Thursday, December 11, 2008


BY: Yüksel OKTAY

Armenian genocide is a controversial issue and also a fabrication by many Armenians and their supporters who benefit from it according to those who have studied the events of the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century with an open mind and without prejudice. Through the efforts of selfish Armenians, the issue have been carried to the legislative organs of 19 countries and 41 States in America, passing Resolutions declaring April 24 as the genocide day. Articles, books, commentaries which support the Armenian claims number in the hundreds of thousands, mostly based on a few books written by Ambassadors and Missionaries as war propaganda and the survivors of the relocation and immigrants to foreign countries. Very few books have been written by Turks and their supporters that show the Armenian genocide is a myth, as best described in a book by Austrian historian, Erich Feigel, “A Myth of Terror” and other books listed below (1).
On April 14, a new book was introduced to the media (very few attended) and the public which responds to the allegations of the supporters of the Armenian genocide. The 700 page book, “Genocide of Truth”, is the result of over 4 years of extensive research and study by an ordinary Turkish citizen aged 78, who happens to believe that the allegations are an injustice and insult to Turkey and Turks everywhere.
The book is a compilation of information from a multitude of foreign sources, grouped under 30 headings, in order to shed light to certain arguments and thesis. It begins with an Introduction and Chapter 1, “Historical Background”, and ends with Chapter 30, “Status Quo and Conclusive Remarks. There is a long list of Bibliography and a Selected Index and over 400 notes at the end of each chapter which shed further light on the subjects presented. It is a valuable source for anyone interested in solving this number one foreign policy issue of Turkey .
It is not easy to read the massive work in afew days or weeks, which is unique in its presentation with frequent quotations from interseting people that shed light to the subject matter. As the author states in the Introduction, the purpose of the book is “neither to acquit the Ottoman Administration from the responsibilities of a generally badly managed deportation or relocation process, nor to degrade the Armenian people as a race or nationality.”
The first four chapters give the background on the Turkish – Armenian relations and the groundwork established by the Armenians to create a state on eastern part of Turkey where they were never the majority through revolts and uprisings which resulted in the massacre of Muslims and Turks.
The subject covered in Chapter 5, Marvelous Missionaries, is very important, since the American High Schools founded by Protestant missionaries are where I was educated before heading to the United States to attend university. Therefore I would like to present the review of the book in several parts, beginning with this chapter. There has been many commentaries and articles over the years on the role of the missionaries in the creation of the Armenian issue, which is very sensitive and their involvements is not known by the public widely. As a frequent contributor to the study of this issue, I received the following comment from one of my former American teachers:
“We agree that all of us – including Christian missionaries to the Ottoman Empire and Turkey - need to acknowledge that wrongs were done to all sides during the early 20th century. We need to ask forgiveness of each other. Then we need to find ways to be friends. None of these is an easy step; the hurts are real, even if some of the cause may be dubious. For us, the greatest reason for friendship and healing is that the alternative is grossly destructive. “
The chapter begins with information on the founding of Missionary Societies in London with the mission of instructing Christians of the Arab East as to what being Christian meant, evidently prompting Edgar Allan Poe to state, “The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.” (P. 57) The first missionary societies in the USA were founded in 1810 which led to the arrival of missionaries in Izmir in 1819 and the opening of a mission in Bursa in 1834. The book tells the story of their expansion in the Ottoman lands and opening of missionary schools in Harput in 1876 as “ Armenian College ” , later renamed as “ Euphrates College .” The Tarsus American High School was established in 1888 and Talas American High School in 1889.
A book by Dr. Uygur Kocabasoglu, “ America in Anatolia – the Missionary Schools in the 19th Century Ottoman Empire , Based on Documents,” is a good source of information on the activities of the missionary schools. Another book by a former teacher at American High School Frank Andrews Stone, “Academies for Anatolia”, presents a study of the Rationale, Program and Impact of the Educational Institutions Sponsored by the American Board in Turkey: 1830 – 2005. However, neither one of these books are referenced or included in the Bibliography.
