Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  U.N. non-recognition in 1985  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems

 In 1985, the Armenians applied their usual strategy of trying to get a body to approve of their genocide, as they have succeeded with so many nations and states. Since they can't prove their case honorably and historically, they cleverly go through the back door, making use of their plethora of propaganda and Western prejudices/greed for diaspora wealth [in the case of politicians, at least]. But this time they did not target just any body, but the "whole world," in the form of the United Nations.

Professor Turkkayya Ataov was there, and he provided the following report. The Armenians' instrument was the U.K.'s Benjamin Whitaker, a "Special Rapporteur"... yet another lazy mind wholly taken in by the Armenians' propaganda, not taking the trouble (or unable to, through his possible bigotry) to examine all sides of the story.

As a result, professional Armenian advocates have unethically proclaimed that the United Nations has recognized the alleged genocide... when the facts were exactly the opposite. Benjamin Whitaker submitted his "Study of Genocide," during the U.N.'s thirty-eighth session at its office in Geneva, from August 5-30, 1985. The Sub-Commission refused to endorse the indictment for lack of convincing evidence.

And they did so with responsible, meticulous debate... quite unlike the ignorant or biased (or bought) diaspora-politicians who have voted for meaningless Armenian genocide resolutions. The details of this report are inspiring; the participants go at it, in general, from the perspective of historical fact. (Or at least some honestly admit they are not in the position, as non-historians, to decide on what history should be.)

Some of these unethical Armenians who have presented a false picture of this U.N. drama have been Vahakn Dadrian and Roger Smith's Zoryan Institute, and the publisher of the Courier, Harut Sassounian. Sassounian was present at the goings-on, in his younger days. His quote directly below (in the second paragraph), ending with "...it is the duty of the publisher of... (Armenian news)papers to see that our natural bias does not get in the way of our responsibility to publish the facts honestly and impartially" is an outright hoot. Mr. Sassounian has gone on to the present day in affirming the U.N.'s recognition, despite being told that U.N. representatives themselves, in the 21st century, have stated that the U.N. has not officially recognized the genocide. But isn't this the typical extremist-Armenian way? You can tell them all the irrefutable historical facts until you are blue in the face, and these faith-based zealots will always be in denial.


The following article has been reproduced from a flawed copy, and edges of the paper were sometimes cut off. Words difficult to decipher, or "best guess" ones, are included in {brackets.}




The Truth About the ‘Whitaker Report’


Chairman, International Relations
Division, Faculty of Political Science, Ankara University.

Ankara, Sistem Ofset, March 1986


 The United Nations Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities held its thirty-eighth session at the U.N. Office in Geneva from 5 to 30 August 1985. Among others, the Sub-Commission discussed item IV, entitled "Review of Further Developments in Fields Which the Sub-Commission Has Been Concerned". [1] It is also referred to as the "Study on Genocide", prepared by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Benjamin Whitaker (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island). In paragraph 24, the Rapporteur also referred to the Armenian issue, on which lengthy discussions took place.

A deliberate confusion has been created by some Armenian quarters on the status of the ‘Whitaker Report’. Let us read the following lines in the Armenian paper Courier,[2] which expresses a concern on a matter of principle: "As the intensity of the dispute between the Armenians of the world and the Turks heats up, it becomes increasingly more difficult to publish newspapers for Armenians in an objective and factual way. But it is the duty of the publisher of such papers to see that our natural bias does not get in the way of our responsibility to publish the facts honestly and impartially".

The quotation above may be born in mind in connection with the debates and the voting on the Whitaker Report. After debating agenda item IV at its 12th, 17th to 22nd, 35th to 37th meetings on August 13, 15 to 17, 20 and 29, 1985, the Sub-Commission adopted a draft resolution by 14 votes to 1, with 4 abstentions. Contrary to what the Armenian Asbarez,[3] the Armenian Haratch[4] or le Journal de Genève[5] wrote, the voting does not signify approval of the Whitaker Report. Such studies are personal products; it is up to the Rapporteur to change it or leave it as it is. Other members of the Sub-Commission may, if they wish, criticize or praise it, withhold it in the Sub-Commission or transmit it to a higher U.N. body. The French expert Mr. Joinet thought that it was the rule to transmit such reports to the higher Commission. I do not think that it will be wrong to say that Mr. Whitaker was the only expert member thoroughly criticized in the whole thirty-eighth session. According to some observers, no other U.N. expert was so much examined and opposed in the history of similar sessions. Severe criticism came from those who represented different legal systems, countries and continents. With all due respect to Mr. Whitaker as an individual and an intellectual, the criticisms were politely-phrased but were nevertheless hard and searching.

1. U.N., Economic and Social Council, E/CN. 4/Sub. 2 / 1985 / 6.
2. June20,1985.
3. California, August 31, 1985.
4. Paris, 22 novembre 1985.
5. 30 aout 1985.


In an effort to summarize the characteristics of the decision voted upon, one should emphasize that the Sub-Commission refused to "receive" the Report, merely "noted" it, underlining the fact that "divergent opinions" had been expressed about the contents, deleted the word "high" specifying the quality of the proposals and kept it in the Sub-Commission refusing to transmit it to the higher Commission on Human Rights, thanked the Rapporteur with the expressed understanding that this in no way meant approval but a mere formula of accustomed courtesy and only recommended that the U.N. renew its efforts to make the ratification of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide universal as soon as possible.

The wording of a resolution taken by an international organization is not the result of a coincidence. Any word, any phrase or any variation expressed may be considered to be the outcome of a debate, voting or consensus, which may be arrived at after long discussions. It is only logical that details in respect to variations be duly evaluated and properly interpreted.

All the opposing views are extensively quoted in the U.N."Summary Records”.[6] These records show a general and an extensive criticism. The Armenian Reporter,[7] for instance, acting fairly, accepted the "widespread opposition voiced"  to the reference to the Armenians in the Whitaker Report. The paper further elaborated as follows: "In the course of discussions of the issue, outside of [except] Mr. Louis Joinet, the French representative of the Sub-Commission, most of the other deIegates voiced opposition" against a reference to the Armenians "arguing that allegations that genocide indeed did occur have not been substantiated".

The following pages reflect the circumstances of the Geneva meeting, the “views of the Sub-Commission members, the tendency that dominated the discussions and the final resolution, It will be seen from the information given below that tie Sub-Commission has politely refused Mr. Whitaker’s Report and by so doing did not recommend its transmission to any other U.N. body.

* * *

E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/SR 1 - SR. 39. Some of them are condensed into short paragraphs in The Armenian Observer, September 4, 1985.
New York, August 22. 1985.


Although Mr. Whitaker was also criticized on a number of other points as well, most of the lengthy debates centered on paragraph 24 of the Report, especially on its reference to the Armenians.

Prof. Turkkaya Ataov

Prof. Turkkaya Ataov, early 2000s

  It may be useful to remember at this point why a reference to the same issue was not made in the previous Reports and why Mr. Whitaker chose to reintroduce it. As members of the Sub-Commission remember, the Armenian issue had been discussed in the past, and it was decided to take it out. This removal was not accidental, but the result of discussions and a certain evolution. In explaining the reasons of this judgement, the then Special Rapporteur had said8 that in deciding whether a given situation constituted genocide, it was important “not to confuse genocide with certain other crimes”. When work had begun on the historical part of the study, some suggested that many cases ought to be reviewed. But still many others opposed the idea. Nevertheless, "a number of cases considered to be beyond doubt had been taken up". It had been decided to retain the treatment of the Jews under Nazism. But other cases had been omitted. Therefore, if the Armenian issue did not appear in the previous Report, it was not an omission — but a well -thought out conclusion reached after years of discussions.

Mr. Benjamin Whitaker was named the new Rapporteur at a meeting held in 1983. I do not think that it is an exaggeration to say that from the very beginning he seemed determined to include the Armenian issue in his personal survey. Truly, one can say much more than that. As The Armenian Reporter admitted, he "clearly sided with the Armenians".[9]

First of all, the Rapporteur had preconceptions on the issue. He said later in the discussions on August 20, 1985, that he has been studying the Armenian problem for the last eight years. But in a statement that he had made on September 9, 1975,[10] that is, ten years ago, he expressed the same views even before he "began to study" the issue. He thanked Mr. Shavarsh Toriguian (described by The Armenian Reporter [9] as the representative of the Armenian National Committee in the Sub-Commission meeting) towards the end of his Report. But Mr. Whitaker did not need to be convinced by the Armenian lobbyists. In contrast to his close association with the Armenian circles, he preferred not to have similar contacts with the Turks. Consequently, he could not have analyzed Turkish material adequately.

