Tag Archives: Armenian genocide

A Genocide By Any Other Name Is Still A Genocide

It is always amusing when Muslim nations become infuriated at the use of words by Western countries on matters of concern to them. Pick up newspapers at newstands in any Muslim nation and there are bound to be several publications which refer to Israel’s actions in Gaza as “genocide” or words to that effect. The United States Congress is considering a resolution which calls on President Obama to ensure US policy makers refer to the murder of Armenians during the World War I era as an example of genocide. It calls upon him using the expression in speeches, something he has not done in the past.

The Turkish government has made clear to the Obama administration that any such resolution would cause a major and lasting deterioration of relations between the countries. Obama has been careful on his use of words in order to avoid damaging Turkish — Armenian efforts at reconciliation.

OK, Turkey, what would be your reaction if the US Congress insisted from now on Turkey could not make insulting remarks about Israel? Tit for tat?

Can Politicians Ask Any Question They Desire?

We live in strange times in which those running for public office have interesting ideas concerning the political process. Sirma Oran, a French citizen of Turkish origin, decided to run for a local office on the Green party line. During a debate, Mayor Jean-Paul Bret asked if she believed in the validity of the Armenian genocide. She not only refused to respond, but dropped from the race claiming bias. Ms. Oran went to court claiming that Bret only asked her about the Armenian genocide which is proof that he is a bigot. The Court threw out the request noting that under French law the Armenian genocide is accepted as a reality.

Ms. Oran, are you requesting that courts decide which questions can be asked during a political campaign? If so, do they also evaluate responses? Stop pussy-footing and confront the Armenian genocide and move on with your life.

Ongoing Saga Of Turkish-Armenian Conflict

Turkish and Armenian officials are still working to devise a formula which would allow both nations to have normal relations, but border and historic conflicts continue to haunt the two countries. April 24 looms as the anniversary which Armenians commemorate as the time when the Ottoman Empire initiated it genocidal policies toward Armenians. President Obama who has urged both sides to sit down and negotiate a resolution of the issues is due to issue the normal message American presidents give on April 24 which is to express regrets at the death of thousands of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman soldiers.

There probably is a rather easy solution to the dispute as to whether hundreds of thousands of Armenians were killed. The UN could identify a panel of outstanding historians from throughout the world who could conduct an historical research and come up with a clear report as to whether the genocide occurred or not. Certainly, such a report would end the ongoing arguments which echo throughout the Internet from both sides each anxious to prove the other is a liar.

Armenia And Turkey, Will It Ever End?

Most people today believe the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the longest lasting center of anger between two peoples, but the Turkish-Armenian dispute predates any current issue in the world. Most objective historians agree the Ottoman Empire engaged in genocidal actions against Armenians in their country and killed hundreds of thousands. Even the US Ambassador to Turkey sent back reports of the slaughter, but to millions of Turkish people acknowledging such a slaughter is somehow an insult to their very being. A Turkish court annulled a ruling that dismissed demands for the criminal prosecution of individuals who initiated an Internet campaign to issue a public apology to Armenians. The prosecutor’s office had decided there was no need for criminal prosecution, but the court ruled otherwise.

Turks have every right to believe what they wish concerning the Armenian genocide. Denial is an old human strategy of enabling people to handle difficult emotional problems. But, prosecuting people who wish to apologize is ludicrous.

Turkish President Warns Of Dangers Posed By Apologizing

President Abdullah Gull warned of serious consequences that might arise if people in Turkey pushed for their nation to apologize for the slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman empire in 1915. Gull had reached out to Armenia in order to establish cordial relations with the Armenian nation, but the thought of even discussing the possibility of an apology caused him to warn, “I do not think they make a positive contribution” and will only lead to “polarization” between the two nations. He insisted Turkey was a democratic nation and people had the right to discuss all issues– of course, free discussion of the Armenian genocide is not allowed in Turkish schools. In his view, of the role of higher education, “I want our universities not to become a platform for daily politics, but make attempts to increase Turkey’s power.”

The president of Turkey does not seem to grasp the role of a university is to pursue the path of intellectual research, and if that leads to uncovering a truth about the Armenian massacre that does not please politicians, the university must publish its results regardless of who is upset. It would be helpful if President Gull asked leading scholars from throughout the world to study events of 1915 and issue an objective report.

The American government has apologized for the internment during World War II of Japanese residents. The apology has been a healing action, not one that caused anger.

Armenian Genocide Deniers Go Ballistic!

The easiest way to attract attention in Turkey to oneself is to become furious when anyone dares suggest that Armenians were murdered in a genocidal attack by the Ottoman empire. A group of Turkish intellectuals issues an apology to their Armenian brothers and sisters and expressed their sorrow that Armenians were killed by the thousands. Naturally, an apology to Armenians is viewed by many as tantamount to expressing treason against the Turkish state. President Abdullah Gul has urged calm in discussion of the issue, but even him mild statement led to charges he is really a secret Armenian. Delvet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party(MHP) expressed his anger by stating bluntly: “I am ashamed of the person who initiated the campaign. We are the Turkish nation should be ashamed of them.”

This debate has gone for nearly a hundred years, and it can be ended by a simple act. Appoint a committee of prominent historians from various nations in the world and charge that group to study the issue and issue a report. Hopefully, both Armenians and Turks, can assume historians will be objective. Anger and hate on both sides has to end, and the resolution is one that only objective historians can provide.

Turkish Bigots Refuse Acknowledging Genocide

A group of Turkish intellectuals offered an apology to Armenians for the genocide committed committed against their ancestors by the Ottoman empire. The genocide has been documented over and over by historians but most people in Turkey prefer believing in the fairy tale that a minority Armenian population somehow was able to overwhelm the Turkish army and carry out a genocide against well armed men who had modern weapons. Nationalists rose to the “challenge” by insisting it was the Armenians who were the culprits. Nationalist Movement deputy, Erzurum Zeku Ertugay insisted, “A stain of shame like genocide has never taken p lace in the history of the Turkish nation.”

As the petition says: “I cannot conscientiously accept the indifference to the great disaster that Ottoman Armenians suffered in 1915, and its denial. I reject this injustice and, acting of my own will, I share the feelings and pains of my Armenian brothers and sisters, and I apologize to them.” Well said and mature.

Turkish Citizens Apologize To Armenians

A group of Turkish intellectuals have decided it is time for the people of their nation to apologize for the tragic events of 1915 when hundreds of thousands of Armenians were killed by orders of the government of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish group is asking other people to sign the petition which reads as follows: “I cannot conscientiously accept the indifference to the great disaster that Ottoman Armenians suffered in 1915 and its denial. I reject the injustice and acting of my own will, I share the feelings and pains of my Armenian brothers and sisters, and I apologize to them.” The initial effort is asking intellectuals to sign the petition before posting it for others to sign. The emphasis in the petition is for individuals to apologize rather than make it a government apology.

Armenian leaders welcomed the petition, but believe the wording is not clear. As Ayetkin Yidiz, of the Confrontation Association pointed out, “It’s a good starting point, but not enough. Firstly, what do they mean by ‘great disaster.’ Let’s name it, it is genocide. secondly, the state has to apologize.” The Armenian reaction is well stated. At some point, the Turkish nation has to make a public apology as did the German government for the Holocaust. Secondly, the Turkish government must then initiate in education an Armenian Genocide curriculum so future generations will finally know the truth.

Obstacles To US-Turkish Relations

Many Turkish officials believe that several issues remain unresolved between the United States and their nation despite the election of Barack Obama. Issues such as the situation on Cyprus, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Armenian genocide are regarded as sore points that remain obstacles to US-Turkish relations. Senator Biden has close ties with the Greek community and is believed to be sympathetic to Greek claims on Cyprus while Obama has frequently spoken about the genocide carried out by the Turkish government against Armenians early in the 20th century. The presence of Kurdish forces inside Iraq is an unresolved issue that continually creates tension in the region and Turkey would like to see the American-Iranian conflict resolved in a peaceful manner.

Prime Minister Erdogan is dubious about Obama statements that Afghanistan requires more US troops and would prefer dealing with issues through means of negotiations. His government also is worried that removal of American forces in Iraq will open new possibilities for Kurdish guerrillas to carry out attacks on Turkish forces. A sore point bound to become a thorn in efforts to establish peaceful relations between the US and Turkey is the well known commitment of Obama and Biden to Armenian claims there was a genocide.

It is about time that Turkey ask an international body of impartial historians to investigate the question of a genocide carried out against Armenians and submit a report. That will end the conflict once and for all.

Turkey Fears Obama Will Support Armenians

Many in the Turkish government believe Barack Obama and Joe Biden will support claims of Armenians that the genocide committed by Turks against them in the early years of the 20th century be recognized for all its brutality. Ken Hachikian, of the Armenian National Committee said, “starting tomorrow, th full force of the Turkish government will come down like a ton of bricks in Washington” since both Democratic candidates have previously fought to support Armenian claims about the genocide. Obama during his election run promised to recognize the killings as an example of genocide.

it is time for Turkey to end the fight over nothing. The United States government apologized to its Japanese American citizens for the wartime internment. American history textbooks are filled with examples of brutality against Native Americans. Germans have atoned for the Holocaust, but Turkey, for some reason, refuses to admit that what happened a hundred years ago was a terrible mistake.