Armenian Genocide denial
Armenian Genocide denial is the claim that the Ottoman Armenians were not victims of a genocide, orchestrated by the Committee of Union and Progress, during World War I, as documented in a large body of evidence and affirmed by the vast majority of scholars. Denial was an integral part of the killings, carried out under the guise of resettlement. In the aftermath of the genocide, incriminating documents were systematically destroyed.
Denial rests on the assumption that the "relocation" of Armenians was a legitimate state action in response to a real or perceived Armenian uprising. Deniers assert that the CUP intended to resettle Armenians rather than kill them; the death toll is claimed to be exaggerated or attributed to other factors, such as a purported civil war, disease, bad weather, rogue local officials, or bands of Kurds and outlaws. Denial is usually accompanied by "rhetoric of Armenian treachery, aggression, criminality, and territorial ambition", sometimes including the accusation of a genocide perpetrated by Armenians against Turks.
One of the most important reasons for denial is that the genocide enabled the establishment of a Turkish nation-state; recognition would contradict Turkey's founding myths. No Turkish government has acknowledged that a crime was committed against the Armenian people. Since the 1920s, Turkey has worked to prevent official recognition or even any mention of the genocide in foreign countries; these efforts have included millions of dollars in lobbying, the creation of research institutes, as well as intimidation and threats. Denial also affects Turkey's domestic policies, and is taught in Turkish schools; Turkish citizens who acknowledge the genocide have faced prosecution for "insulting Turkishness". The century-long effort by the Turkish state to deny the genocide sets it apart from other cases of genocide in history. Azerbaijan also denies the genocide, and campaigns against its recognition internationally.
According to opinion polls, the majority of Turkish citizens oppose recognition of the genocide. The denial of the genocide has profound consequences both for Armenians and in Turkey, and is hypothesized to contribute to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as well as ongoing violence against Kurds and political opponents in Turkey.
The presence of Armenians in Anatolia is documented since the sixth century BCE, almost a millennium prior to the Turkish presence in the area. In the Ottoman Empire, Armenians and other non-Muslims were effectively treated as second-class citizens under Islamic rule, even after the nineteenth-century Tanzimat reforms intended to equalize their status. By the 1890s, Armenians faced forced conversions and increasing land seizure, which led a handful to join revolutionary parties such as the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). In the mid-1890s, state-sponsored Hamidian massacres killed almost 200,000 Armenians, and in 1909, the authorities failed to prevent the Adana massacre, resulting the death of some 17,000 Armenians. The Ottoman authorities denied any responsibility for these massacres, accusing Western powers of meddling and Armenians of provocation, while presenting Muslims as the main victims and failing to punish the perpetrators. These same tropes of denial would be later employed to deny the Armenian Genocide.
The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) came to power in 1908, and launched another coup in 1913. In the meantime, the Ottoman Empire lost almost all its European territory in the Balkan Wars; the Young Turks blamed Christian treachery for this defeat. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees fled to Anatolia as a result of the wars; many were resettled in the Armenian-populated eastern provinces and harbored resentment against Christians. In August 1914, CUP representatives appeared at an ARF conference, demanding that in the event of war with Russia, the ARF incite Russian Armenians to intervene on the Ottoman side. The ARF declined, instead declaring that Armenians should fight for the countries in which they were citizens. In October 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers.
During its invasion of Russian and Persian territory, Ottoman paramilitaries massacred local Armenians. A small number of Ottoman Armenian soldiers defected to Russia—seized upon by both the Young Turks and later deniers as evidence of Armenian treachery—but the Armenian volunteers in the Russian army were mostly Russian Armenians. Massacres turned into genocide following the catastrophic defeat in the Battle of Sarikamish (January 1915), which was blamed on Armenian treachery. Armenian soldiers and officers were removed from their posts pursuant to a 25 February order. In the minds of the Ottoman leaders, isolated indications of Armenian resistance were taken as evidence as a general insurrection. Historian Ronald Grigor Suny states that deportations of Armenians "rapidly radicalized monstrously into an opportunity to rid Anatolia once and for all of those peoples perceived to be an imminent existential threat to the future of the empire".
On 24 April, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals were arrested in Constantinople. Systematic deportation of Armenians then began, given a cover of legitimacy by the 27 May deportation law. The deportation convoys, consisting mostly of women, children, and the elderly, were guarded by the Special Organization and subject to systematic rape and massacres. Their destination was the Syrian Desert, where those who survived the death marches were left to die of starvation or disease in makeshift camps. Deportation was only carried out in the areas away from active fighting; near the front lines, Armenians were massacred outright. The deportation was ordered by the leaders of the CUP, especially Talat Pasha, who knew that he was sending the Armenians to their deaths.
Historians estimate that 1.5 to 2 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, of which 800,000 to 1.2 million were deported during the genocide. In 1916, a wave of massacres targeted the surviving Armenians in Syria; by the end of the year, only 200,000 were still alive. An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 women and children were integrated into Muslim families through such methods as forced marriage, adoption, and conversion. Property belonging to the Armenians who were deported or murdered was confiscated and redistributed by the state. During the Russian occupation of eastern Anatolia, as many as 60,000 Muslims were massacred by Russian and Armenian forces. Making a false equivalence between these killings and the genocide is a common tactic of denial.
The genocide is extensively documented, in both the Ottoman archives and those collected by foreign diplomats—including neutral countries and the Ottoman allies Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary—as well as eyewitness reports by Armenian survivors and Western missionaries, and the proceedings of the Ottoman Special Military Tribunals. Talat Pasha kept his own statistical record, which revealed a massive discrepancy between the number of Armenians deported in 1915 and those surviving in 1917. Although the evidence dates from the time of the genocide, academic research into the event began during the 1980s. The vast majority of scholars outside of Turkey accept the genocide as a historical fact, and an increasing number of Turkish historians are also acknowledging and studying the genocide.
Genocide denial is the minimization of an event established as genocide, either by denying the facts or denying the intent of the perpetrators. Turkish sociologist Fatma Müge Göçek identifies three subtypes of denial: silence, secrecy, and finally subversion, where the denier produces a text that undermines reality with half-truths. She states that "The most significant characteristic of denial is silencing, namely, the absence of portions of information regarding past and present events." Although often called the last stage of genocide, denial was present from the outset as an integral part of the Armenian Genocide, which was perpetrated under the guise of resettlement. Denial emerged due to the Ottoman desire to maintain American neutrality in the war (until 1917) and German financial and military support.
In May 1915, Russia, Britain, and France sent a diplomatic communiqué to the Sublime Porte condemning the Ottoman "crimes against humanity" and threatening to "hold personally responsible for those crimes all members of the Ottoman government, as well as those of its agents who will be found implicated in similar massacres". The Ottoman government replied,
- Denying that massacres of Armenians had occurred
- Claiming that Armenians colluded with the enemy
- Alleging Armenian massacres of Muslims
- Arguing that national sovereignty justified Ottoman policies towards Armenians
- Making counter-accusations of Allied war crimes
Talat Pasha claimed that reports of systematic extermination were no more than "lies and slander the Armenians had started to contrive and fabricate". In early 1916, the Ottoman government published a two-volume work titled The Armenian Aspirations and Revolutionary Movements, which rejected the charge that the Ottoman government tried to exterminate the Armenian people. At the time, little credence was paid to such statements internationally, but some Muslims who had previously felt ashamed over the crimes against Armenians changed their mind in response to propaganda about Armenian atrocities. The themes of genocide denial that originated during the war were later recycled in later denial of the genocide by Turkey.
Turkish nationalist movement
The Armenian Genocide itself played a key role in the destruction of the Ottoman Empire and the foundation of the Turkish republic. The destruction of the Christian middle class, and redistribution of their properties, enabled the creation of a new Muslim/Turkish bourgeoisie. Continuity between the Ottoman Empire and Republic of Turkey was significant, and the Republican People's Party has been described as the successor of the Committee of Union and Progress that carried out the genocide. Many leading members of the Turkish nationalist movement had been perpetrators of the genocide, or enriched themselves from it, creating an incentive for silence. According to historian Hans-Lukas Kieser, the "denial, trivialization, or relativization of major war crimes played a central role" in the formation of a Turkish nationalist consensus.
Following the genocide, many survivors sought an Armenian state in eastern Anatolia; warfare between Turkish nationalists and Armenians was fierce, with atrocities being committed on both sides. Later political demands and Armenian killings of Muslims have often been cited as retroactive justification for the 1915 genocide. Turkish troops conducted massacres of Armenian survivors in Cilicia and killed around 200,000 Armenians during the Turkish occupation of the Caucasus; thus, historian Rouben Paul Adalian has argued that "Mustafa Kemal completed what Talaat and Enver had started in 1915".
The rump Ottoman state in Istanbul held courts-martial of a handful of perpetrators in 1919 to appease Western powers. Even so, the evidence was sabotaged and many perpetrators encouraged to escape to the interior. Although everyone at the time acknowledged the reality of state-sponsored mass killing, many circles of society considered it necessary and justified. Kemal, the leader of the Turkish nationalist movement, repeatedly accused Armenians of plotting the "extermination" of Muslims in Anatolia. He contrasted the "murderous Armenians" to Turks, portrayed as a completely innocent and "oppressed nation". In 1919, Kemal defended the Ottoman government's policies towards Christians:
Whatever has befallen the non-Muslim elements living in our country, is the result of the policies of separatism they pursued in a savage manner, when they allowed themselves to be made tools of foreign intrigues and abused their privileges. There are probably many reasons and excuses for the undesired events that have taken place in Turkey. And I want definitely to say that these events are on a level far removed from the many forms of oppression which are committed in the states of Europe without any excuse.
Historian Erik-Jan Zürcher argues that "a serious attempt to distance the republic from the genocide could have destabilized the ruling coalition on which the state depended for its stability". Denial was consolidated during the early republican era.
From the founding of the republic, the genocide has been viewed as a necessity and raison d'état. Many of the main perpetrators, including Talat Pasha, were hailed as national heroes of Turkey; many schools, streets, and mosques are still named after them. Those convicted by the postwar tribunal for war crimes and executed, such as Mehmet Kemal and Behramzade Nusret, were proclaimed "national" and "glorious" martyrs. Akçam states that "It’s not easy for a nation to call its founding fathers murderers and thieves". Kieser and other historians argue that "the single most important reason for this inability to accept culpability is the centrality of the Armenian massacres for the formation of the Turkish nation-state". Turkish historian Doğan Gürpınar states that acknowledging the genocide would "be tantamount to casting doubt on the credibility of the foundational axioms of Kemalism and the Turkish nation-state".
One factor in explaining denial is Sèvres Syndrome, a narrative that portrays Turkey as besieged by implacable enemies. Despite the unlikelihood that recognition would lead to any territorial changes, many Turkish officials believe that genocide recognition is part of a plot to partition Turkey or extract other reparations. Acknowledgement of the genocide is perceived as a threat to Turkey's national security, and Turks who do so are seen as traitors.
Destruction and concealment of evidence
By an edict of the Ottoman government, foreigners were banned from taking photographs of Armenian refugees or the corpses that accumulated on the side of the roads on which death marches were carried out. Those who disobeyed were threatened with arrest. Strictly enforced censorship laws prevented Armenian survivors from publishing memoirs in Turkey, or "any publication at odds with the general policies of the state". Laws against "insulting Turkishness" have been used to prosecute those who acknowledge the genocide. These convictions are justified on the basis that freedom of expression "can be limited in accordance with aims such as the protection of national security, of public order, of public security". The Turkish state and most of society has engaged in similar silencing with regard to other ethnic persecutions and human rights violations in the Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey.
Akçam states that "one of the strategies of the successive Turkish governments’ denialist policy was based on the concealment or destruction of original historic documents". After the 1918 armistice, incriminating documents in the Ottoman archives were systematically destroyed. The records of the postwar courts-martial in Istanbul have also disappeared without a trace. Recognizing that some archival documents would support its position, in 1985, the Turkish government announced that the archives relevant to the "Armenian question" would be opened. According to Turkish historian Halil Berktay, a second purge of the archives was conducted by diplomat Nuri Birgi at this time. The archives were officially opened in 1989, but in practice, not all the archives were opened, and access was restricted to scholars sympathetic to the Turkish official narrative.
