Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Talat Pasha's "Black Covered Book"  
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 In April of 2005, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet published a series of articles based on Talat Pasha's "Black Book." I was ambivalent about the legitimacy of the goings-on (particularly after getting the opinion of a historian that I greatly respect), and aside from a note of the numbers in TAT's "census" page, decided against highlighting the information. However, a reader assures me the information appears to be on the up and up (and certainly the 702,905 figure is convincing; this was the number (702,900, actually, from a Dec. 7, 1916 report) that Kamuran Gurun used in his book, "The Armenian File,"  to indicate the total of Armenians relocated; Ara Sarafian, through his research in the Ottoman archives, announced the figure was a mistake, and actually pertained to Muslims moved. The Talat Pasha black book material uses the same figure for the Muslims, as you can see from the first article); on that basis, let's feature this information, at least as a point of reference.

Murat Bardakci

Hurriyet's Murat Bardakci

The reader tells us that Murat Bardakci, the historically knowledgeable Hurriyet journalist, has other documents that used to belong to Talat Pasha. "He has also published letters written by Talat Pasha to his wife and family, also letters and telegrams of the Ittihat Terakki [CUP] officials. He wrote that he took some of these documents from Talat Pasha's wife Hayriye Talat Bafrali in 1982."

What these documents demonstrate is that the CUP officials "never sent orders to kill Armenians, they only moved Armenians, and also Muslims to other parts of the empire." The reader mentions that these documents have been a matter of debate in Turkey, "mostly because the number of moved Armenians (924.000) is two times bigger than the 'official' numbers (which is about 400.000)." Bardakci is said to have written that he has compiled documents from the families of other CUP members, principally the granddaughter of Talat Pasha (Aysegül Bafrali), and that he refrained from making this information public earlier because of his reading of Turkey's political climate.


1) "1915-1916 saw the displacement of not just Armenians but 702,905 Turks"

2) "Here is the Truth in the Black Covered Book"

3) "The Series Continues in 2006" (Published April 23, 2006)

4) "The Details of the 1915 relocation for every city" (4-24-06)

5) Relocation Centers [Map]


"1915-1916 saw the displacement of not just Armenians but 702,905 Turks"

(This article appeared in the English version of Hurriyet, April 27, 2005. The bold text follows — more or less —  the original Turkish version, in an effort to be true )

By Murat Bardakcı

Ottoman Grand Vizier and Interior Minister Talat Pasha, in black books that he kept from the period he was in office, recorded that in the years between 1915 and 1916, not only Armenians but hundreds of thousands of Turks were displaced from their homes in eastern Turkey.

The notebooks show that up to 800,000 Turks from provinces under invasion threat from Russian forces took to the road as "emigrants," and that a corridor stretching from Izmit to Halep was used to resettle up to 702,905 Turkish citizens. The area most emigrated to was Mosul, with 150,000 resettled, and the least emigrated to was Icel (Mersin), with only 426 people.

The so-called "black books" from the archives of Grand Vizier Talat Pasha record not only the migrations that took place from the European side to Anatolia during the Balkan War, but also lists of citizens displaced by the Russian invasion of eastern provinces during World War I. The lists of people removed from their homes and out of the way of fighting between Turkish and Russian forces reveal that while Armenians were moved, Turks were also moved.



In its English edition, Hurriyet apparently only translated the first three paragraphs. Below is the rest of this article (here is the original Turkish), with great thanks to the translation of N. S. Sevilir; the first paragraph conforms to the third one above.


In Talat Pasha's book (Talat Pasha was the "Sadrazam" and the internal affairs minister) there are other informations such as the number of refugees during the Balkan War (from Balkans to Anatolia) and also, as stated above, the number of people who have left eastern Anatolia during the Russian invasion in the WW1.

In December 1914 the Turkish forces were literally destroyed in Sarikamis. After this the cities in eastern Anatolia were invaded by the Russians one by one. First Van, then Erzurum, Bitlis, Mush, Trabzon and Erzincan were taken over by Russian and the control of Van was given to Armenians.

According to Talat Pasha's book,  an area of over 140.000 km2 had been invaded and within this area 1,800,915 people had lived. It is written that 800,000 people were "deported" to another region, however it states that only 702,905 deportees could be relocated.

When one reads this list one can clearly see that during 1915 and 1916 Armenians weren't the only people who were deported but rather thousands of Turks were too.

