“Armenian genocide” is a baseless allegation not supported by history and law


Okuma Süresi: 31 Dakika

“Armenian genocide” is a baseless allegation not supported by history and law

E-mail message and material sent to Australian Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and 114 members of the Australian House of Representatives on move to recognize “Armenian Genocide” by the Australian government. 

By Ferruh Demirmen, Ph.D.

ferruh@demirmen.com

March 23, 2022

To:   Honorary Scott Morrison, MP, Prime Minister of Australia.

Copy: Hon. Marise Ann Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs,

Hon. Penny Wong, Senator,

and 114 Members of the Australian House of Representatives whose e-mail addresses are available.

Dear Sir,

I am saddened to learn that under pressure from the Armenian activists there is pressure on the Government of Australia to recognize “Armenian genocide.” Before you give consideration to such a move, I strongly urge you to read the material presented below. It tells why the recognition of “Armenian genocide” would be wrong, as it would violate both history and law. I realize that the account submitted is somewhat long; but I hope you will take time to read it thoroughly. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Material Presented

As Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels sarcastically observed, “Repeat a lie often enough, and it becomes the truth.” An illusion of truth is thus created; and bigotry often raises its ugly head. A recent example comes from the Australian House of Representatives [1] which, on November 29, 2021, approved a motion calling on the Australian Government to recognize “Armenian genocide.” A similar motion had passed in 2018.

As customary, the supposed genocide would also apply to other Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire, including Assyrians and Greeks. “Significant work has been done with the Greek and Assyrian communities of Australia,” noted the lobbyist, Executive Director of Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) Haig Kayserian. [1]

The motion has its origin in the April 17, 1997 recognition of “Armenian genocide” by the Parliament of New South Wales. [2] The Australian government has since refused to recognize the “genocide,” but in June 2021 Foreign Minister Marise Payne stated that the government’s position on this issue was “under review.” [3] U.S. President Joe Biden’s recognition of “Armenian genocide” on April 24, 2021 was viewed as a motivation for the Australian government to follow suit.

The recognition of “Armenian genocide,” we are told, would honor “the humanitarian efforts” of Australians towards Armenians” in the Ottoman Empire, disgracefully ignoring the massacres and depravations suffered by non-Christians during the same period. Is humanity confined to a particular people defined by ethnicity or religion?

There is little doubt that the impetus for recognition of “Armenian genocide” comes from a deeply rooted anti-Turkish, anti-Muslim sentiment linked with Christian solidarity, driven by a well-organized, well-funded Armenian propaganda. After all, the Armenians have been reminding us that they were the “First Christian nation,” and so, why not stand by them, and while doing so, vilify Turks as well!

Prof. Dr. Justin McCarthy [4] masterfully described how distorted Christian missionary reports, combined with British propaganda (“Blue Book”) before and during First World I, created an enduring prejudice involving the “Terrible Turk” in the West. Prejudice, based on religion, ethnicity or race, is well and alive in Christian-dominated countries, and Australia apparently is no exception.

It is regrettable that the “genocide” recognition is now “under review” by the Australian government. For aside from history and law, the motion represents an indignity to the memory of Kemal Atatürk, who has a Memorial under his name in the Anzac Parade in Canberra, the only memorial to an enemy commander on Anzac Parade. [5] 

And those who support “Armenian genocide” should answer, in all honesty for themselves, what the young Anzac soldiers were doing when they landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, a location they knew nothing about, thousands of miles from their homelands. Barely a week had passed after Armenian separatists had stormed the city of Van in eastern Anatolia, killing 62% of the local Muslim population and declaring “Independent Armenia.” Surely, the Anzac soldiers had not come to provide humanitarian help to their Christian brethren, but to help Britain and France in their imperial ambitions. Fighting at Gallipoli was exceptionally gruesome for both sides.

All this aside, “Armenian genocide” is a hoax, not supported by history and law. It is a selective narrative of a history where nearly all the victims were somehow Christian, and nearly all the criminals Muslim. Hopefully, in the pursuit of truth, common sense and decency will prevail, and efforts to recognize “Armenian genocide” by the Australian government will fail.

Below are facts that should be taken into account when debating “Armenian genocide.”

Genocide: The Fundamentals

At the outset, it is important to review the fundamentals of the crime of genocide. According to the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide [6]:

  1. Genocide is a legal term as defined by the Convention. Therefore, any discussion of genocide must be within the context of this Convention.
  2. It refers to killings of members of a group (i.e., religious group), causing serious physical or mental damage to this group, etc. (Art. 2) The criminal act itself is known as actus reus.
  3. The crime of genocide is committed by persons, not by a nation or a state (Art. 4 and Art. 6).
  4. Persons charged with genocide shall be tried by a competent tribunal, i.e., the crime must be adjudicated and established in a court of law (Art. 6).
  5. Disputes between the Contracting Parties (i.e., states that are signatories to the Convention) relating to the interpretation, etc. of genocide shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute (Art. 9).
  6. While not specifically mentioned in the Convention, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in its 2015 verdict on the Croatia vs. Serbia case, underlined that the existence of acts enumerated in Article 2 of the Convention (i.e., actus reus) are not sufficient to qualify the events as genocide, but that there must also be the intention to “destroy as such.” This is known as dolus specialis or special intent. The existence of intent must be proven.

