The Turkish genocides

By • on August 31, 2009

Rolf Slot-Henriksen

Translation into English by Henrik Ræder Clausen
Published by Foreningen Dansk Kultur, www.danskkultur.dk
Dedicated to the memory of those who suffered and died during these events.
This document is freely redistributable.

Contents

The day of the Armenians……………………………………………………………………………………………..3
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5
The idea of establishing an Osmannic empire………………………………………………………………….6
The fate of Armenia……………………………………………………………………………………………………..6
The Sultan Abdul Mejid promise………………………………………………………………………………….10
The Macedonian Speech by Georg Brandes (1902)…………………………………………………………11
The massacre on the Bulgarian population…………………………………………………………………….12
Lecture by Georg Brandes in Berlin February 2nd 1903………………………………………………….13
The genocide against the Armenians, 1875-1876……………………………………………………………16
Karen Jeppe………………………………………………………………………………………………………………20
The genocides in the Osmannic Empire 1908-1918………………………………………………………..25
A change in Muslim practices………………………………………………………………………………………27
Where did the deported go?…………………………………………………………………………………………31
Eyewitness accounts of the massacres 1915-1918…………………………………………………………..32
The massacre on the Greeks 1923…………………………………………………………………………………38
The final elimination of the Greeks 1955………………………………………………………………………39
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….41

The day of the Armenians

April 24th marks the ‘Crystal night’ of the Armenians. This is the day when the government of Turkey initiated the genocide of the Armenians in East Anatolia. 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Turks in 1915 and 1916 in their attempt to destroy Armenia. Only in a smaller enclave in Caucasus did the Armenians survive, as well as in various pockets in the Middle East outside the reach of Turkey. But the Turkish state has since 1915 systematically lied to its people about this genocide. And the various international partners of Turkey have turned a blind eye in this matter. In some circles it has even become politically correct to ignore this.

In his speech in Obersalzberg on August 22nd 1939 Hitler told his army leaders with respect to the pending invasion of Poland: “Who today talks about the Armenians?” In other words, the brutality of the Germans would quickly be forgotten. And that would probably have been the case had the Germans won the war. A non-admitted crime becomes an incitement to others to commit similar acts, which we’ve seen both in the 40’s in Europe and in the 90’s in Africa.

When the Canadian parliament in 2004 declared that the Turkish killing of the Armenians in 1915 constituted genocide, the Turkish government sent a strong official protest to the Canadian parliament.

The Armenian day on April 24th should be turned into an official holocaust memorial day, and the Turkish genocide of the Armenians should be internationally recognized and condemned. It should no longer be permitted to let Turkey get away for free from their genocide on the Armenians. Turkey must be forced to publicly condemn the genocide on the Armenians in 1915, abroad as well as at home.

A fundamental problem here is that genocide is permissible according to Islam. In the Quran, Sura 4:91, is a recommendation of genocide on people who refuse to become Islamic. Turkey must also here be forced to distance itself from Islam.

Niels Erik Søndergård
Rasmus Rasks Allé 95
5250 Odense SV

Introduction

‘Genocide’ is a concept that most people associate with the two large ideologies of the 20th century, communism and Nazism, who in termination camps, through hunger and deportations killed millions and millions of individuals. In particular the dreadful fate of the Jews comes to mind in the context of genocide. But others were also on the list of groups to be extinguished for their religiousness rather than their ethnicity. In the Soviet Union millions were killed for the sole reason that they were Christians. Of the originally 40.000 churches so many were closed or destroyed that at a time only 40 churches were active in the Soviet Union. And for Nazism, in particular Catholics were hated. In Poland alone, one third of the priests, monks and nuns were murdered. Even the Catholic bishop of Berlin was shot.

The third large ‘ism’, which stands behind a series of genocides of which few have ever heard, is Islam. Though being a religion, it is at the same time an extensive body of law and a system for society. With the institution of the Islamic caliphate and in the wake of the Islamic conquests, one people after another was destroyed. Genocide followed genocide, in particular at the conquest of Buddhist and Hinduistic areas, where millions were ruthlessly murdered. This booklet will restrain itself to the genocides that took place within the area of the Turkish caliphate in recent times, in particular the years 1875 through 1955. Here in particular the genocide of the Armenians stand out, also because of the inaction of the European countries. But also the genocides against the Macedonians, Bulgarians and Greeks will be covered.

The sources are chosen as broadly as possible: From Ernest Hemingway over Georg Brandes to the Danish heroine Karen Jeppe, who worked herself out for the dying Armenian people. Furthermore there are accounts from German, English and German consuls and officers, and a personal account of the atrocities a small Armenian girl endured during one of the Armenian death marches. The tale of the Armenian girl Serpouhi is in its simplicity and terror so grasping that it shows the vastness of the atrocities that took place.

My diligent research after broad sources led me to read horrors I had not thought possible. And I am not ashamed by stating that many tears were felled during the writing of this book.

The idea of establishing an Osmannic empire

Within the last 30 years waves of immigrants from Islamic countries have hits the shores of Europe. During this time Denmark alone has seen the establishing of a dozen organisations who wish to re-establish the Islamic empire, the Turkish caliphate, which ruled major parts of Europe, including Hungary, Crimea, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and parts of Ukraine.

Today Berlin has a population of at least 250,000 Turks and has developed into a capital of many of the Turkish Islamic movements who wish to re-instate the caliphate. The share of Turkish fundamentalists grows rapidly in Europe, now with 3.5 million Turks in Germany and 100,000 in Denmark. That the number of particular radical fundamentalists grows can be seen in Denmark, where Mille Görüs under the name DMGT now has 46 branches in Denmark and, with the support of city councils in Helsingør and Århus, have started to work on a new mosque and a school respectively, where hatred against non-Muslims is groomed.

The movement “New Osmanners”, another Turkish-Islamic movement striving for the
rebuilding of the caliphate, have their European headquarters in Berlin and have just issued a folder with this contents, describing the construction of a new European Osmannic empire in accordance with the instructions of the Quran:

“The Osmannic Empire was an empire of believers, who achieved world domination. Their extensive tolerance and respect for their fellow humans are still today a role model and completely outstanding throughout all empires throughout the history of the world. It has never repressed or exterminated anyone. They even set others under their protection, respected them highly, and strived to learn everything good from them, without doing any harm themselves. They permitted the conquered people to keep their traditions in their secular and religious life, and even maintained the churches of the Christians. The Osmannic Empire applied the bidding of Allah in daily practice and did not distinguish between private faith and the public sphere. The sultan was not egoistic, as were the emperors of earlier times, but was without egoism only serving his people.”

“The Osmanners were Muslims. They practised the true Islam full of love and tolerance, full of respect for others, honour and many other good qualities, which in the democracies are completely lost. They respected Jews and Christians highly for being believers…”

Similarly, the information folder for “The New International Osmanners” reads:

“That Islam has not been propagated by sword and fire is a scientific realisation. An exodus caused by hunger and climatic changes in the Arabic peninsula is the cause of its spreading, absolutely no religious wars from the side of Islam. Capitalism and its democracies have the sole purpose to cover the problems, divert public attention, veil the truth and keep quiet about it. Democracy gives bad forces the opportunity to gain power, so that manipulation, corruption, egoism and crimes are expanding through politics and the entire society without any chance for the government to prevent it. In the Osmannic Empire things were completely different. We therefore with a new caliphate modelled on the virtues of the Osmannic Empire.”

Source: Central office for The New Osmanners in Europe, Bellermanstrasse 95, Berlin.

The fate of Armenia

After Muhammad from 622 AD onwards had conquered and extinguished one tribe after another, his successors, the caliphs, went after the neighbouring countries. As early as the 7th century the Arabs sacked Armenia for the first time. For long periods battles raged between the East Roman Empire and Islam for the control of this part of the world. The Muslim armies advanced bit by bit, and eventually the Armenians had no chances. After the conquest of Amorium in 781 AD, the caliph al-Mitasim ordered the prisoners to be auctioned away in bundles of 10, because there was so many of them.

By the sacking of Thessaloniki in 903 22,000 Christians were given to the Arabic officers or sold as slaves. In 1064 sultan Alp Arslan laid Georgia and Armenia bare, and thousands were summarily executed. Written sources from Palestine, Egypt, Armenia and Anatolia, where Christian areas had been conquered and colonized, tells us that Christians unable to pay the djizya tax to the Muslims instead were obligated to deliver their children. They could then deduct a certain amount from the poll tax. The idea was systematically developed during the time of sultan Orkan in 1326, so that the Christians in Armenia and on the Balkans routinely would deliver their children to the Muslims as a tax. In the 9th century the Armenian people desperately attempted to throw the Arab Islamic yoke. But the army of the caliph moved into the country, and a mass slaughter followed, which coloured the entire country red from blood. One Islamic ruled followed the other, until the Islamic Turkish caliphate took over in the 16th century.

The legal status of Christians and Jews in the Islamic caliphate was disastrous. Aage Meyer Benedictson describes it in detail:

The lot given Christian people under the rule of Islam was founded on the principle that the ‘herd’, as the Christians were called (they were thought of as animals), lived only at the mercy of the Muslims, the ‘herd’ had no inherent rights… The Christian subjects were slaves, who Allah in his grace had given to his victorious children. They owed the believers everything: property, for the sultan was master of all property, and their work. Furthermore they had to pay severe taxes, for the sultan was also the owner of their bodies.

Thousands of Christian boys at age 4 to 8 were taken from the Christian homes,
circumcised, shaved and through a raising in Islamic tradition were turned into a solid army, which for long periods was the most fearful weapon of Turkey. The Christians suffered the humiliation to be subdued by their own stolen children. No Christian had a right to carry weapons, they were to obey or die, and because their faith was false, so were their hearts. They were outside the law, their testimony to a judge was valid only if verified by a Muslim.

The most scary, though, was the ideology that Islam tried to impart on the Muslims, that disbelievers would never do a good deed. If they did so anyway, it was merely an expression of Allah working through an impure tool. A Christian was a disregarded serf. In his clothing he was to be different so that all could see that here comes an infidel. The Christians were to stop and wipe the shoes for every passing Muslim, if he so desired. A cloth for this purpose should always be carried by a Christian or a Jew … Christians were not permitted to ring bells. Their lives were a teaching in humiliation and submission. They worked, but had their enemies steal the fruits of their labour. (Meyer Benedictson s. 131-132)

In 1453 the Turkish caliphate had conquered the capital of the East Roman Empire, the Christian city of Constantinople, and thus removed the last bulwark against Islam. From that age the entire Balkans were in the hands of Islam from Armenia through Ukraine, Crimea, Hungary, Bosnia, Albania and Serbia. Violent campaigns into Poland, Austria and Germany all the way to Nuremberg shook the European continent who had been indifferent to the plight of the Armenians and of Constantinople, Until then it was thought in the European capitals that “The holy grave is well guarded.” Now they were themselves in the line of fire. Any option for rebellion or liberation for Armenia and the Balkans were more remote than ever. Bloodbath followed bloodbath. The Armenians and other Christians, like Jews who refused to become Muslims, tarry their lives in submission and poverty, a destiny they could only escape by themselves becoming Muslms.

The most violent killings of the Armenians took place in the years 1876 through 1918 in several great waves. The number killed and exterminated is still in disputed. Turkey claims today that those who died did so only because of rebellion against the state, and that the number was quite limited. In reality between 300,000 and 1 million were killed in the years between 1876 and 1903. In the years 1915 to 1918 systematic killings of another 1 million to 1½ million Armenians took place. The combined number exceeds 2 million.

Ingeborg Maria Sick writes in her excellent book about Karen Jeppe, who spent her entire life helping Armenian children, about the terrible deportations that took place in 1916, where the Islamic caliph ordered events so horrific that it exceeds ones imagination, even when you take into account the Nazi killings of the Jews 25 years later. “Who can bear to hear of children cut into pieces with the scissors of their mothers, or of men held captive witnessing the rape of their small daughters, and then cut apart before their eyes. No, we do not wish to think of this. But they suffered this.”

