Since too many fools rush in when the topic is genocide, few stop and analyze the claims
made by Taner Akcam. His outer appearance is just too appealing; a noble Turk defying his
evil, criminal government and nation, just made to order in this Turk-prejudiced world,
precisely why the forces of Armenian propaganda made sure to recruit him. Of course, as
the missionary Cyrus Hamlin instructed us
back in 1893 (after being shocked by the statements of a Hunchak terrorist), "Falsehood
is, of course, justifiable where murder and arson are," and this ex-PKK terrorist has absolutely no problem with
formulating fibs when there is little wiggle room in support of his propagandistic agenda.
Evidence of his mendacity is all around, from his works of "scholarship,"
including his Dadrian copy-paste jobs that have comprised his books; Vahakn Dadrian has
become famous for his distortions, mistranslations, omissions and other examples where
scholarly ethics are located on another planet. (I still have not read Akcam's "A
Shameful Act," but I have been told that Akcam has referred to the 1999 Turkish
version that this English translation was based upon as an extension of his Ph.D. thesis.
Then that helps confirm my speculation that his doctorate was composed of Dadrian research
from top to bottom. This is important, because Dadrian co-approved Akcam's thesis, in
effect, sleazily approving Dadrian's own work.)
In his interviews too, we can always rely on catching Akcam with his pants down. He has
engaged in a "I fear for my life" campaign in recent times, painting himself as
a marked man, pointing to the murder of Hrant Dink as an example of what lies in store,
and exploiting people's perception of Turks as nationalistic and mindless killing
machines. To support his fear, he has pointed to how a group of Turks angrily cornered him
after one of Akcam's genocide conferences, giving signs that they wished to attack him.
This was in a Turkish-language publication, and yet in several English versions of this
story, we learned that he had actually been attacked. (If he actually were physically
attacked, the roof would have been raised, and this golden propagandistic opportunity
would have been exploited to the hilt.) His bud, the pathological British journalist
Robert Fisk, was happy to report news of Akcam's having been attacked by crazy Turks, in
one of Fisk's countless "Armenian genocide" articles. (In one of these articles,
Fisk also made it seem as though Akcam had described this web site as a "Holocaust
denial" site, much as the presentation did not make it clear as to whose opinion this
really was, Akcam's or Fisk's; I wrote to Fisk's publication, The Independent, and
let them know that this site's denial of the Jewish genocide was an absolute falsehood,
but I did not hold my breath on seeing a retraction.)
This page, however, will focus on a major whopper, as Akcam's series of regular falsehoods
come with his territory. Major whoppers, in Akcam's case, include the validation of Aram Andonian's forged Talat
Pasha telegrams. (That one is truly unforgivable, and Akcam actually switched tracks in a
rare case of integrity-display; in his earlier book from 1992, Akcam had expressed doubt
on the authenticity of this evil work, but one suspects simply because his mentor, Dadiran,
is one of the few stalwarts still trying to make use of Andonian, Akcam felt that he, too,
had to fall in line.)
A favorite major whopper uttered by Akcam took place in his 2006 PBS "debate" appearance, where he actually
said: "Muslims killing ... by the Armenians, it is a legend." The
Armenians slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Ottomans who did not fit the
Christian-Armenian prototype, in what was the true systematic extermination campaign of
the war years, killing far more "Turks" than the other way around (as most
Armenians who had lost their lives, as most other Ottomans, died of non-murderous reasons,
such as famine and disease), and for Akcam to have made it seem as though no Muslims were
killed by Armenians provided for an excellent display of his moral character.
Akcam's latest whopper appeared in a journalism student's Nov. 6, 2007 article,
entitled, "Experts respond to Turkey's Prime Minister on the Armenian genocide
question." The student, Mrinalini Reddy, following in the footsteps of many
"professionals" who never dig beneath the surface while writing about the
"Armenian genocide," had made up her mind about the truthfulness of genocide
claims, and gathered two extreme partisans to nay say the contra-genocide facts, one being
Before we get to Akcam's major whopper, it is going to be
difficult to resist pointing to his other pitiful prevarications. In response to the
Prime Minister Erdogan's statement, "Our documents indicate that there is no
genocide that has taken place. Those who claim it must prove it," Akcam
replied, "Our Prime Minister is wrong because we can
prove the genocidal intent without any problems."
