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Cleansing of Archives

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  • Cleansing of Archives

    Cleansing of Archives




    Refik Halit Karay Talat Pasha

    Destroying documents is an essential part of government culture. Perhaps, people from my generation can find or unearth some documents on their ancestors and therefore demonstrate that we have people other than the ones who pride themselves for destroying documents.


    TANER AKÇAM

    The article titled "Countless Archives Destroyed" by Ayshe Hur reminded me destruction of Armenian Genocide related documents. Systematic destruction of documents appears to be a significant part of our culture. The Sabah daily, in its November 7, 1918 issue states that documents related to Armenian Genocide, sought after by the government, could not be found, and it furthers claims that Talat Pasha and his entourage, before they left the government, quite possibly destroyed the orders related to Armenian genocide in entirety. The news article reflects the truth. Similarly, on May 1919, during proceedings of the Court Martial Hearings of the Union and Progress Party (CUP), prosecutors declare that documents belonging to both Special Organization and to the Central Committee of the Committee for Union and Progress were stolen. The military prosecutor furthermore informs the hearing that Police Chief of the period, Aziz Bey, testified that Talat Pasha, before his resignation, took several files with him from his office and never returned them (Official Gazette 3540).

    Likewise, several memoirs of the era tell that, before he escaped to overseas, Talat Pasha went to a friend’s seaside estate by Arnavutkoy with a full suitcase of documents and he burned all these documents in a fireplace at the basement of the estate (Enver Pasha by Shevket Sureyya Aydemir. Volume 3, Page 468). Mithad Shukru, K. Talat and Ziya Gokalp, during the main prosecution of CUP leaders at various court sessions (most specifically at second and fifth sessions), testified that Central Committee of CUP documents were taken by Dr. Nazim (Official Gazette 3540, 3543, 3554). It was not only CUP officials who took documents personally, several German Officers also stole documents. Hans F.L. Von Seeckt, who during the war was the Ottoman Chief of Staff, took a significant portion of the Ottoman War Ministry documents with him upon his return to Germany. The chief of Cabinet, Izzet Pasha, protested the situation and demanded the return of the documents. Berlin promised to return of the documents but never fulfiled the promise. (AA Turkei, 158/21. A48179, The embassador’s telegram dated November 11, 1918).

    Read, destroy

    There is a significant point here that the Sabah newspaper could not be aware of it. For some documents, as they were sent to the provinces, concurrent orders were issued to burn or destroy…There happens to be an encrypted telegram left in the Ottoman Archives dated July 22, 1915 sent by the General Directorate of Police and signed by Talat Pasha. The telegram tells how to deal with the converts in the caravans of exiles and further instructs that "after the reading of the related personnel to take the telegram out of post office and destroy" (Court Martial Proceedings, encrypted 54,100). In our possession there are other documents proving that orders were sent to the provinces to burn all the documents they have. For example, in the above mentioned accusation, it is told that the regional governor of Der Zor, Ali Suat was ordered to destroy the telegram after reading it. Similarly, in another court case, at the third session of Yozgat Court Martials, the presiding judge reads the testimony of Provincial Governor Kemal, taken in front of Mazhar Investigative Commission. In his testimony, Kemal says that he had received telegrams to be burned after his read (Ikdam, February 11, 1919)

    On the July 3rd, 1919 session of the court case on the Ottoman Cabinet, former Minister of Telecommunication, Huseyin Hasim, testifies that documents of the War Department were burned. Furthermore, on the 5th session of the court, he admits that orders to burn were sent to Catalca (Official Gazette 3571 and 3573). For this reason alone, a separate court case is opened for the former deputy director of Catalca Post Office Osman Nuri Efendi. The court starts on August 4, 1919. The accusation is burning documents. In his defense statement, the accuser claims to burn documents on orders. He elaborates, " My superiors, within their legitimate authority, ordered me to burn documents from a certain date to another date, therefore I burned them." The outcome of this court case is not clear (See Alemdar Newspaper, August 5 and 6, 1919).

