Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Vahakn Dadrian BUSTED: Halil Pasha  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems


"Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me."

An adage lazy-thinking individuals would do well to remember the next time they consider accepting, at face value, the claims of Vahakn Dadrian... a liar.


Vahakn Dadrian, in his chapter of Editor Jay Winter's propaganda book America and the Armenian Genocide of 1915 (entitled "The Armenian Genocide: an Interpretation"), where Dadrian threw in practically every weasel fact he has come up with in his long years of prosecutorial research, wrote:

In his post-war memoirs he {Halil Pasha, Enver's uncle} boasted of having killed altogether "300,000 Armenians" adding "it can be more or less. I didn't count."27 Given the relatively large numbers involved, and given the vicissitudes of war, this process of liquidation inevitably took several months to complete

[Footnote 27: Halil Pasa, Bitmeyen Savas;, ed. M. T. Sorgun (Istanbul: Yedigun, 1972), p. 274. On p. 241, Halil is more emphatic: "I have endeavored to wipe out the Armenian nation to the last individual" ("Son ferdine kadar yok etmege calistigim Ermeni milleti"). For more details, see Dadrian, "Documentation of the Armenian Genocide in Turkish Sources," pp. 116-17.]

When I first came across this Dadrian claim in a source other than the above (naturally, the prosecutor has made use of his "Halil card," repeating it in many of his other writings and speeches), I was taken aback. Could this be the "smoking gun" of genocidal proof, at last?

After all, finally, here is a high Ottoman officer admitting that he killed tons of Armenians! This is the kind of thing that is infinitely more valuable than all the Morgenthaus, Bryces, Lepsiuses, missionaries, New York Timeses and other agenda-ridden Turk-hostile parties put together. Why, this sounded like real evidence!

I had my suspicions, of course, and not just because the notoriously dishonest V.D. was behind this claim.
As Mr. Spock might have put it, for simply one Ottoman mass murderer to have been behind the killings of so many Armenians would be "highly illogical."

We know up to 600,000 Armenians really died. (Again, Armenian extremists like Dadrian concede one million survived; subtracted from the pre-war population hovering around 1.5 million, according to most "neutral" that is, pro-Armenian and Western sources, we get a good idea of the actual mortality.) An entire quarter of those were killed by starvation and disease, while accompanying the Russian retreats, as Hovannisian wrote in his 1967 book. That is, the Turks were nowhere in sight, and yet these 150,000-odd Armenians somehow became "genocide victims." The bulk of the 400,000 or so remainder also died of the same reasons, famine and disease, along with exposure and combat... while we can never be exactly certain, the ones who were massacred outright probably numbered in the low tens of thousands, at most.

So it didn't make sense for just one Turkish villain to have knocked off 300,000 Armenians. Why, even if we go with the Armenian Patriarch's inflated pre-war population figure (2.1 million. The truth-challenged Patriarch also went with 1,850,000, according to Johannes Lepsius' sworn testimony at the 1921 Tehlirian trial), of that number, only 840,000 Armenians were killed, as the Patriarch himself concluded at 1918's tail end. Subtract Hovannisian's 150,000 who died when the Turks were nowhere in sight, and are we to assume Halil Pasha would have succeeded in single-handedly rubbing out nearly an entire half of the exaggerated 690,000 remainder?

Another point that made me doubtful was that I couldn't understand why I had not come across this Halil Pasha "confession" at a much earlier stage of my genocide research. Why weren't Armenian genocide sites screaming this "confession" at the tops of their lungs? After all, here was, on the surface, the evidence they were looking for, for so very, very long. And why was Dadrian himself referring to this "confession" in a kind of "by the way" fashion?

The only way to find the answer lay with consulting the original book itself.

We know Mr. Dadrian is prone to make alterations, to serve his propagandistic agenda. Actually, it's not true to say "we"; the prejudiced "scholarly" world has taken what Dadrian has been saying at face value, so only few are aware. But even some "genocide scholars" like Donald Bloxham and Hilmar Kaiser have begun to perform the unthinkable, and have been pointing fingers at Dadrian's lack of scholarly ethics. The latter, for example [in Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, 9 (1996)], warned against Dadrian's penchant to make use of "misleading quotations," which the Halil Pasha "confessions" will serve as a particularly deadly example of, as we'll be seeing in a moment.

It's easy to bust the deceitful Dadrian (ye olde English meaning of the obsolete verb "didrian": To Deceive) when he makes outright falsehoods such as "Malta was not a venue for criminal trials but a temporary detention center," in order to throw the bloodhounds off his track. All one has to do, with this example of the Malta Tribunal, is to check the sources available in English, the British archives itself. (All of it, not just the selective ones Dadrian deceptively points to, in the service of his agenda.) But Dadrian also points to sources in other languages. The English-speaking researcher with limited resources is going to be at a loss, and has little choice but to accept Dadrian's "word."

Prof. Norman Stone wrote, "Lewy... has the considerable merit of showing that Dadrian’s scholarship is itself full of holes — documents selectively quoted in pursuit of his thesis that the Armenian massacres can be put on the same level as the Holocaust. Since Lewy reads German as well as Dadrian does, he is in a very good position." This is what makes Guenter Lewy and his book, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey — A Disputed Genocide, so valuable. Like the genuine scholar Lewy is, Lewy did not simply take the word of Vahakn Dadrian, as so many amateurish historians or prejudiced "genocide scholars" have done. Lewy consulted the original German sources, and exposed, time and time again, Dadrian's "willful mistranslations, selective quotations, and other serious violations of scholarly ethics" (as Lewy summed up in his response to a highly abusive Peter Balakian, letters, Commentary Magazine).

At least German is more of an international language. Dadrian also knows Turkish, and that puts those who have no access to Turkish sources (along with the lack of familiarity with the language) in a tougher spot. This may be one reason why Dadrian appears lately to be concentrating on Turkish sources, knowing that hardly anyone will be looking over his shoulder, so he can escape with claiming whatever he feels he could get away with. I became particularly aware of this shortcoming, while dissecting Dadrian's smear attack on Erickson.

But the TAT site has been around for a while now, and I've begun to get letters from Turks in Turkey. So I wrote back to a few whose English was proficient enough, and asked whether they could dig up Halil Pasha's memoirs, "Bitmeyen Savas" (The Unending War). I give thanks to Damla Ozdemir, and especially to Serhan Altug, who located the book and took the trouble to translate the "Armenian" chapter (which will be presented after our analysis, below). A Turkish professor also cleared up what was behind the 300,000 killed "confession," so I was fortunate to get the information from two different sources. (Thanks to Sukru Aya for translating what the professor wrote.)

  300,000 Armenians Killed by Halil Pasha?

(The highlighted section below represents the pertinent passage from the book.)

 Things spoken about Halil Bey are partly right, partly wrong. For one thing, Halil Bey uncle of Enver Pasa, when he was a convict at Bekiraga Army Barracks, is invited by a British Captain to the room of the camp director. Let us learn the rest by reading from his memoirs:

The British Captain says: "You, Halil Pasa, are responsible for the deaths of three hundred thousand Armenians, fifty to sixty thousand Arabs, thirteen Jews, two British officers and a Turkish Corporal. What is your answer?"

I presume the British captain had forgotten to whom he was speaking; I had met too many similar persons. When introducing himse
lf he had only mentioned his name and rank and had not mentioned on behalf of whom he was placing the questions. I was upset by his arrogant manners. I turned to the director and said:

"Give me a pen and paper... Let me write down so that he can take it and go.

And I wrote:

1- 300.000 Armenians...can be less or more, I did not count. Wherever they revolted against my state, I supressed and punished them. Wherever their revolting was probable, I ordered local authorities for their relocation.

Dear Aya, As you can understand, Halil Pasa was angry about the placed question and gives a joking answer. He definitely did not say that he has killed or so. The incident takes place in 1919 and displays the behaviour against occupation forces, There is no other memory about the relocation and killing of Armenians in Halil Bey's memoirs. In reality he was not responsible for this matter during that period of time. He was an army commander in chief.

Regards - Kemal Cicek

(Let us bear in mind this was a private communication, written quickly and informally off the top of the professor's head, and the comments should not be taken as "official." The passage has been used with permission.)


 Let's dispatch with other Halil Pasha "evidence" that Dadrian has provided, before moving on to the second "confession" of Halil Pasha.

Here's Dadrian at work. He came across a juicy tidbit from a high Ottoman general that could be manipulated into sounding like a confession for systematic extermination. In order to drive the nail into Halil's coffin, Dadrian feverishly looked for any other implicating materials regarding Halil Pasha, in order to make Halil Pasha out to be another Heinrich Himmler. It doesn't matter if these other references were tainted. The Turk confessed, didn't he? The supplementary materials must then be true as well, even if they derived from biased sources.

From "The Armenian Genocide: an Interpretation," here is what preceded the devastating "confession":

Vahakn Dadrian

This practice of wholesale slaughter of Armenian conscripts was confirmed by Germany's Vice-Consul at Erzurum, Scheubner Richter, a Reserve Captain. In a 4 December 1916 report to Berlin, he declared that General Halil (Kut), the uncle of War Minister Enver, ordered "the massacre of his Armenian . . . battalions."[24] Halil's policy of extermination of the Armenian soldiers under his command is attested to by a Turkish officer who was part of his First Expeditionary Force (formerly the Fifth Expeditionary Force). As he stated, "All of the Armenian officers and soldiers of our Force were massacred by the order of Halil Pasa." The same officer continues to say that subsequently "Halil had the entire Armenian population (men, women and children) in the areas of Bitlis, Mus, and Beyazit also massacred without pity. My company received a similar order. Many of the victims were buried alive in especially prepared ditches."[25] A Russian-Armenian lawyer disclosed, in the Red Paper he compiled to expose, he said, the falsehoods of the White Paper the Ottoman authorities had published during the war, that "upon orders of General Halil, 800 Armenian and another time 1,000 soldiers, officers, and MDs in his Expeditionary Force were disarmed and killed by the Turkish soldiers of that Force."[26] Halil had been successively commanding several Ottoman Turkish army units, including the Fifth Expeditionary Force, the fifty-second Division, the Eighteenth Army Corps, the Sixth Army, and finally the Army Groups East.

