Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  The Good, Bad and Ugly Armenians of the Ottoman Empire  
First Page


Major Players
Links & Misc.



Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems


This is not meant to be a comprehensive report.... just arbitrary case histories of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire I've run into that either come under the distinction of "The Good" or "The Bad"... if not an Ugly or two.  (And a Great.) Let us begin with a brief background look.

Trusted Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 

The Armenian minority in the Ottoman Empire has always enjoyed the status of privilege. In the 19th century, 22 Armenians became ministers, including Ministers of Foreign Affairs in this turbulent era leading up to the collapse of the Empire. This alone shows the degree of trust placed in the Armenian citizens and their reciprocal contribution to the Ottoman administrations. 

33 Armenians were selected to the Parliament, 7 were appointed as Ambassadors and 11 as Consul Generals. 11 Armenians served as professors in universities. 

It is not thus surprising to see the Ottoman administration react with disappointment when they witnessed great numbers of Armenians revolting against the Empire when their loyalty was needed most. The Armenian revolt committee 'Dashnak' ordered the members of their community to take up arms saying: 

"As soon as the Russians have crossed the borders and the Ottoman armies have started to retreat, you should revolt everywhere. The Ottoman armies thus will be placed between two fires. If the Ottoman armies advance against the Russians, on the other hand, their Armenian soldiers should desert their units with their arms, form bandit forces, and unite with the Russians" 

Excerpt; Professor Mumtaz Soysal of Ankara University



The number of Armenians who served the state during the Ottoman Empire at high ranks was quite high. They were never discriminated against by the Turks and had their places in the Turkish history in the best possible manner, with one exception only, with titles of ‘Cabinet Minister’, ‘Pasha’, or ‘Ambassador’. These respectable people had significant contributions to the Turkish economy as well. For instance, Gabriel Noradoukian Pasha, Hagop Kazasian Pasha, and Marshall Garbed Artin Davut Pasha served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, of Postal Services and of Public Works, respectively. In addition, Oscar Mardikian, Kirkor Agathon, Petros Halladjian and Kirkor served as Cabinet Ministers in other fields. 

Hagop Kasasian who gained the trust of Sultans, served the Palace and served as the Minister of Treasure, as well as Michael Portakalian Pasha and Ohannes Pasha are some examples for outstanding Armenian figures who worked for the empire obediently. These harmonious and fraternal relations continued until after the Crimean War. Russia under Czar launched its policy of dividing the Ottoman Empire following its defeat at the Crimean War. 

Excerpt, "Real Story of the Armenian Plot Against Turkey"


“As artists the Armenians are an honor to the last period of the Ottoman civilization. Gallu Agop, an Armenian, established the first Turkish theater... The first Turkish opera was given us by the composer Choukhajian Effendi, whose work has won world-wide renown... The great Bazaar of Constantinople was almost entirely dominated by Armenians.”

Written by Dr. Riza Tewfick Bey, Turkish delegate to the Sèvres Conference (V.V., Pour Mieux Connaitreles Arménienns, pp. 33, 36, 38; from Armenian Affairs, Vol.. I, Nos. 3-4, Summer-Fall 1950, p 307)



Gabriel Noradunkian

Gabriel Noradungian

A remarkable, "genocide-disproving" example of a trusted Armenian happened to be Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabriel Nouradungian; he handled the country’s foreign policy during the turbulent Balkan Wars period (1912-13). If the Ottoman leadership was lying in wake to exterminate the Armenian population to Turkify the empire, as states the most prominent reason provided by pro-genocide advocates, to appoint an Armenian in such a high post would have been unthinkable — only a few short years before the wartime resettlement policy was implemented. The equivalent would have been Adolf Hitler appointing a Jew as foreign minister for Germany in 1936-37.


It would not be long before this "loyal" Ottoman-Armenian turned against his Ottoman nation. From Stanford Shaw's chapter on Cilicia in 2001's "Armenians in the Late Ottoman Period," Gabriel Noradoungian (as spelled here) "joined Avedis Aharonian in going to England and France in demanding that France renounce the Treaty of Ankara and end its evacuation of the area in order to prevent the massacres which he insisted were certain to come." Noradoungian told Lord Curzon on Nov. 19, 1921 that 150,000 Armenians, relying on the word of the Allies, have settled in Cilicia, and that their lives could not be trusted with the Kemalists, "the worst sort of bandits, friends of the Bolsheviks, Pan Islamists, and Pan Turanians." and insisted on the upholding of the Treaty of Sèvres. Four days later, he went further with French Premier Aristide Briand, calling the Kemalists "a collection of criminals" and "morally bankrupt."

Noradoungian continued: "I know the greater part of them personally. Many of them have gone through under my hand during my twenty-five years of office in the Turkish government. I can confidently state that with rare exceptions, they are all Pan-Islamists, PanTuranists, and more especially, xenophobe." (If they were so xenophobic, how could Noradoungian have been allowed such status in the government for a quarter-century?) The now whole-hearted propagandist then made more of a fool of himself by declaring the Kemalists will, "stage outright massacres, they know a thousand and one ways of exterminating the Armenians. They all have been educated in the spirit of Abdul Hamid..." Briand responded that the Turks would not massacre "at present. And it is problematic if they shall ever do it in the future," a pronouncement that would be backed up by history: In fact, on Dec. 5, 1921, the Turkish Grand National Assembly honorably carried out one of the terms of the Treaty of Ankara, as Prof. Shaw wrote: "a general amnesty for all those accused of `treason against the nation' for all of Anatolia, including Cilicia, thus excusing Muslims and Christians alike for any misdeeds they may have carried out during the French occupation."


