An Overall Assessment
The committees such as "Kara Hac / Black Cross," "Armenakan," and "Vatan Koruyuculari / Land Protectors" in Anatolia, "Hinchak” in Geneva, and "Tasnak" in Tiblisi, were founded by the Armenians.
Their targets were lands in Eastern Anatolia and the union of the Ottoman Armenians.
The Armenian committees were provoked for this purpose; first they rioted in 1890 in Erzurum, and they later organized the Kumkapi demonstration, Kayseri, Yozgat, Corum and Merzifon events, Sasun revolt, Bab-i Ali / Sublime Porte demonstration, Zeytun and Van revolts, the raid of Osmanli Bankasi / Ottoman Bank, assassination trial of Sultan Abdülhamit, and the Adana revolt in 1909.
Due to the Armenian oppressions, 100 Turks in Zeytun in 1914, 3,000 Turks in the Van events of 1915, and 20,000 Turks lost their lives in 1914 — 1915, in the Mus events.
Armenians harmed the Turkish people the most by the massacring them during the First World War. In this period, the Armenians spied for the Russians, they fled from their military service, by not obeying the mobilization orders, and those Armenians who were taken under arms joining the Russian Army, with their arms, and they thus committed collectively the guilt of being “treacherous to the land.”
The Armenian bands started to attack the Turkish Army and these bands intensely harmed the civilians, as well. For example, the entire population of the Zeve village of the Van province was massacred by the Armenian people without discriminating if they were women, children, or elderly.
Prof. Dr. Metin Ozbek, who was conducting observations in the region, explains the event as follows:
I brought some human skeletons found coincidentally during the construction of a house in Cavusoglu Samanligi, and taken to the laboratory at Hacettepe University in order to examine them. As it is known, anthropology enables scientists to determine the age and causes of death, sex, ailments, and other facts by means of skeletons with the aid of advanced techniques and methods. Above all, it is possible to determine which race it belongs to through the examination of a skull. It was impossible to match the skulls with the bones of the body where the remains of the skeletons we found. Thus, we counted the individual skeletons according to the amount of skulls and we numbered each.
In other words, each individual skeleton had a different anthropological identity. We determined that there were five females and four males among the remains. The most prominent criterion that indicates the age of death is “symohysin pubiswhich” is a part of the pelvis. This part was preserved in seven of the individual skeletons we worked on.
We demonstrated the age range of skeletons found in Cavusoglu Samanligi as follows:
Male............50 years (approximately)
Child..........15 years (approximately)
There were striking, common characteristics of the skeletons examined; there were injuries on the skulls that resulted from crushing with cutting tools.
Accordingly, the common cause of death was subjection to severe torture.
I. Marks of Cuts on the Skulls
No. 1) Female - There were two clefts on the skull caused by sharp-edged instruments. One of them was on the right parietal region and was 42 mm long. The second one was also on the right parietal region and was 36 mm long. Presumably, her instant death was a result of the blows directed towards the head.
No. 2) Female - We identified the traces of four cuts on the skull. The first one was on the first parietal region and was 95 mm long. The sharp edged instrument cut through the skull and reached the brain. The second cleft was on both parietal regions. The cutting tool, most probably an axe, hit the Pemals on the head and split the skull open. Such an act is sufficient to cause instant death. The third stroke left a mark on the left parietal and was 12 mm behind the first cleft. This scar was 48 mm long and 19 mm wide and looked like a shuttle. The fourth trace was right at the back third and was in the same direction. Half of it was on the occipital bone.
No. 3) Male - He is one of the group with the greatest number of clefts on the skull. The sharp edged tool hit the left ear and completely severed to mastoid. This blow slightly abraded the occipital bone, as well. The second blow hit the left eye and left a deep mark on the frontal region. The third mark was 75 mm long on the left parietal region. The sharp-edged instrument, which entered the brain caused a long cleft between the left tuber parietal and sutura lamb doidalis. The power of the blow formed some other cracks in the same area. The fourth blow right on top of the head cut the sagittal suture. This cleft was 48 mm long. The fifth blow was on the horizontal plane and severed the right parietal in parts close to the sagittal suture. The instrument hit the left zygomatic bone. In this area, it cut the bone and some parts of the superior maxillary. This person was also burned in fires.