As the Director of the Minority Rights Group (London), Mr. Benjamin Whitaker had published a 24-page booklet, entitled The Armenians, written by David Marshall Lang (Professor of Caucasian Studies at the University of London) and Christopher J. Walker (a journalist). No militant Armenian could have produced a better booklet for the propaganda of a unilateral version of history. Mr. Whitaker’s MRG printed it five times for a world-wide Armenian propaganda. It is also translated into French and Armenian.

[Holdwater note: Translation into these three languages is exactly how Aram Andonian approached his propagandistic "Naim Bey" work!]

* * *

8. CN.4/Sub.2/SR.222 (September 15, 1978).
9. August 22, 1985.
10. E/CN.4/Sub. 2/SR. 736.
11. August 15, 1985.


 Messrs. Lang and Walker admit the obvious by stating: "...Our Turkish friends may find it too pro-Armenian". Both writers have relied on Armenian sources, not only in terms of printed material, but also of personal contacts. This is true for the booklet in question as much as for the other publications of the same authors.[12]

In a list of 57 sources added as "Bibliography" to the end of the booklet, only two Turkish works are mentioned. One is Ziya Gökalp’s The Principles of Turkism, which is not on the Armenians, and the second is Kazim Karabekir’s IstiklaI Harbimiz (Our War of Independence). One wonders whether Professor Lang, for instance, has been able to read General Karabekir’s 1171-page massive compendium in Turkish.[13] If not, was it put on the list to give the reader an unfair impression that Turkish sources were also consulted? If read, however, why were none of the Turkish author’s first-hand accounts not related? As I explain in greater detail in another research entitled General Karabekir and the Armenians, the Turkish general’s account is a remarkable compilation of documents illuminating all aspects of his service. Lang and Walker, neither in their joint publication for the MRG, nor in their other separate books treat Karabekir’s account. Walker, for instance, in his Armenia,[14] does not quote any non-Armenian source on the Turkish taking back of the city of Kars in October 1920. He, nevertheless, lists Karabekir’s memoirs perhaps as a show-piece. Messrs. Lang and Walker could have also consulted “the Bristol Papers” in the manuscript division of the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.— before writing that General Karabekir caused "a dreadful sequel of civilian massacre". Some twenty American Near East Relief Workers refute authors Lang and Walker. For instance, Admiral Mark Lambert Bristol (the Commander of the U.S. Naval Detachment, then) writes: ".. .Armenian reports are absolutely false". The MRG authors could have also consulted the interview with Paul Grescovich, the Austrian Chief of the lzmir Fire Department from 1910 to 1922 — again before
relying on the Armenian Housepian’s presentation of the Turkish retaking of the city and the notorious fire there.

As a matter of fact, the MRG monograph makes extensive use of Armenian writers, such as Daghlian, Der Nersessian, Housepian, Hovannisian, Karapetian, Krikorian, Matossian, Movsessian, Nalbandian, Ormanian, Pasdermadjian, Sahakian, Salmaslian, Sanjian, Sarkisian, Shiragian, Surmelian, Toriguian, Totovents and Vratsian. Consequently, their presentation and analysis are totally one-sided. The MRG monograph contains many sweeping statements with no factual basis whatsoever, Lang and Walker start their manuscript with a so-called Hitler "statement" (disparaging to the Turks), without perhaps knowing that it is already proved not to have been made.[15] On page 2, column 1 of the same monography, they refer to an "agreement concluded in 1920" by Mustafa Kemal and Lenin. The agreement referred to was signed on March 16, 1921. This is how authoritative the manuscript is even when it refers to well -known factual data. The authors also state that the Selçuk Turks came from Central Asia and Iran and overran "much of Anatolia in 1064". If they mean the famous battle of Malazgirt, which widely opened the gates of Anatolia to the Turks, the correct date is 1071. (The Turks, however, came to Asia Minor, much earlier than that as shamanists, some of whom embraced Christianity.) The authors give two different figures for the Armenian population in Turkey (100,000 and 250,000) on the same page. The monograph is full of emotionally charged phrases that cannot be substantiated.

In short, the new Rapporteur had a record of having sided with one of the parties to the "Armenian conflict". But he also wanted to give a verdict as a judge in a very controversial issue and expected the United Nations to adopt it.

*  *  *

California Courier Publisher Harut Sassounian speaking at a 2002 ANC event

California Courier Publisher Harut Sassounian
speaking at a 2002 ANC event

The Armenian Reporter stated that several Armenians arrived in Geneva "to lobby" for the Armenian views. [16] The Armenian Asbarez wrote that the “Turkish delegation was outnumbered by the ANC (Armenian National Council) delegation even if we added their body-guards"." I was told by the Armenian lobbyists that they were thirteen the first day of the meeting. They included Messrs. Shavarsh Toriguian, Hrair Balian, Harut Sassounian, Christian der Stepanian, Roberto M. Malkassaian, Varoujian Attarian, Juan Stokatlian and others. The Armenian Reporter wrote that the first three represented the ANC and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.[18] Later, they were joined by still others, including some Swiss citizens of Armenian origin. One of the latter, Armand Gaspard, told me that the Armenian lobbyists were “more numerous than the experts of the Sub-Commission. (The Sub-Commission is composed of 26 members.) An editorial in The Armenian Reporter[19] stated that the ANC representatives sent, under the cover of various nongovernmental organizations, "did extensive work there". A group of Armenians, who had come from Latin America, claimed the same in a press conference in Argentina.


12. Lang mentions in the Preface of another book entitled Armenia (London, George Allen and Unwin, 1980) that he was first influenced by the Armenian Archbishop Nerses Melik-Tangian while the author was stationed in Tabriz as British Vice-Consul. The Cultural Association of the Armenian Ladies in Paris awarded this book the “Prix Brémond” for 1972, and it was also given the 1978 special prize of the New York Archdiocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. In the Preface of his other book entitled The Armenians, (London, George Allen and Unwin, 1981) Lang thanks Messrs. G. and V. Aftanbilian (Mass.), the Armenian Ladies’ Association (Teheran), the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), V. Khachatourian, K.K. Mazlumian, Dr. T. Toranion (Aleppo), Reverend M. K. Krikorian (Vienna) and J.H. Tashjian (Boston) — all Armenians.

13. How much Turkish the authors know can be discerned from the wrong typing of “miifeteIIj’~ There is no such word in Turkish, If it is supposed to mean “trustees”, it should be

[Holdwater: in a "revised and updated" report prepared by Whitaker (which this genocide site has put up, as if the report were actually accepted by the U.N.), the Armenophile Rapporteur has made sure to include other Turkish works. Whether he has read them or not is another story. The persuasive facts of the included "The Armenian File" by Kamuran Gurun, for example, is what turned around the views of Dr. Bernard Lewis.]

15. Heath W. Lowry, “The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians”, Political Co’munications and Persuasion, Vol. 3, No. 2 (1985), pp. 111-139; Ti~rkkaya Ata~v, Hit’ and the Armenian Question... Ankara, Sistem Of set, 1984.

16. August 8, 1985,
17. September 7,1985.
18. August 22, 1985.
19. October 17,1985.


 I participated in the thirty-eighth session of the Sub-Commission as a representative of an NGO, namely, the “International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” also, shortly known as EAFORD. I participated in it as I have done so in many other international conferences before and since. In the Summer of 1985, it happened that I took part in four such meetings, organized by the United Nations. Perhaps this is not so surprising since I have been shouldering work and responsibility as an Executive Council member of EAFORD, as a writer on U.N. activities and as a university professor lecturing on international organizations.

As I summarized EAFORD’s aims and deeds in the first part of my talk on apartheid in the 9th meeting on August 9, 1985,20 it may be appropriate here to state briefly the principles and the achievements of our Organization. It is only natural that EAFORD should be present in such a U.N. gathering. After all, among the objectives of the U.N., next to the prevention of war, is the decision of the members to reaffirm their faith in the rights of man. Consequently, perhaps the greatest achievement of the U.N. has been to consolidate the principle that human rights were a matter of international concern.

