Breathtaking Lies: Mythinformation–Ankara Style

21 June 2014
 
When Hannah Arendt coined her famous "banality of evil" phrase she was referring to the Nazis. The Holocaust scholar's ringing description of the criminal Nazi regime perfectly applies to the Turkish perpetrators of the Genocide of Armenians and to the denialists who try to kill Armenians for the second time by falsifying what the Ottoman authorities committed in cold blood from 1915 to 1923.
 
Such denialist is one Mehmet Ozay of the Carleton University in Ottawa. In the latest issue of "Turkish Society of Canada" publication, the man penned an article which belongs in the fantasy shelf of bookstores, next to such titles as "True Lies", "The Moon is a Cheesecake" and "Turks Descend from Trojans and Hittites".
 

21 June 2014
 
When Hannah Arendt coined her famous "banality of evil" phrase she was referring to the Nazis. The Holocaust scholar's ringing description of the criminal Nazi regime perfectly applies to the Turkish perpetrators of the Genocide of Armenians and to the denialists who try to kill Armenians for the second time by falsifying what the Ottoman authorities committed in cold blood from 1915 to 1923.
 
Such denialist is one Mehmet Ozay of the Carleton University in Ottawa. In the latest issue of "Turkish Society of Canada" publication, the man penned an article which belongs in the fantasy shelf of bookstores, next to such titles as "True Lies", "The Moon is a Cheesecake" and "Turks Descend from Trojans and Hittites".
 

Keghart readers are familiar with the two-year Turkish ploy to designate as 'Ottoman' a segment of the Mount Hope Cemetery in Brantford, Ontario, despite vast amounts of evidence that the people buried there are Alevis, a persecuted minority in the Ottoman Empire who settled in Brantford upon the encouragement of their Armenian neighbors. Although there isn't a shred of evidence that a single Turk is buried in the cemetery, Ankara, in its wisdom, dictated that the Alevis were Turks and that was that: truth be damned. Ankara's motives were as transparent as an odalisque's veil: Through it representatives in Canada, Ankara wanted to brand Canada a genocidier! On what evidence? Simple: the people buried in Brantford were TURKS. And they were killed by the Canadian government during WWI for being Turks. This was Ankara's insane tit-for-tat for Canadian government's recognition of the Genocide of Armenians. Ankara's ambassador to Canada also wanted to put the heat on Ottawa so that next year the Canadian government would be circumspect when the Genocide centennial is commemorated.
 
Enter Ozay of Carleton University with his version of history, titled "120 Brantford Turks", printed in the "Turkish Society of Canada" publication. Deploying cunning worthy of an imbecile, Ozay launched his fantasy world with these words: ''Did Canada carry out Genocide against Ottoman Turks in 1914? Limited available evidence in Canadian archives is highly suggestive…matching or even exceeding what the Ottoman military authorities did for the disloyal Armenians in 1915…"
 
After reading the inane article, the first question any person knowledgeable in the Genocide of Armenians is apt to ask is: "How can someone like Ozay be allowed to teach at a  Canadian university?" It would be a waste of breath to say "Shame" to the man responsible for the malevolent screed. "Shame" should instead be directed to the Ottawa university where such a fantasist teaches history to innocent Canadian students. Incidentally, it's no surprise that Ozay published his imaginings in a Turkish newsletter. He must know full well that no self-respecting Canadian publication would consider his words anything but an Ankara provocation directed at Canada and its government.
 
Keghart.com asked Marsha F. Skrypuch, researcher, student of the Genocide, and award-winning author of more than a dozen books and an appointee to the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Endowment Council to comment on the fables of Ozay. Below is Ozay's piece and Ms. Skrypuch's comments.-Edit.
 

120 Brantford Turks

 
Mehmet Ozay, Distinguished Research Professor, International Affairs, Senior Fellow, Modern Turkish Studies, Carleton University

Genocide in Canada, 1914? The case of lost Turks of Brantford, Ontario

Did Canada carry out Genocide against Ottoman Turks in 1914? Limited available evidence in Canadian archives is highly suggestive…matching or even exceeding what the Ottoman military authorities did for the disloyal Ottoman Armenians in 1915.

At the outset of WWI, a small group of Ottoman Turks, residents in Brantford, Ont., were forcibly relocated to a POW Camp in Kapuskasing

At the outset of WWI, by order of the Federal government under the War Measures Act [WMA], a small group of Ottoman Turks, residents in Brantford, Ont., were forcibly relocated to a POW Camp in Kapuskasing, Northern Ontario….

All these Turks perished during and after this internment. Their only “crime” was being Ottoman Muslims. Ottoman Christians (e.g. Armenian) residents were untouched.

