Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  The Turkish Myth  
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The following commenting Foreword is from ATA-USA's April/July 1983 issue:

This article appeared in the June 13, 1923 issue of the American magazine, The Nation. The date is important, on several counts. It preceded by four months the proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Mustafa Kemal. It followed by a year the three-staged Greco-Turkish War of 1920-22, of which Bernard Lewis has written: “The Greeks made it clear from the first that they had come, not for a temporary occupation, but a permanent annexation—to incorporate western Anatolia in a greater Greece on both sides of the Aegean.” It appeared as the diplomatic wrangling of the Lausanne peace conference was drawing to a close, and the media of the time had been conducting a relentless campaign to discredit both the declining Ottomans and the rising Nationalists of Turkey, thereby justifying the expansionist aims of the Western Imperialists.

It is within this framework that the authors of “The Turkish Myth” tried, through the respectability of their distinguished journal, to arouse the conscience of the Western world. The article is ilIuminating; it sets the stage by drawing an accurate picture of what was going on at that time and valiantly dares to debunk the whole bodyof falsehoods about Turkey and the Levant that were prevalent when the article was written. It provides insights into the thinking of that era. But despite their efforts, the myth continues, even after 60 years. (Now over eighty.) All of the mythology has given rise to an even more widely spread myth: the myth of an
Armenian genocide.


The few Westerners of importance who have tried to give faithful pictures of life in the Near East have been outnumbered to the extent of being smothered. 

The Turkish Myth

by Arthur Moss and Florence Gilliam


The Nation article

Everybody is familiar with the wave of misinformation, misinterpretation, and actual falsification which swept the Allied countries during the recent World War. Now the pendulum has begun to swing and soon we may expect a settling back to normal, with a calm consideration of enemy countries as a mixture of good and bad elements like the rest of the world. But the consistent misinformation of the Western world with regard to Turkey has been of such long standing as to take its place among the inherent traditions and almost ineradicable beliefs of whole nations.

The few Westerners of importance who have tried to give faithful pictures of life in the Near East have been outnumbered to the extent of being smothered. Major General Harbord, sent officially to investigate conditions; H. G. Dwight, a former United States consular official and author of “Constantinople” and “Stamboul Nights”; Pierre Loti, the romantic lover of Turkish civilization; Anatole France, whose keen mind usually penetrates popular illusions; and H. G. Wells, in “The Outline of History,” are members of the small group of Westerners who have defended Moslem civilization. When Lothrop Stoddard says: “Fourteen hundred years ago Islam rose and flooded the civilized world,” he obviously regards the Mohammedan advance as a wave of barbarism sweeping to destruction the elements of a lofty Western civilization. A pretty theory upon which H. G. Wells has made the following comment: “If the reader entertains any delusions about a fine civilization, either Persian, Roman, Hellenic, or Egyptian, being submerged by this flood (the advance of Islam), the sooner he dismisses such ideas the better. Islam prevailed because it was the best social and political order the times could offer.”

Anatole France goes him one better by declaring that “the most tragic day in history is that of the battle of Poitiers when in 732 the science, the art, and the civilization of Arabia fell back before the barbarism of the Frank.”


  Those massacres which occur among the Armenians are most often the work of the Kurds

 The age-old charge against the Turks is of course the Armenian massacres. A journalist not long since tabulated the reports of these massacres in recent years and showed that they totaled thirty-five million slain. As the whole Armenian population is known never to have exceeded three million, there is obviously a case of falsification somewhere. The Bryce reports have been proved to be without tangible evidence and to have been based entirely on hearsay. It has been remarked that investigation in the villages where Turks were in the minority would have revealed just as many instances of Greeks and Bulgars massacring Turks. Indeed it is notable that the Greeks and Bulgars accuse each other of such atrocities much more than they accuse the Turks. The situation is of course the result of an age-long conflict between different peoples who have become almost inextricably mixed politically. Those massacres which occur among the Armenians are most often the work of the Kurds, who are roving bands about as lawless as the mobs in parts of the American South, and about as out-of-hand politically as the banditti who infest parts of Italy and Spain.

A strange turn of phraseology: the League of Nations admitting Greek atrocities!

 Finally, there could be no more complete refutation of the long-perpetuated charges against Turkey than the behavior of the Turkish army during the recent offensive in Smyrna. All the events of this advance have been reported by British and American papers whose policy has been consistently anti-Turkish. When the victorious army entered the region, the Christian population, remembering the precedent of 1919 when the Greeks slaughtered 4,000 Moslems, began sending out panic-stricken appeals for protection, anticipating retaliation on the part of the Turks. And the Council of the League of Nations at Geneva sent to Angora a mild request that no reprisals be made for the Greek atrocities. A strange turn of phraseology: the League of Nations admitting Greek atrocities! Gradually it dawned upon the Christians in Smyrna and upon the Christian nations in Europe that no reprisals were to be made. But the retreating Greeks in complete demoralization behaved so badly that even the efficient British censorship could not stop the leaking of news. The pillaging and burning by the defeated Greek army grew to such proportions that it was difficult for lzmet Pasha to restrain his troops from retaliation. But restrain them he did, and his men behaved with such dignity and orderliness as to profoundly impress Western observers. (How different from the actions of our own marines in Haiti!) The first Turk troops to enter Smyrna were military police who prevented looting and did their best to still the panic among the hysterical Greek civilians. The correspondents of the Chicago Tribune, the London Daily Mail, and Reuter’s stated emphatically that the unfortunate burning of the city was not in any way traceable to the Turks. In spite of these reports by correspondents who were on the spot and who have no reason to favor the Turkish cause, we still hear that the Turks burned Smyrna.