No. 4) Male - There were marks of three blows directed towards the brain. The first one was a vertical cleft that was 37 mm long. The second horizontal one was along the parietal and frontal regions and was 92 mm long. The third blow was also on the left parietal region and caused a cleft of 49 mm long and 21 mm wide.
The sharp-edged tool severed the tabule externa. These blows resulted in instant death. Like the person , this person was also burned after death.
No. 5) Female - We discovered four cut marks on the skull. The first one on the frontal was 28 mm long and not very deep. The second one was at the top, along both sides of the parietal region and was 77 mm long. This cleft was deep enough to be the sign demonstrating instant death. The third blow to the right ear was also fatal. It completely severed the mastoid and partially cut the inferior maxillary. The fourth mark was on the front part of the right upper jaw.
No. 6) Male - This adult had four clefts on the head. The first one on the left parietal was quite deep. It was 57 mm long and 14 mm wide. The cutting tool entered the brain, as well. On the side of the sagittal suture, there was a 23 mm long crevice. The second one was on the sagittal suture. It was 29 mm long and 28 mm wide. This crevice was intersected by other two clefts. The horizontal one was 43 mm and the oblique one was 42 mm. The third cleft was also oblique. It was on the right parietal, a few mm to the front of the parietal cavity. The fourth mark was made by a sharp pointed instrument. It was caused by a striking blow to the head close to the sagittal suture. The individual was likely tortured severely.
No. 7) Male - There were signs of five hard blows. The first one was in the area of the left auditory canal. The sharp-edged instrument completely severed the mastoid. It even partially severed the zygomatic. There were two striking blows to the left ear, one after the other. They likely caused instantaneous death. The second mark was closer to the lambda suture on the right parietal region. This cleft was partially on the horizontal plane and was 41 mm long. The third crevice was between the two lambda sutures on the occipital region. It was 44 mm long. The fourth one was quite deep and 48 mm long. It was situated on the procenus occipital externa. The fifth crevice was right on the back of the skull and measured 53 mm long.
No. 8) Female - The skeleton belongs to a girl who died at about the age of 15. There were three cutting marks on the skull. The first crevice was deep and reached the brain area. It was on the right parietal region and was 50 mm long. The second one was situated in a vertical position and 20 mm long. The third one was right at the back. This teenager was burned in a fire after being killed.
No. 9) Female - This female died at about age 17 or 19. There were no signs of blows to the preserved bones of the skull. The main parts of the occipital were either broken or lost. It is impossible to state the causes of death.
II. Identification of race through skeletons
It is possible to identify race by measurement, index, and morphological observation of the skulls. However, there are variations in each group of race. By means of anthropometric techniques, we examined the skeletons found in Cavusoglu Samanligi. We calculated the cephalic index, which is the most prominent criteria in race studies. We measured eight skulls. The indexes varied between 76 and 89 . This result showed that four are mesocephalic and the others are brachycephalic. We never encountered any from the dolichocephalic group. In the Anatolia Alpina race, which includes both mesocephalic and brachycephalic examples, all the skeletons belonged to the Alpine group to which Anatolian Turks belong. The skeleton of the female, whose age of death was between 17 and 19, did not belong to this group. It is in the east variation of the Dinaric race, which is called Armenoid.
When evaluating height, we used the regression equations of Trotter and Gleser. Where the three female skeletons are concerned, the results were 52.9 cm, 159.2 cm, and 168.2 cm. The results of the three men were 170.1 cm, 172.4 cm, and 173.5 cm.
Along with the skeletons, we also found one (shirt) button, a sharp-edged iron piece, and a part of an upper jaw. According to Prof. Dr. Ilber Uzel from the Department of Dentistry at Gülhane Medicine Academy, the fragment of the upper total prosthesis belonged to the right posterior. The prosthesis was rubber and the teeth were porcelain. Prostheses were used by the members of higher classes in the 1900s. Acatin traces (on the prosthesis) suggest the possibility of them being owned by a male.
This type of porcelain was used between 1915 and 1925 and produced by an American firm known as SSN. The epoch, there skeletons belong to is thus proved in this way as well.
III. Marks on the long bones
Despite a large number of cutting marks on the skulls, there were very few cuts on the other bones of the skeletons. Virtually, this is because of the fact that in fatal attempts on one’s life, the most appropriate part of the body is the head since it is vulnerable.
1. There were three clefts on the diaphysis of the humerus of the adult. This illustrates signs that the adult was burned.
2. On the front side of the diaphysis of the right tibia of a woman there was a deep cutting mark.
3. There was a deep cutting mark in the lower parts of the right tibia of a male.
IV. General Conclusion and Evaluation
The skeletons, which were coincidentally found in Cavusoglu Samanligi (Ercis), were examined thoroughly in terms of anthropological methods. It is concluded that these skeletons belonged to mostly young people who were deliberately killed and some of them were burned. The skulls demonstrated that these skeletons belonged to people from the Alpine race. Where Anatolia is concerned, they most likely belong to Turks. The scientific discoveries prove that these people were subjected to severe torture and killed brutally. These facts confirm the statements of the witnesses who live in the same area today. Thus, the segment of history related to Armenians has to be rewritten because the people who were massacred violently were not the Armenians, but the Turks.
Prof. Dr. Metin ÖZBEK
The Report On Excavatıon Of The Mass-Graves In Kars – Subatan
One of the excavations of the mass-graves aiming to explore the events that happened in Eastern Anatolia between 1915 and 1918 was conducted in Kars-Subatan.
The opening of the mass-graves in the Subatan village, which is situated near Ani Örenyeri, on the boarders of Turkey-Russia, 28 kilometers to the east of Kars, were carried out by Kars Governor S. Filtekin; the Mayor of Kars; Prof. Dr. Hursit Ertugrul, President of Atatürk University; Prof. Dr. Ahmet Cakir, Dean of Science and Literature Faculty of the same university; Prof. Dr. Enver Konukcu and Prof. Dr. Azmi Süslü from Ankara University; Prof. Dr. Metin Özbek from Hacettepe University; Prof. Dr. Fahrettin Kirzioglu from Gazi University; Prof. Dr. Metin Tuncel from Istanbul University; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Abdüsselam Ulucam from 100 Yil University; and Ali Ercan, Director of the Kars Museum.
The excavations in the Subatan village, which has approximately 20-30 Muslim homes today, were carried out according to the oral statements of 120-year-old Fariz Öztürk and 95-year-old Duraga Öztürk, who witnessed the events. They were conducted in an 8x10 meter hole, which was opened in the barn in the Köseogullari district. The first efforts were started in the A1 hole within the field divided into four separate 4-5 meter areas. The excavation, which had been realized over a wide surface, was first narrowed down to the inner cross point of A1 and B1 holes. After having removed 40 cm of earth, the first skeletons were found. It was observed that most of these skeletons, which were found with some personal belongings, belonged to children between the ages of 0 and 1 years.
Another group of skeletons that was found at a depth of 80 cm hole displayed quite a shocking scene. These skeletons that were located in the north-south direction must have belonged to a mother and her daughter. The woman fell onto her right side and embraced the child with her left arm. The two stroke marks found on the head of the woman prove that they were killed with an axe or another sharp instrument. The first stroke mark was not as deep as the second. Both the woman and the child were buried in their clothes.
The photograph was taken on April 25, 1918.
Another skeleton group was found in the south corner of the hole. Only a few of these could be analyzed. As these analyses show, the bodies were thrown haphazardly. The rest of the findings included a belt, a pair of earrings, a number of colored beads of a small necklace, and decayed wooden beams, and they were given to Kars Museum to be displayed in the newly opened Genocide Section for exhibition.
According to the oral statements of the witnesses, Fariz Öztürk and Duraga Öztürk, whose statements are supported by the archive documents, the massacre committed by Armenians happened in the following way: The Tashnak-Armenian guerrillas, who retreated from Kars and Sarikamis, attacked the Subatan village where Turkish, Armenian, and Greek people who lived together were captured wildly without feeling pity.
According to the photographs in the archives and findings of the excavations, the women, children and old men who were killed with axes and bayonets were left in the streets. The archive documents show that a total of 570 people were murdered in the village. After the withdrawal of Armenians, Turkish soldiers came to the district. The soldiers, with the help of survivors, collected the corpses, which were decayed and eaten by dogs, in an area and put them in a barn. Due to the hard conditions of that time and lack of time, the bodies were buried together. Some other mass graves were formed by collapsing the roofs of the barns. The archive documents and statements of witnesses show that in three separate mass graves in Subatan, there are a numbers of martyrs buried. In the barn in the Köseogullari district, more than 180 bodies, in Tiptip Street more than 25 bodies, and in the barn located south of the village mosque more than 350 bodies are buried.
Prof. Dr. Cevat BAŞARAN