It didn't happen often. In
fact, it so rarely happened, Sidney Whitman reported in his book (Turkish
Memories) that Sultan Abdul Hamit was somewhat excessively grateful, and
all Whitman really did was to write the truth! This page will feature a few of
the odds and ends that displayed fairness and truthfulness (what the genocide
industry would call "Turkish propaganda"... as though the Turks,
then and now, had or have any power whatsoever to get their voice heard in the
The New Era [Iowa], Oct. 5, 1898
A New View of the Turk.
The stories of the Armenian massacres, with their atrocious details of pillage, murder and
every horrible passion let loose, have been made the subject of careful inquiry by Mr.
Sidney Whitman, who writes of them in Harper's Magazine. He has come to the conclusion
that the Turk has been grossly slandered and presents his reasons, based on personal
research. The Turks of course adopted severe methods of repression against the
revolutionary Armenians, who came mostly from Russian territory. The Armenians in Asiatic
Turkey had long lived on perfectly familiar and friendly terms with their Mohammedan
neighbors at the time of the insurrection in 1895. Even the Kurds, the most intractable
and savage of the Turkish population, had been cordial in their relations. It was the
Armenian revolutionists who brought down the whole cataclysm of evils on the heads of
their brethren. The Armenian language, creed and schools were always free in Turkey. No
social restrictions of any kind had been imposed on them. Their lives and property had
been as secure as those of any Turkish subjects. They enjoyed such a degree of liberty and
social freedom as no alien race ever enjoyed in Russia. The rebellion instigated among the
Armenians by the emissaries who came over the Russian frontier was suppressed, according
to Mr. Whitman, with as little severity as possible, and the outrages on the part of a few
bands of fanatical Kurds were outside of government responsibility. Indeed the
perpetrators of the outrages were severely punished by the pasha commanding the disturbed
district, and the victims ware cordially assisted by the resident Mohammedans with money
Mr. Whitman's investigation of the outrages, made among Christians and Mohammedans of
every class, Turkish officials, Christian missionaries and Armenians themselves of the
better class, convinced him that the stories of Armenian atrocity were so vastly
exaggerated as to be little better than an inverted pyramid of lies. The convictions
formed by Mr. Whitman seem to be that the Turks in dealing with the last attempts at
Armenian revolution did so with as little cruelty and barbarism as could be used, and that
the monstrous deeds with which Europe and America rang, narrated from Armenian sources,
had but little true basis except so far as they were perpetrated by lawless ruffians.
WANTS AID FOR 500,000
STARVING: Her Own People, Not Armenian
Refugees..." (Someone forgot to inform the
reporter that Ottoman-Armenians were not
"refugees," as they belonged to the Ottoman
Empire and were also "Her Own People.")
The New York Times, April 2, 1916
TURKEY WANTS AID FOR 500,000 STARVING
Her Own People, Not Armenian Refugees — American Red Cross Cables $10,000.
WASHINGTON, April 1. — The American Red Cross received word today that Turkey for
the first time was ready to accept aid for a half million of her people who faced
starvation. Hundreds, it is said, are dying for lack of food. Ten thousand dollars
was cabled to fill immediate needs.
A message from Red Cross agents in Turkey said the American organization would be
permitted to co-operate with the Red Crescent. The dispatch added:
"Great suffering throughout country, particularly at Constantinople and
suburbs, along shores of Marmora, at Adrianople, Bruss, and Smyrna. In these regions
500,000, not comprising Armenian refugees, need help for bread. Hundreds dying of
starvation. No relief in sight. Typhus is spreading, with high mortality.' Supplies
cannot be shipped to Turkey from America because of the Allies' blockade, and
foodstuffs probably will be purchased by the Red Cross and sent from Rumania."
Supplies cannot be shipped to Turkey from America because of the Allies' blockade,
and foodstuffs will be purchased by the Red Cross and sent from Rumania.
This was an extremely rare report focusing on the hell
the non-Armenians of the Ottoman Empire was going through, and it's almost ironic
that such news would have been featured in the pages of the Turk-unfriendly New York Times. The newspaper would go on to
inform in later months ("SEND SHIP TO AID STARVING ARMENIA" was one
article, from Nov. 26, 1916) that two million dollars was raised for the Christians
(a lousy ten grand wouldn't do in this case; naturally, the plight of the other
starving Ottomans was quickly forgotten, since the above was probably the only
article informing the American public of the other side of the coin), and the
British naval blockade (designed to starve out the people; gunboats would even pick
off grazing cows from the shore) was "persuaded" to let the aid to
Armenians pass through without a problem.
The Steubenville Herald, Sept 29,1986
THAT the gentle Turk is not without a strong sense of humor is manifest from the following
official dispatch sent to his legation in Washington:
The Armenian revolutionists of Pinkan, a village situated in the province of Sivas, after
putting fire to their own houses, ran away, but they returned again and put fire to the
houses that had not been burned the first time. The object of the revolutionists is
evidently to make the people believe that there is no security in their country, but their
efforts to provoke again sanguinary trouble have been frustrated, thanks to the efficient
measures adopted by the imperial government.
