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Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

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  • Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide




    Pontian genocide: righteous muslims who wouldn't kill

    Dean Kalimniou looks at the the genocide of the Pontian people by the Ottoman Government

    8 Jun 2011

    Dean Kalimniou

    Part 1

    May marks the anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes of human history - the genocide of the Pontian people by the by the Ottoman Government, directed by a group of leaders known as the Young Turks.

    It is well established that in the carnage, in which approximately 350,000 Pontic Greeks, 700,000 Assyrians and 1.5 million Armenians were killed, simply because they happened to be of the 'wrong' race, ordinary Ottoman Muslims participated in the loot and tacitly or actively supported the slaughter.

    Today, an apology or even an acknowledgment of the genocide of the Christian peoples of Anatolia by the Turkish government is not forthcoming, pouring salt into the wounds of the few survivors and their descendants, who, dislocated from their ancestral lands, have had to save their culture piecemeal, as well as deal with inherited traumas induced by the memory of brutality. Modern day Greek historiography of the event, patchy as it is, tends to focus on the enormity of the crime. However, while it cannot be doubted that there was mass participation in the genocide, with eyewitness and contemporary accounts attesting to hapless Christians being harassed and killed by their Muslim neighbours, it has to be remembered that many ordinary Muslims actually helped Christians and many Ottoman administrators refused to follow orders.

    Mass participation does not necessarily signify universal participation. Many Muslim groups and individuals including army officers and high ranking public officials either refused to participate, refused to carry out orders and/or assisted any Christians to escape certain death. Most sources on the genocide readily identify Turks, Kurds, Lazes and Circassians as participants to the massacres of the Christians. To this, the Persians, who attacked Armenians and Assyrians in Salmas and Ourmiah, should be added, as well as the Georgian Muslims who were also privy to mass killing of Armenians and Greeks in Ottoman Empire.

    Taner Akcam's narrative concerning Hadji Halil of Urfa who housed seven people of the same family in his attic to save them from the massacres illustrates the humanity of many Ottoman Muslims. Hadji Halil promised his Armenian friend that he would protect his family in the event of calamity. Hadji Halil kept his promise and housed the family for months. Hadji Halil had to overcome logistical problems including how to buy food for seven extra people without raising suspicion. There exist many other similar stories.

    Many unnamed individuals helped their neighbours to escape. For instance, one Pontian genocide survivor would show interested parties 'scars' he carried from that period of his life. Tattoos on his right arm depicted an Arab knife and the Islamic crescent. There were done by local Muslims to disguise Christians as Muslims in order to save them. There were also such groups as the Mevlevi order in Konya and the people of Dersim, who helped Christians and while many Kurdish tribes carried out the Pontian genocide, others helped Christians by hiding them. For example, in Dersim 20,000 Armenians and Greeks were saved because of Kurdish efforts.

    In Ras-ul-Ain, while some Chechens attacked Christians, other Chechens "saved around 400 to 500" deportees and the Jabbur Arabs sheltered many of these. Professor Selim Deringil in his research mentions situations where Christian children were adopted into Muslim families in order to save them, despite the government issuing an order against this. He has also compiled evidence of functionaries who did not obey orders and who for obvious reasons are overlooked in the official narrative in Turkey. For instance, the governor of Konya, Celal Bey, did not permit the Konya Christians to be deported because he knew what would have happened to them if they were sent to the deserts of Deir Zor. Where possible he also tried to prevent Christians from other places being sent to the deserts. He was removed from his post in October 1915 but he had already saved many lives. He remained unemployed until 1919.

    Other examples include, the Governor of Ankara Hasan Mazhar, who was removed from his post for refusing to deport Christians in the August of 1915, the Mutasarrif of Kutahya Faik Ali Bey, who refused to deport about 2,000 Christians, (later he became permanent undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic) and the mayor of Malatya Mustafa Aga Azizoglu. Malatya was a transit place for those who were deported from the Eastern provinces.