But that actually corresponds to episodes in the life of Muhammad himself. His adopted son was to punish a woman for theft. He then decapitates her grandchildren before her eyes, and has her torn apart by camels while her daughters witness it. Muhammad praises his adopted son and as appreciation of his efforts gives her the daughters as slaves, and a cane with a silvery head.

Ingeborg Maria Sick writes: “In Urfa, the Edessa of king Abgar, the killings raged for three terrible days – and the last night the Turks put the city’s Armenian population to the torch in the refuge they had sought in the cathedral of the city. A grand fire, raising to the skies as a recall of emperor Nero’s living torches in Rome.” (p. 15). In Germany the priest Johannes Lepsius and rev. Lohman started a large movement among Christians in support of the Armenian people. In France, the Catholics organised large relief efforts. There was also published the magazine “Pro Armenia” with notables as Jaurés and Clemenceau. Switzerland established an aid committee like Denmark and Norway.

The Danish efforts are mainly known through the tireless efforts of Karen Jeppe to help her beloved Armenia. The first great Armenian aid collection in Denmark was inspired by king George of Greece. It was directed by the Danish queen Louise and her lieutenant Hennings. In the wake of this in particular the Christian association “Kvindelige Missionsarbejdere” (“Women missionary workers”) made a great share of the work.

The deportations in Armenia were remarkable, as the entire Armenian population was to be eliminated, not only in Armenia itself, but in all towns from Mesopotamia through Mosul. The goal was clear: complete elimination. The coded telegrams from the Turkish minister of foreign affairs to the prefect of Aleppo, later smuggled to the west, were clear. We shall quote just two:

“On request of the Djmi (the Young Turks Committee for Progress) the government has decided to exterminate all Armenians in Turkey. Without concern for women, children, the ill, feelings or conscience, their existence shall now be put to an end.”

Later this cipher telegram:

“We have heard that some of the persons mentioned have been sent to Syria or Palestine. This is an unforgivable error. Their goal for them is only one: Nothingness”

What did the west do? Governments did almost nothing. It was left to minor church
organisations and individuals to take action. The European states had too much at stake, and how could you take part for one religion against another?

To the Police office of Aleppo!
It has earlier been announced, that the Government on behalf of the Committee has decided to completely exterminate all Armenians present in Turkey. Those opposing this command can no longer be considered friends of the government (meaning ‘traitors’). Without regard to women, children or the ill, however depressive the tools of destruction may seem, without consideration of feeling or conscience, their existence must be terminated.

Minister of internal affairs, Tala’at.

This amoral attitude lead to the governments remaining passive. Ingeborg Maria Sick asks in her book “Pigen fra Danmark” about Karen Jeppe:

“They let them die. Could we have done otherwise? Yes, shouldn’t we? Is Christianity a great moral power – or not? Did it stand up as one man, when the greatest political prosecution erupted, waking, praying, fight, fast with them over there? Christians suffered with them; first and last the faithful delegates, God be praised also from Denmark, and others who expended their power to ease the suffering of the martyr people.” (p. 18)

Some of those who were running children homes or in other ways attempted to provide help, paid with their lives. The punishment for hiding an Armenian was capital. On this account both Americans and Europeans were executed, but where was the outrage from the secular, supposedly humanitarian European governments? They were silent.

Already during the first major pogroms dating back to 1876 Europe was silent, and the only friend of the Christians in Caucasus was Russia. Many of the countries had suffering 400-500 years of Muslim occupation, murders and exploitation, but the European powers were busy tending their own matters or even go into alliance with the suppressors.

Kaiser Wilhelm II proclaimed towards the Muslim world that he secretly had converted to Islam, in the hope that Muslim troops would rebel against England. That was partly successful, in that Muslims contingents in India and areas of what was to become Pakistan declared jihad, in that a Muslim cannot be fighting under the sovereignty of an infidel Christian queen.

The Sultan Abdul Mejid promise

In the 19th century the Islamic empires and the caliphate were increasingly weakened, as they stiffened in poverty and corrupt suppression, all while Europe advanced economically, scientifically and eventually also religiously through a major Christian awakening towards the end of the century. Factories and churches were built everywhere. And people were hearing accounts of the horrible suppression suffered by the Christians in the countries under Islamic occupation.

Strong pressure from the Christian public caused the sultan, in order to win sympathy and support from the European governments, to in 1839 issue the Hatt-i-Sjerif declaration (“The Noble Parchment”), where the sultan promised all subjects in all his conquered territories, indiscriminately of race and religion, protection of life, honour and property. Thus the sultan initiated a string of promises of improving the situation for Christians and Jews. But for the Christians, these promises were worse than nothing.

The governments of Europe now leaned back and pointed out the extensive tolerance found in Islam. Only in the major cities, where European diplomats lived, there was a short ease of conditions for the Christians. In all other places, the conditions worsened. As written by Aage Meyer Benedictsen, the people of supremacy would never subject themselves to demands from those openly called “Infidel Christian dogs” (p. 158).

After the Crimean war, where the western powers protected Turkey and guaranteed its borders, meaning its conquests and submission of dozens of Christian people, the sultan further granted a promise to the western power in 1856: “Hatt i Humajun” (the Imperial Parchment), where he promised all his subjects civil rights. “As all religious confessions enjoy and also in the future shall enjoy freedom in all my countries, not a single of my subjects shall encounter hindrances to exercise the belief, he confesses in, and must not suffer the slightest pressure in this respect.” (Aage Meyer Benedictsen p. 159)

In order to not open up inwardly, they let their population know what the treaty signified internally by a public hanging of the Armenian Hovakoim, because he out of confidence in the promises from the treaty had reverted to Christianity after he and his family had been forced with violence to convert to Islam. As a further humiliation during the hanging a hat, symbolizing Europe, was attached to his dead body, implicitly signifying a hanging of infidel Europe. The new promise was not tested further by any other of the forced converts to Islam. But one could say that the sultan merely acted as a good Muslim by following the law of the Quran of capital punishment to those who leave Islam.

Now it was important to show the subdued Christian peoples who was the lord and who was the slave. The Greek war of liberation had shown, that the Christians were now prepared to fight for their freedom. They needed urgently to prevent this. Every time European governments inquired about the state of things, they were met from the Islamic side with understanding, friendliness and a proud reporting of the great freedom and tolerance which had always reigned in Islam. Most let themselves be appeased.

Thus sultan after sultan had the freedom to commit one genocide after another against the Serbs, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Greeks and the Armenians. In the following we will in particular look at the genocides against the Macedonians and the Bulgarians. The so-called Macedonian speech by Danish author Georg Brandes (1902), here quoted from “Collected works of Georg Brandes”, is an important document in this context.

The Macedonian Speech by Georg Brandes (1902)

“While the class struggle as a fight for bread rages in the highest civilized countries of Europe and America, the less civilized countries are at the onset of the 20th century in a state more usually associated with the Middle Ages, with daily humiliations and killings, arson, rape and every kind of torture. The horrors caused by Muslim Turkey in Macedonia, and the disgrace against the Jewish population in Romania are, day by day, becoming increasingly incriminating, but at the same time Europe, being witness to the extermination of the Armenians, become increasingly indifferent to what happens in Macedonia and Romania in front of everyone. (countries conquered by the Islamic Ottoman Empire and forcibly being assimilated into the caliphate, controlled by violence and subversion).

In the spring the Macedonian intelligentsia launched the French bi-weekly “Le Mouvement Macedonien”, which has reported the Turkish rule of horror week for week. Several times this magazine attached illustrations to the text, as in July the picture of Macedonian leaders hanged at the bid of the Turks, and in August the picture of Turkish military police who, standing with their sabres, proudly were photographed in Monastir with cut-off heads of captured Macedonians on a little table in front of them.

In parts of the European press there has been a trend, supported by the Turkish representatives, to portray the violence committed by regular and irregular Turkish
troops against the Christians as a retaliations for their criminal raids. Thus the desperate defence of the suppressed are depicted as provocations. The rebellious flocks, which currently cover Macedonia, are not formed by order of the revolutionary committees.

Some farmer, whose wife had been raped by the Muslims before his eyes while tied aback, or whose children had been subjected to hours of torture, or subjected to bastonade (beating under the feet) to the edge of death, collects a group of equally minded victims, who wish to take revenge. Some shepherd, whose flock they have abducted and who owns nothing but his gun, which he buried deep in the forest just in case, assembles a small selection of other desperates around him. More frequently yet a young teacher or doctor is persecuted by the Turkish police, escapes into the mountains, because he prefers death to the torture that awaits him in prison. Around him assembles a dozen others persecuted or threatened like
himself, young men who have been chained and whipped like everyone who fell in the hands of the Turkish Muslims.

Who can wonder about their savagery, when they escape the torture? Five farmers in the village of Eksjisu, and the teacher in Zelemitsje, Natsef, were after being whipped under their feet subjected to the torture that consists in the skull being squeezed with tongs until it squeaks. Then buried to their necks in garbage to remain in this state for three days, then hung up heads down. Two of them died thereof, the four others were taken to Monastir and escaped. Scenes like these take place literally on a daily basis all year round, all over Macedonia. When the magazine “The Macedonian Movement” in recent weeks not has been published, it is probably explainable by the country being completely ablaze. Through the Austrian magazine “Die Zeit” we are being kept updated on the most important matters in the Macedonian issue.

The first thing undertaken by Turkish troops when arriving to a Macedonian village is to demand the delivery of all weapons. If you are scared into delivering them, the soldiers start the pillage. Thus the unhappy population survives under a regime of terror. The battle between the soldiers and the guerrillas is conducted with a passion and disregard for danger unprecedented in military history.

In Kadion near Perlepe a small group of rebels were surprised by the Turks in an old tower. They defended themselves an entire day and part of the night, and when they had exhausted their supply of gunpowder killed themselves with potassium cyanide. When the Turks entered the tower at dawn, they found seven bodies. Leader of the group was Metodi Patsjef, a young teacher from Ukrida, lively, energetic, loud, known for being outspoken against the Muslim rule, and sentenced three years prison for murder, in spite of his innocence and the presence of an alibi. When he was released from prison, where he had met others innocently jailed like himself, he had only the single wish to take revenge on his executioners. He found death trying. Will the same happen to all other brave leaders against the Muslim occupation that happened to him? Will we see the Macedonians share the fate of the Armenians?”

No European popular movement was strong enough to make their governments interfere. While the population were taken by the dawning Christian awakening, the politicians were of a different kin. For them only cold calculations and realpolitik were taken into consideration. The political calculations won, and in particular the distrust towards Russia. Russia had repeatedly intervened with force to protect one Christian population after another, when the massacres became too violent, but the secularized European governments would not let religion influence them. They were worried that the Tsar and Russia would have too great influence over the Christians in the Balkans, in Greece and in Turkey. England and France repeatedly forced the Russian relief troops back with threats of interventions and talk of the good intentions of Turkey.

To what extent the political calculus was decisive can be seen from the British Bluebook-Turkey 1876, which is a reply from the British representative in Constantinople (Istanbul), Sir Henry Elliot, to the British minister of foreign affairs. His words reveal with no hesitation the terrible truth of the so-called civilized European policies. This Bluebook is written on the occasion of the indignation among the Christians in the British population after the killings in Bulgaria.

He writes: “We can and should feel enraged over the useless and dull hardness with which the Bulgarian liberation movement was crushed; but the forced position in which England finds itself, demanding to refrain from any changes detrimental to ourselves, must not let us influence by the question of how many lives were lost in Bulgaria; the terrible atrocities cannot be enough reason to give up our policies, which should rightly be followed out of regard to our welfare.”

It was this policy of closed eyes towards the transgressions of Islam, conquests and slaughters, that made possible for one genocide to follow another on European soil: Serbs, Jews, Greeks, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Armenians. And the same can be heard today, when apologists, being indifferent to the Islamic genocides, praise the openness and tolerance of Islam as well as the beauty of the Quran.

