Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  How Well Did the Russians Treat the Armenians?  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems




What made me consider embarking upon the topic of how Armenians were treated under the Russians vs. the way they were treated under the Turks was a letter I received from a one-time Armenian-Turk now living in Canada, named Stephen.

To digress momentarily, Stephen came across as a little more reasonable than your typical Armenian, perhaps because he has experienced both sides of the fence. He suffers from the typical identity crisis... on one hand, he has had many Turkish friends, even has a Turkish girlfriend... and even professed an appreciation for “every aspect of their culture” (which is similar, after all, in so many ways, to Armenian culture); on the other hand, he went on and on with the typical hateful talk we find in Armenian forums, such as the Turks being Mongols, bloodthirsty, and the only way that they know how to resolve a problem is to kill. I promptly advised him never to get into an argument with his Turkish girlfriend, and asked whether she ever learned that he saw her as a cross between “Xena, Warrior Princess” and “Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS.”

Overall, it is distressing that an Armenian who grew up in Turkey should feel such racism. Perhaps Taner Akcam’s regular column in the Armenian-Turkish newspaper AGOS is succeeding in poisoning the minds of the newer generations. (You know, that’s the same Taner Akcam who keeps telling us genocide talk is a “taboo” in Turkey. The real taboo, of course, is offering the anti-genocide viewpoint in countries such as the United States.)

The thrust of Stephen’s argument:

Did Armenian NATIONALISTS uprise and backstab the Ottoman Empire? I have no doubt that they did. NOW here is the question we all have to ask! 1. Why on earth did Armenians uprise against their own government if they were being treated "so well" to begin with! Would it make sense, unless they were not living "FREE, AZAD, ANGAKH, SERBEST" lives? NO! it would not! They were obviously not being treated as EQUAL citizens. As we do know Armenians can live peacfully in tranquility, unless you start pissing them off. We are ambitious people who have gone through WAY MORE than most nations of this earth, and We are still just as successful and just as well known as many other nationalities while having their own country. Therfore once we feel a threat to our RIGHTS, WE ALWAYS HAVE, DO and WILL UPRISE. Treat us equally like we were being treated for the first few hundred years in the Empire, and we will not UPRISE.

He also couldn’t resist giving a taste of the typical master race talk, saying every positive aspect of the Ottoman Empire was to the credit of the talented non-Turks, and reminded me: “Always remember we are stronger and smarter.”

Indeed, when it comes to matters like business, Armenians are pretty smart. Many a Western traveller before the 20th century commonly characterized Armenians as “sly,” as well. However, I reminded Stephen in turn: if the Armenians were so smart, why did they fall for the promises of the Russians time and time again, beginning with Peter the Great?

The way Stephen feels is most typical. The Armenians were persecuted, under the hand of the bestial Turks... perhaps not far from the way the Jews were treated during the Spanish Inquisition. (At least Stephen concedes, unlike most Armenians, that the Armenians were treated well in the first few centuries.) Is this what happened?

In other words, was it persecution that led to the Armenians’ revolt, or was it the greed and fanaticism of the Armenians, hungrily eyeing the regained independence of Orthodox states such as Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria in the 19th century, through murderous Turk-cleansing methods?

If Stephen is right, and if persecution was the reason (“...Once we feel a threat to our RIGHTS, WE ALWAYS HAVE, DO and WILL UPRISE”; at least Stephen is honest enough to admit there was an uprising, in contrast to dishonest Armenian professors and hypocritical “genocide scholars” who continue to insist even today that “there was no revolt”), then why did the Armenians in Russia not rise up against their Russian persecutors? Or did the Russians treat the Armenians with peaches and cream?

The great Armenian-American writer William Saroyan wrote (in his story, “Antranik of Armenia”) that “The real enemy of the Armenians were the Russians, not the Turks.” Why did Saroyan think that?

Before we get into Russian treatment of the Armenians, let’s consider how Armenians were treated by the Turks.

 "The propaganda campaign begun in Tiflis in favour of the Ottoman Armenians continued with full force. The Armenian newspapers in the Caucasus were filled with complaints concerning the repressive behavior of the Ottoman government. Aid was given to Armenian deserters and refugees, and to the Armenian associations in Turkey. Armenian volunteers and propagandists cross the border and incite the Armenians, living a life of servitude in Turkey, to revolt."