Berch Keresteciyan Efendi 


Berch Keresteciyan

Berch Keresteciyan

Berch Keresteciyan Efendi actually falls under the category of THE GREAT. Few Ottoman Armenians served their nation and were more loyal than this amazing man. To think, his great deeds occurred in 1919, after the Armenian "Genocide." A man of his high position (he was the Director of the Ottoman Bank and Vice President of the “Turkish Red-Crescent”), must certainly have been aware of the gruesome struggle his people endured in the East. The reader must ask... why did Berch Keresteciyan Efendi do the things he did (He saved Mustafa Kemal's life, and provided decisive funds [from his own pocket, cleaning out his account] to battle the enemy when the nation was in most desperate need) if he believed the Ottoman Turks were guilty of wiping out his fellow Armenians? OBVIOUSLY HE KNEW THERE WAS MORE TO THE STORY THAN WHAT BRITISH PROPAGANDA, MISSIONARIES AND ARMENIANS WERE TELLING THE WORLD! 

For that matter, how could Turkey's remaining Armenians even consider the idea of sticking around, if they believed the Turks were so murderous against the Armenians? If I were an Armenian in Turkey and thought the Turks hated Armenians to the extent of slaughtering  them just because they were Christians, I would have realized I was still going to remain Christian. Why take chances? I would have hightailed it out of there, but fast!

Berch Keresteciyan Efendi deserved his own page; you can read about the story here.


Hagop Martayan

Hagop (Martayan) Dilaçar: 

A Tribute To A Great Turkish-Armenian Turcologist

Today, we wish to bring to light from obscurity a great Turcologist of Armenian origin.

Hagop Martayan, a philologist and an expert in the science of encyclopedia, was born in Istanbul in 1895. A graduate of the American Robert College, he dedicated his entire life to the study of languages, becoming an expert in the Turkish language. He studied the etymology of Turkish words, meticulously tracing their development since their earliest recorded occurrence where they are found, tracing their transmissions from one language to another, analyzing the words into their component parts. identifying their cognates in other languages, and tracing them and their cognates to a common ancestral form in an ancestral language.

1919 photo of Robert College

A 1919 photo of Robert College, in Istanbul 

Later. Mr. Martayan became an instructor and an administrator at Robert College. He participated in World War I as a reserve officer. Then he lived in Europe for a while. In 1932, Ataturk was impassioned on his project about the Turkish language. When he learned about Hagop Martayan, who was at that time in Bulgaria, he invited him to Turkey, and appointed him to the First Turkish Language Convention. Around that time, a statute making surnames mandatory was at the legislature. Ataturk was very impressed by the expertise of Hagop Martayan, and suggested that he take the last name Dilaçar, meaning "tongue opener", which Martayan graciously accepted.

After the Turkish Language Convention, Mr. Dilaçar became the Head Expert in the Turkish Language Association. Later, he taught languages at the universities and high schools.

In 1936, he taught for fifteen years the History of Linguistics. and General Linguistics at the School of Language, History and Geography (Dil, Tarih, Coðrafya Fakültesi) at the University of Ankara. He was the advisor to the Turkish Encyclopedia, and later became its chief editor. Mr. Dilaçar passed away on September 12, 1979 in Istanbul.

Following are some of the publications of Hagop Dilaçar:
1- Azeri Turkish (1950)
2- Western Turkish (1953)
3- The Pattern in the Spreading of the Dialects, The Classification of the Turkish Dialects (1954)
4- The General Tendencies of Strengthening and Discontinuation of the Dialects During Their Evolutions (1957)
5- Turkish Language as a State Language (1962)

He authored several articles in the Turkish Encyclopedia on language and other subjects.

Hagop Martayan Dilaçar is one of several Turkish-Armenians who rendered enormous services to the Turkish language, music, theater and architecture. On this occasion, we would like to recognize a contemporary Turkish-Armenian linguist, Pars Tuglaci, who is a prolific writer, researcher and publisher. Pars Tuglaci authored several dictionaries, and wrote on a variety of subjects about Turkey's past that brought to light the now disappeared beauties of old Istanbul.

We remember Hagop Martayan Dilaçar with respect, gratitude and admiration.


Ayhan Özer

January 15, 1996 The Turkish Times

Garabed Tombalyan (and Martayan)


A "Reader's Digest" type Turkish magazine from Baskent University had an article in its June 2005 issue: "Four Armenian Patriots who influenced the life of Mustapha Kemal (ATATURK)!"; one was Berch Keresteciyan, and another was Hagop Martayan Dilaçar, both covered above. I couldn't find the fourth, but here is what we were told about the third, Garabed Tombalyan, which isn't much (also there's further insight on Martayan):

It should be kept in mind that the Armenian originated
citizens showed a remarkable courage not only in all layers of the cornerstones of this society, but also in the social and cultural formation of Turkey.

For instance, while been charged in Damascus, Garabed
Tombalyan protected Mustapha Kemal from an assassination. He was very honorable and patriotic person, really esteemed by Ataturk.

Agop Martayan (Dilacar), on the other hand, was an
intellectual who was arrested by the Ottoman soldiers with the charge of espionage but, during his defense, he said that "he shed blood for this country and he would never be unfaithful to it" and he was protected by Mustapha Kemal, since he was impressed by these words.

In consequence, Martayan who was a genuine intellectual
has worked in the “Aravelk” newspaper published in Armenian for a very long time and contributed to the Turkish Language Institute.


