27 September 2005
DR: SEDAT LACINER WROTE TO MARAL DER OHENESIAN: "WE SHOULD NOT SACRIFICE TODAy FOR THE PAST
Dear Maral, First of all I do not deny genocide, because there is no genocide. So we do not search a way (or 7 ways) to deny something which not exist. I simply try to response to the Armenian claims. I try to show that Armenian allegations based on no proof but legends and beliefs. If Armenians claim something, so they have to prove their allegations, not the Turkish side. However the Armenians try to undermine Turkish interests everywhere. Thus and the Turks fell that they have to response, they have to explain the past. That’s why we give statistics, documents etc.
Another document in the Ottoman Archives shows the Armenian population in the
Ottoman Empire as following:
3. Relocation: During the relocation the weaker Armenians died due to the bad road conditions, bad weather and famine.
4. War circumstances, economic reasons, famine and epidemic diseases.
3. The Ottoman Government was in a war in all fronts from Balkans to
Caucasus. All men were in the clashes against the occupiers. Only the illegal armed men, old people, children and women were in the villages. Very little Ottoman soldiers were with the relocated Armenians masses. That is why the Armenian people on the road very easy targets for the revenge attackers and for the Kurdish and Turkish gangs.
4. I do not try to justify something in favor of current economic interests. I just say that needs . 2,5 million-Armenia is surrounded by 100 million Turkish people. A fight or disagreement is not very helpful for the ‘poor’ . If the Turks hate the Armenians they would not try to establish dialogue and co-operation with the Armenians. does not need 2,5 million Armenian market instead of bigger and richer Azerbaijani market. When tries to establish economic relations with , she risks its interests in . So it is not ’s current economic interests. Armenians have insisted on genocide for last 90 years and it has not harmed Turkish economy or in general. No state would end its trade or other relations with because the Armenians want so. I cannot see any great economic interest in solution of Armenian issue. But you or anyone cannot deny the Armenian interest in the solution. If opens its borders, the Armenian companies will freely enter the 75 million-market. is a bridge for the European Union and the
Mediterranean. Turkey is strategic and vital gateway for sea-locked Armenia. But the Armenian diaspora cannot understand what needs. The life in
California could be comfortable, but in a country isolated economically and politically is not comfortable as in the.
7. You say “There is no criminal who voluntarily admits his crime, and the same goes for the Crime of Crimes”. 1915 events happened during the
Ottoman Empire, before the
Turkey. All documents show that there was no genocide, but communal calashes and riots. Armenians have claimed the reverse. So they have to prove their claims, not me. If you accuse any nation of committing genocide, all nations reject such allegations. does not deny, but rejects the baseless allegations. If you want more territory, compensation and revenge you must bring proofs. And remember the Armenian terrorism. ASALA terrorists killed many Turkish diplomats who had no link with the 1915 events even no idea on Armenian issue. All were innocent civilians. All were just diplomats. An the Armenian terrorists killed them and even their wives and children. If you kill more than 40 Turkish diplomats after the 50-60 years, of course Turkish people do not admit anything. Even they would reject to discuss the matter. You name the Armenians ‘victims’, but I saw many Armenian photos that pictured them heavily armed. All these Armenians armed for what. If they did not riot against the
Ottoman Empire, why did they militarized.
Of course peace and reconciliation are more important than blaming people for genocide if there is no genocide. And there is no genocide. But there are riots, communal clashes and terrorism.
You wrote “Moreover, the international genocide scholars, have described the Genocide as a process of eight distinctive stages: The final stage of EVERY Genocide is Denial. So, if they deny a Genocide, it would be more proof of the fact of Genocide itself.”
It is funny. You blame, I don’t accept your blames, and I become denier. What kind of a justice is this? So if I blame you for committing genocide against the Ottoman Muslims and Azerbaijanis in Khocali, and if you does not accept my claims would you become a denier?
About Gallipoli Findings: (You wrote “Excuse me, but there is a huge difference between belongings kept in museum
exhibits, which are collected at the time of WWI, or shortly thereafter, and belongings that are buried in the humidity of 90 year old graves. I don’t see the relevance”)
You still do not believe that many 90-year old belongings found in Gallipoli and in the eastern provinces. As a matter of fact, that we should not consume our energy on this matter. If you ask anyone, who is expert on archeology or history, he/she will confirm me. By the way, the villagers around Gallipoli still find 90 years-old belongings and they give them to the museums.
