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Irrefutable evidence of Armenian massacres found in Turkish archives: new revelations on Armenian Genocide

15 minute read

Irrefutable evidence of Armenian massacres found in Turkish archives: new revelations on Armenian Genocide

YEREVAN, JUNE 20, ARMENPRESS. German scholar and turkologist Hilmar Kaiser, along with genocide researcher and archivist Mihran Minasyan, are preparing to publish two books based on their joint study of Turkish, Ottoman, and Armenian archival documents and original manuscripts about the Armenian Genocide. These publications are planned to be released on the eve of the 110th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

According to the authors, the books will complement each other, and their publication aims to dismantle the last line of defense in Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide. These books are based not only on Armenian sources but also on Turkish archives, whose identity and consistency, as demonstrated by the studies, prove the truth of the research conducted.

In a conversation with Armenpress, the book's authors being prepared for publication told what the researched Turkish and Armenian sources are and what these materials are.This is significant considering that thousands of archives and memoirs about the Armenian Genocide have already been studied, proving the indisputable reality of the murder of millions of Armenians by the Ottoman rulers at the beginning of the 20th century.

The director of the "Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute" Foundation, Edita Gzoyan, speaking about the importance of the joint work of the two scientists, noted that Hilmar Kaiser has access and the opportunity to work in Turkish archives, which is extremely important.

She added that more in-depth research can be conducted by joint forces, which could be a breakthrough for this area and for strengthening the Institute's position in the international scientific community.

"Mr. Minasyan has long been a perfect specialist in the field of archives. He is mainly a connoisseur of the archives of the Middle East, and shares information from his scientific sources with our scientists," Gzoyan emphasized.

At the beginning of the conversation, German Turkologist and archivist Hilmar Kaiser noted that he had repeatedly given lectures in Turkey related to these documents and the topic of the Armenian Genocide. This led to expressions of dissatisfaction from the Turks and even threats against him. He also added that he gave an interview to a Turkish journalist on this topic. The journalist faced persecution from Turkish law enforcement agencies but still published the interview, which caused significant concern among Turkish nationalists.

Dr. Kaiser, regarding the question of which Turkish archival documents and manuscripts related to the Armenian Genocide are being discussed, noted that the study of the documents in his hand clearly shows that Turkish and Armenian documents on this issue coincide. He himself is studying the Turkish archives, and Mihran Minasyan is studying the Armenian ones.

“I’m coming from the Turkish side, Minasyan – from the Armenian side. We found that the Turkish and Armenian documents match. There are no contradictions. In the past, Turkey has always maintained that Turkish documents tell a different story. But no. They tell the same story with different accents. If Mihran's material represents the experience of the victim, then mine represents the approach of the criminal. So, if you combine these two perspectives, you get the full picture. So I have half the image, he has the other half. We work together here to create a wholepicture,” Kaiser said.

According to him, these materials are official documents of Talaat Pasha, the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Ottoman Empire, who was the main organizer of the displacement and murder of Armenians, and they are currently located in the Turkish State Archives in Istanbul.

“All documents we receive are catalogued, certified and have an archive number. The authenticity of this material is not in dispute. By comparing documents and working with these archives from an expert point of view, we can show that many important materials are still not open to us, for example, files on Armenian property.

In 1983-1984, the Turkish government published the “book of denial” of Talaat Pasha, in which they [Turkish government] reprinted the files of the Ottoman journals. Forty years later they are still not in the catalogue. We do not have access to log books. They don’t give them to us, which means they are hiding something. But then suddenly they reproduce several pages. If you compare journal entries with documents in the archives, you will see documents in the journal that are not in the archives. Where are these documents?So there are contradictions. This means that our task is not only to work on the documents that we have, but also to try to find out what is missing,” said Hilmar Kaiser.

According to the scientist’s observation, the main institution for the execution of Armenians was the Public Security Department, which was the main officeof the Turkish Minister of Internal Affairs.

“Recently, a certain unqualified Armenian historian attacked the Armenian government when one of the representatives of the Armenian government [Andranik Kocharyan, member of the “Civil Contract” party of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia] suggested trying to identify each victim. The historian said it was impossible. This is not true: whoever said this has never read the archives. He doesn't even know the catalogue. It is obvious that he has never dealt with literature about the Genocide. But the reality is this: when the Armenians were evicted, they were taken out of the village, placed in the square, after which they began to register. This lasted for about two days. Every Armenian family and its members were registered, and the Turks compiled three identical lists of all displaced persons. One copy of the list was kept in the registration book at the place of residence. The second copy was sent to the central office in Istanbul. The third copy was handed over to the gendarmes for deportation. And if someone died, his name was removed from these lists..." Kaiser emphasized.

