Weekly Publishes Akcam Interview Rejected by ‘Changing Turkey’ Website

Without recognizing that the most important source of protest is the search for
justice, we cannot comprehend the developments.
To equate the diaspora with the MHP because of protests
that fundamentally “seek justice” is truly disrespectful and insolent.
Taner Akcam

This interview with Prof. Taner Akcam was conducted at Clark University’s Strassler Center in Massachusetts on Oct. 30 by Dr. Vera Eccarius-Kelly for the blog project “Changing Turkey in a Changing World,” affiliated with the Centre for Global and Transnational Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London (changingturkey.wordpress.com).

The blog’s editors, however, declined to publish the interview in its entirety, opting instead to publish only three selected questions and answers out of a total of eight originally submitted questions. No questions and answers pertaining to Armenian-Turkish relations were included in the blog posting. Professor Eccarius-Kelly considered this a missed opportunity to represent important insights into Armenian-Turkish relations and to support democratization and freedom of speech in Turkey. She approached the Armenian Weekly with the full text of the interview which appears in print below for the first time.

Vera Eccarius-Kelly is associate professor of political science at Siena College, Albany, N.Y. She can be reached at veccarius-kelly@siena.edu.


The Turkish-Armenian Protocols

VEK: In your assessment, has anything tangibly or concretely changed since this new arrangement was initiated between Armenia and Turkey?

TA: Right now neither side has taken any concrete steps but this isn’t terribly important. The process has just started. What worries me is that if the situation regarding Karabagh doesn’t improve, there may not be any steps. A strange set of circumstances exist there and Turkey created it. If you read the protocols, you’ll see that they state that diplomatic relations will begin without any preconditions. Without a doubt, one could also read this as setting a condition that Armenia’s acceptance of the borders between the two countries will be predicated upon its approval of the creation of various commissions, including a historian’s commission.

However, there are no articles in the protocols that connect the issues with Karabaghğ to establishing diplomatic relations and opening up the borders. Nevertheless, Turkey has announced countless times that it would not open the borders until the issue with Karabagh is resolved. In other words, Turkey has signed a protocol that it openly declares it is not going to follow. If both sides cannot make progress on Karabagh, I’m not sure how Turkey is going to get itself out of the corner that it has backed itself into. If Turkey doesn’t figure out a way to stop being Azerbaijan’s slave on this issue, it will have set the stage for an absurd embarrassment. How does a government let itself get caught in such a political lien held by another government? I just can’t understand it.

VEK: Would you classify this development as a substantial step toward the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia?

TA: If we presume that Turkey is going to respect the terms of the protocols and if we expect the borders to be opened, then we can consider Oct. 10, 2009 as a turning point in history. Starting from this date forward, Turkish-Armenian relations entered a new period. I would like to call this stage the “counting down period.” I don’t know when and where this backward counting will end, but with the signing of the protocols it is most definitely a period to be characterized as counting down until Turkey ultimately accepts certain issues about the subject of 1915. Just as Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika brought about the end of the USSR, these protocols will bring about the end of politics of denial regarding what happened in 1915, policies that have been followed by the modern Turkish republic.

It may seem surprising for me to be saying this at a time when nothing has been done yet, and when Armenian circles in particular feel such a deep sense of suspicion and anxiety. But for this very reason I would like to repeat that the era of Yusuf Halacoglu, Gunduz Aktan, and Sukru Elekdag is over, it’s done. Ninety years of denial politics are about to end. The moment the protocols were signed these policies became bankrupt. It’s that simple. If Turkey intends to follow the same path it’s been following, none of this has any meaning and you can throw the protocols in the trash.

The real issue from this point on is what and how much Turkey will accept. We have before us a broad spectrum of choices that I call the Japanese-German pendulum. The Japanese example is best described as a kind of half-hearted “sorry, no hard feelings” statement. Using the same behavior that the Japanese have shown regarding their responsibility for crimes committed during World War II, Turkey could accept that “crimes” happened and affected Armenian citizens during 1915, and then apologize. However, such an apology will neither move forward the internal democratization process in Turkey nor do anything to heal the wounds of the past. I can tell you now that such an action would be practically meaningless from the point of view of the Armenians.

In the alternative, Turkey could pursue the example that Germany has followed regarding the latter’s role in acknowledging Nazi crimes. That would mean accepting what occurred in 1915 as genocide. It would make an honest acknowledgment of history an important source of the internal democratization process and it would open the door to the payment of social, cultural, and financial restitution to heal the wounds of those who suffered in the past. In fact, knowing that these other countries played a role in what transpired in 1915, it would invite the major countries of Europe and Russia to participate in the process. It is very difficult to surmise where in this process, between these two opposite poles, we will end up. Confronting one’s history has become the main issue in politics and international diplomacy.

VEK: What do these protocols mean for Armenians?

TA: From the vantage point of Armenia, the opening of the borders will bring about economic, social, and political gains. Armenia will be able to free itself from the sense of being walled in and it will bring the country closer to the West. This could have the effect of minimizing Russia’s influence on Armenia also. Besides all that, the development of relations between the two peoples will open up doors to resolving the problems that grew out of our histories. Hrant Dink believed in this also.

It is true, as far as the issues related to history are concerned, that there is a deep sense of anticipation and insecurity among Armenian circles. Armenians will want to observe how serious and trustworthy Turkey is going to be. Unfortunately, Turkey hasn’t been able to impart a sense of trust during the signing of the protocols and continues to send out signals that give the impression that it will continue its past behavior. I would say that trust is the biggest problem right now.

The main source of this insecurity is not just related to Turkey’s behavior in the past. Turkey continues to maintain an attitude and engages in actions that directly conflict with the protocols and this exacerbates the sense of insecurity that has prevailed for so long. The fact that Turkey has made Karabagh a precondition (even though it was not a part of the protocols) and that it won’t present the protocols to parliament is just one example of how the problems are being perpetuated.

I can describe other contradictions that relate to the relationship between the protocols and Turkey’s attitude. When Turkey proposes the establishment of a historian’s commission, it is using an argument that is rather persuasive and actually quite credible. The country has used this presumption quite effectively to convince third parties. Turkey stated that it supports “forming a commission to allow an examination of historical records and to make recommendations that we’ll abide by.” In other words, Turkey announced that its position and its decisions will be a function of the recommendations of this commission. Turkey is promoting the idea that “whatever this newly created commission says, will be accepted” and “we’ll go along with it.” On first glance it appears completely reasonable, and yet that’s where the problem lies: Looking at the past 90 years and the policies followed today in Turkey, the government is acting in a way that contradicts the rational arguments that it ostensibly has been promoting.

Some of Turkey’s state officials continue to give speeches filled with 90 years of lies. Turkey still has organizations and institutions actively working to counter the “baseless Armenian Genocide claims.” We have a government in Turkey that declares to “let a commission decide,” while it maintains state internet sites that use words like the “so-called Armenian genocide claims.” Here’s a government that says, “Let historians, not politicians decide,” and yet one of the highest offices of the government is an organization that is called the Coordinating Committee to Combat Baseless Genocide Claims. This office is directly connected to the National Security Council. Let’s face it, this does not present a very convincing picture. Until something is done to remove these contradictions, it will be hard for Turkey to be considered trustworthy.

In my opinion before bothering to form a commission, some very serious steps need to be taken by the Turkish government to show that it does not want to repeat the actions of the past. The Coordinating Committee that is connected to the National Security Council needs to be disbanded. Prosecution of people under Article 301 [of the Turkish penal code] for having used the word “genocide” needs to be dismissed. There are dozens of steps that must be taken—like having the content about “baseless Armenian genocide claims” removed from all the ministries’ internet sites, including the General Staff’s site. Turkey could start there.
VEK: Turkey appears to be focused on raising its political and economic profile in the region and beyond. Is the Turkish government also signaling Europe that it is committed to reform and democratization?

TA: I don’t think that the attitude of Europe is central to the decision-making of the Turkish government. The European Union is not a driving force at the moment. My understanding is that Turkey’s relations with the European Union have come to a standstill. We are experiencing a process in which Turkish democratization has taken place without Europe, and even despite Europe. Two major pillars of the European Union, Germany and France, continuously repeat that Turkey doesn’t belong to Europe regardless of Turkey’s actions. Personally, as a liberal intellectual, I am fed up with the spoiled attitude represented by the German and French governments. How dare they exclude Turkey from the democratization process of the European Union by developing a double standard for Turkey? I think these two governments have been dishonest, which is quite discouraging. I don’t think Turkey started this process with Armenia to send signals to the European Union. That is, at best, a byproduct of the Turkish-Armenian protocols.

The main issue in Turkey is that the country is undergoing a transitional period. My Armenian friends in the diaspora can’t seem to fully understand this development. Turkey is experiencing the same problems that other states experienced when they transitioned from an authoritarian system to a more open and democratic society. Such a society faces major problems related to the boundaries and the limits of its justice system. That is why this particular period can be described as being representative of a transitional justice system. How a country deals with its own historical past and how it determines the boundaries of justice shapes its future path.

It is a fact that Turkey is changing. Since 2002, Turkey has undergone a remarkable development in terms of its ability to embrace change, which should be called revolutionary. For the very first time in Turkish republican history, we see the surfacing of a new type of elite whose origins came from outside the established political class. This new elite developed from beyond the perimeter of the state bureaucracy and from outside the bourgeois class. This is a very important point because this newly emerged class does not owe its development to the state. Its leaders don’t feel dependent on existing political and bureaucratic structures and powers. Therefore, they can’t be manipulated as easily by the old elites that consist of elements in the bureaucracy and the military. In Turkey, some scholars call this new class the “Anatolian tigers,” because this particular middle class developed its own sources of power and penetrated the established ruling elites. This development created immediate conflict with the
long-established power structures in Turkey. Now we need to observe the extent to which this new elite may be willing to compromise, and how far they are willing to go to exclude the old ruling class from power.

The new middle class has an Islamic-oriented leadership and it knows that it can only win this conflict with the military and the bureaucracy by insisting on pursuing a process of democratization. Otherwise the Turkish military will never allow the new elite to be part of the ruling class in Turkey. I am sure that if the United States and the European Union continue to clearly support the democratization process, democracy will gain the upper hand. Should that international support not be forthcoming, we will experience another military coup d’état. We have had at least four or five different coups d’état or military interventions, and foreign powers have always been playing an important role in this part of Turkish history. I can assure you that these military interventions in our history could happen because the European Union, Germany, France, and other countries, and the Unites States openly supported such military missions.

VEK: How would you characterize the influence of Turkish civil society on democratization today compared to a decade ago? What are the internal and external dynamics that drive democratization?

TA: During the last decade, a new actor emerged in the political arena that we hadn’t seen before in Turkey. Alongside the AKP government, civil society became a very important political factor. It was unheard of in Turkey that a prime minister would go to Diyarbakir, for example, give a speech to the Kurdish people, and offer some apologies. It would have been unimaginable before this speech for a prime minister to invite civil society institutions to discuss ideas related to the speech. Turkish civil society organizations know that they have an open ear in this government and that new perspectives will be heard. This doesn’t mean that the government agrees with the suggestions of civil society or implements their demands, but an open dialogue exists and it is healthy for democracy.

Democratization does indeed have both internal and external dynamics, and what we have before us is a historical juncture in time. We are experiencing a rare moment where both internal and external dynamics are merging in one place at one time. This happens only rarely in our history and I harbor a great deal of hope that the historical opportunity afforded by the meeting of these internal and external dynamics will be used wisely by the parties involved.

On the subject of internal dynamics, there are a few ideas I would like to add to what I have already said. The way the armed forces have started to get pushed out of the field of civilian politics is the best example of this internal dynamic. I believe the AKP saw clearly, as it did in Semdinli, that the search for a compromise with the military would bring about its own end. It therefore pressed the reform button again. This attitude was in line with the expectations of Turkish society, which has been experiencing a huge transition. The shell and the walls that have been constructed around the state and its society have started to break apart with economic and commercial changes, with new communication technologies, and with tourism and other ways of connecting to the outside world. Turkish modernization has reached a point today that makes the current state a dysfunctional one—woven out of out “taboos” and “lies.”

I would also like to add that “fatigue” and “exhaustion” are factors that led to this transition dynamic. Turkish society is tired after 30 or 40 years of war, where the same slogans have been used to motivate people to go to the field and fight each other. Maybe Turks were once willing and enthusiastic to fight and pursue “terrorists and separatists,” and to kill or die for the fatherland. And maybe that used to be the same for the young Kurdish men in their villages, because instead of experiencing all this injustice it seemed better to take to the hills and fight against the Turkish government. But they are also tired now. Old slogans that once encouraged the fighting and the killing don’t motivate people any more. Ninety years of “taboos and lies” no longer motivate.

As for external dynamics, I could summarize it as the Obama factor, the American withdrawal from Iraq, and the wish to leave a stable government behind and developments in the energy sector. The U.S. will not be able to leave Iraq without resolving the PKK problem and establishing peace and stability between the Kurdish administration and Turkey. I should also add that the U.S. knows that one source of the problem it identifies as “Islamic terrorism” is the tension between Israel and Palestine. In the past it sought to resolve this tension by standing directly next to Israel in the peace process. The invasion of Iraq was one part of this strategy, but the U.S. seems to have realized that this strategy is not going to solve the problem and in fact carries the potential for making “Islamic terrorism” a permanent fixture. It appears that there is now a new focus on strengthening the relationship between Islam and democracy, and for building a foundation under Turkish leadership as part of an effort to redesign the region.