Your wrote “And there are more than 3 million Turks ONLY in , in addition to few more millions in Europe & America. What does that have to do with anything? How does that disprove/prove the facts of the Armenian Genocide. Let’s not deviate from the subject which is the “Armenian Genocide.”
There are more than 3 million Turkish people in and more than 5 million in other EU countries. But half of has not immigrated to other countries. Turkish diaspora is not bigger than ’s population. ’s population is still 75 million, not 2,5 million. I do not insult the Armenian peoples or just making a childish comparison. Anyone could immigrate anywhere. But Turkish people do claim the territories or any other neighbors’ territories. However the diaspora Armenians live in
California or in Lyon and they still demand more territories for . If a nation’s 75 percent reject to live in their homeland, they should not ask more territories. It would be illogical. You say “let’s focus on genocide issue, do not deviate the subject”. However the Armenians mean more territory, compensation and half of when they say genocide. So no Turkish can believe the Armenian goodwill in historical disputes. Dou you want a recognition or more territories from . Decide it first.
You wrote ““I’m sorry, it seems that you know nothing about the relations between the Armenians in the Diaspora and . I encourage you to take a closer look at the numbers and statistics before you say that the Armenians of the Diaspora haven’t invested in .”
Excuse me but I have 4 books on modern . One of my books is on Armenian diaspora and I wrote many articles on the subject. When I say “Diaspora Armenians should make investment in ”, I use Armenia Armenians phrases. They complain about the current situation not me. Of course the diaspora Armenians buy houses and lands. But they do not make serious investments. GDP per capita in is less than 1,000 dollars. Obviously is a less developed country. There are more than 6 million Armenians in diaspora and the total population of is less than 2,5 million. Diaspora Armenians do not invest in enough, and they will not. Because the capital is the same everywhere. No investor spend money in such an instable country. has serious problems with all neighbors except . She does not recognize ’s and ’s borders. She has occupied almost 20 percent of neighboring and has no diplomatic relations with another neighbor, .
Yerevan ’s relations with has not been easy one. The country has no sea port and the Turkish gate has been closed. Would you invest your money to such a country? The Diaspora Armenians will continue to their fight against until the last Armenia Armenian. Diaspora sacrifice and Armenians in .
- You say “you sell my house to me”. I am sorry but you have no house in . I did not kick you out of your house. Remember, this is , not the
Ottoman Empire . My grandparents were exiled and they left their all belongings in . But I do not blame all Greeks or modern . Past has past… If you have anything here you may apply Turkish courts as one of the Armenians did in
Adana . By the way many Armenians have bought houses and hotel-kind businesses in Van and in other eastern provinces. recognizes all European human rights documents. And you may even apply to European Human Rights Courts for your belongings. There is no obstacle. If you have anything in Turkish cities, you may get it.
You also say that “while you are plundering “MY” house and property, granting it as a gift to your elite people or sold it and with “my” properties’ money you built "your strong state." All these sentences could be considered insult to me and to . is a now strong country. But she was not after the First World War. Thanks to the Armenian riots we lost a war, and an empire. Millions of Turks left their homes and valuables in the Balkans and in the
Caucasus . Many were massacred by the Russians, and the others. Turks lost their cities and towns because the Greeks fired many towns and cities in the Western provinces. Thanks to the Armenian riots, the Eastern provinces could not be developed. has not getting stronger on the Armenian or Greek belongings. You left a country in fire. has been getting richer in the last decades due to the good relations with the neigbours. Turkish export has grow more than 60 times since 1980. And I think you would accept that your ruined houses played no role in this miracle. By the way, the eastern provinces are still the poorest region of while the Istanbul Armenians are among the richest people of modern . Many Armenians have factories and million-dollar-companies.
You name Eastern Anatolia “my house”. If you call my country as “my house” we cannot find a ground to discuss anything.
ABOUT THE GERMANS: Germans have been the only genocide committed nation till now. And they searched a friend and now they try to add new nations to the list. Because when one says genocide all remembers . The German Parliament took a pro-Armenian decision. But don’t forget. The parliaments are the political places and they behave according to their national interests. If the German parliament take a pro-Turkish decision, will you change your ideas about the Armenian issue? Now the Armenian lobby is strong and they manipulate the Western parliaments, but the balance may change in time. In fact the real problem is that the Armenians try to use other states to force to accept something instead of direct dialogue. When you undermine Turkish interests in other countries and when you make allies with the anti-Turkish groups, Turkish people do not believe the Armenian sincerity. As far as you are among all anti-Turkish blocks, no Turkish man could trust you.
