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Naim-andonian Documents By Dadrian

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#1 DominO



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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:02 PM

It seems that Dadrians work on the Andonians is the most misunderstood of all, from those that haven't read it. Some have even tried to discredit him, on the basis that he “claims” “forgeries” to be authentic, some others like Gunter(Gunter has himself reviewed it, and has been answered by Dadrian afterwards, and his book has been published the same year as Dadrians article, so he may be excused there) or Lewy, entirely ignore his work when dismissing the Andonians as forgeries by relying on works such as the one written by Orel and Yuca(on its original title: Ermenilerce Talat Paşaya Atfedilen Telegrafların Gerçek Yüzü (Ankara, 1983)), or Ataov (whom merely recycle the same stuff).

I thought that the work should be at least read by all those that don't have a clue on its content, so I have decided to post it here. I have OCRized it, so there might be some recognition mistakes by the software(but I believe they are minimal). The text doesn't respect the same form(italics of non-English words in the actual text are not in italic in this version, different fonts etc.)

Don't miss the Correction: The Naim-Andonian Documents on the World War I Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians: The Anatomy of a Genocide by Vahakn D. Dadrian, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 18, No.4 (Nov., 1986), p. 550, Dadrian povides some corrections. I placed it at the bottom, after the [foot]notes.

The tables in the article are here in the form of an attachment.

Table 1

Table 2a
Table 2b

Selected old-style/new-style calender conversions

Important notice: While Zoryan in the past in its section of Dadrians bibliography had an hyperlink to one of his articles from a personal site, which may indicate that they(him, since he's the director) do not have a problem on a limited distribution of his articles, please don't copy it anywhere else. If you want to show the article to anyone, provide the link of this thread, while Dadrian may not have a problem with it, International Journal of Middle East Studies could(even thought many articles relating to the genocide from such Journals were placed on the web without a written consent or that it isen't printed anymore).

The Naim-Andonian Documents on the World War I Destruction of Ottoman Armenians: The Anatomy of a Genocide by Vahakn N. Dadrian. International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Aug., 1986), pp. 311-360

Edited by QueBeceR, 22 November 2005 - 04:05 PM.

#2 DominO



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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:05 PM



The protracted Turko-Armenian conflict, marked by intermittent massacres, was violently resolved during World War I. By governmental decree the bulk of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire was uprooted from its ancestral territories and was committed to a process of deportation that became a process of destruction. The provinces in the interior of Turkey with heavy concentrations of Armenians were thus completely denuded of their indigenous population.

Volumes have been produced regarding the instruments and dimensions of this destruction. The carnage was attested to by multitudes of Armenian survivors; by German, Swiss, and American missionaries; and by European and American consuls in the provinces and their ambassadors in Istanbul, the Ottoman capital. The testimony of Austrian and German officers of all ranks who fought in and directed that war alongside the Turks as political and military allies is even more striking.

The overall picture emerging from these narrations points to a network of administrative measures entailing, in one way or another, the extermination of most of the deportees. Highlighted in that picture is a deportation-destruction syndrome warranting treatment as a twin problem and focus.

Such a preponderance of testimony is deficient, however, in one major respect. Although it overwhelmingly confirms the fact of what Toynbee called "this gigantic crime that devastated the Near East,"[1] it does not inform specifically on the underlying mechanisms of these administrative measures. More specific knowledge is needed on the structure of decision-making, on division of labor in organization and implementation, and on the network of power relations ensuring the authorization and legitimacy of the measures. Likewise, more knowledge is needed of the command and control System, the nature of associated orders, and the positive and negative sanctions applied to the provincial subalterns for the purpose of securing their compliance.

In brief, there has been a paucity of specific documentation on the involvement of key power-wielders and the hierarchy of subordinate agents. That paucity was somewhat mitigated by the 1919-1920 Turkish Court Martial proceedings at which a congeries of official documents surfaced. These were introduced as evidence by a succession of procurors-general after competent ministerial officials had authenticated them with the standard notation: "It conforms to the original" (aslına muafıkdır, or aslına mutabık). Yet it was apparent that these were but the scattered fragments of a large volume of secret records that, according to Turkish testimony, were hastily whisked away and eventually destroyed.

This being the case, the Naim-Andonian documents, if authentic, assume extraordinary import for two main reasons. First, they are intrinsically valuable as primary sources on state secrets involving a major state crime. Second, by declaring these documents as forgeries, a host of Turkish scholars, supported and sponsored by the Turkish Historical Society, currently are mounting a large-scale campaign to challenge that contention of crime.[2]

This study proposes to examine the truth and validity of the documents in question in order to ascertain the fact of that crime, thereby putting to the test the relevance of these arguments denying it. The documents will first be scrutinized in terms of their internal and external consistencies. They will then be assessed against the background of other data and sources confirming, with a high level of consistency, the existence of a policy of extermination and the respective roles of the associated personalities described in these documents.

The significance of this probe and demonstration was accentuated by the recent discovery of some extant copies of the pertinent issues of Takvimi Vekayi, the official gazette of the Ottoman government (see Table 1). all but removed from circulation, these issues contain the transcripts of the proceedings of the governmentally instituted Extraordinary Courts-Martial (fevkalade) that tried the chief authors of that policy of extermination and pronounced a series of verdicts (Divanı Harbi Örfi Muhakematı Zabıt Ceridesi).

Consequently, this study will be limited to the task of probing, assessing, and, if possible, authenticating a set of documents the critical import of which is matched by the intensity with which their legitimacy is currently being contested. These documents depict the involvement of the organs of the Ottoman state apparatus and the role of the Ittihad Party in controlling that apparatus. The effort is therefore largely a historiographical one. Its central thrust is an attempt at exposing the fallacies rampantly in evidence in a new trend of revisionism bent on rewriting history relative to the World War I destruction of Ottoman Armenians. it is hoped that once the record is set straight, scholarship in this area will be kept free from the inroads of political expediency and partisanship.


Published in three separate volumes in Armenian, French, and English,[3] the material consists mainly of 52 pieces purporting to be documents of which all but 2, which are letters, are decoded cipher telegrams. Mostly orders from Istanbul, these pieces are further divided into originals and hand-copied replicas. Additionally, a significant part of the material consists of Naim Sefa's annotations explaining and enlarging upon individual ciphers. (For this reason alone the English title referring to Naim's memoirs is a clear misnomer.) Aram Andonian's own supplementary comments are interspersed in the main text, along with a whole series of footnotes and editorial opinions.

Two letters from Dr. Behaeddin Şakir, the head of the Special Organization field units and a key member of Ittihad's secret Directorate, to Responsible Secretary Cemal (Nos. 1 and 2 in Table 2) are of paramount significance. They provide an ideological framework for the anti-Armenian measures to be initiated. The letters focus on the cumulative, bitter aspects of the lingering Turko-Armenian conflict, for which a radical solution is forecast—namely, the complete annihilation of the Armenian people. These pronouncements are later buttressed by Mehmed Talat, then Interior Minister and the chief leader of Ittihad, who validates them as policy decisions. He declares the Armenians, including "babes," to be outside the pale of law (No. 4), and therefore slated for "complete extermination" (No. 5) or for maximum decimation (No. 14). In the last document, a dateless cipher from Talat (No. 52), the Armenians are labeled as "a curse for centuries." The process of destruction through extermination is described in Deputy Director of Deportation Abdulahad Nuri's two ciphers (Nos. 29 and 42).

Encouraging brutality and murder by forbidding any prosecution of the officials involved (No. 45), Talat in one telegram reiterates the point that these crimes serve the purpose of the government (No. 8). This resolve is restated in the circular (the only document not supplied by Naim but avowedly furnished by a Turkish officer) of War Minister Ibrahim Enver (No. 43), and war is held to be the circumstance propitious to carrying on the long-decided extermination (No. 44). In two other ciphers Talat singles out clergymen (No. 15) and the survivors from eastern provinces as priority targets (No. I2jp\vhile the Justice Ministry orders all Armenians, convicted or in custody, to be included in the deportations (No. 50).

In four other telegrams Talat exhorts his functionaries to show no mercy for women and children or the infirm and sick. He orders them to act harshly and swiftly to speed up the desired deaths in accordance with the government's grand policy (Nos. 3, 4, and 5). A. Nuri echoes that directive (No. 35), as do two other ciphers for which no authors are indicated (Nos. 44 and 47). As part of this design of severe treatment, A. Nuri forbids the use of transportation, ordering his subordinates to march the deportees off on foot. At the same time he complains that the weekly lists of the dead have been unsatisfactory; he insists that deportation is not meant to be a leisurely trip. Complaints and lamentations are to be ignored (No. 35). In one telegram Talat advises officials "to waste no time" with grievances and, in order to get going, to inform the deportees that their grievances would be processed at their final destination (No. 17). In another cipher, however, Talat orders that complaints be ignored completely because even their pro-forma acceptance might be politically harmful (No. 46).

Three other communications reassure the executioners of the deportees that they will not be held accountable for whatever they do (Nos. 4 and 8 from Talat and No. 51 from A. Nuri). In another cipher the Aintab (Anteb) district commissioner (mutasarrıf) informs Aleppo that 500 Armenians, "mostly women and children," were marched off under the escort of Kurds. "The known method" was applied to make sure that they would never return (No. 34). This communication was sent in response to Aleppo Governor Mustafa Abdülhalik (Renda)'s cipher ordering the Aintab district commissioner to dispose of Armenians from the provinces of Sivas and Harput, identified as part of the "six provinces," by "the previously prescribed known method" (No. 30). Talat expresses concern that American and other foreign observers might discover the real intent of the deportations (No. 18). He admonishes the officials to exercise caution and resort to deflection (Nos. 11 and 24).

In an unusual cipher (annotated by Naim), Talat orders that a collective petition from prominent Armenians of Cilicia, not yet deported, be secured and transmitted to him within a week. The petition would condemn the Dashnag party as a band of wartime conspirators and fomenters of rebellion throughout Turkey (No. 9). The Dashnags, "a disciplined and well-organized Armenian political party," were the allies of Ittihad with whom they cooperated in the struggle against Abdül Hamid, in the 1908-1912 series of elections, and in the suppression of the March 31/April 13, 1909 counterrevolution. After the 1912— 1913 Balkan wars the two parties gradually drifted into antagonism. In his annotated comment Naim Sefa stresses the concocted nature of this indictment, extracted from despairing victims. A similar Talat cipher orders the secret and ingenious compilation of evidence showing "the seditious ideas and undertak-ings" of the Armenians so as to justify the measures adopted against them (No. 39). Talat "secretly" explains in a previous cipher the high purpose of making Der Zor the terminal point of the deportations. In another cipher he orders the wholesale deportation of the families of the Armenian laborers of the Intilli-Ayran section of the Baghdad Rallway to Der Zor, with the ruse that their men would soon join them (No. 38).

Der Zor became filled to overflowing with these and the other multitudes of deportees who survived the harrowing trek to the city, billed by the victims as "the Desert of Death." Der Zor Governor Salihzeki then requests permission to "relocate" them further (No. 27), which in his comment Andonian interprets to be a euphemism for massacre. To ensure maximum efficiency through maximum compliance, sanctions are threatened and applied to officials stalling, relenting, or recoiling before the crime of massacre (Nos. 2, 5, 15, 22, 32, 48, and 52). In two ciphers Talat directs the court-martialing of such officials, with the proviso that they be accused "through the medium of other pretexts" (başka vesile ile; Nos. 11 and 52). Talat is also able to prevail upon the War Office to order the commanders of local garrisons and recruitment offices to refrain from interfering in deportation procedures, and he so informs his provincial subordinates with a circular (No. 4).

Finally there is a set of five telegrams from Talat ordering the disposal of Armenian orphans (1—No. 10) who were retained by muslim families as servants; (2—No. 6) whose lives did not need to be prolonged through the upkeep of orphanages; (3—No. 3) whose elimination is decreed by the government, which cannot be disobeyed; (4—No. 36) who are potentially harmful and whose feeding cannot be tolerated when so many muslim families and widows are starving; and (5—No. 25) who are to be collected and destroyed without arousing suspicion. In compliance with these instructions, A. Nuri in two ciphers reassures Talat; he informs Talat in one of the impending dispatch of 400 orphans from an orphanage (No. 13), and explains in the other that by marching off these children amidst the rigors of the winter, "their eternal peace" will be ensured (No. 37).

Except for the two letters (Nos. 1 and 2), all other communications employ the foliowing covert references: (1) describing the Armenian victims as "the known persons" (eşhası malüme), (2) indicating the methods of extermination as "the known procedures" (tedabiri malüme), (3) disguising these procedures by "secret means" (vesaiti hafiye), and (4) implementing "the required" or "mandated" (elzem) purposes of the government as distinct from the purported ones. As noted above, the euphemism "they found their eternal peace" was used to inform one's superior that the victims had been dispatched to death.

Naim brought to the attention of A. Nuri the entreaties of the dissident sub-governor of Ras ul-Ain. He added his own appeal in the sense that the public health consequences of the relentless mass murder would sooner or later strike the entire population of the region, leaving only ghosts in its wake; he suggested that a relaxation in the stringency of the measures might be in order. Nuri is said to have retorted: "My boy, we will be destroying this way two harmful elements at once. Aren't those who will be dying off along with the Armenians the Arabs? Is it bad? The paths of Turkey's future will thereby open up."[4]

Edited by QueBeceR, 22 November 2005 - 05:01 PM.

#3 DominO



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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:06 PM


The material was assembled in the turmoil and chaos of the armistice, with extreme secrecy and without the benefit of legal advice. It received a shabby treatment in its English translation, its editing, printing, and custodial safe-keeping. The resulting damage is considerable but not irreparable, as described below.[5] Moreover, misleading statements were made regarding Naim and his position in the Ottoman administration. It was the same penchant for propaganda that prompted Andonian to rush the documents to London with a view to influencing public opinion and Allied diplomats who were to elaborate the terms of peace with defeated Turkey. A valuable opportunity was thus lost for submitting the documents to Ottoman authorities for possible authentication. The Ministries of Justice, Interior and Defense were in the process of setting up a Military Tribunal to try the authors of the wartime massacres, and were in search of pertinent documents.

Technical Flaws

A mere writer and publicist, trying to produce a documentary work on a calamity of which he was a survivor, Andonian precipitously put together a work that disregarded the criteria of coherence and integration. The documents do not blend well with the interpretative texts of either Naim or Andonian, nor do they follow a systematic order. The facsimiles are wedged in between randomly selected pages, encumbering the flow of reading and the verification of their corresponding translations. all three versions—Armenian, French, and English— suffer from a series of typographical and editorial errors, including inaccuracies of dates. The English version is a mere "summary" and as such is deficient in textual precision.[6]

Perhaps the most serious flaw involves a pattern of date conversion from old to new style, betraying ignorance of the Ottoman calendar System in relation to the common Western one.[7] The result is incongruities in the interrelationships of the various pieces as well as in the chronology of the events depicted. As an example of the carelessness involved, in one particular case (No. 11), a note, being the last line of the document, was left out of the plate. It is abundantly evident that the production of the three volumes, including proofreading, was undertaken with incomprehensible laxity.

The Problematic Case of Two Documents: A Clarification and an Explanation

The two letters (Nos. 1 and 2), though quintessential in several respects, contain errors along the lines discussed above. The first is dated February 18, (1)331. The second, having a reference to the first, thus related to it, is dated March 25, (1)331. When converting to new style, however, these dates become March 2, 1916 (the 1916 leap year addition of one extra day), and April 7, 1915, respectively. But, by any logic, a March 25/April 7, 1915, letter cannot have a reference to an antecedent letter that has a subsequent date. At first glance this anomaly casts a dark shadow on the nature of both documents. Either the first, i.e., February 18/March 2, 1916, letter is dated correctly, in which case the second should bear the March 25/April 7, 1916, date, or the latter has the correct date and the former has the wrong one.

The key to resolving this confusion is buried in the Ottoman text of the second, i.e., the facsimile of the March 25, 1915, letter produced in all three versions, i.e., Armenian, French, and English (AT. pi. 144, FT pi. 98, ET pi. 52"')- Indeed, when referring to the first letter in the first paragraph of the text of this second letter, the correct date of February 18, (1)330, i.e., February 18, 1915, is cited for the first letter, instead of what clearly emerges as the erroneous February 18, (1)331, i.e., February 18, 1916, date that appears on top of that first letter. This dated reference in the text of the second letter restores the sequential interconnection between the two, clarifying the error while indicating its origin.[8] In light of our knowledge of a similar instance of Şakir misplacing dates, it is entirely possible that Şakir himself erred in this matter. Indeed when framing the principles on which the Saloniki and Paris branches of Ittihad merged, he had prepared a document that carries the wrong date in the first paragraph, i.e., (1)322 or 1906. The correct date appears at the end of it, right before Şakir's signature, i.e., (1)323 or 1907.[9]

Perhaps the most problematic piece in the Naim-Andonian cipher telegrams is Talat's September 3, 1915 (No. 3), the facsimile of which is reproduced in all three versions. It contains some notes from Mustafa Abdülhalik, to whom it is directed. As records show, the latter took up his post in Aleppo as governor in the last week of September (old style) and presumably couldn't have transacted official business at that post some three weeks earlier. Should this presumption hold, the cipher becomes highly suspect. But closer scrutiny reveals that his signature appended to his note doesn't specify the month at all but rather the day on which the note was entered. Instead of the year and the month, the customary symbol minh is written, literally meaning "from it," and roughly translating "same." Thus, when entering his instruction, Abdülhalik never wrote the word for September but just "5," simply indicating the day of the month.

If Abdülhalik in fact began to serve actively toward the end of September 1915, either the cipher was sent to him prematurely or was intentionally "on hold," in which case the indication "5" may have been referring to October 5. The only other possibility to consider is a clerical mistake of dating, either by the official in charge of decoding or by the Aleppo Telegraph Bureau receiving and relaying such cipher telegraphs. This line of reasoning assumes that no agency, not to speak of an improvised provincial agency, can be held free from such errors to which Ottoman officialdom has been particularly susceptible.[10] Nor can Talat himself be held exempt from misdating. The biographer of Enver provides a salient example of such misdating. In a communication to three Ittihadist leaders (Hakkı, Cavid, and Cahid), Talat outlines the preparations for the overthrow of Kamil Paşa's Cabinet. He dates it January 27, 1913, using the mysterious symbol "14/7 January 1328." But the overthrow had already taken place on January 10/23, 1328, or 1913. Comments the author: "This symbol may either be a code or a misleading date ... in brief, a communication that is characteristic of an [Ittihadist] committee member" (karakteristik bir Komiteci mektubu).[11]


A recent volume put out by the Turkish Historical Society is aimed at invalidating the material under review. The two authors assert that the entire collection is nothing but fabrication combined with forgery. Apart from the flaws detailed above, they advance the following five criticisms:

1. In discussing Abdulahad Nuri's cipher (No. 26), or rather the printed facsimile of its text, the authors contend that no Ottoman governmental office would deign to use "such a species of paper" (türden bir kağıt); they find that paper "resembling . . . paper used for calligraphy lessons in French schools."

2. In disputing Naim's access to ciphers, they maintain, "It is utterly improbable that such highly secret documents would have been kept for three years without being destroyed."

3. Referring to the February 18 and March 25 letters, they argue that the texts betray ignorance of the Ottoman language and that "no Turk, then or no w," would commit such errors of grammar and syntax.

4. They indicate irregularities in the use of cryptographie numbers found in some of the ciphers, explaining that code keys were frequently changed during the war, according to General Staff archive data.

5. Having juxtaposed Abdülhalik's signatures with two other documents, which the authors claim bear "the real signature" of the governor, they conclude that the signatures, and hence the documents (Nos. 11 and 19), are "false."[12]

all these challenges have a central relevance and significance, needing to be addressed point by point.

1. The details of the printed facsimile of the given document are not easy to determine from printed pages. Moreover, one needs to be reminded of the very acute shortage of paper in wartime Turkey, which depended almost entirely for supplies upon its equally hard-pressed ally Germany. all sorts of improvisatory measures affecting even telegraphic communications were in force. This fact is confirmed by none other source than an official serving in the same central office that supervised the deportations from Istanbul, and by Naim himself.[13] Another official, who later became Interior Minister, reveals in his memoirs that even in peacetime Talat used "ordinary paper" (adi bir kağıd) and didn't bother to put the required seal on it when recommending the official’s dismissal to the Grand Vezir.[14]

2. However easy the destruction of secret documents at Istanbul might have been, this was not the case at distant Aleppo, apart from the fact that even at Istanbul the destruction was not complete. Not only was Aleppo not considered in danger, but as late as autumn 1917 it became the site of the Headquarters of Army Group F (Yihdirim), consisting of the 6th, 7th, and 8th Armies, first under Falkenhayn, then Marshal Liman von Sanders. That army groupes initial mission was to recapture Baghdad, but it was later diverted to the Palestine and Sinai fronts. The fate of that mission was sealed with the panicky relinquishment of Aleppo, which was about to be stormed by British-led forces. There was neither anticipation nor enough time to destroy records.[15] Moreover, the German Consul at Aleppo, Walter Rossler, stated that Naim's possession of the documents can be "entirely granted for as far as I knew the Turks [in Aleppo] never catalogued and attached (nie geheftet) their documents."[16]

3. This argument is hollow on three grounds. First, handwriting, as compared with standardized printing, is intrinsically irregular in any language. Focusing on minuscule variations in the positioning of signs on short or long vowels, or on less-than-complete hooks attached to certain signs of the Ottoman alphabet as a test of the authenticity of the writing is a dubious procedure. The Historical Society authors single out, for example, the case of a dot for the consonant b that is off its mark by one-fiftieth to one-sixtieth of an inch to conclude that being non-Muslim and having no experience in writing the religious formula besmele (in the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful) Andonian bungled, giving away his identity. This argument is further vitiated by the two examples these authors present as handwritten, authentic besmele formulas. A close inspection reveals, however, that there are more striking differences between these two examples offered by the authors than any differences that may be detected in the writing of that word on top of the documents supplied by Andonian on the one hand, and by the authors on the other.

Second, there are two debatable assumptions injected in this criticism, one referring to Ottoman grammar and syntax, and the other to the impossibility of any Turk making, "then or now," common or uncommon errors in this regard. Two British authors whose experience includes having translated a mass of Ottoman state documents spread over eight large volumes, made the following relevant assessments. One of them wrote, "The Turkish language is so difficult, its vocabulary is so little adapted, ... Its style, its syntax lack so much clarity and conciseness." The other referred to "the intrinsic difficulties of the Turkish language . . . [and its] awkward construction and indefinite phrasing which have constantly to be encountered."[17]

As if to dramatize and confirm this testimony on the liabilities of Ottoman Turkish, Ahmed Mithat, the prolific Turkish author of literary and historical works, declared: "The Ottoman language is such a rotten structure that whichever part is touched, falls down. . . . We have to give up making repairs." An author of several Ottoman dictionaries, Şemseddin Sami, spoke out in favor of completely revamping Ottoman Turkish toward the goal of purging it from the chaotic sway of Persian and Arabic.[18]

As to no Turk being liable to distorting or usurping the language, the Turkish Court Martial repudiated that notion when at the twelfth sitting of the Yozgad trial series it was forced to rephrase a sentence in an official document because of "very ineptly used Turkish." A Turkish Interior Minister denounced as "bad" (bozuk) Turkish the language of a 1912 Ittihad Congress report.[19]

Finally, and most importantly, a Turkish historian found the writing of Talat, who is the central figure in the material under review, as being an example of "bad" (bozuk) Turkish also. It involves the letter Talat had sent Grand Vezir izzet on the eve of his flight from Istanbul (November 2, 1918), in an attempt to justify that flight.[20]

4. The matter of changing code keys is related to a regular, structured communication System, not necessarily applicable to the ad hoc improvisations surrounding the deportations and massacres. These improvisations were not enacted by the General Staff, the author's reference point, but by the Interior Ministry, its subsidiary agencies, and the Special Organization. Moreover, "the chronic confusion in the archives of the Ottoman General Staff during the war" has been pointed out.[21]

5. This is the most serious issue raised thus far, calling for a substantiation not brought to bear by the critics of the disputed documents. Indeed, the matter can hardly be settled on the basis of inspecting printed pages that consist of reproductions, and in some cases, of consecutive reproductions. The determination of whether there are substantial differences in the two versions of the signature in question is a much more complicated task than that performed by these critics; one may even dispute the existence of any important differences. Recognizing the critical import of this issue, the Armenian National Union at Aleppo and Andonian employed more than one method to probe and verify the authenticity of Abdülhalik's signatures. This procedure of verification is described later, in the section on "The Credibility Constraints of Naim and Andonian."


