Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  The Other Side of the 1919-20 Ottoman Trials  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems

 The kangaroo courts of 1919-20, conducted under British occupation, comprise the "bread and butter" of "genocidal proof" to pro-Armenians. The "foremost authority on the Armenian Genocide," Vahakn Dadrian, has conducted the greatest research on these trials, the original transcript of which appear no longer to be available. (Dadrian mainly resorted to summaries published in the official newspapers of the puppet Ottomans in charge.) Dadrian explains the reason for why these trials became necessary:

"When Turkey at the end of October 1918 laid prostrate and asked for a suspension of hostilities, the victorious allies — France, Britain, and Italy — stipulated, among others, a condition to postwar Turkish authorities... They said, ‘Unless you prosecute and punish the authors of Armenian deportations and massacres, the conditions of the impending peace will be very severe and harsh.’ In part, to accommodate the victorious allies, successive postwar Turkish governments established court martials in Istanbul, Turkey."

Dadrian has gone to lengths to fish for reasons as to why these trials were so legitimate and professional (while everywhere else in his writings, he has depicted the Ottoman Turks as the very opposite: illegitimate and unprofessional in the way they conducted business), but even if these trials were conducted in a squeaky-clean manner, the fact that they were held under the guns of enemy occupiers already makes them a farce. The fact is, however, these were not conducted in a legal manner. Due process was mainly denied; they were kangaroo courts.

Dadrian also misleads by giving the impression these trials were solely about the Armenians. They were not. Another reason why they were illegitimate is that the new puppet government was out for revenge. Some were dragged to court for violations of military order such as leaving a post without permission. As Professor Malcolm Yapp has written: "The 1919 courts martial, however cannot be taken entirely at face value because they were conducted by a government which was anxious to pin any blame on the CUP leaders..."

Prof. Guenter Lewy gave an excellent presentation as to what lay behind these courts, and the manner in which they were conducted. The British themselves considered them a travesty of justice.


The following reproduces most of an article entiled "Fair Trial?", appearing in The Turkish Daily News (April 14, 2005), and written by Gündüz Aktan

(Highlighting below is Holdwater's)

The fact that the Armenian incidents were tragic has never been denied. It may be said that the kind of writings on history that have sometimes been derided as the “official history” began with the late Ambassador Kamuran Gurun's book “Armenian File.” Contrary to what some seem to believe, Mr. Gurun wrote that book not after he went into retirement but in 1982, that is, at a time he was serving as the undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry. He recognized in this book that around 300,000 Armenians may have lost their lives in the course of the relocation.

Mehmet Kemal Bey

An Armenian site offered this
shot as Mehmet Kemal Bey.

The first Martial Law Court concerning crimes related to the relocation of the Armenians was set up on Dec. 16, 1918. It was thought that the court was working too slowly. So when Damat Ferit Pasha became prime minister, he made Mustafa Nazim Pasha (called Nemrut because of his cruelty) the presiding judge. The court took prompt action, condemning to death Bogazlayan County Governor Kemal Bey on April 8 and Bayburt County Governor Nusret Bey on July 8, in spite of the absence of material evidence.

The cases related to the Armenian problem made up only a small part of the court's business. The main aim of the Freedom and Accord government was to have its arch-enemy, the Unity and Progress Party, liquidated thanks to those trials. For this reason the defendants' right to a defense was consistently violated. Terrorized by the atmosphere thus created, the defendants accused one another to save their own lives, giving the kind of testimony the judges wanted.

The way it ruled in two cases gives an idea about the nature of the court. In its ruling that appeared in the June 25, 1920 issues of the newspapers, the court described the “National Forces” as forces of dissension and treachery; and it referred to “National Forces” figures such as generals and members of Parliament including Col. Ismet (Inönü) as “bandits affiliated with Unity and Progress.” The court condemned these persons to death and seized their property. In the same ruling the court accused the Ankara-based Turkish Grand National Assembly of being a gathering of “ambitious and malicious rebels.”

The second ruling in question appeared in the newspapers on May 11, 1920. In that ruling the court condemned to death Mustafa Kemal “and his accomplices,” that is, Kara Vasif, Ali Fuat Pasha, Ahmet Rustem Bey (who was a man from Poland who embraced Islam and later became the Republic of Turkey's ambassador to Washington), Adnan Adivar and Halide Edip Adivar.

The British thought that the court acting so unfairly could harm their own position. They took to Malta 144 defendants, some of them accused in relation to the Armenian incidents. However, the British royal prosecutor there said that there was no way he could arrange for an Istanbul-type trial and that he would need sound evidence and witness accounts for a British-type trial. When these were not provided, he released the defendants from custody.

That says a lot for the nature of the Martial Law Court of Nemrut.

Gunduz Aktan

Gunduz Aktan in Congress, Sept. 2000

In reality there has been much more meaningful court cases one should take into consideration when trying to determine whether the Armenian incidents were genocide. Courts created during the Unity and Progress era due to the crimes committed against the Armenians in the course of their forced relocation meted out sentences to a total 1,397 people. (Some of these people were condemned to death.) Of these convictions, 648 were in Sivas, 223 in Mamuretu'l Aziz, 70 in Diyarbakir, 25 in Bitlis, 29 in Eskisehir, six in Sebinkarahisar, eight in Nigde, 33 in Izmit, 32 in Ankara, 69 in Kayseri, 27 in Syria, 12 in Hudavendigar, 12 in Konya, 189 in Urfa and 12 in Canik.

Among those punished were Konya military governor Aziz Bey, some officers and gendarmerie privates and an Armikyan that had stolen fellow Armenians' jewels.

Punishing those that have done wrong to the very people you have subjected to genocide would have been something as strange and as gross as the Germans punishing SS officials.

Note: In this article I made use of a study made by Associate Professor Süleyman Beyoglu.

Holdwater: the 1,397 taken to court during the war has been updated to 1,673, according to new research.


More on the 1919-20 Kangaroo Courts:

Revisiting the Armenian Genocide





"West" Accounts


Armenian Views


Turks in Movies
Turks in TV


This Site

...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.