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Chris Hedges: Coveting the Holocaust

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Posted on Oct 23, 2006
Armenian protest
AP / EUROKINISI

Armenian demonstrators burn a Turkish flag outside the Turkish Embassy in Athens in 1996 after a march to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the 1915-1923 Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turks.

By Chris Hedges

Editor’s Note: The former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” takes a hard look at the political capital of suffering.

I sent my New York University journalism students out to write stories based on any one of the themes in the Ten Commandments.  A woman of Armenian descent came back with an article about how Armenians she had interviewed were covetous of the Jewish Holocaust.  The idea that one people who suffered near decimation could be covetous of another that also suffered near decimation was, to say the least, different. And when the French lower house of parliament approved a bill earlier this month making it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide I began to wonder what it was she, and those she had interviewed, actually coveted.
 
She was not writing about the Holocaust itself—no one covets the suffering of another—but how it has become a potent political and ideological weapon in the hands of the Israeli government and many in the American Jewish community.  While Armenians are still fighting to have the genocide of some 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks accepted as historical fact, many Jews have found in the Nazi Holocaust a useful instrument to deflect criticism of Israel and the dubious actions of the pro-Israeli lobby as well as many Jewish groups in the United States.

Norman Finkelstein, who for his writings has been virtually blacklisted, noted in “The Holocaust Industry” that the Jewish Holocaust has allowed Israel to cast itself and “the most successful ethnic group in the United States” as eternal victims.  Finkelstein, the son of Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, goes on to argue that this status has enabled Israel, which has “a horrendous human rights record,” to play the victim as it oppresses Palestinians or destroys Lebanon.  This victim status has permitted U.S. Jewish organizations (the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress and others) to get their hands on billions of dollars in reparations, much of which never finds its way to the dwindling number of Holocaust survivors.  Finkelstein’s mother, who was in the Warsaw ghetto, received $3,500, while the World Jewish Congress walked away with roughly $7 billion in compensation moneys.  The organization pays lavish salaries to its employees and uses the funds to fuel its own empire.  For many the Nazi Holocaust is not used to understand and deal with the past, and more importantly the universal human capacity for evil, but to manipulate the present.  Finkelstein correctly writes that the fictitious notion of unique suffering leads to feelings of unique entitlement.

And so what this student, and those she had interviewed, coveted was not the actual experience of the Holocaust, not the suffering of Jews in the death camps, but the political capital that Israel and many of its supporters have successfully gleaned from the Holocaust.  And while I sympathize with the Armenians, while I understand their rage toward Turkey, I do not wish to see them, or anyone else, wield their own genocide as a political weapon. 

There is a fine and dangerous line between the need for historical truth and public apology, in this case by the Turks, and the gross misuse of human tragedy.  French President Jacques Chirac and his interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, said this month that Turkey will have to recognize the genocide before Turkey is allowed to join the European Union.  Most European nations turned their backs on the French, with the EU issuing a statement saying that the French bill will “prohibit dialogue.”  But the French move is salutary, not only for the Armenians who have been humiliated and defamed by successive waves of Turkish governments but for the Turks as well.  Historical amnesia, as anyone who has lived in the Middle East or the Balkans knows, makes reconciliation and healing impossible.  It fosters a dangerous sense of grievance and rage.  It makes any real dialogue impossible.  Nearly 100 years after the murderous rampage by the Turks it can still be a crime to name the Armenian holocaust under Law 301, which prohibits anyone from defaming Turkey.  One of the most courageous violators of that law is the writer Orhan Pamuk, who has criticized his country’s refusal to confront its past, and who just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. But he is a solitary figure in Turkey.

Historical black holes also empower those who insist that the Nazi Holocaust is unique, that it is somehow beyond human comprehension and stands apart from other human activity.  These silences make it easier to minimize, misunderstand and ignore the reality of other genocides, how they work and how they are carried out.  They make it easier to turn tragedy into myth.  They make it easier to misread the real lesson of the Holocaust, which, as Christopher Browning illustrated in his book “Ordinary Men,” is that the line between the victim and the victimizer is razor-thin.  Most of us, as Browning correctly argues, can be seduced and manipulated into killing our neighbors.  Few are immune. 

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The communists, not the Jews, were the Nazis’ first victims, and the handicapped were the first to be gassed in the German death factories.  This is not to minimize the suffering of the Jews, but these victims too deserve attention.  And what about Gypsies, homosexuals, prisoners of war and German political dissidents?  What, on a wider scale, about the Cambodians, the Rwandans, and the millions more who have been slaughtered by utopian idealists who believe the eradication of other human beings will cleanse the world?
 
When I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington I looked in vain for these other victims.  I did not see explained in detail the awful reality that Jewish officials in the ghettos—Judenrat—worked closely with the Nazis to herd their own off to the death camps.  And was the happy resolution of the Holocaust, as we saw in images at the end of the exhibits, the disembarking of European Jews on the shores of Palestine?  What about the Palestinians who lived in Palestine and were soon to be pushed off their land?  And, as importantly, what about African-Americans and Native Americans?  Why is the Nazi genocide, which we did not perpetrate, displayed on the Mall in Washington and the brutal extermination of Native Americans ignored?  Why should billions in reparations be paid to Jewish slave laborers and not a dime to those enslaved by our own country?

These questions circle back to the dangerous sanctification of any genocide, the belief that one ethnic group can represent goodness, solely because its members are the victims, and another evil because from its ranks come the thugs who carry out mass slaughter.  Once these demented killing machines begin their work the only thing unique is the method of murder.  The lesson of any genocide is not that one group of human beings is better than another, but that in the intoxication of the moment, gripped by the mass hypnosis of state propaganda and the lust for violence, we can all become killers.  All the victims must be heard.  None are unique.  And all of us have to be on guard lest we be seduced.  We carry within us—German, Jew, Armenian or Christian—dark and dangerous lusts that must be held in check.  I applaud the French.  I hope the French action pushes the Turks toward contrition and honesty.  But I do not wish for the Armenians to covet the Holocaust, to begin the process of sanctifying their own suffering.  When we sanctify ourselves we do so at the expense of others.   


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By Rich, December 14, 2006 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lumberto,

You made a number of comments that were inacurate.

1. “The world does not like Turks” Is this so? Why is that? Why do they not like Turks? I think on this issue many people throughout the world disagree with the denialist position. But I disagree that the world does not like Turks.

2. Vahakin Dadrian is not “damning’ the Turks but merely producing scholarly work on the Armenian genocide. And Dadrian is far from unscrupulous, he is highly respected in his field, you may not agree with him, but that does not call for you to be unscrupulous. What “hidden agenda” do scholars have that wrote about the Armenian genocide? Such as Dadrian and Akcam? Make money off a published book?

3. Discrediting all third parties saying that they have “agendas” and “prejudaces” paints all of them with one brush seems far fetched. It is impossible to deny that they formed seperate witnessed accounts of mass inhumanity of innocent Armenians being killed. They were not all in a mass collusion of fabrications if they all witnessed mass killings of Armenians independently from eachother.

4. Also you said that my “sources are derived from hearsay”? What sources? I did not cite any sources.

5. Also I never intended to lecture anyone, sorry if you felt that way.

6. Turks may have arguably died durring this time. but what happened to them was not considered genocide. The Armenian genocide was an inhuman act against ciilians as I stated before,you are in line with the denialist postion then you are indirectly condoning this sort of statesponsored behavior in the future.

Armenians are human beings and have human rights to live peacefully, this right was blatently abused. And as I said before denying this horrible events of history is yet another abuse of human rights.

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By Whitewashed History, December 14, 2006 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Turkey has a very distorted view of who her enemies are. The majority of the historians at the conference were ethnic Turks. Turkey’s greatest enemy is her delusions about reality and her history.

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By Whitewashed History, December 14, 2006 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fatsar,

Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman army were deprived of weapons and then executed, having done nothing except being Armenian. Some Armenians joined the Nazis so that they could help to defeat Stalin who was sending thousands of Armenians to the gulags in Siberia or worse as the bones of Armenians were being dug up by the hundreds by wild dogs in the Soviet Union after 1937.

Furthermore there are even sicko Jewish Nazis in America today, Jews who refuse to be recongized as Jews. Because there were Armenians who sided with the Nazis, you paint the whole population of Armenians with one brush? It is possible that Armenians in past centuries had “loved Jews to death” through intermarriage and assimilation. No where in Europe were Jews allowed to own property except under Armenian rule (see Eghesis cemetery discovery). The Armenian and Georgian royal dynasty (Pakradouni) were descended from a Jew named Smbat who was the grand vizier of an earlier Armenian king.

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By Lark, December 14, 2006 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article proudly displays the picture of Armenian demonstrators burning a Turkish flag

How come Whitewash has no complaints about that riot, but complains only about the Turks throwing tomatoes at the people they see as traitors?

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By lark, December 14, 2006 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whitewash says: ‘When a group of unruly Turkish nationalists throw objects at the Turkish historians who are entering the conference hall, that constitutes a “riot.”’

If the Turks organized a one sided conference in Yerevan, not only tomatoes, but bullets would fly in the air.

I think the Turks were tolerant considering that the Armenians did not allow any Turkish historians or academicians as speakers, and selected even the audience.

What you call Turkish historians were known enemies of the Turkish state who found solace in the bosom of Turkey’s enemies.

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By Fatsar, December 13, 2006 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Nazis felt they were a superior nation.  Thus they went on killing Jews and others they thought a menace to mankind.  Guess which other Aryan nation helped them but the Armenians form Turkey !  I have pictures of young Armenian boys saluting the Nazi flag, and also pictures with Goebbel.

Now, you are labeling what happened to the Armenians during 1915 as genocide.  How can I believe that?

Was there something like the Kristalnacht?  No, on the contrary, the Armenians were belittling the Turkish majority of Eastern Anatolia – all poems of those years verify that.

Were the Nazis at the Zenith of their strength when they attacked the Jews?  Yes, by all means.  Why would the Turks select to annihilate the Armenians at a time when they were trying to save their skin from the Russians, British, French, Italians, Greeks, and even the Australians.  I hope you know that World War I was fought over the land of the Ottoman Empire form 1914 to 1915.  It is not a coincidence that the famous Gallipoli invasion started on April 25, 1915 .  Why wait for the weakest time of the empire to kill the most revered nation (the Armenians had been known as the faithful ones) after 600 years of friendly relation?

No the Jews were not armed, but the Armenians were armed and fighting on the ranks of the Russian Army.  Russian commanders’ reports describe the Armenians treatment of Muslims as most wild.  I have pictures of Armenian legions training in Alexandria wearing French Uniform and rifles.  No wonder France is passing laws to make it illegal for the Turks to uncover the real story behind the Armenian tall tale.

Were the Jews killing Germans?  The Armenians were killing the Turkish Moslem population of Eastern Anatolia to carve out an independent Armenia for themselves.

Were the Jews’ personal belongings recorded in government books for them to claim their property on their return?  Were they given one to two weeks time to liquidate their belongings?  Weren’t the Armenians protected from vengeful locals on the way by the much needed armed manpower needed to protect the country under attack from the enemy on all fronts?

Have you provided any real evidence – not forgeries to prove intent to exterminate peaceful Armenians by the Turkish or Ottoman governments?  If you had, you would stay on track of history and not revert to propaganda.

How else was the Ottoman Government going to protect their Moslem population from the Armenian rebels?  There are so many reports from 1857 onwards that Armenian bandits attacked Muslims during Friday prayers in Eastern Anatolia .  I am surprised they kept calm in spite of this strong provocation even though they were the “fearsome” majority.

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By Whitewashed History, December 13, 2006 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Lumberto,”

When a group of unruly Turkish nationalists throw objects at the Turkish historians who are entering the conference hall, that constitutes a “riot.”

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By Lumberto Peliot, December 13, 2006 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich, I am aware you have no shortage of sources; the Armenian “genocide” has become not a cottage, but a mansion industry. Over the generations, unscrupulous Armenian scholars such as Vahakn Dadrian have looked behind every corner to compile matter damning to the Turks, of which there has been no shortage, since the world does not like Turks; such disaffection has been helped along precisely because of the dishonesty of such unscrupulous parties as Vahakn Dadrian.

What you have a shortage of is credible sources. What are your sources? The missionaries. Morgenthau. The consuls. All with conflicts-of-interest. All with agendas, or prejudices. These prejudiced parties include the Germans, whose histories were laden with the Moslem-Turkish bogeyman; Germans not on the scene, but quick to accept the word of missionaries such as Lepsius, and their fellow Christians, the Armenians. As far as the Turkish testimony that has become the lifeblood of those such as Dadrian and Taner Akcam—precisely because the other sources are so unreliable—they were often provided during the 1919-20 courts-martial while the accused Turks were in prison, anxious to save themselves from a puppet and revengeful administration controlled by the Allies. The British themselves regarded these courts as a travesty of justice, and could not use the testimonies for their own Malta Tribunal. Frequently, these statements are taken out of context by those devilishly deceptive “scholars,” because they simply have no scruples. They have agendas, and will stop at nothing to try and fool the world.

Almost all of your sources derive from hearsay. Hearsay by prejudiced or ignorant people cannot count as true evidence. If you want to prove your genocide, you must do what the British failed to do at Malta: find the hard evidence convicting Talat, Enver, or whomever you want to blame of “intent.” You’ll find the real evidence displays these men were friends of the Armenians, until the rebellious Armenians forced their hand. They did what they could to safeguard the Armenians. That is what the UNBIASED evidence shows. While you are at it, you also have to get around the fact that the Armenians were politically allied with their Ottoman nation’s enemies; that is a provision discounted by the 1948 Genocide Convention.

These were terribly tragic times when everyone suffered. “Genocide” is a very serious crime, and if you keep on using that word when you have no proof (and also if you keep ignoring the suffering of the other people involved in this equation, significantly at the hands of your own people), then your humanity becomes deeply compromised. You would be the last person qualified to lecture on an “abuse of human rights.” Human rights must be applied universally.

It is high time you and other Armenians stop thinking of yourselves as “Armenians,” and start thinking of yourselves, in your case, as a MAN. If we, as men and women, do not have our honor—we have nothing.

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By Whitewashed History, December 13, 2006 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Lumberto Peliot” (obviously a pseudonym), whomever you are. Your comments are far from balanced as you allude to the “wonderful comments” of Delibas and Kadir and then drag the integrity of Rich and myself (Whitewashed History) through the mud.

If you follow my comments you will see that I have made some very complimentary comments about Turkish history and statements hoping for peace between the Armenian and Turkish peoples.

I find no olive branch sentiments in your comments here.

Even today, conditions in Turkey for religious and ethnic minorities (even Moslem ethnic minorities) are far from optimum. These tensions will not ease until fundamental changes are made. Turkey lives today in an amnesiatic state. Only persons such as Pamuk and Safak dare speak the truth about complexion of the pre-Republic Turkish state.

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By Rich, December 12, 2006 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lumberto Peliot,

I need to make it clear to you and the readers who have mistakenly overlooked my previous post.

I choose not to write my reply’s followed by cited sources. It was not because I lack scholarly sources to back my informaion. I can make my points without needing to justify them, that has already been done on the scholarly level, and the conclusion overwhelmingly was that the Armenian genocide did occur.

The Armenina genocide is a gross abuse of human rights that you can choose to ignore or dismiss as “alleged” but doing so as I stated numerous times before places you as an Armenian genocide denialist.

That goes the same with Kader and Emerhan.

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By Lumberto Peliot, December 12, 2006 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Crocodile tears by WWH (#41635, in response to Kadir’s objection that Turks do not outspend with their own “propaganda”): “Are you serious? Turkey has embassies in almost every major Western nation and in the economic powerhouses of the Far East. Turkish Ambassadors work full-time to suppress the events of 1915. A small land-locked county in the Caucasas versus a nation that bridges two continents, and holds the most strategic geography in Europe. And you are crying that the Armenians are more powerful?”

Again, the usual fantasy of Armenians thinking Turks have nothing better to do than to spend their whole time dealing with their genocide invention. The responsibilities of Turkish ambassadors, as with all ambassadors, cover a whole spectrum. Turkish ambassadors do not work “full-time to suppress the events of 1915.” They usually don’t do enough, in fact, and would prefer nothing better than to not deal with this horrid subject at all. When they do—and what they do is in the form of defense against the relentless attacks of pro-Armenians—they do because nobody else will. And it’s not the forces of poor little Armenia that we turn to, in order to demonstrate how obsessed and successful Armenians are with the spreading of their propaganda. It is the members of the Armenian diaspora throughout the nations of the world. In America for example, we have a good number of Armenian lobbies and organizations such as ANCA and the AAA, working night and day to undercut Turkish interests, with the aid of the millions of dollars of wealthy Armenians, and the millions given by sympathetic governments. (Per capita, Armenia is the largest recipient of American aid, after Israel.) What is the equivalent of these organizations for Turkish-Americans? There is none. (There is ATAA, but they are poor, and their directors only deal with the genocide matter when they absolutely have to, just as with the Turkish ambassadors.)


=======================================

Again, arguing with such propagandists is an exercise in futility. Hopefully, the objective readers of Truthdig are aware that getting at the truth requires digging, and the last thing these believers wish for neutral parties to do is to carry a shovel.

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By Lumberto Peliot, December 12, 2006 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich further goes on to embarrass himself in #41451: “State sponsored is exacly what happend the Turkish government forced the mass (as you say) ‘relocation’ straight to their deaths.” Actually most Armenians who were relocated (and they WERE relocated, moving from one part of the country to another, but Rich will still insist on putting the correct word in quotation marks) survived; it was the ones in eastern Anatolia who died the most. But is the fact that the relocation was state-sponsored his “proof” of “genocide”? Relocation is NOT genocide.

Then he tells us, “Again Armenians were not in an insurgency they were provolked into defending themselves and your numbers are overinflated in regards to the defenders from the Ottoman/Turkish attackers.” He is beyond hope. Even with the abounding evidence showing irrefutably that the Armenians were in revolt (See #41650 for Boghos Nubar’s admission, for example), an honesty-challenged believer as Rich will still say there was no insurgency. And it wasn’t Armenians who were provoked into defending themselves. Even logic tells us how illogical that would be, as the Ottomans needed every man and resource to defend themselves against superior forces intent on dismantling their nation. It was the Armenians who attacked. Only when you are attacked can you claim self-defense. It was the Ottomans who were defending themselves against the very serious threat of thousands of Armenian fighters, from within the borders.