Aknuni, Dashnaktsutiun revolutionary committee member; "The Armenians in History and the Armenian Question," Esat Uras, p. 673. "History of the Dashnaktsutiun," M. Varandian, p. 215. It was the combination of propaganda and (as Russian General Mayewski put it), "As for the Armenian religious leaders... instead of the performance of Christian rites, Christian-Muslim rivalry and enmity were carefully nourished. In this, the spiritual leaders received great help from the schools and churches. In the course of time, religious fanaticism was replaced by feelings of bitter animosity." (Uras, p. 672). These are the real roots behind the sudden "Turkish yoke."

I wasn’t there, and neither was Stephen. Therefore, the only reference we can turn to are sources that would have had no reason to lie. As a matter of general policy, the reliable evidence says otherwise.

Were there Turks who felt high and mighty, and took advantage of the “gavur” (spelled “giaor” in western documentation, a derogatory term for Christians) Armenians? No doubt. As a matter of course, however, the Turks and the Armenians co-existed rather pleasantly in the Ottoman Empire. Especially by the 19th century and beyond, when reforms made Armenians more equal than ever.

For example, Edward Tashji’s Armenian mother said everything was relatively harmonious between the Armenians and her Turkish neighbors; they would share gifts and presents during festivities and the like. She went through the same hell as her fellow co-religionists during these war years, and had the HONOR to pin the blame on those who deserved it — her own. How she raised her sons was never intended to go beyond the family’s roof, so those who call her a “propagandist” would not be in step with reality. Through her son, we can learn: “Among the many distortions of Turkish history is the assertion that the Armenians were not permitted to speak or write in Armenian — FALSE! Every ethnic Armenian who had gone to Armenian schools learned to speak and write in Armenian; those who did not, spoke in the language of the land. Same as this (the USA) or any other country, wouldn’t you agree?”

Stephen capitalized the NATIONALISTS as the ones to blame, as if they existed in a vacuum. No, these Dashnaks and Hunchaks believed fanatically in “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” Those Ottoman-Armenians who were not swayed by the patriotic fervor and/or greed and who wished to remain loyal to their country paid dearly. In the three year period of 1904-1906, for example, two out of three victims of Armenian terrorism were fellow Armenians. Soon, most Armenians got the message: comply, or die. (One dramatic example was the Armenian mayor of Van in 1909; the Celik interviews will make reference, below.) This method of intimidation is alive and well today, except now the weapon used is mainly the smear campaign... as Levon Marashilian demonstrated with his attack on Vincent Lima, the moment the Armenian Forum co-editor stepped a little out of line.

What happened was similar to how the Armenians’ Orthodox brothers in Yugoslavia behaved, before that nation’s break-up; the Bosnian Serbs lived in relative harmony with the Croats and Muslims... then leaders like Karadzic and Milosevic pumped the Serbs’ hearts and minds with nationalistic talk, and that’s when they began their rampage. Their methods, like that of the Armenians: to clean out the “Turks” from what they believed should have been their lands.

The pre-1915 criminal events mainly happened in areas where Ottoman control was weakest, at the hands of lawless bands. (Where Ottoman control was strongest, like Istanbul, the Armenians were most prosperous.) As Arthur Moss and Florence Gilliam put it in “The Turkish Myth” (The Nation, June 13, 1923): “Those massacres which occur among the Armenians are most often the work of the Kurds, who are roving bands about as lawless as the mobs in parts of the American South, and about as out-of-hand politically as the banditti who infest parts of Italy and Spain.”

What’s never mentioned is that these lawless bands victimized the Turkish citizens, as well.

(So that the Kurds don’t get a bum rap, here is what a prominent Armenian in the Norduz region of Van said, according to his guest, Russian General and Van Vice-Consul Mayewski: "There is no doubt that the Kurds are an uncivilized nation. In their nature there is some savagery, violence and no concept of submission. But there never has been blame attributed to them unjustly. Naturally among them are highwaymen and brigands. But in general, they prize and possess honor, pride, friendship and rectitude.")

Johannes Lepsius opines on Russian treatment
(testifying at the Soghoman Tehlirian trial, 1921)

The remainder of the Armenians in Turkey — 250,000 persons from the eastern vilayets — were saved by the advancing Russian army and found refuge in the Caucasus. At that time the Russians had advanced to the western shores of Lake Van. When they turned back, they took the Armenians to the Caucasus with them. However, it could hardly be said that they did so out of love for the Armenians because, when the Russians later recaptured these same territories, they would not allow the Armenians to return to their homes. Yanushgevich, head of Nikolai Nikolayevich’s staff and the commander of the Caucasian front made an announcement that communities of Kurds and Cossacks would be established in the territories captured by the Russian army and from which the Armenian population had been evacuated, in order to set up a wide military zone against the Turks. Milukov, head of the Russian cadets, made an emotional speech, strongly rebuking the Russians for pursuing the very same objective as the Turks had, namely "an Armenia without Armenians." In any case, the advancing Russians saved 350,000 Armenians but did not allow them to return to their homes. Even now they live in a very small territory in the Caucasus. For years, they lived on the verge of starvation and suffered enormously.