(Here is a man who has been vehemently working against Turkey's national interests,
making Turkey out to be a rogue nation whenever possible, and he really has no
problem in terminology such as "our prime minister." Of course, Akcam is a
Turkish citizen and the prime minister is "his" prime minister, so he's
not engaging in an outright falsehood. Yet there is something not right about
working against a nation's interests on false grounds while pretending to
still be on the same team. Since Akcam has decided on the course of lying so fully
in bed with his nation's enemies, the honorable thing for him to do would at least
be careful about his terminology; the really honorable thing, of course, would be to
give up his citizenship.)
Naturally, the whopper here... and it is actually a major enough whopper in its own
right... is that "intent" can be proven (not just proven, mind you, but
proven "without any problems"); once "intent" is
factually proven, the genocide discussion will be over.
Here is how Akcam backed up his claim to prove "intent":
"One set of documentation are the trials in Istanbul
between 1919 and 1921. These are the indictments, verdicts, hand-written testimonies
and eye-witness accounts which were recorded during that time. There is a lot of
evidence here showing the killing of the Armenians. The originals of these documents
are not known. We assume that they have been destroyed after Turkish nationalists
took over Istanbul. [Turkish officials] only trust the documents in prime
ministerial archive today in Istanbul. I can show very easily, based on prime
ministerial archives, the genocidal intent of Ottoman Turkey. I will publish a book
in the Turkish language in 2008 where I am presenting more than 500 documents from
prime ministerial archives in Istanbul."
How many times are we going to go through the same ground? Sorry. The 1919-20 trials
(where did "1921" come from? *) do not constitute valid evidence. The
purpose of these trials was retribution, the puppet Ottoman government had a gun
held to its head to find culprits, due process was next-to-nonexistent, and the
transcripts of these trials have been lost. (He even concedes "The originals
of these documents are not known.") If only the bits and pieces that have
appeared in the puppet government's newspapers exist, without the context of the
originals being known, how could such corrupt sources be relied upon to prove
Even the British rejected the findings of these courts, finding them to be a
travesty of justice, in their preparation for the Malta Tribunal (1919-21), where the British could not find any
evidence of "intent.' If anything, they found evidence against intent (having
pilfered such documents from the Ottoman archives, where they rest today in the
British archives; see "Shocking New Documents," Sonyel,
We have a recent example of what these courts were like. The U.S. set up a puppet
government in Iraq after that nation's conquest, the U.S. wanted Saddam Hussein
dead, their puppet government conducted a farce of a trial, and in blinding speed,
Hussein, after having been denied a defendant's legal rights for the most part, was
executed. (Yes, Hussein was a tryrannical despot, and some feel he deserved what he
had coming to him. But what we are examining here is the legality of conquerors'
Naturally, the 1919-20 trials constitute the "bread and butter"
"proof" of the corrupt Vahakn Dadrian, and his hapless protégé is
dutifully following in Dadrian's squeaky footsteps. He is doing an excellent job of
pulling the wool over the eye of naive and prejudiced English-speaking readers,
because what Akcam is claiming makes for powerful effect: Ottoman records
themselves prove intent. But it's another gigantic falsehood, as there is no
evidence whatsoever demonstrating governmental complicity regarding an extermination
plan. (Proof of "killings of Armenians," as Akcam put it, does not
prove genocide any more than the killings of Vietnamese at My Lai proves the U.S.
government intended to exterminate the Vietnamese people. We know Armenians
Is it true, that Turkish officials "only" trust the archival documents?