    Memoirs of Refik Halid

    The burning of the documents continued after the war was lost. On Oct. 14, 1918 Izzet Pasha forms a new cabinet, where he also assumes the responsibility of War Ministry. He sends an immediate order to the Special Organization’s Head Administrator to immediately stop all activities and destroy archives (quoted by Bilge Criss based on Husamettin Erturk – Istanbul Under Allied Rule, page 147). Ahmet Esat (Esat Uras by his better known name) declares to the British officials that a meeting had been held on the destruction of Armenians and he has in his possession the handwritten minutes of it, he later tries to sell these minutes. He gets arrested and in his testimony he claims, " Right before the armistice, the government officials went to archives daily every night and destroyed most of the documents." (Foreign Office Reports 371/4172/31307, Heathcotee Smith’s 4.2.1919 dated report).

    Refik Halid Karay, other than being an influential literary figure and newsman, was the general administrator of the Postal and Telegraphic Services during the armistice. He published his memoirs about this era under the name of "Minelbab Ilelmihrab/Memoirs of Armistice Era." While his memoirs were being published in a magazine named "Aydede", Sadik Durakan, who for many years served in the Post Office, wrote him a letter. Karay includes the letter in his book. Following is a short section from this letter: " I wish to tell you an incident I witnessed during the armistice. As you know, after the Mondros Armistice, the Allied forces started to enter our country from various directions and started to occupy the country piece by piece. During the occupation, in order to prevent documentation in the central post offices to fall into enemy hands, Mehmed Emin Bey sent a telegram to all Central Post Offices and asked them to destroy all official documentation, telegrams and their duplicates in totality (R.H Karay, Minelbab Ilelmihrab, pages 271-2).

    Some of these telegrams are captured by the British before they reach regional offices. For example, in June 1919 a telegram from Interior Ministry to the Governor of Antep, which is intercepted by the British, orders all telegrams between 1914 and 1918 to be destroyed. The Foreign Ministry sends an official protestation letter to the British Occupational Forces, but it admits such an order was given (FO371/4174/102 551; files 108-111).

    The destruction of documents was not solely performed by the government officials. Individuals also have the culture of destroying documents remained in their possession. One of the defendants of the 1926 Ankara National Liberation Court , which was assembled to judge the Izmir assassination attempt, Kor (Blind) Ali Ihsan Bey, a member of Istanbul’s CUP General Center, admits burning all the documents in his possession (1926 Ankara National Liberation Court proceedings). People, who burned documents in their possession, did not hesitate to tell their actions in their memoirs during the following years. I would like to cite two examples. An important CUP leader, Ali Munif Bey, was a provincial district head and governor who also served in the CUP cabinet as the Ministry of Public Works. Ali Munif was arrested for his involvement in the Adana massacres and later exiled to Malatya. He says the following for the documents that gave up his guilt: "In reality even though I had destroyed more important documentation, I had left this in one of the pockets of my suitcase. The document that I had forgotten to destroy was being used to incriminate me (Memoirs of Ali Munif Bey by Taha Toros, pages 96-7).
    [COLOR="Lime"][CENTER][B]GIVE US A REASON TO FORGIVE, RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

    [CENTER][I][COLOR="Red"][B]"We must remind the Turkish Government that when they had Sultan Abdul Hamid, we had Andranik Pasha, Serob Aghbyur, and Gevorg Chaush. When they had Taleat pasha, we had Soghomon Tehleryan. New Hrants will be born, and our struggle will go on.” [/B][/COLOR][/I][/CENTER]

    [COLOR="Black"][CENTER][B]"Hrant Dink's murder is tragic proof that the Turkish government - through its campaign of denial, threats and intimidation against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - continues to fuel the same hatred and intolerance that initially led to this crime against humanity more than 90 years ago."[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

  • #2
    continued...

    Administration Culture

    The second name is Ahmet Rifat Calika. Calika’s memoirs, who also served as Attorney general during the National Liberation War, was published by his elder son, Hursit Calika. Hursit Calika mentioned of his father’s most important characteristics, "The single thing that distinguishes him from the intellectuals of the time is such that he took daily notes and later evaluated everything he witnessed. He also made sure that all documents that passed his hands were preserved for the future generations. Unfortunately, he was forced to destroy or burn most of these documents time to time. Reasons for this destruction will be explained in his next book’s introduction." The reasons mentioned are very simple. Rifay Bey too was informed in advance that Istanbul Court Martial is looking for him. In addition, he was placed under special protection by the prosecutor, the judge and the gendarmerie regiment commander who would eventually arrest him. In his memoirs Rifat Bey says the following, "One day, the prosecutor informed me of an encrypted letter received by the City Government. The letter told of a mixed committee being formed in the city of Kayseri, charged with investigations of forced exiles of Armenians. The letter further states that all suspected individuals will be investigated and prosecuted, furthermore, they were going to search the houses. We came home with my classmates, I burned all my memoirs and documents. Whatever I had saved, I was forced to destroy in February of 1934." (Memoirs of Ahmet Rifat Calika, pages 7, 15-6). The search of Kazim Karabekir’s Erenkoy Estate was the reason for his second destruction of documents.

    As you can see, destroying documents is an important part of the Administration Culture. Therefore, having the comfort and security that somebody had destroyed all documents, it becomes much easier to declare "Nothing happened to Armenians, all the documents are registered and are in place." What shall I say, perhaps someone from my generation may find documents from his parents and makes them public so along with people who pride themselves for destroying we can be proud of people who pursue the truth.


    From:Radikal Date: 26 December 2004

    Published in the Turkish daily "Radikal".
    Translated by Avo Gazal

    Link
    [COLOR="Lime"][CENTER][B]GIVE US A REASON TO FORGIVE, RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

    [CENTER][I][COLOR="Red"][B]"We must remind the Turkish Government that when they had Sultan Abdul Hamid, we had Andranik Pasha, Serob Aghbyur, and Gevorg Chaush. When they had Taleat pasha, we had Soghomon Tehleryan. New Hrants will be born, and our struggle will go on.” [/B][/COLOR][/I][/CENTER]

    [COLOR="Black"][CENTER][B]"Hrant Dink's murder is tragic proof that the Turkish government - through its campaign of denial, threats and intimidation against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - continues to fuel the same hatred and intolerance that initially led to this crime against humanity more than 90 years ago."[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

    Comment


    • #3
      Hocus Pocus

      Originally posted by Tongue
      As you can see, destroying documents is an important part of the Administration Culture. Therefore, having the comfort and security that somebody had destroyed all documents, it becomes much easier to declare "Nothing happened to Armenians, all the documents are registered and are in place." What shall I say, perhaps someone from my generation may find documents from his parents and makes them public so along with people who pride themselves for destroying we can be proud of people who pursue the truth.
      Obviously destroying, deleting, or forging documents & archives is a shameful thing. It is an insult to people's memories, experiences, and consciences. However, if you respect your forum, you should not delete postings either, as long as they don't violate the forum rules.

      You hopefully remember very well that I wrote you and warned you about NikosSampson's username, and explained you that it is the name of a Greek-Cypriot terrorist/murderer. You responded that you would ask him to change his nickname. Since then;

      - You deleted my messages including my warning
      - You deleted your own response stating that you would "ask him to change his username when he returns"
      - You did not do anything about Herr NikosSampson even though he 'returned' to the forum

      I don't know what embarrassed you in our message exchanges, or if you were dictated by some hidden infamous 'Administration Culture'.

      Undoubtedly, I must be the bad guy when I tell you that this is inconsistent and hypocritical.

      Maybe I should get my digital camera and take a picture of this posting as evidence! Soon this one may be gone too

      Comment


      • #4
        Matteo you know too well I don't delete posts, so don't try to make it sound like I do.

        The reason your reply as well as my own was deleted is because it was in the “forum rules” thread, which as you can see, is now closed for posting because it gets confusing to have people reply to the forum rules.

        As the matter of fact, I have sent Nikos a private message yesterday asking him to change his user name. Did your 6th sense tell you that I didn’t do anything about it?

        Anything else?

