May 09
Lorraine Berry lives in the Fingerlakes region of New York, although it's her transplanted home. On weekends, she can be heard throughout the area, cheering on her beloved Manchester City F.C. When not writing at Does This Make Sense? or Talking Writing, she can be found hiking with her two dogs, hanging out with her two daughters, eating what her beloved Rob has cooked for her, or teaching creative writing at a small college in the area.


DECEMBER 19, 2011 7:33AM

The Word Turkey Denies: Genocide

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Ssssh. Can you hear us? The sounds we make are muffled. There is not much room for us here in these mass graves. We are stuffed together, face to face, arms strewn across one another, feet covering bellies. We are the dead of 1915. The smell of our rotting bodies has long ago dissipated; the flies have moved on. There is grass over the places where we were thrown into the earth. 



It might have been written a hundred times, easily, on that enormous face. Humpty Dumpty was sitting, with his legs crossed like a Turk, on the top of a high wall -- such a narrow one that Alice quite wondered how he could keep his balance -- and, as his eyes were steadily fixed in the opposite direction, and he didn't take the least notice of her, she thought he must be a stuffed figure, after all.


`And how exactly like an egg he is!' she said aloud, standing with her hands ready to catch him, for she was every moment expecting him to fall.

`It's very provoking,' Humpty Dumpty said after a long silence, looking away from Alice as he spoke, `to be called an egg -- very!'

`I said you looked like an egg, Sir,' Alice gently explained. `And some eggs are very pretty, you know,' she added, hoping to turn her remark into a sort of compliment.




But, if you listen closely, you can hear our murmurs. It is not so much justice we want. Justice is for the living. What does it benefit the dead to be granted justice after we are gone?

What we want is to be acknowledged. We are here. And we did not get here on our own.

So what would you have it be called?


Armenians claim that as many as 1.5 million of their ancestors were killed between 1915-1923 in an organized campaign to force them out of eastern Turkey and have pushed for recognition of the killings around the world as genocide.

Turkey acknowledges that large numbers of Armenians died, but says the overall figure is inflated and that the deaths occurred in the civil unrest during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Don't call it genocide, the Turks say, and if you do, you shall be jailed. It insults "Turkishness" to say that they were capable of killing us like that. You cannot even talk about it in your fiction:

The charges stemmed from remarks made by an Armenian character in Shafak's novel The Bastard of Istanbul, published in March. "I am the grandchild of genocide survivors who lost all their relatives at the hands of Turkish butchers in 1915," Dikran Stamboulian says, referring to the controversial topic of the mass murder of Armenians in the last days of the Ottoman Empire.

"It was an absurd reason to start a trial and a very sensible way of ending it," said Shafak's husband, Eyup Can, outside the heavily guarded Istanbul courthouse.

Shafak was the latest public figure targeted by a group of nationalist lawyers using the notoriously vague article 301 of Turkey's penal code. Protesters linked to the group had attacked novelist Orhan Pamuk when he went on trial last December. Around 300 riot police were on hand yesterday to prevent violence, with dozens more plainclothes police inside. Joost Lagendijk, a Dutch MEP attacked at Pamuk's trial, was given eight bodyguards.

It is not allowed. It did not happen.

The irony of the latest development would kill us if we were not already dead. The French have introduced a bill that would punish those who deny that it was genocide.


On Dec. 22, the lower house of French Parliament will debate a proposal that would make denying that the massacre was genocide punishable by up to a year in prison and €45,000 ($58,500) in fines, putting it on par with Holocaust denial, which was banned in the country in 1990.

Erdogan lashed out at France during a joint news conference with Mustafa Abdul-Jalil -- the chairman of Libya's National Transitional Council -- saying there were reports that France was responsible for the deaths of 45,000 people in Algeria in 1945 and for the massacre of up to 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994.

"No historian, no politician can see genocide in our history," Erdogan said. "Those who do want to see genocide should turn around and look at their own dirty and bloody history."

"The French National Assembly should shed light on Algeria, it should shed light on Rwanda," he said, in his first news conference since recovering from surgery three weeks ago.

France had troops in Rwanda, and Rwandan President Paul Kagame has accused the country of doing little to stop the country's genocide.

Do you not see why that is so funny? Call it genocide in Turkey and go to jail. Deny it was genocide in France and go to jail.

In the meantime, we are still dead. Still here. Still waiting.

The Turkish Prime Minister, who apparently believes as your president does, that a lie repeated repeatedly eventually becomes the truth, and his minions, have reacted thusly:


Erdogan's criticism comes a day after an official said the Turkish leader had written to Sarkozy warning of grave consequences if the Armenian genocide bill is adopted. A Turkish diplomat said Turkey would withdraw its ambassador to France is the law is passed.

"I hope that the [French Parliament] steps back from the error of misrepresenting history and of punishing those who deny the historic lies," Erdogan said. "Turkey will stand against this intentional, malicious, unjust and illegal attempt through all kinds of diplomatic means."

Erdogan called the proposed bill a "populist" act, suggesting it was aimed at winning the votes of Armenian-French in elections in France next year.

And still, we are dead.

Hrant Dink, who has been prosecuted for talking about the genocide, has accused the French of hurting Armenians, of killing dialogue, by its insistence on trying to make it a crime to say that our deaths were not genocide.


