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Eren Keskin: We Are All Guilty!

Eren Keskin is vice-president of the Turkish Human Rights Association (İHD) and former president of its Istanbul branch. In 2005, she was awarded the Esslingen-based Theodor Haecker Prize for Civic Courage and Political Integrity. This is her first column for the Armenian Weekly.

On the day that I am writing this, the protocols for “normalizing the relations” between Turkey and Armenia has been signed.

It is always the “governments” who decide what is “normal”!

Same thing today. The “world sovereigns” have determined how the relationship between Armenia and Turkey are to be “normalized.”

In my view, the only thing that should be normal is accepting the fact of the genocide, with all its consequences, and apologizing to the Armenian nation.

I realized very early on that we live in an “identity graveyard.” My uncle, the twin brother of my father, had decided to marry an Armenian woman. They were very much in love. The marriage just had to happen. But my grandfather, a retired governer, agreed on one condition: Jozefin would be a “Muslim” and her name would be changed to Hulya.

Even though I was very young, I could not wrap my mind around this: How could it happen? How could one’s right “to be oneself” be taken away like that?

They did get married. But nobody in my family called my aunt Hulya. She always remained as our dear Jozefin.

In my best childhood, there is always an aunt Jozefin, or an aunt Antuanet, or a cousin Alex or Arthur.

When I was a child, I always believed that Armenians were the nicest people in the world.

Once when I was 14, we went to Kilyos beach (in Istanbul) as a large family group. The son of my father’s aunt said, “Let’s go for a swim, I will tell you something.” We walked and walked and walked…

When nobody else was around, he said, “We are Kurds, don’t forget that. They [the family] might deny this fact, but we are Kurds.”

I was stunned, and a little pleased. But that this fact was “so scary that it had to be kept a secret” put me in a strange state of mind.

Who, and with what right, could decide that his own identity was to be kept a “secret”?

After that day, I started reading the “unofficial history.” I tried to read anything I could find on the Armenians and the Kurds.

When I was 16, aunt Jozefin and I went to Sedef Island. We were sitting at the beach when I asked her, “Aunt, your family suffered a lot during the genocide years, didn’t they?”

My aunt looked around and said, “Let’s go for a swim.” At that moment I remembered Kilyos.

We swam farther and farther and farther away from the land…

When we were sure that nobody could hear us, my aunt told me what they had gone through.

From then on, I believed that a big crime had been committed on this land—and that the mentality that had committed it was not left in the past at all.

In my later personal history, I thought, worked, and spoke about this as much as I could.

In 2005, there was a conference in Istanbul. The intellectuals who organized this conference, known as “the Armenian Conference,” wrote in the call for papers: “The orders that led to the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of people, and the death and murder of many of them in and after 1915 were, after all, given and executed by a government of the Ottoman Empire (which is not identical to the present Turkish Republic).”

I think that the crucial difference in mentality lies in the parantheses above. I believe that the ideology of the perpatrators of the Armenian Genocide, the Committee of Union and Progress, and its special organization Teskilat-i Mahsusa, are the “founding ideology” of the Turkish Republic.

For years I have been arguing that the main problem in Turkey is militarism; that the “red lines” and thereby the fear it creates in society leads to totalitarianism; that miltarism is the biggest obstacle to the de-militarization of “internal and external” politics; and that the legislative, executive, and judicial institutions are wholly under the influence and coercion of militarism. I, and a few other people who agree on this, have been under constant pressure because of our thoughts.

But life itself confirms us!

Just when the “normalization of the relationships” between Turkey and Armenia was being discussed, the Turkish High Court made a decision that showed how difficult it was to change things: It ruled that anybody who “suffered mentally” because of what writer Orhan Pamuk had said in an interview—namely, that “we killed 1.5 million Armenians”—could sue Pamuk for pain and suffering. That ruling revealed once again the real stance of the Turkish Republic—that it is dependent on militarism.

Being a democrat and being a realist requires, instead, to call the Turkish Republic to recognize the crime of genocide and pay reparations for the damages Armenians suffered.

Of course, that is a difficult and scary stance.

Benda says, “Real intellectuals have to risk being burned at the stake, sent to exile, crucified. That’s why there aren’t many of them. Above all, they have to always be critical of status quo.”

Edward Said describes the intellectual as one who “tries to create crises, not to resolve them”.

Yes, there are so many who are trying to resolve the crisis, to normalize it… But others choose to “not let the crimes and the criminals be forgotten.”

That’s what we are doing.
- It’s been 94 years!
- Those who believe in the lies,
- Those who don’t question the lies,
- Those who remain silent even if they don’t believe in the lies,
- Those, by their silence, approve of the lies,

We are all guilty…

And we owe thousands, millions of apologies…

75 Comments on Eren Keskin: We Are All Guilty!

  1. avatar Jacque armoudikian // October 20, 2009 at 8:28 pm // Reply

    Thank you ms. Keskin for being true to reality and sincere. My grandparents suffered a great deal because of the genocide. I will carry their burden and passed it on to my children untill the guilty  acknowledge his crime and paid the price.
    If its any consolation for you and many turks or kurds like yourself I FORGIVE YOU. 

  2. Corageous words. Thank you for this.

  3. avatar ArmenianRealist // October 20, 2009 at 8:58 pm // Reply

    Thank you and may God bless you for your honesty. There is an old Armenian saying that “he who speaks the truth must be prepared to flee from seven villages”.  Be mindful of your safety.

  4. That is nice.

    Now will you also apologize for the 40K lives lost due to Kurdish terrorism and insurgency?  While you are at it, will you also apologize for the countless victims of the Armenian uprisings and revolts and terrorism?  How about my grandfather’s family that was totally wiped out (not marched off or relocated!) by Armenians in Bitlis in 1916?  How about extracting an apology for the victims of the real gonocide in Karabag? 

    Please Eren hanim, let’s get real…  we all have stories, this is Middle East!

  5. avatar Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD // October 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm // Reply

    Thank You, Ms. Eren Keskin, Thank You. As a matter of fact, today, You are luckier than any Armenian citizen. You have an elected President. Armenian citizens are being deprived of an elected President for about 13 years.
    jeshmarid@yahoo.com

  6.   Thank you Eren for sharing your thoughts. Your column I expect will be very interesting. It is amazing how little we know of the Turks and the Kurds. The Genocide has suppressed our appetite for learning about others. Yes, we all have our stories about kind Turks and Kurds, but these experiences are 90 years old. My generation needs to update our knowledge of these cultures. I am hoping that your column provides some insight in this regard.
                One day the genocide will be acknowledged by Turkey and the deniers will have lost.  In the transition from today to that day, there are a growing number of Turks and Kurds that we need to encourage and embrace; for it is they that are leading the transformation of Turkey. It is that change
    that will ennable reconciliation. As, Armenians, we need to be prepared also.  To listen, to learn and to be active from our hearts. We need to focus on the Turkish government and its policies; not the Turkish people. This will add strength to our cause. We have lived with stereotypes for too long. Our
    position in this world is improving. Let’s keep up with it. Good luck to you, Eren.

  7. I appreciate your concern and honesty but I agree with other reviews that you should be careful on what you write for your own safety’s sake. It is nice to hear from someone other than Armenian to exress these types of feelings.  But don’t you think how critical is our (Armanians) condition that only very small amount of people participate in regards to this matter. Everyone shows that they are concerned but when I go to all these various public gatherings, I don’t see even 10% of Armenians that live in LA, some of them don’t even know what it says in the protocol. How about you write another article and suggest our Armenians to finally be together as one, to be part of our community, to be supportive and willing, to spend more time on reading these type of articles and try to make a change… There are so many things that need to be done, but the first step would be to start caring.

  8. Thank you for your courage

  9. It’s heartening to read is. I believe a country that has been in denial for almost a century is very hard to heal and perhaps is sick beyond redemption. Turks forget that it’s not only the Genocide, it’s been six centuries of abuses and attrocities (even though they tend to take a rosy view of the Ottoman years, which were mostly appalling for Armenians, Greeks and all those who were the inhabitants of these lands before the hordes came from the East). Let’s more Turks will come forward to apologize for their denial of their shameful past.

  10. avatar Jacque armoudikian // October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm // Reply

    I like to respond to Murat’s comment.
    Very typical of turkish false propaganda, I don’t know what you know about masacres in tbilisi by Armenians in 1916 Let me tell you after the 1915 GENOCIDE Armenians were in no position or had no ability to commit any masacers anywhere, for your information Armenians were barely fighting for their survival you can read all about it in the 1916 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine. Brainwashes like this got the turks where they are today so OPPEN your eyes. How dare you talking about genocide in Karabag you ignorant, unless you’re talking about what the azeris did in Sumgayit and Baku, go get your facts straight. Last point the turks have been suppressing the Armenians and the  Kurds till today in turkey, the 40k you are talking about they are the result of the turkish goverments denial  and suppressing policies, go blame them. the kurds have the right to live on their land as free as any turks and don’t you mix freedom fighting with terrorism, even if it is the Kurds learned it from the turks did you forget?

  11. avatar Garen Yegparian // October 21, 2009 at 1:28 pm // Reply

    Tears welled up as I read this piece.

    It triggered in my memory the story of a family I know who moved from New Mexico to California (LA area).  They are quite certain they’re from Indian stock, but don;t really know because two generations ago, being Indian was such a “horrible” thing that the family suppressed its identity.  New mexico has no sea to swim out in and talk about those “horrible” secrets…

    Genocide comes in my forma, ovet and insidious.

  12. Eren wrote:
     
    Benda says, “Real intellectuals have to risk being burned at the stake, sent to exile, crucified. That’s why there aren’t many of them. Above all, they have to always be critical of status quo.”
    Edward Said describes the intellectual as one who “tries to create crises, not to resolve them”.


    These are also the qualities of saints – those whose lives are truly spiritual.  Let us hope that truth wins.  This starts in our hearts no matter where else it goes.
     
    Peace.

  13. avatar L.Ter-Hovanessian // October 21, 2009 at 10:11 pm // Reply

    Thank you Eren Keskin for your courage to speak the truth.
    It is a shame that most polititians don’t have your courage of conviction, if they did they go down in history as great.

  14. With so many layers of denial it is refreshing and touching to read your article Mr Erin  Keskin!Thank you!You are an honorable person.

  15. Will somebody please apologize for the killings of 2 million Ottoman Muslims by Armenians?
    Will somebody please apologize for the killings of the Turkish diplomats and their children by Armenian Asala?
    Will somebody please apologize for the killings of hundreds Azeri’s in the 1990′s by Armenians?
     Will somebody please apologize for all the Armenian lies about what really happened in 1915?
    Will somebody please apologize to ME for the Armenian killings of my relatives during the Armenian Revolts?
     Maybe Mrs Keskin is guilty, I’m not !
    I don’t want to be enemies with Armenia or the Armenians but both Armenian and Turks should beware of figures like mrs Keskin who just tries to heat up the anomosity between the Turkey and Armenia !
    It doesn’t feel right that Armenia is isolated and poor: only the Armenian people suffer from this situation. I do want that both countries normalize their relations but Armenia should accept that Turkey won’t accept their unjust claims.
    Like Mr Murat says: get over it, stop feeding the hate !

