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The Other Side of the Story


The Other Side of the Story : Wartime Suffering Caused by Armenian Insurgency, Not genocide – Rebuttal by: Ergun KIRLIKOVALI – April 16, 2015.

Re:  “Turkey must set record straight over Armenian genocide” by Paul Monk, The Age, April 16, 2015;  https://www.theage.com.au/comment/turkey-must-set-record-straight-over-armenian-genocide-20150415-1ml7e1.html#comments

Paul Monk perhaps means well but he seems to be led astray by his desire to take all Armenian allegations at face value, whereas when facts are considered, the entire picture changes drastically.  [1]

Unfortunately, the Turkish-Armenian conflict is one of those cases where perception trumps facts which is why I do not blame Paul Monk for being totally off base on this.  This issue goes to identity of the Armenians and riddled with cliches promoting falsehoods.  [2]

The events of 1915 are stereo typically presented as “poor, starving Armenians” with no arms or armies, are totally exterminated by brutal Turks starting one morning on April 24, 1915.  Nothing can be father from the truth. [3]  Starting with the very first sentence above, Monk plunges right into a pool of misleading and false assertions.  Here are some bitter but rock-solid facts:

Armenians started agitating and insurgency as early as 1862; [3]

Turks did not “deport” Armenians; Turks “temporarily resettled” (TERESET) insurgents and their support base in a war zone due to the serious military threat posed at a wartime; “Tehcir” is the original term used in Turkish, TERESET its most appropriate counterpart in English; [4]

Turks did not kill 1.5 million Armenians, could not kill 1.5 million Armenians; because the total Armenian population was 1.3 million according to Ottoman 1914 census.  How can you kill more than there are?  Unless some are killed twice, which is what has to happen if you believe the Armenian propaganda that keeps raising the number of casualties every decade:  more than 200,000 per Paris Peace Conference report of March 29, 1919; 600,000 per poster dated May 1919 circulated in America for soliciting donation; 800,000 per New York Times  of October 1919, one million in 1960s, 2 million in 1980s, 1,5 million in the last decade.  Yet,  the Turkish Historical meticulously documents 54,000 fatalities of which 8,400 are due to bullets and battles, the rest, epidemics, hunger, and elements.  Before you jump in and scream “You see, you admit that there was hunger, epidemics, and harsh elements but you sent Armenians on a death march anyway.”  Read the following. [5]

In the exact moment when Armenians were being sent south to Syria,  a million Muslim, mostly Azeri Turks, were being forced on a death march by Russians and Armenians from the Caucasus and endured heavy casualties due to same reasons: hunger, epidemics, and harsh elements.  It is just that the Western world did not want to hear about Muslim suffering and that bias continues today in the genocide calls.    While Armenians were given police protection, supplies, even carts and animals where possible, these Muslims got no such help at all.  If it is human tragedy we are grieving, then let us grieve for all “human beings“, without discriminating on the basis of their religion and ethnicity.  [6]

The charge of  “the first major genocide of 20th Century” is spurious and fallacious, as it lacks a court verdict by a “competent tribunal” honoring “due process” to establish “intent to exterminate“, as required by the 1948 UN Convention on genocide to support the use of the label of genocide. What the Turkish-Armenian conflict qualifies for, though, is that it is the first “attempted apartheid” of the 20th Century, which if Armenians succeeded, would allow a tiny minority of Christians (Armenians, 15-20%) to rule over a sea of Muslims (Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Circassians, and others.) This, actually, is the remarkable weakness of the 14 Wilson principles, as self determination is easily denied to some people (Turks) due to ethnic and/or religious bias. (Just like the Wilson Institute today is easily denying the rights of self-expression and rebuttal to Turks in a panel deliberately decked against them. Déjà vu?) [7]

Monk then proceeds to increase the dose of misleading statements, stating that 1.5 million Armenians were all somehow killed, but they are not. Most of those Anatolian Armenians migrated to Armenia (400,000) , Europe , North America and other places (100,000) , while others reached Syria and Northern Iraq (500,000) as a result of the TERESET (temporary resettlement order of May 27, 1915) totaling a million. They are all accounted for, excluding the 54,000 casualties documented above. It was TERESET and, true to its meaning, many Armenians did return to Turkey after 1919 but had to leave again by 1921, this time fearing retaliations by Turks because of the torture, death, and destruction that had been rained by Armenians on the Muslims after Russian withdrawal from Eastern Anatolia in 1917-1918 and French occupation of Cilicia 1919-1921.  [8]

Monk continues with his misrepresentation that a century later, the Armenian Genocide remains unrecognized, as though the world has a duty to recognize every discredited political claim as genocide.   

By using the term genocide as if it is settled history and a forgone conclusion, Monk implies there is a actually court verdict, a la Nuremberg, that labels the Turkish-Armenian conflict a genocide; but that is an absolute falsehood. While the Jewish Holocaust is a court-proven fact, the Armenian Genocide remains a long-discredited political claim. This view is upheld by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which stated in its Dec 17, 2013 verdict on Perincek vs Switzerland: “[t]he existence of a ‘genocide’, which was a precisely defined legal concept, was not easy to prove”. ECHR then added that it “…doubted that there could be a general consensus… given that historical research was, by definition, open to discussion and a matter of debate, without necessarily giving rise to final conclusions or to the assertion of objective and absolute truths“. Thus, the ECHR created a legal precedent of inadmissibility of any comparison between the Holocaust and the Armenian claims; the latter lacks what the former clearly has: concrete historical facts, clear legal basis, and existence of the “acts had been found by an international court to be clearly established“. Knowing their weaknesses, the Armenian propagandists cling to the Jewish Holocaust simply to increase their “credibility by association.” They know full well that the Jews did not establish Jewish armies, resort to terrorism, and wide scale revolts in Germany in order to establish a Jewish state on German soil; but Armenians did all that and more between 1862 and 1922 in the Ottoman lands. How can the two even be used in the same sentence, let alone compared?  [9]

