Why won't Armenia participate in a joint study of the events of 1915?

Jun 21, 2008
Question asked at another group:

"I don't understand is why does Armenia not join the commission and study the subject since Turkey opened its archives."

Because that would require Armenia to open its archives, including the Dashnak archives.

The Dashnak archives contain the documents of the Armenian revolutionary leaders who led the guerilla bands that fought against the Ottoman Empire during WWI.

Publications by Dashnak leaders such as Garegin Pasdermajian, Boghos Nubar and Hovhannis Katchaznouni, written and published before the Armenian diaspora formed the idea of pursuing genocide claims, state unequivocally that 200,000 Armenian troops took up arms and fought against the Ottoman Empire--from the very outset of WWI, i.e., starting in 1914. That's more troops than the U.S. has in Iraq. Orders to relocate Armenians, which are relied upon to "prove" genocide, issued about 8 months after Armenians took up arms against the Ottoman regime.

One objective of the Armenian guerilla bands was to sabotage all efforts of the Ottoman military to supply and support their troops that were on the Caucasus front (fighting Russia). They cut telegraph lines to inhibit communication from Istanbul to Ottoman military commanders at the front, bombed rail tracks to disrupt shipments of supplies and destroyed roads leading east. All of this occurred behind the front in a systemic manner at strategic points-- it was carefully planned and executed with strategic points deliberately chosen to maximize damage to the Ottoman war effort.

In April 1915, Armenian militais behind the front between the Ottomans and Russia took over the Ottoman city of Van in eastern Anatolia and held it for the Russians, who were then invading Anatolia. They massacred the civilian Ottoman Muslim population and razed to the ground the entire Muslim quarter except for a mosque or two. There is one pit outside the center of the city in which thousands of local villagers were herded and massacred by gunfire and left to decompose in a mass grave. Their remains are still there.

The invitation to participate in the joint commission also extends to third party countries such as England, Russia and France that armed, clothed, trained and fed the Armenian revolutionary militia units. Documents are being uncovered, even today, in Russian archives that document the complicity of these third parties in the attacks on the Ottomans by Armenians units.

Russian archives, specifically, document atrocities and massacres of unarmed Ottoman civilians (Muslims and Armenians who did not support the Armenian revolutionary bands) commited by the Armenian militias. The Russian archives also indicate that the Russian commanders at the front could not control the Armenian militias, tried to stop the Armenians from massacring the civilian population and plundering their property, but could not. The Russian military commanders reports also state that the Russian commanders feared the Armenian militias were so out of control that they would eventually attack Russian troops when they were finished with the Ottomans.

If you look at the Genocide Convention, and specifically the reservations made by countries like the United States, you will see that deaths resulting from "acts in the course of armed conflicts committed without the specific intent required by article II are not sufficient to constitute genocide as defined by this Convention."

Before WWI, in August 1914, an Ottoman delegation met with Dashnak leaders and asked if the Armenian vilayet would join the Ottomans should war break out. The Dashnaks unequivocally said they would not and that they would join Russia.

That's why Armenia will not participate in a joint commission. They do not want the extent of their cooperation with the Entente Powers against the Ottoman Empire revealed. They also do not want revealed that they planned to purge the eastern third of Anatolia of all who were not Armenians to form an ethnically pure "Great Armenia." Should Armenian archives establishing these facts ever see the light of day, Armenian genocide claims will go up in smoke. And, Armenians will no longer be able to pursue possession of lands that they could not obtain through armed combat.

Make no mistake about it, genocide claims are not about "truth", not about "an apology", or merely "recognition." Genocide claims are pushed in an effort to gain control over lands that contain vast amounts of untapped natural resources, access to oil and access to year-round sea transport through the Mediterranean. They are political and economically motivated claims that are funded and organized on a global scale by a government that has not been able to manage or develop an economy, but thinks it would benefit economically by destabilizing and seizing control of lands that are within the sovereign boundaries of another country.

