Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Why Turkey Denies Its Genocide?

The Current Political Conflict


On Wednesday, October 10, the House of Congress' House Foreign Affairs Committee voted by 27 votes to 21 to pass a non-binding resolution to classify actions which took place in Turkey in 1915 as "genocide". The full text of the resolution includes the statements: "The House of Representatives finds the following: (1) The Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.


 (2) On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers, England, France, and Russia, jointly issued a statement explicitly charging for the first time ever another government of committing `a crime against humanity'.


 (3) This joint statement stated `the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres'.


 (4) The post-World War I Turkish Government indicted the top leaders involved in the 'organization and execution' of the Armenian Genocide and in the `massacre and destruction of the Armenians'. "


 The day before the resolution was put to a vote, President George W. Bush warned against the passing of the resolution, saying: "This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings." Turkey, whose current government is led by Islamists of the AKP (Justice & Development Party), reacted angrily to the initial vote, which is expected to be presented before the entire House of Congress.


Abdullah G??l, who recently became the first Islamist President since modern Turkey was officially established in 1923, said the vote was "unacceptable". He claimed that some US politicians had "sought to sacrifice big problems for small domestic political games". Turkey withdrew Nabi Sensoy, its ambassador from Washington, as soon as the vote was passed. The president of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, supported the committee's vote and said he hoped it would lead to full US recognition of the genocide.


 The House Foreign Affairs Committee's decision on the vote had split mostly along party lines, with democrats supporting it and Republicans opposing it. On the floor of Congress, the bill had the sponsorship of 226 representatives, mostly democrats. One of the co-sponsors of the bill, Luis Fortuno of Puerto Rico, changed his committee vote following direct lobbying by the US president. It will now be the decision of Nancy Pelosi to introduce the resolution to the vote of the Full House of Congress (where Fortuno will not be able to vote).


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Democrat Tom Lantos, the only US politician to have survived the Holocaust, is chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He opened discussions by saying: "We have to weigh the desire to express our solidarity with the Armenian people... against the risk that it could cause young men and women in the uniform of the United States armed services to pay an even heavier price than they are currently paying." Lantos, told AFP news agency that he would introduce a resolution praising US-Turkish friendship this week.


The United States, along with the efficiency of its military operations in Iraq, certainly stands to lose from deteriorating relations with Turkey. The US military employs Incirlik Air Base near Adana in southeastern Turkey to fly most of its supplies to its troops in Iraq.


A senior legislator in Turkey's ruling AKP, Egemen Bagis, visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday to warn that the bill would threaten military cooperation. He told Reuters: "This resolution will put your troops in harm's way. We will not be able to extend the current cooperation we are providing to you. If our allies are insulting us with crimes we have not committed, we will start questioning the merits of that endeavor."


President Abdullah G??l sent a letter to George W. Bush before the vote was taken, to thank him for his personal attempts to urge members to vote down the resolution. The US administration is now trying to limit damage. On Friday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and also foreign minister Ali Babacan. She said: "They were dismayed."


 Two US officials went to Turkey on Saturday to bolster relations between the two nations and prevent possible restrictions on US military operations in Turkey. Eric Edelman, a former US ambassador to Turkey, and Dan Fried arrived in Ankara, the capital, and met Ertugrul Apakan, a Turkish minister in the foreign ministry.


 The Armenian prime minister, Serge Sarkisian will be arriving in Washington on Wednesday October 17, a move guaranteed to add to US/Turkish tensions. His visit had been planned months previously.


 While US and Turkish politicians were fretting about the outcome of the resolution, another development was taking place. Turkey was planning to mount its own independent military incursion into Kurdish Northern Iraq, the least unstable region within Iraq. There are fears that such an invasion could destabilize all Iraqi regions. Concerns about this invasion force led crude oil to reach a record high of $84 per barrel on Friday. Most Iraqi oil production is in the south, but a key crude oil pipeline runs from Baku in Azerbaijan through Georgia to the port of Ceyhan in southeastern Turkey, where it is then placed on tankers. The political fallout from an invasion could lead to problems with distribution at the Turkish end.


The US has tried to urge Turkey not to mount its independent incursion into northern Iraq, but the mood in Turkey is not compromising. Already prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed on Saturday that he did not need permission to enter northern Iraq. The reason for the proposed incursion is that members of the Kurdish separatist party, PKK (Workers Party of Kurdistan), have recently mounted a series of attacks in southeastern Turkey. Thirty people have been killed over the past month. The PKK fighters have fled across the border into northern Iraq.


 PKK terrorists warned on Friday that they would be returning to Turkey from their enclaves in northern Iraq, to mount terror strikes on police. This is unlikely to stop Turkey's administration from requesting its parliament this week for approval for its venture. On Wednesday last week, prime minister Erdogan claimed that his party wanted a year-long authorization for mounting possible attacks against PKK bases in northern Iraq. He suggested such incursions would not necessarily start immediately.


Kartet, a private company in Turkey, supplies electricity to Iraq. On Thursday, the Turkish daily newspaper H??rriyet announced that a senior official from the Energy Ministry said that Kartet would no longer be supplying power to Iraq, due to Turkey's own power needs. He did not state whether this action was part of a sanctions package against Iraq, connected with logistical support and refuge to PKK terrorists being provided in northern Iraq.


 Condoleezza Rice has said that she would want to stop the submission of the resolution on Armenian genocide to the full House of Congress, but admitted that it would be "tough". Such a resolution could hardly come at a worse time for the current US administration, but there is no "right time" to discuss the issue, when it involves a matter of historical truth. The fault ultimately lies with Turkey, for being so intransigent in its denial of documented fact. If Turkey can blackmail and threaten the safety of US troops as a direct result of the recent resolution, then the US should seriously question the worth of maintaining deep trust in such an "ally".


 Turkey's Denial of the Armenian Genocide


 The UN Convention on Genocide took place in December 1948. Article Two of its declaration describes genocide as the implementation of acts designed "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group."


 Turkey admits that large numbers of Armenians died in 1915, but says that they died as a by-product of forced deportation and because some Armenians took up arms against the ailing Ottoman Empire. It refuses to acknowledge that there was a "genocide". Turkey claims that during World War I, no more than 300,000 Armenians died, though overwhelming evidence suggests that between 1915 and 1917, 1.5 million Armenians died. If Turkey had been more mature about its history, as Germany has been concerning the Nazi genocide of 6.5 million Jews, the issue would have been laid to rest long ago.


