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Ill-treatment of British and Anzac POWs Turkey


Davidwhitman
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Dear Dogan

You are right that this thread is quite strictly focused on the ill-treatment of Allied and Anzac POWs and not the Armenian Genocide which is well represented in other threads in this forum.

Since the POWs were held in the "Armenian" Monastery in Ankara, I don't think I have diverged from the topic. If by my mentioning that a POW internment camp (which happens to be the Armenian Monastery in Ankara) has dissapeared without a trace and I would like to know where it was, is bringing up what you call the Armenian "matter", then I think you may be suffering from some kind of Paranoia. I did not mention in my post what happened to the congregation of the Monastery during WW1, that is for a thread on the Armenian Genocide to discuss.

Since Anzacs and Allied POWs were held in the monastery, and allegations were made of mistreatment, then the monastery forms part of Allied and Anzac POW historiography, and there should be an effort on behalf of both the Australian/British and Turkish historians/governments to at least know where it was. This is the least we can do in honouring those who were held prisoners there, and who died while in captivity, not to mention our service to military and world history.

For your information, I have contacted Armenian (associated with the Patriarchate) historians resident in Turkey. They know that the centuries old monastery existed and in which section of the city. But since it has been totally destroyed during the period of the foundation of the modern Turlkish republic, they do not know the exact location because the area is now fully re-developed with modern buildings.

If you would like more information on an Australian Gallipoli POW who describes his experiences of captivity at the "Armenian" monastery in Ankara, see Lieut. Leslie Luscombe's, "The Story of Harold Earl".

You are free to decide whether you would like to continue contributing to this thread and I value differing opinions based on a solid foundation of facts. However, accusing me of diverting this thread simply by mentioning the "Armenian Monastery" internment camp, displays the difficulty of discussing the POW experience honestly and truthfully with certain "historians" who are so sensitive at any mention of the word "Armenian".

Regards

David

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Dear Joanna

Thank you for the precious article.

It is part of the hundreds of documents which includes books, memoirs and manuscripts which all coherently point to Anzac POW mistreatment in Turkey during WW1. They contradict the Turkish ambassador to Australia's assertion, backed by some participants on this thread, that these allegations are ill-founded.

Regards

David

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Joanna,

I wholeheartedly thank you for the newspaper article. I had not been able to find any stories by NZ anzak POW.

Thank you; for this article precisely is an example to "frivilous and ill founded" pieces of text I have seen many on this subject of ANZAK POW.

Before moving on to some points in the said " article" I must admit I am surprised by your binding statement " the summaries and quotes certainly confirm that he and his fellow prisoners were harshly treated..." . You seem to have reached a conclusion even only by this single article.

However, I am sure you will find a few naive readers in this forum who will find no reason not to " pervert the course of history" in this particular subject of POW for their own personal , paranoid grudge against anything Anatolian. Thus a futile argument will have been carried over to 21st Century generations, again poisoning the young minds of their ilk, and others who have nothing to do with the "personal" grudge.

Indeed, ANZAC had nothing to do whatsoever with Ottomans but driven into war on a lie by the Empire.

An intelligent reader will call the article, and in fact the story within the article, a HEARSAY and I do not take seriously anything that is hearsay.

The writer however, seems to have been " informed" or " has read" a few of text already produced in the main part of Empire by 1936. This unknown Author states that he became aware of the sufferings of this unknown soldier "through not the author but from someone who knew someone who knew the author " ( shows the seriousness placed on such an important matter as POW treatment by "Editors" that they do not disclose of the Author's name for fear of reprisals :), shame on the then NZ government, historians and POW relatives for not taking immediate action against Turkey.! ). The said POW it seems fell prisoner immediately after he was sent to Gallipoli and spent the rest of his army days "alive". Though he says " I was wounded twice in the head and was sure Turks would bayonet me", that was not the case.

Now; lets see the comments of the writer of news article :

" I should say at once,after a careful reading, there is not much " The Road to End-or" about it." or the " Screts of a Kuttie" which cover similar experiences".

Here , I am of the opinion that the writer of artricle knows exactly what a fiction is and is indeed impying that the POW text he mentiones could make a good reading if it was written in the manner of the book referred to . However, I am willing to take his statements at face value and continue to read between the lines of his article ( I assume the writer of paper article is a "he ", considering the discrimination agains woman at that time of history) on this " plain, straight forward writing by A POW- whom he has not met" ;

" eventually prisoners are taken to hospital crowded by wounded, suffered neglect" . What more to say to this statement_? But Enver did visit at least one hospital. I neither saw nor read any records that the Chief of Staff, the head Guy Enver speaking to an interlocutor who is a mere " foot soldier- Digger". I dont feel that Enver would give his orders for ill treatment of POW in front of a sick crowd like that ! Just doesnt make sense!.

"prisoners are taken to Bozantı and here they spend a relatively good time, get paid and get good food".... Whereas, I have read some memoirs that claimed Bozanti was the worst place!

They are moved to Afion and are treated brutally by mazloum bey the comandant! he says it is end of 1916..The author should have done his homework better; mazloum bey was under investigation by end of 1916 and was soon removed from his post, the time period doesnt fit!.

It is my conclusion from what I have read in memoirs and books that ; prisoners had a relatively good time in Afion after Mazloum bey's removal and they were engaged in various courses, theatre, hunting, " even had time to make escape plans", communicated with Spirits!!!!, and feasted on "opium" which was plenty at Afion.

But, this writer sees no harm in suggesting that the " Diger " is racist! ( I insist that all of the memoirs, reports etc. by POW were written on a racist, orientalist instinct, after all, the public needed to be told some stories about a war that recently devastated their lives, robbed them of their sons, daughters and hard earned money).

In conclusion, in relation to this article; it is a compilation of "quotes" from books already published in Europe by the time our writer wrote his article and is not worth a penny.

May be the subject of this thread should now be diverted to answer the question of " İll treatment of POWs in British French and Russian hands in WW1" so that the discussion becomes more scientifically comparative for the purpose of understanding of behaviour of adversaries in WW1, which I believe is one of the main aims of this Great War Forum. Definatly not a site to continue baseless attempts at blemishing scientific approach on the basis of personal, ethnically driven, hate filled and paranoid claims, which bore no positive results within last 95 years.

regards

Recently, I came upon this article from a NZ newspaper, published in October 1936. The article describes an unpublished manuscript by a New Zealand POW in Turkey 1915 -1918, and the summaries and quotes certainly confirm that he and his fellow prisoners were very harshly treated by the Turks. Do read it.

I wonder who wrote the manuscript, if it was ever published, or if it has been preserved. Has anyone heard of it?

Joanna

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Dogan,

You stated earlier in this thread that:

"I have examined and evaluated the books mentioned above and found that those prisoners who have published "books" were mostly acting on orientalist dogmas and of course trying to justify the reasons of falling priosoner, ..."

