Of, roughly speaking , April 1915 at July 1916 take place what is commonly called the Armenian genocide . They are deportations and massacres of great width which destroyed two thirds of the population Armenian alive on the current territory of the Turkey and which proceeded whereas the government of the Young person-Turks directed the Ottoman Empire committed in the First World War to the sides of the central Empires. These massacres are almost unanimously qualified Génocide and cost the life a million two hundred and thousand Armenians of Anatolia.
Prepared and organized since Constantinople, then capital of the empire, the deportations and the massacres were implemented at the local scales by the persons in charge of the various districts and provinces charged to gather their managed Armenian, like by the Othoman soldiers and gendarmes who escorted the convoys to the desert and carried out themselves executions or left free course to the violence of groups of armed gangsters (especially of the Kurdish , which were in secular competition with the Armenians in Anatolian south-east) or of criminals released of number by the authorities in order to reinforce the rows of the fighting forces Othoman (and gathered in what will be known like the “Special organization”).
Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire before 1915
- Armenian Patriarchate: : 3000000 of Armenians according to the statistics brought by the Armenian delegation to the congress of Berlin (1878). In 1882, the Armenian patriarchate draws up new statistics: : 2660000. The day before the First World War, therefore after the massacres hamidiens, of Cilicie, and after several waves of emigration, the sources of the Armenian patriarchate makes it possible to establish a Armenian population of approximately: 2100000 Armenians.
- Othoman Official statistics: The census of 1844 increases to nearly 2 million the number of Armenians for only Turkey of Asia. In 1867, the Othoman government makes publish the number of 2 million Armenians in Turkey of Asia and: 400000 in Turkey d' Europe, is a total of: 2400000; following the treaties of San Stefano and Berlin, where the Armenians and their demographic weight become a serious problem (for the first time their possible autonomy is evoked), the Othoman government will then present reduced numbers of about half, that is to say: 1160000 -: 1300000
- H. Pasdermadjian (Armenian): : 2100000
- R. Hovanissian (Armenian): : 1500000 -: 2000000
- Ludovic de Contenson: : 1400000
- C. Walker (pro-Armenian author): : 1500000 -: 2000000
- Clearly Price: : 1500000
- A. Powell: : 1500000
- Lynch : : 1325000
- V. Cuinet: : 1475000 (Turkey of Asia, Turkey d' Europe excluded)
- Encyclopedia Britannica (edition of 1910): : 1500000; current edition: : 2000000
- Justin McCarthy: : 1698301.
The Armenian “awakening”In this end of the 19th century, the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire become aware that their rights are ridiculed by the sultan, and of the Armenian groups, most of the time revolutionary, are formed. They denounce the methods of the sultan and want freedom for all as well as the equality between Armenians and Moslems. The party Armenakan is created in 1885, the party Hentchak (“the bell”) in 1886 (or 1887), of socialist tendency, and the Armenian revolutionary Federation Dashnak in 1890 (of a little independence tendency). The members of these parties bring back the hope at the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire (mainly country). Contrary, the emancipation wanted by these parties will be one of the principal reasons for the empire to massacre the Armenians. “Small” revolutions are organized in Vilayet S in which many Armenians live - Zeïtoun for example - but Othoman repression will be bloody and will end in massacres, preludes of the genocide.
Massacres hamidiens, 1894-1896The massacres hamidiens constitute the first series of criminal acts, the first prelude, of great width perpetrated against the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire. They took place under the reign of the sultan Abdülhamid II, known in Europe under the name of the “red Sultan” or of the “Large Slaughterer”, who ordered massacres following the revolts of the Armenians. The number of the Armenian victims would be from approximately two hundred and thousand. Jean Jaurès denounced the massacre of the Armenian populations in a speech with the House of Commons the November 3rd 1896.