Talat Pasha had decreed that "everything must be done to abolish even the word 'Armenia' in Turkey". In the postwar Turkish republic, Armenian cultural heritage has been subject to systematic destruction as an attempt to eradicate any traces of the Armenian presence. On 5 January 1916, Enver Pasha ordered all place names of Greek, Armenian, or Bulgarian origin to be changed, a policy which was fully implemented in the later republic, continuing into the 1980s. Mass graves of genocide victims have also been destroyed, although many still exist. After 1923, Armenian girls continued to be kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam.
In Kemal's 1927 speech, which was the foundation of Kemalist historiography, the tactics of silence and outright denial are employed for violence against Armenians. As in his other speeches, he presents Turks as innocent of any wrongdoing and victims of horrific Armenian atrocities. For decades, Turkish historiography ignored the "Armenian question". One of the early exceptions was the genocide perpetrator Esat Uras, who published The Armenians in History and the Armenian Question in 1950. Uras' book, probably written in response to post-World War II Soviet territorial claims, was a novel synthesis of prior arguments deployed by the CUP during the war, and represented the bridge between wartime denial and the "official narrative" on the genocide developed in the 1980s.
In the 1980s, following Armenian efforts for recognition and a wave of assassinations by Armenian militants, Turkey began to present an official narrative of the "Armenian question", which it framed as an issue of contemporary terrorism rather than historical genocide. Retired diplomats were recruited to write denialist works, completed without regard to professional methodology or ethical standards, generally based on cherry-picking from the archives to find information favorable to Turks and unfavorable to Armenians. The Council of Higher Education, set up in 1981 by the Turkish military junta, has been instrumental in cementing "an alternative, 'national' scholarship with its own reference system". Besides academic research, the first university course on the "Armenian question" was taught by Türkkaya Ataöv in 1983. By the twenty-first century, the Turkish Historical Society, which has been described as "the Kemalist official producer of nationalist historical narratives", had as one of its main functions the countering of genocide claims.
Around 1990, Taner Akçam, working in Germany, was the first Turkish historian to acknowledge and study the genocide. During the 1990s, private universities began to be established, enabling state-sponsored views to be challenged. In 2005, the first academic conference to challenge conventional views on the genocide in Turkey was held at Bilgi University, a private university in Istanbul, after having been cancelled due to a campaign of intimidation. The conference represented the first major challenge to Turkey's founding myths in the public sphere and resulted in the creation of an alternative, non-denialist historiography from select intellectuals in Istanbul and Ankara, which operates in parallel to an ongoing denialist historiography. Turkish academics who study the genocide from a non-denialist perspective have been subjected to death threats as well as prosecutions for "insulting Turkishness". The Turkish denialist historiography is ignored by Western scholarship because its methods, especially the selective use of sources, are not considered scholarly.
Turkish schools, regardless of whether they are public or private, are required to teach history based on the textbooks approved by the Ministry of Education. The state uses its monopoly to increase support for the official denialist position, demonizing Armenians and presenting them as enemies. For decades, these textbooks omitted any mention of Armenians as part of Ottoman history. Since the 1980s, textbooks discuss the "events of 1915", but deflect the blame from the Ottoman government to other actors, especially imperialist powers who allegedly manipulated the Armenians to achieve their nefarious goals of undermining the empire, and the Armenians themselves, for allegedly committing treason and presenting a threat to the empire. Some textbooks admit that deportations occur and Armenians died, but present this action as necessary and justified. Most recently, textbooks have accused Armenians of perpetrating genocide against Turkish Muslims. In 2003, students in each grade level were instructed to write essays refuting the genocide.
The genocide was for decades a taboo subject in Turkish society. Göçek states that it is the interaction between state and society that makes denial so persistent. Besides the Turkish state, Turkish intellectuals and civil society have also participated in denial. Turkish fiction that deals with the genocide typically denies it, while claiming that the fictional narrative is based on true events. Noting that many people in eastern Turkey have passed down memories of the genocide, genocide scholar Uğur Ümit Üngör states that "there is a clash between official state memory and popular social memory: the Turkish government is denying a genocide that its own population remembers". Since the 2007 assassination of Hrant Dink, an increasing number of Turks are acknowledging the genocide and challenging denial. Many Kurds, who themselves have suffered political repression in Turkey, have recognized and condemned the genocide.
Most Turks support the state's policies with regard to genocide denial. Some admit that massacres occurred, but blame them on Armenian treachery which resulted in a justified state response. Historian Lerna Ekmekçioğlu emphasizes that "thinking about Armenians as a fifth column continues to dominate Turkish popular national consciousness". According to Halil Karaveli, "the word [genocide] incites strong, emotional reactions among Turks from all walks of society and of every ideological inclination". In 2013, a study sampling Turkish university students in the United States found that 65% agreed with the official view that Armenian deaths occurred as a result of a "inter-communal warfare" and another 10% blamed Armenians for causing violence. A 2014 survey found that only 9% of Turkish citizens though that their government should recognize the genocide. Many believe that such an acknowledgement is imposed by Armenians and foreign powers and would bring no benefit to Turkey. The persistent denial of the genocide is one reason why many people, especially in Western Europe, have a negative view of Turkish people.
The Islamic conservative AK Party came to power in 2002 and took an approach to history that denigrated both the Young Turks and the early Republican era, which initially led to some liberalization and a wider range of views that could be expressed in the public sphere. AK Party presented its approach to the "events of 1915" as an alternative to genocide denial and genocide recognition, by emphasizing shared suffering. However, over time and especially since the 2016 failed coup, the AK government became increasingly authoritarian; political repression and censorship has made it more difficult to approach controversial topics such as the Armenian Genocide. As of 2020[update], genocide denial is supported by all major political parties in Turkey, except the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, as well as many pro- and anti-government media and civil society organizations. Both government and opposition parties have strongly opposed genocide recognition in other countries. No Turkish government has admitted that what happened to the Armenians was a crime, let alone a genocide.
Foreign relations of Turkey
Turkish efforts to project its genocide denial overseas date to the 1920s, or, alternately, to the genocide itself. Turkey's century-long effort to deny the Armenian Genocide sets it apart from other genocides in history. According to Colin Tatz, "No other nation in history has so aggressively sought the suppression of a slice of its history". Genocide denial is a major aspect of Turkey's foreign policy; central to Turkey's ability to deny the genocide and counter recognition is its strategic position in the Middle East.
At the Lausanne Conference of 1922–1923, Turkish representatives repeated the version of Armenian history that had been developed during the war. The resulting Treaty of Lausanne annulled the previous Treaty of Sevrès which had mandated the prosecution of Ottoman war criminals and the restoration of property to Christian survivors. Instead, Lausanne contained a secret annex granting impunity to all perpetrators.
Turkey's response to the Armenian issue was fairly ad-hoc and reactive until the 1980 Turkish military coup, when it developed more institutionalized ways of countering genocide claims. In 1981, the foreign ministry established a dedicated office (İAGM) specifically for the purpose of promoting Turkey's view of the "Armenian question". In 2001, a further centralization created the ASİMKK (Committee to Coordinate the Struggle with the Baseless Genocide Claims). Institute for Armenian Research, a think tank which exclusively focuses on the Armenian issue, was created in 2001 following the French Parliament's recognition of the genocide. ASİMKK disappeared after the 2017 Turkish constitutional referendum.
According to sociologist Levon Chorbajian, Turkey's "modus operandi remains consistent throughout and seeks maximalist positions, offers no compromise though sometimes hints at it, and employs intimidation and threats". Motivated by the antisemitic idea of a global Jewish conspiracy, the Turkish foreign ministry has recruited Turkish Jews to participate in denialist efforts. Turkish Jewish leaders helped defeat resolutions recognizing the Armenian genocide and avoid mention of the genocide in academic conferences and Holocaust museums. Turkish embassies report on any conference that mentions the Armenian Genocide and in most cases Turkish lobbyists obtained concessions, either enclosing the word "genocide" in quotation marks or else including speakers that represent the Turkish state's view. As of 2015[update], Turkey spends millions of dollars worldwide on lobbying against Armenian genocide recognition.
Historians have described the acquiescence of other countries in Turkey's genocide denial as a form of collusion. Israeli historian Yair Auron states, "There is at least one cynical lesson from this: for a 'good' price, a nation can purchase a revision of its own history, even the history of an act as terrible as genocide." Akçam stated in 2020 that Turkey has definitively lost the information war over the Armenian Genocide on both the academic and diplomatic fronts, with its official narrative being treated like ordinary denialism.
From 1915 to 1918, Germany and the Ottoman Empire undertook "joint propaganda efforts of denial". German newspapers repeated the Ottoman government's denial of committing any atrocities and stories of alleged Armenian treachery. Stories about Armenians were censored, although penalties were light. On 11 January 1916, socialist deputy Karl Liebknecht raised the issue of the Armenian Genocide in the Reichstag, receiving the reply that "the Porte has been forced, due to the seditious machinations of our enemies, to transfer the Armenian population of certain areas, and to assign them new places of residence". Liebknecht's follow-up questions were interrupted by laughter. During the 1921 trial of Soghomon Tehlirian for the assassination of Talat Pasha, so much evidence was revealed that denial became untenable. German nationalists instead began to portray what they acknowledged as the intentional extermination of the Armenian people as justified. When the Bundestag voted to recognize the Armenian Genocide in 2016, Turkish media harshly criticized the resolution and eleven deputies of Turkish origin received police protection due to death threats.
Historian Donald Bloxham states that "In a very real sense, 'genocide denial' was accepted and furthered by the US government before the term genocide had even been coined." In interwar Turkey, prominent American diplomats such as Mark L. Bristol and Joseph Grew endorsed the Turkish nationalist view that the Armenian Genocide was a war against the forces of imperialism. In 1922, before receiving the Chester concession, Colby Chester argued that Christians of Anatolia were not massacred; his writing exhibited many of the themes of later genocide denial.
In the 1930s, the Turkish embassy scuttled a planned film adaptation of Franz Werfel's popular novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by the American company MGM, threatening a boycott of American films. Attempts to revive the film in the 1950s and 1960s were also shot down by Turkish embassies with the support of the United States State Department. In 1953, United States diplomat Arthur Richards expressed hope "that the book would never be made into a play or a movie because the Turkish people are particularly sensitive to this period of their history and are trying desperately to cover it up".
Turkey began to use political lobbying around 1975. Şükrü Elekdağ, Turkish ambassador to the United States 1979–1989, aggressively worked to counter the trend of Armenian genocide recognition by courting academics, business interests, and Jewish groups. Multiple people involved in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum reported that Elekdağ told them that the safety of Jews in Turkey was not guaranteed if the museum covered the Armenian Genocide. Under his tenure, the Institute of Turkish Studies was set up, funded by $3 million from Turkey, and the country began to spend $1 million annually on public relations. In 2000, Elekdağ complained that ITS had "lost its function and its effectiveness".
Turkey has also threatened that United States' access to key air bases in Turkey would be cut off if it recognized the genocide. In 2007, a United States Congress resolution for genocide recognition failed due to Turkish pressure. Opponents of the bill stated that a genocide had taken place, but argued against formal recognition to prioritize relations with Turkey. Each year, the president issues a commemorative message on 24 April. Sometimes, Turkey will make concessions in order to prevent the president from using the word "genocide". In 2019, Congress formally recognized the genocide.