======================================
#41472 by WWH: “If the facts and numbers you give are not bogus, then why the Turkish riots when the conference on the Armenian Question was given last year?” #41654 by Emrehan ably answered:

“The problem with the Istanbul Conference was that only speakers having the view that there was an Armenian genocide were being permitted to speak - historians disagreeing with that view, who wanted to challenge them in open platform, were barred.  This was of course viewed as very unjust, un-academic, and caused the Conference to be viewed as a platform of propaganda, rather than open, honest, scholarly debate.  So I guess you should really be asking the organizers of the conference what they were afraid of!”

That’s exactly what happened. But note how WWH chose to characterize this event; he called it a “riot.” A riot is a kind of rampage by a mob of uncontrolled citizenry. Where was this riot? If some Turks voiced their objections, would that make it a “riot”? The dishonesty is overwhelming.

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By Lumberto Peliot, December 12, 2006 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rich told us in #40713: “Armenians lived a life of discrimination under the thumb of the Turks. I think discrimination is too light a word to describe the vile uncivilized acts Armenians had to face on a daily basis.” Of course, the objective of Armenian propaganda is to make it appear as though the Armenians were poor, persecuted victims. #40721 by Kadir truthfully tells us, “About your assesment that the Armenians were second class citizens, I have a thing to say. They weren’t more second class than the Turks.” The story goes more than that. As the Armenians were in control of many “power” segments of Ottoman society (we’re not talking about the country peasants, of course; with these, there was no discrimination when it came to oppression and unfairness, as everyone suffered at more or less the same level. If Armenians suffered more, it was because they were wealthier, and naturally the corrupt segments of society would target them), it wasn’t that Armenians were second-class citizens. Many were FIRST-class citizens, particularly in the declining, capitulation-ridden years of the empire, where Western consuls and missionaries offered protection for the Armenians, a protection ordinary Turks did not have.

================================

Now this following example is really funny. Emrehan cited the Turk-unfriendly King-Crane report to demonstrate Armenians were in the minority. Both Rich and WWH didn’t like this established fact, but they had to say something, so here is how WWH pathetically tried to discredit it (#40840): “As is typical, you are manipulating numbers to make your case look better.” Here was Rich’s stab (#40992): “When you search for information contrary to an excepted fact of the Armenian genocide I am sure the Turkish governemnt is happy to oblige.”

It’s bad enough these people find the real facts as anathema. But it’s so sad when they actually lose touch with reality; suddenly, an anti-Turkish source becomes an example of “Turkish propaganda.”

==================================
Two amusing offerings by Rich; #40812: “...considered by many as to be a nationalistic type so-called news. Does that sound familiar, nationalistic?” This is ironic, as few are more nationalistic than Armenians. Their cause is so great, it matters not where Armenians live. Their nationalism will almost always take precedence over the interests of their adopted countries.

And Rich was very offensive with #41243: “General Dro was called ‘the butcher’ becasue he owned a deli selling premium select meat. Do I have to cite the source on this too?” Dro was one of the chief architects of the massive cleansing committed upon Turks, Muslims, Jews and others that did not fit into the Christian-Aryan Armenian mold, which claimed the lives of half a million. Yet to a “denier” as Rich, these lives mean nothing. Dro’s terrible crimes must never be acknowledged by someone such as Rich.

(Continued)

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By Lumberto Peliot, December 12, 2006 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WWH did not like a letter written by a Turk recounting the savageries of Armenians, in this case making worry beads from Turkish women’s nipples. His intellectual response in #40212:

“Such fabrications! Are are beginning to believe your own fables?”

Now here is the mark of a REAL denier. The exposition of the sadistic deviltries of his people would run so contrary to the cause of representing Armenians as helpless and innocent victims, someone like WWH will think nothing of shouting, “it’s a lie.” Unfortunately, Western testimony to prove Armenian atrocities are slim, because at the time the only Westerners near these scenes were missionaries, and it was the duty of these dishonest partisans to protect Armenians. However, after the war, Armenian-friendly commissions such as Niles and Sutherland and even General Harbord learned of the wide scale, inhuman actions of the Armenians. But we have better sources: those of the honorable Russian and French officers who documented acts of Armenian savagery… details that would make anybody’s hair stand on end. We know they are true, as they come from the allies of the Armenians. Contrast with the familiar horror tales provided by Armenians and missionaries, which the objective person must pause before accepting as fact.

WWH attempts to support his dishonesty by further telling us in #40469 that the nipple bead story is “preposterous.” Then he has the nerve to write, “Armenian soldiers did not rape Turkish women.” Not only did they outrage Turkish women in the worst possible ways, with few Turkish menfolk left to protect the women, the Armenians frequently mutilated these women after their wanton violations. What directed the Armenians was hatred; a hatred that kept mushrooming after the creation of their terrorist groups, principally the Hunchaks and Dashnaks, since the late 1800s.

WWH actually tried to justify his “counter-evidence” presentation, a story in the National Geographic by a bigoted Armenophile (Maynard Owen Williams, who was no disinterested party; as one of his articles from 1926 made clear, Williams was in charge of “relief efforts in the Lake Van area between December 1917 and February 1918”) by speculating that the nipple story “seems to emanate from Igdir,” simply because the Williams story was set in Igdir, and WWH hoped to establish a connection..!

What is interesting about this National Geographic article is that it claims a majority population of Armenians. So if this town was controlled by Armenians, it’s not as if they could not have had the manpower to commit the savageries the Armenians committed. You see, even in the Armenians’ desperate presentation of “evidence,” they keep shooting themselves in the foot. Here is another excerpt from the article:

“Three times in as many years have masses of these 300,000 people crossed and recrossed the mountains, advancing and retreating, as Russia threw the Turkish armies back or withdrew before them.” Richard Hovannisian has written in “Armenia on the Road to Independence” that about half died of famine. So we learn about 150,000 Armenians died with no Turks around. 150,000 is 10% of the Armenians’ absurd 1.5 million mortality figure, or more realistically, about a quarter of the 500,000 to 600,000 who really died. So one-quarter of the “genocide” victims took place while Armenians were in control of their destinies, without being under lock and key by the Turks. Such is the repulsive level of deception the Armenian propagandists and their genocide scholar allies wish to maintain.

Emrehan’s response: #40619.

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By Lumberto Peliot, December 12, 2006 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Credit goes to Rich (#39521) for not going overboard with the Armenian deaths during 1894-96 (“over 100,000”; the truth was nearer a fifth of that bloated figure). Rich offers us a nice dose of Armenian propaganda with his post here, including the claim that the “triumvirate of Young Turks…came to wield dictatorial powers.” As Morgenthau observed in a dispatch to his government on Feb. 1915, central command was so weak, the Ottoman government was in danger of collapse. A dictatorship means little if one cannot retain control. (And if local forces were out of reach, often acting under their whims, a centrally-directed “genocide” would become an impossibility.) We are further informed that “They wanted to unite all of the Turkic peoples in the entire region,” but in fact they still harbored vain hopes (as Jemal Pasha made clear in his memoirs) to retain the ideology of Ottomanism. If some had dreams, that is a far cry from actually implementing such a policy. Predictably, Rich offers nothing besides his opinion. Rich then sabotages his grudging reluctance with truth, contrasting his 100,000 dead claim, by citing the typical propagandistic figures of 2 million Armenians in the empire (the real figure hovered around 1.5 million; the Ottoman census was 1.3 million, and Arnold Toynbee thought in 1915: about one million), and he shamefully cites the high-end figure of 30,000 dead in 1909 Adana, when even Armenian observers of the time figured 20,000, including the number of Turkish victims.

Emrehan’s excellent response to part of the above (#40951): “While Turkish nationalists of that time may have been sympathetic to what was happening to Turks around the world, that is a far cry from really trying to create a pan-Turkic state and making that goal the official foreign policy of a nation!  Especially considering that the Ottomans were on the brink of complete collapse and occupation.” Even common sense is enough to destroy the claims of dishonest genocide advocates.

===============================

Here is where Rich seriously embarrasses himself, in response (#39710) to McCarthy’s having written, “The leader of the Zeytun rebellion said his forces had killed 20,000 Muslims”: “If Justin McCarthy is scholarly work you believe in that says something in itself. He has been quoted from Armenian genocide deniers for years. McCarthy, being a denialist himself makes it an ideal book to quote from.”

Once again a demonstration that these propagandists care nothing for the facts. Their idea is to smear the messenger rather than the message; here Rich was unethically hoping to persuade neutral readers that the claim cannot be believed because a “denialist” had written it. He cares nothing about the source, of which there certainly must have been one; Rich prefers to make it seem as though McCarthy invented a claim out of thin air, as Armenians prefer to do. In fact, the source is the diary of the Armenian rebel leader from Zeitun, Aghasi, in 1895. That’s right: the claim comes straight from the most disloyal of Ottoman-Armenians, who would have had no reason whatsover to be a “Turkish propagandist.”

Emrehan commented:  “Prof. McCarthy’s work stands on its own, and is very well sourced.  Your bashing of him merely puts you in the category of a ‘small mind’ as does your pompous boasting of how well read and researched you supposedly are.

Unfortunately for you, your biased and misinformed posts reveal your true mask, sorry your smokescreens won’t work for most educated folks.”

(Continued)

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By Lumberto Peliot, December 12, 2006 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment
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As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to examine the workings of Armenian arguers “Rich” and “Whitewashed History.” The latter’s nickname which will be abbreviated to “WWH,” is ironic; he is trying to tell us Turkish history is whitewashed, when claims disproving his genocide generally emanate from biased Western and Armenian sources. (It’s rare to see segments from Turkish history in these discussions.) Meanwhile, he and others try to prove their genocide by referring to these Western and Armenian sources that were biased against the Turks, frequently turning a blind eye to the crimes and massive ethnic cleansing policies of the Armenians. If any party has a “Whitewashed History” here, it is the Armenians.

If the reader wishes to consult the original source, simply add the provided “#XXXXX” numbers to the end of this page’s URL, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/200601023_chris_hedges_coveting_the_holocaust

#37094 by WWH told us “Taner Akcam of Azeri lineage.” I don’t know where he got that from; you can see sources are usually in short supply, as Armenians and their supporters usually expect us to accept their word. Akcam claimed in an interview that he is as purely Turkish as they come (“Turkoglu Turk”); but anyone who takes a convicted terrorist’s word at face value had better beware. There are powerful but unconfirmed clues that his father was a Kurd. Regardless of a person’s ethnicity, it is always the research that determines one’s integrity, and Akcam’s dishonest Armenian propaganda has holes little smaller than Rich and WWH’s claims.

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In the same post, WWH told us that “About 125 Genocide scholars signed a letter ...verifying that what happened to the Armenian civilians was Genocide.” Are the opinions of these agenda-ridden false scholars, who begin their theses with a conclusion instead of honorably arriving at a conclusion, supposed to be a substitute for real history?

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#37262 by WWH: “Nevertheless, our men were cut to pieces in the same manner as were their close associates, who included Krikor Zohrab.” They must not have been cut in too many pieces, as many, many thousands either deserted from the Ottoman army or avoided the draft in the first place, by crossing the border to join the Russians. If there were no men left, the Armenians of eastern Anatolia could not have controlled these regions on and off from 1915-1920.

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(Continued)

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By Lumberto Peliot, December 12, 2006 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment
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This is a fairly intelligent article by Chris Hedges, exposing the political rewards that come from crying victimhood. Of course he was exposing himself to vicious attack, as with Ken Schreier (#37225, 11-08). Hedges was mercilessly described as a “Jew hater…with the personality of a sick morally bankrupt mind.” Isn’t that awful? The real message is, criticism cannot be tolerated, and if you dare to criticize, we will smear you to the high heavens, accusing you of racism.

(The sad part is that even an intelligent and risk-taking writer as Hedges is suckered in by the claims of the “Armenian genocide.”)

I spent a while reading the posts on the latest page here (Beginning with Nov. 2; there is a whole other page that began this discussion), and it appears we have two Armenians, “Rich” and “Whitewashed History” (the latter who promised his “last word on this subject” on Nov. 8 - #37335,
proving once again that his word is not to be counted on), who are simply motivated by their emotions, and care nothing for the facts. This type of irrational behavior who view their genocide as an identity-affirming religion is par for the course. Unfortunately, even intelligent neutrals, as Chris Hedges, so brainwashed by the bombardment of Armenian propaganda, keep “Coveting the (Armenian) Holocaust,” and fall victim to the claims of such people, freely made without consideration to the truth.

Arguing with these people, as arguing with any religious fundamentalist, is a lost cause. They shamelessly will say anything, such as the mass graves’ disinterred Turkish victims of Armenian murderers as really being Armenians; there is a terrifying absence of a moral compass with these faithful believers. I noted a recent four entries by Emrehan Delibas (#41654, #41653, #41650, #41649) where so many wonderful and UNBIASED genocide-busting material were presented, yet you won’t find those as “Rich” and “Whitewashed History” addressing the facts with solid counter-evidence of their own. That’s because genuine pro-Armenian evidence is a rarity. What they will do instead is focus on the few cracks of the genocide-defeating presentations, focusing on the trees rather than the forest in an attempt to detract and confuse, and if that fails, claim anything and everything regardless of the truth.

I made a few notes, and would like to offer a run-down of where these people are coming from.

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By Whitewashed History, December 12, 2006 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

The atrocities which you relate is what was done to Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks. All of this is well documented. The tales you relate have no scholarly basis. Perhaps there were occasional revenge killings against Turks after the events of 1915, but what you relate is preposterous. As for the “Armenians” of old Van, they were considered to be Jews by the rural Armenians in the areas outside of Van. Perhaps Jews who had converted centuries before.

Turkish revisionism goes so far as to accuse the victims of doing to others what was done to them.
One has only to look at the dearth of Armenians inn Eastern Anatolia today to realize who were the victims and who were the victimizers.

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By Rich, December 10, 2006 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment
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Kader,

This is far from a religous, and money arguement.

If it is a religious arguement why is it then that muslum countries do not back Turkey’s genocide denalist position? Are there any, I Truely don’t know of any.

For decades many of the Western Countries did not acknowledge the Armenian genocide they simply did not change there mind becasue they realized Armenians were Christians.

If Armenians’ money was so strong why then do we not have recognition in the United States? It is not money that sways decisions (in this paticular case) more so then it is political pressures on the US State Department.

Who else is going to give Armenians help to move this issue forward other then Armenians and organizations with common human rights issues? Not a government sponsored entity.

It will suprise you to know that it is not so much money or that we are Christians, that this issue has not gone away.

The reason we are percieved to be so powerful on this issue is that this is such a calamity that befell Armenians, a historic tragedy to our culture, identity, and human exhistence. This is a very serious issue.

Was the holocaust a serious issue to the Jews, and humanity? If the Germants were not defeated I woonder if they would have acknowledged what they did.

Denialist Turks, more-so the Turkish government see this more as a “headache”, we take it much more seriously.

Don’t underestimate the “truth” it, is very difficult to contradict, moreso then money and the fact we are Christians.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 10, 2006 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment
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Whitewashed History wrote:  “If the facts and numbers you give are not bogus, then why the Turkish riots when the conference on the Armenian Question was given last year? Why fear what the participants will be discussing if they don’t have the real facts as you claim?”

The problem with the Istanbul Conference was that only speakers having the view that there was an Armenian genocide were being permitted to speak - historians disagreeing with that view, who wanted to challenge them in open platform, were barred.  This was of course viewed as very unjust, un-academic, and caused the Conference to be viewed as a platform of propaganda, rather than open, honest, scholarly debate.  So I guess you should really be asking the organizers of the conference what they were afraid of!

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 10, 2006 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment
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Rich - Since the beginning of 1914, Armenian bands attacked, pillaged, burned Turkish villages, massacring all its inhabitants, raping women.  I have read the Ottoman documents detailing these attacks in communications that date from August 1914.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Van Castle – but from there you can still see today the ruins of Old Van, and the sorrowful remains of the Mosques that were burned by the Armenians.  I have read the accounts of the barbarism of Armenians who revolted in Van, and how the leading Armenian families and Patriarch did nothing to stop the attacks, despite government appeals on this matter.  I have read the archival materials which show that the relocation was only ordered when all other measures to stop these attacks on the Turkish civilian population failed, and after the revolts became more widespread and casualties dramatically increased with the revolt of Armenians in Van.

I also know of the accounts from my friends and their relatives who tell about how only their one grandfather escaped alive from Kars, with the rest of their entire family slaughtered by Armenians…I have already posted the one testimonial about the Armenian who carried with him the nipples of Turkish women he raped and killed.  Armenians committed many other barbaric acts against the Turkish population:

The Armenian gangs smashed the skulls of innocent defenseless civilians, beheading them with swords, and burnt people, villages and cities.
They killed children in front of their mothers, cut the fingers and arms off young girls, and raped both girls and women. They slashed the stomachs of pregnant women and physically removed their unborn babies.

The gangs were responsible for crucifying and staking women and men, nailing people up on poles. They also ripped children in two with horses and placed live people into sacks and dragged them along the ground behind horses.

And these are just to name a few of the horrors Turks suffered directly at the hands of Armenians…in addition for famine, disease, and forced migration.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 10, 2006 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment
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Rich wrote:  “Again Armenians were not in an insurgency they were provoked into defending themselves and your numbers are over inflated.” 

There are millions of even western sources that document the Armenian revolts; this is a very well known fact.  In fact, in 1893, even U.S. President Cleveland stated to Congress that the Ottoman government claims were not without merit, and that certain Armenian language journals in New York, “openly counseled its readers to arm, organize, and participate in movements for the subversion of Ottoman authority in the eastern provinces of Asia Minor.”  I could cite many more sources on this, but again, you get my point.  Perhaps you should go see Marty Callaghan’s film entitled the “Armenian Revolt” so that you can learn about this ugly face of Armenian history that you seem to be in complete denial of.

