(too old to reply)
2005-08-02 00:05:04 UTC

Several weeks ago Colorado Congressman Tancredo stated that America could bomb Muslim Holy sites if
there was a need. The Congressman's unbalanced statements were exploited by the Turkish government
to avenge him.

First of all, I strongly disagree with Mr. Tancredo's statements, because sacrilege is not a
solution for any kind of a problem. The bombing of Mecca would not only give birth to a sinister and
indescribable war, but it would also be an attack on the world civilization.

The Congressman's unbelievable comments, nevertheless, are not as absurd as the condemns expressed
by the Turkish officials. The Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul called the Colorado congressman
fanatical person ignoring the fact that his own Turkish government denies the Armenian Genocide (the
systematic massacre of the oldest Christian people in its motherland between 1915-1923); that his
own Turkish government is responsible for bombings and desecrations of more than 2000 Christian
Armenian churches and cathedrals, some as old as 1700 years; that his own Turkish government
occupies northern part of Cyprus; that his own Turkish government beheaded 30,000 Kurds in the last
two decades and that his own Turkish government is a violator of basic human rights.

There are two apparent reasons why the Turkish government suddenly emerged into this issue as an
accuser. First of all, Turkey truly dreams of joining the European Union, thus this engagement would
speak of Turkey's democratic standards (at least the Foreign Minister thinks so). Second, Turkey
wants to use this opportunity to punish Tancredo and turn him to its side. Congressman Tancredo
lately voted in favor of Armenian Genocide's recognition by the US House of Representatives, thus
the Colorado Representative is on the black list of Turkey. As the Associated Press reported on 19
July 2005, Tancredo talked with the Turkish ambassador Tuesday afternoon during a long-scheduled
meeting about a House bill on the Turkish-Armenian conflict. Turkey simply aims to exploit
Congressman Tancredo's situation to get him off the black list. Otherwise, why would the Armenian
conflict emerge during these negotiations? Is this the way Turkey condemns offensive speeches?

By exploiting the Congressman's comments, Turkey wants to kill two birds with one stone: to praise
itself as a democratic country and to avenge Mr. Tancredo for recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

As a resident of Littleton who was paid tribute by Congressman Tancredo in the House of the
Representatives last year, and as an Armenian whose family survived the Armenian Genocide, I find
Mr. Tancredo's comments shocking and offensive. At the same time, Turkey's sudden statements in this
situation are sinister and ridiculous.

The sick man of Europe should solve its problems first.

By Simon Maghakyan in Littleton, Colorado

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AZG Armenian Daily #141, 30/07/2005
2005-08-03 03:42:53 UTC

Armenian Diaspora in Britain

Sedat Laciner


The Armenian diaspora in Britain is relatively small when it is
compared with those in the United States or in France. Although there
is no consensus some Armenian sources claim that the Armenian
population in Britain is about 11-19.000, mostly living in London and
Manchester. The recent developments showed that the Armenian community
in Britain has influenced the British public opinion beyond their

As will be discussed in this study, the historical experiment about the
Armenians in Britain also shows that this is not a new trend; for
instance in the 19th century the Armenians, though their number was
less than a thousand in England, could success to create an
anti-Ottoman public opinion in this country. In this framework, this
study first explores the secrets of the Armenian diaspora in Britain in
affecting (sometimes manipulating) the British public opinion and

Second, the author of this article believes that the Armenian and the
Turkish diasporas in Britain can play a crucial role in solving the
Armenian problem since both should be open to dialogue, and both
diasporas are far away from the problematic territories, namely the
Caucasus. As a result of this belief the article examines the possible
contributions of the Armenian diaspora in Britain to the possible
solution of the Armenian question.

Finally, third aim of this study is to explore the present situation of
the Armenians in the United Kingdom.

I. Armenian Community in Britain:

People and Institutions Today the Armenians mainly live in London and
there is a small Armenian community in Manchester. The Armenian
population in London is estimated about 7.000-12.000 although the
figures are not reliable. The London Armenians concentrate in the
boroughs of Ealing, Hounslow, Brent and Haringey.

The first serious Armenian immigration to the UK was experienced 150
years ago and the immigration continued in the 20th century. The
Armenian immigrants are mainly from the former Ottoman Empire
territories (Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Iraq), Iran and Russia. Recent
arrivals have fled because of the economic, social and political
problems from the former Soviet Union republics, including Armenia. The
early comers are relatively wealthy people and it can be argued that
now they have no serious economic problems.

The most formidable problem the Armenian community confronted is
identity crisis. The homeland cannot provide a model for the diaspora
and the Armenian identity is under the threat of the Western culture.
Moreover, because the Armenians in the United Kingdom have come from a
variety of different countries, there are different communities within
the community. An Armenian from Iraq or Lebanon, for example, might
have different cultural needs to an Armenian from the former Soviet
Union or Iran. That is why religion and the historical tragedies are
used in order to strengthen the relations among the Armenians.

However, exaggeration of the religious feelings and the historical
events cause extremism and hate against other ethnic groups. In other
words, the Armenian ethnic identity is established on the historical
hatred and hostility against the other ethnic groups notably against
the Turks by this approach. As a result of this not only the relations
between the Armenians and the other ethnic groups have been damaged,
but also the Armenians themselves have suffered from the extremism.

The Armenian youth in particular has faced pressure from their parents
and the community. The elderly Armenians want to create an old - type
Armenian youth, while the young people prefer to be a 'normal' part
of the British society. For example, 'instead of celebrating the
traditional Armenian Christmas on 6 January, many young Armenians
prefer to celebrate Christmas on 25 December, because they do not want
to be different from their peers'.

The Armenian youth organisation RBO's 'ideal London' clearly shows
the social pressure on the Armenian youth: 'A world which exists to
provide the Armenian youth of London what truly deserve. A world not
polluted with daily drubbings over politics and religion. A world, to
do the things that young people do. You can even swear and kiss in
public without the fear of being judged by another... It's time to be
young again.' These words prove that the British Armenian youth want to
be depoliticised and to be a normal part of the British society.

Apart from the problems discussed above, the recent arrivals face the
most serious problems. Many of them have come from the former Soviet
Union and their main problems are employment, accommodation and social
adaptation. Finally, the common concern of the Armenian community is
the economic and political problems in Armenia. Some radical groups
(nationalist or revolutionary left) in particular perceive themselves
as a part of the politics in Armenia although they live in Great
Britain and they are British citizens. Surprisingly they, with the
other radical groups from the other Armenian diasporas, influence the
balance of power in Armenia.

As has been witnessed in the last presidential elections, the support
of the diaspora Armenians helped to replace the moderate previous Ter
Petrosian with the more strict and radical Kocharian. It can be argued
that the Armenian diaspora, including those in Britain, increases
tension and radicalism in the Armenian politics. In brief, the British
Armenians do want to help the homeland country, but they do not know
how to do so, and as will be discussed, they damage the Armenian
national interests by deepening the hostility between the Armenian and
the Turkish people and by increasing radicalism in Armenia, although
the Armenian Republic desperately needs stability and it needs to
improve its diplomatic, political and economic relations with its
biggest neighbour, namely Turkey.

Armenian Organisations in Britain Social and Education Organisations:

The British Armenians have three one-day schools in Eastern and Western
Armenian languages. The Tantanian Sunday School was one of the first
examples. In the 1980s, the Armenian Saturday Language and Studies
School was established. Later the Martiza Soghnalian Armenian School
was began in Kensington, London.

The Armenian Community Playgroup was founded in May 1987. The Ealing
Council, the Centre for Armenian Information and Advice (CAIA) and the
London Armenian community have financially supported the organisation.

The CAIA also runs the Armenian Community Pre-School Group, which was
established in 1987. The school provides Armenian language courses four
days a week. The London Armenians also have their own cultural -
religious societies, youth groups, senior citizen club and ladies

The Armenian Community Centre:

Opened on 27 November 1988 at West End Road, Middlesex. Sport
facilities are impressive.

The Centre For Armenian Information and Advice (CAIA):

In Acton, West London. It was formally opened in 1986. The CAIA was
funded by the London Borough Grants Scheme. It has set up an Armenian
playgroup, Armenian language classes for adults and children. It is
compiling a telephone directory of Armenians in the Britain. The Centre
started Hayashen Community Centre project in 1994. Now it aims to
establish an Armenian - English Library in London. The Armenian
broadcasts from Armenia can be watched in the centre.

Homenetmen London:

London branch of Homenetmen international organisation. Founded in
1979. Organises social and sportive events. Furthermore it organises
political events with other organisations like its sister organisations
HOM and Hamazgayeen.


Founded in 1995 by two Armenian young people. Aims to unite all
Armenian youth in London. They further want more freedom for and less
social and religious pressure on the London Armenian youth. RBO
organises parties and concerts. They have organised about 20 'HOKIS
events', with an average attendance of over 100 youth.

The Branches of the International Armenian Organisations In Britain:

Some European, American and Canadian Armenian organisations and
political parties also have branches in London because the capital is
one of the important, if not the most, political lobbying centres in
the world. Some of these organisations work under subsidiary
organisations to curtain their real names and aims. It is unfortunate
that most of these organisations are political and extremist. They
focus on the Armenian question and Turkish-Armenian relations rather
than concentrating on the Armenian diaspora's social, economic and
cultural problems. Another effect of these organisations is that they
politicise the diaspora. They speak before the British public and media
in the name of the British Armenians though their representative power
is quite low.


There are two important Armenian churches in Britain:

St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church (Kensington, London) and Holy
Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church (Manchester). Both serves as a
cultural, social and religious centres.

Other Organisations:

Some of the other important Armenian organisations in Britain can be
listed as follow;

- ACPG, Armenian Community Pre-School Group.

- Aid Armenia, Land and Culture Organisation

- Anahit Association, London. - The Armenian National Committee.

- Armenian Rainbow Coalition (London)

- The Armenian Relief Society of Great Britain (ARS).

- The Armenian Revolutionary Federation UK (The radical political
group's UK branch).

- Armenian Rights Group.

- Barbara Melinski Fund.

- The British Armenian Community.

- Church Council.

- Committee for the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (CRAG)

- Hamazkayin.

- Hayashen Armenian Youth Club.

- Hayastan All-Armenian Fund (Manchester).

- K. Tahta Armenian Community Sunday School.

- Manoukian Charitable Foundation.

- Organisation for the Preservation of Armenian Schools and Churches in
India (London).

- Social Democratic Hunchag Party

- Tekeyan Cultural Association, London.

- Tekeyan Trust.


The Tekeyan Cultural Association publishes Erobouni, a bi-weekly
Armenian - English newspaper.

Gotchnag is another Armenin publication. It is published by the Nor
Seround Cultural association affiliated with the radical Hinchak Party.

Aregak (1964-1966) and The London Monthly (1974-1976) were two good
examples for the Armenian press in the United Kingdom.

Another radical publication was Kaytzer (1978-1988) published by the
London Branch of the Union of Armenian Students. Kaytzer defended armed
struggle and terrorist methods against the Turkish diplomats to realise
its political aims, and in order to get popular support it tried to
terrorise the Armenian community in the country. For Kaytzer the
Armenians had to support all illegal Turkish, Kurdish or Armenian
groups against the Turkish state.

The Centre For Armenian Information now publishes Armenian Voice
quarterly. The Centre delivers the magazine free of charge. Its
circulation is about 3.000 copies.

Table 1.

Armenians in Britain Manchester and North West 3000-5000 London and the
South 7000-12.000 Other regions 1000-2000 (?) Total 11-19.000 Source:
Armenian Voice; Exile; The Institute for Armenian Research.

II. Historical Background

Early Years It is known that there were some Armenians in the British
Isles as early as the 7th century though they were less than ten
people. These people were a small part of the immigrants from Caucasia
who escaped from the Mongol attacks. The first political contacts
between the Armenians and English experienced during the Crusades. In
these wars, the Cilician Armenians openly supported the occupying
Christians against the local Muslims and the other peoples of the

The letters exchanged between King Henry III and the Armenian King
Hetoum, who called for assistance when the Crusaders were passing
through Cilicia, proves this co-operation. It is also noted that the
Armenian King Leo IV and King Richard Lion-Heart met in 1191 in Cyprus
and this co-operation continued in the following years.

According to the British Orthodox Church, the first Armenian Bishop
came to Britain in 1250 after the Tartar invasion. Though we do not
have reliable evidence, it is also claimed that many Armenians settled
in the Southern England, near Plymouth during the time of Oliver
Cromwell (1599-1658). The similarity between 'Armenian' and
'Arminian' raised doubt whether these people were Armenian or not.
According to the story Cromwell was passing through the Armenian
quarter and his interest were raised by the people who lived there and
called themselves 'Armenians'. He asked the head whether they were
Royalist or Nationalist. The head replied they obeyed the law of land,
and the answer annoyed Cromwell, and these people had to leave all
their houses and returned to Amsterdam, the Netherlands where they had
come from.

In brief, it is difficult to speak of a serious Armenian existence in
Britain before the 17th century. In the 17th century, the Armenian
traders became important in trade between East and West. These traders
were Christian and spoke Eastern languages, like Turkish, Arabic,
Persian and Indian, all were great advantage to them in the East-West
trade. Many Armenian traders established an extensive network of
commercial contacts in Britain, Iran and India.

As a result of these economic relations, many Armenians visited
England, and some settled there. Yet, their number was still tiny and
they were far away from forming a significant community in Britain.

The Armenians in India were crucial to English, because the English
were trying to colonise India, and the Armenians were one of the
Christian minorities of India who were very desirous to help the
English against the Indians. Apart from the political co-operation, the
Armenian merchants had come India before the English and they had trade
bases in Calcutta, India. During the 17th century the Armenian
merchants became one of the dominant traders in the route of Calcutta -
Middle East - Italy and Manchester. As a result of their service to
Britain the famous Armenian merchants were granted the status of Free
Citizens of England in 1688 by a Royal Charter.

The next major Armenian settlers came from the Ottoman territories as
the Armenians dominated trade between the British and Ottoman Empires
with the Greeks. They were mainly from Istanbul, Izmir and Selanik. The
majority of them settled in London, Manchester and Liverpool. The
Armenian merchants imported tobacco and food to Britain while they
exported silk, natural fibres, textile products and metals to the
Ottoman Empire.

Other Armenians followed them after 1830. Yet the Armenian population
was still very small. In Manchester, for instance, the number of the
Armenian settlers reached only to 30 in 1860.

Armenian Diaspora and Its Impact on British-Ottoman Relations

The Armenian population increased in the second half of the XIXth
century. Most of the new comers were Ottoman Armenian traders and some
rebels from the Ottoman territories, and their immigration dramatically
changed the Armenians' position in the relations between the British
and Turkish. Henceforth the Armenian refugees made extreme efforts to
manipulate the British public opinion against the Ottomans.