 As the situation now stands, Turkey has no diplomatic relations with its small neighbor Armenia, as a result of its obstinate denial of the truth. In 1993, the border with Armenia was closed by the Turks. There were tentative moves towards a thawing of the diplomatic frostiness in April 2005, but these came to nothing. The stumbling blocks again concerned issues of the Armenian genocide.


 In May 2005, Turkey's justice minister Cemil Cicek blocked a conference of Turkish academics who wanted to discuss critically the historical facts of the deaths of Armenians. In September 2005, just 10 days before Turkey was to begin talks about its possible accession to the European Union, a second attempt to hold this conference was banned by a court order. The legal move had been instigated by a group of nationalist lawyers.


 The denials of what took place particularly in 1915 are upheld by the Islamists in Turkey, and also the secularists. The AKP party is the first Islamist party to rule Turkey. Previous attempts to form an Islamist government were suppressed with coups mounted by the pro-secular military. The last elected Islamist government was dissolved by the military in 1996.


 Within Turkey, anyone who denies the official version of "history" runs the risk of falling foul of Article 301 of the penal code. This outlaws any "insult against Turkey or Turkishness". The maximum penalty for breaching Article 301 is a three-year jail term. Article 301 had been rewritten in June 2005 in a package of amendments to the existing penal code. The penal code had been altered to make Turkey eligible to join talks on membership of the European Union. No one in the EU appeared to notice that Article 301, in both its original and revised state, contravened Article 19 of the 1948 International Declaration of Human Rights - the right to freedom of speech.


Orhan Pamuk is Turkey's most famous novelist, whose novel "Snow" has been has been acclaimed as a modern "classic". In 2006, Pamuk was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In February 2005, Pamuk had given an interview to a Swiss newspaper. In this interview, he referred to the killings of Armenians, but he did not mention the term "genocide". He said that in the 20th century "a million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in these lands [Turkey],"but few spoke of this. His statement contradicted the "official version" of the truth, and on December 16, 2005, Pamuk appeared in court, charged with breaching Article 301.


 Pamuk's impending trial had drawn international criticism of Turkey, but prime minister Erdogan claimed that foreign critics were putting pressure on Turkey's judiciary. He said: "I find that a little controversial to the principle of respecting the rule of law... I don't think the way they act is very proper in this case."


 On the first day of Pamuk's trial at Sisli district criminal court in Istanbul, Judge Metin Aydin adjourned the case to February. He was unsure if the case was to be brought under the original penal code, instituted by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, or under the revised penal code. If the trial was made under the old conditions of the penal code, the justice minister (then Cemil Cicek) would have to issue a ruling. Pamuk's appearance at the court was greeted by angry crowds. Most of these were militant nationalists, sometimes called "Kemalists". As he entered the courtroom, a woman hit him with a folder. As he was driven away, his car was pelted with eggs.


 On January 23, 2006, it was announced that Turkey had dropped its case against Pamuk. The novelist was luckier than Turkish Armenian Hrant Dink.


 On August 28, 2005, a court in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa initiated proceedings against Hrant Dink, on charges of breaching Article 301. Mr Dink was the owner and editor of a bilingual magazine called Agos. The Sanliurfa trial had concerned comments that Dink had made at a 2002 conference, where he had referred to a verse that must be memorized by all students. This verse starts with the words: "I am a Turk, I am honest and hardworking." Dink had told the conference that he was honest and hardworking, but he was not a Turk. He was an Armenian. That trial was never completed, for reasons I will explain below.


 On October 7, 2005, Dink was sentenced by the Sisli Court of Second Instance at Istanbul at the culmination of another trial where he had been accused of breaching Article 301 by "insulting Turkish identity". All Dink had done to "insult Turkish identity" was to publish a series of articles extolling the virtues of "Armenian identity" and to write of the way that the Armenian genocide still impacted on modern Turkish life. Dink was given a suspended six month jail term. He appealed against this conviction in 2006, but the decision against him was upheld.


 Dink's trials and subsequent tribulations, as well as the international brouhaha stirred up by US politicians mentioning a genuine historical event, point to an affliction in the heart of Turkey's national identity. Quasi-fascistic Turkish nationalism is the infectious and suppurating byproduct of the unhealed wounds of Turkish history. And in the background, not acknowledged by predominantly Muslim Turkey, and never mentioned in the Western media, is another dimension to the case of the Armenian genocide. The Armenians are Christian.


 The deportations of Armenians in 1915 is acknowledged by Turkey. What is not acknowledged is that they were deported precisely because they were Christian, and had their own cultural identity and language. Ethnic cleansing is the handmaiden of genocide, and Turkey in 1915 was openly practicing ethnic cleansing, a practice that had started at the end of the 19th century. In the 21st century, only scoundrels can make political capital from defending the indefensible.


 Because of Turkey's obstinate denials, other countries have made official rulings attesting that the Armenian genocide took place. In 1982, Cyprus' House of Representatives passed a resolution. The European Parliament passed a resolution in 1987. This move did stop Turkey attempting to join the European Union, a factor which should hearten US Republicans and administrative officials who fear a House of Congress vote. After all, there are 1.5 million US citizens of Armenian descent, many of whom had ancestors directly affected by the Armenian genocide. Their opinions should count far more than the hurt pride of a temperamental NATO ally that is currently threatening to throw its toys out of the baby carriage because it doesn't like the truth.


 Greece made a resolution in 1996 and even established an Armenian Genocide Day. Switzerland's National Council passed a resolution in 2003 and Canada's House of Commons passed a resolution in 2004. Slovakia's National Assembly made a resolution in 2004. Argentina passed a law in 2006, and Chile's Senate passed a resolution in 2007.


 In France, where 500,000 Armenians live, a resolution was passed in 2001, but on October 12, 2006 a bill was passed which made denial of the Armenian genocide a crime, potentially punishable by a one-year prison sentence and a $60,000 fine. The move was carried in the French National Assembly by 106 votes to 19. Before the French vote took place, Islamist prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called it a "systematic lie machine" but claimed Turkey would not engage in "tit-for-tat" reprisals.


 The day before the French vote, a judicial committee had debated two moves to introduce laws to parliament which would have described France's actions in its war with its former colony of Algeria as "genocide". A third draft bill was discussed by the justice commission, which would have made anyone who claimed that there was an Armenian genocide would be jailed. Article 301 already allows for such punishment. All three draft bills were rejected. However, Ankara warned that French companies would be banned from major economic projects in Turkey should the French bill become law, an obvious "tit-for-tat" reprisal.


