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2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the first Balkan War. Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) published an annotated map displaying the forced exile and death of about 1.5 million Ottoman Muslims, one of the biggest tragedies of the 20th century, which remains untold to date.
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- Published: 16 February 2009
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By Stanford J. Shaw*
"While six millions Jews were being exterminated by the Nazis, the rescue of some 15,000 Turkish Jews from France, and even of some 100,000 Jews from Eastern Europe might well be considered as relatively insignificant in comparison. It was, however, very significant to the people who were rescued, and above all it showed that, as had been the case for more than five centuries, Turks and Jews continued to help each other in times of great crises."
The large-scale movement of Jewish refugees to the Ottoman Empire from Spain and Portugal and elsewhere in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries as a result of persecutions engendered by the Inquisition largely came to an end during the centuries of Ottoman disintegration that followed since the decline of political stability and economic unity within the Ottoman Empire made it impossible for the sultans to provide their Jewish subjects with the same sort of protection against Christian bigotry and persecution within the Empire which had enabled the first great wave of Jewish emigrants to prosper. The Ottoman revival under the stimulus of the 19th century Tanzimat reform era changed all this, however, so that during the last century of Ottoman existence, new influxes of Jewish refugees once again placed the Turks in the forefront of the nations providing refuge and succor to the Jews of Europe.
The second great wave of Jewish immigration into Ottoman Turkey began in the early years of the 19th century hen the Greek Revolution originated modern 'ethnic cleansing' by carrying out massacres and persecutions of its Muslim and Jewish population in order to create a homogeneous basis for the new independent kingdom of Greece. The resulting influx of refugees into the shrinking boundaries of the Ottoman Empire was followed by similar events in the remaining Ottoman provinces in Europe as Serbia, Bulgaria, and Rumania achieved their independence by following the Greek example of persecuting and/or murdering their non-Christian minorities, who in turn fled to the empire which had given their ancestors support and protection over the centuries. This influx reached its peak as a result of the Russian pogroms which began in 1881, followed by the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), when Greek assaults on the Jewish community of Salonica and other parts of eastern Macedonia led thousands of Jews, who previously had consttuted a majority of its population, to flee eastward into Ottoman territory, settling mostly in Istanbul and Izmir, where they contributed significantly to the revival of their industry and trade that took place during and after World War I.
Most of the Jews coming from the former Ottoman provinces of Southeastern Europe fitted in very well with xisting Jewish community practices and customs since most shared the Sephardic religious and cultural practices which had dominated Ottoman Jewry since the late years of the 15th century. They were followed, however, by hundreds of Jewish refugees from the political upheavals and repressions which followed the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars in Europe, and again the revolutions of 1848, when Jewish liberals, many of whom were wealthy merchants, industrialists and bankers who had emerged folloing the emancipations of the French Revolutionary era, were subjected to large scale harassment by the reactionary monarchies of Europe. Thse brought to the Ottoman Empire the talents, experience and capital which they had built up in Europe during the previous decades, and applied it to creating banks, factories, and model farms through Anatolia, contributing significantly to the development of Ottoman indusry and agriculture during the later years of the Tanzimat. Unlike the immigrants from Southeastern Europe and Russia, however, they did not fit in with the established Ottoman Jewish society, part of Middle Eastern civilization, but instead strengthened the Ashkenazi Ottoman Jewish community to the point where it was able to break away from the cultural dominance of the Sephardim and develop its own synagogues, schools and social institutions, thereby stimulating divisions within Ottoman Jewry which previously had not been significant.
Whereas the Ashkenazi immigrants from Europe who came to the Ottoman Empire were well-established intellectuals, industrialists, merchants and professionals, bringing with them a well developed cultural life as well as capital and knowledge which they were apply freely in the Ottoman dominions, very much as the Sephardic immigrants had done in earlier centuries, the Ashkenazi Jews who entered Ottoman territory in flight from the pogroms in Russia and subsequently from the terrors of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Russian Civil War that followed came out of the ghettos of the Russian Pale and brought with them few skills and a ghetto mentality. As a result, they fitted in neither with their Ashkenazi brothers from Central Europe or with the mass of Sephardic Jews who dominated the Ottoman Jewish establishment, and constituted more of a burden than an asset, both to the Empire and to the Jewish community which had to take care of them. These reacted to their impoverished situation as well as to their sgregation from other Ottoman jews by moving away from the centers of Ottoman political and economic life and following the early Zionist idealists to Palestine, where they settled during the last quarter of the 19th century in what has become known as the first Zionist Aliyah. Most of the new immigrants from Russia supported Zionism, since, unlike the Ottoman Jews, they had suffered severe persecution and at the same time had little experience with the advantages of Ottoman life, and looked down on their Middle Eastern brothers as much as they did on their Muslim neighbors. Most Ottoman Jews, both Separdim and Ashkenazim, on the other hand, therefore reacted negatively to the Zionist efforts to establish Palestine as a center of Jewish life, and opposed Theodore Herzl's efforts to convince Sultan Abdülhamid II to turn Palestine over to the Jews, rightfully fearing that the establishment of Jewish domination in Palestine would inevitably destroy the good relations they had maintained with their Muslim neighbors over the centuries. Ottoman Grand Rabbi (1909-1920) Haim Nahoum Efendi, reflected his community's opposition to Zionism, though because of the tremendous burden imposed on his community in Istanbul by the continued influx of thousands of refugees from South-eastern Europe and Russia, he was compelled to cooperate with the Zionists by helping send these refugees on to Palestine before and during World War I, thus helping to fulfil the Zionist ambition despite his fears for the future of Ottoman Jewry.
A new era of Turkish assistance to Jewish refugees began in the early 1930's, when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his Minister of Education, Hasan Ali Yücel, took advantage of Hitler's dismissal of Jewish educators and scientists to bring hundreds of them to Turkey, where they contributed significantly to the development of Turkish universities and scientific establishments as well as to the fine arts and music before and during World War II. Turkey remained neutral during most of the war. Though it was in a military alliance with Great Britain and France concluded in 1938, and openly sympathised with them in opposition to Nazi Germany, neither was able to assure it of assistance in case a declaration of war led to a German invasion from Greece and Bulgaria. In addition, most Turks vividly remembered the suffering which all subjects of the Ottoman Empire experienced as a result of the disasters of the Balkan Wars, World War I, and the Turkish War of National Liberation, and did not want to go through that agin unless their country's interests were directly threatened. Turkey therefore remained in a perilous state of neutrality through most of the war, though suffering considerable economic and financial difficulties as a result of its need to maintain a very large army against the possibility of a German attack at a time when most of its imports and exports were cut off Turkey most certainly did not remain out of World War II to help the Jews, but Turkish neutrality put it into a unique position where it could and did provide major assistance to Jews who were being persecuted, imprisoned and exterminated throughout Europe during the Holocaust and World War II. Its diplomats and consuls in Germany and German occupied countries used their diplomatic status to intervene on behalf of resident Turkish Jews who otherwise would have been subjected to the same persecution as that suffered by Jews who were citizens of the European countries occupied by the Nazis. In France, where we have most information, this work ws carried out by the Turkish Embassy to France, which was located at Vichy starting in 1941, as well as by the Turkish consulates-general at Paris and Marseilles, the latter moved to Grenoble after Germany occupied much of southern France following Italy's withdrawal from the war late in 1943. The Turkish diplomats who were most involved in this work, and who went to great lengths to protect Turkish Jews, often at the risk of their own lives, were at the Paris consulate, Consul-Genrals Cevdet Dülger from 1939 until 1942 and Fikret Sefik Özdoganci from 1942 until 1945, and Vice Consul Namik Kemal Yolga, who remained in Paris throughout the war. At Marseilles there were Consul Generals Bedi'i Arbel from 1940 until 1943 and Mehmed Fuad Carim, from June 1943 until 1943 and Vice Consul Necdet Kent, who like Ambassador Yolga remained in France until the end of the war.
The Turkish consuls regularly applied to the German and French authorities to exempt Turkish Jews from the anti-Jewish laws introduced by the German occupying authorities, and im imitation, and sometimes even more severe, by the Vichy government of unoccupied France. The Turkish claims for exemption were always based on the same principle, stated over and over again, that Turkey made no distinction among its citizens of different religions, and that under treaties maintained between Turkey and Germany, the latter therefore had no right to distinguish between Muslim and Jewish Turks. These diplomats intervened in all sorts of ways to assist Turkish Jews during the Holocaust. First and foremost they kept their Turkish citizenship in force and up to date by getting them to register and informing the authorities that they were entitled to protection as Turkish citizens whenever it became necessary to help them evade or escape Nazi and Vichy persecution. This was not as easy as it appears on the surface. At the sart of World War II, there were about ten thousand Turkish Jews living in France, and about an equal number living elsewhere in Europe. Some had left Turkey as long before as 1921, in the company of the French army that evacuated the country as the rersult of the Franklin-Bouillon Treaty of Ankara, by which France abandoned its effort to occupy Southeastern Turkey in alliance with Britain against the Turkish War of National Liberation (1918-1923), and began to help the Turks drive the British, Greek and Armenian invaders out of the country. Turkish Jews left Turkey at that time not because they opposed Turkish resistance to the Allied occupation-most Turkish jews supported Turkish integrity, as they had supported Ottoman integrity against the Christian nationalist revolts that had taken place during the 19th century and World War I. They left, rather, because they were afraid that despite the French withdrawal, the Turks would be unable to win the war against both the British and Greek invaders and that as aresult, most of western Turkey would be occupied Greece, which had a long history of persecuting and massacring Jews. The Greeks had burned down the Jewish quarter of Jewish Salonica in 1917, and when the city was being rebuilt right after the war, it had refused to allow the Jews to return, instead turning what was left of Jewish houses and land over to Greek refugees from Anatolia. Other Turkish Jews had gone to France during the 1920's, during the early years of the Turkish Republic, when the future seemed very uncertain as Atatürk was just beginning to put his secular reforms into place, and when residence in France seemed to offer far more comfort and prosperity. By 1940, many of these Turkish Jews in France had married French Jews, had children and even grandchildren who were French citizens, and in many cases had taken up French citizenship themselves. Some had retained their Turkish citizenship by registering with the Turkish consulates in France at least once every five years, as was required by Turkish law, but others had neglected to do this, and had as a result lsot their Turkish citizenship accrding to the terms of a Turkish law passed in 1935 which provided that Turks resident abroad had to register regularly or lose their citizenship. The situation did not seem important for most Turkish Jews in France, because for most of them it seemed far better to be a French Jew than a Turkish Jew. When the Nazis occupied the country and began persecuting French Jews, however, these Turkish jews who had given up their Turkish citizenship suddenly found it was far better to be a Turkish jew than a French Jew, and they applied in large numbers to have their Turkish citizenship restored. This took time, however, since each application had to be referred back to Ankara, and since the applicants had very little documentary proof, in many cases no more than birth certificates issued in Ottoman times. In the meantime, these Turkish Jews were subjected to increasingly severe Nazi persecution unless they could produce Turkish papers. The Turkish diplomats responded to this situation in two ways. On one hand, they ured their superiors in Ankara to speed up the process of restoring citizenship as much as possible. On the other hand, they invented what they called Certificates of Irregular Turkish Citizenships (Gayri muntazam vatandaslik tezkeresi), and gave them to Turkish Jews who were in imminent danger of being shipped off to forced labor, or to a concentration camp, or who were being threatened with eviction from their houses, apartments or ships, stating to the Nazis and the French authorities that even such people had to be considered as Turkish citizens, entitled to all the protections and immunities provided to other Turkish citizens in France. The paper work was immense, but somehow the Turkish diplomats worked tremendously hard to handle all these cases and to protect those Jews who needed protection by giving them papers when they needed them most.