And my numbers are NOT overinflated; see what Armenian General Boghos Nubar himself in a letter to the Times of London:  “ARMENIANS HAVE BEEN BELLIGERENTS DE FACTO, SINCE THEY INDIGNANTLY REFUSED TO SIDE WITH TURKEY.” In his letter, Nubar also glorifies the 5,000 plus Armenians in the French Legions, the “150,000 Armenians in the Russian armies,” and the “50,000 Armenian volunteers under Andranik, Nazarbekoff, and others [who] fought for four years for the cause of the Entente” and then asks on behalf of the Armenian National Delegation “that the ARMENIAN NATION BE RECOGNIZED AS A BELLIGERENT.”

So here we have an open admission of Armenian military hostilities against the Turks, since the beginning of World War I (i.e. pre-1915) and a statement of over 150,000 ARMENIAN TROOPS fighting under various Allied Armies…

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 10, 2006 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment
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Rich wrote:  ”Where were they being located too? the Syrian deserts.”  Let’s be more specific here:  the Armenians were located around the cities of Halep, Urfa, south of Mosul and Der Ez-Zor.  Urfa is in today’s Turkey and is most definitely NOT desert, neither is Halep or Mosul(Tigris River goes by Mosul).  As for Der Ez-Zor, if I am not mistaken the Euphrates River runs right by there, so really what the Ottomans did was relocate Armenians next to a river!  It is known that many Armenians from there went to Europe and America, as well as many stayed in the area, forming the basis for today’s Syrian and Lebanese Armenian communities.

Rich wrote:  “Turks knew Armenians were dieing in these death marches and did nothing to prevent the deaths.”  Actually, there are many anecdotes of Turks who tried to help Armenians during the relocations, but with your bigotry I doubt that you are capable of seeing Turks as anything other than barbarian. 

And as for your accusations that the government ordered soldiers to kill, perhaps you should listen to the words of 105 year old Yeghisapet Kesabyan of Lebanon:  “We walked for days.  Ottoman soldiers were always by our side TO PROTECT US so that no one would attack us.  But, sometimes they beat us when we couldn’t walk.  It was a difficult trip.”

Or how about the observations of the Swede H.J Pravitz, who in his April 23, 1917 report, “The Situation of the Armenians by One Who Was Among Them” he about how he had gone to Turkey “with a certain prejudiced point of view, partly received from American travelers, about the persecution of Armenians by their Turkish masters” but that when he arrived he saw Armenians firsthand “in the TRAINS of Anatolia, in OXEN WAGONS in Konia and else, BY FOOT in uncountable numbers up in the Taurus mountains, in the camps in Tarsus and Adana, in Aleppo, in Deir-el-Zor and Ana.”  He concluded, “I SURE GOT TO VIEW MISERY, BUT PLANNED CRUELTIES?  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!”

Or how about Zenop Bezjian, Representative of Armenian Protestants who reported to U.S. Ambassador Morgenthaus that “Armenians at Zor were fairly well satisfied; that they have already settled down to business and are earning their livings…that the first ones that were sent away seem to have gotten there WITHOUT BEING MASSACRED.”

No one here is claiming that Ottoman soldiers were saints; in every situation there is a personal factor and some soldiers may have hurt Armenians.  The individual actions of some people are not sufficient to condemn a government for having a policy of genocide.  Just like the incidents of torture in Iraq are not sufficient to accuse the US or Bush of having a policy of torturing Iraqis! 

The point here is that this was NOT ORDERED by the Government, and to the contrary the above testimony, as well as the archives, show that the Ottomans DID TRY TO PROTECT Armenians.

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By Whitewashed History, December 10, 2006 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment
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Kadir wrote:

“Come on… There is no way that the money spent to promote Turkish point of view can be compared to that spent by Armenians. You have much more political power, much more money, and also you have the advantage of having the west on your side because they are christians.”

Are you serious? Turkey has embassies in almost every major Western nation and in the economic powerhouses of the Far East. Turkish Ambassadors work full-time to suppress the events of 1915. A small land-locked county in the Caucasas versus a nation that bridges two continents, and holds the most strategic geography in Europe. And you are crying that the Armenians are more powerful?

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By Kadir, December 10, 2006 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
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Rich: “No innocent civilian population deserves these horrendous acts of state sponsored genocide and denying that a genocide occured is just as barbaric as the act itself.”

Don’t start namecalling. This is the reason there is no reconciliation. You have so much hate in you. And you pass this hate to your kid then to the next kid and then to the next. You ruin the lives of your children by letting them grow up with hate. Then they become terrorists and kill Turkish diplomats and civillians. I am no barbaric person. I haven’t killed anybody, neither did my father, neither his father. I have every right to deny or accept any kind of allegation. Everybody has the right to defend himself. This should be the first thing western civilization must have thought you.

With your larger diaspora population, more money, religious similarities, and long term relations with the western missionairies, you were able to create an illusion in western eyes that Turks are barbaric people. This illusion got worse and worse over years. You started with 600,000 deads and every year this number increased to finally reach 1,500,000. When there is nobody opposing you, you keep on putting in not-proofed stories as facts. Using gas chambers???? Probably this is added conveniently after seeing what Nazis have done to Jews… There was a lot of mutual violence. You have the burden of proof to show that this was ordered by the government and not the reaction of the local people.

Government ordered relocation. It was not executed very well maybe but guess what, nothing was executed well those days in Ottoman Empire. The officials ordering the relocation probably knew some people will die. But they thought that was the right thing to do to protect the non-Armenian population living there. Governments make choices and sometimes it is the less bad of two bad options they choose. Just that you have the backing of the hypocritical governments like France’s backing does not make you right. French should deal with their involvement in Rhuanda and their crimes in Algeria first. But dealing with them won’t bring votes to French politicians…

Yes, we will defend ourselves. We will do it not to let you put an undeserved stain on our children’s foreheads. There is of course some blame to go to the Ottoman government of that time about the Armenian civillian deads. I think it is healthy to accept the mistakes and appologize for them. But it is not healthy to appologize for a bigger crime than you committed. And it was not only the Ottomans who committed crimes. I hope Armenians will confine their accusations to reality and there will be a healthy debate.

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By Rich, December 10, 2006 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment
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Also as you understand as a “relocation” in my clear view as a forced death march was not the only means as a systematic killing resulting in genocide of Armenians.

To rid the areas populatied by Armenians and exponge the areas of it’s cultural identity. Many Churches and cemetaries were destroyed. Armenian homes were methodically repopulated with Kurds and Turks.

Also to add to the deaths outside of, as you say “relocation”, Armenians were burned alive while trying to seeking spiritual devine itervention from the Ottoman/Turkish army attacks on numerous villages throughout the country.

Also Armenians were rounded up and put into caves putting setting the entrence aflame sufficating Armenians by carbonmonoxide.

Innocent men, women, children, infants, innocent, civilians were also bayonetted at will, they did nothing to cause these type of inhuman acts of violence.

Yes, NOTHING, be sure to quote that too.

No innocent civilian population deserves these horrendous acts of state sponsored genocide and denying that a genocide occured is just as barbaric as the act itself.

The final solution of the perpetrator government of the Armenian genocide is to state the it did not occur. As you know this is the public policy they currently hold.

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By Kadir, December 10, 2006 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
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Rich wrote: “You have been stating here the same argument that we all have heard many times before. Yet, one can count on one hand the number of historians outside Turkey who are buying your argument. This after millions of Turkish government dollars have been thrown around.”

Come on… There is no way that the money spent to promote Turkish point of view can be compared to that spent by Armenians. You have much more political power, much more money, and also you have the advantage of having the west on your side because they are christians.

You also wrote: “If the facts and numbers you give are not bogus, then why the Turkish riots when the conference on the Armenian Question was given last year? Why fear what the participants will be discussing if they don’t have the real facts as you claim?”

This is really a cheap attack. It is Armenians who used their political and monetary power who blocked the discussion after the PBS documentary to be aired in many states. Why are you afraid of discussing? Both sides do similar stuff. It does not show that your facts are stronger or not. It is just an emotional response.

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By Whitewashed History, December 8, 2006 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

If the facts and numbers you give are not bogus, then why the Turkish riots when the conference on the Armenian Question was given last year? Why fear what the participants will be discussing if they don’t have the real facts as you claim?

You have been stating here the same argument that we all have heard many times before. Yet, one can count on one hand the number of historians outside Turkey who are buying your argument. This after millions of Turkish government dollars have been thrown around.

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By Rich, December 8, 2006 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
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Emerhan,

State sponsored is exacly what happend the Turkish government forced the mass (as you say) “relocation” straight to their deaths.

Where were they being located too? the Syrian deserts. Turks knew Armenians were dieing in these death marches and did nothing to prevent the deaths. The deaths were a direct result of the marches, a direct result of the Turks forced mass marches. Lets see how far you can get carrying your kids for 50-100-200 miles without food or water in the middle of the desert and not call it premeditated mass murder. 

Make no mistake the Ottomans claimed that Armenians were rebelling but in fact nothing of the sort occured. Armenian civilians were asking for civil rights and equality, they were infact being provocked into defending themselves against the Turkish military. And the Armenian civilian populations did not have an army because they were the civilians of the Ottoman government.

Your numbers of hundreds of thousands of Armenians is a major arguement of the denialist positions as I have stated and you have read countless times in my previous posts. Something that you deny by posting your sources, wanting me to cite mine will change your mind? I hardly think so. Do I have sources yes, as I stated before.

The overt acts of mass murder is enough to conclude intention, the extinction of entire populated areas is reality enough of genocide.

Turks hardly protected Armenians from attackers, if so why did they protect them if they knew they were going to die in the deserts, this is a ludicrous.

Again Armenians were not in an insurgency they were provolked into defending themselves and your numbers are overinflated in regards to the defenders from the Ottoman/Turkish attackers.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 8, 2006 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment
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Rich wrote:  “Turks did not die in a state sponsored systematic mass killing of specific segments of it civilian population. What the Ottoman/Turkish government did is defined as a genocide.”

Jumping to the gun again, are you, Rich?  First of all, what was “state-sponsored” was a relocation of the Armenians to other parts of the Ottoman territory where there was little or no fighting, namely, away from the Western and Northeastern fronts.  Historically, the Ottomans have used relocation on rebellious groups;  I have already given the example of the rebellious Karaman Turks who were moved from the Konya region to Salonika (today’s Greece) as an example of this.

Secondly, Ottoman archives indicate that roughly 430,000 Armenians were relocated and that about 56,000 of these Armenians were killed enroute due to attacks from Kurds, bandits, and nomadic Arabs.  They say that about 380,000 Armenians arrived in their final destinations.  From there, some may have stayed (like in Lebanon or Syria) and many left to European countries or the US.

My point is that Armenians claim 1.5 million Armenians were killed, when in fact 1) that comprises the highest estimate of the entire population and we know that hundreds of thousands survived;  2) when majority of those relocated are documented as having been alive and well in 1916;  3) and when those who did the killing were most definitely NOT state-sponsored, but bandits or other rogue groups; and when 4) the archives contain orders for the protection of the Armenians; and when 5) there are accounts from Armenian decendants in Syria that Ottoman soldiers did protect them.

I am not saying that you should take all Ottoman figures “as is” and that only 50,000 were killed by bandits.  The numbers may vary, but the point is that however many were killed, it WAS NOT state-sponsored killing.

Furthermore, some number of Armenians are also known to have died from hunger or disease.  The whole of Anatolia was plagued with disease and starvation due to the war time conditions.  This was a factor that all Ottomans suffered from, not just Armenians, and most surely the government cannot be blamed for afflictions which its Turkish population were suffering from as well!

In short, there was no state-sponsored killing, there is no proof that the Ottomans had any intent for the Armenians to die or be killed, on the contrary all official documents show that the Ottomans ordered for their troops to protect the Armenians from any attackers.  And in any event the order was reversed two years later and many Armenians were allowed to go back to their homes.

However, ever since 1914 a sizeable part of the Armenian community (Dashnaks + their sympathizers) had been fighting with the Allies, and after 1918 (Mondros) Armenians launched an all out attack from Russian side against Turks.  I am sure some number of Armenians also died during that period, but again that is self-defense.

Armenian deaths were no different from Turkish deaths, what happened was not genocide.  Deaths and killing is not enough to show genocide, you have to prove that the state had the INTENTION for this as well. 

Rich wrote:  “The parallel I can draw is argueing that Germans died durring the holocaust. Yes, they did die but did does that diminish what happend to the Jews?-Of course not.”

Again, you make a wrong parallel because Jews did not initiate an armed insurgency against the Germans;  Jews were not trying to fight for an independent Jewish state within Germany;  Jews did not raise over 200,000 volunteers to go fight in the ranks of invading Allied armies!  And I don’t know about Germans, but over 500,000 Turks documented as being KILLED by Armenians is not a small number to be brushed under the rug…

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 8, 2006 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
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Whitewashed History wrote:  “Eastern Anatolia had been historically Armenia, so it is understandable that some Armenians also wanted self-determination when nationalism rose up in the late 1800’s.”

Again, I guess you refuse to understand history, because over my last several posts I have already cited non-Turkish sources which prove thta Eastern Anatolia was predominantly Muslim, not Armenian.  According to your logic, American Indians should have the right to all America.  Sorry, but Eastern Anatolia has not been Armenian for over a thousand of years.  Ankara, Istanbul, Erzurum, Kars…these are all the Turkish homeland and have been for over a thousand of years.  Armenians were a minority, scattered about Anatolia.  Although they may have cause for recognition as an official minority, they do not have the right to self-determination over a territory that they have not been a majority in for over a thousand years!

You also wrote:  “As for the lands of Eastern Anatolia, although part of Turkey it is mainly populated by Kurds, not Turks.” 

During the Ottoman times, census data was taken with all Islamic ethnicities grouped as Muslim.  So we don’t have much data on what the Turkish/Kurdish ratio is.  However, from today’s population, we can back track some reasonable estimates.  Firstly, you must consider that on average Kurds have many more kids than Turks.  About 10-15 in comparison with 3-4.  Even today, Eastern Turkey is not majority Kurdish.  Igdir today is about 50/50.  Erzurum still has a Turkish majority, and in fact it is one of the towns that the MHP (Turkish nationalist party) gets the most votes.  Bitlis still is primarily Turkish, as is Gumushane, Bayburt, and cities along the Black Sea.

Today, the Southeast Turkey is predominantly Kurdish/Arab (depending on the city) with Turks in the minority.  I have lived in Diyarbakir - if you go into the city you can still find Turkmen who speak better Turkish than even those from Istanbul.  In old times, the city Diyarbakir was predominantly Turkish, with Kurdish villages in the outskirts.  That in the past south east Turkey had a much higher Turkish population than today is confirmed by observations of traveller Evliya Celebi, who described the region as “Turkistan, Kurdistan and zengistan (full of rocks).”  Also, take a look at architectural remains in S.E. Anatolia and you will find most are from the Ottoman and Akkoyunlu Turkish period, with some also from the Artuk Turks and Ayyubids (i.e. Saladin).

In short, Eastern Turkey was by no means “predominantly Kurdish”.  As for today’s Kurdish problem, that is something that Turkey can solve within its own borders with some more liberalization.  Turkey’s Kurds (with the exception of PKK Kurds) are not in favor of separation.

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By Whitewashed History, December 7, 2006 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment
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The Greeks were fighting for independent nationhood from a colonial empire, the Ottoman Empire. Eastern Anatolia had been historically Armenia, so it is understandable that some Armenians also wanted self-determination when nationalism rose up in the late 1800’s. Neither were trying to take Istambul or Ankara, the hearts of the Turkish nation.

As for the lands of Eastern Anatolia, although part of Turkey it is mainly populated by Kurds, not Turks. All that the Ittihadists accomplished is the replacement of Christian Armenians, one non-Turkish nationality with another non-Turkish nationality.

If Turkey thinks that the current Armenian Question “tsunami” is giving them headaches, there is a much larger “tsunami” coming their way. The Kurds have many friends in Washington as well as, believe it or not, the Israeli seat in Jerusalem.

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By RIch, December 7, 2006 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment
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Kader wrote,

“What is proven is that Ottoman government ordered the relocation not mass murder. The government of that time was incapable which lead to sufferings on both sides. The environment of war and Turk/Kurd/Armenian civil conflicts caused many deaths. But the relocation decision was made in self defense not to eradicate a nation. This makes the events a tragedy but not genocide.”

Kader the civilian populations did not uprise against the Turks at the time. The Ottomans did try and move toward equality for everyone but it was not a good faith gesture to Armenians. Armenians did ask for civil equality and made public protests not with guns bit with signs, and were cut down.

The relocation deportation of the Armenian innocent civilian populations were unjustified, your side says “yes” and mine says “no”. Franky the relocation was a gross violation of human rights. It was intentional even if the Turks supposedly tried to justify it claiming it was an act of selfdefence, self defence against the defensless?. The Turks did know that Armenians were starving in the deserts and did not help them, but kept marching them to their death. Also the unmentionalbles happened such as pillaging, rape, raising villages, and other barbaric acts that boggles the mind of humanity.

Yes there were armed bands of Armenians that did kill but they were outnumbered 10-1 and it was against an organized and well armed army. The adhoc armed bands of Armenians formed becasue they were provoked into defending themselves.

I think we have vented our differences and hopefully shed some light on issues that would otherwise be not discussed. But frankly I have heard this all before.

Armenians and Turks have contributed to eachother’s culture for hundreds of years, even some of your great mosques were built by Armenian architects although the government is trying to whitewash that tidbit of information.

Maybe in our life time, or the next, something positive will become of this dark tragedy, but so far the signals are not positive from the Turkish government.

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By Kadir, December 7, 2006 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment
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Rich wrote: “The Ottoman/Turks were and arguably still are the aggressor state toward Armenians, not to mention the Greeks.”

Come on Rich, don’t you see what Greeks are doing to us regarding EU? Greeks are the aggressors today. They always try to put is in a corner. Also, if you look at near history, starting from their independence from Ottomans, they constantly got more and more land from Ottoman Empire till our independence war. They were always the attacking and most of the time winning side for about last 2 centuries. We were able to win against them finally in 1922 and then in 1974 in Cyprus. Even though Greeks look like they are afraid of Turkey, they are the ones always looking for conflict.

