“Great Armenia” Four T Plan

The goal of Armenian terrorism that has never hesitated to go to such extremes as cold-blooded murder is to make the claims of genocide against Armenians heard and their demands known. The ultimate objective is a “Great Armenia”, for which they designed the so called “ Four T plan” based on propaganda, recognition, indemnity and land. The intention here is to rehabilitate the world public opinion by making them to accept, through terrorism, the existence of genocide against them, to force Turkey into recognising it, to receive compensation in monetary terms and finally to seize from Turkey the land needed for realising a Great Armenia.

The claims underlying “the Four T Plan” are the following:

The Turks invaded Armenia and seized its land.

They applied a systematic massacre against Armenians since the 1877-1878 war. They resorted to a planned genocide against Armenians from 1915 onward.

Talat Pasha issued secret orders to apply genocide on the Armenians. 1,5 million Armenians lost their lives through genocide.

It is necessary to make a brief study on the claims and the historical developments of Turkish-Armenian relations so as to understand how preposterous the insinuations are and which clandestine interests underlie them

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Short Review Of Armenian History

The racial origins of the Armenians and the geography in which they lived are still debated today. It is certain, however, that they have always been the subjects of other states throughout history.

The encyclopædias state that Yerevan, Lake Sevan, Nahkichevan, north of Rumiah Lake and Maku region were called “Armenia” which meant “ upper lands” and the people living there were named Armenians.

Some of the Armenian historians claim that they are descendants of the Hittites who lived in Cilicia and Northern Syria in the 6th century AD, while some others bring the genealogy to Haig, one of Noah’s sons. There is no certainty about exactly where the community referred today as Armenians settled and lived in the geographical region called Armenia. Their population and the percentage of their population to other groups that lived in the same area are still a mystery.

Thus, even the Armenian historians are not unanimous as to their origin. It may therefore be stated that it is impossible for a community that has never had the privilege of being a nation and founding an independent state, to have claims on a certain geography as “a homeland”. Consequently, the dream of Great Armenia is but the product of an expansionist ideology.

As the history went, the Armenians lived under the Persian, Macedonian, Seleucide, Roman, Partian, Sasanite, Byzantine, Arabian and Turkish hegemonies. In fact, all of the Armenian principalities known to have existed in the region were established by the sovereigns that controlled the region in order to draw this community into their sphere of influence and employ them in a variety of tasks.

The Selchuks saved the Armenians from the Byzantine persecution and offered them the opportunity of leading a decent life when they secured the control of Anatolia in 1071. Under the reign of Mehmed II, freedom of thought and belief was granted to the Armenians and the right to establish a patriarchate of their own for governing the community’s religious and social activities.

The Armenian Patriarch had the power of appointing and dismissing clergy members, banning the religious rites, collecting dues from the community, concluding the marriage formalities and even pronouncing imprisonment decisions.

Until the end of the 19th century, the Armenians lived their golden age under the Ottoman rule, also with the vast tolerance of the Turkish people. Having been exempted from military service and of most of the taxes, they excelled in trade, agriculture, artisanry and rose to major posts in the administration. For the services that they rendered to the Ottoman Empire, the Armenians were allowed to settle in the regions vacated after the Greek rebellion and were given the prestigious title of “the faithful nation”.

It ensues from the foregoing that there was not any Armenian issue until the end of the 19th century nor were any problems that the Armenian citizens could not solve with the assistance of Turkish administration.

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Introduction To Armenian Lies

As a bridge between Asia and Europe, with its straits connecting The Black Sea with the Mediterranean and its geopolitical situation at a point where the Central Asian, Caucasian and Middle Eastern natural energy sources intersect, Turkey draws the attention of the entire world.

The Ottoman Empire in the past and Turkey at present has always been an arena for which intrigues were incessantly designed. The colonialist superpowers wishing to eradicate the Ottoman Empire from the world by dividing it did not fail to use in their schemes also the Armenians who coexisted in peace with the Turks for so many centuries.

There are today just like in the past, several countries striving to secure themselves political and economic benefits at the expense of Armenian community. Monuments accusing Turks and Turkey of having committed genocide are being erected in some countries; decisions intending to recognise the so called genocide are brought into the parliamentary agenda in several countries and even voted for in some others. Issues that need to be left to historians are turned into means of self interest by the politicians.

The Armenians who were ousted from one place to the other, pushed into wars, and treated as third rate citizens throughout the history by the Romans, Persians and Byzantines. After the advent of Turks into Anatolia, they benefited from the just, humane, tolerant and unifying traditions and beliefs of their new neighbours. The period that lasted until the end of the nineteenth century when the apogee of these developments and relations was attained, was the golden age of Armenians. In fact, the Armenians were by far the greatest beneficiaries of the opportunities offered by the Ottoman Empire to all industrious, capable, honest and straightforward citizens of the non-Moslem communities. Being exempted from the military service and to a large extent from taxation, they had the opportunity to excel themselves in trade, agriculture, craftsmanship and administration and therefore were rightly called the “loyal nation” because of their loyalty and ability to interact with the Ottomans. There were so many Armenians who spoke Turkish, who even conducted their rites in this language , who rose to topmost public service posts such as the Ministries and Under-Secretariats of State for the Public Works, Navy, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Treasury, Posts and Telegraph and Minting. There were some who even wrote books in Turkish and foreign languages on the Problems of the Ottoman Empire .

With the start of the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the European powers began to intervene in its affairs and degeneration became evident in the peaceful Turkish-Armenian relations. Great effort was displayed by the instigators whom the Western powers planted into the Ottoman Empire under clerical guise, to create a schism between Turks and Armenians in the religious, cultural, commercial, political and social fields. Thus, bloody clashes arose, in which the blunt of pain was borne by the Turks, and thousands of Armenians and Turks lost their lives in the revolts that broke out in Eastern Anatolia and spread all the way to Istanbul.

Though there were many Armenians fighting in the Ottoman armies against the enemy or serving in the rear ranks during the World War I, a considerable number had sided with the foes on the battlefronts and launched massacres against the population without distinction of women, children and the aged. Their toll was hundreds of thousands of Moslems and ruin in Eastern Anatolia.

The measures adopted by the Ottoman Empire to stop this violence were presented to the rest of the world under a completely different light and the Armenians, misguided by the promises and instigation of the Western Powers started to undermine the country where they had led a privileged life more than a thousand years.

The Hinchak, Tashnak, Toward Armenia, Young Armenians, Union and Salvation, Ramgavar, Paramilitaries, Black Cross societies and Hinchak Revolutionary Committee, which were established out of Anatolia, formed organisations urging the people for an armed revolt. These activities were the bloody uprisings that cost thousands of Turkish and Armenian lives.

During World War I, the Ottoman Empire was fighting against Russian armies in Eastern Anatolia, where the Armenian revolt was at its peak; and also against Armenian forces which supported the Russians. On the other hand, behind the lines it had to continue to fight against Armenian guerrillas that were burning Turkish villages and towns and attacking military convoys and reinforcements. In spite of this violence, the Ottoman Empire tried to solve the Armenian problem for months by taking local measures. Meanwhile, an operation was made against the Armenian guerillas and 2345 rebels were arrested for high treason. When it became evident that the Armenian community was also in rebellion against the state, the Ottoman Empire proceeded with the last resort of replacing only those Armenians in the region who actively participated in the rebellion. With this measure, the Ottoman Empire also intended to save the lives of the Armenians who were living in a medium of civil war because Turks started to counter-attack the Armenians who had performed bloody atrocities against Turkish communities.

Today, Armenia and some states using Armenians for their economic and political benefits have launched a massive propaganda campaign to present the replacement decision and the 24 April arrests as genocide to the world public opinion.

At the end of the World War I, when the armies of Allied States occupied The Ottoman Empire and the British officials among them arrested 143 Ottoman political and military leaders and intellectuals for “having committed war crimes toward Armenians” and exiled them to Malta where a trial was launched. However, the massive scrutiny made on the Ottoman, British, American archives in order to find evidence to incriminate these 143 persons failed to produce even the least iota of proof against them. In the end, the detainees in Malta were released without trial and even any indictment in 1922.

The United States archives contain an interesting document sent to Lord Curzon on 13 July 1921 by Mr. R.C. Craigie, the British Ambassador in Washington. The message was as follows: “I regret to state that there is nothing that may be used as evidence against the Turkish detainees in Malta. There are no events that may constitute adequate proofs. The said reports do not appear to contain even circumstantial evidence that could be useful to reinforce the information held by His Majesty’s Government against the Turks.”

On 29 July 1921, the legal advisers in London decided that the intended indictments drawn up against the persons on the British Foreign Ministry’s list were semi-political in nature and therefore these individuals should be treated separately from the Turks detained as criminals of war.

They also stated the following: “No statements were hitherto received from the witnesses to the effect that the indictments intended against the detainees are correct. Likewise it does not need to be restated that finding witnesses after so long a time is highly doubtful in a remote country like Armenia which is accessible only with great difficulties.” This statement was made also by none other than the legal advisers in London of His Majesty’s Government.

Yet, the efforts to smear the image of Turks with genocide claims did not come to an end as the British press published certain documents attempting to prove the existence of a massacre claimed to have been perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire while efforts were being made to start a lawsuit in Malta. It was stated that the documents were found by the British occupation forces in Syria, led by General Allenby. The inquiries subsequently made by the British Foreign Office revealed, however, that these documents were fakes prepared by the Armenian Nationalist Delegation in Paris and distributed to the Allied representatives.

The Armenian Diaspora, who left no stone unturned to keep the genocide claims on the agenda despite all these facts, resorted to terrorism in the end. The so-called Armenian issue, which started to attract the attention of the world and Turkish public opinion through the smearing campaign launched by the Armenians against Turkey after 1965, in the ‘70s turned into terrorist attacks directed against the Turkish representations abroad. In Santa Barbara on January 27, 1973, the first individual terrorist attack was launched by an aged Armenian named Gurgen (Karekin) Yanikian. He murdered Mehmet Baydur and Bahadir Demir, the Turkish Consul General and Vice Consul in Los Angeles, and these murders turned into an organised campaign after 1975. The attacks against Turkish embassies, officials and institutions abroad gradually intensified.

A major increase in the attacks was noted after 1979 when an internal unease started in Turkey. The Armenian terrorists staged a total of 110 attacks at 38 cities of 21 countries. 39 of these acts were committed by small arms, 70 of them were realised by bombs and one was an outright occupation. 42 Turkish diplomats and 4 foreigners were killed and 15 Turks and 66 foreigners were wounded in these incidents.

As these actions received a strong reaction from the world public opinion, the Armenian terrorist organisations changed their tactics in 1980 and began to co-operate with the PKK terrorist group which was pushed into the scene by the Eruh and ªemdinli attacks as the ASALA and Armenian operations were stopped. The documents and evidence from Beqaa and Zeli camps show that the PKK and ASALA militants were trained there together.

The success achieved by the Turkish security forces made the Armenian terrorism pursue the so called genocide claims through the Armenian Diaspora and attempt to make the world believe in the existence of such an event by inducing several parliaments to adopt resolutions and laws which recognise it.

The goal of these terrorists is to plant into minds of people the existence of a genocide, to force Turkey to recognise it, to receive indemnity from Turkey and, finally, to snatch from Turkey the land needed for realising the dream of Great Armenia

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Common features of Armenian Terrorist Organizations

The survey of the aims and strategies of the Armenian minority organizations from a historical perspective during the phase of New Armenian Terrorism (1973-85) shows that they had all assumed the character, aims and functions of terrorist organization. Their activities were directed towards the objectives of inciting and perpetrating revolts, revolutions and acts of terrorism.

It has already been noted above that the Dashnaks who had become organized in the 1890's, had adopted a program based on terrorist strategies, such as forming gangs, demoralizing the target Ottoman population, killing the Turks and undermining their sovereignty, arming the Armenian minority groups in preparation for uprisings, revolts and terrorism, forming revolutionary committees and murder squads, and destroying governmental institutions. After seizing power and establishing an Armenian Republic (1918 - 1920) within a year of the Russian Revolution, in the region where Soviet Armenia is situated today, the Dashnaks engaged in diplomatic activities and tried to assert themselves as a legitimate power; nevertheless, the fundamental terroristic philosophy never disappeared and resurfaced years later in 1972 with the formation of an subsidiary group named the Justice Commandos for Armenian Genocide. The operations of this group are well-known to everyone, not least to the non-involved Armenians on whom they exert constant pressure.

Similarly, the Marxist Hunchak organization has shown that it too endorses terrorism by the protection and support it gives to ASALA, the principal terrorist organization of the period 1973 1985. It is noteworthy that the Hunchaks provided the inspiration and intellectual impetus for the creation of this group.

For terrorist organizations, the Armenian cause, or the Armenian issue no matter what interpretations may be placed upon it has been identified with terrorism whilst the ideals or aspirations of the Armenian people have been reduced to hostility against the Turks and Turkey, to be pursued through vindictive acts and bloodshed.

The Armenian terrorist organizations are, as a rule, formed by a small number of activists, who control the central administration. The operations agreed upon by the central administration are carried out by a number of teams; each entrusted with specific duties. When required for propagandist purposes, these teams are made public under a variety of names, which serves the purpose of creating an impression of large numbers and widespread activity.

Terrorist organizations need not be situated in one specific physical or geographical location. They could be dispersed in several countries, or scattered over the same country. Although this situation on the surface gives an impression of amore democratic and open structure, yet, in reality, such organizations observe a strict discipline imposed by a central organization.

Another characteristic of the terrorist organization is their tendency to split into a number of smaller groups both because of their differing functions and also as a result of rivalries between their members and their leaders. One outcome of this phenomenon is that each group that breaks away forms its own affiliate organization. Hence, there is an apparent mushrooming which once again produces the impression of proliferation.

Secrecy forms one of the basic tenets of these organizations. However, at times, particularly through the instrumentality of the subsidiary team, disclosures are made in order to publicize the activities performed as an occasion for propaganda. This policy also serves the aim of concealing the main centre from detection, which can thus continue its activities in security. For the same reasons, the teams make announcements both before and after committing crimes and take responsibility for them.

In all Armenian terrorist activities, terrorism goes hand in hand with psychological coercion. In fact, the former is a phase in the process of applying the latter. Terrorism can be used as a means of propaganda, as well as an instrument of oppression, intimidation and retribution. The second use of terrorism is reserved for those who oppose the activist organizations or disobey its commands. The majority of non-involved Armenians are subjected to such pressures.

These organizations possess an immense store of expertise and experience in the fields of public relations, communications and the media. Moreover, they have close contacts with the institutions and the people who disseminate information and influence public opinion. Such expertise and contacts provide the organizations with opportunities for survival and gradual expansion.

The terrorist organizations enjoy the open or secret support of one or more states. These may use them either as an instrument to further their own interests, or as a means of covering up their secret organizations or propaganda units.

Hostility against Turkey and the Turks provides the terrorist organizations with a motive for their existence and survival, as well as serving to rationalize their claims and demands. However, in countries, which have close relations with Turkey, the hostile reactions apparently provoked by these organizations tend to be short-lived. Indeed, in such cases, particularly when terrorism takes as its target not only Turkey but also the country where it operates and its citizens, it has to be assumed that the activists are aiming at intimidating their opponents, rather than carrying out hostile operations against the host country.

In retrospect, Armenian terrorism appears to have three main objectives: 1) to compel the Armenians to join the ranks of the activists by exerting pressure on them, thus securing their support, 2) to influence world public opinion by convincing it of the might and scope of Armenian terrorism, and 3) to prepare the ground for hostility against Turkey in case of future conflicts of interests and political confrontations on the international scene. The nineteenth century myth of an enslaved and impoverished minority deprived of its rights, and the twentieth century theme of a nation subjected to massacres and genocide have both been used in order to have access to sources of power in international relations. These sources will probably be enlisted in the service of nations who are Turkey's rivals or even by international institutions for specific ends. What, in fact, is not known among the aims of the terrorist organizations is the to which the opportunities, that arise by instigating international conflicts, will ultimately be put. This is no other than the attainment of the goal or ideal, which they expect to be realized through its own momentum in the course of a historical process outside their immediate sphere of influence.

NEW ERA OF TERRORISM (1973 - 1985)

In the era of New Armenian Terrorism, Dashnak and Hunchak organizations function as the main centres which encourage, promote and train terrorist groups so that they can develop and expand over new areas and increase the scope of their targets. Their leadership extends to the formation of new terrorist groups and teams, providing man-power, intellectual and moral support for the newly founded organizations, and the preparation of the ground for their activities through the establishment of contacts and relations. Apart from these, ASALA, short for the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armen ia constitutes another major terrorist organization. It has succeeded in having its name mentioned more than that of any other group, and as such has become almost synonymous with Armenian terrorism. Together with the traditional organization and their offshoots, ASALA, too, is the initiator of the new era of terrorism. As has been noted above, despite its seemingly independet status, ASALA is affiliated to the Hunchaks, deriving its moral and intellectual strength from them, as well as making use of their established contacts and relations.

Seen from this angle, it may indeed be claimed that terrorism as we see it in our day is a continuation of the earlier tradition of terroristic activities, which was revived under the favourable circumstances of the sixties, and, making use of the opportunities that were created anew, once again embarked upon its mission of hostility against the Turks, engaging in criminal acts of the greatest inhumanity and cruelty.

One of the attempts at rationalizing terrorism is provided by Michael M. Gunter in his study on "Armenian National Liberation", where he claims that the peoples of many different countries in our day support the struggles of the terrorists and believe in the validity of the reasons for which they take action. Similarly, Gerard J. Libaridjian, the editor of the Armenian Review and director of the Zorian Institute for Contemporary Armenian Studies situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, explains the reasons that lie behind Armenian terrorism as follows: "The reluctance of Turkey and the major world powers to recognize the exasperation of the Armenians, even after sixty years spent in attempts at establishing peace, has resulted in bringing about a new era of terrorism." Agop Agopian, the ASALA leader, on the other hand, argues that Armenian terrorist activities emerged "after it became evident that the policies pursued by the traditional parties had failed:"

In the light of these statements it becomes clear that those who share such views, present the situation as if it were one that entails a choice between peaceful or violent methods of pursuing the Armenian cause; they ignore the phenomenon of Armenian terrorism as a continuing historical process. Moreover, they fail to explain from what source they derive the right to launch such violent attacks against Turkey and to instigate revolutions, revolts and warfare with the aim of destroying its unity, nor do they tell us who invests them with this right or authorizes the exercise of such acts. The terrorists claim a right to perform acts of violence - the right to cherish animosity, seek revenge and commit assassinations - and to exercise this right freely. They pretend not to be aware of the fact that the Armenian activist organizations were engaged in terroristic operations right from the start. For the new era of terrorism is clearly a revival of the older and traditional phase of terrorism, reactivated as a result of preparations made in the sixties through propaganda campaigns and demonstrations, as a means of manipulating the aspirations of certain countries and peoples over Turkey and taking advantage of the attitudes of rivals exploiting her political and economic difficulties. One need not doubt, however, that the era of New Armenian Terrorism will come to the same end as the former. Yet, in the meantime, the Armenian people themselves are undergoing the humiliation and anguish of being branded as terrorists in the eyes of the world and observe with anxiety the course taken by the events. This is an aspect of the situation which the terrorist organizations do not wish to see, or perhaps, one which their mentors refuse to see. In this way, regardless of the harm caused, propaganda and psychological coercion campaigns continue to be waged on a large scale.


The Hinchak (Sound of the Bell) Committee was established in Switzerland in 1886 by Avedis Nazarbelg and his wife Maro, Caucasian Armenians of Russian citizenship, and a group of Caucasian students. They also started the publication of a newspaper titled Hinchak to propagate the ideas of the Committee, of which the leaders and members were Armenians from Russia. It selected the Eastern Anatolia as its field of operation and, after a while, its headquarters was moved from Switzerland to London.

The Hinchak Commitee’s programme was socialist, Marxist and Centralist It adopted the principles of Karl Marx. Though it qualified itself as social democrat, its political programme is reminiscent of the communist manifesto. The Committee opened in 1890 a branch office in Istanbul with subdivisions at various provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The main political goal of the Committee was to save the Armenians in Turkey from the Turks, those in Iran from the Iranians, the Russian Armenians from Russia and to do away with all the capitalists in these countries.


The working and producing classes constitute the great majority of the humanity. The emancipation of these classes from the exploitation of a rich and sovereign minority will be achieved through the seizure of all production factors, soil, factories, mines and transports. The independence of the producing classes means the salvation of the entire humanity and a general and economic welfare.

The achievement of this goal and its physical implementation require the organisation as dictated by its own desiderata of working classes in all civilised countries and the accomplishment of the communist revolution everywhere using the general political capabilities at their disposal. Thus will be eliminated all other social classes and the producer classes will create a socialist order. In this new structuring, the people will make their own laws and display its might.


The Armenians today are under the subjugation of the classes run by monarchic rulers. Their administrative, fiscal and tax systems are self-destructing for themselves. Around these monarchies, all ancient economic and administrative structures wither away while the capitalist management systems are used in the production.

The introduction of a socialist order embracing the Armenian social democrats and all Armenians at large is admitted to be a distant goal under the prevailing conditions and, therefore, all tendencies and toils require a nearer target. It is this nearer target that created the Armenian Revolutionary Hinchak Party, which aims at the following:

a) To foment the revolution.

b) To annihilate the sovereign classes of the absolutist administrations.

c) To save the Armenians from slavery.

d) To strengthen the Armenians for entering into the political realm.

e) To eliminate the hurdles preventing the economic and cultural advancement of the Armenians.

f) To prepare an environment where the working classes will be able to freely express their opinions.

g) To improve the unbearable working conditions.

h) To provide the workers with knowledge on their own class for enabling them to organise into a special political entity of their own.

i) To facilitate the work by the people to attain the distant goals.

In line with these goals, the nearer targets of the Hinchak Committee are to destroy the monarchic administrations and to replace them by democratic and oligarchic regimes, for which the following conditions were set:

a) A constituent assembly should be elected, for a true popular representation, by direct votes of all citizens. This assembly should have the power of examining all political, economic and other issues and legislation of the country in question and resolving on them.

b) Provinces should be given a large autonomy.

c) Full independence should be provided for the people.

d) The people should be able to elect the government, security, justice and education officials in public service.

e) Every citizen, irrespective of nationality, should have the right to be elected to provincial and autonomous administration positions.

f) All citizens irrespective of nationality and religion differences should be equal before the law.

g) Full freedom of press, expression, assembly and election should be recognised to all citizens.

h) Homes of all citizens and citizens themselves should enjoy freedom from molestation.

i) The churches should be dissociated from the State and maintain their existence solely through the help of persons of their own congregation.

j) Military service should be performed by all citizens as militia members during the peace time.

k) A secular and compulsory education system should be implemented and the State should assist the poor in this field.

Since the improvement of the people’s economic lot is involved, the following conditions must be fulfilled by securing the political rights listed above and based on them:

a) The existing taxation system should be replaced by one based on the payment power.

b) The indirect taxes should be abandoned altogether.

c) Peasants should be absolved of all of their debts.

d) Farm machinery should be provided with the help of Government and of the people, their proper use should be taught and they should be given to the people themselves.

e) Agrarian partnerships should be established among the people for the purpose of ensuring the sale of farm products and purchase of such amenities as seeds, fertilisers and the like.

f) Vehicles should be provided for all kinds of transportation and contacts.

g) The Government should prevent the exploitation of working classes and adopt laws for this purpose.

Regions where the Armenians hold the majority are also the largest areas of our country. The Armenian cause acquired the status of a right by the 61st article of the Berlin Treaty and under the pressure of other international conditions and was recognised by the European Powers.

The political, economic and financial débâcle of the Ottoman Empire together with the internal uprisings appear to have been contributing factors that prepared its doom with also the assistance of the European Powers. It is therefore necessary that the following should be achieved tp comply with the requirement of a historical necessity as the Ottoman territories in European continent were seized by other States:

a) The Armenian rebels will concentrate their efforts for defending the Armenian cause and achieving the short-term goals.

b) The area where the revolution will be launched will therefore be that in which the Armenians live.

c) Since the future of Armenians need to be separated from the Ottoman Empire’s destiny, the first condition of the short-term goal will be the Armenian independence.

For attaining the short-term goal, the Armenians decided that the peace and order should be interrupted and altered by a revolution and a war should be started against the Turkish Government and the revolution’s tools were indicated as follows by the Armenians:

a) A propaganda campaign will be initiated among the people and particularly the workers through the press, books and speeches, to broadcast the revolutionary ideas of the Hinchak party, to create revolutionary organisations and to foment mutinies.

b) The terror will be used as a weapon to punish the Turkish secret police members, informers and traitors and the terror will be used as a shield for the defence of revolutionary organisations and a guard against the rascals that persecute the people.

d) An armed force will be kept in readiness and spearheading legions will be formed to defend the Government and the people against the soldiers and tribal groups and the legions will be used as the advance units in an uprising.

e) Suitable occasions will be created for instigating an uprising.

f) A general revolution organisation, consisting of several regular units commanded by a single central headquarter and marching in unison toward the common goal, within the context of which has been prepared a regulation for defining the responsibilities and powers of these units and the organisation and activities of the Hinchak Committee.

g) Efforts will be made to secure the alliance of other minorities having the same destiny as the Armenians and to have them to join the Armenians our common enemy the Turkish Government. The greatest objective of the Hinchak Committee will be to establish a federation similar to the Swiss one after throwing off the Ottoman yoke.

The Hinchak Committee operating under this political programme carried out an intense Marxist propaganda especially among the working classes. Both the youth and religious leaders, adventurers and unemployed went out of their way to foment unease and to foment a revolution while the Committee’s leaders concentrated their efforts on creating an Armenian proletariat. These efforts, however, did not go beyond a socialist propaganda under the then prevailing conditions in Turkey. Persons coming from Russia and other countries with a flair for such work often took part in these activities.

The Armenian actions led in this country to many bloody incidents of which the relics will not easily be forgotten. Renowned militants like Shimavon of Tbilisi came from Geneva, S. Danielian arrived from Iran, Rupen Hanazat of Russia showed up from Trabzon and H. Megavorian appeared from Batoum to organise the subdivisions of the Hinchak Committee. Other revolutionary organisations formed in Istanbul prior to 1980 eventually joined this new setup.

It therefore becomes evident that the fate of Armenians in Turkey was left to the discretion of Russian Armenians. Pressure was being exerted on those refusing to join the Committee and to grant monetary aid and many of them were being murdered. Thus, the organisation rapidly started to spread to the other Anatolian provinces.


The charter and programme of the Hinchak Society was printed in Istanbul in 1909, submitted to the Ministry of Interior pursuant to the Law on Associations and received the approval letter no 90 of 8 February 1909. The charter consists of five parts.

