Monday 20 November 2017 Last Update: 11:42 AM

Thoughts

Published: 06-18-2008

Some revealing passages from Western minds, a little lengthier than the ones included in the Quotes page. Many of the beginning ones are from Kamuran Gurun's excellently researched "The Armenian File - The Myth of Innocence Exposed."


Sir Edwin Pears


Under such circumstances the revolt of a handful of Armenians had not a chance of success and was therefore unjustifiable. As a friend to the Armenians, revolt seemed to me purely mischievous. Some of the extremists declared that while they recognised that hundreds of innocent persons suffered from each of these attempts, they could provoke a big massacre which would bring in foreign intervention. Such intervention was useless so long as Russia was hostile. Lord Salisbury had publicly declared that as he could not get a fleet over the Taurus mountains he did not see how England could help the Armenians, much as she sympathised with them.

Forty Years in Constantinople, Heritage (London, 1915), p. 155


Sir Mark Sykes


As for the tactics of the revolutionaries, anything more fiendish one could not imagine the assassination of Moslems in order to bring about the punishment of innocent men, the midnight extortion of money from villages which have just paid their taxes by day, the murder of persons who refuse to contribute to their collection-boxes, are only some of the crimes of which Moslems, Catholics, and Gregorians accuse them with no uncertain voice... the Armenian revolutionaries prefer to plunder their co-religionists to giving battle to their enemies; the anarchists of Constantinople throw bombs with the intention of provoking a massacre of their fellow-countrymen.

If the object of English philanthropists and the roving brigands (who are the active agents of revolution) is to subject the bulk of the Eastern provinces to the tender mercies of an Armenian oligarchy, then I cannot entirely condemn the fanatic outbreaks of the Moslems or the repressive measures of the Turkish government. On the other hand, if the object of the Armenians is to secure equality before the law, and the maintenance of security and peace in the countries partly inhabited by Armenians, then I can only say that their methods are not those calculated to achieve success.

The Caliph's Last Heritage (London, 1915)


From the same book (pp. 409 and 416-18), Sykes' observations on Armenian young men: (They inspired) "a feeling of distrust, and their bearing is compounded of a peculiar covert insolence and a strange suggestion of suspicion and craft.. .The keynote of town Armenian's character is a profound distrust of his own coreligionists and neighbors."

"The Armenians will willingly harbor revolutionaries, arrange for their entertainment and the furthering of their ends. The pride of race brings about many singularities and prompts the Armenians to prey on missionaries, Jesuits, consuls and European traveler with rapacity and ingratitude. The poor Armenians will demand assistance in a loud tone, yet will seldom give thanks for a donation. Abuse of Consular officers and missionaries is only a part of the stock-in-trade of the extra-Armenian press."

"That the Armenians are doomed to be forever unhappy as a nation, seems to me unavoidable, for one-half of their miseries arises not from the stupid, rangy, ill-managed despotism under which they live, but from their own dealings with each other. In a time of famine at Van, Armenian merchants tried to corner the valuable grain; the Armenians Revolutionaries prefer to plunder their coreligionists to giving battle to their enemies; the anarchists of Constantinople threw bombs with the intention of provoking a massacre of their fellow countrymen. The Armenian villagers are divided against themselves; the revolutionary societies are leagued against one another, the priests connive at the murder of a bishop; the church is divided at its very foundation."

"Never were a people so fully prepared for the hand of a tyrant; never were a people so easy to be preyed upon by revolutionary societies; never was there a people so difficult to lead or to reform. That these characteristics are the result of Muslim oppression I do not for one moment believe."

ADDENDUM, 9-07, from the same book:

" [Armenians] will undertake the most desperate political crimes without the least forethought or preparation; they will bring ruin and disaster on themselves and others without any hesitation; they will sacrifice their own brothers and most valuable citizens to a wayward caprice; they will enter largely into conspiracies with men in whom they repose not the slightest confidence; they will overthrow their own national cause to vent some petty spite on a private individual; they will at the very moment of danger grossly insult and provoke one who might be their protector, but may at any moment become their destroyer; by some stinging aggravation or injury they will alienate the sympathy of a stranger whose assistance they expect; they will suddenly abandon all hope when their plans are nearing fruition; they will betray the very person who might serve their cause; and, finally, they will bully and prey on one another at the very moment that the enemy is at their gates.

The Armenian revolutionaries prefer to plunder their co-religionists to giving battle to their enemies; the anarchists of Constantinople threw bombs with the intention of provoking a massacre of their fellow-countrymen. The Armenian villages are divided against themselves; the revolutionary societies are leagued against one another; the priests connive at the murder of a bishop; the Church is divided at its very foundations.

If the object of Armenians is to secure equality before the law, and the establishment of security and peace in the countries partly inhabited by Armenians,* then I can only say that their methods are not those to achieve success."


Sir Mark Sykes was recruited by Wellington House to write a fabricated report, attacking the good image of the Turks. he complied with "The Clean-fighting Turk, a Spurious Claim."

From Richard Stoneman's Across the Hellesport, p. 194: "Herbert's (Aubrey) friend Mark Sykes, (1879-1919) who left University to travel in the Near East, and later became a goverment adviser on Near Eastern policy, made equally (like Audrey Herbert) light of the massacres and even contrived to suggest they were all the Armenians' fault."

Sykes also wrote, before his propagandistic period, Through Five Turkish Provinces, London:Bickers & Son, 1900, as well as a pamphlet called Asiatic Turkey and the New Regime, London: Central Asian Society 1909.


Rafael de Nogales


After hostilities had actually commenced, the Deputy to the Assembly for Erzurum, Garo Pasdermichan*, passed over with almost all the Armenian troops and officers of the Third Army to the Russians; to return with them soon after, burning hamlets and mercilessly putting to the knife all of the peaceful Mussulman villagers that fell into their hands. These bloody excesses had as their necessary corollary the immediate disarmament by the Ottoman authorities of the gendarmes and other Armenian soldiers who still remained in the army (probably because they had been unable to escape) and the utilization of their labour in the construction of highways and in carrying provisions back and forth across the mountains. The altogether unjustifiable desertion of the Armenian troops, united to the outrages they committed afterwards, on their return, in the sectors of BashKaleh, Serail, and Bayacet, did not fail to alarm the Turks and rouse their fear lest the rest of the Armenian population in the frontier provinces of Van and Erzurum revolt likewise, and attack them with the sword. This indeed is precisely what happened a few weeks after my coming, when the Armenians of the vilayet of Van rose en masse against our expeditionary army in Persia; thus giving rise to bloody and terrible occurrences which, under the circumstances, might have been foreseen.

Image
Rafael de Nogales
Four Years Beneath the Crescent, 1926, p. 45

*The terrorist Armen Garo (Karekin Pasdermadjian) was one of the leaders of the 1896 raid on the Ottoman Bank, whose life was spared by the sultan... allowed years later by the tolerant Turks to become a part of government.

