THE DEFINITION AND PURPOSE OF RELOCATION (TEHCIR)
The Arabic originated word �tehcir� means �emigration / immigration�, it definitely not means �deportation� or �exile�. Hence the law commonly known as the �Tehcir Law� is the same as �Temporary Law On The Military Measures To Be Taken For Those Who Resist The Governmental Acts And Supplementation�s.� The word used to explain the implementation in line with this law is �tenkil� in the Ottoman language and means �transport- not the equivalent of �deportation�, �exile� or �proscription� in Latin originated languages.
The immigration, which was started with the orders of Talaat Pasha, and approved by the Government and the Parliament as a measure against the Armenian riots and massacres, which had arisen in a number of places in the Country - pre - dominantly in Van province, was only implemented only in the regions in which such riots and massacres affected the security of the fronts directly. The first area was Erzurum, Van and Bitlis Vicinities which formed the rear part of the Caucasian - Iran Front; and the second was Mersin - Iskenderun Region which formed the rear part of the Sina Front. In both of these regions, Armenians had collaborated with the enemy and involved in activities to facilitate the enemy�s invasion.
Later, the scope of the immigration was widened in order to include the Armenians in the other provinces, who rioted, collaborated with the enemy and screened the activities of Armenian Gangs. Although the Catholic and Protestant Armenians were excluded from immigration at the beginning, later those whose harmful activities were observed, were also relocated.
Since 1915, numerous papers, reports, books, etc. were written and published about the immigration implementation. The Armenians, by using false documents have succeeded to deceit the World for a long time. The rumor about Armenian holocaust (!) which expressed at first as three hundred thousand and later increased to three million has no basis at all. In fact, although English and French authorities have extensively studied the Ottoman archives during their occupation in Istanbul have failed to find even a single document hinting about such holocaust.
Had the Ottoman State intended to make genocide on Armenians; could not they realize such an act at the places where the Armenians live? Why would it be necessary �to immigrate� them for such an intention? Why did they undertake the significant fiscal and material costs of their security, safety, health and food of the immigrating Armenians? During this immigration and re-settlement process which lasted approximately 1,5 year from May 1915 until October 1916, why would the central and local administrations take measures to ensure the lives and properties of Armenians in spite of the difficult war circumstances? In addition, would it be necessary to accept great administrative, military and financial burden �as if opening a new front- to protect and secure these people?
The answers to these questions shall be sufficient to understand the real intention of the Ottoman State. Also there is no logical explanation that why the Ottoman State suddenly changed its policy towards a community which had always been called as �millet-i sadika� (loyal people) due to their being really faithful to the Government. Hence the party whose attitude had changed was not the Ottoman Government, but the Armenians who were deceived by the independence promises of Russia and the Entente States.
In conclusion, it can be said that the Armenian Immigration which was a necessary measure to ensure the State Security and Safety is among one of the most
successful transportation and re-settlement processes; and has no intention whatsoever to annihilate Armenians.
Halacoglu, Prof. Dr. Yusuf, Ermeni Tehcirine Dair Gerekceler (1915), TTK Yayini, Ankara, 2001.