Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Dr. Ozdemir's 2005 Conference on Arnold Toynbee  
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The following are Excerpts from a Conference given by Prof. Hikmet Ozdemir on January 27, 2005 entitled "Arnold Toynbee’s View on the Armenian Question."

Prof. Hikmet Ozdemir is the Head of Armenian Chair for the Turkish History Association.

Translated by Fatma S., Turkish Forum Advisory Board Member

Holdwater note: This is the paper that served as the basis for the TAT page, Toynbee and His Blue Books. (I sure wish I had this translation at the time.) Please refer to this link to examine the original Toynbee documents that were discussed.


"Arnold Toynbee’s View on the Armenian Question"

After the conference was over Hasan Oktay, the previous chairman of ERAREN Institute for ASAM made the following remark: I traveled to Armenia for 15 days in September 2004. I went to visit the genocide museum there. (Please note that I did not use the
prefix "so-called" with it, because I do not like the terminology.) I had the pleasure of speaking for 3.5–4 hours with esteemed colleague Lavrenti Barsegian and examined the evidence that he mentioned. There is a photograph in the museum, the size of this wall. In the photo women wearing headscarves are weeping beside the bodies of 4-5 children. These children have been brutally massacred. The pictures are enlarged so much that, I could see that the children were circumcised. 

So, I asked Mr. Barsegian ‘Dear Sir, I guess since the Armenians and Turks lived together for a thousand years, the Armenians also adopted our custom of circumcision.’ ‘No, not at all!’ he replied. ‘Then what do you see in this picture?’ I asked him. He looked at the picture, he looked at me, and then he turned his head in the other direction.

You would be surprised at the quality of their lies!

Hasan Oktay also said that the Armenians should face their history. Only, after that we can sit together and discuss the matter.


 Prof. Hikmet Ozdemir told many stories, read letters written by Arnold Toynbee, and how he made copies of many documents from the two bins with Arnold Toynbee written on the top left corner by Mr. Toynbee himself.

I will translate only a small amount of what he said at the conference.

Prof. Hikmet Özdemir

Prof Dr Hikmet Ozdemir investigated the Ph.D theses done on the subject Armenia. He found that while 203 were done in universities outside Turkey only 60 were done in Turkish universities. One thesis done in 1991 from Utah University aroused his curiosity. It was about the French invasion of Cilicia and the Turkish-Armenian controversy. In one of the footnotes the author wrote that he met with Arnold Toynbee in Beirut in 1957. I was curious, how someone who did his research in 1991 could have met Arnold Toynbee in 1957. I was merely a child then. It turned out that the Ph.D student turned 80 on January 5, 2005. I sent
him a birthday wish by e-mail. His name is Robert F. Zeidner. He graduated from the American Military Academy in 1945, and while on duty in Ankara in 1957 he attended a kind of service program at Beirut American University. Dr. Zeidner was a communication officer during that time.

The university administration gives a cocktail party honoring Prof. Toynbee and some others. During this get-together. Officer Zeidner approaches Prof. Arnold Toynbee and mentions that he came from Ankara. In response A. Toynbee says, ‘Oh really? Turks are very nice people. I have Turkish friends.’ [He says this
in 1957].

Officer Zeidner follows up in surprise, ‘Isn’t it controversial that you wrote those books during World War I which said that Turks mercilessly killed the Armenians?’ Prof. Toynbee blushed, stood motionless for an instant, and then said ‘I was employed by the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I obeyed orders. It was war propaganda material.’

Prof. Hikmet Ozdemir concludes that some things remained the same but other characteristics changed as Mr. Toynbee aged. He was born in 1889 and passed away in 1975. He remained active in the scientific world till his late years. The quality that constantly remained with Arnold Toynbee is his understanding of
civilization. He always placed Christianity at the cradle of Western Civilization. We can say in light of the current EU negotiations with Turkey that one cannot be considered European if he is not Christian.  A. Toynbee was one of the earlier defenders of the Clash of Civilizations Theory. He started thinking this way before World War I.



 Arnold Toynbee’s conversations with his son Peter were written in a book. There Peter asks him ‘What is your first book?’ He replies ‘I started writing my first book before World War I. It was published in 1915 or 1916 and titled ‘The Nationalities and the War.’

Arnold Toynbee’s first book was actually a 159 page book of war propaganda material, that he never mentions among his works. A. Toynbee tells his son Peter that his second book is ‘Western Question in Greece and Turkey’, which was published in 1922 and
reprinted in 1923. It is interesting to note that someone who is proud of his work does not mention some of the books that carry his signature. He denounced all material published in various magazines and books that he wrote, but were based on the say so of the Christian missionaries and the Armenians alone.

Publishers do not mention the Blue Book among the list of other books written by Arnold Toynbee even though it was published in 1915 and reprinted again in 1915.  Only on the internet does one come across the claims of Arnold Toynbee and Lord Bryce mentioning the Blue Book.

One of the spectators — Prof. Berrin Yurdadog contributed during the question period that Lord Bryce wrote in his book’s preface ‘While I was thinking that I had material to condemn the Turks, I found a 26 year old young historian [Arnold Toynbee] to write the
A. Toynbee never mentioned the Blue Book among his books. He always refers to ‘Western Question’ as his first book on Turkey. Apparently, he lost his job for favoring the Turks in that book. In very simple terms that book can be summarized as ‘If the French had not supported the Armenians, and if the British did not support the Greeks, there would not be a Western Question.’ In 1961 when Prof. Berrin Yurdadog met A. Toynbee in Turkey, she told him that she had read the fierce things that he wrote about the Turks.  He asked ‘How did you come across those things?  Couldn’t things have changed since then?’