On 2 November 1940, the Turkish Consulate General in Paris sent the following note to the German Embassy in protest against a regulation applying to Turkish jews a law that forbade all Jews from owning and operating businesses:
To the Embassy of Germany: The Consulate General of Turkey at Paris, basing itself on the fact that Turkish Constitutional Law makes no distinction between its citizens regardless of the religion to which they belong, has the honor of asking the German Embassy to give instructions to the competent department that the decision that has begun to effect certain merchants of Turkish nationality, because of the regulation of 18 October 1940, be reconsidered.
The German replies generally accepted the Turkish argument, for example on 28 February 1941:
Despite the general regulations..., the German Embassy is ready to support individual requests for exemptions of Jews by the Turkish Consulate General when they have Turkish nationality.
The French government of unoccupied France based at Vichy in many ways was more devious and difficult regarding Jews after the Vichy law enacted on 16 June 1941 required all Jews in unoccupied France, including Turkish citizens, to register themselves and their property, with the threat of their being sent to concentration camps for refusal to do so. The Turkish Ambassador to Paris (Vichy) objected to this in a statement to the French Foreign Ministry:
The Embassy of Turkey has the honor of informing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that its Government, having been informed of the text of law no. 2,333 of 2 June 1941, which under menace of penal sanctions, orders the inscription of Jews on a special register along with a declaration which they must make regarding their properties, feels that the measures which it dictates are also applicable to Turkish citizens of Jewish origin established in France. Turkey itself establishes no discrimination among its citizens according to race, religion or anything else, and therefore feels with unease such discrimination imposed by the French government on those of its citizens who are established in France, so that the Turkish government can only reserve entirely its rights in what concerns those of the latter who are of the Jewish race.
In its response, Vichy insisted that a Jew was first and foremost a Jew, regardless of his nationality, and that Turkish Jews therefore had to be treated equally with all other Jews, as in the note from the French Foreign Ministry to the Turkish Embassy (Vichy) on 8 August 1941:
The Ministry has the honor of informing the (Turkish) Embassy that in establishing themselves in France, the individuals in question have implicitly agreed to submit themselves to the legislation of the country in which they are guests. This principle has sufficient force that the measures regarding people of the Hebrew race apply to all jews regardless, both those who are of French allegiance as well as those who are nationals of foreign countries.
It is interesting to note that the United States Embassy at Vichy advised American citizens resident in France to accept this argument, and thus not to expect protection from the United States, on the grounds that France did not discriminate among Jews and was treating Jews of American nationality no worse than it was treating other Jews. Turkey, however, absolutely refused to accept this argument on the grounds that such treatment violated the treaties signed between Turkey and France, according to which the nationals of Turkey had the privilege of enjoying the same civil rights in France that French citizens enjoyed in Turkey, and that it therefore did not have the right of discriminating among Turkish citizens because of their religion. A Turkish reply to this message, dated 9 September 1941, thus rejected the French claim:
While it is natural enough for foreigners to accept the laws of a country in which they live, in accordance with the strenuously expressed view of the French Foreign Minister that a foreigner who has settled in a country can be assumed to have accepte dthe attachment of his state and future to that country's laws, your answer must be that we reserve our rights in regard to a law which discriminates among Turkish citizens of different religions.The Turkish consulates in Paris and Marseilles continued to strongly protest against discriminatory laws issued both by the Nazi occupying authorities and the Vichy government, such as those which required Jews who were unemployed to join forced labor gangs; prevented Jews from having telephones or radios in their hosues; required that Jewish businesses by Aryanized by being turned over to non Jewish administrators or sold to Aryans; and which caused the arrest of Jews on the most minor sort of protests, with their apartments and businesses turned over to French adminitrators or sealed, their contents appropriated, and their occupants sent to concentration camps in France or death camps in Eastern Europe. In such cases, the Turkish consuls wrote official letters of protest and made personal contacts with the German Ambassador in Paris, Otto Abetz, and with French and German police officials, concentration camp commanders, S.S. and Gestapo officers and the like. Though there was a good deal of stalling by the Nazis as well as by the French officials, ultimately in most cases they received the answer that if they could document that the Jews in question were in fact Turkish citizens, they would be released, under the condition that they be sent to Turkey as rapidly as possible. At times, the Turkish consuls actually went into the concentration camps to deliver these messages and secure the release of prisoners who had the fortune to have Turkish nationality.
Most of the Jews in France were sent to the concentration camp at Drancy, in the outskirts of Paris, from which they were sent on to Auschwitz for extermination. The situation of Turkish Jews at Drancy, as at other concentration camps in France, was not easy, since they were scorned and persecuted, not only by the Germans and the French police that guarded the outskirts of the camps, but also by the French Jews who were prisoners, who felt superior to the foreign Jews, who felt that while they were true Frenchmen, the latter were not, and who used their domination of the Jewish camp bureaucracy to favor their own in distributing food, assigning work, and the like, and also to arrange that when the Germans called for a thousand Jews a week to be shipped East to the concentration camps, most of those selected were foreign Jews. I have put together accounts of the situation at Drancy written by different Jews who were inmates there during the war:
There were there Frenchmen, Poles, Turks and the like. I was chief of the room, and I never succeeded in being able to place myself between the yiddishists and the hispano-turcs, who constantly intrigued for a few more bits of bread. They lived by nationality, by groups, by compatriots. Each looked after only his own interests and not those of his neighbor....
The internees deplored that there was little solidarity among them. The most striking manifestation of this seemed to be the frequent discussions which opposed some to others, in particular French and foreign Jews. The French Jews reproached the foreigners for being the cause of their misfortunes, and the latter complained about France. Perhaps it is necessary to lay the responsibility at the door of the French Jews, many of whom came to the camp saying that they were superior Jews and that they would be released before the others. But one must recognize that their bitterness was justified, particularly when they were war veterants who had performed their duty for their country and could not understand how they could be treated differently than their fellow citizens....
to be followed...
*Professor Emeritus of Turkish History, University of California Los Angeles and Professor of Turkish History, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
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- Published: 16 November 2008
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It is apparent, from the dire straits in which we find ourselves today, that the 80-year long silence of the Turks has cost them a great deal.
During that time, a great number of Haiks settled in Western countries, became assimilated by the local culture and integrated themselves seamlessly into the political system. Compare this with the fact that, until very recently, the Turkish Government was discouraging the Diaspora Turks from becoming naturalized and assuming citizenship of their host country.
A good example is the situation in France, where there live an almost equal number of Armenians and Turks (about 400,000). Whereas there are politicians [Click Here], educators [Click Here], artists [Click Here], performers [Click Here] among French Armenians, there is almost no Turk integrated in the French society. To the contrary, most Turks there, like those in Germany, Holland and Denmark, are non-professionals who cannot or will not penetrate into politics. Though there are close to 3 million Turks in Germany, there are no more than 10 elected politicians from among them [Click here]. The situation will hopefully change for the better among second- and third-generation Turks.
Similarly, the Armenians in the US are extremely well assimilated in the famous American melting pot. Turks in the US are different from their European counterparts, though, as most Turks who settle in the US are professionals. A great percentage of them prosper above the average middle class status. The problem is that they tend to get lost in the day-to-day struggles imposed upon them by the American capitalistic work environment. As a result, they do not organize into political entities and neglect the assimilation process into the electoral system.
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Instead of countering these lies with the truth; systematically educating Turkish citizens in the Motherland and in the Diaspora; sponsoring organized academic research to demonstrate historical facts efficiently; sponsoring movies and documentaries; putting together scientific panels, debates, lectures and programs; producing high-quality fact-oriented publications on a widespread international platform; crushing the elements of lie and hatred through facts and civilized, modern, and sympathetic presentations using scientific methodology; very little has been done by Turks so-far. But, the new generation, especially the Diaspora, realizes the consequences of apathy, lethargy and inertia. It is determined to do the research, seek the truth, learn how to present it, and expose the lie.
Undoubtedly, the Turkish response has been very weak and falling behind of the organized Haik propaganda and lie machinery, constantly loosing ground on the internetional arena. Some examples are below.
