Views Against Genocide Allegations


a. Is 24 April 1915 the day of genocide?

24 April 1915 is the day, in which the Ottoman government began to arrest the suspects of Armenian terrorism, violence and treachery. The declaration 24 April as the genocide date is as fictitious as the genocide allegations. On 24 April 1915, the Armenian Committee centers were closed, their documents were confiscated, and the leaders were arrested. The government by sending instructions to 14 cities has tried to prevent the events. 37 Following this instruction 2.345 people were arrested. If there had been a genocide occurred than the government would have arrested the entire Armenian population in Istanbul. This number was 82.880. 38 The Armenians exploits this date because the leaders of the revolutionists were arrested on this date.

b. Are the words of "sending" and "settling" carrying any implication of genocide?

Although some of the Armenian leaders have arrested and the Armenian Committee's were closed, the violent events had increased. The events that began in the big cities spread to the smaller towns and the security forces failed to maintain peace. The security forces were sending messages to the city centers and offering resettlement of the Armenian habitants. 39

Relocation was not implemented by loading the Armenians to ships or trains and deporting them out of the Turkish borders. This was a measurement to maintain the wholeness of the Empire that was loosing her lands. Despite all the negative factors, the Ottoman administrators executed the law with calmness. The essences, which will be obeyed during the immigration, were regulated by instructions. In these instructions every detail about the safety of the immigrants was revealed. One of them is given in Document 7, "the Regulation on Administration of Armenian properties and immovable properties, in the event of a necessary resettlement in wartime." The third and the fifth articles of the regulation on abandoned Armenian properties reveal benevolence of the government. Article 3: The type, quantity, and value of the property, the names of the owners will bee recorded and they will be sent to the places that would be used a depot such as schools, churches or houses, all the properties would be stored and a copy of the record would be given to the Commission of Abandoned Properties...

Article 5: Among those items they will not be to take those items that may perish should by necessity be sold by auctions; the income will be entrusted in his name.

The sixth article of the same regulation is a very good example of the Ottoman religious tolerance inherited from Mehmet the Conqueror. It says "... the items in the churches, the paintings and holy books should be recorded and the

espite all these measurements, in Sivas 648, in Mamuratul Azia 233, in Diyarbakir 70, in Bitlis 20, in Eskisehir 8, in Izmit 33, in Ankara 32, in Kayseri 69, in Syria 27, in Hudavendigar (Bursa) 12, in Konya 12, in Urfa 189, in Canik 14 and a total of 1397 officials were arrested because of violation of the regulations. 40 Among those head official of Boğazlı Kemal Bey and former head official of Bayburt Nusret Bey were trailed in military court and sentenced to death penalty. 41

In the course of history, there are many examples of relocation implementation. The habitants in a war-line could be relocated, and if these habitants are being an obstacle for the security forces, or they are in co-operation with the other side, resettlement is an obligation. Resettlement is a measure taken to protect the civil habitants in a frontline.

In the following years, similar implementations were seen as well. It is known that, the Radical Socialist French government had taken the German speaking Alsazs living in French-German border and resettled them in the southwest of France, especially in Dordogne. In like manner, following Pearl Harbour attack, the American government had taken its Japanese citizens living in Pacific Region and settled them in the Mississippi Valley, until the end of the war it sheltered those people in concentration camps. 42 There are many other examples of similar applications.

Sometimes, the governments could necessarily resettle the civil people.

Another significant document is (Document 8) Albert J. Ameteu's affidavit, in 1989. 43 Ameteu in his affidavit declares that the genocide of the Armenians were baseless allegations. The affidavit given by 100 years old man on 20 April 1989, is the best answer that could be given to some speculators on so-called Armenian Genocide.

A very detailed explanation of 200.000 Armenian casualties was given above. However, when we look at the Ottoman casualties between 1915-1918, there are 400.000 injured, 240.000 death from various diseases, 35.000 deaths from insufficient medical care, 50.000 deaths in the battlefields, 1.560.000 various casualties (deserters, prisoners of war and unknown). 44

As seen because of the conditions of wartime, economical and technical inefficiencies, insufficient medical facilities, and epidemics 275.000 people had died.

While the Ottoman Empire was endeavoring under these very negative conditions, the Armenian immigrants' convoys were under the threat of Armenian bandits and other armed groups.

Under the light of these evidences, it is possible to say that, to accuse the Ottoman Government by a planned, systematic genocide idea or implementation is a baseless allegation. The so-called Armenian Genocide that the Armenian Committees claim never occurred.