        P.S. Next time, try private messaging me since your post is completely irrelevant to the cleansings of Ottoman archives.
        [COLOR="Lime"][CENTER][B]GIVE US A REASON TO FORGIVE, RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

        [CENTER][I][COLOR="Red"][B]"We must remind the Turkish Government that when they had Sultan Abdul Hamid, we had Andranik Pasha, Serob Aghbyur, and Gevorg Chaush. When they had Taleat pasha, we had Soghomon Tehleryan. New Hrants will be born, and our struggle will go on.” [/B][/COLOR][/I][/CENTER]

        [COLOR="Black"][CENTER][B]"Hrant Dink's murder is tragic proof that the Turkish government - through its campaign of denial, threats and intimidation against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - continues to fuel the same hatred and intolerance that initially led to this crime against humanity more than 90 years ago."[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

        Comment


        • #5
          Consider..

          Tongue,


          First of all, please read the beginning of my message and don't make me quote myself. At the beginning of my message, I expressed my approval of what you posted, and condemned the destruction & cleansing of any archives, including Ottoman ones. Then I moved on to indicate that, even though they are not historically binding documents or articles, the postings on this forum are also part of an online archive.

          Sorry if I caused any confusion by posting replies to forum rules section, but simply closing it for posting would do the job. But you took the superextra precaution of erasing already existing messages (which were only yours and mine) which included my criticism about your biased attitude. So please don't accuse me of manipulation while you engage in some serious one.

          I have to admit that my sixth sense wronged me about your lack of action regarding NikosSampson. However, your previous actions & method of warning/addressing forum members who displeased you were quite different, and not through PM:

          This one is addressed to my humble self:
          Originally posted by Tongue
          hehe... nothing you wrote made any sense, sorry. I'm sure Hovik didn't even read your posts. I'm sure the reason no one bothered to respond to you was because they've given up on you. You're as closed minded as it gets. You've already made up your mind and the funny thing is, you're here trying to prove to us the genocide never happened! So I got two words for you: get lost.
          This one is addressed to Nevermindname, whom you banned:
          Originally posted by Tongue
          First of, don't you dare quote Morganthau against us, I suggest you read his ENTIRE BOOK about the Armenian genocide before quoting his one sentence. And you know what, I'm really sick of your excuses. There was a war, Armenians rebelled, blah blah blah.... as I said, memories don't fade! photos don't fade! documents don't fade! eyewitness accounts don't fade! And guess what? we're not giving up!
          Since you can't resist your urge to publicly warn, threaten, and insult Turkish forum members when they upset you, I thought that you would do the same when nonTurks violate forum rules. I learn now that nonTurks are dealt with confidential PM messages so that their terrorist-admirer hearts are not broken.

          If you find any irony or sarcasm in my message, it is sincerely my fault, because I did not intend any. My once-failed sixth sense tells me that you may detect some truth and goodwill in what I wrote, and consider it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Tongue,


            First of all, please read the beginning of my message and don't make me quote myself. At the beginning of my message, I expressed my approval of what you posted, and condemned the destruction&cleansing of any archives, including Ottoman ones.
            I never said you didn’t, but your purpose for this message was to criticize me for deleting posts from the forum rules thread and not banning Nikos which was completely irrelevant to the cleansings of Ottoman archives thread.

            Sorry if I caused any confusion by posting replies to forum rules section, but simply closing it for posting would do the job. But you took the superextra precaution of already existing messages (which were only yours and mine) which included my criticism about your biased attitude. So please don't accuse me of manipulation while you engage in some serious one.
            We came to an understanding, or that’s what it seemed like, since you didn’t post anything back in that thread for about a week before I closed it.

            I have to admit that my sixth sense wronged me about your lack of action regarding NikosSampson. However, your previous actions & method of warning/addressing forum members who displeased you were as follows:
            I really don’t have to explain to you all the actions I take now do I?

            This one is addressed to my humble self:
            Apparently not too humble, but I’ll pass…
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Tongue
            hehe... nothing you wrote made any sense, sorry. I'm sure Hovik didn't even read your posts. I'm sure the reason no one bothered to respond to you was because they've given up on you. You're as closed minded as it gets. You've already made up your mind and the funny thing is, you're here trying to prove to us the genocide never happened! So I got two words for you: get lost.
            That was in reply to this comment of yours:
            Originally posted by matteo
            ***No one responds to my repetitive posts of genocide denial… blah blah blah… no one responds… and some more "no one responds"***

            And then:

            My suggestion is to ban all of us and then log in yourselves with fake Turkish identities!
            Then you can create your own despicable Turkish character, so you can insult him as you please!
            No one had been banned prior to that, so your comment was out of place. So tell me, since you don’t have anything worthy to offer to our discussions, and your main concern is how I handle my job and how to criticize me, why do you even bother logging in?



