2804) "Antranik: Armenians' Massacring Turkish Civilians Are Natural Because ..Turks Killed Wife, Children.." Bolhovitinov' Telegram To HQ, 1916

Telegram dated 17.03.1916 sent by General Bolhovitinov to Headquarters Army Command 1536.

In reference to the barbarities performed by Armenian volunteers on the Turkish population . .
and the alleged participation of our Cossack troops, I have requested information from concerned commanders for the clarification of the data from all ends. General Abatsiyev, commanding the Bitlis Battle furnished the following information: “I definitely do not accept the involvement of the Cossacks in this incident, I have seen around Bitlis personally several times. I received no complaint on the lack of discipline or wrong treatment or atrocities by Cossacks to the civilians; not even one complaint was heard. However in relation to the Armenian Volunteer units composed of mostly Turkish Armenians, owing to their continued attacks on the Muslims following the third day of our occupation, I was compelled to send these troops out of the city and station them between Bitlis – Mush area. I think that the number of two thousand deaths reported by telegram by Turks is exaggerated. When I learned that Armenians are massacring the civilians, I called for their commander Antranik. Antranik said that such incidents are natural because at other times Turks killed his wife, children and relatives and many other innocent persons. At Tatvan I know that fololwing incident happened: In one of the houses an infantry division soldiers unit and Armenian volunteers were stationed. The infantry unit had taken some twenty Muslim homeless orphans into the house and fed them. The group went out on reconnaissance but when they came back in the evening, they found all the children butchered into pieces. When our soldiers were out, there were only Armenians at home. As a result of the investigation I have ordered, it is definite that these murders have been realized by the Armenians. Unfortunately, the culprits could not be found. The Armenian volunteers have caused such a large complication, that it was not possible to resolve the matter.

Signed: Bolhovitinov
(File: RGVIA fond 2100, List 1, file 646, page 80 and back of 89)

Bolhovitinov 11.12.1915 Armenian Report,
Mehmet Perinçek, Dogan Kitap, March 2009
(Translated from Turkish into English by Sukru Aya) .


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