David Gaunt from Södertörn University College (Stockholm) visited the Turkish archives last week to research WWI documents. He has prepared a report, which I am posting at the “comments” section.

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According to Gaunt, the Ottoman archives are open, but some documents cannot be “found.” He writes, “Apparently some telegrams sent by Talaat from the Ministry of Interior inquiring about the number of deportees at the end of September 1915 were removed sometime before cataloging in 1991.”

One telegram surprised me and this was an order coming from Talaat to give amnesty to convicted prisoners who would be willing to join the gendarmes and the gangs (he used the term chete) for organizing the deportations. Many of the survivors and other observers mention that criminals were a large part of the taskforces that rounded up Christians in the towns and larger villages, but I did not think that this could be confirmed.

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