Founded in 1976, EAFORD concerns itself mainly with all forms of racial discrimination, also at times touching upon neighbouring fields of interest. Although the International Convention, unanimously adopted for the same purpose by the U.N. General Assembly,was ratified by an overwhelming majority of U.N. members, a greater degree of compliance with its provisions was necessary for that Convention to become truly effective. Our Organization was one of the results of this mobilization.2’

Since its inception, EAFORD has initiated studies and conferences with the purpose of bringing together those committed to the struggle against racial discrimination in all its manifestations. Apart from publishing books, yearbooks, booklets, bulletins and articles in the mass media all over the world, it has supported pertinent academic researches of some younger scholars and has given annual awards to the best learned works against racial discrimination. In all these endeavours, it has remained non-governmental, never yielding to any pressure from a government or any other quarter. It is international in composition and outlook, concerning itself with the realization of U.N. decisions. Consequently, it has Consultative Status with the United Nations.

The Armenian paper Asbarez wrote, some days later[22] that I participated {in} the U.N. meeting “without the permission” of EAFORD. The paper stated {that
} "aware of this fraud", the Armenian National Council delayed "revealing this information" to the U.N. Secretariat, until I was scheduled to speak. It adds: “Causing him a great deal of embarrassment, his NGO status was yanked on Tuesday morning". However, the topic on the agenda was delayed for unrelated reasons until Thursday of the same week. By that time, his status was restored through means available {to} the Turkish Government”

The Asbarez article is a fantasy, wishful thinking — or an outright lie. EAFORD's London Office wrote to me on July 23, 1985[23] stating that they have registered {my} name as their representative to U.N. meetings, which dealt with (a) Palestine {?} (b) Community Relations. The last paragraph of the same letter said: “I am informing EAFORD’s permanent representative in Geneva, Dr. Zidane Meriboute, of your impending visit and requesting him to make the necessary provisions for your attendance at UNCHR, Sub-Com. on Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, 3{rd?} Session”. A copy of this letter was also sent to EAFORD’s representative in Geneva. I was allowed to attend the meeting and given a proper identification card which showed to the officials of the U.N. Secretariat the letter referred to above. T{here} was never a question of “yanking” my representation. And there was no pressure on the part of the Turkish Government on any member of EAFORD Secretariat{?} member of the Turkish Government or any of its representatives in any capacity in London or elsewhere has ever brought any pressure on EAFORD. There was {never} contact between the Turkish Government and EAFORD, by any means whatsoever — not even a short telephone call. There was no pressure on any other quarter either.

There was, on the other hand, various kinds of coercion on EAFORD’s London Office by a number of Armenians and their associates. An incredible lack of tolerance on the part of a large group of lobbyists (Armenian or not), who {had?} come to propagandize Armenian views only, under the flags of various NGOs towards one single individual, who already talked on the most serious situation in South Africa and who was to talk on Palestinian rights, also with a moderate {and?} truthful exposé on the theme that there was no agreement on facts even among {the?} third parties in respect to the Armenian issue! What a bias, what a prejudice, what a lack of fair play! A certain Verena Graf, a Swiss citizen who represented {?} NGO but who acted throughout the meetings like an Armenian lobbyist, was the first to call EAFORD’s London Office with an attempt to bring pressure on {the?} Organization. She was followed by others. They have all tried unsuccessfully to intimidate EAFORD to withdraw my representation. But EAFORD is the kind of international organization which has always taken courageous steps and never regretted any one of them.

20. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/SR.9.
21. Turkkaya Ataov, The International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of RacialOiscriminarion, London, EAFORD, 119791.

22. September 7, 1985

23. The EAFORD Secretariat letter is in my file.


The same article in the Asbarez also wrote that I "unashamedly introduced" myself to the Armenians in the hall, the article further relating imaginary conversations with me. It was Mr. Toriguian, who first came to our table (in a way easily noticeable by everyone) when I was about to talk to the Indian expert of the Sub-Commission. He later conversed with a member of the Turkish Mission to the U.N., and they both invited me to join them.

The same article also tried to take lightly the fact that I have translated into Turkish and published in book form My Name is Aram by the celebrated American-Armenian author William Saroyan. (For the cover and the last page of the second edition of my translation, see Annex 1. [Holdwater: Unavailable here]) It was my first published book (when I was only twenty)
and perhaps the first Turkish translation of a Saroyan work. I would only harbour feelings of respect towards an Armenian who would render a Turkish author into his mother tongue. Truly, there was no prejudice in me, in my family, in the immediate circle of friends or in the mind of the publisher, who accepted the translation and published it immediately.

I had then selected William Saroyan because he loved the friendship of small, less complicated environments. He rose to great heights, often producing masterpieces. With no social graces and not wanting any, he preferred the rough-and-ready. His first short story was published in 1933 and was reprinted in the 1934 Best Short Stories. The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapaze, which appeared the same year as title-story of his first volume, was an instant success. In 1939 he suddenly became a playwright with My Heart’s in the Highlands. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1940 for The Time of Your Life (but declined it). His satirical novel The Adventures of Wesley Jackson was described as the first anti-war novel of the Second World War. "Aram" was the name of his own son, but his My Name is Aram was an autobiographical collection of stories that revolve around the life of a boy in Fresno, California. All this is certainly known to the Armenian intellectuals as well.

What they may not know equally well, however, is William Saroyan’s visit to Turkey and its consequences. He came to Turkey in May 1964, visiting Bitlis and the surrounding areas. He was very well received by the Turks of all levels, the simple folk of Bitlis embracing him in the outskirts of the town with traditional music and dancing.24 And Saroyan did not participate in the April demonstrations when he went back to California.25 Moreover, in a hand-written statement that he left with Turkey’s celebrated journalist, painter and photographic artist, Fikret Otyam, he stated that he came to “know the simplicity, hospitality and dignity of the Turkish nation”. (For a photocopy of the original statement, in Saroyan’s own hand-writing see Annex 2.) It was reported later that Saroyan’s absence in the April demonstrations in the United States could not go unnoticed. (For photographs of Saroy’ Turkey, see Annex 3.[Holdwater: Annexes 2 and 3 have been reproduced on this page.])

Quite distinct from the superficial sarcasm of the youthful writer of Asbarez this is what comes to my mind when somebody mentions this warm-hearted {great?} — William Saroyan.

*  *  *

The thirty-eighth session of the Sub-Commission was opened by Mr. {?} Toshevski, the Chairman of the Sub-Commission at its last session. It was attended by members of the Sub-Commission (the experts from Colombia, Ecuador and {So}malia being absent), by observers for member states, by an observer for a{?} member state, by a representative of the Office of the U.N. High Commission{er?} Refugees and by representatives of special agencies, an intergovernmental organization, national liberation movements and non-governmental organizations.

The Sub-Commission elected Mrs. Erica-Irene A. Daes (Greece) as Chair{woman?} and four other expert members as Vice-Chairmen and Mr. C.L.C. Mubanga-C{?} ya (Zambia) as the Rapporteur for the whole session. The election of Mrs. Daes {was} viewed by Armenian quarters "as a positive development in favor of the Armenian position in as much as Greeks, in general, sympathize with the Armenian cause {and} claims, often providing welcome support".[26]

At its first meeting, the Sub-Commission adopted a provisional agen{?} which included items such as racial discrimination, gross violations of human  rights, the rights of detainees, scientific and technological developments, indigenous populations, the new international economic order, slavery, child labour, promotion of human rights at all levels and human rights and disability. The Sub-Commission discussed all these topics in their relation to human rights in general, during a {?} of thirty-nine meetings.[28] This booklet will, nevertheless, concentrate on the Whitaker Report, at times mentioning others only in terms of comparison.

Mr. Kurt Herndl, the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights {?} made the Preliminary Statement, said that equality and non-discrimination are the two essential principles enshrined in the U.N. Charter. The U.N. had established for all time the principle that human rights were a matter of international con{trol}. There existed today an international code of human rights. Newly emerging problems were studied, and rules were established for dealing with them. The U.N. developed its advisory services and the technical assistance it offered to govern{ments?}.

24. Fikret Otyam, "Baba Ocaginda", Cumhuriyet, 31 (May) - 10 (June) 1964
25. {Missing}
26. The Armenian Reporter, August 8,1985.
27. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/1.
28. I spoke on behalf of EAFORD during the 9th, 20th and the 29th meetings. My first {?} was on South Africa (E/CN.4ISub.2/1985/SR.9), the second on the Whitaker Report (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/SR.20) and the third on the violation of human rights of the Palesti{ne -- missing document number}

Mrs. Gu Yijiye (People’s Republic of China): "it was not advisable to recall feuds and killings in other regions, or among ethnical groups or people within a particular state, whose origins lay in history." It was important to maintain world peace and stability based on mutual respect and friendly coexistence among nations. The unpleasant experiences of the past "should not be dwelt upon for their own sake."

