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Topic ClosedArmenian killings - mutual massacres or genocide?

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Armenian killings - mutual massacres or genocide?
    Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 10:12
The massacres against innocent armenians is a fact which is undeniable.
In this sense it is completely nonsensical to argue that those killings have not occurred. What I think is unacceptable to most turks is that those killings are qualified as genocide.

Because another undeniable fact, which is often never told in western media, is related to why those massacres occurred. Had armenian exremists not chosen to exploit the russian occupation, and attack turkish villages, maybe those massacres would not have occurred at all. I have many turkish friends coming from the east that can testify how parts of their families were slaughtered by armenian gangs.

This is by no means justifies the treatment of armenians, but it just shows that those killings cannot be classified as genocide, because the aim of the turkish state was not extermination of all armenians, but rather to stop seperatists trying to carve out a huge chunk of territory and in the process many innocent armenians were killed. Whereas the killings during the Holocaust were completely unjustified since the Jews posed no danger to Germany and it territorial integrity, the armenian extremist posed a direct and very acute threat to Turkey in its worst moment, when it was itself under occupation, and the turkish nation was faced with extermination from all sides. At this time as much as a million turks had died on the frontline, half of them in Gallipoli, and another significant chunk of civilians. For turks it was a fight for survival, and in their desperation turks save themselves they just went too far and killed many innocent armenians. It is a typical turkish feature to use disproprtionate force when provoked unfortunately.

A friend of mine who comes from Adana told me a story from her grandfather. Her grandafather recalled that at the time most muslims were supposed to go to the front and fight the invading russian armies, so most of the muslim villages were just left with the women, children and elderly. Christians were not required to join the army. Armenian extremists gangs tried to exploit the moment to establish their long-cherished state and attacked muslim villages. My friend says many of her relatives were slaughtered by their armenian neighbours. When the men returned from the frontline, and they could not find any of their families, they took revenge from the armenians. The killings were horrible and many armenians died. Call it mutual massacres, but i doubt you can call it a genocide.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 15:03
not this thread again..its going to banned in like 2 days but anyway.

First off, Turkey decided to go to war, It didnt have to. In fact the most sensible action would have been to stay out, let the Europeans destroy each other then reconquer Balkans if they chose. Second, it has been proven again and again that Armenian men in fact did fight in the Ottoman army. They were put to hard labor in 1915 and then slaughtered. You quote is basically what every Turk has been saying on these boards as long as I have been here (and proably longer).

The Turkish governemtn blamed everything on Armenians. Enver attacks Russia with 100,000 troops comes back with 15,000 and blames Armenians. Ironically, I heard he was rescued by an Armenian contigninet (I am not sure if the source was reliable or not, someone could expand on it though). Armenians were round up from EVERYWHERE in Turkey. Even in central Anatolia. The deportation were organized by the Turkish government and the plan was to annahilate Armenians.

Historical sources put Turkish deaths by the hands or Armenians in mere thousands (less than 10,000) while 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered. When some idiots of a community start going nuts u dont kill the whole community. There was no Armenian threat, Armenians were supportive of the Ottomans.

The threat was perceived by the Turkish Government just as the Jewish threat was perceived (Jews are going to destroy Germany or something like that) by the German Nazists.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 16:31
why is it going to be banned? Can you not discuss the armenian issue on this forum?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 17:08
Originally posted by bg_turk

What I think is unacceptable to most turks is that those killings are qualified as genocide.

Exactly.

Originally posted by mamikon

First off, Turkey decided to go to war, It didnt have to. In fact the most sensible action would have been to stay out, let the Europeans destroy each other then reconquer Balkans if they chose.

Is this a joke?

Originally posted by mamikon

Second, it has been proven again and again that Armenian men in fact did fight in the Ottoman army.

I am not sure, but I think non-Muslims were not able to join the Ottoman Army.

Originally posted by mamikon

The deportation were organized by the Turkish government and the plan was to annahilate Armenians.

No, Ottomans intended to re-locate the Armenians within the Empire's border.

Originally posted by mamikon

...while 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered.

That number is a joke. We are talking about an empire which was on the brink of its own destruction.

Ottomans couldn't kill that much people even if they really wanted to.