Chapter 16, “Propaganda Fabrications,” is also very important as it presents information on the role of several early publications which are being used over and over again by authors, academicians and students to deceive the unsuspecting readers around the world.
The chapter begins with an analysis of the book supposedly written by the US Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau (1913 – 1915) and based on his diaries, published in the US in 1918. The author tells the story behind this book by referring to a study of Prof. Heath Lowry who has shown that the book did not reflect the true events of the time. Ambassador Morgenthau's book, also available in Turkish translation, was ghost written for him by Burton Hendrick with input from his Armenian secretary and Armenian translator, with the purpose of bringing the US into war against the Ottoman Empire . The sections below are directly from ''The Murder of a Nation'', a chapter from the book ''Ambassador Morgenthau's Story'', published as a separate book by the Armenian Benevolent Association, full of slanders against the Ottoman Turks and many fabricated and distorted facts:
1. p. 51. ''Perhaps the one event in history that most resembles the Armenian deportations was the expulsion of the Jews from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella. According to Prescott 160,000 were uprooted from their homes and scattered broadcast over Africa and Europe .
The Ambassador conveniently omits the fact that it was the Ottoman Turks who saved the Spanish Jews and sent ships to bring them to the Ottoman lands and settled them in Istanbul , Selanik, Bursa and other cities.
The Ambassador continues on the same page :
Yet all these previous persecutions seem almost trivial when we compare them with the Armenian sufferings, in which at least 600,000 people were destroyed and perhaps as many as 1,000,000.
As mentioned in many references, the Ambassador Morgentahu never ventured from the environs of Istanbul and did not witness anything, as many others and and Samantha Power claim in her book, . And yet the HR 106 voted by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee mentions that 2,000,000 Armenians were deported and 1,500,000 Armenian were killed, among many other distorted facts.
2. p. 6. ''They (Turks) were lacking in what we may call th fundamentals of a civilized community. They had no alphabet and no art of writing; no books, no poets, no art, no architecture; they built no cities and established no lasting states.''
3. p. 50. ''The only reason for relating such dreadful things as this is that, without the details, the English-speaking public can not understand precicsly what this nation is which we call Turkey.''
Sukru Aya writes in his book that Morgentau’s claims were refuted by George A. Schreiner, a distinguished foreign correspondent who served in Turkey at the time and who knew the Ambassador and wrote to him about his concerns on how the truth was twisted to favour the Armenians.
A book on the relations between the Netherlands and Turkey published in 2007 makes reference to the Dutch Reporter George Nypels who has stated in 1922 that “Ambassador Morgenthau’s widely read book was now judged to be ill-founded.” The book, the Netherlands and Turkey: Four hundred years of political, economical, social and cultural relations – selected essays” also states that the writings of the former US Ambassador were refuted by Ahmed Rustem Bey, a former Ottoman Ambassador to Washington . These are not mentioned in “Genocide of Truth” which could be issued as an addendum, including the addition of Morhentau’s books “The Murder of a Nation”, “Secrets of the Bospohorous” and “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story” to the Bibliography.
Over the years many articles have been written by Henry Morgenthau’s son, Henry Morgenthau Jr. and his grandson, Henry Morgenthau III, which in a way carry on the mission of their father and grandfather, but the “Genocide of Turth” makes no references to any of these, especially commentaries published in Boston Globe by Henry Morgnethau III. There is also no reference to Samantha Power’s book “ A Problem from Hell – America and the Age of Genocide “, which has the opening chapter devoted to the Ambassador’s work with his photograph and can be found in every library in the US.
This is a valuable book that will show the readers the other side of the story and every concerned Turk and Turkish American who would like to see an end to the tall tale of Armenian genocide should read it in order to bring out the truth about the Armenian issue and set the record straight.
End of Part I.