 An excellent report by Huseyin Celik entitled “The Armenian Uprising in Van Through the Eyes of Eyewitnesses” provides what I believe is an accurate account of relations between the Turks and the Armenians. Celik had the foresight to interview twenty elderly Van residents between 1978 and 1981. Why are these accounts trustworthy? The Armenians are generally a grease-hungry squeaky-wheel people, and have established a pattern of making up all kinds of outrageous scenarios to earn sympathy or goodies. The Turks are the silent type, suffering the ills perpetrated against them quietly.

As Lord Robert Curzon observed in “Armenia: a Year at Erzeroom, and on the Frontiers of Russia, Turkey and Persia” (1854) after living among the Armenians: “The Turk is honest; the Christian is a liar and a cheat.” This view was corroborated by British author C.F. Dixon-Johnson in the 1916 book, "The Armenians”: "(The Turk never deigns to explain his own case while) the pro-Armenians always manage to hold the field, appalling the public by incessant reiteration and exaggeration as to the number of victims.” And French writer Pierre Loti hit the nail on the head when he wrote (in “Fantome d’Orient,” 1928): “The dignified silence of the Turks against the mounting unjustified attacks and mean slanders can only be explained by their pity for the blind... How beautifully this attitude of theirs answers the undignified calumnies.”

These grandmothers and grandfathers were set to die with their suppressed grief, before Celik sought them out. It’s not like they had a sense of outrage to document their stories, like a lot of “Armenian Oral History.” There was no motive to exaggerate.

“We got on with these neighbors of ours just as we got on with the Muslims,” one testified. “Everything was good.”

Another said: “The Armenians of Van led a very comfortable life. All of the trades and crafts were in their hands. From the shoemaker to the tailor, all of them were Armenian. They were the richest people in the area. They even sent their children to Europe for their education. These youngsters who went to Europe were misled there." Another corroborated: "In Van there were nearly a thousand shops. Eighty percent of these belonged to the Armenians. Trade, profits, crafts were in their hands. We got on well with these non-believers. Until the time, the Hinchag and Dashnag committees began interfering."

An Armenian, Bedros Kapamaciyan (b. 1840), was elected as mayor in a city where the majority were Muslims. (He later became a victim of Armenian terrorism.) That speaks volumes about how non-partisan the Turks were. The Armenians may not have been as non-discriminatory, however.

Most of the business of the region was in their (the Armenians' — HW) hands. 95% of the deposits in the banks belonged to them.

Leslie Davis, U.S. Consul, Harput; "The Slaughterhouse Province — An American Diplomat's Report on
the Armenian Genocide,1915-1917,"
p. 59, edited by Susan K. Blair; Aristide D. Caratzas, New York, 1989

For example, shipping on Lake Van was exclusively in Armenian hands. Another eyewitness testified: "Almost all of the seamen were Armenians. Certainly most of the craftsmen in Van and the traders were Armenian. There wasn't one in a thousand who would take Muslim children on as apprentices. One who was an exception (taken on as an Armenian shoemaker's apprentice) agreed: "The Armenians never easily took us Muslims on as apprentices."

Celik informs us that the Van Armenians' educational situation was much better than that of the Muslims. Then there was a proclamation of the Second Constitution, granting Armenians new legal provisions, allowing the Armenians to possess greater freedoms. (As Britain's vice consul in Van, Dickson, related.)

The shoemaker's apprentice tells the tale of his Armenian "master" announcing that freedom has been announced and the Muslims and Armenians celebrated freedom together. "In town the drums and flutes began to play. The Armenians were very happy about this. They were much more excited than we were. After there was freedom, strangers began to frequent my master's shop... our religious leaders and their priests embraced one another."

Ironically, this 'freedom" also allowed separatist activities to be conducted with greater ease, marking the beginning of the "end." One witness reported: "Before the committees were agitating they never were injured by us nor we by them." Russia and the other states promised the Armenians autonomy, giving them weapons and money. One Van Armenian regretfully said years later (when he and one of the eyewitnesses crossed paths): "We were living so beautifully. We were enjoying a good life that the Muslims did not have. They deceived our young people and got them to work for their own aspirations. Now we are scattered everywhere around the world."

