Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  How do Turks Fit in "The Story of Mankind"?  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
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Hendrik Willem van Loon's "The Story of Mankind" (1921) is a book I remember since I was a child, as it was in my father’s collection. I ran into the work again, and figured what a grand example it would be of western history that largely reinforces the racist western attitudes toward the Turks that persist to this day.

Hendrik Van Loon signed this copy of his book for Frances Clarke

Hendrik Van Loon signed this copy of his book for Frances Clarke

This is a famous work, the first winner of the Newberry Award, in 1922. The author (1882-1944) was born in Rotterdam, arriving in the United States in 1903. The Dutch-American served as an A.P. war correspondent during Russia’s conflict in 1905 and in 1814 Belgium; he later became a professor of history at Cornell University, and authored several books including The Story of the Bible (1923) and America (1927), became known for his informal style.

The book is actually fun to read (available as an e-book on http://www.authorama.com/story-of-mankind-2.html), in a stylistic sense... and the condensation of all human history into one modest volume is surely not an easy task. I took a peek at current thoughts regarding the work at Amazon, and most are pretty ecstatic. Several feel the book should be part of modern school reading, and one referred to "The Story of Mankind" as "The greatest history book," in 2002. If that’s how people today feel about a work that has trouble maintaining objectivity, we can well understand the skewed views in Armenian and genocide forums that continue to brand the Turks as monsters.

Another reviewer (whose complaint has nothing to do with Turks) gets it more correctly: “...(Y)ou'll find this book to be like the old adage more ‘His story’ than history. The writer's personal value system shines through the book as he interprets his view of history.”

Of course the book is Eurocentric, but at least he gives a fair shake to the “less important” parts of the world. For example, India and China are covered in one flimsy volume... but at least they are covered. What does the author have to say about the Ottoman Empire, which challenged the longevity of the Romans’ empire? It’s as if the Ottomans never existed... and in the few spots the Turks are mentioned, they are once again the troublemakers for humanity.

The author explains why he concentrated on some histories at the expense of others in the following revealing fashion: “Then there were other critics, who accused me of direct unfairness. Why did I leave out such countries as Ireland and Bulgaria and Siam while I dragged in such other countries as Holland and Iceland and Switzerland? My answer was that I did not drag in any countries. They pushed themselves in by main force of circumstances, and I simply could not keep them out. And in order that my point may be understood, let me state the basis upon which active membership to this book of history was considered.

There was but one rule. ‘Did the country or the person in question produce a new idea or perform an original act without which the history of the entire human race would have been different?’ It was not a question of personal taste. It was a matter of cool, almost mathematical judgment. No race ever played a more picturesque role in history than the Mongolians, and no race, from the point of view of achievement or intelligent progress, was of less value to the rest of mankind.”

By extension, the “Mongol Turks” deserve no less our contempt. Just like the Armenian and Greek web sites love to tell us, the Turk’s only worth was in knowing how to kill.

Van Loom sneers: “As for Jenghiz Khan, I only recognise his superior ability in the field of wholesale murder and I did not intend to give him any more publicity than I could help.”

Certainly, Genghis Khan was no pussycat. More knowledgeable and dispassionate historians, while acknowledging his cruelty, also give him credit for being a worthy administrator and lawgiver. But how did the Mongols’ bloody conquests turn out so much less moral than the bouquets of flowers the civilized Europeans used under their own brutal suppressions of other races?

For example, the “Norsemen” from Denmark, Norway and Sweden got a chapter or two. “They would suddenly descend upon a peaceful Frankish or Frisian village... kill all the men and steal all the women.” The rest of the chapter gives more of the same, and the Norsemen are sometimes almost glorified with lines such as “the passion of conquest was strong in the blood of his children.” How is that different than what drove Genghis’ brood?

What was the “new idea or... original act without which the history of the entire human race would have been different” these descendants of the Vikings offered? Do they deserve mention because Rollo, a tenth century Viking, was offered the province of Normandy by the weak king of France, and thereby became “Duke of Normandy”? That is, did the Norsemen become important because they established little kingdoms in Europe? Didn’t the Ottoman Turks do the same?


