The BBC’s Response

Here is the response from the BBC to our complaint over the series “The Ottomans: Europe’s Muslim Emperors”, which can be read again if you missed it. In it, the BBC seems to allude to the fact that this nation’s broadcasting agency has a need to stay partial in such seemingly contentious issues (at least in their eyes), and point to the fact that they make reference to destructions of Van and the loss of life by the Ottomans as “weighing in both sides of the argument”. The response highlights the contribution of Ara Sarafian, which seemingly, in their eyes at least, annuls all complaints we may have. For the time being we may have to agree to disagree, however, it may be worth pointing out the online response that Mr Sarafian had posted in relation to the editing of the series.

I agreed to give an interview for a BBC documentary regarding the Ottoman Empire and World War I. The focus of the interview was the British Parliamentary Blue Book, “The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire,” which was published in 1916.Prior to our interview, I corresponded with the BBC production team. I pointed out the strength of the various accounts that underpinned the British report, how such material was used to construct the Armenian Genocide thesis, and how this thesis can be critically evaluated today. 

When I met the film crew, they had already shot their interviews in Turkey and chose not to discuss any of their previous material with me. All of the questions in our interview were provided by the producer and restricted to the Blue Book. There was no exchange of views regarding the Armenian Genocide and its denial by Turkey today.

The final cut of the film was a stitch-up.”

Make of that what you will.

— Hagop Krikorian

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