To this picture we can add that Russia is searching for alternatives in the way to transfer energy to the West by circumventing Ukraine and Georgia. These external factors match up with Turkey’s policy of having “zero problems with neighbors.” It would appear that the Middle East is going to be re-organized and under these circumstances a new strategic approach, a kind of Pan-Ottomanica, is going to gain in importance.

In the years ahead of us, I predict that Turkey could possibly move away from a European perspective, one that has been squeezed into a German-French axis by a Europe that is still arrogant while nevertheless exhibiting fatigue, and for this reason, a lack of vision as well. A new project, one that I could define as the creation of the “common house for the peoples of the Middle East,” appears to be poised to begin with the support of external powers. I also predict that liberal and intellectual circles, which had defended and supported Turkey’s EU adventure, will not look too coldly on this new perspective. Besides, if this “common house for the Middle East” is able to develop along a democratic axis, no one is going to have much to object to.

VEK: How do you interpret the fact that Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk faces renewed court cases for having addressed Ottoman responsibility in Armenian and Kurdish mass killings?

TA: There are two important aspects to this problem; one relates to the shadowy, illegal organization called Ergenekon and the second part relates to the general Turkish justice system.

Ergenekon has been orchestrating attacks against intellectuals. All court cases against Orhan Pamuk, Hrant Dink, and Elif Shafak have been initiated by members of Ergenekon. In my own case, there has been a campaign organized against me in the U.S. and also partially in Turkey. I’ve been accused of being a terrorist and of killing Americans in Turkey. I now know that this campaign here in the U.S. has been organized and launched from Istanbul by a man named Kemal Kerincsiz, a lawyer. He is a defendant in the Ergenekon case and he is in prison. I know this because the Ergenekon indictment revealed that it was Kemal Kerincsiz who managed all these insidious activities against intellectuals, including smear campaigns and hate speech. This secret organization, Ergenekon, used anti-Armenianism as a political platform like the Nazis played into anti-Semitism in Germany. Its architects knew that they could gain a certain level of support following the exact same logic and techniques as the Nazis. Ergenekon members knew that if they played into anti-Armenian sentiments in Turkey and mobilized people against the genocide claims, they could gain a political advantage. This is how members of this shadowy group organized the Talat Pasha demonstrations in Berlin and other demonstrations in Basel, Zurich, and Paris. They rallied the Turkish Diaspora against Armenians and mobilized their own constituencies within Turkey against Turkish intellectuals they wanted to target. The assassination of Hrant Dink and of other Christians is a parallel political program carried out by Ergenekon.

The second aspect that I mentioned earlier directly relates to the justice system, which is still basically controlled by the military. I’m fully aware of the fact that the Turkish justice system is made up of Turkish judges and public prosecutors who are mostly opposed to the current Turkish government. They also despise the democratization process in Turkey and try everything to stop its progress. In some ways, the justice system as one of the representatives of the old guard is succeeding in slowing down the democratization efforts. One example relates to Article 301. Within the administration there has been a fight, and unfortunately the governing party is not radical enough. The AKP is still trying to compromise with the justice system and with the old type of thinking by keeping rather than rescinding Article 301. This allows some court cases against intellectuals to go forward.

The last decision of the appellate court regarding the Orhan Pamuk case is particularly instructive. According to the court’s decision, every individual Turk who lives in Turkey can now file a complaint against Orhan Pamuk for insulting Turkishness. If an individual person feels insulted by what Orhan Pamuk states or writes about, that individual can file a court case and Pamuk must pay a penalty. There are individuals who are pursuing this option at the moment. As a consequence, my publisher stopped producing books related to the Armenian Genocide and 1915. The publication of a new book of mine has been postponed indefinitely. My publisher stated that we have to first observe what is going on so that we won’t face hundreds of court cases for using the term “genocide” when we publish books directly related to the genocide. So you can see quite clearly that the justice system is still a huge problem and that even very liberal publishing houses want to postpone certain publications as a consequence of these developments.

VEK: Will changes in the Turkish-Armenian relationship have an impact on archival research? Will Ottoman historians feel less inclined to self-censor their work in relation to disputed periods in history?

TA: I am not sure that the protocols can be considered a turning point in this regard. I believe that Hrant Dink’s assassination is much more important than the protocols for Turkish domestic policies. Once AKP came to power, access to all archives became much easier because new directors facilitated access for scholars to work in the archives. In 2006, I worked in the archive for a month and the staff was very helpful to me. Today, everyone can enter and pursue work there. But after Hrant Dink’s assassination we learned that there is another Turkey. If you work on the genocide in Turkey, there is little that can be done against you through legal means, but you could be killed. For example, archival work and travel in Turkey became a nightmare for me after the Hrant Dink assassination. To walk toward the archives or come out of the archives meant that you were seen in a public space and you never knew what was going to happen to you. There still are Turkish intellectuals under police protection right now, which shows how fragile the situation in Turkey really is.

Being aware of the fragility of the situation—and knowing about the existence of these extreme right-wing people who are organized within the military and bureaucracy—is frightening. The Turkish government tries to protect intellectuals like Baskin Oran, Etyen Mahcupyan, and Murat Belge. A number of intellectuals are walking around with police detail. It does seem a little awkward but it is true that the government protects its own citizens against groups and organizations that are basically organized within the very same structures.

VEK: Will any of these developments impact current discussions related to the Kurdish Opening in Turkey?

TA: Definitely. We can only understand the Turkish-Armenian protocols if we consider the big picture. The Kurdish issue certainly is another part of this big picture. The Kurdish Opening is a direct product of the transition we are experiencing in Turkey. In terms of the Armenian issue, the Turkish government should follow the exact same steps that it has pursued regarding the Kurdish issue. If we examine how the Turkish government has been trying to solve the Kurdish issue, we will find ways to solve the Armenian issue. For example, what does it mean when we discuss the concept of acknowledging the truth? Until 2000 or 2002, or even as late as 2007, the Turkish government denied that the Kurdish people even existed. I was put in prison in 1975 because I wrote about the Kurds in Turkey. So acknowledgment of the truth is a central aspect in solving the Kurdish Question. With the reforms introduced after 2002, the Turkish government has acknowledged that there are Kurds living in Turkey. It should be the same for Armenians; something terrible happened and a crime occurred in 1915. By acknowledging the existence of the crime you can solve 1915.

Secondly, in the process of solving the Kurdish Question, the government has tried to establish justice. If you want to solve a problem related to injustices in the past you have to rectify it. There must be a way of compensation for this injustice. There are two possibilities, two ways of establishing justice: One is retributive justice, which is exactly what is going on in the Kurdish areas right now. Some officers have been charged with killing Kurdish civilians in the past, and those officers have been detained or lost their positions. In addition, mass graves have been opened up. This is important for the establishment of justice. In the case of the Armenians, this approach is useless because the killings happened 100 years ago. But there is another way of approaching justice; justice can be achieved through the principles of restorative justice. Restorative justice can also play a role in the Kurdish issue. Many perpetrators are fearful that the crimes they have committed will be disclosed. You can follow the South African model and give amnesty to those who reveal their crimes, for instance.

I see a very strong correlation not only regarding the solution but also regarding the origins of the Kurdish and Armenian issues. If I may put it bluntly, the Armenian issue was the Kurdish issue of the 19th century. Or the Kurdish conflict today is the Armenian conflict of the 19th century because in both cases the same mentality produced similar outcomes. In both centuries, the Turkish and the Ottoman governments considered the democratic demands of minority groups as a security threat. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Armenian demands for social reform and equality were framed as a trap for the Ottoman state’s pursuit of security and territorial integrity. In the 1970’s, 1980’s, and  1990’s, and even until very recently, the Turkish state considered the Kurdish demands for cultural rights and equality as a challenge to its national security and territorial integrity. In both cases, the demands of the minority groups were suppressed. This caused the radicalization of both minority groups, and this very radicalization is ironically creating the security problems the governments were most scared of. The separatist movements and the challenges to territorial integrity became a problem as a direct consequence of governmental policies to repress these minorities. The parallels between the two cases are important to consider.

The Diaspora, Turkey, and Turkish Intellectuals

VEK: The Turkish media has depicted the Armenian Diaspora in a rather negative light. How should the Turkish media’s attitude and the diaspora’s response be evaluated?

AT: The attitude of the Turkish media on this issue is unfortunately extremely upsetting. Publishing articles that place the diaspora on the same level as the MHP [National People’s Party, a nationalist party in Turkey] is very disrespectful to the Armenians of the diaspora, and everyone should understand how shameful that is. Look, the media’s attitude of perceiving the diaspora with hostility and as the “other” isn’t just limited to the media; this attitude is prevalent even among circles considered progressive, leftist, and liberal. This attitude has very deep roots and one could say that it consists of demeaning everything Armenian. I would describe the treatment of Armenians as an odd combination of arrogance and disrespect. Add on top of this a huge well of ignorance. Maybe this is the arrogance of someone who, feeling pretty powerful, believes he’s won a great victory already against another who is weak, defenseless, and aware of their defeated state. I know the words I’m using seem harsh. I don’t want to generalize against all intellectuals and the media, but we need to admit that there this is a very deep seated attitude.

Let me give you an example. The Armenian Weekly is a newspaper that is published in Boston but updated on a daily basis on its website. This newspaper is an official publication of the Dashnaks, who have been completely vilified by the Turkish media and intellectuals, including by TARAF. This newspaper along with other English-language Armenian newspapers , such as the Armenian Reporter and the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, systematically cover the protocols and publish articles both pro and con. Some of our intellectuals, like Ayse Guϋnaysu and Eren Keskin, regularly write for the Armenian Weekly. How many of our intellectuals, of our journalists, would you say, take a look at these newspapers and follow the debate that is going on and produce analysis based on it?

There is this pervasive attitude; it’s like our guys know the Armenian Diaspora better than the Armenians themselves. We have no problem coming to conclusions and expressing opinions without having any idea whatsoever about what is actually happening over there, about what is being discussed and debated. There is an attitude of bizarre arrogance and I’m not sure how to explain what I see other than “excessively spoiled behavior” among our media and intellectuals.

VEK: Is there a difference between the Armenian Diaspora and Armenia? Does the diaspora act in a way that could be perceived as monolithic?

TA: I’m going to repeat a position that I have defended in the past. It is simply incorrect to depict the Armenian state and the Armenian Diaspora as two separate entities with opposing points of views. It is wrong to draw a line regarding differing opinions about the subject of 1915 that separates the diaspora from Armenia. A political stance that tries to gain some advantage from drawing this distinction is not going to be very successful. The events of late show how accurate my position was. There were protests against the protocols in both Armenia and in the diaspora; there were people who supported the protocols and those who didn’t in both locations. In the end, neither Armenia nor the diaspora is a monolithic block. The protests that occurred in the diaspora attracted more attention because they occurred in centers of developed nations before the eyes of the Western media. For example, no one seemed to take notice of a protest that drew around 60,000 people in Yerevan. There are two other reasons that the protests in the diaspora seemed more active. The first reason is that the Dashnaks in the diaspora are better organized and have a wider base than in Armenia. Secondly, these protests gave voice to an anxiety that is felt even in those groups that support the protocols.

There’s been no polling of the public, or if there has, I’m not aware of it, but I can say that most of the individuals in the American Diaspora have not formed a front against the protocols. However, I need to add that even among those who support it there is a deep sense of suspicion and anxiety. The ones who are protesting are giving voice to this anxiety and for this reason the supporters of the protocols have treated the protests with understanding rather than opposition.

I can categorize the objections in the U.S. on three foundations: a) the compromise on Karabagh, b) the recognition of the boundaries between Turkey and Armenia, and c) the historian’s commission. The third point is the one that draws in the most people to the protests in the U.S. The Turkish media ignored this but when speaking to the diaspora, the Armenian prime minister made a promise regarding the historian’s commission. He gave written and verbal statements saying that there would be no commission dedicated to the question of “whether or not 1915 was a genocide,” and that in fact none of the commissions would be “historian’s commissions.”

In summary, without recognizing that the most important source of protest is the search for justice, we cannot comprehend the developments. To equate the diaspora with the MHP because of protests that fundamentally “seek justice” is truly disrespectful and insolent. My humble opinion on the subject to our media and intellectuals is, before picking up a pen and writing, take a look at English-language publications like the Armenian Weekly, the Armenian Reporter, and the Armenian Mirror-Spectator.

VEK: The Turkish media has suggested that Armenia retreated from its position of demanding recognition of the genocide. How do you evaluate the ability to debate the genocide and the recognition of borders?

TA: First of all, I would like to say something about the issue regarding the demand for territory. It was 1999 and I had been invited to Los Angeles. It was my first trip to America. The documentary about Vahakn Dadrian’s and my life, “Wall of Silence,” was going to be shown and I was supposed to give a talk afterwards. The people who invited me there were of a political bent that was very far from the Dashnaks. In my talk I had wanted to make a statement to the effect that “We need to debate what happened in 1915 not as an issue of land or borders but as one related to human rights. We need to accept the fact that the present borders are going to stay right where they are and that the subject of territory is basically closed.” One of the organizers, my dear friend Hratch whom I had just met said, “Taner, don’t say those things. I understand, you’re right and no one has their head in the clouds, but if you say these things it will just destroy these peoples’ hopes and dreams. The issue of land isn’t just one of simple nationalism. For an Armenian it is also an emotional connection with the past. If you say, it’s done, it’s all over, you are going to send these people into a tailspin.” Of course, I said what I wanted to say in the end because I wanted them to hear what I really believed.

What I want to explain with this memory is that the demand for land is something inextricably linked with Armenian identity. I want to make the point that having been forced out of their homeland, it has a very emotional aspect to it. Of course, for political and practical reasons one can insist on the meaninglessness and the pointlessness of making this kind of demand, but I think it’s important to keep in mind this other aspect to it.

