Tall Armenian Tale

 

The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide

 

  Jemal Pasha: "Memoirs of a Turkish Statesman"  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems
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 This is an amazing book (published in 1922 London). Quite a revelation. Since I usually get my information from "Armenian" sources, it hasn't been easy to key in on the personalities of the three Young Turk "genocide perpetrators." Generally, the things we pick up are from waste matter such as "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story," where the Turkish leaders are made out to look like demons. (In Jemal Pasha's case, Morgenthau kindly offered: "Even his laugh, which disclosed all his white teeth, was unpleasant and animal-like." It's very cool that Jemal had the opportunity to get some digs back at Morgenthau, in his own memoirs.)

What is so striking about Jemal Pasha's memoirs is the way in which his intelligence and education stands out. His revelations might be dismissed by the genocide-crazed crowd (after all, he is one of the three "criminals"; why, even a "Turkish court" thought so), but most everything he says is backed by real history, and the cold, hard facts. One might also be wary of Jemal's motives to whitewash himself, but the tone of the book is straightforward and honest. Jemal appears to have been a good man. Running a brief search now on the Internet, so many have been quick to dress him in a black hat  (for example some Israelis think so, regarding the Jews he was in charge of, while running Syria and Jerusalem. But a surprising one was a Palestinian site, also looking down on Jemal for executing a few Arab "cultural leaders" who likely played a part in the Arabs' own traitorous revolt). But Jemal's actions spoke louder than words, and his humane heart reached out to those in trouble, when possible. He helped the Armenians many times, but the propagandists among them have a way of twisting any good deed. (Setting up areas to take care of Armenian orphans? He was guilty of trying to "Turkify" them. No peep from the biased West, of course,  when the shoe was on the other foot.)


This Library of Congress photo shows mission worker Bertha Vester and children John and Louise, the latter sitting on Jemal's lap. Jemal trusted the "American Colony" in Jerusalem, and asked them to photograph the war's course in Palestine. Even after the USA entered the war in 1917, the Colony was permitted to continue its relief efforts, showing the great heart of the Ottomans. Imagine: when in history has a combatant country given permission to the citizens of another country fighting against its side to care for the people which it was accused of exterminating?

Jemal Pasha's reward for being a friend of the Armenians was to get murdered by them in Tiflis, 1922. He was fifty years old.
Click Here for Pic

(To digress a bit, an Armenian-Turkish site, hyetert.com, has a page on a Turkish journalist, former CUP man and Malta internee, Hüseyin Cahit Yalcin. He has a book called "Tanidiklarim," Ones I Knew, and in one excerpt he confronts a Soviet diplomat ["Naziri Cicer"] at the Lausanne Conference and raises the question of Jemal's assassination. The diplomat informs him that the murderers were Armenians, and that they received... punishment?? As a footnote, an Armenian page claims Soviet strongman Lavrenti Beria, then chief of the Georgian Cheka [Bolshevik secret police], was a "witness" to the act.)

Bedros Der Boghosian Stepan DzaghigianArdashes Kevorkian

Assassins of Jemal Pasha: Bedros Der Boghosian,  Stepan Dzaghigian and
 Ardashes Kevorkian. "Nemesis" was the Dashnak hit squad, and it was
 headquartered in the USA.

The awful thing is, even though this book was a rare exception... the "Turkish side" being made available in the West, for once... the Westerners who read the book were barely affected. (For example, a professor who actually wrote a 1941 book on war propaganda completely disbelieved that Armenians can behave so inhumanly, despite the Russian testimonies Jemal provided. The anti-Turkish prejudice is so thick, it's unbelievable.)

The excerpts on this page have been made possible through reader Cihan.

ADDENDUM, 12-07: Before we get to the book excerpts, let's quickly discuss how Jemal executed two officers for killing Armenians; as Guenter Lewy wrote in "The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide" (pp. 112-113):

"Two Turkish officers, Cerkez Ahmed and Galatali Halil, were implicated in atrocities against Armenian deportees in the vilayet of Diarbekir and were held responsible for the murder of two Armenian members of the parliament (Krikor Zohrab and Seringulian Vartkes). At the request of Djemal they were arrested the moment they came into territory under his jurisdiction, tried by a court-martial in Damascus, and sentenced to be hanged."

Now, an explosive discovery (thanks to Erman) is that Jemal may not have been acting independently, but under the orders of Talat Pasha!

A telegram published in a new Turkish book
 (Turkish-Armenian Conflict Documents, page 261) reads as follows:

Document dated September 09, 1915
Ottoman Government
Ministry of the Interior
General Directorate of Security
Secret

Cipher message to the Governorate of Konya:

Ahmet from Siroz and his friend Halil have been sent to Konya today, to be prosecuted by the Military Court of the 4th Army for the crimes of murdering the Armenians and usurping their possessions. The said individuals should definitely not be permitted to escape and they should be kept imprisoned in Konya, until receiving the request and written note of Cemal Pasha in that regard.
September 09,1915

The Minister
.

The team of Dadrian and Akcam have attempted to address these executions by explaining the accused either pilfered goods from the Armenians instead of giving them to the state, or that it would be a good idea to silence them so that they would not serve as witnesses for the government's diabolical genocide plans (which would have entailed the government's needing to do away with scores of their own people in what was, we are told, a full-fledged genocide. Good old Vahakn Dadrian), but we can see from the above that Talat specified the crime of "murdering Armenians."

This only makes sense, as well as for that other example of an Ottoman officer — Vehib Pasha — who executed his own men for massacring Armenians in the army. It's not as though these officers could have acted independently! What government would work that way, especially given the mindset of soldiers, who are trained to obey orders and to follow protocol? The Ottoman Cabinet would have had to approve of such executions.

This revelation serves as a tremendous blow to genocide theory.

And now for Jemal's book:

 

 
Talaat Bey ... was never a postman as the Ambassador alleges

pp. 128-129:

The representations of their Ambassador, who based them both to the Grand Vizier and ourselves on the terms of the alliance, became more and more imperious. In any case our mobilisation was completed about this time, and all our army corps were ready to take the field on the first order of the Commander-in-Chief. The various units were drilled and exercised continuously, and almost every day we had divisional and corps manoeuvres round Constantinople and Skutari.

It was seen at once how right Enver Pasha had been in insisting that the reorganisation of the army should begin with the reconstruction of the cadres. The result was observable in the mobility of the larger units, the command of which had been entrusted to young officers well trained in strategy and tactics. When the Germans realised these results they considered that as we possessed so well organised an army we could not remain a mere spectator of the calamities overtaking the Austrians and Germans.

I must here ask indulgence for a slight digression. About this time there was a rumour in Constantinople that Enver Pasha was insisting on an alliance with the Germans and a declaration of war on Russia, while I was determined to prevent any departure from our neutrality in any case. It was said that the dispute had reached such a pitch that before the assembled Ministers Enver had threatened me with a revolver, but that I had anticipated him and injured his foot. The really peculiar thing is that this legend has found a place in Mr. Morgenthau’s book. I should like to know whether the honest Ambassador who bases his personal observations on such idle chatter will blush if he takes the trouble to re-read his book after reading what I have written.

I owe it to him to let him know that it would never have occurred to Enver Pasha, Talaat Bey, and all my colleagues even to use a bitter word to each other — much less resort to weapons — either at the time when we were working as revolutionaries for the overthrow of the despotic rule of Sultan Hamid, or during the period when we were together in the Ministry. We have not come from low and obscure origins, as Mr. Morgenthau believes and desires others to believe. Some among us finished their studies at the Military Academy; several have been to Turkish and European Universities; and Talaat Bey (who was never a postman as the Ambassador alleges) was at a law college in Salonica after leaving school. It is thus ridiculous to suggest that we behaved like Apaches.

We had no longer the excuse for postponing our participation in the war that the mobilisation of our army was not yet complete. The question of money was now raised. We had derived no direct advantage from the fact that the capitulations had been abolished by a provisional law, as the customs revenue had dropped to almost a quarter of what it was in normal times.

The first instalment of the loan raised in France barely covered the current expenses of the Government up to the end of the year. We therefore asked the Germans to settle the financial problem.

On October 11th I received from von Wangenheim an invitation to an intimate lunch in the Embassy at Therapia. When I arrived I found the Grand Vizier present, with Talaat Bey, Halil Bey, and Enver Pasha. Von Kühlmann, recently appointed Councillor of Embassy, was also there. After lunch we all went to the Ambassador’s private room. Wangenheim, with a very doleful face, told us that Germany had accepted all our financial conditions, and looked at us as much as to say: “Now don’t start thinking of any more objections!

The legend that we signed an alliance, and so forth, at the Embassy that day is wholly untrue. As I have said above, the compact had been signed at the very outbreak of war, so that there was nothing to sign that day.

The general situation was examined and discussed at a meeting of the inner Cabinet (Endjumen Wükela) which took place the following day. At the outset there were two alternatives before us:

1. Immediate intervention in the World War.

2. To send Halil Bey, accompanied by Hakki Bey and the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, to convince the Germans of the necessity of maintaining neutrality for another six months.

 
CHAPTER IX.

THE ARMENIAN QUESTION.

(p. 241-302)



AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

WE Young Turks unquestionably prefer the Armenians, and particularly the Armenian revolutionaries, to the Greeks and Bulgarians. They are a finer and braver race than the two other nations, open and candid, constant in their friendships, constant in their hatreds. We are absolutely convinced that the policy of Russia was alone responsible for the enmity between Turkish and Armenian elements. Sixty years ago, or, to speak more accurately, until ten years before the Russo- Turkish War of 1877-8, there was no question whatever of any religious conflict between the two races, i.e., religious differences between Mohammedans and Christians. In Anatolia, Rumelia, Constantinople, indeed throughout the Turkish Empire, the Armenians and Turks lived together in such harmony that Ottoman histories of that period do not even mention such a thing as an Armenian question. In family affairs there was no limit to Turco-Armenian friendship. When a Turk left his village in Asia Minor for some business journey he left his Armenian neighbours in full charge of his family, honours and rights, and the Armenians on their side showed equal confidence in their Turkish neighbours.

In the whole of Anatolia and Rumelia, and even in Constantinople there was not an Armenian who could speak Armenian. Turkish — in Armenian characters — was taught in all the schools, and in the churches Mass was said in Turkish. The highest offices of State were open to the Armenians, and they were regarded as the most loyal subjects of the Ottoman Empire.

(p. 242)

When the Beys of Kurdistan were overthrown by the Turks the Armenians who lived under their sway did not form an independent State. Under Kurdish domination they had suffered terrible oppression. Mr. Ambassador Morgenthau may say what he likes and take endless pains, as he does, to suppress the historical evidence. The fact is that just as justice and tolerance alone can explain the formation of the Turkish Empire and the rapid extension of Turkish dominion, so the magnanimity and friendship shown the Armenians won their gratitude. The result was that for five hundred years there was no sort of conflict between the two peoples and there was not a single Armenian who had not made the Turkish tongue and national customs his own.

When Sultan Fatih Mehmed Han allowed the Orthodox patriarchate to remain in existence after the capture of Constantinople and granted the Greeks (not as a result of any external pressure, but purely out of generosity and nobility of mind) a number of rights known as " religious privileges," he also founded an Armenian Patriarchate in the capital of his Empire, so that the rights of the Armenian nation, who were a national minority among the Mohammedans of Anatolia, should be the more worthily upheld. He also gave the Armenians the same rights and privileges he had granted to the Greeks.

On page 190 of his work Mandelstamm relies on the observations of a historian who, notwithstanding incontrovertible historical facts, is shameless enough to ascribe the tolerant generosity of the Turks solely to their contempt for all things Christian, which, in their eyes, were from the religious point of view impure !

In the year 1462 of the Christian era, at a time when throughout Europe the notion of the " rights of minorities " was utterly undeveloped, a Mohammedan Sultan at the height of his power allowed the Greek Patriarchate to continue in Constantinople. He granted the Greeks as " religious privileges " a whole series of special rights as to marriage, inheritance, and education. In his own capital he founded another Patriarchate for another nation which had lived under the yoke of Kurdish tyranny, and granted it the same rights and privileges. Yet shameless individuals of Mandelstamm's kidney do not shrink from ascribing this generosity to a feeling of contempt for everything Christian ! What an injustice !

Were not these rights granted by a great Turkish Sultan in the fifteenth century the highest application of those principles of the " Rights of Minorities " which President Wilson has endeavoured to get recognised by the civilised world ?

Has this principle received the same recognition and extension in the recent peace treaty with Austria at Saint Germain (which the Jugo-Slav and Rumanian Governments refused to accept) as it did in those rights granted by the Conqueror to the Christian nationalities ?

The Armenians know well enough that to these privileges alone they owe the fact that they have preserved their religion and nationality. Instead of the oppression they endured under the thraldom of the Kurds they have been able to live on the best of terms with the Turks, and especially with the Turkish Government. Why does Herr Mandelstamm, who gets his information from the works of men like Zarzeski and others, turn for proof to the sufferings and wrongs to which the Armenians were exposed before the nineteenth century under the feudal tyranny of the Kurdish Beys ? Why does he not think of the feudal tyranny in which the French nation lived before the Great Revolution ? It is not even necessary to go as far afield as that. Was the existence of the Russian mujiks more tolerable than that of the Armenians in Turkey ?

Herr Mandelstamm does not shrink from confessing himself an enthusiastic partisan of the Russian Revolution. Does he not know that we, too, know something about the Russian revolutionary writings and something about the oppression of the Russian peasants by their landlords, and not so long ago ? If Herr Mandelstamm has the audacity to maintain that those writings exaggerated we can assure him without hesitation that he is not speaking the truth.

I repeat once again that until after the Crimean War of 1856 the Turks and Armenians lived together on the best of terms and the former were never guilty of any wrongs against their Armenian neighbours. When the Russians turned greedy eyes on the Ottoman Empire they began to think it would be politically effective if they could make the Christian elements in Rumelia tools in their designs.

It produces a remarkable impression to find Herr Mandelstamm, after saying on page 300 of his book that the Russian Revolutionary Government thoroughly approved of the steps taken by Czarist Russia to support the Christian nations against Turkish oppression, and adding that " the mujik, who himself is a victim of the greatest oppression, has always gone to war to save the Greeks, Bulgars, and Serbs."

All this was the result of that famous policy which aroused fear and aversion throughout the world. For the sake of mankind we cannot but hope it will be doomed to eternal extinction along with Czarism.

It must, of course, be admitted that the nationalist tendencies which began to develop and spread about the middle of the nineteenth century was the direct explanation of the fact that the young Armenians who had gone to Europe and America to gain knowledge or a living absorbed that mental atmosphere which drove them to strive for an easier private life for their people and more independent political activities. This development was regarded by the Russian diplomats as a gift from God, and from that moment they left no stone unturned to excite the Armenians against their Government.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century Sultan Mahmud II. had taken extreme steps to restore order in his Empire, and suppress the administrative and military anarchy which had been the result of two hundred years of misgovernment. He abolished the janissaries, restricted the powers of the Beys of Anatolia and Rumelia until they had hardly any authority left, and also curbed the power of the Beys of Kurdistan.

...Insults are not proof.



But while this unfortunate sovereign was endeavouring to restore order in his country he found himself faced with difficulties innumerable. The Greeks were egged on through the intrigues of the " Ethniki Heteria," an organisation founded by Russian capital, and he had all the trouble in the world to pacify them. He saw himself attacked by the French, English and Russians, lost his entire fleet at Navarino, and was at length compelled to recognise the independence of Greece. Mehmed Ali Pasha, the Governor-General of Egypt, rose against him as the result of French inspiration. He wanted to secure the Turkish crown for himself, and succeeded in taking the whole country as far as Kutahia.

Who can reproach a Government faced with such enormous internal and external difficulties with not having taken all the steps possible to promote the welfare not merely of its Armenian subjects, but of all its subjects ?

The Government of Sultan Abdul Medjid granted the Armenians such extensive privileges that even Mandelstamm mentions the fact with admiration. On page 90 of his book he writes :

In the year 1863 the Armenians received a real constitution. That constitution gave them the right to elect a Supreme Council, with its seat at Constantinople. The Supreme Council consisted of four hundred members, of which one hundred and twenty were elected by the people themselves.

Could President Wilson think of any better method of safe- guarding the rights of national minorities ?

The Ottoman Government granted the Armenians this constitution without any pressure from outside. The loyalty they had displayed hitherto had gained the sympathies of the Government to such an extent that the latter did not hesitate for a moment to give the "faithful Armenian nation" a constitution. It was to be the beginning of a new and happy era. The Russians, however , used this constitution to interfere in Armenian affairs.

Even as early as the Russo-Turkish War of 1856 a few Armenian rebels had given assistance to the Russians. Thereafter the Russians maintained relations with Armenia, and lost no opportunity of encouraging the Armenian revolutionaries. The effect made itself felt so quickly that within four years of the grant of the constitution (1867) the first Armenian revolt broke out at Zeitun.

This first armed revolt on the part of the Armenians naturally made a considerable impression on the Government. The Russian and Anatolian Armenians made things extremely difficult for the Turkish armies during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8. Nercess Effendi, the Armenian Patriarch, who at that time went to San Stefano to secure the Czar's support for the cause of Armenian independence, was thereby largely responsible for the fact that the Armenians had entirely lost their old name of the " loyal nation " (millet-i-Sadika).

(p. 246)

 The Russian politicians realised well enough that after the declaration of Bulgarian independence any chance of interfering in the internal affairs of the Empire had gone. But the Imperial Russian Government desired to preserve that right, and therefore secured the insertion in the Treaty of San Stefano of a special article for the benefit of the Armenians. This article was reproduced in another form in the Treaty of Berlin.

In this way relations between the Armenians, Kurds and Turks had become very strained. Throughout the Ottoman Empire, in large towns as in the smaller villages, the Armenian Revolutionary Committee had established secret associations, very well organised. These secret associations worked tirelessly to rouse the Armenians against the Kurds and Turks, and demanded nothing less than the establishment of a privileged Armenian province consisting of six vilayets in eastern Anatolia. The Government and the Turk and Kurdish population were, of course, well aware of these intrigues.

As the Armenians were bent on founding an independent State in which they could impose their will on the Kurds and Turks, who greatly outnumbered them, the latter naturally tried to frustrate this plan. To speak more plainly, the Kurds and Turks realised only too well that the whole scheme was only a pretext on the part of Russia for snatching a very large part of Anatolia, which was inhabited exclusively by Turks and Kurds. They naturally regarded Armenia, so to speak, as a snake let loose by Russia against them.

In January , 1880, as a result of continuous pressure by Russia, and in view of the various Armenian revolts, the States of Europe issued a Note on the subject of Armenian Reforms to the Sublime Porte. It was just then that the Bulgarians were trying to annex Eastern Rumelia. Every time the Government had to settle some very important domestic or foreign problem the Russians brought up the Armenian question again. Abdul Hamid II. settled the matter by giving way on certain points.

