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Dr. Vahakn Dadrian responds to Guenther Lewy

By its very nature historiography can neither be expected to be complete in every respect, nor be free from any number of other shortcomings. This truism is even more pertinent to the study of such a subject matter as the Armenian genocide the historical reality of which for one reason or another is presently being degraded to the level of dubiousness. The principal vehicles used hereby are the publications of a rather small group of authors purporting to be detached and disinterested investigators. Upon closer scrutiny, however, these very same authors reveal themselves as committed partisans boldly pushing certain denialist agendas that are subtly and skillfully woven into texture of their discourses. Hence the denial is attempted indirectly rather than directly; the historical reality of the World War I Armenian genocide is called into question by casting doubt on the appropriateness of the use of the label “genocide.”

When by recourse to a variety of techniques he is decrying as unwarranted the use of such a label with respect to the Armenian case, Professor Lewy is thereby providing a measure of confirmation in this respect. In the process he also is betraying his very limited familiarity with the subject. His article is replete with factual errors, misinterpretations that are accented by some outright falsehoods. On top of all this, he further betrays lack of an adequate level of knowledge of Turkish, not to speak of extinct Ottoman Turkish, on both of which he is significantly relying as primary source medium. One is prompted to wonder as to the origin and nature of the outside help he may have received.

What follows firstly is — given exigent space limitations -– some samples only of the type of errors mentioned above:

The Yozgat trial series were not conducted in Yozgat but in Istanbul; Kemal was Kaymakam of Bogazliyan county only but not of Yozgat district of which he subsequently became an interim mutassarif by way of transfer and promotion; Cemal Pasha was not the governor of Aleppo, but the commander-in-chief of Ottoman’s IVth Army deployed in Lebanon and Syria (all these on p. 2); Dr. Liparit Nasariantz was not a German missionary (p. 5) but an Armenian political activist who later became a member of the Armenian National Council, an émigré political outfit. Moreover, Lewy’s claim that “there is no indication that German colonel Stange had any role in the Special Organization” is flatly contradicted by several authentic sources. Foremost among these is Dr. Ernst Kwiatkowski, Austria-Hungaria’s Consul at Trabzon, the port city where the Special Organization had its center for logistics. In one of his several reports to Vienna he revealed that “convicts were also enrolled” in Stange’s detachment which actually was the 8th Regiment of the 10th Army corps of the Ottoman III Army operating in the eastern province of Turkey. [1] Even more compelling is the disclosure of a Turkish officer who not only participated in Stange’s military operations, but kept a record of them in his notebook. According to him “Stange was in charge of the Special Organization Regiment that was named ‘Teshkilati Mahsusa Alayi’ ” and that it encompassed the notorious killer bands of two noted chieftains, Topal Osman and Deli Halit, who played a paramount role in the implementation phases of the Armenian genocide. That regiment consisted of eleven battalions (tabur) and was thereafter called the Lazistan Detachment (Lazistan Mufrezesi). [2] Unable to strictly control the secret and covert operations of these contingents of this Detachment, Stange at the end blasted them in his “secret” report to his German superiors in which he expressed his contempt of these “chettes” by calling them “scums.” [3]

According to professor Lewy, the Armenian claim of genocide is predicated upon the “the pillars,” namely, (1) the Turkish Courts- Martial of 1919-20, (2) the role of the Special Organization (Teshkilati Mahsusa), and (3) the memoirs of Naim Bey (p. 6). This highly inaccurate description again is reflective of his seemingly limited familiarity with the literature involved. [4] Notwithstanding, they call for scrutiny to “set the record straight.”

Of these, the one involving a lengthy discussion, based on his claim that they are “forgeries,” covers the Naim-Andonian documents. That claim is mainly, if not exclusively, based upon a book produced by two Turkish authors who, following an extensive examination, maintained that the documents are forgeries. Even though at the end of his discussion he finds it expedient to hedge somewhat by allowing that these documents are “at best unverifiable and problematic,” the bulk of Lewy’s arguments with emphasis focus, however, on the forgery angle. Yet, as far as it is known, the two non-Turkish scholars cited by him for support of his claim did not themselves conduct any comparable research, including Zürcher who was content to state that the documents “have been shown to be forgeries.” But on the other end of the spectrum, a German author having very recently uncovered a number of authentic Ottoman documents from the Interior Ministry Section of Turkish state archives, established that these documents

confirm to some degree the contents of two other telegrams ascribed to Talaat in Andonian’s book. Thus the dating of telegrams nos. 840 and 860 as January 1916 appears to be correct…[The two Turkish authors] Sinasi Orel and Süreyya Yüce who have agued that Andonian forged his material, did not consider the source under scrutiny here. Thus their thesis is to be put into question and further research [on this matter] is necessary. [5]