Otherwise I want to restate my position that it is a mistake to make a distinction between the Armenian Diaspora and Armenia proper on the subject of the recognition of the genocide and facing history. Neither Armenia nor the diaspora will ever give up on the idea of recognition of the genocide. The only difference may be in how this recognition should evolve. This difference will be felt in both communities along a line that will divide both down the middle. It is possible to describe each side. What both sides have in common is a demand that what happened in 1915 be defined as a crime and that there should be an apology for it. One side, however, would be ready to accept that a “crime against humanity” was committed while the other would insist that it should be labeled “genocide” and nothing less. One other difference may come about on the question of restitution. One side may find an honest and serious apology acceptable while the other will probably propose various views on different measures of restitution.

By my own guess, I believe that the Armenian government will make the diaspora a partner in this process. The diaspora is truly a product of the genocide and for this reason it is going to want to take sides in the debate surrounding the genocide and the measures that need to be taken to heal from its effects. This is what occurred in German-Israeli relations during the 1950’s. Israel created a mechanism whereby the Jewish Diaspora was included. Something similar could be tried by Armenia.

VEK: What is your most recent research focused on?

TA: My goal as a scholar is to create a body of common knowledge. My central argument is that what we are missing in Turkish-Armenian relations is a body of common knowledge. Most of the materials related to this topic are dispersed and only available in different languages, and therefore often inaccessible. This makes it difficult for scholars, interested audiences, and the general public to read these sources and to share access to the same materials. We have to create a common basis on which we can agree to talk. For a long period of time, I have been collecting and publishing original Ottoman sources to make my contribution to the field.

There is a basic controversy in our field. The Turkish government argues that one should rely exclusively on Ottoman sources because only they can be trusted. The government insists that only Ottoman sources may be utilized to analyze the events surrounding 1915. The Turkish government also argues that American, German, Austrian, and British sources are biased and representative of an agenda that aimed to cover up their own policies. Their sources are perceived as an attempt to blame Turkey and the Turks for what took place. On the other side, Armenians and many other international scholars argue that Ottoman documents cannot be trusted and therefore must be ignored. There are enormous archives available and the Turkish government continues to publish document after document from its archives to substantiate its own claims and to support its own thesis, but there is little conversation between the two sides.

My position represents a fresh look within the field because I argue very simply that there is no contradiction between various archival materials. We simply find that the same story is told from a variety of perspectives. I produced a Turkish book two years ago in which I published more than 600 Ottoman documents to show that the genocidal intent of the Union and Progress Party can be proven based on Ottoman materials. Now I am collecting newspapers from the period of 1918-22. I have a full collection of Ottoman newspapers from that time period. What is important about that particular period is that there was no censorship at that time. These papers published absolutely everything, including issues we are excessively debating today. These newspapers offer extensive reports related to killings, deportations, and the subsequent trials in Istanbul. These trials were recorded by the Turkish press, which also published documents and memoires, and columnists and editors wrote in detail about how the country would need to face its recent crimes. This information must be made accessible to Turkish readers. I am editing these newspapers to select certain articles that have to be widely read.

There are two specific projects in front of me now. I hope to publish materials related to two important Istanbul trials in 1919. They are named after the provinces where the massacres and deportations took place and where individuals were held responsible for what took place. One is called the Yozgat trial, the other is the Trabzon trial. In total I’m analyzing some 40 court proceedings that were covered by the press. The role of Turkish eyewitnesses is particularly interesting because the press mentioned their significance. Based on Turkish eyewitness accounts that accused Turkish officials of having committed crimes, the panel of judges made their decisions. This is invaluable information, which shows that a lot of Turks in 1918 and 1919 spoke out openly against the massacres that were endorsed by the Union and Progress Party.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. Excellent analysis by Taner Akcam of current issues regarding the protocols, the Turkish justice system, the distrust of the 2 nations, parallel betweek Kurdish and Armenian questions. 
    I agree with most of his analyses and conclusions.
    The only area that I feel Mr Akcam has left open ended, (although he says its shut and closed) is the issue of territories and borders. I wonder why he feels so categorical about this issue?  He knows very well that if Turkey is trying to get Armenian Government signature on this terrorial issue in the protocols, is because there is no Armenian signature on the Moscow treaty.
    I am not an expert in Ottoman history, but it is a common fact that after  the Ottoman empire crumbled The New Turkish republic didn’t claim Syria, lebanon, Palestine, Bulgaria, as Turkish lands.  Why should we think differently when it comes to 6 Villayets in Historical Armenia that belonged to Armenians for thousand years, and that was returned to Armenia by treaty of Sevres and Wilsonian mendate?
    I think the distrust of Armenians regarding the honesty of The Turkish State in signing this Protocol  is justified if one reads the following statement  made by Mr Ozdem Sanberk , member of the TARC committee as reported by H. Sassounian in 2001.
    As I reported back in 2001, Ozdem Sanberk, one of the Turkish members of TARC, had blurted out the following admission in a moment of weakness or inattention: “The basic goal of our commission is to impede the initiatives put forth every year in the U.S. Congress and parliaments of Western countries on ‘the genocide issue’…. The key goal is to prevent ‘the genocide’ issue from being regularly brought onto the agenda in Western countries…. The significant matter for us is that ‘the genocide’ issue is not discussed by the American Congress anymore. As long as we continue the dialogue, the issue won’t be brought to the congressional agenda. If it is not discussed in Congress, we, meaning Turkey, will gain from that. The US Congress will see that there is a channel of dialogue between Turks and Armenians and decide that ‘there is no necessity for the Congress to take such a decision while such a channel exists.”




  2. I always thought some of you are in a dream, an illusion of stealing some more land of Turkish soil. After reading Hratch’s warnings to Akcam, I changed my mind. This is alone how the large Armenian masses are cheated on.  Erivan was mostly Muslim majority before the war proves that Turkey should claim it to be returned to the mainland, or some kind of money should be paid for the Turkish belongings during the 1000 years Turkish rule. How historical Erivan is Armenian in compared to 1000 years of Turkish culture, which totally vanished immediately after the war?
    This article is also a great gift, thank you very much, as Akcam himself confesses that, 1) The archives are open 2) There is no legal difficulty in Turkey regarding freedom of speech.
    Such a great Bayram present,

  3. Poor MehmetFatih! Is that all you udnerstood from the article? That the archives are open and there is no legal difficulty in Turkey?

  4. Dr. Akcam, like a number of others, claims that Turkey is “changing” – for the better.
    We have been hearing this for 125 years, at least.   First there was the Ottoman Armenian Constitution, which was scrapped.  Then God-knows-how-many reform plans.  All scrapped. Then the Young Turks were supposed to usher in a period of Nirvana.  Then after the gen0cide, a new “changed” Turkey was supposed to have been born under Ataturk.  Then the Kurds were massacred again.  Then a multi-party system was introduced.  Big deal.  Were we Armenians supposed to stand up and cheer?  Then the 1955 riots.
    Let Turkey “change”. Is this something I as an Armenian am supposed get up in the morning and be thinking about?  Do Turks get excited because Armenia and Armenians “change”?
    Should we care whether Turkey, now virtually devoid of Armenians, is “changing”? When did Hye Tahd start to rely on Turkish domestic politics?  Have we Armenians appointed ourselves to be Turkey’s psychiatrists?  Is Hye Tahd now considered social work?    Why are some of you so hung up on “reconciliation”?

  5. It doesn’t make sense. Why did that Changing Turkey group let the interview with Akcam conducted and then refused to publish it? They would already be aware of what Akcam would say, no?
    I’ve checked the website and noticed that they always published only 3 Q&A for each interview. Besides, they already published the last question where Akcam explains his research on the Armenian question. Finally, they already have a comment on Turkey-Armenia protocols by a Finish institute. So, it’s not irrational to exclude the parts which would only be repetitions.
    So, accusing Changing Turkey for being biased is non-sensical. It seems to me that the Armenian Weekly is trying to attract attention by accusing some group it is not familiar with. Both Eccarius-Kelly and the editors of the Armenian Weekly should have contacted the Changing Turkey website and group before accusing it. The website looks very academic and I think that Akcam’s views do not really involve academic contributions in their actual form. So, it is a better idea to publish his comments in the Armenian Weekly rather than an academic website.

  6. To Mehmet Fatih:
    Since you have access to internet it would be beneficial for your sanity if you first google about a subject before burping rubbish about 1000 years of turkish rule of Yerevan.
    As what you say about the ‘archives open’ & ‘There is no legal difficulty in Turkey regarding freedom of speech’… read the article few times more & then you might understand its contents.

  7. Mehmet, your logic is flawed and utterly wrong.
    If I followed your politically naive and elementary logic, then current day Baku, used to be Armenian( Strabo and other historians of the day, put Armenias boundaries, during the reign of King Tigranes, from Baku to Israel to Angora to current day Iran.) And what about Constantinopol? Smyrnia? Angora? All these were full blooded Greek cities.
    Come on, be real and let’s discuss the Genocide. Thousands of righteous Turks already accepted the complicity of their ancesters executing the Genocide. The greatest Turkish minds and historians, the likes of Orhan Pamuk, Dr. Akcam and thousands of others have already spoken about the Genocide.
    Contrary to what most Turks hear, we don’t hate Turks, I myself have no issues with the Turkish people, let alone you. I do,  however, have an issue with your government, which keeps denying facts known to every single human being all over this planet…and that is the whole extermination of a people, on the hands of the Young Turk government.
    Remember the “football diplomacy?” Let me give you an example, lest you forget that we don’t hate Turks. Here are what the world press wrote regarding the arrival and departure of Turkish footballists:
    “Turkish athletes arrived in Yerevan, and had the full and complete protection of Armenias police, not one Turkish athlete was molested, attacked. Turkish news vans are in full sight of the Armenian people on the streets of Yerevan.”
    Here is what happened to our athletes:
    ” Upon arrival to Turkey, the buses carrying Armenian athletes were vfiolently attacked by stone throwing Turkish mobs.”
    Now, you tell me who hates whom.
    All we are asking is the recognition of the Genocide.
    Always forgive your enemies – Nothing annoys them so much.

  8. Mr. Akcam’s OPINION about Armenian land demands doesn’t interest me one bit.

    Armenian rights to land have nothing to do with “nationalism” or an “emotional connection” Mr. Akcam, but everything to do with our LEGAL RIGHTS to our occupied property.

  9. If anyone on here lives in the US, you are living on stolen, occupied territory. Just ask any native American. Perhaps we should all give it back, with interest.  I mean, they were here for at least 30,000 years before the place was usurped by the British, French, Spanish, Dutch and Swedes. That said, I think it’s imperative for everyone to ask and examine exactly WHY successive Turkish governments continue to defend and protect criminals of the past (ahhh…they actually did destroy the Ottoman Empire!), and the legacy of the CUP and 1915.  Of course, many of them were hunted down by the ARF, but many others stepped in to fill the void.  Prof. Akcam alludes to it when he says that today’s Turkish secular ‘elite’ were the successors to the properties, businesses and other assets of the minorities, particularly those that belonged to Armenians.  Unlocking this ‘mystery’ is an essential component in any of these discussions. Failing to do so will just enable an endless circle of accusations and useless demands what will never be met, to continue, in a very counterproductive way.  The reality is, all Turks are not alike…and when you scratch the surface, may not be Turks at all, other than what it says on their passports.

  10. Well, since there is a heavy moderation on my comments, I can never be sure if I can have a meaningful conversation with any of you through this comment box. I tried to stay within the content of the article when I write, instead of attacking other users here. This alone puts me in great disadvantage, well, I am now used to it; FYI, I have never used any bad language so why censor my posts? Anywho, if you are really interested in having a meaningful conversation, just ask the moderators to forward my previous response to you, since for some reason they can not publish them here.
    Alrighty; about the Armenian hatred against Turks, I will not talk about the ASALA , nor I will refer to some other reader comments I came across this website. You all know and see them. I will even not talk about my personal experiences and physical attacks I experienced just because I dared to talk against a myth that clouded the Armenian minds. I am not even going to bring to the table what our very own prime minister and president face everytime they visit U.S. and the bunch of Armenians who welcome them with eggs. (What is causing all this? Too much love?)
    But I will talk about the future to see if you are really honest about the recognition:
    Imagine a future that Turks after a long series of war against X country lost their army, no one is protecting their lands. They are weak and Armenia is strong so that the Armenian army would march on all the way to Adana, and capture the Ararat? (That indeed reminds me Khojaly, anyways, let’s continue)
    What would then happen to Turks who have been there since 1073? Will you spare their lives, or kill them all? Would you be so peaceful then, too? Would you let them live their religion under your rule, let’s say until they cause an unrest in April 24, 2914 and became allies with Azerbaycan to protect their LEGAL RIGHTs to their occupied property; to be fair, you know.
    I hate generalising things; I can see there are fanatics in both sides, whether they are in the US, in Switzerland or Turkey.
    I am only asking one question:
    How can you ask me “who hates who” question if you see me as your enemy; even a forgiven one? Doesn’t that justify the relocation cause? (By the way, Armenians were not that special to Ottomans, neither other Christians (as figures rise, now other minorities are also added, how can someone discover soemthing about history without looking in the archives) since they were not the first group who were relocated. That indeed had happened before to other people (Muslim and Christian) in other parts of the empire after unrests? (No I am not saying we have done genocide in the past, just on the contrary I am saying Islam doesn’t let us kill people for their potential future murders, but the Prophet, too used relocation during his life when he relocated Jewish people in Medina when going to war against Kufrar; otherwise Talat Pasa should have been a Stalin or Hitler)
    Neither myself nor any general Turk hates or have hated Armenians. We don’t feel the need to forgive you, because you are not our enemy. We are hoping as Armenia get richer, it will have a positive effect on the freedom of speech amongst people and the truth will prevail at the hands of those Armenians whose sound of silence doesn’t mean they do not exist. (That reminds me the clip in which I have watched an Armenian man in front of the Memorial in Erivan defending Turks, hell ya, it exists)
    I am simply asking you to think out of the box, and ask yourselves what if the story was way different than what you were told?
    “All we are asking is the recognition of the Turkish lives lost in and after the era because of the Armenians, and a cheque for the damage caused on Muslim property by the Armenians on our lands and in Erivan.”
    Wouldn’t this be fair?