One of the witnesses sized up the situation: "If you want the truth, the Armenians in Van who were in their right minds did not support the rebellion. Because why should they revolt? Everything was in the hands of the Armenians; the entire wealth was theirs. As soon as the committees were established, they forced the tradesmen to revolt. They were looking at anyone who did not join in as if he was a traitor."

One summed it up: "They did not revolt saying they had been treated unjustly; they revolted saying 'we will set up an independent state'."

The Armenian community constituted the essence of the daily life. For the Turks accustomed to governing rather than serving for long had left all the branches of industry to them. Therefore bankers, traders, engineers in Turkey were Armenians. On the other hand there was a similarity in feelings and common interests between them. The Armenians became the most influential subjects by easily adapting themselves to the Turks and earning their trust.

H. Oscanyan, Armenian author, The Sultan and his People, 1857, p. 353?. The above has been paraphrased; for exact wording, please click link.

 Armenians, the merchant class, were in the “power” position. Exactly how persecuted could the upper class be? It seems the Armenians were enjoying all freedoms; they had their own newspapers, and they had the luxury of sending their children to the best schools. It seems to me the last time the Armenians of Anatolia were systematically persecuted was at the hands of their co-religionists, the Byzantines... before the Seljuk Turks came in and granted them so many freedoms, Armenian historians accounted for their peoples’ rejoicing. These were the seeds that made the Armenians the “loyal millet” for centuries, before their revolutionary fanatics spelled disaster.

That is pretty much what Sir Charles Eliot corroborated in his 1900 book, “Turkey in Europe”; until the years succeeding the Turkish-Russian War of 1877-78, "the Turks and Armenians got on excellently together... The Russians restricted the Armenian Church, schools and language; the Turks on the contrary were perfectly tolerant and liberal as to all such matters. They did not care how the Armenians prayed, taught and talked... The Armenians were thorough Orientals and appreciated Turkish ideas and habits... (They) were quite content to live among the Turks.... The balance of wealth certainly remained with the Christians. The Turks treated them with good-humoured confidence..."

Thus begins our portion of the discussion examining Russian treatment of the Armenians.

Here are claims gathered in a Turkish report entitled, “Armenian Claims and Historical Facts”:

Almost as soon as the Russians took over the Caucasus, they adopted a policy of Russifying the Armenians as well as establishing their own control over the Armenian Gregorian church in their territory. By virtue of the Polijenia Law of 1836, the powers and duties of the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin were restricted, while his appointment was to be made by the Czar. In 1882 all Armenian newspapers and schools in the Russian Empire were closed, and in 1903 the state took direct control of all the financial resources of the Armenian Church as well as Armenian establishments and schools. At the same time Russian Foreign Minister Lobanov Rostowsky adopted his famous goal of "An Armenia without Armenians", a slogan which has been deliberately attributed to the Ottoman administration by some Armenian propagandists and writers in recent years. Whatever the reason, Russian oppression of the Armenians was severe. The Armenian historian Vartanian relates in his History of the Armenian Movement that "Ottoman Armenia was completely free in its traditions, religion, culture and language in comparison to Russian Armenia under the Czars." Edgar Granville writes, "The Ottoman Empire was the Armenians' only shelter against Russian oppression."

Testifying to how the Russians have been a fair-weather friend to the Armenians, another source reported (more or less corroborating some of the above) that the Russians mass-murdered the Armenians living in the Caucasus area, shut down Armenian schools in 1885, confiscated church property worth 100 million francs [despite the fact that right to property ownership was granted to the Gregorian Church in 1836], arrested wealthy Armenian businessmen and intellectuals in the Caucasus area and then seized their property.

...(T)he old nomadic peasants were robbed of one privilege after the other, until finally, during the first year of the sixteenth century, they were formally made a part of the soil upon which they lived. The Russian peasants ceased to be free men. They became serfs or slaves and they remained serfs until the year 1861, when their fate had become so terrible that they were beginning to die out.

Henrik Willem van Loon's "Story of Mankind", 1921  p 306

Naturally, the Russian common folk weren't treated so wonderfully after 1861 either, otherwise the seeds for the Russian revolution would not have been sown. But the point is, if the ordinary Russian was treated little more than a slave, how much better would the Armenian-Russian have fared?