            This one is addressed to Nevermindname, whom you banned:
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Tongue
            First of, don't you dare quote Morganthau against us, I suggest you read his ENTIRE BOOK about the Armenian genocide before quoting his one sentence. And you know what, I'm really sick of your excuses. There was a war, Armenians rebelled, blah blah blah.... as I said, memories don't fade! photos don't fade! documents don't fade! eyewitness accounts don't fade! And guess what? we're not giving up!
            The reason nevermindname was banned was for posting genocide denial propaganda AFTER I put up the forum rules asking members not to do so. Nevertheless, he came back with a new username ‘objective’ didn’t he? Is his new user name also banned? No.

            Since you can't resist your urge to publicly warn, threaten, and insult Turkish forum members when they upset you, I thought that you would do the same when nonTurks violate forum rules. I learn now that nonTurks are dealt with confidential PM messages so that their terrorist-admirer hearts are not broken.
            The reason Nikos received a private message instead of being banned on the spot is because he registered with his user name BEFORE I put up the forum rules. Oh and your 6th sense has once again failed you. I have pm-ed Turkish members, such as Kroisos and Anti-Armenian, before I put up the forum rules and asked them to act a certain way.


            If you find any irony or sarcasm in my message, it is sincerely my fault, because I did not intend any.
            Don’t worry, no sarcasm was found in your post.

            My once-failed sixth sense tells me that you may detect some truth and goodwill in what I wrote, and consider it.
            You should stop relying on your 6th sense you know, it fails you every time, and this is no exception.
            [COLOR="Lime"][CENTER][B]GIVE US A REASON TO FORGIVE, RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

            [CENTER][I][COLOR="Red"][B]"We must remind the Turkish Government that when they had Sultan Abdul Hamid, we had Andranik Pasha, Serob Aghbyur, and Gevorg Chaush. When they had Taleat pasha, we had Soghomon Tehleryan. New Hrants will be born, and our struggle will go on.” [/B][/COLOR][/I][/CENTER]

            [COLOR="Black"][CENTER][B]"Hrant Dink's murder is tragic proof that the Turkish government - through its campaign of denial, threats and intimidation against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - continues to fuel the same hatred and intolerance that initially led to this crime against humanity more than 90 years ago."[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

            Comment


            • #7
              HAHA, Never read these before. Wild! Anyway, great article by the "so-called" "terrorist" Taner Ackam. Very important information for anyone trying to understand the denial of the Genocide. It is so blatant and obvious, it makes you wonder how anyone can be SO RETARDED to not see it...

              Thanks for the article Tongue!

              Hovo
              [url]http://www.ArmenianAncestry.com[/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Turanist
                You shouldnt believe medias all the time they not tell truths.
                reference? Turkish Times?

                Turanist - the evidence concerning Turkish guilt in the Armenian Genocide - commiting deeds of great barbarity - massacrs, outrages, brutal treatment of innocents, etc etc - is from a variety of eywitness sources and corroborated testimony...much comes form confessions and accounts in the memoirs of CUP officials - many of whom boast about their role in the killings...so please don't talk to us about not telling truth and of believing in falsehoods....look in the mirror my dim friend...look in that mirror...and in the meantime learn to read and read real history...don't be fooled by the lies (from your side...)
                Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
                Adolf Hitler (22 August 1939)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Turanist
                  if my side is lies then why you believeing the lies of this newspapers.

                  sdgjkhsqedkfgiksqdighoerjhbvogergnoirhgvboernvewrn voewriygvilxnawyefhnse

                  (I call the above a "post in kind" - same general level of content and level of effort as your typical useless post. You have said nothing to respond to and you have clearly refused to read the much documented evidence that supports our position....I am through wasting my time with idiot trash scum such as yourself)
                  Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
                  Adolf Hitler (22 August 1939)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You should ask your mother about that.
                    "All truth passes through three stages:
                    First, it is ridiculed;
                    Second, it is violently opposed; and
                    Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

                    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

                    Comment

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