The massacre on the Bulgarian population

In 1876 an article about the massacres in Bulgaria reached the English through an article by the American journalist J. A. Mac Gahan, who was employed at The London Daily News. He had arrived to Istanbul (Constantinople) three months after the massacres and travelled on into Bulgaria to see with his own eyes what had taken place. The article presented to the English on August 7th 1876 was but a small selection of the terrible stories, which later became an entire book, and was to guide the journalist for the rest of his life. Here follows a short excerpt of his arrival to the Bulgarian city of Batak. The Christian population in Bosnia and Herzegovina had rebelled against the Islamic occupation forces. Soon also the Bulgarians got restless. The suppression had been too brutal. But the attempts of liberation lead to terrifying massacres.

Gahans description of his arrival to Batak goes as follows:

“I counted, while I was still sitting on the horse, about 100 craniums of women and children outside the city, all craniums completely cleaned by animals. We then entered the town. On both sides of the roads were heaps of skeletons amongst the ruins, or fully dressed where they had stumbled. It was skeletons of women and girls with shoulder-long brown hair. We reached the church. Here the ground was entirely covered by skeletons, craniums and rotting, dressed bodies. The stench was unbearable. Then I entered the graveyard. The entire graveyard was filled with bodies stacked one meter tall, only partly covered by earth. Everywhere small hands, feet and heads of children with the prettiest hair was peeking out. Inside the church matters were worse. On the floor was heaps of rotting, uncovered bodies. I had never experienced anything as shocking and terrifying. … In the school, which used to be a beautiful building, 200 women and children had been burned alive.

Everywhere in the city the same scenario repeated itself … The man who committed these atrocities – Achmed Aga – has now been promoted by the sultan and remains governor of this district. No crime committed by the Turks were ever punished or even prosecuted. The persons behind the terrible actions against the inhabitants of Batak were thinking they were preforming the work of Allah.” (Poul Fregosi s. 394) A Bulgarian Muslim fifth column unit had even assisted the Turks in massacring their own people.

The congress of Berlin in 1878, which was presided by Bismark and had participants from Russia, Austria, England, France, Italy and Turkey, forced the sultan to yield Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia freedom from Muslim occupation and suppression, which initially ended 500 years of violent Muslim colonization efforts, which however has been resumed during the last 20 years with the Islamisation of Kosovo, which includes destruction of almost all ancient churches through detonation, demolition or burning, and the expulsion of the original Serbian population.

Lecture by Georg Brandes in Berlin February 2nd 1903

This lecture was held after the two “lesser” genocides on the Armenians in 1876 and 1894-96 etc. up to 1900. The number killed in these years has been counted anywhere from 300.000 to a million, according to which author one refers to. Brandes had not experienced the genocides himself and had not travelled there, in contrast to for instance Karen Jeppe. His sources were mainly Aage Meyer Benedictsen as well as German and English articles.

“Even the rulers are today forced to take into consideration a strong and uniformly spoken opinion, and it is therefore important to shout, until such public opinion awakens in all countries. Bodies of dead children in the street, killed by adherents of “The Religion of Peace”. Not least in the German lands. They all know that the Turkish Armenia during the last decade has been a scene of such horrors that the established history of the world hardly reports anything similar even from the worst of times. Nobody had, before we experienced it, thought it possible that an entire population could be held subject to such extortions, torture and mass killings. The blood of hundreds of thousands is screaming to the heavens …

I know that Turkey is a power connected to Germany with bonds of friendship. … Raising the cause for the Armenians in the public opinion of Germany might now have decisive effect. If the Armenians had nothing going for them but their disasters, it would be impossible to reject their participation. They have suffered what can hardly be spoken, much less described, as the listeners would hold their hands over their ears. Merely stating that 300.000 lives have been lost makes merely a superficial impression, and does not trigger much imaginative power.

What use is for instance the message that in 1894 a three week long massacre took place in the villages around Musj, that men, women and children indifferently were cut down, that everywhere violence was committed against the women before they died, that you would give 200 or 300 women at a time to the soldiers for rape, before they were killed with bayonets or sabres!

What use is it to relate what a German traveller reports from the place: In Kendranz the kurds had given each other word to rape any woman aged 5 or above! Or to tell: In another place up to 60 young women and girls were locked into a small church, delivered to the soldiers for raping, and finally killed by them. Blood eventually streamed out through the church doors. To make an unforgettable impression, one needs to go into detail. That hundreds of thousands have been killed makes less of an impression that how they were killed individually. A woman fell to her knees and begged the soldiers to spare her life – in reality two lives. “Is it a boy or a girl?”, the soldiers shouted. And they bet seven medsjidie on a boy. “Now, let’s have a look!”, and cut open her stomach. The person relating this can relate all circumstances and the names of the witnesses. In another location the Kurds took as to if they were able to cut the heads of four children in one stroke, and settled the bet before the eyes of the mothers.

In Trebisund on the first day of the bloodbath an Armenian exited a bakery, where he had bought bread for his ill wife and his children. He was surprised by a raving band of Muslims. He begged for mercy. The pretended to accept not to harm him. He believes them and thanks them sincerely. But they were merely making jest. They tie his feet together. They chop off one hand and slaps his face with the bloody hand. They then chop off the other hand. Then they suggest him to make the sign of the cross, while others suggest him to shout louder, in order that his God may hear him. One cuts off his ears, first stuffs them into his mouth, then throw them in his face. Another shouts: “The mouth of the Effendi must be punished for rejecting such a delicious snack!” And they cut out his tongue. “Now he can no longer blaspheme.” One pops out one of his eyes. The terribly contracted face, the spasms of the poor body encourage these fanatics: they pop out the other eye and cuts off his feet, before they give him the final cut by a dagger stab in the throat.

(Many ladies are crying; others stand up, quite a few leave the hall.)

Later, in a report from the English consulate in Erserúm a scene is described from the village Semál, taking place before the bloodbath: The Armenian Azó had rejected turning in some of the best men in the place. The Muslim judge Talib Effendi and two Turkish captains let him be tortured a whole night. First he received bastonade (extended beating under the feet with sticks). Then they tied him naked with arms spread out to two ledges, and the whipping started. The unfortunate could not move a limb; the contractions in his face revealed his sufferings. The more he screamed, the more they beat him. He begged his executors to kill him. He tried to break his skull against the ledges. It was prevented.

When he still rejected to witness against his own, not wished to taint himself with innocent blood, Talib first let his beard tear out with tongs, then let his body be treated with glowing iron, burned him on his hands, in the face, the feet and on even more sensitive parts of the body. With a glowing tong his tongue was burned. Three times he fainted, but remained defiant. In the neighbouring room his wife and children, stiffened from fear, were forced to hear his suffering.

And then the imprisonment in Bitlis, for one, where the inmates, hobbled together by the hundreds, at times unable to either lie down or sit up in the horrible dirt, were also starved and subjected to torture. I know it and have felt it. You – my audience – have heard me with displeasure. You have pressed yourself to not shout at me: “Enough! Enough!”

I have noted that many ladies have left the hall. It has been gruesome to listen to this. I ask you to multiply the sufferings I have related to you by several hundred thousand and to consider what the ladies from Berlin could not stand hearing, the Armenians have suffered a hundred thousand times over.

This has taken place in our time, in the previous decade, four to five days of travel away from here – and we have let it happen, and have done nothing to prevent it. For a long time Europe was warned. The preparations for the murders in Sassún were so public that the English consulate in Erserúm in a long report requested protection for the Armenian people. England rejected to “interfere in the internal affairs of a friendly power.”. This is the eternal formula.

And this is the unheard: That though Europe is no longer ignorant, these atrocities continue. Even now Armenians are robbed of their freedom, property and cut down in scores. I could bring examples by the hundreds.

One example: On the 3rd of July 1900 five hundred Kurds surrounded the village Spaghánk. With bullets, sabres and bayonets they went to work. Women and children ran out to beg the soldiers for mercy. The smallest children were, still alive and screaming, lifted in the air on the bayonets; the women were undressed, abused and murdered. The village priest, an elderly of 80,had both sides of his mouth cut open and his jaws yanked out. The stomach of a pregnant woman Timene, married to the priests assistant, was cut open; the child cut into pieces and the woman killed, stabbed 50 times.

In 1878 the patriarch of the Armenian church, Nerses, send men with letters of empowerment to the congress in Berlin. And he had luck to make the congress develop article 61, which appears to ensure the future of the Armenians. This article, promises still unfulfilled, remains the hope any friend of the Armenian cause must cling to.

Europe appeared to have taken the suppressed under its protection. Unfortunately the participation was not meant in earnest. And the circumstance that the Armenians had dared to direct their petition to Europe further angered the bitterness against them in the Turkish government.

The Armenian institute in Constantinople (Istanbul) was closed, teaching Armenian history, assembling, holding parties, lectures etc. banned. The press was subjected to severe censorship. Imprisonment and persecutions increased in frequency. The Kurds were organized against the Armenians as cavalry regiments under the name Hamidiéh. The sultan provided these irregular troops his own name and he released them on their unfortunate neighbours to plunder them and beat them down. When the Armenians took up resistance, the government had an excuse to use mass torture and mass killings in order to eradicate the infidel, i.e. Christian, population.

At the congress in Berlin the Ottoman government had in article 61 obligated itself to enact the necessary reforms, guarantee the security of the Armenians, and to be held accountable therefore from time to time. The signatories were granted the right of surveillance of the implementation of these measures. In 15 years thereafter Turkey pacified the western powers by empty rhetoric.

And if Turkey then motivated itself to respond to the insisting notes from the English, Russian and French representatives by enacting a massive bloodbath, they were only encouraged to do so – admitted even by the eager and well informed patriot traveller Paul Rohrbach – because the excellent relationship with Germany made it possible for the Turkish government. Due to the lack of unity they were able to slip through and silence the Armenians by means of bayonets and lances, sharp sabres and glowing iron, rape and arson.

No one can deny that individual German women as well as men proved themselves helpful. German generosity has taken care of the orphans and helped raise them. Everyone also knows the speech of Eduard Bernstein, and it is known to all that a man like Lepsius, who tellingly lost his priest employment for this, has thrown in everything in order to relate to his fellow Germans the truth regarding the Armenians.

None the less, without the close relationship between the German empire and the Turkish government, the greatest political crime of the previous century would not have been possible. Therefore it is vital, not least in Germany, to create an opinion in support of the Armenian people.

In the most famous ancient Icelandic saga a woman throws the blood-soaked cape of his killed husband over a relative, who showed little inclination to take her part, in order to move him to take revenge of the dead. In this case nobody considers revenge. But if it were possible to throw the cape, stiff with the blood of the Armenian victims, on the shoulders of the German people, in order to move the German government to demand security and freedom for the survivors of the ancient and honourable Armenian tribe, this would be most useful.

(Collected works of Brandes, volume XVII)

The genocide against the Armenians, 1875-1876

In 1876 a new sultan ascended the throne as leader of the Islamic caliphate, the Osmannic Empire. Muhammed had in his time been prime minister, supreme judge and commander of the army, and he was followed by caliphs who had the same extensive power. The caliphate, which was founded in accordance with Islamic law, incorporated the most important of the areas conquered by Islam: Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Kurdistan, Greece and finally Constantinople, which had been renamed to Islambul. Furthermore, these areas behind Constantinople had also been conquered: Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Serbia.

Most of the conquered areas were entirely Christian countries, but the special Islamic law, which prevented Muslims to convert to Christianity, and meant that children of mixed marriages were forced to be Muslims, and the fact that conversion to Islam was mandatory for holders of public offices, caused the proportion of Christians to fall, while the Muslim increased. The special Islamic war tax, which Muslim countries could only be extracted from non-Muslims, had as a consequence that many felt themselves forced to become Muslims, if they were to survive difficult times.

Nevertheless, even at the ascent of Abdul Hamit as sultan in 1876, only 40 % of the population in Turkey itself were Turks. The Kurds were also Muslims, but even in the year 1900 9 million Christians lived in the area that constitute present-day Turkey. Today, a mere century later, only 50,000 remain. What happened to the rest?

Abdul Hamid wanted to strengthen the Muslim rule over the subdued populations in novel ways. Until then, Islam had decimated the number of Christians by forcing them to deliver their children to Muslims, and many Christian women were incorporated into Muslim harems through marriage. The novelty was to completely eradicate the Christian population. Among the subjects of the sultan the Armenians were the most diligent and successful. For more than a millennium they had survived Muslim persecutions and extermination attempts. Each time they arose anew and became thrifty traders with a culture where art and poetry were highly appreciated.

