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 The German publication, “Die Welt,” is not normally known for being Turk-friendly. Yet a remarkable article appeared in its pages, clearly recognizing that the "Turkish side" of the genocide debate is actually being conducted from the standpoint of honesty.

The original article may be found at welt.de/data/2006/03/20/862391.html

Great thanks go to Dr.Oylar Saguner for pointing out this article, as well as having translated it. The translation has been slightly modified, for readability purposes.


1,634 turkish officers condemned to death

The great conference in Istanbul on the Armenian Genocide could set a remarkable change

by Boris Kalnoky

It could be a discussion platform on which the Armenian historians could have shown up their Turkish colleagues in a proper manner, regarding how the Armenian people, from 1915 until 1917, had been exterminated by the Turkish hand. But most of them preferred to stay away. Four Armenian historians who represented the Armenian Genocide thesis were invited to the three day conference, “New Basic Approaches in Turkish-Armenian Relations”, however they have refused to participate. Therefore there were only three advocates of the Genocide-Thesis at the conference, facing off to their opponents, historians who do not see a genocide in the deportation of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Government. Hilmar Kaiser, the Israeli historian Yair Auron and Ara Sarafian from the Gomidas-Institute of London listened to what their collegues had to say. The result was interesting: Sarafian promised at the end to start combined projects together with the historians of the TTK[1] (an institution which made it their duty to invalidate the genocide thesis).

New research results came especially from Yusuf Sarinay who presented documents according to which the Ottoman Minister of Interior Affairs Talat Pasha ordered a stringent action in order to protect the deported Armenians from hostile attacks, and signed the death penalties of 1,643 Turkish officers, soldiers and officials who assaulted/mistreated the deportees. It was clearly known that such executions were ordered; however, the personal role of Talat Pasha, referred to by the Armenian side as a merciless hater of Armenian people and the architect of the genocide, was new. [2]

The German-Turkish historian Cem Özgönül presented a remarkable debut. Özgönül has diligently studied the documents of the archives of the German foreign office as the first Turkish historian and compared them with the ones which were published in 1919 by the Protestant Armenian activist Johannes Lepsius (under the order of the government of the German Empire). In “The Myth of a Genocide” (Onel-Publishers, 2006) Özgönül demonstrates that Lepsius systematically and massively manipulated the documents, in order to suggest exaggerated dimensions to the Armenian genocide (number of the victims), and to belittle its causes (Armenian terrorists) and to insinuate racist motives upon the Ottoman leadership. At the end, Lepsius — so argues Özgönül — wanted the spin off of the Armenians from the Ottoman Empire. Özgönül means that the manipulations to a certain extent served to diminish German complicity because Lepsius followed pro-Armenian objectives without the consent of the German foreign office.

If those explanations prove correct, then the most important documentary basis of the representatives of the Genocide-Thesis will be shaken. Another main pillar, the so called Andonian Documents were already proven falsified more than 20 years ago.


Hilmar Kaiser, a famous protagonist of the Genocide, listened to Özgönül's presentation, but brought up no objections or criticism. It will be interesting to follow this aspect of the discussion in upcoming months. If Özgönül's work indeed stands against critical examination, there could begin a basic turn to the discussions to the genocide of the Armenians.

One can always allege a genocide in the debate. At that time there was not a judicial term; however, it is not very difficult to classify the incidents as genocide according to the UN Definition. In contrast, the Turkish historians say that there was no intention to exterminate, and the number of victims on the Armenian side (by illness, hunger, and attacks) was not higher than the number of victims on the Turkish side by illness, hunger and Armenian attacks. In addition, there was no “singularity” of the Armenian Sorrow — one can reproach the Armenian Revolutionaries in much the same manner as the Ottomans, regarding the massacre and systematic expulsion of civilians in those areas where they (Armenians) had been the ruling power at times. Perhaps the next time, Armenian historians will attend in order to defend their position.

March 20, 2006

Holdwater Notes

 [1] The TTK represents the Turkish initials for the Turkish Historical Society, currently presided by Prof. Yusuf Halacoglu.

[2] The figure of those Turks who were brought to trial, accused of committing crimes against Armenians, has been updated from Kamuran Gurun's 1,397. More details may be seen here (where the number is 1,673, and not 1,634). If the article claimed all of these people were faced with the death penalty, that would have been a huge mistake.

While it is wonderful that Turkish professors are finally getting off their lead-lined behinds (not all are like that, of course) and conducting original "genocide" research in foreign archives, some are so green around the edges, they figure because they encounter information, it must have been for the first time. In reality, the manipulations of Lepsius are old news. This is not to say Dr. Özgönül's work is not to be appreciated, as hopefully he has come upon new insights.

If the author of this article was inspired by the truths presented at this conference, that is very refreshing. Too often, bigoted Westerners brainwashed by Armenian propaganda are in "denial," no matter how solid the evidence may appear to be. Regardless, the author was being far too optimistic, in regards to the impact of this conference. The genocide industry has an aversion to truth, and none (more importantly, the biased Western media as well) paid serious attention to the goings-on. They would much rather focus on the closed-door genocide club meetings, like the Suny-Gocek WATS workshops (where only like-minded participants are allowed to attend; that is, one must have already agreed there was an Armenian genocide).

The fact that Turkish conferences allow the opposition to attend is already a great sign of how much more honest the Turkish side is. This is nothing new; Dr. Levon Marashlian provided a report on a similar conference back in 1990. (He was the only one with the guts to have attended, even though "the usual gang of propagandistic idiots" were all invited.)

Running a search for "New Approaches in Turkish Armenian Relations," the name of this symposium, makes it apparent that there has been practically no coverage in the English language press, except in sites such as panarmenian.net and armeniandiaspora.com. The most popular report was "Not Many 'New Approaches' for Armenian Issue," written by an Armenian-Turk, Talin Suciyan (Sujian); one can tell from the title how little the partisan author cared for the proceedings. The author sneered in his sub-headline that the conference "witnessed the reproduction of nationalist reflexes and unscientific propositions."

The powerful genocide industry has managed to get their claws into Turkey itself, hoping to manipulate gullible Turkish minds. Late in 2005, a genocide seminar was held in Bilgi University, where not only the speakers, but even the people in the audience were evidently pre-screened. (This one was originally slated at Bogazici University, and caused a commotion. A little backdrop may be read on this page.) Immediately after that travesty, the Turks held a conference of their own, inviting without fear genocide advocates. As flawed as this one reportedly was (it went off the genocide topic), a few genocide advocates like Fikret Adanir did attend (while Halil Berktay, the star of the Bilgi U. affair, did not), and were evidently shell-shocked by all the irrefutable evidence. The Istanbul U. conference held in mid-March of 2006 appears to have been a step in the better direction, focusing on genocide particulars, as ignored as it was in the genocide universe.

Justin McCarthy seated next to Israel Charny at the Istanbul University conference

McCarthy and Charny, together!

Seeing Israel Charny trying to compete with the likes of a genuine scholar, Justin McCarthy, would have been worth the price of admission. The two were seated next to each other, littlle Izzy and the robust McCarthy, and the study in contrasts must have been irresistible. One who attended the conference privately mentioned that she had seen Hilmar Kaiser greet Charny at the lobby after Charny's ordeal, and overheard Kaiser offering words of consolation. Spoiled with their usual one-sided genocide club conferences, the genocide advocates must have been aware that they were severely outmatched.









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