When I set about studying this matter, I ignored Turkish sources almost completely,
as there is voluminious evidence from Western and Armenian sources that would have
had no reason to defend Turks. The few Turkish historical sources I have consulted
make extensive use of hostile Western sources. We don't need the Ottoman records to
show there was no genocide, but since it would be ridiculous to write a nation's
history by ignoring that nation's records (which is how Armenian propaganda makes
its case, with reliance almost solely through the sources of the Turks' enemies;
note how Richard Hovannisian, for example, was called on such amateurism), of course they would need to be
consulted. And as Vahakn Dadrian himself has instructed us (in reference to German archival material), "...[T]hese
records were at the time compiled for strictly internal use, i.e. for in-house
consideration, and were not intended for public consumption, [so that] one may be
reasonably safe in declaring the evidence obtained thusly as incontestable."
In other words, while not necessarily "incontestable," the Ottoman records
represent "the sort of solid data that is the basis of all good
history," since "There is no record of deliberate deception in
Ottoman documents," as Justin McCarthy has wisely pointed out.
What Dadrian and Akcam have dishonestly done is to cherry-pick only the dirt that
serves their propagandistic purpose, and to ignore (or sometimes try and discredit)
the reams of genocide-busting evidence of the archives. So genocide-fanciers should
not get their hopes up as far as Akcam's promise of finding new evidence in what has
suddenly become legitimate archival material. (For years, the propaganda forces have
walked the line that the Turkish archives were unreliable, because they had been
cleansed.) For one thing, a couple of his genocide colleagues, Ara Sarafian and
Hilmar Kaiser, have already been through the same archives, nearly tooth and nail.
What Akcam very likely has done is compile the material that demonstrated injustices
against Armenians (and there certainly was injustice against Armenians), and closed
his eyes to the rest. We shall wait and see if he has truly broken new ground, with
the coming of his 2008 book.
(* While these trials were "formally" declared over in
1922, the bulk was conducted in 1919, and for all intents and purposes the trials
were over by 1920.)
Later in the article, Akcam is quoted as stating, "Turkey
cannot become a member of the European Union if talking about history is a crime." Talking
about history may be a crime in "civilized" European Union countries such as
France, Switzerland and Belgium (where presenting the historical truth regarding Armenians
is more-or-less verboten), but if Akcam has been permitted to have books in Turkey
published on this topic since the early 1990s, why is he presenting the false picture that
genocide talk will land you in jail? How has his friend and university professor, Halil
Berktay, gotten away with his genocide line all of these years, poisoning the minds of
impressionable Turkish youth? How did Taner Akcam appear on Turkish television in the
early 2000s, according to an article by Robert Fisk, where Akcam pleaded to Turks that
they should beg forgiveness from the Armenians?
To Erdogan's "This is a problem of the Armenian Diaspora. They are looking for a
way to create some sort of benefit for itself and this is what they have found,"
Akcam replied: "It is a stupid distinction to think that there
is a difference between Armenians and Armenians in the Diaspora. They are all asking that
the perpetrator must face their history."
Do you get the feeling Akcam has become a little too big for his britches? He has adopted
more arrogance lately, dismissing commentary not to his liking with undiplomatic words
such as "stupid." Probably he has gotten extremely spoiled, knowing that fools
rush in when it comes to genocide, and he has the biased and naive world's ear, no matter
what he says.
Not long ago, I remember coming across an article where diaspora Armenians were expressing
their frustration as to their cousins in the homeland not getting with the program.
Armenia's corrupt dictatorship has made life so miserable for its inhabitants, where a
million or so have blown town in the last decade, a poll indicated the
"genocide" was understandably at the bottom of the list of people's concerns.
It's not hard to comprehend; during the Soviet years, Armenians in Armenia barely gave a
rat's gas for the irrelevant "genocide," and the nation's leader after
independence attempted to steer Armenia away from the destructive influence of fanatical
Dashnaks, the force behind the diaspora. With cries of "Death to LTP (Levon Ter-Petrossian)," the leader
couldn't have lasted long, and the Dashnaks wrested quick control of the
"Christian" Terrorist State. So, yes, there is indeed a distinction between
fanatical diasporans and their poorer counterparts trying to eke out respectable livings
in Armenia (with thousands having moved to the nation of the "perpetrator" next
door), much as a propagandist as Taner Akcam would prefer to lead you to believe the idea
would be "stupid."