The ledger of resolutions seized by the security forces show that the following resolutions were adopted in q910, 1911, 1912 and 1913:during operations:

a) Efforts will be spent to secure weapons, ammunition and explosives.

b) Weapons training will be given by Marufian, Yavruian and Candan.

c) Propaganda work will be accelerated.

d) Relations will be established with the Tashnak Connittee.

e) Similar relations will be maintained with the Union and Progress Party.

f) Support will be given to the Orsfan, Cang, Gochnak, Jurachak, Penchak, Badami, Tejoheng, Maro and Paros bands in Van.

The Hinchak Committee held its third congress in Turkey on 24 July 1914. The congress, held with 28 delegates from 51 branch offices, was chaired by Cangulian with Tancutian as the secretary and the following decision was adopted:

"Taking into account the great responsibility necessitated by our goals and the dangers involved, and in an attempt to prove that we are a civilised people, care will be exercised for always avoiding adventures and actions not thoroughly planned in advance, and we will bear in mind the fact that a balanced attitude and proper means are the most suitable tools for reaching our final objectives. "

On the basis of this decision, the Hinchak leaders started to leave Turkey after 1896 and disagreements soon arose among them, with the result that the party broke into two factions. One faction was called the true Hinchaks (Nazarbeg’s followers) and the other came to be known as the reformed (Veragasmial) one. The latter group was led by an Armenian named Arpiar Arpiarian.

It seems that both factions acted in obedience to the beliefs and opinions of their leaders rather than under valid principles and programmes. The disagreement among them often led to street fights, some of them were beaten and many were killed.

The Armenian people, realising that the Hinchaks were Marxists, gradually withdrew themselves from it. The divergence came to a head in 1902 when militants from both sides began murdering each other on streets in England, Russia, Egypt, Bulgaria, Caucasus and Iran. Though some small bands continued bearing the name of Hinchak, they lost their previous strength after the Van resurrection. Another factor contributing to the disappearance of the Hinchak Committee was the fact that several Hinchak leaders had seen the true intentions of the Russians and left the organisation.

Reference: SAKARYA, Ret. Maj. Gen. İhsan, Armenian Issue with Decuments,Military History Publications of the Department of Military History and Strategic Studies, Turkish General Staff Printing Plant, Ankara 1984, 2nd ed., pp. 76-87.

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ASALA Terrorist Organization

During the new phase of Armenian terrorism from 1973 to 1985, the terrorist organization most frequently mentioned was ASALA (The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia). No information has yet been published on its establishment, structure and activities. With regard to ASALA, various Armenian sources and publications provide information about certain individuals, and the results of terrorist activity, mostly obtained from publications issued by the organization or terrorist group. This is information, which the terrorist group wishes to publish or does not object to having published. With regard to the founding of ASALA, some publications link it with the events in Lebanon; they take the view that it was established under the inspiration of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, within which it had been active. Others claim that it was founded by a small group of Armenians, who, within a short time, carried out the most sensational and effective acts of terrorism of the period. All this is very far from providing a complete explanation of how ASALA was founded. Until the conditions under which ASALA first appeared as an organization are better known and the gap it filled is more satisfactorily elucidated, present doubts will continue for a long time to come.

It is generally known that the first Armenian terrorist activities of the new period were in accordance with the policies and targets of the Dashnak terrorist organization. Throughout the course of history as well as in the period under discussion, the Dashnaks were completely pro-Western. They adopted a policy of limited terrorist activity, which was directed basically against Turkish targets, and, as revealed by various sources of evidence, they obtained help and support from the Western states; in fact, they collaborated with them. Basically, their principles and historical development did not allow them to adopt a different approach. In this situation, one sphere of activity still remained. Namely that relating to the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, which appealed to the younger Marxist Revolutionary generations and, particularly, to the "New Armenian Resistance Organizations", in France. In fact, this area had long since been filled by the Hunchaks. Since 1960, they, with their various points of view, had also been preparing for a new period of terror. However, the Hunchaks were not in evidence, and a terrorist organization, wishing to be regarded as completely new, appeared on the scene in the guise of ASALA. When the factors leading to the new period of Armenian terrorism are taken into consideration and their aims and policies, especially as a Hunchak terrorist organization, are examined, the conclusion can be reached that ASALA is a terrorist offshoot of the Hunchaks. It was above all the conditions and new developments in Lebanon that lay behind the emergence of this group as a new terrorist organization, which because known for the various acts of terrorism for which it claimed responsibility. In fact, no significant change has taken place. The two Armenian terrorist organizations once again occupy the centre of the stage against the backdrop of history. The first is more in evidence, operating through its terrorist offshoots, whilst the second operates under cover, in the guise of a terrorist group to which it has given manpower and expertise, as well as moral support. This group in turn carries out terrorist activities through subsidiary groups and teams.

1. Foundation and Organizational Structure

ASALA was founded in 1975. The leader of this terror organization is known to have been Agop Agopian, one of the two most active members of the six or seven founding members. The second was Agop Tarakdjian, who was personally involved in terrorism and other criminal activity and who ensured the continued existence of the organization in the absence of Agop Agopian. The second of these two men died in 1981, whilst the first continued as leader throughout the whole of this period, apart from the time spent under treatment for wound received. He was well known as a mucahid and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The organization was structured in accordance with the general practice of the Armenian terrorist groups. The Lebanon Central Committee was the supreme executive body. In 1980 this committee took on a very important form in the Lebanon and assumed the nature of a "bureau". Subordinate to the Central Committee were bodies such as the Political Committee, the Finance Committee, the Propaganda and Information Committee, the Intelligence Committee and the Military Committee. Subordinate to the Military Committee were a number of operational teams.

2. Aims and Objectives

ASALA revealed to the world its aims and objectives in a "political programme" published in the end of 1981. According to this, the aim of ASALA was “the foundation of a united Armenia under the leadership of a democratic, socialist, revolutionary government”. The identity of the government in question is quite clear from the definition. All aid was welcome from the USSR and other socialist countries, while at the same time Soviet Armenia was accepted as a base in "the long struggle of the Armenian people".

In this political programme their enemies were divided into two groups. The first of these was the Dashnak Armenian terrorist group, and all the "regional reactionaries" who opposed, or at least failed to support ASALA. The second was "Turkish imperialism, aided and abetted by international imperialism".

ASALA believed that “the only way of liberating Armenian territory was through the use of violence”, and issued public announcements to this effect. According to their programme, ASALA was to support all those who rejected the domination of the ruling classes and who were willing to work towards the foundation and strengthening of coalitions within the international revolutionary movement. Violence and terror formed an essential element in this programme.

In order to realise ASALA's aims and objectives it was not essential that terrorist activities should be directed solely against Turks and the friends of Turkey, or against people in positions of power or authority. "Terror is a phenomenon" and the important point is its scope and dimension. The actual targets may be of secondary importance. Greatest stress it to be laid on murders and massacres that will arouse violent public reaction. Whether the targets are men, women or children, Turks or non-Turks, is of little significance. Nevertheless, first importance was to be given to attacks on Turkey and the Turks. The importance of the attacks and massacres carried out in the airports of Paris and Istanbul, in the Istanbul Covered Market and the airport of Orly, lay entirely in the nature and violence of the reaction these were aimed at arousing.

3. Strategy, Attitudes and Behaviour

The essential aim of ASALA was to make the Lebanon the centre for all progressive Armenian movements throughout the world and the point from which all operations would be directed. In short, all progressive Armenian groups were to unite in the Lebanon and for the basis for an "ASALA Popular Movement". In this way, all progressive Armenians could enter into an official organization in which their individual strengths could be united.

An attempt was made in the summer of 1981 to put this section of ASALA strategy into effect by calling all progressive Armenians to a meeting in the Lebanon. By "progressive" was meant "Marxist-Leninist".

The second stage of this strategy began with the terrorist activities and open war undertaken by the organization thus founded with the help of certain socialist states. Armenian terror formed an integral part of the struggle for independence in the Middle East, uniting with other movements directed against the integrity of Turkish territory. This led inevitably to the union of ASALA and PKK.

ASALA was clearly a terrorist organization in attitude and behaviour. In all ranks of the administration terror and the implementation of terror was regarded as an essential feature of the organization. The leaders murdered one another, liquidated those of whom they disapproved or had them done away with. Apart from this, each terrorist team was presented to world opinion as if it were a separate Armenian organization and all types of propaganda were carried on by this means. Responsibility for the crimes committed were assumed by various organizations whose names had never before been heard of. A list is to be found in an appendix at the end of this Introduction showing how in 1981 and 1982 the murders, crimes, bombings and raids were carried out by a single organization but attributed to groups with a variety of different names. By examining this list the reader will find a number of operations claimed to have been carried out by a great many different Armenian groups but which actually all bear the mark of a single team and a single organization. All these so-called independent groups remained subordinate to and directed by ASALA itself.

4. Political developments

The first stage in the political development of ASALA, which is generally agreed to have been founded in 1975, was highly effective, and the organization was strengthened by new forces recruited during the Armenian Congress in Paris in 1979. It gained further strength in 1981. In 1983 it split into two factions.

The first operation carried out by ASALA was the assassination by Agop Tarakdjian, one of the founders of the organization, of Oktay Cerit, First Secretary in the Turkish Embassy in Beirut, on 16 February 1976. The period up to 1979 was marked by ASALA's involvement in the conflicts between the various Palestinian groups, in the course of which Agopian, one of the leaders, was wounded. Links with the Armenian terrorists in France were established during the Armenian Congress meeting in Paris in 1979, which saw the organization strengthened by the addition of new elements and fresh blood. The most famous of the new members were Alex Yenikomshian and Monte Melkian. In 1981 a number of terrorist attacks carried out by ASALA on innocent groups or individuals having severely shaken its standing in world public opinion. Following the Israeli occupation of the Lebanon the ASALA leaders were forced to leave the Lebanon along with the Palestinians. A split in the organization took place in 1983.

• The Agop Agopian Group - This was centred in Greece and the Middle East. Its terror was directed indiscriminately against Turks and non-Turks, as well as against innocent women and children. It was this group that was responsible for the attack at Orly.

• In Western Europe the movement operated under the name of the "Asala Revolutionary Movement". This followed a more moderate course of action and directed its terror solely against Turks. The leaders of this group were Monte Melkonian and Ara Toranian. Toranian was the leader of a group centred in Paris known as the "Armenian National Movement" which described the Orly attack as a purely Fascist operation.

Melkonian, who had been born in Iran, declared his intention of setting the Armenian struggle on a sound political footing. According to this the movement had two aims; to rouse the Armenians to action, and to make common cause with other groups in their struggle against Turkey. In this second stage, Melkonian was involved in establishing alliances with other groups while Agopian continued with his own type of activity.

5. Support and Alliances

ASALA received support from three main sources:

1.The Soviet Union, the Eastern block and other socialist countries.

2.Countries such as Greece and Syria whose geopolitical expectations depended on the destabilisation of Turkey from within and without.

3.Various communist parties, indirectly from the Hunchak Armenian terrorist organization and its sympathisers, and also from the Armenian church, in spite of its difference in outlook.

In ASALA's links with other groups first priority was given to relations with non-Armenian terror groups which threatened Turkey directly or indirectly, and whose activities ran parallel to the strategy implemented by ASALA itself. In the period between 1976 and 1980 these consisted of groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization, activist members of the various communist parties and the secret services belonging to certain states. In 1980 ASALA widened the scope of its activities following the agreement reached with PICK at a meeting in Sidon in the Lebanon, thus establishing unity of outlook and action between ASALA and PKK. As a matter of fact, these two organizations had already displayed a marked affinity in aims, structure and beliefs. From 1983 onwards ASALA relations began to develop along the lines of the strategy laid down by Monte Melkonian. First priority was given to terrorist activity within Turkey, and links were established with any group capable of furthering this strategy by either direct or indirect means. These groups were headed by PKK, the Turkish CommunistParty and other communist organizations.

6. Publications and information media

ASALA's most important, official organ is Haiastan

Other important publications include the periodicals Hai-Baikar, Armenia and Kaytzer, published in London.

ASALA's first radio broadcasts began in 1981 in Beyrut with a daily one-hour programme "The Voice of the Armenians in the Lebanon". Apart from these, facilities are provided by the public radio corporations and mass communication media belonging to countries with which it has established contacts.


Monta Melkonian (Meykonyan) who left ASALA and passed to France in September 1983 has disclosed that he has founded the ASALA — The Military Apparatus Of People’ s Movement, ASALA — Revolutionary Movement (ASALA — MR). The recovering of the relations with the French Government, which deteriorated has been their most important goal. While it was being thought that these would do their actions in Turkey, they have taken the North American and Western European wings totally under their own control and attracted the militants in these regions to their line. Melkonian, was killed in 1993 in Nagorno Karabakh while he was fighting against Azerbaijanis.

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TASHNAK Terrorist Organization

The “Armenian Revolutionary Federation” or "Tashnak Organization" is also known as the "Tashnak Party." In fact, after the communist took over of the Armenian Republic, the Tashnak organization continued its existence as a party in exile, mainly in Lebanon, Iran, France, Greece and the United States. This organization has remained active up to the present day and has performed a significant role in planning and promoting the new era of Armenian terrorism, as well as forming teams and groups for carrying out terrorist operations. A move was made, later in its career, to have its name changed from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation to the Armenian National Committee. The intention behind this was to achieve greater effectiveness in its propagandist activities by the removal of a name that could offend Western sensibility.