The Turkish Government appointed officials and hired lobbyists who prevented, up to a point, nations to pass pro-Haik legislature, mainly by threatening these nations with economic, political, and military consequences. Even today, most pro-Turkish Western commentaries re: HR 106 warn about the consequences of loosing a powerful ally in the region should the Congress vote in favor of it. There is no mention of historical facts and Haik lies. Obviously, the Governmental measures have been effective in delaying the inevitable. But, they remain palliative: They do not attack the roots of the problem. They do not expose the historical facts.
Essays, papers, and books were being published by a fistful of Turkish (Kamuran Gurun, Yusuf Halacoglu, Cemal Kutay, Sinasi Orel, etc.) and international (Justin McCarthy, Bernard Lewis, Guenther Lewy, etc) scholars in order to expose the historical facts. Unfortunately, the Turks in the Motherland or in the Diaspora have largely been ignorant of the historical truth, of the extent and vigor of the Haik propaganda, and of its alarming efficiency.
The Turkish Government chose a policy of forgive and forget, lest the Haik still living in Turkey be exposed to the risk of retaliation by the ultra-nationalistic elements. Generations of schoolchildren were educated without the slightest knowledge of the Haik rebellions, Haik massacres and Haik treason at the time of War. Same state strategy was used in relation to the Turco-Greek relationships. By contrast, the Greek and Haik elementary, middle and high school curricula are fraught with anti-Turkish propaganda. The Haik and the Greek, in Diaspora, learn as young as 5 years of age, how the barbarous Turks massacred their grandparents (!).
These contrasting strategies of the Turkish, Haik and Greek governments and of the Turkish , Greek and Haik Diaspora have paradoxical consequences: It is obvious that that the Haik Diaspora's efforts to push for Genocide recognition has turned into a lucrative, multi-billion dollar-a-year industry, especially in the US. The Gregorian Church, Haik NGOs, and private institutions benefit greatly from donations and collections. But, the effect of this on the homeland Haik is completely opposite. Armenia, as a state, is getting poorer and poorer, and the government is getting less and less democratic. Since they live an existence away from the truth, they are not free.Turks, on the other hand, have spent decades in a lethargic state, choosing to ignore Haik activities around them. In an imperially nonchalant attitude of "laissez-faire", they said "Let them spread these lies. These are such gross, fat lies that no-one in their right mind will believe them". But they forgot their own saying: "You say a lie 40 times, it becomes the truth". It was much like Oesop's tale of the Turtle and the Rabbit. By the time the confident rabbit woke from his imperial slumber, the steady, determined, consistent, insidious turtle had already crossed the line. The myth had already become paradigm.Today, the world, especially the Western world, so believes in the Genocide myth that any attempt to try to bring out and explain the historical facts is immediately branded with the epithet of Genocide Denier.The turning point in this big Turkish slumber and Haik encroachment to the public mind was the May 2007 French Lower House vote on a bill to make it a crime to deny the Haik Genocide.
CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS
Republic of Hayastan Today
On September 23, 1991, Hayastan declared its independence.On December 26, 1991, Soviet Union was dissolved and Hayastan gained its legal independence.The ConstitutionThe Haik Flag and the Haik Coat of ArmsDashnaks
Haik Atrocities in Azerbaijan
On April 13, 1992, in Karabagh, Azerbaijan, the Haik raided and bombarded Azeri villages.On April 23, 1992, in Karabagh, Azerbaijan, the Haik bombarded Azeri villages in the Susa region. Three Azeris were killed, 6 houses were destroyed or demolished.
The Political Terror Campaign
Haik Diaspora in the US
Haik "Research" Institutions and "Researchers"
Fatma Muge Gocek
The US Haik Diaspora's greatest aim is to force the American Parliament to pass a resolution calling the events of a genocide. In 2007, with the appointment of Nancy Pelocy (D, Fresno, CA) as Speaker of the House, the Haik lobby found particularly strong support to have the resolution passed. Representative Schiff proposed the House Resolution 106 (HR 106) on January 31, 2007 to the House. Turkish academicians sent letters enumerating the responses to each point on the resolution.
Haik Diaspora in Europe
Haik Diaspora Elsewhere
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The Haik attempts to influence the world opinion about mistreatment of minorities within the Ottoman Empire, particularly to fool the opinion in Europe and in the US, have started as early as the first decade of the 20th century, and continued to-date. The purpose has always been the same: With the help of Russia and the Western powers, carve an independent Haik Nation within the so-called historic Haik lands. The methods, though, evolved and metamorphosed through the decades and according to the political-military situation.
Haik forgeries started with false press in Europe and in the US about massacres committed by Turks before WWI.
Despite the organization of separatist military units, active participation in massacres of the Muslim population, collaboration with invading Russian armies in the northeast during WWI and with invading French armies in the southeast after WWI, the Haik realized that Russians and the Allies did not have the slightest interest in giving them what they always promised, i.e. a piece of the Ottoman Pie after the defeat of the Empire in WWI.
They then initiated open hostilities with the Nationalist Turkish forces of Mustafa Kemal, which were organizing across Anatolia to expel the invading imperialistic armies. The Haik were severely beaten in this war and had to sign the Treaty of Gumru with Kemalist forces.
Following their defeat in the battlefield and at the negotiation table, the Haik decided to recur to a campaign of international terrorism and defamation, in order to attain their goal of an independent state within the old Ottoman lands, on which the young Republic of Turkey would soon be standing. Their heinous campaign would begin with the publication of the so-called Andonian Letters, continue with assassinations of high-level Ottoman officials and peak with the barbarous violence of the terrorist organization ASALA. Following the sudden disappearance of ASALA from the world scene during mid 80s, the Haik Diaspora began a concerted effort of defamation, this time in the political arena. Below, is a synopsis of these activities, together with original archival documents.
In his book Story Behind Morgenthau's Story explains how Morgenthau relied on two Armenians throughout his stay in Turkey.
The 1915 New York Times Publications
Malta Trials and the Andonian Letters
The Malta Trials: The British appointed a Hayk, Haig Khazarian, to gather evidence of central planning for Genocide. 144 detainees, including the Prime MinisterTalat Pasa TelegramsAndonian's BookAndonian ForgeryAndonian ForgeryAndonian Forgery EnglishAndonain Forgery FrenchAuthentic Ottoman 1Authentic Ottoman 2
Haik Terrorism (Early Years)
Operation NemesisOn March 15, 1921, a Haik terrorist assasinated Talat Pasha in BerlinOn March 18, 1921, Misak Torlakyan killed the Minister of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan, Cevanshir Han, in Istanbul.On December 6, 1921, Haik terrorists killed Sait Halim Pasa in Rome.On July 22, 1922, Haik assassins killed Cemal Pasha in Tbilisi.
WWII Haik Collaboration with Nazis
Despite all these facts proving their collaboration with the Nazi regime in order to carve a state of their own from Eastern territories of the Turkish Republic, the Haik this time shamelessly turned around and manufactured a lie about the Nazi Germany and its leader, Adolf Hitler; a lie that would surpass all others in its magnitude, reach, and influence power of the Western mind. They attributed to Hitler the quote "After all, who remembers the killing of the Armenians by the Turks", which, supposedly, he had used to justify his plans about the extermination of European Jews before the Holocaust started. Today, excellent scholarly research has shown that this is a lie. However, it has proven very difficult to convince the Western mind that it is, indeed, a lie. And, most Haik intellectuals and their supporters in Academia, still very casually refer to this lie in their writings and their lectures. One example that we witnessed in Houston was the Executive Director of the National Holocaust Museum of Washington, DC, Mr. Bill Parsons, who opened his lecture at the Holocaust Museum of Houston with this very remark. The Haik were so desperate to get a land of their own on other people's soil that they did not stop at anything to make this dream come true, no matter how lowly and shameful the act was. Upon the crushing of their last hope at nationhood by the Kemalist forces in the 1920s, they waited patiently under the yoke of the Soviets and, as soon as the opportunity presented itself, conceived another heinous collaboration, this time with the Nazis during WWII. They who made so much wave regarding an imaginary genocide by the Ottomans, did not hesitate for a moment to help the Nazis round up Jews with a view to exterminating them, because they hoped that the Nazi regime, if victor at the end of WWII, would grant them their coveted land and nation from eastern Turkey. The archival evidence of this shameless collaboration is only too well documented.
The ASALA Terror Campaign
Following the disillusionment of WWII with the collapse of the Nazi regime, the Haik would lay dormant for about 3 decades until the world would forget about their collaborative efforts towards the extermination of the Jews. Then, when they deemed the time right, they emerged once again, this time under the identity of an international Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization called Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). The stated intention of ASALA was "to compel the Turkish Government to acknowledge publicly its alleged responsibility for the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915, pay reparations, and cede territory for an Armenian homeland".
On January 20, ASALA was founded.On January 27, a Haik terrorist, Migirdic Yanikyan, killed Mehmet Baydar and Bahadir Demir, the Turkish Consul General and his assistant, respectively, in Los Angeles, CA.
On October 22, in Vienna, Haik terrorists killed Danis Tunaligil, the Turkish Ambassador to Austria.On October 24, in Paris, Haik terrorists killed Ismail Erez and Talip Yener, the Turkish Ambassador to France and a police officer, respectively.
On February 16, in Beirut, Haik terrorists killed Oktay Cerit, the First Secretary of the Turkish Embassy to Lebanon.On May 28, in Zurich, a Haik terrorist, Noubar Soufoyan, bombed the Turkish Diplomatic Bureau. He was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
On May 29, in Istanbul, the Extreme Haik Movement Groups bombed the Yesilkoy Airport and the Sirkeci Grand Train Station. Four people died and 31 wounded.On June 9, in Vatican, Haik terrorirsts killed the Turkish Ambassador Taha Carim.
On January 3, in Brussels, the Haik New Resistance Organization bombed the Turkish Embassy to Belgium.On June 2, in Madrid, Spain, the Haik killed Necla Kuneralp, wife of Turkish Ambassador Zeki Kuneralp; and Besir Balcioglu, ex-Ambassador.On July 8, in Paris, France, the Haik Genocide Justice Committee bombed the Turkish Diplomatic Bureau and the Tourism Bureau.On August 6, in Geneva, Switzerland, the Haik New Resistance Organization bombed the Turkish General Consulate.On December 17, 1976, in Geneva, Switzerland, ASALA bombed the Bureau of Turkish Airlines.
On August 22, in Geneva, Switzerland, ASALA assassinated Turkish Assistant Consul Niyazi Adali and 3 other people.On August 27, in Frankfurt, Germany, ASALA bombed the Turkish Airlines Bureau.On October 4, in Copenhagen, Denmark, ASALA bombed the Turkish Airlines Bureau.On October 12, in La Hague, the Haik assassinated Ahmet Benler, the son of Turkish Ambassador in Amsterdam, Ahmet Benler.On December 22, in Paris, France, the Haik killed Yilmaz Copan, the Tourism Councelor of Turkish Embassy.
On January 10, in Teheran, Iran, ASALA bombed Turkish Airlines Bureau.On February 6, in Bern, Switzerland, the Haik injured Ambassador Dogan Turkmen.On March 10, in Rome, Italy, the Haik bombed the Turkish Airlines Bureau, killing 2 Italians and wounding 14.On April 17, in Vatican, the Haik attacked Vecdi Turel, the Turkish Ambassador, and wounded his police officer, Tahsin Guvenc.On April 19, in Marseille, France, ASALA attacked the Turkish Consulate.On June 31, in , Haik terrorists killed Galip Ozmen, the Turkish Administrative Attache, and Neslihan Ozmen, his daughter.On August 5, in Lyon, France, Haik terrorists stormed the Turkish Consulate and Kadir Atilgan, Ramazan Sefer, Kavas Bozdag, and Huseyin Toprak were killed.On September 26, in Paris, France, the Haik attacked and seriously wounded Selcuk Bakkalbasi, Turkish Press Attache.On November 10, in Strasbourg, France, ASALA attacked the Turkish Consulate.On December 17, in Sydney, Australia, the Haik assassinated Sarik Arkyan, the Turkish Ambassador, and Engin Saver, his police officer.
On January 13, in Paris, France, Haik terrorists placed a bomb in the car of Ahmet Erbeyli, Councelor of Finance to the Turkish Embassy. He survived.On March 13, in Paris, France, the Haik killed Resat Morali, the Administrative Councelor; and Tecelli Ari, the Imam (priest), of the Turkish Embassy.On April 3, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Haik shot and wounded Cavit Demir, the Administrative Councelor of the Turkish Embassy.On June 9, in Geneva, Switzerland, ASALA killed S. Yerguz, the Secretary of Turkish Embassy.On September 24, in Geneva, Switzerland, Haik terrorists stormed the Turkish Embassy and killed police officer Cemal Ozen.On October 3, in Rome, Italy, the Haik attacked and seriously wounded the Second Secretary of the Turkish Embassy.
On January 28, in Los Angeles, California, US, two Haik, Harry Sassunian and Kirkor Saliba, killed Kemal Arikan, the Turkish Concil General.On April 8, in Ottawa, Canada, the Haik attacked and wounded Kemalettin Kani Gungor, the Commerce Councelor of the Turkish Embassy.On May 5, in Boston, Massachusetts, US, the Haik killed Okan Gunduz, the Turkish Honorary Consul for USA Boston Region.On June 7, in Lisbon, Portugal, the Haik killed Erkut Akbay, the Administrative Attache of the Turkish Embassy. Also, the Haik attacked Yurtsev Mihcioglu, the Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy, and Cahide Mihcioglu, his wife.On June 7, in Ottawa, Canada, the Haik atacked Coskun Kirca, the Turkish Ambassador; and Atilla Altikat, the Military Attache of the Turkish Consulate.On June 7, in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Haik attacked Bora Suelkan, the Administrative Attache of the Turkish Consulate.On August 7, in Anlara, Turkey, Haik terorists bombed the Esenboga Airport. Three police officers and 9 civilians were killed, 78 people were injured. A terrorist called Levon Ekmekjian was arrested. He would later be executed on January 29, 1983.On August 10, Artin Penik, a citizen of Turkey with Armenian descent burned himself to protest the Esenboga killings.
On January 29, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, two Haik terrorists, Harut Levonian and Raffi Elbenkian, attacked the Turkish Ambassador and killed an innocent Yugoslavian passer-by.On June 15, in Paris, France, ASALA terrorists attacked the Turkish Airlines Office at the Orly Airport. Two Turkish, four French, one American and one Swedish citizen were killed, and 60 people were injured. On June 27, in Lisbon, Portugal, 5 Haik terrorists who raided the Turkish Embassy were killed.
On January 21, in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Haik attacked Hacilar City. Three Soviet soldiers and 3 Azeris, including the journalist Savatin Askerova, were killed.On March 12, in Ottawa, Canada, three Haik terrorists raided the Turkish Embassy, killing one of the Canadian guards in civilian clothing. Ambassador Coskun Kirca survived with injuries.
Contemporary Haik Lie Machine
After the defeat of their military campaign in the first quarter of the 20th c., the Haik laid dormant for a while. They resurfaced in the 70s and 80s with a vicious terroristic campaign. Their goal was to bring their claims to the attention of the world, in which they succeeded. There is no bad publicity. This time, the world heard loud and clear about this long dormant race and their claims... and it believed in them. It believed that they were doing it out of desperation, just because they had run out of all other means of making their voice heard. And it sympathized with them! It conceived them as the underdogs who were trying desperately to exact justice (!). It was a most despicable series of attacks, mutilations and murders unleashed on innocent people, a most cowardly and heinous serial killing spree, of which even we were disgusted just writing it all over again on this website. Unfortunately, only a handful of these lowly animals were caught and brought to justice. It was apparent, at the time the killings were going on, that the world was not going to anything about it. So, rumor has it that Turks took matters in their own hands (just like the Israelis after the killing of the Jewish Olympic team members by Palestinian guerrillas in Munich - as depicted in the Hollywood movie Munich), and chased down the murderers one by one and killed them like the rabid dogs that they are; exacting justice and drying the putrid sources of ASALA before it could even understand what hit it. They never dared taking armed action against innocent Turkish diplomats again. Following the defeat of this final terrorism campaign in the last quarter of the 20th c., the Haik switched gear and accelerated their campaigning on popular and political arenas. This time, following in the wake of the assassinations and the publicity that it created, the Haik started to hatch lies and incubate them with great patience and care in the hearts and minds of millions of unsuspecting (and gullible) victims in many nations across the globe. Just two examples will be used to illustrate the contemporary Haik lie machinery here. Other examples can be found dispersed in the text below.The first is anaccount by Erich Feigel, writer of "A Myth of Terrorism", of his conversation with Professor Gerard Libaridian, Director of the famous Haik think tank Zoryan Institute of Michigan University, Dearborn, MI. In it, Feigel says:I did, of course, also meet other people in the course of my research work. I especially recall Dr. Gerard Libaridian, the head of the Armenian Zorian Institute. I spent several hours with Dr. Libaridian in his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts and had an extremely interesting conversation with him. Dr. Libaridian is a brilliant man, bubbling with vitality, knowledge, talent, and self-confidence. One could write a very compelling play based on my conversation with him. I kept notes of my host's most provocative statements in this fascinating discussion. Several times he mentioned the so-called "Andonian papers". In the early twenties, an Armenian by the name of Aram Andonian published a "collection of documents" (actually they were photographs of "documents"), which he presented as "proof" that the Ottoman government had planned the extermination of the Armenian people. Basically, these "documents" consisted of "orders" that could certainly be compared to the insane acts of a Hitler or Himmler.Franz Werfel based his splendid novel, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh , entirely on these "extermination orders" of the Ottoman government. Of course, he originally did this in good faith, and when he found out that he had been taken in by a forgery, it was too late. Out of fear of Armenian reprisals, he did not even dare to publicly acknowledge his error. Since it seemed reasonable to assume that Dr. Libaridian knew that the papers were forgeries, I did not want to waste a single word on the subject. There were so many other, more interesting things to talk about. But remarkably enough, he stuck with Aram Andonian's book, and its "documents". Finally I had to say, "But Doctor Libaridian, you know as well as I that these 'Andonian papers' are forgeries!" I will never forget Dr. Libaridian answer or his facial expression as he replied simply and briefly to my reproach:“And?”… and I will never forget that answer. It was not even cold; it was casual, matter-of-fact reply to one who has long since found other strategies but does not even bother to clean house, since he knows that the old dirt can be swept under the rug of history and — who knows? — maybe someday it will come in handy again to help obscure the truth.It is a very tiny minority of Armenians who promote terrorism and misuse the idealistic, impressionable young people for their own irrational motives and objectives. The ironic tragedy of it all is that the people pulling the strings are themselves hanging from the strings of powerful puppet-masters. Or to use another analogy, they are nothing more than ridiculous little chess pieces in the game of superpowers, who sacrifice their Armenian pawn whenever it seems to suit their game-plan."The second example to Haik forgeries is a poster, prepared by the Haik, announcing a lecture around April 24, 2001, in the UCLA Campus. A picture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is taken, doctored, and the dogs sitting by his feet are replaced by the photograph of a dead child (could be Turkish, Azeri, Kurdish, Haik, who knows). The net result is that Ataturk is portrayed sitting calmly smoking his cigarette in front of a victim of the "genocide", he apparently condones in cold blood. To us, this type of deceitful propaganda is a cardinal example of shamelessness, which unfortunately finds an audience of believers in it, since nothing is being done to expose the lie it is based on.There is yet a third example, about Hitler's quote, which we already have mentioned above, and which is even bigger than the two above. These three lies are but a fistful in the big sea of deceit and falsification that the Haik promote in order to reach their ignoble goal. The road ahead of them, though, does not seem to be as easy as the one they have been driving on for almost a century.
