MADE AT THE SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES BY PROF. JUSTIN McCARTHY
ON JANUARY 19, 2001)
(With thanks to the Armenian Issue Web Site)
The source from where this was taken had a good number of scanning errors, many of
which I managed to correct... but some remain.)
This evening I am going to consider something that I have noticed for many years. That is
the basic assumption in Europe and America that the Turks must be in the wrong, whether
the question is human rights, activities in Cyprus, the Armenian Question, Turkish-Greek
relations, or almost any other contentious subject. Often it is assumed that the Turks are
evil. If there is a question of comparative guilt, it is assumed that the Turks were most
guilty. Turks have to prove themselves three times for every one assertion provided by
All of this may surprise those of you who have known Turks well and have found that Turks
are human beings like anyone else. But the unfairness with which Turks are treated does
not surprise those of us who have looked into the background of the views and prejudices
people have of the Turks.
I will not be speaking only of British propaganda tonight, but of the effects of what the
British propaganda machine produced in World War I. That means I will also be discussing
America, where that propaganda had its greatest effect.
The reasons for the ill feeling against Turks that is often seen in Western countries, as
all of you know, go back to the Middle Ages. They go back to the period in which the name
Muhammad was virtually synonymous with the Devil in Western culture. Europeans and
Americans had a long memory of conflict between Christianity and Islam, and Turks were the
political leaders of Islam.
The particular image of the Turk as the enemy developed in the nineteenth century along
what can be described as racialist lines. In the United States, as well as in Britain,
books were printed which portrayed the Turks as members of groups of people who were
described almost uniformly as vicious. ``Brutal" was the primary adjective that was
used to describe them. In America, and I suspect in Britain as well, we feared something
called the "Yellow Peril." The Yellow Peril supposedly was a great danger to the
"white race" (a fine example of psychological transference, since at the time
Europeans were much more likely to assault Asiatics than vice versa). The Turks were
portrayed as being at the forefront of the yellow peril, the leaders of the Yellow Peril.
Those who had never seen a Turk found this an easy mental exercise: Turks lived in Asia.
Turks were great warriors. Therefore, Turks led the Yellow Peril.
Traditional racialist and religious animosity against Turks has left a legacy of prejudice
that has affected European and American feelings about Turks in our own day. But
Westerners have long held religious and racial prejudices about many peoples. None of
these prejudices seems to rise to the level of the feelings against the Turks. No other
group is assumed to be so violent and brutal, nor is any other group so often and
routinely assumed to be wrong in all its disputations with other peoples. There is more to
the feelings against Turks than traditional animosities.
From my experience in many years of teaching American students and in many years of
dealing with the American public, I believe the Armenian Question has been the primary
agency through which against the Turks has been advanced. The conflict between Turks and
Armenians during , to World War I has had a permanent affect on the beliefs and prejudices
of Americans and arts. In America today, if you ask someone, "What do you know about
Turks?" you will very find that the only thing they think they know about Turks is
summarized in one statement: killed all those Armenians, didn't they?" That is it,
the sum of knowledge on the Turks.
Today in America, the alleged genocide of the Armenians is included in the books that
teach the Holocaust to schoolchildren. Through political influence and writers' ignorance,
it has been included as ;another example of inhumanity, a false example. Through the
agency of Holocaust Studies, American children are learning what is usually the only thing
they ever learn about Turks, and that is the so-called Armenian Genocide. Most American
school children see nothing else about Turks in their schoolbooks. They only see Turks in
their study of what Turks supposedly did to Armenians. And. I might say, it is a
completely one-sided description at that. The feeling about Turks is so ingrained that it
is impossible to have rational dialogue on the subject. But the question remains — where
does all this come from? Why do the otherwise caring and liberal academics who write on
the Holocaust feel it proper to vilify one people, the Turks, without considering any
other side of a contested issue? In studying the prejudices against Turks, I have found
two basic causes for the ingrained anti-Turkish feeling in western society, and especially
in America. The one is the work of American missionaries and the other is British
propaganda during and immediately after World War One. This evening, as the title of my
talk indicates, I am going to speak on the British and about British propaganda.
During World War I there were many reasons for propaganda, but the most common was simply
the desire to make your enemy look bad. Any propaganda organization intends to downplay
the good side and emphasize the bad side of its enemies. The most well known example of
this is the anti-German propaganda of World War I — the babies on bayonets, the starving
Belgians , the rape of nuns. The intention of this propaganda was to draw neutrals to the
side of Britain, the primary neutral of course being the United States. But propaganda is
also useful as a morale builder for one's own side. It can make people feel they are
fighting a holy crusade against evil. In some cases, especially in the second world war,
this was true There was a definite evil to be opposed. In the first war it was much harder
to identify one side as more evil than the other, and thus propaganda was all the more
needed. In addition to the general desire to defame one's enemies, there were very
specific reasons British propaganda would come out against the Turks. One of them was the
traditional British opinion of the Turks, at least among those who thought of the Turks at
all. Those Britons had a very ambivalent feeling towards Turks. This had been true for
some time. The best example of this is probably the period of the 1876 Bulgarian
Rebellion, when Disraeli's and Gladstone's visions of the Turks alternated in the public
mind. At first, the public image was negative; the Turks were blamed for the
"Bulgarian Horrors." But soon after the British changed their minds and the
public cried out for war with Russia to defend the Ottoman Empire (and British
self-interest). From that time until World War I, a number of travelers, diplomats, and
others wrote kindly of the Turks, balancing the writings of those, especially British
missionaries and other clergymen, whose opinions were not so favorable. A feeling
developed that the Turks, while bad in some ways, still had many good qualities. They
weren't Christians, but they were honest and could be relied upon. The word of a Turk was
good. The feeling about Turks in Britain was not necessarily bad at the beginning of World
War One. This is especially true once Turks started actually fighting the British.
Favorable reports of Turks came back to Britain, even appearing in some newspapers that
were allied with the government. These reports described the Turks as men of honor. It
seems to me, looking back without any good scientific evidence, that the British officer
corps and the Turkish officer corps had very much in common; honor was a very important
thing to both of them and they both could rely on the word and the actions of the
This was not the kind of thing that the British government wanted its people to believe
about one of their arch enemies. It is very difficult to fight a war against people if you
feel you must say good things about them. Something had to be done to change this image.