All right, gang, this is what you've been waiting for: Taner Akcam's latest
To Erdogan's "What took place was called deportation because that was a very
difficult time....Given the context of the time and the events that took place,
there was provocation by some other countries and the Armenians became part of the
rebellion in those years."
And here is what Taner Akcam flat out said:
"The argument says there were Armenian uprisings. It is
simply a lie."
Can the reader believe the utter gall of this professional propagandist?
It is one thing for Arnold Toynbee to have tried and gotten away with a statement to
the effect of there not having been an Armenian rebellion, in his 1916 "Treatment"
Blue Book. That was at a time when Wellington House's propaganda
was getting near-exclusive coverage in the Western press (for example, Britain had
cut the communication cable from Germany to the USA and established a Wellington
House branch on U.S. soil), and there were few ways to check up on what was really
happening (not that prejudiced Westerners of the WWI years were interested in
checking; just as people today accepting the word of a propagandist as Taner Akcam
at face value, people then unthinkingly accepted such falsehoods as well. Everyone
knew how "Terrible" the Turks were, after all). But for Taner Akcam to
expect to get away with such a horrendous lie in this day and age, when the Armenian
rebellion is a simple, irrefutable fact verified even by Armenian leaders of the
period (such as Boghos Nubar, Hovhannes Katchaznouni, and even the
terrorist "Armen Garo" Pastermadjian), is nothing less than extraordinary! (Well... in
reality, such dishonesty from genocidists is to be expected, and hardly
The Armenian rebellion was an extremely serious matter, involving as many as 100,000
Ottoman-Armenian men, either having crossed the border to join the enemy (the
Ottoman army conscripts among them frequently with their weapons), or by staying
behind the lines and acting as a fifth column. By this time, the entire
Ottoman-Armenian community was infected, after thrity-forty years of getting worked
on (via racial superiority notions) by their terrorist leaders and the missionaries,
and it was the rare Armenian whose heart did not belong with the Entente Powers.
Even if individuals did not carry firearms in active rebelliion, it was this
community, the "defenseless women and children" that provided support for
the traitorous rebels.
Akcam tries to negate this fact in the rest of what he had to say, with "They (the rebels) were individual Armenian deserters and even
Armenians were against them," the proper response would be Which
Armenians were against them? (Of course, not to say there were no loyal Armenians at
all. One would go on to actually save Ataturk's life, and even Pastermadjian's own
brother, Vahan, paradoxically, had his heart in his own Ottoman country. Read here.) But the fact of the
matter is, almost all Ottoman-Armenians had sided with the enemy. Even those who
didn't want to felt they had little choice, as not only did they have to face the
fanatical Dashnaks quick to make fatal examples of loyal Ottoman-Armenians, but the
(As a side note, despite Akcam's claim, the rebels constitued more than
"deserters." Many Armenian men joined the enemy before being conscripted,
such as Soghoman Tehlirian, and an
alarmingly large number simply refused conscription.)
Here was the rest of Akcam's shpiel:
"The deportations were taking place before any Armenian
uprising. There was only one incident in April 1915 and the deportation decree
occurred at the end of March."
Armenian uprisings began well before the war began in November 1914, as with the
Zeitun rebellion beginning August 30, 1914 (in defiance of the nation's mobilization
begun on August 3), and continuing (in the case of Zeitun) until the relocation was
implemented; the plan to strike was underway for years, waiting for the time when
the Ottoman nation would be at its weakest, while at war. (For example, in 1910 the
revolutionary committees began to distribute the “Instructions for Personal
Defense” throughout eastern Anatolia, the blueprint for their impending rebellion.
With sections such as “To Attack Villages,” it was far from a manual on
self-defense. See McCarthy and company's The Armenian Rebellion at Van, 2006,
p. 183. This book is a must-read for those wishing to get the factual history of the
As soon as Russia attacked, even the New York Times reported the Armenians
were ready to betray their nation, as in these two articles, "ARMENIANS
FIGHTING TURKS: Besieging Van—Others operating in Turkish Army's Rear," and
"TURKISH ARMENIANS IN ARMED REVOLT: We’re Ready to Join Russian
Invaders," Nov. 7 and 13 respectively; we needn't spell out the New York
Times was rabidly anti-Turkish and was not going to lie for the Turks. (Other news accounts; here's one, "ARMENIANS AID
RUSSIANS" from December 1914, examined in detail.)
There is a whole slew of internal communications documenting the rebellions, a
partial sample of which may be found in Kamuran Gurun's The Armenian File
(1985, pp. 194-201, beginning in October and November of 1914.) Some of these
reports may be found at the TAT site, as with the three page "Documents"
series, beginning with this one. (When
Akcam looked through the Ottoman archives, he must have missed them.)
A small sampling of such internal reports may be found here. Note that on March 4, 1915
(before the "deportation decree" was issued in March, as Akcam shamefully
claims; we'll be getting to that), in the province of Van's village of Merkehu,
Armenians had killed 41 men,14 women, four of the latter after having been raped.
This is the kind of serious danger the Armenians were presenting, despite Akcam's
earlier great whopper, that Armenian killings of Turks was only a
Armenians themselves have documented
their plans for uprising, a striking example being an article by Van Parliamentarian
and leading Dashnak V. Papazian, and the Armenians' extermination policy of those
who were different was only beginning.
The relocation was implemented May 27-June 1, after Enver Pasha's May 2 telegram
(see prior link) forced the Ottomans' hand. Akcam's claim that the "deportation
decree" was issued in March is total crock, and he should be ashamed for making
such a statement as though it were a fact. Here is how he set about "proving" his "March"
contention, in his Shameful book.
Even logic does not support Akcam's deception. If the relocation was agreed upon in
March, why would the Ottomans have waited two full months before implementing it?
(Note as well that even if there was "one" uprising in April, as Akcam
stated, it began before the "genocide," which even by the timetable of
Armenians is famously marked by April 24.
Even Akcam's sole April rebellion proves the Armenians "fired the first shot.")
On the matter of rebellion, Akcam's "expert" partner within the article,
Edward Alexander ("a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer and author, born
in New York to Armenian parents who fled Turkey"; such a background should
make him an "expert," all right) contributed the following:
"One of the newer arguments that they are raising now is
that it was the Armenians who attacked the Turks. This is ridiculous. How the
Armenians would have done this, having been disarmed, calls for a great stretch of
It is heartwarming that this fellow proved the caliber of his expertise with
the statement that the Armenian rebellion is a "newer" argument. Earlier
in this article, in response to Erdogan's assertion that no genocide had taken
place, Alexander replied that the "evidence [was] overwhelming,"
and one of these, in his opinion, happened to be Ambassador Morgenthau-related. Yet
even in Morgenthau's "Story" book of 1918, when Enver Pasha was granted
equal time to explain the historical truth, the Armenian rebellion lay at the core
of the argument. Far from new, the Armenians' rebellion is the one and only
reason explaining the tragedy that befell the Armenians. Turks and a handful pf
honest Westerners (as C. F. Dixon-Johnson)
have been trying to explain this, but no one was listening, and the prejudiced world
still is not listening.)
Interestingly, an excerpt from Mr. Alexander's book ("A Crime of Vengeance
— An Armenian Struggle for Justice," 1991, p. 41) has been featured
on TAT's "Armenian Rebellion" page, where he had written:
“Armenian volunteer units had been organized for the sole purpose of engaging
in guerilla activities against the Turks.”
It looks like even Alexander, when he was in a less propagandistic mood, vouched for
the fact that not all Armenians had been "disarmed."