  11. Mehmet, did anyone here wrote/said that the Armenian army will march here and there, and along the way massacre the Turks living on those lands? All we are asking is the recognition of the Genocide, which did happen, there is absolutely no controversy about this truth(the Genocide), the problem, as you and I know is loosely connected to “politics.” The USA needs Turkish oil and land for their air bases, once the oil dries and there is no need for an air base, then everything will change overnight.
    And regarding lost Turkish lives, of course Turks died, remember the Ottomans were one leg of the Axis powers, and therefore thousands of Turkish soldiers died fighting the allies, and some soldiers and irregulars working for the Ottoman army died fighting Armenian freedom fighters, who simply were resisting the “death marches.”
    As for any Armenian accessing and participatiing on this forum, did you find any one single Armenian using profanity?  I certainly don’t. I hope you will not, either.
    Recently, some Turks, have posted messages, trying to shift the blame on Young Turk leaders, allegging that Talaat Pasha was a Circassian and Not a Turk, that the mother of the Sultan Hamid was an Armenian by the name Verjin, that the rest of the Young Turk leaders were mostly of Albanian, Jewish, Kurdish and Circassian, and that we should blame those individuals for the Genocide, and Not the Turks. We all knew about the ehnicities of these men, but their ethnicities does not  absolve the absolute majority, the Turkish people and the current Turkish governemt.
     To conclude, you brought Yerevan as having absolute majority Turkic population one time in its long history, fine I understand.  Did you know that Baku and Tblisi both had absolute Armenian population in the past? And how about Angora(Ankara), Smyrnia and almost all the cities in current day Turkey that used to belong to  and were populated by ethnic Greeks?  And what about Diyarbekir, which is overwhelmingly populated by Kurds? Food for thought.

    “Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” George W. Bush

  12. Well, I’m sorry, but I must disagree w/ Mr. Sinan on where the blame for the genocide rests. There is plenty of evidence in the history books that those who concocted the deportation plan that resulted in the genocide were not ethnic Turks at all…they too were of a minority group, and were largely  Salonikans…Ottoman, but not Turkish, and only marginally Muslim (on the surface). The point is that we cannot blame the entire Turkish nation or people for what happened and Turks cannot blame Armenians for fighting back in self-defense, against a secret force of thugs who were bent on murder and theft.  The premises are suspect and deserve more scrutiny.  As an analogy, are all Americans in the US today fully, or even partially responsible for the displacement and genocide of the native Americans, or do we place blame on a specific group or policy?   Are all Americans responsible for the million dead and 4 million Iraqi refugees?  Are all Germans responsible for the Holocaust, or is that reserved for ‘the Nazis’?  If we are to move forward, everything must be seen in a proper context. Blame should be squarely placed and the secrets of history should be revealed completely. As we all know, sunlight is a great sanitizer and cleanser. Let’s use it to clean the slate and move forward.

  13. Mehmet, I write to you despite knowing it won’t make any difference, and also with a deep suspicion that you, and most Turks that argue there was no genocide (and don’t fool yourself, it is only Turks who make that argument), know very well that what happened during WWI was a genocide.   Perhaps you knowingly choose to believe otherwise, perhaps you only know subconsciously, and it causes you to react even more strongly.  I suspect that you must know not only from the wealth of information now available on the topic both on the internet and even in Turkey, but also because if you’ve been watching your own governments actions for the past 20 years, you can probably see they also know that it was a genocide.
    So with that as my basis, here is what I have to say to you.  You come here to an Armenian forum, with your complete list of grievances, including not only ASALA, but also Khojaly.  You are so blinded by your attempts to “win” this argument, instead of seek the truth, that you can close your eyes, plug your ears, and repeat these two names as a chant.  What you cannot do is think to yourself, what you forbid yourself to think, is – my god, if the loss of hundreds of lives have me so incredibly upset, how can the Armenians feel after losing over a million lives, their homeland, hundreds of dialects of their language, their rich artwork, culture, and I have to again mention the lives….
    Now let me say something that will piss you off a bit, but which you should hear.  When somebody says there is no genocide, whether it is their job (as it would be for the diplomats killed by ASALA) or not, that is not just words, it is two specific things.  1) it is a continuation of the genocide.  if you read the 8 stages of genocide on genocidewatch.org, you will see that the final stage is denial – and here you should not fool yourself – DENIAL IS AN ACT OF GENOCIDE.  2) It is a hate crime.  Just like calling a black American a nigger is a hate crime, denying the Armenian Genocide is the same thing.  It is indeed hateful, racist and despicable. You need to understand that words can be more than “just” words, they can be violent instruments. So try to understand that denial of the genocide is a violent act, and if the leadership of your country organizes a worldwide campaign of denial (and racist hatred), being greeted by thrown eggs is something that should not surprise you or them.
    As for the rest of your post, get over yourself.  You don’t feel the need to forgive us?   Because you don’t hate us?   Awww, that’s so sweet, even though it’s a lie.  Talaat couldn’t massacre Armenians because he was Muslim and Islam doesn’t allow it?  Awww, that’s such a sweet dream world you live in, but it’s time you wake up.  You’re wasting everyone’s time here, including your own if you’re going to write such nonsense.

  14. Nobody denies that Native Americans were exterminated in the European conquest of America. That nothing has been done to compensate for that is another story, and a sad one. turkey –the turkish state, so please leave out the endless debate about good or bad turks, because it’s completely irrelevant– has been denying that a Genocide ever took place. 

  15. Hye, Raffi you explained the truths – Mehmet either will try to learn the truths as well, or, he will continue in his Ottoman mode of thinking – 1,500,000 innocents shall have deserved to be slaughtered.  What if these 1,500,000 had been Turks? 
    Mehmet has been educated to believe the unarmed 1,500,000 Armenians citizens of Turkey, removed from their homes, to die whilst marching into the deserts,, slaughtered, raped, kidnapped and more, shall be the enemy of the Turks – because their Turkish leaderships say so…  
    Today Turkish leaderships cannot admit that they have lied of their history – all these years –  in their own history books to  their own Turkish students, the Turksh leaderships have denied the Turkish Genocide of a whole nation.  The world over, many nations, International Genocide organizations,
    Archives in all the lands (witnesses to the  Turkish vile crimes are recorded for posterity) and
    in Washington DC, as well.  American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau’s efforts, his writings, were all
    to speak up against what the Otttoman Turks were determined to accomplish – rid the Armenian lands of Armenians and claim the lands, homes, farms and more, and Armenian culture as if it were all of the Turks origins!  Mehmet, can you read Ambassador Morgenthau’s writings?  Is it available in Turkey – probably not.  Mehmet,  choice is yours  – if you are capable of learning the truths – or – not.
    Many in Turkey today admit that Turks’ leaderships denials of the Turkish Genocide – are lies…

  16. I understand and respect the deaths of all the peoples during that time. However, I reject the racism and hatred. Whether it is true to call it a genocide or not, wasn’t the focus of this discussion, but the hatred in the Armenian community towards Turks or was it the other way around.
    There seems to be no way we can reach an agreement on your claims if you, too as some Turks, (some 70% of the Turks (excluding the much-loved Kurdish people you let them write here at Armenian Weekly), but 99.9% of the Armenians whose sounds are heard) ignore the very essential element of any scientific thinking; the possibility of the alternative.
    I also find it racist and do not sympathise with people who defend Turks by saying the governing elite of Ottomans were not of Turkish. The Ottomans were Ottoman, that is what made Sinan, the Sinan the great artitect. Whether he was Armenian or Greek, or Turkish doesn’t matter; he was Ottoman, so were Talat and Cemal or Kemal as well as Zohrab and Vartkes.
    The bulk of the literature on Ottomans written by Armenians are utterly biased, unfortunately even on very obvious facts like the wealth and richness of our (together, not Turkish only, our) culture is totally ignored or undermined, ( even in many books, it is totally cursed) just to convince the readers about a cause. How can you expect the Turkish seeing and reading all these propaganda blaming not only a certain period but all the Turkish history starting from Asian steppes (yes, we were then the barbaric mongols) and Selcuks (yes, 1000 years, since Revan was inhabited by Turks in Selcuk times) and not to conclude that Armenians hate us. The following logic is obvious, then comes the claims for land, and money. Oops, Turks become racist suddenly, well, they have always been and here is this crazy fellow who killed Grant comes as a proof. This is a sick cycle, which is also used by the Turks of hatred, I still understand, people earn their lives out of this and they like the status be preserved for their own benefit.
    However, we can agree on other things;  such as since the Armenian losses are so well-documented, and published and referenced even by other Muslim scholars, and so-called genocide researchers ( adjective for the word ‘researchers’ particularly), Muslim losses are totally ignored and labeled as fighting soldiers died, or freedom fighters killing the children or war conditions, hunger, starving, .
    Well, we were enough busy in defending ourselves against all the evidence you found, and Muslims totally ignored to search and do some scholarly work on their losses. ( how scientific is it to look for evidence to prove a hypothesis?)
    After we can calculate the total destruction due to Armenian army, civilian losses, lands and property destroyed, subtract what you calculate, then I think we can agree on a payment plan; which is definitely include the Armenian share from the Ottoman debts that had been shared between all emerging independent countries after WW1, except Armenian share.
    As for the genocide, you must first honestly acknowledge your guilt, then we can start discussing that issue, as well.
    Sorry, and apologies for wasting your time (?), but at least I am reading your comments due my respect to your passion.

  17. Raffi…I commend you on a very good set of comments.  Well said, however, we need to remember that a great many Armenians are alive today because of the same Islam you are implicating for the genocide. It doesn’t add up, does it?  How could such evil Muslims save thousands of victims of the genocide?  Perhaps the real perpetrators were not truly Muslim? Perhaps they took great liberties w/ their adopted religion and abused it royally in order to steal the assets of the Armenians during a very weak point in the Ottoman experience?  Perhaps, just perhaps, the real explanation is that this group of creeps, the CUP characters who negotiated w/ Armenians only to stab them in the back, were not part of the larger Turkish majority? There is evidence to support that thesis.  The CUP was not representative of the ethnic Turkish public at that time, though it sought to exploit it with ultranationalist words and a fear campaign directed at certain minorities. And, perhaps, just perhaps, today’s Turks are resisting blame because they want us to be more specific with our rage and feel a very real disconnect with the past?  Again, the  world doesn’t blame all Germans, it blames the Nazis for the Holocaust. This is not to absolve Turkey, but rather to provide an opportunity for today’s government to apologize in a sincere way for a horrendous crime and possibly work to reverse years of lies designed to protect the architects of the genocide.  To some degree, I’m sure they’re embarrassed to be in a position of defending it. They’re not that stupid.  None of this helps Turkey. They know the whole story inside and out, but along the way, it became a crime in Turkey to speak about this episode honestly or to use verbiage that pins blame on Turkey because it’s an ‘insult’.  Of course, the mere concept of not being able to speak openly and honestly about this in Turkey is an insult to Armenians, but until both sides can discuss this in painful detail – yes, in Turkey itself – not much can change. I suspect, more than land or money or anything else, Armenians just want to see and feel that the land of their ancestor’s birth feels remorse and is willing to humble itself, just a bit, to apologize in a  sincere way, no matter who was actually responsible. I really don’t think it’s too much to ask.  The mystery is that Turkey is a big boy now…it should be able to handle the truth, but continually acts like a small child that broke something at grandma’s house and needs to hide it – forever – even though everyone saw what happened. Isn’t it time to grow up?