Yet on the thread examining the motivation for enlistment of Indigenous Australians and New Zealanders you stated:

"The thing is it is rather difficult for me to obtain hard copy books (expenses etc) therefore I try and do as detailed search as possible online."

Some of the books 'mentioned above' that you claim to have 'examined and evaluated' in the first quote were:

Wheat, J.H. Papers. Mitchell Library ML MSS 3054. (AE2 Submarine POW Turkey)

and

Richardson, L.D. Diary. Mitchell Library ML MSS 2447. Signaller, 1LHR. Anzac. Experiences as a POW in Turkey.

Unless you've been to Sydney and dug these out in the Mitchell Library, I can't see any way you could have seen either of these.

Lushington, R. F. A Prisoner With The Turks 1915 - 1918, London, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd, 1923.

and

Halpin, J. Blood in the Mists, Sydney, Macquarie Head Press, 1934.

I absolutely can not believe that you have seen either of these very rare books.

Luscombe, L. H. The Story of Harold Earl - Australian, Brisbane, W. R. Smith & Paterson, 1970.

I doubt you've seen this book either.

Halpin, J. 'Captives of the Turk', in Reveille RSS&AILA, NSW Branch, Sydney, various dates.

Unless someone in Sydney or Canberra went to either the Mitchell Library or the AWM Library, found all these articles and copied and sent them to you, then you would not have seen these either.

So that leaves 'The Road to En-dor' which is not a particularly hard-to-find book, and 'Guests of the Unspeakable,' which is about the same. That's not really the same as having 'examined and evaluated' these books.

Here are a couple more that might be of interest to people interested in reading about the experiences of these men:

Foster, J. R. 'Two and a half years Prisoner of War in Turkey,' Brisbane, Jones & Hambly, 1919.

Nichols, A. Diary. POW in Turkey captured when the AE2 was disabled.

And for a slightly different slant:

Pye, E. 'Prisoner of War 31,163 Bedros M. Sharian,' New York, Fleming H. Revell, 1938.

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Dear Bryn,

I'm a Turkish scholar and I spent several years in various Turkish military archives -and was the curator of one of them for five years. It might surprise you but Ottomans actually "well-kept" individual service records. For example all career officer and NCO personal service files are currently available in several archives. For conscripts Ottomans did not use files but logbooks (defter). You can tract the same individual soldier from his recruitment center logbook to his unit logbooks depending on his assignments. In recruitment center logbooks individual entries are generally very brief name, father's name, province (memleket), physical appearance (i.e.height, eyes, color, marks), date of entrance to military service, date of discharge, important notes (i.e. crimes, awards, serious health issues). In unit logbooks you will find more details but still entries are short.

To give you better idea I conducted a research about the conduct of Ottoman Arab offiers during WWI several years ago. I presented my findings to the Conference of Tel-Hai Academic College in 2007. I'm giving an excerpt below:

"......The exact numbers of the regular Arab officers who served during World War I are difficult to find. To get a better idea I chose two Military Academy graduate classes, class of 1903 (1319) and class of 1914.C (1330.C) paying attention to generation difference. From class of 1903, 740 officers were commissioned which 109 of them coming from Arab provinces. 14 Arab officers were out of military in 1914 due to various reasons chief among them killed in action, so 16 percent of existent officers from class of 1903 was Arab officers. From class of 1914.C, 295 officers were commissioned which 75 of them coming from Arab provinces. The percentage of Arab officers was 25, a remarkable increase in ten years. If we return back to the total numbers of regular officers at the beginning of the war which is 12,469 and make use the percentages above figures between 2,100 and 2,500 seems reasonable. Unfortunately I could not able to reach data of reserve officers, but we can safely assume that out of 20,000 reserve officers that were mobilized at least 3,000 of them were Arabs..."

So you can understand from this excerpt that I have the means to randomly select to graduate classes and conduct research on cadet logbooks in Military Academy Archive. And then by making use of the database of Military Academy I tracked down each officers from Ministry of Defense Archive and looked into their war time records. I'm talking about service records of 740+295=1035 officers in two different archives. That means Ottomans did kept personal records. However do not forget that many unit logbooks were either destroyed or captured by the enemy during the war. For example the Brits did destroy or capture several field army corps, divisions, regiments during the last two years of the war in Syria-Paletine and Mesopotamia. Guess what? All of the logbooks and official papers were destroyed and only a very small percentage is available in British archives. Additionally most of the recruitment centers in Syria, Iraq and eastern Anatolia were destroyed.

Additionally several state institutions and archives are publishing books about their holdings. The Ministry of Defence Archive published brief records of the soldiers that were killed between 1897 until modern times in five thick volumes (this book is very far from perfect but still it is proving that Ottomans did literate and civilize enough to keep records). And Turkish Military History Directorate published personal records of all high ranking commanders (regiment and higher) of Balkan Wars (1911-12), WWI and Turkish Independence War (1919-23).

If you still want to see actual examples just send me an e-mail I can provide you several examples of Ottoman record keeping.

By the way reference to POWs I came across many documents about British POWs in several archives including official correspondence between Ottoman Red Crescent to ICRC. And recently two different archive based book published about POWs held by Ottomans during WWI. One of them is actually a compilation of POW letters.

Regards

I repeat that I was not doing anything of the sort - I couldn't care less about access to the Turkish Archives because I remain confident that even if access were granted for a hundred years nothing of the sort of WW1 individual personnel record that I would consider 'well-kept' would ever appear from them. Now I do qualify this by saying 'personnel record' that I would consider 'well-kept.' In other words, someone finding a list of names is not going to satisfy those requirements, and I unapologetically use the Australian Imperial Force's and New Zealand Expeditionary Force's individual service files as my benchmark for what I consider 'well-kept' records. If they're not at that level of detail, then as far as I'm concerned they're not 'well kept' records. I repeat also, that nobody has managed to produce even one from the Turkish Archives, and before anyone jumps on the 'how do you know...' '... language problems ...' '... translation ..' bandwagons, could I advise them just to stow it. I've heard it all before and yet - no evidence is no evidence, no matter what tired old justifications might be trotted out.

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Mate,

Just to set my mind at ease can you confirm what is meant by Arab officer?

I take it you refer to a man drawn from the upper or middle classes (educatated) from the occupied areas of the Ottoman Empire, like Mesoptamiann, Palestine, Yeman and Libya (pre 1913).

So would thse be of Ottoman or natives extract and or both?

Cheers

S.B

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Dogan,

I am glad that you have read the newspaper article, "Digger's Unpublished MS" which I gave the link to in post # 50, and thank you for your response to it in post # 53.

However, your response to the article is, on the whole, rather confused and confusing. You sometimes misquote from the article, or quote out of context, while your interpretation of it seems simply mistaken in many places and can therefore be misleading. I am including the text below for clarity.

Being a summary, with some direct quotations from the manuscript, the article serves to wet the appetite, which is why I asked if anyone has heard of it or knows whether it was eventually published. It would be extremely interesting to see the actual manuscript and read the whole of it in the light of other accounts. The writer of the article, who has read other accounts by POWs in Turkey, does not conclude that the author is a plagiarist.