Equally significant in this regard is the fact that Lewy is either unaware or he chose to ignore completely the existence of a very extensive analysis of the validity of these documents which I undertook and which in its entirety was published in the peer reviewed official journal of the Middle East Studies Association of North America. [6] In the light of all this, Lewy’s standards of research are cast in stark relief, especially with respect to his conclusion that “most historians and scholars dismiss ‘these documents’” (p. 5). When dismissing another “pillar” mentioned above, he criticizes the Ottoman criminal justice system as having subverted the basic principles of such justice. Evidently he is unaware of the fact that the Ottoman Penal Code and the Ottoman Code of Criminal Procedure were compendiums essentially modeled after their French counterparts. The entire system is inquisitorial. The judges take the lead in getting the facts in the pre-trial investigative stage as well as in the subsequent actual trial, whereas in the Anglo-Saxon common-law system, called adversarial, lawyers develop the facts thereby consigning the judges to a neutral role. Accordingly, the pre-trial investigation and the preparation of prosecution are conducted in privacy, namely, in secrecy. Defense counsels are denied access to the resulting files and the right to accompany the accused in these pre-trial examinations. Even though in the law of evidence the principle of the “intimate,” i.e., “a deep seated conviction” was adopted in the Ottoman Code of Criminal Procedure whereby the judge freely accords credence to the best of his conscience, for proof of guilt, however, he depends on concrete evidence, as well as defense’s counter-arguments. The composite ingredients of such evidence involve confession, witness testimony, the writings and records of officials, evidence secured through discovery, judicial notice, searches and seizures, and expert testimony (Articles 232 and 233). In all the trial series by and large those conditions obtained, especially with respect to massive testimony provided by dozens of Turkish and Muslim witnesses. [7] Furthermore, contrary to Lewy’s declaration that its text, along with the text of other proceedings, is “not preserved in any source” (p. 3), the fact is that the text of General Vehib’s deposition was not only read into the record in its entirety at the second sitting of the Trabzon trial series (March 19, 1919), but that entire text was published also in several newspapers of the period. [8]

Lewy further complains that the indictment “is not proof of guilt” (p. 3), whereas in the present case it legally served as a major source of evidence-in-chief, unlike in the case of all the other subsidiary indictments. Articles 130, 214 and especially 222, section, 1 and 2, of the Ottoman Criminal Code of Procedures spell out this function of the indictment. [9] The forty two pieces of authenticated documents attached to the key indictment comprised twelve cipher telegrams, three memos, two “communications,” ten signed (and three unsigned) statements obtained by the prosecution in the course of pre-trial interrogations, three depositions, two letters, and “several” other documents relative to the role of the “Special Organization.”

Lewy’s references to three Western High Commissioners, serving in Istanbul following its occupation by the victorious Allies in 1919, as supporting material for his thesis are such as to beg the question. It may be true for example, that U.S. High Commissioner Lewis Heck was critical of some of the procedural aspects of the trials in question. But it is also true that on several occasions he unequivocally recognized and denounced “the great crime” as when he declared, “The great majority of the Turkish officials in the interior either actively participated in, or at least condoned the massacres of the Armenians.” On another occasion he reinforced his view by stating that “…the vast majority of the Turkish race heartily approved” of these massacres. [10] As to the other two, in this case, British High Commissioners, viz., Vice Admiral Sir S.A. Gough Calthorpe and Admiral Sir J. de Robeck, their disapproval and derogation of these trials was, as I have in detail explained elsewhere, [11] primarily derived from their belief that in prosecuting the authors of the massacres the Military Tribunal was lax and inept, and hence the trials were “a farce” and “a failure,” to the detriment of the Armenians, the victims. Nor was Malta, a mere temporary detention center, in any way intended to serve as a venue for any kind of “trials” (p. 3).

Apparently determined to by all means discredit and invalidate the findings of this Tribunal, Lewy proceeds to dispute the method of authenticating the official documents used in the trials — in complete disregard of the fact that almost all of these officials of the Interior Ministry in charge of verifying these documents were holdovers of the defunct and banished Young Turk Ittihadist Party, i.e., the CUP. In other words the residual partisans of the organization, whose top leaders were being prosecuted for a capital crime, are being accused of assisting the prosecution by way of accommodative dishonesty-because, as Lewy puts it, they are “period officials” (p. 3). What is the definition of the term “stretching an argument”?