(A part explaining the meanings of words such as "tehcir" has  been skipped.)

"Ittihad and Terakki"'s leaders had fled Turkey and went to Europe after the Turkish defeat in the World War.

Talat Pasha (with the pseudonym "Ali Sai") had also fled to Germany with his wife Hayriye Talat Hanim, and started living in Berlin. The Pasha spent his days in Europe with "organizations (of Turks)", travelling from one country to another.

Talat Pasha wrote a letter to his wife just 20 days prior to being murdered by Armenians. The letter contained information about his future prospects:

"My dear wife,

I finally arrived in Berlin. Yesterday I had a dinner with Baha Bey (one of the leaders of İttihad and Terraki, Bahaeddin Şakir Bey).. Hadice Hanım is renting a house in Potsdam and she'll give us a room there.. We can stay in Munich for a week and then we can go back to Berlin and then maybe to Dresden or Baveira. I will be going to Halle tomorrow. My friend will meet me there. I will write to you from there.. Tell Nazım Bey (also a leador of İttihad and Terraki) to come to me urgently. If you are bored there, you can come with him or wait for me there.



Calal Bayar not only had Talat Pasha's memoirs published, but was behind the bringing of his remains back to Turkey

Talat Pasha wrote his memories during his exile in Germany but never published it.

The Pasha's memories were only published in 1946 by Celal Bayar (who was also an old İttihat and Terraki member). The book's foreword was written by Hüseyin Cahid Yalcin.

The following are the letters of Celal Bayar to Talat Pasha's wife, Hayriye Talat Hanım. He always had shown a great respect towards her as "my boss' wife." In these letters one can read Celal Bayar's suggestions to bring back the Pasha's coffin to Turkey and to publish his memories.

"Ankara 21.11.1942

Dear Hanım efendi,

Thanks for sending me Pasha's memories. The content was really interesting, he had said in the foreword that these were written to protect İttihad and Terraki's politics.. I would really regret it, if these won't get published. Therefore since it's written in German, we will have to get it translated.

You probably know the Pasha's old friend Rahmi Bey? We here have decided with Rahmi Bey that Talat Pasha's coffin should be brought here and be buried in Turkey. Rahmi Bey will take care of the processes.

With best regards, and awaiting your reply.

-Celal Bayar"

(The second letter is as follows):


Dear Hanım efendi,

I have received your letter dated 27.11.1942

I would like to publish all of his memories, not less. They are in German so I would like to know if there is a Turkish text? It would really be good if you can find the Turkish text as they will be in Pasha's style of writing. However if the Turkish version doesn't exist, then we will have to get it translated. The copyright will be yours.

As for the bringing of his coffin: Turkey has officially asked the German authorities for the process.

With best regards.

Celal Bayar"

(The third and the last letter):

"Ankara, 02.02.1943

Dear Hanım efendi,

I have received your letter dated 9.1.1943. I was late to answer as I had an illness. We have yet to receive any dates for the bringing of the coffin. We are still waiting for an answer from Germany.
Currently I am getting the memories translated.

With best regards.

Celal Bayar"

Holdwater wonders: The process of translation means Mr. Bayar was only able to obtain Talat's memoirs in German. But why would Talat have not written his memoirs in Turkish? (Perhaps a friend of his took the originals and translated to German at one point, and the original Turkish version got lost over the years.)

Furthermore, I have reluctantly come to accept the "Posthumous Memoirs of Talat Pasha," printed in a 1921 edition of the New York Times, as genuine. (After reading Guenter Lewy's book, primarily.) But the above exchange with Talat's wife makes it seem as though Talat's memoirs were to be released for the first time.

"Here is the Truth in the Black Covered Book"

From a series appearing in the Istanbul daily Hurriyet, 25 April 2005 (The original page, in Turkish)

By Murat Bardakci

Prime Minister Talaat Pasha had carefully recorded the post 1915 population movements and statistics in a 10x15 cm size notebook, kept with care to this day by his wife Hayriye and Talaat’s granddaughter Aysegul Bafrali.

According to Talaat Pasha’s notes, the number of Armenians subjected to mandatory deportations in accordance with the “Temporary Deportation Law” issued on 27 May 1915 is 924,158. The city where the exile was enforced the most extensively was Sivas with 141,592 people, while the province of Konya was the least with 4,381 people.

