2015 has a big meaning for many things like ‘Gallipoli War‘ and ‘Armenian Question’s in 100th year.
We all heard about these events but what really happened in 1915 and why can’t we still find an answer to these questions?
– Relocation law in 1915
Ottoman Empire took a decision on May 27, 1915 and put this decision into action on June 1, 1915. This was called ‘Tehcir Kanunu’, ‘Relocation Law’ or ‘Armenian Relocation’. This law aimed, to take measures against anti-government activities, keep away from war regions and protect Armenian citizens. Ottoman archives are telling 422.758, American archives, on the other side, are telling 486.000 Armenians moved to other places on this period.
Armenian diaspora’s claims are telling, that they lived a genocide on this period but diaspora is giving contradictory numbers about this event. Ottoman archives are telling, last population counting happened in 1914 in Ottoman Empire. Documents are telling about 1.221.850 Armenians living on Ottoman soils in 1914 counting (around 1.250.000 in 1915). Also, archive documents are telling about who is working in Ottoman banks, government buildings, army (…) they continued their work and didn’t move to other places. Armenian diaspora is telling that about more than 1.500.000 Armenians died in 1915. With this claim is born a question in our minds, that period lived 1.250.000 people and only moved 420-500 thousands people. How died 1.500.000 people?
– How many people died?
This law was put into action between June 9, 1915 and February 8, 1916. Ottoman archives are giving this information about law and numbers: “From Adana, Ankara, Eskisehir, Aleppo, Izmit, Kayser, Sivas, Trabzon, Yozgat, Kutahya and Birecik 391.040 people moved to new places. That’s 356.084 people who reached these places.” Have lost around 35.000 Armenians over this information.
Ottoman Map - 1914
Also, explaining this situation with these words in archives: “26.064 Armenians were not added to this move.” This means that between 9-10 thousands of people died on this period. Archive documents (Ottoman archive and other documents) continue with that information: “500 people were killed between Erzurum-Erzincan by gangs. 2000 people were killed on Urfa-Aleppo way by gangs. 2000 people were killed on gang raid in Mardin. 5.000-6.000 people were killed in Dersim region by local people.
Ottoman archives underline, ‘Definitely any Ottoman soldier didn’t touch to Armenians for the purpose of genocide’.
Near this archive holding numbers about how many people moved and how many people reached to new places. Also, archives are telling, where there were found hospitals and orphanages for Armenians, how much money was spent and Ottoman Empire’s effort for their citizens.
– Turkish governments steps
Turkey refuses this claims by Armenian diaspora and are calling for impartial and a fair research. Also, with this call, Ottoman archives were opened and all documents about 1915-1916. Armenian government steps are also contradictory about this event, but except for their blames, we can’t see any strong steps.
Last year President Recep Tayyip Erdogan published a message about 1915’s events, this was the strongest step and first message on the Presidential statu. Armenian President Serj Sargsyan’s answer and attitude was harsh against this friendly step. Near this President Erdogan’s last words about this event, “We opened our archives and are waiting Armenian archives for rights, also we must answer these questions and take care of our future. Turkey is ready to compensation if found guilty” (Turkey mentioned ‘compensation’ officially for the first time).
By the way, Armenian President Sargsyan showed again a rude attitude. This attitude of Armenian President’s, Armenian governments obstinately don’t want to open archives and Armenian diaspora’s contradictory claims born questions on our minds. Why is Armenia closing ear for Turkey’s peace and solution calls (despite Karabakh problem).