Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  A Face-Off with Levon Marashlian  
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SYNOPSIS: From Ergun KIRLIKOVALI to several African-American students who wanted more information about the Turkish views after the biased lecture by the Armenian professor :

“Today, you witnessed with your own eyes how the views of a group of people party to a controversial issue were censored by the organizers and the lecturer. Ask yourselves: How can this happen in the 21st Century at an institute of higher learning in the most advanced and richest state in the Union, California? And next time someone gives you a lofty lecture about the freedom of speech in America, please remember today!”



It all started with an innocuous looking invitation to the faculty members at El Camino College in Torrance (near Los Angeles, California):

“ The History Department invites you and your students to attend a free lecture:
Dr. Levon Marashlian on the Armenian Genocide
Tuesday, May 9, at 1:00 in the Campus Theater “

Dr. Levon Marashlian (Sari Gelin)

Shouldn’t that have read the “alleged” Armenian Genocide? Isn’t Genocide a special legal term with a very precise definition, arrived at after many years of diplomatic negotiations, until it was concluded in the 1948 convention in the United Nations? Isn’t it true that the genocide convention was one of the longest negotiated issues in the UN history? Doesn’t it require that a genocide charge must be proven at a “competent tribunal” after proper “due process” before the label of genocide can be used to characterize a certain tragic event after 1948? Isn’t it true that this law, like all proper laws, is not retroactive?

For example, we know that the Holocaust is an incontrovertible fact, not because of those numerous Hollywood movies, but because the charges of crimes against humanity leveled against the German Nazis were subjected to a proper and rigorous “due process” at Nuremberg Tribunal after the World War II. The prosecutors introduced supporting evidence, facts, figures, eye witnesses and more and the defendants were allowed to cross examine them before the final verdict was reached: what Nazis did to Jews during WWII was a genocide (as Rafael Lemkin, the creator of the term, intended the term to mean). This term now seems to be deliberately misused by partisans to misrepresent almost every human tragedy. Is every killing a genocide? Is every my-grandma-told-me-story, family photo, or crying eye witness account a genocide? Of course, not. There are other laws that deal with such crimes. Genocide is a very special concept where a government acts with “premeditation” to exterminate directly or indirectly part or whole of a group of people for national, ethnic, racial, and/or religious reasons. While individual can take part in a genocide, only governments can launch and conduct genocide. “Intent” is the key word here. Intent to exterminate must be proven at a “competent tribunal” before anyone can use the genocide label. Just because Armenian lobbyists shout the loudest doesn’t make a civil war a genocide.

Where then was this “competent tribunal” for the Armenian allegations of genocide held? And when? Who held them? Was due process allowed to run its course? How come we didn’t hear about it? After all, Turks are a party to this issue and they must have been heard at such a tribunal, right? Turks should have cross-examined the Armenian evidence and present counter evidence, right? Isn’t this what “due process” is all about? Turks can easily prove that most of the Ottoman-Armenians were brutal insurgents, armed to the teeth by the Western allies during WWI, all of whom were intent on destroying the Ottoman Empire and the Ottoman-Armenians did cause the deaths of 523,000 of their Muslim neighbors, mostly Turks, between 1914-1923. Those insurgents did not shy away from using their own wives, kids, elders as “human shields” after their bloody attacks on Turks to escape Turkish investigations or retaliations. As one can easily see, the baseless charges of genocide would be turned on its end and Armenians would be proven to be the bogus victims of a nonexistent genocide. Didn’t a human tragedy take place there? Of course it did, but that human tragedy victimized all peoples of the area, without discriminating them on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, language, or religion. Why cherry-pick the Armenian suffering and losses from the lot and totally ignore or dismiss the much larger Muslim suffering and losses? Is this what genocide meant to be? A selective morality? Applied only to the Christian dead by Christians? I think not.

Could this Armenian lecturer perhaps mean the Ottoman courts martial of 1915-1916 as the “competent tribunal” that rendered a verdict of genocide? Nope, he couldn’t. Those trials prove exactly the opposite of genocide charges where the Ottoman government tried and convicted actually some of its own who did abuse the government’s temporary resettlement order. Most of the defendants in those trials did commit crimes ranging from theft to murder; they were tried, found guilty, and punished severely, some even with death. These court proceedings clearly show that the Ottoman government had no intention of systematically exterminating its Ottoman-Armenians as alleged. On the contrary, they genuinely wanted to temporarily re-settle those Ottoman-Armenian who took up arms against their own government, resorted to insurgency, terrorism, and treason at a time of war of survival. ( Can anyone remember the German-Nazi courts trying German-Nazi officers for mistreating, robbing, and/or killing Jews? Even the most biased Armenian can see how absurd it is for the Armenian lobbyists and their sympathizers to compare the factual Jewish Holocaust with the fictional Armenian genocide. )

