A Lieutenant Colonel, of
the Second Russian Garrison Artillery Regiment stationed in Erzurum, kept a diary at least
from late 1917 to a few months into 1918. The general army had withdrawn, and
the province was under the control of this small Russian regiment, and a
military unit comprised of Armenians. What follows are excerpts from this
account of how the local unarmed Turkish population suffered at the hands of
the Armenians, to the frequent shock of the Russian officer.
From a different source
comes a sum-up of the incriminating statements made by the same officer, at
the middle of this page, followed by Vahakn Dadrian's objections.
ADDENDUM, 9-07: This was an early page of TAT, and its worth now mainly
stands with Dadrian's attempts to discredit the Russian officer. In order to
get a better picture of Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff's statement, please tune in to
its complete reproduction on the
Jemal Pasha memoirs page, or in a differently translated version from the
original Ottoman document.
|...The Armenians slew more than 800 Turks in Erzindjan...
In these days the Armenians were perpetrating indescribably cruel
murders among the poor Turkish inhabitants of the neighborhood of Erzindjan; the Turks
were unarmed and without any means of self-defense. 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-defense. Furthermore, the Armenians massacred the unhappy Mohammedan
population of Ilidja, in the neighborhood of Erzerum, without sparing the women and
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.
I... finally discovered in the
bathroom seventy Mohammedans, victims of the most ghastly horrors.
The following story will prove how unsatisfactory it
About three o'clock 2nd Lieutenant 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 favor 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. 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 recognize 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 neighborhood. I
personally arrested an Armenian who had killed Turks in the neighborhood of Tafta
and handed him over to the Commandant. It was said in the town that the Turk 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 practiced 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 dispatched 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
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 honor 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
favor and replied to this effect, and that peace negotiations would be opened on
February 17th in Trebizond..
Government had declared that the Kurds were subject to no orders and would act on
their own initiative...
Our Army Commander informed all officers that there was no
intention of stirring up enmity against the Ottoman troops in Erzerum and the neighborhood
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 had, 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
demoralized 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 neighborhood 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
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 realized 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, was continually attacked by the Armenians. Their only refuge was the Russian
officers, who, however, could only offer them very 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.
(There is much more, wrapped up by this
The Russian author Petronius says of the
Armenians: "The Armenians are certainly human, but at home they go on all
The Russian poet Lermontoff sings their praises in the following words: "You
are a slave, you are a coward, for you are an Armenian."
ERZERUM, April 29th, 1918.
(Signed} LT.-COL. TVERDOKHLEBOFF,
Provisional Commandant of the Fortresses of Erzerum and Deveboynu, Commanding the
2nd Garrison Artillery Regiment, Erzerum.
The full account may be read at armenianreality.com.
Twerdokhlebof on Armenian Ideology:
"I do not like to
give the impression that all Armenian intellectuals were accessories to these
murders. No, for there were people who opposed the Armenians for such actions,
since they understood that it would yield no result. However, such people were
only a minority. Furthermore, such people were considered as traitors to the
Armenian cause. Some have seemingly opposed the Armenian murders but have
supported the massacres secretly. Some, on the other hand, preferred to remain
silent. There were certain others, who, when accused by the Russians of
infamy, would say the following: 'You are Russians. You can never understand
the Armenian cause.' The Armenians had a conscience. They would commit
massacres and then would flee in fear of the Turkish soldiers.
The incidents that occurred only recently clearly manifest the real nature of
the Armenian ideology. Nothing which is already done can be undone. The
Armenians have sowed the seeds of havoc, but they have forgotten that they
will ultimately reap the whirlwind."
unverified source are these other excerpts:
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 neighborhood from
the beginning of the Russian Revolution to the reoccupation of the town by the
Turkish troops on February 27th 1918.
...During the Russian occupation the Armenians
did not dare to indulge openly in deeds of violence; the looting and murder was
committed in secret.
... The Turks who were taken to work in the
fields disappeared in like manner without a trace.
... 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 no 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, defenseless Turks
were murdered. The Armenians had dug gigantic trenches into which the poor Turks
were throw after being slaughtered like a herd of cattle. An Armenian who directed
the execution counted the unhappy victims. ' That's seventy,' he roared, ' there
still room for ten more; hack away! ' 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 aft 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.
...The Armenian bands, swarming from Erzindjan
to Erzerum, destroyed their way all Mohammedan villages and annihilated the
...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.
..." 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."
...On the 7th February the great massacre at
...On the 12th February the Armenians shot ten
peaceful, unarmed peasants at Erzerum station; the officers, who tried to interfere,
were threatened with death.
...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 Koj, in the district of the artillery regiment, had been completely
exterminated-men, women, and children.
...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 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.