Yuksel Oktay, PE
Istanbul Review of the book “Genocide of Turth” by Sukru Aya , Part II
Yuksel Oktay, PE. July 17, 2008
Genocide of Truth is an excellent book with a collection of detailed information from a wide variety of sources which includes many books, articles, newspaper opinions and commentaries from many foreign publications written by westerners over the past 100 years (Over 2,000, according to the author). It is almost like an encyclopedia, presented under 30 chapters, with an Introduction by Prof. Talat S. Halman and a Foreword & Bibliography by the author. Each chapter can be read as a stand alone treasury of information on various subjects related to this important issue which has been presented to the world as a one sided and prejudiced tragedy with many fabrications, as shown by many authorities..
In the Part I of my review, I covered chapters which I am most familiar with which are also the most controversial. These were Chapters 1 through 5 and Chapter 16, Propaganda fabrications (May 11, 2008). The book begins with Chapter 1, “Historical Background”, and ends with Chapter 30, “Status Quo and Conclusive Remarks. There is a long list of Bibliography and a Selected Index and over 400 notes at the end of each chapter which shed further light on the subjects presented. It is a valuable source for anyone interested in solving this number one foreign policy issue of Turkey .
Part II of my review will cover some of the remaining chapters and summarize for the benefit of those who may not have the time to read the entire book what conclusions one might expect to reach.
Chapter 6, Divinity for Bigotry and Anarchy, provides statements by many famous figures, including Napolean Bonaparte, Warren G. Harding, Sigmund Freud, Tomas Paine, Mohandas Gandi, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, one of the most respected President of the United States (1809 – 1865), claimed to have the Melunchan ancestary. This is what Abraham Lincoln has stated on divinity:
“My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of scriptures have become clearer and stronger with the advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them. Page 89.”
Among the many quotations, The New York Times report on Oct. 28, 1915, The Light That Might Go Out in Turkey, includes the following staement from Admiral Bristol, the US Ambassador to the Ottoman State: “Troubled that killings by Armenians and Greeks did not get into the American press, the admiral wondered in his diary, ‘Why aren’t the atrocities committed by the Christian nation more heinous than those committed by Moslem races’, if Christianity is better than Islam.”
Chapter 7, Distorting Realism Brings Antagonism, offers the readers a variety of excerpts and incidents relating to the Superpowers as defenders of Christianity and Humane values. At the request of Protestant missionaries, England and the U.S. intervene in the internal affairs of the Ottoman Empire . In fact, Artin Dadyan Pasha, Ottoman Under-Secretary of State Foreign Affairs actually works for the Armenian case and not for the Sultan as referenced in Erich Feigel’s book “A Myth of Terror.” What is also worse is that the Major Powers were directly and indirectly encouraging enmity between the Armenian sects, referenced in another book, “The Great War and the Great Tragedy of Anatolia” by Salahi Sonyel. The author in a Flier Sheet issued after the publication of the book states that this chapter as well as Chapters 14 though 17 show that the claims outlined in the 2007 House Resolution 106 are fabrications.
Chapter 8, “Di-fused AUTONOMY! (Goal or Pretext?) begins with a statement that the Ottomans were friendly with Dashnaks, something overlooked by most historians and writers, especially the Armenian authors. In fact, the book states that the Dashnak Congress in 1914 was hosted in Erzurum where the Ottomans offered the Dashnaks and Hunchaks autonomy, although the book makes reference to independence as well (which may need to be corrected.). The chapter also makes reference to the aims of British on carving up the Ottoman Empire and the US Presidnet Woodrow Wilson’s desire for its complete disappearance, something shared by the US Ambassador Henry Morgnethau.
Chapter 9, Atrocities, Van, etc., makes references to the Armenian atrocities and revolutionary acts that go back to 1880s. For a very comprehensive study of the Van rebellions, the author refers the reader to Prof. Justin McCarty’s book, “The Armenian Revolt in Van,” while citing from close to 100 other references.