Timing of this little known Canadian history is in sharp contrast to the Harper Governments recognition under M 381 of the 1915 Otto-man Relocation of Anatolian Armenians as “Genocide.” Both the Canadian and the Ottoman decisions on forced relocation were war-related.

What is “Genocide”? The UN Genocide Convention 1948 states:
Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the fol-lowing acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

This definition is legal and is subject to fine-tuning. The term “Genocide” was coined well after WWI as a result of the efforts of the ultra-nationalist Armenian Dasnak group.

The Convention definition is loaded with legal and logistical problems, in particular issues with interpretation, verification and enforcement.

As regards interpretation, one can argue that the Canadian government in 1914 did not act “with intent to destroy” the Brantford Ottoman Turks. These Turks were declared “enemy aliens”, along with Germans, Austrians, and Ukrainians…simply to be put away in military custody.

What is good for the goose must be true for the gander! The same argument would apply in the case of the

Ottoman military decision in 1914 to relocate Anatolian Armenians…with even more justification, it seems, since these Armenians actively fought with invading Russians who occupied Ottoman lands*.

Many Ottoman Armenians died and perished during forced marches. In the case of 120 Brantford Turks, all perished…none survived the POW internment. These early Turks in Canada vanished in captivity or after.

Number of human losses of Brant-ford Turks and Ottoman Armenians differ greatly…but policy of forced relocation is identical…and in the Genocide Convention, INTENT is the key.

Verification of official intent depends on historical documentation. Only official records of Brantford Turks and Anatolian Armenians can shed light on exactly what happened.

In the case of 120 Brantford Turks, all perished…none survived the POW internment.

Tragically, the Canadian government took a decision in 1948 to destroy all records on this black chapter of Canadian history. By contrast, the Turkish official archives are open to all historians and experts for study and investigation.

Most tellingly, however, the Canadian government has taken courageous steps to set right the wrong done the WMA officially apologizing to Ukrainians and the Japanese [in the case of WWII]. To date no such apology exists for the Turks of Brantford, Ont.

The Turkish government has signed Protocols with Armenia that provides, inter alias, the setting up of an independent historical commission to determine what exactly happened in 1914 with Ottoman Armenians. Diaspora Armenian communities, in Canada as well as in the USA, have rejected these Protocols which, sadly, remain inactive.

What of the lost Ottoman Turks of Canada? They are all gone. Only a “Turkish Lot” exists in the public Cemetery in Brantford, a piece of land they themselves purchased privately, a self-dedication marked simply as Muslim Ottomans in 1909. Currently a Plaque in their memory stands frozen on the agenda of the Brantford City Council. Justice demands Federal recognition of their loss.

Click here to see the Armenian source.

"120 Brantford Turks"

by Marsha Skrypuch, 19 June 2014

The "esteemed professor" even gets his title wrong. Approximately 100 immigrants from the Ottoman Empire were rounded up. Approximately 98 were interned. They were not "Turks".

Genocide in Canada, 1914? The case of lost Turks of Brantford, Ontario

They were not lost and they were not "Turks". During the war some of the Ottoman immigrants were paroled to jobs in private industry. A few continued to be interned until 1919 as "prisoners of war". One Ottoman immigrant died of natural causes in Kapuskasing. His name was Alex Hassan. He was not Turkish, but was likely either Alevi or Greek.

Did Canada carry out genocide against Ottoman Turks in 1914?

The question itself is a red herring. The Ottoman immigrants who were interned during World War I were of a variety of minority ethnic groups who fled the Ottoman Empire because of religious and ethnic persecution perpetrated by the Young Turk government, and before them, the sultan. 

 

Limited available evidence in Canadian archives is highly suggestive…matching or even exceeding what the Ottoman military authorities did for the disloyal Ottoman Armenians in 1915.
 

It is impressive how many lies the "esteemed professor" can fit into a single sentence. The Young Turk government shot Armenian males who had registered to fight for the Ottoman Empire. They then rounded up women, children, babies and grandmothers and sent them on a deportation march into the desert without food or water. Many died of thirst or starvation, others were killed outright. Eighty-five percent of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire were killed.

Compare this to what happened in Canada where 8,000 "enemy aliens" were interned during World War I. Most of those interned were Ukrainian and Christian (including my own grandfather). Some did die. There is not a single documented incident of an ethnic Turk or a Muslim who died during the WWI Canadian internment operations.

I am particularly appalled that the "professor" would label children and babies as "disloyal". The Armenians were killed by the Turks not for anything that they did, but because of their nationality.

