissaries declared, were ready to attack Turkish lines of communication, but they lacked guns and ammunition. The commander of the Russian Caucasus army wanted to know whether British and French warships could bring arms via the port of Alexandrerta. The British rejected this idea as impracticable because of the difficulty of transporting arms and ammunition into the interior.” #79

79. Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, Univ .of Utah Press, pg.103

“A close reading of his comments as recorded in Morgenthau’s ‘Diary’ suggests that his comparison of their plans for the Armenians with the American treatment of the Negroes may have been, despite Morgenthau’s suggestion, well spoken. It is in fact ‘segregation’ which he is referring to, as is clear from the final statement attributed to Talat on this matter, to wit, ‘He said they would take care of the Armenians at Zor and elsewhere but they did not want them in Anatolia’. Why does Morgenthau not challenge Talat on this statement? Because it is not out of keeping with what he is hearing at that time from others, including Zenop Bezjian, the ‘vekil’ (representative) of the Armenian Protestants in the Ottoman Empire. A month after the above mentioned conversation with Talat, Morgenthau receives a visit from Bezjian, which he records in his diary ‘Diary’ in the following terms:

‘Zenop Bezjian, Vekil of Armenian Protestants, called! Schimavonian introduced him, he was his schoolmate. He told me a great deal about the conditions in the interior. I was surprised to hear him report that Armenians at Zor were fairly well satisfied: that they have already settled down to business and are earning their livings; those were the first ones that were sent away and seem to have gotten there without being massacred. He gave me a list where the various camps are and he thinks that over 500,000 have been displaced. He was most solicitous that they should be helped before winter set in’.” #10

10. Heath W. Lowry, The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story, The Isis Press – 1990, pg.50

“These diplomatic interventions appear to have had some success. Bergfeld reported on June 29, that the governor had informed the Porte of his decision to exempt, for the time being, Catholic Armenians, widows, orphans, old men, and pregnant women. Heizer confirmed these exemptions in a dispatch a day later. He noted that, together with his German and Austrian colleagues, he was continuing his efforts on behalf of women and children generally. By July 7, Heizer informed Morgenthau, 5 200 Armenians had been sent away. ‘When the parents so desired, the children were left behind and placed in large houses in different parts of the city. There are approximately 3 000 such children, retained in these houses called by the Turks ‘Orphanages.’ Girls up to 15 years of age inclusive, and boys to 10 years of age inclusive are accepted; those over these ages are compelled to go with their parents.’ A survivor has described how he was taken to one of these orphanages and was told by the gendarme guarding the institution not to be afraid. “#32

32. Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, U. of Utah Press, pg. 180

“…The Armenian… should be transported to the areas previously determined. The Catholics should be excluded from this relocation measure. Signed: Talat, 23.7.1915. …

28.7.1915. The laws relative to the liquidation of debts and credit between relocated Armenians and official institutions or private individuals, will be sent to you shortly. In the meantime, enter the particulars in a special register so that cases will not be lost sight of. Signed: Talat, Minister (of the Interior.)

30.7.1915. It is learnt that the private property of relocated Armenians is being sold very cheaply to monopolists of this class of business, thus greatly wronging the proprietors. Consequently, the following measures must be taken…” #33*

33. Salahi Sonyel, The Great War and the Great Tragedy of Anatolia, T.T.K., pg. 117

“Of the two British protagonists who championed the cause of Anglo-Armenian disinformation, Viscount James Bryce was a Turcophobe Liberal who had been inciting the Armenian militants to rebellion since the publication of his book entitled Transcaucasia and Ararat, in 1877, in which he remarked: ‘Why... do the Armenians not rise in rebellion against these outrages (Turco - Armenian incidents), as their forefathers did against the Seleucids or the Parthians?’ He was easily taken in by the skilful and deceitful Armenian propagandists. For example, when an incident took place in August 1889 at Blaidar, in the Bisheri sub-district of eastern Anatolia, in which seven Armenians were murdered and 50 houses were burnt down, Bryce put the blame on Moslem tribesmen. In fact, the British Consular Agent, Thomas Boyadjian, who was himself an Armenian, had reported that the incident was caused by a long-standing antagonism between the two Armenian chiefs of the village, one of whom had become Roman Catholic and decided to have the family of the other exterminated.

