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Gunaysu: My Views on Post-Genocidal Turkey

Below is the full text of a speech delivered by Armenian Weekly columnist Ayse Gunaysu during a panel discussion at the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, on Nov. 10. For more about the event, click here.

A scene from the panel discussion

A scene from the panel discussion

I thank the Grotowski Institute for inviting me, and for their generous hospitality. And I thank you, dear audience, for taking the time and coming to listen to us. I feel privileged to be here with you.

I’m a Muslim Turk by birth. In other words, a descendant of the perpetrators of the Genocide of Ottoman Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks. I’m not a historian, nor a scholar, or a writer. Just a human rights activist. So I can only share with you my feelings and my views about post-genocidal Turkey.

Now, I ask you to imagine that I am a German woman, coming from Germany.

But imagine that Germany was not defeated in the World War II; that, on the contrary, it was victorious and, therefore, not caught red-handed in the crimes it committed: The world never had the chance to see the film footage of the gas chambers and the heaps of dead bodies. And imagine that Germany used all of the technology and industrial power it had to cover up and deny the Holocaust. Imagine that the Holocaust/Shoah is denied in Germany officially, publicly, socially, and culturally, in every sense.

Of course, denial is not only saying, “No, that did not happen”; imagine that the whole state apparatus and the social life are organized around this denial. Text books, the mainstream media, academia, civil society, the internet–all say the same thing, trying to justify the extermination of the Jews and others. They say it was not without reason. That it was inevitable. That it was for the survival of their nation. Moreover, that it was not they who butchered the Jews, that the Jews butchered us.

Imagine that museums, encyclopedias, and exhibitions in Germany all told these lies. And, what’s much more terrible, that almost all of the German people believed the government wholeheartedly, never doubting what they were told.

Imagine that the remaining Jews are targeted by German racists, and hate speech against Jews is a normal occurrence in Germany.

With such a Germany, and such a denial of the Holocaust, would Europe be the same? Would Poland be the same? Would there be a Grotowski Institute?

I asked you to imagine this to once again think about how the denial of a genocide can change life itself.

In such a scenario, objective reality means nothing. Just nothing. Objective reality doesn’t count at all. What determines life is the subjective reality, that is, what people sincerely believe.

This is exactly the case with Turkey in the context of the Armenians and the Armenian Genocide. This is the Turkey that I come from.

Recognition, repentance,  humility, and feeling shame makes one a human. In the absence of this, a people, a country, is liable to commit new crimes, to normalize violence, to in fact make violence a way of life. This is the case with Turkey. In the absence of these emotions, there is no room for a sort of catharsis, repentance, or cleaning oneself of guilt. This has been the case with Turkey since the genocide. And successive governments have committed, and continue to commit, new crimes.

Now a few words about me. I hope my story will offer some kind of insight into the reality of Turkey. I was a Marxist-Leninist, a Communist, a secret member of the outlawed Communist Party of Turkey between 1970-85.

We were devoted anti-imperialists, particularly anti-American. For us, Turkey was under imperialist oppression and exploitation. So national independence for our country was one of our top priorities. In other words, the “evil” was outside of us. We didn’t see the evil within our country. The enemy was far away; so cursing and shouting slogans against the far-away enemy was much easier and more convenient than fighting the evil right beside us. Despite our outspoken internationalism, we were surely nationalists without being aware of it.

We were anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist, believing in class struggle, but we became anti-fascist only after the para-military, government-backed ultra-nationalist mobs started to kill us in the streets, in our homes, in factories, and at schools in the late 1970’s.

But fascism was for us an anti-communist movement. We never awoke to see that fascists were racist Turks, as well, reflecting the racist essence of the Turkish state, the extension of the genocidal Ottoman Empire.

Oh yes, we, the Turkish left, were undoubtedly, surely, and vehemently anti-racist.

But which racism? The racism in the United States and in South Africa, which were far away from us. Racism had nothing to do with our country! We were totally blind to the very racist environment we were living in. Denial of the genocide, hate speech directed against Armenians and non-Muslims in general, discrimination, portraying non-Muslims as potential traitors, these were all around us, and yet we didn’t see it! We were like fish living in a sea of racism without being aware of it.

Our blindness was so great that we didn’t even think of campaigning against the Nazi-like “oath” children were made to chant every morning at school. Generations of children started (and are starting today) classes every morning with that “oath,” chanted together as loud as they can–that we are proud of being Turks and we are ready to sacrifice our own existence for the sake of the existence of Turkishness! Every morning! Together with a handful of our non-Turkish and non-Muslim classmates: Jews, Armenians, Greeks, Kurds!

This has gone on and on for decades. None of our “international,” Marxist-Leninist selfless comrades, including myself, initiated a campaign against this Nazi-like practice at schools.

OK, we were “internationalists.” But what kind of an internationalism was it?

We would give our lives for the national liberation wars in Africa and Asia. We sang Latin American revolutionaries’ songs, memorized their slogans, shed tears for Angola. But we were unaware of what was happening under our nose. We knew nothing and said nothing about the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians–tiny communities, the children of genocide victims doomed to live in a racist environment. And we knew nothing of the Kurds in Kurdish provinces who were subjected to different legislation, under a permanent state of emergency law.

We were masters of the history of the Soviet Communist Party, knew every detail anpit Trotsky’s fight against Stalin, the history of the Vietnamese fight against America, but we didn’t know the true history of our own country. But why?

Because of a very successful disinformation and manipulation of the Turkish republic’s founding ideology and the founding myths. The history re-written by the Kemalist leadership, in a totally misleading way. Let’s not go into details; it will take a lot of time.

What happened to Turkey after 1915? Turkey found no peace after, no real democracy, no real development. The once-developed and urban Western Armenia, with its colleges, theaters, and rich cultural life, became a barren land, a land of blood and tears. Kurdish uprisings followed one another, repressed with huge bloodshed and forced displacements.

Military interventions also followed one another. The one in 1980 was a disaster. Tens of thousands of people were jailed, unimaginable methods of torture were used, many died in prison, and 36 people were executed. Despite a formal restoration of democratic institutions, the constitution in force today is essentially the constitution adopted by the military rule.

Now a war is going on in the southeast of Turkey, in historical Western Armenia and Kurdistan. It is estimated that 50,000 people have died, most of them Kurds. Currently 10,000 Kurdish human rights activists, municipal workers, politicians, and citizens engaged in a totally peaceful struggle are in jail. And a massive hunger strike is under way.

Genocide denial is the destruction of all collective values, all ethics, sense of justice–in brief, the hearts and minds of the entire nation.

You may hear that things are changing in Turkey regarding the Armenian “issue,” as they say. Yes, but very slowly, very irregularly, and very disappointingly.

Thank you for listening to me.

56 Comments on Gunaysu: My Views on Post-Genocidal Turkey

  1. avatar john the turk // January 2, 2013 at 10:20 am // Reply

    Ayse Gunaysu
    You are basically saying that you were wrong between 1975 to 1985. What if you are wrong now too ?

    • JTT, the main function of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrain genocides was theft of wealth and property. The biggest Turkish fear today and has been since, is not the label of Genocide but the need to compensate their victims in the return of that wealth and property. Thats why THE TRUTH OF THESE GENOCIDES is the biggest national security threat to today’s Turkey. Always has been,,Deny the crime and enjoy the fruits of mass murder..

      Also till this day NO TURK has ever given any reason for the mass murder of the Pontiff Greeks and Assyrians, nealy 1.5 million people belonging to that group alone.. If the Armenains were “traitors” what was their crime to deserve to be murdered and their property taken?

      This isn’t going to go away.. There is no statute of limitations on mass murder..

  2. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 2, 2013 at 10:30 am // Reply

    Excellent observations Ms Gunaysu!
    May I earnestly request you to come and deliver such discourses in the U.K. and the US.Poland is a country that knows quite a bit about fascism,racism and Nazism,plus some about turkishness…
    Main areas where these are not well inmformed are the ones I have indicated.
    France, does not need more explanations.I know quite well that the Frennch are well aware of the Isms of the great Turkey…
    So,do please contemplate to start a journey towards West….

  3. Heartfelt thanks to you Mrs. Gunaysu for your insightful, unbiased viewpoints. Power to your pen. I will keep praying for you and your health.

  4. avatar Berge Jololian // January 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm // Reply

    The Turks have not only murdered humans, destroyed an ancient culture, civilization and rewritten history, but 99.7% of Turks continue to legitimize the act as well as the racist ideology that led to the act.

    Genocide is a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. To bring about the disintegration of the political and social institutions, culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.

    When Armenians are forced to seek economic survival elsewhere outside their natural environment, language, culture, customs, etc. due to economic hostile border blockade – that is genocide. (i.e. Economic blockade preventing land access across Turkey to the West)

    The genocide of the Armenians at the hands of the Turkish state is still on going (1915-2013). Genocide ends when denial ceases.

    A Turkish newspaper columnist, Mustafa Ozfatura, voiced an open threat of genocide, saying “we will make sure that the number of the Armenians in Armenia becomes as much as a museum statistic, as we did in Turkey. Armenians will only be found in museums”

    Turkey and Turks are accountable for the crime of genocide.

    Genocide acknowledgment without accountability is hollow and meaningless. Genocide acknowledgment without Accountability is worse than Denial. Be ware of a solution (closure) that is worse than the problem. Accountabilty: Land . Reparations . Restitution

  5. Ms. Gunaysu, excellent speech, both in content and form! One thing I would add, as an Azeri, is this. We too stand to benefit from Turkish acknowledgement of the Genocide. First, all the animosity between Turkey and Armenia spills over to the Azeri-Armenian relations, because to an Armenian we too are “Turks,” even though we Azeris had nothing to do with 1915. True, we have our own issues with Armenia, but I think these issues are significantly aggravated by the Armenian memory of Genocide (i.e., it makes it hard for them to compromise with or trust “a Turk”, etc).

    • avatar nothankstoazerirule // March 11, 2013 at 6:19 pm //

      Your assessment of Armenian-Azeri relations being aggravated by Armenian view of Turks is meant to put the blame of Armenian-Azeri conflict on Armenian side and therefor I, as an Armenian, reject it.

      Azerbaijan is a racist and fascist genocidal country under whose rule Armenians must never find themselves again: a country that celebrates murder of people in their sleep; a country that kidnaps shepherds and shows them off drugged on national TV, then has them “commit suicide” in prison; a country that destroys medieval cemeteries, then blatantly denies it.

      I can go on and on and on!

      That’s Azerbaijan for you. Artsakh Armenians ever living under Azeri rule? Never.

  6. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm // Reply

    I regret that I do not have too much time or desire to engage in lengthy give and take.But Kerim ought to know that the Tatar-turco Seljuk or a combination of all these and some more -even before the armenian genocide in 1915-organzied their mass killings of Armenians in BAKI-Baku,killing some 5000 or more …How about that ? and since then their atitute has always been agressive towars us in NK then did the same in Nakhijevan in 1918….
    So don´t try to justify or defend the Azeris …they are probably more fanatic than any turk…in Istanbulla or Khayseri or Eskishehir…..
    Please go get a book or two and study re the above—

  7. Berge,

    I couldn’t agree more with you,it is still going on as Turkey has not ceased to deny the Genocide and is spending millions every year to deny it by inventing false history in the process and there has been no reparations and restitution.

    I go further when the Hillary Clinton’s of this world encourage Turkey to deny the Genocide,its a disgrace when the US keeps talking about human rights,democracy and so forth,it seems to me when it suits them they talk about it and when it doesn’t suit them they ignore it,just look at the regimes in the Gulf with such bad human rights record all allies of USA,but you never hear or even see on American TV all the abuses carried out,take the Azeris and the Turks,has anyone heard any warnings given to them for their dismal human rights record. When the Turks killed thousands of innocent Kurds burnt down thousands of Kurdish villages in the 80’s,the USA has closed its eyes and shut its mouth,this is USA policy for you.What a disgrace.

  8. Dear Ayse,
    Thank you for a very sincere and insightful article/speech. I too pray for your health and safety.
    You say things are changing slowly with regards to the Armenian issue in Turkey. This is probably very true, but really not much will change unless and until the text books stop all the misinformation about Armenians and there is a major push in the media to talk honestly about past events. There are some limited discussions now, but unless there is freedom of speech (and laws such as 301 are rescinded) , people will not feel safe to go any further. The next step in my view is greater democracy for Turkey.

  9. Dear Gayztzag, so far I have refrained from responding to your rather vicious comments, because I can tell that you are what we Azeris call, Aqsaqqal (greybearded elderly one should respect) … but come on. Your views are so black & white. Unadulterated evil Azeris, versus super-noble Armenians. The events you refer to that took place between Azeris and Armenians in 1918s … There was a small war, and both sides had casualties, many of whom were civilians — on both sides. What makes your casualties any more noble than ours? FYI, not all casualties amount to a genocide if it is Armenian casualties.

    Anyways, when I read posts like yours, I can literally see hatred oozing out of the lines on my screen. You cannot even bring yourself to acknowlege our right to existence as human beings. Instead of calling us by name as Azeris, you resort to such contortions of word play … Axerbaijan, Sultans, Saljuk, Turk, Tatar, blah, blah, all clearly meant in your mind to represent something alien, something “Asian” and subhuman. Why can’t you just call us Azeris? For your info, Saljuk for example was NEVER the name of a nation but a kingdom. But obvously you probably knew this already, but are still using it out of spite to deny the legitimacy of the people whose homes (600k of them!) you have taken over in karabak-adjacent areas. Those who are “fake” don’t deserve to exist, right?

    You seem completely uninterested in how things may look from the other perspective. I, for one, am very curious in how you guys see things, which is why I come to this site, which by the way is the best out there for such discussions, Azeri or Armenian.

    I too do not want to engage in a lengthy “debate” with you. So please do not consider my lack of futher responses as a sign of disrespect or agreement.

  10. avatar ragnar naess // January 2, 2013 at 5:30 pm // Reply

    I agree that it is important for turkey to face up to its past and the responsibility not only for the huge mortality of Ottoman Armenians in 1915, possibly a result of an intended policy. The more or less complete disappearance of Armenians from their homeland and today’a Turkey, the destruction of churches and other cultural monuments, all this points to the need for a Turkish apology and for reparations. But I dont think that writings of the type that Ayse Guanysu here provides will help to solve the question and mobilize Turks who want to go honestly into their history. The comparison with the Holocaust is not productive because of the considerable difference between the two events. I also wonder about the version that she gives about marxism-leninism, being a marxist-leninist herself in the 70-ies and 80-ies. What she says is not correct to my mind. The journal left-wing journal “towards 2000” from 1986, and the Turkish maoists even before that very courageously raised the kurdish issue. The first time I spoke with a Kurdish activist in Norway in 1980, the meeting was organised by a Turkish worker, a marxist, who said that I must listen to the story of the Kurds. Apart from this, marxist-leninists condemned oppression based on ethnicity. To them this was a byproduct of capitalist oppression. the marxist-leninists were mistaken in much according to my opinion, but they were anti-racist. I also get suspicious when people condemn their earlier activities in this way. Do they see things so much in black and white that they are unable to influence their compatriots? Do they just switch sides and continue their former onesidedness?

    • avatar Berge Jololian // January 2, 2013 at 7:14 pm //

      Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent and Holocaust survivor, coined the word “genocide” specifically to describe the barbarity that befell the Armenians at the hands of the Turkish State.

      Dr. Lemkin explained that the Turks committed genocide with the full intent to annihilate; he added “I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times, first to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action.” – CBS News Interview 1949

    • avatar Random Armenian // January 3, 2013 at 4:25 am //

      “Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent and Holocaust survivor, coined the word “genocide” specifically to describe the barbarity that befell the Armenians at the hands of the Turkish State. ”

      I have a problem with the wording of this statement. I hear many summarize Lemkin’s connection with the Armenian genocide in the manner mentioned above. It makes it sound like he created the word before WWII but he coined the word in 1944.

      Lemkin’s interested in mass killings, ie genocide, started with our case as well as the killing of Assyrians in 1933 and he was pushing for international laws, precursor to the genocide convention, that year. He had not coined the word “genocide” at the time. It was the Holocaust that finally pushed him to create the word. However, he always did make it clear that the Armenian case was a genocide.

      The problem I have is that if someone hears “coined the word “genocide” specifically to describe the barbarity that befell the Armenians ” but then see that it was coined in 1944, they will not trust what you have to say or take you seriously. The wording is important.

    • avatar Berge Jololian // January 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm //

      Dr. Lemkin, who is credited for coining the word “genocide” in 1943 to describe the 1915 genocide of the Armenians and then the Holocaust, has also played an important role in compelling the United Nations to adopt the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948 (after the Holocaust).

      When asked how he became interested in the Armenian genocide, Dr. Lemkin explained: “I became interested in genocide because it happened to the Armenians; and after[wards] the Armenians got a very rough deal at the Versailles Conference because their criminals were guilty of genocide and were not punished”.

      Prior to the use of the word “genocide”, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other world leaders described the events as the “Armenian holocaust.”

    • avatar Random Armenian // January 4, 2013 at 2:02 am //

      Berge,

      Exactly. It’s just that when some try to describing Lemkin’s connection with the Armenian Genocide in one sentence, it comes out different.

      Otherwise, the story of Raphael Lemkin makes an excellent introduction to the Armenian genocide to non-Armenians.

      Also, does anyone know where we can see the full CBS interview that Lemkin gave?

    • Well well well.. look who is back.. how was your time out from us Ragnar?

      Thought you were never coming back? Guess you have an addiction problem.. addiction to AW… that you can’t stay away.. aggghhh.. what a hassle..

  11. “Johnt he Turk” and his ‘comment’ and more broadly that mindset, which is the mindset of the majority in Turkey, are the best proof of the correctness of Ayse Gunaysu’s thesis about the racist nature Turkish society and state. Her comaprison of Turkey with Nazi Germany is SPOT ON and one which i have highlighted in my own comments over the years here and elsewhere.
    The question remaining, which Ms Gunaysu has not touched upon, is whether this racist stae of Turkish variety will have to be dissolved and destroyed from without (just like Nazi Germany through international democratic intervention) or is it somehow capable of reforming itself root and branch from within? My own guess is that its deep rooted Turkist racist chauvinism which permeates the entire state from school/education/academia to the bureaucracy, the courts, and the military and security services (the Deep State) is too infected with the virus of racism to be capable of self reform (as the Kurdish experience amply demonstrates).

  12. {“possibly a result of an intended policy.”}

    “possibly intended” ? Really ?
    Not pre-planned. Not-premeditated. But only “possibly intended” ?
    Still playing cover for the Turks you love and are infatuated with, are you Mr. Naess ?

    {“The comparison with the Holocaust is not productive because of the considerable difference between the two events.”}

    Of course not: the brutality of the Nazi industrial scale mass murder of men, women, children, and babies was positively benign compared to the base savagery that your love interest Turks demonstrated in 1915-1923:

    -Human beings were butchered like animals while alive.
    -Armenian pregnant women were cut open alive by Turk monsters in a game of “guess the gender of the baby”.
    – Armenian babies were smashed against boulders.
    – Groups of Armenians were burnt alive in churches or caves, where they had sought shelter from the savages that you love and are infatuated with.
    – The list of base animal savagery is too long and too horrible for a website accessible by all. So I will stop here.

    Regards, my Denialist Norwegian friend.

    Your friendly inbreeding Armenian poster @AW.

    • Avery, you brought up some very important points. It bothers me to no end when awful and wicked persons try to act like the Armenian Genocide supposedly cannot be comparable to *the* Holocaust. One can easily argue the reverse, and the points you pointed out are only the tip of the iceberg.

  13. Once a denialist always a denialist,he will never change,so its better to ignore such people such as ragnar.

  14. avatar Berge Jololian // January 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm // Reply

    It is NOT the job of Armenians to “reform” Turkey, as desirable as that may be. We are not their psychiatrists or their nannies.

    • it is absurd that the burden of such task is put on Armenians.. Berge jan you are absolutely right.. where does it say that Armenians job is “reform” Turkey.. I mean like we don’t have enough issues to deal with now we have to worry about “reforming” a country that shows no streak of hope…

  15. A number of Turks open their eyes, change their views, admit to being formerly misinformed etc. Mr. Naess, on the contrary, never changes. There may be some grandeur in permanence, after all? For years he has written more or less the same things. And so, we have to believe him but not Ms Gunaysu when she tells her Polish audience about her experience as an underground leftist… We must take it for granted that the Turkish communists of the 1970s were quite aware of the Armenian “mortality” (hahaha) “POSSIBLY a result of an intended policy” (lol) and that they discussed it among themselves and attracted the West’s attention upon it. Since Mr. Naess knows best we must believe that those leftsts fought to have the “huge mortality” recognized within Turkey … And if he says it’s wrong to try and imagine a denialist Germany in order for formerly Nazi-occupied nations to grasp the reality of today’s Turkey, then it must be wrong too, of course… The fact is that Mr. Naess and I mustn’t have read the same text. Thus, I haven’t noticed that Ms Gunaysu condemned her former activities. Where does she say that she condemns her participation in the fight against Apartheid or against Latin American dictatorships, that she is sorry for having struggled against racism in the US and elswhere? What I have read is that she is sorry that while she and her comrades fought against racism abroad they failed to notice and fight racism – particularly against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and also Kurds – at home as well. If I am wrong I must go back to school to learn how to read. If I am right, it’s Mr Naess who has a slight reading problem… In any case, the question remains : Why does a Turk’s criticism of Turkish denialism disturb so many non-Turks? Mr. Naess is only one of them.

    • Why ?

      why does a working girl (or boy) submit to sexual degradation ? for remuneration, of course.

  16. As a Bangladeshi I find the arrogant behavior of the present Turkish government very distasteful. The Turkish President Gul had recently sent emissaries to Bangladesh asking the Bangladesh government to stop and/ or pardon the fundamentalist party leaders for their part in the 1971 genocide. It seems that the present Turkish government tries to fraternize with all “Islamic” parties without taking into account their background. By the way 3 million people were killed and hundreds of thousands of women were raped by the Pakistani army in collaboration with the fundamentalist Islamic parties in Bangladesh in 1971.

  17. Ayşe says: ” I’m a Muslim Turk by birth. In other words a descendant of the perpetrators of the Genocide of Ottoman Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks.”

    And goes ahead :

    ” I’m not a historian, not a scholar, or a writer.”

    I add one more : She is not a judge either.

    • But she IS SOMEONE PEOPLE LISTEN and it is her that gets invited to speak in such conferences Necati and not you.

      I hope you don’t burst out of jealously because she has a voice and you don’t …

      Good day denialist…

  18. Post genocidal Turkey can be summerized as following:
    Ottoman empire ended and Turkey was created.
    Turkish government had changed its written system to a European one.
    WWI ended and Europe experienced a war with many lives lost.
    World powers such as the newly formed Soviet Union, Untied States, and greate Britain got involoved in treaties to end wars and designate borders.
    Azerbaijan was created for the first time in human history. Russia needed oil and was in the process of signing treaties to end conflicts. In this process they gave control or NKR and Nakhijevan to Azeris, with still majority Armenian Poppulations.

    Armenians were gradually drieven out of Nakhijevan.

    Armenia was now part of Soviet union like the rest of caucases.
    Aside from Armenians in Iran who were taken there by Persian king 400 years ago, during Persian/Ottoman war, the Armenian diaspora grew rapidely. More than ever in the 3000 years of Armenian history under many empires Armenians were driven out of their homelands and along the way many
    killed to 1.5 million. Those who stayed alive planted the seeds of diaspora.
    As the decades passed the eastern Turkey remained a secret place to the rest of the world. Only maybe some tourists went there. Ararat still lies within Turkish border.
    Turkey persisted to keep quiet regarding the genocide of Christians. Not much was broadcasted to the international community. The Turkish government was now safe to deny and as every decade passed they saw the prospects of distancing the truth and lying to deny the truth.

    WWII started in 1939 and ended in 1945 with the surrender of Japan. Hitler even used Armenian example to address his advantage in killing jews, by saying ” who remembers the Armenians?”.
    Germany appologized for the Nazi crimes and in the Nuremburg trials the Nazi criminals were brought to justice. Germany since has been paying reparations for 7 million fallen jews world wide. AND TURKEY CONTINUED ITS DENIAL OF THE GENOCIDE WHICH TOOK PLACE LESS THAN 30 YEARS PRIOR TO THAT.

    In the mid 20th century the word GENOCIDE was coined based on Armenian experience of WWI.Turkey joined NATO during the cold war.

    Armenians in diaspora and in Armenia kept the grim memory of the genocide and every 24th of April planned gatherings to demonstrate against the denial of Armenian genocide and its recognition by countries they lived in.

    Many countries began recognizing the genocide. But, those like United States, greate Britain still don’t. The Turkish government kept on capitalizing on their NATO advantage and the increasing need for US’s presence to be in Middle east due to Treat against Israel from Arab neighbors.

    Tukish government continued to keep all the Turkishified Armenians (Heshmesi) and others whose ancestors Christians from knowing about their past. They built schools around their neighborhoods to promot Turkish language and view of history.

    The grim memory of the fallen in Armenian psychi gave way to attacks against Turkish deplomates by the direct decendants of the genocide victims, in the 70’s and 80’s.

    Cypres was invaded by Tukish forces and split to Turkish and Greek sides.

    As Turkey remained quiet regarding much of their history and eastern turkey and continued to deny the genocide, they also actively continued to invest on attempting to destroy the historic teachings of it abroad.

    Armenians didn’t stop their call for justice as every year more and more people learned about the Armenian genocide.

    At the climax of the Soviet regime the NKR conflict errupted. The oppressed NKR majoirity Armenians started calling for indipendance and separation from Azerbaijanese rule. mid 90’s NKR was an Armenian territory with it’s own flag.

    Here, Turkey once more had the chance to hurt Armenia and the Armenian diaspora. They, along with their friend Azerbaijan blocaded borders by closing their borders to Armenia to punish us for NKR.

    Armenia survived by promoting business relations with Iran and Georgia and continued friendship with Russia. the post soviet Armenia also kept close ties with Greece, France, Germany, Poland, Canada, and United States among many others.

    Turkey also started arming Azerbaijan with weapons to help them against Armenia.

    Ramil Safarov killed an Aremenian lutenant in his sleep. The ongoing desicration of Armenian history in Azerbaijan was finally eccelorated in Nakhijevan and finally all the finally carved Cross Stones were smashed and dumped into the Arax river by Azeris in 2005. Turkey has not said anything about them yet.

    Not until 2006 when by the pressure from sweedish scientists Turkey for the first time allowed unearthing of many massgraves in eastern Turkey. Their silence all those decades was hiding something very disturbing. Tukey since has agreed that many Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians have lost their lives but they deny it was a genocide.

    Also, ungoing awarness of crimes against Greeks and Assyrians are increasingly spreading to be part of a major movement for justice.

    2009 a protocol was called for to start border relations between Armenia and Turkey. The proticol didn’t pass for political reasons.

    Turks changed their game plan: to isolate Armenia from diaspora and to call for dialogues regarding the factuality of the genocide.
    Until today Untied States has not recognized the Armenian genocide and the Turkish government continues to demand US to consider their side of the stories, just recent years they speak about.
    By blackmailing economic or military partners Turkey until today has attempted to keep nations in the dark.

    Pan-Turanism however, not addressed by Turkish government is expressed indirectly by their leaders in their intentions to unify the Turkic nations. Their plan to connect Baku to Tabriz (Iran) to Ankara was another example to connect the Iranian Azeris with Turkey and Azerbaijan.

    Recent years many Armenians, Kurds, other ethnicities and Turkish intellectuals have voiced their consern in Turkey and they were imprisoned as political prisoners. Turkey claims to be democratic, but yet much of its approach is totalitarian oriented.

    Recently many Turks or Kurds with of Armenian decent or purely Armenian have come to know of their ancestors and even due it is difficult they attempted to speak about it.

    Violance against Armenians still happens in Turkey, fueled by the country’s nationalistic attitude.

    In recent decades many spoke of the genocide’s truth, not only by Armenians but also by Turks and others who have come to terms with history. Turkey continues denial of the Armenian genocide, lies, and political manuverings which makes them guilty of not only the genocide but also, denial, coverups, and, other activities that promoted falsehood regarding their grim history.

  19. A copy of a response to the IGNORANT necati to remind him and his clan of their atrocities

    “necati, my simple minded and covertly ignorant brother. I will answer to your “rape” question. It was Not the Armenians who are accusing You for raping the young women and children during the Armenian Genocide, but 128 German military trainers (including generals) for the Ottoman armies, who after seeing the disgusting atrocities of rapes, informed the German high command in Berlin about the savagery of our soldiers. There on the Dardanelle front, Turkish Armenian and Greeks soldiers were fighting valiantly against the British onslaught and holding them in their trenches, back in eastern Turkey, the mothers, wives and daughters of the exact same Greek and Armenian soldiers were being raped, molested and killed. None of my Ozcelik family members took part in the heinous atrocities, however, there are ample proof that the Genis clan engaged in raping, looting and killing of Armenians, and that is where, us two Turks,our paths divurge. The Ozcelik family helped their Armenian neighbors hide and run away, the Genis family actively participated raping and killing their Armenian neighbors. And for that, the Ozcelik family is respected and loved in Turkey and in all places where Armenians and Greeks live. Thousands of Turks helped hide their Armenian neighbors, your family decided to participate in the pogroms. As for your ethnicity, you need to educate yourself better. Maybe we have 5%-10% of our Turkic genes, the rest my friend are of Armenian, Serbian and Greek genes. Good day, if you learn something, however small it may be, every day, you will achieve enlightenment and I assure you that you necati, to be completely free of IGNORANCE. ”

    Now your presence here is offensive to all decent human beings, so dear ingnorant necati Get Lost

  20. God provides Mercy which means the human being has finally opened his/her blinders and that is why God has not exercised his Justice .
    That is why God provides the free will until our last moment of breath to repent.
    Fear not JUSTICE, historical, social, political, no matter…
    Individual or group small or large, GOD will provide that JUSTICE in his time, without warning..

  21. Ms. Gunaysu may not be a judge, but she isn’t deaf, dumb or blind, either. She is a keen observer and an articulate writer who clearly describes the truth. Now, you may not like to read about her observations, but please…do not kill the messenger with negativity… as she is a light in the darkness, not just for Armenians, but for all of Turkey that has been shielded from the truth. As it is said, the truth shall set you free. Embrace it…you might find it uncomfortable at first, but will soon learn it is alot more comfortable than living with lies and defending murderers or revering them as heros. As bad as the Holocaust was, it did not eliminate 25% of Germany’s population, as the genocide in Turkey did – created by the CUP. And yes, if Hitler was an evil madman, so were Talat, Enver and Jemal. It’s high time for all Turks to face and accept the ugly facts of the republican era. Sometimes, looking in the mirror is not pretty, but necessary before you walk out the door.

  22. Gunaysu is trying to be the next nobel prize taker i guess. But she have to make her critiques harsher and make it in front of the whole world . the only thing she has to do is to wait, and the nobel comes by itself. Because the western like granting prizes on false causes. Good luck Gunaysu :)

  23. How often we find Turks seeing or feeling our pains? Rarely?
    Ayse Gunaysu too; like one of those rare personalities confirms our disappointment that nothing or very little has changed since genocide, without a mention of what’s being done internally to change Turkey’s public perception of their past and present crimes. However grateful of her recent feelings toward oppressed minorities of Turkey, we do not need more mourners but cutting edge actions from Turks like her both from inside and outside Turkey.

  24. avatar ragnar naess // January 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm // Reply

    Avery
    Now come on, we have been through this before…..

    Marina
    I am sure we both can read. Lets take an example from what ms. Günaysu writes:
    We were devoted anti-imperialists, particularly anti-American. For us, Turkey was under imperialist oppression and exploitation. So national independence for our country was one of our top priorities. In other words, the “evil” was outside of us. We didn’t see the evil within our country. unquote

    I had fairly close contact with Turks of the extreme left since 1971 and until the middle 80-ies. They were concerned with the oppression of minorities in Turkey. This is my experience, but ms. Günaysu may have participated in a particular group (the communists or extreme leftists were splintered into may different groups at the time). Thank you.

    • Ragnar, the pedant and pseudo scholar has no answer, as usual.

      Ragnar, please identify all the original research you have completed, with a link to where we can find it online.

    • Denialist Mr. Naess: come on yourself.

      We can be through this a million times; billion times; gazillion times.
      It will never end. I will never tire. I will never forget.

      I will never forget nor forgive anyone – anyone – who calls us Armenians “inbreeding”.
      I will never forget nor forgive anyone – anyone – who uses the insulting, degrading expression “disposed of” when referring to the remains of our murdered ancestors.

      told you before: apologize to all Armenians, in particular to Armenian posters @AW. otherwise, you know I will remember to say “Hello” to you, from time to time.

      Later, Dude.

  25. Thank you, Ayse.
    No one doubts that there is a move in Turkey to listen to the pain of the Armenians. We are encouraged to see the development. However, because, on more than one occasion, we were led down the garden path by Turkish leaders, we are wary of the progressive sounds coming from Turkey. We also ask ourselves whether progressive and righteous Turks have any clout, whether they can influence their government and fellow Turks on this issue, and whether Ankara is allowing some freedom to progressive Turks so as to use them as Exhibit A of the regime’s “liberalism” with the aim of persuading the West and the Armenians that there will soon be meaningful Turkish steps forward.. Happy 2013.

  26. So, let’s ask ourselves….why would modern, supposedly ‘educated’ Turks, continue to defend those who ordered the murders of 75% of all Turkish Armenians? I can guarantee you that if anyone on the planet was responsible for the elimination of 75% of their Turkish population, Turks everywhere would be demanding something, anything – to get recognition, reparations, etc. Why is it so different when it comes to Armenians?….the ORIGINAL inhabitants of Turkey/Anatolia/Asia Minor/western Armenia? Huh? Everything Turks have today…including the land they live on, the mosques they pray in and the historic sites they revere (yes…all those ‘Seljuk’ monuments)…came from Armenians, not from Turks. Turkish guilt and ingratitude isn’t limited to just 1915, it goes back much, much further…maybe 1000 years. Despite all the boasting about everything Turkish….there are huge gaps….and huge crimes that have been swept under the rug, as if people won’t notice, as if they are too stupid to know the full story, as if repeating a lie a thousand times makes it the truth. They should be ashamed of all this and work hard to correct it…not defend it, unless of course they really think a sucker is born every minute. Armenians didn’t fall off the apple truck just yesterday….they’ve been around longer than almost anyone… don’t forget that. You learn alot after 4, 5, or 6 thousand years, if not much, much more…you learn alot. One thing you learn is that those original Turks who arrived in Anatolia actually still live in tents in parts of Turkey…and are called ‘yuruk’….still living in tents after a thousand years. Don’t forget… Armenians were building massive stone fortresses 4000 years ago…they grew grapes and made wine 6000 years ago….they built stone observatories 7000 years ago…the point is, Turks would be nothing if not for the Armenians who helped them become civilized along the way…and for that reason, they need to show some gratitude for all they’ve stolen…from children to culture to land…and at the very least, apologize.

  27. avatar ragnar naess // January 4, 2013 at 6:40 am // Reply

    jda
    nice to meet you again – if it is the same jda? Of course you all prefer to be anonymous, and still invoking the loftiest of moral commandments…………

    I did not notice that you asked me any questions.

    regarding research, I mainly relate to texts to see whether what is asserted is sufficiently documented or not. I dont go into archives, this is for others to do. This is part of the evaluation criteria when you judge freshman papers or phd’s. it is called methodological adequacy. This is what I do, if it has any merit others must decide on. But I believe it has some merit in situations where everyone is rushing in to support one or the other side.

    Avery
    no, it think I should not apologize for chosing certain words. I will apologize if I do something that I regard as insulting. Actually the verb “dispose of” is used by US consuls in 1915 regarding atrocities committed towards Armeniansas far as I remember. the idea is “getting them out of the way” which certainly was the attitude of many Turks at the time. Probably my use of the term was a reflection of this. And the term in this context to my mind reflects the writer’s negative attitude towards the perpetrators not the writer’s negative attitude to the victim. Your interpretation of me in this matter is quite preposterous, my friend the p
    Psychological Warrior from the Baku KGB !!!!

    And yes, the DEBATE becomes inbred if a number of hecklers contunally harass those who present views which diverge from the standard participants, that is those who love to hate each others and are content to spew out opprobria against each others.

    But apart from this I acknowledge most of your factual inputs as valuable and relevant.

    • you are not here to DEBATE: you are here to spread relentless, endless, highly sophisticated, very subtle AG Denialist disinformation, cloaked in the form of supposed ‘discussion’.

      and those of us you call “inbreeding” are here to out and counter sophisticated Denialists such as you.

      and you Turks and Turcophiles throwing the word ‘hate’ at us Armenians is a joke: I don’t know anything more hateful than Turks murdering 2 million Armenians, and then trying to deny it to this day – with the help of Turcophiles likes of you.

    • Excuse MEEEEEEEE Ragnar???

      Please stop your nonsense.. those of us who are familiar with your confusing, enigma state will NEVER buy your sophisticated posts..

      You have the audocity to address Avery whose one strand of hair has more intelligence than million of your posts combined… it is YOU who is here to spread hate and promote confusion among the readers…

      So i would recommend you to STOP in your subtle way promoting the false attempt that Armenians hate and we can’t have normal discussions… you are shameless…

  28. Look…while some might think that the two sides and opinions on the genocide are equal and valid, let’s ask this question: is there any situation where the power of a government and its army can be equated with that of a minority group living under that power? The idea is completely ludicrous. The Armenians of the Ottoman empire, in every practical term, were powerless on every level when compared to the state apparatus. To even think of them as being equals is insane. Once the government, as embodied by the CUP, and its machine decided to move against its own citizens, there was no match – there was nothing anyone could do to save the millions who were obliterated by state order, policy and practice. If this was a ‘war’, it was completely and utterly one-sided. Armenian resistance was, unfortunately, minimal and limited and more importantly, lacking power. So, despite the efforts of genocide denialists to put the Ottoman state and the Armenian minority on the same level, that attempt is just an effort to create a false premise that no historian of merit would ever support.

  29. Karekin,

    You are absulutely correct. There is no question the Armenians were powerless. The Dashnaks who are being used by Turks to be exagerated as the killers of Turks during WWI were small portion of partially organized Armenian minority who couldn’t of caused havek on Turks.

    Rather, there are facts that give out ot what really happened for those who think about what they believe in and influenced by.
    These facts are: The initiation of the genocide started with going after Armenian intellectuals in Istanbul. Also, Turks agree on mass deportation of Armenians from Anatolia which was the genocide that they don’t mention.
    The Diaspora which hold higher poppulation compared to mainland Armenia.
    If the Armenians had the upper hand they wouldn’t of allowed the Turks to take most of our western lands. In addition, don’t forget the German generals who helped them and hitler’s words about “Who remembers the Armenians”.
    Turks had the reasons to commit genocide against Christians as a result of their defeat from Bulkans and Russia.
    To go a little deeper than that, the large number of heshmetsi (muslim decendants of Armenians) who are larger poppulation than Christian Armenians in Turkey today. How did that happen?
    And finally the erratic and desparate behavior of Turkish government which advocates nationalism. The mass grave secrets they didn’t speak about until under pressure from Sweedish scientists in 2006.
    Ignorance of Armenian history which makes the known Akhtamar church one of the many that we don’t know about. the Capital Ani along the border, left to crumble by Turks are sign of earasing Armenians from Anatolia.

    No doubt the Turkish denial is ignorance of history or hiding it. Either way, the Nazi Turks are still in Turkish government unlike Nazi Germans who are history to German nation.

    • Well said Ed jan…

      The Nazi Turks who govern that country will continue to inject venom in its citizens but sooner or later that venom will come to an end… no cobra can produce venom when its ducks are cut off… can’t wait for that day where Turkey will no longer be able to hide behind the money and oil… without these two power houses NO ONE will even spit on their way..

  30. It’s no doubt that Armenia is sorrunded by Turks (by Azeri and Mehseti Turks in the north, by Turkey’s Turks in the west, by Azerbaijan in the north-east and east and by South Azerbaijan in the south and south-west). So, Armenians need to live in peace with its sole neigbor – Turks. Russia will not be able to help Armenia in 15-20 years, as it is collapsing. Besides, there are 30 million Turks living in Russia. Russia will be obliged to be a Muslim and Turkic nation in 30-50 years. In fact, Russians (Kazaks in particular) are Turks by origin. Long live peace in our region.

    • Lesterina,

      Quite generalizing.

    • In the North there are Meshketian Turks in Georgia. They are a minority. I guess majority Christian Georgians will also become Turks ?
      West of Armenia, in occupied Western Armenia, there are hardly any ethnic Turks left: it is for all practical purposes Kurdistan, populated by mostly Kurds.
      In the East there is Azerbaijan: ethnic Turks are a minority in Azerbaijan. When the artificial state called ‘Azerbaijan’ breaks up, its minority Tats, Talishes, Udins, Lezgins, Zakhors, Luitsis, Avars, Kurds will either have self rule or independence.
      In the South there are Turkish speaking Iranians, an Indo-European people. Do you know who Islamic Republic of Iran sided with during the NKR war ? Do you know why ?

      Yeah, Armenia is ‘surrounded’ by Turks.

      And there are no 30 million Turks in Russia: there are 15 million Muslims of various ethnicities.
      {“Russia will be obliged to be a Muslim and Turkic nation in 30-50 years.”}: I guess 120 million Christian ethnic Russians will simply convert to Islam and become Turks ?
      Many foreigners have attempted to obligate Russians to do this or that: none of them lived long enough to regret it, after invading Russia.
      Russians will lay waste to any area that threatens them: they are not above even using nukes on their own territory if it comes to that.

    • There must be something in these denialists’ turkish coffee .. hillucinations, dreaming and make up stories are very prominent so I am assuming they are smoking something very strong.. very comical indeed to think what you think Lesterina…

  31. avatar ragnar naess // January 7, 2013 at 8:50 am // Reply

    OK, jda, you asked me about my publications

    I have not written many articles
    1.Næss, Ragnar (2003): Striden om folkemordet på armenerne (in Norwegian: The conflict regarding the Armenian Genocide).15 pages. Nordic Journal of Human Rights no. 1, 2003. Here I point to the problems in documenting genocidal intent in the CUP, document Turkish-Armenian discussion in the “Armenian Forum”, and formulate hopes for a better climate in Turkey for discussion of the issue, not to prosecute those who hold the genocide theses, and go seriously into the issue.
    The article has a summary in English
    2.Næss, Ragnar (2008): Etnisk rensing, massacre og folkemord I det ottomanske rikets siste dager. Hva skjedde med den armenske minoriteten 1915-18?(in Norwegian: Ethnic cleansing, massacre and genocide in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. What happened to the Armenian minority?)
    In Hagtvet, B.(ed): Folkemordenes svarte bok (The Black Book of Genocides). 24 pages. Oslo University Press 2008.
    My position in this article expresses the same position as the first one, but is more directly critical of the genocide thesis. It contains more material on the ethnic cleansing and massacres of Turks but retains the perspective on the need for Turkey to go into its black spots.
    Næss, Ragnar (2008): Urene forsknings- og forsoningsprossesser. Håndtering av en massegrav i Tyrkia (in Norwegian: Impure processes of research and reconciliation. The Handling of a mass grave in Turkey)16 pages. Materialisten no. 4 – 2008.
    This is an article on the processes following the discovery of a mass grave close to the village of Xirabebaba/Kuru in Kiziltepe in late 2007. It relates the story about the attempt by Halacoglu to work with David Gaunt and criticizes Gaunt for braking off the collaboration with Halacoglu too quickly. Further it criticizes the West for operating with presuppositions of what is true is a way that makes genuine collaboration with Turkish researchers who hold opposite views difficult or impossible.
    3.Lastly I wrote an answer in English to an attack from norwegian genocide scholars on the article no. 2. This was published early in 2012 in the journal “Etter Lemkin”(“After Lemkin”) and I insisted to write it in English. This issue of “Etter Lemkin” is not yet published on the journal’s website. but it will probably soon appear.

  32. Ayse, I appreciate your point of view and your honest attitude which makes you a greate role model for many.

    I replied to Lesterina regarding the comment she or he left about ” Armenians have to be peacefull to Turks who will dominate Russia and middle east and so on.
    my comment was strong because Lesterina’s was also strong as well and certainly untrue. Howcome you didn’t reject Lesteria’s comment which almost blackmailes Armenians to obay Turkic global poppulation dominance, but you didn’t allow my comment to be posted?????

    • {“Ayse,…. Howcome you didn’t reject Lesteria’s comment which almost blackmailes Armenians to obay Turkic global poppulation dominance, but you didn’t allow my comment to be posted?????”}

      Ed: are you really serious ?

      Ms. Gunaysu has nothing to do with moderating the posts by AW readers.
      Authors of articles do not sit there and decide which posts get published.
      AW has dedicated staff for that.

      And AW has published a ton of your comments. So you should be quite happy.
      Most of my comments get published also, but definitely not all.
      AW has no obligation to publish even one of the comments of a given poster: it is a private enterprise.
      They are voluntarily providing a forum to the public to express our views: they don’t owe readers or posters anything.
      (many onlines do not allow comments, or limit them severely)

  33. avatar ragnar naess // January 8, 2013 at 1:00 am // Reply

    hello Gayane,
    nice to hear from you
    maybe we all have some kind of addiction problem…

    jda
    I also wrote a preface
    Atilgan, Inanc: östereichs dilemma 1915. Türken oder Armenier? Wieser. Wissenschaft 2008. here I wrote the preface. I forgot abvout it. It is simply a compilation of diplomats’ dispatches from istanbul to vienna. the dispatches both include views that the Young Turks embarked on a policy of extermination and the view that Armenian rebellion and collaboration with the Russians was a serious issue

    in my lectures the last years I start by presenting the video on the Armenian youths singing in Akhdamar. I end by asking students to come withe me and hand out leaflets to Norwegian tourists goint to Turkey, asking them to ask at least one turk to go into the question of the crimes against Armenians and the Armenian catastrophy

  34. avatar ragnar naess // January 8, 2013 at 1:03 am // Reply

    avery
    thought provoking comments from you about russia

  35. Avery,
    Thanks for your consern

    My comment to Lesterina was very important to me, because it I had to let Lestrina know he or she is claiming an extrimist attitude of pan-Turkic nature. who ever let his or her statement be posted should let mine be as well.

    At least 5 of my posts haven’t been moderated. I wouldn’t mind if they moderate them and then post. But, maybe they are lenghty, but why are they here for, just read then moderate, then post.

    I consider this as political and unfair.

    However, I will try once more.

  36. avatar Nigohos Beranian // January 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm // Reply

    Sevgili ve saygideger sayin Ayse Gunaysu:
    Dunya insanligina tutmus oldugunuz isik’tan er gec herkesin gercekten payina duseni alacagina hic suphe yok.
    Temenilerimiz siz ve sizler gibilerinin insanligin mevcudiyetinden eksikligi hissedilmemesidir.
    Inanisinizdaki guc ne ise, her zaman siz ve sizlerle beraber olmasi dilekleriyle.
    Nigohos Beranian.

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