Regarding Armenia, I think we have to open our borders and start real dialog. We shouldn’t let Armenians/Azerian conflicts to postpone normalization of Armenian/Turkish relations. But I can not say that we are aggressors. It is Armenia who calls Eastern Turkey as “Western Armenia” in its constitution… What can be more aggressive?

The sad thing is that I think if given the chance, Armenian and Turkish youth would like each other and drink raki, eat kebab, and dance to same music… As I said before, this happens a lot between Greeks and Turks in US. We are much closer to each other than most other nations…

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By Kadir, December 7, 2006 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
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Rich wrote: “General Dro was called “the butcher” becasue he owned a deli selling premium select meat. Do I have to cite the source on this too?”

I don’t know if this is true or not but this is really funny smile 

I think you can not compare the Turkish deaths with German deaths because only a small number of Germans were killed by Jews where in WW1, as I wrote before a similar number of Turks and Armenians were killed because of each other.

Also, do you think that Israel is more guilty when it kills a Palestinian than Hamas is guilty when they kill a Jew? Since there is no proper state in Palestine, are they free to do whatever they want?

What is proven is that Ottoman government ordered the relocation not mass murder. The government of that time was incapable which lead to sufferings on both sides. The environment of war and Turk/Kurd/Armenian civil conflicts caused many deaths. But the relocation decision was made in self defense not to eradicate a nation. This makes the events a tragedy but not genocide.

By the way, I share your anger towards Enver Pasha who was an incapable person. He caused the deaths of 80 thousand Turkish soldiers in Sarikamis (they froze to death) because of his lack of proper planning. But there is difference between a monster and an idiot….

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By Rich, December 7, 2006 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
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Kader, Emerhan,

I made this point a number of times before but I will reiterate. The significant difference in the Turks dieing is this. Turks did not die in a state sponsored systematic mass killing of specific segments of it civilian population. What the Ottoman/Turkish government did is defined as a genocide. Now you guys are saying that Ottoman/Turks died at the time well it was not statesponsored killing, and it was hardly systematic and mythotical killing.

The parallel I can draw is argueing that Germans died durring the holocaust. Yes, they did die but did does that diminish what happend to the Jews?-Of course not. Is it tragic that Germans died durring WWII, well death is tragic, but what the Germans did to the Jews seems to out weight sympathy that is gained in the international community.

It is very difficult to paint the European community as racist, but maybe from your perspective it seems true. I don’t see where non-Turks in Turkey are afforded civil rights and equality today or in the decades past.

Maybe if Turkey keeps beating it’s nationalistic chest, and saber rattling they will gain more respect in the international community. Or maybe if they show more tollerance toward it’s neigbors through diplomacy it will work.

I think many Turks live in the European Countries more so then vice-versa by those numbers it tells me Turks want to live outside Turkey, more-so then Eropeans in Turkey, maybe we can draw a conclusion from that.

It is up to the Turkish government to make a change in policy regarding the Armenian genocide. It has to make the move toward reconcilliation without preconditions. The Ottoman/Turks were and arguably still are the aggressor state toward Armenians, not to mention the Greeks.

General Dro was called “the butcher” becasue he owned a deli selling premium select meat. Do I have to cite the source on this too?

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By Whitewashed History, December 7, 2006 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

The Turks whose rights have been violated in the Balkans and Greece have every right to legally address those violations on the international stage.

Furthermore, what transpired recently in Kosovo is a disgrace and should be punished by international authorities to the full extent of the law.

Thaose circumstances, however, do not justify wwhat has gone on and is currently going on in Turkey, not only relating to Armenians, but other national minorities and religious minorities. As I have stated before, the problems that Turkey has with minority rights did not begin nor end with the Armenian Question.

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By Kadir, December 7, 2006 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
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Rich,

How about the innocent civillians killed by Armenian militia? Nobody remembers their names today. Actually there is not buildings, shops, or really anything tangible we have to remember by because they did not have anything for the most part. Turks were poor that time. They had only their lives to lose and they did so. Does this make the crimes against them less important? Just because Armenians lost more (because they had more to begin with), shouldn’t make us forget the Turks that were killed. Entire villages were massacred in Erzincan, Sivas, Diyarbakir. The fact that someone was more prominent then anybody else at that time shouldn’t make his/her life more important. There is strong evidence that similar number of civillians were killed on both sides (600,000 and 500,000). Also there is evidence that not all but a sizeable portion of the Armenians were involved in the practices to get their independence from Ottoman Empire. The empire defended itself against Armenians who were backed by Russians. As I said, crimes took place. But calling it a genocide is not the right verdict for what happened and it totally forgets the Turkish/Kurdish people who suffered.

Less military hardware would be nice. With all these money gun manufacturers are spending, I am sure they will always find people who will buy their products. If they can not, they will create conflicts… It is so funny that for years they sold many many weapons to Turkey and Greece. They were selling us F-16s, but then selling Greeks the weaponry that will hit F-16s smile In the end, only the weapon manufacturers win. Both Greece and Turkey lose… Similar story is true for almost any conflict.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 7, 2006 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
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Rich;  you accuse the Turks of racism, but as both Kadir and I have already shown in our previous posts, it is the Europeans who were racist and bigoted against the Turks - speeches, publications, literature…is filled with images of the Turk as being a subhuman barbarian.  THAT is TRUE RACISM.

On the other hand, Ottomans have always been lenient and accepting of others.  If you compare Ottoman history with European history in this regard, Ottomans come out way ahead.  This is why Voltaire said:

“The great Turk is governing in peace twenty nations of different religions. Turks have taught to Christians how to be moderate in peace and gentle in victory.”

If you look at Ottoman literature and sayings, it is not filled with anti-Armenian hatred at all.  Our politicians did not make racist, degrading comments about Armenians.  Turks were not racist towards Armenians in the same way Europeans were racist towards Turks.  Once nationalist feelings spread to the Armenian community, similar anti-Turkish hostility also spread among the Armenians.  Especially Dashnaks. 

Whitewashed, you say that you don’t like that Turks now live in Armenian homes;  well, that is fine and well, but how about all the Bulgars, Hungarians, Greeks, and Slavs living in Turkish homes in the Balkans?  We too weep when we look back see the lands of our ancestors desecrated.  Crete used to have lots of Turks, Trakya, Eastern Europe used to have lots of Turks, now they are all driving out/killed…fled to Turkey, which Europeans also tried take away from us.

And Europeans try to destroy any remnants of Ottoman history in Europe as well.  Mostar Bridge was tried to be destroyed.  You go to Hungary, where Ottoman Turks at one time had the most Turks than other areas, and you can’t find one single Ottoman artifact left, they have all been destroyed!  Even the turbe marking where Sultan Suleyman died has been built over as a church.  In the 1980’s, Bulgarian Turks were subjected to Slavification campaigns and driven out from Bulgaria because of the racist Bulgar government.  In Greece, the government does not acknowledge the presence of a Turkish minority, instead calling them “Greek Muslims.”  In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Greek Cypriots tried cleansing the island of its Turkish population (Akritas Plan)...I could go on and on, you get the point.

Getting back to Kadir’s point about reconciliation:  Armenians should understand that people Armenians consider to be heros, like Gen. Dro Ganayan and Antranik, are known by Turks as mass murders who committed horrendous crimes against our people.  There is a reason for why Gen. Dro’s nickname is “the butcher” ...
Until Armenians can see the “other side” of this tragedy, and desist from one-sided accusations containing critical fallacies, there cannot be any reconciliation.  The Dashnak origined lobbyists must decide whether they really want reconciliation, or a continuation of confrontational hostilities.  What is more important, land/money? or friendship and peace?  Unfortunately, I am not optimistic as the Dashnak’s policy for the last century has always been based on trying to recreate “historical Armenia.”

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By Rich, December 7, 2006 at 12:45 am Link to this comment
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Kadir,

Remember the ultimate form of racism is not only by words but by deeds. The Armenian genocide by the Ottoman/Turkish government was the worst case of racism.

I dont think Whitewashed is painting all individuals within the Governemnt with one brush.

Just like I am sure many in our US government disagreed with going to war in Iraq. But what was the consequence of disagreeing with Bush’s Administration? Get fired, demoted, ignored, no opportunity for advancement. These were similar situations in regards to government buracracy as it was then, government buracracy. Many within the Ottoman government were horrifically pragmatic more-so then sympathetic toward the mass killings of innocent Armenian civilians.

We do need more humanity in governments around the world. Seems like the ones with less military hardware are the least agressive, hmm I wonder why.

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By Whitewashed History, December 7, 2006 at 12:01 am Link to this comment
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Kadir,

I was a “wet-behind-the-ears” teenager when I first met Bobby Kennedy, while heading a youth contingent for his successful Senatorial Campaign. I was away in school in Europe the day he was shot four yaers later. My mother called me in the middle of the night there to break the news to me. I intend to see the movie.

Only a handful of our large family got out alive. It was the fate for those who lived that they were out of town. The survivors had to scratch an mere existence as strangers in foreign lands - as people without a country.

As for Turkish-Armenian relations, we will never accept the status quo. It is not only that so many died and that we were forever removed from the lands that our ancestors had lived for thousands of years, the story of our very existence has been obliterated by the Turkish government. If you go today to the city in Turkey where my family was the most prominent of all including Turk, Armenian and Assyrian, there is never any mention of them whatsoever. Well-known Turkish artists have restored and are now living in their lavish homes. The tourist books sometimes state that these were once the homes of Armenians, but no names are given. Not only were my family members killed but their very existence has been obliterated from memory.

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By Kadir, December 6, 2006 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment
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Hi Whitewashed,

When I read your quote about the Turkish governor, I remembered I read about Lloyd George’s anti-Turkish comments similar to that among a lot of other anti-Turkish sentiment at that time. L. Goerge said in 1914:

“The Turks are a human cancer, a creeping agony in the flesh of the lands which they misgovern, rotting every fibre of life ... I am glad that the Turk is to be called to a final account for his long record of infamy against humanity.”

* Quoted from a speech by the British Prime Minister, D. Lloyd George, 10 November 1914, cited in H.W.V. Temperley (ed.), A History of the Peace Conference of Paris, Oxford 1969, VI, 24.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Turkism)

That kind of racism was all around at that time and for sure a lot of it was against Turks. This was one other reason why Armenian stories were more appealing to the Europeans than the Turkish stories. As I said before, I am not denying that there were some officials who might have committed crimes against humanity against Armenians because of their personal hatred or revenge or jealousy. But it seems like you are painting all the Turkish officials with the same brush. And some Ottoman officials were actually hanged for their crimes by the government as far as I know.

I hope there would be peace, too. No matter what happened in the past, to discuss it with an open heart, I think we should minimize the current hatred. I don’t know how this will happen though. I hope that you understand that I really symphatize with Armenians about their sufferings. If I had the chance, I would like to have more Armenians/Greeks living in Turkey in peace with the Turks. I don’t believe we can go very far with hatred. Even if your version of the events are correct and there was a genocide, if this is pushed on Turkey and Turkey accepts it because of desperation (by the way I can assure you Turkey will never accept it.. Never is a very strong word but I really believe it won’t happen even if EU denies us for it), how reconciliatory will it be?

Talking about racism and reconciliation, I would urge everybody to go see the movie “Bobby” about the late Robert Kennedy. Especially the speach they play at the end of the film is so touching. I hope both Armenians and Turks will produce politicians with that much caliber and that big of a heart. That is the only way to get over our past and make peace… Of course we should protect them from getting killed…

In the mean time, we should discuss and continue learning. It is touching to hear from someone whose family suffered a lot. It really helped me put a human face to some events and appreciate the extend Armeanians suffered. I wish that you speak to people like you in the Turkish side and try to feel for them as well.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 6, 2006 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Rich, Funny how you repeat yourself with the same sentences each time, even though my posts cite data that clearly are not from “Turkish government sources” and have nothing to do with denialism.  I think for most of the Truthdig’s educated readers, the irrelevance of your last response and the fact that you could not respond in any meaningful way to the historical facts being presented speaks volumes.

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By Rich, December 6, 2006 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

Statistics your too far gone in denying the Armenian genocide so how can you search for the truth?

When you search for information contrary to an excepted fact of the Armenian genocide I am sure the Turkish governemnt is happy to oblige.

I would elaborate and but I believe you and the Turkish government propoganda, and the propogandist scholars are the defensive not the on this issue.

No of denialist sqewed quotes can make the truth of the Armenian genocide go away. It is clearly to the point if not getting stronger that the Turkish government must come to terms with it’s history of the Armenian genocide as I have mentioned before.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 5, 2006 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment
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Whitewashed wrote:  “In any case, the Ittihadists had an hidden agenda that many in Turkey still strive for today, a Pan-
Turanian nation that stretches from the Bosphorus to the outskirts of Beijing. Any activities by the Dashnaks or Hunchaks were just an excuse to further this Turkish dream.”

Dear Whitewashed:  You really think that Pan-Turanism is alive today?  Perhaps an outsider may be so mistaken, but believe me, there is no one - not even the anyone in the far right - who really believes that such a goal is accomplishable or who is working towards that. 

As far as your theories that the Ittihadists were Turanists and therefore wiped out Armenians:  The collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and the nationalistic aims of the minorities left the Ottoman Muslims in search of a new formula for identity.  During that time, some proposed creating a new Ottoman identity, including Christian minorities, some proposed a purely Muslim identity, and some reverted to Turkish nationalism.  Nationalism among the Turks was the very last ethnic nationalism to develop because it was in reaction to what the Christian minorities and Arabs were doing. 

So your theory that the Hunchaks and Dashnaks were reacting to Turkish nationalism does not hold up.  It was the other way around.  Turkish nationalism was the very last to develop.  Pretty much every historian worth two cents agrees on this matter.

While Turkish nationalists of that time may have been sympathetic to what was happening to Turks around the world, that is a far cry from really trying to create a pan-Turkic state and making that goal the official foreign policy of a nation!  Especially considering that the Ottomans were on the brink of complete collapse and occupation.

I think the pan-Turanian theory you put forward is more a product of Western fears than anything else.  I read an article written in 1917 by Stoddard? (If my memory serves me right) called “Pan Turanism” in which he openly expressed fears for the Turkish peoples of the world uniting, citing that Turks lived all the way from central Europe to East Asia…

The collapse of the Soviet Union reignited these fears, but as you can see, no one is trying to create a single government for all Central Asia and Anatolia!  Again, all the historical evidence points in the direction of a government fearing further loss of Turkish life and land due to the Armenian uprisings, not acting out of pan-Turanic motives.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 5, 2006 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment
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Another interesting statistic from the King-Crane report:

They also give population projections for 1920, assuming that ALL DISPLACED ARMENIANS RETURNED (what you like calling “survivors”).  If all the displaced/relocated Armenians returned, they estimated the population distribution as follows:

Larger Turkish Armenia
80% Moslem, 11% Armenian
Smaller Turkish Armenia
75% Moslem, 16% Armenian

But wait - how could this be?  I thought like 1.5 million people, or like virtually every Armenian was like - KILLED?  How could there still be percentages like 11% and 16% possible?

Let’s look at some population estimates:
1.British Annual Register 1917 1.056.000

2.Patriarch Ormanyan 1.579.000

3.The Armenian historian Kevork Aslan 1.800.000 (In “Armenia and Armenians”, Aslan states the Armenian population in Anatolia 920.000, in Clicia (Adana, Sis, Maras) 180.000, in the other Ottoman territories 700.000, total 1.800.000)

4.German Priest Johannes Lepsius 1.600.000

5.Cuinet 1.045.018

6.The French Yellow Book 1.475.011

7.Patriarch Nerses Varjabedyan 1.150.000

So taking the total Armenian population at 1.5 million, if when everyone living returns, about 16% (previously 23%) or 11% (previously 20%) remain, that means that at 16/23 ~ 70% or 11/20 ~ 55% were still alive.  And we haven’t even begun to take into account all those who of their own accord emigrated to the US and Europe or Russia.

McCarthy estimates that at most 600,000 Armenians were killed during this period - consistent with King-Crane estimates.  We know from Ottoman records that 500,000 Turks perished at Armenian hands.  Again, Armenian claims seem fishy, and ridiculous when you consider that a comparable number of Turks were killed.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 5, 2006 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment
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Rich;  I had written longer note to you yesterday, but for some reason it wasn’t posted.  I don’t have the time to rewrite what I wrote before, but the main point was the following:

What you have dismissed as being government propaganda, is actually based on anti-Turkish sources like the 1919 King Crane report, whose goal was to determine what was necessary to create an independent Armenia, and thus if anything Armenian population was inflated.  According to the King Crane report, prior to 1914, the Armenian population was as follows:

Larger Turkish Armenia
71% Moslem, 21.5% Armenian
Smaller Turkish Armenia
68% Moslem, 23.54% Armenian

So I reiterate my point:  Turks/Moslems were the majority in Eastern Anatolia, not Armenians.  Before anyone starts making accusations of genocide, you should get certain basic facts of history straight!  And stop calling anything that debunks your mythical view of history as being “government sourced” or “denialist.”  That is just a cop out to avoid facing the truth.

You should also take a look at Stanford University’s Audrey Alstadt.  She published a book on the Azeri Turks citing Russian data which showed that in the late 1800s YEREVAN was 40% Turkish.  Again, debunking your myth that Armenia was historically pure Armenian.  Alstadt relates how in the 1800s the Russians encouraged Iranian Armenians to come to the Caucasus so that there would be a larger Christian population there.

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By Kadir, December 5, 2006 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
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Rich,

You wrote “Let’s get serious your equating the events, media reporting to similarities of the Armenian genocide reporting? I didnt agree with any of the Bush Administration’s propoganda that led to the war in Iraq, nor do I believe hardly any of the reasoning why we are there now. Many people in the U.S. have the same belief. The decision to go to Iraq was not a matter of public debate before the U.S. soldiers went in.”