The tools used by sultan Abdul Hamit were the Turkish army and the Turkish police, and the Kurdish people, who are Muslims. He equipped the Kurds with modern rifles and gave them the relevant military skills. Serpouhi Tavoukdijan writes in his book “Expatriate” that in return for their weapons their task was to murder Armenians. They were given the right to rape Armenian women free of penalty and to look Armenian houses and shops belonging to the murdered.

In the beginning the Armenians put up some resistance, in spite of their almost complete lack of weapons. Then Abdul Hamid reinforced the Kurds with regular Turkish troops and let proclaim a “Holy war” against the infidels in the country. Endless killings of civilians broke lose, executed by Turkish army units and civilian Muslims. The killings took place in the eastern, western, northern and southern Turkey, everywhere Armenians were to be found. So many were murdered and starved “that the diligent defender of Islam had to admit, that the Armenians no longer could be of particular danger to the Ottoman state, at least not for the next generations time. He was forced to declare the holy war ended.” (Tavoukdjian, p. 18)

He was forced to do this as several countries, not least France, had been alerted to the systematic genocides taking place in the Islamic empire. The European countries had so far turned the blind eye to the genocide and the terrible oppression suffered by the Christian populations there. But the killings continued in remote areas.

In January 1896 a booklet was published in London with the title “The haunting Horror in Armenia” (subtitled: “Who will be damned for this?”) A black front page with bloody red letters covered this 64 page booklet, which was meant to alert the British to the events. The booklet describes the terrifying massacres in Turkey 1875-1876 and warns that equally terrifying events might be on their way. The booklet also provides statistics of Armenian massacres dating from September 30th to November 30th 1875. These are original Turkish statistics.

Here is stated that in Armenian cities hunger reduced the population by 75,000 and in villages the number was reduced by 350,000. On top of this comes the number of directly killed Armenians: In Armenian cities 20,000, villages 3,300. During less than one year a total of 2,500 villages were completely eliminated. A statistics of who executed the massacres is also provided.

In Constantinople only 172 were murdered. This was done by the police on the 30th of September. In Trebizunt the Turkish army killed 800 with assistance from civilian Turks. In Baiburt on October 13th 1000 Armenians were killed by Turkish civilians. In Bitlis on October 25th 900 were killed by soldiers and Kurdish Muslims. In Kara Hissar on October 25th 450 were murdered by Turkish military and Turkish and Kurdish civilians. In Erzerum on October 30th 800 were killed by civilian Turks and Turkish military. In Urfa on November 3rd 300 were killed. In Arabkir on November 6th 2000 were killed by Kurds and Turks. In Malatia on November 6th 250 were killed. In Haarpoot on November 11th 1000 were killed by Turkish soldiers and civilians Turks and Kurds. In Sivas on November 12th 1200 were killed by Turkish soldiers and civilians In Marsovan on November 15th 125 were killed by Turks. In Cesarea on November 30th 1000 were killed by Muslim Kirgisians and Turks.

The list is much more comprehensive, but the dates and the exact number of killed Armenians is lacking for many cities. The huge number who subsequently starved to death were victims of new laws forbidding Armenians to purchase food, which caused hunger and death, first among the Armenian population in the cities. The trade ban was total, all selling to and buying from Armenians was forbidden. The book relates that in Erzerum, after the relatively modest massacres of 800 killed, 5000 Armenians remained, who had no possibility to purchase even a single slice of bread.

As most Armenians lived in villages, a different tactic was applied here, namely the total destruction of the villages and every kind of Armenian agriculture and crops. The only persons permitted to buy food and survive were those who had converted to Islam. The message to destroy the Armenian villages was distributed through the mosques and passed on to the faithful muslims: “According to the Sunni-law, the killing and plunder of infidels is as much an act of worship and prayer.” (p. 51).

If the Armenians got any notion of what was about to happen, they went to the village leaders, who told them that they had nothing to fear, they were under protection. A few days later a common signal was given in the village, whereupon the Muslim neighbours and soldiers attacked the Armenians, looted, raped and murdered in a frenzy. After a few days of killing the surviving Armenians were ordered to dig mass graves, throw the bodies therein, and burn them in the same fashion the prophet in his days had mass graves dug out for the unarmed Jews in Medina.

The author continues to describe how surviving women and children after the example of Muhammad in Medina were distributed among Muslim men and became forced converts. (p. 51-52). The booklets adds a further warning: “It appears that the plan to exterminate and destroy Armenian villages, which turned out to be a huge success, will be applied to other minorities of the caliphate, and that already now a regime of terror is ruling Constantinople (Istanbul) (p. 52). The booklet, authored by W. T. Staed, was intended to warn England against the horrors still to come from Muslim side against non-Muslim minorities in the conquered territories, and was therefore printed in large stocks and sold at only 1 Shilling apiece. But it became known only in Christian circles. The rulers and people in power turned the deaf ear to it and thereby became accomplices to some of the worst genocide in the history of mankind.

The Sultan Abd-Ul-Hamid massacre 1895-96

The genocides of sultan Abd-Ul-Hamid were ordered from the highest place, the sultan himself, with active participation from the entire Islamic clergy and thousands of imams. Most of the large massacres had so far taken place in the outskirts of Persia and Mesopotamia, but the new sultan decided that the battle against the Christians should take place at the heart of the empire. The original population should be eliminated for good, and Turkey, originally a Christian country, should now become purely Islamic.

Islamic law commands that people and religions conquered by Muslims must be exterminated if they do not belong to the three protected groups: Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians. Therefore Buddhists and Hindus were killed without mercy wherever Islamic armies conquered new territories. A Buddhist and a Hindu had the choice of converting to Islam or be killed. Now sultan Abd-Ul-Hamid applied the same rule to Christians inside the empire: Either become Muslims or die.

The killings were initiated in the summer of 1894 in the city of Sussan, where 1200 Christians were killed, men, women and children. They were, however, not given the opportunity to become Muslims. Furthermore some Christian women were taken as plunder, that is, slaves for the sexual use of Muslim men.

Initially the sultan disguised the killings by increasing the tax on infidelity to prohibitively high levels. When the citizens were unable to pay, the sultan as punishment gave the Muslim Kurdish neighbours freedom to kill Christians in the area, and as a reward take over the houses and lands of the infidels, in accordance with the promises of the Quran that the faithful may take over the lands of the infidels. This order was subsequently extended to one village after another. If any village chose to defend itself, the Turkish army would attack them with cannons. The first order from the sultan to the Kurdish Muslims went as follows: “Take from the Christian dogs what you desire.”

When the killings became known, England demanded to know what was going on, and demanded inspectors placed in Constantinople. But the sultan denied all demands and used his right to ‘taqiyia’, that is lying towards infidels for the good of Islam: He denied all guilt and told that all the stories were only due to rumours and slander initiated by the Armenians against Islam.

Using his best acting skills, the sultan pretended to be deeply insulted by the English accusations and demands, and took contact to the pope in Rome requesting protection of the innocent (himself!). (Aage Meyer Benedictsen p. 2) While the west was conducting polite diplomacy and the sultan calmed the European worries, he simultaneously prepared for the final showdown with the “Armenian slanderers and hate preachers”. The first demand was for all Christians to hand over their weapons. Which were subsequently distributed to their Muslim neighbours! “

All was now prepared, and the time came around. It is clear that the killings were perceived by the general public as the will of the sultan. It was also obvious that they were executed according to minutely executed and guided plans, that they started and stopped on cue. And it is clear that not a single of the murderers or rapists ever were punished, and that leading civil servants were rewarded and promoted for their participation, while the reluctant were removed or punished. This was no spontaneous outbreak of fanaticism or public rage.” (Aage Meyer Benedictsen p. 193)

Trumpets blowing or the muezzin calling to prayer from the minarets initiated the genocide in each location, and trumpets sounding from the mosques ended each round of killings. Care was taken not to kill Europeans, as that would cause problems. The population was killed and their The Armenian Katholichos Mekrtitj Crimean “Hajrik” property divided; this was used as a lure to intensify the killings. The killings were undertaken with such discipline that a single gesture from an unarmed gendarme could keep the murderous mob away from American property.

The overture to the killings took place in Constantinople on September 30th 1895 and continued in Trapezunt, where the Armenians were driven out to be thrown in the sea and drowned. This procedure continued in the cities Erzingian, Baibuart, Bitlis, Erzerum, Arabkir, Diabekir, Malatia, Kharput and Sivar, and culminated in the terrible Christmas killings in Urfa 1895.

At Christmas the entire Armenian population of Urfa was rounded up and locked into the Christian cathedral, which was then set on fire. 1200 burned to death. Later killings took place in Constantinople and in Van in 1896. The written orders in the city of Arabkir is typical for the orders preceding the killings:

“All who are children of Muhammad, must now perform their duty and kill all Armenians, plunder their houses and burn them. Not a single Armenian must be spared!” Thus was the order of the sultan. “Those who do not obey this are to be considered Armenians themselves, and killed. Therefore every Muslim must show his obedience to the government and Islam by first killing the Christians, who lived in friendship with him!” (Meyer Benedictsen p. 195-196)

The supreme military leader of Anatolia in Erzingian distributed this command with an additional remark: “Kill the pigs.” The mob, who were incited to the killings and confiscating their property was protected by regular units of the Turkish army, who immediately opened fire if the Christians sought to defend themselves. They would either use cannons against the housing areas or merely watch passively.

“Left behind in the disgraced, destroyed homes sat the women and children among the bleeding bodies of their kin, themselves stiff from horror. In some places also the women were killed, but in most places the victors merely subjected them to abuse, rape and looting, and numerous flocks of orphans would wander about. The Armenian killings were initiated by the Turkish administration in order to gain the understanding and support of the Muslim population! (Meyer Benedictsen p. 195-196)

The intention was to use terror to drive as many as possible to Islam. That was the essence of the Abd-ul-Hamid plan. Therefore all men had to be murdered. Women could pass as slaves in Muslim homes, and children raised to be Muslims by killing their parents. This brought the caliph closer to his goal, the complete elimination of the original Christian population, whose country the Turks had occupied. The Turkish authorities in several instances gave the Christian population hits that by circumcision and conversion to Islam they would avoid death, “for this is the will of Allah and the prophet!”, it was said.

With high-strung forced ceremonies and circumcision of hundreds of Christians it was confirmed that they wanted to avoid death. At the same time it was made clear that those who did not follow suit could expect a terrible death. In particular in the provinces of Sivas, Bitlis, Van and Diabekir villages of forced conversions could be counted by the hundreds.

In 60 villages in the province of Karput not a single priest was left alive, not a single church remained. 568 churches in this area were levelled, while another 282 were converted to mosques. In a total of 559 villages those Armenians who survived the massacres were forced to convert to Islam. After the massacres all crucifixes were broken in public, the holy Bible spatted upon, its papers torn out and used for toilet paper.

An example shows what would take place if one would not forsake ones faith. In Biredjik, where 240 families who refused to become Muslims were destroyed, one old man was made an example of what would happen to the Christians who refused to become Muslims. When he refused to swear off Christ, he had his clothes torn off and was placed on burning charcoal. While he was writhing in agony, the Bible was held before his eyes and he was told to find some prophecies in the Bible worth trusting. Then he was nailed to planks. It happened several times that the instructions in the Quran to crucify the infidels was carried out. Then they shouted at him: “Call upon England! Call upon your Christ! Let him take you down!”

The worst fate awaited the leading Christian Armenians: teachers, doctors and priests. First they were arrested, then subjected to terrifying torture. Their hair was scorched with fire, the remaining hair and nails pulled out with tongs. They were then hanged for hours head down, while the executioners burned holes in their bodies with glowing rods. Often their wives and children were forced to watch the gruesome torture.

