What do you call the 1915 “mass deportation” of Armenians from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) that resulted in the death of 1.5 million people?
Most historians and Armenians around the world call it genocide. The Turkish government and the United States are not among those who will officially accept the word “genocide” when speaking of the decimation of the Armenian people in the early part of the 20th Century. (And that list also includes U.S. Presidents.)
The lack of respect given to the Armenian genocide is shocking when you consider the scope and brutality of the event that killed 75 percent of the Armenians — a predominantly Christian group.
Armenia was a trendsetter when it came to Christianity. The country adopted that faith in 301 A.D. This was even before the formation of the Holy Roman Empire. For centuries the Armenian people built a healthy and prosperous country. However, in the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire absorbed Armenia and the Armenians. The non-Muslim Armenians were classified as “infidels” and had to pay higher taxes and saddled with fewer rights than Muslims.
The Ottoman Empire stayed dominant in the region through the 19th century and into the early part of the 20th century. But in the late 1890s, Armenians were growing tired of their status as second class citizens and continued their push for more rights. In 1894, that push was met with a violent response from the Sultan who turned loose his private army on the Armenians. In the ensuing battles between 1894-96, it was reported that as many as 200,000 Armenians were killed by Sultan Abdul Hamid’s troops in what has been called the Hamidian Massacre. However, the killing of the 200,000 Armenian Christians was nothing compared to the 1915 genocide.
What led to the near extermination of the Armenians? It appears a combination of a few factors were working together to create a rabid form of Turkish nationalism that saw the Armenians as the enemies of the state. After all, the non-Muslims were officially considered “infidels” in the eyes of the Turks.
In 1908, a group of young Turks forced the Sultan out and took control of the government. At first they talked of bringing new freedoms to the Armenian people. Unfortunately, those freedoms never were granted by the ruling “Young Turks.” Instead the Armenians were seen as a threat to the shrinking Ottoman Empire.
1912-13 had the Turks losing huge chunks of their land to Christian regions that were breaking away. Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia were all successful in their efforts to leave the Ottoman Empire. This was a devastating loss of power to the Turks and was the spark for even greater nationalism to foment.
Muslim refugees from the now-Christian breakaway countries poured into Istanbul with tales of Christian violence against their families. Some of the more extreme members of the Young Turks formed the Committee of Union & Progress (CUP). The CUP was focused on pushing Turkish nationalism, their chant was “Turkey for the Turks.”
The growing Turkish nationalism was also fuel for more hatred against the Armenian community, especially after Germany and Russia began warring in 1914. Turkey sided with Germany in this conflict. The Turks hoped a defeat of the Russians would help in the prospect of rebuilding their empire. In December of 1914, the Ottoman Turks tried to invade Russia, but suffered a horrible defeat. More than 100,000 Russian troops stormed across the border into Turkey and reports say that more than 5,000 Armenians helped the Russians, some even enlisting in the Russian Army.
This was likely a move that enraged the Turkish leaders who saw the Armenians as a liability. The Armenian members of the military were immediately disarmed and moved into labor camps and subsequently executed.
Not long after that, on April 24th, a group of 250 Armenian intellectual leaders of the community were rounded up and shipped off to a camp where they were killed.
Turkey had killed off the Armenian soldiers and the cultural elites. All that remained was to order the rest of the population to comply with a relocation order that was essentially a death sentence. Most of the Armenians were forced to march for sixty days and many did not survive the trip.
Like the Nazis, many Armenians were also transported via rail. And, also like the Nazis, the Turks forced their victims to purchase tickets for the ride to their own extermination.
The accounts of the atrocities committed against the Armenians is as brutal and disgusting as any you have heard about from Hitler’s attempts to exterminate the Jews from Germany and the world. Small children and old people were marched over mountains and in circles, without food and water, literally until they died. Young Christian girls were defiled by the Turkish soldiers. There are reports that many killed themselves after being raped. The barbaric treatment of the Armenian women went even further.
On page 96 we see the following image on the Armenians being crucified by Turcs.
Figure 6: Crucified Armenian women in the area of the Der-es-Zor.
In her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem (which agrees with Islam’s rules of war). Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross, spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.” Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary filmAuction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs.
Why Won’t America Call It Genocide?
It’s a good bet that Turkey and its leaders do not want to use the term genocide because it would likely cost them considerable sums of money in reparations, as well as the public embarrassment they would have to endure. But what about America?
No American president has officially called the mass killings that started in 1915 “genocide.” President Bush went as far as publicly urging Congress to reject a resolution on the subject.
In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised that, as president, he would acknowledge it, saying; “Armenian genocide is a widely documented fact.”
Despite that very clear language, President Obama was not been so quick to follow up on his campaign promise. After he was elected, on Armenian Remembrance Day, the president issued a statement. The word that was conspicuously absent from the release — genocide. That term was also absent from every single April 24th Armenian Remembrance Day since 2009.
Instead of using the word “genocide” the White House statements all use the term “Meds Yeghern.” What does that mean? Meds Yeghern is an Armenian phrase that has the same meaning as genocide in their language. But Armenians want the world to recognize the atrocity they suffered at the hands of the Turks.
And while our presidents won’t say the word or put it in statements, the Turks are actually forbidden from using it. The word “genocide” is off limits — as in illegal. You can be locked up for saying the word or using it in a story. (The Blaze staff would likely be placed under arrest and receive death threats for this article alone.)
Figure 4: Armenians tortured and violated. Taken on the road from Trapesunt (Trabzon) to Ersnga by a German officer.
So, why won’t a U.S. President call the very well-documented forced removal of 1.5 million people from their homes — many who were forced to march more than 50 miles into the desert where almost certain death awaited them — genocide?
CBS’s “60 Minutes” filed a story that speculated our lack of ability to call this genocide and what it really is: That it might have something to do with America’s military relationship with Turkey and that the country is vital to delivering supplies to our troops on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The “60 Minutes” segment also includes a chilling video shot on the banks of the Euphrates River where it is believed 450,000 of the victims perished. In fact, the remains of the Armenians are so prevalent in the area that all you need to do is scratch the sand along the river banks and you will find pieces of human bones that have been there for 98 years.
The Armenian people are persistent. Ninety-eight years after the genocide began in their country, they still hold out hope that Turkey will recognize what was done to the Armenians. They also hope that America will make good on the promises made by so many presidents.