Next: The Lie Exposed
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- Published: 16 November 2008
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The formation of independent states in the Balkans in the course of the 19th c. had been a particularly traumatic and bloody affair. Although atrocities were committed on both sides, only the Christian deaths have caused a reaction in Europe. Muslim deaths were largely ignored. In his excellent book "Death and Exile", Professor Justin McCarty investigates the toll of 100 years of wars in terms of Muslim deaths,
Taking their example from the liberation of the Balkan nations, the Haik dreamed of a liberation of their own. In return for the benevolence of their Ottoman masters and of the Turkish people towards them for centuries, they responded with ingratitude and rebellion. They were never deterred by the fact that, unlike their Balkan counterparts, who constituted a majority of the population in the liberated territories, the Haik had never been a majority in Eastern Anatolia, in the lands under Ottoman control. Instead, they:
Believed in the dream of an independent Armenian state, promised by rival empires
Created revolutionary separatist committees on Ottoman soil and elsewhere
Armed themselves with intent to attack unsuspecting Muslim villages in order to ethnically cleanse the Muslims and create a Haik majority there
Initiated a campaign of massacre and ethnic cleansing to create an Armenian majority.
Collaborated with the Russian armies, stabbing the Ottomans in the back, acting as scouts in the rugged terrains, and disrupting the Ottoman logistic and military war effort.
Openly declared their alliance with and loyalty to the Russian Empire.
Haik Revolutionary Societies
A report, which appeared in NYT on September 24, 1896, suggested: "Armenian revolutionary societies now existing [in Constantinople] are five in number. The members of these societies ... are bound by the most solemn oaths to bring about the ruin of the Ottoman Empire and to force the European powers to intervene in Turkey". As we know today, the Haik are still using this most despicable and characterless of tactics to get their wishes fulfilled: Begging foreign powers (today, foreign parliaments) to intervene on their behalf and convincing politicians by producing shameless lies. The terrorists then, like in the 1980s with ASALA, do not refrain from even the lowest of acts in moving towards their goal. Another report in New York Times in October 4, 1895, reveals how they can kill even their own in cold blood: "Commenting on the murder of Garabed Agha [Chief man of the Protestant community, and Chairman of the Council of Thirty, which was responsible for the peace of the city], the Rev. George E. White, an American missionary of the Congregationalist School ar Morsovan, wrote as follows: There are two parties of Armenians. Some say: "We must be loyal to the Turkish Government. We cannot effect a revolution. We are too few." Others say: " We will assasinate and stir up until we overturn this Turkish Government". And the revolutionalists are ready to kill any of their brother Armenians or missionaries who do not help on the rebellion. They killed Garabed Agha because he would not help on the rebellion".
The first revolutionary Haik party, which would adopt terrorism as political means, was founded in 1885 in Van and modeled as a European organization. One of its leaders was Migirdic Portakalian, in charge of printing the official publication of Armenakan, Armenia. He was the son of a rich Constantinople banker, and lived in Marseilles, France. The other two leaders were locals: Hirinian, who was Patriarch of Van; and Migirdic Terlemezian, who was in charge of developing the Youth Arm of the movement.
The first political entity inspired by revolutionary Marxist principles, the Hinchak Party was founded in 1887 by Haik youth studying in Geneva, Switzerland, who were Russian citizens. Hinchak means "Bell" in Haik. Russians had a revolutionary party called Bell in Russian, from which the Hinchakists had taken their inspiration.
October 1, 1921. Active in Van.
Haik Acts of Rebellion and Terrorism
The organized nature and provocative character of the earlier phases of Haik terrorism were reported quite fairly in the American press, particularly in the Ney York Times. One striking example of reporting of the deliberate provocations instigated by the Haik rebels is a statement in New York Times, which appeared on October 20, 1895, in relation to the events at Kumkapi (see below). The statement says: "The theory of the Armenian Hunchagist revolutionary party seems to be that its special work is to enlighten the world about the true character of Turkey. Leaving aside chimerical schemes for revolt against overwhelming numbers, they limit their operations to exciting the Turk until he shows himself as he is. They hold that Turkey is a wolf in sheep's clothing. If they twist the tail of the beast, he will forget and stain the snowy fleece with blood every time, although the fact that he needs a white fleece for the preservation of his disguise is perfectly well known to the reputed wolf". Only 2 months prior to that, the same newspaper had published a striking analysis, by the Associated Press correspondent upon his visit to Turkey after the Sasson incident, of the Haik character in general and of the British involvment in the Ottoman-Haik affairs, in particular: "The reason why English public opinion is generally in favor of the Armenians is both political and religious. No real esteem for the Armenians themselves exists in England. Besides, everybody admits in Europe that Armenians, as a race, are much inferior to the Turks. Armenians, even in olden times, showed no greatness. Their influence in the world has been absolutely nil. In science, in art, in literature, in warlike achievements, they have left no trace. But, they are Christians, and this is one reason why English public opinion is in their favor. The political reason lies in the fact that England wishe to harass Turkey for the just opposition of the latter to English scandalous encroachments on Egyptian territory, which, after all, belong legitimately to the Sultan. It is just as if England has taken possession of one of your States and, at the same time, were fomenting discontent for, and disapprobation of, your treatment of the Indian race which Colombus found supreme on this continent."Unfortunately, the impartial nature of the New York Times would change by 1915, when NYT would change hands. In 1915 alone, there were 194 articles published, all feverishly in favor of Haik lies and propaganda.
The First Rebellion:
Siege and Occupation of the Haik Patriarchate in Kumkapi (1895)
This is the first Haik event in the capital of the Empire. Before the Haik, the Greeks, the Bulgars or the Macedons had never dared undertake military action in Constantinople. The Haik were the first minority of the Empire insolent enough to do that. On the morning of September 30, 1895, a number of protestors set off from the Haik Patriarchate in Kumkapi, towards the residence of the Grand Vizier, after having publicly declared that they intended to cause trouble. On the way, they killed the cavalry officer who was in charge of a platoon attempting to control the pervasive Hintchakist elements inside the procession. Large scale unrest ensued in the city, and many Haik ended up dead on the streets at the hands of the mob, or at the security headquarters, at the hands of the police.
The Raid on Bab-i Ali
Bab-i Ali (The High Gate) was the seat of the Ottoman Government. Therefore, the raid was a direct challenge on Ottoman authority. Major street clashes ensued, in which 900 Muslims and 700 Haik would die.
Raid on the Ottoman Bank
On August 26, 1896, a handful of Haik terrorists raided the Ottoman Bank in Istanbul, in what the Haik scholar Libaridian would later call "The first act of urban terrorism". These terrorists would set an example for similar acts that would follow in the 20th c., such as the taking as hostages, and later killing, of the Israeli Olympic team members during the 1970 Munich Olympiads. Such terroristic acts would always be characterized by taking of hostages and presenting a list of demands, mostly for the release of their comrades, recognition of their cause, a large sum of money to be paid to them, and safe passage for themselves. Unfortunately, their wish was granted and the terrorists left the bank, escorted by the Russian Embassy's dragoman, taken to the private yacht, Gulnare, of bank governor Sir Edward Vincent, and sailed to France.
World War I
A very legitimate move, much like the US relocation of Japanese Americans during WWII, from the Pacific Coast to more centrally located internment camps. The difference between the Japanese and Haik relocations was that there were no proof that the former collaborated with US war time enemies, while there was plenty of proof that the latter were in full collaboration with both Russians on the northwestern and the French on the southwestern war zones. The possessions of the refugees at their home towns were meticulously noted in order to be re-issued to their proper owners upon their return at war's end. Furthermore, the State mechanism was operated at its fullest extent in order to take care of the refugees not only on route but also at destination (Click here for the original document, its transliteration, and translation)
Paris Peace Conference
One of the most important witnesses, albeit unintentional, to the fact that the Haik have been anything but unarmed and innocent before, during and after the relocations, has been none other the very leaders of the Haik intellectual, political and military organization and eventual uprising. Along with Aharonian, Boghos Nubar Pasha was the co-chair of the Haik delegation that attended the Paris Peace conference in 1918, at the conclusion of WWI. The Allies had began to make plans for the partition of and determining the spheres of influence in the Ottoman territories among themselves long before the end of the War. With the signing of the Mundros Armistice, with which the Ottoman Empire officially and internationally admitted a most humiliating defeat on all battle fronts, time had finally come to ratify these plans on the negotiation table as well. Paris Peace Conference was nothing else than a meeting among gentlemen, who would agree which part of the Empire would go to whom. Naturaly, Boghos Nubar was anxious to let the Allies know, in no uncertain terms and before the partition was over, that the Haik had been "de facto belligerents" since the beginning of the War and they they, too, had a right to a slice of the Ottoman pie, and a big slice , at that. Little did he know that, what he innocently admitted in his letters to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the New York Times immediately before the Conference would be the most damning evidence against the Haik claims to innocence, one century later. Turks are forever grateful to the Pasha today, for his honesty and his fortitude.letterletter (original)letterNubar's numbers for surviving deportees are corraborated by another surprising (and unwilling) witness: Henry Morgenthau, the arch-Armenophile US Ambasador to Constantinople, who influenced NY Times to publish almost 200 anti-Ottoman articles in the year 1915 alone, among the other anti-Turkish propaganda that he tirelessly spread throughout his carrier and his life. In a letter, Morgenthau complained about the situation of the refugees but, in so doing, revealed the number of the survivors at almost 500,000, as a testimony for the future generations of Armenians to read and learn from... and then hide in a dark corner lest their lie be exposed.