Though their number was small, the Armenian community was influential
over the British public and the governmental institutions compared with
the other minority groups and the Ottomans. First reason for this was
the religion shared with the British society, namely Christianity. For
instance, despite its small number, the Manchester Armenian community
had established their own church and used it to forge its relations
with the British people.

It is a well-known fact that a church for Armenians is more than a
place of worship, it is a social club or, political, cultural even
economic focal point. So the Armenian church in the 19th century became
one of the most important tool of the Armenian propaganda in Britain.
The church organised the anti-Ottoman campaigns in the country, sent
letters to the international bodies protesting the situation in the
Ottoman Empire and made lobby against the Turks. The church perceived
the Armenian riot in the Ottoman Empire as a religious war, and accused
the Muslims for all the problems between the ethnic groups.

Patriarch Nersess Varjapetian's and Catholicos Khriminian Hairik's
efforts were significant in this campaign. The religious solidarity
made Armenian propaganda more effective, and each church was used as an
information centre by the Armenian nationalists in manipulating the
public opinion. Moreover the church collected aid for the rebellious
Armenians and the Armenian bands in Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus.
The Armenian church also tried to protect the national identity of the
Armenians in Britain.

The Manchester Armenian Church for example, published Yercraground
periodical (1860s). Apart from the religious groups the Armenians
formed some political parties such as the Hunchakian Revolutionary
Party (HRP, 1887) and Revolutionary Federation (RF, 1890), both were
sister organisations of the armed Armenian terror bands in Caucasia and
the Ottoman Empire. These organisations had been declared 'terrorist'
and 'illegal' by the Ottoman Empire. Yet the British government
allowed them to continue their activities. The HRP and the RF organised
aid campaigns, as well as collected money for arming the Armenian
rebels in the Ottoman territory.

In addition to the HRP and the RF, Hinchak (1894, 1901-1903), Aptak
(1894-1897), Mart (1897) were also very active in Britain.

All had connections with the armed terror groups in the Ottoman Empire.
Most of them like Hamaink (1894) had newspaper or magazines, which
created a pro-Armenian public opinion in Britain.

As a result of the Armenian propaganda, the British public perceived
the Armenian riots and massacres as despotic policies of the Ottoman
government. Thanks to propaganda and the religious solidarity, various
societies were founded in Britain, like Anglo-Armenian Association
(1893), the Information Bureau (1896), Armenian Patriotic Association
(1888), Friends of Armenia (1897), Armenian United Association of
London (1898).

The latter published its own periodical called Ararat. These
organisations had good relations with the British press and the
bureaucracy. Also, the prestigious members increased the Armenin
lobbies' influence on the parliament. The 'influential friends' took
the problem into the British parliament and prime minister. Prime
Minister Gladstone, for instance, was informed by mainly the Armenian
sources on the Armenian issue.

As a result, he accused the Turks of massacring the Ottoman Armenians.
In particular during the Berlin Congress of 1878 the Armenian
propaganda in London reached its peak. The Armenians saw the congress
as an opportunity against the Ottomans, and the number and the
intensity of Armenian publications, demonstrations in London
dramatically increased in 1878.

Before the Congress was held, Catholicos Khrimian Hairik visited
Britain and met the leaders of the Armenian diaspora in Manchester and
London. He advised the Armenians to spread the Armenian cause among the
British people. Hairik also met PM Gladstone and other important
figures in Britain, like Lord Canarvil, Lord Shaftsbury, the Duke of
Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Hairik, in each of his
meetings, argued that the United Kingdom ought to support the Armenian
separatist movement in the Ottoman territory.

Despite all these efforts, the outcome of the Congress left the
Armenians disappointed. For the Catholicos, the result was a disaster
for the Armenians. He then sent representatives to the European
capitals including London. The British Foreign Minister was reluctant
to meet them, yet the Hairik's delegation could meet the Archbishop of
Canterbury and the chief editor of The Times.

The London Armenians helped them in their contacts with the British
bureaucrats and press. However as Taverdi put it, the Armenian argument
they presented was contradictory: 'For example the delegates
requested that in all towns where Armenians lived there should be
British representatives. The Archbishop asked which towns did not have
a British representative. The reply was "Moush". "Moush being a
provincial town has always had a British Council", the Archbishop
replied!' The Armenian delegation's real aim was to persuade the
British to support them in their separatist struggle against the
Ottoman Empire.

However they were using a different rhetoric in the negotiations. They
claimed that the Turks were massacring the civilians and abusing basic
human rights though the real picture was completely different at that

The Ottoman Armenians were one of the most prosperous Ottoman
minorities and, thanks to the millet system they enjoyed the generous
Ottoman religious tolerance. In addition, the increasing role of the
American and the British traders in the Ottoman economy had made the
Ottoman Armenian merchants richer since the Western merchants preferred
the Armenians and Greeks as their trading partners.

In short, the Armenian delegate tried to curtain their nationalist aims
yet they could not convince the British authorities until the First
World War. In the war, the Ottomans and the British fought against each
other. Under the war circumstances the British propaganda focused on
the Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire.

The American historian Prof. Justin McCarthy argues that the British
propaganda machine accused the Germans and Turks of violating human
rights in order to attract the American interest into the war. Because
the American press and public opinion heavily depended on the British
media and missionary schools, the British propaganda created an
anti-Ottoman public opinion in the United States. In this campaign, the
British Armenians played a crucial role.

During the First World War the armed nationalist Ottoman Armenian bands
rioted and slaughtered a considerable number of Muslims in order to
establish an independent Armenia. The radical Armenian attacks caused
counter-attacks and the intercommunal clashes claimed many lives. When
the Armenian bands helped the occupying Russian forces, and posed a
threat to the security of the Ottoman army the Ottoman government
decided to re-locate the Armenians from the sensitive regions into more
safe areas.

Unfortunately, many Armenians died during this relocation due to the
band attacks, climatic conditions and diseases. When considering the
war circumstances such deaths were understandable. In the Caucasian
front for example about 90.000 Turkish soldiers died because of the
cold in a couple of days. That is to say the Ottoman State had not
enough equipment to prevent the massive mortalities under the war's
catastrophic conditions. However all undesired tragedies the Armenians
and the Muslims faced were presented as an Armenian massacre in Britain
by the Armenian groups and the British religious groups.

When the Republic of Armenia in Caucasus declared its independence on
29 May 1918, it was represented in London as an independent state by
the Armenian National Bureau.

The Bureau published information booklets, organised discussion
sessions and meetings related to the Armenian question, problems of
Armenia and the Armenian diaspora. Its efforts focused on two important
cities; London and Manchester. The bureau's manipulative impact over
the press was clear. In other words, the bureau helped to shape the
anti-Ottoman feelings regarding the Ottoman-Armenian relations in

After the First World War

After the First World War the Armenian population in London was less
than 1.000 people. The Armenian Church in London was not only a
religious centre but a cultural, social and political one. That was the
reason to start a campaign to construct a permanent church building in
London in the economic depression years of the 1920s. 5000 pounds were
collected in this campaign. When Caloust Gulbenkian from France
contributed to the campaign with a 15.000 pounds, an Armenian Church in
the traditional Armenian style in London became feasible. Thus, St.
Sarkis Church was constructed in Kensington, one of the prestigious
districts of the capital in 1923. However, the official opening
ceremony would not be possible until 11 January 1932. At the end of the
1920s, the Armenian population in London reached more than 1.000. Some
of the new comers were from the former Ottoman territories.

The World War II and Aftermath

The catastrophic effects of the war forced some Armenian families to
immigrate into the Great Britain. Most of the Armenian immigrants were
from Lebanon, Cyprus and Syria where they were under the propaganda of
the extreme terrorist groups. In Lebanon and Cyprus in particular ASALA
and other terrorist groups had politicised the Armenian community
against the Turks.

Moreover some of the new comers had come to Syria and Lebanon from the
Ottoman territories after the First World War. Therefore, most of them
had strong biases about the Turks and perceived Turkey as the successor
of the Ottoman Empire, the ultimate enemy to the radical Armenian armed

As a result of the immigration from the Middle Eastern countries, the
Armenian population dramatically increased in Britain during the 1950s.
The British Armenians, furthermore, gained an influential position in
the British society.

Another important development during the 1950s was the launch of the
Armenian Centre campaign. The London Armenian Community Trust was
founded in 1961 in London. The aim was to establish the Armenian House
in Kensington, London. When the construction was finished the Armenian
House in 25 Chenniston Gardens, Kensington became the social and
cultural centre of the Armenians in Britain.

The House organised campaigns and set up a 1500-book library, holding
Armenian and English collections. The Armenian population at that time
was about 5.000 people. The number was so little compared with the
other minorities, yet their political influence over the British,
public opinion, press and government was impressive.

First time in history, the British Armenians elected representatives
for the London Armenian society and the Church Council on 12 June 1965.
The first task of the new representatives was to lease the All Saint
Church in Finchley in order to meet the increasing social, cultural and
religious needs of the growing community. The church was demolished at
the expire date of the lease in 1973, and the St. Peters in Cranley
Gardens was let instead of the previous church.

The Armenian population in Britain continued to increase during the
1960s and 70s. One of the reasons for that was the ethnic conflict
between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus. When the Greek
Cypriots started an armed struggle against Britain and massacred
thousands of the Turkish Cypriots in order to annex the island to
Greece, the Armenian civilians were also affected by the conflict
although they had relatively good relations with Greeks. Most of the
Armenian Cypriots again came to the United Kingdom, former colonist
power in Cyprus. Thus the Armenian population in Britain reached 10.000
in a short period of time.

Another factor was the Lebanese conflict in the 1970s. Both the
Lebanese and Cypriot Armenians were also Ottoman Armenians in origin
and they were biased about the Turks. These Armenians became the
leading Armenian group in the political arena and made great efforts to
keep the Armenian problem on the British agenda. The radical Armenians'
main aim was to persuade the British politicians about the so-called
Armenian genocide and to end the friendly Turkish-British relations.
Thus, the anti Turkish groups in the UK became much stronger with the
new comers.

In 1979 some Iranian Armenians came to the UK as a result of the
political turmoil in Iran, namely the Iranian Revolution.

III. The Armenian Terror and the Armenian Immigrants in Britain

As has been seen above, Britain has been one of the most important
Armenian lobbying centres in the Armenian question. The Armenians,
until the First World War, had formed many political lobbying groups
against the Ottoman Empire in order to establish an independent Armenia
on the Ottoman territories. The Friends of Armenia (1897) and Anglo -
Armenian Association (1893) were two most influential lobbying groups
in Britain, which worked in favour of the Armenian argument. Although
the Ottoman Armenians' armed riot had ended with a tragedy and cost
thousands of Turkish and Armenian life, the radical and nationalist
Armenians continued their anti-Turkish campaign in Britain, even after
the declaration of independent Armenian Republic.

In fact, the existence of the Armenian community in this country
provides a great opportunity to put an end to the hostility between the
Turks and the Armenians, because both Armenians and British Turkish
people were living in Turkey's one of the most important military and
political allies, the United Kingdom. Unfortunately the Armenian
radicals politicised the Armenian schools and the cultural, religious
and social activities. Furthermore the terror groups did not allow the
Armenians to use this opportunity to end the communal hatred.

All these activities naturally politicised the Armenian society in
London; Some Armenian Sunday schools even taught the school boys
anti-Turkish feelings and the children hated the Turkish people though
they had never met a Turkish in their life. Thus anti-Turkish feelings
became an inseparable part of the Armenian identity. Despite this
picture, the Armenians in Britain had not taken part in the terror
activities before the 1970s.

The most significant anti-Turkish Armenian political activity was the
1969 demonstration where the Armenians gathered in front of the Turkish
Embassy and protested the Turkish government by claiming that Turkey
had to accept officially the 1915 events as a 'genocide'. Turkey
never accepted such a view and repeated that the 1915 events were not a
genocide but a civil clash between the armed Muslims (Turkish, Kurdish
etc.) and the Armenian groups, and the Ottoman officers made extreme
efforts to protect the civilian Armenian and Turkish people from the

For Turkey the demonstration was a part of the great global
anti-Turkish campaign, since the similar meetings had been organised in
the USA, France, the Middle East and other countries. On 27 January
1973, Turkish Consul General Mehmet Baydar and Consul Bahadir Demir
were assassinated by the Armenian terrorists in Santa Barbara, the
United States.

After this first assault in the United States, the Marxist-Leninist
ASALA terror organisation proclaimed itself with a bomb attack in 1975.
ASALA considered Turkey and its allies, including the United Kingdom
and the United States, as an archenemy and defended the idea that the
Armenian claim can only be solved by armed struggle.

ASALA further argued that all Armenians should unite under the Soviet
political system.

The nationalist JCAG and ARA also joined the Armenian terrorism against
the Turkish diplomats during the 1970s.

The Armenian terrorists killed 34 Turkish diplomats in Paris (7),
Athens (3), Sydney (2), Geneva (1), Lisbon (3), Madrid (2), Belgrade
(1), Brussels (1), Vienna (3), USA (3), Geneva (1), Ottawa (1), The
Hague (1), Tehran (1), Baghdad (1), Burgaz (1) and other cities.

It is interesting that the Armenian terrorists could not assassinate
any Turkish diplomat in the United Kingdom. One of the secret of this
was, contrary to France's and Greece's tolerant terrorism policy, the
British security forces' decisive measures against international
terrorism. As a result of the draconian measures against terrorism the
Armenian terrorists targeted some British institutions abroad.

In Rome, Italy for instance the New Armenian Resistance Commandos (NAR)
militants bombed British Airways Office on 9 December 1979.

Similarly, ASALA terrorists placed bombs in the Turkish Airlines office
in London and the ASALA claimed that the attack in solidarity with the
revolutionary movements in Northern Ireland in their fight against
'British Fascism'.

On 15 September 1983, the target was again the United Kingdom. An
explosive bomb in a suitcase was found in Holborn, London during the
trial of two Armenians, Zaven Bedros and unnamed accomplice. For the
British police, the bombs had been put by ASALA.

The second reason why the Armenian terrorism was not strong in the UK
was that the Armenian diaspora in Britain was relatively weak compared
with those in the United States and France.

Moreover, the majority of the British Armenians were unwilling to take
part in the terrorist activities although some gave clear support to
the ASALA terror organisation. Interestingly almost all of the Armenian
associations in Britain which had supported the Armenian terrorism were
branches of the radical Armenian groups who based in France, Greece or
the US.

The Kaytzer was one of the most vivid examples of this; the Kaytzer
advocated a radical anti-Turkish campaign during its publication
between 1978-1988. The magazine, during the latter period (in the
1980s), even called for an armed struggle and unity with all armed
terrorist organisations in Turkey. Though the magazine was published in
London, the publisher was the London Branch of the Union of Armenian
Students, one of the most radical Armenian groups.