During the retreat, Reuter’s correspondent was warned by Greek officers to leave Ouchak as that town was to be burned. I quote his dispatch from Smyrna: “The demoralization of the Greek troops was complete and the behavior of most of the Greek officers disgusting. On the retreat to Smyrna many Greek officers personally led the looting and pillaging.”

The stories of Turk atrocities circulated among American churches are a mess of lies. I believe that the Greeks and not the Turks are barbarians.

 But it remains for an American official, a man sent by a great relief organization to help succor the downtrodden Greeks and Armenians, to knock the last props from under the stupid edifice of lies and anti-Turk propaganda. Colonel Haskell of the American Red Cross has just returned from a tour of investigation in the Near East. Speaking officially he said: “America should feed the half million Turks whose hinterland was willfully demolished by the retreating Greeks, instead of aiding the Greeks and Armenians who are sitting around waiting for America to give them their next meal. The stories of Turk atrocities circulated among American churches are a mess of lies. I believe that the Greeks and not the Turks are barbarians.”

Armenian relief
Armenians getting hand-outs from relief organization;
Library of Congress Call No. LC-B2- 4544-5[P&P]; thanks to Gokalp.

It has been pointed out that the past wars of Islam have been waged with the hope of plunder. How many nations have entered war without some such hope? And in Angora the desire was not for conquest but simply to regain Constantinople, a city that has been Turkish for 500 years and has at present a population which is predominantly Turkish. If wars of conquest are to be deprecated, what could have been a plainer scheme of aggrandizement than the last Greek expedition, materially fortified by the imperialistic policy of Lloyd George? The Greeks were deluded by a dream of regained Alexandrian Empire. It is as though Italy should suddenly demand the restitution of all the Roman provinces on the strength of her glorious past. Charles Saglio in l’Oeuvre, Paris, commenting upon the statement of the British Government that the Turkish victory complicated matters in the Near East, said Mustapha Kemal had really rendered a great service to the Allies in driving the Greeks out of Smyrna, which was the most Turkish of all Turkish territory, and had thus largely cleared up the situation instead of confusing it.

In Turkey, all three main religions— Mohammedanism, Judaism, and Christianity—are on an equal footing; the numerically dominant one is completely divorced from the state. 

In Turkey, all three main religions— Mohammedanism, Judaism, and Christianity—are on an equal footing; the numerically dominant one is completely divorced from the state. This will not mean any falling off in the followers of Mohammed, but merely that other religions are to have equal rights. A Catholic cannot go as far politically in secular America as a Christian can go in so-called theocratic Turkey. Turkey is no more Islam than Italy is Catholicism. There are rumors of a religious war. If it ever comes, it will not come from Turkey as a center but from the outside pressure of Arab tribes. Even under less enlightened rulers than the present government the Turks have been extraordinarily tolerant to other religions. During the 500 years of Turkish occupation of Jerusalem no religious shrine belonging to another people was molested. All sacred spots were open to visitors of the different faiths. And it may be noted in this connection that the inauguration of Allied control precipitated an immediate squabble of nations and sects concerning the guardianship of the holy places. It is not likely, either, that any Western nation would have allowed to Mohammedan missionaries extraterritorial rights such as have been enjoyed by the American College in Constantinople.

Turkey’s greatest crime in modern times seems to have been her entrance into the war on the losing side. Most of our war records tell of the villainy of Enver Bey, but how many refer to Mahmoud Shevket Pasha, the Minister of War whom the Germanophiles of Turkey assassinated because he was doing his best to keep Turkey out of the conflict?

But whatever may be the merits of this case, the Treaty of Sévres, August, 1920, was the last and greatest effort of the Christian Powers to divide Turkey as they have divided Austria, leaving the latter state to the mercies of international charity. In Turkey there was not the excuse of a heterogeneous population as in Austro-Hungary, the population of Turkey being 70 per cent Ottoman Turk and 85 per cent Moslem. The Treaty of Sévres was an Anglo-French grab-scheme; its successor which is to be evolved from the proposals and counter-proposals initiated at Lausanne is likely to be little more.

It is almost impossible to grasp the revolutionary achievements of Mustapha Kemal Pasha, head of the Angora Government. Here is a man of forty, who in the course of a few years has accomplished what would have been considered a task for 500 years, leaping from entirely unrepresentative governmental methods to really democratic ones. Many of the petty rulers of Turkey before the war were lazy rather than vicious. Turkey was a despairing country, sure of being attacked by European Powers whatever its policy.

Suffrage is absolutely universal with no discrimination for race, color, creed, or sex


No one wanted to be really responsible for anything. Kemal has made sweeping changes in this respect. Suffrage is absolutely universal with no discrimination for race, color, creed, or sex. The harem system has long been outworn and economically impractical, and there is now an active Turkish Women’s Party with at least as much influence as the National Woman’s Party in America. (Kemal has recently been married to Latifeh Hanoum, one of the leaders of this party.)

The present Government is based on the village system. Each village elects representatives to a body which in turn elects district representatives. These form a council which votes for president. Mustapha Kemal is responsible to this council and trusts himself to a general election at least once a year; he has held office ever since the formation of the Angora Government. It is new for Turkey to have a ruler animated by statesmanlike intelligence and backed by popular support. Angora has recognized the independence of Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Hejaz, and Irak. These countries are more grateful to Angora for such recognition than they are to the Allied congress which made them independent states. Because of Mustapha Kemal’s genius and honesty of purpose, and the ability and liberalism of the men associated with him in the new Turkish Government, the Moslem world presents an almost united front under the leadership of Turkey.

The Western world has just begun to realize the great difference between Old Turks and Young Turks. Mustapha Kemal’s Government is endeavoring to prove by its every political move that the appropriate term of the hour is neither of these, but New Turks.




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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.