By Azer H.Hasret
If nothing happened in 1915 what is your government trying to hide? If the events of 1915 were not a planned genocide why were Turkish gendarmes given orders to remove Armenians from their homes and force them to march through the deserts as they died of starvation, rape, and disease? Is this the way the Turkish government of the time protected their citizens?
This is the passage from one of the letters which I have received after publishing my “Season For So Called Armenian Genocide” on Baku Today dated 06 April 2003. A lot of Armenians across the world wrote letters to me and the newspaper itself. They were angry claiming that “I’m lying”. But the fact why Turkish government had “given orders to remove Armenians from their homes” was explained in my previous opinion in the understandable manner: “While their [Armenians’] neighbors – Turks went to fight with enemy those enemies used their Christian brothers, Armenians to fight against Turks. Armenians listened to Russian, French, British, Greek propaganda and started to kill Turks. These Turks were not adult males. They were women, children and elderly people… Armenians massacred these people and while Turks returned back from army they found families killed by their neighbors – Armenians! This is the sole reason why Turks begun to kill Armenians!” And that was the same reason why Ottoman “gendarmes” were given order to remove Armenians from their homes! Even Ottoman government did not want Armenians to be killed and ordered to remove them to safer places – other parts of the Empire.
The other letter from fellow Armenian say that “everything you say is false, and backwards. 1.5 million Armenians were killed, not 1.5 million Turks. You are the reason why Armenians and Azeris do not get along”. I wrote some 2 million Turks were killed and this is true only for the reason that the country was under occupation and not only occupants killed Turks, their fellow countrymen – Armenians joined to kill Turks too. Regarding me being “the reason why Armenians and Azeris do not get along” I’d say “be peace and understanding on Armenians, we’ll get together again”.
“There was an intent to eliminate the Armenians from Anatolia, and there was action, and today, there are no Armenians left there” says one more letter regarding my opinion. It is quite possible to check if there is no Armenian left in Anatolia. A lot of Armenians live in the so called genocide areas of modern Turkey.
As the letters say that I’m not referring on facts, I’ll refer to some facts: in the 19th century in the Ottoman Empire 29 Armenians achieved the highest governmental rank of pasha, 22 Armenians became ministers, including Ministers of Foreign Affairs, 33 Armenians were elected to the Parliament, 7 Armenians were appointed as Ambassadors, 11 as Consul Generals, 11 Armenians served in universities as professors. There were 803 Armenian schools employing 2088 teachers with over 80,000 pupils within the Ottoman Empire in 1901-2.
I’ll end this opinion with the citation from the British consul in Erzurum, Graves, who replied to the question of New York Herald Reporter Sydney Whitman “If no Armenian revolutionary had come to this country [Turkey], if they had not stirred Armenian revolution, would these clashes have occurred?” as follows: “Of course not. I doubt if a single Armenian would have been killed.”
This should be understood as the reason why Armenians were killed. The reason of their killing was the Armenians themselves.
Azer H.Hasret is the Secretary General of Azerbaijan Journalists Confederation (AJK)
Source: Turks.usOxunma sayı: 8779