The figures about the Armenian deportations make up the third section of Talaat Pasha’s black covered notebook. The Pasha first notes the number of Armenians that were subjected to mandatory deportations on the pages devoted to the deportations. Then, he provides a list of how many Armenians and the provinces of the Empire against which the Law of Deportations were enforced.

Later in the notebook, the breakdown of Armenian orphans not deported is given per province, followed by a summary of the buildings, real estate, farms, mines and franchises left behind by or expropriated from Armenians.

According to Talaat Pasha’s notes, the number of Armenians subjected to mandatory deportations in accordance with the “Temporary Deportation Law” issued on 27 May 1915 is 924,158. The city where the exile was enforced the most extensively was Sivas with 141,592 people while the province of Konya was the least with 4,381 people.

However, it can be seen that the Pasha shows 270 fewer deportees in one of the provinces.


Being a primary document on the Armenian deportations, the above list appears in the black covered book of Prime Minister Talaat Pasha as shown. After this page comes a breakdown of the orphans and a summary of the buildings, real estate, farms, mines and franchises left behind by the Armenians.

Talaat Pasha Joins the Debate 90 Years Later

The Prime Minister “the Minister of the Interior and the architect of the Deportations” Talaat Pasha, is speaking today for the first time since the events of 1915 exactly 90 years ago and taking part in the deportation discussions with documents in his private archive that haven’t been published up to now!

Yesterday, I had written the following on my page in my introduction of the article series as well. The deportation numbers and other information found in this series are based upon a 10x15 cm size notebook I took with the intention of publishing from Talaat Pasha’s wife Hayriye and Talaat’s granddaughter Aysegul Bafrali that belonged to the Pasha and other documents of his that have been with me for years. The black covered book in which the Pasha had the post 1915 population movements and statistics recorded has three parts: the Muslim refugees, the Armenian deportees, those Greeks and Arabs that likewise have been deported for anti-state activities and the real-estate that was left behind by the non-Muslims.

At the very start of the series, I must draw your attention to one matter:

Due to the lack of essential, realistic studies on these subjects up to now, the numbers in the black covered notebook of Talaat Pasha and his other documents may sound very strange or even high to some of us. However, with every single one of them being a primary source, these numbers are like defense exhibits against the ˜genocide” accusations full of exaggerated figures.

Let the willingly ignorant among us who say, “We not only slaughtered the Armenians but the Kurds too. Let us apologize for the genocide we perpetrated and let the issue be settled” cast no shadow and let our academics lay the shallow “we didn’t kill them; they killed us” aside and take a learned approach.


Let Leylegian rest assured. We turned Talat Pasha’s tomb into a dump.

You must have seen it in the newspapers: the president of the organization based in Brussels called ˜European Armenian Federation”, Laurent Leylegiyan, made some strange demands last week from the Turkish government.

Evidenced by his demands that betray a complete harmony between his name and his mindset, Mr. Leylekyan wanted the demolition of the mausoleum of Talaat Pasha in Istanbul, and a change to street names named after ˜Talaat” and “Enver”; and the closing of the museums showing the Armenian crimes against the Turks; and the laws banning the mention of the “genocide”.

After reading Leylegian’s drivel, I remembered an old Iranian saying, 'Divane ra kalem nist', in other words, “˜the fool will not be charged for sinning” and laughed. However, what I saw in the vicinity of Sisli turned my smile into a bitter grimace and I thought we had already carried out some of Leylegian’s demands on our own.

Talat Pasha's mausoleum in Istanbul

Talat's mausoleum in less dumpy days

Yesterday morning I went to photograph the tomb of Talaat Pasha on the Hill of Eternal Liberty at Sisli for the purpose of using the pictures in the series and instead of a tomb, I came across a dump! As if a new revolt had taken place at the site where the mausoleums of Talaat, Enver, Mahmut Sevket, and Midhat Pashas along with the martyred soldiers in the revolt of March 31 are found. The lock of the mausoleum below the monument was broken and the tomb downstairs had now become the destination for drunkards. The tombs in the park were being used as beer cases. In short, everything was heart rending.

The same place was in the same shape days before the reinterring of Enver Pasha’s ashes from Tajikistan. After I had brought the situation to light, it was hastily cleaned up but following the funeral of the Pasha, all had returned to the same routine.