Another intent of British propaganda was to counter the image of Russia, especially in the
United States. Britain wanted the United States to take its side in the war, or at least
to remain a friendly neutral. In the United States, Russia had a very bad image, a
well-deserved bad image, because it had been involved in the persecution of the Jews for
some time, specifically in 1915. Then Russian soldiers had massacred large numbers of Jews
during Russian campaigns against the Germans. Because of that and because reports of these
atrocities reports had come back to the United States, Russia, one of Britain's allies,
had become a very negative factor in trying to draw America into the war. It was feared
that the Jewish influence in America was so great that the Russian actions would harm
Britain. This was ridiculous. However, throughout World War I, from the very beginning
days of the war through the Balfour Declaration and beyond, there was a great belief, a
prejudiced belief, in something called "The Jews" and the "Power of the
Jews." As we know, in the war the German Jews fought on the side of Germany and the
English Jews fought on the side of England. But the feeling that there was some great and
powerful international organization of Jews was strong even in the British government.
People took action based on their belief in it. The British feared that the Jews were
powerful in America and would favor the Central Powers.
Also, and again this is something that is hard for us to believe today, there was a great
fear about India. There was fear at the time that Indian Muslims would engage in a Jihad,
a holy war, against the Allies, alongside their brother Muslims in the Ottoman Empire.
There was never really a chance this would happen. With hindsight, we can see that, but at
the time the British Government feared a Muslim revolt. If you could make the Turks Iook
evil, then you could teach the Indian Muslims that the Muslim Turks were really bad
Muslims, not the sort of people who should be followed into war or anywhere else.
Looking back today, such things may seem hard to believe. I can only assurre you that they
definitely were believed at the time.
To the British, the most important of all things was to hrrr (have?)
Americans against the Central Powers. Eventually, as you know, Britain was to successfully
draw America into the war. Those who have looked over the archival record know that the
Wilson administration was in favor of the British and other Allied Powers long before
America entered the war. They needed justifications to allow them to enter the war, to
convince the American people that the Central Powers should be opposed. The Turks were a
ready target, because propaganda against them was already available. One force available
to the propagandists was the American Missionary. Propagandists could play upon the great
respect Americans held for the missionaries who had gone to the Ottoman Empire, and who
often appeared in the newspapers as national heroes for a Christian Nation. The American
feeling of affection and respect for the missionaries could be mobilized as a force to
oppose the natural anti-Allied feeling among many Americans, a feeling especially
prominent among the Germans and the Irish. If the Turks could be portrayed as the
persecutors of missionaries and murderers of Christians, the taint would also pass to the
Germans. Portraying the Germans as the sort of people who would deal with those evil
Turks, and indeed lead those evil Turks into battle, would show the American public how
bad those Germans were. Indeed, this policy was to be greatly successful in affecting
American public opinion.
The British agency entrusted with changing public opinion was at first called the War
Propaganda Bureau. It was a part of the Foreign Office. In 1914 it was stationed in
Wellington House. (I am sure someone here knows where Wellington House is or was, but I
have never seen the place.) The Director was the Right Honorable C. F. Masterman. In
December of 1916 it was made into the Department of Information under Colonel John Buchan,
with Masterman as his deputy. Later, in 1918, a Ministry of Information was created, under
Lord Beaverbrook.. However, to the people who were involved in British propaganda the
propaganda office always was the same. It was simply called Wellington House.
The policy committee that operated Wellington House had some first class minds. In fact
the committee was very heavy with historians. (You can tell a society has a very high
level of culture if they recognize the worth of historians.) The committee included people
such as Gooch and Toynbee, the latter of whom we will be saying much.
The Wellington House brief was simple, the same brief as that of all propagandists. They
were to make the enemies look as bad as possible and make their friends, and especially
the British themselves, look as good as could be. Their main focus was, naturally,
Germany, but much effort was expended against the Turks. Propaganda was not considered to
be a gentleman's game. Toynbee himself remarked that he would like to get out of it for
that reason. Nevertheless it was something that had to be done and British gentlemen did
it. They were probably always ashamed of their work, however, as indicated by the fact
that they destroyed all the records of the Propaganda Office immediately after the war.
The only Propaganda Office records that exist have often been found by chance. Some few
were found when the British again took up propaganda during World War II and found they
did not know what to do. They said, "You know, we obviously had a propaganda
ministry. They did good work, very good work actually. How did they do it?" They
searched for documents from the first war and in total found four letters, all the records
that had been kept, and these were hidden away. Over the years other documents have
gradually emerged. I actually have found a number of them myself as I have gone through
Foreign Office documents. They were records that had been sent off to other offices.
Although the originals were destroyed, some copies were kept in relevant Foreign Office
departments, especially in the Foreign Office records for the United States. So we have a
modest number of documents. They indicate some small part of what Wellington House did.
Wellington House was a massive undertaking
Table One. Wellington
House Publications Distributed.
By June, 1915 2.5 million
By February, 1916 7 million
We have enough to show that they were extremely busy. We have enough to show that
they were engaged in a massive undertaking. Unfortunately what we do not have are
the documents that would show us the day to day workings of Wellington House. We do
not know, for instance, how many American journalists they got drunk so that they
would be receptive to the official tales that were told. (And getting journalists
drunk was an essential part of the operation.) We do not know how many stories they
planted, or who was paid what. We do not have those kinds of references. We do,
however, have one specific group of Foreign Office records for propaganda that was
sent from London, especially to America. These records show the numbers of
publications distributed. Unfortunately we do not know exactly what those
publications were. We only know that they were publications of Wellington House. As
you can see from the numbers, starting out on a very small rate in 1914, the number
of publications they brought out kept on going up until there were quite a sizeable
number of them distributed. By June of 1915 they had distributed two and a half
million publications. Not even a year later, seven million publications.
Unfortunately we do not have any record that goes beyond that. We are lucky to have
this at all. It can be assumed that the numbers continued to grow.
What that means in essence is that Wellington House was a massive undertaking. We do
have two good sources for the kind of work that was done. The main source is a book
in the Imperial War Museum that is simply identified as "Wellington House
Library." Now this would ordinarily mean the books on their shelves, but
actually these are the books that Wellington House subvened or distributed — the
books that they had written for them, and the books that were written by someone
else which they bought and distributed because they liked them. The only reason we
know that is because when they destroyed everything else Wellington House eYempted
copies of bound books, which they obviously saw no reason to destroy. And so the
books that Wellington House possessed were sent off to the Foreign Office Library,
eventually to the publicly-available Foreign Office library, where anyone can now
read them. Studying in that library, I saw a strange notation written by hand in one
of the bound book catalogues. Out of curiosity I requested the book, which I believe
had not been seen since 1918. They blew the dust off and brought it over to me. It
was the Wellington House record of the distribution of propaganda books. It was all
hand written in ledger form, but someone had very carefully bound it. That meant it
had been taken to be an ordinary bound book, and thus was not destroyed. So we have
the list and know the books that were distributed by Wellington House.
Table Two. Wellington House Publications on Turks.
E.F. Benson, Crescent and lron Cross
E.F. Benson, Deutschland über Allah
British Palestine Committee, Palestine
anon., The "Clean-Fighting Turk, " a Spurious Claim
Israel Cohen, The Turkish Persecution of the Jews
anon., The Commercial Future of Baghdad
Edward Cook, Britain and Turkey
Delegates of the Red Cross, Turkish Prisoners in Egypt
Leon Dominion, The Frontiers of Language and Nationality in Europe
Faiz El-Ghusein, "Bedouin Notable of Damascus" [sic], Marlyred
anon., General Sir Edmund Allenby's Dispatch . . . or the Operations in Egypt and
S. Georgevitch, Serbia and Kossovo
anon., Germany, Turkey, and Armenia: Selections of Documentary Evidence
anon., Great Britain, Palestine, and the Jews: Jewry's Celebratior7 oflts National
anon., Great Britain, Palestine, and the Jews: A Survey of Christian Opinion
A.P. Hacobian, Armenia and the War
E.W.G. Masterman, The Deliverance of Jerusalem
Basil Mathews, The Freedorn of Jerusalem
Esther Mugerditchian, From Turkish Toils
Martin Niepage, The Horrors of Aleppo
anon., The Ottoman Domination
Canon Parfit, Mesopotamia: the Key to the Future
Pavle Popovic, Serbian Macedonia
anon., Report on the Pan-Turanian Movement
R.W. Seton-Watson, Serbia, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
George Adam Smith, Syria and the Holy Land
Harry Stuermer, Two War Years in Constantinople
anon., Subject Nationalities ofthe German Alliance
anon., Syria During March 1916: Her Miseries and Disasters
S. Tolkowsky, Jewish Colonisation in Palestine
Arnold J. Toynbee, Arrnenian Atrocities: the murder of a Nation
Arnold J. Toynbee, ed., The Treatment ofArmenians in the Ottontan Empire, 1915 -1916
Arnold J. Toynbee, Turkey' A Past and a Future
Arnold J. Toynbee, The Murderous Tyranny of Turks
Josiah Wedgwood, M.P., With Machine- Guns in Gallipoli
Chaim Weizmann, R. Gottheil, What is Zionism?
J.S. W'illmore, The Welfare of Egypt
The list of publications is long, but for the Middle East there are a more limited
number of books. The table gives only those volumes, but it offers an idea of the
breadth and the scope of the Wellington House interests. They included Palestine,
Jews and Zionism, and especially the Turks, quite a bit about the Turks. I have left
off a number of other books that had multiple subjects, such as The Germans and the
Turks, what the Germans were doing in the Middle East, or Toynbee's work on the
"subject nationalities of the German empire." Even with those excluded,
there is a large number of books, so I have selected a few as examples.
Table Three. Selected Wellington House Publications.
E. W.G. Masterman
The Deliverance of Jerusalem
Bedouin Notable of Damascus" [sic]
The "Clean-Fighting Turk," a Spurious Claim
Arnold J. Toynbee
Armenian Atrocities: the Murder of a Nation
Amold J. Toynbee
The Murderous Tyranny of the Turks
Amold J. Toynbee, ed.
The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916
The first one is by a man named Masterman. I do not really know if this Masterman is
related to the other. Perhaps someone in the audience does know. This book is an
example of relatively harmless propaganda. It does little injury to anyone, because
it really is a celebration of the fact that Jerusalem was now once again in the
hands of the Christians, thanks to the British, who succeeded where the Crusaders
failed. It is primarily a positive statement about the British. Whether you feel
that the British conquest of Jerusalem was a good or a bad thing depends on which
side you are on, I expect. But this book does not do much damage to the Turks or
anyone else. There are a number of publications like this. Their primary purpose was
to extol the British.
One of my favorites is the next one. Notice this rather strange looking name, Fa'iz
EI-Ghusein. The book says this EI-Ghusein was "a Bedouin notable of
Damascus." Of course, the term Bedouin notable of Damascus is perhaps by itself
an indication that something is wrong. But there is quite a bit more. Let me give
you his description from the book. It says he was the son of one of the heads,
whatever that means, of a Bedouin tribe that lived in the Hawran, an interesting
statement in itself He had been educated in Istanbul and was employed as a
bureaucrat in the Ottoman government. He was put on the staff of the Vali of
Damascus, then he was made Kaymakam, or the district leader, of Mamuretiilviz. He
then became Member for Hawran of "the Assembly in Damascus." Now I can see
the people who are familiar [with] the Ottoman Government saying, "Wait a
minute, there are some problems here." Wait. He states he was arrested by Cemal
Pasha, the governor of Syria. He was imprisoned in Diyarbakir, a city in the
southeastern part of Turkey, and then he was released. In Diyarbakir, according to
his own story, he heard much of the massacres of Armenians. He heard what was going
on and he thought he had to do something to record it. So he escaped to Basra and
then to India, where he wrote his report. And it made its way to the British Foreign
Office. The book does not ever say the manuscript made its way to the British
Foreign Office, it just says it made its way to England, where it was published.
There is no indication of its delivery to Wellington House, London.
There are a number of internal inconsistencies in this story, errors that should not
have been made by a supposed Ottoman official, such as placing cities in the wrong
provinces. But forgetting about those, if you read the book you will notice that he
wrote about things that he never could have known, secret conversations. (In fact
there was at the time almost a closet industry in making up quotes from Talat Pasha
He seems to have sat in prison hearing what Talat Pasha was telling Enver Pasha in
the cabinet in Istanbul, writing it down for later publication. Where he found this
information I am not sure. He also knew about secret activities of Armenian
revolutionary leaders, news of which was also reaching him in his prison in the
Diyarbakir. Obviously this is more than unlikely.
He gave great detail. He talked about what was done to Armenians, who stole their
goods, which Ottoman official was here, which man was there. Some of this is hard to
evaluate. If he says, "Ahmet Bey took the Armenians' goods," you might ask
yourself which of the hundreds of Ahmet Beys he was discussing, and whether the
author knew himself. So you are not sure, but it does look a little strange.