The Armenian troubles reached their height in the years 1894- 1896, and there were risings, more or less, everywhere. The Armenian disorders now resulted in such intense hatreds between the three nations, which had lived peacefully side by side for five to six hundred years, that they were ready to fall upon one another and stain the soil of Anatolia, and even Constantinople itself, with their blood. Even men like Mandelstamm who thoroughly detest the Turks cannot deny that during the events of those years the Turks felt no sort of hatred towards the Armenians. Many Turks vied with one another in protecting the Armenians, and in Constantinople a number of Turkish families showed the greatest friendliness to their Armenian neighbours by hiding them in their houses to save them from death. Many dignitaries of the Empire were horror-struck, and condemned the Armenian massacres in Constantinople, which were started by the porters at the Custom House. They did everything in their power to stop them.

The whole world knows what strong steps Marshal Fuad Pasha took to protect the Armenians at Kadikoi. Mandelstamm says that it was just because of Fuad Pasha's friendship for the Armenians that he afterwards fell into disfavour, but there is not a human being in Constantinople who does not know that the statement is untrue.

During the two or three years in which these massacres were in progress a very large number of Kurds and Turks were killed by the Armenians, and the two sides vied with each other in thinking out every possible form of torture. But as the Armenians were, of course, in a minority, the Turks and Kurds had the upper hand. If the Armenians had had a numerical majority the number of murdered Turks and Kurds would have exceeded that of the Armenians. The best proof is the number of Turks massacred by the Greeks in the Morea. But as those poor unfortunates were only Turks and Mohammedans there was no poet like Lord Byron or Chateaubriand to sing their hard lot, and those bloody events left no memories behind them but a record in the annals of Ottoman history.

Consistently with my views on political administration I have an absolute horror of such methods. I condemn the practice of using the masses to suppress revolutionary movements and organise massacres. Such practices do a nation the utmost harm and cast a stain on their history.

This view is shared by all the patriots who banded together as the "Young Turk" revolutionaries. They condemned the happenings of 1894-1896 in Armenia as a grave political blunder of Sultan Abdul Hamid II., who hoped to maintain his own despotic authority in that cruel way. It was thus that Ahmed Riza Bey and his companions who were in Europe at the time gave the revolting Armenians effective assistance. The other revolutionaries who, like myself, were at home and shared the same views, did not hesitate to condemn Abdul Hamid because of the injury done to the Turkish, and more especially the Ottoman, cause by the Armenian massacres.

Some of the most high-minded of the Armenian revolutionaries then began to see the situation in a true light. They saw that while on the one hand the Russians were stopping at nothing to secure independence for the Armenians of Turkey, the Armenians of the Caucasus were suffering under the greatest despotism. In return for the promise that no railways would be constructed in Eastern Anatolia the Czar actually promised the Sultan Abdul Hamid II. to forbid the return to Turkey of the Armenians who had fled into the Caucasus after the revolution of 1896.

There could not be clearer proof of Russia's intentions towards Turkey and the Armenians. It is incontestable that culture and material well-being are the most essential elements in the prosperity of a nation. But well-being begins with the establishment of suitable communications such as railways and roads. The Russians were demanding reforms for the welfare and security of the vilayets inhabited by Armenians and simultaneously insisting that we should refrain from the construction of railways, which would have promoted those objects.

What is Herr Mandelstamm's explanation of these facts ? He confines himself simply to reviling a European writer who drew attention to this matter. But insults are not proof..

The double game played by Russian politicians made the honourable Armenians reflect. They could not help putting to themselves the following question: If Armenia gained autonomy would she not fall under the Russian yoke, which was a thousand times worse than the Turkish ? The Turkish revolutionary committees therefore made great efforts to get the " Dachnakzutiun Committee," the most reasonable and best conducted of the Armenian committees; to recognise the reforms for the benefit of all the nationalities of the Ottoman Empire for which they were working.

 



(p. 249)


 Herr Mandelstamm cannot say that my statements are invented because the " Dachnakzutiun," which participated in the general congress of the Committee of Unity and Progress in Paris in 1907 and their published programme, closely approached the reforms at which we aimed. They also promised to work in co-operation with the Committee of Unity and Progress. Malumian Effendi (Agnoni), one of the leaders of the “Dachnakzutiun Committee,” whom I met in Constantinople in 1908, frequently spoke to me of the Russian danger which was hanging over the Armenians' heads.

But among the Armenian revolutionary committees were some like the " Hinjakists " and " Reformed Hinjakists," most of whose leaders had been bought by the Russians, who sought no rapprochement with the Turkish committees and were aiming at an Armenian State under Russian protection.

Thanks to the representatives of these Russian committees and the Russian money distributed by all the Russian Consulates which took an active part in the revolutionary organisations, even the ecclesiastical party began to say that the protection of the Russian Czar was preferable to that of the Mohammedan Khalif.

Such was the position of the Armenian and Turkish revolutionaries when the revolution of 1908 began. The secret " Committee of Unity and Progress " which was formed at Salonica had accepted as its domestic programme the establishment pf 1!he " Midhat Pasha " constitution. The basis of this constitution was the recognition of Ottomanism and simultaneous decentralisation of administration. On the other hand, the system of " political decentralisation " without recognition of Ottomanism was the goal aimed at by the Macedonian Bulgarian Committees, the Macedonian Greek Committees under the leadership of the Ethniki Heteria, the Macedonian National War Committee, and the revolutionary Albanian, Armenian, and Arab Committees.

" Decentralisation of the Administration " meant administrative local autonomy in a single " Ottoman Empire " for the various parts inhabited by the different national elements. If the Committee of Unity and Progress had held the same views as our external enemies, who desired nothing so much as the dismemberment of the Empire and left nothing undone in the way of plots and intrigues, it would not have hesitated for a moment to accept that principle of " political or legal autonomy," the greatest champion of which was Prince Sabaheddin. But France coveted Syria, the English hoped to make themselves masters of Mesopotamia and the whole Arabian Peninsula, the Russians were only waiting for a favourable opportunity to seize the eastern provinces of Anatolia, the Bulgarians and Serbs wanted to carve up Macedonia, the Italians and Austrians wished to lay hands on Albania, and the Greeks hoped to incorporate the islands of the Archipelago in their kingdom. If all these regions had been created provinces on the principle of "political decentralisation," would those nations have had the slightest difficulty in swallowing them up one after the other ? Would our decentralisation principle have stood the test of time any better than the decentralisation principle of Austria ? Did it make the Czecho-Slovaks, Croats, and Slovenes lose hope of breaking away altogether from Austria ? Would the authority and power of our central Government have proved more effective than those of the Austrian Government to protect the independent provinces against the intrigues of our even more numerous and covetous enemies? No region enjoyed a larger measure of administrative autonomy than the island of Crete. But did we succeed in compelling the Cretans to abandon their hope of uniting with Greece ? The Island of Cyprus had a privileged position before the English occupation, but did we not hear the same story every year-the age-old desire for incorporation with Greece ?

Were we able to prevent the Bulgarians from taking Eastern Rumelia, though Rumelia enjoyed a generous administrative autonomy ? Did England have any difficulty in occupying Egypt, which was among the most highly privileged of our provinces ? Have the English hesitated to lay hands on Kuiveit, a dependency of the Ottoman Khalifate for centuries, after announcing that the Sheik Mubarek el Sabah had accepted English protection ? Did the English find any difficulty in treating Mesopotamia as their sphere of influence on the pretext that the local population were longing for English protection ? Could not the same be said of the French with regard to Syria ? And can we regard Macedonia or Albania in a different light to Eastern Rumelia and Bosnia- Herzegovina ?

Jemal Pasha

Jemal Pasha: Minister of the Navy

  I do not think the advocates of “ political decentralisation “ can give a logical and satisfactory answer to all these problems. To those who reproach us with having pursued a “ purely Turkish policy," I reply emphatically that our policy was not a " Turkish " policy, but the policy of Ottoman unity. If we had accepted the decentralisation principle, the Committee would, indeed, have had to pursue a " Turkish " policy, for we should have had to demand the same local autonomy for vilayets inhabited solely by Turks as for the other provinces. So those who confess themselves " Turks " only are really advocates of '" decentralisation," for in effect they are simply following a purely Turkish policy. We, on the other hand, whose policy was Ottoman unity, had accepted as a fundamental principle that the influence of the Central Government on the vilayets should not be diminished, though the local administration should be granted the most extensive powers, always provided that the unity of army organisation should not be prejudiced.

Young Turkey realised that among the various Ottoman elements which were struggling for the advancement of their respective nationalities the Turks alone were isolated and without leaders, and so they, too, began to work for a great national revival in knowledge, education and virtue. The Committee of Unity and Progress had no right to put any obstacles in their way, and I cannot imagine that the advocates of decentralisation would have wished to oppose their endeavours.

Can it be said that the '" Turkification " of the nations was involved in the demand that the Turkish language should be the official tongue in the Ottoman Empire ? Were we engaged in the " Turkification " of the other nations when we said that public education in the Ottoman Empire must be under the supervision of the Government and well conducted ?

Just after the inauguration of the constitution a number of national committees were established in Constantinople, committees such as the " Arab Union," the " Cherkess Mutual Help Society," the " Kurdish Club," the " Albanian Club," and many others. Then why is it said that the foundation of the " Ottoman Home " proves that the Unionist Government had " Turkification " designs ?

Speaking for myself, I am primarily an Ottoman, but I do not forget that I am a Turk, and nothing can shake my belief that the Turkish race is the foundation stone of the Ottoman Empire. The educational and civilising influence of the Turks cements Ottoman unity and strengthens the Empire, for in its origins the Ottoman Empire is a Turkish creation.

If any evidence is required, look at the tragic situation in which we find ourselves to-day. Look at the Arabs, who rose against us in the hope of gaining their independence. Where are they today ? I have referred to this point before.

Immediately after Egypt deserted the Ottoman Union it fell under English domination. The moment Young Egypt protested against that domination England's heavy fist descended upon them. The coast region of Syria and Lebanon are not enough for France. She wants to occupy the interior as well.

Does anyone in those countries ever speak of Ottomanism ? On the contrary, the cry, “ By the grace of God we are freed from Ottomanism,” is ever on the lips of a crowd of traitors who have lived on the favour of the Government. But the voice raised in Anatolia — that sacred land to the Turks — proclaims that the " Ottoman Empire " still exists, and her noble sons who dwell in Western Thrace — that little Turkish corner — have never ceased to strive for their union with the Empire. In short, all Turks — wherever they are — endeavour to assert themselves and seek refuge in the glorious Ottoman name. We appeal to all who wish to preserve the cause of Ottoman unity to realise their holy duty of encouraging the Turks, increasing their number, and giving them their place in the sun.

I hope my little diversion, for the purpose of making my personal views widely known, may not be regarded as superfluous.

In accordance with the Act of the Constitution, the Central Committee of " Unity and Progress " expressed a desire to form the various revolutionary political committees in the country into one " Political Committee of Ottoman Unity ." With that end in view it first of all got into touch with the various Bulgarian revolutionary committees. We opened negotiations with the celebrated Sandansky, Chernopexiff, and their friends. But, whereas we regarded the principle of Ottomanism as the basis of the negotiations, they refused to make the slightest concession, and demanded the autonomy of Macedonia. God alone knows what we had to put up with at those conferences in which Talaat Bey and I participated as delegates. I shall never forget the painful day I spent with Sandansky in the Bulgarian villages of Menlik, Petric, and Osmanje Djuma-i-Bala at the time of the first elections. Yet we got on better with them than with any of the other revolutionary committees, for the Macedonian Bulgarian Committee absolutely refused to abandon its own programme.

A Greek, who had come to Salonika to negotiate in the name of the Ethniki Heteria, proposed that Crete and Samos should be annexed by Greece, that the other islands should be granted administrative autonomy, and so-called Greek Macedonia the most far-reaching privileges. As compensation there was to be an alliance between Greece and Turkey. We rejected these proposals as, of course, what we wanted was not a Turco-Greek alliance, but that the Greeks of Turkey should join our Committee of Unity and Progress so that Ottoman unity could become a reality.

In August, 1908, the Central Committee was provisionally transferred to Constantinople, where we opened negotiations on the same principles with Prince Sabaheddin and the Armenian Committee. Our party was represented by Talaat Bey, Behaeddin Shakir Bey and myself. Dr. Reschad Nihad represented Prince Sabaheddin, while Malumian and Shahirikian Effendi acted on behalf of the Armenians. We demonstrated to them in turn all the drawbacks the principle of decentralisation involved for the Ottoman Empire. Prince Sabaheddin's views were more or less those of the Dachnakzutiun Committee. They both replied to us in the same sense.

It was curious that Dr. Reschad Nihad asked us to grant privileges even more extensive than those claimed by the Armenian Revolutionary Committee and refused to consider the disadvantages those privileges involved. At length Malumian Effendi, speaking in the name of the Dachnakzutiun Committee, made the following proposal :

The Dachnakzutiun Committee will work hand in hand widl the Committe of Unity and Progress to safeguard the constitution in the Ottoman Empire. but otherwise each Committee retains full freedom of action both as to the realisation of its main programme and the choice of means. This means that the Dachnakzutiun Committee will maintain its revolutionary organisation in the country with the single difference that the organisation, which has hitherto been secret, will now come forward openly as a political committee and its members will work in public.

Of course we had no alternative but to accept this proposal. To put it shortly, after all our sacrifices and three or four months of unceasing labour, we had not succeeded in incorporating the revolutionary committees of the other nationalities in our II Unity and Progress " Association because our aims and theirs diverged too greatly. They wanted to carryon in public their propaganda in favour of autonomy and independence, propaganda which had hitherto been secret and exposed to great perils. They hoped in that way to reach their goal all the sooner. We, on the other hand, wanted to give the Committee of Unity and Progress the prestige of a joint association of all revolutionary committees of the Ottoman nationalities, just as the Empire itself had come into being by the joint association of all those nationalities. We wanted the necessity of Ottoman unity to be realised and recognised by all the elements so that the constitution should be safe from any danger .

Just as all Republicans in France at once unite against the aggressor the moment they consider the Republic in danger, the '" Unity and Progress " Association, composed of all the old revolutionary committees, was to call upon its members to rise as one against the slightest attack on the constitution. Just as the Republicans in France comprise men of the most varying political views and adherents of different parties, our '" Unity and Progress " Association was to comprise men of different political views and parties, without prejudice to their national and religious convictions.

None of the political parties whose aims were exclusively nationalist were willing to accept this super-national programme, for in reality they were receiving their directions from abroad, and as far as we were concerned they were simply puppets. Thus the Dachnakzutiun Committee, which was the most favourably inclined to us and had a very real fear of seeing Armenia fall under the Russian yoke, maintained its own organisation, and publicly announced its intention of continuing its work for the realisation of its political aims. The Armenian Hinjakists and Reformed Hinjakists absolutely refused to enter into negotiations with us and their leaders in Constantinople or entered into open relations with the Russian Embassy.

In 1909, at the instigation of the Committee of Unity and Progress, Hussein Hilmi Pasha's Cabinet decided to send a commission of enquiry to the eastern vilayets to settle the agrarian disputes which had broken out in those vilayets between the Armenians, Turks, and Kurds. Ghalib Bey, Member of the Senate and Supreme Administrative Court, was appointed chairman of the commission, which, in addition to him, was composed of two 1'urkish and two Armenian members. One of the Turkish member was Major Zeki Bey, of the General Staff, who had been on the best of terms with the Dachnakzutiun Committee when he was in Europe, I was the other member. Once more it was the leaders of the Dachnakzutiun who asked that I should be a member of this committee. In the previous negotiations they had realised that my yiews were just .and impartial, and they assumed that as I was a member of the Central Committee, my decisions would be less exposed to attack by the committee. Glad to fall in with the suggestion, I left Salonica for Constantinople. Yet this proposal of the Government was most violently attacked in the Chamber by the deputies for the eastern vilayets, who maintained that to send a commission of enquiry was to encroach upon the constitutional authority of the Governor-General. As Ferid Pasha, then Minister of the Interior, proved incompetent to defend the Government's views to the Chamber, I had to wait idly in Constantinople until the events of March 31st (April 13th), 1909.

After those events the scheme was entirely dropped, and at the end of May, 1909, I was appointed Governor of Skutari.

 



THE ADANA AFFAIR AND AFTER.

Just at the time when the revolt of March 31st began with the avowed object of finishing with the leaders of the Committee of Unity and Progress and their followers there was a Turco- Armenian massacre in Adana.

As I was appointed Governor of Adana about the middle of August, 1909, four months after this occurrence, I may maintain that no one was better qualified than I to enquire into the psychological causes of this massacre, one of the most painful events in the history of our constitution.

After the constitution was proclaimed the civil population in every part of the Ottoman Empire had become so unruly that no one, from the lowest gendarme to the mighty Governor-General, had any influence with them. 'The word " freedom " was interpreted both by Press and public in a very erroneous sense, and every man thought he could do exactly what he liked without penalty. Several valis and many civil police and legal officials who had oppressed the people during the Absolutist regime were now subjected to very ugly and illegal attacks. Men who had never even heard the name of " Unity and Progress " before the promulgation of the constitution often paraded as " heroes of liberation," and went so far as to interfere with Government officials in the execution of their duty. My memories of the early days of the constitution, when I was a member of the Central Committee, are full of occurences of that kind.

The Central Committee did everything in its power to check such excesses and to protect everyone, whether guilty or innocent, against illegal attacks. With a view to imbuing the public with the essential principles of the committee's programme special deputies were sent out with the task of founding sections in all places where the committee had not yet established local organisations. Unfortunately, generally speaking, these deputies were not well chosen. Some of them allowed themselves to be carried away by the spirit of indiscipline prevailing among the people, and forgot that the main purpose of our regulations was to maintain the prestige of the Government in the country.

Later on several politicians who came forward as opponents of " Unity and Progress " used the harmful and peculiar interpretation put upon the word " freedom " in the Press to make attacks upon the committee and plunge the country into a perfectly hope- less anarchy. As th~ Government was deprived of all prestige and power in the capital of the Empire, it is easy to imagine the state of affairs in the provinces. Many men who failed to secure important positions in the local Unity and Progress Committees which we established founded branches of the various political committees which were gradually formed in Constantinople and took their revenge that way.

The Mohammedan and Turkish population was thus at sixes and sevens, while the Christian population through their own committees worked hard for the realisation of their programme.

(p. 257)

In the vilayet of Adana the Turkish population is in a majority. After it come the Armenians, then the Arabs (known by the name of "Arab Uschagi"), and finally the Greeks. The vilayet has a population of five hundred and fifty thousand. There are about sixty thousand Armenians, between twenty and twenty-five thousand Arab Uschagi, and ten to fifteen thousand Greeks. All the rest are Turks. For centuries these people, who are mostly engaged in agriculture, have lived together in the greatest peace and harmony.

It is an incontestable fact that long before the Ottomans came the vilayet of Adana was Turkish, for the Ottomans seized it from a Turkish ruling family known under the name of " Ramazun Oghullari." Although history tells us that at the time of the Crusades there was an Armenian kingdom called Cicilia in this region, it is equally true that a large number had settled in the country at that time, and the Turkish feudal Beys did not like that kingdom.