  18. mehmet has probably recently discovered his family’s Armenian ancestry and been ostracized from his deranged clique of ‘pure bread’ turkish nationlaists only to find himslef venting his frustration on the Armenian Weekly and trash talking Armenians.
    mehmet, it’s safe to come out of the closet here and embrace your Armenianness…we understand your pain…

  19. So, Armenians shouldn’t reclaim our lands based on our ottoman property deeds from 1915 because…
    a) Americans live on occupied Native American territory
    b) It’s a far fetched pipe dream like our aspirations to secure Armenia’s Independence, the liberation of Artsakh and return of assets accrued from our ancestors life insurance claims.
    OR because
    c) Mehmet and his friends think its a very bad idea…

  20. I can see that we are actually going somewhere, and happy about it (Not because I am determined to win an argument, as I have already mentioned, I always leave a room to be falsified) but I am clueless because despite I say the opposite, you keep imposing your belief on me as I subconsciously believe it, but not dare to say it. How else can I make it clear to you that I do not believe the Armenian relocation was because of a genocidal intent, even for Talat, and other CPU members. I will not go into a discussion on this with you here, that would only make you angry, but also I feel like you really deserve to see that not all Turks are parrots repeating what their government tells them to say; they have opinions, and thanks to the debate, they started to read and form their own opinions, although many of us are as silent as (I want to hope) many Armenians.
    {I believe the Ottoman elite wanted the Armenians to be drawn away from what they planned to be the mainland to be protected where the majority was Muslim (early plans of Misak-i Milli. No, it wasn’t M.Kemal’s original idea but has a long time history, particularly developed after the Balkan wars, which included macedonia, and Northern Iraq and didn’t have a Muslim focus. Osmanlicilik akimi. Armenians seemed to agree to stay in and were included as a part this plan, that is why they were called the most thrustworthy, and they were going to be an essential element with Kurds, Turks, and Balkan Muslims).
    The war in the East, however, caused a dramatic shift in the demographics of the eastern states of Misak-i Milli, and whilst Muslims were losing their lives at the hands of Russian-Armenian army and Armenians were siding either at the winning side or simply becoming the majority. (which I repeat relocation was not a special law practised on Armenians only since all the land belongs to the Sultan not to people. Based on what Ottoman law, would you ask for the Armenian lands given back today? You may not like it, but no one is saying Ottomans were a democracy).
    CPU and all the others possibly knew they would not be able to protect the large Armenian caravans on the way. But there were no official orders to kill. (or is there? secret codes? Where are they? This is enough for me to blame Akcam as having low ethics). You can show us and the world thousands of photos, people witnessing the murdered bodies; millions of them, that doesn’t prove your claim. (But who were protecting the Muslim people, since the able people were fighting a war in front of the Russian army, against another enemy hitting behind the war zone?)
    It was possibly calculated that some were going to be slaughtered on the way despite all the laws to protect them. They misjudged the hatred between the peoples of the region. I don’t think they knew the result would be this catastrophic.
    However, don’t tell me this happenned because of centuries-long hatred between the Christians and Muslims. I don’t believe any other nation on Earth could maintain a peace this long in this region but Ottomans. (how else can I give hints on to support your cause).
    However, don’t insult my people saying only hundreds of Muslim lives have been lost or they died simply in war, or Armenians slaughtered children and women because they were protecting themselves. (Why not help the Ottomans against Russians, then?)
    The previous paragraph is exactly what Turkish government kept saying to us; undermining the number of Armenian deaths, or bringing illogical explanations to their deaths. (Well, americans calim the native americans vanished because of the viruses that colonists brought with them).
    Because although I acknowledge and respect the Armenian lives, this means you don’t care of Muslim lives.
    I think the starting point should be to embrace the great Ottoman (Turkish, Armenian, 40 other nations, etc) culture, find our common points and then we can discuss what to do so that people from both sides wouldn’t feel their sorrow and pain are forgotten. This is not going to happen if you justify the murders of Turkish people (diplomats, civilians) just because they were not accepting your cause. Wasn’t this the same idea behind the murders of the Muslim people, to get rid of them and establish the Great Armenia with the help of Russians?
    Are Armenians mistake-free, and innocent by birth?
    Thank you for reading my long posts,
    Haklarimizi karsilikli helal etmeden, bu is burada bitmeyecek, and we will be forced to ask God to be the judge after this world ends. Possibly we will both taste the fire of Hell.

  21. Mehmet, with all due respect, our guilt was asking to be free from the Turkish yoke. The Greeks, Albanians, Bulgarians, Austrians and Serbs got theirs, but unfortunately for us, we tried, and were massacred en masse. And the only reason we could not get our freedom, was because of WWI, whereas the Ottoman government, under pretext of war, massaacred 1.5 million Turks.
    Not one single Armenian, during, before and after WWI, has ever denied Turkish casualties. The bulk of the Turkish dead, were soldiers, and some died fighting Armenians, who were protecting their homes.  Yes, people die during wars, but premeditated massacre of 1.5 million “unarmed” people is called MURDER. 
    You mentioned that a few of your posts were pulled from this forum, well, I’ve got news for you. Armenians don’t discriminate, two of my own posts were ceremoniously thrown out.
    I would like to personally thank you, for having the interest and courage coming on here and sharing your thoughts. We really appreciate your comments, wrong or right. We believe that only open dialogue and sincere communication between our two peoples will heal our pain.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell

  22. To Mehmet Fatih
    I will quote from an article under the title of “If Dersim was a Massacre, what was the Other Thing?” written by Ertugrul Ozkok editor-in-chief of daily hurriyet on 20th of November 2009:
    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan chose the words “Dersim massacre” as he was criticizing Öymen’s remarks during a plenary session in Parliament. Mr. Prime Minister had issued a statement recently over the “Darfur massacre.” He had said, “Muslims don’t commit massacre…” (According to some sources, he did not say “don’t commit…” but “cannot commit…”) Who, then, bombed out caves and cut the throats of Alevi Kurds in Dersim?
    Were they “Christian Turks?”
    The first beneficial result of the “Dersim” debate is this: That means Muslims do commit, or can commit, massacre. Then we have to take the second step:
    We shouldn’t withhold a similar categorization for the events in Darfur. If the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir gets offended, we have an excuse in foreign policy then:
    “Look my friend! I do call what my own people commit ‘massacre’ so don’t be offended by my remarks.”
    Let’s move on to the bigger issue now: Turkey has tremendously benefited from Öymen’s unfortunate remarks over the Dersim revolt. Even I didn’t know enough about the Dersim incident, but I have learned now.
    Let me make a confession here: I thought that it was one of the 28 suppressions of Kurdish revolts. But now I’m reading books about Dersim. But I haven’t been able to get one answer yet: How many people died in the Dersim incident?
    I have checked the figures; somewhere between 7,000 and 90,000 people were killed: The second question is this: If the killing of 7,000-90,000 is a “massacre,” according to even the most official voice, what then will we call the losses in the Armenian question?
    According to Armenian allegations, a total of 1.5 million were killed in 1915. But let’s say the death toll was 600,000. How many times more of those who were killed in Dersim? If the number of dead in Dersim was 7,000, it is 200 times more; if 90,000 then 17 times more. Yes, if the Dersim incident was a massacre, then what was the Armenian incident?
    Is it called a big massacre, a huge one or a tremendous mass-killing? As this question is posed to the top authority in Turkey, what will be the “official answer?” He will probably say “Don’t be hard on yourself. There is a universal term used for that and it starts with ‘so-called’….”
    The Dersim debate in Parliament means we are refusing our “official history theses.” That’s fine, but how will we get by with adopting an unofficial political language at home and an official language abroad?
    Please Mehmet open up as per your surname…

  23. To Fatih… another editorial article from Hurriyet dated 29th of November 2009 under the title of “All the Taboos…Will be Broken’
    In a recent article in the Turkish daily Hürriyet Vercihan Ziflioğlu, quoting Hasan Saltuk, stated, “All the taboos of this country will be broken and, in the future, there will not be anything that cannot be spoken about.”
    Saltuk is the author of a soon-to-be-published book about the “Dersim Operation” of 1938. According to some accounts, close to 70,000 civilians were killed in that massacre. Contrary to official history that the “operation” was to quell a Kurdish tribal insurrection, Saltuk maintains, “the fundamental reason behind the operation was that the region was home to Alevis” and “they were merely Armenians who had changed their identities”.
    In a development related to the Hürriyet article, filmmaker Nazahat Gundogan will release a movie about the Dersim Massacre. The documentary was three years in the making. In an interview with Turkish NTV, she spoke of “hundreds” of orphaned girls who were taken by or given to officers’ families to be “civilized” and taught Turkish.
    During the “operation” the Turkish Armed Forces used aircraft for reconnaissance purposes and for bombardment. Among the pilots was Kemal Atatürk’s adopted daughter Sabiha Gökçen, the world’s first female combat pilot. It is said that she was of Armenian origin, and she flew off without dropping a single bomb.
    In yet another development, the Dersim Massacre was recently the subject of a heated discussion in the Turkish parliament.
    Following these positive signals, one wonders whether all the taboos truly “will be broken” in Turkey, ultimately leading to a free discussion of the Genocide of the Armenians. Will official Turkey finally face its past? At least one Kurdish parliamentarian, Selahattin Demitras, has stepped forward and spoken the truth. Will others follow him?
    In recent years we have seen Turkish writers, journalists, artists, left-wing intellectuals come forth and acknowledge the Genocide of the Armenians. The voice of these righteous and brave Turks seems to be getting louder. Moreover, since the assassination of Hrant Dink and the publication of the “I apologize” document, some Turkish media have begun to broach the question of the Genocide with greater frequency than in previous years, although still not spelling out the “dreaded” G word.
    When a person with the stature of Hürriyet’s editor-in-chief asks, “If Dersim was a massacre, what was the other thing?” the answer is pretty clear, although he does not spell it out. Bloggers on the Hürriyet site have answered for him – “Genocide!”
    How representative are these righteous Turks? Are they spokesmen of a groundswell of public opinion a la “We Are All Hrant Dink” or are they an insignificant group who are–whether they know it or not–acting as a fig leaf for official Turkey? Put another way, is the government giving them some leeway to boost Turkey’s credentials as a democratic and civilized society, worthy of EU membership? Are these righteous Turks being manipulated by reactionary Turkey the way Young Turks misled and manipulated Armenian politicians in Istanbul before 1915? Of course, Ankara could also be using these intellectuals to encourage Armenians to bring down their guard.
    To our knowledge there are no reputable surveys to gauge Turkish public opinion about the Genocide of Armenians. Based on postings on internet sites by ordinary Turks, it is fair to say that the public is overwhelmingly ignorant of the facts. It is also motivated by false patriotism and is unwilling to listen to voices that appear here and there, questioning the official narrative.
    Not surprisingly, the “scholarship” of Bernard Lewis and Stanford J. Shaw are frequently invoked by Turkish posters even in respect to the Dersim Massacre. They argue that since these “historians” have not mentioned the massacre, it did not happen.
    Turkophile Europeans, especially those with vested interests in Turkey, have promoted the recent rapprochement of Turkey and Armenia as positive developments. These voices from Europe are eager to grab every chance to claim that Turkey has progressed and matured towards establishing genuine democracy. To make their case, these apologists of Turkey point out that the country introduced changes to its penal code 301, following Europe’s insistence. It is true that some changes were made on April 30, 2008. However, these did not go far enough. The principal alterations were limited to the substitution of “Turkishness” with “Turkish nation”, the reduction of the maximum penalty from three years to two, and requiring the permission of the justice minister to file a case”. The dictatorial and racist spirit has remained unchanged.
    No wonder novelist Elif Şafak has said, “The Article has a chilling effect on free expression”. Meanwhile, Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk has become a hate figure in his homeland, and so worried in his and his family’s safety that he has moved to New York for the time being.
    Yes, we hope that “All the taboos … will be broken … in the future”, but as long as the hideous article 301 and the operatives of the old guard are in place, nothing can be taken for granted. Neither the good intentions and the apologies, nor the lofty expressions of the righteous Turks should veer us from being ever vigilant and circumspect. We’ve learned our lesson only too well!
    Mehmet I’ve underlined some paragraphs… It would really be useful if you first read your local editorials…No offence but it will enlighten you more if it is from Turkish source rather than an Armenian one.

  24. There is nothing in Raffi’s comment that implicates Islam generally in the Genocide. He just refers to the argument, much brandished even by many Muslim commentators today, that Islam condemns generally the killing of innocents (much as the Christian and Jewish faiths do as well.) It may be a reference to Erdogan’s comment against Israeli actions in Gaza, accusing them of “genocide” (I think, I’m not sure) also saying that it is impossible for Muslims to carry out a genocide because they can’t innocents. You can also say that about Christians but there is no Christian that I know claiming that “it is impossible for a Christian to kill innocents”: 20th century is abundantly clear. Now, who is Erdogan kidding. It’s true that many Armenians generally were welcomed by Syria, a very friendly country to us (even though very few Armenians seem to know there was a massacre of Armenian refugees in 1918 in Aleppo), Iran, etc. Still, Erdogan’s is cheap propaganda, consistent with his own ideology, that deserves nobody’s serious attention. While the topic here is not Islam and the limits of its tolerance, it’s not the most pacifist religion in the world: they are not Quakers, and the Quran glorifies Holy War, which is literally what the Holy Book deems it to be and not the very marginal interpretation given by some 19th century reformist Islamic theologians that jihad means a war within’s one soul to prevail over evil. That has resurfaced recently as a counterargument to terrorists and terrorism, and only by some weakling Islamic preachers none of these ready-to-die militants listen to.

    As for focusing merely on the CUP as sole responsible for the Genocide we would be overlooking the fertile anti-Armenian soil in which it was carried out. Not only by Islamic laws Armenians were second and third-class citizens in the Ottoman Empire –these Islamic laws are generally hailed as “progressist” by Muslim propagandists: well, yes, they were so in the 7th century Arabian desert,  but hardly in the 19th century or today– but there also had been several massacres before Ittihad came to power, most notably 1894 and 1896 (in which my great-grandfather was murdered in Kilis). Turkish massacres of Armenians were not Ittihad’s sole privilege. One must also count the massacres of Armenians by Ataturk’s forces in Kilikia. That wasn’t CUP’s making either. Moreover, if you want to consider anti-Armenian Turkish actions from a broader perspective, we should also count the Baku massacres of Armenians at the beginning of the 20th century (was it 1906? I don’t remember now), let alone the pogroms of Sumgait and Baku in 1988. In the same way that the Nazi plans for the Holocaust had their basis in a long tradition of anti-Semitism in Germany and in Central Europe generally, the Armenian Genocide had its foundations in a much predicated and practiced hatred of and contempt for Armenians in the Turkish state  even before Abdul Hamid. The CUP ideologues merely perfected it and devised a comprehensive plan for wiping us out: Ataturk seemed very happy with the results; they did the work for him, and he later made sure to exterminate what was left of us, and had he been able, he would have obliterated the first Republic of Armenia too. The massacre of Adana in 1909 should have been a warning, but there were many signs foretelling Adana and the Genocide even before 1909.

  25. News flash:  if you have an Ottoman property deed in your hands for your ancestral home in Turkey, and the house is still standing, and is uninhabited, I believe you can claim it and live in it today according to current Turkish law.  I’ve been told this several times in Turkey.  Even more interesting, an Armenian family currently living in London was just recently awarded 11 prime acres of family land on the Bosphorus by – surprise, surprise – a Turkish court.  Admittedly, these are very small things, but anyone is free to pursue such claims on a personal level.  Everyone should keep in mind that the idea of prosecuting a current government for the crimes of a past (and discredited) regime will not go very far, especially since the current players were not even born when the crimes occurred.  At best, you are relying on an effort to embarrass them into an apology.  If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be much better to begin not with insults and empty threats, but rather a vigorous effort to har-kell them to your side?  There is a rare opportunity here to work out a new dynamic, but first, Armenians really need to stop acting in an undignified way. They need to stop arguing from fantasy. We all know there is no excuse that can justify the genocide, but endless anger about it is counterproductive. It is psychologically debilitating and unhealthy. While an act of apology or even compensation from Turkey would be welcomed, it is not going to cure every Armenian ill, either in the diaspora or in Armenia. I fear that too many people are putting way too much effort into something that will produce very little of substance. Yes, it’s well worth pursuing, but please…try to pursue this in a smarter, more thoughtful way, especially since none of the avenues used in the past have produced anything worthwhile at this point. Keep the goal, but change the strategy, and defuse the objections.  We may find there are more people offering support from all sides. Remember, a law of physics is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It’s true in human interaction as well, and worth remembering. That’s all.  

  26. What is this comment about? Where did this come from now, again? The comments above are about the roots of the anti-Armenian sentiment and laws prevailing in turkey –even today: no need to go further than the Armenian school curricula and the murder of Hrant Dink–, indicating that the Genocide and the Armenian-turkish conflict have much deeper roots than Ittihad’s policies. The CUP only continued policies that had a very long tradition in the ottoman empire. There is nothing undignified in exposing the truths about turkey that they are not revealing.  That the turks find it insulting and threating is their problem.

  27. “the idea of prosecuting a current government for the crimes of a past (and discredited) regime will not go very far, especially since the current players were not even born when the crimes occurred.”
    Whether the people in charge now were born when those crimes were committed is irrelevant. Am I correct to assume that you are a legal scholar with much evidence to back your claims about not being able to prosecute a current government for the crimes of the past? What evidence is there to back your claim?
    News Flash: The Republic of Turkey is legally liable for its own crimes against Armenians, as well as those committed by its ottoman predecessor. Turkey has inherited the assets of the ottoman empire and therefore also its liabilities.
    There is nothing insulting about demanding your legal rights. We have exhausted the “harkell” strategy of “trying to win them to our side”. The “harkell” strategies yield over 90 years was the signing of treacherous protocls that are insulting and threatening. For how much longer are you willing to wait for the reciprication of respect before you forfeit all of your rights?

  28. The Armenian Weekly proves – time and time again – that it is, very simply, the internet’s top address for the exploration and exchange of the ideas and intellectual currents that will shape the future of the Armenian nation.

  29. Mihran, if you’ve studied history and more specifically, the post WWI period in Turkey, you will know that tribunals were held and that many people were, in fact, hanged because of their involvement in the genocide. You will also know that the ARF hunted down and executed many of the key players of the CUP power structure, and has continued its war against Turkey to this very day.  Yes – Armenians have paid a HUGE price over the past 90+ years, no one can dispute or diminish that fact. The question isn’t the past, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the future. Nothing you do or say will bring people back and nothing can legitimately bring Turkey to trial, if that’s your goal. It cannot and will not happen.  Other, more recent genocides have all led to key individuals being brought to trial, but not the country itself, nor the government. There is the concept of sovereign immunity in international law, which has been practiced since the middle ages and is recognized by the US, among others.  It may be a bitter pill, but one that people need to swallow, especially since the criminal government that perpetrated the genocide legally ended a long time ago.  If time, money and energy are to be invested, let’s invest it in retaining and reuniting Karabagh w/ Armenia  in a formal way.  This will result in a stronger, more viable Armenia and is well worth the effort. As it is sometimes said, ‘the past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.’

  30. I will not comment on the Dersim massacres, since I have not done enough reading on it. (However, I have heard Sabiha Gokcen was the first to drop the bomb.) However, I know enough and heard enough first-hand stories about the other massacres that have targeted other groups or people that the Republic thought would be a threat to its survival.  It is fair to call all killings of innocent people, a murder and a massacre. That is it. I hope those, who ordered or personally killed even one innocent person would pay for it, either in this world, or hereafter.
    Despite my respect for the lives lost, the death tolls, how large they are, do not determine whether it was genocide or not. I am not worried of any consequence that the recognition of a genocide would cause; in particular financially. We are rich enough to pay for anything, and make the entire Armenia a prosperous country but isn’t what the new government now trying to do, anyways? 
    Egemen Bagis has said it very nicely; we can’t be rich if we live in a poor neighbourhood, we can’t be safe in an unsafe neighbourhood.
    The land: You can forget about it, unless Armenia somehow possesses nuclear warheads, like Israel, and use them to invade and kill half Turkish population in your own hands. Is it the only way that you will give up your genocide claims? Correct me if I am wrong, that is what you had said my friend(?), right? – Such peaceful people some of you are and can still accuse Ottomans to have genocidal intentions.
    However, I will never accept being labeled as a nation or the ancestors of a nation that hated a certain group of people and want to get kill them all. Because, I believe the collapse of the Ottomans brought nothing but pain and sorrow to the world;  in Balkans, Middle East and Caucasus. (http://www.newsweek.com/id/224676) and this is not because I am missing the empire’s great armies or the huge lands, but I am missing the richness of its culture and being friends and united with all these great peoples of this part of the world regardless of their religion and race. I know Armenians will never have another Sinan, and Turks will never have another Fatih (the one opens doors) or Arabs will never unite  and Jewish will never feel safe.
    Because of all these, I am accusing CPU, the Armenians, Turks, Arabs for their betrayal and ignorance that led the losses of millions of lives on all sides in the past, and created the sick minds who killed Hrant or those who would dream of having nuclear war heads and exterminate Turkish people.

  31. Mehmet, forget the Armenians. When will we get our independance? It’s been long due, and the 30,000 killed in our liberation movement, were mostly Kurds killed by the Turkish army. How about that for a peaceful people that you so proudly proclaim?

  32. I kept telling CPU for the Ittihat ve Terakki, only now I recognise, apologies, that is funny but looks like an analogy to the central processor unit. :)

  33. Mehmet, spend your money on yourself & do not worry about Armenia.When we’ve survived a Genocide we will definitely survive few years of poverty.Do not worry about us.The Genocide generation & generations afterwards survived worse poverty & did not beg.
    Recognition of Genocide will  let us bury our unburried families, who after 94 years are still waiting for JUSTICE.
    The land?Of course we will not forget.We are patient & my God how patient we are you really do not know.We’ll wait.We have a country next to our lost lands & always looking towards it.In my village in Armenia when we bury our dead we bury them towards our lost lands.
    Jews regained their country after 2000 years.That’s a very good example for us.We’re in a much more advatageous position than the Jews by having a country next to our lost lands.
    From your comments I see that you are in the process of coming into terms with your ancestors’ past…The turkish intelligentsia & media are paublicly doing the same.That is a very healthy sign & keep up the good work!
    Ferhat I liked your comment.Unfortunately Mehmet not even once commented being a Kurd.I personally believe that you will have your independence & hopefully very soon.Good luck!

  34. Mehmet, I don’t think Armenia will ever do that to get the lands back. We don’t carry out genocides. None in our history. Who knows, maybe so-called “turkey” is a country that will disintegrate, like the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia. Maybe it’s so rotten to the bone by its internal contradictions that it will fall apart under the weight of its own history (you know, there are at least 1,5 million skeletons in the wardrobes down there).  Many changes happen you know, in our lifetime and after. Then again, maybe you get lucky & live to see so-called “turkey” to cease being the country it is today.  Stay tuned.

  35. Hey Mehmet, you Turks have enslaved us for centuries, and we believe that the time is ripe for an old good fashioned revolution. You simply cannt expect 22 million Kurds stay mumb about Turkish atrocities against Kurds. But the time is clicking slowly and surely for the day we will engulf Turkey in fire. We are a patient people, and we will not wait 94 years like the Armenians so patiently are. Our freedom is just around the corner. Wait and see…

  36. Well, sorry but we are generous and understanding people who care about other people’s pain and sorrow. We don’t want anyone hate us, and determined to help all in need despite some fanatics.
    We’ve learned our lesson from the past; we are now better prepared against all those who manipulated and deceived their peoples against us in the past, with false hopes and promises of bright future, independence, and wealth. All they got was pain and suffering, and almost the entire Ottoman nations  not only lost their freedom but also their dignity at the hands of Western colonialism.
    We will stay calm, and not get provoked tis time, and keep our hand in the air waiting for the mutual shake. Still our other hand is read and our fist is tight in case of any physical threat. So you choose which of our hands you would like?
    Have a great and wonderful day,

  37. Ferhat, you speak so old-fashioned. Read some newspaper man ! This isn’t 80’s anymore. Time must have been clicking reaaaaally slowly for you.

  38. mehmet, really? Is one hand in the air and the other one is a fist? No joking. Thank you for warning us. Can we be your friends? But be nice this time around. So, no more manipulation? So it was England, Germany and France who manipulated ittihad into the Armenian Genocide? Yes? And little ataturk –we all know he was a puppet, and how couldn’t he: his best legacy is that you can get alcohol almost anywere in so-called “turkey”, the only Islamic “country” where it’s so easy to get it– was instigated by Russia to march against Armenia, I gather! Now, that explains it. Really, can we be your friends? You scare us, mehmet. Your “country” –which really is not a country and is not yours, as you would know very well if you read good books instead of bad turkish newspapers– has been rotting for a long time. It’s just of matter of sitting and waiting. We saw the Soviet Union collapse, we saw Yugoslavia explode into tiny bits. We will just sit and wait. Keep your hand closed “tight” into a fist: you won’t even be able to pick up the little pieces.

  39. Selcuk, you have been tricking Armenians since 1890s and all the way to 2009. All your promises are “garbage,” you might trick the Armenians with these empty “protocols,” even though everyone knows you are playing a game. But, make no mistake, we are two dofferent people. You are relative newcomers to Asia Minor, whereas Armenians and Kurds, 2 indo-European peoples have inhabited these lands for thousands of years. But make no mistake, you won’t be able to trick us with allowing us Kurdish radio broadcasts, that does us absolutely no good. We need independance and we need it now. Our patience is running real thin, one small provacation and 22 million Kurds will stand up and bring the collapse of the Turkish republic.  You Turks have no gentlemanly and honest manners. You lie and stab other peoples in the back. You lied to the Armenians, you promised us everything, but delivered us only pain and suffering. You know damn well that you massacred 2 million(French historians claim between 2-3 million Armenians were butchered by Turks) Armenians, you used us to do some of your dirty jobs. But, Kurds are a proud people, and we are Not scared of the truth..time and again we accepted our complicity in the murders of these innocent 2 million Armenians, how about you? Don’t you people have any pride, any ba–s?  Shame on you all.
    My message to all Armenians: If you believe one word from this Turkish government, then you are forever condemned to be absolute FOOLS.  They fooled you, the Greeks(Cyprus), Albanians, Kurds and many other peoples. They have no honor at all. These are genocidal maniacs running amok, and read my words, they will commit the same exact GENOCIDE agains you and against us, without any hesitation.
    So, don’t be fooled by their empty promises. If they really were  honest,  they would have accepted the Genocide 90 years ago, but they are not men, like women, they hide inside skirts and then jump out and strike you on your back.
    Selcuk, Armenians are nicer than Kurds, and won’t offend you with bad language, but hear this from a fed up Kurd: SHUT UP AND LEAVE OUR LANDS, AND GO TO YOUR ASIAN STEPPES AND RAISE SHEEP AND HUNT.

  40. Hye Mehmet Faith, you have my sympathies… you have been educated in your schools to a history book which has been prepared with lies from your Turkish leaderships… the truths shall shock
    you – over and over for each of the lives taken.   Ottoman Turks  killed peoples of the Chrisitan religion – to take their lands, culture and more to ‘house’ the ‘hordes’ from the Asian mountains – so the Turks shall have a homeland, fully equipped, and more,  albeit stolen from an unarmed nation… Stolen, since they slaughtered and terrorized the Armenians for their lands.   Today, subsequent Turkish leaderships continue their policy of lies – the Genocide of the Armenians ‘never happened’ though the world over, there are many instances of record for those who are able to read.   Today Turks still pursue the Armenians, all the world over, hence until today, the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians has not ended, the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation still exists – never to be forgot; reparations due and owing – still… 1915-2009.  Manooshag

  41. Dear Armenians. Currently Turks are trying desperately to fool us Kurds with empty promises. They teach us to hate Armenians. This is no lie, they point blank ask us/ force us  to hate the Armenians, and all the time we look around and see no Armenian soldiers killing us, no Armenians jets bombing us…but only Turkish army and air force jets bombing innocent Kurdish villages and killing innocent Kurds.
    Selcuk, your name alone sounds violent and bloodthirsty.  What are you talking about “reading” some newspapers? Oh, big deal, after 100s of years of slavery, you benevolent Turks giving your enslaved subjects a few phony baloney favors? Do you honestly believe that we are buying the “too little too late” useless offers? 
    Unlike you Turks, Armenians are more accomodating allowing your posts to appear on Armenian forums, whereas Kurds and Armenians are not allowed to post messages on Turkish forums. It tells volumes about you Turks.
    To all Armenians, an advice from a humble Kurd: Please don’t let your guard down, the Turk will strike you when you least expect it. Yes, there are few good Turks, like Orhan Pamuk, who are tired of this nonsense occupations and killings, but the majority of Turks are as you know, vicious and cold murderers.  If you don’t believe me, check the histories of the following peoples: Albanians, greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians and Kurds, and you see that one thing stays constant: Turkish massacres of innocent Albanian, greek, Bulgarian, Armenian and Kurdish peoples.
    Wished the Turks  they Never left central Asia.

