Esteemed Member of the German Federal
We have learnt of the developments
relating to the possibility of the Armenian allegations being discussed in the
German parliament. In the framework of international law, human rights, peace,
stability and security we would like to bring some information to your
attention. We address those who respect justice, sovereignty, democracy and
freedoms and who wish to know the truth behind this issue.
When did the Armenian issue come to
the fore, what is the truth behind it?
The Turks and Armenians came into
contact with each other beginning in the 11th Century and these two peoples
lived with each other in peace and tranquility until the end of the 19th
Century. The Armenian question began with the 1774 Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca and
the article of the 1878 Berlin Treaty which permitted Russia, France, England
and Germany to interfere in the domestic affairs of the Ottoman Empire as the
protectorate of the Armenians. The Armenians began organizing for an
independent state as a result of the intrigues of the aforementioned states.
Subsequently the Armenians began to establish armed revolutionary committees,
the most notable of which are the Ramgavar Party founded in 1885, the Hunchak
Party founded in 1886 and the Dashnak Party founded in 1890. The programme of
the aforementioned organisations was the foundation of an “independent Armenia
in Eastern Anatolia” and to achieve this goal their openly stated tactics were
to incite rebellion and conduct campaigns of terror.
The Armenian writer M. Varantyan in
his work The History of the Dashnak Party explains the political programme of
the Armenian committees as follows: “the aim of the organisation is to incite
rebellion and as a consequence of this rebellion to gain independence or
freedom as in Bulgaria and Lebanon.” The slogan of the committees was “Kill the
Turks and Kurds wherever you find them. Kill reactionaries, those who aren’t
true to their word, Armenian collaborators and attain your revenge.”
Consequently, a clear agenda which
seeks to exploit Armenian sensitivities both past and present is at play –
previously against the Ottoman Empire and currently against the Republic of
Bloody Betrayal and Ethnic Cleansing
during the First World War
The Armenian armed rebellions began
in 1860 with the support of foreign powers and continued until World War One.
During and after the war these rebellions had eventually taken the form of
massacres. The Armenian rebels took the side of foreign powers against their
own state. The war effort was severely hampered by the raiding of military
depots, attacking of supply chains and the cutting of telegraph lines.
Widespread massacres against Turkish civilians terrified the populace, forcing
1.5 million of them to migrate further west – the aim of this was to secure an
Armenian majority in areas where the Armenians had previously constituted a
minority. The Russian historian Irandust in his work Kemalist Devrimin İtici
Güçleri argued that, “the armed Dashnaks units, formed on the initiative of the
French, had carried out mass murder against the Turkish population (…) The
Armenian gangs massacred entire villages one by one. Their programme to
eliminate the Turkish population was carried out purposely and consciously by
the administration of the foreign occupation forces.”
The Ottoman government began to
relocate Armenian citizens to Syria and Lebanon, which at that time were also
constituent parts of the Ottoman Empire, to mitigate the possibility of further
military losses. The government issued the Relocation and Resettlement Law
(Sevk ve İskân Kanunu) in line with contemporary military practice in cases of
irregular warfare. Approximately 600,000 persons were resultantly forced to
migrate. During the relocation great tragedies were experienced. Approximately
48,000 persons perished – mostly as the result of sickness and cold but also as
a result of attacks by bands and those seeking revenge.
The Armenian side does not respect
treaties, restarting its campaign of terror
At the conclusion of World War One in
1918, the Armenians sought to benefit from the surrender of Ottoman forces by
migrating back to their ancestral lands in Anatolia. There they began a
campaign of mass murder against the Turkish populace. This continued until
1920. With the final defeat of Armenian forces by the army of Kazım Karabekir
the 1920 treaties of Alexandropol and Moscow, Treaty of Kars in 1921 and
finally the 1923 Lausanne Treaty secured the present borders of Turkey and
This period can be summarized as
follows: between 1860 and 1920, that is to say for sixty years, the western
powers managed to fool the Armenians with the pledge of “founding a state
between the two seas” (Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea). This resulted in the
Armenians attacking the state with the dream of founding their own state in
eastern Anatolia. For their own part, the Turks took the position of defending
their homeland. Expressed more tragically, the Armenian issue is a story of an
unjust aggressor and a righteous victim.
Armenians who don’t respect
agreements begin a campaign of terror
The peace secured at the Lausanne
Conference lasted for fifty years – in 1973 the Armenian Secret Army for the
Liberation of Armenian (ASALA) emerged onto the world stage. Between the years
1973 and 1985, they were responsible for the murders of over 45 Turkish
diplomats and personnel. Between the years 1988-1995, the Republic of Armenia
occupied 20% of Azerbaijan’s land. During the same period, the Armenian
government carried out ethnic cleansing. In one single night six-hundred and
thirteen (613) women, children and elderly persons were massacred in the
settlement of Khojaly and in general over 1 million Azeri Turks were displaced.
The world has stood idly by in the face of these occupations, massacres and
ethnic cleansing for twenty-two years. It should also be noted that the very
same western powers that utilized Armenian gangs in their drive to dismember
the Ottoman Empire have also rendered their support for these crimes against
international law and against humanity.