Rafael de Nogales was a Venezuelan adventurer and American cattle thief who fought with the Turks for four years; in his book, he also says some damning things about the Turks, which is why it may be found for sale by the Armenians' Gomidas Institute.

Available on TAT:
"Turkish Sketches" by Rafael de Nogales


Philippe de Zara


After having accomplished the minimum of their duty as Ottoman citizens, the Armenians began to encourage the activities of the enemy. Their ambiguous attitude had certainly little to do with loyalty. But which Westerner would have the right to accuse them, when a tradition taught by Europe made the insubordination of the Sultan's Christian subjects the most sacred of obligations? An insubordination which was often sanctioned by granting autonomy, if not sovereignty. Nevertheless, how can anyone deny that, in the opinion of the Turks, according to the law of all the states, the conduct of the Armenians, facilitating during the war the task of the adversary, can be recognized as anything but a crime of high treason?... The committees, divided among themselves for internal issues, were often in agreement to facilitate the advance of Russian armies: they were attempting to obstruct the retreat of Turkish troops, to stop the convoys of provisions, to form bands of francs-tireurs. Mass desertions took place in the Eastern provinces: Armenians thus formed many troops officered by Russian officers. Here and there local revolts occurred. The leaders were setting the examples: two Armenian deputies fled to Russia. A literature of hatred was recalled: "Let the Turkish mothers cry... Let's make the Turk taste a little grief." The culpability of Armenians leaves no doubt.

Mustapha Kemal, Dictateur (Paris, 1936), pp. 159-60


E. Alexander Powell


The Turks are not, like their coreligionists, the Arabs, by nature a fanatical people. As a matter of fact, the history of the Ottoman Empire is less marred by religious intolerance and by massacres due to religious hatreds than the history of European states from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries. It is well to remember that when the Crusaders were butchering their Moslem prisoners in Palestine, when the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition were in full swing, when Cromwell's troopers were massacring the Catholics of Ireland, when Protestants in France were being exterminated by order of the French king, when Jews were being subjected to countless persecutions and barbarities in every European country, Moslems, Christians and Jews were dwelling side by side, in perfect amity, in Asia Minor.

The Struggle for Power in Moslem Asia (N.Y., 1925) p. 120


Ernest Jackh


Who but the infidel Turk opened up a Turkish haven, in the Middle Ages, to the Jewish refugees of Christian Spain and Italy? Ottoman sultans, Selim and Suleiman, early in the sixteenth century, invited them to Constantinople and to Salonika. They offered the Jews the first Zionist colonization in Palestine, around Lake Tiberias, and on Cyprus.

The Rising Crescent, (N.Y., 1944) p. 37


Felix Valyi


An important testimony to the toleration of Moslem rule is the fact that persecuted Christian and other sects took refuge in Mohammedan lands, to enjoy there the undisturbed exercise of their several cults. Persecuted Spanish Jews at the end of the fifteenth century took refuge in Turkey in great numbers. The Calvinists of Hungary and Transylvania and the Unitarians of the latter country long preferred to submit to the Turks rather than to fall into the hands of the fanatical House of Habsburg. The Protestants of Silesia in the seventeenth century looked with longing eyes towards Turkey, and would gladly have purchased religious freedom at the price of submission to Moslem rule. The Cossacks, who belonged to the "Old Believers" and were persecuted by the Russian State Church In 1736, found in Turkey the toleration which their Christian brethren denied them.

Revolutions in Islam (London, 1925) pp. 48-9


Migirdic Agop


The Turkish Armenian does not know what a revolution is. He fears a revolution like death. But if there is something he is more afraid of, it is the revolutionary Armenian, the unreasoning revolutionary Armenians without a conscience who dragged him from misery to misery for several years with the thought of doing a good deed for him.

The Turkish Armenian have to confess that this enemy of their own kind has been everywhere and has done its work everywhere. It also had many followers in Russia, England and Turkey. Because it is known as a social truth that divisive movements and propaganda among groups in a society influence the masses very deeply. When these witless wretches came up with the idea of establishing a large state with the Armenians in Caucasia and Turkey, the God-fearing Armenians with good conscience who were aware of where the best interests of the nation lay, were overcome with sadness: 'An independent state, which will also include within its borders some of the Turkish provinces, is that it? This would be the destruction of Armenians' they said.

This was the truth.! It was impossible for any Armenian with a little bit of discernment not to see it. Because these people were thinking that they could change the bed of a large river with eight or ten pieces of stone.

This large river had opened its real bed by flowing for centuries on a strong surface. To change this direction was to tear Armenian interests from the tranquil flow of the river, to push them to draught-ridden lands and to strangle them there for ever. Those feeble minded persons failed to see that the foreigners who supported their revolution and evil deeds and championed their causes in their newspapers did not undertake such action for the love of Armenians. The aim, and the sole aim of these so-called protective powers was to cause the shedding of blood in regions which they earmarked for their hegemony and to take over these regions with the pretext of cleaning the blood.

History is still recording what imperialism is capable of doing in places it sets its eyes on. But it was impossible to make the public-spirited revolutionaries comprehend this. The anarchists and propagandists among them who could be useful neither to themselves nor to their communities in any other way were receiving salaries. They were also receiving what they conceived to be pledges. Overwhelmed under these condition, they believed there was Turkish oppression, and they also made their compatriots believe in their lies.

The last quarter of a century of Turkey's history is filled with some Armenian events. Although these events were supposedly aimed at some goals harmful to Turkey, in fact they were only the oppression of Armenians by Armenians. If the causes and reasons for each event are analyzed one by one and if the events are analyzed meticulously, the only conclusion that will be arrived at is the one we have stated in the previous sentence; the oppression of Armenians by Armenians.

The Turkish Armenians, Istanbul 1922


A New York newspaper correspondent's excerpt from the 1895 booklet, The Armenian Troubles and Where The Responsibility Lies


"The Armenian Troubles and Where The Responsibility Lies is the title of a booklet by a correspondent of a New York newspaper, who apparently reproduced in 1895 in pamphlet form, the five letters he had written in and sent from Istanbul. Believing that the whole atmosphere on the Sassoon events of 1894 has been 'polluted with falsehood and exaggerations', he states that the disturbances were ' brought about by the Armenian revolutionary committees'... The author quotes the AP correspondent who says that the Armenian conspirators murdered the Rev. Edward Riggs and two other American missionaries and fastened the blame on the Turks."

"As to the story that Armenian women, who, rather than 'suffer dishonor at the hands of (their) Turkish persecutors', threw themselves in to an abyss until the ravine was filled with corpses, the American correspondent says that 'the horrible narrative is a reproduction, with additions and embellishments to suit the occasion, of an old tale in poetry by Mrs. Hemans years ago, under the title of 'The Suliote Mother'. He writes : 'Provocation and intimidation seem to be the plan of the Armenian revolutionists'."