Lewy rightly deplores “the loss of all their [i.e., the military courts’] documentation” (p. 3). The fact, however, that this loss remarkably coincides with the seizure of Istanbul by the Kemalist forces in 1922 when the huge archive of the Turkish Military Tribunal vanished without a trace, raises an abiding question:

Did the documents disappear by themselves, or having been collared and despoiled by interested parties, mainly the new masters of Turkey, they met the fate of a “loss”? [12]

His discussion of the Special Organization is no less marked by a plethora of errors and questionable assertions. They were briefly touched on in notes 1 and 2. Unfortunately, Lewy’s sources and data are wanting in some critical respects. The Turkish Military Tribunal through documents attached to the main indictment on four occasions, noted on pp. 4 and 5, of that indictment, reveals the close and very intimate links between the Special Organization and the top leaders of the Ittihad party, CUP, who are characterized as the organization’s central authority. On pp. 6 and 7, there are specific details about the wide-spread massacres the brigands of that organization have committed against the Armenians; on pp. 5, 6, and 7, there are further details as to how these perpetrators were released from the empire’s prisons and deployed in the provinces for massacre duty. Still on pp. 5 and 7, there are six specifications as to how two army commanders and the military governor of the Ottoman Capital, Istanbul, combined their resources to streamline these lethal operations of the Special Organization with the help of Dr. B. Chakir, one of the chief architects of the wartime genocide. [13] These disclosures independently and decades later are largely corroborated by the two most competent Turkish authors and authorities on the subject. [14]

Lewy’s bold contention that “there is no evidence beyond the indictment of the main trial that the Special Organization, with large number of convicts enrolled in its ranks, took the lead role in the massacres,” (p. 4) is flatly contradicted by first-hand Turkish evidence. A prominent editor and close associate of Atatürk in his memoirs reveals that when he at the start of World War I applied for reserve-officer training under a special program initiated by Dr. Nazim, another architect of the Armenian genocide, the latter ended up shocking the young volunteer when revealing that the task did involve commanding para-military units which consisted of ex-convicts, the so-called ”chettes.” Indeed Jevad, the military commander of the Ottoman capital, in the course of the second sitting of the Cabinet Ministers trial (May 4, 1919) testified that Dr. Nazim was in charge of recruiting volunteers (gönüllüs) for operations that were “non-military.” (askerlik haricinde) (T.V. 3543, p. 27). The young applicant wrote that he was repulsed by the idea of such an “army of massacrers” (Katiller Ordusu). [15] In a subsequent article in his newspaper, he went so far as to suggest that the massacres against the Armenians could well be characterized as “genocide,” using exactly this composite Latin-Greek term. [16] Another reserve officer with duties in the Department II, Intelligence, Ottoman General Headquarters, at the start of World War I, and subsequently with duties as deportation official, in a book published in the wake of that war with great compassion lamented the nightmare of the Armenian genocide. In doing so, he singled out the brigands, the “chettes” of the Special Organization who, he said “committed the greatest crimes,” (en buyuk cinayetteri) during that genocide. [17] Still another Turkish publicist and author of several volumes, referring to the same “chettes” of the Special Organization, testified that these criminal bands “directly pursued the goal of extermination” by attacking and destroying countless Armenian deportation convoys. [18] In another book he stated that these deportations “…meant the extermination of the Armenian minority in Turkey.” [19]

Furthermore, it is inaccurate to say that “the Ottoman government released convicts…in order to increase its manpower pool for military service” (p. 4). Available evidence points to a different direction. The most striking testimony contradicting this assertion is provided by Colonel Behic Erkin, the chief of the department for procurement of supplies (Ikmal Subesi) in the Ottoman War Office. In his testimony before the Ottoman Parliament during the war he declared: “The majority of the convicts is not being sent directly to the frontlines but rather to the Special Organization thereby [affording them a chance] to render patriotic services.” [20] As to his argument that there is no evidence that these Special Organization brigands “took the lead role in the massacres” (p. 4), here is a documented evidence ascertained by the Turkish Military Tribunal — beyond the confines of the Indictment. Harput (Mamuretul Aziz) Verdict “In his capacity as a member of the Central Committee of Ittihad party (CUP), and as Chief of the Special Organization, Dr. Chakir personally oversaw the release of the convicts from the prisons of the empire’s capital, and of Trabzon and the Erzurum provinces. The criminals were subsequently organized into brigand units during the Armenian deportations. These “chettes” then proceeded to engage in killing operations under his leadership” (Takvimi Vekayi, [thereafter T.V.] no.3771, p. 1). A similar condemnation with respect to the murderous role of the same organization is recorded in the Responsible Secretaries Verdict (T. V. no.3772, p. 3).

Even the top leaders of the S.O. did reluctantly admit during their trials the fact of the engagement of those ex-convicts and their cohorts in the operations of “Armenian deportations.” What is so remarkable about this development is that these admissions were made following the abrupt production by the prosecution of documents mostly cipher telegrams, bearing their signatures. The surprised and startled defendants, who until this uniformly [21] and persistently had been denying the involvement of the S.O. in these deportations, reversed themselves and confessed. These defendants also revealed in the course of these trials, and for the first time that the S.O. had two divisions and missions for the purpose of combating external but also internal enemies (T.V. no.3549, pp. 59-60). At the next, i.e., the fifth sitting, S.O. leader Yusuf Riza finally conceded that indeed there were two S.O.s, the second of which was involved, he said, in Armenian “deportations” (tehcir) (T.V. no.3553, p. 88). Of all these S.O. leaders, Atif Kamcil was the one who was most aghast when being forced to face the set of these surprise cipher telegrams. As a result, in two different sittings, the 5th (p. 86) and the 6th (T.V. 3557, p. 103), especially in the latter, he went so far as to admit that he sought and obstained the help of CUP’s Secretary General for the enlistment of CUP’s provincial party cells in the engagement of S.O. cadres and operations. Atif, after indicating that the terms chette (brigand) and “volunteer” (gönüllü) were more often than not coterminous and hence interchangeable, further admitted that Talaat’s Interior Ministry was involved not only in recruiting and deploying the S.O. convict-brigands, but assisted in the enactment of the law allowing their release from the prisons. (T.V. 3557, p. 104).

Three noted Turkish specialists of the S.O. explicitly declare that the Central Committee of CUP served as both the brain and the actively involved organizer of the S.O. [22] Moreover another student of CUP concluded that the S.O. was the creation of CUP’s Central Committee and that while Interior Ministry Talaat chose the operational commanders of the S.O. units, the Central Committee itself specified its modus operandi. [23] Reference may also be made to the biographer of Talaat who referred to the latter’s penchant for illegal undertakings by way of “nurturing and exploring CUP’s secret designs though the creation of a separate organization.” [24]

Lewy evidently failed to understand all these sinister and criminal missions of the S.O., all recorded in Ottoman and modern Turkish, because of the failure to understand the underlying and hence more consequential mission motivating the top leaders of the S.O. The nature of that mission was exposed by a Turkish author investigating it. He wrote “The Special Organization and trustworthy Ittihadists (i.e., CUP), pursued the goal of radically solving (temelden cözülmesi) the Armenian question…they [in fact] organized and carried out the deportations on a large scale and systematically. Dr. B. Chakir championed this policy at the councils of the CUP’s Central Committee.” [25] In fact the same reference to radical, i.e., “final solution” is found in Interior Minister Talaat’s petition to the Ottoman wartime Cabinet when he went through the formalities of seeking authorization for the deportation of the Armenians. The critical import of this formula of radical solution is evinced by the fact that in practically all Turkish works, including that of Y. H. Bayur, the dean of Turkish historians, citing this document, the passage referring to this formula is carefully excised-except in one. [26] Perhaps the most devastating rebuttal of this assertion that the S.O.’s main mission was “covert operations behind Russian lines” (p. 4), which Lewy makes by relying on two American authors, [27] is offered by two most authoritative sources. One of them Arif Cemil (Denker), an insider who singularly chronicled the minute details of these operations on the Caucasus front, stated that “the activities relative to reconnaissance and brigandage (istihbarat ve cetecilik) imputed to S.O. were a cover for the pursuit of such “lofty ideals as the Islamic Union and Turkism.” An almost identical statement is presented by Esref Kuscubasi, whom Lewy identifies as “the leading Special Organization official” (p. 4). Speaking of “the basic objective” (temel gayesi) of the S.O., he disdainfully dismisses “the belief and the supposition that the S.O.’s mission consisted in securing unadulterated information, reconnaissance, and in triggering uprisings and incidents in enemy countries….” He goes on to say that objective in reality consists in “enabling Islam, which we embody as the essence of our moral order, to become an effective force in our foreign policy.” [28] When elaborating on the threat, which these S.O. leaders claim the non-Muslim minorities of the Empire, especially the Greeks on the Aegean coastline, were purportedly posing, this S.O. chief proceeds to offer the following confirmation of the existence of a secret decision to eliminate these minorities.