… According to recent revelations by American scholar Heath Lowry, Bryce was also in touch with the U.S. Ambassador at Istanbul, Henry Morgenthau, with whom he had become acquainted in the course of a 1914 visit to Palestine. He wrote to Morgenthau, asking him: ‘If any reports come to your Embassy from the American missionaries scattered through Asiatic Turkey, which would cast light on the situation, possible you would allow me to see them occasionally. Morgenthau did provide Bryce with the reports of missionaries and with consular and travel reports. For example, the reports of American Consul J.B. Jackson from Aleppo were published anonymously in the ‘Blue Book’. Morgenthau admits this in an article he wrote to the Red Cross magazine (March, 1919, pg. 8): ‘Much of the material which I collected has already been published in the excellent volume of documentary material collected by Viscount Bryce’.” #6

6. Salahi Sonyel, The Great War & the Great Tragedy of Anatolia, T.T.K., pg. 145

“Henry Morgenthau combined the best views of Bristol, Gates and Barton. Using invitation to help the International Red Cross as an excuse to get to France, the finance chairman of the ACRNE on the first day of arrival, in March, 1919, had conversations with Wilson, House and Hoover. He prepared a memorandum for Wilson: ‘The Future Government of Asia Minor’, Morgenthau memorandum advocated that one nation, the U.S. or else Britain, supervise each of the three mandates Constantinople, Turkish Anatolia and Armenia...The Morgenthau Memorandum was a useful, even revolutionary document. It included much from the overlapping views about Turkey held by people in or related closely to the Protestant lobby. Coming out of the new diplomacy, it stressed public opinion in the Empire, which had preference for British or American mandates. Realistically, it ignored the cries about one mandate for the whole country. It therefore bypassed some Americans’ ethereal yearning over Syria, recognizing that a United Sates mandate over the Arabs was not a viable option. The paper rejected a totally independent Armenia. It took into account the prediction that such an entity with its mixed population would not easily escape hostilities with Turks. (The ACIA felt that the Morgenthau Memorandum’s failure to approve unqualified freedom for Armenia was immoral). It was most importantly an unorthodox policy proposal, capitalizing Wilson’s prescription of a mandate system for Turkey, overriding the secret treaties, disregarding the Cobb-Lippmann and other explanations of Point 12, admitting a long-term U.S. embroilment in the Old World ...But the Morgenthau Memorandum had important weaknesses. It came late in the Peace Conference. Further, the American public had little or no conditioning to the idea of a U.S. mandate, an idea which probably required the experience in mission-relief-government coordination developed by Barton during the years since 1915, and the American Board secretary was nearly inaccessible to Paris, having left a command post there for scouting in Asia Minor.” #24

24. Joseph L. Grabill, Protestant Diplomacy & the Near East, U.of Minnesota Press, 1991, pg.176

“By early-November, 1915, 150 - 200 Moslem inhabitants of Aleppo were dying of typhus every day.’ … Aleppo was at the junction of several important routes taken by the deportation convoys. Armenians from towns such as Brusa and Konia along the Baghdad railway were corning to Aleppo from the northwest on the still unfinished railroad. Armenians from various places in Cilicia were using branches of that same railroad. From the northeast, through Urfa, a road converged on Aleppo from Diyarbakır. That was the route taken by the deportees from Erzurum and Harput. Most of these exiles usually spent a few days in Aieppo or in transit camps located around the city. From Aleppo the exiles were shipped by rail eastward to Ras-ul-Ain and south to Hama, Homs, and Damascus and several locations in Palestine. Others were sent on foot toward Der-el-Zor in eastern Syria. American, German, and Austrian consular officials as well as foreign residents have given us descriptions of the deportees as they arrived in Aleppo and of conditions in the encampments in and around the city. A steady stream of deportees was poring into Aleppo, reported the American consul Jesse B. Jackson to Ambassador Morgenthau on June 5th, 1915. ‘Several expeditions have arrived here and have been taken care of locally by the sympathizing Armenian population of this city. A few days rest in the churches and schools, where they fill all rooms, balconies and even cover the roofs.’ Then they were forced to continue. By late-September, more than 30 000 had arrived by rail and at least 100 000 on foot.” #23*

22*. Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, Univ. of Utah Press, pg.191

“The high death toll certainly does not prove in and of itself the guilt of the Young Turk regime; nor can we infer from it that the deaths were part of a genocidal plan to destroy the Turkish-Armenian community. Large numbers of Turkish civilians died as a result of severe shortages of food and epidemics; large numbers of Turkish soldiers, especially the wounded in battle, perished for lack of adequate medical care and as a result of neglect and incompetence on the part of their own officers; and large numbers of British prisoners of war lost their lives as a consequence of inattention and the kind of gross mismanagement rampant in the Ottoman regime (see the discussion below). Yet these results surely do not prove that the Ottoman Government—ultimately responsible for all of these conditions—sought and intentionally caused the death of its own civilian population, of its own soldiers, and of its prisoners of war. The Turkish wartime government may deserve to be severely rebuked for its corruption and bungling misrule as well as for indifference to the suffering of its population during World War I. The Young Turk regime may be subject to special moral censure or condemnation because of its treatment of its Christian minorities. Yet not all this proves that this regime intended to annihilate the Armenian community. A large death roll, no matter how reprehensible, is not proof of a premeditated plan of extermination.

Most authors supporting the Armenian cause completely ignore the severe shortages of food that eventually were to afflict most classes of the Turkish population and led to widespread famines. The mobilization of large numbers of peasants in 1914 as well as the reckless requisitioning of their horses, oxen, and carriages had made it impossible to bring in the harvest; eventually left many fields untilled, and was one of the reasons for the growing food shortage. The American consul in Smyrna, George Horton, reported on Nov. 14, 1914, that there was much misery to be seen and that “people are actually beginning to starve.” The domestic situation in the spring of 1915, American ambassador Henry Morgenthau noted, “was deplorable: all over Turkey thousands of the populace was daily dying of starvation.” In the late spring and summer of 1915 Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria were devastated by a plague of locusts that destroyed everything in its wake and led to famine conditions. On Oct. 18, 1915, Enver told Morgenthau that the possibility of shortages of flour existed even in Constantinople and that ‘therefore it is not certain if they can furnish bread to the Armenians all through the winter.’ By the fall of 1916, the provincial governor told a German physician, 60,000 had died of hunger in the Lebanon alone; entire villages had become desolate and abandoned. According to the Austrian military attach the death mil in the Lebanon during the winter of 1915-16 was 150 000. Syria and Lebanon had always imported large amounts of food from Egypt. When allied war ships blockaded the coast, all trade with the outside came to a halt and the consequences for the food supply were severe.” #8

8. Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, U.of Utah Pr. pg.54-55

(9) The Honorable Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913-16, organized and led protests by officials of many countries, among them the allies of the Ottoman Empire, against the Armenian Genocide.

(9) Reply: Morgenthau’s private diaries and letters prove his lack of good faith, as they contradict the claims made in his 1918 book, which was ghostwritten for propaganda purposes. During 1915, he was on friendly terms with Ottoman officials, in contrast to his later “efforts to make the Turks the worst being on earth” (as his critic, George Schreiner worded it, in a Dec. 11th, 1918 letter which can be found in the Roosevelt Library Doc. 105)! Morgenthau was aware of the Armenians’ treason in his governmental communications, (e.g., March 18th, May 25th, 1915) information he later suppressed in order to present Armenians as innocent. Morgenthau was ordered by Wilson to provide “humane and moral reasons”, to convince general public that it was U.S.A.’s obligation to take part in WWI.

