Some revealing passages from
Western minds, a little lengthier than the ones included in the Quotes page. Many of the beginning ones
are from Kamuran Gürün's excellently researched "The Armenian File
— The Myth of Innocence Exposed."
|Sir Edwin Pears
Under such circumstances the revolt of a handful of Armenians had
not a chance of success and was therefore unjustifiable. As a friend to the Armenians,
revolt seemed to me purely mischievous. Some of the extremists declared that while they
recognised that hundreds of innocent persons suffered from each of these attempts, they
could provoke a big massacre which would bring in foreign intervention. Such intervention
was useless so long as Russia was hostile. Lord Salisbury had publicly declared that as he
could not get a fleet over the Taurus mountains he did not see how England could help the
Armenians, much as she sympathised with them.
Forty Years in Constantinople, Heritage (London, 1915), p. 155
As for the tactics of the revolutionaries, anything more fiendish one could not
imagine — the assassination of Moslems in order to bring about the punishment of
innocent men, the midnight extortion of money from villages which have just paid
their taxes by day, the murder of persons who refuse to contribute to their
collection-boxes, are only some of the crimes of which Moslems, Catholics, and
Gregorians accuse them with no uncertain voice... the Armenian revolutionaries
prefer to plunder their co-religionists to giving battle to their enemies; the
anarchists of Constantinople throw bombs with the intention of provoking a massacre
of their fellow-countrymen.
If the object of English philanthropists and the roving brigands (who are the active
agents of revolution) is to subject the bulk of the Eastern provinces to the tender
mercies of an Armenian oligarchy, then I cannot entirely condemn the fanatic
outbreaks of the Moslems or the repressive measures of the Turkish government. On
the other hand, if the object of the Armenians is to secure equality before the law,
and the maintenance of security and peace in the countries partly inhabited by
Armenians, then I can only say that their methods are not those calculated to
The Caliph’s Last Heritage (London, 1915)
From the same book (pp.
409 and 416-18), Sykes' observations on Armenian young men: (They inspired)
"a feeling of distrust, and their bearing is compounded of a peculiar covert
insolence and a strange suggestion of suspicion and craft.. .The keynote of town
Armenian's character is a profound distrust of his own coreligionists and
"The Armenians will willingly harbor
revolutionaries, arrange for their entertainment and the furthering of their ends.
The pride of race brings about many singularities and prompts the Armenians to prey
on missionaries, Jesuits, consuls and European traveler with rapacity and
ingratitude. The poor Armenians will demand assistance in a loud tone, yet will
seldom give thanks for a donation. Abuse of Consular officers and missionaries is
only a part of the stock-in-trade of the extra-Armenian press."
"That the Armenians are doomed to be
forever unhappy as a nation, seems to me unavoidable, for one-half of their miseries
arises not from the stupid, rangy, ill-managed despotism under which they live, but
from their own dealings with each other. In a time of famine at Van, Armenian
merchants tried to corner the valuable grain; the Armenians Revolutionaries prefer
to plunder their coreligionists to giving battle to their enemies; the anarchists of
Constantinople threw bombs with the intention of provoking a massacre of their
fellow countrymen. The Armenian villagers are divided against themselves; the
revolutionary societies are leagued against one another, the priests connive at the
murder of a bishop; the church is divided at its very foundation."
"Never were a people so fully prepared for
the hand of a tyrant; never were a people so easy to be preyed upon by revolutionary
societies; never was there a people so difficult to lead or to reform. That these
characteristics are the result of Muslim oppression I do not for one moment
ADDENDUM, 9-07, from the same book:
" …[Armenians] will undertake the most desperate political crimes without the
least forethought or preparation; they will bring ruin and disaster on themselves
and others without any hesitation; they will sacrifice their own brothers and most
valuable citizens to a wayward caprice; they will enter largely into conspiracies
with men in whom they repose not the slightest confidence; they will overthrow their
own national cause to vent some petty spite on a private individual; they will at
the very moment of danger grossly insult and provoke one who might be their
protector, but may at any moment become their destroyer; by some stinging
aggravation or injury they will alienate the sympathy of a stranger whose assistance
they expect; they will suddenly abandon all hope when their plans are nearing
fruition; they will betray the very person who might serve their cause; and,
finally, they will bully and prey on one another at the very moment that the enemy
is at their gates. …
The Armenian revolutionaries prefer to plunder their co-religionists to giving
battle to their enemies; the anarchists of Constantinople threw bombs with the
intention of provoking a massacre of their fellow-countrymen. The Armenian villages
are divided against themselves; the revolutionary societies are leagued against one
another; the priests connive at the murder of a bishop; the Church is divided at its
very foundations. …
If the object of Armenians is to secure equality before the law, and the
establishment of security and peace in the countries partly inhabited by Armenians,*
then I can only say that their methods are not those to achieve success."
Sir Mark Sykes was recruited by
Wellington House to write a fabricated report, attacking the good image of the
Turks. he complied with "The Clean-fighting Turk, a Spurious Claim."
From Richard Stoneman's Across the Hellesport, p. 194:
"Herbert's (Aubrey) friend Mark Sykes, (1879-1919) who left University to
travel in the Near East, and later became a goverment adviser on Near Eastern
policy, made equally (like Audrey Herbert) light of the massacres and even
contrived to suggest they were all the Armenians' fault."
Sykes also wrote, before his propagandistic period, Through Five Turkish
Provinces, London:Bickers & Son, 1900, as well as a pamphlet called Asiatic
Turkey and the New Regime, London: Central Asian Society 1909.
|Rafael de Nogales
After hostilities had actually commenced, the Deputy to the Assembly for Erzurum, Garo
Pasdermichan*, passed over with almost all the Armenian troops and officers of the Third
Army to the Russians; to return with them soon after, burning hamlets and mercilessly
putting to the knife all of the peaceful Mussulman villagers that fell into their hands.
These bloody excesses had as their necessary corollary the immediate disarmament by the
Ottoman authorities of the gendarmes and other Armenian soldiers who still remained in the
army (probably because they had been unable to escape) and the utilization of their labour
in the construction of highways and in carrying provisions back and forth across the
mountains. The altogether unjustifiable desertion of the Armenian troops, united to the
outrages they committed afterwards, on their return, in the sectors of BashKaleh, Serail,
and Bayacet, did not fail to alarm the Turks and rouse their fear lest the rest of the
Armenian population in the frontier provinces of Van and Erzurum revolt likewise, and
attack them with the sword. This indeed is precisely what happened a few weeks after my
coming, when the Armenians of the vilayet of Van rose en masse against our expeditionary
army in Persia; thus giving rise to bloody and terrible occurrences which, under the
circumstances, might have been foreseen.
Four Years Beneath the Crescent, 1926, p. 45
*The terrorist Armen Garo (Karekin
Pasdermadjian) was one of the leaders of the 1896 raid on the Ottoman Bank, whose life was
spared by the sultan... allowed years later by the tolerant Turks to become a part of
Rafael de Nogales
Rafael de Nogales was a Venezuelan
adventurer and American cattle thief who fought with the Turks for four years; in his
book, he also says some damning things about the Turks, which is why it may be found for
sale by the Armenians' Gomidas Institute.
