İngiltere ABD’den Sonra Sözde Ermeni Soykırımını Kabul Edecek mi ???
ABD Başkanı Joe Biden’ın 24 Nisan 2021 tarihinde sözde Ermeni soykırımını tanımasının ardından 9 Kasım 2021’de İngiliz Parlamentosu’nun alt kanadı Avam Kamarası’nda sözde Ermeni soykırımını tanıyan yasa tasarısı oybirliğiyle kabul edilmiştir. Şimdi haftaya (18 Mart) ikinci oylama yapılacaktır. Birleşik Krallık’ta yasa tasarısını gündeme getiren Tim Loughton, “Dünya genelinde 31 ülke resmi olarak soykırımı tanırken Birleşik Krallık halen bunu tanımadı. Ermeni Soykırımı’nı tanımamak işlenen suçlara yönelik tehlikeli bir mesaj verme riski yaratıyor. Ermeni Soykırımı riskini tanımayı reddetmek, cezasız kalan bir suçun teşvik edilen veya önemsiz görülen bir suç olduğuna dair tehlikeli bir cezasızlık mesajı iletme riskini taşır” demiştir.
Bu gelişmeler üzerine sayın Ferruh Demirmen 9 Kasım’da Tim Loughton’na ve bazı İngiliz hükümet yetkililerine mesaj göndermiştir. 17 Şubat’ta ise tüm Avam Kamarası üyelerine ve birkaç İngiliz hükümeti mensubuna daha kapsamlı bir mektup yollamıştır. Bunlar aşağıdadır. Sayın Demirmen son gelişmeleri şöyle özetlemektedir:
- Avustralya hükümetinin ve İsrail parlamentosunun (Knesset) sözde Ermeni soykırımını tanıması için Ermeni tarafından yeni baskılar yapılmaktadır. (https://hyetert.org/2021/06/11/australias-position-on-armenian-genocide-under-review-confirms-foreign-minister/
- ABD’de Los Angeles’e yakın Glendale şehrinde yeni bir “Ermeni-Amerikan Müze ve Kültür Merkezi” inşa edilmektedir. Merkez,"Ermeni soykırımı kurbanlarının hatırası orada canlı tutulacak. Her yıl buraya gelen gençler için bir eğitim merkezi olarak da hizmet verecek.”İnşaata ABD federal bütçeden destek verilmektedir. Bir etnik bir grubun çıkarına olan, diğer bir etnik gruba karşı nefret duygularını kamçılayan merkezin ABD federal bütçesinden desteklenmesi kabul edilemez. (https://en.armradio.am/2022/02/17/congressman-adam-schiff-visits-armenian-american-museum-construction-site/
- Ermeni lobisinin baskısı sonucunda Kalifornia valisi Los Angeles’de yeni bir “Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education” denen bir merkez açıyor. (https://asbarez.com/governor-newsom-launches-council-on-holocaust-and-genocide-education/) Merkezin amacı, sözde soykırımın propagandasını yapmak. Valinin bu merkezin açılmasına ön ayak olması, şehit Başkonsolos Kemal Arıkan’ın katili Hampig Sasunyan’ın serbest bırakılması ile yakından ilgili.
- Türkiye’de Ermeni soykırımı iftiralarını reddeden ve Türk tezini savunan bazı YouTube videolar, “inkarın nefret söylemi” anlamına geldiği gerekçesiyle YouTube (Google) tarafından sansürlenmiştir.
Türkiye-Ermenistan normalleşme süreci önkoşulsuz olarak 24 Şubat’ta Viyana’da devam etmiştir. Bu kapsamda Dışişleri Bakanı Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu iki hafta önce 10 Şubat’ta aşağıdaki açıklamayı yapmıştır:
“Zaten Azerbaycan ile görüşmeden istişare etmeden herhangi bir adım atmayız, atmadık da. Suşa beyannamesi ile ilişkilerimizi bambaşka bir konuma geldi. Şimdi bu çerçevede atılacak adımlar belli bu konuda çalışıyoruz. Azerbaycan da bizim Ermenistan ile doğrudan temas içinde olmamızı tercih ediyor.
