ARMENIAN ALLEGATIONS and THE FACTS
In our day, usually one of the peoples of a multinational state mentions historical mistreatments and most commonly these allegations are accepted internationally without any further research. The success of these claims is hidden in the loudness of the claimers’ voice and the power of their supporters. For this reason, the owners of these claims have an intention to find a public opinion to support themselves. When we look to the national struggles in the world, we find many similar occurrences. If we analyze these occurrences, we find that really mistreated people never cries but evil and aggressive side wins with the assistance of its economically powerful supporters. For this reason, we should evaluate the current affairs in our environment with the methods of political psychology.
We cam limit our subject according to the Armenian claims as follows:
a. During the Russo-Ottoman War and the First World War the Armenians have supported and reinforced the Russian Army, but both wars ended with disappointment as Russia had failed to keep her promise of a free Armenia. This frustration still induces the Armenians to angerand avenge.
b. The compulsory relocation decision of the Ottoman government became the second reason of Armenian trauma.
c. The Armenians uses Turk-enmity as a protection instrument of their national identity as the nations live in wide geographies and in different parts of the world do. The argument, which is exercised to nationalize a community or to concentrate a community to a common ideal, should be moral and appropriate. Since 1965, the Armenians accuse the Turks of an alleged genocide and their real aim to provoke their own national identity. Especially, to hoodwink the Armenian population and win their votes many political intrigues have been planning. These intrigues at last have reached its peak by blaming the entire Turkish nation with a so-called genocide. The publications of some Armenian circles strives to serve such a purpose. In various Armenian newspapers, periodicals and books there are frequent references to a supposedly Adolf Hitler statement. The notorious German dictator is presumed to have said the following on August 22, 1939: “I have given orders to my Death Units to exterminate without mercy or pity men, women and children belonging to the Polish-speaking race. It is only in this manner that we can acquire the vital territory, which we need. After all, who remembers today the extermination of the Armenians? While the statement in question has appeared in hundreds of publications and has been quoted several times, none of the publishers have ever consulted the primary sources. The truth is that the Nuremberg trials have never accepted that version of the Hitler speech with a reference to the Armenians as evidence. Here, we do not mention or include the Armenians who live in Turkey and who are the citizens of the Republic of Turkey. We are mentioning the diaspora Armenians and some opportunists who mislead them for their own benefits.
THE ARMENIANS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE and THE FIRST WORLD WAR PERIOD:
The Nations History beside its characteristic to be the history of struggles, is a heap of unknown facts and dark points. Thus, there is an intention to conceal some pages of history or the reality is totally denied.
A very vivid example of this intention is with no doubt the Turkish-Armenian relations. Before the Turks came, nearly one thousand years ago, the Armenians had been banished to the different parts of Anatolia by the Romans, Persians and the Byzantine Empire. After the Turks have dominated this region, they brought justice to all the peoples living in Anatolia. Armenians were among those peoples. Turks are traditionally fair and Islam is the religion of tolerance. The relations between the Turks and the Armenians have reached its peak in the 19th century andthis period became the golden age of the Armenians. Moreover, the Armenians were one of the most comfortable Ottoman subjects. They were exempted from military service and from most of the taxes. Thus, they found the chance to progress in arts, crafts, commerce, agriculture andadministrative duties. The Ottoman Empire has named its Armenian subjects as “millet-i sadıka” (loyalist nation) and “tebaa-ı sadıka” (loyalist subjects). The Armenian subjects of the empire were speaking Turkish everywhere moreover they held their religious ceremonies in Turkish. They have promoted to the significant levels of government. Most of the under-secretaries of the Ottoman government were Armenians as in the ministries for navy, public works, foreign relations, finance, treasury, post-telegram, minting. During the First Constitutional period there were nine Armenian deputies in the council and during the Second Constitutional Period the number of the Armenian deputies was eleven. In 1914, there were twelve deputies in the government council and the total number of the Armenian governmental officials was twelve thousand. There are many Armenian writers who wrote researches on the Ottoman governmental affairs.1 On one-side birthrights of the Ottoman subjects, on the other side the rights and the concessions granted by the sultan made the Armenians the most favored and privileged community among all other communities, even the Muslims.
However, in the regression period of the Ottoman Empire, the European interference in every issue of the government became evident, unfortunately this malicious involvement planted the seeds of enmity between the Turks and the Armenians. The European spies especially whom in disguise of Christian missionaries entered the empire, even they carried their provocation and agitation activities in the hearth of the government. Those spies succeeded to alienate the Armenians towards the government. Moreover, they have supported and provoked the Armenian committee members to be armed against the Ottoman Army and of course innocent, civilian Turks. Thus, the events mostly ended disadvantageously for the Turks blurted out. During the revolts and street fights had begun in the East Anatolia and spread through Istanbul, in the end thousands of Turks and Armenians have died.
During the First World War, there were many Armenians who fought side by side with the Turks, but unfortunately the number of the Armenians who have sided with the Russians or other enemies of the empire is plenty. Moreover, many of these Armenian Committee members killed thousands of innocent women, children or the aged. They destroyed Anatolia by killing thousands of Muslims.