In the meantime, Armenians are contributing in communities all over the U.S. As a matter of fact, one of the largest Armenian communities in the country is in Watertown, Massachusetts — a town that found itself in the center of the media spotlight this week. Watertown is also the home of the Armenian Library and Musuem of America.
Today, April 24, marks the “Great Crime,” that is, the Armenian genocide that took place under Turkey’s Islamic Ottoman Empire, during and after WWI. Out of an approximate population of two million, some 1.5 million Armenians died. If early 20th century Turkey had the apparatuses and technology to execute in mass—such as 1940s Germany’s gas chambers—the entire Armenian population may well have been annihilated. Mostobjective American historians who have studied the question unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide:
More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse. A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century. At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000…. Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.
A still frame from the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, which portrayed eye witnessed events from the Armenian Genocide, including crucified Christian girls.
Indeed, evidence has been overwhelming. U.S. Senate Resolution 359 from 1920 heard testimony that included evidence of “[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death [which] have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.” In her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem (which agrees with Islam’s rules of war). Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross, spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.” Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs.
What do Americans know of the Armenian Genocide? To be sure, some American high school textbooks acknowledge it. However, one of the primary causes for it—perhaps the fundamental cause—is completely unacknowledged: religion. The genocide is always articulated through a singularly secular paradigm, one that deems valid only those factors that are intelligible from a modern, secular, Western point of view, such as identity politics, nationalism, and territorial disputes. As can be imagined, such an approach does little more than project Western perspectives onto vastly different civilizations of different eras, thus anachronizing history.
War, of course, is another factor that clouds the true face of the Armenian genocide. Because these atrocities occurred during WWI, so the argument goes, they are ultimately a reflection of just that—war, in all its chaos and destruction, and nothing more. Yet Winston Churchill, who described the massacres as an “administrative holocaust,” correctly observed that “The opportunity [WWI] presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race.” Even Adolf Hitler had pointed out that “Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.”
It is the same today throughout the Muslim world, wherever there is war: after the U.S. toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the nation’s Christian minority were first to be targeted for systematic persecution resulting in more than half of Iraq’s indigenous Christian population fleeing their homeland. Now that war has come to Syria—with the U.S. supporting the jihadis and terrorists—the Christians there are on the run for their lives.
Figure 8: Skull of Armenians burnt alive in the village of Ali-Srnan. Source: Armjanskij Central’nyj Komitet (Izd.): ,Al’bom’’ armjan’-bežencev’’. Tiflis (um 1918) Ref. Nr.: 91 From: http://www.aga-online.org
Figure 9: Mass grave containing the bodies of killed Armenians. From Deutsche Welle, dw-world.de 24.04.2005
There is no denying that religion—or in this context, the age-old specter of Muslim persecution of Christian minorities—was fundamental to the Armenian Genocide. Even the most cited factor, ethnic identity conflict, while legitimate, must be understood in light of the fact that, historically, religion—creed—accounted more for a person’s identity than language or heritage. This is daily demonstrated throughout the Islamic world today, where Muslim governments and Muslim mobs persecute Christian minorities—minorities who share the same ethnicity, language, and culture, who are indistinguishable from the majority, except, of course, for being non-Muslims.
If Christians are thus being singled out today—in our modern, globalized, “humanitarian” age—are we to suppose that they weren’t singled out a century ago by Turks?
Similarly, often forgotten is the fact that non-Armenians under Turkish hegemony, Assyrians and Greeks for example, were also targeted for cleansing. The only thing that distinguished Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks from Turks was that they were all Christian. As one Armenian studies professor asks, “If it [the Armenian Genocide] was a feud between Turks and Armenians, what explains the genocide carried out by Turkey against the Christian Assyrians at the same time?”
Today, as Turkey continues moving back to reclaiming its Islamic heritage, so too has Christian persecution returned. If Turks taunted their crucified Armenian victims by saying things like “Now let your Christ come and help you,” just last January, an 85-year-old Christian Armenian woman was repeatedly stabbed to death in her apartment, and a crucifix carved onto her naked corpse. Another elderly Armenian woman was punched in the head and, after collapsing to the floor, repeatedly kicked by a masked man. According to the report, “the attack marks the fifth in the past two months against elderly Armenian women,” one of whom lost an eye. Elsewhere, pastors of church congregations with as little as 20 people are targeted for killing and spat upon in the streets. A 12-year-old Christian boy was beaten by his teacher and harassed by students for wearing a crossaround his neck, and three Christians were “satanically tortured” before having their throats slit for publishing Bibles.
Outside of Turkey, what is happening to the Christians of today from one end of the Muslim world to the other is a reflection of what happened to the Armenian Christians of yesterday. We can learn about the past by looking at the present. From Indonesia in the east to Morocco in the west, from Central Asia in the north, to sub-Sahara Africa—that is, throughout the entire Islamic world—Muslims are, to varying degrees, persecuting, killing, raping, enslaving, torturing and dislocating Christians. See my new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for a comprehensive account of one of the greatest—yet, like the Armenian Genocide, little known—atrocities of our times.
Here is one relevant example to help appreciate the patterns and parallels: in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria, Muslims, led by the Islamic organization, Boko Haram (“Western Education is Forbidden”) are waging a bloody jihad on the Christian minoritiesin their midst. These two groups—black Nigerian Muslims and black Nigerian Christians—are identical in all ways except, of course, for being Muslims and Christians. And what is Boko Haram’s objective in all this carnage? To cleanse northern Nigeria of all Christians—a goal rather reminiscent of Ottoman policies of cleansing Turkey of all Christians, whether Armenian, Assyrian, or Greek.
How does one explain this similar pattern of Christian persecution—this desire to be cleansed of Christians—in lands so different from one another as Nigeria and Turkey, lands which share neither race, language, nor culture, which share only Islam? Meanwhile, the modern Islamic world’s response to the persecution of Christians is identical to Turkey’s response to the Armenian Genocide: Denial.
Finally, to understand how the historic Armenian Genocide is representative of the modern day plight of Christians under Islam, one need only read the following words written in 1918 by President Theodore Roosevelt—but read “Armenian” as “Christian” and “Turkish” as “Islamic”:
the Armenian [Christian] massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey [the Islamic world] is to condone it… the failure to deal radically with the Turkish [Islamic] horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense.
Indeed, if we “fail to deal radically” with the “horror” currently being visited upon millions of Christians around the Islamic world—which in some areas has reached genocidal proportions—we “condone it” and had better cease talking “mischievous nonsense” of a utopian world of peace and tolerance.