There is in addition the expression of doubt by all three authors on the very existence of Naim: "It is quite possible that Naim never lived."[22] One major reason advanced for this sweeping doubt is the futile search the Historical Society authors say they undertook in the personnel records of the Interior Ministry at Istanbul in order to certify his employment in that Ministry. They glossed over the fact, however, that Naim was a provincial, local appointee, engaged by an ad hoc branch of the Deportation Office at Aleppo. The records of that office, if they were kept, and those of the Ras ul-Ain Tobacco Regie, from which Naim was drawn to his Aleppo job, should be the proper sources for such certification.

Talat's November 18 cipher (No. 11) contains two notes, appended on November 21 and 22 by Aleppo Governor M. Abdülhalik, who orders A. Nuri to relay his instructions to certain deportation officials. A. Nuri, in turn, and on the same day, commands Naim to do this, with the words, "Write [to them] Naim Efendi," to which Naim responds, "It has been written. Registry No. 741-16." In still another cipher of Talat, dated October 4, 1915, which is not included in the Naim-Andonian material, A. Nuri again calls on Naim, this time to help in the investigation of the circumstances of "the accidental death of Istanbul Deputy Zohrab." Nuri's note, dated October 6 and marked "secret," is appended to that of M. Abdülhalik. On October 11, the latter confirms receipt of the investigation papers, and A. Nuri notates that communication as follows: "Save it, Naim Efendi."[23]

The Turkish critics also declare it impossible that a Turk, when dealing with a non-Turk, would inculpate his countrymen, as if these "belonged to another nation."[24] This bold declaration is belied by the behavior of an array of Turkish governors, military commanders, and other high functionaries, who confided an abundance of secrets on the Armenian massacres to their German and Austrian friends stationed in Turkey during the war, as will be seen later. Moreover, the same types of official in the same way publicly testified before the Court Martial, as the wartime cabinet ministers in their turn testified before the Ottoman Parliament's Fifth Committee. Testifying under oath, these officials in the end helped convict the top Ittihad leaders implicated one way or another in the Armenian massacres.

As indicated above, the Andonian volume in Armenian and its translations in French and English are replete with errors of dates, date conversion, and typography. Focusing on these errors, the Turkish authors degraded the volumes to a point of dismissing them. Yet their own volume, published only very recently, is teeming with identical errors.[25] A few examples may be in order. On page 241 Orel and Yuca produce a "top secret" ismet (inönü) document with an old-style February 19, (1)331, date that they convert into new-style May 2, 1915. Into this one single conversion have slipped three major errors: (1) Old-style February always becomes February of the next year when converted; thus 1915 should be 1916. (2) Since 1916 was a leap year, the carryover to the next month should have 3, not 2, as the day of the month. (3) The month following February is March, not May. Closer scrutiny of the text on the same page and on page 104 can establish, however, that these errors are due to typographical mishaps—namely, in 19.2.31, number 2 indicates the month of February and is a misprint for 4, Le., the month of April. (See the tabulation in note 7 of this article.)

Not all errors are typographical, however. An example of plain carelessness is the handling of document No. 20, which has a March 26, 1331, old-style, and April 8, 1915, new-style date on page 99. Yet on pages 226 and 227, where the original Ottoman text and its facsimile are produced, the correct date instead is found to be January 26, (1)331, which should convert into February 8, 1916, and not April 8, 1915, as the authors mistakenly have done.


Naim was tested on several occasions regarding his veracity and reliability. Despite his chronic need for money, and despite the prevalence of extortion by Turkish officials in charge of deportation measures, he reportedly passed up several opportunities to extort money from Armenians desperately at the mercy of his goodwill. As Andonian observed, "In comparison with those rogues Naim was a Saint. ... I cannot forget the fact that throughout my protracted dealings with him he never lied. We benefited from the kindly features of his complex character without being victimized by his vices." It is worth noting that this judgment was not included in Andonian's volume but in a private, confidential letter he wrote a quarter-century later as if wanting to bare his soul and clarify an important matter.

The Armenian National Union at Aleppo, in cooperation with Andonian, conducted two specific tests to probe the reliability of Naim. One involved a comparison of the set of ciphers that Naim earlier had copied down with the set of their originals, which Naim unexpectedly was required to deliver in the wake of the subsequent total Turkish defeat. The comparison held: The contents of the two sets did square with each other. The second test was undertaken by the ad hoc committee that was established by the Armenian Union and in whose possession were several specimens of Aleppo Governor Abdülhalik's signature and handwritten notes. Reportedly the tests were exhaustive, lasting a week. The common identity of the two sets of the writing was certified, and the committee decided that Naim could be trusted.[26]

Andonian's credibility, though somewhat tainted by his vituperative comments, was also redeemed in several respects, especially his faithfulness in the handling and reproduction of the documents themselves. Like Naim, he scrupulously avoided filling such gaps as four missing signatures, nine missing dates, and 27 missing registry numbers; nor did he try to correct some incongruities in dates. Furthermore, his penchant for faithfulness in translation is certified by none other than the two Turkish authors Orel and Yuca. The two employ such descriptions as "generally speaking it tallies with the original," "quite close to the original," or "very close to the original," while conceding some minor differences involving "nuances." In light of the high level of emotion gripping Andonian, the crippled survivor of 4 years of pain and agony, such fidelity bespeaks of discipline and self-restraint, if not integrity.

Although important in some sense, Naim's motivations are at present neither relevant nor significant, even if they could be fathomed. One can only speculate that his duties did not entirely smother his conscience and that he was not entirely free from tribulations and, to use his words, from episodic "tears." As he put it, "A shudder came over me each time I recorded the incoming cipher telegrams, for a great nation with all its women and children was being committed to death."[27]

In his overall review of the material in its French version, the same version that Orel and Yuca used, the German Aleppo Consul Rössler spoke of "the impression of credibility," adding, "Considering the course of events, the published documents throughout possess the quality of an integral probability" (innere Wahrscheinlichkeit). Confirming the fact that Deputy Direct or Abdulahad Nuri's Aleppo office was the principal agency in charge of the regional deportations, he declared, "Many aspects with which I am familiar are described absolutely correctly; others which I didn't know provide an explanation for events which I had observed but which I couldn't then explain to myself."[28] Rössler's report is not a categorical endorsement, nor could it have been. He was forbidden by the German Foreign Office to testify "in a political sense" in the trial of Tehlirian,[29] who had assassinated Talat in Berlin, and Rössler's testimony, along with that of a host of other German witnesses, was eventually dispensed with. He was then induced to prepare his above-mentioned evaluation in a confidential report to Johannes Lepsius, the author of the massive compilation of German Foreign Office documents on the Armenian deportations and massacres.[30]

Edited by QueBeceR, 22 November 2005 - 04:48 PM.

#4 DominO



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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:07 PM


An Introductory Note

The word "favoring" in the subtitle above indicates the difficulty of a strictly legal authentication of the material. This may suspend but does not nullify the value of any document in contention. Moreover, there are alternative routes of assessing the documentary nature of the material; scholarship affords a variety of additional ways to pursue truth. What is proposed here to demonstrate the truth and validity of the material is a method of content verification. The principal actors covered by the Naim-Andonian material are repeatedly depicted in the same roles of arch-perpetrators and with reference to the same atrocities in identical or similar circumstances pinpointed in that material.

The Preponderance of Confirmatory Official Documents

Kemalism gained a foothold in the interior of Anatolia and subsequently developed a momentum largely due to the landing of Greek forces at Izmir (Smyrna) in May 1919. Successive post-Ittihad Turkish cabinets during a six-month period immediately following the armistice collected and marshaled incriminating evidence. The intent was to prosecute Ittihad leaders and their provincial cohorts on charges of centrally directed deportations and massacres (tehcir ve taktil). That evidence, tested and adjudged as probative in the proceedings of the Courts-Martial instituted by the Turkish government, included a host of official documents, which seemingly had survived the elimination process, from civilian as well as military authorities. Each one of these documents was authenticated by competent ministerial officials with the customary notation "it confirms to the original" before being introduced as a prosecution exhibit.

The prolonged trials of scores of top Ittihad leaders, including the ministers of the two wartime cabinets, were foreshadowed by the key Indictment drawn up by the Procuror-General. With that Indictment were lodged the sets of documents, then in the possession of the Court-Martial. This key Indictment subsumed the indictments prepared for the Yozgad and Trabzon trial series, which preceded that of the cabinet ministers for whom the key Indictment was framed. This comprehensive bill of charges included specifications alleging wholesale massacres, mass drownings and burnings, and the corollaries of rape, pillage, and plunder. The charges were, for purposes of substantiation, itemized along the following categories, used as reference points: series (tertip), file (dosya), document (vesika), single-leaf document (varaka), investigative loose papers (evrakı istintakiye), appendix (merbut), photocopy (fotoğraf), deposition (beyanatı tahririye), the residues of the Special Organization papers (Teşkilatı Mahsusan evrak mütebakiyesi), and Talat papers (Talat Beye ait evrak)— (Takvimi Vekayi [hereafter cited as TV], No. 3540, pp. 5-8. To facilitate content verification, the source references at this juncture are made part of the body of the discussion instead of being endnotes.)

It is important to note that the key Indictment explicitly referred to investigating "massacres and profiteering" (taktil ve ihtikar) as being "the principal task of this Tribunal" (cümlei vazife) (TV, No. 3540, p. 8). Following the deportation to Malta of the accused ministers and top Ittihad leaders (May-June 1919), the scope of charges was enlarged under the new category of "overthrow of the government" (taklibi hükümet), in the April 23, 1920 (TV, 3837), revision of its statutes, the Court Martial's jurisdiction was redefined to embrace the charges of "deportation," "massacre," "expropriation," "pillage," "destruction of villages and towns," "rebellion," and "violation of public order." When delivering its key verdict against the cabinet ministers (July 5, 1919), the Tribunal enumerated five grounds on which that verdict had been based. The first of these was "a verification (tahakkuk) that the crime of massacres (taktil cinayeti) was organized and carried out by certain leaders of Ittihad" (TV, 3604, p. 218).

Of those figuring prominently in the Naim-Andonian material, Talat, Enver, Şakir, and Nazım were condemned to death in absentia in subsequent verdicts (TV, No. 3604, p. 220; No. 3771, p. 2). Nazım, who like akir was a trained physician and about whom more details will follow, was one of the most powerful Ittihadist leaders, mostly operating behind the scenes. His influence grew considerably after 1912 when with Şakir and Ziya Gökalp, the ideologue of Ittihadism, he set forth a new course for the party which involved the creation of a new and homogeneous Turkish society. The others' trials were jettisoned during the subsequent months of Kemalism. What follows is a string of item-by-item corroborations depicting perpetrators and perpetrations that together form the documentary centerpiece of the material under review.[31]

On Talat

The Court Martial key Indictment cites Talat's "criminal posture" (vaziyeti cürmiye) as demonstrated by his "knowledge and orders" (emir ve vukufları) relative to "the massacres" (taktiller), and declares him "a principal co-perpetrator of the massacres" (hemfül kıtal). The Indictment on two separate occasions further cites Talat's coded ciphers containing orders for death and destruction and including the admonition "treat as secret" (hıfz) or "destroy" (ibtal) the cipher (TV, 3540, p. 5, ref. to series 8, doc. no. 1; p. 7, ref. to series 8, doc. no. 8). In further corroboration of evidence against Talat, the Indictment adduces the testimony of Trabzon Deputy Hafız Mehmed on the Black Sea mass-drowning operations (gark), which Talat knowingly allowed to continue (TV, 3540, p. 7, ref. to series 15), as well as the testimony of Antalya District Commissioner Sabur Sami (TV, 3540, p. 8, ref. to investigative loose papers, p. 44). Aleppo Governor Celal, who was transferred for refusing to substitute massacres for deportations (o be replaced by Abdülhalik), testified to Talat's personal confirmation of the policy of extermination. Ankara Governor Mazhar was dismissed for the same reason (TV, 3540, p. 8, investigative loose papers, pp. 7, 17). Atıf, the latter's interim replacement, was described by Ankara notable Radi, cited on the same page of TV, as having admitted to receiving an order from Talat to the effect that "the Armenians will not be allowed to live" (amirimden emir aldım. Ermeniler yaşamıyacaktır).[32] At the eleventh sitting of the Yozgad trial series (March 5, 1919), that district's commissioner, Cemal, testified that Ankara Responsible Secretary Necati had a handwritten order from Atıf that he wouldn't allow Cemal to read. On the strength of that secret order, which he characterized as an expression of Ittihad's will, Necati commanded Cemal to organize the massacre of the area's Armenians. Cemal refused to take orders from Ittihad and reports, "I was dismissed within about two weeks."[33]

This purging of officials who resisted or disobeyed Talat's orders changed into outright murder in the case of two subdistrict commissioners. One was an Arab[34] who opposed "the atrocities against and the executions of Arabs" (Arablara icra kılınan mezalim ve idamlarla) (TV, 3540, p. 8, investigative loose papers, p. 38).

The incriminating evidence, in the main gathered by the Turkish judiciary from Turkish officials, is confirmed and amplified through the official wartime testimony of the German military and diplomatic representatives. Aleppo Consul Rössler reported to his chancellor in Berlin the case of a district commissioner in Diyarbekir province. This commissioner refused to honor oral orders to carry out massacres, insisting that they be given him in writing. He subsequently was ambushed and killed on his way to the capital of the province that adjoins Aleppo province. The Consul added that when he first heard of this development, he "put aside" the news since he had received it from "native Christians." He conveyed the story after "reliable muslim sources" confirmed it.[35] The Indictment mentions Diyarbekir twice in this connection, citing Talat's cipher in which a governor is threatened with "the punishment of execution" (idamen tecziye) (TV, 3540, pp. 5, 6, ref. to series 8, doc. no. 1).

On at least two occasions Talat slipped into the mistake of admitting Ittihad's plan of eradicating the Armenian Question by eradicating the Armenians themselves.[36] in general, however, he steadfastly denied the occurrence of massacres in the interior to the German and Austrian ambassadors who were trying to mitigate the destruction process. Talat's assurances were belied by the incoming consular reports to such an extent that the ambassadors branded him, in so many words, as deceitful.[37] The German Consuls were even more vehement in denouncing him.[38]

In his memoirs the American ambassador at Istanbul reveals another feature of Talat's covert and informal methods of transacting party and/or govern-mental business that is not mentioned anywhere else. A former telegraphist, Talat had installed telegraphic equipment in the privacy of his home to relay messages and orders. The ambassador on one occasion surprised Talat in an emergency situation by driving straight to Talat's house, and spent the next two hours with his "involuntary host pausing now and then in his telegraphing."[39]

The current fanfare accorded to the circulation of Talat's other set of ciphers, in which he is portrayed as a rather solicitous statesman intent on relocating the masses of deportees as humanely as possible, calls for a comment. When transmitting this batch of Talat telegrams to London, Nevile Henderson, the British High Commissioner, inserted the following remark in his cover letter: "These are well worth reading and keeping as a vivid illustration of Turkish methods and mentality. It is left for academie speculation whether they were countermanded by secret orders or whether they were merely drafted in the certainty that natural savagery and callousness would make them worthless."[40] The routine practice of secretly countermanding farcical orders by Talat and his cohorts will be discussed in the conclusion of this article.

On Nazım

In relation to all of the 52 documents, Nazım prefigures as the elusive and invisible mastermind of the crimes involved. The February 18 letter (No. 1) reveals his visions and ambitions for Turkey and his resulting sense of frustration that they are avowedly being checkmated by the Armenians. The Indictment cites him eight times, seven of which portray him as a key organizer of the brigands (çetes) of the Special Organization. That role was conceded as a result of persistent cross-examinations of the defendants at the following sittings of the trial of the top Ittihadists. At the second trial, that role was confirmed by Atıf, Cevad (the Military Governor of Istanbul [Constantinople]), Z. Gökalp, and M. Şükrü (TV, 3543), with the latter repeating his testimony at the fourth (TV, 3549), the fifth (TV, 3553-54), and the seventh trials (TV, 3561). At the sixth trial, Midhat Şükrü, the Secretary-General of the Ittihad party, admitted that Nazım, along with Şakir, had the power to dismiss governors and district commissioners in the provinces (TV, 3557). Defendant Küçük Talat testified at the third sitting that Nazım carried out his work in those provinces in which the Special Organization had its field operations (TV, 3547; Journal d'Orient, May 7, 1919).

The most incriminating evidence was produced in the eighth and last citation of the Indictment by Aleppo Governor Celal. Celal had traveled to Istanbul in an endeavor to dissuade Talat and Nazım from continuing in their work of extermination. He was rebuffed by both. Nazım had earlier let him know that the anti-Armenian plan "was determined following extensive and full deliberations by the Central Committee" (Merkezi Umumice ariz ve amik düşünülerek karar verilmiş). During the subsequent personal exchange at Istanbul, Nazım not only remained adamant about "the necessary and useful measures" (lüzum ve faidesi), but went one step further, prognosticating that "this undertaking will solve the Eastern Question" (bu teşebbüsün Şark meselesini halledeceğini) (TV, 3540, p. 8, ref. to investigative loose papers, p. 17). As this material was being assembled for the Court Martial, the Special Correspondent of the Morning Post reported to his paper in London that "Dr. Nazım prides himself on having committed a million murders" against the Armenians.[41] In commenting on Nazım's role in the extermination of the Armenians, the Times of London, in its August 28, 1926, issue wrote, "As soon as the Great War broke out Nazım and his allies bombarded Talat ***** with anti-Armenian propaganda . . . and by 1916 half the Armenian community was dead . . . ." When referring to his "somewhat dark activities in World War I," Turkish author Süreyya Aydemir, who had "befriended" (yakınlığımız) Nazım, described him as one of the men "in charge of the party's Terror arm." In another work, the same author wrote, "His person bore the bloodiest responsibility and embodied the bloodiest stories of the darkest period of our Empire."[42] These judgments figure in British High Commissioner Horace Rumbold's note to Balfour in which he described the "notorious Dr. Nazım [as] perhaps the most important of all [Ittihadists]. . . who worked in the background."[43]

On Şakir

As explained earlier, the February 18 and March 25 letters (Nos. 1 and 2 and in the appended list) are merely initialed and are reproduced that way by Andonian, who could not make out their author when he put together his book. But subsequent press revelations identified those initiais as BEHA and the author as Behaeddin Şakir.[44] Both letters foretell a radical solution to the Armenian problem—namely, the complete extermination of the Armenians themselves. The measures to be applied were going to be "terribly bloody."[45] The Indictment cites a similar exhortation by Şakir issuing deportation instructions (TV, 3540, p. 8, ref. to investigative loose papers, p. 44, the quotation being, "tek bir Ermeni kalmamak üzere"), in another cip her of which the Court held a photocopy, Şakir asks the Ittihad Responsible Secretary of Harput, "Are your area's deported Armenians being liquidated? [tasfiye olunuyor mul]; are they being destroyed? [imha ediliyor mul]; or are they being merely deported and exiled? [sevk ve izammi] Clarify this point, my brother" (TV, 3540, p. 6, series 9). Both ciphers additionally are cited in the Harput trial series that ended with a death verdict against Şakir (TV, 3771, pp. 1, 2).

The latter cipher assumed prominence in the Responsible Secretaries trial series at which Aleppo Responsible Secretary Cemal (arrested on April 8, 1919) was a defendant; the two Şakir letters were addressed to him when he was in Adana and had not yet proceeded to Aleppo. Citing Şakir's cipher, which he declared to be "unimpeachable evidence," Procuror-General Şevket in his closing arguments characterized the deportations as "a pretext" for the ensuing "massacres." He then intoned, "This established fact is as clear as the equation 2 + 2 = 4." The deportations were in line, he said, with "the objectives and the criminal decision-making of Ittihad."[46] The Responsible Secretaries trial verdict once more cites Şakir's cipher on "liquidating" the deportees; it depicts his role as the organizer and commander of the brigand cadres, the so-called çetes, operating under the umbrella of the Special Organization in the eastern provinces. Their chief method of liquidation was ambush and extermination of the deportee convoys (ifna ve imha) (TV, 3772, p. 42).

Two governors confirmed this role: (1) Münir of post-war Erzurum, who certified that "the brigands organized by Şakir murdered the deportees in the most savage way" (TV, 3540, p. 7, series 16; Harput Verdict TV, 3771, p. 1); and (2) Hasan Tahsin, of wartime Erzurum, who testified at the third sitting of the Trabzon trial series about the assaults on convoys. At the second sitting of the Harput trial series (August 22, 1919), he identified Şakir as the operational chief of the Special Organization using "special codes" when communicating to the War and Interior Ministries. The Court Martial took pains to emphasize that under the guise of needing them for combat duty, including sabotage and guerilla warfare against the Russians, Ittihad recruited the members of the Special Organization from among "criminals and outlaws" (caniler ve şakiler). Their sole mission was "massacring and destroying the deportee convoys" (kafilelerin kati ve ifnası). They were directed by Şakir as the Organization's Eastern Chief, with privileged access to automobiles, funds, and a special code (TV, 3540, p. 6).

The most devastating confirmation of Şakir's decisive role was provided by Third Army Commander Mehmed Vehib Paşa, whose military command zone nearly coincided with the operational zone of Şakir's Special Organization.[47] He had discovered that some 2,000 Armenian labor battalion soldiers stationed at Sivas were massacred instead of being sent to the Fourth Army command at Aleppo as ordered. He launched an investigation, which led to a Court Martial and to some executions. In the process, he learned a great deal about the mass murder that had run its course prior to his assuming command of the eastern zone. His deposition was based on what he learned firsthand about the extermination of the Armenians in the six provinces. In that deposition, written on 12 legal-size papers, the last 4 of which deal with the scattered acts of revenge on the part of Armenian volunteers serving in the Russian Caucasus army, Vehib focused on Şakir. He described Şakir as the mastermind of the cataclysm, having the leverage of a supreme authority to which ranking officials and functionaries had to, and did, submit (inkiyad). Vehib declares, "all the human tragedies, who recruited [ihzar], and directed the killer detachments. These consisted of gallowsbirds [ipten ve kazıkdan kurtulmuş yaranını], and included gendarmes with bloodstained hands and bloodshot eyes [eli gözü kanlı jandarmalar], . . . butchers of human beings [insan kasapları]" He concludes, "One can find no such examples of atrocity and savagery in the annals of Islam," as he related a particular instance of burning alive women and children of an Armenian village located five kilometers north of Muş, i.e., Tchurig, in the province of Bitlis (tarihi Islamda misli görülmemiş bir zulüm). Excerpts of his written testimony are incorporated in the Indictment (TV, 3540, p. 7, ref. to series 17, p. 3) and in the Harput Verdict (TV, 3771, pp. 1-2). The testimony was read in its entirety at the second sitting of the Trabzon trial series on March 29, 1919, with a large part of it published in the French-language organ of the League of the Defense of Ottoman Interests (Le Courier de Turquie, April 1 and 2, 1919 issues). A copy of the original deposition is in the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate Archive (series 7, file H, Nos. 171-182).

Şakir's pervasive authority, extending to the Ottoman War Office and High Command, was confirmed by General Ali Ihsan Sabis and by Staff Colonel Arif Baytın.[48] Galib Vardar, who was the right-hand man of Lieutenant-Colonel Hüsameddin Ertürk, War Minister Enver's trusted cohort and a Special Organization functionary, states that Şakir directed that Organization's field operations in the east from his headquarters in Erzurum. He further asserts that this Organization was conceived in the councils of Ittihad's Central Committee, led by Enver and Talat, and that its task was to homogenize Turkey as far as "the non-Turkish elements" were concerned.[49]

German reports are no less corroborative. Ambassador Richard Kùhlmann described Şakir as "the most influential member" of Ittihad's Directorate,[50] while an intelligence report from Berlin's Internal Security Office emphasized Şakir's secret activities in the eastern provinces on behalf of Ittihad.[51] But the most damning corroboration is recorded in an extensive "secret" report Lieutenant-Colonel Stange prepared for the German Military Mission in Turkey. The extraordinary import of this report stems from the fact that Stange was the highest German officer commanding Turkish guerilla units, which were operating in the border areas before being shifted to brigandage against the Armenian deportee convoys. At the third sitting of the trial of top Ittihadists (May 6, 1919), Atıf, a major organizer of the Special Organization cadres at Istanbul, testified that Şakir was under Stange's command when Turkish bands were staging guerilla forays into the border zones.

Stange declared that he wanted to debunk what he called the "Turkish Government's efforts to conceal and minimize" the mass murder of the Armenians carried out with "the animal brutality" of the brigands, whom he termed "scums." The deportees were regarded as "fair game" and were subjected to pillage, rape, and massacre "in the presence and even with the assistance of the military." He concluded that military considerations were incidental but were used as "a welcome pretext" to exploit "this favorable opportunity" of the war in order to carry out "a long before entertained plan [einen lang gehegten Plan] of a thorough reduction, if not extermination, of the Armenian population." When identifying the chief executioners of that plan, he cited B. Şakir, along with then Third Army Commander Mahmud Kamil Paşa, whom he quoted as bragging, "After the war there will be no more an Armenian Question."[52]

Finally, reference may be made also to two British reports that independently corroborated Şakir's preeminent role in the massacres.