Prof. Turkkaya Ataov, in An Armenian Source (1895) On The Armenian Question, Sistem Ofset, Ankara (1986)


Major E. W. C. Noel, British Army


"As a result of these months touring through the area occupied and devastated by the Russian Army and the Christian army of revenge accompanying them, during the spring and summer of 1916, I have no hesitation in saying that the the Turks would be able to make out as good a case against their enemies as that presented against the Turks. According to the almost universal testimony of the local inhabitants and eyewitnesses, Russians acting on the instigation and advice of Armenians who accompanied them murdered and butchered indiscriminately any Muslim member of the civil population who fell into their hands. A traveler through the Rowanduz and Nell districts would find widespread wholesale evidence of outrageous crimes are committed by Christians on Muslims."

Sam Weems, "Armenia - Secrets of a 'Christian' Terrorist State," 2002, pg. 36; footnote: Borian II, pg. 82


Sir Alfred Rawlinson


"In those Moslem villages in the plain below which had been searched for arms by the Armenians everything had been taken under the cloak of such search, and not only had many Moslems been killed by the Armenian Army, but horrible tortures had been inflicted in the endeavour to obtain information as to where valuables had been hidden, of which the Armenians were aware of the existence, although they had been unable to find them." (p. 178)

"Armenian troops have pillaged and destroyed all the Moslem villages in the plain. Caravans of refugees were in the meanwhile constantly arriving from the plain, from which the whole Moslem population was fleeing with as much of their personal property as they could transport, seeking to obtain security and protection." (p. 177)

"The arrival of this British brigade was followed by the announcement that Kars Province had been allotted by the Supreme Council of the Allies to the Armenians, and that announcement having been made, the British troops were then completely withdrawn, and Armenian occupation commenced. Hence all the trouble; for the Armenians at once commenced the wholesale robbery and persecution of the Muslem population on the pretext that it was necessary forcibly to deprive them of their arms. In the portion of the province which lies in the plains they were able to carry out their purpose, and the manner in which this was done will be referred to in due course." (p. 175)

"The Armenians from the plain were attacking the Kurdish people with artillery, with a large force in support." (p. 181)

"Adventures in the Near East, 1918-22" by Sir Alfred Rawlinson, Jonathan Cape, 30 Bedford Square, London, 1934 (First published 1923) (287 pages); Dodd, Meade & Co., 1925

Holdwater: Sir Alfred Rawlinson is also referred to as "Toby" Rawlinson, for reasons I'm not sure about. The lieutenant-colonel was sent to Eastern Turkey with his fellow men to observe the disarmament of the Ottoman armies. He was arrested under the order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as a reprisal for taking several prominent Ottomans on Malta hostage by British occupiers.


Robert Dunn


'The most of the Muslims slaughtered by the Armenians are inside houses. Come you and look.' 'No, dammit! My stomach isn't!' We were under those trees by the mosque, in an open space. 'I don't believe you,' I said, but followed to a nail-studded door. The man pushed it ajar, then spurred away, leaving me to check on the corpse. I thought I should, this charge was so constant, so gritted my teeth and went inside.

The place was cool but reeked of sodden ashes, and was dark at first, for its stone walls had only window slits. Rags strewed the mud floor around an iron tripod over embers that vented their smoke through roof beams black with soot. All looked bare and empty, but in an inner room flies buzzed. As the door swung shut behind me I saw they came from a man's body lying face up, naked but for its grimy turban. He was about fifty years old by what was left of his face - a rifle butt had bashed an eye. The one left slanted, as with Tartars rather than with Kurds. Any uniform once on him was gone, so I'd no proof which he was, and quickly went out, gagging at the mess of his slashed genitals. (p. 361)

'How many Muslim people lived there?'
'Oh, about eight hundred.' He yawned.
'Did you see any Muslim officers?'
'No, sir. I was in at dawn. All were Tartar civilians in mufti.'

The lieutenant dozed off, then I, but in the small hours a voice woke me Dro's. He stood in the starlight bawling out an officer. Anyone keelhauled so long and furiously I'd never heard. Then abruptly Dro broke into laughter, quick and simple as child's. Both were a cover for his sense of guilt, I thought, or hoped. For somehow, despite my boast of irreligion, Christian Armenian massacring 'infidels' was more horrible than the reverse would have been.

From daybreak on, Armenian villagers poured in from miles around. The Armenian women plundered happily, chattering like ravens as they picked over the carcass of Djul. They hauled out every hovel's chattels, the last scrap of food or cloth, and staggered away, packing pots, saddlebags, looms, even spinning-wheels.

'Thank you for a lot, Dro,' I said to him back in camp. 'But now I must leave.' We shook hands, the captain said 'A bientot, mon camarade.' And for hours the old Molokan scout and I plodded north across parching plains. Like Lot's wife I looked back once to see smoke bathing all, doubtless in a sack of other Moslem villages by the Armenian Army up to the line of snow that was Iran.' (p. 363)

At morning tea, Dro and his officers spread out a map of this whole high region called the Karabakh. Deep in tactics, Armenians spoke Russian, but I got their contempt for Allied 'neutral' zones and their distrust of promises made by tribal chiefs. A campaign shaped; more raids on Moslem villages. (p. 354)

"It will be three hours to take," Dro told me. We'd close in on three sides. "The men on foot will not shoot, but use only the bayonets," Merrimanov said, jabbing a rifle in dumbshow.
"That is for morale," Dro put in. "We must keep the Moslems in terror." "Soldiers or civilians?" I asked. "There is no difference," said Dro. "All are armed, in uniform or not."
"But the women and children?"
"Will fly with the others as best they may." (p. 358)

The ridges circled a wide expanse, its floors still. Hundreds of feet down, the fog held, solid as cotton flock. 'Djul lies under that,' said Dro, pointing. 'Our men also attack Muslims from the other sides.'

Then, 'Whee-ee!' - his whistle lined up all at the rock edge. Bayonets clicked upon carbines. Over plunged Archo, his black haunches rippling; then followed the staff, the horde - nose to tail, bellies taking the spur. Armenia in action seemed more like a pageant than war, even though I heard our Utica brass roar.

As I watched from the height, it took ages for Djul to show clear. A tsing of machine-gun fire took over from the thumping batteries; cattle lowed, dogs barked, invisible, while I ate a hunk of cheese and drank from a snow puddle. Mist at last folded upward as men shouted, at first heard faintly. Then came a shrill wailing.

Now among the cloud-streaks rose darker wisps and smoke. Red glimmered about house walls of stone or wattle, into dry weeds on roofs. A mosque stood in clump of trees, thick and green. Through crooked alleys on fire, horsemen were galloping after figures both mounted and on foot.

'Tartarski!' shouted the Armenian gunner by me. Others pantomimed them in escape over the rocks, while one twisted a bronze shell-nose, loaded, and yanked breech-cord, firing again and again. Shots wasted, I thought, when by afternoon I looked in vain for fallen branch or Muslim body. But these shots and the white bursts of shrapnel in the gullies drowned the women's cries.