[Footnotes: 24 AA Turkei 183/45, A33457, or, at new R14094. For similar reports on the mass murder of disarmed Armenian labor battalion soldiers, see below, notes 69, 73, and 79, and corresponding texts, discussing reports made by the Austrian Trabzon Consul, a German Colonel in charge of a regiment comprising felons released from the prisons of the Ottoman Empire, and Trabzon's US Consul Heizer.
25 Report in Bureau de Correspondance Juif, The Hague, reproduced under the title, "Les massacres d'Armenie d'apres un temoin oculaire" in La [Vow] de I'Armenie (Paris, fortnightly) LVA 1:24 (15 December 1918), p. 901.
26 Gregory Tchalkhouchian, Le Livre rouge (Paris: Imprimerie Veradzenount, 1919), pp. 43-4. For a similar Armenian account see Garo Pasdermadjian, "Armenia. A Leading Factor in the Winning of World War I," Armenian Review 17:1-65 (Spring, February 1964), pp. 29-30.]

Were Armenian labor battalion soldiers killed? Yes, they were. Nobody is saying crimes against Armenians were not committed. For example, Dadrian is fond of telling us General Vehib established a court martial and hanged the two major perpetrators of one such massacre. Ironically, this represents actual evidence against state-sponsored genocide, to give the highest punishment to rogue elements who went off on their own and committed crimes. By contrast, only one soldier was tried for the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai, and his (Lt. Calley's) punishment, before a period of house arrest, was only three days' imprisonment. Hitler never punished SS men for abusing or killing Jews.

Kamuran Gurun had written in "The Armenian File" that the total number tried for crimes against Armenians was 1,397. Turkish researchers have updated that, via documents in their country's archives, with the following, as taken from the introduction of an upcoming book: "[B]y mid-1916 the Ottoman Government had brought to justice 1673 people with claims of attacking the Armenian convoys and punished 67 of them with death penalty, 524 were jailed, 68 were exiled or similar, and 227 were found innocent. Out of the 1673 who were court-martialed 170 of them were government officials and 678 were soldiers. Amongst them were majors, commanders, lieutenants, gendarmeries, commanders, and police chiefs."

Let's bear in mind no Armenians were tried for the slaughter of Turkish prisoners, as reported by Ohanus Appressian in "Men Are Like That" (p. 132):

In this movement we took with us three thousand Turkish soldiers who had been captured by the Russians and left on our hands when the Russians abandoned the struggle. During our retreat to Karaklis two thousand of these poor devils were cruelly put to death. I was sickened by the brutality displayed, but could not make any effective protest. Some, mercifully, were shot. Many of them were burned to death. The method employed was to put a quantity of straw into a hut, and then after crowding the hut with Turks, set fire to the straw. One thousand of these prisoners were spared because it was known in Europe that we had inherited a large number of them from the Russians, and that no doubt an accounting would have to be made for them some day. The thousand who were spared were later liberated, as we had no means of caring for prisoners. No doubt they again took up arms against us; so in a way the killing of the two thousand was justifiable.

Let's get back to the evidence condemning Halil Pasha.

The primary accuser is a German vice-consul. This is yet another example of "hearsay evidence." The diplomat was in his cozy office, and could not have possibly witnessed events such as the massacre of Armenian battalions. I wasn't there, you weren't there, and Vice-Consul
Scheubner-Richter was not there. He got the information second-hand, probably either through missionaries, Armenians, or Christian-sympathizing Germans. He happened to be one of the latter himself, as we can learn through what the reams of Armenian propaganda have unearthed.

For example, he is on record for having written, “The Armenians of Turkey for all practical purposes have been exterminated.” As we’ve seen, even the Armenian Patriarch was in disagreement with that foolish conclusion. (The Patriarch revised his number of 1,260,000 surviving Ottoman-Armenians three years later, in a 1921 report provided to the British, attesting to 644,900 still living in what remained of the empire. This is not what an objective party would classify as "extermination.") Scheubner-Richter also wrote: "by July 15 (1915) almost all of the Armenians had been expelled from Erserum." Yet, many Armenians lived in Erzurum during the Russian occupation that was to follow. (And Morgenthau himself stated large numbers of Armenians remained in almost every city, in a March 3, 1916 letter to Lord Bryce, as quoted by Vahan Cardashian. [The Armenian Review, Winter 1957, p. 107]) Dadrian himself has instructed that by 1916, "the genocide had all but run its course.") Like other Christian-sympathizing Western consuls, Scheubner-Richter is not a reliable source.