  16. To Sema:
    Aren’t you tired of repeating the same old turkish propaganda?So tired of reading the same barks on every article by people like you.2 million ottoman muslims killed by Armenians?You’ve gone cuckoo…As for the azeris…how about the Sumgait & Baku massacres of Armenians???
    Go & complain to your 200 plus prominent intellectuals who publicly/officially apologised for the Genocide of Armenians committed by the ottomans.
    You are the one who is feeding hate…so please follow your own advice & stop!
    We want JUSTICE SO THAT THE SOULS OF OUR MARTYRED CAN REST IN PEACE. Our lost land is haunted by their spirits.

  17. Sema, Please take your rubbish elsewhere. You may not be personally responsible for what your State did to us in 1915 but by denying the Genocide you are in Armenians’ view as guilty as the rest of the Turks who deny the Genocide. It’s easy to say get over it when you are sitting on land & houses grabbed from everybody else who was there before the hordes that brought Turks there came to pillage our lands. And the last person to recommend Armenians to stop feeding hatred is a Turk like you. First, we do not feed hatred just because we demand justice for what Turkey did to us. Second, I really disagree with the way Turks “get over it and stop feeding the hatred.”  Last time Turks did that, they exterminated the Armenian nation. Go and take a walk in Western Armenia one of these days, Sema: go visit Ani, Kars, Erzerum, Van, Adana, Urfa, Amasya. Take a look at the Armenian houses, churches, inscriptions, everything else that still remains despite your government’s efforts.  Maybe they were abducted by Martians? Or Martians that dropped them in France, the United States, Lebanon, Syria, Argentina, Australia? Or maybe they collectively agreed to live the land they had been living in for millenia because they were sick and tired of living next to Turks, sick and tired of their abuses, their attrocities, their ignominies, their brutality and then, all of a sudden, in the spring of 1915 they said: “Let’s go, let’s leave our lands to these hordes”?  Go and read good books (which most of the time means non-Turkish books) and find out, and in the mean time may be you can improve your English a tad, because it’s really a bit of a headache to read in English all that humbug conceived in Turkish and in a Turkish mind. Then, when you are satisfied, pour down a glass or two of good scotch, one of Atatürk’s favorites, or maybe the whole bottle, as he used to do in the bad old days. Best regards.

  18. I urge interested readers to spend a few minutes scaning he web to see just how the Turkish lobby in America tries to keep Turkish Americans to stay silent about the Genocide or join the chorus of its notorious enforcers.  How else to explain the open, gleeful and unabashed viciously racist anti Armenian, Greek and Assyrian material published, for example, by incoming ATAA President Ergun Kirlikovali, who has likened the deaths of Armenians in 1915 to a joke about dead flies, or his statement last year that the average Diasporan is so murderous and hateful that he desires to”‘kill any Turk on sight.”  Mr. Kirlikovali lives in California, and is a much published and admired figure withinthe lobby and its friends.  His hatred of Armenians is so great that on the day Hrant Dink was killed he published  piece saying that the killer was likely an Armenian.

    To my friends in the Armenian American community, I urge that you scan the web and keep abreast of what ATAA, TAC andTYALDF are up to.  They hate Armenians, have scores of  millions of dollars at their disposal, and will not rest until all Armenian Genocide education is eradicated, and American public schools use their textbooks alleging that Armenians were, as Sema above stated, the mass murderers of Turks.

  19. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 22, 2009 at 10:58 am // Reply

    Sema, bir az dusunmen gerek galiba. Ilk once, how could approximately 1.5-2 million people, generally economically disadvantaged, dispersed throughout the Empire, and without a government that could effectively mobilize them possibly kill 2 million people? Certainly there were revenge killings, and sporadic massacres were committed by Armenian regular troops serving in the Tsar’s army (and, tragically, most of the victims were Alevis), but these pale in comparison to the killings orchestrated by a state. And therein lies the fault in your argument (which is just a repetition of TTK and CHP talking points). You try to equate the killing of diplomats by a handful of people from a farflung diaspora (who could not possibly speak for their imagined constituency) to systematic massacres carried out by a state. Thus, the blame falls to the CUP’s ideological and legal successors- Ataturkist nationalism, which is the foundational myth of the present Republic of Turkey. Thus, the Republic of Turkey bears responsibility.
    Moreover you, like most nationalist Turks, conflate the category ‘Armenians’ and see us as a monolith. When has the Republic of Armenia echoed the “unjust claims” (your words) of the Diaspora? Maybe if you actually read what Armenians themselves said, and not the garbage repeated in trash newspapers like Milliyet and Cumhurriyet (ikisi boktur!), you’d have a better idea. Enough of them are published in English.
    Azerbaijan is a different issue, and the fact that you bring it up raises Armenians’ fears that Turkish nationalism has a racial component to it (such as the proclamation at the Haydar Aliyev Parki in either Mecidiyekoy or Besiktas, can’t remember which- Azerbayacan ve Turkiye, iki devlet bir milliyet). But, since you insist on bringing up issues unrelated to Armenian-Turkish relations, when will Turkey apologize for occupying and ethnically cleansing Cyprus? When will Turkey apologize for the killings of Bulgarians? When will Turkey apologize for the disastrous populations exchange and the burning of Smyrna? When will Turkey apologize for stealing northern Syria? When will Turkey apologize for closing its border with Armenia and, at times, not even allowing HUMANITARIAN AID to get through? When will Turkey apologize for saying they didn’t want dirty Armenian blood when the Republic of Armenia offered assistance (including blood donations) following the earthquake in 1999?
    Put down your CHP and MHP propaganda; try actually questioning their simple talking points. Try reading Radikal or Taraf. There’s a reason internationally-recognized intellectuals write there.

  20. avatar Jacque armoudikian // October 22, 2009 at 11:13 am // Reply

    Dear Sema
    Do you even know the history of the otoman’s. Where they came from and how they conquered the midle east and half of europ. do you think they did it by being nice to the people whoe were living on these lands for centuries, no my dear Sema they killed them, convert them or relocate them to the midle of the desert. so spare me the B.S. . Your ancesters where and are nothing but born criminals and pathalogical liers. it never amaizes me to heare a turck come up with a new story about how and how many turks the Armenians have “killed and masakered” Dear the HATE wont stop untill you stop the LIES. The turks should also appologise to the ASSIRIANS , ASHORIANS, GREEKS and KURDS. just hand over our lands and no one will get hirt. Besides is in it in your religion AN EYE FOR AN EYE and a TOOTH FOR A TOOTH. Again my Dear in the 1990′s the azeris are the ones who killed Armenians and not the other way arround, get your head out of the sand.See how do you want the hatered to stop if you keep on lieing and deciving just accept the truth and lets moove on with our lives, then only then we can live side by side in peace.
    No one is going to appologise for the killing of the turkish deplomats, because they as their goverment are guilty of concperacy and covering up a commited  GENOCID. As long as the curent goverment and people of turkie don’t admitt and appologise to the wrong doing of the otomans they will be guilty by association.

  21. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 22, 2009 at 11:25 am // Reply

    Oh, and Sema, the “lies” about 1915 are our grandparents’ stories. While not excusable, why do you think people in the 1970s resorted to violence? Insult our family’s memories enough and you could see what the conclusions would be. Blaming the victim- an imperialist trope. Just like the Americans, the British, and now the Israelis in Palestine. (see Edward Said)

  22. Well, here we have it.

    No need to apologize for the murder of dozens of Turkish diplomats and their families, since the attitude of their government left no choice for the rightous Armenians…

    Obviously it is possible for the crowd here to rationalize indiscriminant killing of innocents and noncombatants.  It is perfectly acceptable and natural it seems as long as the mass graves are filled with Turkish or Muslim bodies as in Cyprus, or Karabag and all over Balkans and Middle East and Caucuses.

    There is little else to argue.

  23. To Murat:
    We are ready to apologise for the few innocent diplomats.But don’t you think that before we apologise your government should first accept that the ottomans committed a Genocide against us?
    Your 200 plus prominent intellectuals publicly apologised.Now, are these people out of their minds?
    You go & ask your older generations if they know anything about the Genocide & the killings or not.So many of my Turkish & Kurdish friends have told me that their grandfathers have told them about the atrocities committed against the Armenians.This is a very well known fact in Turkey but the notorious article 301… & all is hush hush.
    I remind you of sumgait & baku massacres.Also I remind you of the Greeks’ mass graves in Cyprus committed by a current turkish member of parliament.Current turk generations are in shock & have an issue with accepting the Genocide.For decades they’ve been brainwashed by the false information of their governments.
    Have you read the above article of Eren Keskin?Is she a Turk or an Armenian?
    Please go & read more(other than the usual turkish sources) & enlighten yourself.

  24. avatar Jacque armoudikian // October 23, 2009 at 11:29 am // Reply

    Murat there is nothing to apologise for but as a human i do feel sorry for the families of the fallen diplomats it was a heavy price for them to pay for a denial policies of there goverement but just imagine you are talking about few families that payed the altimate price but us Armenians, murat, each and every family has  a story of lost father, brother, mother, son, sister,uncle, on and on ,by otoman turks, You cant compare that to a handfull you lost,but again as Christians we are against any killings regardless , but you gave us no other choice. I truly  say to you that I rader sit and drink cofe with you than having this argument, like my grandparent did in Adiaman with a lot of good turks. Remember we did not start this war and we did not ask for it as the goverment of turkie makes it sound, we where farmers minding in our business, My grandparents owened lands of Pear thats where we got the name (ARMOUD - IAN). Give back what is ours and lets live in peace.
    Please Murat I’m sure you are smart dig deeper and find the truth and why not be one the ones whoe stand up for your people and say anough lies to your goverment because that how the healing will start between our to nations. Hopefuly will meet one day on my ancesters land and offer you a Pear.

  25. So these inflated numbers of things that happened AFTER 1.5 Armenians were killed somehow justify all the hatred these people express?  Sema and Murat – it is the guilty who are as defensive as you are.  You may not have committed a crime, but you continue to defend it and deny it and protect the guilty.  This is why you cry and scream here.
    When they took all the Armenians in my grandmother’s village, they put them in the church.  Then they burned the church down with all of them in it.  What do you think those farmers, villagers, women and children did?
    My grandmother was hidden in the basement of a Turkish woman, a widow of a military officer.  The soldiers could not come in.   This is how she survived.  Do you think this bold Turkish woman would be proud of you now?  You cannot justify genocide.  You are deluding yourself and adding to your own guilt and hysteria with denial.