The journalist has rather a patronising tone, but is fundamentally supporting the idea of publishing the manuscript as a rare and valuable example of an account by an ordinary New Zealand soldier, going on to say, "Some day such records will become very precious for their historical value." Indeed!

A couple of points regarding errors in your interpretation:

There is no implication in the article that Mazloum Bey was the Turkish commandant at Afion when the author was there.

The use of the term 'white man' at that time would not have had the same implications for racism that it would now. Calling someone a 'white man' was more an idiomatic way of saying that someone was 'honourable', and did not necessarily refer to the colour or ethnicity of that person.

Joanna

Here is the text of the article:

PRISONER OF WAR

Evening Post, Volume CXXII, Issue 100, 24 October 1936, Page 28

PRISONER OF WAR IN TURKEY, 1915-18

DIGGERS UNPUBLISHED MS,

(By "Quivis.").

Stories of the Great -War, after a fairly long eclipse, seem now to be viewed in a more favourable light. It may be that the threat of war in the near future turns the memory back a little to war in the past. If so, there is possibly a chance for the publication of the story of the experiences of a New Zealander as a prisoner of war for more than three years in Turkey. So far as I know, apart from official histories and recollections which appeared in "Quick March" and other periodicals of the time, there is no book giving a "Digger's" own story of the war as he saw it, either in the form of fiction or as a personal record. I was surprised therefore, to receive, not from the author, but from somebody who knew somebody who knew the author, a foolscap typescript of 150 odd folios embodying a "Digger's" account of his sufferings as a prisoner of war in Turkey from 1915 to 1918, from the Suvla Bay landing to the Armistice. It is a long story as typewritten, and, if printed, would make a book of ordinary size. I do not know whether it has ever been offered to publishers, but the MS looks as if it had been the rounds and it might have been as a last resort that it was submitted for my perusal and opinion. I should say at once, after a careful reading, that there is not much of the "Road to En-Dor" about it or "The Secrets of a Kuttite," which cover similar experiences; but it has the merits of a plain, straightforward tale and certainly deserves a more permanent record than a mere MS. Some day such records will become very precious for their historical value, and the growing interest taken in New Zealand history might very well find a niche for this picture of a phase of war of which we have no chronicler. Something should be done to preserve such a record.

SURVIVORS CAPTURED.

The "Digger"—who is anonymous— was one of a handful of survivors of a party left to hold a trench on Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli, to cover a retirement in the Suvla Bay operations of August, 1915. The author considers, as a private soldier, this retirement unnecessary and is very bitter about it. In the last stand, he was twice wounded in the head and believes he would have been bayoneted by the Turks in their counter-attack but for a very gallant comrade, "Davie." As prisoners of war the survivors were marched away to their fate and this is the picture, the author gives:—

We appeared Indifferent and dignified, if the term could apply to a dozen worn, bandaged, and bleeding prisoners surrounded by a scraggly, whiskered, ill-clad, down-at-heel, half-dozen sentries.

Eventually the prisoners were taken to Constantinople or Stamboul, where they suffered greatly from neglect in hospitals in which the wounded were crowded. In one they are visited, by Enver Pasha, who came, as "Digger" naively puts it, "attended by his aide de champs (sic) and colleagues." Complaints are made of treatment and Enver replies that the Turkish prisoners were also brutally treated in Egypt and orders more severe treatment for the British as a form of retaliation. The prisoners, though still suffering from wounds, are glad to get out of hospital and are transported to Angora in the heart of Asiatic Turkey. The journey is by train and "Digger" thus describes it:—

We had no idea where we were going, and little we cared; we were seeing strange lands and strange people, with strange customs and filthy habits. It was all education to us and we looked on the bright side of everything. . . Monotonous doesn't describe it at all. With not a railway time-table to read, the journey nearly drove us mad.

From Angora in the middle of November, 1915, they are marched over 100 miles to Changeri— "one of our hardest trials in Turkey." They spend a wretched Christmas at Changeri; and then in January, 1916, march back through deep snow to Angora, ill-clad and ill-fed, many sick, pricked on by the point of the bayonet. They camp at night in a wretched hovel, and "Digger" says:

I struck a match and, looked around at the faces of my mates. They looked calm, though haggard and worn, and still wore, that contemptible (sic) smile which made them British. . .. They had fought like heroes and fell like lambs; now they were enduring their lot like lions.

IN THE TAURUS TUNNELS.

At the end of January, 1916, the prisoners were shifted from Angora to the break in the Bagdad railway in the Taurus mountains at the entrance to the Bozanti tunnels, then under construction. Here for over six months they had a comparatively good time working in the tunnels, receiving pay from 2s to 3s a day and being well fed. It was here that there were several attempts to escape. One party tried under the leadership of a New Zealander, George McAvery, with two Australians, Lushington and Ashton —the names are given. They got as far as the Mediterranean coast at Mersina, but were captured on the beach by gendarmes and confined in a dungeon in Tarsus. They suffered terribly, but recovered under kind treatment in the American hospital in this city, famous as the birthplace of St. Paul. In July and August malaria, the curse of Cilicia, attacked the prisoners, and finally they had to be evacuated from that fever-stricken region. In the meantime they see the arrival of prisoners from Kut in a shocking condition from their brutal treatment by the Turkish guards on their long march. "Digger" quotes some pathetic verses by a British prisoner, who died shortly afterwards.

In December, 1916, the prisoners were moved to Afium Kara Hissar, half-way back to Stamboul, and here they had six months, of suffering under a frightfully brutal camp commandant. Many died. Russian prisoners were bastinadoed without mercy. It is a terrible story, and no one reading it will wonder at "Digger's" hatred-of the Turks, beside whom he finds the Germans "white men." In June, 1917, "Digger's" party is shifted to Ada Bazar, not far from Ismidt, and conditions improve. So 1917 passes and 1918 comes in. They move to San Stefano, on - the Sea of Marmora, seeing en- route the wreck of Haidar Pasha station, the terminus of the Bagdad railway, bombed to bits by British aircraft. The station was full of munitions and petrol loaded on trains for the relief of Bagdad and for the Palestine front. Bombs from the air exploded the whole lot, "one of the most daring and serviceable deeds of the war," says "Digger." Passing by the island of Prinkipo, on the way across to the European shore, the prisoners think bitterly of General Townsend, "the hero of Kut," living in luxurious captivity, but careless of what happened to his men. More months pass, and then the Armistice and freedom and the last of Gallipoli, and "Digger" ends his story on a fine note:

As the hilltops grew Indistinct, I left my place and walked the deck trying to blot out from my mind the trials and horrors of those last four dark, weary years, and endeavouring to realise that my comrades and myself were once again free men, and bound for a place we never could forget—Home.

While as a book this simple, honest story of a New Zealand prisoner of war in Turkey could never be a "bestseller," intrinsically on its worth to the community it has far more genuine claims to print than much that passes as literature.

