How Turkey Destroyed or Disposed of Its Historical Archives and Documents

Hits: 1588

For several decades, the Turkish government and its propagandists have been announcing that the state documents, particularly the Ottoman archives, are fully open and available to any researcher from around the world.

What Turkish officials and their supporters do not say is that many documents of the Ottoman archives have been removed, destroyed, sold, or otherwise disposed of. In addition, some of the most sensitive archives are still closed to outsiders.

Last month, Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut wrote a revealing article, “Turkey Uncensored: A History of Censorship and Bans,” published on the Philos Project website, regarding the status of Turkish archives and documents going back several centuries. Bulut is free to expose such secrets because she no longer lives in Turkey; she is currently based in Washington D.C.

In Turkey today, Wikipedia’s website is blocked by governmental order because Wikipedia refused to delete articles revealing that the Turkish authorities are supporting the Islamic State terrorists. Furthermore, 127,000 websites and 95,000 individual Web pages are blocked by Turkey, according to Bulut.

This modern-day banning of thousands of websites is the continuation of Ottoman Sultan Bayazid II’s decree of 1485 A.D. imposing the death penalty on anyone printing books in Turkish or Arabic. The ban remained for more than two centuries, Bulut reported. “That prohibition is widely cited by historians as one of the major reasons for the intellectual and scientific collapse of Islam at the dawn of the industrial revolution.”

The Turkish Republic, during the rule of its founder Kemal Ataturk as of 1923, continued the tradition of censorship by banning “at least 130 newspapers, magazines and books, according to Mustafa Yilmaz and Yasmin Doganer’s book, Censor During the Republican era (1923-1973).” Turkey’s second Prime Minister (1950-1960), Adnan Menderes, banned 161 publications, according to Bulut.

Returning to archival censorship, Bulut quoted Turkish-Jewish historian Rifat Bali, who “explained the history of disposed or destroyed state archives in his 2014 book, The Story of Destruction of Plundering: Printed or Written words, Dead Letters, Archives Thrown Out (or Sold) for Scrap.… The archives of many political parties, the Senate, and several other governmental or nongovernmental institutions in Turkey are either closed to public use or no longer exist.” According to Bali, “the archives of the political parties closed down during the September 12, 1980 coup d’état were sent to SEKA (Cellulose and Paper Factories) as scrap paper.”

The Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) archive is the most important one because it is the party of the founding years of the Republic. As Bali wrote: “Some say it [the archive] was burnt. Some say it was thrown away on September 12. Some say no, it hasn’t been thrown away; it is here. So it is a mystery today. A large part of the archive is nonexistent.”

In addition, Bali reported that “the archives of the presidency, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the Ministry of the Interior are closed.” Interestingly, Bali noted the strange story of how “confidential documents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were found at a scrap dealer in Ankara in 1998. For the ministry had sold 15 steel safes to a scrap dealer. It was then understood that the ministry sold the safes because of a lack of space at the ministry without even looking what was inside them.”

Bali also reported in his book several other examples of the destruction of important documents:

  • “Many of the Turkish Institute of History’s documents—including a letter by Ataturk—have been thrown away.”
  • “All minutes of the proceedings of the Senate that was established with the 1961 constitution and remained active until the September 12, 1980 coup d’état were sent to the Cellulose and Paper Factories (SEKA).”
  • “When the state-funded Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) moved to a new building in 1965, its authorities said that ‘old documents do not fit a new building’ and sent some of the documents of the archives to SEKA.”
  • “When a shortage of paper emerged at SEKA in 1980s, state institutions were called on to send their old papers to the factory. Many archives at institutional level were thus gone.”
  • As recently as 2013, Turkish National Library’s old books in Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac were sold by the ton, “as there were no librarians who could read in those languages.”

As an investigative journalist, Bulut concluded: “With so much information withheld from the Turkish public, state propaganda has created masses who blindly follow whatever state authorities—who have lost their moral compass and never object or speak out even when they see brutal violations of human rights, who do not respect differing opinions or the right to dissent, and who promote an extremely inaccurate version of history—have to say.”

The next time Turkish government propagandists write “our archives are open,” you can send them a copy of this article, the revelations of which from distinguished Turkish journalist Bulut will shut them up!


Originally published on 2017-10-03

About the author: Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the United Armenian Fund, a coalition of the seven largest Armenian-American organizations. He has been decorated by the president and prime minister of the Republic of Armenia, and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Source: The Armenian Weekly