In 2001, the United Kingdom initially refused to invite Armenian Genocide survivors to an official commemorative event of the first Holocaust Memorial Day, which included survivors of several genocides, but later relented. In 2005, the Turkish National Assembly demanded an apology for the 1916 publication of The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, a collection of eyewitness reports on the genocide. Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson charged that around 2000, "genocide denial had entrenched itself in the Eastern Department [of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office]... to such an extent that it was briefing ministers with a bare-faced disregard for readily ascertainable facts", such as its own records from the time period. In 2006, in response to a debate initiated by Steven Pound MP, a representative of the FCO claimed that the United Kingdom did not recognize the genocide because "the evidence is not sufficiently unequivocal". Although FCO representatives have not used this argument since 2009, the Turkish government highlights it on its website as if it represents the current position of the British government.
According to historians Rıfat Bali and Marc David Baer, "the single most important factor in successfully concluding the process of normalization between Israel and Turkey" was Armenian Genocide denial.
The 1982 International Conference on Holocaust and Genocide, which took place in Tel Aviv, included six presentations on the Armenian Genocide. Turkey threatened that if the conference was held, it would close its borders to Jewish refugees from Iran and Syria, putting their lives in danger. As a result, the Israeli Foreign Ministry joined the ultimately unsuccessful effort to cancel the conference.
In April 2001, foreign minister Shimon Peres was quoted in a Turkish newspaper as stating, "We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through, but not a genocide." According to Charny and Auron, this statement "entered into the range of actual denial of the Armenian Genocide, comparable to the denial of the Holocaust". However, scholar Eldad Ben Aharon states that Peres simply made explicit what had been Israel's policy since 1948.
Israel–Turkey relations deteriorated in the late 2010s, but Israel's relations with Azerbaijan are close and the Azerbaijan–Israel International Association has lobbied against recognition of the genocide.
Denialism in academia
Until the twenty-first century, Ottoman and Turkish studies marginalized the killings of Armenians, which many portrayed as a wartime measure justified by emergency and avoided discussing in depth. These fields have long enjoyed close institutional links with the Turkish state. Statements by these academics were also cited to further the Turkish denial agenda. Historians who recognized the genocide feared professional retaliation for expressing their views. The methodology of denial has been compared to the tactics of the tobacco industry or global warming denial; funding biased research, creating a smokescreen of doubt, and thereby manufacturing a controversy. According to David B. MacDonald, the minority of scholars who deny the genocide "hardly demonstrate the existence of a genuine academic dispute".
Beginning in the 1980s, the Turkish government has funded research institutes that deny the genocide. On 19 May 1985, The New York Times and The Washington Post ran an advertisement from the Assembly of Turkish American Associations in which 69 academics—most of the professors of Ottoman history working in the United States at the time—called on Congress not to adopt the resolution on the Armenian Genocide. Many of the signatories received research grants funded by the Turkish government, and a majority were not specialists on the late Ottoman Empire. Heath Lowry, director of the Institute of Turkish Studies, helped secure the signatures; for his efforts, Lowry received the Foundation for the Promotion and Recognition of Turkey Prize. Over the next decade, Turkey funded six chairs of Ottoman and Turkish studies to counter recognition of the genocide; Lowry was appointed to one of the chairs. According to historian Keith David Watenpaugh, the resolution had "a terrible and lasting influence on the rising generation of scholars". In 2000, Elekdağ admitted that the statement had become useless because none of the original signatories besides Justin McCarthy would agree to sign another, similar declaration.
More recent academic denialism in the United States has focused on the theme of an alleged Armenian uprising, which is said to justify the persecution of Armenians as a legitimate counterinsurgency. In 2009, the University of Utah opened its "Turkish Studies Project", funded by Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) and led by M. Hakan Yavuz, with Elekdağ on the advisory board. University of Utah Press has published a number of books denying the genocide. The series began with Guenter Lewy's The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey (2006), which had been rejected by eleven publishers and, according to Marc Mamigonian, became "one of the key texts of modern denial". TCA has also provided financial support to several authors including McCarthy, Michael Gunter, Yücel Güçlü, and Edward J. Erickson for writing books that deny the Armenian Genocide. According to Richard G. Hovannisian, of recent deniers in academia, "Almost all are citizens of the Turkish state or have lived and served in the Turkish Republic. The Turkish authors are all past or present officials of the Turkish foreign ministry."
Academic integrity controversies
The ethics of academics' decision to deny the Armenian genocide have been questioned. Beyond that, there have been several controversies about academic integrity relating to denial of the genocide. In 1990, psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton received a letter from Nüzhet Kandemir, Turkish ambassador to the United States, questioning his inclusion of references to the Armenian Genocide in one of his books. The ambassador inadvertently included a draft of a letter from Lowry advising the ambassador on how to prevent mention of the Armenian Genocide in scholarly works. Lowry was later named to the Atatürk chair of Ottoman Studies at Princeton University, which had been endowed with a $750,000 grant from the Republic of Turkey. Lowry's actions were described as "subversion of scholarship" and "further proof of the Institute of Turkish Studies’ and scholars’ collusion with Turkish state interests". Lowry later apologized for writing the letter, saying that he "goofed".
In 2006, Ottomanist historian Donald Quataert—one of the 69 signatories of the 1985 statement to the United States Congress—reviewed a book about the Armenian Genocide, agreeing that "genocide" was the right word to use; the article challenged what Quataert termed "the Ottomanist wall of silence" on the issue. Weeks later, he resigned as chairman of the board of directors of the Institute of Turkish Studies after Turkish officials threatened that if he did not retract his statements, the institute's funding would be withdrawn. Several members of the board resigned and both the Middle East Studies Association and Turkish Studies Association criticized the violation of Quataert's academic freedom.
In a lecture he delivered in June 2011, Akçam stated that he was told by a Turkish foreign ministry official that the Turkish government was offering money to academics in the United States for denial of the genocide, noting the coincidence between what his source said and Gunter's book Armenian History and the Question of Genocide. Hovannisian believes that books denying the genocide are published because of flaws in peer review leading to "a strong linkage among several mutually sympathetic reviewers" without submitting the books to academics who would point out errors.
Examination of claims
Deniers claim that the events of the genocide did not occur or reject that the Ottoman government was responsible. Many denialist works share much of the facts about events with non-denialist histories, but differ in their interpretation and emphases. The official Turkish view is based on the assumption that the Armenian Genocide was a legitimate state action and therefore cannot be challenged on legal or moral grounds. Historian Ronald Grigor Suny summarizes the main denialist argument as "There was no genocide, and the Armenians were to blame for it." At the extreme end of denialist claims is that it is not Turks who committed genocide against Armenians but vice versa, as articulated by the Iğdır Genocide Memorial and Museum.
Denial of the Armenian Genocide is frequently compared to Holocaust denial because of similar tactics of misrepresenting evidence, false equivalence, claiming that atrocities were invented by war propaganda and that powerful lobbies manufacture genocide allegations for their own profit, subsuming one-sided systematic extermination into war deaths, and blaming genocide victims for provoking their own suffering. Both forms of negationism share the goal of rehabilitating the ideologies which brought genocide about.
Denial of facts
One major claims is that there was a "civil war" or generalized Armenian uprising planned by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in collusion with Russia. In reality, there was Armenian resistance—primarily the uprisings in Shabin Karahisar, Musa Dagh, Urfa, and Van—but these were localized, desperate, and mostly unsuccessful attempts at self-defense. The books that make this argument often rely on the arguments published by genocide perpetrator Esat Uras. Neither Ottoman archives nor other sources support the hypothesis of a general Armenian uprising, as admitted by one of the proponents of this theory, Edward Erickson.
According to some deniers the number of Armenians killed was only 300,000 or even less, perhaps no more than 100,000. The numbers of Armenian victims are minimized to absolve the perpetrators by allowing the Armenian Genocide to be normalized as an ordinary outcome of wartime conditions, rather than a systematic extermination. Bloxham sees this as "part of the project of fraudulently minimizing the number of Armenians who had ever lived in the Ottoman empire, thereby undermining Armenian claims for autonomy or independence". Another claim is that certain groups of Armenians were spared, which proponents argue proves that there was no systematic effort to exterminate the Armenian people. Some have falsely claimed that Catholic and Protestant Armenians and the families of Armenian soldiers serving in the Ottoman Army were not deported. The deportation of the Armenians of Smyrna and Constantinople was planned by the Young Turks but only partially carried out due to German pressure.
Veracity of evidence
Because of the systematic destruction of evidence in the Ottoman archives, documents there are unlikely to provide a "smoking gun" to prove the genocide. Deniers then demand a "smoking gun" to prove that the genocide happened, and question the veracity of the evidence that has survived. Armenian survivors and Western diplomats are dismissed as unreliable sources, to the point that "the only source of reliable evidence on the topic is [deemed to be] the Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archive in Istanbul".
Some deniers discount the postwar courts-martial on the grounds that it was imposed by the Allies. However, the courts-martial were actually biased towards the defense, evidence was provided voluntarily and there is no evidence of forgery, and the most plausible explanation for the disappearance of their archives was that the perpetrators were trying to hide their guilt. The Talat Pasha telegrams, originally published in 1919 as part of The Memoirs of Naim Bey, provide concrete evidence that the genocide of Armenians was implemented as a state policy. Şinasi Orel and Süreyya Yuca argued in 1983 that Naim Bey did not exist, and his memoir and the telegrams were forgeries by the Armenian journalist Aram Andonian.
Denial of responsibility
Denialist works portray Armenians in negative terms as a terrorist and secessionist fifth column; shifting the blame from the CUP to the Armenians themselves. According to this logic, the deportations of Armenian civilians was a justified and proportionate response to Armenian treachery, either real or as perceived by the Ottoman authorities. Proponents cite the doctrine of military necessity and attribute collective guilt of all Armenians for the military resistance of some, despite the fact that the law of war criminalizes the deliberate killing of civilians.
Deniers assert that the Ottoman government ordered the "relocation" of Armenians but did not intend for them to die. Deaths are blamed on factors apparently beyond the control of the Ottoman authorities, such as weather, disease, or rogue local officials. The role of the Special Organization is denied and instead massacres are blamed on Kurds, "brigands", and "armed gangs"; in fact, the latter terms are used synonymously in contemporary documents to "member of the Special Organization". Other false claims made along these lines include that the Ottoman rulers took actions to safeguard Armenian lives and property during their deportation, and prosecuted 1,397 people for harming Armenians during the genocide.
Another major argument deployed to counter the Armenian Genocide is exaggerated claims of Ottoman and Turkish benevolence towards Jews. This argument perhaps originated during the genocide, when Talat Pasha asked Henry Morgenthau Sr., the United States ambassador, why he would care about Armenians given that Ottoman Jews were treated well. At an official ceremony to commemorate the Holocaust in 2014, foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu claimed that, in contrast to Christian Europe, "There is no trace of genocide in our history." During a visit to Sudan in 2006, Erdoğan denied that there had been a Darfur genocide because "a Muslim cannot commit genocide".
Some European countries have adopted laws to criminalize denial of the genocide; such laws are controversial, with opponents arguing that they erode freedom of speech. In 1993, French newspapers printed several interviews with Bernard Lewis in which he argued that there was no Armenian Genocide because the Armenians brought their fate upon themselves. Criminal proceedings were brought by a state prosecutor under the Gayssot Law, but failed as the court determined that the law did not apply to events prior to World War II. In a 1995 civil proceeding brought by three Armenian Genocide survivors, a French court censured his remarks under Article 1382 of the Civil Code and fined him one franc, as well as ordering the publication of the judgment at Lewis' cost in Le Monde. The court ruled that while Lewis has the right to his views, their expression harmed a third party and that "it is only by hiding elements which go against his thesis that the defendant was able to state that there was no 'serious proof' of the Armenian Genocide".
In March 2007, Doğu Perinçek, a member of the Talat Pasha Committee, named after the main perpetrator of the genocide, was found guilty of racial discrimination by a Swiss court for denying the Armenian Genocide. Perinçek appealed; in December, the Swiss Federal Court confirmed his sentence. The verdict was overturned by the European Court of Human Rights in Perinçek v. Switzerland on freedom of speech grounds. Since the ECtHR has ruled that member states may criminalize Holocaust denial, the verdict has been widely criticized for creating a double standard between the Holocaust and other genocides, along with failure to acknowledge anti-Armenianism as a motivation for genocide denial. Although the court did not rule on whether the events of 1915 constituted genocide, and several separate opinions recognized the genocide as a historical fact, Perinçek misrepresented the verdict to claim that "We put an end to the genocide lie".