Many people have the same belief now but it was not the case going into the war. Most of the public thought 9-11 was the job of Saddam. I know this because I was in USA. This is how news can be used to change public perception. US government did it briliantly. I wish they were this briliant after they went in Iraq as well…

Most of the foreigner accounts you talk about are coming from missionaries. Of course they will talk about the sufferings of only the people of their faith. Because they were not neutral to the events. They were in the side of Armenians who together with them worked to take Eastern Turkey from Ottomans and create a Christian Armenian State and also an easily manupulatable Kurdish state. They knew that if Armenians lost the war, they would also lost the war. You think of the world in 1915 in today’s terms. You will be surprised to see any news in American newspapers now that will say “Iraqis are subhuman aliens, which deserve to die. Anything you do to them is justified”. This is the kind of news that were in newspapers of the days of WW1 and WW2 about the enemy. Even Germans (even though similar race) were regarded as subhumans in British newspapers at the time of WW1. There was no such thing as political correctness at the time. It was a black and white world.

An example about how biased west still is: I am reading the “War of the World” from Niall Ferguson. In the part where he talks about how Turks expelled the attacking Greeks, he writes as if Greeks were not the attacker but the legitimate owners of Anatolia. He writes as if winning against them and expelling them was a crime. West is so used to winning and they can not take it when a people they support lose. They try to turn it into a crime, a genocide, a massacre. He mourns for the Greeks expelled from Anatolia after 1922. If you attack a country and invade it, you have to accept the risk that you might lose!!!! I can’t believe it. And given that the Greeks expelled all the Turks from Balkans after they got their independence, it is really strange to see NF does not have a problem with that but it is a problem when Turks do it…

With Armenians and Greeks, the European ego was also shattered. They still couldn’t fix it.

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By Whitewashed History, December 5, 2006 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

As is typical, you are manipulating numbers to make your case look better. In any case, the Ittihadists had an hidden agenda that many in Turkey still strive for today, a Pan-
Turanian nation that stretches from the Bosphorus to the outskirts of Beijing. Any activities by the Dashnaks or Hunchaks were just an excuse to further this Turkish dream. For this dream to become a possibility, it ws imperative for all the Armenians to be done away with. This was the reason that the Ittihadists planned to “settle” the Armenian Question.

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By Rich, December 4, 2006 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment
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Kadir

Let’s get serious your equating the events, media reporting to similarities of the Armenian genocide reporting? I didnt agree with any of the Bush Administration’s propoganda that led to the war in Iraq, nor do I believe hardly any of the reasoning why we are there now. Many people in the U.S. have the same belief. The decision to go to Iraq was not a matter of public debate before the U.S. soldiers went in.

I believe now the news media has back tracked on many of the false assumptions that they reported from the Bush Administration’s bully pulpit. And now the media is reporting that there is a civil war in Iraq which the Bush Administration does deny.

I would argue that news reporting was better then then now, because the corporate media cut back on funding for overseas correspondents. They have less reporters on the ground now then before. Now they have a handfull of notable personalities for the major news outlets.

They point which is difficult to deny is that we have stark similarities of seperate acts of massacre throughout Eastern Anatolia and other areas. I don’t see why the media would choose to report one side over another. European or Western reporters who were in the area at the time reported what they seen or reported first hand accounts.

Diminishing the news reporting at the time, as unreliable becasue they were not aligned with the Ottoman/Turkish governement’s position, doesen’t seem to make sense. I think quite a few Turkish papers did a good job of reporting the government’s point of view.

Also coming back to the weapons of mass destruction, the American press does not continue to press the issue of where the nuclear weapons are, maybe except for FOX News but they are considered by many as to be a nationalistic type so-called news. Does that sound familiar, nationalistic? 

In any event equating the Iraq war coverage to what happened during the Armenian genocide in the context of news coverage is a stretch.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 4, 2006 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
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Whitewashed History:  I appreciate your account about what your family went though.  Yes, Dashnaks did target Armenians who did not want to go along with their schemes.  There were some “good” Armenians, but a majority was either Dashnak or aided the invading European armies.  As I mentioned in some previous posts, the Priests, or Patriarch were considered to be the leaders of the Armenian community.  The Church was in collaboration with Dashnaks, and Europe on these events. 

The Dasnaks wanted intercommunal fighting, they wanted to provoke the Turks.  Dashnaks wanted this to escalate so Europe would intervene because they KNEW that they weren’t strong enough to create an independent Armenia on their own.  Even the King Crane report stated that to establish an independent Armenia would require much monetary and military support from the West…Dashnaks wanted to provoke the entire Armenian community into revolt, wanted to provoke intercommunal fighting…This was also why they exaggerated their own losses so Europe and America would get involved.

Ottomans ever since the late 1800s had complained to America and other countries about Armenians who got American or foreign citizenship and then used that citizenship to get immunity from prosecution from treason or other crimes.  American sources document how Dasnaks organized in America, set money and weapons to support an Armenian revolution…

For decades the Ottomans were in pursuit of these “bad” Armenians.  But when the war started, things changed because Armenians cheered for the Allies.  They saw their chance together with the Europeans to topple Turkish rule forever.  Perhaps not every Armenian rebelled, but a majority did.  How else could have 200,000 Armenian men volunteered for French and Russian armies?  It was not just the Dashnaks anymore.  It was something more, so when reports of atrocities and massacre started coming in from Van in 1915, the relocations were ordered.  This was a national security decision, made by a desperate government in self-defense.  A relocation order does not constitute genocide.

Personally, I am mostly angry at the Dashnaks and Europe - their policies are mostly the cause for triggering the violence.  Europe used Armenians for their own selfish desires, to try to wipe out the Ottomans for good.  Furthermore, most diaspora organizations have their roots in the Dashnak party, so I don’t expect Armenian leadership to do anything more than reiterate genocide accusations – they’ll never own up to their own flawed policies and war crimes.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 4, 2006 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment
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Rich wrote: “A false assumption (along with many others) is that there was a majority population in the Eastern Anatolia. This is one of the classsic denialist Government deceptions, lets more accuratly call it propoganda that many use to deminish the number of Armenians killed by the Ottoman Turks.”

My dear, my sources for saying that Muslims were a majority is not the Turkish government.  What you try to discredit as being denialist is merely information that is contrary to your propaganda.

Just so there is no confusion about this:  my sources are actually sources that have ANIMOSITY TOWARDS TURKS.  Like the King-Crane Report, which recommended ethnic cleansing of Turks from Eastern Anatolia so it could be given to Armenians.  In that report, they specifically did research on what the Armenian population was BEFORE THE RELOCATIONS.

Before 1914.
Larger Turkish Armenia:
71% Moslem, 21.5% Armenian
Smaller Turkish Armenia:
68% Moslem 23.54% Armenian

And this is a PRO-ARMENIAN DOCUMENT, whose GOAL is to try to justify the creation of an independent Armenia!  The King-Crane report was written in 1919!  So if anything, the estimates of Armenian population were exaggerated!

In fact, Armenians like to portray today’s Armenia as having been Armenian since the beginning of time, but Audrey Alstadt’s book “The Azeri Turks” cites Russian census data listing the Turkish population in YEREVAN in the late 1800s at about 40%! 

You call anything disproving your claims “denialist” - that is just a smokescreen to hide the truth of the matter!

As for the comment about Eastern Anatolia being predominantly Kurdish:  During the 1920s, the Kurdish population was not nearly as much as it was now.  Over the last 90 years, Kurds have about 10-15 kids/family, whereas Turks have only 3-4.  So, during the time of the Turkish Republic the Kurdish population in the East has become more dominant.  Even so, Eastern Anatolia should not be confused with the Southeastern Anatolia.  Currently, Southeastern Anatolia has mostly Kurds and Arabs (in places like Siirt and Mardin actually Arabs are more than Kurds.  In Urfa, Turks+Arabs are more than Kurds).

Northeastern Anatolia, however, still has more of a Turkish population, especially cities like Erzurum, Gumushane, Bayburt, Rize, Artvin, Bitlis…with Kurds being a sizeable minority.  In Igdir, Kurdish Turkish population about the same for example. 

In summary, during time of WWI, Kurdish population was still less than Turkish population in the Northeast Anatolia, where much of the Armenian attacks occurred.

I should also like to quote from Evliya Celebi, who went to Southeastern Anatolia in the 1600s, and described the region as “Turkistan, Kurdistan, and zengistan (rocky place)” ... thus reflecting that Turks had much more percentage of population than they do now.

I have lived in Diyarbakir, by the way, and if you go to the old part of the city you can still find Turkmen who speak better Turkish than even Istanbul Turks.  Generally the cities had Turkish majority with Kurdish villages and some Turkish villages in the countyside.  Of course, now most of the Turks have fled westward, especially after PKK violence, and with the influx of N. Iraq refugees Diyarbakir now has majority Kurdish population.

Still, Turks and Kurds have shared the same fate since the time of the Seljuks, and are so intermixed that I don’t think division will be good for either group.  There are many Turkish tribes who have Kurdified, and Kurds who are in mainstream Turkish society.  So the best solution is not division but liberalization, opening the way for peaceful expression, but more harsh and firm against terrorism, violence and separatism.

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By Whitewashed History, December 4, 2006 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment
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Kadir,

For some this was more than a war, it was an obsession. It is noted that a prominent Turkish governor viewed Armenians as microbes, who had to be eradicated. Talk about considering some humans sub-human. I do not equate what happened with the Holocaust, each is unique. Yet his view was similar to how the Nazis viewed Jews, Gypsies, disabled persons, etc.

I truly hope that we can make peace. Although the Armenian question is not a formal requirement for Turkey’s entrance in to the EU, we all know that it is a hidden criterion.

For this to happen, these truths have to be placed “on the table.” The Ittihadists overracted to the Dashnak and Hunchak regulars and proceeded to annihilate almost the whole Armenian population of Eastern Anatolia.

There are very few Armenians in Eastern Anatolia today. Don’t you think that the Turkish leadership is quite pleased with this outcome?

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By Kadir, December 4, 2006 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
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Whitewashed wrote: “Much of Eastern Anatolia today is a virtual wasteland. The majority of persons living there today are not Turks but Kurds. Perhaps, given your view that the majority population should be given sovereignty, Turkey should relinquish eastern Anatolia to the Kurdish nation.”

I sometimes think exactly the same thing actually. It is practically impossible but theoretically, I believe it would be a big relief for Turkey.

About your assesment that the Armenians were second class citizens, I have a thing to say. They weren’t more second class than the Turks. If you look at who did commerce, who had money, you will see that it was always the non-muslims in Turkey. Turks were farmers and soldiers. The sultans were so afraid that another powerful Turkish family will take the throne from them, they did not let any Turkish family become strong. All the high level military and political figures were converts. Many of the diplomats were non-muslims. Turks were third class citizens in their own land.

This started to change when Young Turks came to power. They actually tried to make the empire with all its subjects powerful again. But the minorities did not want this. They wanted independence at this point. Ittihadists tried to get the minority leaders aling with them to create the feeling of Ottomanness. But it did not happen. At that time, Armenians were working for their independence already. I see no problem in this. It is natural. But you never get independence for free. When you have the idea of getting land from other people, it is a gamble as I wrote before. Then, you can either win your independence or you might suffer a lot. It is not genocide. It is self defense. Armenians were a minority there and it is very risky to revolt for independence when you are minority. Probably Armenians hoped that Europe will come to rescue but it did not work that way.  Most of the massacres were perpetrated by local people. Armenians go to a village, kill many, then Turks/Kurds hear this and go to the Armenian village and maybe kill more. This cycle continued and continued.

I am sure that powerful Armenian families might have been killed by the local authorities. I am sorry for what happened to your family. I appologize if it means something. We shouldn’t forget however that there are many Turkish/Kurdish families that needs an appology as well. For me, I am a victim of the war as well. I lost 2 great grandfathers in Galipoli.

I am not saying that Ottomans did not commit any crimes. But you have to put things in perspective. What happened was by no means as horrible as what happened to Jews. Calling it genocide is like hanging a man for stealing a car. And the owner of the car tried to run over him…

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By Kadir, December 4, 2006 at 11:56 am Link to this comment
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As Emrehan wrote, of course war time propaganda was a big part of why the newspapers wrote only the stories of the Armenians. We all remember how war changes the dynamics of newsmaking. Even at this time of increased liberty, we saw all those false news in many respected newspapers about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They all turned out to be lies. I remember seeing even the pictures of so called nuclear weapon facilities in Iraq in NYT. Guess what, public opinion is a big big factor in every war. It was not different in 1915 as well. Especially, it was very convenient to only show Christian sufferings and exagerate them when they were trying to get USA join the war.

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By Rich, December 4, 2006 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

Peaceful coexhistence, equality, civil liberties, civil rigthts, autonomy, human rights, I believe these words are alien to you. I believe this is the crux of not connecting in our exchange.

A false assumption (along with many others) is that there was a majority population in the Eastern Anatolia. This is one of the classsic denialist Government deceptions, lets more accuratly call it propoganda that many use to deminish the number of Armenians killed by the Ottoman Turks. I will not dignify quoting from history books because as I have stated before this intire issue is not up for scholarly debate. It is something that the government of Turkey, you, and your denialist counterparts should come to terms with, other wise it will keep you where you are at the present-In denial.

I appreciate your comments stateing: “So I suppose in your utopian world it would be perfectly all right for a minority Armenian population to established an Armenian state and rule over the majority Turkish/Muslim population??  We Turks should have just stepped aside and let Armenians rebuild their dreams of re-establishing ancient Armenia upon the rights, freedoms, and desires of the majority Muslim population of Eastern Anatolia?”

Armenians did not ask to rule over the Turks. On the contrary Turks were ruling over Armenians, sadly this was an excepted norm for hundreds of years. The key point you make in the quote above is that a majority has a right to rule over a minority. I think you truly believe this, and here in lies a major element toward the demise of the Armenian people. Does any majority population within a government have the right to rule over another?  Make them second class citizens, no civil rights, no freedom of movement, undue overtaxation, does the majority have the right to kill a minority without any civil or legal recourse? Seems evident that, in your view this is the case the majority has the right to rule over the minority. This line of thinking is not democratic, and not in any standards in the Western European politic. 


Armenians lived a life of discrimination under the thumb of the Turks. I think discrimination is too light a word to describe the vile uncivilized acts Armenians had to face on a daily basis.

As it stands today they have many challenges to face in the International Community because they have not demonstrated diplomatice resolutions to issues with their geographic neighbors, nor have they shown enough resolution to human rights abuses within the country, not least of which have they demonstrated the willingness to accept and acknowledge the Armenian genocide that did occur by the Ottoman/Turkish Government.

To be more specific they have shown aggression and occupation toward it’s geographic neighbors namely Cyprus in recent past. The selfimposed economic blockade of Armenia is a hinderence to not only Armenia but itself.

Denialist perspectives, with quotes, and Turkish testimonials, again, will not diminsh the systematic killing of innocent Armenians. Innocent, where-by I mean unarmed men, women and children. They were butchered worse then animals in a slaughtering house.

I will spare the readers and yourself the horrendous unmentionable acts of vile,  butcherous, inhuman acts, to gain sympathy.

Sadly for many years were not even taught their own history, now it is worse because what the are teaching is completely false on the issue of the Armenian genocide. Maybe this is the case becasue it will gravely disrupt the Turkiic nationalistic psyche of the new nation state which was built on the ashes distruction of the Armenian people.

It is no suprise that joining the E.U. is a major problem, not becasue Turkey today is comprised of Muslums but becuase they have issues they need to rectify, some of which that I mentioned above.

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By Whitewashed History, December 4, 2006 at 11:44 am Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

Again you paint “Armenians” with one brush.

My family members had a long, close and excellent relations with Turks of all stripes from the Sultans (before the half-Armenian psychopath Abdul Hamid) to the most meager Turkish farmer who they assisted in times of need.

You must admit that Igdir is not a center of high Turkish culture today but a backwater where fabulous fables make life less boring.

I realize that there are Armenians who attacked others. In fact they attacked my great-grandfather, accusing him of being in collusion with the Turks. (similar to fraternal killings in present-day Iraq.) Yet it was the Turkish governor who ordered his death and that of the majority of our family. My grandmother and her two children were spared because they were temporarily out of the country.

Much of Eastern Anatolia today is a virtual wasteland. The majority of persons living there today are not Turks but Kurds. Perhaps, given your view that the majority population should be given sovereignty, Turkey should relinquish eastern Anatolia to the Kurdish nation.

You focus upon those Armenians who resorted to violence after years of being treated as second-class citizens. I focus on the multitudes who were just going about their daily routines and were targeted by the Ittihadists irregardless.

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 3, 2006 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment
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Excerpt from “The Armenian Question and American-Turkish Relations, 1914-1927” by Robert L. Daniel (The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol 46, No 2, Sep 1959, pp. 252-275.)

“To aid in the process of raising funds this committee (Near East Relief) encouraged the creation of stereotypes of the Turks and the Armenian which had a controlling effect on American attitudes toward American-Turkish relations for at least a decade.  Defamation of the Turks was made simpler by his unsavory reputation, inherited from the time of the Crusades and confirmed by the nineteenth-century aversion to the ‘sick man of Europe.’  Relief solicitors were quick to exploit this latent dislike of the Turk, and Ambassador Morgenthau himself helped to set the pattern in name calling.  The ruthless Turk, he said was ‘psychologically primitive’ and was a ‘bully and a coward.’...

Vilification of the Turk was matched by idealization of the Armenian…Much also was made of the point that the Armenians were the ‘oldest Christian nation.’  They were identified with Noah as the people who had given ‘more martyrs to the Christian faith than all the others combined.’ ...

The political implications of these images were quickly drawn.  The Turks were considered incapable of self-government and unworth of being treated as equals.  Conversely, the Armenians were a people to whom Americans owed a political debt of gratide.”

THUS IS THE PREJUDICIAL BASIS FOR WESTERN ATTEMPTS TO DEPRIVE TURKS OF THEIR FREEDOM AND INDPENDENCE, and WHY THEY ONLY CARED TO REPORT ARMENIAN SUFFERING AND TURNED A BLIND EYE TO ARMENIAN ATROCITIES…

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 3, 2006 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
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Whitewashed History:  Your post merely shows how your are completely incapable of viewing Turks as human beings who can also suffer and experience horror.  This is not gossip, but true living testimony to what Armenians did.  That you mock Igdir, is just another statement of your elitist discriminatory attitude.  In your world, Armenians are saints who can never do anything wrong, and Turks are barbarians who are always wrong and do evil deeds.  This in itself illustrates the crux of the problem. 