Let the president of European Armenian Federation, Laurent Leylegian, rest assured and not go through the trouble of making such demands of the Turkish government. As long as the Metropolitan Municipality which is in charge of the Hill of Eternal Liberty maintain its indifference, there will not remain a any evidence of the tombs “ not only Talaat Pasha“ but also those martyrs who are in their eternal sleep here, unless the site is turned over to the Military!

He was a Postal Clerk but Became a Prime Minister

You must surely know of Talaat Pasha, for whom we have been naming boulevards, streets, neighborhoods and schools, but let me briefly remind you anyway.

His full name being Mehmed Talaat, Talaat Pasha was born in Edirne on 20 August 1874. He lost his father at a young age and entered the Postal and Telegraphic service to feed his family. He became a founder of Ittihad & Terakki. He was arrested for his activities against the regime of Abdul Hamid and was jailed for 25 months and then was exiled to Salonica.

Employed as a mailman here, Mehmed Talaat was elected to Parliament from Edirne after the proclamation of the Second Constitution in 1908. He was made Interior Minister in the cabinet of Hussein Hilmi Pasha, and Minister of Postal and Telegraph Service in the cabinet of Kucuk Said Pasha. Talaat was one of the planners of the raid on the Sublime Porte on 23 January 1913, and one of the three top leaders of the Ittiahad & Terakki Party together with Enver and Jemal Pashas. He became the Interior Minister once again in the cabinet of Said Halim Pasha created on June 13, and personally oversaw the Armenian deportations in 1915. He was made prime minister on 4 February 1917 and received the title “pasha”.

Having resigned on 8 October 1918, upon our defeat in WWI, Talaat Pasha left Turkey with the other Ittihad & Terakki leaders during the night of 2 November on a German submarine. He first went to Russia, then to Germany.

Talaat Pasha was declared as the “greatest enemy” by Diaspora Armenians because of the measures he took in the Armenian events in Anatolia during the war years, and was murdered in Berlin in the morning of 15 March 1921, by an Armenian partisan called Sogomon Tehlirian with a bullet to his neck. Tehlirian was acquitted in the German court where he was tried. The ashes of the Pasha were brought to Istanbul from Berlin on 25 February 1944, 24 years after the murder and were interned at the Hill of Eternal Liberty with great military ceremony.


Holdwater: The above translation comes courtesy of "The Genocide Archive Project," based in the "Armenian country" of Massachusetts, and headed by that tireless "professional Armenian patriot," David Davidian. (A taste of the fellow's intellectualism, from his intrusion into a Google usenet group for Turkish culture, March 19, 1990 entry: "Soghomon Tehlerian was not a 'fanatic'. He was person performing a duty to humanity. Talaat Pasha was the chief architect of the Turkish genocide of the 1.5 million Armenians.") While faithfully rendered, the translation understandably has a slight "pro-Armenian" slant; for example: "Deportations" has been used for the word "Tehcir." The word "deportation" is incorrect, because Armenians were moved within the country, and not out of the country... and ultimately allowed to return to their homes.

Kamuran Gurun spells out the difference, from The Armenian File:

The term tehjir (relocation) is Arabic and derives from the root hijret (emigration). It is used in the sense of `having one emigrate. This word has no connotation of putting one in a concentration camp, but indicates 'changing one's location'. For this reason, the term "deportation" used by the British and French is incorrect. Deportation has the connotation of forcing one to settle in a place under custody, that is, having one exiled. The individual who is exiled, who is deported, is not free in the place he is sent to. He lives in a specific place, in a prison, fortress, or camp, without any contact with the outside world.

(Let us add that deportation, to my mind, best means banishment outside a country's borders. For example, Russia's innocent Muslims were cruelly booted out forever from their centuries-old homes during WWI, as were the Balkan Turks, a few years earlier. These people were truly "deported.")

In addition, as a point of reference countering the Turkish text, Jemal Pasha, in his own memoirs, claimed that Talat was never a postman. Furthermore, it was established in the Tehlirian trial that Talat was shot in the back of the head, and not in the neck. (To nitpick, the original Turkish article described Tehlirian as a "committee member" (komitaci), that is, a member of the revolutionary committees, and not as a "partisan." At this stage, Tehlirian was more than a mere party member; he was a hit man, serving the Dashnak assassination squad, Nemesis.)