Commenting on the "genocide denial bill," which is scheduled to come before the French Parliament October 12, Dink said "When this bill appeared first, we were fast to declare as a group that it would lead to bad results......As you know, I have been tried in Turkey for saying the Armenian genocide exists, and I have talked about how wrong this is. But at the same time, I cannot accept that in France you could possibly now be tried for denying the Armenian genocide. If this bill becomes law, I will be among the first to head for France and break the law. Then we can watch both the Turkish Republic and the French government race against eachother to condemn me. We can watch to see which will throw me into jail first.....I really think that France, if it makes this bill law, will be hurting not only the EU, but Armenians across the world. It will also damage the normalizing of relations between Armenia and Turkey. What the peoples of these two countries need is dialogue, and all these laws do is harm such dialogue."

But how can you have a dialogue with people who say your words are meaningless, that they are lies, that they are make-believe? How can their be dialogue when the other side has closed their ears to your truth?

Peter Balakian, who has written much about what happened to us, had this to say:

I think any true and meaningful dialogue can only happen if there is truth. We can't have debate without truth. Those who come to converse around a table must acknowledge the truth about the Armenian genocide and the moral nature of what genocide is, and then we can move forward.

Balakian told our stories in his book, Black Dog of Fate. It is not to be read by the faint of heart.


In the summer of 1915 in Diarbekir, every day you heard about Armenians disappearing. Shopkeepers disappearing from their shops in the middle of the day. Children not returning from school. Men not coming back from the melon fields. Women, especially young ones, disappearing as they returned from the bath. Shops had been looted by Turks more frequently that year. The pastry shop on Albak Street had been robbed and burned. The carpet store near the mosque had been broken into and cleaned out. Farms in the outlying valley had been stripped of their goats and sheep by Kurdish bandits, and everyone knew this had been sanctioned by the Vali. In the middle of the day a teacher at the Armenian school, Kanjian, was shot to death by the son of the mudir. No reasons given. No action taken. Mr. Kanjian's body was thrown in a wagon by the zaptieh and driven around the market square...

  Whenever we passed near a eucalyptus tree I gathered some leaves so that at night I could suck on them to get water in my mouth. I lay on the desert ground at night, sucking a eucalyptus leaf and staring at the moon. The moon is terribly bright in August in the desert around the Euphrates. All that month it grew each night. It followed us. It was a wolf's eye. It was the opal charm of a Turkish sorceress. Some nights it was a damask seal and some it was a Persian charger stripped of its blue. It was scouring and harsh on the weeds and rocks, and the few animals that darted through looked like unreal silvery creatures. I lay on my back and felt the grooves of my cuts made by the Turkish whips ease onto the hard ground, and I stared at the moon. Often I unfolded the piece of the kilim. It was the piece I used under the lamp on my nightstand in my bedroom. I held it up to the moonlight and looked at the colors and thought of my bedroom windows, one looking out to the street and the other into the fruit trees of our courtyard. It was just a simple kilim of aubergine and saffron medallions. In one latch-hook medallion there was a green scorpion, in the other a red scarab. In the moonlight the colors were eerie, and after a while they seemed to float in the black air and then drip like roman candles.

  One night as I sucked on a eucalyptus leaf and stared at my kilim in the moonlight, I felt the boot of a gendarme against the side of my neck. I rolled over so as to hide my face in the ground. But the boot continued to kick me and then to step on my head. As I buried my head more fiercely in the ground, the boot hooked me under the chin and pried me up, and the next thing I knew I was looking up at a man whose mustache looked silver in the moonlight. I watched him unbuckle his pants and I shut my eyes and the next thing I knew a stream of hot piss shot into my nose and over my face. The cuts on my neck and cheeks began to sting and my eyes burned. Soon my hair was like a sticky mess of rancid flax. When he finished he kicked some dirt onto my face, and I lay there squeezing my kilim, which was also wet, and I felt a small breeze blow over my face. For a long time I did not open my eyes.

  When I did, I took a eucalyptus leaf I had saved and wiped my eyes. When I looked up, the moonlight had turned the sky white and I could see my mother's face as if it floated on the white lace of our dining table. She was saying to me: Let them take you, let them take you, we will bring you back at Easter. Then the moon turned red as my taffeta dress, and my love had come in green velvet gloves and the scarf that hung in the walnut tree.

Run, run run the little chicken said. Your cheeks are like apples, and the wind takes your golden hair and sends it to the mountains.

  From seven stores, I gathered silver and made a ring and put it on pearl's finger.

  The moon stared at me all night. In the morning I woke inside the piss-gummed web of my hair, and I sucked on the eucalyptus leaf to make some saliva to clean off my face. Later I found some weeds, and I ground them up and spread them in the wounds enflamed by the piss.

  One night I was raped. I prayed every night to the Virgin Mary and to Jesus and to God. And they answered my prayers. After this I felt some mindless will to survive.

And still we lie. In the dirt. Our bones turned to dust. Many of us will never be found. And if you cannot find us, if you cannot find the evidence that we were the victims of genocide, well, then how can you say it was so? And even if you do find the evidence, even if you were to be confronted with thousands of our skeletons, scattered across the horizon, hanging from the trees, the bodies of mothers and children and old men and old women and young men and ... and ... everyone. What then would you call it?

The French and the Turks will slap economic sanctions on one another, they will rail and hiss and spit at one another, they will throw the word "genocide" back and forth, and they will hold a mirror to each other's face and say, "You did this. Look." Algeria rhymes with Armenia. But no one will look. And we will still, still be dead.

It is, after all, a word. Just like justice, which is not for us. But please, please, can we not be allowed to claim the word "genocide" so that the enormity of what was done to us can be comprehended?


`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master -- that's all.'...

`That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

`When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, `I always pay it extra.'

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All I want, Lorraine, is for this magnificent piece to be published well beyond this page, and in a publication where this poetic-historical art---and that's what you've done here---created a workk of genuine art---can be read by many thousands, and then passed forward.
I agree completely with Jonathan. I would add that reminders like your eloquently crafted piece, Lorraine, stir my shame anew at being part of this insanely, grimly absurd species called human. It reinforces my suspicion that we are a putrid blemish on the cosmic complexion. Who the fuck do we think we are??
Thank you, Jonathan and Matt. I'm humbled by your reaction. It mystifies me why Turkey won't own up to its past.
Well, apparently I've pissed someone off. I've just received a PM informing me that I need to STFU because I don't know how many Turks the Armenians killed. Blah blah blah.
I am sorry you do not have your facts right, arMenians killed more thn 500,ooo Turk when all Turkish strong men in front lines fightig the invaders, old ,women and children, was left behind, and Turks won every war, and came back to their homes to find out all their families were murdered by arMeniak neighboors, and yes some took a revenge but after 200,000 dies goverement stopped it and deprted them since they could not assure their safety as Turks were so mad for this betreyal, arMeniaks even sided with Russian front and sent men in Greek army to fight Turks,sorry just bz they carry the croos do not give them the right to western invetion act of Genocide,Muslims are people to.arMeniaks got killed when they got coght doing the killing with bloody hands, and they are really lucky they survived it all. if it was Italians you know what they do with the blood fued killing spree, none would be alive, or General Custard oh boy they would be really in trbouble,l have right to deni or accept genocide France has no right to dictare what l freely belive in, who made this deniying a history is a criminal act? so stupid ,I also refuse to belive France did not comited a genoccide on Algeria how about that? or French did not killed 1 million Rawandans, so what, this is what l belive,
You forgot the part where you called me a bitch and told to shut the fuck up, Siktir, sir.
fingerlakeswanderer;;: just FYI, I believe the reason the Turks are so concerned about denying the Armenian Holocaust (which has been even authenticated by German Officers! in WW1) is that since the Turk Empire fell apart after WW1, the Turks rightly fear that the Kurds, especially, would press for recognition as a "Minority", like the Armenians. Then present day Turkey might well fall apart, since it includes a lot of people, especially Kurds, who SHOULD have gotten a country in1920, but didn't , for complicated , but silly political reasons.
Genocide is ancient practice among we homo sapiens. By denying it, it'll never be stopped. Grudges, emotions, profound sorrow, horror - This captured it all. I am stopped in my tracks...

My aunt is Armenian and I met her mother who came here to the US about that time. They haven't told their story yet. I wonder...
oh that, I am sorry about that, since you were so right down hateful toward Turks l thought give you a response that anyone would say when they are accused of such a unfair claim, arMenians would not even open their archives or apoint a comission to study the events,and arMenians who were urged time and time again by Turks to take them to international court to prove their case, and they wont do so, do you know why?bz there is no court proceeding would with stand the close examination of the event and truth will come out, they just sday the lie over and over again and often enough so everyone would belive it, well l am sorry, l know the history, arMenians even blame the Jews for the killing saying to everyone who ordered them to be deported Talat Pasha who was Jewish so was the 80% Young Turks,this is rediculus,west uses this aginst Muslim Turkey to balackmail them,there are no bones you say they were, even few bones were discoverd ,this is a very old land 22 major Empires lived in Turkey before, it could be anyones bones, and those pictures of dying and dead are not arMenians, they were from a femine after WW1, and most was taken in Europe,cameras was not availibale to Turks that musg those days, they do not even have their pictures, did you ever study as you study this one, how many Turks were burnt alive in Mousqes, and just 19 yeras ago arMenians massacred and occupied Azerbaijan since, as long as Cross doing the killing you are allright with it dont you?how many Indians Americans kiled or Iraqies or Afagnies and still doing it so ,insted you wasting your time of events ove 100 years why dont you write something is going on by west,under the umbreella of democracy, you all are hypocrats that is why l called yo abitch and l still think you are
Turks Died Too

The column of Armen Vartanian ’96 [“The Armenian Genocide,” April 27] is not historically accurate with regard to the sufferings of Armenians during the First World War or the historical research surrounding the issue. We would like to begin by outlining what happened in Anatolia during the years of 1915-1924.

The Ottoman Empire was a multi-ethnic, multi-religious empire that at its height spanned from the Danube River in Europe, to North Africa, to as far as the Caucasus and Iraq. In accordance with the laws of the Koran, the rights of all minorities were respected. The Ottomans were the most lenient of all empires concerning its religious minorities. The Ottomans expected the payment of taxes, but otherwise left the religion and cultures of its conquered territories intact. This was, in fact, what made it so easy for minority groups to succeed when the Ottomans became weak. Furthermore, many Christians and Jews achieved high government posts, and during the Spanish persecution of the Jews, the Ottoman Empire became a safe haven for them. Armenians and Turks have lived together peacefully for over 600 years. To quote Voltaire, “The great Turk is governing in peace twenty nations of different religions. Turks have taught to Christians how to be moderate in peace and gentle in victory.”

In the years leading up to World War I, however, the Ottoman Empire grew increasingly weak, and provinces began to secede. When World War I began, the Ottomans sided with the Germans, and the German defeat left the Ottomans in shambles. Under the Treaty of Sevres, the Allies conspired to use the nationalist tendencies within the Ottoman Empire to destroy it. Under Sevres, the Turkish people would have no nation, and Anatolia would be colonized by Europe. Thus, the Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire, including the Armenians, were encourage to rebel, and were given ample support to do so. Vartanian’s assertion that Armenians were unarmed is a joke.

Armenians joined with the Russian forces, and grouped into guerrilla bands. They began attacking the Turkish Army in the rear, and even before the Russo-Armenian forces arrived, they succeeded in capturing Van, massacred its entire Muslim population, and razed the entire city. They then proceeded to “soften up” the area, and in the process killed thousands of Turks and Kurds. There was a massive flow of refugees into Central Anatolia, who survived under extremely harsh conditions.

At this point, the Ottoman Government faced severe problems. The Army was being attacked by Russo-Armenian forces in the North and Armenian guerrillas in the South. On the other hand, there were the many Armenian communities who appeared uninvolved in the fighting, but in fact were providing food, shelter and new recruits to the guerrillas. The Muslim populations were beginning to react in kind, and the region was rapidly falling into full-fledged inter-communal warfare.

After much hesitation, the Ottomans decided to relocate the Armenian communities to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, which at that time were still Ottoman provinces. Ottoman archives chronicling this decision show that this decision was not punitive, and that Ottoman soldiers were ordered to escort the Armenians and protect them from any vigilantes. As it turned out, though, this decree had tragic consequences, not just due to the warfare in the region, but due to disease, harsh weather, exposure and hunger. However, a few facts should be noted. First, most Armenian casualties occurred in regions where Ottoman control was the weakest. Secondly, a great many Turks and other Muslims also died from the same causes.

When the Ottoman Army returned to the north, the onset of the Russian Revolution forced the retreat of the Russo-Armenian forces to what is currently Armenia. During this retreat, many atrocities were committed against Turks and Kurds, including the burning of mosques full of women, children, and old men, gouging eyes, and burying people alive.

At the close of World War I, the Ottoman Empire was no more. The Ottoman Sultan fled Istanbul on a British ship, and Turkish people were left to fend for themselves against the invasion of the British, French, Australian, Italian, Russian, Greek, and Armenian forces. The Turks fight for independence raged on for several years under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Many more Turkish people died in this struggle, not just from war, but from hunger and disease. There is not one single Turk alive today who did not lose relatives during the Independence War. The Independence War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne, in which the modern day borders of Turkey were recognized, and the Allies abandoned all claims on Anatolia.

Thus, there was neither any planned execution of Armenians, nor such an intention.

Demographic studies by Professor Justin McCarthy show that roughly 600,000 Armenians died during the struggles as compared to almost 3 million Muslim deaths. Vartanian claims that 1.5 million Armenians were killed -- however, according to census figures of the British as well as the Ottomans, there were never more than 1.3 million Armenians in Anatolia. Additionally, Vartanian refers to U.S. Ambassador Morgenthau. It should be noted though that Morgenthau was a racist, who believed that Turks were an inferior race and openly printed that Turks had “inferior blood.” One cannot expect accurate reporting from such a biased man, yet it is his reports on which much of the Armenian accounts are based on. Vartanian also refers to a remark by Adolf Hitler, as though somehow the psychotic ravings of a man known for exterminating the Jews can be relied on for accurate history.

He also asserts that “claims against the Armenians are purely anecdotal.” I highly doubt that the mass of evidence can be referred to as anecdotal: there are eyewitness accounts of Russian soldiers, demographic evidence, reports from Allied soldiers, photographic evidence, as well as testimonies from the Turkish refugees. Seventy American scholars -- including Prof. McCarthy of the University of Louisville, Prof. Bernard Lewis of Princeton, and Prof. Sandford Shaw of the University of California at Los Angeles -- testified in 1988 in front of the House International Committee that there was no genocide of Armenians. The Clinton Administration continues to back the Turkish people on this issue, because it knows the truth: there was no Armenian genocide.
Very clever to let dead armenians narrate the post as we in western world cannot really directly accuse anybody else of genocide, can we?
But a good and provocative read........
Wow. So, because we've committed genocide, we are not allowed to point out to Turkey that it committed genocide?
This is fantastic reasoning going on here.
I have some history books here, too. They tell of the "war of northern aggression" against the poor southerners who took good care of their slaves.
Revisionist history doesn't fly.
Linnn. Maybe she will tell her story, or you could tell her story for her.
Lorraine tomorrow my post will be abt those Americans who tell us we must shut up abt others' policies until the Magical Day when America's Sins Are Purged.

It's a lame excuse for turning the cheek to evil.

We are world citizens.

To hell w the hate-America-only crowd.
Wow. Just, wow! This just might be the best piece you have ever written! (and that's saying a LOT!)

Hell, you've even gotten your very own hateful troll denying it. How cool is THAT! ;)

@. Siktar: your arguments would be MUCH more effective if they didn't fly in the face of published, DOCUMENTED, research on the subject. Additionally, you are making yourself look like more then a bit of a douche by contradicting yourself. "we are denying nothing!" and "since when is denying a crime?". Seriously, dude? FLW is a fine, intelligent lady. Treat her that way and stop being such a piggish asshat, K?
Hatred is alive and unwell, Lorraine, and it seems you've stirred up some self-righteous examples of it right here. Ordinarily I'd want to have some fun with the odds of me and Amy being on the same side for once, but I don't feel like having fun in the face of such odious hatred as that spewed by the creature calling itself "siktir burdan siktiragain."
Thanks Matt and Amy. I'm somewhat taken aback. As someone who knows Peter Balakian, I've always assumed that what happened to the Armenians was understood. I let Peter do some of the talking in this piece, since I think his words are so important.
wanderer - yes, you do as you please of course....but it is clever to do it in the third can you argue against dead people?
When you take sides you have to at least ensure that you understand where your own is wrt the issue at hand, or not? My own country is indeed guilty of genocide (as is France), what basis do I have to be a judge, even in the third person, of someone's else?
Armenians, of course, do have that right.......
I appreciate your point. Literary representation often assumes a dead person's voice, no?
I also qu0te extensively the work of Peter Balakian, who is Armenian, and who speaks often and eloquently for his people. I would start with Black Dogs of Fate if you're looking for one of his works to read.
wanderer - no problem with the literary aspect as your piece is indeed remarkable in content, style and tecnique.......
The Armenian Genocide is the closest parallel to the extermination of the Jews by Germans during World War II—the Holocaust. In fact, the word genocide was invented by Polish lawyer in 1943 to describe what happened to the Armenians. It's a shame that so many countries don't have the courage to say so, yet there are about 20 nations (and 42 US states) that describe the events at the end of World War I as genocide. Many nations are guilty of their own genocides, that simply doesn't alter the facts or the definition of the word or the acts.
When discussing the plans for exterminating the Jews, some officers said that killing such numbers of people would surely be noticed and that world opinion would be harsh. Hitler responded by saying, "After all, who remembers the Armenians?"

Your piece may have merit in your selections of what/whom you quote, but it lacks extensive and unbiased reading on the subject.

"Turkey acknowledges that large numbers of Armenians died, but says the overall figure is inflated and that the deaths occurred in the civil unrest during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire."

This is a fact which has been acknowledged by eminent historians around the world. I am not going into references nor argue here; hoping that as a scholar you can do your research beyond what you have shown here.

As much as I don't know SBS, nor do I approve of what s/he may have pm'd you, I concur with his/her 9:43 AM reply to your post. It is a long comment, therefore many respondents may not take the time to read through; however, its content is far more informed than what your post represents here.

It is well known among my readers here that I am a Turkish born Canadian. I hope this fact does not render my comments and opinions as biased. I have lived over 40 years of my life away from my country of birth and citizenship. As a teen, I was bothered and ashamed that Turks may be culpable of such a heinous act. I read and questioned a lot - from both sides. I can say unequivocally that I am not biased. Nor do I intend to argue or comment here further.

I simply wanted to have my educated say, and I thank you for allowing me to do so.


If one cherishes values like fairness, objectivity, truth, and honesty, then one should really use the term “Turkish-Armenian conflict”. Asking one “Do you accept or deny Armenian Genocide” shows anti-Turkish bias. The question should be re-phrased “What is your stand on the Turkish-Armenian conflict?”

Turks believe it was an inter communal warfare mostly fought by Turkish and Armenian irregulars, a civil war which is engineered, provoked, and waged by the Armenian revolutionaries, with active support from Russia, England, France, and others, all eyeing the vast territories of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, against a backdrop of a raging world war.

Armenians, on the other hand, totally ignoring Armenian agitation, raids, rebellions, treason, territorial demands, and Turkish victims killed by Armenians, unfairly claim that it was a one way genocide.


While some in unsuspecting public may be forgiven for taking the blatant and ceaseless Armenian propaganda at face value and believing Armenian falsifications merely because they are repeated so often, it is difficult and painful for someone like me, the son of Turkish survivors on both maternal and paternal sides.

Those seemingly endless “War years” of 1912-1922 brought wide-spread death and destruction on to all Ottoman citizens. No Turkish family was left touched, mine included. Those nameless, faceless Turkish victims are killed for a second time today with politically motivated and baseless charges of Armenian genocide.


They are racist because they ignore the Turkish dead: about 3 million during WWI; more than half a million of them at the hands of Armenian nationalists.

And the allegations of Armenian genocide are dishonest because they simply dismiss

the six T’s of the Turkish-Armenian conflict:

1) TUMULT (as in numerous Armenian armed uprisings between 1882 and 1920)

2) TERRORISM (by well-armed Armenian nationalists and militias victimizing Ottoman-Muslims between 1882-1920)

3) TREASON (Armenians joining the invading enemy armies as early as 1914 and lasting until 1921)

4) TERRITORIAL DEMANDS (where Armenians were a minority, not a majority, attempting to establish Greater Armenia, the would-be first apartheid of the 20th Century with a Christian minority ruling over a Muslim majority )

5) TURKISH SUFFERING AND LOSSES (i.e. those caused by the Armenian nationalists: 524,000 Muslims, mostly Turks, met their tragic end at the hands of Armenian revolutionaries during WWI, per Turkish Historical Society. This figure is not to be confused with about 2.5 million Muslim dead who lost their lives due to non-Armenian causes during WWI. Grand total: more than 3 million, according to Prof. Justin McCarthy.)

6) TERESET (temporary resettlement) triggered by the first five T’s above and amply documented as such; not to be equated to the Armenian misrepresentations as genocide.)


Those who take the Armenian “allegations” of genocide at face value seem to also ignore the following:

1- Genocide is a legal, technical term precisely defined by the U.N. 1948 convention (Like all proper laws, it is not retroactive to 1915.)

2- Genocide verdict can only be given by a "competent court" after "due process" where both sides are properly represented and evidence mutually cross examined.

3- For a genocide verdict, the accusers must prove “intent” at a competent court and after due process. This could never be done by the Armenians whose evidence mostly fall into five major categories: hearsay, mis-representations, exaggerations, forgeries, and “other”.

4- Such a "competent court" was never convened in the case of Turkish-Armenian conflict and a genocide verdict does not exist (save a Kangaroo court in occupied Istanbul in 1920 where partisanship, vendettas, and revenge motives left no room for due process.)

5- Genocide claim is political, not historical or factual. It reflects bias against Turks. Therefore, the term genocide must be used with the qualifier "alleged", for scholarly objectivity and truth.


History is not a matter of "conviction, consensus, political resolutions, political correctness, or propaganda." History is a matter of research, peer review, thoughtful debate, and honest scholarship. Even historians, by definition, cannot decide on a genocide verdict, which is reserved for a "competent court" with its legal expertise and due process.


What we witness today amounts to lynching of the Turks by Armenians to satisfy the age old Armenian hate, bias, and bigotry. Values like fairness, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, objectivity, balance, honesty, and freedom of speech are stumped under the fanatic Armenian feet. Unprovoked , unjustified, and unfair defamation of Turkey, one of America's closest allies in the troubled Middle East, in order to appease some nagging Armenian activists runs counter to American interests.

Those who claim genocide verdict today, based on the much discredited Armenian evidence, are actually engaging in "conviction and execution without due process". Last time I looked in the dictionary, that was the definition of “lynching”.

Isn’t it time to stop fighting the First World War dishonestly and give peace a real chance?

All I can say is we have family here in town who not not blood relatives but family nonetheless. All conversation with them will eventually circle around to their being 100% Armenian and the traditions and family they uphold. Also inevitably, the Armenian genocide comes next. Then the tears...
When a tribe of people has been treated atrociously, it doesn't disappear in the hearts of the people. This is true for all those tribes, rightly or wrongly, whether it is genocide, losing their land, losing their war...people tend to remember and nurture hatreds when forgiveness, or even acknowledgment, is not in sight.
I meant "*are* not blood relatives..."
What an incredibly moving tribute, Lorraine. It deserves a life farther and wider than OS
Indeed, a wonderful piece of writing. "Ararat," a movie available on DVD, also addresses the Armenian genocide. And pointing out the wrongs other countries have committed doesn't excuse these murders.
Geez, FLW! The apologists and deniers are coming out of the woodwork! This is getting as bad as if you dare say anything against Israel. Is there a TurkDenialPAC too?????
Fusun. I have a lot of respect for you, so out of respect, I will do further reading.

But, having read a several books about this topic, having spoken to people whose relatives experienced what they experienced, I would be dishonest if I said that I'm not surprised by the number of people who have come onto this thread. I'm even getting boilerplate denial, which is hilarious to me. It's like talking points memorized, only with more text. Without citations, the boilerplate will not convince me.

I was an historian for many years. I know the way history gets written; I know historiography; I know theory.

Independent sources have verified what happened in Turkey. The rest is interpretation. I have offered one interpretation here.

I think anyone else is free to write their own post, and he/she can explain why Turkey prosecutes its own people for uttering the word "genocide." In a free culture, it seems to me, one should be able to debate these issues without risking a jail term. But, perhaps I will soon know what that feels like, given the detention laws that were passed last week.

Oh, and I know the French are no angels. And we committed our own genocide in this country.

But that does not excuse behaviour.

Even when I was a kid, telling my mom that "so-and-so" did the same thing hardly counted as a reasonable excuse in her eyes.
Enlightening. That's the only word for it. So much ugliness is hidden from the casual viewer; it makes me ashamed to be a casual viewer. I blame myself, but also a media that thinks the only thing we're interested in is celebrity and the dead-end posturing of Congress.
right after you you finish hanging every american who directed mass slaughter in vietnam, iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan, turn your attention to the turks.
More documentation provided here:
I also have documentation presented on the link provided by Lorraine.


For anyone interested, I recommend to start reading from here for a beginner:

( )

Peace ♥
Füsun Atalay
The ancestors of the Armenians who made their history are the real deniers. As you know, whoever disagree with the Armenian genocide claims are labelled as ‘deniers’, as ‘agents of Turkish government’, or ‘people hired by the Turkish government’ or ‘disingenous scholars/authorities’ Turkish nationalists’, ‘Turkish racists’. And, here are the names of Armenians who comply with the these terms:

“Garo Pasdermichan (Pastirmaciyan), the Ottoman deputy of Erzurum and commander of all the Armenian officials and soldiers of the Ottoman Third Army which joined the Russian Army in 1914, was the main denier and Turkish racist. Because, he wrote in his book ‘Why Armenia Should Be Free’ (Boston, Dec.1918, Hairenik Publishing Company p. 16-17) that annual Congress of Armenian Party Dashnagzoutiun was held in Erzurum in August 1914, before the war broke, and Turkish emissaries offered Dashnaks an autonomous Armenia (made up of Russian Armenia and the three Turkish vilayets of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis) under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire’, if they joined the Turkish side and stopped supporting the Russians. He also stated that the executive committee of the Dashnagzoutiun rejected the proposal! The Armenian members of this parley were the well-known publicist E.Aknouni, the representative from Van, A.Vramian, and the director of the Armenian schools in the district of Erzurum, Mr Rostom.

Another main denier was Boghos Noubar Pasha, the Armenian National Delegation President in The Paris Peace Conference 1919 who also stated that the Turks offered them autonomy in August 1914, much before the deportation, but they rejected this proposal and placed themselves without hesitation on the side of the Entente Powers from whom they expected liberation [Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States The Paris Peace Conference 1919 (United States Government Printing Office, 1948, Vol IV, p 139-157)].

Armenian Boghos Noubar Pasha, who told that ‘150 000 Armenian volunteers in Russian Army were the only forces against Turks’ (Times of London , 1919 Jan 30 Link: was obviously a denier and agent of Turkish government.

Hovannes Katchaznouni, the first prime-minister of the Armenian state founded in 1918 and the prime authority of the Dashnagzoutiun Party who wrote a book ‘Dashnagzoutiun Has Nothing to do Anymore’ was also another chief denier. Because, in his book which is banned in Armenia at present, he stated that:

*it was a mistake to establish the volunteer units.
*They were unconditionally allied with Russia,
*They massacred the Moslem population,
*The Armenian terrorist acts were directed, at winning the Western public opinion.
*British occupation aroused hopes of the Dashnaks,
*They were provoked by imperial Sea to Sea land demand,
*They had not taken into consideration Turkey’s power,
* They should have used a peaceful language towards the Turks but they (Armenian Dashnaks) rejected the Turks who suggested to negotiate with them and they went on making war
(KS Papazian the writer of ‘Patriotism Perverted’ published in 1934, in Boston, also confirms this Turkish suggestion. Note that ‘Patrionism Perverted’ is banned in Armenia).
*The decision of the deportation of Armenians was a rightful measure taken by Turks.
*Turkey had acted with an instinct of self-defence.
*Their government was a Dashnak dictatorship.
*The fault was within the Dashnak Party. They should commit suicide. They had nothing to do.

Vratsyan, the last prime minister of Dashnaks who wrote in an article published in December 3 1920 issue of Araç, that they transformed Armenia to an arenna of endless wars with its neighbours for the Entente Powers (RGASPİ fond 80, list 4, file 83, sheet 136) was another chief denier and agent of Turkish government.
Armenian Messrs. Ahonian and Hadissian who were the spokesmen of the Armenian delegation of the New Armenian Republic and visited Sultan Mehmet VI, Vahdeddin in Istanbul on September 6, 1918 were also Turkish nationalists. See the telegram sent by Mr Ahorian to the Armenian Prime Minister Kachaznuni:
‘On September 6th, when we were in Selamlik we had an audience. We presented our congratulations on his accession to the throne. We submitted our best wishes for the development of the Empire and its well-being. We stated that the Armenian nation would never forget that it was the Ottoman Government which first conceived the idea of founding an independent Armenia, and recognized it, that the Armenian Government would do everything possible to protect friendly relations between the two countries and to strengthen them. His Majesty thanked us. He stated that he was very happy at seeing the envoys of independenbt and free Armenia, that he wished not only her development , but that she be strong in order to retain her independence. His Majesty is entirely convinced that friendly relations will always exist between the two neighboring countries, Turkey and Armenia, in order that both of them may develop. He concluded his remarks by stating that he was very hapy to see that Armenia had the strength to found an independent state which was able to send envoys to Istanbul, and repeated his best wishes for our country’. (Erich Feigl, A Myth of Terror, Edition Zeitgeschichte Freilassing, Salzburg, Austria p.97)
The Armenian Soviet historian A.A.Lalayan who stated that the Dashnaks displayed extreme courage to massacre Turkish women, children and ill and old people (Contrarevolyutsionnıy ‘Daşnaktsutyun’ İ İmperialisti-çeskaya Voyna 1914-1918 gg.’, Revolyutsionnıy Vostok, No.2-3, p.92, 1936) and who also quoted the following report of a Dashnag officer, Aslem Varaam written in 1920, in Beyazit-Varan was an Armenian denier and he was also hired by the Turkish government . The report of Aslem Varaam was :

"I exterminated the Turkish population in Bashar-Gechar without

making any exceptions. One some times feels the bullets shouldn't

be wasted. So, the most effective way against these dogs is to collect

the people who have survived the clashes and dump them in deep

holes and crush them under heavy rocks pressed from above, not

to let them inhabit this world any longer. So I did accordingly. I

collected all the women, men and children and extinguished their

lives in the deep holes I dumped them into, crushing them with


A.Lalayan, Revolutsionniy Vostok (Revolutionary East) No: 2-3, p.92 vd, Moscow, 1936; Istoricheskie Zapisky No 2, p.101, 1928
Armenian T. Haçikoğlyan who told that the Dashnaks eradicated thousands of Turks with their bloody hands (T. Haçikoglyan, 10 Let Armyanskoy Sttrelkovoy Divizii,p4-6. İzdatelstvo Polit. Uprav. KKA, Tiflis, 1930) was also a denier and agent of Turkish government.
The Armenian poet Mikael Nalbandyan who wrote these lines in his poem ‘The March of People of Zeytun, was another denier and Turkish nationalist:

‘..Şad ısdrugner yeğan azad/Miyayin menk mnank hılu hıbadag/Zeytuntsiner mer zposank/E baderazm yev arşavank/ Sur, tur, kıntag yev hıratsan/ Mer khağalikın en havidyan….’

(A lot of slaves were set free/ Only we were left who were obedient/Amusements of us, people of Zeytun are/ War and raid/ Our inexhaustible toys are/ Sword, saber, bullet and gun…….) (Nor Knar, p99). Zeytun was one of the places where the Armenians rebelled and massacred the Turks and Muslims.

KS Papazian the writer of ‘Patriotism Perverted’ published in 1934, in Boston was also a denier. Because:

Papazian critized A. Khatisian and the then prime minister S.Vratzian for not publishing the text of Treaty of Gümrü which they signed on December 2, 1920 to put an end to the war between Turkey and the Armenian Republic on December 2, 1920, which coincided with the entrance of Bolsheviks in Armenia.

Papazian also stated that the Armenian prime minister Simon Vratzian applied to the Turkish government on March 18, 1921 and asked military help of the Turks against the Bolsheviks!

Even Gourgen Mıgırdıç Yanıkyan (age 78), the Armenian murderer of Los Angeles prime consul of Turkey Mehmet Baydar (age 49) and the co consul Bahadır Demir (age 30) in Santa Barbara, in 1973, was a real denier, Turkish nationalist and agent of Turkish government. Because he admitted in his trial on June 13, 1973, via his attorney Lindsay that he (Yanıkyan) had been a member of an army made up of 10 000 volunteers to fight against the Turks in Armenia, in the beginning of March 1915 and in chief of this army had been an Armenian general called Andranik. This had been prepared as four parties and had started to battle with the Turks in Iğdır, under the leadership of Russian general Dron and had proceeded to Van, they had occupied Van and meanwhile had destroyed and had fired Turkish villages (Dışişleri Bakanlığı
Of course, even these few examples give great harm to the present Armenian thesis and lead people to question the Armenian’s innocence, their predominance in Ottoman population, and most importantly their genocide thesis.

Of course, the fact that Turks offered the Dashnaks an autonomous Armenia (made up of Russian Armenia and the three Turkish vilayets of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis) under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire’, if they joined the Turkish side and stopped supporting the Russians, the other fact that the executive committee of the Dashnagzoutiun rejected the proposal in August 1914 before the war broke and that they rejected all other Turkish calls of negotiations repeated during WWI too, are the major points that are not wanted by the Armenians to be known (Garo Pastırmacıan, Why Armenia Should be Free?, Boston, Dec.1918, Hairenik Publishing Company p. 16-17 and Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States The Paris Peace Conference 1919 , United States Government Printing Office, 1948, Vol IV, p 139-157).

Of course they fear a question of why the Turks did offer autonomy to Armenians if they decided to eradicate them.

And they fear the question of why and how the Armenian prime minister Simon Vratzian applied the Turkish government on March 18, 1921 and asked military help of the Turks against the Bolsheviks, in spite of the fact that the Turks committed a (so-called) genocide and murdered 1.5 million Armenians!

And they also are very frightened of the question how the Ottoman Government eradicated 1,5 million of Armenians but in spite of this it was the Ottomans who first conceived the idea of founding an independent Armenia, and recognized it first. Moreover, it was the Ottoman Sultan who first wished not only the development of Armenian Republic, but that she be strong in order to retain her independence! Astonishingly, it was the Ottoman Sultan, who stated that friendly relations would always exist between the two neighboring countries

That is, the Armenian ancestors who created their history (the top representatitives of the Ottoman Armenians, Dashnags and prime ministers of Armenia), the Armenian historians and poets who wittnessed this period and even the Armenian murderers of Turkish diplomats are the main deniers!
So, it is not surprising that both the book of Hovannes Katchaznouni, the first prime-minister of the Armenian state, ‘Dashnagzoutiun Has Nothing to do Anymore’ and the book of K.S.Papazian ‘Patrionism Perverted’ are banned in Armenia. It is also a fact that all the copies of the book of Hovannes Katchaznouni, in all languages were collected from the libraries in Europe by Dashnags. The book is included in the catalogues but no copies can be found in the racks.

It is not surprising either that, the Armenians even claim that nobody called A.A. Lalayan, the Soviet-Armenian historian, ever lived!

Yes, they can ban the books of the makers of their history, they can buy politicians by their votes and urge them to accept historical resolutions and memorial laws in their parliaments, they can threaten the historians who do not support their thesis, they can sue them, they can even bomb their houses as they did before ( but they can never ban scholar thought and silence the historians of the world!

Note that Pierre Nora, president of the association ‘Liberty for history’ founded in 2005, has recently stated that the history should not be a slave to currency or written under the dictation of competing memoirs; in a free state, it does not belong to any political authority to define the historical truth and restrict freedom of the historian under threat of criminal sanctions. In a democracy, freedom for history is the freedom of all (, .

Now do you understand why the Armenians vehemently resist the establishment of historical joint commissions made up of historians from Armenia, Turkey and other countries?

Do you understand why Prof Richard Hovannisian from California University (the father of the first Foreign Minister of Armenia) said: ‘It is very dangerous to establish such an historical commission…’ in an interview with Armenian Reporter?

Do you understand why the Armenians have not admitted to International Court of Justice for more than 90 years and why they urge politicians to write their history as they want?