1. The Structure of the Organization

a. “Bureau”: This is the most important organ of the organization and takes the decisions that determine its administrative policies. In appearance the bureau represents collective leadership. It consists of eight members, one each from California, France and Iran and five from Lebanon. The members elect a chairman. The bureau, which was based in Lebanon until the outbreak of the Civil War, was moved from there to the United States and then to Greece and France. The regulations of the bureau and its decisions are kept secret .It is known that a person named Hrair Marukian, Persian by birth and domiciled in France, was its chairman until 1985.

b. "The Central Committee": It is the highest-level executive organ. It establishes the link between the bureau and the local groups and organizations. It is instituted in places where there is a sizeable Armenian population. Lebanon and France have one central committee each, whilst the United States has two, one on the eastern and' the other one on western coasts. Under the pyramid shaped structure the local organizations and their organs take place. These are known by the names of a variety of Armenian associations and clubs, such as the Federation of Armenian Youth, the Youth Organization, the Armenian Boy and Girl Scouts Club, organizations for sport and cultural activities.

c. There are also various offices operating under the central committees, such as those in charge of propagandist activities and publicity, as well as legal, financial, military and educational matters. These offices offer purely technical service or advice. As an example of an office rendering a specific service, we can mention the Committee for Supervising Armenian Immigration.

2. Aims

The Tashnak terrorist organization defines the meaning of the Armenian cause or “the Hay Taht” as the establishment of an independent and non-communist Armenia within the boundaries designated by the abrogated Sévres Treaty and the enforcement of the payment of compensation by Turkey in return for the crimes said to have been committed against the Armenians. Tashnak publications give expression to this objective in the words, "We will continue to insist on the implementation of the Sévres Treaty, as being one of the milestones in the pursuit of our cause."

In another publication, the aims of the Tashnaks are summarised as the recognition of the right of the Armenians to live in their own lands and to govern themselves. More commonly, the aims of the Tashnaks are presented as centring around three specific demands: a) the recognition of the Armenian claim that genocide was committed, b) the payment of a compensation by Turkey, c) resettlement in the Armenian homelands.

3. Strategies and Policies

Although the Tashnaks have publicly declared that their strategies are directed towards the realization of their aims through “peaceful means”, neither the events of the past nor their activities in the new era of Armenian terrorism have proved this to be true. This ‘party’ which has all the characteristics of a terrorist organization, can assume, when needed, a peaceful guise and mislead the public by using propagandist tactics perfected through long years of experience. In fact, as has been said above, it was the Tashnaks who were responsible for the establishment of the Justice Commandos for Armenian Genocide whose name was later changed to the Armenian Revolutionary Army. It is, indeed, the Tashnaks who decided upon and planned the assassinations and bomb assaults carried out by this group. These activities suffice to show that the Tashnak organization never abandoned the terroristic tendencies it possessed at its inception. Nonetheless, there is a significant difference between the strategies employed by the Tashnaks and those by ASALA. ASALA makes no distinction between the Turks and other nationalities, all of who can figure indiscriminately as their targets, whereas the Tashnak organization and its affiliates take Turkish citizens or official representatives of Turkey as the sole targets of their deadly operations.

After the killing of the Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles in 1972, the Justice Commandos announced that their targets were “only Turkish diplomats and Turkish institutions.” The same declaration of intention was made in connection with the assault carried out by the Armenian Revolutionary Army against the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon in 1983.

The difference that exists between the strategies of the Tashnaks and ASALA may be explained by observing the historical development of the two organizations. As we have seen, the Tashnaks took a pro-Western stance in the nineteenth and the first two decades of the twentieth century and aimed at influencing public opinion in the West, whereas the Hunchaks turned towards Russia for protection and support. It is significant that, during the years 1973-1985, terrorism made use of both camps.

The strategy adopted by the Tashnaks finds its clearest expression in the announcement made in the wake of the Lisbon attack. According to this, “a national liberation movement has to go through two phases in order to attain its end: firstly, the phase of internal propaganda, when bases of support are secured; secondly, the phase of external publicity directed towards gaining the sympathy of the world and attracting attention for the cause: hence the necessity for organizing activities that serve as demonstrations...”

For the Tashnaks, Armenian terrorism was but a form of demonstration conducted as part of their strategy. In other words, the assaults, bombings and raids that were carried out and the people who were injured, killed or trampled to death in the course of these incidents, were all considered to be the necessary elements of a scenario that made up the 'demonstration'.

The Tashnak historian Varandjian described the characteristics of the Tashnak terrorist organization in the words: “Perhaps no other revolutionary party, not even the Russian Narodovoletz (Narodnaya Volya) or the Charbonari of the Italians, adepts though they were at terrorism and undaunted by anything that came in their way, could breed terrorists as reckless and impassioned as the Tashnaks. Hundreds of men carrying guns, daggers and bombs are up in arms.” It is sobering to reflect that during the period we have studied the mission of these "reckless and impassioned" terrorists was to attack Turkish institutions and the Turks.

4. The Congresses of Vienna and Munich

On December 27, 1981 the following resolutions were taken in the twenty-second Tashnak Congress held in Vienna:

a) The Party's goal is to secure the establishment of a united and independent Armenia.

b) Pressure should be exerted on other Armenian organizations by the political committees to induce them to join the ranks of the Tashnaks.

c) Complete agreement with the West must be secured.

d) Close relations have to be established with the Soviet Union, and Armenian immigration must be stopped.

In the Munich Congress held at the end of 1984 with the participation of representatives for fifteen countries, the following resolutions were passed:

a) New campaigns must be launched to publicise the Armenian cause.

b) An attempt must be made to resolve the 'Armenian question' through legal and other peaceful measures, for example, a campaign must be conducted to bring the issue of genocide before the United States Congress and the United Nations Committee for Human Rights so as to secure its recognition.

In the declaration made at the end of the Congress, the delegates made the following announcement: “We are to continue our struggle for the recognition of the legal rights of the Armenian people and of the genocide committed by the Turks; as well as the payment of a compensation for the human, cultural and economic losses endured by our nation and the restitution of the Armenian national home which has belonged to us for thousands of years.”

The resolutions taken at both the Congresses are of interest in facilitating the identification of the themes that were to be used as means of, propaganda by the Tashnak terrorist organization.

5. Support and Connections

The Tashnak terrorist organization derived its support largely from the United States and Europe. It operated on the basic principle of avoiding, as far as possible, contact with the other terrorist organizations. Instead it had links with various organizations in the states mentioned, its primary source of support being the Church and the Union of Churches, as well as the Armenian lobbies and research centres.

6. Political Developments

Up to the 1970's the "liberation and independence of Soviet Armenia" formed the basis of the policies determined and implemented by the Tashnak terrorist organization. For this reason, the Tashnaks gave priority to hostilities against the U.S.S.R. and engaged in a merciless struggle against those who supported and controlled Soviet Armenia. During Christmas worship, the Archbishop of the Holy Cross Armenian Church in New York was assassinated by a Tashnak suicide-killer. The reason given was the Archbishop's approval of the situation in Soviet Armenia.

After the 1970's, the break-up, due to death and other factors, of the ruling party in the Armenian Republic and the comparisons being drawn between the Third World liberation movements and the Tashnak terrorist movements led to significant changes in the Tashnak policies. Their hostility was now directed against Turkey and the Turks. "Fascist Turkey" had become the real enemy; Turkey's ally, the United States, was also counted among their enemies. The "Justice Commandos for Armenian Genocide" (JCAG), a terrorist group established in 1972 and organized by the Tashnaks, were put into action as a result of the policy changes mentioned above. The Aztag Shapatoriag, the propaganda organ of the Tashnaks and especially of the JCAG, issued a warning of 'terror' when they announced that "terrorism is the last hope and the only path to follow in the liberation struggles of today."

Despite all the propaganda efforts by the Tashnak terrorist organization, the Lisbon operation was seen as a complete failure. The attempts to represent the attack on the Turkish Embassy in Lisbon, as a turning point in terror did not win general acceptance. Following this, they were obliged to change the name of the JCAG to "Armenian Revolutionary Army"; even so, this did not produce the desired results. In particular, the arrest and conviction in 1984 of Sasunian, one of the Tashnak murderers, proved a great setback to Tashnak policies. The Tashnaks lost the support of American-born Armenians. According to the Armenian Reporter, the Tashnak Party had been taken over by Lebanese Armenians from abroad, and was powerless in the face of a large majority who did not support terrorism. The weakening of the- terrorist wing of the party led to increasing clashes of opinion at the highest level of the Executive Council and Central Committees. The highest officials in the party were split into two groups. Powerful members of the Executive Council, representatives of the Lebanese Central Committee and leading members of the party administration, were murdered in Beirut or disappeared without trace. By the end of 1985, it was impossible to speak of a united Tashnak Party. Two important external factors helped to create this situation within the Tashnak terrorist organization. The first was the revelation that the Tashnak leaders had had connections with secret service organizations in certain countries and that these were trying to establish control over the Armenian churches. The second was the struggle between ASALA and the Tashnaks. ASALA described the Tashnak leaders ad "parasites who were sucking the blood of Armenians dry." As a matter of fact, these developments within the Tashnak terrorist organization were not new. Whenever such conflicts and divisions arose in the past, the Tashnaka always re-emerged sometime later. In the World Armenian Congresses, the Tashnaks have always been, and will continue to be, a force to reckon with. As for the policy cahnges, they may be construed as being to temporary conflicts in leaderships.

7. The Media

Within the Armenian terrorist organizations, the Tashnak terrorist organization was experimenting in the field of propaganda and was giving support to that extent. They had acquired the means of constantly informing world opinion of their goals, their activities and their policy through the press and broadcasting media; for example, through various serials and feature films, through radio programmes, which they had purchased, thorough private radios, television and video films. Quite a few countries showed interest and provided the Tashnaks with special support in this area. Among the most important Tashnak publications were Hairenik and Asbarez, both published in Armenian in the United States, together with the Armenian Weekly, which was published in English.

The Tashnaks also organized twenty-two world conferences in places such as Paris, Bucharest, Erevan and Munich, although the number of participants was limited. This was a tremendous propaganda and publicity effort on their part.

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Armenia And Terrorism

The Armenians and the Turks have enjoyed peace and harmony for ten centuries and the Armenians consisted of high socio-economic status than the Turks. After the defeat of the Ottomans in Ottoman-Russian Wars (1877-1878), first Hagia Stefanos Treaty was signed on 3rd March 1878 and the treaty of Berlin (13th July 1878) followed it. Both treaties have clearly changed the attitudes of the Armenian subjects towards the empire and Russia and some other European countries have started to provoke them. The Armenians have organized themselves for an independent Armenian State.

Russia, in line with their national Caucasian policy since the Tsars, was wishing to weaken the ties of Caucasian Azerbaijan with Turkey by establishing a strong Armenian state located between these countries. Keeping this goal in mind, Russia’s Bolshevik leader Lenin has given the authority to the Armenian origin Caucasian Commissar Stepan SALIMYAN to establish an Armenian State, which would be dependent on Russia. Lenin appointed Salimyan on December 18th, 1917 with the decree of December 30th, 1917.

On April 27th, 1920 under the influence of the Bolshevik rule in Azerbaijan and Southern Caucasia, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, the autonomous province of Nahcivan and the autonomous Karabag region had been established. Thus, Armenia has come to own a state with its borders outlined. Their nationalistic and occupational sentiments thoroughly aroused and provocated, the Armenians, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, have declared their independence on August 23rd, 1990 and have commenced attacking their neighbors with the utopic idea of forming a greater Armenia.

In 1915, Armenians who betrayed the Turks during the World War I were relocated. Armenians have claimed that 1,5 million Armenians had been killed during the relocation and have been claiming that this was a genocide. Armenia always had the utopic dream of forming a greater Armenia. Under this pretext Armenians have demanded land, compensation and acceptance of genocide from Turkey. In order to accomplish their aim, they have attacked our representatives and representations abroad and our domestic establishments between the years 1937 and 1986 by organized terrorist ctivities and they requested the fulfillment of their demands.

Lately, Armenians have understood that they would be unable to fulfill their demands with terrorist activities. So they have resorted after 1986 to put pressure on Turkey on the political platform and to give various types of support to the PKK terror organization, whose aim is to ruin our country and thus to fulfill their land demand.

It has been realized that Armenia has given militant and logistic support to the PKK terror organization in settlements close to our country’s borders, has helped to form camp sites within its boundaries and that there are top officers in the PKK terror organization who are Armenian origin.

Armenian Terrorism
The Armenian attacks, targeting our representatives, our missions and establishments abroad, began as an “Individual Armenian Terror” by the assassinations of our Los Angeles Consul General Mehmet BAYDAR and Consul Bahadir DEMİR in the city of Santa Barbara on January 27th, 1973 by old Armenian named Gurgen (Karekin) Yanikan. Since 1975 this has been followed by “Organized Armenian Terror” and it became more violent after demonstrating a rapid increase within a short time span.

Each being different than the other, 110 attacks have taken place in 38 cities of 21 countries. Out of these 110 attacks, 39 were armed, 70 with bombings and was an occupation. In these attacks, 42 diplomatic Turkish citizens and 4 foreigners have lost their lives, 15 Turks and 66 foreign nationals have been wounded. When we analyze the attacks by years, we observe that the Armenian terror has shown a major increase since 1979.

The Armenian terror organizations have finalized their active terror actions after 1986 and have carried the Armenian matter to international platforms. They continue their activities by providing logistical and militant support to the PKK terrorist organization in southeastern Anatolia.