Now if it had been added that the men cut their own heads off and the women outraged
themselves in spite of [all] efforts to prevent them the [?] would have been complete.
The Atlanta Constitution, Dec. 20, 1915
GERMAN DEFENDS TURKS FOR KILLING ARMENIANS
Count von Reventlow Says Britain and Russia Incited Armenians to Revolt.
Berlin, December 19.--(Via London.) Count Ernest von Reventlow, naval expert,
writing in The Tages Zeltung, further discusses the Armenian question, using as his
text an expression contained in a pamphlet just published by C. Adolf Bratter, a
Berlin political writer.
Count von Reventlow cites this book as saying Armenian atrocities always arise in
the same way, i. e.: Revolutionary Armenians are incited by Great Britain or Russia
to uprisings, rebellions and treason. Full of bitterness, the Turks for decades have
been vainly endeavoring to suppress these conspiracies."
Bratter's book further declares that "Great Britain, with the help of Russia
and France in the present case. planned an extended conspiracy in Armenia with the
purpose of having an uprising occur at the moment when the allies entered the
Dardanelles. Unfortunately for the Armenians, the uprising came too soon."
Count von Reventlow welcomes book, saying:
"It is high time Germans comprehended the real meaning of Armenian atrocity
affairs. They should finally understand that it is not our affair to feel or even
express sympathy witb. Armenian revolutionaries and usurers who form a great and
malignant danger for our brave, tried and true Turkish allies, and who are the tool
of our mortal enemies--Great Britain and Russia.
*If the Turks did not defend themselves energetically and thoroughly against the
Armenian danger whenever it arises they would be doing their allies as well as
themselves a bad service. Therefore, we Germans must consider the handling of the
Armenian question as an internal affair of the Turks."
Davenport Daily Republican Nov. 16, 1895 (Also The Fort Wayne Gazette
November 16, 1895: BLAME THE ARMENIANS. Turkish Authorities Declare They Are
Responsible for the Troubles.)
From the Sultan of Turkey.
Washington, Nov. 15.-- The Turkish legation here received the following telegram
from the Sublime Porte under yesterday's date:
"The Armenian revolutionists of Sivas after teking out of their shops all
merchandise attacked the Mussulmans. They fired from the windows of their houses and
wounded severely one soldier. A pistol shot broke the window of the room occupied by
the governor general. They also attacked the village of [Mardjili], killed many
Mussulmans and engaged in plunder. The authorities of Arabguirdi discovered forty of
the bombs which the Armenian agitators had prepared to blow up public buildings,
such as the barracks, the palace of the governor, the military store house and the
like. The fire that broke out in the city originated from bombs prepared for that
purpose. The Turkish population of Abguird, being attacked by 1,500 rioters
perfectly armed and equipped telegraphed to the Imperial government for protection:
YThe provincial authorities neglect absolutely nothing to preserve peace.
The Armenian rioters of Crzindjar fired on the Mussulmans and attacked the palace of
the governor, the military station and other buildings. They were repulsed, however,
by the military.
The Armenian revolutionists of Arabquirdi, having attacked the Mussulman quarter
Iquiknir, a bloody conflict ensued between Mussulmans and Armenians. Another
conflict took place near the villay of Saroy (Van) between Armenian brigands and
gendarmes. The brigands fled to the village of Bogazkean, but they were dispersed.
Many gendarmes were killed and wounded.
The authorities at Arabguir discovered in the houses of Tarngadji Oglon Zerkis and
other Armenians many bombs prepared for incendiary purposes. Explosive bombs were
also found. The agitators Krikor and Kevork, of the village of Kemer (Sivas) who
fired shots and in whose houses ammunition and cartridges were discovered were
"More than 5,000 Armenian revolutionists are at Tchonkmerzen (Adana) and are
preparing themselves to commit aggressions."
(But of course, the rare "pro-Turk" report almost
always was balanced by the usual poopity-whoop, often on the same day and on the
Armenia is Laid Waste
New York, Nov. 15.-- Ex-Minister to Turkey Oscar Strauss today received from Rev.
Henry O. Dwight, head of the Bible House mission in Constantinople, the following
"Armenia laid waste; quarter million souls destitute. Will you start
humanitarian work forming strong non-partisan relief commission independent of
Referring to the dispatch Mr. Strauss said that Mr. Dwight had been in Turkey for
twenty years and his statement could be relied upon. "He would not cable
thus," said Mr. Strauss, "if he were not thoroughly assured of the facts.
There evidently must have been some terrible conflicts between the Turkish troops
and the Armenians. There should be co-operation upon the part of the various
committees which have been formed for this purpose and steps will be at once taken
with the end in view."
(The Rev. Dwight's word could certainly be "relied
upon," much as he was in Istanbul, and far away from the action in the East. As
though "Armenia" — where was that? Was there a country by that name? —
was so "laid waste" that a quarter-million folks would be
"destitute." Brother! But, of course, the missionary's word was gold.)