Friday, February 24, 2006


By Aris Ghazinyan
ArmeniaNow reporter

Eighty-five years ago, on March 15, 1921, Armenian avenger Soghomon Tehleryan shot dead in Berlin the former general chairman of the Young Turks party, interior minister, Grand Vizier of Turkey Mehmet Talaat Pasha.

One of the main culprits responsible for the annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians and developer of the plan of Genocide, who said that `only one Armenian must be preserved in the world, and that as an exhibit in a museum' was hiding in the German capital not only from the punishment of Armenian avengers, but also from the War Tribunal that sentenced him to death in July 1919. The future founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal still then accused the leaders of the Young Turks of trammelling the country into World War One and exterminating Armenians. Talaat-pasha was hiding in Berlin under another person's passport and lived at a secret address. He was tracked down by Armenian avengers on January 28, 1921 at a Berlin railway station and was shot dead in the street on March 15.

This action was implemented as part of the Nemesis program (by the name of Greek goddess of Revenge and Fair Punishment) adopted by the 9th congress of Armenia's ruling Dashnaktsutyun party in the fall of 1919. Time went by from the moment when the War Tribunal published its verdict, but the world did not seem to be in a hurry...

The congress had considered 650 names of executors and accomplices in the genocide and chose 41 `main culprits': the members of the sinister triumvirate hiding from revenge in different parts of the world were under the top targets:

The former Interior Minister of the Young Turks government, Talaat-pasha, former Minister of the Navy Cemal-pasha and former War Minister Enver-pasha. It was they who had published a document on undertaking necessary measures to liquidate the Armenian nation. Shahan Natali and Grigor Merzhanov were charged with the leadership and material provision of the punitive operation.

Talaat-pasha (March 1921), Said Halimi, the chairman of the first cabinet of ministers of the Young Turks government (December 1921), Cemal Azmi - Governor of Trabzon (April 1922), Cemal-pasha - former minister of the navy (July 1922) and many others would fall victim to Nemesis.

The third leader of the Young Turks triumvirate - former War Minister Enver who was hiding from Armenian revenge would have to flee to Central Asia where he would die in 1922 in one of the skirmishes with a Red Army detachment led by Hakob Melkumyan. Within two years the Armenian avengers tracked down and liquidated several dozen criminals responsible for the Genocide: no passer-by was hurt in the operations... The trial of Soghomon Tehleryan in Berlin in June 1921 fully acquitted him.

These years later, though, Turkey intends to implement anti-Armenian actions as part of the special `Big Project-2006'. Special structures have been set up at the state level for its consistent realization. For instance, a Consultative Department led by the former president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Rauf Denktash was established. It is supposed to organize a Talaat-pasha campaign. In a meeting in Istanbul on January 18 the Department in its turn elected an executive committee, which has already got down to the immediate preparations for a whole series of events timed to the 85th anniversary of the action of retribution. Part of these events will be held in Berlin on March 15-19.

Some idea of the contents and orientation of these events can be formed from the appeals of the Consultative Department to the Bundestag (German Parliament) and compatriots living abroad. The appeal to Berlin contains a demand to `revoke the decision about the massacre of Armenians (the matter concerns the resolution adopted on June 16, 2005), not to publish in textbooks the lie about the massacre of Armenians', as well as `stop the implantation of hatred towards Turks living in Germany.'

It is said in the appeal to compatriots that `Big Project - 2006' sets itself the task of stirring a 70-million-strong Turkish nation, as well as four million Turks in Europe and a million Turks in the United States, against lies and contains a promise that `the West will soon see their strength'. These Turks must demand from the governments of European countries and instances of the European Union that they should invalidate all resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

`The Western countries must drop unfair accusations of Turks; otherwise their capitals will be in flames as it was with Paris.' The appeal concludes with a brazen threat to the European countries and their peoples: `Meddling in the internal life of Turkey, you are dragging Europe into an abyss of internal discords.'

The second appeal is signed by the ruling Justice and Prosperity party, as well as the opposition People's Republic Party, the Motherland party and the Labor Party. The appeal reads: `From now on, we will defend Turkey in Western centers through the five million Turks who live in these countries. Getting five million Turks to rise to their feet, we will show our strength to western countries in their capitals. Defensive lines will be created in the administrative centers of these countries, in particular in Berlin, Paris, London and Brussels.'

Of peaceful events so far announced have been: March 15 - a minute of silence in memory of Talaat in the street in Berlin where he was assassinated; March 18 - a march and rally under the motto: `Stop the Lie about Pogroms of Armenians!'; March 19 - a congress dedicated to Talaat. By the way, in 1943, following a special order from Hitler, the ashes of Talaat were reburied in Istanbul with great honors - the operation was led by Secretary of the National-Socialist Party Martin Borman. Later, Mustafa Kemal confessed to the widow of Talaat, Airia-khanum: `I was wrong when I testified against him. He was right: all Armenians should have been exterminated.'

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