Available on TAT:
Sketches" by Rafael de Nogales
After having accomplished the minimum of their duty
as Ottoman citizens, the Armenians began to encourage the activities of the enemy.
Their ambiguous attitude had certainly little to do with loyalty. But which
Westerner would have the right to accuse them, when a tradition taught by Europe
made the insubordination of the Sultan’s Christian subjects the most sacred of
obligations? An insubordination which was often sanctioned by granting autonomy, if
not sovereignty. Nevertheless, how can anyone deny that, in the opinion of the
Turks, according to the law of all the states, the conduct of the Armenians,
facilitating during the war the task of the adversary, can be recognized as anything
but a crime of high treason?. . . The committees, divided among themselves for
internal issues, were often in agreement to facilitate the advance of Russian
armies: they were attempting to obstruct the retreat of Turkish troops, to stop the
convoys of provisions, to form bands of francs-tireurs. Mass desertions took place
in the Eastern provinces: Armenians thus formed many troops officered by Russian
officers. Here and there local revolts occurred. The leaders were setting the
examples: two Armenian deputies fled to Russia. A literature of hatred was recalled:
‘Let the Turkish mothers cry. . . . Let’s make the Turk taste a little grief.’
The culpability of Armenians leaves no doubt.
Mustapha Kemal, Dictateur (Paris, 1936), pp. 159-60
The Turks are not, like their coreligionists, the
Arabs, by nature a fanatical people. As a matter of fact, the history of the Ottoman
Empire is less marred by religious intolerance and by massacres due to religious
hatreds than the history of European states from the thirteenth to the sixteenth
centuries. It is well to remember that when the Crusaders were butchering their
Moslem prisoners in Palestine, when the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition were in
full swing, when Cromwell’s troopers were massacring the Catholics of Ireland,
when Protestants in France were being exterminated by order of the French king, when
Jews were being subjected to countless persecutions and barbarities in every
European country, Moslems, Christians and Jews were dwelling side by side, in
perfect amity, in Asia Minor.
The Struggle for Power in Moslem Asia (N.Y., 1925) p. 120
Who but the infidel Turk opened up a Turkish haven, in the
Middle Ages, to the Jewish refugees of Christian Spain and Italy? Ottoman sultans, Selim
and Suleiman, early in the sixteenth century, invited them to Constantinople and to
Salonika. They offered the Jews the first Zionist colonization in Palestine, around
Lake Tiberias, and on Cyprus.
The Rising Crescent, (N.Y., 1944) p. 37
An important testimony to the toleration of Moslem
rule is the fact that persecuted Christian and other sects took refuge in Mohammedan
lands, to enjoy there the undisturbed exercise of their several cults. Persecuted
Spanish Jews at the end of the fifteenth century took refuge in Turkey in great
numbers. The Calvinists of Hungary and Transylvania and the Unitarians of the latter
country long preferred to submit to the Turks rather than to fall into the hands of
the fanatical House of Habsburg. The Protestants of Silesia in the seventeenth
century looked with longing eyes towards Turkey, and would gladly have purchased
religious freedom at the price of submission to Moslem rule. The Cossacks, who
belonged to the ‘Old Believers’ and were persecuted by the Russian State Church
In 1736, found in Turkey the toleration which their Christian brethren denied them.
Revolutions in Islam (London, 1925) pp. 48-9
The Turkish Armenian does not know what a revolution is. He
fears a revolution like death. But if there is something he is more afraid of, it is the
revolutionary Armenian, the unreasoning revolutionary Armenians without a conscience who
dragged him from misery to misery for several years with the thought of doing a good deed
The Turkish Armenian have to confess that this enemy
of their own kind has been everywhere and has done its work everywhere. It also had many
followers in Russia, England and Turkey. Because it is known as a social truth that
divisive movements and propaganda among groups in a society influence the masses very
deeply. When these witless wretches came up with the idea of establishing a large state
with the Armenians in Caucasia and Turkey, the God-fearing Armenians with good conscience
who were aware of where the best interests of the nation lay, were overcome with sadness:
'An independent state, which will also include within its borders some of the Turkish
provinces, is that it? This would be the destruction of Armenians' they said.
This was the truth.! It was impossible for any
Armenian with a little bit of discernment not to see it. Because these people were
thinking that they could change the bed of a large river with eight or ten pieces of
This large river had opened its real bed by flowing
for centuries on a strong surface. To change this direction was to tear Armenian interests
from the tranquil flow of the river, to push them to draught-ridden lands and to strangle
them there for ever. Those feeble minded persons failed to see that the foreigners who
supported their revolution and evil deeds and championed their causes in their newspapers
did not undertake such action for the love of Armenians. The aim, and the sole aim of
these so-called protective powers was to cause the shedding of blood in regions which they
earmarked for their hegemony and to take over these regions with the pretext of cleaning
History is still recording what imperialism is
capable of doing in places it sets its eyes on. But it was impossible to make the
public-spirited revolutionaries comprehend this. The anarchists and propagandists among
them who could be useful neither to themselves nor to their communities in any other way
were receiving salaries. They were also receiving what they conceived to be pledges.
Overwhelmed under these condition, they believed there was Turkish oppression, and they
also made their compatriots believe in their lies.
The last quarter of a century of Turkey's history is
filled with some Armenian events. Although these events were supposedly aimed at some
goals harmful to Turkey, in fact they were only the oppression of Armenians by Armenians.
If the causes and reasons for each event are analyzed one by one and if the events are
analyzed meticulously, the only conclusion that will be arrived at is the one we have
stated in the previous sentence; the oppression of Armenians by Armenians.
The Turkish Armenians, Istanbul 1922
A New York newspaper correspondent's excerpt
from the 1895 booklet, The Armenian Troubles and Where The Responsibility Lies
"The Armenian Troubles and Where The Responsibility
Lies is the title of a booklet by a correspondent of a New York newspaper, who
apparently reproduced in 1895 in pamphlet form, the five letters he had written in
and sent from Istanbul. Believing that the whole atmosphere on the Sassoon events of
1894 has been 'polluted with falsehood and exaggerations', he states that the
disturbances were ' brought about by the Armenian revolutionary committees'... The
author quotes the AP correspondent who says that the Armenian conspirators murdered
the Rev. Edward Riggs and two other American missionaries and fastened the blame on
"As to the story that Armenian women, who, rather than 'suffer dishonor at the
hands of (their) Turkish persecutors', threw themselves in to an abyss until the
ravine was filled with corpses, the American correspondent says that 'the horrible
narrative is a reproduction, with additions and embellishments to suit the occasion,
of an old tale in poetry by Mrs. Hemans years ago, under the title of 'The Suliote
Mother'. He writes : 'Provocation and intimidation seem to be the plan of the
Prof. Turkkaya Ataov, in An Armenian Source
(1895) On The Armenian Question, Sistem Ofset, Ankara (1986)
E. W. C. Noel, British Army
"As a result of these months touring through
the area occupied and devastated by the Russian Army and the Christian army of
revenge accompanying them, during the spring and summer of 1916, I have no
hesitation in saying that the the Turks would be able to make out as good a case
against their enemies as that presented against the Turks. According to the almost
universal testimony of the local inhabitants and eyewitnesses, Russians acting on
the instigation and advice of Armenians who accompanied them murdered and butchered
indiscriminately any Muslim member of the civil population who fell into their
hands. A traveler through the Rowanduz and Nell districts would find widespread
wholesale evidence of outrageous crimes are committed by Christians on
Sam Weems, "Armenia — Secrets of a
'Christian' Terrorist State," 2002, pg. 36; footnote: Borian II, pg.