You dismiss me as being a denier, yet you in fact are the true denier.  No Turk denies that bad things happened to Armenians.  We contest your description of horrors that occurred during anarchy as war as being genocide.  You, on the other hand, cannot even accept that Turks suffered, that Armenians did committ aggregious, horrific criminal acts of massacre, torture and rape against the Turkish population.  That denial of Turkish suffering is far worst than any contest over genocide.

Finally, many articles were written during the time about Armenian suffering in western press.  Naturally - because Armenians were Christian and thus were part of the mainstream European consciousness.  Armenians are always protrayed as being saintly, wonderful Christians, who fought for their religion despite living in a seas of Muslims.  If Europeans had spent even a fraction of their efforts or concern for Turkish victims, then you would have seen 10 times the articles explaining Armenian atrocities.

But the Western press is NOT AN UBIASED press…they only published one side, with exaggeration, politically motivated to denegrate their enemy of the time:  the Turks.  Today, many Western academics acknowledge the degree of anti-Turkish propaganda at the time.  There are even publications from enlightened Europeans at that time who could see this, like John Dewey and Dixon-Johnson…

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By Emrehan Delibas, December 3, 2006 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment
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Rich said:  “When the Turkish people come to realize the Turkish state rose from the ashes of oppression and death of Armenians and other minorities ...”

So I suppose in your utopian world it would be perfectly all right for a minority Armenian population to established an Armenian state and rule over the majority Turkish/Muslim population??  We Turks should have just stepped aside and let Armenians rebuild their dreams of re-establishing ancient Armenia upon the rights, freedoms, and desires of the majority Muslim population of Eastern Anatolia?  We should have just “been convicend to leave”, as planned by Wilson’s King-Crane report?  And this would have been just?

Friend, your utopian historic Armenia has not existed for centuries, for over thousand years.  That Armenians claimed Eastern Anatolia at all would be similar to the American Indians claiming that North America was theirs and that European origin Americans should just leave and/or submit to Indian rule!  How ridiculous!

Turkey was built out of self-defense, blood and sacrifice of Turks to preserve their thousand year homeland.  Armenians should not have tried to impose minority rule by using European support.  The Dashnaks should look at their own evil deeds when looking for who to blame for their ‘Great Calamity’.

Rich said:  “We have a continuety of our history where-as the Turks seem to have a historical break down in regards to an archival understanding. A common Turk for example would have grave difficulty in reading it’s history, this is not good for for cultural, historical enrichment.”

You are right that changing the alphabet from the Arabic to Latin scripts hinders the average Turk from reading Ottoman documents.  However, most Turkish historians of the Ottoman period have studied and learned Ottoman Turkish, so your conclusion that we don’t understand our own archives is wrong.  Furthermore, the memoirs of our ancestors have been passed down from family to family.  Ottoman Turkish was a formal written Turkish of the Empire, the Turkish spoken by the people has not changed.  We understand our fathers’ history quite well, and none of what you say debunks the very true and real memories of Armenian violence during that period.

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By Kadir, December 2, 2006 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment
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Changing the alphabet made it harder to read about history and connect with the past as you say. But it helped us connect with the future. I am glad that the alphabet changed and Turkish people had the opportunity to connect with west easier. Alphabet was just a piece of what changed. The whole mindset of people were changed after we got our independence. From clothing to schooling to arts to commerce. This is a big part of why Turkey is (even though it still has things to improve) much more modern than most of the other predominantly muslim countries.

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By Rich, December 2, 2006 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
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I merely suggested that people will not be as forthcoming with what really happened to the Armenians who live in Turkey.

Take for example the Pope who recently visited Turkey. He visited an Armenian Church leader and did not mention the Armenian genocide. He used other words when refereing to the genocide. The Catholic Church has officially acknowledged that the genocide did occur. For many reasons such as the fear of political backlash from the Turkish government, Turkish extremeists harming the minority Armenians, Catholics, and other Christians.

No I did not say Turkey is a police state, but they are very nationalistic. When the Turkish people come to realize the Turkish state rose from the ashes of oppression and death of Armenians and other minorities it will have a short term influence on their psyche, but long term it will be the right thing to know.

Changing the alphabet of the Turkish people was a step backward in connecting with it’s history. Not many people know the old alphabet which hinders learning of it’s past.

The Armenian alphabet is over 1600 years old and today is still taught and studied throughout the world. We have a continuety of our history where-as the Turks seem to have a historical break down in regards to an archival understanding. A common Turk for example would have grave difficulty in reading it’s history, this is not good for for cultural, historical enrichment.

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By Whitewashed History, December 1, 2006 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
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(cont.)

“...We Are Dying, All Dying”
Suddenly an Armenian came dashing across the fields, to bar our passage - his face wild, his voice shrill with anguish. But he was not seeking protection from pursuing Tatars. as I had thought. He had seen American uniforms in our car - the first promise of hope which had passed through that desolate section in many weeks - and he was telling us of the many refugees who lived over there. among that cluster of war-demolished mud huts, starving in this wilderness.

“We are dying, all dying !” he reiterated in a kind of delirium. And, though we told him we had not bread, it became necessary to remove him from the road. where he had thrown himself face downward under the car’s wheels to prevent our departure.

Another, and a happier figure, was that of an old woman who hobbled up with a bright smile on her face to show us that day’s bonanza - a miserable apronfull of the roots which would keep her three motherless grandchildren alive for twenty-four hours more. Indeed, watch those painfully scrutinising diggers, and the way they flock from spot to spot whenever some luxurious patch is detected. and you would think that they were searching for yellow metal, not mere roots, in the first feverish hours of a gold rush.

“Dying or Deads?”
As we neared Igdir our interpreter, a cheery, affable young Armenian, who had long since grown accustomed to the horrors of this famine-blighted land, turned to us from the front seat and inquired with just a trace of the showman’s manner:
“What you like to see, gentlemens ?”
“Conditions?” snapped the doctor.
“You like best conditions of dyings or deads? Dyings is easy to see everywhere in the streets. But I know where many deads are, too -in what houses - if you like.”
“Drive on !” I said hastily. “‘We’ll decide later.”

The town of Igdir, with its local and near-by populations of 30,000 Armenians. 20,000 Tatars. and 15,000 Yezidis, revealed some squalid streets with but a few people seated disconsolately here and there, as we drove in. Throughout those tortuous, sun-beaten, byways no children played and no animals roamed. The air was heavy with dreadful silence, such as hangs over plague-smitten communities.

We found the children, such as they were, inhabiting an orphanage wherein one sickened at putridity’s horrible odour, and were informed that there were neither medicines nor disinfectants wherewith to allay the condition of the many little sick-beds.

Sick? Say, rather, the bed-ridden - a word which more justly describes those tiny, withered up, crone-like creatures, upon whose faces the skin seemed stretched to a drumhead’s tightness: whose peering eyes shot terror and anguish, as if Death’s presence were already perceptible to them, and who lay there at Famine’s climax of physical exhaustion. In those young, yet grotesquely aged faces, we seemed to see a long lifetime of tragedy packed into eight or ten childish years.

“They’ll all die,” was the brusque observation of the doctor, who had taken one glimpse and gone out. “We can’t do them any good. Silly business anyway - to come out here in a broken-down car.”
“We will see now conditions of the deads ?” inquired our interpreter, sweetly. “Twenty-five deads was took out of one house here in one day. It is a big house, or khan. There would be plenty more deads in it by now.”

The local manager of the American Committee, having heard of our arrival. turned up to greet us. With him we walked through the local bazaar - rows of mean shops that mocked starvation with their handfuls of nuts and withered fruit.

The mud huts which we visited presented an invariable picture - a barren. cave-like interior, lacking one stick of furniture or household utensil, and with a few bleached bones scattered here and there. The occupants, stretched on the clay floor, would half lift themselves to regard us with dazed and questioning eyes.

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By Whitewashed History, December 1, 2006 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment
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The story about the Armenian soldier with the prayer beads made of the nipples of dead raped Turkish women is preposterous. This type of Turkish farm woman gossip seems to emanate from Igdir, not exactly the center of Turkish intelligentsia.

Armenian soldiers did not rape Turkish women. It was Turks who did this to Armenian women and worse.

Here is an extract from an article that was published in the “National Geographic Magazine” of November 1919.

MELVILLE CARTER
“The Land Of The Stalking Death:
a Journey Through Starving Armenia
on an American Relief Train”

Igdir is a town about 80km to the south-east of Ani. It was part of the Russian Empire from 1855 until 1917. It then became part of the newly independent Armenian Republic until 1920 when the Turkish Republic (breaking their own treaty) annexed the Igdir valley and eliminated the Armenian population that had made up the majority of the town’s population.

From 1915 until 1917 Igdir was a base for British relief efforts to help Armenians who had escaped from the genocide in “Turkish Armenia”. That ended when the Turkish army cut a devastating swathe through “Russian Armenia”, culminating in their capture of Baku in 1918. The armistice forced the Turks to withdraw (for a while), and the British relief efforts were replaced by those of the Americans.  To Igdir Through 40 Miles of Desolation
A war-battered motor of American body, Russian tires, and second-hand parts from every country in the world jounced us to Igdir across forty miles of flat country, throughout which mud-hut villages clustered and old trenches scored the plain, while Ararat loomed ever ahead, more dazzlingly white and sky-filling, as morning turned to noontide. Cutting his right shoulder, a faint line betrayed the cleft through which the great hordes of refugees had filed in their flight from Turkish Armenia during the massacres of 1915.

Three times in as many years have masses of these 300,000 people crossed and recrossed the mountains, advancing and retreating, as Russia threw the Turkish armies back or withdrew before them. In 1916 the refugees were even repatriated long enough to sow the soil, but not to reap the crops, which were abandoned to the enemy. Finally, at Bolshevism’s outbreak, the disorganised Russian troops went home, leaving the Transcaucasus undefended. Of its main peoples, the Georgians welcomed the Germans, while the Tatars were co-religionists with the Turks; wherefore the latter’s despoliations were directed solely against the Armenians.

The country through which we were passing revealed neither sowed acres nor cattle, nor sheep at graze: for seed, agricultural implements, and all else had been swept away by the Turks.

Once the Arax River was passed, however. one could recognise the Tatar villages by the presence of field animals and husbandry. Still farther on. the population became preponderatingly Armenian once more. And now, across the wide plains which must lie tragically idle through these, the fleeting precious hours of sowing, everywhere we beheld women astoop. in the attitude of those who fill Millet’s canvas, “The Gleaners”. Had another Millet been there to study those emaciated figures and downcast. painfully searching faces. he could have touched the world’s heart with a second masterpiece, called “The Root Diggers”.

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By Kadir, November 30, 2006 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment
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The people I talked to are in USA. But nobody will lie about such things in daily conversation. If you think Turkey is a police state where everybody is like a spy, it is very far from the truth.

There are some bad laws in Turkey. I agree with you on this point. It is a shame. But are you suggesting that people will make up stories because of such laws? That does not make sense.

Kadir (the original one smile )

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By Rich, November 30, 2006 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
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Comment “40249” was posted by me Rich not Kadir.

I also posted a reply to Emrehan’s rant which was never posted.

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By Kadir, November 30, 2006 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
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Innocent civilians don’t gamble there lives. They did not have a choice.

It is difficult to conclude your reasoning when asking Turks questions on the issue of Genocide. It is a sensitive subject that the government opposes and has laws against unfavorable conclusions.

Also, Armenians who would really have something to say about it are no longer with us because they have long since been killed. Surviviors are few due to age.

Armenians at the time before 1915 were asking for civil equality not revolting agianst the government as many are led to believe.

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By Kadir, November 30, 2006 at 1:22 am Link to this comment
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I usually don’t write to web pages actualy but after the French law, I saw that Turks were silent for so long and I started joining more conversations about the topic. First of all, thanks for the nice debate. Unfortunately, in many other mediums, Turks and Armenians can not debate as civilized people. As we are discussing, I also started asking my Turkish friends that are from eastern Turkey if their relatives had memories about WW1. I talked to 3 people recently and one of them told me the wall story I wrote before. Another one told me that his grandmother and other people in her village were digging holes and hiding in them when Armenian bandits came. Otherwise the bandits killed everybody they found. One other friend told me that her grandmother told her that there were a lot of Armenians in their village but none were left after the war… I heard stories before also but for my recent conversations, 3 out of 3 talked about mutual sufferings. Very very sad accounts from everybody.

I think Armenians gambled and lost. If Russia did not turn communist, probably Armenians would have taken most of eastern Turkey. That was their aim and they had done everything they could do to reach it. But things did not go their way and they lost even the things they had before. If things went their way, there would have been no Turk in those lands now. I don’t say they would be murdered all but they would go to other countries, go back to what is left of Turkey, and some murdered by local people because of hatred. That is what happened to Armenians. Many did not want to live at their old homes and went to America, Canada, Europe after the war. After so much hatred, they must have thought this is the only way. As I said, it was a gamble and Armenians lost. Accept it and move on. Turks also gambled by entering the war and lost millions of people and many land, too. I think 1917 revolution of Russia really turned things for us. At least we were able to have a country after the war after Russia was out of the war.

An unrelated issue, a friend told me that the second character in the movie Borat was speaking Armenian, is this right? Oh man, what a funny movie it was. If you haven’t seen it, you are missing a lot… Kind of gross though (actually very gross), so don’t go with your kids smile

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By Whitewashed History, November 29, 2006 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

Such fabrications! Are are beginning to believe your own fables?

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By Emrehan Delibas, November 29, 2006 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment
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[A Letter] TO: Honorable Senator Byrne,

I am the great grandson of Mursel Fuat Kiliç, who was a captain in the Ottoman Army. A captain who suffered his death in hands of Armenians during their revolt against a country of which they were citizens.

I am a citizen of the United States but grew up in Ankara, Turkey, spending my summer holidays in my parents’ hometown Igdir. A small city literally sitting on the skirts of Mount Ararat, sharing a border with today’s Republic of Armenia, and U.S.S.R of the past.. A city which suffered a great deal in hands of Ottoman-Armenians. A city where many mass graves of Turks were discovered during early 60’s when I was a little boy. With each discovery of such graves, I remember my grandmother Zehra Yaycili telling tales of the horror she had witnessed.

Zehra, who was a devout Muslim, known for her gentle and caring mannerism and character all over Igdir, in her mid-70’s spoke of many sufferings of her youth during hard times. However, a particular one specifically has stuck in my mind to this day. A sight of an Armenian rebel, taking a cocky stroll through town, swinging some worry beads, a significant instrument in prayer in the Muslim religion. An instrument which has 33 purposeful beads, each of which is attributed to different qualities of God; Omnipotent, Omnipresent, etc. which are uttered to God during a prayer. The worry beads the young Armenian swung around was made of something special to him. Some things he held dear as some medals. However those little, blackened, rocklike beads were made of neither some special stones, nor plastic. They were the cut-off nipples of Turkish women whom they had violated, and tortured. So he strolled. He strolled, to warn others of the same fate.

Ercument Kiliç

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By Emrehan Delibas, November 29, 2006 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment
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Handfull of “genocide deniers”?  Thats a great code word for demeaning legitimate scholarship on this subject that calls into question the Armenian version of events.  And its not just a “handfull.”  Some of the most renowned scholars of Middle Eastern history don’t agree that the 1915 Armenian Relocations constitute genocide.  I have listed their names in some of my previous posts;  one of them, Prof. Bernard Lewis, just received the 2006 National Humanities Medal awarded by President Bush.  In the 1980s, 69 scholars wrote a letter to the US Congress to protest Armenian allegations.

The problem here is that for 90 years Armenians have been trying to determine history using politics.  Terrorism, slander, and hate crimes have been used to try to silence not just the Turkish population, but academics as well.

What you claim to have been decided already by academics, fails to take into account what Turks went through during that time, and cites documents that have proved to be forged.

Doesn’t it cause alarm bells to ring in your mind when Armenians, in a desperate attempt to prove that the Ottomans had the intent to genocide, FABRICATE and FALSIFY documents?  Use terrorism to silence critics?

That in itself should cause to you ask:  why all the heavy handed tactics, why falsify if you are so sure you can prove something?

The reason is because in fact much of the “evidence” cited won’t hold up in a court of law.  Newspaper articles aren’t valid proof of genocide.  They are generally considered to be unreliable sources, nothing more than circumstantial accounts.

Archival evidence shows that both Turks and Armenians were victims of massacre and abuse;  Ottoman archives contain nothing that would indicate that the government had an intention to kill Armenians.  On the contrary, the archives show that the Ottomans did what they could to mitigate the loss of life, during a time of anarchy.

I could go on an on…my point is that Armenians have a long way to go before they can even come close to proving genocide - this is why they have resorted to silencing tactics and political lobbying.  Use your money and political leverage to force the world to accept it, then the truth won’t matter anymore. 

I have discussed this issue with many Armenians over the internet, and each time they come to me with a very flawed knowledge of their own history. 

*  For example, one Armenian claimed that Armenia was 99% Armenia since the beginning of time.  Well, guess what, prior to the 1905 massacres of Tatar Turks, Yerevan had a 40% Turkish population (Russian census data cited by Alstadt in her book on Azeri Turks).

* In another forum, an Armenian claimed that Eastern Anatolia had a majority Armenian population prior to the relocations.  Again, wrong information.  Even western archives show that the highest estimate of the Armenian population was 20%, and in some areas just 10%.

*  Armenians assert that 1.5-2 million Armenians were killed.  Wow, European and Ottoman census figures show that not even that many Armenians were alive, forget about that many being killed.

*  Armenians assert that a genocide occurred from 1915 to 1923, when the relocations only occured for one year, until 1916, and in fact ever since 1914, Armenian revolutionaries (200,000 Armenian troops) were engaged in armed combat with Turks.

* In videos, System of a Down shows pictures of Ataturk claiming he were responsible for “genocide.”  Ataturk was no where near these events, just an officer in the army, not in a leadership position, during these events.

Even in this forum, we have witnessed the denial of Turkish victims and the lack of knowledge that even in 1916, hundreds of thousands of Armenians still were in Anatolia.

Before Armenians, or anyone else, comes asserting that Ottomans committed genocide, first you should get some of the facts of basic history straight.  Because a conclusion based on erroneous data can be nothing but ERRONEOUS.