Hrant Dink opposed the punitive aspects of the French law. He said to a newspaper: "This is idiocy. It only shows that those who restrict freedom of expression in Turkey and those who try to restrict it in France are of the same mentality." On TV, he said: "I am standing trial in Turkey for saying it was genocide. If this bill is adopted, I will go to France and, in spite of my conviction, I will say it was not genocide. The two countries can then compete to see who throws me in jail first."


 Hrant Dink was born on September 15, 1954 in Malatya, the town in central Turkey where three Christians were tortured and killed on April 18 this year. He founded the magazine Agos on April 5, 1996. The intention of this publication was to foster understandings between the Turkish and Armenian communities in Turkey. Dink believed that the Armenian community lived in too much isolation. The attention drawn to him by his high-profile trials brought his life under threat.


 Agos had its offices in central Istanbul. On January 19, 2007 Hrant Dink was leaving his offices when a teenager wearing a white Muslim skullcap approached him. The youth fired three shots into the 53-year old editor's head and neck. Dink slumped down dead on the spot. His teenaged killer shouted out "I shot the infidel" before running off.


 Hrant Dink was aware of death threats which had been made against him for daring to speak of the Armenian genocide. One threat he received by email seemed so serious he turned it over to the Sisli prosecutor's office, but his complaint was ignored. In his last article for Agos, Dink wrote: "How real or unreal are these threats? To be honest, it is of course impossible for me to know for sure. What is truly threatening and unbearable for me is the psychological torture I personally place myself in. "Now what are these people thinking about me?" is the question that really bugs me. It is unfortunate that I am now better known than I once was and I feel much more the people throwing me that glance of "Oh, look, isn't he that Armenian guy?"


 And I reflexively start torturing myself. One aspect of this torture is curiosity, the other unease. One aspect is attention, the other apprehension. I am just like a pigeon... Obsessed just as much what goes on my left, right, front, back. My head is just as mobile... and just as fast enough to turn right away.


 After his death, his son Arat Dink took over the editing of Agos. When Arat Dink decided to reproduce one of his father's 2006 articles which mentioned the Armenian genocide, he too was hauled before the courts, charged under Article 301 for "insulting Turkish identity". Only last week, while Turkey officially fulminated at the US mention of its genocide, Arat Dink was sentenced. On Thursday October 11, 2007, he and a colleague from the magazine were both given suspended jail terms of one year.


 Tomorrow, in Part Two, I will outline the cultural and historical background of the first massacres against the Armenians in Turkey. These would lead inevitably to the genocide which took place in the First World War. Genocides never happen in a vacuum as isolated events. Often, as in the case of Russian pogroms against peasants, there are campaigns of deliberate starvation. In the case of the Armenian genocide, starvation was used as a weapon (see picture at top of page).


 Without incidents such as the German attacks on Jewish shops that took place on "Crystalnacht", there would not have been a climate that later allowed the Nazis to conduct mass exterminations of Jews. Similarly, in the case of the Armenian genocide, the events of 1915 to 1917 were preceded by deliberate and politically-motivated attacks and killings at least from 1894 onwards.


The Atrocities of August 1894


"A number of able-bodied young Armenians were captured, bound, covered with brushwood and burned alive. A number of Armenians, variously estimated, but less than a hundred, surrendered themselves and pled for mercy. Many of them were shot down on the spot and the remainder were dispatched with sword and bayonet."


"A lot of women, variously estimated from 60 to 160 in number, were shut up in a church, and the soldiers were 'let loose' among them. Many of them were outraged to death and the remainder dispatched with sword and bayonet. A lot of young women were collected as spoils of war, Two stories are told. 1. That they were carried off to the harems of their Moslem captors. 2. That they were offered Islam and the harems of their Moslem captors; refusing, they were slaughtered. Children were placed in a row, one behind another, and a bullet fired down the line, apparently to see how many could be dispatched with one bullet. Infants and small children were piled one on the other and their heads struck off. Houses were surrounded by soldiers, set on fire, and the inmates forced back into the flames at the point of the bayonet as they tried to escape."


 "In another village fifty choice women were set aside and urged to change their faith and become hanums in Turkish harems, but they indignantly refused to deny Christ, preferring the fate of their fathers and husbands. People were crowded into houses which were then set on fire. In one instance a little boy ran out of the flames, but was caught on a bayonet and thrown back"


The above are accounts of massacres of Armenian villagers. These took place in the district of Sassoun (Sassun) in southeastern Anatolia near Lake Van, in August 1894. They had taken place following false rumors of an uprising which developed in the spring. The Sassoun massacres were duplicated in the neighboring districts of Bitlis and Mush.


In March 1895 an inquiry committee was held in London, with details reported in the Daily Telegraph newspaper. An Armenian priest and his son were ordered to sign a document, claiming that the massacre at Sassoun had been carried out only by Kurds, and clearing the Turkish authorities of all blame. When they refused, heated iron triangles were placed around their necks. The pair was too ill to testify before the committee.


Kurds had been involved in the Sassoun massacre, but the strategy was concocted and put into effect by Turkish soldiers. In adjacent Mush district, "a witness hiding in the oak scrub saw soldiers gouge out the eyes of two priests, who in horrible agony implored their tormentors to kill them. But the soldiers compelled them to dance while screaming in pain, and presently bayoneted them."


An account of the Bitlis massacre, published in 1895, stated (page 63):


"As soon as the Pasha of Bitlis sent word to Constantinople that the Armenians were in revolt, without waiting for proof, the Turkish troops were sent to the scene with orders to suppress the revolt - orders which they knew they must interpret as meaning the extermination of whole villages if they would please the Sultan. After wholesale butchery, Zeki Pasha reported that, 'not finding any rebellion, we cleared the country so that none should occur in the future.' This stroke of policy was afterward praised in the Court as an act of patriotism."


The massacres of 1894 would be repeated, becoming more ferocious and claiming the lives of more people, over the next two years.


The Ottomans


The regions within Turkey's current borders have seen various cultures and civilizations arise and become replaced by others. The "Turks" are only the latest of a long line of invaders who moved into the region. 9,000 years ago Neolithic farming peoples at ??atal H??y??k formed a complex community. Almost 3,000 years ago Assyrians entered the region, and the Hittites developed a civilization in Anatolia until around 900 BC. Later, Medes (probable ancestors of the Kurds), Persians, Phrygians, Lydians, Armenians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines flourished in the region.