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Dear Dogan

You are right that this thread is quite strictly focused on the ill-treatment of Allied and Anzac POWs and not the Armenian Genocide which is well represented in other threads in this forum.

Since the POWs were held in the "Armenian" Monastery in Ankara, I don't think I have diverged from the topic. If by my mentioning that a POW internment camp (which happens to be the Armenian Monastery in Ankara) has dissapeared without a trace and I would like to know where it was, is bringing up what you call the Armenian "matter", then I think you may be suffering from some kind of Paranoia. I did not mention in my post what happened to the congregation of the Monastery during WW1, that is for a thread on the Armenian Genocide to discuss.

David,

To my mind the counter argument you have submitted as to "since POWs were interned at Armenian Church, so it is to do with Armenians" is hollow thinking.

Because, some POW were in fact held at a " Medrese's" and some at private homes, some at factories and some at railway yards and yet some at farms, and some at abandoned school buildings, none of which were surrounded by barbed wire.

The exact number of POW deaths in Turkish POW camps is not known.

There were no hate speeches in the Ottoman Empire against Armenians prior to WW1 events. About 300 thousand Armenians suffered or died as a direct and inevitable result of revolt against the central government in WW1.

I have observed that the current "Armenian Genocide claims" is in essence political. I accept that nothing is pure black or white. I have acknowledge that Armenians were duped by the Russians into fighting for a greater Armenia, having armies and fighting units at war with the Turks, that there were casualties on both sides as is natural in a war.

Genocide is the proof of intent to eradicate a minority. Genocide is an arbitrary crime attributed to governments who commit massacres or encourage them in order to wipe out a group. This was not the case of the Ottoman Empire and the Armenians.

Many Armenians were killed. But many Ottoman Muslims were killed by Armenian volunteer units, gangs, and rebels whether under Russian or French flags. There is still no proof of intent by the Ottoman government to eliminate Armenians, because there seems no motive to eliminate the Armenians. Wasting money, time, effort, and man-power, that you do not have, to exterminate a race requires more logistics to support the motives. To my knowledge, even Armenian historians struggle to find authentic evidence of genocide. Some of the "evidence" point to forgeries, some point to death tolls and speculation as proof.

People must learn to put their prejudices aside and take the time to conduct their own research. And so I submit below given compilation of extracts of opinion and arguments.

Genocide Scholar, Guenter Lewy, has this to say…

"According to Article II of the Genocide Convention of 1948, "intent to destroy" is a precondition of genocide. A large number of dead alone is not sufficient. Thus, for example, collateral casualties of an aerial bombing do not constitute genocide, no matter how large the number of victims. There exists no evidence that the Ottoman regime had intent to destroy the Armenian community."<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that Armenians committed massacres.

I observe that a truly tragic historical event seals the mind of many at the hand of politically motivated game pieces, as it has been hammered into the minds of generations since the end of 19th Century. My approach to this matter is from reason. No faith has been put into this thought process , which otherwise I believe would furnish new grounds for conflict to continue, which in turn would be the result of a lesson not learned, which I do not desire. The arguments parties could develop are infinitely variable and interpretations will differ. Therefore, I will try and convey my interpretation of the historical matters on the basis of analyses of documentation, records, proof, allegations, evidence, attempts at reprisals and sanctions and ultimately punishment in terms of Universal law. At no time will I deny the tragic deaths of thousands of Armenians as direct result of "divide and conquer" policy by the then world powers and for their own expansion purposes. What I do find odd is that whenever there are attempts to fill in the gaps to Armenian blood bath relaying the events that happened before, after and during that period. Armenian Revolt at WW1 is well documented. Russian, Ottoman and US records point out to deaths of thousands of innocent Anatolians at the hands of Armenian bandits when larger towns. I shall certainly not stand aside and see tragic events such as outrages against Armenians and POW treatment tabulated.

Throughout the last 500 years or so, there have been Christian Missionaries sent to many different countries throughout the world by French, German and British, and for the last 2 hundred years by US. Anatolia and Mesopotamia, the Land of bible was always and continues to be in 2011 the ultimate center of attention. Some of the most ancient roots of humanity are located in the Near East as are the beginnings of most major religions.

The first of US missionaries were in 1819 given the commission by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and were there to compete with others who had been there much before:

"From the heights of the Holy Land, and from Zion, you will take an extended view of the widespread desolations and variegated scenes presenting themselves on every side to Christian sensibility; and will survey with earnest attention the various tribes and classes who dwell in that land, and in the surrounding countries. The two grand inquiries ever present in your minds will be, WHAT GOOD CAN BE DONE? and BY WHAT MEANS? What can be done for Jews? What for Pagans? What for Mohammedans? What for Christians? What for the people in Palestine? What for those in Egypt, in Syria, in Persia, in Armenia, in other countries to which your inquiries may be extended?" (UCBWM 150 Years).

The Ottoman Empire as of 1453 grew from the ashes of the Roman Empire and controlled Middle East, much of Near East and parts of Africa and Europe until about the beginning of 19th century. As such there was no specific race controlling the empire and the children of conquered peoples held powerful office in the Ottoman Empire and Armenians were not spared.

During the nineteenth century the politics of the area were dominated by conflicts between Russia, Germany, Italy, England, the European governors in the Near East and the native people, governments and religions of the Near East. This was feed and encouraged by the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the instability of its political structure. The outer fringes of the Ottoman Empire were seen as rich prizes in the expansion of Russia and the European communities.

Turkey came through WW1 without being completely over run and divided amongst the Allies. Throughout the turmoil of one political crisis and war after another, multi-national missionary groups struggled to spread the word of Christ. These individuals had multiple objectives in their occupation of the Near East countries. Primary may have been the desire to restore the Christian faith in the area.

The Turks were, indeed, defeated at the end of World War I, despite their previous victories at Gallipoli and elsewhere. The armistice was concluded at the port of Mudros, Lemnos, on October 30, 1918. Admiral Calthorpe, signatory of the armistice, was appointed British High Commissioner at Istanbul. He was provided with a special staff for this new post.

The Allies did not wait for a peace treaty after the armistice for claiming the Ottoman territory. Just 13 days after the Armistice, French, and British Troops entered the city in November of 1918. Early in December 1918, Allied troops occupied sections of Constantinople and set up an Allied military administration.

On February 5th, the Foreign Office instructed the British High Commissioner in Istanbul to ask officially the Turkish Government to hand over to him or nearest allied commander such Turkish officers or officials accused of following offences: (i) Failure to comply with armistice terms, (ii) Impending execution of armistice terms, (iii) Insolence to British commanders and officers, (iv) 111- Treatment of prisoners, (v) Outrages to Armenians or other subject races in Turkey and Transcaucasia, (vi) Participation in looting, destruction of property, etc., and, (vii) Any other breaches of the laws and customs of war. <BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

Soon in same year the allies were informed that the Ottoman Empire was in compliance with its full apparatus to the occupation forces. Armenian claims and POW matters would be investigated by a commission.

Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919–1920 were courts-martial of the Ottoman Empire during the aftermath the World War I. Former officials were court-martialled including the charges of the massacres of both Armenians and Greeks as well as ill treatment of POWs in Turkish hands.

Most of the Turkish courts-martial were dismissed and the serious ones were relocated to the "International Court-Martial in Malta" rather than being held in a Turkish court whose "findings cannot be held of any account at all." (John de Robeck,) The courts-martial were labeled "Turkish" because of their selective accusation of only the Turkish subjects of the Ottoman Empire. During the second stage the international trials, Ottoman politicians, generals, and intellectuals were relocated from Constantinople jails to the British colony of Malta, called the Malta exiles, where they were held for some three years while searches were made in the archives of Constantinople, London, Paris and Washington to find proof of their guilt.

The tribunals were held under occupation, thus the judges were under the scrutiny of the occupying forces. However, the validity of the evidence presented in these testimonials has been questioned owing to a lack of defendant rights. The validity of the evidences presented, such as letters and orders have been in study. Some of them had proven to be forgeries. In some cases hearsay was an issue as direct evidence has never been presented. When the international trials were staged, the High Commissioner at Constantinople, Calthorpe, was replaced by John de Robeck, the Commander-in-Chief, and Mediterranean, who said "that its findings cannot be held of any account at all."

New series of deportations continued, in small groups, from March to November 1920, and the number of Turkish detainees at Malta reached the total figure of 144 persons. <BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

The alleged offenders were already in British hands, detained at Malta prison, The British forces were in occupation of Turkish territory. Therefore all Turkish Central State Archives and some of those kept in provinces were at the disposal of British authorities. The Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul was, from the very beginning of allied occupation, in close collaboration with the British authorities in Turkey, and nearly all Armenian informers, spies, and "witnesses" offered their services to their British masters in order to revenge the Turks.

On July 19, 1920, Winston S. Churchill submitted to his Cabinet the following secret memorandum expressing his concerns in the matter of Malta Tribunal: "I circulate to the Cabinet a long list of prominent Turkish politicians, ex-ministers, generals, deputies and others whom we are still keeping as prisoners at Malta. It seems to me that this list should be carefully revised by the Attorney General, and that those men against whom no proceedings are contemplated should be released at the first convenient opportunity." PRO?FO. 371/ 5090 and C.P. 1649: Memorandum by the Secretary of State for War (Cabinet) on position of Turkish prisoners interned at Malta, dated July 19, 1920. On March 31,1921, Lord Curzon sent the following telegram to Sir Auckland Geddes, the British Ambassador in Washington: ?There are in hands of Majesty's government at Malta a number of Turks arrested for alleged complicity in the Armenian massacres. There are considerable difficulties in establishing proofs of guilt. Please ascertain if the United States government is in possession of any evidence that would be of value for the purpose of prosecution. British Archives. PRO?F. 0. 371/ 6500/ E.3552, Curzon to Geddes Telegram No 176, dated March 31, 1921

Upon this memorandum by Mr. Churchill, the whole question of Turkish prisoners in Malta was discussed, for the first time, at the British Cabinet meeting held on August 4, 1920, At the same time the Law Officers of the Crown were consulted on the subject and they had submitted to the Cabinet an interesting memorandum. It was clear that the Law Officers were dealing only with few Turkish deportees accused of ill-treatment of British prisoners of war. No material or evidence ever existed about alleged and propagandized Armenian massacre. Therefore, the Law Officers of the Crown abstained from accusing anyone of Turkish deportees of such a crime. They have given to the Cabinet the following opinion:

"The list of Turkish subjects who have been sent to Malta on the instruction of H.M. High Commissioner at Constantinople and detained there falls roughly into three categories: 1) political offenders, 2) persons accused of deportations, pillage and massacres, 3) persons accused of ill-treatment of prisoners of war."

"The third category is the only one which comes within our purview, and we have no knowledge as to the individuals contained in the other categories."

"The identification of those charged with ill-treatment of prisoners of war, is a matter of some difficulty... The only person on this list who appears to be quite clearly identifiable is 2707 Major Mazlum Bey Edip... In addition it is possible that 2676 Djelal Bey, 2679 Tevfik Mehmed, 2680 Tevfik Ahmed, 2694 DjemalEfendi Abdul and 2710 Hakki Bey Ibrahim maybe identical with persons of similar names.."

"So far as concerns the material that has been before us, the above are the only persons whose detention on the ground of ill - treatment of prisoners of war seems desirable. But we would observe that the arrests have all been made on the instructions of the High Commissioner at Constantinople. He no doubt acted on evidence which came into his hands and reference to him would appear to be desirable before any definite action is taken for the release of any of these men."

At their meeting held on August 4th, 1920, The Cabinet agreed that:

"The list (of the Deportees) should be carefully revised by the Attorney General with a view to selecting the names of those it was proposed to prosecute, so that those against whom no proceedings were contemplated should be released at the first convenient opportunity."

This decision was accordingly communicated to the Attorney General. This was the first step toward the release of Turkish detainees in Malta. <BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

Sir Auckland Geddes stated: "I have made several inquiries at the State Department, and today I am informed that while they are in possession of a large number of documents concerning the Armenian relocations, from the description, I am doubtful whether these documents are likely to prove useful as evidence in prosecuting Turks confined in Malta. Should His Majesty's government so desire, these documents will be placed at the disposal of His Majesty's Embassy on the understanding that the source of information will not be divulged. [intimation that the available documents are flimsy, as such if their sources are revealed it would be embarrassing for the U.S. State Department.] British Archives: PRO?F. 0.371/ 6500/ E.6311 Geddes to Curzon, Telegram No 374, dated June 1921.

But until March 1921, absolutely no evidence at all was produced against those persons and no action whatsoever was taken for their prosecution. Nothing as evidence or material ever existed neither at the possession of the British authorities in London nor in that of the Governor of Malta, and, therefore, all hopes were centered on H.M. High Commission in Istanbul.

"The present section (i.e. Armenian and Greek Section of H.M. High Commission) can only collect such information as is passed to it or which voluntarily finds its way here. The section now has recorded in easily available form of information concerning the 118 deportees, all alleged to have been guilty... (But) none of this information is in itself has strict legal value...

"The Americans must be in possession of a mass of invaluable material..."

To sum up, there was no evidence at all to prove that such a crime as alleged Armenian massacre ever committed in Turkey. Therefore it was proved impossible to produce any dossier in the legal sense against anyone of Turkish deportees at Malta-

On September 19th, Lord Curzon authorized Sir H. Rumbold to negotiate as proposed and even to consent to the release of the eight Turks in question. He wrote: "The War Office however is ready to forego trial of the eight Turks charged with cruelty to British prisoners if release of all British prisoners can thereby be secured before winter. Should you therefore find it necessary, you may agree to release of the above mentioned eight Turks thus fall back on an "all for all" exchange. (96)

Sir H. Rumbold made it clear that the British authorities waived all claims to bring the eight Turks to trial whether by a Turkish or another court.