The S.O., operating outside the sphere of the government but through the agencies of the War Ministry and the CUP’s Cental Committee, primarily became concerned, as a result of a series of secret meetings at the War ministry, about the goal of liquidating (tasfiyesi) the non-Turkish masses of populations which were located in strategic areas and were under foreign and negative influences. [29]

In categorically declaring that this very same S.O. chieftain, Esref Kuscubasi, was in no way involved in the Armenian massacres and, as he puts it, “closer inspection reveals Esref made no such admission” regarding involvement (p. 4), Lewy, inadvertently perhaps, is exposing the stark possibility of his lack any knowledge of Turkish. If so, was he abused or misled by interlopers or any other kind of outside help? The fact is that “closer inspection,” on the contrary, reveals exactly that and then through Esref’s own words as recorded by his biographer, Cemal Kutay, and subsequently verified in writing by him, Kuscubasi. Indeed, in vehemently reacting to wartime Grand-Vizier Said Halim’s assassination by an Armenian avenger in Rome 1921, Kuscubasi voluntarily inculpated himself while exculpating the Grand Vizier. The latter had emphatically denounced “The Armenian massacres” twice in his testimony before the Fifth Committee of the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies investigating the wartime Armenian “deportations and massacres,” and in the same vein had decried the sinister role of the Interior Minister Talaat. [30] The admission by Kuscubasi in question reads:

The assassination of this martyr as a guilty party is a crime and an injustice without example. I categorically reject this accusation in my capacity as a person who performed secret duties in the events [i.e., the Armenian deportations and massacres] that transpired in this respect. [31]

Moreover, he also confirms that the S.O. performed tasks that went beyond “intelligence gathering” and involved the resort to secret operations that served to effectively deal with those non-Turkish elements who were suspect in terms of their fidelity and attachments to the central authorities. “It is certain that these truly secret operations were kept secret even from Cabinet Ministers. They were operations that the regular organs of the government and even security organs could absolutely not handle.” In the same vein he castigated these targeted victim populations as “separatist microbes.” [32]

In the light of all this, Lewy’s apologia that not the Special Organization but “more likely the perpetrators were Kurdish tribesmen and corrupt policemen out for booty” (p. 5), speaks volumes about the level of seriousness with which he evidently has approached this gruesome event in modern history that two prominent eyewitnesses in so many words denounced as genocide. U.S. American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, on duty in Turkey during the genocide, for example, called it “The Murder of a Nation,” [33] and the German-Jewish Zionist leader, Richard Lichtheim, who throughout the stages of that genocide was also on duty in Turkey. He compared “this act of liquidation” of “a people, the majority of whom were peaceful and diligent peasants,” with “the first phase of Hitler’s campaign of extermination against the Jews…. Organized by Interior Minister Talaat, it was the result of a deliberate, cold-blooded policy of mass murder, claiming over one million victims.” [34]


1. Altay Yigit. Dogu Karadeniz Muharebeleri (The Battles in Eastern Black Sea Regions). v.1, Trabzon: Istikbal Publishing House, 1950, pp. 80-85. For the brigand activities of the Special Organization see the analysis of the late dean of Turkish political scientists and his reference to the brigands, i.e., “chettes”and “the convicts” (hapishanede bulunan mahkümlar). Tarik Zafer Tunaya, Türkiyede Siyasal Partiler v.III, Ittihat ve Terakki (Political Parties in Turkey. Union and Progress) Istanbul: Hürriyet, 1989, pp. 285-6.

2. Austrian State Archives (HHStA), PAI 942, Krieg 21a Türkei . Zl.79/ pol, November 8, 1914; 83/ pol, December 12, 1914; PA21, XL 272, no.56, February 2, 1915. For more details on the activities Stange’s Detachment see Wolfdieter Bihl, Die Kaukasus- Politik der Mittelmächte. Part I. Vienna: 4 Bohlaus, 1975, p. 351, n-24.

3. German Foreign Ministry Archives, Botschaft Konstantinopel (thereafter Vo’kon) 170, J. no.3841, August 23, 1915.

4. The following list is but expository in this regard. Richard G. Hovannisian, The Armenian Holocaust (A Bibliography Relating to Deportations, Massacres, and Dispersion of the Armenian People. (1915-1923) Cambridge: HeritagePress, 1980; Vahakn N. Dadrian, Documentation of the Armenian Genocide in Turkish Sources in Genocide; A Critical Bibliographic Review, v.2, Israel Charny ed., London: Mansell, 1991, pp. 86-138; ibid., Documentation of the Armenian Genocide in German and Austrian Sources in The Widening Circle of Genocide. Genocide: A critical Bibliographic Review, vol.3, Israel Charny, ed., 1994, pp. 77-125. And most recently the massive compendium of official documents assembled in the national archives of Imperial Germany (During World War I), then the political and military ally of the Ottoman Empire, whose civilian and military representatives, deployed in wartime Turkey, besieged Berlin with an unending stream of official reports on the ongoing Armenian genocide. DerVolkermond an den Armeniern 1915/16. (Dokumente aus dem politischen Archiv des deutschen Auswartigen Amts), Wolfgang Gust, ed. Hamburg: zu Klampen, 2005, pp. 675.

5. Hilmar Kaiser, “The Baghdad Railway and the Armenian genocide, 1915-1916.” In Remembrance and Denial. The Case of the Armenian Genocide, Richard G. Hovannisian, ed. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999, p. 108, n. 78.

6. Vahakn N. Dadrian, “The Naim- Andonian Documents on the World War I Destruction of Ottoman Armenians: The Anatomy of a Genocide, “International Journal of Middle East Studies” v.18, no.3 (August 1986): 311-360.

7. In the Yozgat trial series, of the twelve witnesses five were Turks, including a parliamentarian, one lieut-governor, three colonels and one customs inspector. In those of Trabzon, of the thirty eight, twenty nine were Turks including one ex-governor-general, one Appellate Court judge, one judicial inspector, one police chief, one customs inspector, three MD’s, three colonels, one major, two captains, and two lieutenants. In addition, there were introduced as evidence two lengthy depositions from two army commanders. Moreover, some dozen other Turkish witnesses testified in the Harput trial series (Takvimi Vekayi [hereafter T.V.] no.3771, pp. 1-2), Bayburt (T.V. 3618, pp. 6-7), and Responsible Secretaries (T.V. no.3772. pp. 1-2).

8. These publications were Vakit, March 31, 1919; Le Courrier de Turquie, April 1 and 2, 1919 issues (this was the official organ of the patriotic Turkish Association for the Defense of the Fatherland (Müdafai Vatan). The same text is available also in Hayat Tarih Mecmuasi, v.11, no.3, (November 1981): 53.

9. George Young, Corps de Droit Ottoman, v. VII. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905, pp. 248, 259, 260, 261, 262.

10. See Vahakn N. Dadrian “The Specifics of the Documents Lodged with the Key Indictment” in The Armenian Genocide in Official Turkish Records. Collected Essays by Vahakn N. Dadrian, in Journal of Political and Military Sociology (Special edition), v.22, no.1 (Summer 1994):165-171.

11. U.S. National Archives, For the first report of January 9, 1919 see R.G. 256, 867.4016/2, pp. 2 and 3; for the second quotation report to Washington see R.G. 256, 867.00/59, p. 3, January 20, 1919.

12. Vahakn N. Dadrian, “The Armenian Genocide: an interpretation” in America and the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Jay Winter ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 54-56.

13. Dadrian, The Specifics of the Documents [no.10], pp.156-57, 161-62.

14. Galip Vardar, Ittihad ve Terakki Icinde Dönenler (The Inside Story of Ittihard ve Terakki [CUP] party) Istanbul: Inkilâp, 1960, pp. 313-24. The basis of this disclosure is an exchange between an S.O leader and Dr. B. Chakir in which the latter is indicating that he is in charge of the Armenian deportations and is inviting that the leader to join and benefit from the attendant spoilage and booty. Samit N. Tansu is the editor, who also edited the memoirs of the other author, Hüsameddin Ertürk, Iki Devrin Perde Arkasi (Behind the Curtain Relative

to two Eras) Istanbul: Hilmi, 1957, on p. 146 Interior Minister and party boss Talaat is identified as the instigator of Chakir’s approach to the S.O. leader mentioned above. On p. 217 once, and on pp. 325 and 327, four times he refers to “Armenian deportations and massacres” as a twin phenomenon, and identifies a captain, belonging to the S.O., as the savior of a principal genocide suspect who with the latter’s help escaped from the prison before he could be court-martialed by the Military Tribunal.

15. Falih Rifki Atay, Zeytindagi (The Olive Mountain) Istanbul: Ayyildiz, 1981, p. 36.

16. Ibid., “Pazar Konusmasi” (Sunday Talk) in Dünya December 17, 1967.

17. Ahmet Refik Altinay, Iki Komite, Iki Kital (Two Committees, Two Massacres) H. Koyukan, ed., Ankara, 1994, p. 27.

18. Ahmed Emin (Yalman), Yakin Tarihte Gördüklerim ve Gecirdiklerim (The Things I Saw and Experienced in Recent History) v.1 (1888-1918), Istanbul: Yenilik 1970, pp. 331-2.