  26. correction:  1.5 MILLION.
     
    Get the number through your head, Murat and Sema.  1.5 MILLION.  Documented by the vast majority of genocide scholarship – not Armenian but worldwide body of historians and genocide scholars.  How can you justify or defend it?

  27. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm // Reply

    Tabiiki, Murat. Ignore everything else I write and focus on ‘just the diplomats.’ Try responding to something more analytically rigorous so that we can see just how serious you are.

  28. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm // Reply

    Murat, you and the Armenian nationalists really deserve one another. Yes, Muslims have suffered. Yes, Turkey today is a nation of refugee Muslims cobbled together under Ataturkist nationalism. Yes, Armenian regular troops committed massacres of Turkish (mostly Alevi) villages. Yes, ASALA and JCAG killed ambassadors. Yes, Armenians committed massacres at Karadaghlu and Khojalu during the Karabakh War. These are all terrible things. Terrible things that any human, convinced of his membership in a group, is able to carry out.
     
    That doesn’t change the fact that the Genocide happened. Doesn’t change the fact that Cyprus is occupied. Doesn’t change the fact that Turkey stole the northern part of Syria. Doesn’t change the fact that Turkey ethnically cleansed its western coast of the native Greek population. You see, your people are human, too.
     
    Stop blaming the victim and look in the mirror. Put down the TTK and CHP propaganda. It is precisely that mentality that fosters the disgusting nationalism rampant in many political circles in Turkey today (mostly the CHP, MHP, certain sectors of the military, but also rubs off on the AK Partisi and, strangely enough, some of the old guard socialists).

  29. Bedros Efendi, Much as I agree with a lot of what you say, do not put Armenian nationalists and a Genocide negationist Turk like this one called Murat in the same league. Armenian nationalists defended their homeland against the Turkish onslaught, not justifying a Genocide campaign like this Turk is doing here. No Armenian nationalist can be compared to those who deny and justify the Genocide. We are all human, it’s true, but as it happens, of all our neighbors, the only one to carry out systematic genocides has been Turkey and their kin in Azerbaijan: not Iran, nor Russia, nor Georgia, and neither of the latter lacked the means to carry it out had they wished to.

  30. Bedros Efendi,  you say:

    “Yes, Muslims have suffered. Yes, Turkey today is a nation of refugee Muslims cobbled together under Ataturkist nationalism. Yes, Armenian regular troops committed massacres of Turkish (mostly Alevi) villages. Yes, ASALA and JCAG killed ambassadors. Yes, Armenians committed massacres at Karadaghlu and Khojalu during the Karabakh War. These are all terrible things. ”

    I can understand the ignorants who cant tell the difference between Bitlis and Tiblisi, because they do not know any better and never been allowed to learn, but someone like you, who knows where I come from,  who still acts as if he does not know any better… well, that is just scary and sinister and just leaves no room for hope and forgiveness and reconiliation of any kind. 

    “That doesn’t change the fact that the Genocide happened.”

    If it had happened, you would not be here.

    “Doesn’t change the fact that Cyprus is occupied.”

    How is this related?  Turkish army stopped a real genocide.  Mass graves were full of Turkish Cypriots, not Greeks.   What kind of occupation is this when 70% is in the hands of Greeks who are in EU now?  I do not see any Turkish flags there.  Turkey was a legal guardian of Cyprus constitution, was Armenia legal guardian of Karabag for example?  TRNC submitted to UN plan and solutions, Greeks did not.  Parallels are tempting but you know better.

    “Doesn’t change the fact that Turkey stole the northern part of Syria.”

    Stole?  Is it a loaf of bread?  How is this related?  There was a UN sponsored plebicite.  Not a single bullet fired, not a single tank rolled…  One can say Syria was stolen from Turkey too…

    “Doesn’t change the fact that Turkey ethnically cleansed its western coast of the native Greek population.”

    This is partly true.  Except that Turks did not really ethnically cleansed Greeks, but they did ethncially cleansed Armenians.  Most of the Greek population left with the withdrawing and beaten Greek Army.  Their behaviour towards their countrymen under Greek occupation left them with no choice.  Similar to Armenians.  Many remaining Greeks on the hand were exchanged with hundreds of thousands of  Turks “ethnically cleansed” from Balkans, Greece and Islands. 

    My mothers side was “ethnically cleansed” from Crete for example…  I know, you folks do not count them.

    Best of all though, and I have seen this rather twisted logic often in these circles, is that you refuse to establish any causality between what Armenians and their revolutionaries have done between 1890-1918 and what Ottomans have done in return.  These were not totally independen phenomena. 

    Countless Armenian revolts, falling of major Eastern provinces to Russians and Armenians, insurgency, Armenian terrorism, close collaboration with old Ottoman enemy Czar, handy work of Armenian Legion, Greater Armenia promotion, all in the middle of a life and death struggle of WWI , is related directly to the extreme measures Ottomans took of course! 

    I am sure you do not think one action deserves another, that is ethnic cleansing of Armenians from Eastern Anatolia, but then again you people also think killing “a few” diplomats was justified too…

  31. Janine,

    Sometimes it is best not to shout one’s ignorance from roof tops.

    Total Armenian population  on the eve of WWI in the whole of Ottoman Empire was between 1.1-1.25M.  This is from actual population census and Church and tax records.

    Now, it is known that WWI created close to 300-400K Armenian refugees in Russian Armenia, evacuating the Estern provinces of Ottoman Anatolia.  Russian, Armenian, UK and Red Cross records back this up. 

    A low estimate of the total Armenian refugees forcibly moved to Syria and Lebanon is near 300K probably. 

    This does not include many more who fled the country with their own means through Eastern ports.

    Can you do the math?  Don’t get me wrong, huge numbers of civilians suffered and died of course, but I wanted you to get at least one fact right in your head.  It comes in real handy when throwing facts and figures around on these boards.

  32. Janine you say:

    “My grandmother was hidden in the basement of a Turkish woman, a widow of a military officer.  The soldiers could not come in.   This is how she survived.  Do you think this bold Turkish woman would be proud of you now?  You cannot justify genocide.  You are deluding yourself and adding to your own guilt and hysteria with denial.”

    Your grandmother was lucky I guess.  My grandfather’s whole family and most of the population of Bitlis (birth place of Saroyan, NOT Tiblisi!) was cut down when Armenians took it in 1916.  His five sisters and other relatives were not marched, relocated, or thrown out.  They were butchered on the spot.  Details are too gory and not necessary.  Only reason my grandfather survived the massacre was becasue he was away, busy spilling his blood (and of others) in Gallipoli and Palestine .  Similar fate fell on cities of Kars, Van, Mus, Erzincan and others. 

    You are right, genocide can never be justified, and no, I do not have the slightest feeling of guilt.  I hope you understand.

  33. I highly support the protocol and I believe the dialogue and understanding between the two nations without condition.
    1-I believe Turkish government should apologize for the innocent Armenians who have killed during war. I also believe that the Republic of Armenia should apologize for the killing of innocent Turkish and Kurdish people especially by dashnak terrorists during last days of Ottoman Empire!!!!! Do not forget the innocent Turkish diplomats who were killed by ASALA terrorists”. Do not forget, many Azerbaijan people had been killed and more than a million had been displaced during the NK war. However, I am deeply sorry for the murder of Hrant Dink. It is a shame.
    2-Turkish government will NEVER EVER EVER accept “Armenian genocide”. Possible US recognition of the Armenian Genocide” does not change the Turkish government policy (after Turkish-Armenian protocol approval by the both countries parliaments, there will be no “Armenian Genocide” resolution in the US..This is the real reason of the “STOP THE PROTOCOL” campaign by Armenian diaspora… ANCA will become useless!!! ). Many countries have recognized theArmenian Genocide” but Turkish policy did not change. By the way Swedish parliament has rejected the “genocide” resolution. The Swedish people are “Genocide deniers”!!!!
    3-Do not expect any land from Turkey. This requires WAR. How realistic is it?
    The Government of the Socialist Soviet Republic of Armenia has recognized the current border (Kars Treaty). Askanaz Mravian (People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of Socialist Soviet Republic of Armenia and Poghos Makintsian, People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs of Socialist Soviet Republic of Armenia) have signed the treaty. Since the collapse of USSR, the governments of Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan have all accepted the Kars treaty. Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan has reaffirmed Armenia’s recognition of the treaty.
    Armenian people must live with their neighbors in Peace. STOP claiming land from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Republic of Armenia is bankrupt and poor Armenians are 100% dependent to Russia. I also want to stress that Republic of Armenia can not live under Russian umbrella forever!!!!!.
    Many diaspora Armenians have fixed with genocide idea – like psychosis!!!.
    Armenian diaspora need to be realistic!!!
    Wake up from dream, break your shell and GET OVER!!!!!!
     
    P.S.: I am sorry for using harsh words

  34. avatar Stephen T. Dulgarian // October 23, 2009 at 11:44 pm // Reply

    Sema, I feel sorry for your interpretation of what happened to the Armenian People under Turkish rule in 1915-1923.  Your Turkish government after the 1st WW found guilty the perpertraitors of the Armenian Genocide, which was Talaat Pasha, Enver, & Jemal Pasha.  These are well documented in the Turkish archives & the archives around the world.  Go back and read the newspapers during that war and read the thousands of articles in those papers on the atrocities the Turks & Kurds committed against the helpless Armenian People.  My mother came from a small village in the Provence of Erzerum & the whole village was sent out on a death march.  My mother was married & had two children.  They bayoneted one in front of her & the other went 13 days with no food and died.  She lost her husband, father & mother, and all her relatives. She was the only survivor from her village.  My father, whom escaped the Turkish Army, whom came from the Provence of Shabin KaraHissar, later found out that the Turks had killed his Wife & 3 children, along with his father & mother & many relatives.  Sema, you yourself  are not a pure Turk,  since the Mongol, Seljuk, & Ottoman Turks conquered Asia Minor, they over the centuries moslemized millions of Christian Armenians, Greeeks, Assyrians, Nestorians, etc.  The atrocities they committed can never be forgiven.  If Armenians killed any Turks, it was revenge for what the Turks did to the Armenian People.  It is time for Turks to wake up and stop listening to the false propaganda that the Turkish Government is feeding to its people.  Stephen T. Dulgarian

  35. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 24, 2009 at 3:54 am // Reply

    Avo, Azerbaijan did not commit genocide. Let’s not cheapen the term. While Armenian nationalists may have, at times, defended the country, they are still the champions of an intellectually-bankrupt ideology that stifles our cultural development and becomes a code of sorts for stunting any type of growth and nipping criticism in the bud. Moreover, the point that I was trying to get at with Murat is that Armenian nationalists are generally just as ignorant or dismissive of Turkish suffering as Turkish nationalists are of Armenian suffering. Similarly, they justify it- listen to how most Armenians try to explain away the massacres of Azeris during the Karabakh war. It’s the same mechanism by which Turks deny the Genocide. There are, of course, many differences- but the main point is the same.
     