The majority of the Armenians now dwelling in the vilayet of Adana had their original home in Diabekir, Sivas and Mamuret-ul-Asis. They migrated during the nineteenth century in the hope of seeking their fortune. The real Adana-born Armenians are to be found in the town of Hadjin, on the northern border of the vilayet, in a few villages in the neighbourhood of Sis, chief town of the Sandjak of Kozan, and in Dort Yol, on the shores of the Gulf of Alexandretta, and some villages in its vicinity.

The Arab-Uschagi are part of the population which was transplanted from the Sandjak of Lazkie, under the government of Sultan Abdul Aziz, in order to cultivate the plain of Adana, which was very fertile, but at that time sparsely populated.

As I have already said, the Turks and Armenians, as, indeed, the rest of the population, had previously lived together on the very best of terms, and there was no reason to anticipate any sort of strife between them. At the time of the disorders and massacres of 1894-1896 nothing at all had happened in the vilayet of Adana, and Turks and Armenians had worked together to prevent the spread of disorder into their district. Their efforts had not been without success. After the promulgation of the constitution the Armenians of Adana founded local branches of the Dachnakzutiun, Hinjakists and Reformed Hinjakists in opposition to the Turkish political committees which were being formed, or rather — to speak more accurately — they continued openly those activities of their organisation which they had hitherto carried on in secret.

At this time the Armenian vicar in Adana was a young and ambitious priest named Muscheg Effendi, who was also leader of the Reformed Hinjakists. The Armenians could not say enough about the licentiousness of this man. If all the stories told about him by the Armenians are true, it may be stated without exaggeration that he was the incarnation of all the evil instincts.

After the promulgation of the constitution Monsignor Muscheg regarded himself as the religious and political head of Adana. I was told that this priest, shamelessly taking advantage of the weakness of the Government, adopted a most insulting attitude towards the Governor-General at a meeting of the Administrative Council, and left the assembly in a furious rage after threatening to box the ears of the Colonel of Gendarmerie for the vilayet. I was also told by Armenians that at this time a considerable number of young Armenians — acolytes of Monsignor Muscheg — carried their effrontery so far as to proclaim publicly at various meetings that it would not be long before the Armenians were liberated from the Turkish yoke.

To be fair, I should add that the delegate of the Dachnakzutiun had no part in Monsignor Muscheg's excesses, and did not fail to draw the attention of the Dachnakzutiun deputies in Constantinople to the very evil results of his conduct.

But Monsignor Muscheg was not content with all this. He sent to Europe for rifles and revolvers with which to arm the Armenians. At this time the Government was permitting everything, even traffic in arms and their importation. Monsignor Muscheg let it be known publicly in all quarters that, " as the Armenians are armed at last, they no longer fear a repetition of the massacres of 1894, and that if anything happened to any Armenians ten Turks would pay for it with their lives." These declarations and Monsignor Muscheg’s acts compelled the Turks of Adana to take similar steps.

It is at this point that the heavy responsibility of the then Government of Adana begins, for an admission of weakness can never be a permissible excuse for the authorities. When Monsignor Muscheg's unruly agitation began to have its evil influence on the local population the safest course would have been at 9nce to arrest him and his adherents, and also any Turks who seemed likely to promote disorder, hold a legal investigation with- out delay, and, if necessary, threaten the vitayet with martial law . But at that time the Grand Vizier himself, Hussein Hilmi Pasha, did not dare to adopt energetic measures in Constantinople. It was he who had been insulted by members of the Mohammedie Committee in the avenue leading to the Sublime Forte on the occasion of the funeral of the journalist, Hassan Felimi Bey. The first duty of a Government is to make it clear to the nation that freedom and anarchy are not the same thing. Unhappily, we had no such Government in the Turkish Empire at the end of 1908 and the beginning of 1909.

At this period the Governor-General of Adana was Djevad Bey. He may certainly be regarded as a model of uprightness, but, unfortunately, he was also a model of administrative incapacity. He was in no way equal to the demands made upon a vali of Adana. An old soldier, General Mustafa Renizi Pasha, commanded the division. In his youth he had come to the front through his great energy, and he always maintained the traditions of honourable patriotism. But it cannot be said that this officer, who was both old and without any police powers, possessed the qualifications required by the military commander of Adana.

In the Sandjak of Bjebel Bereket the mutessarif was Assaf Bey, who was so timid that he was afraid of his own shadow. I have never been able to understand how such an individual came to be appointed Vice-Governor.

At the beginning of the year 1909 a rumour was going round that the Armenians would rise and destroy the Turks in the immediate future. They would use the opportunity to let the vilayet be occupied by contingents from the fleets of European Powers, and then proceed to form an Armenian State. The Turks were so convinced of the truth of these rumours that many reputable people took their families to a place of safety.

 


(p. 260):

I was told that certain members of the Mohammedie Committee had been sent from Constantinople to Adana to warn the people of the Armenian rising, but I have never succeeded in ascertaining the truth of that rumour .

At the beginning of April, 1909, the situation on both sides was so strained that every day it was expected that the two parties among the local population would fall upon each other.

At length, on April 14th, the " Adana affair " began, on Monsignor Muscheg's orders, with attacks started by the Armenians. At Adana, Tarsus, Hamidie, Mismis, Erzine, Dort Yol and Azirli, in fact, in all places inhabited by Armenians, a massacre began, the details of which are too loathsome to describe. The Government showed itself utterly powerless even in the chief town of the vilayet, and in its utter bewilderment went so far as to order a rising en masse in these districts to prevent the Armenian attacks on the Turks.

On hearing the news that the Armenians of Dort Yol were approaching Erzine, the chief town of the Sandjak of Djebel Bereket, in arms, the mutessarif Assaf Bey did not dare even to leave his room. He scattered all over the villages of the Liwa telegrams in which he wrote :

The Mohammedans here are in danger of being wiped out, and it is the duty of every man who loves his country and nation to fly to arms and hurry to the Sandjak of Djebel Bereket.

It was certainly true that the Armenians of Dort Yol were approaching Erzine with the intention of massacring the Turks in the Sandjak of Djebel Bereket. But it is an utterly unpardonable error for a mutessarif to shut himself up in his room and tell the inhabitants to do what they liked, for people who find themselves in danger will not only attack aggressors, but even the unarmed and helpless, such as women, old men, and children, and end by looting and burning towns, villages, and country houses. And all this is exactly what happened.

Such were the causes of the first events in Adana. The subsequent occurrences, which were confined to the town of Adana, followed ten days later in consequence of shots fired by young Armenians into the camp of the troops. The Adana massacre became even worse after that.

My personal opinion is that Monsignor Muscheg is the real culprit, the real author of the Sicilian Vespers, but his responsibility is almost shared by the Governor J who must have realised what a danger this man represented and yet did not take the necessary steps to avert it. It was quite unpardonable of him to let the reins of authority slip from his grasp at such a time and to be guilty of such deplorably feeble conduct when dealing with a looting and murderous rabble.

What is absolutely certain is that two or three months before these events the Turks and Mohammedans of all public and official circles in the vilayet of Adana were firmly convinced that the Armenians were procuring fresh arms every day for the purposes of a general massacre, and that they were really in great danger . The unbridled and provocative language of Monsignor Muscheg only confirmed that opinion.

The psychological causes I have discussed are not merely my own opinion. The English Major Doughty Wyllie, who was then English Consul at Adana, also shared my view. I much regret that this honourable gentleman, who showed high courage in the Dardanelles actions and gave his life for his country, is no longer alive to confirm what I say.

The American missionary, Mr. Chambers, and the Director of the American College at Tarsus, Mr. Christine, told me of the horrible cruelties perpetrated by the Turks and Arab Uschaks during the massacres, but also assured me that Monsignor Muscheg was the prime instigator of the massacre.

Seventeen thousand Armenians and one thousand eight hundred and fifty Turks were killed in Adana in this massacre. The figures show that if the Armenians had been in a majority the reverse would have been the case and the Turks would have been massacred by the Armenians. There was nothing to choose between the two sides as regards cruelties. The Armenians never stopped attacking Turkish women and children, the Turks did the same, and the two infuriated races proved that there was no difference between them.

When I was appointed Governor-General of Adana the Government placed a credit of £200,000 (Turkish) at my disposal. One hundred thousand were for rebuilding the Armenian and Turkish houses in the towns and villages which had been burnt; the other half was to be lent to the Armenian traders, artisans, and farmers to enable them to resume business. The loans were not to be paid back for ten years.

(p. 262):

I established a building committee in Adana and took the chairmanship myself. The committee consisted of several foreigners, such as the American missionary, Mr. Chambers, and a large number of natives, the majority being Armenians.

Thanks to the steps I took, four months after my arrival all the Armenian houses in the. vilayet had been rebuilt and in the provisional capital there was not a single small family house which had not been finished. In brief, within five or six months the Armenians had freely resumed their trade, agriculture, and industry, and between Turks and Armenians there was no trace, at any rate superficially, of the previous hatreds.

When Herr Mandelstamm, on the authority of the work of a Greek named Adossides, says on page 205 of his book that of the guilty Mohammedans only nine of the most insignificant were killed, he does not speak the truth. Nor does Adossides, who is well known for his spiteful writings against the Turks.

Four months after my arrival at Adana I had not less than thirty Mohammedans executed who had been convicted by court martial. Two days later I had seventeen executed at Erzine. Among them were members of the oldest and highest families in Adana, such as the Mufti of the Kaza of Bagjce, who was extremely popular with the Turks of his district.

Monsignor Muscheg succeeded in escaping to Alexandretta on board a foreign steamer two days after these events, and I greatly regret that he did not fall into my hands. He was very properly condemned to death in contumaciam. If I had caught him I should have had him hanged opposite the Mufti of Bagjce. The Armenians themselves have fully recognised all the efforts I made in their behalf, and the restoration of their property while I was Governor-General of Adana. Many foreigners — French, English, Americans, and Russians — who came to Adana were witnesses of my work, and congratulated me upon it. The great orphanage I had built for the reception and bringing up of the children orphaned in the Adana affair is still in existence.

Djemal Pasha reviewing orphans
"Djemal Pasha (x), followed by his aide-de-camp, Nusret Bey, and Hassan Bey, the Director of Deportations, reviewing the Armenian orphans at Damascus." Photo and caption from the Naim-Andonian reprint of 1964. Goodwill shown toward Armenians must always be represented as evil intentions, where hateful propagandists are concerned.

 
THE REFORMS.

In August, 1912, when I left the administration of Bagdad (where I was sent on from Adana) and returned to Constantinople. the Ottoman Empire was passing through one of the most dangerous crises of its existence. (1) We were in the throes of war with Italy. (2) Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece had formed an alliance and were searching for some excuse for making war on us. (3) The Albanians were in revolt. (4) The whole Syrian Press was vomiting flames against the Government and demanding reforms for the Arabian provinces. (5) The Armenian Patriarch was addressing note after note to the Sublime Porte and insisting upon reforms in Armenia. (6) Perhaps the greatest danger of all — a number of officers had banded together under the name of the " Officer Liberators Group " (Halaskiaran) and were promoting deadly anarchy in the army. It could be said with perfect truth that the troops at the Dardanelles and in Smyrna and Albania were completely out of hand. At the head of the Government was Ghazi Muhtar Pasha's Cabinet.

During all these troubles the Balkan War began. The politicians of Russia and France took advantage of our various military failures to get to work. The French egged on the Arabs to demand reforms in Syria, and the Russian Ambassador at Constantinople, Baron von Giers, raised the Armenian question once more and handed the Minister of the Interior the following note on November 26th, 1912 :

Since the memorable events of 1894-1896, when Asia Minor and Constantinople were bleeding from the barbarous Armenian massacres, the position has in no way improved. Effect has not been given to the reforms decreed by Sultan Abdul Hamid on October 2oth, 1895, as a result of Russian, French, and English pressure. The agrarian question is becoming more and more acute from day to day. Most of the landed estates have been or are being seized by the Kurds, and instead of forbidding this illegal confiscation, the authorities are protecting and assisting the usurpers. The reports of all our consulates agree as to the acts of brigandage perpetrated by the Kurds, the unprecedented exactions, the murder of Armenians, and forced conversion of Armenian women. The miscreants are hardly ever dealt with according to law. The memoir presented by the Armenian Patriarch in Constantinople to the Sublime Porte and the Minister of the Interior gives a true picture of the miseries and persecution to which the Armenian subjects of the Sultan are exposed.

This state of things (continued Baron von Giers) sufficiently accounts for the fact that the Armenian nation is looking more and more to Russia. The Russian consulates in Armenia all bear witness to the state of public feeling there. The Armenians are demanding the introduction of reforms under Russian super- vision or even a Russian occupation. The Armenians professing the Catholic faith are imploring Russia, the "ancient protectress of the Christians of the East," in the name of the Almighty to take the wretched Armenian population in Turkish Armenia under her protection. The Ambassador is of opinion that t!he Armenian question is of the highest importance to Russia. and desires the Government will do what is necessary to remedy matters. He regards an occupation as premature and advocates reforms. But in doing so he does not forget the tragic fate of the decree of 1895, and insists upon the necessity of the reforms being effectively supervised by Russian or European officials. In view of the state of anarchy in which Turkey is plunged at the moment, the possibility must be reckoned with that the reforms will not have the calming effect desired and that it may be necessary for our troops to enter this region.


As early as the beginning of 1912 the Catholicos of Etschmiazin in Russia had sent the Boghos Nubar Pasha, to the Cabinets of Europe with a commission to demand administrative autonomy for Turkish Armenia. This proceeding was nothing but a step in Russian policy.

What a strong resemblance there was between the course taken by the Russians (which was designed to conceal their real intentions with regard to Armenia) and the policy pursued by France in Syria !

A Mohammedan of Beirut, member of the Arab Congress which met in Paris at the beginning of 1913, said to Monsieur Pichon, the French Foreign Minister :

Although we have called our congress in Paris. our only object is to obtain reforms for the Arab provinces from the Ottoman Government. We want neither a French occupation of Syria nor a French protectorate.

To prove that France had no arrière pensée with regard to Syria Herr Pichon reported this conversation to Herr Bompard, the French Ambassador in Constantinople. Almost at the same moment, on March 15th, 1913, the Russians said the same thing, possibly in the same words, to the Boghos Nubar Pasha.

What I say is confirmed by the following letter of February 28th (March 13th) from M. Isvolsky, the Russian Minister in Paris, to H. Sasonov, the Russian Foreign Minister.

Boghos Nubar Pasha (the Ambassador writes) repeatedly asserts that the Armenians of Turkey in no way desire to bring up the question of independence or constitutional changes. Their sole aim is to secure the reforms drawn up by Russia, France and England and provided for in the Treaty of Berlin, reforms which have remained a dead letter hitherto.

I think this remarkable coincidence in the views of the Arab and Armenian reformers is sufficient proof of the policy pursued by Russia and France with the object of dismembering Turkey.

(p. 265):

On March 22nd, 1913, the Russian Foreign Minister at length took the first step in the matter of the Armenian reforms. In a telegram of that date to the Russian Ambassador in Berlin M. Sassonoff called on Germany to associate herself with an international appeal to the Sublime Porte. The date coincides with the time when the Ottoman Government, utterly helpless, saw itself compelled to sign the preliminary peace in London and recognise the Enos-Midia line as the Turco-Bulgarian frontier.

At this time, too, the national demonstrations of the Armenians in Constantinople began to take unusual forms. They organised great celebrations in memory of the anniversary (I do not know which anniversary) of the discovery of the Armenian alphabet. They carried their audacity to the point of throwing confetti in the Armenian national colours about the streets. We bore all this with unshakable patience, and took the necessary steps to prevent ugly incidents. I was then Military Governor of Constantinople, and on an invitation from the Armenians went to the Tascion Garden and made a speech, speaking in the highest terms of the Armenian nation.

The course taken by the Russian Foreign Minister was to hand the representatives of the Great Powers in Constantinople a new scheme of reforms based upon the draft issued by the Ottoman Government in 1895. England and France at once fell in with their proposal. Germany alone suggested that plenipotentiaries of the Sublime Porte should be invited to join the committee to be formed by representatives of the Ambassadors. This suggestion was rejected out of hand by Russia, and Germany's consent was ultimately obtained to the establishment of a committee consisting of the Dragomans of the Embassies, which was to study the Armenian question. The only Government really concerned in the matter was calmly excluded.

Before the committee started on its work Russia had already had a scheme of reform prepared by Mandelstamm, the First Dragoman of the Embassy in Constantinople. I leave it to the conscience of the author to decide whether, under the pretext of preserving the rights of a national minority in a great empire, he can reconcile his sense of shame and the presentation of such a scheme of reforms to an independent State. In view of its great importance, I give the exact text of the Russian scheme:

 


THE RUSSIAN PROJECT (Orange Book No.50).

Constantinople, June 8th, 1913.

Scheme for the reforms for Armenia, drawn up by M. A. Mandelstamm, First Dragoman of the Russian Embassy in Constantinople.
Based on the following :

(1) The Memoir in Armenian reforms of the French, Russian and English Ambassadors in Constantinople {March and April, 1895) ;
(2) The scheme for administrative reforms for the province of Armenia drawn up by the French, Russian and English Ambassadors {March and April, 1895) ;
(3) The Armenian reform decree issued by His Majesty the Sultan on October 20th, 1895 ;
(4) The draft for a vilayet law for European Turkey of August 11th to 23rd, 1880, drawn up by the European Commission ;
(5) The vilayet law of 1913 ;
(6) Orders and negotiations with regard to Syria.



I.

§ 1. One province to be formed from the following six vilayets : Erzerum , Van, Bitlis, Diarbekir, Kharput and Sivas, excepting certain frontier districts, i.e., Hekkiari, the southern part of Surts, Bicheriks, Malatias and the districts north-east of Sivas.
§2. The administrative division of the province is to be as follows: I, Sandjak {district) ; 2, Kaza {department) ; 3, Nahie {commune).
§3. The parishes are to be arranged in such a way that, from the ethnographical point of view, homogenous national groups are to be formed.
Compare Point I. of the Three Ambassadors' Memorandum of 1895 and Art. 7 of the Ambassadors' scheme of 1895.


II.

The Governor-General {Vali Umumi) of the Armenian province is to be a Christian Ottoman subject, or, better still, a European appointed by His Imperial Majesty the Sultan for five years and approved by the Powers.
(Cf. Art. 17 of the Treaty of Berlin; Art. I. of the Cretan Regulations of 1896; Orders and negotiations with regard to the Lebanon; Arts. II. and VI. of the Three Ambassadors' Memorandum of 1895; Introduction to the Reform Decree in Armenia of October 20th, 1895, Point I.)


III.

The Governor-General is the head of the executive in the province. He has full authority to appoint and replace all the provincial administrative authorities. He also appoints all the judges of the province.
2. The police and gendarmerie are to be under the orders of the Governor- General.
3. If the Governor-General so desires, the military forces are to be at his disposal to maintain order in the province.
(Cf. Art. I. of the Lebanon Orders, 1864; Arts. 27, 32 and 44 of the Scheme of the European Commission, 1884; Arts. 20,25 and 26 of the Vilayet Administration Decree of 1913.)