One thing is sure: Armenian statements that almost all of the Erzurum Armenians were deported and killed are ridiculous. This is demonstrated by the fact that so many Armenians lived in Erzurum during the Russian occupation. When the Russians departed there were enough Armenians remaining in Erzurum or returning from Russian Armenia to create an army and attempt to run a government. If all the Erzurum Armenians were dead, where did those Armenians come from? It is absurd to think, and no one then or now has asserted, that these were Russian Armenians who had first come to Anatolia in 1916.

Justin McCarthy, The Destruction of Ottoman Erzurum by Armenians

But the German represents far more believability than the other "evidence" Dadrian presents. In Footnote 25, an unnamed Turkish officer is supposed to have made statements, as presented in an Armenian propaganda report? (Entitled, "Les massacres d'Armenie..." from a publication in an enemy nation, France. Is that supposed to comprise actual "evidence"? Note the date is December 15, 1918, before the 1919-20 Ottoman kangaroo courts were established. [When the accused had guns pointed to their heads to come up with culprits, otherwise it would be curtains for the Turkish nation.] Since the war had ended a mere six weeks ago (Oct. 30, 1918, the Armistice of Mudros) and it would have taken time to investigate and publish this report, such an interview with this purported Turk would have likely taken place during wartime. Even if the account were true, what soldier would have made such statements detrimental to his country, especially while war was ongoing, to an enemy of his country? Particularly if the statements were related in such an obviously over-the-top fashion, every single man, woman, child killed in the most monstrous ways, made to order by an Armenian propagandist.)

The worst is yet to come in the following footnote, however, as we are expected to accept the "word" of an Armenian propagandist living in France. Can Dadrian embarrass himself further? (Of course he can. He follows up in Footnote 26 with the "word" of the notorious Dashnak terrorist and mass murderer, Armen Garo, the one who bore responsibility for "burning hamlets and mercilessly putting to the knife all of the peaceful Mussulman villagers that fell into their hands," (Rafael de Nogales, "Four Years Beneath the Crescent," 1926), along with a long list of other crimes from the Ottoman Bank takeover in 1896 to the running of the Nemesis hit squad organization during the early 1920s. (A caveat: the work listed might have been written by Garo's son, Hrand Pasdermedjian. However, it is doubtful the son would have used his modest dad's self-given nickname of "Garo," which means "hero.")

This is not to say Halil Pasha did not order the massacre of the unarmed Armenian soldiers under his command. But before people of conscience make accusations, particularly of high crimes, they must rely on genuine evidence; not hearsay. Since all Dadrian has to offer is hearsay, he feels no compunction in simply making things up, to support his precious genocide thesis... things like the appearance of Halil Pasha actually confessing.

Halil Pasha's Other "Confession"

 Let's get to the second "confession" of Halil Pasha, from his memoirs. To refresh your memory:

On p. 241, Halil is more emphatic: "I have endeavored to wipe out the Armenian nation to the last individual" ("Son ferdine kadar yok etmege calistigim Ermeni milleti").

Sounds bad, doesn't it?

Sure sounds bad on the surface, anyway. But as Greek-Cypriot with conscience, Antonis Angastiniyotis, wrote: If you want to find more than one reality, you need to constantly dig the soil until your hands are bloody.

But that kind of thinking would entail integrity, a concept that is apparently pure anathema to one such as Vahakn Dadrian.

Once again, context is important. And the context of the above comes from a speech made to cheering Armenians... in Armenia!

You can read about it in the chapter from the book, presented below. You can bet on one thing: Halil Pasha's meaning had nothing to do with the genocidal implication Vahakn Dadrian was hoping for his readers to swallow.

What can be said about Vahakn Dadrian? Fortunately, I don't always have to worry about being diplomatic, and beat around the bush with such terms as "a lack of scholarly ethics."

Let us call a spade a spade:

Vahakn Dadrian is a first-class liar.

What's more, his morality is at a shockingly low level. Dadrian is willfully employing his deceptive tactics, with the purpose of making people out to be murderers. Sure, Halil Pasha is dead and cannot defend himself. Does that excuse Dadrian from twisting whatever snippets of propaganda and hearsay he can find, in order to blacken the man's reputation?

Forget about what Dadrian has been committing against this one individual. The hateful prosecutor has been employing the very same tactics to blacken the honor and reputation of an entire nation and people. (A nation, not incidentally, that allowed his family to thrive, a family that "largely survived the genocide.")

Of course, more and more parties are going to find out exactly what kind of a "scholar" Dadrian is, and his currently acclaimed reputation will one day be ruined. But the intriguing question to bear in mind is... what do we make of the countless "scholars" who have simple-mindedly and unquestioningly accepted the scholarship of Vahakn Dadrian at face value? What will happen to their reputations?

The "Armenian" Chapter from Halil Pasha's Memoirs



In the morning at 9.00 am, my train stopped in Asmiyetzen where it is not too far away from Erivan. Armenian governors and commanders were ready to meet me at the railway station. German General Von Kres also wanted to celebrate the Armenian government with me and that’s why his train has arrived at the same time with mine.

I was just leaving the train when the Chief of Tasnaksutyan [Dashnak] Assembly, Aram Pasha, who I met in Van and has become a friend of mine, entered the wagon. My old friend that Armenians call as Aram Pasha embraced me while he was crying.

“Welcome Halil welcome.” With those words he was trying to show his pleasure sincerely. We alighted from the train. Von Kres just did the same thing. We greeted each other and then with the presentation of Aram, I met with the Armenian governors. I had not known them before but they were getting used to knowing me. I was leaping forward to the middle of certain death again. I controlled my armpit where my gun is and I have no doubt that I could reach the other gun easily that is in my belt. Somehow I would find a way.

We had a journey about 2 and half kilometers from the railway station to Erivan. I took Aram to my car and Von Kres was in another one with the Armenian governors. While the car was moving, I saw Armenian soldiers that were positioned on both sides of the road.

“Long live Halil Pasha” They were on the display.

Aram was unsettled and suspicious. He spoke in a whisper to me.”I became Interior Minister two days ago but the ovens couldn’t meet the demand. Therefore, I got beaten and my body is ruined. If the troops that are loyal to the government weren’t on time to keep them away from me, I wouldn’t be in here. Because of starvation, the government has no authority over the folk. As a conclusion we placed loyal troops on the roads that we are going to pass and also the most loyal gangs to the government are located on the mountains that are around the city to protect you. To summarize, Halil Pasha, we are really in a bad position."

In the city, a mansion for us and another one for Von Kres and his retinues were reserved. After we settled in the mansion, I was alone for a moment. I told my retinues what they would need to do if there would be any clash. In any Armenian attack, we would fight till we have one person left alive.

A little later, protocol visits started. Gently, we visited the Armenian Prime Minister in the office of President with Von Kres and celebrated them because of their new, independent government. As we decided with Von Kres before, at night we would return to Gümrü and Von Kres would move to Tiflis using the same route with us that passes from Gümrü.

We asked them for their permission to leave politely. They spoke in Armenian between each other, then Aram Pasha started to talk.

“General Von Kres can abide by his program but we are from the East and according to those Eastern habits we can not let Halil Pasha go before he would be our guest at least for one or two nights.”

“Aram Pasha, I have to leave too.”

“I can not let you go Halil Pasha before we put you up at least for one night.”

As other Armenians were too insistent, I had no choice but to stay the night here. Afterwards, we went to the railway station all together to see Von Kres off. Before his train departed, he couldn’t keep himself from saying that:

“I am astonished to see in one day you fascinated the Armenians that we were trying to please for a month. As an ally of yours, I am proud with that situation.

I only answered with a smile.

Actually, to bind Armenians to themselves as they have directly bound Georgians, Germans made every sort of promises to Armenians and offered them money and aircraft. Their desire was keeping old grudges against the Turks alive. At such times, Germans had to act in that way to secure their economical and political gains.

We saw Von Kres off and returned to the city. Night was coming. A big dining table was laid in the green garden of municipality. Before the dinner, bottles of raki and wine were opened. While we were proposing a toast, we heard the sounds of guns going off. My retinues were restless; their hands were on their guns waiting for my order. We were ready about what we were going to if there would be any backstab on us. While the sounds of blowing guns were stopping and restarting, Armenian cavaliers were sent to those places where the sounds were coming from. That detachment was at the command of War Minister Nazarberkof. The man giving the orders was General Nazarberkof that was the Russian general defending the brows of Hay when I entered to Iran with Kuvve-i Seferiye. We used to be the enemy before, but in one night we became friends.

Hours passed in the night and everyone was going to be in their beds soon.

“Pasha, tomorrow visiting the Katagisos, the biggest spiritual leader of Armenians, would be a worthy attitude, would you accept it?” Aram said.

The next midday we would visit the spiritual leader in the Church of Asmetziyen.

Till the morning we didn’t have a comfortable sleep. In the early hours of the morning, the hum of voices started to come from the outside. At that moment there was a knock on the door and one of the assistants entered the room with a worried frown.

“Good morning Pasha, could you look outside, your orders…” The assistant said.

I moved to the window. There were thousands of Armenians in the square.

“Tell my friends to wait for my instructions and to be ready for anything. Don’t act or do anything out of my orders.”

Anything could have happened but I decided to walk through the paths of dead again and whenever I decided it before, I was feeling some relief inside me. After I was dressed and checked my guns, they reported that Aram Pasha had arrived. I found him a little thrilled.

“Could you make a speech addressed to the Armenian folk?” Aram asked.

I went out and gave the speech. My assistant Selahaddin had recorded the situation and his notes were as follows.