 The examples he cited of what the U.N. had accomplished could only be considered as a remarkable success story. But a constant watch had to be kept over respect for the rights of the individual.

Mr. Benjamin Whitaker summarized his report in the morning session of August 13, 1985. He stated that amongst all human rights, the primacy of the right to life was unanimously agreed to be pre-eminent and the sine qua non for all other human rights. More serious problems arose when the body responsible for causing death was a state itself. He said that genocide was an "ever-growing modern danger to civilization" and that a very grave example of that crime occurred under the Nazis. He mentioned as "other examples" the Herreros, the Armenians, the Jews (in the Ukraine in 1919), the Hutus, the Ache Indians, Kampuchea and the Baha’is. He added that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which had been unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in 1948 and which constituted the basis for action in that field by the United Nations system, enumerated groups protected as national, ethnical, racial or religious groups without defining such terms. He said that differing views had been expressed as to what extent the terms "national" or "ethnic" groups included minorities. The Nazi police, for example, had also exterminated groups of homosexuals. He also proposed that the definition of genocide should be broadened to include cultural genocide or "ethnocide", and also "ecocide", a term which designated adverse alterations, often irreparable to the environment, for example, through nuclear explosions, chemical weapons, serious pollution, acid rain or destruction of the rain forest. He considered the mobilization of public awareness and vigilance as essential to guard against any recurrence of genocide. In cases where evidence appeared of an impending armed conflict which might degenerate into genocide, he suggested an effective early warning system.

Following Mr. Whitaker’s summary of his own Report, several Sub-Commission members inquired why it had been decided to take up agenda item IV since other items had been scheduled for consideration at the current meeting. The Chairman replied that the other items were suspended because some NGO representatives (meaning those interested in the Armenian issue) did not wish to stay on in Geneva and preferred an earlier treatment of the Report on genocide. Upon several other criticisms considering it unfortunate that the Sub-Commission’s timetable had been changed, the Chairman had to resort to a vote on the motion to adjourn the debate on agenda item IV, which was adopted by 10 to 1, with 10 abstentions. Consequently, the discussion on the Whitaker Report started at the 17th meeting on August 15, 1985.

Mr. Danilo Turk (Yugoslavia) examined the importance of the 1948 Convention "in legal and moral terms" and interpreted parts of it. As far as the definition and prohibition of genocide were concerned, it was true that Article II of the Convention had been criticized both by those who believed that the definition was too broad and those who considered that it was not all-embracing. In order to constitute the crime of genocide, such acts had to be committed with the intent to destroy.

The destruction of cultural infrastructure might not always be a case of genocide but rather a case of another violation of human rights. The same interpretation {?}plied, mutatis mutandis, to ecocide. As to the question of the groups protected by the Convention, Mr. Turk was not convinced that the expansion of that list, proposed by Mr. Whitaker, would be useful. With respect to the question of implementation machinery, he endorsed suggestions on prevention and early warning. Sit{?} there were still a number of states that had not yet signed or ratified the Convention, revising it was "premature". Nevertheless, any activity which would give gre{at} effect to the Convention should be encouraged.

Mr. Leandro Despouy (Argentina) said that among the points to which {Mr.?} Whitaker had made reference in his Report, particular attention should be paid to the genocide of the Jews by the Nazis. It should not be forgotten, he added, that the peoples of the occupied territories and, indeed, the Germans themselves had been the victims of Nazi horrors also. In conclusion, it was his view that international agreements needed the sanction of domestic law for their full implementation.

Mr. Marc Bossuyt (Belgium) underlined that Mr. Whitaker bore the main responsibility for the Report on genocide. However, it was "not for the Special Rapporteur nor the Sub-Commission to set themselves up as official historians {on?} international courts”. The Report could be improved on two points, namely, paragraph 24 (meaning the Armenians) and the events in Burundi (in 1972). As he understood it, the Turkish Government contended that there had been no attempt {at?} genocide, citing Ottoman documents to prove that there had been no intention to destroy the Armenians. The Turks said that the “documents” quoted for the contrary were falsifications. Is the Turkish side satisfied, he asked, with Whitaker's summary of the Turkish position? There was also the reference in paragraph {?} and footnote 15 to Burundi, where violence by a numerically ethnic majority against a dominant ethnic minority occurred, culminating in the death of tens of thousands of Burundis. Mr. Bossuyt said that some people “had elected to describe these events as genocide and Mr. Whitaker had followed them” in his Report. He also referred to minor points. For instance, at the end of the second sentence of paragraph 72, the word “excuses” seemed inappropriate since there could be no “excuses” for terrorist acts; it might be replaced by “pretext”.

Mr. Louis Joinet (France) expressed “a convergence of view” between him{self} and the Report under consideration. He agreed with the Rapporteur that there was a difference between genocide according to the law and the popular concept of what the word meant. Public opinion had, however, to be recognized. He also {?}reed concerning “sexual minorities”. In France under Nazi occupation, Jews had been forced to wear yellow badges and homosexuals pink ones. While he was in favour of provisions concerning ethnocide or cultural genocide and ecocide, he thought that they should be left to UNESCO and the U.N. Environment Prog{ram?} respectively. With regard to implementation machinery (paras. 86 et seq.), there was no realistic possibility of setting up an international human rights tribunal court in the near future. He supported the proposals (in paras. 83-84) concerning an early warning system.

Mrs. Gu Yijiye (People’s Republic of China) defined genocide as "one of the worst violations of human rights". There were shortcomings in the 1948 Convention. For example, its provisions "dealt only with punishment and not with prevention". In her opinion, the greatest danger of genocide in the contemporary world lay in the development and increase of nuclear weapons. While it was necessary to keep the horrors committed by the Nazis in mind," it was not advisable to recall feuds and killings in other regions, or among ethnical groups or people within a particular state, whose origins lay in history". It was important to maintain world peace and stability based on mutual respect and friendly coexistence among nations. The unpleasant experiences of the past "should not be dwelt upon for their own sake".


 Mr. Jules Deschênes (Canada) said that Mr. Whitaker’s study aroused a great deal of passion and also gave rise to many difficult problems of domestic and international law. Many studies failed to lead to any specific measures. He believed that the recommendations in paragraph 33 that the definition of genocide should be broadened to include cultural genocide or ethnocide and also ecocide appeared unnecessary. On the other hand, the recommendation that acts of omission should be added was important. Mr. Deschênes also welcomed the idea of an international penal jurisdiction. However, the proliferation of separate institutions should be avoided. He would prefer the Statute of the International Court of Justice to be amended so as to cover international civil cases. He noted that prevention was the weakest point in the existing Convention. One of the last but important points that Mr. Deschênes had made does not appear in the "Summary Record of the 17th Meeting", issued by the U.N. Secretariat in Geneva. According to my personal notes, he also said that not all governments agree with Mr. Whitaker’s examples of genocide, but that history was not very important and that we should not lose sight of our main topic.

Mr. Joinet said that, in response to Mr.
Deschênes’ appeal, he would refrain from prolonging the discussion on the question of examples. He was not convinced by Mr. Bossuyt’s argument which would, for example, prevent a reference to acts of genocide committed by the Nazis. The efforts made in some quarters to obliterate the memory of Nazi genocide had become a serious problem in Europe. Mr. Bossuyt said that he was not opposed to references being made elsewhere to the serious historical events to which Mr. Joinet had referred, but he considered it prudent for the Rapporteur and the Sub-Commission to refrain from making such references.

Mr. Laurin (International Federation of Human Rights) repeated the fact that genocide was the worst crime under international law. However, the assertion that the Report also "covered" the Armenians was an overstatement, in terms of various views expressed in several academic works, to which the Rapporteur made no reference at all. Mr. Laurin correctly reminded that one of the foremost tasks of the United Nations was to prevent the crime of genocide. He also noted that there was a disturbing tendency in some quarters to deny that the genocide of the Jews had taken place.

