Turkish Press
April 28 2005

Prof. Dr. Ozdemir: We Want To Discuss Events Of 1915 With Our

ANKARA - Turkish Institute of History (TTK) Armenian Studies Chairman
Prof. Dr. Hikmet Ozdemir said on Thursday that they wanted to discuss
the events of 1915 with their interlocutors.

Speaking at a conference on ''the Past, Today and Future of
Turkish-Armenian Conflict'' at the Anadolu Agency (A.A), Ozdemir
said, ''the Relocation Law and ensuing developments are not enough to
explain the conflict between Turks and Armenians. The atmosphere in
which the law was approved, international developments and conditions
of the Ottoman Empire should be well-known to this end. Some
documents revealed that a map prepared by Britain, France and Russia
in 1914 had envisaged separation of the Empire before the World War

''Britons had made many propaganda together with media and scientists
to gain support of the United States during the World War I. Some
special news reports had been made up to incite the Christian world.
We should clean such propaganda of Britain in order to enlighten the
events of 1915. We want to discuss those events with our
interlocutors. We have already accepted the risk of results of such a
study,'' he said.

Ozdemir stressed that it was impossible to understand parliaments of
some countries which accepted resolutions without conducting a
detailed research.

''The Relocation Law was nothing but a measure taken by the Ottoman
Empire to prevent an uprising. As a result of Armenian uprisings,
hundreds of thousands of Armenians and security forces had been
killed. Those Armenians had been militants of Tashnak and Hinchakian
committees. Due to ongoing wars, the Ottoman Empire had to protect
the roads of military supply. The military officials in the eastern
region had requested the government to transfer the armed Armenians
to another place for the security of those routes,'' he said.

''According to the first scenario, transfer of Armenians to Caucasus
had been envisaged. However, the Ottoman government had decided to
send them to Syria (which was then Ottoman territory). If they had
been sent to Caucasus, it would have been an exile. The decision had
conformed to the Constitution and the law. If the Ottoman Empire had
targeted to make the population in Anatolia Turk, it would have sent
Armenians to Caucasus. On the other hand, Turks had also suffered
during the World War I. Turks in Caucasus had been exiled from
Caucasus to Anatolia. It had been nothing, but crisis management,''
he said.

Noting that the Ottoman Empire had put into force a series of
instructions to meet requirements of migrants, Ozdemir said,
''however, no one can say that those instructions had been fully
applied under war conditions. During those days, hundreds of
thousands of people died because of epidemics in Anatolia. Turks have
never been cherished revenge against anyone.''

Stressing that Armenians who had been forced to migrate in 1915,
returned later under a decision of the government, Ozdemir said,
''however, they returned as officers in the French Army, and
massacred their neighbors in Adana, Antep and Maras.''

Referring to arguments over Armenian population, Ozdemir said, ''the
notebook which was claimed to have belonged to Talat Pasha does not
tell the truth. According to the notebook claiming that 924 thousand
Armenians had been relocated, Armenians in Aleppo had also been
forced to migrate. In fact, Armenians had been sent to Aleppo. The
Turkish General Staff archives put the number of the relocated
Armenians as nearly 500 thousand. Experts should sit and discuss
everything in detail.''

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress