Methods of the Armenian rebels illustrated as far back as 1895 in a letter from the British consul Cumberbatch in Erzurum: FO 195/1863, Cumberbatch to Currie (The British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire), Erzurum, 11 October 1895
I have the honor to report that the emissaries of the revolutionary or ‘Hunchakist’ party are credited with the murder on the 5th instant of two Armenians of some position in this town, named Artin Effendi Serkissian, a lawyer, and Simon Agha Bosoyan, a merchant. They were stabbed in a most daring manner in a crowded thoroughfare and both died instantly afterwards. One man, a Russian Armenian of this place, has been arrested on suspicion.
It is generally thought that Artin Effendi was killed because he was suspected of having acted as an ‘informer’ and because he had quite recently refused to join the secret committee being formed here. It was not intended to injure Simon Agha but he must have got mortally wounded in defending his friend.
At Erzinghan, some ten days ago, another Armenian called Garabet Der Garabet was also murdered. He was considered a spy of Zekki Pasha and the same agency is credited with his death. In addition to forbidding any Armenian to retain any post of Administrative employ, these even try to extort money from the richer Armenians, one man having, three days ago, been summoned to hand over three hundred pounds to their funds.
Even an Armenian youth of twenty, the only Christian student at the ‘Idadieh’ College here has, this week, had an anonymous letter put into his hand when he was standing alone at the door of the establishment, threatening him with death from the same hands which had recently killed Artin Effendi if he did not leave the school at once.
These cases will suffice to show the audacity and determination of the dangerous faction the authorities have now to deal with.”
The British reported on such instances: In one, Ottoman forces found 34 Mauser rifles and 1,000 cartridges in “the village of Sitaouk, about ten miles distant from Erzeroum.” It was alleged the weapons were needed for defense, but all the rifles had “recently been smuggled from the Russian frontier, and they are all without stocks, apparently for convenience of transport and concealment.” They were being hidden in one Armenian house. The villagers, according to the British consul, had always been individually armed. This appears to have been a cache of arms, waiting for later use, not self – defense. FO 195/1985 – British Consul to Erzurum, Sir Robert W Graves dispatch to the British Ambassador to Ottoman Empire Sir Phillip H. Currie, 12 April 1897
Armenian sources informing foreign press on what’s to come. Also admitting, prior terrorist acts have been committed by the Armenian Committee, and they say “they are determined to resort to every possible means…” Similar press releases circulated 1 year earlier in 1896.
The Wichita Daily Eagle / August 22, 1897
READY FOR REVOLUTION
Constantinople, Aug. 21 – The foreign ambassadors here have received a circular letter from the Armenian Dashnak-Seitum committee almost identical with that sent them in 1896, declaring thats the Armenians are tired of waiting & resolved to take action for the redress of their grievances.
Geneva, Aug. 21 – The Grosnat, the organ of the Constantinople committee of the Armenian revolutionary federation, which is printed here, asserts that the recent explosions in Constantinople were the works of the committee, and says the committee is directing the movements of the parties who are fighting the Turks in the vilayet of Van. “We are obliged,” the Groshat says, “to resort to every possible means to carry on the struggle against such overwhelming odds. Revolution is the only resource left us”
Christapor Mikaelian (October 18, 1859 – March 1, 1905) born in Agulis (Russian Empire) was one of the three founders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation along Stepan Zorian and Simon Zavarian. Mikaelian is the mastermind of the Yildiz assassination attempt aimed at killing the Ottoman Sultan. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnak) members, led by ARF founder Christapor Mikaelian, secretly started producing explosives and planning the operation in Sofia, Bulgaria. During planning, the explosives were made at the improvised bomb-making factory in the village of Sablyar, near the Bulgarian town of Kyustendil.
Christapor Mikaelian, alongside his friend Vramshabouh Kendirian, died in an accidental explosion. Despite losing the instigators of the operation, it continued as planned. Abdul Hamid would pray every Friday at the Yildiz mosque and would usually leave around the same time each time, creating a pattern in his movement. Taking advantage of this, the ARF planned to hide timed explosives in a carriage parked outside the mosque which were to explode at the time that Abdul Hamid would leave the mosque. It was decided that Zareh, a militia and participant in the Ottoman Bank takeover, would drive the carriage.