As the atrocities continued, more and more Armenians sought to defend themselves. As they had no weapons it was difficult, but in Zeitun in Kilikia seven Armenian villages defended themselves along with four Turkmenian. These villages were like birds nests on the sides of mountains. 10,000 inhabitants here resisted the attacks of 60,000 Turkish soldiers from November 1895 through February 1896. The population of Zeitun was spared after interference from the English Consul.

But what else did Europe do during this?

Nothing. They preferred to maintain friendly relations with Turkey and the sultan. The
words of the sultan that it was just a set of unfriendly rumours against Islam were believed! “Islam is a religion of peace!” It was repeated over and over. This soon caused trouble for the sultan, for how to exterminate the Armenians in Constantinople, where the European diplomats were located?

The opportunity came in 1896. In order to attract European attention and help, 20 young Armenians occupied a bank and threatened to blow up the building, unless the Europeans helped them avoid total annihilation. They miscalculated. The sultan issued a statement declaring that Armenians were now attacking Turks everywhere, and that strict punishment was due.

Next day the systematic cleansing of the Armenians commenced. Quarter for quarter they were taken away and murdered. Thousands were beaten to death with clubs and iron rods. Long rows of horse charts were lined up to drive the heaps of bodies away from the streets. The killings lasted two days and stopped as suddenly as they had started. In these two days 6000-7000 Armenians were killed in the city, while the European press declared their understanding for the need of the Turks to defend themselves! In Germany, though, Dr. Johannes Lepsius in his book “Eine Anklage” (An Accusation) systematically documented the genocide through eyewitness accounts. But nothing happened.

CONTINUED HERE.

Comments

By Mark on September 1st, 2009 at 01:34

Jewish Holocaust is real; Armenian claim of genocide is bogus
Did Jews establish Jewish armies behind German lines and kill noncombatant, unarmed German citizens in order o establish a Jewish state on German soil during WWII? Were Jews involved in terrorism, raids, rebellions, treason, territorial demands from Germany, or kill half a million Germans during WWII? Ottoman-Armenians did all that and more during WWI. So, whatâ??s with this talk of U.S. Jews getting into the genocide debate? Wouldnâ??t equating the two be untrue and unethical? More importantly, the gravest insult to the silent memory of the Jewish victims of Holocaust?
Not every killing or suffering is genocide. Not every war crime or hate crime is genocide. Not every photo, tall tale, documentary, film, book is genocide. Genocide verdict can only be given at a competent tribunal after due process where all sides are given a fair chance to tell its side of the story and cross-examine the evidence and witnesses. This was never done in the case of Turkish-Armenian conflict. Armenians are trying to bypass legislation by applying political pressure. But it will not work! They will never come out on a bilateral commission of investigation ,check the archives

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By Ergun Kirlikovali on September 1st, 2009 at 17:03

Genocide is a discredited political claim, not a juridical verdict

Genocide is a discredited political claim based on partisan history, not a juridical verdict arrived at after due process. The 1948 U.N. Convention stipulates that a genocide verdict be given only by a “competent tribunal” where “intent to commit genocide” is proven. Such a court was never held in the case of Turkish-Armenian conflict. Insisting on a non-existing genocide, therefore, is incorrect, misleading, unethical, and dishonest.

Armenian claims cannot be substantiated by historical evidence as such claims are mostly based on hearsay and forgeries. More than 69 American historians signed a statement in 1985 saying the Turkish-Armenian conflict was an inter-communal warfare fought by Christian and Muslim irregulars.

Armenian genocide claims ignore Armenian propaganda, agitation, terrorism, raids, revolts, treason, territorial demands, and the Turkish suffering and losses at the hands of the Armenians. TERESET (temporary resettlement order dated May 27, 1915) is deliberately misrepresented to unsuspecting masses as genocide, whereas it was a wartime home security measure in response to Armenian revolts and treason, not unlike the Guantanamo wartime measure of the United States in response to 9/11.

Let Bernard Lewis tell you the way it was: http://www.turkishcoalition.org/scholar/lewis.html

Sincerely,

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By Hakan M. Kahramanturk on September 2nd, 2009 at 00:32

This is article is just part of a campaign of vilification and demonization of Turkish heritage by falsifying history. None of the material here can be taken seriously. It appears like the writers used anti-Turkish sources (like Umit Necef, the Taner Akcam of Denmark) and their anti-Turkish bias to put out hate literature.

Entertaining a minute hope of a remote possibility that the writers are actually well-meaning bigots, just ill-informed, the following corrections can be offered as food for thought, to genuine and honest truth-seekers:

1- Genocide is a categorically rejected and discredited political claim by Armenian falsifiers and Turk-haters, based on partisan history, not a juridical verdict arrived at after due process. (www.tallarmeniantale.com)

2- The 1948 U.N. Convention stipulates that a genocide verdict be given only by a “competent tribunal” where “intent to commit genocide” is proven. Such a court was never held in the case of Turkish-Armenian conflict. Insisting on a non-existing genocide like lynch mobs, therefore, is incorrect, misleading, unethical, and dishonest. (www.turkishcoalition.org)

3-Armenian claims cannot be substantiated by historical evidence as such claims are mostly based on hearsay and forgeries. More than 69 American historians signed a statement in 1985 saying the Turkish-Armenian conflict was an inter-communal warfare fought by Christian and Muslim irregulars. (www.ataa.org)

4- Armenian genocide claims ignore Armenian propaganda, agitation, terrorism, raids, revolts, treason, territorial demands, and the Turkish suffering and losses at the hands of the Armenians, in that order, from 1882 to 1921. (www.turkla.com)

5- TERESET (temporary resettlement order dated May 27, 1915) is deliberately misrepresented to unsuspecting masses as genocide, whereas it was a wartime home security measure in response to Armenian revolts and treason, not unlike the Guantanamo wartime measure of the United States in response to 9/11. ( http://www.ethocide.com)

6- World renown historians like Let Bernard Lewis have studied the matter thoroughly before dismissing the partisan characterization of WWI events and claims of genocide by Armenian falsifiers and Turk-haters. ( http://www.turkishcoalition.org/scholar/lewis.html )

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By Aeneas on September 2nd, 2009 at 16:01

http://www.libertiesalliance.org/2009/09/02/denial-of-the-armenian-genocide/ (includes links): I would like to refer people who want to learn about the Armenian Genocide to Donald Bloxham’s scholarly work ‘The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians’ and to Statistics of Democide, Chapter 5, Statistics Of Turkey’s Democide Estimates, Calculations, And Sources – By R.J. Rummel. There are a wide range of government organisation that have recognised the Armenian genocide. Those who want to study the arguments used by some those leaving comments on our recent post ‘The Turkish Genocides’ which appear to be denying the Armenian Genocide should read ‘Key Elements in the Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide: A Case Study of Distortion and Falsification’ by Vahakn Dadrian. There is more material on the Armenian genocide on the website of the Zoryan Institute, at the Democractic Peace Blog, and genocide1915.info (also be sure to sign their petition).

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By Henrik R Clausen on September 6th, 2009 at 15:15

Yes, Bernard Lewis, who strongly supported the American invasion into Iraq, was found guilty of genocide denial at a French court. That much I will admit.

But the remaining arguments are too lightweight to be granted consideration. We need not go to monumental authorities to determine the truth on the matter. What we need to understand is:

1) The nature of genocide: The intentional destruction of a people along with its cultural heritage.

2) What happened to the Armenians, Assyrians and others during the final years of the Ottoman Empire, which equals the formative years of the Turkish Republic.

3) That recognizing past crimes does not bring about the end of the world. Germany did so, and has been doing fine since WWII. Turks should be perfectly able to do likewise, with no subsequent collapse of their nation.

For this to work out completely, some study is required, and a bit of emotional distance from the gruesome events described, as well as the ability to distinguish proper documentation from propaganda. Proper documentation has details – lots of them – and is much less emotional than propaganda.

Getting to terms with history is good for everyone – and even prevents the worst of its mistakes to be repeated.

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By Mustafaka on September 13th, 2009 at 10:08

Part I
‘Armenian genocide thesis’ depends on forgeries, falsified documents and lies. Here are some of them:

1)The number of Armenians who were relocated:
The number of the Armenians who were relocated was reported as 600-700 thousand by Bogos Nubar Pasha who attended to the talks of Sevres Treaty as a chief of Armenians; however the number of relocated Armenians is given as 1.5 million by some Armenian sources and 2 and even 2.5 million by some others. However, the total number of Ottoman Armenians including those who live in the West Anatolia (therefore who were not relocated) was reported as 1.5 million in Encyclopedia Britannica’s 1910 edition which was edited by an English editor. It is another striking point that the total number of Ottoman Armenians was increased to 2.5 million in 1953 edition of the same encyclopedia which was edited by an Armenian editor.

2) Aram Andonian’s book (The telegrams which were claimed to have been sent by Talat Pasha to order the massacre of the Armenians which were pressed in the book of Aram Andonian in 1920, in three languages): It was proven by both the Turkish and foreign historians that these telegrams were fake too.
After these telegrams were published in Daily Telegraph in England, in 1922, the English Foreign Ministry made a scrutiny and denounced that they were prepared by an Armenian association.

3)Diary of American Ambassador Morgenthau published in 1918. Professor Heath Lowry, an American historian from Princeton University displayed that the events depicted in the book depended on lies or half true events, by comparing the information Ambassador Morgenthau sent to American Foreign Ministry, with those written in the diary, in his book entitled ‘The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story’, in 1990.

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By Mustafaka on September 13th, 2009 at 10:10

Part II

What’s more, after the Ottoman State was defeated in the 1st World War in 1918, the French and English invaders arrested 144 high level Ottoman veteran or civil officials including the ex-prime ministers, ex-deputies, governors and many newspapermen, and banished them to Malta Island, claiming that they were responsibles for the death of Armenians. The English seized all the Ottoman Archives and also all other archives in other cities, like those in Urfa Governer House. No evidence could be found neither in the Ottoman and English Archives. The Americans, whom the English applied, failed to find any proof in American Archives and reports of American Orthodox church or missioners either. Nor could Damat Ferit Pasha, then the Ottoman Prime Minister who was in absolute collaboration with the English could find any evidence. And, they had to make all these 144 Ottomans free in 1921, since they could not find any proof to be able to verdict them.

Can you imagine a genocide planned by a government but no kind of proof can be found, even when the members of this government have been taken prisoners and when all her archieves are under control of the invaders and under the directory of an Armenian official? If The Blue Book, the telegrams of Aram Andonian and the diary of Ambassador Morgenthau (which had already been published at that time) were reliable proofs, why did the English and French invaders and the Americans not accept them to give verdicts of those 144 Ottoman officials?

Additionally, during the trial in Berlin of the Armenian assassin Soghomon Tehlirian, who had murdered Talat Pasha in Berlin on March 15th, 1921, none of the Andonian documents was allowed to be entered into the court proceedings as evidence (Dashnakists’ book Justicier du Genocide, 1981, p.213).

4)The cover photograph of the book of Tessa Hoffmann: German Greek scholar Tessa Hoffmann printed the painting of Russian artist Vasili Vereshchagin entitled ‘The Apotheosis of the Franco-Prussia War of 1871, depicting a mass of skulls which was probably painted after 1878, as if it were the photograph of 1915 Armenian genocide, in the cover of his book and had to admit his forgery during the trial of Doğu Perinçek held in Switzerland in March 2007, in which she was listened as a wittness.
Note that Tessa Hoffman is one of the scholars of genocide of the Armenians.

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By Mustafaka on September 13th, 2009 at 10:12

Part III

5) Atatürk’s photograph: The large poster with ‘FACE OF DENIAL-DOES NOT LIE’ related to a conference given by Dr Vahram Shemmasian, Ardashes Kassakhian and Dr Levon Marashlian, at UCLA on April 14, 2005, organized by Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Alpha Epsilon Omega, (http://www.genocideevents.com/cities/losangeles.html.

The photo depicts the founder of the Turkish Republic, Ataturk, sitting on a chair outside a house with the corpse of a young girl with her innards exposed to the elements. Soon, the original of this photo was found by the Turks: It was a photograph of Ataturk for his wife Latife Hanım as a souvenir, posing with some ‘cute dog puppies’ at his feet. Two photos were printed in the July 1, 2005 issue of Hurriyet (http://webarsiv.hurriyet.com.tr/2005/07/01/665930.asp), as ‘a forgery scandal’.

