Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  The 1919-20 Ottoman Kangaroo Courts  
First Page


Major Players
Links & Misc.



Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems




The 1919-20 kangaroo court trials constitute the "bread and butter" of those (principally Vahakn Dadrian, and of late, his protégé, Taner Akcam) wishing to demonstrate a genocide had taken place against Armenians of the Ottoman Empire. On the surface, it's irresistible: Turks 'fessing up that there was indeed an extermination plan. However, we know these courts were illegitimate, because the occupying British held a gun to the heads of the successive puppet Ottoman government, and even the British refused to utilize the findings of these courts for their own planned trial, the Malta Tribunal.

This page will begin by making a comparison with a similar trial that came out of today's headlines, in order for us to comprehend how crooked these Ottoman trials were, and how crooked are the so-called scholars who still insist on pointing to them as legitimate.

The meat of this page, however, will be filled with the professional analysis of that scholar par excellence, Prof. Guenter Lewy. Dr. Lewy had offered an abbreviated look from his marvelous and must-read book (The Arnenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide), in an article appearing in the Middle East Quarterly ("Revisiting the Armenian Genocide," available on TAT), but the topic is of such importance, and since Dr. Lewy has been the only legitimate scholar who has tackled the issue in an objective and professional manner (in detail and with no agenda whatsoever), the more detailed version was crying for a closer look; the appropriate pages have been reproduced below. Readers will get a much better idea as to why Taner Akcam has been desperate to try and diminish Guenter Lewy in Akcam's recent interviews, giving the impression that Lewy is some kind of an amateur, when the fact is, Lewy runs rings around a professional propagandist such as Taner Akcam. Lewy's study has posed such a threat to Dadrian/Akcam's "Bread and Butter," the only recourse such propagandists have is to go for the tried and true ad hominem attack.

"Born to Defense"

A murder that makes Jet not lag.

What sparked this page was the viewing of a film starring and directed by Jet Li, entitled "Born to Defense." It's the rare foreign production available to American audiences where the Americans were made out to be the villains. (Not in a really evil way, mind you, but in that brazen, loutish way characteristic of the "Ugly American" who pushes his weight around in less developed corners of the globe.)

The film begins with Japanese aggression against China in WWII, and the victorious Americans quickly establish a presence during the time when Chiang and Mao were duking it out. Our hero, played by Jet Li, is constantly provoked by racist American sailors who enjoy demonstrating their testosterone in a local watering hole's boxing ring. The conflict escalates, until the sailors kill a couple of people close to the heart of our hero. Just as he sets out to teach the Yanks a lesson, the military police intervene.

The lackey Chinese police provide a taste of "Guantanamo Bay."

Wrongfully behind bars, not unlike many of the Ottoman
detainees in the postwar empire.

Our hero is the one who winds up being imprisoned, and is tortured by the Chinese authorities who are under the domination of the Americans. Finally, our hero makes the following outburst (which may be listened to in its entirety here; note how at the end our hero cries for "vengeance," sure to warm the heart of most genocide-batty Armenians):

"Who's in charge here? The Chinese government or the U.S. military? Whose country is it, ours or theirs?"

There you go, ladies and gentlemen! That statement lies at the very core of the legitimacy of the 1919-20 Ottoman courts.

The Chinese authorities are happy to play along at
the hands of the American occupiers.

The puppet Ottomans of the successive Damat Ferid government were almost totally beholden to the victorious British and French, who had taken over the defeated the Ottoman Empire, initially with one million Allied soldiers. (If Peter Balakian's "The Burning Tigris" is to believed; in other words, even though Istanbul was officially occupied in March 1920, it is not as though the nation was not already occupied.)

.Jet uses propulsion against a giant American officer,
curiously a martial arts expert as well, back in 1945.

Not only were the puppets out for retribution with the now-hated previous CUP administration having led the nation to disaster, but were hoping for mercy at the hands of the Allies, in the upcoming Peace Conference. As a result, whatever the British wanted, their Ottoman lackeys would be sure to comply — from finding culprits for "genocide" to signing a death sentence for their own nation, via the Sčvres Treaty.

And this discussion leads to our parallel straight out of today's headlines.

The Modern Counterpart

Once the USA blitzkrieged its way into Iraq in 2003, under the pretense of Iraq's having been in league with the terror forces behind 9/11, a puppet administration was created. This new Iraqi administration was beholden to the victors; any nation defeated in war and occupied by the victors has no choice but to be beholden to the victors. This is only common sense.

