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    Ottoman archives promoted

    Hürriyet Haber
    29.03.2005 - 11:40 | Son Güncelleme: 29.03.2005 - 11:40

    Prime Ministry State Archives Director General Yusuf Sarinay said that there were tens of thousands of documents in Turkish State Archives refuting the allegations of so-called Armenian genocide.

    Holding a news conference, Sarinay said, ''Armenians have been making propaganda against Turkey for a long time. There are more than 1 million documents related with Armenians directly and indirectly in our archives from 1870s to 1922. These documents are waiting for a scientific examination.''

    ''When we read those documents, we see that the Ottoman Empire decided to relocate Armenians to suppress a de facto uprising and put an end to Armenian's collaboration of Russian army, not to prevent a likely rebellion,'' he said.

    Noting that the allegations of so-called Armenian genocide were based on subjective works and evaluations like memories instead of scientific documents, Sarinay said, ''there are tens of thousands of documents in our archives refuting these allegations. Our basic target is that the history should be written objectively. Therefore, we have opened our archives to all scientists.''

    Recalling that April 24th was declared as ''day of genocide'' by Armenians, Sarinay told reporters, ''in fact, leading names of Armenian committees were arrested on that date. For instance, 235 Armenian people were arrested in Istanbul. None of them was sentenced to death penalty or sent to exile. Some circles claim that Armenian artist Comidas was killed in the genocide. In fact, he was a member of the Armenian committees. He was arrested in Istanbul and served 14 days in Cankaya Prison. He later left for Paris and died there.''

    ''Armenians created an imaginary history. The Republic of Turkey remained silent against their allegations till 1990s in order to prevent revival of past hatred, however, its silence did not resolve the issue. On the contrary, this silence was wrongly perceived as a sign of its being guilty,'' he said.
      
    Sarinay kept on saying, ''when we examine these documents as a whole, it is evident that the decision of the Ottoman Empire to relocate Armenians was totally legal. The Ottoman Empire had also made some arrangements about properties of Armenians, and adopted a law about return of these properties to Armenian people when they returned. The Ottoman Empire had never targeted a genocide. It had made such an temporary decision on political and military grounds.

    Western historians and Armenian diaspora ignore these documents to preserve their imaginary history.''

    ''There were many high-level Armenian officials in Istanbul in those days. If the Ottoman Empire had intended a genocide, it would have killed those officials first. The Ottoman Empire had sent notes to Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland in 1919, which had not been involved in the World War I, to send jurists. If they had sent jurists to Turkey, all those allegations would have been buried in the history,'' he stressed.

    ''Once again, we call on Directorate General of Armenian State Archives to pave the way for scientific studies. Also, archives of the American diaspora in the United States should be opened,'' he said.

    Upon a question, Sarinay told reporters, ''according to the latest population census in the Ottoman Empire, Armenians had a population of 1 million 161 thousand. Sources say that nearly 400 thousand Armenians had left for Russia, and 450-750 thousand Armenians had been subject of the relocation. However, warfare and epidemics made it impossible to clarify all these figures.''

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