On July 21, 1905, Zareh drove the carriage in front of the mosque. He set the timer for a planned 42 seconds. Abdul Hamid failed to show up because he got caught in a conversation with the Sheikh ul-Islam. The bomb was thrown at the Sultan but he escaped injury. The bomb went off killing many with it including Zareh. The Sultan arrived a few minutes later than planned. 26 members of the Sultan’s service died. 58 from his service, as well as civilians in attendance, were wounded. In the ensuing investigation other plots were unearthed…
Mainstream western scholarship maintains that the Armenian insurrection of 1915 was never an actual threat to the security of the Ottoman state in the First World War and that the relocation of the Armenians of eastern Anatolia was unnecessary. In truth, it was quite exactly the opposite as it has been emphasized & confirmed with great pride by the Armenian leaders on many occasions. An armed force of 200,000 strong within any state, supported, equipped, fed, coordinated by enemy armies to fight against its own country is outright unconventional war. Armenian volunteer units, also known as the Armenian volunteer corps were Armenian battalions in Imperial Russian, French, British Armies prior to and during the World War I.
First Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic
THE ARMENIAN REVOLUTIONARY FEDERATION
(DASHNAGTZOUTIUN) MANIFESTO / April 1923 (excerpts)
“...We had embraced Russia whole-heartedly without any compunction. Without any positive basis of fact we believed that the Tzarist government would grant us a more-or-less broad self-government in the Caucasus and in the Armenian vilayets liberated from Turkey as a reward for our loyalty, our efforts and assistance.
We had created a dense atmosphere of illusion in our minds. We had implanted our own desires into the minds of others; we had lost our sense of reality and were carried away with our dreams. From mouth to mouth, from ear to ear passed mysterious words purported to have been spoken in the palace of the Viceroy; attention was called to some kind of a letter by Vorontzov-Dashkov to the Catholicos as an important document in our hands to use in the presentation of our rights and claims a cleverly composed letter with very indefinite sentences and generalities which might be interpreted in any manner, according to one’s desire.
We overestimated the ability of the Armenian people, its political and military power, and overestimated the extent and importance of the services our people rendered to the Russians. And by overestimating our very modest worth and merit we were naturally exaggerating our hopes and expectations…“
28 March 1921 / Mark L. Bristol
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER
“While the Dashnaks were in power they did everything in the world to keep the pot boiling by attacking Kurds, Turks and Tartars; by committing outrages against the Moslems; by giving no representation whatever to the Molokans which are a large factor in the population of the Caucasus Armenia; by massacring the Moslems; and robbing and destroying their homes; and finally by starting an attack against the Turks which resulted in a counter attack by the Turks, and then the Armenians deserted and ran away and even would not stand and defend their women and children. The acts of the Armenian army at Kars absolutely disgusted our Americans, including Yarrow. During the last two years the Armenians in Russian Caucasus have shown no ability to govern themselves and especially no ability to govern or handle other races under their power.”
SECRET (declassified) CAB/24/116 THE BRITISH WAR OFFICE,
MEMORANDUM BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR.
10th December, 1920. ANNEXURE,
GENERAL STAFF DESIDERATA REGARDING TERRITORIAL ADJUSTMENTS p.8
(ii.) Armenia.—There is no objection to a mandate being given to another Power, including America or France, but in the latter case it would be preferable strategically that Russian Armenia should remain independent and autonomous. The same Power should not hold the mandate over both Armenia and Syria. The non-Armenian elements should be protected against Armenian persecution and exploitation, which would form a constant source of disturbance. A sim qua non of the recognition of any Armenian State should be the liquidation of the pernicious Dashnakzutiun society, part of whose activities is the instigation of outrages. Armenia need not be considered the only set-off against French claims in Syria.