Vahan Pastermadjian


Vahan Pastermadjian

in Ottoman

 Vahan Pastermadjian was an Ottoman-Armenian who fought loyally for his country. While the majority of Armenians had turned traitor at the outset of the First World War, whether they wanted to or not, it must be borne in mind there were exceptions to the rule. So why single out Vahan as one of the exceptions? He was the brother of one of the most notorious traitors of them all, Armen Garo! (Below.)

Knowledge of Vahan Pastermadjian comes courtesy of a Rober Koptas, of the University of Bogazici, who participted in the fifth of the closed door sessions of the Suny-Gocek WATS series. It appears Karekin (Garo) spoke of brother Vahan in his memoirs, and then Koptas found a family shot featuring the brothers in a book entitled “Erzeroum” by Hratch Tarbassian (1975, USA). Vahan fought in Sarikamish against the Russians, as part of the Yergok brigade. 83rd division. The commander, Ziya Yergok, also had memoirs published (2005), and there is praise of Vahan: “One of the daring and valorous officers of this regiment, studying at the Military Academy of Istanbul at the time of the constitutional government, was the second lieutenant Vahan Pastermadjian of Erzeroum. This officer was wounded in the leg during the battle of Koprukoy.” The Turkish newspaper Milliyet covered the story in June, 2006.


Artin Penik

Artin Penik

Artin Penik


Artin Penik is the brave Armenian-Turk who committed suicide in 1982 to protest the murderous actions of his brethren at that time. Here is the story.



Bedros Kapamaciyan, Mayor of Van


(K. S. Papazian spells the name as Bedros Capamajian.)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hasan Oktay from the University of Yüzüncü Yil, Department of History, has found out a very shocking example regarding the oppressions of Armenians on Armenians :

Bedros Kapamaciyan Efendi

 "Following the atmosphere which prevailed after the announcement of the Second Constitutional Regime, the post of Mayor in Van, was given to Bedros Kapamaciyan, an Armenian member of Van Administrative Assembly, in the midst of the year 1909. In spite of the fact that the Moslem people constituted the majority of population in the city; Kapamaciyan Efendi was elected as a member without any considerations of discrimination by earning the respect of all the people, therefore, he also received votes the Moslem people. As a matter of fact, at the end of the elections, two out of ten members in the Administrative Assembly were Armenians.

Kapamaciyan Efendi (b. 1840), who pleased the people of the province during his administration and who always sided with the Ottoman State in spite of the Tashnak and Hinchak committees, served for the peace and the welfare of both the Turkish and the Armenian committees in Van. While Kapamaciyan, the Mayor, was working hard for the peace and the future of the city, the Armenian Patriarch was conspiring for plots and provocation in Van and its environs. He collaborated with the Tashnak committee in order to keep the Armenian matter alive for the European states.

As a result of these plots, a series of fires broke out in Van, and the houses of some of the Armenians were also burned up in these fires. The Patriarch wanted the Major to send a report to the Ambassadors of the European States stating that the fires and provocation were caused by the Moslem people, and that they are getting ready to destroy the lives and the property of the Armenians at any moment.

However, Kapamaciyan Efendi, the Mayor, sent a report telling that the matter was not so and the fires were started by the Armenian Tashnak committees.

The existence of Kapamaciyan Efendi, who spoiled the efforts of the revolutionary Armenians still working with great efforts in the center of Van, was an unbearable situation, so the committees took the decision to execute the major. The revolutionary gangs, who based their theories on an Armenian-Turkish conflict, had arranged assassinations before the outstanding Armenian people who supported the Ottoman State and who weakened their domination over the people. Thus, with this assassination they were going to frighten the community and avoid further opposition.

Kapamaciyan Efendi, who was frequently threatened on December 10, 1912 in the evening, with all his family got onto the sledges that was waiting in front of the door of his home, to go to Marcidciyan Efendi, who was one of his relatives, for the celebration of "name giving". He did not know that he was on the black list. A Tashnak group was waiting near his home the group started a volley of shots onto the crowd. The Mayor, who was caught unaware and without any protection at all, was shot with two bullets in his head and fell dead on the ground.

Since the home of the Mayor was in the Baglar quarter, the closest patrol station was ten minutes away. So, the murderers fled in the darkness before the gendarmerie arrived. The Baglar quarter was a place with gardens and vineyards. In this is quarter Armenians were the majority and it was easy for the murderers to hide and run away.

The witnesses who saw the incident started to be questioned. The facial features and other information about the murderers were slowly being revealed. Especially from the evidence given by the Mayor's son, it was understood that Karakin and his friend were probably the murderers. Thus, the disclosure of the murderers prevented probable clashes between the Moslem and the Armenians. Karakin was caught after rapid operations, and his friend whose name we could not find out, escaped. The assassins who were among the group who committed the crime and was wanted for smuggling arms into Van whose names were Potur, the carriage man, Sarac, Osep, jeweller Karakin, and somebody named Sahaf who fled to Karagündüz village after the event and who was one of the leading members of Tashnak committee, and who planned the murder of Kapamaciyan Efendi, were caught after a difficult search. The friend of the murderer Karakin, who got lost just after the event, was later on captured and put in prison.

Viramyan Efendi, one of the writers of the Azadamart newspaper as published in Van by the members of Tashnak committee in Van; Aram Manukyan Efendi, the inspector of Armenian schools and the Van delagate of Tashnak committee; and some of the Armenian leaders of the Tashnak committee were arrested for plotting Mayor Kapamaciyan's murder.

Because the Ottoman officials were successful in finding the murderer of Kapamaciyan, who was very popular among the Armenians, the capturing of the murderers, even though they were not punished severely, still met with pleasure by the people. But the Armenian people felt deep sorrow because the murderers were Armenians. Necessary measures were taken in the funeral and thus special care was taken to avoid any disturbances. The English, Russian, and the French Consuls were among the foreign missions who also participated in the funeral. However, the fact that nobody from the military and also from the Tashnak committee was at the ceremony, which was rather meaningful. With this attitude, the Tashnak committee made it clear to their supporters and enemies that they killed the mayor and thus this was a warning to their enemies.

The revolutionist Tashnak committees could kill their own people without any their hesitation to reach their goals. The committeemen were capable doing all kinds of actions for the formation of a suitable medium for a revolution. They conducted their actions systematically with the help of Russia; they were able to occupy Van, temporarily. When the Russians retreated because of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Van again passed to the hands of Turks. " (3)

Oktay reports the following from Altan Deliorman concerning to the oppressions of Armenians on Armenians:

"While the Armenians were conducting their activities in Anatolia, in Istanbul they were also, killing those Armenians who did not sympathise with them. Advocate Hachik; Dacad Vartabet, the Chief priest of Gedikpasa Church; Trader Karagözyan, Candle man Onnik; Apik Uncuyan; Policeman Markar, Mampre Vartabet, the member of the Spiritual Assembly; Hajji Dikran Migirdic Tütüncüyan are only a few of the Armenians who were murdered by the Armenian gangs. " (4)


(1) Uras, Esat, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi / The Armenians and the Armenian Matter In History, Belge Publications, Istanbul, 1987, p. 469 - 471.

(2) Banoglu, Niyazi Ahmet, Gündüz Printing House, Ankara, 1976, p. 24 - 25.

(3) Oktay, Assoc. Prof. Dr., Hazan, " www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr/articles "

(4) Altan Deliorman, Türklere Karsi Ermeni Komitecileri, Istanbul, 1975, p. 31.


Hatchik Oscanyan

The Istanbul-born Hatchik Oscanyan came to the U.S. in 1835 for his college education. Becoming a lecturer and a writer, his "The Sultan and his People" (New York, 1857) evidently sold well. From 1868 to 1874 Oscanyan was Turkish consul-general in New York City, later pursuing his literary career. The photo is from a card with the caption, "Mr. Oscanyan, in native costume, as introduced at his Lectures on Turkey."

Hatchik Oscanyan in 1863

Hatchik Oscanyan in 1863  

An excerpt from his book is revealing, as far as how unoppressed and prosperous the Armenians were; the very fact that Oscanyan was allowed to travel lends evidence to the freedom of Armenians, as with being permitted to attain high posts in government:

This community constitutes the very life of Turkey, for the Turks, long accustomed to rule rather than serve, have relinquished to them all branches of industry. Hence the Armenians are the bankers, merchants, mechanics, and traders of all sorts in Turkey.
Besides, there exists a congeniality and community of interest between them and the Musulmans. For, being originally from the same region, they were alike in their habits and feelings; therefore, easily assimilating themselves to their conquerors, they gained their confidence, and became and still are the most influential of all the rayahs. There is not a pasha, or a grandee, who is not indebted to them, either pecuniarily, or for his promotion, and the humblest peasant owes them the value of the very seed he sows; so that without them the Osmanlis could not survive a single day.
This is a fact so well attested, that Russia, with the design of undermining Turkey, always endeavoured to gain over this part of the population, and in 1828, when she took possession of Erzeroum, she enticed the Armenians of that place to acts of violence and revenge against the Turks, so that when the Russians retired, the Armenians were obliged to emigrate with them.

Holdwater asks: If the Ottomans were so dependant on the Armenians that they could not survive a single day, and if the Sick Man was bankrupt at the time of WWI, wouldn't it have been the most inopportune time to "annihilate" the Armenians... assuming annihilation ever crossed their minds? Could there have been... another reason for the relocation? One that Oscanyan hints at, when the Armenians similarly betrayed their country in 1828?


Harootyoun Mugurditchian
(Artin Mugerditchian)

Described as an "unconscionable traitor" and a "fiend" by author Sarkis Atamian (The Armenian Review, Nov. 1960, "Soghoman Tehlirian"), Muguditchian was apparently the chief informer who ratted out the Armenian rebellion's ringleaders from Istanbul (the 235 arrested on April 24.) Even though nobody likes stool pigeons... we give him a half-hearted place of honor here, as he performed a great service to his nation (albeit at personal gain, if the hysterical article is to believed).

The story goes that the Dashnak Tehlirian met a Hunchak, Yeranouhi Danielian, on Dec. 18, 1919, and "her voice, choked with emotion," further twisted the assassin's deranged brain by explaining "Mugurditchian had personally prepared a list of over three hundred Armenian intellectuals, civic leaders and dignitaries, and sold the list to Talaat Pasha, the arch-assassin of the Armenians. It was this list that Talaat used to liquidate the three hundred." Of course, the number of the arrested on April 24 was 235 (according even to Lepsius during Tehlirian's 1921 assassination-of-Talat trial; interesting that the 300 from the list were not all arrested, if the 300 number is accurate), and not all were executed; they were imprisoned and most were executed, as the traitors of any nation especially from that time period would have been. Moreover, it is not as if the Ottoman police would have been totally unaware as to whom some of the troublemakers were. This article illogically gives Mugurditchian the whole credit, but he was one of several sources used, as even Peter Balakian refers to other "Armenian spies," in his "The Burning Tigris." Moreover, who learned of these details? Mugurditchian certainly would not have revealed his informant status as he knew all too well the fanaticism of his brethren, as did any Armenian. (Two out of three victims of Armenian terrorism between 1904-1906 were fellow Armenians.)