Following the Lausanne Treaty, the 'Armenian Issue' ceased to exist. However, the Armenians of Diaspora, clinging firmly to their allegations, unleashed a series of terrorist attacks on Turkish diplomatic missions abroad as of 1970. All these attacks were masterminded by ASALA for short, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia. Under a mask of independence, ASALA carried out ruthless and dastardly attacks. Psychologically and logistically supported by the Hinchaks, ASALA engaged in acts of terror against Turkish diplomats, representation offices and other organizations. These armed assaults rapidly escalated in a short period of time. Armenians who had assured bases for their activities in both Europe and the East, Syria and Lebanon in particular, continued their acts of terror in collaboration with Greeks and Greek Cypriots. As a result of the world wide repercussion of these armed attacks on Turkish diplomats, Armenian terror organizations changed tactics in the 1980's and began this time to collaborate with the separatist terror organizaion PKK, and later abandoned the scene to this organization.

Having proclaimed the period between April 21 and 28, 1980 as the 'Red Week', the PKK started organizing meetings to commemorate April 24 as the so-called 'Armenian Genocide Day'. At a joint press conference held in the Lebanese City of Sidon, the two terror organizations made public a joint declaration. When this initiative aroused reaction, the PKK and ASALA decided to maintain secret ties in their illegal activities. In fact, these two organizations assumed responsibility for the bomb attacks perpetrated on November 9 of the same year on the Turkish Consulate General in Strasbourg and on November 19th on the Tukish Airlines offices in Rome. Honorary membership of the Association of Armenian Writers was conferred upon separatist terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan for his 'contributions to the idea of a Greater Armenia'.

Many things have been said and written about relocation since the date of its application. The Armenians have managed to deceive the world public opinion for a long period by hiding behind the false documents. The Armenian massacre stories, which began with 300.000s and came to 3.000.000s have no basis. Likewise during the invasion of Istanbul, both the English and the French have sufficiently investigated the Ottoman archive and since they have not been able to submit any documents in relation with the Armenian genocide, they must not have found any such document.

On the other hand, they should have photographs in their archives taken by the journalists who came to Anatolia at that time to observe the relocation implementation. If a genocide had been committed with the order of the state, these photographs would have been presented to the world public opinion a long time ago. Furthermore, if the party claiming the reality of a genocide had concrete documents, would the for establishing a “commission of jurists” be left without a response? Why did not this official suggestion of the Ottoman State left unanswered? Was the reason the fear that the roles of some western countries would become apparent in the organization and agitation of the Armenian bands or the fear that sources, from which the Armenians obtained their guns to kill thousands of innocent civil people, be disclosed?

When the word genocide is mentioned the Nazi mass murder that resulted in the loss of millions of Jews and other ethnical groups, comes to mind. When the word genocide is heard, the murder at least a million Algerians by the French between 1954 — 1962 is remembered. When the word genocide is heard, the murdering of 1 million communists and their families by the Indonesian army between 1965 — 1966 is remembered. When the word genocide is mentioned, the massacre of almost 2 millions of Cambodians by the Red Kmers in Cambodia between 1975-1979 is remembered. When the word genocide is mentioned, the murdering of 500.000 Tutsies by the Hutus in Ruanda in 1994 is comes to mind. And finally when the word genocide is heard, the severe massacre of thousands of Muslims in Bosnia — Herzegovina and Kosova after 1991 by the Serbians is remembered. The genocide crime has been committed during these events in its real meaning.

If the Ottoman State had any intention of subjecting the Armenians to “genocide”, wouldn’t it commit it where the Armenians lived? What was the need for such expense made during the relocation and so many commercial and military precautions that needed to be taken?

The purpose of the relocation which the world’s most successful resettlement program has never been eliminating Armenians but was born out of a compulsory need of providing state security.


Hallacoglu, Prof.Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915); TTK Publication, Ankara 2001.

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Investigations conducted by foreigners about and their outcome

Just after the First World War, following the invasion of Istanbul and other regions by the entente states’ armies, hundreds of political and military leaders and Ottoman intellectuals were sent to and imprisoned in Malta Island by the English, with the claim that they were “war criminals”. Comprehensive investigations have been carried out on the Ottoman archives for finding evidences of crime about the people imprisoned in Malta. As the result of these investigations, no evidence could be submitted to the court neither against the Istanbul government of that time nor about the people imprisoned in Malta in order to prove the accusations on them. The English Court has made desperate investigations in their own archives and in the archives of USA government in Washington, but again no results could be reached.

In the same way, in the message found in the USA archive reports, sent by R.C. Craigie, the English Ambassador in Washington to Lord Curzon on July 13th 1921, the following is expressed:

“I am sorry to notify you that there is nothing that can be used as evidence against the Turks imprisoned in Malta. There is nothing that will provide sufficient evidence. These reports do not seem to include even the evidences that may be helpful in supporting the information that is currently held by the Majesty’s Government about the Turks in any way.” (1)

On July 29th 1921, the Legal Consultants of the King in London decided that the accusations directed to the people in the list of the English Foreign Affairs had a semi — political characteristic and therefore the transactions to be carried out about them should be held separate from those of the Turks, who have been arrested as war criminals.

Furthermore, the expressions “Until now, no deposition has been obtained from any witness proving the accusations made about the arrested are true. In fact, it is not definite if a witness will be found or not; since in a country that is far and difficult to reach like Armenia and especially after such long time, it is even unnecessary to express how difficult it is to find a witness” (2) belongs to the Legal Consultants of His Majesty’s Government.

Consequently, the people, who were under arrest in Malta, were set free in 1922 without any accusation directed to them and without any cases held.

During that time, some documents accusing the Ottoman Government of a so — called genocide and trying to evidence this issue was published by the English press. These documents were claimed to have been found in the Ottoman State Offices in Syria by the English Invasion Forces under the direction of General Allenby. However, the interrogations carried out thereafter by the English Foreign Affairs Ministry showed that these were not documents obtained by the English army, but false documents written by the Nationalist Armenian Delegation in Paris to the allied delegations.


1.PRO. FO. July 13th 1921, 371/ 6504/ E.8519

2.Foreign Office, July 29th 1921 371/ 6504 / E.8745

Read More . . .

About Relocation

Although the foreign observers, who were at the locations of relocation, wrote that the Ottoman Government’s performance was perfect and done with care in spite of war conditions, the western press preferred to mislead the events. Likewise, although Edward Natan, the consul of America in Mersin, reported that relocation has been carried out regularly, (1) the Ambassador of U.S.A. in Istanbul, Morgantau, has related the events in a completely opposite way to his country and the American press has used these events against Turks. According to the claims issued in the newspapers, Morgantau bribed the Ottoman Government and purchased some Armenians to send them to America; furthermore he has saved some English, Russian and French citizens in Istanbul. A Turkish citizen in U.S.A. reported all these lies and false information used by the press on September 14th 1915 (2).

In the frame of the reports of English consuls in Iran, claims such as killing of 1.000.000 Armenians was discussed in the English Parliament and the parliament decided to protest the Turkish Government. Furthermore, the “Blue Book” published about the Armenian events in England included news claiming that over a third of 1.800.000 Armenians claimed to exist in the Ottoman country were murdered. (3)

Against those ill — willed publications, some objective Western press members have reported that the events were falsely communicated on purpose. In an article issued in a Stockholm newspaper which uses the headline “Massacre in the Ottoman Province, Where the Armenians live”, the absurdity of such claims and the reasons for creating such false news were explained. (4)

The Ottoman Government has declared the English claims to be false on January 4th 1917 with the signature of the Undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (5) In the denial letter, it has been expressed that the Armenian population living in the Ottoman country has never reached 1.000.000, that this amount has decreased due to the migrations that took place before the war and the claims were denied. In the same document, it was pointed out that the Germans were held responsible for the murders of Armenians in an article of a certain issue of the “Times”.

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

1) See document 664.
2) See document 665
3) DH, EUM, 2nd Branch, File 1, document 23 (see document 668)
4) DH, EUM, 2nd Branch, File 1, document 76 (see document 669)
5) DH, EUM, 2nd Branch, File 1, document 23 (see document 668).

The migration was sometimes stopped during relocation both due to the weather conditions and congestion. Starting from November 25, 1915, with the orders sent to the provinces, the migration has been provisionally interrupted due to winter. (1) On February 21st 1916, an order was sent to all provinces to stop the Armenian relocation. However, it has been indicated that this would not cover the harmful people, the ones related with the committees would be immediately collected and sent to Zor province subdivision. (2)

Upon the administrative and military necessity, a general order was sent stating that as of March 15th 1916, the Armenian migration was stopped and no relocation would be made for any reasons thereafter. (3)

After the completion of relocation, since the Armenians were mostly settled mostly in Syria province, the Armenian Patriarchy in Istanbul was closed on August 10th 1916 and moved to Jerusalem. Sis and Akdamar Cathogicospacies were united and moved to Jerusalem. (4) The chairmanship of the newly established patriarchy has been given to Sis Cathogicospos Sahak Efendi. (5)

Following the end of the 1st World War, Ottoman Government has issued a decree for the return of the Armenians subjected to relocation to their former locations. In the letter sent by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mustafa Pasha to the Prime Ministry on January 1919, it is indicated that orders have been given to the related places for the transportation of the Armenians, who wanted to return, to their former locations and that the necessary precautions have been taken. (6) The decree of return prepared by the government, dated December 31st 1918 is as follows:

1- Only the ones, who want to return, will be migrated, except those people, no one else will be touched.

2- The precautions necessary will be taken for assuring a good journey, and for preventing housing and catering shortage in the returning locations; the migration and returning transactions will be started after contact is established with the administrators of the regions they will return to and after the necessary precautions are taken.

3- The abandoned houses and lands will be returned to the owners.

4- The houses of the ones, where formerly immigrants have been placed, will be evacuated.

5- A few families may be settled in the same location temporally in order to provide sufficient housing.

6- Buildings such as churches, schools and the income generating locations will be returned to the society they belong to.

7- If requested, the orphans will be returned to their guardians, who will be carefully determined, or to their societies, after their identifications are carefully determined.

8- The ones, who have converted their religions, will be able to return to their former religion if they want to.

9- Among the Armenian women, who have married to Muslims and converted their religions will be free to return to their former religion. In this case their marriage act will be automatically canceled. The problems relating to the ones, who do not want to return to their former religion and not wish to divorce from their husbands will be dissolved by the courts.

10- The Armenian properties, which are not in anyone’s ownership, will be returned to their first owners and the return of those which have become the property of treasury will be decided with the approval of the property officers. Further explanatory minutes will be prepared about this issue.

11- The property sold to the Muslim immigrants will be delivered to their first owners gradually as their owners return. Article 4 will be definitely applied.

12- If the Muslim immigrants have made repairs and additions in the houses and stores that will be returned to their former owners, or if they have planted the lands and olive groves, the rights of both sides will be observed.

13- The immigration and expenses of the Armenians in need will be met from the Military College Allowance.

14- The amount of transportation made until the current time and the amount of transportation made and the target location of such transportation will be notified on the fifteenth and last days of each month.

15- The Armenians, who have left the Ottoman borders and who want to return, will not be accepted until a new order is issued.

The provisions of the decree explained herein above were valid for the Greek immigrants as well as the Armenians.

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

1) Coding Office, no 57/273; no 58/124; no 58/161; no 59/123; no 60/190
2) Coding Office, no 61/72
3) Coding Office, no 62/21
4) For the new regulation made in 1916 for the Armenian Patriarchy, see Y. H. Batur, Turkish Revolution History, III/3, p. 57-59.
5) Coding Office, no 66/202; no 66/220; no 63/136
6) BA, BEO, no 341055. This letter of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has also been transferred to the Ministry of Courthouse and Sects due to its relation, on 26 Kanun-u evvel 1334 (January 8th 1919), by the Prime Ministry.

With an order issued on June 10, 1915, the properties of the Armenians subjected to displacement have been taken under protection. In accordance with the order, it has been decided to sell the properties by auction that may decay and the animals or the production houses that must be operated, by the commissions that were established and by auction and to send the money to their owners.

