On the issue of the Armenians of Western Armenia 

  • by Western Armenia, May 11, 2023 in Politics

In 1926, the three articles published in "Yeni Sabah" newspaper, which talked about massacres against Armenians, were also translated by the Ottoman Historical Society. And the newspaper "Yeni Sabah" in 1949, undertook the reprinting of these articles in November, but was forced to stop due to criticism and complaints, because the fact that the memoirs belonged to Abdul Hamid II was questioned.

However, the fact that the memoirs are real may be conditioned by the fact that separate parts of the memoirs were published in the mentioned German newspaper in 1913, while the sultan died in 1918. In this case, how to explain the silence of Abdul Hamid? The latter certainly read them and could deny authorship.

Different approaches to cover the character of Abdul Hamid II are noticeable in Turkish historiography. The controversial discussions among Turkish historians about his memoirs show that Abdul Hamid's activity has not been clearly understood in public and scientific circles. In any case, the suspicions about the sultan as an author contributed to the growth of a great interest in them. 

In studying the memorial under discussion, we have tried to present the historiographically important and interesting parts of it, which concern, among other things, the Armenian question and the massacres, the life and status of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, as well as the repression of their "riots" on the orders of the Sultan.

Abdul Hamid's thoughts were first written by a court scribe named Ali Muhsin, but the work stopped during Ramadan and, according to the former Sultan, they never met again. It was only after some time that he learned from his son Abdurahim that Muhsin Bey was imprisoned in the basement of the palace. Ayshe Osmanoglu, Abdul Hamid's daughter, referring to this subject in her memoirs, states that the reason for Muhsin Bey's imprisonment was to write her father's memoirs. Turkish writer Danishmend writes that one of Abdul Hamid's daughters, Ayshe Sultana, saw that her father had given the manuscript to one of the pashas for publication.

Ismet Bozdagh, presenting the story of the discovery of the memoirs of the sultan, notes that in 1944 in the autumn, in the Bozdagh bookstore in Bursa, he bought the memoirs, on which it was almost illegibly written in pencil that they belonged to Abdul Hamid II.