Outright lies are easier to spot: He states that after the Balkan wars large numbers
of Turks were settled in Zeytun. Of course, none were settled there as a matter of
fact, but who among the readers would have known? The stories he tells about what
the Turks did to the Armenians are, even under the category of war stories,
absolutely horrible. They include Turkish soldiers copulating with Armenian corpses.
From reading the book alone one can see that it has all been made up, but the most
telling thing about Fa'iz EI-Ghusein comes from an investigation of Ottoman records:
There was no such person. If he indeed was employed in the government in either
Syria or Manuuetiilaziz he would have appeared in the list of government officials.
Not only is there no Fa'iz al-Ghusein, there is no Fa'iz at all. The man simply did
not exist. He was never there. Because Wellington house burned their records, we do
not know who actually did write the book, but we can trust that it wasn't Fa'iz.
of mine is "The Clean-fighting Turk, a Spurious Claim." Mark Sykes, as many
of you know, was a great traveller and a very intelligent man. He was one of the two
people that negotiated the Sykes-Picot Agreement that was to lead to the dividing up of
the Middle East by the British and French after the war. But this story should began with
Lloyd George, who did not like Turks very much and who, of course, was Prime Minister.
Lloyd George was very interested in defaming the Turks and was personally interested in
the propaganda bureau. He instructed that certain topics be developed by the bureau:
"[The Turk's] incapacity for good Government; his misrule, and above all, his
massacres of all the industrious population." An order from the Prime Minister. He
added that the propaganda should be surreptitious: "I need hardly point out that it
is very important that all this should be done gradually and that the articles should be
spread over a considerable period of time, so as not to make it too obvious what we are
driving at. Sir Mark Sykes' article in the Times,' the 'Clean-Fighting Turk,' is just what
The Sykes article can be considered the template for what was produced for the press.
Unfortunately, we may never know what all those articles were. If you go through the
American and the British press you can read articles and say to yourself, "That must
be Wellington House work," but you cannot prove it.
This one we know. The Foreign Office saw a problem, the problem mentioned before — the
Turks looked too good to many people in Britain. They were especially bothered by the
image of what was called the "Clean Fighting Turk", the image drawn from the
fact that the Turks did a good job as soldiers and could be relied as men of honor. Now we
will not discuss the accuracy of that claim here. The important point is that it was
believed. And so something had to be done about it. Someone had to negate this image,
write against it. And so their Foreign Office masters directed Wellington House to do
something about the image of the Clean Fighting Turk. The writing of the original message
was somewhat mistaken. Wellington House received an order that said they were to
propagandize and bring out the image of the Clean Fighting Turk. Wellington House wrote
back and said, "Why in the world would you want us to prove that the Turks are clean
fighting?" The matter was finally cleared up.
Wellington House went to Mark Sykes and asked him to write an article attacking the good
image of the Turks. He agreed and wrote an article. We do not know if what he wrote was
much changed by Wellington House, because the relevant records are burned, but we know he
wrote the article. We do know that once Mark Sykes' article was finally done a deal was
made with the London Times to not only have it published, but also to buy a hundred
thousand off-prints. The Times patriotically suggested a good price and the Foreign Office
patriotically haggled with them for an even lower price. Forty pounds was paid for a
hundred thousand copies.
The article, which was printed at The Times and reprinted all over the United States, used
words such as "a merciless oppressor," "a remorseless bully,"
"pure barbarians," "degenerate," and "has strewn the earth with
ruins." It was one of the nicer propaganda works, actually. Sykes fabricated quotes
from the Ottoman government. once again. Or perhaps Talat Pasha kindly told him of his
plans. If you wish, you can believe he was in contact with the Ottoman government. Among
the truly amazing things he wrote are statements such as that the Turks had invaded and
destroyed Baghdad. The historians in the audience are shaking their heads. It was the
Mongols, of course. Sykes knew much better. Conflate the history of the Turks and the
Mongols? Put all the harm caused by the Mongols on the shoulders of the Turks? Well, you
can get away with these things it you know that those who will read the article have no
idea about the history. But Sykes knew the truth.
Lloyd George and the Foreign Office were both very happy. Thirty two thousand copies of
this publication were sent to the United States alone.
And now Amold J. Toynbee, in many
ways a great historian, at least a much respected and revered historian in many quarters.
In nothing Toynbee wrote on the Armenians was there ever an indication of who his
employers were, which was Wellington House, the propaganda bureau. He retained the image
of a scholar who was writing on his own, or perhaps in collusion, or perhaps collusion
isn't the best word, cooperation with others.
We will go over his first title, The Armenian Atrocities, the Murder of a Nation, only
briefly. I will not say much about the book itself other than to say it was an extended
catalogue of evils of the Turks. Toynbee mentioned therein that the Armenian refugees who
had come to Alexandria were suffering terribly, that they were starving, that they were
"dying of disease, exposure and starvation." This, of course, caused the British
in Alexandria who were taking care of these people to he a bit upset. The heads of the
British agencies in Alexandria wrote back to the Foreign Office bitterly complaining,
saying, "What do you mean? We are feeding these people, they are not dying of
starvation and disease. Both births and deaths are both completely normal." Toynbee
The other book, The Murderous Tyranny of the Turks is interesting for some of its quotes
and as an example of the kind of book that was created by Wellington House. I will just
describe a few representative selections: Toynbee stated the Turks were engaged in the
"maiming and warping of more gifted peoples." This, he wrote, had occurred
throughout Turkish history. From the beginning, Turks had maimed and warped "more
gifted" peoples. The racist qualities of such a statement need no elaboration. In
1913, according to Toynbee, Turks had been engaged in exterminating the Albanians.
"Absolute lies," is all you can say. After the Balkan wars Turks
"exterminated all Greeks and Slavs left in their territory." This may surprise
those Greeks who survived to fight against the Turks in their independence war —
according to Toynbee they had all been killed. He related that Turks had attacked the
Arabs, and that Turks were indeed planning right then to exterminate all the Arabs. Turks
had no civilization: "They had nothing but the military tradition of violence and
cunning." Perhaps a bit intemperate. In fact, an incredible diatribe of a book.
Turcophobe par excellence
But the book I want to concentrate
on, because it is the one that has been most discussed lately, including in the House of
Lords. is a book called The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916.
As you can see, even for a command paper this is a weighty tone. Lord Bryce, the putative
author of this book, was a long standing friend of Armenians and enemy of Turks. He was
the founder of an Anglo-Armenian Association in 1893. He was very important to the
propaganda bureau because he was so respected. He was the President of the British
Academy, a former cabinet minister and a very important figure, especially in the United
States. You have surely noticed this quality among some Americans, the way they fawn on
the British. It is a really strange cultural phenomenon, and a very old one. This was
definitely the case with Bryce, who was loved in America, partly because as the British
Ambassador he had been such a friend of the United States, partly because he had written a
history of the United States, the American Commonwealth, which glossed over all of our
faults and sang many high praises of our limited goods. An American would not have written
in such a laudatory tone.
The official story was that Bryce, who had friends who were Armenians, had been reading
notes sent by Armenians, and that he had decided he had better collect the facts and write
a book about it. So he asked Toynbee, who was, I forget the words he used, "a notable
young scholar and researcher," something like that. He asked Toynbee if he would
compile a book. They then presented the book to Lord Grey, the Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs. Lord Grey in turn presented it to Parliament. Parliament was so impressed
by it that they asked it to be published as a "command" book. In fact that is
not at all what happened. What happened was the Propaganda Bureau asked Bryce for a
propaganda volume, and said, "We have this man Toynbee here who is pretty good. He
can put it together for you." And that is exactly what happened.
I want to examine the content. The book is six hundred and eighty four pages long and
there are so many errors and inconsistencies that we will be here much longer than the
time allotted if we consider each of them. We will just talk about the reliability of the
sources and the production of the book. One source was letters by Armenians and Armenian
organizations. Armenian newspapers were also a source, newspapers like Ararat and Gotchnag.
But the biggest sources, the main ones, were American missionaries and missionary
organizations. Now, in order to understand why this is a problem, we have to examine those
missionaries as sources, something that has not been done in the recent reprint of The
Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916, which also incidentally does not
mention that Toynbee worked for the Propaganda Bureau. A digression on Missionaries: The
American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief was founded in November of 1915. There
were other Armenian relief organizations before that. According to the circular that went
out when the organization was founded, it was a "non-sectarian" organization.
The table shows the board of directors of that organization. We do not have time to go
through the whole list, but if you were to do so, you would notice that every single
member of the board, except one, was part of the American protestant missionary
establishment. The exception, obviously, being Rabbi Wise, who was not a Protestant
Missionary. Everyone else was a missionary or a member of a missionary support group. Many
of them had been through the mission field at some point or other.
The leaders of the main missionary groups — the American Board of Commissioners for
Foreign Missions, the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, and others — were all
members of these organizations. "Secretary" meant the boss in these
organizations. These people began their new mission to aid the Armenians
with a relatively small pamphlet, in which they identified why people should help their
organization. It began, of course, with atrocity propaganda. Naturally Talat Pasha was
spuriously quoted once again. Talat Pasha supposedly said, "the Armenians would pray
for massacre." That is, he was going to treat the Armenians so badly that they would
rather be dead. I personally find it hard to believe that he really would have said these
things to missionaries.
Table Four. Board of the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief
|James L. Barton
|A Secretary (Head) of the ABCFM
|Charles R. Crane
|President, Board of Trustees,
Constantinople College for Women (missionary college)
|Treasurer, Constantinople College for
|Chairman, Board of Trustees, Robert
College (missionary college)
|D. Stuart Dodge
|Member, Board of Trustees, American
University of Beirut (missionary college)
|Secretary of the Presbyterian Board of
|Secretary of the Board of Foreign
Missions of the Reformed Church.
|"Beginning a mission to
|North Secretary of the Methodist Board
|Thomas D. Christie
|"Missionary in Anatolia"
|William I. Haven
|Secretary of the American Bible Society
|Secretary of the Federal Council of
|Arthur C. James
|Member, Board of Trustees of A.U.B.
|Edward L. Smith
|A Secretary of ABCFM
|Edwin Nt. Bulkley
|Member of the Presbyterian Board of
|John R. Mott
|Representing the YMCA
|Rabbi Stephen Wise
|Chairman, Jewish Emergency Relief Comm.
|George A. Plimpton
|Member, Board of Trustees,
Constantinople College for Women
The introductory pamphlet spoke of
rapes, enslavements, and the "murders of nearly all able-bodied Armenian men above
the age of twelve."
The Relief Organization engaged in an eight-year policy of vilifying Turks, from 1915 to
1923. It is interesting that in 1923, once the Turks had won and the Mission obviously
would not survive unless they got along with the Turks, suddenly all changed. Suddenly
Turks were being praised by missionaries. But until then, the Turks were evil. To build
their missionary organization was one of their purposes, but their main purpose was a good
one. Their main purpose was to collect money for what indeed were starving Armenian and
Syrian (Assyrian) Christians, to try to make sure that these people had food and the
orphans had shelter. It was a good purpose. They used a not-so-good means to get the
money, which was to vilify the Turks in every way, because there is nothing that draws in
funds like portraying a horrible enemy that is oppressing these people and will succeed
unless you help, unless you contribute. Which is what they did.
Later on the missionary establishment attempted to get the United States government to
actually take over and turn Turkey into an America mandate. They failed that because the
American Congress refused, saying, basically, that it would be bad for business and would
cost too much.
Studying what they preached unfortunately takes a long time. You must read much truly
disgusting literature. What they wrote was not what one would expect of clergymen. Yet one
reason they was so successful is exactly that people expected that clergymen would not
We only have time for a few examples. One of the leaders of the
missionary propagandists was a man named Rockwell, who I will describe in a moment. He
wrote in one of his pamphlets, "Never since the world began has there been such a
reign of torture and of butchery as that to which the Ottoman hordes have subjected this
helpless and unoffending nation. It is a scheme planned by high and skilled ability [the
Germans] and carried out by low brutality [the Turks]."
In all of the writings of the missionaries Turks were never victims; Armenians were
always victims. Armenians never killed; Turks always killed. Turks, and I am not
exaggerating in any way, Turks persecuted orphans; Turks were cannibals; Turks held
auctions of Armenian women; Armenians were a majority all over the east of Anatolia; all
young Armenian males had been killed by Turks; all women, every one, were raped by Turks;
the Turks hated education and always persecuted the educated; no Christians had ever been
part of the Ottoman government. Turks needed Christians because the Turks were racially
incapable of being "doctors, dentists, tailors, carpenters, every profession or trade
requiring the least skill." And the missionaries wrote that now that the Turks had
killed the Armenians, Westerners who were going to have to come in and take over Turkey,
because the Turks had rid themselves of the only people with brains, the Armenians, and
the Turks could not run the country themselves.
As the missionaries described them, Armenians were happier than the other inhabitants of
the Near East. The Muslims had "pinched faces, pale faces, anxious faces, careworn
faces, listless faces. hungry faces, sickly faces of little children, and older faces that
had grown sour and sullen." But Armenians smiled.
There was complete
cooperation between the missionaries and the British Propaganda Bureau.
The main Protestant
missionary propaganda was, or course, religious. James Levi Barton, the leader of
the relief organization, wrote "[Armenians] are suffering for no fault of their
own, but because their lot was cast in a land where no Christian power was able to
protect and because, forsooth, they would not remove the Lord Jesus Christ from
their altars and put Mohammed in his place."
The fact that the Turks had been running what was called Armenia for eight hundred
years and the Armenians were still there would seem to argue against that. Of course
the propagandists didn't bother with that sort of explanation. To us today these
kinds of things are crude and unbelievable, and I imagine you would probably be
laughing if you didn't think this was a serious topic. But Americans especially, and
many other people in the world, including most people in Britain, knew little of
Turks or of Muslims in general. Such descriptions of Turks would have seemed
perfectly reasonable to them.
The most important factor about the missionaries as far as I am concerned is that
they did not hesitate to lie, most of these lies being lies of omission. For
example, there were two major books written about the rebellion of the Armenians in
the city of Van, one by a missionary named Ussher, another by a missionary named
Knapp. The Knapp book was excerpted in the Bryce Report. To the missionaries, no
Turks or Kurds ever died in Van, except for four sentences in the three hundred and
fifty-page book written by Ussher in which he stated that Armenians sometimes took
revenge against the Muslims. Ussher mitigated that by stating that these were people
who deserved to die.
The fact is that Armenians had slaughtered every Muslim man, woman, and child they
caught in the city of Van. They rounded up the Kurds in surrounding villages and
killed them in the great natural bowl at Zeve. If the missionaries missed that, they
must have been both blind and hiding in the basement. Yet you read all the
missionary literature and the only people who died were Armenians. This makes one
wonder what happened to all those dead Muslims. They must have committed suicide.
This campaign, the missionary campaign, was a great success. It gained a hundred and
sixteen million dollars, which, if you calculate it in modem money, was the most
successful private charity campaign in American history. Posters in public
buildings, sermons in churches, door-to-door campaigns, pamphlets, press releases
— it was the biggest such campaign ever seen in America. It has never been
superseded in its scope or in the amount of money that was spent or that was taken
in. Leading every one of the missionaries' pleas to charity was an attack on
There was complete cooperation between the missionaries and the British Propaganda
Bureau. They sent materials to Toynbee; in turn the missionaries distributed
Wellington House propaganda material. For example, three thousand copies of
Toynbee's Armenian atrocities were distributed in America by the missionary relief
organizations. The United States Government forwarded missionary materials on using
government distribution systems. The government gave secret documents to the
missionaries, who extracted sections from them. These eventually made their way to
Toynbee with the statement, "Under no circumstances reveal source."
The missionary establishment leaders most involved in providing propaganda to
Toynbee were James Barton and William Rockwell. Barton had been a missionary in
Anatolia. He was a Congregational minister and the head of the American Board of
Commissioners For Foreign Missions, the largest of the American missionary groups.
He had become the head of the main relief organization, the American Committee for
Armenian and Syrian Relief. William Rockwell was also a minister, at Columbia
Theological Seminary, I believe a Presbyterian. He was the Chief Propagandist of the
American Committee. They were joined as Toynbee's prime sources by a gentlemen in
Switzerland, Léopold Favre, who had published the first of the World War I Armenian
atrocity books, Quelcques, Documents sur le sort des Asmeniens en l915. And, of
course, there was Boghos Nubar Pasha who had been the Prime Minister of Egypt and
was now the head of what was called The Armenian National Delegation, of which he
had named himself head. He was a well-known Armenian apologist.
Barton, Rockwell, Favre, Nubar, all these people provided materials to Toynbee, read
the manuscripts, suggested emendations, and read the proofs. At one point Nubar
wrote to Toynbee conceming one document, "Drop the phrases that make Turks look
good." Which Toynbee then did. The original source of nearly all the documents
were the missionaries and the Armenians. And I think you can probably see that these
were the two least reliable sources one can imagine.
The Blue Book, as it is called, was a collection of letters, pamphlets and articles
with an introduction by Bryce. This introduction was a summary of Armenian history
with a view to excoriating the Turks. In the documents in the Blue Book, many of the
sources were not identified. This, it was alleged, was because of the need to
protect them, which could indeed have been reasonable. They were called: A,B,C,X,F
or words were used, such as, "a traveller" or "a foreign
resident." Place names were disguised.
Now, unless one knows who those people were, their documents do indeed make the
Armenian case. When you do know their identities, the picture changes. Years ago in
the Public Record Office I found a small booklet that was printed for private
circulation within the Foreign Office. Others have also seen it. The booklet
identifies the authors of all the contributors to the book, at least all of those
who were known to Toynbee.. Also, Toynbee's papers on the construction of the Blue
Book (which I think he must have illegally taken away from Wellington House) are now
available in the PRO. I have them all on microfilm from the PRO.
The booklet and Toynbee's records show an interesting story, one that is
duplicitous, to say the least. Toynbee and Wellington House may indeed have been
trying to protect sources. But it also must be faced that they did not say who the
sources were because the truth of their deception would have been obvious if they
had. Instead, Bryce wrote, "All possible sources were seen" and "The
respondents do not know each other." This was an outright lie. Some of the
authors were missionaries who had compared notes before they wrote. In his letters,
Toynbee remarked how similar the accounts seemed. He found that the authors had read
other the pieces of others or had spoken to other authors before writing. Yet the
Blue Book stated that because the accounts were completely independent the
similarity of their stories proved that they were true! The similarities avowedly
proved their reliability.
Waiting that the authors did not know each other was more than disingenuous, since
sometimes they were the same people entered under different names, so they must have
known each other fairly well. My favorite example is one Professor Xenides. He was a
professor at the American missionary college in Mersovan. Three quotes from him were
used. In the first two quotes he was identified as: "a professor at the College
of X." He actually was a professor at a college in which all the students were
Armenians, and he himself was a Greek. Now it might have helped readers to evaluate
his writings if this had been identified, but it is easy to understand why it
wasn't. He also was the source of another completely separate statement in which he
was identified as "a traveller not of Armenian nationality." "That
was true. He was a Greek and he was a traveller, because he was teaching some miles
away from his home. He was, according to the Blue Book, two different people,
perhaps with a split personality. I think it is undoubtedly true that Professor
Xenides number one did indeed agree with Professor Xenides number two.
The missionaries who heard things — they almost never actually saw the things they
reported — were sometimes described only as "American travellers."
Indeed, if you believe this book you will find that there were an incredible number
of American travellers going through Anatolia during this period of the First World
War. They were in fact all missionaries, or their wives, or their sisters. They were
described as travellers. Readers reading this would have thought these were
travellers from America, but indeed they were not. A number of authors were listed
only as "An Authoritative Source." This included the Armenian Patriarch,
described only as "An Authoritative Source."
The Largest group of authors were American missionaries, fifty-nine out of a hundred
and fifty. Next came individual Armenians, fifty-two. Many times only the name of
these Armenian contributors was known, to Toynbee, not who they were or any
information on their bona fides, only their name. Many times not even that was
known, because they were identified only as "An Armenian."
Many of the contributors reported what they heard; very few reported what they saw.
Seven documents — this is really is amazing — seven documents were forwarded by
the Dashnak party, the sworn enemies of the Ottomans. This was the party of
revolutionaries who were most responsible for the rebellion in Van, the ones who had
attempted to take that area and many other areas from the Turks and the Muslims and
those who persecuted the Muslims of the East. Other articles were provided by
newspapers, including Dashnak and other newspapers sympathetic to the Armenian
Cause. Documents were also forwarded by Armenian political representatives.
Describing all these people as X, Y, and Z hides much. Many of the authors were
unknown. For many others, only the name of the one who had forwarded the quotation,
such as an American Consul, were known. Toynbee did not know who had actually
written it. One source, known to Toynbee only as the wife of an American missionary,
was a woman who had never left her mission station. She was reported as a
"refugee." Now, where she was a refugee from I am not sure. Maybe she had
left her husband once. I do not know.
Toynbee wrote to Bryce, "I do not know the real authorship of thirty-four,
twenty-three percent, of the documents." But these unknown writers appeared in
the book in exactly the same way as the known. I must add that Toynbee did indeed
try to find who these people were. He wrote to Barton trying to and the names of
sources Barton had forwarded. Barton said he did not know. Not only did he not have
the names, he had never seen the original letters and did not know how he could get
them. Where Barton did give some information it often was sketchy: "It is
written by a citizen of a friendly power." "A statement forwarded by a
United States consul." "Statement by an American official unnamed."
Rockwell, the man who was the lead propagandist, wrote that he had himself published
many of the stories he had forwarded to Toynbee. He had no idea who the authors of
some of the stories were, but they seemed like good stories. Favre did the same
thing. He knew some identities, not others. The Dashnak Party, when asked about the
statements they had forwarded, said they did not know the identities of any of the
respondents. None of them. Of course Toynbee used them all anyway. He didn't know
their identities, so he called them A,B,C, "A Traveller," whatever, and he
used them all.
This is the book that has been brought into the House of Lords as an honest
representation of what happened in World War One. Now, excuse me if I become upset
when I think of these things. It is astounding. The major problem is not that so
much of what was written was untrue. The major problem is that the other side was
never told. No Turk ever died; no Armenian ever killed. No mention of Chetté bands,
of Armenian members of Ottoman Parliament joining Russians and leading armed bands
against Turks, of murders of Ottoman officials, of cutting of Ottoman supply and
communications lines, of attempts to capture Ottoman cities, of mass murder in Van,
of the forced migration of more than a million Muslims forced to flee by the
Russians and Armenians. Yet Bryce stated, "All possible sources were
As intended, the propaganda was most effective in America. The
British had destroyed the cable from Germany to America, and so only very
unsatisfactory radio communication, which was in its infancy at the time, could
bring out the German side of the story. The British censors controlled all the news
that was sent to the United States. Newspapers sympathetic to Germany were punished
by not letting their reporters go to the front, by keeping news from them and giving
it to their opponents. And so even the Chicago Tribune and other anti-British papers
eventually came around. The German and the Ottoman side were simply never heard.
The amazing thing is there was an extensive British propaganda machine in the United
States which was never known by the public during the war. Sir Gilbert Parker, a
Canadian who had been an MP in England and who wrote romantic novels, was a
gentleman well known in America. He had married a rich American and lived in the
United States. Parker ran the British propaganda organization in the United States.
It was always a secret, although it was obviously well-known to the United States
government. It distributed materials all over the United States. All were forwarded
as if they had been sent by private citizens, never by the British government. How
many people were fooled'? We will never know, but it is definitely true that no one
ever published the fact that there was a propaganda bureau in America or that Parker
had anything to do with it. That information only came out long after the war was
Parker himself wrote to
the Foreign Office: "In fact we have an organization extraordinarily widespread
in the United States, but which does not know it is an organization. It is worked
entirely by personal association and inspired by voluntary effort, which has grown
more enthusiastic and pronounced with the passage of time. . . . Finally, it should
be noticed that no attack has been made upon us in any quarter of the United States,
and that in the eyes of the American people the quiet and subterranean nature of our
work has the appearance of a purely private patriotism and enterprise."
By 1917 Parker had one hundred and seventy thousand addresses in his book. A hundred
and seventy thousand people to whom he was sending material. Obviously, he wasn't
sending it all himself. He was sending to people who sent to people who sent to
people. The material was passed on.
Table Five. Distinguished American Recipients of Wellington House Publications
Distributed in the United States
Public Men generally 1847
Scientific Men 1446
Lawyers, etc. 1445
Y.M.C.A. Officials 830
Senators and Representatives 680
College Presidents 339
Historical Societies 214
Law Schools 166
State Superintendents of Public Instruction 35
Distinguished Men (for distribution) 585
Others and Miscellaneous 2212
We have, unfortunately, very little good information on his activities, but we do
have some information. The table was drawn from one notice from Parker, sent to the
Foreign Office in July, f 916. These were the important people to whom he sent
propaganda. "Public Men Generally" probably included anyone with "The
Honorable" in front of their name. Note the scientific men, lawyers, YMCA
officials, senators, representatives, libraries, newspapers. Down the list you have
"Distinguished Men for Distribution." In other words, distinguished
friends who would give the propaganda to other people. "Others and
Miscellaneous," twenty two hundred and twelve. This is a limited list, but it
is interesting that it covers the "Who's Who" in American society. These
publications were primarily directed against Germans, but quite a few of the
materials that were sent were propaganda against the Turks.