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By Rich, November 28, 2006 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment
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Kadir,

Read my qoute that you’ve excerpt. Yes I have read books from the Turkish point of view. But f you mean to say the Turkish government’s point of view they merely deny the Armenian genocide took place.

I think we are in agreement when we say Armenians and Turks suffered, where I believe we starkly dissagree is that the Armenians were subjected to the Turkish government’s organized and systematic mass killing which constitutes a genocide.

You and your friend Emrehan seems to believe a hand full of genocide deniers, and the Turkish government can make this issue a forum for scholarly debate.

It is a waste of my time to cite Turkish officials (civilian and military), Germans, French, U.S., Russians, Greeks,
non-governemntal organizations, eyewitness accounts, etc…

The majority of the international community both scholarly and govevernmental have concluded (years ago) that what the Ottoman (Turkish) government did to the civilian Armenian population constituted genocide.

I sense that Emrehan’s emotions have possibly blurred her sense of focus on this sensitive issue. 

I dont need to dignify all her belittling comments with a sharp response, this will not make for productive discussion. But I do need to make note that her last comment shows that her thoughts are closed on government sanctioned genocidal.

“...And until people like you get out of that mindset, until ALL massacred PEOPLE are remembered, and until EVERY NATION assesses their role in the huge loss of life during that period (i.e. Britain, Russia, France, Greece, Armenia - not just Turkey) nothing will ever be resolved.”

“untill ALL”, “untill EVERY NATION” so if every nation does acknowledge a genocide occured Turkey will also follow?

Your comment is an admission of guilt toward the Ottoman (Turkish) government.

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By Kadir, November 27, 2006 at 1:30 am Link to this comment
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Whitewashed wrote:

“Turkey is the only Moslem nation in the world that restricts the churches the way it does.”

Turkey is secular and not only churches but also mosques are audited by the government. A lot of your allegations are out of context like this one. And as I said before, Turkey has a lot to improve. Still this does not make Turkey any less or more guilty of events 90 years ago.

Rich wrote:

“I have books on the subject higher then you are tall, researched the subject for many years, listened to eyewitness accounts of family members and friends, also read books that Turkish historians have published stating that the Armenian genocide did occur.”

Have you read one book which supports Turkish point of view? I am quite tall by the way. Probably your books will be shorter than I am smile I don’t know about Emrehan though.

We are not denying that Armenians suffered. I personally think that Armenians suffered more than the Turks because you had to leave Anatolia. But still, we can not deny the sufferings of Turks and Kurds in that region. I also have listened to many accounts from people I know. A friend of mine just told me that in Erzincan his grandmother, as a kid, remembers the days when they had to build walls around them and hide in those walls when Armenian bandits came to their village and killed the Turks. It is you who is denying. It is you who is not respecting muslim victims. It is only your ancestors that matter to you. That is denying.

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By Emrehan Delibas, November 26, 2006 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment
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Rich, you remind me of the statement, “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

Prof. McCarthy’s work stands on its own, and is very well sourced.  Your bashing of him merely puts you in the category of a “small mind” as does your pompous boasting of how well read and researched you supposedly are.

Unfortunately for you, your biased and misinformed posts reveal your true mask, sorry your smokescreens won’t work for most educated folks.  Also interesting how you avoid to provide a source for the excerpt you posted…an excerpt which was more opinion than fact by the way…

Finally, don’t think that you can waltz in here and bully me by repeating over and over again your misguided beliefs.  I am not some third party American who hasn’t read much.

I am the granddaughter of the very people who lived through the times we are discussing.  I’ve heard from my grandparents, and the grandparents of my friends about how Greeks and Armenians killed us.  Now this may be a reality that your bigoted mind has trouble accepting, but it is a reality that we Turks won’t let the world forget.  Aside from my own living knowledge of the events, I have been reading about this subject since I was 10 years old…I’m not speaking from the air, but have cited many sources for what I write.

There are serious holes in the Armenian attempts to characterize events as genocide;  many accounts ignore the complete picture, and much incorrect information is being circulated (due to propaganda) without much regard for the truth.

The fact that some Armenians were killed is not sufficient for calling it genocide.  What is important is the intent and policy of the government.  In that area, evidence is woefully lacking.  Some documents cited have even been shown to be forged.

But in nearly all accounts of the period, your pro-genocidist writers/researchers ignore the 2.5 million Muslims killed, they ignore that over 500,000 of these deaths can directly be attributed to Armenians with documentation…they ignore the many archival and other documentary evidence that tells about the Armenian revolts, their intentions, and crimes…

You can’t write or judge the Turks during that time period without assessing the complete picture.  I refuse accounts alleging genocide that neglect the blood of my forefathers spilled by Armenians. I refuse assesments of the period which do not hold Armenians accountable for their insurrections and massacres against the Turkish people. 

Armenians are not saints, Turks are not barbarians.  And until people like you get out of that mindset, until ALL massacred PEOPLE are remembered, and until EVERY NATION assesses their role in the huge loss of life during that period (i.e. Britain, Russia, France, Greece, Armenia - not just Turkey) nothing will ever be resolved.

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By Whitewashed History, November 26, 2006 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
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Turkey is crying that the EU is a Christian club!

Turkish Moslems are elected in many European nations to the parliaments. Mosques are built and owned by their congregations in both Europe and the USA.

But just read the news and you will see that Turkey is a Moslem club. My travels around the globe have shown me the numerous Moslem countries that allow Christian sites to be in the possession of their church adminstrations. Turkey is the only Moslem nation in the world that restricts the churches the way it does.

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By Rich, November 25, 2006 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

If Justin McCarthy is scholarly work you believe in that says something in itself. He has been quoted from Armenian genocide deniers for years. McCarthy, being a denialist himself makes it an ideal book to quote from.

Scholars may also consider accounts of individials, incorporated into traditional research.

Making the victims (Armenians) as victimizers is yet another way denialist try to justify the Turkish (Ottoman) government’s oppression and final genocideal acts they are guilty of.

Is this suppose to be a scholarly debate? The facts of the Armenian genocide is hardly up for debate, the deniers want to make it a debate of the facts, when all they have are a hand full of unprincipled so-called scholars and quotes that are out of context.

I have books on the subject higher then you are tall, researched the subject for many years, listened to eyewitness accounts of family members and friends, also read books that Turkish historians have published stating that the Armenian genocide did occur.

Broaden your perspective away from the Armenian genocide denialist perspective, you may be enlightend to finally find the truth.

I think the truth is someting someone has to find on there own. Are my quotes of historians, etc, going to sway your opinions? From what I read thus far, I sadly don’t think so, but I have hope.

Not all Germans were monsters at the time the Jews were being killed by the hands of the Nazis. Most Germans did not believe the horrendous acts of barborism that befell the Jews in the concentration camps. Later the truth came out when the oppressors were finaly stopped.

The political climate is such that the transparency of the victimizer’s (Turkish/Ottoman gov’t) acts needs to come from within Turkey. Turkey continues to stand behind a denialist policy. With hope more Turkish historians are coming out with acknowledgement of the genocide, this is good news for Turkey to make ammends, it is good for humanity, to help stop state sponsored mass murder.

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By Emrehan Delibas, November 24, 2006 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Rich;

Your excerpt reads more like one person’s opinion of the period, than a scholarly analysis of the issues at hand.  Would you mind giving me your source?  There are thousands of articles on this subject, some pro-Armenian some pro-Turk, but the important thing is on what basis accusations are made.  Your excerpt simply states a version of events, without offering any proof. 

By there way, here are some more quotes and historical accounts for you to consider ( and I will provide my sources )...The author of your excerpt probably did not consider these facts when writing his interpretation of events…

The British Vice Consul Williams wrote from Van on 4 March 1896:

“The Dashnaks and Hunchaks have terrorised their own countrymen, stirred up Muslim people with their thefts and insanities, and paralysed all efforts made to carry out reforms; all the events taken place in Anatolia are the responsibility of the crimes committed by the Armenian revolutionary committees”

* * *

Hamparsum Boyaciyan, a Hunchak leader code named “Muradiyan” is quoted in M. Varandians’s 1914 “History of the Dashnaktsutiun” (p. 85) as having said:

“All Turkish children also should be killed as they form a danger to the Armenian nation”

* * *

Prof. Justin McCarthy in his article “Let Historians Decide” published in the Armenian Review:

“The leader of the Zeytun rebellion said his forces had killed 20,000 Muslims”

(Some massacre huh, so who was killing who again????)

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By Rich, November 23, 2006 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment
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Emrehan Delibas wrote:
“Rich, you claim massacres occurred even before the turn of the century - well do you know that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation had been very active throughout the last part of the 19th century, and that localized, armed Armenian rebellions occurred during that time?  What Armenians have spoon-fed to you as massacres, were actually suppressions of armed insurrection.  Again, please make sure you read the ENTIRE HISTORY before coming here with accussations.”

Emrehan your denialis beliefs may be safely guarded in your mind as “accusations” but historical accounts of what happend is something you may eventually have to deal with, maybe then you can ask for mutual healing. 

It may be painful to read, but it may be like an infant not wanting it’s medicine, but the parent knows that eventually it will heal him.

Please read on:

By the 1890s, young Armenians began to press for political reforms, calling for a constitutional government, the right to vote and an end to discriminatory practices such as special taxes levied solely against them because they were Christians. The despotic Sultan responded to their pleas with brutal persecutions. Between 1894 and 1896 over 100,000 inhabitants of Armenian villages were massacred during widespread pogroms conducted by the Sultan’s special regiments.

In July 1908, reform-minded Turkish nationalists known as “Young Turks” forced the Sultan to allow a constitutional government and guarantee basic rights. The Young Turks junior officers in the Turkish Army hoped to halt their country’s steady decline.

Armenians in Turkey were delighted with this sudden turn of events and its prospects for a brighter future. Both Turks and Armenians held public rallies attended with banners held high calling for freedom, equality and justice.

However, their hopes were dashed when three of the Young Turks seized full control of the government via a coup in 1913. This triumvirate of Young Turks, consisting of Mehmed Talaat, Ismail Enver and Ahmed Djemal, came to wield dictatorial powers and concocted their own ambitious plans for the future of Turkey. They wanted to unite all of the Turkic peoples in the entire region while expanding the borders of Turkey eastward across the Caucasus all the way into Central Asia. This would create a new Turkish empire, a “great and eternal land” called Turan with one language and one religion.

The traditional historic homeland of Armenia lay right in the path of their plans to expand eastward. And on that land was a large population of Christian Armenians totaling some two million persons, making up about 10 percent of Turkey’s overall population.

Along with the Young Turk’s newfound “Turanism” there was a dramatic rise in Islamic fundamentalist agitation throughout Turkey. Christian Armenians were once again branded as infidels (non-believers in Islam). Young Islamic extremists, sometimes leading to violence, staged anti-Armenian demonstrations. During one such outbreak in 1909, two hundred villages were plundered and over 30,000 persons massacred in the Cilicia district on the Mediterranean coast. Throughout Turkey, sporadic local attacks against Armenians continued unchecked over the next several years.

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By Emrehan Delibas, November 23, 2006 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Whitewashed;

And you are confusing the misfortunes of your family, and the sufferings suffered by Armenians with genocide, ignoring the fact that many of these same misfortunes and tribulations befell the Turks.

Seriously Whitewashed, what did you expect the Turks to do when foreigners conspiring with the internal minorities tried to take away the Turkish homeland?  Just yawn and say, “Ok, here, even though we are the majority, you folks deserve everything, here take our land, our freedom, our right to self-determination.”

When Europe instigated ethnic nationalism and rebellions in a MULTI-ETHNIC region, you are going to get one hell of a bloody dog fight.  Fortunately for me and my family, Turks won.  Most of the majority Turkish areas (with a few exceptions) are now part of Turkey.  Greeks and Armenians lost their foothold in Anatolia, retreating to their own nations outside Turkey.
Now the loosers are accusing Turkey of genocide, ironic, considering that these same groups were more than happy to wipe out Turks!  Archives show how Armenians were conspiring to ethnically cleanse eastern Anatolia of all Turks just to attain their dream of reinstating the ancient Armenian empire.

As for the Pontic Greeks, you love using the word annihilation so well, its a great “throw mud and see what sticks” tactic.  Greeks and Turks had a population exchange at the end of the war, this why there are few Greeks left in Anatolia, and in Greece there is only a miniscule Thracian Turkish population left.

Interesting how even in Greece the day commemorating the so-called Pontic genocide referred to only began in 1993.  Funny how it took Greece over 70 years to remember this new way of manipulating history.  All of this is nothing more than political Turk bashing.

Perhaps we should also talk about how today Greece continues to deny the Turkish ethnic identity of what they prefer to call “Thracian Greek Muslims”, or how via the Akritas Plan Greeks tried to cleanse the entire island of Cyprus from its Turkish population in the 1970s…

Perhaps we should count the how many thousands of Turks were massacred by the Greek army when they invaded Izmir in 1919 and swept as deep into Central Anatolia as the Sakarya river…

I am tired of one-sided accusations and Armeno-Greek mud slinging.  Folks genuinely interested in this history should read some books on Ottoman history and the Turkish Independence War.  The books by UCLS Professor Stanford Shaw on these subjects are pretty thurough.

Have a great Thanksgiving…

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By Whitewashed History, November 22, 2006 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

You are twisting my words. Read my short comments again. Furthermore, you have ignored again the annihilation of the Assyrians and the Pontic Greeks.

Why would my father choose to leave a colossal fortune in Turkey to work as a porter in Paris unless the fortune had been confiscated? You are sugar coating what transpired.

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By Emrehan Delibas, November 22, 2006 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Whitewashed;  your last note to me is quite amusing as it fails to address the main points of my note, instead replying to claims made up by yourself!  Please don’t obfuscate the discussion by falsely attributing statements to me.

I NEVER SAID THAT IT WAS AN ORDERLY RELOCATION!

I stated that the Ottoman government ordered a RELOCATION, not a genocide or extermination of Armenians.  During the relocation, precisely because of the DISORDERLY wartime conditions, some Armenians were attacked by rogue Kurdish armed bands, their belongings stolen, etc.  Much of the suffering experienced, however, was NOT UNIQUE to Armenians, as Turks as well experienced epidemics of starvation, disease, and forced migration.

The whole point is that the government did not order, nor had the intent, of genocide. 

The policy of relocation was also not a policy that was applied just to Armenians.  If you look back at other times in Ottoman history, you can see that relocation was something ordered to other rebellious groups as well.  For example, when the Karaman Turks rebelled against the Ottomans, many were relocated to Salonika.  I have a friend whose family fled from Salonika back to mainland Turkey due to Greek attacks - her family is originally from Karaman, however, near Konya.

I ALSO NEVER SAID THAT THE ARMENIAN REVOLUTIONARY FEDERATION MEMBERS WERE THE ONLY PERSONS RELOCATED!

I said that not all Armenians were relocated - in otherwords, Armenians in Istanbul, Izmir and other towns were not relocated.  Armenians living in areas experiencing Armenian rebellion were subject to relocation.  In fact, due to the conditions at the time, many relocated Armenians never got that far from their original location.  Many Armenians still remained in Anatolia, though displaced from their homes.

Just as the Turkish population is affected by decisions made by the Ottoman government, so is the Armenian population affected by the decisions of their leaders.  Armenians priests - considered the leaders of the Armenian community within the Ottoman Empire - actively participated in the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, using their churches to spread nationalistic propaganda and incite the population into revolt.  They actively worked with the European countries to try to destabilize the Ottomans with the goal of establishing an independent Armenia.

Of course, every single Armenian within the Ottoman Empire was not a Dashnak, but the fact that over 200,000 Armenian men fought in French and Russian armies against the Ottomans shows that a majority of the Armenian population engaged in traitorous, subversive activities in conjuction with the ARF against the Ottoman government.

It is because of the massacres of Muslims committed by the Armenians in Van in mid-1915 that the relocation decision was finally made, as a last desperate attempt to protect the Muslim population.  Remember, over a million refugees fled Christian violence and massare in the Balkans and the Caucasus - the Sultan was under much protection to protect his Muslim subjects from violence within Anatolia.

Whitewashed, you mourn the fact that few Armenians remain in Anatolia today, but you ignore the fact that the relocations alone were not the cause of this.  I repeat - in 1917, the Ottomans issued a decree enabling Armenians to return to their homes (which many did, although many also decided to go to the US and Europe). Inter-ethnic fighting continued until 1920. 

Culpibility for the migration of Armenians out of Anatolia lies not just with the Ottoman government who ordered the relocation, but with the European nations who armed and instigated rebellion among the Armenians, and with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation which knowingly led the Armenians into war with the Turks.

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By Whitewashed History, November 22, 2006 at 10:18 am Link to this comment
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Kadir,

The healing will begin with changes in Turkey that value persons of all faiths and cultures. Such is not the case at present. The laws passed between 1923 and 1927 that make Armenians and other Christians non-persons in the eyes of the law would have to be changed for healing to begin. Despite Turkey’s alliances with Israel, even Jews are not considered equal to Moslems in the eyes of Turkish law.

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By Whitewashed History, November 22, 2006 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

You are skewing what transpired. You continue to insist that this was an orderly relocation, which is absolutely untrue. You continue to ignore the fact that Pontic Greeks and Assyrian Christians were also subject to ethnic cleansing.
Your assertions that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation members were the only persons annihilated has no credibility.

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By Emrehan Delibas, November 21, 2006 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
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Rich, you claim massacres occurred even before the turn of the century - well do you know that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation had been very active throughout the last part of the 19th century, and that localized, armed Armenian rebellions occurred during that time?  What Armenians have spoon-fed to you as massacres, were actually suppressions of armed insurrection.  Again, please make sure you read the ENTIRE HISTORY before coming here with accussations.

Finally, Whitewashed, you wrote that after 1915 no Armenians were left in Anatolia, therefore Armenians could do no killing?  YOU’VE REALLY GOT YOUR FACTS MIXED UP.  That is the biggest myth being propagated, mostly by folks who don’t know the history but like accusing Turks.