Also worth noting is that, as per the 1969 Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties [7], Article 28, the Genocide Convention cannot be applied retroactively – a position also held by the US Supreme Court. The Genocide Convention became effective in 1951.

Further, as noted by Pulat Tacar [8], there is a general principle in international criminal law, Nulla poena sine lege, that there can be no conviction or punishment without law that foresaw such punishment. 

Minorities in Ottoman Empire

Ethnic and religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire enjoyed much autonomy in their religious, social and cultural activities, and none were forced to Islamize. For centuries, they all kept their religious and ethnic identities, and prospered in trade and craftsmanship. Many of them sent their children to Europe for their education.

Armenians, in particular, were considered a “loyal nation,” and held high positions in the government. There were 22 ministers, 33 deputies and 7 ambassadors of Armenian origin during the Ottoman era, and 29 prominent members of the Armenian community were awarded the honorary title “Pasha” (general). As late as 1913, the foreign minister in the Ottoman cabinet was an Armenian named Gabriel Noradukian.

It is also a well-established fact that the Ottoman Turks extended warm welcome to Sephardic Jews that were persecuted during the Spanish inquisition in the 15th century [9], and Turkish diplomats saved thousands of Jews from the Nazi terror during World War II, also inviting hundreds of Jewish scholars and scientists [10] [11]. In fact, Turkey probably did significantly more than the US and the UK in saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

More in that thread, Turkey was one of the few countries that came to the aid of Ireland during the Great Famine between 1845 and 1852 [12]. Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Majid not only donated money, but also sent three to five ships full of food against the wishes of the English which attempted to block the ships. Helping starving people across the seas is real humanity. 

Given such background, it should be self-evident that Turks are not the kind of people that would perpetrate genocidal crime against minorities.

Armed Uprising

The period 1915-1918 during which “Armenian genocide” allegedly took place in Ottoman Anatolia was a period of war when the Ottoman army was fighting on all fronts – east, west and south. Goaded and misled by Western imperial powers, in particular the Tsarist Russia to the north, Ottoman Armenians took arms against their government, formed armed militias, and joined the invading enemy forces. It was a secessionist movement, or an act of treason. The momentous act was the storming of the city of Van on April 20, 1915, when most of the city was burned, and well-armed Armenian units, many wearing military uniforms, took the city and started a mayhem of atrocities against the Muslim residents. On May 17, the advancing Russian army just walked in to occupy the city. Soon, there was uprising at 23 locations in Anatolia.

On May 27, 1915 the government decided to relocate (not deport) the Armenian population in the eastern part of the Anatolia to Greater Syria, away from the war zone. Armenians living in the western part of Anatolia were exempted from Relocation, as were the elderly, the sick, orphaned children, government employees, and Catholic and Protestant Armenians. As Prof. Dr. Edward Erickson [13] notes, the Relocation was a legitimate security measure; the Ottoman reaction was responsive rather than pre-meditated and pre-planned. There was no intent on the part of the Ottoman government to kill or harm the refugees. On the contrary, instructions from the government clearly specified that the refugees must be protected during and after Relocation.

Albert J. Amateau [14], a rabbi now deceased, and who lived those tumultuous days in Anatolia, described in his sworn testimony what Armenian gangs were doing to local population including Muslims, Jews and wealthy Armenians.

The right of a government to take measures against an armed rebellion is a universally recognized right. That is especially so in time of war.

More on Lack of Intent

The lack of intent (dolus specialis) is also borne out by the fact that during 1915-16 the Ottoman government held a series of courts-martial and convicted 1673 persons for disobeying government orders regarding the safety of the refugees. The penalties handed included 67 death sentences. But it was war time, and casualties and tragic events took place on both sides. 

No government who had the intent to kill or “exterminate” the refugees would severely punish criminals that harmed this group. 

Further evidence for lack of intent comes from Hovhannes Katchaznouni (1868-1938) [15] [16], the first Prime Minister of Independent Armenia. At the Dashnak (Armenian Revolutionary Federation, ARF) Convention in Bucharest in April 1923, Katchaznouni issued a Manifesto in which he stated that, by revolting against their government, Armenians had lost sense of reality, that the Ottoman government decided to relocate the Armenian population for defensive purposes, and that, that was the right decision. He blamed the Dashnak Party for the unfortunate events that followed.

Likewise, in a “Note Verbal,” Sir Eric Drummond, Secretary-General of the League of Nations, on March 1, 1920, stated that “in Turkey… massacres [were] carried out by irregular bands [of Muslims] who were entirely outside the control of the central Turkish Government.”

1919-20 Ottoman Courts-Martial

After World War I, the new Turkish government convened special courts-martial to try the leadership of the Committee on Union and Progress (CUP) and selected officials of the former government. These courts issued death sentences to certain CUP leaders in absentia, including Talaat Pasha, and the sentences have been claimed by some on the Armenian side as proof of pre-meditated killings of Armenians.

The courts, however, which Prof. Dr. Guenter Levy [17] has called “kangaroo courts,” were held at the instigation of the victorious Allied Powers by a government that was beholden to these powers, and they lacked credibility. There was no due process, no witnesses, no cross examination, etc. The Allies considered them travesty of justice, with British High Commissioner Admiral Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe writing to London on August 1, 1919, that these courts were “proving to be a farce and injurious to our own prestige.” Hence these courts-martial were far from being competent tribunals referred to in the Genocide Convention. When the British considered conducting their own trials at Malta, they declined to use the inculpatory evidence developed by these tribunals.

Those that inflicted harm to the refugees were in fact punished earlier by the 1915-16 Ottoman courts-martial acting under no pressure by foreign powers.

Malta Tribunal

Of particular interest with respect to the “Armenian genocide” is the Malta Tribunal [18].

In 1919 the British, an occupying force in Istanbul, relying on Armenian informants, arrested 144 high-ranking Ottoman officials and took them to the island of Malta for trial on charges of killing Armenians. Although the British had full access to all relevant documents, including the archives in Istanbul and the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C., they could not find any incriminating evidence against the detainees. Reported the British Embassy in Washington on July 13, 1921 to Foreign Office in London: “I regret to inform your Lordship that there was nothing therein [in U.S. State Department files] which could be used as evidence against the Turks who are being detained for trial in Malta.”

After two years and four months of investigation the British dropped all charges against the accused in Malta, and court hearings were cancelled. The detainees were set free and returned to Turkish soil. In effect, the Malta Tribunal had vindicated Turks.

A fact of particular interest with regard to the Malta Tribunal is that, when the British searched in 1921 the U.S. State Department files in Washington D.C. for evidence, the American officials warned them not to use the information supplied to them in a court of law. The documents in the files included diplomatic dispatches sent from Istanbul (then Constantinople) by Ambassador Henry Morgenthau Sr., and the State Department officials knew the dispatches had little probative value in a court of law. There was also “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story,” a 2018 book ghost-written by the ambassador, a source on which the “Armenian genocide” assertions rely to a large extent. As noted by Prof. Dr. Health Lowry [19], and further elaborated by researcher Şükrü Server Aya [20], the book is full of distortions and falsifications. It is a racist, overtly anti-Turkish, anti-German product that contains major contradictions with the ambassador’s own Diary. When weighing evidence against the Malta detainees, the British disregarded “Morgenthau’s Story” as being unreliable.

Material the British also disregarded for the Malta Tribunal was the “Andonian Files,” another major source for Armenian assertions. These “files,” first printed in early 1920, allegedly comprise telegraphic evidence in the possession of a then-unknown Armenian named Aram Andonian, attesting to the central Ottoman Government’s instructions to massacre Armenian refugees. Purportedly, Andonian had received the telegraphic evidence in 1915 from a minor Ottoman official named Naim Bey in Aleppo, Syria, and added his own “notes.” The documents have been established by Prof. Dr. Türkkaya Ataöv [21] to be outright fakeries. Andonian in 1937 admitted that his product was not a historical work, but a propaganda piece.

