DID THE OTTOMAN GOVERNMENT REFRAIN FROM AN INVESTIGATION?
The Ottoman Empire indicated its intent, by verbal notes addressed on 26th March 1916, to receive two jurists from each of Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland as countries not involved in the World War I. This initiative, of which the documents are reproduced in the last part of this document, was blocked by an intervention from the United Kingdom and as a result the formation of the committee of jurists and the investigation of the subject were blocked (1).
This move is an indication of the fact that there was nothing against the international law in the acts and deeds of the Ottoman Empire and an expression of self-confidence. In fact, the prevention of this investigation seems to be motivated by the wish to conceal the actual criminals and descriptions. Had this committee been established, the arrows of accusation now aimed to Turkey would hit the real targets and the insubstantial claims would be burried.
The initiatives launched by the Ottoman State did not come to an end with this move as the Sublime Port requested, by its cable dated 7th March 1920(2), the Allied Powers and Admiral Bristol to inquire into the matter, to elucidate the facts and to inform the Turkish and world public opinions of the outcome. This cable was a request �for an immediate in situ examination by an international committee of the purported massacre of Armenians and the acquittal of the Turkish nation from the propaganda with malice aforethought�. This plea was published also in all the dailies as an open letter. Similarly, a group of foreign reporters, led by Ahmet Refik, was dispatched to Eastern Anatolia for an in-depth survey(3).
Would a State that had committed a crime against humanity risk the consequences of such initiatives? This example and several others to be described later will reveal beyond any shade of doubt how far the injustice made to the Turkish nation and history and how these indecent these insinuations were from a humane viewpoint.