After the despotic leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was dug out of the hole he was hiding in, he was immediately imprisoned and an "Iraqi Special Tribunal" was set up. The American guards took pictures of the former leader in his underwear, happily published in some U.S. newspapers, not a very "manly" way for a victor to behave. More importantly, Hussein was not allowed to see friends or lawyers of his choice, and was totally cut off (at least during the first year of his incarceration) from the outside world. He was being "set up."

This argument goes beyond the tyrannical crimes committed by Hussein; the point is, his due process was denied him (for all intents and purposes). The U.S.'s Bush administration had it in for Hussein, Hussein was going to get knocked off regardless, and the puppet Iraqis were going to make sure to comply.

Mehmet Kemal Bey

An Armenian site offered this
shot as Mehmet Kemal Bey.

After a quick and cursory trial, Hussein was executed, in a most undignified manner. Similar to how the 1919-20 courts executed Bogazlayan County Governor Kemal Bey in early April of 1919 and Bayburt County Governor Nusret Bey in early July; the fact that there was no real evidence did not stop these Ottoman kangaroo courts, as the idea was to find a guilty verdict regardless. The idea was to please the foreign occupiers.

These courts would sentence to death certain CUP leaders in absentia, including Jemal Pasha, who had protected the Armenians. The following year (1920), Ataturk would be condemned to death as well, a fate shared by what the court had termed his "accomplices," including the humanitarian Halide Edip.

The 1919-20 kangaroo courts, as the Iraqi kangaroo court nearly a century later, were illegal and illegitimate. Even the British refused to use the findings of the 1919-20 courts, for the trial process the British were planning..! Does that not speak volumes?

How could anyone, in good conscience, point to the 1919-20 courts as constituting valid evidence?

The Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919-22

(The following is from pp. 73-82 of Dr. Guenter Lewy's book.)

The Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919-22

Following the defeat of Turkey in World War I and the signing of rhe armistice ofMudros on October 30, 1918, rhe new Turkish government formed on November 11 accused the Young Turk regime of serious crimes. These accusations led to the convening of special courts-martial to try the leadership of the Committee on Union and Progress and selected officials of the former government. Several contemporary Armenian writers cite the findings of these proceedings as crucial support for the charge of genocide. Vartkes Yeghiayan argues that they "are primary evidence of Turkish confessions and condemnations which corroborate and authenticate the Armenian witness' accounts of the genocide." [37] Dadrian, as we have seen above, invoked the trials to confirm the genuineness of the Naim-Andonian documents.

After losing the war, the Young Turk government was badly discredited, and harsh criticism of the CUP became the chief theme in the Turkish press.[38] Public clamor for the punishment of the Young Turk leadership gathered strength after the escape from Constantinople of seven top CUP leaders, including Talaat Pasha, on board a German destroyer during the night of November I. British high commissioner Arthur G. Calthorpe informed London on November 29 that planning was underway to try Enver, Talaat, and their associates by courtmartial. There is hardly an organ of the press, he added, "which is not vehemently attacking these men either for the incalculable harm they have brought to the country or for their share in the massacres of the various Christian races." [39] A committee of the Turkish parliament and a commission convened in the ministry of the interior undertook the gathering of evidence and procured a large number of relevant documents that were later used by the courts-martial.[40]

By all accounts, the most important reason for the establishment of the military tribunals was massive pressure by the victorious Allies, who insisted on retribution for the Armenian massacres. As early as May 24, 1915, the Allied governments had warned the Sublime Porte that they would "hold personally responsible [for] these crimes all members of the Ottoman government and those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres."[41] When the Turkish cabinet made the formal decision on December 14 to set up the courts-martial, writes Taner Akcam, author of the most detailed study of the trials, "the political pressure of the British played a decisive role."[42] Dadrian also speaks of the Allies' eagerness for punitive justice."[43] It is most certain, Dadrian writes in another article, that the convening of the courts-martial "was dictated by political expediency. On the one hand, it was hoped that it would be possible to inculpate the Ittihadist Party leadership as primarily, if not exclusively, responsible for the Armenian massacres, thereby exculpating the rest of the Turkish nation. On the other, many representatives of the victorious Allies nurtured a strong belief that the punishment of the perpetrators might induce the victors to be lenient at the Peace Conference."[44]