Facts enclencheurs and unfolding
ContextAs of the end of the 19th century, a group of opponents to the sultan Abdülhamid II is formed and given rise to the Comité Union and Progress (CUP), primarily made up of nationalists or progressists Turkish - one calls them in Europe the “Young person-Turks”. The CUP receives the support of many movements representing the minorities of the empire, including independence movements or Armenian separatists like the Dashnak. However, this alliance of circumstance finds its limit in a crucial question, that of the creation of an autonomous or independent Armenian State. The Young person-Turks come from to reverse the sultan in 1908 with the assistance of the minority movements, and direct the Ottoman Empire then. The minorities make their entry at the Parliament, the communities fraternize. But it is not for a long time. The CUP not accepting the creation of the Armenian State, the independence movements ceases giving their support to him and then seeks to tie other alliances in the area, in particular near the Russians. In 1909, the massacres of Cilicie, in which Young person-Turks are implied, will sow even more the doubt about the intentions of the Young person-Turks towards the Armenians.
Massacres of Cilicie (of Adana), 1909Another prelude to the “Armenian genocide”, the massacres of Cilicie (or Adana) took place between the 14 and April 27th 1909. They extended to the rural areas cilicians and various cities: Adana, Hadjin, Located, Zeïtoun, Alep, Dört Yol. Approximately thirty thousand Armenians left there their life, including twenty thousand in only the vilayet of Adana. The Othoman constitutional troops took part in the massacres. Mr. Pichon, Foreign Minister, will carry the charge to the French Room, meeting of the May 17th 1909: It happened unfortunately that troops which had been sent to prevent and repress the attacks have there, on the contrary, taken part. The fact is exact.
ThereafterNovember 1st 1914, after having been since August requested by the Germany, the Ottoman Empire enters the World war to the sides of the central powers. New faces open then, one on the Caucasian border with the Russia. The third Othoman army, which was engulfed without logistic preparation in Transcaucasie, is crushed in January 1915, with Sarikamish. The leaders of the CUP decide to benefit from the occasion of the war definitively to solve by the extermination of the Armenians the “Armenian Question” ( Ermeni sorunu ) which, since the congress of Berlin of 1878, is one of the thorniest points of the “Question of the East”. Moreover, animated by a nationalist ideology turquist and panturquist, they see in the Armenians a major hurdle with their ethnic unification in Anatolia and with their expansion in the countries of Turkish Langue of central Asia.
The advanced justification is that it is about a reaction vis-a-vis the Désertion S from Armenians which took place in certain areas (partly because of the conditions inflicted to the Christians in the Othoman army), but especially vis-a-vis the few acts localized from resistance: the most important case, Van, will be presented by the government like a revolution, a rising, version contradicted by all the reports/ratios of the Italian, German or American witnesses (consuls, missionaries, teachers…) who explain that the Armenians organized a defense of the city to avoid undergoing a massacre.
MassacresIn February 1915, the central committee of the party and Ministers for the cabinet of war, Talaat Pasha and Enver in particular, secretly develop a plan of destruction which will be carried out in the following months. It is presented officially as a transfer of the Armenian population - that the government shows to collaborate with the Russian enemy - far from the face. In fact, the deportation is only the mask which covers an operation of destruction of all the Armenians of the empire, as the examination of the facts proves it.
The first measurement is the disarmament of the Armenian soldiers enlisted in the Othoman army. They are employed with transport or road works and, during the year 1915, are eliminated by small groups. Then the Young person-Turks, the research of the evidence of a Armenian plot, carry out searchings and arrests, which particularly initially strike the notable ones and intellectual Armenians of Constantinople, stopped April 24th and 25th, killed deportees then. This event marks the true starting point of the genocide. The number of deaths is evaluated between two hundreds and six hundred people. As soon as the “intelligentsia” (the elite) of people is destroyed, it is easier to exterminate the remainder of the population the destruction of the Armenian populations is operated in two successive phases: from May in July 1915 in the seven provinces - vilayet - Eastern of Anatolia - Erzurum, Van, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Kharpout, Sivas, Trébizonde - where lives nearly a million Armenians, and which are more or less close to the theater of the war; then, at the end of 1915, in the other provinces of the empire far away from the face - what removes any probability with the charge of collaboration with the enemy.
