"Armenians are especially indebted to the Manchester Guardian and The Times for their valuable services to their cause,
humanity and truth in exposing the reign of terror in Armenia and the
Turk's affectation of "clean-fighting."
Hacobian, "Armenia and the War," 1918, Footnotes, 4 of Ch.
The Times of London, as
counterpart from New York, was not known for its friendly take on Turks,
feeling no compunction about printing stories that made the Turks come across
as another species. The newspaper was published by Lord Northcliffe, a pioneer
in the implementation of propaganda in the press; he was appointed
"Director of Propaganda in Enemy Countries" in February 1918. On
this page we'll present articles of interest, at times representing better
kernels of truth that slipped past the generally biased publication. (With
thanks to reader M. Mersinoglu.)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1) The Armenian Atrocities, 02-1895
2) England and Russia, 12-1894
3) The Porte and Armenia, 12-1894
Forces Armed by French, 10-1921?
Before continuing, let's keep in
mind what Edward Said (in his scholarly work, "Orientalism")
noted about the widespread European attitude regarding the Turks:
|"Until the end of the
seventeenth century the 'Ottoman peril' lurked alongside Europe to represent for the
whole of Christian civilization a constant danger, and in time European civilization
incorporated that peril and its lore, its great events, figures, virtues, and vices,
as something woven into the fabric of life."
"From the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century the Ottoman Empire was
almost continuously at war with the Christian Powers of
Western Europe. The terror inspired by the Turkish name among all the
European peoples was largely responsible for the widely spread popular
belief that the Turks were a race of uncivilized barbarians who,
wherever they went, left nothing but smoking ruins behind them and stamped out every
vestige of civilization. Religious fanaticism, coupled with the
fear born of unbroken Turkish military successes, resulted in creating among
some detractors of the Turks a state of mind which rendered them for
the most part incapable of viewing Turkey and the Turks with an objective
and unbiased eye."
The Times of London was
no different in its reportage. Writers constantly referred to how "barbarous"
the Turks were. But within these mostly biased articles may be found kernels of truth, not
only about history in general, but regarding Armenian-related events that led up to the
Many thanks for M. Mersinoglu; it was through this
reader's good graces that these articles have been made possible.
The British humor weekly got down to the heart of the
matter with this cartoon: "Part Four: The Reaction; Punch or the London Charivari —
May 18, 1895; The Duke of Argyl (Bryce) and Gladstone Brothers in
arms THE OLD CRUSADERS! The Duke of Argyll and
Mr. Gladstone "Brothers in arms" again! BULGARIA
1876 ARMENIA 1895"
(The Duke of Argyll was an Armenophile par
excellence; for example, see his "Our Responsibilities for Turkey," K.G.,
K.T., John Murray, 1896, p. 72, included in A. P. Hacobian's "Armenia and the
War," 1918. From Jeremy Salt's "Imperialism Evangelism and the Ottoman
Armenians 1878-1896”: P.125: Among them were the Duke of Argyl and Gladstone
- drawn in Punch as the ‘Old Crusaders’ sitting on white chargers with lances in hand
- and the Duke of Westminster, Lord Bryce and an assortment of higher ecclastics.
Symbolically the first mass meeting of the “Armenian agitation” [May 1895] was held at
St. James hall, Picadilly. The mood was one of uncompromising hostility to the Turks and
their religion. The Duke or Argyl began by insisting that England had the duty to impose a
protectorate over the Christians of the Ottoman state. P.129: Gladstone suggested
that recent action of the Porte ‘in Armenia particularly but not in Armenia exclusively’
were founded on ‘a deliberate determination to exterminate the Christians of that Empire’.
No one apparently asked for the evidence or suggested that without it such a statement was
inflammatory and irresponsible. The rhetoric was unchanging, generally predicated on
England’s rights and responsibilities as a Christian nation and it was usually England’s
failure to ‘do something for the Armenians was contrasted with its apparent readiness to
go to war with the United States over Venezuela.)