<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

Thus, the meticulous search conducted by the British for 30 months with an utmost zeal to vindicate the Armenian allegations produced nothing. The much-touted "eyewitness accounts," "hard proof" and "evidence" proved to be grotesque lies.

The British, deeply embarrassed by this unexpected turn of events, offered to exchange their prisoners of war in the hands of the Ottoman government with the deportees of Malta. At that point, those prominent Turkish nationals detained arbitrarily and willfully in Malta were no longer suspects but hostages in the hands of the British government. To spare themselves further embarrassment, the British dropped the case. Field Marshal Plumer, Governor and Commander-in-chief of Malta, reported that all Turkish deportees in Malta embarked on board HMS "Chrysanthemum" and R.F.A. "Montana!" on the afternoon of the 25th October, 1921. "Chrysanthemum" and "Montenal" arrived at Inebolu on October 31st and all deportees of Malta landed safely on Turkish soil. And all British prisoners who were handed over to their authorities reached Istanbul on November 2nd.(102).

The episode of the deportees of Malta thus ended.

Hovhannes Katchaznouni, First Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnagtzoutiun) had these to say about the state of affairs (The Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni, First Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic. Translated from the original by Matthew A. Callender, Edited by John Roy Carlson (Arthur A. Derounian):

"At the beginning of the Fall of 1914 when Turkey had not yet entered the war but had already been making preparations, Armenian revolutionary bands began to be formed in Transcaucasia with great enthusiasm and, with especially, much uproar.... In the Fall of 1914 Armenian volunteer bands organized themselves and fought against the Turks because they could not refrain from organizing and fighting. This was (in) [sic.] an inevitable result of a psychology on which the Armenian people had nourished itself during an entire generation: that mentality should have found its expression, and did so. He declares: one of the main aspects of Armenian « national psychology... [is] to seek external causes for [Armenian ] misfortune. ». .... When the skirmishes had started the Turks proposed that we meet and confer. We did not do so and defied them...The troops were constantly retreating and deserting their positions; they threw away their arms and dispersed in the villages. Our army was demoralized during the period of internal strife, the inane destruction and the pillage that went [on] without punishment. ..... And the advancing Turks fought only against the regular soldiers; they did not carry the battle to the civilian sector.

Edward Fox, the American District Commander at Kars, in a telegram, dated October 31, 1920, (7) to Admiral Bristol, the U.S. High Commissioner in Istanbul, wrote that ". The Turkish soldiers were well-disciplined and that there had not been any massacres... When on November 2, 1920, the armies of Kâzim Karabekir Pasha reached Gümrü (Alexandropol, now Leninakan) negotiations with Turks began and It was decided that; the Turkish and the Armenian Governments, « for the purpose of putting an end to the hostilities and to find a basis of agreement, have sat down for an examination of the facts. The discussions resulted in the following agreement : The state of war between Turkey and the Armenian Republic was to be ended. The frontier between Turkey and Armenia was established. The territories designated for Turkey were to remain as such « by irrefutable historical, ethnic and legal rights. »

118 Ottoman officials were imprisoned in the island of Malta for two and a half years and without lawyers because the British public demanded justice for massacres of Armenians that were always appearing in the newspapers. Though Britain knew that the media was used throughout World War I to paint an evil picture of the Central Powers and especially the Ottoman Empire, they fell victim to their own propaganda and were forced to create a military tribunal to punish the Ottomans for war crimes and try to calm the British public they themselves had enraged.

The Malta Tribunal that began on May 28, 1919 was a predecessor to the Nuremberg trials, even with all the evidence and archives of the Ottoman Empire at their fingertips they failed to find any evidence supporting the theory that the Ottomans had ordered a plan of genocide to exterminate the Armenians. The arrests continued as evidence was searched for throughout the world.

In fact, the Ottoman archives, since they were captured by the British (the occupation of Constantinople), were handed to an Armenian archivist who could read Ottoman documents, Haig Kazarian, to search for any evidence of crimes against humanity.

One must note that in such a desperate time, the Ottoman Empire would be too busy fighting a world war on several fronts to commit soldiers, time, and money to kill Armenians.

The primary sources you talk about describe massacres, killings, starvation, and disease. Primary sources talk about how they witness death and suffering, which was happening to almost every ethnicity during World War I. However, only forgeries have been offered by Armenian historians to prove that the government intended to exterminate Armenians.

You cannot simply accuse an empire of genocide without sufficient evidence.

In conclusion,

The death of civilians within a war should not be automatically labeled genocide without a real systematic attempt by a group to eliminate them from this world.

You claim something and then when someone asks you where the evidence is, you call them a liar or denier. This is unjust.

Armenians have more churches in Turkey than in Armenia! There is no proof of Armenian churches being damaged purposefully. There are many Armenian churches in Turkey that are not damaged. Recognition of Armenian Genocide by governments is simply a result of good political campaigning by Armenians living in France, Canada, and Greece. This doesn't mean those who vote for recognition are historians and it doesn't prove genocide just because some countries recognized it. A huge percentage of the Armenian population survived. Many even boarded Allied ships and started new lives in France, Russia, Italy, and the United States. Is it any wonder that the largest populations of Armenians today happen to be in Russia, France, and the United States? If they were mostly killed off, did they multiply faster than all the other ethnic groups in the world?

When the Ottoman army itself is going into battle starving and with disease---is it any surprise that Armenians too would die?

What happened to the Ottoman Armenians cannot be described as genocide because of the lack of evidence that it was a genocide. In addition, there are plenty of contradictory facts that completely falsify any thesis of genocide.

The allegations of Turkish mistreatment of POW have also been repelled at the said tribunal.

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Dear Dogan

I will leave it to the readers and moderators of this forum to judge whether your post # 58 conforms to the guidelines of this forum and whether it is a legitmate response to my post # 51. In my opinion, you have again misquoted and misunderstood what I was trying to relay in my post, that my mentioning of the Armenian monastery was related to the fact that it was a POW internment camp and not anything else and I wanted to keep this thread quite strictly focused on the Anzac and Allied POWs.

I know that in the Axis History Forum, denial of the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide are forbidden. Having said that, I believe that you are free to express your opinion on the Genocide, but it should be done in a thread which is focused on the issue and not one which is trying to ascertain the treatment of Allied and Anzac POWs.

Regards

David

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Dear Dogan

I will leave it to the readers and moderators of this forum to judge whether your post # 58 conforms to the guidelines of this forum and whether it is a legitmate response to my post # 51. In my opinion, you have again misquoted and misunderstood what I was trying to relay in my post, that my mentioning of the Armenian monastery was related to the fact that it was a POW internment camp and not anything else and I wanted to keep this thread quite strictly focused on the Anzac and Allied POWs.