Could this Armenian lecturer possibly mean the court proceedings of 1919-1920 as the “competent tribunal” that rendered a verdict of genocide, where the leaders of Union and Progress were all convicted and sentenced to death ? Nope, he couldn’t do that either, because those trials were held in occupied Istanbul, by partisans with an anti-Unionist agenda who happily accepted hearsay and questionable press reports as evidence, allowed no cross examination of such shaky evidence, and violated almost every aspect of the “due process”. These Kangaroo courts were so biased that the embarrassed occupiers, the British, asked the crown courts to step in and take over the prosecution. The Ottoman leaders were exiled to the Island of Malta awaiting trials there when the British desperately wanted to find the evidence which could stand the scrutiny of the crown courts to convict the Turks of the alleged war crimes. Result? No such evidence was found and the Turks were let go free after two years of incarceration without filing a single charge against any Turkish leader. Imagine this outcome, in spite of the following facts:

1-The director of the Ottoman archives was an Ottoman-Armenian who scanned the Ottoman archives with a fine tooth comb to fined at least one “smoking gun” among a body of some one million documents;
2- The British had access to all Armenian records, Ottoman or Russian, clergy or lay, all claims of smoking guns”, all “crying survivors” and “sobbing witnesses”, and more;
3- The British had the Blue Book (a major source still used by Armenians today to prove their genocide claims) at their disposal , having written the book themselves, which book is a compilation of wartime propaganda material and falsified and/or embellished accounts of wartime atrocities all of which were allegedly committed by the Ottoman-Turks;
4- The British had unfettered access to the U.S. ambassador Morgenthau’s and U.S. Consuls’ diplomatic reports and communications;
5- The British had unlimited access to the state archives of their wartime ally, France;
6- The British had easy access to the state archives of their wartime ally, Russia;
7- And more.


Imagine all this enormous body of data, records, books, films, witnesses, diplomats, soldiers, politicians, produced nothing, not one shred of evidence. Malta, technically speaking, marks the end of all speculations about allegations of systematic extermination of Ottoman-Armenians by Ottoman-Turks. That’s why today, after 91 years, Britain still refuses to label the human tragedy that engulfed the Eastern Anatolia victimizing all of its inhabitants, Armenian, Turk, and others, despite Armenian political pressure, threats, and terrorism. That’s why today, after 91 years, only a handful of states recognize the “alleged” Armenian Genocide, as an unfortunate but clear extension of their anti-Turkish historical bias, more than anything. After all, how can politicians decide a controversial debate pitting historian against historian? Wouldn’t short sighted, fascist laws mandating a certain view and censoring all others stifle further research, free exchange of information and thought, and destroy freedom of speech? Didn’t Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and the Taliban try similar laws dictating their views to be taught all children to the exclusion of all other views, ideas, and teachings? Did legislating K-12 education along fascist lines in Massachusetts and California to teach Armenian “allegations” of genocide as “settled history”, after tremendous pressure from the Armenian lobby in the last two decades, work for America? Jury is out here. The former is being sued and latter may be next. And if some short-sighted and ignorant French parliamentarians don’t check their attempts to appease their arrogant Armenian constituents (and French bias and bigotry) and pass the anti-Turkish racist law banning freedom of speech on refuting Armenian claims, then France is in for a lot more than it bargained for.

If it is not the courts martial of 1915-1916, or the Kangaroo courts of 1919-1920 in occupied Istanbul, or the 1919-1921 Malta Tribunal that never was, then what court verdict could this Armenian lecturer be basing his “genocide verdict” on? I decided to ask him this very question after his “presentation”.

The inevitable conclusion, therefore, must be this: either the Armenian professor produces a court verdict given by a “competent tribunal” as specified by the 1948 U.N. convention, stating that Turkish-Armenian conflict during the World War I is genocide or he starts using the qualifier “alleged” before the term genocide in his writings and lectures until such a genocide verdict is at hand. Scholarly honesty demands this from him. Either show a court verdict or say “alleged genocide”. It is as simple as that!