 Alexander the Great gets a whole chapter, albeit a brief one. The Macedonian performed stunning conquests, bringing death and destruction from India to Egypt to Persia. A PBS documentary claimed Alexander punished an island city for refusing to surrender by wiping out every single inhabitant. (I guess that would be Tyre of 332 BC, where another source reports great massacres were involved, and the women and children were sold into slavery.) I wonder if that wouldn’t have earned Genghis Khan’s admiration for “wholesale murder.” This barbaric act isn’t mentioned in Van Loon’s account, by the way; instead, he writes: “The (conquered) people must be taught the Greek language — they must live in cities built after a Greek model. The Alexandrian soldier now turned school-master. The military camps of yesterday became the peaceful centres of the newly imported Greek civilisation.” (Maybe that’s why a grateful present day Iranian featured in the TV documentary said he wished he could wring Alexander’s neck.) He also tells us with a straight face: “(The Greeks) left behind the fertile clay of a higher civilisation and Alexander... had performed a most valuable service.” Hoo-boy!

History is surely a matter of perspective, is it not? Let’s move on to matters of race, before the treatment of the Turks.

The “heroes” of the human race, the Indo-Europeans, are covered in their own chapter with the sub-headline

“THE world of Egypt and Babylon and Assyria and Phoenicia had existed almost thirty centuries and the venerable races of the Fertile Valley were getting old and tired. Their doom was sealed when a new and more energetic race appeared upon the horizon. We call this race the Indo-European race, because it conquered not only Europe but also made itself the ruling class in the country which is now known as British India.” (What is another expression for the “doom” of races... maybe “wholesale murder”?)

“These Indo-Europeans were white men like the Semites but they spoke a different language which is regarded as the common ancestor of all European tongues with the exception of Hungarian and Finnish and the Basque dialects of Northern Spain.” (The former two is of Ugric origin, a subfamily of the Uralic language group, closely related to the Altaic group of the Turkish language; the resulting Ural-Altaic group is also known as Turanian.)

“When we first hear of them, they had been living along the shores of the Caspian Sea for many centuries. But one day they had packed their tents and they had wandered forth in search of a new home.” (Just like the Turks.)

“Some of them had moved into the mountains of Central Asia and for many centuries they had lived among the peaks which surround the plateau of Iran and that is why we call them Aryans.”

(Why... some of those would be the “Aryan” Armenians, I reckon. You mean they came from somewhere else, like the Turks? Does that mean Armenia is not the Armenians’ “ancient homeland,” after all?)

“Others had followed the setting sun and they had taken possession of the plains of Europe as I shall tell you when I give you the story of Greece and Rome. For the moment we must follow the Aryans. Under the leadership of Zarathustra (or Zoroaster) who was their great teacher many of them had left their mountain homes to follow the swiftly flowing Indus river on its way to the sea.”

The author tells us other Indo-Europeans stuck around western Asia until Cyrus became king of all Persians, soon mastering western Asia and Egypt. Until they ran into their Indo-European cousins who had moved to Europe centuries ago, namely, the Greeks.

Pg. 86: “These “Hellenes, who thousands of years before had left the heart of Asia and who had in the eleventh century before our era pushed their way into the rocky peninsula of Greece.”

(WHAT! The Greeks came out of “the heart of Asia”? Just like ... the Turks?)

Pp. 91-93 tells us of the enemies of the early Romans, the Etruscans, and “Our best guess is that the Etruscans came originally from Asia Minor.” If that would be western Asia Minor, could that mean there were others who lived there before the Armenians?

We finally get around to word on Turkic folk, the bad boy Huns, on Pg. 127: “Then came the fourth century and the terrible visitation of the Huns, those mysterious Asiatic horsemen who for more than two centuries maintained themselves in Northern Europe and continued their career of bloodshed until they were defeated near Chalons-sur-Marne in France in the year 451.”

The author presents a fairly written chapter on “Mohammed,” offering two reasons for the success of Islam. (“[T]he average Mohammedan carried his religion with him and never felt himself hemmed in by the restrictions and regulations of an established church... Of course such an attitude towards life did not encourage the Faithful to go forth and invent electrical machinery or bother about railroads and steamship lines. But it gave every Mohammedan a certain amount of contentment. It bade him be at peace with himself and with the world in which he lived and that was a very good thing.”