  42. To Ferhat:
    I am not sure, you are really Kurdish. May be you are acting as a Kurdish.
    Turkish government had terrible mistakes against Kurdish and alevi origin people in the past. Currently there is an optimal political climate to resolve socio-cultural issues. Kurdish worker party (PKK) and it’s supporters have finally understand that, you can’t get nowhere with violence.  Turkey is our country (belong to all ethnic group). Turkey is a great country and Turkey is getting economically and strategically more powerful in the region. We need to live in peace.
    Get over with your ethnicity based hate filled old fashion psychotic ideas. Spend more time and effort for peaceful solutions.

  43. Proud Kurd all the way.  Our ancesters, the Medians were, are and will be here . So, alipasha, you have no choice but to live with us, the indigenous peoples of these lands. You Turks should all pack and head back  to central asia.
    Alipasha, your sarcasm does not do you any good. For the last 1000 years of service to the Turks finally got us “free Kurdish language TV?”  Is this how you reward us? As I said before, you used us Kurds against Armenians. Two weeks back, while in Diyarbekir, I met with so very unhappy fellow Kurds, who are tired of Turkish B.S. and lies.
    We have had absolutely no issues with the Armenians, you keep enflaming anti-Armenian sentiments in our community, basically you are using us. This time, my violent Turkish friend, it will not work. We look like fools, and act like fools, when you are around us, and yes, we tell every Turk we meet that we hate Armenians, but the truth is the opposite. Ever since the Turkish republic was created, you have bombed and killed us, we Never saw one Armenian soldier bombing and killing us.  besides, what reasons do we have to hate Armenians? You killed 2-3 million Armenians, you used us to  do some of your dirty work, and then you turned on us.
    It is time you Turks come out of hiding behind the dress, and become real men, and accept your ancesters responsibility in the killing of millions of Armenians.
    And your efforts to foment anti-Armenian sentiments will not work.  When I’m with Turks, I tell them I cannot stand Armenians, since that is all you are interested in hearing. 
    Dear Armenians, as you are witnesses here, you noticed the arrogance of these Turks, because they own a powerful army, they think they can cow 22 million Kurds into submission. They don’t understand that it is very possible to bog down the whole 1 million Turkish army with only 1,000 Kurdish freedom fighters. And as always, DO NOT believe one single word coming from the mouth of a Turk, and one wrong step you take, will cause this violent and bloodthirsty Turks to commit another Genocide.
    Long live Kurdistan, long live Ocalan our leader, long live the Kurdish people. We will get our independance and establish our Kurdistan with Diyarbekir as its capital.  The time is near, the revolution is very near, you will see small surprises…..they are coming your way.

  44. To FERHAT:
    You are too angry, emotional and you are thinking not realistic.
    Alright, please continue to live your little dream world!

  45. Dear Armenians:

    I am so sorry for using this medium to express our Kurdish frustration with Turkish murderers. I am thankful to Armenians  for being kind and understanding in this matter. One thing that surprises me is the infinite patience Armenians have had with the Turks. Everything and anything that has happened and still are happening in current day Turkey, the Turkish government puts the blame squarely on the Armenians. The hatred against Armenians is preached day in and day out. Some Kurds, naturally are affected and start to believe the garbage fed to them. But of course the majority of Kurds know who is their enslaver and enemy, who for the last 70 years has been bombing and killing us. After hundreds of years, they finally promised to allow our Kurdish language to be thought in our schools…..BIG DEAL. Every Kurdish child DOES speak the language. What they don’t understand is that we are striving to be FREE. Look at Cyprus, they attacked and occupied half of. But then they cry and scream about Artsakh, the ancestral homeland of all Armenians.  Nowadays, no one seriously talks about Cyprus, but the whole world has gone down on Armenia, pushing hard and squeezing tiny Armenia to commit suicide. Even the remotest uneducated cattle herder knows that if Armenia relinquishes Artsakh, it might as well be erased from the surface of this world.
    The moral of this post:
    Long live free Kurdistan.

  46. Well, once again, the dogs are unleashed, and any hope of a conversation is axed. Racism and hatred overcome the dialogue that we all needed. After all, this is what some people are earning their lives from. Aren’t those who are open to mutual understanding suffering the most from this?
    Turkey is getting stronger each day; politically and financially. We are confident people of our past and future. How about you? What do you have other than hatred against Turks?
    Have another wonderful day,

  47. Mehmet;
    Yes there is over 70 million turks througout Turkey, Kazakhstan, Turkministan, Azerbaijan, europe, etc., and barely 10 million Armenians.   You come on here acting civilized and resort to refering to non-Turks as “Dogs” 
    Have you no understanding of your history?  The ottoman empire brutalized the Greeks, Pontic Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Bulgarians, etc., there is a lot of aynomosity towards Turkey and it’s ugly DARK past.  Do we hate you individually?  No.  but we hate your government for not admitting to these atrocities and acting like they never did a dam thing.  You are not even allowed to speak the truth in Turkey as under Penal code 301 you will be put into prison. 
    Your blood has Armenian blood in it as your ancestors migrated from the Mongolian plains to over take our beautiful Chrisitan Clicia our kingdom of democracy that was shared with our fellow Christians.  Your ancestors tried to wipe out any trace of ancient cultures and do an injustice to your youth for not sharing history with them.  instead you teach denial which is not healthy to your children.  As a consequence a Turks still kill Christian missionaries in your country, kill the beloved Hrant Dink, helpless on the street.  Hell it was even a Grey Wolf Turk that tried to assainate our last Pope. 
    Your countries lies that Armenians uprised so we had to contain them is CRAP! killing women and children is no excuse and we were no match with barely 3 million of us and 19 million Turkish people, it was a lie by your government to get the people to turn on it’s citizens.  Same with N-K, look at the history it has ALWAYS been Armenian land.   .
    Dialoug can happen if you would stop your arrogance of deniel and looking at non-Turks as if we are second-class citizens.
    The first part to healing is acceptance, deniel is not healing.   
    Yes, Turkey is getting stronger every day and many have left for European countries and increase their populations.  This makes Germany, France and the rest very nervous.  We have never doubted how strong in numbers you are. 

  48. Hatred against Turks? Racism? Conversation axed?
    Where is your love for the Kurds? You have forbidden our language to be thaught in our schools. That equals= RACISM
    You have been bombing us since middle of 1928 and until today, 2009. That equals=HATRED
    We have tried again and again to bring our issues, the issues of 22 million Kurds of Turkey to the Turkish government, and every time you refused to listen to our concerns. That equals=AXING THE CONVERSATION.
    Now, all of a sudden you have become Mr. Nice Guy, hmmm, that’s strange.
    No one here is questioning Turkish power, economic and military. So, don’t play victim here.  We all realize the massive military power of Turkey, but along your military power, you should cultivate civilized manners, i.e. respect for human live respect for other peoples rights, respect for other religions. Just recently I found out that a church on the island inVan was restored, but then a massive Turkish flag was stuck on the church…you tell me whether that is respect or love for a Christian church. If you honestly like dialogue with us or the Armenians, stop hiding behind dresses, come on out, and let us all discuss with honesty and integrity. History is my witness: Not one single promise given to us by the Turkish government has been kept. You have decieved the Greeks, the Albanians, the Armenians and the Kurds all throughout your history.
    Let me give you Mr. mehmet a very very very very very recent example:
    Now, I am not an expert on this Turkish-Armenian protocols which were mediated by the USA, Russia etc etc. Just a few days after the signing of these protocols, Turkish deception went into high gear, and once again Turkey is playing the game by connecting Armenia-Turkey reapproachment with Armenia-Azerbaizan conflict. That showed the back stabbing nature of Turks.  Nothing against you Mehmet, but everything against your government.
    If you want to talk about FACTS, then I am here and will answer your every question regarding Turkey and Kurds.  Don’t bring to me the phony “we are friends” or “we are one family” and “Turkey belongs to all of us” lies, because Turkey belongs only for th Turks, otherwise, why was our language was not thought in our schools?  We speak Turkish fluently, no need to become experts in Turkish language. But our children need to learn the Kurdish language, and our customs and traditions.
    And as for the military power you have. You know damn well that a small group of freedom fighters CAN EASILY bog down 2-5 million soldiers with extreme ease and comfort. So, don’t show your arrogance my friend, it can easily turn into tears and disasters.
    My sincere apologies for all Armenians frequenting this forums. I understand that I keep bringing Kurdish issues here, but whether we are Kurds, Armenians, Alevis, Greeks or Albanians, we have all suffered death and sorrow on their hands. Thank you for your patience.
    We will FREE KURDISTAN, it will take some time, but we will, you all will see.

  49. Please be personal, I don’t mind.  At the end of the day, I am not the teacher/doctor you can kill in Turkey, or the Turkish diplomat you can murder abroad. I personally forgive you for all your sins and murders, hopefully God will do the same for you, if you have a tiny piece of love for Him.
    So please be personal when I say some people here and there are racist, and barbaric (=dogs who think writing “turkey, ottoman” with lower-case will make any good to their cause, or those who killed Hrant or those who believe an atomic bomb on Turkey will be just good). Just continue to spit your words, it is all better than killing my innocent people as you have done in the past. So shoot me or insult me with your words, I don’t care. But be honest, don’t direct it to a discreet body, like Turkish government since I elected them, and they protect my rights.
    I had made my point earlier, some of you choose to shake hands, and some deserve the fist, I hope you all enjoy your choices in life :)
    As for those into a decent debate for the Armenian issue, I am ready for discussion and will do my best to display the Armenian hatred and consequent atrocities that led to the events during that time. My basic point was it had never been a Turkish-Armenian issue, but it was Muslim-Christian issue, and it was a modern crusade, and we did what we had done many times in the past, we didn’t surrender, but resisted after losing millions of lives and belongings in Rumeli. (Unarmed armenians? Who put the bullets in Turkish heads in Van?)
    So, indeed, it is the weirdest thing that Kurds were forgetting how helpful they were against Armenian terror after Berlin treaty,almost all asirets very useful to maintain the order. Hamidiye Kurds (except Mihrali Bey’s Turkomans) was the main Ottoman army against the Russian-Armenian army in the East, we are thankful to them in their struggle against the enemy. If they have done any crimes, it is God’s decision to forgive them or burn them in Hell.
    As for the Kurdish issue of Turkish Republic, unfortunately we have the upper hand today, since more Kurdish people are supporting the government than they support the PKK. They had prime ministers, and even a president. So yes, we have learned a lesson from our experience with Armenians. Well, having said that we don’t have any far lands to relocate them, so have to live with them, doing what is necessary now after so many mistakes. It is their choice, too, to live in peace or die as terrorists.
    Good luck to Erdogan in US, are you going to throw eggs to him again? I am sure he is more prepared this time, and brought his pan to do some menemen. Hmm, yummy.

  50. Mehmet, yes, turkey is getting stronger every day, economically and militarily: just like the Soviet Union in the 1980’s, ten years before its collapse.

  51. Mehmet, relocate? Your soldiers just killed an innocent young Kurd yesterday. We are on our lands, you are not. And what good it is for 22 million Kurds having a president/prime minister who is of Kurdish ancestery? California had an Armenian governor. USSR had an Armenian president, current Turkish president, Gul, has been proved beyond any doubt about his Armenian ancestery, and the list is long. Did they help Armenia? Did Torgut Ozal help the Kurds? Of course nor. Ozal was a Kurdish turncoat and a common criminal. His Kurdishness was amounted to nothing. Did Ataturk do any good to his Albanian friends? The CIA alleges that he is either of Greek or Albanian ancestery…………
    In any case, here you came and played the “victim” again. No matter how hard you try to convince us Kurds that we are this and that, it makes us strive more and more for our eventual independance.
    Nothing against Turkish people, but everything against Turkish government. Don’t take this personal, my issue is with the 100,000 soldiers occupying our Kurdish lands.
    Once again, we can discuss the Kurdish issues in a civilized way, if you so desire.
    Long live Ocalan, long live Kurdistan.

  52. Mehmet,
    This is personal and I hope you read it. I am Armenian and you are, from all I can read above, my enemy and the enemy of my nation, as much as your country is. You have a very distorted notion of Armenian history and your own, and what you did to the Armenian. If your country becomes civilized one day, and I have very strong doubts about it, it will be ashamed about what it has been done under its name and flags to us, the Armenians, in the land you usurped from us and on which your own nation is sitting now.

    The contempt with which you write about the extermination of Armenians and about Kurdish complicity in the Genocide makes you a despicable person to my eyes. It also makes you a coward, because you would not dare to say that to me or to any Armenian or to any Armenian grouping face to face. You hide behind a nickname on an Internet forum. So you are the ultimate expression of cowardice, the same cowardice of mob mentality that drove your ancestors to the extermination of my nation. You find that the Van uprising and that the revolutionary activities by some Armenian national parties was sufficient excuse to wipe out an entire nation, women, children, the elderly, priests, everyone. With the views you endorse, you are not only a despicable human being but you could also be liable to possible charges for hate crimes in a number of civilized countries, to none of which you belong: you may realize that with your views you are not only justifying the Armenian Genocide, but also the Holocaust, the Cambodian Genocide by the Khmer Rouge and the Darfur Genocide. In other words, you deserve no respect whatsoever from any decent human being, especially from anyone who believes in God, as you claim to do.