Şimdi neyi konuşuyoruz? Güney Kafkasya. Bu problem Azerbaycan’ın Karabağ zaferi ile sonlandırıldı. Bundan sonra barış olası lazım. Herkesin bu sürecin içinde olması lazım. Buna Ermenistan da dahil. Karabağ zaferinden çıkan bir ders var bir de fırsat var bu fırsatı iyi değerlendirmemiz lazım. Biz zaferden hemen sonra olumlu mesajlar verdik. Ermenistan buradan ders alırsa ilişkilerimizi normalleştiririz. Paşinyan seçimi kazındıktan sonra önemli mesajlar verdi. Cumhurbaşkanımız da buna olumlu karşılık verdi. Özel temsilcilerimizi atadık ve onlar Moskova’da görüştüler. Şimdi 24 Şubat’ta Viyana’da görüşecekler.”
Türkiye ile Ermenistan arasında yeni normalleşme süreci, karşılıklı özel temsilcilerin 14 Ocak’ta Moskova’da bir araya gelmesiyle başlamıştır. 2008 yılındaki girişimler sonucunda 2009’da Zürih’te protokoller imzalanmış fakat onaylanmamıştır. Görüşmelerin olumlu sonuçlanabilmesi için bana göre iki temel şart vardır. Bunlar; Ermenistan’ın ve diasporanın (ANCA) sözde Ermeni soykırımını uluslararasında kabul ettirme çabalarından ve Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin Doğu vilayetlerini “Batı Ermenistan” olarak göstermekten vazgeçmesidir.
Türkiye ile Ermenistan arasındaki son gelişmelerden rahatsız olan ABD’deki etkili Ermeni diasporası, taraflar arasında anlaşmaya varılmasına karşı çıkmakta, Türkiye’ye yaptırım uygulanması için yönetime baskı yapmakta, uluslararasında sözde Ermeni soykırımının parlamentolarda tanınması için yoğun çaba göstermeye devam etmektedir.
“Ermenistan’da kamera önünde konuşmayı kabul eden alışveriş yapanlar ve satıcılar çok az sayıdadır. Pek çoğu, Ermenistan Başbakanı Nikol Paşinyan’ın, Ermenistan’ın 1915 soykırımı dediği şeyi tanımadan Türkiye’nin görüşme davetini kabul etmesine kızgındır. Bir Erivanlı olan Haïg’in dediği gibi, ‘Sınırları açmak çoğunlukla ekonomik kalkınmayı teşvik etmek içindir. Ama daha kardeşçe bir ilişki kurmak, hayır, bu söz konusu değil. Bir Ermeni atasözü der ki, ‘Düşmanınız dostunuz olursa, yine de elinde bir sopa tutmalısınız.’ (If your enemy becomes your friend, you should still keep a stick in your hand) (https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20220204-normal-ties-with-turkey-viewed-with-scepticism-by-residents-of-the-armenian-capital)
Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan resmi ağızdan ilk defa 1915 tehcirine ilişkin Ermenilere taziye mesajı iletilmiş olmasına rağmen karşı taraf mesajın içeriğini anlamak istememiştir. Cumhurbaşkanı Abdullah Gül’ün 6 Eylül 2008 tarihinde futbol maçı izlemek için Erivan’a yaptığı ziyaretin ardından atılan adımlar, Türkiye-Ermenistan arasında başlayan yakınlaşma süreci karşılıklı olmadığı için havada kalmıştır. Günümüzde Ermenistan’daki okul duvarlarında asılan haritalarda Türkiye’nin 12 ili yer almaktadır. Bu haritalar (aşağıda) kaldırılmamıştır.