The measurements taken by the government were exploited and the Armenians- believing in the promises given by the Entente Powers- began to destroy the homeland which they shared with the Turks for many centuries. Thus, in 1887, an organization was formed in Geneva, named Hunchak. In Tiflis, in 1890, another Armenian Committee was founded, named Dashnaktsutium. Ramgavar and Hunchak Revolution Committee followed this, next the Armed Committee (1880) came. Straight Through Armenia Committee, Young Armenia Committee, Progressand Salvation Committee (1872) and Blackcross Committee (1882) were among the armed organizations. Some of the important events led by these organizations are as follow: 2
a. Zeytun Revolts
b. Kayseri Revolts
c. Bitlis Revolts
d. Van Revolts
e. Mus Revolts
f. Diyarbakir Revolts
g. Elazig Revolts
h. Erzurum Revolts
i. Sivas Revolts
j. Ankara Revolts
k. Adana Revolts
l. Urfa Revolts
m. Izmit Revolts
n. Adapazari Revolts
o. Musadagi Revolts
p. Izmir Revolts
q. Istanbul Revolts
r. Maras Revolts
s. Antep Revolts
t. Aleppo Revolts
The revolts mentioned above should be evaluated without any comparison to the current social events. The seriousness of these events is still horrifying. Armenians who lived side by side with the Turks for many centuries how and under what conditions made such brutal activities? These activities should be analyzed by the methods of psycho-sociology. The telegram which is reveled in “document 1” is one of the most shameful records in history: “… Until now, in Erzurum City 2.121 Muslim corpses were buried. All of them are males. All corpses have axe, bayonet and led wounds. Their livers were taken of and there pointed piles in their eyes…” 3
Despite war conditions, the government had tried to solve the problem by local measurements for nine-ten months. At last, the government realized that these local measurements were not capable of bringing peace to the region and decided to resettle the Armenian locals in peaceful regions.
The Armenian enmity against the Turks began with the voluntary Armenian troops in the Russian Army and it was carried out French Legionand at last Armenian thuggery had reach its peak in the beginning of the 20th century.
The result of Armenian enmity was a disaster for both sides. 2 millions and 500 thousands of Turks had been killed by the Armenians andapproximately 200 thousands of Armenians had lost their lives in the wars, revolts and during relocation. Anatolia was systematically destroyed, from her smallest village to the big cities. The Armenians who were deceived by fake promises by the European powers had left alone to their own destinies in the end. Many of them left their homelands with no other choice.
(1) see Goyunc, Nejat. Osmanli Idaresinde Ermeniler (The Armenians under Ottoman Administration), Istanbul, 1983
(2) see. Suslu, Azmi. Türk Tarihinde Ermeniler (Armenians in the Turkish History). Kafkas Uni. Press, Ankara, 1995
DEPORTATION (THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RELOCATION and RESETTLEMENT)
a. Does “relocation” mean “banishment” or “genocide”?
Relocation, “tehcir” in Turkish, has not a meaning of banishment. “Tehcir” is Arabic originated word meaning “immigration” or “emigration”. However, it was translated in English as “deportation” although “tehcir” has a very different meaning. Unfortunately, “Tehcir Code” has been misused against Turkey by provocateurs that make use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power. In fact “Tehcir Code” applied to transfer the Armenians to the more secure regions of the country in order to restore peace and harmony. In spite of this fact, many writers use the word “deportation” to dramatize the situation. 4 This is a historical mistake and a philological mistake.
b. The measures taken by the Ottoman Government before relocation and its implementation
The Russians and the Triple Entente were firmly settled on Armenian support in a possible world war. With the breaking out of the war, especially the Armenian organizations working abroad Turkey, called all the Ottoman Armenians to join the Allied troops. Many Armenians obeying this call volunteered to the armies of the Entente Powers and waged revolts in Anatolia.
In the beginning of the First World War, first the Russians by using the Caucasian Armenians incited the Anatolian Armenians against the Turks. Russia promised that she would give all the lands she occupied from the Turks to the Armenians. Moreover, “Russia has dispatched weapons and munitions to the Armenian villages. Russians dressed up as Turkish peasants transported those weapons. Even son of Russian General Loris Melikov went to Van region for this duty” 5
The Russian Tsardom besides forming voluntary troops and arming the Armenians who escaped from Anatolia, by Dashnaktsutium Party gave her economic support to the Armenian committees, as well. In the National Armenian Congress held in February 1915, the representative of the Military Wing of Dashnaktsutium noted that, “As known, in the beginning of the war, the Russian government gave us 242.900 rubles for the armament and preparation expensed of the Turkish Armenians and the first expanses of the revolts. Our voluntary troops had to break the chain of the Turkish Army and to unite with the rebels both in and behind the front lines, in short they had to create anarchy in Turkey to open a way for the Russian troops for a successful invasion of Turkish Armenia.” 6
At first, the Ottoman government had taken local measurements and tried to repress the revolts locally. Although Armenian religious leaders had played a very significant role in the revolts, the government evaluated these rebels as some individual efforts. In the same time, the government had sent a note to the Armenian Patriarch saying “it has to take serious measurements against a possible Armenian revolt, to restore the security of the state.” The concerned letter by the Commander-in Chief of the Ottoman Army addressed to the Armenian Patriarch is an example for the Turkish sincerity. This letter is revealed in the “document 2” and it is as follows: “…However, with no doubt, a skillful person, who has been promoted to our country’s highest levels, would agree that there are some confused people deceived by foreigners. It is obvious that they appeal some brutal instruments to posses what they desire. As being the government, we have to be rough against those people, we regret to say it but to protect the Ottoman homeland this is obligatory. I can not explain how I regret and am upset against such an obligation…” 7 Although similar letters were sent to the Armenian deputies and the notables who are engaging in those illegal committees, the committees’ actions had increased. 8 Under the leadership of the Patriarchs, all the committees in Istanbul carried their activities on as they did in the pastand they assisted Allied troops and sent special committees to the cities.
One of the most apparent evident of Armenian treachery is a telegram sent from Hassankale to Istanbul. In this telegram revealed in “document3”, the Patriarchy complains of some events that occurred in Van to the Commander in Chief and denies the accusations made by the Patriarch against the Turkish habitants of the region. The investigation report written by the Commander in Chief is concluded with this sentence “… the concerned matters would be explained to the Armenian Patriarch as his duty requires to bring reason for the perverse, I implore him to be the pioneer in the way of loyalty and obedience…”9
In fact, before the war has broke out, the Armenians were ready for every kind of revolts. Despite some disorganized movements, they did not wage an overall revolt. They thought that for an well-organized uprising the best timing was the landing of the British Army to the Iskenderun Gulf and the Russian advance to this region. As it is revealed in “document 4”, the Armenians have determined their tactics according to possible occurrences, long before the war. However, the Armenians did not wait for the breaking of the war, in fact they could not have waitedand they waged the uprisings. According to the evidences given by some captured Armenian militias the most important reason of premature revolts was the measurements taken by the Turkish Army. Beside that while the Armenians were waiting for the Russian Army’s arrival, some of the Revolutionist Committee leaders were arrested and banished. Moreover, the government called every male who was born in 1894.
While the Ottoman Army was in war in many fronts, the Armenians were executing the plan, which was designed for “Armenian independenceand the benefit of Triple Entente ideal”. However, they turned a blind eye that their activities were treachery.
The Armenian revolts had mainly started in East Anatolia and quickly spread through other cities. With the Russian advance in Erzurum andprovince, the Armenians systematically killed the Turkish habitants. As a German general said, “they began to erase the Muslim people in the region”.
While the Armenian atrocity was going on, Turkish security forces had confiscated many weapons and munitions in the houses of civil Armenians. In fact, the great number of the munitions confiscated was astonishing. Before the Russian occupation, the places that the Armenians live seemed like they are under Armenian invasion; even the government’s authority was failing to enter those regions. If the government had tolerated the events the circumstances would have gone too far. 10 9 see. GÜRÜN Kamuran, Ermeni Dosyası (the Armenian File), Turkish Institute of History Press, Ankara, 1983, 10 see. BİLGİ, Necdet, Ermeni Tehciri ve Boğazlayan Kaymakamı Mehmed Efendi’nin Yargılanması (Armenian Relocation and the Trial of Boğazlıyan Head Official Mehmed Efendi), KOKSAV Press, Ankara, 1999.
After the Ottoman Government had entered the war and especially had defeated in the Caucasian Front, it was obvious that the Armenian bandits would wage an overall revolt. The Armenian pressure on the Muslim habitants seriously intensified. The increasing number of Armenian deserters and attacks on the Ottoman soldiers and gendarmes, thousands of weapons confiscated by the Ottoman Army and the French, Armenian and Russian decipher groups captured, the coming of a nationwide uprising was apparent. Enver Pasha alerted the departments concerned of 25 February 1915. The telegram in chipper that was sent from Erzurum to the Commander in Chief (document 5) will reveal the facts about Enver Pasha’s views.
The Ottoman government had taken measurements against these negative circumstances, and where these measurements were insufficient it relocated the Armenians to the more peaceful regions of the country. However, the event that caused for overall resettlement implementation was the Van Revolt. The Armenians in this region gathered in Van and by arming, waited for the arrival of the Russian Army, we can evidence for this action in documents. The Commander in Chief in Istanbul had made firm that the Russian troops in Van were inciting the Armenians for a revolution. In the report (document 5) compiled from the Armenian activities all over the country, the Russian support on the Armenian revolutionist is revealed as follows; “…the Muslim villages and town under Russian occupation are being searched and all the arms are confiscated in order to distribute the Armenians. A total of 600 Armenians from Van, Bitlis and Bayezid towns and the Armenian deserters have been gathered in Igdir, they were organized in militia order and later they were divided and sent to the Russian border troops.” Attorney Governor for Van, Cevdet Bey has warned about the Armenian formations but necessary measurement had not been taken and the uprising waged in Sitak town, on 17 April 1915, spread through the entire Van. On 20 April, all the Armenians in the City of Van and its villages andColemerik Nasturi people had revolted. 11 The Armenian Catholic leader Keork V declared that 10.000 armed bandits had joined this revolt. 12
Although Attorney Governor of Van, Cevdet Bey warned the government about Russo-Armenian expansion in Van, the Ottoman Army failed to control the region. At last, Cevdet Bey and Turkish forces in Van left the city on the night of 16 May. Two days later, on 19 May the Russian troops entered Van. Meanwhile, nearly 30.000 Turkish habitants of Van gave serious casualties and left the city. 13
This sentence in “document 5” reveals under what conditions the Turks left the city: “…These bandits are advancing by plundering the properties of the peasants, and killing everybody, even the babies …”
Thus in Van and its province the uprisings waged by Russo-Armenian co-operation reached a very serious point. As a result of the Armenian revolts, massacres and destruction, the Russian troops occupied Van, Malazgirt and Bitlis with in a month. As seen, every Russian military operation became successful by Armenian assistance. Van events is an example for how the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman government stabbed the Turkish Army from its back. Under this condition, the government has decided to relocate the dissident Armenians.
The Armenian committee members’ decisions and the documents of their massacres are reveled in documents. 14 Those documents reveal the calmness and tolerance of the Ottoman administration despite all the psychological pressures and negative conditions.
Beside the code of relocation there are other decisions of the Ottoman government. According to these decisions, the government after nine months of declaration of mobilization has sent an instruction to 14 governors and ordered them to close all the Armenian organizations that were involving in the revolts or assisting the Russian troops.
In this framework, the government decided to close all the branches of especially Hunchak, Dashnak and similar committees and to confiscate their entire documents and to arrest the Armenians whose involvement in treacheries were certain. 15
After the concerned instruction of the Ministry for Domestic Affairs dated 24 April 1915, 2.345 Armenians were arrested in Istanbul where82.880 Armenians were living. For a month, the Government hoped for the betterment of the events with these measurements. However, everything was getting worse and finally the Ottoman government has given the decision of relocation. All the measures taken against theevents that were worsening since the beginning of First World War. Under the conditions of the concerned period, the measurements were not illegal, unnecessary or without a basis.
At this point it would be appropriate to reveal this fact: In the beginning of 1916, while the Russian troops were occupying Erzurum, the Commander in Chief’s first order was “The Armenians have no right to settle in Erzurum” 16. Moreover, Russian Minister for International Relations Sazanov, in his project letter (27 June 1916) to Prince Nicolay Nicolayevich the Governor of the Caucus said that, “… It would not be convenient to give the Armenians their independence, because in Armenia the Armenians never been the majority, their number is only the quarter of the entire population and under this conditions, to give domination to the Armenians means to give a minority authority. This may be unjust for the other communities. The best solution is to reorganize the lands captured from the Turks and to treat equally towards all the nations but to set at loggerheads between all the ethnical groups.