In the Eastern provinces, the operation proceeds in all places in the same way. The sequences proceed systematically in the cities and the boroughs:
- searchings in the houses of the notable civilians and monks;
- arrest of these notable;
- tortures to make them acknowledge an alleged plot and masks of weapons;
- deportation and execution of the prisoners near the city;
- publication of an opinion of Deportation;
- separation of the men who, bound by small groups, are carried out in the surroundings of the city;
- evacuation of the totality of the Armenian population divided into convoys of women, children and elderly who leave the city with regular intervals, with foot, with a thin luggage;
- removal in the convoy of women and children led in Moslem hearths;
- regular decimation of the convoys by the gendarmes charged to escort them, of the Kurdish bands or the militiamans recruited for this purpose.
In the remainder of the empire, the program takes the forms of a deportation, led by rail on part of the course, the families remaining sometimes joined together. Convoys of deportees convergent towards Alep, in Syria, where an Head office of the installation of the tribes and deportees distribute them according to two axes: in the south, towards the Syria, the Lebanon and the Palestine - a part will survive; in the east, along the Euphrate, where concentration camps, true mouroirs, are impromptu. The deportees are little by little thorough worms Deir-are-Zor. There, in July 1916, they are sent in the deserts of Mésopotamie where they are killed by small groups or die of thirst. The last regroupings of deportees along the railroad of Baghdad, in Short-nap cloth-ul-Ain, in Intilli are, them also, destroyed in July 1916. Only a third of the Armenians survives: those which lived Constantinople and Smyrna, removed people, Armenians of the vilayet of Van, saved by the projection of the Russian army and some a hundred and thousand deportees of the camps of the south.
Massacres of the populations Assyro-Chaldéennes, Syriaques and Yézidies
The population araméenne (chaldéenne) was touched also hard during this period, having been mainly assassinated by the Islamic Turkish authority, as well as the massacre of some Syriaques and Yézidis.
Assessment of the massacres
See also: Armenian Victims between 1914 and 1923
The facts are known as of May 1915 via the neutral reports/ratios of diplomats and the witnesses belonging to the many missions, schools and hospitals present in the Ottoman Empire. The press of the time, in particular with the the United States and the Canada, is made the echo of the indignation raised by these revelations. After the war, the mode Young person-Turk having disappeared since October 1918, of the lawsuits show the reality of the massacres and reveal the existence of an criminal organization, the special Organization , which orchestrated the destruction of the Armenian population.
When, at the end of 1916, the observers take stock of the destruction of the Armenians of Turkey, they can note that, except for three hundred and thousand Armenians saved by the Russian projection and of some two hundred and thousand inhabitants of Constantinople and Smyrna which it was difficult to remove in front of witnesses, it does not persist any more but of the small islands of survival: removed women and young girls, missing in the secrecy from the houses Turkish or rehabilitated in the Islamic schools as that which the apostle of the turquism Halide Edip directs; children gathered in pilot orphanages; some miraculés hidden by Moslem neighbors or friendly; or, in cities of the center, some families saved thanks to the firmness of a vali or a kaïmakan. These massacres will have cost the life a number of individuals varying, according to the authors, of six hundred and thousand with a million and half of people.
Lawsuit of Unionistic, Constantinople, 1919.
The principal persons in charge of the genocide are condemned there to died by Contumace, having taken the escape in 1918, just after having destroyed the majority of the compromising documents. The martial Cour establishes the will of unionistic to physically eliminate the Armenians, via its organization special. Here its conclusion: Immediately after the mobilization of the July 21st 1914, the Central committee of the party Union and Progrès had constituted Techkilat-i Mahsoussé (Turkish name of the special organization) which was entirely different in its goals and its composition of Techkilat-i Mahsoussé already existing. By order of the ministries for the Interior and Justice, this same Techkilat-i Mahsoussé accepted condemned slackened as Techkilat-i Mahsoussé depend on the ministry for the War refused to incorporate. When prisoners were released, the Party, to mislead the public opinion, spread the news according to which the released criminals would be employed on the face whereas they were sent in centers of drive and that they were then used to plunder and destroy the convoys of deportees arméniens.