19. IVID. Turkey in the World War New Haven: Yale University Press, 1930, pp. 217-220.

20. Meclisi Âyan Zabit Ceridesi (Transcripts of the proceedings of the Senate) v.1, 3d Period, 15th sitting, December 12, 1916, p. 187, right column. For details of this role of Colonel Behic especially his active involvement in seeking legislative approval for the release of convicts through several cipher telegrams, see T.V. 3543, especially pp. 28-29 for the one marked “secret” and dated December 25, 1914.

21. Turkish political scientist Tunaya explains how these defendants while in prison agreed among themselves to “unanimously” (oybirligi) deny any relationship between the S.O. and their political party, the CUP, and deny also any role of the party in the creation of the same S.O. Turkiyede Siyasal Partiler [n.2], p. 281. Author Yalman who shared prison life with these leaders, in his memoirs describes how they would gather in the large room of the prison for their “Cabinet Council” meetings to discuss, with the help of another inmate, Osman Interior Ministry’s Legal Counselor, defense strategy and common grounds Yakin Tarihte [n.18]. pp. 339-41.

22. Ertürk, Iki Devrin [no.14], pp. 297-98, 306; Vardar, Ittihad ve Terakki [n.14]. pp. 244-46, 274.

23. Mustafa Ragip Esatli; Ittihad ve Terakki Tarihinde Esrar Perdesi (The Curtain of Mistery in I. ve T.’s History) Istanbul: Hürriyet, 1975, p. 258.

24. Tevfik Çavdar, Talat Pasa, Ankara; Dost, pp. 190, 210.

25. Dogan Avcioglu, Milli Kurtulus Tarihi. 1838 den 1995e (The History of National Liberation. From 1838 to 1995) v.3, Istanbul: Istanbul publications, 1974, p. 1135. It should be noted that an identical revelation with details about Chakir’s trip to Istanbul from Erzurum is made by an insider. Chakir is laying down and pressing for its acceptance his respective plan during a special meeting with the members of CUP’s Central Committee. Arif Cemil, Ici Dünya Savasinda Teskilâti Mahsusa (The Special Organization in World War I) Istanbul: Arba 1997, pp. 233, especially 245-46. On pp. 73-4, the author likewise reveal’s Talaat’s order to release convicts from Trabzon.

26. Muammer Demirel, Birinci Dünya Harbinde Erzurum ve Cevresinde Ermeni Hareketleri (1914-1918) Ankara: General Staff Publication, 1996, p. 53. In converting to modern Turkish, the author substituted and thereby slightly modified the original Ottoman term “Külliyen izalesi” when using the words “solving [the Armenian Question] in some essential way” (“esasli bir sekilde cözümlenmesi”).

27. One of them, Gwynne Dyer, relied mainly on the work of Philip Stoddard to be commented upon in the next paragraph. Notwithstanding, Dyer repeatedly acknowledged the fact of the Armenian genocide in the following two articles, namely, (1) “Turkish ‘Falsifiers’ and Armenian Deceivers’: Historiography and the Armenian Massacres,” Middle Eastern Studies v.12, no.1 (January 1996). On p. 100 he speaks of “a policy of extermination” in 1915 by “the Ottoman Government;” on p. 107, he even refers to the “final solution” inflicted upon the Armenians. In an earlier piece, he likewise is emphatic about the historical reality of it by arguing that “the Armenian deportations were…. Official Turkish Government policy… used as the cover for a semi-official and ruthlessly applied policy of extermination.” Middle Eastern Studies v.3, (October 1973): p. 379. As to Stoddard, The Ottoman Government and the Arabs, 1911 to 1918: A preliminary Study of the Teskilati Mahsusa Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms, 1963, University Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, there too the story is incomplete. Indeed, even though he never explicitly acknowledges the perpetration of massacres against the Armenians. Stoddard, nevertheless, acknowledges the “disdainful…activities…of ‘groups of brigands’ ” In the same vein, he refers to the seditiousness of “certain ethnic groups,” to their “separatist movements that eventually came under the purview of the Tieskilâti Mahsusa,” i.e., the Special Organization (p. 50), which was established “in part to ride herd on all separatist and nationalist groups” p. 6). On p. 157, he admits that the S.O. role consisted “in carrying out the decisions of CUP …,” and on p. 54 he identifies some of its top leaders as having been centrally involved, such as Drs. Chakir Nazim, and CUP’s Secretary General Midhat Sükrü. Even Erik Zürcher, cited by Lewy (p. 5), had, as noted earlier, to rely upon someone else’s work rather than produce his own research results when he wrote that Andonian materials “have been shown to be forgeries.” In the same work however, he wrote that “an inner circle within CUP under the direction of Talât [carried out] the extermination of the Armenians [using] relocation as a cloak.” Turkey A Modern History, London: Tauris, 1994, p. 121.