Feb. 23, 1895, p. 5
The Special correspondent of Reuter's Agency who has been travelling on the
Russo-Armenian frontier with the object of obtaining information concerning the
reported outrages at Sasun and elsewhere, in a further communication posted at
Tiflis on the 18th ult., writes:—
In the letter I wrote ten days ago giving the result of some preliminary inquiries I
had made at Constantinople, Samsoun, Kerrasund, Trebizond, and Tiflis, concerning
the alleged atrocities and the state of affairs generally in Armenia, I endeavoured
to convey some idea of the difficulties that would be encountered in prosecuting any
sort of investigation or getting at the real facts of the case.
That I did not exaggerate these difficulties will be apparent from further
information on the point which I am now in a position to supply. Take, to begin
with, the cholera quarantine which is being enforced in various portions of the
Sultan's dominions in such a manner as to draw a net round the districts of Armenia
in which the atrocities are alleged to have occurred and to keep away from the scene
of the outrages and from those who could throw any light on the subject all
It is announced that cholera exists in Van, Bitlis and Moosh, and that strict
quarantine regulations must therefore be enforced. Now it certainly is a peculiar
circumstance that cholera should have happened to break out at this season of the
year in the region of the Sasun massacres, and nowhere else in Asia Minor. Who is to
prove or disprove the statement that the disease is raging in those snow-clad,
practically inaccessible mountain fastnesses? Even in Constantinople and Stamboul
little or nothing is known by the public or by newspaper correspondents concerning
the cholera outbreaks officially reported from time to time in these cities. In the
Turkish capital a medical officer reporting a case of cholera receives double pay
until a clean bill of health is returned from the affected district, and in a
country like Turkey it is not surprising if doctors find symptoms of cholera in
everything from croup to typhoid fever.
Even without the cholera quarantine, it would be practically impossible for the
commission to make any real headway until spring, owing to the intense cold and the
great amount of snow in Armenia. The situation may be judged to some degree by the
fact that the roads to Erivan and Kars, in Russia, which are in a much lower
altitude, have been for more than a fortnight blocked with snow.
At Kars a temperature of 30deg. below zero (Reaumur) has been experienced. Greater
cold is reported from more exposed places. Water tossed into the air comes down
frozen into ice, aad the moisture from a man's breath freezes his beard into a solid
mass in less than a minute. As the Sasun mountains are much higher, the state of the
weather may be imagined.
However, the British Government does not need Mr. Shipley to follow the Turkish
commission, except for the purpose of seeing what the commission does not do, for a
full report of the Sasun outrage has already been made by Mr. Halward, British Vice-ConsuI
at Van. It is on this report that the British Government is now acting in insisting
upon a full investigation. Mr. Halward's report is incomplete, it is true, owing to
the interference of the Turks in preventing a more thorough investigation, but the
main facts are given, and the Government needs no further proof.
If there is any lingering doubt in the Western world as to the main facts of the
Sasun massacre, there is none here, not even among people who have scant liking for
Armenian people or Armenian traits of character. The Armenian Catholicos, the father
of all the Armenians, whose home is at Etchmiadzin, in the Ararat region, near the
Turkish frontier, is so well convinced of the truth of the matter that he is now
waiting in Tiflis for permission to go to St. Petersburg to implore the help of the
Emperor in behalf of the oppressed and persecuted people of Turkish Armenia. The
Father has been waiting in Tiflis a fortnight since his arrival in Etchmiadzin, but
the permission to proceed north has not yet come. However, he is not discouraged,
but looks forward confidently to a speedy solution of the vexed Armenian question.
"Say to our friends in England, said he, " that it is a very dark time for
our people m Turkey, but a better time is coming very soon."
The writer need
not have worried about whether there was any "lingering doubt" in the
West, regarding Sasun; not when the "great Armenian horrors' boom all over the
western world and America" was in full swing, as phrased in an Armenophile's
1895 article. The above
illustration from the book "Turkey and the Armenian Atrocities, published in
the United States in 1896, served as a typical example. Caption: "Slaughter of
Armenians in Sasun. This is a true picture of the slaughter of innocent people which
was inflicted on the innocent Armenians by the bloody Kurds and enraged soldiers.
The carnage ended in the massacre of 50,000 people or more. Hundreds of thousands
were left without food or shelter after the plundering and burning." (Erich Feigl, The Myth of Terror)
And how many actually died? According to the British archives, a British
representative stated in an Oct. 12 memo that there were at most 10,000 Armenians in
the region to begin with (Cuinet had counted 8,369) and the dead could not
exceed 900. But the British Consul's report arrived at a different total,
less than one-third: 265. (F.O. Turkey No. 1 , No. 277, enclosure, p.
203; ibid., No. 252, pp. 155-61. From Gurun's "The Armenian File.") Naturally,
there is no mention of the number of Muslims killed, as a result of
"Murad" Boyajian's having incited 3,000 Armenians (including those who
came from Mush, Koulp and Silvan) to rebel.
His followers and friends feel equally confident, but many of them think that his
policy, or what is supposed to be his policy, is a mistake. Some even go so far as
to declare that the eloquent Father is making the great mistake of his life. It is
understood that he intends to ask that a tract of land be given by the Russian
Government somewhere in the Ararat region for the founding of a colony of refugees
from the persecuted regions of Turkish Armenia, and it is said he is ready to
promise that the Armenian Church will bear the expense of transferring the people to
the colony and taking care of them after they arrive there. This would be
advantageous to Russia and also beneficial, in a material way at least, to the
people to whom it is intended as a benefit. The scheme is believed to have the
support of all the Armenians except those who are working for the independence of
Armenia and the selection of a President or King. However, it is unlikely that
anything will be done in the matter until after the Turkish Commission of Inquiry
has made it report. it is believed here that the Sultan will order some sort of
reform in the method of governing Armenia, but that it will merely be a husk and not
a kernel of corn no one here has any doubt. Armenians will not be satisfied with a
If the Great Powers do not interfere there will be a wholesale emigration, or the
more radical of the revolutionary leaders will push things to the extreme, and we
shall have a repetition of the nameless atrocities. Let it not be supposed that the
promise of interference by the Christian Powers has had any effect in lessening the
activity of the revolutionary leaders.
On the contrary, these leaders were never more active than at present, as they
realize the value of the opportunity that has now come in their way. It is, perhaps,
not necessary to take measures to keep alive a burning hatred of the Turk among
Turkish Armenians, but lest time should lessen the feeling of horror brought into
existence by the Sasun massacre, a lithographed chromo has been put on public sale
here depicting a typical scene of a massacre of Christian men, women and children by
Turkish troops. The colouring of the picture is vivid and the realism awful. It is
duly labelled "A massacre of Bulgarians by Turkish troops," but the
purchaser knows what its real significance is intended to be. It needs no stretch of
imagination to substitute "Armenian" for "Bulgarian."
This picture and frequent reports of fresh atrocities in various parts of Armenia
are well calculated to keep alive the hot fever of hate which has agitated Armenians
in other lands during the past few months. When the angered Armenians demand to know
why something is not done to revenge the wrongs of their outraged countrymen some
very fanciful stories are circulated.
Tales of oppression, outrage, and murder in other parts of Armenian Turkey are as
thick as blackberries here and along the southern coast of the Black Sea, and enough
information is obtainable from thoroughly trustworthy sources to establish the main
facts without the aid of the more or less wild rumours or Armenian origin, the very
absurdity of which makes the patient investigator weary of his task. If the detailed
facts of the Sasun massacre are ever established —and they probably never will be—they
must be established independently of Armenian testimony, or their value may be
To such an extent has the fear of the revolutionary movement taken hold of the
officials of Turkey that Americans and Englishmen find it next to impossible to
travel in any part of Armenia, however remote from the vilayet of Bitlis. To an
American citizen of Armenian birth it is simply impossible to get into the country
at all, no matter on what pretext.
Holdwater: Note how the reporter was wise enough to not
trust "Armenian testimony, or their value may be seriously questioned."