It is another outstanding point that no dissenting comments were ever heard. What UCLA’s ethical committee did was to erase the handwritten note and doctor a photo of Armin Wengler in place of the puppies.

6) Falcified allegations of speeches attributed to Atatürk: The first claim about Atatürk was that he was one of the witnesses, who supported Armenians in the “Court Martials” in İstanbul. In this claim, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was confused with the Chairman of the “Court Martials”, Mustafa Kemal, whose nickname was Nemrud. During the trials in İstanbul, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was in Ankara as a leader of the national struggle. James H. Tashjian, the Armenian editor of the Armenian periodic ‘The Armenian Review’ stated that Mustafa Kemal, then a Pasha, never appeared before such a tribunal, nor did he render such a statement (The Armenian Weekly Boston, Mass, USA, March 20, 1982 and The Armenian Review Volume thirty five, Autumn 1982); however James H. Tashjian was fired from his work later on.

The second claim was about the statement, which attributed to Atatürk, given to Los Angeles Examiner in 1926. However, it was proven that this claim, which was made by Armenians in various platforms, was false. There was no evidence that a Swiss journalist, who was called Emile Hilderband, came to Turkey. Moreover, it was not found a journalist named Hilderband in the documents of Swiss authorities.

The third claim about Atatürk was put forward in Yeni Binyıl newspaper on 8 October 2000. According to this claim in his speech in Turkish Grand National Assembly, on 24th of April 1920, Atatürk condemned the leaders of Jön Turks for their genocide policies. After the research of the speech records of Turkish Grand National Assembly in both open and secret sessions, it was proven that Mustafa Kemal did not make such speech.

One of the last claims about Atatürk was put forward by European Parliament, Foreign Affairs Committee’s report on Turkey on 22nd of November 2001. In the footnote of this report claimed that Mustafa Kemal gave a speech in Turkish Grand National Assembly on 10th of April 1921, in which he said Jön Turk regime followed genocide policy against Armenians in the First World War. After the research of the speech reports of Turkish Grand National Assembly, it was seen that Mustafa Kemal did not speak in Turkish Grand National Assembly in April 1920. He even did not attend any session of Assembly during April 1920.

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By Mustafaka on September 13th, 2009 at 10:15

Part IV

Part IV
7) A quote attributed to Adolf Hitler in which he purportedly responded to a query about his planned annihilation of European Jewry, by quipping: ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?’, on August 22, 1939, a few days prior to his invasion of Poland (Obersalzberg speeches).

935
Part IX

Contrary to Richard Hovannisian and other Armenians, the Nuremberg transcripts through their preservation of U.S.-29 (798-PS), U.S.-30 (1014-PS), and the notes of Admiral Boehm (which are corroborated by the relevant passages from the diary of General Halder), in no way authenticate the infamous Hitler quote. On the contrary, by establishing the actual texts of Hitler’s Obersalzberg speeches they demonstrate that the statement is conspicuously absent from Hitler’s remarks. The assertion that Hitler made a reference to the Armenians in any context whatsoever is without foundation. (Heath W Lowry, The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians, Political Communication and Persuasion. Vol 3, No 2, 1985 Crane, Russak & Company Inc. http://www.tetedeturc.com/home/spip.php?article565
According to the Armenians the speech had been introduced as evidence to the Nuremberg Tribunal (L3 document, USA-28 document (www/cwporter/com/gl3.htm.) which was defined as ‘forgery’ (David Irving, ‘Nuremberg: The Last Battle’, 1996, p.100).

A certificate dated, 25 June 1948 signed by Paul A Joosten, General Secretary of the International Military Tribunal states that L3, USA-28 Photostat document submitted as evidence has been withdrawn, in accordance with Rule 10 of the Tribunal but held in the National Archives.
Mr Carlos Porter, who found these documents made the following important warning:

‘’Note: This translation attempts to retain the style and punctuation of the original, which is not correct in German: full space before colons and commas, no full space before following word. The document contains not one single sharp S (§ ) a standard letter in the German alphabet. C.Porter.

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By Mustafaka on September 13th, 2009 at 10:18

Part V

8) The most dramatic lie is about the outcome of the Armenians who were relocated. Because the majority of these Armenians returned to their homes.
Because, on December 18, 1918, a law which let the Armenians return to their homes and claim their properties was issued by the Ottoman State. Here are non-Ottoman evidences:

*In a report prepared by the Armenian Patriarchate in 1921, the Armenians who lived on the Ottoman territory in Anatolia, Middle East and those who returned to their previous locations were shown as 644 900. It was added that the Armenians who became Muslim, who were hidden and who did not encourage to return their homes were not included but they were assumed to be 20 000 (US ARCHIVES NARA, Mikrofilm No.T1192, Roll8; Department of State Papers….,860).

*In an article published in Der Neue Orient Magazine, it was reported that the number of Armenians in Ottoman Armenia was thought to be 470 000 (including those who lived in İzmir and İstanbul but excluding the Armenians who escaped to Caucasia). Additionally more than 30 000 Armenians lived in Adana and 40 000 in Aleppo (Der Neue Orient May 1919, p.178)

*The Armenian population in Cilicia (Çukurova) was reported as 218 000 in a document dated July 1920 (US ARCHIVES NARA, Mikrofilm No: T 1192R 2;860J.01/395. Appendix. From Acting High Commissioner Dulles to the Foreign Minister).

* In a memorandum presented by Bogos Nubar Pasha, chief of the Armenian delegation in Paris Conference which started in December 1918, it was announced that 150 000 Armenians were given financial support and taken to Cilicia from Syria, by the French government (US ARCHIVES NARA T1192. Roll 4.860J.01/431).

*In a report presented to American Congress by Near East Relief (NER) dated December 31, 1921, it was reported that nearly 300 000 Armenians returned to Cilicia and they were protected by France and England. …However the poor Armenians had to escape after the French abandoned the region (US ARCHIVES NARA T1192. Roll 4.860J.01/431 and US ARCHIVES NARA M353 Roll 55. Report of the NER to the Congress for the year ending).

* In a report presented by Aneurin Williams, chief of English-Armenian Committee, to Lord Curzon it was reported that many immigrants who were forced to migrate in 1915 returned to Cilicia from Syria, Palastine and Egypt after the Mondros Armistice (UK ARCHIVES, FO 608/278).

* In a report presented by the English Black Sea Forces Intelligence Department to the War Cabinet, it was reported that the Armenian population in Anatolia including İstanbul and Edirne was 773 430 in 1914 and it was 658 900 in 1919, excluding that of Erzurum (UK ARCHIVES, WO 158/933, No:5796,1,s.3).

Here are evidences about the Armenians who returned to their houses: These Armenians cooperated with the French and English armies and fought in these armies individually wearing their uniforms. Here are archive evidences:

*Boghos Nubar Pasha: ‘In 1919 and 1920, when the Kemalists attacked to the French soldiers, the Armenians made war for France in Maraş, Haçin, Pozantı and Sis. The French succeeded to take back Antep, by the help of the Armenians. Therefore, the Armenians are an ally of France’ (USARCHIVES NARA T1192. Roll 4.860J.01/431).

*A decision made by The American Committee for the Independence of Armenia which was presented to the Lausanne Conference on January 16, 1923: ‘As the minister Bellet declared, the Armenian legionelles (lejyonerler) joined to France after being promised that autonomy would be introduced to Cilicia and therefore they occupied Cilicia in 1918 (carrying the flag of France) . (US ARCHIVES NARA T1192. Roll 4. 860J.01/562).

*Boghos Nubar Pasha: ‘Since 1918, 40 000 Armenians lost their lives’ while fighting together with the French (US ARCHIVES NARA, 8605.01/438).

*A list of the Armenians who fought in the French Army and died had been displayed under the title of ‘The Armenians who died for France’. In the list, the cities where these soldiers were born were also stated and nearly all of them were Ottoman Armenians (http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Palais/2230/ww2.html)

*’The Armenians informed the Allies that they would establish an army of 150 000 soldiers and attempt to establish an independent Armenia in the east (From Berlin November 6, 1917; vorzulegen z.G.K.:W.L.R.Nadolny. German Archives of the Foreign Ministry, Bd.48,R.14097, No.7169).

*’ Armenians massacred many Turks, in the district of Erzincan and surroundings where the Russian retreated’ (The telegram sent by Kühlmann, German ambassador of İstanbul to German Foreign Ministry. German Archives of the Foreign Ministry, Bd. 47, R.14096, No.7165, No.591).

*The report of Pallavici, İstanbul ambassador of Austria-Hungary, sent to Ottokor Grafen Czernin on February 9, 1918: ‘’The Armenian guerrillas (bands) who fought nearby the Russian armies in Caucausia, misbehaved the Turkish people and Turks in Platana (district between Erzincan and Trabzon) were mass killed’ (German Archives of the Foreign Ministry, No: 13/P.B, Konstantinopel. Wien).

*A news from Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, dated February 14, 1918: ‘The Armenian bands (guerrillas) have been misbehaving Ottoman people barbarously and brutally in districts where the Russian retreated in Caucasia (German Archives of the Foreign Ministry, Der Weltkrieg R. 20145, Bd.279; Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 14-02-1918).

*A news from Germania Gazette, dated February 23, 1920: ‘English Commission Responsible For Armenia requested help of other states (allies) to arm the Armenians, especially the Cilicians and to protect them.

*English Marshal Allenby stated that when they beat the Turks in Şam, there were 8000 Armenian soldiers who were fighting together with them (The New Near East Vol 6, No:7: Genel No: 31, January 1920, p.28)

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By Mustafaka on September 13th, 2009 at 10:19

Part VI

Now I want to ask the Armenian diaspora:

‘If all the scholars of the world, including the international scholars of genocide, support your thesis of genocide, then WHY HAVE YOU SPENT THIS EFFORT TO FALSIFY ALL THESE DOCUMENTS? WHY HAVE YOU NEEDED LIES? WHY ARE YOU AFRAID OF DOCUMENTS SO MUCH? What is the reason of your strict resistance to present your thesisin historical commissions made up of historians from both sides and other countries?

What kind of a truth are you seeking? The one which exists or the one you want to imagine?

And I want to ask the world opinion:

Your sensitivity to condemn genocides, mass murders is appreciable. But while doing this, are you ready to be unbiased? Will you be able to discard all the prejudices the history has instilled you up till now? Will you be able to prefer scholar research rather than your prejudices?

Will you be able to acknowledge the great massacres inflicted on the Turks and Muslims by the Armenians before and after 1915? Will you be able to condemn the Armenians who slaughtered the Turks and Muslims and buried them into large holes and even threw alive children into these holes in the Eastern Anatolia?(see diary of Russian Lieutenant Colonel Twerdo-Khlebof ‘I wittnessed and I Lived Through Erzurum, 1917-1918′; http://www.tsk.mil.tr/ermeni_sorunu/arsiv_belgeleriyle...). (Ahmet Refik Altınay. İki Komite ve İki Kıtal. İstanbul, 1919;p.71-72; 321-23).

So, I am afraid, it is actually you the world opinion who faces a big examination!

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By zicli on September 17th, 2009 at 10:46

I present the following excepts just to tell you about the other side of the picture seen from the Turkish side, which are presented by our grandmothers and grandfathers but denied by the Armenians:

Massacres inflicted upon Turks/Muslims by the Armenians during the WWI.

-In Van, Çarikser Village, a child was bayoneted and was cooked on fire as if he were a lamb by the Armenians.

-In Van, Ahtucu Village, the six-month old baby of a woman Zeliha, was thrown into the oven (tandir) by the Armenians while she was baking bread.

Then the woman was ordered to eat her baby! When she rejected, her right leg was forced into the oven and burned [Telegram of Van Gendarme Troop Commander Ali Vasif (May 11 1916)].

– In Trabzon, the massacred Muslim folk were filled into wells and the bodies of people whose arms and legs had been plucked were thrown into the gardens. The mosques were defacated and even the fruit trees were violated (Telegram of Captain Ahmet Refik, May 1, 1918).

