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AnasayfaHaberlerAmerikaErrors and Omissions in Historiography

Errors and Omissions in Historiography

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In response to :  “Armenia and Turkey: From normalization to reconciliation“, By: Fiona Hill, Kemal Kirişci and Andrew Moffatt, article / winter 2015…

https://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2015/02/armenia-turkey-normalization-reconciliation

There are some errors in your chronology and historiography which I hope to bring to your attention with this brief note.

You  state that while the allied navies  “…attempted to force their way through the Turkish Straits to attack Istanbul…”, the Ottoman government was in the process of moving its Armenian population away from the war zones.  Not exactly.  The allied naval attacks came on March 18, 1915 and ended up in defeat in a few days. The allies then tried a massive landing operation on April 25, 1915 which lasted about nine months.  The TERESET (TEmporary RESETtlement) order by the Ottoman Government came on May 31, 1915, a month later than landing,  and it was mid-June when the first party of Armenians were actually moved.  There is at least a month between the two events.

But error in timing is not the sole problem in the article.  You also seem to ignore three momentous events that caused the TERESET order to be issued:

1)       By December 1914, Armenian revolutionaries and insurgents have already killed 120,000 Muslims, mostly Turkish.  (Source: Pope, Stephen, Wheal Elizabeth-Anne, The MacMillan Dictionary of the First World War, MacMillan Reference Books, London, 1995, page 34.)  This number represents 0.8% of the Ottoman population of 15 million at the time.  Imagine 0.8% of the US population today, roughly 2.6 million Americans, being wiped out by Armenians (or others).  What would America do?   Considering the US launched a global war against a pretty much “invisible” enemy, where more than a million (mostly Muslims) were killed and 1.5 trillion dollars spent over a 13 years for 3,000 Americans lost on 9/11,  can you venture to guess what America would do if 2.6 million Americans were killed by some “visible” insurgents?    Would the US stop at TERESET like the Ottomans did in 1915, or would at least a Waco or even a Nagazaki be on the table?  Be honest.

2)     Sarikamish defeat.  It is no secret that volunteering Ottoman-Armenian scouts helped Russian armies invade North Eastern Anatolia while others took part in the Russian invasion.  The Ottoman 3rd  army lost anywhere between 30,000 to 75,000 (number in dispute) soldiers in that campaign and it halted Turkish advance into the Caucasus.  Add this defeat to the massive casualty number given above.  What do you get?  And even that’s not all.

3)   Here is the clincher.  Armenian insurgents in Van were preparing for this day for many years (Source:  Nalbandian, Louise, The Armenian Revolutionary Movement: The Development of Armenian , Political Parties through the 19th Century. Berkeley: Univ. of California, 1963.)  On April 19, 1915, Armenian revolted in Van and by 17 may, they have killed or moved about 80,000 Ottoman Muslims, destroying the Muslim quarters  of the City of Van.  They then presented the key to the city to the Russian commander of the invading Russian armies.

Adding  80,000 and 120,000, one gets 200,000, or 1.33 % of the Ottoman population in 1915.  This would correspond to about 4.4 million Americans today; imagine this many Americans being killed by Armenians (or some other insurgents) in 2015.  Reflect on that number for a while, before you quickly move on.

Back to 1915;  imagine 1.33% of the Ottoman population is being killed by some insurgents, obviously with lots of help from their community, and all the Ottoman government does is TERESET.  With its best young men already sent to countless fronts defending the tri-continental empire and thus unable to control such wide scale insurgency in Eastern Anatolia, much less separate guilty from innocent, the Ottoman government decides to move the whole community– minus those who work for the government, craftsmen, soldiers, doctors, nurses, as well as Catholics and Protestants.  The Western parts of the empire is excluded from the TERESET order.  Would the US stop at TERESET, i.e. moving insurgents from point A to point B in America, if  those insurgents killed 4.4 million Americans?

If we cannot be fair, think rationally, and engage in a reasoned debate, then all we have is an article like what I am responding to which does little more than recirculating same old Armenian narrative with cosmetic touches but no new information, angle, or approach to even faintly suggest the inclusion of Armenian complicity in 1890-1915 period.

Last but not least, I am the son of Turkish survivors from both paternal and maternal sides. My father was the sole survivor of the village of KIRLIKOVA—hence my family name—where the entire Turkish population of the village (along with four neighboring Turkish villages) were exterminated by Bulgarian and Greek irregulars, helped by Ottoman-Armenian cadets from the Armenian military academy nearby whom you can see if you click on here, www.ethocide.com , arrogantly brandishing their Russian-made Mosin  rifles in the Armenian Military Academy of Bulgaria, as early as 1906.  (Source of photo:   Houshamatyan of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Centennial, Album-Atlas, Volume I, Epic Battles, 1890-1914, The Next Day Color Printing, Inc., Glendale, CA, U.S.A., 2006, page 185.  Source of information:  McCarthy, Justin, Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922, The Darwin Press, Princeton, 1995, page 140.)

My mother’s family was also decimated but those who could escape the atrocities by marching with bare feet through freezing mud of the Balkans made it to safety in Istanbul and Bursa and Izmir and other places. Turks, because of their culture, grieve through their trauma silently and may not exactly scream in your face like Armenians. This dignified silence of the Turkish victims of Armenian atrocities, however, should not be interpreted as admission of guilt for crimes not committed.

That said, where is my family’s pain, my pain, the pain of Turks, at the hands of Armenian revolutionaries, in the alleged Armenian narrative?

And how can we forge peace and reach closure if my pain is “systematically” ignored?

Sincerely,

Ergun KIRLIKOVALI

Son of Turkish survivors from both paternal and maternal sides

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