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Erdogan Issues Statement on ‘Events of 1915’

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ANKARA, Turkey (A.W.)—Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a statement today “on the events of 1915,” a day before the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Prime Minister Erdogan (Photo by Nanore Barsoumian, The Armenian Weekly)

Prime Minister Erdogan (Photo by Nanore Barsoumian, The Armenian Weekly)

The statement comes in a period of intense pressure on Ankara, and is seen as an effort to preempt international recognition of the Armenian Genocide on the threshold of the centennial.

Employing euphemisms and the age-old “everyone suffered” denialist refrain, Erdogan concludes his statement by wishing that “the Armenians who lost their lives in the context of the early twentieth century rest in peace, and we convey our condolences to their grandchildren.”

ANCA executive director Aram hamparian called the statement “denial repackaged.”

Below is the full text of the statement, in English, as posted on the prime minister’s website.

***

THE MESSAGE OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY, RECEP TAYYIP ERDOĞAN ON THE EVENTS OF 1915

(UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION)

“The 24th of April carries a particular significance for our Armenian citizens and for all Armenians around the world, and provides a valuable opportunity to share opinions freely on a historical matter.

It is indisputable that the last years of the Ottoman Empire were a difficult period, full of suffering for Turkish, Kurdish, Arab, Armenian and millions of other Ottoman citizens, regardless of their religion or ethnic origin.

Any conscientious, fair and humanistic approach to these issues requires an understanding of all the sufferings endured in this period, without discriminating as to religion or ethnicity.

Certainly, neither constructing hierarchies of pain nor comparing and contrasting suffering carries any meaning for those who experienced this pain themselves.

As a Turkish proverb goes, “fire burns the place where it falls.”

It is a duty of humanity to acknowledge that Armenians remember the suffering experienced in that period, just like every other citizen of the Ottoman Empire.

In Turkey, expressing different opinions and thoughts freely on the events of 1915 is the requirement of a pluralistic perspective as well as of a culture of democracy and modernity.

Some may perceive this climate of freedom in Turkey as an opportunity to express accusatory, offensive and even provocative assertions and allegations.

Even so, if this will enable us to better understand historical issues with their legal aspects and to transform resentment to friendship again, it is natural to approach different discourses with empathy and tolerance and expect a similar attitude from all sides.

The Republic of Turkey will continue to approach every idea with dignity in line with the universal values of law.

Nevertheless, using the events of 1915 as an excuse for hostility against Turkey and turning this issue into a matter of political conflict is inadmissible.

The incidents of the First World War are our shared pain. To evaluate this painful period of history through a perspective of just memory is a humane and scholarly responsibility.

Millions of people of all religions and ethnicities lost their lives in the First World War. Having experienced events which had inhumane consequences – such as relocation – during the First World War, should not prevent Turks and Armenians from establishing compassion and mutually humane attitudes among towards one another.

In today’s world, deriving enmity from history and creating new antagonisms are neither acceptable nor useful for building a common future.

The spirit of the age necessitates dialogue despite differences, understanding by heeding others, evaluating means for compromise, denouncing hatred, and praising respect and tolerance.

With this understanding, we, as the Turkish Republic, have called for the establishment of a joint historical commission in order to study the events of 1915 in a scholarly manner. This call remains valid. Scholarly research to be carried out by Turkish, Armenian and international historians would play a significant role in shedding light on the events of 1915 and an accurate understanding of history.

It is with this understanding that we have opened our archives to all researchers. Today, hundreds of thousands of documents in our archives are at the service of historians.

Looking to the future with confidence, Turkey has always supported scholarly and comprehensive studies for an accurate understanding of history. The people of Anatolia, who lived together for centuries regardless of their different ethnic and religious origins, have established common values in every field from art to diplomacy, from state administration to commerce. Today they continue to have the same ability to create a new future.

It is our hope and belief that the peoples of an ancient and unique geography, who share similar customs and manners will be able to talk to each other about the past with maturity and to remember together their losses in a decent manner. And it is with this hope and belief that we wish that the Armenians who lost their lives in the context of the early twentieth century rest in peace, and we convey our condolences to their grandchildren.

Regardless of their ethnic or religious origins, we pay tribute, with compassion and respect, to all Ottoman citizens who lost their lives in the same period and under similar conditions.”

 

 

65 Comments on Erdogan Issues Statement on ‘Events of 1915’

  1. avatar Art Hovanessian // April 23, 2014 at 9:44 am // Reply

    I am not sure why you have to write and share this article as if it is news, considering it is the same ridiculous argument the Turkish government has been making for the last 99 years. All I want to hear from Mr. Erdugan is “Yes it was Genocide, I’m Sorry and here is all that we stole from your grandparents.”

    • The purpose is denialist, but the verbal formulation is different if you look at it from what Turkey has been saying to its own people for five generations.

      First, they said nothing happened. Then they said the Kurds did it. Then they said the Armenians deserved it.

      So, for the head of the Turkish state to send human sympathy in the shape of a condolence is something new. I agree it is meant to keep pressure off Turkey, but it can also be seen as a v small human breakthrough, esp. when you consider how deeply many or most Turks hate us and want us dead anyway.

    • “many or most Turks hate us and want us dead anyway.”

      JDA,

      Most, very most of Turks do not even care about you ermenians. Believe me..

    • Your enemy is not Azerbaijan and Turkey. Your enemy is not a turk. Your enemy is your hate to turks. And your enemy is your regime. We lived so many years in peace and friendly within the territory of Azerbaijan until our territorial integrity was violated. I am calling armenian sisters and brothers not to play the game of Russia empire and Sarksyan regime in the Caucasus. God bless and protect all innocent people of Armenia!!!

  2. {“Employing euphemisms and the age-old “everyone suffered” denialist refrain,…”}

    Well said ArmenianWeekly.
    Emphasis on ‘denialist’.

  3. Unexpected but I see this as a process. Keep demanding, increase dialogue, continue interactions. With this rate every year we will receive a new conciliatory statement and then maybe more. who knows? That’s the objective, right?

    Social Carriers of ideas are needed to continue their work, attention to strengthening of pro-Armenian, pro-democratic institutions need to increase. 6 years ago, they were counter-attacking, now they are pacifying and ‘accepting’ something.

  4. avatar Fatma kamel // April 23, 2014 at 10:07 am // Reply

    I hope at last Armenian genocide shall be accepted internationally.that’s the least they can do for us children of parents barbarically slaughtered !!!

  5. What about the Greek population of Turkey at that time.

    Erdogan says “With this understanding, we, as the Turkish Republic, have called for the establishment of a joint historical commission in order to study the events of 1915 in a scholarly manner. This call remains valid. Scholarly research to be carried out by Turkish, Armenian and international historians would play a significant role in shedding light on the events of 1915 and an accurate understanding of history.

    It is with this understanding that we have opened our archives to all researchers. Today, hundreds of thousands of documents in our archives are at the service of historians.”

    Yes, now that they have had 99 years to purge their documents they open the remaining to the world.

  6. He really has lost his marbles. Did the Armenian women, children and elderly have weapons and the turkes were killed the same way Armenians were massacered by savage turks and now this clown wants to close the deal with such primitive words “And it is with this hope and belief that we wish that the Armenians who lost their lives in the context of the early twentieth century rest in peace, and we convey our condolences to their grandchildren”
    By not accepting the crimes of the young turks who were convicted by the new turkey’s government of that time and still denying the Genocide Erdogan shows that he has the same savage blood as they had and that is why about 2-week ago he let the criminals of turkey, chechnya and azerbaijan to attack the Armenian city of Kessab in the border of turkey and Syria and caused 600 Armenian families to leave their houses and belongings and flee to a safe place and in the meantime these savage killers looted every where and the first thing they did was to remove the cross from the Armenian church.
    Here is another stupid statement by this brainless turk “It is our hope and belief that the peoples of an ancient and unique geography, who share similar customs and manners” is this a new word? people of geography? Armenians share similar customes and manners with turks?
    Give us a break, return the lands and the wealth of the Armenians whom you massacred and their children and grandchildren are now living all over the world and most of the trying to survive after all this time, 99-YEAR!!!!

  7. avatar Meline Karakashian, PhD // April 23, 2014 at 10:25 am // Reply

    Mr. Erdogan’s words in reference to 1915 do not come close to balancing the painful psychological consequences Armenians are enduring over generations! They do not come close to repairing the damage. Minimizing the machinations & actions of a government against its own people no longer convince the public, not even in Turkey.

  8. avatar Rafi Frankian // April 23, 2014 at 10:31 am // Reply

    A statement in the right direction. History cannot be changed and in should not be denied. It is time to call it what it is, Genocide. TARC and non specific commission is not the answer. Mr. Erdogan, stop the lies and euphemism as Armenian Weekly said.

  9. avatar john the turk // April 23, 2014 at 10:47 am // Reply

    If you ask him a question about the same issue you may receive a completely different answer so what he says or doesn’t say isnt important

  10. first generation after the genocide from both parents:
    1.mothers young Armenian husband forced to be in Turkish army, lacked proper footwear and died side of a tree from infected feet from no shoes.
    2. mothers family were rescued by Turkish doctor on one hand in Istanbul
    3. Fathers first wife and 4 daughters and entire family of 20 murdered in genocide family was in Sepastia
    4. yes I lived with the genocide history all of my life.
    did the Turks forget hanging all the professors,scientists and doctors in a mass hanging of the successful Armenians that held strong positions????

  11. avatar Loris Ohannes Chobanian, Ph.D. // April 23, 2014 at 11:00 am // Reply

    Evil and treacherous. He is ready to perpetrate another Armenian Genocide.

  12. avatar Vartan Mardirossian // April 23, 2014 at 11:04 am // Reply

    Armenian weekly, so what is your comment to this cynical and anti-Armenian statement. Don`t you realize it is another act of fakeness mimicking “sympathy”?? I think the Armenian periodicals should even avoid posting it, that fake it is!! And no Genocide mentioned.

    • Did you even read ArmenianWeekly’s preamble to PM Erdogan’s statement (above ‘***’) ?
      What other ‘comment’ did you expect them to make ?
      And what makes you think AW doesn’t realize what ‘it’ is ?

      And, No: Armenian news channels should definitely continue posting ‘it’ and similar news from our adversaries and enemies.
      Including vile, denialist comments from Turkbaijani and Turk readers.
      Large numbers of Armenians in Diaspora get their Armenian-related news (only) from Armenian news channels.
      How else will they know what the Turks, Turkbaijanis and their agents are up to if Armenian channels don’t publish ‘it’ ?

      Few Armenians visit Azerbaijani or Turkish news sites.