Put differently, silence is always the ally of those who would commit genocide.
In 1915, Adolf Hitler rationalized his genocidal plans, which he implemented some three decades later, when he rhetorically asked: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
And who speaks today of the annihilation of Christians under Islam?
Armenian civilians, escorted by armed Ottoman soldiers, are marched through Harput(known as Kharpert by Armenians, the kaza of the Mamuret-ul Aziz), to a prison in the nearby Mezireh (Ottoman: Mazraa, present-day Elâzığ), April 1915
Armenians from Kesaria in front of jail one hour before all were murdered
Armenians oone hour before they were murdered. One can see they were business men yet the Turks are putting out propaganda that they were plotting against them and had weapons hidden in their homes. This is their single excuse for the genocide they committed. Genocide photo Genocide photo
The Massacre of 1.5 Million Armenian Christians by Muslim Turks that Inspired Hitler’s Holocaust
You can read more about the genocide here, and view more shocking images here. From the Mail Online:
When the Turkish gendarmes came for Mugrditch Nazarian, they did not give him time to dress, but took him from his home in the dead of night in his pyjamas.
The year was 1915, and his wife, Varter, knew that she was unlikely to see her husband alive again. Armenian men like him were being rounded up and taken away. In the words of their persecutors, they were being “deported” – but not to an earthly place.
Varter never found out what fate her husband suffered. Some said he was shot, others that he was among the men held in jail, who suffered torture so unbearable that they poured the kerosene from prison lamps over their heads and turned themselves into human pyres as a release from the agony.
Heavily pregnant, Varter was ordered to join a death convoy marching women and children to desert concentration camps.
Genocide:The Ottoman Turks murdered more than 1.5million Armenians between 1915 and 1917
She survived the journey alone – her six children died along the way. The two youngest were thrown to their deaths down a mountainside by Turkish guards; the other four starved to death at the bottom of a well where they had hidden to escape.
Varter herself was abducted by a man who promised to save her – but raped her instead. Eventually, she was released to mourn her lost family, the victims of Europe’s forgotten holocaust.
A Turk teasing starving children with bread!!!!!
The killing of 1.5m Armenians by the Ottoman Turks during World War I remains one of the bloodiest and most contentious events of the 20th century, and has been called the first modern genocide.
In all, 25 concentration camps were set up in a systematic slaughter aimed at eradicating the Armenian people – classed as “vermin” by the Turks.
Winston Churchill described the massacres as an “administrative holocaust” and noted: “This crime was planned and executed for political reasons. The opportunity presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race.”
Chillingly, Adolf Hitler used the episode to justify the Nazi murder of six million Jews, saying in 1939: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
Yet, carried out under the cover of war, the Armenian genocide remains shrouded in mystery – not least because modern-day Turkey refuses to acknowledge the existence of its killing fields.
Now, new photographs of the horror have come to light. They come from the archives of the German Deutsche Bank, which was working in the region financing a railway network when the killing began.
Unearthed by award-winning war correspondent Robert Fisk, they were taken by employees of the bank to document the terror unfolding before them.
They show young men, crammed into cattle trucks, waiting to travel to their deaths. The Turks crowded 90 starving and terrified Armenians into each wagon, the same number the Nazis averaged in their transports to the death camps of Eastern Europe during the Jewish Holocaust.
Behind each grainy image lies a human tragedy. Destitute women and children stare past the camera, witness to untold savagery.
Almost all young women were raped according to Fisk, while older women were beaten to death – they did not merit the expense of a bullet. Babies were left by the side of the road to die.
Often, attractive young Armenian girls were sent to Turkish harems, where some lived in enforced prostitution until the mid-1920s.
Many other archive photographs testify to the sheer brutality suffered by the Armenians: children whose knee tendons were severed, a young woman who starved to death beside her two small children, and a Turkish official taunting starving Armenian children with a loaf of bread.
THOSE WHO FELL BY THE WAYSIDE. Scenes like this were common all over the Armenian provinces, in the spring and summer months of 1915. Death in its several forms—massacre, starvation, exhaustion—destroyed the larger part of the refugees. Image taken from Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story, written by Henry Morgenthau, Sr. and published in 1918.
Eyewitness accounts are even more graphic. Foreign diplomats posted in the Ottoman Empire at the time told of the atrocities, but were powerless to act.
One described the concentration camps, saying: “As on the gates of Dante’s Hell, the following should be written at the entrance of these accursed encampments: ‘You who enter, leave all hopes.’”
So how exactly did the events of 1915-17 unfold? Just as Hitler wanted a Nazi-dominated world that would be Judenrein – cleansed of its Jews – so in 1914 the Ottoman Empire wanted to construct a Muslim empire that would stretch from Istanbul to Manchuria.
Armenia, an ancient Christian civilisation spreading out from the eastern end of the Black Sea, stood in its way.
At the turn of the 20th century, there were two million Christian Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. Already, 200,000 had been killed in a series of pogroms – most of them brutally between 1894 and 1896.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I against the Allies and launched a disastrous military campaign against Russian forces in the Caucasus. It blamed defeat on the Armenians, claiming they had colluded with the Russians.
A prominent Turkish writer at the time described the war as “the awaited day” when the Turks would exact “revenge, the horrors of which have not yet been recorded in history”.
Through the final months of 1914, the Ottoman government put together a number of “Special Organisation” units, armed gangs consisting of thousands of convicts specifically released from prison for the purpose.
These killing squads of murderers and thieves were to perpetrate the greatest crimes in the genocide. They were the first state bureaucracy to implement mass killings for the purpose of race extermination. One army commander described them at the time as the “butchers of the human species”.
On the night of April 24, 1915 – the anniversary of which is marked by Armenians around the world – the Ottoman government moved decisively, arresting 250 Armenian intellectuals. This was followed by the arrest of a further 2,000.
Turkey refuses to acknowledge the killing fields
Some died from torture in custody, while many were executed in public places. The resistance poet, Daniel Varoujan, was found disembowelled, with his eyes gouged out.
One university professor was made to watch his colleagues have their fingernails and toenails pulled out, before being blinded. He eventually lost his mind, and was let loose naked into the streets.
There were reports of crucifixions, at which the Turks would torment their victims: “Now let your Christ come and help you!”
Johannes Lepsius, a German pastor who tried to protect the Armenians, said: “The armed gangs saw their main task as raiding and looting Armenian villages. If the men escaped their grasp, they would rape the women.”