“At the end of September, 1918 we went to Erivan for the negotiations with the Armenians. There were negotiations there. There was a square in front of the building that we were staying at and about fifty to sixty thousand Armenian were gathered, calling Halil Pasha’s name. Aram, who was the Interior Minister of the Armenian Government, propsed for Halil Pasha to make a speech to the Armenian folk. Halil Pasha accepted the offer but I was suspicious. Since the crowd was composed of Armenians who were taken out of the country and almost all of their families had died or were wounded, they all were living for vengeance and seeing Halil Pasha as the man responsible for the deaths. Certainly the folk that believes they suffered cruelties can do anything to the man perceived as the heartless one. Especially on that subject, Armenians were bloodthirsty. Perhaps, precautions were taken by the government but the precautions that were taken by the government couldn’t prevent people from doing any bad thing if they wanted to do. When we got out of the door to reach the chair that was placed among the folk, we heard a scream but we weren’t sure about the cause. Aram was leading the group, and we were following behind him. Hereafter, I didn’t hope to return alive from there but by the way I was thinking about how we could save our honour, show them we have the courage to talk in front of them and we doubtless would do that. I was with Halil Pasha and whenever he reaches his gun that will cost the attackers. I was watching everything carefully. When he reached the chair, people reacted with a flood of applause and Halil Pasha started his speech, addressing them as follows.

“The Armenian folk that cooperated to dethrone a cruel, heartless sultan and to set up a free and happy country."

"The Armenian folk that I tried to kill to the last person since they tried to enslave a nation to the enemy in the most terrible and painful days of my country, the Armenian folk that I am offering peace, comfort since they take refuge of the Turkish nation’s high mind… If you stick together with the Turkish homeland, I would do whatever I can for your country but if you obey some group of unconscientious Armenians who would betray the Turks and their homeland again, I will give an order to the armies that are surrounding your country to not leave any Armenians still breathing on the earth. Be more reasonable."


[The original Turkish]

The above speech is where Dadrian derived what he termed an emphatic Hall Pasha's "confession" for systematic extermination. The translation is not polished in style, and aims strictly to provide a literal counterpart to the original sentences in Turkish. Thus, "the Armenian folk that I tried to kill to the last person since they tried to enslave a nation to the enemy in the most terrible and painful days of my country" became Dadrian's simple and genocidal "I have endeavored to wipe out the Armenian nation to the last individual."

Is Dadrian correct to have highlighted this damning segment, and leaving the rest out? After all, Halil did say that he endeavored to get rid of the Armenians.

I am reminded of Sir Charles Eliot's observation regarding foreign influence upon Ottoman-Armenians (Turkey in Europe): "'Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,' in English is a harmless hymn, suggestive of nothing worse than a mildly ritualistic procession; but I confess that the same words literally rendered into Turkish do sound like an appeal to Christians to rise up against their Mohammedan masters."

Similarly, the context in which Halil Pasha made his statement had nothing to do with a "Final Solution." What he was trying to convey was that "the Armenians fought by the side of the Allies on all fronts" and were "belligerents de facto, since they indignantly refused to side with Turkey," as Armenian leader Boghos Nubar flatly admitted. Halil Pasha was a soldier; the Armenians had betrayed his country. It is the duty of a soldier to kill enemies who are trying to kill off his country. And he is expressing his sentiments in a "culturally dramatic" tone that may be misinterpreted in the West, along the lines of Eliot's "Onward, Christian soldiers" example.

The once Ottoman-Armenians who were part of that audience knew what Halil Pasha was talking about. They knew the only reason why they were in this mess was because of the madness of their greedy and bloodthirsty Dashnak leaders, as Prime Minister Hovhannes Katchaznouni admitted in 1923 as a "terrible fact." It was these awful, corrupt leaders who were misgoverning them, leading them to three wars that they declared or provoked when the young Armenian nation should have been concentrating on getting her bearings, and who were causing the people's starvation through the leaders' corruption and neglect. (As Richard Hovannisian outlined in his history, prompting Sam Weems to conclude, "The real Armenian genocide was caused by the Armenian peoples' 'own dictator leaders.'" Hovannisian: "In 1919, for each 1000 persons in Armenia there were 8.7 births and 204.2 deaths, a net loss of 195.5. It was verily a land of death.") This is precisely why in Halil Pasha's memoirs, we learn how precarious the position of the Dashnak government was, when beaten-up Interior Minister Aram Pasha whispered, "Because of starvation, the government has no authority over the folk.")

These Ottoman-Armenians in the audience likely had tears in their eyes, remembering the wonderful times they used to enjoy, when the wealthier ones were masters of Ottoman society... before their crazy leaders screwed everything up for them. Certainly, Armenian propaganda tells us it was all the Turks' fault — it's always the Turks' fault — but at that time, the Armenians knew better, and conditions were too grim to give priority to their propaganda. They knew the truth!

So they met Halil Pasha's "confession" of wiping out the Armenian nation to the last individual with applause! Of course; they knew that they had fired the first shot, and it was Halil's soldierly duty to do onto the enemies of his nation before they did onto his nation. How could they argue with the truth? (Even "today," an isolated Armenian of integrity can be found who points to this truth. ADDENDUM: How Armenians warmly greeted the Turkish army may also be determined by the report of this Armenian officer.)