The Armenians and Ottoman Military Policy, 1915 by Edward Erickson

"This article examines the threats to the logistics and security of the two Ottoman armies that were directly affected by the Armenian insurrection-the Ottoman 3rd Army in eastern Anatolia and the Ottoman 4th Army in Syria and Palestine. A further army, the 6th, in Mesopotamia, was indirectly affected because 100% of its logistical resupply chain ran though the other two armies. All three armies were in contact with the enemy in 1915 and the collapse of any one of them would have had a catastrophic effect on the national security of the Ottoman Empire.
Encouraged by the successful insurrections and independence of the Serbs, Bulgars, and Greeks, dissident Armenians in the Ottoman Empire formed revolutionary committees, both in secret and in public, a formula that had worked especially well for the Christian peoples in the Balkans. There were several outbreaks of Armenian large-scale violence before the First World War (notably in 1894-96 and 1908-09).
The Armenian revolutionary committees were instrumental in the arming of the Armenian community in eastern Anatolia. In July 1914 the Ottoman consulate in Kars intercepted a telegram outlining the smuggling of 400 rifles into the Eleskir valley. Other intercepted letters sent by the Dashnak committee (predominant among the numerous Armenian nationalist committees of the time) requested weapons from the Russians. That summer the British Foreign Office also tracked similar numbers of military rifles being smuggled into Trabzon.
The Ottoman army soon became aware that regiments of expatriate Ottoman Armenians in the Russian army were mobilized and were conducting war-training exercises. Indicators of potential violent intent accumulated as Ottoman authorities found bombs and weapons hidden in Armenian villages.

Near Erzurum, Russian rifles were discovered cached in Armenian homes on 20 October. Earlier that month (prior to the commencement of hostilities) the 3rd Army had received reports of Armenians who served in the Russian army returning to the Ottoman Anatolian provinces with maps and money. There were also reports from infantry battalions concerning Armenians meetings at which large numbers of aggressively nationalist people were fathering.

In late October 1914 the 3rd Army staff informed the Ottoman general staff that large numbers of Armenians with weapons were moving into Mus, Bitlis, Van and Erivan. Ottoman military staffs at all levels were also disturbed by reports that thousands of Armenian citizens were deliberately leaving their homes in Ottoman territory and travelling into Russian-held territory.
War broke out on 2 November 1914. Later that month the Ottoman Special Organization and the local jandarma (a paramilitary gendarmerie) launched a bitter anti-guerilla campaign against insurgent Armenians who had crossed into the empire near Hopa and Rize on the north east frontier.
On 25 February 1914 the Operations Division of the Ottoman general staff sent a ciphered cable to the field armies directing them to take increased security precautions. This directive noted increased dissident Armenian activity in Bitlis, Aleppo, Dortyol, and Kayseri, and furthermore identified Russian and French influence and activities in these areas (in particular, code keys in French, Russian, and Armenian were discovered in Armenian homes in the city of Kayseri).
Moreover, commanders were ordered to remove any ethnic Armenian soldiers from important headquarter staffs and command centres. The final measure was probably taken in response to a report that the ARMENIAN PATRIARCHATE IN CONSTANTINOPLE WAS TRANSMITTING MILITARY SECRETS AND DISPOSITIONS TO THE RUSSIANS.

The timing of this order corresponded with information provided to the Russians from the Armenian committee in Zeitoun that 15,000 Armenians there were ready to take up arms and attack Ottoman lines of communications of the Ottoman army in Erzurum.