However, because of the inefficient facilities of the wartime, technical and medical insufficiencies, and in the attacks of the Armenian bandits and the plunderers, many Armenians had lost their lives. Beside these, there are many Armenians who joined the enemy side or who deserted from immigration. These facts refute the genocide allegations.

c. Allocation of funds for the Resettlement:

The Ottoman Empire had always accepted the refugees. Especially, in 1900's form the Balkans and the Caucasus many refugees came to Anatolia.

To allocate the needs of the Muslims, Greeks and the Armenians who immigrated with the law of Directorate of Settlement of Tribes and Refugees has founded. The directorate's duty was to meet all needs of the immigrants.

In Document 9, very detailed information as hospitals, city by city or needs of Armenian orphans are revealed.

To meet the needs of immigrants the government spent 25 million kurushes, in 1915 and in 1916 it allocated 230 million kurushes, as revealed in Document 9.

During immigration, for the convoys saddles and vehicles were maintained, women, elder people, children and sick people were very carefully treated. The regulation revealed in "Document 10" clarifies this fact: Article 2: The Armenians should be allowed to take all of their movable properties and animals. Article 3: During immigration until the Armenian arrive to their settlements, their safety should be maintained and all their need should be met by the local administrators on their route. All officials should be responsible in the event of any ignorance or indifference..."

Against possible malaria, the government had distributed quinine for the one immigrating by sea and all the military and civilian hospitals were alerted to care the sick people. 45

d. The telegrams that had been attributed to Talat Pasha and the facts:

An Armenian called Aram Andonian published a book named "Memoirs of Naim Bey, Turkish Documents on Armenian Deportation and Massacres", in London, 1920. Later, same book was published in Paris, the name of the French edition was "Governmental Documents on Armenian Genocide". In Boston, it was republished with the name of "Great Crime, Last Armenian Genocide and Original Telegrams of Talat Pasha".

The telegrams mentioned in this book and attributed to Talat Pasha are counterfeits; made to sign a genocide criminal. Sinasi Orel and Surreyya Yuca investigated these counterfeit telegrams and they proved that the Ottoman official mentioned in the book have never worked in Allepo, the paper used in the telegrams never used in the Ottoman official documents, the originals do not exist in the archives of the Prime Ministry, the difference between the rumi (Julian) and the miladi (Gregorian) calendars are ignored, and the signatures are not real. As it may in "Document 11" there are many linguistic mistakes, unusual for an Ottoman official!

Despite all the claims that the originals of the telegrams are in the Armenian Bureau in Manchester, until today they are concealed from public opinion and from the scientists.

e. The results of the investigations made by the foreign researchers on the Armenian Allegations:

Just after the end of First World War, troops of the Allied Powers occupied Istanbul and many other regions, the British has arrested hundreds of Ottoman intellectuals and statesmen and deported them to the Island of Malta where they were imprisoned. Government of Istanbul for the sake of its own existence and for the sultanate supported the Allied Powers against the Party of Union and Progress, which had administrated the government for ten years. In order to accuse the detainees in Malta, a very extended investigation had been made in the Ottoman Archives. There was no evidence at all to prove that such a crime as alleged "Armenian massacre" was ever committed in Turkey.

The British government then turned the American Archives in Washington asking evidence for so-called genocide. British Ambassador for Washington sent a message to Lord Curzon on 13 July 1921 saying: "I regret to inform Your Lordship that there was nothing therein (in American archives) which could be used as evidence against the Turks who are being detained for trial at Malta. The reports seen... made mention of only two names of the Turkish officials in question and in these case were confined to personal opinions of these officials on the part of the writer, no concrete facts being given which could constitute satisfactory incriminating evidence." 47 In conclusion, one can say that these prominent Turks, accused of Armenian persecution, were arrested and deported without any serious investigation. There was, from the very beginning, a great deal of doubts whether the accused was in fact guilty or not. From political point of view, it was "highly desirable" for the British Government that at least some of these deportees should be brought to trial. The British Foreign Office has left no stone unturned in order to prove that an "Armenian massacre" actually took place in Turkey, and consequently some of these detainees were guilty. But all efforts in this connection ended with a complete failure. At last the detainees in Malta were released in 1922.

Meanwhile, in the British press many counterfeit documents were released accusing the Ottoman government of a so-called genocide. The documents in question were told to be found by the British expeditionary troops under command of General Allenby, in the Ottoman governmental bureaus in Syria. However, all the investigations made by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that those documents were all counterfeits and they were all produced by the Nationalist Armenian Delegation in Paris.

f. Did the Ottoman government avoid from an investigation?