...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.
|Vahakn Dadrian Objects
According to the Armenian prosecutor (in
“The Perversion by Turkish Sources of Russian General Mayewski’s Report on the Turko-Armenian
Conflict,” [Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies vol. 5 (1990-1991):
139-152], Prof. Vahakn Dadrian,
the Zoryan Institute’s Director of Genocide Research), Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff (referred
to as "Twerdo-Khlebof") was of "Azerbaijani Tatar origin with strong
affinities for the Turks, and wrote his diary while a captive of the Turks."
The report from the deep-pocketed Zoryan Institute
Armenian military commander Sebouh, in his memoirs (vol.
2, pp. 31, 68-69 ), states that this Twerdo-Khlebof had close contacts with his
compatriot, the Azeri Tatar Seyidof, who “had come to Erzurum to spy on and foment
anti-Armenian disturbances...” and that “despite the existence of 70 fortress cannons
only a few times artillery fire was used. No wonder that the few shells thus spent fell on
our soldiers for Colonel Khlebof was an Azerbaijani Tatar; being a friend of Seyidof, he
directed the fire against the Armenian soldiers.” Another Armenian observer, the Aide de
Camp of famous folk hero Antranig, declared that “The sympathy of this Colonel [Twerdo-Khlebof]
was entirely directed towards the Turks. He and his officers were billeted in Turkish
houses where they used to ravish Turkish girls...none of the cannons opened fire, despite
repeated orders. With but few exceptions, the foreign officers and military were won over
through bribery and Turkish ladies.”
So whatever Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff wrote should be
discredited, because the Russian was nothing more than a Turk. (According to classically
unreliable Armenian observers.)
It concerns Lt.-Col. Twerdo-Khlebof, Commander of the
Russian 2nd Artillery Regiment of Fortress Erzurum, whose tract deals with Armenian
atrocities, which the Russian officer claims to have occurred following the collapse of
the Tsarist regime and the withdrawal of the Russian Caucasus army from eastern Turkey,
December 1917-March 12, 1918. Twerdo-Khlebof reportedly wrote his account while in Turkish
captivity at the Turkish army’s headquarters.
I was under the impression the Russian officer's reports
were written in a diary format, with dates for the described events. If he wrote in
captivity, he would have had to make up those dates. (Unless his memory was photographic.)
Regardless of Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff's ethnicity and where
he wrote what he wrote, the only issue is whether his words reflected the truth. Plenty of
other Russian officers confirmed these terrible Armenian atrocities. Near the end of this page, for example — among other
Russian accounts — is a devastating official report from the commander of Russian
forces in Erzurum, First Lieutenant Abgral.
Whenever the Armenian militia is presented with evidence
that damns their beloved genocide, they are duty-bound to discredit the evidence as much
as they can... to the tune of the "Armenian
I would like to read those memoirs of the Armenian military
commanders and observers. I wonder how close they would come to the other Armenian memoirs
in "Men Are Like That."
With the addition in TAT of pages from Jemal Pasha's memoirs, I had new occasion to read Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff's
account (including an additional report from April 16th, shedding new information).
In the interim since this page was prepared, I have also come to learn even more the
extent of Dadrian's deceptive ways.
Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff was not a Turk. He was a Russian through and through. Pay
close attention to the wording of his claims, and one can arrive at no other
The only source presented claiming that the Russian officer, with the thoroughly
Russian name, was an "Azerbaijani Tatar" was the Armenian Sebouh. How did
he know? He certainly didn't ask Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff, and he was no friend of
Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff; Sebouh was totally without insight into the Russian's
personal background. Sebouh was only speculating, because he didn't like what he
says was the friendliness that Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff
displayed toward an Azeri (Seyidof), who “had come to Erzurum to spy on and
foment anti-Armenian disturbances...” (And why would Sevidof have wanted to do
that, at this stage in 1918, before the Armenians went to war against the Azeris?)
What happened is that this Armenian, along with the second one cited above, didn't
like Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff. The reason is, Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff developed a
bitter taste against Armenians, having witnessed the abominable ways in which they
behaved.... not only with their murderous inhumanity, but in many other respects,
including their cowardly penchant as soldiers, and their tendency to deceive and
lie. So what did these Armenians do? In typical Armenian style, they made all kinds
of attacks upon Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff, such as the opening of fire against
Armenian soldiers (disgusted with their treachery, in his report, Lt.-Col.
Twerdokhleboff actually did write that he considered the idea at one point: "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"); such an idea went against what
strongly appears to have been the humanist character of the Russian officer. Note as
well the claim of the unnamed "Aide de Camp of famous folk hero Antranig,"
that Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff and other Russian officers were won over by bribes and
the charms of Turkish women. Were the Turks so wealthy as to bribe them? (The ones
with the means must have left long ago.) Were modest Turkish women so open to make
themselves sexually available? What planet were these jokers living on?