Some freedoms for the Armenians should be maintained as education, religion and protection of their language. These essences would boost the respect to the government, clean internal and external incitements and of course they would not make the people to miss the Turkish administration…” 17
5 Presidency of Consul General ATESE Archive doc. no: 4-3671, Kls. 2918, file 797 cat. 6
6 B. A. Boryan, Armeniya Mejdunarodnaya Diplomatiya; SSSR, Çast li Moscow, 1929, p. 360
7 Presidency of Consul General, ATASE Archive. A.1/1. D. 101, K.13.D62, cat. 4-2,4-3
8 Presidency of Consul General, ATASE Archive,
9 12.31 (22 May 1915) dated and 2004 numbered document
11 see. AKCORA, Ergünöz, Van ve Çevresinde Ermeni İsyanları (Armenian Uprisings in Van and Province) (1896-1916), Türk Dünyası Araştırmaları Vakfı Press, Istanbul, 1994.
12 B. A. Boryan, age, p. 363
13 see BİLGİ, Necdet age
14 ATESE Archive no: 4/3671 D. G 1. K. 2811 file. 26 cat. 28 and Archive no: ½ D. 113 G. 4 K, 528 file, 2061 cat. 21,21-18
15 15. ATASE Archive no ½ cls. 401 file 1580, cat. 9/3 16 B.A Boyran, age, p. 356
INSTRUCTIONS ON THE RELOCATION LAW and ITS APPLICATION
The Ottoman Government based the Relocation Law on the conditions of that time. It is not an arbitrary application or it is not only a governmental instruction. The law is revealed in “document 6” and it has four articles. It concerns “the measurements that obliged to be taken against government dissidents in an event of war.” 18
The first article of the Relocation Law says, “In the event of opposition of the governmental forces or the government’s order and in the event of any armed resistance, the subjected people will be punished.” The second article says, “the locals whose treachery and espionage are certain would be relocated to other regions”. The third article confirms the validity of the law and the fourth article states the responsibilities concerning the law.
As seen, the relocation – resettlement law passed to maintain the security of the country and the authority of the government. The most significant characteristic of the law is, there is no implication for its application on a certain ethnic group or community. The law was implemented among Muslim, Greek and Armenian citizens whose guilt were constant. Consequently, to evaluate Relocation Law as it was implemented only among Armenians would be wrong.
As it may seen in the last section, the implementation of the resettlement was left to the interpretation and ability of the administrators, and the details of the administrators’ responsibilities have not explained. 19 There are many detailed decisions and instructions on determining the possessions of the immigrants. The feeding of the immigrants was explained as well.
The regulation that explains the implementation of Law of Relocation and Resettlement has not any implication of destruction of any property or any person. On the contrary, the problems occurred during migration was solved by lawful punishments. 17 Razdel Azaiatskoy Turtsii Po Sekretnım Dokumentom Bıvşego Miniterstva İnostrannıh Del. Sostovitel E. A. Adamov, Moscow, 1924 no: CXL, p. 207-210 18 Takvim-i vekayi Newspaper, 1 June 1915, the Law was accepted on 27 May 1915 19 Ottoman Archives, Meclis-, Vükela Muzakeratına Mahsus Zabıtname, 17 May 1915
If the Ottoman Government had an intention to annihilate the entire Armenian community, it would not have recorded every detail of the migration as the facilities revealed to the immigrants, protection of the convoys, medical care of the sick immigrants, children’s care, registrations of their prosperity they have left. A detailed study of the last section would reveal that the Ottoman government has maintained the protection of their properties. This regulation can be interpreted as the Ottoman government applied relocation as a temporary measurement to protect its borders against the invaders. The application of temporary settlements for the Armenians in Anotolia proves this thesis. However, increasing Russo-French incitements on Armenians and American’s financial support to the Armenian bandits hindered a temporary resettlement and a part of the Armenians had been settled in Syria. As in that period Syria was an Ottoman border, even the Armenian resettlement in this region was not banishment.
DEMOGRAPHIC INformATION- BEFORE and AFTER RELOCATION
Today, the Armenian Committee Members and their supporters distort the truth about Armenian population. The governmental records of the wartime, governmental numbers, church records, and the reports of foreign missionaries are being wrongly revealed in order to create a basement for the genocide allegations. Some of the numbers even exceeds today’s Armenian population in the entire world. Here, demographic information is studied from serious resources and compared to the successive components.
a. The Armenian Population Before Relocation There are many claims on the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire. These are;
(1) According to the Armenian and other Foreign Resources:
– British Almanac, 1917 20 1.056.000
– According to Bishop Ormanyan 1.579.000
– In Kevork Aslan’s Armenia and Armenians
– In Anatolia 920.000
In Ottoman documents 700.000
– German Priest Johannes Lepsius 23 1.600.000
– Cuinet 24 1.045.000
– French Yellow Book 25 1.475.000
– Basmaciyan 26 2.280.000
– Bishop Nerses Varjabedyan 27 1.150.000
(2) Armenian Population in the Ottoman Records:
The foreign researchers are trying to conceal the Ottoman records. However, the most reliable resources on this subject are with no doubt the Ottoman archives. The Armenian population before relocation, in some subjective resources is revealed four or five times more than it was. For example, the Armenians demanding an independent Armenia in 1878 Berlin Congress claimed that there were 3.000.000 Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, but after Berlin Congress decided to impose taxes on the Christian subjects of the Empire they decreased this number even under the number given by the Ottoman government.
The Ottoman Directorate of Statistics was founded in 1892. In this year the director was Nuri Bey, between 1892-1897 a jewish official Fethi Franco taken this duty and between 1897-1903 an Armenian director named Midirgic Sinabyan and between 1903-1908 an American called Mr. Robert had executed the department. 28 As seen, in a very critique period the demographic information of the Ottoman government controlled by foreigners. By moving this point of view, the Ottoman demographic records are the most reliable resources.