There were many Armenians left in Anatolia after 1915, in part because not all of the Armenians were relocated, and also because in 1917 the Ottoman government REVERSED ITS RELOCATION POLICY and began escorting Armenians BACK TO THEIR HOME TOWNS.  The Armenians in Izmir welcomed the invading Greek army with cheers and Greek flags in 1919, and subsequent French invasions of Southern Turkey were welcomed by the Armenians in Urfa, Marash and other cities.  In fact, at the time this order came out, many Armenians were still not that far away from their point of origination (i.e. they were still somewhere in Anatolia). 

Even before Kemal Ataturk formed his resistance force, Turks in Erzurum were battling the local Armenians who were with support of the Russians, attacking the local Turkish population.  I suggest you read about the life Fatma Seher Hanim (Kara Fatma), a courageous Turkish woman who organized other women whose husbands were kidnapped from their homes and murdered by Armenians to fight against the Armenian guerrilas.  That’s how bad things were, even our women had to fight to defend themselves…and we know what happened to those who couldn’t (rape, murder, etc).

So much for your theories…

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By Kadir, November 21, 2006 at 12:07 am Link to this comment
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Whitewashed (and others),

If you know Turkish or if you know someone who does, please read this series of writings in the Turkish newspaper Milliyet. The writer, Ece Temelkuran, went to France to talk to the Armenian diaspora. It is somewhat about the law in France but mostly it is about compassion, love, and understanding. I really liked what she wrote. If you can’t translate, let me know, I will try to translate some parts (it is quite long so it can take some time).

As I said before, with the first world war, Turkey lost its colors with many of the minorities gone. I don’t think it was the fault of anybody. It was the fault of the circumstances. I hope we heal the good faith between Armenians and Turks in the years to come. As you said, when working together, we were quite good for hundreds of years.

This is the link:

http://www.milliyet.com/2006/11/16/yazar/temelkuran.html
http://www.milliyet.com/2006/11/17/yazar/temelkuran.html
http://www.milliyet.com/2006/11/18/yazar/temelkuran.html
http://www.milliyet.com/2006/11/19/yazar/temelkuran.html
http://www.milliyet.com/2006/11/20/yazar/temelkuran.html
http://www.milliyet.com/2006/11/21/yazar/temelkuran.html

A very good observation from the piece:

“Armenians and Turks need psychological help. Armenians are in trauma because they consider themselves as victims for all these years and Turks are in trauma because they are blamed for all these years.” -Helene Piralyan

Hope to heal together.

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By Rich, November 12, 2006 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
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Whitewashed, to add, massacres were happening to the Armenians before the turn of the century.

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By Whitewashed History, November 11, 2006 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment
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Kadir,

The Ittihadists were secretly planning to eliminate the Armenians as far back as 1910.

As for the Hunchaks, how are they connected with the Amiras of Istanbul? Why were these wealthy families, who would lose everything under a socialist Hunchak regime, the ones targeted by the Ittihadists? How do the plans of a radical socialist movement emanating in Switzerland relate to the farmers and merchants of eastern and western Anatolia?

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By Kadir, November 11, 2006 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment
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I can not let this end with your note saying that the events happened after the events of 1915. They were before that and they were the reason for relocation of some of the Armenians in the east. Below is a link to a 1914 newspaper frontpage saying that Hunchak wants to take arms against Ottoman Empire. And so they did.

http://www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/archive/071_01.html

You must be really happy about democrats coming to power. But whatever congress decides does not change history.

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By Rich, November 9, 2006 at 11:47 am Link to this comment
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Kadir,

Yes there was a civilwar but that does not nullify the genocide of Armenians occuring at that time.

Also if Turks did die durring that time it was not a systematic killing as was the case against Armenians.

Healing does not come untill the issue is resolved. Thankfully the world community is moving this issue forward by sheding more light to Turkey’s dark past.

Thank you Whitewashed for speaking for the undspoken, thank you for the ones that were silenced without mercey, thank you for pressing a just cause that will be resolved, and the denialists have no refuge but to continue to deny.

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By Whitewashed History, November 9, 2006 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
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Kadir,

My last word on this subject.

The timing of what you are alleging was in the years AFTER the events of 1915, when no Armenians remained in Eastern Anatolia.

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By Kadir, November 9, 2006 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
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My last comment on the subject: Whitewashed, you never say anything about the killings of Turkish civillians by Armenians. Because you can not deny it. And this fact makes the events a civil war, not a genocide. I am sorry that your family is badly effected by these events. I hope you find a way to heal.

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By Whitewashed History, November 9, 2006 at 12:05 am Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

We are speaking in circles.

If Turks have greivances against the Balkan peoples, let them voice their grievances.

Armenians have every right to voice their grievances against a nation that to this day treats its minorities exremely poorly and where certain types free speech are against the law.

The Ottomans treated Armenians and other minorities very poorly in many respects up to the time of the Tanzimat reforms and after Sultan Abdul Hamid came to power. I have studied the whole history of how the Ottomans treated their minorities.

My family did NOTHING to deserve their fate. It enrages me that you would imply that they somehow brought about their fate. It was just the opposite. They were very helpful to the Ottoman state. Nevertheless, our men were cut to pieces in the same manner as were their close associates, who included Krikor Zohrab.

You are playing a very sly game. The reality is that there are almost no Armenians living in Eastern Anatolia, a circumstance which makes the Turkish government very happy. The Turkish government would be very pleased if the Kurds would also disappear.

Enough of our banter. Let us now leave this site to Ken Schreier and others who wish to discuss Chris Hedges’thoughts about the Shoah.

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By Ken Schreier, November 8, 2006 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
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There goes Hedges again !
Trying to say Jews are using the Holocaust to achieve political ends to their liking.
Only a person with the personality of a sick morally bankrupt mind would make such a comment !
What a Jew hater like Hedges doesn’t tell you is that the Jews did nothing to cause Hitler to want to exterminate a whole race of people !
Just being Jewish was the only reason the Nazis rounded them up and methodically killed them as the world stood by !
Hedges is a Jew hater !  His anti-Jewish articles on this site say it all !
He, as many Jew haters, blames the victim rather than the murderer !
I am sure he will find his own self made hell a nice place to write from when his time comes to meet his maker !

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By Emrehan Delibas, November 8, 2006 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Whitewashed History;

Of the scholars I mentioned, I know that at least Bernard Lewis and Avidgor Levy are Jewish. 

As for Taner Akcam, I don’t care what his ethnicity is, anyone convicted for being a member of terrorist organization (DEV-SOL, a Marxist-Leninist terror group) is an UNRELIABLE source as far as I am concerned.  Taner Akcam escaped a Turkish jail in the 1970s, fleeing to Europe, enrolling in a University to get a history degree, and was then “discovered” by Vakhn Dadrian and brought to the Zoryan Institute, where he has been touting the Armenian line ever since. 

Ultimately, I think our discussions have highlighted one very important point:  historians are still heavily debating the history of this period.  And that is precisely why the French law is immoral:  You can’t legislate history, that is unjust and wrong.

As have just said in your last post, Armenians were relocated out of Anatolia.  The Ottoman government archives document this relocation action quite clearly, and archives also document how Ottoman government ordered Armenians to be protected from any attacks.  Armenians love showing the world pictures of starving Armenians, but the fact is that at that time many Turks and even the Ottoman army was starving too.  I know, because my family was one of them!

When Kurds and others attacked the Armenians, the Ottoman government prosecuted and executed the guity people they could find.  This in itself shows that there was not an intent towards genocide. 

In today’s terms, we would call such a relocation decision to be ethnic cleansing.  Armenians were not the only ones victims of such forced relocations/deportations.  Balkan and Caucasus Turks faced the same fate, and massacres against Turks also occured.

I bear no ill will towards yourself either.  Perhaps more Turks and Armenians need to converse as we have so that we can better understand each other, even if we don’t always agree.

I will always remain against the politification of the Armenian issue.  Rather than using power, money and lobbying to compel the terming of these events as genocide, when they were not, the Armenian lobby should be trying to positively engage Turks on the matter.  I regret that Armenians continue their belligerency, but I am not suprised since many of these organizations have their roots in the Dashnak party which caused much of the massacres and trajedy anyway.

Cheers,

Emrehan Delibas

Terrorist Group Profile for DEV-SOL
http://library.nps.navy.mil/home/tgp/devrimi.htm

Ottoman Archives related to Armenians (Turkish)
http://www.devletarsivleri.gov.tr/kitap/
Important sections:

“Protection of Relocated Armenians and Solution of Health Problems”

“Attacks by Armenians against Turks during the Relocation Period”

“Activities of the Committee Investigation Crimes Against Armenians During Relocation Period”

“Permission for Relocated Armenians to Return Back to their Homes”

“Activities of Armenians Against the Muslims in the Southern Part of the Empire”

“Activities of Armenians Against the Muslims in the Eastern Part of the Empire”

“Crimes Committed by Armenians Against Muslims”

“Documents of Massacres by Armenians Against Muslims”

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By Kadir, November 8, 2006 at 12:30 am Link to this comment
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About article 301: You will probably see that article gone in a couple of years. We don’t say that Turkey is a perfect democracy. We have made good progress but there are still things to do. I think you will see improvements in freedom of speech and minority rights in the years to come.

As I said before, the condition of Turkey right now is not a part of the genocide allegations discussion. I can assure you that Turkey is in better shape than Armenia and Turkey is much better than most of its neighboring countries.

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By Whitewashed History, November 8, 2006 at 12:21 am Link to this comment
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Emrehan,

Israel Charney and Yair Auron, both Jews, Taner Akcam of Azeri lineage, and numerous other genocide scholars would disagree with those who you named. Interesting that the Turkish government has a website with their views.

About 125 Genocide scholars signed a letter to the New York Times some years back verifying that what happened to the Armenian civilians was Genocide. A large plurality of these scholars were Jews. An increading number of Turkish scholars now agree. In any case some were massacred and the rest were driven out of the country, never to return. There remain a large number of Turks in Eastern Anatolia, but no Armenians. Why has the Turkish government razed their villages?  Why does the Turkish government change the scientific names of wolves and other creatures to remove any Armenia or Kurdish references? The list of such actions goes on and on.

I guess this issue will be around for awhile. The Democrats have won the US House of Representatives and Nancy Pelosi is a close personal friend of fellow California Catholic Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, an Armenian/Assyrian mix. So you will be hearing much more about this very soon.

A large part of my family have intermarried with Jews, so we have sensitized them to our suffering and they have sensitized us to theirs.

Furthermore, there are Armenians at top staff levels of prominent US Congresspersons and Senators. A lovely Turkish woman will soon blow the lid off what the Turkish government has been doing to bribe US lawmakers. The argument we have had here will be entering much larger spheres.

I hold no ill will toward you or the “Turk in the street.” I know how fruitful the results can be when Turks and Armenians work together. The past pinnacles of worldly success that my family achieved attest to this. Hopefully some day this issue can be resolved, so that the Armenia can have the same positive working relationship that it have with Turkish nations of Central Asia (read today’s news).

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By Kadir, November 7, 2006 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Armenian friends,

I want you to answer one question: Do you deny that Armenian militia killed Turkish civillians at the start of WW1? The number of such death is about 500K according to many independent historians. I believe this because I have friends whose families suffered through these. The reason Turks are not that vocal about these (this was what Emrehan meant by being silent) is that Turks were lucky enough to have their own country after the war and were able to start a new country by thinking forward and not thinking about the past. Unfortunately Armenians were not this lucky. The stories of the past were a think to hang onto for them in order to protect their identities in foreign land. I think the blame for this should go to the nations that motivated Armenians about an impossible dream of an independent Armenia in Ottoman lands. West does this all the time. They did it with the Greeks, too. Greeks attacked Turkey with hopes that she will get back the ancient Greek land. Of course it is never that easy. People have a right to defend their land (actually defend a shared land from being Greek only). After our independence war, lots of Greeks from Turkey went to Greece and Turks from Greece came to Turkey according to the agreements between governments. This was because these two people who are very alike in music, dance, food, culture were made enemies. Same happened with Armenians, too. Turkey lost a lot in this process… From being a multicultural country, we became 98% Turkish. We lost all the colors the minorities gave to our society. In US, I have Greek friends (unfortunately no Armenian friends yet) and we are very much alike. I enjoy being around Greeks. What I say is this: Turkey and Turks are also a victim of whatever happened during those times. Armenians suffered more I think because of the reason I told earlier. But when you push on people who also suffered and ask us to appologize for something which a similar thing happened to us also, this does not sound right to Turks.

You are right about the non-tolerant nature of Turkey right now. But this has some historical background. All the minorities in Turkey (Greeks, Kurds, Armenians, some westerers are trying to use Alevis now but they are not successful thank god!!!) at some point tried to sabotage the country they lived in. These events made Turks suspicious about all the minorities. What a shame. I would be much more happier if I had Greek, Armenian friends when I was in Turkey. Different cultures - as long as they are not used to divide the country by the world powers - is the greatest asset for a country. USA is the best example.

I told before, half of my people were killed by Stalin after WW2. That is not considered a genocide by anybody. And many Turks have great grandmother/fathers killed in Balkan wars (1913) and in WW1. We were able to heal ourselves in the newly founded country of ours. I wish things did not go sour with Armenians and you were also part of the Turkish Republic and we could have healed together… But it did not happen like that unfortunately. But just because you need more healing than us, we can not discard all of our dead and assume full responsibility of all the deads at that time and then put a black stain on the foreheads of all our children to born. This is not right. Then who/what will heal us?

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By Emrehan Delibas, November 7, 2006 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Whitewashed History;

Look, you have stated several times that your grandparents told you about what they lived through;  and I have stated several times that my forefathers told me what they lived through.  So all this proves is that both sides suffered tremendously.

There are many famous Middle Eastern and Ottoman History scholars who DO NOT believe the allegations of genocide, these including such names as Stanford Shaw, Bernard Lewis, Norman Izkowitz, Andrew Mango, Norman Stone, Avigdor Levy, and Justin McCarthy.

As for Franz Werfel and the Forty Days of Musa Dagh.  You should hear what a Sephardic Jew born in Izmir prior to WWI, Albert Amateau, who also knew Werfel wrote about the matter:

“My friend, Franz Werfel, of Vienna, a writer, wrote a book entitled THE 40 DAYS AT MUSA DAGH, a history of the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks.  The story was told him by his friend, the Armenian Bishop of Vienna and Werfel never doubted the Bishop’s account.  He did not investigate what he wrote.  Years later, when the true facts about Musa Dagh were established by the research of neutral investigators - which was never denied by the Armenians - Werfel discovered that he had been duped by his friend, the Bishop, with a concocted story.  Werfel confessed to me his shame and remorse for having written that story, in which he had blamed the Ottomans as the agressors and terrorists.”

He goes on to describe the true events of Musa Dagh.  Erich Feigl and Edward Erichson have published on the falsity of the Armenian version of Musa Dagh.  Other documents such as Andonian documents and the British Blue Book have also been shown to be no more than falsified propaganda.

Armenian Massacres:  New Records Undercut Old Blame - Edward Erickson
http://www.meforum.org/article/991

Entire statement of Amateau:
http://www.sephardicstudies.org/aa3.html
http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/amateau.htm
Scanned copies of original:
http://www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/english/archive/060.html

As far as Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak - personally I don’t think their statements were handled in the right way, and I don’t think they should have been prosecuted in court.  That is one point we agree upon.  By prosecuting them, some not-so-important people were turned into undeserving heroes of free-speech.  It would have been much better to get these two on Turkish TV and have them defend their views to some Turkish historians.  Then, the world would have seen how unknowledgeable they were and they would have been humiliated in the public’s eye.  This would have been much more effective.

Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak are novelists, not historians, and while they are entitled to believe whatever they wish, their views hold no historical value or pertinance to the issues.  They are merely useful for Armenian propaganda and popularizing Armenian views. 

As for Architect Sinan, everyone in Turkey knows that he comes from an originally Christian family - I say Christian because some say he came from a Greek family and some say Armenian.  Either way, it doesn’t matter much.  I mean you make it sound like such a big deal, but its not.  Sinan was raised and educated as an Ottoman Janissary, and Turkish Muslim.  His blood line does not matter to us, Turks will love him forever and hopefully the Call to Prayer (Ezan) will forever ring loud from the beautiful mosques he designed.

About Mimar Sinan:
http://www.greatbuildings.com/architects/Sinan.html

About his works:
http://www.guidetoturkey.com/aboutturkey/history/mimar_sinan.asp

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By Whitewashed History, November 7, 2006 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan,

Don’t play this game with us.

What happened to the Armenians and other Christians during WWI is viewed by many scholars including Lemkin a a seminal event which led to the the Holocaust in Europe. In both cases the German high command was intricately involved.

Our young have heard the stories of both sets of grandparents. The specifics of each debacle were different, but they know that the devastation to both sides of their families were very similar. Stop with the confuscation. Armenians do not consider the Shoah and what befell them to be the same. Each was a distinct calamity.

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By Whitewashed History, November 7, 2006 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Emrehan,

Turks have exhibited a “Noble Silence?”

I only need to mention two words as a reply to your latest post.

ARTICLE 301

Orhan Pamuk, is prosecuted for stating not “Genocide,” but that 1 million Armenians were killed.

Elif Safak is prosecuted for what a character in her novel states.

The silence has not been noble. The silence was in order to send what happened to the dustbin of history. To turn the page and proceed with ill-begotten gains.

In 1935 the Turkish govenment successfully lobbied to curtail the production of Franz Werfel’s novel “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh” from being produced as a movie. This type of pressure continues to this day with the bribing of Speaker Hastert by the Turkish government.

My parents had a difficult time even getting birth certificates to prove their age when they were old enough to collect Social Security. They finally found records in Syria where the Catholic Church had duplicate records. All records of our ancestors have been sealed by the Turkish authorities.

There is a disjunct between the Armenians whose names your government bandies about to show how magnanimous the Ottomans were and the present. Our history has been stripped from us. There is little truth in the way Armenians are presented.
Why the hysteria in Turkey when it was revealed that one of Ataturk’s adopted daughters was Armenian? You Turks are living in a fantasy world.

Our family, who once made history in their relations with the Sultans, are now non-persons in the Turkish psyche along with all other Armenians. Your current history has been skewed by the fantasy that Armenians were not a critical part of Ottoman successes. We know that Sinan was born an Armenian in a suburb of Kayseri in 1589. The list goes on and on, but this kind of talk is outlawed in Turkey.

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