Let’s continue reading the invitation sent by The History Department of El Camino College:

“…The Armenian genocide in 1915 was the first genocide of the twentieth century…”

No, not really. The first genocide, or systematic and wholesale massacre (since the term genocide was not invented until 1943 by Rafael Lemkin and therefore can not be used retroactively) was the killing of the Hereros of Southwest Africa (Namibia) by the German colonialists in 1904. The second systematic and wholesale massacre was the killing of the Ottoman-Muslims, mostly Ottoman-Turks, by the Ottoman-Christians during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, where my father’s entire village of Kirlikova was annihilated leaving my father, a one year old baby then, as the sole survivor (you can read more about this tragic story in the archives below.) So, the Armenian professor is wrong again. Where does the tragedy of the Ottoman-Armenians come on this list? No where. Civil wars do not qualify under systematic-and-wholesale-massacre category ( a precursor to post 1948 genocide category.) After all, deaths of 523,000 Ottoman-Muslims, mostly Ottoman-Turks, are directly attributable to wartime atrocities committed by the Armenian nationalists armed by France, Britain, and Russia. (Though the term “nationalist” is not always necessarily a negative one, the Armenian version of nationalism is, as it meant wholesale death and destruction to the Ottoman-Muslims in Eastern Anatolia between 1890-1920.)

Back to the invitation by The History Department:

“… and resulted in about one and a half million deaths; nevertheless, it is often called the Forgotten Genocide…”

In my son’s history classroom during the last open day, I noticed a poster dated 1919 on the wall among many other historical artifacts from different years and subjects. This one solicited funds for the starving Armenians of the Middle East. What really attracted my attention was the number given as the total for the Ottoman-Armenian casualties: 600,000. Knowing full well that even this number is more than double the actual number of casualties (as Kamuran Gurun gives the figure of 300,000 in his book “The Armenian File” and please compare this with Turkish casualties of 528,000 who met their end at the hands of Armenians, so that you can put this whole civil war reality in perspective), how did this Armenian professor and others like him manage to come up with this figure of 1.5 million? Do dead multiply? I guess Armenian dead do… Is there any other explanation? Then there is this: the entire Ottoman-Armenian population, according to the official Ottoman government sources, was 1,295,000. How can more people than the entire population die? Did some die twice? Even that doesn’t explain where the Armenian Diaspora today came from? If the entire population was killed (and some were killed twice) then where did the Armenians we see today in America, France, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere come from? You see, the Armenian numbers don’t add up. They never did. Just like the non-existing court verdict of genocide, 1.5 million dead do not exist.

The inaccuracies in the invitation continue:

“… Not only is little known outside the Armenian community about the Turkish attempt to destroy the Armenian people, but today Turkey denies that it ever took place…”

“Little known?” Honestly, can anyone watch on TV, hear on radio, read in the press anything other than bogus Armenian claims? What exactly is this professor’s concept of “little known?” Turkish attempt was not to destroy the Armenian people but to defend herself against the fifth column activities of the Eastern Anatolia Armenians at a time of war of survival. Turkey can not deny something that doesn’t exist.

The invitation reads:

“…This issue has become especially important as Turkey seeks entry into the European Union, since France and other nations have called for Turkey's recognition of the Armenian genocide…”

France is one of the six parties that Turks expect to hear apologies from since the end of WWI. France was not invited to Anatolia and did not come bearing flowers or to have a peaceful picnic there. France, along with other allies, rained death and destruction on my people, Turks. Not content, France secretly divided up Ottoman Empire between France and Britain (Sykes-Picot agreement) and used Ottoman-Armenians to kill their Ottoman-Muslim neighbors. France donned French uniforms on Ottoman-Armenian citizens and watched as neighbor killed neighbor. Thus, France, along with her allies, ruthlessly destroyed a “millennium of harmonious co-habitation” between the Turks and Armenians in Anatolia. Such shameless and evil schemes staged in the name of advancing political French interests, fine tuned by the French colonialists in Africa and Oceania costing millions of innocent lives over several centuries, brought enormous pain and suffering to my Turkish predecessors. No less than 2.5 million Ottoman-Muslims, mostly Turks, died during the WWI (528,000 of them at the hands of Armenian nationalists; please don’t confuse these two figures.) This France is telling me what to do now? I think not! While I hold absolutely no grudge against French people today, I place the full blame on the French politicians for the bloodshed in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Americas, and elsewhere. France went to these places uninvited, used brutal military force to rain death and destruction on local people, and exploited their natural and cultural resources. France should learn to be big enough to face her history, before lecturing others on human rights. First France should apologize to Turkey and then I can forgive France. Until then, France has no credibility.

The invitation ends with this:

“… Please encourage your students to attend. Arrangements can be made for sign up sheets, etc. to be available…”

Unsuspecting students, lured with the prospect of extra credits if they attended flocked to the theater where they would be subjected to the unadulterated Armenian propaganda.