You say ”I understood from what you have said above, that you are not ready to give up on the “so-called” “alleged” “disputed” words and descriptions that you still using while mentioning the Armenian Genocide. You are not ready to remove them, not because the Armenians’ approach is “shut up and accept,” but because you are not ready to listen, to understand, or maybe because you are personally benefiting from using such expressions.”
Please don’t forget that I have been studying Armenian history and politics for the years. I know what you say. That’s why we named the Armenian approach as “shut-up-and-accept-it” approach. We actually do not discuss anything yet. I understand from your letters that this is the first time you read Turkish ideas on Armenian issue. I am not trying to change you. I do not try to change your ideas. All Armenians are free to say genocide, or massacre to the 1915 events. But I do not accept such blame.
You wrote “there would be no point at all for our dialog. When you are not yet ready to listen or to give up your denial to the historic fact of the Armenian Genocide.”
Please remember we discuss whether the 1915 events is genocide or not. But you try to force me to accept ‘genocide’ term. If recognizing ‘genocide’ is a pore-condition, what is the point in discussing whether 1915 Events genocide or not.
I am ready to listen to you, read your letters, or any Armenian’s letters. We publish them. It is really a valuable experience for me and for the Turkish people. I hope it is useful for the Armenian readers as well. Regards, Sedat LACINER
Journal of Turkish Weekly, 26 September 2005
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I do not try to justify the past or any mistakes. But I just say that we should more focus on today than we focus on the past. Past is important but today and future is more important. I don’t say ‘just forget your genocide allegations’. I only say that life continues and the Armenians in needs business than the endless discussions.
5. Anytime we may discuss the definition of genocide according to international law, and the 1915 events cannot be considered as genocide.
6. You wrote that we blame the victims, you mean Armenians. Please please…. You cannot divide people as Turks and Armenians. All Armenians were not victims, and all Turks were not murderers. It is well documented that more than 5 million Turkish people were massacred. More than 520,000 Turkish and Kurdish people werer massacred by the Armenian armed groups. Tashnaks wrote in their history books that they killed many Turks. They considered themselves hero, but I name them ‘murderer’. Turks and Armenians, both are victims, and both could be murderer. Being Armenian doesn’t make anyone victim, or murderer.
5. War and riot. Many Armenians joined the Russian armies and many of them were killed by the Ottoman Armies. And during the many riots hundreds of Armenian armed gangs were killed by the Ottoman police and other security officers. However none of them can be considered as a part of genocide or massacre. If you fight against your own state, you deserve to die. It is a universal love anywhere in the world.
If we do not separate the different reasons and if we label all Armenian casualties ‘massacre’, we can never reach the truth.
Eastern Provinces: Muslims (3,635,086), Armenians (810,285), Total (4,445,371)
Istanbul and Neighboring Provinces: Muslims (4,426,525), Armenians (283,064) Total (4,709,589)
Provinces and the
Islands: Muslims (4,068,646), Armenians (59,018), Total (4,127,664)
TOTAL OTTOMAN POPULATION: Muslims (12,130,257), Armenians (1,152,367), Total (13,282,624)
The mentioned Ottoman document says that some of the provinces had yet to be registered. So the numbers should be slightly higher. Prof. Dr. Stanford J. Shaw on the other hand says that there were 12.585.950 Muslims, 1.139.053 Armenians in 1890. Shaw documents that the number of Muslims increased to 14.111.945 in 1897 and the Armenian population increased to 1.162.853. In 1906 the population of Muslims was 15.518.478, and the population of Armenians was 1.140.563. In 1914 Muslim Ottoman population reached to 15.044.846 and the Armenian population was 1.229.007, according to Prof. Shaw. Many Armenians immigrated to the
Western Europe, and the before 1914 due to the economic reasons. Many became American, Russian or French citizens.
The Muslim population was 13,339,000, and the total Muslim population in the Ottoman territories was 1,234,671 according to the Ottoman official census documents.