He also said that only two such lists are currently available. One is in the Jerusalem Patriarchate, and the other was given to him by Turkish friends. He noted that such lists exist, but they are not accessible.

“I can’t say whether all the lists exist, but those who were officially displaced have always been on these lists,” he said.

Hilmar Kaiser emphasized that as a result of the research, it turned out that in Istanbul, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there was a huge map of the Ottoman Empire, on which small flags were placed, with the help of which the Turkish leaders had perfect and complete control over what was happening to the Armenians.

“Every 4-6 months they kept records throughout the empire: how many Armenians remained there, how many were deported, how many reached the desert? They did this for three years, so they knew exactly how many Armenians died. The important thing is that this is not just statistical material. This data was collected to make decisions,” said Hilmar Kaiser.

According to research by Hilmar Kaiser, it is known from Ottoman data that there were about 1,750,000 Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire, but this is a small number. 1,400,000 out of 1,750,000 people were killed in two years.This is 80%, therefore they knew that they killed 80 percent of the Armenians.

He also noted that documents show that a very radical man, Mehmed Reshid, lived in the province of Diyarbakir. He was known as "the butcher" and was responsible for approximately 250,000 murders.

"He wrote to the Turkish Minister of Internal Affairs Talaat, informing him of his desire to kill Armenians. He wrote that he wanted to receive 500 Turkish liras in return, and this amount was sent to him. So we have Rashid's offer, the telegram, and that the 500 lira was sent to him,” the scientist noted, adding that the Turks were afraid to write the name under the telegram, they simply wrote minister, because it was an official document and an order to kill.

“Basically, these are coded telegrams. To understand the meaning of the order coming from Constantinople to Diyarbakir, you need to understand what happened before. You have to connect them together. If you don't connect them, nothing seems to happen. The most innocent document is the bloodiest. So, it is clear that they wanted to kill the Armenians.

During my research I found a document where Talaat says “kill the Armenians and kill them there”, but he uses a different language. I have an order from Talaat, in which he says “kill them there,” and Mihran has research on where the bones and relics of the Armenians are located. So we not only have the order, but also the location of the bodies of those killed,” Kaiser said.

According to him, all these archival documents simply destroy the last line of defense of the Turkish government, which is lying to its population that there was no order for the murder.

Answering the question of what he plans to do with such important archival documents, Hilmar Kaiser said that both the Turkish archives he has been studying and the documents studied by Mihran Minasyan would be published in book form on the 110th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. 

“Everything that we have will be published next year, on the 110th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, there will be a presentation of the book with all the evidence and Talaat’s signature on the killing order,” he said.

Mihran Minasyan also presented details regarding the book to be published in 2025 and the Armenian archival documents that are the basis of it. 

“I would like to note the importance of Armenian sources regarding the Armenian Genocide. Today, both in Armenia and abroad, there are thousands of documents about the Genocide, be it in the form of simple documents, letters, newsletters, telegrams, memorandums, until today they have not been introduced into scientific circulation, they have not been published, not studied. 110 years after the Genocide, we have so much unstudied material in the National Archives of Armenia, and in the archives of the Genocide Museum-Institute, and in the archives of the Museum of Literature and Art after Yeghishe Charents, and in the Matenadaran, and in Armenianforeignand foreign institutions,” Minasyan said and added that in 1915, Armenian intellectuals began to collect documents and materials related to the Genocide. These were historians, these were people who knew the value of historical documents, one of whom was Aram Antonyan, as well as Gevorg Mesrop, Arshak Alpoyachean and others were able to collect and compile a huge amount of materials - memoirs, documents, testimonies.

According to Mihran Minasyan, the Armenian National Union, created in Aleppo in 1918, provided some budget to Aram Antonian, and he began to record the stories of all the people involved in the Genocide.

“Even those who wrote down their memories and did not want to give the original to Aram Antonyan brought them to this office, and he copied them. Today there is one of these copies, which is kept in the Nubar Library in Paris, but the original does not exist, it is probably lost,” Minasyan emphasized, adding that these documentary materials were used during the trial of the former leaders of the Ottoman Empire in 1919.

“In 1928, the Nubarian Matenadaran was created in Paris, and Aram Antonyan became its director and transferred all the collected and distributed materials there. Today, the Aram Antonyan Foundation contains more than 60 works. I selected all the memoirs, all the materials that relate to memoirs related to the camps created today in Syria,” Minasyan concluded, noting that he has been and is working only on Syrian camps for many years and hopes to finish this work next year publish.

AREMNPRESS

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