Türkiye ve Ermenistan özel temsilcileri tarafından 14 Ocak’ta başlatılan normalleşme sürecinde önemli ve yeni bir adım Antalya’da atılmıştır. Dışişleri Bakanlığı’nın davetini kabul ederek Antalya’ya gelen Ermenistan Dışişleri Bakanı, Dışişleri Bakanı Çavuşoğlu ile ikili bir görüşme yapmıştır. Görüşmeye Türk tarafının temsilcisi Büyükelçi Serdar Kılıç katılırken, Ermenistan tarafının özel temsilcisi olan Meclis Başkan Yardımcısı Ruben Rubenyan Antalya’ya gelmemiştir. Büyükelçi Kılıç ve Rubenyan’ın 14 Ocak ve 24 Şubat’ta iki kez görüştüklerini, bugün de Mirzoyan ile normalleşme sürecinde ele alınan konuların üzerinden geçtiklerini açıklayan Çavuşoğlu, "Memnuniyetle söylemek isterim ki; biz Güney Kafkasya’da istikrar ve barış için çaba sarf ediyoruz. Ve bu yönde çabalarımıza da her taraftan destek görüyoruz" demiştir.
Hocalı soykırımı tanınmadan, ANCA’nın ABD’de sözde soykırım girişimlerine son vermeden, Ermenistan Doğu vilayetlerimizi kendi sınırlarını içinde gösterme çabalarından vazgeçmeden, Zangezur Koridoru açılmadan, Ermeni diasporasının uluslararasında sözde Ermeni soykırımını tanıtım faaliyetlerine son vermeden, Ermenistan arşivlerini açmadan, Ermeni terör örgütlerince şehit edilen Türk diplomatları için Ermenistan özür dilemeden karşılıklı uçak seferlerinin başlatılmasında Türkiye’nin çıkarı yoktur.
Şehit Diplomatlarımız adlı kitabın yazarı emekli Büyükelçi Dr. Bilal N. Şimşir bu dönemi şöyle anlatıyor: "1970’li ve 1980’li yıllarda uçaklar, dünyanın dört bucağından Türkiye’ye şehit diplomat cenazeleri taşıyıp durdular. Yurt dışına bavulla giden Türk diplomatları tabutlar içinde döndüler.”
24 Nisan’da Başkan Biden geçen yıl olduğu gibi yine soykırım (genocide) diyecektir.Dışişleri Bakanı Çavuşoğlu ABD Dışişleri Bakanı Blinken’e, eğer ABD Büyükelçisi Jeff Flake bu 24 Nisan’da daha önce dediği gibi sözde “Ermeni soykırımı” derse, Flake için “İstenmeyen Kişi” (persona non grata) ilan edeceğimizi şimdiden açıklamalıdır.
Ermenistan mevcut sınırı tanımalıdır. Ermenistan ile Azerbaycan arasında imzalanmış olan 2020 Dağlık Karabağ Ateşkes Anlaşması’nın 9’ncu maddesinde öngörülen “Tarafların mutabakatı ile Nahçıvan Özerk Cumhuriyeti’ni Azerbaycan’ın bölgelerine bağlayan yeni ulaşım bağlantılarının inşası” kağıt üzerinde kalmamalıdır. Azerbaycan ile Nahçıvan Özerk Cumhuriyeti arasında Ermenistan üzerinden “Zangezur Koridoru” karayolu bağlantısı için gereken adımlar atılmalıdır.
Aşağıda, sayın Ferruh Demirmen’in 18 Mart’ta ikinci oylamanın yapılacağı Birleşik Krallık’ta yasa tasarısını gündeme getiren Tim Loughton’a ve İngiliz parlamenterlerine iletmiş olduğu mektuplar vardır. Sayın Demirmen, sanki Türkiye’nin fahri Büyükelçisi gibi görev yapmaktadır. Bu nenenle kendisini tebrik ederim.