When recognizing the Armenian Genocide in April 2015, Pope Francis added, "concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it". Denial of the genocide has shaped scholarship, for example spurring many authors to focus on countering denial arguments. David Tolbert, president of the International Center for Transitional Justice, emphasized that "The consequences of denial are deep and lasting, not only for the descendants of the Armenians, but also for Turkey itself, in large and small ways. Putting perpetrators of genocide in the Turkish pantheon of national heroes has its price." Vicken Cheterian states that genocide denial "pollutes the political culture of entire societies, where violence and threats become part of a political exercise degrading basic rights and democratic practice". Historian Stefan Ihrig has argued that impunity for the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide, as well as silence or justification from bystanders of the crime, emboldened the perpetrators of the Holocaust.
According to an article in Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, "[d]enial prevents healing of the wounds inflicted by genocide, and constitutes an attack on the collective identity and national cultural continuity of the victimized people". Göçek argues that the lack of closure due to ongoing Turkish denial has left the descendants of Armenian victims in an "awkward, unsatisfactory state of incompletion". The activities of Armenian terrorist groups in the 1970s and 1980s, such as Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia and Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide, was caused partly by the failure of peaceful efforts to elicit Turkish acknowledgement of the genocide. Historian Thomas de Waal argues that "For many individual Armenians, and for Diaspora Armenians collectively, the problem is that the unresolved legacy of the Genocide is a prison, and it is the Turks, and not they themselves, who have the key to release them."
Denial of the genocide has had profound effects on Turkish society. Cheterian argues that "By censoring the Armenian Genocide, its impact, traces and consequences do not simply disappear. It continues in various forms". Kieser states that until the Armenian Genocide is recognized, "the legacy of this crime condemned the political culture of the country to remain unfit for a true, that is, egalitarian, pluralism, the twin brother of truly democratic rule." Cheterian and others have argued that Turkey's campaign against the Kurds and political repression result from genocide denial. Turkey's genocide denial has also been cited as a threat to regional stability and peace; Akçam states: "If a society, if a state, doesn’t acknowledge its wrongdoing in the past, this means there is a potential there, always, that it can do it again."
Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 following the First Nagorno-Karabakh War between Armenia and Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan. The closed border harms both the economy of Armenia and of eastern Turkey. Although Armenia was willing to normalize relations without preconditions, Turkey demanded that the Armenian side abandon all support for the recognition efforts of the Armenian diaspora. There have been two major attempts at Turkish-Armenian reconciliation—the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (2000–2004) and the Zurich Protocols (2009)—both of which failed partly due to the controversy over the Armenian Genocide. In both cases, the mediators did their best to sideline historical disputes, which proved impossible. Armenian diaspora groups opposed both initiatives and especially a historical commission to investigate what they considered established facts. Bloxham recognizes that since "denial has always been accompanied by rhetoric of Armenian treachery, aggression, criminality, and territorial ambition, it actually enunciates an ongoing if latent threat of Turkish 'revenge'".
Since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan, a Turkic country, has adopted Turkey's genocide denial and worked to promote it internationally. Many Armenians saw a connection between the genocide and later anti-Armenian violence such as the 1988 Sumagit pogrom. However, the connection between the Karabakh conflict and the Armenian Genocide is mostly made by Azerbaijani elites. Azerbaijani nationalists accused Armenians of staging the Sumagit pogrom and other anti-Armenian pogroms, similar to the Turkish discourse on the Armenian Genocide. According to Azerbaijan, genocide has been "repeatedly committed against the Azerbaijani people", citing events such as the Treaty of Gulistan (1813), the Treaty of Turkmenchay (1828), Baku Commune, January 1990 deployment of Soviet troops to Baku, and especially the 1992 Khojali massacre. However, Armenians never suffered any mistreatment, let alone a genocide. Azerbaijan sees any country that recognizes the genocide as an enemy and has even threatened sanctions. Cheterian has argued that the "unresolved historic legacy of the 1915 genocide" helped cause the Karabakh conflict and prevent its resolution, while "the ultimate crime itself continues to serve simultaneously as a model and as a threat, as well as a source of existential fear".
- Marchand, Laure; Perrier, Guillaume; Blythe, Debbie (2015). Turkey and the Armenian Ghost: On the Trail of the Genocide. McGill-Queen's Press. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-0-7735-9720-4.
The Iğdır genocide monument is the ultimate caricature of the Turkish government's policy of denying the 1915 genocide by rewriting history and transforming victims into guilty parties.
- Hovannisian 2001, p. 803. "... the unbending attitude of the Ankara government, in 1995 of a multi-volume work of the prime ministry's state archives titled Armenian Atrocities in the Caucasus and Anatolia According to Archival Documents. The purpose of the publication is not only to reiterate all previous denials but also to demonstrate that it was in fact the Turkish people who were the victims of a genocide perpetrated by the Armenians."
- Cheterian 2015, pp. 65–66. "Some of the proponents of this official narrative have even gone so far as to claim that the Armenians were the real aggressors, and that Muslim losses were greater than those of the Armenians."
- Gürpınar 2016, p. 234. "Maintaining that ‘the best defence is a good offence’, the new strategy involved accusing Armenians in response for perpetrating genocide against the Turks. The violence committed by the Armenian committees under the Russian occupation of Eastern Anatolia and massacring of tens of thousands of Muslims (Turks and Kurds) in revenge killings in 1916–17 was extravagantly displayed, magnified and decontextualized."
- Marchand, Laure; Perrier, Guillaume; Blythe, Debbie (2015). Turkey and the Armenian Ghost: On the Trail of the Genocide. McGill-Queen's Press. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-0-7735-9720-4.
- Dadrian 2003, pp. 270–271; Chorbajian 2016, p. 168;
- Ihrig 2016, pp. 10–11. "While some have gone to great lengths to “prove” that similar American reports are not credible, especially the memoirs of American ambassador Henry Morgenthau Sr., and allege that, of course, the Entente countries produced only war propaganda, nothing of the sort can be said about the German sources... After all, they were already afraid of the very negative repercussions these events would have for Germany during and after the war. What reason could they possibly have had to forge such potentially self-incriminating reports, almost on a daily basis, for months?"
- Gürpınar 2016, p. 234. "Contrary to the ‘selected naivety’ of the first part of the ‘Turkish thesis’, here, a ‘deliberate ignorance’ is essential. Armenian ‘counter-evidence’ such as highly comprehensive and also poignant consular reports and dispatches are to be omitted and dismissed as sheer propaganda without responding to the question of why the diplomats falsified the truth."
- Cheterian 2018a, p. 189. "As the deportations and the massacres were taking place, representatives of global powers, diplomats, scholars, and eyewitnesses were also documenting them, and all parties knew that those events were organized by the ruling Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) with the aim to exterminate Ottoman Armenians..."
- Academic consensus:
- Bloxham, Donald (2003). "Determinants of the Armenian Genocide". Looking Backward, Moving Forward. Routledge. pp. 23–50. doi:10.4324/9780203786994-3. ISBN 978-0-203-78699-4.
Despite growing scholarly consensus on the fact of the Armenian Genocide...
- Suny 2009, p. 935. "Overwhelmingly, since 2000, publications by non-Armenian academic historians, political scientists, and sociologists... have seen 1915 as one of the classic cases of ethnic cleansing and genocide. And, even more significantly, they have been joined by a number of scholars in Turkey or of Turkish ancestry..."
- Göçek 2015, p. 1. "The Western scholarly community is almost in full agreement that what happened to the forcefully deported Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 was genocide..."
- Smith 2015, p. 5. "Virtually all American scholars recognize the [Armenian] genocide..."
- Laycock, Jo (2016). "The great catastrophe". Patterns of Prejudice. 50 (3): 311–313. doi:10.1080/0031322X.2016.1195548.
... important developments in the historical research on the genocide over the last fifteen years... have left no room for doubt that the treatment of the Ottoman Armenians constituted genocide according to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.
- Kasbarian, Sossie; Öktem, Kerem (2016). "One hundred years later: the personal, the political and the historical in four new books on the Armenian Genocide". Caucasus Survey. 4 (1): 92–104. doi:10.1080/23761199.2015.1129787.
... the denialist position has been largely discredited in the international academy. Recent scholarship has overwhelmingly validated the Armenian Genocide...
- "Taner Akçam: Türkiye'nin, soykırım konusunda her bakımdan izole olduğunu söyleyebiliriz". CivilNet (in Turkish). 9 July 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
- Bloxham, Donald (2003). "Determinants of the Armenian Genocide". Looking Backward, Moving Forward. Routledge. pp. 23–50. doi:10.4324/9780203786994-3. ISBN 978-0-203-78699-4.
- Bloxham 2005, p. 234.
- Foundational violence:
- Bloxham 2005, p. 111. "The Armenian genocide provided the emblematic and central violence of Ottoman Turkey’s transition into a modernizing nation state. The genocide and accompanying expropriations were intrinsic to the development of the Turkish Republic in the form in which it appeared in 1924."
- Kévorkian 2011, p. 810. "This chapter of the history treated here [the trials] clearly illustrates the incapacity of the great majority to consider these acts punishable crimes; it confronts us with a self-justifying discourse that persists in our own day, a kind of denial of the “original sin,” the act that gave birth to the Turkish nation, regenerated and re-centered in a purified space."
- Göçek 2015, p. 19. "... what makes 1915–17 genocidal both then and since is, I argue, closely connected to its being a foundational violence in the constitution of the Turkish republic... the independence of Turkey emerged in direct opposition to the possible independence of Armenia; such coeval origins eliminated the possibility of acknowledging the past violence that had taken place only a couple years earlier on the one hand, and instead nurtured the tendency to systemically remove traces of Armenian existence on the other."
- Suny 2015, p. 349. "The Armenian Genocide was a central event in the last stages of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the foundational crime that along with the ethnic cleansing and population exchanges of the Anatolian Greeks made possible the formation of an ethnonational Turkish republic."
- Kieser, Hans-Lukas; Oktem, Kerem; Reinkowski, Maurus (2015). "Introduction". World War I and the End of the Ottomans: From the Balkan Wars to the Armenian Genocide. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85772-744-2.
We are of the firm opinion, strengthened by the contributions in this volume, that the single most important reason for this inability to accept culpability is the centrality of the Armenian massacres for the formation of the Turkish nation-state. The deeper collective psychology within which this sentiment rests assumes that any move toward acknowledging culpability will put the very foundations of the Turkish nation-state at risk and will lead to its steady demise.
- Chorbajian 2016, p. 169. "As this applies to the Armenians, their physical extermination, violent assimilation, and erasure from memory represent a significant continuity in the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey. The planning and implementation of the Armenian Genocide as an act of commission (1915–22) and omission (1923–present) constitute the final act of the Ottoman Empire and the start of a process of Turkification that defines the Turkish Republic a century later."
- Distinctiveness of Turkish denial efforts:
- "First, there are the organized attempts to cover up the record of past atrocities. The nearest successful example in the modern era is the 80 years of official denial by successive Turkish governments of the 1915–17 genocide against the Armenians in which some 1.5 million people lost their lives. This denial has been sustained by deliberate propaganda, lying and coverups, forging documents, suppression of archives, and bribing scholars. The West, especially the United States, has colluded..."—Stanley Cohen, 1995, quoted in Dadrian 2003, p. 269
- Avedian 2013, p. 79. "Nonetheless, if there is one aspect which makes the Armenian case to stand out, if not unique, is its denial. The Armenian genocide is by far the case which is systematically and officially denied by a state, namely the Republic of Turkey..."
- Baker 2015, p. 197. "The Armenian Genocide stands out, perhaps, not so much for its scale or particular brutality—though these were certainly sizable—but for the Turkish republic’s long-standing denial of its occurrence, or scale, or the intentions of those behind it."