According to 1893 census the Armenian Population 1.001.465
According to 1906 census the Armenian Population 1.120.748
According to 1914 statistics Armenian Population 1.221.850 29
b. The Armenian Population after Relocation
The last demographic statistic of the Ottoman Empire was made in 1914. According to this statistic the Armenian population was 1.221.850.from the year Relocation Law was implemented until 1927, both in the Ottoman government and in the Republican period any census had been made. Moreover, in today’s Iraq and Syria where resettlement was made occupied by Britain and France. Thus, the number Armenians who had been settled in these regions and demographic alterations could not have been recorded. Moreover, any serious resource on this number does not exist.
In addition, according to the report of Noradungian Gabrial, which he revealed to subordinate commission of the Lausanne Conference, 345 thousands of Armenians went to the Caucasus, 140 thousands to Syria, 120 thousands to Greece and the Aegean Islands, 40 thousands to Bulgaria, 50 thousands to Iran. As seen a total of 695.000 Armenians had left Anatolia.
On of the notable Armenians Hatisov (later he became the President of Armenia) who joined the Trabzon Conference (14 March-14 April 1918), sent a message to Mr. Hüseyin Rauf saying “there are 400.000 Armenians in the Caucus, who escaped from the Ottoman State”. 31
Another Armenian Richard Hovannisian 32 states that 50.000 Armenians had migrated to Lebanon, 10.000 to Jordan, 40.000 to Egypt, 25.000 to Iraq. The number of the Armenians that migrated to France and USA is 35.000.
Another group of Armenians is the one commonly known as Militarists, the Catholic Armenians. According to the Ottoman demography statistic of 1917, there were 67.838 Catholic Armenians in the empire. 60.000 of those Armenians were involved in Musa Dagi events and later they left Turkey and went to Austria, France and USA. 33 The number of the Catholic Armenians was included in the numbers given above.
Thus, during relocation, 345.000 to the Caucasus, 140.000 to Syria, 120.000 to Greece and 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, 35.000 USA and Austria and a total of 855.000 Armenians were subjected to resettlement. In addition, as Kemal Beydilli mentions, usually subjective writers include 60.000 Armenians who migrated in accord to the number of the obligatory immigrants. If the Armenian documents would be seen as a primary resource, and if 855.000 subtracted from1914 Armenian population, 366.850 people remain. The number of the Armenians not subject to relocation is 167.778. 82.880 of this number were remained n Istanbul, 60.119 remained in Hudavengigar (Bursa), 4548 in Kutahya and 20.237 in Aydın. If 167.778 subtracted from366.850, 200.000 people remains.
The number of the Armenians who joined the Allied troops and died in the war with the Ottoman Army, the number of the causalities died in the revolts and during immigration is approximately 200.000.
Some foreign writers give the number of the Armenian volunteers in the Russian expeditionary forces as 180.000. 34
Some documents state that an important part of remaining 200.000 people had returned to Istanbul, Aydin, Kutahya and Adana.
Some of them had hidden and later escaped from Turkey. 35 As seen, the numbers that the Armenian allegation based on are nothing but imaginary propaganda instruments.
Moreover, there is a denied truth, this is the number of the Turkish casualties. Justin McCarthy says, “we should consider the number of the Muslim casualties while considering the Armenian deaths. According to the statistics 2.500.000 Muslims had died and most of them were the Turks… City of Sivas was in the frontline. The Russian Army could not have advanced that much. However, in Sivas 180.000 Muslims had died. This is true for the entire Anatolia.” 36
20 1917 Britannica Almanac
21 Uras, Esat Armenians in History and Armenian Issues, Istanbul, 1987
22 Aslan, Kevork, Armenia and the Armenians, Istanbul, 1914
23 Uras, Esat, a.g.e
24 Uras, Esat, a.g.e
25 1893-1897 Armenian Affairs, Paris 1897, translation Uras, Esat, a.g.e
26 Uras, Esat, a.g.e
31 Akdes, Nimel Kurat, Turkey and Russia, Ankara, 1990, p.471
32 Hovannisian, Richard, The Ebb and Flow of the Armenian Minority in the Arab Middle East Journal, vol. 28 no. 1 Winter 1974, 5-20
33 Beydilli, Kemal, The Recigrition of the Armenian Catholic Nation
34 Gordana, Sinadinovska-Brauislay Sinadinovski, Ermenskotı Natsfnolno Prasanye, Skopje 1990, p.77
IEWS AGAINST GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS
a. Is 24 April 1915 the day of genocide?
24 April 1915 is the day, in which the Ottoman government began to arrest the suspects of Armenian terrorism, violence and treachery. The declaration 24 April as the genocide date is as fictitious as the genocide allegations. On 24 April 1915, the Armenian Committee centers were closed, their documents were confiscated, and the leaders were arrested. The government by sending instructions to 14 cities has tried to prevent the events. 37 Following this instruction 2.345 people were arrested. If there had been a genocide occurred than the government would have arrested the entire Armenian population in Istanbul. This number was 82.880. 38 The Armenians exploits this date because the leaders of the revolutionists were arrested on this date.
b. Are the words of “sending” and “settling” carrying any implication of genocide?
Although some of the Armenian leaders have arrested and the Armenian Committee’s were closed, the violent events had increased. Theevents that began in the big cities spread to the smaller towns and the security forces failed to maintain peace. The security forces were sending messages to the city centers and offering resettlement of the Armenian habitants. 39
Relocation was not implemented by loading the Armenians to ships or trains and deporting them out of the Turkish borders. This was a measurement to maintain the wholeness of the Empire that was loosing her lands. Despite all the negative factors, the Ottoman administrators executed the law with calmness. The essences, which will be obeyed during the immigration, were regulated by instructions. In these instructions every detail about the safety of the immigrants was revealed. One of them is given in document 7, “the Regulation on Administration of Armenian properties and immovable properties, in the event of a necessary resettlement in wartime.” The third and the fifth articles of the regulation on abandoned Armenian properties reveal benevolence of the government. Article 3: The type, quantity, and value of the property, the names of the owners will bee recorded and they will be sent to the places that would be used a depot such as schools, churches or houses, all the properties would be stored and a copy of the record would be given to the Commission of Abandoned Properties…
Article 5: Among those items they will not be to take those items that may perish should by necessity be sold by auctions; the income will be entrusted in his name.
