Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


First Page


Major Players
Links & Misc.



Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems


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 prejudice.

Certain 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 objective perspective.

(The articles here, however, are conspicuously absent from these long lists.)

Regardless, 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.

The reports are followed by a "rebuttal" by Arnold Toynbee, along with another Times "Armenian Attack" report.


Armenian detachment is operating in the rear of the Turkish Army

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 Turkish Army.”


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 liberation.

“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.”


The New York Times
Friday, November 13, 1914

We’re Ready to Join Russian Invaders.  

Having Drilled and Collected


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 Armenian students
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 Turkish
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 Petrograd further
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


"Permission Certificate" given to Lato Rasoyanis, chief of the Mukus gang, by the commander of the second Armenian Territorial Forces. Dated June 18, 1915

This 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 Van"

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).



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.




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.

See also:

Turk Hating Newspaper Confirms: ARMENIAN REVOLT


"West" Accounts


Armenian Views
Geno. Scholars


Turks in Movies
Turks in TV


This Site