Confessions from Haik Sources for Acts of Rebellion, Conspiracy and Treason
There are innumerable examples in the preserved literature, where various Haik committees pleaded for national independence while boasting about their own acts of rebellion and terrorism against their own legitimate government. Little did they know, in their greed for land, that once their rebellion was suppressed, history would judge them not as heros and martyrs (as they themselves claim to be), but as terrorists and enemies of the State, which has every right to deal them the harsh treatment that every traitor deserves.
One such example is a 1913 confidential memorandum entitled "The Armenian Question and the Solutions It Entails: A Project for the Armenian Autonomy in Cilicia. Confidential Memorandum Presented to the Consuls of the Great Powers in Cilicia by the Armenian Committee for National Defense". The third clause of the report clearly enumerates the deeds of the Haik insurgents as follows: 3. If one upholds the principle upon which a nation aspiring to her liberty should pay for it the price of her own blood, then one submits that the Armenian Nation has acquired that right by the repeated insurrections of Sassoun and Zeitoun; by the bloody demonstrations of Constantinople in 1890, 1895, and 1896; by the various revolutionary movements that she attempted across all parts of Armenia and Cilicia; and by the devoted efforts deployed by her innumerable heros and martyrs".
A most damning document by the mouth of a highest level official came from Hovhannes Kachaznouni, the leader of the Dashnakzootioun movement and, later, the first President of the Republic of Armenia in 1921. In the annual party congress held in Bucharest, Hungary in 1923, Kachaznouni addressed the General Assembly with a speech that he later had printed and bound as a book entitled "The Dashnaksootioun Has Nothing to Do Anymore". The first, 1923, edition of this book was in Armenian but, unfortunately, no copies of it can be found today as the Government of the Republic of Armenia" made it a crime to possess, distribute, and read this book and had all copies of it removed from circulation. We are sure some Haik libraries in Diaspora have it but they are quite unwilling to share it for obvious reasons. In a totally serendipitous event, a Turkish researcher, Mehmet Perincek, while doing his Ph.D. in International Politics, came across a 1928 translation of the book into Russian in the Lenin Public Library in Moscow. Current translations of this copy into English and Turkish are generally not accepted as correct. We are having it translated into English by third party translation bureaus.
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- Category: History & Archives
- Published: 16 November 2008
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Every parasitic organism looks out for an occasion which would lower the immune defenses of its host in order to begin to multiply, gain strength and take over some part of the host. That is why these are called opportunistic organisms. A good example are fungi. These microbial cells cause yeast infections when their host takes antibiotics to fight off bacterial infection. Antibiotics kill good (yeast-fighting) alongside bad (infection-causing) bacteria. Same is with parasitic groups: They are always on the look-out for the weak moment of their government in order to spark separatist movements by armed rebellions. In the 19th century, the Haik subjects of the weakening Ottoman Empire proved to be one such opportunistic group that rose in armed resistance against Ottoman central authority once the Empire started to show unmistakable signs of a crippling disease; a disease that lowered all internal and external defensive mechanisms. In order to better understand the causes of this Haik infection, therefore, it may be useful to step away from our main topic and investigate, in some detail, the factors that led to the weakening and the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.
With the Renaissance movement in 15th c., the Reformation of the 16th c., and the Enlightenment of the 17th. c., the road was paved for Rationalism and Positivism in European thought, which in turn, ushered the Industrial Revolution in England in the 18th. c. The advances in science and technology found many applications in the military field in terms of better weaponry, arsenal, and battlefield tactics and maneuvers. Bernard Shaw , in his classic "What Went Wrong: The Clash between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East" suggests:
"With the advent of New Learning, the Europeans advanced by leaps and bounds, leaving the scientific and technological and eventually the cultural heritage of the Islamic world far behind them. The Muslims for a long time remained unaware of this. The Renaissance, the Reformation , the technological revolution passed virtually unnoticed in the lands of Islam, where they were still inclined to dismiss the denizens of the lands beyond the Western frontier as benighted barbarians, much inferior even to the more sophisticated Asian infidels to the east. Thes had useful skills and devices to impart; the Europeans had neither. It was a judgment that had for long been reasonably accurate. It was becoming dangerously out of date.
Usually the lessons of history are most perspicuously and unequivocally taught on the battlefield, but there may be some delay before the lesson is understood and applied. In Christendom the final defeat of the Moores in Spain in 1492 and the liberation of Russia from the Tartars were understandably seen as decisive victories. But in the heartlands of Islam, these happenings on the remote frontiers of civilization seemed less important and were in any case overshadowed in Muslim eyes by such central and vastly more important victories as the ignominious eviction of the Crusaders from the Levant in the 13th century, the capture of Constantinople in 1453, and the triumphant march of the Turkish forces through the Balkans toward the surviving Christian imperial city of Vienna, in what seemed to be an irresistible advance of Islam and defeat of Christendom.
The great battle of Mohacs in Hungary, in August 1526, gave the Turks a decisive victory, and opened the way to the first siege of Vienna in 1529. The failure to capture Vienna on that occasion was seen on both sides as a delay, not a defeat, and opened a long struggle for mastery in the heart of Europe".
However, the Ottomans, beginning with the death of Suleiman the Magnificient in 1566, could not keep up with European revolutions in thought and in technology. They began to lose against their foes in Europe, where their territories began to shrink; and their economy was affected as a result of these losses. The weakened State found itself in a precipitous decline, which had its consequences in the deterioration of the central administrative power. Local Lords and Vassals abused this loss of central authority by exerting more and more harsh treatment of their subject populations, which largely consisted of Christians. Popular discontent constituted a fertile soil, on which the European rivals of the Ottoman Empire would easily sow the seeds of rebellion in order to divide the Empire from inside.
The capitulations that were granted to European powers by overly confident Sultans of the glorious past were the perfect excuse for rival Empires of later centuries to intervene in Ottoman internal affairs, in economic as well as social spheres.
Mehmet II "The Conqueror":
Suleyman I "The Magnificient": In 1536, the Ottomans entered an agreement with the French that permitted them to trade throughout Ottoman lands. Total religious liberty was also given to the French. They were granted the right to maintain the guard the Holy Places, which created a French protectorate over the Catholics in the Ottoman Empire. With the death of Suleiman, the era of voluntary capitulations ended. As the 17th c. began, the Ottomans saw themselves further and further weakened by military losses, a crippling inflation and a major decline in administrative integrity. The era of forced capitulations had begun.
Foreign Interventions into Ottoman Internal Affairs: The Great Powers interfered with the internal affairs of the Ottoman Empire on a regular basis. Their excuse has always been the "ill-treatment of the minorities" within the Empire. The external interference would act as the major factor influencing the Haik Revolution, next to in importance, perhaps, the spread east of the romantic ideals of the French Revolution in the late 18th c. and the German Nationalistic movement in the early 19th c. The reaction to Ottoman rule was fueled by the revolutionary ideas of the French Revolution and the nationalistic currents of the anti-Napoleonic movements, particularly in Germany.
Mustafa II and Karlowitz: Ottomans met major defeat on the European battlefield for the first time during the second siege of Vienna between July 17 and September 12, 1683. In the words of Bernard Lewis: "For most of the 17th century, ...fill in...p 16-19 and to form alliances with European powers against other European powers".
Ascent of Principality of Muscowy to Imperial Russia: Ivan The Terrible (1533-1584) stands at the beginning of modern Russian history. The following is excerpted from A.J. Grant's 'A History of Europe: Part III - Modern Europe Including Great Britain' (Longmans, Green and Co., NY, 1930). Ivan favored the middle and lower classes, opened his country to the commerce of Western Europe, and showed some interest in learning. Upon the extinction of his blood line in 163, a boy of 16, Michael Romanoff, was chosen and nearly all the rulers of Russia since that date have been descended from him. The great epoch in the history of Russia came when in 1689 Peter the Great mounted the throne, which he occupied until 1725. This ferocious tyrant was passionately interested in science and in industry, and anxious, above all things, to introduce the civilization of Europe into his own semi-barbarous land, despite a dogged resistance from the habits and traditions of the people supported by the Church. From early youth, he had been attracted by ships and sea-faring life. It was largely that he might know how to organize a fleet that he set out on his famous travels which took him to Holland, England, and France. On his return, he built a considerable navy, and sailing with it down the river Don, appeared before Azov and took that strong Turkish fortress (August 6, 1696). The open sea was always in his thoughts, and he was shut out from the entirely. In the south, the Turkish power controlled the shores of the Black Sea; in the north access to the Baltic was barred by Poland and, above all, by Sweden. Peter invaded the Swede King Charles XII's Baltic provinces while the latter was in Saxony; but was unable to hold them. Charles, in an act that preceded Napoleon and Hitler, determined to march on Moscow and capture it. But the resistance of the Russians grew fiercer as their own country was invaded and Charles abandoned the idea. Ivan later took from Sweden all the provinces lying round the Gulf of Findland, where he founded the city of St. Petersburg. In 1721, he was acclaimed as 'Father of the Fatherland, Peter the Great, and Emperor of all Russians'.The most remarkable of Peter's successors was Catherine II, the German wife of Peter III, who, in 1762, gained the throne by the deposition and murder of her husband.As part of their policies of becoming an Empire, Russians intervened with the Turco-Persian war of 1723-1727 by sending troops to the Caspian Sea and seizing the Khanate of Kuba, to the north of Baku. Some 40 years later, for the first time, they acquired the coveted right of interfering with internal affairs of the Ottoman Empire. The events in Poland lead to the Russo-Turkish war of 1768, which ended with heavy Ottoman territorial losses in the Balkans and in Transcaucasia (Kabartay on Elbrus). With the treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca, signed in 1774 between Sultan Mustafa III and Empress Catherine II (The Great), Russians obtained the right to intervene on behalf of the Orthodox Christian population of the Ottoman Empire. Also, the Crimean Tatars were made independent of the Ottoman Empire, thus giving Russia an outlet to the Black Sea.In 1787, Catherine the Great of Russia and Emperor Joseph II of Austria-Hungary met at Kherson in the Crimea, just north of Yalta, and devised a plan to partition the Ottoman Empire's European territories of Wallachia, Moldavia; to establish an Orthodox Greek state, which would be called Dacia; and to create a Greek-Orthodox New Byzantium when Constantinople would fall.From 1796 to 1828, a series of Russian victories over Persia, culminating with the treates of Goulistan (1813) and Turkmenchai (1828), granted the Russians vast territories in the Caucusus, including Baku, Karabag, Georgia, Erevan, Nachitchevan and, most importantly, Echmiadzin where the See of Orthodox Haik resided. Next to 1774, 1828 would thus be the second turning point in the enless and unscrupulous Russian exploitation of Haik subjects towards the fulfilment of their imperial ambitions in the centuries to come. Next, Tzar Nicholas I (1825-1855) created what would later become the Soviet Republic of Armenia, by uniting the khanates of Erivan and Nachitchevan and declaring himself King of Armenia, akin to his title in Europe, King of Poland. He would also coin the term "The Sick Man of Europe" when referring to the Ottoman Empire ( Sam Weems, Armenia:The Secret of a Terrorist Christian State"With the Crimean War, which raged from 1854 to 1856, Britain realized for the first time the severity of Russian expansionist threat. She interfered on behalf of the Ottoman Empire, thus forcing the Vienna Peace Treaty, in which the Russian protectorate over the Orthodox Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire was lifted.