Originally posted by mamikon

There was no Armenian threat, Armenians were supportive of the Ottomans.

Oh, most certainly there was. Armenians helped Russians invade Eastern Anatolia, hoping to be independent in the end.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 17:42
Originally posted by bg_turk

why is it going to be banned? Can you not discuss the armenian issue on this forum?


Yes you can. And I hope this is the first topic on the issue that doesn't end in a flame war.

For the case anyone has doubts, here's the Code of Conduct.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 20:24

I am not sure, but I think non-Muslims were not able to join the Ottoman Army.

After the constitutional revolution of 1908 Christians had to serve in the Ottoman army.

The Ottoman Armenian men who might have been able to defend their families and towns were killed when they where forced into arduous work in labour camps.

The uprising of Van was similar to the Warsaw ghetto uprising. It was an act of self defense against those who wanted to eliminate them once and for all.

http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/1915/bryce/

The Vilayet of Van had a higher percentage of Armenians in its population than any other province of the Ottoman Empire ; it was also the border province of the north-eastern frontier, towards Russian and Persian territory, and as such was the earliest to be exposed to invasion after the breakdown of the Turkish offensive against the Caucasus in the winter of 1914-1915.

The documents contained in this section give a detailed and perfectly self-consistent account, from five independent sources, of those events at Van which led to the first open breach between the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and the Turks, and which gave the Government a pretext for extending the scheme of deportation already operative in Cilicia to the whole Armenian population under its jurisdiction.

The evidence makes it clear that there was no unprovoked insurrection of the Armenians at Van, as the Ottoman Government asserts in its official apologia. The Armenians only took up arms in self-defence, and the entire responsibility for the outbreak rests with Djevdet Bey, the local governor-whether he was acting on his own initiative or was simply carrying out instructions from Constantinople.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 23:54
"Oh, most certainly there was. Armenians helped Russians invade Eastern Anatolia, hoping to be independent in the end. "

By the time Russia counterattacked Enver's attack genocide was already in full course. You are confusing  westerna dn eastern Armenians. Eastern Armenians fought alongside the Russians for obvious reasons.  And  during 1916 and 1917, those who survived the Genocide fought alongside the Eastern Armenians and Russians

I do not understand why you brought up this subject again. You do not even have any  sources to back up your arguments, except those of turkish historians, and a handful of western historians who are on a Turkish payroll...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2006 at 10:18

This is how Turkey looked like in 1920 according to the Sevres Treaty:

Russian attacks on Turkey and the Armenian collaboration are well documented, they started much earlier than the alleged genocide:

What saved Turks from the catastrophe of Sevres, was the inconsistent policy of the Russians, and their witdhrawal as a result of the Bolsevik revolution.

Dashnak, an armenian political party formed in Georgia in 1890 much before the alleged genocide took place, had as an aim to "liberate" Armenia from the ottoman empire. Their terror activities against the local muslims and collaboration with the Russians are undeniable facts, which the armenian side often plays down. Images from the era:

Armenians collaborating with Russians during the occupation of Van:

Armenian rebells:

Armenian rebells during the Van rebellion:

There are very gruesome pictures of mutilated and killed turks, which I will not post here.

Letter from Mr. E. Vartanian, an Armenian-American Volunteer in the Russian Service, to His Brother-in-law in Egypt; Dated 9th /22nd July,1915, and Published in the Armenian Journal "Houssaper," of Cairo.

" We have been here three days. Some of us are going to be sent to Erivan; the rest of us are starting in two days for Van.

The enthusiasm here is very great. There are already 20,000 volunteers at the front, and they are trying to increase the number to 30,000. Each district we occupy is placed under Armenian administration, and an Armenian post is running from Igdir to Van. The Russian Government is showing great goodwill towards the Armenians and doing everything in its power for the liberation of Turkish Armenia.

When we disembarked at Archangel the Government gave us every possible assistance. It even undertook the transport of our baggage, and gave us free passes, second class, to Petrograd.

At Petrograd we received an equally hearty welcome, and the Governor of the city presented each of us with a medal in token of his sympathy. The Armenian colony put us up in the best hotels, entertained us at the best restaurants, and could not make enough of us. This lasted for five days, and then we continued our journey, again at the Government's expense, to Tiflis.