"Mugurditchian grew wealthy on the blood of his brethren and enjoyed Talaat's friendship and protection." So this silly article is attempting to have us believe Mugurditchian's finger-pointing was revealed, otherwise why would he need "protection"? (What did he have, a 24-hour guard?) "Miss Danielian quickly filled in the details and cried with anguish that even more unendurable than the mass- murder was this insult to injury . . . the existence of the arch-traitor who lived well in the midst of this tragedy, surrounded by the very loved-onces [sic] the martyred three hundred left behind."

Sounds like an objective article written with a cool head, doesn't it? At any rate, Soghoman Tehlirian simply accepted the facts as his fellow terrorist described them, because for Armenians, all that is needed is to simply be "told." (Just like when Tehlirian was told this story.) "Anger swelled up in Tehlirian's veins," and the murderous Armenian "hero" then "found himself in the vicinity of the arch-traitor's palatial residence." (Implication: Mugurditchian got his estate because of the sale of his list. However, well off Armenians in Istanbul were more the rule than the exception.) Tehlirian looked through the window, saw the arch-traitor entertaining some guests; Tehlirian's "hand whipped out the pistol," and he shot Mugurditchian dead in the same cowardly manner in which Talat Pasha was murdered — when the victims weren't aware of the oncoming bullets. Never mind whether either man was guilty of the crimes they were being accused of; a fanatical Armenian's mind cares not for justice, for as the fanatical Armenian author wrote in this article, "without retribution, justice, is merely a word."


Why should Armenian soldiers be labeled "bad"? After all, one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, and if the example provided here (there are many more, but I have better things to do than to compile a list of them; I'm more interested in the notorious ones that have clearly committed crimes, as the ones listed under "THE UGLY") was fighting for the independence of his homeland, that does not make him "bad." The only time a regular Armenian freedom fighter, who was not involved in massacres of defenseless civilians, would be in "The Bad" category is if he smiled and drank at both Turkish tables and the tables of the enemy.... as an Armenian-Turk. Then we are getting into Benedict Arnold territory, and the last time I checked, treachery and betrayal were not laudable traits. (And I am not positive that Antranig Ozanian was an Armenian-Turk, and not an Armenian-Russian, so if I have erred, boo on me.)

Antranig Ozanian


(From an Armenian web site, with source provided as The Independent, March 27, 1920, p. 467... page 467? That's one thick newspaper):

General Antranig OzanianGeneral Antranig Ozanian

General Antranig Ozanian 

General Antranig is worshiped by his countrymen for his heroic fighting in their defense against the Turks. During the first two years of W.W.I, he organized seven Armenian battalions which formed the backbone of as many Russian divisions, each taking part in from thirty to forty battles against the Turks. After the Russian revolution these Armenian troops, left alone in Turkish Armenia, mobilized 25,000 soldiers from the refugees and for three months in continuous battle kept the Turks out of the Caucasus. Later in Persia these same ragged, starving soldiers under General Antranig fought another hard campaign against the Turks.

General Antranig Ozanian's wedding, 1922

The general's wedding in 1922.
Good thing he was such a hero,
as otherwise his chances of
attracting a woman weren't good
(Unless you feel he was a catch).
The best man was Boghos Nubar.

I wonder why this account refers to the general by his first name? That would be like calling MacArthur "General Doug."

So were those 25,000 troops Russian in origin? The word "refugees" is the key. A little more insight on Ottoman-Armenians who served as Ottoman soldiers, later betraying their country. 

Man, these Armenian soldiers were amazingly brave. Quite a contrast from the cowards who wouldn't fight, as reported by American genuine eyewitnesses in The Bristol Papers, and by Armenia's first president himself. Too bad the Armenians who enlisted with their fellow Aryans, the Nazi Germans, proved so despicable as fighting men, they were assigned to backwater tasks... doing the things they excel at, in this case rounding up defenseless Jews for extermination. They were also really good when they pulled a sneak, cowardly attack on defenseless Azerbaijanis in the early 1990s, cutting up the innocent civilians to pieces as well.

ADDENDUM: Here's a report on how General Antranig's band of merry men treated Turkish villagers. Lovely. Regardless of the general's origins, I feel much better now about including him among the "Bad." Perhaps he better belongs in the category below.

Looks like there was another "general" named Osebian who enjoyed committing similar acts.

"When the Russian armies invaded Turkey after the Sarikamish disaster of 1914, their columns were preceded by battalions of irregular Armenian volunteers, both from the Caucasus and from Turkey. One of these was commanded by a certain Andranik, a blood-thirsty adventurer... These Armenian volunteers, in order to avenge their compatriots who had been massacred by the Kurds, committed all kinds of excesses, more than six hundred thousand Kurds being killed between 1915 and 1916 in the eastern vilayets of Turkey."

Hassan Arfa, "The Kurds," (London, 1968), pp. 25-26.

Holdwater note: A lot of those irregulars came from the Ottoman army, in the form of deserters. Prof. McCarthy reports the absence of thousands of desperately-needed troops did not help Sarikamish's fate.

ADDENDUM, July 2004: A whitewashed account of Antranig's life appeared in a book called ‘’ANTRANIK PASHA’’, written by Antranik Celebyan. (Translated to Turkish from the original Armenian version by Mariam Arpi and Nairi Arek, Peri yayinlari, Istanbul, 2003) The book does not explain how Antranig got to be a pasha. Yuksel Oktay tells us: "The book presents the life of Antranik during three periods, first 1850- 1914, second, 1914 – 1919, and the third, 1920 – 1927. Antranik was born in 1855, in Sebinkarahisar, a town in the northeastern part of Turkey."

