Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Commentary by Edward Tashji   
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It's tragic how many Armenians are so blinded by hatred that they prefer to live in the past, and deny themselves the joys of their roots. Not all Armenians are like that. Some Armenians prefer concentrating on their emotional attachments to the old country. These Armenians know Turkish music, food and language form as much a part of their identities as anything else, and don't appreciate being ostracized by the larger, more hateful Armenian group. They feel they are robbed of their precious past and cherished memories, and resent the domineering attitude of the other group.

I'm a big fan of Edward Tashji, who has the guts and the love to come right out and declare where he stands. In his own words, this "Armenian-American has become 'famous,' (he said with all humility), within the Turkish community, while becoming "infamous", (he said with deep regret), within the Armenian community." Also, in his words... he is : "An American born of an Armenian mother and a Syrian-Orthodox father (.) He is the younger son of parents who had been born in Ottoman Turkey, became eye-witness to the conflagration of the First World War in their beloved homeland, and as a result, their destiny brought them to the land where millions had emigrated."


In The Midst Of War — A Letter And A True Love Story

(Writer’s note): What is entered in this offering is based upon information supplied by the parents of this writer. Much of the factual events are missing, but I have remained faithful to their story by including only the narrative they have given me. There are no fictitious additions or descriptions whatsoever! Also needed to be mentioned here: For years we have been urged to prepare an autobiography revealing a most unique story beginning in Ottoman Turkey, extending to the closing chapter of the author’s life. This effort has begun and within its compilation the following subject will be included. I am pleased to offer it here to the readers of The Turkish Times.

Of what possible value would it serve to describe here the events of war as seen through the eyes of my beloved parents? No description is necessary, as graphic images are available to us everywhere; Those who have a morbid desire for depiction of human suffering will not find it in the columns of this newspaper. It is however, pertinent to the content of this article to reveal that it was a result of war which separated my mother from her place of birth, Balikesir, and her destiny brought her to the town of Kilis, in Southeastern Turkey. As a young, beautiful girl left homeless, she was taken into the home of an Armenian family who were living in their own home, in Kilis! And the word, “genocide” is incessantly used by pseudo-intellectuals; how pathetic!

The home which welcomed my mother had a grown unmarried son and daughter in the family. Their hope had been that my mother would wed their son; quite proper, but alas, destiny had other designs for her. One day my mother, whose name then was Zabel Tashjian, (English spelling), was sitting on a garden bench with her prospective “sister-in-law,” while holding a letter which she had just received from her brother in Balikesir. As joyful as she was, she became distraught because neither she nor the family were able to read the letter, as it had been written in the Armenian language. — At this point I must digress because an important fact needs to be explained: among the many distortions of Turkish history is the assertion that the Armenians were not permitted to speak or write in Armenian — FALSE! Every ethnic Armenian who had gone to Armenian schools learned to speak and write in Armenian; those who did not, spoke in the language of the land. Same as this or any other country, wouldn’t you agree? Now, let us return to the garden....

While my mother had been noticeably sad, on the verge of tears, suddenly on a near-by path the girls observed two young handsome Ottoman officers approach, bowed their heads with a smile directed towards the young women, and slowly passed by. The girls looked at each other and with excitement each said: “WHO are they?!!” The letter fell down to the ground as each girl made a mental review of what they had just seen: Tall and good-looking men in striking military uniforms indicating they were officers. On their youthful heads each had worn the “Kalpak” (an Ottoman military headgear shaped like a fez, but made of fur). Around their slim waists were gold sashes from which on the left side, encased in silver, long swords were attached. But how would it be possible to make an acquaintance with the officers, with social customs of that period? And their being Muslim might create another “problem.” But destiny has prearranged these events, as it was learned they were both of “Suryani” (Syrian Orthodox) background. (Christian officers in the Ottoman army? Of course!) By mutual friends an introduction was arranged between the more handsome of the officers, and my mother. The young officer, with piercing eyes, and a slim trimmed mustache, was educated, he was a linguist and one of the languages he spoke and wrote was Armenian! Then that magical day had arrived, the beautiful girl and the Ottoman officer sat on the bench, near each other, and as her eyes tried in vain not to look into his face, she passed the letter to him. Without hesitation the letter had been translated, and what followed was the romance of poetry.

Yes, dear, reader, the girl with the letter was my mother, and the Ottoman officer was my beloved father!!! In my den, on a wall, hangs the pictures of my parents each as they were when they first had met. Many Turks having seen the painted photograph, have said it resembles a picture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk! No Hollywood production could depict the scene which I have attempted to portray above. Though much is missing, I have been blessed, honored, and privileged, to have been given their story as their legacy to me. A chance meeting brought them together, they fell in love, married, and began to build a life from the devastation of war. Their true story eventually brought them to America penniless and without family or friends. They worked tirelessly, sacrificed, had two sons, became home owners, and carried on the culture and the love for their former “anavatan” (motherland), in their adopted homeland. Similar to millions of other stories, with one major distinction: innocent minds and hearts were taught our history totally void of any ill-feeling toward the land and the people of my cultural origin!

Within my previous article, I had promised you a love story. I am proud to have introduced to you a son and daughter of Anadolu, and I know they smile upon their son in maintaining their love for Turkey and her people. Until we “meet” again, our humble work continues....


Edward Tashji

I am Called: "Turk Dostu" — A "Friend of Turks"

The Turkish Times

May 15, 1998



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...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.