The Turkish-speaking people (Western Turks) arrived in Anatolia in large numbers in the 11th  century AD, and their consolidation of power would hasten the end of the Byzantine Empire based at Constantinople. The language of the Western Turks gradually replaced the indigenous Indo-European languages of the region. The nomadic Turkic peoples originated in the Altai mountain regions in Central Asia, but from the 5th century AD onwards they had engaged in mass migrations. Turkic peoples are found in China (Uighirs) and and Siberia (Yakut). The Western Turks founded the Ottoman dynasty at the Western end of (modern) Turkey. From 1299 until its demise in 1924, this dynasty was known as the Ottoman Empire.


In 301 AD, Armenia had been the first nation in the world to officially adopt Christianity. As a distinct culture with an Indo-European language, Armenia had thrived in the mountains of Asia Minor from the 6th century BC. In the 16th century, Armenia lost its independence and was swallowed up by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman aims were expansionist and warlike, and hostile to independent Christian nations. Sultan Bayezid I, nicknamed Yilderim or "Lightning," who ruled from 1389 to 1402, famously promised to feed his horse from the altar of St. Peter???s in Rome.


At its height in 1683, the Ottoman Empire controlled territories stretching to the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea in the East, the land surrounding the Red Sea (including Mecca and Medina and Yemen) in the south, and the North African coast as far as Algeria in the West. In the north, it controlled the Crimea and all the land westwards nearly as far as Vienna. An attempt to invade Vienna itself was defeated by John Sobieski, king of Poland, on September 12, 1683. With more conflicts Hungary was freed from Ottoman rule, confirmed in the treaty of Karlowitz in 1699.


In the latter half of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was a diminished force. European imperialism had broken its hold on territories in North Africa, and European regions had declared their independence. Under Sultan Mahmud II (ruled 1808 ??? 1839), reforms and attempts to socially and economically modernize the Empire had been made, but these did not stem the decline. Greece successfully fought for and achieved independence in 1829, with its territorial borders formalized in a treaty in 1832. Several Balkan regions declared their independence in 1875, and on April 24, 1877, Alexander II of Russia declared war on Turkey.


Abdul-Hamid II and the Hamidian Massacres


In 1876, 34-year-old Abdul-Hamid II became the Sultan. Soon after taking power, he issued the first Imperial constitution on December 23, 1876. This constitution had been originally drafted by the grand vizier, Midhat Pasha. It allowed equal judicial rights for all citizens, and initiated a two-house parliament. Abdul-Hamid preferred to rule as a despot and when the Russo-Turkish war started he dismissed Pasha in February 1877, and in 1878 he abolished the constitution.


The Russian conflict ended with Turkey acknowledging defeat. As a result, on March 3, 1878 the Empire officially lost the territories of Serbia, Montenegro and Romania in the Treaty of San Stefano. Bosnia-Herzegovina was granted autonomy and Bulgaria was placed under Russian protection under this treaty. The Treaty of Berlin, signed on July 13, 1878 by the Turks, Russians and European powers, lessened the Turks' financial debt to the victors and saw Bosnia-Herzegovina given to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


Immediately before Abdul-Hamid's reign, the Armenians had lived peaceably under Ottoman rule. As Christians, they were second-class citizens and had to pay the "jizya" tax, but they were not regarded as subject to persecutions. In 1856 an edict called the Hatti Humayoun, issued by Sultan Abdul Medjid in 1856, guaranteed Christians rights never seen before under the Ottomans. Armenians wanted to be granted more freedoms under the Treaty of Berlin, which saw Batum (modern Armenia and parts of Georgia) ceded to Russia. Article 61 of the treaty guaranteed Armenians protection from attacks by Kurds and Circassians (who lived in the south-east of Turkey). Article 62 of the treaty demanded that people of all religions could work and travel freely throughout Turkey.


With these conditions not fulfilled, a radical group known as the Huntchagists emerged among the various Armenian populations, who lived in scattered locations in Turkey, with its apparent headquarters in Athens. In 1893 a U.S. missionary condemned this revolutionary movement. Cyrus Hamlin quoted an Armenian who said of their motives (p. 242): "These Huntchagist bands, organized all over the empire, will watch their opportunities to kill Turks and Kurds, set fire to their villages and then make their escape into the mountains. The enraged Moslems will then rise and fall upon the defenseless Armenians and slaughter them with such barbarities that Russia will enter in the name of humanity and Christian civilization and take possession." The Huntchagists aimed to attack U.S. Protestant missionary centers in central Turkey.


The American missionaries were allowed in central Turkey since 1844, and they were to prove reliable witnesses to the deteriorating situation in Turkey, and also the first massacres of Armenians. The Huntchagist movement disintegrated after 1896, but Hamlin's testimony was cited in a letter to the New York Times of August 23, 1895. This letter tried to discredit the genuine massacre which took place at Sassoun, even though Hamlin had specifically blamed the Ottoman government for carrying out the Sassoun atrocities.


In 1896, Reverend Edwin Munsell Bliss published a book called Turkey and the Armenian Atrocities. He acknowledged the destructive elements of the Huntchagists, (page 336) and later noted that some revolutionaries, whether Huntchagists or not, sought to draw attention to their aims of a separate state. On January 5, 1893, placards were erected in Marsovan and Yuzgat, and indiscriminate arrests followed. Disturbances ensued in Yuzgat, Gemerek, Cesarea, and elsewhere, and the Turkish authorities reacted punitively, rounding up and torturing suspects. The polarization of communities had begun in earnest.


Rumors of a Hutchagist presence led to the Sassoun massacre, the first of the major atrocities against Armenian villagers. An investigative report into these massacres claimed (page 14) that Armenian Christians were being subjected to forcible conversions to Islam. In January, 1896 the local Ottoman authorities in Kharpout and Diarbekir told "converted" villagers that they should not admit to being Muslim if questioned. Conversions were happening in the provinces in Siras, Kharpout, Diarbekir, Betlis and Van. Priests and pastors lived in hiding, lest they be attacked for interfering with the forcible conversion of villagers. In 28 villages in the district of Kharpout, there had been no Christian worship since November of 1895.


"Another indirect method of destroying the Christian communities in the provinces lay in the systematic debauching of Christian women as though to destroy their self-respect and undermine their religious ethic. At Tamzara in the district of Shaska Kara Hussar, in the province of Livas, all the men were killed in the massacres early in November, of a prosperous Armenian population of fifteen hundred only about three hundred starving, half naked women and children remained. Trustworthy information said that the most horrible feature of their situation was that passing Mohammedan soldiery or civilian travelers attacked them and outraged them in their homes without hesitation or restraint."