Armenian ’propaganda papers’ say that Turks massacred 75 percent of Armenians out of 2 million Armenians. So there was only 500,000 Armenians alive at that time. Now the total population of Armenians about 8-9 million. So the Armenian population increased 16-18 times in 90 years. Is it logical? No people’s population could grow 16-18 time in less than 90 years. If we apply the figures to , it means that ’s population will be about 20 billion in less than a century. Please be reasonable. If there is such logical gaps in the Armenian allegations, of course we have all the right to question the statistics. We do not minimize the figures but some Armenians exaggerate the figures. In fact the ultra-nationalist Armenians create a new past. They create figures and even documents as we experienced in the Talat pasha Telegrams Case.
I said “We lost more than 5 million Turkish people during the collapse of the Empire.” What is wrong with that? You cry for your people killed and died, and we ask respect to our people massacred too.
You say “The British Ambassador to
Constantinople , Sir Harding Lauter, wrote to the British Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1910 that there only 6 million out of the 30 million population of the
Ottoman Empire were Turks. So, how can I believe that you got your statistics right, when you say that you lost 5 million Turks during the collapse of the Empire?”
The problem is that the
Ottoman Empire was not a solely a
Turkish Empire. It was a multi-national state. And why are you believing the British Ambassador? Do you think the British always say truth? That is the problem: The Armenians did not trust to their own neighbors but the enemy states during the war times.
2. Your second point is that “Rationalizing the deaths as the result of tribal conflict”
You say “You made it look like a communal clash, something that is not.”
Communal clashes is a fact and the Armenian history books are also full of the proofs of this fact. Kurdish and Armenian tribes clashed severely. Kurdish gangs attacked the Armenians, and Armenians attacked the Kurdish. Thousands of people lost their life. This is not a secret. If you look at any book on “history of Tashnaks” or “history of Armenians” you will realize that.
You say “Armenians were massacred by government orders, carried out by soldiers of the Ottoman army, local police, tax collectors & the special organizations (Teskilati Mahsusa).” But which Armenians? Armenians killed by many different groups. It may be true some were killed by the army officers, police or tax collectors like any Ottoman citizen. And many of these criminals were punished by the Istanbul Government. In fact the number of executed officers in the Ottoman courts is higher than the Nurnberg Courts after the Second World War. Even a governor was executed by the
Istanbul government for his mistakes against the Armenian civilians. It is unfortunate that the modern Armenians obsess with the genocide that is why they cannot see that it was a war time.
There are at least 5 main reasons for the Armenians casualties:
1. Bad administration and negligence. Ottoman officers and governors could not protect the Armenian citizens. In fact they could not protect the Turkish and other citizens as well.
2. Communal clashes between Kurds-Armenians and Turks-Armenians. During the first Armenian riots many Muslims lost their children, wives or husbands. So a revenge campaign was triggered.
Let me focus on your points step by step: 1. First you accuse me of questioning and minimizing the statistics. Excuse me but the Armenian researchers do not accept the Ottoman and Turkish documents. They the all
Istanbul and other Turkish archives lie. They also do not accept the Istanbul Armenian Church’s Documents on Armenian population. If the Armenian side does not recognize the Ottoman Documents how we can be sure about the alleged population numbers. The Armenian side says the only reliable figures are the British and other foreign states’ diplomatic figures. Please note it that the
State was in war with , and at that time. So, all these figure are belong to the enemy countries’ documents. I think Turkish historians cannot use the British documents instead of the Ottoman documents. In fact even the foreigner reports show that the number of Armenians in the Ottoman territories was less than 1,5 million. According to Talat Pasha’s documents the Armenian population in
Anatolia was 1,256,403. Talat Pasha says the number reduced to about 400,000 after the 1915 relocation campaign because many of them did not return to
Anatolia. The number of Armneians in
Istanbul was about 80,000 and almost none of them left the city and the number remained the same after the relocation.
You say that we try to question the statistics. However even the Armenian researchers cannot agree on the same numbers. Some Armenian historians say that about 500,000 Armenians were massacred during the First World War, some other say about 1,5 million. The Wales Armenians even increased the number to 2,5 million. I am sorry but there are about 2 million people gap. So not us but the Armenians play with the numbers. The real number of the Armenian population in the
Ottoman Empire was about 1,5 million (total Armenian population) and many of them had dual citizenship.
First census was made during the Mahmud II in 1830 in the
Ottoman Empire. According to thies census the men population of the Empire in
Anatolia and the Rumeli (Balkans) was 4 million people. According to the census documents 2,600,000 were Muslim men, and 1,400,000 were Jews and Christions. The number of Christians in
was about 400,000 in 1830.