Greek War of Independence: Meanwhile in the west, the foundation of Greece as a nation independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1826 set a precedent for similar nationalistic movements in the Balkans, precipitating the death and exile of millions of Muslim from the area into Anatolian soil. In his classic 1897 study The War of Greek Independence: 1821-1833, W. Allison Phillips writes the following: "Everywhere, indeed, the conduct of the insurrection was characterized by the same treachery and unbounded cruelty. It may perhaps be permissible to make allowances for the excesses of a wild people, whose passionate hatred, suppressed for centuries, had at least found a vent. But nothing can excuse the callous treachery which too often precceded deeds of blood; and since Europe passed a heavy judgment on the cruel reprisals of the Trk, historical justice does not allow us to hide the crimes by which they were instigated". The Greek War would also cause the weakening of Ottoman forces in the East, from which the Russians benefited maximally by moving into Asia Minor, all the way to Erzourum, and forcing the Treaty of Edirne in 1839, in which the Caucuses fell entirely into Russian hands.
The Balkan Problem: In this section, we once again refer to the words of A.J. Grant in his History of Europe. The preponderance of Germany in Europe after 1871 was unquestioned, and Bismark used the prestige of the country to draw to his side the Emperors of Russia and Austria. This is what is called the League of the Three Emperors. Western Europe remained at peace, if not peaceful, and t seemed as though in the West, the State System had reached its permanent form. But the Balkan Peninsula was continually agitated by movements and alarms; and every great diplomatic change in Europe down to the war of 1914 has been closely related to some development in the Balkans. The decadence and disintegration of Turkey have gone on continuously; and nearly all round her circumference there has been a narrowing of her frontiers and the formation of new states. The two forces that have constantly undermined the power of Turkey are religion and nationality in close alliance. The majority of the population of the Turkish dominions in Europe are Christians of the Eastern or "orthodox" Church, and the Muslim yoke has pressed on them with irritating and oppressive force. They have all felt moreover that the Turks are aliens, and they have been accustomed to look to Russia for protection and sympathy. Greece had established itself in the south in complete independence as early as 1829. The mountain state of Montenegro in the west, after heroic combats, had won for itself practical independence, though the Turkish government had never recognized its independence. To the north of Danube, Roumania possessed self-government but remained nominally within the limits of the Ottoman Empire. South of the Danube, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia abd above all Bulgaria, were in continual unrest. The Turks were conscious of the weakness of their hold upon these peoples and looked to austere methods to keep them in subordination. There were many promises of reform, but they came to little or nothing. In 1875, the mutterings of rebellion developed into open defiance of the Turkish power in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The insurgents won some early successes, but then they were overwhelmed by the Turkish armies. At the same time the Bulgarians, who were on the eve of a similar movement of independence, were crushed by the Turks.It was recognized by diplomatists that the Balkan peninsula was the storm-center of Europe. Russia and Austria were interested as neighbor; Great Britain because of her commercial interests in the Mediterranean. There were conferences, proposals and counter-proposal at plenty. At last, in 1877, Russia sent an ultimatum, and as her demands were not accepted, war came at once. The other great powers stood aloof and looked on at the duel.In the war, both the Turkish troops and their commanders showed unexpected powers, and it seemed for a time as though the Russians might be driven back behind the Danube, but in the end, the numbers wealth and organization of Russia and the corruption of the Turkish government produced their inevitable results. The Russians, helped only by the Roumanians, penetrated in the neighborhoods of Constantinople and Turkey lay at their mercy. The treaty of San Stefano was forced upon the Turks, and, if it had been put into effect, Turkey would have ceased to be an important power in Europe. But here the European powers again intervened, Great Britain under Disraeli taking a leading part. The power of Germany and the influence of Bismarck were displayed by the choice of Berlin as the site of a European Congress, which led up, after much discussion, to the Treaty of Berlin. The deep humiliation of Turkey, implied in the Treaty of San Stefano, was avoided in the Berlin treaty, but her loss in territory and prestige was great. Romania, Montenegro and Serbia were declared sovereign and independent states. Bosnia and Herzegovina, while remaining nominally within the Turkish dominions, were placed under the administration of Austria. Instead of the greate state of Bulgaria, which had been planned by the treaty of San Stefano, a comparatively small State with that name was established, stretching only as far south as the Balkan mountains, but enjoying practical independence. To the south of the mountains, a state was created under the name of Roumelia, with large powers of self-government, but still under the suzerainty of the Sultan,. Great Britain claimed and obtained Cyprus as the reward of its services in defence of the Sultan. But there too, nomilal suzerainty of the Sultan was still maintained.
The "Armenian Problem"
San Stefano: Article 16
Cyprus Convention: Article 2
Berlin Treatise: Article 61
Note Identique des Grandes Puissances: 1880
Note Collective et le Projet de Reformes: 24 May 1895
The United States and the Missionary Movement: The United States chose not to exert a direct political or military interference with Ottoman affairs. Instead, they sent missionaries to divide the population and to conquer the castle from within. As always, the Ottomans were utterly unaware, initially, of the work of these people and of the consequences thereof. Their characteristic "laissez-faire" attitude would cost them very dearly, though. And, by the time they understood what was going on, it was already too late. The scholarly work by Cagri Erhan on the Ottoman official attitudes towards American missionaries is one of the most enlightening sources on the issue.
Cyrus Hamlin: The life and achievements of one of the most illustrious characters among these Protestant American missionaries, Cyrus Hamlin is narrated by Malcolm P. Stevens and Marcia R. Stevens in the Saudi Aramco World 1984 article, 'A College on the Bosporus' , and illustrated by Michael Grimsdale. The greatest contribution of Dr. Hamlin to the Turkish cause is a letter, 'A Dangerous Movement Among the Armenians', which he wrote to the Congregationalist in 1894, and in which he exposes, with no uncertain words, the heinous plans of the Huntchakist guerrillas of inciting inter-communal massacres in the Eastern Vilayets of the Ottoman Empire, with the intention of founding an independent republic there (For ease of legibility of the letter, please click here).
Next: Haik Rebellion
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The Ottoman Empire developed a policy of "Open Doors" and religious tolerance, beginning with the Greeks of Constantinople and the Haik of Bursa, and later the Haik of Crimea; continuing with the Jews expelled from Spain and later from Russia; and extending to numerous other minorities and victims of political persecution. In order to accomodate all these into the existing social, political and economic system, it developed the Quranic concept of dhimma , to ensure a method of Islamic rule tolerant to different cultures. This translated into a system of minority administrations known as the Millet system, whereby religious groups could rule their own people with minimal interference while ensuring Ottoman hegemony and efficient tax collection (Salahi Sonyel).