 Prof. Dennis Papazian, in a typically disingenuous way to “prove” the Russians could not have seduced the Armenians, gave further examples of Russian persecution, in Question 17 of his amazing “What Every Armenian Needs to Know”: "Russia under the Tsars never offered the Armenians or any other subject peoples their freedom. The last tsar, Nicholas II, would not even share power with his own Russian people, which helped prompt the Russian revolution during World War I. {Russia even forbade Armenian refugees, who had managed to flee the Genocide, from returning to their lands, which the Russian armies had overran during the war.} Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky, foreign minister of Russia in 1895, summed it all up by saying, 'Yes, Russia wants Armenia, but without the Armenians'."

Regarding the comment in parantheses (which seems to have been added by someone other than Papazian), take a look at the contrast between Armenian treatment by the two powers. The Armenians were the allies of the Russians during W.W.I, and not only did the Russians renege on their promises that helped set the Armenians off on their rampage, the Russians later forbade refugees from returning to their homes. In the treaty signed in Gumru between Turkey and Armenia, despite the bitter treachery of Ottoman-Armenians stabbing their nation in the back, Ataturk generously allowed Armenians to return to their homes, within one year of the treaty’s implementation.

Wellington House propagandist Arnold Toynbee, in his “apologetic” post war years, went so far as to declare: “The Ottoman institution came perhaps as near as anything in real life could to realizing the ideal of Plato’s Republic.” The repressive Russian Empire had nothing to do with Plato’s ideal. In which nation do you think Armenians were persecuted more?

"Armenians do not have the right to live in Erzurum."

First order of the Russian General Commandment during the Russian occupation of Erzurum in 1916. B.A. Boryan, Armeniya Mejdunarodnaya Diplomatiya; SSSR. Cast 11, Moskva, 1929, p. 356.

Let’s take a look at the Armenian testimony of Ohanus Appressian from “Men Are Like That.” The soldier involved in the ethnic cleansing of Turks was born in Azerbaijan.

Appressian is quoted as having said (p. 15): "I can see now that we Armenians frankly despised the Tartars, and while holding a disproportionate share of the wealth of the country, regarded and treated them as inferiors. The fact that the Russians looked down upon all Armenians in much the same way as Armenians regarded Tartars, far from proving a bond between ourselves and our racially different neighbors, intensified an attitude and conduct on our part that served only to exacerbate hostility."

Now that speaks volumes. (“Tartar” is the description used for the Azeri Turks.)

If the Russians looked down their noses at the Armenians, their “inferior” Orthodox brothers, as contemptuously as the Armenians perceived the Turks, such an attitude would pave the way for persecution.

His passage also corroborates the Armenians’ situation at Van, from the aforementioned “Eyewitness Testimony.” In Van, too, the Armenians held the disproportionate wealth, and probably looked down at the poorer have-not Muslims around them as inferiors.

Pg. 23: In the Armenian-Tartar War of 1905 the Armenians had much the better of the fighting. Many of our men had served in the Russian Army, and were trained soldiers. We Armenians were rich and possessed arms. The Tartars had never received military training. They were poor, and possessed few arms beyond knives.

On the topic of corroborating the “Eyewitness Testimony,” such was the very same situation described (citing also Rafael Nogales’ “Four Years Behind the Crescent,” frequently speaking of the Armenians’ superiority in weapons, purchases helped by over 240,000 rubles provided by Russia). The Armenians of Van who stockpiled weaponry could afford the very best... chiefly Mauser pistols that worked like machine guns. In contrast, weapons provided by the Turkish government were basic old-fashioned rifles, so primitive they would explode after only a few shots.The local Muslims also had limited ammunition. Nogales even echoes Appresssian’s statement to a tee: "The Kurds in order to economize on cartridges were using hand weapons (like knives and bayonets)".

Interestingly, Appressian refers to the Armenian revolutionists as follows: “...in armed opposition to the Turkish Government. This secret government had its own courts and laws and an army of assassins called ‘Mauserists’ (professional killers) to enforce its decrees.” Now we can understand why they were called “Mauserist”; because of the abundance of this sophisticated, super-pistol.

Appressian testifies: “The Dashnacks were in continual open rebellion against the Turkish Government. The Turks took severe measures to stamp out this society but without achieving any great success because they had nothing tangible against which to direct their rage. It was as though they were battling with the air. The Russian Government joined with the Turks in this effort, for while Russia had no love for Turkey it was not in the Russian plan to see an independent Armenia thrown across the road to Constantinople, to say nothing of the dislike of the Russian governing class for revolutionary movements of all kinds.”

Appressian does not think highly of Russian treatment: “Russian administration did nothing to develop the resources of the country either in its people or industries, existing or potential; and the great mass of the population lived, as it had always lived, in a condition of extreme primitiveness, ignorance, squalor and poverty.”

