Talaat Pasha’s Report on Armenian Genocide Launches in Istanbul

The book's Turkish version was presented in Istanbul

The book’s Turkish version was presented in Istanbul

Epress.am — British-Armenian journalist and director of the London-based Gomidas Institute Ara Sarafian recently travelled to Istanbul to launch his newly published book Talaat Pasha’s Report on the Armenian Genocide in Turkey.

During a joint press conference with other writers, Sarafian responded to attacks by Turkish writers about the book. This work is a serious appraisal of a report found in the possession of Talaat Pasha, the Ottoman Minister of Interior responsible for the Armenian Genocide of 1915. It concludes that the report was a confidential account of the Armenian Genocide based on Ottoman records. It presents Talaat’s data in detail and includes additional materials such as two illustrative color maps and appendixes. Haber Turk writer Murat Bardakçi, who published the Talat Pasa diaries in 2008, wrote in his coloumn that Ara Sarafian and members of the Armenian Diaspora stole his book. Sarafian responded that, of course, it was very important to publish Taalat Pasha’s Black Book (“Talat Pasa’nin Evrak-i Metrukesi” in Turkish) but Bardakçi analyzed the report incorrectly which is understandable considering Turkey’s official stance on the Genocide. Sarafian added, nevertheless, we have to express much gratitude to Murat Bardakçi, because he had the courage to publish this book, which in itself rejects the Turkish version of the events of 1915.

In describing the book, Sarafian writes: “Recent documents released in Turkish archives, combined with surviving documents from Talaat’s Pasha’s private papers, confirm that Talaat was indeed the architect of the Armenian Genocide. There is a clear record that he ordered and supervised the general deportation of Ottoman Armenians in 1915-16, and that he followed the fate of such deportees from close quarters. Talaat was sent updates regarding Armenians at different stages of deportations, as well as information about the fate of others who were subjected to special treatment.

“Ottoman records in Turkish archives, as well as Talaat’s 1917 report, show that less than 100,000 Armenians survived in the so-called resettlement zone for Armenians… According to Talaat’s figures 1,150,000 Armenians disappeared in the Ottoman Empire between 1915-1917 or they were dispersed in different provinces of the Ottoman Empire for assimilation. “Talaat Pasha’s Report on the Armenian Genocide is the closest official Ottoman view we have of the Armenian Genocide. The report was undoubtedly prepared for Talaat Pasha and meant for his private use. It was not meant for publication and probably only survived because Talaat was assassinated in 1921 and his widow gave the report to a Turkish historian [Bardakçi] who eventually published it.”

SOURCE: http://massispost.com/archives/4566