“The second reason which explains the success of the Moslems in their warfare upon the Christians, had to do with the conduct of those Mohammedan soldiers who went forth to do battle for the true faith. The Prophet promised that those who fell, facing the enemy, would go directly to Heaven. This made sudden death in the field preferable to a long but dreary existence upon this earth. It gave the Mohammedans an enormous advantage over the Crusaders who were in constant dread of a dark hereafter, and who stuck to the good things of this world as long as they possibly could. Incidentally it explains why even to-day Moslem soldiers will charge into the fire of European machine guns quite indifferent to the fate that awaits them and why they are such dangerous and persistent enemies.”

(But... isn’t there a concept of “Heaven” in Christianity, as well as “Hell,” just like in Islam? Maybe the Crusaders were afraid to die because they subconsciously knew what they were doing — committing “wholesale murder” — was wrong, and that they weren’t destined for the Pearly Gates.)


 Up till now, the Turks have been “invisible men” in “The Story of Mankind.” They suddenly come to light when those heroes of mankind, the Indo-European tribes, decide to reign terror, death and destruction to the Turks. Here is the author’s chapter on “The Crusades” (pp. 168-173):

BUT ALL THESE DIFFERENT QUARRELS WERE FORGOTTEN WHEN THE TURKS TOOK THE HOLY LAND, DESECRATED THE HOLY PLACES AND INTERFERED SERIOUSLY WITH THE TRADE FROM EAST TO WEST. EUROPE WENT CRUSADING DURING three centuries there had been peace between Christians and Moslems except in Spain and in the eastern Roman Empire, the two states defending the gateways of Europe. The Mohammedans having conquered Syria in the seventh century were in possession of the Holy Land. But they regarded Jesus as a great prophet (though not quite as great as Mohammed), and they did not interfere with the pilgrims who wished to pray in the church which Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, had built on the spot of the Holy Grave. But early in the eleventh century, a Tartar tribe from the wilds of Asia, called the Seljuks or Turks, became masters of the Mohammedan state in western Asia and then the period of tolerance came to an end. The Turks took all of Asia Minor away from the eastern Roman Emperors and they made an end to the trade between east and west.

(The period of tolerance came to an END! Is that why Armenian historians chronicled how much better off they were than under their persecuting co-religionists, the Byzantines?)

Alexis, the Emperor, who rarely saw anything of his Christian neighbours of the west, appealed for help and pointed to the danger which threatened Europe should the Turks take Constantinople.

The Italian cities which had established colonies along the coast of Asia Minor and Palestine, in fear for their possessions, reported terrible stories of Turkish atrocities and Christian suffering. All Europe got excited.

(And thus began the mainly concocted tales of “The Terrible Turk,” which persist to this very day. Who doubts these “terrible stories” weren’t exaggerated, as the tellers had the ulterior motive of being “in fear for their possessions,” just like the Armenians made up their wild tales, equally seeking the intervention of European powers? The Armenians also were, and still are, fully aware of the built in image problem of the Turks that makes it so easy to hoodwink biased westerners to swallow these tall tales.)

Pope Urban II, a Frenchman from Reims, who had been educated at the same famous cloister of Cluny which had trained Gregory VII, thought that the time had come for action. The general state of Europe was far from satisfactory. The primitive agricultural methods of that day (unchanged since Roman times) caused a constant scarcity of food. There was unemployment and hunger and these are apt to lead to discontent and riots. Western Asia in older days had fed millions. It was an excellent field for the purpose of immigration.

Therefore at the council of Clermont in France in the year 1095 the Pope arose, described the terrible horrors which the infidels had inflicted upon the Holy Land, gave a glowing description of this country which ever since the days of Moses had been overflowing with milk and honey, and exhorted the knights of France and the people of Europe in general to leave wife and child and deliver Palestine from the Turks.

(This Pope was just like the Armenians’ fanatical revolutionary leaders, making up stories with no concern for the welfare of their people. The Frenchman was one fine man of God.)

A wave of religious hysteria swept across the continent. All reason stopped.

(Just like in W.W.I Britain, America, and even “ally” Germany, once the wild “genocide” stories were reported on a wholesale basis. Unfortunately, there is still a scarcity of “reason” today, when it comes to this issue among genocide fanatics. But there’s hope! The western world finally acknowledged some of their own wrongdoing with the monstrous Crusades, even though it took... what? Seven, eight or nine centuries?)


Onward, Christian Soldiers!

Men would drop their hammer and saw, walk out of their shop and take the nearest road to the east to go and kill Turks. Children would leave their homes to "go to Palestine" and bring the terrible Turks to their knees by the mere appeal of their youthful zeal and Christian piety. Fully ninety percent of those enthusiasts never got within sight of the Holy Land. They had no money. They were forced to beg or steal to keep alive. They became a danger to the safety of the highroads and they were killed by the angry country people.

The first Crusade, a wild mob of honest Christians, defaulting bankrupts, penniless noblemen and fugitives from justice, following the lead of half-crazy Peter the Hermit and Walter- without-a-Cent, began their campaign against the Infidels by murdering all the Jews whom they met by the way. They got as far as Hungary and then they were all killed.

This experience taught the Church a lesson. Enthusiasm alone would not set the Holy Land free. Organisation was as necessary as good-will and courage. A year was spent in training and equipping an army of 200,000 men. They were placed under command of Godfrey of Bouillon, Robert, duke of Normandy, Robert, count of Flanders, and a number of other noblemen, all experienced in the art of war.


 In the year 1096 this second crusade started upon its long voyage. At Constantinople the knights did homage to the Emperor. (For as I have told you, traditions die hard, and a Roman Emperor, however poor and powerless, was still held in great respect). Then they crossed into Asia, killed all the Moslems who fell into their hands, stormed Jerusalem, massacred the Mohammedan population, and marched to the Holy Sepulchre to give praise and thanks amidst tears of piety and gratitude. But soon the Turks were strengthened by the arrival of fresh troops. Then they retook Jerusalem and in turn killed the faithful followers of the Cross.

During the next two centuries, seven other crusades took place. Gradually the Crusaders learned the technique of the trip. The land voyage was too tedious and too dangerous. They preferred to cross the Alps and go to Genoa or Venice where they took ship for the east. The Genoese and the Venetians made this trans-Mediterranean passenger service a very profitable business. They charged exorbitant rates, and when the Crusaders (most of whom had very little money) could not pay the price, these Italian "profiteers" kindly allowed them to "work their way across." In return for a fare from Venice to Acre, the Crusader undertook to do a stated amount of fighting for the owners of his vessel. In this way Venice greatly increased her territory along the coast of the Adriatic and in Greece, where Athens became a Venetian colony, and in the islands of Cyprus and Crete and Rhodes.

All this, however, helped little in settling the question of the Holy Land. After the first enthusiasm had worn off, a short crusading trip became part of the liberal education of every well-bred young man, and there never was any lack of candidates for service in Palestine. But the old zeal was gone. The Crusaders, who had begun their warfare with deep hatred for the Mohammedans and great love for the Christian people of the eastern Roman Empire and Armenia, suffered a complete change of heart. They came to despise the Greeks of Byzantium, who cheated them and frequently betrayed the cause of the Cross, and the Armenians and all the other Levantine races, and they began to appreciate the virtues of their enemies who proved to be generous and fair opponents.

(Poor Armenians and Greeks. For their cover to be blown, all they need is a visitation from their teary-eyed Christian brethren, in order for the latter to discover who the real heroes and villains of the equation really are.)

(One example of the virtuousness of the Crusaders’ foes was given in the more biased Crusader account of “Ten Great Events in History” (1887) by James Johonnot: “The Christians and Moslems no longer looked upon each other as barbarians, to whom mercy was a crime. Each host entertained the highest admiration for the bravery and magnanimity of the other, and in their occasional truces met upon the most friendly terms. When Richard, the lion-hearted king of England, lay in his tent consumed by a fever, there came into the camp camels laden with snow, sent by his enemy, the Sultan Saladin, to assuage his disease, the homage of one brave soldier to another. But, when Richard was returning to England, it was by a Christian prince that he was treacherously seized and secretly confined.” While no doubt good gestures occurred from the Crusaders from time to time, I wonder where there was a memorable example of similar kindness shown toward the Muslims?)

Of course, it would never do to say this openly. But when the Crusader returned home, he was likely to imitate the manners which he had learned from his heathenish foe, compared to whom the average western knight was still a good deal of a country bumpkin. He also brought with him several new food-stuffs, such as peaches and spinach which he planted in his garden and grew for his own benefit. He gave up the barbarous custom of wearing a load of heavy armour and appeared in the flowing robes of silk or cotton which were the traditional habit of the followers of the Prophet and were originally worn by the Turks. Indeed the Crusades, which had begun as a punitive expedition against the Heathen, became a course of general instruction in civilisation for millions of young Europeans.