And here is the signature under the invitation for the record:

“…Best Regards, Florence Baker, The History Department, El Camino College.” Address: 16007 Crenshaw Blvd. Torrance, CA 90506 Phone: 310.532.3670 Toll Free:1.866.ELCAMINO 1.866.352.2646.


Some college professors who were also bothered by this one-sided presentation contacted the organizer. They pointed out to her that the scholarly way to cover a controversial subject was to allow both sides of that issue to be heard by the students. Only lively, open, and free exchange of ideas in a thoughtful debate could enable the students to judge a controversy, not partisan monologues or biased choruses. In order to protect these courageous professors from possible violent acts of Armenian terrorists who already claimed the lives of three Turkish diplomats in California alone in the last three decades, countless bombings, assaults, and death threats, I shall refrain from giving their names here. Their reasonable, honest, and scholarly requests were turned down by the organizer with hollow excuses like lack of time to make last minute rearrangements. The stage was thus set for the Armenian professor and his one-sided presentation.


The lecturer showed certain sections of two video films, stopping the films whenever he wished for additional comments. Never mind that the photos, films, and stories he showed were mostly out of context, sometimes even irrelevant, and their scrutiny was not encouraged or invited. The lecturer chose the “blood and gore” segments of those biased films for maximum impact, such as eyes being gouged and bodies hung upside down, etc. Imagine the effects of this on the young minds. That’s exactly what this lecturer wanted: to create a cult following among the youth bent one hate for all things Turkish. I could very well show similar movies where the victims are Ottoman-Turks and perpetrators are Otoman-Armenians. In fact, I can show more recent movies where victims are Turks of the Republic of Turkey and the perpetrators are Armenian-American terrorists. That would be arguing the Turkish-Armenian civil war on the basis of who spilled more blood of the other and would prove nothing, other than a bloody civil war which is what it was in the first place. I would like to call this the “Texas chainsaw massacre approach” to history. This lecture milked the fears and prejudices of unsuspecting young minds so much that Hitler’s propaganda ministers could probably not top it.

After the propagandistic lecture ended – not a moment too soon-- the floor was opened to questions and I asked the first question to the organizer:

“Being of Turkish-American heritage, and having read a lot about the subject, I am unable to agree with the misleading and distorted characterizations embodied in this lecture. Would you please allow me five minutes on stage to refute the lecturer’s allegations for the benefit of the students here? “

Organizer appeared a bit perplexed and before she could respond, I heard the lecturer say something along the lines of this is not a panel and ending with “ Mr. Kirlikovali, please so ask what you want to ask.”

“I didn’t utter my name, how did you know?”

He said he knew me through my work. I thanked him and commented:

“I am afraid I find your lecture racist and dishonest.”

The lecturer asked why.

I said: “ You never mentioned the Turkish dead and suffering. You implied that Turkish dead do not matter, only Armenian dead do. That, to me, is racist. And you did not say a word about Armenian insurgency, terrorism, and treason that caused the civil war and the ensuing temporary resettlement order. You left half the story out. And that’s dishonest. “

By this time the temper in the hall was rising because some Armenian students didn’t want to hear what I was saying. The lecturer argued that his case was accepted by many as the settled history and he spoke the truth.


A few pro-Armenian questions were fielded with which the lecturer was quite happy. Those questions were something to the effect did Turkey recognize the genocide and why did Turkey not recognize the genocide to this date. The lecturer jumped at the opportunity to do more Turk-bashing. He said things like it is not easy to accept genocide for an honorable person because it is a terrible stain in one’s history. More and more Turks are beginning to see the truth about genocide and coming out to embrace it (You wish…)

One innocent question by a student must have annoyed him a bit, though he seemed to keep his cool. He asked why did the Armenians not sue Turkey at an international court to which I added 127 Turkish NGOs recently suggested just that to the Republic of Armenia. Also recently, the Turkish government proposed to the Republic of Armenia establishing a joint committee of historians and opening all archives so that they can study this matter and report on their conclusions. Armenia avoided saying yes to either one of these proposals. What are the Armenians hiding? What are they afraid of? The lecturer said that something like the situation was clearly a genocide and there is no need to go to court.

I asked “Is genocide proven?” This was a trick question and he heard it all right. If he said yes, then I would ask for what court, when, where, where is the supporting documents and sources, which he obviously could not produce. If he said no, then the effect of today’s lecture would be annulled. After all, if genocide was not proven, then why was he presenting it as settled history?

