It may not be
fair to provide this source from The New York Times,
as the newspaper has had a strong
anti-Turkish bias which continues (at some level) to this day. However,
during World War I, The New York Times (along with
every other newspaper of the period... but The New York Times
has the reputation of being America's most prestigious) printed a slew of
fallacious articles... some because of readiness to totally believe the
sources (who would doubt the word of missionaries?), and some because of
deliberate wartime propaganda. Not to mention quite a number out of downright
Armenian web sites have an unending list of anti-Turkish newspaper accounts
from this period. These can be trusted as far as they can be thrown, from an
here, however, are conspicuously absent from these long lists.)
even The New York Times couldn't keep quiet when
the Armenians went on the attack... and these articles are at least useful in
demonstrating the Armenian forces were no mere irritant. They served as a
serious hindrance to the troubled Ottoman forces, laying the groundwork (note
the 1914 date) of the very necessary move to move the Armenians away from the
eastern and central sections of the nation. The Russians had already renamed
Istanbul.... given the Russians' bloodthirsty ethnic cleansing campaigns in
conquered Ottoman lands from the previous century, it was truly a matter of
life and death for the Turkish nation. Probably only the Bolshevik revolution
saved the Ottoman Empire from getting eaten alive by the Russians... who were
helped every step of the way by most of the Ottoman Armenian community.
It seems to me
these articles were not printed "in fairness" to the Turks, since
that would totally fly in the face of The
New York Times' rabidly
anti-Turkish policy during this period. Quite the contrary, I believe the
newspaper saw these reports as News Fit to Print because there is an element
of "Ha-ha! At last the oppressed forces of decency have a chance to
give grief back to the nasty Turks." If I'm correct, what an irony
that these articles will now come back to haunt the side The New York Times
overwhelmingly sympathized with... and still does.
are followed by a "rebuttal" by Arnold Toynbee, along with another Times
"Armenian Attack" report.
detachment is operating in the rear of the Turkish Army
ARMENIANS FIGHTING TURKS
Besieging Van—Others operating in
Turkish Army's Rear
The New York Times
Saturday, November 7, 1914
A dispatch received by The Daily Telegraph from Tiflis, capital of the Government of
Caucasia, by way of Moscow, says: “The Turkish town of Van (140 miles southeast of
Erzerum) is being besieged by a detachment of Armenians, who are aiding the Russians. The
town has a large arsenal. “Another Armenian detachment is operating in the rear of the
Russian Papers Use Slavonic Word “Tzargrad” in Speaking of it
The “Tribuna” publishes a Petrograd dispatch regarding the operations of the Russians
in Armenia. It also says that the Russian newspapers refer to Constantinople by its old
Slavonic name of Tzargrad. The dispatch follows:
“The Russians in Armenia are operating along a front of 160 miles.
They entered Turkey by two routes, one column toward Erzerum and the other striking
southward. The Armenians everywhere welcomed the Russians, regarding the war as one of
“Several entire Turkish regiments have been taken prisoners.
“The name of Constantinople has been replaced in the Russian Press by the old Slavonic
name of Tzargrad.”
TURKISH ARMENIANS IN ARMED REVOLT
The New York Times
Friday, November 13, 1914
TURKISH ARMENIANS IN ARMED REVOLT
We’re Ready to Join Russian Invaders.
Having Drilled and Collected
SEE DAY OF DELIVERANCE
Native Paper Says They Are Prepared for Any Sacrifice—Refuse to Join Turkish Army
Reports reaching the Russian capital from the Turkish border attach increasing importance
to the part the Armenians are playing in the Russo-Turkish war.
In several towns occupied by the Russians the
have shown themselves ready to join the invading army, explaining
that they had prepared themselves for the Russian approach by
constant drilling and by gathering arms secretly. All along the line of
march, according to these dispatches, the Armenian peasants
are receiving the Russian troops with enthusiasm and giving provisions to them freely.
An Armenian newspaper, referring to this crisis in
the history of
Armenia publishes the following:
“The long-anticipated day of deliverance for the
Armenians is at hand and the Armenians are prepared for any
sacrifice made necessary by the performance of their manifest duty.”
From this border country there have come to
reports of armed conflicts arising from the refusal of Armenians to
become Turkish conscripts and to surrender their arms.
It is now rumored that the important city of Van is today
besieged by Armenian guerrilla bands in great force. In Feltun the
number of insurgents is said to exceed 20,000 and they are
reported to have defeated all the Turkish troops sent against them,
causing heavy losses to the Turks.
Russian certificate given to an Ottoman-Armenian fighter
image is not from The N.Y. Times article;
it is a "Permission Certificate" given to Lato
Rasoyanis, chief of the Mukus (as in "mucuos")
gang, by the commander of the second
Armenian Territorial Forces. Dated June 18, 1915.
|"...When Turkey had not
yet entered the war...Armenian volunteer groups began to be organized with great zeal
and pomp in Trans Caucasia. In spite of the decision taken a few weeks before at the
General Committee in Erzurum, the Dashnagtzoutune actively helped the organization of
the aforementioned groups, and especially arming them, against Turkey. In the Fall of
1914, Armenian volunteer groups were formed and fought against the Turks..."
Hovhannes Katchaznouni, First Prime Minister of the
Independent Armenian Republic, The
Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni, 1923. (The Armenian Revolutionary
Federation Has Nothing to Do Any More, New York, Armenian Information Service,
1955, p. 5.)
"There was no Armenian revolt at
Arnold Toynbee, "The
Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire," or The Blue Book, 1916.
The Wellington House war propagandist
also wrote, in this essay that is still being treated... in this day and
age... as factual (The British apologized to Germany in 1936 for their made-up
stories within the "German" Blue Book):
The first contention is that the Armenians took up arms and
joined the Russians, as soon as the latter crossed the Ottoman frontier. The
standard case its champions cite is the "Revolt of Van." The deportations,
they maintain, were only ordered after this outbreak to forestall the danger of its
repetition elsewhere. This contention is easily rebutted. In the first place, there
was no Armenian revolt at Van. The Armenians merely defended the quarter of the
city in which they lived, after it had been beleaguered and attacked by Turkish
troops, and the outlying villages visited with massacre by Turkish patrols. The
outbreak was on the Turkish side, and the responsibility lies with the Turkish
governor, Djevdet Bey. The ferocious, uncontrollable character of this official was
the true cause of the catastrophe. Anyone who reads the impartial American
testimony on this point, in section II. of the present collection of documents,
will see that this was so. And, in the second place, the deportations had already
begun in Cilicia before the fighting at Van broke out. The Turks fired the first
shot at Van on the 20th April, 1915...
Arthur Ponsonby, ("Falsehood
in War-Time," New York 1928):
A circular was issued by
the War Office inviting reports on war incidents from officers with regard to the
enemy and stating that strict accuracy was not essential so long as there was
inherent probability (p 20).
Atrocity lies were the most
popular of all, especially in this country and America; no war can be without
them. Slander of the enemy is esteemed a patriotic duty (p 22).
It is impossible to describe
all the types of atrocity stories. They were repeated for days in brochures,
posters, letters and speeches. Renowned persons, who otherwise would be hesitant
to condemn even their mortal enemies for lack of evidence, did not hesitate to
accuse an entire nation of having committed every imaginable savagery and inhuman
action (p. 129).
ANOTHER NEW YORK TIMES "ARMENIAN
Naturally, The New York Times
was concerned with reporting the victimization of the Armenians, publishing some 145
"genocide" articles in 1915 alone. Once in a while, they would tolerate a report
on the Armenians' own belligerence, but probably never in as much detail as the 1914
accounts above (one brief paragraph, as you can see below), and always in the context that
the Armenians were engaged in "self defense." Note this brief later exception
below ends on a note of more Armenian victimization hearsay. Also note the mid-May date,
taking place before the relocation (i.e., "genocide") began.
ARMENIANS ATTACK 2 TURKISH DIVISIONS
Serious Uprising Follows Massacre of 2,000 by Kurds or Turks
MAY 17, 1915
LONDON, Monday, May 17.-- A dispatch to THE TIMES from Cairo says it is reported that the
Armenians in Zeitun and Cicilia (within Asiatic Turkey) have risen, and that the energies
of two Turkish reserve divisions are required to meet the situation.
Armenian newspapers, the correspondent adds, give harrowing details of a massacre of 2,000
Armenians by Kurds of Turks in Transcausia.
Turk Hating Newspaper Confirms: ARMENIAN REVOLT