Who would say the Van Armenians... as a sampling of Ottoman-Armenians throughout the Turkish empire... were not vastly better off than their Russian cousins?

Here is how Appressian compares Russian rule to Turkish rule:

(Armenia) was badly governed by the Russians. It suited the Russian policy to keep the people in ignorance and the country backward economically and socially. The Russians, it is true, built a railroad through the country and a number of hard surfaced roads; but this construction was dictated by military considerations. Russian ambition was fixed on obtaining Constantinople. Armenia was to the Russians merely a step toward the attainment of that goal. Some of the roads built by the Russians ran as straight as the flight of a bullet to the Turkish border, where they stopped abruptly. Beyond their point of termination was a wilderness of desert and mountains. Any purpose the roads could serve in the economy of the country was merely incidental to that for which they were built, the military invasion of Turkey.

I stress this point because Russians boast that they are responsible for the only developments in modernization that are to be found in Armenia, and they instance the military roads and the railroads as proof of the progress and benevolence of Russian rule. I think it is important to understand that such benefits as accrued to Armenia were incidental and not intentional. Armenia under the Czar was in fact a victim of imperial exploitation. However, as a rule, good order was kept throughout the country and there was security for life and property.

Turkish Armenia was far more backward than was Russian Armenia. Such education and. culture as were possible of attainment by Armenians living under Turkish rule was due to the generosity of America, France and Germany. These countries established schools and colleges in the Turkish province for the benefit of Armenians.

Turkey was sunk in barbarism. Turkish Armenians could not rise above the level of their masters. Under the government of the Turks there was no security for life or property from one day to the next. Armenians were oppressed and restricted in every way and often were the victims of massacres at the hands of the Turks or the allies of the Turks, the Kurds and Tartars. For this reason there was more need for some force to oppose the government in Turkish Armenia and more justification for extreme measures than was the case in Russian Armenia. In consequence the Dashnack organization developed more rapidly in the former province.


"Armenian revolutionary ideas have been disseminated by clergymen, the press and revolutionary organisations established abroad. Every one who is occupied with such ideas must be immediately expulsed from the Caucasus and drastic measures should be taken to prevent its spread to the people. Since ideas of independence have been strengthened in schools, Armenian
schools must be brought under control by subjecting them to the Russian System of Education. Therefore, 320 Armenian schools were shut down
and the school buildings were placed under the control of the Ministry of Education. I respectfully submit this measure for imperial endorsement. As the press and the associations for public benefit are all occupied with politics, I respectfully ask for the permission to shut down their printing- presses as well as their associations."

Galich, Russian Governor General for the Caucasus, in the 1898 report he submitted to the Czar. (Neflide Kerem Demir: Bir fiehit Anasina Tarihin Söyledikleri: Türkiye’nin Ermeni Meselesi. [The Armenian Question In Turkey: History’s Relevations To The Mother of A Martyr]. 3d edition. Ankara, 1982, p. 62.)


 Appressian’s testimony about Russia can be trusted, but what was his expertise regarding conditions in the Ottoman Empire? He was an Armenian patriot, influenced by such matters as the following: (p 128) “For too many years Armenian mothers had lulled their children to sleep with songs whose theme was Turkish fierceness and savagery.” We can only assume his mother was the same, and he had a built-in prejudice that helped him to commit his savageries against the Azeri Turks. In addition, he was influenced by the Russian books that he had read while growing up: “Russian literature has little of good to say for either Turk or Tartar but rather abounds in stories of Turkish and Tartar savagery and cruelty.” Despite seeing a more human face with the “Tartar servants and workmen” his family employed, he also writes that as a boy, “I was taught that the Tartars were always at fault. My reading of Russian literature helped to confirm this teaching, for Russian writers have emphasized Tartar ferocity.”

When he reports ridiculously unfounded lines such as “Armenians were oppressed and restricted in every way and often were the victims of massacres at the hands of the Turks,” he is basing his opinion on hearsay and prejudice.... having grown up on the other side of the border. What a totally different picture of the Van Armenians is presented with his statement, “Turkish Armenians could not rise above the level of their masters.”

When he elsewhere states a line such as “Although these disturbances were frequently fomented by the Armenian Dashnack Society, it must be remembered that the society had its genesis and justification in Turkish misrule,” he is behaving as the good little Armenian propagandist: Always tell the outside world the Turks are cruel. It’s quite clear revolutionists like the Dashnaks had nationalism, greed and lust for power as their incentives. They didn’t care about the prosperous Armenian society in the Ottoman Empire who generally had a better life than the Muslims.