The identity of the arrested Armenian terrorists in UK also prove that
the Armenian radicalism in Britain have always been external
connections; Armenian terrorist Zaven Bedros, for example, who was
arrested in a hotel room in London when he was planning to take the
Turkish Ambassador hostage to exchange for an Armenian terrorist who
had been captured, Levon Ekmekjian, was from Syria.

As a matter of fact, most of the Armenian terrorists were from overseas
countries, like France, Greece and Syria. Between 1978 and 1983, seven
important Armenian attacks occurred in the United Kingdom against the
Turkish targets. Some of these attacks targeted the United Kingdom as
well because the Armenian terrorists accused the British government of
being fascist and collaborating with Turkey. The Armenian terrorists
also attacked two British targets overseas.

The Armenian attacks against the Turkish targets in Britain and against
the British targets can be summarized as follow:

- New Armenian Resistance Commandos (NAR) placed a bomb in a Turkish
Bank in London on 1 March 1978. The bombs did not explode however. Same
day the terrorists also bombed Turkish residence of Financial
Counsellor in Brussels, Belgium. The bomb was placed in the
Councillor's letterbox.

- On 24 May 1978 JCAG and ARA Commandos placed a bomb in Turkish
Airlines Office in London.

- The ASALA terrorists, under the leadership of Hagop Darakjian bombed
a British tourist office in Paris, France to protest the United Kingdom
on 25 November 1979. Same day another ASALA terrorist team bombed TWA,
Al Italia, Sebena and British Airways offices in Madrid, Spain in order
to protest the United States of America, Italy, Belgium and the United

- 17 December 1979. London. Extensive damage caused when a bomb
exploded in front of the Turkish Airlines (THY) Office in London. ASALA
claimed the attack in solidarity with the revolutionary movements in
Northern Ireland in their fight against 'British Fascism'. This
attack proved the connection between the Armenian terrorist groups and
terrorism in Northern Ireland.

- The NAR attacked the British Airways Office in Rome, Italy on 9
December 1979. The target country was the United Kingdom. Same day the
ASALA terrorists bombed another place (Iran Air Airlines) in Rome to
protest Iran. - The ASALA attacked British Airways office in Madrid,
Spain on 3 October 1980. The target country was the United Kingdom.

- The ASALA and the 3 October Group placed two bombs in Turkish
Airlines Office in London on 12 October 1980. This was one of
simultaneous bombings in three cities (with Los Angeles and New York
bombings). Same day ASALA and 3 October Groups also bombed Swiss
Tourist Office in London.

- A planned Armenian terrorist attack was thwarted when Zaven Bedros
from Syria was arrested in a London hotel room on 9 September 1982 and
trained later in 1983. The terrorist said he was to take the Turkish
Ambassador hostage to exchange for Levon Ekmekjian.

- An explosive bomb in suitcase was found during trial of two
Armenians, Zaven Bedros and unnamed accomplice in Holborn, London.
Target was the UK and the British police said the terrorists were from
the ASALA organisations.

As mentioned, it can be said that the majority of the British Armenians
did not take part in the terrorist activities, however it is
unfortunate that they did not clearly condemn the terrorist attacks
against the innocent Turkish diplomats. The Church and the cultural
organisations should have played a more constructive role in the
problem, yet many important Armenian figures implied they approved the
assassinations although the Armenians in Turkey, Turkish government and
all Western governments, including the British government, condemned
the attacks.
When the Armenian terror groups could not get a significant popular
Armenian support and could not find a suitable ground for their terror
attacks, they co-operated with the other anti-Turkish radical groups,
like the Turkish terror organisations in Britain, Kurdish separatists
and the Greek radicals in London. The Joint Declaration of the Armenian
Student Union and the Kurdish Student Union in London was one of the
examples of this coalition.

The PKK, which has been recognized as one of the most dangerous terror
organisations in the world by the UK authorities, in particular gave
great support to the radical Armenian groups against Turkey.

As a result of Turkey's diplomatic and political efforts, the Armenian
assassinations of the Turkish diplomats almost ended in the mid-1980s.

After this date those who advocated political lobbying before the
government, parliament and the press, dominated the Armenian community
in Britain. The Armenian groups have lobbied members of the House of
Commons to introduce bills on the Armenian allegations, but these did
not make any waves. They convinced neither government nor the
Parliament for their cause and the British authorities have always
declared that the 1915 events were not a 'genocide'.

IV. Holocaust Memorial Day and the Armenian Campaign

The Armenian Campaign to include the Armenian claims into the Holocaust
Memorial Day has been one of the most important targets of the Armenian
lobbying in the recent years. As a matter of fact this was not a new
method; since the 1970s, the Armenian writers and propagandists have
followed a new strategy to win greater support and sympathy for their

This strategy aims to draw parallel between the fates of the European
Jewry during the Second World War and that of the Armenians in the
Ottoman Empire during the First World War. By equating the tragedy that
fell upon the Jews in the Holocaust and the sufferings experienced by
many Armenians in an alleged 'genocide', the Armenian propagandists
have sought to exploit the sensitivities of many Americans and European
who are deeply troubled by the horrible events that led to the deaths
of more than six million Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis.

Until now neither the Jews and Israel nor the Western states accept
such a link between the Holocaust and the Armenian incident. In spite
of this, the Armenian lobbies have never given up, and when the
Armenians in France and the United States have started a great
anti-Turkish campaign in international arena, the radical Armenian
groups in Britain perceived this as an opportunity to force the British
to recognise the Armenian cause as a national policy.

The first Holocaust Memorial Day provided an invaluable opportunity for
such a strategy. According to the plans, a national ceremony to mark
the first Holocaust Memorial Day in the United Kingdom would take place
in central London on the evening of 27 January 2001, and apart from
many Holocaust survivors, leading political, religious and community
figures would attend to the ceremony.

The event's aim was to 'honour the victims of genocide', namely the
Jewish who were murdered by the Nazi Germany during the Second World
War. But the Armenian groups claimed that the British government and
the BBC, the organiser of the event, simply have ignored the Armenians
and officially applied to join the day as 'the victims of the
Armenian genocide'. To realise their aim, the Armenian lobbying groups
organised conferences at the universities and gatherings in the city
centres and launched letter campaigns to make an impact on the British
press and the members of the Parliament. Unfortunately, the strategy
turned into an anti-Turkish campaign in a short time.

The Armenian lobby not only criticised Turkey for its Armenian policy
but also blamed for the other issues and co-operated with all the legal
and the illegal anti-Turkish groups, notably with the outlawed
terrorist PKK organisation. Furthermore, the Armenian lobbyists
increased their efforts in the House of Lords as seen on 11 December
2000 when Lord Avebury, who (is) known to be the leading person in all
anti-Turkish lobbying in the Parliament and had good relations with the
PKK, played a crucial role in the Armenian campaign. Avebury called its
government to recognise the Armenian claims.

Interestingly the PKK representatives freely joined in all Armenian
lobbying meetings including those organised in the House of Lords halls
although the PKK is an illegal terror organisation under the British

In conclusion, as has been explained the Armenian lobbies made enormous
efforts to participate in the Memorial Day, however their applications
were turned down by the British government and the Armenian groups were
informed by the Home Office that the memorial ceremonies were designed
for the Holocaust only.

In addition, the Government resisted the Armenian pressure in the
Parliament and called the Armenian lobbyists for a more constructive
approach; When Baroness Cox asked the Government whether it would
extend the Commemoration of the Holocaust on 27th January to include
the Armenians, Lord Bassam of Brighton replied wisely:

'We should try to learn the lessons of history. It must be the hope
of everyone that the Governments of Turkey and Armenia have learnt the
lessons of history and that they can in some way put the matter behind
them. We must ensure that we have the sort of useful co-operation
needed to increase stability and prosperity in that part of the world
that would be in everybody's best interests.'

Not only the British but also the Jewish (community) and Israel were
not happy with the Armenian efforts. Shimon Peres, the Israeli Foreign
Minister, for instance clearly refused the Armenian claims and said:

'Armenian allegations are meaningless... We reject attempts to create
a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations.
Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred.'

Turkey's Jewish community also declared that inclusion of other
'so-called genocides' in the commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day
in Britain would be disrespectful to the Jews killed by the Nazis.

The Home Office and government refused to recognise the Armenian claims
as 'genocide', yet the representatives of the Armenian community were
invited to join the first Holocaust Memorial Day as a mid-way. For the
Home Office, the Armenian representatives, including the Armenian
Bishop of Britain, have been invited as members of the 'community'
and not direct participants.

Yet even this invitation was enough to make the Turks angry; thousands
of Turkish people and the Azerbaijanis living in Britain gathered to
demonstrate outside the venue and to protest the Home Office decision
to include the Armenians. Not only the 300.000 Turkish community in
Britain but also the masses in Turkey protested the decision. The
Turkish people were very sensitive about the decision, for the majority
the Western governments were respecting only one of the sides'
(Armenian's) agony and sufferings and ignoring the pains of the other
side (Turkish people's).

Moreover, Turkey regarded the genocide accusation as harassment to the
Turks. According to the Turkish argument, 'more than five million
Ottoman Muslims had been killed by the Christian minorities in the
final period of the Ottoman State. The Armenians were also one of the
suffering peoples yet their lost was relatively small compared with the
Turkish people.

The separatist armed Armenian bands rioted against the state, and the
government re-located the Armenian population from the war theatre to
the less sensitive territories. During the re-location about 50.000
Armenians lost their life as a result of the natural disasters and the
communal conflicts, although the Ottoman officers took all the possible
measures to protect the civilians.

Under the light of this information, these events cannot be presented
as a genocide.' The Home Office and the government did not include the
Armenians into the Memorial Day yet the radical Armenian groups
benefited from the day; as a result of the propaganda campaign and the
Memorial Day, the radical Armenians found opportunity to manipulate the
British public opinion and the media. Thus, the press assumed all
Armenian claims are true and published biased news. Robert Fisk's
articles published in the Independent daily are good examples for such
prejudiced news.

Fisk, for instance, claims that 'Kemal Atatürk, founder of Modern
Turkey accepted that the Armenians had been persecuted by the Ottomans
while the British authorities do not accept'.

It is quite difficult to understand how such a respected and careful
journalist can reach such a conclusion, because as all the documents
prove that Mustafa Kemal never accepted such claims but reverse. This
article and the similar ones show how the propaganda machine of certain
circles has recently focused on the British press. Under these
circumstances it is not surprising that none of the articles on the
Armenian problem and the Holocaust day gave reference to the Turkish
sources while they heavily used the Armenian arguments.

As the Armenian lobbying groups realised they could not persuade the
government to change its official Armenian policy they increased their
activities. "Treasures of the Ark" Exhibition was one of these
activities. It was presented as a cultural activity, yet the political
accusations against Turkey continued in the exhibition during March
2001: The Turkish territories were presented as the 'Armenian home'
and the so-called Armenian genocide claim repeated.


As discussed by this paper, the Armenian diaspora in Britain is an
influential minority group in spite of their small population in this
country. The influential Armenian figures can affect the British public
opinion, media and politics.

Furthermore, wealthy Armenians have the potential to finance the social
and cultural needs of the Armenian community in London. However, as the
study shows the Armenian social society organisations generally focus
on the political issues instead of concentrating on the cultural,
social and economic problems of the community.

Apart from a few exceptions most of them even involve in the domestic
politics of Armenia.

Their efforts have not solved the problems, but increased the tension
in Armenia and deepened the hatred between the Armenians and the other
ethnic groups namely the Turkish people. It can be argued that the
diaspora factor made the problem incurable.

Second, the Armenian diaspora has wasted its time, energy and financial
sources in politicising all issues, while the Armenian youth, women,
children, elderly and poor have social, economic and cultural problems.
The radical groups in particular perceive that all problems are
political, and they claim that the solution to the community's problems
is to overcome the external enemy (Turkey). They also defend that the
Armenians in Britain must protect their religious differences from
other Christians in order to preserve the Armenian identity. However,
the religious and political extremism increase the tension and deepen
the identity crisis.

As a final word this study argues that the Armenians in Britain should
follow a more constructive approach to solve their problems and to help
the homeland Armenia. Otherwise, it would not be helpful for
themselves, Armenia, the British social order and for the relations
between Turkey and Armenia.

First Published by "Armenian Studies" journal, Vol. 1, No. 3,
September-October-November 2001, pp. 233-257.

Dr. Sedat Laciner: Director, ISRO/USAK and lecturer at Canakkale
Onsekiz Mart University, Department of International Relations.

Copyright © 2005 Journal of Turkish Weekly
Panta Rhei
2005-08-03 13:02:51 UTC
Another episode in Mark Rivers', the hapless Turkish spammer's, life:

Horse Bites Spammer's Bum!

Usenet's mentally depraved top spammer, dumb Mark Rivers, ended up in
hospital after a horse bit him on the bum during the filming of his new
instruction video on how to spam Usenet effectively with his unique copy &
paste technique.

Mark Rivers was filming the video at a stables in Bijeljina, northeast

A horse saw a carrot he had been carrying to feed the horses sticking out
of his back pocket and went to eat it.

But the horse grabbed a chunk of Mark Rivers' bum, as well as the carrot.

He was taken to hospital where doctors treated the bite wound, local daily
Svet reported.

Rivers left hospital 24 hours later, vowing never to work with animals

2005-08-03 03:44:06 UTC
Sub-human terrorist Armenians raped, tortured, massacred millions of
innocent and defenceless Turks, Jews, Kurds, Arabs and other
non-Armenians in Ottoman Eastern Anatolia during WWI (with direct and
generous support from their allies, the victors of WWI including
Czarist Russia which also created the mess in the Middle East,
including the fake state of Iraq, millions of people are suffering from
now) to ethnically cleanse the area for an Armenian homeland which
never existed.

The rest of the Ottoman Armenian population either very blindly
followed their terrorist leaders (who were ".. craven and mean-spirited
and exel in nothing except drinking." - Marco Polo), or remained
totally complacent.

Another thug of Armenian anti-Turkish Hatred Inc indicates the typical
Armenian behavior correctly:

"No sir, you will not find Armenians who will express disapproval or
distress for the assassination of Turkish governmental officials. It is
unfortunate that the attitude of the Turkish government vis-a-vis
Armenian demands dictates that more people have to die in pursuit of
justice. ... It is not uncommon to find those within the Armenian
diaspora who actually applaud these violent actions. "

David Davidian <***@urartu.SDPA.org> | The life of a people is a sea,
S.D.P.A. Center for Regional Studies | those that look at it from the
P.O. Box 2761, Cambridge, MA 02238 | cannot know its depths.
->> Boston'dan Van'i istiyoruz <<- | -Armenian




Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Muhammet Resit Guleser

Father's Name : Abdullah
Mother's Name : Habibe
Place of Birth : Van
Date of Birth: 1900

I was a young student at the (Teachers' training college) school,
around 15 or 16 years old during the Armenian massacres, and remember
what happened quite well. Before the First World War, we had good
neighbourly relations with the Armenians (whose population was said to
be approximately 17,000).