"In those Moslem villages in the plain below which
searched for arms by the Armenians everything had been taken
under the cloak of such search, and not only had many Moslems
been killed by the Armenian Army, but horrible tortures had
been inflicted in the endeavour to obtain information as to
where valuables had been hidden, of which the Armenians were
aware of the existence, although they had been unable to find
them." (p. 178)
"Armenian troops have pillaged and destroyed all the Moslem
villages in the plain. Caravans of refugees were in the meanwhile
constantly arriving from the plain, from which the whole Moslem
population was fleeing with as much of their personal property as
they could transport, seeking to obtain security and protection." (p. 177)
"The arrival of this British brigade was followed by the
announcement that Kars Province had been allotted by the
Supreme Council of the Allies to the Armenians, and that
announcement having been made, the British troops were then
completely withdrawn, and Armenian occupation commenced. Hence all the trouble; for the
Armenians at once commenced the wholesale robbery and persecution of the Muslem population
on the pretext that it was necessary forcibly to deprive them of their arms.
In the portion of the province which lies in the plains they were able to carry out their
purpose, and the manner in which this was done will be referred to in due course."
"The Armenians from the plain were attacking the Kurdish people
with artillery, with a large force in support." (p. 181)
"Adventures in the Near East, 1918-22" by Sir
Alfred Rawlinson, Jonathan Cape, 30 Bedford Square,
London, 1934 (First published 1923) (287 pages); Dodd, Meade
& Co., 1925
Holdwater: Sir Alfred Rawlinson is also referred to as
"Toby" Rawlinson, for reasons I'm not sure about. The lieutenant-colonel was
sent to Eastern Turkey with his fellow men to observe the disarmament of the Ottoman
armies. He was arrested under the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as a reprisal for taking
several prominent Ottomans on Malta hostage by British occupiers.
ADDENDUM, 10-08: The following has not been perfectly
transcribed. For an accurate version, please visit Lt. Dunn's "World Alive" Documents Armenian Atrocities.
'The most of the Muslims slaughtered by the Armenians are inside houses. Come you
and look.' 'No, dammit! My stomach isn't—' We were under those trees
by the mosque, in an open space. 'I don't believe you,' I said, but followed to a
nail-studded door. The man pushed it ajar, then spurred away, leaving me to check on
the corpse. I thought I should, this charge was so constant, so gritted my teeth and
The place was cool but reeked of sodden ashes, and was dark
at first, for its stone walls had only window slits. Rags strewed the mud floor
around an iron tripod over embers that vented their smoke through roof beams black
with soot. All looked bare and empty, but in an inner room flies buzzed. As the door
swung shut behind me I saw they came from a man's body lying face up, naked but for
its grimy turban. He was about fifty years old by what was left of his face - a
rifle butt had bashed an eye. The one left slanted, as with Tartars rather than with
Kurds. Any uniform once on him was gone, so I'd no proof which he was, and quickly
went out, gagging at the mess of his slashed genitals. (p.
'How many Muslim people lived there?'
'Oh, about eight hundred.' He yawned.
'Did you see any Muslim officers?'
'No, sir. I was in at dawn. All were Tartar civilians in mufti.'
The lieutenant dozed off, then I, but in the small hours a voice woke me — Dro's.
He stood in the starlight bawling out an officer. Anyone keelhauled so long and
furiously I'd never heard. Then abruptly Dro broke into laughter, quick and simple
as child's. Both were a cover for his sense of guilt, I thought, or hoped. For
somehow, despite my boast of irreligion, Christian Armenian massacring 'infidels'
was more horrible than the reverse would have been.
From daybreak on, Armenian villagers poured in from miles around. The Armenian women
plundered happily, chattering like ravens as they picked over the carcass of Djul.
They hauled out every hovel's chattels, the last scrap of food or cloth, and
staggered away, packing pots, saddlebags, looms, even spinning-wheels.
'Thank you for a lot, Dro,' I said to him back in camp. 'But now I
must leave.' We shook hands, the captain said 'A bientot, mon camarade.' And for
hours the old Molokan scout and I plodded north across parching plains. Like Lot's
wife I looked back once to see smoke bathing all, doubtless in a sack of other
Moslem villages by the Armenian Army up to the line of snow that was Iran.' (p. 363)
At morning tea, Dro and his officers spread out a map of this whole high region
called the Karabakh. Deep in tactics, Armenians spoke Russian, but I got their
contempt for Allied 'neutral' zones and their distrust of promises made by tribal
chiefs. A campaign shaped; more raids on Moslem villages. (p. 354)
"It will be three hours to take," Dro told me. We'd close in on
three sides. "The men on foot will not shoot, but use only the bayonets,"
Merrimanov said, jabbing a rifle in dumbshow.
"That is for morale," Dro put in. "We must keep the Moslems in
terror." "Soldiers or civilians?" I asked. "There is no
difference," said Dro. "All are armed, in uniform or not."
"But the women and children?"
"Will fly with the others as best they may." (p. 358)
The ridges circled a wide expanse, its floors still. Hundreds of feet down, the fog
held, solid as cotton flock. 'Djul lies under that,' said Dro, pointing. 'Our men
also attack Muslims from the other sides.'
Then, 'Whee-ee!' — his whistle lined up all at the rock edge.
Bayonets clicked upon carbines. Over plunged Archo, his black haunches rippling;
then followed the staff, the horde - nose to tail, bellies taking the spur. Armenia
in action seemed more like a pageant than war, even though I heard our Utica brass
As I watched from the height, it took ages for Djul to show clear. A tsing of
machine-gun fire took over from the thumping batteries; cattle lowed, dogs barked,
invisible, while I ate a hunk of cheese and drank from a snow puddle. Mist at last
folded upward as men shouted, at first heard faintly. Then came a shrill wailing.
Now among the cloud-streaks rose darker wisps — smoke. Red glimmered about house
walls of stone or wattle, into dry weeds on roofs. A mosque stood in clump of trees,
thick and green. Through crooked alleys on fire, horsemen were galloping after
figures both mounted and on foot.
'Tartarski!' shouted the Armenian gunner by me. Others pantomimed them in escape
over the rocks, while one twisted a bronze shell-nose, loaded, and yanked
breech-cord, firing again and again. Shots wasted, I thought, when by afternoon I
looked in vain for fallen branch or Muslim body. But these shots and the white
bursts of shrapnel in the gullies drowned the women's cries.