On October 1, 1895 200 Armenians tried to make a protest in Constantinople, and were ordered by police to disperse. Panic broke out, and fearing an uprising, mosques encouraged reprisals. The following night, at least 70 Armenians were killed in the capital. At Trebizond (Trabzon) on the Black Sea coast in the east, a local Pasha was attacked, and soldiers were sent on regular foot patrols around the city. On October 8th, these soldiers began shooting Armenian men, and shops were looted. On October 30, 1895 at Erzerum, soldiers and Turkish civilians had started firing at Armenians. After attacks that lasted two days, many of the bodies were mutilated and stripped. One man's forearms had been cut off, his upper arms and chest skinned. A British consul wrote that 1,200 people had been killed, and 512 wounded. The bodies were buried en masse in trenches (pictured above).


On November 11, 1895 the village of Husenik near the eastern city of Harput was attacked by soldiers, some of whom dressed as Kurds. 200 Armenian villagers were killed. These marched on the city where around 100 Armenians were killed. Shortly after, the city of Arabkir was attacked, with 2,000 Armenians killed. Attacks also took place on numerous small villages. In many of these villages the women were carried off. At the town of Diarbekir, 2,000 were killed, at Chunkush 680 Armenians were slaughtered.


British missionary Helen B. Harris  wrote on April 24, 1896 from the American College in Aintab: "There were about 300 killed here, November 16, 1895, and numbers mutilated, hands and right arms cut off, and eyes gouged out, to render the poor people helpless. Dr. Fuller says when they first got among these, the day after, the massacre, it was awful hearing them crying for death to end their sufferings." On November 18, 1895, a massacre of thousands took place at Marash. On December 28th, another massacre of Armenians took place at Urfa with at least 3,000 lives lost.


There were more massacres at that time, and in many cases Armenian men were forced to convert or die. In Birejik in January 1896, about 96 men converted to Islam, and an equal number were killed. When one elderly man refused to convert to Islam, live coals were placed on his body. As he lay in pain, a Bible was held over him, and his tormentors asked him to read the passages of salvation that he had trusted in.


In the summer of 1896 one event took place which would instigate a catastrophic crackdown on the Armenian population of Turkey. The main office of the Ottoman Bank in Constantinople was raided by a group of 26 Armenian revolutionaries on August 26th. Nine members of the group were killed in the initial raid, including their leader Babgien Siuni, and guards were shot. The remaining raiders, members of the Dashtun party, took 140 bank workers hostage.


The raiders intended to draw international attention to the plight of Armenians in Turkey, but before the situation came to a resolution, recriminations against Armenians began, with 7,000 people killed by angry Turkish citizenry in Constantinople. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Maghakia Ormanian, excommunicated the bank raiders, but this did not quell general Turkish anger at the Armenian communities.


The massacres at the end of the 19th century, which were carried out with the connivance and approval of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II, are collectively known as the Hamidian massacres. In 1896, Abdul-Hamid was chastened by international condemnations, and his orders to attack and forcibly convert Armenians stopped. The attacks lessened, but only for a while. Soon, another campaign of massacres would take place. This campaign was instigated not by Abdul-Hamid but by a new breed of Turkish political activists, who would go on to commit the genocide of 1915. These activists were known as the Young Turks.

Rise of the Young Turks


Sultan Abdul-Hamid II ruled in an autocratic fashion, fearful of the breakup of his empire. He employed a secret police force, and rebellious Kurds were drafted as irregulars into the Hamidian Cavalry. These had been involved in the massacres of Armenians in the 1890s.


While Abdul-Hamid isolated himself with astrologers and favorites in his palace, the Yildiz Koshku, a nationalist movement, started to grow amongst the intelligentsia and the military. Influenced by Western political ideals, these individuals became known by the name they used in a revolution waged against Abdul-Hamid in 1908 ??? the Young Turks.


These individuals emerged in the 1890s but operated in secret, out of fear of the spies of the palace secret police. Many of the Young Turks joined the nationalist group the Committee of Union and Progress (Ittihad ve Terakki Jemiyeti or CUP). This was formed in 1889 at the Royal Medical Academy at Constantinople by Abdullah Cevdet and four others. In February 1907, the Sultan's hated chief of secret police, Fehmi Pasha (Fehim Pasha), was forced into exile at the request of Germany, after he illegally impounded a Hamburg-bound ship.


As one of the Sultan's three cabinet members, the loss of Pasha weakened the autocracy of Abdul-Hamid. Pasha manipulated the Sultan with fake bomb plots which were blamed on Armenians. Even after his exile, he was suspected of engineering a fatal bomb attack against a former Armenian ally, Andon Keutchoglu.


In July 1908, the Young Turks staged a revolution against Abdul-Hamid II. Two prominent CUP members led the uprisings amongst the military ??? Niazi Bey led a revolt at Resna in Macedonia, closely followed by Enver Bey in Salonica, Greece. They issued a proclamation that demanded Abdul-Hamid restore the constitution he rejected in 1878. The Sultan agreed, and in December the Turkish parliament met. Some time after the July 1908 revolution, Fehmi Pasha was torn into pieces by a mob in Bursa, northwestern Turkey.


The Sultan (who was also Caliph) did not approve of a parliament making decisions, and with the help of the ulemas (senior clerics), he tried to mount a counter-revolution on April 13, 1909 (March 31st in the Gregorian calendar) in Constantinople. Forces loyal to the Sultan marched on Constantinople, but were defeated. The Sultan's counter-revolution was swiftly crushed, and Abdul-Hamid was forced to abdicate and go into exile in Salonica. His brother Reshad immediately succeeded him as Mehmed V. At least 250 counter-revolutionaries were tried and executed.


For Armenians, the 1908 Young Turk revolution promised them full citizenship and a role in the voting process, and many supported it. As explained by Yeghiazar Karapetian, a survivor of the 1915 genocide:


"The Hurriyet (Liberty) offered freedom to all the political prisoners, after which the Armenians, Turks and Kurds would have equal rights. Everywhere cries of joy were heard. The law of Hurriyet put an end to the humiliation, beating, blasphemy, robbery, plunder and contempt of the Armenians. Anyone involved in a similar behavior would be subject to the severest punishment; he would even be liable to be sent to the gallows. The two nations were put in a state of complete reliance. The Armenians would have the right of free voting, were allowed to elect and propose their delegate. This was a new renaissance in the life of the Western Armenians. The new parliament in its first session issued a series of laws, among them the military service of the Armenians in the Ottoman army."