    The mayor did not have authority to prevent deportation but saved people in his house by providing refuge. A true humanitarian, he was tragically killed by his son, a member of Union and Progress, for "looking after infidels". To this list Resit, Vali of Kastamonu in Pontus, who was also dismissed for not complying with the extermination campaign and the Mutassarif of Yozgat, Cemal Bey, should also be added. Last, but not least, Tahsin Bey, Vali of Erzurum should also be remembered as one of the heroes who defied orders, thus saving hundreds of Pontians and Armenians.

    In refusing to follow orders, the governor of Ankara, Hasan Mazhar Bey, had reportedly said "I am a Vali not a bandit. I cannot do this. Another person may come and sit in my chair. They can do it". Accordingly, he was removed from office in the August of 1915. When the tehcir (deportation) orders were issued in Kutahya, Faik Ali Bey refused to implement them; Because of his insubordination, he was summoned to Istanbul.

    The Kutahya Police Chief, taking advantage of Faik Ali Bey's absence, called Christian notables of the city to a meeting in which he asked them to convert to Islam, or else, face deportation. The Kutahya Christians decided to apply for conversion to Islam en masse. When Faik Ali Bey returned from Istanbul, he was enraged. He removed the police chief from his post and asked the Christians to tear apart the collective application for conversion to Islam, saying: "till today Kutahya Turks have never participated in any atrocities against the Christians, and will not participate tomorrow either."

    Link

  • #2
    Re: Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

    Most people would not have any facts to dispute such events.
    I am happy to accept that such events may have happened.

    There is a grave danger that such stories have the purpose of trying to water down the enormity of the crimes committed.
    It is indirectly trying to portray “the other side of the story”.

    It is a well known fact that interests in the US & Turkey have an overt as well a covert strategy to erase and undermine the efforts for justice and history.
    This is driven primarily through “buy-able” agents such as journalist, lobbyist etc..

    There is such a thing as collective responsibility for that nation.
    Those crimes were institutionalised and lasted for decades after the mass murders through economic repression and the rest.
    Many many Turks benefitted from the misfortune of the victims.
    There has not been any restitution.
    Every effort is used to deny the crimes.

    Does it really matter whether 500 were saved by one person to be killed by another zealot.
    Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
    Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
    Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

      As I've said, a few good apples doesn't justify all the bad apples. A rather large majority of Turks/Kurds/Muslims involved were (and still are) Genocidal maniacs - and the people who just stood there and watched their neighbours being massacred are also condemnable. I still don't understand why the world takes a country seriously which has been established based on genocide, lies and propaganda. Turkey is a fake country using their lies to mask their genocidal and barbaric nature.
      Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
      ---
      "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

        Originally posted by londontsi View Post
        Most people would not have any facts to dispute such events.
        I am happy to accept that such events may have happened.

        There is a grave danger that such stories have the purpose of trying to water down the enormity of the crimes committed.
        It is indirectly trying to portray “the other side of the story”.

        It is a well known fact that interests in the US & Turkey have an overt as well a covert strategy to erase and undermine the efforts for justice and history.
        This is driven primarily through “buy-able” agents such as journalist, lobbyist etc..

        There is such a thing as collective responsibility for that nation.
        Those crimes were institutionalised and lasted for decades after the mass murders through economic repression and the rest.
        Many many Turks benefitted from the misfortune of the victims.
        There has not been any restitution.
        Every effort is used to deny the crimes.