IV.

The Governor-General of the province is to be assisted by an Administrative Council with full advisory powers and consisting of :
(a) The heads of the different admini5trative parishes of the province;
(b) The spiritual heads of the religious associations;
(c) The European technical advisers in the service of the Imperial Government appointed to assist the heads of the administrative parishes;
(d) Six legal advisers (three Mohammedans and three Christians) chosen from the members of the Provincial Assembly.
(Cf. Art. 49 of the Scheme of the European Commission of 1880; Art. 62 of the Vilayet Administration Decree of 1913; Art. 6 of the Decree of October, 1895.)


V.

1. The Provincial Assembly is to consist of Mohammedans and Christians in equal numbers.
2. The members of the Provincial Assembly are to be elected by secret ballot in the department by the electoral colleges to be formed there.
3. The number of seats to be assigned to the Mohammedan and Christian nationalities of the province is to be specially fixed for each department. So far as is compatible with the principle laid down in the first paragraph of this article, this number is to be in proportion to the population of the department.
(Cf. Art. II. of the Negotiations and Orders with reference to the Reorganisation of the Lebanon, 1861; Art. 3, §5, of the Three Ambassadors' Scheme of 1895 ; Art. 69 of the Scheme of the European Commission of 1880; Art. 103 of the Declee of 1913.)


VI.

1. The Provincial Assembly will be elected for five years, and meet once a year for a regular sitting of two months. The sitting may be extended by the Governor-General.
2. The Provincial Assembly may be summoned for an extraordinary sitting either by the Governor-General on his own initiative or on the demand of two- thirds of the members of the Assembly.
3. The Governor-General may dissolve the Assembly. In this case the elections must be held in two months, and the new Assembly meet within four months of the dissolution decree.
4. The decrees summoning or dissolving the Assembly must be issued in the name of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan.
(Cf. Arts. 73-75 of the Scheme of the European Commission of 1880; Arts. 111-115 and Art. 125 of the Provincial Decree of 1913.)


VII.

1. The Provincial Assembly is the legislative authority for provincial interests.
2. The powers of the Provincial Assembly in respect of legislation and finance are to be at least co-extensive with those provided for in Arts. 82-93 of the scheme drawn up in 1880 by the European Commission.
3. The laws passed by the Provincial Assembly are to be sent up for the consent of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan. That consent must be given or refused within two months and after the expiry of that period the silence of the Government is to be taken as consent.
(Cf. Arts. 82-93 of the Scheme of the European Commission of 1880; Arts. 123, 124, 128-135 of the Vilayet Administration Decree of 1913.)


VIII.

1. The Mutessarif is to be president of the Administrative Council of the Sandjak; the Administrative Council is to consist of the administrative heads of the Sandjak, the spiritual heads of the religious societies, and six members {three Mohammedans and three Christians) to be chosen from the administrative councils of the Kazas.
2. The Kaimakam is to be the president of the Administrative Council of the Kaza; the Administrative Council is to consist of the administrative heads of the Kaza, the spiritual heads of the religious societies, and four members (two Mohammedans and two Christians) to be elected by the council of the commune.
3. The powers of these councils will be fixed in accordance with Arts. 115 and 116,139; and 140 of the Scheme of the European Commission of 1880.
(Cf. Arts. 114,115,116,138,139, 14° of the Scheme of the European Com- mission of i880; Art. 6 of the Decree of October 20th, 1895; Arts. 62, 63, 64, and 65 of the Decree of 1913.)


IX.

1. The boundaries of each commune (Nahié) are to be fixed in such a way that as far as possible villages inhabited by one nationality are to form one commune.
2. Each commune is to be administered by a Mudir, assisted by a council of not less than four and not more than eight members elected by the people. The council is to elect the Mudir and his assistant as members. The Mudir is to be a member of the national group which ethnologically forms a majority, his assistant to belong to the other group.
3. In communes where the population is mixed the minority is to be represented according to its numbers, provided that it comprises not less than twenty five houses.
4. The powers of the communes are to be fixed in accordance with Arts. 163- 168 of the Scheme drawn up by the European Commission of 1880.
(Cf. Arts. 167,168 of the Scheme of the European Commission of 1880; Arts. 7, 8, and 9 of the Three Ambassadors' Reform Scheme of 1895; Arts. 7, 8, and 9 of the Decree of October 20th, 1895.)


X.

1. In every commune there will be a juge de paix, appointed by the Governor. General and of the same religion as the majority of the commune.
2. The juge de paix will decide :
(a) in criminal cases {without appeal) in offences punishable by simple police penalties, with a right of appeal in offences punishable by fine not exceeding 500 piastres or by not more than three months' imprisonment.
(b) in civil .actions (without appeal) in all civil and commercial cases where the claim does not exceed 1000 piastres, with a right of appeal in similar actions where the claim does not exceed 5000 piastres.
3. The Court of the juge de paix is to be also a court of arbitration. On demand by the parties it may appoint arbitrators who shall decide even in disputes over 5000 piastres. In case of the award of an arbitrator there shall be no right of appeal.
4. The Sandjak Courts are to have only one civil court, consisting of a president and two paid judges (one Mohammedan and one Christian), to be appointed by the Governor-General. The Sandjak Courts are to function as (a) a court of first instance in civil and commercial matters where the amount involved exceeds 5000 piastres, and (b) a court of appeal from the decisions of the juges de paix in civil and commercial actions,
5. The criminal section of the Sandjak Courts is to be replaced by mobile courts of assize. These are to consist of a president (to be selected from the members of the next higher appeal court to which the Sandjak C9urt is attached) and two members (one a Mohammedan and one a Christian) selected by the same Court of Appeal from among the juges de paix of the Sandjak.
6. The assizes will be held in succession in all Kazas where the presence of these courts is considered necessary.
7. There will be a juge d’instruction in every Kaza. On the arrival of the president of the Assize Court in a Kaza the juge d’instruction will put before him the documents relating to cases prepared by the juge d’instruction and already ripe for action, and also the documents relating to pending cases and cases not yet complete. If the latter reveal irregularities or unjustifiable delay he must immediately report the matter to the President of the Court of Appeal.
8. The Assize Court is to decide, subject to appeal, upon the sentences passed by the juges de paix in criminal causes. As a court of first and last instance it is to decide in cases of crime or misdemeanour punishable by fine of more than 500 piastres or imprisonment for more than three months.
9. There are to be at least six Courts of Appeal. Each Court of Appeal is to be composed of a president, a trained lawyer appointed by the Governor-General, and a sufficient number of members to deal with the civil business brought before it and provide the Courts of Assize with presidents. The Court of Appeal is competent to decide when a quorum of a president and two members is present.
10. Commercial Courts will be established wherever required. Where these are functioning the civil courts shall have no jurisdiction in commercial actions.
II. The powers of the sheriat courts shall be strictly defined, and it shall be the business of the Governor-General to see that the functions of the other judicial authorities of the province are not encroached upon. The judges of the sheriat courts may not simultaneously be presidents of the other provincial courts.
(Cf. Arts. 29-39 of the Three Ambassadors' Scheme of 1895; Arts. 125-263 of the scheme of the European Commission of 1880.)


XI.

1. A corps of police and a corps of gendarmerie will be formed in the province. Half of these corps will be recruited from the Mohammedan and Christian population of the province.
2. The organisation and command of these forces will be in the hands of the European officers in the Turkish service.
3. A constabulary is to be formed in the communes. The constables are to be appointed by the Governor-General and be under the orders of the Mudir.
(Cf. Arts. 18-21 of the Three Ambassadors' Scheme of 1895; Art. 24 of the Decree of October 20th, 1895.)


XII.

Recruits who are natives of the province shall perform their military service in peace-time in the province. The regiments of Kurdish light cavalry (Ex-Hamidie) will be disbanded.
(Cf. Art. 25 of the Three Ambassadors' Scheme of 1895; Art. 28 of the Decree of October 20th, 1895.)


XIII.

1. The administrative officials and provincial judges are to be selected in equal numbers from the Mohammedan and Christian population.
2. In appointing the governors of the Sandjaks (Mutessarif) and the Kazas (Kaimakam) regard is to be had to the national populations and their economic interests.
(Cf. Art. 5 of of the Decree of October 20th, 1895.)


XIV.

1. Only domiciled inhabitants are to have the electoral franchise and to be eligible for election.
(Cf. Art. 24 of §8 of the Three Ambassadors' Scheme of 1895; Art. 27 of the Decree of October 20th. 1895.)


XV.

1. All laws. orders. regulations. official circulars and announcements are to be published in the three languages of the province (Turkish, Armenian. and Kurdish).
2. All petitions and requests. and all documents addressed to the judicial or administrative authorities, are to be in one of the three provincial languages, according to the unfettered choice of the parties.
3. Parties may defend themselves in the courts in their own language.
4. Judgment is to be given in Turkish, and will be drawn up with a translation in the language of the party concerned.
(Cf; Art. 40 of the Three Ambassadors. Scheme of 1895; Art. 22 of the Scheme of the European Commission of 1880; Circular from the Ministry of the Interior to the vilayets. re Arabic. of April 6th. 1913.)


XVI.

1. Each nation in the province has the right to establish and maintain private 5chools of all kinds.
2. They may raise taxes for the benefit of these schools among their own nationals.
3. Teaching in these schools will be given in the national language.
4. The supervision of these schools will be in the hands of the Governor- General. in accordance with the regulations laid down in the provincial laws.
5. Turkish is to be compulsory in all private schools.
(Cf. Clause XIV. of the Scheme of the Commission of 1880.)


XVII.

A Special Commission, presided over by the Governor-General, will prescribe the conditions upon which Armenians illegally deprived of their lands will have them restored. or receive compensation in the shape of other lands or money.
(Cf. Art. 26 of the Ambassadors. Scheme of 1895; Art. 29 of the Decree of October 2oth, 1895.)


XVIII.

The rights and privileges of the Armenian nation derived from the Sakmanatrutiun (Fundamental Decree) of 1868 and the bérats issued by the Sultan are expressly recognised as inviolable.
(Cf. Poi~t XI. of the Three Ambassadors' Scheme of 1895.)


XIX.

No Mohadjvis (Mohammedan immigrants) may settle within the boundaries of the province.

XX.

Special regulations in the spirit of the above principles shall be issued for the benefit of Armenians residing outside the province, particularly in Cilicia.
(Ct. Art, 12 of the Ambassadors' Memorandum of 1895; Art. 4 of the Introduction to the Decree of October, 1895.)


XXI.

A Special Commission, consisting of representatives of the Ottoman Govern- ment and the Great Powers will draw up the Organisation Decree of the province and the special regulations referred to in Article XX. hereof.

XXII.

The Great Powers will see that all the regulations are carried out.
(Ct. Art, VIII. of the Memorandum of 1895; Art, 32 of the Decree of October 2oth, 1895; Art. 14 of the Cretan Decrees of 1896.)


 



I do not think anyone can have the slightest doubt that within a year of the acceptance of these proposals the vilayets of Erzerum, Vovas, Van, Bitlis, Diarbekir, and Mamure-el-Aziz would have become a Russian protectorate or, at any rate, have been occupied by the Russians.

During the negotiations the German delegate had always endeavoured to preserve and advance the rights of the Ottoman Government, while the Russian representative did his utmost to undermine them.

The delegates of England and France supported Russia, while the Austrian and Italian representatives appeared to take the same view as their German colleague.

The Commission, which first met on July 3rd, 1913, broke up on July 23rd. In spite of several sittings it had done nothing, as Russia's object was to carry out this scheme without any modifications, while Germany wanted to protect the Ottoman Government as much as possible. At length, in September, 1913, Baron von Giers succeeded in persuading Baron von Wangenheim, the German Ambassador at Constantinople, to accept a basic programme of six points. Then began negotiations between Said Halim Pasha, Grand Vizier and Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the two diplomatists.

(p. 272):

After we knew of the six fundamental points, we saw that it would be possible for the Ottoman Government to give effect to them itself and without any external pressure. We thereupon worked out a very comprehensive programme for the whole Empire and communicated it to the great Powers through our Ambassadors.

In accordance with this programme the whole Empire was to be divided into six General-Inspectorates, two of which were to be formed of the vilayets of eastern Anatolia.

With a view to foiling Russian intrigues, we wanted to let the English supervise these two districts. Tewfik Pasha, our Ambassador in London, was asked to enquire of Sir Edward Grey whether two English officials would be sent, and he replied that the English seemed inclined to fav-our this plan. The Grand Vizier immediately put forward the request officially. The moment England accepted this proposal the doom of Russia's designs would be sealed. A fortnight later, when the news came through that England could not undertake the appointment of the officials for eastern Anatolia without Russian consent, we had to abandon all our hopes and realise that England had once and for all sacrificed us to Russian ambition.

We were compelled to continue the negotiations between the German and Russian Ambassadors, and on February 8th, 1914, the resulting agreement was signed by M. Gulkievitch, the Charge d ' Affaires of the Russian Embassy, and Said Halim Pasha.

 



THE TURCO-RUSSIAN AGREEMENT OF JANUARY 26TH (FEBRUARY 8TH), 1914.

(Orange Book, NO.147.)

His Excellency M. Constantine Gulkievitch, Russian Charge d' Affaires, and his Highness Prince Said Halim Pasha, Grand Vizier and Minister for Foreign Affairs, are agreed that, simultaneously with the appointment of the two Inspectors for the provinces of Eastern Anatolia, the Sublime Porte will issue the following Note to the Great Powers :
Two foreign Inspectors will be put in charge of the provinces to be formed in Eastern Anatolia : Monsieur A. will have the vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, and Sivas, and Monsieur B. the vilayets of Van, Bitlis, Kharput, and Diarbekir . The Inspectors will supervise the civil administration and the administration of justice, the police, and the gendarmerie of the two districts. 1f the police force is insufficient to maintain order, military forces will be at the disposal of the Inspector, if required by him, to enable him to carry out the duties of his office.
If necessary the Inspectors may dismiss officials who prove unsuitable through inefficiency or bad behaviour, and hand over to justice officials who have been guilty of crimes. They have the right to propose the higher officials for appointment by his Majesty. In such cases of dismissal they are to send an immediate telegraphic report, with a summary of their reasons, to 'the Ministers concerned, and a more detailed report, with the documents, must be forwarded within a week. In important cases which require immediate action the Inspectors have the right to suspend judicial officers, who cannot be dismissed, on condition that they immediately refer the matter to the Department of Justice.
Should any actions for which the Vali has made himself responsible call for energetic measures, the Inspectors will inform the Minister of the Interior by telegram. The latter will immediately bring the case to the notice of the Cabinet, which will come to a decision within four days at most after the receipt of the telegram.
Agricultural disputes will be decided under the personal supervision of the Inspector.
After the appointment of the Inspectors, detailed memoranda will be drawn up, with their co-operation, on the subject of their duties and rights.
Should the post of Inspector remain vacant during a period of ten years, the Sublime Porte will avail itself of the benevolent assistance of the Great Powers in making the new appointment. Laws, edicts, and public proclamations are to be in the language of each district respectively. In so far as the Inspector may deem it possible, each party has the right to use its own language before a court of justice or an administrative authority. Judgment is to be given in the Turkish language, accompanied, when possible, by a translation in the language of the party concerned.
The contribution to the schools budget of the vilayet payable by the different native elements will be fixed in accordance with the rate of the school tax originally in force. The Imperial Government will place no difficulties in the way of the religious orders sharing in the maintenance of their schools.
Every Ottoman must, in peace time, perform his military service within the military Inspectorate in which his home is situated. The Sublime Porte will, however, until further notice, detail contingents of the military forces from all parts of the Empire for service in the outlying regions of the Yemen, Assir, and Nedjd in proportion to the population of these regions; it will, moreover, relegate to the Navy recruits from all parts of the Empire.
The Hamidie regiments will be converted into Cavalry Reserves. Their arms are to remain in the military dep8ts, and will only be issued in case of mobilisation and maneuvers. They will be under the command of the Corps Commander in whose district they are. In peace time, regimental, squadron, and platoon commanders will be selected from officers on the active list of the Imperial Ottoman Army. The men of these regiments will perform one year's military service. They must bring to the regiment their own horses and complete saddlery equipment. Every man, without distinction of race or faith, who comes within this recruiting area and fulfils the' required conditions, may be drafted into the aforesaid regiments. In case of war and during maneuvers they will be subject to the same disciplinary regulations as the regular troops.
The authority of the Inspectors of the vilayets will be in accordance with the provisions of the Act of March 13th, 1329 (1913).
A census will be taken under the direction of the Inspectors at the earliest opportunity-if at all possible, not later than a year hence-in order to ascertain the exact conditions as to religion, nationality, and language in the two districts. Until then the elected members of the "General Council" (Medjlissi Umumi) and the "Vilayet Committees " (Endjumen) of Van and Bitlis will consist of equal numbers of Mohammedans and non-Mohammedans. In the vilayet of Erzerum the members of the General Council, in the event of the final census not being completed within the year, will be elected on the same basis as those of the other two vilayets. In the vilayets of Sivas, Kharput, and Diarbekir members will be elected immediately in proportion to the population. To facilitate the carrying through of these measures, the number of Mohammedan electors will, until the new census is made, be fixed according to the old lists, and the number of non-Mohammedans according to the parish lists. Meanwhile, should material difficulties prevent the adoption of this provisional system of election, the Inspectors have authority to propose for the vilayets of Sivas, Kharput, and Diarbekir a division of the electorate for the General Councils which may be more suitable to the present needs and conditions of the vilayets in question. In all vilayets in which the General Councils are elected by proportional suffrage, the minority of the population will be accorded representation on the Committees {Endjumen) .
The members of the Administrative Council will, as heretofore, consist of Mohammedans and non-Mohammedans in equal numbers. It is left to the discretion of the Inspector to undertake recruiting for the police and gendarmerie in the districts in a similar ratio. The principle of proportion will also be observed as far as possible in filling the other official posts.
In witness of which we, the undersigned, hereto append our signatures and affix our seals.

{Signed) GULKIEVITCH. {Signed) SAID HALIM.

Dated, Constantinople, January 26th {February 8th), 1914.


