Subject: Armenian Genocide Myth
Posted By: Yahac New Guy
Posted At: 12/20/03 2:49
20th Century has been witness to shameful acts of crime against humanity. It is common knowledge that the Nazi Germany annihilated defenseless Eastern European Jews during World War II period. However, there have been claims that the victimization of Armenians during World War I was actually the very first act of genocide during the last century. In fact, Armenian Diaspora frequently suggested that Turks have committed genocide against them during the World War I period. But Turks vehemently reject such claim.
At the turn of the 20th century Armenians were citizens of nearly 600 year-old decaying Ottoman Empire. The Islamic State, established by Ottoman Turks, was home to millions of Muslims and Christians of different races living side by side in peace for centuries. However, during the Industrialization Period in Europe the ideals of liberte et egalite of the French Revolution quickly became influential within the truly cosmopolitan Turkish empire with the help of European powers who wished to partition the vast dominions for themselves.
At the end of the 19th century while European powers were racing with each other for recognition and domination, Ottoman Empire was struggling for its survival. Imperial Russia relentlessly pursued wars with Ottomans for over a century in order to gain access to warm waters while British kept them in check by helping Ottomans from time to time not to relinquish all powers to the Czars who masterfully utilized Ottoman minorities to revolt against the Sultans. Weakened from within, Ottoman government could no longer control the Greeks, the Serbs and other European minorities as new nations began to emerge through series of revolutions.
When Kaiser's Germany rose as the new power of Europe British changed sides in favor of Russia and this ultimately tipped the balance of power against the Ottomans. Recognizing the strength and the resilience of Ottoman Armenians the Czar pushed them to revolt within the Ottoman State while the Russian army supported by Armenian volunteers was directly engaged with Ottoman forces.
The results of the Armenian revolts spelled human tragedies in eastern Anatolia. While Armenian Diaspora frequently condemns Turks for the massacres of their people Turkish casualties have always been neglected in convenience.
At the time of World War I the total Armenian population within Ottoman Empire has been tabulated around 1.5 million not only by official Ottoman sources but also by the British, the French and other Western sources. Nevertheless, Armenians always claimed that nearly 1.5 million Armenians were deliberately killed by Turks. If so, Armenians in Armenia clearly should have been extinct today.
Both Turkish and Western historians show Armenian losses to be around 600,000 during the tragedy years of the early part of the 20th century. Meanwhile historical facts point out that Turks had nearly five times more losses due to Armenian campaigns in eastern Anatolia and Caucasus under Russian supervision.
What occurred in eastern Anatolia was no different in the Caucasus, the Crimea, and the Balkans. As early as the beginnings of the 19th century all these lands were heavily populated by Turks. But Russian campaigns have literally exterminated Turks from these lands with the help of local nationals such as the Greeks, the Serbs, the Bulgars, the Ukrainians, and so on. However, Anatolian campaign was different because Armenians, who were literally used as peons by the Czar, were not majority in any part of Anatolia, which has been the home for the Turks for nearly a millennium.
During the Russian invasion of eastern Anatolia and Caucasus, Turks suffered innumerable casualties by wild Armenian bands. By taking advantage from the lack of authority of the central government Armenians plundered Turkish population. However, at first opportunity Ottoman government decided to relocate Anatolian Armenian population to another part of the empire in order to put a stop to the senseless bloodshed.
However, the decision and the following act of relocation of 1915 has been interpreted by Armenians and their supporters in the Western World as the intent and the act of genocide of Armenians. For obvious reasons it is not surprising to see that there is so much support for such claim in countries like France, Italy, and the United States.
By the end of the 19th century the United States had received multitudes of Armenian immigrants from Ottoman domains. Many already had significant wealth, as Armenians were the richest minority within the Ottoman Empire. America became a fertile ground to establish the roots of the Armenian Diaspora fighting for an independent Armenian state within Ottoman real estate.
Similarly France also took multitudes of Armenian immigrants who eventually became politically influential as they did in the United States. As opposed to listening to common sense and paying attention to national interests politicians remained under intense influence of lobbyists forces to formally accept the claim of genocide.
Significant amount of damaging information against Turks came from American Ambassador Morgenthau who served until 1916 in Istanbul, the capital city of the Ottomans. Ambassador Morgenthau however never personally investigated the sites of alleged crimes against Armenians. Instead he received all of his information from his two aides working in the embassy. The aides were both of Armenian descent. All the information provided by these two Armenians were all taken at their face value. In addition, records have shown the prejudice of the ambassador against the Turks.
Despite the fact American politicians fashionably keep using the comments of Ambassador Morgenthau to blame Turks, historians in most part do not accept such historical records as credible reports of history.
Similarly most Armenian sympathizers have used the accounts of British Ambassador Lord Bryce and British Historian Arnold Toynbee as proof of Armenian genocide. Both these British characters, contemporaries of Ambassador Morgenthau, never produced credible and irrefutable proofs for an act of genocide committed by Turks. Once again, most distinguished historians agree that such works were a product of a wartime propaganda against the Ottomans.
Clearly there had to be motives to pursue a defamation campaign against the Turks. The explanation in this article will be, however, an oversimplification of a complex case, which needs to be scrutinized.
World War I was between the Central Powers of Germany and Austria against the Allied Powers (a.k.a. Entente) of Britain, France, and Russia. The clear aim of the war was an obvious power struggle within Europe. However, when the Ottoman Empire made a mortal mistake of entering the war on the side of Central Powers another goal arose for the Entente Powers; this was about an intent to partition the Turkish Empire.