        Does it really matter whether 500 were saved by one person to be killed by another zealot.
        A good analogy, yesterday I ate the chicken that the vegetarian declined.
        Sardarabad,1918.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

          I'm sure that there were Germans who, during the Holocaust, did not go kill Je-ws despite the orders. Those acts of heroism are commendable, but does not make Nazi Germany any less responsible for their crimes. It is the same for the Armenian case.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

            Originally posted by Mos View Post
            As I've said, a few good apples doesn't justify all the bad apples. A rather large majority of Turks/Kurds/Muslims involved were (and still are) Genocidal maniacs - and the people who just stood there and watched their neighbours being massacred are also condemnable. I still don't understand why the world takes a country seriously which has been established based on genocide, lies and propaganda. Turkey is a fake country using their lies to mask their genocidal and barbaric nature.
            Yes, I'm thinking like you go to hell turks and kurds!!!
            "maybe it's true there were a few good people, who helped armenians, but this brutal genocide killing about 1,5 000 000 innocent otoman citizen, because they were armenians and chistians, cannot be justified, it should be damn."

            I myself hate all turkish and kurdish people and I am swearing every day to them.
            Everybody who have a armenian soul should damning and swearing to them like me...
            Turks are very proud until now, that they brutal slaughtered at 1915-17 almost 3 000 000 christians in the otoman empire.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

              Originally posted by Davo88 View Post
              I'm sure that there were Germans who, during the Holocaust, did not go kill Je-ws despite the orders. Those acts of heroism are commendable, but does not make Nazi Germany any less responsible for their crimes. It is the same for the Armenian case.
              True but that doesn't make all Germanic people responsible for the actions of the state which was really being led by Imperialists. I have no hate towards Turks, Kurds and Muslims but rather the Imperialists that got away with the crimes and are still benefiting to this day. They are untouchable and always will be. The only way to defeat them is not to fall into their traps which are designed to create rifts between the common folk. Our rise to power comes from peace. War only benefits the Imperialists. Forgive but never forget.
              "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

                Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
                True but that doesn't make all Germanic people responsible for the actions of the state which was really being led by Imperialists.
                Yes it does. (probably you mean all Germans).

                That is why when the German Government pays reparations to Israel it is not only paying for the previous regime but
                also on behalf of its people since anything paid is from the German peoples pocket.

                I would not go as far as to say all Germanic people, those who do not live in Germany.

                No different to people such as Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan or any other Turkic peoples/countries.
                Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

                  Originally posted by londontsi View Post
                  Yes it does. (probably you mean all Germans).

                  That is why when the German Government pays reparations to Israel it is not only paying for the previous regime but
                  also on behalf of its people since anything paid is from the German peoples pocket.

                  I would not go as far as to say all Germanic people, those who do not live in Germany.

                  No different to people such as Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan or any other Turkic peoples/countries.
                  The reparations is a separate issue and makes even more sense with the Armenian Genocide during WW1 then it does with the J3wish Genocide during WW2. Armenians want their lands and the wealth that was stolen from Armenian communities. In the case of Israel, the Zionists created a state within the fallen Ottoman Empire and transferred funds from Nazi Germany to Israel and punished future German citizens in addition. A lot of these funds were held in Swiss banks (the Swiss lands and banks seemed to have been unaffected by WW2 whereas the Ottoman banking system sort of disappeared)
                  "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Turks, Kurds and Muslims who saved the life of the christians during the Genocide

                    Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
                    Forgive but never forget.
                    That is very easy to say, since you ( I am assuming) "have not been a direct victim" of that type of crime.

                    Let me tell you a little about my life.

                    During the "disturbances" in the early sixties in Cyprus we as a family lost everything, I mean everything home, "possessions" the lot.
                    My parents were not at an age where they could recover and rebuild from that loss.
                    As a result we grew up as refugees in appalling conditions, some people describe those (their) years as best years of their lives.
                    We had no help from anybody.
                    We were not the only people in that situation.

                    I know that first hand.
                    Our forefathers endured suffering in multiple magnitude than that and as a notion.

                    In this case Kanadahye you are talking from your arse.
                    It is not your pencil that that they have stolen and you are forgiving them.

                    You have no right to give forgiveness on anybody's behalf.

                    As for you not "forgetting" ...... God save us ......

                    .
                    Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                    Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                    Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests

                    Comment

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