The Armenians did not interpret Halil's words as an admission for a "Final Solution," and that he was talking about slaughtering innocent Armenian women and children. They knew that is not what Halil Pasha meant, the same thing as the Andonian concocted words that were stuck into Ottoman leaders' mouths, to the effect of "kill every last Armenian man, woman and child without mercy." What is the final proof of this statement's not being a "genocidal confession"? It's the fact that Halil Pasha lived to tell his tale. Imagine a Nazi giving a speech in the newly formed Israel by the end of the 1940s, stating that he tried to eliminate every single Jew. The Nazi would have been lynched.

"Return to your villages, homes and your families. Work for their happiness, time will erase the wounds of the present and the past."

After the speech that I kept notes from, the crowd replied with a flood of applause again and we returned to the building that we were staying in. Early in the next morning we moved from Erivan to Gümrü. As I asked Halil Pasha how he could go into the crowd without fear and make such a sharp, sorrowful speech to the Armenians, he replied that declining the offer of Aram would be cowardice; after accepting the offer and then behaving in a cowardly manner would be disrespectful to the heroic spirit of the Turks.

“I didn’t consider returning alive from that chair but I chose an honorable death instead of a cowardly living.”

“My Pasha, I would like to live those noble moments with you once more.”

“Selahaddin, dying instead of living despicably is the only expression of the one thousand year history of the Turks.” I agreed with him and I was feeling a deep respect toward him.”

The speech was done but the danger had still existed. According to the program that was prepared by the Armenian government, we started to move ahead of the Hazmiyetse Church that had a three-to-four thousand year history.

Soldiers were still holding both sides of the road and beyond them there were a lot of Armenians in their crates and in the church square. Most of them had a miserable appearance due to the starvation caused by the immigrations. This bad scene left tragic impression on my emotions as it would have on everybody but the truth and main reason for being in such a bad position is the Armenians that tried to lay low an empire and covet the domain of the Turkish government, wealth of the Turks instead of a life full with comfort and earning. If my own citizens had tried to destroy my kingdom, I wouldn’t hesitate to act in the same way. In fact, we weren’t hesitating to send our own friends to their providential fates. An empire can not accept a betrayal or negligence.

Finally, we arrived to the church and as we entered the big saloon of Katagisos, the spiritual leader was waiting in his dressing uniform.

Firstly, I saluted him as a soldier, then sincerely kissed the hands of that long bearded, ruddy- cheeked, healthy despite his age, respected elder. He also kissed my cheeks; his eyes were filled with tears.

Katagisos was speaking the Turkish language with the Caucasian dialect. Once we didn’t understand each other, Karabet Ayiciyan were interpreting. Ayiciyan was one of the Armenians had received his law education in Istanbul. After his education, he had become a judicial inspector in Van. During the anarchy in Van, he escaped to Erivan. Katagisos invited us to the dining table after the conversation. Meat, pilaf and wine were put on the dining table. As we were eating and drinking, Katagisos found a chance and started to talk.

“My son, my Halil Pasha we are finding something to eat in order to survive with the kindness of God but the condition of the scattered people on the roads is so miserable. I am wondering if any aid from your side is possible.”

I turned to my staff president Basri who was sitting on the right of me.

“What is the reserve stored food of 9th Army?” I asked.

Basri opened his small notebook, looked at one page of it and gave it to me secretly. According to the records in the book, the food storage can meet the demand of the 9th and 3rd Armies at least for 3 years and the product of the year had been harvesting at the same time. That means sharing one or two tons of wheat with the Armenians wouldn’t make a difference for our armies.

“Give me a paper.” Halil Pasha said.

Armenians that are sitting on the table were waiting with a hope with their eyes wide open. I started to write.

“To the General of the 9th Army Sevki Pasha,

Two hundred tons of cereal will be sent to Hasmiyetze Station immediately and will be delivered to the Armenian government. Without losing time, beginning the transportation is a necessity. -- Halil “

“Send this telegraph; tell them to post it immediately.”

A hand reached and took the telegraph, a man read it and stood up and gave it happily to an Armenian cavalier. As the Armenian cavaliers and the other cavaliers sided with him were galloping to the telegraph office, the guns were fired. People were acting as if they were in a big festival and besides those entire noises the spiritual leader Katagisos was crying. The feast had been ended.

When we were returning to our mansion in the city, the people were applauding madly and showing their delight. Hungry people forgot their hatred, probably I wanted to let them know that the Turkish government can be merciless against the people whom betrayed itself but even they were the enemies, The Turkish government is so pitiful to people who are demanding food and calling for aid. We had seen a lot of Turkish warriors who threw their canteens to the enemy soldiers from their trenches.

Judicial Inspector Karabet Ayiciyan that I have known since the days I had been the gendarme commander in Van, came and started to talk.