On one side we have Armenians in Ottoman society who are in the upper classes, living a life of comparative luxury; on the other side we have Russian Armenians who are living in squalor (Here’s a taste: “The people live on the floor. Chairs, couches and beds are a rarity. For sleeping purposes a mattress protected by a grass mat is spread on the dirt floor. During the day the bedding is folded and placed in a corner. The bedding is always damp. For this reason rheumatism is common, especially among the women, as they spend a much greater portion of their time in the house than do the men, In their persons the people are extremely filthy. Vermin are a commonplace.”)

So why are the Turks the villains in Armenian minds, and Russians the “heroes”?

How did the Armenians Treat the Armenians?

 Richard Hovannisian, “The Republic of Armenia, Volume II,” Pg. 9:

 Widespread evading of military service was systematic of the country’s woes. The agrarian classes were exhausted by the five-year drain of manpower and the constant suffering. The draft fell most heavily upon the poor, who could not secure exemption and who lacked the means to bribe local commissars... In sheer desperation the cabinet finally authorized the restoration of the death penalty and the formation of extraordinary field tribunals for summary court-martial. 

This is a fine example of an independent “Republic of Armenia.” Government officials were on the take and dishonest. Is it any wonder that the poor youth of Armenia refused to continue to serve in the military, even under the threat of death. It would have been better for these young men to have remained loyal to the Ottoman government, because they would not have been subjected to such terror inflicted upon them by their own Armenian officials. 

Sam Weems, "Armenia -- Secrets of a 'Christian' Terrorist State," p. 159


Hovhannes Katchaznouni, First Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic, struggled with this very question in his 1923 manifesto, “The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnagtzoutiun) has nothing to do any more”; he begins by wrestling with the odd notion of why the Armenians trusted the Russians after the Russians had used them as pawns and deceived them in all the years past:

We had embraced Russia whole-heartedly without any compunction. Without any positive basis of fact we believed that the Tzarist government would grant us a more-or-less broad self-government in the Caucasus and in the Armenian vilayets liberated from Turkey as a reward for our loyalty, our efforts and assistance.

We had created a dense atmosphere of illusion in our minds. We had implanted our own desires into the minds of others; we had lost our sense of reality and were carried away with our dreams...

We overestimated the ability of the Armenian people, its political and military power, and overestimated the extent and importance of the services our people rendered to the Russians. And by overestimating our very modest worth and merit we were naturally exaggerating our hopes and expectations.

In both cases we misinterpreted the consequence with the purpose and intention. We sought proofs of Russian treachery and of course we found them — exactly as we sought and found proofs of the same Russians’ undeniable benevolence six months before.

The Prime Minister is telling us a great truth about Armenian psychology. He further elaborates:

To complain bitterly about our bad luck and to seek external causes for our misfortune —. that is one of the main aspects of our national psychology from which, of course, the Dashnagtzoutiun is not free.

One might think we found a spiritual consolation in the conviction that the Russians behaved villainously towards us (later it would be the turn of the French, the Americans, the British, the Georgians, Bolsheviks — the whole world — to be so blamed).

Basically, Katchaznouni is telling us that Armenians have trouble getting a grip on reality. They live in a world with their own perceived truths... which makes it so easy for too many to lie, in order to justify their created reality. The resulting tragedy... well, at least one among others.... is that after committing their wrongs, Armenians are unable to take responsibility. Armenians must blame someone else, dismissing the notion that it takes a big man to stand up and take responsibility for one’s own actions.

Where are the big men, among Armenians?


The Other Deportations of Armenians

In the wars between the Ottoman Sultan, Ahmet I, and Shah Abbas, Shah Abbas is known to have deported 24,000 Armenians to Persia, in order to clear the path before his advancing army. Some of these died on the way or were drowned in the river Aras. The remainder settled in Isfahan. Armenian emigrations continued during the war of 1746, particularly to Crimea, Poland and to the areas north of the Caspian Sea.

The Treaty of Turkmen-chai (Türkmencayi) recognized the right of the people inhabiting Turkish or Russian soil to emigrate where they wished. In accordance with this, Armenians who had been taken to Persia, as well as some who had settled there, decided to emigrate to Russia. Abbas Mirza, in order to prevent the Armenians from leaving Persia, spread the rumour that the Russians would enlist them in the army and treat them as slaves. To this, Armenians responded by saying that they would prefer to eat dried grass in a Christian country than bread in Persia. The Russians reserved areas in Nakhichevan, Erevan and Karabagh for these Armenian immigrants and granted them a 20-year immunity from taxation. As a result, about 70,000 Armenians crossed over the border to Russia.