I know that in the Axis History Forum, denial of the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide are forbidden. Having said that, I believe that you are free to express your opinion on the Genocide, but it should be done in a thread which is focused on the issue and not one which is trying to ascertain the treatment of Allied and Anzac POWs.

Regards

David

David,

There is no need to remind the moderators what is and what is not "forbidden" in Axis forum. Axis forum may feel themselves to be a Judge of peoples thoughts.

here, I am trying to contribute to history. If you go back a few posts you will see that It was my desire that the said discussion made under different thread but you continued to make a connection somehow. Thus, the information I provided is essentially of a Tribunal and the said tribunal handled both Armenian claims and POW cliams.

But I am quiet happy to move the whole post to Armenian thread if moderators could please. But I shall still put parts of it here for the Malta Tribunals handled both claims together. Only 8 persons were charged for ill treatment of prisoners but later acquitted. Please do make your comments on the results of Tribunal strictly in relation to POW.

regards

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The use of the term 'white man' at that time would not have had the same implications for racism that it would now. Calling someone a 'white man' was more an idiomatic way of saying that someone was 'honourable', and did not necessarily refer to the colour or ethnicity of that person.

Joanna

Dear Joanna,

Thank you once more for including the actual Article in your reply. Otherwise, I am %100 sure there were/are some people with set minds who would not even bother reading the text you provided a link for. This way, they will know what we are talking about without having to skip back to previous replies, which is time consuming and mind encompassing , for which many people do not have time for, unfortunately. As such, thank you once more.

You suggest the " article wets the appetite".. May I as what appetite? the appetite of someone who has just developed a taste for history and finds it easier to accept everything written by " westerners" to be correct? or is it the appetite of a learned person seerking concrete eveidence in relation to a War Crime? and so on. I draw your attention to the fact that the article is written in " simple present tense" and is clearly a compilation of hearsay.

Indeed, I maye have made inadvertant mistakes in reply to you. If you could kindly underline exactly which points you find I " misquote, quote out of context , mislead" on the basis of the fact that we are talking about an article based on hearsay, personal opinion of an "unknown" writer who has not been to war , and essentially a "memoir" by some "unknown" POW brought to the attention of the "unknonwn Kiwi writer" by some one he knew, who knew someone who knew the "author of memoir", I shall be glad to correct and expand on.

To save space, I shall give brief reply to Bryn;

many books are now digitalised and you will be surprised how many books can be obtained free of charge over internet. Indeed I have not been able to obtain and read " all that is available" and to tell you the truth, I am not sure how many "documentation" on the subject has been produced. But, you are right it is rather difficult to find a friend overseas who will go into trouble of finding books for me :) I would like to have such nice friends :) However, about 3 years ago, I was sent copies of a whole lot of documents by Tim Smith of NSW Heritage society, for which I am indebted. The said documents had an incredible amount of information, references, statements by POW, all 33 statements by AE2 crew etc.

I have not even heard of the last book in your list, the writer of which appears to be an Armenian, but Ill do a more detailed google search in accordance with the list you gave. Thank you pointing them out to our attention.

regards

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Apologies for not reading, entirely, your last couple of posts Dogan. But, you're either a troll trying to piss people off, or a moron. And in either case I can't be bothered reading your rantings. No one, apart from the Turkish ambassador, and you, was mentioning Armenians at all on this thread. Likewise, you brought up homosexuality and now seemingly opium use amongst allied POWs. Take off your tin foil hat and realise there's no extraterrestrial aliens you're conversing with here, nor will your idiotic misinterpretations and conspiracy theories be accepted.

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Dear Dogan

I agree that it would be good if the moderators remove your post # 58 to another thread which is on the Armenian Genocide since it does not deal primarliy with the POWs and is a cut and paste job from a tacky genocide denialist website. It also contains very obvious factual errors and half truths. The most embarassing of which is the fact that there was no such thing as a "Malta Tribunal" or "Malta Tribunals". The only post war trials were held in Istanbul in 1919/20 where a number of Turks including the Young Turk leaders were convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death in absentia!

It is true that in Malta about 118 Turks (many accused of mistreatment of the Allied POWs) were detained pending an inter-allied tribunal which was to take place once the Treaty of Sevres was ratified. The tribunals never eventuated because of the political events which took place in the Near East (including the capture of Col. Rawilnson by the Turkish nationalists) which lead to the Treaty of Sevres not being ratified. So, the 118 Turks are historically referred to as the "Malta Detainees" and only recently have certain denialist websites referred to the event as the "Malta Tribunals". For more information on this, see Postcript in "Adventures in Turkey and Russia" by E. H. Keeling (1924), pages 232-236. Keeling was a British POW in Turkey during WW1 and a high official in the British military dealing with the Near East during the Armistice period.

Cheers

David

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Apologies for not reading, entirely, your last couple of posts Dogan. But, you're either a troll trying to piss people off, or a moron. And in either case I can't be bothered reading your rantings. No one, apart from the Turkish ambassador, and you, was mentioning Armenians at all on this thread. Likewise, you brought up homosexuality and now seemingly opium use amongst allied POWs. Take off your tin foil hat and realise there's no extraterrestrial aliens you're conversing with here, nor will your idiotic misinterpretations and conspiracy theories be accepted.

Hear hear, and said just before I was going to.

Dear Dogan,

Please change your tone as you are seemingly just trying to insite people with your ill-informed and biased posts. Ignorance will not be tolerated, and those not willing to learn, will only deny themselves the truth.

Armenian Genocide - FACT

Ill-treatment of allied POWs - FACT

Now get over it and move on!

thanks, Krithia

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I thought Krithia was Steve Chambers

Who the H*** is Stantonhope?

Steve - you've been hacked

going back to my RND roots :-)

Original post now edited which will confuse all again !

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Apologies for not reading, entirely, your last couple of posts Dogan. But, you're either a troll trying to piss people off, or a moron. And in either case I can't be bothered reading your rantings. No one, apart from the Turkish ambassador, and you, was mentioning Armenians at all on this thread. Likewise, you brought up homosexuality and now seemingly opium use amongst allied POWs. Take off your tin foil hat and realise there's no extraterrestrial aliens you're conversing with here, nor will your idiotic misinterpretations and conspiracy theories be accepted.

Apple,

No need to become aggressive and I should remind you using abusive language is not accepted by the forum. Your reply speaks for itself as to who is incompetent but just as ambitious. You certainly sound extraterrestrial to me. I advise you to do a whole lot of reading before simply swearing at people at a respected forum. And go play in the sand.

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David,

I agree to your agreement that this post could belong to another section.

However, the "cut paste" documents mention POW claims as well; much interelated becaouse both claims were handled at the same time by the same aparatus..

Nowhere in my posts you will find a statement saying "POW were not illtreated at all".