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
Anti-Serbian Collaboration Between Tito’s Partisans and Pavelić’s Ustashi in World War II
Partisans and Ustashi together in Bosnia, 1942Article by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: “Anti-Serbian Collaboration Between Tito’s Partisans and Pavelić’s Ustashi in World War II”, Balkan Studies, Vol. 49, 2014 (2015), ISSN (print) 0005-4313, ISSN (online) 2241-1674, Thessaloniki, Greece, pp. 113−156© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2015Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon ...
READ MORE
Colour Revolutions: Made in?
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
READ MORE
America’s Enemies, Who’s on the List?
For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow.  This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations:  the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation. The criteria for determining an ‘enemy country’ and its place on the list of priority targets in the US quest for greater global dominance, as well as its vulnerability to a ‘successfully’ regime change will be the focus of this essay. We will conclude by discussing the realistic perspectives of future imperial ...
READ MORE
Israel is a War Criminal
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
READ MORE
Europe’s Palmyra: How Kosovo’s Medieval Serbian Christian Culture was Demolished by Muslim Albanians
Serbia organized an exhibition of cultural and historical heritage of Kosovo and Metohija in Paris, the headquarters of UNESCO, to serve as a reminder to the West of how they let it be destroyed since the 2000s.There is a lot of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija. Now, Kosovo is an independent state, partially recognized by Western countries. But the world was shocked by anti-Serbian riots organized by Albanians during the Kosovo unrest in 2004. Many Serbian monuments were damaged in the chaos.Albanian extremists living in Kosovo, since the 2000s, have continued to raid and damage Serbian cultural heritage ...
READ MORE
Why Israel is Blocking Access to its Archives
Israel is concealing vital records to prevent darkest periods in its history from coming to light, academics sayAl-Jazeera – 9 June 2016Israel is locking away millions of official documents to prevent the darkest episodes in its history from coming to light, civil rights activists and academics have warned as the country’s state archives move online.They claim government officials are concealing vital records needed for historical research, often in violation of Israeli law, in an effort to avoid damaging Israel’s image.The Israeli army has long claimed to be the “most moral” in the world.Accusations of increased secrecy come as Israel marks ...
READ MORE
In Lithuania, some Nazi Killers are also Heroes
It’s not a common occurrence to be able to have a court establish the guilt of a criminal 72 years after his death, but such an opportunity has emerged in Lithuania and will be taking place in a courtroom in Vilnius next week, more precisely on Wednesday, January 16 [2019, editor].Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite: Shouting on Russia but keeping silence about Jonas NoreikaThe circumstances of the case are quite unusual. The charges against the alleged criminal were not brought forward by the government or its prosecutors, but rather by a private individual, who does not represent any political entity, but ...
READ MORE
The Origins of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Nations
"The main part of the population of Baltic cities up to the 19th century consisted of ethnic Germans, and also Poles and Jews, but not at all Baltic people. In fact, the “old” (pre-revolutionary) Baltic region was completely built by Germans. Baltic cities were German cities – with German architecture, culture, and system of municipal management. ... in the cities of the Baltic region there were almost no Estonians and Latvians." Now, the Baltic states consist of three countries – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which received sovereignty in the course of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Each of these states position themselves, respectively, ...
READ MORE
Political Succession and “The Bush-Clinton Nexus”: Permanent Criminal State
At a spring 2016 Republican debate attended by the Bushes, George H.W. “Poppy” Bush, looked directly at Donald Trump and gave him the “throat slit” gesture.   The Bushes want the Clintons back in the White House. “Poppy” trusted them with Arkansas in the 1980s, and with the White House in the 1990s, and he can trust them with the marching orders again.  A Hillary Clinton presidency guarantees that all the things that the New World Order wants done will continue to get done.The Clintons and Bushes have been criminal partners for more than 30 years.  They and their colleagues have ...
READ MORE
Western Hypocrisy About Airstrike Killings
The chemical poisoning of civilians in Syria has proved a boon and a blessing for the West’s militarists who energetically seek confrontation with Russia — and with China and any other countries that might pop up on their screens of raging aggression.  Nobody doubts for an instant that chemical agents are vile and that anyone using them offensively should be severely punished.  But the pseudo-sympathy of those who profess to be shocked — shocked! — by pictures of dead children, supposedly killed by chemical weapons, is obnoxious. Trump declared “I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big ...
READ MORE
Fascism and Islamic Fundamentalism
The rise of Fascism and Totalitarianism Just over 100 years ago, Britain, France, Germany and Russia ruled half of the world – most of Europe, all of Africa, South Asia, most of Southeast Asia, and most of the Pacific region. They dominated China and were of course influential everywhere else. During the past century, including the two devastating World Wars when the West resorted to mechanised butchery and industrialised slaughter, more than 170 million people, mainly civilians, were killed. The West introduced unprecedented levels of totalitarianism and oppression by inventing and ruling through Communism, Fascism, Nazism, slavery and apartheid. Some six million Jews perished ...
READ MORE
The entrance-gate to the death camp of Jasenovac in Croatia
