Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Young Turks

How the Young Turks committed genocide on Armenians

Turkification of the historic city names in Armenian Highland, Anatolia and Cilicia.

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Hratch Kozibeyokian added 2 new photos.

The Committee of Union and Progress took the reins of the Ottoman government through a coup d’état in 1913.

At the height of World War I and during the final years of the Ottoman Empire, when the ethnic cleansing policies of non-Muslim Greek, Armenian, and Assyrians were underway, Minister of War Enver Pasha issued an edict (ferman) on October 6, 1916, declaring: 

“It has been decided that provinces, districts, towns, villages, mountains, and rivers, which are named in languages belonging to non-Muslim nations such as Armenian, Greek or Bulgarian, will be renamed into Turkish. In order to benefit from this suitable moment, this aim should be achieved in due course.”

General Directorate of State Archives of the Republic of Turkey, İstanbul Vilayet Mektupçuluğu, no. 000955, 23 Kânunuevvel 1331 (October 6, 1916) Ordinance of Enver Paşa.

Enver Pasha did not change the geographical names belonging to Muslim minorities (i.e. Arabs and Kurds) due to the Ottoman government’s role as a Caliphate. His decree inspired many Turkish intellectuals to write in support of such measures.

One such intellectual, Hüseyin Avni Alparslan (1877–1921), a Turkish soldier and author of books about Turkish language and culture, was inspired by the efforts of Enver Pasha, writing in his book Trabzon İli Lâz mı? Türk mü? (Is the Trabzon province Laz or Turkish?): 

“If we want to be the owner of our country, then we should turn even the name of the smallest village into Turkish and not leave its Armenian, Greek or Arabic variants.
Only in this way can we paint our country with its colors.” Turkified”–Enver Pasha.

Map prepared by Historian Gevork Nazaryan

Armin Wegner was born in 1886 to an aristocratic Prussian family. He enlisted in the German Army during World War I and served as a medic. Stationed in Baghdad in 1915, Wegner witnessed the death marches of thousands of Armenians who were being deported and slaughtered by the Ottoman Army.

Disobeying direct orders to keep quiet about the massacres because Germany and the Ottoman Empire were allies, Wegner gathered evidence to show the world what was happening. He collected documents and took hundreds of photographs.

Wegner was arrested by the Germans and sent back to Germany. Many of his photographs were confiscated and destroyed, but he managed to save some by hiding the negatives in his belt. Wegner’s photographs remain the best documentation of the Armenian genocide.

After the war, Wegner became a successful journalist and prominent anti-war activist.

In the early 1930’s, Wegner was the only writer to speak out publicly against Hitler’s persecution of the Jews.

He penned an open letter to Adolf Hitler on behalf of the Jews of Germany.

No newspaper would publish it, so he sent the letter directly to Nazi Party headquarters. In the letter, Wegner said that Hitler’s actions against the Jews would destroy Germany.

Soon after sending the letter to Hitler, Wegner was arrested by the Gestapo, tortured, and imprisoned in several concentration camps.

He survived and fled to Rome, never returning to Germany.

In 1967 Wegner was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Israel’s museum of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem. (Armenians need to find “Righteous Among the Syrians” who made it possible for Armenians to survive after welcoming them in Aleppo and Deir al Zour after their horror journey in 1917-18)

A year later, he was invited to Armenia to receive an award for his heroism.

Armin Wegner died in 1978, at the age of 91, and is buried in Rome. The inscription on his tombstone quotes the dying words of Pope Gregory VII in 1085:

“I loved justice and hated iniquity. Therefore I die in exile”

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Armenian Highlands Have Never Been Called “Eastern Anatolia”

The government of Sultan Abdul Hamid II replaced the name “Armenia” by terms like “Kurdistan” and “Anatolia”.

(The Kurds were employed to guard the Armenian  prisoners on their death journey to Syria. The Kurds were rewarded by looting and confiscating Armenian properties)

Since 1880, the use of the name of Armenia in official documents was forbidden. The Sublime Porte thus attempted to convince everyone that there is no such thing as the “Armenian Question” – no Armenia, no issues related to it.

The Kemalists, ideological successors of Young Turks, carried on with the process of the “nationalization”. It gained momentum especially in the republican years.

In 1923, the whole territory of Western Armenia was renamed Eastern Anatolia.

In his “Jihan Numa”, renowned 17th-century Ottoman scholar, historian, and geographer Kâtip Çelebi wrote a chapter named “About the Country Called Armenia”.

However, when the book was republished in 1957, its editor, one H. Selen, renamed the chapter “Eastern Anatolia”. This case is only one of the hundreds of others, clearly demonstrating the Turkish falsifications in regard to Armenians’ indigenous to Western Armenia, not to mention the rest of historical Armenia.

In the 17th century, when the “Armenian Question” hadn’t yet emerged, the term “Eastern Anatolia” did not exist. Additionally, the 16th-century “Islamic World Map”, as well as 18th- and 19th-century Ottoman maps featured Armenia as a distinct territory with its cities.

Article source:…/armenian-highlands-have-never-been-…/


“I committed genocide on Armenians…” Diaries of a Turkish Captain (fiction novel)

The Turkish Captain  Azil Kemal was sent on a mission to Erzerum province (East of Turkey) on April 24, 1915.

The mission stated “Displace the Armenians from the villages of Erzerum, and you may give a larger meaning to the term “Displacement” if necessary...”

Azil Kemal kept a diary that ran for a month, from April 24 to May 25, 1915.

The province of Erzurum had many Armenian villages such as Mamahatoun, Ilije, Khenous, Mouch

In context first:

Catherine II of Russia had started extensive expansion toward the Ottoman provinces in the Caucasus and Turkey had to sign many treaties relinquishing vast territories. The was this trend: The Christians in general, and particularly the Armenians, sided with the invading orthodox Tsarist Russian troops and offered them logistical support and manpower. As the Russians occupied a Turkish town, the Armenians would “take revenge” for one reason or another…

In 1895, the Russian armies invaded Turkey again and when they withdrew, Sultan Abdul Hamid II ordered the extermination of Armenians and blamed them for the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. The campaign of killing lasted a year and no foreign nations complained.

In 1915, Turkey sided with Germany in WWI against France, England and Russia.

The Russian armies vanquished Enver Pasha (the strongman of the triumvirate of Young Turkey) at Sarikamich in January of 1915. Many young Armenians joined the Russian troops.

The Turks had blockaded the city of Van for a month in order to quell uprising in support of the Russian troops.

Enver had met with the German von der Goltz in Istanbul  on April 29, 1914 and planned the total extermination of Armenians.

Captain Azil Kemal wrote in his diary:

“Saturday, April 24, 1915,

The inhabitants of the village of Ilidje received the order “Men from age 16 to 70 are to assemble in the church early morning. The remaining people are to stay at home”

(Males from age 20 to 45 had already been dispatch far away to participate in public work. Mainly, the tacit reason was to gather all weapons from the armed Armenians)

The Kara-Sou river, a tributary of the Euphrates River, crosses Ilidje.

About 300 males gathered in the church. Azil gave order to group the people in lots of 30 and taken to the river.

The lot entered an embarkation and were asked to descend to the hold through a small opening. The lot was squeezed in an iron net and hauled out by a crane and the net was drowned in the fast river, with its human content.

In order to hasten the process, the lot was increased to 35 people.

At 1 pm, the soldiers and guards reclaimed a break for lunch, though we had about 100 to finish off.

We ate pasterma, salep, simit… We drank wine and raki and we smoked…

We returned to the village and we massacred the remaining invalids, women, children and babies.

By 5 pm, the village was emptied and we burned it down…” To be continued

Note 1: Talaat Pasha (the second in the triumvirate of revolutionary group of Young Turks) was minister of the interior and was to organize and execute the genocide plan. After the WWI war, he fled to Berlin in 1919 and was assassinated by Soghomon Tehlirian.

Note 2: Before the massacre of Ilidje, 30,000 Armenians were already killed in the town of Zeitoun in the center of Turkey.

Note 3: Azil Kemal, as most of the Young Turks were atheists, but it was convenient to bring the religious issue in order to “ethnically cleans” Turkey…

Note 4: The French author Jean-Claude Belfiore is from an Armenian mother and a Sicilian father. He published “Hannibal: An unbelievable destiny

Note 5:  The author did his best to fool the reader that the book is a genuine diary from an actual Turkish officer. The cover features an old picture of a Turkish officer, and throughout the book the author made sure to give the impression that the story was extracted from a diary.

The introduction informed us that the diary covered 4 block-notes, 100-page each, and written in Turkish but with Armenian characters! And that Azil was married to the Armenian Anzi and had a one year old son Erol-Hagop (Jack) and that he was an Armenophone.

Note 6: It is infuriating to the reader to notice the great trouble that an author makes to fool the buyer. After the first two chapters, it become obvious that it is a novel written in diary form. It is highly improbable that an officer under so much stress can write about his adventure extensively, clearly, smoothly and with minute details. Let alone very funny dialogues.

A diary is an exercise to relieve the anxieties and frustrations of a person who needs to let a big load off his shoulders. You jot down a few sentences to remind you of the events for later editing.




March 2023

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