Stating that the discussions on the Report was similar to that of a journalist writing an article which had to be submitted to the scrutiny and approval of board of editors of the newspaper, Mr. John Carey (U.S.A.) thought that it might be adequate for an after-dinner chat, but not for an intellectual and scholarly w{?} that was expected. Referring especially to paragraphs 20-24, he asked why {the?} Turkish criticism of Armenian views were not adequately covered. Holding {up a} booklet entitled The Andonian "Documents" Attributed to Talat Pasha, Are Forgeries, he stated that the very title of that publication suggested a second point of view, which was very crucial to an acceptable definition. He added: “Professor Ataöv, the author of this book, is present in the meeting. His book on the so-called Talat Pasha ‘telegrams’ is not mentioned even in the footnote. Such a point of view, namely the opinion that the ‘orders’ for extermination, attributed to the Ottoman Minister of the Interior, are forgeries concerns the crux of the matter and there{fore} deserves to be summarized adequately in the text itself. This goes beyond a {mere?} mention in a footnote — but even that was not done. The Rapporteur could {have?} summarized one set of views and also offered the summary of other set of view{s of} the text and maintained his impartiality. If the Rapporteur, who happens to be a good friend of mine, still thinks that his Report is objective, he may send it {to?} scholarly review, such as The American Journal of International Law and s{ee "the} reaction to it." In spite of the fact that Mr. Carey had mentioned my name and referred to my publication, which dealt with a very crucial aspect of the question under discussion, I did not summarize the conclusions of my research when I was asked by the Chair to speak. I did not want to make such a use of my pre{sentation?} there. The publication speaks for itself. I must add, at this point, however, that I had personally given the same booklet to Mr. Whitaker myself during a very {?} meeting, in which he told me that he had no time to talk to me.

Noting that genocide was a grave violation of human rights, Mr. Dumitru {?}zilu (Romania) said that, as to the precise facts, he was not a historian and therefore not in a position to judge events of the past, nor was it up to the Sub-Commission to do so. However, the increasing capacity to kill made international preventive action more urgent than ever.

The U.N. had been created for conciliation. The role of those who represented it was to heal the wounds of history, not to keep them open. It would be paradoxical if a U.N. report should have the effect of reviving certain forms of hatred and perhaps even further fanning the flames of terrorism.

Mr. Ahmed M. Khalifa (Egypt) wondered whether it was wise to up{date} certain reports once every five years, especially when one remembers that th{ere are} other reports, presented some twenty years ago, which were not yet up-dat{ed. As} for the current Report, it was sufficient to refer to the 1948 Convention (particularly its Article II) to establish what genocide meant. Efforts should be made to abide by that legal precept "without exaggeration, deformation or dilution{, gen}ocide had to be distinguished from other forms of presecution. He begg{ed the} Rapporteur not to play with the notion of genocide. He noted that the Baha’is were mentioned, but not the Palestinians. Other cases mentioned in paragraph 24 were "not sufficiently authenticated from the historical point of view". Mr. Khalifa noted that the accusations were very serious and that the Rapporteur had even mentioned cases not generally heard of. He asked whether the Palestinians do not deserve a mention in Mr. Whitaker’s "open door policy". Stating that he had lots to say about his "method of selection", he proposed to drop history all together. He said that even if certain cases could be historically authenticated it would then be necessary to determine whether they constituted cases of genocide for the purposes of the Convention. The U.N. had been created for conciliation. The role of those who represented it was to heal the wounds of history, not to keep them open. It would be paradoxical if a U.N. report should have the effect of reviving certain forms of hatred and perhaps even further fanning the flames of terrorism. The Turks and the Armenians were proud peoples who should seek to heal the wounds of the past and make peace between themselves. Mr. Khalifa thought that “the mention of the case of the Armenians in the Report was not relevant and might even be harmful”. He also noted that the contents of the Report were the “personal responsibility” of Mr. Whitaker. It would be regrettable, however, if Mr. Whitaker should decide to retain paragraph 24 “since a study devoted to a noble cause would then be politicized”.

Mr. Antonio Martinez Baez (Mexico) agreed with the previous speaker that it would be better to avoid historical references. The experts of the Sub-Commission could not turn themselves into judges; it was not for them to pronounce harsh verdicts. He noted that "-p8the author of the Report assumed sole and personal responsibility”. Only paragraph 24 seemed to present any problem. If the Sub-Commission should decide to transmit the Report to the Commission on Human Rights, "with that contentious paragraph", it would give the impression of endorsing the author’s views and of sharing responsibility for his judgements. That would not be prudent, since the past has shown, reminded Mr. Baez, that what was called the judgement of history was often nothing more than the opinion of the victor.

Qualifying the discussion on the substance of Mr. Whitaker’s Report as a discussion about history, Mr. Joinet wondered whether the members of the Sub-Commission had sufficient data at their disposal to conclude that what were mentioned by the Rapporteur had been fully established. He noted that the U.N. had been founded to encourage understanding among peoples which meant reconciliation, implying forgetting. Nevertheless, the historian had to draw lessons from the past. The ownership of the Report "lay with its author". He added: "The Sub-Commission would have to transmit it to the Commission since that was the rule. Lastly, it was not possible to change a text which did not belong to the Sub-Commission; that was the prerogative of Mr. Whitaker."

Mr. Vsevolod N. Sofinsky (U.S.S.R.) said that he had received the impression from reading the Report that the Rapporteur had, to paraphrase a Russian proverb, "thrown the ship's compass overboard", namely, the 1948 Convention. Where {the} Sub-Commission had appointed the Rapporteur merely to examine the question of genocide, he proposed the revision or up-dating of the 1948 Convention, signed by 96 states and confirmed by forty years of experience. Mr. Sofinsky stressed {that if} the concept of genocide as understood by Mr. Whitaker were retained, “the {very} history of mankind would be nothing more than one long genocide” from the practice of slavery in ancient societies up to the political revolution which established democracy in several parts of Europe. He stated clearly that the 1948 Convention gave a good definition of genocide and that there was no reason to change it. {He} said that the historical part of the Whitaker Report "contained many imprecisions or inaccuracies and passed over a number of facts in silence". Among the {many} facts passed over in silence was the genocide of the Palestinians. There was no mention of the massacre of the Slavs in Yugoslavia, the Poles and the many millions {of} the Soviet citizens during the Second World War. Mr. Sofinsky stated that {he?} not only criticize the Report, he condemned parts of it. As his American colleague had pointed out, it was "inadequate". In his opinion, Mr. Whitaker considered {?} violence a genocide, but nevertheless selected subjectively.

Mr. MacDermot (International Commission of Jurists) said that the difference between the Tutsi and the Hutu in Burundi were not racial but linguistic and cultural. He also criticized the Report for the concept of "auto-genocide", used in connection with the events in Kampuchea; he said that the Report implied th{at?} civil war was an act of genocide.

It was at this point, on the afternoon of August 16, 1985, that the Chairman reminded the participants that respect had to be shown to the officers and men{?} of the Sub-Commission. (It was later explained in private that this reminder was in consequence to a verbally aggressive attitude exhibited by a small group of Armenian lobbyists towards an expert member whom they thought would also be c{?} of the Whitaker Report.)

Mr. Awn Shawkat AI-Khasawneh (Jordan) expressed the opinion that {Mr.} Whitaker had not adequately examined some other conventions which might serve as a model for efforts to tighten up the 1948 Convention. Pointing out that {the} works of the Sixth Committee of the U.N. General Assembly and the International
Law Commission covered the same ground, he regretted the duplication. Com{ing to} paragraph 24, he noted that it had given rise to considerable controversy an{d also} diverted attention from other areas that were more closely related to the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide. He referred to the Armenians, in particular. Quoting a historian, who said that while it was easy to predict the future, the past was impossible to ascertain, he emphasized that the Sub-Commission was {not} a body of historians” and that “attributions of guilt should therefore be mad{e?} with extreme caution and on very strong evidence”. He stressed a clear crit{eria,} taking account of the gravity of genocide and the caution that had to be exe{rcised} in attributing it. In view of all these considerations, Mr. AI-Khasawneh too {?} view that "the entire text of paragraph 24 was unnecessary both as concert {?} coherence of the Report and the concept of genocide". He referred to Mr. Baez’s observation that the existence of genocide did not depend on historical references.

Stressing that there is a precise definition of genocide, Mr. Driss Dahak (Morocco) stated that there were indications of attempted genocide against the Palestinians, not mentioned by Mr. Whitaker. Citing examples in a Report like this was very risky. He noted that negligence or inadvertent omission should not be penalized. A driver may kill a person by negligence, but it is important that he had no intention of killing. He believed that it was not within the Sub-Commission’s competence to decide whether an event is such a crime — in the past or in the present. He also said that ethnocide and ecocide were crimes against humanity but not genocide. He underlined that what was required was an overall survey of the existing situation together with proposals for future action.