Everywhere on the way the population received us with cheers and offerings of flowers. Just as we were leaving Archa gel, a young Russian lady came with flowers and offered one to eaeh of us. I also saw a quite poor man who was so moved by the speech in Russian that one of our comrades had made, that he came and put his tobacco into the pipe of a comrade standing next to me, and kept nothing for himself but a bare half-pipeful. A third, an old man, was so moved by the speech that he began to cry and nearly made off, but a little while after I saw him standing in front of the carriage window and, with a shaking hand, holding out a hard-boiled egg to our comrade the chemist Roupen Stepanian. Probably it was his one meal for the day.

And so at every step we found ourselves in the midst of affecting scenes. At Petrograd Railway Station the crowd was enormous. There was an Armenian lady there who offered each of us a rose. There were boys and young men who wept because they could not come with us. At Rostov a young Russian joined our ranks. He was caught more than once by his parents at the stations further down the line, but he always succeeded in escaping them and reioining us. We have christened him Stepan.

When we arrived at Tiflis, we marched singing to the offices of the Central Armenian Bureau, with our flag unfurled in front of us, and the people marched on either side of us in such a crowd that the trams were forced to stop running.

That is enough for to-day. My next letter shall be written from Armenia itself..

Please say nothing to my sister about this resolution that I have taken. I hope, of course, that she would know how to sacrifice her affection for her brother to her love for the nation and for liberty.. I should curse any of my relations who lament my resolution; they would have committed treason against the nation. There are five of us brothers; was it not imperative that at least one of us should devote himself to the cause of a national emancipation ? Let us keep up our courage, realise the urgency of the moment and do our duty. "


In any case I do not deny any of the massacres against the armenians, they undoubtedly occured, many innocent people were killed. What I cannot tolerate is the one sided picture armenians like to paint, and deny the killings and massacres against the local muslim population.

Ottoman archives are full of references describing massacres against the muslims of eastern anatolia, these are undeniable facts, and with time they will be known to the west as well.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2006 at 10:25
What annoys me almost as much as the Turkish denial of the Armenian massacre, is the "We did nothing but if we did we would have been more than justified to do so" attitute of many (luckily not all) Turks. Even if it were true that the Armenians were supporting a Russian invasion, such a thing does not justify killing off hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Apart from that one could also wonder why Armenians wanted to shake off Turkish rule.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2006 at 10:59

What annoys me most is the arrogance of some people who while accusing turks of denialsim, are themselves in complete denial of the turkish victims.

Yes Turks and Kurds massacred and killed armenians in cold blood, I am not denying it.

You are the ones denying your own crimes.

The armenian massacres against the Turks is an undeniable fact, there are hundreds of witnesses of these events that are ready to testify, people who have lost relatives as a result of the armenian war of liberation, but their testimonies are conveniently ignored or bipassed, and we will make absolutely sure that their voice is heard as well! 

I personally know people who grandaparents have been murdered by ARMENIAN gangs during the period while their husbands who were supposed to protect them were on the frontline fighting the Russians.  

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2006 at 12:30
Dashnaks had nothing to do with Armenians in Turkey. They were based in Tbilisi, Georgia and were a radical group with a minute level of followers.  And the defense of Van was a struggle for survival not a rebellion.

No one is saying  Turks did not die too. Yes, there were Turkish death, by Armenian gangs (from Eastern Armenia mainly). And that gives you the right to exterminate the whole population?

It has been proven over and over again that Western Armenian men were in the front lines (later in labor camps) in teh Ottoman Army.

You are just spewing the same stuff every Turkish denialist has spewed for the past 80 years.

People are not stupid. There was a Genocide whether you would want to admit or not.

"I personally know people who grandaparents have been murdered by ARMENIAN gangs during the period while their husbands who were supposed to protect them were on the frontline fighting the Russians"

Well I personally know HUNDREDS of Armenians who have lost relatives in the Genocide. Every Armenian I tlaked to in the Diaspora said they have lost most of their family members in the Genocide.

The fact still stands that you have absolutley nothing authentic to presesnt as evidence to support your arguments.