Majority of these units support the military activities at the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. The Ottoman Parliamentary representative Garegin Pastermadjian commanded one battalion. General Andranik Ozanian was the commander of the Russian volunteer units between 1914 and 1916. Beginning with 1917, Armenian National Organization of the Caucasus, Armenian National Council, asked the Armenian soldiers and officers scattered throughout regions to gradually brought together to establish the armed forces of Democratic Republic of Armenia.
Armenian volunteers, during this period, were also established French Armenian Legion under the French army and Armenian militia which were irregular forces of the Armenian national movement famously under the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
Some in the modern world think that the word of “betrayal” is so emotional, not a scientific concept. Nevertheless, the most important bond between a State and its citizens is still loyalty. The Armenian delegate in 1919 Paris Peace Conference clearly stated they were a party during the war and admitted they had a played vital role in the Ottoman Empire’s Defeat. Moreover, the Armenians confess that being a citizen of the Ottoman Empire, they had betrayed it and fought against the Ottomans on the side of the occupying Russians even before 1915.
Who else can better confirm this than the Chairman of the Armenian National Assembly & head of the Armenian Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference (1919), Boghos Nubar(yan) Pasha an Ottoman Citizen who was the son of Armenian politician Nubar Pasha (appointed thrice as Prime Minister of Egypt by the Ottoman Empire).
“…in France, through their volunteers, who started joining the Foreign Legion in the first days and covered themselves with glory under the French flag;
In Palestine and Syria, where the Armenian volunteers, recruited by the National Delegation at the request of the government of the Republic itself, made up more than half of the French contingent and played a large role in the victory of General Allenby, as he himself and his French chiefs have officially declared;
In the Caucasus, where, without mentioning the 150,000 Armenians in the Imperial Russian Army, more than 40,000 of their volunteers contributed to the liberation of a portion of the Armenian vilayets, and where, under the command of their leaders, Antranik and Nazerbekoff, they, alone among the peoples of the Caucasus, offered resistance to the Turkish armies, from the beginning of the Bolshevist withdrawal right up to the signing of an armistice.”
(The letter bears the date on which it was received in the French Foreign Office – December 3, 1918). In this manner, Boghos Nubar explained that the Armenians had waged constant war with the Ottoman Empire from November 1, 1914 right up to the signing of the Armistice of Mudros on October 30, 1918 and had thus been, in his eyes, “de facto belligerents.”
“An Ambassador’s Memoirs”
Maurice Paleologue / French Ambassador to Russia (1914 – 1917)
Conversation with Tsar Nicholas II of Russia November 21, 1914
Tsar Nicholas II of Russia ; “In Asia Minor I shall have to consider the question of the Armenians of course; I certainly could not let them return to the Turkish yoke. Ought I to annex Armenia? I shall only do so if the Armenians expressly ask me to. Otherwise I shall establish an autonomous regime for them. Lastly, I shall be compelled to secure my Empire a free passage through the Straits.”
As he stopped at these words I pressed him to enlighten me further. He continued:
Tsar Nicholas II of Russia ; “I am far from having made up my mind. The matter is of such grave importance. But there are two conclusion to which I am always being brought back; first, that the Turks must be expelled from Europe; secondly, that Constantinople must in future be neutral, with an international regime. I need hardly say that the Mohammedans should receive all necessary guarantees that sanctuaries and tombs will be respected. Western Thrace to the Enos-Midia line should be given to Bulgaria. The rest, from that line to the shores of the Straits but excluding the environs of Constantinople, would be assigned Russia.”
“So if I have understood you correctly, the Turks will be confined to Asia – as in the days of the first Osmanlis – and have Angora or Koniah for their capital. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmora and the Dardanelles will thus form the western frontier of Turkey.”
Tsar Nicholas II of Russia ; “Exactly.”