One of the more revealing statements is: "This picture and frequent reports of
fresh atrocities in various parts of Armenia are well calculated to keep alive the
hot fever of hate which has agitated Armenians in other lands during the past few
months." Similarly, the non-stop genocide stories of well over a century
later serves one main purpose: to keep the Armenians together, "well
calculated to keep alive the hot fever of hate."
|ENGLAND AND RUSSIA
Dec. 17, 1894, p. 6
St. Petersburg, Dec. 15
The Russian Press continues to receive the telegraphic statements coming from England as
to an alleged fresh grouping of the Powers on the basis of the rapprochement
between England and Russia, and in fact, all the signs and evidences of British advances,
with undisguised scepticism and suspicion. It is insinuated that the Armenian atrocities
have been puffed up by the English Press for ulterior motives of self-interest. Russia, as
to-day's Exchange Gazette observes, continues to maintain an expectant attitude
towards the extraordinary revolution of feeling which appears to have occurred in England
regarding this country, and waits for something more convincing in the shape of deeds than
Ministerial speeches and newspaper articles. The value and great desirability of a general
Anglo-Russian understanding is fully admitted on all hands; but the suddenness and
overwhelming ardour of the change of front in England, as gathered from the daily Press,
has only increased Russian mistrust, and made Russian writers think that it is far too
good all at once to be quite sincere and lasting. —Our Own Correspondent.
Holdwater: So the Brits switched tracks to start working with
the Russians in order to hasten the Ottomans' demise, and the Russians still weren't
PORTE AND ARMENIA.
Dec. 8, 1894, P. 5
THE PORTE AND ARMENIA.
CONSTANTINOPLE, Dec. 7.
The Turkish Government is manifesting great anxiety to arrive at the truth with
regard to the atrocities which are reported to have occurred in Armenia. In order to
give complete satisfaction to foreign Powers in this respect, the Porte asked the
United States Government to appoint a delegate to take part in the inquiry which is
to be made by the Turkish Commission. Lord Kimberley was also requested to name one
of the British Consuls in Asia Minor as a member of the Commission. The British
Government immediately agreed, and at the same time the President of the United
States, who had previously declined to appoint an American delegate, telegraphed to
the effect that be had reconsidered his decision and would allow the American
Legation here to nominate a delegate. The British, American, and Turkish Governments
are still in communication on the subject, and no final arrangements have yet been
made regarding the coarse to be adopted.
It is officially explained that the origin of the difficulty in Armenia was a kind
of insurrection of the Armenians at Sasun against the Turkish authorities. Bands of
men excited the country to rebellion, the result being that the Turkish troops were
repulsed and killed. Moreover, some conflicts took place between the Armenians and
Kurds, and the country was in a state of great disorder. Consequently, Turkish
troops were sent to repress the rebellion, and hare been accused of excesses.
It is, however, firmly believed by the authorities that no such murders or excesses
were committed by the regular troops. It is possible that in their operations
against the rebellious villages a great number of people may have been killed, but
the murder of defenceless inhabitants is deemed to bo wholly improbable, as Turkish
troops would only fight against rebels with arms in their hands.-Reuter.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7.
Mr. Miles Jewett, United States Consul at Sivas, has been appointed to represent the
United. States on the Turkish Commission which is to inquire into the alleged
outrages m Armenia. He will present a separate report to the Secretary of State.—Reuter.
VIENNA, Dec. 7.
Some of the leading Austro-Hungarian newspapers, following int the wake of their
German contemporaries, affect concern at England's present foreign policy. On
Wednesday morning the Neue Freie Presse, dealing with the Armenian question,
concluded its remarks as follows :— "Civil strife in Asia is always
barbarously conducted, but that does not prove that any foreign Power has a right to
interfere. If events in Armenia are grossly exaggerated in England it is probably
done on quite different grounds to those of humanity. One is almost inclined to
suspect that, by persistently putting forward the Armenian atrocities, and at the
same time bringing grave accusations against the Porte, it is intended to do Russia
a service." The same evening the Pester Lloyd, which in matters of
foreign policy is known to be inspired from Vienna, referring to the same subject,
wrote thus :—" The question as to why this affair has now been officially
made much of in London, and has been put upon the tapis as an occasion for attacking
the Porte, is difficult to answer. Possibly, England wants to make herself agreeable
to Russia. It would not be the first folly of which the Liberal politicians on the
Thames have been guilty. Those gentlemen appear to forget that the slightest shock
given to the situation in Turkey may loosen the whole frail edifice and bring about
a state of confusion of which it is impossible to foresee the consequences."