The Russians deported all the Armenian and Greek families from the Crimea to Russia in 1778 and settled Russian families in their places. This operation was conducted without the consent of the Armenian community. 75,000 people were forced to leave their homes and were sent to the steppes of Russia, which had been vacated by the Nogays and where these people were left to perish from the cold.[2]

During the 1828 Russo-Ottoman war, the Armenian inhabitants of the East of Turkey gave great help to the Russians. At the end of the war, Karabet, the bishop of Erzurum, fearing Turkish reprisals, crossed the border to Russia at the head of about 90,000 Armenians from Erzurum, Kars and Bayezid. These people were settled in Alexandropol and parts of Georgia.[3]


(Emphasis above is Holdwater's.)
[2]: H. H. Howarth, History of the Mongols, vol. II, p. 600.
[3] S. Balasanian, Armenian History, 1911. The above is from Esat Uras, “The Armenians in History and the Armenian Question,” 1988, pp. 888-889. Uras begins the discussion with deportations of Armenians by the Byzantines. The reader may get the picture that the 2,500 year "ancient homeland" of today's Armenia only began to be populated in force circa 1828.




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This Site

...Is to expose the mythological “Armenian genocide,” from the years 1915-16. A wartime tragedy involving the losses of so many has been turned into a politicized story of “exclusive victimhood,” and because of the prevailing prejudice against Turks, along with Turkish indifference, those in the world, particularly in the West, have been quick to accept these terribly defamatory claims involving the worst crime against humanity. Few stop to investigate below the surface that those regarded as the innocent victims, the Armenians, while seeking to establish an independent state, have been the ones to commit systematic ethnic cleansing against those who did not fit into their racial/religious ideal: Muslims, Jews, and even fellow Armenians who had converted to Islam. Criminals as Dro, Antranik, Keri, Armen Garo and Soghoman Tehlirian (the assassin of Talat Pasha, one of the three Young Turk leaders, along with Enver and Jemal) contributed toward the deaths (via massacres, atrocities, and forced deportation) of countless innocents, numbering over half a million. What determines genocide is not the number of casualties or the cruelty of the persecutions, but the intent to destroy a group, the members of which are guilty of nothing beyond being members of that group. The Armenians suffered their fate of resettlement not for their ethnicity, having co-existed and prospered in the Ottoman Empire for centuries, but because they rebelled against their dying Ottoman nation during WWI (World War I); a rebellion that even their leaders of the period, such as Boghos Nubar and Hovhannes Katchaznouni, have admitted. Yet the hypocritical world rarely bothers to look beneath the surface, not only because of anti-Turkish prejudice, but because of Armenian wealth and intimidation tactics. As a result, these libelous lies, sometimes belonging in the category of “genocide studies,” have become part of the school curricula of many regions. Armenian scholars such as Vahakn Dadrian, Peter Balakian, Richard Hovannisian, Dennis Papazian and Levon Marashlian have been known to dishonestly present only one side of their story, as long as their genocide becomes affirmed. They have enlisted the help of "genocide scholars," such as Roger Smith, Robert Melson, Samantha Power, and Israel Charny… and particularly  those of Turkish extraction, such as Taner Akcam and Fatma Muge Gocek, who justify their alliance with those who actively work to harm the interests of their native country, with the claim that such efforts will help make Turkey more" democratic." On the other side of this coin are genuine scholars who consider all the relevant data, as true scholars have a duty to do, such as Justin McCarthy, Bernard Lewis, Heath Lowry, Erich Feigl and Guenter Lewy. The unscrupulous genocide industry, not having the facts on its side, makes a practice of attacking the messenger instead of the message, vilifying these professors as “deniers” and "agents of the Turkish government." The truth means so little to the pro-genocide believers, some even resort to the forgeries of the Naim-Andonian telegrams or sources  based on false evidence, as Franz Werfel’s The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. Naturally, there is no end to the hearsay "evidence" of the prejudiced pro-Christian people from the period, including missionaries and Near East Relief representatives, Arnold Toynbee, Lord Bryce, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and so many others. When the rare Westerner opted to look at the issues objectively, such as Admirals Mark Bristol and Colby Chester, they were quick to be branded as “Turcophiles” by the propagandists. The sad thing is, even those who don’t consider themselves as bigots are quick to accept the deceptive claims of Armenian propaganda, because deep down people feel the Turks are natural killers and during times when Turks were victims, they do not rate as equal and deserving human beings. This is the main reason why the myth of this genocide has become the common wisdom.