1. When reporting to London about the January 13, 1920, Court Martial death sentence against Şakir, British High Commissioner Admirai John de Robeck wrote, "He was a member of the small secret Committee known as Teshkilati Mahsusa [the Special Organization] formed by the Central Committee of the Committee of Union and Progress [Ittihad] to organize the extermination of the Armenian race."

2. The Intelligence report prepared by the Istanbul branch of M.I.L.C., states in its summary portion, "Teshkilati Mahsusa [was] created by the CUP in 1914 for the extermination of the Armenians and was controlled by the infamous Behaeddin Şakir."[53] Şakir's substantial role was summed up by the Turkish author Avcıoğlu as follows: "The deportations were championed in the inner councils of Ittihad by Behaeddin Şakir; their implementation was assigned to trusted Ittihadists and to the Special Organization."[54]

On Şükrü Kaya

Şükrü Kaya was in charge of the Directorate-General for the Installation of Tribes and Refugees (Iskanı Asayir ve Muhacirin Umumi Müdürlüğü). This office formally handled the deportations, and its chief was therefore called Director-General of Deportations (Sevkiyat Reisi Umumisi). It was actually run from Talat's Interior Ministry, and more specifically, from the Ministry's subsidiary, the Office of Public Security (Emniyeti Umumiye). In 1916 Şükrü was promoted to the rank of Civil Inspector First Class. Andonian cites Şükrü three times in connection with his trip to Aleppo, where he instituted the stringent measures for the disposal of the multitudes of surviving deportees (A T 27, 29, 30; FT 27, 29; ET 8, 9, 10). Şükrü is mentioned twice by Aleppo Consul Rössler, who describes being abrasively rebuffed by Şükrü, "the Commissioner for Deportations," when Rössler sought the release of some Armenians who had previously worked for the Germans. Rössler believed that Şükrü had come to Aleppo to organize the effective distribution of food among the deportees, as publicly claimed. "In an unspeakably haughty tone [unsagbar hochmutig], which I shall never forget, he said: 'You don't seem to understand what we want. We want an Armenia without Armenians.'" In his letter to Lepsius, Rössler quoted Şükrü in French, the language in which they had conversed: "Vous ne comprenez pas ce que nous voulons. Nous voulons line Arménie sans Arméniens." When reporting this exchange to his Chancellor in Berlin, Rössler translated the above remark into German.[55]

Rössler's other report to Berlin contains the testimony of a German engineer named Bastendorf, "whose credibility is the best there is." Şükrü tells the German that the time has come to resolve once and for all the longstanding conflict with the Armenians through "the extermination of the Armenian race" (die Ausrottung der armenischen Rasse).[56] An influential German daily news-paper quoted Şükrü as saying, "As Germany wants only Germans in Germany, we Turks want only Turks."[57] In his memoirs, Aleppo Governor Celal states that Şükrü enjoined him to treat his directives to him as "ministerial orders."[58] Şükrü was exiled to Malta by the British but escaped on September 6, 1921, along with 15 others who were being held there for trial before an International Tribunal for primary complicity in the Armenian massacres.[59]

On Salihzeki

In cipher No. 27 Salihzeki identifies himself as the governor of Der Zor, a town on the Euphrates river, 150 miles southeast of Aleppo and 330 miles northwest of Baghdad.[60] He had replaced Ali Suad, who is mentioned four times in the Indictment and who resisted the extermination scheme at Ras ul-Ain by foot-dragging and stalling. Having been convinced of this laxness by a personal visit, A. Nuri denounced Ali Suad to Governor Abdülhalik. Ordered by the latter to comply "with the sacred goal of the Government" (No. 48), Ali Suad replied, "If that goal is murder then I can neither comply nor can I have complied with [to have others organize the massacres]" (No. 49). Abdülhalik wired Talat that Ali Suad's "favoritism and protectionism is assuming amazing proportions, enabling the Armenians to fashion for themselves a happy life" (No. 22). Ali Suad was relieved of his post and was replaced by Salihzeki, who had distinguished himself in the Kayseri district (Everek, Develi kaza) by resorting to inordinate measures of brutality and torture with the aim of exacting confessions from his Armenian victims, who were then killed.

The former editor of the Turkish daily Tasviri Efkar asked Salihzeki whether it was true that he had exterminated 10,000 Armenians. The Indictment quotes Salihzeki as responding, "You are impugning my honor. I disdain the 10,000 figure. Come on, raise it" (Benim namusum var. On bine tenezzül etmem. Daha çık bakayım) (TV, 3540, p. 7, ref. to series 6, documents Nos. 14, 4, and series 11, doc. no. 1). A detailed description of the slaughter of a convoy of 1,700 deportees is provided as an enclosure in one of Rössler's reports.[61] When recommending Salihzeki's arrest, the British authorities at Istanbul noted that he supervised the massacres "from start to finish."[62]

A similar description is provided by Aleppo American Consul J. B. Jackson, who informed Washington: "I have on most reliable authority [that] since Salihzeki's arrivai in August 1916 the most horrible butcheries unimaginable [sic] occurred ... the few survivors of which were given shelter by friendly Arabs." The massacres were executed by the order of the governor "who personally took charge of the loot"; the massacres were carried out "by bands of Turkish, Circassian, and Kurdish ex-convicts, liberated from prisons and assigned there for massacre."[63]

A. Bernau, a German employee of the American Vacuum OU Company, inspected Der Zor and visited the concentration camp located between Aleppo and Der Zor, during the period of August 24-September 4, 1916. Bernau, who was a native of the area, referred in a lengthy report to Salihzeki's "striking inhumanity and barbarism," which included drowning multitudes of children in the river, sparing neither "the innocent, nor the infirm."[64] Alexandrette's (Iskenderiye) Vice-Consul Hoffmann, temporarily running the affairs of Aleppo's German Consulate, reported to his Embassy in Istanbul that since Salihzeki's arrivai, the authorities no longer bothered with driving the convoys across the desert to Musul; instead "in the Euphrates-Çabur angle of confluence they are making short work of them" (kurzer Prozefi gemacht wird).[65]

In the November 18, 1918, debates of the Chamber of Deputies of the Ottoman Parliament, the Armenian Deputy from Aleppo delivered an impas-sioned speech. Absolving the Turkish nation of "the great crime" (cinayeti azime), for which gesture he elicited bravo shouts, he cited Salihzeki in denouncing "the most heart-rending page of Ottoman history, marked by earth and sky-shattering atrocities against the Armenians" (yerleri ve gökleri titreten). He described Salihzeki's having bragged to two colleagues that he "destroyed the Armenians summarily, from suckling babes to 70-80 year olds," whereupon a civil inspector who was present spit in Salihzeki's face.[66] When Salihzeki was recalled to Istanbul in November 1916, he reportedly carried with him "plenty of tin containers filled with tens of thousands of gold coins, representing the loot from his Armenian victims."[67] The Administration Mazhar Inquiry Commission handed over Salihzeki's pretrial investigation file to the Court Martial in December 1918. Before Salihzeki could be arrested and tried, he fled Istanbul in November 1918, right after the onset of the armistice.
On Eyub Sabri and Kerim Refi

Although these two functionaries do not appear as authors in any of the documents listed, both are cited numerous times in the annotations of Naim and Andonian. Eyub was the immediate assistant of A. Nuri, the Deputy Director of Deportations at Aleppo, whom Naim describes as a "bloodthirsty" executioner, amassing a huge fortune in connection with his work, which he reportedly considered as a golden opportunity for personal enrichment.[68] To the Alexandrette German Consul, Eyub declared that the aim of the entire deportation scheme was "the wiping out of the Armenian name" (austilgen); he was rebuffing the Consul for efforts to distribute relief funds to the deportees. Consul Rossler reported to Istanbul that Eyub was "specially" assigned to duties at Aleppo to implement the "government's anti-Armenian policy and thereby to put out of commission [ausgeschaltet] Governor Celal who favors a milder policy."[69] The Alexandrette Vice Consul mentions "a ranking official" who had told him that up until mid-October 1915, approximately 300,000 Armenians were dispatched from Aleppo alone, toward the south and southeast; the Vice Consul equated these measures of "relocation" with "extermination" (Ausrottung).[70]

Kerim Refi, a subgovernor of the Ras ul-Ain county in the independent district of Der Zor, who had replaced the mild and humane Yusuf Ziya, admitted to a Turkish officer that the extermination of the survivor convoys of his area was carried out "on orders" (auf Befehl).[71] Two Arab Officers of the Ottoman Army testified to the sight of numerous bloated, naked corpses of murdered women who lay by the roadside at Ras ul-Ain. An Arab sergeant named Maru also testified to the actual operations of slaughter in that area.[72]

Ancillary Corroborations

Ahmed Cemal Paşa, the Viceroy of Syria and Lebanon, and Commander in Chief of the Fourth Army, had initiated the Aleyh (Aliye) Court Martial on charges of high treason against a large group of Arab nationalists who opposed Ottoman rule and misrule.[73] As a result, 35 were hanged in Damascus and Beirut in April 1916; 54 were sentenced in absentia; and many more were exiled. According to his personal secretary, Cemal Paşa embarked upon a program of resettling some of the Armenian deportee convoys in the villages and hamlets of the Hawran, east of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. Referring to Cemal's goal of converting them to Islam, the secretary wrote, "It was possible that these converts, like the Kurds and Circassians, could prove insurance against extreme Arabism." For this purpose Cemal created a Special Commission (Heyeti Mahsusiye) which "once met in [the secretary's] office."[74] He invited two men to take charge.

One of them was Hüseyin Kazım (Kadri), a founder of the Turkish paper Tanin, and a former Governor of Saloniki and Damascus. He was a man reputed for his "sterling character." In a report to his Ambassador at Istanbul, the German Damascus Consul describes his "confidential" exchange with Kazım. "The day before yesterday I met him perchance at a banquet given by Cemal Paşa. When he saw me, he indicated that he wanted to talk to me urgently. In an excited voice he told me that he is going to resign his post as he couldn't carry out his duties in the face of the conduct of officials acting contrary to his directives. He is completely disillusioned; he no longer believes that the Government is serious about wanting to help the deportees. He even fears that the aim pursued is their systematic extermination [systematisch ausrotteri]. This atrocious policy of destruction, he declared, is the shame of Turkey and is going to harm Turkey very much after the war. He begged me to treat this exchange as highly confidential."[75] Cemal had invited the Turkish feminist writer Halide Edib to initiate a new school System to displace the French influence in Damascus, Beirut, and Lebanon in general, and replace it with Turkish; she met Hüseyin Kazım and termed him a man "with real humanity," who ended up retiring as a result of "some difference with the central government" on the treatment of the deportees.[76] Brode, the German Consul at Jerusalem, confirming Kazim's benevo-lence, later reported that H. Kazim's replacement, Kemal, began to apply "brutal measures"; in Derat alone 3,500 Armenian deportees offered to embrace Islam as a result.[77]

The other man invited by Cemal was Hasan (Amca). A career officer of Circassian origin and a member of the Officers' Deliverance Group (Halaskar Zabıtan), he came to Hawran in August 1916 to direct the resettlement of Armenian deportee groups. He experienced obstructions, however, created by Damascus Ittihadist Responsible Secretary Neşad. Unlike the outright massacres practiced in the northern parts of Syria and Mesopotamia, the method of extinction here was forcible mass conversions. In a deposition filed with the British High Commissioner at Istanbul, Hasan testified that the Armenian orphans were subjected to the same method of forcible conversion by Damascus Governor Tahsin, who had been transferred from Erzurum.[78]

A Turkish author who claims to have worked as a secretary in Hamid's palace before being exiled to Diyarbekir and Harput, and who was the director of a Turkish high school at Aleppo during the war, wrote, "My feeble pen is impotent to describe the Der Zor massacres which are unprecedented in human history and are not likely to be replicated in the future." Referring specifically to Abdulahad Nuri and Eyub, he added, "the mere mention of their names used to produce terror among the people."[79]

The prominent publicist Süleyman Nazif, 1915 Governor of Musul, subse-quently Governor of Baghdad, was on his way to Istanbul when he passed through Ras ul-Ain. Appalled by what he saw, he reportedly told the local Turkish officials, "The Armenian massacres will mark the blackest page in Turkish history."[80] A German employee of the Baghdad Railway, W. Spieker, quoted the Turkish Commissar for Deportations as saying, "We have done a thorough job with the Armenians this time as we have been wanting to do for a long time."[81] And a German Red Cross officer on duty in that area declared, "The Armenians died all the deaths on earth, the deaths of all centuries."[82]

all these atrocities are conceded by no less a man than Ali Munif, the Under-Secretary in the Interior Ministry (September 1913-August 1915). He was Governor of Lebanon when the destruction of the Armenians was in full swing in that region, and became Minister of Public Works in 1917. As far as is known, he is the only one among the top Ittihadists interned by the British at Malta who, in a personal protestation of innocence, included in his petition to the British authorities an explicit acknowledgment of "the massacres which took place in 1915" but for which he disclaimed responsibility.[83] For his part, Cemal Paşa expressed his "revulsion" (nefret) about the crimes perpetrated in connection with "the deportations." In his memoirs, he states that he proposed to the central government to direct the deportation to the provinces of Ankara, Konya, and Kastamonu for relocation but was told not to interfere and leave the handling of the matter to the civilian authorities.[84]

Edited by QueBeceR, 22 November 2005 - 04:49 PM.

#5 DominO



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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:08 PM


The release of the Governor of Aleppo, who figures so prominently in the Naim- Andonian material, has been used by critics of that material to discredit it further. The authors Orel, Yuca, and Ataöv go so far as to insist that, unable to "find any proof whatsoever" (hiç bir delil), the British in vain turned to the U.S. State Department for help. The three authors then feel justified to conclude, "The matter was thus closed and all Malta internees were freed." Orel and Yuca further argue that, had the British believed that Abdülhalik's subordinate A. Nuri was the type of "monster" the Armenians portrayed, he too would have been exiled to Malta upon his arrest by the British in September 1920.[85]

The fuller facts are as follows, first, taking A. Nuri's case. His immediate trial before the Court Martial at Istanbul was deemed practical, because witnesses were readily available to testify against him. The trial was in fact initiated and was near completion, but a threat from Ankara and the advent of a new, pro-Kemalist cabinet at Istanbul, opposed to prosecuting officials on charges of massacres against Armenians, served to quash entirely the criminal proceedings.[86]

The disposition of Abdülhalik's case had very little to do with his guilt or innocence. The British released him from Malta as part of a "package deal" with the Kemalists, first negotiated and signed in London as an Agreement (March 16, 1921), and later signed in its final form as a Treaty with Ankara's representative at Istanbul (October 23, 1921). Moreover, Britain's U.S. Ambassador never stated that he could find no evidence of massacres in U.S. State Department files. Indeed, the U.S. Archives are repositories of vast amounts of documentation in this regard. Of the total 188 entries emanating from the State Department, for example, 138 are incoming reports detailing the massacres in the 1915-1921 period, 60 of these from U.S. consuls in the interior, and 78 from diplomats in charge of the U.S. Embassy in the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Auckland Geddes, the British Ambassador, had in fact confirmed the existence in Washington, D.C., "of a large number of documents concerning Armenian deportations and massacres." But he found it necessary to point to the difference between documents on "crimes" and documents on "persons implicated" in order to underscore the difficulties of securing evidence on personal guilt.[87]

Ascertaining a crime is simple enough, but the apprehension and conviction of the criminal is contingent upon more complex forms of evidence. One matter is bound up with physical evidence, with corpus delicti, whereas the other requires legal evidence. Such evidence needs to be marshaled and tested in a court of law by way of stipulated procedures centering on the principle of the "law of evidence." What the victorious Allies lacked was not so much evidence as probative evidence warranting the conviction of a criminal implicated by it.

Beginning in July 1919, Harry H. Lamb was the political officer attached to the British High Commissioner at Istanbul. He had the responsibility to make recommendations for the arrest of suspects in this matter. In a lengthy memorandum he spelled out four major factors encumbering the task of securing probative evidence: the inaccessibility of Turkish official records containing relevant orders, the disinclination of the Allied governments to get involved in the prosecution of offenders, "the apparent apathy of our Authorities in the Middle East," and the lack of public security and trust in the resolve of the Allies to secure justice.[88]

For a variety of reasons the Allies avoided getting involved in prosecution; they were thus deprived of the powers inherent in legal prosecution, such as recourse to pretrial interrogations and depositions, access to government files, and the canvassing and engaging of witnesses. The Allies were futilely waiting for a peace treaty with Turkey, certain clauses of which were to provide for the constitution of an International Tribunal. Indeed, Articles 228 and 230, mandating the trial of the authors of the massacres, were inserted in the August 10, 1029, Sevres Treaty, but the July 24, 1923, Lausanne Treaty, marking the victorious emergence of Kemalist Turkey, permanently crippled the prospects of such trials. The release from Malta of all the internees simply foreshadowed this result.

As to the claim that the British let Abdülhalik go because they could find "no proof whatsoever" against him, there are facts to dispute that claim.

1. When the British were transferring eight new detainees to Malta, six of them were described by High Commissioner Admirai de Robeck as implicated in "massacres of Armenians": one of them was Abdülhalik.[89]

2. In a report of September 19, 1919, Andrew Ryan, the second political officer at the High Commission, described "the Council held at Erzurum" to decide the extermination measures against the Armenians. One of the four participating governors was Abdülhalik; the others were Cevdet (Van), Tahsin (Erzurum), and Muammer (Sivas province), as well as Şakir, who was in charge. Ryan called this group "all the very worst of criminals."[90]

3. The British kept reducing the number of detainees they wanted to keep as hard-core criminals to be brought to the bar of justice. They came down to four governors "whom we propose to retain to the last [because] they are gravely implicated in the crime of massacre" of the Armenians. One of them was Abdülhalik.[91]

4. Eager to free two British officers, Rawlinson and Campbell, from Turkish custody, the War Office implored Foreign Secretary Curzon to show "magnanimity" toward Abdülhalik, as one of the four being held back.[92]

The complicity of Governor Abdülhalik is asserted by sources other than the British. Aleppo's German Consul Rössler categorically declared that with the help of "the Commissar for Deportations the Governor is inexorably working to achieve the extermination of the Armenians" (arbeiten unerbittlich an der Vernichtung der Armenier).[93] An Armenian civil inspector who was spared for his "adulation of the Turks" held a meeting with Abdülhalik when the latter was Governor of Bitlis and when the massacres were just being launched. Abdülhalik told the inspector, "Now is the time to settle scores" (şimdi intikam zamanı dır), when intimating his intent to liquidate the Armenian Deputy Vramian, for whose release the inspector had interceded.[94] An American nurse in the service of the Turkish military, who was conversant in Turkish, related the following statement made to her by the Governor: "Ali this suffering through sickness and war has come upon the Moslems as a just punishment from a righteous God, because of what we have done to the Armenians. Some of them deserve punishment, but we went too far, and now God is punishing us." The nurse could not understand why this sentiment did not induce Abdülhalik to stop atrocities.[95] These allegations are borne out and underscored by Third Army Commander Vehib Paşa, who in his deposition specifically cited Mustafa Abdülhalik, Governor of Bitlis province in the March-October 1915 period that preceded Abdülhalik's September-October 1915 Aleppo appointment.[96]

On October 25, 1921, Abdülhalik was finally let go for two reasons. First, M. Kemal refused to honor Foreign Minister Bekir Sami's March 16, 1921, London Agreement. The second article of the Agreement excluded from the exchange Abdülhalik and several other Ittihadists implicated in Armenian massacres, as well as eight others accused of mistreating British prisoners during the war. Yusuf Kemal (Tengirşek), A. Nuri's brother, replaced Sami as Foreign Minister and pressed for an "all for all" exchange.[97] Second, the 16 Ittihadists excluded from the exchange and slated for trial before an International Tribunal had collectively fled from Malta on September 6, 1921,[98] following an initial, partial exchange. This group included, among others, two army commanders, four governors, one district commissioner, one deputy, and Şükrü Kaya. This group was preceded in its escape by two additional candidates for trial, one of them being Van Governor Cevdet.[99]

The "all for all" exchange was finally agreed upon on October 23, 1921. The remaining 53 Turks, divided into categories of A and B, were released on November 1, 1921.[100] The resulting British sense of shame and guilt was not long in coming. Calling some of the Turks whom they had set free "notorious exterminators" of minorities, the British officials involved in the negotiations and decision-making appended their reactions to the relevant documents. One of them scolded himself for having made "a great mistake" in pushing for the release of the Turks from British custody; he attributed his act "to a pressure which I always felt to be mistaken." The other commented as follows: "The less we say about these people the better. ... I had to explain why we released the Turkish deportees from Malta, skating over thin ice as quickly as I could. There would have been a row I think. . . . [T]he staunch belief among Members [of the Parliament is] that one British prisoner is worth a shipload of Turks, and so the exchange was excused."[101]


There are two ways by which to inquire into the validity of documents when their authenticity is called into question. One of them involves the negative route of falsification. Problems of doctoring, signature forging, or outright fabrication of an entire piece are examined. One may assess these documents also by comparing stated objectives against attained results: Were the Ottoman Armenians in fact largely exterminated or not?

This study has established that the material under review is flawed with respect to technicalities. These, however, are matters that are rather extrinsic to the test of falsification. The recent efforts of a number of Turkish authors to invalidate the Naim-Andonian material by focusing on these flaws have been examined and found to be equally and similarly deficient. These flaws involve miscounting, misdating, misconversion of dates from old to new style, and careless editing, despite the availability of manifold resources, including staff assistance provided by the Turkish Historical Society—which in the chaos of the armistice were neither available nor affordable by either Naim or Andonian. Besides being incidental rather than central, such problems are endemic to the cumbersome nature of the material itself.

The argument of falsification has been found to be untenable, since the few instances on which the argument is predicated merely involve irregularities. Irregularity is not coterminous, however, with forgery. Forgery presupposes skill, caution, and above all a measure of sophistication geared to avoiding mistakes. The presence and easy detection of such defects in the material under review mitigate against that charge. Indeed, no forger of any value would have produced material so incomplete and so flawed with glaring imperfections; these could have been easily avoided by anyone disposed to forge. Furthermore, a government apparatus known for its chronically erratic methods of transactions cannot be held exempt from such irregularities. Moreover, one is dealing here with highly secret transactions in the midst of a consuming "Great War," initiated and directed by a political party that relied on diversions and camouflage for the pursuit of its secret designs; irregularity is an integral part of such a mentality.

The recent publicity accorded to a set of Talat documents illustrates this point of diversion and camouflage. Talat is portrayed in them as a caring, responsible Interior Minister whose sole aim is claimed to be "the protection," "the safety," and "the relocation" of the deportees. On its face value this countervailing evidence not only is convincing but in a sense belies the evidence supplied by Naim. The later evidence is punctured, however, by the following facts:

1. When Talat showed three of these documents to the Interim German Ambassador Ernst Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and indirectly to Austrian Ambassador Johann Margrave Pallavicini, he triggered a series of reactions among the Ambassadors and provincial consuls of Germany and Austria. These reactions, detailed in notes 37 and 38, depict Talat as "a double-dealer," prone to repeated deceptions.[102]

2. British High Commissioner Nevile Henderson, as explained earlier, expressed serious doubt about the purpose of these documents and the intent of Talat.[103]

3. In the testimony of German, American, and Ottoman officials are embodied statements revealing a pattern of command and a control System through which benign directives are seen as being secretly countermanded. These revelations are furnished particularly by General Hans Seeckt (the German Chief of the Ottoman General Staff), German Ambassador Paul Wolff-Metternich, U.S. Aleppo Consul Jackson, the German Consul of Adana, Büğe, a Turkish district commissioner, and a deputy.[104]

A vivid example of this double-dealing through a two-track System of communication is contained in the memoirs of Falih Rıfkı Atay, who served as Talat's personal secretary. Here, Talat is described as having conveniently accommodated a favor-seeker by obliging him with a letter of recommendation addressed to a provincial governor (district commissioner). According to Atay's account, soon after the departure of the elated beneficiary, Talat summoned Atay to his office and directed him to inform the governor in question via a cipher telegram that Talat's letter was to be disregarded. Atay explains this double-dealing by referring to Talat's penchant for "lies" and "deception" (yalan, aldatıcı) as part of his "Oriental ethics."[105]

When shifting the discussion to the other route of analysis—namely, the route of confirmation—the essence of the material under review becomes highlighted as primary source. Indeed, the confirmation is amply afforded by the findings of the Turkish Military Tribunal through a comprehensive indictment and a series of verdicts. These findings were based on authenticated official documents, sworn testimony, and depositions provided by a plethora of high-ranking officials, civilian and military, who independently verified the direct complicity of the men prominently figuring in the Naim-Andonian documents. These officials include three army commanders, several deputy commanders, and seven governors. Furthermore, the evidence, gathered before and during the trials, was itemized and placed in more than 200 files, with specific labels, numbers, and proofs of certification attached. The proceedings were published in Takvimi Vakayi, the official gazette of the Ottoman government, the special supplements of which served during the proceedings as a judicial journal.[106]

The material is rendered even more substantial when one moves from confirmation to corroboration by still another independent source—the official and mostly secret reports of German and Austrian diplomats, Ottoman Turkey's fervent allies, and of American representatives at Istanbul and Aleppo up to April 1917, when the U.S. entered the war. These wartime accounts foreshadow most of the postwar findings of the Courts-Martial. Critical in this respect are the testimonies of Lieutenant-Colonel Stange, of U.S. Aleppo Consul Jackson, and above all of German Aleppo Consul Rössler, who was able to read the French translation of the Andonian volume. Rössler's consular district being the locus in quo of the documents, and of the principal officials described in them, his judgment that the documents appear to be "genuine" (echt) rather than false assumes even greater significance.