Note how the "renowned scholar," Vahakn Dadrian, boldly makes the
statement that the Russian was of "Azerbaijani Tatar origin with strong
affinities for the Turks." Dadrian has absolutely no proof except for one
single Armenian's "opinion," but that's not going to prevent the
unscrupulous propagandist from making a claim as though it were a genuine fact. All
in a day's work for Dadrian to exercise his weasel ways, to detract and confuse.
Dadrian was half correct, however: Lt.-Col. Twerdokhleboff's sympathies did run with
the Turks. Such an attitude developed over time. That would be the normal course for
any good human being, after witnessing time and again the deviltries displayed by
the Turks' oppressors.
Turkish historian Necdet Sevinç had a different take on Twerdokhleboff, which
offers significant food for thought; the following is from Footnote 40 of Chapter 13, Armenian Allegations
and the Truth – With Archival Documents:
It is impossible to believe the Lieutenant Colonel’s farcical claims that the
Armenians committed a genocide behind the Russian soldiers’ back. It is
unbelievable that 3,000 people can be killed in an instant accidentally. It is out
of context that the Russian soldiers did not notice the torture which must have
taken painfully long hours. The Russian soldiers who joined the killing with the
Armenians posed an angelic front in order to cleanse their army off the criminal
list. For this reason the Turks do not owe any thanks to some Russian soldiers for
leaving these documents.
Commander Refers to the Russian Lieutenant
The following excerpt is from Enver
of the Turks and Mass Graves" chapter of the book, THE ARMENIANS in the
Late Ottoman Period.
Kazim Karabekir documented these massacres in Erzincan, Erzurum and Kars. He had
photographs taken and reports drawn up. He informed the Third Army, and this
documentation was sent to Istanbul. About the findings in these three cities,
"Erzincan: I had reports drawn up about the Armenian atrocities, and
photographs taken. I also recorded the account by a Russian officer, whom we took
prisoner, of what he had witnessed on this subject.... Erzurum: On 15 March 1918, I
talked to Russian officers whom we had taken prisoner and to Lieutenant Colonel
Tverdo-Khlebov. He told me that the Armenians numbered 6000, and that they had
perpetrated many atrocities. He promised to sign his statement describing these. He
wrote two reports in Russian, which were translated into Turkish and French. These
include a history and memoirs, our operation and the actions of the Armenians....
Kars: On 4 May 1918. The commander of the Third Army asked that the photographs of
the massacres and murders committed by the Armenians be sent. Today, I sent a total
of 55 photographic plates, 44 of which had not been developed, together with a
letter, reference number 1398 and dated 11 May 1334 (1918), with Assistant Chief
Physician Fahri Bey of my army corps to Commander Vehib Pasha in Batum. I have no
Subsequently, a report was drawn up on the massacres and atrocities carried out by
the Armenians in Erzurum and other eastern cities, printed at the army corps press,
and given to General James G. Harbord on 24 September 1919.
(General Harbord was the commander of a commission, sent to Anatolia
by the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to determine the local feelings about the
post-war settlement. He is also the author of the Harbord Commission Report (16
October 1919). Stanford J. Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire
and Modern Turkey, Vol. II, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1978, pp. 331.
This report is an official document recording
the massacres carried out in Erzincan, Gumru and Igdir. Witnesses of the Armenian
atrocities, among them Kazimir, Mrs. Passy, Tverdo-Khlebov and Ivan Pilyat,
presented accounts of what they had seen to the Turkish authorities. The statements
were given by the free will of those concerned, motivated by humane values. Captain
Ahmed Refik and a number of foreigners and Turkish journalists travelled to Trabzon,
Gumushane, Erzincan, Tercan, Askale, Ilica, Erzurum, Hasankale, Horasan, Sarikarmis,
Yeni Selim, Kars, and Ardahan in May 1918 as observers. The atrocities carried out
in Erzincan and Erzurum by the Armenians were made public. The observations of
Abdullah Efendi and pictures taken by photographer Necati Bey, who were sent
especially from Istanbul, form the most reliable documents of all. Unfortunately,
only a typescript of this document exists, although I have a copy in my private
library. Western sources refrain from mentioning the Armenian massacres in Erzincan,
Erzurum and Kars. Those who reported the events of 1914-1916 on a daily basis to the
press organs in London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, New York and Chicago were now silent.
The American missionaries, charity organizations, consuls, military attaches,
doctors, nurses, and others who were there, wrote not a line about the systematic
destruction of the Turks in this region. Documents in the Armenian archives in
Erivan and in Tbilisi await researchers, if permission is given. The imagined
genocide which Armenian researchers allege so frequently has fallen into the
confusion of technology. In books written on the subject, the terminology is seen to
change over time from atrocity and massacre to genocide and, at the present time,
even to Holocaust.