    take care

  36. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 24, 2009 at 11:15 am // Reply

    Murat, ultimately you are trapped by the intellectually confines imposed by your nationalism in so much as you paint with the broad strokes necessitated by a maximalist ideology. As I’ve stated before, so long as you continue to paint Armenians as a monolith, from which you have not deviated, and place into a pseudo-Darwinian social framework, you can always explain things away with the rhetoric of existential threats. And if you read Turkish historiography (and again, not by the morons in the TTK, but by people trained at reputable institutions like Bogazici and Sabanci), you’ll see how current Turkish nationalist thought, the foundational myths of the Republic, and the discursive structure into which your statements fit, is the almost unabated continuation of CUP thought (particularly Gokalp, but also prevalent in the works of Omer Seyfettin <re-read Bomba if you get the chance>).
    Firstly we must consider the role of the Armenian revolutionaries, whose activities and mere existence are used by successive generations of pseudo-scholars and apologists to explain away genocide.  They were part of the government. They worked with the CUP, closely until 1913. As someone who studies their press, I have never once come across the idea of ‘Greater Armenia.’ This is in fact, if anything, the recent brainstorm of Diaspora nationalists. Only the Hnchaks even mentioned independence as a goal in their official party program, and they withdrew that following their own internal splits after 1896, and after accepting the Young Turk government in 1908. The Dashnaks (and it should be plenty clear I’m no fan of theirs) only mentioned the word ‘freedom’ (azatutiun) in their party program- freedom of work, freedom of worship, freedom of thought. As progressives, it comes as no surprise that they found common cause with the Young Turks, particularly Prince Sabahedin’s faction.
    The problem is Turkish historiography and official discourse conflates these Armenians with the ‘komitacis’ of the Balkans- thus the ever-present existential threat looms even larger in present discourse. Moreover there is the problem of anachronistically reading the Turkish state (devlet) backwards into history and ignoring the imperial context. Thus, the rebellions (and they were FAR from repeated) are viewed as national struggles to tear apart the country (similar to how the Kurds are treated in public discourse); they were not. The rebellions at places like Zeitun were the attempts of semi-independent regions to resist state centralization. Thus, you also have the Kurds of Dersim repeatedly trying to push out the centralizing state in the 19th century. You have examples of Turkish derebeys also resisting, either killing officials sent by Istanbul or just ignoring them.
     
    Moreover, if you actually get into the Basbakanlik Archives you find that the Armenian millet REQUESTED the presence of the military to protect the Armenians against Kurds and Turcoman tribes. This doesn’t sound like a revolutionary people to me.
    Also, because the state was never able to fully centralize its Anatolian periphery, how the hell could you ever expect one political party (with a socialistic message!) to mobilize peasants (the most conservative aspect of any society)? It’s a sheer impossibility from a management perspective. And simply reinforces my argument that the idea of an Armenian rebellion or revolution is nothing more than a myth.
     
    Finally, on this point, if you’re going to paint with broad strokes and see Armenians as a monolith, you’ll continue to miss the point. Armenians serving in the Russian Empire did commit massacres- of this there is no doubt. Those same forces ethnically-cleansed Tatar (present-day Azeri) villages in what was becoming the Republic of Armenia. But those were not the peasants of Eastern Anatolia. Nor could they have been.
    Tangentially, this explains the formation of the Hamidiye Kurdish semi-regular forces.
    Thus there is no need to link issues of causality between the revolutionaries and the central state’s over the top actions. I’ll return to that below.
    Secondly, if we look at the recent theoretical scholarship on ethnic cleansing and genocide(cf. Heather Rae, James Ron, Norman Naimark, etc- and no, I don’t consider Vahakn Dadrian an expert anyone should waste their time reading), we see a few things. Firstly, ethnically cleansing occurs mostly in places where the state feels insecure (goes back to what I was saying about Eastern Anatolia being a periphery that resisted the central state). This also explains, in part, why the Armenians of Istanbul were generally left alone.
     
    But ethnic cleansing follows a certain logic. It generally involves the massacre of burning of a handful of villages, aimed at scaring the remaining population of a group to flee over a border. Where the state is secure (its capitals) it engages in invasive policing, but not massacres. Thus we see the difference in how Israel treats Gaza (invasive policing) versus southern Lebanon during the occupation (outright massacre). This explains what Armenians and Azeris did to one another. Massacre the Armenians in Sumgait, the Armenians in Kirovabad and Baku leave for Yerevan; massacre the Azeris in a few villages in Karabakh, the rest flee across the battle lines to Azerbaijan.
     
    It’s a kind of controlled chaos; minimal effort, maximum results. But that’s not what happened to the Armenians. Had it been straight-forward ethnic cleansing it would have involved the massacres of a few villages in Harput, a few in Sivas, a few more in Van, and that would have convinced the Armenians to flee to the Caucasus. What did Talat and Ever do? They forcibly moved the Armenians to Syria. Instead of creating refugee problem for the Russian Army to deal with, they put a ‘potential threat’ behind their own lines in the Levant. That makes no sense as far as ethnic cleansing is concerned- it makes sense if your intentions are more sinister, though. They were never supposed to reach the front lines where the Arabs were rebelling. And for the most part they didn’t. What see is systematic, organized killing aimed at one group- genocide.
     
    So, I think you get the main point. A few other random things related to what you wrote:
    1)I fail to see how there’s anything sinister in what I wrote or my mentality. You need to ground it instead of just stating it.
    2) Armenian Legion was formed of refugees and active in Cilicia after the Genocide has mostly run its course- thus it doesn’t fit into your provocation thesis.
    3)You’re right, Cyprus doesn’t matter for our discussion. So why do you bring up Karabakh? As it is I support Turkey in Cyprus, and almost went to the TRNC when I was in Istanbul last. Hope to go next time. Per claims of a genocide- that’s over the top. But I don’t doubt that it would have been worse for the Turkish population under an Enosis government.
    4)You can only say ‘Syria’ was stolen from Turkey if you equate the Turkish Republic with the Ottoman Empire, which goes back to the problem of thinking you can anachronistically impose the Turkish nation-state in history- which leads you to see any Armenian’s activities as being a threat to state security. All nationalisms are paranoid in some way.
    5) Yes, it is only partly true that Turkey ethnically cleansed its western coast. Much of it was due to the mutual (and mutually devastating) population exchange. That’s why people in Izmir, Ayvalik, Balikesir, Altinova to a lesser extent, don’t look like ‘typical’ Turks- they’re Balkan Muslims.
     
    But ultimately you miss my point. It’s really not worth your while to hurl epithets at Armenians and play the victim card while ignoring the misery carried out in the name of the Turkish nation.
     
    kendine iyi bak. bundan sonra cok yazma zaman olmayacak. sana cevap vermezsem, ‘korktugumu’ farzetme.
     
     

  37. To Murat:
    Census of Armenians in the Ottoman empire & not Church…please read the here below & you can verify it yourself:
    1. These records were not a total count of population. Rather, they were based on what is known as “head of household”, that is the ages, occupation, and property of the male family members only were counted.
    2.In 1844 the Ottoman recorded a total of 2.4 million non-Muslims (gayri müslim) within the Ottoman Empire
    3.In 1867 this number remained the same. WHY?
    4. The Turkish author Kâzım Kadri writes, “During the reign of Abdul Hamid we lowered the population figures of the Armenians…” He adds, “By the order of Abdul Hamid the number of the Armenians deliberately had been put in low figures.”[7]
    5. Other evidence suggests such undercounts cut in half the actual Armenian population. In the district of Mus (compromising Mus plain, Sassoun, and the counties of Mus) for example, the Armenian official in charge of the census, Garabed Potigian, presented the official figures as 225,000 Armenians and 55,000 Turks. Upon the insistence of his Turkish superiors he was forced to reduce the Armenian population to 105,000 and increase the Turkish population to 95,000.
    6. The Turkish historian Dr. Secil Akgun, claimed: “The Ottomans do not have a definite number. That is, we have in our hands contradictory numbers regarding the Armenian population within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. I would think that Basmacıyan gives the most accurate number. This is to be between two and three million.”
    Today it is very easy to access all the above information…

    Murat, if your stories are true then I feel your pain as it is the same story of mine where in Mush my grant aunt with her five children were burnt alive by the Turks & Kurds.
    Please Murat for heaven’s sake stop repeating the same turkish propaganda that we hear & read everywhere.Since you seem to be intellectual please widen your sources.

  38. To Murat continuation of the census:
    nother problem arises, and it is the fact that the Ottoman census statistics have maintained constant increase for the Armenian population from the period where between 1894-1897, an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 Armenians lost their lives during the Hamidian massacres. While the minimum in the range represent the Armenian increases of population over years, the 1905 census hasn’t shown any anomaly of Armenian increases, which suggest that there might have been a fixed quota of Armenian population, and that regardless of the census, there were much more Armenians within the Empire.
    Another element that add, is that many Armenians, like many Jews and Christians, were considered as foreigners, because they had foreign nationalities or enjoyed the protection of foreign consulates and those for were not counted in those census statistics.
     
    Reanalysis of Armenian Patriarchate figures
    Another set of Armenian Patriarchate figures figures were published in 1913. Armenian sources records for this statistic have more ground than the first one in that they are based on actual archival records. In 1992, Raymond H. Kevorkian and Paul B. Paboudjian have published a work which present “precision” to the last digit, for each Ottoman provinces from the Armenian archives. For the figure of the entire Ottoman population, those records indicate 1,914,620[17] closely matching with the Ottoman statistics for the Western part of the Ottoman, but diverge in the Eastern zone, where the Ottoman statistics are suspected to have considerably undercounted the Armenian population. And even in some instances, the actual Ottoman counts after McCarthys correction were higher in some regions than those statistics, indicating that those figures might have been possibly a serious records and might have under-counted Armenian’s in some instances.
    Figures by the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople[18]:

    Vilayet Armenian population

    Bitlis
    218,404

    Sebastia
    204,472

    Erzurum
    202,391

    Haleb
    189,565

    Istanbul
    163,670

    Ankara
    135,869

    Mamuret-ül-Aziz
    124,289

    Adana
    119,414

    Hüdavendigâr
    118,992

    Van
    110,897

    Diyarbakır
    106,867

    Trabzon
    73,395

    İzmit
    61,675

    Edirne
    30,316

    Aydın
    21,145

    Konya
    20,738

    Kastamonu
    13,461

    TOTAL
    1,914,620

  39. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 24, 2009 at 11:28 am // Reply

    My point, ultimately (which I didn’t articulate fully), is it’s fruitless to come here and attack Armenian nationalism without attacking your own first. That goes for Murat (and esek Ali Pasha, especially) just as much as it does for most the Armenians here.