At length all shooting petered out. I got on my horse and rode down toward Djul. It burned still but little flame showed now. The way was steep and tough, through dense scrub. Finally on flatter ground I came out suddenly, through alders, on smoldering houses. Across trampled wheat my brothers-in-arms were leading off animals, several calves and a lamb. (p. 360)

Armenian corpses came next, the first a pretty Muslim child with straight black hair, large eyes. She looked about twelve years old. She lay in some stubble where meal lay scattered from the sack she'd been toting. The bayonet had gone through her back, I judged, for blood around was scant. Between the breasts one clot, too small for a bullet wound, crusted her homespun dress.

The next was a Muslim boy of ten or less, in rawhide jacket and knee-pants. He lay face down in the path by several huts. One arm reached out to the pewter bowl he'd carried, now upset upon its dough. Steel had jabbed just below his neck, into the spine.

There were Muslim grownups, too, I saw as I led the sorrel around. Djul was empty of the living till I looked up to see beside me Dro's German-speaking colonel. He said all Muslims who had not escaped were dead. (p. 361)

More stories of Armenian murdering Muslims when the czarist troops fled north. My Armenian hosts told me of their duty here: to keep tabs on brigands, Muslim troop shifts, hidden arms, spies - Christian, Red or Tartar - coming in from Transcaucasus. Then they spoke of the hell that would break loose if Versailles were to put, as threatened, the Muslim vilayets of Turkey under the control of Erevan.

A conversation with Rawlinson (see above entry):

. . . Next I was drinking Scotch with British `I' officers in Erzurum, in what had been an American mission school for girls. Now it housed Colonel Toby Rawlinson from Donsterville's hush-hush army. They put me up and I heard, in Oxford English, more stories of Armenians murdering Turks when the czarist troops fled north. My hosts told me of their duty here: to keep tab on brigands, Turkish troop shifts, hidden arms, spies - Christian, Red or Tartar - coming in from Transcaucasus. Then they spoke of the hell that would break loose if Versailles were to put, as threatened, the six `Armenian' vilayets of Turkey under the control of Erevan.

`We sit on the edge of a volcano, Dunn,' said Rawlinson.

`So you want us to take a mandate over it all,' I said, `as buffer to your Iraq.'

`America'd never be so mad. I've been in America. Your people are too damned level-headed.'

`If the President's behind it-

`An Armenia without Armenians! Turks under Christian rule?' His lips smacked in irony under the droopy red moustache. `That's bloodshed - just Smyrna over again on a bigger scale. If you touch that business you're bigger fools than I've ever taken you for.' (p. 358)

World Alive, A Personal Story, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York (1952).

U.S. Naval officer Lieutenant Robert Steed Dunn was the Intelligence officer of Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, the American High Commissioner in the region and also a de facto American Ambassador in Turkey. Between 1919-1921, Lieutenant Dunn travelled extensively with Dro and his army in the region, and both made several contacts with the Russian Bolsheviks, the Turkish and the Armenian National forces.

Of interest: Prof. Heath Lowry's "Richard G. Hovannisian on Lieutenant Robert Steed Dunn."


David G. Hogarth


The Armenian, for all his ineffaceable nationalism, his passion for plotting and his fanatical intolerance, would be a negligible thorn in the Ottoman side did he stand alone. The Porte knows very well that while Armenian Christians are Gregorian, Catholic and Protestant, each sect bitterly intolerant of the others and moreover while commerce and usury are all in Armenian hands, it can divide and rule secure; but behind the Armenian secret societies (and there are few Armenians who have not committed technical treason by becoming members of such societies at some point of their lives) it sees the Kurd, and behind the Kurd the Russian; or looking west, it espies through the ceaseless sporadic propaganda of the agitators Exeter Hall and Armenian Committees. The Turk begins to repress because we sympathize and we sympathize because he represses and so the vicious circle revolves. Does he habitually, however, do more than repress? Does he, as administrator oppress? So far we have heard one version only, one part to this suit, with its stories of outrage and echoing through them a long cry for national independence. The mouth of the accused has been shut hitherto by fatalism, by custom, by the gulf of misunderstanding which is fixed between the Christian and the Moslem.

In my own experience of western Armenia, extending more or less over four years up to 1894, I have seen no signs of a Reign of Terror. Life in Christian villages has not shown itself outwardly to me as being very different from life in the villages of Islam, nor the trade and property of Armenians in towns to be less secure than those of Moslems. There was tension, there was friction, there was a condition of mutual suspicion as to which Armenians have said to me again and again "If only the patriots would leave us to trade and to till!". The Turk rules by right of five hundred years' possession, and before his day the Byzantine, the Persian, the Parthian, the Roman preceded each other as overlords of Greater Armenia back to the misty days of the first Tigranes. The Turk claims certain rights in this matter - the right to safeguard his own existence, the right to smoke out such hornets' nests as Zeitun, which has annihilated for centuries past the trade of Eastern Taurus, the right to remain dominant by all means not outrageous.

A Wandering Scholar in the Levant, New York, p. 147 (1896)


Alexandre Millerand


I am surprised that London should possess information which no one here is aware of and is unable to document. As a result, it has been impossible until now to determine exactly that Armenians have been massacred in any area. There is much talk about it but no one was able to give me certain and exact information. In particular the Armenian losses in Marash appear to be absolutely false. Apparently, the Armenians took part in the struggle of our troops in this city and had casualties like all the fighters. A serious study of the figures shows that these Armenian casualties do not exceed 1000.

Archives des Affaires Etrangeres de France, Vol 9, Folio 3; Millerand was the Minister of War of his nation until 1915, becoming President in 1920.


General Vladimir Mayewski


"In 1895 and 1896 the Armenian revolutionary committees created such suspicion between the Armenians and the native population that it became impossible to implement any sort of reform in these districts. The Armenian priests paid no attention to religious education, but instead concentrated on spreading nationalist ideas, which were affixed to the walls of monasteries, and in place of performing their religious duties they concentrated on stirring Christian enmity against Muslims. The revolts that took place in many provinces of Turkey during 1895 and 1896 were caused neither by any great poverty among the Armenian villages nor because of Muslim attacks against them. In fact these villagers were considerably richer and more prosperous than their neighbors. Rather, the Armenian revolts came from three causes:
1. Their increasing maturity in political subjects;
2. The spread of ideas of nationality, liberation, and independence within the Armenian community;
3. Support of these ideas by the western governments, and their encouragement through the efforts of the Armenian priests."

General Mayewski was the Russian Consul-General in Bitlis and Van; from Statistique des Provinces de Van et de Bitlis, pp. 11-13, Petersburg, 1916


A.L. Macfie


P.183: And in the Eastern provinces, in Kars, Ardahan and Batum, recently evacuated by the Russians, Armenian bands committed to the creation of a greater Armenia were advancing, taking revenge on the Turks for the massacres of Armenians they had perpetrated in the First World War.