In the Eastern Anatolia, it had become usual to see dead Muslims of all ages whose bodies had been destroyed, with heaps of cut up legs, arms, heads, noses around. The bodies of women displayed overt signs of violation by force. Russian Lieutenant Colonel Griyaznof reported that gun rockets were installed into the vaginas of women bodies.

-The Turks who had been slaughtered like animals were buried in large holes in the Eastern Anatolia (Lieutenant Colonel Twerdo-Khlebof. I wittnessed and I Lived Through Erzurum, 1917-1918. http://www.tsk.mil.tr/ermeni_sorunu/arsiv_belgeleriyle_ermeni_faaliyetleri/pdf/yarbay_tverdohlebov.pdf).
(Ahmet Refik Altinay. Iki Komite ve Iki Kital. Istanbul, 1919;p.71-72).
Alive children were also filled in these holes (Ermeni Komitelerinin Amal ve harekat-i Ihtilaliyesi, p 321-23).

-The Turkish History Association is continuing to open up these amss graves to bring out the bodies, as verified in eye witness accounts.

-The Armenians blinded 15 000 Turkish soldiers and burned their skin by forcing them into so-called ‘disinfection pools’ with excessive crizole, in 1918, in the prisoner camp of Alexandropol, Egypt, in cooperation with the English soldiers (Altinay Ahmet, Bir Turk Subayinin Ingiliz Esir Kampinda Uc Yili, 2004)’

-They murdered 40% of the Muslim population in Van, Bitlis, Erzurum (Ozdemir Hikmet. Salgin Hastaliklardan Olumler 1914-18. 2005).

Were the tragedies the Turks/Ottoman Muslims suffered, less than those of the Armenians?

And the Armenians were the very responsibles of all the above events, which are only a few of all.

And, each one of the above events is a subject of a novel, a cinema or a documentary film, an essays. However, why are they not the Turks but the Armenians who prefer to mourn for the events of 90 years ago continually, through novels, films, memories etc and spend extreme effort to keep these memories alive, as if they have rehappened every new day’s morning?

It is not surprising that the Armenians fiercefully reject suggestions of Turkey to discuss these events in Joint Commissions made up of Armenian, Turkish historians and historians from other countries. Because they fear even of having a look at these events from other perspectives and therefore losing the freedom of their imagination to consider them. They seem to have liked the label of ‘a victim’ and do not want to lose it; or do not want to realize that the Turks were also victims.

Is it just a coincidence that while Armenian population is continually decreasing due to external migration of the workless countrymen, the diaspora Armenians are living in high standarts in Europe and USA and wealthy? And is it not interesting that instead of providing financial help for their countrymen, they spend huge amounts of money to keep Turkish hatred alive and aggravate enmity against Turkey and every kind of thing that has even any little relationship with a Turk.

Is it not amusing that it is this enemy Turkey and the Turks who provided work for more than 60 000 illegal workers of Armenia who entered Turkey up till now, unlike the wealthy diaspora Armenians who are in deep love with their country and countrymen?

Therefore, it is inevitable to remember Churchill’s saying: ‘If a dispute arises between ‘today’ and ‘yesterday’, we lose ‘tomorrow’. The Armenians and the Armenian diaspora, including the Armenian commenters of this blog, unfortunately are not aware that they are losing their ‘tomorrow’.

In a novel of a Turkish novelist Selim İleri, a character says: ‘I killed you, while I was trying to present you my endless love’. The Armenians and Armenia are slowly killing themselves, while they are trying to express their endless love towards themselves and their grandparents….

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By esin on September 18th, 2009 at 11:01

I call the readers to read the following testimonies of the Turkish victims of the Armenians and question the reliability of the article above and reliability and respectablity of the author:

http://www.karabakh-doc.azerall.info/ru/armyanstvo/arm12eng.htm#z3

Testimonies of Witnesses

MUHAMMET RESIT GÜLESER
Father’s Name: Abdullah
Mother’s Name: Habibe
Place of Birth: Van
Date of Birth: 1900
I was a young student at the Dar’ül-Muallimin school, around 15 or 16 years old during the Armenian massacres, and remember what happened quite well. Before the First World War, we had good neighborly relations with the Armenians (whose population was said to be approximately 17,000).
With the declaration of the constitutional monarchy in 1908, they started to exploit the principles of independence, equality, and justice to their benefit. Their leader in Van, Aram Pasha, was in the delegation that notified Sultan Hamit that he would have to leave his throne. The Armenians set up an underground organization in Van, and dug tunnels which extended from near the Great Mosque (Büyük Cami) all the way to the old section of town. It was even possible to go through these tunnels on horseback. One day the tunnels were inadvertently discovered when a section caved near a guard. Even though Aram Pasha was detained near the Great Mosque based on the intelligence provided by an Armenian after the discovery, he was released without punishment due to the political sensitivities of the time.

In short, the Armenians were very well organized. Already well established in commerce, they were doing very well financially. After the Armenians and Jews were permitted to join the military, groups of Armenians joined the military during the retreat of the Van division. The Armenians entered the military prepared — with their own weapons. Our soldiers were carrying German-made primitive weapons that after firing four shots, would drop the fifth bullet. According to what we had heard from Mr. Hacž Latif and others who later returned to Van, the Armenians in the Van division were shooting our soldiers in the back. There were also several cases of Armenian doctors and nurses poisoning our wounded soldiers who were hospitalized in Van after returning from the eastern front.

Regarding the situation in Van, the Russians were approaching from three fronts, Muradiye, Özalp, and Baskale. The Armenians in the city were rebelling and continued an aggressive campaign against the Muslim population for 29 days. We had three barracks, Hacž Bekir, Aziziye, and Toprakkale. Ten soldiers would guard each one. They raided these barracks and slaughtered the soldiers like sheep by slicing their throats. Ali Çavus was also martyred there. While our weak militia were digging trenches to try to fight, the Armenians made holes in the walls and were firing shots with machine guns, pouring cans of kerosene, lighting fires, and escaping through the deep tunnels. This brutal attack lasted 29 days. The decision to flee was finally made so that the Muslim population would not suffer any more deaths. Those with carts used them; those without were under desperate conditions, but we all joined the exodus. People left their children on the road, others died from hunger and disease.

It should be remembered that the Armenians not only committed large massacres in Van, but in the villages as well. The homes in the villages of Tžmar, Baskale, and Özalp were stuffed with hay and set on fire. Those that tried to escape were killed with bullets and bayonets. The inhabitants of a few villages in Zeve organized and fought the Armenians, but almost all of them — from seven different villages — were killed. Mass graves are still being uncovered in these villages and a memorial was built.

Of the twelve ships that carried the Muslim refugees from Van, four of them carried government employees and their families. All of the sailors aboard the vessels were Armenians. The Armenian bandits, aided by these sailors, forced the four government employee boats to dock at the Adžr island, and killed all of the passengers. As for those in the other eight boats, they were taken to another island near Tatvan where Armenian bandits were waiting, but were able to escape with few casualties because they were armed.
When we left Van, we first went to Bitlis, and later to Diyarbakžr. We witnessed the Armenian savagery along the way. Finally, I will tell you about what we saw and heard upon returning to Van. The Armenians applied all types of torture to the inhabitants, God bless their souls. They paraded Isa Hodja, who was over 100 years old, on a donkey through the village, raided and looted homes, and gathered women and girls into Mr. Ziya’s home where they repeatedly raped them. They threw the bodies of the dead into wells, and even filled the well of our mosque with their victims’ bodies.
When General Cevdet entered Van for the first time, he asked the gendarmes to escort 130 women whose husbands were at the front to Diyarbakžr. They had been stranded in Van because they did not have any transportation. About 30 of them stayed in our house. They spun wool to survive. They were also given military rations. They told us that there was no end to the torture and cruelties they suffered at the hands of the Armenian bandits. The Armenians skinned the men, castrated them, and raped and impaled the women.
We returned to Van four years later. We stayed two years initially, but were forced to flee again when the Russians arrived. This time we went as far as Siirt. When we returned 200-250 Armenian families were seeking refuge on the Çarpanak island. They were hoping that the Turks would leave, and that they would resettle in Van. Most of them were artisans. A short time later, a new decree was issued, and they were sent to Revan under the protection of the government. However, Van, raided seven times by the enemy, was completely destroyed except for the Armenian quarters. We had to rebuild the city.

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By esin on September 18th, 2009 at 11:05

2
SEYH CEMAL TALAY
Father’s Name: Cimsid
Mother’s Name: Fatma
Place of Birth: Van
Date of Birth: 1901

The Russians were providing weapons to the Armenians. With military assistance from the Russians and encouragement from England, France, and the United States, all of which had consulates in Van, Armenians increased their hostilities in the beginning of 1915. The Russians were secretly providing them with sophisticated arms hidden in food supplies sent from Russia to the port of Trabzon, and from there sent by caravan to Van. The goods on the caravans were distributed in the center of the old city, and the hidden ammunition was secretly distributed to the Armenian militants. The leader of the Armenian rebellion in Van was Aram Pasha, but I don’t remember the name of the leader of the Dashnaks. They all had land claims, especially in Van. The 11th squadron was assigned to Van, but went to Erzurum to mobilize. The Armenian bandits were emboldened by this and started their campaign of terror against the Muslim inhabitants.

The militants were launching raids on the Muslim villages and neighborhoods. The only thing we had to fight them with was a militia led by IImam Osman, composed of those either too old or too young to join the army.
Let me tell you a story which I will never forget. I went to a school located near the government mansion. Armenians studied at the same school. Some of the students in the Armenian underground went to get a Muslim student named Rüstü from his home on the pretext of studying. They took him to the Isžtma bridge near the industrial park. After insulting him, they raped and killed him, leaving his body for his family to find the next day. The family later composed a ballad to honor his memory.

I can remember the beginning of the skirmishes between the Muslims and Armenians. Our militia, which would meet in the Mahmut Aga barracks across the street from the Van State Hospital, was on duty a day before the war with the Armenians started. The Armenians prepared the night before and positioned themselves well. They had dug holes in the State mansion, and when our militia was preparing for morning prayer at a fountain nearby, the Armenians showered them with bullets. Many of our soldiers were killed. The fighting between local Muslims and Armenians had begun. Everyone took to the streets, and mass confusion ensued. Despite this, we got up and went to school. We had two teachers, one from Selanik, one from Edirne. They said “Come on kids, let’s all forgive each other, we might not see each other again,” and suggested we use the side streets to avoid Armenian bullets. I left school with some friends, but decided to take our regular route. We saw that weapons and munitions were being distributed in front of a munitions storage area for protection against the Armenians. We then noticed a few Armenians creeping up from behind, and notified the man distributing the weapons. He threw down the munitions in his hand and fired on them, and they ran away.

The wars started on April 2-3, 1915. In 1914, the Russians had not been able to penetrate the front line, but they surrounded our soldiers from behind by passing Çaldžran-Bahçesaray, and established a headquarters in the Molla Hasan village.

It was difficult to provide our soldiers with military supplies since the young students and elderly people carrying the equipment could not go further because of the cold weather. Many of them died.

We couldn’t go anywhere either. But in the spring the Armenians went completely crazy. On May 10, 1915, the Russians were moving toward Van. On Governor Cevdet’s orders we evacuated Van, taking with us what we could carry. During the war, Armenian brutality had reached a stage that no one, including the old, sick, captive, women, or children, could escape. The atrocities reached the degree that even the Armenians’ main supporters, the Russians, were trying to prohibit their actions.

My grandmother Mihri couldn’t flee with us because one of my uncles was paralyzed from the waist down. Unable to speak because of the shock of what happened in our absence, she later used sign language to explain what had transpired. They shaved my uncle’s mustache along with his flesh, and then took them to a house which they used as a detention center and tortured him and the other captives until the Russians arrived.