The sixth article of the same regulation is a very good example of the Ottoman religious tolerance inherited from Mehmet the Conqueror. It says “… the items in the churches, the paintings and holy books should be recorded and entrusted…in the
espite all these measurements, in Sivas 648, in Mamuratul Azia 233, in Diyarbakir 70, in Bitlis 20, in Eskisehir 8, in Izmit 33, in Ankara 32, in Kayseri 69, in Syria 27, in Hudavendigar (Bursa) 12, in Konya 12, in Urfa 189, in Canik 14 and a total of 1397 officials were arrested because of violation of the regulations. 40 Among those head official of Boğazlı Kemal Bey and former head official of Bayburt Nusret Bey were trailed in military court and sentenced to death penalty. 41
In the course of history, there are many examples of relocation implementation. The habitants in a war-line could be relocated, and if these habitants are being an obstacle for the security forces, or they are in co-operation with the other side, resettlement is an obligation. Resettlement is a measure taken to protect the civil habitants in a frontline.
In the following years, similar implementations were seen as well. It is known that, the Radical Socialist French government had taken the German speaking Alsazs living in French-German border and resettled them in the southwest of France, especially in Dordogne. In likemanner, following Pearl Harbour attack, the American government had taken its Japanese citizens living in Pacific Region and settled them in the Mississippi Valley, until the end of the war it sheltered those people in concentration camps. 42 There are many other examples of similar applications.
Sometimes, the governments could necessarily resettle the civil people.
Another significant document is (document 8) Albert J. Ameteu’s affidavit, in 1989. 43 Ameteu in his affidavit declares that the genocide of the Armenians were baseless allegations. The affidavit given by 100 years old man on 20 April 1989, is the best answer that could be given to some speculators on so-called Armenian Genocide.
A very detailed explanation of 200.000 Armenian casualties was given above. However, when we look at the Ottoman casualties between 1915-1918, there are 400.000 injured, 240.000 death from various diseases, 35.000 deaths from insufficient medical care, 50.000 deaths in the battlefields, 1.560.000 various casualties (deserters, prisoners of war and unknown). 44
As seen because of the conditions of wartime, economical and technical inefficiencies, insufficient medical facilities, and epidemics 275.000 people had died.
While the Ottoman Empire was endeavoring under these very negative conditions, the Armenian immigrants’ convoys were under the threat of Armenian bandits and other armed groups.
Under the light of these evidences, it is possible to say that, to accuse the Ottoman Government by a planned, systematic genocide idea or implementation is a baseless allegation. The so-called Armenian Genocide that the Armenian Committees claim never occurred.
However, because of the inefficient facilities of the wartime, technical and medical insufficiencies, and in the attacks of the Armenian banditsand the plunderers, many Armenians had lost their lives. Beside these, there are many Armenians who joined the enemy side or who desertedfrom immigration. These facts refute the genocide allegations.
c. Allocation of funds for the Resettlement:
The Ottoman Empire had always accepted the refugees. Especially, in 1900’s form the Balkans and the Caucasus many refugees came to Anatolia.
To allocate the needs of the Muslims, Greeks and the Armenians who immigrated with the law of Directorate of Settlement of Tribes andRefugees has founded. The directorate’s duty was to meet all needs of the immigrants.
In document 9, very detailed information as hospitals, city by city or needs of Armenian orphans are revealed.
To meet the needs of immigrants the government spent 25 million kurushes, in 1915 and in 1916 it allocated 230 million kurushes, as revealed in document 9.
During immigration, for the convoys saddles and vehicles were maintained, women, elder people, children and sick people were very carefully treated. The regulation revealed in “document 10″ clarifies this fact: Article 2: The Armenians should be allowed to take all of their movable properties and animals. Article 3: During immigration until the Armenian arrive to their settlements, their safety should be maintained and all their need should be met by the local administrators on their route. All officials should be responsible in the event of any ignorance or indifference…”
Against possible malaria, the government had distributed quinine for the one immigrating by sea and all the military and civilian hospitals were alerted to care the sick people. 45
d. The telegrams that had been attributed to Talat Pasha and the facts:
An Armenian called Aram andonian published a book named “Memoirs of Naim Bey, Turkish documents on Armenian Deportation andMassacres”, in London, 1920. Later, same book was published in Paris, the name of the French edition was “Governmental documents on Armenian Genocide”. In Boston, it was republished with the name of “Great Crime, Last Armenian Genocide and Original Telegrams of Talat Pasha”.
The telegrams mentioned in this book and attributed to Talat Pasha are counterfeits; made to sign a genocide criminal. Sinasi Orel andSurreyya Yuca investigated these counterfeit telegrams and they proved that the Ottoman official mentioned in the book have never worked in Allepo, the paper used in the telegrams never used in the Ottoman official documents, the originals do not exist in the archives of the Prime Ministry, the difference between the rumi (Julian) and the miladi (Gregorian) calendars are ignored, and the signatures are not real. As it may in “document 11” there are many linguistic mistakes, unusual for an Ottoman official!
Despite all the claims that the originals of the telegrams are in the Armenian Bureau in Manchester, until today they are concealed from public opinion and from the scientists.
e. The results of the investigations made by the foreign researchers on the Armenian Allegations:
Just after the end of First World War, troops of the Allied Powers occupied Istanbul and many other regions, the British has arrested hundreds of Ottoman intellectuals and statesmen and deported them to the Island of Malta where they were imprisoned. Government of Istanbul for the sake of its own existence and for the sultanate supported the Allied Powers against the Party of union and Progress, which had administrated the government for ten years. In order to accuse the detainees in Malta, a very extended investigation had been made in the Ottoman Archives. There was no evidence at all to prove that such a crime as alleged “Armenian massacre” was ever committed in Turkey.