Aslında sözde soykırımı ABD iken kabul eden bir kişinin Büyükelçi olmasına “evet” denmesini yadırgıyorum. Bakalım 24 Nisan’da “soykırım” (genocide) diyecek mi? Derse ne olacak? Herhalde Dışişleri Bakanlığı bu ihtimali dikkate alarak bir plan yapmış olmalıdır. Keşke Jeff Flake itimatnamesini Dışişleri Bakan Yardımcısına Ankara’nın en meşhur balık lokantasında sunmuş olsaydı!
Türkiye’nin yeni Washington Büyükelçisi eski Eskişehir Milletvekili, kendisini ve ailesini yakından tanıdığım Doç. Dr. Murat Mercan güven mektubunu Biden’a sunamamıştır. Büyükelçimiz Mercan güven mektubunu Beyaz Saray Ulusal Konseyi üyesi Avrupa ve Ortadoğu Sorumlusu Amanda Sloat’a bir lokantada takdim etmiştir. (https://www.izgazete.net/diplomasi-makale,2999.html) Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan’ın Aralık 2020’de göreve atadığı Murat Mercan, 15 Mart 2021’e kadar Joe Biden’den randevu beklemişti.
“Türkiye’nin yeni Washington Büyükelçisinin akredite edildiği utanç verici sürecin ortaya çıkması. Murat Mercan, birkaç ay bekledikten sonra, itimatnamesini Beyaz Saray’da Amerika Birleşik Devletleri Başkanı’na teslim etmek yerine, Bakanlığın Amerika Birleşik Devletleri Doğu Avrupa ve Orta Doğu ofisi tarafından akredite olduğu bir restorana gitmek zorunda kaldı… Amerikalılar daha sonra onu aradı, ancak randevu Beyaz Saray için değil, bir restoran içindi ve referanslar Joe Biden veya Kamala Harris tarafından değil, diplomat ve Doğu ofisinin Başkanı olan Amanda Slot tarafından kabul edilecekti.” (https://newsfounded.com/greeceeng/washingtons-new-slap-on-erdogan/)
Diplomaside “mütekabiliyet” ilkesi önemlidir. 1985-1990 yılları arasında Paris OECD Daimi Temsilciliğimizde görev yaptım. 29 Ekim Cumhuriyet Bayramlarında Paris Büyükelçiliğimizdeki resepsiyonlara katılan ülkelerin hangi seviyede katılım yaptıklarına dikkat edilir ve karşı tarafın davetine de aynı seviyede katılım sağlanırdı. Konsolos seviyesinde katılım olursa (eğer önemli bir mazereti yoksa) aynı seviyede (konsolos) katılım sağlanırdı.
Uluslararası mütekabiliyet (karşılılık) ilkesi, devletlerin birbirleriyle eşit egemenlik haklarına sahip olduğunun göstergesi olup, uluslararası hukukun temel ilkelerindendir. Bu ilkeye özellikle anlaşmalar hukukunda, diplomasi ve konsolosluk hukukunda, azınlık anlaşmalarında, insan hakları hukukunda, insancıl hukukta ve mültecilik hukukunda başvurulmaktadır. (Reciprocity is one of the fundamental principles of international law. This principles is referenced in particularly, in the law of treaties, the diplomatic and consular law, the agreement of minority, the law of human rights, the humanitarian law and refugee law)
Ermenistan ile yeniden görüşmelerde Türkiye’nin ne çıkarı vardır? Bence iki önemli çıkarı bulunmaktadır. Şimdiye kadar Ermenistan’ın kabullenmemiş olduğu mevcut Türkiye-Ermenistan sınırını resmen tanımaları, (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin sınırlarını) diğeri ise Ermenistan ile Azerbaycan arasında imzalanmış olan 2020 Dağlık Karabağ Ateşkes Antlaşmasının 9’ncu maddesinde öngörülen maddedir: "Tarafların mutabakatı ile Nahçıvan Özerk Cumhuriyeti’ni Azerbaycan’ın bölgelerine bağlayan yeni ulaşım bağlantılarının inşası gerçekleştirilmesi." Bu koridorun açılması, Türkiye’nin Azerbaycan ve Türk dünyası bağlantısı için çok önemlidir. Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan ABD Büyükelçisini kabul ederken muhtemelen ilişkiler kopma noktasına gelmesin diye bir yol izlenmiş olabilir. Bu yolun doğru bir yol olup olmadığını 24 Nisan’da göreceğiz.