After a brief pause, he motioned to the screen behind him implying the video films and said:

“Of course it is, these films and materials prove it.”

I responded “Those materials could not stand to scrutiny of any court of law. You know it, I know it.” (I may have also added something like those films and materials were “a bunch of crap” proving nothing…But I can’t recall.)

One professor asked how many Turks were killed in Erzurum. Instead of replying, the lecturer questioned back saying something like since you seem to know the answer, suppose you tell me. The professor said he though this was a question-and-answer session and not a question-and-question session. The lecturer then said what is your source? I waved the book "Armenia: Secrets of a 'Christian' Terrorist State” written by Sam Weems and I offered to give it to him as my gift to him. The lecturer said that he already had that book and that Sam Weems was not a historian. I waved four more books (by Guenter Lewy, Kamuran Gurun, Salahi Sonyel, Justin McCarthy, and Stanford Shaw) and asked “These are by historians, have you read them?” The lecturer chose to respond other questions ignoring mine.


Another question was about how the Armenian churches cultivate hate for all things Turkish. She gave the example of an Asian woman who had known nothing about Turks until she attended an Armenian church and pretty soon thereafter she found herself hating all Turks everywhere. The question was didn’t today’s lecture also cause the same kind of negative effect on young minds. The lecturer responded by saying that he could vouch for other churches and that if she could identify that church he would be happy to talk to them (Right!). A student sitting in front of the questioner arose to disagree with the questioner saying that she was the daughter of an Armenian minister and she doesn’t hate the Turks.

Another professor asked, after identifying herself as a member of the faculty, that she was brought up being taught to hate the Turks and she did. Until of course she met Turks and she was stunned to find out how pleasant and war Turks were, nothing like the image with which she grew. She felt that the lecturer was aiding the perpetuation of hate among our youth for all things Turkish. The lecturer objected to this by saying that he made it a point of saying that not all Turks were responsible for what happened to Armenians and that some gracious Turks, even some Ottoman officials, did help save Armenian lives. There are Turks today that he loves listing the names of Turkish scholars known for embracing the official Armenian propaganda line such as Halil Berktay, Elif Safak, Fatma Gocek, Zarakolu, and others (He left Taner Akcam out!). I didn’t have a chance to say with the exception of Berktay, none are historians and Berktay has a hidden agenda with the Turkish Republic going back to 1970s when Berktay was a “wanted” terrorist, along with Taner Akcam. These people were Marxist-Leninist militants who tried by force of arms and explosive to change the regime in Turkey, from a Western democracy to Soviet style communism. You can see the nostalgic “wanted” poster with Berktay’s and Akcam’s mugshots at www.tallarmeniantale.com today. That is why these “scholars” embraced the Armenian propaganda at face value. Their motivation is not historical truth but spite for Turkey.


The session ended after a few more “soft” questions by some students who seemed to have swallowed the Armenian propaganda hook, line, and sinker. If it weren't for the vigilance of one professor, we would never hear about this event. And if it weren't for another professor, who together with the first one went to see the organizer to convince her to allow the other side of the story to also be heard., the Turkish views would not be noticed. Both professors asked the lecturer excellent questions... One professor’s courageous last minute stand criticizing anti-Turkish hate teachings in the Armenian community was truly spectacular. One engineer, taking time from work to attend this lecture, also made the point about teaching of anti-Turkish hate in Armenian churches... All three were brave, determined, well-informed, and peace-loving.

As for me, I knew I would not get straight answers to my questions, but that is fine, because my questions are not designed to change the mind of an Armenian lecturer. They were designed to alert and inform the unsuspecting audience to the nature and depth of Armenian propaganda they would be subjected to by this event. My questions would serve to create a question mark in their minds so that they would not buy the distorted Armenian claims at face value. Dare I say that my questions seem to have worked because a few African-American students came to me after the lecture asking for more information an websites on the Turkish views. This is good enough for me. As the Turkish saying goes “Damlaya damlaya gol olur.” (Drop by drop, a lake forms.)

I left those students with these final remarks:

“Today, you witnessed with your own eyes how the views of a group of people party to a controversial issue were censored by the organizers and the lecturer. Ask yourselves: How can this happen in the 21st Century at an institute of higher learning in the most advanced and richest state in the Union, California? And next time someone gives you a lofty lecture about the freedom of speech in America, please remember today!”

Mr. Kirlikovali's essay ends with fifty-four "...QUESTIONS I WANTED TO ASK THE ARMENIAN LECTURER," which may be accessed at turkla.com/yazar.php?yid=4






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