It has to be remembered that missionary propaganda was going very strong at the
time. The greatest effect against the Turks undoubtedly came from missionary
propaganda. But in the United States the fact that the British propaganda appeared
as well was very important, because the two supported each other. Again and again,
in the missionary propaganda against the Turks in the United States you see
statements such as, "You can tell that what we say is true because our old
friend, Ambassador Bryce, agrees with us." The two propagandas fed on each
other, when in fact they, were mainly drawn from the same sources, primarily the
missionaries. Most of the records have been destroyed, but we do know that five
hundred and fifty five American newspapers were sent materials from the propaganda
office. We know that the missionary organizations also distributed this material. In
fact, at one point the missionaries had a problem because three thousand copies of
the Blue Book had been sent from Wellington House to the American missionary
organization, three thousand copies, but American customs held them. Customs said
the missionaries could not distribute them unless they paid duty. The American
government intervened and ordered the books be let through without payment. The
missionaries distributed them. Toynbee gave a list of newspapers to the American
missionary Relief Committee, a list of newspapers to which they were to send the
book as if it was their own idea. Toynbee even provided press releases they could
copy, reviews that they could send, pre-written, to publish in American newspapers.
The Secretary of the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, Charles
Vickery, wrote Toynbee that he had distributed books "to 200 others that do not
chance to be on your list. I am endeavoring to see that every editor and molder of
public opinion in the country has a copy."
Parker had distributed fifteen thousand copies of this book to prominent Americans.
Now we do not know what the deals were made with publishers. We know the Blue Book
was reprinted in America, we know that many of these books, almost all the books
that are on that original list given above, were printed in both Britain and in the
United States, some by an American company that was owned by the British publisher
MacMillan. Wellington house articles were surely published in American newspapers.
However, the records have been destroyed. We will probably never know what deals
I am running out of time, but I want to be sure to tell you one thing, and that is
that it is important to Note that both Toynbee and Bryce believed that what they
were doing was right. I have no question but they indeed believed the Turks had
slaughtered Armenians. They surely believed that what they were doing was lying and
exaggerating in the general service of the ultimate truth and in the service of
their country. They lied, as they admitted this themselves in their writings. But it
was war. Such things were and are accepted in war.
The strange thing is that Wellington House had distributed similar, in some cases
almost identical, propaganda against the Germans. As you know, not long after the
war the Wellington House campaign against the Germans was studied, described, and
often censured by scholars. In fact Bryce and Toynbee together had written a very
similar but shorter book about so-called German Atrocities in Belgium. That book
contained the same sort of thing seen in the Armenian Blue Book: "X, Y, and
Z" and unknown and fraudulent sources. After the war, the Belgians investigated
and found that the book was almost completely lies. The Belgians had wanted it to be
true, but they reported their findings accurately. Yet no one has looked into the
propaganda directed against the Turks. After all these years, no one has decried
this propaganda. If one reads the basic books on the British Propaganda Ministry,
and there are quite a few books on the subject, they never discuss the campaign
against the Turks, only the Germans. I believe the reason that no one has researched
the topic and uncovered the lies told of the Turks is that no one cared. They were
Table Six. Books Recommended in Today's Bibliographies.
E.F. Benson, Crescent and Iron Cross
E.F. Benson, Deutschland über Allah
Fa'iz El-Ghusein, "Bedouin Notable of Damascus" [sic], Martyred
(J. Lepsius), Germany, Turkey, and Armenia: Selections of Documentary Evidence
A.P. Hacobian, Armenia and the War
Esther Mugerditchian, From Turkish Toils
Martin Niepage, The Horrors of Aleppo
Harry Stuermer, Two War Years in Constantinople
Arnold J. Toynbee, Armenian Atrocities: the Murder of a Nation
Arnold J. Toynbee, ed., The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire,
Arnold J. Toynbee, Turkey, A Past and a Future
Arnold J. Toynbee, The Murderous Tyranny of the Turks
Source: Richard G. Hovannisian, The Armenian Holocaust
Today the books that I have described to you are still recommended to American
school children and university students. They are still a basic element of school
histories and advocacy by Armenian scholars. The table is a list of the Wellington
House books that were particularly on the Armenians. Every one of these books except
one is in the standard bibliography of Armenian History published by Professor
Richard Hovannisian. The only one that is not is the book by Benson, Deutschland
über Allah, perhaps because of the provocative title. Every other one, including
Toynbee's books and the imaginary Ghusein, are recommended. I challenge you to read
those books and not say, "My God, how could anyone write this?" Yet these
are still the sources recommended to American and, I expect, British students. By no
means have the products of World War I British propaganda disappeared. Indeed, the
Blue Book, The Armenian Atrocities the Murder of a Nation has just been reprinted
and celebrated in a book signing in the House of Lords. There is a reason this book
has been reprinted and the reason is not scholarship.
World War One propaganda from Wellington House and from the missionaries is
routinely reprinted and quoted. In the United States, World War I propaganda is
accepted as true in Congress. It is obviously also accepted in the French
Parliament. It appears in high circles of state along with along with other
fabrications, such as the spurious quote from Adolf Hitler (implying that Adolf
Hitler was an expert on Armenian history.) Even the Turkish Republic for many years
was quiet on the Armenian Issue. It did not say a word, did not oppose these lies.
The Turks were afraid, with some justification, of Turkish irredentism and of calls
for revenge for what had been done to the Turks. They wished the Turks to resign
themselves to living in Anatolia, forget past injuries and the lands that had been
lost, and get about the business of building a new home. Only in the last twenty
years has this history began to be truly studied in Turkey, and there are still very
few people that are looking into it.
Very few have opposed the continued propaganda against the Turks. The lies that were
told during wartime have had half a century and more to incubate. Now they are the
accepted wisdom. Everyone thinks they know what the Turks did. In fact, what they
know is what the British Propaganda Ministry and the missionary propagandists wanted
them to believe. Those of us, whether historians or not, who care that the truth be
known have a duty to try to right this historic wrong, to make sure that the
propaganda of long ago finally dies in our own time.
Holdwater: No... thank you, Professor
McCarthy. For your excellent reasearch, and for your invaluable report.