Chapter 10, Battlefields (Sarikamish – Gallipoli – Suez ) emphasizes the fact that the Ottoman armies were fighting on many different fronts, something also overlooked and seldom mentioned by some historians and writers. In his book, Inside Constantinople, Epstein, a member of the US Embassy in Istanbul at the time, states that the attcak at Gallipoli was the main reason for the re-location of Armenians.
Some of the conclusions that the reader can easily reach on the Armenian Issue after reading this book include:
1. Armenians and Turks lived together for almost a thousand years until the western powers began to interfere in the internal affairs of the Ottoman Empire and used Armenians for their own purposes.
2. Towards the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, Armenians began revolts and uprisings against the Ottoman government and started massacring Turks with the aim of creating a state of their own on lands where they were not the majority.
3. Armenians betrayed their own government and the moslems by joining the invading Russian forces and with their aid, captured Van, establishing the Armenian R epublic of Van , killing over 30,000 moslem inhabitants. After the relocation and their return, some Armenians joined French forces in fights against the Ottomans in the Cilician region.
4. During the uprisings, Russia , England , France and Italy provided arms and support to the Armenian guerillas and terrorists and the missionaries from these countries and the United States
And much more.
Sukru Aya has not stopped writing about the Armenian issue with the publication of his book. He has summarized new findings that were revealed after the publication of his book, especially a Report submitted to the US Congress by the Near East Relief Fund (now Near East Foundation with headquarters in NYC with an Armenian director) back in 1922. I will cover these and further review of additional chapters in Part III of my review.
This is a book that should be read by everyone who would like to see this issue resolved and Armenians and Turks everywhere can talk to each other, just like we did with Ara Sarafian when he freely discussed the Armenain issue in Istanbul, who was also presented a copy of the book by Sukru Aya personally.

1 comment:

ssaya said...

2567) Book Review by Prof. Sam S. Baskett: "The Genocide of Truth" by Sukru Server Aya
Book Review: "The Genocide of Truth" by Sukru Server Aya (Istanbul Commerce University - 2008) ISBN 9789756516249
"The Genocide of Truth" is a monumentally ambitious compilation of facts accumulated by Sukru S. Aya over some three decades in his "totally private and personal research… to reach the truth" about the treatment of Turkish Armenians by the Ottoman government during . . World War I. In brief, it is a convincing refutation of the charge of "genocide", the at-times vehement tone justified by the factual body of the book… an overwhelming collection of contemporary and later reports from a multitude of sources largely from (non-Turkish) pro-Armenian or neutral historians and reputable scholars, plus a large variety of newspapers or archived official documents. All verbatim quotations are identified in the extensive references and footnotes .. There is a remarkable bibliography for general information, although the writer carefully avoided quoting any "pro-Turkish foreign scholars or almost all of the Turkish historians and rich archival material".
This work is indeed a remarkable, even encyclopedic achievement and repays the considered attention of anyone interested in reaching an objective understanding of an issue that remains threateningly unresolved after nearly a century of ill-considered, inflammatory charges by the Armenian diaspora in political centers throughout the Western World. As the distinguished Turkish man-of letters Talat Halman (also celebrated for his long career at several prestigious American Universities) notes in his introduction, this document is "impressively strong… for the rectification of distortions and misinformation".
In recommending "The Genocide of Truth", I must declare an interest in writing this review; for I have known Sukru S. Aya as a valued friend in a variety of contexts since the 1990s and have always found him to be a liberal, warm-hearted, responsibly intelligent human being…blunt, out-going and strong-minded to be sure, but a person of unimpeachable integrity. In this volume I recognize the work of such a person committed to sharing what he has learned with any reader willing to examine all the evidence no matter how upsetting to one's "received wisdom" it might be. I am confident that my recommendation has nothing to do with friendship and accordingly I invite any potential reader to see for himself.
And I also must note that as an American professor of literature I have no political or historical professional credentials to qualify me as an expert on the subject of this book. I have, however, spent a long professional career in studying, evaluating and teaching books, in not only America and Turkey, but also Mexico, Japan and the United Kingdom. I am attempting to bring this experience to bear when I laud the authenticity and validity of Aya's "quest for truth", whatever flaws of expression might be discerned.