  13. avatar Yani simeonidis // April 23, 2014 at 11:18 am // Reply

    Let us also not forget those “invited for a memorable holiday in Aşkale!”

  14. not only this man,(if he is a man, a mouse is more like it. would not think twice of repeating evilness.

  15. avatar Ralph Magarian // April 23, 2014 at 12:06 pm // Reply

    Mr Erdogan this Armenian Genocide problem is very easily resolved. Simply put, ” we are not responsible for the actions of our Ottoman ancestors. We acknowledge their acts of genocide toward the Armenians and extend Turkey’s condolences to their grandchildren.” Case Closed.

    • Except Turkey IS liable for Ottoman actions. That’s what being a successor state entails

  16. Neither group represents the entirety of humankind or possess a monopoly on truth.Not only armenians also non-christian people of the Ottoman Empire were expelled from their homes..It is time for a sensible dialogue now; no more name calling, deception, or lies…there are over 10 million armenian diaspora in the world.. If we begin to see history through the eyes of those who lived it, that would make everything worse.. Turks also have such diaries and stories about the Armenian massacres of Turks.

    • There were A FEW Jewish partisans and A FEW Red Jewish soldiers who committed a few atrocities on Germans in revenge. How does that dilute the enormity of the prior Jewish Genocide?

      Your stories of a few Turkish civilians allegedly killed by Armenians are both exaggerated and irrelevant. These accounts largely occur after 4/24/15 too.

      There was no Armenian government entrusted with the welfare of Turkish citizens. There were no Armenian government soldiers, and there were no Turkish death marches. The Armenians were members of the Ottoman citizenry; the men not killed in situ by your grandfathers were killed as conscripts in the Ottoman Army not by hostile forces, but by their “comrades.” The government killed them all, with many of your filthy ancestors joining in on the murders and the theft when they could. These are fine old Turkish customs, are they not?

      Your own government hung a few of the murderers after the war, but by and large the Kemalists and CUP members killed our people using state power and stole our lands and wealth for their private gain.

      F*&^ your diary. It doesn’t exist.

    • “Turks also have such diaries and stories about the Armenian massacres of Turks.” Really? And “Armenian massacres of Turks” resulted in what? In that Turks’ ancestral lands in the Altay Mountains have been emptied of Turks and forcibly deported civilians formed vast Turkish diaspora around the world and their lands are now inhabited by the Armenians whose ancestors appropriated Turks’ properties and assets? Or it is expected that Armenians shouldn’t rise in self-defense and resistance against caring Ottoman Turks and voluntarily submit themselves to mass slaughter? What kind of idiotic Turkish mentality is this?

    • Introduction
      The archives of the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, hold a series of protocols, each with 100 handwritten intake surveys (admission forms) to the League of Nations and Danish Friends of Armenians reception house in Aleppo for Armenian genocide survivors released from Muslim households during the period 1922-1930. All in all there are some 1700 forms in this highly important collection of testimonies to every aspect of the Young Turk annihilation and assimilation process that began in 1915. The 1-page forms contain the full name of the survivor and the parents as well as place of birth and age – when such information is known to the survivor, which is not always the case. Also, they contain short biographies of life during and after the genocide, along with passport sized photographs of the survivors who came from all over the Ottoman Empire and had very diverse backgrounds. (The League of Nations Archives, Geneva, “Records of the Nansen International Refugee Office, 1920-1947,” “Registers of Inmates of the Armenian Orphanage in Aleppo, 1922-1930,” 4 vols. The exact number released by Jeppe’s organization is hard to establish, since 1), some 200 Armenians were rescued but not registered during this period, 2), a number of Armenians from Turkey and the Arab region found refuge at the Aleppo reception home after the end of the League of Nations operation in 1927 and even after DA stopped recording new arrivals in October 1930, but it must be close to 2000. Also, it is likely that some Armenians were rescued but went unrecorded by Jeppe’s organization in 1921, before the League operation had begun. See below, Dicle Akar’s preface on http://www.armenocide.de , and, e.g., letter from Karen Jeppe, “Mod Afslutningen” (”Toward the End”), Aleppo, 20 February 1930, Karen Jeppes Arkiv (Karen Jeppe Archives, hereafter KJ Archives), Gylling, Denmark. One of the protocols, nos. 1201-1300, is located in Copenhagen in Rigsarkivet (Danish National Archives), De Danske Armeniervenners Arkiv (Archives of the Danish Friends of Armenians, hereafter DA), 10158, “1919-1949,” “Forhandlingsprotokol,” pakke 1. Another protocol, nos. 401-500, appears to be missing from the archives.)
      Thanks to the efforts of the League’s commissioner for women and children in the Near East, Miss Karen Jeppe, a Dane, and her staff in Syria, these survivors were freed from households where they most often lived as slaves or servants. Using a network of agents, priests, businessmen, etc., in Anatolia/Asia Minor (mainly before the Turkish Republic was established in 1923), but mostly in Syria and Mesopotamia (Iraq), Jeppe’s organization was able to facilitate the release of a substantial number of Armenians during the period from 1921 to 1927. (See, e.g., Matthias Bjørnlund, Det armenske folkedrab fra begyndelsen til enden [The Armenian Genocide from the Beginning to the End], Kristeligt Dagblads Forlag 2013, passim; idem, “Karen Jeppe, Aage Meyer Benedictsen and the Ottoman Armenians: National Survival in Imperial and Colonial Settings,” Haigazian Armenological Review, vol. 28, 2008, pp. 9-43; idem, “Scandinavia and the Armenian Genocide,” Armenian Weekly, special issue, April 2008, pp. 19-22; Armen Manuk-Khaloyan, “’Rescued and Safe’: Armenian Orphans and the Experience of Genocide,” Center for Armenian Remembrance Occasional Paper, http://www.centerar.org . According to their website, Center for Armenian Remembrance (CAR) is also preparing to publish the Aleppo protocols.) This was part of a larger League of Nations project, where the British physician Dr. W. A. Kennedy and the American Near East Relief veteran missionary nurse Emma Cushman were in charge of a similar operation in Constantinople (the latter having worked for the American Board/ABCFM to save Armenians and Allied POWs in Konya during the war and afterwards in Greece). (See, e.g., Keith David Watenpaugh, “The League of Nations’ Rescue of Armenian Genocide Survivors, and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism, 1920-1927,” American Historical Review, vol. 115, no. 5, 2010, p. 1323; Vahram L. Shemmassian, ”The League of Nations and the Reclamation of Armenian Genocide Survivors,” in Richard G. Hovannisian, ed., Looking Backward, Moving Forward: Confronting the Armenian Genocide, New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers 2003, p. 85; “Miss Cushman Presented with the Gold Cross of Jerusalem,” The Orient, vol. 8, no. 34, 24 August 1921, p. 336. On Armenians rescued from Turkish households and orphanages in and around Constantinople, see, e.g., Ara Stepan Melkonian, “Armenian Orphans in the Care of the Armenian National Relief Organisation of Istanbul on 31 October 1919,” 2007, http://www.gomidas.org/submissions/show/14 ; League of Nations, Deportation of Women and Children in Turkey, Asia Minor, and the Neighbouring Territories: Report Presented by the Fifth Committee, Geneva 1921.)
      Now, for the first time the complete list of survivor testimonies from the Aleppo protocols is gradually being made available online here at Armenocide, a comprehensive resource for genocide scholars, historians of the Middle East and World War I, genealogists, and generally interested laymen alike. It may sound paradoxical, but while all the testimonies are unique (they each describe the fate of an individual or a family) and atypical (the ‘norm’ during the genocide was to die, not survive or escape), many are also typical in the sense that there is a pattern that points to the way the genocide was generally executed and to the possible survival strategies, in this case mainly of women and children: The killing of the men and older boys, the deportations, the massacres en route, fleeing and hiding, forced assimilation, etc., immense dramas condensed to a few sentences. A case in point is the testimony of Farfure from Khunoos (Khnus/Hinis in the Erzerum region in the direction of Mush), (We thank Abraham D. Krikorian and Eugene L. Taylor, Long Island, New York, for clarifying the Khunoos = Khnus equation). daughter of Manoog Amoershadjian, no. 246 in the Aleppo protocols, 28 years old in 1923 when she was admitted to the reception home (it should be noted that while all these testimonies were written down in English, they were done so on the spot by staff members, Danes and others, who were not native speakers of the English language, which explains the sometimes ‘clumsy’ sentence structures, etc.):
      In the beginning of the war her husband was killed. She was deported with her mother in law about two hours far from the city. The caravan of deportation was attacked by Kourds. Most of this unfortunate people were killed or wounded. Farfure could flee with another Armenian lady. They went together to one of environing villages but there they have been caught by officials of the Turkish government and exiled there again. On the road she fled again, this time she did not go to a village but she made herself a shelter under the ground where she lived a few months. Again the Turkish government located her and this time she was sent to Haïni. A Kourd from there married her and Farfure lived seven years with him. When Greeks and Armenians were permitted to leave Turkey, she fled from the Kourd, joined a party of Greek refugees and came to Aleppo. Her cousin is in America. Servant in the city. Later she was married to an Armenian here in the city. Left our care: June 29, 1923. Relatives by marriage.