The Case of Armenia
The Armenian National Union of America – 1919
M. Clemenceau (Prime Minister of France from 1906 to 1909, and again from 1917 to 1920), by a letter dated July, 1918, and addressed to His Excellency Boghos Nubar, President, Armenian National Delegation, Paris, said;
“France, the victim of the most unjust of aggressions, has included in her peace terms the liberation of oppressed nations. As the traditional protectress of these peoples, she has on many occasions, manifested her profound sympathy for the Armenians. She has strained every effort to help them.
The spirit of self-abnegation of the Armenians, their loyalty towards the Allies, their contributions to the Foreign Legion, to the Caucasian front, and to the Oriental Legion, have strengthened the ties that connect them with France.* I am happy to confirm to you that the government of the Republic, like that of Great Britain, has not ceased to place the Armenian nation among those peoples whose fate the Allies intend to settle according to the supreme laws of humanity and Justice.”
*The Russian Armenians, in addition to volunteer contingents, have contributed 160,000 men to the Russian army
Armenia and the War / A. P. Hacobian – 1917
“The Armenian population of Russian Armenia and the Caucasus numbers, roughly, 1,750,000 souls, and there are probably another 100,000 to 200,000 Armenians scattered over the other parts of the empire. They are liable to military service as Russian subjects, and it is estimated that they have given to the Russian army some 160,000 men.
Apart from this not negligible number of men called to the colours in the ordinary course of mobilization, the Armenians, as a result of an understanding with the authorities, organized and equipped at their own expense a separate auxiliary volunteer force under tried and experienced guerilla leaders, such as Andranik, Keri and others, to cooperate with the Caucasian army.“
According to A. P. Hacobian’s, Armenia and the War: An Armenian’s Point of View with an Appeal to Britain and the Coming Peace Conference (WITH A PREFACE BY THE RT. HON. VISCOUNT BRYCE, O. M) 1918, Andranik Ozanian is an Armenian guerilla leader. The Russian Army promoted Andranik to the rank of General in 1918.
The Adventures of DUNSTERFORCE
by Major General Lionel Dunsterville
Commander of the Dunsterforce
Printed 1920 / London
p.231 The local troops, who were for the most part Armenians, dug very little in the way of trenches, and when urged to do so replied, ” Why should we dig ourselves in ? We do not want to dig ; cowards do that ; we want to fight ! ” They liked to line up in a row just behind the edge of the steep cliff and fire off their rifles at the sky ; they frequently did this when there was no sign of a Turkish attack and when the nearest Turk would be behind cover about 3,000 yards away.
Although we were in full view of the enemy’s lines throughout the tour of inspection, the Turks never fired a single shot at my party on this day, which shows that they had more sensible ideas on the subject of controlling ammunition expenditure than our local troops had.
p.281 When I returned to the hotel I found the various committees all passing resolutions as fast as they could. I begged of them to cease the resolutions and take some action, and again left them. In another hour I returned and found a sailor just putting the fourteenth resolution to the vote. After that it appeared certain that no action would be taken that day. Under such conditions I could not, in fairness to the town, carry out the immediate withdrawal of my troops, and they remained in their position. I sent, however, a warning note to the Dictators, to which I received this reply :
p.287 …(commenting on the reply letter sent by the Armenian Dictators) Judged purely on its merits as a literary effort this letter could hardly be improved on, but judged from the standpoint of facts its merits are entirely lacking. The narrative up to this point will enable the reader to see for himself the fallacies on which most of the arguments are based, but I will single out the most important ones. The statement of their basing their expectation of more substantial aid on the grounds of my pronouncements is entirely refuted by my letter to Dr. Araratiantz in Chapter XII.