The Armenians' hopes were never fulfilled, as there had always been nationalist factions within the Young Turk movement that saw Armenians as enemies of "Turkishness." In 1896, many Muslims arrested after the Constantinople massacres that accompanied the Ottoman Bank siege were claimed by the Ottoman authorities to be Young Turk members.


At the time of Abdul-Hamid's counter-revolution, resentment among his followers in the army boiled over in Circassia, southeastern Turkey, and Armenians would become the victims. 30,000 Armenians were said to have been killed. Attacks took place in Adana and Tarsus (Tarshish) on the Mediterranean coast. On April 14th, Professor Herbert Adams Gibbons, a mission teacher in Tarsus, was in Adana when the massacres began. His wife Helen stated shortly after:


"Conditions both in Tarsus and in Adana were indescribable. I saw troops that had come apparently to protect kill and apply the torch. There were some 4,000 refugees that came into the mission inclosure (sic)."


Later, she would write of the massacres in a book, The Red Rugs of Tarsus. She would record (pages 115-116) incendiary shells being fired at Armenian houses in Tarsus:


"By opening our shutters cautiously we could hear the cruel hiss of the flames and smell kerosene in the smoke. Then the rending and crashing of the floors made a deafening noise, and the sparks began to alight on our property.


This is the regular order of things, -- kill, loot, burn. The Armenian quarter is the most substantial part of the city. Most of the people store cotton on the ground floor, and this, together with liberal applications of kerosene, served to make a holocaust. Now at evening-time we realize our own imminent danger."


In April 1912, an election saw the CUP gain power, but a military defeat in a conflict with Italy saw its popularity wane. In July, a coalition called the "Liberal Union" replaced the CUP. On January 23, 1913, a coup d'??tat was mounted. Three leading CUP individuals ??? Ismail Enver, Mehmet Talaat and Ahmet ??emal ??? appointed themselves the heads of the Ottoman Empire, adopting the title "Pasha."


Deportations and Massacres


The new leadership decided to consolidate Turkey as a "Turkish" entity with its base in Anatolia. In October 1912, the Balkan state of Montenegro, followed by Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, declared war on the Ottoman Empire. Turkey's planned strategy in this Balkan War failed, and all of the Empire's territories west of Catalca (less than 20 miles from Constantinople) were lost. Muslim refugees from the Balkans poured into Turkey.


The policies of enforcing Turkishness began with deportations. In early 1914, Mahmut Celal, the secretary of the CUP in Smyrna (Izmir), was told by Mehmet Talaat Pasha to make the West coast regions entirely "Turkish." 200,000 Greek Orthodox were forced out by paramilitary vigilantes, settling in the Aegean islands. In May 1914, a treaty was signed with Greece, legitimizing "repatriations" from both countries.


The presence of the Armenians was seen by the triumvirate, particularly by interior minister Mehmet Talaat, as an impediment to their plans to "Turkify" the nation of Turkey. Armenians were thought to be allied more to Russia than to Turkey. After August 1914, Turkey entered World War I on the side of Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Russia was now officially the "enemy." At the outbreak of World War I, many young Armenian males were drafted into the army, though few were trusted with weapons.


Beginning in the spring of 1915, the deportations of Armenian villagers began. Their ultimate destination was to be the deserts of northern Syria. No transportation was provided by officials. The trek out of Turkey, which involved a journey of hundreds of miles, was made by most refugees on foot. Before being rounded up, many massacres took place in these villages. In Constantinople, Armenian intellectual leaders were hanged.


The personal accounts of survivors of these forced marches are heartbreaking, especially as most of these survivors had been children when they were uprooted. Poignantly, many express nostalgia for rustic lives on farms and orchards before witnessing horrors of massacres, and forced deportations. Aghvani was six years old when she was expelled from a neighbor's house where she, her siblings and mother had sought sanctuary in Bitlis:


"We came out; the corpses of the killed Armenians were everywhere; they had massacred all the Armenians. Those who were still alive, were driven we didn't know where. On the road there was confusion and uproar. The Turkish gendarmes drew us forward with bayonets. At night they came and took away the young women and girls. One day they took away my mother, too, and then they brought her back. It was good that my father was not alive and didn't see himself dishonored."


Shogher Abraham Tonoyan was born in 1901 in Vardensis village in Mush. In August 1915:


"The Turkish askyars (policemen) brought Chechen brigands from Daghestan to massacre us. They came to our village and robbed everything. They took away our sheep, oxen and properties. Those who were good-looking were taken away. My aunt's young son, who was staying with me, was also taken away, together with all the males in the town. They gathered the young and the elderly in the stables of the Avzut village, set fire and burned them alive. Those cattle-sheds were as large as those of our collective farms. They shut people in the stables of Malkhas Mardo, they piled up stacks of hay round them, poured kerosene and set on fire. Sixty members of our great family were burned in those stables. I do not wish my enemy to see the days I have seen, lao! Only I and my brother were saved. From the beginning, they took away the young pretty brides and girls to turkize them and also they pulled away the male infants from their mothers' arms to make them policemen in the future. The stable was filled with smoke and fire, people started to cough and to choke. Mothers forgot about their children, lao! It was a real Sodom and Gomorrah. People ran, on fire, to and fro, struck against the walls, trod upon the infants and children who had fallen on the ground. ...What I have seen with my eyes, lao! I don't wish the wolves of the mountain to see! They say that, at these distressing scenes, the Turkish mullah hung himself. During that turmoil the greatest part of the people choked and perished. The roof of the stable collapsed and fell upon the dead. I wish I and my little brother had been burned down in that stable and had not seen how sixty souls were burned down alive. I wish I had not seen the cruel and ungodly acts of those irreligious people. The Armenians of the neighboring villages of Vardenis, Meshakhshen, Aghbenis, Avzut, Khevner and others were burnt in the same manner in their stables."



 The account of Souren Sargsian (born in 1902), is rich in detail. He described how the total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 1914 (Julian calendar) was seen as a portent of doom. Ismail Enver Pasha (pictured) minister of war, visited his village of Sebastia in December 1914. Horse races took place in the leader's honor, and Armenian villagers brought him salt. Enver Pasha spoke of Armenians fighting for their Ottoman fatherland, but months later when the Pasha returned "he had a very angry appearance; he was looking at the people with fury and didn't speak to the people next to him."