Why No Genocide

  1. The Convention on Genocide [6] stipulates, in Article 6, that any determination as to this crime can only be made by a competent tribunal. In other words, a court verdict is required. Yet, there exists no court verdict on “Armenian genocide.” An undertaking that came closest to being a judicial process was the Malta Tribunal. Without verdict by a competent court, the allegation of “Armenian genocide” is baseless.
  2. The lack of intent (dolus specialis) on the part of the Ottoman government to kill/harm Armenian refugees also refutes allegations of genocide. The Genocide Convention excludes from the definition of “genocide” casualties inflicted as a result of war or armed conflict, in this case the act of defense through Relocation.
  3. The fact that only a certain portion of Armenians in Anatolia was subjected to Relocation belies the claim that Armenians were targeted because of their religion or ethnicity – a requirement enshrined in the Genocide Convention (Article 2).
  4. Well-endowed with historical and legal evidence, the British government to date has refused to recognize “Armenian genocide.”
  5. Research of the Russian archives by Dr. Mehmet Perinçek [22] reveals convincingly that the assertion of “Armenian Genocide” cannot be true. Russian archives are important, because the Armenian separatist movement was closely allied with the Tsarist Russia. As late as April 2021, the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill [23] said that nobody in the Ottoman Empire had exterminated the Christian minorities, and that there was harmony between the religious communities within the empire. 
  6. By virtue of the 1969 Vienna Convention [7], crimes noted in the Genocide Convention cannot be applied to events that took place in 1915-16. We don’t have “ex post facto” laws.
  7. In 2003 the European Union’s Court of First Instance (“European Court of Justice”) [24] ruled that the “Armenian genocide” resolution passed by the European Parliament in 1987 was purely a political act. The 2004 appeal by the appellants was unsuccessful. This decision is applicable for all “Armenian genocide” resolutions passed by parliaments, underlying the political nature of such resolutions.
  8. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) [25] has ruled, in its 2013 lower chamber decision, later confirmed by the Grand Chamber in 2015 on appeal (re: Switzerland vs. Perinçek case), that “Armenian genocide,” apart from the fact that it is a controversial issue among scholars, remains unproven, meaning no court verdict. The high court made a distinction between the 1915 events and the court-proven (Nuremberg trials) Holocaust.
  9. In 2016 France’s Constitutional Council, while also making a distinction between the 1915 events and Holocaust, underlined that governments and parliaments have no authority to judge genocide. Thus “Armenian genocide” resolutions” passed by a number of parliaments and enunciated by some governments have no judicial validity. They are purely political, a point also made by Bruce Fein [26], the American Constitutional scholar.
  10. There are currently only three genocides that have received official recognition in the international community: The Rwandan, Bosnian and Cambodian genocides, all established by ad hoc tribunals. Genocidal acts were committed in 1994, 1992-95, and 1975-79, respectively. “Armenian genocide” is not in this category.
  11. Holocaust was a special type of atrocity established by the Nuremberg Tribunal, and its uniqueness has recently been affirmed by UN [27].
  12. Three times in the past, in 2000, 2007 and 2015, the UN has stated unequivocally that it has not taken a position on “Armenian genocide,” i.e., it does not recognize such “genocide.” As late as April 22, 2021, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, issued a statement that the crime of genocide must be decided by a relevant court [28].

Scholarly Opinion

While the “Armenian genocide” issue is strictly a legal matter, the Armenian side argues that the “genocide” is an established fact based on scholarly work. Yet such assertion conveniently ignores the opposing scholarly opinion. In 1985, 69 U.S. historians and researchers passed a unanimous resolution, addressed to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and published in New York Times and The Washington Post, refuting Armenian allegations.

These were academicians specializing in Turkish, Ottoman and Middle Eastern studies. Among them were eminent historians such as Professors Dr. Bernard Lewis [29], Stanford Shaw and Ezel K. Shaw [30], and Justin McCarthy [31]. The declaration stated that the 1915 events were an inter-communal strife, not an act of violence planned by the Ottoman government. Prof. Lewis, deceased at age 103 in 2018, also noted on separate occasions that there is absolutely no similarity between the Jewish Holocaust and what is claimed to be “Armenian genocide.”

In 2011, 124 Turkish academicians signed a statement supporting the 1985 declaration.

In 2009 French writer Yves Bénard, who extensively visited eastern Turkey and researched the subject, has also concluded that the 1915 events were an inter-communal strife. He stated, in his book entitled Divergences Turco-Arméniennes [32], that he had originally thought that genocide had occurred, but that he changed his mind after his research. Bénard has observed that more Turks were massacred by Armenians than vice versa.

Human Tragedy

World War I was an event where Muslims and other ethnic or religious groups suffered jointly – a shared tragedy. It was time of misery for all ethnic and religious groups. The war conditions brought misery and took their toll during Relocation.

The claim that 1.5 million Armenians died during Relocation is a grotesque – to put it more bluntly – ridiculous exaggeration. As Bruce Fein [33] eloquently put it, the number of Armenian deaths claimed by the Armenian camp has been a moving target, going up to 2 million, even 3 million, at one point. The claim of 1.5 million is already contravened by the fact that, according to the Ottoman state census, the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire before World War I was approximately 1.3 million.

What is significant is the difference between Armenian deaths due to war efforts and deprivation, etc., and deaths incurred during Relocation. Based on research by Turkish Historical Society (Prof. Dr. Yusuf Halaçoğlu) [34], the number of Armenians subjected to Relocation was 438,750, of which 382,150 (87%) safely arrived at the destination. Those that died during Relocation numbered 56,600, 10,000 of which were killings due to lawlessness.

Most of the Armenian losses during the period resulted from fighting on war fronts (some 200,000 according to the League of Nations) and war-related deprivation such as disease, chaos, and famine. When the Russians were briefly defeated by Turks and forced to retreat, 300,000 Armenians fled to Russia and an unknown number to Iran, with major losses on route. In the First Republic of Armenia, 1918-1920 [35], 195,000 Armenians died due to deprivation under a fascist regime.

Resolutions or narratives that mourn Armenian losses during World War I never mention Armenian atrocities. Between 1914 and 1921 armed Armenian militias killed in cold blood more than 518,000 civilian Muslims in Anatolia [36] [37]. According to Prof. Justin McCarthy [38], Muslim losses in the Transcaucasian region were 413,000. In the Ottoman city of Van alone, located in present-day southeastern Turkey, 62% of the Muslim population (mostly Kurds) were massacred by Armenian revolutionaries ahead of the advancing Russian army in April and May of 1915 – an event that triggered the Relocation orders. According to Prof. Dr. Ömer Taşçıoğlu [39], 1 million Muslim refugees perished on route as they escaped Russian occupation and Armenian terror. Thus, the Muslim losses in eastern Anatolia and the Caucuses were about 2 million.

