This is not meant to be a comprehensive
report.... just arbitrary case histories of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
I've run into that either come under the distinction of "The Good"
or "The Bad"... if not an Ugly or two. (And a Great.)
Let us begin with a brief background look.
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
The Armenian minority in the Ottoman Empire has
always enjoyed the status of privilege. In the 19th century, 22 Armenians became
ministers, including Ministers of Foreign Affairs in this turbulent era leading up to the
collapse of the Empire. This alone shows the degree of trust placed in the Armenian
citizens and their reciprocal contribution to the Ottoman administrations.
33 Armenians were selected to the Parliament, 7 were appointed as Ambassadors and 11 as
Consul Generals. 11 Armenians served as professors in universities.
It is not thus surprising to see the Ottoman administration react with disappointment when
they witnessed great numbers of Armenians revolting against the Empire when their loyalty
was needed most. The Armenian revolt committee 'Dashnak' ordered the members of their
community to take up arms saying:
"As soon as the Russians have crossed the borders and the Ottoman armies have started
to retreat, you should revolt everywhere. The Ottoman armies thus will be placed between
two fires. If the Ottoman armies advance against the Russians, on the other hand, their
Armenian soldiers should desert their units with their arms, form bandit forces, and unite
with the Russians"
Excerpt; Professor Mumtaz Soysal of Ankara University
SOME PROMINENT ARMENIANS:
The number of Armenians who served the state during the Ottoman
Empire at high ranks was quite high. They were never discriminated against by the Turks
and had their places in the Turkish history in the best possible manner, with one
exception only, with titles of ‘Cabinet Minister’, ‘Pasha’, or ‘Ambassador’.
These respectable people had significant contributions to the Turkish economy as well. For
instance, Gabriel Noradoukian Pasha, Hagop Kazasian Pasha, and Marshall Garbed Artin Davut
Pasha served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, of Postal Services and of Public Works,
respectively. In addition, Oscar Mardikian, Kirkor Agathon, Petros Halladjian and Kirkor
served as Cabinet Ministers in other fields.
Hagop Kasasian who gained the trust of Sultans, served the Palace and served as the
Minister of Treasure, as well as Michael Portakalian Pasha and Ohannes Pasha are some
examples for outstanding Armenian figures who worked for the empire obediently. These
harmonious and fraternal relations continued until after the Crimean War. Russia under
Czar launched its policy of dividing the Ottoman Empire following its defeat at the
Excerpt, "Real Story of
the Armenian Plot Against Turkey"
“As artists the Armenians are an honor to the last period of the Ottoman
civilization. Gallu Agop, an Armenian, established the first Turkish theater... The
first Turkish opera was given us by the composer Choukhajian Effendi, whose work has
won world-wide renown... The great Bazaar of Constantinople was almost entirely
dominated by Armenians.”
by Dr. Riza Tewfick Bey, Turkish delegate to the Sèvres Conference (V.V., Pour
Mieux Connaitreles Arménienns, pp. 33, 36, 38; from Armenian Affairs, Vol..
I, Nos. 3-4, Summer-Fall 1950, p 307)
"genocide-disproving" example of a trusted Armenian happened to be
Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabriel Nouradungian; he handled the country’s
foreign policy during the turbulent Balkan Wars period (1912-13). If the Ottoman
leadership was lying in wake to exterminate the Armenian population to Turkify the
empire, as states the most prominent reason provided by pro-genocide advocates, to
appoint an Armenian in such a high post would have been unthinkable — only a few
short years before the wartime resettlement policy was implemented. The equivalent
would have been Adolf Hitler appointing a Jew as foreign minister for Germany in
It would not be long before
this "loyal" Ottoman-Armenian turned against his Ottoman nation. From
Stanford Shaw's chapter on Cilicia in 2001's "Armenians in the Late Ottoman
Period," Gabriel Noradoungian (as spelled here) "joined Avedis
Aharonian in going to England and France in demanding that France renounce the
Treaty of Ankara and end its evacuation of the area in order to prevent the
massacres which he insisted were certain to come." Noradoungian told Lord
Curzon on Nov. 19, 1921 that 150,000 Armenians, relying on the word of the Allies,
have settled in Cilicia, and that their lives could not be trusted with the
Kemalists, "the worst sort of bandits, friends of the Bolsheviks, Pan Islamists,
and Pan Turanians." and insisted on the upholding of the Treaty of Sèvres.
Four days later, he went further with French Premier Aristide Briand, calling the
Kemalists "a collection of criminals" and "morally bankrupt."
Noradoungian continued: "I know the greater part of them personally. Many of
them have gone through under my hand during my twenty-five years of office in the
Turkish government. I can confidently state that with rare exceptions, they are
all Pan-Islamists, PanTuranists, and more especially, xenophobe." (If they were
so xenophobic, how could Noradoungian have been allowed such status in the
government for a quarter-century?) The now whole-hearted propagandist then made more
of a fool of himself by declaring the Kemalists will, "stage outright
massacres, they know a thousand and one ways of exterminating the Armenians. They
all have been educated in the spirit of Abdul Hamid..." Briand responded that
the Turks would not massacre "at present. And it is problematic if they shall
ever do it in the future," a pronouncement that would be backed up by history:
In fact, on Dec. 5, 1921, the Turkish Grand National Assembly honorably carried out
one of the terms of the Treaty of Ankara, as Prof. Shaw wrote: "a general
amnesty for all those accused of `treason against the nation' for all of Anatolia,
including Cilicia, thus excusing Muslims and Christians alike for any misdeeds they
may have carried out during the French occupation."
Berch Keresteciyan Efendi
Berch Keresteciyan Efendi actually
falls under the category of THE GREAT. Few Ottoman Armenians served their
nation and were more loyal than this amazing man. To think, his great deeds occurred
in 1919, after the Armenian "Genocide." A man of his high position (he was
the Director of the Ottoman Bank and Vice President of the “Turkish Red-Crescent”),
must certainly have been aware of the gruesome struggle his people endured in the
East. The reader must ask... why did Berch Keresteciyan Efendi do the things he did
(He saved Mustafa Kemal's life, and provided decisive funds [from his own pocket,
cleaning out his account] to battle the enemy when the nation was in most
desperate need) if he believed the Ottoman Turks were guilty of wiping out his
fellow Armenians? OBVIOUSLY HE KNEW THERE WAS MORE TO THE STORY THAN
WHAT BRITISH PROPAGANDA, MISSIONARIES AND ARMENIANS WERE TELLING THE WORLD!
For that matter, how
could Turkey's remaining Armenians even consider the idea of sticking around, if
they believed the Turks were so murderous against the Armenians? If I were an
Armenian in Turkey and thought the Turks hated Armenians to the extent of
slaughtering them just because they were Christians, I would have realized I
was still going to remain Christian. Why take chances? I would have hightailed it
out of there, but fast!
Efendi deserved his own page; you can read about the story here.
Hagop (Martayan) Dilaçar:
A Tribute To A Great Turkish-Armenian Turcologist
Today, we wish to bring to light from obscurity a great Turcologist of Armenian origin.
Hagop Martayan, a philologist and an expert in the science of encyclopedia, was born in
Istanbul in 1895. A graduate of the American Robert College, he dedicated his entire life
to the study of languages, becoming an expert in the Turkish language. He studied the
etymology of Turkish words, meticulously tracing their development since their earliest
recorded occurrence where they are found, tracing their transmissions from one language to
another, analyzing the words into their component parts. identifying their cognates in
other languages, and tracing them and their cognates to a common ancestral form in an
A 1919 photo
of Robert College, in Istanbul
Later. Mr. Martayan became an instructor and an administrator at Robert
College. He participated in World War I as a reserve officer. Then he lived in Europe for
a while. In 1932, Ataturk was impassioned on his project about the Turkish language. When
he learned about Hagop Martayan, who was at that time in Bulgaria, he invited him to
Turkey, and appointed him to the First Turkish Language Convention. Around that time, a
statute making surnames mandatory was at the legislature. Ataturk was very impressed by
the expertise of Hagop Martayan, and suggested that he take the last name Dilaçar,
meaning "tongue opener", which Martayan graciously accepted.
After the Turkish Language Convention, Mr. Dilaçar became the Head Expert in the Turkish
Language Association. Later, he taught languages at the universities and high schools.
In 1936, he taught for fifteen years the History of Linguistics. and General Linguistics
at the School of Language, History and Geography (Dil, Tarih, Coðrafya Fakültesi) at the
University of Ankara. He was the advisor to the Turkish Encyclopedia, and later became its
chief editor. Mr. Dilaçar passed away on September 12, 1979 in Istanbul.
Following are some of the publications of Hagop Dilaçar:
1- Azeri Turkish (1950)
2- Western Turkish (1953)
3- The Pattern in the Spreading of the Dialects, The Classification of the Turkish
4- The General Tendencies of Strengthening and Discontinuation of the Dialects During
Their Evolutions (1957)
5- Turkish Language as a State Language (1962)
He authored several articles in the Turkish Encyclopedia on language and other subjects.
Hagop Martayan Dilaçar is one of several Turkish-Armenians who rendered enormous services
to the Turkish language, music, theater and architecture. On this occasion, we would like
to recognize a contemporary Turkish-Armenian linguist, Pars Tuglaci, who is a prolific
writer, researcher and publisher. Pars Tuglaci authored several dictionaries, and wrote on
a variety of subjects about Turkey's past that brought to light the now disappeared
beauties of old Istanbul.
We remember Hagop Martayan Dilaçar with respect, gratitude and admiration.
January 15, 1996 The Turkish Times
Digest" type Turkish magazine from Baskent University had an article in its
June 2005 issue: "Four Armenian Patriots who influenced the life of Mustapha
Kemal (ATATURK)!"; one was Berch Keresteciyan, and another was Hagop
Martayan Dilaçar, both covered above. I couldn't find the fourth, but here is what
we were told about the third, Garabed Tombalyan, which isn't much (also there's
further insight on Martayan):
It should be kept in mind that the Armenian
citizens showed a remarkable courage not only in all layers of the cornerstones of
this society, but also in the social and cultural formation of Turkey.
For instance, while been charged in Damascus, Garabed
Tombalyan protected Mustapha Kemal from an assassination. He was very honorable and
patriotic person, really esteemed by Ataturk.
Agop Martayan (Dilacar), on the other hand, was an
intellectual who was arrested by the Ottoman soldiers with the charge of espionage
but, during his defense, he said that "he shed blood for this country and he
would never be unfaithful to it" and he was protected by Mustapha Kemal, since
he was impressed by these words.
In consequence, Martayan who was a genuine intellectual
has worked in the “Aravelk” newspaper published in Armenian for a very long time
and contributed to the Turkish Language Institute.
Vahan Pastermadjian was an
Ottoman-Armenian who fought loyally for his country. While the majority of Armenians had
turned traitor at the outset of the First World War, whether they wanted to or not, it
must be borne in mind there were exceptions to the rule. So why single out Vahan as one of
the exceptions? He was the brother of one of the most notorious traitors of them all,
Armen Garo! (Below.)