With the declaration of the constitutional monarchy in 1908, they
started to exploit the principles of independence, equality, and
justice to their benefit. Their leader in Van, Aram Pasha, was in the
delegation that notified Sultan Hamit that he would have to leave his
throne. The Armenians set up an underground organization in Van, and
dug tunnels which extended from near the Great Mosque (Büyük Camii)
all the way to the old section of town. It was even possible to go
through these tunnels on horseback. One day some parts of the tunnel
collapsed so was discovered by a guard incidentally. Aram Pasha was
caught near the Great Mosque upon the intelligence of an Armenian but
was released without punishment due to the political sensitivities of
the time.

In short, the Armenians organized themselves very well and became rich
financially in commerce. After the Armenians and Jews were permitted to
join the military, some groups of Armenians, joined the military with
their weapons during the retreat of the Van division. Our soldiers were
carrying German-made primitive weapons which could only fire four shots
and the fifth one would drop to the gound. According to what we had
heard from Mr. Haci Latif and the others who later returned to Van, the
Armenians in the Van division were shooting our soldiers in the back.
There were also several cases of Armenian doctors and nurses poisoning
our wounded soldiers who were treated in the hospitals in Van after
returning from the eastern front.

As to the situation in Van, the Russians were approaching from three
fronts, Muradiye, Özalp, and Baskale. The Armenians in the city were
rebelling and continued an aggressive campaign against the Muslim
population for 29 days. We had three barracks, Haci Bekir, Aziziye, and
Toprakkale. Ten soldiers would guard each one. They attacked to these
barracks and slaughtered the soldiers like sheep by cutting their
throats off. Ali Cavus, our neighbour, was also slained there. While
our weak militia were digging trenches to trying to fight, the
Armenians made holes in the walls and were firing shots with machine
guns, pouring cans of kerosene, lighting fires, and escaping through
the deep tunnels. This brutal attack lasted 29 days. The decision of
retreat was finally made so that the Muslim population would not suffer
any more deaths. Those with carts used them; those without them were
under desperate conditions, but we all joined the exodus. People left
their children on the roads, others died from hunger and disease.

It should be remembered that the Armenians not only committed large
massacres in Van, but in the villages as well. The homes in the
villages of Timar, Bakale, and Özalp were stuffed with hay and set on
fire. Those that tried to escape were killed with bullets and bayonets.
The inhabitants of a few villages in Zeve got organized and fought
against the Armenians, but almost all of them -from seven different
villages- were killed. Mass graves are still being uncovered in these
villages and a memorial was built.

Eight of the twelve ships carried the Muslim refugees from Van, four
ships carried government employees and their families. All the sailors
aboard the vessels were Armenians. The Armenian bandits by the help of
these sailors, forced the four government employee boats to dock at the
Adir Island, and killed all the passengers. As to the remaining other
eight boats they were taken to another island near Tatvan where
Armenian bandits were waiting, but they managed to escape with few
casualties because they were armed.

When we left Van, we first went to Bitlis, and later to Diyarbakir. We
witnessed the Armenian savagery along the way. Finally, I will tell you
about what we saw and heard upon returning to Van. The Armenians
applied all types of torture to the inhabitants, God bless their souls.
They paraded Isa Hodja, who was over 100 years old, on a donkey through
the village, raided and looted homes, and gathered women and girls into
Mr. Ziya's home where they repeatedly raped them. They threw the bodies
of the dead into wells, and even filled the well of our mosque with the
bodies of victims.

When General Cevdet entered Van for the first time, he asked the
gendarmes to escort 130 women, whose husbands were at the front, to
Diyarbakir. They were in bad situation in Van because they did not have
any transportation. About 30 of them stayed in our house. They spun
wool to survive. They were also given military rations. They told us
that there was no end to the torture and cruelties they suffered at the
hands of the Armenian bandits. The Armenians skinned the men, castrated
them, and raped the women.

We returned to Van four years later. In the beginning we stayed two
years, but were forced to flee again when the Russians arrived. This
time we went as far as we could go. Finally we arrived to Siirt. When
we returned, 200-250 Armenian families were seeking refuge on the
Carpanak Island. They were hoping that the Turks would leave, and that
they would resettle in Van. Most of them were artisans. A short time
later, a new decree was issued, and they were sent to Revan under the
protection of the government. However, Van was raided seven times by
the enemy, was completely destroyed except for the Armenian quarters.
We rebuilt the city afterwards.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Seyh Cemal Talay

Father's Name: Cimsid
Mother's Name : Fatma
Place of Birth : Van
Date of Birth: 1901

The Russians were providing weapons for the Armenian bandits. With
military assistance of Russia and encouragement of England, France and
the United States -all had consulates in Van- Armenians increased their
hostilities in the beginning of 1915. The Russians were secretly
providing them weapons hidden in food supplies, which they sent to
Russia through the port of Trabzon. Those supplies were transported by
caravans to Van. The goods on the caravans were distributed in the
centre of the old city, and the hidden ammunition was secretly
distributed to the Armenian militants. The leader of the Armenian
revolt in Van was Aram Pasha. But I don't remember the name of the
Dashnaks' leader. They all had land claims, especially in Van. The 11th
squadron was assigned to Van, but went to Erzurum to be mobilised. The
Armenian bandits increased their activities and started their terrorist
campaigns against the Muslim inhabitants.

The militants were raiding the Muslim villages and neighbourhoods. The
only thing we had to fight them with was a militia led by Imam Osman,
composed of those either too old or too young to join the army.

Let me tell you a story which I will never forget. I went to a school
located near the government mansion. Armenian children also studied at
the same school. Some of the students in the Armenian underground went
to get a Muslim student named Rustu from his home with an excuse of
studying. They took him to the Isitma bridge near the industrial park.
After insulting him, they raped and killed him, leaving his body for
his family to find the next day. The family later composed a ballad to
honour his memory.

I can remember the beginning of the skirmishes between the Muslims and
Armenians. Our militia, which would meet in the Mahmut Aga barracks
across the street from the Van State Hospital, was on duty, a day
before the war with the Armenians started. The Armenians prepared the
night before and positioned themselves. They dug holes in the State
Mansion, and when our militia was preparing for morning prayer at a
fountain nearby, the Armenians showered them with bullets. Many of our
soldiers were killed. The fighting between local Muslims and Armenians
began. There was a big confusion in the streets from both sides.
Despite this, we got up and went to school. We had two teachers, one
from Salonica, one from Edirne. They said "Come on kids, let's all
forgive each other, we might not see each other again" and suggested we
use the side streets to avoid Armenian bullets. I left school with some
friends, but decided to take our regular route. We saw that weapons and
ammunition were being distributed in front of a storage area for
protection against the Armenians. We then noticed a few Armenians
creeping up from behind, and notified the man distributing the weapons.
He threw them down in his hand and fired on them, and they ran away.

The war started on April 2 and 3 in 1915. In 1914, the Russians were
not able to penetrate the front line, but they surrounded our soldiers
from behind by passing Caldiran-Bahcesaray, and established
headquarters in the Molla Hasan village.
It was difficult to provide our soldiers with military supplies since
the young students and elderly people carrying the equipment could not
go further because of the cold weather. Many of them died.

We couldn't go anywhere. But in the spring the Armenians went
completely crazy. On May 10, 1915, the Russians were moving towards
Van. With Governor Cevdet's orders we evacuated Van, taking with us
what we could carry. During the war, Armenian brutality reached a stage
that no one, including the old, sick, captive, women or children could
escape. The atrocities reached the degree that even the Armenians' main
supporters, the Russians, were trying to prohibit their actions.

My grandmother Mihri couldn't flee with us because one of my uncles was
paralysed from the waist down. Unable to speak because of the shock of
what happened in our absence, she later learned to speak by sign in
order to explain what happened. They shaved my uncle's moustache along
with his flesh, and then took them to a house which they used as a
detention centre and tortured him and the other captives until the
Russians arrived.

When we became refugees there were 23 members of our family. We lost
most of our family on the road to Bitlis and Urfa. Only two of us
returned to Van. Our first stop on the road was Bitlis where we arrived
in eleven days, and then went to Siirt, where we had relatives with
whom we stayed for a few months. When we heard about the Russian
advance, we again fled to Diyarbakir. Our convoy consisted of 250
people. We suffered from hunger and thirst on the way. We went through
Kurtalan and Diyarbakir and the village of Kebir, where we did not stay
long, and again took the road to return to Van. When we reached
Kurtalan, we learned that the Russians had entered Van again and went
to Siirt. In the spring of 1916, we went to Baghdad, but fled to Mardin
when the English Army advanced. In 1917, we arrived to Urfa. The French
who entered Urfa started tormenting the Muslims by bringing the
Armenian of Aleppo to the city. This time we fought for twenty-two

We left Van in 1915. When we were finally able to return, only two
people remained from the 23-membered family. Van was totally destroyed.
The Armenians burned and demolished everything except for the Armenian
houses. In fact, when the Turkish army entered Van, around 2.000
Armenian artisans, expecting retaliation for their repression of the
Turkish population, sought refuge on the island of Adir. The Turkish
government instead ensured their safe passage to Revan.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Salih Tasci

Father's Name: Mirza
Mother's Name: Hane
Place of Birth: Van
Date of Birth: 1883

The Armenians who revolted by the Russian assistance began to fight
against the Muslims though they had lived together for many years.
Their intention was to steal our lands and to establish an Armenian
state. They had dugouts underground and they were easily hiding in them
after they killed the Turks.

They tortured people especially in central Van and in the castle. Their
leader was a man called Aram Pasha. We were defeated by them as they
had rich ammunitions. Then we decided to migrate to safer places as we
did not want to suffer more casualties.

Some people went to Bitlis by way of land and some went by sea. The
ones who stayed were all killed. The refugees of Van were spread
everywhere in country. From Bitlis to Diyarbakir, Elazig, Nazilli,
Burdur... However, the Armenians undertook massacres in the villages of

In those villages the Armenians and the Russians closed the roads. They
killed all the men and raped all the women there. Later, Armenian
bandits gathered in Van and carried massacres out there too. In short,
it was like the doomsday. In Lake Van there were sailing boats. They
really tortured so much that they got bored from killing people. They
put the people into the boats and threw them in to the lake.

Those Armenians nailed our elders to the walls from their hands and
foreheads. We resisted them as much as we could do and fought. We did
everything necessary. But, we never touched any Armenian child or
women; we just fought against men. Armenians were so cruel. After I
returned from the Iranian Front in 1921, I found Van in a ruin. All the
Turkish districts were burnt by the Armenians and the Russians; all the
Muslim properties were plundered. But, the Armenian houses were still
standing out. Van was empty. Later, the Muslims returned one by one.
Everybody began to rebuild his house; we have rebuilt the city.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Bekir Yoruk

Father's Name : Yusuf
Mother's Name : Gülnaz
Place of Birth : Van
Date of Birth: 1900

Q: Can you tell us what you can remember and what the Armenians did in
Van and Gevas?

A: We lived in the same neighbourhoods with the Armenians. We were
living in Norsin neighbourhood and got along well until the Russians
intervention. In those days, the Armenian youth established committees
by Russian encouragement, and started causing trouble. They killed the
police superintendent and threw him in the park. They killed the
postman in Hasbagi. They bombed a building, which is a bath now, and
twenty people died in the explosion. When the constitutional monarchy
was declared, the mufti and the priest shook hands and declared the
brotherhood of Muslims and Christians. The Mufti cried as he shook
hands, but events developed against us. The committee members became
increasingly out of control and the rebellion began. We fought the
Armenians for 29 days in Hasbagi. We had no weapons. When the division
went to Erzurum we remained completely defenceless.

The Armenians who joined the army after the establishment of the
constitutional monarchy used our weapons to shoot at us, and those who
remained in the army shot our soldiers from behind. They also bombed
the barracks. The young people and the elderly left in the Muslim
neighbourhoods took turns guarding against the Armenians. Meanwhile,
the Russians sent gold to Armenians to finance their effort.

This struggle lasted 29 days until the arrival of the Russians. The
elderly Armenians didn't approve this fight because they were the
wealthiest inhabitants of the area, and feared losing their standard of
living. Armenians owned up to 1,000 stores and sold European cloth in
the old part of the city of Van. When these events broke out,
inhabitants of nearby villages and towns all fled to Van, and those
stores disappeared within two days.

Later on, fifty vessels full of people left Van, carried wounded
soldiers. Cevdet Pasha saw the passengers off at the pier. We went to
Adir Island, where the Armenians were training underground. We stayed
on the island for nine days. The waves destroyed some of the ships with
wooden sails. The island had wells and two bakeries. No one brought any
supplies from Van. We were hungry and perplexed. My elder brother was
an officer and came back wounded from Erzurum. My brother realised that
the Armenians would cut us off. He convinced his captain, and ten ships
left the place but we couldn't go very far. Thank God that we stayed
close to the shore. The next day, we reached Tatvan under difficult
circumstances. The day we left Van the Armenians set everything ablaze.
There were wounded soldiers from all parts of Turkey in Van, and the
Armenians set the apartment buildings on fire used as a hospital where
they were teken care of. That is why Van is a sacred place with martyrs
from 67 provinces (in Turkey).

My uncle, Terren Aga, was very old, and we couldn't take him with us
when we left Van. His wife, daughter, and two grandchildren remained
with him. Armenian hoodlums beat my uncle and the children with an ax
and killed them. His daughter was hiding in an abandoned American
school. When the Armenians found her, they killed her by throwing her
from the second floor.
We went to Bitlis from Tatvan where we stayed for nearly two months.
When the Russians arrived, we set off on the roads again. We then went
to Hizan and Diyarbakir. After we left, the Gendarme commander who was
crying like a baby- brought my uncle (who was Deputy Governor Omer Bey)
a report. A soldier named Mansur was also present in the room. When we
asked him to explain what happened, he said that three days after Van
was evacuated they went to pick up the bodies. Hundreds of elderly
women were impaled on stakes. They still had their scarves on and
looked as if they were sitting. When they got closer they saw that they
were killed before being impaled. They saw a woman who was split into
two parts and her unborn child was placed on her chest.

Muslims who witnessed these thousand of examples of inconceivable
brutality tearfully reported the incidents to Omer Bey, who then told
Mustafa Kemal. When the Russians finally arrived, they were displeased
with the savageness which resulted in the destruction of four-fifths of
Van. In addition to those massacred by the Armenians, many people also
died as they were fleeing. Many collapsed on the road from hunger and
disease. No one was able to take anything with them when they left Van.

When we returned to Van from exile three years later, we found the
Muslim neighbourhoods destructed, but the areas owned by Armenians,
were left undamaged. When we returned there were about 2,000 Armenians
living in Van who fled to the islands when the Turks started returning.
Two years later, the government sent them to Revan.