Finally, let's hope the "dump" of Talat's resting place should come as a lesson to the genocide nuts, up in arms as they can be over Turkey's neglect in the upkeep of Armenian churches. (They never talk, of course, about the upkeep of Turkish mosques in Armenia, probably because Armenia got rid of all the Turkish mosques.) If Turkey is neglectful of an important leader's tomb, then it's not as though the negligence of churches should be regarded as a sign of "cultural genocide."

The Series Continues in 2006

 On April 23, 2006, Mr. Bardakci announced that he would be releasing new "Talat" information in the next three days of his newspaper, Hurriyet. Here is the original page in Turkish, for the first installment, below. (The first installment mainly provides an introduction and background; it's the later ones that are interesting, as we get information that Armenians were relocated in a number of places throughout the empire, and not just the "desert.")

Thanks again to the translation of N. S. Sevilir.

I am publishing the documents of Talat Pasha for the first time after 91 years.

I will publish a three day series about the 1915 events in Hürriyet called “The Documents of Talat Pasha.”

In the series, I will publish documents that I took from the relatives of the Minister of Internal Affairs (Dahiliye Nazırı) and Sadrazam Talat Pahsa about the 1915 events, some letters of important Ittihat Terakki officials, crypted telegrams, and other documents about their actions after WW1. I hope this series will open a new window for people who work on the subject.

A new episode of a play which has been staged by Armenians for LONG years starts tomorrow. The diaspora Armenians will make a lot of propaganda, meetings, open new genocide memorials all around the world and foreign politicians will join the chorus in the “genocide day” of April 24.

It is clear today what these genocide accusations have accomplished. The debate about what happened in 1915 goes on but what happened is turned into “genocide” and “the Turks killed 1.5 million innocent Armenians” by the Armenian diaspora; and they are about to convince the world that “their version of truth” is true. But we still ignore the Armenian propaganda and do not try to show the world what really happened, instead we try to inform only the Turkish public.

As the Armenians tell people that millions of Armenians were killed all we do is try to tell people that these numbers are smaller and we are unable to tell the world that the Ottoman Empire did what it did in self defense and we insist on not publishing some of the official documents. Another bizarre thing is this “Armenian issue," which has so many dimensions is turned into a simple count of the dead, as if we were counting sheep.


While today it is a crime in some countries to say that the genocide accusations are false, all we are doing is saying things like “actually they killed us,” or “yes we relocated some Armenians but in later years Armenians came back in greater numbers.” And we also see what people, who think that they have to insult every national or holy value to be an intellectual do: They accept everything the diaspora accuses us with, organize Armenian conferences, and say that "Turkey is guilty" in these conferences although they never went into the archives; and they keep on saying, “if we accept that we are guilty and apologize everything will be fine”!

Perhaps you will remember: The first publication about the documents of Talat Pasha about the 1915 events was in my column last year, with the headline, "Talat Pasha's Black Covered Book." According to the pasha’s documents, the number of relocated Armenians was 924,158 and the first reaction to what I published came from the official researchers who worked on the 1915 events, as this new number was twice as big as the official number. There were people who even said that Talat Pasha made a mistake or that these documents, which are first hand information, are false.


After 1 year I will publish in Hurriyet another 3 day series about the relocation of Armenians in 1915: “Talat Pasha’s relocation documents,” which will include unpublished documents that I took from Talat Pasha’s family that give us detailed information about the relocation in every city.

I will shortly tell you the story of these documents in case you are curious: I had written about these earlier;  my first contact with the memory of Talat Pasha was about 25 years ago, when I first met his wife, Hayriye Talat Bafralı, who was alive at the time. When I published Hayriye Hanim's memories in “Milliyet” newspaper as “My Husband Talat Pasha” in 1982, during the days of active ASALA terror, it became very popular.

Hayriye Talat Hanım got married again after her husband was murdered by an Armenian terrorist in March 15, 1921, but she was so loyal to her dead husband’s memory she named one of her children from her second marriage "Talat." While travelling country by country In her exile years, she carefully preserved the documents of Talat Pasha and gave them to me shortly before she passed away.

I preserved these documents for a quarter-century. I never published them as I wouldn’t have been able to even talk about their existence in the political climate of those years. But during these 25 years my archive got richer and richer as I took more documents from the relatives of the CUP, mostly from Hayriye Talat Bafralı’s granddaughter Ayşegül Bafralı.


And this new series that I will begin tomorrow called “The Documents of Talat Pasha” is only a part of all the documents that I have gathered in 25 years.