Edited by mamikon
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2006 at 05:15

Originally posted by bg_turk

The massacres against innocent armenians is a fact which is undeniable.
In this sense it is completely nonsensical to argue that those killings have not occurred. What I think is unacceptable to most turks is that those killings are qualified as genocide.

If there are killings it will not be called a genocide-you have to prove it was systematic and on government order-which is quite impossible, since there are no documents on it

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2006 at 05:20

Originally posted by mamikon


The fact still stands that you have absolutley nothing authentic to presesnt as evidence to support your arguments.

Yes-facts wear out if you use them too much don't they?

Anyway we don't have to prove squat because you are the accusers-and your claims have little evidence to support them-only "this happened, that happened".When the Armenian genocide is officially documented, proofs listed and acepted and recognised worldwide and starts getting taught in schools-let me know



Edited by The Guardian
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2006 at 06:39

Originally posted by mamikon

not this thread again..its going to banned in like 2 days but anyway.

First off, Turkey decided to go to war, It didnt have to. In fact the most sensible action would have been to stay out, let the Europeans destroy each other then reconquer Balkans if they chose. Second, it has been proven again and again that Armenian men in fact did fight in the Ottoman army. They were put to hard labor in 1915 and then slaughtered. You quote is basically what every Turk has been saying on these boards as long as I have been here (and proably longer).


First, I suggest you to go find a good book covering the history of WW I...Then you will see it was impossible for Ottoman Empire forever. And if they had been sooo useful for the Ottoman Empire and put hard labor, why they were relocated? Of course for serving the Allied powers with all their hearts, there is no need to deny this proven fact...

Your words are basically what every Armenian says in return like every Turk saying the same, so this topic is also going nowhere.

Originally posted by mamikon


Historical sources put Turkish deaths by the hands or Armenians in mere thousands (less than 10,000) while 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered. When some idiots of a community start going nuts u dont kill the whole community. There was no Armenian threat, Armenians were supportive of the Ottomans.

Turkish deaths in mere thousands???Turkish mortality rate was more than Armenian mortality rate in Eastern Ottoman provinces..What kind of neutrality does this historical sources have?

Armenians supportive of the Ottomans???Well, I believe we are not playing FRP here, so there is no need to deny the facts.Armenian parliamentarians personally even joined the groups killing the Turkish folk.And both Hinchak,Tashnak,the parliamentarians state their aims.Look at Talaat Pasha thread for this.


 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2006 at 07:33

Ah, right... just another "we did slaughter the Armenians but, you know, they started first".

There is a strong feeling among resident Turks on the wording non-Turks (all of us) use for this "incident": we use the word "genocide" and they seem to believe that if we do not, the whole thing becomes just another "dealing" with the "dissents".

Well, I am teribly sorry, but slaughtering 650.000 (this is the more modest estimation of the Armenians dead during the death marches and it is from some quasi-proTurk sources) to 1.5 million (this is the estimation given by the Armenian themselves and it is - albeit slightly - exagerated; I myself do not believe the number of Armenians killed in the 1910s is above 900.000, but the Turks have killed a rather large number of other Christians as well, amont them 200.000 Greeks - half of those during Kemal's times btw) IS concidered a Genocide and a huge one at it.

Now, let's go beyond the semantics and discuss substance. The Armenians have initiated the violence, so much is true. They were trying to win a country for their own and in such occassions radicals emerge and those radicals perform... well... radical acts.

According to several pro-Turkish sources the Armenians killed maybe as many as 12.000 Turks. That's the highest number I've seen. The lowest places the death toll of the Turkish villages in eastern Asia Minor to the 2000s.

Those were terrible massacres, indeed. Awful, despicable, horrible. You name it. But they were conducted by some radical groups, not by some government. Let us check the Neo-Turks reaction. Instead of launching a campaing to eliminate those radical groups, or instead of launching a retaliation campaign against Armenian villages (I personally wouldn't justify the second action, but let's play along) they begin what has been recorded down as the meanest, most evil and deadly program of mass-estermination of a people that was conducted from the times of Timur's campaign of terror in the Indian peninsula dna before Hitler started running his gas chambers.

