Source: Stanford J Shaw
& Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and
Modern Turkey (Volume IIl ?: Reform, Revolution & Republic: The Rise of
Modern Turkey, 1808-1975). (London, Cambridge University Press 1977).
Shaw's home in Los Angeles was BOMBED by Armenians on October 4, 1977
for writing this history that deviated from the Armenians' script. George
Lucas credited Professor Shaw as consultant in the only dramatic American television production Holdwater
has seen, where the Turks did not come across negatively.
excerpts are from Pages 315-317
The Armenian leaders told Enver only that
they wanted to remain neutral, but their sympathy for the Russians was evident, and in
fact soon after the meeting, several prominent Ottoman Armenians, including a former
member of parliament, slipped away to the Caucasus to collaborate with Russian military
officials, making it clear that the Armenians would do everything they could to frustrate
Ottoman military action ....
Still Enver decided that Ottoman security forces
were strong enough to prevent any Armenian sabotage, and preparations were made for a
winter assault. Meanwhile, Czar Nicholas II himself came to the Caucasus to make final
plans for cooperation with the Armenians against the Ottomans, with the president of the
Armenian National Bureau in Tiflis declaring in response: ‘From all countries Armenians
are hurrying to enter the ranks of the glorious Russian Army, with their blood to serve
the victory of Russian arms... Let the Russian flag wave freely over the Dardanelles and
the Bosporus. Let, with Your will, great Majesty, the peoples remaining under the Turkish
yoke receive freedom. Let the Armenian people of Turkey who have suffered for the faith of
Christ receive resurrection for a new free life under the protection of Russia.’
Armenians again flooded into the czarist armies. Preparations were
made to strike the Ottomans from the rear, and
the czar returned to St. Petersburg confident that the day finally had come for him to
In the initial
stages of the Caucasus campaign the Russians had demonstrated the best means of
organizing a campaign by evacuating the Armenians
from their side of the border to clear the area for battle, with the Armenians going
quite willingly in the expectation that a Russian victory would soon enable them not
merely to return to their homes but also to occupy those of the Turks across the
border. Enver followed this example to prepare the Ottoman side and to resist the
expected Russian invasion. Armenian leaders in any case now declared their open
support of the enemy, and there seemed no other alternative (to relocation).
It would be impossible to determine which of the Armenians would remain loyal and
which would follow the appeals of their leaders. As soon as spring came, then, in
mid-May 1915, orders were issued to evacuate the entire Armenian population from the
provinces of Van, Bitlis, and Erzurum, to get them away from all areas where they
might undermine the Ottoman campaigns against Russia or against the British in
Egypt, with arrangements made to settle them in towns and camps in the Mosul area of
northern Iraq. In addition, Armenians residing in the countryside (but not the
cities) of the Cilician districts as well as those of north Syria were to be sent to
central Syria for the same reason. Specific instructions were issued for the army to
protect the Armenians against nomadic attacks and to provide them with sufficient
food and other supplies to meet their needs during the march and after they were
settled. . .
1915, even before the deportation orders were issued, Dashnaks from Russian Armenia
organized a revolt in the city of Van, whose 33,789 Armenians comprised 42.3 percent
of the population, closest to an Armenian majority of any city in the Empire...
Leaving Erivan on
April 28, 1915, only a day after the deportation orders had been issued in Istanbul
and long before news of them could have reached the least, (Armenian volunteers)
reached Van on May 14 and organized and carried out a general slaughter of the local
Muslim population during the next two days while the small Ottoman garrison had to
retreat to the southern side of the lake.