Mr. Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury (Bangladesh) said that the Rapporteur, in discussing genocide, had stressed that this abhorrent crime was a violation of the most valuable of all human rights, namely, the right to life. He had rightly pointed out that the situation became particularly serious when the offence was committed by a government. Mr. Chowdhury welcomed the recommendation that the definition be extended to include sexual groups. However, much time was devoted to paragraph 24. He could not persuade himself that it was necessary. It distracted attention from the Rapporteur’s objective. He noted that the omissions from the earlier report had resulted, not from absent-mindedness on the part of the previous Rapporteur, but from a deliberate decision taken after the matter had been discussed at length as could be seen from the relevant Summary Record.29 He added: "Various examples of genocide had been discussed, including the alleged Armenian genocide, which, for good reasons, had not been included in the Report as approved by the Sub-Commission and the Commission on Human Rights". When the updating of the Report had come up for discussion, the Secretariat representative had stated that the Rapporteur would revise the study and up-date it" and in so doing would take into account all developments relating to the question since the study was undertaken".30 The understanding was that Mr. Whitaker would include those developments that occurred since the last Report. As the records (para. 158) show, Mr. Justice Chowdhury understood that the study would be up-dated as from the date of application of the existing version. It was on that understanding, which no one had contested, that he had supported the draft resolution which had been adopted without a vote. This was the statement that Mr. Chowdhury had made before Mr. Whitaker’s appointment as the new Rapporteur. There was no opposition to what he had said. This was the understanding of the whole Sub-Commission. "Up-dating" was the governing word in the resolution. But a paragraph 24 had been inserted, diverting attention from the vital issue of how best to ensure the prevention and punishment of genocide. Mr. Chowdhury considered that step to be in excess of the authority given to the Rapporteur. His action in going beyond his {?} of reference and including an irrelevant paragraph had led to a long debate {on un?}necessary aspects of the question. The aim should have been to prevent the occurrence of genocide. Mr. Chowdhury underlined that the Sub-Commission me{n?} were not historians and could not engage themselves with events that took {?} seventy years ago. He urged that Mr. Whitaker’s Report be kept in the Sub-Commission and not transmitted to a superior body. Further clarifying that point, he said that if it was transmitted, this might carry the implications of an appro{?} the statements made in the Report. He repeated that paragraph 24 should not have been there. The aim should be to look to the future, not the past and to s{erve} conciliation, not bitterness, to close old wounds and not to re-open them. He said that he would not vote in favour of transmitting the Report. He hoped t{he?} Rapporteur would not insist on retaining paragraph 24 in the face of so much opposition.

29. E/CN.4/Sub.2/SR.822; E/CN.4/Sub.2/416 (July 4, 1978)
30. E/CN.4/1983/SR.48/Add.1,para. 155.



Mr. C.L.C. Mubanga-Chipoya (Zambia) said that the Rapporteur had {?} six examples in paragraph 24 "which had proved so controversial". Although {he} pointed out that the Sub-Commission was "not a court of law", he nevertheless urged that the Report be transmitted to the Commission on Human Rights.

Mr. Murlidhar Chandrakant Bandhare (India) had thought that the issue of genocide was beyond controversy, but now he saw how controversial it could be. He regretted that there were two unsatisfactory points in the Report. It di{?} cover the most horrifying case of genocide imaginable, namely, nuclear holocaust. He said that the time had come for the Sub-Commission to tackle the issue of {?}  terrorism as a provoker of individual terrorism. He noted that there had been {ob}jections to the reference to the Armenian case. As pointed out by other speakers{?}  Report could always be altered. Mr. Whitaker could have chosen other examples. The case of the Armenians aroused marked differences of opinion. He added that there were no blacks and whites, but also greys; not only massacres, but also communal riots and civil wars.

Mrs. Tuckman, speaking on behalf of (Mr. Whitaker’s) Minority Rights G{roip} said that the first task was to identify societies where the "risk of genocide" {was} greater than others. The second task was to identify early-warning signals. {Refer}ring to paragraph 24, she thought that it was necessary. Messrs. Toriguian (Commission of the Churches on International Affairs and the World Council of Churches), Balian (Anti-Slavery Society for the Protection of Human Rights), Sassounian {?}digenous World Association) and Malkassian (International Movement for Fra{ternal} Union Among Races and Peoples), all of Armenian origin, confined their comments solely to the Armenian view. They neither commented on any other topic discussed during the entire thirty-eighth session, nor did they mention any other point {?} by Mr. Whitaker or other speakers, nor did they refer to any view other than {the} Armenian. They were entirely one-sided, although they represented a number of non-governmental international organizations.

Speaking on behalf of EAFORD, I stated that our Organization was against genocide, no matter by whom it was perpetrated. I elaborated that this term referred to a most detestable crime, the definition of which was given in the 1948 Convention. It consisted of three elements: (a) There has to be a national, ethnic, racial or religious group; (b) It has to be subjected to acts enumerated in the Convention; (c) There has to be an intention to destroy them. In other words, what differentiated genocide from other offences, crimes, outrages, evils and other illegalities or cruelties of any kind was the intention of destruction of defined groups because they were members of such groups. We had before us legal criteria, legitimate norms and guiding yardsticks, none of which could be overlooked. It followed, legally and logically, that the examples selected for such an up-dating Report be established as genocide without any doubt. On account of the seriousness of the accusation, one had to be certain that any such indictment be based on irrefutable facts meeting the criteria of the said Convention. It had to be pointed out, in this light, that the aim of the historical part of the study ought not have been to compile a list of some selected events in which human lives were lost. The historical part should have contained cases of genocide on which solid evidence existed within the framework of the 1948 Convention. The formation, proceedings, evidence and the decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the expressed official policies of the apartheid state differentiated completely, thoroughly and conclusively the reality of the Jewish genocide and the genocide in the Republic of South Africa from the other events that the Rapporteur had referred to in the historical part of his study. If he had found it necessary to compile a list of events of human tragedies, then such a record needed to be exhaustive and not discriminatory. One important illustration in this context was the omission of Sabra and Shatila. This most serious reminder of our Organization was all the more important when one remembered that Sabra and Shatila should be mentioned in any attempt to up-date the last Report, which seemed to have been the mandate of the Rapporteur. These events had occurred in September 1982. In reference to paragraph 24 and its footnote, I said: "I represent here neither an Armenian community, nor the Turkish Government. Therefore, I will refer to neither one of them. I only wish to make brief observations centering on methodology, very much in line with my previous remarks". I continued by saying that published material showed how controversial the issue was. When I said "controversial", I did not mean a debate between some Turks and some Armenians. I referred to the discussions and the disputes among various historians and writers who were neither Turks, nor Armenians. I emphasized that the gates of research on the Armenian question and particularly on official Ottoman policies in respect to that question have not been closed with the short comments in the Report. A study on this question needed a particular kind of knowledge, skill and professionalism. For purposes of methodology, I gave several examples of conflicting views. They were mostly European and American sources, with some Armenian ones, but with no reference to any Turkish source. I did not refer to any Turkish source, not because they were not pertinent, but because I happened to be a Turk. I did so in spite of the fact that Mr. Carey, the expert from the U.S., had mentioned my name and asked me, while addressing the floor, to summarize my booklet on forgeries, which was one of the more than two dozen hat I had published on the very subject.

Mr. Daoualibi (World Muslim Congress) explained from personal experience how the transferred Armenians had arrived in Aleppo (Syria). He urged that nations and peoples forget the past and live together in brotherhood.

Mr. Ramlaoui (observer for the P.L.O.) stated that he failed to comprehend the strange silence about the massacre of the Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila, and reminded that the Rapporteur should have been aware of several resolutions {taken} by the U.N. Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights.

