WikiLeaks: Ottoman Archives ‘Purged’ to Hide Genocide


A Turkish Professor told US Consul General in Istanbul that there were efforts to “purge” the Ottoman Archives of incriminating documents on the Armenian Genocide, according to a cable recently released by the whistleblower site WikiLeaks.

In a cable dated July 12, 2004, Sabanci University professor Halil Berktay told then US Consul General to Istanbul David Arnett that “there were two serious efforts to “purge” the archives of any incriminating documents on the Armenian question.”

“The first” Berktay explained, “took place in 1918, presumably before the Allied forces occupied Istanbul. Berktay and others point to testimony in the 1919 Turkish Military Tribunals indicating that important documents had been ‘stolen’ from the archives.”

“Berktay believes a second purge was executed in conjunction with Ozal’s efforts to open the archives by a group of retired diplomats and generals led by former Ambassador Muharrem Nuri Birgi (Note: Nuri Birgi was previously Ambassador to London and NATO and Secretary General of the MFA),” Arnett wrote in the cable.

“Berktay claims that at the time he was combing the archives, Nuri Birgi met regularly with a mutual friend and at one point, referring to the Armenians, ruefully confessed that ‘We really slaughtered them,’” the cable read.

“Tony Greenwood, the Director of the American Research Institute in Turkey, told poloff separately that when he was working in the Archives during that same period it was well known that a group of retired military officers had privileged access and spent months going through archival documents.  Another Turkish scholar who has researched Armenian issues claims that the ongoing cataloging process is used to purge the archives,” said Arnett in the cable.


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  1. Steve said:

    We need the maintstream media to pick up on this cover-up that had been reported by respected career American Foreign Service officers, corroborated by independent sources yet kept secret by the State Department.

    Our elected officials in Congress need to investigate this and hold hearings…..

  2. Peter Musurlian said:

    Let me get this straight: One group of Turks killed 1.5 million Armenians…looted their property & real estate…and desecrated their churches. Meanwhile, successive generations have financed and/or participated-in a massive disinformation campaign of denial…essentially rendering themselves accomplices in that genocide.

    Now, you want me to believe that there is irrefutable proof that some Turks tried to purge their archives, to cover-up the Armenian Genocide?

    How could a people of such integrity be so misunderstood? Do you really think murderers & deniers would do such a thing?

    Peter Musurlian
    Globalist Films

  3. Stepan said:

    This is one of the reasons that “opening” archives and conducting “commissions” is a waste of time for genocide recognition. Who can verify the integrity of the archives? The primary sources of the genocide are well documented and we have 1 1/2 million reasons to never allow the veracity of our tragedy to be the subject of a “review”.

  4. Vacheh said:

    Those Armenian political parties who would like to stretch a hand of friendship to Turks and normalize the relations between Armenia and Turkey should realize that there is no point in friendship with devil. Such friendship cannot be beneficial to Armenian people. We will lose whatever small portion remains from our ancestral homeland. This time the Turks will invade economically with no need to invade militarily.

  5. Tsoghig said:

    What more does the US government need to know? I am so disappointed that no matter what we have on our side, the White House and State Department, despite fully being aware of what is the right thing to do, continue to be held hostage by Turkey and that air base. I hope Israel recognizes that Genocide soon and then maybe the White House and State Dept will grow some and refuse to be held hostage any further.

  6. Hrant K. said:

    Why would a criminal leave a trace behind him, albeit a State that has committed A CRIME AGAINST

    HUMANITY- GENOCIDE against the Armenian Nation. Wake up Civilized World! The Genocide is still

    going on!!! Cultural, in Nakhitchevan and physical ( in Constantinopolis) against Hrant Dink and Serge (the

    soldier, who was a victim of a hate crime and not “accidental” as the rotten turkish judges and state

    officials claim!!!)

  7. zohrab said:

    i think they are hiding changing at great lengths.but no use the evidance is out no matter what you do the whole world knows the truth that you have a bloody past and bloody present

  8. Pingback: Wikileaks : Se han realizado esfuerzos para “limpiar” los archivos otomanos de documentos incriminatorios sobre el genocidio armenio | Rey de reyes -Tigran el grande

  9. Araxi said:

    The same is most certainly happening today. Mr. Erdogan keeps denying the Armenian Genocide.
    One wonders if this man and others like him have a soul.
    There is an Armenian saying, ‘The truth may ail but it never dies.’

  10. gary S. said:

    We need to send this on to every newspaper/news organization in the world. Forward this to every editor.