28. Cemil, Ici Dünya [n.25], p. 11

29. Quoted in Celâl Bayar, Bende Yazdim (I Too Have Written), v.5, Istanbul, Baha, p. 1573.

30. Ittihad- Terakki’nin Sorgulanmasi ve Yargilanmasi (The Interrogation and Trial of CUP). Istanbul: Temel publ. No.98. pp. 82, 84; the verification by Kuscubasi in writing of the accuracy of the material, produced by Bayar, is on p. 1572, in note no.1.

31. Cemal Kutay, Birinci Dünya Harbinde Teskilât-I Mahsusa (The Special Organization in World War I) Istanbul, 1962, n.p., p. 78.

32. Ibid. pp. 18, 44. His criticism that I resorted to “inaccurate paraphrasing” and “selective ellipses” (p. 4) are, I am afraid, just unsubstantiated, hollow declarations revealing once more his lack of knowledge of Turkish.

33. Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story, NY: Doubleday, p. 301.

34. Richard Lichtheim, Rückkehr, Lebenserinnenungen aus der Frühzeit des deutschen Zionismus, Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlays- Anstalt, 1970, pp. 287, 341. In an effort to further question the genocidal quality of the mass murder of the Armenians, Lewy invokes the “Nuremberg trials” and the massive documentation involved. But a whole host of Holocaust scholars, thoroughly familiar with those trials, went out of their way to recognize the Armenian genocide in an effort to contest its denial. The most recent example of it is the proclamation of the 127 Holocaust scholars who declared that “The Armenian Genocide is an Incontestable Historical Fact.” Among the signers was Nobel Laureate Elvie Wiesel, as such prominent Holocaust scholars as Yehuda Bauer, Israel Charny, Steven Katz, Irving Greenberg, Irving Horowitz, Zev Garber, and Richard Rubinstein the proclamation appeared in the June 9, 2000 issue of the New York Times. Equally important, the chief assistant to U.S. Justice Robert Jackson at Nuremberg was Robert Kempner, a German Jew. He was the one who discovered in German Foreign Ministry files the original copy No.10 of the notorious Wannsee Protocol that encapsulated the Final Solution. On numerous occasions especially in a law journal article, he emphatically asserted the fact of the Armenian genocide. He stated, among others, “For the first time in legal history, it was recognized that other countries could legitimately combat… genocide without committing unauthorized intervention in the internal affairs of another country.” He was referring to the public declaration on May 24, 1915 of the three Allies, Great Britain, France, and Russia, that “These new crimes of Turkey against the Armenians constitute crimes against humanity for which Turkish officials will be held responsible for these massacres.” Specifically he was referring to “1.4 million Christian Armenians who by order of the Turkish government were subjected to the first genocide of this century.” “Der Völkermord an den Armeniern” in Recht und Polotik, v.3 (1980): 167, 168. Kempner, upon arrival in America, became professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Two other Holocaust scholars reacted even more pungently to the denials mounted against the recognition of the Armenian genocide. Noted author Deborah Lipstadt wrote: “Denial of genocide whether that of the Turks against the Armenians or the Nazis against the Jews is not an act of historical reinterpretation. Rather, the deniers saw confusion by appearing to be engaged in a genuine scholarly effort….The deniers aim at convincing third parties that there is ‘another side of the story….” Lipstadt letter to Congressman Chris Smith, Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Relations, House of Representatives. 106th Congress, 2nd session, September 2, 2000. Under consideration was HR 398, a Resolution Commemorating the Armenian Genocide. Conceivably these intercessions by so many Holocaust scholars on behalf of the victims of the Armenian genocide have, in addition to a pathos for truth, elements of identification and projection. That sentiment was cogently and concisely articulated by Holocaust scholar Katherine Bischoping when she wrote: “The future of Holocaust denial may be foreshadowed by the persistent denial of the Armenian genocide.” “Method and Meaning in holocaust-knowledge Surveys.” Holocaust and Genocide Studies v.12, n.3 (Winter 1998): 463.

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