The Ottoman Armenian Tragedy is a Genuine Historic Controversy
Heath W. Lowry
Feroz Ahmad
Arend Jan Boekestijn
Brendon J. Cannon
Mary Schaeffer Conroy
Youssef Courbage
Paul Dumont
Bertil Duner
Gwynne Dyer
Edward J. Erickson
Philippe Fargues
Michael M. Gunter
Paul Henze
Eberhard Jäckel
Firuz Kazemzadeh
Yitzchak Kerem
William L. Langer
Bernard Lewis
Guenter Lewy
Heath W. Lowry
Andrew Mango
Robert Mantran
Justin McCarthy
Michael E. Meeker
Hikmet Ozdemir
Stephen Pope
Michael Radu
Jeremy Salt
Stanford Shaw
Norman Stone
Hew Strachan
Elizabeth-Anne Wheal
Brian G. Williams
Gilles Veinstein
Malcolm Yapp
Thierry Zarcone
Robert F. Zeidner

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies, Princeton University.

Heath W. Lowry is an American historian and the Ataturk Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies at Princeton University. His area of expertise is the history of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey and has authored numerous books in both of these fields. He spent two years (1964-1966) working in a remote village in western Turkey as a Peace Corps volunteer. In the late 1960s, he was a graduate student at UCLA working with scholars Speros Vryonis, Jr., Andreas Tietze, Gustav von Grunebaum and Stanford J. Shaw. In 1970s, he taught full-time at the Bosphorus University and served as the Istanbul Director of the American Research Institute in Turkey. In 1983 he established the Institute of Turkish Studies, Inc. in Washington, D.C. together with a distinguished group of scholars, businessmen, and retired diplomats. Since 1993, he has been the Ataturk Professor of Ottoman & Modern Turkish Studies at Princeton University, where from July 1994-June 1999 he was the Director of the Program in Near Eastern Studies. Between 1994-1997, he served concurrently as Chairman of the Department of Near Eastern Studies. [info]

major publications

  • The Islamization and Turkification of Trabzon, 1461-1483. Istanbul (Bosphorus University Press), 1981 & 1999
  • Continuity and Change in Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman Society [with: A. Bryer et. al.] Cambridge, MA & Birmingham, England (Dumbarton Oaks & University of Birmingham), 1985
  • The Story Behind ‘Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.’ Istanbul (Isis Press), 1990
  • Studies in Defterology: Ottoman Society in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century Istanbul (Isis Press), 1992.
  • Fifteenth Century Ottoman Realities: Christian Peasant Life on the Aegean Island of Limnos. Istanbul (Eren Press), 2002
  • The Nature of the Early Ottoman State. Albany (SUNY Press), 2003
  • Ottoman Bursa in Travel Accounts. Bloomington (Indiana University: Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Publications), 2003.

relevant publications

  • The Story Behind ‘Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.’ Istanbul (Isis Press), 1990

Source: Lowry, H. W. (1990). The Story Behind Ambassador Morghentau's Story. Istanbul, Turkey: Isis Press.

"Why then did Morghentau put these words into the mouth of Talaat Bey? Again, the answer is simple: he wanted to have the strongest figure among the Young Turk triumvirate embracing verbally what is one of the major leitmotifs of Ambassador Morghentau’s Story, namely, it was run-away Turkish nationalism which prompted their attempt to ‘exterminate’ the Armenians. This theme, which does not find a single iota of support in either the ‘Diary’ or the ‘Letters’, runs throughout his book." Pp.35

“All comments in Ambassador Morghentau’s Story notwithstanding, as late as September 1915, Morghentau had not firmly concluded that the Armenians were the subject of an attempted ‘extermination’ by the Young Turk leadership.” P. 51

Source: Passage from the Schreiner (American correspondent of the Associated Press) letter on December 11, 1918

"To be perfectly frank with you, I cannot applaud your efforts to make the Turk the worst being on earth, and the German worse, if that be possible. …. Has it ever occurred to you that all governments reserve to themselves the right to put down rebellion? It seems to me that even Great Britain assumed that stand towards the Fathers of the Republic." P.62

“In 1990, seventy-two years after its initial appearance, Ambassador Morghentau’s Story is still in print. In the same year it has been repeatedly cited on the floors of the U.S. Congress, by a host of well-meaning Senators, as proof of the fact that the Young Turk Government planned and carried out a ‘genocide’ against its Armenian minority. Currently, a number of ‘Genocide and Holocaust Studies Curricula Guides’ which are in use in high schools in the U.S. expose students to passages from the book as furnishing examples of the twisted minds that can plan and perpetrate a genocide, etc. etc. In short, far from having found the well-earned rest it deserves, Ambassador Morghentau’s Story remains today a lynch pin in the body of literature which has and continues to present the Turks as some of the unrepentant genocidal villains of history.

While the purpose of the present study is less an examination of the question of whether or not the fate of the Ottoman Armenians ought to be described as ‘genocide’, and more of an attempt to distinguish between the reality and the fantasy in Ambassador Morghentau’s Story, we must need be cognizant of the broader implications it suggests.” Pp.69-70

"That such an important book has not until this monograph ever been the subject of a single published study, would be inconceivable in any historical field except that narrow subfield known as ‘Turco-Armenian History’, where all too often, raw emotion serves as a substitute for dispassionate scholarship, and propaganda passes for history.

What can be said of scholars working on the Armenian ‘genocide’, who, in publication after publication, over the past decades quote the outright lies and half-truths which permeate Morghentau’s Story without ever questioning even the most blatant of the inconsistencies?" P.78

"This is not a study designed to answer the question of whether or not the fate of Ottoman Armenians during the First World War, should or should not be termed ‘genocide’. It is, however, a work designed to question the credibility of the United States Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, as a source for the history of that era as portrayed in Ambassador Morgenthau’s story. This disclaimer is necessitated by the fact that partisans, be they Turks or Armenians, to the discussion of Turco-Armenian relations during World War I, tend to defend their positions from behind ‘blinders’ which allow them to see only what they want with no regard for the larger picture."

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