Thursday, May 8, 2008

"That is all right, but who killed hundred of thousands Armenians?"

Hasan Amca: "That is all right, but who killed hundred of thousands Armenians?"

This article was published in Turkish “Alemdar” daily in 1919 by Hasan Amca – Turkish politician and eyewitness of the Armenian Genocide. The rhetoric and analysis of the text seems actually for our days and that is why it also could be regarded as an address to the current Turkish leadership. Hasan Amca wrote also memories on the Armenian deportations, which unfortunately is lost. After the end of the First World War Hasan Amca authored series of media publications in Turkish media on condemnation of perpetrators and denialists of the Armenian genocide during the court cases against the main organizers of the Armenian Genocide.

"Let Your Excellency not allow using “extermination” and “deportation” whether or not they are two synonymous words. You may use as you like; the expression will not lose its practical meaning. It has only well-known tragic meaning of what happened.

Be sure, I have once more read your article and I still do not want to believe that it belongs to your pen. How can one write such things even under national inspiration, religious annoyance or personal persuasion? Is it possible to reject blood of hundred of thousands innocent people and believe in some Suleiman Nazif Bey, supporter of murderers?

Live away the words “extermination” and “deportation”. Proclaim that it is decision to “annihilation of the Armenian nation” and let there remain no place for dispute. That decision was made by the gang of robbers of Ittihat ve Terrakki. It made high ranked officials carry out those special measures. You deny it, is there any necessity to insist on it? I do not know.

I must leave this problem and proofs to future to clarify your article.

You state, “Country, because of war stipulation, had a necessity to deport a part of population from war regions and had to pass a law connected to it”.

That is all right. Do you find it lawful and justified advising to use the fact of deportation unequal to extermination. According to what right the government usurps house, family property and money of its own citizen?

What kind of war necessity made them deport the women to the unknown Der-Zor desert with suckling baby, taking by the arm of a three years old child, they grabbed money in the first station, which will be enough only to buy bread for a day.

Ponder a little before saying “leaving from war regions”, necessity to comprise war regions and also deportation of the Armenians from those regions expanded from Edirne to Basra.

All right, but don’t you understand that you close the danger by deporting Armenians from Kaisery to Der-Zor, which is the back of the 6th army, and approaching them to the back of the 4th army of Hauran.

Whole area of the country became stage of general war. The “necessity” arisen by the war was to move the Armenian nation from that region. It would be more logical if you supported it in following way, “there was left no place on the earth, the country became topsy-turvy, and thus we decided deporting and driving places”.

And also the law... Not only my, but in the name of the whole nation, please do not repeat that bloody and terrible word like Ittihat ve Terakki.

Do not repeat that wild word to relax the conscience of nation, because of which hundred of thousands sons of the country were hanged, hundred of thousands were shot, hundreds of thousands innocent children and women were smashed to pieces with ax, thousands widows and orphans were starved to death. Protests addressed to “our statesmen supplying all the good” heard from the bravest mouths had only instant life and under the reign of those cruel people who perpetrated all these crimes, the population of the empire was drunk with that wild word giving them pompous.

I am sure that only few citizens can give the brightest and clearest explanation of the law except you. The law that makes you express called deportation by you must be carried out first of all for your family.At that time to realize the meaning of applying a law you will have strength to ponder on deep philosophy, to correspond the law to the God’s law, conscience and logic. You will be able to conclude that there exist several hundreds of ayats in the holy book and constitutional articles to reject and curse this crime.

And you consider it as a law adopted by four bloody and foolish people? As if that word has power to transform all those crimes into humanness and you think the statesman deserves to amnesty following that example. How should it be?

The man mentioned by you who carried out the order by Talaat first of all is a human being and then a Muslim. There exists constitution for being a human being and being a citizen of the Ottoman Empire, there are given hundreds of promises to be faithful to its points and there exists a holy book, which contains Godly principles and demands that a human being with its behavior preserves those principles.

This is the essence of the order, law if it corresponds to those principles the Muslim official tries to carry them out. I think you disregard necessary respect of the Holy book in the result of your efforts to support five-six foolish murderers of the Ittihat ve Terakki.

You are the one to tell, “Our government is not responsible for a special committee, participation and crimes of others”. I beg to Your Excellency to explain once more the point.

I hear from you that the government consists of positive, that is people obeying laws and not positive /opposing laws/. What is that government called?

When you say there were officials in the deportation regions who carried out demand of the law reasonably and even “defended and were kind-hearted”, I do not know what you mean by saying the expression “defended and kind-hearted”.

Do you think that “defended and kind-hearted” man may take a woman with three-four children out of the house with “mealy-mouthed” and send them to the mountains, uninhabited deserts where even grass is not found or a place to meet death? Is that all?

That was “defended and kind-hearted” deportation that I saw. You say who passed “border of duty”, were dismissed by Talaat pasha in spite of his wish who is the most influential person in the government. I should ask the following questions with your allowance that Talaat pasha was a legal or an illegal person or was he a bastard?

There is another “border of duty” in this problem. I leave it for you to clarify.

In all cases defense and kind-heartedness were within border of duty of deportation. I recognize many people who rose with the ladder of service after having passed the normal border and being whipped. May Your Excellency point a punished person by that “positive” government? You accept not to show that “negative” persons were a progress in the war field for realizing the deportation.

Reshid vali, who left for Diarbekir with two suitcases after organizing a slaughter returned with wagons. Then he was appointed vali in Ankara as I think for punishment.

Believe me; the latter got the most severe punishment compared with others.

“Even if there is no official order for extermination and plunder, there will always be resigned and dismissed officials who will not keep silent”, are you speaking seriously?

If we keep silent, it is only to inspire crimes of several people. It is to honor wounded and bloody hearts for not piercing and breaking them once again. But if we speak on them, that will mean to sound something well-known to everybody.

If there are people who defended Armenians from extermination and massacre, their activity came from courage, humanness and conscience typical to them. Activities of such individuals as Bekir Sami, Hyusein Kyazim and Dr. Arif, personalities who deserve to be recorded in accounts of the government Ittihat ve Terakki, yesterday they were considered to be persons of high-treason, feeble, coward and mean.

They achieved that honorary goal acting opposite to the official orders of the government. Not the government gave legal orders and the honorary officials carried it out well. Your Excellency knows it very well.

But how can one not get surprised by wrong viewpoints and conscious instigating wrong defense?

The murderer Kemal from Yozghat says,

-The government has not carried it out.

An improvident member of Ittihat ve Terakki says,

-Ittihat ve Terakki has not made such decision; it even punished several people for abuses, - he is not ashamed of saying it, he does not avoid of it.

If we ask a poor Turk, he would answer,

- I came back from war. My neighbor Avetis agha, a smith, Nikoghos Chorbadjin, I do not know many of my neighbors have been robbed; they have been drawn to Arabistan or elsewhere.

All right, we will not speak unless anybody asks. However, the God who is one for a Christian, Turk, and Armenian will ask with loud and ruthless voice.

That is all right, but who killed hundred of thousands Armenians?"

“Alemdar”, April 5, 1919, Constantinople

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