- Akçam 2018, pp. 2–3. "Turkish denialism in regard to the events of the First World War is perhaps the most successful example of how the well-organized, deliberate, and systematic spreading of falsehoods can play an important role in the field of public debate... If every case of genocide can be understood as possessing its own unique character, then the Armenian case is unique among genocides in the long-standing efforts to deny its historicity, and to thereby hide the truths surrounding it."
- Tatz, Colin (2018). "Why is the Armenian Genocide not as well known?". In Bartrop, Paul R. (ed.). Modern Genocide: Analyzing the Controversies and Issues. ABC-CLIO. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-4408-6468-1.
Uniquely, the entire apparatus of a nation-state has been put to work to amend, ameliorate, deflect, defuse, deny, equivocate, justify, obfuscate, or simply omit the events. No other nation in history has so aggressively sought the suppression of a slice of its history, threatening everything from breaking off diplomatic or trade relations, to closure of air bases, to removal of entries on the subject in international encyclopedias.
- Suny, Ronald Grigor (1993). Looking Toward Ararat: Armenia in Modern History. Indiana University Press. pp. 3, 30. ISBN 978-0-253-20773-9.
- Suny 2015, p. xiv.
- Suny 2015, pp. 26–27, 43–44.
- Suny 2015, p. 105.
- Kévorkian 2011, pp. 11, 71.
- Suny 2015, pp. 170–171.
- Göçek 2015, pp. 204, 206.
- Suny 2015, pp. 127–129, 133, 170–171.
- Göçek 2015, pp. 62, 150.
- Maksudyan, Nazan (2019). ""This Is a Man's World?": On Fathers and Architects". Journal of Genocide Research. 21 (4): 540–544 . doi:10.1080/14623528.2019.1613816.
Turkish nationalists were following the pattern that was firmly established after the Hamidian massacres, though new research might take the chronology of unpunished crimes and denial further back to the first half of the nineteenth century. In each and every case of violence against the non-Muslims, the first reaction of the state – even though the regime changed, along with the involved actors – was denial.
- Göçek 2015, pp. 246–247.
- Suny 2015, pp. 154–155.
- Suny 2015, p. 189.
- Suny 2015, pp. 184–185.
- Kévorkian 2011, p. 137.
- Suny 2015, p. 185.
- Suny 2015, pp. 223–224.
- Suny 2015, p. 218.
- Suny 2015, pp. 243–244.
- Dadrian 2003, p. 277.
- Kaligian 2014, p. 217.
- Suny 2015, p. 236.
- Suny 2015, pp. 244–245. "Any incident of Armenian resistance, any discovery of a cache of arms, was transformed into a vision of a coordinated widespread Armenian insurrection... What evolved rapidly into genocide began as sporadic massacres that following a colossal defeat resulted in political panic, despair, and a thirst for vengeance."
- de Waal 2015, pp. 43–44.
- Smith et al. 1995, pp. 2–3.
- Dadrian 2003, p. 274.
- Kaiser, Hilmar (2010). "Genocide at the Twilight of the Ottoman Empire". In Bloxham, Donald; Moses, A. Dirk (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies. Oxford University Press. p. 383. ISBN 978-0-19-923211-6.
The Armenian deportations were not the result of an Armenian rebellion. On the contrary, Armenians were deported when no danger of outside interference existed. Thus Armenians near front lines were often slaughtered on the spot and not deported. The deportations were not a security measure against rebellions but depended on their absence.
- Suny 2009, p. 945. "A newly minted doctor of history, Fuat Dündar, showed with his careful reading of Ottoman archival documents how the deportations had been organized and carried out by the Turkish authorities, and—most shocking of all—that Minister of the Interior Talat, the chief initiator, had been aware that sending people to the Syrian desert outpost of Der Zor meant certain death."
Dadrian 2003, p. 275. "As diplomat after diplomat from allied Germany and Austria (as well as American Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau) repeatedly averred, by dispatching the victim population to these deserts the Turks were dispatching them to death and ruination. Even the Chief of Staff of the Ottoman Fourth Army in control of these areas in his memoirs debunked and ridiculed the pretense of “relocation.”"
- Morris, Benny; Ze’evi, Dror (2019). The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey's Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894–1924. Harvard University Press. p. 486. ISBN 978-0-674-91645-6.
- Ekmekçioğlu 2016, p. 4.
- Akçam 2012, pp. 289–290, 331.
- Dixon 2010b, pp. 105–106.
- Akçam 2012, p. 341. "On the basis of existing Interior Ministry Papers from the period, it can confidently be asserted that the goal of the CUP was not the resettlement of Anatolia’s Armenian population and their just compensation for the property and possessions that they were forced to leave behind. Rather, the confiscation and subsequent use of Armenian property clearly demonstrated that Unionist government policy was intended to completely deprive the Armenians of all possibility of continued existence."
- Göçek 2015, p. 250. "This false equation of the Armenian violence with the Turkish one whitewashed the disparity between two sufferings, conveniently overlooking two factors. The two sufferings were much different in scale; the violence the Muslims suffered in the east led to the deaths of at most 60,000 Muslims, yet the collective violence the CUP perpetrated led to the deaths of at least 800,000 Armenians."
- de Waal 2015, pp. 51–52.
- Cheterian 2018a, pp. 189–190.
- Cheterian 2018a, pp. 188, 191.
- Definitions of denial:
- Hovannisian 2015, p. 244. "This essay follows the general usage of the term denial to mean assertions that an event understood as genocide (typically founded on extensive analysis of evidence by reputable experts) is in fact not genocide, whether by representing the events as something else or claiming that the core events in question did not occur at all."
- Smith 2015, p. 6. "In many ways, the Turkish arguments have remained the same: denial of the facts, of responsibility, of the significance of what took place, and that the term genocide applies... the goal of denial is to create a new reality (denial as construction) with both “sides” engaged in an unending debate in which a consensus will never arrive and for which there will be a need for unending research to establish the facts."
- Göçek 2015, p. 13. "The denial ultimately includes and excludes certain elements to create a semblance of the truth; indeed, this quality of “half-truth” makes denial rigorous. The half-truth highlights the elements that favor the interests of the perpetrators while silencing, dismissing, or subverting those factors that undermine perpetrator interests by revealing clues leading to the inherent collective violence."
- Ihrig 2016, p. 12. "Denialism here denotes an approach that rejects the charge of genocide (against the Young Turks), mostly by denying intent and minimizing the extent of the atrocities."
- Göçek 2015, pp. 8–9.
- Göçek 2015, p. 12.
- Göçek 2015, p. 63. "... even though their intent all along had been destruction, [the Young Turks] presented it to the public as Armenian “migration” to safe places. This constituted the most egregious Young Turk denial."
Hovannisian 2015, p. 229. "It may be inaccurate to say that denial is the last phase of genocide, as has been posited by Israel Charny and others, including this writer himself, for denial has been present from the very outset, even as the process was initiated and carried forward toward the desired end."
Akçam 2018, p. 3. "... the denial of the Armenian Genocide began not in the wake of the massacres but was an intrinsic part of the plan itself. The deporting of the Armenians from their homeland to the Syrian deserts and their elimination, both on the route and at their final destinations, were performed under the guise of a decision to resettle them."
Cheterian 2018a, p. 195. "Ottoman Turks exterminated their victims in secret. They pretended to displace them from warzones for their own safety, and great care was taken to communicate orders of massacres in secretive, coded messages. Oblivion begins there, an intrinsic part of the crime itself."
Bloxham 2005, p. 111; Avedian 2013, p. 79.
- Mamigonian 2015, pp. 61–62. "Denial of the Armenian Genocide began concurrently with and was a part of the Committee of Union and Progress’s (CUP) execution of it. As the Ottoman Armenian population was massacred and deported, the Ottoman leadership constructed a narrative that, subjected to occasional revisions and refinements, remains in place today..."
- Akçam 2018, p. 3.
- Dundar, Fuat (2010). Crime of Numbers: The Role of Statistics in the Armenian Question (1878-1918). Routledge. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-351-52503-9.
- Chorbajian 2016, p. 170.
- Chorbajian 2016, p. 171.
- Chorbajian 2016, pp. 171–172.
- Göçek 2015, p. 248.
- Varnava, Andrekos (2016). "Book Review: Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present and Collective Violence against the Armenians, 1789-2009". Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal. 10 (1): 121–123. doi:10.5038/1911-99184.108.40.2063. ISSN 1911-0359.
... the first official publications denying any attempt to exterminate the Armenians, two volumes, titled The Armenian Aspirations and Revolutionary Movements, and published by the Ottoman Ministry of the Interior at the start of 1916. A close analysis of this publication (the language and images) is pivotal to understanding that denial is part of the processes of genocide—denial does not merely manifest itself afterwards...
- Hovannisian 2015, p. 229.
- Göçek 2015, pp. 248–249.
- Kévorkian 2011, p. 810. "Another aspect of the Young Turk plan seems to me to have been brought out clearly here—the systematic seizure of the individual and collective property of the Ottoman Armenians, which went hand-in-hand with the attempt to form a Turkish middle class of businessmen."
- Akçam 2012, pp. 361–362.
- Üngör, Uğur Ümit (2008). "Geographies of Nationalism and Violence: Rethinking Young Turk 'Social Engineering'". European Journal of Turkish Studies. Social Sciences on Contemporary Turkey (7). doi:10.4000/ejts.2583. ISSN 1773-0546.
- Zürcher 2011, p. 308. "In ideological terms there is thus a great deal of continuity between the periods of 1912–1918 and 1918–1923. This should come as no surprise... the cadres of the national resistance movement almost without exception consisted of former Unionists, who had been shaped by their shared experience of the previous decade."
- Avedian 2012, p. 806. "The research done by scholars such as Zürcher and Akçam indicates that the Nationalist movement can be traced back to the early period of World War I. The research shows that Unionists not only dominated the Nationalist movement, but were its initiators. The movement was rather a contingency plan, designed by the CUP in the event of defeat in the war..."
Dixon 2010a, p. 468. "Many contemporary scholars emphasise that this official narrative [on the Armenian Genocide] is largely shaped by continuities and constraints inherited from the founding of the Republic. In particular, they highlight the striking continuities among political elites from the Young Turk through the Republican periods, the concentrated interests of a small group of business and political elites whose wealth can be traced back to confiscated Armenian assets, and the homogenising and Turkifying nature of Turkish national identity."
Cheterian 2015, p. 155; Baer 2020, p. 83.
- Kieser 2018, pp. 385–386.
- Ekmekçioğlu 2016, p. 7. "Even though the putative mass Armenian “betrayal” happened after the Young Turks acted on their plan to eradicate Armenianness, Turkish nationalist narratives have used Armenians’ “collaboration with the enemy” and secessionist agenda during the postwar occupation years as a justification for the 1915 “deportations”... thinking about Armenians as a fifth column continues to dominate Turkish popular national consciousness."
- Ulgen 2010, pp. 376–377.
- Adalian, Rouben Paul (1999). "Ataturk, Mustafa Kemal". In Charny, Israel W. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Genocide: A-H. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-87436-928-1.
- Avedian 2012, p. 818. "Unlike the World War I massacres, the new killings did not stop at Turkish borders and soon reached even beyond, engulfing the Armenians in Caucasus and the Republic of Armenia. Approximately 200,000 Armenians were killed during the Turkish occupation of Caucasus... The ‘War of Independence’ was not against the occupying Allies – a myth invented by Kemalists – but rather a campaign to rid Turkey of remaining non-Turkish elements."
- Göçek 2015, p. 16. "Interestingly, the most important indication that the intent was genocidal is the subsequent republican treatment of non-Muslim minorities in general and Armenians in particular: republican administrations kept practicing the same violence with the same intent, reducing the non-Muslim population to its current level of 0.02 percent of the total population."
- Kévorkian 2011, pp. 810–811.
- Göçek 2011, pp. 45–46. "First, none of these works, originally penned around the time of the events of 1915, question the occurrence of the Armenian “massacres” (“genocide” did not yet exist as a term)... The later ones, increasingly imbued with protonationalist sentiments, view the committed crimes as a duty necessary for the establishment and preservation of a Turkish fatherland."
- Ulgen 2010, pp. 378–380.
- Ulgen 2010, p. 371.
- Baer 2020, p. 79.
- Zürcher 2011, p. 312. "All the classic elements in the defense of violent aggression are here: they asked for it, it was not really so bad and anyway, others have done the same and worse."
- Zürcher 2011, p. 316. "Many of the people in central positions of power (Şükrü Kaya, Kazım Özalp, Abdülhalik Renda, Kılıç Ali) had been personally involved in the massacres, but besides that, the ruling elite as a whole depended on a coalition with provincial notables, landlords, and tribal chiefs, who had profited immensely from the departure of the Armenians and the Greeks. It was what Fatma Müge Göçek has called an unspoken “devil’s bargain.” A serious attempt to distance the republic from the genocide could have destabilized the ruling coalition on which the state depended for its stability."
- Bloxham 2005, p. 111.
- Mamigonian 2015, p. 62.
- Kieser 2018, p. 419.
- Aybak 2016, p. 14.
- Akçam 2012, p. xi.
- Hofmann, Tessa (2016). "Open Wounds: Armenians, Turks, and a Century of Genocide by Vicken Cheterian". Histoire sociale/Social history. 49 (100): 662–664. doi:10.1353/his.2016.0046.
The foundation of the Turkish republic and the CUP’s genocide perpetrators are to this day commemorated with pride. Mosques, schools and kindergartens, boulevards and public squares in Turkey continue to bear the name of high ranking perpetrators.
- Kieser 2018, p. xii. "[Talat Pasha's] legacy is present in powerful patterns of government and political thought, as well as in the name of many streets, schools, and mosques dedicated to him in and outside Turkey... In the eyes of his admirers in Turkey today, and throughout the twentieth century, he was a great statesman, skillful revolutionary, and farsighted founding father..."
- Avedian 2012, p. 816. "Talaat and Cemal, both sentenced to the death in absentia for their key involvement in the Armenian massacres and war crimes, were given posthumous state burials in Turkey, and were elevated to the rank of national heroes."
- Kévorkian 2011, p. 811.
- Arango, Tim (16 April 2015). "A Century After Armenian Genocide, Turkey's Denial Only Deepens". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
- Gürpınar 2013, p. 420. "...the official narrative on the Armenian massacres constituted one of the principal pillars of the regime of truth of the Turkish state. Culpability for these massacres would incur enormous moral liability; tarnish the self-styled claim to national innocence, benevolence and self-reputation of the Turkish state and the Turkish people; and blemish the course of Turkish history. Apparently, this would also be tantamount to casting doubt on the credibility of the foundational axioms of Kemalism and the Turkish nation-state."
- Bilali 2013, p. 29.
- Dixon 2010b, p. 106.
- Dixon 2010b, p. 107.
- Akçam 2012, p. xii.
- Avedian 2012, p. 799.
- Akçam 2012, p. xi. "'National security' not only explained and justified the traumatic events of the past but would also support the construction of genocide denial in the future. Thereafter, an open and frank discussion of history would be perceived as a subversive act aimed at partitioning the state. Well into the new millennium, Turkish citizens who demanded an honest historical accounting were still being treated as national security risks, branded as traitors to the homeland or dupes of hostile foreign powers, and targeted with threats."
- Akçam 2018, p. 157.
- Demirdjian 2018, p. 13. "Post-war Turkish legislation, such as the 1931 Press Law, forbade the publication of memoirs of Armenian survivors."
- Zürcher 2011, p. 316. "In 1936 Kemalist Turkey had one of the most draconian press laws in existence, which even prohibited “any publication at odds with the general policies of the state.” Censorship was strictly enforced..."
- Galip 2020, p. 95.
- Erbal 2015, p. 785.
- Akçam 2018, p. 22.
- de Waal 2015, p. 54.
- Akçam 2012, p. 6.
- Akçam 2018, p. 8.
- Dixon 2010a, p. 473.
- Cheterian 2018a, p. 205.
- Auron 2003, p. 259.
- Dixon 2010a, pp. 473–474.
- Chorbajian 2016, p. 173.
- Cheterian 2015, p. 65.
- Akçam 2012, pp. 54–55; Cheterian 2015, pp. 64–65; Chorbajian 2016, p. 174; MacDonald 2008, p. 121.
- Üngör 2014, pp. 165–166.
- Suciyan, Talin (2015). The Armenians in Modern Turkey: Post-Genocide Society, Politics and History. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 62–63. ISBN 978-0-85772-773-2.
- Baer 2020, p. 82. "The main themes of the speech—and of the official discourse on the Armenian genocide—are silence, denial of the genocide, general amnesia about past violence (unless presenting Turks as the real victims), identifying with the perpetrators, never questioning the great prophetic and infallible leader (Atatürk), and promoting the racial purification of the land in the face of a life-or-death Darwinian struggle with minorities."
- Göçek 2011, pp. 43–44.
- Ulgen 2010, pp. 384–386, 390.
- Mamigonian 2015, p. 63.
- Gürpınar 2016, pp. 219–220.
- Baer 2020, pp. 116–117. "As a result, beginning in 1980, 'denial was institutionalized and professionalized: a special agency . . . was founded within the Foreign Ministry to coordinate all issues' related to the Armenian genocide. The main strategy was to 'frame the "Armenian question" as a problem of contemporary terrorism rather than an outcome of Turkey’s genocidal past.' It was mainly retired Turkish diplomats who went into action, without any professional historical training or concern for professional standards, let alone an understanding of the ethics regarding the reading, use, and citation of historical documents."
- Göçek 2011, p. 44. "... the Turkish state had to resort to commissioning a number of retired diplomats to renarrate what had happened in the past in accordance with the dominant official Turkish historiography. These mostly amateur historians selectively picked the documentation that bolstered their narrative from the Ottoman state archives. They only employed the material that valorized the Turks and damned the Armenians, leaving aside what did not support their argument. This emerging official Turkish historiography on the “alleged” Armenian Genocide was based on the selective use of past documentation that in turn drew and built on preceding layers of denial."
- Bayraktar 2015, p. 802
- Gürpınar 2013, pp. 423.
- Galip 2020, p. 153.
- Gürpınar 2013, pp. 421.
- de Waal 2015, p. 182; Suny 2009, p. 938; Cheterian 2015, pp. 140–141; Gürpınar 2013, p. 419.
- Göçek 2015, p. 468.
- Suny 2009, p. 942; Bayraktar 2015, pp. 804–805; Bayraktar 2016, p. 206; Gürpınar 2013, pp. 419–420.
- Gürpınar 2013, pp. 419–420.
- Gürpınar 2013, pp. 420, 422, 424.
- Erbal 2015, pp. 786–787.
- de Waal 2015, p. 182.
- Freely, Maureen (23 October 2005). "'I stand by my words. And even more, I stand by my right to say them...'". the Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
- Göçek 2015, p. 2. "Because of this partial use of sources, the Western scholarly community finds the ensuing Turkish official discourse unscientific, propagandistic, and rhetorical and therefore does not address or engage it."
- Erbal 2015, p. 786.
- Ekmekçioğlu 2016, p. xii.
- Göçek 2015, pp. 63–64.
- Dixon 2010b, p. 105.
- Aybak 2016, p. 13. "This officially distributed educational material reconstructs the history in line with the denial policies of the government portraying the Armenians as backstabbers and betrayers, who are portrayed as a threat to the sovereignty and identity of modern Turkey. The demonization of the Armenians in Turkish education is a prevailing occurrence that is underwritten by the government to reinforce the denial discourse."
- Galip 2020, p. 186. "Additionally, for instance, the racism and language of hatred in officially approved school textbooks is very intense. These books still show Armenians as the enemies, so it would be necessary for these books to be amended..."
- Cheterian 2015, p. 64.
- Gürpınar 2016, p. 234.
- Dixon 2010b, p. 104.
- Bilali 2013, pp. 19–20.
- Dixon 2010b, p. 115.
- Bilali 2013, p. 19.
- Göçek 2015, pp. 4, 10.
- Erbal 2012, p. 52. "Turkish civil society and the academic and intellectual establishment within that civil society have also been either actively in denial or in some cases in service of a denialist state agenda or standing passively silent – another form of denial – for over 90 years."
- Galip, Özlem Belçim (2019). "The Armenian genocide and Armenian identity in modern Turkish novels". Turkish Studies. 20 (1): 92–119 . doi:10.1080/14683849.2018.1439383.
- Üngör 2014, p. 147.
- Galip 2020, p. 103.
- Galip 2016, pp. 463–464.
- Cheterian 2015, pp. 273–275.
- Galip 2020, pp. 162–163.
- Demirel & Eriksson 2020, p. 9. "Turkish people['s]... narratives were based on the idea that Armenians were the perpetrators and that the Turks were the 'real' victims... the dominant Turkish response is a rejection of genocide allegations. The massacres, when admitted, are justified by the Turkish narrative of an alleged Armenian betrayal and the slaughter of Turks by Armenians. Losses during the exile are excused via a narrative of disease, and the attacks of rogue gangs."
- Göçek 2015, p. 1.
- Karaveli, Halil (2018). Why Turkey is Authoritarian: From Atatürk to Erdoğan. Pluto Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-7453-3756-2.
- Bilali 2013, pp. 25, 28.
- Demirel & Eriksson 2020, p. 11.
- "Only 9 percent of Turks say Armenian killings genocide: poll". The Daily Star. AFP. 13 January 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
- Göçek 2015, p. 477.
- Göçek 2015, p. 32. "I can personally attest that Turkish identity also draws a similar stigma especially in Western Europe due to the denial of genocide on the one hand and the unfavorable location of Turkish migrant workers within societies on the other."
- Galip 2020, p. 60.
- Cheterian 2018a, pp. 203–204.
- Gürpınar 2013, pp. 425–426. "Official state policy remains stringently denialist even though slight twists such as the incorporation/introduction of some rhetorical innovations and the development of a new, more relaxed language that emphasizes the sufferings of ‘both sides’ have been introduced, thereby trivializing Armenian suffering."
- Palabiyik, Mustafa Serdar (2018). "Politicization of recent Turkish history: (ab)use of history as a political discourse in Turkey". Turkish Studies. 19 (2): 240–263 [254–255]. doi:10.1080/14683849.2017.1408414.
... unlike the CHP, some AKP sympathizers blamed the Unionist mentality for what had happened in 1915 to the Ottoman Armenians by labeling it as an inhumane incident or a crime against humanity; but similar to the CHP, they were hesitant to recognize ‘this relocation’ as genocide. This was presented as the third way between genocide denialism and genocide recognition. Davutoğlu labeled it as ‘the common grief approach’ that focused on the cumulative sufferings of the Ottoman peoples during World War I...
- Galip 2020, pp. 60–61, 84.
- Galip 2020, pp. 87, 163.
- Mouradian, Khatchig (2019). "Mouradian on Dixon, 'Dark Pasts: Changing the State's Story in Turkey and Japan'". H-Net. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
- Akçam 2008, p. 121. "...the Turkish state... posits that the situation under review here does not warrant the use of the term ‘‘crime’’; even though there were some deaths, a state has the right to resort to such an operation."
- Bayraktar, Seyhan (2018). "Vicken Cheterian , Open Wounds: Armenians, Turks and a Century of Genocide (Oxford University Press, 2015). Pp. 393. $29.95 cloth. ISBN: 9780190263508". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 50 (1): 157–159. doi:10.1017/S0020743817001118.
Turkey, as the legal successor of the perpetrator regime, has engaged in rigorous denial politics ever since its foundation in 1923.
- Bloxham 2005, p. ix.
- Chorbajian 2016, p. 174.
- Bloxham 2005, p. 208.
- Ihrig 2016, pp. 163–164.
- Galip 2020, p. 51.
