Frequently Asked Questions about the Armenian Genocide Debate is a section of information where questions sent by our visitors are answered to inform you quickly.
Writers at AGD are mostly professors or researchers that are interested in history, particularly in Ottoman-Armenian history. Some are experts on other genocides or have studied other fields related to Ottoman history.
The creation of AGD was established after professors at various universities whose expertise is Ottoman history noticed that there were instructors in their own universities teaching about the Armenian Genocide with information gathered from wikipedia or other blogs on the internet. The information on many websites on the internet are generated by nationalists (Turkish or Armenian), some are created by researchers who have not delved into the subject deep enough. Hence, AGD was created to represent a more objective and accurate historical research on Ottoman-Armenian history that instructors can use.
No, writers of AGD are not paid by anyone. It's a volunteer organization established by academics in various universities in the United States. Many writers are colleagues looking for an outlet to discuss the Armenian Genocide without being labeled politically.
No, ArmenianGenocideDebate.com does not take a position on the Armenian Genocide. It is a non-partisan independent organization of historians, researchers, and scholars who research the issue, report on the history, and explain events and peoples and persons involved in these events.
Research continuously changes, and denying or promoting an Armenian Genocide is not the answer, because one day the scientific consensus may be to deny, the next day it may be to promote; therefore, a conclusion based on historians' consensus has not yet occurred and AGD does not take sides.
We write analytical articles regarding the psychology of various sides and the history of the events. We analyze the people involved in each side. Some speculation is made at times, but supported by arguments or evidence. Individual writers in the site may take sides themselves, but AGD does not discriminate against writer's opinions.
John McCain, the Republican candidate for president in 2008 had refused to accept the genocide and lost the Armenian voting bloc. However, in a visit to Georgia after the presidential election he accepted it in order to gain the Armenian voters for his upcoming Arizona elections.
Barack Obama has talked about the Armenian Genocide on TV, in Senate, and on his website, with great support for the Armenian cause of recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Barack Obama discusses Armenian Genocide (video)
Barack Obama has been a strong supporter of "US-Armenian" relations and claims there is a common goal for fighting against terrorism together.
Barack Obama has also declared the following on his letters to the Armenian National Committee of America:
I shared with Secretary Rice my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Barack Obama recently declared that he will not do as promised and accept the Armenian Genocide because he wants Turkish-Armenian relations to improve.
This is a question for a world renowned historian to answer, this very question was asked by Le Monde to Dr. Bernard Lewis an Ottoman and Islamic Historian, a New York Times Best Seller Author:
You mean, the Armenian version of the history? There was an Armenian problem for the Turks created by the advance of the Russians, and also there was a population with an anti-Turkish sentiment in the Ottoman Empire who sought independence, and they overtly sympathized with the Russians advancing from the Caucasus. Also, there were Armenian bands, the Armenians bragged about their heroic exploits in resistance, and the Turks had trouble to maintain order under the prevailing war conditions. For the Turks it was necessary to take the punitive and preventive measure against a hostile population in a region threatened by foreign invasion. For the Armenians it was liberating their land. However, both parties agree that the repression was geographically limited; for example, those measures did not affect the Armenians who lived in the other parts of the Ottoman Empire.
No one has any doubt that terrible events took place; the Armenians, as well as the Turks suffered and perished in equal measure. Yet, no one will be able to tell what the circumstances were like, and how many people died. Consider, for instance, the case of Lebanon [Beirut] that took place recently and in full view of the entire world. During their [the Armenians] relocation to Syria [an Ottoman province at that time] hundred thousands of Armenians died on account of famine and epidemics. However, when you brought up the question of "genocide", you imply that there was a deliberate policy of extermination, to annihilate systematically the Armenian nation. This is very doubtful. The Turkish documents prove an action of relocation, not extermination.
Yes, the question of motive has been difficult to determine for many researchers. It must be noted that there is much to gain from promoting the recognition of the Armenian Genocide as well as denying the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The ulterior motives for those who promote the Armenian Genocide and its recognition are as follows:
The ulterior motives for those who deny the Armenian Genocide and its recognition are as follows:
The ulterior motives do not mean necessarily that one side is wrong and the other is right. The Armenians suffered great tragedies and so did the Turks and Kurds near the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Determining whether there was also state involvement is difficult and may simply not be true.
No, the Armenian Genocide thesis is an idea promoted by Armenian Genocide scholars who are mostly of Armenian descent.
Armenian eye-witness accounts provide gruesome details of Kurdish and other Muslim raiders who attacked Armenian convoys or villages. The motives and intention of these raiders cannot be determined by the Armenian eye-witness accounts. Therefore, eye-witness accounts are not reliable to conclude whether there was a plan of genocide against Armenians. It can shed light into who was doing the killing but cannot determine if it was part of a bigger event.
Some eye-witness accounts cannot accurately pin-point the perpetrators of such crimes. Most eye-witness accounts of Armenians report Kurdish marauders or other ethnic locals who were looking to take advantage of Armenians or seek revenge against the Dashnaks.
The Turkish government does not deny the deaths suffered by Armenians and it does not reject witness testimony of Armenians. However, it defends that the deaths were part of local ethnic tensions not genocide.
No, it is well established by Armenian historians and Western scholars, that Armenians did indeed suffer and die in large numbers indirectly or directly by massacres or relocations.
However, genocide means there was intent by the government or intent by the groups responsible for massacres to eradicate a certain group, as defined by the United Nations. Yet no proof has been uncovered of intent for over 93 years.