Knowledge of Vahan Pastermadjian comes
courtesy of a Rober Koptas, of the University of Bogazici, who participted in the fifth of
the closed door sessions of the Suny-Gocek WATS series. It appears Karekin (Garo) spoke of
brother Vahan in his memoirs, and then Koptas found a family shot featuring the brothers
in a book entitled “Erzeroum” by Hratch Tarbassian (1975, USA). Vahan fought in
Sarikamish against the Russians, as part of the Yergok brigade. 83rd division. The
commander, Ziya Yergok, also had memoirs published (2005), and there is praise of Vahan:
“One of the daring and valorous officers of this regiment, studying at the Military
Academy of Istanbul at the time of the constitutional government, was the second
lieutenant Vahan Pastermadjian of Erzeroum. This officer was wounded in the leg during the
battle of Koprukoy.” The Turkish newspaper Milliyet
covered the story in June, 2006.
Artin Penik is the brave Armenian-Turk who
committed suicide in 1982 to protest the murderous actions of his brethren at that
time. Here is the story.
Bedros Kapamaciyan, Mayor of Van
(K. S. Papazian spells the name as
Prof. Dr. Hasan Oktay from the University of Yüzüncü Yil, Department of
History, has found out a very shocking example regarding the oppressions of
Armenians on Armenians :
"Following the atmosphere which prevailed after the
announcement of the Second Constitutional Regime, the post of Mayor in Van,
was given to Bedros Kapamaciyan, an Armenian member of Van Administrative
Assembly, in the midst of the year 1909. In spite of the fact that the Moslem
people constituted the majority of population in the city; Kapamaciyan Efendi
was elected as a member without any considerations of discrimination by
earning the respect of all the people, therefore, he also received votes the
Moslem people. As a matter of fact, at the end of the elections, two out of
ten members in the Administrative Assembly were Armenians.
Kapamaciyan Efendi (b. 1840), who pleased the
people of the province during his administration and who always sided with the
Ottoman State in spite of the Tashnak and Hinchak committees, served for the
peace and the welfare of both the Turkish and the Armenian committees in Van.
While Kapamaciyan, the Mayor, was working hard for the peace and the future of
the city, the Armenian Patriarch was conspiring for plots and provocation in
Van and its environs. He collaborated with the Tashnak committee in order to
keep the Armenian matter alive for the European states.
As a result of these plots, a series of fires broke out in Van, and the houses
of some of the Armenians were also burned up in these fires. The Patriarch
wanted the Major to send a report to the Ambassadors of the European States
stating that the fires and provocation were caused by the Moslem people, and
that they are getting ready to destroy the lives and the property of the
Armenians at any moment.
However, Kapamaciyan Efendi, the Mayor, sent a report telling that the matter
was not so and the fires were started by the Armenian Tashnak committees.
The existence of Kapamaciyan Efendi, who spoiled the efforts of the
revolutionary Armenians still working with great efforts in the center of Van,
was an unbearable situation, so the committees took the decision to execute
the major. The revolutionary gangs, who based their theories on an
Armenian-Turkish conflict, had arranged assassinations before the outstanding
Armenian people who supported the Ottoman State and who weakened their
domination over the people. Thus, with this assassination they were going to
frighten the community and avoid further opposition.
Kapamaciyan Efendi, who was frequently threatened on December 10, 1912 in the
evening, with all his family got onto the sledges that was waiting in front of
the door of his home, to go to Marcidciyan Efendi, who was one of his
relatives, for the celebration of "name giving". He did not know
that he was on the black list. A Tashnak group was waiting near his home the
group started a volley of shots onto the crowd. The Mayor, who was caught
unaware and without any protection at all, was shot with two bullets in his
head and fell dead on the ground.
Since the home of the Mayor was in the Baglar quarter, the closest patrol
station was ten minutes away. So, the murderers fled in the darkness before
the gendarmerie arrived. The Baglar quarter was a place with gardens and
vineyards. In this is quarter Armenians were the majority and it was easy for
the murderers to hide and run away.
The witnesses who saw the incident started to be questioned. The facial
features and other information about the murderers were slowly being revealed.
Especially from the evidence given by the Mayor's son, it was understood that
Karakin and his friend were probably the murderers. Thus, the disclosure of
the murderers prevented probable clashes between the Moslem and the Armenians.
Karakin was caught after rapid operations, and his friend whose name we could
not find out, escaped. The assassins who were among the group who committed
the crime and was wanted for smuggling arms into Van whose names were Potur,
the carriage man, Sarac, Osep, jeweller Karakin, and somebody named Sahaf who
fled to Karagündüz village after the event and who was one of the leading
members of Tashnak committee, and who planned the murder of Kapamaciyan Efendi,
were caught after a difficult search. The friend of the murderer Karakin, who
got lost just after the event, was later on captured and put in prison.
Viramyan Efendi, one of the writers of the Azadamart newspaper as published in
Van by the members of Tashnak committee in Van; Aram Manukyan Efendi, the
inspector of Armenian schools and the Van delagate of Tashnak committee; and
some of the Armenian leaders of the Tashnak committee were arrested for
plotting Mayor Kapamaciyan's murder.
Because the Ottoman officials were successful in finding the murderer of
Kapamaciyan, who was very popular among the Armenians, the capturing of the
murderers, even though they were not punished severely, still met with
pleasure by the people. But the Armenian people felt deep sorrow because the
murderers were Armenians. Necessary measures were taken in the funeral and
thus special care was taken to avoid any disturbances. The English, Russian,
and the French Consuls were among the foreign missions who also participated
in the funeral. However, the fact that nobody from the military and also from
the Tashnak committee was at the ceremony, which was rather meaningful. With
this attitude, the Tashnak committee made it clear to their supporters and
enemies that they killed the mayor and thus this was a warning to their
The revolutionist Tashnak committees could kill their own people without any
their hesitation to reach their goals. The committeemen were capable doing all
kinds of actions for the formation of a suitable medium for a revolution. They
conducted their actions systematically with the help of Russia; they were able
to occupy Van, temporarily. When the Russians retreated because of the
Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Van again passed to the hands of Turks. "
Oktay reports the following from Altan Deliorman concerning to the oppressions
of Armenians on Armenians:
"While the Armenians were conducting their activities in Anatolia, in
Istanbul they were also, killing those Armenians who did not sympathise with
them. Advocate Hachik; Dacad Vartabet, the Chief priest of Gedikpasa Church;
Trader Karagözyan, Candle man Onnik; Apik Uncuyan; Policeman Markar, Mampre
Vartabet, the member of the Spiritual Assembly; Hajji Dikran Migirdic
Tütüncüyan are only a few of the Armenians who were murdered by the
Armenian gangs. " (4)
(1) Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi / The
Armenians and the Armenian Matter In History, Belge Publications, Istanbul,
1987, p. 469 - 471.
(2) Banoglu, Niyazi Ahmet, Gündüz Printing House, Ankara, 1976, p. 24 - 25.
(3) Oktay, Assoc. Prof. Dr.,
Hazan, " www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/articles "
(4) Altan Deliorman, Türklere Karsi Ermeni Komitecileri, Istanbul, 1975, p.
The Istanbul-born Hatchik Oscanyan came to the
U.S. in 1835 for his college education. Becoming a lecturer and a writer, his
"The Sultan and his People" (New York, 1857) evidently sold well. From
1868 to 1874 Oscanyan was Turkish consul-general in New York City, later pursuing
his literary career. The photo is from a card with the caption, "Mr. Oscanyan,
in native costume, as introduced at his Lectures on Turkey."
Hatchik Oscanyan in 1863
An excerpt from his book is revealing, as far
as how unoppressed and prosperous the Armenians were; the very fact that Oscanyan
was allowed to travel lends evidence to the freedom of Armenians, as with being
permitted to attain high posts in government:
This community constitutes the
very life of Turkey, for the Turks, long accustomed to rule rather than serve, have
relinquished to them all branches of industry. Hence the Armenians are the bankers,
merchants, mechanics, and traders of all sorts in Turkey.
Besides, there exists a congeniality and community of interest between them and the
Musulmans. For, being originally from the same region, they were alike in their
habits and feelings; therefore, easily assimilating themselves to their conquerors,
they gained their confidence, and became and still are the most influential of all
the rayahs. There is not a pasha, or a grandee, who is not indebted to them, either
pecuniarily, or for his promotion, and the humblest peasant owes them the value of
the very seed he sows; so that without them the Osmanlis could not survive a
This is a fact so well attested, that Russia, with the design of undermining Turkey,
always endeavoured to gain over this part of the population, and in 1828, when she
took possession of Erzeroum, she enticed the Armenians of that place to acts of
violence and revenge against the Turks, so that when the Russians retired, the
Armenians were obliged to emigrate with them.
Holdwater asks: If
the Ottomans were so dependant on the Armenians that they could
not survive a single day, and if the Sick Man was
bankrupt at the time of WWI, wouldn't it have been the most inopportune time to
"annihilate" the Armenians... assuming annihilation ever crossed their
minds? Could there have been... another reason for the relocation? One that Oscanyan
hints at, when the Armenians similarly betrayed their country in 1828?
Described as an
"unconscionable traitor" and a "fiend" by author Sarkis Atamian (The
Armenian Review, Nov. 1960, "Soghoman Tehlirian"), Muguditchian was
apparently the chief informer who ratted out the Armenian rebellion's ringleaders
from Istanbul (the 235 arrested on April 24.) Even though nobody likes stool
pigeons... we give him a half-hearted place of honor here, as he performed a great
service to his nation (albeit at personal gain, if the hysterical article is to
The story goes that the
Dashnak Tehlirian met a Hunchak, Yeranouhi Danielian, on Dec. 18, 1919, and "her
voice, choked with emotion," further twisted the assassin's deranged brain
by explaining "Mugurditchian had personally prepared a list of over three
hundred Armenian intellectuals, civic leaders and dignitaries, and sold the list to
Talaat Pasha, the arch-assassin of the Armenians. It was this list that Talaat used
to liquidate the three hundred." Of course, the number of the arrested on April
24 was 235 (according even to Lepsius during Tehlirian's 1921 assassination-of-Talat
trial; interesting that the 300 from the list were not all arrested, if the 300
number is accurate), and not all were executed; they were imprisoned and most were
executed, as the traitors of any nation especially from that time period would have
been. Moreover, it is not as if the Ottoman police would have been totally unaware
as to whom some of the troublemakers were. This article illogically gives
Mugurditchian the whole credit, but he was one of several sources used, as even
Peter Balakian refers to other "Armenian
spies," in his "The Burning Tigris." Moreover, who
learned of these details? Mugurditchian certainly would not have revealed his
informant status as he knew all too well the fanaticism of his brethren, as did any
Armenian. (Two out of three victims of Armenian terrorism between 1904-1906 were
grew wealthy on the blood of his brethren and enjoyed Talaat's friendship and
protection." So this silly article is attempting to have us believe
Mugurditchian's finger-pointing was revealed, otherwise why would he need
"protection"? (What did he have, a 24-hour guard?) "Miss Danielian
quickly filled in the details and cried with anguish that even more unendurable than
the mass- murder was this insult to injury . . . the existence of the arch-traitor
who lived well in the midst of this tragedy, surrounded by the very loved-onces [sic]
the martyred three hundred left behind."
