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.
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.
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.