The wartime plans of the Allies had provided for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. According to the so-called Constantinople agreement of March 18, 1915, Russia was to annex Constantinople and parts of eastern Thrace as well as an adjoining area in Asiatic Turkey. The Sykes-Picot agreement of May 16, 1915, negotiated between Mark Sykes and Georges Picot for Britain and France and ratified by the Russians, divided large areas of Asiatic Turkey among France, Russia, and Britain.[45] Understandably, the Turks were greatly concerned about these plans, and they decided early on that only full cooperation with the Allies would help minimize the loss of territory. They also unleashed an elaborate publicity campaign to convince the world that the Young Turks alone were to blame for the crimes that had been committed. According to an American intelligence report of December 10, 1918, the Turks had created a commission of propaganda "in order to persuade civilized people that the Turk is worthy of their sympathy, throwing all the responsibility for the massacres on the Young Turk Government."[46]

The National Congress, an umbrella group of more than fifty political and cultural organizations, issued several pamphlets addressed to the West, sounding a theme that was to be echoed by some of the courts-martial. The National Congress argued that the deportations of the Armenians had become necessary because of the treasonous activities of the Armenian revolutionary organizations and the "numerous outrages against the Musulman population" but that the massacres that had taken place were inexcusable. It accused the CUP of having carried out an "infernal policy of extermination and robbery" but maintained that the Turkish people should not be held responsible "for a criminal aberration against which its conscience protested from the outset." Muslims as well as Armenians had suffered greatly from the reign of the Young Turks. "All classes, all nationalities were the victims of its tyranny."[47] Grand Vizier Damad Ferid, appearing before the Paris peace conference, argued likewise that the responsibility for Turkey's entry into the war on the side of Germany and for the crimes committed against the Christians lay strictly with the CUP.[48]

Large-scale arrests of leading Ittihadists began in January 1919. A list of suspects had been compiled by the Greek-Armenian section of the British high commissioner, which drew on the assistance of the Armenian patriarchate; others arrested were nationalists opposed to the armistice or political enemies of the Liberal Union party now in power, which sought to settle old accounts. The charges included subversion of the Turkish constitution as well as massacres of Greeks and Armenians and wartime profiteering. The main trial judged key cabinet ministers and high CUP functionaries. Several other courts took up crimes in provincial cities where massacres had taken place. Due to inadequate documentation, the total number of courts is not known. Taner Akcam arrives at a count of twenty-eight, but there may have been more.[49] An attempt of the Turkish government in February 1919 to have representatives of four neutral governments (Denmark, Spain, Sweden, and Holland) participate in the investigation of the massacres was foiled by British and French opposition.[50] All of the proceedings took place in Constantinople.


The first of the tribunals, focused on Yozgat (province of Ankara), began on February 5, 1919, and lasted until April 7. It charged several Turkish officials with mass murder and plunder of Armenian deportees. Of 1,800 Armenians who had been living in the town of Yozgat before the war, only 88 were still alive in 1919. The court heard testimony by survivors who told of killings, robbery, and rape and accepted as evidence documents that contained orders to kill the Armenians. For example, a letter by one of the defendants, commander of the gendarmerie for the districts of Chorum and Yozgat, contained a telegram to one of th[ese] subordinates, telling him that "the Armenians are to be eradicated."[51] On April 8 the court-martial found two of the defendants guilty; the case of the third defendant was detached to another trial.

The main trial got underway in Constantinople on April 28. Twelve of the defendants (among them important members of the cup's central committee and several ministers) were present in the dock; but seven key figures who had fled (including Talaat, Enver, and Djemal) had to be tried in absentia. "Embedded in the Indictment," writes Dadrian, "are forty-two authenticated documents substantiating the charges therein, many bearing dates, identification of senders of the cipher telegrams and letters, and names of recipients."[52] Among these documents is the written deposition of Gen. Mehmet Vehib Pasha, commander of the Turkish Third Army, who testified that "the murder and extermination of the Armenians and the plunder and robbery of their property is the result of decisions made by the central com- mittee oflttihad ve Terakki [CUP]." [53] In another document quoted in the indictment, a high-ranking deportation official, Abdulahad Nuri, admits having been told by Talaat that "the purpose of the deportation was destruction." [54] The court-martial ended with a verdict handed down on July 22. Several of the defendants were found guilty of having subverted the constitutional form of government by force and of being responsible for massacres in various part[s] of the country. Talaat, Enver, Djemal, and Nazim were sentenced to death (in absentia). Others were given lengthy prison sentences.[55]

The verdict of yet another trial (of the representatives of the CUP in various cities) implicated a unit called Teskilat-i Mahsusa (Special Organization) in the massacres.[56] The actions of the Special Organization were also discussed at length during the main trial, and the court is said to have compiled a special file called "The Residual Special Organization Papers." According to Dadrian, the proceedings of the main court-martial and other trials are replete with references to the crimes of "massacre and destruction" of the Armenians on the part of the Special Organization.[57] (The Special Organization is discussed in more detail later in this chapter.)