      Background and context: Karen Jeppe in Urfa
      Karen Jeppe was trained as a teacher after having studied mathematics at the University of Copenhagen, but the main part of her qualifications as League of Nations Commissioner stemmed from her extensive experience and knowledge gained as field worker for the relief organization Danish Friends of Armenians (Danske Armeniervenner, DA) attached to Johannes Lepsius’ Deutsche Orient Mission in Urfa (Sanliurfa; Edessa) from 1903 to 1918. Jeppe arrived in Urfa in 1903 where she was greeted by the legendary American missionary Corinna Shattuck, (On Shattuck, see Peter Balakian, The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, HarperCollins 2003, pp. 83-84; The Missionary Herald, vol. CVII, no. 1, January 1911, p. 5; Emily Clough Peabody, Corinna Shattuck, Missionary Heroine, Chicago: The Women’s Board of the Missions of the Interior 1913; Washington Times, 24 May 1919.) and she immediately ventured to learn Armenian, Arabic, and Turkish. Soon after her arrival, Jeppe became manager of the German orphanage in the city, a sizeable operation with some 300-350 Armenian boys and girls. (On Jeppe in general, see also, e.g., Svend Cedergreen Bech, Hos et Folk Uden Land, GEC Gad 1982; Ingeborg Marie Sick, Pigen Fra Danmark, København: Gyldendal 1945, 4. forøgede udg.; Mogen Højmark, Kun et Lille Lys: Karen Jeppe, Armeniernes Moder, Wisby & Wilkens 2008; Kate Royster, Karen Jeppe og det armenske folk: et liv – et kald, Herning: Special-Pædagogisk Forlag 2013; http://www.gyllingarkiv.dk/GyllingArkiv/MISAK.pdf ; 1915-10-28-DE-002 on the armenocide website.) During the world war she, who had initially been quite positive toward the Young Turks, witnessed was every step of the way: From the declaration of war to full-blown genocide, from the growing hostility and radicalization of the local Muslim population, over the arrival of the first deportation trains from Zeitun, Erzerum, and Harput (Kharpert, Harpoot), to torture, the crushing of the desperate resistance in the Armenian quarter, the mass killings, and the deaths on the roads and in the city. (On Jeppe in Urfa, see also Ingeborg Marie Sick, Pigen fra Danmark, Gyldendal 1928, pp. 89-132; Karl Meyer, Armenien und die Schweiz – Geschichte der Schweizerischen Armenierhilfe, Bern: Blaukreuz-Verlag 1974, pp. 94, 110; Ephraim K. Jernazian, Judgment Unto Truth: Witnessing the Armenian Genocide, New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers 1990, pp. 64-67; Bedros Der Bedrossian, Autobiography and Recollections, Philadelphia: Aiwa Press 2005, passim.)
      From early summer 1915 to June 1916, Jakob Künzler, (m Lande Des Blutes und der Tränen. Erlebnisse in Mesopotamien während des Weltkrieges, Potsdam 1921, pp. 76ff.) columns with thousands of destitute Armenians on death marches were driven by gendarmes through Urfa on their way to the Syrian Desert, and were often placed for short periods of time in tent camps or large buildings such as camel sheds. Some of these columns stopped for the night outside one such building, the former Deutscher Hülfsbund orphanage that was run by Karen Jeppe, but had now been taken over by the Ottoman military. (Ingeborg Marie Sick, Pigen fra Danmark, Gyldendal 1945, 4th ed., pp. 59-60; Karl Meyer, Armenien und die Schweiz – Geschichte der Schweizerischen Armenierhilfe, Bern: Blaukreuz-Verlag 1974, pp. 94, 110; Künzler, 1921, pp. 76ff.; Jernazian, 1990, pp. 64-67; Bedrossian, 2005, passim; Helle Schøler Kjær, Danske vidner til det armenske folkemord, Forlaget Vandkunsten 2010, pp. 63ff. See also Hans Lukas Kieser, ed., Die armenische Frage und die Schweiz, Zürich: Chronos Verlag 1999.) Here, Jeppe was among those who organized to feed and care for as many surviving Armenians as possible, and like German, Ottoman, Austrian, and Swiss eyewitnesses – Jakob Künzler, Fa’iz el-Ghusein, and Joseph Naayem, among others Rev. (Joseph Naayem, Shall this Nation Die?, New York: Chaldean Rescue 1920, passim; 1915-06-29-DE-002; 1915-08-13-DE-001; Abraham D. Krikorian & Eugene L. Taylor, ”Filling in the Picture: Postscript to a Description of a Well-Known 1915 Photograph of Armenian Men of Kharpert Being Led Away under Armed Guard,” 13 June 2011, Armenian News Network/Groong, http://www.groong.com/orig/ak-20110613.html) – she describes how the men have usually been separated (and killed) at an early stage of the deportation, and how the deportees were in an increasingly deteriorating physical condition. (Sick, 1945, pp. 67-69.)
      There is ample documentation that Jeppe, alongside Swiss, American, and German missionaries and relief workers as well as a number of Kurds and Arabs, was thus personally involved in trying to aid Armenian survivors from the persecutions and death marches. Not only by feeding and nurturing them, but also by secretly sheltering some 30 Armenians, mostly men and boys, inside her own home and dug under a flowerbed in her garden in Urfa, next to the house of Künzler and near the German hospital. (E.g., Bedrossian, 2005, p. 83. The house actually belonged to the Swiss Dr. Andreas Vischer who was in Europe when the war broke out and thus prevented from returning to Urfa: Sick, 1928, p. 28. On Künzler, see also the recent English version of his book, Jakob Künzler, In the Land of Blood and Tears: Experiences in Mesopotamia during the World War (1914-1918), ed. by Ara Ghazarians, foreword by Vahakn N. Dadrian, introduction by Hans-Lukas Kieser, Arlington, MA: Armenian Cultural Foundation 2007 (1921). On Vischer and on the general situation in Urfa during the genocide, see furthermore Taner Akcam, The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, Princeton University Press 2012, passim; Gertrud Vischer-Oeri, “Erinnerungen an Urfa,” 1919, http://www.aga-online.org/texts/erinnerungen_an_urfa.php?locale=de ; Hans-Lukas Kieser, Der verpasste Friede. Mission, Ethnie und Staat in den Ostprovinzen der Türkei 1839-1938, Zürich: Chronos-Verlag 2000; Richard G. Hovannisian, ed., Armenian Tigranakert/Diarbekir and Edessa/Urfa, Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers 2006; Hilmar Kaiser, ed. & intro., Eberhard Count Wolffskeel Von Reichenberg, Zeitoun, Mousa Dagh, Ourfa: Letters on the Armenian Genocide, Princeton & London: Gomidas 2004, 2. ed., passim.) Among them were Kevork Garabedian, Bedros der Bedrossian, and the local Apostolic priest Der Karekin (Karekin Vosgeritsian) with his wife, daughter, and two sons. (See the testimonies by Bedros der Bedrossian and Kevork Garabedian in DA, 10158, “1919-1949,” ”Diverse materiale,” pakke 10.) Some survived, some did not. If the Ottoman authorities had discovered this during their frequent raids, Jeppe would most likely have been executed with the hidden Armenians, and according to an Armenian eyewitness the extreme circumstances, a nervous breakdown, as well as serious illness – malaria and typhus – led her to attempt suicide on several occasions in her Urfa home during the extermination of the Armenians. (According to Sick, 1928, p. 115, Rev. Francis Hayes Leslie, ABCFM field worker as well as US consul, went mad because of the horrors and committed suicide. See also “Rev. Francis H. Leslie, of Oorfa,” The Missionary Herald, vol. CXII, no. 1, January 1916, pp. 18-19. Initial reports (e.g., New York Times, 13 November 1915, and Indianapolis Star, 29 November 1915), claimed he was poisoned by “Turks” or the Ottoman authorities, but that is most likely not the case. See also Charles F. Weeden, Jr., “At the Siege of Urfa,” Amherst Graduates’ Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 1, November 1920, pp. 14-21, on later occurrences in Urfa.)

      In Aleppo
      After recovering back home in Denmark, Karen Jeppe and her organization, the Danish Friends of Armenians, decided that she should return to work among Armenian survivors in Aleppo, in what had now become the French mandate of Syria. Shortly after arriving in 1921, Jeppe was appointed League of Nations Commissioner for the Protection of Women and Children in the Middle East, an appointment that secured her and her organization limited funding, but a substantial amount of credibility and political and moral support. This was indeed needed as she and other aid workers faced an enormous task: some 100,000 Armenians, (Razmik Panossian, The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars, London: Hurst & Co. 2006, p. 232, n. 83. For various estimates during the 1920s and 1930s, see T. H. Greenshields, The Settlement of Armenian Refugees in Syria and Lebanon, 1915-1939, unpublished ph. d. thesis, Durham University 1978, pp. 84ff.) mainly female and very often poor, diseased, unemployed, orphaned, malnourished, and traumatized, were scattered around Syria, many eking out an existence in refugee camps. Although Armenian and American organizations in particular had been working to release Armenians since the end of the war, approximately 20,000-30,000 of the women and children were still living in Muslim captivity, victims of kidnapping, forced marriage, rape, and sexual slavery that had become de facto instruments of genocide from 1915 onward, as testified by numerous eyewitness accounts and diplomatic reports. (See, e.g., Matthias Bjørnlund, “’A Fate Worse than Dying’: Sexual Violence during the Armenian Genocide,” in Dagmar Herzog, ed., Brutality and Desire: War and Sexuality in Europe’s Twentieth Century, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, pp. 16-58; Ugur Ümit Üngör, “Orphans, Converts, and Prostitutes: Social Consequences of War and Persecution in the Ottoman Empire, 1914-1923,” War in History, vol. 19, no. 2, 2012, pp. 173-192; Ara Sarafian, ”The Absorption of Armenian Women and Children Into Muslim Households as a Structural Component of the Armenian Genocide,” in Omer Bartov & Phyllis Mack, eds., In God’s Name: Genocide and Religion in the Twentieth Century, New York: Berghahn Books 2001, pp. 209-221; Armeniervennen, vol. 6, nos. 7-8, July-August 1926, pp. 25-29; Donald E. Miller & Lorna Touryan Miller, Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian Genocide, Berkeley: University of California Press 1999; KJ Archives, letter from Jeppe to Benedictsen, 30 May 1922; Katharine Derderian, ”Common Fate, Different Experience: Gender-Specific Aspects of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1917,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, Spring 2005, pp. 1-25; Vahé Tachjian & Raymond H. Kévorkian, ”Reconstructing the Nation with Women and Children Kidnapped During the Genocide,” (translated from the French by Marjorie R. Appel), Ararat, vol. XLV, no. 185, Winter 2006, pp. 5-14; Lerna Ekmekcioglu, “A Climate for Abduction, A Climate for Redemption: The Politics of Inclusion during and after the Armenian Genocide,” Comparative Studies in Society & History, vol. 55, no. 3, 2013, pp. 522-553; Hilmar Kaiser, At the Crossroads of Der Zor – Death, Survival, and Humanitarian Resistance in Aleppo, 1915-1917, Princeton & London: Gomidas Institute 2002; Martin Niepage, The Horrors of Aleppo, Seen by a German Eyewitness; a Word to Germany’s Accredited Representatives, London: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd. 1917; Report of the Near East Relief for the Year Ending December 31, 1921, Washington: Government Printing Office 1922.) And later, more refugees were arriving every day from the Turkish republic, where continuing nationalist policies were instrumental in driving out almost all of the remaining Christians of the country. (See, e.g., Jenny Jensen, “Kristenforfølgelserne i Tyrkiet,” Armeniervennen, vol. 10, nos. 1-2, January-February 1930, pp. 1-2.)
      The various post-war DA and League of Nations projects in and around Aleppo were initially dominated and led by Danes under the supervision of Karen Jeppe, but they quickly became truly international and interconnected projects: During the years from 1921 to 1946, when the DA operation was finally terminated, the staff consisted of, e.g., the married couple Misak and Lucia Melkonian (both adopted by Jeppe in Urfa before the genocide), and a number of other Armenian genocide survivors – nurses, midwives, teachers (among them Herartian and Zormisian), an agronomist in one of the handful of Armenian agricultural colonies or villages established under Bedouin and French protection by Jeppe’s organization by the Balikh tributary between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, Harutiun Tchakerian at one of the Aleppo workshops, an Apostolic priest, the doctors Der Ghazarian and Zakaria Kiledjian (the former working at the reception home, the DA eye clinic, and the French St. Louis Hospital in Aleppo, the latter giving medical assistance and distributing medicine to Armenians and Arabs in the surrounding villages), etc.
      The non-Armenian staff included two Danes, the DA field worker Karen Bjerre and Jenny Jensen, former field worker for the Danish organization Kvindelige Missions Arbejdere/Women Missionary Workers/KMA attached to the German organization Deutsche Hülfsbund in the Harput/Mamouret-ul-Aziz province during the genocide. (On Jenny Jensen, see Bjørnlund, 2013, passim.) An almost forgotten, but vital figure was Leopold F. Gaszczyk, an ethnic Polish cadet (offiziers-Aspirant) in the Austro-Hungarian army corps (Orientkorps) consisting of some 400 officers and 8000 regular soldiers deployed to the Ottoman Empire. Gaszczyk, already a veteran from the European theatre of war at the age of 22, was sent to Aleppo and Damascus as a young interpreter, etc., shortly before the armistice in 1918, but he went back to Constantinople after a few weeks and was demobilized.
      After the war Gaszczyk wanted to aid the Armenian refugees he had recently seen and pitied, so he came back, now as a Polish subject following the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of an independent Poland. After having worked for Near East Relief to help evacuate Armenian and Greek survivors from places like Sivas, Samsun, and Kayseri, as well as Harput in the Mamouret-ul-Aziz province, he came back to Aleppo in 1923. (Leopold Gazczyk, ”Die armenische Flüchtlinge in Aleppo,” DA, 10158, “1919-1949,” ”Diverse materiale,” pakke 10, Aleppo 1946. See also Robert-Tarek Fischer, Österreich im Nahen Osten: Die Grossmachtpolitik der Habsburgermonarchie im Arabischen Orient 1633-1918, Wien, Köln, Weimar: Böhlau 2006, p. 266. Gaszczyk was born in 1896 in the then Austrian part of Silesia (Schlesien, Œl¹sk). He fought the Russians on the Eastern front and the Italians at Isonzo before being deployed to the Ottoman Empire via Belgrade. He was wounded three times in battle in Europe: personal communication with Nadir Nadi Celik, Copenhagen, who acquired these biographical details from the late professor Hermann Goltz in August 2009.) Here he met Horome, a widowed survivor of the Armenian genocide. They soon married, and both became members of Jeppe’s organization, Leopold as Jeppe’s secretary and “attaché diplomatique,” (Letter from Jeppe to Åge Meyer Benedictsen, 29 March 1924, KJ Archives, Gylling.) Horome as leader of the DA workshop that also employed Leopold Gaszczyk’s sister, Johanna Paritzi (Paritsi), and up to 300 Armenian women producing high quality needlework. (Horome Gaszczyk, ”Eine liebe Erinnerung,” DA, 10158, “1919-1949,” ”Diverse materiale,” pakke 10, Aleppo 1946. For an example of the needlework produced at the workshop: “De armeniske Haandarbejder,” Armeniervennen, vol. 20, nos. 5-6, May-June 1940, p. 18: http://www.armenews.com/IMG/Armeniervennen_Maj_Juni_1940.pdf) Further non-Armenian employees or associates included the Swiss Dr. Monnier at DA’s clinic in the Aleppo refugee camp, and the organization also co-operated with a French doctor in Rakka.