I said yes there were some individual cases. 8 person only were charged and detained by the Victors (and subsequently exchanged for POW). Victors had all the archives at their disposal, parts of which have been published in this website. Many relating to Eastern Front were destroyed either by the Turks as they retreated or by the Victors for a reason unbeknown to me. Some may have been taken by Germans. Besides, apart from the "books" we have, we have no other POW naming names! telling the names of "torturers", wheras I suggest since they were captive for long time, they would know everything about their torturer

.

The sum total is : Victors did everything they can (French, Britain, USA) to prove the claims. None but comments, witness accounts, heresay and forgeries were submitted and denied. The Ottoman government seems to have submitted to international pressure and did all it can to bring the "perpetrateors" to court. The victors did not chose to take the ottoman courts seriously (see. Reobeck). So the detainees were taken to Malta to be tried by international set up (see Treatment of British Prisoners of War In Turkey, white paper, 1918 / First second and Third Interim reports From the Committee of Inquiry Into Breaches of Laws of War, 26 Feb. 1920, Cabinet papers, Red Cross Reports on Visits to POW camps in Turkey, Dutch delegation reports ..) . The only concrete identifciation seems to have been the Mazlum bey case, and I had submitted my opinion on that case on the basis of the cabinet paper mentioned in paranthesis above.

There was a thing called malta tribunal. In any case it doesnt matter what you call it. What did not eventuate is a "trial". But a trial is only called for after the complainant file is ready to proceeed.

In Law; In order to punish someone, you provide proof of crime (until proven guilty).

95 years on it has not been proven. 95 years the victors had all the opportunity to provide proof.

And I am not going to admit to something if there is no proof. After all, I was not there. Neither were you but you seem to believe that there is proof.

You are right, the comments and opinion and reports are a compilation, as I have stated in the beginning. Isnt it normal? Where do you get the information from? What is your proof? Mighty countries have not been able to establish guilt by providing proof but you call the existing counter information "fictitious and half truths" ?

In short, I really dont understand the state of mind/logic of those who cannot provide proof but engages in emotional blackmail thus ? Whereas I cut-pasted documents from British archives, USA archives etc., Yes, there were a few tried and found guilty by Turk court and (contrary to what you state) hung.

I suggest David you stop calling people Denier when they produce counterargument.

Otherwise , you are leaving no room for Constructive Argument. And if there is no constructive argument, why should anyone thinking different participate? You can just set up your very own special group and keep telling the same things to eachother forever. In that case a turkish proverb says " The hare was offended with the mountain but the mountain didnt notice".

Just provide this forum with documentation and concrete proof of "Systematic ill treatment of ANZAK POW by Ottomans", I will bow to your finding and expertise. ( dont forget, I suggest yes there were individual cases of mistreatment and downright torture perhaps , as could be a natural part of Wars, but never a systematic approach of mistreatment of POW).

My approach has been and will always be that I will look at the glass from its Full side, not the empty side.

regards

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Hear hear, and said just before I was going to.

Dear Dogan,

Please change your tone as you are seemingly just trying to insite people with your ill-informed and biased posts. Ignorance will not be tolerated, and those not willing to learn, will only deny themselves the truth.

Armenian Genocide - FACT

Ill-treatment of allied POWs - FACT

Now get over it and move on!

thanks, Krithia

Krithia,

I was wondering when you would come in to picture:)

I may be lacking information on POW claims, yes . I hope I was able to evaluate "all" that existed.

So far, I conclude that there were some instances of ill treatment of POWs but not to the extent of horrendous picture painted by the propoganda machine.

The Fact is; neither claims have been concretely proven.

What Historian needs to do is to establish facts.

regards

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I conclude that there were some instances of ill treatment of POWs but not to the extent of horrendous picture painted by the propoganda machine.

This, I have to largely agree to. There is no disputing the ill treatment, but what there was, has helped fuelled the post-war image of the 'Turk'. With the 2015 centenary closing on us soon, I am hoping by then, that any modern day animosity would have faded.

We will remember them.

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Mate,

Just to set my mind at ease can you confirm what is meant by Arab officer?

I take it you refer to a man drawn from the upper or middle classes (educatated) from the occupied areas of the Ottoman Empire, like Mesoptamiann, Palestine, Yeman and Libya (pre 1913).

So would thse be of Ottoman or natives extract and or both?

Cheers

S.B

Steve,

Arab Officer means precisely that ; an officer of Arab ethnicity, employed in the Ottoman army. ottomans controlled a vast area and naturally not all of their structure were made up of "Turks" .

regards

This, I have to largely agree to. There is no disputing the ill treatment, but what there was, has helped fuelled the post-war image of the 'Turk'. With the 2015 centenary closing on us soon, I am hoping by then, that any modern day animosity would have faded.

We will remember them.

AMEN!

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Dear Dogan et al

It goes without saying that open and frank discussion of a past event should not create animosity between peoples and nations.

Getting back to the genesis of this thread, it is whether the allegation of the ill-treatment of Allied POWs in Turkey is, in the words of the Turkish ambassador, ill-founded.

It's quite obvious from this discussion, that the ambassador's statement is factually incorrect as even his defenders such as Dogan Sahin agree that "yes there were individual cases of mistreatment and downright torture perhaps" (Dogan post #69).

In regards to Dogan's suggestion for us "Just provide this forum with documentation and concrete proof of "Systematic ill treatment of ANZAK POW by Ottomans", I will bow to your finding and expertise", well the reality is that there is no such thing as undeniable evidence. Because even if there was a court case which convicted the perpetrators, claims will be made that they were conducted under duress etc just like the case of the Istanbul trials of 1919/20 (Turkish courts with Turkish judges) which found the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide guilty, but the courts are nowadays dismissed as not having validity and called "kangaroo courts, conducted under British occupation" by denialists.

Dogan, the evidence of mistreatment is in the volumes of archival documents, memoirs, books and repatriation statements many of which have been listed in previous posts by different contributors.

With Dogan's (post # 58) narrative of the Malta issue which is mostly a cut and paste job, it's quite evident that he is not conducting a critical and honest analysis of his sources and is relying on recent narratives which are based on half-truths and distorted conclusions.

For a contemporary account of the Malta Detainees, I have scanned the Postcript from H. E. Keeling's book "Adventures in Turkey and Russia", John Murray, 1924, pp. 232-236. Keeling provides a more accurate context of the post war situation in dealing with the Turkish criminals and the reasons for thier eventual release. It is a contemporary source and the narrative is much different to the one that Dogan is wanting us to believe. Keeling himself was a POW in Turkey and later involved in the Near East situation. This is only one of many sources which deal with the Malta Detainees.

The sensitivity towards the Malta issue may be explained by the fact that many of the Turkish criminals released were eventually given high positions in the Kemalist Turkish nationalist government which laid the foundation of the modern Turkish republic.

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It goes without saying that open and frank discussion of a past event should not create animosity between peoples and nations.

In a perfect world, definitely. But, it's not very rewarding engaging in a discussion with someone who's telling, and seems to believe, porkies. That being said, I'm sorry about crayoning all over your thread. Oh, and Dogan, anzac has no K.

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