In late April 1915, Sargsian???s mother was gang-raped by Turkish gendarmes, and then his sister, as his family had given shelter to an Armenian politician. Soon, all the fit adult men in the village were slaughtered on the orders of the Ottomans, leaving only a few old men. Orders came for deportation, but before they left, the soldiers promised that if they were given gold, they would bring back prisoners from the town.


"A gendarme, a huge notebook in his hand, was supposedly writing down the name of the prisoner, his address, his age and so on. In a few hours the saddle-bag was almost filled with money. In the evening they put he saddle-bag on a horse and went away. The following day they brought a group of men about 20-30 people, surrounded with 10 gendarmes. They brought also the well-known rich man in town, Khelkhlik. He was very fat and was seated on a big, white donkey. The people ran forward, expecting to find their relatives. The gendarmes drew them back and told them to form a circle. In the center of the circle, the chief of the gendarmes fired at Khelkhlik behind his ear. The man fell down bleeding severely, grunting and shuddering. The gendarmes laughed whole-heartedly, and the people were silent, horror-stricken. Then they brought forward the others, every five-six men hugging each other and they fired at them, then they struck them on the head with clubs until they lay dead, then they threw them into the torrent and went away."


His descriptions of the journey, passing rivers filled with the bloated bodies of women, stripped naked and decomposing under the July sun, the raids by Kurds, rapes, bayonetings and decapitations, are gruesome, but they illustrate clearly how dehumanizing the deportation process was.


In Aleppo in Syria, the Ottoman prefect was said to be alarmed at what to do with the numbers of tattered refugees arriving. It is recorded that on September 15, 1915, one of the three ruling "Pashas," Mehmet Talaat (pictured), sent the Aleppo prefect the chilling message: "You have already been informed that the government... has decided to destroy completely all the indicated persons living in Turkey... Their existence must be terminated, however tragic the measures taken may be, and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to any scruples of conscience."


The sending of this, and other similar telegrams, was later denied by Mehmet Talaat. The primary source for these telegrams is a work called ???Memoirs of Naim Bey,??? written by Aram Andonian and published in 1920. There is some doubt as to the authenticity of these purported telegrams. It has been argued by some that once the "smoking gun" of these telegrams is removed, claims of "genocide" cannot be made about what happened to the Armenians. This is not true. The definition of genocide as laid out by the United Nations in 1948 is "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group."


Purgings of an entire ethnic group from a nation are de facto genocidal. Dr Tessa Hofmann of the Free University of Berlin stated that in modern Turkey, only 72,000 Armenian citizens remain, with 95% of these living in Istanbul. When one considers that before World War I there were 2.5 to 3 million Armenians, many of whom lived in the southeast of Turkey, where Kurds are now the largest "minority," the terms of 1948's description are fulfilled. The Hamidian massacres of 1894 to 1909 were mostly carried out on the orders of the Sultan/Caliphate and his officials. The massacres of the First World War were carried out on the orders of local officials allied to the CUP, and when Kurds slaughtered and robbed the caravans traveling to Aleppo, little was done to protect the Armenians.


Official Reactions


According to a British government report, which was published in 1915 by Lord James Bryce while the genocide was still taking place, the Turkish government directly ordered at least one 1915 massacre:


"Orders came from Constantinople that all the Armenian Christians in Trebizond (Trabzon) were to be killed. Many of the Moslems tried to save their Christian neighbors, and offered them shelter in their houses, but the Turkish authorities were implacable.


Obeying the orders which they had received, they hunted out all the Christians, gathered them together, and drove a great crowd of them down the streets of Trebizond, past the fortress, to the edge of the sea. There they were all put on board sailing boats, carried out some distance on the Black Sea, and there thrown overboard and drowned.


 Nearly the whole Armenian population of from 8,000 to 10,000 were destroyed - some in this way, some by slaughter, some by being sent to death elsewhere.  After that, any other story becomes credible; and I am sorry to say that all the stories that I have received contain similar elements of horror, intensified in some cases by stories of shocking torture."


A German account was written by Dr. Martin Niepage who was in Aleppo in September 1915. He later visited sites such as Adana where massacres and deportations had taken place. He stated: "The object of the deportations is the extermination of the whole Armenian nation. This purpose is also proved by the fact that the Turkish Government declines all assistance from Missionaries, Sisters of Mercy and European residents in the country, and systematically tries to stop their work."


Niepage wrote:


"What we saw with our own eyes here in Aleppo was really only the last scene in the great tragedy of the extermination of the Armenians. It was only a minute fraction of the horrible drama that was being played out simultaneously in all the other provinces of Turkey. Many more appalling things were reported by the engineers of the Baghdad Railway, when they came back from their work on the section under construction, or by German travelers (sic) who met the convoys of exiles on their journeys. Many of these gentlemen had seen such appalling sights that they could eat nothing for days.


One of them, Herr Greif, of Aleppo, reported corpses of violated women lying about naked in heaps on the railway embankment at Tell-Abiad and Ras-el-Ain. Another, Herr Spiecker, of Aleppo, had seen Turks tie Armenian men together, fire several volleys of small shot with fowling-pieces into the human mass, and go off laughing while their victims slowly perished in frightful convulsions.


Other men had their hands tied behind their back and were rolled down steep cliffs. Women were standing below, who slashed those who had rolled down with knives until they were dead. A Protestant pastor who, two years before, had given a very warm welcome to my colleague, Doctor Graeter; when he was passing through his village, had his finger nails torn out."


Turkey's German allies who were aware of the fate of Armenian deportees were advised to stay silent. One man who disobeyed such orders was German second-lieutenant in the Sanitary Corps, Armin T. Wegner, (1886 ??? 1978). Wegner was stationed in the Ottoman Empire in April 1915. He took photographs, including photographs taken in the Syrian deportation camps, where refugees were suffering from sickness and starvation. In 1916, Wegner was transferred to Constantinople. He brought with him his (and others???) photographic plates, which were later used as evidence of the atrocities against Armenians.