Despite widespread hatred of the discredited Young Turk regime, the trials of the CUP leaders received only limited support from the Turkish population. The funeral of Mehmed Kemal, former governor of Boghazliyan who had been hanged on April 10, led to a large demonstration, organized by CUP elements. It is probable, reported the British high commissioner to London, that many here "regard executions as necessary concessions to Entente rather than as punishment justly meted out to criminals. [58] Speaking of the continuing arrests of former government officials, the American high commissioner Lewis Heck reported to Washington on April 4, 1919, that "it is popularly believed that many of them are made from motives of personal vengeance or at the instigation of the Entente authorities, especially the British." [59]

Many Armenians, too, voiced their skepticism. Aram Andonian called the trial of the CUP leadership "a political ruse [rather] than a work of justice. The present Government in Turkey simply wanted to throw dust in the eyes of Europe." [60] Opposition to the trials increased dramatically following the Greek occupation of Smyrna (today's Izmir) on May 15, which caused a strong outburst of patriotic and nationalistic feeling. "This provocative move," writes James Willis, "raised fears that the Allies favored territorial annexations by the ancient enemy of Turkey."[61] Under the leadership of Mustapha Kemal, a highly decorated Turkish officer, a nationalist movement now emerged that eventually was to overthrow the government of the sultan in Constantinople. From the beginning, the Kemalists criticized the sultan for his abject surrender to the Allies, and they increasingly expressed the fear that the trials were part of a plan to partition the Ottoman Empire. The atrocities committed by the Greek forces upon landing in Smyrna remained largely unpunished while the Allies pressured the Turks to persecute the Young Turk leaders, which made the Allies appear to be hypocritical and adhering to a double standard.[62]


Between May 20 and 23 Constantinople saw several large demonstrations against the Allied occupation. To appease the nationalists the Ottoman government freed forty-one prisoners. The British had long been concerned about the lax discipline at the prisons and the large number of escapees. They now feared the release of all of the prisoners. Hence on May 28 British forces seized sixty-seven of the detainees, including some already on trial, and transferred them to Malta. As the Kemalist movement gathered strength, the work of the courts-martial slowed down more and more. On March 16, 1920, the Allies occupied Constantinople, but the signing of the Treaty of Sevres by the Ottoman government on August 10 further weakened the Turkish courts-martial. The treaty envisaged an international tribunal that would judge those suspected of serious war crimes and thus undermined the relevance and importance of the Turkish courts. The last Ottoman government uncovered several mistakes in the proceedings of the military tribunals. The trials formally ended on March 28, 1922. An amnesty a year later freed those still in custody.[63]

Dadrian considers the military tribunals of 1919-20 "a milestone in Turkish legal history." The courts, he concedes, suffered from instability in structure and personnel. There was much turnover among presiding judges and prosecutors. The proceedings failed dismally "in the area of retributive justice." Despite the enormity of the crime, there were only fifteen death sentences, only three of which were actually carried out. Still, Dadrian argues, the trials "demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that the Ittihad, which had become a monolithic governmental party, intended to destroy the Armenian population of the empire and for that purpose had organized and implemented its scheme of genocide."[64] Hovannisian concludes similarly that, although justice was not done, "the relevant documents stand as reminders of the culpability of the Young Turk regime."[65] According to Melson, "the courts-martial demonstrate that Turkish authorities once did exist with the integrity not to deny but to face up to the truth of the Armenian Genocide."[66]

Armenian writers and their supporters have praised the contribution of the military tribunals to the discovery of historical truth, despite serious problems concerning our knowledge of these proceedings and the reliability of their findings. It is of course not surprising that the proceedings in 1919-20 lacked many basic requirements of due process. Few authors familiar with Ottoman jurisprudence have had many positive things to say about the Turkish court system, especially the military courts. Dadrian notes that military tribunals in 1915 "hanged countless Armenians on the flimsiest charges," and he cites with approval a German memo that referred to these tribunals as "kangaroo courts."[67] In January 1916 the German ambassador, Paul von Wolff-Metternich, demanded the supervision of Turkish courts by German officials, "since one cannot have confidence in Turkish jurisprudence."[68] In July 1915 and again early in 1916 a Turkish military court condemned to death a total of seventy-eight leading citizens of Syria. "Many, probably a large majority," writes one student of the subject, "were innocent of anything which would justify such a sentence."[69]