By mid-March 1915 the insurgent situation in the Dogubeyazit-Van region had considerably worsened. The governor of Van reported numerous massacres of isolated Muslim villagers by armed groups of Armenian guerillas.
There is no question that the Russians supported the Armenians inside the Ottoman Empire with money, weapons and encouragement.
Making things worse for the Ottomans, Armenian ceteler or guerilla bands began to interdict the vulnerable Ottoman lines of communications by cutting telegraph wires and conducting road sabotage to cut and block roads (notably along the Erzurum-Sivas logitics corridor).
German cables from Constantinople reported that Armenian clubs in Erzurum committed a series of political murders and that Armenians were serving as guides for the Russian army.
At Van the Armenian committees quickly distributed large quantities of pre-positioned weapons and revolted in concert with a Russian offensive. The insurgents were in direct contact with fellow comitteemen in the druzhiny fighting alongside the Russians.
The Ottoman leadership and staffs knew a great deal about the Armenian threat prior to 30 May 1915 (the date of the region-side relocation order). They knew that the British, French, and Russians were in direct contact with the Armenian revolutionary committees and were planning CO-ORDINATED COMBAT OPERATIONS against the Ottomans. The Ottomans had solid evidence of large Armenian weapons caches in key city locations.
[T]he Ottoman reaction was escalatory and responsive rather than premeditated and pre-planned. In this context the Ottoman relocation decision becomes more understandable as a military solution to a military problem...the Armenians were a great mlitary dangers."

About the Author:
Lieutenant-Colonel Edward J. Erickson
BA SUNY, MA Colgate University, MA St Lawrence University, PhD Leeds

Edward J. Erickson was born in Norwich, New York, USA. After military service as an infantry noncommissioned officer, he was commissioned in the Field Artillery in 1975. During his career, Ed Erickson served with the 509th Airborne Infantry Battalion, the 8th Mechanized Infantry Division, the 24th Infantry Division, the 528th Field Artillery Group, and the 42nd Field Artillery Brigade. During the Persian Gulf War, he served as the Operations Officer (S3) of the 2nd Battalion 3rd Field Artillery in the 3rd Armored Division at the Battle of Wadi Al Batin. In the latter phase of his career, he served in NATO assignments in Izmir, Turkey and in Naples, Italy as a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Turkey and the Middle East. In 1995 he was assigned to the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he served as a Military Assistant to COMIFOR.

Lieutenant-Colonel Erickson retired in October 1997 to teach world history at Norwich High School, but was recalled to active duty in March 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom and was assigned as the Political Advisor to Major General Ray Odierno, 4th Infantry Division. After six months in Tikrit, Iraq, Lieutenant-Colonel Erickson returned to civilian life and now works as the Dean of Students at Norwich High School. During his military service Ed Erickson won many awards, including the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster. He is an eminent and leading authority on the Ottoman Army during the great war, a subject on which he has written widely, including two major books, Ordered To Die, A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War (2000) and Defeat in Detail, The Ottoman Army in the Balkans 1912-1913 (2003). Lieutenant-Colonel Erickson has also written The Sultan's Army: A History of the Ottoman Military, 1300-1923, published by Praeger in 2006.

Notice: no response from genocide proponents at this group.

At the other group, the Armenian genocide proponent claimed that dialogue could only occur if there were no pre-conditions.

When asked "what pre-conditions are there to the invitation to form the joint historical commission" the genocide proponent launched into a philosophical discussion questioning the purpose of humanity.

When asked again "what pre-conditions are there to the invitation to form the joint historical commission".... there was no answer and the discussion board was shut down by the group's admin.

Hmmmm.... so, do you get what's going on?

Why delete the topic? They have deprived themselves of an educational opportunity to develop talking points. But their lobbies do much better. I could develop better "talking points" in favor of the genocidal viewpoint than people in this other Facebook group. Then you conclude via engaging in ad-hominem criticism of Turks, etc. That's the best strategy. It's really simple.

"Why delete the topic?"
Because I was being a "mean Turk" ...

Yeah, well, when the ad hominem attacks and lies no longer work-- at one point the opposing poster accused Turkey of administering a blockade against Armenia, hah! another falsehood revealed-- then the Armenian genocide proponents just silence their opposition.


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