Ambassador Ercüment Yavuzalp (Turkey) made certain observations reqarding the part dealing with the historical survey. He noted that in paragraph 24 and i{n the} long footnote the Armenian question had been reintroduced into the Report {in a} manner which reflected mainly the version of one side. He termed this presentation as unjust and also as a dangerous step since it would constitute a reward for terrorism. This subject was discussed in the past, and it was eventually decided to ta{?} out. The previous Rapporteur was no less independent than any other Rapporteur. Not having any preconceived views on the subject, he realized that to pass an objective judgement on this complex and controversial issue required a thorough study based on complete documentary evidence. What was the objective of the previous exercise? In fact, the understanding of the Secretariat was stated on March 4, 19{?}, in the following terms: "...The Special Rapporteur would revise the study and update it and in so doing would take into account all developments relating to the question since the question was undertaken". In addition, two representatives {?} stated at the same meeting that the study on genocide would be up-dated as {?} the date of publication of the existing version. There had been no objection {?} the floor to these clarifications. Ambassador Yavuzalp inquired: "What is the {?} evidence obtained in the meantime which has now made it necessary, not only to change the conclusion previously reached after long debates, but also to pass s{?} definite judgement on the qualification of the Armenian case? "The only evidence which appeared in the meantime was that which proved that the case was not as simple as it was being one-sidedly presented up to now and that the reality {?} only be found out through serious academic researches in the official archives {?} not going through a few known books which reflect a one-sided version. He u{nder}lined that the 1948 Convention provided us with an internationally recognized definition. It was the existence of an intention to destroy that distinguished genocides from other homicides. Unfortunately, the tendency in the Report was tow{ard the} very light use of the term genocide for almost any case where human losses were involved. If genocide was to be conceived as a punishable international crime, t{hen it} was extremely important to take great care against any attempt to dilute this {pre}cept. In the Armenian case, the intention to destroy did not exist. He explained that the Turks and the Armenians lived in Anatolia in perfect harmony for almost eight centuries, sharing the same culture and common Anatolian background. During this long period of peaceful relationship, a good number of Armenians serv{ed} many high offices in the Ottoman Empire, including cabinet posts. However, human losses were suffered by both sides during the events that took place at the end of the Nineteenth and the beginning of the Twentieth Centuries. But the accusation of a premeditated and organized intention to destroy the Armenians was not only unfair and unjust, but also impossible to sustain by any objective analysis of historical realities. What happened in 1915 was the implementation of a set of security measures against some members of an ethnic group which was, not only in rebellion against the Ottoman State, but also cooperating actively at the front with the invader and killing civilian population behind the lines. Ambassador Yavuzalp quoted foreign sources in support of his view that the Armenians were belligerents in the war against the Turks. The measures which the Ottoman Government had to take consisted of transferring some Armenians from the zone of military operations to other regions, still within the Ottoman State. The authorities had done their utmost to protect those who were subject to transfer against acts of revenge or banditry, but they were not always successful. Banditry, taking advantage of war, was rife, and epidemics w[ere] uncontrolled. There were thousands of documents available in the Ottoman archives proving that the Turks wanted to implement these measures without human suffering. He added that some were already published. One could react against such uncontrollable brutalities, but no one could fit them into the agreed definition of genocide. He underlined that a line needed to be drawn between violence in war conditions and genocide.

Mr. Sanze (observer for Burundi) said that the events in Burundi could not be compared to the crime of Nazi genocide, as so termed by Mr. Whitaker.

Mr. Akram (observer for Pakistan) said that his government had strongly endorsed the decision to up-date the 1978 study. But he regretted some of the comments concerning the Armenians. He believed that the term "genocide" suited the Nazi policies against the Jews but was "not applicable to the unfortunate conflict between the Turks and the Armenians in 1915 and 1916". The previous omission of the Armenian question had been the result of a well-considered decision. The updating of the Report had been decided on the understanding that such revision would take account only of those events that had occurred since the original version had been drafted. His own delegation had supported that suggestion and no delegation had opposed it.

Mr. Reuerchon (observer for Paraguay) could not accept "the Paraguayan massacre of the Ache Indians" as an example of genocide, as so described in the Report. He referred to another report by Mr. Perez de Cuellar, the then U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, which stated that there had not been any genocide of the Aché-Guayaki Indians.

Mr. Zmiyevsky (observer for the U.S.S.R.) described the definition of genocide in Article Il of the 1948 Convention as having stood the test of time. The scope of the crime was limited to state genocide, such as the Nazi bloodshed, systematically organized by official circles. He regretted that there was no mention of the exterminated Byelorussians (1941-1945), the "Indian" population of the United States, and the Palestinian Arabs.



Mr. Whitaker replied to the speakers on August 22nd.31 By listening {to his} response, one could get the impression that he was praised. But this was not the case. As to the Armenian issue, he said that he had been studying it for over {eight?} years and had discussed it with several Turkish "ambassadors"32 and research{?} The so-called consultations with Turks were limited to those the Rapporteur {had} not turned down, and they were generally casual talks. As far as I know, he h{ad not} conversed with any Turkish ambassador.

I believe that Mr. Whitaker has not properly appraised the standing of the Ottoman State in the last years of its life. Those coming from the Third World {?} sympathizers and all objective social scientists may agree that the Turks were subjected to biased judgements during the Era of Imperialism. According to Some historians, the Ottoman Empire was close to being a "semi-colony" in the last d{?} of the Nineteenth and the very beginning of the Twentieth Centuries. Rival{?} conflicts between the great powers had approached [the] breaking point at the turn of the century. Since they had already divided most of the world between them {there} was little room left for colonial expansion. A keen struggle had developed for spheres of influence. Several crises reflected mounting tension round the globe. It {?} that the Ottoman Empire was drawn into the war on the side of the Central powers led by Germany. But both camps were engaged in a keen arms race and viewed one another in the field of diplomacy to secure valuable allies. The war had i{ns}tant effects on all the colonies. The imperialist powers used them as a reserve {?} struggle against their enemy. The Triple Entente, composed of Britain, France and Tsarist Russia did t; best to discredit the enemy and win the war. The camp {of the} Triple Alliance, which was so termed when the line-up of forces took shape in {?} and included Germany and Austria-Hungary, shared the same prejudices toward the Moslem Turks. The fact that history cannot be written as based on a fe{w?} by a handful of foreign diplomats (Germans included) in the Ottoman Empire {?} be better realized when one tries to do the same in respect to other scenes {of the} war. For instance, how convincing would an African history be if based  {only on} consul reports? I would personally have more confidence in the African h{istory} books written by Africans themselves.

The depth of the prejudice against the Turks may be better understood by the following quotation. These lines were written by a certain F. Guy Talbott, the Regional Director of the Near East Relief, for The New Armenia: "Is the{re a} valid basis for believing that the Turk had suddenly become humane and ci{vil} simply because he has abolished the sultanate or discarded fezzes? Even if the leopard can change its spots, does that affect its nature? If the skin of the Ethiopian should become white, does that purify his heart? "33 This is a racist position, which is abhorred and condemned by the international community today. It reflects an attitude and expression, described as an ugly and hateful crime. No one dares to utter such phrases in our time. But the truth is that opinion-formers such as E.G. Talbott helped form dogmas about the Turks. Those ethnocentric and prejudiced individuals handed down their misinformation and misjudgements as some sort of "inheritance" to groups of new generations. Just as the history of Africa is being rewritten on a sounder basis, the history of Turkish-Armenian relations also needs to be cleared of misleading perversions, narrow misconceptions, exaggerations or outright falsifications.

Mr. Whitaker also said that he "had, in fact, gone directly to Turkish sources". He must have had his tongue in his cheek when he made that sweeping statement. I still suspect, rather strongly, that Mr. Whitaker does not know a word of Turkish and that he has not handled even a single one of the millions of primary Ottoman sources. I would indeed be surprised if I am told one day that Mr. Whitaker had worked, for instance, on the 224 volumes of the Minutes of the Ottoman Council of Ministers, that he has handled the 117 volumes of dossiers of petitions to the same Council, that he has studied the archives of the Yildiz Palace, that he has analyzed the several series of registers of the non-Moslem citizens of the Ottoman Empire, that he had read the reports of Kamil, Ahmed Cevdet, Said Sakir and Nazim Pashas. Considerable linguistic, paleographic and historical training is necessary before one can really "go directly to the Turkish sources". One can safely assume that Mr. Whitaker has not done so, as he claimed in his reply. But only through consultation of all relevant documents may a definite picture emerge.

Ambassador Yavuzalp (observer for Turkey) wished to take the floor in response to Mr. Whitaker’s comments. But the Chairman (Mrs. Daes, Greece) replied that the discussion was closed. Mr. Mubanga-Chipoya (the Rapporteur for the session) said that the observer for Turkey could submit a statement in writing. Mr. Yavuzalp complied with the Chairman's decision, but deplored the fact that he was not allowed to speak.

Ambassador Yavuzalp's letter,34 dated August 22, 1985, was distributed four days later. It was in answer to Mr. Whitaker’s reaction to the criticism levelled at his Report, and not in response to the later voting of Resolution 1985/9 — as the Armenian paper Asbarez 35 wrongly asserted. The letter stated that the Rapporteur had apparently viewed this exercise "mainly as an instrument to have his individual conclusion regarding Armenian genocide endorsed by the United Nations". The method that Mr. Whitaker had used was "the method of a propaganda book" which consisted of selecting only those quotations in support of a predetermined {?}. Even for an article one needed a more serious approach, let alone for a vvork {?} done within a United Nations framework. The letter quoted several documents from the British, French and American archives establishing that the Armenians were "everywhere in a minority", 36 that the Armenians were
"reported to have taken part in the action and sustained losses as did all combatants",37 {that the} Turkish soldiers were "well disciplined" 38 and that the Armenian reports were "absolutely false".39 The letter asked why Mr. Whitaker omitted these documents {from} the list of evidence.