At length all shooting petered out. I got on my horse and rode down toward Djul. It
burned still but little flame showed now. The way was steep and tough, through dense
scrub. Finally on flatter ground I came out suddenly, through alders, on smoldering
houses. Across trampled wheat my brothers-in-arms were leading off animals, several
calves and a lamb. (p. 360)
Armenian corpses came next, the first a pretty Muslim child with straight black
hair, large eyes. She looked about twelve years old. She lay in some stubble where
meal lay scattered from the sack she'd been toting. The bayonet had gone through her
back, I judged, for blood around was scant. Between the breasts one clot, too small
for a bullet wound, crusted her homespun dress.
The next was a Muslim boy of ten or less, in rawhide jacket and
knee-pants. He lay face down in the path by several huts. One arm reached out to the
pewter bowl he'd carried, now upset upon its dough. Steel had jabbed just below his
neck, into the spine.
There were Muslim grownups, too, I saw as I led the sorrel around. Djul was empty of
the living till I looked up to see beside me Dro's German-speaking colonel. He said
all Muslims who had not escaped were dead. (p. 361)
More stories of Armenian murdering Muslims when
the czarist troops fled north. My Armenian hosts told me of their duty here: to keep
tabs on brigands, Muslim troop shifts, hidden arms, spies — Christian, Red or
Tartar — coming in from Transcaucasus. Then they spoke of the hell that would
break loose if Versailles were to put, as threatened, the Muslim vilayets of Turkey
under the control of Erevan.
A conversation with Rawlinson (see above entry):
. . . Next I was drinking Scotch with British `I' officers in Erzurum, in what had
been an American mission school for girls. Now it housed Colonel Toby Rawlinson from
Donsterville's hush-hush army. They put me up and I heard, in Oxford English, more
stories of Armenians murdering Turks when the czarist troops fled north. My hosts
told me of their duty here: to keep tab on brigands, Turkish troop shifts, hidden
arms, spies — Christian, Red or Tartar — coming in from Transcaucasus. Then they
spoke of the hell that would break loose if Versailles were to put, as threatened,
the six `Armenian' vilayets of Turkey under the control of Erevan.
`We sit on the edge of a volcano, Dunn,' said Rawlinson.
`So you want us to take a mandate over it all,' I said, `as buffer to your Iraq.'
`America'd never be so mad. I've been in America. Your people are too damned
`If the President's behind it-
`An Armenia without Armenians! Turks under Christian rule?' His lips smacked in
irony under the droopy red moustache. `That's bloodshed — just Smyrna over again
on a bigger scale. If you touch that business you're bigger fools than I've ever
taken you for.' (p. 358)
World Alive, A Personal Story, Crown
Publishers, Inc., New York (1956).
U.S. Naval officer Lieutenant
Robert Steed Dunn was the Intelligence officer of Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, the
American High Commissioner in the region and also a de facto American Ambassador in
Turkey. Between 1919-1921, Lieutenant Dunn travelled extensively with Dro and his
army in the region, and both made several contacts with the Russian Bolsheviks, the
Turkish and the Armenian National forces.
Of interest: Prof. Heath Lowry's "Richard G. Hovannisian
on Lieutenant Robert Steed Dunn."
The Armenian, for all his ineffaceable nationalism, his passion
for plotting and his fanatical intolerance, would be a negligible thorn in the Ottoman
side did he stand alone. The Porte knows very well that while Armenian Christians are
Gregorian, Catholic and Protestant, each sect bitterly intolerant of the others and
moreover while commerce and usury are all in Armenian hands, it can divide and rule
secure; but behind the Armenian secret societies (and there are few Armenians who have not
committed technical treason by becoming members of such societies at some point of their
lives) it sees the Kurd, and behind the Kurd the Russian; or looking west, it espies
through the ceaseless sporadic propaganda of the agitators Exeter Hall and Armenian
Committees. The Turk begins to repress because we sympathize and we sympathize because he
represses and so the vicious circle revolves. Does he habitually, however, do more than
repress? Does he, as administrator oppress? So far we have heard one version only, one
part to this suit, with its stories of outrage and echoing through them a long cry for
national independence. The mouth of the accused has been shut hitherto by fatalism, by
custom, by the gulf of misunderstanding which is fixed between the Christian and the
In my own experience of western Armenia, extending more or less over
four years up to 1894, I have seen no signs of a Reign of Terror. Life in Christian
villages has not shown itself outwardly to me as being very different from life in the
villages of Islam, nor the trade and property of Armenians in towns to be less secure than
those of Moslems. There was tension, there was friction, there was a condition of mutual
suspicion as to which Armenians have said to me again and again "If only the patriots
would leave us to trade and to till!". The Turk rules by right of five hundred years'
possession, and before his day the Byzantine, the Persian, the Parthian, the Roman
preceded each other as overlords of Greater Armenia back to the misty days of the first
Tigranes. The Turk claims certain rights in this matter - the right to safeguard his own
existence, the right to smoke out such hornets' nests as Zeitun, which has annihilated for
centuries past the trade of Eastern Taurus, the right to remain dominant by all means not
A Wandering Scholar in the Levant, New York, p. 147 (1896)
I am surprised that London should possess
information which no one here is aware of and is unable to document. As a result, it
has been impossible until now to determine exactly that Armenians have been
massacred in any area. There is much talk about it but no one was able to give me
certain and exact information. In particular the Armenian losses in Marash appear to
be absolutely false. Apparently, the Armenians took part in the struggle of our
troops in this city and had casualties like all the fighters. A serious study of the
figures shows that these Armenian casualties do not exceed 1000.
Archives des Affaires Etrangeres de
France, Vol 9, Folio 3; Millerand was the Minister of War of his nation until
1915, becoming President in 1920.
"In 1895 and 1896 the Armenian revolutionary committees created
such suspicion between the Armenians and the native population that it became impossible
to implement any sort of reform in these districts. The Armenian priests paid no attention
to religious education, but instead concentrated on spreading nationalist ideas, which
were affixed to the walls of monasteries, and in place of performing their religious
duties they concentrated on stirring Christian enmity against Muslims. The revolts that
took place in many provinces of Turkey during 1895 and 1896 were caused neither by any
great poverty among the Armenian villages nor because of Muslim attacks against them. In
fact these villagers were considerably richer and more prosperous than their neighbors.
Rather, the Armenian revolts came from three causes:
1. Their increasing maturity in political subjects;
2.The spread of ideas of nationality, liberation, and independence within the Armenian
3. Support of these ideas by the western governments, and their encouragement through the
efforts of the Armenian priests."
General Mayewski was the Russian Consul-General in Bitlis and Van; from Statistique des
Provinces de Van et de Bitlis, pp. 11-13, Petersburg, 1916
P.183: And in the Eastern provinces, in Kars, Ardahan and Batum, recently evacuated
by the Russians, Armenian bands committed to the creation of a greater Armenia were
advancing, taking revenge on the Turks for the massacres of Armenians they had
perpetrated in the First World War.
