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Onur Öymen

Onur Öymen

E-Posta : ooymen@hotmail.com

İngiltere'de yayınlanan RT dergisinde 25 Nisan 2015 tarihinde yayınlanan Ermeni iddialarıyla ilgili makalemi aşağıda sunuyorum. Çevirisini de ayrıca sunacağım.
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Onur Öymen

1915 Events in Eastern Turkey

Author: Dr. Onur Öymen, Retired Ambassador & Former Member of the Grand National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey Date: Apr 25, 2015   New Post, Op-Eds and Commentaries


1915 Events in Eastern Turkey

Referring to the Armenian Governments’ allegations about the events of 1915, I would like to bring to your attention the following:

Turks and Armenians lived together in peace and harmony throughout many centuries. Quite a number of Armenians had important positions in Ottoman administrations. At the end of 19th and at the beginning of 20th centuries, for 28 years the ministers in charge of the personal budget of the Sultan were Armenians. An Ottoman Foreign Minister was Armenian. There were Armenian members of Parliament, ambassadors and high-level officers.

During the First World War, responding to an appeal by Tsar Nikola II, approximately 150,000 Ottoman citizens of Armenian origin joined the Russian forces invading Eastern parts of Turkey.[1]

These Armenians, and local Armenian armed groups attacked not only supply roads and storage facilities of the Turkish forces, but Turkish towns and villages as well, killing a great number of civilians including women and children.

In 1915 Ottoman government, upon the demand of Commanders of the Turkish forces on the Eastern Front, decided to move Armenians living in combat zones to safe places of the Empire. This deportation had started after armed Armenian groups took over control of the city of Van.

A great number of Turks and Armenians had lost their lives during this period as a result of mutual killings and illnesses. There are various estimations of Armenian casualties.  French writer Pierre Loti, in his letter to the French Foreign Minister, asserted that Armenian claims are grossly exaggerated.

French journalist and writer Jean Schlicklin in his book Angora published in 1922, reports that by the end of 1919, one hundred Turkish villages were burned and their inhabitants massacred by Armenians.[2]

According to the official records of the Turkish authorities, around half a million Turks lost their lives in this period in the areas of confrontation.[3]

During the First World War, these confrontations have been presented as Turkish atrocities by allied propaganda agencies, most particularly by the British Propaganda Ministry, Wellington House,[4] practically without any reference to Turkish victims. These wartime propaganda materials are still in use to justify Armenian claims of genocide.

Katchaznouni, the first Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of The Dashnak Party, in a speech delivered in April 1923 at the Congress of the Party in Bucharest, blamed his own party for wrongdoings during this period.[5]

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 sets forth the definition of genocide and specifies the legal authorities qualified to determine which acts could be construed as genocide.[6] The Armenian claims cannot be justified by the stipulations of this Convention and have not been accepted by a large part of the international community or relevant legal authorities.

British Foreign Office Minister Baroness Meta Ramsay of Cartvale addressing the House of Lords on 14 April 1999 said, “…in the absence of unequivocal evidence to show that the Ottoman administration took a specific decision and action to eliminate the Armenians under their control at the time, British governments have not recognised the events of 1915 and 1916 as “genocide.”[7]

69 American historians, including Professors Bernard Lewis, Justin McCarthy, Stanford Shaw and Dankwart Rustow published a statement in The New York Times and Washington Post on May 19, 1985, arguing that “…much more remains to be discovered before historians will be able to sort out precisely responsibility between warring and innocent and to identify the causes for the events which resulted in the death or removal of large numbers of the eastern Anatolian population, Christian and Muslim alike.”[8]

On December 17, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Switzerland violated the right to freedom of speech by convicting Doğu Perinçek, chairman of the Turkish Workers Party, for having publicly denied the existence of any genocide against the Armenian people. The Court pointed out that a consensus was difficult to establish in relation to matters which cannot be historically ascertained with absolute certainty, especially in view of the fact that genocide is a very specific and narrowly defined legal concept requiring a high threshold of proof.[9]

I believe that historic events should not be used for political purposes and history should be left to historians as suggested by the Turkish Parliament to the British House of Lords and Commons on April 13, 2005.[10]

Dr. Onur Öymen, Retired Ambassador & Former Member of  the Grand National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey

Please cite this publication as follows:

Öymen, O. (April, 2015), “1915 Events in Eastern Turkey”, Vol. IV, Issue 4, pp.74-76, Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey (ResearchTurkey), London, Research Turkey. (http://researchturkey.org/?p=8663)

Endnotes

[1]Jean Schlicklin, Angora…L’aube de la Turquie Nouvelle (1919-1922),  Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1922, p. 143.

[2]Schlicklin, Angora…, pp. 146-148.

[3]Arşiv Belgelerine Göre Kafkasya ve Anadolu’da Ermeni Mezalimi, ‪Ankara: T.C. Başbakanlık Devlet Arşivleri Genel Müdürlüğü, 1995.

[4]M.L. Sanders & Phillip M. Taylor, British Propaganda during the First World War: 1914-1918, London, 1982.

[5]Ovanes Kaçaznuni, Taşnak Partisinin Yapacağı Bir Şey Yok: 1923 Parti Konferansına Rapor (The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Has Nothing To Do Any More: The Manifesto of Hovannes Katchznouni), İstanbul: Kaynak Yayınları, 2005, p.6.

[6]“Convention on the Prevention and the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” [Accessed on 24 April 2015], Available at:

https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%2078/volume-78-I-1021-English.pdf

[7]Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale Speech, 14 April 1999, [Accessed on 24 April 2015], Available at:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199899/ldhansrd/vo990414/text/90414-09.htm

[8]“Attention Members of the U.S. House of Representatives,” New York Times, 19 May 1985.

[9]Dirk Voorhoof, “Criminal Conviction for Denying the Existence of the Armenian “genocide” Violates Freedom of Expression,” [Accessed on 24 April 2015], Available at:

http://strasbourgobservers.com/2014/01/08/criminal-conviction-for-denying-the-existence-of-the-armenian-genocide-violates-freedom-of-expression/

[10]“Letter to the British Parliament by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey,” [Accessed on 24 April 2015], Available at:

http://www.tbmm.gov.tr/develop/owa/dosya.getir?pDosyaAdi=F1961763298_Buyuk_Britanya_Avam_Kamarasi_ve_Lordlar_Kamarasi.doc

Editor’s Note:

Sole responsibility regarding this article’s content remains with the author, the arguments in this article can not be regarded as the official views of Research Turkey. Anyone who would like to contribute as a response to this article could send their articles to Research Turkey via http://researchturkey.org/tr/to-authors/ address. All publications of Research Turkey are peer reviewed.

Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey (Research Turkey) encourages pluralism and opposing views to be discussed. Anyone who would like to contribute as a response to this article could send their pieces to editor@researchturkey.org. All publications of Research Turkey are peer reviewed. No view in the articles could be considered as the institution’s official views.

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