The following is from the book, "Ermeni
Meselesenin Siyasi Tarihcesi" [The Political History of the Armenian
Problem] (1877-1914). The 2001 publication from Ankara documents how the
person in charge of the Ottoman Archives from those early years, Munir Surreya
Bey, kept a record of important communications relating to the history of
events leading to the Armenian "Genocide." Most of the book provides
photocopies of the actual documents.
As far as I could understand (the book is in Turkish and
French), conditions were imposed on the Turks after having lost the
Russo-Turkish war (1877 - 78)... and the Turks provided a paper on how
concessions to the Armenians would be granted, according to talks that took
place during the Berlin Conference (1878) . The ambassadors of Germany (V.
Hatzfeld), France (Th. Tissol), England (Goschen), Russia (Novicow),
Austria-Hungary (De Calice) and Italy (L. Corti) were not happy with the
At any rate, one of the papers provided was the
following census of the Armenians in the Six Vilayets (Van, Diyarbakir, Bitlis,
Erzurum, and... Harput? I believe the sixth is Trabzon), from 1880. The total
for the Armenians is shown as 780,800... some thirty-five years before the
first year of the Armenian "Genocide."