P.24: Normally 3 years followed by 6 years in the active army reserve and 9 years in
the reserve. Some 25 years. (Referring to the military duty
expected of Ottomans.)
P.132: The humiliation inflicted on the Ottoman Third Army at Sarikamish, combined
with the expectations of further Russian advances and fears regarding Armenian
treachery, led in 1915 to one of the greatest tragedies of the First World War, the
deportation and massacre of more than a half million Armenian inhabitants of the
eastern provinces. The precise motivation of the Ottoman government in ordering the
deportations and instigating the massacres to which they gave rise remains in doubt;
but this much is clear. In the early months of the war Armenian groups belonging to
Dashnaksutiun and Henchak, based in Tiflis and other towns in the area, organized
Armenian volunteer units which it was hoped would assist the Russians in their
conquest of the eastern provinces and liberate the Armenian inhabitants of the area.
At the same time Armenians living in Zeytun, a town in southeastern Anatolia, who
had refused to be conscripted into the Ottoman army, organized corps of volunteers
designed to disrupt Ottoman lines of communication, while Armenians living abroad
approached the Entente Powers, with offers to raise a force of some 20 000 men,
capable, if properly armed and equipped by the Entente Powers, of instigating an
insurrection in Cilicia and securing control of Iskenderun, a strategic port on the
Syrian coast. Then in April 1915 the Armenian inhabitants of Van rose in revolt,
with the result that Ottoman forces stationed in the area, convinced that they were
facing a widespread Armenian uprising, began an indiscriminate massacre of
Armenians; and in May, following a second Armenian uprising in Zeytun, the Porte
passed a series of deportation laws authorizing the removal of the Armenian
population from the strategic areas and their resettlement in the Euphrates valley
and other areas to the south of the province of Diarbekir. In the ensuing
implementation of the deportation laws, carried by Ottoman gendermarie units,
convicts released from the prison for the purpose, Kurdish tribesmen and according
to some accounts, units belonging to the special organization, robbery, rape and
murder occurred on an extensive scale.
Few of the Armenian columns arrived at their destination; and
even those that did were frequently exposed to further starvation and massacre.
Turkish historians argue that the deportations instituted in 1915, in the midst of
the Gallipoli campaign, which threatened the very survival of the empire were the
inevitable consequence of Armenian treachery and rebellion. As for the unfortunate
consequence of the policy of deportation, entirely unplanned and unintended, those
were merely the outcome of the sickness and exhaustion suffered by the deportees on
their long marches, of the attacks launched by marauding gangs of Kurds and other
irresponsible elements, beyond government control, and the poverty and deprivation
suffered by all inhabitants of the area, Turk as well as Armenian, in that period.
Documentary evidence would appear to support the Turkish view.
"The End of the Ottoman Empire
Ltd., 1998 (Thanks to Sukru S. Aya)
P.311: ....and in 1875 the empire was forced to declare
P.312: Abdulhamid ordered Mithat Pasha from the country. The
vaunted constitution produced an assembly, seventy-one Muslim deputies, forty-four
Christians and four Jews.
P.315: No longer the complacent rulers of the flock, the Ottomans were baffled and afraid
when the people rose in nationalist revolt.
Massacre became the stock response to threat; the authorities made little effort to check
the atrocities; and frenzied blood-lust of the Turks in retreat is still a delicate
subject. Excesses were committed by all sides; the arrival of Protestant missionaries,
singing ' Onward Christian Soldiers' among the once quiet Armenians alarmed the Ottomans
into thinking that the process which had turned their Bulgarian, Greek or Serbian reaya
against them was about to be repeated.
P.318: It brought Gallipoli, that stubborn defense of Turkish soil against the allies in
which 100.000 died and which created, curiously two resonant justificatory myths of
nationhood; for Australians tend to date the crystallization of a national consciousness
from the death trap into which the British imbroglio let them, while the Turks fought for
their homeland, and were ably let by Mustafa Kemal.
P.325: In the last years of the empire, a French firm offered half a million francs to
turn 150.000 street dogs in Istanbul into gloves. The Sultan — very hard pressed for
cash — nobly refused. The dogs were locked up in an old tramp steamer and transported,
howling and fighting to a waterless island (Hayirsizada) where they were turned loose.
"Lords of the Horizons" Jason Goodwin, Henry Holt Co,
1999, NY, ISBN 0-8050-4081-1 (Thanks to Sukru S. Aya)
P.119-120-121: This military fiasco left Eastern Anatolia open to a Russian advance
which duly materialized when the weather improved. It also marked the beginning of
the suppression of the Ottoman Armenians, still a controversial issue 75 years
later. The Armenian community formed an important part of the population of the
eastern Anatolian provinces, although in no province did they constitute a majority
or even plurality. Estimates of the total number of Armenians in the empire vary,
but a number of around 1.500.000, some 10% of the population of Ottoman Anatolia, is
probably a reasonable estimate. After the troubles of 1896, the situation in the
east had normalized to some extent, but relations between the local Armenians and
Muslims, especially the Kurds,
remained tense and there were frequent clashes. In May 1913, a
representative of Dashnakzutioun had demanded the establishment of a foreign
gendarmerie to protect the Armenians in Eastern Anatolia. The CUP government had
approached the British about this matter and the latter had discussed it with the
French and the establishment of two inspectorates with far-reaching powers in
eastern Anatolia and a Norwegian and a
Dutch inspector were appointed in May. The outbreak of war prevented the scheme from
being put into operation. At the outbreak of the war, Armenian nationalists saw in a
Russian victory their chance to achieve the establishment of an Armenian state in
Eastern Anatolia. Russian propaganda encouraged these aspirations. A few thousand
Armenians joined the Russian army; there were Armenian desertions from the Ottoman
army and guerrilla activity behind the Ottoman lines. Confronted with this
situation, the Ottoman cabinet, on the initiative of the Interior
Minister, Talat Pasha decided to relocate the entire population of the war zone to
Zor in the heart of the Syrian desert. This relocation (tehcir) was carried through
1915-16 and it resulted in the death of enormous numbers of Armenians. So much is
undisputed historical fact. The controversies rage on three points. The first is the
military necessity of the operation. Turkish historians and their supporters point
the treasonable activities of many Armenians during the war and to difficulty of
knowing which Armenians would remain loyal and which would side with Russians. The
other side — correctly — pointed out that the deportations were not
limited to the war zone but took place all over the empire. In western Anatolia and
Istanbul deportation of whole communities were exceptional, but members of the
Armenian elite were persecuted. The second controversy is over numbers: Turkish
historians have put the number of deaths as low as 200.000 while the Armenians have
ten times as many. The third and most important controversy concerns intent, and
whether genocide was committed. The Turkish side and its supporters claim the
situation in eastern Anatolia was one of the inter-communal warfare, in which
Armenian bands (supported by the Russian army) and Kurdish tribes (supported by
Turkish gendarmes) struggled for control. They also recognize that the Armenians
sent to Syria were subjected to vicious attacks by the local Muslim population
(especially Kurds) but they attribute this to lack of control on the part of the
Ottoman government rather than to its policies. They point out that the official
records of the Ottoman government do not, as far as is known, contain any documents
which demonstrate government involvement in the killings. The Armenian side has
tried to demonstrate this involvement but some of the documents it has produced (the
papers) have been shown to be forgeries. Many of the British and American
publications on this issue from the time of the First World War which purport to
prove government involvement also bear a heavy stamp of wartime propaganda. On the
other hand, the same cannot be said of wartime German sources who also report
"TURKEY a Modern History" I.B. Tauris
Publishers, London, 1993 (Thanks to Sukru S. Aya)
Holdwater: I received an indication
that Prof. Zurcher was gaga over Vahakn Dadrian's
objection to Guenter Lewy, believing in the correctness of Dadrian on major
issues. I wrote a lengthy letter to the Dutch professor regarding how he could
possibly feel that way, in light of Dadrian's unethical twists and turns. He replied
in a short note asking about my scholarly qualifications. (I suppose he meant if I
lacked a Ph.D, I was not qualified to raise questions.)