So began a carefully orchestrated campaign to eradicate the Armenians. Throughout this period, Ottoman leaders deceived the world, orchestrating the slaughter using code words in official telegrams.
At later war crimes trials, several military officers testified that the word “deportation” was used to mean “massacre” or “annihilation”.
Between May and August 1915, the Armenian population of the eastern provinces was deported and murdered en masse.
The American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, said: “Squads of 50 or 100 men would be taken, bound together in groups of four, and marched to a secluded spot.
“Suddenly the sound of rifle shots would fill the air. Those sent to bury the bodies would find them almost invariably stark naked, for, as usual, the Turks had stolen all their clothes.”
In urban areas, a town crier was used to deliver the deportation order, and the entire male population would be taken outside the city limits and killed – “slaughtered like sheep”.
Women and children would then be executed, deported to concentration camps or simply turned out into the deserts and left to starve to death.
An American diplomat described the deportations or death marches: “A massacre, however horrible the word may sound, would be humane in comparison with it.”
An eyewitness who came upon a convoy of deportees reported that the women implored him: “Save us! We will become Muslims! We will become Germans! We will become anything you want, just save us! They are going to cut our throats!”
Walking skeletons begged for food, and women threw their babies into lakes rather than hand them over to the Turks.
There was mass looting and pillaging of Armenian goods. It is reported that civilians burned bodies to find the gold coins the Armenians swallowed for safekeeping.
Conditions in the concentration camps were appalling. The majority were located near the modern Iraqi and Syrian frontiers, in the desert between Jerablus and Deir ez-Zor – described as “the epicentre of death”. Up to 70,000 Armenians were herded into each camp, where dysentery and typhus were rife.
There, they were left to starve or die of thirst in the burning sun, with no shelter. In some cases, the living were forced to eat the dead. Few survived.
In four days alone, from 10-14 June 1915, the gangs ‘eliminated’ some 25,000 people in the Kemah Erzincan area alone.
In September 1915, the American consul in Kharput, Leslie A. Davis, reported discovering the bodies of nearly 10,000 Armenians dumped into several ravines near beautiful Lake Goeljuk, calling it the “slaughterhouse province”.
Tales of atrocity abound. Historians report that the killing squads dashed infants on rocks in front of their mothers.
One young boy remembered his grandfather, the village priest, kneeling down to pray for mercy before the Turks. Soldiers beheaded him, and played football with the old man’s decapitated head before his devastated family.
At the horrific Ras-ul-Ain camp near Urfa, two German railway engineers reported seeing three to four hundred women arrive in one day, completely naked. One witness told how Sergeant Nuri, the overseer of the camp, bragged about raping children.
An American, Mrs Anna Harlowe Birge, who was travelling from Smyrna to Constantinople, wrote in November 1915: “At every station where we stopped, we came side by side with one of these trains. It was made up of cattle trucks, and the faces of little children were looking out from behind the tiny barred windows of each truck.”
In her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem. From a wealthy banking family, she was just one of thousands of Armenian girls to suffer a similar fate. Many were eventually killed and discarded.
In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 girls crucified, vultures eating their corpses. “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross, spikes through her feet and hands,” Mardiganian wrote. “Only their hair blown by the wind covered their bodies.”
In another town, she reports that the killing squads played “the game of swords” with young Armenian girls, planting their weapons in the ground and throwing their victims onto the protruding blade in sport.
Elsewhere, bodies tied to each other drifted down the Euphrates. And in the Black Sea region, the Armenians were herded onto boats and then thrown overboard.
In the desert regions, the Turks set up primitive gas chambers, stuffing Armenians into caves and asphyxiating them with brush fires.
Everywhere, there were Armenian corpses: in lakes and rivers, in empty desert cisterns and village wells. Travellers reported that the stench of death pervaded the landscape.
One Turkish gendarme told a Norwegian nurse serving in Erzincan that he had accompanied a convoy of 3,000 people. Some were summarily executed in groups along the way; those too sick or exhausted to march were killed where they fell. He concluded: “They’re all gone, finished.”
By 1917, the Armenian ‘problem’, as it was described by Ottoman leaders, had been thoroughly “resolved”. Muslim families were brought in to occupy empty villages.
Even after the war, the Ottoman ministers were not repentant. In 1920, they praised those responsible for the genocide, saying: “These things were done to secure the future of our homeland, which we know is greater and holier than even our own lives.”
The British government pushed for those responsible for the killing to be punished, and in 1919 a war crimes tribunal was set up.
The use of the word “genocide” in describing the massacre of Armenians has been hotly contested by Turkey. Ahead of the nation’s accession to the EU, it is even more politically inflammatory.
The official Turkish position remains that 600,000 or so Armenians died as a result of war. They deny any state intention to wipe out Armenians and the killings remain taboo in the country, where it is illegal to use the term genocide to describe the events of those bloody years.
Internationally, 21 countries have recognised the killings as genocide under the UN 1948 definition. Armenian campaigners believe Turkey should be denied EU membership until it admits responsibility for the massacres.
Just as in the Nazi Holocaust, there were many tales of individual acts of great courage by Armenians and Turks alike.
Haji Halil, a Muslim Turk, kept eight members of his mother’s Armenian family safely hidden in his home, risking death.
In some areas, groups of Kurds followed the deportation convoys and saved as many people as they could. Many mothers gave their children to Turkish and Kurdish families to save them from death.
The Governor-General of Aleppo stood up to Ottoman officials and tried to prevent deportations from his region, but failed.
He later recalled: “I was like a man standing by a river without any means of rescue. But instead of water, the river flowed with blood and thousands of innocent children, blameless old men, helpless women and strong young people all on their way to destruction.
“Those I could seize with my hands I saved. The others, I assume, floated downstream, never to return.”
Cover of the Turkish version of a study by Wolfgang Gust.
Berlin, Germany – “Especially as 2015 approaches, the pressure will increase. Turkey will, as it has done before, react harshly. It will utter threats, but they will remain ineffective.
“Do you know why? It is because the Armenians have gotten a significant part of the world to accept their claims of genocide.”
Who is speaking here? Is it a Diaspora Armenian bragging about progress towards Turkish recognition of the 1915 genocide? That might seem most likely. But, no, these are the words of a Turkish journalist writing in the pages of the daily, Hürriyet.(1) The article, entitled, “We are surrendering ourselves to ‘genocide,’” appeared in the April 28th edition of the paper. Although Hürriyet is generally considered rather nationalistic, the commentator Mehmet Ali Birand is known as a liberal. He is not bragging. Quite the contrary: he raises the alarm that, as the centenary of the genocide looms, Turkey may finally be forced to acknowledge its occurrence.