Henry Morgenthau was U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1913 and 1916. He was in no doubt that several officials in the Turkish government intended the Armenian deportations as "exterminations". He wrote:


"One day I was discussing these proceedings with a responsible Turkish official, who was describing the tortures inflicted. He made no secret of the fact that the Government had instigated them, and, like all Turks of the official classes, he enthusiastically approved this treatment of the detested race. This official told me that all these details were matters of nightly discussion at the headquarters of the Union and Progress Committee. Each new method of inflicting pain was hailed as a splendid discovery, and the regular attendants were constantly ransacking their brains in the effort to devise some new torment. He told me that they even delved into the records of the Spanish Inquisition and other historic institutions of torture and adopted all the suggestions found there. He did not tell me who carried off the prize in this gruesome competition, but common reputation through Armenia gave a preeminent infamy to Djevdet Bey, the Vali of Van, whose activities in that section I have already described. All through this country Djevdet was generally known as the "horseshoer of Bashkale" for this connoisseur in torture had invented what was perhaps the masterpiece of all ??? that of nailing horseshoes to the feet of his Armenian victims...."


"....The real purpose of the deportation was robbery and destruction; it really represented a new method of massacre. When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact."


In a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, Morgenthau wrote on July 15, 1915: "Deportation of and excesses against peaceful Armenians is increasing and from harrowing reports of eye witnesses it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a pretext of reprisal against rebellion."


Winston Churchill spoke of the Armenian genocide in the U.K. parliament: "In 1915 the Turkish Government began and ruthlessly carried out the infamous general massacre and deportation of Armenians in Asia Minor... There is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons."


It is a shame that in the United States, Republicans and Democrats have become divided over the nature of the genocide, to the point that Republicans wish to flatter Turkey by arguing over the semantics of the terms "massacre" and "genocide." Turkey is at fault here, from its deliberate denial of uncomfortable facts.


The three CUP leaders ??? Ismail Enver, Mehmet Talaat and Ahmet Cemal ??? along with several minor officials were tried in Turkey. The trials of the three Young Turk "Pashas" took place in absentia. The three "Pashas" died without receiving judicial punishment for their crimes. At the end of the First World War, Ismail Enver had fled to Germany on a boat, accompanied by Mehmet Talaat and Ahmet Cemal. On July 5, 1919 the three were found guilty of taking Turkey into World War I, and of committing massacres against Armenians. They were sentenced to death.


Ismail Enver died fighting the Soviets in Tajikistan on August 4, 1922. Mehmet Talaat was gunned down by an Armenian, Soghomon Tehlirian, in Berlin in 1921. Ahmed ??emal was shot dead in Tiblisi on July 21, 1922 by two Armenians, Stepan Dzaghiguian and Bedros Der-Boghossian. Talaat's and ??emal's assassins belonged to the group called Operation Nemesis.


Most historians accept the events that began in 1915 as "genocide." In Turkey, one brave historian examined Ottoman documentary evidence from the time, and concluded that there was an Armenian genocide. This historian, Taner Akcam, was jailed for publishing his findings, under Article 301 of the Turkish penal Code ??? "insulting Turkishness." A recent interview with him can be found here. During his researches, Akcam found that "individual Turkish officers often wrote 'doubles' of their mass death-sentence orders, telegrams sent at precisely the same time that asked their subordinates to ensure there was sufficient protection and food for the Armenians during their 'resettlement'."


Occasionally the remains of victims of the Armenian genocide become uncovered. In Xirabebaba in southeastern Turkey on October 17, 2006, some Kurds were digging a grave when they uncovered a cache of skeletal remains in a cave. About 300 individuals were found. It was assumed that these were the 150 Armenian and 120 Syriac males from the adjacent town of Dara (Oguz) who were slaughtered on June 14, 1915.


The news was published in a Kurdish newspaper, but Turkish army officials arrived and told the villagers to cover the entrance to the cave, and claimed that stories that the bodies were Armenian were "lies." Local police demanded to know who had leaked the discovery to the press.


Turkey refuses to accept that the Armenian Genocide took place, and expects its allies to collude with its campaigns of lies and disinformation. Perhaps the House of Congress is not the best place to discuss aspects of history, but denying history to placate a petulant ally is undignified. Turkey still wants to join the European Union, even though this institution has already ruled that the Armenian Genocide did take place. The protestations and blackmailing from Turkey's Islamist prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and its president Abdullah G??l should be ignored, or responded to in kind. If Turkey threatens U.S. interests because the U.S. does not officially follow its false propaganda, Turkey should realize that it has far more to lose from a breakdown of relations with its principal NATO ally.


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Adrian Morgan, aka Giraldus Cambrensis of Western Resistance, is UK-based writer and artist. He also writes for Spero News, Family Security Matters and He has previously contributed to various publications, including the Guardian and New Scientist and is a former Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society.

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Comments Notes: Make comments preferably in "single" paragraph, since it cannot separate paragraphs.

Name: ExMuslim
Date: Sunday October 21, 2007
Time: 06:59:37 -0700


It's not genocide but jihad. And jihad, in the cause of Allah, is the highest duty and praiseworthy act for the Ummah of Islam. Why give the noblest of Islamic deed a wrong name, and be ashamed to the infidels of the world?

Date: Sunday October 21, 2007
Time: 09:43:29 -0700


I wonder what the Armenians did to be punished this harsh by the falling Othman empire. No one talk about the Armenians cooperation with the Russian to bring down the Othman. Just like no one talks about the Jews and their anti Europeans schemes before the so called Holocaust took place. I wonder if the so called leader of the free world will be accused of massacres, may be only when it collapses and no longer a super power.

Name: Apostate
Date: Sunday October 21, 2007
Time: 19:01:36 -0700


The Ottoman empire's barbarity should be condemned by only recognizing the "Armenian genocide". It must go all the way to its birth and unearth all the ceaseless barbarity commited by the Jihadists of the regime one after another.

Name: Marie
Date: Monday October 22, 2007
Time: 12:59:18 -0700


Jewish anti-European Schemes, what Jewish anti-European schemes? Their is no doubt that the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust did take place. Just look at the evidence. Obviously the nameless person who made these accusations is a Muslim who is challenging all of the evidence of these atrocities. The only evidence that Muslims use to deny these atrocities is the evidence that only comes out of their mouth. There is no evidence that can prove that the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust is a lie and that these atrocities did not occur.

Date: Thursday November 01, 2007
Time: 07:22:59 -0700


Name: Turco-Deist
Date: Friday November 02, 2007
Time: 16:09:46 -0700


I'm not into any muslim crap anymore, but I'm from Turkey and learned this subject from another point of view. You might check out the Turkish recordings and see how many Turks were massacred by Armenian militia. I personally do not think the same as the Turkish state thinks but I cannot think that Armenian diaspora is right about that. Truth is somewhere in between, and both nations suffered. That's what I think.

Name: elegcavn
Date: Friday November 09, 2007
Time: 08:28:02 -0700


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