  40. Murat, your statistics are false even according to the Turkish records published this year which show a disappearance of about 1.5 million people over a few years.  It is you who need to get your facts straight.  Where are all the Armenians of Anatolia now?   When did they disappear?  Don’t you have your hears of violence a little backward here, given that the anti-Turk violence you cite for years AFTER the Armenian genocide and death marches began?  Shall we include all the Greeks and Assyrians of Pontus and Anatolia as well?  Where are their descendants now in those regions?
     
    I’m sorry but are there still Turks living in Kars, Van, Mus, Erzincan, Bitlis, etc?  Oh gee, maybe there are.  False claim, Murat.  Stupid.

  41. hears of violence = years of violence

  42. Armenian diaspora need to be realistic!!!

     
    It is the diaspora and the worldwide body of scholars as well as governments who have recognized the clear elements of genocide who are living in reality.  It is Turkey’s continual denial that is a deliberate delusion based on a terribly shaky sense of identity.  Clearly, this is necesary to Turkey’s identity:  nobody fights their own guilt with such deliberate lying and hatred without an exceptionally weak identity.  This is also the explanation for the continued justification of violence and brutality — even to the loony point of citing incidents that happened AFTER the genocide as justification for brutality!  Wow 37 diplomats killed by ASALA (I’m sorry was this some official agency representing all Armenians? nope) compared to 1.5 million murdered from 1915 onward?  gong a little backwards there

  43. Bedros Efendi,

    I am more than aware of the futility of engaging discussion on a board like this.   It is not nationalism, or distant family hisotry of people I have never met, but the blatant abuse of facts that motivate me to say a few things, for the sole purpose of my own peace of mind, I have to confess.

    I know we Turks are all (a borad stroke as you put it) brainwashed and make up stuff as our nationalistic agenda and ego dictates, so let me quote you a prominent Armenian leader, Boghos Nubar Pasa, someone who had risen to high levels of responsibility in the Ottoman government and then had the temerity to demand a seat at Lausanne accross the table from his own country, next to the colonial powers who had finally shred to pieces the remains of the Sick Man of Europe.  Note that his father was a governor Egypt.  In his appeal (in a NYT article) to the West for the creation of a greater Armenia from the remaining “Sirtlan Payi”, he lists the accomplishments of Ottoman Armenians:

    “The name of Armenia is not on the list of the nations admitted to the Peace Conference. Our sorrow and our disappointment are deep beyond expression. Armenians naturally expected their demand for admission to the Conference to be conceded, after all they had done for the common cause.   The unspeakable sufferings and the dreadful losses that have befallen the Armenians by reason of their faithfulness to the allies are now fully known.  But I must emphasize the fact, unhappily known to few, that ever since  the beginning of the war the Armenians fought by the side of the Allies on all fronts. Adding our losses in the field to the greater losses through massacres and deportations, we find that over a million out of a total Armenian population of four million and a half have lost their lives in and through the war.  Armenia’s tribute to death is thus undoubtedly heavier in proportion than that of any other belligerent nation. For the Armenians have been belligerents de facto, since they indignantly refused to side with Turkey. Our volunteers fought in the French ‘Legion Etrangere’ and covered themselves with glory. In the Legion d’Orient they numbered over 5,000, and made up more than half the French contingent in Syria and Palestine, which took part in the decisive victory of General Allenby.
    In the Caucasus, without mentioning  the 150,000 Armenians in the Russian armies, about 50,000 Armenian volunteers under Andranik, Nazarbekoff, and others not only fought for four years for the cause of the Entente, but after the breakdown of Russia they were the only forces in the Caucasus to resist the advance of the Turks, whom they held in check until the armistice was signed 
    The name of Armenia is not on the list of the nations admitted to the Peace Conference. Our sorrow and our disappointment are deep beyond expression. Armenians naturally expected their demand for admission to the Conference to be conceded, after all they had done for the common cause.   The unspeakable sufferings and the dreadful losses that have befallen the Armenians by reason of their faithfulness to the allies are now fully known.  But I must emphasize the fact, unhappily known to few, that ever since  the beginning of the war the Armenians fought by the side of the Allies on all fronts. Adding our losses in the field to the greater losses through massacres and deportations, we find that over a million out of a total Armenian population of four million and a half have lost their lives in and through the war.  Armenia’s tribute to death is thus undoubtedly heavier in proportion than that of any other belligerent nation. For the Armenians have been belligerents de facto, since they indignantly refused to side with Turkey. Our volunteers fought in the French ‘Legion Etrangere’ and covered themselves with glory. In the Legion d’Orient they numbered over 5,000, and made up more than half the French contingent in Syria and Palestine, which took part in the decisive victory of General Allenby.
    In the Caucasus, without mentioning  the 150,000 Armenians in the Russian armies, about 50,000 Armenian volunteers under Andranik, Nazarbekoff, and others not only fought for four years for the cause of the Entente, but after the breakdown of Russia they were the only forces in the Caucasus to resist the advance of the Turks, whom they held in check until the armistice was signed”
    This can not be more clear, but I am sure it will not suffice…

  44. It is useless trying to reason with negationist turks. They are too trapped in the narrow confines of their little minds as to comprehend why Armenians would revolt against the nauseating Ottoman regime. And Bedros Efendi (it may be meaningful that you would you use “efendi” for nickname in an Armenian website), I found it legitimate to classify the ethnic cleansing carried out by the Azeri turks in Sumgait, Baku and Artsakh as genocide. I respect that you disagree. As for the turk called Murat, I am sorry for your loss: you may realize that Bitlis, an Armenian city, is now in turkish hands. We lost our families to a systematic genocide and we also had our lands stolen by your people. It is truly a disgrace to have turks for neighbors. I hope it is as disgraceful for you to be living on stolen land. However small, if you have a conscience you may not find it easy to sleep on land taken after a mass murder, whose victims lay unburied all over Western Armenia, that portion of Armenia occupied now by turks. Hold on  there. You think you will keep these lands forever. You never know.

  45. Vartan and Janine,  I stand by the facts and figures I have stated.  Even taken approximately, it contradicts the often stated propaganda figures reaching up to 2.5M in some cases.   Intention is not to minimize the scale of the tragedy.  It is only an example, of the massive efforts to create alternate facts, or stretch existing ones.  Like the quote from Hitler.  It signifies the state of mind, where facts and figures are irrelevant and can not be an excuse for chipping away at the myths defining a national identity.  Facts are no match to myths.   Even I know as much.

  46. Ali Pasha, find a different braying ground, you don’t belong here. Try around the ataturk mausoleum in ankara. If you find it hard to deal with Genocide guilt and living off land after a Genocide carried out by turkey, try to get it over with with some of the cheap raki mustafa kemal gulped down after having bad dreams. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll hatch ideas that may be as bad as his.

  47. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 24, 2009 at 4:54 pm // Reply

    Murat, a few things before I’m done for good.
     
    Historians like to do a thing called ‘contextualizing.’ Firstly, Boghos Nubar was not really an Armenian leader- he didn’t even know Armenian and was based in Cairo. Anything he received from the Patriarch or bishoprics in Anatolia and the Balkans had to be translated into French for him. Because he personally had been fighting for a mandate with his French and English friends, he most probably exaggerated. I”m not saying this to justify or minimize, but simply put he didn’t have access to any kind of information. He was a politician.
     
    As I said, the Legion troops were formed after the fact, mostly boys who had escaped or were working abroad (many in the US) and came back to find their families dead. They fought in Cilicia and were active far after the major deportations had occurred. Thus there is no causal link.
     
    The people fighting in the Caucasus? Again, that would be Russian subjects- you can’t find a reasonable causal link there, either. Just because Nubar Pasha said it doesn’t make it so. It’s not fair at all for you to take that one statement and then ignore the thousands of survivor memoirs.
     
    Who the hell cares about numbers? It’s intent that’s important, and the goals of the CUP are plenty clear. For what it’s worth I also reject the morons who insist on increasing the numbers, as though it matters. According to Patriarch statistics there were approximately 2 million Armenians in the Empire. Two qualifications: given the millet system, it’s more likely the millet administration would have had more solid numbers (based on marriage, death, and baptismal records) than would have the central government (which would have been more focused on taxing a specific household, irrespective of number of residents). Second qualification- those numbers likely include the labor migrants who would have been in the US and Europe. So, they’re certainly higher than the low-ball numbers that McCarthy and Karpat trot out, but probably in actuality lower than what the Patriarch had. Murat Bardakci recently published Talat’s personal numbers, but I unfortunately left my copy several timezones away and can’t quote it. If memory of my quick glance over is correct it was a higher number than what Karpat and McCarthy advance. Additionally, I’m not sure how well these numbers account for Armenian Protestants and Catholics, the communities of which would have been important in Mamuret-ul-Aziz (Harput) and Ankara (for the Catholics).
     
    I’m guessing you were being sarcastic while addressing me (as you should be well are by now I appreciate the many layers of Turkish society), but there is a kernel truth to the constant bating by Armenian nationalists that Turks are ‘brainwashed.’ I of course locate it in the discursive structures of Turkish society, which are formed top-down. Because it has been taboo to discuss so many issues for so long, because leftists were imprisoned and tortured by the military for so long, the general tendency of Turkish society is to be pretty far right of center (and not unlike the US, I might add). Consequently there is a certain, unconscious self-censorship that occurs, and puts blinders on everyone (just like in the US). So just like Americans quickly believe the rhetoric that al-qaeda wanted to ‘take away our freedom!’, Turks, too, are generally quick to believe that Armenians want to destroy their country. This then ties together in far more ways than I care to go into, but let’s just say that it’s reinforced by the dictates of resmi tarihi, putting Ataturk’s face on everything (although they finally changed his picture on the lira notes, mashallah), enshrining the Nutuk as a de facto replacement for the Quran, etc. As I’ve stated in other places, a critical generation of scholars is finally attacking these myths. It’s not that they’ve ‘accepted’ the Armenian version (there is no one version- and having an opinion on history is not like converting to a different religion), they’ve just finally decided to be critical about myths (even in the face of 301).

  48. Bedros Efendi,

    What happened in places like Van is not a big mystery, and one certainly does not need a Nubar Pasa’s statements to make them known.

    Open any Armenian book on the topic, you will see insuregnts dug in trenches and fighting the Ottoman army in its own country.  You will see the keys of the city being presented to the Russian general who rode into Van, an ancient Ottoman vilayet,  gloriously.   They may skip the fact that before all this Armenian partisans had to assasinate the brave Armenian governor of the city who did not agre to betray the trust of his government and his country.   You really do not a nationalist Turk to remind you all these straight facts, no? 