“On March 20th, Wilson tentatively approved House’s statement. ACRNE finance chairman Morgenthau at this time indicated in his diary the probability of a U.S. mandate over Armenia…Unexpectedly, it was Italy’s avarice for Adalia in southwestern Anatolia, not U.S. assent to a separate Armenian mandate of French cupidity for Syria, which first produced a dramatic display of the West’s intent toward Turkey. Italian Premier V. Orlando was a 19th century imperialist guided by an excited feeling in his country that the promises of Adalia in Anatolia and other spoils to Italy by Britain and France at St. Jean de Maurienne in 1917 and in other secret agreements were sacred. Then Wilson on April 24th, 1919, showed in the Supreme Council and in a press release an indomitable opposition to Italy’s violating the 14 Points by seeking to annex the Slavic speaking city of Fiume. Orlando thereupon left Paris and planned retaliation from Rome. Within a week, the Italian Government sent warships to Fiume across the Adriatic Sea and to Antalya. Soon Italians were ashore at points on the Turkish coast and moving inland. An occupation of Smyrna seemed imminent.” #9
9. Joseph L. Grabill, Protestant Diplomacy & the Near East, U.of Minn. Press, pg. 181

9 - “Daily Kennebec Journal - May 28th, 1914”
Armenian Volunteers are to be Increased to 15.000 - Assoc. Press Correspond.
Tiflis, April 28: (Note: Most likely, the Correspondent who sent this message was George A. Schreiner, whose letter to Ambassador Morgenthau in 1918, was found about his book!)

10 - “Iowa Recorder - June 1, 1914”
Destroy Many Towns
According to a dispatch from the Vali of Bitlis, Asiatic Turkey, 17 villages have been destroyed by Armenian insurgents in the district of Sassun. More than 600 Armenian families have taken refuge at Mush, a town in Bitlis.”

11 - “The Washington Post - August 10, 1914”
Slain With Bombs - Turkish Garrisons Attacked by Armenian Rebels. . .
Revenge for Massacre - Several Hundred Soldiers Killed in Fighting Around Sassun

12 - “Fort Wayne Journal - Nov.6, 1914

13 - “The New York Times” - Nov.7th, 1914
Armenians Fighting Turks - Besieging Van – Others Operating in Turkish Army’s Rear

14 - “ Manitoba Free Press - Nov. 7th, 1914”
Campaign Against Turkey
The Armenians are aiding- the Russians in the campaign against Turkey. The Turkish town of Van, 140 miles southeast of Erzerum, Turkish Armenia, is being besieged by the Armenians.

15 - “The New York Times - Nov.10th, 1914”

Russians Take Erzurum - In pursuit of Kurdish Cavalry – Armenian Students Volunteering in Hundreds

16 - “The Ogden Standard - Nov.12th, 1914”
Long Anticipated Date of Deliverance from Turks at Hand – People Prepared for Sacrifice

19 - “Elyria Evening Telegram - Nov. 13th, 1914”

Want to Get Into War in Order to be Delivered From Turkish Rule, Says Dispatch From Petrograd

Petrograd. Nov. 13, via London – Reports reaching the Russian capital from the Turkish border attach increasing importance to the part the Armenians are playing in the Russian-Turkish war.

In several towns occupied by the Russians the Armenian students have shown themselves ready to join the invading army and explained that they had prepared themselves for the Russian approach by constant drilling and by gathering arms, secretly. All along the line of march, according to these dispatches, the Armenian peasants are receiving the Russian troops with an enthusiasm and giving them provisions freely.