Prof. Zurcher even referred to propagandist Taner Akcam's work as "state
of the art in this field, because he combines the result of Dadrian’s work
with original research in the German archives," in an essay
entitled, "Ottoman labour battalions in World War I."
I have not read Dr. Zurcher's book ("used as a reference manual at
universities in the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Turkey... translated into
Turkish, Greek, Hebrew and Dutch," as quoted from the article below), but
according to a book excerpt from the Internet, Prof. Zurcher's genocide stance was
spelled out: "[T]his author at least is of the opinion that there was a
centrally controlled policy of extermination, instigated by the CUP [i.e., the top
leadership]." (Another Dutch genocide advocate, Arend jan Boekestijn, wrote
an essay on the subject, and supported the statement, "The fact remains that
some high level Turks used the deportations as a smoke screen to solve the Armenian
question once and for all," with a footnote from Zurcher's book [pp
"Erik-Jan-Zürcher has been professor of Turkish languages and cultures at
the University of Leiden since 1997," as a page on his
university's site tells us. Entitled "Turkish distinction for Erik-Jan
Zürcher" (21 June 2005), we further learn:
"Professor Erik-Jan Zürcher has received the Medal of High Distinction from
the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for his work in contesting misconceptions
and prejudices about Turkey, which played a role in bringing closer the accession of
Turkey to the European Union.
Prof. dr. Erik-Jan Zürcher, professor of Turkish languages and cultures, was
awarded the Medal of High Distinction by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on
6th June. The award was presented to him at the Turkish Embassy in The Hague by
Ambassador Tacem Ildem.
Zürcher received this distinction in recognition of his academic research and his
publications in the field of Turkish history, and in particular for his work in the
past two years in contesting misconceptions and prejudices about Turkey, which has
brought closer the accession of Turkey to the European Union. The accompanying
commendation from the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gül, also
specifically mentioned this motivation.
The Medal of High Distinction is an honour which is rarely awarded.
In his speech of thanks, Zürcher expressed his pleasure at receiving this award,
particularly in view of the critical stance which he has in the past at times taken
on such sensitive issues as the Armenian question and human rights in
A reminder that another favorite tactic of Armenian propaganda is to point to
Turkish government awards given to Western contra-genocide scholars as
"proof" that the scholars are "agents of the Turkish
government." Hopefully, the above will blast the lid off that particular
So We Know Where Prof. Zürcher Stands
Oct. 16, 2006, "Dutch Historian: Modern Turkey Founders' Had Blood on
Their Hands"; Dutch Public Television aired "Dutch Historians on
the Armenian Genocide" (where "pictures of Armenian Genocide victims
by Armin Wegener [sic] were screened"... as though pictures of suffering people would
constitute a genocide), and in response to "Why does Turkey still
deny?" Prof. E.J. Zürcher replied:
"Many people, who played an important role in the development of
modern Turkey, had blood on their hands. They were themselves involved in the extermination of the Armenians. For the modern Turkish
state this is a painful part of their history."
A discussion of the professor's
unproven point. What a pity the professor chooses to parrot propaganda.
Here is another revealing Zürcher quote:
All too often in the field of Turkology we forget that the modern state of
Turkey was built on "ethnic cleansing" on a massive scale.
From Erik-Jan Zürcher's criticism of Bernard Lewis's Emergence of Modern
Turkey (1961), entitled The rise and fall of "modern" Turkey,
where Zürcher legitimizes the propagandists, Vahakn Dadrian and
Dadrian's protégé, Taner Akcam. (Thanks to Hector.)
|Leslie E. Davis
(Sukru S. Aya,
who excerpted the following, offered the note: This book is composed from a report by Leslie E. Davis <U.S
Commercial Council in Harput>, prepared at the request of Ambassador Morgethau and it
basically tells the mistreatment of Armenians only. It is so biased, that there is not
even a single line about the Armenian revolt in Van, next to Harput. The report was
converted into a book which was read and approved by Richard Hovannisian, and printed by a Greek Company to hurt the Turkish image. Nevertheless, I
have sorted out some of the sentences which escaped censoring.)
P.12: It is not that I am in any way a champion of the Armenian
race. It is not a race one can admire or among whom I should chose to live. But whatever
the faults of the Armenian people may be and however conclusive may be the proof that some
of them have been involved in a revolutionary plot, the punishment inflicted upon these
people is so severe, the tragedy is so terrible.
P.15 : In the spring of 1915, local Armenian leaders in Harput, including several
professors at the missionaries' Euphrates College, were arrested and many tortured to
death. At the end of June because of their alleged seditious activities, all Armenians
were ordered by the central government to prepare for "relocation."
Missionaries, too, became targets. Several were arrested and deported.
P.15: U.S. trade with the Ottoman Empire began in 1792 when an
appropriately named ship, the Grand Turk, called at the port of Smyrna (Izmir) to buy figs
and carpets. By 1800 American merchants were pressing for diplomatic relations, but the
Sultan considered United States so insiginificant he refused to entertain the idea.
P.16: American missionaries rapidly outnumbered merchants in the
Ottoman Empire. The first representatives of the Congregational
American Board of Commissionaires for Foreign Mission arrived in Smyrna in 1819 with
boundless optimism. When they learned that conversion from Islam to another religion was a
crime punishable by death in a country in which the head of the state was also the Moslem
spiritual leader, they focused their efforts on the Greek, Armenian and other Christian
minorities. Idealistic Americans invested $ 40 million (in 1915 dollars) in schools,
hospitals and churches by the outbreak of World War I. Operating with charters from the
Ottoman government, these institutions by 1914 employed more than 450 Americans and 4500
Ottoman nationals of various ethnic origins.
P.17: Historically, the Armenian genocide had its roots in the
creation of the millet (non-Muslim ethnic) system after the Ottoman Turks captured
Constantinople. By institutionalizing the status of religious minorities, the Greeks,
Armenians and Jews as beings whose rights in society were only recognized through a system
outside the structural mainstream, were doomed to classification as inferiors. The Greek
and Armenian millets were headed by archbishops designated by the Sultan to be patriarchs
of their communities. (Holdwater: of course, the word
"genocide" could not have been used by Leslie Davis.)
