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The Talat Pasha Telegrams


FoR many years a campaign of calumny has been directed against Turkey with the claim that Armenians were ‘massacred’ by the Ottoman Government during the First World War. After the Second World War, the term ‘genocide’ was added to these ‘massacre’ charges, with the intention of bringing to mind the Nazi holocaust of European Jewry, and thereby broadening the appeal and increasing the effectiveness of these charges.

Immediately following the First World War it was claimed that the Ottoman Empire had followed a war-time policy of annihilating its Armenian minority, and that as a result of this policy it had wiped out a large portion of the Ottoman Armenian population. This claim was advanced to ensure that a share of the Ottoman territories, which were in the process of being divided up among the victorious European powers, would be set aside for the Armenians. However, as it was necessary for every claim of this nature to be supported, a hitherto unknown Armenian named Aram Andonian wrote a book in 1920 entitled The Memoirs of Naim Bey: Turkish Official Documents Relating to the Deportations and Massacres of Armenians. According to this book, an ‘Ottoman official’ named Naim Bey gave Andonian copies of ‘official documents’ substantiating the then current charge of Armenian ‘massacres’. Among these ‘documents’ were copies of telegrams attributed to the war-time Minister of the Interior, Talat Pasha. These are the ‘documents’ upon which the charges of Armenian ‘massacres’ or ‘genocide’ have been based for more than sixty years.

Andonian published his work in 1920 in Paris, London, and Boston, and distributed it world-wide in French, English, and Armenian editions. Since then, the ‘documents’ in question have constituted the backbone of Armenian claims. They have appeared in numerous books and countless articles. The fact that until today no one has subjected Andonian’s work to a scholarly investigation, and thereby shown the spuriousness of these alleged ‘documents’, has allowed them to be accepted as genuine in Western Europe and the United States of America.

The compiling of forged historical documents for a variety of different reasons is not a new phenomenon. Even as we were preparing this book, world public opinion was focused upon a series of diaries attributed to Hitler. Although the falsity of these diaries was demonstrated in a short time, more than sixty years after the initial publication of Andonian’s book it is still necessary to disprove as fabrications the ‘documents’ upon which it was based.

In the following work, the ‘documents’ included in Andonian’s book as ‘official Ottoman documents’ will be dealt with one by one, and the falsity of each will be established, based on an in-depth examination of their content and form. For purposes of comparison we have also included a number of authentic contemporary Ottoman documents (several of which are published for the first time) relating to Armenians. These original sources from the Ottoman Archives will help establish the actual sequence of events in the period under question, and thereby serve to invalidate the claims of ‘genocide’. In this approach, we will have revealed a forgery which has long been exploited for political purposes.

?inasi Orel
Süreyya Yuca
Ankara, 1983

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ERAREN - Institute for Armenian Research

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