      The colonies
      The DA/League of Nations projects included the agricultural colonies with a school and an orphanage by the Balikh river in Tineh (where Jeppe and her staff had a holiday residence, the so-called White House), Tel Armen, Tel Samen, and Charp Bedros. Besides from the educational efforts, Jeppe considered the most viable long term solution to the refugee problem to be colonization, i.e., settlement in enclaves. As prospects in 1923-1924 of establishing a truly independent national home for the Armenians looked increasingly slimmer, and since only a limited number of Armenians were able to migrate or make a living in the Syrian cities, Jeppe basically took off where she left in Urfa before the war by working to establish permanent agricultural settlements in the countryside. (For instance, financial support for the establishment of the colonies was provided, not by the French authorities or to any large degree by the League of Nations, but by NGOs like the abovementioned Swedish branch of the Christian, ecumenical International Fellowship for Peace and Reconciliation, an organization working for peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians. This organization is still active: see, e.g., http://www.swefor.org/default.asp . For a list of further contributors, see above and Rigsarkivet (Danish National Archives), Udenrigsministeriets Arkiver (Archives of the Foreign Ministry, hereafter UM) 6. U. 300, ”Folkenes Forbund, Bilag,” ”League of Nations. Commission for the Protection of Women and Children in the Near East. Second Meeting held at Geneva on Saturday, September 5th, 1925.” ”Annex. Report of the Commission,” p. 4.) This seemed not only a practical solution; it was also a solution that suited her beliefs that city life for the Armenians would lead to ghettoization, to moral and physical degradation, and to the loss of Armenian culture and religion. (Jonas Kauffeldt, Danes, Orientalism and the Modern Middle East: Perspectives from the Nordic Periphery, unpublished Ph. d., Florida State University 2006, p. 135.)
      Generally, Karen Jeppe, like many Armenians, had little trust in Western powers, including the French colonial power in Syria, to prioritize the well-being of the Armenians over political and economic interests, and history had already proved that such suspicions were well founded. (Armeniervennen, Vol. 4, Nos. 11-12, November-December 1924, pp. 49-50.) This mistrust was the main reason why Jeppe had at first been hesitant to accept nomination as a League of Nations commissioner. (KJ archive, letter from Jeppe to Benedictsen, 30 May 1922.) She realized that the attention and sympathies of Western nations were fleeting, and that her work had to be based on a much more solid, long term, and tangible foundation. That foundation was to be the peaceful co-existence between local Armenian, Bedouin, and Kurdish populations. Ideally, trust and lasting peace was to be built on the foundations of the agricultural colonies.

      The refugee camp
      DA’s operation in the Aleppo refugee camp – ”the city of the 20,000” – included a soup kitchen, the eye clinic, workshops, and house repair, and Armenian survivors were aided by the organization in finding employment and relatives in and outside of Syria. Besides from teaching various classes at the reception home, the organization furthermore gave financial or material support to local Armenian educational institutions, especially to the nearby Apostolic Sahagian School by the Saint Gregory Church which received 308 pupils, girls and boys, directly from the reception home. These 308 Armenian schoolchildren were directly sponsored by Danes (see Appendix A for an example of a report on, and a letter from, one of these students). (Leopold Gaszczyk, “Karen Jeppe und das armenische Schulwesen,” DA, 10158, “1919-1949,” ”Diverse materiale,” pakke 10, Aleppo 1946.) But DA also supported kindergartens, the Apostolic Cilician, Girtasiratz (Grtasirats), and Mesrobian schools in and around the camp, as well as the ecumenical Usumnasirads (Ousomnasiratz) School and a Protestant Armenian school. (On some of these schools, see, e.g., Nicola Migliorino, (Re)Constructing Armenia in Lebanon and Syria: Ethno-Cultural Diversity and the State in the Aftermath of a Refugee Crisis, New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books 2008, pp. 71-72.
      As for the workshops, few men or elderly women had survived the genocide, so the various traditional Armenian handicrafts had to be basically relearned by the new generation. (See, e.g., KJ archive, letter from Jeppe to DA committee, 21 April 1923.) But soon a regular industry was established that not only gave Armenians the opportunity to be self-supporting, but also raised funds for the overall relief effort through the growing export of, e.g., needlework. For Jeppe, as well as for Protestant missionaries, (See, e.g., The New Near East, March 1926, p. 7.) industry was also in itself regarded as therapeutic, even redeeming – including for the many Armenian rape victims, as she stated in a letter to DA board member Ivara Nyholm from Ballerup, Denmark, in November 1924: ”Some will perhaps understand the ennobling influence this work has on the raped young women, who will be led through it back to the spirit of their people; anyway, it is one of the means to that end.” (KJ archive, letter from Jeppe to Nyholm, 22 November 1924. Or as Jeppe expressed it in a 1925 report to the League of Nations: ”We pursue with equal intensity two aims; to rescue the women and children and to educate the rescued and give them a proper start in the new life.” (UM, 6. U. 300, ”Folkenes Forbund, Bilag,” ”League of Nations. Commission for the Protection of Women and Children in the Near East. Second Meeting held at Geneva on Saturday, September 5th, 1925.” ”Annex. Report of the Commission,” p. 3. Italics in original text.