 


The Russians had acclaimed this agreement as a substantial political success. To appreciate its significance, it is sufficient to read the following passages from Gulkievitch's telegram to Sassonoff, the Foreign Minister :

Thus the Act of January 22nd, 1914, signifies without doubt the opening of a new and happier era in the history of the Armenian people. In political significance it is comparable with the Firman of 1870, in which the Bulgarian Ex arch ate was founded and the Bulgars were freed from Greek guardianship. The Armenians must feel that the first step has been taken towards releasing them from the Turkish yoke.
The agreement of January 26th, 1914, has, at the same time, great significance for the international status of Russia. It has been signed personally by the Grand Vizier and Russia's representative, and pledges the Turks to hand to the Powers a note, the contents of which have been precisely set forth. The outstanding r8le of Russia in the Armenian question is thus officially emphasised. and Art. 16 of the Treaty of San Stefano to some extent ratified. This circumstance will certainly not fail to exert a most favourable influence on the international status of Russia, and to place a halo on the head of her sovereign in the eyes of the Christians of the Near East. In reaching an agreement with the Porte on the Armenian question the Imperial Ambassador has had to overcome extraordinary difficulties. It was necessary to reckon, on the one hand, with the natural desire of the Armenians to introduce the most far-reaching reforms possible; on the other, with the stubborn resistance of the Porte, which did its utmost to defeat the proposed reforms, and opposed all the important points of the scheme. As far as Germany is concerned, the understanding with us serves a double purpose; first, by convincing the Porte that in consenting to these moderate reforms, fraught with little danger to her, Germany had shielded the Turkish Government from more drastic reforms; secondly, by winning over the sympathy of the Armenians, which is of great importance because of Cilicia, which they regard as coming within their sphere of influence. Germany's conduct, therefore, was lacking in candour; her support was merely bluff as far as the Armenians were concerned. In reality the German diplomatists were the loyal advisers of the Turk.

(Signed) GULKIEVITCH.


The Russian Charge d' Affaires regards the Armenian plan for reform merely as the first step towards the Russian occupation of Armenia, and in this is completely justified. I cannot avoid expressing my astonishment that these lines, which so openly reveal Russia's political aim with regard to Armenia, could be published in the Orange Book; I can justly say: "God has brought the guilty to an acknowledgment of their guilt."

Of late the Russians have considerably altered their policy with regard to the Armenians of the Caucasus. Seeing that the oppression which the Armenians there have had to suffer at their hands had awakened the mistrust of the genuine Armenian revolutionaries against Russia, they at once abandoned their malevolent policy, they returned the confiscated property to the Monastery of Etchmiazin, issued a general pardon for all Armenian political criminals, and proclaimed the greatest friendliness towards the Armenians. This new policy won over even those revolutionary Armenians who hitherto had detested Russia.

After the activity which Boghos Nubar Pasha had displayed in Europe, particularly towards the middle of 1913, we repeatedly suggested to the leaders of the Dachnakzutiun that they should support us in resisting the Russian efforts for reform in Armenia; as the Balkan War was over, it would now have been easier for us to subject the Kurds to more stringent discipline and secure peace for the Armenians. The answer we received was somewhat after this fashion: “As the Great Powers are intervening in this matter, we can no longer stand aside."

Painful for us and satisfactory for Russia as was the agreement of the 8th February, 1914, the Ottoman Government nevertheless intended meticulously to enforce all the conditions. But is Russian policy ever at a loss to find new impediments? Was not her real aim never to permit peace in East Anatolia? For this she had first to establish a protectorate over Armenia, further to awaken the sympathy of Europe for the Armenians, and also to stir up the Kurdish Beys and, more important still, the influential sheiks to resistance against the Government and the Armenians.

In accordance with this carefully planned scheme the Russian Government at home supported the famous Abdul Rezak Bey Bederhani, furnished him with lavish supplies of money on the pretext of restoring Kurdish rule in Sinai, and on the other hand, through the agency of the Consul at Bitlis, provoked Sheik N. N. to rise against the Government.

However hard M. Mandelstamm may try he cannot conceal the truth.

While the question of the Armenian reforms was developing in this way the Great War broke out. The Ottoman Government saw that sooner or later they would be drawn into the War by the German alliance. As they foresaw the impossibility of occupying themselves with internal reforms during the long trying years of war they considered it unnecessary to prolong the mandate of the two foreign Inspectors whom they had appointed to the East Anatolian Provinces.

Of course it was our one hope to free ourselves through the World War from all conventions, which meant so many attacks on our independence, and to be able to live in future as an independent and free nation, which in its own territory, of its own initiative introduces the reforms which local necessities have made imperative. Just as it was our chief aim to annul the Capitulations and the Lebanon statute, so in the matter of Armenian reform we desired to release ourselves from the Agreement which Russian pressure had imposed upon us.

As has already been discussed in detail in a special chapter, we entered the World War in the hope of being able in future to lead a free and independent existence as a self-respecting Nation. This was our intention, and so the treaty dealing with the reforms for the vilayets inhabited by Armenians, wrung out of us by our hereditary enemies (the Russians), had no further significance. That is not to say, however, that we had not the earnest intention of introducing reform in our country. On the contrary, we had determined on radical reform, as we were inspired by the conviction that otherwise we could not continue to exist.

But we approached the question of reform from the standpoint that Czardom, which for two centuries had hovered over our heads like a scourge, must be destroyed, so that the eternal intrigue smouldering within our country might be finally quenched. And this aim was only to be realised by throwing into the World War the fullest strength of our military resources. And so we decided to defer tackling the internal reforms until the end of the War, first devoting all the forces of our nation to the War itself. We have not failed to communicate this point of view to the leaders of the Dachnakzutiun.

"Finally we became actively involved in the World War .A few days after the declaration of War I was appointed to the Command of the 4th Army and left Constantinople to proceed to Syria. From that time I have learnt nothing further of the conditions in the vilayets of East Anatolia, nor on what grounds the Government saw itself called upon to deport all Armenians. I neither took part in the negotiations at Constantinople nor was I consulted. It was through the Government Proclamation to the vilayets that I first learned that all Armenians were provisionally to be deported to Mesopotamia, where they were to remain until the end of the War.

The Commander-in-Chief at home also informed me that I was to take the necessary measures to protect the Armenians against any attack while passing through my command; their deportation was in the hands of the civil authorities. That was all I learned. At that time I was busy with the organisation of the line of communications between Bozanti and Aleppo; it was the only route by which the military forces which were to be sent to Syria towards the end of the autumn of 1915 to take part in the second Canal Expedition could pass; I was to provide for the necessary supplies.

I was furious when I learned that the exiled Armenians were to come to Bozanti on their way over the Taurus and Adana to Aleppo; for any interference with the line of communications might have the gravest consequences for the Canal Expedition.

My correspondence with the Commander-in-Chief is preserved in the Army records; later, when these records are published, it will be possible to show that I considered it more expedient to settle the Armenians in the interior of the provinces of Konia, Angora, and Kastamuni than to send them to Mesopotamia.

 

If the Turks are to be made responsible for the Armenian massacres, why not the Armenians for the massacres of the Turks ? Or are the Turks and Kurds of no more value in the eyes of humanity...?

 

But as I could not oppose a Government measure based on an Act of Parliament, and had, moreover, received a specific order not to hinder the progress of the Armenian emigrant columns which were passing Adana and Aleppo on their way to Mesopotamia, I saw myself compelled to yield.

I heard from time to time of deeds of violence against the emigrating Armenians in the vilayets of Mamuret-ul-Asis and Diarbekir. The organisation of the emigrants was exclusively the concern of the civil authorities, the Army had nothing to do with it. As, however, I could not allow attacks on the emigrants to take place in my Army zone, as had occurred in the other Army zones, I thought it my duty to issue stringent orders to this effect. As I was continually hearing complaints that the civil authorities in the sector between Bozanti and Aleppo were unable to provide the emigrant columns with adequate supplies, and that the people in consequence were being found in a condition of the greatest distress along the route. I made a journey from Aleppo to Bozanti to view the situation personally, issued an order that bread was to be provided for the emigrants from the Army depots, and ordered the doctors on the lines of communication to look after the sick Armenians.

I thus did everything possible during the whole period of their deportation to give help to the Armenians, as has been confirmed by the Armenians themselves and by all impartial foreigners. For the moment I will refer only to some orders and negotiations recorded in the book of Lepsius, which contains official reports of the German Foreign Office in connection with the Armenian question. All my telegrams which I sent to Constantinople, to the District Commandants, and to the vilayets are collected in the Army War Records; on the day when this is published the public will know more of the humane intentions upon which my measures were based.

When, after the deportations of the Armenians of Anatolia, the civil authorities received the command to deport all Armenians from Adana and Aleppo, I repeatedly opposed this measure. I wrote a detailed report on this subject to Constantinople, explaining that I could see no necessity for such a measure, and that, in my opinion, such action was bound to have the worst possible influence on the economic, and especially on the agricultural situation in the territory of the 4th Army. But as I was told that it was not my business to meddle with the concerns of the civil authorities, but merely to give them assistance, I was unable to prevent these orders being carried out.

(p. 279):

Even the Turk-hating New York Times lent
evidence; REBEL TURK FOR ARMENIANS:
Djemal Pasha Orders Two of Their
Oppressors Hanged
. (Nov. 22, 1915)
The New York Times got the
rest of the facts wrong, as usual, claiming
that Jemal had "revolted against the Ottoman
Government," while "leading an Arab up-
rising." Ever-reliable "dispatches from
Athens" were the Times' source.

  However, as I was convinced that the deportation of .all Armenian emigrants to Mesopotamia was bound to cause them great distress, I thought it better to bring a large number of them into the Syrian vilayets of Beirut and Aleppo; I succeeded in obtaining the desired permission after I had made vigorous representations to Constantinople. In this way I was actually able to bring nearly 150,000 Armenians to these vilayets.

I have a fundamental aversion to telling of the help I rendered to these widows and orphans. It seems to me as though in doing so I am reflecting on the moral value of these actions which were prompted only by feelings of humanity. As, however, in spite of all the help given, our foreign enemies point to me as morally responsible for these occurrences, and that caricature of a Government which has been set up at Constantinople since the Armistice even went so far as to condemn me to death on an accusation of moral guilt for these banishments and butcheries, I regard it as a just means of self defense to give some explanation in accordance with the truth. Public opinion will recognise that I had nothing to do with the deportations and Armenian massacres. Just as I had nothing to do with the aforementioned negotiations about the deportation of the Armenians, I am equally innocent of ordering any massacres; I have even prevented them and caused all possible help to be given to all emigrants at the time of the deportations.

If I had been in Constantinople at the time and taken part in the discussions, knowing what was happening in the rear of the Army in East Anatolia, should I not have supported the deportations ? This question I cannot now answer. But I assume that my friends, in reaching such a drastic decision as this wholesale deportation which roused the indignation of the whole civilised world, must have been actuated by weighty reasons. I have no doubt that in the publications which are shortly to appear they will satisfy our doubts and curiosity.

I am certainly firmly convinced that the Armenians planned insurrections which endangered the rear of our Army in the Caucasus and which might under certain circumstances have completely destroyed it. Consequently my friends held it more expedient to transfer the whole Armenian nation to another region where they could do no harm, than to expose the whole Ottoman Empire to a catastrophe which would have involved Russian occupation of the whole of Asia Minor .

As to the occurrences which took place during the deportations these must be ascribed to seventy years of accumulated hatred between Turks, Kurds, and Armenians. The responsibility must lie with Muscovite policy which made mortal enemies of three nations who for centuries had lived together in peace. The crimes perpetrated during the deportations of 1915 justly roused the deepest horror, but those committed by the Armenians during their rising against the Turks and Kurds do not in any way fall short of them in cruelty and treachery. But whatever may have been the causes that gave rise to these crimes, they ought to have been prevented by every possible means. The Government regarded deportation as the most effective and speedy means of ensuring the safety of the Kurdish and Turkish population, the Army and the whole political existence of the Ottoman States. Yet, on the other hand, by these measures they opened the way for the crimes perpetrated by the Kurds and Turks. Could not the question have been solved in another way ? Or, would it not have been possible to protect the exiles from attacks en route! We can only deal with these questions after seeing the explanation of those who organised the deportations and those who carried them out. In any event, I am able to prove that in the territory occupied by my Army no outrages on the emigrants were permitted, and, apart from a few exceptional cases, none occurred.

As to the bad impression created, a no less lamentable impression was given by the spectacle of the Turks fleeing from Diarbekir, via Aleppo and Adana, to Konia, and from Erzerum and Erzindjan to Sivas, before the Russians, and the horrors and outrages committed by Armenians. But these unfortunate wretches were only Mohammedans; so there was no German or American missionary available to send reports or to feel called upon to devote his eloquence to describing their woes.

Let us assume that the Ottoman Government deported a million and a half Armenians from the East Anatolian Provinces, and that 600,000 of them died, some murdered, some collapsing on the way from hunger and distress. But does anyone know how many Kurdish and Turkish inhabitants of the vilayets of Trebizond, Erzerum, Van, and Bitlis were done to death in circumstances of the greatest cruelty by the Armenians when the Russians marched into these provinces? Then let it be stated that the number of Turks and Kurds killed on this occasion far exceeded one and a half millions. If the Turks are to be made responsible for the Armenian massacres, why not the Armenians for the massacres of the Turks ? Or are the Turks and Kurds of no more value in the eyes of humanity, or of such politicians as Mandelstamm and Morgenthau and their like, than flies ?

I ask my readers to examine the two following Russian reports with care, for they give an idea of the hatred fostered by the Armenians against the Turks, and the excesses in which they have indulged :

 

Holdwater: The official Ottoman document for the following testimony may be found here, with a differently-worded translation. An early TAT page also featured a look at this testimony, including some analysis.


RUSSIAN OFFICIAL MEMORANDUM.

The Retreat of the Russian Army.

Memorandum of Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff concerning the Armenian attacks on the Turkish population of Erzerum and its neighbourhood, from the beginning of the Russian Revolution to the reoccupation of the town by the Turkish troops on February 27th, 1918.

INTRODUCTION.

The enmity known throughout Europe to have existed for a long time between Turks and Armenians has revealed itself during the War in a manner that passes all description. It is a commonly recognised fact that the Armenians cannot stand the Turks; in spite of this they have always managed to pose as martyrs, and to convince the world that on account of their high state of civilisation and their faith they have been the object of the most ghastly cruelties.
The Russians, who of all Europeans have necessarily been in closest touch with the Armenians, have a different conception of the manner in which this nation understands civilisation and morality. They have learnt to know them as miserly, avaricious, parasitical, only able to exist by preying on others. The Russian peasant has seen into this nation's soul. I have often heard from Russian soldiers such expressions as: “The Turks have used the Armenians badly, but they should have done it in quite a different way and left not one of them alive."
From a military point of view the Armenians are worthless. The Armenian soldiers of the Russian Army playa very insignificant role; they always prefer service in the rear of the Army, however menial, to the firing line. The persistent desertions and cases of self-wounding confirm the opinion which has been given of the bravery of the Armenians.
But the course of events, from the beginning of the Russian Revolution to the reoccupation of Erzerum by the Turkish troops, surpasse3 anything that could have been expected from this nation. I have witnessed some of these occurrences partly with my own eyes; others I have heard of from eye-witnesses.
When, in 1916, Erzerum was taken by the Russians, not a single Armenian was allowed to enter the town or its neighbourhood. So long as General Kalikin was at the head of the 1st Army Corps, which occupied the town and surroundings of Erzerum, not a single unit which contained Armenian elements was sent there. After the Russian Revolution these measures were discontinued, and the Armenians took advantage of this to attack Erzerum and its neighbourhood, and then the plundering. of houses and villages and the massacres began.
During the Russian occupation the Armenians did not dare to indulge openly in deeds of violence; the looting and murder was committed in secret. In 1917 the Armenian Revolutionary Committee, which consisted chiefly of soldiers, instigated general house-searchings on the pretext of disarming the population. But, as they were conducted without any control, they soon developed into systematic lootings which were carried on by the soldiers on an even more extensive scale. The worst looters among the Armenian soldiers were usually those who had shown themselves the most cowardly in face of the enemy.
One day, as I was riding through the streets of the town, I saw a group of Russian soldiers who, egged on by an Armenian soldier, were dragging along two old Turks of seventy. The Armenian soldier seemed to be in a state of frenzy and lashed the poor devils with a wire whip. I tried, without success, to induce the soldiers to treat the old men a little more humanely. The Armenian stepped up to me, threatened me with his riding-whip, and shouted: "You dare to protect our murderers ? "Other Armenians who came up took his part, of course, and my position with regard to the Russian soldiers, who would seize any opportunity to beat and, if possible, kill their officers, began to look critical. The appearance of an officers' patrol, however, changed the situation: the Armenians vanished into thin air and the soldiers led off the two old men without further violence.
With the return home of the Russian front-line troops, the danger arose that the Armenians remaining at the front, or flocking to Erzerum, would take the opportunity, before the arrival of units of other nationalities, to commit outrages on the Turkish population. The influential Armenians, of course, gave assurances that nothing of the kind would happen; they asserted their anxiety to bring about a reconciliation of the two peoples, and their conviction that the adoption of suitable measures would ensure success.
At first events seemed, indeed, to justify these assertions. The mosques, which had been converted into barracks, were cleared and cleaned out and no longer used as military quarters. Militia units were formed, comprising Turks and Armenians, and the Armenians even clamoured loudly for the setting up of a court martial to deal with the crimes that had been committed against the Turks.
Not until later did it become known that all these manoeuvres were nothing but bluff and cunningly concealed treachery. The Turks who joined the militia soon had enough of it when they observed that the majority of those who were told off for night patrol did not return, and no news of their fate could be obtained. The Turks who were taken to work in the fields disappeared in like manner without a trace. Also, the members of the court martial, when they finally met, dared not enforce any penalties for fear of their own lives. Murder and looting multiplied; between January and February Bekir Hadji Effendi, one of the most respected notables of Erzerum, was murdered in his own house. General Odichelidze thereupon issued an order to the officers in command of the troops that the murderer must be found within three days. This order produced no result.
The Commander-in-Chief sent severe reprimands to the headquarters of the Armenian detachments on the intolerable lack of discipline among their men.
He also appealed to the Armenian notables, pointing out the atrocities that had been committed by the troops — e.g., that of the Turkish land workers who had been ordered to the fields less than half had returned-and explained to them that if the Armenians desired to obtain control of the occupied territory they would have to prove themselves worthy of it. He added that these crimes were a blot on the fame of the Armenian nation. The war is not yet over , he said, and the Peace Congress has not yet assigned this territory to the Armenians; it behoved them, therefore, to conduct themselves thenceforward as a nation worthy of freedom.
The answer of the Armenian leaders was to the effect that the honour of a whole people could not be prejudiced by the crimes of an insignificant minority; they gave assurance that the reasonably-minded Armenians were doing their utmost to put a stop to these acts of vengeance for the Turkish tyranny of the past; they observed, further, that they were engaged in framing the sternest measures, which they would enforce without delay, justly and equitably. Shortly after the receipt of these oft-repeated assurances we learned of the massacre of Turks at Erzindjan. The following details I heard from the mouth of the Commander-in-Chief, Odichelidze. The massacre was not instigated by bands, but by the doctor of the town and the army contractor.
As I do not know the exact names of these Armenians I cannot give them.
The report runs :
“ More than 800 unarmed, defenceless Turks were murdered. The Armenians had dug gigantic trenches into which the poor Turks were thrown after being slaughtered like a herd of cattle. An Armenian who directed the execution counted the unhappy victims. I That's seventy,' he roared, I there's still room for ten more; hack away I' And another ten wretches were slaughtered to fill up the gap, which was then filled in with a little earth. The army contractor wanted to provide a little diversion for his own benefit. He locked into a house eighty wretched victims, and then had them let out one after another while he smashed in their skulls with his own hand."
After the massacre at Erzindjan the Armenians, well armed, made their way to Erzerum. A Russian officer who, with the aid of a few guns, was protecting the line of communication of the retreating force from the attacks of the Kurds, one day attempted to lead an Armenian detachment into the firing line. The men, however, had no stomach for real fighting; instead, they set fire to the house in which the Russian officers were and tried to get rid of them in this way. The officers narrowly escaped death and lost all their possessions.
The Armenian bands, swarming from Erzindjan to Erzerum, destroyed on their way all Mohammedan villages and annihilated the inhabitants.
During the retreat of the Russian troops to Erzerum Kurds and other peace- able inhabitants of the district were recruited as drivers of ammunition transport. Not a man of these possessed a weapon. As they approached Erzerum the Armenians seized the moment when the Russian officers had turned in to rest to kill the drivers. The Russian officers, brought up by the shrieks of the unhappy wretches, were received by the Armenians, arms in their hands, and threatened with a similar fate if they dared to interfere. These murders were carried out with the direst cruelty.


