April 25, 2021, Alexandria, VA | On April 24, in his message, President Joe Biden undeniably confirmed that the long-discredited Armenian claim of genocide is purely political, not a historical, legal, moral, or constitutional one. President Biden has seated himself in the seat of fact-finder and judge on a complex historical issue. Historians, legal experts and other scholars are the authority on such a grave allegation, not politicians. This violation of fairness and justice undermines US credibility and national security in a time of war.
Under section 230 of the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, the World War I victors, with access to Ottoman archives, were tasked to prosecute Ottoman officials implicated in Armenian massacres. The British detained more than 100 suspects on the island of Malta for three years, scoured the earth for incriminating evidence, including a request to the United States, and then dropped all thoughts of prosecution because nothing demonstrated Ottoman sanction or encouragement of Armenian killings.
PRESIDENT BIDEN IGNORES THE SUFFERINGS OF OTTOMAN TURKS
President Biden ignored the suffering of millions of Ottoman Turks and other minorities in the eastern parts of the Ottoman Empire– caused largely by the rebellion of Armenians against their own Government and their efforts to ethnically cleanse parts of the Empire of its Muslim inhabitants.
Armenian suffering cannot be viewed as separate from the suffering experienced by the Muslim inhabitants of the region. The weight of evidence so far uncovered points in the direction of serious inter-communal warfare (perpetrated by Muslim and Christian irregular forces), complicated by disease, famine, suffering and massacres in Anatolia and adjoining areas…The resulting death toll among both Muslim and Christian communities in the region was immense.
The tragic deaths of over 500,000 Armenians, 3,000,000 Muslims and 20,000 Jews – civilian men, women, and children – in eastern Anatolia during World War I, was the result of: (a) the Russian invasion of November – December 1914; (b) intercommunal fighting in which over 150,000 Armenian insurgents forced peaceful Ottoman Armenian civilians to rebel against the Ottoman Empire, particularly in the April 1915 rebellion of Van in which over 60,000 Muslims and 90% of the Jewish population were killed; (c) retaliation against Armenian civilians mostly by Kurdish tribes; (d) the Ottoman governments’ April 1915 decision to relocate over 250,000 Ottoman Armenian civilians from the eastern provinces to southern Anatolia and Ottoman Syria in an effort to separate a portion of the Ottoman Armenians from the Russian army; and, (e) other war-induced including famine, influenza, cholera and typhus, which in all theaters of the war killed over 50,000,000 people, mostly in eastern Europe.
Over 880,000 Anatolian Armenians survived the tragic events of World War I; 140,000 remained in Ottoman Anatolia, 400,000 fled to Russia, 275,000 refugees were relocated to Arab countries, 100,000 went to Western Europe, and 35,000 went to North America. Armenian insurgents and civilians brought an end to the 3000-year existence of the eastern Anatolian Jews. Today, more than 70,000 Armenians live in Turkey, primarily in Istanbul.
THE FIRST PRIME MINISTER OF THE INDEPENDENT ARMENIAN REPUBLIC, HOVHANNES KATCHAZNOUNI BLAMES MEDS YEGHERN
The hard truth is that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) and other Armenian rebel groups fought for Ottoman territory, and lost. The First Prime Minister of the independent Armenian Republic, Hovhannes Katchaznouni blamed Meds Yeghern (“The Great Catastrophe”) on ARF for choosing to fight against the Ottoman Empire, rather than to negotiate peacefully. In his report submitted to the official Convention of the Dashnagzoutiun Convention held in Bucharest in 1923, Prime Minister of Armenia, Katchaznouni stated:
“We rebelled against the Turks. We were in the same camp with the other states that were at the time enemies of the Turks. From Turkey, we wanted from sea to sea Armenia. We died and killed. The decision of ‘forced emigration’ was correct. We couldn’t see the truth, and we were the reason for these tragic events. Turk’s national fight was rightful. During the summer and fall of 1915, the Armenians in Turkey were forced to emigrate. Turks knew what they were doing, and there was nothing wrong for what they did that would require them to regret. The method used by the Turks was the most definite and appropriate. It is really sad to complain about the fate and search for reasons for our demise at places other than us. This is a characteristic of our sickly national psychology, and Tasnaksutyun Party couldn’t escape that.”
THE TURKISH AMERICANS WILL NEVER ACCEPT ANY DETERMINATION ON A MATTER THAT IS FORCED UPON THEM BY POLITICAL PRESSURE
Turkish Americans have been asking for an examination of the complete record on the Armenian tragedy instead of distorted facts of history. It is unclear as of yet, why this examination has not taken place; instead, loaded, unfounded and presumptive statements are issued by political figures to the media in an attempt to curry favor and approval among certain political groups without any attempt at critical analysis of the history or the facts. Before speaking out so decidedly and vehemently in favor of a particular dogma or belief, these political figures should, at minimum, acknowledge the complex and delicate history underlying this issue and which involves a government which is no longer even in existence (the Ottoman Empire).
The Turkish American community feels extremely concerned about this politically motivated message to tarnish the history and memory of its Turkish ancestors. This is matter, persistently propagated by some Armenian groups, and has made ordinary Turkish-Americans targets for hate, intimidation and prejudice. Turkish Americans feel abused by the U.S. political system and left without a fair chance to voice their perspectives.
The Turkish Americans will never accept any determination on a matter that is forced upon them by political pressure. The blame on any political crisis that is certain to arise between Turkey and the United States from this bad legislation squarely rests on the shoulders of those who support it.
Republic of Turkey has been a strong ally of the United States for over 70 years. President Biden’s acceptance of Armenian claim of genocide will undoubtedly damage the friendship between Turkey and the US and threaten to unleash a tidal wave of indignation with profoundly adverse implications for Turkish American cultural, economic, and political relations.