This is not to minimize Armenian suffering which was real, deep, and wide; but this suffering cannot be viewed as separate from the even deeper and wider Muslim (mostly Turkish) suffering in the same era and area, due to same wartime conditions. Besides, Armenians were not innocent bystanders in this conflict , but as Boghos Nubar said, “belligerents.” A significant number of those Muslim victims met their tragic deaths at the hands of Armenians revolutionaries. That said, Armenian (and Monk’s) claims are based on a dishonest and racist version of history. Racist because Turkish victims of Armenian atrocities are deliberately ignored–as if Turks are somehow sub-humans (see www.ethocide.com.) And dishonest because Armenian revolts, terrorism, raids, assassinations, bombings, treason, territorial demands and the Turkish dead resulting from such Armenian hate crimes during WWI are prejudicially dismissed, thus leaving half the story out…hence the title.  [10]

Monk thinks he cuts through nationalist myths, propaganda, and denial.  If that is the case, then where does he place this: www.ethocide.com ? Armenian cadets, uniformed and well-armed, arrogantly brandishing their Russian-made Mosin rifles at the Armenian Military Academy of 1906 in Bulgaria? Do they look like “poor, starving Armenians” to anyone? There goes the entire “genocide myth“… That it started in 1915… That Armenians were loyal… That Armenian had no arms or armies… etc. etc. etc. Non-partisan facts and unmolested evidence simply do not support a genocide case. [11]

Monk forgets that  Turkish archives are open since mid-1980s, for example, and Monk’s name is not among the researchers who honestly burned midnight oil there while more than 100 countries to date sent their scholars to study those archives. Armenian archives, on the other hand, are still closed making one think what are the Armenians afraid of? If Armenians are so right and so certain of their narrative, then why not open the archives to the world and let the scholars study them? Do they fear that we will may find those smoking guns unlocking the mysteries behind Armenian terrorist attacks from 1862 to 1922? [12]

Monk refers to eyewitness accounts but he is really pointing to  hearsay and forgeries, like the fabricated nonsense in the infamous fraud published by the British Propaganda Office, The Blue Book, which was thankfully exposed by Prof. Justin McCarthy’s brilliant detective work in British archives in London.  The Armenian forgeries are also exposed by Prof .Turkkaya Ataov and also after a significant detective work as described in his recent book Armenian Falsifications . [13]

Finally, I will let a Christian missionary, George M. Lamsa, respond to Monk in a simple and honest language:

…In some towns containing ten Armenian houses and thirty Turkish houses, it was reported that 40,000 people were killed, about 10,000 women were taken to the harem, and thousands of children left destitute; and the city university destroyed, and the bishop killed. It is a well- known fact that even in the last war the native Christians, despite the Turkish cautions, armed themselves and fought on the side of the Allies. In these conflicts, they were not idle, but they were well supplied with artillery, machine guns and inflicted heavy losses on their enemies….” [14]

So, may I kindly ask you, the truth-seeking honest readers,  now: Where is the pain and suffering of my people, the Turks, in Monk’s racist and dishonest narrative?

Is what Monk doing fair? Factual? Ethical? Human?



Son of Turkish survivors from both paternal and maternal sides;

Grandparents victimized by hate crimes committed by Ottoman Christians, including Armenians

(www.ethocide.com )



[1] Lewy, Guenter. The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide, Salt Lake City, University of Utah, 2005.

[2] Ataov, Turkkaya, Armenian Falsifications, Okey Enterprises, Inc., New York, 2008

[3] Nalbandian, Louise. The Armenian Revolutionary Movement; The Development of Armenian , Political Parties through the 19th Century. Berkeley: Univ. of California, 1963.

[4] Halacoglu, Yusuf, Facts on the Relocation of Armenians 1914-1918, Turkish Historical Society Printing House, Ankara, 2002

[5] Ozdemir, Hikmet, The Ottoman Army: Disease & Death on the Battlefield, Univ. of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 2008

[6] Cicek, Kemal, The Great War and the Forced Migration of Armenians, Athol Books, Belfast, N. Ireland, 2005

[7] McCarthy, Justin, Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922, The Darwin Press, Princeton, 1995.

[8] Sonyel, Salahi R., Minorities and the Destruction of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish Historical Society Printing House, Ankara, 1993

[9] “State Identity, Continuity, and Responsibility: The Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey and the Armenian Genocide: A Reply to Vahagn Avedian” by Pulat Tacar and Maxime Gauin  https://ejil.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/3/821.full.pdf+html

[10] Uras, Esat, The Armenians in History and the Armenian Question, Documentray Publications, Istanbul, 1988

[11] 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. Confession by the Armenian revolutionary leaders that they planned and executed a war against the Ottoman Empire.

[12] https://www.meforum.org/2114/ottoman-archives-reshape-armenian-debate

[13] McCarthy, Justin. The Turk in America: Creation of an Enduring Prejudice. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah, 2010. See also Ataov, Turkkaya, Armenian Falsifications, Okey Enterprises, Inc., New York, 2008

[14] George M. Lamsa,  The Secret of the Near East, the Ideal Press, Philadelphia 1923, p 133:


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