It is understood that the Ottoman Government showed great care in the implementation of this order. In order to prevent any misuse, a great care has been shown. Through the Commission on Abandoned Property, the money coming through the auction in the names of their owners was paid to the owners of such property. (1) When there was some gossip was made during these sales, the government has sent a coded telegraph to the governors, provinces and Commissions on Left Properties on August 3rd 1915 and forbidden the purchase of those properties by the state officers because this could lead to some misuses. (2) But, thereafter, this decision has been canceled in some province on the condition of paying the real value with cash. (3)

The government has taken all precautions in order to prevent any kind of unlawful actions. Likewise, in a coded telegraph sent to the Chairmanship of Commission on Abandoned Property of Sivas on August 11th 1915, it has been requested to take the precautions that would prevent profiteering and misuses. (4) Again on the same date, with an order sent to all provinces, the precautions to be taken and the applications to be performed about this issue were indicated in the form of articles (5)

In accordance with this order: “no suspected person would be permitted to enter the evacuated regions; in case some people have purchased properties against cheap prices, the sales would be canceled and the real value of the property would be determined so that illegal interests would be prevented; the displaced Armenians would be permitted to take any goods they want with themselves; among the goods that can not be carry away like, the ones that would decay would be sold, but the goods that would not decay would be protected in the name of their owners; care would be paid not to lose touch with the owner of the immovable assets that would be hired, transferred and pledged and if there was any applications carried out in violation of these provisions starting from the date of commencement of the migration, they would be canceled; that no disputes would be allowed about such goods; the Armenians subjected to migration would be permitted to sell their properties to anybody except the foreigners” (6)

The provisions in these orders were applied with great care and the art and commerce enterprises that remained from the Armenians were transferred in high prices to settlement companies, which were established, their real value. (7) The Commission on Abandoned Property has sent the money from sold properties to their owners. (8)

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

1) Coding Office, no 53/303
2) Coding Office, no 54-A/259
3) Coding Office, no 55/107
4) Coding Office, no 54-A/385

5) For the texts of the laws issued about the properties of the displaced Armenians, see “Ahar mahallere nakledilen eshasin ve düyun ve matlubat-i metrukesi hakkinda kanun-u muvakkat”, Takvim-i Vekayi, September 14th 1331 and 18 Zilkade 1333, no. 2303, 7 year; furthermore, see Y.H.Bayur, Turkish Revolutions History, Ankara 1957, III/3, p. 45-46

6) Coding Office, no 54-A/388
7) Coding Office, no 61/31; no 60/275; no 60/277
8) Coding Office, no 57/348; no 57/349; no 57/350

The Government has written notices to all provinces before beginning the Armenian relocation and requested them to take precautions to meeting all needs of the companies that would pass through their regions and to stock food. (1)

Various orders have been given to Immigrant and Tribe Settling Directorate for food — beverage provision. (2) Sükrü Bey, the Immigrant and Tribe Settling Director was individually in charge for the determination and provision of the needs. (3) It is understood from the documents that a total of 2.250.000 kurus has been allocated to meet the needs of the companies and of this amount, 400.000 kurus has been allocated to Konya, 150.000 to Izmit province subdivision, 200.000 to Eskisehir province subdivision, 300.000 to Adana province, 300.000 to Halep province, 100.000 to Syria province, 300.000 to Ankara province, (4) 500.000 to Mousul province. (5)

Furthermore, the provinces could aid the immigrants from their own budgets and sometimes new money allocations were sent from the center in accordance with the condition of needs. (6) Meanwhile, a certain amount of money sent from America to be given to Armenian immigrants has been distributed to the Armenians under the knowledge of the government, by the American missioners and consuls. (7) Besides this, it has been understood that some Armenians living in America have secretly sent the money they collected among themselves to the Armenians subjected to immigration. (8)

The Ottoman Government, while spending such great amounts of money for relocation on one hand, either delayed or completely canceled the debts owed either to the state or individuals of the Armenians subjected to migration. Likewise in a coded telegraph sent by Talat Pasha to Maras Governor on June 1, 1915, he requested not to take back the debts of Armenians and in another order sent to all provinces on August 4th 1915, the tax debts of the displaced Armenians were postponed (9).

On the other hand, health officers have been assigned to the migrating companies for providing therapy in case of illness. (10) Furthermore, the legal proceedings about the criminal suspects, who were among the ones subjected to migration, were delayed. (11)

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

1) Coding Office, no 55/291; no 55/341; no 57/345; no 57/351
2) Coding Office, no 55/152; no 55/291; no 55/341; no 55-A/17; no 55-A/135; no 57/110
3) Coding Office, no 55-A/16 (telegraph dated August 18th 1331 / August 31st 1915)
4) Coding Office, no 55-A/17

5) The budget of the Directorate of Settlement of Tribes and immigrants for the year 1331 was 78.000.000 kurus and 1332 budget was 200.000.000 kurus and this amount was spent for the Armenians, Greeks and Arabs subjected to relocation and the Muslims coming from the regions invaded by the enemy (BA, BEO, no. 334063).

6) Coding Office, no 53/305, no 55-A/118
7) Coding Office, no 60/281
8) Coding Office, no 60/178
9) Coding Office, no 54-A/268
10) Coding Office, no 54-A/226

11) With a notification sent from the Courthouse and Sects Ministry to the Office of the Grand Vizier, it is notified that a decision for judging the ones that are migrated at the locations they are sent to and the ones that are not migrated at the locations they were at (BA, BEO, no. 329176).

The relocation decision has not been applied to all Armenians. At the beginning, a part of the Armenians living in the regions (In Urfa, Germis and Birecik, Erzurum, Aydin, Trabzon, Edirne, Canik, Cannakkale, Adapazari, Halep, Bolu, Kastamonu, Tekirdag, Konya and Karahisar-i sahib) have been kept out of the scope of migration. (1) But, thereafter, when it has been certain that these people were also involved in various severity events, majority of them been subjected to migration. (2) The ill and the blind were not subjected to relocation and the Catholic and the Protestant ones, the soldiers and their families, the officers, merchants, some workers and masters were not subject to migration, either. Likewise, in the telegraphs sent to the provinces, it is requested not to move the ill, the blind, the disabled and the old and to settle them in the city centers. (3)

With the telegraphs sent to the related provinces on August 2, 1915 and August 15th 1915, it has been ordered not to subject the Armenians from the Catholic and Protestant sects to migration and to settle them in the cities they were currently in and to notify the number of their population. (5) The ones that have been subjected to migration by mistake have been settled in the cities they were currently in. (6). But among the ones that were kept out of the scope of migration, the ones that were observed to have harmful actions have been sent to new settlement regions regardless of their being Catholic or Protestant. (7)

In the coded telegraph sent to the provinces on August 15 1915, the Armenians providing service as officers and health personnel in the Ottoman army and their families have not been subjected to migration and left at their locations. (8) Besides this, the Armenians working in the branches of Ottoman Bank, in the Turkish Tobacco Monopoly and in some consulates have not been subjected to relocation, either, as long as they remained loyal to the government and their good behavior continued.

Furthermore, orphans and widowed women have not been subjected to migration and have been taken under protection in the villages and orphanages. (10) The children, who became orphans during the transportation have been sent to Sivas and settled in the orphanages there. (11) A general order was issued on April 30, 1916 about the Armenian families needing protection. With this order, the families with no guardians, whose male members either were transported or were in military service, were settled in the villages and towns, where there were no Armenians and their catering were met from the Immigrants’ Allowance. The children up to 12 were given to Muslim families at locations, where the orphanages were not sufficient and their education and development have been provided. 30 kurush was paid to the poor Muslim families to meet the expenses of the children from the Immigrants’ Allowance. Young and widowed women were permitted to marry Muslim men with their own will. (12)

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001

1) Coding Office, no 54-A/155; no 56/ 114; no 56/ 225; no 56/ 226; no 57/89; no 57/177; no 59/ 218

2) Coding Office, no 54-A/271; no 54-A / 272 (July 22nd 1331/ August 4th 1915)
3) Coding Office, no 56/27; no 67/186
4) Coding Office, no. 54-A/ 251; no 55/20
5) Coding Office, no. 56/112 (September 6th 1331/ September 19th 1915, to Konya province)

6) About this issue, orders have been sent via telegraph to Sivas (Coding Office 56/176), Mamuretülaziz and Diyarbekir provinces (Coding Office no 56/172) on September 14th 1331 / September 26th 1915; to Konya (Coding Office, no 58/2) and Ankara (Coding Office, no 58/159) provinces on 1 Tesrinisani 1331 / November 14th 1915.

7) A telegraph in this way has been sent to Adana province on August 1331 / September 2nd 1915 (Coding Office, no. 55-A/23).

8) Coding Office, no. 55/18

9) Coding Office, no 56/36 (September 3rd 1331 / September 16th 1915); no 56/243 (September 17th 1331 / September 30th 1915); no 56/360 (September 28th 1331 / October 11th 1915).

10) Coding Office, no 54/411; no 54/450; no 54-A / 325
11) Coding Office, no 61/18-20

12) This order has been sent to Adana, Erzurum, Edirne, Halep, Hüdavendigar, Sivas, Diyarbekir, Mamuretülaziz, Konya, Kastamonu, Trabzon provinces and Izmit, Canik, Eskisehir, Karahisar-i sahib, Maras, Urfa, Kaysri, Nigde possessorships (Coding Office, no 63/147) and to Ankara province on May 17th 1332 / May 30th 1916 (Coding Office no 64/162).

Some Armenians have died as the result of the attacks made to some companies during the movement of Armenians towards their new settlement regions, especially by the Arabic tribes between Aleppo - Zor and Armenian committee member Urban. As understood from a coded telegraph dated January 8th 1916, the attacks on the roads between Aleppo and Meskene resulted in the death of many Armenians, (1) and that approximately 2.000 of the Armenians moving from Diyarbekir to Zor and from Saruc to Halep through Menbic road were robbed by the Urban tribes (2).

Again in Diyarbakir region, it has been notified that the gangs and the bandits killed almost 2.000 people including Armenians and Non - Muslims. Upon this event, it has been notified severely that such events should be immediately stopped and peace should be absolutely provided on the route of the companies, otherwise that province would be held responsible for the actions of the bandits. (3)

A coded telegraph sent to Diyarbekir, Mamuretülaziz and Bitlis provinces on June 14th 1915 informing that another company of 500 people were killed as the result of the Kurd attacks between Erzurum — Erzincan road. Upon this event, the use of any kind of instruments against the attacks of the villagers and the tribes and severe punishment of the ones attempting murder and usurpation had been ordered. (4)

The Ottoman government has shown extra ordinary efforts for providing food and the security of the companies while fighting against the enemy. It has shown great sensitivity about the murders and robberies, to which Armenians have been subjected to and tried to provide the safe performance of this transportation. With the instructions written to the administrations in the provinces, to which the transportation was made, the ones attacking the Armenian companies have been punished. The government, following up the precautions taken about this issue, has asked how many were punished harmed to the Armenian convoys, in the coded telegram it sent to Erzurum, Adana, Ankara, Halep, Hüdavendigar, Diyarbekir, Sivas, Trabzon, Konya, Mamoretülaziz provinces and Urfa, Izmit, Zor, Karesi, Kayseri, Kütahya, Maras, Karahisar administrators on September 5 1915. (5)

On the other hand, Investigation Commissions have been established for determining the officers, who showed reluctance or unlawful actions during the transportation of the Armenian companies. A commission consisting of Muhtar Bey, Ankara Province civil service investigator, and Kaymakam Muhiddin Bey, Izmir Gendarme Regional Investigator under the chairmanship of Asim Bey, first chief of Interrogation Court has been sent to Adana, Halep, Suriye, Urfa, Zor and Maras regions (6) and a commission to which Ismail Hakki Bey, member of State Council has also participated, under the chairmanship of Hulusi Bey, chairman of Court of Appeal has been sent to Hüdavendigar, Ankara, Izmit, Karasi, Kütahya, Eskisehir, Kayseri, Karahisar-i sahib and Nigde regions. (7)

A third commission consisting of Nihad, Public Prosecutor of Istanbul Court of First Instance and Ali Naki Bey, a Gendarme Major under the chairmanship of Mazhar Bey, former governor of Bitlis has been appointed in Sivas, Trabzon, Erzurum, Mamuretülaziz, Diyarbekir, Bitlis and Canik regions. In a coded confidential telegraph sent to Mazhar Bey, who was the chairman of this commission and was in Sivas at that time, the commission has been requested to carry out the necessary investigations at the locations they visited and then to report the results of such investigations continuously to the center. (8)

In accordance with the instructions given to the commissions, gendarme, police officers or directors would be sent to the Court Martial in accordance with the result of the investigation to be carried out about them. A list of the ones sent to the Court Martial would be given to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The results of the investigations to be carried out about the governors and district governors would be first submitted to the Ministry of Internal affairs and the transactions would be carried out in accordance with the order given. If there occurred any misuse among the Court Martial chairmen or members and military officers, those people would be notified to the related army commanderships.

In the light of the reports given by the investigation commissions, many officers misusing their duties (stealing money and goods from the companies, causing the companies be subject to violation because of not performing their protection duties as required, acting in violation of the transportation order) have been discharged. Some of them have been judged at the Court Martial and have been sentenced to heavy punishments. (9)

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Facts Relating to the Armenian Displacement (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001

1) Coding Office, no. 59/244
2) Coding Office, no. 56/140; 55 — A/144
3) Coding Office, no. 54/406; no 54 — A/73; no 54 — A/248
4) Coding Office, no 54/9; no 54/162
5) Coding Office, no 55-A/84
6) Coding Office; no 56/186
7) Coding Office; no 56/355; no 58/38
8) Coding Office, no 56/267
9) Coding Office, no 58/278; no 58/141; no. 55-A/156; no. 55-A/157; no 61/165; no 57/116; no 57/416; no 57/105; no 59/235; no 54-A/326; no 59/196

The number of Armenians who were made to migrate through various means was strictly controlled, both at departure, and at the arrival of a convoy to its new destination. According to figures taken from pertinent documents of the Ottoman Archives: A total of 438.758 people were relocated and 382.148 of these safely reached their new destinations. As can be seen, the number of casualties had occurred as follows: 500 people on the road between Erzurum and Erzincan; 2000 in Meskene, between Urfa and Aleppo and 2000 others on the outskirts of Mardin were massacred in attacks launched by bandits or nomadic Arabs. Another 5000 people were killed in attacks on convoys passing through Dersim. It was understood from these documents that many people had also fallen victim to hunger while on the road. Apart from these, some 25-30 thousand people had lost their lives when struck by fatal diseases such as typhoid and dysentery. In all, an estimated 40 thousand casualties had been registered during relocation.

The remaining 10-16 thousand people were made at stay in provinces they had reached, when the implementation of relocation was brought to an end. For instance, on April 26, 1916, orders were given to provide the return to and the settlement in the province of Konya of those Armenians setting out form the province to new destinations. On the other hand, many other Armenians are believed to have fled to either Russia or to Western countries, including the Unites States.

