As a bridge between Asia and Europe, with its straits connecting The Black Sea with the Mediterranean and its geopolitical situation at a point where the Central Asian, Caucasian and Middle Eastern natural energy sources intersect, Turkey draws the attention of the entire world.
The Ottoman Empire in the past and Turkey at present has always been an arena for which intrigues were incessantly designed. The colonialist superpowers wishing to eradicate the Ottoman Empire from the world by dividing it did not fail to use in their schemes also the Armenians who coexisted in peace with the Turks for so many centuries.
There are today just like in the past, several countries striving to secure themselves political and economic benefits at the expense of Armenian community. Monuments accusing Turks and Turkey of having committed genocide are being erected in some countries; decisions intending to recognise the so called genocide are brought into the parliamentary agenda in several countries and even voted for in some others. Issues that need to be left to historians are turned into means of self interest by the politicians.
The Armenians who were ousted from one place to the other, pushed into wars, and treated as third rate citizens throughout the history by the Romans, Persians and Byzantines. After the advent of Turks into Anatolia, they benefited from the just, humane, tolerant and unifying traditions and beliefs of their new neighbours. The period that lasted until the end of the nineteenth century when the apogee of these developments and relations was attained, was the golden age of Armenians. In fact, the Armenians were by far the greatest beneficiaries of the opportunities offered by the Ottoman Empire to all industrious, capable, honest and straightforward citizens of the non-Moslem communities. Being exempted from the military service and to a large extent from taxation, they had the opportunity to excel themselves in trade, agriculture, craftsmanship and administration and therefore were rightly called the “loyal nation” because of their loyalty and ability to interact with the Ottomans. There were so many Armenians who spoke Turkish, who even conducted their rites in this language , who rose to topmost public service posts such as the Ministries and Under-Secretariats of State for the Public Works, Navy, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Treasury, Posts and Telegraph and Minting. There were some who even wrote books in Turkish and foreign languages on the Problems of the Ottoman Empire .
With the start of the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the European powers began to intervene in its affairs and degeneration became evident in the peaceful Turkish-Armenian relations. Great effort was displayed by the instigators whom the Western powers planted into the Ottoman Empire under clerical guise, to create a schism between Turks and Armenians in the religious, cultural, commercial, political and social fields. Thus, bloody clashes arose, in which the blunt of pain was borne by the Turks, and thousands of Armenians and Turks lost their lives in the revolts that broke out in Eastern Anatolia and spread all the way to Istanbul.
Though there were many Armenians fighting in the Ottoman armies against the enemy or serving in the rear ranks during the World War I, a considerable number had sided with the foes on the battlefronts and launched massacres against the population without distinction of women, children and the aged. Their toll was hundreds of thousands of Moslems and ruin in Eastern Anatolia.
The measures adopted by the Ottoman Empire to stop this violence were presented to the rest of the world under a completely different light and the Armenians, misguided by the promises and instigation of the Western Powers started to undermine the country where they had led a privileged life more than a thousand years.
The Hinchak, Tashnak, Toward Armenia, Young Armenians, Union and Salvation, Ramgavar, Paramilitaries, Black Cross societies and Hinchak Revolutionary Committee, which were established out of Anatolia, formed organisations urging the people for an armed revolt. These activities were the bloody uprisings that cost thousands of Turkish and Armenian lives.
During World War I, the Ottoman Empire was fighting against Russian armies in Eastern Anatolia, where the Armenian revolt was at its peak; and also against Armenian forces which supported the Russians. On the other hand, behind the lines it had to continue to fight against Armenian guerrillas that were burning Turkish villages and towns and attacking military convoys and reinforcements. In spite of this violence, the Ottoman Empire tried to solve the Armenian problem for months by taking local measures. Meanwhile, an operation was made against the Armenian guerillas and 2345 rebels were arrested for high treason. When it became evident that the Armenian community was also in rebellion against the state, the Ottoman Empire proceeded with the last resort of replacing only those Armenians in the region who actively participated in the rebellion. With this measure, the Ottoman Empire also intended to save the lives of the Armenians who were living in a medium of civil war because Turks started to counter-attack the Armenians who had performed bloody atrocities against Turkish communities.
Today, Armenia and some states using Armenians for their economic and political benefits have launched a massive propaganda campaign to present the replacement decision and the 24 April arrests as genocide to the world public opinion.
At the end of the World War I, when the armies of Allied States occupied The Ottoman Empire and the British officials among them arrested 143 Ottoman political and military leaders and intellectuals for “having committed war crimes toward Armenians” and exiled them to Malta where a trial was launched. However, the massive scrutiny made on the Ottoman, British, American archives in order to find evidence to incriminate these 143 persons failed to produce even the least iota of proof against them. In the end, the detainees in Malta were released without trial and even any indictment in 1922.
The United States archives contain an interesting document sent to Lord Curzon on 13 July 1921 by Mr. R.C. Craigie, the British Ambassador in Washington. The message was as follows: “I regret to state that there is nothing that may be used as evidence against the Turkish detainees in Malta. There are no events that may constitute adequate proofs. The said reports do not appear to contain even circumstantial evidence that could be useful to reinforce the information held by His Majesty’s Government against the Turks.”
On 29 July 1921, the legal advisers in London decided that the intended indictments drawn up against the persons on the British Foreign Ministry’s list were semi-political in nature and therefore these individuals should be treated separately from the Turks detained as criminals of war.
They also stated the following: “No statements were hitherto received from the witnesses to the effect that the indictments intended against the detainees are correct. Likewise it does not need to be restated that finding witnesses after so long a time is highly doubtful in a remote country like Armenia which is accessible only with great difficulties.” This statement was made also by none other than the legal advisers in London of His Majesty’s Government.
Yet, the efforts to smear the image of Turks with genocide claims did not come to an end as the British press published certain documents attempting to prove the existence of a massacre claimed to have been perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire while efforts were being made to start a lawsuit in Malta. It was stated that the documents were found by the British occupation forces in Syria, led by General Allenby. The inquiries subsequently made by the British Foreign Office revealed, however, that these documents were fakes prepared by the Armenian Nationalist Delegation in Paris and distributed to the Allied representatives.
The Armenian Diaspora, who left no stone unturned to keep the genocide claims on the agenda despite all these facts, resorted to terrorism in the end. The so-called Armenian issue, which started to attract the attention of the world and Turkish public opinion through the smearing campaign launched by the Armenians against Turkey after 1965, in the ‘70s turned into terrorist attacks directed against the Turkish representations abroad. In Santa Barbara on January 27, 1973, the first individual terrorist attack was launched by an aged Armenian named Gurgen (Karekin) Yanikian. He murdered Mehmet Baydur and Bahadir Demir, the Turkish Consul General and Vice Consul in Los Angeles, and these murders turned into an organised campaign after 1975. The attacks against Turkish embassies, officials and institutions abroad gradually intensified.
A major increase in the attacks was noted after 1979 when an internal unease started in Turkey. The Armenian terrorists staged a total of 110 attacks at 38 cities of 21 countries. 39 of these acts were committed by small arms, 70 of them were realised by bombs and one was an outright occupation. 42 Turkish diplomats and 4 foreigners were killed and 15 Turks and 66 foreigners were wounded in these incidents.
As these actions received a strong reaction from the world public opinion, the Armenian terrorist organisations changed their tactics in 1980 and began to co-operate with the PKK terrorist group which was pushed into the scene by the Eruh and ªemdinli attacks as the ASALA and Armenian operations were stopped. The documents and evidence from Beqaa and Zeli camps show that the PKK and ASALA militants were trained there together.
The success achieved by the Turkish security forces made the Armenian terrorism pursue the so called genocide claims through the Armenian Diaspora and attempt to make the world believe in the existence of such an event by inducing several parliaments to adopt resolutions and laws which recognise it.
The goal of these terrorists is to plant into minds of people the existence of a genocide, to force Turkey to recognise it, to receive indemnity from Turkey and, finally, to snatch from Turkey the land needed for realising the dream of Great Armenia.