Mr. Oktay continues: "On page 97, the author makes reference to the missionary activities carried out by the Protestant and Catholic missionaries, who are distributing free Bibles to people who are 80% illiterate."

"The book gives in detail the creation of secret organizations, such as 'Freedom Party’ in Van in 1872 to liberate Van, the Hinchak party established in 1887 in Geneva, and the Tasnak party created in 1990. However, in many instances, the book tells the story of differences between Antranik and the parties and even describes a plot against Antranik by the Armenians in Tiflis.  The author also makes reference to some of American Missionary Dr. Clarence Ussher’s observations (p.242), how Antranik takes off his General's uniform (does not state how he became a general though) and goes up to the mountains to fight as a freedom fighter... The book presents victories supposedly won by Antranik, one after another, which is not mentioned in any other book that I have read. He is made a hero who fights with a small Armenian force against large Ottoman armies and wins and hides in the mountains."

"But on p. 248 (Antranig) makes a confession that the Armenians put the entire city of Kars on fire as they left the city on April 12, 1918."


ADDENDUM, Sept. 2005: The Antranik Battles is a book written in Armenian by K. Kukulyan and published in 1929 in Beirut: In April 1904, as reported by K. Gurun, "The Armenian File": "...the Armenian rebellions spread from the hills of Sassoun and the plain of Mush to Van. The Consuls mediated and offered an agreement with Antranik. Among the band leaders were the renowned Tashnak Committee members of Mush and Sassoun, Murad of Sivas, Sebuk, Kevork, Mko, and the new revoluntionary Sempad. . . . The Dashnaksutyn bureau met with the representatives of the Mush Central Committee, and chose Antranik to be the commander. Sebuk was seriously wounded. Keork of Akcha died. The renowned Hirayr, who did not want to leave Sebuk to the enemies, and tried to take him along, was also shot. (113) The passage reported the confrontations as well as the number of Turks and Armenians killed during each confrontation. During the confrontations which occurred on 14,16, and 22 April, on 2 May and 17 July, 932-1,132 Turks were killed, as opposed to only 19 Armenians. These are figures provided by Armenians. But this rebellion, too, was included in the literature as a massacre."

ADDENDUM, 1-08: More detail regarding this book and the Sassun uprisings.

In addition, an internal government report has Antranik personally raping a Turkish woman named "Hanim Hatun" before very likely having her killed.


"I arrived in Bayburt on August 8, 1917. What I saw was terrifying. Armenians under the Russian administration were committing horrifying, wild atrocities against Turks in Bayburt and Ispir. The rebels named Arshak and Antranik, slaughtered the children in the orphanage I worked at with their daggers. They raped young girls and women. They took away 150 children with them while they were withdrawing from Bayburt and killed most of them while they were still on the way."

Red Cross Attendant Tatiana Karameli, student of Russian Medicine School, serving at Russian Red Cross 1917-18, memoirs. Ottoman Archives BOA HR. SYS. 2877/1





"I killed Muslims by every means possible. Yet it is sometimes a pity to waste bullets for this. The best way is to gather all of these dogs and throw them into wells and then fill the wells with big and heavy stones. as I did. I gathered all of the women, men and children, threw big stones down on top of them. They must never live on this earth."

A. Lalayan, Revolutsionniy Vostok (Revolutionary East) No: 2-3, Moscow, 1936.

(ADDENDUM, 04-06: Wow! Was this one ever the biggest mistake. Oh, well. This is why the truthful information provider must always be ready to "revise" as better information comes along. Lalayan (or Lalaian) was not a crazy killer Dashnak. Poor Lalaian, who has been libeled here and in so many other places, was a Soviet-Armenian journalist/historian! The words refer to an unnamed crazy killer Dashnak officer who was proud of his murderous misdeeds. Here is another translation of the above statement. Sorry, Comrade Lalaian!)

ADDENDUM, 7-06: See new page on Lalayan. Excerpts from the same source indicate the crazed Dashnak's name was Aslen Varaam [p. 45], bragging in 1920.

MURAD (or "Muradyan")

Hamparsum Boyaciyan (Boyadjian)

The leader of the Hunchak Committee in Istanbul, after the Kumkapi demonstration, was Murad (Hamparsum Boyaciyan... or "Hambartsum Boyadjian," as spelled by some Armenians; also "Hampartsoum Boyadjian")... at a time when the Hunchaks perpetrated much violence against fellow Armenians. Murad was the one who ordered that "Turkish children also should be killed as they form a danger to the Armenian nation," perhaps making him a true Armenian Adolf Eichmann (except, unlike Eichmann, the Hunchak leader was not afraid to get his hands directly bloody.)

Historian Cezmi Yurtsever wrote a book called "The Book of Muradyan (Muradyan Kitabi)," reporting: 

"Hamparsum Boyaciyan as other leaders of Hinchak Organization graduated from the Armenian Church Education Center named as Marhasahane, which is directed by Father Jirayr, in the 1880's. Graduates of the same school took part in the Armenian Hinchak Revolution Organizations founded in Europe and Istanbul in the 1890's. Doctor Hamparsum Boyaciyan began to be called Muradyan and became the leader of the Hinchak Revolution Party. He led Kumkapi (Istanbul [1890]), Sason (Diyarbakir [1894]), Zeytun (Kahramanmaras) rebellions and became the deputy of Adana in the Ottoman Parliament in 1909. In 1915, he quit his task and went to Sivas to betray Ottoman Armies, and directed guerilla wars from the Yildiz Mountains. In 1918, he gave an order to his followers to kill all Muslims. More than 500,000 Muslim Turks in Erzincan, Erzurum, Kars, Van and Trabzon were brutally killed by Armenian Dashnak-Tsutyun and Hinchak Parties."

One of Murad's boys in earlier days (circa 1890) was famed rebel Gevorg Chavush.

Hamparsum Boyaciyan

The good Doctor Boyaciyan poses  

An Armenian site supplements: "Medz'n Mourad was born in the mountainous Cilician town of Hajin in 1867..."

The site claims "the Immortal Girayr" was Murad's brother, and he "organised much of Armenia Minor until he was hanged by the Ottomans in 1894. Mourad, then a medical student in Constantinople, joined the Hunchakians and became one of the leaders of the 1890 Kum Kapu demonstration. he had a price on his head (2000 gold pieces), fled to Greece, travelled to France and the USA, returned to lead the 1894 rebellion in Sassoun, when in Aug. 1-15 he fought against Zeki Pasha's Fourth Turkish battalion. he was sent to prison. (It's amazing such a traitorous rebel wasn't executed.) The Hunchaks helped him escape after eleven years of imprisonment (everyone escapes from Turkish prisons! Billy Hayes, Taner Akcam, Balakian's "action priest" relative...) and "The news of his escape echoed all around the world and was greeted with words of joy and happiness in both Armenian and foreign papers."

Just as amazingly, he was elected to the Ottoman Parliament after having such a criminal record. Here's where the Armenian account deviates from the above: The poor, innocent Murad was labeled, for no good reason, as "an undesirable by the Young Turk Government," and was "among the first to be arrested in April 1915 during the eve of the Armenian Genocide," to be "severely tortured in prison." After a July trial, he was "hanged on 24 August 1915, with 12 fellow friends."

ADDENDUM, 04-06: There might have been another Murad during the WWI years, a Dashnak. Still trying to get to the bottom of this one.

ADDENDUM, 08-07: No closer to unraveling the mystery of the two Murads; a pity they both have the same name, and are both from Sivas; the only difference is that the older Murad, Boyaciyan, was a Hunchak. If the Armenian report claiming that.Boyaciyan was killed in 1915 can be confirmed, then it will become easier to distinguish between the two.

The "Dashnak" Murad was featured as practically a lone hero (i.e., he was ludicrously made out to have only a handful of Armenians in his band, if memory serves) in Toynbee and Bryce's "Blue Book," 1916's "Treatment of Armenians" work. This fedayi is almost certainly the same as Murad of Sebastia (referred to here in an Armenian oral history account, spelled "Mourad," featuring a photograph).

As reference, internal Ottoman military documents refer to the Murads as such: the Hunchak, Boyaciyan, got a nod in June 11, 1915, while reported as having directed Hunchak communications in Sivas. The rest refers, probably, to the "other" Murad. A few in his band were killed in a clash, with twenty taken prisoner; the Dashnak led 1,000 in Erzincan in Jan. 1918, and tried to escape from a tough spot; was convicted to death in absentia, and identified as being from Sivas; reported to have
committed great crimes in Erzincan, and of being behind "instructions to exterminate the entire Islamic population of the occupied territories," January 31, 1918. (Soghoman Tehlirian, assassin of Talat Pasha, served under Murad of Sebastia during this Erzincan period.)

ADDENDUM, 01-08: Here is the report of the Armenian-idolizing Christopher Walker, from his ending biographical notes, ARMENIA: The Survival of a Nation; note how the partisan author refers to the poor, innocent Murad's execution (Walker terms it "murder") in what looks like a confirmation of the year 1915.

MURAD (Hampartsum Boyadjian) (Hadjin 1867 - Ayash 1915) Educated at his birthplace and at Constantinople, where he studied medicine. Further medical studies at Geneva. Joined the Hunchak party soon after its formation (1887). Active against the Ottoman government in the following year. The chief organiser of the Kum Kapu demonstration, July 1890. Escaped to Athens; thence to Transcaucasia. To Sasun in 1892 to encourage the people to resist the depredations of the Kurds. Again in Transcaucasia for much of 1893, returning to Khnus in the autumn. Leader of the Sasun revolt, 1894, after the arrest of Mihran Damadian. Murad was himself arrested and sentenced to death; foreign pressure commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. In Tripoli (Barbary) gaol for 12 years before escaping to France in 1904. To Egypt where, as a representative of the Hunchaks, he signed a document of reconciliation with Damadian (representing the Verakazmial Hunchaks), 24 November 1907. Thence to the USA. Returned to Constantinople after the Ottoman constitution of 1908; member of both the Armenian National Assembly and the Ottoman Parliament (deputy for Adana). Murdered during the 1915 genocide.

MURAD of SIVAS (Sivas province 1874 - Baku 1918) Born in a village in the province of Sivas. A fedayi leader in the 1904 Sasun rebellion; member of the Dashnak party. In Transcaucasia during the 1905 Armeno-Tatar conflict, fighting in Nakhichevan and Zangezur. Joined the Armenian volunteers on the outbreak of the first world war. At Erzindjan at the time of the Erzindjan truce (December 1917); became the actual leader as the Russian command ebbed. Fought the renewed Turkish offensive all the way east to Baku, being killed in the defence of that city on 5 August 1918.

According to Walker, the origin of Boyadjian's Turkish moniker: "He had eluded the imperial spies by disguising himself as a Muslim sheikh with the name of Murad."