In the previous sections, we have mentioned that the demonstrations and the actions for the acceptance of the so-called genocide had first begun in 1965, the fiftieth year of genocide allegations. The Ottoman Empire did not wait for fifty years like the Armenians did. As it may seen in Document 13, on 26 March 1919, the Ottoman government sent notes to Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway -the European States that remained neutral during the First World War- and it invited two jurists from each government. This effort was failed by British interference, thus the formation of a commission -for a further investigation of the issue- was impeded. 49

The Ottoman Government was sure about her blamelessness and she wanted to prove this fact in the framework of international law. This was a very good example of self-respect.

The British interfered on the Ottoman effort, as if she is hiding the real guilty. If the concerned commission would have been formed, all the accusations directed to the Turkish nation would be annihilated, moreover all the untrue allegations against the Republic of Turkey would be abolished.

This was not the last effort of the Ottoman government to prove her blamelessness, on 7 March 1920, she has sent a message 50 to the Allied Powers and to Admiral Bristol and she demanded a further investigation on the issue in order to enlighten the world public opinion. The concerned message (Document 14) the government asks aid for "... a quick investigation on made-up Armenian massacres issue to enlighten malicious and evil intended propaganda and for acquittal of the Turkish Nation ..." Meanwhile, this message was published in all the newspaper as a open call. In addition, through the end of the Second World War, a group of foreign journalists led by Ahmet Refik sent to the East Anatolia for a research. 51 Is it possible for a government which committed an inhuman crime to act in such manner? As seen, in this example and in many others, the unjust accusations against the Turkish Nation have gone to far and these accusations are becoming a shame for the humanity.

g. Are the Ottoman Archives confidential; are the documents of resettlement hidden?

Every original document of the Resettlement Law is open. The Ottoman Archives were taken over by the Governmental Archives Directorate of the Prime Ministry. Since, 1925 all the documents on the Armenian issue are open for everybody. Until today, the Ottoman Archives were researched by many scientists. The statistics are,

Saudi Arabian-98
Jew- 70
Libyan- 63
Hungarian- 58
Argentinean- 52
Bulgarian- 47
Total: 3.187

In addition 190 Armenians researched the archives. 180 of them were Turkish citizens.

Beside the researches made by thousands of scientists, these documents were translated in English and published in order to enlighten the public. The documents that exist in the archives of the Council General are being published by ATASE Press in the framework of "Askeri Tarih Belgeleri Dergisi" (The Journal of Military History Documents). Another publication on this issue is the book which was compiled from Yildiz Archives of the Prime Ministry. This compilation was translated in English and it is in three volumes. Despite all these facts and transparent approach of Turkey there are some provocateurs accusing Turkey that she is concealing the archives. There is no answer for such a evil intended accusation.

h. A scientific attitude against genocide allegations and the scientific discussions on the issue

The objective historians who works without any prejudices and proceed their researches scientifically, explain "genocide" allegations as the delirium of a group whose acting for political and economical purposes.

Since 1925, real scientists have reached the original documents, listened the real witnesses and made observations in the places of events. Only objective researchers would discover the facts. We have annexed the paper written by 69 American scientists on the issue (Document 15).

Turkey has made many calls to discuss the validity of Armenian allegations aroused by Western European and Russian support. These calls were made to Armenian historians and the propagandists. However, none of these people has joined the meetings. 11th Turkish History Congress held in 1990 is an example of Turkish calls. For the first time, an Armenian Session was programmed in Turkish History Congress and "the Defenders of Armenian Ideal" were invited to the discussion in this session but all rejected the invitation by claiming different excuses. (Document 16)

I. A study of the issue from the view of UN Genocide Agreement dated 1948

"Genocide" as a term refers to a well defined crime, the definition of which has been given in an international convention made after the Second World War: the "Convention for the Prevention and the Repression of the Crime of Genocide", approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution of 1948. In the second article of the convention the definition of the crime of genocide consists of three elements: for one thing, there has to be a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Then, this group has to be subject to certain acts listed in the convention. The "murder of the members of the group, and forced transfer of the children of one group into another group and subjecting the members of a group to conditions which will eventually bring about their physical destruction" come within the range of actions listed in the said convention. But the third element is the most important: there has to be "an intent of destroying", in part or in whole the said group. In a genocide, destructive activities becomes the main policy of a government.