From a military and political point of view the Crusades were a failure. Jerusalem and a number of cities were taken and lost. A dozen little kingdoms were established in Syria and Palestine and Asia Minor, but they were re-conquered by the Turks and after the year 1244 (when Jerusalem became definitely Turkish) the status of the Holy Land was the same as it had been before 1095.

But Europe had undergone a great change. The people of the west had been allowed a glimpse of the light and the sunshine and the beauty of the east. Their dreary castles no longer satisfied them. They wanted a broader life. Neither Church nor State could give this to them... They found it in the cities.


 Hendrik Willem van Loon did not write this chapter with total bias, to his credit. But note his hypocrisy.

Remember his “rule” as to which episodes of history would make it into his book? Here it is, again:

“Did the country or the person in question produce a new idea or perform an original act without which the history of the entire human race would have been different?"

Obviously, the historian is unqualified to know the Turks’ contributions to civilization, because he knows little about Turkish history, other than what he has read in prejudiced western accounts. To his mind, the Turks are like the Mongols and the Huns, whose only purpose is to wage war, and the only thing they’re good for is to commit bloodshed and murder. This is the age-old image Turcophobes today don’t have to work very hard to keep on perpetuating.

This is why he utters nary a peep about the glorious civilization of the Ottoman Turks, lasting six centuries... the one that anti-Turkish WWI propagandist Arnold Toynbee later likened as coming closest to Plato’s Republic.

And yet, at the end of his chapter on the Crusades, he gives his reader the distinct impression that the Turks were much more civilized and knowledgeable human beings than the barbarous Christians who left house and home with murder on their minds. Many of these men returned home, clearly wiser and humbler.

Did that not give the hypocritical Hendrik Willem van Loon a clue that the Turks belonged in “The Story of Mankind” not as those who set back mankind, but as those who advanced mankind?

The author reinforces the notion that the glorious Indo-European values are what saved the Russians from the barbarism of Turkish (that is, “Tartar”) influence, allowing the Russians to enter the family of civilized man... so that they may begin their campaign of “Death and Exile,” exiling five million Turks/Muslims and killing another five-and-one-half-million, during their conquests of Ottoman land... and challenging Hitler with the death and miseries brought upon many millions (Turks and non-Turks alike) during Soviet times, continuing to the present day.


“The Rise of Russia” (pp. 304-07):

Hence Russia received its religion and its alphabet and its first ideas of art and architecture from the Byzantine monks and as the Byzantine empire (a relic of the eastern Roman empire) had become very oriental and had lost many of its European traits, the Russians suffered in consequence.

Politically speaking these new states of the great Russian plains did not fare well. It was the Norse habit to divide every inheritance equally among all the sons. No sooner had a small state been founded but it was broken up among eight or nine heirs who in turn left their territory to an ever increasing number of descendants. It was inevitable that these small competing states should quarrel among themselves. Anarchy was the order of the day. And when the red glow of the eastern horizon told the people of the threatened invasion of a savage Asiatic tribe, the little states were too weak and too divided to render any sort of defence against this terrible enemy.

It was in the year 1224 that the first great Tartar invasion took place and that the hordes of Jenghiz Khan, the conqueror of China, Bokhara, Tashkent and Turkestan made their first appearance in the west. The Slavic armies were beaten near the Kalka river and Russia was at the mercy of the Mongolians. Just as suddenly as they had come they disappeared. Thirteen years later, in 1237, however, they returned. In less than five years they conquered every part of the vast Russian plains. Until the year 1380 when Dmitry Donskoi, Grand Duke of Moscow, beat them on the plains of Kulikovo, the Tartars were the masters of the Russian people.

All in all, it took the Russians two centuries to deliver themselves from this yoke. For a yoke it was and a most offensive and objectionable one. It turned the Slavic peasants into miserable slaves. No Russian could hope to survive unless he was willing to creep before a dirty little yellow man who sat in a tent somewhere in the heart of the steppes of southern Russia and spat at him. It deprived the mass of the people of all feeling of honour and independence. It made hunger and misery and maltreatment and personal abuse the normal state of human existence. Until at last the average Russian, were he peasant or nobleman, went about his business like a neglected dog who has been beaten so often that his spirit has been broken and he dare not wag his tail without permission.