“My Pasha, I couldn’t hear from my family since I left Istanbul three years ago. I wonder if you can help me…” I desired to ask why he left Istanbul and decided to betray his country with joining Armenian terrorists in spite of being a Judicial Inspector but I didn’t want to offend him. Also I sent this telegraph to Istanbul.

“From my account, but without talking about me, pay fifty pieces of gold to Ayiciyan family living in Bakirköy Zeytinlik, Istanbul. Besides pay one hundred Liras each month and inform them that Karabet Ayiciyan is alive and healthy in Erivan.”

Istanbul Central Commandership replied immediately and informed me that the order was done and the family was alive and healthy. When Karabet Ayiciyan heard the news, he beamed to me.

“How could you be such a good person Halil Pasha?” he asked and he went out in a hurry. I was watching as I remained behind. He saw his friend and started to explain something excitedly. I couldn’t understand what he said but I could imagine.

 On pg. 213 of these memoirs, we also have this statement by Halil::

" ... [T]here were thousands of Armenians who, through starvation, became misarable and wretched due to the migration. Like anybody else, this bad sight had left a painful mark on my feelings..."

( ...MUHACERET SEBEBIYLE acliktan sefil ve perisan olmus binlerce Ermeni bulunuyordu. Bu kotu manazara, her gorende oldugu gibi benim de insanlik duygularim uzerinde aci bir iz birakti... )

(Thanks to Hector; Addendum, March, 2007)

Is it possible that Halil Pasha was making himself out to be too much of a saint? Well, everyone has an ego, and it does sound like there was a little whitewashing involved.

His claims, however, are believable, in line as they are with historic Turkish generosity, tolerance and forgiveness. Look at what this "Eichmann" did: He performed a personal favor for Karabet Ayijian, as much as he resented the fact that Ayijian betrayed his country, the country that had treated him well enough for Ayijian to have built up a huge bank account. (Say! I thought the Turks were supposed to have stolen the wealth of the Armenians; I wonder why Ayijian's account was still intact.) More importantly, when Halil Pasha's country was in the throes of famine, he diverted food to alleviate the suffering of the starving Armenians. If there was diverting to do, he could have chosen to divert this precious surplus to the starving people of his own devastated nation.

Halil Pasha, often identified as the uncle of Enver Pasha (the reason: Enver was one of the "Evil Triumvirate," thus his relative must have also been guilty by association, and similarly evil; another maligned relative was Enver’s brother-in-law, Jevdet Bey, the governor of Van, whom Armenian propaganda states nailed horseshoes onto Armenian feet) emerges as a soldier, a patriot and a man of honor. A far cry from the monster that Dadrian and his fellow propagandists have tried to paint him as.

Naturally, it is the duty of Armenian propaganda to portray the Turks as subhuman, comic book villains, and to smear any non-Turk exhibiting the audacity to treat Turks with a little fairness... such as the great American, Admiral Mark Bristol. In his paper detailing how the Tweedledee to Dadrian's Tweedledum, Prof. Richard Hovannisian, is also basically a "liar," Prof. Heath Lowry wrote that Bristol had paid several historic visits to Armenia, holding meetings with President Khatisian, which Hovannisian had ignored in his history books, at least until that time. Lowry asked, "How then do we account for Hovannisian’s silence in regard to this important event in this crucial period of the Republic’s history? I would submit... that it stems from an obvious Iack of objectivity in his approach." (If Hovannisian paid note, in other words, he would have had — for one thing — to admit Bristol was not the "Turcophile" that propagandists charge Bristol as being, in an effort to discredit him.)

Similarly, what do we make of the fact that Dadrian completely ignored the details of this historic visit of an important Turkish commander, to the newly created state of Armenia? (Do not be surprised if other Armenian "historians" such as Richard Hovannisian similarly ignored the episode, which must clearly be documented in the Armenian archives and other sources.) These unscrupulous "scholars" will do anything to try and hide information going against their genocide thesis. The fact that Halil Pasha was greeted with applause, the fact that Halil Pasha demonstrated compassion for the Armenians... these are lethal examples of information for propagandists concerned with showing that the Turks were and still are all little Hitlers.

That is why Vahakn Dadrian made absolutely no mention of the details of Halil's "Erivan" chapter, nothing to brush aside in the history of the new nation's development phase. Dadrian only singled out parts of two sentences, taken way out of context, to demonstrate the evilness of Halil Pasha. Dadrian engaged in this "scholarly technique" deliberately, since he obviously read the entire book.

Is this hateful man simply immoral, or is he amoral? Does he know the difference between right and wrong? Only Dadrian knows the answer in his charcoal heart, of course. The more relevant question, as posed before, is: why do so many "scholars" pay attention and keep paying attention to this highly dishonest source?



Vahakn Dadrian was introduced in TAT's Armenian Professors page

See also: Vahakn Dadrian's Genocidal Evidence

The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Methods of the Zoryan Institute

Vahakn Dadrian Objects to Guenter Lewy

Vahakn Dadrian Objects to Edward Erickson





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