Aşağıda, sayın Demirmen’in bir vatandaş olarak yaptığı girişimler vardır. Kendisini gönülden kutluyorum.
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE” IS AN ALLEGATION NOT SUPPORTED BY HISTORY AND LAW
As Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels famously said, “Repeat a lie often enough, and it becomes the truth,” thus creating the "illusion of truth." This, in fact, is where we stand as the cacophony of proposals appear in the West advocating the recognition of “Armenian genocide” by parliaments and governments. Such a proposal is now in the House of Commons. 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 masterfully described how distorted missionary reports combined with British propaganda (Wellington House) before and during First World I created an enduring prejudice involving the “Terrible Turk” in the West, in particular America. It is regrettable that the “genocide” proposal will now be given a hearing in the parliament of a nation which, given its history, should know first-hand that “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. Welcome good-old bigotry, now knocking at the door of House of Commons! But hopefully, in the pursuit of truth, common sense and decency will prevail, and the motion to recognize “Armenian genocide” 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:
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 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, 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, 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. Noteworthy also is the fact that the Ottoman Turks extended warm welcome to Jews that were persecuted during the Spanish inquisition in the 15th century, and Turkish diplomats saved thousands of Jews from the Nazi terror during World War II. Turkey also invited and welcomed hundreds of Jewish scholars and scientists who had fled Nazi Germany and Austria. 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. 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.
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 J. Erickson 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. 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), the first Prime Minister of Independent Armenia, http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/1923Manifesto-Hovhannes.htm and Cox and Demirer, 2019. 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 Lewy 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.
Of particular interest with respect to the “Armenian genocide” motion brought forward by Mr. Tim Loughton is the Malta Tribunal – an event the British should be well-informed about.
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. 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 State Department 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. Heath W. Lowry, and further elaborated by researcher Şükrü Server Aya (1), 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 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 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” – a position enunciated a number of times, e.g., by – Baroness Ramsey of Cartvale in 1999, – Baroness Scotland of Asthal and Beverley Hughes, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in 2001, – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Parliamentary Affairs Lord Triesman and Minister for Europe Mr. Denis MacShane in 2007, – Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown) in 2008, – Baroness Kinnock in 2010, – Baroness Warsi in 2012. So, one must ask: What has changed now? History, law, or more pressure from the Armenian side? 5. Research of the Russian archives by Dr. Mehmet Perinçek reveals convincingly that the assertion of “Armenian Genocide” cannot be true. Russian archives are important, because the Armenian separatist movement was closely allied with Tsarist Russia. As late as April 24, 2021, the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill 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, 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 (“General Court”) 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 character of such resolutions. 8. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) 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. 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. 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. Holocaust (1941-45) was a special type of atrocity established by the Nuremberg Tribunal, and its uniqueness has just recently been affirmed by UN, https://undocs.org/en/A/RES/76/250. 11. 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. 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 was the eminent British historian Prof. Dr. Bernard Lewis. 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 (2017), 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. 7 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, an American constitutional scholar 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), 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, 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. According to Prof. Justin McCarthy (2), Muslim losses in the Transcaucasian region were 413,000. In the Ottoman city of Van alone, located in present-day southeastern Turkey, 60% 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, 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. 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, 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.”
1. 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.”
2. 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.
3. 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. What attracted Armenians to the Nazis was that they were considered an “Aryan” race. Armenian recruits also joined the Panzer Corps and Gestapo in France and Germany.
4. 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. Interestingly, this “minor detail” is not mentioned by those who use the Hitler quote to shore up their genocide claims. 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.
5. 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. 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?