The calamity brought upon Muslims – in particular Turkish civilians – by Armenian militias is a story untold in Europe and America. Those that committed such atrocities were not brought to justice.

Rear Admiral Marc L. Bristol, the successor of Ambassador Henry Morgenthau as the U.S. High Commissioner to Turkey between 1919 and 1927, travelled extensively in the region and witnessed Armenian atrocities committed against Muslims. In a letter dated March 28, 1921 addressed to James L. Barton D, Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), Adm. Bristol wrote: “[R]eports are being freely circulated in the United States that the Turks massacred thousands of Armenians in the Caucasus. Such reports are repeated so many times, it makes my blood boil. The Near East Relief have the reports from Yarrow and our own American people which show absolutely that such Armenian reports are absolutely false. The circulation of such false reports in the United States, without refutation, is an outrage and is certainly doing the Armenians more harm than good. … Why not tell the truth about the Armenians in every way?” Lieutenant Robert Dunn [40], his intelligence officer, documented the Armenian atrocities in chilling detail in his book, World Alive, A Personal Story. Interestingly, those who smear Turks never mention the findings of Admiral Bristol and his intelligence officer.

The viciousness of Armenian atrocities was also reported by General James Harbord, Chief of American Military Mission (1919) sent by President Woodrow Wilson on a fact-finding mission to the war-ridden zone. The general reported that the Turks and Kurds were massacred by Armenian irregulars, commenting that “most of the victims in the sectarian bloodbath were Muslim.

Likewise, Captain E. Niles and A. Sutherland of Near East Relief, sent by the U.S. Government to investigate relief aid to Armenians, reported in 1919 that, “Villages said to have been Armenian were still standing whereas Mussulman villages were completely destroyed,” and that, “Armenians are accused of having committed murder, rape, arson, and horrible atrocities of every description upon the Muslim population.”

The U.S. Congress Report 266, American Mission to Armenia, April 13, 1920 (approved unanimously), stated: “We know, however, so much to be a fact that the Armenians in the new State [First Republic of Armenia] are carrying on operations in view of exterminating the Mussulman element in obedience to orders from the Armenian corps commander. We have had copies of their orders under our eyes. That the Armenians of Erivan are following a policy of extermination against the Mussulman, and this wave of sanguinary savagery has spread right up to our frontier, is also established by the fact of the presence within our borders of numerous Mussulman fleeing from death on the other side.”

Additional Points

  1. The assertion made, e.g., [41], that “Armenian genocide” started on April 24, 1915, when “a large group of Armenian intellectuals was rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople” is false. April 24, 1915 is the day 235 intellectuals and instigators of Armenian separatist movement were arrested in the Ottoman capital and taken to Çankırı near Ankara. Some of the detainees were released, others sent to other cities, and 3 died in 1918, one of them as a result of assassination.
  2. Likewise, the claim that the “genocide” lasted until 1923 is false. The Relocation took place between May of 1915 and February 1916. Armenian deaths unrelated to Relocation cannot be attributed to Turks. The allegation concerning 1923 is aimed to denigrate Turkey’s War of Independence and the establishment of the Republic (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923 period) under the leadership Kemal Atatürk. Armenian insurgencies in the Ottoman Empire, however, go back to 1878.
  3. Ambassador Morgenthau was an outright bigot and used racist slurs against Turks, calling them “primitive,” possessing “poisonous blood.” In contrast, he profusely praised “Christian” Armenians. As noted above, “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story” is a book full of distortions and falsifications. The enormity of the injustice perpetrated by the “Morgenthau’s Story” was such that the Associated Press war correspondent George A. Schreiner, a contemporary of Morgenthau, upon reading the book felt obliged to write a highly critical letter to the ambassador in December 1918 in which he stated, eloquently, “… Nor did you possess in Constantinople that omniscience and omnipotence you have arrogated unto yourself in the book. In the interest of truth, I will also affirm that you saw little of the cruelty you fasten upon the Turks. Besides that, you have killed more Armenians than ever lived in the districts of the uprising.… To be perfectly frank with you, I cannot applaud your efforts to make the Turks the worst being on earth, and the German worse, if that be possible.”
  4. The son of a preacher, and a devout Christian, President Wilson himself was also a bigot who called Turks “Mohammedan Apaches” and wanted to establish a Christian “Armenian Mandate” in eastern Anatolia where Armenians constituted less than 20% of the population. Based on General Harbord’s report, the U.S. Senate on June 1, 1920 rejected President Wilson’s request for an Armenian Mandate.
  5. The “Blue Book” [42] compiled by historian Arnold Toynbee in 1916 at the instigation of Viscount James Bryce of Wellington House [43], was a war-time disinformation tool. Arnold Toynbee confessed later in 1922 that the “Blue Book” was a piece of propaganda. And the Wellington House itself was better named as Britain’s War Propaganda Bureau. And as noted by Dr. Pat Walsh [44], Bryce himself was a White Fundamentalist Christian Supremacist. He wrote that “Degraded as they are, after ages of slavery and ignorance, the Christian population nevertheless offer a more hopeful prospect than the Muslims.” Interestingly, when the British tried to prosecute Turks in Malta, they did not bother to use the Blue Book as evidence.
  6. It is known that Pope Francis characterized “Armenian genocide” as the first genocide of the 20th century. His Holiness, however, not able to free himself from his Christian tutelage, is an outright hypocrite on the question of genocide. On his visit to Bosnia in June 2015, the Pontiff refused to use the term genocide when he denounced the Srebrenica killings, even though two UN courts had established that the Srebrenica killings were genocide, and the Pontiff was well-advised in advance by Bosnian academicians. The Pope also ignored a letter sent by the Union of Turkey Non-Governmental Organizations (UTNGO) [45].
  7. Dashnak Armenians collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. Articles published in 1939 entitled “Der Deutsch-Armenischen Gesellschaft” in German magazine “Mitteilungsblatt” the relationship between the Hitler government and the Dashnaks (ARF) was laid out. In return for the collusion in exterminating the Jews, Hitler would help the Armenians establish their own independent state in eastern Turkey. The 22,000-men-strong Armenian 812th Battalion (“Armenian Legion”) was created by the Wehrmacht in 1941 and was commanded by General Dro Drastamat Kanayan, a war criminal on his own from the time he was a guerrilla leader in eastern Anatolia and later the army chief in the short-lived First Republic of Armenia in 1918-1920. Armenian recruits also joined the Panzer Corps and Gestapo in France and Germany. What attracted Armenians to the Nazis was that they were considered an “Aryan” race. Dr. Perinçek [46] describes how the ideological foundation of the collaboration between the Nazis and Dashnaks began in the 1930’s, with the Dashnak leaders taking great pain to prove to the Germans that Armenians were of Aryan origin.
  8. The infamous “Hitler quote” (“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians”) attributed to Adolf Hitler, as claimed by the Armenian side, is a forgery and was rejected into evidence during the Nuremberg trials post World War II. Transcripts of the speech made by Hitler on August 22, 1939, 10 days before the invasion of Poland and accepted into evidence at Nuremberg, do not contain such a quote. It is a sign of desperation by the Armenian side that such a fake quote by Hitler is advanced as “evidence” for genocide.
  9. As noted above, both international court decisions and the views of eminent scholars such as Bernard Lewis, Stanford Shaw and Justin McCarthy, speak convincingly against similarity between Holocaust and “Armenian genocide.” Those that still assert otherwise should answer, e.g.,
  1. Were the Jews in Nazi Germany treated as a loyal minority, some holding high government positions?
  2. Did the Jews in Nazi Germany rise against their government, formed armed militias, attacked the supply lines of the German army, and joined the invading enemy forces?
  3. Did the Nazis make a distinction between the “good Jews” and the “bad Jews,” sending only the latter to the gas chambers?
  4. Were the Nazi officers who mistreated the Jews and sent them to gas chambers tried and punished by the Nazi government, some receiving death sentences?
  1. Between 1973 and 1987, the Armenian ASALA and JCAG terrorist groups committed 239 acts of terrorism that resulted in the massacre of at least 70 and the wounding of 524 innocent people. This was a campaign of terrorism that has no equal in world diplomatic history. Of the dead, 58 were Turkish, of which 31 were diplomats. The terrorists also took 105 hostages. To a lesser degree, Armenian terrorism continued into the 1990s. Distinguished professors such as the deceased Stanford Shaw of UCLA, Heath Lowry of Princeton University, and Justin McCarthy of Louisville University received death threats or have had their homes bombed. The perpetrators of these crimes, if caught, have usually received light sentences; some received legal help, even plaudits, from Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora. When considering human rights vis-à-vis the Armenian issue, can such despicable acts of terrorism be overlooked or brushed aside?
  2. The Pew surveys have repeatedly shown that Armenia is the most anti-Semitic country in Europe, and also the most anti-Semitic country among non-Muslim countries in the world [47].

Conclusion

Given the account above, there is no justification for recognizing the so-called “Armenian genocide,” firstly because it does not reflect historical facts, and secondly, the recognition would be in breach of the Genocide Convention. The genocidal tendency is a manifestation of racism toward another group of people, and Turks do not have genocidal mind. The historical events were tragic for both Armenians and Muslims, but there was no Armenian genocide.

Further, the recognition of “Armenian genocide” by the Australian government would be in violation of the rulings of the highest judicial bodies in Europe. These rulings underline the fact that “Armenian genocide” is unproven, has no similarity to Holocaust, and that governments and parliaments do not have the authority to judge the crime of genocide, i.e., this is the bailiwick of competent courts.