Shortly after the Ottomans entered the war multiple but well known Secret Treaties occurred between the Allied Power nations to partition the wealth of the Ottoman domains well before the clear outcome of the war. Although Armenians played a crucial role in the war for the purposes of the Entente, they were never included within the schemes of the partitioning.
When the war ended, it became clear that the Allied Power nations had disagreements amongst themselves in terms of dividing up the Ottoman loot. As the bickering continued at Paris Conference in 1920, Armenian delegation leader Boghos Nubar Pasha served his protest to the Allied Powers for being ignored in the partitioning process while Americans, the late participator in the war, tried to play a neutral role in determining the fate of the vanquished Turks. The loser Germany was nearly kept intact, but the Turkish State was effectively rendered ineffective.
With its historical wealth the capital city of Istanbul was taken by the British. The western Anatolia was given to Greeks. The southeastern Anatolia was quickly taken by the Italians who were angry for losing the Western lands to Greeks against the capitulations of the previously signed Secret Treaties. While the French took over the troublesome southeastern Anatolia, the British also took oil rich areas of Ottoman domains. Russia was already out of the partitioning picture since the Bolshevik Revolution, which caused the dethroning of the Czar, occurred well before the end of the war.
Armenians were just allowed to take over the northeastern corner of Anatolia while Turks were no longer allowed to form their government. Under these extremely difficult circumstances Turks rose under the leadership of the future founder of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk), and eventually in 1923 established a sovereign state known as Turkey. The new government denounced the authority of the Sultan in Istanbul and this effectively ended the existence of nearly six-century-old empire.
Eager to prove Turkish guilt of the alleged Armenian genocide, in 1920 the victorious British gathered most prominent Ottoman Turkish officials at the Malta War Crimes Tribunal. After all they had the implicating records of Ambassador Morgenthau, Ambassador Lord Bryce and historian Arnold Toynbee. However, as British investigations digged deeper into the claim of Armenian genocide, even with the fruitless help of the American government, the tribunal campaign began to shape up as a face losing effort for the British. The official Ottoman archives being at the full disposal of the occupying forces did not reveal a shred of evidence for the claim of alleged genocide. As a result, the investigators concluded that there was no genocide and the detainees were released free of all charges.
Even though there was never clear-cut evidence to implicate Turks for Armenian genocide, Armenian Diaspora could never let go their claim. Even today the motive did not change from what it used to be; Armenian extremists still dream of capturing a piece of the Turkish real estate along with compensation for material Armenian losses during the war.
Wrongfully Armenians and their sympathizers equate Armenian dilemma to that of Eastern European Jewish sufferings. The supporters of the genocide claim try to justify their efforts by showing the illegitimate recognition of the alleged genocide by some European nations and the United States.
Such so-called official recognition is illegitimate because these acknowledgments were made by political pressures created especially during elections years in these nations. Furthermore, it is not coincidence to see that such unfortunate recognitions are made by the very countries that were members of the Allied Powers accusing the Ottoman government of calculated mass massacres of Armenians.
As much as they did nearly 85 years ago but today as well, both Armenian Diaspora and the supporting cast of today's version of Entente still ignore the intricacies of the tragedies that began with Armenian treason followed by Armenian relocation and ending with Turkish retaliation. There was no question that Armenians instigated terror in Anatolia by massacring their Turkish neighbors under the umbrella of Russian officers. But as Turks did not give in as it was hoped, the events became more complex, and they eventually led to mutual tragedies.
It is crystal clear that casualties occurred as a result of a bloody civil war between the two peoples. The Western nations, such as France, Italy, Australia, and United States, as members of the old Entente, perhaps feeling the guilt for not upholding their promises to the Armenians for their service against the Ottoman government, are now trying to redeem themselves by distorting historical facts and thereby desecrating history.
The truth is in the eye of the beholder. The parties who are after the pursuit of fallacies are not interested in the truth nor will they ever be. The ultimate goal is still an attempt to revive now defunct Sevres Treaty, which would have given eastern half of modern day Turkey to Armenia as a reward for Armenian service against the Ottoman government. This was a promise to the Armenians made by the Entente but it was never upheld because no one could have ever imagined that Turks under the leadership of Ataturk, against all odds, would have eventually defy the strength of the Entente and refuse to give up their right for self determination.
As long as the Armenian Diaspora and its supporters continue to uphold the claim of the alleged genocide Turks will never accept the guilt for a crime their ancestors never committed. Besides, ignoring the higher number of casualties caused by Armenians is an insult to the Turkish nation. The suggestion that Turks are in denial is preposterous, as this is totally baseless claim. It is not Turks who are in denial but Armenians who would like cover up their shameful act of treason.
If it were not for such treacherous deed today Armenians and Turks perhaps would have been in peace, and innumerable souls could have been spared. Neither side is absolutely innocent. For an action there was a counter-action. Against Armenian aggression there was response from Turkish vigilantes at first opportunity. The resulting tragedies created deep wounds that now need to be mended and not aggravated by inflammatory actions of the Armenian Diaspora and the provocating outside forces.
Common ground can be found by acknowledging the losses of both sides. The tragedies that occurred in Anatolia in the early part of 20th century should not be looked as a one sided event as one should remember that there are always two sides to a coin. Peace and prosperity between the two wounded nations can be achieved by burying the hatred.