In 1492, the Iberic Jews were given a choice. Either accept Christianity (Roman Catholicism) or leave behind everything that you own, take only your life with you, and quit Spain forever. Otherwise, they would taste the unfaltering judgment of the Spanish Inquisition. Since the Jews are not much capable of make-believe, particularly when it comes to religious matters, most decided to abandon their fortune to the King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle and depart for exile. The royal couple would turn this fortune into one of the best investments for Spain: They would use it to underwrite Christopher Colombus' expeditions to discover new worlds and usher in the Colonial Age. The expulsed Jews were mostly accepted by 3 countries. Morocco, Netherlands and the Ottoman Empire. Historians record that most of the exiled Jews ended up in the Ottoman Empire, at the time ruled by Sultan Selim II, son of Suleiman the Magnificient. As they were being settled in various provinces of the Empire, particularly in the Thracian domains, names, regions of origin, and areas of resettlement were meticulously recored, in Ottoman archives (Click here for translations of page 1, 2, 3, 4).The Ottomans would extend they saving grace to the Jews over and over again in subsequent centuries. Crimean Jews, Jews of Jerusalem. The only exception was in 1666, when the son of a wealthy merchant from Smyrna claimed to be the false messiah. This man, Sebbatai Sevi, was forced by the Sunni Ottoman regime to deny his heretical views on pain of torture and death. He converted on the surface but, deep inside, he and many of his followers continued their Kabalist beliefs and practices. Today, in Turkey, there are several hundred thousand Sabbataist muslims, who occupy affluent positions in politics, trade, arts, etc. Most of the founders of the Committee of Union and Progress were Sebbataist Jews from Thessalonika, as were most of the Ottoman and Turkish administrations in the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively.In WWII, Jews again faced persecution on a grand scale. Most ended up in Nazi concentration camps and perished. Those who could escape went to Allied or neutral countries, including the Republic of Turkey. letter of Albert Einstein is testimony that the "Open Doors" policy of the Ottoman Empire had been inherited by and pursued under the Turkish Republic in the 20th century.In another example of personal heroism and sacrifice, the Turkish Consul General to Rhodes, Selahattin Ulkumen, himself a Sebbataist, interceded to save the lives of 42 Jewish families of Turkish nationality from depertation to Auschwitz. He was honored in 1990 as a "Righteous Gentile" (Zaddik) by Yad Va-Shem. His story is depicted in the movie, Desperate Hours
Millets In Balkan Territories
Turks first set foot in Europe in early 1300s and by mid 16th century, under successive successes of Mehmet II, Bayezid II, Selim I, and Suleyman I, they had already conquered all of the Balkans; what is today Romania, Wallachia, Transilvania and Moldavia; most of Hungary; and had made vassal states around almost all the shores of the Black Sea . From the onset, the Ottomans made it known to the people they subjected with these conquests that the local religious practices would not only be tolerated but respected with the utmost care by the central government and local administration. Let's follow the clear, fluid and informative style of Lord Kinross, from his "The Ottoman Empire"- Chapter 2: A Foothold in Europe, pp. 22-28 (London, The Folio Society, 2003):"The entry of the Turks into Europe was no sudden irruption, like that of the Mongols across Asia. ...As a later French traveler was to write, 'The country is safe, and there are no reports of brigands or highwaymen' - more than could be said, at that time, of other realms of Christendom". The archives are replete with documents that attest to this magnanimity so characteristic of the Ottoman rule:As Mehmet II advanced into Bosnia and Serbia, he issued an imperial firman to the Bosnian priests to practice their religious in freedom. A copy of the original letter, (dated April 4, 1478), its transliteration and translation are shown here (Living Together under the Same Sky, Archives of the Office of the Prime Minister, Republic of Turkey). This tradition would continue over the subsequent centuries, so much so that, the local Christian minorities kept sending letters expressing their appreciation for the religious tolerance of their Ottoman rulers. One such letter of gratitude (dated April 16, 1853) was sent by the inhabitants of Tuzla in Bosnia to Sultan Abdulmecid Han (ruled 1839-61), ( Transliteration Translation) and another written in Serbian and dated February 2, 1872, to his brother Sultan Abdulaziz Han (ruled 1861-76), for his assistance from the Ottoman treasury to the completion of a church in Yenipazar, Bosnia. Other examples of correspondences to and from the Sultans regarding their benevolent rule of the Christian minorities abound in the Ottoman archives.
Other Acts of Compassion
The Ottomans extended their care and compassion to other nations and groups in distress on a routine basis. Some examples are the help that was sent to Ireland during the great famine of 1847 (Click here for theoriginal document , its transliteration , and translation ); and the aid to United States during a period of devastating forest fires (Click here for the original document , its transliteration , and translation ).
Under almost 5 centuries of Ottoman rule, the Haik prospered economically, their population increased by births and by migrations, and they were granted free religious practices, like all other non-Muslim minorities under Ottoman rule. The Haik have always been given special privileges by the Turks while their were under Turkish domination. They seldom observed the responsibilities that came with those privileges, though. They thought that an Empire as great as the Ottoman, even when ultimately weakened, would allow an ethnic minority to split and build its own state. They miscalculated several points: One, that the Balkan ethnicities were already forming a majority against the Muslims there; two, that the Allies and the Russians who sicced them against their masters would remain loyal to them till the dire end; and three, that rebellion and massacre would go unpunished. Below, is a synopsis of why the Haik were privileged and how they ignored the only responsibility that came with those privileges, i.e., loyalty.
Population: There are various sources for the numbers of the Haik who inhabited Ottoman territories during those 5 centuries that the Haik were ruled by the Ottomans (e.g. by up to 243%, 87% and 82% between 1518 and 1523 in Ergani, Arapkir and Siverek, respectively). Most relevant to our discussion, however, are their numbers during the last quarter of the 19th and the first quarter of the 20th centuries. This is because if one adds the 200,000 to 300,000 Haik supposedly killed during the "Hamidiye Massacres" of 1895 and the 1.5 million Haik supposedly killed by the Young Turks in 1915 and the more than 1 million Haik who supposedly were forced into exile during WWI, one gets close to 3 million Haik in total, who supposedly lived in Ottoman territories in or before 1895. Paradoxically, the most reliable numbers in this case are the ones provided by the contemporary Ottoman censuses. These numbers are reliable because 1) It was the Haik who were mostly responsible of the Census Bureau (names) and 2) The Ottomans gained nothing by underestimating the Haik numbers, simply because they were taxing (dhimma) them like all other non-Muslims. The Muslim subjects of the Sultan did not pay the tax but served in the Ottoman army, from which service the dhimma-paying non-Muslims were exempt.Also, since the British, French and Germans were intimately involved with the "safety and rights" of the non-Muslim minorities of the Empire (as that gave them the perfect pretext to mingle with the internal affairs of the Ottomans), they frequently ran unofficial head counts of the Haik, esp. the Haik in the Eastern Vilayets, through their envoys. These numbers are important, because they represent an unbiased, non-Ottoman contemporary source for the Haik population of the Empire; they are also interesting because they surprisingly collaborate each other.
Ottoman Census:(Salahi Sonyel).
French Census:French Yellow BookThese numbers, reprinted in Excel . clearly show that the percentage of Haik population to the total population of the Ottoman Empire was only 9%. Furthermore, out of this total Haik population according to the French, only 6%. Haiks populated the 6 eastern Vilayets. This number agrees very well with the previous figures that the British have circulated among themselves.
German Census:German Embassy in LondonIf we compare the contemporary British, French and German sources about the Haik population, we see that all three are in close agreement with each other. The information transmitted from the local envoys of these Powers to their respective embassies, and from historical archives to us, unequivocally concur that the Haik population in the 6 eastern Vilayets of the Ottoman Empire was somewhere between 500, 000 and 600,000 during the 1890-1910 period.
Haik Census: The Haik Patriarchate in Istanbul provided the British an estimate of the Haik population in the Empire. Not surprisingly, these numbers were so inflated that even the British envoy to Erzurum Lloyd felt the need to correct them in his report to his superiors. Let's not forget that the Haik in Diaspora today claim to have lost 1.5 million to death and another million to exile (!). Clearly, either the French, British and German sources are altogether wrong or there is a problem with Haik memory today.
Religion:Following the Ottoman conquest of Bursa (1336), the See of the Western Gregorian Church in Kutahya was allowed to be moved to Bursa. In 1461, Mehmet II “The Conqueror” asked the Haik Catholicos Hovakim Ovahim to settle in the recently conquered Constantinople, with a number of Anatolian Haik subjects. Mehmet II donated the Church Sulumanastir in Psamatia to the use of the Haik. The Haik who chose to stay in Anatolia were appointed as guardians of several strategically important fortresses, such as those in Kozan and Gulek. Mehmet II also allowed the relocation of more than 70 thousand Haik from the Crimean Peninsula, where they had been sent into exile by the Byzantine government, to the coast of the Marmara Sea, south of Istanbul. In addition to the Gregorian Church, the Ottoman Government officially recognized the Catholic and Protestant Haik congregations in 1831 and 1859, respectively. Most interestingly, Sultan Abdulhamid II (ruled 1876-1908), the one called the Red Sultan by his opponents (particularly by the Haik) because of his alleged murders, is noted to have helped the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate, which was suffering from lack of money. The financial aid came in November 26, 1895, the very year the Sultan was being accused of widespread massacres (!) of the Haik population of the Empire (Click here for the original document, for its transliteration, and translation).
Press:Some 160 years prior to the establishment of a Turkish printing press, the Haik priest Apkar of Sivas was allowed to start his own press in 1567 in Istanbul. Other printing presses followed in Izmir (1759), Van (1859), Mus (1869), Sivas (1871). In 1908, there were 38 Haik presses all over the Ottoman territories. The First Haik newspaper, Jamanak, was published in 1905. By 1910, there were 5 newspapers and 7 journals printed in the Haik language. (YG Cark Turk Devletinin Hizmetinde Ermeniler (1453-1953), Istanbul 1953). By contrast, the French King Louis XIV (1643-1715) had ordered a Haik press in Marseilles closed.
Education:The Bezcian School was founded by Artin Bezcian in Kumkapi, Istanbul, in 1823. The following year, the Patriach Garabeth took the Kumkapi Grammar School under his protection. The Haik Commission of Education was founded on October 22, 1853.
Political Integration: Gabriel Noradounghian, who had been in charge of the Office of Legal Advisor to the Sublime Porte for 25 years, has acted as Head of Ottoman delegation in the peace talks with the Balkan countries at the conclusion of the Balkan Wars of 1912-3. In 1876, as the first Haik deputies entered the Ottoman Congress with the inauguration of the 1st National Assembly, Gabriel Noradounghian was the Minister of Commerce and Public Workes and subsequently, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Additionally, Agop Kazzazian, Mikael Portakalian and Ohannes Sakizlian served as successive Ministers of Finance; Bedros Halladjian, Krikor Sinapian and Krikor Agaton were elected to the position of Minister of Public Service; and Gharabed Artin David Anton Tingir Yaver and Oksan Mardikian were Ministers of Post-Telegraph-Telephone Services. There existed many Haik members of the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies and Chamber of Notables, Undersecretaries of State in the Ministries, Members of the Council of State (the highest administrative court in the Realm), Ambassadors, Provincial Governors and Mayors. Most notably, during the relocations of 1915, Bedros Halladjian was occupying the post of Minister of Public Works, a fact which demonstrates that the Ottoman Government had no intent or plan to annihilate wholesale its Haik citizens.In the Republic Era, which began in 1923, the Hayik deputy Munib Boya entered the first National Assembly of the newly founded Turkish Republic. In 1943, the Haik Berc Turker Keresteci entered the Turkish National Assembly as a deputy from Afyonkarahisar.