Prof Hikmet Ozdemir said that A. Toynbee has become an international guru for the historians at that time. In 1973 A. Toynbee and a Japanese intellectual named Ikada published a book based on their conversations.  There he says; ‘The Americans were surprised in Vietnam when they noticed that the Vietnamese were not animals or a plant species, but human beings.’  Professor Ozdemir thinks this awareness is how A. Toynbee and others felt about the Turks and Ottoman Muslims when they met them in Anatolia during World War I.


 A. Toynbee arrived in Turkey in 1921 as the correspondent of the weekly Manchester Guardian through Mudanya. There he became an eye witness to the atrocities the Greeks perpetrated on the Turks.  He must have noticed during that time that Turks are human too.

Lord Bryce compiled the material for the Blue Book.  Arnold Toynbee penned the book and Lord Bryce presented it to his boss Sir Edward Grey the Minister of Foreign Affairs. When Lord Bryce died in 1922 an Armenian Diaspora author named Hagopian wrote that ‘Lord Bryce will be remembered as long as there is an Armenian on earth’. However the same Armenians were not as loyal to A. Toynbee.

Prof Dadrian in one of his papers mentions as footnote that A. Toynbee wrote in a letter addressed to him in 1973 that ‘the Turks committed the first sin. No matter what the genocide committed by the Turks against the Armenians was a terrible crime of
humanity’. However Prof Dadrian never published the original letter in its entirety or showed pictures of it to anyone. I would like to respect a scientist, but the Armenians have sinned so many times in this regard that I have lost my trust in them.

We know that A. Toynbee labels the events of 1915 as genocide in some of his books. He also believes that one cannot apologize unless he puts aside his nationalistic feelings.

A. Toynbee is an important international figure. He attended the peace talks after both World Wars I and II on behalf of Great Britain. The major difference between A. Toynbee and Jean Paul Sartre or Bernard Russell is that he represents the British Government, not himself as an intellectual.

While researching in the British Archives, Prof. Ozdemir came across a schematic of the British Department of Information. Photocopy is attached in the book that I am translating from. All the countries of the world and their people have a chair in this schematic. For instance Arnold Toynbee worked in the Department of Ottoman Empire, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. They assigned a chair for every country and employed an academician for each chair. My aim is not to renounce those scientists.  They were serving their country.


 In August 1914 they invited eminent historians and sociologists of England and briefed them on the activities of this department. In a second meeting they invited the news paper editors and told them; ‘We have planned some activities to win this war. The
foremost aim of these activities is to convince the USA to enter the war on the side of the Allies. We will carry out such propaganda that we will target not the American public, but those who will shape the public opinion. You will be instrumental in carrying out the smear campaign. You will write books, prepare
pamphlets, and publish news reports. News has to flow like a stream one after the other. You will write the articles for the columnists of major papers like the New York Times. We are interested in the Ottoman Empire, the Armenians, the Turks or the Germans invasion of Belgium. You will prepare all photographs
and the material that the media will need.

Pictures of mutilated babies were published in those years. Later they were found to be taken in 1905.  After the war was over the academicians called these as black propaganda. I am sad to say that all of the documents produced during those years were shameful.  Americans have done this too. Later the American
public hated the British for their manipulation. This propaganda was successful. America joined World War I on the side of the Allies in 1917. They lost many soldiers. For this reason the American public hated the black propaganda. The Americans did not trust the British again until the Pearl Harbour attack.

The lie called the Armenian genocide is a product of the black propaganda carried out on those days. We must admit this is a brutal method. I must mention that I am not of the opinion that Armenians were not killed on transit or in their villages during World War I. The events leading up to the exile must be examined in its entirety. However a nation which was used as a scapegoat cannot be condemned based on false propaganda material. The translator attaches only one of the letters written by Toynbee to show how much he did not trust the sources for the book he wrote.


 One spectator (A retired Mechanical engineer named Aydin Tureli) complained in frustration ‘How can we defend ourselves against people who have made up their mind about who the enemy is, and only see things that prove their thesis? There is tremendous prejudice against the Turks.’

As his parting remarks Professor Ozdemir suggested that intellectuals should investigate before speaking on the subject. ‘One should refrain from making comments based on propaganda material written by others. ‘


Wellington House
Buckingham Gate
London, S.W.

18th June, 1916

Dear Dr. Barton,

I wrote to Dr. Rockwell a short time ago asking him if he would give me in confidence the names of all persons or places represented by a blank or an initial in Mrs. Christie’s journal of events at Tarsus. Dr. Rockwell told me that as the material belonged to you he could not do this without your authorization. As I believe that you have now returned from your journey in the West, I am venturing to ask whether you could let me have these names, and, if so whether I might have them as soon as possible as I am anxious to get my proofs through and bring the whole collection of documents to publication.

As soon as the material gets into page proof stage, I will send batches of it to you by installments. If you find yourself able, on perusing it, to fill in confidentially any further gaps in my collection, — names of authors where these are stated in my text to be withheld, the names of persons and places left blank in the text — I should be very much obliged indeed. It, of course, very much weakens my position in editing these documents if I cannot say in the preface that I am personally in possession of the names of the people and places concerned.

With kind regards,
Yours Sincerely,


(You can of the above document. To me, it looks like the date reads June 15, but the "5" could be an "8.")


Prof. Ozdemir gave this speech at the Turkish Science Academy and they published it. Considering that they had invited someone from the other side to speak to them a year ago, it is a success eh? I think we should all set up short term goals for ourselves and work towards regaining our pride step by step.

Fatma S.







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...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.