- Smith 2015, p. 6.
- Chorbajian 2016, p. 172.
- Avedian 2012, pp. 812–813.
- Scharf, Michael (1996). "The Letter of the Law: The Scope of the International Legal Obligation to Prosecute Human Rights Crimes". Law and Contemporary Problems. 59 (4): 41–61. doi:10.2307/1192189. ISSN 0023-9186. JSTOR 1192189.
Initially, the Allied Powers sought the prosecution of those responsible for the massacres. The Treaty of Sevres, which was signed on August 10, 1920, would have required the Turkish Government to hand over those responsible to the Allied Powers for trial... The Treaty of Sevres was, however, not ratified and did not come into force. It was replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne, which not only did not contain provisions respecting the punishment of war crimes, but was accompanied by a 'Declaration of Amnesty' of all offenses committed between 1914 and 1922."
- Dixon 2010a, pp. 470–471.
- Dixon 2010a, pp. 477–478.
- "Taner Akçam: Türkiye'nin, soykırım konusunda her bakımdan izole olduğunu söyleyebiliriz". CivilNet (in Turkish). 9 July 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- Chorbajian 2016, p. 178.
- Baer 2020, pp. 21, 145. "The turn to Jews as lobbyists on Turkey’s behalf was based not only on the old myth of Turkish-Jewish friendship, but also on the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jews control world governments, finance, and media."
- Bayraktar 2016, p. 200.
- Göçek 2015, p. 2.
- Avedian 2013, p. 80. "Nonetheless, the Turkish denial could hardly be feasible had it not been for the direct or indirect cooperation of the world community, e.g. by it refusal to openly recognize and condemn the genocide."
- Bloxham 2005, p. 207. "Thus far, the two occidental powers wielding successively the greatest influence in the Near East, Britain and the USA, and a number of others besides, have been prepared to collude in the Turkish denial process as far as it will go.".
- Cheterian 2018a, p. 207. "The occlusion of memory is at the heart of the genocidal enterprise itself, and third-party indifference is an integral part of genocide denial."
- Auron 2003, p. 131.
- Kieser 2018, p. 21.
- Ihrig 2016, p. 185.
- Anderson 2011, p. 206.
- Anderson 2011, pp. 206–207.
- Anderson 2011, p. 210.
- Ihrig 2016, pp. 150–151.
- Ihrig 2016, p. 293. "... while the mood and the overwhelming evidence were such that genocide could no longer be denied, many nationalist papers now both accepted the charge of genocide against the Turks and justified it at the very same time."
- Galip 2020, pp. 97, 163. "The AKP government, a considerable number of Turkish groups, the opposition party in the Turkish parliament, institutions and both pro-government and anti-government Turkish media waged a war against [Cem] Özdemir and the German parliament expressing Islamic superiority, denial, hatred of Armenians and excusing the Armenian massacres by accusing Armenians of collaborating with Russia during the First World War."
- Bloxham 2006, p. 44.
- Bloxham 2006, p. 41.
- Chorbajian 2016, p. 175.
- Bloxham 2006, p. 42. "Overall, the complex of information and misinformation disseminated at this time contained most of the elements of later denial of the Armenian genocide: the minimizing of Armenian deaths, the denial of Ottoman intent to kill, the blaming of the victims and/or the Europeans, and the focus on Muslim casualties."
- Chorbajian 2016, pp. 177–178.
- Mamigonian, Marc (2 May 2013). "Scholarship, Manufacturing Doubt, and Genocide Denial". The Armenian Weekly. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
- Dixon 2010a, p. 474.
- Baer 2020, p. 124. "President Jimmy Carter’s Jewish aide, Stuart Eizenstat, reported that Turkish ambassador Şükrü Elekdağ (in office 1979–1989) told him that although Turkey had treated its Jews well for centuries and had taken in Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, if the Armenian genocide were included in the new museum, “Turkey could no longer guarantee the safety of the Jews in Turkey.” Elekdağ was also reported making a similar comment to another member of the Holocaust Memorial Museum Committee."
- Mamigonian 2015, p. 66.
- Ben Aharon 2019, p. 345.
- Baer 2020, p. 296.
- Auron 2003, p. 125.
- Anderson, Margaret Lavinia (2015). "Genocide of Armenians: Through Swedish EyesThe Armenian Genocide: Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives, 1915–1916". Holocaust and Genocide Studies. 29 (3): 483–488 . doi:10.1093/hgs/dcv051.
- Robertson 2016, pp. 75–76, 81.
- Robertson 2016, p. 77.
- Robertson 2016, pp. 79–80.
- Baer 2020, p. 145.
- Ben Aharon 2015, pp. 646–648. "From Charny’s testimony and Arazi’s statements in document 404, it is clear that the lives of Iranian and Syrian Jews were at stake; the Turkish Foreign Ministry did not hesitate to use this sensitive situation to exert pressure on Israel. Israel responded immediately to stop Armenian participation in the conference."
- Auron 2003, p. 124.
- Ben Aharon 2015, p. 638.
- Auron 2003, p. 128.
- Ben Aharon 2019, pp. 366–367, 369.
- Eissenstat 2014, p. 24; Quataert 2006, pp. 249–250, 258; Gutman 2015, pp. 167–168; Akçam 2012, p. xxv. "Most historians of the late Ottoman period have elided the internal deportations, expulsions, massacres, and genocide that took place during the demise of the empire. These events have been “nonexistent” in their works... It was as if ignoring mass deportations and annihilation were an academic virtue and noble act. The resultant damage to scholarship has not been limited to the failure to illuminate this period of history. By refusing to investigate mass annihilations, traditional Ottoman historians have failed to confront the mentality of those who perpetrate these convulsively destructive episodes."
Cheterian 2018a, p. 199. "In this new Turkish strategy, European and American intellectuals, especially key scholars who specialized in Ottoman and Turkish history, would play an exceptionally disgraceful role. They deformed historic facts, casting doubt upon the accounts of survivors, questioning the number of victims, and qualifying them as traitors to the Ottoman state. They provided the arguments and their prestige necessary for a criminal state in denial."
- Watenpaugh, Keith David (2017). "Fatma Müge Göçek. Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present, and Collective Violence against the Armenians, 1789–2009; Ronald Grigor Suny. "They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide". The American Historical Review. 122 (2): 478–481 . doi:10.1093/ahr/122.2.478.
- "Marc David Baer, Sultanic Saviors and Tolerant Turks: Writing Ottoman Jewish History, Denying the Armenian Genocide (New Texts Out Now)". Jadaliyya. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
- Baer 2020, p. 208.
- Mamigonian 2015, pp. 63–64.
- MacDonald 2008, p. 241.
- Auron 2003, p. 47.
- Mamigonian 2015, p. 67.
- Eissenstat 2014, pp. 24–25.
- Baer 2020, p. xi.
- Auron 2003, pp. 226–227.
- Hovannisian, Richard G. (1999). Remembrance and Denial: The Case of the Armenian Genocide. Wayne State University Press. p. 224. ISBN 9780814327777.
- Charny, Israel (17 July 2001). "The Psychological Satisfaction of Denials of the Holocaust or Other Genocides by Non-Extremists or Bigots, and Even by Known Scholars". IDEA. 6 (1). Archived from the original on 24 December 2007.
- Baer 2020, p. 130.
- Suny 2015, p. 375.
- Hovannisian 2015, p. 234.
- Hovannisian 2015, p. 232.
- Mamigonian 2015, p. 68.
- Hovannisian 2015, p. 243.
- Erbal 2015, pp. 783–784. "The worst damage... [is] in Ottoman and Turkish studies. Blind historically to the late Ottoman genocides, the field is also one where genocide denial has become normalized as a discourse and thus has been the source for pervasive moral ambiguity among scholars... denialist speech is nearly always seen as lesser than outright racism, despite the fact that some tenets of denialism... are from the toolbox of racism. Unlike the Holocaust, it was and is acceptable to deny the Armenian Genocide..."
- Smith et al. 1995, p. 13; Watenpaugh, Keith David (2007). "A Response to Michael Gunter's Review of the Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide (IJMES 38 : 598–601)". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 39 (3): 512–514. doi:10.1017/S0020743807070869. JSTOR 30069561.; Sjöberg, Erik (2016). The Making of the Greek Genocide: Contested Memories of the Ottoman Greek Catastrophe. Berghahn Books. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-78533-326-2.
Scholars of Turkey (not only in Turkey) have in some notable cases been complicit in this state-sponsored denial... Their critics have argued that denial in posterity is in fact the last stage of genocide, which adds insult to injury through a symbolic killing of the memory of the dead. From this follows that scholars are duty-bound by professional standards to defend historical truth and open themselves to suffering as a way of taking a stand against cruelty and killing, whatever its source.
- Smith et al. 1995, p. 2, passim.
- Honan, William H. (22 May 1996). "Princeton Is Accused of Fronting For the Turkish Government". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
- Erbal 2015, p. 784. "Quataert spoke out. For this he paid the price by being forced to leave his position as chair of the board of the Institute of Turkish Studies."
- Quataert 2006, pp. 251–252.
- Quataert 2006, p. 250.
- Gutman 2015, p. 168. "Quataert’s bold criticism of the field’s inability to confront one of the most important chapters in the 623-year-long history of the Ottoman Empire, the genocidal annihilation of the Armenian populations of eastern Anatolia, was not without consequence. Shortly after its publication, Quataert resigned as chairman of the Institute of Turkish Studies after the Turkish government threatened to revoke the Institute’s funding if he did not retract his use of the word genocide."
- Eissenstat 2014, p. 25.
- Eissenstat 2014, pp. 25–26.
- Sassounian, Harut. "Prof. Akcam Reveals Turkish Plan to Pay Scholars to Deny the Armenian Genocide Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Asbarez. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- Hovannisian 2015, p. 244.
- Ihrig 2016, p. 109.
- Akçam 2012, p. 228. "The following discussion will also address such unfounded appraisals as, 'the events of 1915 were in fact a civil war between the Armenians and Turks.' Not a single top secret document at the highest levels of the state makes the slightest allusion to a civil war or 'intercommunal warfare.' On the contrary, Ottoman documents show that Armenian areas were evacuated under tight government control."
- Suny 2015, p. xii. "Although the literature produced by historians who favor the 'Armenian' view and those who support the 'Turkish' version actually agrees on many of the basic facts, for decades various authors have emphasized different elements and in general either avoided explanations of the causes of the events or implied an explanation even while not systematically or explicitly elaborating one."
- Akçam 2012, p. 451. "What must be understood is that the thesis known in Turkey as the “official version”... takes as its starting point the assumption that the events of 1915 were derived from governmental actions that were, in essence, within the bounds of what are considered normal and legal actions for a state entity and cannot therefore be explained through a recourse to criminality or criminal law. According to this assumption, under certain conditions a government or a state can resort to actions such as “forcible deportation,” even if they result in the deaths of its own citizens, and there are no moral or legal grounds upon which such actions can be faulted."
- Suny 2015, pp. xii–xiii. "The Turkish state and those few historians who reject the notion of genocide have argued that the tragedy was the result of a reasonable and understandable response of a government to a rebellious and seditious population in time of war and mortal danger to the state’s survival... There was no genocide, and the Armenians were to blame for it. They were rebellious, seditious subjects who presented a danger to the empire and got what they deserved... Still—the denialists claim—despite the existential threat posed by the Armenians and their Russian allies to the survival of the empire, there was no intention or effort by the Young Turk regime to eliminate the Armenians as a people."
- Chorbajian 2016, p. 167. "Denial of the Armenian Genocide, therefore, consists of a two-pronged complementary, yet also contradictory, argument we can call 'They Brought It on Themselves and It Never Happened'."
- MacDonald 2008, p. 133.
- Kaligian 2014, p. 208. "Deniers claim the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) fomented a rebellion, but they elide the fact that Turkey’s ruling party tried to recruit the ARF to form a fifth column behind Russian lines... [They] base their positions on a book by Esat Uras, a perpetrator of the genocide, which created the template for denial."