There was no escape. The horsemen of the Tartar Khan were fast and merciless. The endless prairie did not give a man a chance to cross into the safe territory of his neighbour. He must keep quiet and bear what his yellow master decided to inflict upon him or run the risk of death. Of course, Europe might have interfered. But Europe was engaged upon business of its own, fighting the quarrels between the Pope and the emperor or suppressing this or that or the other heresy. And so Europe left the Slav to his fate, and forced him to work out his own salvation.

The final saviour of Russia was one of the many small states, founded by the early Norse rulers. It was situated in the heart of the Russian plain. Its capital, Moscow, was upon a steep hill on the banks of the Moskwa river. This little principality, by dint of pleasing the Tartar (when it was necessary to please), and opposing him (when it was safe to do so), had, during the middle of the fourteenth century made itself the leader of a new national life. It must be remembered that the Tartars were wholly deficient in constructive political ability. They could only destroy. Their chief aim in conquering new territories was to obtain revenue. To get this revenue in the form of taxes, it was necessary to allow certain remnants of the old political organization to continue. Hence there were many little towns, surviving by the grace of the Great Khan, that they might act as tax-gatherers and rob their neighbours for the benefit of the Tartar treasury.

The state of Moscow, growing fat at the expense of the surrounding territory, finally became strong enough to risk open rebellion against its masters, the Tartars. It was successful and its fame as the leader in the cause of Russian independence made Moscow the natural centre for all those who still believed in a better future for the Slavic race. In the year 1453, Constantinople was taken by the Turks. Ten years later, under the rule of Ivan III, Moscow informed the western world that the Slavic state laid claim to the worldly and spiritual inheritance of the lost Byzantine Empire, and such traditions of the Roman empire as had survived in Constantinople. A generation afterwards, under Ivan the Terrible, the grand dukes of Moscow were strong enough to adopt the title of Caesar, or Tsar, and to demand recognition by the western powers of Europe.

In the year 1598, with Feodor the First, the old Muscovite dynasty, descendants of the original Norseman Rurik, came to an end. For the next seven years, a Tartar half-breed, by the name of Boris Godunow, reigned as Tsar. It was during this period that the future destiny of the large masses of the Russian people was decided. This Empire was rich in land but very poor in money. There was no trade and there were no factories. Its few cities were dirty villages. It was composed of a strong central government and a vast number of illiterate peasants. This government, a mixture of Slavic, Norse, Byzantine and Tartar influences, recognised nothing beyond the interest of the state. To defend this state, it needed an army. To gather the taxes, which were necessary to pay the soldiers, it needed civil servants. To pay these many officials it needed land. In the vast wilderness on the east and west there was a sufficient supply of this commodity. But land without a few labourers to till the fields and tend the cattle, has no value. Therefore the 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.


 In the seventeenth century, this new state with its growing territory which was spreading quickly into Siberia, had become a force with which the rest of Europe was obliged to reckon. In 1618, after the death of Boris Godunow, the Russian nobles had elected one of their own number to be Tsar. He was Michael, the son of Feodor, of the Moscow family of Romanow who lived in a little house just outside the Kremlin.

In the year 1672 his great-grandson, Peter, the son of another Feodor, was born. When the child was ten years old, his step-sister Sophia took possession of the Russian throne. The little boy was allowed to spend his days in the suburbs of the national capital, where the foreigners lived. Surrounded by Scotch barkeepers, Dutch traders, Swiss apothecaries, Italian barbers, French dancing teachers and German school-masters, the young prince obtained a first but rather extraordinary impression of that far-away and mysterious Europe where things were done differently.

When he was seventeen years old, he suddenly pushed Sister Sophia from the throne. Peter himself became the ruler of Russia. He was not contented with being the Tsar of a semi-barbarous and half-Asiatic people. He must be the sovereign head of a civilised nation. To change Russia overnight from a Byzantine-Tartar state into a European empire was no small undertaking. It needed strong hands and a capable head. Peter possessed both. In the year 1698, the great operation of grafting Modern Europe upon Ancient Russia was performed. The patient did not die. But he never got over the shock, as the events of the last five years have shown very plainly.

What have we learned? The Russians lived like “miserable slaves” under the brutal hand of the “dirty little yellow man,” the Mongols... who “could only destroy.” (Which the historian prefers to identify as Tartar, narrowing the gap with the “Mongol Turks.”) No doubt the Russians did not have a picnic. Then what happens? The Russians free themselves from this “Turkish” yoke. Soon afterwards, what happens to the Russian people? They lived like miserable slaves, under the brutal hand of the Russians themselves!