6. The Pew surveys have repeatedly shown that Armenia is the most anti-Semitic country in Europe, and also the most ant-Semitic country among non-Muslim countries in the world.
Comments on Mr. Tim Loughton’s Motion
1. The reference by Mr. Loughton to “Armenian genocide of 1915-23,” apart from the false “genocide” assertion, is categorically wrong in terms of timing. The Relocation took place between May of 1915 and February 1916. Armenian deaths unrelated to Relocation cannot be attributed to Turks. The allegation that the mistreatment of Armenians extended to 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.
2. A British barrister, Geoffrey Ronald Robertson, QC, who represented the losing side in the European Court of Human Right’s Switzerland vs. Perinçek case (2015), prepared a report titled “Was there an Armenian Genocide” in 2009, criticizing the British Parliament as being a denier of such genocide. As analyzed point-by-point in a book by Şükrü Server Aya (2), Robertson’s report was full of falsehoods and misconceptions.
3. Mr. Loughton states that His Holiness Pope Francis characterized “Armenian genocide” as the as the first genocide of the 20th century. His Holiness, 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).
4. As noted by Dr. Ömer Taşçıoğlu, the Pope was also unaware that, when a major famine afflicted the Christian community including the re-settled Armenians in Syria during World War I, Jamal Pasha, the commander of the Ottoman Government’s 4th Army, asked the Maronite Patriarch in Antioch to pen a letter to His Holiness, the Pope of the time, asking for his mediation to obtain medical and food supplies from the USA and Spain. But the efforts failed because of the blockade by British and French ships.
5. Armenians in eastern Anatolia were relocated, not deported, mainly to Syria, which was part of the Ottoman Empire.
6. The “Blue Book” compiled by historian Arnold Toynbee in 1916 at the instigation of Viscount James Bryce of Wellington House, 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, 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.”
7. Mr. Loughton, while arguing for “Armenian genocide,” mentions the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides in his Bill. Somehow, he has overlooked the Cambodian genocide recognized in 2018. More importantly, is he aware that, unlike “Armenian genocide,” these three genocides had the blessings of ad hoc courts?
8. Mr. Loughton mentions that no fewer than 31 countries officially recognized “Armenian genocide.” Yes, but some 160 states have not recognized “Armenian genocide.” As for President Joe Biden recognizing “Armenian genocide,” it is well known that the majority of American politicians are beholden to the Armenian lobby for their generous campaign contributions. Mr Biden is no exception. Politics, and the anti-Turkish, anti-Muslim prejudice are also contributing factors.
9. To support his genocide Bill, Mr. Loughton astonishingly mentions the infamous Hitler quote, “who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” As noted above, the “Hitler quote” is a forgery and was rejected into evidence at the Nuremberg trials. Would the members of the House of Commons, who deal with laws and scrutinise government policies, be comfortable giving credence to material that was rejected at Nuremberg?
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.
Further, a parliamentary body such as the House of Commons has no legal authority to pass judgment on genocide. The recognition by the House or the British 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 racist assertion 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. If Mr. Loughton and the “Armenian camp” in the House of Commons are serious about settling the dispute on “Armenian genocide,” they should urge Armenia to 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. The Genocide Convention became effective in 1951. Since then, especially after the Soviet rule ended in 1991, Armenia had plenty of time to take its case to IJC for adjudication. That it has not done so until now 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. A testimony to the fact that the self-imposed “genocide” industry has left behind generations of young Armenians poisoned with ethnic hatred against Turks, and anything Turkish. The bigotry that lies behind “genocide” resolutions in parliaments etc. in the West, one that Prof. Justin McCarthy (1) has aptly identified as the mark of the “Terrible Turk,” gives little hope for a peaceful world. Such resolutions run counter the UN’s Committee for Eradication of Racial Discrimination’s decision “to stop hate speech.” One can only hope that the House of Commons will rise above such bigotry and will do the right thing by saying “no” to “Armenian genocide.”
Ferruh Demirmen, Ph.D.
17 February 2022