ADDENDUM, 01-08: Looks like we are tackling two Murads in this section; here are some notes on the second one, Murad of Sivas, as provided by Nick in one of his excellent TAT essays (the book referred to is Mikayel Verandian's Murad of Sepastia, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Arlington, Massachusetts, 2006):

"Like many Armenian terrorists, this particular Murad (there are a number of Murads) began his career in murder, extortion and robbery — according to his biography (opus cited, pp. 16 and 26): he participated in the interrogation and torture of a suspected Armenian informer (and former friend) on church premises in Istanbul (the man was later found dead), and later on he notes that 'the wealthy Armenians finally had to open their coffers for the liberation cause; otherwise this would have been done by force. This was one of the most difficult and grave tasks of the ARF, to bring the Armenian wealthy class to its senses and make it see its duty to the nation.' With no small sense of irony, Murad’s biographer concludes that Murad “with his diplomacy enticed large sums from them.”


Karekin Pastermadjian

Karekin Pastermadjian, a.k.a. Armen Garo

Another former Ottoman parliamentarian, Armen Garo (his revolutionary name, meaning "Armenian Hero") and  fellow Armenian terrorists were pardoned by the Sultan after taking over the Ottoman Bank in 1896; the Dashnak operative was among those who engineered the cookbook that future terrorists would follow for years to come. Garo repaid his tolerant nation by joining the Russians in WWI. Along with the other traitorous Armenian troops and officers of the Ottoman Third Army, Garo returned soon after, "burning hamlets and mercilessly putting to the knife all of the peaceful Mussulman villagers that fell into their hands," as reported by Rafael de Nogales (in 1926’s "Four Years Beneath the Crescent").

  After Garo and his fellow Dashnak terrorists were safely scooted away on Sir Edgar Vincent's yacht. following the bank takeover, one of the European representatives had the following to report (from William L. Langer's "The Diplomacy of Imperialism: 1890 - 1902," 1972):

“Their hatred of the Turks was beyond all description, and the gloating of the rank and file over the Turks they had killed was truly horrible and savage... They also told me that it had been their intention to kill all the Turks in the employ of the Bank before blowing the latter up, but that they had not had time, as things finished sooner than they had expected.”


The Dashank/ARF site legaman.com reports Pastermadjian earned a Ph.D. in chemistry four years after his experience with explosives in Istanbul, and "led the Armenian population's defense of (Tbilisi) during the Armeno-Tatar war of 1905 (Holdwater: the "Tatars" of this so-called war were mostly Azerbaijanis).... In autumn 1914, Armen Garo returned to the Caucasus and played an important role in the volunteer movement as Dro's right-hand man. After the independence of Armenia, he was a member of the Armenian National Delegation in Paris, and then ambassador in Washington, D.C. His role in planning and successfully implementing Operation Nemesis  was fundamental. (Holdwater: Nemesis was the terrorist network behind the post war executions of CUP leaders) He died in Geneva in March 1923."



General Drastamat Kanayan

His reputation made by massacring women and children of Muslim villages during World War I, the general put his "skills" to work for Adolf Hitler a few decades later. Commander of the infamous 812th Armenian battalion during World War II; possibly nicknamed as the 'Jew hunter' by the Nazis. Condemned to be shot by a firing squad of Stalin's goons, the Diaspora Armenians smuggled him into the USA by reportedly bribing INS (Immigration) functionaries. He lived in the United States until his death in Massachusetts, in 1956.

  General Drastamat Kanayan, or "Dro"

Armenian-Americans raised almost a quarter of a million dollars in just two days in order to dig up the Armenian Nazi General, flying his body back to Armenia to be reburied there with full state and military honors. His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians conducted the ceremony in May 29, 2000, with Armenia's President, Robert Kocharian, in attendance.

Dro's burial site in Aparan, Armenia

The holy man said, "Only words are vain, deeds are needed with the words. Let his return to the Motherland reawaken the evaluation of this truth in the souls of the Armenian people. Let Drastamat Kanayan's and his companions' eternal memory give birth among our people to new faith towards victories in the spirit of the devoted service to the Motherland."


Holdwater says: NICE role model to serve as an inspiration for Armenia's youth..!


What are the effects of this attitude on the minds of impressionable children? What does it mean when an Armenian ‘Boy Scout Troop’ goes to church and participates in a ‘memorial commemorative service’ for the ‘Lisbon Five Martyrs’? When they listen to their elders speak of dead terrorists as “martyrs” who have “joined the pantheon of our ancient braves?” The answer to these queries is all too obvious: It means nothing less than that ‘terrorists’ are being portrayed for today's Armenian youth as fitting ‘role models,’ as ‘heroes’ whose actions are worthy of emulation. It further means that for every Armenian terrorist who is captured or killed there will be another impressionable youth waiting to take his place. It means, in fact, the continuation of ‘round after round’ of ‘generation after generation’ of Armenian Terrorism.

Professor Heath Lowry, “Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Armenian Terrorism: Threads of Continuity,”


An American officer, Robert Dunn, reflects on Dro's handiwork ('World Alive, A Personal Story,' Crown Publishers, New York, 1952, pg. 361.):

"Corpses came next, the first a pretty child with straight black hair, large eyes. She looked about twelve years old. She lay in some stubble where meal lay scattered from the sack she'd been toting. The bayonet had gone through her back, I judged, for blood around was scant. Between the breasts one clot, too small for a bullet wound, crusted her homespun dress.

The next was a boy of ten or less, in rawhide jacket and
knee-pants. He lay face down in the path by several huts. One arm reached out to the pewter bowl he'd carried, now upset upon its dough. Steel had jabbed just below his neck, into the spine.

There were grownups, too, I saw as I led the sorrel around. Djul was empty of the living till I looked up to see beside me Dro's German-speaking colonel. He said all Muslims who had not escaped were dead." 



Admiral Mark Bristol also had thoughts on General Dro

Arthur Derounian (John Roy Carlson) recounts a meeting with the ex-Nazi.


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