    As I am human and also susceptible to base instincts, I have very base feelings for you, and you might consider yourself lucky I or many other Armenians do not know who you are or where you hide. But I will tell you this. I am against killing people like you, because I am against killing people, be it Armenian, Turk or anyone. More specifically, I am all for getting our lands back, because they are ours, but I would never want that at the price of a genocide. To be honest with you, for all the rubbish you have written above (and for which, if you have a bigger brain than I now think you do, you may be appalled and ashamed one day), I would not want you to have the violent feelings and pain cause by loss that I and Armenians endure.

    The reason is that I know that even someone as despicable and worthless like you has a mother, a father, you may have brothers and sisters, grandparents still alive and many friends, and I am sure you must love them with all your heart and your love and friendship is returned. And you would suffer endlessly if one day, out of the blue, they were to be uprooted, made to march in the desert, be raped and stabbed or left to die of hunger and thirst. You would cry every day of every year if something like that happened. That’s what happened to us collectively. There is a photo on page 291 of the English translation by Peter Balakian and Aris Sevag of “The Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1918” by Grigoris Balakian of a girl that’s lying dead and an Armenian woman, a deportee, is stroking her. This girl is lying on the ground outside Aleppo, my birthplace, and she has a sweet expression in her face. She looks as if she is sleeping and dreaming. It’s the most heart-breaking photo I have ever seen, because I instinctively feel the urge to wake her up, to bring her to life, and yet that’s impossible, and the reason it breaks my heart is that this little girl, a victim of the Genocide carried out under your name and denied under your name, resembles so much my sister in her childhood. And for all the contempt and the urge to reciprocate your base instincts that I feel, I do not want you or anyone in the world to ever undergo that suffering. The pain is unbearable.

  53. Thanks Ali for the advice, but that alone was the point to show the racism, and the attitude of some of the brainwashed people, here and there.
    I know, no one is interested in my pain, since my family as another 12 million Rumeli Muslims sought refrugees in Turkey who had escaped from Christian cruelty in late 19th century. At least 10 times of Armenian lives, we lost during the march from all over Europe to Turkey.
    Oh, well, my fathers, too were there for a thousand years.
    Our only fault was to be Muslim, and we were called Turks when we were murdered, although many of us were not even Turkish. I now embrace being Turkish, and proud to be one, and thankful to this great people who welcomed my family and shared their food with us in our tough times, although they themselves were suffering, too.
    None of those newly formed governments, nor the Russians assigned people to protect us en route from Bulgarian gangs, none of them allocated food and shelter for us on our way, and none of them allowed us to go back after the war was over. The few of us who survivued, lost their names, their kids were taken away and given to Christian families. They lost their culture and identity.  These are from my personal memory, and what I know and heard from my grandparents.
    I heard worse stories from the people who came from your area. The muslim population in Caucasus, in Revan, and in other parts of the region who were the majority before the WW1 and forced to leave in harsher conditions, worst of all, the winter in the mountains of Caucasus. These 1.5 million people whose belongings were stolen by Armenians were not relocated, they were simply kicked out of their thousand year homes, and murdered on their death march. They had nobody to protect hem en route, and they were chased by the Armenians, as well as the Russian army. They had no place to go, and no one to help but again Turkey who embraced them, as they saved many other people in the past. Those Turkish people who we owe everything, our religion and our lives and culture.
    If you don’t feel sorry for the people who died because of your grandfathers’ greediness; I am sorry, but isn’t it my nation‘s greatness that I still keep sympathy for the Armenians being killed, or died en route? Am I not the right person who would understand your pain, and you should connect rather than insulting me and accusing me for using fake names? God know what would happen if you knew where I was? Well, we know what happened to people who ASALA knew where they were.
    May God forgive you

  54. Yes, Avo is an angry, hateful person, and this is indeed horrible, but please understand what has produced such a thing.  You must consider the source, however, as awful as it is, his anger is not as horrible as what happened to the Armenian people. That’s the bottom line. I don’t mean to defend his hurtful words, but perhaps if the Turkish govt. could at least issue an apology to the descendants of those who built and supported the Seljuk and Ottoman empires for many centuries, and who now live in a diaspora, that would be a minimal start to changing the dynamic. Remember, Armenians were the subjects of the empire…they did not run it, they did not control it and they had no army or government of their own. Everything that happened was the result of what happened behind closed doors in Istanbul. To deny that those people were crazy, hateful, greedy thieves would be just plain stupid. Put the blame squarely on those who committed and masterminded these crimes, not on those who have been taught denialist propaganda for 95 years as if it is true history.

  55. Karekin, I am sure we both may agree on a number of issues and takes on history, and even if we don’t, we may amicably disagree. Then again, you come out in defense of this person, mehmet, who said, and I quote:

    On Kurdish complicity on the Genocide (in a Genocide denier’s wording):

    “So, indeed, it is the weirdest thing that Kurds were forgetting how helpful they were against Armenian terror after Berlin treaty,almost all asirets very useful to maintain the order.”

    On the Kurds who want self-determination and fight for it:

    “So yes, we have learned a lesson from our experience with Armenians. Well, having said that we don’t have any far lands to relocate them, so have to live with them, doing what is necessary now after so many mistakes”.

    These words anger anyone with a sense of decency. So here is this turk advocating and defending what his government has done, and you come out in his defense, repudiating what I say. You don’t know me. You obviously did not read my post in its entirety. You obviously did not read that I am against any Genocide and against killing people. Yes, I believe people like mehmet and ali, who advocate uprooting people, deporting them, massacring them –just read their posts– while denying that that constitutes Genocide, are despicable and worthless, yet I am aware of their humanity, and that’s why I am against what’s precisely called crimes against humanity.

    The second part, as you may be aware, is that it is not only about Genocide recognition and throwing some candies to appease us. Turkey is an enemy state of Armenia,  and it has consistently been so. 

    I don’t know what drives your take on this, and I don’t care. You are intermittently Armenian and then you relapse into turcophilia, but that’s your problem.  I’ve been four times to Constantinople, Trabizonda, Kars, etc. so I know these people, as much as you can know them in a trip, first hand.  I don’t really care about turkish individuals, whether they are good or bad: there are all sorts among them, and I have seen them, as among every nation. Our problem is the turkish state, that not only denies the Genocide but also continues its enmity against Armenia  with its alliance with azerbaijan against Artsakh: they are now imposing the Armenian withdrawal as a condition for these disgraceful protocols to be signed. These were supposed to be without “preconditions”, remember? In other words, it’s still an enemy state and an unreliable one.

    The second thing is this: our history has really tamed you so you accept matter-of-factly turkish entitlement by fiat and force. You equate demanding our rights and standing up to them with adventurerism. It’s just a matter of dignity. Armenia is ready to settle its disputes with turkey pretty much along the cautious lines that you advocate, to no use. That’s because turkey is against an independent Armenian state. 

    The third thing is this, and very noticeable: you only intervene to belittle Armenians like me who call things by their name and in defense of turks who are being given free space in an Armenian forum, something that does not happen in turkish media. As I have said, even though you would otherwise seem a good interlocutor, I have my doubts you are Armenian and even if you are, your turcophilia and your lack of dignity –your disdain for Armenian demands on principle, your undisguised deference to your turkish masters, your condescending attitude towards Armenians: wow, how kind the turks, they let Armenians have stands on the Mısır Çarşısı!– put you on the other side. If Armenia ever needed someone to defend its interests, you would surely be on the opposite list. You cannot count yourself as an Armenian, or maybe you can: the lowliest types in Constantinople who blush before speaking Armenian in the presence of turks, who have been cowered into fear by their turkish masters and who faint if they hear the 1915 date and who look down in the presence of a turkish cop. I can’t blame them: they know better than I do where they live and what kind of criminal state they are dealing with. This one thing is clear: You are not of the mettle of Hrant Dink. That’s for sure.

  56. This can only be possible, with real peace if Armenians just consider (not even accept) and talk about what they have done to Muslim people together with Russians and when they stop justifying the ASALA or at least some apologise for their mistakes, as some of the Turks do today, although almost all of us feel sorry for what happened to the innocent Armenians.
    If you keep using Turkish hatre and AG propaganda as a way to stay united, and embrace those who provoke masses and destroy the peace, than do not forget, Turks fought against the entire Europe during many crusades in the past, and have the ability to overcome another one. Do you really think you can make them accept something by force that the entire Europe couldn’t achieve? If you are honest in your recognition claims, start cleaning your own backyard first, then believe me Turks will give you more than what you demand as they have always done. Peace is your only chance.
    As for the Kurds, they will keep suffering until they, too accept Turkey as the New Ottoman country, work to make it greater, and struggle in the democratic way and proud to be Turkish citizens as all of us who are ethnically not Turkish have been doing for the last 80 years. What we have achieved today in the West should be a model for the Kurds to do the same in the East. We are ready to do our part, and perhaps do more as most of my tax money are used (many times wasted against terror) for them. If they still want independence, they can go to N.Iraq after they pay all my tax money back.

  57. Avo, it’s not that I’m accepting ‘Turkish entitlement’, it’s the reality that most of our ancestors lived with and under Turkish rule for almost a thousand years, and most of that was actually quite good for Armenians. As rulers, the Turks needed architects, stonemasons, farmers, blacksmiths, etc, etc. to make their empire function.  Of course, of necessity, all of our ancestors spoke Turkish and lived better lives than many people on the planet during those years.  They helped the empire and the empire helped them in return. At the very least, they were not being attacked by outsiders and had a relatively secure environment to live in, and were being protected by the forces of the empire. This continued for a very long time and nothing you say will change that fact. If you want to discuss the genocide issue, I feel you must really focus on those who masterminded it and carried it out, and ask the hardest question, which is ‘why’?   And then, try to understand it.  Don’t let unreasonable hatred get in the way of intelligence, please.  If you do, you are no better than those who committed the genocide.  As a side note, do you know that a recent DNA study revealed that 87% of today’s Turks (in Turkey) share identical DNA with Armenians?  So, perhaps this is more of a ‘family’ feud than we even realize?

  58. Thank you, I appreciate this message my dear friend Karekin, this should be the way to win the hearts of Turks, believe me recognition or an apology is closer to you than you think with such an approach. Armenia will become a better place with such an attitude, so will Turkey.
    It may not be of the genocide (since it means hatre and racisim towards Armenians, which I don’t believe was the intention of anybody in the Ottoman Empire, otherwise it would be deportation back to Russia like Stalin, or Hitler’s gas chambers,  instead of relocating them in other parts of the empire. Also consider many other subjects, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, of the empire faced relocation throughout Ottoman history),  but surely an apology for the pain caused, or for n0t being able to provide enough food and shelter and government’s responsibility in not being able to protect the lives of all innocent Armenians who died through massacres and starvation; a sincere apology for not being able to punish the people who attacked the convoys, or even for mistreatment for the Armenians left in Turkey. This can only be possible if Turks feel secure about their history, at least some of them understand the rational of the relocation, the way Turks felt about the Armenians who were supporting the enemy Russia, and only again some of you appreciate of what they have done correctly for ages but not by insulting them, or accusing them with racism. This is what all Turks proud of, not being racist, and being great managers of other people.
    DNA commonality should still be the last to talk about whereas the culture and history and years of friendship, old good memories can be the starting point. We have to remember good old days, and use those good memeories to decrease our pain of the bad days.
    (Yalanci) “Dolma” diplomacy can be more effective then you might think, and we can work for a common future, and perhaps Armenia becomes a rich enough place that some of you in diaspora may, one day want to return to your homeland instead of living in third countries. Perhaps, some of you may even want to live in Turkey, and sure enough Muslims may want to move to Revan, and other places that they were deported from. (I am on the other hand will always be a muhacir, but at least could have seen my family’s town in Macedonia. Thanks to the peace between Turkey and Macedonia today.)
    Not only we open the borders, but we actually may open them for visa free travel, and even one day we may want to form a EU like big union in the region regardless of the different religions we believe, Turkey may even want to give up Eu membership and instead form an alliance ( a cultural alliance and union) with Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan as equal friends.
    Peace at home, peace in our neighbours. We need each other, and be honest about our past, all sides, all parties, all people should think about their faults, and learn from their mistakes.
    Thank you again,

  59. Mehmet, thank you for all good wishes. Just a point of clarification: the extermination of an entire nation is called Genocide. That’s what Turkey did to Armenia. You may like it or not, but that’s how it is called. Second, the Genocide is perhaps the biggest issue of contention between Armenians and Turks but not the only one. Turkey is an enemy country for Armenia. It imposed a blockade on Armenia for the liberation of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh), a war between the Artsakh Armenians and the Azeris. Armenia did nothing to Turkey for it to impose that blockade. Hence, the problem is not Armenia, it’s your own country. Further, it imposed the blockade for something completely unrelated to Armenian demands on the Genocide or on whether Diasporan Armenians are nice or not to Turks. That has nothing to do with that. It’s not a historical problem. It’s modern Turkey pursuing  enemy policies towards modern Armenia. And while you may have been well-intentioned in what you wrote, above: “This is what all Turks proud of, not being racist, and being great managers of other people”, you may realize that most Armenians will beg to disagree. The Genocide was not an exception: it was the culmination of steady anti-Armenian policies. Well before Ittihad Armenians were called giavour and treated as such. And when you say “great managers of other people”, remember three things: 1. the Genocide of 1915; 2. This “other people” you are referring to were in their own land, millenia before the first turkic hordes arrived there; 3. Armenians, nor any other nation, need other people to “manage” them, any more than your own people would not like that one bit.

    Enough said. Now we know what thinks each of us in this forum and I really see no need for further comments.

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