P.37:There was never any commercial work of importance in this
consular district even in normal times.
P.38: Since the beginning of the war even bread is almost
P.39: Since 1876 the American Board has maintained a college
there, which was at first called "Armenia College", but the name of which was
afterwards changed to "Euphrates College" where most of the teachers and
students were Armenians.
P.45: After the entry of Turkey in the war, the French monks left
the country, but were subjected to many annoyances before they went. Soon afterwards all
the French monks left. Their buildings are used as a Turkish hospitals.
P.46: Typhus was very bad that winter, especially among the
soldiers... As many as 75-80 of them died on same days.
P.48: About this time it was rumored that bombs and guns had been found in the possession
of certain persons who were thought to be members of Armenian revolutionary societies
conspiring against the Turkish Government.
P.55: After it was announced that the Armenians were to be
deported they flocked to the Consulate in large numbers, many of them claiming American
citizenship who had never seen there before and about whom nothing was known.
P.58: It was known that the roads were dangerous, even though the
government had promised to provide a sufficient escort for all who
left. They were filled with "chetes" who were turned loose to rob and
P.59: Most of the business of the region was in their (the
Armenians' — HW) hands. 95% of the deposits in the banks belonged to them.
P.96: All the business of that region had been carried on by Armenians; all the work of
missionaries had been among Armenians.. Many had been kept by friendly Turks in their
houses; some had been deported and had returned.
P.104: The fact that I was giving out relief soon became known to
every one and frequently the Turkish policemen themselves brought
Armenians there for me to help. Surviving Armenians in all the villages left and came to
Harput and Mamouretul Aziz to live in order to get help. Many came from the Palu region
also, as the headquarters of the Turkish Army of the Caucasus was established there early
in 1916 and the entire civil population, Turkish as well Armenian, were sent away. This
increase in the number of destitute Armenians who were dependent upon charity added
greatly to our problems.
P.105: Some Armenian women who were married to Turks, or were living with them as their
mistresses, came with other people on Tuesdays to seek aid. Occasionally, the Turks even
escorted them and waited on the street.
P.108: In the summer of 1916 all the Armenians who had been
hiding in the Dersim, succeeded in escaping to Russia and others from Harput to Dersim in
the hope of getting away.
P.109: .Most of them succeeded in getting away safely. In spite
of the risks, the opportunity for these Armenians to save themselves
in this way was so good that it seemed advisable for as many to try to go to get away.
P.118: Thousands of Mohammedan muhadjirs passed through
Mamouretul Aziz after the advance of the Russian in winter of 1915-16. They came from
Turkish provinces which the Russians occupied, fleeing before them and wandering from
place to place. Many of them settled for a time in the villages from which the Armenians
had been driven out. The Government has completed the destruction of most of them by
tearing out timbers of the houses for fire-wood, as no other fuel was obtainable in that
region during the past two years and the houses which consisted principally of mud and
straw, then crumbled to pieces.
P.123: Notwithstanding the courtesy shown us, we were closely
guarded all the way from Harput to Constantinople by the gendarmes whom the Vali
(Governor) had furnished, ostensibly for our protection but partially, without doubt, to
prevent us from observing things too carefully on the way. These gendarmes, of whom there
were at all times from one to four, were almost without exception polite and obliging.
P.168: I certainly have no desire to pose as a champion of the
Armenian race or to defend any Armenian revolutionists. After the
expulsion of the greater part of the Armenian population during the first two or three
weeks of July, subsequent deportations have naturally been on a smaller scale and have
occurred at longer intervals.
P.169: I should estimate that at least three-fourths of the
Armenians in this region have now gone. A few are now getting the benefits of the order
exempting Catholics and Protestants from deportation, but most of these were sent away
before the order was received.
P.170: Many people, mostly women, have been kept in the Turkish
houses, especially in the villages that were partly Turkish and partly Armenian. The
purely Armenian villages have been pretty thoroughly cleaned out, but hundreds of women
have found shelter with their Turkish neighbors in the villages containing both races.
P.172: On the whole, the Americans here have had comparatively
little trouble during the past two months and have been able to do some good.
P.177: Word has recently been received from a few individuals
who have reached Aleppo. It is noted that they are all women. Apparently no man arrived
P.181: During the last two months quite a number of Armenian
soldiers have been brought back in groups of two or three hundred from Erzurum. They have
arrived in a most pitiable state due to their exposure on the way at this season of the
year and in the privations they had suffered. (Holdwater: in
other words, these soldiers... whom we keep getting told were all executed... were
transported all the way to Harput. Thanks, Leslie Davis, for documenting this one.)
P.183: One of the disappointments in the present terrible
situation and one of the saddest commentaries on American missionary work among the
Armenians is their lack of religious and moral principles and the general baseness of the
race. During all that has happened during the past year I have not heard of a single act
of heroism or of self-sacrifice and the noble acts, if any, have been very few. On the
contrary mothers have given their daughters to the lowest and vilest Turks to save their
own lives; to change their religion is a matter of little importance to most of the
people; lying and trickery and inordinate love of money are besetting sins of almost all,
even while they stand in the very shadow of death. On one occasion, when the students of
the Armenian theological seminary were arrested, nearly every one of them lied about one
thing or another to save himself. Absolute truthfulness is almost unknown among the
members of this race. Money is sought at any price, even at the risk of their lives, as in
the case of the young man already mentioned in this despatch whom I had saved from death
and tried to help for several months by keeping him in the Consulate. Every trick and
device are resorted to by those who are not in need as well as by those who are to obtain
money and often by depriving others of it who are in much greater need. From every point
of view the race is one that cannot be admired although it is one to be pitied.
P.195: (from Turkish proclamation.)
At Harput, despite the repeated affirmations of the Armenians and
oftheir bishop who protested loyalty to the Government, and declared that they did not
stockpile any arms, more than 5.000 rifles and revolvers and as many muskets, close to
three hundred bombs, forty kilos of fuses for bombs and two hundred packages of dynamite
were found, more than it would take to blow up the entire province. Among the effects of
the bishop of Arapkir one found, amongst bombs and arms, two complete dervish outfits and
accessories. In January and February 1915, many Moslem sick and injured who were returning
to their homes from the front, were pitilessly massacred in Armenian villages through
which they passed. Before and after our entry into the war with Russia, the Armenians who
made it their duty to aid Russian army against Turkey, had already formed battalions which
were directed against Van and the Persian border. Many of these battalions were formed out
of Armenians who escaped from the province of Mamuretul Aziz, or who, originally from this
province, were abroad.
"The Slaughterhouse Province - An American Diplomat's Report on
the Armenian Genocide,1915-1917," edited by Susan K. Blair; Aristide D. Caratzas, New
More on Leslie Davis
With the annexation of Georgia in 1800 Russia
further increased the number of her Armenian subjects. Wherever she advanced into
Mohammedan countries she found the Armenians friendly and helpful, for they regarded
her as their deliverer. Nay, the very generals commanding the Russian invading
armies were often Armenians, such as Lazareff and Loris Melikoff. It is indeed safe
to say that but for the Armenians, Russia would never have conquered the Caucasus.