The vast majority (like more than 90%) of the Armenians living in the Ottoman lands, were gathered, stripped of their most valuables possensions and launched into exhaustive deathmarches, with no supplies, and subject to countless raids by the barbaric (Turkish and Kurdish) bashibazuks who were roaming the countryside.

The matter of how many people died during those deathmarches and during the extensive "cleansing" operations that proceeded and followed them, is irrelevant. Be it 500, 700, 900 thousand or 1.5 million. It doesn't matter. What matters is that the STATE representing the Ottoman Empire, the Neo-Turks have ordered this humangous atrocity, and have left a whole nation to die in horrible ways.

So, friend Turks, accept it and learn to live with it. The Turkish denial syndrome regarding the Armenian genocide is becoming an old and tired story. The Germans have accepted the Holocaust, have redeemed and have learned to live with it. Nobody judges today the Germans by the actions of Hitler & gang and nobody will judge today the Turks by the actions of Enver & gang.

If you wanna play arrogant with me, you better have some very solid facts to back up that arrogance, or I'll tear you to pieces
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2006 at 07:40

This is a very difficult debate because everybody believes what they heard from their families.

In fact, at that time nobody from the ordinary folk had much knowledge about what happened all around the Empire at that time. For example, the horrible loss of 90000 soldiers at Sarikamish was kept as a secret and it was publicly learned seven years laters in 1922! Also many people didn't leave their own villages so they weren't aware of what was happening. Therefore everybody believes in what their own family experienced. For example my family is from a village of Erzurum and I listened my older relatives who either witnessed or learned from their parents the massacres, tortures and rapes by the Armenian gangs. For such people, the only reality is what they experienced. You cannot tell them that at another point of the Empire the Armenians were massacred, too. Today, after some decades I, as a social scientist, can see from a macro-perspective that  Armenians are wiped-out from their motherlands (either by deporting or killing) as a result of inhumane policies and this is very sad. But you cannot expect from a people who knows only their own families' pains to accept being cold-blooded murderers.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2006 at 08:24

Who said Turks of today should accept "they are cold-blooded murderers"? Do Germans of today count as "cold-blooded murderers" because they accept that Hitler killed 6 million Jews and 3 more million people in the gas chamber? What kind of weird logic is that?  

Probably it's a problem of the fact that Enver, Talaat & gang are viewed as sorts of national heroes (Kemalists before Kemal, sorts of) so people are rather reluctant on viewing them as the horrible monsters they actually were. But from that point to the point of saying that Turks today should accept they are cold-blooded murderers ...well, it's a bit silly, isn't it?

Collective responsibility - or guilty by association, in our crazed world, the kind of thinking that enables the Bushes of this world to launch preemptive or punitive campaings against anybody they perceive as a potential threat - is one thing, historical responsibility is another and common sense is another, rather entirely different methinks.

If you wanna play arrogant with me, you better have some very solid facts to back up that arrogance, or I'll tear you to pieces
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2006 at 08:55
Originally posted by Alkiviades

According to several pro-Turkish sources the Armenians killed maybe as many as 12.000 Turks. That's the highest number I've seen. The lowest places the death toll of the Turkish villages in eastern Asia Minor to the 2000s.

Can you please provide sources?

Ottoman Archives have ample evidenve of the massacres comitted by armenian gangs and the death toll is much higher than you state, around 500,000.



Edited by bg_turk
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2006 at 09:03

Originally posted by kotumeyil

But you cannot expect from a people who knows only their own families' pains to accept being cold-blooded murderers.

That was never the case. No-one would dream of accusing e.g. a German for the crimes perpetrated by an awful German Nazi regime in the past. On the contrary, everyone praises them because they're at the forefront of remembering this, accepting responsibility and making sure that it doesn't happen again.

 

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2006 at 09:05

I don't have the sources at hand, but I'll try to find them. On the meantime, you do understand that your claim is a bit... well... how to say this polite... oh, what the heck, ridiculous?

Half a million dead? Can I see something of those archives, please? The archives you mention, not the ravings of some crazed Neo-Turk apologist, the actual archives. Because this is truly hilarious. I mean, somebody would notice, don't you think?

If you wanna play arrogant with me, you better have some very solid facts to back up that arrogance, or I'll tear you to pieces
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