PRESENTATION

One of the methods used in learning and enlightening of the historical truths

with all their due aspects is the studying of the testimonies of the witnesses.

At this point the testimonies of the first hand eye-witnesses become

extremely important.

The sources of reference used in studying the events that took place on the

Eastern Front, during the First World War, are the archive documents. The

importance of the testimonies of the eye-witnesses in revealing the true

aspects of the Armenian atrocities can never be denied. The documentpublication

series “Armenian Activities in the Archive Documents 1914-1918,”

published by the Turkish General Staff Directorate of Military History and

Strategic Studies, also includes documents revealing the observations of the

first hand witnesses.

One of the first-hand witnesses of the events that took place at the Eastern

Front happens to be Lieutenant Colonel Tverdohlebov, the Russian

Commander of the 2nd Armenian-Russian Fortress Artillery Regiment.

Lieutenant Colonel Tverdohlebov’s personal documents presented in this

book reveal the Armenian terror activities he himself witnessed and lived

through. The documents embracing Lieutenant Colonel Tverdohlebov’s first

hand experiences of Armenian atrocities realized in and around Erzurum and

Erzincan, between the last months of 1917 and the first months of 1918,

serve as a witness to world history.

While Lieutenant Colonel Tverdohlebov’s original handwritings, found at the

Archives of the Turkish General Staff Directorate of Military History and

Strategic Studies, are being submitted to the attention of the world public

opinion and to the use of the academia, in Turkish, English, and French

languages, together with the originals in Russian, in a single volume, the

extend the Armenian terror reached is revealed with all its nakedness.

The extend the Armenian atrocities reached was more than enough for a

Russian officer to bear, who in fact was fighting against the Turks together

with the Armenians. Lieutenant Colonel Tverdohlebov wrote, in his diary, his

words of deep grief for not having been able to stop the Armenian violence

despite all the power he had.

We now would like to inquire: Those of you who talk about the Armenian

genocide, what say you to these documents?

With all our due respect.

Eyüp KAPTAN

Lieutenant General

Chief of ATASE

 

Notes pertaining to the Armenians’ attitude towards the Turks living

in Erzurum and in the settlements nearby, between the outbreak of

the Russian Revolution and the delivering of Erzurum by the Turkish

Forces on March 12, 1918.

These notes are appended to the “Notes on the State of the Second

Russian Artillery Regiment”. These notes are prepared separately to

serve as an individual document.

 

The Turkish-Armenian enmity that is known by the European and the

Russian public opinion has reached its peak with the events

experienced during the First World War.

Armenians’ aversion to the Turks is a renowned fact throughout the

ages. Armenians have always been successful in presenting

themselves as a nation subjected to heavy torture, and oppression by

the uncivilized bigoted Turks.

The Russians who had close relations with the Armenians to a certain

extent have developed different views on their level of civilization.

Armenians having considerably vile, surprising, and rapacious

character can only live off on others. However, the Russian peasants

have different judgments on them. I heard the Russian soldiers

saying, “Turks have only treated them roughly, but did not kill them.

They should have killed them to the last man!”

The Armenian troops among the Russian soldiers have always been

regarded as the most inferior. They have always preferred working in

the rear echelons rather than fighting at the fronts. The increases in

the desertion of the Armenians and in their wounding themselves are

all definite proofs of the idea developed.