When one analyzes the documents of Talat Pasha properly, it becomes clear that the “tehcir” was not done to “clean Anatolia of Armenians” and was a major “relocation” for security. As an example, some of the Armenians in Van were sent to İzmit, some of the Armenians in İzmit were sent to Kütahya, and some of the Armenians in Kütahya were sent to Afyon, and these relocations were recorded. We can also see that the Armenians were not “sent to the deserts” as they claim, and that the relocations only meant to divide the densely settled Armenians for security reasons.

When I started my series about “The Black Covered Book of Talat Pasha” last year, I wrote that I wished the series to open a new window for the people who worked on the subject.

I wish the same before I publish this series and I hope that "The Documents of Talat Pasha" would help end the futile discussion between the two sides.


The base of the series that I will start to publish tomorrow is the number of relocated people in every city.

These lists were prepared by the “Directorship of Housing, Immigrants and Tribes” ("İskan, Asiretler ve Muhacirler Müdürlügü”) which was controlled by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Talat Pasha. In these lists we see the numbers of 23 provinces: local Armenians, Armenians who were sent to these provinces or elsewhere from these provinces, are all provided in detail. I will try to publish them all if I have enough space in my column.

In the series, I will include telegrams and letters that were written by the pasha and CUP officials, as well as some information about their lives in exile.

It's necessary to respond to some rumors here about the series from last year:

I was planning to make a three day series about the "Black Covered Book" last year, but after the series there was a rumor about the “series being longer and that the government stopped the series.” These rumors also said that one of the reasons of the cancellation of the rest of my series was that I was going to publish documents and lists about “Armenian buildings." After the series ended, one of my close friends even telephoned to express relief that the matter was over, and others still mention that it's a good thing I did not get into trouble over the matter.

The truth: The series was planned for three days, the series ended as planned, but the oversight was on my end, as I forgot to say “the end” after the third day! The reason I did not publish the list of "Armenian buildings" was also very simple: The pictures were too big for my column.

I will finish what was left incomplete from last year, and the "Armenian buildings" that were rumored to have been "stopped" will be published in two days.

The Details of the 1915 relocation for every city


Here we go with the installment for April 24, 2006. (The original, in Turkish.)

The Grand Vizier and Minister of Internal Affairs Talat Pasha, the architect of the 1915 relocation made the “Directorship of Housing, Immigrants and Tribes”( "İskan, Asiretler ve Muhacirler Müdürlüğü”), which was part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, prepare lists about the results of the relocation and took a copy for himself.

I took these documents that are being published for the first time from Talat Pasha’s wife Ms. Hayriye Talat , who was alive at the time, in 1982. I’m sure these numbers that I took from the documents will seem higher than what most of my readers have estimated. The reason for this is that we never prepared an academic publication concentrating on the numbers, only responding to the accusations of the Armenian diaspora in regards to their propaganda to the Turkish public. Therefore “Talat Pasha’s relocation documents” is not proof that Turkey is guilty, but proof that the state acted in self defense; the Armenian rebellion made things very difficult for the Turkish soldiers fighting on the borders during the world war.

List of relocations for Adana, Izmit, Kutahya and Eskisehir

NOTE: The last column, "Total Pop." is
the 1914 population of Armenians.

The documents of Grand Vizier and Minister of Internal Affairs Mehmed Talat Pasha are being published 91 years after the 1915 relocation and 85 years after the murder of Talat Pasha by an Armenian terrorist in Berlin, for the first time in this column.

I took these documents from Ms. Hayriye Talat, the wife of Talat Pasha, who died in January 1983, in the autumn of 1982 and I preserved these documents for a quarter-century. In the political climate of the time, you couldn’t even mention these documents, let alone publish them. I added more and more documents to my archive during these 25 years, which I took from the relatives of leading Ittihat Terakki officials and Aysegul Bafralı, Ms. Hayriye Talat’s granddaughter. I will try to publish as many of the Pasha’s documents as I can in this series if I have enough space.

This is first-hand information

These numbers that I took from these documents will seem higher than what most of my readers have estimated. The reason for this is that there has not been a realistic academic publication about the 1915 relocation, and that we only reacted to Armenian accusations and propaganda which gets more and more active with non-scientific arguments like “We did not kill the Armenians, they killed us,” or  “we sent a small number of Armenians to other places and a greater number returned” instead of academic answers and reactions.