At its 35th meeting on August 28, 1985, the Sub-Commission had bef{?} draft resolution,40 sponsored by Mr. Deschênes and Mr. Mubanga-Chipoya {and?} another one,41 sponsored by Mr. Deschênes, Mr. Mubanga-Chipoya and Mr. {?}. The Sub-Commission first took action on the latter. In the meantime, the Rapporteur did not make any changes in his Report and bore the consequences. The Commission did indeed adopt a text by 14 votes in favour, 1 against, with 4 abstentions. It is important to observe that the adopted text is not the Whitaker Report but Resolution 1985/9. The Sub-Commission refused to receive the Report, deleting the word "receives" from the draft resolution. It merely took "note" of the study. It refused to praise it by deleting the words "the quality of" from the {?} resolution. When deleting the words "the quality of" was proposed, it was a{pproved} by 16 votes to none, (with 4 abstentions). It refused to transmit it to the Commission on Human Rights. It added the following statement to the resolution i{?} to emphasize the controversy on the Report: "Noting that divergent views w{?} pressed about the content and proposals of the report..." To stress the cont{?} further, the two statements below (paragraphs 41 and 42) were added to the{?} of the Sub-Commissions: "...Other participants felt that the Special Rapporteur should have dealt exclusively with the problem of preventing future genocides without referring to past events which were difficult or impossible to inves{tigate"} (para. 41). Various participants argued that the Armenian issue was not adequately documented and that "certain evidence had been forged" (para. 42). The {?}tion recommended that the U.N. renew its efforts to make ratification by {?} members to the 1948 Convention.

It may be noted that quite a different set of terminology was used in {?}tion with other reports, approved during the thirty-eighth session or bef{ore} instance, Resolution No. 1948/28 expressed "high appreciation to the expert for his excellent valuable report". Resolution No. 1984/35 referred to the "excellent exhaustive study", which constituted an "invaluable contribution". Resolution 1984/ 39 expressed "grateful appreciation...for excellent final and valuable report". Resolution No. 1983/35 urged "widest possible distribution" of another report. Resolution No. 1983/22 expressed "grateful appreciation" for an "excellent and valuable report"; it was described as "an indispensable work of reference". All these reports and many others were transmitted to the Commission on Human Rights and given the widest possible distribution in all the official languages of the United Nations.

As far as the thirty-eighth session is concerned, the issues referred to the Commission on Human Rights for its attention, action or consideration may be divided into (a) draft resolutions recommended by the Sub-Commission to the Commission on Human Rights for adoption and (b) Sub-Commission resolutions and decisions referring to matters which are drawn to the Commission's attention and which require consideration or action by the Commission. The draft resolutions were related to (a) assistance given to the racist regime of South Africa, (b) intersessional meetings of the Bureau elected by the Sub-Commission to review developments on violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, (c) the situation in the Arab territories occupied by Israel, (d) child labour, (e) indigenous populations, (f) detention and imprisonment as well as (g) the study on amnesty laws.

The second category of issues referred to the Commission on Human Rights concerned resolutions on (a) international peace and security as an essential condition for the enjoyment of human rights, (b) gross violations of human rights and international peace, (c) elimination of racial discrimination, (d) human rights and scientific and technological developments, (e) review of further developments in fields with which the Sub-Commission has been concerned, (f) slavery and slavery-like practices, (g) human rights and youth, (h) the situations in Paraguay, the Islamic Republic of Iran, El Salvador, Albania, Pakistan, Chile, Guatemala, Afghanistan, South Africa and Namibia, (i) protection of children, (j) the indigenous populations, (k) the right to leave any country and the right to return to one’s own country, (I) the status of the individual and contemporary international law and (m) the rights of detainees.

The Whitaker Report, on the other hand, was not transmitted to the Commission on Human Rights. It was refused — politely. 42

31. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/S.22,pp.3 -5.
32. He said "ambassadors" and not "diplomats" (contrary to what is written in the Su{?} Record for the 23rd meeting.)
33. E. Guy Talbott, "The Turk Malignant", The New Armenia, Vol. XIX, No.3 (July-August-September, 1927), no page number indicated.
34. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/49.
35. August 31,1985.
36. Great Britain, Foreign Office, 424/106: Further Correspondence Respecting the A{?}rative Reforms in the Asiatic Provinces of Turkey, Part II, January-June 1880, {?} No. 303, printed for the use of the FO (October 1878).
37. France, Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Levant, 1918-1919 (Armenia){?} fo. 36.
38. The Bristol Papers, Washington, D.C., Edward Fox, District Commander, Kars,{?} dated October 31, 1920.
39. Bristol, General Correspondence, Container 34 (March 28, 1921).
40. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/1. 15.
41. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/1.16.

Le Journal de Genève, Oct. 14 1985, correcting its erroneous report that the U.N. Sub-Commission recognized the Armenians' genocide

42. When le Journal de Genève by-passed the very important fact that the Whitaker Report was not transmitted to the Commission on Human Rights, I expressed my immediate reaction to this distortion in two separate interviews in the daily Cumhuriyet (8 [Sept.] 1985) and the weekly Yanki (19-20 [Oct.] 1985) of Istanbul. The reply of the Turkish Mission to the U.N. in Geneva was published in the Swiss journal however, a month and-a-half later (October 14, 1985) — a safe date to minimize its effect. (For a photocopy of the article see Annex 4.[Reproduced at right])

[Click here for the wording of the article]

Benjamin Whitaker: A Puppet on Strings?

When the Holocaust Council was formed in 1980, the Armenians were represented by Seth Moomjian, a first-generation Armenian-American whose parents had been orphaned in 1915 in Turkey. Moomjian served as an adviser to President Carter, a representative to the United Nations, and also a White House representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission! In 1980, Moomjian pledged $1,000,000 to the Holocaust Museum. However, on September 24, 1981 he backed down on this pledge, and offered instead a payment of $100,000. For a long time no money was forthcoming. When in December 1988 an earthquake in Spitak devastated Armenia the Armenian community grabbed this event as an excuse not to fulfill its pledge, they claimed that the earthquake victims needed money. As a result only part of the pledge was fulfilled.

In 1990 a report was prepared by Benjamin Whitaker, an obscure U.N. reporter, repeating the familiar allegations plied by the Armenians "the tragic events during the First World War involving the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted the first case of genocide in the 20th century." Obviously, this distorted version of history had been spoon-fed to that reporter by some Armenians, whose names figured prominently in the prologue of the Report for recognition. Apparently, Mr. Seth Moomjian was behind this scheme, as he carried the impressive title of "White House Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission" using his influence he had that Mr. Whitaker prepare this Report. Like all Armenian falsehoods, it was far from being a serious work, and the U.N. had nothing to do with it. It was a private venture undertaken by a mercenary to play into the hands of the Armenians in their wicked ethnic politics venture. The purpose was to use insidiously the name of the U.N. to invest the Report with a certain authenticity. Historically, the Armenians have had no qualm to validate their spurious allegations; they can desecrate the truth, or corrupt venerated institutions, be it the U.N., the schools, the universities, or the U.S. Congress.

Excerpted from "The Armenian Issue Revisited: Armenian Terrorism," by Ayhan Ozer; the full piece.

According to Prof. Dennis Papazian, Seth Moomjian (or known by his name's other variation, Set Momjian, a.k.a. "Set Charles Momjian"), was a member of the U.S. Holocaust Council in April 1993. (He was appointed to the position by President George Bush, in late 1990, term to expire early 1995.) It looks like he was re-appointed, according to a March 10, 2001 Armenian Reporter article ("Set Momjian Named to US Holocaust Memorial Council by Ex-President Clinton"). The wealthy Momjian, a former executive and an art collector (a specialty being White House china), is said to have been friendly with six United States presidents, no doubt whispering sweet genocidal nothings into their ears. (A Feb. 19, 2005 "PRNewswire" piece begins with, "The 'Tales from the Presidents' Tables" program gives participants a sneak peak behind closed doors at the White House! Using the Museum's extensive collection of Presidential China, longtime White House insider Set Momjian will dish on his experiences in the Oval Office...")



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