      The partners
      The international outlook, born out of necessity as well as inclination, of Karen Jeppe and her staff was further reflected in the broad variety of organizations and individuals they worked with. Besides from the League of Nations and the Danish Friends of Armenians, more or less extensive and formalized cooperation was initiated with local Bedouin leaders like Hadjim Pasha, the French authorities, (KJ archive, letter from Jeppe to Benedictsen, 6 October 1924. Maria Jacobsen and Danish KMA in Lebanon, the Norwegian KMA-missionary Bodil Biørn, Johannes Lepsius’ organization, (See the Lepsius Archives, Dr. Johannes Lepsius-Archiv an der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, LAH 1504-15183, letter from Benedictsen to Lepsius, Copenhagen, June 1921; LAH 311-3250, letter from Lepsius to Benedictsen, Potsdam, 31 January 1925. See also, in general, Hans-Lukas Kieser, ”Johannes Lepsius: Theologian, humanitarian activist and historian of Völkermord. An approach to a German biography (1858-1926),” in Anna Briskina-Müller, Armenuhi Drost-Abgarjan, Axel Meissner, red., Logos im Dialogos: Auf der Suche nach der Orthodoxie, Berlin: LIT Verlag 2011, pp. 209-229; Wolfgang Gust, “Verständnislose Auswüchse des Militarismus,” Historicum, Herbst 2007, pp. 19-25.) the so-called Swiss Fund run from Basel by Dr. E. Riggenbach, (On Emanuel (Eduard?) Riggenbach, see Hans-Lukas Kieser, ”Beatrice Rohner’s work in the death camps of Armenians in 1916,” in Jacques Sémelin, C. Andrieu, S. Gensburger, eds., Resisting Genocide: The Multiple Forms of Rescue, London: Hurst & Co. 2011, pp. 367-382; 1915-09-22-DE-002. the Armenian and the American Red Cross, the British Lord Mayor’s Fund (Armenian Refugees’ Fund), the Bishop of London’s Fund via Gertrude Patterson, the British Save the Children Fund, (On the British Save the Children organization and the massive challenges that faced not only surviving Armenians in Europe and the Middle East after the First World War, see, e.g., British Review, ed. by Austin Harrison, June 1920, p. 5: “The Armenian children are in a worse state, if possible, and Austria is a land of dwarfed and stunted slowly dying children. This is the business of us all. Could there be a more pressing or urgent cry, a plainer duty, or a more noble revenge than ‘save the children’?”) the American Miss Anna Gilpin (she donated a Ford automobile), various local Armenian relief organizations and the Apostolic Church, Fridtjof Nansen’s League of Nations foundation, Near East Relief, the French organization Action Chrétienne en Orient (ACO) via the Estonian missionary Anna Hedvig Büll (Anna Hedwig Bühl), (On ACO, which was founded by Paul Berron and had branches in the Netherlands and Switzerland, see, e.g., Gerald H. Anderson, Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing 1999, pp. 57-58; Dans la Fournaise: Epreuves des jeunes Arméniens, Strasbourg-Meinau: ACO 1938.) Danish immigrants in America, the Norwegian vice-consul in Aleppo, the International Bureau of Employment in Geneva, the unorthodox Swedish pacifist theologian and preacher Natanael Beskow and the Swedish branch of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, which, among other things, bought a tractor for the agricultural colonies, etc.(On and by Beskow, see note 22 and Natanael Beskow, Ett Martyrfolk i det Tjugonde Århundradet [A Martyred People in the Twentieth Century], Stockholm: Birkagårdens Förlag 1921.) Furthermore, donations were received from, and products were sold to, a wide variety of countries all over the world, from Europe and USA to Australia, while used clothing was shipped in from Denmark and Germany for free distribution in the refugee camp. (Further relevant literature includes Henni Forchhammer, ”Kolonierne i Syrien,” Armeniervennen, vol. 6, nos. 7-8, July-August 1926, p. 31; Armeniervennen, vol. 6, nos. 11-12, November-December 1926, p. 48; Hanne Rimmen Nielsen, ”Den hvide slavehandel. Bekæmpelse af handel med kvinder 1900-1950,” Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, vol. 19, no. 3, 2001, pp. 10-24; Katherine Storr, Excluded from the Record: Women, Refugees, and Relief, 1914-1929, Bern: Peter Lang 2010, pp. 282ff; Gyoung Sun Jang, The Sexual Politics of the Interwar Era Global Governance: Historicizing the Women’s Transnational Movements With(in) the League of Nations, 1919-1940, Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest 2009, pp. 105ff; Daniel Gorman, The Emergence of International Society in the 1920s, Cambridge University Press 2012, pp. 66-67; Vicken Babkenian, “’An S.O.S. from beyond Gallipoli’: Victoria and the Armenian Relief Movement,” Victorian Historical Journal, vol. 81, no. 2, November 2010, pp. 250-276; Panayotis Diamadis”’Save the Greek and Armenian Refugee Children’: South Australian Relief Efforts in the Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian Genocides,” in M. Tsianikas, N. Maadad, G. Couvalis, M. Palaktsoglou, eds., Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, Flinders University June 2011, Flinders University Department of Language Studies – Modern Greek: Adelaide, pp. 143-156; Niels Storgaard Simonsen, “Johannes Hage og De Danske Armeniervenner,” Rytterskolen – Medlemsblad for Karlebo Lokalhistoriske Forening, vol. 7, no. 3, 2013, pp. 11-12; Eva Lous, ”Karen Jeppe – Danmarks første befrielsesfilosof”, 2003, http://www.fredsakademiet.dk; Panikos Panayi & Pippa Virdee, eds., Refugees and the End of Empire: Imperial Collapse and Forced Migration in the Twentieth Century, Palgrave Macmillan 2011, passim; Karin Johnsson, “Flyktingslägret vid Aleppo: De hemlösas hem,” Jorden Runt: Magasin för Geografi och Resor, vol. 1, no. 2, 1929, pp. 538-543.

      The search stations and the reception home
      The most extensive part of Jeppe’s work in Aleppo was arguably the mission to rescue Armenian women and children in the region, the very reason she became a League of Nations commissioner. Quite a bit has been written on the subject, but some lesser-known pieces of information should be pointed out to further the understanding of this vast and often dangerous operation. In order to locate the Armenians and facilitate their escape, search stations were established from 1922 in the region under the leadership of Misak Melkonian, who directed the operation from Rakka (Ar-Raqqah). The other main stations were in Der Zor, run by Krikor Agha (Krikor Haygian) and his wife (he had experience helping the British occupation forces find and release Armenians immediately after the war), in Ras ul Ain (Ras al-Ayn) led by the agents Mourad and Garo, and in Hassitche (Hassetche, Hasake, Al Hasakah) by the Khabur river led by a highly dedicated Armenian named Vasil Sabagh. When he was killed by local Arabs for taking away “their” Armenians, a Syrian Christian, Michael Dome, took over his post. (UM, 6. U. 300, ”Folkenes Forbund, Bilag,” ”League of Nations. Commission for the Protection of Women and Children in the Near East. Second Meeting held at Geneva on Saturday, September 5th, 1925.” ”Annex. Report of the Commission,” p. 3; Sick, 1928, pp. 159-161; Vahram L. Shemmassian, ”The League of Nations and the Reclamation of Armenian Genocide Survivors,” in Richard G. Hovannisian, ed., Looking Backward, Moving Forward: Confronting the Armenian Genocide, New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers 2003, p. 99. Jernazian, 1990, p. 152, mentions a Vasil Sabagh who was released with Jernazian from a Diarbakir (Diarbekir, Diyarkekir, Tigranakerd) prison in 1922/1923.)
      The search stations were mainly placed in the Eastern parts of Syria and along the Turkish border, and usually near French military posts for safety (see Appendix B for a map of the stations). Using these stations as bases, the network of agents travelled the countryside, actively searching for Armenians in Muslim households, be they Kurd, Turk, Arab, Cherkess, Chechen, etc. Since both Jeppe, the League of Nations, and the French administration for various reasons were against using force to have the Armenians released, stealth, bribery, and negotiations were the preferred means. Jeppe, in her League of Nations capacity, was in fact commissioned to work not only for the ”’reconstruction’ of families,” but also for ”’reconciliation’ among peoples,” so caution and discretion was usually called for. (Shemmassian, in Hovannisian, ed., 2003, p. 85.)
      Released Armenians were sheltered in tents in the Aleppo refugee camp for the first six months or so until a proper, centrally located rescue/reception home could be found and prepared. That was not an easy task in a city severely plagued by a lack of housing as well as epidemics, unemployment, etc., so it was decided to build the home next to Jeppe’s private home and offices which were located in the outskirts of town by the railroad tracks. (Karen Jeppe, ”Frk. Jeppe i Syrien,” Armeniervennen, vol. 2, nos. 11-12, November-December 1922, p. 45; Armeniervennen, vol. 4, nos. 3-4, March-April 1924, p. 11.) In 1922 the reception house was established, and here the Armenian women and children first of all received medical treatment, some 100 at any given time. Then they were photographed, given a haircut and a bath, and had their experiences during genocide and captivity recorded in the protocols by the staff, as described by Henni Forchhammer, Danish League of Nations delegate, feminist, and educator after a visit to Aleppo in May 1926:
      Lately, Armenian women have once more started to come to Miss Jeppe’s reception stations, as a good deal of Kurds have been chased out of Turkey, and with them are many Armenian women. At the reception home the refugees get the warmest welcome by Miss Jenny Jensen who has led this branch of the operation for the last year.

      First they must shower, and they usually have to be dressed from top to bottom – that is how ragged and full of vermin they are. But before that they are photographed and their life story is briefly written down.

      One could sit for hours and look through these protocols; here, image after image unfolds of misery and sometimes abuse, one has been buried alive, another has big burns on the body – such outright cruelty is exceptional, though – many are diseased, especially suffering from syphilis and tuberculosis, they immediately receive medical treatment and usually recuperate with amazing speed; during these 4 years only few have died. Henni Forchhammer, (“Karen Jeppes Aktiviteter i Aleppo,” Armeniervennen, vol. 6, nos. 7-8, July-August 1926, pp. 29-30. Some of the testimonies by these survivors can also be found in various issues of Armeniervennen, in KJ archive, in publications like Sick, passim, etc. See also A. Hopf, Unter Verfolgung und Trübsal: Missions- und Kulturbilder aus dem Orient, Meiringen: Walter Loepthien Verlag 1928, pp. 153-58.)

      Sometimes these brief records were published in more detailed versions to be used in publications by DA (see Appendix C for an example).
      After having been admitted into the reception home, the survivors received housing in dormitories, education, and vocational training, not only to acquire skills necessary to survive and to provide for themselves, but also to become what was regarded as truly Armenian, i.e., Armenian-speaking Christians. In the Ottoman Empire, Apostolic Christianity, not language, was the principal ethnic marker for Armenians. Depending on where in the empire they lived, Armenians could be multilingual, have Turkish or Kurdish as their mother tongue, or speak Armenian dialects that were incomprehensible to an Armenian-speaking Armenian from another part of the empire. But after WWI and the genocide, when national as well as individual salvation and regeneration was of the highest priority in the diaspora, the (Western) Armenian language was regarded and taught as ”the ’essence’ of identity,” at the expense of other languages. (Panossian, 2006, p. xi.) As one of the Armenian orphans at the Aleppo reception home, Harutiun Tchakerian, expressed it, the home was a Babylon where Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish, and Laz was spoken alongside Armenian, a language many had to learn or relearn after years in captivity. (Harutiun Tschakerian, ”Zum 10 jährigen Todestage unserer geliebten Mutter Karen Jeppe 7.7. 1935 – 7.7. 1945,” DA, 10158, “1919-1949,” ”Diverse materiale,” pakke 10, Aleppo 1945.) Many Western missionaries and aid workers consciously and actively participated in this project of national recovery. As it has been stated in relation to the numerous and all-important post-war, American-run Armenian orphanages:
      The two hundred orphanages staffed and operated by Americans played an important role in rebuilding the lives of the children who survived. Although the administrators of these orphanages could have been cultural imperialists, they in fact recognized the importance of teaching the orphans about their own history, as well as helping them relearn their native language, which many children had forgotten while living in Muslim homes. The orphanages were also vital in offering children educational opportunities; indeed, the few survivors we interviewed who were illiterate were those who had lost their parents in the genocide but did not grow up in orphanages.

      Because American and European orphanage personnel encouraged girls, as well as boys, to achieve educational goals, the girls benefited from opportunities that might not have been available to them otherwise. Many of the girls left the orphanages to pursue nursing or teaching careers, and some of the survivors we interviewed indicated that they had somewhat resented getting married and adopting more conventional Armenian gender roles. Hence, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of these institutions in healing the wounds of the children they nurtured. The orphanages functioned as ”families” for the survivors who had lost parents as well as siblings. Here, orphans bonded to each other, seeking to recreate the closeness they would otherwise have enjoyed with their own family. (Miller & Miller, 1999, pp. 121-22. On the vital US relief efforts among Armenians in the Middle East, see, e.g., Balakian, 2003, passim; Joseph L. Grabill, Protestant Diplomacy and the Near East: Missionary Influence on American Foreign Policy, 1810-1927, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 1971, passim; Jay Winter, ed., America and the Armenian Genocide of 1915, Cambridge University Press 2003, passim; James L. Barton, Story of Near East Relief (1915-1930): An Interpretation, New York: Macmillan 1930, passim.)
      After 1927, Armenians were still pouring into Syria from Turkey, driven out like thousands of Kurds by the Kemalist regime. And even though the official League of Nations operation in Aleppo was terminated that year, partly due to a lack of funding, political support, and public interest, Armenians kept coming to the reception home, albeit in smaller numbers. (Hampartzoum Mardiros Chitjian, A Hair’s Breadth From Death, London & Reading: Taderon Press 2003, pp. 264-66.) As usual, most were women and children, since Armenian men were often imprisoned or drafted and thus prevented from fleeing. A case in point was Asnif Melidonian, who was expelled with her four small children in 1930 and taken into Jeppe’s reception home while her husband was in the army. Her husband finally got out of Turkey and found Asnik in Aleppo, but before that two of their children had died of diseases, a common occurrence among impoverished Armenian refugees. The two surviving children were sponsored by a Danish foster-mother. (Published letter from Karen Jeppe, “Afskedshilsen fra Karen Jeppe,” 1933?, KJ Archives.)
      In the decade after World War II, the remnants of the DA operation in and around Aleppo were wrapped up, and buildings, schools, etc. were mostly handed over to Armenian organizations. (See, e.g., Armenierbladet, vol 1, no. 1, June 1949, letter from Leopold Gaszczyk, pp. 5-6.) But the legacy lives on, in books and documents as well as in places and people, in the Karen Jeppe Armenian College (Karen Jeppe Gemaran) (http://www.karenjeppegemaran.com/) in the once more suffering city of Aleppo where Jeppe lies buried and where one can still find the Sahagian School, (http://sahagianschoolaleppo.com/) in the small, peaceful town of Gylling, Jeppe’s place of birth in mainland Denmark which hosts her archive and a memorial stone raised in her honor, and in the very lives of the descendants of the hundreds of survivors saved by her organization.

      Appendix A
      Typewritten report from May 1938 about an Armenian girl, Angel Hagopian, pupil at the Sahagian School in Aleppo, with a letter in Danish from 1939, typewritten or dictated by Angel and translated by DA. (DA, 10158, “1919-1949,” “Børnemapper,” pakke 2, 1-44.) The report and the letter were sent to the sponsor in Denmark, Miss Dagny Olsen in Kolding. It is stated in the report that Angel is from Sasun (Sason, Sassoun) in Turkey, which in this case in all likelihood means that her parents, not Angel, were born there:

      “No. 2: Angel Hagopian from Sasoun, Turkey, born 28 November 29.
      The condition of Angel’s family is very pitiful. The father has been paralyzed for 7 years and is confined to the bed. The mother is exhausted from caring for her sick husband and her 3 small children. But she is brave and seeks work as a laundry woman to help out. Angel – the oldest daughter – is a tall, beautiful girl, and even though she is dressed in rags she is tidy and clean. She is very happy about a new pair of shoes that were sent to her as a gift from Danish Friends of Armenians. If this family did not receive free soup and bread it would in no way be able to overcome the difficulties it is subjected to. Though Angel suffers from the misfortune of the family, she shows the same courage as her mother and tries to live through all difficulties with a smile on her face. Despite the many troubles that Angel must endure, she is able to continue her studies in the third grade at the Sahagian School, and she is praised by her teachers for her good conduct and grades. Angel’s family is worthy of all possible assistance.”
      “Aleppo, 29 December 1939.
      Dear foster mother.
      You sent me 3 kroner as a Christmas present. Many thanks for that. I was so happy and I ran straight home to my mother and gave her the money. She was also very happy. We will buy many nice things for Christmas. Now I know that you care for me. I also care for you a lot. I will be very obedient and eager in school and [1 illegible word, probably “hjemme,” “at home”]. I know that this will please you.
      Many greetings from mother and me,
      Your little foster daughter, Angel Hagopian.”

      Appendix B
      Undated, hand-drawn map of the League of Nations search stations. DA, 10158, “1919-1949,” from Gaszczyk’s report “Die Suchestationen Karen Jeppes Rettungsarbeit,” (”Diverse materiale,” pakke 10, Aleppo 1946.)

      Appendix C
      An example of two vastly expanded survivor testimonies (Astrig and Asaduhi, protocol nos. 0945 and 0946, their last names are not known) is found in the journal of DA, Armeniervennen (The Armenians’ Friend) in 1926. More precisely, the testimonies were recorded by Jenny Jensen and turned into an illustrated article to raise awareness of the plight of the surviving Armenians in Syria and the troubles facing those who attempted to rescue them. Perhaps it was believed that the somewhat unusual and ‘exotic’ or particularly sensational nature of these testimonies would appeal to a Danish audience. Most often escapes or releases from Muslim captivity were relatively uneventful, but as this and other examples show, there were sometimes drama and dangers involved: (Gerda Mundt, Til Østerland – I Ord og Billeder, Gyldendal 1929, p. 109; Armeniervennen, vol. 6, nos. 11-12, November-December 1926, pp. 44-46. See also the drama-documentary based on real events and commissioned by the League of Nations, Karen Jeppe, 10/19 minutes, France 1926, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2zfv5x41cQ)

      ”Astrig and Asaduhi. In Armeniervennen, July-August [1926], there is a picture of the little dancing girls at their arrival here. [KMA missionary nurse] Miss Marie [Maria] Jacobsen has also mentioned them in the same volume of the journal. I would like to tell a little more about these two little knocked-about creatures, and I send photographs of them along with [the article] that show them as they look now. Zekia and Fehine were their names when they arrived to the home in February this year. We immediately changed their Arabic names into Armenian ones: Asaduhi and Astrig. They remember nothing about their parents or their relatives; they were only around 2 years old when they fell into the hands of a Gipsy tribe during the time of the deportations. The little ones only know that they were raised for dancing from their earliest childhood through starvation and beatings. This Gipsy tribe wandered from place to place, and the little girls – beautiful and graceful as they were – brought them a good income, not only as dancing girls, but also as prostitutes [”Glædespiger,” literally ”joy girls”]. The little 13 year old Asaduhi had already been married for one year to an old Arab when she came here.

      An Armenian who discovered the little ones approached our agent in Deir-el Zor; with the help of the French government, [the agent] managed to free them and send them to us with an automobile. They immediately created a sensation here in the house, as they were heavily tattooed, especially on the hands; but it was mostly because they had rings in their noses, and we were not used to see this here. For several months it was necessary to keep them under watch day and night because the chiefs of the Gipsy tribe immediately came here to get them back. They tried in all kinds of ways, through bribery and complaints to the government. It even went so far that when there was a flood here for a couple of days, and the house was surrounded by water, an Arab tried to swim to a balcony where one of the little girls sat and played with a doll; but luckily a big girl came and threw a slipper at his head and took the little girl inside so that he did not succeed in getting a hold of her.

      We did not hear from the Gypsies for some time and we were hoping that they had given up their harassment; but we realized that we had another thing coming when we one day heard that the Gipsy leader had dressed himself in an Armenian costume and had gone to the Armenian church to get a hold of the girls that way; these girls were happy the day that they had come so far as to be able to follow the other children to church. [Danish League of Nations representative] Miss [Henni] Forchhammer writes about how interesting it is to see how the facial expression changes as they begin to feel more and more comfortable. Astrig and Asaduhi quickly changed and they have learned quickly how to speak and write Armenian.

      Now we have had the joy that Asaduhi’s father has been found in America. It is often like a wonder to us and the children that these things can happen. One day some people came from Kharput and looked for relatives here. A woman suddenly stands still in front of Asaduhi and cries out: ’I’m sure that this is my sister’s daughter. She looks just like my sister! Where does she come from? How old is she?’ Of course, we could only tell that she came from the Deir-el-Zor region, and that we believed her to be about 13 years old. ’If it’s her, then her father lives in America; I’ll write him and ask if there’s a special mark from which he can recognize his child.’ The answer came: ’If it is my little girl there must be a birthmark on the right thigh and a scar on the nose.’ The aunt came and examined the child and it turned out that she had exactly those marks.

      To us there is no doubt that it is his daughter that has been recovered. His wife died on the road, and just then his little girl was robbed from him, one of the many victims from the deportation time. He managed to hide himself and later escaped to America. The joy is of course great on both sides. Such are God’s mysterious ways. We now hope that someday Astrig’s relatives will show up, too. We wish that they may have a brighter future as their childhood has been unusually terrible. This and other similar incidents give us encouragement and strength in our work.”

    • avatar Karekin // May 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm //

      Unfortunately, I don’t think any Turk has even one story about how their own government ousted them from their homes by the hundreds of thousands, murdered all the men and walked the women and children into the Syrian desert. If so, please tell it to me. Turks seem to cleverly forget how much culture and civilization the Armenians contributed to their lives and to their empire over the course of 900 years, but seem to have no problem with mass murder and then the outright theft of everything left behind. You ask Israel (rightly so) for compensation for those killed during Mavi Marmara, but can’t seem to offer even an official apology for the millions of innocent Turkish speaking, Anatolian Armenians who were killed by order of the government. Please tell me, why is that? Can you all please try to be human? I know it’s possible. It seems that PM Erdogan is trying, which is appreciated, but not trying quite hard enough.

  17. avatar Vagharshak Sevulyan // April 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm // Reply

    As above one writer mention why we are printing usuasless person erdogan statement. I agree 100%. Remove it so I feel comfortable.

  18. He has been under pressure for lately Armenians did not seat quietly wile he did whatever he wanted to do at Kessab. After reading this I am even more fired up to do more spread the word, put more pressure on our representatives so they pass it on to Erdogan. Yes the price is too high for accepting Genocide done by your Grandfathers. I wish I live long enough to see Kars, Ani, and …. back

  19. “In Turkey, expressing different opinions and thoughts freely on the events of 1915 is the requirement of a pluralistic perspective as well as of a culture of democracy and modernity.”