 


In the Officers' Club at Erzerum a Russian artillery officer, Lieutenant Medivani, publicly stated that he had witnessed the following scene:

"One of the Armenians had mortally wounded a Kurdish driver; he had fallen on his back in a dying condition. The Armenian then tried to drive the stick he held in his hand into his victim's mouth, but the poor fellow's teeth were so tightly clenched in his death agony that the murderer could not carry out his horrible design and in his fury he despatched the dying man with kicks in the stomach."
Odichelidze has himself told me that in the village of Ilidja all Turks who were unable to escape were massacred; he saw numbers of corpses of children whose heads had been hacked off with blunt axes.
Lieutenant-Colonel Griaznoff, who returned from Ilidja on the 28th February, three weeks after the slaughter, related to me what he had seen.
“ In the courtyard of the mosque the corpses lay heaped to a depth of two lance-lengths. There were bodies of men, women, children, old people, people of every age. Lieutenant-Colonel Griaznoff told a couple of young Armenian girls, who were employed with the Armenian troops to serve the telephones, to accompany him to the courtyard. He showed them the atrocities committed by their countrymen, and said bitterly they had something to be proud of. Griaznoff was both astonished and enraged at being forced to realise that the spectacle, far from rousing the disgust of the young women, merely moved them to loud laughter. Overcome by his anger, he began to abuse them, telling them that the Armenians, the women included, were the most cowardly and barbarous of all the nations, and the fact that educated, well brought-up young girls could laugh at a spectacle that even made the hair of an officer stand on end was proof of the barbarity of the race. At these words the girls thought it advisable to appear impressed, and said that their laughter was hysterical; but the witness was not deceived."
An Armenian contractor to the line-of-communication forces at Aladja told me the following :
“On the 27th February the Armenians crucified a Turkish woman — still alive — on a wall after tearing out her heart; she was hung head downwards."

Jemal Pasha

Jemal Pasha

   On the 7th February the great massacre at Erzerum began. Armenian artillery soldiers had captured 270 people in the street and, after stripping them of all their clothing, shut them into a bath to sate their perverse lusts upon them. After superhuman efforts I succeeded in saving a hundred of these unhappy wretches who were still alive; they are alleged to have been released by the soldiers. The ringleader of these horrors was an Armenian non- commissioned infantry officer named Karabedoff, serving with the artillery. On the same evening several Turks were done to death in the streets of the town. On the 12th February the Armenians shot ten peaceful, unarmed peasants at Erzerum station; the officers, who tried to interfere, were threatened with death.

At this time I had under arrest an Armenian who had killed a Turk without any plausible pretext; the Commander-in-Chief had ordered him to be brought before the court martial. According to an old-established law murderers are executed. An Armenian officer informed the murderer that he would be hanged for his crime. “ What! " exclaimed the man, amazed. “ Hanging an Armenian for a Turk ! Who ever heard of such a thing ! "

In Erzerum the Armenians had set fire to the Turkish bazaar. On the 17th February I heard that the inhabitants of the village of Tepe Köj, in the district of the artillery regiment, had been completely exterminated-men, women, and children. The same day I met Andranik, who had been sent to Erzerum by the Caucasus Government to restore order. I informed him of the butchery, and urged him to find out who was responsible. I have never heard the result of my request. In the casino of the artillery officers Andranik publicly promised the restoration of order, but in spite of the two envoys of the Caucasus Government, Andranik and Dr. Zawrieff, this promise has never been fulfilled.
In the town the disturbances have, comparatively speaking, died down ; in the villages where all the inhabitants had been slain complete quiet reigned of course. The imprisonment of Turkish inhabitants in Erzerum began afresh when the military movements of the Turks proclaimed their approach from Ilidja; these arrests were particularly numerous on the 26th and 27th February.
In the night of the 26th-27th the Armenians eluded the vigilance of the Russian officers and perpetrated another massacre, but at once took to their heels at the first approach of the Turks. This massacre was no impromptu affair-it had been planned beforehand; all captured Turks were collected and put to death one by one. The Armenians reported with pride that the night's toll reached a total of 3,000.
The Armenians who had to defend the town were numerically so weak that they fled before a Turkish army of 1,500 men with two guns. Nevertheless, the number of murders committed by them on the night of the massacre was very great.
As the educated classes of the Armenian population could very well have prevented the massacre, it is to be concluded that these classes played a greater part in the crime than the bands, and that, in any case, the chief responsibility rests with them. The humble people are very sensitive to the influence of the higher classes. My regiment, which is officered exclusively by Russians, consisted entirely of Armenian soldiers; although we had no means at hand of using force against them, we were able to make them obey all our orders; they have never ventured to indulge in open looting. On the night of the massacre not one of the Kurdish grooms was murdered in the barracks, where several detachments of the regiment were quartered, although only one Russian officer was on duty and forty Kurdish grooms were amongst hundreds of Armenians.
I do not, of course, wish to maintain that the élite of the Armenian nation without exception had a hand in the crimes. I have met Armenians who deeply deplore these crimes; others who have protested not only in words, but by action. Yet I must confess that these are a very small minority and are in ill-odour with their compatriots; they are accused of treason against the national ideal. Others, again, posed as enemies of these bestialities, but condoned them in secret. Some Armenians maintained an attitude of silence in face of all reproach, but the majority had the same answer ready on their lips: “You are Russians. You cannot understand the ideal of the Armenian nation." Sometimes they tried to defend themselves in such speeches as: “ Have the Turks behaved otherwise towards the Armenians ? What we are doing is merely revenge." These incidents prove how bloodthirsty this ideal of the Armenian people and upper classes is.

It lay in no man's power to prevent these lamentable happenings. The Armenians have sown the wind without taking thought that they would reap a storm.

ERZERUM, 16th April, 1918.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL TWERDOKHLEROFF.I Commandant ad interim of the garrison of Erzerum and Neveboyun, O.C. 2nd Engineer and Artillery Regiment.


 
 


OFFICIAL DIARY OF THE SECOND RUSSIAN GARRISON ARTILLERY REGIMENT IN ERZERUM.

The Russian Army of the Caucasus evacuated the stations they had previously occupied towards the middle of December, 1917, and, without having received orders from G.H.Q. or any of the Army Commanders, began their withdrawal. The Garrison Artillery Regiment brought up the rear of the Army. Of the detachments from the Deve-Boinu fortresses and the Artillery Regiment from Erzerum only 40 officers remained behind. Deserted by their men, they remained by the guns from a feeling of duty. In the fortresses were more than 400 guns, left behind for lack of means of transport. The officers, inspired by feelings of honour and duty, waited permission from G.H.Q. to leave the guns or for reinforcements to carry on the defence. With the officers of the first Regiment the cadre of the second Artillery Regiment was formed.

After the withdrawal of the Russian Army an Armenian Revolutionary Committee was set up in Erzerum, calling itself “ The Armenian Military Union." At the same time the Army Commander sent to the Second Garrison Artillery Regiment 400 untrained Armenians, of whom the majority deserted and the remainder could only be used to guard the batteries of the fortresses.

Shortly before the withdrawal of the Army, when touch had been lost between Russia and the Trans-Caucasus, a provisional Government had been formed in Tiflis, which was called “ The Trans-Caucasian Commission." This Commission announced that there was no intention of instituting an independent Trans-Caucasian Government, as before Trans-Caucasia belonged absolutely to Russia, but until the restoration of order the Commission would undertake to represent the central administration.

On the 18th December, 1917, the Commission issued a proclamation that in place of the scattered Russian Army, a new Army would be raised on a national basis, consisting of three Army Corps — one Russian, one Georgian, one Mohammedan — and some detachments of smaller nationalities, such as Cherkesses, Ossets, etc. Only the artillery in the fortresses of Erzerum and Deve-Boinu retained their old character (i.e., comprised troops of various nationalities) until a decision should be arrived at as to the nationality of this unit, consisting of Russian officers and Armenian men. It was clear that this unit, whose cadres and leading were in Russian hands, could not be claimed as Armenian. More- over, we had received no orders with regard to the Armenian character of the formation, which was still regarded as Russian, being led by Russian officers who had actually served in the Russian Army and drew their pay from the Russian Treasury. The fact that the Army possessed no Armenian, but only a Russian church, conducted by Russian priests, was a further proof of the complete Muscovite character of the unit.

Since the withdrawal of the Army, begun some two months before, order could not be re-established among the soldiers, who deserted, looted, and threatened their officers, and were in a state of complete mutiny. Colonel Torkum, alleged to be an Armenian Bulgar, was appointed Commandant of Erzerum.

Towards the middle of January, 1918, some Armenians of the infantry detachment murdered a Turkish notable of Erzerum in his dwelling and looted the house. Commander-in-Chief Odichelidze mustered all detachment commanders and summoned them to discover the perpetrator of this horrible crime within three days at most. He then turned to the Armenian officers and told them that the honour of the Armenian nation was at stake in this matter; it was therefore their duty to leave no stone unturned to discover the guilty person if they were to clear their reputation in the eyes of the world. “ If these outrages of which the Armenians are guilty do not cease, I shall find myself compelled to distribute arms to the Mohammedan population so that they can defend their lives and property ,” he added. To these accusations Colonel Torkum retorted in an injured tone that it was unjust to lay the crimes of a few individuals at the door of a whole nation. The detachment commanders proposed the setting up of a court martial, which by military law could punish murder with death. Odichelidze replied that he had already taken the necessary measures.

Colonel Torkum, if I am not mistaken, organised on 25th January a review of the troops and had twenty-one guns fired to impress the population with his military power. On this occasion he made a speech in Armenian. In this speech, which is directed against General Odichelidze, he asserted Armenian independence, and mentioned that he was taking over the reins of authority as head of the new State. After bearing this grotesque statement the General had the new head of the State, Colonel Torkum, removed from Erzerum.

This measure was sufficient to show that the Russian Government intended to prevent at all costs the founding of an independent Armenian State. I have learnt that the Russian General Staff has reminded the Armenians repeatedly that all arms, ammunition, and other war stores, partly from the depths lit Erzerum, partly from other depths, had only been handed over to them provision- ally because no other troops were available. These arms, therefore, were only loaned to the Armenians, and had to be banded back at any time on request.

In these days the Armenians were perpetrating indescribably cruel murders among the poor Turkish inhabitants of the neighbourhood of Erzindjan; the Turks were unarmed and without any means of self-defence. On hearing that the Turkish troops were approaching, the Armenians, committing fresh crimes, fled in the direction of Erzerum.

According to the reports of the Commander-in-Chief, confirmed by officers who were actually present at the scene of the crime, the Armenians slew more than 800 Turks in Erzindjan, and so avenged one of their miserable accomplices who had been killed by a Turk in justified self-defence. Further- more, the Armenians massacred the unhappy Mohammedan population of Ilidja, in the neighbourhood of Erzerum, without sparing the women and children.

On February 7th the following incident came to my notice: I ascertained that the Militia and the Armenian soldiers of the town were carrying off some hundreds of Mohammedans to an unknown destination. When I inquired into the reasons for this, I received the answer that these men were being recruited to clear the railway of snow. I expressed myself satisfied with this explanation. The following story will prove ho\v unsatisfactory it was :

About three o'clock 2nd Lieut. Lipsky, an officer of my regiment, reported to me over the telephone that some Armenian soldiers had attacked five Turks in the streets; they had driven them into a corner of the barrack yard, beaten them mercilessly, and would certainly kill them. The intervention of the Russian officer in favour of the unfortunate men was met with threats, where- upon an Armenian officer, who was also present at the scene, took the part of the bandits and joined in preventing Lipsky from intervening. On hearing this I hurried, accompanied by three officers, to the scene of the outrage. On the way I met the officer who had telephoned to me and the Mayor of Erzerum, Stawrosky, looking for one of their Turkish friends who had been captured by the Armenians. Lipsky told me that the soldiers were holding the entrance to the barracks by force of arms. I went on my way. As I came near the barracks I saw twelve Turks leaving; they were running away, obviously panic- stricken. I stopped one of them, but, as I did not understand his speech, it was impossible to know what he said. Finally, with great difficulty, I entered the barracks. I immediately inquired about the Turks who had been captured in the street. The soldiers affirmed that there was no civilian of the town In the barracks. I began a personal search of every nook and corner of the barracks, and finally discovered in the bathroom seventy Mohammedans, victims of the most ghastly horrors. I immediately instituted an inquiry and had six Armenians who were responsible for this crime arrested. I also learned in the course of the inquiry that an Armenian, whose identity I could not establish, had shot an unfortunate Mohammedan who had shown himself on the roof of a house near the barracks.

Naturally I at once set at liberty the unfortunate victim of this horrible outrage. The minutes of this inquiry , together with my own records, including the list of the Mohammedans whom I had succeeded in rescuing, were lost during the reoccupation of Erzerum by the Ottoman troops on February 27th.

(p. 288):

But the incident can be confirmed by questioning the Turks. who. whenever we meet. are profuse in their gratitude. In addition. Ali Bey Pepeoff .the Secretary of Mayor Stawrosky. who drew up the list and the protocol. would certainly recognise the parties concerned.

The inquiry revealed that Karaguedoff. an Armenian cadet of the artillery regiment, was the instigator of the outrage. In the course of ruthless house searchings in Turkish homes, which he had conducted in the company of Armenian soldiers accustomed to such methods, he had appropriated furniture and other domestic property. Karaguedoff was arrested. together with other Armenian soldiers. The incidents were reported the same evening to the Commander-in-Chief in the presence of Government Commissioner Zetaloff and his assistant. On the same day the Armenians murdered other Turks and set fire to the Turkish bazaar. It was generally known that during these days several murders were committed in Erzerum and its neighbourhood. I personally arrested an Armenian who had killed Turks in the neighbourhood of Tafta and handed him over to the Commandant. It was said in the town that the Turks who had been told off to work in the fields never returned from their work, and that nothing could be learnt as to their whereabouts. The magistrates reported the disappearance of these men to the Commander-in-Chief.

In a report which we handed to the Commander-in-Chief on the occasion of an officers conference we requested his permission to leave the fortress of Erzerum in view of our complete uselessness and the impossibility of preventing the Armenian crimes. We were afraid of besmirching our reputation. Odischelidze told us of the arrival of a wireless message which he had received from General Wehib Pasha. in command of the Ottoman troops. The General informed him that his troops had received orders to garrison Erzindjan and to advance until they had established touch with the Russian troops. Wehib Pasha further remarked that this was the only means of paving the way for the suppression of the barbarous cruelties practised by the Armenians upon the Turkish population.

After this the Trans-Caucasian Commission made offers of peace to the Ottoman Government. In the telegram of reply the Commandant of the Ottoman troops expressed his readiness to accept the proposal, and added that he had communicated the proposal of the Trans"Caucasian Commission to his Government. recommending its acceptance. In accordance with a petition from us General Odichelidze got into communication with Gueguetschkoni the President of the Trans-Caucasian Commission and General Lebedinsky, the Commander-in-Chief.

 



The reply contained the announcement that an ultimatum had been despatched to the Armenian National Assembly demanding the immediate cessation of all Armenian atrocities in order to put an end finally to these lamentable occurrences and that Dr. Zavrieff and Andranik had been sent as delegates to Erzerum. As to the request of the officers the advice of the Commissaries was that they should remain at their posts until the expected answer to the peace overtures had been received from the Ottoman Government. The Council expressed their thanks to the officers for the service they had rendered and declared that if Russia were faced with any fresh danger they were sure that the officers would be found at their posts to the last minute.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Army also issued an order of the day in which he recommended officers not to leave their posts, adding that to shield their honour and protect their lives he would enforce the most stringent measures against the Armenian criminals. On these conditions we remained at Erzerum with the sole object of safeguarding the interests of Russia, and under the sole command of the Commander-in-Chief. We learned that the Ottoman Government had received the proposal of the Trans-Caucasian Commission with favour and replied to this effect, and that peace negotiations would be opened on February 17th in Trebizond.

Our Army Commander informed all officers that there was no intention of stirring up enmity against the Ottoman troops in Erzerum and the neighbourhood and that accordingly they were to remain in Erzerum until the conclusion of peace, when arms and other war material, according to the peace conditions would cither be transported to Russia or handed over finally to the Ottoman Government. In case of any attempt on the part of the Ottoman troops to occupy Erzerum before the signing of peace, all guns were to be put out of action and the troops and officers withdrawn to Russia, definite orders for which would be promulgated at least seven days in advance.

The necessity for defending ourselves against the attacks of the Kurds until the final decision as to our remaining grew more and more obvious, for during the Armistice the Ottoman Government had declared that the Kurds were subject to no orders and would act on their own initiative. The Army Commander bad, therefore, decided as early as the end of January to strengthen the Erzerum-Erzindjan line-of-communication by an appropriate number of guns to keep off the attacks of the Kurds, who were trying to loot our line-of- communication depots. An officer and two guns were ordered to each strategic point. On the withdrawal of the Armenians from Erzindjan and Erzerum the guns were withdrawn with them. On February 10th two guns were placed in all the positions from Buyuk-Kiremidli along the road from Trebizond as far as Erep-Michan, as at all other important strategic points of the town, with the same object in view. In view of the probability of a Kurdish attack from the direction of Palan-Dongno, guns were to be placed also between the Kars and Charput gates. These guns, which were only to be used against a possible attack by the Kurds, and were scarcely adequate for this object, would have been useless against a regular army with artillery : a few shots would suffice to put them out of action. Towards the middle of February the sights of the guns in the outlying positions were collected and delivered to the central depot ; the same measure was now to be carried out also in the case of the guns in the nearer positions. This order was also given for the guns in Palan-Dongno, but was never carried out. Only the guns which remained in the positions to be used against the Kurds retained their sights. However, no immediate offensive on the part of the Ottoman troops was expected, as the Turks were regarded as demoralised and not in a position to undertake any movements before the summer. On February 12th some Armenian bandits, armed to the teeth, had openly shot ten or twelve Turks in the neighbourhood of the station. Two Russian officers, infuriated by these impudent outrages, had tried to interfere, but had been compelled to give way before armed threats and to leave the victims to their fate.

