So-called Armenian Genocide

Excerpts from the book:A Myth of Terror
Armenian Extremism:Its Causes and Its Historical Context
An Illustrated Expose by Eric Feigl

One of the Climaxes of Armenian Terror:
The Raid on the Ottoman Bank

On August 26, 1896, Armenian terrorists raided the Ottoman Bank, taking hostages in the process. This was the sad culmination of a year which had already seen more than its share of violence. This time, the operation was masterminded by the Armenian Dashnak Party. They saw this spectacular raid as a chance to catch up with their competition, the Armenian Hunchak Party, which was responsible for almost all the other acts of terrorism in 1896.

The raid was executed by three Armenians from the Caucasus (which was already in Russian hands at that time). Their ringleader, Karakin Pasdermadjian, would later be elected delegate to the National Assembly from Erzurum (1908) and lead a group of Armenian volunteers fighting for the Russian side against the Ottomans in World War I. On August 26, the terrorists forced their way into the bank, threw bombs, barricaded themselves In with sacks full of silver coins, and fired wildly in all directions. They took hostages and insisted that their list of demands be published and met. This operation served as a model for all terrorists to come, and the style of this type of terrorist raid has remained largely unchanged.

The demands:

  • The appointment of a European high commissioner for the. Armenians of the Ottoman Empire.
  • The subordination of the militia and the,police to a European officer.
  • Judicial reform consistent with the European system.
  • Absolute freedom of the press and of religion.
  • An overhaul of the taxation system.
  • The annulment of tax debts.
  • A general amnesty.
  • The formation of a European commission to supervise the implementation of the above demands.

After the standard negotiations that are always held in cases of hostage taking and death threats, the General Director of the Ottoman Bank, Sir Edgar Vincent, entered the besieged building along with the head dragoman of the Imperial Russian Embassy, Maximoff. Their negotiations ended with a guarantee that the terrorists could 'leave the country safely. This also set a precedent which is still Valid today.

The seventeen insurgents probably expected the entire British and French fleets to turn up at Istanbul and give them a festive welcome. While this did not happen, it was nonetheless aboard the sumptuous private yacht of Sir Edgar Vincent himself that the gang made its get-away. They later boarded the French warship La Gironde, which brought them safely to Marseilles. From there, they were free to continue planning and carrying out terrorist attacks.

The raid had only partially fulfilled its purpose. The expected riots had not materialized. These riots were needed by the terrorists, because along with the dead and wounded they would bring a flood of contributions for the "Armenian Cause". Other terrorist units therefore helped out by arranging a number of bomb explosions in Galata on August 30.

This time things worked out better, since it was now possible to dream up tales of "4000-6000 Armenians killed in the rioting". Not the least bit of evidence could be found to support these figures in the secret report of the British Embassy (F. 0. 424/188, Nos. 149 and 169). But what difference did that make? '

A model had been created for all future terrorist raids, complete with hostage-taking, forced publication of a list of demands, and permission for the terrorists to leave the country - plus all the P. R. that accompanies an action of this type.

In 1980 (!), the Briton Christopher Walker wrote in his book Armenia - The Survival of a Nation the following passage concerning the raid on the Ottoman Bank, "Those Dashnaks who escaped were the lucky ones. They were put on board the French steamer Gironde and set sail for France. Their fellow Armenians were left behind to expiate-many times over-the 'crime' of terrorizing a terrorist society."

cartton:Puch Julj 22,1876

A postlude to the spectacular raid on the Ottoman Bank: The "Leipziger Illustrierte" reported not only on the exposition of weapons and explosives confiscated from Armenian terrorists, but also on the prompt closing of the exposition following the intervention of the foreign embassies. This also set a terrorist example that is still valid today.

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