Q: Did you ever participate in the fighting or use a weapon?

A: No. I have never used a weapon. I didn't have a gum, plus they
didn't give me one because I was too young and didn't know how to use
it. Instead. I would bring food and water to the combatants.

Q: What kind of equipment were the Armenians using?

A: They had the latest equipment which was provided by Russia and
England. They gave them weapons and had them fight against us. The
Armenians couldn't do anything to us, but when the were armed, the
balance was upset.

Q: Did many people die in these and other clashes?

A: Of course, thousands of people died. After fighting for 29 days, the
then Governor Cevdet Pasha commanded us to leave Van when he heard that
the Russian forces were approaching. Cevdet Pasha was actually a very
courageous man, but we had neither guns nor ammunition. while the
Russians were armed with top of the line weapons.

Q: Didn't the Ottoman State take any precautions against the Armenians
arming themselves to this extent? Didn't a word get around?

A: People knew, and the government knew. Yet the military was on the
fighting front, and only a few gendarmes were left in Van. They
couldn't do anything about it.. The Armenians first shot Police
Lieutenant Nuri Efendi, and blew up the Hamitaga barracks. Many
soldiers were killed. Then they placed bombs in the Norsin Mosque and
Haci Naci Hodja Mosque. They blew up Hafiz Hodja with his son using
granedes. Our women were raped, and our children shot.

Q: How was the evacuation carried out?

A: We left this place on 50 ships. That day the weather was stormy and
rainy, as if hell broke loose. The ships ran into each other. They were
unable to approach the pier for a long time. The weather was not warm
enough-I think it was April. We left before the Russians arrived. There
were about 250 people in our group, and 60 died. Some died at the hands
of the Armenians bandits, other from cholera, diseases, and hunger.

My uncle, his family and children, were all cut into pieces with a
hatchet under a mulberry tree in our neighbourhood. They (Armenians)
massacred all those who stayed behind when we left. We lived in Norsin
neighbourhood at the time. They burned Van entirely. All was planned by
the Armenian committees that treacherously manipulated the Armenian

Q: Do, you remember the names of those committees?

A: Dashnak was the most prominent one. There were others as well, but I
don't remember their names now. They received money and gold from
Russia and Britain.

Q: Did the Armenians kill a lot of women and children?

A: The elderly didn't bother much, but all the young people were armed.
They killed whoever they could catch. They killed them and threw them
into the lake or onto the fire. For example, a woman was baking bread
in a nearby village, and had her young child was at her side. The
Armenians went into her backyard and asked her what she was doing. When
she answered that she was baking bread, they insisted she needed a
kebab as well, and pierced her child and threw him into the fire and
burned him alive.

What else can I tell you? God knows the extent of what went on. During
our escape, we took off on the ships, and stayed around the islands for
four days. We couldn't sleep at nights because of the wails and screams
we heard all night. These were the cries we heard from the surrounding
villages: Zeve, Bardakci, Kalac, and Molla Kasim. I hope God ensures
that we don't have to get back to those days again, ever.

Q: Where did you go after the islands?

A: From the islands we went to the Dervis village. It took us all day
to get there. Ten ships were tied together at the edge of the lake. We
were very frightened. In the morning we left toward Tatvan, and finally
reached our destination. We were able to rest there, and later left
toward Biths.

Q: Do you remember how many people were with you in your convoy?

A: There were between 10 and 20 thousand people in our convoy.

Q: Did many people from your convoy die in the exodus?

A: Of course.

Q: Could you tell us how they died?

A: The women could not take care of their children. Some would leave
them in far areas. Hunger and disease were at its peak. For example,
Omer Efendi wrapped his child in rags and left him alive under a tree
as we approached the Bitlis creek. There were many other children like
this thrown into the Bitlis creek or buried, then they died. But, Omer
Efendi regretted what he did, and a few days later went to save the
child and brought him back alive.

Q: How long were you a refugee?

A: Three years.

Q: What did you find when you returned to Van? How was Van, was there
much damage?

A: I saw Van; it was completely destroyed and burned. When we were in
Bitlis, the Deputy Governor Ömer Bey was there. He would regularly
receive reports on the situation in Van. We would learn about the
situation of the Russians there. One day a soldier, Mansur, came to
Bitlis. He was from Aleppo and used to live near the Norsin Mosque. He
was in tears as he told us the story of how they entered Van, and saw
that the women were lined up in a row with their head scarves still on.
As they approached, they saw that they were impaled and killed. They
removed them and buried them. The soldiers left all their work and
buried them. Later, they went to another location where the women had
been raped and then killed. There was blood everywhere.

A similar incident occurred in the Amik village which is close here.
The inhabitants took refuge in the castle and pulled up the ladder when
the Armenians arrived. The Armenians approached and convinced them to
let down the ladder because they were now friendly and there was no
reason to be afraid of. As soon as they ascended the stairs, they
separated the children and men and threw them down the hill. Some of
the women threw themselves from the castle, while the others were taken
to an unknown location.

Q: Did you hear about similar incidents at the time?

A: Of course I did, but what else can I tell you? Dignity, chastity,
and integrity all was gone. We suffered so much, some people even ate
flesh like cannibals. But we were so merciful that, when we found
Armenians hiding on the island, we didn't do anything to them.

Q: Were they the Armenians who stayed when you fled?

A: No, they were Armenians remaining on the island. During the exodus
they brought, many Turks to this island and killed them. The ship
captains were Armenians. Many of our, people were maliciously killed in
this way on the ships. As I told you earlier, we couldn't sleep because
of the wads in those days. When we left, Van was burning, and it was
still burning when the soldier Mansur came.

Q: Will you tell us about your situation in Bitlis?

A: When we arrived in Bitlis as refugees, they were angry with us
because we abandoned Van. Initially the people of Bitlis were not very
kind to us, asking us why we ran away and did not fight against the
enemy. We answered that we had no other choice because we did not have
guns or ammunition. Not long after, the population of Bitlis had to
flee as well, and they understood our position. The heat was extreme.
There was no food or water. Cholera and diseases were spreading out.
Many people died. One day we saw some vehicles coming from Elazig. The
army corps came with Armenian drivers to bring salt to Harput.

Q: Were the drivers Armenian?

A: Yes. Armenian soldiers who were carrying salt. There was a captain
leading them and my brother approached him and asked him to stay and
send a telegraph to arrange for a truck to carry us. We obtained
permission from Mustafa Kemal Pasha and they started to transport us to
Divarbakir. There was neither food nor water on the way. Many people
died from diseases. At that time, there was a landowner named Mehmet.
He later died, but he was a unique person. He gave food to the army and
fed their horses as well. He also handed the keys of his stables over
to the army. A year later Mustafa Kemal Pasha came, talked to him, and
asked how much the government owed him. When he said "for what?",
Mustafa Kemal explained that the army had depended on him for a year.
He answered that "they are welcomed for the remaining food, as well".
Anyway, when he saw us, he gave the order to set up a feast table right
away. Wheat, rice, lentil, and meat were prepared. Everyone ate.

Let me tell you another story. I saw many of the men who had been
tortured by the Armenians with my own eyes. In some places they had no
meat on their bones. From hunger they ate human flesh. There was a
milkman called Faik whose father was carrying a child when we saw him.
When I asked him what he was doing, he said if he didn't carry the
child away, they would eat him too.

I hope God doesn't make us live through those days again. Hunger and
disease left us with nothing. No dignity, chastity, no nothing.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Ibrahim Sargin

Father's Name : Halil
Place of Birth: Van-Zeve
Date of Birth: 1903

I am from the well-known Zeve village, site of the most rampant
Armenian massacres.

Q: How old were you when the Armenians rebelled?

A: I had just turned 11 at the time.

Q: Were your parents alive at the time?

A: Yes, they were.

Q: Were they subjected to Armenian atrocities?

A: I will tell you all about that later. I first want to try to explain
the situation of the Armenians. We know how untrustworthy the Armenians
and Russians were, and about their efforts to stab the Ottoman State
from behind by forming bands of rebels. At that time, Russians were
paying Armenians wages. However, the Armenians were paying the Ottoman
State only one gold coin in taxes while those unable to pay that much,
were paying five silver coins. There were certain changes during the
rule of Sultan Hamid and Sultan Resad. They extended equal rights to
the Armenians, declaring that they would be equal to Muslims, like
brothers. They passed a law abolishing the tax imposed on them, and
made them equal to us. There was jubilation in the streets. Armenian
priests and our religious leaders hugged each other and kissed. At this
time, it was also decided that Armenians would serve in the army with
us and study in our schools. The Armenians were thrilled with these
changes. As soon as they had the opportunity, they established
committees and asked for money from France and England and arms from
Russia. They figured they could co-operate with the Russians, receive
military supplies from them, and attack the Ottomans while the Russians
could advance from the outside.

What did the Russians do? They constructed storage bins out of the
stove pipes and stove metal. These bins were three feet long and one
and a half feet wide, and filled with arms and munitions. Some of our
supplies including kerosene came from Russia at the time. The Russians
delivered these military supplies to the Armenians by hiding them in
the bins and covering them with kerosene containers. Having armed the
Armenians in this way, the Russians sent a member of the secret
revolutionary society from Russia. His name was Aram, and he was blind
in one eye. A Russian Armenian, they named him Aram Pasha. Then they
brought someone named Antranik to Mus, and called him Antranik Pasha.
Plus, there was an Armenian revolutionary committee leader nicknamed
Sahin (Falcon) in the Karagunduz village of the Ercek region. They
would set up committee organisations and head for the Turkish borders.
They crossed into the Turkish villages where they would attack and kill
Turks, and then retreat. They carried weapons and bandits to Karagunduz
on horseback.

Q: Do you remember the revolutionary committees in the region and the
names of their leaders?

I named some of them a little earlier. I don't remember any other
names. They armed themselves with the help of the Russians, and came on
horses. They created storage areas in the Sisanus village, and moved to
a lake village which was completely inhabited by Armenians who had
moved into the village earlier. On the lake there were enormous ships
which could carry 500-600 people. These ships would carry arms and
ammunition to Adilcevaz, Ahlat, Ercis, and Gevas. Some would later be
sent to Tatvan, Mus and Bitlis. The Armenians armed themselves well
with these supplies, and started to form guerrilla groups. More
specifically, they organised fighters and hid them on the Islands of
Akdamar, Carpanak, and Kadin Tbese fighters later scattered throughout
the area, insulting and provoking the public. After a while, they
decided to get along with the Russians. After the Russians declared war
to the Ottoman Empire, all of our soldiers left the area. Some went to
the Caucasian front line, while others went to the Iranian front line.
The Armenian soldiers accompanied our soldiers. After the two sides
started fighting, our soldiers noticed that they were being shot from
behind. The doctors could not understand why soldiers who should be hit
from the front were hit from behind. Then they realised that Armenian
soldiers would kill ours whenever the opportunity arose. We lost
perhaps thousands of our soldiers in this way, but it was too late when
it was discovered. Some of the traitors were found, while some joined
the Russian fighters. This war lasted two and a half years. Our
soldiers were in terrible shape, and were forced to retreat. The
Russian military started to advance. When they arrived at the Caldiran
plains, they came across the Hamidiye regiment which was formed during
the reign of Sultan Hamit and was composed of tribes. The Russians used
the Hamidiye organisation for their own means, telling them to provide
soldiers to defend the area, while they would provide munitions and

A soldier who heard that the Russians arrived in Caldiran ran to his
village (Derebey) and told the village headman that it was futile to
work in the fields since the Russians had already arrived in Caldiran,
which meant they would be in the village either that day or the next.
He told the villagers they would all be killed if they didn't flee.
Hearing this, the villagers gathered together, took some food and
whatever they could carry, and left toward Van. They first reached the
Zorava village, which is Circassian. When the inhabitants asked them
what was going on, they told them that they were headed to Van because
the Russians had entered Caldrran and were advancing toward Muradiye.

Hearing this, the villagers in Zorava joined the refugees. Later there
were eight villages which joined this caravan to Van; Hakis, Zorava,
Derebey, Sih Omer, Sihkara, Sihayne, Hidir and Göllü. They had no
idea that Van was emptied and that its inhabitants had migrated. When
they arrived at the Everek plains, they saw some Armenians who asked
them in Armenian: "Where are you mindless people going?" to which they
answered, "We're going to Van. We will go wherever the inhabitants of
Van go." To this the Armenians showered them with insults and added
"Turks left Van over six or seven days ago, and are refugees. The
administration of Cevdet Pasha was over long time ago. Aram Pasha's
Administration was formed. All of the wounded, hospitalised, women and
children in Van were killed. Mosques were torched, barracks burned. We
cut up all of the Muslims in Van. There were only 20-30 women
remaining, and we gave them to Aram Pasha." To this, Circissian Ibo
said that they would become prisoners, and proposed that they go to
Zeve, which was very close to the lake. He suggested they could find a
ship there and save the women and children.

By the time this group of refugees reached our village (Zeve), we saw
that there were over 2,000 of them. When we asked them what happened,
they responded, "We were fleeing to Van, but Armenians stopped us and
told as that the inhabitants of Van had already migrated, so we came
here to acquire a ship in the hope of saving our women and children."

It was spring and it was not easy to settle the refugees in our small
village, but we did our best. We settled them in homes, tents, and
barns. There were more than 2,000 of them, and they stayed with our
villagers who numbered about 500. In addition, soldiers disbanded from
the army came home to our village. You should have seen them. They had
long beards, their uniforms were torn, they were full of lice. We
settled them, too. One was my brother Necip, my cousin Mustafa, my
brother-in-law Mehmet, my cousin Ilyas, Recep, son of Saban, Mustafa's
son Seyyat, and Emrah's son Sukru. They were emaciated -just skin and
bones. They took of their clothes and burned them and pulled of the
lice. My uncle Yusuf was a good barber. After scrubbing their heads
with hot water, he shaved them with a razor. Believe me, because of the
lice, blood was dripping from their faces and eyes. They were somewhat
more comfortable after that.

Two days had passed. On the third day, the village Hodja began his
morning call to prayer. Those who wanted to pray and the others went to
work, There was a river in the middle of our village. If flows all the
way from the Iranian border, and becomes a lake in the spring when the
snow melts. But we were never sure exactly where this water came from.
One day we heard a woman's voice from the other side of the river
calling for someone to carry her to our side. On hearing this, my uncle
grabbed his purse, followed the sounds, and was suprised to see, Esma,
the daughter of Ahmet, who married someone in the Molla Kasim village.

She promised to tell her story after my uncle helped her cross the
river. He helped her onto the saddle and brought her to this side of
the river. At this time the villagers had already finished their
morning prayer and gathered around them. She told them to defend
themselves that Hamit, Molla Kasim, and Ayanos had been killed, and
that the perpetrators would be in our village any day now. The Hodja
addressed the crowd with "Friends, we are Muslims. It doesn't fit our
religion for us to die needlessly. We have about 60 weapons, 2 chests
full of ammunition, and eight or nine soldiers with guns and bullets.
Let's defend our village. My father's cousin, Hodya Osman who served
with Cevdet Pasha had sent 60 guns and the ammunition."