Sounds like an objective
article written with a cool head, doesn't it? At any rate, Soghoman Tehlirian simply
accepted the facts as his fellow terrorist described them, because for Armenians,
all that is needed is to simply be "told." (Just like when Tehlirian was told this story.) "Anger swelled
up in Tehlirian's veins," and the murderous Armenian "hero" then "found
himself in the vicinity of the arch-traitor's palatial residence."
(Implication: Mugurditchian got his estate because of the sale of his list. However,
well off Armenians in Istanbul were more the rule than the exception.) Tehlirian
looked through the window, saw the arch-traitor entertaining some guests;
Tehlirian's "hand whipped out the pistol," and he shot
Mugurditchian dead in the same cowardly manner in which Talat Pasha was murdered —
when the victims weren't aware of the oncoming bullets. Never mind whether either
man was guilty of the crimes they were being accused of; a fanatical Armenian's mind
cares not for justice, for as the fanatical Armenian author wrote in this article, "without
retribution, justice, is merely a word."
Why should Armenian soldiers be
labeled "bad"? After all, one man's terrorist is another's freedom
fighter, and if the example provided here (there are many more, but I have better
things to do than to compile a list of them; I'm more interested in the notorious
ones that have clearly committed crimes, as the ones listed under "THE
UGLY") was fighting for the independence of his homeland, that does not make
him "bad." The only time a regular Armenian freedom fighter, who was not
involved in massacres of defenseless civilians, would be in "The Bad"
category is if he smiled and drank at both Turkish tables and the tables of the
enemy.... as an Armenian-Turk. Then we are getting into Benedict Arnold territory,
and the last time I checked, treachery and betrayal were not laudable traits. (And I
am not positive that Antranig Ozanian was an Armenian-Turk, and not an
Armenian-Russian, so if I have erred, boo on me.)
(From an Armenian web site, with
source provided as The Independent, March 27, 1920, p. 467... page 467?
That's one thick newspaper):
General Antranig is worshiped by his countrymen for
his heroic fighting in their defense against the Turks. During the first two years of
W.W.I, he organized seven Armenian battalions which formed the backbone of as many Russian
divisions, each taking part in from thirty to forty battles against the Turks. After the
Russian revolution these Armenian troops, left alone in Turkish Armenia, mobilized 25,000
soldiers from the refugees and for three months in continuous battle kept the Turks out of
the Caucasus. Later in Persia these same ragged, starving soldiers under General Antranig
fought another hard campaign against the Turks.
general's wedding in 1922.
Good thing he was such a hero,
as otherwise his chances of
attracting a woman weren't good
(Unless you feel he was a catch).
The best man was Boghos Nubar.
I wonder why this account refers to
the general by his first name? That would be like calling MacArthur "General
So were those 25,000 troops Russian
in origin? The word "refugees" is the key. A little more insight on Ottoman-Armenians who served as Ottoman
soldiers, later betraying their country.
Man, these Armenian soldiers were
amazingly brave. Quite a contrast from the cowards who wouldn't fight, as reported by
American genuine eyewitnesses in The
Bristol Papers, and by Armenia's
first president himself. Too bad the Armenians who enlisted with their fellow Aryans, the Nazi Germans, proved
so despicable as fighting men, they were assigned to backwater tasks... doing the things
they excel at, in this case rounding up defenseless Jews for extermination. They were also
really good when they pulled a sneak, cowardly attack on defenseless Azerbaijanis in the
early 1990s, cutting up the innocent
civilians to pieces as well.
ADDENDUM: Here's a report on
how General Antranig's band of merry men treated Turkish villagers. Lovely. Regardless of the general's
origins, I feel much better now about including him among the "Bad." Perhaps he
better belongs in the category below.
Looks like there was another
"general" named Osebian
who enjoyed committing similar acts.
"When the Russian armies invaded Turkey after the Sarikamish
disaster of 1914, their columns were preceded by battalions of irregular Armenian
volunteers, both from the Caucasus and from Turkey. One of these was commanded by a
certain Andranik, a blood-thirsty adventurer... These Armenian volunteers, in
order to avenge their compatriots who had been massacred by the Kurds, committed all
kinds of excesses, more than six hundred thousand Kurds being killed between 1915
and 1916 in the eastern vilayets of Turkey."
Hassan Arfa, "The
Kurds," (London, 1968), pp. 25-26.
Holdwater note: A lot of
those irregulars came from the Ottoman army, in the form of deserters. Prof.
McCarthy reports the absence of thousands of desperately-needed troops did not help
ADDENDUM, July 2004: A
whitewashed account of Antranig's life appeared in a book called ‘’ANTRANIK PASHA’’,
written by Antranik Celebyan. (Translated to Turkish from the original Armenian version by
Mariam Arpi and Nairi Arek, Peri yayinlari, Istanbul, 2003) The book does not explain how
Antranig got to be a pasha. Yuksel Oktay tells us: "The
book presents the life of Antranik during three periods, first 1850- 1914, second, 1914
– 1919, and the third, 1920 – 1927. Antranik was born in 1855, in Sebinkarahisar, a
town in the northeastern part of Turkey."
Mr. Oktay continues: "On page 97, the author makes
reference to the missionary activities carried out by the Protestant and Catholic
missionaries, who are distributing free Bibles to people who are 80% illiterate."
"The book gives in detail the creation of secret
organizations, such as 'Freedom Party’ in Van in 1872 to liberate Van, the Hinchak party
established in 1887 in Geneva, and the Tasnak party created in 1990. However, in many
instances, the book tells the story of differences between Antranik and the parties and
even describes a plot against Antranik by the Armenians in Tiflis. The author also makes reference to some of
American Missionary Dr. Clarence Ussher’s observations (p.242), how Antranik takes off
his General's uniform (does not state how he became a general though) and goes up to the
mountains to fight as a freedom fighter... The book presents victories supposedly won by
Antranik, one after another, which is not mentioned in any other book that I have read. He
is made a hero who fights with a small Armenian force against large Ottoman armies and
wins and hides in the mountains."
"But on p. 248 (Antranig) makes a confession that the
Armenians put the entire city of Kars on fire as they left the city on April 12, 1918."
ADDENDUM, Sept. 2005: The
Antranik Battles is a book written in Armenian by K. Kukulyan and published in 1929 in
Beirut: In April 1904, as reported by K. Gurun, "The Armenian File":
"...the Armenian rebellions spread from the hills of Sassoun and the plain of Mush to
Van. The Consuls mediated and offered an agreement with Antranik. Among the band leaders
were the renowned Tashnak Committee members of Mush and Sassoun, Murad of Sivas, Sebuk,
Kevork, Mko, and the new revoluntionary Sempad. . . . The Dashnaksutyn bureau met with the
representatives of the Mush Central Committee, and chose Antranik to be the commander.
Sebuk was seriously wounded. Keork of Akcha died. The renowned Hirayr, who did not want to
leave Sebuk to the enemies, and tried to take him along, was also shot. (113) The passage
reported the confrontations as well as the number of Turks and Armenians killed during
each confrontation. During the confrontations which occurred on 14,16, and 22 April, on 2
May and 17 July, 932-1,132 Turks were killed, as opposed to only 19 Armenians.
These are figures provided by Armenians. But this rebellion, too, was included in the
literature as a massacre."
ADDENDUM, 1-08: More detail regarding this
book and the Sassun uprisings.
In addition, an internal government report has Antranik personally raping a Turkish woman named "Hanim Hatun" before
very likely having her killed.
BY NOW, IT'S OBVIOUS ANTRANIK BELONGS IN THE CATEGORY BELOW
"I arrived in Bayburt on August 8, 1917.
What I saw was terrifying. Armenians under the Russian administration were
committing horrifying, wild atrocities against Turks in Bayburt and Ispir. The
rebels named Arshak and Antranik, slaughtered the
children in the orphanage I worked at with their daggers. They raped young girls and
women. They took away 150 children with them while they were withdrawing from
Bayburt and killed most of them while they were still on the way."
Red Cross Attendant Tatiana
Karameli, student of Russian Medicine School, serving at Russian Red Cross 1917-18,
memoirs. Ottoman Archives BOA HR. SYS. 2877/1
AND THE UGLY
LALAYAN [NO! SEE ADDENDUM!]
"I killed Muslims by every means possible. Yet it is
sometimes a pity to waste bullets for this. The best way is to gather all of these
dogs and throw them into wells and then fill the wells with big and heavy stones. as
I did. I gathered all of the women, men and children, threw big stones down on top
of them. They must never live on this earth."
A. Lalayan, Revolutsionniy Vostok
(Revolutionary East) No: 2-3, Moscow, 1936.
(ADDENDUM, 04-06: Wow! Was this one ever the biggest
mistake. Oh, well. This is why the truthful information provider must always be
ready to "revise" as better information comes along. Lalayan (or Lalaian)
was not a crazy killer Dashnak. Poor Lalaian, who has been libeled here and in so
many other places, was a Soviet-Armenian journalist/historian! The words refer to an unnamed
crazy killer Dashnak officer who was proud of his murderous misdeeds. Here is another translation of the above
statement. Sorry, Comrade Lalaian!)
ADDENDUM, 7-06: See new page on Lalayan.
Excerpts from the same source indicate the crazed Dashnak's name was Aslen Varaam
[p. 45], bragging in 1920.
MURAD (or "Muradyan")
Hamparsum Boyaciyan (Boyadjian)
The leader of the Hunchak Committee in
Istanbul, after the Kumkapi
demonstration, was Murad (Hamparsum Boyaciyan... or "Hambartsum Boyadjian,"
as spelled by some Armenians; also "Hampartsoum Boyadjian")... at a time
when the Hunchaks perpetrated much violence against fellow Armenians. Murad was the
one who ordered that "Turkish children also should be killed as they form a
danger to the Armenian nation," perhaps making him a true Armenian Adolf
Eichmann (except, unlike Eichmann, the Hunchak leader was not afraid to get his
hands directly bloody.)
Historian Cezmi Yurtsever wrote a book called "The Book of Muradyan (Muradyan Kitabi)," reporting:
"Hamparsum Boyaciyan as other leaders
of Hinchak Organization graduated from the Armenian Church Education Center named as
Marhasahane, which is directed by Father Jirayr, in the 1880's. Graduates of the
same school took part in the Armenian Hinchak Revolution Organizations founded in
Europe and Istanbul in the 1890's. Doctor Hamparsum Boyaciyan began to be called
Muradyan and became the leader of the Hinchak Revolution Party. He led Kumkapi
(Istanbul ), Sason (Diyarbakir ), Zeytun (Kahramanmaras) rebellions and became the
deputy of Adana in the Ottoman Parliament in 1909. In 1915, he quit his task and
went to Sivas to betray Ottoman Armies, and directed guerilla wars from the Yildiz
Mountains. In 1918, he gave an order to his followers to kill all Muslims. More than
500,000 Muslim Turks in Erzincan, Erzurum, Kars, Van and Trabzon were brutally
killed by Armenian Dashnak-Tsutyun and Hinchak Parties."