    This man is a cartoon. The world laughs at him knowing that he has more writers imprisoned than any other nation.

    “It is with this understanding that we have opened our archives to all researchers.”

    Turkish scholars, like Taner Akcum, who have searched those files, have stated that the archives were sanitized long ago. They are now filled with fairy tales of Turkish virtue.

    “…we convey our condolences to their grandchildren.”

    Apparently their children do not have his condolences. Perhaps, it’s because he knows that, like me, many of their children still have primary documentation that verifies the Ottoman criminal act of the Genocide of the Armenians. And we have no hesitation in making it public.

    And this pathetic little man is still running around pulling money out of his pockets trying to find “scholarly” dialogue. He sounds more desperate than he did last year; he’s squirming more each year.

  20. The bottom line is this: Turks won their Republic; Armenians won their Republic. Yet suggesting that the same peoples who co-existed for centuries, can still co-exist humanely, is where the devil lies: The co-existing Christian side is not there anymore, to continue to co-exist in brotherly manner. There are no more Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians…on those ancestral lands, so as to brotherly co-exist! Unless, of course, the Hamshens, the Zazas, the Alevis, the Kurds of Armenian ancestry are the targeted grandchildren of those who suffered!!! It says, irrespective of religion and ethnicity, let the grandchildren co-exist in peace of love in those common areas of geography, commonly called Turkish Republic, commonly identified as Turkish Citizens, commonly reciting everyday “What a joy it is to be a Turk…”.

  21. Undoubtedly Mr. Erdogan, in his infinite compassion, will also direct his government and the intellectual goons who carry out its directives in other countries to stop fomenting denial, distortion of history, and the corruption of scholarship, since a man of his towering intellect and humanity must realize that otherwise this statement does not even rise to the level of lip service.

  22. It was100% genocide mr erdogan!!!

  23. avatar Nubar Zohrabian // April 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm // Reply

    Turkey is playing games as always; they will do anything /any lies to get their ways, Erdogan says every body suffered even Turks suffered; let us aks him, are there any Turks / Muslems got uprooted from their lands? Armenians and Christians were uprooted from their lands that’s why Armenins are scatered all over the world. one and a half Armians were killed, started by hanging the best of them in public squares; confescated their property, burned Their Churches,robed their businesses and properties; raped their women and girls and foced them to convert to Islam or get killed. up to now there are hundreds of villeges their origen were Armenian and they speak a dialog similay to Armenian Language. Why Erdogan does not say Turkey is a demcratic country now and return / reimburse their loss. Remember Tukey is doing the same in Syria, and will do it to the 30 melions of Kurds as well, if they ask for the minmum of their rights.

    • avatar Bekir Soydemir // April 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm //

      Rights is a translation of separatism. There are 2 factions of Kurds in Turkey. You have one group, which positively contributes to protect Turkey’s borders. This group loves their country Turkey. They do not believe in BDP and PKK separatist lies. You had a President of Turkey who declared publicly in Turkey saying that he had Kurdish background. His name was Turgut Ozal. Yes, Turgut Ozal was Kurdish. Also, the leader of the most nationalist party, MHP, was born in Diyarbakir, and maybe potentially Kurdish.

      There is a very small group of seperatists who support the BDP and HDP and PKK parties in Turkey. They only represent a marginal group of Kurds in Turkey. Many ethnicities make up Turkey but consider themselves Turkish FIRST AND FOREMOST.

      By the way, if Erdogan was such a nationalist, he would have dropped all talks with the EU, stayed out of the Syrian war (no side is fighting for democracy and was never doing so), he would fight a relentless war against the PKK which would bring PKK to is extinction, he would push for North Cyprus independence and fight for more fairness on the Armenian question, instead of wimping out on that issue. You are wrong about everything.

  24. Right, Mr. Erdogan, it was a “shared pain”. The Turks inflicted the pain, and the Armenians suffered the pain.

  25. THE WORLD AND SOME TURKS ARE ANGRY AND AMAZED HOW COULD TURKEY DENY THE GENOCIDE OF THE ARMENIANS ERDOGAN IS TRYING TO SPIN THE OLD DENIAL INTO A MORE SOFTER VERSION, HE COULD TELL HIS PROXIES IN KESSAB TO WITHRAW AND ALLOW THE PEACEFUL ARMENIANS TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMES. THIS WILL BE A GREAT GESTURE ON HIS PART. MAY OUR MARTYRS REST IN PEACE

  26. And what does Mr. President Obama do on the eve of April 24th Commemoration Day? Copy-paste “Medz Yeghern” term from his previous statements or have the courage to keep his promise to recognize the Turkish crime as Genocide?

  27. Imagine if in 2050 the future leaders of Germany issue a statement about one hundred years following World War II. Substitute every use of “Armenians” with “Jews”. The leaders of a “modern” and “advanced” country taking the “opinions” of genocide deniers on an equal footing with eye witness accounts of survivors and popular consensus between historians AND the international community. It is time for healing — not discourse.

    I would assume Armenians keep fighting until the Armenian Genocide is recognized in the same light as the German Holocaust, not in terms of the similarities in the timeline of events, but in the INTENT of the perpetrators in destroying a proud population with a shared culture and heritage.

  28. avatar john S Bandaian // April 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm // Reply

    Because of what her county did for my grand parents in front of my father and mother,I refused to have a Turkish nurse take care of me after I had a gangrenous gall bladder removed. Might sound childless but hearing my father telling me that they beheaded his parents in front of him, how can you forgive, I’m sorry for the nurse.

  29. It is unfortunate that the way that armenians learn about the history throws them on to the edges of extreme paranoia. That armenian refuses to have a Turkish nurse. If he had died because he refused that, then the news on AW would be like “An armenian died because a Turkish nurse refused to take care of him!” Tragicomic.

    • SHAME ON YOU WERE IS YOUR REMORSE AND HUMANITY FOR THIS MAN THAT IS STILL IN PSYCHOLOGICAL PAIN HE FEELS FOR TWO INNOCENT GRANDPARENTS BRUTALLY KILLED THIS ACT WAS REPEATED ON MANY ARMENIAN BABIES,CHILDREN, WOMEN AND MEN JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE CHRISTIANS.

  30. avatar Weird Turkish Guy // April 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm // Reply

    I am Turkish, but live in the US. I am a medical doctor. Now I know what happened as it is: Genocide. This took a while, however, and it was not easy to come to terms with it.
    Growing up in denial is not easy. You are not allowed to ask questions, you are yelled at at school, bullied by friends and even teachers for asking questions. Also, there is a continuous official pressure that says “no evidence exists, everything the Armenians have to show is fake”. Indeed, until internet became available, I had no possible way to access any source of information in Turkey.

    Turkish people are afraid of facing that they have such cruelty in their past. Also, religious feelings (Sunni Islam) also allow people to rationalize what they have done. We should not forget that Sunni Turks also committed massacres on Alevi Turks for centuries. Not to minimize the AG, just a statement of facts to show that Sunni Turks are no stranger to the notion of eliminating those who are different.
    Islam takes a strange toll on people’s minds. Even smart and tender-hearted people can suddenly find themselves accepting and even supporting crimes such as murder and pedophily.

    I was able to face the ugly truth because I am agnostic, and what broke my inner resistance was the “Islamized Armenians”. Creating thousands of orphans and brainwashing them just to turn them against their own heritage can be only done with organized cruelty. When I researched this issue, I was finally able get rid of the denialist in me.

  31. The statement is positive, as a descendant of a survivor of the Turkish genocide this means a lot, at least no denial…perhaps more to come. I praise the work of all Armenians and non Armenian organisations and personel who did for decades work hard for our cause, may all armenians who suffered and still suffering like I am find peace in their hearts.

  32. PM Erdogan’s message carries so much fertilizer, that stinks the entire planet. I think we should refrain from using the term “Ottoman Turks” when referring to the Armenian Genocide, because, in my opinion, there is no difference between the “Ottoman Turks” and today’s so called “Young Turks”, they are one and the same. They have the same Modus Operandi (M.O.). After the Armenian Genocide, there was another Genocide, the “Dersim Massacre” in 1937 & 1938 perpetrated by the “Young Turks” using the same M.O., under the guise of “relocation” and “resettlement” (sounds familiar??), of the people of Dersim (Alevi Kurds and Zazas), a region in central Turkey and creating the circumstances to “justify” their ethnic-cleansing dirty work. Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dersim_Massacre

    “….And it is with this hope and belief that we wish that the Armenians who lost their lives in the context of the early twentieth century rest in peace, and we convey our condolences to their grandchildren….”

    Wow…these are words from “Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan Pasha’s” message to the Armenian people. Offering condolences to the grandchildren of the Armenian Genocide victims, the very grandchildren that were uprooted, killed, or forced to leave their homes in Kessab, Syria. All planned by Turkey and perpetrated by the terrorist groups that are aided and supported by Turkey.

    Turkey cannot continue to deny the Armenian Genocide. Evidently there is a tremendous pressure on Turkey and the pressure is mounting, sooner or later, they [Turkey] will recognize the Armenian Genocide and be held accountable, and justice will prevail. But, we have to do our part, we cannot fold our hands and be spectators, whether we want to or not, we are involved, this issue concerns each and every Armenian, siting on the side line is not an option. We can educate others, especially non-Armenians, by giving them reading material, articles, book…etc. about the facts behind the Armenian Genocide, and expose Turkey’s true color. Also, we must support ANCA (Armenian National Committee of America) with its grassroots efforts, ANCA has done a great job and put a tremendous effort in lobbying for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Washington and individual states, but they cannot do it alone, they are the spearhead, and they need each and everyone of us to be the force behind them, so, we should volunteer our time end effort, and give our financial support, and help any way we can.

  33. avatar Carlo BASTAJIAN // April 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm // Reply

    The lie in the soul is a true lie
    Republic of turkey tayyip Erogan is the grandchild of Ottoman Empire , still lie about 1915 genocide .
    Misrepresent the real store of one and half million Christian Armenian died in the hands of Turk ottoman
    Empire land . And then there calling it relocation untruthful lies , the truth is the Turks killed and butchered the Armenians and they took most of Armenian land . The truth will come out one day

  34. Mr. Erdoghan you should climb on top of Mount Ararat and ask, for Allah’s forgiveness, before apologizing to Armenian Nation!