To be sure, the military tribunals of 1919-20 passed few death sentences, but this was not the result of improved legal procedures. "It is interesting to see," commented British high commissioner Richard Webb on July 7, 1919 (on the just-concluded trial of Talaat and other Young Turk leaders), "how skillfully the Turkish penal code has been manipulated to cover the acts attributed to the accused, and the manner in which the sentences have been apportioned among the absent and the present as to effect a minimum of real bloodshed."[70] In other words, while there were fewer death sentences than during the war wars, political interference continued to afflict these court proceedings just as before. If Armenian writers like the trials of 1919-20, one is inclined to conclude, it is less because the leopard changed its spots but rather because they are happy about the findings of these courts with regard to the responsibility of the Young Turk leadership for the Armenian massacres.

The legal procedures of Ottoman military courts, including those operating in 1919-20, suffered from serious shortcomings when compared to Western standards of due process of law. Nineteenth-century American courts-martial, for example, granted the accused or their counsels the right to question and cross-examine witnesses concerning the alleged offense.[71] This right is embodied in Articles 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, enacted by Congress in 1950, which provides that the accused be able "to cross-examine witnesses" and to obtain evidence in their own behalf.[72] Even the much-criticized rules of procedure for the military tribunals proposed by the administration of George W. Bush in 2002 to try terrorists grant the accused the right ro present evidence in their defense and to cross-examine witnesses.[73] By contrast, the Ottoman penal code did not acknowledge the right of cross-examination, and the role of the judge was far more important than in the Anglo-American tradition. He weighed the probative value of all evidence submitted during the preparatory phase and during the trial, and he questioned the accused.[74] At the trials held in 1919-20 the presiding officer, when questioning the defendants, often acted more like a prosecutor than like an impartial judge.

In line with Ottoman rules of procedure, defense counsels at the courts-martial held in 1919-20 were barred from access to the pretrial investigatory files and from accompanying their clients to the interrogations conducted prior to the trials.[75] On May 6, 1919, at the third session of the main trial, defense counsel challenged the court's repeated references to the indictment as proven fact, but the court rejected the objection.'[76] Throughout the trials, no witnesses were heard; the verdict of the courts rested entirely on documents and testimony mentioned or read during the trial proceedings but never subjected to cross- examination. Commenting on the Yozgat trial that had just started, American high commissioner Heck noted with disapproval on Febru- ary 7, 1919, that the defendants would be tried by "anonymous court material."[77] "After the establishment of the Turkish republic," writes a Turkish legal officer, "the military justice system developed during the Ottoman Empire was generally considered to be unconstitutional, and an entirely new Turkish Military Criminal Code and Military Criminal Procedure were prepared and accepted by the Turkish Great National Assembly in 1930."[78]


Probably the most serious problem affecting the probative value of the 1919-20 military court proceedings is the loss of all the documentation of these trials. This means that we have none of the original documents, sworn testimony, and depositions on which the courts based their findings and verdicts. We know of some of this material from reports of the legal proceedings that are preserved in selected supplements of the official gazette of the Ottoman government, Takvim-i Vekayi, or from press reports; but, of course, such reproductions can hardly be considered a valid substitute for the original documentation. In many cases we do not know whether the official gazette or the newspapers covering the trials reprinted all or only some of the text of the documents reproduced. Neither can we be sure of the accuracy of the transcription. According to Dadrian, "before being introduced as accusatory exhibits, each and every official document was authenticated by the competent staff personnel of the Interior Ministry who thereafter affixed on the top part of the document: 'it conforms to the original.'"[79] However, in the absence of the original documents and without the ability of defense counsel to challenge the authenticity of this material, we have to take the word of the officials in question—and that is indeed a tall order. It is doubtful that the Nuremberg trials would ever have attained their tremendous significance in documenting the crimes of the Nazi regime if we had to rely on a few copies of such documents in the trial record or in the press covering the trials instead of the verdicts being supported by thousands of original German documents preserved in our archives.

In the absence of the complete original documents, we have to be content with selected quotations. For example, General Vehib Pasha in his written deposition is supposed to have described Dr. Behaeddin Sakir. one of the top CUP leaders, as the man who "procured and engaged in the command zone of the Third Army the butchers of human beings.... He organized gallow birds as well as gendarmes and policemen with blood on their hand and blood in their eyes."[80] Parts of this deposition were included in the indictment of the main trial and in the verdict of the Harput trial,[81] but without the full text we lose the context of the quoted remarks. The entire text of the deposition is supposed to have been read into the record of the Trebizond trial on March 29, 1919, but the proceedings of this trial are not preserved in any source; only the verdict is reprinted in the official gazette.

Other highly incriminating testimony is said to have been given at the Yozgat trial, but here again only the verdict was published in the official gazette. Dadrian, who quotes this testimony, has to rely on accounts of these proceedings in Turkish newspapers, all of which were operating under the dual prior censorship of the Turkish government and the Allied high commissioners.[82] Moreover, much of this testimony must be considered hearsay at best. For example, former Turkish official Cemal is supposed to have testified that Ankara's CUP delegate Necati had told him that the time had come to begin "the extermination of local Armenians."[83] Similar hearsay evidence is contained in the indictment of the main trial. The Turkish official Ihsan Bey had heard Abdulahad Nuri Bey, the Aleppo representative of the deportations committee, say: "I have taken up contact with Talaat Bey and have personally received the orders of extermination."[84] In the absence of cornoboration from other reliable sources, it seems difficult to consider this testimony evidence in any meaningful sense of the term.

Contemporary Turkish authors dismiss the proceedings of the military tribunals of 1919-20 as tools of the Allies.[85] The victorious Allies at the time, however, anxious for retributive justice, considered the conduct of the trials to be dilatory and half-hearted. The trials, British high commissioner Calthorpe wrote to London on August I, 1919, were "proving to be a farce and injurious to our own prestige and to that of the Turkish government."[86] In the view of commissioner John de Robeck, the trials were such a dead failure that their "findings cannot be held of any account at all."[87] Hence when the British considered conducting their own trials of alleged Turkish war criminals held at Malta they declined to use any of the inculpatory evidence developed by the Turkish tribunals (see chapter 7).

According to Dadrian, "several aspects of the court-martial proceedings merit attention for the quality of their judiciousness, despite the consideration of the fact that these trials were urged on by the victorious Allies, under whose shadow they took place." Among the features that deserve praise Dadrian notes that the trials were held in public, that the defendants had able defense counsel, and that the verdicts pronounced by the tribunals were based almost entirely on authenticated official documents.[88] As explained earlier, however, the authenticity of documents admitted into evidence cannot be established by assertion on the part of the prosecuting authority. Moreover, none of the testimony, written depositions, and documents put forth by the prosecution were subjected to cross-examination by the defense, which makes it impossible to consider these materials conclusive proof. Some of these materials are reproduced in the indictments, but an indictment is not tantamount to proven guilt. The serious violations of due process as well as the loss of all of the original documentation leave the findings of the military tribunals of 1919-20 unsupported by credible evidence.


37. Vartkes Yeghiayan, The Armenian Genocide and the Trials of the Young Turks, p. i.

38. Examples are given in John S. Kirakossian, The Armenian Genocide: The Young Turks before the Judgment of History, trans. Shoshan Altunian, pp. 161-62,

39. FO 371/3411/210534, p. 334.

40. Akcam, Armenien und der Völkermord, pp. 88-92; Annette Hoss, "The Trial of Perpetrators by the Turkish Military Tribunals: The Case ofYozgat," in The Armenian Genocide, ed. Hovannisian, pp. 210—11.

41. The full text of the declaration can be found in U.S. Department of Stare, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1915.' Supplement, p. 981.

42. Akcam, Armenien und der Völkermord, p. 93.

43. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Documentation of the World War I Armenian Massacres in the Proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal," International Journal of Middle East Studies 23 (1991): 554.

44. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's Prosecution of the Authors of the Armenian Genocide: Four Major Court-Martial Series," Holocaust and Genocide Studies II (1997): 31.

45. Cf. James B. Gidney, A Mandate for Armenia, p. 62.

46. NA, RG 59, 867.00/834 (M 353, roll 7, fr. 244).

47. National Congress of Turkey, The Turco-Armenian Question: The Turkish Point of View, pp. 79, 83. See also Kara Schemsi [pseudonym for Rechid Safet Bey], Turcs et armeniens devant I'histoire: Nouveaux temoignages russes et turcs sur les atrocités arméniens de 1914 ŕ 1918.

48. FRUSA, "FRUSA's Documentation of the Appearance of the Ottoman Turkish Delegation before the Council of Four, Paris, June 17, 1919," Armenian Review 35 (1982): 72.

49. For a list of the trials, see Akcam, Armenien und der Völkermord, pp. 162-65.

50. FO 371/4172/31827, 32889, 35094; FO 371/4173/47293.

51. Quoted in Dadrian, Warrant for Genocide, p. 125.

52. Dadrian, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's Prosecution of the Authors of the Armenian Genocide," p. 45.

53. Quoted in Akcam, Armenien und der Völkermord, p. 204. The entire indictment of April 12, 1919, is reproduced there on pp. 192-207.

54 Quoted in Dadrian, "The Documentation of the World War I Armenian Massacres," p. 558.

55. The verdict is reproduced in Akcam, Armenien und der Völkermord, pp. 353-64.

56. Verdict of January 8, 1920, p. 4, quoted in Taner Akcam, ed., "The Proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal as published in Takvim-i Vekayi, 1919-1920," part 2. This mimeographed edition of the trial proceedings represents a German translation used by Akcam and deposited by him at the Armenian Research Center of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Another selection from the transcripts of the trials is provided by Yeghiayan, The Armenian Genocide and the Trials of the Young Turks. However, this work represents a translation from the Turkish into Armenian and then into English. Moreover, the book is marred by omissions and sloppy dating.

57. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Role of the Special Organisation in the Armenian Genocide during the First World War," in Minorities in Wartime: National and Racial Groupings in Europe, North America and Australia during the Two World Wars, ed. Panikos Panayi, p. 74.

58. Calthorpe co Foreign Office, April 17, 1919, FO 371/4173/61185, p. 279.

59. NA, RG 59, 867.00/868 (M 353, roll 7, fr. 448).

60. Andonian, Memoirs of Nairn Bey, p. 69.

61. James F. Willis, Prologue to Nuremberg: The Politics and Diplomacy of Punishing War Criminals of the First World War, p. 155.

62. The Greek atrocities were confirmed by an Allied commission of inquiry that rendered its report on October 14, 1919. See Laurence Evans, United States Policy and the Partition of Turkey, 1914-1924, p. 181; and the earlier work of Arnold J. Toynbee, The Western Question in Greece and Turkey: A Study in the Contact of Civilizations, p. 169. According to the American consul in Smyrna, George Horton, the Greek governor-general did impose severe punishment on those responsible for atrocities. See his The Blight of Asia, p. 76.

63. For a more detailed discussion of this chain of events, see Akcam, Armenien und der Völkermord, pp. 114-19.

64. Dadrian, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's Prosecution of the Authors of the Armenian Genocide," pp. 30-31, 50, 53.

65. Richard G. Hovannisian, "Denial of the Armenian Genocide in Comparison with Holocaust Denial," in Remembrance and Denial, p. 220.

66. Melson, Revolution and Genocide, p. 152.

67. Dadrian, "The Secret Young-Turk Ittihadist Conference," p. 191. The German memo is referred to in a revised version of this article published in the Journal of Political and Military Sociology 22 (1994): l88.

68. Artem Ohandjanian, comp., Osterreich-Armenien, 1872-1936; Faksimilesammlung diplomatischer Aktenstücke, vol. 7, pp. 5011-12.

69. Stephen H. Longrigg, Syria and Lebanon under French Mandate, p. 51.

70. FO 371/474/118392, p. 267.

71. John M. Lindley, "A Soldier Is Also a Citizen": The Controversy over Military Justice, 1917-1920, p. 10.

72. U.S. Air Force ROTC, Military Law, pp. 4, 113.

73. "Rules for Military Tribunals," New York Times, March 21, 2002.

74. Yilmaz Altug, trans., The Turkish Code of Criminal Procedure, art. 232; Baki Kuru, "Law of Procedure," in Introduction to Turkish Law, ed. T. Ugrul Ansay and Don Wallace, pp. 177, 204. See also George Young, Corps de droit ottoman, vol. 7, pp.226-300.

75. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "Genocide as a Problem of National and International Law: The World War I Armenian Case and Its Contemporary Legal Ramifications," Yale Journal of International Law 14 (1989): 297 (n. 286).

76. Akcam, "The Proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal," part 1, third session, pp. 24, 27.

77. NA, RG 59, 867.00/81 (M 820, roll 536, fr. 440).

78. Hikmet Sener, "A Comparison of the Turkish and American Military Systems of Nonjudicial Punishment," Military Law Review 27 (1965): 113.

79. Vahakn N. Dadrian, The Key Elements in the Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide: A Case Study of Distortion and Falsification, p. 27.