Treaty of SevresIt is signed the August 10th 1920 by the powers recipients (British empire, France, Japan, Italy), and the allied States represented by the Arménie, the Belgium, the Greece, the Hedjaz, the Poland, the Portugal, the Romania, the Czechoslovakia and the Yugoslav State joining together Slovenien, Croatian and Serbes. The ceremony proceeded in the big room who currently shelters the museum of the Porcelain with Sevres. Among the political tendencies of this treaty, one will note two articles (88 and 89) concerning the Armenian Republic: Turkey states to recognize, like already did it the allied powers, Arménie like a free State and indépendant.
Turkey and Arménie, as well as the high contracting parties, are appropriate to subject to the arbitration of the president of the United States of America, the determination of the border between Turkey and Arménie, in the vilayets of Erzeroum, Trébizonde, Van and Bitlis, and to accept its decision, as all the provisions which it will be able to relative prescribe with the access of any adjacent Othoman territory.
The mandate of execution of the relative tendencies to the Armenian Republic is entrusted to the the United States. Against his return, the president Woodrow Wilson runs up against the opposition of a majority of American senators who, under the impulse of the senator Cabot Lodge, refuse the ratification of the Treaty of Sevres and therefore, the American mandate on Arménie.
Téhlirian lawsuit, 1921The March 15th 1921, Talaat Pasha, the large director of the extermination of the Armenians, is cut down of a ball of revolver in a street Berlin oise.
The gunner is stopped on the spot of the crime. It is about young a 23 years Armenian, Soghomon Tehlirian, survivor of the genocide during which he lost his mother and all his family. It undoubtedly formed part of the group “Némésis” which had decided to carry out the sentence of death in absentia of the lawsuit of the unionistic ones.
Testimonys of Tehlirian, Christine Terzibashian, Johannes Lespius or even of the general Liman von Sanders, as well as the documents selected, among which five quantified telegrams addressed by Talaat to Naïm Bey, documents which Andonian forwarded to the court, giving a new dimension to the lawsuit, where the genocidary crime of Talaat and Young person-Turks is in his turn put in charge. The authenticity of the Andonian documents was since calling into question by the historians Turkish Orel and Yuca, authenticity however then reaffirmed by the Armenian historian Dadrian. The court discharges Soghomon Tehlirian. The lawsuit is resounding and its exit is interpreted like a judgment of the persons in charge of the genocide.
Treaty of Lausanne: signed in July 1923
Arménie is not mentioned any more there. The historian H. - L. Kieser comments on: For the losers as well as for the international humanitarians, the shade of the conference was crushing. The treaty accepted the acts of war tacitly: the genocide of the Othoman Armenians, the massacre of Assyrie NS Othoman, deportation of Kurdish Othoman (1915-1916) and the expulsion of the gréco-orthodoxe Othomans (1914 and 1919-1922), made with the profit of the turquification of Anatolia. The new government of Ankara hid hardly its birth within the party Young person-Turk, directly responsible for the crimes perpetrated between 1914-1918. The treaty supplemented the acts of war by a transfer of populations hitherto amazing, that of Moslem Greeks (356 000) and of Anatolian Othomans of orthodoxe confession (290 000, with those already expelled approximately cash a million and half of people). With four generations of delay, one very recently started to deplore this transfer publicly, even in Turkey. As regards the former crimes, the sometimes grotesque negationnism and the apology, but tacitly authorized by the treaty, always prevail largement.
Recognition and negation of the genocide
See also: Negation of the Armenian genocide
The question of the recognition of the Armenian genocide was revived at the time of the decision of opening of negotiations between the European Union and Turkey for a possible adhesion of this one. The European Union recognized the Armenian genocide. This question is frequently tackled at the time of the debates concerning the conformity of the policy of the Turkish State with the values morals of the Union and, in particular, its attachment with the respect of the Human rights.
International communityThe first recognition intervened the April 29th 1982 by the room of the representatives of Cyprus.
April 16th 1984, it is recognized by the permanent Tribunal of the people.