The reason for concern he identifies in the circulation of a new book in Turkish, a hefty 1000 pages long, which presents irrefutable evidence of genocide. The book, issued on January 12, 2012 by Belge Publishing House – whose owner Ragip Zarakolu was recently put on trial on hoked-up charges – contains translations “into an extremely comprehensible and beautiful Turkish” of documents from the German Foreign Ministry archives during the First World War. Wolfgang Gust, “the famous German journalist and writer,” put it together; first published in German in 2005, Birand tells us that it also exists in other languages. It is entitled, Alman Belgeleri: Ermeni Soykirimi 1915-1916 (German Documents: Armenian Genocide 1915-1916).(2)
His assessment of the power of the documents is straightforward. “Without going into detail,” he writes, “if you read the book and look at the documents, if you are a person who is introduced to the subject through this book, then there is no way that you would not believe in the genocide and justify the Armenians. Even if you are an expert on the subject,” he adds, “or have researched what went on from the Turkish side, again, you will be confused. You will have many questions.”
Birand concludes his somewhat agitated report with a challenge directed to the leaders of his nation. “Now, I want to ask all Turkish officials: In the last 50 years, have you done such a study? Have you researched international sources and – however biased or one-sided it may be – have you been able to publish such a book? What kind of study have you made – moving outside our own sources – that would convince the international public? Were you limited to or satisfied with using only Turkish archives because you could not find plausible documents or evidence?” And his conclusion is brutal. “Let us not deceive each other: If you can give answers to these questions, then you will be able to clarify some very key facts for us.” But will they do so? Birand’s view: “I know you will be silent.”
The Turkish edition of Gust’s monumental compilation of historical records has indeed shaken the fragile edifice of lies and distortions which constitute the official Turkish denial of events. It is one thing if historical records on the genocide from Armenian sources — or American or British archives — are published, because denialists can shrug them off as “propaganda” by Turkey’s wartime adversaries. It is quite another matter when detailed accounts of the atrocities and official discussions about the extermination policy originate from the archives of Turkey’s wartime ally Germany – and that they now appear in Turkish translation.
In October 2011 another book containing much of the same documentation had appeared in Turkish, translated and with a lengthy introduction by Serdar Dincer. This book, entitled Alman-Türk Silah Arkadasligi ve Ermeniler, was published by Iletisim Yayinevi publishing house and was reviewed, among other places, in AGOS, the Istanbul-based paper of the late Hrant Dink. Dincer, who lives in Berlin, drew his material from the same archives, and stressed the role of German militarism in his analysis. In addition to positive reviews in AGOS and Radikal, several Turkish journalists picked up the themes without directly citing the source, possibly because they objected to left-leaning references in the introduction; others, seeking to deny that genocide occurred, picked out isolated references to argue that the Armenians had been “terrorists” and deserved to be deported, etc. Prior to the appearance of Dincer’s book, other volumes claiming to deal with the German documents had appeared, among them one whose leitmotif was that the “Armenians are lying.”
Blame it on the Germans
The more serious writers who attempt to blunt the impact of the documents as Gust presented them seize on the German connection and distort it. Ümit Kardas, a retired military judge, published a major piece in Today’s Zaman, a leading Turkish daily on May 20 , in which he tried to twist the facts.(3) Entitled, “German militarism’s connivance with Committee of Union and Progress,” the article identifies the book issued by Wolfgang Gust and his wife Sigrid explicitly, then proceeds to argue that it was German militarism which was ultimately responsible for the genocide.
Kardas writes that the Germans “perceived the region as an area of interest as a German colony,” and, through their military alliance with Turkey, “meddled with the political affairs of the CUP.” He claims that “Non-Muslim groups living in the Ottoman Empire posed an obstacle to Germany’s economic and ideological aspirations in the East” and “Thus began the connivance of German militarism with the CUP for inhumane practices against non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire.” The author states that “Germany’s policies … had overlapped with the CUP’s policy of homogenizing the country,” i.e. turning it into a Turkish Muslim state. He quotes a passage from one of the documents which refers to those Turks and Arabs who disapproved of the massacres, and who held the Germans responsible “as Turkey’s schoolmaster” during the war. Kardas ends with this assertion: “The conclusion confirmed by the documents published by Gust is that German military officers as agents of German militarism endorsed the forced relocation, and they found military justifications for it…. And the CUP leaders violently implemented its Turkification and Islamification policies with support and connivance from Germany.”
The Armenian Genocide is corroborated by the international scholarly, legal, and human rights community:
1) Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin, when he coined the term genocide in 1944, cited the Turkish extermination of the Armenians and the Nazi extermination of the Jews as defining examples of what he meant by genocide.
2) The killings of the Armenians is genocide as defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
3) In 1997 the International Association of Genocide Scholars, an organization of the world’s foremost experts on genocide, unanimously passed a formal resolution affirming the Armenian Genocide.
4) 126 leading scholars of the Holocaust including Elie Wiesel and Yehuda Bauer placed a statement in the New York Times in June 2000 declaring the “incontestable fact of the Armenian Genocide” and urging western democracies to acknowledge it.
5) The Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide (Jerusalem), and the Institute for the Study of Genocide (NYC) have affirmed the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide.
6) Leading texts in the international law of genocide such as William A. Schabas’s Genocide in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2000) cite the Armenian Genocide as a precursor to the Holocaust and as a precedent for the law on crimes against humanity.
Armenian Patriarchate sues Turkey for land
Most people think the Armenian Genocide was purely about Turks killing Armenians. However, a prime motivator for the killing of 1.5 million Armenians living in Turkey was greed and the redistribution of wealth. The Ottoman Turkish rulers wanted to take possession of the property belonging to its wealthy Armenian minority. They succeeded.
Throughout the deportation, eyewitness testimonies repeat stories of Turkish officials seeking bribes in the form of gold coins, rugs, jewelry, and so on.
Talaat Pasha (one of the architects of the Armenian Genocide) had the audacity to ask the American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau for the life insurance policies of his victims, because he reasoned the Turkish Government had become the beneficiary of the policies since his victims left no heirs.