The Position of the Law Regarding the
Resolution of this Two-Century Long Problem?
1. During 1916 the Ottoman government
tried one thousand three hundred and ninety seven (1397) persons in the
employment of the state who had been negligent and co-operated with those who
had attacked Armenian civilians during the relocations; sixty-seven (67) of
those received the death penalty. The others received various heavy penalties.
This begs the question as to how a state charged with “systematically
massacring the Armenians” can subsequently punish those who had played a role
in attacks on civilians.
2. The decision of the United
Kingdom: During the occupation of Istanbul after World War One, the armed
forces of the United Kingdom arrested several prominent figures including
leaders of the wartime Ottoman government and exiled them to Malta. An
international court was established under the direction of a British judge
named Woods with the purpose of trying these persons in relation to the
Armenian issue. After an inconclusive two year search of the Ottoman, English,
American, Egyptian and Iraqi state archives, the charges were dropped on 29
July 1921 given a lack of evidence. This decision is important because it was
taken at a time when the Ottomans had been defeated. That is to say during a
period when the events, witnesses and archival documents were in the open and
the relevant foreign powers had access to them. No one who respects the rule of
law can object to this. (See Attachment 1)
3. The Decision of the European Court
of Justice: An Armenian association based in France had opened a court case on
the basis that as the “European Parliament had reached a decision that Turkey
is committed genocide, Turkey’s admission to the European Union must be
suspended.” In its 29 October 2004 decision, the European Court of Justice
noted that the European Parliament’s 1987 resolution regarding the “Armenian
Genocide” was political and had no basis in law.
4. French Constitutional Court
decision: The decision taken by the French parliament on the initiative of
Patrick Deveciyan to consider denial of the “Armenian genocide” a crime was
later annulled by the French Constitutional Court.
5. Decision of the International
Court of Justice the relocation cannot be considered genocide: In relation to a
court case which Croatia instigated against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
in 1999, the ICJ decided that the relocation of persons, even by force, cannot
be considered genocide.
6. European Court of Human Rights
decision: the European Court of Human Rights in its decision dated 15.10.2015
regarding the Perinçek-Switzerland case noted that the forced relocation of
Armenians in 1915 cannot be considered genocide in light of international law.
In spite of the decisions in the
aforementioned court cases, the continued persecution of Turks in relation to
this issue can only be summarized as a lack of respect for the law.
Two witnesses, two civilized
The leader of the Dashnak Committee
and the Republic of Armenia’s first Prime Minister Hovhannes Kajaznuni in his
1923 report delivered in Bucharest to a Dashnak congress noted that:
“We were in the process of demanding
an Armenia that would span from sea to sea (between the Black and Mediterranean
Seas). In the end we fought relentlessly with the Turks. We died and also
killed… we joined military operations. We were fooled and casted in our lot
with the Russians. The deportations were both correct and necessary. We were unable
to see the truth – we were responsible for the events which unfolded. The
Turkish national struggle was just. Rejecting peace and taking up arms was our
biggest mistake. The Treaty of Sèvres made us blind to reality. The basis of
our rebellion was the dream of a ‘Greater Armenia’; we were oblivious to the
fact that this has no basis in reality. The driving force of our rebellion was
the Armenia promised to us by the Allied States.”
Dikran Kevorkyan, the head of
Istanbul’s Kandilli Church Foundation, noted in 2007 that: “During the First
World War the English, Germans and French and on the other hand the Russians
used the Armenians as a pawn. The imperialist powers coupled with the actions
of some Armenians in positions of responsibility caused these events. What
could ASALA and the PKK have done without the support of imperialist powers?
Turkey is the greatest country in the world where the Armenians live in
tranquility and in conditions suitable for the protection of their identity.”
The Armenian attacks and massacres
which have relentlessly continued from the 1860s onwards cannot simply be
restricted to discussions regarding the relocations of 1915 alone. Likewise,
they cannot mask the necessity of coming to terms with those bearing responsibility
for the lived tragedies.
The aforementioned legal judgements
and the flow of history are in the open and cannot be hidden. Parliaments and
national governments can neither act in the capacity of historians nor as
courts of law – because judgement can only be passed by courts alone. A path
which can re-affirm Turkish and Armenian friendship must be established as the
Armenians have been exploited for two centuries. Armenians must also come to
terms with their own history and abandon hatred of Turks. For their own part,
the Turks have always shown themselves to be on the side of peace.
The drive to hold the baseless
allegations of the Armenians on the public agenda does no service to the
developing of positive relations between the neighboring states of Turkey and
Armenia. On the contrary, it contributes to a lack of trust and more than
anyone, it is the Armenian people who suffer as a result of this.
Esteemed Member of the German Federal
Seeing yourselves as representatives
of civilization, we are putting forth that politicians cannot pass judgement on
issues which are the remit of courts of law; therefore we call on you to reject
the baseless claims of the Armenians. We thank you for your understanding.
TOGETHER WE ARE THE TURKISH NATION
MOVEMENT / ON BEHALF OF 632 ACADEMICS AND INTELLECTUALS