How does the author justify this slavery? The Russian who instituted this policy of serfdom was a “Tartar half-breed.” A-ha! Must have been Boris Goodunov’s uncivilized Turkish side that was behind such inhumanity. It was only Peter the Great’s exposure to Indo-European influences, living in the suburbs of the national capital (and later, when Peter took trips to European cities) where Russia took the steps to become a great and civilized nation... instead of wallowing as a semi-barbarous state, populated by half-Asiatic people (which is a shock, since Russia’s geography is mainly in Asia).

So how come this policy of slavery among the Russian peasantry continues after Peter succeeds with his reforms and transforms Russia into a civilized nation from the backward Byzantine-Tartar state it used to be... well after Peter’s death, until 1861? Not to say the Russian people were much freer after that date, if we recall the roots of “The Ten Days that Shook the World.”

It seems to me the concept of serfdom/slavery was not an unknown concept during the Middle Ages in the glorious, civilized nations of Europe, either.

I don’t mean to put down the achievements of Peter the Great; he was aptly named, because he achieved miracles with the transformation of his country in a short period of time.... sometimes even in the Ataturk mold. However, unlike Ataturk, Peter did so with the blood of his own people, uncaring for the fate of all the many who died, constructing cities such as Moscow. And unlike Ataturk, Peter achieved his nation’s greatness at the expense of his nation’s neighbors... beginning a policy that would bring untold death, misery and slavery to millions in the coming centuries.

Russia’s multi-cultural empire could not compare to the toleration demonstrated under the many different races and nations under the Ottomans. What is Hendrik Willem van Loon’s definition of “civilization,” anyway?


 The mostly villainous Turks make token appearances toward the end of van Loon’s “Story.”

Pgs. 453-455: “For untold centuries the south-eastern corner of Europe had been the scene of rebellion and bloodshed. During the seventies of the last century the people of Serbia and Bulgaria and Montenegro and Roumania were once more trying to gain their freedom and the Turks (with the support of many of the western powers), were trying to prevent this.” (Here we go. Get ready.)

After a period of particularly atrocious massacres in Bulgaria in the year 1876, the Russian people lost all patience. The Government was forced to intervene just as President McKinley was obliged to go to Cuba and stop the shooting-squads of General Weyler in Havana.

[10,000 Bulgarians died as a result of their insurrection (to the West, these constituted "massacres") compared with (according to "Death and Exile," McCarthy) 262,000 Muslims who were killed as a result of Bulgarian and Russian action, and a further half-million brutally expelled... and mum’s the word on them, of course. During the 19th century the Russians would declare war on the Ottomans at the drop of a hat, and here we get the idea that the Russians acted out of humanitarian concerns. Just like we get the idea that the Americans gave two cents to the lives of the Cubans, and weren’t interested in pursuing their own imperialist ambitions. (For more information on the “forgotten genocide” of General Weyler, tune in here.)]

In April of the year 1877 the Russian armies crossed the Danube, stormed the Shipka pass, and after the capture of Plevna, marched southward until they reached the gates of Constantinople. Turkey appealed for help to England. There were many English people who denounced their government when it took the side of the Sultan. But Disraeli (who had just made Queen Victoria Empress of India and who loved the picturesque Turks while he hated the Russians who were brutally cruel to the Jewish people within their frontiers) decided to interfere. Russia was forced to conclude the peace of San Stefano (1878) and the question of the Balkans was left to a Congress which convened at Berlin in June and July of the same year.

Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin Disraeli

(Note the implication that the motives of the once-Jewish Disraeli had much to do with his Jewish sympathies. Perhaps that might have been true; however, Disraeli was a Christian since the age of 13, and his detractors, in a snidely anti-Semitic way, will always hold Disraeli’s Jewishness over his head... instead of looking at his patriotism (trying to keep the Russian bear at bay, preserving England’s interests), and his sense of integrity. Disraeli knew those like rival William Gladstone were falsely blowing up the Bulgarian atrocities out of proportion for political purposes... and was Disraeli’s awareness of how unfairly maligned the Turks were derive from his “love” of the “picturesque Turks”... or the ability to distinguish right from wrong? Similar to why Admiral Mark Bristol’s even-handedness toward the Turks in later years... did that derive from a so-called “pro-Turk” attitude? Note the author’s contempt for the British statesman:)