When we became refugees there were 23 members of our family. We lost most of our family on the road to Bitlis and Urfa. Only two of us returned to Van. Our first stop on the road was Bitlis where we arrived in 11 days, and then went to Siirt, where we had relatives with whom we stayed for a few months. When we heard about the Russian advance, we again fled to Diyarbakžr. Our convoy consisted of 250 people. We suffered from hunger and thirst on the way. We went through Kurtalan and Diyarbakžr and the village of Kebir, where we didn’t stay long, and again took the road to return to Van. When we reached Kurtalan, we learned that the Russians had entered Van again and went to Siirt. In the spring of 1916 we went to Baghdad, but fled to Mardin when the English advanced. In 1917 we arrived in Urfa. The French who entered Urfa started tormenting the Muslims by bringing the Aleppo Armenians to the city. This time we fought for 22 days.

We had left Van in 1915. When we were finally able to return, only two people remained from the 23-member family. Van was totally destroyed. The Armenians burned and demolished everything except for the Armenian-owned homes. In fact, when the Turkish army entered Van, around 2,000 Armenian artisans, expecting retaliation for their repression of the Turkish population, sought refuge on the island of Adžr. The Turkish government instead ensured their safe passage to Revan.

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By esin on September 18th, 2009 at 11:09

3
BEKIR YÖRÜK
Father’s Name: Yusuf
Mother’s Name: Gülnaz
Place of Birth: Van
Date of Birth: 1900

Q: Can you tell us as best as you can remember what the Armenians did in Van and Gevas?

A: We lived in the same neighborhoods as the Armenians. We too lived in the Norsin neighborhood and got along well until the Russians intervened. In those days, Armenian youths established committees with Russian encouragement, and started causing trouble. They killed the superintendent of police and threw him in the park. They killed the postman in Hasbagž. They bombed a building now replaced by a bathhouse, and twenty people died in the explosion. When the constitutional monarchy was declared, the mufti and the priest shook hands and extolled the brotherhood of Muslims and Christians. The Mufti cried as he shook hands, but events developed against us. The committee members became increasingly out of control and the rebellion began. We fought the Armenians for 29 days in Hasbagž. We had no weapons. When the division went to Erzurum, we remained completely defenseless.

The Armenians who joined the army after the establishment of the constitutional monarchy used our weapons to shoot at us, and those who remained in the army hit our soldiers from behind. They also bombed the barracks. The young people and the elderly left in the Muslim neighborhoods would take turns guarding against the Armenians. Meanwhile, the Russians were sending them gold to finance their effort.

This struggle lasted 29 days until the arrival of the Russians. The elderly Armenians didn’t want this fight because they were the wealthiest inhabitants of the area, and feared sacrificing their standard of living. Armenians owned up to 1,000 stores and sold European cloth in the old part of the city of Van. When these events broke out, inhabitants of nearby villages and towns all fled to Van, and those stores disappeared within two days.

Fifty vessels full of people left Van, three of which carried wounded soldiers. Cevdet Pasha saw the passengers off at the pier. We went to Adžr Island, where the Armenians were training underground. We stayed on the island for nine days. The waves destroyed some of the ships with wooden sails. The island had wells and two bakeries. No one brought any supplies from Van. We were hungry and distraught. My elder brother was an officer and came back wounded from Erzurum. My brother realized that the Armenians would cut us off. He convinced his captain, and ten ships left from there, but we couldn’t go very far. Thank God we stayed close to shore. The next day we reached Tatvan, but under difficult circumstances. The day we left Van the Armenians had set everything ablaze. There were wounded soldiers from all parts of Turkey in Van, and the Armenians fired on apartments used as hospitals where they were staying. That is why Van is sacred ground with martyrs from 67 provinces [in Turkey].

My uncle, Terren Aga, was very old, and we couldn’t take him with us when we left Van. His wife, daughter, and two grandchildren remained with him. Armenian hoodlums beat my uncle and the children with an ax and killed them. His daughter hid in an abandoned American school. When the Armenians found her, they killed her by throwing her from the second floor.

We went to Bitlis from Tatvan where we remained for nearly two months. When the Russians arrived, we again went on the road. We then went to Hizan and Diyarbakžr. After we left, the Gendarme commander — who was crying like a baby — brought my uncle (who was Deputy Governor Ömer Bey) a report. A soldier named Mansur was also present. When we asked him to explain, he said that three days after Van was emptied they went to pick up the bodies. Hundreds of elderly women were impaled on stakes. They still had their scarves on and looked as if they were sitting. When they got closer they saw that they were killed before being impaled. They saw a woman who was split in two and her unborn child was placed on her chest.

Muslims who witnessed these thousands of examples of inconceivable brutality tearfully reported the incidents to Ömer Bey, who then told Mustafa Kemal. When the Russians finally arrived, they were displeased with the savageness which resulted in the destruction of four-fifths of Van. In addition to those massacred by the Armenians, many people also died as they were fleeing. Many collapsed on the road from hunger and disease. No one was able to take anything with them when they left Van.

When we returned to Van from exile three years later we found the Muslim neighborhoods leveled to the ground, but the areas owned by Armenians were left undamaged. When we returned there were about 2,000 Armenians living in Van who fled to the islands when the Turks started returning. Two years later, the government sent them to Revan.

Q: Did you ever participate in the fighting or use a weapon?

A: No, I have never used a weapon. I didn’t have a gun, plus they didn’t give me one because I was too young and didn’t know how to use it. Instead, I would bring food and water to the combatants.

Q: What kind of equipment were the Armenians using?

A: They had the latest equipment which was provided by Russia and England. They gave them weapons and had them fight us. The Armenians couldn’t do anything to us, but when they were armed, the balance was upset.

Q: Did many people die in these and other clashes?

A: Of course, thousands of people died. After fighting for 29 days, the then-Governor Cevdet Pasha commanded us to leave Van when he heard that the Russian forces were approaching. Cevdet Pasha was actually a very courageous man, but we had neither guns nor ammunition, while the Russians were armed with top of the line weapons.

Q: Didn’t the Ottoman state take any precautions against the Armenians arming themselves to this extent? Didn’t word get around?

A: People knew, and the government knew. Yet the military was on the fighting front, and only a few gendarmes were left in Van. They couldn’t do anything about it. The Armenians first shot Police Lieutenant Nuri Efendi, and blew up the Hamitaga barracks. Many soldiers were killed. Then they placed bombs in the Norsin Mosque and Hacž Naci Hodja Mosque. They blew up Hafžz Hodja along with his son. Our women were raped, and our children shot.

Q: How was the evacuation carried out?

A: We left from here on 50 ships. That day the weather was stormy and rainy, as if all hell broke loose. The ships ran into each other. They were unable to approach the pier for a long time. The weather hadn’t warmed up yet — I think it was April. We left before the Russians arrived. There were about 250 people in our group, and 60 died. Some died at the hands of the Armenian bandits, others from cholera, disease, and hunger.

My uncle, his family and children, were all cut into pieces with a hatchet under the mulberry tree in our neighborhood. They [Armenians] massacred all those that stayed behind when we left. We lived in the Norsin neighborhood at the time. They burned all of Van.

All of this was planned by the Armenian committees which treacherously manipulated the Armenian population.

Q: Do you remember the names of those committees?

A: Dashnak was the most prominent one. There were others as well, but I don’t remember their names now. They received money and gold from Russia and England.

Q: Did the Armenians kill many women and children?

A: The elderly didn’t bother much, but all of their young people were armed.

They killed whoever they could corner. They killed them and threw them into the lake or into the fire. For example, a woman was baking bread in a nearby village, and had her young child was at her side. The Armenians went into her backyard and asked her what she was doing. When she answered that she was baking bread, they insisted she needed a kebab as well, and pierced her child and threw him into the fire and burned him alive.

What else can I tell you? God knows the extent of what went on. During our escape, we took off on the ships, and stayed around the islands for four days. We couldn’t sleep at night because of the wails, crying, and screams we heard all night. These were the cries we heard from surrounding villages: Zeve, Bardakçž, Kalaç, and Molla Kasžm. I hope God ensures that we don’t have to relive those days when these massacres took place.

Q: Where did you go after the islands?

A: From the islands we went to the Dervis village. It took us all day to get there. Ten ships were tied together at the edge of the lake. We were very frightened. In the morning we left toward Tatvan, and finally reached our destination. We were able to rest there, and later left toward Bitlis.

Q: Do you remember how many people were with you in your convoy?

A: There were between 10 and 20 thousand people in our convoy.

Q: Did many people from your convoy die in the exodus?

A: Of course.

Q: Could you tell us how they died?

A: The women couldn’t take care of the children. Some would leave them in remote areas. Hunger and disease were rampant. For example, Ömer Efendi wrapped his child in rags and left him alive under a tree as we approached the Bitlis creek. There were many other children like this thrown into the Bitlis creek, or buried when they died. But Ömer Efendi regretted what he did, and a few days later went to retrieve the child and brought him back alive.

Q: How long were you a refugee?

A: Three years.

Q: What did you find when you returned to Van? How was Van, was there much damage?

A: I saw Van; it was completely destroyed and burned. When we were in Bitlis, the Deputy Governor Ömer Bey was there. He would regularly receive reports on the situation in Van. We would follow the situation of the Russians from there. One day a soldier, Mansur, came to Bitlis. He was from Halep and used to live near the Norsin Mosque. He was in tears as he told us the story of how they entered Van, and saw that the women were lined up in a row with their head scarves still on. As they approached, they saw that they were impaled and killed. They painfully removed them and buried them. The soldiers left all their work and buried them. They then went to another location where the women had been raped and then killed. There was blood everywhere.
A similar incident occurred in the Amik village which is close to here. The inhabitants took refuge in the castle and pulled up the ladder when the Armenians arrived. The Armenians approached and convinced them to let down the ladder because they were now friendly and there was no reason to be afraid. As soon as they ascended the stairs, they separated the children and men and threw them down the hill. Some of the women threw themselves from the castle, while the others were taken to an unknown location.

Q: Did you hear about similar incidents at the time?

A: Of course I did, but what else can I tell you? Dignity, chastity, and integrity all went out the window. We suffered so much, some people even resorted to cannibalism. But we were so compassionate that when we found Armenians hiding on the island, we didn’t do anything to them.

Q: Were they the Armenians who stayed when you fled?

A: No, they were Armenians remaining on the island. During the exodus they brought many Turks to this island and killed them. The ship captains were Armenians. Many of our people were maliciously killed in this way on the ships. As I told you earlier, we couldn’t sleep because of the wails in those days. When we left, Van was burning, and it was still burning when the soldier Mansur came.

Q: Will you tell us about your situation in Bitlis?

A: When we arrived in Bitlis as refugees, they were angry with us because we abandoned Van. Initially the people in Bitlis were not very kind to us, asking us why we ran away and did not fight the enemy. We answered that we had no other choice because we did not have guns or ammunition. Not long after, the population of Bitlis had to flee as well, and they understood our position. The heat was debilitating. There was no food or water. Cholera and disease were spreading. Many people died. One day we saw that vehicles from Elazžg were arriving. The army corps came with Armenian drivers to bring salt to Harput.

Q: Were the drivers Armenian?

A: Yes, Armenian soldiers who were carrying salt. There was a captain leading them, and my brother approached him and asked him to stay and send a telegraph to arrange for a truck to carry us. We obtained permission from Mustafa Kemal Pasha and they started to transport us toward Diyarbakir. There was neither food nor water on the way. Many people died from diseases. At that time, there was a landowner named Mehmet. He has since died, but he was unique. He had fed the army and its horses for a year, and had given the military the keys to his stables. One year later Mustafa Kemal Pasha came, sat across from him, and asked what they owed him. When he said “for what?”, Mustafa Kemal explained that the army had depended on him for a year. He responded that they were welcome to the remaining food. Anyway, when he saw us, he gave the order to set up a feast right away. Bulgur rice, lentils, and meat were prepared and offered. Everyone ate to their heart’s content.

Let me tell you another story. I saw many of the men who had been tortured by the Armenians with my own eyes. In some places they had no meat on their bones. From hunger they ate human flesh. There was a milkman called Faik whose father was carrying a child when we saw him. When I asked him what he was doing, he said if he didn’t carry the child away, they would eat him too.
I hope God doesn’t make us live through those days again. Hunger and disease left us with nothing. No dignity, chastity, nothing.

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