The British government then turned the American Archives in Washington asking evidence for so-called genocide. British Ambassador for Washington sent a message to Lord Curzon on 13 July 1921 saying: “I regret to inform Your Lordship that there was nothing therein (in American archives) which could be used as evidence against the Turks who are being detained for trial at Malta. The reports seen… made mention of only two names of the Turkish officials in question and in these case were confined to personal opinions of these officials on the part of the writer, no concrete facts being given which could constitute satisfactory incriminating evidence.” 47 In conclusion, one can say that these prominent Turks, accused of Armenian persecution, were arrested and deported without any serious investigation. There was, from the very beginning, a great deal of doubts whether the accused was in fact guilty or not. from political point of view, it was “highly desirable” for the British Government that at least some of these deportees should be brought to trial. The British Foreign Office has left no stone unturned in order to prove that an “Armenian massacre” actually took place in Turkey, and consequently some of these detainees were guilty. But all efforts in this connection ended with a complete failure. At last the detainees in Malta were released in 1922.
Meanwhile, in the British press many counterfeit documents were released accusing the Ottoman government of a so-called genocide. Thedocuments in question were told to be found by the British expeditionary troops under command of General Allenby, in the Ottoman governmental bureaus in Syria. However, all the investigations made by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that those documents were all counterfeits and they were all produced by the Nationalist Armenian Delegation in Paris.
f. Did the Ottoman government avoid from an investigation?
In the previous sections, we have mentioned that the demonstrations and the actions for the acceptance of the so-called genocide had first begun in 1965, the fiftieth year of genocide allegations. The Ottoman Empire did not wait for fifty years like the Armenians did. As it may seen indocument 13, on 26 March 1919, the Ottoman government sent notes to Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway -the European States that remained neutral during the First World War- and it invited two jurists from each government. This effort was failed by British interference, thus the formation of a commission -for a further investigation of the issue- was impeded. 49
The Ottoman Government was sure about her blamelessness and she wanted to prove this fact in the framework of international law. This was a very good example of self-respect.
The British interfered on the Ottoman effort, as if she is hiding the real guilty. If the concerned commission would have been formed, all the accusations directed to the Turkish nation would be annihilated, moreover all the untrue allegations against the Republic of Turkey would be abolished.
This was not the last effort of the Ottoman government to prove her blamelessness, on 7 March 1920, she has sent a message 50 to the Allied Powers and to Admiral Bristol and she demanded a further investigation on the issue in order to enlighten the world public opinion. The concerned message (document 14) the government asks aid for “… a quick investigation on made-up Armenian massacres issue to enlighten malicious and evil intended propaganda and for acquittal of the Turkish Nation …” Meanwhile, this message was published in all the newspaper as a open call. In addition, through the end of the Second World War, a group of foreign journalists led by Ahmet Refik sent to the East Anatolia for a research. 51 Is it possible for a government which committed an inhuman crime to act in such manner? As seen, in this example and in many others, the unjust accusations against the Turkish Nation have gone to far and these accusations are becoming a shame for the humanity.
g. Are the Ottoman Archives confidential; are the documents of resettlement hidden?
Every original document of the Resettlement Law is open. The Ottoman Archives were taken over by the Governmental Archives Directorate of the Prime Ministry. Since, 1925 all the documents on the Armenian issue are open for everybody. Until today, the Ottoman Archives were researched by many scientists. The statistics are,
In addition 190 Armenians researched the archives. 180 of them were Turkish citizens.
Beside the researches made by thousands of scientists, these documents were translated in English and published in order to enlighten the public. The documents that exist in the archives of the Council General are being published by ATASE Press in the framework of “Askeri Tarih Belgeleri Dergisi” (The Journal of Military History documents). Another publication on this issue is the book which was compiled from Yildiz Archives of the Prime Ministry. This compilation was translated in English and it is in three volumes. Despite all these facts and transparent approach of Turkey there are some provocateurs accusing Turkey that she is concealing the archives. There is no answer for such a evil intended accusation.
h. A scientific attitude against genocide allegations and the scientific discussions on the issue
The objective historians who works without any prejudices and proceed their researches scientifically, explain “genocide” allegations as the delirium of a group whose acting for political and economical purposes.
Since 1925, real scientists have reached the original documents, listened the real witnesses and made observations in the places of events. Only objective researchers would discover the facts. We have annexed the paper written by 69 American scientists on the issue (document 15).
Turkey has made many calls to discuss the validity of Armenian allegations aroused by Western European and Russian support. These calls were made to Armenian historians and the propagandists. However, none of these people has joined the meetings. 11th Turkish History Congress held in 1990 is an example of Turkish calls. For the first time, an Armenian Session was programmed in Turkish History Congressand “the Defenders of Armenian Ideal” were invited to the discussion in this session but all rejected the invitation by claiming different excuses. (document 16)
I. A study of the issue from the view of UN Genocide Agreement dated 1948
“Genocide” as a 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 for the Prevention and the Repression of the Crime of Genocide”, approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution of 1948. In the second article of 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 subject 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” come within the range of actions listed in the said convention. But the third element is the most important: there has to be “an intent of destroying”, in part or in whole the said group. In a genocide, destructive activities becomes the main policy of a government.
If we interpret the issue from the view of the convention, we should touch upon some historical events. To commit an inhuman crime as a genocide, the said nation has to show inclination for such a crime in its history. In Turkish history there is no such inclination exists. There are no acts of genocide or assimilation. With a short journey to Ottoman history we will remember the wide geography that the empire dominated, in east Europe through Vienna border, in Africa the entire Northern shores, the entire Middle East the Ottomans were reigning. The Ottoman sovereignty in such a wide geography lasted 200-400 years. Any of the peoples living under Ottoman authority have been annihilated. In Anatolia, where the codes of Islam (Sheriat) were dominating all the religious beliefs were tolerated. Despite Sheriat’s prohibitions in 1800’s many Churches had been opened, in Anatolia. Famous grand vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha’s brother Makarije was designated as the Patriarch of the Serbian Church and he resurrected the Serb Nation. Remember the sect struggles in Europe, and European massacres in the name of religion. Remember the nations of Far East whose mother tongues were assimilated (Hindus) or remember Africa or South America.