THE ARMENIAN QUESTION
Before The Peace Conference A Memorandum
Presented Officially by the Representatives of Armenia
to the Peace Conference at Versailles, on February 26th, 1919 p.6
Armenian volunteers fought on all the fronts. In France, in the Foreign Legion, by their bravery they covered themselves with glory. Scarcely one-tenth of their original number now survives. They fought in Syria and in Palestine, in the Legion of the Orient, under French command, where they hurried in response to the call of the National Delegation. In this Legion, the Armenians constituted the largest element, or more than one-half of the entire French contingent. There they took a leading part in the decisive victory of General Allenby, who paid high tribute to their valor. In the Caucasus, where in addition to over 150,000 Armenian men who served in the Russian army on all the fronts, an army of 50,000 men and thousands of volunteers fought throughout under the supreme command of General Nazarbekian. It was with these troops that, after the breakdown of the Russian army and the treaty of Brest-Litovsk the Armenians, deceived and deserted by the Georgians, and betrayed by the Tartars who made common cause with the Turks, took over the defense of the Caucasus front and, for a period of seven months, delayed the advance of the Turks. They thus rendered important services to the British army in Mesopotamia, as stated by Lord Cecil in an official letter addressed to Lord Bryce and in his response to an interpellation in the House of Commons. In addition thereto, by their resistance against the Turks until the conclusion of the armistice, they forced the Turks to send troops from Palestine to the Armenian front, and thus contributed indirectly to the victory of the Allied Army n Syria.“
Among many documents in foreign archives which are often ignored or concealed, a document in Russia’s official archives shows Armenians carried out mass killings in 1915. The 65 page report was written by Russian Brigadier General Leonid Bolkhovinitov, who was stationed in the Caucasus front, and dispatched to the Russian military headquarters on December 11, 1915 and titled “The Real Situation.”
It constitutes a follow-up to a report submitted to the Russian Tsar by Armenians on “The Activities of the Armenian Voluntary Bands in the Caucasus.” Bolkhovinitov says in his report that “Armenian voluntary units had started violent slaughters against the Muslim people with racist motives,” and that Armenian reports given to the Russians did not reflect the actual situation in the region. The Russian official states in his report that “We shall not believe in the death tolls that the Armenians give. The number of missing people has been constantly exaggerated in the memos distributed by the Dashnak party and there is no doubt that they are politically-motivated.”
Bolkhovinitov’s report also underlines that the history of the events which he dubs the “Armenian Problem” go back to 1890. Some of the important findings Bolkhovinitov lists in his report are:
- European diplomats imposed the ideas of an “Independent Armenia” on the Armenians. Armenian intellectuals in spreading seditious ideology among Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and designed the plan of shedding enough blood to bring about European intervention.
- Armenian terrorist organizations waged violence not only against Ottoman Muslims but also against Armenians who did not cooperate with them.
- Armenian voluntary bands engaged in brutal massacres against the Muslim population in the occupied areas; ethnically cleansed the Muslim population regardless of gender and age, plundered and destroyed the villages. These actions are systematic.
According to Bolhovitinov’s report, Armenian voluntary bands who joined the Russian forces during World War I wreaked havoc on the civilian population of Anatolia. The report includes photographs of the notorious Armenian “Kazar” and “Sepuh” bands, which, according to Bolhovitinov, not even the Russians were able keep under control.
Given the fact that Russia and the Ottomans were enemies during the late 1910’s and the report is written by a high level Russian official on the ground in the conflict area, it increases the importance of the report.
By James W. Gerard
U.S Ambassador to Germany 1913-1917
The New York Times, July 6, 1919
The Armenians have made considerable contribution to the winning of the war, which entitles them to the right to claim our aid in the organization of the framework of their government. In the beginning of the war, the Armenians turned a deaf ear to the Turkish offer for autonomy in consideration of the united support of the Turco-Germans, which support would have helped the Turks to overwhelm the Russian-Caucasus front and enabled them to reach Middle Asia, and which at the same time would have forced Russia to bring divisions from the Austro-German front to the Caucasus. And again in 1917, when Germany, balked on the Western front, and encouraged with the defection of Russia, turned her attention to the east, the Armenians improvised a force of 50,000 men, took over the Caucasus front which was over 250 miles long, and deserted by the Russians, betrayed by the Georgians, harassed by Tartars and Kurds, and without any help from any outside force, fought the Turkish Army for seven months, and thus frustrated the Turco-German scheme. They did these things relying upon our good faith and upon our pledges. Can we now break faith with them ? It is useless for us to wish them to have independence, unless we are willing to make it possible for them to insure that independence.