P.24: Normally 3 years followed by 6 years in the active army reserve and 9 years in the reserve. Some 25 years. (Referring to the military duty expected of Ottomans.)

P.132: The humiliation inflicted on the Ottoman Third Army at Sarikamish, combined with the expectations of further Russian advances and fears regarding Armenian treachery, led in 1915 to one of the greatest tragedies of the First World War, the deportation and massacre of more than a half million Armenian inhabitants of the eastern provinces. The precise motivation of the Ottoman government in ordering the deportations and instigating the massacres to which they gave rise remains in doubt; but this much is clear. In the early months of the war Armenian groups belonging to Dashnaksutiun and Henchak, based in Tiflis and other towns in the area, organized Armenian volunteer units which it was hoped would assist the Russians in their conquest of the eastern provinces and liberate the Armenian inhabitants of the area. At the same time Armenians living in Zeytun, a town in southeastern Anatolia, who had refused to be conscripted into the Ottoman army, organized corps of volunteers designed to disrupt Ottoman lines of communication, while Armenians living abroad approached the Entente Powers, with offers to raise a force of some 20 000 men, capable, if properly armed and equipped by the Entente Powers, of instigating an insurrection in Cilicia and securing control of Iskenderun, a strategic port on the Syrian coast. Then in April 1915 the Armenian inhabitants of Van rose in revolt, with the result that Ottoman forces stationed in the area, convinced that they were facing a widespread Armenian uprising, began an indiscriminate massacre of Armenians; and in May, following a second Armenian uprising in Zeytun, the Porte passed a series of deportation laws authorizing the removal of the Armenian population from the strategic areas and their resettlement in the Euphrates valley and other areas to the south of the province of Diarbekir. In the ensuing implementation of the deportation laws, carried by Ottoman gendermarie units, convicts released from the prison for the purpose, Kurdish tribesmen and according to some accounts, units belonging to the special organization, robbery, rape and murder occurred on an extensive scale.

Few of the Armenian columns arrived at their destination; and even those that did were frequently exposed to further starvation and massacre. Turkish historians argue that the deportations instituted in 1915, in the midst of the Gallipoli campaign, which threatened the very survival of the empire were the inevitable consequence of Armenian treachery and rebellion. As for the unfortunate consequence of the policy of deportation, entirely unplanned and unintended, those were merely the outcome of the sickness and exhaustion suffered by the deportees on their long marches, of the attacks launched by marauding gangs of Kurds and other irresponsible elements, beyond government control, and the poverty and deprivation suffered by all inhabitants of the area, Turk as well as Armenian, in that period. Documentary evidence would appear to support the Turkish view.

"The End of the Ottoman Empire 1908-1923", Longman Ltd., 1998 (Thanks to Sukru S. Aya)


Jason Goodwin


P.311: ....and in 1875 the empire was forced to declare bankruptcy.

P.312: Abdulhamid ordered Mithat Pasha from the country. The vaunted constitution produced an assembly, seventy-one Muslim deputies, forty-four Christians and four Jews.

P.315: No longer the complacent rulers of the flock, the Ottomans were baffled and afraid when the people rose in nationalist revolt.
Massacre became the stock response to threat; the authorities made little effort to check the atrocities; and frenzied blood-lust of the Turks in retreat is still a delicate subject. Excesses were committed by all sides; the arrival of Protestant missionaries, singing ' Onward Christian Soldiers' among the once quiet Armenians alarmed the Ottomans into thinking that the process which had turned their Bulgarian, Greek or Serbian reaya against them was about to be repeated.

P.318: It brought Gallipoli, that stubborn defense of Turkish soil against the allies in which 100.000 died and which created, curiously two resonant justificatory myths of nationhood; for Australians tend to date the crystallization of a national consciousness from the death trap into which the British imbroglio let them, while the Turks fought for their homeland, and were ably let by Mustafa Kemal.

P.325: In the last years of the empire, a French firm offered half a million francs to turn 150.000 street dogs in Istanbul into gloves. The Sultan - very hard pressed for cash - nobly refused. The dogs were locked up in an old tramp steamer and transported, howling and fighting to a waterless island (Hayirsizada) where they were turned loose.

"Lords of the Horizons" Jason Goodwin, Henry Holt Co, 1999, NY, ISBN 0-8050-4081-1 (Thanks to Sukru S. Aya)


Erik J. Zurcher


P.119-120-121: This military fiasco left Eastern Anatolia open to a Russian advance which duly materialized when the weather improved. It also marked the beginning of the suppression of the Ottoman Armenians, still a controversial issue 75 years later. The Armenian community formed an important part of the population of the eastern Anatolian provinces, although in no province did they constitute a majority or even plurality. Estimates of the total number of Armenians in the empire vary, but a number of around 1.500.000, some 10% of the population of Ottoman Anatolia, is probably a reasonable estimate. After the troubles of 1896, the situation in the east had normalized to some extent, but relations between the local Armenians and Muslims, especially the Kurds, remained tense and there were frequent clashes. In May 1913, a representative of Dashnakzutioun had demanded the establishment of a foreign gendarmerie to protect the Armenians in Eastern Anatolia. The CUP government had approached the British about this matter and the latter had discussed it with the French and the establishment of two inspectorates with far-reaching powers in eastern Anatolia and a Norwegian and a Dutch inspector were appointed in May. The outbreak of war prevented the scheme from being put into operation. At the outbreak of the war, Armenian nationalists saw in a Russian victory their chance to achieve the establishment of an Armenian state in Eastern Anatolia. Russian propaganda encouraged these aspirations. A few thousand Armenians joined the Russian army; there were Armenian desertions from the Ottoman army and guerrilla activity behind the Ottoman lines. Confronted with this situation, the Ottoman cabinet, on the initiative of the Interior Minister, Talat Pasha decided to relocate the entire population of the war zone to Zor in the heart of the Syrian desert. This relocation (tehcir) was carried through 1915-16 and it resulted in the death of enormous numbers of Armenians. So much is undisputed historical fact. The controversies rage on three points. The first is the military necessity of the operation. Turkish historians and their supporters point the treasonable activities of many Armenians during the war and to difficulty of knowing which Armenians would remain loyal and which would side with Russians. The other side - correctly - pointed out that the deportations were not limited to the war zone but took place all over the empire. In western Anatolia and Istanbul deportation of whole communities were exceptional, but members of the Armenian elite were persecuted. The second controversy is over numbers: Turkish historians have put the number of deaths as low as 200.000 while the Armenians have sometimes claimed ten times as many. The third and most important controversy concerns intent, and whether genocide was committed. The Turkish side and its supporters claim the situation in eastern Anatolia was one of the inter-communal warfare, in which Armenian bands (supported by the Russian army) and Kurdish tribes (supported by Turkish gendarmes) struggled for control. They also recognize that the Armenians sent to Syria were subjected to vicious attacks by the local Muslim population (especially Kurds) but they attribute this to lack of control on the part of the Ottoman government rather than to its policies. They point out that the official records of the Ottoman government do not, as far as is known, contain any documents which demonstrate government involvement in the killings. The Armenian side has tried to demonstrate this involvement but some of the documents it has produced (the so-called Andonian papers) have been shown to be forgeries. Many of the British and American publications on this issue from the time of the First World War which purport to prove government involvement also bear a heavy stamp of wartime propaganda. On the other hand, the same cannot be said of wartime German sources who also report government involvement.