The Turkish administration was used to living with different peoples with different cultures and religions. This may be a characteristic the Turks gained from living side by side with many different nations. Justice is one of the most significant components of Turkish administrative tradition. The Turkish administrations have always respected the cultures. The Turks never undertook systematic massacres or genocide. Justin McCarthy’s “Death and Banishment” clarifies this fact. In this book reveals how the peoples of Balkans and the Caucasus took refuge to the Ottoman administration. The Ottoman Empire had always been a shelter for the mistreated nations. In 1469, Jewish and Muslim peoples of Spain and Portugal, in 1711 Rakoczi Ferençh and his men, in 1849 Layos Kosuth and 2000 Hungarians, King of Sweden Charles and his 2000 men, between 1841 and 1856 Polish Prince Chartorsky, in October 1917, Russian Commander Vrangel and his 135.000 soldiers andeven Trochky who escaped from death took refuge to the Ottoman Empire. Many German and Polish Jews have come to Turkey in 1930’s. If the Turks undertook a genocide to the Armenians, why they sheltered the Jews running from Hitler? Why they saw the Turks as their saviors?
Mehmet II (Mehmet the Conqueror) Firman (document 17) dated 1478 is a very old and significant example of human rights. He granted his subjects the right of preserving their ethnical, cultural and religious identities. Remember the assimilation and genocide of the Balkanic peoples, compare the approaches of the Balkan nations to the Mehmet II’s firman. In order to create homogeneous communities, some Balkan nations massacred or deported the Bosnians, Albanians, Muslims, Macedonians and Bulgarian Turks, in the end of 20th century. Today, some circles that accusing the Turkish Nation with so-called genocide, remained indifferent to the massacres lasted for months, they became deaf to the screams of the innocent women who had been raped. The Iraqis who escaped from mustard gas -produced by western technology andgiven to the hands of Saddam- has taken refugee to Turkey. Despite economic insufficiencies the Turkish Nation shared substance with those poor people. This is the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey.
Prof. Justin McCarty in his speech which he gave to the US Senate explained the pains of the Turks during the First World War.
But, there are still some American senate members whose approach remained the same despite the speech of Prof. Justin McCarty (document18). Humanity certainly will be instructed about the facts under the light of the works written by the prudent historians. Unless, as Ataturk said, “Constant realities will assume an astonishing nature for the humanity”.
35 Foreign Office, no. 371/6556/E.2730/800/44 see Kamuran Gurun. Armenian File, Turkish History Institute, Ankara, 1983, p 241
36 McCarthy, Justin: “The Anatolian Armenians 1912-1922”. Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (1912-1926), Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 1984, p.23-25
37 Archives of Prime Ministry, Babıali-Dahiliye Nezerati-Emniyeti Ummiye Müdüriyeti kalemi, file 52/96-98
38 Suslu, Azmi, Armenians in Turkish History, p.223-226
39 ATASE Archive Erkan-ı Harbiye Umumiye Dairesi (3) Doc. No. 2048
40 Archive of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hazine-i Evrak, kar. 178, file, also see Suslu, Azmi Armenians in Turkish History, p. 237.
41 Bilgi, Necdet, a.g.e
42 Acquaintances, Oxford, UP. 1976
43 see documents Chapter
44 History of Turkish Military Forces, First World War, Administrative Activities and Logistic, vol. 10, ATASE Press, Ankara, 1985
45 ATASE Archive, no ½, kls. 361 file 1445, cat. 15-22-23
46 Orel, Şinasi Yuca Süreyya, The Real Face of the Telegrams Attributed to Talat Pasha, Turkish History Institute, Ankara, 1983
Armenian genocide allegations caused many murders. The Armenian efforts on this ideal had always been bloody. The remnants of the murderers of thousands of Turks in Anatolia, Cemal and Talat Pashas still retain their violent approaches. Between 1973 and 1985 ASALA terrorist organization undertook many attacks against Turkish diplomats, Turkish people and Turkish work-sites. Despite all these violentevents, the Western World remained in silence and boosted the morels of the terrorists by their indifference.
The Armenian allegations consist of three targets, these are:
a. Affirmation of the political, economical and military powers of the world on the Armenian Genocide and maintenance of records on this issue by central and local administrations,
b. Compensation demand based on the concerned decisions and put economic pressure on the Republic of Turkey as the heir of the Ottoman Empire,
c. Following the collection of compensation to represent the demand of lands. After, the concealed leader of the Dashnaktsutium organization Koceryan took the presidency of the Armenian State, said strategy has been accelerated. The entire scenery is directed to the wholeness of the Republic of Turkey. This strategy became the ideal of today’s Armenia. An analyze of three documents of today’s Armenia clarifies this fact. These documents are, the Independence Proclamation, Independence Decision and the Constitution. 12th Article of the Independence Proclamation of Armenia Soviet Socialist Republic dated 23 August 1990 says, “The Republic of Armenia will support all the efforts for the international affirmation of the genocide occurred in Ottoman Turkey and in Western Armenia, in 1915”. The same issue was accepted in Independence Resolution of the Armenian Parliament dated 23 September 1991, which says “Armenia will be loyal to the Independence Proclamation”. With Constitution of 1995, Armenia declared that it will be loyal to the national objectives of the Independence Proclamation by force of law. Thus, the Armenian evil intents on Eastern Turkey as the Armenians name “Western Armenia” has revealed to the entire world.
If we focus from this point of view, we should touch upon the conventions of NATO and ESDI. Both conventions guarantees the integrity of the member states.
As known NATO is a military Pact and it does not need any further explanation. Paris Condition of ESDI guarantees the integrity of the member states. Imagine a member state that demands land from Turkey, moreover names East Turkey as “Western Armenia”. In addition NATO andESDI remain in silence.
As I have mentioned in the foreword, today Turkey, with her 70.000.000 young population desires to live in peace and harmony with all her neighbors, by forgetting the painful days of the past and historical enmities. Turkey adopts “Peace in Home, Peace in World” principle of her founder Mustafa Kemal ATATURK.