There were hills near our village, below the bridge. There were plains
on the top, and grasslands below. The villagers took their positions on
the top part of the hills, and waited for the Armenians to advance.
When the Armenians surrounded the village on three fronts and attacked,
our villagers were prepared. They fought the Armenians until noon. When
our side charged them, the Armenians were startled. Some of them fled
to Mermit village, while other went to Vadar village. Afterwards they
started to re-grouping. There were other Armenian villages such as the
enormous Alay village comprised of 400 homes. They gathered together,
all of the Armenians, and again started a battle which continued until
the end of the mid-afternoon prayer. After the mid-afternoon prayer,
there were up to one hundred horses speeding down Erzurum Street which
originated in Van. The villagers thought that they were Ottoman
soldiers who came to their assistance after hearing gunfire, but soon
saw that they were Russian Armenians who heard the gunfire and came to
the village. The fighting started again, and our villagers started to
run out of bullets. The Armenians saw this as an opportunity and
entered the village by killing the Turks who were guarding it. The
village was burning, and herds of people numbering two or three
thousand started to flee. The Armenians were throwing small children in
the air and piercing them with bayonets or sticking them in the stomach
with bayonets. The children let out shrill cries and foil to the ground
like baby birds. In desperation, some of the women and young girls
threw themselves into the river, while others lit fire to bails of
grass and threw themselves into the bonfire.

They captured Corporal Seyat alive, laid him one the ground, undressed
him, and skinned him alive. They also carved out his shoulders and
carved into his sides, taunting him by saying that Sultan Resat
promoted him and gave him a medal. The Armenians also set fire to the
grass and threw some of our women and children into the fire and burned
them alive. They sliced the throats of the rest of the survivors as if
they were sacrificial lambs. Not one child survived. After massacring
the entire village, they killed the five most attractive women; my
cousin Sober, Esma, the headman's wife, a distant relative Hayriye, my
aunt Aye, and Güllü. Then they left. I'll explain to you how I
survived even though the Armenians vowed to continue the massacres
until we were all dead. My father was very well known, and he had
extended much kindness to the Bardakci village. My father had once
saved the life of Kirbe, and his son Asvador was among the Armenians.
Although at the time my father was in Iran as a reserve officer,
Asvador came to us during the massacre. Asvador told the Armenians not
to touch me, my mother, and one of my sisters and saved our lives.
After the Armenians left, Asvador took us out of hiding. The wounded
were moaning from pain, begging for someone to wrap their wounds or
give them some water.

Asvador brought us to the Bardaci village where we stayed for some
time. My cousin Sema in Bardakci would swear to us that in the evening
the Armenians would come and pick out ten or eleven women out of the
150, and rape them until the morning. The women were covered with
blood, and after they dropped them off they were unable to sit.

Meanwhile a Russian government was established in Van and Aram Pasha
became its leader. Aram Pasha's government proclaimed that any refugee
who is in need of food or water is welcome to Van. My father at this
time was in the Hacik village where he and my uncles were on Halil
Pasha's boat. From there they went to a village in the Hosap region.
When my uncles heard the proclamation they went to Van. They were
shocked to see that the city was burned and completely destroyed. The
city used to be at the foothill of the castle. Everything was
completely destroyed: the buildings, barracks, mosques, bathhouses, and
government buildings.

My father was from the Hacbahan neighbourhood where there were Armenian
homes and stores. Coincidentally, Asvador ran into him on the street.
After the customary greeting, my father asked him if he had any news
about our village. Asvador responded that they had slaughtered all of
Zeve, but that his younger wife, child and daughter were safe with him.
He volunteered to hand us over to my father. My father acknowledged the
favour by Asvador, but feared that the Armenians would kill him if he
went to the village, so he suggested that Asvador bring us to him
instead so that he could take us away. When Asvador came to see us that
night, he told us that he ran into my father, and that we should
prepare ourselves so that he could take us to him. In the morning he
loaded us onto an ox cart, took us to Van, and delivered Lis to my
father. We didn't stay long because the Armenians were raiding a
village; many people were fleeing either towards Iran, Mardin or
Diyarbakir to save their lives.

Q: Mr. Ibrahim, can you tell us about what happened in Van. Apparently
the first revolt took place, where the castle was toppled by cannon
fire, the city was completely destroyed, and an Armenian government was
set up. Since you were in Zeve you may have seen the troubles in Van.
Do you have any knowledge of the incidents in Van?
A: They used cannon fire to burn the castle. At that time we were in
the village of Bardakci, and could see the fire in Van from there.
Mosques, buildings and barracks were burned. After capturing the
castle, they aimed some of the cannon fire downhill. The mosque near
the castle also was burned and destroyed, as well as the Hamitaga
barracks. They butchered almost all of the Muslims there -only a few
women survived. After the Russian government was established, these
women complained Armenians to the Russian authorities, and asked for
protection because they trusted the Russians more. The Russians had the
women guarded and did not violate their virtue, but the Armenians raped
our women and massacred the children and the elderly.

Q: Mr. Ibrahim, is it possible that one of the reasons that the Russian
soldiers did not touch your women was the possible presence of Turks in
the Russian army?

A: Yes. There were Crimean and Caucasian soldiers and officers. They
protected our women because they too were Muslims. In fact, they even
sent them back to their villages including the Molla Kasim village.
During the massacres they could only send 30 of the 150 women. They
planned to stay in the Molla Kasim village until the Ottoman military
arrived. However, they were subject to even further hardships. When the
Russians retreated, the Armenians stayed behind. The Armenians
suggested that the Russians leave their weapons, ammunition, cannons,
and supplies, so they could fight the Ottoman government. When the
Russians left all of their equipment to them, the Armenians became even
more ruthless and continued the massacres. When our army starting
arriving from Bitlis to Gevas and clashing with these Armenians, the
Armenians headed to Van toward Muradiye and Kars. They ultimately went
to Russia and Iran. Only a handful of Armenians remained behind. They
stayed on small islands in Lake Van such as Carpanak.

Q: Were there any Armenians in yourk Zeve village?

A: No, none.

Q: Where were you at the time that the Armenians established an
Armenian government with the Russians?

A: We were in Zeve at the time.

Q: How many people from Zeve survived?

A: Including to myself, six women were saved from Zeve, and that was
only because of a good deed my father had done earlier. Everyone else
was murdered, including many women and children.

Q: They say that a mosque near the Van castle was burned. Was this
mosque in Van or Zeve?

A: It was in Van, but mosques in Zeve were burned down as well. In Van
they burned other mosques such as the Kayacelebi, Ulu, and Hüsrev
Pasha, as well as many smaller mosques. You can still see all of their

Q: Were there any people inside the mosques in Van when they were
burned down?

A: Without a doubt.

Q: How about in Zeve?

A: Many had gone into the mosque for protection. Among them were uncle
Hamza, Dervis, and Derebeyli. I don't remember the names of the others
except for a great personality in Zeve whose name you may have heard;
Sultan Haci Hamza. He built the first dervish lodge in the area.

Q: Isn't it true that during the massacres the Turks sought refuge in
the lodge thinking that they would not be killed?

A: They sought shelter in the tomb, not the lodge.

Q: They say that the Armenians burned down the tomb, is that right?

A: It is true. They set fire to the tomb too, and threw everyone inside
killed, but three people survived. Unfortunately, mosques, tombs made
no difference to them. They burned them down with everyone inside. I
hope God will protect us from similar events in the future.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Ayse Sevimli

Father's Name : Dervis
Mother's Name : Hayriye
Place of Birth : Van-Zeve
Date of Birth : 1897

When the villagers heard that the Armenians were coming, they took as
many precautions as possible. They dug positions in the hills. The
inhabitants of seven villages filled up our village. There was little
room in the village to manoeuvre around the people and carts. on the
day that we heard the Armenians had almost reached the village, the men
ran to take their positions and began fighting.

We had no ammunition or weapons assistance. When the Armenians entered
our village, some of our men died fighting; others were burned in their
homes. I hid with my mother and some others in a barn further away from
the fighting grounds I got under a large basket. The Armenians killed
everyone they found and also fired at the barns. A bullet hit my
mother's scarf, but she was not hurt. I know of only two other women
who survived.

The Armenians went to Bardakci before they came to our village. My God,
when we went out at night, blood, gunfire, mourning, and wailing filled
the air. I saw them torturing people by cutting "pockets" out of skin
while mockingly telling them they were decorating them with medals.
When we approached the Bardakci village, I saw that on the other side
of the brook, in the field near Mehmet's house they had tied the arms
of five men together and were shooting at them. When they fell to the
ground, they stabbed them with bayonets. My mother handed them all of
her money and valuables so that we would not be hurt. They then brought
us to Van, and tortured the prisoners in unmentionable ways. We stayed
in the military barracks for four months. We later became refugees and
remained as such until April 1918.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Haci Zekeriya Koc

Father's Name : Yakup
Mother's Name : Nadide
Place of Birth : Van

When the Armenian incidents broke out we were in our village. Ayanis..
Zeve. Mollakasim and Ayanis were the villages in the region inhabited
entirely by Muslim. There were five or ten Armenian homes in the other
villages. Before these problems broke at, we had excellent relations
with the Armenians. We got along particularly well with
Armenian-inhabited Alaköy. We would invite each other to banquets, and
there were no hostilities between us.

Then when everything started and the residents of Van fled, we decided
to migrate as well. We got together, filled four carts as much as
possible, and got on the road. As we were leaving the village, a man
came from Van, and asked us where we were going. When we told him, he
urged us to stay, saying he, had cannons, guns, and military supplies.
on his encouragement, everyone returned home. Three days passed. On the
fourth day, we were at my grandmother's. I was standing and eating a
piece of buttered bread my grandmother prepared for me. Three villagers
were there helping us out. We heard one gunshot, and the men said "This
noise is from Armenian guns, it buzzes like tin. Our weapons clatter.
Something is going on."

Meanwhile someone came from Mollakasim, stood on tire hilltop of our
village, and yelled Why are you still around? Kurds raided and
plundered Alakoy, and the Armenians are attacking villages." Right
after this my cousing Dursun showed up. An elderly woman asked him why
he came. He had a bullet on his thumb and said, "They destroyed the
village and I ran away. Before the villagers had a chance to organize,
the Armenians surrounded the village. The Armenians captured our
livestock near the cemetery and took them to Alaköy. The Armenians
went into the villages and separated the men and stuffed them into a
room. Their leader was Hamados Pasha, who had paid Iranian Kurds to
fight with him. He told his fighters to separate all males over the age
of seven, and add them to the men to he burned.

They spoke Turkish almost as well as we did. At that time I was seven
years old. My mother immediately wrapped a scarf around my head, put a
loose dress on me, and pulled me by her side. I survived, but they
picked out four or five people from among us and took them away near
the men. As soon as they added them to the men they poured gasoline on
the crowd and lit a fire. The screams emanating from there reached the
skies. They rounded up the women and took them outside. They would mock
them saying "ladies why don't you sit here and rest. Look how nicely
the dogs are at each other's throats. "The "dogs" they referred to were
someone's son, husband, father or uncle. They were crying "oh my God"
in agonizing pain. They made us sit there for up to an hour. When we
walked by the cemetery, one of the Armenians began singing a ballad
mocking us.

At that moment we saw that the Armenians shot my mother's cousin with
her child still nursing on her breast, then an Armenian came and killed
the child with a bayonet. They killed a lot of people in that area.
Those that could run away escaped, those that couldn't had gas poured
over them and were burned. We were forced to sit there for quite a

Hamza, Haci Ummet's uncle lived in our village. He always carried a
dagger. The Armenians were going to carry him away and kill him, but he
ran toward them. He was either going to kill them or be killed.
Unfortunately he was not able to overcome them. Before they killed him
they carved out "pockets" in his thighs and placed his hands inside.
Excuse my language, but they cut his organ and placed it in his mounth,
and cut his nose and placed it in his behind.

They then took us to a hilltop in Alakoy before taking us into the
village. There they packed us into a barn. The children in the group
were starving and began to wail from hunger. The Armenians cut off the
hands, feet and other organs of the dead men, cooked and brought them
as food. The children could not differentiate, but the women said that
it was preferable to starve, and explained the truth to the children.
When nightfall came, they flooded the barn with water. The women had
placed the children on their shoulders and were shouting. After some
time they emptied the water out of the barn by opening a trench. The
next day the women were escorted out, and dried their clothes on rocks
outside the village. The women of Molakasim lived a little further down
our place. The Armenians had killed the men in the village there and
imprisoned the women.

In other words they were raiding Muslim villages, killing the men, and
imprisoning the women in Alakoy then led us onto the road towards Van.
When we arrived at the Mermit stream, some of the women threw
themselves into the water to kill themselves rather than die in the
hands of their captors. The infidels shot them from behind and killed
some of them. They broke the arms and mashed the heads of some that
wanted to jump into the water. I was with my mother, aunt, and
grandmother. My mother was still nursing my sister. When my mother
wanted to throw herself into the water and kill herself, my grandmother
held onto her and would not let her go. The Armenians put blockades by
the stream to prevent people from jumping. The next thing we knew, an
Armenian came to us and asked my grandmother who we were, and from
which village we came from. My grandmother was rude at first, but told
him when he insisted. When she responded that we were from the village
of Ayanis, and that my grandfather's name was Muhittin, her sons Yakup
and Niyazi. He grabbed the sides of her skirt and said he would never
want or permit harm to come to us. We were stunned. He then told us a
story that when they were coming from Bahcesaray to Van in eight
wagons, my father prevented some men who wanted to kill the Armenians
from doing so, instead, he escorted them all the way to Van then went
back to the village.

That man gave us some bread, old cheese, and yogurt. In the morning
they took us from there and brought us to Bardakci. At night we slept
in the plains of the village with armed guards at our sides. What harm
could women do anyway? There were about 700-800 of us. Then in the
morning they woke us up, and took us to the foot of the castle in Van.
There the governor of Van, Cevdet Pasha, had a three-storey detention
center. They brought a lot of people there before us. One of the women
who was there gave birth to a baby. The Armenians threw the child off
the roof of the building; and the child was lost. We stayed there for
five days. In the afternoon they let us go out in the fields, and
people gathered whatever they could find to eat.

After five days, they brought two more groups of people. In the
afternoon they moved us to Haci Bekir's detention center near the old
Governor's home. They also brought the inhabitants of the Muslim
village Pürüt there. Before they passed out bread, they added sulphir
and other things to it. Up to 70 people a day died as a result. The
Armenians dug ditches along the wall across from the barracks and
brought in the dead on stretchers and threw them there. Here too, we
ran across one of the Armenians which my father had saved. That
Armenian fed us for a few days. People were attacking upon the food.