It may be concluded with a high degree of certainty that the two letters and the 50 decoded ciphers that constitute the Naim-Andonian material are true documents. This certitude is unmistakably manifest in the case of those 13 documents whose original Ottoman texts are reproduced through plates, as noted in Table 2.

Having reached this conclusion, it is necessary to evaluate briefly the thrust of these documents. The paramount question to be answered in this regard is: What was the nature of the destruction of Ottoman Armenians? From the body of the data presented in this study, three criteria emerge:
1. Premeditation. As ideological guideposts for the scheme and enactment of that destruction, keynoted in the remaining 50 documents, the two letters (Nos. 1 and 2) are critical in this respect. In them is outlined a blueprint of a radical solution to a lingering Turko-Armenian conflict. It is equally significant that these letters contain no reference to the wartime conduct of the Armenian population or any segment of it. They focus instead on "the humiliations and bitterness of the past"—in other words, to a history of anti-Armenian enmity predating that war. Talat ventilated that sense of enmity by branding the Armenians as "a curse for centuries" (No. 52). These facts suggest, if they do not literally indicate, the rationale for premeditation[107] in the light of which the argument that the anti-Armenian measures were nothing but a wartime aberration is considerably obviated. By the same token, charges of Armenian insurgency and acts of sabotage may be assigned the kind of perspective within which their validity may be probed and evaluated. The essence of any legal definition of premeditation is deliberation upon a contemplated act—a decision to commit a crime. The key Indictment underscored this aspect of the destruction by quoting Nazım as having said that the measures initiated against the Armenians were "determined following extensive and full deliberations." Moreover, in the Bayburt verdict the Court underscored that "the crimes were pre-meditated and determined upon at Ittihad's central headquarters"; in this and in the Yozgad verdict the Court invoked Article 170 of the Ottoman Penal Code, which prescribes death for premeditated murder. The concept of premeditation is defined in Article 169 in terms of the Arabic word taacammüden, derived from the rootword amd, which means "intent based on prior deliberation." As indicated in note 39, American Ambassador Morgenthau had kept a regular diary. The August 3, 1915, entry touches on this problem of premeditation. In it, Talat is quoted as saying, "The Union and Progress Committee had carefully considered the matter in all its details and that the policy which was being pursued was that which they had officially adopted ... the result of prolonged and careful deliberation" (p. 333). For his part Lieutenant-Colonel Stange, in his "secret" report to the German Military Mission in Turkey, confirmed the presence of "a long before entertained plan of a thorough reduction, if not extermination, of the Armenian population." He furthermore indicated that military needs were a secondary consideration but were used as "a welcome pretext [in order to exploit] the favorable opportunity" afforded by the war. He singled out the brigands, which he called "scum" (Gesindel), as the tools of the extermination.[108]

2. Intent. Although implicit in premeditation, intent, not to be confused with motive, is a state of mind, a mental attitude that as a rule is proved by consequences resulting from it. At present, that proof is furnished by the answer to the question "Was the destruction of the Armenians enacted with a design and with determination?" Among the ciphers listed in this study, five from Talat (Nos. 4, 5, 8, 25, and 45), and two from Nuri (Nos. 29 and 35) clearly exhibit such a design and a resolve.[109] This state of mind and the resulting consequences are summarized by General Vehib, the Third Army Commander, as follows: "The massacre and destruction [kati ve imhası] of the Armenians. . . were the result of Ittihad's Central Committee decision [neticei mukarrerat]." A copy of the original deposition is in the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate Archive (series 17, file H, Nos. 171-182. See also note 47, p. 350.) The Military Tribunal took pains to emphasize the overwhelming weight of evidence demonstrating that the deportations, purporting to be a wartime measure of relocation, were a cloak for the intended extermination of the deportees. In a rare attempt at interceding on behalf of the Armenians, American Secretary of State Lansing denounced the "studied intention on the part of the Ottoman Government to annihilate a Christian race. The true facts, if publicly known, would shock the whole civilized world." He was referring to "reports for many months past from official and other reliable sources" depicting "the cruelties, massacres, and starvation" inflicted upon "the Armenian population of Turkey."[110] That intent was enforced by stringent sanctions against officials opposed to, or even hesitant in, the implementation of the various orders.

3. Organization and Supervision. Neither premeditation nor an allied resolve are sufficient for the gargantuan task of destroying a people. The necessary twin condition is division of labor. Foremost in this respect was the role of Talat's Interior Ministry and its three subsidiaries—the Directorates of Public Security, of the Istanbul Police, and of the Deportation Service. That Ministry additionally controlled the provincial gendarmerie in charge of collecting, grouping, and escorting the deportee convoys. For the task of actual extermination through massacre, Ittihad's leaders had created a separate Special Organization in which were enrolled tens of thousands of convicts released from the prisons and organized for that purpose. The key Indictment cites the Special Organization a dozen times, describing the enrollees as "criminals and outlaws" who were used for the massacre and destruction of the convoys subjected to deportation; "this fact was established through a constellation of evidence involving written testimony, proofs, and documents" (TV, 3540, p. 6). Lieutenant-Colonel Stange and German Consuls Scheubner von Richter, Bergfeld, and Rössler, as well as Aleppo American Consul Jackson, specifically referred to these killer units in their reports. The supervision was entrusted to carefully selected party functionaries called Responsible Secretaries and/or Delegates (katibi mesul, murahhas). Having supreme authority over provincial governors, these men resolutely pursued the aims of destruction. It is for this reason that the Military Tribunal instituted a special series of trials aimed especially at this category of Ittihadists. In pronouncing its verdict, the Court singled out the latter's role in "the organization and engagement [tertib ve ihzar] of gangs of brigands carrying out the massacre and destruction of the Armenians" (TV, 3772, p. 2). It is most significant that Şakir's two letters (Nos. 1 and 2) were addressed to Ittihad's Responsible Secretary Cemal. Cemal came from Adana to Aleppo to replace Ali Riza, whose compassionate attitude toward the Armenians Şakir mockingly disdains in the third paragraph of his second letter.

Finally the question of the extent of destruction, resulting from the nature of the destruction, may be addressed briefly. Despite contemporary efforts to minimize Armenian losses drastically, no less a figure than a Turkish Interior Minister publicly declared on March 13, 1919, when the Courts-Martial were in high gear, that 800,000 Armenians were actually killed in connection with the deportations. This disclosure, buried in the records of the armistice, was somewhat anticipated three months earlier by Mustafa Arif, another post-war Turkish Interior Minister, who had stated, "The statistical computations on this subject are still continuing. When we complete our examinations in terms of exact numbers we shall then announce our findings to the press." Interior Minister Cemal's figure is exclusive of (1) the tens of thousands of Armenian soldiers and officers executed by fellow military, (2) a larger number of victims absorbed in the mainstream of the population through conversions, and (3) those multitudes who succumbed to the ordeals of deportation. Notwithstanding, his disclosure represents a landmark governmental admission made in 1919.[111]

The relevance of the discussion above warrants a final conclusion on the nature of the destruction. Governmental premeditation, intent, organization, and outcome respecting the scope of casualties are major determinants in any enactment of genocide. It is therefore maintained that the World War I destruction of Ottoman Armenians was a distinct case of genocide, which typologically may be called "optimal" since these determinants configure in it in full measure.[112] In this configuration the criteria "nature" and "outcome" of destruction intertwine in producing the final solution to the Armenian Question as intended and sought by the Ittihad hierarchy. Johann Bernstorff, the last German Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (September 7, 1917-October 27, 1918), attests t o this fact by citing a laconic statement made to him in an exchange with no less a figure than the then Grand Vezir Talat whom Metter-nich, another wartime German ambassador to Turkey (November 15, 1915-October 3, 1916), described as "the soul of the Armenian persecutions" (die Seele der Armenierverfolgungen): "When I kept on pestering him on the Armenian Question, he once said with a smile, 'What on earth do you want? The question is settled, there are no more Armenians.' " The ambassador later explains this assertion of having solved the Armenian Question in terms of the ancestral territories of the victims, namely, "Armenia where the Turks have been system-atically trying to exterminate the Christian population." Despite his expressions of esteem for Talat, the ambassador goes on to concede Talat's role in that extermination: "His complicity in the Armenian crime he atoned for by his death."[113]



Edited by QueBeceR, 22 November 2005 - 04:25 PM.

#6 DominO



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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:09 PM


[1].In Viscount Bryce, The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-16, Miscellaneous No. 31 (London, 1916), p. 653. Contrary to repeated elaims by Turkish authors, throughout his life Toynbee, who was commissioned by the British Foreign Office to complete the material, stuck to his central conclusion that this crime constituted genocide. In a letter to the author he wrote, "My feelings and judgment are the same as they have always been. The genocide of the Armenians was a capital crime" (December 6, 1973).

[2].The campaign was launched by the publication of a book in Turkish that summarily dismisses these documents as fraudulent. A subsequent tract in English, French, and German, edited by Türkkaya Ataöv, Chairman of the Department of International Relations at Ankara University, summarizes the conclusions of that book. See Şinasi Orel and Süreyya Yuca, Ermenilerce Talat Paşaya Atfedilen Telegrafların Gerçek Yüzü (Ankara, 1983). A synopsis in English, French, and German of the same work is produced by Türkkaya Ataöv, The Andonian Documents Attributed to Talat ***** Are Forgeries, with corresponding French and German titles (Ankara, 1984); see also Kamuran Gürün, Ermeni Dosyası (Ankara, 1982), p. 246.

Since April 1984, universities, foreign offices, and, above all, key echelons of the media, have been inundated with copies of this synopsis. The campaign evidently did not fail to make an impression on some members of the U.N. Sub-Commission on Human Rights. As "experts" rather than as representatives of their respective countries, they had convened at Geneva in August 1985 to discuss "The Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide." Some members raised the issue of forgery on the basis of the above-mentioned pamphlet, which was handed out to them for the purpose of quashing paragraph 24 of a report that defined "the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916" as a bona fide "case of genocide." That report was prepared for the Sub-Commission by the latter's British member, Benjamin Whitaker. After rebutting the allegation of forgery and providing additional data and explanations on his findings, which he said involved 8 years of research, Whitaker finally prevailed. Thus ended a debate that had remained unresolved since 1971, when the U.N. Economic and Social Council, the parent body of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, had agreed to the preparation of a historical study on genocide. By a vote of 14 to 1, with 4 abstentions, the Sub-Commission on August 19, 1985, voted to "take note" of the Whitaker report. For what it is worth, an international body thus for the first time has registered its recognition of the historical fact of the Armenian genocide involving as victims "at least one million, and possibly well over half of the Armenian population" ("Revised and updated report on the question of the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide prepared by Mr. B. Whitaker," United Nations Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, 38th Session, Item 4, E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/6 [2 July 1985], pp. 8-9). In a revised and updated report Whitaker made some corrections and additions at the end of the Sub-Commission's deliberations; in note 13, for example, he changed "1 million" to "40%." See E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/6/Corr. 1 [29 August 1985]. Furthermore, Şinasi Orel published a new article since this work was completed. It is more or less a synopsis of the original book in Turkish that has been reviewed here, without the detailed references and arguments. See "The Facts Behind the Telegrams Attributed to Talat ***** by the Armenians," Turkish Review Quarterly Digest (Winter 1985-86), pp. 83-102.

[3].Aram Andonian, Medz Vojeeru [The Great Crime], (Boston, 1921), hereafter cited as A T (Armenian translation); Aram Andonian, Documents officiels concernant les massacres arméniens, M. S. David-Beg, trans. (Paris, 1920), hereafter cited as ET; The Memoirs of Naim Bey, compiled by Aram Andonian, no translator indicated (London, 1920), hereafter cited as ET. The English translation is but a compressed version, and the French is less extensive in scope than the original Armenian. More significantly, the original of all three versions was first prepared in Armenian sometime in the summer of 1919, and its publication was delayed nearly 2 years. The resulting confusion in the publication sequence of the three volumes provides the context within which the errors of dating in a key letter (No. 1 in Table 2) will be easily understood when reviewing that error.

[4].A T & ET, p. 25, ET, p. 6. This penchant for eventually getting rid of the other nationalities, considered as obstructive to Turkish designs, is clearly indicated in the second of the two letters heading the list of the documents (No. 2).

[5].The first to point out some of these flaws was Walter Rössler, the 1908-1918 veteran German Consul at Aleppo, who in a confidential letter in the spring of 1921 described these flaws "as simple errors." He had read the French text, and the French translation of his comments are in Justicier du genocide armenien, le proces de Tehlirian (Paris, 1981), pp. 226-29. Similar and other errors are reviewed in Krieger, "Keetch Mu Lurtchoutiun" [Let Us Be A Little Serious], Houssaper (Cairo Armenian daily), December 30 and 31, 1964, and January 2 and 4, 1965; and in Krieger, "Aram Andonianee Huradaragadz Tourk Bashdonagan Vaverakrerou Vaveraganoutiunu,"[The Authenticity of the Turkish Official Documents Published by Aram Andonian] 1915-1965 Houshamadian Medz Yeghernee [Commemorative Compendium on the Great Holocaust, 1915-1965], (Beirut, 1965), pp. 229-30. Although not free from an array of errors, this study reflects the pioneering work of Krieger, who for decades singlehandedly and patiently canvassed the available archives here and abroad, especially the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate Archive, compiling a mass of documentary data. The author takes this opportunity to express his appreciation to Krieger, who helped him become initiated into this most neglected genre of scholarship combining Turkish and Armenian studies.

[6].Not knowing English at all, Andonian could neither control typographical errors nor oversee the body of the translation. In a confidential letter to Terzian (a physician and apparently a friend of Andonian), the French translation of which is in Justicier du genocide arménien, pp. 230-37, he complained that his manuscript was treated "cavalierly," and in the process "they went a little too far" [keetch mu shad asbedoren]. Employing self-imposed secrecy, Andonian used double-digit ciphers to record his three November 1918 transactions with Naim, at the last one of which (November 14) he had induced Naim to deliver original telegrams. The Andonian-Naim file in Nubar Library at Paris starts with these coded messages. See Krieger, "Aram Andonianee," p. 230.

[7].The Ottoman calendar, otherwise called rumi, or Julian, or old style, in contradistinction to miladi, Gregorian, or new style, respectively, began on March 1, the start of the fiscal year, and ended on February 28 or 29 of the following year. The date one month after December 10, (1)330, for example, was January 10, (1)330 old style, because the Ottoman calendar year stretched through the months of January and February of the following year of the Western calendar. Only after March 1 old style, or March 14 new-style Western calendar, was the date switched to that of next year, i.e., (1)331. By applying the 13-day differential one gets thus February 16 old style as the cut-off date for the users of the Western calendar, even though Ottoman documents bore old-style dates to the end of February of a given year. This practice was discontinued on February 16, 1916 old style, i.e., February 16, 1332, so that it would coincide with March 1, 1917 new style, and became March 1, (1)333 Ottoman style. In other words, in 1917 the Ottoman Calendar shrunk by 13 days and 2 months as a result of eliminating the 13-day differential while retaining the old-style year, i.e., 1333; the following year January 1, (1)334 coincided with January 1, 1918. This practice too was eliminated on January 1, 1926, when the old style was completely eradicated through Bill No. 698, enacted on December 26, 1925, in the Parliament of the nascent Turkish Republic (J. Deny, "L'adoption du calendrier grégorien en Turquie," Revue du Monde Musulman, 18 [1921], 46-53; Tevfik Temelkuran, "Türklerin Kullandığı Takvimler ve Batı [Miladi] Takvimin Kabulü," Belgelerde Türk Tarihi Dergisi, 51 [December 1971], pp. 28-29). The tabulation on p. 360 shows selected old-style/new-style calendar conversions.

[8].After the February 18 letter is introduced as February 28 in a prefatory remark, the error is repeated in the Armenian and French versions (A T\ 29; FT 96).

[9].Ernest E. Ramsaur, Jr., The Young Turks (Beirut, 1965), pp. 123-24.

[10].The point may be illustrated with reference to Takvimi Vekayi, or TV, the Ottoman calendar of events, or the official gazette, to which frequent supplements were attached to cover the 1919-1921 court-martial proceedings. First, the trial of the two wartime cabinet ministers began on Monday, April 28, 1919 (new style). As a major event of immense public interest, the trial was covered with front-page headlines throughout the Turkish and non-Turkish press. Yet when recording the proceedings, the TV editors misprinted the date as "Sunday, April 27" on the front page of the supplement (see Table 1). Second, the fifth sitting of the Court in that trial series took place on Monday, May 12, 1919, yet TV again misprinted the date as "Wednesday, May 14, 1919." Third, when assigning a number to the particular issue covering that fifth sitting, the editors put one number on the front (3553), and another number inside it (3554), while maintaining uniform numbers for other issues. Other irregularities attend the practice of distorted chronology by which gaps are created between the date of a sitting and that of publication; later sittings are moved up, and earlier ones are delayed in the order of publication. See Table 1 for the display of these errors.

[11].Şevket Süreyya Aydemir, Makedonyadan Ortaasyaya Enver Paşa, 3 vols, (Istanbul, 1971-1972), Vol. ÜI, pp. 57-62.

[12].For item 1, see Orel and Yuca, Ermenilerce, p. 60; item 2, p. 130; item 3, pp. 34-35, 40; item 4, pp. 66, 75-76; item 5, pp. 44-45, 46-47.

[13].M. Zekeriya Sertel, Hatırladıklarım, 1905-1950 (Istanbul, 1968), pp. 63-64. Before joining the staff of Şükrü Kaya's Directorate-General to study the problem of tribes involving Alevi Kurds, SertePs newspaper had become a casualty of newsprint shortage. Moreover, in order to fashion the three makeshift notebooks he supplied to Andonian in three installments (November 6, 10, and 14, 1918), Naim had to use what scraps of paper he could scrounge, which he then tied together with a string.

[14].Ahmed Reşit [Rey], Gördüklerim-Yaptıklarım (1890-1922) (Istanbul, 1945), p. 117.

[15].Wrote the diplomatic correspondent of the Daily Telegraph: "on account of the lightning advance of Lord Allenby's forces . . . time was lacking for so complete an obliteration of the tragic archives while subordinates, who remained behind, sometime retained possession of compromising documents. ... A Turkish official employed in the local administration disclosed the series of telegrams, mostly in cipher" (Daily Telegraph, May 29, 1922. British files [Public Records Office at KEW, London] identify him as Mr. Gerstwohl, FO 371/7874/ 5516, folio 139).

[16].Justicier, p. 228; a copy of the original report in German is in the possession of this author. Commenting on this condition, Andonian wrote to Terzian: "This Aleppo office was one of the worst in terms of orderliness; the disorganization was indescribable. The documents were piled pel mel in the drawers, without being registered, without any system of classification. This condition was typical of other offices with similar functions." Justicier, p. 234.

[17].For the first British author see George Young, Corps de droit Ottoman (Oxford, 1906), Vol. 2, p. XVI; for the other, see John A. S. Bucknill and H. A. S. Utidjian, The Imperial Ottoman Penal Code: A Translation from the Turkish Text (London, 1913), p. XVI. The presumption of Armenian authorship for "poor Turkish" is whimsical, if not frivolous, since many a literate Armenian surpassed many a Turk in the command of that language.

[18].Ahmed Mithat, "Münakaşai Lisaniye," Tarik, 4624, November 18, 1898; Şemseddin Sami, "Şür ve Edebiyattaki Teceddüdü Ahirimiz," Sabah, November 29, 1898. Both authors are quoted in Niyazi Berkes, The Development of Secularism in Turkey (Montreal, 1964), p. 320. Ahmed Mithat was not only a prolific author of novels and historical works, but was also Director of the Imperial Press [Matbaai Amire], editor of the governmental gazette Takvimi Vekayi, and founder of the Turkish newspaper Tercümani Hakikat. As an Ottoman delegate he participated in the International Congress of Orientalists held in Stockholm in 1888.

[19].Thirteen authentieated cipher telegrams were introdueed as evidence at that sitting on March 6, 1919, one of which, marked "secret," was from the Boğazlıyan Gendarmery Chief informing his superiors at Kayseri that Armenians from the area "were deported, namely destroyed" (sevkiyat, yani mahv manasına). Despite this paraphrasing at the trial, the court decided to retain the original version with the notation, "for the record, the very inept writing has been kept intact; it conforms to the original" [pek acemi yazısı aynen kaydedilmiştir, aslına mutabıkdir] (Nor Giank, Renaissance, Vakit, ikdam, March 7, 1919 issues; Krieger, Yozgadee Hayasbanoutian Vaverakragan Badmouti-ounu [The Documentary History of the Armenian Genocide at Yozgad], [New York, 1980], pp. 265-66). The Interior Minister's remark is in Ahmet Reşit [Rey], Gördüklerim, p. 183 footnote.

[20].Ismail Hami Danişmend, izahlı Osmanlı Tarihi Kronolojisi (Istanbul, 1961), Vol. 4, p. 452. In this volume of his encyclopedie work the author focuses not only on the quality of Talat's Turkish but on the contents of the letter as well to conelude that Talat, without being specific, "personally admitted that he deserved punishment and that he was willing to courageously submit to 'the supreme punishment'" Çcezayi kemali cesaretle çekmek isterim' demek suretiyle cezaya layik olduğunu itiraf etmiştir).

[21].Philip H. Stoddard, The Ottoman Government and the Arahs, 1911 to 1918: A Preliminary Study of the Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1963 (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms, 1964), p. 230.

[22].On doubting Naim's existence, see Orel and Yuca, Ermenilerce, pp. 23, 24; Ataöv, Andonian Documents, p. 9. On pp. 11 and 12, these two authors raise the question as to how a man dismissed early in 1916 (the Meskene appointment) could have procured and transmitted to others documents 2'/2 years after his dismissal. Having relied on the French translation, it is conceivable that they gave a one-sided interpretation to the French word révoquer, which in addition to "dismiss," has the meaning of "recall." Naim discloses in his annotations that he not only returned to his post after the Meskene recall but was entrusted with a new mission for Sivas (AT 190, ET 135). See appropriate columns under A T, FT, and ET in Table 2.

[23].Krieger, Aram Andonianee, pp. 245-46.

[24].Orel and Yuca, Ermenilerce, p. 24.

[25].There are many other errors of counting, dating, and inaccurate referencing. Here are some examples: (1) The March 25 letter (No. 2) is not misprinted as February 8, as they assert, but rather is printed in the ET correctly. (2) Contradicting themselves, they then reproduce the March 25 date when quoting from the same ET on another page. See Orel and Yuca, pp. 33, 140. (3) Again on p. 33 they inaccurately report that the FF has omitted the year of the February 18 letter (No. 1); it did not. (4) Of the Talat ciphers, only three have no date and registry number, only three have no date, and only twelve have no registry number, rather than five, five, and nine, respectively, as reported on p. 4 by Orel and Yuca. (5) On pages 124 and 330, a document by Third Army Commander Vehib Paşa is introdueed in which the number 3,000 is raised to 30,000, presumably by mistake for another Ottoman document, dated 18 days later, specifically cites 2,127 casualties (Documents [Ankara, 1983], document No. 69, of April 1, 1918). In his Kafkas Yollarında Hatıralar ve Teşebbüsler, Turkish historian and Intelligence Officer Ahmed Refik (Altınay), who investigated the sites of the atrocities as a member of a joint Turko-German inspection team, states that there were no more than 10,000 people in Erzurum since "the residents had not returned from their flight to the interior of Anatolia by April 1915." See A. Alper Gazigiray, Ermeni Tenorunun Kaynakları (Istanbul, 1982), pp. 495-96, 503.