An Armenian newspaper, referring to this crisis in the history of Armenia, publishes the following:

“The long anticipated way of deliverance for the Turkish Armenians is at hand, and the Armenians are prepared for any ‘sacrifice grade necessary by the performance of their manifest duty’”

From this border country there have come to Petrograd further reports of armed conflicts arising from the refusal of Armenians to become Turkish conscripts and surrender their arms.

It is now rumored that the important city of Van is besieged by Armenian guerilla bands in great force. In Feitun the bands are said to exceed 20,000 in number, and they are reported to have defeated all the Turkish troops sent against them, causing the Turks heavy losses.

A dispatch received here from Constantinople says that the Turkish cruiser Goeben was penetrated by a shell at her water line during the recent bombardment of the Dardanelles by the allied Anglo-French fleet. The damage inflicted is described as serious.

The Goeben is one of the two German cruisers taken over by Turkey after the outbreak of the war.”

20 - “The Washington Post - Nov. 13th, 1914”
Armenians Join Russians And 20,000 Scatter Turks Near Feitun
Deal Blow To Turks

Russians Scatter a Big Army Occupying Batumi Valley – Are Near Erzurum Fortress
British Capture Turkish Torpedo Boat and Czar’s Troops Damage the Former German Cruiser Goeben – Americans Join Russians – 20,000 Defeated
London, Nov. 12th – The Russian Army of Armenia, whose base is on Kars, Transcaucasia, is approaching the Turkish fortress of Erzurum. A dispatch from Petrograd says:

“A graphic account has been received here of the demise of the Russian transport Truth, which was scuttled rather than surrendered to the Turkish cruiser Goeben. When called upon to surrender, her captain steered the Truth for the shore, opened the valves and blew a hole in the bottom of the vessel.

Sailors Sing as Ship Sinks
Lt. Ragowsky perished while attempting to fire off a second round of explosives. Part of the crew got off in boats, while others jumped into the water, to be picked up by Turkish ships.

‘The ship’s chaplain and a handful of men stayed aboard. As the ship went down, the chaplain was seen on deck giving his blessing to the men, who remained about him cheering and singing the national anthem.’

A Turkish torpedo boat which escaped from the Dardanelles has been captured off Tenedos, an island five miles off the northwest coast of Asia Minor, according to an Athens dispatch.

An Amsterdam dispatch says the Kaiser has ordered that all Mohammedans captured from the allied armies be sent to Constantinople to serve in the Turkish Army

Austrian Officers for Turkey
A telegram from Bucharest, Romania, says that Halil Bey, uncle of Enver Bey, the leader of the Young Turks, has arrived there on a special mission in behalf of Turkey.

Rome – Nov. 12th - Advices from Constantinople say that the Ottoman Army still lacks 700 officers and that the authorities at Berlin were requested to supply them. Berlin replied that it would be impossible to send all Germans but would supplement them with Austrians, who would travel in Constantinople individually as civilians. Petrograd, Nov. 12 – A dispatch received here from Constantinople says that the Turkish cruiser Goeben was penetrated by a shell at her waterline during the recent bombardment of the Dardanelles by the allied Anglo-French fleet. The damage inflicted is described as serious.

Russians Take Many Turks
An official communication from the general staff of the Caucasian army under date of Nov. 10, says:

Small skirmishes in the region beyond Tchoruk River is the neighborhood of the province of Batumi has occurred. “We maintained our position at Koprukent. Turkish attempts to envelope many prisoners and large quantities of ammunitions. We have occupied all of the valley of the Alaschkertska.

Armenians Fighting the Turks
“In several towns occupied by the Russians the Armenian students have shown themselves ready to join the invading army. Reports tell of armed conflicts arising from the refusal of Armenians to become Turkish conscripts and surrender their arms. It is now rumored that the important city of Van is besieged by Armenian guerilla bands in great force. In Feitun the Armenians are said to exceed 20,000 in number and they are reported to have defeated all the Turkish Troops sent against them causing the Turks heavy losses.“

Copy Of This Post Has Been Sent To Sabrina Tavernize via NewYork Times Online Form Here


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