A week went by, and they told us the Russians arrived. One day a major,
a captain, and two soldiers came into the barracks and counted and
recorded the prisoners. The next day we were fed with rice and meat,
and taken outside where there were Russian guards. The Russians asked
about our villages, and told us they would take us there. When we all
wanted to go to Mollakasim, they accepted. In the morning they loaded
us onto 70-80 wagons and took us to Mollakasim. After our arrival, we
stuck together out of fear of the Armenians. We chose a leader from
among us and lived that way until the Turkish army came to Van. After
some time, we rehabilitated the villages which the Armenians had burned
and plundered.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Hikmet Saylik

Father's Name: Ziver
Mother's Name: Söhret
Place of Birth: Van Gülsünler
Date of Birth: 1901

I am from the village of Gulsunler, which used to be called Sihkara. We
left the village when the Armenians raided the villages and started
massacring the Muslim population. We were going toward Van, but the
Armenians stopped us before we arrived. We had no choice but to return.
About 300 people from the village gathered in Zeve, while an equal
number returned to the village. We fled toward Hosap as a group.
Turkish soldiers were in Hosap, and they told us to leave as soon as
possible and get out of the line of fire.

In spite of the difficulties we faced, we went as far as Siirt. Many of
the refugees suffered and died due to widespread hunger and disease.
From there, we arrived in Diyarbakir, Mardin, and finally in Adana. We
then went to Konya, because the French had occupied Adana. The
government then sent us to Mersin, but when the Turkish military took
back Van, we returned. But Van and its villages were completely ruined,
burned, and destroyed. There, hundred people were martyred in our
village. They gathered the people in houses and burned them alive. The
inhabitants of Van fled, and those that remained were cut up by the
Armenians. When we returned, not all of the Armenians had left. Some of
the villages, such as Alaköy remained as they were, and the Muslims
did not hurt anyone there. The government later sent the Armenians to

Many members of my family were martyred in this village including my
mother, father, brother Mustafa and other relatives. Around 30-40
families fled with us, but only ten families returned. Those that
stayed and those that went to Zeve were all massacred. I found the
skeletons of nearly 200 Muslims killed by Armenians. I buried them
here, but could not afford to provide headstones to be put in the
graveyard. This includes the graves of my mother and father, as the
Armenians had burned them alive.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Mehmet Saar

Father's Name: Tevfik
Mother's Name: Rukiye
Place of Birth: Van-Göllü
Date of Birth: 1901

I am from the Gollu village. The Armenians revolted when the army in
Van retreated towards Erzurum. The Armenians killed all our parents. My
father was a gendarme sergeant and he was among those who were killed.
The villagers in Mollakasim, Amik, Sihayne, Gollu, Hidir, Kurtsatan,
and Koprukoy were also murdered. Some of our villagers were hidden in
Zeve and were later killed, but we were able to escape.

Armenians tortured and practiced all types of cruelties on the people
they kidnapped. They cut up pregnant women and removed the unborn
children with their bayonets. They raided and burned all of the Muslim
villages, murdering men, women, children and the old. The Muslim
population, which fled from the villages, I mentioned, tried to escape
by crossing the bridge on the Ablengez River. The Armenians demolished
the bridge, and threw the bodies of their prisoners into the river. In
the spring when the snow melted, the bodies were carried away into the
lake. During the day time, my mother, my two sisters, and I stayed in
the hills. We knew that if the Armenians found us they would kill us.
My mother died before we reached Diyarbakir. I later lost my two
sisters, and was left all alone. I stayed in Diyarbakir for three
years, and returned to my village the fourth year. Van and the Muslim
villages were all burned and destroyed, we settled down in an Armenian
village since they remained intact. We later returned to our villages
which we rebuilt with our own hands.

Words cannot express the torture we suffered at the hands of the
Armenians. We lost our homes, families, and possessions. After losing
my mother, father, and two sisters, I also lost my cousin and other
relatives who were trying to escape to Tatvan by ship with thousands of
other people. All of the passengers on the ship were brutally
slaughtered by the Armenians near the Parket village near Adilcevaz.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Kadriye Duran

Father's Name : Hamid
Mother's Name : Nigar
Place of Birth : Van-Kavunlu
Date of Birth: 1904

I was ten years old when we became refugees. Before we fled, Degirmen
was an Armenian village which included 80 Armenian families and three
Muslim Turkish families. One day the Armenians gathered the three
families, cut them up, and tossed them into a well. They tortured and
killed the young men by cutting "pockets" into their thighs and
crucified them by nailing them to the walls by their foreheads. Roughly
30 young people died this way.

A woman whose father-in-law lived in the Degirmen village came to tell
a cleric in our village what was going on in Degirmen. After this,
conflicts arose with the Armenians living in our village, and a few
Armenians were killed. After what happened in the Degirmen village, a
weapon was distributed to every home in our village as a precaution. My
father was the headman of our village. Since the surrounding villages
were Armenian, the Muslim population feared that our village would be
attacked, and gathered in the mosque. We filled sacks with sand and
used them as barriers.

During this time, two young Armenians were locked into a home because
our villagers could not stand to kill them. But they dug a tunnel under
the house, and fled to Degirmen village carrying news. Then the
inhabitants of three villages, Degirmen, Farih and another Armenian
village raided our village. The fighting lasted for more than an hour.
The Armenians controlled the bridge above the stream, and invaded
Ziyaret as well. The stream overflowed with melted snow, and it was
pure chaos when we tried to cross the stream. When my mother entered
the water, it reached her chest. Naturally, people broke their arms,
legs, or heads, while children were carried away by the water. It was
hell, pure hell. The Armenians were throwing the dead bodies onto heaps
of wheat. The bodies had piled up like hills. My father jumped on his
horse and went to Van from Akkoprü. Since Sihke was an Armenian
village, they didn't give him permission to pass through. My father
explained the situation to the governor of Van, Cevdet Pasha and asked
for his help. One hundred soldiers came to our rescue, and the
Armenians fled. We hid in the village of Dirandaz which was Muslim.
After spending the night there, my father went to Van in the morning
and asked those entering the city if we should return to our village.
They said that we shouldn't, so we were forced to become refugees. My
sisters and I wore men's clothing and hit the road.

We were going towards Edremit when the Armenians raided Van. The city
was burning, and the houses were in flames, which reached to the sky.
We reached Edremit, but they raided that too. We went from there to
Bitlis, from Bitlis to Siirt, to Diyarbakir, and then to Siverek. We
stayed there three years. There were eight people in our family who
became refugees. On the way, my brother Ali was captured. The rest died
on the road. Only my mother and I were able to return to Van. We were
not the only ones affected. The inhabitants of Van, Edremit, and Van's
Muslim villages all became refugees. Those that didn't run were killed
at the hands of the enemy, while most of those that got away died on
the road.

A few years later, my mother and I returned to Van, and could not
believe our eyes! There were ruins everywhere, a few people, but they
were all hungry, thirsty, and miserable. Neighbourhoods and houses were
empty. There was no bread, wheat, or anything. We were compelled to
return to the village of Coravanis. The wheat there was starting to
mature. We cracked the bitter seeds, boiled them, and drank the water.
The Armenians took furniture, goods, animals and everything they have
found. They destroyed our houses as well. A man on a horse who saw us
alone in the village told us that there was a grain storage area near
the pier. My mother and I went to get 60 kilos of flour there, but it
was later stolen. The Armenians had not yet withdrawn completely. There
were bandits everywhere. One time my mother and I went to the Erek
mountain to gather pieces of metal which we wanted to trade for bread
with the soldiers. We ran into six Armenians who were going to kill us,
but when it suddenly started to rain and hail, we ran away and hid in a
cave. We barely saved our lives.

We suffered considerably. Three years later my brother died in
captivity. We were told that the Armenians were going to kill him, but
the Russians objected. They had made him build roads in Armenian
villages by hand. We rebuilt our homes, planted our fields, and started
a new life.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Abdülbari Barlas

Father's Name: Mehmet Emin
Mother's Name: Ayse
Place of Birth: Van-Saglamtas
Date of Birth: 1919

As I have heard from my father, the Russians invaded our country, but
there were no phones, no radio so the villagers could not understand
where abouts the enemy come from. My father had a cousin named
Abdulkadir and my father had told to him "I am so sick and my son (my
brother) is a soldier on the Iranian front, he fights against the
Russians. Go and get information". So Abdulkadir goes. There is a
meadow behind those hills, when he climbs up the hill, he sees that the
people of Ercis are running away. Abdulkadir comes to my father and
says "All the people of Talat Aga are running away". Then my father
decides to leave the village. They immediately begin preparations.

The season is spring, they leave the village with ox carts, but the
animals are not ready for such a journey and they quickly get tired.
They go as far as the hill standing on the southeast border of the
village. But most of the villagers give up. The imam of the village
asks my father "where are the Russians, where are the Armenians? Who
are you running away from?" My father answers "this is not a clan war!
This is the Russian war. We do not have cannons, rifles. We have to run
away." In the morning my father's family and the Sheikh family set up
again. However, people of the other thirty-eight houses stay.

The day after my father leaves the village; the villagers see that the
Russians guided by the Armenians are coming. All the villagers begin to
run through the stream, but the horsemen circle them and they
immediately kill most of them. Later they gather the others in to a
house on the hill. Two armed Armenians watch the door, and two
Armenians kill all people with bayonets. Only a woman and a little girl
are alive by remaining in silent among the dead bodies. As she told my
father later that her name was Azime and the girls was Rusen.

As Ms. Azime told, she waited until the night in silence. She
straightened out she called out if there was anybody who was alive.
Only that little girl answered her. So she takes that girl and goes to
Siirt passing through the mountains, which is a long and painful
story.. Everyone knows the place of those martyrs. But, I don't know
under which ruin they are in. But, there are many other places as such.
As I told you before, the Armenians passed through the hill by killing
everybody they saw on the way.

My father's family and the Sheikh family went to Diyarbakir, Farikin.
When they arrived, they harvested the crops. Later on the government
sent them to Konya because of epidemy where they stayed for three
years. Later, they returned to our village.

* Cousin of Abdulbari Barlas, Abdulhamit Barlas showed the place where
the Turkish villagers were killed by the Armenian bandits. He said that
the villagers who migrated found countless human bones here. As those
bones could not be collected under the circumstances of that time, they
all disappeared. In this village, the Armenians killed 150-200 people.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Sait Kaya

Father's Name: Ahmed
Mother's name : Emine
Birth Place: Van Province Ercis District
Birth Date: 1898

I am living in Ercis since I was born. The Armenians revolted a Friday
and planned to kill the Moslems in masses. When this was heard our man
got together and killed the Armenian leaders by swords. I mean the only
leader males, because our religion prohibits the killing of children,
women and innocent and armless people.

Later when the Armenian priest was together with the Armenian Nishan
Subgovernor, he said "It is a pity that you did not allow us, we should
have killed them one week earlier." Then became spring, we migrated
from the Armenian tyranny. We escaped but the majority stayed. The
Armenians captivated them and put them inside the barns and killed
them. Just because we migrated early, no one from my family was killed
by Armenians. However several Moslems were slaughtered and burned by
the Armenians. We first moved to Diyarbakir and then to Urfa.

We stayed there for three years. From there, we moved to Antalya. As we
were not in peace with Italy, the governor did not allow us to the
city, so went to Denizli and stayed there for eight years. Finally we
returned back to our hometown Ercis. They had already burned and
destroyed most of the houses. We worked for years and rebuilt them.





Veteran and Eyewitness Accounts

Yamin Tosun

Father's Name : Osman
Mother's Name : Hanim
Place of Birth: Van-Ercis-Haydarbey

I am from Haydarbey village. We became refugees when the Armenians
revolted and the Russians came. We moved to Urfa, where my mother,
father, and brothers died of the famine occurred that year. When the
Russians retreated, Armenians took over the place, but the Turkish army
pushed them back to Revan. We returned to our homes, and found Ercis,
the Muslim village and our village completely burned down and
Panta Rhei
2005-08-03 13:02:49 UTC
Another episode in Mark Rivers', the hapless Turkish spammer's, life:

Rivers Tries to Steal Dog's Dinner!

A Turkish man needed hospital treatment after he tried to steal his
neighbour's dog's dinner.

The man, who was drunk, was reportedly jealous the dog ate better than him,
reports Hurriyet newspaper.

Mark Rivers, a notorious spammer of Usenet, had been drinking alone at
home in front of his computer.

He spotted the neighboring black dog enjoying its rich lunch, a piece of
pork shank.

Rivers, whose own meal was to be a small plate of fried peanuts, attacked
the dog and tried to snatch away the meat.

But the dog fought back to protect its meal and bit Rivers right hand.
Neighbours, who heard the commotion, sent him to the local hospital.

Rivers is upset because of his injured hand as he might not be able to copy
& paste on his computer all day long.
2005-08-03 03:44:41 UTC

During a debate on Armenian allegations in the British House of
Lords on 14 April 1999 Foreign Office Minister Baroness Ramsay of
Cartvale, on behalf of the British Government, stated:

"... but in the absence of unequivocal evidence to show that the
Ottoman administration took a specific decision to eliminate the
Armenians under their control at the time, British governments have not
recognised the events of 1915 and 1916 as "genocide". ... the vast
majority of other governments--are in a similar position. Very few of
them have officially attributed the name "genocide" to these tragic
events. In our opinion that is rightly so, because we do not believe it
is the business of governments today to review events of over 80 years
ago with a view to pronouncing on them... these are matters of legal
and historical debate, ..."



Statement by Farhan Haq, U.N. Spokeman, on October 5, 2000, about the
Armenian allegations on the UN position regarding the events in 1915.

Replying a question concerning U.N. position about the Armenian
allegations, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq on October 5, 2000, stated that
"the U.N. has not approved or endorsed a report labeling the
Armenian experience as genocide".



Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres' Statement on so-called Armenian

Peres: Armenian allegations are meaningless

On the eve of his visit to Turkey, Israeli Foreign Minister Peres says
Armenian allegations are 'meaningless' and there is no similarity
between the Holocaust and Armenian incidents

Ankara - Turkish Daily News, 10 April 2001

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres who started his one-day official
visit to Turkey today, has stressed that the Armenian allegations of
genocide was meaningless. Supporting Turkey's thesis that history
should be dealt with by historians over the Armenian issue, Peres
said:"We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust
and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust
occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through but not a

In an exclusive interview to the Anatolia news agency, Peres said
Israel should not determine a historical or philosophical position on
the Armenian issue but added: "If we have to determine a position, it
should be done with great care not to distort the historical

Speaking from Tel-Aviv on the eve of his visit to Turkey, Peres praised
Turkey's contributions to the peace process and characterized
Turco-Israeli relations as "extremely good." Indicating that Turkey and
Israel are in the same boat, Peres said he did not think Intifadah
would negatively affect bilateral relations between Turkey and Israel.