If we interpret the issue from the view of the convention, we should touch upon some historical events. To commit an inhuman crime as a genocide, the said nation has to show inclination for such a crime in its history. In Turkish history there is no such inclination exists. There are no acts of genocide or assimilation. With a short journey to Ottoman history we will remember the wide geography that the empire dominated, in east Europe through Vienna border, in Africa the entire Northern shores, the entire Middle East the Ottomans were reigning. The Ottoman sovereignty in such a wide geography lasted 200-400 years. Any of the peoples living under Ottoman authority have been annihilated. In Anatolia, where the codes of Islam (Sheriat) were dominating all the religious beliefs were tolerated. Despite Sheriat's prohibitions in 1800's many Churches had been opened, in Anatolia. Famous grand vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha's brother Makarije was designated as the Patriarch of the Serbian Church and he resurrected the Serb Nation. Remember the sect struggles in Europe, and European massacres in the name of religion. Remember the nations of Far East whose mother tongues were assimilated (Hindus) or remember Africa or South America.

The Turkish administration was used to living with different peoples with different cultures and religions. This may be a characteristic the Turks gained from living side by side with many different nations. Justice is one of the most significant components of Turkish administrative tradition. The Turkish administrations have always respected the cultures. The Turks never undertook systematic massacres or genocide. Justin McCarthy's "Death and Banishment" clarifies this fact. In this book reveals how the peoples of Balkans and the Caucasus took refuge to the Ottoman administration. The Ottoman Empire had always been a shelter for the mistreated nations. In 1469, Jewish and Muslim peoples of Spain and Portugal, in 1711 Rakoczi Ferençh and his men, in 1849 Layos Kosuth and 2000 Hungarians, King of Sweden Charles and his 2000 men, between 1841 and 1856 Polish Prince Chartorsky, in October 1917, Russian Commander Vrangel and his 135.000 soldiers and even Trochky who escaped from death took refuge to the Ottoman Empire. Many German and Polish Jews have come to Turkey in 1930's. If the Turks undertook a genocide to the Armenians, why they sheltered the Jews running from Hitler? Why they saw the Turks as their saviors?

Mehmet II (Mehmet the Conqueror) Firman (Document 17) dated 1478 is a very old and significant example of human rights. He granted his subjects the right of preserving their ethnical, cultural and religious identities. Remember the assimilation and genocide of the Balkanic peoples, compare the approaches of the Balkan nations to the Mehmet II's firman. In order to create homogeneous communities, some Balkan nations massacred or deported the Bosnians, Albanians, Muslims, Macedonians and Bulgarian Turks, in the end of 20th century. Today, some circles that accusing the Turkish Nation with so-called genocide, remained indifferent to the massacres lasted for months, they became deaf to the screams of the innocent women who had been raped. The Iraqis who escaped from mustard gas -produced by western technology and given to the hands of Saddam- has taken refugee to Turkey. Despite economic insufficiencies the Turkish Nation shared substance with those poor people. This is the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey.

Prof. Justin McCarty in his speech which he gave to the US Senate explained the pains of the Turks during the First World War.

But, there are still some American senate members whose approach remained the same despite the speech of Prof. Justin McCarty (Document 18). Humanity certainly will be instructed about the facts under the light of the works written by the prudent historians. Unless, as Ataturk said, "Constant realities will assume an astonishing nature for the humanity".

35 Foreign Office, no. 371/6556/E.2730/800/44 see Kamuran Gurun. Armenian File, Turkish History Institute, Ankara, 1983, p 241
36 McCarthy, Justin: "The Anatolian Armenians 1912-1922". Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (1912-1926), Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 1984, p.23-25
37 Archives of Prime Ministry, Babıali-Dahiliye Nezerati-Emniyeti Ummiye Müdüriyeti kalemi, file 52/96-98
38 Suslu, Azmi, Armenians in Turkish History, p.223-226
39 ATASE Archive Erkan-ı Harbiye Umumiye Dairesi (3) Doc. No. 2048
40 Archive of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hazine-i Evrak, kar. 178, file, also see Suslu, Azmi Armenians in Turkish History, p. 237.
41 Bilgi, Necdet, a.g.e
42 Acquaintances, Oxford, UP. 1976
43 see Documents Chapter
44 History of Turkish Military Forces, First World War, Administrative Activities and Logistic, vol. 10, ATASE Press, Ankara, 1985
45 ATASE Archive, no ½, kls. 361 file 1445, cat. 15-22-23
46 Orel, Şinasi Yuca Süreyya, The Real Face of the Telegrams Attributed to Talat Pasha, Turkish History Institute, Ankara, 1983