The genocide of the Armenians moreover was recognized by the following countries:
- the Room of the representatives of the United States, on September 12th (resolution 247 issuing on April 24th, 1985 “national Day of the memory of the inhumanity of the man for the man” in memory of all the victims of a genocide and in particular of the “million and half of people of Armenian ascent victims of the genocide made by Turkey between 1915 and 1923”;
- 1995 :
- the Russian Duma on April 14th;
- 1996 :
- the Greek Parliament recognizes the genocide on April 25th;
- the Room of the representatives of the United States limits the assistance to Turkey unless this one 1° recognizes, “like the United States, the attrocities made against the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire of 1915 to 1923”; 2° “takes all the necessary measures to honor the memory with the victims of the Armenian genocide” (resolution 3540, June 11th);
- 1998 :
- on March 26th, the Senate of Belgium invite the Turkish government to recognize the reality of the genocide Armenian perpetrated in 1915 by the last government of the Ottoman Empire . ;
- 2000 :
- the Parliament of Sweden recognizes the genocide on March 29th, 2000;
- the Parliament Lebanon board recognized the genocide with the quasi unanimity on May 11th;
- the the Vatican first once on November 10th but without specifying the author;
- 2001 :
- the Vatican one second time on September 27th without specifying the author again;
- France officially recognized the Armenian genocide by the law of January 29th, 2001 but without specifying the author;
- 2003 :
- the Swiss National council rejected a text in this direction on March 13rd, 2001, before adopting a postulate of recognition of the genocide on December 16th, 2003 against the opinion of the Federal council. Detailed informations on the recognition by Switzerland on the site of Switzerland-Arménie Association;
- 2004 :
- the Argentinian (March 31st);
- the Netherlands (December 21st);
- the Slovakia (November 30th);
- the Canada (April 21st) but without specifying the author;
- 2005 :
- the Poland (April 19th, 2005);
- the Douma of State of the Fédération of Russia adopted on April 22nd a resolution requiring the recognition of the genocide by all the international community;
- the the European Parliament invites Turkey to recognize the genocide of the Armenians, regarding “this act as a precondition to adhesion with the European Union” (September 28th, 2005);
- the Bundestag (federal Parliament of the Germany) accepts a resolution condemning the massacres against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire without using the word “genocide” (June 15th, 2005);
- 2006 :
- the October 12th 2006, the French National Assembly adopts, in first reading, with a hundred and six votes for and nineteen against, a Private bill which punishes the negation of the Armenian genocide severely. This vote causes an outcry in Turkey. The text must still be examined by the Senate if he wants to come into effect. October 15th 2006 the chief of the Turkish government, Tayyip Erdogan declared that the president of the French Republic Jacques Chirac invited it to say to him “I am really afflicted, I include/understand and I share your feelings. I certainly will prevent the text from becoming a law”. -->;
- 2007 :
- October 10th 2007, the commission of the Foreign affairs of the Room of the representatives of the United States approves, by twenty-seven voice for against twenty and one vote against, a resolution qualifying of genocide the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in Turkey in 1915, against the opinion of George W. Bush and in spite of the hostility of Ankara. The text must now be sent to the Room for a possible vote in plenary session.
Several countries however refused to regard the Armenian massacres as a genocide. Without calling into question the atrocity or the extent of the facts, these countries do not consider that they answer the definition of a genocide. It is for example the case of the the United Kingdom and the State of Israel, but more the religious high ranking authority of Israel, in the person of the chief rabbi, recognized the Armenian genocide. The question of the official recognition of the genocide moreover is very politicized. The opponents of the recognition consider that the countries having recognized the genocide yielded to the pressure influential Armenian communities. Its partisans consider on the contrary that the countries refusing it only seek to preserve good relationships with Turkey.
The Turkish position
Indeed, Turkey maintains a position firm of refusal of the recognition of the genocide, and its government highly condemns any recognition of the genocide by foreign governments or Parliaments.
Stakes for Turkey
Beyond the implications morals and psychological, as well for the States as for the descendants of the implied populations, the official recognition of a genocide in 1915-1916 implies financial and territorial stakes important for Turkey. Indeed, to recognize the Armenian genocide would open the way with requests for damages to which Turkey does not want to yield. Turkey could be forced to pay a compensation for the damages human, moral and material (as Germany had to do it after the Shoah), to even restore territories in Arménie (the Traité of Sevres, put at evil by the genocide then by the Traité of Brest-Litovsk, gave to Arménie territories located on current Turkey, but also in Azerbaïdjan and Georgia).
Today, the Turkish Republic refuses to recognize the existence of the Armenian genocide and qualifies the events of 1915-1916 of “ sözde ermeni soykırımı ” (“alleged Armenian genocide”).
At a peak in the fight against any reference to the genocide is the Turkish diplomatic corps. Touched hard by the attacks of Asala (secret Armée with release of Arménie) which made some thirty-two victims in its rows in the years 1970-1980, the diplomats of Turkey appear among those which build the most energetic sales leaflets of propaganda on the international scene.
On the national, legal apparatus and legal ground also envisages sanctions for those which would contravene the Turkish official version: article 312 of the Penal code Turkish, bearing on the incentive with religious or racial hatred makes liable five years of prison any person evoking the genocide publicly. Moreover, new the Penal code , supposed to bring Turkey closer to the European standards in terms of human rights was denounced by several international organizations of which Reporters without borders and Amnesty International, in particular because of its article 305 which would punish three years to ten years of prison and of a fine all “acts contrary with the fundamental interest of the nation”. The sorrow being able to be wide at fifteen years of prison if this opinion is expressed in the press. Explanatory notes of the project indicated that could, inter alia, to apply to the claims concerning the Armenian genocide. The British Parliament, for its part, considered that no mention of the “Armenian genocide” was made in this article of the Penal code . But of the recent lawsuits made with people being expressed about the genocide of the Armenians (in particular Orhan Pamuk, cf will infra), show that the Penal code Turkish (article 301) makes it possible to continue defenders of the human rights, journalists and other members of the civil society expressing a dissenting opinion peacefully.
The argumentation in favor of a not-recognition of the qualification of genocide rests primarily on three axes:
a dispute of the extent of the number of victims (evaluated between three hundred and thousand and five hundred and thousand whereas the Armenian estimates are of a million and half of dead);
- questioning of the existence of a premeditation on behalf of the government Young person-Turk;
- reversal of the culpability (the Armenians are responsible of what arrived to them) and indignation vis-a-vis screening of the reprisals of the Armenian militia on the Turkish civil populations.
In April 2005, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proposed with the Armenian president Robert Kotcharian to set up a commission of historians. In spite of this proposal, Cemil Cicek, government spokesman Turkish and Minister for Justice, spoke about “treason” and “stabs in the back of the Turkish nation”, in connection with university historians Turkish (not acquired with the Turkish thesis official) who wanted to take part in a conference treating of the “Othoman Armenians at the time of the decline of the empire” organized in May 2005 which should have taken place in Turkish universities. The Armenian Minister for the Foreign affairs Vardan Oskanian had answered by seeing in the proposal for a creation of commission of Turkey a will “to rewrite his history in a shameless way and to want to propagate it in the other countries”. It should in addition be noted that, at the time, it is still of the Ottoman Empire and not about the Turkish Republic, but that this one always prevents the historians from doing their work, because it still did not open the Othoman files of this time. Even if the Turkish government affirms in same time to have opened all its files, this assertion forever been able to be accredited by independent historians.
Turkish public opinion
Free and objective information on the subject is impossible in Turkey. Thus, when the writer Orhan Pamuk declared, in 2005, with a Swiss daily newspaper, that “a million Armenians and thirty thousand Kurds were killed in Turkey”, a sub-prefect of Sütçüler (area of Isparta, in south-west) the destruction of all its books ordered. December 16th, 2005, the lawsuit of O. Pamuk opens in Istanbul for these remarks considered as a “insult with the Turkish national identity” and liable for this reason six months to three years of prison. The public opinion has access only to the official version concerning these massacres of the beginning of the century and generally rejects the qualification of genocide, at least openly. Into private, certain Turks recognize the reality of the massacres. If necessary, the population does not hesitate besides to express its rejection of certain methods… January 19th, 2007, Hrant Dink, editor association of the Armenian review of Istanbul Agos and principal promoter of the recognition of the genocide in Turkey, is assassinated by a young nationalist. Nearly one hundred thousand demonstrators go down in the streets from Istanbul at the time of its funeral, holding up signs proclaiming “we are all of the Armenians”. Ever seen in Turkey where the demonstrations seldom exceed the ten thousand people.
The majority of the intellectuals and historians Turkish support the thesis denying the genocide. Nevertheless, certain intellectuals, personalities, militants of the human rights or professors Turkish are registered out of forgery against the historical version established by Ankara.
Among the academics, let us quote:
- To tan Akçam which considers that the culprits of the genocide belong to the founders of the Republic of Turkey born later seven years and that the Turkish government cannot thus “accept only among “the large heroes who saved the fatherland” some were assassins”;
- Halil Berktay (professor at the university of Istanbul) which does not hesitate to qualify “lullabies” the theses of Ankara, adding that “there are tons of documents proving the sad truth”;
- Ahmet İnsel (universities of Paris I and Galatasaray) which denounces in particular, according to its own words, it “is delirious negationnist” who reigns in Turkey, and which is translated, according to him, by the negation of the Armenian suffering, the refusal to recognize the genocidary intentions of part of Unionistic to the capacity, and, finally, by the charges against the Armenians;
- Fikret Adanır (see its contribution to the conference organized by the CDCA, “the topicality of the genocide of the Armenians”);
- Altan Gökalp, Akarlı Machine or Fatma Göçek Mullet.
Nevertheless, according to the surveys, eight Turks out of ten think that their country should break the negotiations of adhesion with the European Union if this one required the recognition of the genocide.
Since 1993, a chapter of the school handbooks of history is devoted to the arguments refuting the allegations of genocide. In 2003, a circular of the minister of education invites the teachers “to denounce the claims of the Armenians”. Contests of essay are organized in the schools, including in the few Armenian schools which remain in Istanbul. The Turkish press ends up being moved some…
The Turkish ministry of the Culture defends on its Internet site the official version of the History and, according to a report/ratio of the French Parliament, subsidizes many Internet sites defending this thesis.
The 24 and September 25th 2005 was held for the first time in Turkey, in a climate of strong tensions, an entitled conference the Othoman Armenians at the time of the decline of the empire . Cancelled the day before on order of the administrative court of Istanbul, which had been commented on by the European commission like a provocation, this conference, which was supported by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, finally could take place with the Université Bilgi of Istanbul. The only politician to have taken part is there the member of CHP (left) Erdal İnönü, wire of İsmet İnönü, the nearest companion to Mustafa Kemal.
The position of the historians
Several historians and specialists in the Holocaust, whose Elie Wiesel and Yehuda Bauer, made known publicly their position on June 9th, 2000 in the NewYork Times , to declare undeniable the reality of the Armenian genocide and to incite the Western democracies to recognize it officially . The Institute of the Holocaust and the genocides (located at Jerusalem), and the Institute for the study of the genocides (located at New York) established like a historical fact the Armenian genocide. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, great figure of the fight against the negationnism, affirms “that it is obvious that in the case of the massacre of the Armenians, the Turkish State is negationnist” denouncing in same time, with other historians of reputation, “the increasingly frequent political interventions in the appreciation of the events of passed and by the legal procedures touching of the historians”, recalling that “in a free State, it belongs neither to the Parliament nor with the legal authority to define historical truth”.
This historical analysis of the Armenian genocide was built on the basis of testimony of the survivors, as well as foreign observers, and grew rich thanks to the progressive opening by the Othoman official files. The examination of these files made it possible to the historians to refine knowledge on the responsibilities. Thus, the responsibility for the genocide (design, premeditation, organization and execution) is primarily allotted to official resulting from the party of the Young person-Turks Ittihadistes, the role of this party of the Young person-Turks being comparable to that of the Nazis in Germany during the Second world war.
The Turkish State and some minority historians developed studies denying the Armenian genocide.
However, the International association of the historians specialized in the study of the genocides ( International Association off Genocide Scholars ), representing the majority of the European historians and North America, published an open letter addressed Turkish to the Prime Minister the June 13rd 2005 in order to recall him that it was not only the Armenian community, but of the hundreds of historians, different nationalities, independent of any government, which had studied and established the reality of the Armenian genocide:
To deny factual and moral reality Armenian genocide not concerns the historical study but a propaganda intended to free the culprits from their responsibilities, by showing the victims, and by erasing the moral significance of their crimes.
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