To-day's Neue Freie Presse, commenting upon the telegram published in The
Times from Odessa concerning the transport of Russian troops to Batoum, writes as
follows :—"If the news be true, it is of considerable importance. The
concentration of Russian troops on the frontier would be a menace to Turkey, and if
it takes place, it can only be in agreement with England." The Pester Lloyd
expresses itself to the following effect :—"It is to be hoped that the Powers
will maintain the calm and composure necessary to select the right means for
alleviating the fate of the long-suffering Armenians without creating a new and
embarrassing question calculated to endanger the existing peace."
It is certainly not a mere coincidence that the two leading newspapers of
Austria-Hungary should take up identically the same tone towards England, nor can
there be the slightest doubt that they reflect, more or less faithfully, the view
taken in official quarters. Misgivings are evidently beginning to be entertained in
those regions with regards to the possible results of the improvement of relations
between England and Russia. There is, however, good reason to believe that the
English Government is resolved to act with firmness in the Armenian question. It is,
of course, entirely within its rights in demanding that a whole population, for whom
the Berlin Treaty provided justice and good government, should not be left to the
mercy of their barbarous oppressors simply because the Porte neglects to fulfil its
obligations. Nor can it for one moment be admitted that any of the Treaty Powers
should object to such a course on the part of England because it suits themselves to
stand aloof in the matter. It is not likely that England will take any active
measures without inviting the other signatory Powers to join her in doing so, but if
they refuse there is no reason why other parties to the Treaty of Berlin, who take
their stand on principles of humanity, should not see that its stipulations are
carried out so far as circumstances permit.—Our Own Correspondent.
Holdwater: Bravo to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which
would show its friendship with the Ottoman Empire by annexing Bosnia-Herzegovina a
few years later, for telling it like it was! And boo on the
"Correspondent" for maintaining the sham that Britain was purely
interested in the welfare of the Armenians, while smacking her lips on the juicy
possessions of Europe's Sick Man. And just in case the reader missed the point about
the "barbarous oppressors," the article made sure to conclude observations
by the following reliable witnesses:
ATHENS, Dec. 7.
Two Armenian refugees arrived here to-day and give [sic] harrowing accounts of
atrocities committed by Turkish troops of which they themselves were eye-witnesses.
They report that on October 23 four Turkish officers and two gendarmes set fire to a
number of buildings in the Armenian town of Hadjin, near Marash, consisting of about
1,200 wooden houses. They had previously poured petroleum upon the buildings to
insure their burning. An Armenian named Merdakian Garabed and his mother witnessed
this act of incendiarism and cried for help. The Kaimakam, however, refused to allow
any assistance to be rendered and imprisoned Garabed, who was killed three days
afterwards, his body being thrown, among the ruins of one of the burnt houses.
The refugees also state that Mgr. Nigohos, Archbishop of the monastery of Fournoul,
near Zeitun, together With 11 villagers from that place, was captured by Turkish
troops and taken in chains to Smyrna 11 days ago. Their fate is unknown. —Reuter.
|ARMENIAN FORCES ARMED BY FRENCH
Oct. 27, 1921?
CILICIAN POSITION WORSE.
ARMENIAN FORCES ARMED BY FRENCH.
The Armenian Bureau in London has received the following telegram dated April 9 from
Cilicia through the naval wireless of one of the Allied Powers;—
The siege of Hadjin continues. The French military authorities declare themselves
unable to undertake the defence of the region. Armenians have mobilized forces armed
by the French, but owing to a lack of means of transport, progress is much delayed.
It is imperative to insist in the proper quarters on the importance of holding the
mountain regions for securing the safety of the plain of Cilicia.
The general situation becomes more and more critical. The irregulars of Mustapha
Kemal Pasha, with the cooperation of native Musulman bands, are threatening Cilicia
on all sides. Local resources are insufficient for controlling a general rising of
the Turks. — Reuter.
Letters from The Times of London