Do not confuse "Genocide" with "Massacre". Western historians do not deny the Armenian Massacres, they simply believe that the label of genocide is too extreme and unfounded to be applied in this specific case of ethnic conflict.
Some propagandists today have been working hard to equate the Holocaust to the Armenian Genocide thesis. They use words like "historical revisionist" or "denialist" to describe people who do not accept the accusation of the genocide. When confronted, they argue that the Armenian Genocide label is well established by an overwhelming majority of historians, but this is simply not true.
In 1915, Armenians incited by Huncak and Dashnaktzutyun rebel parties (Armenian Revolutionary Federation), financed by the Tsarist Russia, rebelled against the dying Ottoman Empire.
Sometimes Armenian rebels, volunteer units, or locals engaged in ethnic cleansing of the overwhelmingly local Muslim population, sometimes these Muslim populations retaliated ferociously and sometimes preemptive massacres were conducted, and such horrific actions are inexcusable. The CUP government, in a desperate attempt to protect their land ordered that Armenians in suspected rebelling provinces be removed to Syria provinces and Mosul, Iraq, the provinces are mentioned specifically in the archival documents. However, there was no evidence of intentions of the CUP government or encouragement by any of their high ranking officials to exterminate Armenians, hence why it is not genocide.
The debate of genocide is in the fact that the CUP government ordered forced relocations of Armenians. Armenians believe that this forced relocation caused the deaths of many Armenians and thus constitutes genocide. Turks believe that this forced relocation was the last resort to restore order to the lawless east where Armenians had been rebelling and it was standard for empires/nations at the time to put down rebellions in this fashion but that mistakes were made.
Some of our writers explain what really happened in 1915. Individual writers may have a biased perspective.
April 24th 1915
What Actually Happened in 1915? Part III - Bulgarian Independence
What Actually Happened in 1915? Part II - Russia and Ottomans in the Balkans
What Actually Happened in 1915? Part I - From Kucuk Kaynarca to Bulgarian Uprising
No, Armenians did die in large numbers, but unfortunately this does not prove genocide, there are many other reasons why these death tolls are high. But this does not excuse the terrible deeds committed by Ottoman citizens (Christian or Islamic) who attacked innocent civilians and/or massacred them for whatever purpose.
Large numbers of Armenians did die and suffer at the hands of locals. Sometimes they were provoked, and sometimes unprovoked. Sometimes they were justified somewhat, and other times they were unjustified. This is a complex history of isolated massacres due to increase tensions of nationalism in both Turks, Kurds, and Armenians, as well as the tensions created by Balkan massacres of Muslims and Armenian massacres by locals. It is important to note that such tensions in Eastern Anatolia increased the death tolls of many Turks, Kurds, Armenians, and other Ottoman citizens.
The key concept in proving genocide, is the definition of genocide being the proof of intent.
Armenian historians have provided only two examples of archives directly ordering the genocide. Unfortunately, these were later proven to be forgeries.
So Armenian historians such as Vahakn Dadrian, then decided to conclude that such documents exist and they are authenticated simply because many Armenians died, and so "there must have been genocidal intent."
This is dangerous speculation, because there is no authentic proof or evidence that shows that the Ottoman government was planning on exterminating Armenians in part or as a whole. There is substantial archival documents and telegrams showing that the Young Turk Ottoman government was trying to prevent the massacres and killings.
No, AGD respects Armenians because they have a similar culture to Turks and other Middle Eastern peoples.
AGD mourns the dead Armenians, Turks and all Ottoman citizens who lost their lives around the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. We are only opposed to the labeling of genocide of massacres of Armenians because there is still not enough proof of the role of the Ottoman government in creating these massacres and hence we continue to support the term of ethnic conflict or mutual massacres to describe the horrible tragedy that occurred during World War I to both Ottoman Christians (including Armenians) and Ottoman Muslims.
No, a propaganda site presents a view that is not based on facts, but based on an agenda to mislead the reader into believing something that's not necessarily true. Our website does not promote propaganda, if you feel that an article is biased, please feel free to contact us.
AGD offers analysis and facts to present views on an controversial issue. We present a neutral view; we do not claim that only Turks were killed by Armenians during World War I and we do not support the "Turkish Genocide" allegation. Furthermore, we also do not support the "Armenian Genocide" allegation because we do not believe that only Armenians were killed as a result of genocidal plans.
We strive to show that while many Armenians were massacred, they were not massacred by the government's orders or encouragement.
So when you hear anyone call someone who disagrees with the term "genocide", as "denialists" or "revisionists", you should remember that conclusions and research constantly changes.
Furthermore, facts can be misinterpreted to lead to a different conclusion in history. History does change; it is a science, that continuously is corrected to represent the truth.
When organizations want others to think that refusing to accept the term "genocide" to interpret complex history, is "denialism" or "revisionism", please consider that research can change and that such thinking is what led to genocides in our world in the first place.
No, AGD is a site that shows evidence, archives, and analysis on a subject that is controversial. Controversial subjects can lead to outrage especially if a party tries to interpret controversial events. Thus, proponents of opposing views like to label websites as "hate sites" in order to suppress the truth and the different interpretations of others.
AGD promotes neither Anti-Armenianism nor Anti-Turkism, it does not support racism, sexism, ageism, or hate towards any group or individual.
If you find anything that sounds hateful in our website, please report it to our administration using our contact page.
When our website draws conclusions on events based on research, it does not mean it is promoting hatred towards any group. Sometimes individuals may find certain conclusions offensive because of their religion or core beliefs; however, that should not justify the suppression of someone else's freedom of speech.