At the outset of WWI, a small group of Ottoman Turks, residents in Brantford, Ont., were forcibly relocated to a POW Camp in Kapuskasing.
 

At the outset of WWI, by order of the federal government under the War Measures Act [WMA], a small group of Ottoman Turks, residents in Brantford, Ont., were forcibly relocated to a POW Camp in Kapuskasing, Northern Ontario….

These Ottoman citizens were identifiably Alevi Kurds, not Muslim Turks.

All these Turks perished during and after this internment.

Not a single Turk died during the internment. One Ottoman internee died of natural causes and is buried in the internee cemetery at Kapuskasing. His name was Alex Hassan, and he was not an ethnic Turk and was not Muslim.

Their only “crime” was being Ottoman Muslims. Ottoman Christians (e.g. Armenian) residents were untouched.

A quick look through roll call will demonstrate the falseness of this claim. Several Armenians were interned, for example Kevork Arakilian, Aram George, and Sarkis Hamparsumian.

Timing of this little known Canadian history is in sharp contrast to the Harper Governments [sic] recognition under M 381 of the 1915 Otto-man Relocation of Anatolian Armenians as “Genocide.” Both the Canadian and the Ottoman decisions on forced relocation were war-related.

False: The Harper government has recognized the WWI internment operations and has made restitution in the form of a $10 million endowment fund. More information can be found here:
http://internmentcanada.ca/

What is “Genocide”? The UN Genocide Convention 1948 states:
Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the fol-lowing acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;

  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

This definition is legal and is subject to fine-tuning. The term “Genocide” was coined well after WWI as a result of the efforts of the ultra-nationalist Armenian Dasnak [sic] group.

The Convention definition is loaded with legal and logistical problems, in particular issues with interpretation, verification and enforcement.

As regards interpretation, one can argue that the Canadian government in 1914 did not act “with intent to destroy” the Brantford Ottoman Turks. These Turks were declared “enemy aliens”, along with Germans, Austrians, and Ukrainians…simply to be put away in military custody.

The Canadian government interned approximately 8,000 enemy aliens during WWI. These people were fed, clothed and given shelter. Was it unjust? Yes. Was it genocide? It would be false to say so. At the same time as these 8,000 people, mostly Ukrainian, mostly Christian, mostly men were interned, approximately 100,000 other enemy aliens were NOT interned, but had to carry identity papers and report regularly to the authorities.

Contrast that to what the Young Turks did–executing Armenian males who had proven their loyalty by enlisting in the army–rounding up the remaining men, plus women, children, babies, old people–and marching them into the desert with no food or water with the express purpose of killing them. All Armenians were treated this way 15% survived.

What is good for the goose must be true for the gander! The same argument would apply in the case of the Ottoman military decision in 1914 to relocate Anatolian Armenians…with even more justification, it seems, since these Armenians actively fought with invading Russians who occupied Ottoman lands*.

Women, children and babies actively fought? 

Many Ottoman Armenians died and perished during forced marches. In the case of 120 Brantford Turks, all perished…none survived the POW internment.

This is an outright lie. First, they weren't Turks, second, all survived but one, and that one died of natural causes.

These early Turks in Canada vanished in captivity or after.

These internees were Alevi Kurds, not Turks. Many of them moved to St. Catharines, Ontario. There is also some evidence to show that at least one attained a homestead in western Canada. None vanished in captivity.

Number of human losses of Brant-ford [sic] Turks and Ottoman Armenians differ greatly…but policy of forced relocation is identical…and in the Genocide Convention, INTENT is the key.

False.

Verification of official intent depends on historical documentation. Only official records of Brantford Turks and Anatolian Armenians can shed light on exactly what happened.

In the case of 120 Brantford Turks, all perished…none survived the POW internment.

Tragically, the Canadian government took a decision in 1948 to destroy all records on this black chapter of Canadian history.

False. There are lots of documents at Archives Canada, at Ron Morel Museum in Kapuskasing, at the Brantford Public Library to name a few. As well, at the time, Canada was under British domain, and copies of the government records can be accessed through British archives.

By contrast, the Turkish official archives are open to all historians and experts for study and investigation. Most tellingly, however, the Canadian government has taken courageous steps to set right the wrong done the WMA officially apologizing

False. The government has acknowledged the injustice. The Ukrainian community has never asked for an apology because the people who did the internment are long dead.

to Ukrainians and the Japanese [in the case of WWII]. To date no such apology exists for the Turks of Brantford, Ont.

False. Acknowledgement of the injustice done to all affected groups in WWI was made at the same time as the Ukrainians. Restitution in the form of an educational fund was made. In fact, more weight is given to the non-Ukrainian groups than it is to the Ukrainians.