"TURKEY a Modern History" I.B. Tauris Publishers, London, 1993 (Thanks to Sukru S. Aya)

Holdwater: I received an indication that Prof. Zurcher was gaga over Vahakn Dadrian's objection to Guenter Lewy, believing in the correctness of Dadrian on major issues. I wrote a lengthy letter to the Dutch professor regarding how he could possibly feel that way, in light of Dadrian's unethical twists and turns. He replied in a short note asking about my scholarly qualifications. (I suppose he meant if I lacked a Ph.D, I was not qualified to raise questions.)

Prof. Zurcher even referred to propagandist Taner Akcam's work as "state of the art in this field, because he combines the result of Dadrian�s work with original research in the German archives," in an essay entitled, "Ottoman labour battalions in World War I."

I have not read Dr. Zurcher's book ("used as a reference manual at universities in the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Turkey... translated into Turkish, Greek, Hebrew and Dutch," as quoted from the article below), but according to a book excerpt from the Internet, Prof. Zurcher's genocide stance was spelled out: "[T]his author at least is of the opinion that there was a centrally controlled policy of extermination, instigated by the CUP [i.e., the top leadership]." (Another Dutch genocide advocate, Arend jan Boekestijn, wrote an essay on the subject, and supported the statement, "The fact remains that some high level Turks used the deportations as a smoke screen to solve the Armenian question once and for all," with a footnote from Zurcher's book [pp 116-7]).

"Erik-Jan-Zurcher has been professor of Turkish languages and cultures at the University of Leiden since 1997," as a page on his university's site tells us. Entitled "Turkish distinction for Erik-Jan Z�rcher" (21 June 2005), we further learn:

"Professor Erik-Jan Zurcher has received the Medal of High Distinction from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for his work in contesting misconceptions and prejudices about Turkey, which played a role in bringing closer the accession of Turkey to the European Union.

Prof. dr. Erik-Jan Zurcher, professor of Turkish languages and cultures, was awarded the Medal of High Distinction by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 6th June. The award was presented to him at the Turkish Embassy in The Hague by Ambassador Tacem Ildem.

Zurcher received this distinction in recognition of his academic research and his publications in the field of Turkish history, and in particular for his work in the past two years in contesting misconceptions and prejudices about Turkey, which has brought closer the accession of Turkey to the European Union. The accompanying commendation from the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gul, also specifically mentioned this motivation.

The Medal of High Distinction is an honour which is rarely awarded.

In his speech of thanks, Zurcher expressed his pleasure at receiving this award, particularly in view of the critical stance which he has in the past at times taken on such sensitive issues as the Armenian question and human rights in Turkey..."

A reminder that another favorite tactic of Armenian propaganda is to point to Turkish government awards given to Western contra-genocide scholars as "proof" that the scholars are "agents of the Turkish government." Hopefully, the above will blast the lid off that particular prevarication.

So We Know Where Prof. Zurcher Stands

ADDENDUM, 5-07:

PanArmenian.net, Oct. 16, 2006, "Dutch Historian: Modern Turkey Founders' Had Blood on Their Hands"; Dutch Public Television aired "Dutch Historians on the Armenian Genocide" (where "pictures of Armenian Genocide victims by Armin Wegener [sic] were screened"... as though pictures of suffering people would constitute a genocide), and in response to "Why does Turkey still deny?" Prof. E.J. Zurcher replied:

"Many people, who played an important role in the development of modern Turkey, had blood on their hands. They were themselves involved in the extermination of the Armenians. For the modern Turkish state this is a painful part of their history."

A discussion of the professor's unproven point. What a pity the professor chooses to parrot propaganda.

ADDENDUM, 9-07:

Here is another revealing Zurcher quote:

All too often in the field of Turkology we forget that the modern state of Turkey was built on "ethnic cleansing" on a massive scale.

From Erik-Jan Zurcher's criticism of Bernard Lewis's Emergence of Modern Turkey (1961), entitled The rise and fall of "modern" Turkey, where Zurcher legitimizes the propagandists, Vahakn Dadrian and Dadrian's protege, Taner Akcam. (Thanks to Hector.)


Erik J. Zurcher


(Sukru S. Aya, who excerpted the following, offered the note: This book is composed from a report by Leslie E. Davis , prepared at the request of Ambassador Morgethau and it basically tells the mistreatment of Armenians only. It is so biased, that there is not even a single line about the Armenian revolt in Van, next to Harput. The report was converted into a book which was read and approved by Richard Hovannisian, and printed by a Greek Company to hurt the Turkish image. Nevertheless, I have sorted out some of the sentences which escaped censoring.)

P.12: It is not that I am in any way a champion of the Armenian race. It is not a race one can admire or among whom I should chose to live. But whatever the faults of the Armenian people may be and however conclusive may be the proof that some of them have been involved in a revolutionary plot, the punishment inflicted upon these people is so severe, the tragedy is so terrible.

P.15 : In the spring of 1915, local Armenian leaders in Harput, including several professors at the missionaries' Euphrates College, were arrested and many tortured to death. At the end of June because of their alleged seditious activities, all Armenians were ordered by the central government to prepare for "relocation." Missionaries, too, became targets. Several were arrested and deported.

P.15: U.S. trade with the Ottoman Empire began in 1792 when an appropriately named ship, the Grand Turk, called at the port of Smyrna (Izmir) to buy figs and carpets. By 1800 American merchants were pressing for diplomatic relations, but the Sultan considered United States so insiginificant he refused to entertain the idea.

P.16: American missionaries rapidly outnumbered merchants in the Ottoman Empire. The first representatives of the Congregational American Board of Commissionaires for Foreign Mission arrived in Smyrna in 1819 with boundless optimism. When they learned that conversion from Islam to another religion was a crime punishable by death in a country in which the head of the state was also the Moslem spiritual leader, they focused their efforts on the Greek, Armenian and other Christian minorities. Idealistic Americans invested $ 40 million (in 1915 dollars) in schools, hospitals and churches by the outbreak of World War I. Operating with charters from the Ottoman government, these institutions by 1914 employed more than 450 Americans and 4500 Ottoman nationals of various ethnic origins.

P.17: Historically, the Armenian genocide had its roots in the creation of the millet (non-Muslim ethnic) system after the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople. By institutionalizing the status of religious minorities, the Greeks, Armenians and Jews as beings whose rights in society were only recognized through a system outside the structural mainstream, were doomed to classification as inferiors. The Greek and Armenian millets were headed by archbishops designated by the Sultan to be patriarchs of their communities. (Holdwater: of course, the word "genocide" could not have been used by Leslie Davis.)

P.37:There was never any commercial work of importance in this consular district even in normal times.

P.38: Since the beginning of the war even bread is almost unobtainable.

P.39: Since 1876 the American Board has maintained a college there, which was at first called "Armenia College", but the name of which was afterwards changed to "Euphrates College" where most of the teachers and students were Armenians.

P.45: After the entry of Turkey in the war, the French monks left the country, but were subjected to many annoyances before they went. Soon afterwards all the French monks left. Their buildings are used as a Turkish hospitals.

P.46: Typhus was very bad that winter, especially among the soldiers... As many as 75-80 of them died on same days.

P.48: About this time it was rumored that bombs and guns had been found in the possession of certain persons who were thought to be members of Armenian revolutionary societies conspiring against the Turkish Government.

P.55: After it was announced that the Armenians were to be deported they flocked to the Consulate in large numbers, many of them claiming American citizenship who had never seen there before and about whom nothing was known.

P.58: It was known that the roads were dangerous, even though the government had promised to provide a sufficient escort for all who left. They were filled with "chetes" who were turned loose to rob and pillage.

P.59: Most of the business of the region was in their (the Armenians' HW) hands. 95% of the deposits in the banks belonged to them.

P.96: All the business of that region had been carried on by Armenians; all the work of missionaries had been among Armenians.. Many had been kept by friendly Turks in their houses; some had been deported and had returned. v P.104: The fact that I was giving out relief soon became known to every one and frequently the Turkish policemen themselves brought Armenians there for me to help. Surviving Armenians in all the villages left and came to Harput and Mamouretul Aziz to live in order to get help. Many came from the Palu region also, as the headquarters of the Turkish Army of the Caucasus was established there early in 1916 and the entire civil population, Turkish as well Armenian, were sent away. This increase in the number of destitute Armenians who were dependent upon charity added greatly to our problems.

P.105: Some Armenian women who were married to Turks, or were living with them as their mistresses, came with other people on Tuesdays to seek aid. Occasionally, the Turks even escorted them and waited on the street.

P.108: In the summer of 1916 all the Armenians who had been hiding in the Dersim, succeeded in escaping to Russia and others from Harput to Dersim in the hope of getting away.

P.109: .Most of them succeeded in getting away safely. In spite of the risks, the opportunity for these Armenians to save themselves in this way was so good that it seemed advisable for as many to try to go to get away.

P.118: Thousands of Mohammedan muhadjirs passed through Mamouretul Aziz after the advance of the Russian in winter of 1915-16. They came from Turkish provinces which the Russians occupied, fleeing before them and wandering from place to place. Many of them settled for a time in the villages from which the Armenians had been driven out. The Government has completed the destruction of most of them by tearing out timbers of the houses for fire-wood, as no other fuel was obtainable in that region during the past two years and the houses which consisted principally of mud and straw, then crumbled to pieces.

P.123: Notwithstanding the courtesy shown us, we were closely guarded all the way from Harput to Constantinople by the gendarmes whom the Vali (Governor) had furnished, ostensibly for our protection but partially, without doubt, to prevent us from observing things too carefully on the way. These gendarmes, of whom there were at all times from one to four, were almost without exception polite and obliging.

P.168: I certainly have no desire to pose as a champion of the Armenian race or to defend any Armenian revolutionists. After the expulsion of the greater part of the Armenian population during the first two or three weeks of July, subsequent deportations have naturally been on a smaller scale and have occurred at longer intervals.

P.169: I should estimate that at least three-fourths of the Armenians in this region have now gone. A few are now getting the benefits of the order exempting Catholics and Protestants from deportation, but most of these were sent away before the order was received.

P.170: Many people, mostly women, have been kept in the Turkish houses, especially in the villages that were partly Turkish and partly Armenian. The purely Armenian villages have been pretty thoroughly cleaned out, but hundreds of women have found shelter with their Turkish neighbors in the villages containing both races.

P.172: On the whole, the Americans here have had comparatively little trouble during the past two months and have been able to do some good.

P.177: Word has recently been received from a few individuals who have reached Aleppo. It is noted that they are all women. Apparently no man arrived there.

P.181: During the last two months quite a number of Armenian soldiers have been brought back in groups of two or three hundred from Erzurum. They have arrived in a most pitiable state due to their exposure on the way at this season of the year and in the privations they had suffered. (Holdwater: in other words, these soldiers... whom we keep getting told were all executed... were transported all the way to Harput. Thanks, Leslie Davis, for documenting this one.)

P.183: One of the disappointments in the present terrible situation and one of the saddest commentaries on American missionary work among the Armenians is their lack of religious and moral principles and the general baseness of the race. During all that has happened during the past year I have not heard of a single act of heroism or of self-sacrifice and the noble acts, if any, have been very few. On the contrary mothers have given their daughters to the lowest and vilest Turks to save their own lives; to change their religion is a matter of little importance to most of the people; lying and trickery and inordinate love of money are besetting sins of almost all, even while they stand in the very shadow of death. On one occasion, when the students of the Armenian theological seminary were arrested, nearly every one of them lied about one thing or another to save himself. Absolute truthfulness is almost unknown among the members of this race. Money is sought at any price, even at the risk of their lives, as in the case of the young man already mentioned in this despatch whom I had saved from death and tried to help for several months by keeping him in the Consulate. Every trick and device are resorted to by those who are not in need as well as by those who are to obtain money and often by depriving others of it who are in much greater need. From every point of view the race is one that cannot be admired although it is one to be pitied.

P.195: (from Turkish proclamation.) At Harput, despite the repeated affirmations of the Armenians and oftheir bishop who protested loyalty to the Government, and declared that they did not stockpile any arms, more than 5.000 rifles and revolvers and as many muskets, close to three hundred bombs, forty kilos of fuses for bombs and two hundred packages of dynamite were found, more than it would take to blow up the entire province. Among the effects of the bishop of Arapkir one found, amongst bombs and arms, two complete dervish outfits and accessories. In January and February 1915, many Moslem sick and injured who were returning to their homes from the front, were pitilessly massacred in Armenian villages through which they passed. Before and after our entry into the war with Russia, the Armenians who made it their duty to aid Russian army against Turkey, had already formed battalions which were directed against Van and the Persian border. Many of these battalions were formed out of Armenians who escaped from the province of Mamuretul Aziz, or who, originally from this province, were abroad.