Contrary to common belief, not all killings were perpetrated by chetes (criminal gangs) and Turkish soldiers. Townsfolk throughout Anatolia were promised the homes and belongings of their Armenian neighbors. After they were taught to hate the Armenians for being giavurs or gavoors, which means ’infidels’ or ‘non-believers’, it was frighteningly easy to whip the people into frenzied kitchen-knife welding mobs capable of murdering their neighbors.
The Turkish government enabled and encouraged the mass looting that took place everywhere the Armenians had once lived. In many instances, Turkey’s governing leaders relocated Kurds and Muslim peoples from the Balkans and other areas to depopulated Armenian communities (immediately following their mass killing and deportation). The Ottoman Turks’ destruction of its Armenian Christian minority created an ‘instant’ Muslim middle class.
Ottoman government archives containing records of land deeds are not accessible to descendants of the Armenian Turkish citizens who were either killed or expelled from their land. One of the obstacles to Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide is its fear of reparations.
Many of the Armenian churches not destroyed by the Turks were converted to Mosques. Some Armenian churches (including the sacred Aktamar site) are profitable enterprises employed by Turkey as part of its thriving tourism industry.
Even Mount Ararat, the ancestral homeland and pride of the Armenian people, now lies within Turkey’s borders. A few weeks ago, I saw a Turkish tourism advertisement prominently featuring Mount Ararat with a depiction of Noah’s Ark. Of course, there was no mention of the Armenians, believed to be the descendants of Noah’s son, Japheth.
Excellent Video: 1915 AGHET – The Armenian Genocide (In English)
Published on Apr 15, 2013
Documentation about the Armenian genocide in 1915 which Turkey denies down to the present day. The documentation is based on reports of, amongst others, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, the American National Archives, the Library of Congress and archives in France, Denmark, Sweden, Armenia, Russia and Turkey. These documents, hidden for a long time in order not to harm Turkey, leave absolutely no room for doubt about the reality of the Armenian genocide.
Muslim demonstraters in Germany demand withdrawl of Aremenian Genocide part from German textbooks
Close to two million Armenian Christians were slaughtered by the Muslims — that cannot be erased, that cannot be removed. The Armenian genocide was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its Armenian minority (and other relgious minorities) from their historic homeland in what is now Turkey. Other Christian groups, the Assyrians, the Greeks and other minorities, were also targeted for extermination. By Gd, Turkish Muslims shouldn’t be demanding that this history be scrubbed from the books; they should be apologizing and making amends, begging for forgiveness. Sick.
As for the Germans, I expect they, more than any other nation, will be sensitive to hiding or scrubbing a genocide from their history books. Right?
“Turkish demonstrators in Germany demand withdrawal of Armenian Genocide part from German text-books” Tert.am, June 24, 2014 (thanks to Armaros)
Turks have gathered in German Dusseldorf demanding withdrawal of ‘In 1915 Turks committed genocide against Armenians’ formulation from history text-books.
According to Time Turk about 8 thousand signatures have been gathered in favor of it.
They have organized a rally in Dusseldorf trying to draw the attention on the gathered signatures.
One of the participants of the rally Ali Soilenmezoglu stated they demand the both parties to study the topic and give their response, otherwise they will continue the rallies.
Beispiel 5: Türkei
Christen führen ein Dasein als Bürger zweiter Klasse
Der Staatsgründer Attatürk selbst würde in der jetzigen Türkei als „Ungläubiger“ und Feind des türkischen Volkes gebrandmarkt. War doch für ihn der Islam nichts weiter als „die absurde Theologie eines unmoralischen Beduinen.“ Seltsam nur, dass diese Worte ihres Staatsgründers bis zum heutigen Tage weder von türkischen noch Muslimen anderer Saaten als Prophetenbeleidigung verstanden werden.
Von dereinst 250.000 Griechisch-Orthodoxen in Istanbul sind knapp 2.000 übriggeblieben, von mehr als 2 Millionen christlichen Armeniern (in osmanischer Zeit) leben noch ganze 80.000 im Land. Die Ermordung von mehr als 1,5 Millionen christlicher Armenier durch die Jung-Türken gilt unter Historikern als erster Genozid im 20. Jahrhundert.
Claude Mutafian, Universität Paris, schilderte die Geschichte der türkischen Verleugnung des Völkermordes. Kemal Atatürk, Gründer der Türkei, verleugnete die Existenz der Armenier, um den Anspruch der Türkvölker aus Mittelasien auf die Türkei zu rechtfertigen. Erst 1965, mit dem Segen der Sowjetunion, “erwachten die Armenier”, um den NATO-Partner Türkei an den Pranger zu stellen. Die Türkei argumentierte mit einem “Aufstand der Armenier” und “tragischen Kriegsereignissen”. Raymond Kevorkian, Universität Paris, beschrieb die Radikalisierung der Jungtürken nach den Balkankriegen und dem Zusammenbruch des Osmanischen Reiches. “Der Prozess eines sozialen Darwinismus setzte ein. Für die Türken galt gegenüber den Armeniern, der größten nicht-türkischen Volksgruppe neben Griechen, Juden und arabischen Syrern, das Prinzip: du oder ich.” Kevorkian erzählt, wie die Armenier ausgeraubt, deportiert und schließlich ermordet wurden. Den Jungtürken ging es um eine “demografische Homogenisierung”. Im März 1915 wurden “Sondereinheiten” zwecks “Liquidierung” der Armenier eingesetzt. Sie wurden in 30 “Schlachthäusern” konzentriert. Beim Euphrates wurden sie durch enge Schluchten gejagt. Frauen und Kinder wurden “ausgefiltert”, während die Männer ermordet wurden. Die Befehle kamen per Feldtelefon. Die Mörder behaupteten, “Dienst für die Heimat” geleistet und “Fremdkörper entfernt” zu haben. Obgleich dem Islam abgeneigt, hätten die Jungtürken die Religion für einen “ethnischen Nationalismus” instrumentalisiert.
Vergessen ist der zeitgleich stattgefundene Völkermord an über 500.000 christlichen Aramäern. Die Leidensgeschichte der aramäischen Christen ist weitgehend unbekannt; der ottomanisch-türkische Massenmord an über 500.000 von ihnen im Ersten Weltkrieg ist bisher von keinem einzigen Staat offiziell verurteilt worden.