Letter by Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan, the Patriarch of Istanbul to Pope
John Paul II following the Joint Communique of Pope John Paul II and
Armenian Patriarch Karekin II on 10 November 2000

We read the text of the Joint Comminique in the press. As we did not
participate in this ecumenical meeting, we were not aware of the text
of the common declaration made by the heads of the two Churches.
Nevertheless, it had been our wish that the deliberations in Rome would
be within the spheres of ecumenical dialogue and would not touch upon
politically sensitive issues. The Joint Communique could have taken
this point into consideration.

The Gospel calls for the eradication of the roots of bitterness from
our hearts. As the faithful live side by side with other Christians and
with the adherents of other faiths, it is the duty of the Church to
establish an atmosphere of reciprocal love and respect, where all
humankind could engage in a dialogue of life.

The deep pain inherited from the past cannot be the only basis for the
edification of the present and the future of Armenians around the
world. If this were the case, then the centuries-old creative Armenian
heritage would be considered bankrupt.

Yet, just the opposite is true. The Armenian culture is so rich and
deeply rooted in the Christian faith that they do not need to receive
nourishment from the bitter pages of history. Rather that just
reminding our children of historic tragedies, as Christian ministers,
it is our primary duty to transmit our rich heritage to our children,
to make this heritage alive and develop it for future generations.

We continue to pray with these thoughts.


After WWI ended, the British convened the Malta Tribunals to try
Ottoman officials for alleged crimes against Armenians. All of the
accused were acquitted.

The Peace Treaty of Sevres, which was imposed upon the defeated Ottoman
Empire, required the Ottoman government to hand over to the Allied
Powers people accused of "massacres." Subsequently, 144 high Ottoman
officials were arrested and deported for trial by the British to the
island of Malta. The principal informants to the British High
Commission in Istanbul leading to the arrests were local Armenians and
the Armenian Patriarchate. While the deportees were interned on Malta,
the British appointed an Armenian scholar, Mr. Haig Khazarian, to
conduct a thorough examination of documentary evidence in the Ottoman,
British, and U.S. Archives to substantiate the charges. Access to
Ottoman records was unfettered as the British and French occupied and
controlled Istanbul at the time. Khazarian's corps of investigators
revealed an utter lack of evidence demonstrating that Ottoman officials
either sanctioned or encouraged killings of Armenians.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the British Procurator General
determined that it was "improbable that the charges would be capable of
proof in a court of law," exonerated and released all 144 detainees --
after two years and four months of detention without trial. No
compensation was ever paid to the detainees.

Despite the verdicts of the Malta Tribunals, Armenian terrorists have
engaged in a vigilante war that continues today.

In 1921, a secret Armenian network based in Boston, named Nemesis, took
the law into its own hands and hunted down and assassinated former
Ottoman Ministers Talaat Pasha and Jemal Pasha as well as other Ottoman
officials. Following in Nemesis' footsteps, during the 1970's and
1980's, the Armenian terrorist groups, Armenian Secret Army for the
Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) and Justice Commandos for the Armenian
Genocide (JCAG), committed over 230 armed attacks, killing 71 innocent
people, including 31 Turkish diplomats, and seriously wounding over 520
people in a campaign of blood revenge.

Most recently, Mourad Topalian, former Chairman of the Armenian
National Committee of America, was tried and convicted in federal court
in Ohio of terrorist crimes associated with bombings in New York and
Los Angles and with the attempted assassination of the Turkish Honorary
Consul General in Philadelphia. The Armenian youths whom Topalian
directed and who conducted these attacks were recruited from the
Armenian Youth Federation and Armenian Revolution Federation in Boston.

The sole purpose of Armenian anti-Turkish hatred Inc. is to cover up
the dire circumstances that precipitated the enactment of a measure as
drastic as mass relocation. Armenians cooperated with Russian invaders
of Eastern Anatolia in wars in 1828, 1854, and 1877. Between 1893 and
1915 Ottoman Armenians in eastern Anatolia rebelled against their
government -- the Ottoman government of which Armenians held many, many
prominent and powerful positions-- and joined Armenian revolutionary
groups, such as the notorious Dashnaks and Hunchaks. They armed
themselves and spearheaded a massive Russian invasion of eastern
Anatolia. On November 5, 1914, the President of the Armenian National
Bureau in Tblisi declared to Czar Nicholas II, "From all countries
Armenians are hurrying to enter the ranks for the glorious Russian
Army, with their blood to serve the victory of Russian arms. ... Let
the Russian flag wave freely over the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus."
Armenian treason is also plainly documented in the November 1914 issue
of the Hunchak Armenian [Revolutionary] Gazette, published in Paris. In
a call to arms it exhorted:

"The entire Armenian Nation will join forces -- moral and material, and
waving the sword of Revolution, will enter this World conflict ... as
comrades in arms of the Triple Entente, and particularly Russia. They
will cooperate with the Allies, making full use of all political and
revolutionary means for the final victory...."

Boghos Nubar addressed a letter to the Times of London on January 30,
1919 confirming that the Armenians were indeed belligerents in World
War I. He stated with pride:

"In the Caucasus, without mentioning the 150,000 Armenians in the
Russian armies, about 50,000 Armenian volunteers under Andranik,
Nazarbekoff, and others not only fought for four years for the cause of
the Entente, but after the breakdown of Russia they were the only
forces in the Caucasus to resist the advance of the Turks...."

One of those who answered the Armenian call to arms was Gourgen
Yanikian who, as a teenager, joined the Russians to fight the Ottoman
government, and who as an elderly man, on January 27, 1973,
assassinated two Turkish diplomats in Santa Barbara, California.

No logic can reconcile the two positions that Armenian Anti-Turkish
Hatred Inc. promotes. Eminent historian Bernard Lewis, speaking to the
Israeli daily Ha'aretz on January 23, 1998, expanded on this notion:

"The Armenians want to benefit from both worlds. On the one hand, they
speak with pride of their struggle against Ottoman despotism, while on
the other hand, they compare their tragedy to the Jewish Holocaust. I
do not accept this. I do not say that the Armenians did not suffer
terribly. But I find enough cause for me to contain their attempts to
use the Armenian massacres to diminish the worth of the Jewish
Holocaust and to relate to it instead as an ethnic dispute."

None of the Ottoman orders commanding the relocation of Armenians,
which have been reviewed by historians to date, orders killings. To the
contrary, they order Ottoman officials to protect relocated Armenians.

Where Ottoman control was weakest Armenian relocatees suffered most.
The stories of the time give many examples of columns of hundreds of
Armenians guarded by as few as two Ottoman gendarmes. When local
Muslims attacked the columns, Armenians were robbed and killed. It must
be remembered that these Muslims had themselves suffered greatly at the
hands of Armenians and Russians. In the words of U.S. Ambassador Mark
Bristol, "While the Dashnaks [Armenian revolutionaries] were in power
they did everything in the world to keep the pot boiling by attacking
Kurds, Turks and Tartars; [and] by committing outrages against the
Moslems ...."

Armenian Anti-Turkish Hatred Inc. purports that the wartime propaganda
of the enemies of the Ottoman Empire constitutes objective evidence.
Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who is frequently quoted by Armenian
Americans, visited the Ottoman Empire with political, not humanitarian
aims. His correspondence with President Wilson reveals his intent was
to uncover or manufacture news that would goad the U.S. into joining
the war. Given that motive, Morgenthau sought to malign the Ottoman
Empire, an enemy of the Triple Entente. Morgenthau's research and
reporting relied in large part on politically motivated Armenians; his
primary aid, translator and confidant was Arshag Schmavonian, his
secretary was Hagop Andonian. Morgenthau openly professed that the
Turks were an inferior race and possessed "inferior blood." Thus, his
accounts can hardly be considered objective.

One ought to compare the wartime writings of Morgenthau and the
oft-cited Gen. J.G. Harbord to the post-war writings of Rear Admiral
Mark L. Bristol, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey 1920 - 1926.
In a March 28, 1921 letter he writes:

"[R]eports are being freely circulated in the United States that the
Turks massacred thousands of Armenians in the Caucasus. Such reports
are repeated so many times it makes my blood boil. The Near East Relief
have the reports from Yarrow and our own American people which show
absolutely that such Armenian reports are absolutely false. The
circulation of such false reports in the United States, without
refutation, is an outrage and is certainly doing the Armenians more
harm than good. ... Why not tell the truth about the Armenians in every

Demographic studies prove that prior to World War I, fewer than 1.5
million Armenians lived in the entire Ottoman Empire. Thus, allegations
that more than 1.5 million Armenians from eastern Anatolia died is

Figures reporting the total pre-World War I Armenian population vary
widely, with Armenian sources claiming far more than others. British,
French and Ottoman sources give figures of 1.05-1.50 million. Only
certain Armenian sources claim a pre-war population larger than 1.5
million. Comparing these to post-war figures yields a rough estimate of
losses. Historian and demographer, Dr. Justin McCarthy of the
University of Louisville, calculates the actual losses as slightly less
than 600,000. This figure agrees with those provided by British
historian Arnold Toynbee, by most early editions of the Encyclopedia
Britannica, and approximates the number given by Monseigneur Touchet, a
French missionary, who informed the Oeuvre d'Orient in February 1916
that the number of dead is thought to be 500,000. Boghos Nubar, head of
the Armenian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1920, noted
the large numbers who survived the war. He declared that after the war
280,000 Armenians remained in the Anatolian portion of the occupied
Ottoman Empire while 700,000 Armenians had emigrated to other

Clearly then, a great portion of the Ottoman Armenians were not killed
as claimed by the Armenian Anti-Turkish Hatred Inc. and the 1.5 million
figure is gross and delibarate exaggeration. Each needless death is a
tragedy. Equally tragic are lies meant to inflame hatred by the
Armenian Anti-Turkish Hatred Inc.

Armenian losses were few in comparison to the over 2.5 million Muslim
dead from the same period. Reliable statistics demonstrate that
slightly less than 600,000 Anatolian Armenians died during the war
period of 1912-22. Armenians indeed suffered a terrible mortality. But
one must likewise consider the number of dead Muslims, Jews, Kurds and
other non-Armenains of Ottoman Eastern Anatolia who were murdered by
Armenian terrorists.

The statistics tell us that more than 2.5 million Anatolian Muslims
alone (Turks, Arabs, Kurds and others) perished in the hands of
Armenian terrorists. Thus, the years 1912-1922 constitute a horrible
period for humanity, not just for Armenians.

The numbers do not tell us the exact manner of death of the citizens of
Anatolia, regardless of ethnicity, who were caught up in both an
international war and an intercommunal struggle. Documents of the time
list intercommunal violence, forced migration of all ethnic groups,
disease, and, starvation as causes of death. Others died as a result of
the same war-induced causes that ravaged all peoples during the period.

The Ottoman Armenians openly agitated for a separate state in lands in
which they were numerically far inferior. The Hunchak and Dashnak
terrorist organizations, which survive to this day, were formed
expressly to agitate against the Ottoman government of which Armenians
were a powerful and influential part with many ministers, ambassadors,
generals, businessmen and other high and low level officials of
Armenian heritage. The Ottoman Armenians committed massacres against
Ottoman Muslims, Jews and other non-Armenians. During World War I,
Ottoman Armenians openly and with pride committed mass treason, took up
arms, traveled to Russia for training, and sported Russian uniforms.
Others, non-uniformed irregulars, operated against the Ottoman
government from behind the lines.

Over 4 million Ottoman Muslims, 600,000 Ottoman Armenians and 100,000
Ottoman Jews perished during World War I. The Armenians began their
terrorist actions in 1885 to establish an Armenian state. Armenians
were the ones who did uprise in an empire in which they were citizens
of. If we must remember the victims of the WWI, this remembrance should
not only focus on the Armenians, but also the Turks, Kurds, Arabs and
JewsL all the victims of Armenian uprisings.`

Armenian terrorist gangs massacred innocent non-Armenian Ottoman
subjects in dozens of towns throughout Anatolia. Just in the Van
vicinity, over 40,000 Turks, Kurds, Arabs and Jews lost their lives.
Armenians living in the eastern side of the Ottoman Empire collaborated
with the Russian and French forces and massacred many innocent
non-Armenian Ottoman subjects just to ethically cleanse Eastern
Anatolia for an Armenian homeland which never was throughout the
history. Only after such acts of Armenians did the Ottoman government
decide to deport a certain part of the Armenian population, the ones
who did the massacres and the ones who supported and harbored them, to
other Ottoman provinces in the south away from the Russian and French
fronts. Armenians living elsewhere in the empire were not affected by
deportations what so ever.

Armenians worldwide today disregard the massacres committed by their
ancestors against totally innocent and defenceless fellow Ottoman
subjects by collaborating with the Russian and French forces and want
to make the world believe to their lies that a genocide took place by
the Ottoman goverment for which the democratic Republic of Turkey
should be responsible.

After Europeans very generously supported and sponsored Greek,
Armenian, Arab and other terrorists, with a veracious appetite for
innocent Turkish blood, to massacre innocent and defenceless Turkish
subjects of Ottoman empire and to ethnically cleanse Ottoman
territories off of their Turkish inhabitants during WWI, and after they
harbored, supported, sponsored PKK/KADEK terrorist organization which
murdered nearly fourty thousands innocent human beings to destroy
Turkey to establish a marxist, lennisist, communist PKK/KADEK
dictortship in Turkey, and other terrorist and extremist Islamist
terrorist organizations and persons with the same purpose, and Armenian
terrorists who, during 1970s and '80s, murdered hundreds of Turkish
diplomats, their family members, colleagues, embassy personnel (Turkish
and local), and having missed no chance whatsoever to fabricate
anti-Turkish hate propaganda based on total lies in every possible
instance and relentlessly complain about Turkey, it is very clear that
the purpose of Europe is to destroy the democratic Republic of Turkey
and totally wipe out the Turkish race/nation off of the face of Earth.
Panta Rhei
2005-08-03 13:02:48 UTC
Another episode in Mark Rivers', the hapless Turkish spammer's, life:

Rivers' Dog, Ataturk, Walks Five Miles on Hind Legs!

A Turkish spammer of Usenet has trained his pet dog, called Ataturk, to
walk on its hind legs for up to five miles.

Mark Rivers, 18, the sexual cripple who loves dogs, says he had the idea
while drying his dog's hair with a hairdryer.

He had got two-year-old Ataturk to stand on his back legs while he dried
the hair on its stomach.

Noticing how long Ataturk could balance, Mark Rivers decided to train him
to walk in that posture.

He made the dog two small leather shoes to protect his back feet, as well
as a small rose-colored handbag, reports Hurriyet newspaper. Rivers is now
able, for lack of a girlfriend, to go out with his little dog!
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