    You may agree or not, Ottoman leaders of the time saw this as a lethal threat to their very own existence, while a Wilsonian Armenia discussion was gaining momentum and Czar’s armies were rolling into Anatolia while one of the biggest armada history has seen was pounding Gallipoli.  What other cuasality is required you think?

    Anyways, have a nice trip.  I may or may not have let off enough steam, and may or may not be on these pages later.

  49. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 24, 2009 at 6:34 pm // Reply

    Again, Murat, look beyond the confines of your own nationalism. Van happened after the fact. And what else you have elaborated on fits precisely into what I describe above about the logic of genocide. The Nazis only started killing en masse when they began to sustain losses. Similarly the CUP only went off the deep end when they saw the writing on the wall. Read Donald Bloxham.

  50. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 24, 2009 at 6:39 pm // Reply

    Oh, and again, you flip around facts as they fit your narrative (i.e. the Legion)- Wilsonian Armenia only became an issue after the killings, as (or after) the Russian Empire is falling apart. At the end of the day, the only leg the provocation thesis can even hope to stand on is the Rebellion at Van, which has not been studied in all it complexities by any serious historian and happened later in 1915 when Armenians already saw the writing on the wall. As it is, to be fair, Van had always been a bit different (read Altinay’s Iki komite Iki Kital, which is actually alright). But this still doesn’t explain why they had to kill all the Armenians; nobody in Sivas was a threat. But they all suffered the same.

  51. “At the end of the day, the only leg the provocation thesis can even hope to stand on is the Rebellion at Van, which has not been studied in all it complexities by any serious historian and happened later in 1915 when Armenians already saw the writing on the wall.”

    Nothing can be further from truth I am afraid.  There is a whole scholarly book, written solely and specifically on this topic, placing everything and all the complexities in proper context.  It is well referenced, professional, quantitative and necessarily factual.

    I would even bet you know this book and the author rather well..

    Systematic attacks by Russia for centuries in its push to warmer seas, the century old ethnic cleansing and demographic engineering in the Caucuses, large chunks of the most important parts of the Ottoman empire recently fallen under the Russian boots with Muslim populations ruthlessly cleansed from Balkans, numerous Armenian groups actively and boldly seeking a Greater Armenia (demand still made right here on these pages!), and enjoying open economic, political and moral support of the West and Russians was I think cause enough for Ottomans to worry about their very own existence.  

    Armenians to this day do not seem to understand the signficance of the Russian collaboration and support for their cause and what this meant to the Turk at the dawn of the 20th century.  There is a reason why other non-Muslim “minoritiy” efforts for independence did not draw the same visceral reaction.

  52. avatar Bedros Efendi // October 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm // Reply

    If you’re referencing Justin McCarthy’s sad effort, I’m sorry, but that’s not scholarly. He is widely discredited in academic circles. There’s a reason he could only get that book published by a lower-tier academic press- and even then he had to get it done by Hakan Yavuz, who is also held in ill-repute by most Turkish scholars.

  53. Bedros Efendi,

    Documented truths are still truths irrespective of the credibility of the author to this or that interest group.  I said scholarly and referenced and factual.  Not an opinion piece.  

    One needs to be specific about which alleged facts in such a book for example can not be backed up with recroded and witnessed realities.  Otherwise this wholsale badmouthing  of an author or a book seems more like an emotional response rather than based on a concern for truth. 

    It would have been a bit more credible if you had mentioned the book before you made the statement that no such study exists, rather then after I pointed it out. 

    It would have been even more credible if you had actually displayed the same concern for scholarly quality and credibility of the various Armenian propaganda and proven forgeries paraded under the guise of historical research.  Or is that a nationalistic impulse of mine to expect it?

    You must be aware of the difficulties in publishing any such work that contradicts the Armenian national myths.  You may also be aware that many such books and historical menuscripts and documents have been disappearing from the world libraries and archives, US in particular.

    Note also that I have and can use only Western and Armenian sources to make any point I need to make on this subject.

    At some point though you have to agree that you find the need to explain away way too many things. 

  54. Thank you!

  55. There is a whole scholarly book
     
    ONE whole scholarly book?  If you wish to compare facts, you’d better do it within the ENTIRE body of genocide scholarship on this subject.  I suggest you familiarize yourself with the International Association of Genocide Scholars and check worldwide body of scholarship against your one book

  56. Murat,
    You still fail to answer the main question of the logic of genocide related to the ideology of the CUP posed by Bedros Effendi. The efforts to substantiate the mass killings of these minorities through the small scale peasant “revolts” deviates from the overarching intent of the government. Based on the above regressions, you’ve made it a habit to avoid the causal links of such ideologies to the actions and chain of events that would fulfill them.
    Moreover, your references are less than compelling to say the least. Like McCarthy, it seems you’ve reached that wall of inevitable clarity, and your attempts to escape it have been futile.
    Like you’ve said so often, facts are facts and myths are myths. You yourself have come to know the facts, and continue to regard them as myths for whatever intensive purposes that suit you. But denying the suffering and victimization of so many will not bring your family members back, as it will not bring back mine and the countless others that suffered. That being said, May they ALL rest in some semblance of peace.

  57. Kayseri,

    (I have family there, Talas actually, best manti ever! )

    I am not avoiding anything, but what exactly is this “racial” motive, and what evidence?  I suspect this possible explanation of CUP policies and “cause” has come about becasue of the artifical Holocaust parallels that so many have tried to construct.  That is what is overreaching. 

    As you know, Ottomans did not have a culture or history of racial prejudice, not at the leveles it was practiced in the West.  CUP itself had Armenian, Jewish and Kurdish members.  Even in 1915, there were many Armenians at various levels in local governments who were given immuinity from tehcir if I am not mistaken.  Ottoman parliament had many non-Muslim and Armenian members.  Where is the Turkish Mein Kampf, where is the Turkish Hitler, the brown shirts, the Nazis, racist manifestos, etc.?

    Why look for alternate and far-fetched motives when there are real and practical ones and CUP leaders were themselves clear about it?  Armenians were trying to create a Greater Armenia on ethnically purified lands on the remains of the Empire.  This was not some racially or religiously motivated paranoia.  These plans were in motion as far back as Berlin Treaty.  The aims and goals of various Armenian organizations were well published.  Patriarch himself was rather clear about it and their collaboration and joint action with Russians were no secret.  The weakness of the Ottoman rule enabled people to plot against it openly. 

    The privilaged minority class created, the way the Christians in the empire were ruthlessly manipulated by the colonial powers of course gave way to much resentment, but that was not a cause, on the contrary an effect and it was hardly a racially or philosophically motivated hate. 

    The memory of this exploitation and how it was used to break apart the country still remains in the institutional memory of the state and the people and has made it very difficult in dealing with minority issues even in modern times.

    It is amusing that you refer to armed Armenian revolts as “a few harmless peasant” disturbances, but when it comes to the Armenians killed in these “insignificant” events, Armenians cite hundreds of thousands…  what is wrong with this picture?  Do I need to post here the picture of the Russian general receiving the key to the city of Van from the leader of the Armenian insurgency there? 

    Fall of major vilayets, Kars (much earlier and filled with Russian Armenians after the Muslims were pushed out), Van, Erzurum, Bitlis and Mush were not some paranoidal hallucinations, they were real and very very bloody.  Armenians were fielding regular trops fighting their own country. 

    Do we really need to look for motives under the bed?

  58. If provocation was a defense to genocide, then Rwanda,  Somalia and Bosnia would not be genocide. moreover, those who rely on provocation to defend killing unarmed civilians forget that it was the state which began the organized murderof Armenan civilians long before 1914-1915:, 1894-1896 Hamidian massacres, and Adana, over 330,000 killed in all.  Armenians had the right to arm themselves despite the death penalty for owning weapons.

    If indeed provocation is a defense to murdering on ethnic grounds, then the Armenians who alegedly killed Moslems in 1918 were provoked by what their relatives had been subjected to. Its a two way street.

  59. jda,

    You see, without even trying hard, you can come up with excuses and justifications for violence.  Armenians were not a country under attack.  Ottomans were trying to hold on to their country.  Their own.  As you point out, there were numerous Armenian armed revolts since 1880s, when Ottomans were percieved to be too weak to defend themselves.  This, at a time when colonial powers were exctracting more and more privilages for the “minorities”.  So this was hardly about freedoms etc.. either.

    I do not mean that this would justify wholesale physical elminiation of a nation, and in fact this did not happen.  You are proof of that.  There was no such policy, or decision or intent.  A civil war in the middle of WWI, in a disintigrating empire  had to be messy.  For all involved.   Armenian leaders took a huge gamble and lost. 

    In his manifesto, Hovhannes Katchaznouni, First Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic, a pillar of Dashnagtzoutiun said the following at the party congress in 1923, while taking stock of what had happened to Armenians:

    At the beginning of the Fall of 1914 when Turkey had not yet entered the war but bad already been making preparations, Armenian revolutionary bands began to be formed in Transcaucasia with great enthusiasm and, especially, with much uproar. Contrary to the decision taken during their general meeting at Erzeroum only a few weeks before, the A.R.F. had active participation in the formation of the bands and their future military action against Turkey….It would be useless to argue today whether our bands of volunteers should have entered the field or not. Historical events have their irrefutable logic. In the Fall of 1914 Armenian volunteer bands organized themselves and fought against the Turks because they could not refrain themselves from organizing and refrain themselves from fighting. This was in an inevitable result of a psychology on which the Armenian people had nourished itself during an entire generation: that mentality should have found its expression, and did so….The Winter of 1914 and the Spring of 1915 were the periods of greatest enthusiasm and hope for all the Armenians in the Caucasus, including, of course, the Dashnagtzoutiun. We had no doubt the war would end with the complete victory of the Allies; Turkey would be defeated and dismembered, and its Armenian population would at last be liberated…

    We had embraced Russia whole-heartedly without any compunction. Without any positive basis of fact we believed that the Tzarist government would grant us a more-or-less broad self-government in the Caucasus and in the Armenian vilayets liberated from Turkey as a reward for our loyalty, our efforts and assistance…

    The proof is, however — and this is essential — that the struggle begun decades ago against the Turkish government brought about the deportation or extermination of the Armenian people in Turkey and the desolation of Turkish Armenia. This was the terrible fact!

    He knew what he was talking about.  He did not mince words, was not afraid to look into the mirror.  You will not find too many references to him or to his speech.  Maybe the comision has a few things to teach many Armenians after all.

  60. To Murat:
    Your Quote:
    Ottomans were trying to hold on to their country.  Their own.
    Unquote
    Simply put, Armenia was an occupied country by the ottomans & like all the rest of countries occupied by the ottomans, Armenians were craving for their independence & their own free country.There was an Armenia much before than you killers came from the east.Still there is an Armenian republic which the kurds do not have.Very soon, the 15-20 million kurds in turkey will have their own independent republic.You were not successfull in assimilating them & you could not supress their aspirations for a free independent Kurdistan…INSHALLAH VERY SOON!
    Your Quote
    I do not mean that this would justify wholesale physical elminiation of a nation, and in fact this did not happen.  You are proof of that.  There was no such policy, or decision or intent.
    Unquote
    You would persecuted in case you uttered these words in France & hopefully very soon throughout the world.You are insulting my innocent massacred & butchered & unburried forefathers by your own forefathers.NONE OF THE ABOVE COMMENTATORS INSULTED YOUR SUPPOSEDLY KILLED FAMILY MEMBERS IN CRETE… & on the contrary they shared your ‘supposedly pain’…. this is the difference between a lowly turk like you  &  of honourable TURKS who have publicly apologised for the GENOCIDE committed by their forefathers & simple Armenians like us.
    Your Quote:
    The proof is, however — and this is essential — that the struggle begun decades ago against the Turkish government brought about the deportation or extermination of the Armenian people in Turkey and the desolation of Turkish Armenia. This was the terrible fact!
    Unquote
    Since you are quoting Katchazouni & saying that he did not mince his words then YOU SHOULD ACCEPT WHAT HE SAID WHICH IS: “brought about the deportation or extermination of the Armenian people in turkey and the desolation of turkish Armenia”.DEPORTATION & EXTERMINATION BY WHO MR. MURAT????
    You see people like you are either brainwashed, or on the payroll of turkish government or have an Armenian ancestor/blood & they want to hide it…
    DON’T BE AFRAID TO LOOK INTO THE MIRROR MR. MURAT.Are you a real turk???



     
     
     

  61. Vartan, you seem to be beyond reach and reason.  Hate does that.  I wish you well.

  62. Murat, in psychoanalysis your case is so common.

  63. Murat.

    You are a servant of the 1915-1923 murderers and the Genocidal lies they told. But you do a poor job at it.  

    But I write not as an Armenian, but instead as the grandson of a harmless innnocent woman killed in a Nazi concentration camp, a Jew, because the racist and ahistoric lies you tell are and were the template for Hitler, Goebbels and Rosenthal, not just Talat, Nazim and Sakir.  To me, anyone who denies and defends murder is the same.

    You make up concessions I have not made. 

    First, nowhere does my post contain any concession that Armenians engaged in uprisings starting in the 1880′s or at any other time. I did say that Armenians, like any oppressed group, had a right to self-defense, indeed the right of Armenians to defend themselves was far greater than any justification that existed for the American revolution. 

    But as any actual student of the Armenian Genocide knows, the Ottoman government imposed the death penalty on any Armenian who had the temerity to own a weapon or to defend his family.  Searching for weapons was often a pretext under which Gendarmes invaded homes and took the men away, in 1914-1915, before the formal deportations began.

    Your claim that my existence negates Genocide is truly moronic.  If I was Armenian, my life would only mean that my family escaped the Genocide, perhaps in the 1894-1896 period of Hamidian massacres [300,000 dead], or the Adana massacre when another 30,000 souls were extinguished, or by fleeing the Genocide itself.   Did you even know that hundreds of thousands of Armenians lived in Iran, France, Russia, and the United States before 1915?

    You obviously do not know much detail about how Armenians survived; they were often warned or hidden by a brave Turkish neighbor, by a co-worker, or a passerby who decided that saving the innocent trumped insane orders to murder.  Jews often received the same warnings, as well.  But I could just as easily be the great grandson of an Armenian girl pressed into domestic and sexual slavery by a Turk or Kurd, who made her escape years later.   Or perhaps I am the descendant of someone who bribed a Gendarme.

    If your analysis was correct, there would be no Jews who escaped Germany, or the East, no Darfurians or  Bosnians alive today.

    Provocation is not a defense to the subsequrent murder of uninvolved, unarmed civilians.  If you doubt this, research what Lemkin, who coined the word “Genocide”, thought about the Armenian case.  You will find that he coined the word specifically to give a name to what had happened to the Armenians and the Jews of Europe.

    I also commend to you the recently translated memoir of Bishop Balakian.  Or perhaps the memoir of the Venezuelan officer Rafael deNogales will interest you.  He was an abject hater of Armenians, but he recounts how his Army unit participated under orders in the murder of unarmed convoys of Armenian civilians, and how the Governor of Diyarbekir confided in him Talat’s oral orders to kill all the Armenians.  This latter source is footnoted in Niall Ferguson’s recent work.

    The central fact which no non-Turkish historian contradicts is that almost all of the Armeinans who perished were unarmed civilians under guard, who were killed by their captors or other state actors. Even if these women and children had been armed insurrectionists, their subsequent torture and murder at the behest of the state was not spontaneous, and was not the product of mutual combat.  You are smart enough to grasp the point, are you not?

    But people who continue the culture of Genocide and the lies which propelled it, such as yourself, always pretend the facts are otherwise. 

    Throughout Anatolia – and not merely in the war zone – the patterns of killings was largely the same.  Famous Ottomanist Donald Quataert, who once was an Agnostic, came to assert the AG thesis because his inspection of Archival records showed the pattern to be the same, whether it was on the outskirts of Istanbul, or in the far East.  You may recall his famous description of threats he received from the Turkish Ambassador if he did not recant his opinion.  So much for Turkey’s interest in free speech and academic freedom. Turkey is so bold as to try to censor Americans.

    Let’s start with the able-bodied men. Virtually all were conscripted into unarmed labor battalions where they were worked to death by their Turkish officers, or were simply killled outright by their fellow soldiers.  Those who were not, were usually killed immediately upon the commencement of the deportations, leaving the womern, children  and elderly defenseless. Despite all the talk of open Turkish archives, no military archives are open to review this issue.  What better proof of Genocide is there than this?

    The elderly tended to die on the way, as did the majority of the women and children by murder and intentional deprivation.  There are hundreds of accounts of dead Armenian civilians on the roads, and in open fields and rivers, dead in groups, often with their bodies mutilated.  These were not stragglers who died of weakness. Women without noses and breasts, children impaled and lit afire. There are hundreds of non-Armenian sources which faithfully chronicle the inhuman extermination of this race; the killers preferred a blade, the blunt end of a rifle or stave.   And those who made it to Syria were killed there by the many scores of thousands.

    Torture and degradation were the order of the day.  Every day.

    What you need to come to grips with is the obscenity of the civil war thesis you parrot.   Even Armenian Genocide agnostics like Guenter Lewy call your thesis a “travesty of history which no historian with a conscience could advance”, citing Turkish scholar Selim Deringil on this score. [See also the work of Baskin Oran, Fatma Gocek, Taner Akcam, Yektan Turkyilmaz, Fikret Adanir, Engin Akarli, and Umit Ungor if you can stand only to read the work of Turkish scholars].

     Your spirit and rhetoric are the same as that which killed my grandmother in 1945, long before the Turkish school system spat you out.  Just as the Nazis blamed Jews for a host of non-existent ills, people like you dehumanize Armenians into an abstraction worthy of death.  In fact, denialists and Nazis  often use the same terms: “backstabbers” “terrorists” “murderers” “vermin”.

  64. I had been absent on this line  for a while and now reading what ALIPASA and MURAT  have put in ,nay uttrered,I wish to remind all Armenians that these like are what in spanish -in Spain-were called “cabeza de Turco” meaning Hast ghafa,in turkish Armenian a melange of  both languages.HARD  headed ,pretty much like their government executives-diplomats-.Why don´t they try to understand that the Armenians since the 1800´s were  under the harsh rule,nay yolk and “Yataghan”  of   first the “Red Sultan” Abdul Hamid and later the young turks-that supposedly were revolutionaries and alas our ARF thought they were sincere and joined up with them,People like Krikor Zohrab an Ottoman Parliament MP was  the first one to be taken in…believing  that the turks, young  turks meant really what they proclaimed. Now all that aside,plus  the ones never mentioned above above  that  dear Professor Vahakn Dadrian dug up in the old Ottoman  Empire  archives, that  of the “Turkish Military tribunal” that jundged and condemned the authors of the Armenian(then) massacres,now after Rafael Lemkin´s coining the word “geno-cide” , proved a couple dozen times  and confirmed as such,these old style old mentality effendis are trying hard to cover up and opine the contrary.
    It is  a futile discussion as the spanish (see above) knew it-that-some here don´t know that  is where the phrase  comes from…that Spain destroyed the Ottoman navy  in “La Batalla  Del Lepanto” in the Mediterranean some 400 yrs ago…and since then they dubbed that “cabeza de Turco” since  the Ottomans knowing full well that they were no match to the spanish armada -even so-tried to carry on…
    Whether during the 1908  Adana killings, prior to that the 1896 Erzeroum one ,300,000  innocent Armemnians  slaughtered  ,then the real Mc Coy, the Eviction and put on Death March- my uncle and grandfather  amongst  these-then again all Armenian populated villages plundered and people raped killed ,burnt to death in churches ,monasteries destroyed…they have the nerve to come  up and say YOU ARMENIANS STABBED  US ON THE BACK”.The  few very very few resistance instances,such as the Zeytoun  and Sassoun  and Van´s  pale when compared to premeditated mass killings  they conducted amongst their loyal”raya”  Ermenis…God these people still think Like the Hitlerians  that they are a Master race-could be- that they could get away with it..true for a while  they have been until the 1965-the year that completed  the 50th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide,rising from ashes,like the Pheonix, when a million in Yerevan and throughout the Armenian Diaspora countries  like one soul  stood up and shouted  “our  lands our lands..”Do they know any history other than their one ?fed by their ugly turkish diplomats historians and the like?Have they read about a spanish  princess-later, to declare herself as “Izabel La Catolica, Reina de España”?  she was the person that united the spanish princes,secretly meeting with all and getting the people of Spain well armed  -(unlike the Armenian fedayees smuggling in a dozen a time Mosin rifles from across Ottoman border into Western Armenia-)THEN  PUSHED , NAY THREW  the 600  year old  Khaliphate (north African moors)rule …O  U  T   ..Armenians   indeed  like the spaniards had ALL  THE RIGHT TO UNITE WITH THE RUSSIANS, the allies and fight alongside to rid themselves of the occupiers…
    Do you kid  Murat or Alipasa? pretending you don´t  know all that?
    If  our angry young men after being completely disappointed  by  our political parties´pleas  falling  on deaf  ears of the UN and the like resorted to “correctional acts  of violence”  not terrorism,blind terrorism.There certainly is a difference, the French Media and intellectuals  have proven the distinction between latter from Freedom fighting such acts.But these young knew when to stop when the Nagornyi Karabagh  war broke up they joined forces there to liberate the Armenian Artsakh  from harsh Azeri rule…
    Please go learn  your lessons well ,history cannot be twisted and changed.Khojali? eh, it ws proved by some Azeri leaders(themselves) that it was mistakenly carried  out by their own Omon cheteh´s… like your old ones come to mind.Ali pasa  declares that Turkey will not give land to Armenians..land that is presently MOSTLY POPULATED B Y  people that they falsely-called  mountain turks,until Mme  Mitrterand,wife  of ex French President  started a campaign and won. That  at long last  great Turkey  admitted  that  they were/   are    k   u   r   d   s ..16 or million  of them.I would ask Ali p.and Murat to go try to remove these from their millenia old lands-yes they exsited there alongside the Armenians  , peacefully, until the twissted Ottoman turkish mind- set, set  them up against  us promising them…
    And now that  they have tasted  great turkish rule..they have repented  and are beginning  like some turks to admit what horrible crime they have committed and begin to voice  their repentence and ask for forgiveness..
    Why go far..only a half dozen yrs ago  no such word as “ermeni”  could be heard on turkish radio t.v.etc., or  in their press…now  after Orhan Pamuk and all above mentioned few semi-intellectuals ádmittance,plus of cours >Hrant Dink¨´s´ murder when all of a sudden(EU  entry enticing the gov. authorities )allowed  that  half true half false–WE ARE ALL ARMENIANs-slogan being aired…
    Ermenis? eh  a  word  that was tabou  for over 70 yrs..come come ALi ,Murat,give us more of your turkish “massals”  at least these will replace Nesreddin Khoja´s …original ones..
    If you do actually wish to come to an understanding with Armenians ,you ought to learn more about what transpired  during  the 1800´s and then 1915-23.Your Mustafa Kemal pasa ,supposedly a democrat,actually carried  on the half finished work of the Talaat´s and Enver´s.This latter few know was put to death on horseback by a Red Army Armenian officer when Enver was in or near Central Asia,1921,having crossed via Azerbejan.
    Armenians  will survive the worst, this is a proven fact.But I doubt  it if your Empire ,reduced to republic of Turkey and with surrounding Arab,Persian,Kurdish, Armenian , Bulgarina Greek and then some people ,not so well disposed towards it,will stay on.Witness the other Empires  that  have crumbled.Ali pasa  talks  of “Russia will not be there to help Armenians ,up above…to that effect,why on earth does  he think that? is it because he is afraid that might happen?  in case of war…’ no one wants war.But Armenian young whether in Homeland -as regular army soldiers or those in Diaspora crave to defend the Homeland once again if  need be.No we do not condone war or attrocities,like you wish to convey,but we know how to defend ourselves..
    I trust you will have some second thoughts when writing to Armenians dropping  hints such as the last one by Ali pasa..we get what  you utter quite well.Dont give us bellicose rhetoric,we are not afraid .Pull yourselves together consider the other alternative-this  is   MY LST WISH THAT ALL TURKISH PEOPLE WILL SOMEHOW COME TO REALIZE WHAT THEIR ANCESTORS DID WAS A VERY BAD CRIMINAL  ACT AND BEG FORGIVENESS.ARMENIANS CAN FORGIVE,YES…BUT   NEVER FORGET!!!EVEN AFTER REPARATIONS.
    G.P

  65. TO JDA RE GEOFFREY ROBERTSON QC’S OPINION:
    MILLION THANKS! SUCH A VALUABLE STUDY & EVERYBODY SHOULD READ & KEEP IT.

  66. why do Armenians not want a commission to search for facts and look at the archieves.If a genocide happened it will be proven.My grandfathers village was actually an armenian village which was bought from the former owners like in 18xx by my grandgrand…parents.And there are also Armenians in parts of my family too and a couple of Turks but my father and mother are alevi-kurds.My grandmother once told me that people speculated on Armenians killing Turkish villages that led angry Turks killing Armenians randomly which caused a retaliation by Armenians from other close villages.Some also say that Kurds and Turks were so angry at the time because Armenians were not fighting on the side with Kurds and Turks against the invasion troops so it led into so much hate against each other.it caused like a civil war which the Ottoman government looked away.I understand Armenians feelings but they should support searching of the archieves and files with professional people then the truth will come.But i know that the Turkish government will never ever give any land without a war.Armenians should know that Turks are very patriotic about land.Even if the government says they did and apologize for it they will never agree on giving land because they know that millions of people would go ballistic about it and literally arm themselves and head for that place.(i’m %1000 sure about this because i live in Turkey.land is sacred for Turks.they would die for a meter square of land that even cowturds wouldn’t want to stay)Let there be less hate and more love guys.Hate brings more wars we don’t need that anymore

  67. “kurdish guy” is an obvious Turkish nationalist. A real Kurd would know about Dersim 1938 in which Armenians and Kurds were killed in their thousands by troops under Ataturk’s control, among other things.

    Easy for the killers’ descendants to preach a peace devoid of justice.

  68. Stephen says:
    “If Armenians killed any Turks, it was revenge for what the Turks did to the Armenian People.”
    I am sorry to say, but if Ottoman relocated Armenians from their villages, it was the revenge for what Armenians did to Turks by cooperating with Soviet Russia. I don’t know whether it is written in your history books or not, but there were numerous Armenian rebellions between 1890-1916. When Ottoman fell into the WW1, Armenians support Soviet Russia !
    The problem is that Armenians approach the issue with merely the Armenian sight and exclude Turkey to resolve problems with it. This is not helpful, if you really wanna do it. As someone said above, even if US president recognizes the “genocide”, Turkey will never change its attitude on this issue, as long as Armenia expect some things by policy. It would just get US-Turkey relations worse, nothing more. That’s why no US president recognizes the “genocide” for years and years. Wake up, they use you for your votes.

  69. Gokhan,

    If you are going to teach history to Armenians or anyone else, try first to learn some.

    1. The USSR did not exist at the outset of WWI in 1914, or when the CUP triumverate attempted to get some quick advantage over Russia by declaring war upon it on October 29, 1914, when the OE assisted the Germans in a naval engagement against Russia.  Russia had a right of self defense, and it declared war on the OE for its acts the next month. 

    The OE  brought the hell of the war down on herself, because CUP tried to get the quick advantage by seeking to help herself to the Russian-controlled Caucasus, an effort which of course failed completely at the cost of 80,000 Turkish [and quite a few Armenian,Greek and Assyrian] lives.  Yet, lunatic Turkish nationalists worship the nationalist leaders who brought this calamity onto their Army. Been to Talaat’s mauseleum lately? If you want to know why millions of Turks died in the war, it was because the Ottoman leaders led them into it.  Ask any German.  They can explain it to you. Your government never will.

    2. Over a million Armenians were subjects of the Czar at the time war commenced.  They served in his Army.    They had no duty of loyalty to the Ottoman state, which, by the way had been conducting Genocidal pogroms and massacres for the last 30 years against their kinsmen.  Whether you like or dislike it, the Russians were a formidable foe, superior to the Ottomans, but even if his Troops committed atrocities, and even if some of these were committed by advance Armenian elements, that does not justify the state slaughter of unarmed Ottoman Armenian men, women and children both in the war zone and many hundreds of miles west of it.

    3.  Your “civil war” thesis has been repudiated by historians everywhere, including Guenter Lewy, who is considered pro-Turkish.  In his 2006 book, he quotes Turkish historian Selim Deringil with approval.  Deringil wrote that claiming Armenians died in a civil war is a “travesty of history which no historian with a conscience” could accept.  In fact, there are more Turkish scholars who affirm the Genocide than non Turkish scholars who deny it: Deringil, Fikret Adanir, Engin Akarli, Taner Akcam, Halil Berktay, Baskin Oran, Ahmet Ihnsel, Fatma Gocek,  Yektan Turkyilmaz, and Umit Ungor for starters.

    4. Your schools gave you the government line. Try reading for yourself.

  70. Thank you Dear Eren..thank you for your courage and your dedication for the truth…

  71. I tried to go over all the comments but they were like cycling within a very tiny radius.
    Firstly, I condemn the author for selecting the easy way to gain attraction, to be appreciated by others. She does this by “so called humanity feelings”. However, if you leave the truths beside a corner and speak with your emotions, then you wouldn’t be realistic and just draw imaginary lines.
    There are some resources like McCarty’s one but if it does not support one’s argument, you easily say that: Ok. This is out of reality, just a paper!. I’ll give you two references that I expect you to believe in, otherwise there is no way for you to consider the truths, but your policy of holding something wrong firmly will continue forever and people will see no result of the contradictory between Turks and Armenians.
     
    15 years ago, Armenian diaspora authoritirities used to claim that the number of Armenians death during the exile process was 1.5 million. Today, in 24 of April, they have started to change the word as “up to 1.5 million”. The reason is quite reasonable. When you look at the archives of the Istanbul Patriarchate of the Armenians, the number of Armenians (prbabably exaggrated due to the idea of eatablishment of Great Armenia) was 2.6 million. Moreover, according to the report of the Britannia, Istanbul Ambassador populaition report (US Archives, Nara 867.4016/816, January 10, 1923; Near East Relief Society’s document number of Armenians in the world at 1921), the number of Ottoman Armenians were 1.383 million. Therefore, during the 6 year period, the maximum number of death Armenians was 1.2 million. (If you noticed, I haven’t used any Ottoman document) If you consider that the number of people that was killled only by typhus was 300,000 in the South-Anatolian, then you cannaot say that “Turks murdered 1.5 million Armenian”..
    Let’s give up just talking and talking and agitation and reveal any documents if you have..
    Best reagards.
     
     

  72. Ugur,
    The definition of Genocide does not depend upon the number. Please do add into the total those killed in the 1890′s. on 1909. in 1913, in 1915-1923, and in 1938. The number actually exceeds 2.5M. Or exclude the killing of Bosnians at Srebrenice.
     

  73. Ugur – I think it’s utterly cynical of you to call annihilation of a race “the exile process.” Can’t you Turks have courage to call things by their names? What “exile process”? If Armenians were “exiled” why none of them returned to their homes? Do you think that sunny Syrian desert of Deyr Zor where Armenians were “exiled” and were burned alive in caves by Turkish soldiers or died of starvation in hundreds of thousands, was a friendly habitat for your “exile process”? What’s the need of bringing up figures to the fact that’s been accepted as the first genocide of the 20th century? Different sources give us different figures of Armenians living in Ottoman empire. On average, however, most historians, demographers, and genocide scholars agree that the number of Armenians was up to 2 mln, some even say up to 2.5 mln people. Your anti-Armenian prime-minister put the number of remaining Armenians living mainly in Constantinople as 60-70,000. Where are the rest of the millions of them, Ugur? Don’t give me “the exile process” crap, if you chose to reply.

  74. Jda,
    Of course, for this case, talking about the number of death people due to tpyhus, fever, starvation or so on during the complicated times is ridiculous but if the Armenian side still insist on the so called number 1.5 million, then it has to be refuted. I do not care about who said what on the number, yet  what I only consider as truths are documents and archives. Accepting this fact will provide both sides one more step toward the solution.
    Best regards,

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