- Dadrian 2003, p. 276. "An integral part of this argument of civil war is the assertion of “Armenian rebellion” for which purpose the four major Armenian uprisings, Shabin Karahisar (June 6–July 4, 1915), Musa Dagh (July 30–September 1915), Urfa (September 29–October 23, 1915), and especially that of Van in the April 20–May 17, 1915 period, are cited as proof positive. Yet, without exception these uprisings were improvised last-ditch attempts to ward off imminent deportation and destruction. Without exception they were all local, very limited, and above all, highly defensive initiatives; as such they were ultimately doomed to failure."
- Hovannisian 2015, pp. 242–243. "Pointing to a number of sequential Armenian uprisings in 1915, [Erickson] concedes, 'It is true, to date, no historian has been able to produce authentic evidence of a coordinated Armenian master plan for revolution.'"
- Hovannisian 2001, pp. 803–804.
- Hovannisian 2001, p. 803.
- Bloxham 2005, pp. 208–209.
- Akçam 2012, p. 399.
- Akçam 2012, pp. 374–377.
- Akçam 2012, pp. 399–400, 407, 409.
- Dadrian 2003, p. 275.
- Akçam 2018, pp. 17–18.
- "Recently Discovered Telegram Reveals Evidence For Armenian Genocide". NPR.org. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
- Akçam 2018, p. 11. "On one hand, there are successive Turkish governments that have destroyed any and all evidence that would show the events of 1915 to have been a systematic program of annihilation; this has included all of the case files from the post-war trials of the Unionists (1919–1921)... On the other hand, there is the chorus of historians who reiterate the line that, in the absence of solid, reliable documentary evidence—in other words, 'smoking guns' from the Ottoman archives or elsewhere—proving otherwise, there can be no objective claim of a government-sponsored genocide against the Armenians..."
- Cheterian 2015, p. 67. "In this vein, they question the authenticity of certain documents used in arguments to support the genocide thesis, and initiate personal attacks on the authors for being Armenian, or simply for reflecting a biased, Armenian point of view."
- Akçam 2012, p. xxii.
- Akçam 2008, pp. 113, 126–128.
- Demirdjian 2018, pp. 10–11.
- Lattanzi 2018, pp. 88–89.
- "Akcam: The Authenticity of the Naim Efendi Memoirs and Talat Pasha Telegrams". The Armenian Weekly. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
- Akçam, Taner (2013). "Let the arguments begin!". Journal of Genocide Research. 15 (4): 496. doi:10.1080/14623528.2013.856095.
- Mamigonian 2015, p. 72. "Thus, each author offers excuses for the actions of the CUP leadership while shifting partial blame onto the victims themselves and, in the process, creates a new criterion for the victims of genocide: the need to be “wholly innocent.” At the same time, they reinforce the existence of an open debate over basic issues that are regarded as settled in a scholarly literature to which they barely refer."
- Hovannisian 2015, pp. 243–244. "Armenian propaganda, they contend, has for decades held the attention of the Western world, but in fact, the Armenians were not innocent victims and much of what befell them was of their own making and that of Russia and the European powers that manipulated them."
- Suny 2009, p. 941. "What appears in the sources to have been the Turks’ panic and paranoia at an imagined danger from their Armenian subjects has metastasized in the hands of apologists into justification for state-ordered murder."
- Kaligian 2014, p. 209. "One of the key arguments made by genocide deniers is that the deportations, and whatever “unfortunate excesses” occurred during them, were not part of a plan of extermination but rather a response to an Armenian rebellion in the eastern provinces in collaboration with Russia."
- Moses, A. Dirk (2013). "Genocide vs security: a false opposition". Journal of Genocide Research. 15 (4): 463–509. doi:10.1080/14623528.2013.856095.
This is a telling slip; Lewy is talking about ‘the Armenians’ as if the defenceless women and children who comprised the deportation columns were vicariously responsible for Armenian rebels in other parts of the country. The collective guilt accusation is unacceptable in scholarship, let alone in normal discourse and is, I think, one of the key ingredients in genocidal thinking. It fails to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, on which international humanitarian law has been insisting for over a hundred years now.
- Robertson, Geoffrey (2015). An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians?. Biteback Publishing. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-84954-822-9.
‘Necessity’ in war can never justify the deliberate killing of civilians: if they are suspected of treason or loyalty to the enemy they may be detained or interned, or prosecuted, but not sent on marches from which they are expected not to return.
- Hovannisian 2001, pp. 801–802.
- Lattanzi 2018, pp. 58–59.
- Hovannisian 2001, p. 801.
- Hovannisian 2015, p. 231.
- Akçam 2008, pp. 128–131.
- Akçam 2012, pp. 410–423.
- Kévorkian 2011, p. 810.
- Akçam 2012, p. 417.
- Hovannisian 2015, p. 238.
- Akçam 2012, p. 373.
- Baer 2020, pp. 1–2, 183–185.
- Baer 2020, p. 76.
- Baer 2020, pp. 1, 207–208.
- Kaligian 2014, p. 208.
- Lattanzi 2018, p. 100.
- "Holocaust & Genocide Education | Armenia". University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
- Ertür 2019, pp. 2–3.
- Baer 2020, pp. 140–141.
- Auron 2003, p. 228.
- Auron 2003, pp. 228–229.
- "Paris, France, Court of First Instance". www.armenian-genocide.org. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
- Baer 2020, p. 141.
- Auron 2003, p. 230.
- Ertür 2019, pp. 5–6.
- Belavusau, Uladzislau (13 February 2014). "Armenian Genocide v. Holocaust in Strasbourg: Trivialisation in Comparison". Verfassungsblog. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
Belavusau, Uladzislau (5 November 2015). "Perinçek v. Switzerland: Between Freedom of Speech and Collective Dignity". Verfassungsblog. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
- Demirdjian 2018, pp. 22–23. "Perincek’s activities spread across a wider spectrum, including his membership in the Talat Pasha Committee, an organization considered as xenophobic and racist by the European Parliament, and established for the purpose of refuting the Armenian genocide."
- "Turk guilty over genocide remarks". BBC News. 9 March 2007. Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- Belavusau, Uladzislau (2016). "Perinçek v. Switzerland (Eur. Ct. H.R.)". International Legal Materials. 55 (4): 627–719. ISSN 0020-7829. JSTOR 10.5305/intelegamate.55.4.0627.
- Double standards and other criticism:
- de Broux, Pierre-Olivier; Staes, Dorothea (2018). "History Watch by the European Court of Human Rights". The Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History After 1945. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 101–119 . ISBN 978-1-349-95306-6.
- Della Morte, Gabriele (31 May 2016). "When is a criminal prohibition of genocide denial justified? The Perinçek Case and the risk of a double standard". QIL QDI. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
- Leotta, Carmelo Domenico (2018). "Criminalizing the Denial of 1915–1916 Armenian Massacres and the European Court of Human Rights: Perinçek v Switzerland". The Armenian Massacres of 1915–1916 a Hundred Years Later: Open Questions and Tentative Answers in International Law. Springer International Publishing. pp. 251–271. ISBN 978-3-319-78169-3.
- Nashalian, Shant N. (2018). "A Critique of Perincek v. Switzerland: Incorporating an International and Historical Context Is the More Prudent Approach to Genocide Denial Cases" (PDF). Southwestern Journal of International Law. 24: 147.
- Garibian, Sévane (2018). "Über den Bruch des Konsenses: Der Fall Perinçek, der armenische Völkermord und internationales Strafrecht". Der Genozid an den ArmenierInnen: Beiträge zur wissenschaftlichen Aufarbeitung eines historischen Verbrechens gegen die Menschlichkeit (in German). Springer Fachmedien. pp. 167–187. ISBN 978-3-658-20453-2.
- Ertür 2019, p. 8. "The fact that Perinçek’s case went all the way to the ECtHR Grand Chamber was a significant political victory for the so-called Talât Pasha Committee: this successful legal provocation entailed the ECtHR’s spectacular instrumentalisation in denialism in the centenary of the Armenian genocide. The high profile of the case allowed Perinçek and his allies to claim in their media campaign that this would be the case that decides whether or not there was a genocide. The campaign was effective: the ECtHR Grand Chamber hearing was widely covered in the Turkish media as the trial that would put an end to the so-called ‘hundred year-old genocide lie’... Perinçek and his party celebrated the judgment claiming in bold PR campaigns, ‘We put an end to the genocide lie’."
- Yardley, Jim; Arsu, Sebnem (12 April 2015). "Pope Calls Killings of Armenians 'Genocide,' Provoking Turkish Anger". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
- Gutman 2015, pp. 169, 180; Avedian 2013, p. 79; Akçam 2012, p. 264.
- Tolbert, David (24 April 2015). "The Armenian Genocide: 100 Years of Denial". International Center for Transitional Justice. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
- Cheterian 2018b, p. 899.
- Ihrig 2016, pp. 353–354. "First, Hitler’s alleged words at the Obersalzberg—about who “still talked” about the Armenians—might not come from a watertight source, but the statement still accurately sums up one of the major lessons the Armenian Genocide must have held for the Nazis: it must have taught them that such incredible crimes could go unpunished under the cover of war, even if one lost that war. That one could “get away” with genocide must have been a great inspiration indeed... the lack of a robust response by Christian Germany must have seemed especially significant to Hitler— for if this was its reaction to the extermination of Christian people, who would speak out against killing Jews?"
- Mangassarian, Selina L. (2016). "100 Years of Trauma: the Armenian Genocide and Intergenerational Cultural Trauma". Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma. 25 (4): 371–381. doi:10.1080/10926771.2015.1121191.
- Cheterian 2015, pp. 127–128.
- Avedian 2018, p. 110.
- de Waal 2015, p. 4.
- Avedian 2018, p. 48.
- Göçek 2015, pp. 477–478.
- Cheterian 2015, p. 311.
- Kieser 2018, p. 294.
- "Taner Akçam receives medal of courage from Armenian organizations in France". Clark Now. Clark University. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
- "Genocide Denied". Facing History and Ourselves. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
- Özbek, Egemen (2018). "The Destruction of the Monument to Humanity: Historical Conflict and Monumentalization". International Public History. 1 (2). doi:10.1515/iph-2018-0011.
- Rainsford, Sarah (22 June 2006). "Fears of Turkey's 'invisible' Armenians". BBC News. Archived from the original on 25 January 2007. Retrieved 8 January 2007.
- Cheterian 2018b, p. 892. "The ANM was ready to put aside the past in order to build normal relations with neighboring Turkey. Turkey, however, was not ready to forget the 1915 genocide and its consequences: the continuous Armenian diaspora struggle for recognition and reparation. It insisted that Yerevan must surrender politically on this issue, by withholding any diplomatic support for the ‘recognition campaigns’ abroad before normal diplomatic relations could be established or the border opened."
- Avedian 2018, p. 211.
- de Waal 2015, pp. 212, 229–230.
- Ben Aharon 2019, pp. 346–347. "Importantly, the territorial conflict between the Azeris and the Armenians over control of Nagorno-Karabakh, triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union, turned Azerbaijan into a stakeholder in the discourse on the Armenian genocide, and it led an extensive international campaign against recognition."
- Cheterian 2018b, p. 886. "... it is not possible to understand the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan without integrating the discourse of genocide denial produced in Turkey and adopted by Azerbaijan."
- Cheterian 2018b, p. 887.
- Cheterian 2018b, pp. 893–894.
- Cheterian 2018b, pp. 895–896. "Yet while this official discourse proclaims Azerbaijanis as victims of genocide, it denies that Armenians have been the victims of any mistreatment whatsoever."
- Cheterian 2018b, pp. 898–899. "...the Azerbaijani elites’ belief that the Armenian aggression of the 1980s and 1990s is a continuation of ‘1915’. As Armenians could not fight a stronger Turkey, they instead attacked the more vulnerable Azerbaijan. From the perspective of the Azerbaijani elite, countries that recognise the genocide of the Armenians are enemies of Azerbaijan."
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