The Turkish government has signed Protocols with Armenia that provides, inter alias, the setting up of an independent historical commission to determine what exactly happened in 1914 with Ottoman Armenians. Diaspora Armenian communities, in Canada as well as in the USA, have rejected these Protocols which, sadly, remain inactive.

The Turkish government does not acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and has never made any sort of restitution.

What of the lost Ottoman Turks of Canada? They are all gone. Only a “Turkish Lot” exists in the public Cemetery in Brantford, a piece of land they themselves purchased privately, a self-dedication marked simply as Muslim Ottomans in 1909.

There is no documentation to link those interned with the cemetery plot in Mount Hope cemetery. However, all indications point to those buried as being Alevi, not Muslim.

Currently a plaque in their memory stands frozen on the agenda of the Brantford City Council. Justice demands Federal recognition of their loss.

 

 

5 comments
  1. Turkish Ploy

    Although innocent bystander Alevis have witnessed the usurpation of their rights at the Brantford Mount Hope Cemetery, it is obvious that the conflict has nothing with the continued oppression of Alevis by Turkey–Ottoman or the republic.
     
    It's clear that the Turkish campaign was aimed at forcibly change the identity of the Alevis to Sunni Turks and then falsely claim that Canada committed genocide of "Turks" around the same time Turkey slew 1.5 million Armenians. As your article points out, the Turkish fandango is intended to put Canada on the defensive and make Ottawa more cautious about what it says next year about the Genocide.
     
    That said, it's astonishing that Hye Tadd didn't support the Alevis. Was it case of short-sightedness, incompetence, or carelessness? According to hearsay, Hye Tadd decided the conflict was of no interest to Armenians. If that view accurately reflects Hye Tadd's thinking then Hye Tadd is guilty on two counts: not supporting an ally (the Alevis) in its hour of need; allowing the Turkish lobby to get away with murder re Ankara's demented attempt to tag Canada a genocidal country. They must be opening a couple of bottles of raki at the Turkish embassy.

    Today (Sunday, June 22) the Turkish lobby bused fellow denialists to Brantford to celebrate the unveiling of the "Muslim" monument, aka Turkish monument.

    "Shame" not only to the Carleton University but also to Hye Tadd.

  2. Don’t Be Too Hard on Carleton

    Don't be too hard on Carleton University. It's not clear that they gave him tenure. According to Wikipedia: "He has taught at various Canadian universities including: the University of Windsor, York University, the University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa and Carleton University." Sounds like no one kept him for very long. Wikipedia also says that he is retired and has started writing historical fiction.

  3. Twitter

    Dear editor,

    Thanks for This article. However please stop writing that the Genocide of Armenians was committed by Ottomans. The individuals who organized this genocide were neither Turks nor Ottomans. On the other side could you add a twitter button on pages (it's free and very easy) which will permit diffuse your articles in an easy and fast way.

    Good day.

    Jan Varoujan

    1. Men on the Moon

      Jan, how can you say that genocide was not committed by the Ottomans? In what history book did you read it? It is true that the main organizers were not Turks (Talaat was  Pomak; the other two were donmehs). However, they were all officials of the Ottoman Empire. I ask you if they were not Ottomans and Turks, who were they? Men on the moon?
       

  4. Disappointing

    I just learned that the so called Muslim community (actually a beard for Turkish diplomats) of Brantford installed a Muslim/Turkish gravestone where Alevis are buried. The fact that the gravestone was installed a few days after the Brantford mayor pushed his agenda (he is a good friend of Turkish diplomats and enjoys the attention he gets from "international diplomats") and gave the green light to the "Muslim" monument suggests that the May city hall hearings where Alevi editor Suleyman Guven and the imam spoke were a pretense.

    One of the mayor's games was how the Muslim/Turkish monument was approved. After announcing that an early June city hall meeting would decide a late June date when the monument proposal would get final decision, the monument was approved at the early June meeting, catching people who oppose it by surprise.

    One wonder how the small Brantford Muslim community managed to raise the $4,500 for the monument so fast? The monument has the Turkish star and crescent carved at the top. Apparently, on June 22 a busload (s) of Toronto Turks journeyed to the Brantford cemetery and celebrated their victory over the Alevis and the Armenians.

    A large portion of the blame for the Alevi defeat should be placed at the door of our short-sighted Hye Tad which dismissed the affair as strictly of Alevi concern. In denying to support the Alevis, Hye Tad and Armenians lost an ally in the struggle against Ankara. Hye Tad also gave a gift-wrapped present to Ankara to disseminate its lies and accuse the Canadian government of committing genocide of Turks a century ago.
     
     

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