  35. avatar Murad Sepastaci // April 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm // Reply

    “Yote titegh teghin voski ..chenk havadar turkin khoski …” this is another form of denialism .erdogan supporting al qaeda ..attacking my brothers in Kessab. helping terrorists in Syria supplying weapons & shooting airplanes in Syrian territory . supplying poison gas to terrorist fighting in Syria & blaming the Syrian govt. ..hey brothers the Armenian Genocide still continues the unholy triangle with uncle Sam’s protection is causing havoc in the middle East in the name of word piece .

    • avatar krikor birazian // April 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm //

      The Translation of the first sentence in Armenian :
      Seven pails of yellow gold and we still don’t believe the Turks of old… it rhymes nicely in Armenian.

  36. Repackaged and relabelled denialism indeed. Sugar-coated and more “sophisticated” but denialism still, and actually more dangerous. It is a pointer towards continued Turkish hostility towards Armenian statehood and people well beyond the centenary – if it can get away with it. Soon they may even utter the G word and then the world – same parliaments and peoples who have “recognised” the Genocide will tell as to kiss and make up! We mourned and remembered for the first half century. Then we remembered and campaigned for “recognition”. Surely the time has come to mobilise for tangible and achievable real objectives such as compensation using all avenues: (international) law/legal, diplomatic, political and more, building on the real gains in Artsakh and partial defeat of Turkbaijan khanate.

  37. Repackaged and relabelled denialism indeed. Sugar-coated and more “sophisticated” but denialism still, and actually more dangerous. It is a pointer towards continued Turkish hostility towards Armenian statehood and people well beyond the centenary – if it can get away with it. Soon they may even utter the G word and then the world – same parliaments and peoples who have “recognised” the Genocide will tell as to kiss and make up! We mourned and remembered for the first half century. Then we remembered and campaigned for “recognition”. Surely the time has come to mobilise for tangible and achievable real objectives such as compensation (territorial, material, financial) as well as apology and civilised normal behaviour from Turkey imposed on it if necessary using all avenues: (international) law/legal, diplomatic, political and more, building on the real gains in Artsakh and partial defeat of Turkbaijan khanate. We’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t produced much/any results so time to change course.

  38. avatar Arsen Mashoian // April 23, 2014 at 10:41 pm // Reply

    What he says and what he thinks is not important, what’s important for me is what my grandparents have lived thru, and what they’ve witnessed.
    From leaving their houses and valuables in Van and running for their lives, losing their children on the way to Basra on foot, prepare to leave their children under bushes to die from hunger then being slaughtered by the soldiers witnessing all this, and living thru all this that’s what matters to me.
    Every Armenian family has lost loved ones in this bloody affair, so every Armenian family deserves an apology, and a recognition by the world so our ancestors’ souls can rest in peace.

  39. Dear Armenian friends, I am a turk who was born in Turkey and still lives here. I’m really ashamed our goverment and its politics. They never been friendly since 100 years. The history that teach us in the schools is just bullshit and based on full of lies. As a result, many children grow up with a hate against Armenians but they don’t even know why they hate! But of course we’re not all same. I have a good association with Armanians and the other. I do understand you and your feelings. I hope one day all folks on the earth can live together and friendly. (I just wanted share my feelings with bad English)

    • we understand, and I thank you, your English is a lot better than my Turkish.

    • Salih Efendi,

      Once they read your comment, ermenians will like you tooooo much and say, “look, Salih is a good boy”..!

      And you will be happy ? LOL

    • Armenians are right about their arguments. Should I say “nothing was happen” just because I’m a Turk? And I just believe in humanity. nothing more! So I don’t care about somebodies like me. I just care about humanity!

  40. avatar Yerevanian // April 24, 2014 at 1:59 am // Reply

    By taking it upon himself to issue a statement on the “events of 1915″ on the eve of April 24th, already shows that Turkey’s terrorist leader, Erdogan, is fully aware of the genocide committed against the Armenian people by his criminal nation. And naturally, just like the vast majority of Turks who desperately attempt to deny the Armenian Genocide, Prime Minister Erdogan also makes a desperate attempt to deny this particular genocide. Let’s also not forget that in addition to the Armenian Genocide, the criminal Turkish nation also denies the genocides it committed against the Greek and Assyrian peoples.

    Truly speaking, Prime Minister Erdogan makes himself look extremely foolish in his speech, which is filled with absurdity from top to bottom. He talks about sharing opinions on a historical matter, which of course refers to the Armenian Genocide; he talks about a better understanding on historical issues; he even talks about Turkey’s “climate of freedom.” Exactly who is he trying to fool with all this nonsense? When it comes to understanding the Armenian Genocide issue and sharing opinions on it, Turkey desperately attempts to suppress it in every possible way. This explains the reason why Turkey persistently threatens other countries whenever they bring up legislation for recognizing the Armenian Genocide. This also explains the reason why Turkey happens to have a portion of its national spending budget devoted to countering any kind of event, project, or recognition, associated with the Armenian Genocide. The nation of Turkey, even has a law, which under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, forbids the utterance of “Armenian Genocide” in public. Now that’s the meaning of being desperate!

    When the criminal tyrant, Erdogan, talks about Turkey’s climate of freedom, exactly which freedom is he talking about? In Turkey, in addition to the crime of saying “Armenian Genocide” in public, it’s also a crime to say anything slightly insulting about the Turkish nation, culture, flag, or government. It’s even a crime in Turkey to say any kind of insult about the religion of Islam. I guess all of this, explains the reason why Turkey happens to have the highest number of jailed writers and journalists of any country in the world today. And by now, it’s well known by Europe and the United States, how Turkey continuously abuses the human rights of its Armenian inhabitants, as well as its Kurdish inhabitants.

    Prime Minister Erdogan, seems to believe that he has done a very noble act by opening up a large portion of Turkey’s archives to the public. The problem though, is that the majority of Turkish documents in regard to the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Genocides, have been burned over the past 95 years, between the end of World War One and the present. As for those particular documents that haven’t been burned, they of course happen to not be open to the public. However, the Turkish historian, Taner Akcam, somehow did manage to get access to some of those documents.

  41. Funny to see Armenians still think they can get money or land from Turks :-)

    • avatar Yerevanian // April 25, 2014 at 1:58 am //

      It’s funny to see that the desperate Turks still think they can hide the true facts of the three genocides their Islamic terrorist country committed against the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians.

  42. New development from Turkey: Government strongly considering offering citizenship to the grandchildren of Armenians who left Turkey prior to 1923 and therefore never had Turkish citizenship or those who were at one point citizens of Turkey and their citizenship revoked.

    • Yeah? My parents escaped genocide (“left Turkey”… lol) prior to 1923, leaving their three croplands, a house, a cattle barn, and most of personal belongings in the village. Does the Turkish government also strongly take into consideration that those who “left Turkey” prior to 1923 had properties on their ancestral lands? Who is going to restitute the lands and compensate the losses if they offer citizenship to the rightful owners’ descendants?

  43. avatar Berge Jololian // April 24, 2014 at 6:35 pm // Reply

    Genocide Acknowledgment without Accountability is hollow and meaningless – it is worse than denial.

    The Turks have not only murdered humans, destroyed an ancient culture, civilization and rewritten history, the Turks continue to legitimize the act as well as the racist ideology that led to the act.

    The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) refers to the events as the Armenian Genocide.

    Why then others attempt to call the Armenian Genocide by a different word? – > To remove the criminal element of “Intent”, a key component that constitutes genocide.

    Why then refer to it by different label? –> To free genocidal-Turkey from Accountability: land, reparation and restitution.

    What matters is the *accountability* and specifically Armenian owned lands, assets, wealth of Armenians confiscated, not to mention the lives of 2 million people brutally murdered, reparation and restitution.

    No amount of apology or acknowledgment will ever be sincere or enough – it is Genocide Acknowledgment with *Accountability* that matters.

  44. I can feel my ancestors still asking why? my grandmother grew up living with lies. She was forced to deny being Armenian because her parents felt shame. They should never have felt shame for being Armenian! But, being forced from their homes, left internal scars. I grew up with a strong, lovng, and hungry grandmother. She taught me how to love. She was one hundred percent Armenian. I am proud to be Armenian and share her qualities. The Turkish government may never recognize the genocide but that does not mean people who are Turkish will not. Nor does it mean we should hate all Turkish people. Our ancestors were strong! They were brave! and they were full of love and intelligence! I believe we should keep supporting each other and never forget our history, but also not live in anger. As we know violence never solved anything. With all my love and support for my ancestors and fellow Armenians!

  45. avatar Avedis Ohannessian // April 25, 2014 at 10:45 am // Reply

    I cannot believe Turkish people elected this ignorant man as their president. Has he even looked at any history book?
    This is exactly what you would expect a child to say in school when he/she has no idea what the teacher is asking because they have no clue. SHAME! SHAME! WHAT A DISGACE!!!

  46. Erdogan’s statement is nothing but the bare minimum political tactic he would have had to engage in as Turkey prepares for the Centenary. He has made it very clear: “shared pain”, “the events of 1915″ will be the escape hatch for Turkey in 2015, the same old same old. It is therefore sad to see people trying to find something new or encouraging in his cunning statement. The struggle continues.

  47. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // April 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm // Reply

    Human Rights

    Do not seize me in your cave
    Open your door let me behave
    To see the world in its fight
    To try to protect every human right!

    Let me grasp a red pen in hot hands,
    Writing poems to justify rationales.
    Let me write to billions of inhumane breaths,
    Let them feel ashamed of sinful fights.

    Let the righteous rays shine on every-brain
    To guide spirits, into the right light.
    Let harsh minds listen every night
    To symphonies praising humans’ right.

    I am yours, always yours.
    No one can grab me by force.
    I like to scream very loud . . .
    Human rights are everyone’s birth’s right.

    Let my voice, from the heartiest soul,
    Reach further than both polar sites.
    Let tears of the speakers on human rights
    Flows like waterfalls on starved lands.

    Don’t hide me in an unsown cave,
    I’m kind and heartily brave . . .
    I have genes to know every right,
    From sunshine to moon light.

    Let all raise the faithful flag of human rights,
    In the suppressed corners of ‘Crying Crowds’
    To detect, narrate, yet prevent birthing crimes.
    Let slayers confess past deeds, thus prevent further Genocides*.

    April 24, 2006 Remembrance Day for Armenian Genocide of April 24, 1915

  48. If the Armenians want really to have results and Media coverage they should drag Erdogan in front of the International Criminal Court for crimes of war and Genocide for the genocide of Kessab, the looting of the properties of the Armenians all transferred to Turkey and the backing of Terrorist that enterred Kessab from Turkish land with Turkish Army support even Turkish Air Force support. Wake up Armenians stop being silent and hope others will grant you Justice.

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