One of Murad's boys in earlier days (circa
1890) was famed rebel Gevorg Chavush.
good Doctor Boyaciyan poses
Armenian site supplements: "Medz'n Mourad was born in the mountainous Cilician
town of Hajin in 1867..."
The site claims "the Immortal Girayr" was Murad's
brother, and he "organised much of Armenia Minor until he was hanged by the
Ottomans in 1894. Mourad, then a medical student in Constantinople, joined the
Hunchakians and became one of the leaders of the 1890 Kum Kapu demonstration. he had
a price on his head (2000 gold pieces), fled to Greece, travelled to France and the
USA, returned to lead the 1894 rebellion in Sassoun, when in Aug. 1-15 he fought
against Zeki Pasha's Fourth Turkish battalion. he was sent to prison. (It's amazing such a traitorous rebel wasn't executed.) The
Hunchaks helped him escape after eleven years of imprisonment (everyone
escapes from Turkish prisons! Billy Hayes, Taner Akcam, Balakian's "action
priest" relative...) and "The news of his escape echoed all around
the world and was greeted with words of joy and happiness in both Armenian and
Just as amazingly, he was elected to the Ottoman Parliament
after having such a criminal record. Here's where the Armenian account deviates from
the above: The poor, innocent Murad was labeled, for no good reason, as
"an undesirable by the Young Turk Government," and was "among the
first to be arrested in April 1915 during the eve of the Armenian Genocide," to
be "severely tortured in prison." After a July trial, he was "hanged
on 24 August 1915, with 12 fellow friends."
ADDENDUM, 04-06: There might have been another Murad during the WWI years, a
Dashnak. Still trying to get to the bottom of this one.
ADDENDUM, 08-07: No closer to unraveling the mystery of
the two Murads; a pity they both have the same name, and are both from Sivas; the
only difference is that the older Murad, Boyaciyan, was a Hunchak. If the Armenian
report claiming that.Boyaciyan was killed in 1915 can be confirmed, then it will
become easier to distinguish between the two.
The "Dashnak" Murad was featured as practically a lone hero (i.e., he was
ludicrously made out to have only a handful of Armenians in his band, if memory
serves) in Toynbee and Bryce's "Blue Book," 1916's "Treatment of
Armenians" work. This fedayi is almost certainly the same as Murad
of Sebastia (referred to here
in an Armenian oral history account, spelled "Mourad," featuring a
As reference, internal Ottoman military documents refer to the Murads as such: the
Hunchak, Boyaciyan, got a nod in
June 11, 1915, while reported as having directed Hunchak communications in Sivas.
The rest refers, probably, to the "other" Murad. A few in his band were killed in a clash, with twenty taken
prisoner; the Dashnak led 1,000 in
Erzincan in Jan. 1918, and tried to escape
from a tough spot; was convicted to
death in absentia, and identified as being from Sivas; reported to have committed great crimes in Erzincan, and of being behind "instructions to exterminate the entire Islamic population of the
occupied territories," January 31, 1918. (Soghoman Tehlirian, assassin of
Talat Pasha, served under Murad of Sebastia during this Erzincan period.)
Here is the report of the Armenian-idolizing Christopher Walker, from his ending
biographical notes, ARMENIA: The Survival of a Nation; note how the partisan
author refers to the poor, innocent Murad's execution (Walker terms it
"murder") in what looks like a confirmation of the year 1915.
MURAD (Hampartsum Boyadjian) (Hadjin 1867 - Ayash 1915)
Educated at his birthplace and at Constantinople, where he studied medicine. Further
medical studies at Geneva. Joined the Hunchak party soon after its formation (1887).
Active against the Ottoman government in the following year. The chief organiser of
the Kum Kapu demonstration, July 1890. Escaped to Athens; thence to Transcaucasia.
To Sasun in 1892 to encourage the people to resist the depredations of the Kurds.
Again in Transcaucasia for much of 1893, returning to Khnus in the autumn. Leader of
the Sasun revolt, 1894, after the arrest of Mihran Damadian. Murad was himself
arrested and sentenced to death; foreign pressure commuted the sentence to life
imprisonment. In Tripoli (Barbary) gaol for 12 years before escaping to France in
1904. To Egypt where, as a representative of the Hunchaks, he signed a document of
reconciliation with Damadian (representing the Verakazmial Hunchaks), 24 November
1907. Thence to the USA. Returned to Constantinople after the Ottoman constitution
of 1908; member of both the Armenian National Assembly and the Ottoman Parliament
(deputy for Adana). Murdered during the 1915 genocide.
MURAD of SIVAS (Sivas province 1874 - Baku 1918) Born in a village in
the province of Sivas. A fedayi leader in the 1904 Sasun rebellion; member of the
Dashnak party. In Transcaucasia during the 1905 Armeno-Tatar conflict, fighting in
Nakhichevan and Zangezur. Joined the Armenian volunteers on the outbreak of the
first world war. At Erzindjan at the time of the Erzindjan truce (December 1917);
became the actual leader as the Russian command ebbed. Fought the renewed Turkish
offensive all the way east to Baku, being killed in the defence of that city on 5
to Walker, the origin of Boyadjian's Turkish moniker: "He
had eluded the imperial spies by disguising himself as a Muslim sheikh with the name
ADDENDUM, 01-08: Looks like we are tackling two Murads in this section; here
are some notes on the second one, Murad of Sivas, as provided by Nick in one of his
excellent TAT essays (the book referred
to is Mikayel Verandian's Murad of Sepastia, Armenian Cultural Foundation,
Arlington, Massachusetts, 2006):
"Like many Armenian terrorists, this particular Murad (there are a number of
Murads) began his career in murder, extortion and robbery — according to his
biography (opus cited, pp. 16 and 26): he participated in the interrogation and
torture of a suspected Armenian informer (and former friend) on church premises in
Istanbul (the man was later found dead), and later on he notes that 'the wealthy
Armenians finally had to open their coffers for the liberation cause; otherwise this
would have been done by force. This was one of the most difficult and grave tasks of
the ARF, to bring the Armenian wealthy class to its senses and make it see its duty
to the nation.' With no small sense of irony, Murad’s biographer concludes that
Murad “with his diplomacy enticed large sums from them.”
