By Aris Govjian
Special for the Armenian Weekly
On May 30, major news and entertainment outlets across the internet began sharing a revelation in the scientific community—the genetic material of ancient Egyptians being found to belong to the original peoples of Asia Minor and Europe.
Nearly every source which shared these research findings performed a bizarre sleight-of-hand. While it accurately reported the newly identified DNA as belonging to the native populations of Asia Minor; they then went onto erroneously and sloppily describing it as Turkish ancestry.
By eliding the fact the region was populated by civilizations with a direct line to modern day Greeks and Armenians of Asia Minor, these reports erase thousands of years of history in the cradle of civilization by way of convoluted, racist appropriation of the core of any human being: DNA.
Rather than simply referring to the native populations of modern day Anatolia in their articles, the careless reporting unwittingly supports an agenda by a corrupt Turkish political majority who openly deny—and at times glorify—the disturbing violent actions perpetrated against the natives of Turkey.
The disturbing act of blatantly appropriating the ancestral DNA of peoples belonging to a region and attributing it to their colonizers is beyond insulting—it is inhumane. Doing so obscures history and pollutes scientific inquiry.
When publications such as the Washington Post employ lazy or politically circumspect journalism, more sensationalist sources perpetuate overt misuse of scientific data. When journalists allow themselves to play crooked reporters, they aid criminals robbing the land, culture, and now the DNA of a victim.