As a matter of fact, according to the pertinent documents, 50.000 of the Armenian soldiers serving in the Ottoman Army joined the Russian forces, and some other 50.000 Armenian soldiers went to America to be trained in the US Army to fight against the Turkish Army. In fact, the letter of an Armenian called Murad Muradyan- who was an advocate in Elazig later immigrated to America — shows such information. In the concerned letter, Muradyan mentions that some Armenians were escaped to Russia and America and later 50.000 of those trained soldiers went to Caucassia. As it can be understood from all the concerned documents, many of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman State were scattered through various countries especially to U.S.A. and Russia, before and during the war. For example, Artin Hotomyan who was a tradesman in America sent a letter to the Chieftain of Security on January 19, 1915 and stated that thousands of Armenians migrated to U.S.A. and they were facing with hunger and hardships.

All the documents clarify that there had not been a genocide occurred during relocation.

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Ait Gercekler (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara, 2001.

The regions Armenians evacuated and resettled in were stated in the cryptic message dated 23 May 1915 by Talat Pasha sent to the 4th Army Command. In his aforementioned cryptic message, having provided the information regarding the Armenians to be transported to other provinces, Talat Pasha communicated that it would be suitable for the Armenians evacuated from the provinces of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis to be resettled in the Southern part of the province of Mousul, and in the sub-division of Zor and in the sub-division of Urfa excluding the Central City; and also those evacuated from the vicinities of Adana, Aleppo and Maras, to be resettled in the Eastern part of the province of Syria along with the Eastern and Southeastern part of the province of Aleppo.

However, due to the fact that Armenian rebellions and massacres went on; and order dated 5 July 1915 was sent to the provinces of Adana, Erzurum, Bitlis, Aleppo, Diyarbekir, Syria, Sivas, Trabzon, Mamuretülaziz and Mousul, to the Office of the President of” Commission on Abandoned Properties in Adana”,. And to the Governors of the Subdivisions of Zor, Maras, Canik, Kayseri and Izmit; and it was stated that the regions allocated for the resettlement of Armenians were broadened upon need.

Accordingly, the following shows how the region where Armenians were transported and resettled, was determined ensuring that the Armenian population should not exceed 10% of the Moslem population:

1. The eastern and southern regions of the province of Mousul including the villages and towns in the subdivision of Kerkük 80 km from Iranian border;

2. East and south of the sub-division of Zor including the settlements in Habur and Euphrates River valley, 25 km within the Diyarbekir boder;

3. Villages and towns in the east, south and south-west of the province of Aleppo, excluding the northern part; towns and villages 25 km away from the railway route including the sub-divisions of Havran and Kerek in the province of Syria.(*)

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gerekceler -Realities on the Armenian Immigration - (1915), TTK Publications, Ankara, 2001.

(*) G.K., no: 54/315

In accordance with the Law on Transport and Resettlement dated 27 May 1915, and communiqué determining the forms of implementation of this law, the Armenian convoys were gathered in certain centers along the crossroads such as Konya, Diyarbekir, Cizre, Birecik and Aleppo, to be distributed to the new settlement areas.

The immigration routes were chosen among the closest possible roads, so as immigrants not to come across any difficulties. Furthermore, the concern to ensure security and protection for the convoys played on important role in the choice of routes. Therefore, ones transferred from Kayseri and Samsun took the route via Malatya; just as the ones from Sivas, Mamuretülaziz, Erzurum and its environs took the route to Mousul via Diyarbekir-Cizre road (1). However, cases where that the roads were too crowded, or upon a possibility of disorder in sub-divisions, these routes were changed (2). The ones en route from Urfa via Re’sülayn and Nusaybin were transferred via Siverek in order to protect them from the attacks of Arabian and other tribes (3).

The convoys en route from Western Anatolia along Kütahya-Karahisar — Konya — Karaman- Tarsus were transferred via Kars-i Maras — Pazarcik to Zor. (4) Locations with railroad and river — transportation facilities were preferred in choosing all these routes. The idea that travel by train or the river travel were the safest ways then, played an important role in this choice. Therefore, almost all the immigrants from Western Anatolia were transported by train (5). Convoys transferred via Cizre road were also carried by train or river boats called “Sahtur”. (6) In places where train or river transports were not available, the convoys were gathered at certain centers, and took the train from these centers.

The state used all its resources available, to implement an orderly immigration process, and to prevent the convoys from any possible harm, in spite of circumstances that prevailed due to war. However, there arose difficulties at times to find vehicles transporting immigrants due to the need to dispatch military and food items to the front continuously. Therefore, railway stations were congested. It being harvest season the vehicles were scarce, which caused delays in transportation at times, (7) as well as difficulties in the movement of the convoys. In spite of all these difficult circumstances and adverse conditions, the government succeeded, in an orderly fashion, to transport the immigrating Armenians to their new locations of resettlement.

In fact, US Consul in Mersin, Edward Natan, in his report dated 30 August 1915, submitted to the Ambassador Morganthau, stated that the railway route from Tarsus to Adana was full of Armenians; and that they traveled from Adana onwards with a ticket; and despite some difficulties due to crowds of people, the government organized this process in the most orderly fashion; and that the Government did not allow any act of violence or disorder, provided sufficient number of tickets to the immigrants and assisted those who were in need. (9).

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gercekler - Realities on the Armenian Immigration - (1915), TTK Publications, Ankara, 2001.

1) Cryptic Item., no: 54-A/157; no: 56/280; no: 56/387.
2) Cryptic Item., no: 56-278; no: 58/280; no: 56/308.
3) Cryptic Item., no: 57/277.
4) Cryptic Item., no: 65/95.
5) DH. EUM. Dept. 2, 68/99; Dept. 2, 68/94; Dept. 2, 68/81; Dept. 2, 68/67; Dept. 2, 68/96.
6) DH. EUM. Dept 2, 68/101.
7) E.g. Cryptic Item, no: 54-A/393.
8) Cryptic Item, No: 54-A/59; no: 54-A/96
9) EUM, File 2D/13 (see Document 664).

“Temporary Law on the Measures Implemented by the Military against those Opposing the Government Implementations at Wartime” also known as “Immigration Law-Tehcir Law” was resolved on 27 May 1915. (1) The Law was published in the Official Gazette of the time, Takvim-i Vekayi, on 1 June 1915 and came into force. (2)

Article 1 of the before mentioned temporary law authorizes, the commanders of the Army, Army-corps and Divisions to take military measures against those opposing government orders, country’s defense, and the protection of peace; and against those organizing armed attacks and resistance, and kill rebels during aggression and uprising in wartime. The second article authorizes the same commanders to transfer and resettle on a single basis or in mass, the people living in villages and towns who are found to be engaged in espionage or treason.

The properties owned by the Armenians subjected to immigration were protected under an order (3) dated 10 June 1915. “Commission on Abandoned Properties” comprising of a president and two members, one administrative and one financial, was established. These commissions are to determine Armenian properties in the villages and towns that are evacuated, and to keep detailed record books. One of the books is to be kept in the regional churches, one to be submitted to the regional administration, and one shall be kept by the commission. Non-durable goods and animal stock shall be auctioned and the money shall be kept. In location where a commission is not appointed, the provisions of the communiqué shall be enforced by the officers in the regions. Both the commission and the regional administrators shall be responsible for the protection of these properties until the Armenians return.

As it can be understood from the law dated 27 May 1915 and order dated 10 June 1915, the immigration implementation initiated by Talat Pasha and approved by the Parliament covers “the regions that threaten the security of the front directly”. The first of these regions includes the vicinities of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis, which constitute the background of Caucasian and Iranian fronts. The second region is provinces of Mersin-Iskenderun, which constitute the background of the Sinae front. Because, in these regions, Armenians were collaborating with the enemy and were engaged in activities facilitating the landing of the enemy forces.

However, the law regarding “the measures implemented by the military against those opposing the government implementations at wartime” is an authorizing law intended to protect the state and its legal order. One of the most important characteristics of this law is that “not a name of any ethnic group or community was mentioned nor even suggested in the text of the law”. The Ottoman citizens of Moslem, Greek and Armenian origin covered under this law were subjected to immigrate from their own place and resettle elsewhere. To regard this law as being directed against one particular ethnic group is an indication of a lack of information, or else, intentional behavior... (4)

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gerekceler — Realities on the Armenian Immigration — (1915), TTK Publication, Ankara 2001.

1) Bayur, ibid., III/3, p.40; Gürün, ibid., 214.
2) Takvim-i Vekayi’, 18 Recep 1333/19 May 1331, 7th year, no:2189; Y.H. Bayur, ibid, III/3, p.30
3) ATBD, December 1982, ibid., no:81, document 1832
4) Yildirim, Dr. Hüsamettin, Ermeni Iddialari ve Gercekler — Armenian Claims and Realities- Ankara 2000, p. 21

One of the most significant Armenian allegations regarding the immigration implementations is the telegrams, which —also allegedly- contained Talaat Pasha’s orders for killing the Armenians. However, Talaat Pasha himself has expressed in number of occasions that the measures taken with regard to Armenians have no object of massacring them in any way. In fact; in a cryptic telegraph —communiqué wired on August 29, 1915 to the Governors of Hüdaverdigar, Ankara, Konya, Izmit, Adana, Maras, Urfa, Halep, Zor, Sivas, Kütahya, Karesi, Nigde, Mamuretülaziz, Diyarbekir, Karahisar-i Sahib, Erzurum and Kayseri Provinces and sub-Provinces; the purpose of the immigration was explained as the follows (1).

“The purpose of the Government regarding the moving of Armenians from their original settlements is to prevent their anti-governmental actions; and to discourage their ambitions of establishing an Armenian State. Their massacre is completely out of question; on the contrary the safety of the groups during immigration should be ensured; and while measures for their catering should be taken, the “Immigrants Allocation” should be used to meet the cost. Armenians who are allowed to stay in their original settlements should not be re-located afterwards. As it was stated before the immigration of the dependents of military forces; protestant and catholic Armenians; and artisans (in accordance with the need) are definitely prohibited by the Government severe legal measures. Against the gendarmes and government officials who attack the immigrating groups or those who lead such attacks severe legal measures should be taken and such individuals should immediately Court-Martialled. Relevant provincial and sub-provincial authorities shall be held responsible for such events.

In another cryptic note sent to Ankara on May 27 1915 it was said that; “The measures taken by the Government regarding the Armenians are based on the necessity to ensure and protect the welfare and order of the Country. Exclusion of the Catholic and Protestant Armenians —who are at present observed as impartial at the present- from immigration, is the indication that the Government has no intention to massacre them” (2).

However, the communiqué which was issued by the Government for deporting the terrorist Armenians and their Gang leaders has been understood incorrectly in some places. Hence, several Armenian Bands, which were caught, were sent to places in which they continued their actions more freely. Upon such occurrence’s Talaat Pasha issued another communiqué on June 1, 1915, stressing that such Armenians should be transported to the places where they would not be able to continue their harmful actions, and also there deportations should be limited to the terrorists and rebels only (3).

Furthermore, in still another cryptic note dated June 13, 1915 dispatched to Mamuretüllaziz province, it was stated that the Armenians, besides those who were handed to the Court Marshall should be kept at suitable locations within the province under a previous order, hence not necessarily sent to Mousul province (4).

In a cryptic note dated June 14, 1915 which was sent to Erzurum, Diyarbekir, Mamuretülaziz and Bitlis provinces, after stressing that the Armenians should be protected during the immigration process; it was mentioned that it was natural to take measures against those who would try to flee or rebel against the gendarmes; however in no case Moslem peoples should be involved in such corrective acts; and also no opportunities should be set to start conflicts between the Moslems and Armenians.

Coming to the telegraph which is the core of the alleged claims of Armenian massacre (5).

An Armenian named Aram Andonian referred to it in his book, titled : “Memoirs of Naim Bey / Official Turkish Documents Regarding the Deportation and Massacre of the Armenians” published in London in 1920. This book was published under the titles: “Official Documents Regarding the Massacre of the Armenians”; and “The Gross Offence, the Last Armenian Massacre and Talat Pasha; the Originals of the Signed Official Telegraphs” in Paris and Boston respectively.

The telegraphs in the book, which were attributed to Talat Pasha, are false documents, which were originated to create a “massacre criminal”. As a result of the examination and research which was carried out by Messrs. Sinasi Orel and Süreyya Yuca on the subject documents a number of positive evidences, which prove the falsity of them were found. Among these evidences are: “that the person named Naim Bey — from whom the documents have been said that obtained- had never been employed in the “Celleppo Re-Settlement Department, that neither the said documents were authentic, nor the type of the papers were the same of those used in the official communication of that time; that the original counterparts were not among the Ministry of Interior documents in the Prime Ministry’s Archives; that the deed numbers on the documents could not fond in the registration logs of the relevant department; that there were some mistakes on the dates according to Mohammedan and Gregorian Calendars; that there were inconsistencies between the signatures; and there were some big grammatical and spelling mistakes in them.”

Furthermore, although it was mentioned that; “the original copies of the documents which were used in the book were kept at the Armenian Office in Manchester” since then they have persistently been concealed from the examination of the World opinion, and since their “authenticity was based on the report of the Aleppo Armenian Unit during the Ottoman times; is an important indication of the falsehood of the alleged claims of Armenian massacre.

Hallacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gerekceler (1915), TTK Yayini, Ankara, 2001.

Published by:
Turkish Hutorical Association, Ankara, 2001.

1) DH. EUM 2. Branch, 68/80
2) DH. EUM 2. Branch, 68/71; 2. Branch 68/84 (see doc: 192, 200)
3) DH. EUM 2. Branch, 68x101 (see doc 217).
4) An Armenian group which consisted of 26.064 people and lived in Aleppo were not actually included in the immigration process. Because; the population re-settled in the new settlement location were brought from Anatolia. On the other hand while the number of those who arrived at Aleppo were given as around a hundred thousand, (see: DH EUM. 2nd Branch, 68/80) the population arrived here was taken as 100.000.
5) OREL, Sinasi, YUCA Sureyya, Ermenilerce Talat Pasa’ya Atfedilen Telgraflarin Gercek Yüzü, Turkish Historical Association Publication, Ankara 1983.

