This study is based on an article of Professor Justin McCarthy, a famous American history proffessor. It is unjustified to label as “genocide”, the events that took place within the Ottoman State of 1915, which caused great loss of life for both the Turkish and Armenian communities and resulted with the forced relocation of the majority of the Armenian people to other provinces of the Empire.
What must be considered at first is a few simple questions, "Did the Ottoman Government carry out a plan to exterminate the Armenians?" "Was there an Armenia?" Was there a region within the Ottoman Empire where Armenians were a compact majority that might rightfully demand their own state?
By the beginning of World War I Armenians made up only 17 percent of the area they claimed as " Ottoman Armenia," the so called "Six Vilayets." Judging by population figures, there was no Ottoman Armenia. In fact if all the Armenians in the world had come to Eastern Anatolia, they still would not have been a majority there.
The Armenian-Muslim conflict lay in Russian imperial expansion. At the time of Ivan the Terrible, Russians began a policy of expelling Muslims from lands they had conquered. Over the next three hundred years, Muslims, many of them Turks, were killed or driven out of what today is Ukraine, Crimea and the Caucasus. When the Russians attacked and occupied the East, more than a million Muslims fled as refugees. They were attacked on the roads by Armenian bands as they fled. When the Russians retreated it was the turn of the Armenians to flee. The Russians attacked and retreated, then attacked again, then finally retreated for good. With each advance came the flight of hundreds of thousands.
Armenians rebelled against Ottoman rule and ally themselves with Russian invaders in the 1790s: Armenian armed units joined the Russians, Armenian spies delivered plans to the Russians. In these wars, Muslims were massacred and forced into exile. Armenians in turn migrated into areas previously held by Muslims, such as Karabakh. Most Armenians and Muslims undoubtedly wanted nothing to do with this conflict, but the events were to force them to take sides. By 1900, approximately 1.400.000 Turkish and Caucasian Muslims had been forced out by Russians. One third of those had died, either murdered or victims of starvation and disease. Between 125,000 and 150,000 Armenians emigrated from Ottoman Anatolia to Erivan and other parts of the Russian southern Caucasus. This was the toll of Russian imperialism. Not only had one-and-a-half million people been exiled or killed, but also ethnic peace had been destroyed.
The main Armenian revolutionary organizations were founded in the 1880s and 1890s in the Russian Empire. They were socialist and nationalist in ideology. Terrorism was their weapon of choice. Revolutionaries openly stated that their plan was the same as that which had worked well against the Ottoman Empire in Bulgaria. In Bulgaria rebels had first massacred innocent Muslim villagers. The Ottoman government, occupied with a war against Serbs in Bosnia, depended on the local Turks to defeat the rebels, which they did, but with great losses of life. European newspapers reported Bulgarians deaths, but never Muslim deaths. Europeans did not consider that the deaths were a result of the rebellion, nor the Turk's intention. The Russians invaded ostensibly to save the Christians. The result was the death of 260,000 Turks, 17 percent of the Muslim population of Bulgaria, and the expulsion of a further 34 percent of Turks. The Armenian rebels expected to follow the same plan. But they forgot or pretend not to see the fact that the lands they covered were overwhelmingly Muslim in population.
History taught the Ottomans that if the Armenians triumphed not only would territory be lost, but mass expulsions and deaths would be the fate of the Muslim majority. This was the one absolutely necessary goal of the Armenian rebellion.
In light of the history and the events of this war, It is true that the Ottomans had obvious reason to fear Armenians, and that forced migration was an age-old tool in Middle Eastern and Balkan conflicts. It is also true that while its troops were fighting the Russians and Armenians, the Ottoman Government could not and did not properly protect the Armenian migrants. Nevertheless, more than 200,000 of the deported Armenians reached Syria and survived. Those who see the evil of genocide in the forced migrations of Armenians ignore the survival of so many of those who were deported. They also ignore the fact that the Armenians who were most under Ottoman control, those in Western cities such as Izmir, Istanbul, and Edirne, were neither deported nor molested, presumably because they were not a threat.
The most well-known of many fabrications on the Armenian Question are the famous "Talat Pasa Telegrams," in which the Ottoman interior minister and other officials supposedly telegraphed instructions to murder the Armenians. These conclusively have been proven to be forgeries by Sinasi Orel and Sureyya Yuca. However, one can only wonder why they would ever have been taken seriously. A whole people cannot be convicted of genocide on the basis of penciled scribblings on a telegraph pad.
The main falsification of history by the Armenian apologists lies not in what they say, but in what they do not say. They do not admit that much of the evidence they rely on is tainted because it was produced by the British Propaganda Office in World War I.
The Ottoman documents, hundreds of which have been published in recent years, indicate that the Ottomans planned no genocide and were at least officially solicitous of the Armenians' welfare.
No claim of genocide can rationally stand in the light of these facts. If genocide is to be considered, however, then the murders of Turks in 1915 and 1916 must be included in the calculation of blame. The Armenian molestations and massacres in Cilicia, deplored even by their French and British allies, must be judged. And the exile or death of two-thirds of the Turks of Erivan Province, the Armenian Republic, during the war must be remembered.
The Armenian apologists do not mention the Muslim dead. Any civil war will appear to be a genocide if only the dead of one side are counted. Their writings would be far more accurate, and would tell a very different story, if they included facts such as the deaths of nearly two-thirds of the Muslims of Van Vilayeti, deaths caused by the Russians and Armenians. Histories that strive for accuracy must include all the facts, and the deaths of millions of Muslims is surely a fact that deserves mention.
Turks are accused of "genocide," but what does that appalling word mean? The most quoted definition is that of the United Nations: actions committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, radical, or religious groups as such. Applying the principles of history, we can see that what occurred was, in fact a long history of imperialism, nationalist revolt, and ethnic conflict. The result was horrible mortality on all sides. There is an explainable, understandable history of a two-sided conflict. It was not genocide.