As I publish these documents of the architect of the 1915 relocation Talat Pasha, which are first hand information, for the first time in this column, I hope that these documents will lead to other scientific research. It is necessary for me to provide an important reminder:

Proof of self-defense

Relocation is a self-defense right that the state used because Turkish soldiers were hit from behind by rebels and because there was internal disorder. As you can see in these pages, the 1915 relocation was not a “genocide”; Ittihat Terakki never thought of a “Nazi model” solution to the Armenian issue, they only temporarily relocated some of the Armenian population living in different parts of Anatolia to other parts of the empire but they never completely emptied any residential areas.

Therefore “the relocation documents of Talat Pasha” is not proof that shows Turkey is guilty, it is proof of “self-defense” of the state against a rebellion that made everything very hard for our troops during WW1.

How many went, how many stayed

Talat Pasha, the architect of the 1915 relocation, made the “Directorship of Housing, Immigrants and Tribes” ("İskan, Asiretler ve Muhacirler Müdürlüğü”), which was part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, prepared lists about the results of the relocation and took a copy for himself.

There are details about the numbers of the local Armenian population, and numbers of Armenians who went from or came to the 23 administrative areas of the Ottoman Empire in the list, which are called "vilayet", "mutasarrıflık" and "liva" in the list .

These lists that are being published for the first time since the 1915 tehcir (relocation) show us that the event was clearly a relocation. The aim of the relocation was sending the population in the areas where rebellions took place to other areas. For example, some of the Armenians in Van were sent to Izmit, some of the Armenians in Izmit were sent to Kütahya and some of the Armenians in Kütahya were sent to Afyon, so that the Armenian population in areas where rebellions took place would decrease. But relocations of small numbers of people from one city to another had another aim: In these areas there were no big rebellions so the people causing problems were sent away but the Armenian population mostly remained untouched.

Some administrative centers were listed with their old names: "Dersaadet" İstanbul, "Mamüretülaziz" Elazıg, "Karahisar-i Sahib" Afyon, "Ayntab" Gaziantep, "Kengiri" Çankiri, "Tekfurdagi" Tekirdag, "Hüdavendigar" Bursa and surrounding areas, "Kal'a-i Sultani" Canakkale, "Canik" Samsun area, "Karesi" Balikesir area, and "Mentese" is Mugla.

I re-organized the lists and translated the lists into modern Turkish so it would fit the column and will be understandable for the readers.

Under the names of the administrative areas which are the “Vilayet, sanjak and liva” we see the number of the local Armenians (Yerli Ermeniler) which are the Armenians that stayed after the relocation. ”Yabancı Ermeniler” are the foreign Armenians who came to the area from other areas, and “genel toplam” ("All Armenians") is the number of all Armenians in an area after the relocation. At the last column we see the 1914 number of Armenians in the area, 1 year before the relocation.


Relocation Centers

We often see "Armenian Genocide" maps, such as the one below, showing us where the Armenians were relocated from and/or to; the dots are often described as "massacre sites," or "centers of annihilation and deportation."

armenian genocide map

(Note the big dot in the middle lining with the arrow is Sivas, corresponding to the number "9" below.)

Let's examine the difference, based on the information we are being given from Talat Pasha's Black-Covered Book; the dots here strictly represent where the Armenians were being relocated to, as described in the series of articles from 2006:

Map of relocation centers for Armenians

The numbers correspond to the following localities:

Adana 0
Ankara 1
Eskisehir 2
Izmit 3
Kastamanou 4
Kayseri 5
Kutahya 6
Marash 7
Nigde 8
Sivas 9

(And outside Turkey):

Beirut 10
Mosul 11
Syria 12

So what does this mean?

It means that obviously not all the Armenians were being "marched off into the desert to die," as Armenian propaganda loves to tell us. A number of Armenians were actually transported in the opposite direction, and never left the interior of Anatolia.


The rest will be included, as soon as the pages are translated; stay tuned.

Let's put up the tables from the next two installments, in the interim; remember, the last column, "Total Pop.," reflects the 1914 number for Armenians. And to review: "Local Armenians":  the original Armenians who stuck around after the relocation. ”Foreign Armenians": the ones who were brought in from other areas, and  "All Armenians" represents the number of all Armenians in an area after the relocation.

"West" Accounts


Armenian Views
Geno. Scholars


Turks in Movies
Turks in TV


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.