[26].The Armenian National Union was convened under the aegis of Catholicos Sahag, the Supreme Armenian Patriarch of the Sea of Cilicia, who selected nine persons as members, the president being a Protestant physician, and the vice-president, a Catholic Armenian: FO 608/108, General Head-quarters Intelligence summary of March 4, 1919, p. 4 of the report. These documents were validated "after many long tests" (Krieger, Aram Andonianee, p. 232; Justicier, p. 237).

[27].0n Naim never having lied, on his relative "saintliness," and on testing his reliability along with that of his documents, see Krieger, Aram Andonianee, p. 232. It should be pointed out that Krieger culled these revealing details mostly from the assemblage of Andonian's Unpublished Essays and Papers, deposited in Nubar Library at Paris, and subsumed under the file index "Haigagan Deghahanoutiantz yev Tcharterou Badmoutian Hamar" [Toward the History of the Armenian Deportations and Massacres], containing also Naim's notebooks. Series 672, Carton 5-2-6: For the nonavailability of this file and the documents thereof at the present time see Table 2, note e. For Andonian's avowedly faithful translations, see Orel and Yuca, Ermenilerce, pp. 30, 33, 42, 51, 53, 64, 65, 66, 73; for Naim's occasional tears in connection with his recording coded telegrams that decreed the death of the Armenian nation see A T 22, 91; FT23, 72; ET 3.

[28].Justicier, pp. 227, 228.

[29].During the June 2-3, 1921, Berlin-Moabit Criminal Court trial an attempt was made to introduce into evidence Talat's 5 ciphers in the original (Nos. 5, 11, 19, 25, and 36, with No. 5 misprinted in the Proceedings as September 15 instead of 16). Additionally, the photocopies of these 5, and those of 16 other ciphers, were distributed in the Court. Upon the suggestion of the presiding judge that such an introduction at that juncture of the trial might be prematüre, Gordon, one of the three defense lawyers, agreed to drop the idea, provided the Court would concur with his claim that "the defendant believed . . . not without good reason . . . that Talat was the author [ Urheber] of the terrible atrocities against the Armenians for which he was responsible." The Procuror-General concurred only with the point that the defendant really believed Talat to be guilty. Thus the documents never had a chance to be tested in a court of law, including the Turkish Military Tribunal, since they were hastily taken to London for translation and submission to the Peace Conference. all that the Berlin Criminal Court did was to certify the accuracy of the translations (Der Prozefi Talaat Pascha [stenographie account of the trial] [Berlin, 1921], pp. 69, 86, 132-36). Ataöv credits Gollnick, the Procuror-General at the trial, with a definitive statement declaring the documents as "false"; this attribution itself is false because Gollnick never made such a statement. The issue involved the 5 original Talat ciphers that were not introduced and therefore could not be tested; Gollnick merely raised the possibility of falseness out of a general skepticism (Ataöv, The Andonian Documents, p. 9). The same misrepresentation is indulged in by the two Turkish authors, who inserted the word "fake" (düzmece) when quoting the German Procuror-General: Orel and Yuca, Ermenilerce, p. 19. For the involvement of the German Foreign Office in the trial, and for defense attorney Gordon's efforts to secure the testimony of Rössler, see German Foreign Office Archives (Bonn), or Aus-wàrtiges Amt, Politische Abteilung 5/Tùrkei, Po 11 No. 3, vol. 1, June 1 and 2, 1921. Andonian declared that, except for the February 18 Şakir letter and some other original ciphers, a few of which were sent back to the Armenian Patriarchate at Istanbul in connection with A. Nuri's moribund trial, he left the Naim documents with the Berlin Court that had compiled a Tehlirian file, and that for some years his subsequent efforts to reclaim them from Berlin proved unsuccessful (Justicier, p. 233). This author on May 10, 1979, wrote a letter to the Justice Ministry of the German Federal Republic inquiring about the possibility of locating the Tehlirian file from the archives of the Moabit Criminal Court and of retrieving the documents for purposes of examination. In a response on May 29, 1979, the Berlin plenipotentiary of Justice informed me that the matter was referred to Berlin District Attorney Krause, who in turn declared, in a letter of June 15, 1979, that the file and the documents "no longer exist; they have been destroyed."

[30].Johannes Lepsius, Deutschland und Armenien, 1914-1918 (Berlin, 1919).

[31].In the annotative part of his material Naim cited two instances that the Court Martial subsequently specifically verified. They deserve to be introduced here because of their substantial value. One refers to Naim's exchange with his superior, A. Nuri, who confided that before Nuri's departing to his new post at Aleppo, Talat took him to a comer in Talat's office and told him, "You surely do know what you have to do. I am not going to put up with the continuous existence in Turkey of those accursed people anymore," meaning of course the Armenians (AT 32; FT 31; ET 13). This lethal instruction was independently confirmed and substantiated before the Turkish Court Martial by Ihsan, a former staff member in Talat's Interior Ministry Special Secretariat, who directly quoted A. Nuri as saying that he "personally received Talat's order of extermination" of the Armenian deportation survivors (imha emirlerini bizzat aldım) (TV, 3540, p. 5 of the Indictment; reference to investigative papers, p. 15).

The other has reference to Naim's assertion that the frequently used phrase "the deportees have been sent to their destination" was a euphemism for "they were killed" (AT 174; FT 125; not cited in ET). At the ninth sitting of the Yozgad trial series (February 22, 1919) this assertion was documented. One of the 11 ciphers read into the record at that sitting was Boğazhyan Recruitment Bureau Chief Mustafa's wire informing the Deputy Commander of t;ie Fifth Army Corps at Ankara that the deportees in question were "sent off to their destination"' (müretteblerine sevk). When Commander Recayi asked for clarification, the answer came on the same day: "They were killed" (katledildikleri) (Nor Giank, Renaissance, Yeni Gün, ikdam, February 23, 1919 issues).

[32].The full text of Radi's deposition is in Krieger, Yozgadee, pp. 387-95; the quotation used is on p. 389.

[33].Nor Giank, March 6 and 7, 1919; Renaissance, March 6, 1919.

[34].Faiz el Ghusein, Martyred Armenia, translation from the original Arabic, no translator indicated (New York, 1918), p. 40. A member of the Damascus Governor's staff and subsequently subdistrict commissioner in the province of Harput, el Ghusein had been imprisoned as an Arab nationalist following the Aliya Court Martial. During and after his imprisonment at Diyarbekir he gained, as a fellow Muslim, the confidence of some Turks who had played active roles in the massacres, and who opened up to him with all sorts of revelations. He learned, for example, that the Arab killed was Sabat el Sueidi, the subdistrict commissioner of El Beşiri, a county of Diyarbekir district, and that the other victim, the subgovernor of Lice, was an unnamed Albanian. (This was independently confirmed by an August 20, 1915, German report in Türkei 183, vol. 38, A24658, enclosure No. VI; and by a September 27, 1915, Rössler report in Türkei 183, vol. 39, A30049, p. 7.) The total number of Armenians, native and others, that constituted the large convoys passing through the city and were massacred in and around Diyarbekir (a hub of transit for convoys) was 570,000, as confided to el Ghusein by one of the organizers of these massacres (p. 41). When relating the narration of Shahin Bey, a Turkish military who had participated in the massacre of a large convoy, el Ghusein adds, "So after the gendarmes had killed a number of Armenian men they put on them turbans and brought Kurdish women to weep and lament over them. They also brought a photographer to photograph the bodies and the weeping women, so that at a future time they might be able to convince Europe that it was the Armenians who had attacked the Kurds and killed them, that the Kurdish Tribes had risen against them in revenge, and that the Turkish government had no part in the matter" (pp. 37 and 38). In his epilogue the author absolves "the faith of Islam and Muslims generally," depicting Ittihad's "fanaticism and their jealousy of the Armenians" as responsible for the crimes; "the Faith of Islam is guiltless of their deeds" (p. 49). Commenting on the production of fake photographs, Andonian adds to the Diyarbekir case one involving Urfa; this picture was so carelessly composed as to allow native Armenians to identify in it certain local Armenians as the actual victims (AT222; FT 152). Providing full details, another Armenian author identifies by name and position the leading executioners of that particular carnage at Diyarbekir, after also confirming the falsity of the photo (M. Agounie, Million Mu Hayerou Tchartee Badmoutiunee [The Story of the Massacre of One Million Armenians] [Istanbul, 1920], p. 67). The prewar Armenian Vice Consul at the British Consulate of Diyarbekir, where he had served for 19 years, asserts the fake nature of the photo, specifying the location of the atrocity, describing the printing process, and sketching the Unes of governmental propaganda that followed (Tovmas Mugurditchian, Dikranagerdee Nahankeen Tcharteru Yev Kùrderou Kazanoutiun-neru [The Massacres of Diyarbekir Province and The Ferocity of the Kurds] [Cairo, 1919], pp. 74-75). Such fraudulence was not limited to pictures purporting to be evidence of Armenian atrocities against Muslims. A Venezuelan officer attached to the Turkish army through German mediation, who had witnessed several scenes of massacres in the Van and Bitlis provinces, relates a similar pattern regarding caches of arms purporting to be evidence of plans of wartime Armenian insurgency in Diyarbekir. The two pictures showed "a stack of arms which [supposedly] had been found in the houses and even the churches of the Armenians. However, a close contemplation of those interesting photographs revealed plainly that the park therein represented was composed almost entirely of fowling-pieces easily disguised by a thin layer of army guns" (Rafaël de Nogales, Four Years Beneath the Crescent, Numa Lee, trans. [New York, London, 1926], pp. 139-40; for a graphie description of a ghastly scene of massacre at Sürt, Bitlis province, see p. 124. The German translation of these accounts is in Nogales, Vier Jahre unter dem Halbmond, no translator indicated [Berlin, 1925], pp. 100 and 89. Countless passages and sentences portraying Ittihad leaders in atrocious behavior, particularly the warlord Enver, are deleted in this German edition).

[35].Türkei 183, vol. 37, A23232, July 17, 1915, report.

[36].Talat told Mordtmann, who was in charge of the German Embassy's Armenian desk, that he intended to get rid of Turkey's "Internal foes" by "taking advantage of the war" (den Weltkrieg dazu benutzen . . . um mit ihren inneren Feinden . . . gründlich aufzuraumen) (Türkei 183, vol. 37, A19744, June 17, 1915, Wangenheim report). Some six weeks later Talat told Interim Ambassador Hohenlohe that the Armenian Question is finished, is no more (La question armenienne n'existe plus) (Türkei 183, vol. 38, A24674, September 4, 1915, Hohenlohe report; see also in the same archive at Bonn Botschaft Konstantinopel 170, No. 549 [5118]). In a 22-page report Jàckh, a key promoter of friendship ties with Turkey, describes Talat's "unabashed sense of political relief over the destruction of the Armenian people" as he summarizes the findings gathered during his September-October 1915 trip to Turkey (Türkei 158, vol. 14, folio 034, p. 18 of report).

[37].Correcting his earlier diagnosis, the German Ambassador concluded that "the deportations" were a stepping stone to the act of "destruction" (Türkei 183, vol. 37, A22110; see also Botschaft Konstantinopel 169, folio 142-6, No. [4018], July 16, 1915, Wangenheim report). About a week before his sudden death through stroke, the same Ambassador, reacting to Talat's "denials" of massacres, advised Berlin to conclude from these denials that "massacres in fact did take place," and that "the denial" (Dementi) was a cop-out (Türkei 183, vol. 39, A30634, October 15, 1915, Wangenheim report). Wangenheim's successor called Talat "unscrupulous," and "a double-dealer" (ein Doppelganger) (Türkei 159, No. 3, vol. 4, A24679, September 7, 1916, Metternich report). On December 7, 1915, Metternich reported to Berlin, "Protests are useless and Turkish denials ... are worthless" ( Türkei 183, vol. 40, A36184). The Austrian Ambassador complained to Vienna that Talat is "throwing dust in the eyes," and five days later described him as a man "engaging in double-dealing" (ein Doppelspiel treiben) as Talat persisted in his denials (Austrian Foreign Affairs Ministry Archive at Vienna, i.e., Haus- und Hof-Archiv, PA 12, Karton 209, No. 72, September 3, 1915, and PA 12, Karton 209, No. 73, September 8, 1915, Pallavicini reports, respectively).

[38].The German Adana Consul branded Talat's denials as "brazen-faced deception" (dreiste Tauschung) (Türkei 183, vol. 38, A27578, September 10, 1915, Büğe report). The German Musul Consul on his part condemned the denials as "blatant lies" (krasse Lügen) (Botschaft Konstantinopel 170, No. 24 [4729], September 10, 1915, Holstein report). Finally, the German Aleppo Consul, responding to the same denials, exclaimed, "Indeed, I could not trust my eyes as I read this declaration of denial, and I find no expression to characterize this abysmal untruth" (Furwahr ich habe meinen Augen nicht getr aut. . . .) (Türkei 183, vol. 38, A23991, July 27, 1915, Rössler report).

[39].Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story (Garden City, N.Y., 1918), pp. 140-45. On pp. 37, 181, 184, 239 the Ambassador reiterates the point that he kept a regular diary, indicating that most of his accounts were based on entries.

[40].FO 371/9158/E5523, folios 106-7, May 22, 1923, communication.
4,"In Turkey Behind the Scenes," Morning Post, December 5, 1918, p. 7; the quotation is repeated on p. 9 of the December 7, 1918, issue of the same paper.

[42].The first quotation is in Şevket Süreyya Aydemir, ikinci Adam (Istanbul, 1973), p. 45; the second is in Aydemir, Suyu Arayan Adam, 7th ed. (Istanbul, 1979), p. 273.

[43].FO 371/7869/E7840, folio 262, p. 2 of August 1, 1922, report.

[44].It developed that Şakir had kept copies of all or of some of his communications, and that the letter in question was among those found in the suitcase discovered during a December 12, 1918, search by the military police at the home of Ahmed Ramiz, a brother-in-law of Şakir (Turkish daily Akşam, December 12, 1918). After being impounded, some of those letters found their way to the press and were published either entirely or in part by a number of anti-Ittihad Turkish dailies in Istanbul. According to the Turkish daily Tasviri Efkar (February 3, 1919), the documents and letters, which criminally implicated Ittihadist leaders, were secured and photographed subsequently. An Armenian Deputy of the Ottoman Parliament in his memoirs states that Şakir also kept a diary (Vahan Papazian, Eem Housheru [My Memoirs] [Beirut, 1952], Vol. Ü, p. 295).

[45].The February 18 letter contains the following passage: "Unable to forget the humiliations and the bitterness of the past, and filled with an urge for vengeance, the Cemiyet [Ittihad], full of hope for its future, has reached a decision. The Armenians, living in Turkey, will be destroyed to the last. The government has been given ample authority. As to the organization of the mass murder, the government will provide the necessary explanations to the governors, and to the army commanders. all the delegates of Ittihad ve Terakki in their own regions will be in charge of this task. No Armenian will be allowed to get any help and support." (Türkiyede yaşayan bil umum Ermenileri, bir tanesi kalmayınca kadar, mahva karar, ve bu hususta hükümete salahiyeti vasiye ita etmişdir. Tertibatı katliye hakkında hükümet vali ve ordu komandanlarına izahatı lazimei verecekdir. Ittihad ve Terakkinin bilumum murahhasları bulundukları yerlerde bu meselenin takibüle meşgul olacaklar. Hiç bir Ermeninin nayili müzaharet ve muavenet olmasına meydan verilmiyecekdir.) The March 25 letter has this passage: "As stated in the February 18, 1915 letter, the Cemiyet has decided to tear from its roots and destroy the various forces which for years have been hampering its efforts and clashing with it. The measures adopted for this purpose are unfortunately very bloody. . . . [esasdan kal' ve imhaya karar vermiş ve bu babda maatessüf pek kanlı tedabir ittihazına mecbur kalmışdır] There is no point in dealing with the other [troublesome nationalities] before the measures adopted against the known persons [the Armenians] produce results."

[46].As some other high officials had done, Harput governor Sabit had saved a few incriminating ciphers he had received, as a hedge against the liabilities of a possible defeat, which might involve reckoning before the bar of justice. In order to shift the blame to higher authorities, he reportedly handed out this particular cipher to the Mazhar Inquiry Commission whose magistrates had taken him in custody, subjecting him to a pretrial interrogatory (Jamanag, December 12; Ariamard, December 13, 1918). Mehmed Namık, the police chief of Dersim (Harput province district), confirmed this rationale of compliance with higher authorities. He testified that working closely with Nazım, Ittihad's Responsible Secretary of that province, Sabit, adamantly enforced the radical measures against the entire Armenian population there. Following an investigation ordered by Sabit, the police chief had rounded up 29 Dashnaks, finding "but a very few bombs." As he proposed "to punish these men only, Sabit Bey refused to listen, replying that orders had come from the Central Government, signed by Behaeddin Shakir, that the whole Armenian population had to be deported and annihilated" (FO 371/6500, 30/A/4, Appendix B, folio 370/103).

[47].In February 1916, Vehib had replaced Mahmud Kamil Paşa, under whose aegis the Armenian population of "the six provinces" in the East was all but wiped out, and whose order forbidding shelter to any Armenian deportee under pain of death is cited in the Indictment (TV 3540, p. 7, ref. series 13, doc. no. 1). As Commander of the Second Army at the Dardanelles Southwestern Front, Vehib had distinguished himself; his brother, Esad Paşa, was Commander of the Dardanelles Western Army Group, which included Mustafa Kemal's (Atatürk) famous nineteenth division. Promoted to Commander-in-Chief of Army Group East in the spring of 1918, Vehib soon advanced ali the way to the pre-1877 borders of Caucasus. Before Turkish authorities decided to arrest him as a suspect for wartime black-marketeering (TV, 3571), he prepared a lengthy deposition at the request of the Mazhar Inquiry Commission that was conducting pre-Court Martial investigations on the massacres. While in prison, he was unexpectedly visited one day in September 1919 by Şakir's wife, who began attacking him with a whip, prompting the General to cali out, "Help! [aman], take this woman out, I can't strike at a woman" (Djagadamard, Jhamanag, September 9, 1919).

[48].General Sabis in his memoirs complained about Şakir's key role in Turkey's entry into the war, the Sarıkamış battle disaster, and his Pan-Turanist, or Pan-Turkist, ideology, denouncing Şakir's lack of grasp and incompetence in military affairs (Ali Ihsan Sabis, Harb Hatıralarım [Istanbul, 1943], Vol. 1, pp. 64-65; Arif Baytin, ilk Dünya Harbinde Kafkas Cephesi [Istanbul, 1946], pp. 49-51). Colonel Baytin, who was a Deputy from Ankara in the Turkish Republic when he published his book, was in charge of the twenty-ninth division of the Ninth Army Corps of the Third Army. He bitterly denounced Şakir's "optimum influence" (tesiri azami). That "undeniable" influence was brought to bear upon Enver who, yielding to Şakir's intervention, relieved the Commander of that Ninth Army Corps, replacing him with Şakir's choice, i.e., General Ihsan Giresonlu, then the commander of the thirty-fourth division of the Eleventh Army Corps. According to the Turkish daily Sabah, the Intelligence (istihbarat) branch of the War Office (i.e., Department Ü) mapped the strategy for massacres carried out by the çetes that were organized by Ittihad's Central Committee and directed by Şakir (Ariamard, December 13, 1918).

[49].Galib Vardar, in S. N. Tansu, ed., ittihat ve Terakki içinde Dönenler (Istanbul, 1960), pp. 244, 276-77.

[50].Türkei 198, vol. 8, A2616, and IA Orientalia Generalia 9, vol. 7, January 20, 1917.

[51].Politische Abteilung 3/ Türkei Po. 11 No. 3, vol. 1, submitted by Weismann on May 21, 1921, i.e., in the wake of Talat's assassination in Berlin (March 15, 1921). Some 13 months later (April 17, 1922), Şakir too was assassinated by an Armenian.

[52].Botschaft Konstantinopel 170, No. 3841, August 23, 1915. For his guerrilla activities, which included the brief capture of Ardahan, see Grofies Hauptquartier 186, Türkei 18/2 report Nos. 2734, 2736; 18/3 and 4, report Nos. 39, 43, 59, and 170. The capture by the Special Organization units of Ardahan and Artvin following the start of the Russo-Turkish hostilities in the winter of 1914 was accompanied by large-scale massacres of the native Armenian populations of these two cities. Apart from many other reasons fueling the Turko-Armenian conflict, these atrocities were the catalyst for a new cycle of violence, culminating in the wholesale destruction of the Armenians. This fact is conceded by a Turkish captain at the War Office's Intelligence Section, i.e., Department IL In his article series in a Turkish daily, and subsequently in a book, this captain refers to the criminal gangs who were "released from the prisons, and after a week's training at the War College's training grounds, were sent off to the east as the çetes of the Special Organization, perpetrating the worst crimes against the Armenians [Ermeni mezaliminde en büyük cinayetleri bu çeteler ika ettiler). Upon my 1918 visit to the sites of the atrocities, I have confirmed these 1914-15 massacres, and the role in them as brigand chiefs of Çerkez Ahmed and Lieutenant Halil, the two murderers of Zohrab and Vartkes, the Armenian Deputies in the Ottoman Parliament, and of Erzurum Deputy Sudi. The aim of Ittihad was to destroy the Armenians, and thereby to do away with the Question of the Eastern Provinces [Ermenileri imha etmek ve bu suretle Vilayati Şarkiye meselesini de ortadan kaldırmak istediler]" (Ahmed Refik [Altınay], iki Komite-Iki Kıtal [Ottoman script] [Istanbul, 1919], p. 23; for the author's personal confirmation of the massacres in Ardahan and Artvin see pp. 36-38; ikdam, December 23-28, 1918 installments, quotation from the December 26 issue). Altınay subsequently became a prolific author of historical works.

[53].Admiral de Robeck's report is in F0 371/5O89B/E949, February 18, 1920; the Intelligence report is in F0 371/5171/E12228, p. 7 of the 26-page report, August 29, 1920.

[54].Doğan Avcıoğlu, Milli Kurtuluş Tarihi (Istanbul, 1974), Vol. ÜI, p. 1,135.

[55].Rössler's quotation in original French is in Justicier, p. 228; his report to Berlin is in Türkei 183, vol. 40, A468, December 20, 1915. Rössler was not sure whether it was Şükrü or his deputy, A. Nuri, who made that remark. Biographical details provided by Nuri's brother indicate that Nuri did not know French well enough to converse in that language (Yusuf Kemal Tengirşek, Vatan Hizmetinde [Ankara, 1981]). Şükrü, on the other hand, had graduated from Galatasaray College, where the French language was prevalent, and had gone to Paris for advanced studies following his graduation from Istanbul Law School. After returning from Malta, where he had been interned along with other Ittihad leaders by the British, he served for a long time (first installed in Fethi Okyar's 1924 Cabinet) as Interior Minister in the nascent Turkish Republic, as well as Secretary General of the People's Party (Halk Partisi) founded by Atatürk.

[56].Türkei 158, vol. 24, A1373, January 3, 1916, report. Bastendorff's report is dated December 18, 1915. According to a British intelligence report Bastendorff was employed as an engineer at the No. 1 Section, 3rd Division of Baghdad Railway, at a location between Arada and Darbeesa. FO 608/244/6474.

[57]. Kölnische Zeitung, January 1, 1917.

[58].Vakit, December 12, 1918.


[60].Der Zor was an independent district, mutasarrıflık, embracing Sabka, an open-air concentration camp site, and Ras ul Ain, a gigantic slaughterhouse; the other sites at Meskene, Abu Hrera, Hammam, Rakka, and Zierat were part of the Aleppo province.

[61].The details of this enclosure highlight the standard pattern of massacre in this part of the desert of altogether some 150,000 Armenians over a period of several weeks. After having been collected together at a spot—in this case, Marat—the victims were then marched off in convoys of 2,000-4,000 each to Şedadiye on the Çabur River, a tributary of the Euphrates and several days away from Marat. A squad of mounted brigands surrounded the convoy, robbing the victims of the last of their possessions, including their clothing. They were then driven, completely naked, to Karadağ, a 3-hour-distant plateau encircled with hills, where they were set upon by the brigands and butchered with "axes, swords, and daggers," the whole slaughter being "watched by Salihzeki from a carriage from which he kept egging on the butchers with loud shouts" (Türkei 183, vol. 45, A31831, November 5, 1916, report to Chancellor Hollweg).

[62]. FO 608/244/8183.