Unlike in the case the Rwandan, Srebrenica and Cambodia genocides, there is no determination by a competent tribunal as to “Armenian genocide.” 

In its substance, the allegation of “Armenian genocide” is a hatred-driven allegation that is promoted by a well-funded, well-organized Armenian lobby exploiting an ethno-religious prejudice. It is divisive, does not contribute to Turkish-Armenian relations, and overlooks the atrocities committed against civilian Muslims by armed Armenian elements during World War I.

Those who favor the recognition of “Armenian genocide” should wonder why Armenia does not litigate its case in a court of law. The genocide issue is a dispute between Turkey and Armenia, and the International Court of Justice (IJC) in The Hague is the proper forum to settle disputes between countries. This is also what the Genocide Convention calls for. The Genocide Convention became effective in 1951, and since then Armenia had plenty of time to take its case to IJC for adjudication. That it has not done so, bespeaks Armenia’s own disbelief in its genocide allegations.

The Armenian side does not even want to open all its archives e.g., in Yerevan, Boston and Jerusalem, and have historians from both sides debate the issue. Unlike the Armenian archives, the Turkish archives are open. 

The Armenian atrocities against civilian Muslims, mainly Turks, during World War I continued in a different form in “modern times” through the ASALA/JCAG terror from 1973 to the 1990’s, causing human tragedy of its own. Two such terrorist attacks took place on Australian soil, including a 1980 attack in Sydney where the Turkish Consul General and his bodyguard were assassinated by two Armenian gunmen. This is a testimony to the fact that the self-imposed Armenian “genocide industry” has left behind generations of young Armenians poisoned with ethnic hatred against Turks, and anything Turkish. Such hatred still persists today. The allegation of “Armenian genocide” is in essence a hate speech.

A poignant point vis-à-vis the Armenian issue and the Commonwealth of Australia is the message of humanity and compassion Kemal Atatürk extended in 1934 to the mothers of the young men that sacrificed their lives at Gallipoli. His message, engraved on a stone at the Kemal Atatürk Memorial on ANZAC Parade, Canberra, reads:

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore, rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours … you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well.”

Surely, a message of good will and friendship from Turkey to the Commonwealth of Australia.

Also, a reminder that the Armenians who suffered in that momentous period in history were themselves the pawns of the Allied Powers that goaded them to rise against their government. All in the interest of imperial outreach!

It is hoped that the Australian government will take due notice of the above facts and reject recognition of “Armenian genocide.” This is what history requires; and it is also what the rule of law requires. Just recently a statement by Ms. Alice Wairimu Nderitu [48], the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, underlined the importance of adjudication in a court of law to affirm – just in the case of Holocaust and other crimes against humanity – the accusation of genocide. In the case of “Armenian genocide,” there is no such adjudication.

References

[1] Australian government’s recognition of Armenian Genocide is a matter of time after parliament passage – Haig Kayserian.

https://www.aravot-en.am/2021/11/30/294233/

[2] Armenian Genocide Commemoration.

https://r26i43wr32r1ccg5d18cllec-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Australia_New_South_Wales_1997.pdf

[3] Australia’s Position on Armenian Genocide ‘Under Review,’ Confirms Foreign Minister.

Australia’s Position on Armenian Genocide ‘Under Review,’ Confirms Foreign Minister

[4] Justin McCarthy: The Turk in America: The Creation of an Enduring Prejudice.

[5] Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Canberra.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemal_Atat%C3%BCrk_Memorial,_Canberra

[6] Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html

[7] Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969.

https://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/conventions/1_1_1969.pdf

[8] Pulat Tacar: Keys for A Legal Assessment of Genocide Recognition Demands and Reparation Claims of Armenians.

https://www.academia.edu/65738130/Keys_For_A_Legal_Assessment_Of_Genocide_Recognition_Demands_And_Reparation_Claims_Of_Armenians

[9] Karolina Wanda Olszowska: How Spanish Jews found their second home in the Ottoman Empire?

How Spanish Jews found their second home in the Ottoman Empire?

[10] Alan Simons: Turkey and the Holocaust: How Turkish diplomats saved Jewish lives.

TURKEY AND THE HOLOCAUST: How Turkish diplomats saved Jewish lives

[11] Stanford J. Shaw: Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933–1945.

[12] Eibhlin O’Neill: The story of Turkish aid to the Irish during the Great Hunger.

https://www.transceltic.com/blog/story-of-turkish-aid-irish-during-great-hunger

[13] Edward Erickson: The Armenians and Ottoman Military Policy, 1915.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249821197_The_Armenians_and_Ottoman_Military_Policy_1915

[14] Sworn Statement of Albert J. Amateau on the allegations that Armenians suffered “genocide” by the government of the Ottoman Empire.