"The Slaughterhouse Province - An American Diplomat's Report on the Armenian Genocide,1915-1917," edited by Susan K. Blair; Aristide D. Caratzas, New York, 1989

More on Leslie Davis


Luigi Villari


With the annexation of Georgia in 1800 Russia further increased the number of her Armenian subjects. Wherever she advanced into Mohammedan countries she found the Armenians friendly and helpful, for they regarded her as their deliverer. Nay, the very generals commanding the Russian invading armies were often Armenians, such as Lazareff and Loris Melikoff. It is indeed safe to say that but for the Armenians, Russia would never have conquered the Caucasus. (P. 146)

We find them as bankers, merchants, shopkeepers, manufacturers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers, and officials all over the Caucasus, and even in European Russia. The Baku oil industry is largely due to Armenian enterprise ; at Tiflis, the ancient capital of Georgia, the Armenians form over a third of the population, have practically all the business of the town in their hands, own most of the house property, and constitute 80 per cent, of the town council. Even in the Russian army Armenians occupied high positions; the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian forces in the Asiatic campaign of 1877 was General Loris Melikoff, an Armenian from Lori, and one of his ablest lieutenants was General Ter-Gukassoff, also an Armenian. The same Loris Melikoff afterwards became chief Minister to Alexander II... (pp. 147-48)

When we come to the question of character, we find yet further causes of hatred. The outward characteristics of the Armenian are not attractive. "He produces," according to an Armenian writer, "anything but a pleasing impression on those with whom he comes in social contact. He is reserved, brusque, rude; his egotism and amour propre are excessive; and he is often arrogant to the verge of insult. Though undeniably honourable in all business relations and careful of the rights of others, he is often cruel and merciless in maintaining his own rights. An excellent husband and father, and passionately attached to his home, his conduct towards strangers is often selfish and arrogant. He is cautious and suspicious, and though capable of deep feeling, is averse from any show of emotion. He is wholly lacking in the great talent of making himself agreeable in social intercourse. ... He is not so much devoid of delicacy of feeling, as boorish and unsociable. In general he shows a want of genuine kind-heartedness, and of that habit of mind which is disposed to treat all men as friends." Of course this is not true of the whole people, and in any case applies chiefly to the urban classes; in my own experience I have met many Armenians whose manners and habits were those of men and women of the world, and among whom, apart from their kindness and hospitality to me, I felt myself in the company of polished Europeans. The hospitality of the Armenians is very great, although seldom accompanied by courtly manners. The result is that they are usually unpopular; and to their real defects others are added by their enemies, which find easy credence among those who cannot get over their unconciliating behaviour. The Armenians also enjoy a reputation for sharp and not always straight business methods, and they are accused of being usurers. (pp. 161-63)

"Fire and Sword in the Caucasus," 1906


Robert Zeidner


It is most unfortunate that the bulk of the vast literature available in this field comes form the pens of such authors [i.e. Armenian apologists], almost all of it bent on an ethnocentric course to demonstrate the supposed superiority of Christian Armenian culture over that of the "unspeakable" Muslim Turk

Worst yet, Armenian scholars have consistently dwelled on Turkish massacres of their compatriots in all their grisly details without so much as a word on the equally savage measures taken by the Armenians of the Transcaucasus and eastern Anatolia against the local Turkic populace from 1905 to 1920. Indeed, when questioned on such episodes, they even dismiss them as Turkish propaganda. Yet the evidence for accepting them as fact is overwhelming

More significant perhaps is the considerable body of evidence which indicates that Armenian revolutionists deliberately fomented massacres of their compatriots in Turkey for the purposes of turning them against the Porte and of invoking intervention by the Great Powers. On the other hand, it was thanks to prompt action by local Turkish authorities, so often maligned for incompetence, corruption, and bad faith by Western travellers and diplomats, that Cilicia proper and Elazig-Harput were spared from slaughter during the massacres of 1894-96. During the episode of April 1909, Mersin and areas outside Cilicia proper were similarly spared, with the one notable exception of Latakia on the northern Syrian coast

[Re. the 1915-1916 relocations]: The vast literature available on these episodes, on the other hand, is inconclusive as to whether they began spontaneously or were triggered by orders from Istanbul.

(Tricolors over the Taurus, pp. 44-46)


Sir Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett


A widespread Armenian revolutionary conspiracy was therefore organized and subsidised in Russia, and even patronised by the Russian Ambassador at Constantinople. The aims of this most barbarous and wicked plot were made public some time before its denoument.

A very shrewd and able correspondent of Reuter's Agency, who travelled throughout the Armenian districts of Asia Minor, wrote in March 1894:The plan of the Armenian revolutionists was to provoke by the atrocities upon Mussulmans such cruelty, atrocity, outrage, butchery that Christian humanity would rise in wrath. It will be the helpless women and children who will suffer most. The revolutionary leaders know that it will be so; in fact, they count upon it as the chief factor in their success.

The same correspondent wrote the remarkable prediction that the 'chief attack will be made in the city of Constantinople itself, and that the brunt of the fighting will be borne by the Armenian residents therein.'

These prophecies, written in March 1894, were literally fulfilled in Sassun in July and August, 1894, and in Constantinople on September 30th, 1895.

Before any real atrocities to any appreciable extent had taken place cannot be explained merely on the ground of journalistic anxiety to satisfy an unwholesome popular craving. It was the result of a carefully planned and organised propaganda, whose agents were in some cases mercenary, in others innnocent through willing victims of deceit. All of the stories and many of the telegrams originally came form the same persons and locality, and from the same organization, viz., from a group of ingenious Armenian conspirators who were mostly inside the Russian frontier, between Karoungan and Tiflis. Some of these conspirators were on Turkish territory in and around Erzeroum itself.

Sir Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, M.P., The Battlefields of Thessaly: With Personal Experiences in Turkey and Greece, pp. 30-33 (1897). (The author was also behind the pamphlet, Armenian "Atrocity" Agitation, Its Genesis, Method, Truth and Consequences, London, February 1895. Thanks to Kemal, for the book excerpt.)


Alfred S. Johnson, Encyclopedia Editor


"Armenian Agitation: the Armenian revolutionists in Constantinople resorted again, in August, to those methods of violent agitation which on former occasions brought down summary vengeance upon many of their innocent compatriots; but fortunately the distubrances on this occasion were promptly quelled without resulting in a renewal of massacre. As if to indicate a hopeful case for those Armenians who seek to forward their appeals for reform by legitimate, instead of violent and anarchistic methods, the sultan conferred upon Mgr. Ormanian, the Armenian patriarch, the special champion of the more moderate faction, the decoration of the grand cordon of the Order of Osmanie. The sultan had ordered the formation of a travelling commission, consisting of two Mahometans, two Gregorian Armenians, one Catholic Armenian, and one Greek, charged to visit the Armenian vilayets which were the chief sufferers in the late troubles. The commission is to raise subscritpions for rebuilding the Armenian schools, churches, and monasteries destroyed during the disturbances, and also to establish orphanages. Severe disturbances were reported in early August from the vilayet of Van and neighbouring regions on the frontier between Persia and Turkish Armenia. They seem to have been due to Armenian agitators."

Alfred S. Johnson (Editor), The Cyclopedic Review of Current History, Vol. 7, pp. 578-79 (1897). (Thanks to Kemal, for the excerpt.)