[63].U.S. National Archives, Record Group 59.867.4016/373; Jackson's 25-page summary report of March 4, 1918, was compiled in Washington, D.C. Significantly, the Consul, who, like his German counterpart Rössler, lived in Aleppo for 10 years, also reveals that much documentation involving "details of massacres," which was too risky to relay to Washington via regular channels, was burned in Aleppo following the U.S. entry into the war in April 1917 (p. 20). The Consul further states that in one week 60,000 Armenians were butchered outside Der Zor, and that the total toll of the successive mass murders was 300,000 (pp. 11, 13); he attributed all this to Salihzeki having replaced Ali Suad, whom Jackson describes as a "high class gentleman who had spent 15 years of his life in Egypt, spoke English and French, and was highly esteemed by many in Aleppo" (p. 11); an almost identical view is in Türkei 183, vol. 42, A12911, Rössler's April 27, 1916, report.

[64].Enclosure to Consul Rössler's September 20, 1916, No, 93 report in Türkei 183, vol. 45, A28162; and in 183, vol. 44, A26116, September 5, 1916, report. For similar details from other sources, see also Rössler's July 29, 1916 report in 183, vol. 44, A21969.

[65].Türkei 183, vol. 44, A26116, September 5, 1916, report.

[66].Meclisi Mebusan Zabt Ceridesi 1918, No. 14, pp. 110-14. In its November 19, 1918, issue Journal d'Orient carried excerpts from that speech.

[67].Jhogovourt, December21, 1918.

[68].AT23, 24, 33, 41, 98, 102; FT24, 25, 32, 37, 74, 77, 78; ETA, 5, 14, 19, 41, 42.

[69].Botschaft Konstantinopel 169, No. (3378) folio 13, June 3, 1915, report.

Edited by QueBeceR, 22 November 2005 - 04:33 PM.

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[70].Türkei 183, vol. 41, A2889, Rössler's January 3, 1916, report containing, as enclosure, Alexandrette Consul Hoffmann's 25-page, November 8, 1915, BN944 report. Hoffmann was Acting Consul at Aleppo during October of 1915, when Rössler was temporarily absent. Of all the German consular reports emanating from Syria and Mesopotamia, Hoffmann's is the most comprehensive review of the destruction process in that part of the Ottoman Empire, with particular emphasis on methods, cover-ups, false charges, and denials, and on the fact of central direction of the extermination process. By focusing, for example, on four instances of "Armenian uprising," he tries to debunk this major Turkish, and occasionally German, charge against the Armenians by underscoring the desperately defensive nature of the cases he investigated as falling within the purview of his consular jurisdiction. These involved the Zeitun (Süleymanlı), Funducak, Urfa, and Musa Dağ episodes of resistance, with only the population of the last escaping ultimate destruction. Questioning the seriousness of the Turkish charges of Armenian sedition, he refers to the active opposition both of the Kurds of Bedirhan tribe and of certain important Arabic tribes from Iraq and Arabia as being the real sources of danger threatening the Turkish war effort. The extermination of the Armenians, he argues, is essentially economically motivated: He describes the Armenians as "economically superior" and goes on to maintain that "hundreds of thousands" of them are actually "diligent and dexterous artisans, and energetic and enterprising farmers, not to speak of their agriculturally active mountaineers." He also notes the contempt of most muslim Arabs against the Turkish overlords, whose atrocities against the Armenians, "especially against women and children they condemn as being against the injunctions of Islam." In this connection Hoffmann relates the case of the liquidation of a Turkish commander by an Arab sheikh he had chastised for having protected an Armenian deportee convoy (p. 22).

[71].Türkei 183, vol. 42, A12911, April 27, 1916, Rössler report.

[72].As related by Mark Sykes, who interviewed them, "The Turkish officers of the battalion were horrified at the sights they saw, and the regimental chaplain, on coming across a number of bodies, dismounted his horse and publicly prayed that the divine punishment of these crimes should be averted from Muslims, and, by way of expiation, himself worked at digging graves for the dead bodies" (FO 371/2781/201201; Arab sergeant's statement is in FO 608/247, folio 77 (no. 4880), April 8, 1919).

[73].PA 38/70, No. 1/P, Austrian Consul Kwatkiowski's March 16, 1917, report.

[74].Falih Rıfkı Atay, Zeytindağı (Istanbul, 1981), p. 66.

[75].Botschaft Konstantinopel 172, No. 384, Loytved Hardegg's May 30, 1916, report.

[76].Memoirs of Halide Edib (New York, London, 1926), pp. 389, 391, 400. Edib grants that "besides the political argument there was a strong Economic one . . . to end the Economic supremacy of the Armenians, thereby claiming the markets for the Turks and the Germans" (p. 386). Her companion in the train taking her to Aleppo was Falih Rıfkı (Atay), a reserve lieutenant and Cemal's private secretary (see note 74). Coming from the eastern provinces, B. Şakir boarded the train at Adana and was introduced to Edib, who until then hadn't known about the nature of his work. Evidently, during the remainder of the trip Şakir had narrated the details of his extermination work in the eastern provinces, because Edib's reaction is recorded thus; "I am saddened that you [Rıfkı] got me to shake the hand of a murderer" (katil). In reflecting upon this reaction Rıfkı also deplores Şakir's obsession with the idea of "wiping out [yoketmek] the Armenians for the purpose of preventing the future formation of an Armenia." While subscribing to the view that the Armenians were aiding and abetting the Russians, he condemns the enactment of "genocide" (his word) as a means of retaliation, adding that Şakir was after ali "a committee man" (komitacı). Falih Rıfkı admits nevertheless that without that "genocide" Turkey would have confronted today an Armenia in the eastern provinces (Dünya, December 17, 1967). He later repeats this point in another work: "What a pity that without the Armenian tragedy Atatùrk's National Pact movement wouldn't have been able to gain a foothold" (Çankaya [Istanbul, 1980], p. 450).

[77].Türkei 183, vol. 43, A18979, June 26, 1916, report. On his part, Austria's Saloniki Consul-General in a "secret" report of February 20, 1912, describes H. Kazım as a top adviser to Ittihad's secret Saloniki branch (PA 38/415, Zl:35).

[78].The personal accounts of Hasan were published in three installments in the Itilafist Turkish daily Alemdar in the second half of June 1919. They reappeared in French translation in the July 8, 11, and 16, 1919, issues of Renaissance as well as in the Armenian dailies in abridged form. Hasan felt constrained to relate his own experiences when Süleyman Nazif (of whom more later) declared in an editorial that the government was not responsible for the fate befalling the Armenians: Hadisat, April 5, 1919. Hasan retorted, the following day, "Then who killed hundreds of thousands of Armenians? Forget the terms 'deportations,' 'massacres,' and say 'the decision to exterminate the Armenians'" (Alemdar, April 6, 1919). Subjected to a barrage of insults and threats following the publication of Hasan's memoirs, Alemdar suspended the rest of the installments, with Hasan promising to publish the entire series in a separate book. He declared, "This country doesn't have the guts to face the truth" (Alemdar, July 5, 1919). His statement about the forced mass conversion of Armenian orphans is verified by the writer Halide Edib, who denounced it as "wrong" (The Turkish Ordeal [New York, London, 1928], p. 16). Hasan placed the number of Armenians deported at 1 million, and those who ended up in the deserts, at 200,000-250,000 (Akşam, January 26, 1955, interview, cited in Yakub Kenan Necefzade, 1908-I918 Sultan ikinci Abdülhamid ve Ittihad-ü-Terakki [Istanbul, 1967], pp. 96-97. His deposition with the British is in FO 371/6501, folio 47 (547), Tahsin file, p. 11).

[79].Mustafa Nedim, Hai Yegernu. Eem Vugayoutiounnerus [The Armenian Genocide. My testimony], trans. by A. S. Shaldjia (Cairo, 1925), pp. 90, 100.

[80].FO 608/108/5749, March 4, 1919, General Headquarters Intelligence Summary, p. 2; Nazif "was forced to cover his nose against the smell of putrid corpses" (TV, 3540, p. 8, ref. to investigative loose papers, p. 6).

[81].Türkei 183, vol. 38, A23991, enclosure to No. 81, July 27, 1915, report.

[82].The officer was Armin Wegner, who served in the Dardanelles in 1915 and was later assigned to the Headquarters of the Sixth Army in Mesopotamia in October 1915, traversing the Istanbul-Baghdad stretch twice during 1915-1916. Upon his return to Berlin, he issued an open letter to President Wilson imploring him to take charge of the martyred Armenian nation. In narrating his experiences he provided graphic details of the atrocities, some of which were deleted in the publication of the English version on account of their most gruesome nature. His appeal, titled "Ein Vermachtnis in der Wüste" [A Desert Legacy], was first published in Berliner Tageblatt, No. 86, February 23, 1919; see also Türkei 183, vol. 55, A5773.

[83].F0 371/5091, E14130, folio 32, Malta, October 19, 1920. For a similar admission of massacres by Aintab Deputy Ali, from Malta, see FO 371/50908/E11188, folio 142.

[84].Cemal Paşa, Hatıralar, Behçet Cemal, ed. (Istanbul, 1977), p. 443.

[85].Orel and Yuca, Ermenilerce, pp. 21, 84-86; Ataöv, The Andonian Documents, p. 13.

[86].A surviving Armenian physician, Dr. Nakashian, who was instrumental for Nuri's arrest and prosecution, describes A. Nuri as "trembling and sobbing before the judge"; 20 witnesses were at hand to testify against him, including ihsan, the Governor of Kilis, to whom Nuri had confided that the real intent of deportations was "the destruction of the Armenians" (imha). Nuri was on the verge of being condemned to death on the gallows, but his brother, Yusuf Kemal Tengirşek (then Economics Minister in M. Kemal's Ankara government and eight months later Foreign Minister, replacing Bekir Sami) reportedly sent the Armenian Bishop of Kastamonu to Istanbul with an ultimatum: Should Nuri be convicted, the brother would see to it that the 2,000-3,000 Armenian survivors in his area were massacred in retaliation. Yusuf Kemal mentions in his memoirs receiving a letter from his brother, informing him of Nuri's arrest and pending charges. These details are provided in Krieger, Aram Andonianee, pp. 234-35; the Bishop's intervention is also briefly mentioned in the memoirs of the Armenian Patriarch, who was apprised of Ankara's initiative (Zaven Arkyepiscopos, Badriarkagan Housherus. Vaverakirner yev Vugayoutiunner [My Patriarchal Memoirs. Documents and Testimonies] [Cairo, 1947], p. 102. A. Nuri's letter to his brother is mentioned in Tengirşek, Vatan Hizmetinde, p. 182).

[87].FO 371/6503, E6311, folio 34, June 1, 1921.

[88].FO 371/6500, folio 119(386), July 26, 1920.

[89].FO 371/5090/E7334, folio 51, June 15, 1920, communication.

[90].FO 371/6501, p. 4, folio 540/40.

[91].FO 371/6504, folios 136 and 146, and FO 371/6504/E10023, folio 97.


[93].Türkei 183, vol. 41, A4215, February 9, 1916, report; see also Botschaft Konstantinopel 172, No. 366, folio 148.

[94].Zaven Arkyepiscopos, Badriarkagan, pp. 71-72, 92; FO 371/6500, folio 77/344; Orel and Yuca identify him as Mülkiye Müfettişi Mihran Boyaciyan (Ermenilerce, pp. 93, 201).

[95].The nurse was Grisell McLaren; her account is in Grace H. Knapp, The Tragedy of Bitlis (New York, Chicago, London, Edinburgh, 1919), pp. 130-31. When Abdülhalik was transferred to Aleppo, Memduh, the governor of Erzincan, was assigned to Abdülhalik's post at Bitlis and was "proud of the fact that he [Abdülhalik] had cleaned out the Christian population of Erzincan" (ibid., pp. 130-31). Upon his release from Malta, Abdülhalik, who was Talat's brother-in-law, blended himself in the Kemalist movement and was promptly appointed Governor of Izmir in the wake of the capture, sacking, and burning of that port city in 1922. In the course of the subsequent, formative years of the Turkish Republic he had a meteoric rise in the government, consecutively becoming Minister of Finance, Education, and War.

[96].See note 47. Armenian accounts of the atrocities in Bitlis province, particularly Muş City and Muş Plain, are numerous. One of them may be cited here as epitomizing the special treatment that was inflicted upon the Armenian population of that province—namely, its destruction on location. The victims, estimated at 70,000-80,000, were mostly burned alive in large haylofts and stables. This is how the Armenian Catholic Bishop of Trabzon describes one instance of burning. "Having gathered together 1000 little children, Governor Mustafa Abdülhalik led them to a place called Taşhod where he had them burnt to death in the presence of notables and Turkish crowds, at the same time shouting at the top of his voice, It is necessary to erase once and for all the Armenian name in these provinces for the security of Turkey.' The children were afterwards thrown into ditches prepared beforehand for them especially; the moans of those not yet completely consumed could be heard for days" (Les mémoires de Msgr. Jean Naslian [Vienna, 1955], Vol. I, p. 146, note 62). Page 138 of this same work describes the burning alive in Norşen, near Muş, of the Catholic Primate of Muş. Referring to the same procedure at Muş, the Swedish nurse Aima Johansson, who was running the German orphanage there, reported that the Armenian orphans, along with the staff of the orphanage, "were burnt alive" [lebendig verbrannt] (Türkei 183, vol. 48, A34435, October 1, 1917 report). De Nogales, the Venezuelan officer with the title Inspector General of the Turkish Forces in Armenia, operating in the Van and Bitlis provinces, mentions in his memoirs the holocaust of the Armenians in the Muş area where some of the victims, involving "women and children were penned up and burned alive . . ." (See note 34 for the reference; the citation is on p. 135). Third Army Commander General Vehib's testimony that "Armenian women and children were burnt alive in the village Tchurig, located 5 kilometres north of Muş" was described in the section dealing with Şakir and was covered in n. 47. In the provinces of Erzurum, Harput, Diyarbekir, and Aleppo—the latter being the final destination for those victims who survived the ordeals of the deportation trek—the practice of burning alive the victims was similarly applied, though less systematically. An illustration may be in order. In a memorandum to the Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul, dated January 31, 1921, Sahag Mesrob, an Armenian lawyer, informing the Patriarch of his lawsuit against the Police Chief of Der Zor, Mustafa Sıdkı, describes a microcosm of a holocaust in that infernal location where the final scenes of the Final Solution of the Armenian Question were mercilessly enacted: "On October 9, 1916, Mustafa Sıdkı ordered to pile great stacks of wood and split 200 cans of petroleum on the whole stack. He lighted it and then had 2,000 orphans, bound hands and feet, thrown into the pyre" (Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate Archive, Series 13, File L, nos. 323-39; the incident is described on p. 5 of the Memo, Le., No. L330). The noted scholar Bernard Lewis, presumably in recognition of this practice of burning alive, saw fit to describe the Armenian experience as "the terrible holocaust of 1916, when a million and a half Armenians perished" (The Emergence of Modem Turkey [London, Toronto, New York, 1961], p. 350). The testimony of Hasan Maruf, a lieutenant of the Ottoman army, is more graphie: "In August 1915, on my return from Zaart [Sürt], [I saw] in a village of the suburbs of Muş how 500 Armenians, mostly women and children, were herded up in a stable and locked in. The gendarmes threw flaming torches through an opening in the ceiling. They were all burnt alive. I did not go near, but I distinctly saw the fiames and heard the screams of the poor victims" (FO 371/2781/264888, Appendix B, p. 6).

[97].FO 371/6500/E3375, folio 284/15 deals with the March 16 Agreement; on the "all for all" condition, see FO 371/6509, p. 2, folio 47.

[98].FO 371/6509, folios 122-23.

[99].FO 371/5091/E16080, folio 85. In announcing this escape the British Foreign Office noted that the first two "have broken parole"; on the occasion of the subsequent escape of the 16, the Office wondered out loud "how little Turkish sense of honor can be relied on" (FO 371/6509/E10662, folio 159).

[100].Bilal Şimşir, Malta Sürgünleri (Istanbul, 1976), pp. 451-60.

[101].FO 371/7882/E4425, folio 182. This attitude is evident in the remark General Campbell inserted in his letter to Lloyd George, whom he was pressuring for the release from Turkish custody of his son Captain Campbell. The latter had written to his father the following remark, repeated to Lloyd George, "I am more valuable than any of these miserable Turks" (FO 371/6509/E8562, folio 13). It is equally significant that one of the Turkish internees gleefully stated after his release that the British were duped by "a sly trick" of the Ankara government whose "British prisoners" to be exchanged included "six Maltese laborers and their Greek wives and children" (Ahmed E. Yalman, Turkey in My Time [Norman, Okla., 1956], pp. 106-7).

[102].Talat's November 18 cipher (No. 11 in Table 2) clearly outlines these procedures of camouflage and deflection intended for the benefit of the American Consuls. He is instructing the deportation officials to be careful about the real intent of the deportations, to avoid attracting attention when carrying out that intent through "the known measures" (tedabiri malüme), and to "create the conviction among foreigners" (kanaatinin tevlidi için) that the aim of "deportation" is nothing but "relocation" (tebdili mekan).

[103].See note 40. It is ironic that as British Ambassador to the Third Reich, the same Henderson on August 25, 1939, relayed to London without comment a summary version of Hitler's notorious speech of August 22, in which Hitler purportedly is exhorting his generais not to be concerned about the adverse consequences of his plans of extermination against Poland. In that speech, there is a reference to the Armenian massacres, and to Hitler's allowing that that episode of destruction had been consigned to oblivion ("Wer redet noch von der Vernichtung der Armenier? ") For a detailed examination of the reasons warranting the truth-value of this statement, and the circumstances of Henderson conveying the speech to London, see Winfried Baumgart, "Zur Ansprache Hitlers vor den Führern der Wehrmacht am 22. August 1939. Eine quellenkritische Untersuchung," Vierteljahreshefte fur Zeitgeschichte, 16, 2 (1968), pp. 121-22, 138-39. For a similar reference by Hitler to "the extermination" (" Ausrottung") of the Armenians, see Edouard Calic, Ohne Maske (Frankfurt, 1968), p. 101. For the primary source of Henderson's communication to London see the Henderson file in FO 800/270, No. 39/85, folios 288-91. A monograph, just published, examines in detail the circumstances surrounding Hitler's August 22, 1939, reference to the Armenians to verify its authenticity: K. B. Bardakjian, Hitler and the Armenian Genocide, Zoryan Institute Special Report Number 3 (Cambridge, Mass., 1985), pp. 3-24.

[104].Writing in the wake of the Turkish Armistice, while Seeckt was proceeding home with his German complement of officers via Odessa on the Black Sea, Seeckt explains the gap between official Turkish postures and unofficially held secret positions. In his essay on "The Causes of the Turkish Collapse" (Die Gründe des Zusammenbruchs der Türkei, dated November 4, 1918) Seeckt injects "the unhappy Armenian Question" when discussing Turkish rabid nationalism and methods of Turkish command and control. "Openly conveyed orders upholding official Turkish policy were followed by secret instructions [geheime Weisungen], or by intimations [Andeutungen] that their execution was being discounted [aufihre Ausführung nicht gerechnet wurde]" (Bundesarchiv/Militararchiv-Freiburg im Breisgau, N247/202c, NachlaB Seeckt. The full text of the essay is reproduced in Jehuda L. Wallach, Anatomie einer Militarhilfe. Die preufüsch-deutschen Militarmissionen in der Türkei, 1835-1919 [Düsseldorf, 1976], pp. 258-71, remark on Armenians, p. 260). Ambassador Metternich complained to German Chief of Staff Falkenhayn that War Minister Enver's order to suspend the deportation of Baghdad Railway Armenian work details was "countermanded" [Gegenbefehl]. The message was relayed through Foreign Minister Gottlieb von Jagow on July 2, 1916 (Grofies Hauptquartier 194, Türkei 41/1 cipher No. 763, folio 141). U.S. Consul Jackson on August 19, 1915, informed Ambassador Morgenthau that the anti-Armenian measures amount to "a gigantic plundering scheme as well as a final blow to extinguish the race, notwithstanding the existence of a Commission appointed by the Government to safeguard the interests of the Armenians." He then went on to state that, "On the 17th instant an order arrived from the Minister of the Interior to permit the Armenian Protestants to remain where they were, but on the 18 another order came that all Armenians without distinction should be deported" (Record Group 59, 807.4016/148, enclosure in Ambassador Morgenthau's August 30, 1915 report). German Consul Büğe, reacting vehemently to Talat's assurances, informs Interim Ambassador Hohenlohe that Talat's order "was subsequently rescinded [nachher diese Verfügung aufgehobenY (Türkei 183, vol. 38, A27578, September 14, 1915, report). Mehmed Ali, former District Commissioner of Üsküdar, testified at the fifteenth sitting of the Yozgad Court Martial series (March 27, 1919) that secret orders followed official orders of deportation, to the effect that the latter were to be disregarded, and that the deportees were to be exterminated. At the fourth sitting of the same trial series (February 11, 1919) Yozgad Deputy Şakir testified to "secret" orders decreeing the extermination of the Armenians, orders about which he personally had complained to Talat in Istanbul, only to be accused of "incompetence." (These last two items were culled from local dailies covering the trials, in particular Jhamang, March 29; Renaissance February 12; and Le Courier de Turquie, February 14, 1919 issues.)

[105].Falih Rıfkı Atay, Zeytindağı, pp. 24-25. Relating his experiences in Aleppo, Mustafa Nedim (see n. 79) wrote that Enver's and Talat's orders to the governors "were routinely countermanded through coded messages ... I know this too well," pp. 102-3.

[106].Beside the transcripts of the Courts Martial, there was another official publication that summarized the hearings of the Fifth Committee of the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies (Meclisi Mebusan Beşinci Şube Tahkikat Komisyonu). From November 5 to December 11, 1918, the Committee conducted 14 hearings, interrogating 15 ministers, including two şeyhülislams. in the course of its inquiries, the Committee secured a number of top-secret documents that eventually were transmitted to the Courts Martial. The Grand Vezir Said Halim three times in a single sentence conceded the fact of "the Armenian massacres," without adding the twin term "deportation." Referring to Talat's concealments and cover-ups, Said Halim also admitted to the practice of translating orders for "deportation" into orders for "killing." Furthermore, alluding to the Special Organization, he declared that it was "an evil" outfit, and was created without the decision of the government (Meclisi Mebusan Zabıtları, Üçüncü Meclis, No. 521 [Istanbul, 1918]; for the abridged version see Harb Kabinelerinin isticvabı [Istanbul, 1933], pp. 285, 287, 290, 293-94, 308).

[107].The issue of premeditation needs to be understood in the broader context of the history of the Ittihad party, which from its very inception secretly pursued Turkism while pretending to multiethnic Ottomanism. After alluding to the pivotal role of Nazım and Şakir in the pursuit of this ideology, Aksin discerns a connection between the violent nationalism that evolved and gripped Ittihad, and the Armenian deportations (Sina Aksin, 100 Soruda Jön Türkler ve ittihat ve Terakki [Istanbul, 1980], pp. 54, 159). Speaking of the Special Organization, Stoddard likewise asserted that "it rested on the concepts of Pan-Islam and Pan-Turkism, although, like the governmental authorities responsible for it, the organization's agents paid lip service to the traditional concept of Ottomanism" (Stoddard, Ottoman Government, pp. 54-55). In the pre-1908 negotiations between Ittihad and the Dashnag party, the issue of decentralization and local administrative autonomy, bitterly opposed by Ittihad, emerged and remained a discordant note, casting an abiding shadow over the relationship of the two parties. Neither their cooperation in the overthrow of Hamid nor their mutual assistance in the securing and defense of the Constitutional regime could overcome the ensuing tensions that separated the two parties. Aggravated by Ittihad's inability and/or unwillingness to carry out the promised reforms in the eastern provinces, the impasse seemed to defy remedy. The conflict that developed was abetted in no small measure by Nazım and Şakir's bad faith, if not outright deceptive gimmickry. Three letters produced by two Turkish historians demonstrate the secret intentions of these two pioneers of Ittihad. On September 22, 1906—i.e., a year before the 1907 joint Young Turk-Dashnak Congress of Paris—Nazım and Şakir, in a letter to "our Azerbaidjani brothers in the Caucasus," together advised the addressees to join hands with the Armenians in opposing the Russian government, "your greatest enemy." They then injected this counterpoint: "The Armenians can later be brought on to the right course in as much as the Muslims are in the majority." In a January 3, 1908, letter Şakir told his cohorts in Çanakkale that one reason for Ittihad's cooperation with the Armenians was to profit (istifade etmek) from their resources. In yet another letter (December 8, 1907), Şakir informed the Saloniki branch of Ittihad that the agreements reached with the Armenians were meant "to benefit us [temini menafi]. Once we are in power it will then be easy to teach a lesson to those seeking administrative autonomy" (Bayur, Türk Inkilabı Tarihi, vol. 2, part 4 [Ankara, 1952], pp. 87, 126, 129-30). Similar letters are contained in Ahmed Bedevi Kuran, Inkilap Tarihimiz ve Ittihad ve Terakki (Istanbul, 1948), pp. 209-29. In one of these letters dated June 11, 1907, Şakir is accusing the Armenian revolutionaries of wanting to establish an Armenian state to be carved out of the territory of the Ottoman Empire, pp. 228-29. Commenting on the December 8, 1907 letter, Bayur interprets it to mean that as far as Ittihad was concerned the agreements with the Armenians were worthless. Amazed at the foolishness of committing such thoughts to writing, he allows that Ittihad must have been sanguine about the letters' remaining secret. In an editorial written during the Armistice, the noted opposition paper Alemdar berated the Armenians for having supported Ittihad. "The Dashnaks and Ittihad were one political party. Vartkes [the Dashnak leader] and Talat drank from one cup. But the bandit clique later executed him and the Armenians ... a terrible punishment for their mistake" (translated in Jhamanag, April 27, 1919). The destruction of the Armenians appears to be presaged in the last (Dec. 8, 1907) of these three letters, which constitute rarely available primary sources. Touching on the ingredient of premeditation, Bayur concedes that, exasperated with the tribulations of discord with the Armenians, Ittihad would eventually solve the problem by force of arms, i.e., using the Army [işi ordu ile görmek] (Bayur, Türk Inkilabı Tarihi, vol. 2, part 4, p. 13).