The decision regarding migration was taken under compulsion, in order to prevent the harmful acts of Armenians, who stabbed the Ottoman State that was their own state, in order to establish an independent Armenia. Documents confirm how the Russians and the Entente States deceived and provoked Armenians. (1)

The Armenians who were deceived by such promises as to be given the lands they obtained during the War and that their independence to be recognized; established a number of revolutionary societies (2). Armenians, who started their terrorist activities before the immigration process, continued these activities even during the immigration. They collaborated with the enemy both in the border areas and in the inner regions, and applied genocidal activities to the Moslem people (3).

Ottoman Government decided to compile the documents expressing the cruelties of the Armenians in a book and requested the documents and photographs of Armenian massacres (4). Those documents and photographs collected in a book and published under the title of Ermeni Komitelerinin Faaliyetleri ve Ihtilal Hareketleri/ Mesrutiyetin Ilanindan Once ve Sonra (5).

Armenian cruelties continued after the First Wold War as well. In fact, one of the most striking examples of such activities is the one committed in Nahcivan by an Armenian band of 1.200 people under the command of an Armenian named Hanov (6). Furthermore, it is understood from the telegraphs dispatched on 3 and 7 March 1920 respectively by Mümtaz Bey who was then the acting Governor of “Mamuretül Aziz” Province, that the Armenians protected by the French Forces in the region were then under the delmion of establishing an independent Armenia from Clicia to Adana provinces (7).

Upon such developments, Enver Pasha, acting Head Commander, in order to find a solution to this problem, sent the following note to Talat Pasha on May 2, 1915.

“Armenians domiciled around Lake Van, and in Van Provincial Governorate are always ready for an uprising. I think that the Armenians should be moved from these places, and centers of revolt be dissipated. According to the information given by the 3rd Army Command, the Russians caused the Moslems within their own boundaries to immigrate over our boundaries in miserable conditions. Both as a retaliation to this act, and to ensure the aim I mentioned above, either the said Armenians should be transported into the Russian land together with their families; or they should be distributed in the various regions in Anatolia also with their families. I kindly request from you the selection of the most suitable alternative and act accordingly. However, I personally prefer that the revolting people and their families be sent beyond our borders; and Moslem people their families be re-settled in their place” (8).

With this letter, which may be accepted as the first sign of the intention of immigration process, Enver Pasha requested of dispersion of Armenians in order to avoid their uprising act. According to the said letter, it is clear that the implementations would be made only in locations where the Armenians revolted; and it was carried out accordingly.

Talat Pasha, not wishing to waste time due to the urgency and importance of the matter, initiated the re-settlement implementation without waiting for the resolution of the Parliament hence did not hesitate to undertake such a heavy responsibility by himself (9). Talat Pasha, who took first considered to start immigration of the Armenians domiciled in Van, Bitlis and Erzurum regions out of the War area. He informed Tahsin Bey, Cevdet Bey and Mustafa Abdulhalik Bey, Governors of Erzurum, Van, and Bitlis Provinces respectively on the matter by cryptic communiqués dd. May 9, 1995. Talat Pasha in his above — mentioned cryptic message communicated that the Armenians concentrated in certain regions to start revolts and uprising were decreed to immigrate towards the south, and that every possible assistance should be given to the Governors in order for this decree to be implemented. Talaat Pasha noted that a communiqué concerning the issue was sent to the Supreme Military Command to the Commanders of the 3rd and 4th Armies. He informed that it would be advantageous if the implementation was undertaken in areas to cover the southern part of Erzurum along with Van, the critical sub-provinces in Bitlis, and especially the vicinities of Mus, Sasun, and Talori; and requested from the Governors to immediately initiate the implementation in cooperation with the army commanders.

Furthermore, Talat Pasha issuing a cryptic communiqué to the 4th Army Command dated 23 May 1915, listed the location requested to be evacuated as follows:

1. The provinces of Erzurum, Van ad Bitlis;

2. The subdivision of Maras excluding the city of Maras;

3. Villages and towns within the boundaries of the sub provinces of; Iskenderun, Beylan (Belen), Cisr-i Sugur and Antioch excluding the central sub province of the Province of Aleppo;

4. The sub-divisions of Adana, Mersin, Kozan and Cebel-i Bereket excluding the cities of Adana, Sis (Kozan) and Mersin;

Accordingly; Armenians evacuated from Erzurum, Van and Bitlis were decreed to be transferred to the southern part of Mousul along with the sub-division of Zor and sub-division of Urfa excluding the central city: and the Armenians evacuated from the vicinities of Adana, Aleppo and Maras to be transferred to the eastern part of the Province of Syria along with the eastern and southeastern part of the Province of Aleppo. To supervise and manage the immigration process, State Inspectors, Ali Seydi Bey and Hamid Bey were appointed to the Adana region, and to the regions of Aleppo and Maras, respectively.

It was stipulated that the Armenians arriving at the new locations of resettlement were to be settled either in the houses that they would build in the existing villages or towns; or in the villages that they would re-establish in the locations identified by the government; and that the Armenian villages were to be at least of 25 km away from the Baghdad Railway.

The protection of lives and properties of Armenians following the process of immigration, and provision of their needs such as food, drink and rest were left to the regional authorities along the transfer route. It was decreed that the immigrating Armenians to be allowed to carry along all of their belongings and arrangements about their established properties were to be prepared and submitted to the authorities concerned (11).

In order for the immigrating Armenians not to re-constitute dens of conspiracy, the Supreme Military Command communicated a letter dated 26 May 1915 to the Ministry of Interior, considering the following aspects:

1. The population of the Armenians in the locations they newly immigrated to should not be in excess of 10% of the population of the existing tribes and Moslems.

2. The villages the Armenians to be re-established should not be bigger than fifty houses each.

3. The Armenian immigrant families should not change houses either for the purposes of travel or transfer (12).

A short while after the Ministry of Interior’s measures were came in force, Russian, French and English governments issued a joint declaration stating that in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, which they referred as “Armenia”, Armenians had been killed with in a month. In addition, they declared that the Ottoman Government is responsible for these events (13).

Upon the spread of the issue in international arena in this manner, Talaat Pasha, sent a communiqué dated 26 May 1915 to the Prime Ministry in order to provide a legal basis for the implementation of the immigration (14). In this communiqué, having stated that the invaders promoted discrimination among the Armenians, who were Ottoman citizens, and assisted them, in order to realize their invasory desires; that the uprising Armenians took variety of means to hinder the progress of the operation of the Turkish Army fighting against the enemy; that they abstracted the transport of food items, weapons and ammunition to the soldiers, that they collaborated with the enemy; that a group of them joined the enemy rank, and organized armed attacks against the military units and innocent civilians; that they massacred and pillaged in cities and towns; and that they provided food to the enemy navy and disclosed critical military zones to the enemy, Talaat Pasha noted that a radical measure needed to be taken for the security of the state and on this account, the Armenians rioting in war zones needed to be immigrated to other regions.

This communiqué of the Ministry of Interior was submitted immediately to the Parliament along with another communiqué written by the Prime Ministry. Talat Pasha’s statement having been reiterated in the Prime Ministry’s communiqué, it was expressed that the initiation of the immigration implementation was rightly made for the security of the state and that it was necessary to implement this policy methodically and systematically. (15) And the Parliament decreed to ratify the implementation on the some date.

In the Parliamentary decree, it was noted that it absolutely necessary to block through effective methods such harmful activities for having a negative impact on the existence and the security of the state, and that the measures by the Ministry of Interior on this account were rightfully and duly taken. Furthermore, a communiqué was issued regarding the determination of the immovable properties owned by the immigrating Armenians by a commission to be appointed, and the creation of job opportunities suitable for the conditions of the Armenians in their new locations, and the assistance to be given on the account of Immigrant’s Compensation. It was requested that an order to be written to those concerned in order to ensure the implementation of immigration securely (16).

The following communiqué dated 30 Mays 1915 sent by the Prime Ministry to the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of War and the Ministry of Finance, the regulations of implementation of the immigration were stated: (17)

a) The Armenians shall be transported to the regions allocated in a comfortable manner, ensuring the security of their lives and property.

b) Their food and drink expenses shall be covered by the Immigrant’s Compensation until they settle in their new houses.

c) Real estate and land shall be provided for them in accordance with their former financial status.

d) The government shall build houses for those in need, and provide seeds, and agricultural equipment for the farmers and agricultural experts.

e) The movables they left behind shall be delivered, and after the determination of their immovable properties settled, these shall be distributed among the Moslem immigrants to be setting in their place. Income generating from places that are not within the expertise of these immigrants such as olive, mulberry and orange groves, vineyards, shops, inns, factories and warehouse shall be either auctioned or rented and their compensations shall be recorded in deposit by savings fund to be paid to their owners.

f) Special commissions shall implement all these issues and an order shall be issued in this regard.

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gercekler — Realities on the Armenian Immigration- (1915), TTK, Yayini, Ankara, 2001

1) Cryptic Item, no: 45/115 (sent a communiqué about this matter to the provinces of Van, Bitlis, Mamüretüaziz, Adana, Diyarbekir and Sivas, via the telegram dated 23 September 1916)
2) DH. EUM. Division 2, File 1, document 45/2 (see document 670).
3) Cryptic Item. , NoB 6; no; 62/24; no: 63/175; no; 64/92; no: 64/163; no; 64/194; no: 66/51; no: 46/56; no: 66/192; BA, BED, no: 343464 (see document 784).
4) Cryptic Item, no: 62/57; 62/58; 63/241.
5) Istanbul 1916. The same work was translated in French, in 1917, in Istanbul and published as an abridged version under the title Les Allogations et les Mouvements Révolutionnairs des Comités Arméniens— (Ankara, 1981)
6) Letter dated 1 February 1920 from the Ministry of Interior to the Prime Ministry (BA: BEO, no; 341351).
7) Security, File 2 F/3; Security, File 2 F75 see document 799 and 800.
8) ATBD, December 1982, no: 81, document 1830
9) Bayur, ibid, III/3, 38.
10) G.K., no: 15/200; no: 52/281-282
11) G.K, no: 53/94
12) General Staff, no: 1/1, Folder 44 File 207, F 2-3, quoted by, K. Gürün, ibid, p.213.
13) Bayur, ibid, III/3, p. 37
14) BA, BED, no: 326758
15) Parliamentary Decree, Book no: 198, Decree no: 163 (see document 123); Bayur ibid. III/3, pp. 40-42.
16) Bayur, ibid, III/3, pp. 40-42
17) BA, BED, no: 326758

The Arabic originated word “tehcir” means “emigration / immigration”, it definitely not means “deportation” or “exile”. Hence the law commonly known as the “Tehcir Law” is the same as “Temporary Law On The Military Measures To Be Taken For Those Who Resist The Governmental Acts And Supplementation’s.” The word used to explain the implementation in line with this law is “tenkil” in the Ottoman language and means “transport- not the equivalent of “deportation”, “exile” or “proscription” in Latin originated languages.

The immigration, which was started with the orders of Talaat Pasha, and approved by the Government and the Parliament as a measure against the Armenian riots and massacres, which had arisen in a number of places in the Country - pre - dominantly in Van province, was only implemented only in the regions in which such riots and massacres affected the security of the fronts directly. The first area was Erzurum, Van and Bitlis Vicinities which formed the rear part of the Caucasian - Iran Front; and the second was Mersin - Iskenderun Region which formed the rear part of the Sina Front. In both of these regions, Armenians had collaborated with the enemy and involved in activities to facilitate the enemy’s invasion.

Later, the scope of the immigration was widened in order to include the Armenians in the other provinces, who rioted, collaborated with the enemy and screened the activities of Armenian Gangs. Although the Catholic and Protestant Armenians were excluded from immigration at the beginning, later those whose harmful activities were observed, were also relocated.

Since 1915, numerous papers, reports, books, etc. were written and published about the immigration implementation. The Armenians, by using false documents have succeeded to deceit the World for a long time. The rumor about Armenian holocaust (!) which expressed at first as three hundred thousand and later increased to three million has no basis at all. In fact, although English and French authorities have extensively studied the Ottoman archives during their occupation in Istanbul have failed to find even a single document hinting about such holocaust.

Had the Ottoman State intended to make genocide on Armenians; could not they realize such an act at the places where the Armenians live? Why would it be necessary “to immigrate” them for such an intention? Why did they undertake the significant fiscal and material costs of their security, safety, health and food of the immigrating Armenians? During this immigration and re-settlement process which lasted approximately 1,5 year from May 1915 until October 1916, why would the central and local administrations take measures to ensure the lives and properties of Armenians in spite of the difficult war circumstances? In addition, would it be necessary to accept great administrative, military and financial burden —as if opening a new front- to protect and secure these people?

The answers to these questions shall be sufficient to understand the real intention of the Ottoman State. Also there is no logical explanation that why the Ottoman State suddenly changed its policy towards a community which had always been called as “millet-i sadika” (loyal people) due to their being really faithful to the Government. Hence the party whose attitude had changed was not the Ottoman Government, but the Armenians who were deceived by the independence promises of Russia and the Entente States.

In conclusion, it can be said that the Armenian Immigration which was a necessary measure to ensure the State Security and Safety is among one of the most
successful transportation and re-settlement processes; and has no intention whatsoever to annihilate Armenians.

Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gerekceler (1915), TTK Yayini, Ankara, 2001.

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