80. Quoted in Dadrian, "The Armenian Genocide and the Pitfalls of a 'Balanced' Analysis," p. 89. A somewhat different translation is given by Akcam, Armenien und der Volkermord, p. 204.

81. For the text of the indictment, see Akcam, Armenien und der Völkermord, pp. 192-207; the verdict of the Harput trial is reproduced in Haigazn K. Kazarian, "The Genocide of Kharpert's Armenians: A Turkish Judicial Document and Cipher Telegrams Pertaining to Kharpert," Armenian Review 19 (Spring 1966): i8-i9.

82. Clarence R. Johnson, ed., Constantinople Today, or the Pathfinder Survey of Constantinople: Study in Oriental Social Life, p. 116; Nur Bilge Criss, Istanbul under Allied Occupation, 1918-1923, pp. 48-49.

83. Quoted in Dadrian, "A Textual Analysis of the Key Indictment of the Turkish Military Tribunal," p. 138.

84. Quoted in Akcam, Armenien und der Völkermord, p. 197.

85. See, for example, Gurun, The Armenian File, p. 232.

86. FO 371/4174/118377.

87. De Robeck to London, September 21, 1919, FO 371/4174/136069.

88. Dadrian, Key Elements in the Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide, p. 27.


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...Is to expose the mythological “Armenian genocide,” from the years 1915-16. A wartime tragedy involving the losses of so many has been turned into a politicized story of “exclusive victimhood,” and because of the prevailing prejudice against Turks, along with Turkish indifference, those in the world, particularly in the West, have been quick to accept these terribly defamatory claims involving the worst crime against humanity. Few stop to investigate below the surface that those regarded as the innocent victims, the Armenians, while seeking to establish an independent state, have been the ones to commit systematic ethnic cleansing against those who did not fit into their racial/religious ideal: Muslims, Jews, and even fellow Armenians who had converted to Islam. Criminals as Dro, Antranik, Keri, Armen Garo and Soghoman Tehlirian (the assassin of Talat Pasha, one of the three Young Turk leaders, along with Enver and Jemal) contributed toward the deaths (via massacres, atrocities, and forced deportation) of countless innocents, numbering over half a million. What determines genocide is not the number of casualties or the cruelty of the persecutions, but the intent to destroy a group, the members of which  are guilty of nothing beyond being members of that group. The Armenians suffered their fate of resettlement not for their ethnicity, having co-existed and prospered in the Ottoman Empire for centuries, but because they rebelled against their dying Ottoman nation during WWI (World War I); a rebellion that even their leaders of the period, such as Boghos Nubar and Hovhannes Katchaznouni, have admitted. Yet the hypocritical world rarely bothers to look beneath the surface, not only because of anti-Turkish prejudice, but because of Armenian wealth and intimidation tactics. As a result, these libelous lies, sometimes belonging in the category of “genocide studies,” have become part of the school curricula of many regions. Armenian scholars such as Vahakn Dadrian, Peter Balakian, Richard Hovannisian, Dennis Papazian and Levon Marashlian have been known to dishonestly present only one side of their story, as long as their genocide becomes affirmed. They have enlisted the help of "genocide scholars," such as Roger Smith, Robert Melson, Samantha Power, and Israel Charny… and particularly  those of Turkish extraction, such as Taner Akcam and Fatma Muge Gocek, who justify their alliance with those who actively work to harm the interests of their native country, with the claim that such efforts will help make Turkey more" democratic." On the other side of this coin are genuine scholars who consider all the relevant data, as true scholars have a duty to do, such as Justin McCarthy, Bernard Lewis, Heath Lowry, Erich Feigl and Guenter Lewy. The unscrupulous genocide industry, not having the facts on its side, makes a practice of attacking the messenger instead of the message, vilifying these professors as “deniers” and "agents of the Turkish government." The truth means so little to the pro-genocide believers, some even resort to the forgeries of the Naim-Andonian telegrams or sources  based on false evidence, as Franz Werfel’s The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. Naturally, there is no end to the hearsay "evidence" of the prejudiced pro-Christian people from the period, including missionaries and Near East Relief representatives, Arnold Toynbee, Lord Bryce, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and so many others. When the rare Westerner opted to look at the issues objectively, such as Admirals Mark Bristol and Colby Chester, they were quick to be branded as “Turcophiles” by the propagandists. The sad thing is, even those who don’t consider themselves as bigots are quick to accept the deceptive claims of Armenian propaganda, because deep down people feel the Turks are natural killers and during times when Turks were victims, they do not rate as equal and deserving human beings. This is the main reason why the myth of this genocide has become the common wisdom.