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/aa3.html

[15] The 1923 Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni, Armenia’s First Prime Minister.

http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/1923Manifesto-Hovhannes.htm

[16] Robert Cox and Mehmet Arif Demirer: Turkey 1915 Betrayal & Suicide at War.

https://www.abebooks.de/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30531123310&searchurl=an%3Dmehmet%2Barif%2Bdemirer%26sortby%3D17&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-title11

[17] Guenter Lewy: The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide.

[18] Uluç Gürkan: The Malta Tribunal.

https://ulucgurkan.net/2019/09/the-malta-tribunal/

[19] Health H. Lowry: The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story.

[20] Şükrü Server Aya: Preposterous Paradoxes of Ambassador Morgenthau: A Factual Story about Politics, Propaganda and Distortions.

[21] Türkkaya Ataöv: The Talat Pasha Telegrams.

http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/andonian.htm

[22] Mehmet Perinçek: The Role of the Russian State Archives in the Armenian Issue.

The Role of the Russian State Archives in the Armenian Issue Dr. Mehmet Perinçek

[23] Patriarch of Moscow: The Ottoman Empire did not exterminate the Christian minorities.

Patriarch of Moscow: The Ottoman Empire did not exterminate the Christian minorities (VIDEO)

[24] Case T-346/03, Grégoire Krikorian and Others v. European Parliament and Others.

https://curia.europa.eu/juris/showPdf.jsf?docid=71894&doclang=EN

[25] European Court of Human Rights, Grand Chamber Case of Perinçek v. Switzerland.

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-158235%22]}

[26] Bruce Fein Explains All.

[27] United Nations: Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 20 January 2022.

https://new-york-un.diplo.de/un-en/news-corner/-/2507408#:~:text=UN%20General%20Assembly%20adopts%20Resolution%20on%20Holocaust%20Denial,actors%20to%20take%20active%20measures%20against%20Holocaust%20denial.

[28] Genocide needs to be determined by judicial body, UN says.

https://news.az/index.php/news/genocide-needs-to-be-determined-by-judicial-body-un-says

[29] There Was No Genocide: Interview with Professor Bernard Lewis.

https://www.ataa.org/armenian-issue-revisited/there-was-no-genocide-interview-with-professor-bernard-lewis

[30] Stanford Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw: History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey: Volume II: Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808-1975.

[31] Justin McCarthy: Death and Exile.

[32] Yves Bénard: Divergences Turco-Arméniennes.

https://books.google.com/books/about/Divergences_turco_arm%C3%A9niennes.html?id=agg7DwAAQBAJ

[33] Bruce Fein: Lies, Damn Lies, and Armenian Deaths.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lies-damn-lies-and-armeni_b_211408

[34] Yusuf Halaçoğlu: Facts on the Relocation of Armenians 1914-1918.

[35] A.A. Lalaian: The Counter Revolutionary Role of the Dashnagzoutiun Party & 1914-1923.

https://www.trendyol.com/kaynak-yayinlari/the-counter-revolutionary-role-of-the-dashnagzoutiun-party-1914-1923-p-32159228

[36] Turkey Prime Minister’s Office, Ottoman Archives Directorate, No. 49, Massacres by Armenians, Vol I.

https://www.devletarsivleri.gov.tr/cdn?fileId=75

[37] Turkey Prime Minister’s Office, Ottoman Archives Directorate, No. 50, Massacres by Armenians, vol. II.

https://www.devletarsivleri.gov.tr/cdn?fileId=76

[38] Justin McCarthy: Death and Exile.

[39] Ömer Lütfi Taşçıoğlu: Türk-Ermeni İlişkilerinde Tarihi, Siyasi ve Hukuki Gerçekler.https://www.sozcukitabevi.com/Kitap/omer-lutfi-tascioglu-turk-ermeni-iliskilerinde-tarihi-siyasi-ve-hukuki-gercekler

[40] Robert Dunn: World Alive: A Personal Story.

[41] NSW Premier hopes Australia will acknowledge Armenian Genocide.

https://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/292366/NSW_Premier_hopes_Australia_will_acknowledge_Armenian_Genocide

[42] War-time disinformation and “The Blue Book.”

https://tallarmeniantale.com/blue-book.htm

[43] Wellington House.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellington_House

[44] Pat Walsh: Genocidal States of Mind.

Genocidal States of Mind

[45] Ömer Lütfi Taşçıoğlu: The Open Letter which was Addressed to His Holiness Pope Francis to Reflect the Realities.

http://www.sssjournal.com/DergiTamDetay.aspx?ID=633&Detay=Ozet

[46] Mehmet Perinçek: Nazi-Dashnak Collaboration during World War II, A historical Study on the Caucasus, Center for Eurasian Studies (AVIM), 2016.

https://www.academia.edu/25033346/Nazi_Dashnak_Collaboration_During_World_War_II

[47] Armenian anti-Semitism rears its ugly head.

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/22114

[48] United Nations Press Release: Statement by Ms. Alice Wairimu Nderitu.

https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents/2022-01-21%20Statement%20on%20Holocaust%20denial%20GA%20resolution%20vfinal.pdf


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