On February 13th the Commander-in-Chief proclaimed a state of siege and convened a court martial, which was to enforce the death penalty according to the old regulations. Colonel Morel was appointed Commandant of the fortress of Erzerum, and an Armenian as president of the court martial. On the same day the Commander-in-Chief and General Gerassimoff left the town : they wished to fix a rendezvous in case the artillery had to withdraw. I remained in Erzerum in command of the Garrison Artillery. Colonel Morel's staff consisted exclusively of Russian officers, and the Adjutant of the regiment was Staff-Captain Schnauer.

After the departure of the Commander-in-Chief, Colonel Morel at once changed his attitude. He declared that Erzerum was to be defended to the last moment, and forbade all officers and inhabitants capable of bearing arms to leave the town. When I submitted to the court martial the wishes of some of the officers to avail themselves of this permission, one member, an Armenian named Sokhonnyan, replied brutally that he would himself cut down all who showed any intention of quitting the town, and would have any man who should dare to attempt flight seized by the Armenian forces in Kopri-Koj and Hassan- Kale, and taken before the court martial unless they were provided with permits. These permits, however, were issued solely by him. I realised that we were in a trap, escape from which would be extremely difficult, and that the court martial and the state of siege were directed less against the bandits than against the Russian officers.

The outrages continued in the town, and the unhappy Turkish population, unarmed and defenceless, were continually attacked by the Armenians. Their only refuge was the Russian officers, who, however, could only offer them vely limited protection. A few officers under my command had been obliged to use force to save the lives of a couple of Turks who were being robbed in the street. A military engineer, Karaieff, shot down with his rifle an Armenian who was taking to his heels after robbing a Turk in the street in the middle of the day. The promise to punish the bandits who murdered peaceful, unarmed Mohammedans remained, as usual, a dead letter.

From fear of Armenian revenge, the court martial did not dare to sentence one single Armenian, in spite of the fact that it had been set up chiefly at Armenian request. The Turks, moreover, had prophesied that a court martial of Armenians would not condemn a single one of their compatriots. We could now see the truth of the proverb that the wolves do not prey on one another. All fit Armenians immediately escaped with their wives on the pretext of being obliged to protect them.

I learned that a non-commissioned officer, Karaguedoff , had been freed from prison without my permission. I made inquiries of Colonel Morel as to the reason for this, and was told in reply that Karaguedoff's innocence had been established at a new inquiry. In spite of the fact that two of my officers and I bad been the principal witnesses on this occasion, neither of us had been summoned to this very extraordinary inquiry. I expressed my dissatisfaction with the reply received from Colonel Morel, reported the matter again, and handed over the minutes to Colonel Alexandroff. The murderer I had captured in Tafta likewise went unpunished.

Colonel Morel feared a mutiny of the Turkish troops in Erzerum. Ou February 17th Andranik arrived in Erzerum, accompanied by Dr. Zavrieff, Assistant Commissioner for the occupied area. As we had not been instructed on Armenian questions, we did not know that Andranik was one of the criminals condemned to death by the Ottoman Government. I .first learned these details on March 7th, in a conversation with the Turkish Army Commander. Andranik appeared in the uniform of a Russian brigadier-general. He was wearing the Order of Vladimir, Fourth Class, and the Cross of St. George, Second Class, as well as the Military Cross of St. George, Second Class. He was accompanied by his Chief-of-Staff, the Russian colonel, Zinkewitsch. In the evening before his arrival Colonel Morel informed us that, according to a telegram received from Andranik at Kopri-Koj, machine-guns were to be employed to shoot down all cowards who attempted to escape from Erzerum. Immediately after his arrival Andranik took over the command of the fortress; Colonel Morel was subordinate to him, and we to Morel.

On the day of Andranik's arrival the whole of the inhabitants of Tepe-Koj, which belonged to my command, were massacred-men, women, and children. The officer on duty in this section communicated the tragic news to me, and I immediately reported it to Andranik in our first conversation. In my presence he gave orders for twenty horsemen to be despatched to Tepe-Koj to bring back at least one of the criminals. Up to the present day I have never heard the result of this step.

 

(p. 291):

Colonel Torkum turned up again in the town, and at the same time the Armenian artillery colonel, Dolukhanoff, made his reappearance in Erzerum. His first announcement was that he, an Inspector of Artillery , would hence- forward rank as my superior officer. I replied that I held the rank of a Divisional Commander and did not require a superior officer; otherwise, I added, I should leave the service. It was thereupon announced that Colonel Dolukhanoff would carry on the administrative work of the Garrison Artillery and that consequently his instructions to me would not be issued under his own name, but, as before, under that of Andranik. One day the Armenian lieutenant, Djanbuladion, who commanded the artillery battalion under my orders, also made an attempt to interfere with my affairs. When I directed that all guns, searchlights, and dynamos were to be transported towards the rear, he replied that he would not allow any withdrawal of material, as the Armenians intended to take all the administrative posts in the command into their own hands, and might only use the Russian officers as executives; they also wished to use them, without their realising it, in establishing Armenian independence. Had the Russian officers grasped the purpose they were intended to serve the majority of them would have resigned, and the Armenians would have been left with an inadequate number of officers. The following statements of Captain Peliat, temporary O.C. of the 7th Battalion of Caucasian Mountain Artillery, show how gravely the Armenians feared the resignation of the artillery officers. When the Armenians learned that the 7th Battalion Mountain Artillery were holding themselves in readiness to withdraw to San Kamisch on February 7th, they seized the commanding officer on the 5th of that month ; and although at the orders of the Army H.Q. they were obliged to set him at liberty, they repeated the attempt three times.

The Armenians of Erzerum threatened H.Q. to drown the town in blood if the guns were withdrawn. The Army Commander was consequently forced to cancel the order for the withdrawal of the artillery. An attempt had to be made to come to an understanding with the officer commanding the 7th artillery Battalion. We agreed secretly that, in case the Armenians should attempt to force the hands of the Russian artillery officers and officially propose that they should ally themselves with the Armenian cause, we would help one another mutually. We possessed considerable war material, guns, machine- guns, and officers. The officers of the Mountain Artillery tried to find billets as near as possible to one another in the town, and we of the Garrison Artillery collected as far as possible in the Turkish quarter, where our headquarters had been situated since the occupation of the town.

Since Andranik's arrival at Colonel Morel's side the fears of a rising vf the inhabitants of Erzerum had greatly increased. The Colonel ordered that an efficient Russian officer should be put in command of Fort Medjedie to direct the bombardment in the event of a rising, which might follow the arrest of the instigator of the unrest. We all received the order to leave the Turkish quarter and transfer ourselves to the Armenian quarter. As we had lived in this quarter for two years, and were always in sympathy with the Mohammedan population, we thought this suggestion, to say the least of it, remarkable.

The Russian artillery officers unanimously declared that they had remained in the service to fight a worthy foe, and would never agree to fire on women and children, for it was quite clear that the Armenians would use a threatened Turkish rising as a pretext to open a bombardment of the Turkish quarter. As to the transfer to the Armenian quarter, it was impracticable for three reasons: Firstly, it was impossible to effect the removal in the time given; secondly, the withdrawal of the Russian officers from the Mohammedan quarter would, of course, be followed by a fresh massacre; and thirdly, in view of the strained relations that had existed for some time between them and the

Armenians, it would have been risky for the Russian officers to venture into their midst.

The officers of the Mountain Artillery Battalion who did not belong to the cadre of the Garrison Artillery also rejected the proposal. Finally the Armenians, who were left with no choice but to do their own dirty work, began to arrest some alleged agitators.

As Colonel Morel's proposal to bombard the town was very significant, I considered it necessary to call together all the officers under my command. We met twice in the course of three days. The first meeting was attended by all artillery officers in Erzerum, as well as by two English officers who had arrived a few days before; also by Colonels Morel, Zinkewitsch, Dolukhanoff and Torkum, Andranik and Dr. Zavrieff. Our object in inviting the English officers was to let them see the relations existing between the Russian officers and the Armenian Command. It would also give them an opportunity of finding out what resources the Russians had at their disposal to prevent Armenian atrocities, so that on their return they might support their observations by tangible proofs. As I had no telephonic or telegraphic connections under my personal control, I was convinced that telegrams sent by me would never reach their destination. I therefore seized the opportunity of this meeting to describe in the greatest detail all that I had myself observed and heard from reliable sources as to the atrocities and horrors perpetrated by the Armenians. I described to my hearers the degree of insubordination that prevailed among the Armenian troops, and cited examples I had heard from the lips of General Odischlidze himself. I concluded with the words: “ We Russian officers who have remained in Erzerum have not done so with the object of placing our uniforms at the service of the Armenians as a cloak to conceal their ghastly crimes, but simply and solely in obedience to our superiors and to protect Russia. Unless the Armenian atrocities are suspended during our stay in Erzerum," I added, “ every Russian officer will insist on leaving the town and resigning his post." Some other officers, speaking after me, emphatically confirmed what I had said.

In his reply Andranik intimated that the Armenians would be eternally grateful to Russia, that the Armenians formed an integral part of the population of Greater Russia, and that they had no other end in view than that of serving Russian interests. As to the so-called massacres committed by the Armenians, they were the result of the enmity existing between Armenians and Turks. He added that the principal object of his mission in Erzerum was to put down such crimes, and, should he fail to bring the Armenians to reason, he would be the first to leave the town. The business of the meeting was carried on through the medium of an interpreter. Questioned as to his views on allowing officers who wished to do so to leave the town, Andranik replied that he considered it desirable that all those who were not too confident of their own courage should leave the town, and he would himself assist their departure as far as possible. Colonel Zinkewitsch declared before the whole meeting that, once convinced that the continued presence of the Russian officers in Erzerum would serve the interests of Russia, he would remain solely for that reason. In the end all officers decided to remain ten days longer and to regulate their conduct by the future course of events, according as these might confirm or refute Andranik's pledges.

Their (the Armenians') reports were lies from beginning to end.



The meeting had been held on February 20th or 21st. Shortly afterwards Colonel Dolukhanoff expressed to me and othet Russian officers his astonishment at the contempt and even horror with which the Russian officers regarded the Armenians. On the next day Andranik proclaimed, on large wall-posters written in Turkish, that any man who killed either Armenians or Mohammedans would be arrested and punished by death ; further, that the Turks might resume their occupations without fear and that in the event of anyone of the Mohammedans engaged in labour in the fields failing to return from his work. he would hold the entire detachment in charge of the supervision of the work responsible. As I was riding through the streets the following day accompanied by the Armenian captain. Djanbuladian we noticed many people reading the posters. Djanhuladian assured them in Turkish that provided the Mohammedan population refrained from revolt they would have nothing to fear from the Armenians. The reply was that for two years the Mohammedans had committed no crimes, and that there was no intention of doing so in the future; all they asked was that the Mohammedans, who were unarmed and without any means of defence should not be killed without reason. I asked the captain to tell the people that I was the Russian artillery commander and to state that I and my Russian comrades were sympathetic towards the Mohammedan population. and would continue as before to look after these poor people. Some of the Turks present, two or three especially confirmed my words saying that I had with my own hand saved their lives during the massacre of February 7th. Djanbuladian who acted as interpreter was himself a member of the Armenian Committee.

At the second meeting Russian officers were present the only foreigner admitted being Dr. Zavrieff. The following points were discussed: That an attempt should be made to define clearly the status of the 2nd Garrison Artillery Regiment of Erzerum in the sense that this regiment was not as the Armenians imagined an Armenian artillery regiment. but a Russian regiment ; not one of its officers had voluntarily enlisted in Armenian service not one of us bad made any agreement to do so. If the regiment was Russian we insisted on preserving Russian status; if Armenian we desired the right to leave the town at will in order to serve with the Russian Army. The state of siege had only served to prevent the departure of those officers who wished to leave in order to serve on another than the Caucasus front. If, on the other hand the current rumour materialised and the Trans-Caucasus had split off from Russia. it would certainly be necessary to grant leave of absence to the Russian officers if we were not to find ourselves strangers in a foreign land.

After prolonged discussion we reached the conviction that according to the circular we had received every officer had the right to apply for transfer to a Russian Army Corps or to be placed at the disposal of the War Ministry. I therefore consented to forward all such applications to the proper authorities.

During the meeting the experience of Lieutenant Yermoloff of the 7th Battalion Caucasus Mountain Artillery was brought up as a striking example. He had asked to be transferred from the new Armenian battalion to which he had been assigned. Colonel Morel had first tried to dissuade him. then in face of this officer's fixed determination he had added to the written form of application that the officer in question had shown himself incompetent for his duties that he would therefore be placed at the disposal of the General Staff of the Front and would receive orders to leave Erzerum within twenty-four hours. Thus was the honour of an efficient officer attacked for the sole reason that he refused to serve Armenian interests and had been indiscreet enough to declare that Colonel Morel had allied himself to the Armenian cause.

Dr. Zavrieff repeated word for word Andranik's statement given above. He said that by remaining in Erzerum until the conclusion of peace we should be serving Russian interests. Officers belonging to a civilised nation had no right to adopt such a line of reasoning as. for example: "Let the Armenians and Turks settle their own quarrel! Let them cut each others' throats! Why should we Russians interfere with their affairs ? Let them go to the devil! ”

At the conclusion of his speech. which had not made the desired impression.

Dr. Zavrieff said that if we wished to serve humanity it was our duty to remain in Erzerum to prevent butchery of the Turks.

Andranik's promises were not fulfilled, nor had the Mohammedan population ever placed any faith in them. Shops remained closed and terror continued to reign. Not a living soul showed himself in the Mohammedan quarters. Only a few shops in the neighbourhood of the Town Hall opened their shutters, and there a few Mohammedans collected during the day.

Not a single Armenian was punished. To keep up the pretence of Armenian innocence the question was asked whether the innocent were to be punished for the sake of Andranik's promise. But when the Russian officers replied that they had themselves handed over various Armenian offenders and accused them before the authorities, this irrefutable argument was received in silence. Murder still went on and was merely concealed. It was practised in the more remote villages, no longer before the eyes of the Russian officers. The Turkish inhabitants of the villages round Erzerum disappeared, and nothing was heard as to their fate.

Arrests in the town increased in number on the excuse of a possible rising. To my ironical question, what happened to the prisoners, and whether they all ran the risk of being slaughtered, Colonel Morel replied that some would be taken to Tiflis under adequate escort others would be kept in Erzerum as hostages. In the streets Armenian bands, formed of Armenian deserters murdered the passers-by —  partly from fear, partly to rob them of their possessions; in any case, robbery was the chief motive. Before Andranik's arrival the companies refused to go into the front line. Afterwards they obeyed the order, but only to desert in the most craven fashion. Andranik, on horseback, tried to drive them back with his sword and fists. To have him at their head was the dearest wish of all Armenians of the Russian artillery. They were apparently incapable of grasping that the Garrison Artillery required the services of trained artillerymen and an adequate number of infantry. But it was easy to guess their secret thought: when the moment came for withdrawal, to escape under cover of the guns. Subsequent events have proved the truth of this.

The opening of peace negotiations at Trebizond was delayed. We learned through the General Staff at Erzerum that the negotiations fixed for February 17th had been postponed until the 20th or 25th. As my Staff was separated in opposite ends of the town, and the telephonic communication was in an inefficient state, I was compelled to make the journey twice a day.

According to information I received from Colonel Morel and his Staff in the course of an official visit, there were no regular Ottoman troops in the neighbourhood of Erzerum ; we were fighting Kurdish bands and villagers, together with a few regulars, relics of the Turkish Army of 1916. It was understood that these bands bad been raised by some Ottoman officers who had come to the neighbourhood to protect the population. These troops had only two mountain guns, which had been left in Erzindjan by the Armenians. They could advance by the Erzindjan-Olti- Jeni road, or from the other side from Kars and Palan-Dogno. Colonel Morel, on what grounds I do not know, assumed that the attack would be made from Qlti. The intelligence service was conducted by the Armenians most inefficiently. They were chiefly occupied in murder in the villages and driving off any herds of cattle they came across. Their reports were lies from beginning to end. If they reported that the patrol had been attacked by an enemy force of 2,000 men, one could be sure that there had actually been 200 at most. They were not ashamed to admit having fled before an attack by 300-400 men, in which their sole loss was one killed and one wounded. One day an Armenian officer reported over the telephone that his detachment had been attacked by 400 of the enemy it transpired that two unarmed men had emerged from a neighbouring village and immediately with- drawn into their houses. From the evacuation of Erzerum until the Turkish occupation the-Armenian scout patrols only once succeeded in making a capture -a single Turkish horseman. He was probably suffering from frozen feet, or was prevented by some other reason from escaping.

After our second officers' meeting some officers had applied for transfer to other posts. When these applications were submitted to Colonel Morel he was very angry, and said that he would refuse to permit their departure on the grounds of a court martial decision. When I pointed out that the guns were still in the hands of the Russian officers, who could reply to such unjustified severity with artillery fire, and, moreover, that as the applications were absolutely legal and could not be stigmatised as an attempt at desertion, it was necessary to comply, he retorted that, if the officers insisted, he would give them as he had done in the case of Captain Yermaloff, papers which would compromise their records. I replied to Colonel Morel that, as Colonel Dolukhanoff had justly declared in Tiflis and Batum, officers who were forced to remain at their posts against their will could not be expected to give good service. He replied that for this reason he had asked for sixty English officers to be sent to Erzerum, and had already received formal consent. On this occasion I also heard of another incident: a Russian or Polish soldier who was acting as station-master in Erzerum bad refused to continue his duties. He had been at once arrested and forced to carryon. Under the pretext of facilitating a more rapid circulation of orders I ordered my officers to billet themselves as near to one another as possible; in reality my object was that we might be in a better position to help one another in case of need.

Captain Yermoloff had departed on February 25th. I had asked him to break his journey at Sari-Kamieko to inform Generals Wischinsky and Gerassimoff, artillery commanders, of the serious position in which we were placed in relation to the Armenians, and to urge him to free us as quickly as possible from this cul-de-sac.

On February 24th I sighted a Turkish aeroplane reconnoitring, and concluded that the enemy was at Erzindjan or even Mama-Khatum. The same day Colonel Morel informed me that he had received the Turkish proposal regarding the evacuation of Erzerum. After the Turkish occupation I learned from Corps Commander Krazim Bey that this proposal had not been a worthless scrap of paper, but an official document bearing his own signature, whereas Colonel Morel had deliberately led me to believe that this official ultimatum, signed by the Officer Commanding the Army Corps, was mere bluff. The General Staff of the fortress announced on February 24th and 25th that no danger was imminent. Only a band of Kurds had been seen in the neighbourhood of Teke-Deressi, and their advance had been checked by a detachment sent out against them. It was also stated that a detachment sent out from Erzerum had thrown back the enemy a few kilometres beyond Ilidja. Meanwhile we heard that on February 26th the Armenian detachment at Teke-Deressi had been attacked, and that those who had been able to escape had fled like the wind to Erzerum; the Ilidja detachment, completely broken up, was also running away in the same direction.