Der heute in der Schweiz lebende Aramäer Simon sieht für die aramäischen Christen in der Türkei keine Zukunft: „Aufgrund von Anschlägen und Diskriminierung leben nur noch zwei- bis dreitausend aramäische Christen in der Türkei. Hunderttausende sind wie ich ins Ausland ausgewandert oder geflohen. In wenigen Jahrzehnten werden wohl nur noch Geschichtsbücher über das einstmals blühende Leben der aramäischen Christen in der Türkei Auskunft geben. Ohne Unterstützung einer breiten Öffentlichkeit im Ausland können die aramäischen Christen in der Türkei nicht überleben.“ Heute ist der Islamunterricht an der Volksschule für die wenigen übriggebliebenen aramäischen Christen in der Türkei obligatorisch. Wer als Christ beim Staat arbeitet oder in der Armee dient, muss massive Benachteiligungen in Kauf nehmen…..
The photograph – never published before – was apparently taken in the summer of 1915. Human skulls are scattered over the earth. They are all that remain of a handful of Armenians slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks during the First World War. Behind the skulls, posing for the camera, are three Turkish officers in tall, soft hats and a man, on the far right, who is dressed in Kurdish clothes. But the two other men are Germans, both dressed in the military flat caps, belts and tunics of the Kaiserreichsheer, the Imperial German Army. It is an atrocity snapshot – just like those pictures the Nazis took of their soldiers posing before Jewish Holocaust victims a quarter of a century later.
Did the Germans participate in the mass killing of Christian Armenians in 1915? This is not the first photograph of its kind; yet hitherto the Germans have been largely absolved of crimes against humanity during the first holocaust of the 20th century. German diplomats in Turkish provinces during the First World War recorded the forced deportations and mass killing of a million and a half Armenian civilians with both horror and denunciation of the Ottoman Turks, calling the Turkish militia-killers “scum”. German parliamentarians condemned the slaughter in the Reichstag.
Indeed, a German army medical officer, Armin Wegner, risked his life to take harrowing photographs of dying and dead Armenians during the genocide. In 1933, Wegner pleaded with Hitler on behalf of German Jews, asking what would become of Germany if he continued his persecution. He was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo and is today recognised at the Yad Vashem Jewish Holocaust memorial in Israel; some of his ashes are buried at the Armenian Genocide Museum in the capital, Yerevan.
It is this same Armenian institution and its energetic director, Hayk Demoyan, which discovered this latest photograph. It was found with other pictures of Turks standing beside skulls, the photographs attached to a long-lost survivor’s testimony. All appear to have been taken at a location identified as “Yerznka” – the town of Erzinjan, many of whose inhabitants were murdered on the road to Erzerum. Erzinjan was briefly captured by Russian General Nikolai Yudenich from the Turkish 3rd Army in June of 1916, and Armenians fighting on the Russian side were able to gather much photographic and documentary evidence of the genocide against their people the previous year. Russian newspapers – also archived at the Yerevan museum – printed graphic photographs of the killing fields. Then the Russians were forced to withdraw.
Wegner took many photographs at the end of the deportation trail in what is now northern Syria, where tens of thousands of Armenians died of cholera and dysentery in primitive concentration camps. However, the museum in Yerevan has recently uncovered more photos taken in Rakka and Ras al-Ayn, apparently in secret by Armenian survivors. One picture – captioned in Armenian, “A caravan of Armenian refugees at Ras al-Ayn” – shows tents and refugees. The photograph seems to have been shot from a balcony overlooking the camp.
Another, captioned in German “Armenian camp in Rakka”, may have been taken by one of Wegner’s military colleagues, showing a number of men and women among drab-looking tents. Alas, almost all those Armenians who survived the 1915 death marches to Ras al-Ayn and Rakka were executed the following year when the Turkish-Ottoman genocide caught up with them.
Some German consuls spoke out against Turkey. The Armenian-American historian Peter Balakian has described how a German Protestant petition to Berlin protested that “since the end of May, the deportation of the entire Armenian population from all the Anatolian Vilayets [governorates] and Cilicia in the Arabian steppes south of the Baghdad-Berlin railway had been ordered”. As the Deutsche Bank was funding the railway, its officials were appalled to see its rolling stock packed with Armenian male deportees and transported to places of execution. Furthermore, Professor Balakian and other historians have traced how some of the German witnesses to the Armenian holocaust played a role in the Nazi regime.
Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath, for example, was attached to the Turkish 4th Army in 1915 with instructions to monitor “operations” against the Armenians; he later became Hitler’s foreign minister and “Protector of Bohemia and Moravia” during Reinhard Heydrich’s terror in Czechoslovakia. Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg was consul at Erzerum from 1915-16 and later Hitler’s ambassador to Moscow.
Rudolf Hoess was a German army captain in Turkey in 1916; from 1940-43, he was commandant of the Auschwitz extermination camp and then deputy inspector of concentration camps at SS headquarters. He was convicted and hanged by the Poles at Auschwitz in 1947.
We may never know, however, the identity of the two officers standing so nonchalantly beside the skulls of Erzinjan.
The Kurds have acknowledged and apologized for their role in the Armenian Genocide. They led the genocide at the behest of the Turks as they were promised their own state which didn’t come to pass instead they were the next in the line of Turkish fire! It would be a good thing if Turkey would also acknowledge and apologize for their role.
And then there’s Germany and the Rothchild Deutsche Bank which always appears to be around when there’s money to be made despite the cost of human lives. They helped Hitler so why not the Turks since nothing is beyond the pale insofar as they’re concerned.
From Dayton Ohio Daily Newspaper, 1924, after the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne, which allowed the Turkish Republic to not bear the responsibility for the Armenian Genocide (then called massacres) in the Ottoman Empire.
Central Committee of the Young Turk Party – Revolution Declaration – (note the Holy Cross over the door of the building.)
Fact Sheet: The Armenian Genocide
The University of Michigan-Dearborn Research
Dearborn, MI 48128
The Armenian Genocide was carried out by the “Young Turk” government of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916 (with subsidiaries to 1922-23). One and a half million Armenians were killed, out of a total of two and a half million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
Most Armenians in America are children or grandchildren of the survivors, although there are still many survivors amongst us.
Armenians all over the world commemorate this great tragedy on April 24, because it was on that day in 1915 when 300 Armenian leaders, writers, thinkers and professionals in Constantinople (present day Istanbul) were rounded up, deported and killed. Also on that day in Constantinople, 5,000 of the poorest Armenians were butchered in the streets and in their homes.