Pastermadjian, a.k.a. Armen Garo
Another former Ottoman parliamentarian, Armen Garo (his
revolutionary name, meaning "Armenian Hero") and fellow Armenian
terrorists were pardoned by the Sultan after taking over the Ottoman Bank in 1896;
the Dashnak operative was among those who engineered the cookbook that future
terrorists would follow for years to come. Garo repaid his tolerant nation by
joining the Russians in WWI. Along with the other traitorous Armenian troops and
officers of the Ottoman Third Army, Garo returned soon after, "burning
hamlets and mercilessly putting to the knife all of the peaceful Mussulman villagers
that fell into their hands," as reported by Rafael de Nogales (in 1926’s "Four
Years Beneath the Crescent").
After Garo and his fellow Dashnak terrorists
were safely scooted away on Sir Edgar Vincent's yacht. following the bank takeover, one of the European
representatives had the following to report (from William L. Langer's
"The Diplomacy of Imperialism: 1890 - 1902," 1972):
hatred of the Turks was beyond all description, and the gloating of the rank
and file over the Turks they had killed was truly horrible and savage... They
also told me that it had been their intention to kill all the Turks in the
employ of the Bank before blowing the latter up, but that they had not had
time, as things finished sooner than they had expected.”
The Dashank/ARF site legaman.com reports Pastermadjian
earned a Ph.D. in chemistry four years after his experience with explosives in
Istanbul, and "led the Armenian population's defense of (Tbilisi) during the
Armeno-Tatar war of 1905 (Holdwater: the
"Tatars" of this so-called war were mostly Azerbaijanis).... In
autumn 1914, Armen Garo returned to the Caucasus and played an important role in the
volunteer movement as Dro's right-hand man. After the independence of
Armenia, he was a member of the Armenian National Delegation in Paris, and then
ambassador in Washington, D.C. His role in planning and successfully implementing
Operation Nemesis was fundamental. (Holdwater: Nemesis was the terrorist network
behind the post war executions of CUP leaders) He died in Geneva in March
General Drastamat Kanayan
His reputation made by massacring
women and children of Muslim villages during World War I, the general put his
"skills" to work for Adolf Hitler a few decades later. Commander of the
infamous 812th Armenian battalion during World War II; possibly nicknamed as the
'Jew hunter' by the Nazis. Condemned to be shot by a firing squad of Stalin's goons,
the Diaspora Armenians smuggled him into the USA by reportedly bribing INS
(Immigration) functionaries. He lived in the United States until his death in
Massachusetts, in 1956.
Armenian-Americans raised almost a
quarter of a million dollars in just two days in order to dig up the Armenian Nazi
General, flying his body back to Armenia to be reburied there with full state and
military honors. His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All
Armenians conducted the ceremony in May 29, 2000, with Armenia's President, Robert
Kocharian, in attendance.
Dro's burial site in Aparan, Armenia
The holy man said, "Only words
are vain, deeds are needed with the words. Let his return to the Motherland reawaken
the evaluation of this truth in the souls of the Armenian people. Let Drastamat
Kanayan's and his companions' eternal memory give birth among our people to new
faith towards victories in the spirit of the devoted service to the
Holdwater says: NICE role
model to serve as an inspiration for Armenia's youth..!
What are the effects of this attitude on the
minds of impressionable children? What does it mean when an Armenian ‘Boy Scout
Troop’ goes to church and participates in a ‘memorial commemorative service’
for the ‘Lisbon Five Martyrs’? When they listen to their elders speak of dead
terrorists as “martyrs” who have “joined the pantheon of our ancient braves?”
The answer to these queries is all too obvious: It means nothing less than that ‘terrorists’
are being portrayed for today's Armenian youth as fitting ‘role models,’ as ‘heroes’
whose actions are worthy of emulation. It further means that for every Armenian
terrorist who is captured or killed there will be another impressionable youth
waiting to take his place. It means, in fact, the continuation of ‘round after
round’ of ‘generation after generation’ of Armenian Terrorism.
Professor Heath Lowry, “Nineteenth and Twentieth Century
Armenian Terrorism: Threads of Continuity,”
An American officer, Robert
Dunn, reflects on Dro's handiwork ('World
Alive, A Personal Story,' Crown
Publishers, New York, 1952, pg. 361.):
"Corpses came next, the first a pretty child with straight black hair, large eyes. She looked about twelve years old. She lay in some stubble where meal lay scattered from the sack she'd been toting. The bayonet had gone through her back, I judged, for blood around was scant. Between the breasts one clot, too small for a bullet wound, crusted her homespun dress.
The next was a boy of ten or less, in rawhide jacket and
knee-pants. He lay face down in the path by several huts. One arm reached out to the pewter bowl he'd carried, now upset upon its dough. Steel had jabbed just below his neck, into the spine.
There were grownups, too, I saw as I led the sorrel around. Djul was empty of the living till I looked up to see beside me Dro's German-speaking colonel. He said all Muslims who had not escaped were dead."
Mark Bristol also had thoughts
on General Dro
Arthur Derounian (John Roy
Carlson) recounts a meeting
with the ex-Nazi.