I had received from Colonel Morel verbal orders to open artillery fire on the attacking enemy, but I could see no target. On the Charput road only fleeing Armenian soldiers were visible, and on the Trebizond road Armenian detachments retreating on Erzerum in close formation, as if on the parade ground. In the course of the afternoon it became known, also, that an enemy detachment was halted close to Guoz-Koj. I estimated it at 1,500 men; it did not look like Kurdish bands. but a properly-led regiment.

 
 

Andranik attempted to muster the fugitives and send them against the enemy, but these cowards took to their heels as soon as they came into touch with the foe. The artillery fire, however, was maintained until midnight. Immediately the Kurd offensive was opened and we had got to work, no more was heard of departure from the Russian officers who carried out their assigned duties honourably.

I could not induce the Armenian infantry attached to my batteries at Buyuk- Kiremidli to attack; instead they deserted the batteries and withdrew persistently towards the Charput gate. The Armenians who had fled at Teke-Deressi even carried off in their flight the herds of cattle and slew the defenceless isolated peasants they encountered on their way. The Turkish advance on Erzerum came as a complete surprise to the Russian General Staff; no battle orders had been issued, or, if they had, I, at any rate, had heard nothing of them. My task was very simple: it consisted of keeping the enemy under fire to prevent him from piercing the belt of forts which surrounded the town. 111 the advanced positions were also infantry and mountain artillery, which were not under my command.

Hasan Cemal

Hasan Cemal: grandson of the Pasha

  On the same day the Armenian militia busied themselves in the town until evening in seizing all male Mohammedans, including old men and sick. When questioned as to the object of these measures, the reply was that men were being collected to clear the railway of snow. In the evening I learned that an Armenian student, with his band, had forced an entry into my house, in spite of my name on the door, on the excuse of searching it. As my wife resisted this deliberate intrusion he did not succeed in his attempt, and was also prevented from carrying off the owner of the house, an old Turk, together with some Kurdish servants; he cursed roundly at this thwarting of his plan. The student declared that the searchings were being carried out at the order of Andranik. I at once had a communication door cut so that the old man could take refuge with us in case they came a second time to fetch him.

I had recently been in the habit, each time I visited Andranik and his Staff, of taking with me Captain Yulkewitsch, the chief of the Mobilisation Department, as a witness of my relations with these men. One evening he accompanied me to an officers' meeting. When we entered the meeting had already begun. Those present were Andranik, Dr. Zavrieff, Colonels Zinkewitsch and Dolukhanoff, and a few others. On my arrival Zinkewitsch began to read aloud the following telegram from the Commander-in-Chief, General Odichelidze: "I have received a wireless message from Wehib Pasha, commanding the Ottoman forces, in which he states that his troops have orders to occupy Erzerum. Destroy the guns of the fortress and withdraw with the troops. (Sgd.) Odichelirlze."

This belated order left us no time to destroy the guns. After Andranik had given vent to his fury, he announced his decision to hold Erzerum two days longer, to enable the destruction to be carried out, and then to evacuate the fortress. When Dr. Zavrieff pointed out that nothing was being done to suppress the firebrands who infested the town, and that the Mohammedan aged and sick had been seized and despatched to an unknown destination, he replied that orders had already been given to put down this disorder. But, as with all the others, these fine promises were never carried out.

After discussing the best way of carrying out Andranik's decision we with- drew. As to the question of holding Erzerum for two more days, considering the strength of the troops and of the advanced position, the town could have held out for another forty-two days, not only against the Kurds, but even against a regular army.

As Ottoman H.Q. had officially stated in the course of the armistice negotiations that they could not be responsible for keeping the Kurds in order, it was our duty to take all necessary measures against a possible attack from them.

(p. 297):

When I returned to my Headquarters I gave the necessary orders for the destruction of the guns, which in any case could have been rendered useless within two days. I learned from the reports of my officers that the infantry under cover of darkness had deserted the trenches and taken to flight. I communicated this news to Colonel Morel, who assured me that it would give rise to no danger at all, as reinforcements had been sent up. I returned home and went to bed about one o'clock.

Between one and three I heard isolated shots in the town, and soon after I could hear the voices of Armenians, the sound of doors being smashed in with axes. and the despairing cries of the poor unhappy Mohammedans, who had been attacked. Two thoughts gave me anxiety: In the first place, our honour was threatened, for anyone who had not witnessed personally the cowardly cruelty of the Armenians (fighting for freedom !) might assume that these inhuman brutalities were being perpetrated with the connivance of the Russian officers, and we should have to share the blame with these wild beasts; in the second place, as it was not in accordance with the views of G.H.Q. to engage the regular Turkish forces, the result might be that the orders of the Commander- in-Chief would not be obeyed if a misunderstanding should arise among the attackers. With regard to these two points I came to the following decision : To call on Colonel Morel first thing in the morning and suggest to him — first, that the Armenians must be prevented from perpetrating fresh outrages, even if the only method of doing so were to turn part of our guns upon them and so control them to heed our orders; secondly, envoys should be at once sent with a flag of truce to the Turkish troops to inform them that in two days the town would be ceded without bloodshed. Moreover, it would be necessary to raise detachments, excluding Armenians, in order to suppress the disturbances by force of arms and prevent the butchery of the Turks by the Armenians.

When, in the early morning, I went to see Colonel Morel, accompanied by Captain Yulkewitsch, I met, near the artillery munition dump, the Armenian second lieutenant, Bagratonian, who was on duty at this depot. He told me that when the order came to withdraw he would like to blow up the dump, but would wait for orders from me. This statement astounded me, for the ammunition depot was under the command of Colonel Dolukhanoff, and no orders had been received to blow it up. I gave him to understand that such an explosion might cause injury to the Russian officers as well as to the civilian population, advised him to abandon his project, and finally succeeded in convincing him. In this way I saved the ammunition.

As I approached Colonel Morel's quarters I saw that everyone was taking flight. The house of the American Consul, which stands opposite his quarters, was in flames. Colonel Morel and Colonel Torkum were mounted and ready for flight; their baggage had been loaded on to a motor-car and several carriages. It was seven o'clock in the morning. I inquired as to the situation. I was told that the order for withdrawal had been issued at S a.m., and astonishment was expressed that I had not received it. This is what I had feared: the Armenians succeeded in escaping under the protection of the Russian officers and the artillery. But while the Russian officers were working the guns single handed and beating back the onslaught of the attackers the Armenians were at full liberty to slaughter the Mohammedans and take to their heels. If I had not appeared no Russian officer would have known of the order for withdrawal. I thought for a moment of running to Fort Medjedie to send a farewell of shrapnel into the brave Armenians who clad in bullet-proof tunics were fleeing unhindered along the Kars road. But it occurred to me that there might be one or two innocent men among them so I abandoned the idea.

It was also a result of the cunning and cowardice of the noble Armenian looters that the guns could not be put out of action. When I reurned to my quarters I heard in an obscure street cries of pain and the crackle 'of a terrific rifle volley. As I was at a street corner I could not see what was happening but the bloodstains in the snow showed that a fight had taken place. I got down from my carriage to continue my journey on foot; but when I saw the Armenian Commanding Officer of the Militia on horseback, coming out of a side street, I could imagine the scene of horror that had been enacted.

When I was back in my quarters I gave orders to the batteries to sound the retreat at the same time as the infantry and to get the carriages ready for the artillery officers. I was told that the outriders had already escaped in the night. Armenian deserters, armed to the teeth, had taken the horses belonging to the carriages, and galloped off two on each horse. As my groom had put up a resistance they had not been able to take my horses, but they wounded one of them with a shot. Of the fifty carriages we were left with only three, which some of the officers used. Soon afterwards we learnt the Turkish army had entered the town, and were at last able to ascertain that they did not consist of bands of Kurds collected together haphazard, but regular troops. The brave Armenian infantry took advantage of the night to dash off with all speed along the Erzerum-Kars road. A hurricane could hardly have swept Erzerum so thoroughly of the Armenian dirt in so short a time.

Neither in the firing trenches nor in the town were there any wounded Armenians to be found. This proves afresh with what courage and audacity they had defended Erzerum. The only prisoners were Russian officers, so the Armenians can boast of having taken a negative part in the defence of the town.

After receiving news of the occupation of the town by the Turks I went with my adjutant to headquarters to report. As I passed along the streets, the Turks I met expressed in most moving fashion their gratitude to me for saving their lives. This gratitude included all the Russian officers, for if the Russian officers had not been there, the Turkish troops reoccupying Erzerum would not have found a single Turk alive.

The Russian author Petronius says of the Armenians: " The Armenians are certainly human, but at home they go on all fours." The Russian poet Lermontoff sings their praises in the following words: " You are a slave, you are a coward, for you are an Armenian."

ERBRUM, April 29th, 1918.

(Signed) LT.-COL. TVERDOKHLEBOFF, Provisional Commandant of the Fortresses of Erzerum and Deveboynu, Commanding the 2nd Garrison Artillery Regiment, Erzerum.

Morgenthau... is impervious to all feelings of shame



Now, honoured readers, what do you think of the humanity of the Armenians ?

No! no! don't judge the two peoples unjustly !

It was not their fault, but that of Muscovite policy which had hounded them on one against the other. The Muscovite, who had no other wish than to slay the Turk and, after destroying the thousand-year-old national glory, to usurp the inheritance of the Turk; the Muscovite, who delighted only in swimming in blood, and egged on the Armenian against the Turk. The result of this was to put into the mind of the Turk the definite conviction that " it is necessary to slay the Armenian if we would have our own lives safe," while the Armenian said that in order to rise again and recover his majority he must strangle the Turk. This is what paved the way for the tragic events we have witnessed. 600,000 Armenians on the one side, 1,500,000 Turks and Kurds on the other are said to have met their death. And now it is Russian policy, which, like its imbecile confederates of the Morgenthau stamp, is impervious to all feelings of shame, to throw all the blame on to the Turks, whom they would like to annihilate, filling the Press of the whole world with their ravings.

Mandelstamm says that, except in Van, the Armenian nowhere made the slightest attempt at revolution. I have already said that I had no knowledge of the events which took place in the vilayets of East Anatolia and in the rear of our army in the Caucasus: on the other hand, I am perfectly acquainted with the condition of affairs within the sphere of my own army. The incidents which took place in Zeitun and Urfa, in the middle of 1915, were nothing more nor less than an armed rising of the Armenians. The rising at Mussa Baba is also a part of this organised revolution. A fact, in my opinion absolutely irrefutable, is that at the moment when the Dardanelles campaign was at its crisis, the Armenians were ordered by the French and English Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces in the Eastern Mediterranean to rise. They had certainly judged that an Armenian rising, beginning in Rein-ul-Hinzir, in the Gulf of Alexandretta and spreading over Dort Yol, Mussa Baba, Aleppo, Aintab, Ursa, and Zeitun, might well signify an operation ending in the severing of Syria from Asia Minor. Moreover, the Armenians, who had made their preparations in these places a long time beforehand, were only waiting the signal to begin.

Can the responsible authorities of the Governments in question maintain that my statements are untrue ? Now that the war is over, I should regard it as a chivalrous act if the true facts with regard to this were placed before the public.

If Mandelstamm still insists on maintaining that these incidents, far from being a rising, were nothing more than an attempt at resistance, a resort to arms in justified self-defence, then I must point out to him that his Allies, the French and English officers who organised this rising, will think this ridiculous. This is my conviction and my opinion about the Armenian massacres. Now that the war is over, and Syria, Mesopotamia, and the Arabian Peninsula, the brightest jewels in the Ottoman crown, are severed from the Mother country, Turkey is beginning afresh the struggle to prevent the loss of the sacred ground of Anatolia, which alone remains to the Turks. If there is anything left to console poor Turkey for having sacrificed over 3,000,000 men in the course of a world war, it is the fact that our hereditary enemy, Czardom has been vanquished and destroyed.

Among the States which have been newly formed as a result of what has happened in the Caucasus we see to-day an Armenian Republic. But we can also be sure that the Turkish-Armenians, with Zaven Effendi, the Patriarch of Constantinople at their head, will stop at no intrigue to exasperate the Turks. The Turks are in no way opposed to the foundation of an Armenian republic, with Edjmiadzim and Erivan as centres; but they do most definitely desire that that republic should remain on the best of terms with the republics of Azerbaidjan and Georgia, which were formed from various national elements from the Southern Caucasus, as well as with the Ottoman Empire, the incontestable owner of Asia Minor, and not throw covetous glances at what is its property by undeniable rights.


 


Above all things, I advise the Ottoman Armenians, in the interest both of their own peace and happiness, and especially in the interests of the Turks, to give up their hare-brained dreams that Erzerum, Bitlis, Van, Diarbekir, Mamuret-ul-Asis shall ever become part of Armenia.

On the day when the Turkish Armenians definitely show that they have given up this impossible hope they will begin to live in honourable friendship with their Turkish and Kurdish compatriots. It is always open to those among them who wish to be Armenians and Armenians alone to settle in the republic of the Armenian Caucasus. But for those who wish to remain in Turkey, it is an absolute condition that they should show themselves true ottomans and refrain from any activities which might throw suspicion on their loyalty. Henceforward, there will no longer be a place among the Armenians of Turkey for the Dachnakzutium, the Hintscpak, and other parties, and I am convinced that such organisations can only do harm to the Armenians of the Caucasus.

(p. 301:)

At the present moment the task before the three Caucasian Republics and the Ottoman Empire is to help one another mutually and to devote their powers to the restoration of their devastated countries, the organisation and establishment of their administration. There is yet another task before these four States: that of using every necessary measure to prevent the Russian torrent from breaking over the Caucasus mountains. To ensure this it is of the utmost importance for these four States to form a defensive alliance against the Muscovite invasion. Zaven Effendi, the present patriarch of the Armenians, knows better than anyone else the friendliness towards the Armenians with which I am inspired.

When I came to Constantinople in December, 1915, Zaven Effendi visited me in the Pera Palace Hotel and handed me a memorandum from the Patriarchate thanking me in the name of the whole Armenian nation.

As I hear that he is now being employed as a tool in the intrigues of the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, I beg him, as a friend of the Armenians, to examine the advice I have given above. Consideration of the advantages which my view would offer to the Armenians might perhaps prevent him from becoming the plaything of the Greek Patriarch.

If, as I have said already, we four nations of the Near East do not conclude a formal alliance of defence against Russia, if we do not co-operate in the foundation of a republic of the North Caucasus and include it in our alliance, we cannot doubt that we shall fall victims to the power of Russia, who, for years, has yearned to bring us under her yoke.

Who knows, perhaps the day will come when the poor Arabs and Persians who have fallen under the influence of the French and English may slip out of the hands of their present masters and join our alliance ?

The nations of the Near East can only live in freedom if they make themselves absolute masters of their fate.

I believe that this political ideal which I have sketched out for the Ottoman, Armenian, Georgian, and Azerbaidjan politicians is calculated, in less than twenty years, to transform the Near East, hitherto regarded as a hot-bed of intrigue and unrest, into a paradise, and to give it a status which will make it independent of the foreigner.

For the Turks, who form an overwhelming majority of the Ottoman Empire, this ideal is of fundamental importance. If the Armenian minority desires to remain Ottoman, it was only to prove that, like the Armenians of seventy years ago, it is inspired with feelings of loyalty and true Ottoman ideals.

This, in my opinion, is the only method I can suggest for finally burying the blood-stained past and preparing the way for a rich and happy future. I and my compatriots are always ready for discussion with anyone who can produce a better solution.

THE END.

 

 

 

 

 



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THE PURPOSE OF TALL ARMENIAN TALE (TAT)
...Is to expose the mythological “Armenian genocide,” from the years 1915-16. A wartime tragedy involving the losses of so many has been turned into a politicized story of “exclusive victimhood,” and because of the prevailing prejudice against Turks, along with Turkish indifference, those in the world, particularly in the West, have been quick to accept these terribly defamatory claims involving the worst crime against humanity. Few stop to investigate below the surface that those regarded as the innocent victims, the Armenians, while seeking to establish an independent state, have been the ones to commit systematic ethnic cleansing against those who did not fit into their racial/religious ideal: Muslims, Jews, and even fellow Armenians who had converted to Islam. Criminals as Dro, Antranik, Keri, Armen Garo and Soghoman Tehlirian (the assassin of Talat Pasha, one of the three Young Turk leaders, along with Enver and Jemal) contributed toward the deaths (via massacres, atrocities, and forced deportation) of countless innocents, numbering over half a million. What determines genocide is not the number of casualties or the cruelty of the persecutions, but the intent to destroy a group, the members of which  are guilty of nothing beyond being members of that group. The Armenians suffered their fate of resettlement not for their ethnicity, having co-existed and prospered in the Ottoman Empire for centuries, but because they rebelled against their dying Ottoman nation during WWI (World War I); a rebellion that even their leaders of the period, such as Boghos Nubar and Hovhannes Katchaznouni, have admitted. Yet the hypocritical world rarely bothers to look beneath the surface, not only because of anti-Turkish prejudice, but because of Armenian wealth and intimidation tactics. As a result, these libelous lies, sometimes belonging in the category of “genocide studies,” have become part of the school curricula of many regions. Armenian scholars such as Vahakn Dadrian, Peter Balakian, Richard Hovannisian, Dennis Papazian and Levon Marashlian have been known to dishonestly present only one side of their story, as long as their genocide becomes affirmed. They have enlisted the help of "genocide scholars," such as Roger Smith, Robert Melson, Samantha Power, and Israel Charny… and particularly  those of Turkish extraction, such as Taner Akcam and Fatma Muge Gocek, who justify their alliance with those who actively work to harm the interests of their native country, with the claim that such efforts will help make Turkey more" democratic." On the other side of this coin are genuine scholars who consider all the relevant data, as true scholars have a duty to do, such as Justin McCarthy, Bernard Lewis, Heath Lowry, Erich Feigl and Guenter Lewy. The unscrupulous genocide industry, not having the facts on its side, makes a practice of attacking the messenger instead of the message, vilifying these professors as “deniers” and "agents of the Turkish government." The truth means so little to the pro-genocide believers, some even resort to the forgeries of the Naim-Andonian telegrams or sources  based on false evidence, as Franz Werfel’s The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. Naturally, there is no end to the hearsay "evidence" of the prejudiced pro-Christian people from the period, including missionaries and Near East Relief representatives, Arnold Toynbee, Lord Bryce, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and so many others. When the rare Westerner opted to look at the issues objectively, such as Admirals Mark Bristol and Colby Chester, they were quick to be branded as “Turcophiles” by the propagandists. The sad thing is, even those who don’t consider themselves as bigots are quick to accept the deceptive claims of Armenian propaganda, because deep down people feel the Turks are natural killers and during times when Turks were victims, they do not rate as equal and deserving human beings. This is the main reason why the myth of this genocide has become the common wisdom.