We find them as bankers, merchants,
shopkeepers, manufacturers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers, and officials all
over the Caucasus, and even in European Russia. The Baku oil industry is largely due
to Armenian enterprise ; at Tiflis, the ancient capital of Georgia, the Armenians
form over a third of the population, have practically all the business of the town
in their hands, own most of the house property, and constitute 80 per cent, of the
town council. Even in the Russian army Armenians occupied high positions; the
Commander-in-Chief of the Russian forces in the Asiatic campaign of 1877 was General
Loris Melikoff, an Armenian from Lori, and one of his ablest lieutenants was General
Ter-Gukassoff, also an Armenian. The same Loris Melikoff afterwards became chief
Minister to Alexander II... (pp. 147-48)
When we come to the question of character, we find yet further causes of hatred. The
outward characteristics of the Armenian are not attractive. “He produces,”
according to an Armenian writer, “ anything but a pleasing impression on those
with whom he comes in social contact. He is reserved, brusque, rude; his egotism and
amour propre are excessive; and he is often arrogant to the verge of insult. Though
undeniably honourable in all business relations and careful of the rights of others,
he is often cruel and merciless in maintaining his own rights. An excellent husband
and father, and passionately attached to his home, his conduct towards strangers is
often selfish and arrogant. He is cautious and suspicious, and though capable of
deep feeling, is averse from any show of emotion. He is wholly lacking in the great
talent of making himself agreeable in social intercourse. ... He is not so much
devoid of delicacy of feeling, as boorish and unsociable. In general he shows a want
of genuine kind-heartedness, and of that habit of mind which is disposed to treat
all men as friends.” Of course this is not true of the whole people, and in any
case applies chiefly to the urban classes; in my own experience I have met many
Armenians whose manners and habits were those of men and women of the world, and
among whom, apart from their kindness and hospitality to me, I felt myself in the
company of polished Europeans. The hospitality of the Armenians is very great,
although seldom accompanied by courtly manners. The result is that they are usually
unpopular; and to their real defects others are added by their enemies, which find
easy credence among those who cannot get over their unconciliating behaviour. The
Armenians also enjoy a reputation for sharp and not always straight business
methods, and they are accused of being usurers. (pp. 161-63)
"Fire and Sword in the Caucasus," 1906
It is most unfortunate that the bulk of the vast literature available
in this field comes form the pens of such authors [i.e. Armenian apologists], almost all
of it bent on an ethnocentric course to demonstrate the supposed superiority of Christian
Armenian culture over that of the “unspeakable” Muslim Turk…
Worst yet, Armenian scholars have consistently dwelled on Turkish massacres of their
compatriots in all their grisly details without so much as a word on the equally savage
measures taken by the Armenians of the Transcaucasus and eastern Anatolia against the
local Turkic populace from 1905 to 1920. Indeed, when questioned on such episodes, they
even dismiss them as Turkish propaganda. Yet the evidence for accepting them as fact is
More significant perhaps is the considerable body of evidence which indicates that
Armenian revolutionists deliberately fomented massacres of their compatriots in Turkey for
the purposes of turning them against the Porte and of invoking intervention by the Great
Powers. On the other hand, it was thanks to prompt action by local Turkish authorities, so
often maligned for incompetence, corruption, and bad faith by Western travellers and
diplomats, that Cilicia proper and Elazig-Harput were spared from slaughter during the
massacres of 1894-96. During the episode of April 1909, Mersin and areas outside Cilicia
proper were similarly spared, with the one notable exception of Latakia on the northern
[Re. the 1915-1916 relocations]: The vast literature available on these episodes, on the
other hand, is inconclusive as to whether they began spontaneously or were triggered by
orders from Istanbul.
(Tricolors over the Taurus, pp. 44-46)
A widespread Armenian revolutionary conspiracy was therefore organized and
subsidised in Russia, and even patronised by the Russian Ambassador at
Constantinople. The aims of this most barbarous and wicked plot were made public
some time before its denoument.
A very shrewd and able correspondent of Reuter's Agency, who travelled throughout
the Armenian districts of Asia Minor, wrote in March 1894:—The plan of the
Armenian revolutionists was to provoke by the atrocities upon Mussulmans such
cruelty, atrocity, outrage, butchery that Christian humanity would rise in wrath. It
will be the helpless women and children who will suffer most. The revolutionary
leaders know that it will be so; in fact, they count upon it as the chief factor in
The same correspondent wrote the remarkable prediction that the 'chief attack will
be made in the city of Constantinople itself, and that the brunt of the fighting
will be borne by the Armenian residents therein.'
These prophecies, written in March 1894, were literally fulfilled in Sassun in July
and August, 1894, and in Constantinople on September 30th, 1895.
Before any real atrocities to any appreciable extent had taken place cannot be
explained merely on the ground of journalistic anxiety to satisfy an unwholesome
popular craving. It was the result of a carefully planned and organised propaganda,
whose agents were in some cases mercenary, in others innnocent through willing
victims of deceit. All of the stories and many of the telegrams originally came form
the same persons and locality, and from the same organization, viz., from a group of
ingenious Armenian conspirators who were mostly inside the Russian frontier, between
Karoungan and Tiflis. Some of these conspirators were on Turkish territory in and
around Erzeroum itself.
Sir Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, M.P., The Battlefields of Thessaly: With Personal
Experiences in Turkey and Greece, pp. 30-33 (1897). (The
author was also behind the pamphlet, Armenian "Atrocity" Agitation, Its
Genesis, Method, Truth and Consequences, London, February 1895. Thanks to
Kemal, for the book excerpt.)
|Alfred S. Johnson, Encyclopedia Editor
"Armenian Agitation: the Armenian revolutionists in Constantinople
resorted again, in August, to those methods of violent agitation which on former occasions
brought down summary vengeance upon many of their innocent compatriots; but fortunately
the distubrances on this occasion were promptly quelled without resulting in a renewal of
massacre. As if to indicate a hopeful case for those Armenians who seek to forward their
appeals for reform by legitimate, instead of violent and anarchistic methods, the sultan
conferred upon Mgr. Ormanian, the Armenian patriarch, the special champion of the more
moderate faction, the decoration of the grand cordon of the Order of Osmanie. The sultan
had ordered the formation of a travelling commission, consisting of two Mahometans, two
Gregorian Armenians, one Catholic Armenian, and one Greek, charged to visit the Armenian
vilayets which were the chief sufferers in the late troubles. The commission is to raise
subscritpions for rebuilding the Armenian schools, churches, and monasteries destroyed
during the disturbances, and also to establish orphanages. Severe disturbances were
reported in early August from the vilayet of Van and neighbouring regions on the frontier
between Persia and Turkish Armenia. They seem to have been due to Armenian
Alfred S. Johnson (Editor), The Cyclopedic Review of Current History, Vol. 7, pp.
578-79 (1897). (Thanks to Kemal, for the excerpt.)