The Armenian Genocide was masterminded by the Central Committee of the Young Turk Party [Committee for Union and Progress (CUP)] – in Turkish – [Ittihad ve Terakki Cemiyet] which was dominated by Mehmed Talât [Pasha], Ismail Enver [Pasha], and Ahmed Djemal [Pasha]. They were a racist group whose ideology was articulated by Zia Gökalp, Dr. Mehmed Nazim, and Dr. Behaeddin Shakir.
The Armenian Genocide was directed by a Special Organization (Teshkilati Mahsusa) set up by the Committee of Union and Progress, which created special “butcher battalions,” made up of violent criminals released from prison.
Some righteous Ottoman officials such as Celal, governor of Aleppo; Mazhar, governor of Ankara; and Reshid, governor of Kastamonu, were dismissed for not complying with the extermination campaign. Any common Turks who protected Armenians were killed.
First the Armenians in the army were disarmed, placed into labor battalions, and then killed.
Then the Armenian political and intellectual leaders were rounded up on April 24, 1915, and then killed.
Finally, the remaining Armenians were called from their homes, told they would be relocated, and then marched off to concentration camps in the desert between Jerablus and Deir ez-Zor where they would starve and thirst to death in the burning sun.
On the march, often they would be denied food and water, and many were brutalized and killed by their “guards” or by “marauders.” The authorities in Trebizond, on the Black Sea coast, did vary this routine: they loaded Armenians on barges and sank them out at sea.
The Turkish government today denies that there was an Armenian genocide and claims that Armenians were only removed from the eastern “war zone.” The Armenian Genocide, however, occurred all over Anatolia [present-day Turkey], and not just in the so-called “war zone.” Deportations and killings occurred in the west, in and around Ismid (Izmit) and Broussa (Bursa); in the center, in and around Angora (Ankara); in the south-west, in and around Konia (Konya) and Adana (which is near the Mediterranean Sea); in the central portion of Anatolia, in and around Diyarbekir (Diyarbakir), Harpout (Harput), Marash, Sivas (Sepastia), Shabin Kara-Hissar (�ebin Karahisar), and Ourfa (Urfa); and on the Black Sea coast, in and around Trebizond (Trabzon), all of which are not part of a war zone. Only Erzeroum, Bitlis, and Van in the east were in the war zone.
The Armenian Genocide was condemned at the time by representatives of the British, French, Russian, German, and Austrian governments—namely all the major Powers. The first three were foes of the Ottoman Empire, the latter two, allies of the Ottoman Empire. The United States, neutral towards the Ottoman Empire, also condemned the Armenian Genocide and was the chief spokesman in behalf of the Armenians….
Only one Turkish government, that of Damad Ferit Pasha, has ever recognized the Armenian genocide. In fact, that Turkish government held war crimes trials and condemned to death the major leaders responsible.
The Turkish court concluded that the leaders of the Young Turk government were guilty of murder. “This fact has been proven and verified.” It maintained that the genocidal scheme was carried out with as much secrecy as possible. That a public facade was maintained of “relocating” the Armenians. That they carried out the killing by a secret network. That the decision to eradicate the Armenians was not a hasty decision, but “the result of extensive and profound deliberations.”
Ismail Enver Pasha, Ahmed Cemal Pasha, Mehmed Talât Bey, and a host of others were convicted by the Turkish court and condemned to death for “the extermination and destruction of the Armenians.”…
On reading the last article one can clearly see that Turks, who were closest to the time of the genocide, knew exactly what happened. The Turkish Authorities and The Turkish Court not only condemned the total annihiliation of the Armenians but condemned those responsible to death!
Holy Resurrection Church
(site of mass grave in the Syrian desert discovered in the early 90s) Source
Armenian Genocide Memorial – Philadelphia, PA Source
University of Minnesota
“The Armenian Genocide of 1915 was the supremely violent historical moment that removed a people from its homeland and wiped away most of the tangible evidence of its three thousand years of material and spiritual culture. The calamity, which was unprecedented in scope and effect, may be viewed as part of the incessant Armenian struggle for survival and the culmination of the persecution and pogroms that began in the 1890s. Or, it may be placed in the context of the great upheavals that brought about the disintegration of the multiethnic and multireligious Ottoman Empire and the emergence of a Turkish nation-state based on a monoethnic and monoreligious society. The Ottoman government, dominated by the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) or the Young Turk party, came to regard the Armenians as alien and a major obstacle to the fulfillment of its political, ideological and social goals. Its ferocious repudiation of plural society resulted in a single society, as the destruction of the Armenians was followed by the expulsion of the Greek population of Asia Minor and the suppression of the non-Turkish Muslim elements with the goal of bringing about turkification and assimilation. The method adopted to transform a plural Ottoman society into a homogeneous Turkish society was genocide.”
“It is important to understand the immorality and the harmful consequences of denying genocide. As prominent scholars of genocide such as Israel Charney, Robert J. Lifton, Deborah Lipstadt, Eric Markusen and Roger Smith have noted: the denial of genocide is the final stage of genocide; it seeks to demonize the victims and rehabilitate the perpetrators; and denying genocide paves the way the way for future genocides by making it clear that genocide demands no moral accountability or response.”
Peter Balakian, “Combating Denials of the Armenian Genocide in Academia” in Encyclopedia of Genocide Volume I, ed. by Israel Charney (Jerusalem: Institute on the Holocaust and genocide, 1999) 163-165.
Chacke Yeterian Scallen and Massis Yeterian Sister and brother from Minneapolis, both children of survivors, were born in Baghdad and tell the story of their family’s survival in 1915. Outakes from TPT-TV show of April 24, 2005, “The Armenian Genocide: 90 Years Later.”
This is an important victory for scholars and educators all over the United States. I want first to express my gratitude to General Counsel at the University of Minnesota, and in particular to Brent Benrud, for his outstanding work on this case. I applaud Judge Frank’s decision, as it bears witness to the high esteem in which the judicial system in this country holds academic freedom. This outcome honors the principles of freedom of speech, and is a remarkable example of the law’s protection of free inquiry into matters of public interest. ~ Bruno Chaouat, CHGS director
Court dismisses Turkish Coalition lawsuit filed against the University of Minnesota
On March 30, 2011 U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Turkish Coalition of America against the University of Minnesota. The lawsuit arose from materials posted on the university’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) website, including a list of websites CHGS considered “unreliable” for purposes of conducting scholarly research. The Turkish Coalition claimed the university violated its constitutional rights, and committed defamation, by including the Turkish Coalition website on the “unreliable” websites list.