This famous conference was entirely dominated by the personality of Disraeli. Even Bismarck feared the clever old man with his well-oiled curly hair and his supreme arrogance, tempered by a cynical sense of humor and a marvellous gift for flattery. At Berlin the British prime-minister carefully watched over the fate of his friends the Turks. Montenegro, Serbia and Roumania were recognised as independent kingdoms. The principality of Bulgaria was given a semi-independent status under Prince Alexander of Battenberg, a nephew of Tsar Alexander II. But none of those countries were given the chance to develop their powers and their resources as they would have been able to do, had England been less anxious about the fate of the Sultan, whose domains were necessary to the safety of the British Empire as a bulwark against further Russian aggression.

To make matters worse, the congress allowed Austria to take Bosnia and Herzegovina away from the Turks to be "administered" as part of the Habsburg domains. It is true that Austria made an excellent job of it. The neglected provinces were as well managed as the best of the British colonies, and that is saying a great deal. But they were inhabited by many Serbians. In older days they had been part of the great Serbian empire of Stephan Dushan, who early in the fourteenth century had defended western Europe against the invasions of the Turks and whose capital of Uskub had been a centre of civilisation one hundred and fifty years before Columbus discovered the new lands of the west. The Serbians remembered their ancient glory as who would not? They resented the presence of the Austrians in two provinces, which, so they felt, were theirs by every right of tradition.

And it was in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, that the archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, was murdered on June 28 of the year 1914. The assassin was a Serbian student who had acted from purely patriotic motives.

But the blame for this terrible catastrophe which was the immediate, though not the only cause of the Great World War did not lie with the half-crazy Serbian boy or his Austrian victim. It must be traced back to the days of the famous Berlin Conference when Europe was too busy building a material civilisation to care about the aspirations and the dreams of a forgotten race in a dreary corner of the old Balkan peninsula.

BROTHER! “It is true that Austria made an excellent job of (administering Bosnia and Herzegovina),” the author tells us. Not according to what I’ve heard. Soon after the heavy-handed Austrians took over, the people missed the fairness of Ottoman rule. Otherwise, why did this Serbian student suddenly reach the level of discontent to light the fuse for WWI, when he (or another like him) could have assassinated an Ottoman official years earlier? After all, it didn’t take the occupation of the Austrians to make the proud Serbs realize the provinces in question were theirs by tradition. (Why, during the Yugoslavian break-up just a few years ago, the Serbs were referring to the Battle of Kosovo from the 14th century as though it had occurred only “yesterday”!)


 Here is what the author tells us, as far as historical theory:

When we visit a doctor, we find out before hand whether he is a surgeon or a diagnostician or a homeopath or a faith healer, for we want to know from what angle he will look at our complaint. We ought to be as careful in the choice of our historians as we are in the selection of our physicians. We think, "Oh well, history is history," and let it go at that. But the writer who was educated in a strictly Presbyterian household somewhere in the backwoods of Scotland will look differently upon every question of human relationships from his neighbour who as a child, was dragged to listen to the brilliant exhortations of Robert Ingersoll, the enemy of all revealed Devils. In due course of time, both men may forget their early training and never again visit either church or lecture hall. But the influence of these impressionable years stays with them and they cannot escape showing it in whatever they write or say or do.

In the preface to this book, I told you that I should not be an infallible guide and now that we have almost reached the end, I repeat the warning. I was born and educated in an atmosphere of the old-fashioned liberalism which had followed the discoveries of Darwin and the other pioneers of the nineteenth century...

That was very honest of Hendrik Willem van Loon to remind us. The fact that he was exposed to a liberal upbringing makes me better understand where his negativism regarding Turks comes from... as it’s the liberal mentality of those such as William Gladstone to the compassionate do-gooders who are behind organizations like Amnesty International and genocide institutes who can’t help believing the Turks are responsible for the worst ills on earth. (And the conservatives hate the Turks for different reasons, mainly religious.)

As van Loon reminds us, historians are human, and it takes the rare western historian to shake his deeply-ingrained anti-Turkish belief system, planted there among those of his western kind, since the days of the Crusades. Unfortunately, it’s accounts such as this one that persist in solidifying the negative impression among western audiences, accounts that are still taken as valid and truthful today.








"West" Accounts


Armenian Views
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Turks in Movies
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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.