Aya comments that he became intensely involved in his investigation of "The Genocide of Truth" in the mid -1970s out of his cultural…and more profoundly, humanistic outrage at the murder of some 40 Turkish diplomats around the world, who were singled out for assassination simply for "being Turkish" in retaliation for the alleged "genocide" of Turkish Armenians by the Ottoman Officials a century ago. These incidents caught my "American" attention back at Michigan State University , especially since I had taught at Hacettepe University on a Fulbright Grant (1970-1971) and thus became alerted to the inadequacy of the information about Turks and Turkey I had absorbed from my "Western" milieu. Whatever the validity of the "genocide charge", I remember thinking at the time, the assassinations seemed to me totally unjustified on any moral scale. Like Aya, I was repulsed; but to his great credit he launched the impassioned but ultimately helpful search that is the document that offers to contribute so greatly to the reader's understanding.
Although I cannot offer a fully professional political analysis of the "Armenian Question", in a modest way I have enhanced my understanding of this matter gradually over the years in several ways. First, by reading widely "western" historians of Turkish matters over the past four decades; Secondly, in teaching at Hacettepe University and other Turkish Universities I have had extended conversations with a wide range of informed Turkish colleagues as well as those of other nationalities for whom I have great respect. Although none had devoted the time and passionate attention to this matter as has Aya, his factual presentation further validates the thoughtful views I had been gathering from these sources. Thirdly, since retiring from Michigan State University in 1990, I have lived and taught in London for considerable periods and have had the opportunity to attend numerous Anglo-Turkish activities, including more than a few panels on the Armenian charges in which Turkish, British and even Armenian intellectuals participated. Thus, I am familiar with most of the aspects of the question. "The Genocide of Truth" presents more stark, unassailable evidence than any of the panels I attended… or all of them in total.
Thus, when I recently turned to this document, I was well prepared to recognize and applaud the magnitude of the task to which Sukru S. Aya has devoted so much of himself to reach "truth" beyond accommodation. And I am greatly impressed by his success in establishing facts that cannot be gainsaid. Henceforth, no honest assessment of the "Armenian Question, particularly the charges of "genocide", can fail to take the facts of this document into full account.
One hopes that Aya's all-out effort will succeed in reducing the flood of hate based on distorted accounts of remembered or imagined wrongs, a hate that seems to feed on itself, thus damaging in various complex ways the "haters" and their misled supporters in the 21st century as well as their Turkish targets whose only guilt can be that they happen to be alive in this century. To succeed, in short, Aya needs readers to spread his findings. This may be a problem for some who have neither the time, nor the particular focused interest required to work one's way through 702 pages sequentially over a period of days. The 30 chapters (usually descriptively titled in rough chronological order), however, may be consulted in keeping with the reader's time, interest and particular body of information. This, thus can be a reference book, an index of about 1500 entries facilitating this usage.
In conclusion, the bibliography includes a long list of Turkish documentation and historians. Aya has definitely avoided using any of them. Likewise he has avoided all "pro-Turkish Foreign historians" , such as Bernard Lewis, Stanford Shaw, Norman Stone, Andrew Mango, Samuel Weems, Justin McCarthy and all who are Turkish such as Türkkaya Ataöv.
In any event, perhaps the best starting point for a reader of whatever conviction to undertake his own private research for "truth" he can live with is a booklet or Power Point presentation open to everyone at under the title of "A few Sample Notes," which may lead many into a closer examination of this work as a whole.
The book is open to all, in the Free E-library … The book is not on sale in bookstores or at the publishing University. It was not intended for any profit, and had no sponsorship in any form. Those who would like to have this book in their hand or library can order it from the E-mail address given inside the book cover ( ssaya at superonline dot com ).
Sam S. Baskett, Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University, August 2008