[108].A leader of the Special Organization, ostensibly one of Şakir's lieutenants, published his memoirs in installments in the Turkish daily Vakit over a period of some six months; in them he reveals details on the workings of that outfit that are not published anywhere else. His accounts include Verbatim reproductions of some of Şakir's, secret telegrams to Talat and even a reference to a December 5, 1914, personal letter to Şakir's wife. Two revelations deserve foremost attention: (1) Before setting out for Istanbul in February 1915 Şakir convened in Erzurum a meeting of his top aides in which it was decided to make the Special Organization East an autonomous body for the purpose of devising strategy and tactics, and for having ultimate control over the çetes to be employed in the East (installment No. 88); and (2) he was subsequently able to persuade his cohorts in Istanbul that the Special Organization had to shift its operations from the external to the Internal front, involving the Armenians (installment No. 83). A September 3, 1914 cipher exposes Şakir as ordering the ambush and destruction of the Dashnak delegates who were returning to their cities from their Eighth quadrennial Congress in Erzurum (installments 12 and 13). The evidence the author believes to be adducing for demonstrating Armenian sabotage against the Turkish war effort is patently false, however. "Combat Instructions" [Mardagan Hurahankner] spread over several installments of the series, as an example of such evidence, were actually printed at the turn of the century, and were used against the regime of Hamid, to overthrow which the Ittihad and Dashnak parties had joined hands. it is also revealed that General Vehib intended to imprison and prosecute Şakir (installment 69) (A. Bil, "Umimi Harpte Teşkilatı Mahsusa," Vakit, November 2, 1933-February 7, 1934; the rest, dealing with operations in the Balkans, appears in the subsequent issues of that paper). The Armenian daily in Paris, Haratch, whose installments are used here as a source, published these memoirs day by day in Armenian, starting with November 19, 1933, and ending with the April 7, 1934, issue, V. Ishkhanian being the translator. it is likely that "A. Bil" is a pseudonym, and considering the autobiographical hints supplied in installments 2, 14, 38, 46, and 88, the real author must be Cemal Ferid, nicknamed hamallar kehyası, who was one of Istanbul's five Responsible Secretaries; he was cited in the indictment read out at the Court Martial in 1919, and was subsequently exiled to Malta as aprimafacie suspect in the Armenian massacres. The British Blue Book describes him in that role (Bryce [Toynbee], Treatment, doc. No. 56, p. 233).

One final reference may be in order. Although focusing on the Special Organization's role in some of the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, Stoddard also offered some general comments on the overall mission of that organization. He stated that combating "Internal foes" was part of its scheme; It meant "to ride herd on all separatist and nationalist groups." Fear of a future independent Armenia "carved out of Ottoman territory" was an important factor in strategy. The political Directorate of the organization included Nazım, Şakir, Public Security Chief Canbolat, and Midhat Şükrü, Ittihad's Secretary-General. Agreeing that it "was a secret, rather disreputable group," Stoddard believes that the excesses of the organization were intended to be explained away by blaming "groups of brigands" too distant to be susceptible to any control by authorities (Stoddard, Ottoman Government, pp. 5-6, 49-50, 54-56.

[109]. In No. 5 there is the exhortation to have no scruples in the application of destructive means; in Nos. 8 and 45 is contained the assurance that cruelties and atrocious behavior will not be subject to prosecution; in No. 25 is a categorical order to have the infants collectively exterminated "without arousing suspicion, and through the exercise of circumspection [tarifli olarak], using the reassuring excuse that they are being taken to a place where they can be fed by deportation officials"; and in No. 35 it is declared, "The only way you can assist in the attainment of the goal we are pursuing is the severity and swiftness with which the deportees are to be dispatched. . . . The current weekly lists showing the number of the dead are not satisfactory." Because of their extraordinary importance the texts of the remaining two ciphers are being offered below in their entirety.

No. 29. "Following an investigation, it has been established that only 10% of the Armenians, subjected to general deportation, is reaching its destination, with the rest succumbing to such natural causes as hunger and sickness incurred on the roads during the trek. You are directed to apply severe measures towards these survivors in order to effect a similar result."

No. 4. "all rights of the Armenians to live and work in the territories of Turkey have been completely cancelled. Assuming full responsibility, the government has ordered to end even the lives of babes in the cradle. The results of this order have already been attained in a few provinces. Nevertheless, for reasons unknown to us, exceptions are being made for certain people who are being sent on to Aleppo instead of being deported straight to their places of destination. The government is thus coming face to face with an additional difficulty. Disregarding their excuses, remove them, be they women or children, or whatever they may be, even those who are incapable of moving. Prevent their being protected by the people who, out of ignorance, treat material interests as a higher priority than patriotic feelings, and are unable to appreciate the grand policy pursued by the government in this regard. Given the fact that the operations of indirect extermination—severity, speed, travel difficulties, misery—, that have been carried out in other places, can be implemented there directly, work heartily. General orders have been issued from the War Ministry to all Army Commanders to the effect that the military post commanders [nokta komandani] are not to interfere in the affairs of deportation. Inform the officials to be appointed for this end that they must work for the realization of our goal, without being afraid of responsibility. Please send weekly cipher reports on the results of your operations."

This pivotal order gave the Governor of Aleppo, Mustafa Abdülhalik, license in the treatment of the surviving deportees. Finally, reference may be made to an American-trained sociologist who served as a journalist during the war, was exiled to Malta by the British as a dangerous nationalist editor, and had there intimate exchanges with top Ittihadist leaders. Referring to "the policy of general extermination," he described the Ittihadist rationale as follows: "A dense Armenian population in the Eastern Provinces has proved to be a danger to the very existence of Turkey. . . . [T]he instruments to remove this danger . . . shall be universally despised and condemned. Only in a very distant future" would this sacrifice for the national cause be appreciated (Ahmed Emin [Yalman], Turkey in the World War [New Haven, 1930], p. 220). For a similar comment by Falih Rıfkı Atay with special reference to Şakir see note 76.

[110].U.S. National Archives, Record Group 867.4016/299. Lansing articulated this position of the United States government in a November 1, 1916, cipher to Josef C. Grew, American Charge in Berlin, instructing him to seek the support of the German Foreign Affairs Minister in interceding on behalf of the Armenians, with their ally, Imperial Turkey. On November 4, 1916, Grew complied, repeating word for word Lansing's decrial of the Turkish Government's measures of extermination to Jagow, the German Foreign Affairs Minister (Türkei 183, vol. 45, A30011).

[111].The statement was published in the March 13, 1919, issue of the French daily Le Moniteur Oriental, and the March 15, 1919, issue of Alemdar. Incensed that the Minister had dared to make such a revelation "to a non-Muslim journalist. . . about the number of Armenians killed," some editors inveighed against him, with Süleyman Nazif declaring, "This act is not worthy of a muslim minister" (Hadisat, March 17, 1919). Others, however, praised him for clarifying an important point through his "authoritative" disclosure (ikdam, Vakit, March 15, 1919). Under the heading "The Courage to Redress a Mistake" (Hatadan dönmek cesareti), Vakit wrote, "Cemal is anxious to cleanse the bloody past." To mollify his critics, on March 16 Cemal hedged, stating that he was misunderstood: The actual figure was a total of 900,000, which included the dead and the survivors (Alemdar, March 18, 1919). The editors of the Moniteur three days later retorted that they were sticking to the 800,000 figure for the accuracy of which they vouched, and that there was no misunderstanding at all. Memleket and the semi official Alemdar supported this reaffirmation by Moniteur, the latter adding that in releasing his original figure "the Minister had relied upon statistics compiled by appropriate authorities" (quoted in Jhogovourtee Tzain, March 19, 1919). Cemal's effort to soft-pedal the shock caused by his disclosure proved futile. Yielding to pressures including the Sultan's displeasure, he resigned on April 7, 1919 (Alemdar, Vakit, Le Courier de Turquie, April 8, 1919; Morning Post [London], April 14, 1919; Ali Fuad Türkgeldi, Görüp işittiklerim, 2nd ed. [Ankara, 1951], p. 197). Cemal had a long-standing career in Ottoman civil service. He was Sub-Governor at Yaffa, Governor of izmit, Governor of Harput (where he was replaced by Sabit due to his resistance to Talat's anti-Armenian policy), and at the time of his appointment as Interior Minister he was Governor of Konya. Contemporary Turkish authors continue to berate him for what they consider to be his treachery. Celal Bayar, president of the Turkish republic 1950-1960, denounced Cemal's act as "the ugliest and most unnecessary disclosure" (Ben de Yazdım, vol. 7, [Istanbul, 1969], p. 2,114). The noted historian Bayur decried the former Minister for supplying "to our enemies proof and weapons [kanit ve silah]" (Yusuf Hikmet Bayur, Atatürk. Hayatı ve Eseri [Ankara, 1963], p. 268). Not only do these vehement reactions attest to the significance of the disclosure made, but more importantly, they accent the substance of that disclosure, which the authors do not challenge and about which nothing is said. Referring to "the official reports of the Turkish Government," to which government he had access as head of the American Military Mission, Major General James Harbord declared that 1.1 million Armenians were deported, concluding that the count of "the dead from this wholesale attempt at the race ... is about 800,000," and that the episode represents "the most colossal crime of all the ages" (James G. Harbord, "Report of the American Military Mission to Armenia," International Conciliation, 151 [June 1920], pp. 280-81). As recently as December 1979, "a representative of the Turkish Republic" at Paris was reported to have admitted that "we Turks have massacred 1 million Armenians" (from an article by Can Pulak in the December 30, 1979, issue of Günaydın, quoted in the Boston Armenian daily Baikar, January 16, 1980). The admission was made to the widow of Yılmaz Çopan, an official of the Turkish Embassy at Paris who was assassinated by an Armenian on December 22, 1979.

[112].Vahakn N. Dadrian, "A Typology of Genocide," International Review of Modern Sociology, 5, 2(Autumn 1975), pp. 201-12.

[113].Memoirs of Count Bernstorff, trans. from the German by Eric Sutton (New York, 1936), pp. 176, 180, 374. For another reference to solving the Armenian question see the discussion on Nazım, pp. 328-29 above. The Metternich description of Talat is in Türkei 183, vol. 40, A36184, December 7, 1915, report. It should be noted that in a rare, confessional mood Talat during the war had revealed his premonition of a violent death in an interview with the Turkish feminist writer Halide Edib by saying, "I am ready to die for what I have done, and I know that I shall die for it" (Memoirs of Halide Edib, p. 387). For a similar utterance of guilt see n. 20. Talat was indeed assassinated on March 15, 1921, in Berlin where he was living incognito and under the fictitious name Mehmed Sai. Tehlirian, the Armenian student charged with the murder, was on June 3, 1921, acquitted by a Berlin-Moabit District Court jury, which, following a one-hour deliberation, found Tehlirian not guilty on grounds of temporary insanity as provided by Article 51 of the German Penal Code. For details of the trial see note 29. Finally, it is most significant that, while serving as German Ambassador to the United States (1908-1917), Bernstorff categorically denied the massacres when they had already run their course, describing them as "the alleged atrocities" and "pure invention" (September 28, 1915, issues of The Washington Post and The New York Times).

Edited by QueBeceR, 22 November 2005 - 04:29 PM.

#8 DominO



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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:10 PM

Correction: The Naim-Andonian Documents on the World War I Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians: The Anatomy of a Genocide by Vahakn D. Dadrian, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 18, Np.4 (Nov., 1986), p. 550

The following corrections should be made in my article, "The Naim-Andonian Documents on the World War I Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians: The Anatomy of Genocide," that appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, volume 18, number 3 (August 1986), 311-360.

p. 315, para. 1, 11. 3 & 5: Dashnag should read Dashnak
p. 317 (Table 2), no. 40: Mar. 2, 1917 and Mar. 2, 1917 should read Mar. 1, 1917 and Mar. 1, 1917
p. 317 (Table 2), no. 41: Mar. 5, 1917 and Mar. 5, 1917 should read Mar. 4, 1917 and Mar. 4, 1917
p. 317 (Table 2), no. 42: Mar. 11, 1917 and Mar. 11, 1917 should read Mar. 10, 1917 and Mar. 10, 1917
p. 317 (Table 2), note a: February 18 (1) 330 should read March 25 (1) 331
p. 319, para. 3,1. 3: FT pl. 98 should read FT pl. 104
p. 321, no. 2,1. 4: Yilidirim should read Yıldırım
p. 322, no. 4,1. 4: author's should read authors'
p. 323, para. 1,1. 7: official should read officials
p. 326, para. 2,1. 3: akir should read Şakir
p. 326, last Une: o should read to
p. 329, para. 2, last line: p. 42 should read p. 4
p. 330, para. 1,1. 23: gorulmemis should read görülmemiş
p. 330, para. 1, between 1. 15 (had to, . . . human tragedies,) and 1. 16 (who recruited . . . consisted of), insert this line: instigations [fitne], and acts of depravity [fesad] . . . were engineered by Şakir
p. 335,1. 7: Kazim should read Kâzım
p. 337, para. 1,1. 8: 1029 should read 1920
p. 343, n. 2, para. 2,1. 14: August 19, 1985 should read August 29, 1985
p. 346, n. 25,1. 3: correctly should read incorrectly
p. 346, n. 25,1. 5: the FT has omitted should read the FT of March 25 letter has omitted
p. 353, n. 79,1. 2: Shaldjia should read Shaldjian
p. 353, n. 83,1. 2: Deputy Ali should read Deputy Ali Cenani
p. 354, n. 95,1. 4: [Abdülhalik] should read [Memduh]
p. 356, n. 107,1. 10: Dashnag should read Dashnak
p. 357, n. 108,1. 19: Umimi should read Umumi
p. 358, n. 109,1. 4: tarifli should read taraflı
Department of Sociology VAHAKN D. DADRIAN
State University of New York, Geneseo

Edited by QueBeceR, 22 November 2005 - 04:13 PM.

#9 Johannes



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Posted 05 June 2008 - 07:37 AM


  • Հայոց ցեղասպանութեան ճանաչման գործընթացի ծաւալումը, երեւան հանելով ժխտողականութեան սնանկութիւնը, թուրքական պաշտօնական շրջանակներին փաստօրէն զրկել է հակաքայլերի հնարաւորութիւնից: Գործընթացի ծաւալումը կասեցնելու հրամայականով այդ շրջանակներն սկսել են կառչել երկու յաղթաթղթից: Առաջինը «1915-ի իրադարձութիւնների ուսումնասիրման համար հայ եւ թուրք պատմաբանների համատեղ յանձնաժողով ստեղծելու» Թուրքիայի վարչապետ Էրդողանի առաջարկն է, երկրորդը` Հայաստանի եւ հայերին հասցէագրուող ամբաստանութիւնները, թէ հայկական արխիւները փակ են:
Ամբաստանութեանը իրականի տեսք տալու համար Թուրքական պատմական ընկերութեան նախագահ պրոֆ. Յուսուփ Հալաչօղլուն «Հուրիեթին» յայտարարել էր. «Բոստոնի ՀՅԴ կենտրոնական արխիւի բացման համար անհատոյց 20 մլն դոլար առաջարկեցի, սակայն ոչ ոք տեղից չշարժվեց»:

Թուրքական թերթը այս յայտարարութեանն անդրադարձել էր նախ՝ մայիսի 19-ին նրա հետ արուած հարցազրոյցում, իսկ մայիսի 20-ի համարում առաջարկը դարձնելով առաջնորդող լուր, առաջին էջում գրել էր, որ Հալաչօղլուն մարտահրաւէր է նետում հայկական սփիւռքին, ընդ որում առանց նշելու, թէ վերջինը ե՞րբ է առաջարկ արել, ո՞ւմ է ներկայացրել, հանդիպե՞լ է առաջարկի հասցեատէրերին, եթէ ոչ, նրա փոխարեն ո՞վ է կատարել այդ պարտականութիւնը:

Այս բացթողումները, սակայն, չէին խանգարել, որ Հալաչօղլուի մարտահրաւէրի մասին «Հուրիեթի» հրապարակումը մեծ ոգեւորութիւն առաջ բերի թուրք հասարակութիւնում: Ինչո՞ւ: Այն պատճառով, որ 20 մլն դոլարը, անկախ առաջարկի ամբարտաւան ոճից, լուրջ բնոյթ էր հաղորդում դրան եւ դարձնում համարձակ: Միաժամանակ հասարակութիւնը դրանով համոզւում էր, որ Հալաչօղլուն մտահոգուած է միայն ճշմարտութեան բացայայտմամբ, ուստի պէտք է դիմի համարձակ քայլերի:

«Ազգը» մայիսի 22-ին արձագանքեց Հալաչօղլուի առաջարկին, իսկ մայիսի 30-ին «Բոստոնի ՀՅԴ կենտրոնական արխիւը բաց է» վերնագրով ներկայացրեց արխիւի պատասխանատու Թաթուլ Սոնենց-Փափազեանի պատասխանը, որ հրապարակուել էր «Արմինյըն ռիփորթերի» մայիսի 24-ի համարում:

Չնայած թուրքական հասարակական կարծիքի ոգեւորութեանը, Հալաչօղլուի առաջարկը նաեւ հակազդեցութիւն առաջ բերեց թուրք մտաւորականների շրջանում: Դրան արձագանքեցին «Թարաֆ» թերթի մայիսի 25-ի համարում «Դաշնակների արխիւը թո՛ղ, օսմանեանո՛վ զբաղուիր» վերնագրով Այշէ Հիւրը, «Էվրենսելի» մայիսի 27-ի համարում «Պատմաբանները հազիւ թէ հանգուցալուծեն այս թնջուկը» վերնագրով Ռագըփ Զարաքոլուն, իսկ «Ենի ակտուելի» մայիսի 29-ի համարում «Պատմաբանները առաջարկ ունեն Բոստոնի հայկական արխիւին 20 մլն դոլար տրամադրող Թուրքական պատմական ընկերութեան նախագահ Յուսուփ Հալաչօղլուին» վերնագրով Ստամբուլի «Բիլգի» համալսարանի դասախօսները, որոնց խնդրանքով` նաեւ Թաներ Աքչամը, որն ասել է. «Իմ կարծիքով, առաջարկն ինքնին չափազանց անյարգալից է: Ի վերջոյ յայտնի է արխիւի հասցէն: Եթէ առաջարկ ես անում, ապա պաշտօնապէս պէտք է դիմես, այլ ոչ թէ թերթերի միջոցով դրա մասին յայտարարես»:

Այշէ Հիւրը յօդուածում Հալաչօղլուի առաջարկին հակադրում է Աքչամի այս տարի «Հայկական հարցը լուծուած է» վերնագրով լոյս տեսած աշխատութիւնը, որտեղ գրքի հեղինակը կարծիք է յայտնել, թէ ցեղասպանութեան թուրքական թեզը նոյնիսկ օսմանեան արխիւներն են հերքում, որքան էլ դրանք զտուած լինեն: Յօդուածագիրը, ելնելով այս կարծիքից, գրում է. «Եթէ Հալաչօղլուն դաշնակցական արխիւի մասին ելոյթով չի փորձում հասարակական ուշադրութիւնը շեղել Աքչամի գրքից, ապա թուրք հասարակութեանը եւս որոշակի ժամանակով զբաղեցնելու առաջադրանք է կատարում: Գուցե Թուրքական պատմական ընկերութիւնը չի ընկալում, սակայն համաշխարհային հասարակական կարծիքն այդ հարցում (Հայոց ցեղասպանութեան) որոշակի տեսակէտ արդէն ունի: Հակառակ պաշտօնական շրջանակների պնդումներին, թուրքական կողմը դեռեւս չի բացել իր արխիւները: Օրինակ, երկրում արգելուած է խնդրոյ առարկայ ժամանակահատուածին առնչուող անշարժ գոյքի առուվաճառքի մատեանների ուսումնասիրութիւնը: Ինչ վերաբերում է գլխաւոր շտաբի ռազմական պատմութեան, ռազմավարութեան ուսումնասիրման եւ վերահսկողութեան գլխաւոր վարչութեան արխիւին, ապա այնտեղ ներթափանցելը գրեթէ անհնար է: Թէեւ հայերի տեղահանութիւնն ուսումնասիրելու համար խիստ կարեւոր է նաեւ վարչապետարանին առընթեր օսմանեան արխիւը, սակայն քարտագրման աշխատանքների անաւարտ վիճակի եւ կառավարական քաղաքականութեան պատճառներով հնարաւոր չէ նիւթերի ազատ օգտագործումը: Ժամանակին հարցաքննել էին արխիւում աշխատող գիտնականներին, վաւերագրերը չէին տրամադրում, նոյնիսկ արխիւից էին վտարում նրանց»:

Այշէ Հիւրը, վկայակոչելով Աքչամի վերոհիշեալ աշխատութիւնը, հերքում է ցեղասպանութեան թուրքական թեզին ի նպաստ Հալաչօղլուի արտայայտած տեսակէտը, ընդգծելով, որ օսմանեան ռազմական ատեանը 1397 հանցագործների նկատմամբ պատժամիջոցներ է կիրառել, ներառեալ մահապատիժը, ոչ թէ հայերի դէմ բռնութիւն գործադրելու, այլ վերջիններիս թողած գոյքը կողոպտելու, թալանի, գողութեան, կաշառակերութեան եւ ունեցուածքը իւրացնելու մեղադրանքով:

Յօդուածագրին լրացնում է Զարաքոլուն, գրելով. «Չափազանց հետաքրքրական է Հայոց ցեղասպանութեան հարցին Թուրքական պատմական ընկերութեան նախագահ Հալաչօղլուի մօտեցումը: Քանի որ հազարաւոր տարիներ աշխարհագրական միեւնոյն վայրում բնակուող մի ամբողջ ժողովուրդ գոլորշիանալ չէր կարող, ուստի նա ճարահատեալ հասկացնում է, թէ հայերի մի մասը կրօնափոխ եղաւ, փոխեց ինքնութիւնը: Եթէ այդ հատուածի վրայ աւելացնելու լինենք սփիւռքում բնակուողներին, ապա կստացուի, որ հայերը չեն անհետացել, հետեւաբար «հայերի ցեղասպանութիւն» լինել չի կարող: Սակայն չստացվեց: Այս պայմաններում նա այլ բացատրութիւն չգտաւ, քան հայերի տեղահանութիւնը պայմանաւորելը Հայ յեղափոխական դաշնակցութեան գործունէութեամբ: Չէ՞ որ ամեն ինչում յեղափոխականներն են մեղաւոր: Այս մօտեցմամբ ՀՅԴ արխիւի բացման դեպքում դաշնակցականները դառնալու են 1915-ի իրադարձութիւնների գլխաւոր պատասխանատուն: Ազգայնականները օգտագործում են այս հնարքը: Իհարկե, տեղահանութեան ճանապարհին հիւանդութիւնների, աւազակային յարձակումների հետեւանքով հայերի կրած «աննշան կորուստներն» էլ շատ բնական է: Հալաչօղլուն ասում է. «Մենք գումար ենք առաջարկել, թող ՀՅԴ-ն արխիւները բացի»: Մինչդեռ ինքը հրաժարուել էր համատեղ աշխատանքներ կատարելու շվեդ պատմաբան Գունթի առաջարկից, երբ աշխատանքների իրականացման համար կար յատկացուած գումար, աւելին, դա համապատասխանում էր «պատմաբանների համատեղ ուսումնասիրութիւնների» մասին վարչապետ Էրդողանի առաջարկի ոգուն»:

Ինչ վերաբերում է «Բիլգի» համալսարանի դասախօսներին, ապա նրանք էլ, ի դէմս դոցենտ Լեւենտ Յըլմազի, Հալաչօղլուին են դիմում հետեւեալ կոչով. «Եթէ այդքան գումար ունէք աջ, ձախ բաժանելու, ապա յատկացրեք վարչապետարանին առընթեր գործող արխիւին, որ աւարտուի վաւերագրերի քարտագրումը, դրանք թուայնացուեն եւ օգտագործելի դառնան գիտնականների համար»: Այնուհետեւ դասախօսները թուրքական պատմական ընկերութեան նախագահին յիշեցնում են Աքչամի գրածը. «Վարչապետարանին առընթեր Ստամբուլում գործող արխիւում աշխատում են մի քանի լուրջ պատմաբաններ: Սակայն նրանք, որպէս արխիւի ղեկավարներ, չեն կարողանում կատարել իրենց պարտականութիւնը: Օրինակ` նրանցից Մեհմեդ Ուլուըշըքը զրկուել է արխիւում աշխատելու իրաւունքից, զրկուելով նախապէս Թուրքիայի քաղաքացիութիւնից, եւ տեղափոխուել Գերմանիա: Երբ նա, որպէս գերմանահպատակ, արխիւում ուսումնասիրութիւններ կատարելու համար եկել էր Թուրքիա, նրա մուտքը երկիր հենց օդանավակաեանում արգելել եւ նոյն ինքնաթիռով հետ էին ուղարկել:

Ի դեպ, «Բիլգի» համալսարանի դոցենտն իր հերթին պատմում է, որ Աքչամին էլ զրկել են թուրքական զինուած ուժերի գլխաւոր շտաբի արխիւից օգտուելու հնարաւորութիւնից եւ աւելացնում. «Օսմանեան արխիւները բառիս բուն իմաստով մաքրուել են, ոչնչացուել փաստաթղթերը: Որոշ փաստաթղթեր էլ անհետ կորել են: Եթէ այդպէս է, ապա կարելի էր ուսումնասիրել 1914-ի եւ 1916-ի գոյքագրման մատեանները եւ համեմատել դրանք»: Սակայն պատմաբանի այս պահանջն էլ բախվում է անշարժ գոյքի եւ կադաստրի գլխաւոր վարչութեան, ինչպէս նաեւ ազգային անվտանգութեան խորհրդի արգելքին: Ի վերջո, որքան էլ մաքրազարդուած լինեն օսմանեան արխիւները, պահպանուող վաւերագրերի քննական ուսումնասիրութիւնը բաւական է լինելու թուրք գիտնականներին, որ նրանք թէկուզ իրենց համար բացայայտեն 1915-ի իրադարձութիւնների ճշմարտութիւնը:


#10 Arpa



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Posted 05 June 2008 - 08:31 AM

QUOTE (Johannes @ Jun 5 2008, 02:37 PM)

Սա Հալաչողլուն պիտի անուանափոխման ենթարկուիեւ ՀԱՉՈՂ լուդառնայշ եւ կամ Նասրետտին Խոջայ:
Թէեւ ծիծաղելի է, ցաւոք չեմ կարող ծիծաղել:
Ուր են մեր երգիծագիրները? Ուր են Բարոնեանները, Օտեաններըշ Կամսարները, նոյնիսկ մեր Քաջ Նազարները?
Սրա նման խեղկատակները միայն խեղկատակի են արժանի: Սա մանկլաւիկը պիտի մերկացուի, դիմակազերծուի եւ իր իսկական մեկութիւնը յայտնուի: Միայն թուրքիայում մակլաւիկ միմոսները կարող են պատմագրման կաճարի, միւթեան նախագահ դառնալ : Մեբք ալ Խնկո Աբերը, Դժվժիկը կամ Քաջ Նազարը Հայ Պատմագրական Միութեան Նախագահ պիտի նշանակենք, եւ տեսնենք թէ որուն երգիծանքը աւելը ծիղաղելի է:
Ինչպէս Յարութ Սասունեանը ըսաւ: Առնենք այդ $20 million ը եւ հաշունք իբր հատուցման նախավճառ:
Ահա այդ Հաչող ողլուի նկարը:
dunce.gif clown.gif partytime.gif jester.gif goof.gif starwars.gif
ՅԳ- ցաւոք իմացանք որ ԱՄՆ գոնկրեսի նախկին նախագահ Դենիս Հաստերտը իր սպասարկը ծախու է դրել եւ պիտի ստանայ միլլիոններ: Սա սրիկաներե որտեղից են ճառում նման գումարներ, եթէ ոչ քո եւ իմ ազգային տուրքից?

Edited by Arpa, 05 June 2008 - 08:41 AM.

#11 Johannes



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Posted 05 June 2008 - 09:40 AM

"Ինչպէս Յարութ Սասունեանը ըսաւ: Առնենք այդ $20 million ը եւ հաշունք իբր հատուցման նախավճառ"

Երախտապարտ եմ Յարութ Սասունեանի սուր լեզուին:
Ի դէպ այդ գումարը կրնայ ըլլալ, լոկ հատուցման կանխավճարը՝ դէնը կորած դդմաշէն գիւղի վախեցած Տուտու տատիկի հոգեբանական տառապանքին:

Edited by Johannes, 05 June 2008 - 09:46 AM.

#12 Arpa



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Posted 05 June 2008 - 09:53 AM

QUOTE (Johannes @ Jun 5 2008, 03:40 PM)
"Ինչպէս Յարութ Սասունեանը ըսաւ: Առնենք այդ $20 million ը եւ հաշունք իբր հատուցման նախավճառ"

Երախտապարտ եմ Յարութ Սասունեանի սուր լեզուին:
Ի դէպ այդ գումարը կրնայ ըլլալ, լոկ հատուցման կանխավճարը՝ դէնը կորած դդմաշէն գիւղի վախեցած Տուտու տատիկի հոգեբանական տառապանքին:

Այո, թող որ առնենք այդ գումարը եւ նրանց ցոյց տանք մեր ԼՈՒՍԱՆՁԵՒ ՈՌ ը:
Վստահ եմ գիտես թէ Անգլիերէնում ինչ նշանակի "mooning". Մի ժամանակ Հալէպում կար մի ֆուտբոլի դատավոր Րամզի անունով, եւ իբր առասպելի նա միասեռական էր: Երբ ժողովուրդը նրան պախարակէին սխալ դատով, նա իր ոռն էր դառնում եւ վարտիկը վար առնում: tongue.gif biggrin.gif smile.gif
Մի անքամ եւս:
Ուր են մեր երգիծաբանները???
Արդեոք մեր ծիծաղը շիջեց 1915 ին?
tongue.gif biggrin.gif smile.gif wink.gif huh.gif

Edited by Arpa, 05 June 2008 - 05:26 PM.

#13 Yervant1


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Posted 12 October 2016 - 07:09 AM

Akcam: The Authenticity of the Naim Efendi Memoirs and Talat Pasha Telegrams

Taner Akcam (Photo: tanerakcam.com)

An Interview with Professor Taner Akcam

Akcam: ‘The Denialism of Historical Truth Is a Policy, it Is a Preference—a Choice, Rather Than a Rational Argument.’

ISTANBUL (Armenian Weekly)—Below is the English translation of an interview conducted by Turkey’s Agos Newspaper with Professor Taner Akcam on the authenticity of long disputed Armenian Genocide documents—the memoir of Naim Bey and the Talat Pasha telegrams. Akcam is the Robert Aram, Marianne Kaloosdian, and Stephen and Marion Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.

Agos: A new work of yours, named The Naim Efendi Memoirs and Talat Pasha Telegrams has been published. Could you briefly tell us what your book is about?

Taner Akcam: As the title indicates, the book is about the memoirs of an Ottoman officer by the name of Naim Efendi and the Talat Pasha telegrams, which ordered the killing Armenians.

Agos: Aren’t these part of the so-called “Talat Pasa fake telegrams” claimed to be fabricated by the Armenians?

T.A.: Yes, these are the memoirs of Naim Efendi and the telegrams he gave to [Aram] Andonian, which everyone regards as fake or, if they find them legitimate, do not speak up about it.

Agos: There has to be a backstory of these documents.

T.A.: Yes, there is. In 1921, an Armenian intellectual by the name of Aram Andonian published these memoirs and telegrams in Armenian, titled The Great Crime. A French translation, as well as a terrible English summary (The Memories of Naim Bey), had already been published in 1920. The Great Crime contained the memoirs of the Ottoman bureaucrat Naim Efendi along with some secret documents that he provided. Andonian claims that he got ahold of these documents in exchange for money.

This book is actually unlike a classic memoir. Naim Efendi transcribed around 50 or so Ottoman documents, while adding his own memories and comments in annexes. Furthermore, Naim Efendi gave Andonian 20 additional documents in their original form. Fourteen of these were featured in the Armenian publication. From a note written by Andonian, we know that this exchange or purchase of documents took place in early Novermber 1918. I included this document in my own book as well.

Agos: What is written in these telegrams?

T.A.: In some telegrams, especially those that are said to belong directly to Talat Pasa, there are outright and direct orders to exterminate Armenians. For example, in a telegram dated Sept. 22, 1915, Talat Pasa gives “ …the order that all of the Armenians’ rights on Turkish soil, such as the rights to live and work, have been eliminated, and not one is to be left—not even the infant in the cradle; the government accepts all responsibility for this [situation]”

On Sept. 29, 1915, he sent a telegram to the Aleppo Province, saying, “You were already previously informed of the official decision taken by the Committee [of Union and Progress] that all Armenians within Turkey should be completely extinguished and annihilated… Regardless of the severity of the measures and without regard to women, children, and handicapped persons, all should be exterminated without any consideration for feelings of guilt.”

I have to add that the pictures of these original documents provided in Andonian’s book consist solely of numeric codes. The texts of these codes telegrams are provided in the Naim Efendi memoir.


Agos: But aren’t these telegrams fakes? Hasn’t it been proven that they are?

T.A.: Until my book, it was thought so. The reason for this was the book The Talat Pasha “Telegrams”: Historical fact or Armenian fiction?, published in 1983 by Şinasi Orel and Süreyya Yuca. Orel and Yuca claim in their book that the memoir and documents published by Andonian are fake.

Agos: How do they back up this claim?

T.A.: Their thesis rests on three main claims: 1. There was no Ottoman official by the name of Naim Efendi; 2. A nonexistent man can also not have a memoir; 3. Both the telegrams belonging to Talat Pasha and those of others are all fakes—that all of these documents were fabricated by Andonian and the Armenians.

With regards to the third claim, they present 12 additional claims. The most important of these are the following: a. the dates on the documents are wrong; b. the record numbers and the dates on the documents do not match the ones that are present in the incoming-outgoing document ledger that was maintained by the Interior Ministry; c. the signatures on the documents are fakes, especially those of Governor Mustafa Abdülhalik; d. the documents use lined paper and the Ottoman bureaucracy did not use lined paper; e. the numerical code that employs groups of two or three digits used in the documents are complete fabrications, because at that time, groups of four or five digits were being used to code messages.

Orel and Yuca’s claims appear to be very strong and convincing. Especially because in those years, the sources the authors were using—such as the Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archive and the Archives of the Office of the Commander in Chief (ATASE)—were largely unattainable. The Ottoman archives were undoubtedly open to the public, but the documents relating to this period had not been cataloged yet and were not available; the ATESE archive was closed to the public and for a large part still remains so.

Moreover, I need to add that Andonian took the documents he received from Naim Efendi and brought them to Paris when he moved there later in life. There, he left them at the Boghos Nubar Pasha library, at which point, however, the documents were lost (most likely after 1950). Today, we do not know where these documents are.

The Andonian book—with Naim Efendi’s memoir and the Talat Pasha telegrams—which had been used as an important source until Oral and Yuca’s book, became untrustworthy because of its “false claims,” and thus ceased to be used. More importantly, Orel and Yuca accused Aram Andonian and the Armenians with fraud, forging documents and committing a sort of “crime.” In later years, the book became one of the most important instruments for the anti-Armenian hate discourse. It was used for justifying an intensive campaign of defamation and abasement. It continues to be used as such.

Agos: So are you then claiming in your book that Orel and Yuca were wrong and that this memoir and the telegrams are real?

T.A.: Yes, Orel and Yuca’s claims about Naim Efendi and his memoir are definitely wrong. Throughout my research I have discovered some serious new information and documents. I can summarize them as following:

There was in fact an Ottoman officer named Naim Efendi; the original Ottoman documents that prove this exist, and I have published these documents in my book. In fact, let me share a piece of information that will be of much interest to you. One of the documents that proves the existence of an officer named Naim Efendi was published by the Millitary Archive (ATASE). Perhaps without even realizing, the ATASE, in one of its published books on the Armenian issue, also published a document that contains the original signature of Naim Efendi. This document can be viewed in my book.

There is a memoir that belongs to Naim Efendi; the microfiche copies of this memoir, which he wrote in Ottoman in his own handwriting, are currently in my possession; in my book I present these pages as they are. Here is another additional and important piece of information that I can present: Andonian did not publish the entirety of Naim Efendi’s memoir—he only used some selections. There are parts of the memoir that have never before been published, which now, through my book, will for the first time see daylight and be available to readers everywhere. Another interesting matter is that some parts of the memoir that Andonian did publish are now missing. This means that the Naim Efendi memoir that I now have, is missing some of the pages that Andonian had originally published. I discuss in great length why this is so. The missing pages of the memoir must be in the Military Archive (ATASE).

The Naim Efendi memoir is genuine and the information it provides is correct. It is possible to find documents in the Ottoman archives referring to the same events and people as the memoir does. Let me give an example: In one of the parts of the memoir that is published for the first time in my book, Naim Efendi names three Armenian deportees and provides the following information, paraphrasing: “Istanbul sent us orders with regard to them, telling us to keep them in Aleppo and to not deport them. But the Governor sent them away and even some perished.” Naim Efendi does not provide any documentation of this order and is simply retelling from his memory. I found the telegram referring to these Armenians in the Ottoman Archives myself. I researched nearly ten similar cases and found a supple amount of documents regarding the events described in Naim Efendi’s memoir. This shows us that Naim Efendi’s memoir is genuine and that the matters that he discusses are not a fabrication at all, but in fact represent the truth.

The foundational theses put forth by Oral and Yuca regarding the fakeness of the Talat Pasha telegrams, such as the lined paper issue and especially the coding techniques, are wrong. Oral and Yuca’s claims are complete fabrications and are untrue. For this reason, we have to regard the telegrams as real until the key code notebooks are published.

Agos: What is the lined paper issue?

T.A.: There is a picture in Andonian’s book, which depicts a telegram sent from the director of the Deportation Office, Abdülahad Nuri to the Internal Ministry on March 20, 1916, and which employed a two-digit numerical code. In this document, the digits were written on lined paper. Orel and Yuca claim that the use of lined paper indicates that this document is a fake. Because, according to them, the Ottoman bureaucracy did not use lined paper, and thus the document is a fake.

This claim is absolutely ridiculous. Because, during this particular time period the Ottoman bureaucracy did use lined paper and there are lots of documents in the Ottoman archives that show that the Internal Ministry’s numerous agencies were ordering lined paper. The most important of these documents is dated Nov. 2, 1913, and consists of an order that was sent to all regions. This order specifically requested that all codified telegrams would be written on lined paper. The telegram says things to the effect of “Some regions’ codified telegrams are written in very condensed lines; this often results in the lines getting mixed up and thus mistakes are made; in order to prevent such errors and additional correspondence to fix the mistakes, from now on please use lined paper and then send it to the telegram office.” As such, Orel and Yuca’s claims are wrong and, on the contrary, the fact that this document was written on lined paper is evidence of its genuineness.

Agos: So, what did you mean by the codification techniques? Can you elaborate?

T.A.: The Ottoman Government used numerical codes consisting of various different digit groupings to send its orders via telegram to the various regions. The texts used a series of two, three, four, and five-digit codes. The telegrams that Naim Efendi sold to Andonian consist of two and three-digit codes. Orel and Yuca claim that during the war years, the Ottoman government only used coding techniques that consisted of four and five-digit codes. Thus, they said, Naim Efendi’s telegrams are fake. Furthermore, according to Orel and Yuca, one coding technique was emplyed only for a period not exceeding six months and was then subsequently changed; and in this time frame, only one digit grouping was used, not others. The examples they give are that between Aug. 26, 1915, and Dec. 11, 1915, only five-digit groups were used, and that around March 1916, only four-digit groupings were used. Not one word of this is true.

I personally looked at over 20,000 different documents in the Ottoman Archives belonging to this particular time period. The reality is in complete opposition to Orel and Yuca’s claim. Throughout 1914-1918, various selections of two, three, four, and five-digit goupings were used at complete random. The authors’ claims of “very strict time frames and every time frame having one digit grouping” are a true fabrication.

Agos: What you say could demonstrate that Orel and Yuca’s claims were wrong; but it does not prove that Talat Pasha’s telegrams are genuine.

T.A.: What you say is both true and false: first of all, I clearly demonstrate that Naim Efendi’s two and three-digit groupings are consistent with Ottoman coding techniques. There is no sign of fraudulence in this regard. I found other telegrams in the archives from this time period that also used two and three-digit groupings, and have provided their examples in my book. Now, the question that arises is the following: can Naim Efendi’s telegrams, despite being in accordance with the codification techniques of that time, still not be fakes? And how can we figure this out? It is very simple. Someone has to publish the relevant key code notebooks, and the issue will be solved.

Agos: How do you mean?

T.A.: The Ottoman Government created a separate key book for each digit grouping’s codification technique and sent these, when the time came, to each region before the start of its employment. There are correspondences to such effect, such as “we sent it, did you receive it?” “No, we did not,” or “Yes, we received it,” etc.

Each region’s officer in charge would use these notebooks to decode the messages received from Istanbul by matching the code in the telegram to the appropriate notebook. We know that these key code notebooks are in the archives. For example, I have in my possession such a notebook, which provides the keys to a three-digit grouping code used in 1914. However, the keycode notebooks for 1915-1917 are not accessible for researchers. Those who claim that Naim Efendi’s telegrams are fakes will only have to publish these notebooks, and the discussion will be over. Then we would see if they were fakes or not.

However, until these notebooks are published, we have to work under the assumption that these documents are originals. This is because the things that are being said about their fakeness are wrong. Perhpaps it is for this reason that the key code notebooks are not available for researchers. Maybe they will prove that the documents are real and they are kept secret for this reason. Who knows?

Hence, until these notebooks are released, whatever we say is pure speculation. Those who believe they are fakes have to come forward and publish the notebooks.

Agos: What about the other claims? Regarding the signatures, dates, etc.?

T.A.: The fakeness of Talat Pasha’s telegrams containing the anihilation orders and the fakeness of Aleppo Governor Mustafa Abdülhalik’s signature are two separate issues… they are two separate documents. What I mean is that it is possible that the Talat Pasha document is real and the signed document is fake; or it is possible that the signed document is real and the Talat Pasha document is fake. We have to discuss each document separately. Of course, the mistakes in dates or signature inconsistencies of other various documents outside of Talat Pasha’s orders to anihilate Armenians could be debated, and will be debated. However, I think this is enough excitement for now; let’s leave those topics to another time… I think that first, everything I have said up until now has to be digested.

Agos: What is your expectation?

T.A.: The fact that Naim Efendi did not exist, that he did not have a memoir, and that the telegrams belonging to Talat Pasha are fakes were some of the most important cornerstones of denying the events of 1915. Of course, the denial of the events in 1915 will not end; however, denialists need to find themselves new lies to spew. Yet, let us not forget that the denial of 1915 does not rest upon the lack of evidence. Over the years, the academic world has produced enough publications based on facts that show the genocidal intent of the Ottoman authorities very clearly.

The denialism of historical truth is a policy, it is a preference—a choice rather than a rational argument. For this reason, regardless of how many documents we publish regarding the truth of what happened, a denier will always find new things and continue to deny.

This is an endless game.

For this reason, I believe that the government will continue to support those that defend their version of history, and thus will continue to sing the same tune. This book, however, tears down the most important cornerstone of the wall of lies that has been built for the past. I think that those who defend the official rhetoric should start finding themselves new excuses outside of the Naim Efendi memoir and the Talat Pasha telegrams.

My actual expectation is with regards to a different matter. I expect an apology for the Armenians. I’m expecting those who have, until this day, used the memoir and the telegrams as an excuse to rationalize the unfounded blaming, accusation and hatred of Armenians to apologize to them. It is my opinion that to demand this is our right.

As I demonstrate in my book, there was no falsification committed by neither Andonian, nor any other Armenian. Andonian only published whatever was given to him, and even that only in part. Therefore, I am expecting an open and sincere apology from those who have, since 1983, taken these claims of falsification as fact and used them to justify committing hate crimes and to throw unfounded accusations against the Armenians.

I would like to state that for my part, I will refuse to discuss this topic with any such individual who has not formally apologized to the Armenian community.


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#14 Yervant1


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Posted 22 November 2016 - 11:17 AM

 Dr. Akcam Confirms Turks’ Genocidal Intent
        By Proving Validity of Talat’s Telegrams
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Prof. Taner Akcam struck a major blow to Turkish denials of the Armenian Genocide in a highly informative lecture at Ararat-Eskijian Museum-Sheen Chapel in Mission Hills, California, on November 20. Dr. Akcam, a Turkish scholar, is holder of the Robert Aram & Marianne Kalousdian, and Stephen & Marion Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.
In his recently published book, “The Memoirs of Naim Bey and Talat Pasha’s Telegrams,” Prof. Akcam laid to rest persistent Turkish denials of Naim Bey’s existence and authenticity of the telegrams he sold to Aram Andonian, who published them in his book, “Meds Vojire” (The Great Crime), in the early 1920’s in English, French, and Armenian. Andonian, a genocide survivor, first met Naim Bey, an Ottoman official, in the concentration camp of Meskene, Turkey, in 1916, and later in Aleppo, Syria, in 1918.
In a crucial telegram dated Sept. 22, 1915, Interior Minister Talat gave “the order that all of the Armenians’ rights on Turkish soil, such as the right to live and work, have been eliminated, and not one is to be left [alive] -- not even the infant in the cradle; the government accepts all responsibility for this.” In another cable sent to the Provincial Governor of Aleppo on Sept. 29, 1915, Talat wrote: It “was previously reported that the decision to eliminate and annihilate all Armenians present in Turkey had been taken by the government, on orders of the Committee [of Union and Progress]… regardless of how horrible the annihilation measures, and without giving in to the pangs of conscience, an end will be put to their existence, be they women, children, or invalids.”
In 1983, the Turkish Historical Society published a book by Sinasi Orel and Sureyya Yuca, claiming that Talat’s telegrams published by Andonian were forgeries and that Naim Bey never existed. Orel and Yuca raised 12 arguments as to why they believed that these documents were fake. Although Dr. Vahakn Dadrian had published a detailed rebuttal to Orel and Yuca in 1986, some scholars remained doubtful of the materials included in Andonian’s book.
After a lengthy and painstaking research based on Ottoman archives made available in recent years, Prof. Akcam was able to prove conclusively that Orel and Yuca’s accusations were wrong and baseless. In his newly-published Turkish-language book and Nov. 20 lecture, Prof. Akcam asserted:
1) There was in fact a Turkish civil servant by the name of Naim Bey. Original Ottoman records confirm his existence. In fact, Volume 7 of the Turkish Military Archive published in 2007, contains a document that describes him as: “Naim Effendi, son of Huseyin Nuri Effendi, age 26, from Silifke, married, former dispatch officer at Meskene, currently employed as grain storehouse officer of the municipality (Nov. 14-15, 1916).” Akcam confirmed that there are three other Ottoman records with Naim’s name; two of them are in the Boghos Noubar Library in Paris.
2) Prof. Akcam announced that he had in his possession a copy of the original memoirs of Naim Bey, handwritten in Ottoman Turkish. He found the memoirs in the archives of noted researcher Father Krikor Guerguerian who had photographed Naim Bey’s 35-page manuscript while visiting the Boghos Noubar Pasha Library in 1950. The original has since disappeared from the library.
3) The names of individuals and events Naim Bey had described in his memoirs are corroborated by materials Akcam recently obtained from the Ottoman archives.
4) Akcam was able to confirm that Orel and Yuca’s main arguments about various aspects of Talat’s telegrams, including the type of paper used and coding techniques, were incorrect.
In his scholarly quest to prove that Talat’s telegrams included in Andonian’s book are authentic, and debunk Turkish claims that they are forged, Prof. Akcam has made a much more significant revelation. Talat’s Sept. 22, 1915 telegram confirms that Turkish leaders had ordered the wholesale massacre of all Armenian men, women, and children, and not simply their deportation as Turkish denialists have falsely claimed for over a century. By authenticating these telegrams, Dr. Akcam has shown that Talat had a murderous INTENT -- a crucial element in qualifying the Armenian mass killings as genocide, according to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

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