Paylan Proposes Bill to Study Armenian Deportations

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ANKARA — Garo Paylan, a member of the Turkish Parliament who represents a district of Istanbul, and is in the HDP party, this week presented a bill to parliament in which he proposes that body research the results of the Temporary Deportation Law enacted on May 27, 1915.

In a letter, he wrote, “Subsequent to the Temporary Deportation Law, which was enacted on May 27, 1915 to be in effect after being published in then the official journal Takvim-i Vekâyi on June 1, 1915, the Armenian population residing in the Ottoman Empire was deported. The Deportation Act caused major destruction in Assyrian, Chaldean, Yazidi, Greek and especially Armenian communities. Although 102 years passed over the enactment of the law, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey has still not researched the consequences of the mentioned act. It is a known fact that due to the Deportation Law, great numbers of lives were lost. As a result of the execution and application of the mentioned law a large number of cultural assets and property were seized or confiscated pursuant to act of government.

“I hereby submit and propose a Parliamentary Inquiry in accordance with the Turkish Constitution’s 98th, Parliamentary rules’ 104th and 105th articles, aimed at (a) unraveling the responsibilities of public officials and government of the period in regards to the process of annihilation of the deported population; (b) understanding the consequences of the deportations up to date; (c) establishing social peace and reconciliation as a whole in our country by facing the past and truth; (d) contributing to the unraveling of the ‘truth’ so as to avoid the manipulation and abuse of the conflict in all manners; providing opportunities for the future generations to live together, freely and in peace in Turkey.”

He refers to a 2008 book by journalist Murat Bardakçı including Ottoman Minister of Domestic Affairs Talât Pasha’s personal papers and documentation and correspondence on the Armenian deportations. The report, is “beyond a reasonable doubt, produced by Talât Pasha, and, demonstrates the distribution of Armenian population within certain Ottoman provinces based on a comprehensive and extensive research,” he writes.

According to Talât Pasha’s numbers, between 1914 and 1917 1.150.000 (or 77 percent of the total Armenian population residing in Ottoman territories)  “disappeared,” Paylan writes, quoting from Bardakçi’s book.

Talât Pasha’s report openly shows that the deportation of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 was aimed at the annihilation of Armenians rather than necessary military security measures. The difference in numbers between the deported Armenians and exiled Armenians in the re-settlement regions in 1917 shows how this policy was administered and concluded.

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Topics: Turkey