The Axis powers invaded Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941. Vladko Maček, the leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) which was the most influential party in Croatia at the time, rejected offers by the Nazi Germany to lead the new government. On 10 April the most senior home-based Ustaša, Slavko Kvaternik, took control of the police in Zagreb and in a radio broadcast that day proclaimed the formation of the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH). The new Independent State of Croatia" was established as a pro-Nazi government. It was dedicated to a clerical-fascist ideology influenced both by ...
READ MORE
Documentary Film: “Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” (2009, Canada)
“Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” is a documentary film by Canadian film maker Boris Malagurski, about the Serbs that live in Kosovo and the lack of human rights that they have today, in the 21st century.Most of the Kosovo Serbs have been ethnically cleansed by the Albanians who make up the majority of Kosovo.Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days to halt a crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatism in its province of Kosovo.In the years following the war, thousands of Serbs were expelled from their homes, kidnapped and killed. Their houses, cultural and ...
READ MORE
Rape and War: The US Experience
On July 9, 2006, the U.S. Army charged five US soldiers with the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, and the murder of her parents and 5-year-old sister. This brutal and senseless war crime raises the issue of rape in war. The lynchpin of US propaganda and infowar spin is that Soviet troops raped German women when the Red Army took Berlin in 1945. This was meant to take away from the Russian military achievement in taking Berlin. The Russian soldiers were “rapists” while US soldiers were “liberators”, handing out chocolate bars, chewing gum, ...
READ MORE
War Crimes by British General Sir Michael Jackson
More than forty years later: The 5000 page Saville Commission Report into the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry, Northern Ireland, while calling for compensation to the victims’ families, fails to identify who were the perpetrators, both within H.M government and the British Army. “The North’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is continuing to scrutinise the Saville report to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to bring charges against British soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday on January 30th, 1972. While progress has been made on the issue of compensation there have been no substantial developments in relation to the possibility of British ...
READ MORE
The World According to ISIS
This article is excerpted from Fawaz A. Gerges’s forthcoming book, ISIS: A History.Although the spectacular surge of ISIS must be contextualized within the social and political circumstances that exist in Iraq and Syria and beyond, the group’s worldview and ideology should be taken equally seriously. Ideology is, after all, the superglue that binds Salafi-jihadists known as revolutionary religious activists or global jihadists of the ISIS variety to each other. The Salafi-jihadist movement emerged from an alliance between ultraconservative Saudi Salafism (or Wahhabism) and revolutionary Egyptian Islamism which was inspired by the Egyptian master theorist, Sayyid Qutb. The Afghan war against ...
READ MORE
UN Response to US Attack on Syria: Noble Words, Empty Deeds
The refusal of the United Nations to qualify the recent US airstrike against Syria as an act of aggression makes the Organization irrelevant – something Russia has been trying to prevent. It has become vulnerable to scathing criticism after demonstrating its impotence and inability to act. The continued paralysis is an eloquent example of the UN’s disengagement and lack of political will to fulfill its duty. The Organization’s image has suffered great damage. It still has a chance to rectify it by launching an investigation into what really happened in Syria. Article One of the UN Charter states that one of the purposes is ...
READ MORE
NATO’s Protected EuroKosovo (Photos not seen at CNN)
Save... and many more pictures!Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
Why Theresa May Must be Impeached
So the moment we’ve been holding our breaths for a week finally came. In the end, I am mighty glad that this particular strike seems more like the impotent thrashing of the neocon snake that didn’t dare to attack places where Russian servicemen were likely to be killed, than it does the start of World War III. For the moment, at least, thank God.But the fact that it was a fairly limited strike — compared to what it might have been — in which the majority of missiles failed to hit their targets, having been eliminated by Soviet-era air defences, ...
READ MORE
“Welcome to Nulandistan: Propaganda and the Crisis in Ukraine” (Documentary Movie, 2014)
"Welcome to Nulandistan: Propaganda and the Crisis in Ukraine" (2014)This full length GRTV documentary looks at the fictitious land of Nulandistan that has been constructed out of Ukraine.The GRTV documentary deconstructs Nulandistan and the propaganda of the Obama Administration [...], the US Department of States, US officials, and their allies about the crisis in Ukraine and takes a look at their growing frustration towards the Russian media, particularly RT, for challenging their account of the events on the ground in what they have declared is an intensifying information war.The full length documentary starts by looking at the self-benefiting description of ...
READ MORE
Anti-Serbian Collaboration Between Tito’s Partisans and Pavelić’s Ustashi in World War II
Colour Revolutions: Made in?
America’s Enemies, Who’s on the List?
Israel is a War Criminal
Europe’s Palmyra: How Kosovo’s Medieval Serbian Christian Culture was Demolished by Muslim Albanians
Why Israel is Blocking Access to its Archives
In Lithuania, some Nazi Killers are also Heroes
The Origins of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Nations
Political Succession and “The Bush-Clinton Nexus”: Permanent Criminal State
Western Hypocrisy About Airstrike Killings
Fascism and Islamic Fundamentalism
The Jasenovac Extermination Camp: Terror in Croatia
Documentary Film: “Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” (2009, Canada)
Rape and War: The US Experience
War Crimes by British General Sir Michael Jackson
The World According to ISIS
UN Response to US Attack on Syria: Noble Words, Empty Deeds
NATO’s Protected EuroKosovo (Photos not seen at CNN)
Why Theresa May Must be Impeached
“Welcome to Nulandistan: Propaganda and the Crisis in Ukraine” (Documentary Movie, 2014)

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu