Investigations conducted by foreigners about and their outcome

Just after the First World War, following the invasion of Istanbul and other regions by the entente states’ armies, hundreds of political and military leaders and Ottoman intellectuals were sent to and imprisoned in Malta Island by the English, with the claim that they were “war criminals”. Comprehensive investigations have been carried out on the Ottoman archives for finding evidences of crime about the people imprisoned in Malta. As the result of these investigations, no evidence could be submitted to the court neither against the Istanbul government of that time nor about the people imprisoned in Malta in order to prove the accusations on them. The English Court has made desperate investigations in their own archives and in the archives of USA government in Washington, but again no results could be reached.

In the same way, in the message found in the USA archive reports, sent by R.C. Craigie, the English Ambassador in Washington to Lord Curzon on July 13th 1921, the following is expressed:

“I am sorry to notify you that there is nothing that can be used as evidence against the Turks imprisoned in Malta. There is nothing that will provide sufficient evidence. These reports do not seem to include even the evidences that may be helpful in supporting the information that is currently held by the Majesty’s Government about the Turks in any way.” (1)

On July 29th 1921, the Legal Consultants of the King in London decided that the accusations directed to the people in the list of the English Foreign Affairs had a semi — political characteristic and therefore the transactions to be carried out about them should be held separate from those of the Turks, who have been arrested as war criminals.

Furthermore, the expressions “Until now, no deposition has been obtained from any witness proving the accusations made about the arrested are true. In fact, it is not definite if a witness will be found or not; since in a country that is far and difficult to reach like Armenia and especially after such long time, it is even unnecessary to express how difficult it is to find a witness” (2) belongs to the Legal Consultants of His Majesty’s Government.

Consequently, the people, who were under arrest in Malta, were set free in 1922 without any accusation directed to them and without any cases held.

During that time, some documents accusing the Ottoman Government of a so — called genocide and trying to evidence this issue was published by the English press. These documents were claimed to have been found in the Ottoman State Offices in Syria by the English Invasion Forces under the direction of General Allenby. However, the interrogations carried out thereafter by the English Foreign Affairs Ministry showed that these were not documents obtained by the English army, but false documents written by the Nationalist Armenian Delegation in Paris to the allied delegations.


1.PRO. FO. July 13th 1921, 371/ 6504/ E.8519

2.Foreign Office, July 29th 1921 371/ 6504 / E.8745


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